Thursday, November 30, 2006

Happy Ho Down

Swap: HoDown / Invite Your Partner Swap
Recieved from: groschveux

I recieved from groschveux! The Canadian post had me worried for a minute. ;) Here is what she sent me:

A marvelous sushi table runner. I absolutely love the fabrics she used! It's reversible, too.

A sushi apron! (Did I mention that I like sushi?) I swear I'm not as much of a tool as I look like in this picture. I was just so excited about having such an awesome apron! Does this mean I'm domestic? Anyway, the apron is great! It has a quilted pocket on the front with two compartments.

She also sent me some dark chocolate -- let me tell you, that is the way to this girl's heart! She also made me some sweet tags for my etsy shop. What an incredibly thoughtful gift!

Thank you so much, Marija!

In other news, I finished the sleeves for my Starsky cardigan over Thanksgiving, and got a great start on the fronts. A few more inches, and I'll be ready to cast off and block all the pieces! It is coming together so well. The yarn I'm using (the Knitpicks Sierra called for in the pattern) is positively scrumptious.

Other things I'm working on:
- Three (!!) personal swaps I have going on right now. I will be sending out at least one this week, I hope.
- A holiday dress. If I can pull this off, ladies and gents, it will be gorgeous. Here's a picture of the pattern:

The fabric I'm using is medium weight satin gradated from dark navy blue at the top to silver at the bottom. It was on clearance at Joann's for $2.50/yd, and I snapped up all 6 yards left on the bolt. Cutting the pieces out evenly was a little bit of a challenge, but with some careful measuring, everything appears to match up.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Christmas is in the air...

Swap: Christmas Stocking Swap 2
Sent to: MissMeShell

I've been coyly mentioning this swap for a while now, so I'm *so* excited to finally be able to post pictures! The suspense has been killing me. A big thank you to Meshell for taking such lovely pictures. The hell with the ones I took, these are way better! :)

Here is the stocking I made. The cuff and back are red velvet. The front is a remnant I've had in my stash forever. I went a little insane and quilted every line of the design. Two solid days of work, but it was something I was proud to give. I finally tackled using an embroidery machine so I could put her name on it.

You can really see the quilting in this picture.

The 'big' gift I included was this handmade book. It used no binding materials, only glue, and required a degree of meticulousness I didn't know I had. The inside pages are folded origami paper. I am very pleased with how this came out.

My partner is an avid reader, so I made her three bookmarks. The first has some sewing illustrations on it. The second (my favorite) has vintage Christmas wrapping paper, courtesy of my paper-hoarding grandmother. The third has a few different kinds of papers on it.

These are bottlecap ornaments. These turned out so much cuter than I expected! Just bottlecaps, head pins, glass beads, and ornament hooks. There should have been four, but the headpins proved a little too tricky for me in the beginning. But I preservered!

My first-ever felted soaps, made to look like little wrapped packages. There were really fun to make.

Little teeny crocheted flower hairpins. I loved these so much, I'm making more for myself.

The crafty grrl staple: marble magnets! I packaged a dozen in an Altoid tin. Some of the images are from a quilting magazine.

My favorite Christmas cookie recipe - sugar cookies - converted to metric units, of course! The cookie cutters are a cat (she has a cat), a bone (and dogs), and a stocking, to remember this swap by.

Mini Sharpies, two tins of assorted buttons, a few lengths of interesting trim (including one handmade by my great grandmother, bottom left), and two drawstring Christmas wrapping bags.

I also went a little nuts with shopping. Check it out...three very yummy Yankee Candles, Anne Taintor napkins and postcards, a Betty Boop nightlight, Marilyn Monroe Andy Warhol notecards, and a Christmas magic towel. I <3 magic towels!

And what package would be complete without some good 'ol American candy!? I tried to come up with some classics (Peeps, Pop Rocks, Fun Dip, and Hershey Kisses of course), as well as some newer items (Nerds rope, gummi pizza, sour Altoids). The most important part is the caramel apple lollipops: they're not available in Australia and Meshell has a certain fondness for them. :) I also found some Bertie Bott's Everyflavor Beans. Grass, yum... :-P

I had to include this photo, because it showcases my sock monkey Christmas cards. I've been waiting patiently to use them since I bought them back in January.

And thus endeth this gigantic post. Coming soon: my package from Meshell! Anticipaaaaaation..... :-D

P.S. I hope everyone had a safe and happy Thanksgiving. My family and I spent the holiday at a house in South Bethany, DE. Hooray for walks on the beach at sunrise...

P.P.S. I saw the Who in concert last night! I know this is entirely un-crafty, but I am so in awe that I had to share. Many thanks to my wonderful boytoy, who made it happen. :*

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Swap Swap Swap Swap Swap Swap Swap Swap .... (to the tune of Monty Python's Spam Song)

Swap: Ho Down / Invite Your Partner Swap
Sent to: groschveux

Here's are all Marija's goodies together.

This double-stranded Lopi tote was my own design, and inspired by a purse on her wists. And the crochet flower was the first I've ever made!

A simple zip pouch and pincushion made out of sushi fabric.

And a few little things, for good measure: bottlecap earrings, marble pushpins, and a hemp keychain. Thanks again for inviting me to the swap, Marija!

And speaking of being invited...I have just been asked to the Ho Ho Holiday Swap (another Invite Your Partner Swap) by the lovely raina.storms. I can't wait to get started!

In the meantime, I am *so* close to being done my package for the Christmas stocking swap. I have two more little things to finish, but everything else is made and wrapped. There's a slight chance I might be sending out Friday, but more likely it will go Monday, just on time. ;) This swap has been so much fun! I can't wait for Meshell to to be able to open everything. Sorry, but no pics until she gets it... :)

Monday, November 13, 2006

Craftacular Tutorial & Flickr

I have a tutorial for postcard purses up on Craftacular, a neat new wiki-style craft site. Thanks to Shana for asking if she could post it! Here are two purses I've made in the past using this technique:

Also, I started up a flickr account a while ago, and promptly forgot to post about it. It's just crafty stuff, and it's supposed to be sort of a reference for my swap partners. Also, sometimes it's just satisfying to have visual documentation of your body of work.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Starsky Progress

That's a finished back, and two sleeves in progress. I am loving the way this yarn is knitting up. I'm hoping to get a lot more work done on it (and maybe even finishing?) over Thanksgiving. We shall see!

If I were still in college, this sweater would have been done weeks ago. The transition to the real world has been a bit frustrating, as I have precious little free time to craft compared to what I'm used to.

Speaking of free time, I am fully relaxed and happy after a wonderful weekend with my better half. I surprised him for his birthday with club tickets to the Penn State vs. Temple game, and we had an awesome time getting totally drenched while cheering on our alma mater. :) Ben is one of those people who can guess a movie's plot 5 minutes into it, so being unpredictable and surprising him is always a little personal triumph. (P.S.: Get Well, JoePa! You were missed this weekend!)

I'm working on a ton of swap stuff right now that I'd love to post, but I'll just have to wait until some packages reach their destinations. I'm doing some personal swaps right now, and also the awesome Christmas Stocking 2 Swap on My partner is talented beyond words, and I've been working extra-hard on her stocking and goodies. I can't wait to send out to her! And as an added bonus, this is majorly getting me into the Christmas spirit.

Here is some lovely yarn from JoAnn's that I got on sale. I'm envisioning a hat, scarf and glove set. It's a bit of a color departure for me, as I usually don't wear pink, but it's growing on me.

Btw, apologies for the crappy pictures. Now that it's daylight savings, it's dark by the time I get home. :-/ I must come up with a better system.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Stuff I've Sent Recently...

Swap: Ongoing Wish Swap 14
Sent to: aeronberry

Swap: Ongoing Wish Swap 14
Sent to: SevsOnlyGirl

Swap: Ongoing Wish Swap 14
Sent to: bhean

Stuff I've Received Recently...

Swap: Ongoing Wish Swap 15
Received from: reneecarol

Swap: Ongoing Wish Swap 15
Received from: mlsocci

Swap: Ongoing Wish Swap 15
Received from: animegirlie

Swap: Ongoing Wish Swap 14
Received from: orange_sunset

Swap: Ongoing Wish Swap 14
Received from: Miss Mermaid Strikes Back

Monday, November 06, 2006

Swap Info Post

I'm jumping on the bandwagon and making a swap info sheet for my Craftster partners.

About Me
I’m a 22-year-old recent PSU grad turned working stiff. I’m living at home for now, but will eventually be moving out with my SO. ;D There’s a cat and three dogs in my house, one of which is mine. He’s a large border collie / german shepherd mix named Taz, and he likes to wear festive, seasonally-themed bandanas.

- My Wists
- My Craftster profile
- Staarlight's Etsy Shop

I Can...
- Sew
- Knit
- Crochet [a little]
- Decoupage
- Bind books and journals
- Make jewelry
- Quilt
- Make stuffies

I’d Like To Learn...
- Resin
- Screen printing
- Glass etching

Objects, Symbols and Themes I Like
- Anything Japanese
- Domokun
- Blythe dolls
- Tattoo flash art [swallows, etc.]
- Retro 50’s housewife-ish stuff
- Sushi
- Green apples
- Avocados
- Cherry blossoms, orchids and lotuses
- Anne Taintor’s art
- Kitsch

Objects, Symbols and Themes I Don’t Like
- Hello Kitty
- Country / primitive style

Colors and Combos I Love
- Favorite color: apple green
- Blue and brown together
- Retro color combinations
- Pastels with dark brown
- Greens, blues, and browns
- Silver (in jewelry)

Colors and Combos I Don’t Like as Much
- Hot pink
- Neon colors
- Pastels by themselves
- Orange and yellow [OK in moderation]
- Gold (in jewelry)

Craft Supplies
- Fabric, especially cotton prints
- Natural fiber yarn
- Unusual beads
- Inkjet Shrinky-Dink plastic

Smells and Flavors I Like
- Pumpkin
- Ginger
- Cherry blossom
- All kinds of chocolate, but especially dark

Smells and Flavors I Don’t Like
- Lavender
- Vanilla
- Cherry
- Heavy floral scents
- Nuts

I Collect...
- Pressed pennies
- Fabric
- 7.5” x 4.5” pieces of printed 100% cotton [for a quilt]. I would like each rectangle to be a different fabric. The quilt will have 111 different fabrics, if I ever finish it. ;D
- Charms for charm bracelets

Random Info
- I’m allergic to nickel in earrings