this blog is essentially an online diary of my little creative projects - if you can't fix it, throw some glitter over it and add a lacy edge and everything will be alright.

Friday, 20 September 2013

diy juggling balls

i’ve been wanting to teach myself to juggle for aaaaages, so i set about making myself a set of juggling balls during the summer. i regrettably left them at my dad’s before i got a chance to do any actual juggling, but i had lots of fun making them so that’s something : )

here’s a pic of them at various stages of made-ness:

 you will need: scrap fabric, scrap paper, pen, ruler, needle, strong thread and rice or lentils or something along those lines.

  1. decide how big you want your balls to be – you can do this by drawing a circle to the desired size, measuring the radius (height of leaf shaped template), and halving this (width of leaf shaped template).
  2. with these measurements, make a leaf shape.
  3. on fabric - cut around your leaf template four times per ball, leaving room for seams (i actually drew straight around the template with a biro on the reverse side of the fabric).
  4. right sides facing, sew these together leaving one seam open enough to put your lentily filling through- back stitch or running stitch, doesn't matter so long as your stitches are fairly close together so no filling falls out!
  5. fill with filling – make it as compact and full as possible.
  6. sew up remaining gap – ladder stitch is good for this.
  7. do this twice or however many times more to get a set of juggling balls!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

lazy scarf pillow case diy

it’s been such a long time since i last blogged! lots has happened – i graduated for university, was a reviewer for a month and moved house. moved…into an unfurnished house…with no income with which to buy furniture to fill it with I’m having to get creative (oh what a shame).

so! pillows! the most obvious thing to fill a front room with! and my local bargain shop thing sells 18 inch pillows for a pound : D but, oh no! there are no fabric shops in paisley : ( but fear not – there’s at least 10 charity shops within reasonable walking distance. but oh no! i left my sewing machine at my mum’s!

and so the lazy pillowcase was born…

you will need: a largish square scarf (most of mine cost £1/£1.50 from charity shops), a pillow, a needle and thread.

1. place the pillow in the middle of your scarf so that the corners of the pillow are pointing to the middles of the scarf’s edges.

2. pick up the corners of the scarf.

3. while holding the four corners of the scarf together, spin the pillow until it is quite tight.

4. allow the twisted bit to make a nice twist.

5. with your needle and thread sew one big stitch through the twist in such a way that it does not untwist.(you want to go straight through the knot here - i only did a couple of stitches as i may want to use these scarves as scarves at some point!)

6. enjoy your very lazy pillow! the knots look quite cool but obviously they're uncomfy to sit like, just flip them over (see first pic of post) : ) 

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

granny square chic purse

i'm trying to use up all the odds and ends (of which there are thousands) that make up my craft pile. the main offender at the mo is embroidery floss, it's cheap (89p before staff discount) and comes in every colour, so naturally i have pretty much every colour, and i'm something of a messy fellow so, well, basically there's a football sized tangle of thread sitting by my bed that needs to be used up! i quite like crocheting with it and the ladies at the knit and natter at work (mondays 6.15-7.45) were learning how to make granny squares this week so i made a couple of dainty granny squares. which got turned into a purse-bag-thing:

for  crocheting with embroidery floss/thread i use a 1.75mm hook, the thread lends itself to splitting but you get used to that. i should have put something in the picture to indicate size, you can't tell but it's rather small at 13cm but 13cm (ish). i was going to line it but it looked prettier without the interuption, and the holes are so small it hardly matters.

anyways, to make! you will need: 1.75mm hook, embroidery floss/threads (leftovers will do), a bag clasp (mines 12.8cm across and 5cm tall but so long as it's one that will fit a square any size would work) and glue, i used tacky glue.

for those of you who don't know how to make a granny square, here are my rather sketchy you may notice, this is my first attempt at writing crochet instructions:

4ch ss into 1st chain to make circle

row 1 - 3ch(acts as first treble), 2tr into 4ch circle, ch1 (3tr into 4ch circle, 1ch) 3 times, ss into 3rd chain of first 'treble'

you should have a little circle made up of 4 groups of 3 trebles, separated by 1chain spaces.

row 2 - (grab new colour, join at a chain space and) 3ch (again, acts as first treble), 2tr into chain space at the base of your 3ch, 1ch, 3tr into same chain space, 1ch, (3tr, 1ch, 3tr into next chain space, 1ch) 3 times, ss into 3rd chain of your initial 'treble'.

things should be looking a bit more square now, from here on out it's pretty repetitive...

row 3 to row (insert number here) - join a colour at a space, chain 3(acts as treble). now, basically, for each chain space on a side of your square you want there to be 3tr, and for each corner you want 3tr, 1ch, 3tr. all groups of 3tr should be separated by 1ch, and once you've worked your way around your square you ss into the 3rd chain of your started 'treble'.

keep going until your square fits your clasp. then make another one the same size, crochet or sew them together leaving the edges which are to fit into your claps free. lastly, glue one to the other with very strong glue. BAG!

Saturday, 22 June 2013

playing with my pyrography pen: bee wallet

having gotten my head around burning wood i thought it might be a plan to attack leather next, plus, i was in need of a new wallet. so i headed out and found a yellow leather wallet to cover in bees. here's hoow that went:

i only used the thinnest of my nibs to draw these, mine is about the width of a biro and works in much the same way. i think perhaps because the leather has been treated (to be yellow) it doesn't burn quite so readily as the untreated stuff or wood, but it still works well enough.

Friday, 21 June 2013

friendship bracelets and the joy of teaching

as i've mentioned on here before i run a little arts and crafts group for quite young home schooled kids every monday at work, but on the the first monday of every month i get an older group of kids who told me that they wanted to learn how to make friendship bracelets : ) how wonderful is that? so i put together a couple of examples off the different types of friendship bracelet that i could teach them and away we went:

we started with the beginner one and by the end of our two hours everyone had successfully made a bracelet! i was so proud! but, i was also a bit jealous, as i didn't manage to make my own while buzzing about teaching all the others. so i went home and made a couple of summery/hippy ones for myself:

one is the 'bit less beginner' one and the other is basic macrame using embroidery thread around a cord with a button in the middle of it. i'm very happy with the result, though can't help but thinking that on the summer bracelet front more is better! so i may have to make a couple more.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

pentagon patchwork ball

i got it into my head that i was going to teach myself how to juggle, but then realised that i had no juggling balls. this then became a brilliant opportunity to make some juggling balls! i used the paper method of patchwork and hand stitched my pentagons together while they were tacked to their templates. however, i guessed at how big my hexagons ought to be in order to make my ball, which ended up in my having one, rather large, bean bag/stress ball. it's still rather nice though, so here's how i made it:

it takes 12 pentagons to make a ball, i just used left over remnants of fabric and scrap paper so this was a free project for me, you won't need much fabric at all! so yeah; scrap paper, scrap fabric, needle, thread, and something like rice to fill it with.

cut out 12 hexagons of the same size from from your paper and tack fabric to each of them, right side facing out. then sew them together by taking two with right sides together and sewing along an edge, repeat until you have two halves of a ball and then sew these together leaving one edge unsewn. untack and remove all the paper, flip inside out, fill and ladder stitch up the hole. here's my hexagons at various stages of being sewn together:

and here's the finished ball, which smells a bit like a pet shop as i filled it with red lentils:

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

reupholstering chairs, tardis chair!

lately at work there have been a couple of shifts where i've been allowed to hide in the back and reupholster office chairs for the staff room and the office. it's so much fun! who knew that a staple gun could bring so much joy? : ) it's really quite easy too and the results look great. all you need is a chair, probably a screw driver, about 80cm (for two pads) of a fabric you like and a staple gun. each of my chairs takes about 35 mins to do. here's how you do it:

first up, take apart your chair to get at the cushions that you want to upholster. if it's a old-school dinner chair then this bit may be pretty simple (they can sometime just be lifted out), i was working with simple office chairs which had some very tight screws in so there was a bit of battling.

once you have the chair pads, take one and place it face down onto your fabric and fire one staple in the middle of each edge making sure that everything is taut. then work your way outward towards your corners like so:

once you get to the corners just keep pulling the fabric taut and stapling until they look good, then cut away the bunched up excess fabric that happens, something like this:

once the whole thing is done, if it looks like this, then you're doing ok:

do the same for the other pad (if you have two to do) and then screw the chair back together again:

i was recovering chairs for the staff room as the pads on ours were getting a bit grim, i basically just grabbed cheapish/fun fabrics and did as many as i could, here's some of the other ones:

and if you're creative with a permanent marker and some fabric paint, you could even make one of your bosses a tardis chair, which i am inclined to say, is kind of fabulous!:

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

having a go at chainmail - both easier and more fiddly than it looks

now, i really should have looked at some instructions or a book or something, anything, before i dived straight in. but i didn't, instead i found a high resolution photo of someone's bracelet online, grabbed my jewellery pliers and a bag of jump rings and had a go : ) it went alright all things considered. though i'm not sure what to do with it yet, continue and finish the bracelet? or stick it onto a hair clip for a mock steampunk-geisha look?

to make it i kind of took one hoop, opened it up, threaded on another four, closed it to make a grouping of five. with this i took another open hoop and attached it to another grouping of five. i continued in this way until i had a long enough bit to realise that it was far too thin for what i had pictured, so made a second line and joined the two. and if you can follow those instructions then you must be psychic, or just really, really smart.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

first attempt at mathematical curve stitching

i was given a great book of mathematical curve stitching, written by a maths person in like, the 70's or something. it's ace! my first go went fairly well:

it's based on a cube...the thing is, in the book, all the stitching is done on paper, where you do all the accurate measuring on the back of your work and mark where all your holes are meant to be so that it's perfect on the front. it was a bit more tricky than that on the fabric, for one i couldn't get the most clean lines when drawing on the back, the ruler being much longer than the embroidery hoop is wide was a bit problematic, and the weave of the fabric didn't quite lend itself to the project. all that aside, i thought it went quite well and looks a bit odd and striking, shall have to patch it onto something, a little clutch bag or something : )

Monday, 3 June 2013

second commission! baby dress

now i made this aaaaages ago and totally forgot to blog about it, possibly i was put off by just how bad the quality of the photo is:

it's a baby dress! the boyfriend's mum wanted something made for one of his mates new baby. oh i hope the child grows out of it before it falls apart completely! cute though : )

Sunday, 2 June 2013

peg doll horse! with somewhat vague instructions...

i couldn't help but notice that peg people seem to be a thing. a strange thing. ranging from a zombie army chess set to a badly made nativity scene. i got it into my head that i would make cool philosophers with their friends: nietzsche with the horse her thought was jesus, schrodinger and his cat in a box, escher in one of his more famous pictures...made out of felt...with a round piece of velcro on escher's you could stick peg-escher into the odd felt sculpture at any angle (it's possible that i've thought about this too long). sadly i only got as far as nietzsche's horse, as i realised that such a thing did not seem to have been made (and put online) yet! what what?! here's my peg horse:

pretty, yes? he's easy enough to make, just take three pegs and saw them like so:

yes, i am aware that the doodle is somewhat pants, but you get the idea. once you have your horse pieces, fix them together with a glue gun, then try and fill in the gaps left behind with pva or similar. at which point it should look a little something like this:

now just paint him to look cute, though you may want to add whip marks if you're going down the nietzsche route.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

playing with my pyrography pen : )

i have a pyrography pen! oh how i have wanted one of these for the longest time!! there'll never be a boring frame or plain belt in my life again : D joy! of course, some practice is in order when playing with potentially burny pointy i doodled on some spoons:

i made one for my baker friend who has an ace cake blog, the other is the first few lines of the owl and the pussy-cat, because it's cool. using the pen is pretty easy, if a bit nerve wracking (i only burnt myself once, and it was only small), you do pretty much just use it like a pen...the nib of which burns stuff. the whole thing is very fun and smells like a tiny bonfire. will have to scout the charity shops for some leather goodies to take apart, back on ditsy prints, attack with a pointy thing and then make pretty with my new pyro-pen.  

Thursday, 16 May 2013

embroidered fox collar dress!

i was out shopping with an old friend when we spotted the best, most blank dress ever, it practically begged to be customized, so customize it i did:

it's not a particularly sophisticated piece of embroidery, essentially just random running stitch in the shape of a fox, but i'm rather fond of it! i drew the basic shape in pencil and then got out the embroidery hoop. i don't know if i'm going to dip dye the hem as well, or something, anything : D there's just so many possibilities with a dress this plain!! yay! 

homemade lavender eye mask : )

it's been an age since i last had a chance to post! uni was coming to an end and essays and presentations took over for a bit there, but i'm back! and i have been making things while i was away. one of these was this eye mask:

it was super easy, i just found a cheapo eye mask which was lying around, drew around it on two different fabrics and some wadding, layered them with the fabrics right sides together and the wadding on top, tucked in some ribbon on either side and hand stitched the lot together (leaving a little gap so i could turn it inside out). ladder stitch and press to finish. oh! and if you want it smelling nice then pop some dried lavender in before sewing up the hole after turning : )

Saturday, 27 April 2013

pom pom cheat tutorial and pom pom bugs (bee, ladybird and caterpillar)

everyone knows how to make pom poms - you wrap wool around a ring for aaaaages and then cut around the edge, tie, and neaten up. i'm just not quite patient enough for that, also i work with small children who's attention spans might not be big enough for that just yet. so! i've made up a pom pom cheat, and it goes like so:

first up, wrap wool around your fingers:

then once there's a fair bit of wool on there, stop, and tie loosely in the middle :

next, slip the lot off your hand and pull your knot tight, and then double/triple knot it in place:

now you just treat it like you would a normal pom pom - cut around the edge and then even it out with scissors:



of course, once you have your pom pom, then you have to decide what to do with it. i opted for bugs (planning stuff for my next group of home-school kids), which turned out to be super easy! just glue googly eyes to something furry and it looks like a cute animal thing : ) add more pom poms, felt etc to be more specific in terms of animal...


Friday, 26 April 2013

comic book crafts: key rings and hair bobbles

it's superhero saturday! this saturday! and if you find yourself in aberdeen's town centre then you can drop by hobbycraft and get your face painted/your costume judged/get a photo taken in our awesome superhero photo area/make superhero crafty things! also, there'll be some very cool and/or yummy things made by the staff which you can pick up for a small donation to together for short lives. i made hair bobbles and key rings:

we sell key ring blanks at work for £2.99 (pack of 12) in the kids area, so i spent this morning going through some cheap comics (3 for £1 in the forbidden planet sale bin) and cutting out the good pics of super folks and putting two and two together. for the hair bobbles you make yoyos, glue gun those to hairbands, cover a button in an image from a comic and glue gun that to your yoyo. alternatively you can pop down and give something in the region of a pond to charity and pick one up ready made : )

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

superhero saturday at hobbycraft aberdeen! also, fashion week...

there's a lot happening this saturday - it's superhero saturday at work which means it's all go on the fancy dress/face paints/charity crafts/raffle front : D and on top off all that it's fashion week. union square (the shopping centre my branch is attached to) has given us a glass box in the centre to display some of our stuff in for the event, and i was the one chosen to make the stuff! woo hoo! the only problem is that i had to somehow combine the two....this is what i came up with:

it's a pretty simple set made from neon and black polymer clays, ribbon, cord, and findings. i'm pretty chuffed with them. the only think i will say against polymer clay is that if you roll this stuff too thin it will be super frail once it's baked! so thicker is better (i learnt this the hard way....there were twice as many lightning bolts to begin with). 

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

homemade bow ties!

a couple of days ago, to my horror, i realised that i had never tied a proper bow tie before! for shame!! so i set about making a couple (i needed a bow tie to practice with). there are some really good free patterns online, i used this one from angela osborn, it's got loads of instructions which are really clear. here's how mine turned out:

and here's how my first tying attempt went:

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

the flash! applique top

we're having a superhero saturday at work this weekend! (the aberdeen branch of hobbycraft) we're raising money for together for short lives with face paints and selling crafts and whatnot. i was going to be wonderwoman, but then i realised that hot-pants might not be work appropriate! so i sewed felt shapes to my red top (previously meant for wonderwoman) a la the flash:

i just drew around a saucer onto white felt for the round, and then drew a lightning bolt free-hand onto yellow, then back-stitched them both with embroidery thread onto the top. super easy! the top cost £2ish from primark, and the felt (on 3for2 at work at the mo) is 50p a sheet. so my top cost like £3 in total : ) win!

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

petal headband step-by-step : )

look what a boss at work gave me!!!:

it's all the fake flower heads which have fallen off their stems since the last time that area of the shop was tidied properly. naturally i cut them up and made them into hair things. it's a pretty simple process: get some hair bands:

then pick some flowers you like the look of and chop off their petals:

then start glue gunning them to the band (make sure you know where you're ears will be in relation to the band so you know where to start and finish your petals):

then, just keep layering up until you're happy : )

i'll be listing a couple of these on my etsy shop sooooon! 

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

lady grey tea cookies

a while back i was in need of cheering up, when i spotted a recipe for earl grey tea cookies on pinterest, they turned out to be from the website of martha stewart but that's ok! i made them anyway, and i made them replacing earl grey with lady grey and making them mini cookies. the were so crumbly and melt-in-the-mouth, and could be a sweet or a savory depending on what you fancied having with it. they're a bit odd in that you feel like you're eating a cup of tea, but that totally does it for me : ) here they are:
....i say i was in need of cheering up, but it wasn't just the cookies that were were making me happy, it was the discovery of the pinterest challenge on the blog of sew scrumptious and the knowledge that this totally counts as an entry! woohoo! 

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