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1  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Shrink Plastic Necklace: My puppers! on: May 29, 2010 11:30:31 PM

This is my first Shrink Plastic (Shrinky-Dink Type) project! I can't be more pleased with how it came out!

I started with one of my favorite pictures of my Miniature Dalmatian, Pixel! It's from about a year and a half ago, so he looks very slightly different, but not too bad. (He's 2.5 years old)

Then I hand traced it in Illustrator to get an outline:

And after this point, I completely forgot to take any pictures until it was done. FAIL

But I can describe it! I fed the vector outline into my Silhouette craft cutter machine, and placed my clear shrink plastic sheet in there and hit go. The torque of the blade depressor is not strong enough to cut through the shrink plastic (I ordered a new, sharp blade to test that, though, later) but it does score it really nicely.

I took the shrink plastic and cut out the shape very roughly, leaving about 1/4 inch around the actual shape.

I used sandpaper to roughen one side of the plastic, so the colored pencils would have something to grab hold of.

I printed out the image on my regular printer, and laid the shape down on it, it lined up exactly, and used this to trace the black spots and shaded areas with a black colored pencil.

Then I used a Clear Acrylic Sealer in a can to spray one coat onto the black colored pencil spots.

After it was dry (Like, 4 minutes), I used a white colored pencil to color over the black spots and the whole shape entirely. I was sure to make sure that my strokes all stayed at the same angle, and tried to make the coverage even.  (the sealer was an attempt to preserve the black spots and not smear them all to hell with the white pencil. Seemed to work! Go me! I do have good ideas once in a while LOL)

Then, the cutting out for reals. I took my #11 exacto blade, and, flipping the shape over, got to work. I could see the scoring the cutter had made, and tried to follow that as well as I could. I did a great job, with the huge exception of lopping off one of my beloved's ears.  -_-  ProTip: Shrink Plastic is slightly brittle, and somewhat trixy!  Bah, nothing a little superglue can't handle.

I remembered to make the holes for necklace-affixing prior to shrinking, but only just! I was on my way to the oven....

It shrunk SO fast. Like, 20 seconds, and it was over. The severed ear did not want to reattach, no matter how soft the plastic was. I was informed of this behavior of shrink plastic in tutes i'd read before. Ah well.

Then came the jump-ring wrangling, and it was done! I used some old beads that I loved very much, that used to be in a different necklace of mine years ago that I made (friendship-bracelet-style) and of course the floss wore down and my beads fell off it, but I kept them. So glad!

And now, MOAR PICS!

And, my money shot! woo hoo!

Bonus pic of my dalmatian fingernails:   (I'm going to a gathering of Mini-Dalmatian owners very soon, hence all the over-the-top Dal gear. ^_^  )

Anyhows, I hope this inspires some of you to try out shrink plastic as a medium for your ideas! If you have a photo that's simple enough, you can even convert your photo to a nice shrinky dink piece!  Shrink plastic is my new crafting love, and most of it is bound to be jewelry, so you're very likely to see more of my shrinky stuff here hopefully soon!

Thanks for lookin!  ^_-

2  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Another Paperclip Chandelier - Rainbow version! on: May 25, 2010 10:57:29 PM

Well, I'm at it again... I made a rainbow version!  This was made in the same manner as my silver version, see here for that post:

The set of paperclips I bought had White, Red, Pink, Yellow, Green, Blue.  No Orange?!  So I bought a can of clearance Orange spray paint for 0.97, and spray painted all the pink clips to Orange!  This did make them orange, but it made them even harder to work with, since they dried to a slight tack. The plastic paperclips weren't a joy to work with. They seemed to be coated with... I dunno..... vinyl or something, and they were slightly grabby. The smooth silver paperclips are really fabulous to work with, by comparison.

My hubby has an idea for another one with rainbow colors, but a different color pattern, so hopefully I'll be back with more later on!

These next two link to very short vids that pan around it a bit to give better visualization:

This links to a slightly longer vid that shows the way it twirls in a nifty way when it's unfinished, I wished I'd taken a vid of this with the silver one, so I was sure to remember it this time: (it also illustrates the 'grabbiness' of the plastic paperclips, that would not have have happened if it was sliver paperclips)

Action shot above my crafting table!

Thanks for lookin! ^_^

3  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Stenciling: Discussion and Questions / Stencil-ready Damask Motif to share on: May 25, 2010 02:52:36 PM

I found this damask pattern in the wild, snapped it with my cell phone, converted it into a vector file in Illustrator, and now I share it with you! I am so tickled with this, I've been searching for a good stencil-able Damask pattern for so long!

The download for the .ai or .svg vector versions can be found here, through my blog: http://guildmistress.wordpress.com/2010/05/25/pefect-stencil-damask/

larger image versions here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/flickrsy/4640284314/sizes/o/

Enjoy, Craftsters!
4  HOME SWEET HOME / Crafty Housewares: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Chandelier out of paperclips! Swap Item! on: May 20, 2010 07:54:20 PM

This was made from dollar store wire and dollar store paperclips, as it was part of the Dollar Store swap!

I learned how to do it via ReDesignTechnologies on etsy. So I can't offer a tutorial. =)   But I can say that it's a lot easier than I expected, and I actually enjoyed it! I have a history of working in bindery at a print shop and not losing my mind, though, so perhaps I'm not the best test of that ; )

The wire I got at the dollar store was too wimpy, so I decided to braid it for extra strength. It's still too wimpy, IMO, but I had to obey the rules, and them's "Dollar store stuff only!"  If I do this again, I'll use either actual reclaimed lamp armatures, or wire from hangers.  But it turned out pretty ok, considering! It'll hold a round shape, and that's all that really counts. =)

This links to a short video of me putting it together:

5  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / Talk About The Swap Process / "I don't feel like posting in "Swap Ideas" I just wanna start a swap" =X on: May 17, 2010 05:48:13 PM

Now, I don't feel super strongly about this, but I looked through the last year's worth of swap questions, and I didn't see this one addressed! So here it is for discussion, both for me, and for others who may have similar wonderings!

The swap organizer "information and tips" thread by our dearly departed* Leah state that the first thing to do is to post in "Swap Ideas" to test the waters. The verbage used isn't super-strict by my measuring, though. Clearly, it's normal to do this, and it's a super good idea if you're not sure if anyone will really be interested in your swap. (EDIT: I've additionally re-read the "Crafter Swap Info Guide" page, and the verbage there is a bit stronger. Still looking for thoughts!  *also, Leah is not departed from life, just Craftster as a staff member. <3)

I also looked into swap participant numbers requirements, and there kind of aren't any, via superhooker...

There can be any number of swappers...if you post sign ups for a reasonable amount of time, and only 4 people sign up, that is just fine.

SO!  My question is:  Is it reeeeaaaallllly required to post first in "Swap Ideas" and wait X number of days for responses,  OR is it ok, (but generally un-advisable!) to just launch your swap?

This is of course subject to the organizer in question meeting all the requirements for being an organizer.

Thanks for reading!
6  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Stenciling: Completed Projects / Some Iron Man 2 love: Stark Industries Tee on: May 10, 2010 10:24:04 PM

YEEEEEY I LOVED Iron Man 2! Robert Downey Jr. at his most delicious: Tony Stark is a Fawks!  Ok, ok ok, so here's some geeky fangirl shirtage for you:  Stark Industries Tee with a power core "shining through"!

This was done with a freezer paper stencil cut out by hand with a hobby knife, and using el cheapo brand acrylic paint mixed with a bit of Textile Medium to help soften the paint and make it last longer on a washable garment. Two coats on the white, one coat on the blue.

Fun times! Tee heeeee


Check it out, - I could totally be a "Stark Girl" at the Stark Expo, AMIRITE?!

Lol, thanks for lookin'! ^_^

7  IMAGE REPRODUCTION TECHNIQUES / Stenciling: Completed Projects / "Bring It" Owl multi-level-stencil Shirt! Swap item! on: May 07, 2010 11:21:10 PM
Hey hey! I wanted to take my bleach stenciling to the next level for my swap partner, this is the first time I've tried a multi-pass! It was interesting to try to wrap my brain around it at first, but now I'm looking forward to trying this technique again!

I started off with a cool design, (I did NOT design the owl, haha, my skills lie mainly in execution, not design, sadly) and set it up in illustrator, in layers, with transparencies stacked up to help me visualize.

Then came the vector cutting on my digital cutter (oh how I depend on that dear thing) and some more visualization to make sure I was doing it right, before the setup on the shirt, masking, and actual passes of airbrushed bleach began. This is the most complicated stencil to date that I've done! Lots of little bits to keep track of, lol!

So basically, I put some stencils on the shirt, airbrushed bleach, Let dry. Repeat 4 times with slightly different stencil layers. whew!

Ok, without further preamble, THE PICTURES!

This links to the short video on flickr:

This links again to flickr for a short video of the stencil removal: (eee!)

This was so much fun to make, I'm so glad I entered the swap, so my fabulous swap pal could drive and inspire me to do this! Thanks, sweetyetevil!

8  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / Batman: The Dark Knight (That went on FOREVERS) Tea Towel on: April 27, 2010 11:43:15 PM
AUUUGH It's done!

Iiiiiiiiii don't think I'm going to do any more embroidery as an evening craft project (which means I can't do any other projects until it's finished). Embroidery will hereby and henceforth be in the form of "As I can" projects that live in a bag, and I take with me to boring events!

I don't like to get involved in several crafting projects at once, I find that inevitably, some of them never get finished. So I'm trying to keep to just one at a time, for now. This project took far longer than I'd thought, probably because it had so many little fill-in portions.

I'm not overly pleased with the craftsmanship, but in *general*, I think it's pretty awesome that I have a batman towel for drying my dishes. ^_^

Here it is woot!

Here's the incredimessy reverse side, which of course, I'll be seeing all the time. =P

Two heroes, out to save the world!

It's all back stitch, or satin stitch.

I got the pattern from the Batman: The Animated Series' Writer's Guide, which is a MUST-READ for any true B:TAS fan. It's available here! http://www.worldsfinestonline.com/WF/batman/btas/backstage/wbible/writersguide.pdf Lots of good pics and really neat notes that made the show what it is. I stayed up till 2am reading it one night. Squeee!

Thanks for looking, and YEY I can work on my t-shirt swap now!
9  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / LET'S GET DANGEROUS! on: April 22, 2010 12:27:40 AM
When there's trouble, you call D.W.!

I embroidered this years ago, but left off one vest button, and it was stashed away for so long... Found it today (Score!) and finished that last button. 

YESSS A Darkwing Duck tea towel! Also found my stash of blank tea towels, so look for more 90's cartoon goodness hopefully soon!

This is my first post in Needlework, HAI GUYS! ^_^  I'm active in the clothing & Knit/crochet areas, but I'm getting into embroidery too!

Wow this pic is dark. >_<

Thanks for lookin'!
10  CLOTHING / Clothing: Completed Projects: Reconstructed / Ruffle T-scarf! Rufflicious! --NOW with puppy and bonus RAINBOW version!!1 on: April 21, 2010 03:34:40 PM

After seeing the T-scarfs here: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=342502.0 made by the lovely lindsycarranza, I wanted to give it a try! I am in need of scarves for the first time in my life, since this winter I decided I like them for warmth, and also I have a wool coat that is very nice, but is a bit scratchy about the neckline. I have a fun white spotty circle scarf I bought in honor of my little dalmatian dog I have, but it is, well, spotty, and I'd like more to choose from than just that.

I like the look of this style of the above linked t-scarf, but I was wanting something more "fluttery" than just squares or circles could give. I decided that big half-circles might do the trick! I tried it out with my "ugly" jersey fabric first, just to make sure it would go over well, since I have very little black jersey fabric right now!

Half-circle clearly 'eyeballed' on my cutting mat:

Held up!  Looks good.

I cut out several, and pinned them together, but apparently too far staggered, I wanted more 'all ruffles, all the time" than this.

Ah ha! Pinned more closely together, this does the trick! Time to switch to the real fabric!

I ran out of fabric after around 10ish pieces, would it be long enough! I pinned it together and tried it on, risking my neck in the process! Mind those pins, Sy!

Sewed them together with good 'ole stretch stitch, and viola! Ruffle scarf! Even the side that hangs upside down looks good!

If I wear it thrown over my shoulder, it gives a nice "petal" look, I like it.  Note also the In Living Color "Hated It!" tee I threw on for the photo shoot *giggle!*

Fun project, useful to wear, and took me like 20 minutes start-to-finish! I love me some instant gratification. ^_^

Thanks for looking! If Craftster was a movie, those guys would seriously have to give props. Tongue



EDIT:  I just can't leave good enough alone! Had to make a rainbow version. Many T-shirts gave up their lives to produce this scarf, RIP!

First I cut the pieces out, and laid them on the carpet to be pinned together:

>_> And puppy.

After stretch-stitching it together, I found that I had actually sewed the pieces with not enough overlap! (Too far apart for "full ruffles"):

So I decided to "ruche" it a little, (Or would this be considered gathering? Tucking? ehhh whatever) Like so:

And the result was good!  Here's a pic of the ruched area showing:

And not showing!

And here's another gratuitous picture of my puppy:  ( I can't HELP it, he was being adorable all over my project! There are MANY more photos I'm not posting.... Oh, the restraint!!) (PM me if you have questions about teh puppy, I loves to talk about him, but is off topic, kthx. ^_^)

My scrap bag just got a helluva lot more colorful! XD

Here's where the scarf will live when I'm not wearing it, it's too pretty for the closet! We recently painted this mirror black, it used to be white. 

WOOT RAINBOWS! I love me some priiiiiiiimary colors.  <3333
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