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11  Re: Back to Nature Swap Gallery in The Swap Gallery by AeonGoddess on: August 05, 2008 10:25:32 AM
I hope no one minds me reviving this thread... because I received last week from the fabulous, talented, amazing angel beckster! And I had to share.

First of all... the cats really didn't want me getting in the box. They were all up in my way as I was trying to get it open:

Three cats make it pretty difficult to open a box, I can tell you definitively. And when I did open it, there was some fresh catnip right on top in a little baggie! I had to give them some right then and there so they'd get out of the box and let me see my package. Which was AWESOME.
I got a big ball of wooly navy blue roving:

can't wait to spin it up into something warm and fuzzy for the winter.
And I got some nice and very handy washcloths which I have already tried, and I can tell you they are awesome. Soft and cottony and great colors (especially the purple and green one.)

And what goes better with washcloths than soap? Some sweetpea and goat milk soaps, to be exact! They make me feel totally pampered, and they smell great.

A crochet shopping bag! It's so cool that I got so many crochet goodies, because I really can't crochet to save my life! This bag is perfect for groceries; it's super sturdy, comfortable to carry, and holds a ton of stuff without any problem. Plus, it looks cool.

And this just might be my favorite item... AMIGURUMI CACTUS!! I actually used him as a centerpiece when we had friends over for dinner a few nights ago, and he was a big hit. He's too cute to resist! The note in the package said he can be used as a pincushion, too... but I feel bad jabbing his smiling face with pins, so for now he gets to live as a normal (easy maintenance) houseplant:


And the whole shebang (except for the nip. We had to hide that right away!)



Thanks again, beckster. You were a really wonderful angel to me, and I hope we end up as partners on a swap someday!
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12  Re: Superhero/Comics Swap Gallery in The Swap Gallery by AeonGoddess on: July 25, 2008 11:07:28 AM
I received today from FicklePegasus! Prepare to submit to a metric ton of pictures!

She spoiled the heck out of me with polyclay goodness! I'm really thrilled by all this stuff, because I can't sculpt to save my life. These are things I never could have made for myself!

A totally cute Barbara Gordon as Batgirl phone charm (even as I type it dangles proudly from my phone):


A super sweet Nightcrawler pin! He's so cute! I just pinned him to my purse... I wish I could get better pictures of these clay items, but my camera was really fighting me on the tiny, glossy object front.


Two awesome decoupaged candle holders, with my two favorite characters! Raven and Nightcrawler! They've got pictures all the way around... and two candles to put in them (which is great because I actually just burned through the last of my votives two nights ago! So now I don't have to wait to use these!)



Comics from my favorite comic era:

Including some New Mutants by my favorite artist ever to draw them, Bill Scienkewicz (I totally just spelled that wrong. Oh well.)

And probably my favorite ever cover of his:


And I saved my two favorites for last (I can't decide which I like more!)

Raven's cloak pins!

They're perfect! To scale and everything! The note said she thought they'd be good on a hoodie, so I tried them on my hooded winter coat and they look great. I never thought I'd be looking forward to cooler weather, but now I can't wait to wear these out all the time. Till then I'll just have to pin them to my bags. (So... I look a little gungy because this was pre-shower. But I had to try them on!)


And a Hellboy necklace! I have no idea how you did this, FicklePegasus! It looks just like him. I hope you got some better pictures to share, because my camera was just not cutting it, and he looks amazing. I have plans to finally see the new movie next Monday (first day the BF will be off work since it came out) and I can't wait to wear this. He even has his little samurai ponytail in back.


And the obligatory pile o' loot pic:



Oh... and Zoe wanted to thank you for sending her a new cat bed:
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13  Ethical quandry: vintage pattern, to cut or not to cut? in Clothing: Discussion and Questions by AeonGoddess on: July 24, 2008 02:00:56 PM
Okay... it's not REALLY an ethical quandry in the strictest sense. No one dies or is injured regardless of what I decide. But here's the deal:

A few years ago, when I was first getting into sewing, I started picking up vintage patterns whenever I found them in antique malls. I never even opened most of the envelopes. It was like a compulsion. Buy, horde, move twelve times, leave in storage, forget about... well, this summer I've started actually sewing for myself instead of just thinking about it and then playing video games instead. I've made... oh, three or four dresses and some blouses. And I retrieved all my old patterns from storage (ahemmother'shouseahem) with the intention of finally putting them to use.

But, lo... several of these patterns are pristine. Never even unfolded, much less cut. Initially I was thrilled by this... no having to worry whether the previous owner cut on the right lines or not. But I was discussing this with one of my other seamstress friends, and she was shocked that I was even considering using these patterns. So, what's the general opinion on here? I'm kind of torn. On the one hand, I appreciate that paper ephemera like patterns are very hard to come by in such good condition. On the other hand, I kind of think that patterns were made with a purpose, and that is to be sewn. Thirty years ago or now, it's fulfilling the purpose of the item.

So, should I feel a little guilty and snip away, or leave it for future generations?

Well, that was long winded. An example and then I'm done: McCalls 4960, size 16.  Dolman sleeved bodice with pencil or full skirt and cape collar option. 1959. Totally pristine...
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14  BAMF doll... aka Nightcrawler in Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects by AeonGoddess on: July 20, 2008 11:16:10 AM
My partner for the Superhero/Comics swap received her package, so I can post him now! This was my first stuffie, and is totally handsewn. I made up the pattern after a couple of failed attempts at a machine sewable pattern. I was very tempted to keep him, I admit, because I think he's a cutey patooty.

Pictures!
Front:

Back:

Hanging out:


The only thing I would do differently if I'd had more time/inclination to plan is give him a really prehensile tail (mostly because I like the word prehensile.) But he's pretty Nightcrawlery without it.
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15  Super tasty tofu cutlet! *recipe* in Vegetarian / Vegan by AeonGoddess on: June 09, 2008 10:45:32 PM
Just made this the other night and was super proud of myself. Sometimes it can be a little difficult to be more creative than stir-fry with tofu; this was my attempt at making a restaurant style tofu cutlet. SO TASTY. My boyfriend and I both had seconds... so even better, no leftovers. And great for the super lazy cook who's tired of cooking time-consuming meals.



Ingredients:

1 block firm tofu
1 package udon
Sesame oil
(just a little)
2 tsp. the spice rub of your choice (I used one intended for pork.)
2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
1/4-1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup crispy dough wads
(I used a package from an asian grocery near my house. Since I don't read Japanese, all I can tell you is that the ingredients are: wheat flour, vegetable oil, salt, and MSG. Unsweeted puffed rice cereal can be substituted if you don't feel like pawing through Japanese packaging for mystery crisps.)
1 package mixed spring greens (I love Olivia's Organic Spring Mix)
1 can chick peas in water (I like Eden Organics because they rinse clean easily)
1 can hearts of palm
1 ripe red bell pepper


Step 1: Drain the tofu. You wouldn't believe how long I spent with soggy tofu before I actually read a cookbook. If you've never done this before, it's easy. Wrap the tofu in a dry flour-sack type kitchen towel (or even a paper towel will do in a pinch.) Put the wrapped tofu block in a colander and put something heavy on it (cans, books, or plates work well.) Let sit. If you're me, you'll go out and by the rest of the ingredients now. If you're someone who's together enough to have ingredients in the kitchen already, play some video games or knit for an hour or so.

Step 2: You could do this as the tofu drains if you're so inclined. Boil a pot of water. Plunge a fistful of udon (I used a third of a package, but your package may vary,) into the boiling water. Let boil about four minutes or until al dente. Pour into a colander and rinse with cold water. Transfer to a bowl and sprinkle lightly with sesame oil. Toss it around a little to get the noodles good and coated. This will keep them from sticking when you put them in the refrigerator. Put them in the fridge now.

Step 3: Assemble salad. Chop bell pepper and add to greens. Open cans of chick peas and hearts of palm, drain, and add to salad.

Step 4: Preheat a non-stick skillet to a medium heat (about 350 degrees for the precise.) In a medium bowl, combine your crispy dough wads/rice krispies, dry rub, and sesame seeds. I put measurements up there for the timid, but really you can just eyeball it. You want a high proportion of crispy to rub. Using a pestle (Hah! I used a ladle. Use whatever is flat and good for squishing) crush the crispys into the other ingredients. Don't beat it into a powder, just a nice crunchy consistency will do.
Add soy sauce to a shallow bowl.
Divide tofu block into four even slices. They should be about 1/2 inch thick.
Dip tofu in soy sauce, coating both sides evenly. DO NOT soak it, as this will cause structural failure.
Dredge in your crispy rub mixture, coating both sides.
Place tofu fillet on skillet and repeat for the other three fillets.
Cook about three minutes each side. Soy sauce remaining in the dish can be drizzled on top as they cook if you like an extra salty bite.

Step 5: While the second side of the tofu is cooking, plate the noodles and surround with the salad greens. Place piping hot tofu on top of cold noodles and serve.

Step 6: Eat. Enjoy. Brag.



And tell me if you try it!


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16  Sprouting Heart. in Needlework: Completed Projects by AeonGoddess on: June 04, 2008 11:51:21 AM
I made this for my partner in the Back to Nature swap. I designed it and drew it freehand straight onto the bag. I've had this idea floating around for a long time, and my partner had an anatomical heart embroidery in her wist, so I figured now was the time to make this happen. It might be the most ambitious embroidery I've done yet, mostly because of the many details in the branches and leaves, and because of the color transitions which took a lot of patient rethreading of the needle. It's almost entirely stem stitch, with the only exception the running stitches down the center of the leaves. I just wish my camera skills were better so I could get closer detail shots. Enough talk! Pictures!

The bag hanging:

The whole image:

Details:

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17  Re: Back to Nature Swap Gallery in The Swap Gallery by AeonGoddess on: June 04, 2008 11:26:40 AM
According to the good ol' USPS my swap package was delivered to scienceissexy on Saturday. But, since I haven't heard from her since then, I'm going to go ahead and upload what was in my package to her. Because I'm impatient and the pictures are burning a metaphorical hole in my hard drive. VERY picture heavy because I'm so proud of my first swap!

I cast my first resin jewelry for this swap! It was a great excues to expand my crafting repertoire. I cast two sea shells and wrapped them in bright copper wireas pendants:

(and for some reason my camera would not focus on this one, but you get the idea:)

And I cast a magazine cut out of birch trees. I also macraméd the cord for it. This is my favorite and it was very hard to part with:

I also made a little drawstring pouch to send them in (and for her to use as a dice pouch if she's so inclined:)

I painted a pre-made paper box with high gloss acrylic and stenciled ginkgo leaves on it:


Inside the box I packed two of my favorite kinds of loose tea from a tea store in the village that's been there over 100 years. I also packed a mesh tea ball and some local honey! (Local New York City honey. How could I resist?)

And, the very favorite, very most time-consuming piece. An purchased canvas bag embroidered with a sprouting anatomical heart! I took inspiration from an anatomical heart embroidery in her wist and incorporated the swap theme into it. I designed and drew it onto the bag freehand, then spent a couple of Buffy marathons stem stitching over all the lines. My camera doesn't really do it justice, if I do say so myself.

And a little detail:


Phew. So, I hope you liked the package, scienceissexy! This was a great first swap for me.


EDITED to add: Those wooden toys are amazing, pinokeeo! And I love the leather pouch.
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18  Plain polo no more! (pic heavy) in Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed by AeonGoddess on: October 11, 2007 10:40:27 AM
Inspired by all of the fabulous recons on this board, I thought I'd try a salvage attempt on my hated black polo before adding it to the Goodwill pile. A couple of episode of Buffy later: a wearable shirt!

After:



Before:


Machine basted the butterfly appliqué, then hand blanket stitched it:


Buttons from the stash inherited from grandma:


Sleeve detail (The fabric is from the grandma stash, too, making my cost $0.00):


Was debating adding more embroidery up the side of the shirt, but I'm afraid that might make it too busy. Any thoughts? Thanks for looking at my first successful recon!
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19  Brocade messenger bag in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General by AeonGoddess on: January 06, 2007 08:43:57 PM
I've been hauling a big upholstery bolt of this fabric around with me through my last three apartments, and now that I'm about to move again I finally decided it was time to use it. So I give you: My first ever messenger bag.

I'm really pleased with it, especially because I totally winged it patternwise and still managed to make it functional. It's big enough for that laptop I plan on eventually purchasing, but for now it's a good size for a couple of sketchbooks and a knitting project. Interior pocket to keep my wallet from sinking to the bottom, interior side wall cell-phone pouch to eliminate digging, and pen tabs on the other side wall.
 
Front

Back (With roomy pocket for easy access to guidebooks)

Interior

Detail of closure
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