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11  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Completed Projects / buzy buzyness on: June 05, 2006 06:35:14 AM
Here are some experiments/efforts in education of mine...

Yer basic shell bits and seed beads choker:

This one is my first attempt at wire-wrapped links.  It's made up of citrine, agate, quartz and jade leftovers and copper artist's wire so it's a wee bit delicate, but surprisingly resilient:

This one is inspired by mmd32's mother-of-pearl and heart necklace, and the beads themselves, of course:

12  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / First bag - I think I'm addicted on: March 21, 2006 03:58:12 PM
I've been hankering for a new bag for a while now - one which would hold my big day planner (looooooove the day planner) and lunch and have lots of pockets for little things and have a long, piratelibrarian-sized strap (I'm tall, so most uber-long adjustables that are store-bought at their longest still don't sit comfortably on the hip) which would not interfere with the girls...needless to say I had pretty much resigned myself to making one. 

And I did just that today.  Here it is, as modelled by my lovely easel which my daddy made for me and my Acme Novelty Library compilation and some unfinished paintings:

I wasn't sure where to post it because it's new and used.  But I totally raided my remnants stash for it so here seems to be the right spot.  The denim pocket on the front (there's another on the back) are made of the legs of some pants my daughter needed to turn into cut-offs.  The front flap and the liner used to be a really ugly shirt made from really beautiful fabric.  The strap and the loop are from an old pair of jeans and the rest is just remnants from other projects. 

And look!  It's accidentally reversible!

That little square on the front is one of the breast pockets from the ugly/beautiful shirt (and yes, the other pocket is on the other side) which has been repositioned and restitched into new life.

I'm in love with it.  I can't wait to take it work tomorrow.
13  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Christmas present help! on: December 19, 2005 08:42:54 PM
So my sister is a wannabe knitter.  Wannabe only in that she never has the supplies when she has the time and vice versa.  I love my sister to death and have already made her a blanket, a necklace and a corsetty pillow for christmas but since she brought up her whole knitting debate (and her angst which goes with having a sister who makes things for others (namely; me) for christmas) I've wanted to get her the supplies and the time (in the form of free child care) for xmas...but I know NOTHING about knitting.  My grandmother tried to teach me several times but I just didn't take to it.

Is there a generic needle size I should get her?  A couple?  Any recommendations for one type of needle over another (the pretty metallic ones caught my eye, but that's only because they're shiny and pretty - I would wear them in my hair if I could)?  Are there any books (or other resources) you would recommend to take a novice knitter from mittens and scarves to...well...other things that knitters might like to make?  What about yarn?  Recommended blends?  I could spend hours in the knitting aisle at Michael's because it all looks so pretty, but I'm only good for half a clue on making educated decisions on any of this.

Help is appreciated in advance.
14  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Discussion and Questions / beads for boys on: December 19, 2005 08:23:30 PM
Is anyone else doing this?  Having difficulty with it?

Over the weekend I made my first beaded necklace for a male friend of mine.  It was really difficult.  Not only has he exceptional taste, he's also pretty blokey.  I ended up making him a simple strand of grey lace agate, dalmation opals and silver seed beads.  I'm rather proud of it and he loved it, but man, it was difficult to come up with the perfect combination.  I put more thought to detail into that uber simple necklace than I have the most ornate beading project I've put together.
15  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Stitch And BOTCH / the epiplectic t-shirt on: December 19, 2005 08:03:27 PM
So I decided I would give a t-shirt to my friend.  It was going to be glorious.  It was going to be grand.  It was going to be emblazoned with the infamous quote by Clone High's infamous Principal Cinnamon J. Scudworth: When Life Gives you Lemons, You Clone Those Lemons...and Make SUPER Lemons.

Let me preface this by telling y'all that my friend was visiting for a few days from Nova Scotia and he was due to leave the next morning.  Nothing like a little procrastination to keep the adrenalin runnin'.

So I made the design using good old MS Paint (it was rather cool despite the antiquated tools at my disposal) and printed it onto iron-on transfer paper and got all ready to iron it on to the great yellow T I bought for the project...and realised that I hadn't inverted the image.

So, two sheets of transfer paper wasted, but I still had a T-shirt and that was a start.  So, as my printer driver has been behaving like a petulent four year old and won't invert images, I sent my design off to my brother in law to have it flipped.  That was all well and good, but we soon discovered that the font I origninally used was not imported.  We found another font, resized the image for it, inverted it and all was well with the world.  This was about 3AM the morning said friend was due to leave and I was sleepy so I packed it in and decided to do the rest in the morning. 

I got up the next morning, printed the image, cropped it from the paper so it was beautiful, laid it out on the t-shirt - note to self at this moment was: hey self.  Don't forget to ensure that you iron it on right side up.

Then I realised I needed to iron the T a bit before ironing on the transfer so I removed the beautifully placed images and ironed the T.  I then replaced the images - they were beautifully centered, immaculately laid down upon the cottony soft yellowness that is the perfect t-shirt for my friend.  I gave a place to everything and ironed everything in its place.  On the hottest cotton setting on my uber-spectacular-so-lovely-it-will-play-canasta-with-you iron. 

I then removed the paper backing...and realised that I'd ironed the letters on upside down.  So sad.  Sad face =(.

Luckily a friend with a car stopped by for me to abscond with and I purchased another great yellow t-shirt and ironed it all on correctly and it was so beautiful I threw it at the friend and said 'take your sodding present to sodding Nova Scotia and let me never see it again' as I'm a bit dramatic and flouncy that way. 

He loved it.  He was also nice enough to buy me a lovely set of jeweller's pliers as my gift  Grin
16  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Discussion and Questions / coordination recommendation on: December 05, 2005 03:54:14 PM
Hi all,

Over the summer I scored 40 24" strands of semi-precious stone beads in various shapes and configurations for less than $2 CDN each (visiting a trade sale within the hour before it closes is a good thing - sellers NEED to get rid of stock).  It's totally a boon and I did it with making presents in mind.  I've made quite a few pieces of them but I've found finding filler beads which compliment the stones very challenging.  Sterling silver is an obvious choice, but that gets boring and unoriginal after a while.  Glass beads tend to make the stones look dull in comparison (in many cases...not all) and plastic is simply out of the question.  I've used almost my entire assortment of wooden beads, so that's gotten old as well. 

So, I'm wondering what your favourite combinations are?  Have you come up with anything you've felt is particularly stunning?  I want to read your thoughts and experiences on the matter.

thanks in advance,

17  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / alien poppies on: November 20, 2005 11:08:13 AM
This is a quick pastel interpretation of the river of california poppies I had growing in my front garden - I managed to get it in just before the snow came and they died off.  They were fun to try because they all looked like they had little orange lights planted in the middle of them. 

18  HOME SWEET HOME / Pet-Related Crafts: Completed Projects / Fishy suspenders? on: November 20, 2005 08:10:09 AM
Having my last betta (sharkbait) meet his fate via the cat, I decided I should find an alternate means of displaying the lair of the new one (betta omega) out of kitty reach (in as much as things can be out of kitty reach).  So the betta came first and I planned to purchase a macrame plant hanger to suspend his bowl from, but couldn't find one that wasn't going to obscure the view of my pretty, social fishy...so, a few months of chasing the cat from his bowl later, I made one:

19  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / a clockwork hippie on: November 18, 2005 08:13:58 AM

Please excuse this craptastic pic - I was forced to use my cell phone as I've lost the usb cable for my camera which is full up of birthin' pics of my nephew. 

This is a very hippie top my daughter and I share.  It was natural cotton ecru (save the wine stain on the front) until yesterday when I went through our uglified whites and dyed them red, orange a fuschia.  My right hand now looks like that of an oompah loompah as the glove I wore on it had a wee hole somewhere  Sad

Anyways...the wine stain remained so I grabbed a stencil of Alex from A Clockwork Orange (which, oddly enough, is the book I was reading my sister while she was giving birth to the child my camera is full on pictures of) and rendered it in pink and teal and ironed it over the wine stain.  It's not the cleanest transfer in the world, but it works and our sharesies top is salvaged Wink

Edit:  the stencil is courtesy of http://stencilpunx.cjb.net/
20  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / 10 minute lasagne on: November 08, 2005 05:44:27 PM
I shit you not; tonight I built a lasagne in less than 10 minutes.  It's Cubs night for the sprogs which means we have a little under an hour and a half to eat, do homework and get them washed and dressed and ready to go.  I'm horrid at planning for these things so I'm constantly lacking frozen chicken nuggets and french fries and things that smart mums would have in their homes in order to accomodate these things.  It's also two days before payday so there wasn't enough dosh in the cellar to dole out for take out.

Here's the recipe:

1 large can of whole tomatoes, drained
1 medium onion
5 cloves of garlic
1 handful fresh parsley
1 handful fresh cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp chipotle peppers

Toss the lot of that into the food processor and whiz for about 2.2 seconds. Line the bottom of the pan with that. Add a layer of oven-ready noodles (I make so much more lasagne since I've discovered these). Add a layer of meaty/vegetably goodness (I used leftover, thinly sliced, roast beef from last night). Top that with more sauce. Add another layer of noodles. Top that with cottagey/ricotta cheese (I used a blend of the two plus a handful of parmano thrown in because it reduces the soggy factor). More sauce. Repeat and stuff. Top with a pantload of mozza and shov'er in the cooker for about 30 mins at 400.

Yay Lasagne!
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