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1  Re: CLOSED Dotees 2019 round 2! (SIGN UPS 5/22-5/31) (SEND OUT BY 7/02) in ACTIVE SWAPS WHERE SIGN-UP PERIOD HAS CLOSED by EriChanHime on: June 14, 2019 08:13:40 AM
Okay, planning phase complete! Got my supplies together and ready to start after Father's Day weekend (and out of town company). Smiley In prep, I have reset my craft space to Beauty Base Zero *nerdy book reference* and it feels so nice!

I've loved having the extra craft table set up with my sewing machine out all the time. Gives me free rein to jump on a quick project when it comes up or keep a larger project going without taking over my dining room table. And, it's also quick to collapse and put up if I want to have a group of friends over for dinner and need to expand the dining table (it has two pull out leaves).

I was also good and put everything away (as in, in its proper place), rather than just hiding it before people came over last night.  Grin I love my craft Kallax, since it holds as much as an entire previous closet, but takes up so much less space. Each bin has categories of item, and each category has sub-categories in bags. The bags can be piled in any order, because I always know exactly where they are. It means I spend a little bit longer locating the exact supply I want, but so much LESS time putting things back where they belong, which helps me be so. much. neater in the long run.

Off to do dance practice for a performance coming, make complicated foods for the holiday, and prep for out of town company this weekend. Then DOTEE TIME!  Cheesy
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2  Amka the Ijiraq (Inuit Shape Shifter) Art Doll in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by EriChanHime on: May 29, 2019 12:43:51 PM

Meet Amka! I made her for cmarion3 in the most recent Art Doll Swap. Among other cool things, my partner listed "raven/crows," "tall, gangly artsy women," and "fantastical creatures" as themes she was hoping for, along with mentioning a love of earthy colors. I decided to bring these all together for this doll, which gave me the opportunity to build an art doll from scratch with techniques and materials and styles I had NEVER worked with before! I took my inspiration from the indigenous cultures of the American Pacific Northwest (the Inuit, the Tlingit, the Haida, and others). They incorporate ravens, and wings, and masks, and flowing clothing so often into their traditional dances, and that's where my brain went. Here's my original sheet of inspiration images from a variety of cultures!

After extensive research, and sketching, and planning, but before I got started, I gave a her a name, a personality, and a little story to help guide the process (I did tweak it a bit when I was finished crafting, but not much!):

Please meet Amka, an Inuit name meaning one with a friendly spirit. She is an Ijiraqa wild shapeshifter from Inuit myth. Her species can be dangerous, but also playful, curious, or even helpful. Amka loves dancing more than anything and often changes into a girl so she can sneakily join the Raven dances in the many cultures that span the Alaskan and Canadian coast. She incorporates art from the Inuit, Tlingit, Haida, and others as she goes. Shes a bit young and inexperienced, though, so she confuses the dancing masks for parts of the people, which is why she seems to be growing her own! Please take good care of her, and dont forget to share your favorite dances with her, too!

For this doll to really live up to my vision, I got stuck on pose-ability. All my previous cloth art dolls have been button-jointed, so they can pose but not stand or hold poses on their own, and I wanted to do that differently. Clearly, she needed an internal skeleton of some kind. (Insert hours of fun rabbit-hole research on doll and puppet jointing systems...) After tons of craft wire experimentation and breakage, I settled on galvanized picture wire from Home Depot! The stuff is SOLID! Holds shape, holds weight, bends reasonably easily, and still doesn't snap after extensive bending in the same place. I wrapped the wire around itself to build her armature.

In order to pad her out, I began wrapping her skeleton with long strips of regular doll batting. If you are careful when you pull it out of the bag, you can unroll it into filmy sheets, which I then tore into strips. Her chest shape is supported with two wired-on wooden beads, so it won't collapse, and her hips, thighs, and behind were made of more tightly rolled fiber fill.

I added thinner wire armatures for fingers and wrapped them in the same manner, using much thinner strips.

Once her fleshed out skeleton was complete, I began building her "skin" from a random, unidentified fabric I found at Walmart! It was a 4-way stretch knit with a suede-like texture on one side, and since she's only passing herself off as human, I thought it was a soothing color and feel. It was also surprisingly cooperative to machine sew, which I wasn't expecting.

I traced her limbs onto paper, then used that to cut out a folded rectangle of fabric, then sewed around the paper pattern pinned to the material. After the stitching was done, I cut out the "skin socks" and pulled them on her like stockings! At each joint, I folded the raw edge under and whip-stitched the fabric to her batting layer.

Hands up to put your torso on!  Cheesy Fortunately, she is VERY flexible, so she was able to contort herself to get into all the tight spaces of her final skin piece, which I then tacked down using invisible joins. I was delighted to see how well the mystery fabric hid all the finishing stitches!

I wasn't sure originally if she was going to be fully humanoid or not, but in the end I decided that she would have the traditional style dancing mask for her whole head! I used bake-able Fimo in an off-white color to sculpt her head based on this specific Tlingit dance mask: http://www.thecobbs.com/auction-2015-11-15-lot-29.html. After baking, I gave it a few coats of acrylic paint and then sealed it several times! I used E6000 to secure her head to her neck; this is the only part of her that isn't completely pose-able, but we must make some sacrifices for beauty. Wink

In order to have realistic animal hide clothes, I went to the Auto department of Walmart and bought a giant piece of chamois! It's cute and sewed very easily, and I will definitely consider using it for suede-look doll clothes again. I free-handed the pattern pieces for the skirt and bodice, and then hand-embroidered them in a variety of free-form shapes.

In order to make the fringe on her garments - a must for any dancer! - I very carefully hand-cut individual strips from the bottom of each skirt piece. This took quite a while, but was also strangely relaxing!  Grin

Her final garment is her Chilkat blanket, a traditional Tlingit item of clothing for royalty and dancing. It's supposed to be a woven garment, with the extended warp/weft pieces creating the fringe, but needs must! I made the body of the blanket first from chamois again, and used Sharpie markers to free-hand the expanded raven design on it; it's a simplified raven face from blankets I found online, crossed with the wing patterns you see on the inspiration sheet dancers. Once I was happy with the art, I sewed on additional chamois shapes around the edges, and then hand-cut the appropriate fringe.

And here she is in all her glory, showing off how well she can pose and dance! She can even hold things in her fingers.

A final look at her front:

And at her back:

I absolutely loved making her. It was an exciting and unique set of challenges and learning steps all around. I am delighted that she has now gone to live in such a wonderful, inviting home. Cheesy
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3  Ukranian Wax-Resist Egg Dyeing - Pysanky in Completed Projects by EriChanHime on: May 28, 2019 02:08:16 PM

Since finding this craft online a couple years ago, I've always wanted to try it, but I wasn't in a place to just be able to buy all the tools. Imagine my delight when I found out that the Quilt Shop where I do my charity sewing group also hosts a lady who teaches Ukrainian egg dyeing throughout the year! I dragged a couple of my friends along, and we signed up and took the class. It was careful, thoughtful work, but not too difficult.

You can tell that it takes a lot of practice to make neat, straight lines, and soft, evenly spaced spirals, like on the teacher's eggs, shown here:

You start off by scraping beeswax into your variously sized styluses, and then dragging them lightly over the surface of the eggs to leave designs. Then you dip dye in your lightest color.

You add more wax to your egg anywhere you want to keep that color, then dip into the next color of dye. Repeat until you reach the darkest color, often black, but also red or blue or any other dark jewel tone.

Once you are done with all your dyes, you carefully hold the egg in a candle flame to melt the wax, slowly turning it and wiping it until all the wax is gone.

We finished our eggs with a pour-on varnish, which is less traditional but works very well! We didn't blow our eggs, but over the next several months, the insides will dry out and harden.

Here are my two beautiful eggs displayed on my mantel. Not bad for someone who's never done it before, and doesn't have a lot in the way of 2D art skills. I would happily try this art form again. It was so fun!
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4  Re: Craftster Meetup 2020 - Aloha Hawaii! in UNITED STATES by EriChanHime on: May 22, 2019 08:24:16 AM
How lovely, underthemountain! I love wearing pa'u to dance, and am happy that my group wears them much more frequently now, rather than the sarongs of my youth. Smiley Will Lana allow you to mention which dancer she is?

While this is a dorky photo while we were waiting to perform in a Styles of Asia benefit fashion show, I do actually wear this outfit to dance. I'm on the right (in a Hawaiian outfit), and my teacher is in the middle (in a Samoan Princess dance outfit), and one of my Hula sisters is on the left (in a simplified Tahitian outfit). We're not strictly a halau, but rather a Polynesian dance group, though.  Cheesy
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5  Pretty Skirts for "Crafting Comfort" in Crafty Charitable/Social Causes by EriChanHime on: May 22, 2019 05:47:52 AM

These are two of the skirts I helped finish for the local sewing charity "Crafting Comfort." They partner with SAFE Alliance, which is a combo of women's and children's services for victims of violence, abuse, abandonment, and more. These skirt were going to their service for free nurse-provided forensic exams for rape victims. Since their clothes would be taken as evidence, this gives the nurse volunteers some pretty clothes (they also give out soft t-shirts, but those are purchased and donated) to give to the women after the exams that they can wear home and keep. The emphasis was on comfortable fit and cheery fabrics.

The skirts are simple 4-gore trumpet skirts, and the pieces were already cut and serged together in a previous work session. I made casings, ran the elastic through, sewed the hems, and added sizing tags. I completed 4 in the 2 hours I was there. Smiley Other ladies worked on fabric grocery bags, drawstring bags for children's toiletries, soft sleep masks, or chemo camisoles (to hold the pumps/ports).

I love sewing with this group. I don't get to go every time they meet, but they are always super welcoming. Everything is provided, including the machines, so you just show up and sew! This time, one of my best friends went with me, and they were happy to have her jump right in, too! A wonderful time and a wonderful cause to support.
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6  Crocheted Button Flower Hair Clips in Crochet: Completed Projects by EriChanHime on: May 16, 2019 11:46:02 AM

I have had links to this kind of crocheted flower, made directly into a button's holes, saved for years, but never had a reason to make them. Then, they popped up on the Pinterest page of my Angel Swap partner, and she mentioned that she liked wearing single hair clips, so no matching sets needed. YES! Perfect opportunity. Smiley I used the following pattern as a guide, although I made several adjustments for the size of my thread/how I wanted them to look: https://thecrochetcrowd.com/crochet-button-flower/

The tiny bow is made from this pattern: https://daisycottagedesigns.net/crochet-bow-tie-pattern/

For the big flower, I crocheted into the back of the main flower to add the second layer of contrasting petals. Each metal snap clip is covered with embroidery floss using a buttonhole stitch; I found the bright silver detracted from the overall design. All the decorations are also various embroidery flosses, and I got to use my favorite teeny-tiny antique crochet hook.  Grin

I'm so glad she enjoyed getting them! They were fun to make and not terribly complex, although rather time-consuming since I decided to cover the clips and all. Worth it!  Cheesy
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7  Re: Art Doll Swap 2019 Gallery! in The Swap Gallery by EriChanHime on: May 15, 2019 08:37:22 AM
She's here! My stunning Art Doll from cmarion3 arrived in perfect condition!


She's a Hone Onna - a Japanese yokai (legendary creature) - here's a link to a cool description: http://yokai.com/honeonna/

You can see what an amazing job cmarion did bringing the concept to life (she even replicated the kimono in the picture!!), and I love how she chose to represent the dual nature of the Hone Onna by combining a skeletal face with a sculpted mask of the pretty lady. The doll is pieced together from a jointed plastic skeleton and a wired cloth doll, so she can actually support the weight of the lantern she carries to wander through the night to her true love's house.

She has a traditional hairstyle from the Edo period (roughly) with beautiful comb and stick style kanzashi (hair ornaments) and lovely little geta slippers on both feet! She was wonderfully packed in the most hilariously tricked-out box (bless you, cmarion, for the cardboard acrobatics you clearly went through to get her to me safely. I wish I had taken a picture of all the layers!) with a lovely card.

I absolutely love her and appreciate that cmarion took the time to give her a little tag to remind me of this amazing swap. Here she is in my bedroom next to some of my personal Art Dolls and random nerd-ery. You'll notice she's not the only undead thing up there, so she's right at home!

Thank you a thousand times over, cmarion! She's perfect!  Grin *hearts*
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8  Re: CLOSED-Art Doll Swap 2019 (SU: 3/24/19-4/2/19) Send outs: 5/13/19 in ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED by EriChanHime on: May 14, 2019 03:28:10 PM
Doll is sent!!  There was also a ton of packing peanuts, tissue paper, and a really odd appliance made of Tupperware bits involved, because I am always concerned about painted pieces up against paper, even though this time I did properly seal all the paint. I am so thrilled! I've never made anything remotely like this before, and it was super fun (and insanely exhausting!).  Grin No spoilers until she arrives, but it was so cool to try so many things I never would have done for myself. Smiley

Also, I opened my package and the doll from cmarion3 is AMAZING!!!! Blown away. Heres a sneak preview until I get home and get a chance to take better pictures for the gallery. Expect a fun surprise... Wink

*Edited to Add: She's in the gallery now!*
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9  Dala Dachshunds Ornament in Needlework: Completed Projects by EriChanHime on: May 09, 2019 08:28:08 AM

I've loved the style of Dala Horses ever since getting Kirsten Larson's Craft Book from the American Girl series as a kid, but I never made the craft (partially because I don't really care much about horses or the color red or model painting).

Last year, for the annual ornament swap I do with my coworker's mom, though, I decided to revisit it as an embroidery project...in blue...with a dog.  Grin She breeds dachshunds, and also my co-worker has one, so I thought it was appropriate!

I found free dog clip-art online and used that to trace the body pattern, and then I free-handed the pieces for the saddle and straps. I used DMC embroidery floss for all the stitching, in regular colors and metallic silver. I thought the blue scheme was appropriate for winter. Smiley I also added some little pearl beads I had in my stash for the collar. It was a good opportunity for me to brush up on my stitching (I free-handed the date on the reverse side in back-stitch!), and this was the first time I've ever been successful with a french knot! I whip-stitched the two halves together to hide all the loose ends.

I love how this came out, and she ADORED it! Every year we up our game, so who knows what will happen this year. Now I want to make more of these in different colors and animals... Cheesy
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10  Soot Sprite Hoopla in Needlework: Completed Projects by EriChanHime on: May 07, 2019 12:58:41 PM

Now that the recipient of this project has received it, I can post it! This was my first-ever Hoopla--something I didn't really know existed as a thing until this message board. Although, now that I think of it, I had a childhood one with a Bible verse and flowers done in embroidery and cross stitch in my bedroom.

My recipient, kartiana, had a TON of cool things all over her Etsy/Pinterest favorites, so it was super hard to choose. In the end, my love of Spirited Away and konpeito (the little star-shaped Japanese sugar candies) won out, along with the excitement of getting to use one of the super-small hoops I've been hoarding for theoretical Christmas crafts.

The Hoopla serving as inspiration on her Pin appears to be this one: https://www.deviantart.com/loveandasandwich/art/Soot-Sprite-Embroidery-246552710

As you can see, it is a normal size. For me, CUTER IS BETTER! So tiny-hoop it is. Of course this meant that I spent a while drawing and re-drawing super tiny patterns, and cutting things out with the very tips of my scissors. Cheesy Everything is then held down with a tiny little running stitch. I used basic back-stitch for the limbs and tendrils, and colonial knots (not French!) for the pupils in the eyes. Wink

Since she likes orange, I thought this cheery tangerine polka dot was a good substitute for the red fabric in the original.

So. Many. Stars! I made more than I ended up using, since I wanted to be able to play with colors and placements.

While I still have a ways to go in terms of neat starting/ending threads, this is probably the neatest embroidery project I've ever managed!

And here it is all finished front and back. I had a fun orange felt in my stash, and used it to free-hand embroider my Craftster handle and the year for the back. I then added a ribbon hanger, just in case she needs it (rather than hanging it on a nail, or whatnot). Overall, I am delighted with how these little guys came out, and I hope she enjoys looking at them! Grin
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