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241  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Frosty snowflakes falling over Chistmas - my annual ornament on: January 04, 2012 10:01:23 PM
It was a dreary brown Christmas here, a bit of a disappointment.  But that's OK, I did not mind the warmer temperatures that came with it, and I made snowflakes for everyone so we could appreciate their beauty without all the shoveling and salting that goes with it.

Actually, I had started making woodburned ornaments earlier this year, but the problem was that when we packed away the stuff for renovations, the ornaments got packed away too so I could not finish them.

But I made these from some long bugle beads I had, with firepolished crystals and various sizes of seedbeads, and wire; after taking a brief workshop with the designer, Maria Rypan, earlier this year.

I made them in a variety of silvers, blues, and iridescent/clear bead, and added them to cards, and as add-ons to presents.  But I did not have enough to give away to everyone at our family Christmas party, so I may make more for next year.   Instead, I made bath bombs and handmade cards for the family party.

they ended up being about 3-4 inches in diameter - roughly palm sized.

Here is my blog posting about them
242  BATH AND BEAUTY / Bath and Beauty: Completed Projects / My first bath bombs - a quick last minute family party hand out on: January 04, 2012 09:45:58 PM
I admit to laziness and apathy this year for the holidays (exacerbated by the unholy mess the house is in right now from renovations).  But we had a family gathering on the 23rd and I was feeling some last minute guilt from not baking this year, and not having made enough ornaments to hand out to everyone.  I had the supplies to make bath bombs sitting around for the past couple of months, so I finally sat down and made a few dozen to hand out to the ladies at the party.  As in I literally woke up at 5 am on the 22nd and said to myself - OMG - I should make bath bombs so I have something at least for the party!  Then, with the sudden burst of energy I had, I made cards to go with the packages too.

I packaged 3 bombs per cello bag and tied them off each with a card - making about 15 packages or so.

Here they are drying on the trays - in my empty craft room which DH had three fans blowing in, because he just finished with the drywall compound, and needed everything dry so they could start painting after Christmas (squeal!!!!).  My dogs were very curious about those strange smelly things on the cookie trays.

I made heart shaped lavender ones which smelled like <guess what?>.  I decorated with a smidgeon of lavender flowers when pressing into the molds.

These were a citrus herbal scent which were particularly yummy.  

They were so easy to make, and I will definitely be making them again in the future.  With better planning, I will be making some for our non-family annual gathering next year.  I had a lot of fun making them too - except for the large cut I had on my one hand - OW!

I posted a few times about it on my blog:



243  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Sugar skull goodies - stitch markers on: December 25, 2011 03:18:04 AM
not sure where to put these, as they did not seem to fit in the knit or crochet boards, or the jewelry board.

I made these for the recent MAF holiday swap as my partner indicated she crocheted and liked sugar skulls/Day of the Dead.  I made it as part of a kit for her stash/hobby, so there were stitchmarkers, a skull themed covered craft journal with pockets for patterns, and a hook roll with yarn needles, measuring tape, and scissors.

Made with shrink plastic, drawn on with marker, and coloured with pencil crayon, and veeeeeeeeeeeeeeery slooooooooooowly and patiently varnished with several layers of acrylic sealer.  Slowly to allow for proper drying so that they can be a bit more durable and thin layers, so they would not pit or show fingerprints so easily

I made two different ones that were made from skull beads I had, so that there was something a bit different to show the ends/beginnings of rows/patterns, on leverback earring hooks in case they need to be shifted around or removed in the middle of a row.

A couple of my favourites

244  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Completed Projects / Star light, star bright.... on: December 25, 2011 02:51:07 AM

I made these up as one of the stars for my Jar of Stars swap partners.  They are small little jewel toned, dimensional, brickstitched stars, with little crystals.  I kind of had an idea for how to make these, and came up with the prototype while watching TV one day.  There is some spacing between the front and the back, at the star arms, so they can have a jump ring, chain, cord, wire, etc threaded through to make them into a pendent/charm/earrings, or make a larger one for an ornament.  I can try to work out a pattern if anyone is interested.  I thought they were cute - what do you think?

This may show a bit better the placement of the crystals - they helped the stars to hold their shape better and gave the stars more stability.

The little black one on the right side was my smaller prototype, to see if my idea would work.  They were made with delicas and nymo thread.  They were a bit fussy to make because of the tiny beads and the repeated passing of the needle and through some of the beads, but once you got going, they worked up rather quick.
245  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / A flurry of snowflakes on: December 25, 2011 02:43:10 AM
I made these earlier this month.  I got a Cuttlebug for my birthday earlier this year and was experimenting with different dies and materials and cut out these snowflakes on shrink plastic.  I was going to make a necklace, but then had the idea of making bookmarks with them instead and giving them away in some Christmas packages I was sending out.

The bookmarks are hand forged 16 gauge wire, and I added firepolished crystal dangles to give a bit of icy sparkle.

I kept getting glare off the crystals and metal - so sorry for the crappy pics.
246  REUSING/RECYCLING/RECRAFTING / Where To Find Things To Recycle / Try your local card store for free envelopes on: December 19, 2011 09:44:29 AM
I needed business envelopes the other day and there was a card store where we were shopping, so I popped in there, hoping they would sell regular paper goods/stationary too.  I asked the cashier if they had business envelopes, thinking she would point me out to where they were or would tell me they do not sell them.

Instead, she says sure, she'll look, and pulls out a box from behind the counter and let me go through it - turns out they often have envelopes leftover from their cards - extras or sizes that don't fit current merchandise, and they are happy to give them away rather than toss them.  I ended up getting a bunch of long envelopes in very pretty colours - I am sure the insurance company won't miss my blood red envelope amongst everyone else's plain jane white ones Cheesy

Anyways, this may be helpful to papercrafters or anyone who needs envelopes.
247  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / Help for next Christmas and wiring a craft for lights and sound.... on: December 18, 2011 07:07:24 AM
OK, my group of friends and I have a get together every year and it often sometimes involves some silliness and fun - joke crafts and the like.  We have decided that next year it will be a celebration of the ugly sweater and I have an idea for my sweater, but I need to know how to set up a portable LED light desplay for it, and to set it up to play bad Christmas music.  I can be pretty handy, but I have not tried setting up wiring for lights or sound before, let alone a fabric craft. 

I will probably find a second hand sweater or sweatshirt and decorate it - but where do I get the materials for the electrical component (I am presuming The Source may have it??, or there is a local surplus store that has components too) and more importantly - HOW?

I have a friend who could help me, but I want him to be surprised too - especially as I have an idea for a sweater for him too.
248  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Completed Projects / Lacy hearts choker on: October 18, 2011 06:56:20 PM

I made a couple of these lately - metal free beaded hearts chokers.  Both for swaps.  Both made with translucent gray black seed beads, but with different size 8/0 accent beads.  Using organza ribbon as ties as opposed to metal findings, in case anyone has metal allergies.

249  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Stenciling: Completed Projects / SUPER HAPPY FREAKIN' CUPCAKE! on: October 18, 2011 06:41:12 PM

Everytime I see this, all I can think is that is one SUPERHAPPYFREAKIN'CUPCAKE!!!!!!  EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!

I made these for my partner recently in the Random swap.  She indicated she likes animals, especially cats, likes cakes, and likes Kawaii.  The SUPERHAPPYFREAKIN'CUPCAKE is actually on a pink bookbag I sent her.  The other two are shirts.

My favourite, however, is the SUPERHAPPYFREAKIN'CUPCAKE!!!!

250  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / My take on thread earrings on: October 18, 2011 06:31:31 PM

My partner in the Random Swap asked if I could make a pair of Peruvian style thread earrings. 

I had never made them before, but decided why not give it a go.  I used 18 gauge silverplate wire to make the frames, used premade earring hangers, and used a 24 gauge wire to make the coils.  Funnily enough, my small knitting needles made the perfect frame for coiling the wire on, to slip onto the earring frame.

I did not think they were too bad for a first time try - what do you think?
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