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21  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Twilight painting on: January 16, 2011 03:27:22 AM
On our HP forum (we are more friends than just strangers) we did a Secret Santa swap ourselves. We all live in Belgium or The Netherlands, so we can send pretty big packages to each other. This was my first time participating, and I got a beautiful painting from a wonderful girl. So this painting is NOT mine! All credit to her, and yes, I did ask for her permission.
She had little inspiration, I read in her letter to me. *cough* She did know that I like Twilight, and I have a special place in my heart for crafty Twilight items. So, she painted the cover of the first book. Be prepared...

Credit when credit is due!!
22  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Question about steam tower (Menu) on: January 05, 2011 04:09:00 AM
Please bear with me while I try to explain this... And I also hope this is the place to be for my question...Phew!

Christmas is over, all gifts have been unwrapped, and sometimes, whilst opening your gifts, you find unpleasant surprises...

My father, brother and I bought a steam tower for my mother, by Menu, a Danish brand. She saw it in a magazine and really wanted it. So we went out, and bought it for her. But, logically, we did not open the box in the shop, we just let the lady wrap it up, so we could leave. When mum openend the box, we soon discovered that everything was inside, except for the recipe book. And we know that it should have been there, because it is printed everywhere on the box: 'look inside for more ideas! Recipe book included'.

Now, what is a gift when you can't do anything with it? Steaming, okay, but with the three different layers... How much water should you use, where to put everything, etc.

Desperate for help, we turn to Craftster, hoping that anyone here has a Menu steam tower with recipe booklet. We mailed the company, hoping they would help us out, but so far, no luck... I'll include a picture, because I'm not even sure if you know Menu...

23  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Christmas Angels (re-painted) *image heavy* on: December 10, 2010 12:13:30 AM
Sometimes (*ahum* many times) my sister is a way better crafter than I am. A couple of weeks ago we bought some pretty naked Christmas angels (or something like angels). My mum fell in love with the cute faces, and the sis decided that she would paint them. So we bought some acrylic paint in Germany (kinde cheap, I dare say) and when we were back home, sis got to work. And she did an amazing job, let me tell ya! She is not so patient as I am when it comes to very detailed work, but she managed to pull it off anyway.

She is more hesitant to paint our new nativity scene :p.

Good, unto some pictures!

This is what the angels looked like when we bought them. Pretty plain, no?

Sis working hard!

In progress, with all the mess around her :p

All together, tied to our stove! We were a bit afraid that it would be too warm for them there, but they are doing fine. Great paint!

I tried a close-up, to show the glitter a bit better. It looks strange when you paint it on, but it dries beautifully.

And now the full body shots!

C&C Welcome!
24  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Stenciling: Completed Projects / I'm a Gleek! on: November 28, 2010 10:19:37 AM
I'm coming out of the closet here :p. I was inspired by an old Glee swap, and since stencilling is my new hobby, I thought I could give it a go. Cheap white shirt, purple paint, and I was ready. I love it!
I'm wearing it to the dance lessons now, but once summer is back, I will sure wear it every day. Even in front of my pupils... Don't mind the pictures please. They were taken right before dancing, in a hurry. My face just doesn't like the camera  Roll Eyes

Sneak peak. I let it dry without using a hair blower, just to see if it would give a different result. Not that much...

I wanted it higher up my boobs, but the family didn't agree. The 'I' is not crooked, it's my boobs :p

And just because  Wink
25  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Stenciling: Discussion and Questions / Confusing! on: November 15, 2010 11:39:43 AM
I'm going to make a Dark Mark shirt for a friend of mine sometime soon... Black shirt, green and silver paint. I'm using the well-known movie image of the Mark, because I know that Rowling approves.
But... It gets so confusing!!

I fail to see which parts will stay dark, and which parts will be coloured. Iek! I did a Glee stencil before, but letters are so simple. This is really tricky, and every time I have figured it out, one look at the picture is enough to confuse me again. How do you do it? I don't want to loose track when I am actually cutting?
26  CROCHET / Crochet: Discussion and Questions / Tunisian crochet questions on: October 25, 2010 06:00:33 AM
Last week I started with Tunisian crochet. My mum has done it before and she liked it. Plus, I really want to make a blanket with our logo, and while browsing Craftster, I discovered that tunisian crochet would give me the prettiest results.
I practised a whole week, with two different kinds of yarn, one cotton, the other wool. My first attempt looks very much like a cigare... Rolled up! The second attempt started like that as well, until my grandmother (who is a knitter) told me to loosen up. I did, but it still had this twirl... Is this always the case, or am I still working too tight (that sentence construction is wrong, halp)?

And... How do I end this? It looks finished when I got all my 20 stitches unto the needle, it looks unfinished when I finish that row. *still struggling with the tunisian crochet language*
27  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Irish (dance) swap *new conditions!* on: September 13, 2010 03:25:17 AM
It's getting pretty obvious by now, for the one who know me, but I am an Irish dancer, as well as my sister. We have our own dance troup for almost two years now: www.taradance.be. We are not teachers, far from it, but we both love to dance. I have been dancing for a bit more than a year now, and thanks to our great teacher, I know two soft shoe dances, one ceili and am close to learning my first hard shoe dance. I even won a medal at my first Feis (8th place, but sshh Wink.
Currently I am unable to dance because of persistent, if not chronic, shin splint, in both my legs.

I'm wondering if there are more crafty Irish dancers outside, and if they would love to swap with us. I say 'us', because I am sure that my sister will help. I would organise, but so far I have only participated in one swap, and I'm unsure about it all.

So, would you be interested?

28  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Discussion and Questions / Got some ideas for a strange bedroom? At wit's end! *lots of pics* on: August 16, 2010 03:57:45 AM
I'm almost 24, still living with my parents, and so far no plans of moving out. It's way too expensive in Belgium to buy/hire a place for just one person, and I still haven't got a decent job. Plus, we have a great relationship, we love to be together, so no problems there.

On the other hand, it is getting difficult. My mum and I get along, but we have our moments. She goes berserk over stuff in het living that is not hers. Yep, even my dad's stuff isn't allowed there. To avoid endless discussions, and stuff missing (mum even throws it out) I end up taking everything that belongs to me to my bedroom. This has been going on for your years, to the point where I actually don't feel at home in the living room anymore, because all my stuff is so quickly removed. Agreed, I get to keep some things there, and I am slightly messy, but still...
For years, I have been fighting the mess in my (rather small) room, but I'm at wit's end now. I have even made some pictures, because I am beyond the point of shame, I just want help. I have literally everything up here:
My jigsaws from when I was little, that I wanted to keep, but that HAD to move upstairs to be saved.
Tons of books, half of the collection technically not mine...
Small amounts of food (don't like that, but had to).
Dance stuff (Irish dancer). It isn't much, but heck!
Personal clothing (drawer is overflowing).
Tons of university stuff (that I have to keep close, because I'm a teacher myself now).
Crafting stuff (and I want to do so much what that stuff)

I understand that this stuff is mine, and that I have a bedroom. I don't really blame mum, but too much is too much. Everything downstairs is mum's. Dad once emptied some shelfs in the garage, for each child, but mum just threw everything in there, and now it's a complete mess too. Mum also is the only one with a desk downstairs (dad had a brilliant idea for a crazy shaped desk, with room for them both, as he is a teacher too, but mum said no), and only her stuff belongs there. Dad wants to change the garagde into a crafting room for as all, but he isn't allowed... Dad works with wood, brother is a table top gamer, I want to learn how to sew and my sister loves to paint all sorts of stuff. *sigh*

Part of my problem is the shape of my bedroom. Really, it's the shape of the house, but I got the worst part :p. We live in a pyramid. Yep, we really do. Want to see?

This is our house. Guess where my bedroom is... Right up there, in the top part! Technically the attic too...

Don't get me wrong, I love my house, and my bedroom, but the shape of it... Well, let me tell you, it's not ideal. Our house is big! Grond floor of 11m2, first floor with four rooms, and an attic plus my room (it's one room, dad made a wall, but yeah). The walls are not extremely steep. I mean, we don't walk crook all the time :p. But's it is problematic in my room. I have one, artificial, vertical wall in my room, which is used up completely by a bookcase unit. That unit is filled with books that belong to my dad... Youth books, but still, his books. I don't blame him, at all, because he too was a 'victim' of mum. But it sure limites my space, let me tell you. Want to see that too? I have no shame, so there I go!

As you can see, I have two rows of books on the shelfs. I cannot take a front shot of the unit, because the room is too small, but if I could, you would see that she shelfs are actually bending. Ever so slightly, but bending! The books in front are really mine. The shelf where you can see Miffy, is one row that also belongs to me (kicked some books out) and the right upper shelf are mine too. That shelf was empty when I started, ten years ago, but you see... I love books, and I cannot help but buy them. I really don't want to be held back by my room, but that trully happens. I go to the library too, and I cannot even store the books that I pick up there. I end up throwing them somewhere and they get lost (oh, the bills).

This is a side shot from the bookunit, and a view of my bed. The cd unit is a new addition, one I begged for. I only have one for this one Benno (Ikea anyone? :p), and it's almost full. The rocking chair was a birthday gift three years ago, because I wanted it so badly, but it is always covered up. If I want to use if, I have to throw everything on the bed, and change afterwards... *shiver* I feel so icky now... The strange wooden thing you see, with the blue/greenish bag on, is my personal clothing space. One day, mum decided that I had to many clothes and I have to throw a lot of stuff out. The stuff on the wooden thing is mostly fantasy dressing, or historical. No room in the closet, until I clean it out. But when I do, she is pissed because I throw perfectly good stuff out... Oh, I love it... The three drawers that you see are to no use. Imagine a A4 paper, regular size. They don't fit, unless you turn them sideways. That's a lot of room in that drawer lost... So I use the upper one for photographs (I really want to fit them in a book, but that's another extra book!), the middle one for clothing and blankies (corset, satin gloves, shawl,...) and the lower one for... junk... Old binders really, that I cannot throw about, because they are still okay. *aaaargh!*
You know, my younger brother used to dump his stuff in my sister's room, until she would get rid of it. I never did it, but I so regret it now!

End of the bed... I have no heating, so I use this electric thing. Awful, let me tell you. Under the stereo, craft storage! These pictures are a bit old, but I recently bought a plastic boc for all the yarn. Overflowing now, alas... The wooden shelfs are from Ikea, but although I love them, I cannot seem to use it. One drawer holds future embroidery projects. One for patterns then? And what about the small ones? I never learned how to organise myself, although if angered my parents that I was so messy, so it's hard to change an old habit. When I made this picture, I had some room for candles, you see. That's gone too... *really wants to cry now*
The plastic bags shattered on the ground hold other projects, or just stuff that I cannot store away. Fun!

The desk... What you see in that picture is a clean desk, for me! It's horrendous now... I can't keep a clean surface clean, for whatever reason. As you can see, I have several stuff to store papers. But I cannot use them... I have a collection of some magazines, and they are so heavy that they even broke one of the plastic shelfs, making them bend. I do have a new computer now, desktop, so less space for my legs, but it doesn't change anything. Oh yes, it does, I get to hide some stuff behind the screen...
Literally everything is on that desk. Uni stuff, craft stuff, handkerchiefs, yarn, books, stuffed animals, dvds, you name it, it's there... My clutter is an organised mess, but it is a mess nonetheless. The drawers in the desk, same f*cking story. Too small for everything, and falling apart. One drawer is currently closed, yet open, because the front came off... I don't even use the drawers on a daily basis. Because they are small, and because they are filled with stuff from my past. Oh, I threw away tons when I moved here, but still... After all, there is always stuff you want to keep, but cannot store, yes? *please, yes?* I use every horizontal surface for storage, because I just don't know where to put it anymore... *brother has to drawers UNDER the bed, very jealous of that*

'Door' to the attic. I used on old sheet, because cold came from that room into my carefully heated room. It looks insane... Door is made out of cardboard, yay. Here you can also see that the cd unit is pretty full now, because I keep old cds that I don't listen too, but what to do with old cds?!

The dreadful corner... *crawls away in shame*
This is one unuseful corner of my room. The book unit there is filled with comics. Huge fans, we. I don't mind having them there, because part of the collection is indeed mine. But the unit makes the corner too small to actually use. When I first started here, that corner held an old tv, for the Nintendo and Sega (old school!). That tv is gone, game units are still there (where would we put them, it's an attic, no? *shakes head*). Blue boxes hold uni stuff I actually had three of those, filled to the top, but I managed to reduce it to two. One is in the garden shed, filled with books. The bean bag is gone from my room, not yet from the house. The black cabinet is my altar (I'm a witch). I don't use it that often *oh, the shame and the guilt* because of the mess in front of the cabinet. Plus, my messy room doesn't really inspire me anymore. I want to write a proper book, but I hate it here (sometimes). I already use an extra shoe box for pagan stuff, because the cabinet holds my pagan books. Plus clothes (oh yeah), incense, candles, you name it...
On top of the book uni, you can see my main reason for anger. All stuff that I HAD to bring upstairs, while mum fully well knew that I didn't have the room for that... A microscope and a Make Your Own Mosaic Set. Gifts that I never used (ungrateful, you know the deal) and that I thus had to take with me. I have quite a collection of holders for waxine lights, but no room, so they gather dust up the unit.

I'm ranting, I know that very well, and I wonder if anyone will ever get through all these amounts of text. But, really, I'll say it again, I'm lost and to the point where my room depresses me. I love to be here, because it's MY personal space, but it's too much. Every few months, I get the heebies, and I clean like crazy, but it is never really clean. I keep hiding stuff, putting is somewhere where I know that it will be a bother. But because of the lack of space, that's all I can do.

So, here's the deal... Inspire me! The main problem in my room are the walls. I cannot just bang some shelfs against the walls, because the are not straight! I was wondering if some of you are so creative to find me a solution... I'm willing to throw a lot out, but there is a lot I want to  keep. Yesterday I made a not with stuff that need (that I would love to have): storage for important papers (I'm about to start working life, so I need something), a crafting box, a box for junk, a small box for medication. But then I realised that more boxes won't help me, because I cannot even store the boxes... Maybe I just wanted to whine, and you don't know what to do... Oh well, I had my say, I'm just curious if there's anyone willing to play Clean House with me :p
29  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Stenciling: Completed Projects / First stencil, without freezer paper on: August 09, 2010 03:24:04 AM
For those who are not yet tired of my stories, I am an Irish dancer, and a year and a half ago, we started our (my sister and friends) our own dance troop. So far, things are going great, though we would love more jigs. The hardest part are the dresses. Most of us are girls (Male Irish dancers are so scarce!), so in the end we bought a bunch of very simple black dresses. They are great, and with sashes, underskirts and braids, we managed to create different looks. Last dance year, two little girls joined the troop, both ten years old. Antonio Pacelli had some great dresses for kids, but we ordered them too late...
So, after browsing Craftster, I thought stencilling would be ideal to pimp the plain black t-shirts we bought for the girls (to match our plain black dresses :p). What an ordeal was is to find freezer paper. I still haven't got a clue what I might be in Dutch. But after explaining what I was after to the lady in the craft supply store, she gave me something different, but super as well! Apparently, it is paper for sand art... It is a bit to plastic for my liking. I had to push the drawing I wanted to transfer together with the special paper to the window, because I couldn't trace the drawing otherwise. Kinda hard on my arms :p. And the drawing was really tiny... After drawing, I cut the stencil out (thank you brother for loving table top gaming), and peeled the paper side of. The other side was sticky, and I could stick it right unto my shirt. I experimented with the colours, because the blue is the colour of Taradance, and purple is the colour of the our underskirts. Now everyone wants me to use both colours... Yikes... I love it to pieces, and can't wait to get started on the real shirts.

The purple wasn't try yet when I took this picture...


I'm really proud of the result. According to the bottles of the paint I used, I should fixate it with a hot iron.

If anyone has some great celtic stencil designs, you are very very welcome! I'd love some inspiration!
30  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Filet crochet: Finally a success! on: August 09, 2010 02:46:19 AM
Ever since I started crocheting, I wanted to try filet. Using all sorts of cotton that I took from my grandmother's old statsh, I tried my best. I used a white sort of cotton, that I had used for Christmas angels. I always failed... Mum told me to crochet IN the chains, and that was a major mistake.
So, after one of my trainee-teacher jobs, I bought two crochet books. One with flowers, the other one filled with filet patterns. Again, no success, with whatever yarn.
Until I found the perfect cotton in Germany. White, firm and just perfect for filet. Back home, I realised that it was that exact kind of cotton I had been looking for, to make this wonderful blanket of which I found the pattern in a German/Dutch magazine. Schachenmayer, Catania. I went back later, to gather all my supplies, but they didn't have the exact kind of green I needed (550 g, which is a LOT). Either way, mum and I agreed that it was perfect for filet, so I bought more white, and some flashy colours. This heart pattern was the very first thing I made. Not yet blocked, but I was still on holiday after all  Tongue. Later I crocheted the name of the farmer's wife too, in bright blue, but that picture is not yet uploaded.
I know it's nothing special, but I'm pretty proud and want to tackle more complicated filet patterns now!

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