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11  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / Perler Bead Challenge--Craft Something Now!! on: May 14, 2013 07:48:56 AM
Did you know there is currently a Perler Bead Challenge that will be open for entries June 12-18?  For all the details, go to the Challenge board, HERE.

You can make anything you want!  Perler beads aren't just for coasters; there are tons of other crafty perler bead projects here on Craftster, like THESE.  Have you used Perler beads before?  Do you have any tips to share with people who haven't used them before?  My best tip is to use tweezers to help you arrange the beads on the board.
12  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Perler Bead Doll Table on: May 09, 2013 12:36:09 PM
Did you know that we are currently hosting a perler bead challenge here in Misc. Topics?  It's true!  Click HERE to read all about it.

Even though I can't enter (since I'm helping to host it) I went out and bought myself a package of perler beads in assorted colors, and today I decided to make a table for my Blythe dolls.  I must say, it came out great!  And it wasn't hard at all--the main thing I learned is to be patient (it takes a while to place all those beads) and to use tweezers!

Here you can see the underside of the table; I made two open-centered squares to go under the top, to add visual depth to the top and to give support to the legs. I glued it all together with a hot glue gun.

I'm sure you can come up with something fun and creative--why not give it a try? You have until June 11th to create your perler bead masterpiece for the challenge.
13  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / Morsbag Swap Round 2 sign ups closed; send by June 14 on: May 09, 2013 08:12:56 AM

If you are a person who can never have too many bags, this is the swap for you!!

Here's the GALLERY

Morsbags are handmade, re-usable, fabric shopping bags.  The website will give you directions to make a morsbag, and lots of information and inspiration about shopping “green” by avoiding plastic bags that can harm the environment.  I have made a few morsbags myself, and I can say that they are easy and fun to make!  I posted a tutorial on my blog that you might find helpful if you have any questions about the construction of the bag.

The morsbag is a very simple, basic bag (with the exception of French seams!—don’t worry, you CAN do it!!), so feel free to add something:  what about a pocket for coupons?  Maybe some ribbon, or an embroidered initial? Be creative and have fun!

To round out the package you send to your partner, you will also make two small or one medium item.  A small item takes about an hour to make; a medium takes about two hours to make.  Stalk your partner and make something she will love.

Details of swap:
--You will craft one morsbag (using the pattern at the morsbag website) PLUS two small or one medium item to suit your partner’s tastes.  
--You will have 4 weeks to craft, from May 16-June 14, 2013.
--You have creative freedom to use any fabric, any embellishment, any technique you want to make your morsbag and the extras;  you are encouraged to put your own spin on it!  Just be sure it is something your partner will like.  
-- You will need to post in this thread at least once a week so we know you are still crafting with us.

- No one like to be flaked on, so if you aren't sure if you can do this swap, don't sign up.
- You must get delivery confirmation if sending within the U.S., or a mailing receipt if sending elsewhere.
- If you must send late, let the organizers and your partner know ASAP.
- Good communication is very important.  Please stay in touch by posting weekly in the swap thread.
- Please post photos of the package you receive in the gallery.

Limited to a certain number of people? Yes, 40
Restricted to people who all live in the same country? No
Additional age requirement? No

Craftster member who is organizing this swap: Leslieshappyheart and susanab
Sign-up date range: May 9-May 16, 2013.
Date to send item by: June 14, 2013.

Swap Co-organizers themselves meet these conditions:
- Has fully read the Swap Info Guide: Yes
- Has successfully completed two swaps as a participant: Yes
- Is not organizing more than three swaps right now: Yes
- Is at least 18 years old: Yes

Swap Co-organizers will check each participant to make sure they meet these conditions:
- Has been a member for at least one month: Yes
- Has posted at least 15 times: Yes
- Has completed one swap successfully before signing up for multiple swaps at a time: Yes
- Is not currently signed up for more than five swaps: Yes
- Does not have any negative feedback: Yes
- Participant has agreed that he/she is at least 16 years old: Yes
- If within the US, understands that Delivery Confirmation number is required for this swap: Yes
- If outside the US, understands that a mailing receipt copy is required for this swap: Yes

If you have any questions about this or anything else, please ask your co-organizers .
If you want to participate, send the questionnaire below to both "susanab", and "Leslieshappyheart"

Name of swap:  Morsbag Swap Round 2
Craftster username:
Email address:
Your real name and mailing address including the country in correct shipping format:

Would you be willing to ship to an address outside your own country?
Confirm that you are at least 16 years old or, if not, that you have moderator approval (YES/NO)

1.  Do you have any allergies that are strong enough to prevent you from being partnered with certain people?
2.  Do you have any other allergies or things to avoid (such as nickel or animal products)?
3.  Do you have any allergens (pets, smoke, etc.) in your house?
4.  Favorite colors?
5.  Least favorite colors?
6.  Are there any crafted items that you would especially love to receive?
7.  Are there any crafted items that you do not want to receive?
8.  What type of crafting (besides sewing) do you do?
9.  Are there any fabric patterns/designs that you love(checks, polka dots, stripes, etc.)?
10.  Are there any fabric patterns/designs that you can't stand?
11.  What are some of your favorite things/styles/themes (vintage, cats, moustaches, nature, robots, etc.)?
12.  Are there any styles/themes your partner should avoid?
13.  If your partner wants to include a snack in your package, is there anything she should avoid sending?
14.  If you have any other strong dislikes that might pertain to the swap, please let them be known:
15.  Please give a link to your Wists, Pinterest, Etsy Favorites, etc (if you don't have one, please start one today!):
16. Please add a few more details about yourself and your tastes to help your partner get an idea of what you would like to receive. The more information you give, the better she can craft for you.  If you have any specific items in mind that you would love to receive, add a link to them:

Also, remember to read the Swap Info Guide to find other rules about participating in a swap

1.  Leslieshappyheart
2.  susanab
3.  Homerof2
4.  deathbeforedishes
5.  wendiek
6.  waggonswest
7.  TheBrokenButterfly
8.  noooitaremybirthday
9.  rscowtown
10. mandys08
11. texscrapper
12. Sharalee
13. bananasandhair
14. usdimama
15. Whistley
16. Deece in MN
17. skatergirl1007
18. MiLady

susanab <--> Sharalee
Leslieshappyheart <--> noooitaremybirthday
deathbeforedishes <-->MiLady
usdimama <--> waggonswest
bananasandhair <--> Whistley
wendiek <--> Homerof2
mandys08 <--> texscrapper
skatergirl1007 <--> TheBrokenButterfly
rscowtown <--> Deece in MN
14  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Morsbag Round Two on: May 05, 2013 03:31:41 PM

Hey sewists!  Susanab and I want to know if you would be interested in another round of morsbag crafting?

SIGN UP HERE:  https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=423477.0#axzz2SoPZQZqf

Morsbags are handmade, re-usable, fabric shopping bags.  The website will give you directions to make a morsbag, and lots of information and inspiration about shopping “green” by avoiding plastic bags that can harm the environment.  I have made a few morsbags myself, and I can say that they are easy and fun to make! You would be encouraged to do "something" to the bag to make it special--you know, add a feature or embellishment of some kind.

Here's the GALLERY from the last swap.

We would be crafting one morsbag for our partner plus one medium-ish item inspired by stalking of said partner.  With a week of sign-ups and a 3-4 week crafting period, the send-out date would be around June 14th.  Does that work for you?  

Come on, get excited, it's MORSBAG TIME!!!
15  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 86 ENTRIES / Kitty Kindle Cover on: May 03, 2013 05:00:34 AM
I joined the March Birthday Swap in 2012, and one of the things my partner wanted was a Kindle cover. Her interests included cats, and the colors pink and gray together, so when I found this fabric in my stash I was so excited!!  It's a simple sleeve with a button and loop closure.

I used my Sizzix to cut the scalloped medallion and the "H" for my partner's first name. I don't have a Kindle, so I used the dimensions I found on the internet to make a "fake" Kindle out of foam core board, so I could check the fit as I was sewing it. It would have been a disaster if it was too small!!

This last picture is just for fun--my partner sent me these cute crocheted monsters for my birthday gift, and they arrived just before I sent her the Kindle cover.  I think they approve!

16  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / Blythe Lacey Mini Dress on: May 02, 2013 06:55:49 AM
Yesterday, while waiting for my head to stop throbbing from my stupid root canal  Angry, I decided to finally try this knit doll dress I have admired for a while on Ravelry. I wasn't sure if my knitting skills were up to the task, but I was going to be sitting on the sofa all day anyway, so I thought I would give it a try.  It came out GREAT!

The lacey skirt part was actually easy once I got going on it, but the fancy bottom edge was super tricky, and took me many, many tries to get it right--but once it "clicked" for me, it was easy too! I love the bell shape of the skirt.  (As you can see from the two pictures, I tried a couple of different flower details.) The dress is knit on two needles, so it has a seam halfway up the back and closes with a snap at the back neckline.

If I can do this, any advanced beginner knitter can!  You can find the pattern HERE.

17  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / "Anything Goes" Perler Bead Challenge WINNER ANNOUNCED!!! on: April 30, 2013 11:27:32 AM
Announcing a new challenge here in Miscellaneous Topics:

The “Anything Goes” Perler Bead Challenge

The winner of our challenge is Helena Puck's Wonder Woman Portrait! 

Congratulations Helena Puck!!

Perler beads (also called Hama beads) are usually used by arranging them into a design and heat-fusing them together to form a flat object, like a coaster or keychain. We want to remove all barriers to creativity, and let you craft anything you want for this challenge!  It doesn’t have to be flat, or heat-fused (although it can be); and you may incorporate other craft materials into your project.  Just be sure to use perler beads too!

Here are some examples of amazing perler bead crafts made by fellow Craftster-ers:


Here is a Craftster Quickies video tutorial about working with perler beads:

The crafting period is from April 30 to June 11 (that's six full weeks--plenty of time for you to come up with something awesome!) Projects are due to be posted June 12 to June 18. Voting will be held June 19 to June 25, with a winner being announced on June 26!

The Fine Print
•   Each participant may enter ONE project, although that project can have multiple components
•   Projects must be handmade by you
•   Post your craft in the Misc. Challenge Board during the period of June 12-June 18; no sooner or later
•   Projects created before or after this timeframe will not be removed from the entry board, but will be excluded from the voting

The winner of the Anything Goes Perler Bead Challenge will receive this HUGE PACKAGE of perler beads!!!!
Thank you meleriffic for donating this prize!

18  CRAFTING FOR GOOD AND NOT EVIL / Crafty Charitable/Social Causes / Hats, Scarves, and Blankets for Craft Hope on: April 23, 2013 09:37:56 AM

One of my favorite charities to craft for is Craft Hope.  Every couple of months they announce a new  project and ask for crafty people (like us!) to donate items that will be distributed to people in need of hope.  The current project is called "Rally for Roma", and they are collecting hand-made hats, scarves, and blankets that will be sent to Romania at the end of summer, to help poor families get through the harsh winter there.

The deadline to send your finished items is May 20th, so there is still plenty of time to participate. If you can knit, crochet, or sew, you can help! I have a lot of fleece on hand, so I am going to make simple hats and scarves (the picture shows the first set I made).

The scarf is so easy--just cut a piece of fleece 12 x 60", and snip the ends into a 3" fringe--done! 

The hat is easy too; I used suggested measurements from this Martha Stewart site (which also has directions for several different hats). Cut fleece 21" x 15" and sew the short sides together. On the bottom, turn under a 3" hem and sew it 1/4 from the raw edge. For the top, cut a 3" fringe, then gather the hat (using heavy thread) just below the fringe, and knot the thread securely.  I then wrapped yarn around the gathered area to be sure the thread didn't come loose.

Visit this post at Craft Hope to read more about the project and to get the mailing address for your finished items.  I hope lots of us will help!

19  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Bookcase for a Doll's Tiny Books on: April 04, 2013 05:05:12 PM
First, I made some tiny books for my partner in a Blythe doll swap; then I got the same person for a partner in another Blythe swap, so I decided to make her a bookcase for the books!

I made it from balsa wood, which is pretty easy to cut using an X-acto knife. I just drew a sketch on paper and then worked out the measurements for each piece.

The theme of the swap was "favorite color", and my partner chose the combination of gray and yellow as her favorite. After cutting the wood and painting all the pieces yellow, I glued patterned scrapbook paper to the back wall. Then I used a hot glue gun to glue the pieces together.

Using regular acrylic craft paint, I then painted the outside gray.  It needed "something", so I added a chipboard letter "B" (for "Blythe") to the top--you can see that in the first and last pictures.  After it was dry I sprayed it with clear acrylic sealer.

Since my partner is a big Harry Potter fan, I made some more books for her.  I made each of these by reducing an image of the cover of the book on my computer and printing it out.  I glued it to heavy scrapbook paper to make the outside of the book. For the inside, I cut a stack of old dictionary pages to the size I wanted, then dipped the back edges in glue, and pressed them into the cover. This method worked well and was much easier than sewing tiny groups of pages, like I did for the first batch of tiny books!

Here you can see the bookcase with a Blythe doll for size comparison.  The bookcase is about 6" tall.

I'm very pleased with how this came out, and I plan to try making other pieces of doll furniture--as soon as I can get my hands on some more balsa wood!
20  CRAFTING FOR GOOD AND NOT EVIL / Crafty Charitable/Social Causes / Doll Dresses for Charity on: April 04, 2013 11:00:44 AM
I've figured out a way to craft for my new favorite obsession, Blythe dolls, AND raise money for charity, AND do it from the comfort of my home!  I am knitting and sewing dresses for Blythe that I showcase on my blog, Blythe Happy, and I offer them for a $15 donation (or $10 for the smaller dress) to one of my favorite charities, via PayPal.  I get the word out about them on Facebook and a couple of Blythe doll sites. In the two weeks I've been doing this, I've "sold" six dresses!  The "buyer" simply makes the donation, then forwards me the PayPal receipt, and I send the dress.

I'm offering these white dresses with the doll's name embroidered on the skirt. (Blythe dolls have a tendency to become stained if you leave a colorful garment on them for too long, so white clothes are perfect for long-term use.) This dress is a free pattern from Puchi Collective.

I'm also offering these knit dresses in a variety of colors.  I developed this pattern myself (which I'm super proud of!!) This multi-colored one was the first to go!

I also re-worked the knitting pattern to fit this smaller version of Blythe (called a Middie Blythe).

I am extremely pleased with the initial response to this project, and I plan to come up with some new outfits in the future, so I can continue to appeal to Bythe collectors.
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