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1  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Goal Book 2018 - even more madness on: January 11, 2018 07:04:44 PM
Ah, the goal book trend continues!  And, let's be honest, is getting a bit more ridiculous.  Next year I might need to scale back.  Or, you know, finish up a lot of those old, lingering goals.

This year, in place of the what has become traditional pink and blue cover and bright, multi-colored pages, I went with an entirely white, black, and grey theme.  This isn't really a statement on anything (though it matches my wardrobe now), it was that I had a paper pack (I think it is called The Midnight Stack or something?) that was all black, white, and grey and I really liked the patterns.

(Side note, the only reason I've stuck with the pink and blue is because the paint is this weird "paint for plastic" I got years ago that gives the book a very plasticy, durable finish, and over the course of the year this thing takes a beating being schlepped around.)


But before we dive into the new book, a look back...

You can see the 4 years of pink and blue (all of which have been posted here, if'n you're curious - 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014), plus the first two years when I was rational and sane and just wrote lists in notebooks.

There's a lot more background in those posts, and I think I even posted a huge list of goals/ideas in one of the comments at one point.  Probably 2014.  Nope, it's this comment in 2015's thread.  There.  Most of my goals haven't changed that much, I know, just rehashing the old ones, but they're good ones!

And can I take a moment to look back at some of 2017's pages?  

First off, all of you Craftsters who decorate your swap packages and notes with stickers?  You rock.  I'm really going to try to be more like you in 2018.  And I save all of them and decorate the inside of my goal book so I see them alllll the time!

And some pages are just rather boring until they are in progress, like the collection pages.  Here are my completed stamp, tea tag, and produce stickers pages!

On to this year... well, the old style of "50 goals of 50 items each" (and in the insane case of 2014, "100 goals of 100 items each", and the more moderate "20 goals of 15 each" in 2015) was a little limiting.  And even though I don't expect to get them all done this year (have you seen the carry-over?!), and even though I use some quite strange units of measurement to get things to fit (this year we have "scruples" of calcium), it just... was limiting.  And then, inspired by the facebook posts I really don't like ("on a scale of 1-10, how cute is this {insert thing here}"), I thought...

100 goals, yes, but only 1 item for item number 1, and 2 items for item number 2, and so on, up to, yes, 100 items for item number 100 (which conveniently happens to be "100 goal list items thought up", so, hey, 100 items down already!).  And I tried to put a lot of the things I would do anyway (walking the dog, miles walked, games, taking my calcium, drinking enough water) up at the top.

This allowed for more fun and creative goals at the lower level, and some oldies but goodies at the upper end.

I really want to knit a pair of socks.  And I don't watch much TV, so I'd like to branch out.  I'm mulling over if Martin Clune's A Man and His Dogs counts, since it was only a few episodes, but made me feel so much better about Doc Martin!

I also have a goal of 4 5Ks this year (the same number I did last year, but ending up faster).  We'll see!  This probably is directly contradictory with the bread (and cookie) baking goals, but whatever!

My friends and I are kind of a drinking club with a crafting problem.  I always watch the "trying to craft while drinking" videos and don't get it.  Maybe I don't drink that much, or I just craft so much, but I don't find it hard at all....  And, as always, collecting fortune cookie fortunes!

I hate pictures of me, and there's no stipulation I have to post these selfies anywhere, but I'm gonna take them.  I need at least one decent "have you seen this woman?" picture in case aliens abduct me.  And scrapbook pages will almost certainly be accomplished with Little Visitor swaps!  

"Take your canvas bags when you go... to the supermarket!"  *warbles off-key*  Another easy one, I really try to always have some on hand, and while the $0.05 savings per bag isn't a lot, it's something over the course of a year!  And my little spider solitaire drawing.

Now, I know it's almost two weeks into the new year already, but I've been sick for a week.  It's "only" a cold, but man, it's kicking my butt.  I got pretty desperate to finish at the end and... because I'm not a great artist... I broke out the lightbox, printed off some pictures, and did a bit of tracing!

I only play one of those regularly, as you might notice from the current levels... I doubt I'll stop playing any time soon, they're a great little time-waster when you're waiting for your takeaway or as you're watching TV at night.

And speaking of being sick, yeah, I think the cold medicine did something, because at one point I thought this was a good idea:

Bonus points if one, you made it this far (I'm sorry I'm so verbose!) and two, if you see instantly why that is so very wrong.

Oh, and I think this year's book tops 200 pages, so I really, really, really need to work on getting things accomplished this year!  Unfortunately, I may have picked a bad year, I'm scheduled for some minor surgery in February-ish and I'll be down for about 6 weeks.  So, we'll see about some of those lofty goals, maybe next year I'll just have a completely retrospective goal book... Cheesy
2  CLOTHING / Costumes: Completed Projects / Zombie Bellydancer on: November 30, 2017 06:07:44 PM

(That be me in the middle front)

Our troupe was asked to perform (as comic relief, I think!) at a show in October, and we decided to go zombie, in part because it's an old dance I choreographed as duet eons ago.  Just because we had the dance didn't mean we didn't need new costumes, though!  I've come a long way since then in the world of costume-making!

(pre-show photo)

And, of course, since the show was just before Halloween, I had the perfect Halloween costume (though I did have to make a matching one for my LV)

The costume consisted of a covered bra, a modified t-shirt with fringe and lace draping, an underskirt, and a fringed overskirt.  And a hairpiece. The gloves were purchased.
3  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) / Drawlloween - ATC style on: October 31, 2017 05:09:55 PM
I decided to attempt Drawlloween once more (I failed a few years back) and for added incentive made it a Nerd Games Research Project (see more about that here on Craftster!).  Which means I did finish it, but I can't say I love all (or many) of them.  So here we go, 31 ATC cards for the month of October!

Day 1 - Return from the Dead.  I didn't love this one when I first did it, but it grew on me.

Day 2 - Summon Day.  My husband's favorite, an unfortunately early high point to the challenge.

Day 4 - Pumpkin Wicked this Way Comes.  I really liked this one, though it was a change from the cutesy/chibi style.  (Whoops, out of order on the collage)

Day 3 - Tombsday.  I loved the torches and the themes, but it was pointed out she has noodle arms and now I can't unsee it.

Day 5 - Full Moon Follies.  Words cannot describe how much I hate this one.

Day 6 - Folklore Friday.  Cute, but just okay.

Day 7 - Cobweb Crawlers.  A remake of an early drawing I did, I still love it.

Day 8 - Deep Sea Denizens.  A remake of probably my favorite drawing of mine ever.

Day 9 - Fanged Fiends.  Not as bad as the werewolf, but cringe-worthy.

Day 10 - Martian Mayhem.  I think it's a passable drawing or Marvin, but it's just a copy so...

Day 11 - Swamp Citizens.  See day 10, replace "Marvin" with "Kermit".

Day 12 - Ah! Reel Monsters.  I legit love the monster in this one, but the background is blergh.

Day 13 - Friday the 13th.  I'm fair proud of this one, to be honest.

Day 14 - Owl Be Back.  Again, a less cartoony style but I really like it.

Day 15 - Cornfield Capers.  Ugh.  Just UGH.

Day 16 - Carnival Carnage.  I think this one had potential, but I was tired and kinda punted.

Day 17 - Toadsday.  Cute, but nothing that's not ninety million clipart drawings.

Day 18 - Crypt Creeps.  This might take some explaining, it's from a song my mom sang me when I was young:
"Did you ever think when a hearse went by
That you may be the next to die
They cover you up in a bloody sheet
And bury you under, seven feet deep
The worms crawl in, the worms crawl out
The ants play pinochle on your snout
Your stomach turns in to a slimy green
And your guts pop out, like whipping cream."
...that rather explains a lot about me, I think....

Day 19 - Nightmare Nomads.  The Star Trek reference was my hubby's idea, and he says I did a good job, so I'm okay with it.

Day 20 - Dr Jekyll & Mr Friday.  I went with the classic and was cursing the tininess of the ATC, there was too much detail I really couldn't do.

Day 21 - Cadaverous Cowboys. Hate it.

Day 22 - Ghast Christmas.  Eh.  I'm really starting to get burnt out at this point.

Day 23 - Sewer Settlers.  I wish I'd spent more time on him because I like the idea, but the execution is lacking.

Day 24 - Aw, Hex.  Meh.

Day 25 - Do as I Say, not as I Voodoo.  I kinda adore this one.

Day 26 - I know a Sarcophoguy.  LOVE the mummy.  Think I messed up the torches.

Day 27 - Franken Friday.  Eh.  Just okay.

Day 28 - Ghouls rush in.  Just another piece of clipart, really.

Day 29 - Sunday Bloody Sunday.  I like the idea, and the message, if not so much the drawing.

Day 30 - Cauldron Crones.  I seriously mailed this one in, big time.  Hate it.


Day 31 - Trick or Treat.  AND I'M DONE!!!  I didn't even care what this one looked like, I was sooooo happy to be done with it.

And now on to November and NaNoWriMo.  Or not, if I'm smart.  You'd think I'd have learned...
4  CROCHET / Amigurumi: Completed Projects / Monster Mack - with pattern! on: September 12, 2017 04:47:12 PM
I had a little bit of yarn and no inclination to follow a set pattern (though this pattern owe much to the many, many other patterns I have made that taught me how to construct amis!), so after pulling out many, many stitches, Monster Mack was born:

Then, of course, I hate to make a second one to make sure the pattern I wrote down worked, and even though I am complete rubbish at following patterns (even ones I made up, I don't think I've yet to make anything perfectly "right"), it worked out.  The second one's eyeball is bigger because I forgot what white yarn I used and not all worsted weight yarn is crafted equal!

But it looks pretty darn similar, so I'm going to call the pattern a success!

Legs (make 2, dont cut yarn on second one)

1. 6 sc in magic ring (6)
2. Inc around (12)
3. Inc around (24)
4. Sc in BLO (24)
5. Sc around (24)
6. Sc, Dec around (16)
7. Sc around (16)
8. [Sc, Sc, Dec] around (12)
9. Sc around (12)
10. [Sc, Sc, Dec] around (9)
11. Sc around (9)

Picture of the next step, attaching the two legs together (seen from the top):

Body and head
On second foot, ch 2 and continue working around the first foot, then back around the second foot.
12. Inc in the next 9 st, DcDec in ch st, Inc in the next 9 st, DcDec in chain st (38)
13. Sc around (38)
14. [6 Sc, Inc, 4 Sc, Inc, 6 Sc, Dc] x2 (42)
15. Sc around (42)
16. [5 Sc, Inc] around (49)
17. Sc around (49)
18. Sc around (49)
19. Sc around (49)
20. [5 Sc, Dec] around (42)
21. Sc around (42)
22. [4 Sc, Dec] around (35)
23. Sc around (35)
24. [3 Sc, Dec] around (28)
25. Sc around (28)
26. [2 Sc, Dec] around (21)
27. [Sc, Dec] around (14)
28. Inc around (28)
29. [Sc, Inc] around (42)
30. Sc around (42)
31. Sc around (42)
32. [4 Sc, Dec] around (35)
33. Sc around (35)
34. Sc around (35)
35. [3 Sc, Dec] around (28)
36. Sc around (28)
37. [2 Sc, Dec] around (21)
38. [Sc, Dec] around (14)
39. Dec around, close and fasten off

Arms (make 2)
1. 6 Sc in magic ring
2. [Sc, Inc] around (9)
3. [2 Sc, Inc] around (12)
4. Sc around (12)
5. Sc around (12)
6. [Sc, Dec] around (8 )
7. Sc around (8 )
8. Sc around (8 )
9. Sc around (8 )
10. Sc around (8 )
11. Sc around (8 )
12. Sc around (8 )
13. Sc around (8 )
Fasten off and leave a long tail to sew to the body

Ears (make 2)

1.  Ch 3, Hdc in 2nd Ch from hook.  Ch 1, turn
2. HdcInc , Ch 1, trun
3. Hdc, HdcInc
4. Turn and sc 3 stitches down the side, then 3 sc in tip of ear, and 3 sc down the other side.  Fasten off and leave a long tail to sew to the head.

Eye stalk

1. 6 sc in magic ring in black yarn, fasten off (6)
2. Inc around in iris color, fasten off (12)
3. [Sc, Inc] around in white (18)
4. Sc around (18)
5. Sc around (18)
6. [Sc, Dec] around (12)
7. Dec around, fasten off (6)
8. 3 Hdc, 3 Sl St in body color (6)
9. 3 Hdc, 3 Sl St in body color (6)
10. 3 Hdc, 3 Sl St in body color (6)
11. Sc around (6)
12. Sc around (6)
13. Sc around (6)
Fasten off and leave a long tail to sew to the head.

I usually (ha, twice, now, if you can call that "usually") run the yarn up to the bend in the eye stalk to tack it down to keep the eyeball more firmly in place - better crocheters might not need to do this, but I'm pretty fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants and not always as... exact with my stitches as I should be!)

Also, I get that having an 8 followed by a closed parens forming a sunglasses smiling face is a quick and easy emoticon, but boy, does it make it hard to say there are 8 stitches in a round, because it looks like this: (Cool  And then I have to go back and edit it to add a space, so then it just looks a little weird, but works: (8 )
5  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Stained Glass Rose Painting on: July 19, 2017 05:39:06 PM
So... this is a Lifebook 2013 lesson... yeah... I'm a little behind.  Id' put off doing this one because I knew how much work it was going to be.  I thought I knew, but it took far, far, far longer than even I thought.  I hated every minute of it, and was determined to hate the finished product... but I don't, really.  It's a cool look, but I'm not sure I'm patient enough to ever do it again.

You basically coat two sides of tissue paper with glossy Mod Podge, then paint one side.  THEN you meticulously cut out each piece to fit into the area of your drawing, gluing each of them down.  THEN you paint around the edges and line in between the pieces in black.  I lost track of the number of hours I spent on this, but it took about four days of working on it every day for a few hours each.

The pieces are a bit sticky, and coating the top after you finish gluing it down with more glossy Mod Podge makes it that much more glassy looking!

Now I just have to finish LB 2013 (I think I have 25 lessons left?) and do pretty much all of LB 2014, 2015, and 2016...  D:
6  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / City Watch (Discworld) Cross Stitch (with pattern) on: June 20, 2017 05:44:45 PM
Made for roler in the Nerd Games swap, it's a mash-up of the Discworld City Watch logo and illuminated manuscripts, very very VERY heavily borrowed from this piece I found on the internet.  I would have loved to reproduce it a little more faithfully, because it is awesome, but I am a slow cross-stitcher so I had to make it a wee bit smaller...

And should you want to make one, here is the pattern I mostly* used...

*I have a complete inability to do things correctly or to pattern, and I tried to go back and make the changes but might have missed some!
7  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Completed Projects / I used a spinning wheel! on: May 29, 2017 05:08:08 PM
So I took a class, and tried out a spinning wheel.  They even had the one I was thinking of getting, the Kiwi Flyer (it's small and, in the world of spinning wheels, affordable).  I did... okay.  It was a 6 hours long class, and I managed to get two skeins of yarn about 50-ish yards each spun.  The pink was my first attempt, the green my second.  They're about the same, quality-wise, and while I did buy a ton of fiber (you got a discount on class day!), I have yet to take the plunge and buy a wheel.  I'm telling myself I really have to get to a point where I have someplace to put it, AKA cleaning my craft room(s).

I also had my Little Visitor, all the way from Australia, with me for the class!

I know how much work it will be if I want to try to get decent at it, any maybe I'm ready for that, maybe not...  Also, considering I already have a yarn stash that is threatening to engulf the house, do I really need to MAKE yarn?  Yes, yes I do.  I'm a quick crocheter and knitter!  Cheesy
8  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Completed Projects / Dog Hair Yarn on: May 16, 2017 05:10:17 PM
It's a rather blah color, but it is so so so soft!

I was tired of my dog not pulling her weight around here.  Sure, she's cute, but does she really think she's going to coast by on her looks?  She also requires a lot of attention and brushing, so I figured, hey, why not?  Lots of other people do it, and it's completely FREE material to practice on!

I actually made a drop spindle out of a dowel, a toy wheel, and a cup hook.

After about six months of brushing (discarding it when she was particularly full of burrs) I had a decent amount of single ply...

I wound it into a center-pull ball, then pulled from the inside and outside at the same time to ply...

And then I rolled it into a ball.  A soft, soft, soft ball. 

It's not very much, and I have no idea what I will do with it, but I'm getting plenty of practice with my spindle!
9  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / Postcard Project on: February 28, 2017 05:31:42 PM
Backstory, feel free to skip: in 2012 I started my yearly goal book, with the intention of only ever completing 50%.  Because of this, I put "Send 50 Postsecret Postcards", thinking I'd finally send one or two and that would be it.  Fast forward to 2014 and suddenly I was looking back to undone goals from years past, with the notion of eventually completing them.  Then skip to 2016, where I realized that to actually complete some of the goals, some... modifications would be required.  I couldn't imagine sending in 48 more Postsecrets, so I amended it to "Postcards Sent" and the Word-of-the-Day, Doodled Postcard Story was born.

My first postcard wasn't anything near an official Zentangle....

Just real doodling around a word.  But these tiny doodles were really hard work... so I decided to make a book of actual Tangles (mostly) and use dice to determine what random tangle I was going to do.  Of course, for reproducability, I decided to do them on the computer, which was really, really hard.  It's hard to "doodle" on a computer without a pen and tablet!  The straight lines were easy, though!

The book had 100 Tangles, and using two 10-sided dice you would "pick" a random doodle.

But soon I found flipping the pages was really tiring.  And I really hated some of the Tangles.  So I reformated it to fit 6 to a page, 4"x6", with some of the very similar patterns having the same number so if you rolled that number you could choose, and it made the random Tangles more distinct and different looking.

AND THEN... I decided to make one for a friend, but realized the typical little 4"x6" portrait-oriented photo album had a lot more pages... so on top of flipping the orientation, I separated out all the tangles I had AND added more to come up with 200 Tangle options, numbered 10-209, because you now roll a 20-sided die and a 10-sided die.

I think almost as much time went into preparing for this project as doing the project.  

If anyone would like a PDF of any of the book formats, PM me, I'm pretty sure I have all three formats, I don't know how to do the Dropbox thing but I can email them.

Of course, I also had to write a little drabble for the back of each of the postcards, using the Word of the Day on the front.

Good thing writing was also a goal!

And then... and then it was time to tangle...

All that was left was to randomly send them to my friends, and I think they got a kick out of them!
10  HOME SWEET HOME / Pet-Related Crafts: Completed Projects / Double Looped Dog Tug - Tutorial! on: February 02, 2017 06:59:50 PM

(Step 15, try to get a picture...)

First up, if you don't know how to do the box braid, I found this tutorial really helpful.  But there are many many out there.

My biggest problem is that after a bit (hours...) my hands hurt from trying to hold onto the knot.  I thought a loop would be easier to hold on to, and so I tried to figure out a way to do it that was (somewhat) strong and would stand up (to tugging - the chewing... well...)

Step 1 - cut your strips.  These don't need to be perfect, mine are roughly 2" wide.

Step 2 - take four strips, two of each color, and tie a loose knot in the center.  

Step 3 - start braiding out from the knot.

Step 4 - braid from the knot to close to the end (but leave a bit!)

Step 5 - repeat step 3 in the other direction.

Step 6 - pause to get help from someone mocking you with the one she's already destroyed.

Step 7 - lay it out and "measure" the handles.  Note - it is very stretchy, so you can probably make the loops smaller than you think.  I am using only one edge-to-edge width of fleece for mine, you can sew two strips end-to-end if you want a longer tug.

Step 8 - pull one of the ends through the to opposite side of the already braided bit.  I use a big crochet hoop and snip a hole in the very end of the strip to pull.

Step 9 - pull the "front" and "back" strips through to the "front" and "back".  Note that the red ends are on the red sides and the blue ends are coming out the blue sides.

Step 10 - this is super hard to photograph, but what you do is flip it over (the loop is down in the picture) and you're going to repeat the same box braid OVER the box braid in the "center" of the tug.

Step 11 - like this...

Step 12 - so it looks like this...

Step 13 - do both ends this way, and when they meet in the middle...

Step 14 - knot them together (square knots, not granny knots... and if you leave a little gap the knots will kinda nestle in... you can be all fancy and weave in the ends and make it pretty, but my dog destroys stuff in about 10 minutes flat, so I just don't care).

Step 15 - attempt to get a picture while someone is trying to grab the new toy...

Step 16 - give up and play.

Dog tested.  Dog Approved.  Shortly to be Dog Destroyed, I'm sure.
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