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1  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:
2  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!
3  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
4  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!
5  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!
6  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.
7  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Goal Book - 2017 Edition! on: January 07, 2017 06:43:30 PM
Ahhh, new year, new book.

50 fresh new goals, with dividers for the previous years goals still yet to be accomplished!

Background: Every year I make a book that's 50 goals of 50 items each, aiming for a 50% success rate.  Somewhere around 2014 I went slightly mad, upped it to 100 goals of 100 each, and started going back and trying to completely finish off previous years.  Something was obviously wrong with me that year.

Previous posts:

2016: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=442431.0
2015: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=437807.0
2014: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=431221.0

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. 

Aaaaanyway, here's a selection of this year's pages, the pretty ones.  Some are just lined notebook pages, because, realistically, I'm not going to doodle on every page or it would never get done.  Because I have to wait until the end of the year to pick my goals (based on what I've gotten done), I don't have a huge amount of time to make pages...

First up, a page where I can tick off when I settle on 50 goals!  Always start easy... I can color this one in, now!  Just need to find a yellow highlighter...

A page for my Nerd Games Projects!  50 of those should be no problem!

Flowers of all types - I will color in the flowers (yes, there are 50, yes, I counted soooo many times!) as I complete them!

I had to cheat and trace the shape of the die - a D20 is so impossible to draw!  I don't know why I can't manage it, maybe that should have been a goal for this year...

Another (possibly) easy one - levels on time-wasting phone app games.  I put down my current levels on Candy Crush Soda Sage and Farm Heroes Saga, but any new game would count, as well.

Days without YouTube - unlike my perennial "days without Facebook" page, this one is less about getting really annoyed and more about not spending all day staring at the computer and not getting anything done.

Folded origami stars - again, color in the stars as I fold them!

This is an actual envelope I was sent, the mailing label is centered on the back, and the washi tape also came on a Craftster swap package.  This is for sending cards, letters, and packages - fun things!

Pumpkin All The Things posts - every October 1st - Thanksgiving I do daily pumpkin-related posts on my Instagram and Facebook... and Twitter.  Food, drinks, crafts... whatever I can find.

Be a Unicorn!  Another Instagram/FB thing, pictures of my unicorn lego minifig (Peony) doing random things.

Gifts Given:

Produce sticker page!  I'm completely addicted to collecting those little fruit and vegg stickers...

...as well as collecting the stamps off my mail...

More seedlings to sprout, maybe I can keep more alive this year.  Of my herbs, only my parsley is still alive, and I don't even have a use for parsley (yeah, I totally went with Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme as my herbs.  Naturally) and I got ONE tomato off my tomato plant!!!

Wining games of Spider Solitaire (I also have a regular solitaire page, it's just not as fun)

Volunteer Hours (I mostly volunteer at Petsmart doing dog adoptions for a local Animal Control):

Blood donation (will color in the vials when I donate, just need to get the old iron up!):

There are (obviously) other goals, ranging from the silly and fun to the more serious (charitable donations, writing goals, art goals, etc) but those pages just didn't lend themselves to as much artwork.

Now to get back to working on all my other stuff, and start knocking out some of those "WIPs" slots...
8  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Stitch And BOTCH / Totally the same color... or not... on: November 14, 2016 02:02:29 PM
I hate perler beads.  There, I said it.  I know they're a kid-level craft, and many adults are super-masters, and their stuff looks great, but I cannot work with them.  I'm normally a very patient crafter, but these little things just drive me up the wall.  And I'm horrible at getting them to fuse properly.  But this time...

(Full disclosure: these are borrowed supplies, and the bead were all in a mixed tub, and they may - well, apparently were - from different sets/batches?)

So I start sorting, and I need a dark pink, light pink, white, and black.  Not tough.  I'm using a paint tray to sort because it's what I had on hand.

These all look the same, right?  Okay, a few seemed a little more... transparent?  But not hugely obvious or anything, I figured it was just a little color variation, it would blend... it would be fine...

Nope.  Nope.  Nope.  Not even close, once ironed.

Once I saw the color difference I just went on ironing to see how flat/melted I could get it, to see if I could get it smooth (the answer is no, I could not, it just started to look over-melted and weird).

I know there are all these methods with tape and fancy things and whatnot, but I'm pretty sure I'm just hanging up my perler bead apron forever.  It's just too time-intensive and far, far, far too easy to mess up after you've put all that time into it.  I don't mind spending time on things, but I prefer it when I have a little more control over it... and/or am better at it... D:
9  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Skull Cup Brain pincushion on: October 13, 2016 05:49:09 PM

I made this for the Mini 13 Days of Halloween swap, and one of the greatest things about it was that it was completely a stash project!  This only happened because someone had given me the skull cup, which looked a bit different when I got it.  I forgot to take a picture of it, but the internet came to my rescue:

And I had this out in my garage, along with using black acrylic paint...

(White spray paint, black acrylic paint, then poly, obviously)

I waffled on how to do the teeth a bit, but I like the way they came out.  Then on to the pincushion part... pink fleece!

Now to sew it, I just need some pink thread...

SERIOUSLY?!  ALL OF THIS THREAD and THIS IS THE ONLY PINK?!  Ah well, it actually works pretty well, at least for the brain part.  No one will see the underbrain bit!

Now, to knit me some braaaaaaaaains... just some i-cord...

And pin that on...

Oh, man, would you look at that, I knitted too many brains... isn't that always the way?

Sew those brains down, and you have yourself a brain cup pincushion!

I showed it to my husband, who teaches anatomy, who was of two minds about it (pardon the pun...).  He said, "Part of my wants to say it should be up higher, up over the top edges of the skull... but the part of me that teaches anatomy is saying that's right and leave it like that."  (I paraphrase, but that was the upshot).  And so, in the interest of proper science, I did.

10  CROCHET / Amigurumi: Completed Projects / The Exorcist Doll, with pattern and tons of pics on: August 31, 2016 05:35:56 PM
I started a project of watching the top ranked scariest movies in the vain hope of recapturing the scares of my youth, but I think that ship has sailed and I'm just too... jaded? Used to them?  I dunno.  So I changed it to horror movie crafts!  Which then promptly got shoved aside in favor of swaps, but is back because of the Nerd Games.  Sorry, long unimportant intro.

Also, sorry for the crummy photo, it's been raining for a week straight and this has to be posted tonight for the Nerd Games.  No natural light for me!

For the body, I mostly followed this pattern with a few changes, and incorporated the arms from this pattern, mostly.

Here is the pattern with a detachable head (very important for this doll!)

Legs (make 2 - FO the first one, continue to body for second one)
Rnd 1: 5 sc in MR (5)
Rnd 2: inc around (10)
Rnd 3: [inc, sc] around (15)
Rnd 4-6: sc around (15)
Rnd 7: [3sc, dec] around (12)
Rnd 8-13: sc around (12)

Skipping the first stitch from the hook, sew the next two stitches to the first leg with the tail from the first leg.  Work the remaining stitches as follows:
Rnd 14: Inc (in leg 2), Inc (in leg 1), 8 sc, Inc, Inc (back in leg 2), 8 sc (24)
Rnd 15-24: sc around (24)
Rnd 25: [2 sc, dec] around (18)
Rnd 26: [sc, dec] around (12)
(For a detachable head, sl st 3 tog around, close hole)
(For a detachable head, 6 sc in MR, then inc around (12) )
[for continuous body/head: Rnd 27: sc around (12)]
Rnd 28: inc around (24)
Rnd 29: [inc, sc] around (36)
Rnd 30-37: sc around (36)
Rnd 38: [4 sc, dec] around (30)
Rnd 39: [3 sc, dec] around (24)
Rnd 40: [2 sc, dec] around (18)
Begin stuffing head
Rnd 41: [sc, dec] around (12)
Rnd 42: dec around
finish stuffing, fo, and sew closed.

Rnd 1: 6 sc in mr
Rnd 2: Inc around (12)
Rnd 3: sc around (12)
Rnd 4: sc around (12)
Rnd 5: TC Bobble st, 3 sc, dec., 4 sc, dec (10)
Rnd 6: 3 sc, dec, 3 sec, dec {8}
(stuff hand)
Rnd 7-12 : sc around {8}
(stuff arm)
Rnd 13: dec around (4)
fo, leave long tail to sew to body

TC Bobble [*2 yo, insert into st, yo and pull through, yo and pull through two loops, yo and pull through 2 loops* (2 loops on hook) - repeat from * to * twice (4 loops on hook), yo and pull through all 4 loops)]

Wig Cap:
Rnd 1: 6 sc in MR
Rnd 2: inc around (12)
Rnd 3: sc, inc around (18)
Rnd 4: 2 sc, inc around (24)
Rnd 5: 3 sc, inc around (30)
Rnd 6: 4 sc, inc around (36)
Rnd 7-10 sc around

Then the hair.  Oh, how this held me up.  Oh, how I hate doing doll hair.

I started with straight up yarn, but in order to make it not incredibly massive I had to leave it pretty sparse, which bothered me.  So I thought I'd separate the yarn.

Bonus, floofy hairstyle!

I will definitely use this on some of my other dolls that I'm never going to make because I hate making dolls.  Yes.  But Reagan doesn't have curly hair.  Drat.  TO THE IRON!

Who ran over Weird Al?

Better?  Maybe if I brushed it?  I used a dog slicker brush...

Yeah, a lot of that came out.  Good to know, if you seriously over-hair, you can always brush it!

It'll do.

On to the neck!  Giant snap!

But it left a noticeable gap, so I did a foundation single crochet and sewed it around the outside edge of the snap on the head.

~~Puppy break, or, why I can no longer craft - New Dog (Emma) is very needy and hates the sound of everything.  I mean everything.  Camera shutters.  Irons steaming.  Ice rattling in a glass.  The 'clink' of setting my crochet hook down on the glass top desk.  And let's not even get into sewing machines.  So crafting has been... a challenge.  But look at that face!

okay, back to the doll, but it's out there that rushed work is aaaaaallll her fault.~~

Avert your eyes, naked doll!

Then the dress  I'm not so proud of this, but I'll share anyway.  Time was tight, and see: dog.

Dress (starting at the bottom)
Foundation single crochet 28
Rnd 1 - dc around
Rnd 2 - dc around
Rnd 3 - dc around
Rnd 4 - 6 dc,  dc 2 tog, 12 dc, dc 2 tog, 6 dc
Rnd 5 - 5 dc,  dc 2 tog, 11 dc, dc 2 tog, 6 dc
dc across again.

Foundation single crochet 12
Rnd 1 - dc around
Rnd 2 - dc around

Connect sleeves to the side edges of the dress with 3 st.

Then 2 rows sc around top of sleeves/dress

And the back has a slit/opening to slid it up the doll's body.

And then, the vomit.

I think this is punch needle stuff (given to me by a friend) and I just crocheted some random, amorphous shapes and two drips for her mouth and sewed them on.

The fun part is holding her with her back to a person, then reaching up and slllloooooowly rotating her head around.  Sorry, you'll just have to imagine it, but it's pretty fun.

Oh, and the Nerd Games prompt I mentioned?  Homonyms, and you can bet I'm sharing mine here, too, because I worked hard on it...

The priests prayed over the girl, to cast out he demon who preyed upon her, and flung a vial of holy water at the vile (and, in crochet form, holey) creature, while the poor wretch continued to retch - she threw up through out the rite meant to set everything right.
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