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1  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / The Swap Gallery / The Gallery of the Secret Santa Wishlist and Charity Swap on: November 16, 2017 04:32:42 PM

Have a Holly Jolly Gallery...

Post pics of what you receive! If what you received is wrapped beautifully/creatively, show us that, too!  Grin
2  Craft Swaps / ACTIVE SWAPS WHERE SIGN-UP PERIOD HAS CLOSED / Secret Santa Wishlist and Charity Swap! (signup Nov 7-21, send by Dec 11) on: November 07, 2017 10:12:42 PM

Only wishlists in this thread -- Discussion thread is here!

Swap name: Secret Santa Wishlist and Charity Swap
Craftster member who is organizing this swap: calluna
Co-organizer: Smeddley
Sign-up date range: November 7 - 21, 2017
Date to send item by: December 7 11, 2017

Limited to a certain number of people? (optional): no!
Restricted to people who all live in the same country? NO

Swap Organizer himself/herself meets these conditions:
- Has fully read the Swap Info Guide: YES
- Has successfully completed two swaps as a participant: YES
- Is not organizing more than three swaps right now: YES
- Will recruit a co-organizer or give all details to a Swap Moderator if this swap has more than 25 participants: YES
- Is at least 18 years old: YES

Swap Organizer will check each participant to make sure they meet these conditions:
- Has been a member for at least one month: YES
- Has posted at least 15 times: YES
- Has completed one swap successfully before signing up for multiple swaps at a time: YES
- Is not currently signed up for more than five swaps: YES
- Does not have any negative feedback: YES
- Participant has agreed that he/she is at least 16 years old: YES
- If within the US, understands that Delivery Confirmation number is required for this swap: YES
- If outside the US, understands that a mailing receipt copy is required for this swap: YES

Details of swap:
Do you
  • have at least as much fun giving as receiving?
  • delight in sneaky, anonymous acts of kindness, such as abandoning art?
  • need small gifts for your family/friends or coworkers?
  • collect handmade goods to donate to charity?
  • need a little extra crafty love to get you through this time of year?
  • miss getting together online with your Craftster swap pals?

If any of these sound like you, JOIN THE 2017 SECRET SANTA SWAP!!

All are welcome, whatever holidays or observances you might be into, and wherever you are in the world.  Cheesy

In this swap, you dont know who is sending to you. What makes it extra fun is that theres practically no limit to how many people you might receive from, and you can send secretly to multiple people. And only the organizers knows the true identities of all these crafty elves!

The minimum package to each person is 2 small items, or 1 medium.
Small and medium refer to time/effort or price, not actual physical size of item. What qualifies as a small item?
By crafting time: 1-2 hours (not including drying time, supply-shopping time, etc.)
By size: Earrings, pendant, wallet, pouch, bookmarks, magnets, headband, simple hand-carved stamp, cat toy
By price: $10 or less

If you want to participate, here is the information to send to calluna via PM (please put Secret Santa Swap signup as the subject):

Name of swap: Secret Santa Wishlist and Charity Swap
Craftster username:
Email address:
Your real name:
Mailing address including the country:
Would you be willing to ship to an address outside your own country?
Confirm that you are at least 18 years old (yes/no)
Have you read and understand all the rules and details?
Do you have a camera to take pictures of your presents?
Can you list at least 5 crafted items and/or supplies on your wishlist? (If you dont have 5 for yourself, you can also list things for other people in your life, things to be abandoned in public as random acts of kindness, things to donate to charitable causes, etc.)
If there are clothing items on your list, what are the measurements and or sizes?
Is there anything else you would like your Secret Santa to know, which you dont want to publicize to the world on your wishlist? (Ill pass the info along only to the people who claim you)


Also remember to read the Swap Info Guide to find out how to ship your item and other details about participating in a swap.
3  FIBER ARTS / Dyeing: Completed Projects / My first honest-to-goodness fiber dyeing on: October 17, 2017 06:54:43 PM
At a fiber arts yard sale (yes, that was a euphoric day for me) I bought a pound of undyed bombyx silk. At a second-hand store the same day, I found a bunch of natural fiber dyes. And it was in this manner that I began my first fiber-dying experiment (other than trying out Kool-Aid a couple times in the past).

Preparation is not my strong suit; I didn't remember until just now that I have a tarp I could have used to cover the ground better than a couple plastic bags did. Oh well. Here is how the initial sloshing of colors looked:

The purple is a Procion dye, and since I didn't have the proper additives it washed out to a smattering of magenta, which is fine by me. After a thorough rinse, I spread it out to dry on my hammock.

I did a couple more rounds of adding yellow and green in splotches, in hopes of a good variety of shades and saturation, and using up the bottles. Here is the final "fleece"! I just need to steam it, which is a project I'll save for a chilly day.

4  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / A reversible cross-stitch for the artist/crafter with no space on: October 08, 2017 10:50:09 PM
Limited space, limited budget, limited supplies, limited privacy...Whatever the reason, it's safe to say most artsy-craftsy folks don't have the coveted craft room or art studio (so those of you who do, please keep sharing pics so we can ogle and dream!). My creative space has typically been the same space where I sleep. This project came out of a) the desire to celebrate the can-do spirit of small-space crafters, and b) looking for an excuse to emulate this nice vintage cross-stitch pattern I found on antiquepatternlibrary.org. I don't recall where I found the alphabet, my apologies.

So you don't have to crane your head upside down:

There are wall hangers on the back in both directions. My first idea, hanging it from a matching handspun yarn cord, didn't allow it to hang properly, but I hope I can find a way to do that.

This project is small (just over 7x5") but it sat unfinished for YEARS, mainly in hopes that I would pick up the skill of finishing/framing. That didn't happen. But I found a tutorial]https://www.needlepoint-for-fun.com/frame-needlepoint.htm]tutorial that said hot glue would be sufficient, so in favor of completing one WIP this weekend I went with that. I cut down one reclaimed book cover to the side of the interior of the frame (no glass, found it at a second-hand store), and the other to the size of the fabric. This inner one with the fabric looks a little wonky, but I have my Critic hat on now that I'm getting ready to show it to the world here.  Smiley Then I covered the outward-facing board with a piece of scrap watercolor background I had made. And finally, attached the two pieces and the frame.
5  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Return of the Secret Santa Wishlist Swap! on: September 12, 2017 05:50:10 PM
I want to make this happen this year! It's normal Secret Santa in many respects, but you post your wishlist to the swap thread (like in OWS), and anyone can secretly claim you for something. You can take on as many giftees as you choose, and you may have numerous Secret Santas sending you things. Every claim is assigned a code name, and I, as organizer, keep track of which code names go with which person and claim, and I act as an intermediary if a Santa has a question for their giftee. It is sneaky, benevolent mischief, and I love it!  Cheesy

Here is the thread of the other round I organized, so many years ago:

Crafting and gifting would be for 2 smalls or a medium, and wishlists for swappers' family members are also welcome. Crafted items do not have to be seasonal/holiday-themed, unless that is what the giftee wants. Assuming all goes well and I don't get waylaid by life, sign-ups would begin in early November, and send-outs would be during the first days of December. International swappers more than welcome, as are first-time swappers, though there would be a limit on how many pending claims a new swapper could make at one time.

I would need a back-up organizer for emergencies, and to handle the claim of anyone who wants to be my Secret Santa.

I had so much fun with this swap and I know other people enjoyed the mystery of it too (as well as the loot they received)! Feel free to ask me any questions. Now I'm posting this, I'm accountable to all of you to follow through on  it!
6  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Ireland altered journal on: September 03, 2017 10:58:36 PM
I made this altered journal for a personal swap with LeapFeetFirst, who, lucky person, is headed to Ireland. The book itself was rescued from the discard pile at my library.

The front cover gold Celtic design was already on the book. I spent so much time dreading learning how to draw a Celtic knot for the back cover, because I knew it would be wonky. I'm just thankful I was able to erase my many pencil marks on the fabric cover.  Cheesy

I did most of this on vacation; for supplies I brought gesso, glue, a mini tray of watercolors, a couple little tubes of gouache, a few brushes, a handful of pens and markers, and a container of small paper scraps with images and words I've collected over time. I carved some stamps from potatoes in the process, which allowed for some much-needed layering (plus, Ireland and potatoes go together  Grin). I added maybe 15% more oomph to the book when I got back to the States (and my supply stash), but I was pretty happy with what I put together using my finite travel art supplies; it forced me to be more creative and resourceful. That being said, a lot of ideas did get pulled from the internet, but I had to find some different ways to pull them off.  Smiley  

Some of my favorite pages:

7  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Fictional time capsules and historical diaries on: July 12, 2017 11:26:42 PM
If you're a history (or alternative history) fan, and enjoy world-building and multi-component craft projects, consider this one:

Create a historical diary documenting a series of events in the era and place of your partner's choice, from the perspective of a real or invented individual living through them (partners can select specific historical figures and events as well). Then, whatever size box you use to ship, turn it into a time capsule and fill it with both the journal and primarily handmade artifacts that connect with your character's story, culture, and time period.

You would pick something from a list of your partner's desired historical figures, eras, events, or places. Then you would research that history and the arts/crafts/aesthetics of the surrounding culture, to inform the story, characters, and crafts you create. We've had some historical figures/eras swaps in the past (there's an England one on right now, incidentally), and participants have enjoyed learning new things about people, history, and cultures in preparation for the crafting.

The storytelling is interactive, cohesive (it really is telling a story throughout, regardless of the medium), and made to look relatively authentic (though there is no expectation of writing in languages you don't know). You can create correspondence between characters, artwork documenting events, news clippings, audio recordings, etc. Consider Nick Bantock's Griffin & Sabine, or see this article on epistolary novels for more examples: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epistolary_novel

Time travelers' diaries would also be awesome and welcome! If your partner specifically seeks alternative history, then the sky is the limit in what you create; if they don't, you would need to keep the important historical details correct.

If paper/book arts are your thing, the book and what is inside it would probably be the only crafting requirement (making the book yourself would count as a crafted item), but it would still be nice to include a couple relevant extra goodies. If you aren't a paper/book arts person, no worries: the diary part can be straight text if you want, and then craft up some other things to go with it.

Whatever your craft of choice, it probably existed in some form during your character's era, so you would create something that seems appropriate for the time, place, person, and story -- there's no need to be thoroughly authentic and accurate.

The preparation, design, and care that would go into this swap would be equivalent to 1 XL item and 2 smalls. Whether or not it becomes a swap, I really hope some people do this and share the results. I would love to do this again (I was originally introduced to the idea in high school), but it's much easier to get motivated for a big individualized project when it is going to a recipient, you know?
8  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Silly Santa White Elephant Swap on: November 25, 2015 07:15:34 PM
Hi! Im considering bringing back the White Elephant/Silly Santa Swap for the holidays. Here is the link to the original round: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=207579.0

It runs similar to the raffle swaps, where finished items are offered up-front...Except once the items are assigned to each person, we steal them from each other, back and forth, and it goes around and around for a set period of time. The actual mailing doesnt happen until the very end.

In the previous swap we swapped highly desirable handcrafted goods, but for fun we could make silly or tacky (but well-made!) items instead, like a standard White Elephant swap.  Smiley I'm open to whatever people want to do. This does not require holiday-specific crafting, and I'm thinking minimum 2 smalls OR 1 medium (crafted, or a valuable art/craft supply, if participants agree to it).

It's a swap that runs best with 10+ participants. Let me know if you're interested!
9  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Needlepoint-covered, toteable notebook on: August 11, 2015 12:00:48 PM
In the first Make-A-Friend Swap, I made this book for my partner, Fabric:

It could be carried like a purse, or it could be a regular journal without the purse-handle too. I drilled holes in the bookboards and put metal scrapbook screw-posts through (see the metal door lock plates? They're functioning as washers...and as tiny frames for international postage stamps, less importantly  Smiley). Then I attached a ready-made purse handle to the two posts (the purse handle was also received in a swap, incidentally). It's a little clumsy for getting the book open and closed, but not difficult, and it helps keep the book secure when traveling.
A small 3-ring binder base is drilled into the spine/base. The book really was made from scratch--I didn't just cover a binder (though that might have been a smarter choice, now that I'm thinking about it  Cheesy).

The brown cover was an adhesive-backed faux suede I found at the hardware store. It's essentially shelf-liner, but it worked great.

What really made this a "large" was a quote on both covers of the book that I did in needlepoint. Here's the first part:

(The tiny steampunk bits at the bottom of this side were not entirely useless -- they camouflage the screwposts to make them look like they're part of the design  Wink)

Here's the 2nd part, on the other side:

Here's what it says in its entirety:
"Be wicked, be brave, be drunk, be reckless, be dissolute, be despotic, be an anarchist, be a suffragette, be anything you like -- but for pity's sake be it to the top of your bent...Live fully, live passionately, live disastrously. Let's live, you and I, as none have ever lived before." - Violet Trefusis, 1918

The purse-handle idea came after I'd finished the book, so unfortunately the needlework pieces are upside down when it is carried like a purse.  Roll Eyes The art nouveau patterns came from old books found on the Antique Pattern Library website.

Here is the inside of it, with the screw-posts that make the book stay shut and hold a purse handle.

The first page is a sheet of scrapbook paper folded to become a carrying pouch for loose materials.

I also decorated a couple of Altoids tins to go with the book, but didn't get photos of those; one was extra small and I attached it to the book to hold the screwposts when they're not in use. The other was full of journaling prompts on little cards. Since the book structure had a 3-ring binder, I included different "refills" like a dream journal and a list-making set that helps bring awareness of the cycles of one's life. Those refill packets were found at a second-hand art supply store, along with the metal 3-ring binder piece, and I hole-punched blank and decorated pages as well.

In retrospect (it's been seven years!  Shocked), there are things I would have done differently, but I still like the idea/concept overall. It was scary to mount the needlework in between bookboards, and then turn those bookboards into a finished book, knowing that it all had to be right on the first try. Tearing things up to start over would have ruined the needlework (which took forever), and there were swap deadlines approaching, so it had to be whatever it was going to be. The fact that it turned out okay was a huge relief!
10  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Completed Projects / Fiber Friday, 8 May 2015 on: May 08, 2015 02:48:06 PM
We're due for a Fiber Friday! Here's something I finally finished...Actually I finished it a couple months ago but was too busy with other stuff to post it...

It's 106 yds, a thick-and-thin plied with an all-thin  Cheesy, then I wound some black-and-gold metallic thread around sections that needed more definition. I still have a lot of this Ferndale Fiber roving left, and I'm going to leave all of that thin and single-ply, and this skein can be worked in for an accent row on whatever the finished object becomes.

Please share any pics you have from the last month, there hasn't been a Fiber Friday in quite some time!
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