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1  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Mini-Matroyshka Felt Ornaments & Matroyshka-Printed Ditty Bag on: December 21, 2011 09:46:31 PM

It's been awhile since I've shared any projects or followed everything on this board.  I really miss it.  Work has pretty much consumed my life, and I miss all the time I used to have to make things.  I'm hoping that in the new year, I'll be able to put more time into handmade items. Smiley

Anyway...  Here are two projects that I worked on and put together as a Christmas/birthday gift for my sister.  It's a bit embarrassing given the fact that her birthday is in April...

The pattern for the ornaments can be found at Sew to Speak.  When I saw this last year, I thought that this was the CUTEST project idea ever.  My sister and I have a thing for matroyshkas, so this seemed perfect.  (My sister has gifted me with a matroyshka doll, bowls, and plastic bento containers!)  Plus, she's super big on Christmas and trees.

Major props to Sew to Speak for the wonderful project and beautiful, clear directions. Smiley

The ditty bag was made using Keyka Lou's Ditty Bag Pattern.  I love how Michelle advises you to sew the zipper.  It just looks so... clean and professional. Smiley  Believe it or not, this is actually the first zipper I've ever sewn!

I used Japanese fabric for the body and a yellow poly-cotton for the lining.

I packed the ornaments in a slim box and tied it off with a ribbon. Smiley  It's a bit overexposed as it was taken indoors before this was packed off and shipped to my sister.  I also included a little tag inside that said these ornaments were handmade.

A picture of one of the dolls hanging on my sister's tree. Smiley
Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays!

(Thanks for reading, and thanks to everyone who posts such awesome projects that constantly inspire me and make me want to step away and create again!  Kiss)
2  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Happy Toast Ornaments :D on: January 11, 2010 08:45:22 PM

I honestly couldn't figure out what section to put these in...

I made these for an off-forum swap.  I love buttered toast, and I think people all should have one.  These are good year round, not just during the holiday season. Cheesy  They could also double up as gift tags, too.

I included a small tutorial -- sorry if it's Captain Obvious. :B  But just in case since I'm someone who ends up asking a billion questions.

Here are the materials needed:
- Small piece of cardboard or an index card
- Small pieces of felt; I used eco-felt.
- Embroidery scissors
- Invisible marker/chalk pen
- Embroidery floss
- Embroidery needle
- Ric rac/rick rack
- Fabric glue
- Q-tip
- Dry/chalk pastel

1. Draw a toast shape on the index card. Draw another toast shape slightly bigger than the first toast shape as well. Cut. The smaller toast shape will be the inside of your bread; the bigger toast shape will be the crust.
2. Trace each pattern piece twice onto the corresponding color of felt; I traced the smaller toast shape onto cream felt and the bigger toast shape onto brown felt. I cut small squares from yellow felt for butter pats. You can forgo the butter if you like.
3. Embroider features onto your toast. I used three strands of tan DMC. For the eyes, I used French knots, and for the mouth, backstitch. If you want a pat of butter on your ornament, applique it to the inside bread piece now.
4. Position the inside of the bread onto the crust piece of felt. Use a running stitch to secure it.
5. Repeat (4) to create a back side for your ornament.
6. Bring both pieces together, wrong sides together. If pieces do not fit, you can trim the edges of the crust piece, so that they fit! Just dont cut too much off or there will be no crust, unless you barely want any crust. Set aside.
7. Cut your ric rac! Theres no precise measurement. I just eyeballed it. Im not too crazy about long hangers, but if you like them, go for it. If it's "too long," no worries; just position the ric rac lower into the ornament.  You do want to ensure that the ric rac is long enough so that the hanger is reinforced inside the ornament.
8. Begin to the glue edges of your sandwich. When you get to the top, add a dollop of glue and lay one end of the ric rac in it. Add another dollop of glue, work the other end into it, and press down on felt. Make sure that there is glue in between the ric rac. Mind the gap! Let it dry.
9. Shave off some dry pastel. Dip q-tip into the dust and press for color on the cheeks. Repeat for more color; you can also keep blotting the color, so that the edge is blurred.
10. When fully dry, hang it up! Voila, you have cute toast!

You can also make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, plain toast Whatever your toast loving heart desires!

My toast ornaments were about 2.5″ tall without the hanger. Make them bigger or make them smaller. Hooray for toast!

Also on my blog!
3  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Handsewn Bags (Buttercup and Simplicity 2685 B) on: August 01, 2009 08:18:07 PM
Here are some bags that I made! Cheesy  All fabrics are from the bargain bin.

This one is Simplicity 2685 B.  More about that project here.

Last night I sewed Rae's Buttercup Bag.  It's a lovely pattern, easy to make and follow.  Rae has directions and patterns on her website, but if you want to make the bag to sell, please purchase the pattern and licensing!

I wanted to sew myself a bag from these fabrics I found in the scrap bin, and apparently, this was the bag I was to make!  (I am also such a sucker for toile.  I luuuuurve it!)

(I know, I know, the pattern doesn't match up, but I was okay with it this time!)

Thank you for looking!
4  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Bamboo Tile Pendant on: July 27, 2009 09:32:21 PM
I made this pendant out of a bamboo tile for a swap (not on Craftster) that I was a part of.

Here's the pendant I made for my partner:

I messaged my partner to ask her for her likes and dislikes.  She gave me a list, and I decided to incorporate her preferred themes of white and black designs and patterns like tiles and lace.  I tore up a page from a boring book into very thin strips to get a deckle effect with the layering and glued them together.  I then cut it to fit the pendant and "glued" it down (I used a sealer as my glue).  I cut a piece of toile-printed scrapbook paper to size and glued it onto the backside.  I went through my lace stash to pick out a detailed piece of lace that would complement the text and lightly added some sealer to attach it to the front.

Next came the coating.  I wanted to use something sturdier than a regular sealer, so I mixed up some resin and poured it over the surface and onto the back.  I was able to do this by running toothpicks into the pendant and stuck them into styrofoam peanuts to get it to dry.  Resin is kind of a pain to work with.  It also (obviously) seeps into the paper, but I was okay with it because I love aged/slightly destroyed effects. Wink  I gently blew onto the piece to level out the resin and kept an eye on the pendant to flip it over, so the resin wouldn't drip down the center like a stalactite.  Once it started to harden, I no longer had to babysit it!

To finish the pendant, I loosely followed the directions linked by the organizer @Craftzombie.  I threaded silver-toned wire through the holes and topped it with a hematite bead.

I then packed it all up with a few trinkets into a handmade box blown up from Rachel's matchbox template.

Not a difficult project and my partner was very happy with her pendant!  The pendant she sent me can be found in my blog as I don't feel comfortable showing it here since I didn't make it.  (A little bit more info about the project can be found there as well.)

Thanks for looking!
5  COOKING / Vegetarian / Vegan / Mashed Chickpea Salad Sandwich (Recipe) on: July 20, 2009 11:57:44 AM
I made this Mashed Chickpea Salad this weekend.  I was looking through Vegan with a Vengeance and ended up with my own version of Isa's fake-tuna salad.

Mashed Chickpea Salad


    * 2 15 oz. cans of chickpeas, drained
    * 4 tablespoons of vegan mayonnaise (I use Nasoya.)
    * 1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
    * 1 stalk of celery, diced
    * 1 apple, diced
    * 1/2 teaspoon salt
    * 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
    * Ground black pepper
    * Bread Smiley
    * Sandwich garnishes like lettuce and tomato.

1. Mash chickpeas until no beans remain.
2. Add apple cider vinegar, salt, and vegan mayonnaise. Add remaining ingredients.
3. Season with black pepper.
4. Chill in refrigerator for at least an hour. Serve on bread and eat!

I actually made the the rosemary focaccia, pictured, as well.  Very easy to make, too!

I left this in my fridge overnight, and the flavors remind me of the tuna I ate when I was little.
6  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Stuffed Oddish Plushie on: July 10, 2009 04:10:23 PM
I made this stuffed Oddish* plushie for a friend awhile ago, but I never posted it here on Craftster.  So here it is!

*Oddish is a Pokemon, for those unfamiliar with himCheesy

I did a private swap with her; the Oddish was the "main" swap item, but I sent some other items to go with it.  Oddish is chillin' on one of those Ikea chairs.

And here's a picture of the Oddish plushie in comparison to a human.

I love plushies, but I like BIG ones - ones that you can wrap your arms around.  I also wanted to make Oddish life-size and based on pictures I googled, and I think I was close!

Oddish is made of fleece, flannel, polyfiberfill, and felt (for his facial features).  I didn't use a pattern, and everything was cut freehand.  I just cut out five panels and sewed them together wrong-side out, only to realize that four was more than enough...  After removing the extra panel, I flipped the ball-shape right-side out, positioned his features, and then handsewed them on.  Then I flipped it wrong-side out again.  I cut out circles using some kind of circular thing in my house and his feet.  The feet were stuffed and then sewn in between the bottom and body pieces. More fiberfill was added to make him firmer.

His leaves were sewn from flannel, loosely stuffed, and then topstitched down the middle.  I pinned the leaves to the inside of the body, added the top circular piece, and handstitched them in place, making sure to leave some room to flip the entire plushie, leaves and legs, inside out.  And then I crammed more fiberfill into him and sewed the opening shut.  (I probably should've added more fiberfill, but Oddish was pretty fluffy.  I guess that fiberfill settles. :p)

So there you have it!  A big cuddly Oddish. Cheesy

My friend was so happy and loved him, and well, Oddish couldn't have a better owner than her!
7  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Hobo Lunch Sack (from Sewing Notions Free Tutorial and Pattern) on: June 26, 2009 09:54:52 AM
I've been making these hobo lunch sacks lately.  Grin  They're a lot of fun to make, and they're useful (IMO).  They're also easy to clean!  (I'm digging the fact that they're reversible as well.)

The pattern and tutorial can be found on Sewing Notions' blog.  The directions are very clear and easy to follow!  This furoshiki-inspired bag is also a quick project, perfect for a beginner, with lots of room for error.

Just a few more thoughts about the project+ramblings here, but I don't want to bore anyone as usual.  Cheesy
8  COOKING / Vegetarian / Vegan / Vegan Pesto "Ricotta" Pizza on: June 25, 2009 10:09:38 PM
I made this pizza last week because I was craving it so badly!  I also had half a block of Follow Your Heart cheese, and I wanted to use it up before it went bad.

I handmade the crust using the recipe in Vegan with a Vengeance.  I swear, it's the best pizza crust recipe I've ever used!  I also made the sauce, roughly using the pizza sauce recipe.  I stirred in 1 tablespoon of cornstarch because my sauce was a bit too runny.

I made pesto from basil in the garden (olive oil, salt, basil, toasted pine nuts) and mixed it with firm tofu mooshed with my hands + 1/8 cup of nutritional yeast.  Then I topped it with shredded Follow Your Heart mozarella.

(In my experience, Follow Your Heart cheeses need to be melted at a high temperature. The cheese here isnt perfectly melty because I didnt bake it long enough. I shouldve let it defrost a bit longer when I pulled it out of the freezer, but I was HUNGRY!)

Olive oil was spread onto the crust, and the pizza was baked in the oven, middle rack, at 475F. No pizza stone or anything: circular aluminum pan.

Once it was done, I sliced it and put it into my belly. Cheesy
(More about the pizza can be read here with a bit more detail.)
9  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) / V for Vendetta Balsa Wood ATCs on: June 03, 2009 03:30:38 PM

I really love Alan Moore and David Lloyd's V for Vendetta.  I believe that it's my favorite Moore novel to date (and yes, it is so much better than the movie).  

There's a passage in the book that I found to be beautifully written.  It's when V delivers a powerful and melancholy monologue.  It goes

It is a tangled and unhappy tale of hearts betrayed and loyalty misplaced. It was not I that strayed. My love was Justice, and, infatuated with her truth and loveliness, I worshiped her. ...Until, behind my back, she took up with a man who violated and abused her; someone fierce and brutal and burned children on his breath. He changed her. She acquired a taste for leather, chains and whips. The Justice that I loved was gone; who had such kindly eyes; who took such small and careful steps...

Transformed, she glared through narrow slits and ground good men beneath her vicious heel. Imagine what I learned of her affair... My anger and my shame to think how they'd made mock of all that I loved. My Justice and her bestial swayne, cavorting in their bloodstained sheets. Still, all in love and war is fair, they say. This being both, and turnabouts fair play. Though I must bear a cuckold's horns, they are not a crown that I shall bear alone. You see, my rival, though inclined to roam, possessed at home a wife that he adored. He'll rue his promiscuity, the rogue who stole my only love, when he's informed how many years it is since first I bedded his."

Instead of using traditional cardstock as my canvas, I decided to write out this passage onto a thin plank of balsa wood, "age" it, and then slice it up into card slices.  I love unusual surfaces!  As for writing technique, I use metal nibs and dip my pen into a pot of India ink.  Now, I haven't done calligraphy in about five years, so my hand is far from perfect.  I still liked how it turned out, though. Oh, I used my favorite hand for this project: textura quadrata. Smiley

Here's the prepared balsa wood plank as well as the final panel inked.

And here's what the finished plank looks like before it was chopped into the familiar ATC size.

A lot more information and photos can be found in my journal here, where the steps are detailed.

This is my first project post on Craftster, and I'm totally inspired by all the works I've seen here. Cheesy  Thank you for taking a look!

EDIT: Holy crap, I just saw that this was selected as one of the best ATC projects in 2009, and I am SO floored and touched.  ;__;  Thank you!
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