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11  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 66 ENTRIES / Daughters of Mother Nature, a Bead Doll Collection (PIC HEAVY, AND I MEAN IT) on: September 04, 2011 10:31:49 PM
Hello, there!

There's more where that came from!

Detailed shots-

Rose and Dewdrop-



The Four Seasons-

Hana, the Spring Fairy-

Midori, the Summer Fairy-

Aki, the Autumn Fairy-

Yuki, the Winter Fairy-

Miscellaneous Dolls








Names and descriptions for each doll-

Rose- I used plastic rose beads in her skirt, and also arranged her hair in a rose-like design. The large green beads that I used to make her hem are jade beads from China. With a full bustle and skirt, Victorian-era dresses were the inspiration for this doll. Unlike most of the dolls in this collection, she cannot stand on her own, and uses clear thread to maintain her posture. Dignified, sweet, and polite, she would be the perfect Victorian lady. She just needs some support.

Dewdrop- She was the first doll that I made. If you look closely, each of the large, clear beads in her dress contains a pressed flower. No two beads of this design are exactly alike, though I tried to match colors and shapes. These are also from my most recent trip to China. Because so many beads in her overall design were shaped like water droplets, I decided to name her Dewdrop. The overall design of her dress is inspired by the dresses of Queen Elizabeth I. Unlike most of the dolls in this collection, she cannot stand on her own, and uses clear thread to maintain her posture.

Hana, the Spring Fairy- "Hana" is the Japanese word for "flower". She's smaller than the other fairies because spring symbolizes youth and rebirth. While she's the most petite of the seasonal fairies, she has the most elaborate and outrageous dress. It has the largest hoop skirt and most exquisite decorations. It is richly adorned with new flowers and greenery, and she appears to be walking along quite happily despite all of the blooms that her dress carries. She's full of energy, with quaint, round wings of vivid blue which serve as a gentle reminder of the winter behind her. Her dress was inspired by the spring holiday called May Day and the beautifully decorated altars dedicated to the Virgin Mary, who is then seen as the Queen of May. (See Wikipedia for more).

Midori, the Summer Fairy- "Midori" is the Japanese word for "green". Tall, beautifully tanned, and stately, Midori seems to be nothing like Hana. She's restrained, quiet, and personifies both the warmth of summer and the lovely shade of a tree on a hot day. The sight of running water, thankfully, is also an available relief when the heat gets to be too much. Thus, under Midori's sunny wings, there are soft, warm tones of blue and green. Summer, to me, is a second spring in which greenery shines in the spotlight as the flowers fade away. I love trees, especially the shade of green that can only be seen when the sun strikes a fresh, new leaf. Long, brown seed beads were used in the hem of the dress to give the appearance of little, wiry tree branches holding up a dome of leaves and sky. The overall design of her dress was inspired by the ladies' dresses from the movie "Gone in the Wind". The back of the dress is adorned with large jade beads, which represent the grapes that are harvested each summer to make wine.

Aki, the Autumn Fairy- "Aki" is the Japanese word for "autumn". Adorably stout and opulently dressed, Aki represents the harvest that comes each autumn. While her dress is adorned with amber leaves, representing colorful fall foliage shortly before the trees are bare, the bright colors show that this is a time for celebration. After all, the holiday season technically starts in the fall, with Thanksgiving. Even if nature is getting ready for winter, she is still full of life and warmth. A large, square glass bead was used as a ruff for this doll, making her look especially cheerful. To balance out the merry atmosphere created by rich reds and golds, lavender beads were used to prevent Aki from looking clownish and undignified. The back of the dress is adorned with seed pearls to represent the imminent coming of winter snow. I saw this doll as an opportunity to use up some of my old stash. I've had those red pony beads for at least eleven years.

Yuki, the Winter Fairy- "Yuki" is the Japanese word for "snow". While Aki is merry, Yuki is solemn, stern, and frosty. You might feel cold just looking at her! Her dress is composed mostly of seed beads, though the stark, icy effect is balanced out by the darker shades of blue. After all, no lake is frozen solid! There's always life going on beneath the ice, and life goes on through the winter.

Miscellaneous dolls-

Isis- named after the Egyptian god Isis. My version of Isis looks more birdlike than the ancient Egyptian depictions, mainly because I decided to modify her headdress to make her look a bit more approachable and down-to-earth. After all, Isis would listen to just about everyone, from the pauper to the princess. The overall design that I used was meant to associate Isis with the flooding of the Nile. Her dress has a flowing train, and is lined with bright blue and green beads to represent the fertility that the river brings.

Asteria- the Titan goddess of prophetic dreams, astrology, and necromancy. See the Internet for more details about this deity. Her dress is mainly made of glass beads, though seed beads are used for spacing and adornment as well. The clear blue droplet bead used is probably one of a kind, as I found it among the ice droplet beads that I used for Yuki and Dewdrop. I think it was a mistake on the manufacturer's part, but I'm glad that I had it on hand.

Eos- the Titan goddess of the dawn. See the Internet for more details about this deity. The overall design makes her look sharp and wide awake, as if she just had a large cup of coffee. Her hair and her dress depict the end of night and the beginning of a new day, and she has a very sunny disposition. Unlike her twin sister, Hesperia (I made that up...it's not really in classical mythology), she's perky, hyperactive, and generally very upbeat. Need I mention that she's a morning person? While this is all good and fine, maybe she's a bit too happy for her own good. Her dress is composed mainly of seed beads, with more emphasis on the rising sun than anything else.

Hesperia- one of the Hesperides, the sunset goddesses of Greek mythology. See the Internet for more details about this deity. Though she represents the setting sun and the end of another day, she's not sad about it. She sparkles with the rising of the stars, and reflects the beauty of this time of day. Unlike her twin, she's subdued and sweet, with a dress that makes her the belle of every ball. After all, I designed her dress with Cinderella in mind. It sparkles with the beauty of twilight and the blue hour, and her modest hairstyle represents the gentle glow of the sun just before it passes over the horizon. As you can tell by this description (as well as my photography), I positively adore this doll.

Iris- Greek goddess of the rainbow, sea, and sky. See the Internet for more details about this deity. Before I made this doll, I had a grab bag of seed beads that I had brought back from China. There used to be neatly sealed packets of beads in a larger Ziploc bag, but I guess everything was undone in the packing process. To give Iris every color of the rainbow, I pulled beads pretty much randomly from the Ziploc, with only vague patterns to give the dress a sense of consistency despite all of the randomness. Her bodice is a large, blue glass bead, helping Iris represent herself as the goddess responsible for rain. To my luck, I found a prism-shaped bead that was just the right size for a hat!

Marina- I'm particularly fond of fairies and the sea, so this is the sea fairy! I spent the most time on this doll, and I decided to give her a non-puffy dress so that I wouldn't get bored. I grabbed various bluish seed beads and pinkish seed beads and used them in a vague pattern to give her dress a mosaic design. It reminds me of the tile floors in the movie "Mamma Mia". I gave her a dramatic headdress and a pretty, full figure so that I could have a break from the itty bitty waistlines and simpler caps of my other dolls. Thus, the whole doll's a visual feast, and the viewer takes in her entire, beautiful appearance instead of just a particular part of the ensemble. In other words, I really pulled out all the stops for this one. If I had to pick a favorite, this would be it.

Misty- the pale hues of her outfit make her seem like a maid of the mist. I watched a few videos of Niagara falls before I made this doll, so I was really excited to use white and off-white beads, and little more. Her dress was inspired by the dress worn by Christine Daae in the most recent movie version of "The Phantom of the Opera". Of course, since Emmy Rossum is too beautiful to be captured in such a tiny doll, I decided not to do anything with the face and hair.

You may be wondering, how did I find so much time to do all this? Two words- summer vacation. I don't have school, and my next school year starts late. I've been doing nothing but beadwork for the past week!!! It's been wonderful. Smiley I hope you enjoyed this, and I know that I wrote a lot. If you read most of it, thank you so much for your time, and I hope it was interesting.

EDIT- I hope the link works now. Please tell me if it still fails!
12  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 62 ENTRIES / Re: The Earth is blooming (and eating my desk)!!!!!! on: May 10, 2011 07:17:24 AM
Thanks so much! I'm glad you like it!
13  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 62 ENTRIES / The Earth is blooming (and eating my desk)!!!!!! on: May 08, 2011 11:11:54 PM

This is a free-form crochet project that I decided to turn into a challenge entry when I saw this month's challenge posted. It's a ruffled pillow, inspired by the hills and hills of wildflowers near my house. It's symbolic of a blooming Earth in the spring, as I decided to incorporate elements that represent water, soil, greenery, and sand, as well as the wildflowers that were my original intention.

Also, another inspiration of mine was a book by Jacques Cousteau. The pillow resembles a coral, showing the prominence of the oceans despite the surface color scheme of vibrant greens and pastels. A hint of the core of the work can be see, and it is a deep, rich blue. I think the coral really resembles the state of the Earth, because a slight imbalance can lead to decalcification and difficulties for coral. It takes years to see visible growth in a coral reef, and yet they have become a staple of marine life, showing the lasting beauty of the Earth. Coral reefs can be seen as oases of the oceans, which are mostly made up of large expanses of watery desert. On a larger scale, the Earth is a small oasis of life in a universe that otherwise appears void of life in every direction (as far as we know). On a microscopic scale, this pillow resembles the mitochondria, which has much surface area, but little volume for efficient use of its membranes in animal cells. Nature is so elegant!

From a crafter's point of view, this is GREAT for stash reduction. In the ruffled regions, a skein will only give you about four rows, at most, as I decided to do overlapping rows, which give it more structure. Thus, this project has taken me about four to five skeins so far, and yet is a space-conserving model (as I said, lots of surface area, small volume). I plan to continue this project, finishing up more of my stash.

The only drawback would be the time it takes to complete one row- about an hour and a half. My fingers hurt, and unfortunately I can't do my homework or read while crocheting because the thing eats up my desk space. The notebook in the picture above is a standard notebook with 8.5x11 paper. I can't watch a movie, either. The widescreen monitor (which usually is unaffected) is obstructed.

Despite all of the drawbacks, though, there's a satisfying *thud* whenever I drop this. Smiley

The height is about five to six inches. I began this project with a loom knitter's magic circle, which can be found in this pattern: http://www.box.net/shared/6v6c7y2zib

I also used the above pattern to make the flat base for my pillow (I could have used a bath puff method, but, as I said, this was free form. Feel free to experiment.)

Then, I increased randomly and erratically to create the large ruffles, ceasing when I decided I'd rather just knit overlapping rows.

Stay tuned for more updates on this!!! This isn't the last you'll see of it! I'll keep adding my stash to it, just so I can see what happens. I wonder how big I can get it to be....
14  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 61 ENTRIES / Re: Pom Pom Wreath for Spring on: April 07, 2011 08:40:04 PM
It's so cute...almost cute enough to eat! From far away, the wreath looks like it's made of marshmallows.
15  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Re: Doll House on: April 07, 2011 08:45:36 AM
Wow...I used to make little dollhouses when I was younger, but it was never this epic.
16  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 61 ENTRIES / Re: what can you make with 5 bucks? THIS!!! on: April 07, 2011 08:41:40 AM
Wow! Your kid is so lucky! It looks sturdy, so I'm sure that it'll last you a long time. Smiley
17  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 61 ENTRIES / Re: Popsicle Swirls on: April 07, 2011 08:08:16 AM
Thanks. A tutorial can be found here http://www.ojos-de-dios.com/jaysojodirections.html. I didn't use this, but it looks like the sort of stuff I used.

I don't like following directions to the tee when it comes to creative stuff, but better technique is always good to learn. Smiley
18  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 61 ENTRIES / Re: pom pom & pipe cleaner party dress on: April 07, 2011 01:09:24 AM
I can't wait to see the aftermath, but the "before" picture is wonderful! I'd definitely try it on, but it doesn't look comfy to walk around in.
19  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 61 ENTRIES / Popsicle Swirls on: April 07, 2011 01:04:59 AM

Popsicle Swirls!

I decided to use Popsicle sticks, since Ive never worked with pop tabs before, and Im not familiar with pipe cleaners either. I love Popsicle sticks, so this challenge was fun!!! This is also my first challenge.

The first part of my project was inspired by the lacquered fans that I would always see in Chinatown. Ive always wanted to have one, but I thought it would be more fun to make oneout of Popsicle sticks! The lacquered, handpainted fans are expensive, and the cheaper fans are just made of wooden sticks anyway, so I was glad to make my own rendition of a traditional craft. The second part of my project consisted of another wall hanging, or maybe two wall hangings (if I decide not to use the frame I made).

Here is the final "popsicle fan", as I would call it, which I can now hang on my wall-

at night-

I wove magenta yarns with the cross-sections of the popsicle sticks to decorate the fan. Up close, they look like little roses.

In progress-

Here is the other wall hanging, a woven impression of a garden in the spring-

The concept was a green cornucopia with flowers coming out of it. The flowers are actually Ojos de Dios (eyes of God), a craft from the Hispanic tradition. Normally, wooden dowels are used to make these, but I've always had trouble with those because of their round shape. The yarn would keep slipping, and I wouldn't be able to keep everything straight and tight. Using a frame of popsicle sticks arranged in a wheel shape helped me a lot. They're more bendable and sturdy, and while I glued together many popsicle sticks, the transitions between popsicle sticks can't be seen. While splinters do happen more often (I got a bad one this morning), they actually help the yarn stay in place. I chose the title "Popsicle Swirls" because everything in my projects seemed to be arranged in circles, and I had to keep turning things clockwise and counterclockwise over and over again while weaving.  

I was thinking of hanging it vertically, for a new POV.

I can also remove the ojos and just hang them up individually.
This is the larger one, which, to me, represents flowers at various times in the day, including sunrise, midday, sunset, and in dreams-

This is the smaller one, which represents the various states of water and how the world is connected and woven by water in all places-

For the fan, I glued popsicle sticks together in the shape of a spiral of triangles in which the hypotenuse of each triangle is perpendicular to the shorter leg of the next triangle in the spiral. All of the shorter legs (the outer rim of the fan) are the same length, while the length of the hypotenuse and the longer leg change with each triangle. I started with an isoceles right triangle, the smallest triangle that can be seen in the frame of the fan.

The same spiral of triangles was used to make the frame for the Ojos de Dios, except that instead of keeping one leg of the right triangles constant, I made the spiral a series of isoceles right triangles that kept growing larger and larger.
20  CRAFTSTER CRAFT CHALLENGES / Craftster Craft Challenges / Re: Craft Challenge #61 - Back to Basics - Due Apr 1 - Apr 7 on: March 28, 2011 03:29:39 PM
I can't wait!!! I'm totally procrastinating on this, but I was seized by strange fantasies when popsicle sticks came to mind. I must do this!!
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