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21  FIBER ARTS / Felting: Completed Projects / Wet-felted Cat Cave Beds on: June 06, 2016 06:40:34 PM
I'm not much of a wet-felter yet, so these were experimental projects for me. My dear friend geekgirl1000100 teasingly sent me a Pinterest link to a cat cave quite a while ago putting in her "order".

I decided to try making one for a different friend in my local craft meetup group when we did a group swap and had a lot of fun with it. Unfortunately, I didn't make it big enough, so her chubby little kitty Vashti just sleeps on top (the little kitty Penelope never had a chance to try it, I think). The colors were chosen to match my friend's living room - coral and green with touches of dark yellow.

A month or two later, I decided to make one again, this time actually for geekgirl as a present for watching my cats for a week while I was out of town. The second try was a little too big, so it didn't hold its shape very well with the amount of wool I used. The colors were supposed to be a little more inspired by several spacey sci-fi shows that geekgirl is a fan of - blues, purples, grays, and flecks of yellow (I didn't tell her my inspiration for the colors Tongue).

I definitely have some more learning/practicing to do with wet felting before I'm comfortable doing it and happy with the finished products.

This is the first attempt (with Vashti as a model). It looked like the perfect size for my kitties to curl up in, so I didn't suspect it to become a much loved pancaked bed Tongue

And here is attempt two with my buff tabbies Gemini and Castor and geekgirl's kitty Rygel testing it out.

(Gemini would only go in while it was upside down)

(Castor had some growing room)

(Even fluffy Rygel had room for a friend)

22  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / You're Oh So Clever - Whimsical Fox Woodland Shrine on: May 17, 2016 10:15:51 AM
In the recent Shrine Swap, I was partnered with kwality570 which I was very happy for. In the Whimsical Shrine Swap a couple years ago, I was her angel after her original partner flaked. I was super excited to make a companion piece for the "Oh Hello Deer" diorama I made her before (with her permission of course). I still had a couple of round boxes that matched the one I used for her first shrine from me and decided to do an opposite-ish night scene.

After doing some initial sketches, I sketched each piece individually, painted it, cut it out, rubbed the cut edges for a nice crisp black line, and proceeded to assemble in a layered scene. The "opposites" in this shrine are that the scene takes place on the other side of the tree from the first scene, it is night time instead of daytime, there is a female cardinal instead of a male cardinal, and the owl in the tree has taken off and is in flight. Previously, the fox was hiding behind the tree, and now he is pouncing around which a rabbit peaks out from a boulder. I tried to keep the feel of the scene very similar. I included mushrooms again, but this time they are slender white clusters instead of the fat spotted red mushrooms. There are a few things I forgot to do - like highlights and fine touches with color pencil after painting - because I was excited to put it together, and the fox looks like a more youthful pup than previously - perhaps this scene takes place first?  But I'm still happy with how it turned out Smiley

See the first "shrine" in the series here: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=435660.0
23  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: General / Woodland kitchen set on: May 15, 2016 02:49:57 PM
This is a set I made for a friend during a round robin style swap with my local craft group. I went with a few fabrics she had on her Pinterest to get started and then chose some lovely coordinating fabrics I couldn't resist. The apron was made based on one I've had for several years and keep tracing to make new apron templates for. This time I added a towel loop, offset the main pocket, and attached the straps on the front so I could put button accents on them. With the leftover and scrap fabrics I made some scrappy quilted potholders to match. I went a little overboard with the quilting, so they wound up being a little overly stiff. I also added a little back pocket for slipping your hand into while taking things out of the oven. I'll talk about the kitchen towel on another board since I didn't do any sewing on it - just hand stamping Smiley

I am in love with the color combo and fabrics in this set. And the theme of the fabric is very up my alley and very fun to work with.
24  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Other Image Reproduction Techniques: Completed Projects / Woodland Themed Stamped Tea Towels on: March 28, 2016 11:07:48 AM
Another one of the projects I made for the Woodland Creature swap was a set of tea towels using a pair of stamps I carved.

I tried some fabric medium to mix into acrylic paint this time instead of using oil based stamping inks like I usually do to make sure they dried fast enough before I sent them. I'm not really happy with the results of the fabric medium and acrylic combo, but I last minute decided to add these as an extra to my package and didn't have many other options since the oil based stuff takes a couple weeks to fully dry. The fabric medium and acrylic paint didn't stick well when trying to roll it onto the stamps, so it was all uneven and difficult to apply. Anyone have recommendations on fast drying stamping mediums that roll on well?

I'm still happy overall with the results if you ignore the ink issue. I will hopefully make a nice little set of these for myself in the future Smiley And I forgot to take pictures of the stamps, whoops!

25  FIBER ARTS / Felting: Completed Projects / Needle Felted Fox on: March 06, 2016 03:08:12 PM
Ok. So I like foxes. Whatever. This was for a swap, and I wasn't going to pass up an opportunity when my partner in the Woodland swap specifically asked for a needle-felted fox.  Grin It is possible I may have already made some needle-felted foxes in the past for swaps and other reasons. Like that one time. And that other time. And the time after thatWink And for the record, I don't actually own any needle-felted foxes myself. They all have found homes elsewhere. This one my be my new favorite though, so I really hope Treemoon is treating him well Wink

This was the first time I actually used a tutorial for needle-felting to see if I could learn any new tricks. And I did! I highly recommend watching a few Sarafina Fiber videos on YouTube. If you are an experienced needle felter and can get past hearing all the beginner stuff, you might pick up a few different techniques too! My fox looks nothing like hers because I went my own direction several times, but I really love the way she does armatures and some other tricks she does.

26  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Sleeping Fawn Pendant on: March 03, 2016 08:45:33 PM
I happened to make this mid-February for my partner in the Woodland themed Swap and since I don't usually make many small things or polymer clay things, I thought I'd give it a shot in the challenge.

This sleepy little fawn is a pendant inspired by one that my partner had on her Pinterest. I made it with a brown polymer clay with a slightly rough "carved" texture. I then used a very light coat of shimmery gold paint to give it a slight bronze effect. It is sealed with a luster Mod Pudge for extra shine Smiley The spots in the clay didn't show up well, so I gave them a touch of paint also to stand out.

The finished pendant is about 1.75".

Work in progress shot:

27  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Welcome to Night Vale Round 2! on: February 21, 2016 03:02:57 PM

Hello there, faithful listeners. My fellow reporters have informed me that the Night Vale City Council has unanimously announced that the annual Welcome to Night Vale swap is upon us. Please shout into your nearest appliance so that one of the many hidden monitoring devices in your home can inform us of your availability and desire to participate. In order to ensure we receive your comment, please also type a reply below exactly as it was shouted.

Previous Swap Discussion

Previous Swap Gallery

Going off the record - is anyone else super excited for the new show on tour? Smiley No spoilers, please, if you already got to see it Wink
28  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Miniature Kitchen Items - Pantry shelf and more on: January 24, 2016 02:32:15 PM
Last year I was in the "Setting the Scene in Miniature" swap - I can't believe that was in June, whoops! One of my partners requested some items for a kitchen scene, so I made a little pantry shelf and some items to start filling it up.

The shelf is made of balsa wood with a couple layers of scrap paper for the backing - isn't that blue pattern so adorably vintage looking! (the back paper was wood grain - you can see it in the photos of the coffee beans below)

The cutting board was made from a couple of wood chip samples for laminate flooring or something that I got from the Scrap Exchange in Durham, NC. The knife blade was made by cutting a soda can and folding a sheet of metal down to cut into a blade shape. The handle is polymer clay. A little ant decided to be my photo model for helping scale the objects.

One of my favorite things to make was the set of coffee bags and beans. I made the bags using an actual coffee bag from a local roaster/coffee shop, so it was already infused with coffee smell. One of the bags was sealed and had actual coffee beans to help keep the smell around a little longer, and the other bag was left open. I made these super teeny coffee beans out of polymer clay in case my partner wanted to pour some coffee into another miniature Smiley

The cinnamon rolls were my other favorite. I used a candy tin for the baking tray, and followed a tutorial that used acrylic paint and salt for the chunky bits. They looked so yummy Cheesy

A few simpler items were just some vintage printable labels that I slapped onto to cylinders cut from a log of polymer clay, jars of simple candy sticks (also polymer clay), and teeny boxes made from printable vintage labels.

And a ruler for scale Wink

I had so much fun making these. I really hope to do more miniatures in the future Smiley
29  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Up-Inspired Passport Cover on: November 23, 2015 05:24:14 PM
I recently made this for the Passport Cover swap for CraftyMamaBee. I saw an adorable Up hoopla on her Pinterest and absolutely had to make my own. Such an appropriate theme for traveling, right?

Mostly hand embroidered, with some applique balloons.

30  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Rainbow Catching Butterflies Fingerless Gloves on: October 14, 2015 09:51:27 AM
This is the second pair of fingerless gloves that I made using the Catching Butterflies pattern from Woodland Knits, but without the butterflies added this time (and I haven't taken pictures of the first pair Tongue). I picked up the rainbow striping yarn on sale last time I went to Joann's and absolutely loved the mottled bits of colors in each of the stripes. I wasn't completely excited how the stripes turned out in the gloves, but it was pretty enough. I forgot to change needle sizes after doing the ribbing on the first glove, so I wound up just making them a bit small and giving them to my niece. She was with me on a cruise in August, so after I finished them up, we just took a couple of quick photos from the balcony of the room my in-laws were in, so please excuse the weird background.

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