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1  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Upcycled pincushion from salt shaker on: March 08, 2014 01:44:32 PM

I made this upcycled pincushion from a salt shaker for the recent Box of Sunshine swap.  The salt shaker came from my local Goodwill store.  I must say that it's a good thing there wasn't a mate for it because I might have had a hard time giving them up!

I laid a piece of fabric down on the inside under the top holes before filling the shaker with polyfill.  My hope was that the fabric would keep the filling from creeping out through the holes over time. I didn't glue anything down because I thought the recipient might someday want to use it as a salt shaker again.  I found that the blunt end of a bamboo skewer was just right for stuffing the filling in through the plughole at the bottom of the shaker.  Bamboo skewers are wonderful tools!
2  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Completed Projects / beaded kumihimo bracelet on: March 23, 2013 07:44:15 PM

I made this bracelet recently with a new craft I learned from a friend at work - Japanese kumihimo braiding with beads.  It looks very intricate but is much easier than it appears!
3  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Spork! hoopla on: December 30, 2012 01:44:03 PM

Tidying up loose ends for 2012...
This is a hoopla I made for jo_mama in the Ongoing Wish Swap Round 80.  Design was from an Urban Threads pattern.
4  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Just a little snowflake... on: September 14, 2011 05:14:17 PM
Here's one I made a while back... for the Hoopla Swap Round 3.  It's a 4" hoop and it was winter then, thus the subject matter.  Hard to believe we're coming 'round to it again. Shocked

5  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Nessie! on: June 09, 2011 07:16:16 PM
I made this hoop for malkavian6 in the first Ongoing Hoopla Swap.  Her theme was Sea Monsters, but somehow I got onto the topic of Nessie and didnt seem to be able to get away from itI was hoping a Loch Monster would do!

The design was adapted from a page at www.enchantedlearning.com , a website we used a lot when my boys were doing projects in elementary school.

The water is an aqua (color isn't very true in this photo) textured lame-sort of fabric that I found on clearance at Joannes, the white is a curtain lining fabric with a small white-on-white check.  This is the second time Ive used curtain lining for the white background and I really like it!  Its easy to stitch on and its opaque enough that you dont see the backing through it like you sometimes do with lightweight fabric.

When I stitched the top and bottom together I overlapped the edge, rather than doing a traditional seam.  I thought it would help reduce the bulk and make it easier to slide the upper hoop over and I knew the join would be covered by the water surface. It seemed to work well.

Its a little hard to see, I think, but I used a cotton floss for Nessie above water and a thicker silk floss for the part underwater, thinking things always look larger and shinier underwater.  The surface of the loch isnt really stitched.  I used a blue/green variegated Lion Brand Homespun yarn.  It has a fairly loose twist that I thought looked like waves when it was laid on the fabric.  I couched it with two-strand cotton floss. The cliffs and castle in the background are backstitched with a single strand of black floss.

And the back...

Questions and comments always welcome!  Cheesy
6  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Celebrating true love~ on: April 16, 2011 03:54:03 PM
A few months ago (well, six, actually) a woman at work mentioned that she and her boyfriend had gotten married.  Feeling inspired by one of the hoops in the first Hoopla Swap, I went to work.  It seemed particularly appropriate because her favorite type of reading is food-related mysteries.  It took a while but I finally finished!!  She seemed quite pleased with it.  Pattern was found online at http://spotcolors.wordpress.com/2010/06/24/free-embroidery-pattern-of-the-month-and-challenge/

and the back...

7  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Epic Mickey! on: January 23, 2011 05:43:49 PM
I had two partners for Round 3 of the Hoopla Swap.  This was an OTT-themed hoopla swap - hoops had to be 4" or smaller.  I had a lot of fun with it!!

The first hoop (3" diameter) was for a partner who loves Disney, video games and the colors purple and lime green together.  With the recent release of Disney's new Wii game, Epic Mickey, this seemed like a good fit...

The game is set in a sort of Disney netherworld where the tools of choice are paint to cover things and thinner to make the paint disappear, hence the dripping mouse ears.

I tried to do this first on a lime green satin with a knit backing.  It was lovely and shimmer-y, but it was terrible  Angry to stitch on.  I was also trying to use metallic thread, and the two together were just hopeless.  Switched to standard cotton DMC and this silk dupioni and the project went much more smoothly.
8  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Luna Moth - King of the Night on: January 01, 2011 07:11:57 PM
 Following up on my New Year's resolution to catch up on posting completed projects...

This is the hoop I made for the first of the Hoopla swaps

and a slightly closer view

It was inspired by a stained glass pattern I found online and by photographs of the real thing.  The wings are a lime green satin with matching embroidery floss for the veins.  The front wings also have a layer of organza with some sparkly bits scattered about.  The organza is stitched down along the leading edge (the edge at the front of the wings, near the head) but is loose at the trailing edge.  It's hard to see in the photo, but gives it a bit of 3-D interest, I think.  The body is an off-white with one ply of metallic thread added.

This one was very hard to send away - might have to start one for myself sometime!
9  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Full Long Nights Moon on: December 23, 2010 06:00:15 PM
I haven't done embroidery in a long time but I sure am having a great time with the Hoopla Swaps.  It's a lot more fun to make things for people you know will appreciate them - though it's still hard to send them away, especially when partners have similar tastes to my own!  

This is the hoop I made for my partner in the recent round 2.  First picture is a bit dark but shows the shiny bits in the background fabric that make it look like a starry night sky and the lovely green satin moon, which I think of as the Full Long Nights Moon (the December full moon, says the Farmer's Almanac)...

Second one shows a bit more of the texture of the mossy ground beneath the tree...

The tree was inspired by a painting I saw on Etsy - it's on my wist.  Nearly all the embroidery is done with split stitch, mostly four-ply.  The tree was outlined in a reddish-brown, then filled in with a mixed thread of 3 plies of the brown with 1 ply of black.  The black was added with the thought that it would add a bit of depth to the bark texture.  The mossy ground cover is a fluffy, nubbly boucle yarn in variegated green tones that was just laid on the surface, then couched with an unobtrusive olive green embroidery floss.  I don't quite remember the hoop size, but I think it was 7".

Thanks for looking - it's fun to share.   Cheesy   Questions & comments welcome!
10  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / Where to buy polypropylene fabric? on: December 05, 2010 05:27:00 AM
I'm looking for some polypropylene fabric, like the material the new silky-type long johns are made of.  Any ideas?   Huh Huh
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