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41  FIBER ARTS / Felting: Discussion and Questions / Precise Outlining on Dark Surfaces Technique on: August 31, 2006 09:34:55 AM
I didn't have any luck getting my white tracing pencil or gel pens to mark clearly on fulled wool fabric.  (What little bit would stick to it would rub off so easily)

So, I used a technique that I saw in an embroidery book (library...sorry don't recall the name) that you can use for outlining a satin stitch.

1. Print TWO copies of your design onto printer paper.  (I found out the hard way that tissue paper would be easier to remove from the fabric later if you want to trace your design onto it.  Don't try to send it through the printer, unless you tape all the edges down to a sheet of printer paper really well.) The extra copy is to use as an original used as a reference in step

2. Then pin the paper on top of the fabric, positioning the design where you wish it to go.

3. Using a thin needle and contrasting thread, outline the entire design using as long of a stitch as you can without compromising the details of the design. (This will allow you to withdraw your threads easier later.)

4. Now remove the paper from the stitches.  I had to cut mine out very carefully, making sure not to cut the threads.  If you use tissue paper, you can probably just rip it right off and use tweezers to pick out any remaining bits. 

5. Begin the needle felting as usual, using the second printed copy of the original design to add any details that didn't come across in the outlining.  You can see that I added the little 'flared' edges of the letters just by eyeballing it.  If I were to have stitched around each little nook and cranny, it would have been hard to cut and pull the threads in the next step. 

6. Once you finish felting the letters, cut the threads and pull out the outline stitches that you made.  (IF you completely cover the stitch, meaning that it is not visible in any way from the front, you do not have to cut the stitch out....but neatness counts!)

Here's the whole name after the outlining threads were cut:

And the back:

And the completed bag!

42  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General / RecycleMicol's First First First First Bag! on: August 31, 2006 08:30:47 AM
Okay...here's my very first sewn bag. I made it for a fellow craftster who missed the Unique Name Swap like I did.  I sent her photos already...and she loves it!!!

It is also my:

First 'fulled' (felted) bag...this wool had a previous life as a skirt! I felted it in the washing machine!

First installed Zipper! Woo-hoo!

First time to try Needle Felting (The name is done in Needle Felt...I made my own needles! Bought NO supplies to learn this new craft skill!)

First time to needle punch into directly into wool. (The cherries)

I was really dumb and didn't search the Craftster tutorials before beginning, so there are a lot of things I would do differently...I didn't have a pattern, I just winged it! I definitely will add more pockets before sewing in the lining the next time!

The last pic shows some Shrinky Dinks that I made for the swap also. The cherry one has been made into a key chain or zipper pull.

Opinions are welcome!!!!


43  FIBER ARTS / Felting: Discussion and Questions / One More Reason To Do Your Own Felting!!! on: August 25, 2006 11:34:57 AM
I got this off of a website. It was in table form but it wouldn't come through as one using the table tool, so I color coded it for clarity.

If these are the byproducts of manufacturing felt, then I'm even more proud that I am learning hand-felting!!!


Environmental Exposure Assessment Wool Mills Felting Doc.doc
Environmental Exposure Assessment


For Official Use ENV/JM/EEA(2004)8/1/REV

Organisation de Coopration et de Dveloppement Economiques

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development 02-Dec-2004
 Environmental Releases from Wool Fabric Wet Processing

Air Emissions
Solid Waste
little or no wastewater


little or no air emissions


packaging waste; yarn and

fabric scraps; off-spec fabric

disinfectants and insecticide

residues; NaOH; detergents,

fats; oils; pectin; wax; knitting

lubricants; spin finishes; spent


volatile organic compounds
little or no residual waste


hydrogen peroxide, sodium

silicate or organic stabilizer;

high pH

little or no air emissions


little or no residual waste


metals; salt; surfactants; toxics;

organic processing assistants;

cationic materials; color; BOD;

COD; sulphide;

acidity/alkalinity; spent


volatile organic compounds
little or no residual waste


suspended solids; urea;

solvents; color; metals, heat

BOD; foam

solvents, acetic acid from

drying and curing oven

emissions; combustion

gases; particulate matter

little or no residual waste


BOD; COD; suspended solids;

toxics; spent solvents

volatile organic compounds;

contaminants in purchased

chemicals; formaldehyde

vapours; combustion gases;

particulate matter

 fabric scraps and trimmings;

packaging waste


44  COOKING / Dessert / RecycleMicol's Chocolate Truffles on: August 18, 2006 10:31:34 AM
Someone requested the recipe for these.  Here they are pictured in the Baby Shower Planning thread: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=108119.0

This gets wordy...I will have to take pictures next time I do this...it really isn't complicated, I promise!

Unfortunately, for the ganache filling, I don't use a set recipe...I just adjust it to taste...like my Great-Grandmother used to do.  It it comes out too thin after it's cool, I add a little powdered sugar.  DO NOT thin with water if it's too thick!  Use a little cream or corn syrup.  It is supposed to be really pretty solid, though, so keep that in mind.

I like to flavor my filling with almond flavoring, rum flavoring, coffee flavoring made from freeze-dried crystals and a little water, or just vanilla.  (You can use liquers, but be wary of the amount...youngsters don't need it!)  I haven't tried mint flavoring yet, but would like to!  My 'nut of choice' is Pecan, although almonds are nice, too!

But, here are some recipes that would come the closest.  You can follow it to the 'T', or use my dipping method to get the results I do.  (you may have to look around on the pages to find the actual ganache recipes)


Okay...once you get the filling made, you can either do the shaping at that point or keep it in the fridge for a few days or the freezer for a month or two.  Bring to room temperature before you try working with it.  It also helps to have a cool room to do this next step in.

I have a lovely 1/2 Tablespoon measuring spoon that is a perfect half-sphere shape on the inside. (Tupperware, I believe)  I scoop the filling into it and scrape off any excess with a sharp, flat-edged, non serrated knife.  I smack the measuring spoon on the bowl I have the filling in and catch the little half-sphere of filling in my hand.  Put it on waxed or parchment paper.  Do as many as you want...freeze or refrigerate any left overs.

Then get some of those candy coating melts from Wilton in the cake decorating section of any craft store...some grocery stores or even wal-mart.  One to two bags of dark chocolate and one bag of white chocolate.  That is, unless you want to go through all the trouble of tempering real couverture and keeping it at temperature throughout dipping!  (if you use a good quality filling chocolate, it make up for the coating!)

Melt the chocolate coating in the microwave using the instructions on the back.  If I'm only doing a small batch, I'll just use half of a bag...you can always add more chips and melt in again.  Don't burn it, though!

I put the slightly-cool (not cold) 'filling half-spheres' one at a time into the melted coating...using a dinner fork (I don't have a candy dipping fork) I lift it out of the coating, tap the bottom of the fork straight down on the side of the bowl to get excess coating to drain down between the tines and then scrape the fork across the top of the bowl.  Use a skewer or small paring knife to slide the truffle off of the fork onto waxed or parchment paper into nice even vertical rows with at least two inches between each row.  This will make the next step easier.

Melt a few of the white chololate candy coating 'buttons' in a plastic zip-top sandwich bag in the microwave.  This does not take long...so don't burn it!!!  Add any food color you like.  I use the Wilton paste colors.  For pastels, it only takes a TAD!  Better to start light and add more if you want it darker.  Squish the color and white candy coating around until well blended.  Cut a small cut off of the corner of the bag...test this on the paper first...it it's too small, it will get all squigly when it comes out.  If it's too large for your liking, just cut the other corner and squeeze all the candy coating to that side to use that corner instead.

Now in a side to side motion, start with the first vertical row, at the truffle farthest away from you and zig-zag your way down the row whle pulling the bag toward you.  Do the same with the rest of the vertical rows.  The space between them is so you won't run into the next row of truffles when you're zig-zagging.

Let them dry and enjoy!  If you give them time to rest, they will 'ripen' and intensify in flavor.

I've been keeping mine on the counter in a plastic container and we've eaten them within three or four days.  We've never gotten sick. If you are concerned about the dairy in it, I would keep it in the fridge in a tightly sealed plastic container, but keep them covered as you let them warm up before serving.  They'll stay good for several hours at room temperature, I know!

Sorry so lengthy!  I just want everyone to know how do do them...even someone not familiar with candy making!


Edited by vanillaxlight to add RecycleMicol's picture of her lovely truffles. I say it's okay to double post this pic in this instance. Wink
45  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Pillow Boxes from Recycled Cards *With Tutorial! Pic Heavy!!! on: August 17, 2006 07:37:49 PM
Okay...I searched through the threads in Paper and Recycled things and didn't find anything on this...so it may be new to Craftster...maybe not, but I couldn't find it.  As far as I know, it may be a RecycleMicol original!!!

Here are the pics:

Here's the Tutorial:

Now I had to make this in Micorsoft Paint!!!  Can you believe???  I had Photoshop but my old computer bit the dust and I haven't purchased another Photoshop program for this new computer!  Sorry!

First, get a greeting card...new or used...but recycling IS the best, isn't it??!!  That way they're free, too!

This says 'Score and Valley Fold a thin margin of the front flap in towards the backside of the front flap, creasing well...but you can't read the dumb writing!!!

If you have any more questions about the terrible pixelated Tutorial, please ask!


46  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / RecycleMicol's Needle Punch Patch on: August 16, 2006 04:07:07 PM
Kiki*eks received her Angel Swap gift from me today...so...Here are the pics and a tut for anyone interested!  I even had an experienced (well-paid) needle puncher interested in my technique for the back!  Yippee!

Here is the front of the patch:

Here is the back:

Here is the pattern I made to transfer to the patch backing fabric:

Here's how I did it:

First I decided on an easy pattern based on a pattern I thought Kiki*eks would like...I went to the hobby store and purchased floss in colors I thought would be nice without copying the inspiration fabric too much.

I just copied the image of the inspiration fabric off of the website by right-clicking, pasted it into my editing software program and made it black and white for a high-contrast version to easily trace from. I also made one copy of it a washed-out version so I could make a color chartwhich I did NOT stick with!  I changed some of the colors on the fly. 

You can do this with almost ANY image, even just using a copier...then trace the image onto the backing fabric and punch away!  Just remember that your tracing will be going on the BACK of your punching fabric, so you MUST REVERSE the pattern in the computer program because needle punch is worked from the back of the fabric!  In other words, if you were to make a patch with a word in it, it will look like it is backwards on the back of the fabric in order to come out right on the right side of the fabric.

Heres how I finished the backI didnt have any large sheets of Stitch Witchery stuff, so I used the small roll of it I had that was made for basting hems!  Ha!  Ill purchase the larger sheets next time!  Heres the link to the product website in case you have any questions about it. http://www.dritz.com/askus/faq/faq_07.php

 So, start with a large sheet of ittrim it to size, lay the punched piece front-side-down on an ironing board and place the webbing on the back.  Lay a piece of parchment paper (NOT waxed paper) over it before ironing it on the highest setting.  Wait until you can rub the back of the parchment with your fingernail (or a plastic knife, maybe) to loosen the paper.  Do at least two layers, if not more.  It makes a most fabulous non-skid backing and really seals in the fibers!

I finished mine by hand sewing a nice bias tape strip around it, but there are other options at your craft store...such as an anti-unraveling glue stuff I haven't tried yet. 

If you have any other questions, just ask!

47  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Completed Projects / Let scrapbook paper inspire your walls! on: August 11, 2006 07:42:58 PM
I loved a scrapbook paper design I saw on http://www.urbanlily.com/ and decided to do my interpretation of it on my 2 yr. (now 4yr.) old's walls.  I believe it was called Licorice Vine.  The walls are roughly textured, which is problematic to paint on, but my husband and I drew the design in pencil and tackled it with artist brushes.  You can't see it much, but the other 3 walls have a thick burgundy and thinner light pink stripe around the bottoms of them.  You can do this with any pattern!  And if you're not artistic, you can trace it and use a projector to pencil in the design on your walls.

Close up of the flowers

What do you think?

48  FIBER ARTS / Felting: Discussion and Questions / Please help! Looking for that beautiful blue felt hat...Found...Blue Swerl Hat on: August 09, 2006 01:49:16 PM
I saw one time on Craftster somewhere...but can't find it.  It was a cloche-type...tightly felted...beautiful blue with a few colorful strands of needle felted roving wisping around it ever-so wistfully.  Can anyone point me in the right direction?

49  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Greeting Cards on: August 08, 2006 06:44:34 PM
Here are some pics of several cards I have made with paper from those great sample books you get from the paper companies or print shops.

This is for a baby boy's birth.  I make everything from scratch...starting with green and white paper.  I made my own wire word, too.

This was my first one.  I stamped the baby feet image on cardstock, cut out the image with an exacto knife, then used it as a stencil to emboss the peachy-pink paper.  I used sewing thread to make a little diamond pattern on the background paper.

This one was for my In-laws who just got back from their first cruise.  If I had seen the pictures of their trip first, I would have switched the colors of the sky and water!  The water was marvelously blue and the sky was greyish in their photos.  I simply cut out the pieces and layered them all on top of each other accordingly.  I saw a picture of the little illustrated ship in a book I had and was inspired to try to recreate it with paper.

Same with this one for my FIL's birthday.  I don't like the way the supports under the roller coaster look...they should be coming up from the bottom...not the side.  I also rushed my lettering on the front.  Oh well, he liked it!  The inside said, 'It's all downhill from here!'.


50  Texas / Texas: North Central / Just South of Fort Worth...Craftster Friends, Unite! on: August 08, 2006 01:50:28 PM

I'm on the South Fort Worth Border off of I-35.  Any Crafters in South Ft. Worth and South Arlington, Burleson, Crowley, Joshua, Cleburne & surrounding areas that know where I am and interested in having a Crafty-Get-Together?  I don't travel up to Dallas...so it would be around here.

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