Monday, 15 September 2014

"Don't let the muggles get you down" scrapbooking paper quote banner

Hello! Have you ever tried to write a analysis of your own fantasy story? That's what I'm doing for my homework right now, and I've gotta tell you, it's tough. Anyway, I took a break from research and writing today to finally finish and hang my Harry Potter inspired banner.

I have a lot of scrapbooking paper, but I don't do a ton of scrapbooking (full disclosure: I used to do heaps of scrapbooking and cardmaking in high school when it was cool ... or at least I thought it was. Was it really ever, or was that just me?). I keep on buying scrapbooking paper though because it's just *so pretty*! I have a real problem with buying pretty stationary products; I also have too many gel pens for any one person to own. Scrapbooking paper is great for backgrounds for small project photos, but that doesn't really use it up! So I decided to actually put some of this stuff to use, and make an oversized quote banner.

The first thing I did was to create some templates using Adobe Illustrator. I used the Bell Gothic font in 800 pt size, which made each letter fill up one A4 page. I wrote out the whole quote on a scrap piece of paper and counted up how many of each letter I would need, and then I cut out all the repeats at the same time.

After I had all the letters cut out, I layed them out on my dining table to make sure they looked good in the order I had them. I used a lot of patterns and colours to make a banner that kinda clashes ... in a good way, you know? I used regular sticky-tape to attach the letters onto blue and white baker's twine and then attached them above my big bedroom bookcase using washi tape. I used washi because it doesn't take off paint, but this wasn't the best idea. The banner hung up for a couple of hours ... and then it started to slip. I'm going to buy a couple of removable wall hooks and give them a go instead.

My only other tip for making a banner like this is to make the baker's twine much longer than you think it should be! I thought I would have heaps of string on the ends, but as you can see, the string next to the first letter is a tiny bit too short >___< Nonetheless, I'll take my banner's advice and not let the muggles get me down. Even if the aforementioned muggle is me ~___^

- Lisa xx

Monday, 8 September 2014

Bats on the belfry: plastic bat headband

Hello! You probably didn't know this, but I have a very mild super-power. If you give me a range of objects and ask me to choose one, I will instantly gravitate to the most expensive one. Oh, wait, are super-powers meant to be useful? Hmm. I may need to rethink this. Anyway I saw a picture of this really cool bat headband on Pinterest and instantly decided I needed it. And then I saw the price tag and instantly decided to make one instead.

So I had a dig around in my craft room and found some black plastic bats leftover from last Halloween, some silver spray paint, and an old headband. The headband was one that originally had some ribbon on it so you could tie a bow at the back of your head, but I wanted to wear it as a hair tie instead so I took the ribbon off and then I had a kinda gooey headband left over. I tried to clean it off with Goo Gone, but to no avail. So I had another little dig in the craft room and came out with a nice thick piece of ribbon which I attached using my hot glue gun.

I coated the bats in silver spray and then left them to dry. For AGES. Seriously, these things were sticky for WEEKS. They kept leaving traces of silver on my fingers whenever I tested them and so I thought putting something that did that in my hair wouldn't be such a good idea. Again, to the craft room. I found some spray varnish which was meant for painting and papercrafts, but figured it was worth a go anyway. And it worked! Yay! I still let them dry for a couple more days to make sure, but it worked well.

I used E6000 to attach the bats to the actual headband. Seriously, I love this glue. I know it's probably the most toxic stuff ever, but it works so well. I would kiss it, but it would probably kill me to do so. Anyway, the finished head band doesn't really look at all like the inspiration picture. But, you know what, I think I like it better this way anyway! And a $193.10 saving is nothing to scoff at either, right? ~___^

I'm working on another stash craft at the moment, so hopefully I'll have that to show you soon. And I've also got two birthday gifts in the works, and a wood working project, and I think I have to make a zombie project since I'm doing an assignment on them and now I really want to craft zombie things (again). I think we can safely say that my craft list is never getting any shorter!

- Lisa xx

Monday, 1 September 2014

Hair bows and awards!

Hello! It's officially the first day of study break - yay! I was sick at the end of last week and I was so so hoping that I wouldn't be spending all of this week in bed and generally useless. I mean, I'm still a *bit* useless since I haven't done much except read and do the grocery shopping but, hey, small steps, right? ~___^ However! I do have some more hair bows to show you. I kinda went a bit wild after making the first batch; it really is a great way to use up bits of fabric that aren't really big enough to do much with.

I made these little bows by reducing my bow pattern by half and although I think they're cute, they're a bit harder to make than the bigger ones because the small tube is itty bitty!

My favourite of the small bows is definitely this frog and insect one; I've had this fabric since I was a small child (when you have a mother that quilts, collecting pretty bits of fabric is really just an inevitable side effect) but I didn't have much of it left. I'm glad that I have this bow because it means I can hang on to it now ^___^

I think the mushroom fabric was a fat flat remnant; I once made a Ninni monster out of the majority of it. The majority of the vintage style space fabric was made into a skirt (that is now too big for me and that I must take in ... does anyone else have exponentially growing mending piles?) which I always struggle to match with accessories. I think this will help!

I really like these two bows; the cotton I used has great body to it so they sit really nicely and don't lose their fluffiness ^___^

I added one of my galaxy pendants to the middle of this one, after giving it a lick of strawberry scented glittery nail polish. I'm a bit worried that the nail polish will yellow, but it's looking ok so far! My nickname for this bow is, of course, Galactic Strawberry ~___^

The owl is from another pendant; I brought myself one, and then was given one as a gift. Ooops! Since I really have no need for two matching necklaces, it's been sitting in my beading box for quite a while. I just used pliers to cut off the hanging loop and glued it in place ^___^

This last bow is made from some of my Spoonflower fabric and has a cute little sewing machine charm sewn on. I added a small scissor charm as well, to fit in with the crafting theme ^___^

On another subject, Amy from Perfect Imperfections was kind enough to nominate me for the Liebster Award! I've done this once before, so while I will answer the questions I'm going to put out the award to any of my readers with blog followers under 200. Comment to let me know where I can check out your blogs! ^___^

1) What is your favourite thing about blogging?
This may seem rather cliche, but I like sharing with others! I love to see what people are up to, and see the pretty things you all make ^___^
2) What is your favourite thing to blog about?
I should say this is fairly obvious - craft! I've dabbled in a few other topics, but craft is my number one hobby and I always come back to it ^___^
3) Why did you choose your blog name?
When I was starting my blog I wanted to choose a name that summed up what I, and my blog, was all about. Tea and Craft reminded me of cosy crafternoons with my friends, so I thought it was perfect!
4) Why do you blog about what you do?
I wear the same outfits too often to be a fashion blogger and I don't do enough to be a lifestyle blogger ~___^
5) What type shoes do you like to wear?
I have dreadful feet so I have to wear orthotics. This means my shoe choices are fairly limited! I have two pairs of black mary-janes that I pretty much wear constantly but I'm always on the look out for orthotic-friendly shoes. (If anyone has any suggestions, please do let me know!)
6) Sweaters or tank tops?
It's still chilly here in Australia, so I'm loving my jumpers but I must admit I'm looking forward to wearing singlets again! If I had to choose though, jumpers. I can't resist a good knit.
7) What is your favourite type of book?
I am really really predictable with books. If it's a dystopian novel with a hint of fantasy or sci-fi, I am there! I'm currently reading the last book in the Grisha Trilogy which I *highly* recommend, if you're looking for something new to get your teeth into ~___^

8) What is your favourite app?
Instagram. No question. I may have just a teeny tiny addiction.
9) Cats or dogs?
I like both, but if I could only choose one, I'd pick a puppy. I always had dogs growing up, and I just love them so much ^___^
10) What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
Grumble. I am not a morning person, and my alarm clock is the bane of my existence. (Hyperbole, much? ~___^) After that, it's a cup of tea and breakfast. I'm loving overnight oats at the moment since it means I can sleep in a bit longer ~___^
11) What is the last thing you do before you go to sleep?
Check my blood sugars. Since I developed T1 diabetes, I'm always worried about having a hypo overnight and not waking up. Rather morbid, isn't it? Luckily I normally do wake up if I have a hypo, and I keep a stash of juice boxes and tiny teddies on my bedside table for this very reason!

If you'd like to do this, here are some questions for you!
1. What's your favourite blog post that you've done?
2. What's your go to snack?
3. What's something that you'd love to wear, but haven't or don't often (for whatever reasons)?
4. Favourite type of music?
5. Who's your favourite Harry Potter character?
6. What's a name that you really like?
7. What would you do if you were the leader of your country?
8. What's something that you'd love to learn to do?
9. If you could pick a superhero to have a movie made about, who would you choose?
10. What's your favourite holiday?

I'm working on another project *as we speak* but I do also have a bit of homework to do, so it might be a while until I finish it. I have some boring things (essays and such) but one of my assignments is to write a short fantasy story! I'm so nervous about it since I haven't done any creative writing since high school ... well, any that I've shown anyone anyway! ~___^ It's really tough deciding what I want to do - there are just so many possibilities! I guess I better get to it!

- Lisa xx

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Guest post at Perfect Imperfections

Hello! Today I'm guest posting over at Perfect Imperfections - how exciting! I've created some really cute hair clips and if you head over to Amy's blog, you can see how it's done!

- Lisa xx

Friday, 22 August 2014

Beaded cherry necklace

Hello! I went to the craft store to buy some new sheets the other day and totally broke my promise to myself of not buying more craft supplies. I'm sure it's not just me that looks through their stash and simply can not think of anything to make (please, tell me other people do that too ...); it's really silly because I have so much stuff and yet ... nothing inspires me. But, I found these totally adorable tiny green leaf beads at the shop and suddenly, I knew what I had to make.

Cherry necklace! Yes! ^___^ Other people have made cherry necklaces, but since mine is a little different, I thought I'd do a small tutorial for you anyway ^___^

To make this necklace, you'll first need to decide how many cherries you'd like as this determines how many beads you'll need. I think odd numbers look best, so I choose to do five pairs of cherries. I used 12mm red glass pearls for the actual cherries; really any largish red bead will work and you will need two for each cherry pair. You will also need two glass leaf beads, one large jump ring, one smaller jump ring, and two head pins for each pair of cherries.


You'll also need some chain (I used about half a metre), a clasp, another jump ring (this is optional really, but I find it makes doing up the necklace easier), and some pliers.

The first thing you need to do is thread your red beads onto the head pins and use your pliers to bend the open end of the pin into a loop.

Then use your pliers to open up the smaller jump ring and thread on the leaf beads and the two cherries.

Close up the small jump ring, and then open the larger one. Thread the large jump ring through the small jump ring ...

... and through the necklace chain where you'd like your cherries to sit, and then close it up again using the pliers.

Make the rest of your cherries exactly the same, and finish off your necklace by adding the clasp and the extra jump ring to the ends of the chain.

And that's it! This was such an easy necklace to make, but it's so cute and such fun to wear! I felt extra jangly and special wearing this around campus today, and even got landed on by a ladybug. I feel like this is the best seal of approval I could have possibly gotten ~___^

But now I'm back to not knowing what to make. Hmmm. I think it's time to go and spend some quality time with my stash. Something in there has got to inspire me, right? ^___^

- Lisa xx

Friday, 15 August 2014

Crochet Instagram Cushion

Hello! Guess what? My Instagram cushion is finally finished!! Omg, I was really struggling through this project; I had forgotten how much time classes and studying actually takes up! I think my next couple of projects better be quick little ones that I can do between classes ~___^

It's looking kinda out of shape here - maybe I shouldn't have hugged it in joy before taking the photos? I was just really happy it was finally done!

Here's how it looks on our, rather overcrowded, couch. Our couch is actually a single bed which a large piece of wood added as a back; I cover it in vintage sheets and tons of pillows and crochet blankets and it's a lovely little nest to snuggle into. Also in this picture you can see my flamingo cross-stitch, my first flower crown (currently worn by Marty the Moose), the Companion Cube, Sweet Tooth, Lumpy Space Princess, the Ctrl Alt Del cushions, and the little ewok pillow. Gosh! It will probably not surprise you that our house is filled with things I have made and thrifted - it has been affectionately described as "walking into some kind of strange opshop" ~___^

To make this cushion, I first crocheted 32 rows of 90 trebles in some creamy white wool that I had in my stash. 12 rows in brown finished off the main part of the cushion. The lens is made with 12 rounds of black wool and finished with two of white.

The corner square is a granny square, made with five rows, and the coloured lines on the other corner were made by doing 31 chain stitches and then making a treble in 28 of those stitches (the other three are used as the turning chain). Since I used different kinds of yarn for each of the coloured lines, they ended up not quite even. I didn't notice this until I'd sewed them down and I honestly wasn't bothered enough to unpick them and do them again. I don't find it super noticeable, but if you were making a version of this and were concerned, I'd use the same type of wool for all colours if possible or at least measure them better then I did! ~___^

Since this project had already taken me longer than I had hoped, I decided against crocheting the back and instead sewed on a piece of black fleece. It's very soft, and makes hugging this pillow extra nice ^___^

Hopefully going into week three of this semester I will be getting the hang of balancing school and life again. One thing that has also been taking up a bit of my time is sports - this is very surprising for me! I used to craft a lot simply because with my chronic fatigue I couldn't do much else (and even then crafting was sometimes a stretch!), but that seems to have gone away a bit and with my diabetes getting under control ( ... mostly!) I have much more energy for jogging, fencing, rock climbing, ten pin bowling ...! I can't be too mad since I've been having so much fun, but I guess it's just another thing that I have to balance against everything else ^___^ Maybe I should craft  myself some fancy new sports shorts?

Anyway, here's to time management and the weekend! I hope you have a good one ^___^

- Lisa xx

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Easy loom daisy flower crown

Hello! Today I had my first day back at uni - I can't believe this is my last semester ever!! I only had one class today, but it did go for three hours (gah!). It was totally fun though; I'm doing a cultural studies unit as my elective and for this class we get to spend the entire semester analysing fantasy and sci-fi texts! I'm so, so keen to get properly into it. I decided today to try and blend in with the cool kids on campus who are all wearing '90s fashion (it's everywhere now!) so I made this quick and easy daisy flower crown to wear ^___^

To make it, I wove five daisies using my largest round loom and some white and yellow wool. I have a Hana-Ami loom, which is really easy to use; making this headband took me one viewing of Coraline ~___^ If you click on "Hana-Ami", I've linked to a short video showing what it looks like and how it is used. However, I did my centres a little differently to the all videos I could find; the loom comes with an instruction sheet that shows you different ways to finish off the flowers. It's in Japanese, but there are pictures so you can get the general gist of things. Instead of using the darning needle to sew from the centre of the flower, I used it to tie knots in a circle around the centre. I knotted together four strands of wool with each knot and each knot contains one strand of wool from the previous knot. Hmm. I hope that makes sense. Perhaps I should make a video to show you what I mean, what do you think?

I wanted the centres of the daisies to be a solid colour, so after knotting the circle I used my darning needle to criss-cross the yarn through the centre of the flower. The darning needle I got with my loom has a huge eye on it, which makes threading it super easy, but it's not great for filling in the centres. I recommend changing to a smaller darning needle, if you have one handy.

The actual headband is just a length of crocheted chain stitch; I used a 4mm hook and green yarn. The chain stitched wool is about 70cm long, and I left the 15cm tails on each end to ensure I'd have enough yarn to tie my crown around my apparently massive head ~___^ To attach the flowers, I threaded the chain stitch through the massive darning needle and simply stitched through the back of each flower. You can move the daisies around on the chain to ensure they are positioned well, but they don't move about on their own.

This would also make a really cute daisy bunting, and using the smaller looms produces flowers small enough to be worn as jewellery. Daisy chain necklace, anyone?

Since I'm back at uni now, I'll have less time to craft and blog (boo!); but you can always find me on Instagram and Twitter if you want to catch up! ^___^

- Lisa xx