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1  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 66 ENTRIES / Craft with all the Colors of the Rainbow on: September 08, 2011 07:05:17 PM

First off, Im very tired right now, so I apologize in advance for any bad typing/spelling/grammar.

A few weeks ago, at a local food and craft festival, I came across beautiful suncatchers and talismans. My boyfriend and I were both in love with a big rainbow one, but, while it was well worth the asking price, it was out of our budget. After a trip to Michaels for rainbow colored glass beads, a trip through the woods and river for the perfect stick, and a search through my stash for random things (like the big circle pendant, small metal hoop, lots of metal leaves, small glass beads, a nice big piece of quartz, and a wonderful little fairy) I put my own spin on the idea and created the perfect suncatcher for our family. 

The plan was to wait until a beautiful sunny day to take wonderful bright photos of the colors dancing on the walls, and then we had a hurricaneand now weve had enough consistent rain to cause flooding and mass road closures. So, I did my best with the photos. They do not do justice to the beautiful colors and lights that this suncatcher lets off. As soon as If we see sun again, I plan to take pictures of the cat chasing the spots of light around the room.

2  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Completed Projects / Deliciously Inedible Tomatoes (polymer clay cane) on: August 07, 2010 09:34:51 AM
Nothing says summer like fresh tomatoes made with your own two hands!

A couple of notes before I begin: When it comes to clay, Im the kind of person who checks out a couple of tutorials to get an idea of how something could be done. Then I stare at pictures of what I want to make or the real thing to get more ideas of how it could be done. Then I combine all of that into how I want to do it. So, this is how I make tomato slices. There are tons of other ways to make them, and you should find the one that works best for you. Hopefully, though, this will help you in making your own or give you some ideas. Because once you have tomatoes you have the start of many delicious meals...

Deliciously Inedible Tomatoes (polymer clay cane)

1.     Gather Supplies:
Tomato red polymer clay: You can either buy a color that best matches a tomato red or you can blend one yourself. Just stare at a tomato while mixing reds and oranges until youre satisfied.
White polymer clay
Translucent polymer clay
Sesame seeds

Razor blade: The sharper it is, the better it works
Work space: I use a big tile I got from Habitat for 50 cents. I put nonslip cabinet liner on the bottom to keep it from moving or scratching my desk.
Pasta machine: Totally optional, but it makes blending colors and rolling out layers much easier and faster

2.   Mix Colors:
Youll end up with four colors.
Tomato red: Yes, this is the one you started with.
Outer pink: This is the fleshy part of the tomato. Mix a small amount of white with a large amount of tomato red. Look at pictures or butcher a tomato to find a shade youre happiest with.
Seed mix: Mix translucent with the sesame seeds. Keep adding more seeds until the blend is saturated with seeds (i.e. you cant add anymore!).
Inner pink: This is the inner core of the tomato. You could actually leave this white, but I like my tomatoes a little more ripe. Mix a little tomato red with a lot of white.

3.   Roll out most of the inner pink (leave a little behind) into a long log. Then flatten one side against your work space and squish the top into a point, essentially forming a long triangle. 
4.   Roll out seed mix into a thick sheet (use the pasta machine if you have one!). Cut a strip the same width as your triangle base and put on bottom of inner pink triangle. Wrap the rest of the sheet around the triangle leaving the top open.
5.   Roll out outer pink into a thick sheet. Do not use all of your outer pink clay! Wrap around the outside of your triangle (youre now wrapping around the seed mix), leaving both the top of the inner pink triangle and top edges of the seed mix open.

6.   Lengthen your triangle slightly by pulling and gently pressing in all sides. You really just want to make sure that all of your layers will stay together. Let clay harden by sitting out or cooling in the fridge. Then, cut into 4-6 equal sections. (I like 5, it's an odd number.) Remember, variation is the spice of life! This is part of a plant and no two are ever the same!
7.   Roll a small log of inner pink. Position cut triangle sections around the log. Add outer pink in between the sections so that they form a rough circle. Look at the picture to help see where the sections and clay go.
8.   Roll a thin sheet of tomato red the width of your tomato innards and wrap around the outside. Let harden, again either by letting it sit out for about 24 hours (doesnt work that well when its 100 degrees out) or in the fridge until cooled (especially if youre impatient like me).

9.   Lengthen! There are tons of tutorials and books that will show you how to properly lengthen a cane. I usually stick with squishing and pulling. Just remember, no rolling! This will distort the cane.

10.   Let harden again, and then take your razor blade and cut off little tomato slices. If theyre not as round as youd like, gently round off the edges with your fingers.

(Baked Tomatoes)

Optional step

11. Gather other sandwich making ingredients, and make a delicious sandwich loaded with your fresh tomatoes.

3  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects / My very own panty liners! on: July 17, 2010 01:53:18 PM
Ive wanted to buy/make cloth pads for a while now, but this Craftster post https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=344775.0 finally kicked my butt into gear. I recently got the Diva cup, so I dont have a need for regular pads. However, I do need daily panty liners and hate, hate, hate using and throwing away one every day. Compared to pad patterns, there arent many out there for panty liners. I did find one liner tutorial (http://sites.google.com/site/shewhorunsintheforest/008) that I used for the base of mine.

I changed the shape to something that I think will work best for me. I used two layers of cotton for the base and wings, and three layers of thin cotton flannel for the top (two would work fine for the most part, but why risk it when its still really thin?) I sewed the back sides of the base together, leaving one wing open to turn inside out. I probably should have curved the wings more as they get to the liner because there is some bunching after turning out, but you dont notice it when the wings are folded over.

I thought the idea of cutting down the middle of the top pieces seems to defeat the purpose of the liner altogether. Maybe it works fine, but it just seems weird to me. I stacked my layers and used a zigzag stitch to attach them to the base.

I realized later that I put two channels down the middle of my trial liner (not shown) and didnt with this batch. Im going to try these without it first to see whether or not it makes a difference. I am very excited about these! I probably spent about $3 making seven of these. I only used about 1/2 yard of the cotton flannel I bought, and I bought the snaps for the wings (Michaels coupon!). The base fabrics were leftovers from other projects.
4  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Completed Projects / Strawberry Cheesecake on: June 30, 2010 02:01:12 PM
This is what happens when someone whos trying to eat less sweets has a craving mini cheesecake!

These were so much fun to make, except for the fact that I was using really old paint (powder mixed with strong smelling mystery liquid). I will never use that stuff indoors again! Actually, Ill probably just use the powders with liquid clay and get rid of the other stuff altogether.

But, besides all that, so much fun! I do wonder, if you where going to make cheesecake, what would you use to texture it? The best I could get was scraping sandpaper along the sides

5  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / J&T Challenge 2: Sea Foam Goddess on: June 12, 2010 05:41:44 PM
Summer for me means tank tops, which means more skin for bigger necklaces. Besides sunburns (youll notice the very light skin), the first thing I think about when I think about summer is water! Where I live, that usually means the ocean, and thats exactly where I got the inspiration for this necklace!

I wanted to use up some of my supplies instead of buying anything new. The purple pearls were bought a couple years ago for a project I never got to. The green stones (possibly turquoise or agate, Im not really sure) were a thrift store find. And the stone pendant was found at the beach a few years ago. It was found perfectly shaped and even with a hole at the top for hanging. Probably my favorite beach find. This challenge was the perfect excuse to finally turn it into a necklace!

And without further ado, pictures
(sorry the color and focus are a bit off in the third pic, my mom couldn't even figure out how to turn on my camera!)

6  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Completed Projects / Need input from the colorblind on: June 06, 2010 11:29:20 AM
Okay, I know that sounds like a strange request, but you know those colorful dots color blind tests? If you have normal vision you should be able to read all of the numbers. If you are colorblind (depending on which colors) you may only be able to see some of the numbers.

I thought those looked really neat and tried to recreate one. These are post earrings (figured I'd tell you since you can't see the back...) The colors are a little darker than I had planned, but oh well. Now I just want to know if they work! So, for all the colorblind craftsters, can you see the numbers??

7  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Completed Projects / California and Cinnamon Rolls on: May 28, 2010 02:19:16 PM
Ive been working on a lot of sandwiches lately and needed a break. I had a request for California Rolls. Ive seen sushi rice done a few different ways. It requires more time after the cane is cut, but this is my take on it.

And these earrings make me really hungryI was craving sweets when I made these and have been since thenIf I make cinnamon rolls again, I think Ill do the icing a little differently, but overall Im happy. Theres real cinnamon in the filling just because.  Cheesy

8  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Completed Projects / A couple of sandwich pendants on: April 11, 2010 02:46:10 PM
So, last month I made my first mini sandwich the Cuban. Not a fan of sliced meat in real life, but I love miniture food! And I made a couple more...

First, let me introduce the BLT:

Bacon, lettuce, tomato, and a dab of mayo all served on lightly toasted white bread.

And next there's the club:

Ham, turkey, bacon, cheddar, lettuce, tomato, and mayo stacked high on three slices of lightly toasted white bread. I have a version where it's cut into four sections like a traditional club, but that was more trouble than it's worth and I don't have pictures for that yet. Sadly, the bread on this one got a little cracked...

I would love any critiques and advice. These two are glazed after baking while the Cuban earrings were not. Which way looks better? Oh, and I know the close ups of my hands arent exactly beautiful. I use them too much to keep them prim and polished! Smiley
9  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 48 ENTRIES / The Cuban....mini on: March 03, 2010 05:27:49 AM
I recently started working at a fun little restaurant that mostly does sandwiches and hamburgers. Ive been wanting to make some polymer clay food for a while, and the only jewelry I can really wear to work is earrings. And thus the Cuban earrings came to be!

The menu says:
The Cuban
Thinly sliced ham, melted swiss cheese, dill pickles, and a dijon mayo pressed between a ciabatta roll.

Here are some of the "fresh" clay ingredients I started with. (The pickle seeds are actually sesame seeds. Everything else is clay.)

I don't have a picture of the fresh colored bread and all of the swiss was used up, but put it all together, bake at 275F for about 25-30 minutes and voila!

And it's only about an inch big. Proof of it's mininess.
10  CROCHET / Amigurumi: Completed Projects / Zebra on: December 10, 2009 09:22:05 AM
This guy was made from an altered horse pattern. I gave him (or her depending on the recipients choice) a different set of ears, a shorter spiky mane, and an awesome zebra tail.

Remember those spiral friendship bracelets we all made in middle school (and some of us still make now)? Well thats how the top half of the tail is winded together. Yay for trans-craft skills!

Youll notice that some of the stripes are not perfect; this is done on purpose. Zebras stripes arent perfect so I wanted some variety. Im not sure if it looks better like this or would have been better with the stripes being all the same.

Comments and advice welcome.

Booty close up
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