September 30, 2016

Art and Recycling

Normally school holidays are a time when I can get in and do some craft projects that I just don't have time for during the school term, but these holidays I have mostly been working ... and when I wasn't working there were other claims on my attention and time.

However I have managed to do a couple of arty things that have been planned for a while and do something practical, while recycling at the same time.

First up was a project I have been planning for a while. About this time last year I got very interested in Zentangle. It's a form of art involving repeated patterns. It gave me a name for the doodling I have been doing since I was a child. I found it to be very restful (some people think of it as a form of meditation). In a shop I picked up one of those plain black letters that are rather popular for home decorating at the moment. I wanted to personalise it and make it less boring, so I got out my sketch book, traced it and then started looking for some Zentangle patterns to use on it.

This is the result:

It now hangs proudly on my wall.
I used a white Gelly Roll pen. And the tangle patterns are Jacki and Pixie both originally by Sandy Steen Bartholomew. I slightly modified my original idea, but I love the finished result.

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Yes, I'm also interesting in colouring in, and this next piece of art is just that. I'm not a recent colouring enthusiast - I've been doing it for years.
If you haven't heard of Lorien Atwood you should totally check out her work. She has combined art work with Bible verses to give you something to really think about while you colour.
She has a couple of colouring books available and I have done one from her second book 'Reflections'.

My word for this year is 'Trust', so this colouring verse was perfect. It, too, is now gracing my wall as a daily reminder to trust God and to pray.


I used Gelly Roll Stardust pens and I really like the glittery result. Even when the light doesn't make it sparkle this still looks amazing.

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Finally, I have been in need for somewhere to store notepads, sticky notes and homemade stickers that is easily accessible. I hadn't found anything in the shop that really fit what I needed and most things around the house were just too flimsy.
We have been doing a little bit of spring cleaning - particularly sorting out plastic containers that always seem to multiply. Mum found an old icecream container, so today I made it look a whole lot better, I covered it with scrapbooking paper, then contacted the whole thing to make it last longer.


I'm really happy with the way it looks and it sits ready on my desk for me to grab what I need without needing to rummage around in a difficult to get to spot.

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There is just one more project that I'm working on, but I can't talk about it at the moment, so you'll just have to keep watching and waiting for that one to pop up in your feed!!

July 25, 2016

A Slow Year for Craft

Hello everyone! You must be wondering if I've dropped off the face of the earth. Well, I haven't ... but it's been a slow year for craft so far. Even the end of last year was pretty slow, although I have been trying something new - Zentangle. I haven't shared any of my tangles outside the family yet, but then I'm just learning.

In January I got crafty for Kids Camp. I made about 20 little treasure chests. Some were table decorations for our banquet night, while others were for the girls in my cabin.
I also drew a big treasure map as a wall hanging (sorry, no photo of that one). I'm really proud of this one.

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Cards have been few and far between.



I'm sure there were a couple of others, but I haven't got photos of them. I'll be doing another one within the next week.

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The best news is that I have actually finished my crochet rug/blanket. It was May when I finished so it took me 6 winters to finish it. I haven't got photos of it either. I'm loving snuggling up under it on these cold winter nights. The navy, maroon and purple colours are great. And I love the shell edging - it was the perfect finish.

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I'm having a break from large cross stitch projects at the moment. I do have a couple of very small cross stitch projects that are on the go - mostly so that I'll have something to do while waiting for family members while they are in appointments.

August 23, 2015

African Sunset

AFRICAN SUNSET IS FINALLY COMPLETE!!!


5 and a half years later!

I'm so glad to finally be done. The colours have been much different that what I would normally choose to use, so it has sometimes been a chore. But now it is done!!!

I won't be doing another big project just yet. I need to finish a few other things first and my next project will probably be a small one - so that I get it finished faster.

June 18, 2015

Clutter Books

I recently read 'Clutter Free' by Kathi Lipp (a great read for anyone who struggles with clutter) and that got me motivated once again to do a bit of clearing out. I've also been trying to make sure that all the stuff I have (or in this case, am keeping) actually has a place to live, rather than being piled up around my bedroom (I still live at home, so my only "just for me" space is my bedroom).

For me, de-cluttering is generally not just a time to sort through, discard or donate my stuff, but to get creative and re-purpose things. This has also been coupled with a need for certain things, particularly at work.

In my job in an After School Care Program, we are required to make observations about what the children in our care are doing and are interested in, To make it easier to remember, we carry notebooks with us to write things down as we notice them.

As I looked around my room, I remembered some scrap paper that I had saved. It had been stored away waiting to be  used, so I cut it to size, added some cardboard covers (cardboard was originally packaging), and added some pretty paper to the front from my stash of scrapbooking paper scraps. The only things I used that were new was clear contact to protect the covers and Bind-it-All wires.

I have now made 4 little notebooks - perfect size to slip into a pocket. I'll be taking them to work for myself and my fellow staff members to use. I still have more scrap paper and we still need more notebooks, so I'll probably be making more.


I love being able to de-clutter and be creative at the same time.

April 20, 2015

Cards and Memories

Wow! I can't believe it's already past the middle of April ... and that I haven't put anything on this blog since January.

Crafting took a bit of a back seat with the start of the year and I just didn't have the ideas.
I have done a few more cards for my friend (she still hasn't seen them, unless she reads this blog), and I have been working on a few other projects - mainly putting all my memory stuff in books (more on that later). I'm also still trying to get African Sunset finished for my sister's birthday later this year; and I'm desperate to get it done and move onto something else (I've been working on it, off and on, for 5 years).

In case you were wondering, my camp costume worked really well (sorry I don't have a photo - although there may be one somewhere).

Cards
 This one was for my brother - just using stickers on a green card ... Simple!

A d├ęcoupage lion for a friend's cute 1 year old! It took me hours to cut out all the layers (I think there were 7 layers).


 These two are for my friend. It was remarkable how the first one (burgundy bow) came together. It all started with the bow. I have several of these that came off some packaging (can't quite remember what, although they may have been around some of the writing paper sets that I had - see earlier posts for how I've used those), and I wanted to use them somehow because they have been stashed away for years. So I rummaged around in my scraps of card and found the embossed background that I had done to test out a Fiskars texture plate. Then I layered it with the burgundy cardstock (it was from an old Stampin' Up! range) and added the final touch with a Kaiser Craft tag from one of their collectables collections (can't remember which and I'm too lazy to get them out to check).

The second one also uses elements from Kaiser Crafts Collectables - the koala and gum leaves. The photo behind is one that I took on a holiday to Phillip Island last year. I'm really happy how that worked too.

There are several more cards to be made for my friend - one I have got inspiration from at a craft show that I went to over the weekend. It is expanding on a 'Make-and-Take' that I did while there (details to come in a future post), plus there will be a Mother's Day card to make (inspiration also found at the craft show).

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Memories
How many of you have a box (or several) packed full of tickets, invitations and other memorabilia that you just can't throw away, but they get all mixed up in the box you have them in?
Well, my next project has been working out what to do with all these things, and what I have done with them was inspired by Kristen from The Next Bird. I stumbled on her page thanks to Pintrest and the rest, so I'm told, is history! Yes, my history - at least from the last couple of years.

My memory journal, is of course my own. I didn't have the rings, but I do have something else - my Bind-it-All! You'll remember that from the journals and notepads I've made previously. It's one of the most useful things and the great thing is that I didn't even have to buy it - I won it in a competition!! (but enough about that, lets get on with the project).


I started with 2014, as the items from that year were at the top of my box. I sorted them into date order as best I could (not everything had a date). Then I made my covers! Recycled cardboard from some packaging, covered with pretty scrapbooking paper and then clear contact over the whole lot to protect it (the label on the front was done later when I figured out what I wanted - I had thought about an inside cover page - using my Brother P-touch).

As I went through everything I punched the holes in them and figured out the best way to display them. Some items were stuck to a piece of cardstock or scrapbooking paper as they were too small to individually punch. For other things that I didn't want to punch or wanted to see both sides I made pockets with scrapbooking paper and washi tape.


I got really creative with some of the pockets - like using the map of Phillip Island to hold some the the memory things from there and I marked on the map where we went, stayed and used the camera washi tape to mark where I took photos, just cutting an individual camera for each spot.

I also started using some of my stash of mini pockets that are pre-cut but you make up yourself. These were stuck onto paper, not individually punched.

For the 2013 Memory book, I used covers from an old display book. The spine of the display book had broken, but the covers were still good and perfectly matched the holes that the Bind-it-All makes. My favourite pocket from that one, is the pocket I made out of a paper hat from a Christmas cracker.


It took a bit of work to figure it out, as I didn't want the things I put in it to go between the paper layers and I wanted to make it a strong as possible, given that it is just tissue paper. So I put the washi tape at the top and made sure when I folded it over that it held the layers together. Originally I was just punching it and putting it in, but then I decided to stick it to the cardstock for extra strength - it's the purple pocket at the bottom of the above photo!

I had thought about stopping with just those 2 years, but then I looked in the box again and decided to keep going with other years, so I'm now working on 2012. I just have to wait for a parcel in the mail because although I have more packaging cardboard, it is not fully A4 size, so I've had to order some A4 chipboard. I'm told it's on it's way, but that stuff is hard to find. Hopefully the thickness is right - thick enough to be strong, but thin enough to fit in my Bind-it-All.

I will say, it is a lot of work to get these books right - making pockets, punching the pages, arranging the items so that one spot isn't too bulky, but I'm really pleased with the result, and now my memory things are neat and not getting mixed up in a jumbled box.

There were some things that were just too bulky to put in, but I have now put them all together in an envelope and that fits into the box with the book.

January 17, 2015

Re-purpose, Reuse ... But Get Crafty

As often happens in January, I get busy crafting things - either because I have more time to do it or because there is a need for something.

I already mentioned the super hero cape that I made for Kids Camp, but that wasn't all I needed for the costume.
Most of my costumes get recycled in one form or another, either because they originally came from an OP Shop, or because I have thought of a way to use them differently for another costume. Several years ago I altered a t-shirt by putting a fringe on the bottom and putting on some iron-on motifs. The iron-on motifs had started to come off, and I wasn't going to use the costume again, but then I realised it would work a little differently for a super hero costume. I kept the fringe on the bottom, but this time I have put on my made up super hero logo.


 I matched the colour of the logo fabric to the fringe.


The logo is actually the letter B. I flipped the letter backwards and put them together then flipped them upside down. The stitching around the edge is very close zigzag stitch, and the detail in the centre is actually a bright pink gel pen (it may wash out, but it works for now).

Then I was thinking about hair and what I would do for that, and ended up making myself a new headband - using the same fabric as I used for the logo combined with some purple ribbon that I had in my stash.


The headband is based on some others that I've made in the past, but with some small alterations because of the length of fabric that I had and the addition of the purple ribbon. In many ways I think it has improved my pattern - which is always a good thing.


And here are the two together - perfect match! Plus I'm certain I'll wear the headband at other times, so it really won't be wasted.

Now all I need is a really cool super hero name!

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Now for something not camp related.

How many of you used to have pen-pals that you wrote letters to on pretty writing paper. I certainly had my share and a collection of writing paper to match.


These days I don't write many letters, but I still have a collection of writing paper and have been trying to find creative ways of using it.
Last year I used some to make a journal, but I still have plenty left. One pad, although really pretty was not one that I would have chosen (I didn't buy it. It was a gift). I think it still had all it's pages (but I didn't count them), so I figured out it would make a perfect note pad for in my handbag.

I used the whole thing - front and back cardboard and all the pages.


The back cover and all the pages were cut in half. However I cut the front cover so that I would still have the picture in the middle.


Every second page only has the border because the girl was just on one side, however I flipped each of those pages so that the border is always on the same side.
I then just used my Bind-it-All to put the wire in.

January 10, 2015

Getting My Crafty On!

I've been getting a bit crafty in the past few days - that is other than working on African Sunset when sitting down with my family to watch movies.

It all started with Kids Camp. No the camp hasn't happened yet, but the preparation has.
Our theme for this year is Superheroes! So, of course, that means capes and such.
I was going to post a photo of my cape, but the fabric I made it of doesn't lend itself to photography. Now I've got you curious.

Last year I picked up some pink tulle in the remnant bin at my local Spotlight store. I had planned to use it at work, but some things changed and I never did quite find a use for it there, but the idea came to me, that it would work well with the idea of the superhero talent of invisibility!
I used a single layer of the pink tulle and edged it with pink bias tape. I sewed the bias tape around except for the top, then used more bias tape to cover the top and form the ties to tie it on.
I'm very happy with it and hopefully it will be cooler than a full fabric cape if the day is very hot when I wear it.

I've also been working on some cards that a friend asked me to make for her. So far I have 3. All are based on designs I have previously made, either exactly the same or with variations depending on the materials (such as stickers) I have available.

 

Then there has been the folder that I use for Kids Crew, the children's ministry I am involved in at church.
I may have mentioned the folders in previous years, but this year I thought I'd post some pictures.


The picture is actually a cross stitch that I cut out of a magazine - I have no idea which company it is from, but it is beautiful.
The font I used for the words is called 'Peeps' and has little eyes on each letter. It perfectly fit for what the folder is for.
The folder is plain white with a plastic sleeve that you can slip things into - perfect for designing your own cover and side panel.


Inside I make my own section dividers. I used cardstock that I would otherwise be unlikely to use. This year I have the swirly pink (as you can see), mauve, orange polka dots on white and mauve with a white box-like pattern. There are 2 of each of the pink and polka dot.
The tabs are tab stickers that I have. I'm not entirely happy with the colours, but they were the only ones I had left. Next time I think I'll go back to using my Stampin' Up! punch and stamps to make the tabs.
The last thing, which I actually did today, was to make this really interesting pen holder.
I found out about the idea on Pintrest, checked it out, and as the instructional video was going, pulled out the materials I would use and had a go! Thank you to Michele at Poochie Baby for the idea.
It's just a binder clip and duct tape, although I used washi tape for mine. I just love those hot air balloons!
I'm still figuring out the best position on the folder for it - yes, because you use a binder clip it can be move when needed or removed completely!

December 31, 2014

2014 Wrap-Up

Here we are at the end of the year.

It hasn't been as big a year for crafting as some years, but if you look back at what I've been doing you will find some chunks of time have been spent doing a little of this and that.

My main crafts for 2014 have been Card Making, Cross Stitch, Crochet and Sewing.

African Sunset is now at about 85% complete. There is just one more elephant, a little more background and some back stitch to do.
































I'm really ready to be finished this. It has taken a lot longer than I anticipated, but the end is in sight.

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My final card for the year was a birthday card for one of my sisters.


It is a Lucy Cromwell d├ęcoupage design. This photo doesn't quite give you an idea of the depth, but it made closing the envelope difficult.

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Progress has also been made on my Crochet Rug. In fact, I think it will have to be called a blanket instead of a rug because it has gotten so big. Sorry I haven't got any photos.
I'm on my last ball of blue wool and then I will be edging it in maroon wool.

It's very large and very warm (surprising for something with so many holes in it).
I won't be working on it until the weather cools down again - probably in April or May. It's just too hot to work on during late spring, summer and early autumn.

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So there you have it. 2014 is done.

There are plans for cards in 2015; hopefully both African Sunset and my Crochet Blanket will be completed and I will be able to move onto new projects. There is sure to be some sewing in there too, as another Kid's Camp is fast approaching and I am in need of a costume or two.

See you next year.
And Happy Crafting!

November 16, 2014

Paper Quilting


This is something I would put on my Christmas wish list if I was writing one this year!

August 5, 2014

A Card With a Difference

My sister's birthday was coming up and I was looking for inspiration of what to do for her card this year.
As I flicked through a card making magazine, I found the perfect idea.

(Inspired by Paper Essentials UK Issue 108)

It's a shaped card, but doesn't have an are inside to write on - I just wrote on the back.

By the way - she loves it!! And even said if she found a dress like it she would wear it!!