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21  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Beatles on: June 10, 2011 02:59:33 PM
I wanted to share a couple of things that I made for the recent Beatles swap for my wonderful partner SevsOnlyGirl.

She had a set of coasters with embroidered faces on them on her wist, so I decided to make her a set using the Yellow Submarine cartoon Beatles:

And I also stitched up this self-portrait of John Lennon, I love his whimsical illustrations:

Thanks for looking!
22  POTTERY, CERAMICS, POLYMER CLAY / Polymer Clay: Completed Projects / Robot Matchbox on: May 12, 2011 12:19:10 PM
My little sister is coming up on a year of sobriety. As a "way-to-go!" present, I made this matchbox for her.

She mentioned in passing once that she liked robots, and the last time she was up visiting she was drooling over an altered matchbox that I received in a swap, so I thought I'd surprise her with one in the mail  Smiley
(The little heart charm came from Suereal in a recent swap- already put to good use!)

Some of the guts. I've since finished filling it up with goodies to send her. Needed to take advantage of the sun for some pics while I had it!

Thanks for looking! Oh, in case any of you were wondering, I discovered that once wrapped in poly-clay, the matchbox survived an oven at 275 for about 20 minutes. I was right there watching it in case of flames!
23  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Mixed media book (Photo overload warning!!) on: May 02, 2011 03:21:09 PM
Hi everyone!  

For a final project this semester I made a book. My goal was to break some of my patterns in art making. Before I started working on the book, I did a critical analysis of my past artwork and wrote down some themes that I saw. (lack of color, texture, over thinking work, etc.) From there, I wrote myself the following rules that I used to complete this piece. The rules were:

1. Go with the first idea that comes to mind, when working on a page. If a page in a book, an image, a piece of ephemera, etc. strikes inspiration, tear it out and use it. Do not over think your process. Limit editing, go without if possible.
2. Use color. Take out your color wheel and use it to experiment with new color palettes.
3. Work on piece every day.
4. Use characters in different ways.
5. Complete a self portrait before the end of the book.

With those rules in place, I began my book!

cover and binding, love that coptic stitch!

I'll share a few of my favorite pages, there are 36 pages total so I can't share them all  Wink

I've noticed quite an obsession with owls these days, in attempts to answer where they all come from I made this page:

My characters. I doodle people on everything!

I think my favorite spread. And yes, that is Angela Lansbury!!  Grin

"It is only a stuffed man, I will peck his eyes out"

I used a bit of everything in this book- found images, acrylic, watercolor, multiple adhesives, pen, ink, even salt at one point.

I'd love to hear what people think  Grin I'd also love to answer any technical questions that you might have!
Thanks for looking everyone!
24  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Da-Da-Daaaaaa Da-Da-Daaaaaaaa- It's MacGyver!! on: March 27, 2011 02:36:38 PM
Hi Craftsters  Smiley (Like the theme music in my title?! Is it stuck in your head yet  Cheesy)
In effort to procrastinate doing a paper for graduate school due, I am posting the gift I made for my eldest brother for the holidays.
Growing up, we were ADDICTED to MacGyver in the worst way. He's still a huge fan, so I stitched this up for him:

(His lips aren't that pink, the light was weird.)

If I had this to do over, I'd add some paperclips and chewing gum or something in that dead space by his head, you know tools of his trade Cheesy

I used 5 colors in his hair, in one and two strands, back stitch

I don't know if you are supposed to satin stitch over areas so big, but I did  Wink

Here's a group shot of the three needlework pieces I gave away as gifts this past holiday:

You can also check out The Kinder Queen and the Antique Button Tree (I'm sure you've all seen that one by now!) if you'd like.
Please C&C!!!
25  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / My first hand-made journal!! on: March 11, 2011 01:17:59 PM
I was so inspired by the beautiful coptic stitch on the art journals made by member jolenemarie  that I decided to give the stitch a try. I made this little journal for my partner in the recent round of Paper and Ephemera swap.

The cover is made out of cardboard covered with fabric. My partner liked hedgehogs so I made a little felt one for the cover:

I made three signatures using 90 lb watercolor paper, each with a textured green card stock page on top:

And the front and back inside covers:

Thanks for looking! And for those of you who want to try that binding method but are intimidated, Give it a try! It's really not that bad at all once you get the hang of it. There are tons of helpful tuts on youtube.
26  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Happy Presidents Day- with Gummy George Washingtons!! (PIC HEAVY) on: February 21, 2011 09:36:27 AM
I thought some of you might find this slightly amusing. At least I hope  Smiley

I sculpted this George Washington out of plasticine, and sealed it with a couple of coats of Shellac. This is an important step as it seals the clay. Especially important if your clay has any sulfur in it, if it does it could react with your mold making material.

I used a food grade silicone to make this mold. When cured, it can be used in the oven up to 450 f.

And then the cherry gummy candy I made out of the mold. Why cherry gummies? Well, cherry because of George Washington chopping down the cherry tree and gummy because George Washington didn't have any teeth. (Just gums).

To make gummy candy at home, simply make Jello with boiling water only and add a few extra packets of gelatin in it.

I also made a latex mold (which has since ripped) from the plasticine piece and made these "pop-art" pieces using reclaimed shutters I found in my basement. The Washingtons I made out of plaster and spray-painted silver and pink.

Things to remember: Make sure the material you are using is FOOD SAFE if you are planning on eating any food you cast into your mold. Safety first people!!

The mold making process can be a tedious and time consuming one, but very useful if you plan on making the same object several times. Please let me know if there are questions, I'd be happy to share techniques but thought I'd spare you all most of the technical stuff.

Thanks for looking and Happy President's Day!! (To all of you outside of the States a good day to you too!!)
C&C welcome!!
27  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Antelope with Laserdisc: an exploration with stumpwork embroidery (PIC HEAVY) on: February 10, 2011 11:02:58 AM
Hi Craftsters!
It's been a long time since I posted anything, mainly because I've been working on this beast. This is my FIRST attempt at stumpwork. This is a mainly a mixed media piece. I decided to put it in the needlework category because that is mostly what I wanted to explore in this piece, also that's the part of this piece that took the longest.

This piece was made for grad school. Given more time, I'd make some changes, but overall I'm happy with the results. I was telling my history of art education in the piece. I won't bore you all with the symbolism that I used; unless any of you are interested of course!

Onto the pics!

Antelope head before I cut him out of the hoop. Was a scary thing to do! I must have spent 40 hours on the head alone- all those french knots!

On the wall

Close ups:

I wish you all could really see the texture of this piece. Not to toot my own horn, but it's pretty amazing. The french knots are mesmerizing!

And the inspiration for this piece, a collage made by my wonderful husband:

Please let me know if any of you have any questions- about materials used, techniques etc.! I'll be happy to share what I learned during this process with you. Also, C&C welcome! I can't get  better without critical feedback!  Smiley

28  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / The Kinder Queen on: December 01, 2010 11:08:41 AM
I was introduced to the wonderful world of Kinder Surprise eggs while studying abroad in Spain for a summer during high school. I loved them so much I brought several home for my family. In the egg I gave to my younger sister, this toy was inside:

For some reason it really creeped her out. She hid it in my room. I found it and hid it in her room. We've been hiding this queen on each other for about 13 years now- I've found it in my shower, freezer, you name it.

So for the holidays this year I stitched this up for her:

Some close-ups of the stitches:

I did tiny rows of satin stitching for her hair, as well as for most of her body. Goodness, I know you all warned me about that silky thread, I sure do hate it now! What a pain, even with the ThreadHeaven!

I hope you enjoy! C&C as always welcome.

Also- If anybody has any of the other Kinder toys that match this queen and would be up to swap please PM me! I got this queen in '97 if that helps. I'd love to give the king to her as a present as well!
29  COOKING / Dessert / Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies!!! on: November 18, 2010 05:02:37 PM
We've been having quite the conversation about strange snacks on the International Snack Swap discussion board. Someone mentioned chocolate covered bacon, and I mentioned that I've made bacon chocolate chip cookies before and they were pretty delicious. So I whipped up a batch today so I could take some pics and share the recipe! (and of course eat some tasty cookies!)
You'll need:
7 strips bacon, cooked really crispy, dried on paper towel (SAVE BACON GREASE!!)
1 cup, plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 stick butter softened
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cups chocolate chips
optional: chopped nuts

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
-Chop up your crispy bacon finely.
-Mix together flour and baking soda
-Cream together butter and sugars in a large bowl. Add egg and vanilla extract, and beat until just blended. Add the dry ingredients; beat until just incorporated. Be careful not to over beat!  Stir in the chocolate chips, bacon, and optional nuts.  Your dough will be pretty, it will look like this:

-Drop one large tablespoon cookie dough 2 to 3 inches apart  on un-greased baking sheet.

-Shut that oven door, they're not done yet. I know they smell good, but you'll just have to wait.

-Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, they'll be golden brown around the edges, and a bit soft in the center. Transfer to  rack and cool for 15 minutes.

-Give one to your toddler. The quick expression change from excitement to confusion is priceless!

-Store them in a container on your counter for a couple of days, and if there is any left after that put them in the fridge.


And that bacon grease that I told you to save- Have a movie night and pop your popcorn in it!!! FANTASTIC!!!!!

30  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Antique button tree on: November 15, 2010 11:16:56 AM
I was so inspired by all the button trees on Craftster that I decided to make one for my mom. When my grandmother passed a few years ago, my mom inherited her antique button collection (about 5 sugar cookie tins full of antique buttons!) My mom doesn't craft as much as she used to, so she gave me ALL the buttons! I know my mom always loved her mom's button collection, I thought this would be a good way to display some of them.

And a close up of the buttons, because they are so pretty!

Thanks for looking!
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