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1  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / Back to school swap gallery on: August 09, 2005 05:37:12 AM
post yourpics of  great loot here!
2  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / $10 or $5 swap on: August 05, 2005 03:59:17 PM
What about a swap where each swapper spent no more than $10 (not much less) on the materials or goodies for the swap? (not including shipping, so international would be paired up with international swappers) I tend to over do it sometimes, but this could really be fun! Maybe even $5 instead to make it more challenging! Same requirements as most swaps, 1 big thing, 2 small. I'll organize. Beginning the first of Sept, mailing out Oct 1? (unless people really want to do it and are anxious to get going on it)
Any takers? Any ideas?
3  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Party Planning / monkey see monkey do, my little guy is turning 2 (now w/ pics!... lots of um!) on: July 19, 2005 10:16:22 AM
I'm doing a monkey party at a local park, with  the party under the picnin shelter and little one can play on the little kid's play ground an dfeed ducks. I'm making monkey face invitations, and we're going to have a monkey "parade" where we march the kids around with instuments and noise makers. I'm looking for your crafty ideas to add to it. Cheap, think cheap, but cute. I have the time, not the money.

Thanks all
We had such a great time at the monkey party and I wanted to share some of the things I did with my crafty friends. So I'm showin off with some pictures. I hope someone can use some these ideas. It was a blast!

Here are the invites. Monkey heads (though the ears are awful small) that have the info inside. The wiggle eyes were very popular! I've gotten lots of compliments on them.

For his daycare, I made monkey cupcakes to send and share with all his school friends.  Totally made from a boxed mix, but I did banana flavored cupcakes with chocolate frosting, mini vanilla wafers for the mouth, and Hershey's Swoops cut in half for ears. The icing was that store bought gel kind. I was proud of these.
Monkey face

For treat bags I made simple monkey faces a la the Martha kids magazine layout, if you haven't seen it, find it, it was a party issue, really cute. The bags had inside, a CD of "Andy's favorite songs to monkey around to" from CDs I checked out from the library that he loves. Lots of Raffi. Hey, he's 2. Also horns and noise makers to make noise for the "Monkey Jamboree", Stickers, homemade lollypops (I'll get to that in a minute) and a bag of banana jelly belly jelly beans.

I made homemade lollypops from "Awesome crafts for kids" magazine by the Better Homes and Garden Creative Collection. Great magazine with great ideas for all to check out! I thought that the lollypops looked fun so I had to try it.  I made small ones for treat bags, and used the great big ones for a centerpiece. I wrapped each one with a treat bag (some that I had to cut down) Tied with a twist tie and curling ribbon, and stuck them in a metal tin vase I sprayed yellow with some floral foam inside. It was cute, and I sent everyone home with a lollypop as they left. Grown ups too! If you decide to try these, you just use hard candy, and melt it in the oven at 350 for no more than 5 min, keeping an eye on it. When its melted, place the stick on, twist and add sprinkles. Let it cool compleatly! And cover your cookie sheet with aluminum foil first. The jolly ranchers and creme savers worked best! I didn't like crushing them, as the magazine suggested, It didn't work well for me, it just made a gloppy mess. Here are a few, unwrapped.

I made fun monkey pants for the occation. They were made from a pattern sent to me by edamame, who sent A an awesome pair of pants in the baby/child swap, and then sent the pattern later so I could make more. They were a big hit!

For an activity, since the kids are so young, we had a "monkey jamboree"! I passed out ttreat bags so I was sure evryone had one. Bags had inside noisemakers and flutes to play on.I have a kiddie kareoke machine, and we sang in it and danced and marched around with musical instruments. They had a ball! (That's A's girlfriend in the background, isn't she cute! They're going to get married someday.) In the invites I asked everyone to bring their favorite musical instruments for the Jamboree. Some did some didn't but it had them wondering what we were going to do.

My mom (she has a bake shoppe) made a monkey head cake and monkey cupcakes. Per my request, mom mad the monkey head red velvet! So the grown ups could get a laugh! We all asked for Bloody monkey head cake, but the kids were none the wiser. No one was traumatized.

A few other things I did, I set out his big 2 year old pictures in frames on a table for all to see and handed out wallets to anyone who asked. I didn't buy them to sit in an envelope after all, and it was a great way to make sure my friends had them.On the table with the pictures,  I set out a very lightly decorated scrap book page layout and left a pen and a note asking everyone to sign it for us for his scrapbook. (I did that last year too) I also posted a cute posterboard with the schedule, so that people would know when to expect things and to keep the party going along. I have been to many kids parties that drag on and kids get fussy and tired. It worked well. We kept as much to the schedule as was possible. Everyone knew to expect cake and presents within a certain time, and no one left early. I made sure to try to take pictures of A with his friends when he opened gifts and I plan to send pictures with his friends in the Thank you cards. Thank you cards are so important!!!!
I loved the park, it was only $20, and they come take the trash, but the shelters next to us had a a big party going and brought a stereo with rap music playing right next to our toddler affair, so next year we will book our reservation extra extra early and be sure that we are in a shelter off to ourselves!
Thanks for letting me share!
4  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Back to school swap anyone? (I hate to bring it up now, but) on: July 16, 2005 06:56:49 PM
I hate to say, but before you know it the dog days of summer will be gone and back to school we will go. (I'm dreading it most of all, as I am a teacher)
So teachers, students of all levels, college students, parents, etc, what do you say to a swap to help up back to school? Due just after labor day, this swap could be set organized (by me, I volunteer) so that like swappers, high schoolers to high schoolers, teachers to teachers, college students to college students or any other suggestions?I'm thinking this would be sign ups in the first few weeks of Aug. to give a good month to craft.
 Who's in? Ideas? Suggestions?
5  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / magic ball/row swap gallery on: June 21, 2005 09:17:32 AM
Here' what I recieved from linbt. It's a lovely granny square scarf. I love it so fun and colorful. I can't wait for a cool evening to sport it. Here it is:

I'm excited to see the pictures! Start posting!
I'll post what I sent Dukesbean as soon as I know she got it.
6  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / 12 steps to a fab polymer clay covered tin, *tutorial* with lots of pics on: June 05, 2005 08:56:32 PM
I got a rather crafty hair up my butt tonight and made this tin in like an hour, start to finish.

(I used silver clay, so that's what it appears metallic)
So I thought I'd post my first tutorial on it,

Okay, this is not exactly all my tutorial, I give most of the credit to
 http://www.desiredcreations.com/howTo_PJCoverAltoid.htm for the great how to,
but many of my crafty friends from the mini tin swap have expressed distress with trying this, so I did a mini tin tonight, to show you all it's not that hard. I'm adding my hints so you too can try this out and loose your fear of polymer clay. I have an art teacher friend who is the poly clay goddess, and although I am no pro, not even in the least! but she did de-mystify the medium for me, and show me some new possiblities.
That being said, here we go....

You'll need:
an exacto blade
something to roll out the clay with, a rolling pin or preferably a pasta type machine, (I found a cheapo kids thing made for rolling out playdough for a buck or two at a discount store)
texture, anything will do, I have texture plates, but just look around your house, even lace works
acrylic paint
poly acrylic
a tin of course
a lack of fear of imperfection

1.Roll out the clay thin enough and large enough to cover your tin.
2.Before cutting, roll the sheet of clay lightly over a texture, this will help hide imperfections in your creation and add character.
Now I did the top first, but you can do the bottom if you prefer,
3.For the top, slump the clay over the top of the tin, the cut with your exacto blade just above the lip of the tin.
4.Gently press down on the clay to bring any gaps flush with the lip of the tin.
*tip, lick your finger to smooth out the clay
5.For the bottom, repeat steps 1 and 2
6.Lay the tin on top of the clay and cut around with the blade, gently pressing down while doing this will make it stick to the tin.
7. Roll out a long skinny pice of clay, and repeat step 2
8. Measure your tin from the bottom, to where the top of the tin starts (on altiods tins, the afore menchioned website gives a good measurement) Cut a strip of clay as wide as your measurement, using your blade and ruler.

9. Wrap the clay around the tin, and cut it to fit, I like having the edges meet in the back of the tin.
10.Gently press the seams together and smooth out (like I said, licking your finger when smoothing helps, but do wash your hands, lol)

11. For feet, roll a coil of clay, and cut 4 pieces the same size, so that you can roll out 4 identical balls of clay
12. Stick the balls of clay in place, turn the tin over, and gently press down (this makes it flat, and sticks the clay to the tin)
*** don't forget to open the tin all the way before you bake it so it will open correctly when finished.
*I forgot to do it on my tin here, but adding a ball or two of clay to the top at the closure, helps to open it later, like a latch
Bake to manufacture's instructions (your oven will be minty fresh)
and embellish as you please

*I'm inpatient, so I tossed it in the freezer to cool

This is what I did:
1. I covered the finished tin with acrylic paint
2. Before it dried, I buffed the paint off, so you can appreciate the texture,

 then sanded it with a fine padded sandpaper pad.

3. Then I added a bit of glitter,
4. and poly acryliced the whole thing
*when waiting for things to dry, and feeling impatient, toss it back in your still warmed oven (no longer on) for a few minutes to dry faster
5. glue in felt lining, but don't forget to measure your tin before you start so your felt will fit nicely

The results are great!
I think it took me longer to write this than to make the thing!
I will be posting pics of all steps asap! Let me know if there are particular steps you need to see for clarity.
Happy crafting!
7  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing Machines: Discussion and Questions / applique issues!!...need your HELP on: May 27, 2005 05:07:45 AM
My machine is giving me a hell of a time trying to applique felt on a tee, which I've done before, I'm not exactly a novice, but it won't stop skipping stitches. My manual says to change the needle, so I did, still a problem. Perhaps it's the thread. I'm looking for technical help if you can offer it. It's a really simple Singer. No frills machine. Should I change the thread weight? do I need interfacing  or backing? needle size?
And has anyone used just heat n bond with no stitching? how's that workin for you?

Thanks craftsters!!!
8  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / random little things May 05 gallery on: May 20, 2005 04:54:00 AM
Random little things swappers, post your pictures here! I can't wait to see your goodies!
9  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Get Product and Website Opinions / more ceramic buttons, and pendants too, (update) on: May 05, 2005 08:27:54 AM
I have been making all sorts of these lately. Here is my latest batch of ceramic buttons and pendants. They are so fun to make!
buttons are 1 1/2 & 2 inches, with a few smaller ones:

pendants;size same as buttons:

these are raku fired:

If anyone has any opionions on pricing these, I would love the help. I have seen similar handmade buttons on the internet going for $8 each! I think that's pushing it. It's the necklaces I am having trouble with pricing. Take a look and let me know what  you think. That would be so helpful!! Thanks craftsters!
10  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / the monkey bag is finally complete! on: May 03, 2005 09:25:51 PM
The monkey bag is completed and now lives with her new mommy, just a month late for her birthday. (a gift for my best friend)

I was so stupid, as this was my first intarsia, (yes it's the SNB monkey in differnet colors) and since I didn't know any better. I knitted the damn bag in the round. Ever try that with intarsia? Don't! So dumb!! Weaving in all those ends took as long as knitting the bag almost. But I did the whole thing in wool so I could felt it, and that hid allot of yucky spots. I still lined it, because I loved the fabric, and the inside was still a mess. But here she is!! In all her glory, with a zipper lined pouch to match. It's a rather large bag too.

before felting

felted with pouch



We had a love hate relationship, the monkey bag and I. I will miss her, but I'm also glad she is out of my house!
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