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1  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / embroidered Gallifreyan baby quilt (15 images) on: November 21, 2014 08:09:03 AM
G'day- long time no post, but I've had my time taken up with this.

Aieee... this took months to do, but the idea was in my head and there was no ignoring it. It had to be made, and fortunately a Doctor Who friend of mine was due to give birth. Perfect!!

I knew I wanted to embroider the Doctor's name in Gallifreyan, but that's all I had idea wise-to start with. Then I thought of a patchwork background (not my forte!) that might look nice. So... a day wandering around a craft show and I came up with the idea of something to represent the Doctor's wooden crib + TARDIS blue + the bending of time and space as one travels through it.

So I cut strips of fabric and sewed them together in blocks of eight, cut it diagonally, ripped the strips apart into pairs, mixed and matched, resewed everything into blocks of six, cut it diagonally again, ripped it apart again, mix and matched the cut ends... on and on - blocks of four, blocks of 10, blocks of 12. All to get all different sorts of angles  to sort of show time and space shattering.

This is after I realised that I needed more, and was so unmotivated at the thought of another fortnight spent ripping stitches apart and sewing more fabric together. I hung it up for a week, and stared at it balefully.

And here, refreshed and renewed, I finally got the base to the size I needed.

From little things, big things grow.

I used a lot of brick couching because it was a quick and easy way of making thick lines, and let me cut loose and use this awesome thick sparkly thread. I went nuts buying threads for this. All different sorts of threads with different feels and different weights...

At the beginning I'd been really worried about the chalk rubbing off, so I only traced a little bit at a time, but as I got further and further into it, it got harder and harder to match what I needed to trace next to what I'd already done.

Eventually.... I committed a cardinal sin I'm quite ashamed to admit to. I gave in and traced the whole design with a ballpoint pen. I'm so ashamed, but there was no way this was going to be finished if I had to stop and retrace every night.

Slowly, slowly. I tried to do a circle or two every evening.

Couching. Such a valuable tool. The thick brown lines were couched using a wide/open chain stitch with sashiko thread. The big circle it's touching is metallic embroidery floss that I'd twisted into rope and couched.

I also used a lot of split stitch, back stitch, stem stitch and chain stitch.

I wouldn't recommend embroidering onto a patchwork. Pushing the needle through some of those seams was a herculean task at times.

My other guilty secret is that the back of this is an out and out mess. Truly terrible. I can't remember my reasoning, though it was quite sound at the time, but I chose to not finish off the threads neatly. I just left them hanging. God, it was a good reason, but I can't remember what it was now!

Inching ever closer to the end. By this point I'd gotten over my general grumpiness at my inability to trace a circle perfectly.

So close. So close. Baby's due date was getting closer and closer....

I missed the due date, but FINALLY got it all embroidered. From start to finish, this project took me... oooh, I want to say three or four months?

Everything else I kept as simple as I could. Bamboo batting, simple purple backing with the edges folded over to make the binding. Mailed it off to my friend, and she loved it! Baby is not allowed to be on it at all. Except for the photo she took of young Stormageddon lying on the quilt, staring in bewilderment at the shiny Gallifreyan script.

2  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Eureka Flag baby quilt on: April 19, 2014 11:12:54 AM
It's been a long long time since I shared anything I've made on Craftster, but I really am proud of this one.

This is a size recreation of the Eureka Flag, which is to be a gift for my mate who's expecting his first baby in the next few weeks.

A bit of background, maybe? The Eureka flag was flown in Ballarat in 1854 or thereabouts when a group of gold miners staged a rebellion against the mining licences, taxes and government of the day. It was quick, dirty and deadly and many of the names and people involved have been honoured throughout Victoria. Here's what Mark Twain had to say when he visited the Goldfields:
By and by there was a result, and I think it may be called the finest thing in Australasian history. It was a revolution small in size; but great politically; it was a strike for liberty, a struggle for principle, a stand against injustice and oppression....It is another instance of a victory won by a lost battle. It adds an honorable page to history; the people know it and are proud of it. They keep green the memory of the men who fell at the Eureka stockade, and Peter Lalor has his monument.

 The flag has gone on to be a symbol of the working Left, of the unions and of the struggle for rights and democracy. My mate, the expectant father-to-be is a member of Labor Left, a firm unionist AND he lives in Ballarat. I could not think of anything more perfect.

It is, however the first time I've used a number of skills I've only previously possessed in theory. Practice will make perfect, I'm sure, but for a first time practical attempt at patchwork, machine appliqu, quilting, bias-binding creation, hand quilting and binding... yeah, I think I've done fine.

So, this is one of the stars. The math involved in working out the template almost made my brain burst (!) After stitching the eight points together I then ironed that sticky stuff onto it, so I could attach it to the body of the quilt without fear of it moving around when I started sewing. You can also see that my 50-year-old sewing machine is really not too fond of satin stitch, but I've learned to live with that imperfection.

This here is the binding I created and stitched into place. This, I think looks lovely. I'm really pleased I took the time needed to do all this.

And finally - the quilting. I don't have a quilting machine for fancy stuff and the thought of adding geometric lines to an already very geometric quilt was kind of off-putting to me. So, after a little research I discovered the Eureka oath - "We swear by the Southern Cross to stand truly by each other and fight to defend our rights and liberties."

Perfect!! I decided to stitch that into the quilt. Many a long evening was spent with my needle and thread getting it all done, but hey - there it is!!

Sooooo.... what do you all think?
3  Calls for Swap Angels / Swap Angel Archive / Journal for a month swap - ANGEL FOUND on: July 19, 2012 05:38:07 PM
I'm pleased that only one angel is needed. But saddened on behalf of our flaked-upon swapper.

Original Swap thread: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=406922.0
Gallery thread: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=409661

I need an angel for Alexampersandra who lives in the US.

There's one slight  change though from the original requirements - in order to get an angel parcel sent out to her without a lot of stupid extra waiting, you'll only need journal for 2 weeks, instead of a whole month.

4  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / Journal for a month Round 2 - The gallery of awesome on: June 06, 2012 04:14:37 AM
Well... before I expected I had to, there's need for a gallery. A GALLERY!

Post the pictures of awesome here!

Alexampersandra - PrettyR4veGirl
bacettox - VampAracely
Jennickell - astrangeone
Mountains and Clouds - Oodelally
MiLady - endymion
- Rosie1981
PromisedHeartbrk - Smmarrt
zzdia - PlumCrafty
SilverMoon - IsikkahJai
ZombriNation - Kitten Wrangler
schnerby - seeudee
How Lovely - raewolo


5  Craft Swaps / ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED / Journal for a month swap Round 2 - Sign up April 11-30. Send out June 14 on: April 10, 2012 09:16:47 AM

Okay, we are on again.

I LOVED doing this swap the first time around, and have decided to reinvigorate it Cheesy And the fact that I am usually a non-journaller and a non-paperworker, and I'm dying for a round 2 on this swap should tell you something about how much fun it is.

I am blatantly stealing most of the words below, and probably the swap idea itself from Dizzerspinninround.

Swap name: Journal for a month Round 2
Craftster member who is organizing this swap: Kitten Wrangler
Craftster who is co-organizing: No-one, yet.
Sign-up date range: April 11 - April 30
Date to send item by: June 14th

Limited to a certain number of people? Nope
Restricted to people who all live in the same country? NO

Swap Organizer himself/herself meets these conditions:
- Has fully read the Swap Info Guide: YES
- Has successfully completed two swaps as a participant: YES
- Is not organizing more than three swaps right now: NO
- Will recruit a co-organizer or give all details to a Swap Moderator if this swap has more than 25 participants: YES
- Is at least 18 years old: YES

Swap Organizer will check each participant to make sure they meet these conditions:
- Has been a member for at least one month: YES
- Has posted at least 15 times: YES
- Has completed one swap successfully before signing up for multiple swaps at a time: YES
- Is not currently signed up for more than five swaps: YES
- Does not have any negative feedback: YES
- Participant has agreed that he/she is at least 16 years old: YES
- If within the US, understands that Delivery Confirmation number is required for this swap: YES
- If outside the US, understands that a mailing receipt copy is required for this swap: YES

Details of swap:

In this swap you will be writing in a journal for one month and sending the journal to your partner. You will be journalling the month of May, natch. Wink

You are encouraged to make your own journal, but it is definitely not necessary, you can recreate a pre-existing journal if you so desire.

This journal should really express who you are, and not just in words, feel free to include photos, ticket stubs, crafty projects, drawings, poetry, short stories, jokes, whatever!

You MUST write something for each day, even if it's just a few sentences. Your entries don't have to be novel length, but they do need to be of substance. You can even include drawings and poetry (make it a mini zine about you if you want!).

You and your partner will discuss how personal you wish to be, if you didn't already specify in the questionnaire.

You are ALSO required to send a small crafted item along with the journal. Make it a craft you are super good at, to display your skills, or try your hand at a new craft, so long as you make sure you keep it a small (unless you and your partner discuss otherwise). A small is an item that takes you 2 hours or less to craft. Items such as earrings, stickers, wallets, pouches, bookmarks are considered smalls for different people of different skill levels.

Just to prevent any hand-wringing and angsting....
I'm in Australia - I'll be in a different timezone to most of the rest of you. A reply to a question might seem to take longer than you might expect - especially if you send a PM while I'm asleep or working. I WILL endeavour to respond to every PM sent/question asked within 48 hrs of it being sent. 'Kay??

Name of swap: Journal for a month swap Round 2
Craftster username:
Email address:
Name and address in mailing format:

Would you be willing to ship to an address outside your own country?
Confirm that are at least 16 years old or, if not, that you have moderator approval(YES/NO)

Are you allergic to anything?
Any allergens in your house?
Are you okay with receiving extras?
Have any subjects you don't wish to discuss?
Have any subjects you don't want your partner to discuss?

For reference to the small item that will be crafted for you:
What colors do you like?
What colors do you not like?
What can you craft?
What would you like to receive?
What would you not like to receive?

Are you okay with receiving "extras" (these are purchased items or supplies)?
-If yes, name some things you would be okay with receiving:

Do you have a wist or a pinterest? Tumblr, Flickr, Twitter, Instagram yada yada...?
Anything else you would like your partner to know?


Also, remember to read the Swap Info Guide to find other rules about participating in a swap.

6  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Journal for a month swap Round 2? on: February 29, 2012 05:04:13 AM
This -
(gallery) https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=366903.0
(swap thread) https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=362773.0
was one of the most fun swaps I've ever done on Craftster. And whilst I don't consider myself a paper-crafter or a journaller or an artist or anything like that, but I think it would be a great swap to have a round 2 of.

Would anyone else be interested? I'd organise if I REALLY had to, but if someone else wants to reinvigorate the idea, that would be fantastic.
7  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Roller Derby Trophy #3 on: February 01, 2012 08:25:37 AM
So, apparently I've garnered a reputation in my league for being all handy with the craft-type-things. Sooooo..... some of my derby girls organised a bout that featured the Vagine Regime NSW vs Vagine Regime VIC - possibly and probably the first queer bout held in Australia. They asked me if I would make the trophy for the winners. Hellz yeah, I would!! The request was to make the trophy look like the image on the flyer, and to make it a perpetual trophy if possible. I also realised that if (quelle horreur) NSW were to win, it would need to be something that they could take away immediately, and not have to wait for stuff to be engraved/whatever.

I had such fun making this - and it was sooo cheap as well - I think I only paid for the Barbies and their skate wheels - everything else was from my stash. Unfortunately, it also reaffirmed my hoarder tendencies, as a lot of the materials used were things I was on the brink of throwing out, because they were 'useless'.

I've marked it as 'mature image', coz I know what the logo is of... but I don't think it's offensive or 'mature' at all. And I know a bunch of girls who took quite a while to twig to it...  Grin

Anyhows, here goes. This is the completed trophy, sitting on the MC's table:
to change your image viewing settings please click here

YAY! And here's the in progress shots.

Take two Barbies, and amputate them at the knees. Scalded myself over a pot of boiling water, trying to make the feet fold back in the way I needed them to.

Just like a real skater - knee reconstructions all around!!! They needed to bend at a 90 degree angle... so I stuck a straw into each leg to act as support, then sticky-taped the lower limbs into place, and filled the gap with glue, hoping that something - anything - would hold. Which it did. Not successfully, but enough for my purposes at this point in time.

Haircut and paint job. Blonde Barbie had glue combed through her hair, and it was left to dry sticking up on her head. I then shaved/cut the hair into this sticky-up flick-back quiff. The gold pain is actually fabric paint - I've had bad bad experiences before with plastics and spray paints, but this seemed to work just fine - and i just wanted a gold base... there was something else to add later to make it really shine.

Starting to come together....

Starting to fashion some clothing for our lovely skaters. I handstitched all the clothing - I did contemplate using the machine, but decided that was more trouble than it was worth. Brunette has a nice crinkly tank top, Blonde is displaying her knee-high socks. The socks were actually made from narrow strapping tape I had from when I severely fucked my thumb up at training one night. Two lengths, sewn up the edges, and voila! Serviceable Barbie-sized socks.

I am SO proud of these skates, it's ridiculous. I traced Barbie's foot onto a piece of card, and then stuck the card to vinyl and cut out four soles. Four rectangles of vinyl, and each rectangle was hand-stitched to a sole to form the boot. I then cut two slits to form the tongue, and folded over the other edges to form the eyelet/laced up part of the boot. Each boot was then stitched onto Barbie's foot, with the stitches forming the 'laces'. The wheels are, quite simply, awesome. I bought a few of those finger-board toys - you know, skateboards for your fingers?? Removed the wheels from them and made new axles by whittling down toothpicks. Yes, whittled. The toothpicks were too thick. Yikes. The silver colouring of the axles is actually the security foil from a packet of pills. It's not as fragile as aluminium foil. The wheels + axles were glued directly onto the boot.

Blonde wears a cream leotard (with a daring neckline) and a super short pink skirt. You can see the laces well in this photo.

Blonde also has a tattoo. The fingerboards came with stickers, a couple of which looked enough like tattoos, so... I stuck them on! Look at that minx - kicking out her heels and showing off her skates!

Here's Brunette with her rather wicked dragon tatt. The OTT glitz came from glitter. BLOODY GLITTER! Painstakingly glued and daubed onto all the visible body bits. Brunette's hair is also cut now, into a lovely little asymmetrical bob with some trailing rattails.

Brunette is wearing fishnets - just an old knee-high fishnet I didn't really have much use for anymore. HAND STITCHED (eep) onto each leg, so there's a stylish seam running up the back of each of her legs. I also fashioned her a tight little pair of black stretch shorts to wear.

to change your image viewing settings please click here
And one last time, the final trophy. The base that they're glued to is actually 8 CDs, glued into two stacks and covered in gold stretch fabric, and then glued together. Where they met wasn't too stable, so I just used an old public transport ticket folded into three and glued across the bottom to help strengthen it.
I'm also really proud of the map of Australia they're holding up. It's the Vagine Regime Australia logo, and is made from some foamcore board scrap I had been contemplating tossing, covered on the back and around the side with this nice rough packing paper that myrobotnation uses when they mail me a robot. Sealed, of course, with mod podge. The front is just normal computer paper, with the black lines painted on. The idea is that each year, each team can just grab a sharpie and write the winner on the map - no need to bother with anything fancier.

OH! And yeah - I used electricians tape and a bit of stuffing to fashion their kneepads - which also covered up their surgery scars. BRILLIANT!

The trophy was apparently well appreciated - my mates kept on telling me how awesome it was, and I kept on getting unexpected hugs from the organisers. YAY!  I love it when the stuff I make is a success. Now, if only I could make a career out of derby trophy creation.... sigh.
8  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Monkey Head Necklace on: December 12, 2011 05:48:19 AM
Last Saturday we had our workplace Christmas party.

Oh, nelly.

I'm not normally one for loud bars and get-togethers and socialising... but after discovering that by ordering a particular cocktail at the tiki-themed bar we were at, I would receive a monkey finger puppet in my drink, well... I convinced a few people to help me collect monkeys, and commenced drinking.

This is the haul by the end of the night:

By this point, I'd been running around for hours, calling myself KW Monkey-fingers, and loudly proclaiming that was going to make a necklace out of all my monkey heads.

Last night, after recovering from the all-day hangover, I set to work.

These are the monkeys that made it home with me.  I put on 'Day the World Ended' (1955) and started seeing what I could make with my monkey heads and whatever random jewellery bits my rather dozy self could find.

By the end of the first movie, I had this:

The orangutan and chimp hands are joined with jump rings, and a thin green tube thing I had lying around was pressed into service as a jungle vine. I'd knotted the gorilla arms to the vine, and threaded the baboon and some beads between them. But after a moment's reflection, I decided I didn't like it.

By the end of the second movie ('Atomic Man', also 1955)  I had this:

That was a bit better. Added in more vines, and attached gorillas and proboscis monkeys using headpins.

By 4:00am, and the end of the third movie ('This Island Earth' 1955) I had my final product:

It did take a bit of time to work out where the baboon head should go. Eventually I decided to restrain him using some jungle rope (er, twine), added my clasp and jump rings, and had a monkey head necklace all ready to show off at work.

And here's a terrible shot of me in the elevator, proudly wearing my monkey-head necklace.

Total cost to me - a bit of jewellery stash and an all-day headache.
Total cost to the workplace bar tab - $192.
9  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Baby blanket on: August 22, 2011 12:03:28 PM
What I love about crochet, is how often I can just start crocheting, and make it up as I go along.

At the beginning of the year, I developed a sudden hankering to crochet something. Preferably something big. And then I remembered a friend of mine was having a baby sometime around April. This friend has gotten me a bunch of freelance work, so I decided to make a gift for her bub-to-come

And voila!

I did not want to use a pattern - I couldn't find one I liked. I didn't want to do plain granny squares either, so I worked out how to make square grannies with a circle in the middle.

It's made out of this beautiful Italian wool, and I stayed right away from pastels and 'traditional' baby colours, and went straight for something bright and fun.

After I'd stitched all the squares together, I decided it just wasn't quite wide enough, so I added some border stripes too.

The colours aren't true to life in this last shot, but I kept the photo, because I'm proud of the work that went into it. It's such a soft, soft, warm blanket, and I'm told that that baby girl who now 'owns' it, loves it.
10  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Brighton Bathing Boxes in Melbourne on: March 18, 2011 06:23:48 AM
Sooooo.... my partner in the OWS 67 swap has received, and I can now post these pictures with gay abandon.

My partner wanted a hoopla embroidery that was... beachy. Now despite being Australian and living about 5 miles from the beach (seriously - if the wind's right I can smell the ocean sometimes) I'm not a beach person. Not in the slightest. I grew up in the countryside, and sadly my heart and soul find joy in paddocks and hills.


Not a beachy person, so I knew I couldn't get my heart behind doing a 'usual' beach image. Plus, FFS - Melbourne's not a 'beach' city. But we do have something terribly picturesque and iconic, situated right there on the beach... the Brighton bathing boxes.

These boxes are a remnant of our Victorian (the era, not the state) past, and are currently some of THE most expensive real-estate in this already highly-over-priced city. They sell for ridiculous prices. But they're so pretty. So colourful.

So here it is:

Brighton beach boxes by Kitten Wrangler, on Flickr

Couple of firsts here - though based on a photo I found online, the whole thing is done freestyle by me. You can see where my perspective goes wonky. Also - it's my first time needlefelting... well, anything. I puposely needlefelted the sky and the beach a bit patchily, so as to represent clouds and bumpy sand. For the sea, I worked it to show ripples, or moving water or something. And the trees are slightly shaped circular blobs of green.

Brighton beach boxes by Kitten Wrangler, on Flickr

Few strands of wood-coloured embroidery thread and some random straight stitches... voila! trunks and branches.

Brighton beach boxes by Kitten Wrangler, on Flickr

And the boxes themselves. These were fun to do. Lots of colours, lots of choices as to how I was going to make them look.

I'm really quite proud of this. I also plan to do a lot more needlefelting, because it's so easy to do as a background!
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