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1  Re: HAPPY MAIL #3 - BRING the HAPPY GALLERY in The Swap Gallery by Wulf on: November 12, 2017 12:41:23 PM
Now, I have to say that tapestrymlp's idea of an "envelope" is a bit unusual: she sent a 6 in. square box. But not only did that allow her to send much more dimensional stuff, it also gave more surface for painting bird portraits, which she did on all four sides:

The customs sticker covered one bird, but I was able to peel it off without injury. Aren't they fantastic? Just a hint of what's waiting inside. I don't really know where to begin.

Maybe with this foxy fellow, painted on a slice of birch tree:

Just look at that face!

And then these four cotton bags, each painted with a different wacky creature from Medieval illuminations:

How could you have known how much I love crazy illuminated manuscript marginalia? These are wonderful, and now I get to decide what to store in them.

Then a card, with a sweet little hedgehog that dreams of being a butterfly, and a couple of dozen round tags, all marbled with paint in rich, dark swirls. And those hand-painted white-on-black insects? They're magnets!

And speaking of magnets, look at these wonderful hand-painted creatures:

Six more great little faces!

But we're not done yet! She also made me this beautiful plaque, with texture that really looks like the sea at night.

And the moon is like a little slice of cheese floating above it:

Finally (but certainly worth waiting for), an ATC that stretches the boundaries of those three letters beyond anything I would have imagined. There's no paper involved in the card, and I'd never, ever trade it, but it is certainly the work of an artist:

The "card" is actually thin sheet metal, and look at the depth of the sculpting:

Thanks for all these wonderful creatures, Jenn! I'm going to enjoy living with them a lot!

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2  Re: HAPPY MAIL #3 - BRING the HAPPY GALLERY in The Swap Gallery by Wulf on: November 12, 2017 11:22:01 AM
I love those paper puppets too, and there are so many great ideas that could come out of that simple idea. It could almost be a whole swap in itself... hmmmm Roll Eyes...

I came home Friday afternoon, suffering from a cold and feeling down, only to have my spirits lifted by finding not one but BOTH of my swap packages waiting for me! It was amazingly fast, and so surprising that they took exactly the same amount of time despite being from different parts of the US and being rather different sizes.

First, from cabaute, this modest-looking but tightly-packed envelope. Both the front and back were decorated, but only the back really photographed well:

Inside, I found two gorgeous and mysterious double-sided ATCs.

Photos don't do them justice, as both are shimmery and the images come and go as you tilt them at different angles. The one on the left has a picture of dancing Krishna that sometimes you can see and sometimes not. Very cool.

Then four collaged tags, two with ribbons and all double-sided.

I didn't photo both sides of the tags, but let's just say that they don't have a clear front and back! Also two cards, one painted and collaged with cut-out leaf windows and a 3-dimensional twig below. The square one has an illustration by one of my favourite artists, Walter Crane, one of whose flower fairies also appears on a tag. The lion and text box on the card are 3-D, and the fairy's dress is outlined with a line of glittery thread that perfectly matches the painted costume.

And then a little hand-bound scrap journal. I love how so many of us included these little books, because of course they're all so different. This one has a deeply-textured Steampunk-y cover that I love a lot:

I won't take up space with pictures of all the pages inside, but here's a typically delightful example:

And finally, the extras!

Printed sheets of airships and more insects, blind-embossed cards of a stag in a forest, and a paper stencil of trees, and then a whole pile of punched shapes - gears, deer, butterflies (they also have text and designs embossed on them), tags and a circle. Some are book or patterned paper, some are painted, and many are both.

I love all this stuff, Cynthia, and your worries about swap inadequacy were SO unfounded! Cheesy

I'll continue with tapestrymlp's package in the next post.

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3  Re: Yet Another TM Patch Swap R9 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by Wulf on: August 16, 2017 07:47:58 PM
I just got an amazing package from Sharalee! I know she felt bad for making me wait, but it was so worth it!

In every one of these swaps I've included "trees" and "insects" in my list. And I've received at least one or the other every time. Which makes me happy, because I'm steadily gathering a collection of insect and tree patches.

Sweet Sharalee made me one of each!

This beetle is painted, embroidered and beaded.

The tree is so lushly embroidered you can almost feel the texture of the bark just by looking at it. And what great charms are dangling from the branches!

Of course there was a kit of supplies, too:

These wonderfully varied fabrics - including some tiny calico prints that are perfect for edging TM patches.

An iron-on skull patch (which I know exactly where I'm going to use), some fabulously variegated floss, and a whole lot more charms, buttons and embellishments.

Thanks so much for this, Shari!

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4  Re: Yet Another TM Patch Swap R9 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by Wulf on: July 26, 2017 06:36:45 PM
I didn't even know that interactive patches were a thing! I love the tiny gnome door.  Cheesy

I received my first package of patches today, from curiousfae. For one of them, she chose my "insects" theme, which I'm always glad when someone does because I'm getting a little collection of them.

What kind of insect is it exactly? I don't know either, perhaps a butterbeetle or a beetlefly. But it's a beauty either way!

The other patch illustrated the "Four Elements" theme perfectly:

I especially love the subtle curlicues in the background fabric. Just perfect!

And we'd agreed to swap a few supplies too:

Each of the squares has a different fabric sewn onto the back. Half done already! Grin The city transit signs is my favourite, though they're all great. And there is a sweet little handful of charms and buttons, and a skein of good-quality floss.

And I can't overlook the card:

It's got a great 1970s vibe!

Thanks so much for these - they're a great addition to my patch collection.

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5  Re: Prayer Flag Swap Round SO - 6/10 in The Swap Gallery by Wulf on: June 20, 2017 06:57:35 PM
Wow, what great flags in here! I love the little red upholstery fabric flowers, and those radiating stitch flags are so great! No wonder you love that silk thread - it just glows. And using Inktense pencils on fabric? Shocked I had no idea! Must try that immediately - I love them on paper. Such intense colours.

So I received my flag from cmarion3 last week, and somehow kept being blocked from posting it. What a terrific trio of tattered tatting she made for us all! Cheesy

I love the spiraling of the narrow lace in all of these. It's especially perfect for my phrase, "Go Within".

Carol mentioned in her card that she had a 35 litre bin of vintage lace, and I thought "Wow, that's a LOT!" Then I realized I actually have two 15 litre bins, so I guess I can't make comments. Embarrassed

So then yesterday, I got my second flag, this symphony in green from Averia:

I love crazy quilting, and these green pieces and the stitching connecting them are so perfect. You almost can't see it in this photo, but there's a copper wire tree floating in the middle of the flag. Thanks so much for this!

And then my own flag. Like a lot of people, I had trouble coming up with an idea, but I finally got it worked out on Thursday evening, but I didn't have time to start it. I had to go to Ottawa for work over the weekend, so it didn't get worked on at all. But what I made when I got back has absolutely no relation to what I had originally intended - an entirely new idea took over and I did the whole thing in about two hours. I was quite surprised when I stepped back and looked at it!

While I was in Ottawa I had time to go the Canadian History Museum, where there is an amazing painting on the domed ceiling of one of the galleries, "Morning Star" by Alex Janvier. When I saw it, I thought "That's what I want my prayer flag to be!" So when I got home I started gathering up bits and scraps of fabrics, ironed Wonder Under onto them, and pieced them together. As I was working, I kept trying to think of what inspiring word I would add, but in the end I decided it just didn't need one. The image is inspiration enough. And tomorrow is the Summer Solstice, so it was meant to be.

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6  Re: Junk Journal Gallery in The Swap Gallery by Wulf on: May 26, 2017 05:36:51 AM
What a great journal! Despite the Monopoly board cover Cheesy and all those fabulous pages, what I love most is the weaving on the spine. One of the nuisances of that kind of binding is that the cords that hold the signatures to the spine tend to catch on things and can never be kept tight enough to remain tidy-looking. Using them as warp solves that problem in such a fantastic way, and you could do so much with it.

I was hoping to get Geekgirl's own journal up as the first in the Gallery, which is mightily deserved, but I was having photo issues. But it doesn't matter, because it's worth the wait.

First of all, Carlee used a 1930's teacher's book as the cover. Even if this was all she had sent, I'd be entirely satisfied!

Sorry for any photos that are appearing sideways. I absolutely cannot get them to reliably come out the same way in the post that they're oriented elsewhere.

The cords-on-spine problem was solved by linking them with Steampunk-y gears, and there's a very long piece of braided leather thong as a tie. (Although the cover is so generous, that I'll be able to add piles of stuff to those pages before it starts to bulge.)  I'm only going to show a handful of the pages, because I don't want to clog up the Gallery too much, but every single spread is great - mostly vintage book papers (a lot of it surprisingly similar to what I used in mine) with stamps, cards in envelopes (love those) and lots and lots of owls! I found it was really hard to keep to a colour theme without being boring (I gave up and just put everything in), but this muted, tea-coloured scheme works very well and will be a perfect background to everything I add.

I love the old ads, especially this one:

And there's a couple of great flags on paperclips, including this spectacular one inside the back cover:

Thanks so much for this, Carlee! I was feeling a little sad at having to send away the one I made for you, and this has completely made me forget it. I can hardly wait to start adding and building on these pages.

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7  Re: Yet Another TM Patch Swap R8 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by Wulf on: April 25, 2017 06:07:58 PM
After weeks of playing "Where's My Package?" with the Royal Mail, I just received this wonderful weeping willow patch from Inselaeffchen:

Willows are one of my favourite trees, and while Kat protested that her depiction of willow anatomy wasn't really correct, I think she's got the feel of a pollarded willow absolutely right. It almost seems to shimmer in the summer breeze!

Thanks so much for this - it's brilliant!

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8  Re: Assemblage Art Swap 2 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by Wulf on: April 24, 2017 05:43:16 AM
Okay, here's the amazing metal octopus that I received from PerfectlyBohemian this week. It was beautifully packed and arrived completely intact. (Not surprisingly, because it's very solidly soldered together.) And I have to say up front that photos do NOT do it justice. Like so many of the creations in this Gallery, you just need to be able to turn it around and around and stare at every part to see everything.

The body is made up of a tea canister (a swap cross-over! Cheesy) with segments of tin soldered onto it to form the shape. Out of that come eight legs that start out solid and dissolve into wire filigree, writhing and swirling in a way that really embodies the movement of a real octopus. I can't stop staring at the way the legs are soldered together in segments, and each piece is made of a different metal thing - silver plate, old tins, brass, etc. Some segments even have a contrasting metal added as an accent. I know just how hard it is to solder together widely different types and thicknesses of metal like that, so I'm especially impressed.

Even the two tins that make up his huge, googly eyes each contain their own little assemblages:

The lid of the tea tin comes off, and inside are two little "medals", as a reward for finding your way in there!

And I can't even try to show the collection of bits and bobs caught up in the wire frame of his arms. There are keys, crystals, a domino, buttons, a thimble, an old radio tube, marbles, watch parts, a brass cicada, a sewing bobbin... each arm contains at least four or five individual things, all swirled up within the wire.

One more thing that you can't really see from the photos is how BIG he his - over 2 feet long! I'm going to have to clear off a shelf above my desk to make a place for him - there's one that just has a lot of old safety manuals on it that can go. This is a MUCH better use of the space!

Thanks so much for this amazing beauty. I'm so thrilled to have him with me, and I think I'm going to get months of enjoyment out of just staring at him.

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9  Re: Yet Another TM Patch Swap R8 Gallery in The Swap Gallery by Wulf on: March 26, 2017 01:34:54 PM
I received a pair wonderful, HUGE patches from craftylittlemonkey the other day, in our unofficial swap partnership. She knows me well enough that we didn't need to give each other themes and yet she got me perfectly.

The detail of the embroidered flowers along the bottom is wonderful, and isn't the blue-to-green fabric perfect? It has a very moonlit feel to it.

I've always loved the symbol of the three running hares (it's origin doesn't seem to be known, though it can be traced quite far back), and I especially like that the three are different colours.

Here's a detail of some of the stitching and beading:

Thank you for these! They're the biggest I've ever seen, and I love them!

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10  Re: Curiosity Cabinet Swap Round 2 GALLERY in The Swap Gallery by Wulf on: March 04, 2017 11:57:43 AM
So I received my package from Griminspirations yesterday. Sort of. I've had a few things damaged in mailing over the years, although not many, but I've never seen anything as thoroughly demolished as this box.

The US Post Office had cocooned the whole thing in plastic wrap to keep it contained, and included a pre-printed note apologizing for the damage "by our highly sophisticated mechanized and automated equipment" and (thanks to the clear address label Maria had put on the box), it was delivered. It arrived along with an almost identically sized (as nearly as I can tell) box from SonjaBoo in the Altered Tea Tin Swap, so it looked like a before-and-after picture. Angry

Inside was just a jumble of mangled cardboard, shredded packing and minute fragments of glass and something that was probably polymer clay. I could tell that it had been packed properly, though, and nothing short of the massive hammer-blow it had received would have damaged the contents. But no amount of expert packaging could have protected it from whatever-the-heck happened.

But miraculously, it wasn't all gone.

Right beside the pulverized remains of what had obviously been a heavy glass jar was another tiny, wrapped package which I untied with a sinking heart, only to find this:

Look how tiny he is!

How could something as fragile as this tiny bell jar have survived the carnage? I don't know, but it makes me love him all the more!

Griminspirations did include some supporting material which, although a bit mangled, shows what I would have found if USPS hadn't had such a bad day.

I'm so sorry this happened to such a great object, and of course I would have loved to see it in person, but I hope my dear swap partner can post some photos so we can all see how fabulous it once was. In the end I have a good story and my precious little cyclops. Kiss

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