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1  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / Talk About The Swap Process / Suggestion for addition to questionnaires: want to do more than required or not on: April 24, 2008 12:14:09 PM
I apologize if this has been suggested before, but I couldn't find anything formal (though I know I've seen other people talking about this issue before, so I'm fairly confident I'm not alone).  I would really, really love it if there were an additional question on every swap questionnaire that asks whether the participant wants to do more than the suggested/required amount of items.  I know most swaps say to "discuss with your partner" if you want to do more or less, but the problem comes in when somebody's already decided how much they want to do (which I think a lot of folks have), so that there's no actual discussion, just one person saying "this is how much I'm going to do".

Frankly this one issue is why I've almost completely stopped doing "big" swaps: if the swap requirements say 1 large, 1 medium, and 1 small, that I could totally do, but most of the time I've found people want to do way more than that, with multiple mediums and smalls and sometimes even more than one large, and I just don't have time for that right now.  Sure someone might say they don't mind getting less, but how crappy would you feel to only send the recommended amount and get twice that amount in return?

It just seems to me that it would be worthwhile to add this question into the questionnaire so that folks who want to do loads of extra items can be paired together, and those who just want to do what the swap specifies or suggests can likewise be paired together, so nobody feels shorted or guilty.  This way everybody would be happy and nobody would be disappointed because they feel like they need to make more (or even less) than what they REALLY want to do.

Anyway, that's my suggestion; I just wanted to put it out there.  What does everybody think about it?
2  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Other Image Reproduction Techniques: Discussion and Questions / Mounting hand carved stamps? on: February 26, 2008 10:38:43 AM
I've just tried carving my first stamp, and as it came out really well I'd like to make more.  The first one I did was on the white carving medium (Staedtler brand, I think?), which was quite thick, so it doesn't need to be mounted (at least I wouldn't bother for myself), but I found it a little bit too soft and tiny pieces tend to flake off the surface, so for my next one I'm trying the Speedball pink carving medium, which is pretty thin, so it'll definitely need to be mounted. 

What's the best way to do this, especially without having to order anything online (the next one I'm hoping to give as a gift and I don't have time to wait for shipping)?  They sell the acrylic mounts at Hobby Lobby, but I'm not sure how to attach my stamp to one of those.  Could I just glue it directly onto the mount?  Do I need something inbetween the stamp and the mount? Should I use wood instead (I do have access to cutting tools if necessary)? Any help would be greatly appreciated!
3  CRAFTING FOR GOOD AND NOT EVIL / Crafty Charitable/Social Causes / Ideas for representing hunger stats without killing the environment? on: February 25, 2008 10:09:13 AM
I'm in charge of the 30 Hour Famine for my church, and I'm trying to think of a good, relatively environmentally-friendly way to create some sort of visual representation of hunger stats so people can see the scope of the problem and hopefully be inspired to give.  The most common stat I've seen ideas for representing is the 29,000 children who die every day from preventable diseases and malnutrition (here's a list of hunger stats/facts), but most of the ideas I've seen are really not very nice for the environment.  Stuff like a paper chain with 29,000 links or 29,000 plastic forks stuck in sheets of styrofoam and made into a walk way are visually striking, but they're awfully wasteful and not even particularly sturdy, so I don't think you could even really reuse them very well.  The only idea I've come across so far that would be reusable would be putting 29,000 fingerprints in paint on sheets, which is cool, but I'd love to find some more ideas, especially ones that could be a bit more artistic...

Anyway, I've got 2 months until our Famine date, so I've got time to do something fairly elaborate.  I can knit, crochet, and sew, and I wouldn't mind learning something new for this.  I'm not set on using the 29k/day stat either, it's just the one I've seen used the most, so I've been thinking about it the most.  I'd really appreciate some ideas as to what I could make. 

Also for the quilters and beaders out there, would I be completely insane to try and make something out of 29,000 pieces of fabric or beads?  Those ideas came to mind right away but I suspect they'd be rather infeasible... Wink

Any and all input would be greatly appreciated!
4  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Discussion and Questions / How to frame a painting? on: September 06, 2007 11:32:56 AM
I searched but couldn't find anything, so hopefully someone here can help me.  I just received an AMAZING painting in a swap (http://www.flickr.com/photos/maltiriel/1330319046/in/set-72157601878913660/) and I'd really like to frame it properly so I can hang it up on my wall.  The thing is I have no idea how to do this.  It's canvas (I'm pretty sure...) on a wooden frame, so it's too thick for a regular frame like for photos or whatever.  I feel sorta silly bothering my swap partner about it, so I'm posting here.

I could probably get Hobby Lobby to do it, but I'd like to make my own frame, plus I'm all paranoid that they'd damage it somehow.  So anyway, if anyone could tell me how to frame it and also if there's anything I should do to protect the painting or anything (like I wouldn't want it to fade from the sun; it won't be hanging in direct sunlight but I live in the desert, so even indirect light is very bright!) I'd appreciate any and all info/tips.  Thanks!
5  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Suggestions for a learn to knit starter kit? on: September 05, 2007 11:56:02 AM
A few months ago I was showing off some of my knitted goods, and one of my friends mentioned that she'd really like to learn to knit.  Her birthday is coming up, so I thought I'd put together a kit with all the essentials for her to learn on.  I'm still fairly new to knitting myself, so I'm trying to take into consideration stuff I had problems with initially.  Anyway, I've got a short list of stuff to include so far, but I'd love suggestions so I don't miss anything obvious!

The list so far:
single skeins of various fibers (cotton, wool, and acrylic for sure, maybe something more exotic like bamboo as well) so she can see how they feel and the differences in the fabric
patterns to go along with the yarns
knitting needles (1 pair each of plastic, bamboo, and metal, again so she can see the differences and decide what she prefers)
yarn needle for weaving ends
small scissors
small swatches of different stitches, like stockinette and garter
list of knitting websites
knitting book (I learned from Knitting for Dummies, so I was thinking I'd include that)
binder with pages for project info
photos of projects pre and post blocking (despite having read about how much better it makes stuff look, I didn't really believe it until I saw the difference for myself!)

And that's what I've got for now.  I'd love suggestions for other things to include, or even opinions on things not to include.  Pattern and link suggestions would also be appreciated.  What I've got now is mostly Harry Potter related (she's a huge fan) and/or dishcloths for patterns. Wink  For the record, I don't plan to include the full on HP scarf pattern, but the bookscarves in worsted weight don't seem like they'd be too bad...
6  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / How colorfast is Lion Brand cotton yarn? on: August 08, 2007 01:47:53 PM
I'm making a dishcloth out of red Lion Brand cotton yarn, and I'm a bit concerned about bleeding.  My very first knitting project last year was a dishcloth made with red Sugar and Cream, and that one is STILL bleeding when we use it, despite having been washed several times.  I don't mind pink dishwater that much, but the dishcloth I'm working on is a present, so I'd rather it didn't bleed.

Anyway, I just wondered if anybody has had experience with this.  If it is prone to bleeding, is there anything I can do to minimize it?  I've read that soaking in vinegar can help, has anyone tried that?  I also had some cotton yarn (mercerized, if that matters) which recommended adding salt to the wash water for items made from more than one color of yarn, which I assume was to help with bleeding.  Would that work?

Any input would be greatly appreciated.
7  UNITED STATES / New Mexico / Anybody know of NM produced cotton yarns? on: July 13, 2007 11:11:54 AM
I know there are some wool yarns produced in New Mexico, but living in southern NM, wool isn't exactly the most practical fiber.  There are TONS of cotton farms around here, so I was wondering if any of that is being turned into yarn or if it's all going to mass-produced stuff.  Google was less than helpful; all I turned up was wool yarns or scientific research on different kinds of cotton.

It would just be kind of cool to knit/crochet with genuine NM cotton yarn...  So if anyone knows of any and/or where I could get some, please share!
8  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / What to make with one skein of Bernat Bamboo yarn? on: July 10, 2007 01:08:20 PM
I saw this in a JoAnns in Dallas while on vacation, and it was so amazingly soft I had to buy some to try out.  It's 89% bamboo, 11% acrylic, 60g, and 57m.  Now I'm just stumped on what to do with it.  I thought perhaps a headband, but I'm not sure...  Anyone have any ideas?  It has a very fuzzy texture.

I did a search for Bernat Bamboo hoping to see some projects for ideas, but nothing turned up.  I was wondering if it's a fairly new product...?  They also had cashmere and alpaca blends in the same "Natural Blends" line at the store, none of which I've seen before, but then my town and local craft stores are small.
9  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Help finding Hogwarts house colored yarn in warm weather fibers on: June 07, 2007 10:37:48 AM
I live in the desert, so wool is not the most practical fiber here.  Unfortunately the only yarn recommendations I've seen for Harry Potter knits are in wool or maybe acrylic (which isn't very nice in hot weather, either).  I've been looking locally for cotton or other fibers in the right colors, but after searching all the stores that sell yarn in a one hour radius around my house, I've given up finding anything here, so I'm just going to order online. 

However, I'm really paranoid about spending a bunch of money on something that looks good online but isn't quite right in person (since the colors are so specific), so I was hoping somebody here might know for sure of some suitable yarns in Hogwarts house colors, particularly Gryffindor and Ravenclaw.  I'd especially love sock yarn and worsted weight recommendations.  At this point I don't care if they're in the lighter or the darker movie colors, just so long as they look right...

If anybody has any recommendations, I'd really, really appreciate it!
10  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Commodore 64 cross-stitched eyeglasses case on: February 20, 2007 10:52:18 PM
I made this:

for my dad for his birthday.  It's the logo from the old Commodore 64 computer, which my dad absolutely loved back in the day.  We didn't get an IBM compatible PC until the early '90's, and until then dad hung this big sign above the C64 that said "Not IBM compatible." My dad's a geek, but then so am I so I guess it works out well. Wink

Anyway, I just used a logo I found searching google and did 1 pixel = 1 stitch.  It took me far longer than it should have to cross-stitch, because I kept starting over after deciding half-way through that the colors weren't quite right.  At least it taught me a valuable lesson in double checking colors BEFORE you start!
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