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21  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Stenciling: Discussion and Questions / The general consensus on paint for stenciling fabrics on: July 03, 2007 07:44:00 PM
What sort of paint do YOU use to stencil on fabrics?
How does it hold up in the wash?
22  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / My self-portrait (I take too many pictures) on: July 02, 2007 08:10:01 PM
...And I ramble a lot too! You can skip all this if you want, just a bit of backstory:

This is one of the only major finished pieces I've done, really. I didn't bother with a background, and it also unfortunately got quite smudged before I had a chance to spray it.

The assignment was to do a self-portrait that showed more than just your appearance, that showed a little bit about yourself too. I really love art and art history, so I decided to do mine in (what I hope to be Tongue) a sort of Renaissance-style portrait. I wanted it to look sort of academic, hence the book: it was originally supposed to say "Vasari" (the first major art historian) but in the end I had neither the time nor will. I picked the top because I thought it could pass for sort of old-fashioned and peasant-y, but all my friends thought I was stripping (thanks guys). I guess that would have been overtly sexual back in the day but it didn't really occur to me. I also left out my glasses, which makes it look less like me because I never actually take them off. Honestly, it doesn't really look much like me anyway, but it was a really enjoyable project, probably my biggest to date, and I learned a lot. And the medium was just perfect!

Anyway on to the pictures! I took like 20 so it's hard to know which ones to post Tongue As with most pictures of art, it's really hard to get a good one, so some of them are a bit skewed or whatever. If there's anything you'd like to see more of, or a detail of, or anything, please let me know! I love taking copious amounts of photos  Grin

Joan Crawford eyebrows  Tongue I screwed up a lot with the eyes and had to redo them several times (as well as the eyebrows) so they're nowhere near as clear and bright as I'd have liked.

I can't really find any photo of me for reference, and like I say, I took a couple of liberties to make it more stylised/Renaissance-y. Plus I've gotten a haircut since then, and like I say, I wear thick black/brown framed glasses. Not to mention self-portraits are always difficult anyway because you always want to hide your flaws!

It was done with coloured cont and chalky pastels...if you have any questions, please ask!

Thanks for looking!  Smiley

Edited to add: these pictures are about a year old-ish, but they're the best I can do right now. It's 4:30am  Tongue Crackster indeed.

(sorry for looking so stupidly emo and glum, but in most of my photos I'm smiling so...)

Heh, I hope they don't make you realise how little it looks like me  Wink Remember that they're old. I thought I'd throw them in there anyway but really the picture is a stand-alone piece.
23  COOKING / Dessert / Reese's Peanut Butter Cups on: June 29, 2007 07:54:26 PM
Am I allowed to share a recipe from Nigella Lawson's "How to Be a Domestic Goddess"? I don't want to break any rules but this is a really basic recipe and it's so easy and so good; plus, it might give you an incentive to buy the book which is really excellent (she writes wonderfully and everything in it sounds and looks completely delicious, it's like comfort reading). It's all in my own words anyway, with extra asides for added "I wish she'd shut the heck up"-ness. Anyway, we don't really have Reese's peanut butter cups over here (in Ireland) but I did manage to find some in a bagel shop once and I was really unimpressed after tasting these babies.

In short:

1. Stir
50g dark muscovado sugar
200g icing sugar
50g unsalted butter (I just used regular, I didn't notice a difference)
and 200g smooth peanut butter
together in a bowl until smooth(ish, it might be a little lumpy but that's still okay). Press the mixture into a lined brownie tin (eh, I don't think it matters what you press it into really, you can make it whatever thickness you like but these are best small and thin. I used a 23cm/9inch-ish tin, which is what's recommended).

200g milk chocolate
100g plain chocolate
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
(again, suit yourself)
however you like, BUT if you're using a microwave you might want to check on it and stir it occasionally. I accidently burned mine but luckily, simultaneously had the delicious realisation that burnt chocolate actually tastes like brownies.

Spread the melted chocolate goop onto the base, and put it in the fridge to harden. Cut it into tiny wittle squares (or eat in one big go).

Enjoy! Cheesy
24  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Discussion and Questions / The most beginner-ist beginner that ever there was. on: June 29, 2007 06:56:35 PM
I did a search for "beginner", and I looked through a bit of the posts at the top, and they seemed helpful, but I also seem to be a lot more clueless than anyone else starting out Tongue

There is some reeeeally amazing work here and on the spur of the moment, I've decided that I might like to try to teach myself embroidery. Now, my knowledge of embroidery stretches about as far as knowing it involves some kind of needle (it does, right?). I'm just wondering, what are the basic supplies? I've gathered you need some kind of thread/floss, a hoop, some kind of needle, but I don't really know what kind of these things, how much to get, how much they cost etc. And do I need some kind of pen or something to get the patterns on? Or backing card? Should I get a book for it or just try and learn online? Please bear with me, it's nearly 3am here Tongue

I live in Ireland and one of those Sublime Stitch-It Kits would be about 26 ($35) from Amazon...does that sound reasonable or should I search out my own supplies instead?

Oh, and out of the three needlework-type crafts here, is there any one that's particularly easier or something for a beginner? Since spending the past week on Craftster (seriously, non-stop) I've basically decided I want to try everything here... Grin (I give myself a week)

Thanks a million for any help and I do apologise for any silliness and early-morning rambling   Cheesy
25  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Discussion and Questions / How many of you watermark your images? on: June 28, 2007 08:23:46 AM
Just out of curiousity, how many of you watermark your artwork (etc) before posting here?
26  MORE ART, LESS CRAFT / More Art, Less Craft: Completed Works / A bunch of my old work (mostly sketches, MONSTROUSLY picture heavy) on: June 28, 2007 08:18:32 AM
So it occured to me that I haven't really posted much of my stuff here on Craftster (mostly because I joined to try and get into other crafts and experiment and learn new things). I'm drawing a blank as to things I've done recently (aside from a large self-portrait downstairs) so here's my standard "showing off" work from a few years ago, ranging from summer '05 and the schoolyear that followed. I hope I've gotten a bit better but at least this will give a small example of the things I've done (aged 15, 16 and possibly 17 as I am now). I hope you like it!

Summer 05:

(actually that was before the summer. Regular inky pen)

Watercolours and ink.

(sorry about the pictures!)

This needs a little explaining: it's a photocopy of an original drawing I did (but it looks identical to the original, you'll just notice it says photocopy in pencil at the bottom) because the original had to go into my exam that year (again this was before the summer) but I wanted to keep a copy. Alice in Wonderland (and unless I was subconciously inspired, it's a completely original character, I just started drawing).

Chagall-inspired work for schoolyear 05-06:

"The Birthday", ink.

The hands make me cringe SO MUCH but I like the colours, and it was only homework, I guess...

Does the shading remind anyone else of Anya from Buffy?  Grin

Original work from that schoolyear, drawn from ELLEgirl models:

(that's her ankle at the bottom, not her knee! My mother is so silly  Grin )

A veeeerry quick sketch I did:

Annnnd finally for now, the Girls Aloud parody CD cover I did for my boyfriend  Tongue  Wink

That's it for the moment! I have a little more old work that I might upload later, and I don't know how much I've done lately/this year/what newer work I have but I might upload that too, if I get a chance.

Thanks for looking!  Cheesy
27  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / I know there's one on right now but... on: June 27, 2007 07:30:41 AM
...when's the next Harry Potter swap? Grin
28  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Favourite book swap? on: June 26, 2007 11:33:27 AM
I am teh noobz0rz and I'm sure this has been done before (if it has, does anyone have links?) but I would love to see someone organise a favourite book-themed swap. People could list their favourite books (and maybe even get to craft for one of them, if they could  be paired up with a partner with similar interests) and craft around that. Or something? Thoughts? Ideas? Anyone willing to participate/organise?

EDITED to add some ideas because I'm bursting a little:
It could be anything related to the book - something you think the characters might like (to wear/eat/make/do), something INVOLVING the characters, comic strips, recipe cards for any yummies mentioned, board games from or even based on the book, plushie characters, illustrations, bags for holding the books (book cosies! Cheesy), bookmarks, covers (the last few things could even just be based on your own personality, eg pin-up girl bookmarks or whatever), something to nibble on while reading, wrist warmers to make sure your hands have the strength to turn pages...there's so much possibility and it could be as big or as small as you want it to be!
29  NEWS AND DISCUSSION ABOUT CRAFTSTER / Introduce Yourself / Newbie looking for inspiration! on: June 23, 2007 11:12:18 AM
I've been (mostly) lurking here for a while but the thought struck me to make this post and I didn't really know where else to put it.

I am in complete awe at the things some of you do; there is such skill and talent and really lovely things here. I'm nowhere near as equipped - I'm a good artist (mostly sketching in various mediums, I'm not so talented with other forms like painting and 3D/ceramics etc) and a good writer (prose, rather than poetry) but even with those things (that I love) I don't have any inspiration to create something. I don't have a sewing machine, although I can vaguely and crappily sew by hand I guess, but only badly. I've tried knitting but I'm not at all good at it. I'm okay at baking. But being on craftster makes me really want to DO something and MAKE something!

So I guess my (er, introductory?) question is, where do you find your inspiration? And maybe more importantly, any crafts or projects or new trades you'd suggest for someone like me (who's also poor)?

Thanks for everything, and *waves* hello  Tongue
30  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Misc. Gift Idea Brain Blockage / xkcd related presents on: June 09, 2007 07:23:42 PM
Okay, this is a little (completely) bizarre, but it's very late here and I'm running out of time to think of presents for my boyfriend's birthday. He really loves the webcomic xkcd (add a dot com if you're unfamiliar,  it's great). So, internet community who might possibly be familiar with it, can you think of any presents related to it? Crafted or otherwise. So far I was thinking I might get a few cheap plastic or teddy or whatever cats, and glue little captions to them (http://xkcd.com/c262.html) and for his birthday card, using the exam paper from http://xkcd.com/c135.html. I know this is extremely unusual but I thought I'd just throw it out there!

His birthday's on Tuesday, and I'm also getting him a Moleskine, a bunch of foodstuffs he likes (hopefully), maybe a book he wants and maybe something Star Wars related...

Thanks for any help!
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