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1  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / Looking for instructions for coiled baskets made from newspapers/food labels? on: July 31, 2008 06:25:25 PM
Hi all--

I've been making coiled baskets lately but recently saw at Jo-Ann's coiled baskets made from newspaper that had been wrapped into very tight reeds. Does anyone know of a book or on-line tutorial for coiled baskets that use recycled newspapers or wrappers rolled into these tiny tubes? I'm wondering if you soak the paper like you would other basket-making material, and any tips for making the paper reeds in the first place----it seems like a cheap and earth-freindly way to make baskets.....  Grin thanks!!
2  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Questions about machine knitting--any help appreciated! Thank you! on: April 26, 2008 12:40:46 PM
 Cheesy Hi there!

I just got back from thrifting with a friend and while at the thrift store found a box containing what appears to be a basically NIB Empisal metal knitting machine from the 60s. I have no idea how to work one (I knit on needles) but for $12 how could I resist? The parts appear to be all still in the plastic, but the only think missing is the directions! I also can not find a model number on the machine to determine what gage it's for.

I want to try it, but need a lot of direction. Is there a website or book anyone can recommend so I can figure out if (a) all the parts are there (b)what yarn to use and (c) how to cast on and knit? It appears in great shape, the box is a bit water damaged but no rust anywhere, all the needles appear there and straight.....
it's a lovely mint green color and the box has the brand name and button closures but nothing else.

Also, any hints on how to store and care for it?

Thanks a ton for helping this machine knitting newbie! Craftster Community Rocks!  Grin
3  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Discussion and Questions / Looking for Northern Virginia Artists Who Teach...... on: January 08, 2008 07:25:36 PM
So, I signed up for an acrylics class that I was VERY excited about and....when I showed up tonight, it had been cancelled. I was the only one who had signed up! Do any of you know of a great instructor in the Northern Virginia area (I live in Chantilly, which is in Fairfax County, outside the Beltway) who teaches acrylics? I've done watercolor but would like to learn something new. I can find lots of stuff inside the Beltway, but it all seems to start at 6 pm and with traffic I'll never make it. Is there a website somewhere to find fine arts instructors?  ;)Thank you for any help you can give!
4  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Discussion and Questions / Down In the Basement on: July 10, 2007 12:16:14 PM
hey folks--

So, I just took my first watercolor class, and I am addicted! But now that class is over, I have no place to paint. Then I thought of our unfinished basement. Has anyone made a painting studio in the basement before? Is it too damp to store paper (or canvases, I'm also experiementing with water-based oils) ? Any ideas on what kind of lighting to use (it's dark and creepy down there.) Any advice on how to set up a studio in a space that has concrete for walls would be much appreciated. Thanks!
5  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Need Crafty Vegan Help! on: January 12, 2007 01:49:42 PM
 Wink Howdy, folks--I need vegan help, so while this is not a recipe, I'm thinking that posting in this area will get the most helpful responses. I'm vegan, and I love the look of those cute cuff bracelets that are popular these days. I've been looking for one in fake leather, since I don't want leather, but can't find anyone who makes them or sells a fake leather substitute so I can make one. I see lots in plastic and rubber, but haven't seen any that I like (most I've seen are either neon green rubber or see-through plastic with a lot of designs, and I want something more basic.) Does anyone make (or know anyone who sells) a snap or button-on cuff bracelet that is vegan? Or where to buy the supplies to make a cruelty-free cuff of flexible vinyl or another leather substitute? Thanks a ton!   
6  CLOTHING / Clothing for Curvaceous Craftsters: Discussion and Questions / Help! I can barely sew but I want to make this top!! on: September 26, 2006 04:44:58 PM
After years of wearing huge navy or black shirts to hide my belly, I finally thought, "Screw it. I'm going to find something cute to wear, belly and all."

So this weekend I found this simple top with this sweet little flower pattern on it, it's basically a t-shirt with cap sleeves that have elastic at the ends. There's also elastic around the middle of the main body to make sort of an empire waist effect, and the bottom of the top flares a bit, sort of like an a-line. It stops at my waist, which is nice because I'm not all that tall! In effect, it shows off the boobs and flatters the tummy, and everyone I work with told me how cute I looked. So I want more but can't find any because I got this one at Ross for about $8. I am frightened of my sewing machine but am fine with hand-stitching, but I need some sort of pattern or idea of how to alter a t-shirt by adding an empire waist to it. Does this make sense? Any advice on making empire waist tops for the sewing deficient? I work in a pre-school so I can't make a backless or anything that will make parents raise their eyebrows. Thanks!     
7  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / Help! Suddenly I'm an Arts & Crafts Counselor! on: June 02, 2006 01:48:46 PM
Hey there! I work at a Monessori school, and just found out things got moved around this summer and now I will be the head teacher for the Arts and Crafts summer camp. I am thrilled (heh heh heh...gonna teach the little ones to never tea cozy without irony), but then was struck by the idea that I need to have A LOT of inexpensive, fun, easy crafts to do. There will be about 15-20 children with 2 adults (I'm one of them), and I have no idea how crafty my assistant will be!  The children will be between the ages of 4-6 and be at the camp for three hours a day for two weeks. I want the kids to have a BLAST, so I'm looking for ideas beyond he usual macaroni necklace / fingerpaint kind of thing. Anybody have a favorite craft from the days when you were four? Any and all suggestions will be appreciated!  Grin
8  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Discussion and Questions / POLYMER CLAY QUESTION -- Making fake amber & turquoise ??? on: April 14, 2006 03:05:59 PM
hey all! I was at a bead shop yesterday and they had these beautiful polymer clay amber-looking focal beads with a nugget of blue turquoise stuck in them. The amber color was pretty opaque, with dark brown veins and a small turquoise nugget in one of the veins. The catch: they were SIXTEEN DOLLARS EACH. I am not a polymer clay artist, but I used to live with one who sold her stuff, and this seemed a little pricey to me. I want to try making some myself. Anyone have a recipe for honey-colored opaque amber, like you see in Tibetan jewelry? I'm thinking of sticking an actual turquoise nugget from my bead box in before I bake. Any advice?? Thanks!

I found a picture on-line of a necklace with the type of beads I want to make in it: see the lighter yellow beads with the veins and chunks of turquoise? That's what I'm trying to replicate! The picture is at http://www.desiredcreations.com/gallery2necklacesPg1.htm at the bottom of the page on the right. That artist is so talented, I am totally swooning.

9  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / Do You Kick Start Your Spindle? on: April 11, 2006 01:56:33 PM
I have seen a few people do this and one of my goals in life is to learn how: I've seen experienced drop spindle spinners keep the spindle going with their feet while they draft. Standing up! I'd give anything to not have to keep stopping my draft to keep the spindle moving. How do they do that? Does anyone know? Thanks!
10  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / CALLING ALL NAVAJO SPINDLE SPINNERS!!!! Heeeeeeelp! on: April 11, 2006 01:52:50 PM
Okay, awesome spinners! You helped me buy my first wheel, you fixed my drop spindle, now please answer my Navajo spindle question!

I read about these and have managed to make one out of a dowel and a round wooden box I found at Michael's. After a particularly frightening experience with the drill (um, the whorl is KIND OF centered), I'm ready to go. I'm spinning seated on a chair, rolling up my thigh. From the book I can't tell, though: Am I supposed to be just slowly rolling this up my thigh, leaving it in contact with me at all times, or am I supposed to use my leg like a ramp and zoom the spindle up it so it twirles sort of airborn?  I know Navajo spinning is slower, but HOW slow? Is the spindle supposed to be twirling on the tip where it reaches the ground in a zippy manner (the book suggests using the heel of my shoe to keep it from sliding), or is this more sedate? When do I let go and draft? Thanks for any help you can give!  Cheesy
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