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1  Geass Bag in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General by Arzu on: April 01, 2010 09:37:21 PM
Hello there craftsterites! 
I confess, I have been away from these lovely boards for a long time.  A very long time.  I blame the sweetly seductive Ravelry site for coaxing me away with its multi-variable knitting pattern search engine..... but, I was brought back to my senses when I completed a non-knitting project and thought, "Where shall I post this online?"  And there was Craftster, my first love, welcoming me back to its halls of multi-faceted crafts and reminding me of all the clever uses there are for those boring old household items that I was *horror of horrors* about to throw out! 

But, I digress.  Let's get on to the bag!

This was a request by a friend of mine.  It can be difficult to make things for boys, so I settled on denim fabric for the outside, and a nice soft green flannel for the inside.  I used the classic and wonderfully elegant Nintendo Messenger Bag Tutorial found on this site, and it worked like a charm.  The symbol on the front is from the anime Code Geass.  I stitched it on before sewing the bag together.  It was bigger than I thought it would be, but he's a boy in college and likely needs the extra space for his textbooks and such.  He was absolutely thrilled, so that means this project was a success. 

Onto the pictures of my geeky creation!

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2  Totoro cookies! in Dessert by Arzu on: October 20, 2008 08:52:50 PM
Whee, my first post in the edible crafting section!

It was my birthday a couple weeks ago, so I decided to take on some ambitious food projects for my party guests.  One of these was that I made home-made fortune cookies for the first time, and they turned out pretty good, but my fingers got a little singed since you have to fold them right out of the oven.  I used this recipe and it tasted just like the ones you'd get at a restaurant (and I also strongly endorse their suggestion to fold the cookies using light cotton gloves).  I saved some batter and had each of my guests write a fortune, and made a small batch while they were there with their own fortunes and then passed them out which turned out to be a fun activity.  The baking time on these is the trickiest part since if you bake them too long they're too stiff to fold, but if you underbake them they stay kinda chewy and don't have a good crunch to them.

The cake you see in the picture below was made by my friend for me (she said she didn't want me making my own cake, hehe) and it was delicious!

My favourite project however, was my Totoro cookies.  I made this recipe: Rolled Buttercream Fondant
Having never made fondant before, I was very pleased with how it turned out.  I substituted almond extract in place of the vanilla it called for, which was extra yum!  The base of the cookies were just a plain sugar cookie recipe.  I made each of the little totoros by hand, and they turned out super cute!  Hope you like 'em  =)

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3  Re: Make-A-Friend Swap Gallery in The Swap Gallery by Arzu on: June 15, 2008 07:04:44 AM
I received a while ago from RusskiMom, but having gotten a job at a camp up north it wasn't until last weekend that I was actually able to make the trip home to pick up my package.  Here are my goodies!

Bamboo <3 Knitting Needles!  A lovely little notepad, which went right away into my knitting bag because I used to have a little notebook there but I lost it on the plane as I was flying home.  A very pretty handmade calendar, and a stitch counter bracelet which is so classy that I wore it to my brother's wedding.  I actually wisted a similar bracelet not too long ago, and RusskiMom had already made this for me before that!  She knows me too well, hehe.

Next, a wonderful lacquer box (is this the kind known as shkatolka?) to remind me of her.

And lastly, a fantastic bag that is made of felted alpaca on the outside (sooo soft and fuzzy) and a gorgeous fabric lining on the inside with LOTS of pockets.  This has become my new knitting bag and I take it with me everywhere now.  My previous one didn't have any pockets at all, so my stuff was always getting lost inside it.   

Thank you so much RusskiMom!  Everything you chose for me is just perfect.  We seem to have quite similar tastes (just wait until package number 3 arrives from me, lol) and this swap has been amazing.  I hope to visit you sometime in Russia! 
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4  Re: Retro Video Game Swap Gallery in The Swap Gallery by Arzu on: April 28, 2008 08:19:29 AM
I received last week from my swap angel!  She sent me a Duck Hunt pillow

and a little Yoshi toy, plus some cool Mario stitch markers.

Thanks for being my angel, gwenyvarr  Smiley
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5  Re: Make-A-Friend Swap Gallery in The Swap Gallery by Arzu on: April 18, 2008 02:39:31 PM
Woooo!  I received this week from RusskiMom!  I was so excited, I made my housemate drive full speed all the way to the post office and wow, I was once again spoiled.  She wrote half her letter to me in Russian, and I was so proud that I could decipher about half of that on first read-through with my limited Russian vocabulary!  I got out my dictionary for the rest, and learned some super useful words I added to my little vocab notebook.  So, on to the loot!  First, she sent me a little magnetic rat - themed to go with the year of the rat - and a fishy tawashi for washing dishes, and this delicious smelling soap in a knitted cover.  The cover felts and shrinks as the soap is used.  How clever is that!

Next, she handmade me the most amazing recipe book I've ever seen in my life.  The cover is absolutely hilarious, and it says, "Down with kitchen slavery".  She typed out all her favourite recipes, and included lots of great informational notes about them.  I love this so much!  I've already picked out several recipes that I want to try right away!

She also sent me a jewelry making kit, complete with all sorts of supplies already in a handy little box.  She labelled the compartments, and they're nice roomy compartments too, for me to fill them up with lots of stuff! I should have taken a more top-down picture to show the bottoms of the compartments, but there are all sorts of beautiful beads, and I also especially like the little leaf and dragonfly spacers. And she sent along pliers too (as an engineer, I squee'd over the pliers, lol) as well as a beautiful chain maille bracelet that she'd made for me (the bracelet isn't pictured since I put it on right away and forgot to take a pic of it). 

Continuing the jewelry theme, she sent a magazine with great tutorials for getting started with making wire-jewelry.  Then she included another Russian craft magazine, and a book for practicing my cyrillic cursive writing (very useful!). 

Lastly, she packed these in newspaper, which, the geek that I am, I saved so that I could practice reading it, hehe.  I spy sudoku!  And what is that game?  Some sort of crossword? 

Thank you so much, Russkimom.  I can't believe there's still one round left.  This has been such a wonderful and fun swap!  It feels almost too good to be true that we get to swap another package!  You've totally spoiled me  Smiley
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6  Re: Make-A-Friend Swap Gallery in The Swap Gallery by Arzu on: March 14, 2008 01:28:54 AM
This morning, as I was walking to the bus stop, I happened to check my mail, and what should be waiting for me there  but a package from Russia!!!  My partner sent express mail, and alas mine was sent only regular post, so hopefully mine will arrive in a timely manner.  But I digress.  So, I was walking along, with my keys out, trying to get through the packing tape to get the box open, while still walking (luckily my brother was there to carry my umbrella so I wasn't flailing that about) and nearly missed my bus, but after getting on the bus was able to get it open at last, and reveal the goodies that I shall show you now!

Stationary:  I'm truly blown away by RusskiMom's talent with paper crafts.  The handmade cards are so breathtakingly lovely, and she made me customized stationary as well, by CARVING a stamp (it says 'Arzu') and using it to stamp the paper and envelopes.  She sent along the stamp with a little inkpad, so that I can make more of my own!  She also sent a Cyrillic Alphabet stencil!  Huzzah!

Next, her show and tell items:  Some of her favourite yarn (it's ultra soft, like a little cloud against your skin), a guidebook to the city where she lives - Vladivostok - and she included a map in the front with little arrows pointing out places of interest such as her house, and her school where she works!  She also included her postcards and pictures inside the guidebook, at the most relevant points, so that I can not only get a postcard, but also read up on what it's about.  Way cool!!  Next her favourite kind of knitting needles - bamboo, the kind that I've always looked at longingly in the store, but couldn't justify buying.  After that, her favourite chocolate - yum!  And lastly, a Russian craft magazine, packed full of cool craft ideas, and just waiting for me to be fluent enough to read it!

And lastly we have the small items (plus the cute card she sent her letter in cause I forgot to put it in either of the other pictures - the anime-ish one at the bottom, which is really cool because it embodies the fusion of my two favourite cultures!) so to the left of the card is some almond pocky-type stuff, which has become my new favourite kind.  Chocolate is wonderful, but chocolate plus almonds is heavenly.  The box is half gone and still disappearing as I write this.  To the right are some matroshka doll stitch markers that she made, which will come in very handy since the only stitch markers I have right now are for sweater-size needles. Incidentally, all my memories of matroshka dolls come from playing at my grandma's house because she had a set that we would play with every time we visited her.  So lots of warm happy memories associated with those.  Above those is a really ingenious bookmark, made from wire.  I've never seen a bookmark of this sort, but I can see how useful it would be to have one that doesn't fall out of your book if you accidentally drop it or knock it off your bedside table.  Sitting underneath the bookmark is a wonderful little album she made, and I realize I should have taken a picture of it opened up, but forgot to.  It took me a little bit to figure out how it unfolds to reveal the pages, but it basically folds out to become four times as big, so that you reveal large album pages.  It's really nifty!  At the top there is a ruler with Russian grammar rules on it - definitely going to be referring to that LOTS and LOTS - and left of that is a little copybook for me to write down my Russian homework!

RusskiMom, I love everything so much!  It's felt like my birthday all day today.  I had the package with me today all day at school, and my classmates were admiring everything (the magazine especially was a big hit) and kept telling me how they couldn't believe someone would put so much time and effort into making gifts for a stranger.  I told them we're not strangers, we're friends!  Cheesy  (And then I told them all to sign up at Craftster, hehe)  This really made my day, and I hope my package doesn't take too long to get to you.  Thank you so much!!!
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7  Re: Retro Video Game Swap Gallery in The Swap Gallery by Arzu on: February 01, 2008 11:38:50 PM
Hmm, well, my partner received before Christmas, but last I heard from her, she was having problems with her camera.  I figure, I might as well post pics of what I sent her, since it's been a while, and I haven't heard from her.

For those of you who remember the game Galaga, I knit her a zippered pouch with images from the game stitched on in duplicate stitch.  I made the charts from a screenshot of the game.

I also made her some perler bead Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past fridge magnets of some of the different sorts of inventory items that would be useful to have along when one's fridge finds itself lost inside a dungeon in the Dark World!

And I painted her a little tetris keychain.

Though I didn't take a picture of it, I also sent her this round cannister of vanilla tea, wrapped in green posterboard to resemble a mario pipe.
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8  Re: Star Trek Swap Gallery in The Swap Gallery by Arzu on: October 29, 2007 07:10:29 PM
Alrighty, finally unearthed my camera from my room, and now it's time for pictures!

So, my first glimpse of my swap package from Maimun was this wonderful duct tape bag (the engineer part of me squealed with delight at this) emblazoned with the federation insignia.

It's an away mission bag!  And inside, are all the things I might need on my away mission.  I seriously can't decide which of the next things is my favourite, because all of them are so wonderful.  First up, I peeked inside to find a cylindrical object labelled 'Nutrition Pack' and inside was:

I know it's crazy, but I've actually never had a travel mug of my own before, and this one manages to combine Star Trek and knitting in a marvelously creative way.  If Star Fleet had a knitting division, I'd totally be there.

Next up, a little box, cleverly disguised as a tricorder, but inside I found:

Stitch Markers!  I've been wanting some for soooo long!  Wheeee! 

And last, but certainly not least, a mysterious box labelled "Emergency Dilithium Supply" to find:

This breathtakingly beautiful bracelet.  My camera isn't so good at taking close-up pictures and it's kinda fuzzy, but you can get the general idea.  You might not think so to look at it, but it's really quite comfortable to wear.
Maimun totally pegged my geekiness and girliness right on with this swap package, and I couldn't be happier.  Thanks again!
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9  Re: Anime/Manga Swap Round 2 GALLERY in The Swap Gallery by Arzu on: October 17, 2007 04:46:47 PM
Well, since my partner has already received, I figure I'll post up a couple of snapshots I took of the swap package before I sent it.  I made her a board game in the 'Hot Date' series of board games developed by my cousin.  Basically, every time you land on a 'date' square, you can choose a mystery date from the top of the pile (if you have a current date, you have to discard them first unless you got an event card that gives you an exception) or you can choose to stay with your current date.  There are characters from a bunch of different animes in there, from the somewhat obscure to the pop-culture classic.  At the end, you get a chance to roll to see if you can win your date's true love, and the 'winner' is I guess subjective among the group, depending on who thinks who got the best date.  Kindof silly, but pretty fun.  Each character has fun little descriptions underneath, pertaining to what kind of a date they are, advantages and drawbacks.  Not to worry, it's all very PG.  My cousin's Star Trek version of the game was played by my whole family at Christmas from young ones to grandparents, and it can be pretty hilarious seeing how people react to the dates that they draw from the pile (I tried to make it about half and half 'desirable' and 'undesirable' dates).

The box is a board game I got at Value Village called 'Barnyard Boogie Woogie' and I decoupaged it with pages from my partner's favourite manga series.  Then I painted the board and put my track on, which somehow turned into a heart shape, even though I never planned that at all.  I included extra blank cards so she can add extra characters and event cards. 

I also tossed in some kanji magnets, shrinkydink keychains of FMA and Chobits, and some little stickers.  Since it was her first swap, I wanted to make sure she had a positive experience ^_^  Anyways, onto pictures!

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10  Re: Anime/Manga Swap Round 2 GALLERY in The Swap Gallery by Arzu on: October 10, 2007 04:40:26 PM
Wooo!  I received today!!!

Check out the lovely goodies I received from Thursdays_War!

She went with a Death Note theme and made me this really cool notebook that opens not one, not two, but THREE ways!  She also sent along some sweet crafty supplies for customizing and collaging my notebook.  The round thingy is the way cool note that she wrote me ('cept the note is on the back, so you can't see it).  And then my favourite, she crocheted me a Death Note pen case (I have a feeling I'm going to be using it to keep my sunglasses in though, hehe) which has L's monogram attached to it.  When I looked inside of it, I found two pens with really cool beads covering them, and the one has a little picture of L attached to it keychain-like.

Thank you so much, Thursdays_War!!!  It was such a wonderful surprise to come home to this tonight! 

My tracking number says my package was delivered to her as well today, so I hope she likes her stuff  *fingers crossed*  I did my best to try to spoil her (cause everyone should be spoiled on their first swap  Wink )
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