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11  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Chunky Book page swap! on: January 08, 2008 06:53:59 AM
Would anyone be up for a chunky book page swap?

Chunky book pages are small (4x4 inch, or 10.2 x 10.2 cm) pages that can be bound into small books.  The pages are chunky in two ways:  they are made on a sturdy base (like heavy watercolor paper, or two layers of heavy cardstock, or even matboard), and they are often heavily embellished with buttons, ribbons, etc.

Here are some links to chunky pages I've made:
Vintage Lingerie (no nudity, I promise) Page
Travel and Leafy Pages

I think a chunky book page swap on Craftster would be TONS of fun.  Who's in?

I think for an initial swap like this, the theme should be broad and inclusive.  Either "artist's choice" or something like "art & creativity".
12  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Katxena's Chunky Book Page Gallery (new pages May 10) on: January 07, 2008 05:04:09 PM
I've been making so many chunky book pages, I decided to post them all in this thread rather than start separate threads for all of them. 


I made this chunky book page for a swap on another site.  A chunky book page is generally small (4x4 inches or so), and is made on a heavy base (140 pound watercolor paper or matboard).  Then you add fibers, beads and whatnot, making it "chunky."  I haven't seen many of them on Craftster. 

I made this one for someone who wanted pages in the theme of "vintage lingerie."  She wanted pretty and frilly pages that she can join by the corners and make into a wall hanging for her bedroom.

The backs of chunky pages are generally decorated, but not as much of the front.  Here's the back of the page above:

It's got my name and the date, and the title of the page, and some bits and bobs as decoration.

I love this page, and I really, really don't want to give it away.  I want to keep it for myself!!!!  Smiley
13  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Altered Label/Tag Swap Round 2? on: December 18, 2007 03:21:12 PM
I was so sad that I missed the first round of the altered label/tag swap Phizzy organized.  Would anyone be up for a second round sometime in January?  I'd be happy to host one.  Smiley

From round 1:
swap thread

14  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Discussion and Questions / What's the next level? on: December 17, 2007 07:53:37 AM
Background:  I have been embroidering off and on for a couple of decades.  I don't enjoy cross-stitch, so I do mostly plain embroidery.  Most of my projects have been the sort where you iron on a transfer and then outline or fill it in.  Most of them look best with simple outlines or satin stitch.  Here are some links to some of my projects, so you can see what I'm talking about:  Sassy Girl, Viva La France! Pillowcases, Dragon Shirt.

My Question:  While I enjoy these projects very much, I'm interested in pushing my embroidery skills further.  I'm not interested in designing my own patterns, what I want is to do more complex stitching.  The problem is, I have no idea what this really means.  Where would I look for more complex embroidery patterns?  It seems all I can find is cross-stitch.  And if I do find more complex patterns, will they be iron-on or will I have to transfer them some other way?  And finally, how I can push my existing patterns (mostly Sublime Stitching) further with different techniques?

I'm really stuck about what to do, because I don't really have a good sense of what my options are.   I can't pick a path because I don't have a map!  Any help you all can offer will be greatly appreciated.
15  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Desert Star Quilt on: December 06, 2007 12:08:15 PM
I'm absolutely stunned.  I finished this quilt for my mother back in June of this year, and I just realized I never posted it on Craftster!  I am so proud of how it turned out, and my mom liked it so much, I just can't believe I never posted it!

The stars are "pinwheel stars" made from a pattern I found in an old book.  The stars are made from a whole bunch of different batik fabrics.  The border is made up of two rows of postage stamp squares (the finished size of those is 1x1 inch).  I love postage stamp squares.  I had wanted to make 3 rows of postage stamp squares and at least one additional border, but I had to get the quilt finished in time for my mom's birthday, and I ran out of time!

Here's the back:

I asked our family (which is small) and my mom's closest friends to sign blocks of fabric which I then sewed together for the center part of the quilt.  People really got into this -- some people wrote poems, others drew pictures, it was great.  I finished the back by piecing together scraps left over from the front.

I finished the quilt just in time.  I finished it on a Monday night, and FedEx'ed it to her on a Tuesday -- it arrived on a Wednesday, which was her birthday!

My mom bought special quilt hangers for it and it is prominently hung in her house.  I can't believe I never posted it here!  I'm really proud of it.
16  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Mixed media Chinese-themed Christmas ornament on: December 02, 2007 07:29:30 AM
I made this ornament for my tree.  Most of my ornaments are handmade by me, and very few of them are traditionally Christmasy.  This one is no exception.

The ornament is made on a paper base I bought at Michael's.  I collaged and painted the base, cut the niche for the faux coin, hung the coin, then stamped and embossed the outer edge.  I'm really pleased with how it turned out.

I got the idea from an article in the Nov/Dec '07 Somerset Studio magazine.  In that article, the artist used a square paper base ornament and embedded the bottom of a matchbox in it. 
17  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: General / Dinner napkins on: November 26, 2007 06:11:31 AM
I love using fabric napkins.  For the past 7 years, I've used the same plain cream-colored dinner napkins I bought when my husband and I moved across country.  They work fine, but they aren't cute at all.

And I desperately wanted cute.

My vision for my table is to have plain medium-denim placemats with no embellishments, mismatched crazy-print napkins, and mismatched Fiestaware.  So far, I have these 4 napkins I made over Thanksgiving, and Target Fiestaware knock-offs.  It's a start.

I used this tutorial for the napkins:  Windy Hill Designs Napkin Instructions, which I found on the Sew, Mama, Sew! blog.

The only change I made to the instructions was that I cut my fabric to 17.5 inches so that I could get a napkin out of a washed fat quarter.  Other than that I followed her instructions to the letter -- and they were really easy.
18  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Postage Stamp WIP (new pic added Jan 14!) on: November 08, 2007 07:13:14 PM
This is the first completed block of a postage stamp quilt I am making for myself.  The block is 12x12 inches, and is made of 144 1-inch (finished size) squares.

I fussy cut several of the squares (look for the the salt & pepper shakers, the spirals and circles that are perfectly centered, a fishy, a wrapped gift, flowers, etc.). I love fussy cutting!

The back is crazy and haphazard -- I'm not really paying attention to what direction the seams are facing.  But I am matching and pinning each seam before sewing.

Also, you might notice that I'm actually using a lot of wrong sides on the front.  That's because I didn't end up with very might light colored fabrics.  By flipping over some of my mediums and darks, I'm able to create more contrast without rushing out to buy more fabric!

I plan to make 20 of these blocks, sew them together, and add a border.  It will be made of 2,880 tiny squares when I'm done.  I've been collecting fabrics for this quilt for over a year.  Several crafster members have contributed fabric as gifts or in swaps (personal and organized).  I also got fabric from friends (of mine and my mom's), yard sales and eBay (I bought a 14-pound box of scraps on eBay).  I've even bought a few fat quarters and fat eighths just for this project.  I've lost track of how many different fabrics I have collected, but my best guess is around 500.
19  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Chunky book pages on: October 21, 2007 07:05:42 PM
I recently made two 4x4 inch chunky book pages for personal swaps.  I'm really happy with how they turned out.

First, I made "Memories & Fun."  The theme for this page was vintage travel.  The tags on the front and the back dangle, and the beads are glass, with some gold accents.  Here's the front and the back (on this page, my information is on the little tag on the back:

Then, I made "Jungle."  The theme for this was was earthy colors & leaves.  I originally meant for this to be a background for something else, but I loved the way it looked (especially the weird looking bud).  Here's a peek at both the front and the back (my information is on the back):

20  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Please help me with this sock! on: July 27, 2007 06:09:11 AM
I am making a pair of socks for my sister-in-law for Christmas (yay me! starting early!).  Her favorite color is blue, and she dresses very conservatively.  Opal is my favorite sock yarn, so when I found some nice, calm looking Opal at the 2006 Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival, I snapped it up for my SIL.

But I don't like the way the socks are knitting up.  I've never seen an Opal yarn knit up like this before.

What do you think?  It's not my taste, but I like my handknit socks wild, and I think she'd like something a bit more reserved.  I have already knit a full repeat of the pattern in the yarn, so this stripe pattern will just repeat through the rest of the sock.  I'm having trouble evaluating it since it's so different from what I would choose for myself.

Please give me your honest opinion -- is it ugly?  You won't hurt my feelings -- the stripe pattern is the yarn's fault, not mine!

I would just go ahead and rip it out, but I'm not sure what else I would do with this yarn -- also, it's knitting up to the perfect size for my SIL, so I'm reluctant to abandon it.  If the sock looks narrow to you, that's because it has ribbing that goes all the way down the leg in the back, which draws it in.  It's on the small side of women's medium.
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