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1  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Very Social Nautilus on: March 30, 2019 08:20:09 PM
We've heard about hermit crabs.  Now meet a very social Nautilus. Proudly strutting out to a conga beat on the ocean floor, this glorious crustacean is loud and proud.

I designed this shell-fish to inhabit the same sea as my furry octopus. They feel like they should hang out. It is about 28cm long and the shell circumference is about 17cm. The legs are designed to be able to be posed. I used a single long funnel shape for the shell, with a few darts to give it shape.  I blanket stitched some nice bright pint ric rac felt on to give stripes (I have been looking for a way to use this wacky shaped felt). I wired the funnel and this helped the shell to curve nicely.

This was a nice quick project, but fun!

2  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Furry Blue Octopus on: March 15, 2019 06:12:54 PM
A while ago, I was inspired by Crafty Little Monkeys Bendable Octopus arms tutorial.  I loved this amazing creation and felt I could pump up the volume on it to Eleven Grin
The result has arrived.

I worked in felt over wire and blanket stitched the edges.  I then made (soooooo) many little fur shapes and stitched those on.  I could have glued, but I like the way the stitched ones can be moved and flow nicely.

Each of the Cephalopods arms are 41 cm long (about 16 inches) and the head is 25cm tall (about 10 inches) so I guess the diameter would be about 132cm (about 52 inches).  I guess there are about 120 furry pieces on each leg and several hundred more on the mid section and head so maybe 1200 furry pieces in 3 colours - yellow, pale blue and sea green. It took a while but all the best things in life do Wink

When I get around to it I will add some of the step photos and instructions kind of taking over form where the amazing Crafty Little Monkey left off.  I am also going to add some other desert dwelling marine life (this could be the future) and make a diorama.  Stay tuned....

3  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Jenny Kee inspired opalescent beetle - an aussie fashion icon as insect on: February 04, 2019 03:13:51 AM
This is my newly completed second beetle in a series to celebrate the artists who made the images I remember from the 1980's in Australia.  Jenny Kee is an Australian fashion designer famous for her bold knits, vibrant opal patterns and super red glasses.  I have tried to capture her essence in this insect with it's floral friend.  This bug is 35cm tall (about 14 inches) and is made in the sames vein as my first insect, using materials easily accessible in a bargain store - this time felt, wire, embroidery thread, and an ENORMOUS number of sequins.  I went crazy with these because if you are going to add sparkle, you gotta pump the dial right up to 11!

I hadn't used sequins in embroidery before, and I didn't really get a good flow until near the end (the small flat one's are way easier to use than those dish shaped one's). 

Because most of the color on the beetle itself is on the back, I felt it needed more pop, so a matching Jenny inspired flower, mirroring her glasses, was necessary.  I gave it leaf-limbs you can pose, and really loud pink eye-shadow (well, it is the 1980's).
4  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / I've Caught the Ken Done Bug A flexible felt sculpture in honor of the artist on: February 01, 2019 11:35:39 PM
I am a child of the 1980's.  In Australia, artist Ken Done is an icon of the 1980's, and I wanted to celebrate him, my way.  So I introduce "I've Caught the Ken Done Bug".  The color palette is based on Ken's colors - bold blues of the ocean and vibrant primaries.  I have stuck to very simple, cheap and easily available materials - everything bar the eyes can be bought in a dime store.  I've used covered garden wire for the armature, friction sheet for the feet, embroidery thread for sewing together, and loads of very bright felt. Ken is famous for his awesome moustache, so I had to include this.

The beetle is about 40cm tall and is able to be posed due to the wire frame.I hope I have captured the spirit of the artist.

5  NEWS AND DISCUSSION ABOUT CRAFTSTER / Introduce Yourself / Newbie from Brisbane Australia on: January 31, 2019 01:18:37 AM
Hi Craftsters,

I am Eleven (not my age, but a reference to Spinal Tap Grin). I stumbled on Craftster while flicking through The Craftster Guide to Nifty, Thrifty, and Kitschy Crafts: Fifty Fabulous Projects from the Fifties and Sixties by Leah Kramer.  I loved the collection inside so much I raced home and created a giant yarn octopus from inside.

I am a big believer in not belittling the craft skill set.  The line between art and craft is blurry at best.  I love to create and I insist that I go extreme when I do it - bigger, stranger, more beady, the whole shebang!

I am a distracted, prolific creator, with a passion for felt, embroidery, sewing, playthings, etc. 

I am so very glad I stumbled into the world of Craftster.  I cannot believe the amazing talent, and creativity shown here.

Thanks for letting me glimpse into your crafting world!
6  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Weather Bee (Apis Tempestas) - imagining if insects did make the weather on: January 31, 2019 12:36:33 AM
When I started thinking about this project, I was thinking about the idea that a butterfly flapping its wings affects weather in other places.  This started me imagining just what an insect who is responsible for weather may be like.

The end result is a steampunk like bee wearing socks (well rain is cold) and making weather happen through his umbrella.  The embroidery is my first attempt at a larger scale on and short stitch embroidery (I usually stick to back stitch). I was happy with the chain stitch on wings. I also used satin stitch, and split stitch.  The work is mounted in its hoop (a 35cm hoop).
7  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / A Blossom to Say I like Your Weirdness on: January 29, 2019 12:48:19 AM
Sometimes you need to say: "You are weird, but that's why I like you". That's why I needed to create an "I'm Watching You" fabric flower. You needn't be afraid to show you care, no matter how unique you are Smiley.

I have two of the blooms on the dining table.  They don't need water and make me smile every time I sit to eat. Perfect for a flower. I feel like I could take a trip down the rabbit hole!

The flowers are about 20cm tall and I have added wire to the stem and the leaves so I can pose them.  The eyes are hand painted so they can have personality, but I have machine sewn the rest of the bloom.
8  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Extreme Yarn Octopus on: January 27, 2019 08:14:55 PM
Inspired by Merry Monsters from The Craftster Guide to Nifty, Thrifty and Kitschy Crafts (page 139), this is a yarn octopus pumped up to the extreme I have just completed this morning. This octopus measures 105cm (that's 41.5 inches). Please enjoy my image:

I was true to the original project in the book, using a styrofoam ball, wool and felt but went VERY big!
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