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1  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Completed Projects / I got a drop spindle and I made some yarn! on: July 13, 2007 02:51:27 PM
So I told my mom I wanted a drop spindle, and randomly enough, she found one a few days later cleaning her basement.  That was pretty cool!  And since I had some roving for needle felting, I got started right away:

From left to right:
1. This is the first yarn I made. Yarn is kind of an exaggeration, it's more like a blobby and randomly twisted piece of roving. I plied it with some white Lamb's Pride to make it look a little more convincingly yarny. I think it could be passed off as an art yarn... Incidentally, the mohair/merino roving is an excellent demonstration of color theory -- it looks brown, but is actually all different colors mixed together -- I don't even think there's actually any brown in it! It's really cool because every now and then one of the colors will show up dramatically.

2. This is a demonstration of my insanity. I am incapable of getting rid of things (I am going to be one of those old ladies found dead in a filthy house beneath a giant heap of newspapers that toppled over on me)* and I save the little scraps of yarn from all my projects. Well, I knew they'd eventually be good for something, I tied them all end to end and twisted them together, then plied them with a novelty yarn. It looks really fun and fringey and colorful -- I like how it turned out!

3. This is my masterpiece so far! It's made mostly out of the merino/mohair, but has little bits of the Cherry Tree Hill puffs joined in randomly. It's not perfectly even, by a long shot, but it's starting to look like real yarn!

It's not quite the first time I've spun with a drop spindle; many years ago, at hippy school in Vermont (Hi, Holly!) I spent an afternoon making some very nice wool rope.

Anyway, I have no idea what I'm going to do with these things now. Any suggestions?

Also, just for fiber porn purposes, here are some really awesome batts I got from Miss Hawklet:

*probably ought to keep that to myself.
2  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects / Christmas M&P soaps! on: December 16, 2006 10:51:33 AM
From least to most interesting.

1.  Christmas soaps.  Clear red with purple opaque stars and gold skin-safe glitter.  Scented with a mix of orange, tangerine and lime oils that maybe aren't quite skin safe but smell extremely good together, like fruit punch.  Oh, and the stars are left over from another project and are scented with ginger, but you can't really smell them over the other scents.  these will go to my parents and godmother.



the next 2 projects are more complex and require a little explanation.  my sister and I (and I do hope she's not lurking here now that i think about it) were very taken with the steak soaps and she mentioned that she thought it would be funny to see a cake of soap that actually looks like a cake.  and so I bought a mini cake pan and the layered lemon/poppyseed cake was born:

scented with lemon oil, with honey and poppyseeds added.  the icing is white opaque soap with honey added.  I made it in layers, there is actually a layer of "icing" between 2 cake layers.  you can't really see it in the picture, but I also sprinkled sea salt on top to look like sugar.

now before I post the next one, I have to explain that my sister has this issue with lime jello molds -- when she was 5 or so, she liked them, and my grandmother mistook a youthful phase for a lifelong passion.  she's 18 now, hates jello, and my grandmother continues to force lime jello molds on her. 
so to annoy her, I made the following soap:

first i made some small bars of opaque soap in lemon and orange scent, colored yellow and orange and pink.  then I chopped them up, put them in the mold, and poured clear green lime-scented soap in.  I did it in 2 layers because I didn't want all the "fruit" sinking to the bottom.
Alas, when I pried it out of the mold, the layers came apart.  I was breifly upset, then realized that my sister retains an odd fondness for kool-whip.  so I melted some opaque soap and used it to glue the "jello" layers together.

I can't even look at this soap without laughing, I think it's so hilarious and I'm so ridiculously pleased with how it turned out.  I'm going to post a couple more photos because I get such a kick out of it.

Isn't it alarmingly realistic looking?
3  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Stenciling: Completed Projects / snape bag (my first stencil EVER) on: December 16, 2006 10:37:56 AM
For Christmas I am almost exclusively making home-made gifts (because I am pretty broke...) and was running out of ideas to make something for my sister.  Then another craftster posted a card she had made using a kittybuttons stencil in the stocking swap gallery and kindly posted the link to the site (http://www.kittybuttons.com/wordpress/).  I looked over the tutorials, downloaded the snape stencil, blew it up and printed it out on cardstock, et voila!

I was always frightened of stenciling for some reason but now I've tried it and see that it's really quite easy, suddenly I see endless possibilities!
4  NEEDLEWORK / Sublime Stitching Embroidery / Dragon pillow (don't look e.b.!) MANY PICS on: September 22, 2006 02:34:28 PM
e.b. is my sister.  She just started college.  About 2 weeks before school started she informed my mom that she wanted a quilt and presented her with a whole bunch of swirly lines scribbled on graph paper.
Somehow my mom was able to translate that into an appliqued quilt.  Here it is.  (it's all wadded up on a chair.  That's ok because it is a remarkably ugly quilt.)

Fortunately she's going to school in Georgia so she won't need the quilt for another month or so...
Anyhow, I decided that she needed a pillow to match!  So here's the front: (hmm, it's much more centered in real life than it looks in the photo!)

close-up of the dragon:

and here's the back!  to keep it from being boring despite the overwhelming swirliness, I added this little skull:

and here's a close up of the skull

the pillowcase is a little bit small for the insert, which is why it's a little bit bunchy looking, but my experience has been that inserts tend to squish down fairly rapidly, so I'm hoping it'll look a little better after she's had it for a while.

5  NEEDLEWORK / Sublime Stitching Embroidery / Hula Doll! on: September 22, 2006 02:24:37 PM
I embroidered the hula girl a while ago and then she was just hanging out on a piece of muslin.  The french knot chain was inspired by someone here, but like I say, it was a while ago so I don't remember who (sorry!).  Anyway, I felt bad for the poor thing so I turned her into a little doll!  I had a fit of fevered inspiration and whipped it up, if I'd taken a little time and planned I probably would have put a gusset (I think that's the word) on the bottom so she had a base and filled her with pellets so she could stand up.  As it is, she leans against my printer and amuses me while I type!

6  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Craftalongs / Katamari/Amish Puzzle Ball Craftalong! on: September 17, 2006 01:39:34 PM
It seems like a lot of people are in love with the beautiful puzzle balls shown in this thread:
and this one:
and so, since A Patchwork Orange has been kind enough to create a tutorial,
I thought, what better than to start a craftalong, so we can share tips and frustrations, and, best of all, show pictures of our finished creations!
i just started mine, and since truthfully I don't exactly get it, I'm not using the most beautiful fabric in the world in case I screw it up completely.   Undecided 
7  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 13 ENTRIES / Socky Rotten! on: July 02, 2006 03:52:35 PM
In honor of a man who has long inspired me with his creativity, individualism, and most of all, DIY ethic, I present:


and here's the original Johnny Rotten:

8  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Father's Day / fathers day crafts for kids? on: June 10, 2006 04:37:41 PM
hi all, I teach art at a boys and girls club and this coming week i want to make fathers day presents with the kids (ages 6-11).  the problem is that I am totally drawing a blank.  these were my 2 inspiring ideas:
popsicle stick picture frame
construction paper greeting card -- I was planning on having them make a drawing on a small piece of white paper and glue it to the front of the card so it looks kinda decent
i dunno, i'm not too inspired by either of these, does anyone have any other suggestions?  i googled and all i can find is stupid things like cards that look like ties or penholders.  most of these kids dads work in the poultry plant, which isn't a job that lends itsself to ties or desk items, so neither of those seem entirely appropriate....
9  CRAFTSTER CRAFT CHALLENGES / Craftster Craft Challenge Theme Ideas, Etc. / how about a reconstructed t-shirt challenge? on: June 03, 2006 07:29:37 PM
with all the great t-shirt craft books that have recently come out, I'm sure people are looking at their shirts in completely new ways!  (at least I am).  so how about a t-shirt craft challenge?
10  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 12 ENTRIES / undersea kingdom playset! (many pics) on: June 03, 2006 11:01:58 AM
***to my mind all these items go together as a set, but I understand that my mind does not always categorize things in the same way that other peoples' do, so if y'all don't agree, let me know and I'll take some of the stuff down***

I had so much fun with this challenge!  After I'd bought all my supplies and brought them home, I realized that it all reminded me strongly of kindergarten.  that brought up other random childhood associations, such as mobiles, and playsets, combined with the fact that the glitter pompoms remind me of sea urchins, and voila, my kitschy undersea kingdom was created!

To begin with, here are my fishy minions:

some of them are from a fishie swap; specifically, the red felt fishie is from dixie terror and the green yarn octopus is from jerome!  I initially wanted green easter basket grass to drape over it like seaweed, but could NOT find it ANYWHERE.  fortunately, my mom had this foul green yarn in her basement, which worked out very well!
I covered the popsickle sticks with the green yarn, and hung from them various items such as fabric fishies, pompom fishies, yarn octopi, strings of pearl beads, and strings of glitter pompoms/sea urchin families

here is a closeup of one of my pompom fishies!  they are so cute!

here is the sea queen's crown!  it is made out of a whole bunch of popsickle sticks cut off at different lengths (actually, after I was about half way through, I realized it was much easier to snap them off with pliers rather than cutting them.  oh well, live and learn.).  they were then glued to a paper backing and painted gold, covered with glitter, and decorated with pompoms and pipecleaner shapes, as well as a fuzzy yarn border.  I also glued a strip of felt inside to make it more comfortable.

here is an awful picture of me modeling the crown and my scepter.  i don't know what that face I am making is about.  it is hard to take a picture of yourself, and yes, I am probably too old to be wearing a popsickle stick crown. 

and finally, here is an action shot of me using the sceptre to subdue the unruly fishies!

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