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.

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.