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51  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Tiny house and a poofy velvety heart on: March 01, 2017 02:15:01 PM
Made for the 4X6" swap, little houses have been a theme for me lately. This brick fabric has been in my stash for a very long time and even though it's not in proportion to the house it still works, it's like outrageously big eyes or something like that.

I was considering leaving the light green vines as is but I just want to show you here the difference it made to add leaves.

I like the look of the vines themselves but the thicker, layered stitches really appealed to me to make this look like an almost overgrown building.

I also made this piece for the swap, it's not a lot of stitches that you can see but there is so much hidden stitchery to get that 3-d heart to be the right shape I almost wish it showed.

It's very poofy, more than I managed to capture in a photo. I stuffed it so much and then had to figure out a way to get it to lay flat on the canvas (lots of glue, ha!)

I sewed the fabric up like a pillowcase then put a small canvas board inside and stitched the opening closed. For a hanger I used skirt hooks.

52  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Other Image Reproduction Techniques: Discussion and Questions / Thomas Shahan, relief printmaking on: February 26, 2017 09:32:33 AM
I'm facinated with the work of Thomas Shahan. He carves and prints strange surreals, life like images, animals. He's all over the place with his work and it's all FANTASTIC.

Here you can see the carved block with a multi-colour print following.

He's posted a youtube video about relief printmaking that includes his carving and printing process:

Here's his website:

He says he carves on MDF, I'd like to try my hand one of these days. It can't be much different than lino or rubber stamp carving.
53  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / How do you store your foodie stuffs? on: February 25, 2017 03:13:32 PM
I'm feeding lots of people and thankfully have a big enough kitchen for a change. Even still, storage is always an issue. As much as I'd prefer a daily trip to the market for just what we'd need for that day, the reality dictates we shop in bulk for cost and convenience.

We put shelves up in a small side closet to make a pantry off the kitchen, here are flours, oats, spices, beans, cereal, sugar, and extra condiments.

This cupboard in the kitchen used to store mops and brooms, apparently I am not as concerned with house cleaning as I am with cooking Roll Eyes. Jars of grains, dried fruits, coconut milk, broth, tomatoes, baking supplies, pasta, honey, etc.

There's a small room off my studio in the basement that is quite cool for 3 seasons of the year but never freezing, it makes a great cold room for apples, root veggies, onions, bulk peanut butter, and freeze-dried emergency food packets.

We go to costco for a big shop once a month or so and for fresh food at the market almost every weekend plus we order cases of meat from a friend who gets us a discount and occasionally another friend wholesale orders us cases of produce for freezing or canning. Sometimes it seems a bit crazy having all this food stash but there are still nights I feel lost about what to make for supper. I remember a time when I hardly ever thought about food, it is such a priority now.

What do you do? Any meal planners out there? Buying club members? Show me your cupboards, please? I have to know I'm not the only one...

I won't ask you to take pics of the inside of your fridge, lol, you sure aren't seeing mine Cheesy!
54  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Discussion and Questions / Sharing my favo sock monkey maker of all time on: February 23, 2017 02:56:30 PM
It starts with sock monkey of Willendorf and goes on from there...

55  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / Whatever happened to WIST? on: February 23, 2017 02:22:45 PM
I still see them listed on people's profiles but the links never go anywhere and look though I might I can't find a whiff of info about that old website anywhere online. It's like it never existed, but of course it did and I had a page myself that I forgot the password to then forgot about and now it is totally gonzo. Where did it go? Are wists still listed in profiles because people haven't bothered to change them, is it invitation viewing only, am I left out of the loop? What's Going On?! LOL
56  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Do you crochet & knit? I have a question... on: February 23, 2017 06:38:56 AM
I only crochet a little but even still I'm most comfortable with the hook in my right hand & the yarn in my left. I joined a group to learn how to knit & am finding it so awkward to hold the yarn in my right hand. I'm told there's a technique for holding it in the left, if anybody has any links to share I would so appreciate being pointed in a fruitful direction rather than looking at dozens of youtubez trying to find the right thing.
Thanks folks!
57  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Discussion and Questions / Basque stitch on: February 14, 2017 10:26:53 AM
I get regular emails from pintangle's TAST (take a stitch Tuesday) site. Not that I actually stitch along, I hope to eventually and in the meantime I just enjoy the offerings.

This week's example is so gorgeous, I thought I'd share.
58  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Feather mini quilt, paper pieced. on: February 14, 2017 09:12:19 AM

Made for the mini quilt swap. My partner's favourite colours are cool purples, greens, blues & greys and I wanted to incorporate lots of shades. I came across this free pattern and thought I'd give paper piecing a try.

I'm told it gets easier the more you do it. That's good to hear because it is weird and backwards, everything you know about putting fabric together is wrong since it's assembled in reverse. My sense of spacial relationships got a bad case of vertigo, lol.

It's far from perfect and I wish I'd had the nerve to try one of those beautiful swirly quilting patterns but after the frustration of putting the feathers together I didn't want to risk messing them up and having to start over again. Since it's a mini quilt I think the radiating lines highlight it well without being too busy.

59  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Love day shrine on: February 08, 2017 10:10:16 AM
Made for the Mixed Media Valentine's Day swap. This is my first crack at an assemblage, I really enjoyed it and will try my hand at it again in future.

I started with the bottom of this old singer sewing machine parts box, it is quite sturdy. It got painted and paper glued all over it then layers and layers of mod podge, so many layers...

I don't usually work with paper so it was interesting including that with all the glue and darkening edges of cut outs and such. I used a lot of stuff I've learned here, there are such excellent tutorials on covering altoid tins with paper, cutting and gluing, etc etc. Tons of inspirational projects too.

The frame, oh boy. I was looking for a heavy chipboard but couldn't find any so I took apart one of those photo frames that are just glass and clips with a backing. It's very difficult to cut :/. I used a dremel but the friction was too much, it nearly lit on fire and smoked me out of the studio for the rest of that night. Oops.
It turned out OK though, a little texture paste, paint, glitter with many layers of mod podge to make it stick (my partner's pet peeve is loose glitter!).
The winged eye is from bead stash, I glued them together with a little flower shaped sequin I found on the floor of the studio, probably one of the kids or fell off something. I have no idea but it looked like it would make good lashes so there you go, use everything!

My cutting and pasting was not perfect so to disguise where the edges met I used a shimmery texture paste in the corners that I smooshed around to make look more organic and part of the design rather than a fix.

The metal heart is a cookie cutter from our childhood. My mom had them at the cottage and brought them all to me. They are awesome but too rusty for cutting cookies with, no way! So, make art out of them, yay! I drilled holes and wired the pink guitar pick and hand & heart finding. The lace trim is to cover more imperfect cutting and gluing and there's a bit of vintage doily stuck to the top for interest.

It looked a little not-quite-finished to me so I added a scroll to the bottom. It's just paper with a singed edge, ribbon, a bit of wood skewer and beads.
60  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Tiny cottage needlebook on: February 06, 2017 06:15:37 AM
Made for my partner in the OTT24. She asked for something useful with white, silver, gray, purple, & blue that was whimsical and mentioned a liking for fairies & gnomes. I saw a small house in her pinterest boards which gave me the idea to make one into a practical object, a needlebook!

Here it is all folded up, it closes with a snap at the roof peaks.

The door handle is a gold seed bead.


2 pages of wool felt for needles. The sides could have elastic bits added to hold small scissors etc but I have found the sort I use the most myself just holds needles and is very useful to me. Coincidentally, I received my needlebook in a swap here years ago Smiley.

I've made a little house with lots of french knots for flowers in a previous swap and thought they'd look nice on this one too. I had an upsetting moment when I folded the seam allowances in and found that one window was very off centre but the addition of a trellis fixed that and even made it better I think so yay for happy accidents!

If she doesn't find it useful for that purpose it can be stitched into a little home that might suit a fairie. I'd like a cottage covered in purple roses, wouldn't you?
It's just pinned in place here and could use a pressing to get it crisp and square but you get the idea.

I wouldn't have come up with the idea if not for the swap but I will certainly keep making tiny houses now. I found it so much fun to plan and work on, it was a great winter pick me up for me and now I'm eagerly awaiting the flowers of spring Smiley.
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