7 days of crafty (20/01/13)

Here is my to-do list for this week:

Monday: Finish donkey softie
Tuesday: Order business cards
Wednesday: Work on crocheted rings – aim for three ring bases
Thursday: Sew up ring bases; buy more decoupage glue
Friday: Decoupage sewing desk
Saturday: Decoupage sewing desk; start work on next crochet softie
Sunday: Decoupage sewing desk; finish crochet softie

Looks like a busy week ahead for me – what’s on your work bench?

To market we shall go

Eek – we’re inside the one-week mark and I’m shattered after a solid day of sewing up purses yesterday. Here is a selection, looking very pretty (in a rather poor photo).

Purses all lined up and ready to go to market

A bit of an ecclectic mix here – we have cross-stitched purses, silk and linen, 100% cotton… All fully lined, each one a touch different to the last. I think they look very pretty and I hope the market-goers like them too!

My space has been confirmed, so I have a 2.4m table to fill – yikes! I had a bit of a play around yesterday with a 1.8m table, practising how I might set it all up. I’m nervous that such a big table is going to look a bit bare with my paltry offering of goodies, so will have to come up with some creative ways to dress the space. This is so exciting and nervous-making at the same time, I’m feeling quite discombobulated (great word!) and giddy with all the thoughts whirring around my head.

I’m also super excited to be receiving my stamp from Sandra Waine – she is hugely talented and has worked wonders with my logo. Once the stamp has arrived I’ll take some pics and post here – I can feel a whole lotta stamping coming on. Check out Sandra’s work on her Facebook and her blog. And for the last little plug – not only is Sandra hugely talented, she is a super nice person and has replied to all of my lengthy emails (who…me?!) with interest and kindness. Big fan right here, just in case you couldn’t tell!

Back to the market stock… Now that alll the sewing is finished I can concentrate on the crochet side of things, so this week the big focus is fingerless gloves, baby hats and baby beanie accessories. Every spare moment will be spent working on these, so with that I’m off to sit in the sun and get hooking on some fingerless gloves with a gorgeous lemon and gray colour way.

Think I might come into Day Job a bit earlier tomorrow so I can have a really good look through Handmade Monday at Handmade Harbour – don’t think I will get a chance this afternoon.

Thanks for stopping by xxx

WIP it…

WIP it good. (That is one of the strangest music videos I’ve seen – but I do love that song.)

This was quite a busy weekend – Saturday was a craft write-off after my time in the gym, hair appointment and then dinner out. Sunday was a bit more fruitful – I started and finished my upcycled cotton reel holder, finally finished my salt dish pin cushion and cut yet more fabric for purses. It was Father’s Day here (everywhere?) yesterday so I made Dad a card using Vintage Funnies comic strips and my Cameo Silhouette.

Still no sewn together purses – next weekend is completely free and I’ve decided that will be my big day for sewing up. I can just get a production line going so I don’t have to keep changing the sewing machine feet when I’m doing the zippers. Also a handy excuse for my procrastination – clearly other things have held my attentionmore than the sewing this week!

Absolutely horrendous day here today, and I’m actually kinda enjoying it. Rainy as anything outside and very blustery – a perfect way to start Spring, and a perfect day to go checkout everything going on at Handmade Monday.

x

Handmade Monday (or Tuesday for me)

Just a quick post today as I covered off my weekend in yesterday’s WIP post. Last night I got home and cut a bunch of rectangles to be sewn into purses. Here is the first of them – I took other photos but they are blurry in the light of day. So is this one, but I think you can see the gist.

All waiting to be sewn up… Cross stitch polka dot purse, fully lined, silk back and chunky zip. Yum!

I have also had a brain wave about how I am going to turn the napkin ring below into a pin cushion. Even though it was an 11pm idea, I must have been satisfied with the potential solution because I was still able to nod off to sleep shortly after the lightbulb moment. Hurrah!

I am in luuuurve with these photos – they turned out much better than the fabric rectangles and my jumble of zips that I also attempted to photograph.

Hello little napkin ring. Hard to make napkin rings look exciting, although the geometric print fabric in the background is rather snazzy. I have some polystyrene and foam board at home – I need to cut into a circle to fit the bottom of the napkin ring, which will form the base. I think plan on cutting a circle of fabric to cover the base, and will glue it all into place. I’ve never done these before so will be interesting to see how they turn out!

I have no idea what this little guy was originally – perhaps a little salt dish? Anyway – his new purpose is to be filled with fluffy stuff, have a gorgeous little fabric top put in there, and voila – repurposed into a pin cushion. Gorg!

Now to skive off from Day Job for just a little bit longer and check out the other crafty folk over at Handmade Monday.

Quick weekend W.I.P

I’ve had one of those whirlwind weekends that has left me feeling unsure if I am coming or going. Saturday was a craft write-off in the nicest sense of the word – I had my nephew’s 2nd birthday party. The morning saw me “slaving” over mini cupcakes which were a great success, and we weren’t home until late in the afternoon. My husband set off to do some remote control car racing and I was left with the gift of an evening at home alone (something that rarely happens, despite my hopes). I thought: I’ll do this, and that, and then some more of this! Did I?

No.

Instead I sat on the couch watching Bridezillas and then the NZ vs. Australia rugby match, while finishing some cross-stitch. By the time my husband came home I was feeling very lonely and sorry for myself, and more than a little annoyed for sitting on my chuff for the duration of his absense. Oh well.

Sunday was much better. I had a coffee and a walk along the beach with girlfriends in the morning, then a nice looooong rummage around Junk & Disorderly, the most heavenly of second hand shops. I walked out with a wooden L-shaped box that I’m going to have a go at decoupaging, some vintage comic strips and a silver napkin ring that I shall attempt to turn into a pin cushion. Delightful. I got all my wares home and set about sanding the wooden box back, and while I was on the sanding buzz I dragged out a sewing table I bought over a year ago, that has sat in our shed. Husband was very pleased to see that work had commenced on that particular project!

Then more craft shopping in the afternoon, a visit with my parents and a healthy dinner of chicken wraps… Just one more day in the weekend would have been ideal, but mostly I feel pretty content with my lot and I think that is a good way to start the week.

Will take some photos tonight of other works in progress and write my Handmade Harbour blog post. Now back to Day Job!

xox

Craft rage

When it happens, it isn’t pretty. You can usually feel it coming – starts with eye-rubbing (a certain indicator that it is time to put down your tools), progresses into swearing at your tools, and occasionally escalates into a full blown craft tanty.

This happened to me last night.

I’ve been working on the crazy patch stool cushion for the last couple of nights. You can tell my enthusiasm for this project by my evening dedication – after 8+ hours at Day Job, I am often not inclined to craft in the evenings. But I really want this project finished (I admit that my key motivator is to post the photos up here) so have been beavering away. Last night I thought I would definitely finish – I completed all my decorative top stitches, pressed the finished product nicely and went to gun-staple the fabric to my cushion base/pad.

(I should mention here that I am the proud and diligent guardian of the gun-stapler at Day Job. I don’t know how this came to pass, but I take my responsibility seriously. The perk of this is that I am free to take it home whenever my crafts demand it. Others are welcome to use it – they just have to ask for it and return it immediately after use.)

So here I am: gun-stapler primed for action, I squeezed the trigger and …. nothing. I looked inside and sure enough the last person that used it hadn’t replenished the staples, and of course I had not thought to bring the staples home with me. Cue the mother of all craft rage tantrums. Stomping, swearing, thumping. I even attempted a work around! No, a regular stapler will not do the trick here.

(I should also mention here that I am aware there are legitimate excuses to be made and some personal responsibility to be taken here. 1) The previous user may not have realised they’d used the last staple. It could happen. 2) I could have checked the stapler before I brought it home. 3) I could have brought the staples home as well. I know all of this. But you would have been a crazy person to try and apply that logic last night when I was mid-rant.)

Incidentally, I calmed down almost immediately and began my next project, which is a felt box for my nephew’s second birthday. Phase one was cutting a whole in the paper mache box and painting the whole thing white. I’ve been photographing as I’ve gone and will post a tutorial afterwards if it turns out halfway decent.

And in the night of night-time (i.e. couch and TV o’clock) I finally picked up my hook again and began my granny square throw. I’m two squares in – this is going to be a slow process!

A lurgie took me down

Last week was a quiet week for crafting – I’m blaming a dirty lurgie that snuck up on me while my defenses were down. I’ve been a sniffly, blocked up, sore eared mess for the last week – finally feel like I might be getting on top of it today after a glorious 9.5 hour sleep last night! Glorious for me… Not so much for my husband who had to vacate to the spare room due to Olympic-level snoring. Sorry ’bout that!

So in between nose-dabbing and sorry-for-myself-feeling, I haven’t felt inclined to do much of anything until this weekend, in which I finally made some headway on my crazy-patch footstool cover. I have taken some photos in progress which I’ll post once it is all finished, with a tutorial to explain how I did it. Warning: quilting purists possibly shouldn’t read that tutorial, I think I have broken some rules! Namely the use of heat-bonding seams, and machine-stitching the decorative top stitching. I think I probably could have knocked the project off last night but I ran out of thread – who would have thought! So I’m off to the Little Craft Store in Pt Chev at lunch for a dose of heaven and to purchase the thread. They have a fab special in store until tomorrow (Tuesday 14th August), so I am probably going to walk out with more than thread. What a lovely way to spend lunchtime (away from day-job AND in craft heaven)!

Once the footstool project is finished, I think it might be time to up-hook and get back into some crochet. For a blog that was originally supposed to be largely about my love for hooking, it has taken a bit of a backseat and I’m feeling guilty. I think my next project will be a Granny Square throw in bright popping red, baby blue and one other colour yet to be decided upon. I’ve never made anything more than the one granny square, so it will be quite an undertaking to finish a whole throw. Stay tuned – once I get started I will take pictures as I go.

Craft hiatus in favour of DIY

So once again things have gone quiet on the blog – no surprises there for anyone that knows me. (Not the quiet part – I am very rarely “quiet”. But the falling off various wagons – that happens all.the.time.)

I wish that I could claim I had been busy doing this and that, but I really haven’t – day-job has been busy, I’ve been on a conference/holiday to Melbourne and in the background I have of course been crafting. But nothing really to write home about. Oh I LIE! I have recently discovered cross-stitch and am addicted. I made a cute little coin purse that I gave to a friend who wasn’t quite as excited as I was, but never mind – maybe she was “yippeeing” on the inside. Will eventually post some pics of said purse, or other similar varieties. Since the cross-stitch discovery, I then moved into blackwork, something that I had never heard of – again, addicted. I started with these groovy guys and I just love them. I’m working my way through the white aida cloth backgrounds and am enjoying seeing the progression of my stitching – my current attempt is by far the best. Again, will post pics once they are finished. Last craft obsession is needlework (are you sensing a pattern here?), actually I don’t know if that is the correct term for it. I guess decorative stitches might sum it up best. Recently I bought another Cath Kidston book, “Patch” to try and help me get into patchwork stuff – I find her projects easy to follow and just the right size to get a feel for something. Anyway – there is a crazy patch pattern in there I’m going to have a go at a stool cover (see DIY ravings below) and it requires some really pretty stitches. So last night I set about learning a feather stitch, double feather stitch and others. Looking forward to starting this weekend!

But the purpose of this post – which I realise it has taken me two paragraphs to get to! – is a new found love of DIY. Last time we went down this path I was a self-confessed DIY disaster. Not lacking in skills as such (I confident in wielding a hammer or paint brush), but SERIOUSLY lacking in motivation. Now I have previously bragged about my dedicated craft room, which is a haven – I love it. But since we moved in earlier this year the room has been dominated by hideous dark green shelves that I have found oppressive. A couple of weekends ago in a burst of motivation I made a start on sorting out these shelves and a week later, voila! I am so pleased with the results. Here’s how it went down:

  1. Roughly sand all wood covered in green paint
  2. Apply one coat of primer
  3. Apply three coats of semi-gloss white paint to wooden surfaces
  4. Measure the size of the backspace (??) of the shelves. Note: some fool previously covered this in loose hessian sacking – a NIGHTMARE to paint over. You will see from the before photo (actually a mid-photo, but hey!) that I quickly lost interest in attempting to paint the backspaces.
  5. Using a jigsaw, cut MDF shapes to fit.
  6. Rigourously sand the wooden shapes until they fit the spaces. 6a – try not to loose interest at this point. 6b – make a note to be more precise at point 5, if you ever embark on this journey again!
  7. Cut polyester wadding to size of shape. You can afford to cut smaller in order to use less of the wadding – it is stretchy.
  8. Cut various fabrics to size of shape. Allow a minimum of 1.5cm “seam” (?) allowance around all edges.
  9. Starting on a short edge, sandwich wadding between wood and fabric, pull fabric around to wrong side of wood and gun staple into place. Repeat along all edges, making sure to fold corners in as required.
  10. Carefully flip over to admire your handiwork. Be careful! At this stage you will have the two sharp points for every staple applied poking through the right side of the fabric.
  11. Take a hammer and knock each point down as flat as possible. This doesn’t have to be perfect – once they’re in your shelves, they won’t really be a problem – unless of course your shelves are in a child’s bedroom and sticky little fingers could reach them. In that case you may want to be very careful!
  12. Knock your shapes into their corresponding shapes, stand back and go “Aaaahhhh”. If you have been pretty accurate with your measuring and cutting with the jigsaw, knocking into place should be sufficient. A couple of mine will need to be fixed to the wall – I plan to try this with Velcro dots first so I don’t have anything (nails!) showing through my lovely fabric.

What do you think?

Now I just need to paint the rest of the room (laaaaaater, I’m done with painting for now) and move back in all of my books and equipment. Can’t wait!