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1  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / WARNING: CLOWN! on: July 16, 2018 06:20:32 AM
I don't think it's very creepy but I appreciate that they freak some people out.

Made for rackycoo in the Halloween In June 2018 swap.

Originally I had plans for a witch on alphabet blocks but racky sent me a witch so I needed to quickly revise my plan. This is based on my Halloween costume from kindergarten, my mom scored a vintage clown suit from a thrift shop and she did my unusual makeup. You can see it here, it's the image I used for the 2nd round of the Craftster Trading Card swap.
Heavy wire wrapped with embroidery thread, vintage wooden spool, I tried and failed at using paper clay for the shoes so they are poly clay with a coating of sparkly texture paste stuff. Mini buttons from Alphastamps.

I am not a painter, one teensy spot on an eye got a wee bit smudgy when I went over the face with a layer of podge to seal the acrylic. Ah well, imperfections remind us that we aren't perfect, right?

I thought it was looking a bit more circus than Halloween so I dressed up the spool with some sparklies and washi tape then added a fun mask for the clown to disguise herself with. I sure hope good ole Lon Chaney won't mind this use of his image. He sure does make a spooky looking Phantom!

Lon's hat was actually the trickiest part to make, I think I had to redo it about 3 times. Burned myself plenty with the hot glue, ouch!
2  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Leather work, cup sleeve on: July 14, 2018 06:13:52 AM
There's a leather shop in town that offers classes, I've always wanted to take some and yesterday finally attended the first of a set. We did 3 stitches and came away with a finished cup sleeve that I gave to my man for his travel mug (he liked it!).
It is far from perfect but part of the fee included the awl, needles, threads, and some scrap leather to practice on so I will do that until I am better at it.

The first thing we learned was saddle stitch which is a technique where you are holding an awl for poking holes and a threaded needle in each hand with which you weave a stitch in each hole in both directions creating a very secure seam. I have 2 rows here because I used 2 sorts of stitch markers, a little wheel and a pokey tool that looks like a fork. The fork makes marks that are easier to follow in my opinion.

We learned a bit about different tanning and dying techniques, it was so interesting! I'm looking forward to making more things. I wouldn't mind some leather wearables, the cup holder sort of looks like a gauntlet which I thought was interesting.

I'd like to make a hair barrette and a shawl pin with some tooling, there is a class for that but I think the next one is about rivets so maybe a small wallet will be my next project. The instructor had a really lovely needle case that I admired, I will ask him if he's got a pattern for it and show it off if I manage to make something passable.
3  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) / 2017 ATC's, photo dump on: July 12, 2018 10:01:37 AM
I just discovered this board so I'll add my cards from last year in one big lump Smiley.

Thistle, Mushroom

Self portraits

Monkey, Ack - politics!

Kitty, Bee

Little houses

Tryptic (this one had to be made twice because the first one was with mail stolen from our car, can you believe it?)

the original
4  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Artist Trading Cards (ATCs) / 2018 ATC's, photo dump on: July 12, 2018 09:52:14 AM
How do I not know this board is here? Sheesh, I must have been sleep walking through this place. I'll make a post for all the cards so far this year and another one for the cards from last year.

Hip dude, Bad mom

Uber glittery

Embossed mandala, made up creature, chakrahs, peace sign, flower

those were all made from some master boards I layered up.

Unusual alphabet, Stitches on paper

Washing machine

Little camper van

A bunch, Mom swears
5  CRAFTSTER CRAFT CHALLENGES / Craftster Craft Challenge Theme Ideas, Etc. / Home town love on: July 11, 2018 08:39:27 AM
I think it would be really neat-o to learn more about where everybody lives. How about a challenge that incorporates some sort of crafty arty thing related to something about their town/city with photography and facts about notable places? Here where we are there is the Royal Botanical Gardens, a real life though small castle, beautiful harbour, the Bruce Trail, and an abundance of waterfalls including one called The Devil's Punchbowl. It is a pretty groovy place with excellent old architecture and lovely green space.

People could choose a place they grew up or lived part of their lives if they really wanted to but it would be amazing to see what our friends see in their day-to-day lives and, like the traveling little visitor swaps, it might get folks out enjoying some of what is on offer locally that they might otherwise think they didn't have time for. I have only seen the waterfalls we pass on the highway, how sad is that? This would be a great excuse to get the kids out on some adventures and take a few photos of nifty things...
6  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / USE THE GOOD BEADS, fabric, yarn, etc. GALLERY on: June 28, 2018 10:30:34 AM

photo credit iguanamouth

green = Sent
Changed to:
Orange = Partner received

1 craftylittlemonkey
2 anna.wahnsinn
3 thanate
4 dontneedaclassroom
5 Mistress Jennie
6 Wulf
8 seeuudee
9 crafty-becky
10 Onyxnox
11 gala_apples

Mistress Jennie<-->Wulf
Round Robin:
7  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / Pink and blue purse set on: June 28, 2018 06:12:01 AM
Made for edelC for the Color In A Box 2018 swap, she'd asked for cheerful pink and blue items.

The purse is based on this one she had pinned, I just made up the pattern like I usually do.
I did try my hand at "proper" purse construction with the right sort of lining batting stuff, whatever it is. It wasn't as terrible as I thought, the seams were easy enough and everything lined up nicely.
The button thingy was a last minute idea that turned out well I think.

There's another swooshy pocket on the other side of the bag too, it's divided with a line of stitching so it didn't need a button to help hold it closed.

The inside of everything is lined with something different.

They aren't quite visible here but there are some pockets on the other side from the zippered one, a divided open-topped set, also lined with fun pink fabric.

And I tried a recessed zipper, not too fussy to construct once you know how it is supposed to go. I'm not much one for careful measuring but I do recommend it here.

After all that the pouch turned out to be my favourite thing. It's based on the open-wide pattern.

It's my fave because it's pieced together with all the little scraps left over from cutting out the purse. I love scraps and piecework and this, I think, turned out so interesting looking.

I included a tissue cosy, also lined in pink. Those are so nice for rounding out a parcel, sweet little detail that's quick and easy to make.

I've since tried another "properly" constructed purse, different pattern, that turned out just as well. They take a lot of time and fussy construction but they are worth it I think, I may even make one for myself one of these days Cheesy.
8  CROCHET / Crochet: Discussion and Questions / Help with this illusive Pink Panther pattern? on: June 27, 2018 06:14:38 AM
I'd like to make this, it's adorable.

The pattern from it's original site has disappeared from the internet along with any trace of the blog, the unauthorized Turkish version, and any English translations Tongue.
I have managed to find this site with images of the original pattern, in Thai. It's not a document so I can't toss it into the googlie translate machine.

There is this ravelry post with some stitches listed:

Another ravelry post with some alternate stitches:

And someone suggested making the tail with this technique:

Has anybody made something like this or have any suggestions? I may just muddle along and see how I do. I'll post my progress though I am crap at writing a pattern. I'll try my best though.

9  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects / Back yard garden is finally complete! on: May 31, 2018 04:56:03 PM
We've been working on this for ages and I think it's finally, finally at a point where I can stop spending all dang day long every single day sweating in the yard, whew!

After all the gardening I borrowed a neighbour's powerwasher, cleared all the junk and garbage off that concrete and got it all sparkly clean.

All the little baby veggies, yay! They make me so happy Smiley. I've been saving eggshells, regular and from Easter, ha ha, to put around the seedlings for nutrients but also keeping away slugs, eww!
We planted many types of tomatoes, peppers and lettuces, 2 varieties of kale, 2 types of beans, cucumbers, zucchini, snow peas, nasturtium, parsley, basil, thyme, oregano, snap dragons, watercress, lemon sorrel, and there's a big bucket of raspberry from the neighbour that keeps coming back every year.

To get to this point we had the boxes built and filled them with dirt, replaced the fence on the left hand side, had an old garage taken down and hauled away then moved the boxes and dirt across the yard into the space the garage used to be in. We pulled up an interlocking brick path in the far back yard and used the bricks to make a walky path around the boxes. I also shoveled about 2 cubic yards of dirt out of the far back and into the alley (to get it out of the yard but also to smother the crazy weeds out there, I'm going to top it with landscaping fabric and straw. It will only last a year or two but still, that's better than the usual jungle out there!). I am still pulling up stones from the far back to move to the front yard but LOOK AT HOW AWESOME THIS IS ALREADY!

We're saving up to have the back fence replaced and a deck built in the far back from the end of that concrete to the back fence. It is going to be the nicest yard evar!

ETA photos one month later...

Crazy. Some of these plants are huge already. I may have planted too many in those boxes, yikes!

We had the boxes built 2 years ago and planted mostly cherry tomatoes which seeded themselves and came back the next year. This summer all the dirt got moved across the yard so I assumed any seeds would be deep in the soil and not be able to sprout up. WRONG! They are popping up all over the place! I've had to pull some out because those suckers grow Way Huge and would take over everything. Here are a couple I left in place, intrepid little things.

This one is where I've pulled some lettuce, I'll give it a chance. Bet it overruns the box Cheesy.
10  COOKING / Dessert / Strawberry Galette (use any berries!) on: May 30, 2018 03:37:38 PM
Something very similar to this was in our local paper recently and we just happened to see strawberries on special so I thought I'd better made one. It is as easy as pie, or easier since there's no fussy shaping of even fussier dough Wink.

Galette dough needs to be refrigerated for at least an hour or up to 2 days in advance so prep this part first:

1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1/8 tsp salt
1 TBSP oil (I use avocado, it is light and neutral but without the health controversy of canola)
1 TBSP honey
4 TBSP/1 stick cold unsalted butter cut into small cubes and refrigerated until needed.
3 TBSP ice water

Combine flour and salt in a food processor; pulse to blend. Drizzle in oil and honey, then add butter and pulse about 12 times until the butter is the size of peas.
Pulse as you drizzle in the tablespoons of water being careful to only mix until incorporated, up to 5 pulses should do it.
Transfer dough to a sheet of waxed paper or parchment, cover with another sheet and roll out a 9 inch round that is even in thickness. Refrigerate up to 2 days (I put it into the freezer for 30 mins).

When you are ready to bake the galette preheat the oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment and combine:
4 cups berries cut as needed (fresh is preferable but frozen is acceptable)
3 TBSP honey
splash vanilla *optional
1 TBSP balsamic vinegar
2 TBSP cornstarch (or other thickener)

Place the prepared dough onto the parchment lined baking sheet. If the dough cracks press together with your fingers.
Mound the berry mixture at the centre of the dough leaving a 2 inch margin around the edges. Fold that border towards the centre of the filling; it will cover the filling only partially and does not need to be even all the way around.

Bake on the middle rack for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temp to 350 F and bake an additional 30 minutes until the berries are tender and the crust is golden brown.

Cool completely on the baking sheet before cutting into wedges.

*** if your berries are very juicy (mine were and frozen certainly will be) you can strain them so they don't soak the dough. You may want to add the starch or other thickener after straining but it won't matter all that much. I used a pizza stone instead of a baking sheet as we haven't one that's large enough.

One child said it was too sweet, one said it was fine but didn't love the whole wheat crust, the other kid is out for a walk and I don't like cooked fruit. Oh, and the man must eat gluten-free to prevent stomach issues so I'm not quite sure why I made this. I should have done it the other day when our family was here for dinner instead of wasting my time baking for this ungrateful crew Tongue. Oh well, maybe one of you will have success with it. I hope so!
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