Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Pizza weaving

Hello! Ok, so, this project is totally awesome and totally difficult to photograph. If you have a house that isn't 90% brown brick (mmmmm, so seventies!) it may be easier to take photographs that look pretty. BUT - pizza weaving! Yum!

I used my 6.5 x 9.5 inch loom and although when I started I wanted to make it bigger, after weaving all the pizza toppings I think this size was just right ~___^ I also took the rest of these photos with the pizza weaving laying on my coffee table which I have only just realised is really quite an orange coloured wood. Perhaps a darker stain is in order?

Anyway, back to the pizza. Before I started, I drew a pizza slice on a sheet of A4 paper which I kept under my loom as I wove. I didn't follow it exactly, but it was good to have a guideline regarding where I should be putting toppings and how much to angle in the actual pizza slice.

All of the yarn that I used for the actual pizza is random acrylics that my Nanna Tess left to me, and I think the white yarn is Shiver, which is a chunky acrylic. I find that the fluffy yarns are best for filling in large spaces because they don't leave as many little gaps between the rows.

 Shiver is also fantastic for making tassels - look at those fluffy babies! 

I didn't make a tutorial for this project as I was really just making it up as I went along, but here are some tips if you want to make your own. 1. Start from the crust and work down; I found it easier to judge how much to angle in my pizza when I was working from the top. 2. Weave a couple of rows of toppings, then fill in the rest of the pizza slice. Repeat, repeat, repeat. 3. Add in the background last and draw your yarn under the weaving you've already done if you don't want a border of empty space around your pizza.

I'm really happy with how my pizza weaving came out and I'm kinda tossing up on deciding if I want a larger loom now; although I do love my little loom, I feel like maybe it's time to expand. What do you think? Have you tried weaving before? Should I weave a donut next? ~___^

- Lisa xx

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Three Addams Family crafts

Hello! Do you like the Addams Family? I really hope you said yes, because today I've got three easy and quick crafts inspired by our favourite creepy family to show you! I didn't watch heaps of TV or movies growing up, but the Addams Family is one that definitely sticks out in my mind; I wanted to be a cross between Morticia and Wednesday when I grew up, and spent a good portion of my teenage years dressing entirely in black to achieve such a look ~___^

This first project is one that I have been meaning to do for ages! I don't know why I put it off for so long as it wasn't difficult to do and I really love how it turned out ^___^ I prefer having black pillowcases since otherwise they do tend to end up stained by my hair dye, but if you wanted to make your own you could really use any colour. I do feel like black is apropos though!

To make them, I ironed the pillowcases to get most of the wrinkles out and wrote out "mon cher" and "cara mia" onto them with white chalk.

Then I used a paintbrush to go over the letters with white fabric paint. I did about three layers of paint to try and get the lines a relatively even weight; they're still not perfect but the extra layers also helped the white letters pop more against the black fabric.

I left them to dry overnight and then gave them a quick iron, with a cloth over the letters to protect my iron. Depending on what type of fabric paint you use, you may not need to iron your project but it makes me feel a bit more confident that it will survive the wash!

I think these would be perfect for a housewarming gift for a couple, or maybe even a wedding present! Depends how kooky they are, I guess ~___^

Next up is the craft that inspired this whole post: a Morticia quote canvas. This is seriously the easiest craft ever!

I was feeling a bit uninspired one day so I was digging around in my craft room and came out with a blank square canvas and some black glittery letter stickers. I decided that there really isn't any other colour best suited to black than more black, so I painted the canvas with a mixture of black paint and glitter mod-podge. I slopped it on nice and thick to give it some texture and then when it had dried, I just glued on the letter stickers.

I know gluing stickers may seem a bit strange, but they're made for attaching to paper and so weren't sticking as well as I wanted them to. I've put this canvas in our lounge room, and when the sun hits it it really does sparkle! Which is great because, after all, black *is* such a happy colour! ^___^

My last project was going to be something different to this family motto necklace, but I had a total craft fail and couldn't rescue it in time! I'm sure it's still salvageable, but it's going to take a bit longer than I had hoped.

So, instead, I got out the sculpey and whipped up this necklace. I used the same technique as the derby name necklace I made for Electra Fire, but made it bigger as the Addams' Family have got quite a long creed! In case you can't read it, the motto is "Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc" or, "We Gladly Feast on Those Who Would Subdue Us".

I made the pendant from black clay, stamped it with my tiny alphabet stamps, added holes with a thick needle, and baked it for 20 minutes at about 150oC. I wanted a tarnished metal look, so when the pendant was done baking, I covered it with silver acrylic paint and, while it was still damp, rubbed at it with a tissue to show some of the blackness underneath.

I used a fine felt tip pen to add some black in the indentations of the words and then I added the chain by threading jump rings through the holes. And that's it! A pretty necklace, but not just pretty words ~___^

Until next time, do do do do *snap snap*

- Lisa xx

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

My first weaving, and three cakes

Hello! How are you? This week I am NOT SICK! This is very exciting for me, as it means I can do things other than coughing and feeling sorry for myself. Case in point, I decided I need to start a new hobby (because I obviously don't have enough at this point ....) and so I got myself a loom and made a little weaving. Huzzah!

Now, let's be honest, it's pretty ugly. I started this project with no idea what the finished product would look like and since I was more interested in learning how to do different things rather than making a coherent design it's kinda ... odd.

I did have a lot of fun making it however, and even though it's not the prettiest thing I've ever made I'm still pleased with it!

I followed the weaving tutorials on A Beautiful Mess while making this, which was really helpful. In general I feel like that the actual weaving and tension is pretty good, but I need to improve on filling the gaps around shapes. 

I think my favourite part is the tassels; the yarn I used looks like it is finger knitted and it's really soft and fun to use. 

I used a vintage double pointed needle for the hanger since I had it on hand (it was passed down to me from my Nanna Tess) and I still don't know how to use DPNs.

One thing that I learnt was that when making shapes, filling in the gaps with a thin yarn is quite tricky, so going for a puffier, thicker yarn will save you some frustration in that area!

Taking photos of things on the walls in my house is quite difficult as the lighting is terrible, but I wanted to show you that it can actually hang. As you can see, it's ugliness sets off the ugliness of the brown bricks throughout our house quite well! ~____^

In other, more delicious news, I have been making cakes recently. You would have seen these if you follow me on Instagram but hopefully you won't mind a bit more cake convo ^____^

I made this Anzac cake for WARD's Skate Cleaning Fundraiser, which was such a great day! The icing is coconut, and has dinosaur sprinkles on it because, dinosaurs. They make everything better!

I made this overly pink cake simply because I was bored and I wanted to. It's another pink coconut cake, with pink coconut icing, and sour peach hearts as decorations. It was delicious, but didn't really taste anything like coconut ice which was what I was kinda going for. I'll have to work on that!

Lastly, I made a cake that wasn't pink - omg, right? I made this cake for the bake sale at a roller derby double header between WARD and PRD. I was a non-skating official, so I couldn't wear WARD colours, but no one said my cake couldn't! WARD's colours are green and black so I made a chocolate and peppermint marble cake. I used to love making marble cakes when I was a kid but I hadn't made one in years, so I was super pleased with how it turned out. They really are so fun and easy to make. I added peppermint icing to the top of the cake, and finished it off with those little edible silver balls. They remind me of ball bearings, which I figured was perfect for a skating cake ^____^

Well, this post has succeeded in making me totally crave cake! Next week my post will be all about The Addams Family - huzzah! I've set myself a challenge to make three crafts inspired by those wonderful creeps and I can't wait to show you what I come up with!

Until then,

- Lisa xx 

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Another watercolour and a puff stitch headband

Hello! How are you? I hope you're doing well! I finally finished my second knitted hat ... and it's too small again! Argh! This pattern and I are obviously not meant to be >___< Thankfully, this time it's only a tiny bit too small so currently it's blocking and I hope that when it's dry I'll be able to wear it. Fingers crossed!

While we wait for it to dry (which is probably going to take a while because it's still SO COLD here), here are two little projects that I made recently ^___^ I used liquid latex to make yet another watercolour quote art - I just really love these, ok? ^____^

I like the little sploges around the edges, but I need to work on making sure there isn't too much water in the middle to create the muddy colours. Less is more in this case! I just need to keep practising ^___^

I also crocheted this puff stitch headband, with some gorgeous hand-dyed yarn from Beks who knits. I used a 4mm hook and simply crocheted a long puff stitch rectangle, and a smaller puff stitch square, sewed up the ends of the rectangle, and sewed the square over the top of the join.

Both of the seams are hidden on the inside of the headband, and I think the puff stitch works really well to show off the colours in the yarn.

Having the square sewn over the headband squeezes it together a little bit to create a subtle bow shape which I love, and it's perfect for keeping your ears warm in cooler weather ~___^

Also recently, my DIY the Look feature for Cut Out + Keep went live! I curated ten projects from Cut Out + Keep that I thought were perfect to help you recreate Kyary Pamyu Pamyu's style and I think it turned out super fun! Check it out and let me know what you think ^____^

- Lisa xx

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

"Let's be mermaids" papercraft pendant

Hello! Next time Summer comes around and I'm complaining about how hot it is, will you remind me of this Winter? I have been stuck in Struggletown, folks; my immune system is caving to the pressure and I have been sick soooo much. Happily, I have two days off work and I plan to rest up and hopefully be well enough to do some skating later this week! To help pull myself out of the Winter doldrums, I decided to make something to remind me of warmer weather ... and mermaids, because why not? ~____^

Here's what you'll need to make your own:
- lots of paper (I used a combination of scrapbooking paper, glittery card, card that I had practiced my watercolours on, and crumpled brown paper bags)
- a circle template
- scissors
- a pen or pencil
- a large piece of thick paper or cardboard
- glue (I used a glue stick)
- a ruler
- some string
- alphabet stamps and ink and/or a felt tip pen

The first thing I did was cut out my base banner shape; it's 30cm wide across the top, 31cm long down to the top of the pointy bit, and the edges of the pointy bit are 22cm. I used a quilting ruler to help measure out my pendant shape which was really helpful because it's big and see through. The card I used was recycled from a massive envelope which Rebecca once gifted me a hoop in; as you can see, it has folds and a hole in it but this won't matter because it will all be covered up ^___^

For my circle template I used a chipboard scrapbooking embellishment which I don't like and will therefore never use. Except as a template ~___^ The diameter of the circle template is 6.5cm. If you have a large circle punch, this would be the perfect time to use it; otherwise, you can do what I did which is to draw heaps of circles onto the back of your papers and then cut them all out. 

I used about 62 circles to cover my pendant, but I cut out more than that so I could play mix and match while I was laying them out. I have no idea what I'm going to do with the leftovers, but I'm sure I'll think of something!

 Use your glue to start sticking down the circles, starting at the bottom and moving your way up. Try to place the circles so that they are about halfway down on the circles of the previous row, and just touching on the sides - I found this is the best way to get a scaly look.

Once you've covered your entire pendant with circles, trim off the edges of the overhanging circles; just follow the edges of the base pendant to do this but only do the top and the sides - leave the circles on the angled edges as they are.

I folded a remaining bit of card in half, glued it together, and then glued it onto the back of the pendant to make a tube that holds the hanging string. To thread the string though, tie it onto something like a pen and then drop it through the tube. Then you can tie a knot in the ends of the string and pull it through the tube so that the knot is hidden.

I stuck an extra circle over the hole in the base of the pendant, just to tidy it up a bit. Plus, I like to have dates on things I make!

I used my tiny alphabet stamps and black ink to add "let's be mermaids" to one of the scales - this really reminds me of childhood summers when we would play mermaids in the backyard pool. I don't have an apostrophe stamp, so I added that in with a felt-tip pen.

I've hung this in our lounge room, and I really feel like it's helping to bring a little bit of Summer back into our home (although, unfortunately, none of the warmth - brrrr!).

This project is fantastic for using up scraps of pretty papers, and I like how it creates a kind of eye-spy effect. 

I tried to stick to a primarily blue and green colour scheme, but I also added in some pink, silver, yellow, and brown to break up the shades and add interest. 

On most of the circles I only added glue to the top half, which has allowed the bottom and sides to lift up; I actually really like this effect and think it helps the circles look even more like scales.

So now I've done projects on unicorns, jackalopes, and mermaids ... perhaps next I should do something on the Loch Ness Monster? ~___^

I'm still going on my knitted hat - I'm honestly the slowest knitter, but hopefully the next couple of days of rest, cold medication, and soup will also give me some time to also do a couple more rows of colourwork. Only one more month of Winter to go! Hopefully I can finish it by then ~___^
- Lisa xx