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1  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Toothless the Dragon (My first plushie!) on: April 15, 2013 07:06:13 PM
All I have to say is: hats off to all of you plushie makers! This guy was a beast! I'm a novice sewer and this was the most complicated thing I've made to date, but boy is he cute! It took me several afternoons to complete since the pattern was confusing to me and I had to improvise a bit, but I am mostly happy with how he came out, and I think my swap partner is too! (How to Train Your Dragon Swap)

^^^ In case you want to make one for yourself. Smiley

I put weighted filler in his legs so he could stand up on his own and wires in his wings to help them have a bit more structure/posability. I also made his eyes out of polymer clay.

2  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) / April ATCs - More Added 4/24 @4PM on: April 13, 2013 06:58:10 PM
I sent these to my partner over a month ago and I never heard from them again, but hopefully they got them! Here are a few ATCs I did for a personal swap.

A young Stevie Nicks, an Alice in Wonderland card from an image in the book, and a Zelda themed card with a controller attached by string so that you can "play" it. Smiley

EDIT 4/15 - OathKeeper's Pony (Pastels)
[img width=500 height=358]
3  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) / March ATCs! - New Cards Added 3/6 @2:30PM on: March 04, 2013 03:06:05 PM
Here are some ATCs created this month for a pencil ATC swap. I'll be adding my other March ATCs as they are created and received. Smiley
4  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) / My First ATCs! :) (image heavy) February 2013 on: February 13, 2013 01:28:57 PM
Hi there!

As many of you have come to know, apparently these little rectangles are quite addictive! I just did my first ATCs starting last week and I'm already on my 10th one between a personal swap, a gift, and my very first craftster swap! My partner hasn't received hers yet on my february swap one, so I'm not posting that yet, but here are my other nine. Smiley I hope you like them!

Colored pencil

5  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / How to go from bad photos to OK photos for small craft projects! (Photo Heavy) on: January 25, 2013 02:00:48 PM
Hi hi!

Forgive me if this doesn't go here but I thought it might be slightly helpful to some folks so I wanted to share! I would like to share some easy photography tips to help people show off their projects! I've spoken with some other crafters recently and they have expressed that they think they have to get a big fancy camera to get good photos of their projects, and that is simply not true! To illustrate this, I am leaving my trusty DSLR (her name is Betsy Tongue ) in the bag, and using my crummy iPhone 4 camera to take all photos for this post. I am including a flat object, a shiny/metallic object, a knitted object, and a random object to illustrate things you can do and the effects of light on different projects. I have included examples for both outdoor photos and indoor photos. These are all natural light with no flash. I chose not to use flash because pop-up flashes on entry level DSLRs, flashes on phones and flashes on point-and-shoot cameras are almost always unflattering.


Problem: If you take a photo when it's too bright outside, it will be contrasty and gross.

Solution: Get some shade!

You can play around with the amount of contrast you want in the shade. Just look at how the light looks on the object you're trying to photograph to see what you like. Walk deeper into the shade to get a softer look, and closer to the bright/non shaded area for more contrast.

Deep shade/soft light:

Close to the edge of the shaded area for more contrast: (I like contrast on metallic objects because it helps define the shape.)

Bonus tip: Use a white object to catch some light and bounce it back onto your object in the shade to fill in some shadows and put more light on the subject. I used a shoe box lid. You can use a piece of white cardstock or anything your crafty little heart desires.


Unless you have awesome lighting in your house, chances are photos you take indoors are pretty dark! The best thing to do when you'd like to get some shots of your crafty goodness is to find the window with the best light. It doesn't matter where it is, because you don't need a ton of space. I have found that I get the best light in my window at about 10:30 AM lately. However, I was too impatient to wait until morning to do this, so I did it in the afternoon when the light wasn't as strong. Smiley

I crafted up a photo studio out of a shoebox for this very purpose. In fact it was so easy, I am a little embarrassed to say it! I literally got a shoebox, turned it upside down. Trimmed to size, and taped a piece of scrapbook paper to it and then folded 2 pieces of white cardstock, and taped them onto the box leaving an opening of just a few inches on one side and leaving the opposite side completely uncovered. What this does, is it takes the light from the window and it bounces it back onto your subject. You can turn your subject and box to see where the light is falling and to get the most light possible. Just don't turn it to where the cardstock is blocking the light from the window because that would put your subject in shade and that defeats the purpose! The bigger your shoebox, the better for this, because it gives you more surface area to work with and the more surface area you have, the bigger the objects you can photograph in it.

Here is my set up. (Note, I turned the box around so that you could see how I had the cardstock folded. The completely open end should face the window with the smaller opening in the cardstock facing you.

Here is the set-up facing the correct way.

Here is a variation on the my photo box. I used scrapboox paper to make a mini seamless backdrop.

Here are some examples using my photo box. Something cool about this is you can still shoot from above a bit and vary your angle to get different looks. You can use your window for a backdrop, or you can shoot from slightly above to use the scrapbook surface of the box as a backdrop, then if you add the "seamless" backdrop to it, you get more options for creativity! Yay!

Jewelry often looks good when placed on other things. Add something small behind flat objects such as ATCs to move it from the background a bit and add dimension, this also helps it catch the light a bit more. Get creative with angles to make the photos more interesting! Don't forget close-ups of details!

Move objects around to experiment with where you want light to fall. THe image with the coin propped up on the left illustrates using the photo box to bounce light on the subject and even out the light and shadows. On the right two images, I moved the coin away from the white cardstock to get less fill light and more contrast.

If you get too close to the subject, you wont be able to focus because camera lenses have a minimum focusing distance. The iPhone camera can actually get really close to the subject, but you may still have this issue with other cameras, so I thought I would point it out! On the left, I was too close to focus, notice how the tape is blurry but the brick wall in the background is sharp? That's because I was too close! So I backed up, focused on the tape and took another picture. (Right) It's in perfect focus! If you want to get closer than your minimum focus distance, you can either zoom with the camera OR take the photo and crop it on the computer.

The only editing done to any of these photos has been cropping to squares for reduced image size. If there is any interest, I can also add a photoshop tutorial on how to edit photos you've taken.

I hope you guys like this and find it helpful. Happy crafting!


6  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / A sampling of sketchery! fat w/photos... or photobese, whichever you prefer. :) on: January 20, 2013 08:08:52 PM
I get more and more excited about craftster each day! When I realized that there was an art section too, my swoon-o-meter cranked up to 11 on a scale of 10!

Here are a few of my sketches, studies, and drawings of mine. Some of them are a kinda old, but I wanted to share some things since you guys are brave enough to share yours. I am so inspired by you guys to get drawing again!

Ellen - Photoshop sketch

Chris Character - Photoshop sketch

Kristen - Photoshop sketch

Frank - Charcoal Drawing

Flora - Charcoal Study

Rob - Charcoal Drawing

Still Study - Graphite

Saloon Girl - Vector Illustration Study

Julie (Commission) - Vector Illustration

Kaiju Birthday Card - Vector Illustration

7  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / First Embroidery!! Home is Where... on: January 06, 2013 08:05:24 PM
Hello, there!

My name is Laura and I just joined here. I'm a wedding and portrait photographer by trade from Dallas, TX, USA, with a background in graphic design and illustration. I love fine art and crafts of all types, and I've been meaning to try my hand at embroidery for the longest time. Joann's fabric's was having a sale on embroidery floss this week, so I picked up a ton of it on Wednesday and happily raced home to get started!

I'm not much of a tester/swatch maker/practicer, so I just drew these up and dove right in without practicing stitches. hehe Hopefully my stitches will get neater/more even on both sides of the hoop! The camera one is the first one, it probably took me about 6 hours, as I was teaching myself all of the stitches, and the umbrella took me two hours.

I look forward to checking out *your* works and getting to know each of you. Smiley

Have a great day!

xo -Laura

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