Sunday, 28 July 2013

Pterodactyl sweater clips

Here's a fact about me: I *love* toys. So when I found a tub of dinosaurs for $2, I simply couldn't resist bringing them home. Then I set to pondering what to make from them ... You may remember that a while ago I made some dinosaur brooches; I decided to tweak that project just slightly to make Pterodactyl sweater clips - yay! ^_^

It's been very rainy and windy here lately, which is not optimal weather for spray painting, so I painted my Pterodactyls with some emerald green nail polish. Painting them in this way does take longer, but they turned out very shiny and not sticky at all (which can sometimes be an issue with spray paint).

One thing to keep in mind if you are painting plastic with spray paint is that the original colour of the plastic can affect the final look. I didn't have any problems with this nail polish, but some others I tried were too light to get a good colour, especially if the dinosaur was originally dark brown or dark green. To counter this, you could spray paint them white first and then apply the coloured nail polish or spray paint and then give a coating of clear polish if there is any sticky residue.

To make these Pterodactyls into sweater clips, I just used E6000 to attach a badge back to each one and then threaded chain between them.

I used a rather long chain because I like my sweater clips to have an almost necklacey drape to them, but of course that is up to personal preference! ^_^

I have another dinosaur craft to show you next week, but then I still have heaps more dinosaurs to use up! Any suggestions for what I should create? ^_^

- Lisa x

Friday, 26 July 2013

Felt flower crown

Hello! Last night I finished another project for the Summer Nerd Games; this one is for the Craftster Anniversary challenge and so the prompt is "what Craftster means to me".

Straight away I thought of this quote from Frida Kahlo, which I think kinda sums up my reason for blogging in general, but also for joining internet communities like Craftster (and Pinterest, and Instagram ...); the idea that you can be alone and accepting of your strangeness yet also wanting to connect with other people who share the same type of strangeness as you.
So I wanted to make something inspired by Frida, and I decided last night that I would finally jump on the flower crown bandwagon, and make a floral headpiece.

Obviously my eyebrows are no where near as magnificant as Frida's, but I tried to imitate her look a little bit by doing my hair up in maiden braids and wearing some dangly earrings. I also wore red lipstick, but that's not anything really different for me! ^_^

You can see the braids a bit better here ... as well as the end of one of them! Ugh, I'm not cut out for this hair styling lark! ~_^

I spent about three hours making the headband, but most of that was taken up by making dozens of felt flowers! I didn't even use up all of them for this, I may have to make a matching brooch or something later on ^_^ 

A couple of Frida's portraits show her with monkeys, so I got my little friend to make a cameo. Isn't he cute? ^_^ I think it's funny that our pale skin is almost the same colour! 

This photo gives your a less obstructed view of the entire headband. I attached enough flowers that it is wearable either way around.


Do you have a favourite side? I like this side maybe a little bit more because it has more of the bright yellow flowers which I really love ^_^

Up close with the camera, you can see evidence of the hot glue I used to construct and attach the flowers - in real life it is not very obvious though.

I made three types of flowers, but none of them look exactly the same because I didn't use any templates. I like this effect though, I think it looks more natural for all the flowers to be slightly different. Well, as natural as very brightly coloured felt flowers can be, I guess ~_^

I used the instructions for the cherry blossom and the rosebud from this site and the rest of the flowers were made just by cutting out flowers with four or more petals, adding hot glue to the centre, and then pinching them closed. All of these flowers were very easy to make, just very time consuming.

I made at least three of each type of flower for each colour that I used, and I tried to ensure that I had a good variety of sizes. Having the tiny little flowers was especially useful (even though they were a pain to make) because they fill up the gaps between the larger flowers perfectly.

 The headband that I used for the base was an old, plain black one. In the photo below, you can see that I added a long rectangle of black felt to the headband so that the surface area available for glueing flowers to was much larger. I chose black so that it would blend in with my hair, but you could really use any colour that you wanted.

I am really happy with this project. It took a while to complete, but it's not complicated or technique intensive, and I used only stash items! Yay, go me! ~_^

What do you think of the headband? Do you think I should reward myself with a trip to the craftsstore for using up so much stash materials for this challenge? ~_^

- Lisa x

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Crochet owl hat

Hello! This week I finally finished a WIP - omg, right? My second cousin Killarney is going to be one in August and my mum was trying to decide what to get her. Mum was kinda set on an owl hat with little ears, but neither of us were sure how to do that until I found this cute fox hat in Target.

(Taking selfies in department stores is a thing that normal people do, right?) I felt a little dumb for not working this out - the hat is a rectangle and the corners become the ears. Easy-peesy!

And this is what I came up with ^_^ Killarney's head is 44cm in diameter, so I crocheted a rectangle 24cm wide and 28cm long. The width has two centimeters added for a seam allowance, and the height is what I thought looked good on my "baby head stand-in". (I've still got my fingers crossed that it fits!) Luckily, it turned out that one of the decorative glass domes that I have on my bookshelf is exactly the same size as a baby's head. 
Weird, but useful.

I used a baby yarn that is super soft (I detest ichy hats!) and also changes colour - oooo! ^_^ I like that it's pastel without being *too* pastel, you know? I used a 3mm hook, and just did trebles. I actually did make another version of this hat using single crochet, but it turned out way too stiff  - _ -

The eyes are just basic circles, made using another type of verigated baby yarn that I found in my stash (this one just changes between white, purple, and blue) and a pretty dove grey yarn. The beak is yet another type of baby yarn, again from my stash. My Nana Tess was really into making baby clothes, so I have heaps and heaps of baby yarn that I've inherited from her. I like to think she'd be happy it's finally getting used up! The beak is just a granny triangle, made with trebels (yet again!) ^_^

As is almost always the case when I finish a project for someone else, I'm still wondering if it needs anything more. I was thinking about adding tasels to the corners, or a scalloped edge on the base, or maybe some pupils and/or eyelashes ... but I also don't want to go overboard. Mum likes it how it is, but I do still have a month to ponder adding things to it ...

What do you think?

- Lisa x

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Two art canvases and a recovered faux book

I'm slowly getting through challenges for the Summer Nerd Games on Craftster but last night I had a burst of creativity and completed three projects! Omg, right? I also used up all my double-sided tape ... it was totally worth it though.

I brought a faux book from the Reject Shop ages ago to recover and use with my Steampunk Librarian costume but then I found a much nicer looking one at Typo and I used that instead. But now the first book has finally received its makeover! ^_^

It's quite simple, but I'm happy with how my new copy of "Hogwarts: A History" has turned out ^_^ I just recovered the book with scrapbooking paper, added a metal drawer label for the title, and then added details with my quill and gold paint pen. 

My drawing skills are a bit lacking, so I drew a simplified version of the Hogwarts crest on the cover and just added some details with the gold pen. I think it looks nice nonetheless ^_^

I think my favourite part of this project was using my quill - it feels so different to regular pens and it's so fun to use ^_^
Then I found a couple of 6x6 inch square canvases in my stash, so I made two more art canvases to add to my little collection ^_^ First up: the polka-dot owl canvas!

I covered the canvas with this blue spotty scrapbooking paper and then set about cutting out circles from several other papers.

Then I drew tiny owls on each one. You can tell they're owls right? (I hope so!)

I used my tiny alphabet stamps to add the proverb (courtesy of Albus Dumbledore) and then stuck the circles down with tape and then gave everything a coating of mod podge.

Yay! All done! ^_^ I had proverbs on the brain by this time so I started on another canvas. This one is the "silver linings" canvas ^_^ I love how colourful and happy it is! The little wooden clouds had been in my stash for a while, so it was great to use them up ^_^

For the front of this canvas I used a piece of scrapbooking paper from my 6x6 inch paper pad, and then used a complementary piece to cover the sides.

I used my silver paint pen to colour in the edges of the clouds as well as draw an edging line on the fronts of them.

Can you believe I used washi tape on only one of these projects? I used five different kinds on this canvas to make up for it ~_^

And then finished it off with the tiny alphabet stamps again ^_^

And that's it! I've still got two canvases in my stash, so as soon as I get some more tape I'll do something with them too ^_^ The best thing about these projects is that they were all 100% stash! It's great to use up some old supplies ^_^

Do you have a favourite? What's your opinion on scrapbooking style crafts? (I know they're not everyone's cup of tea)

- Lisa x

Monday, 8 July 2013

Skeleton heart embroidery hoop

Since our team for the Summer Nerd Games decided on the geekdom "nerdy ladies", I have discovered that there are not that many crafts inspired by the feminine side of the nerdverse. Sad times. So, I've had to watch and read *study* a lot more TV shows and movies and books and comics to get inspiration. Such a hard task! ~_^ But, totally worth it. The textbook challenge for July is to make something anatomically inspired, and I had the perfect project waiting in the wings! ^_^

When I saw this shirt on Thea Queen (from Arrow), I knew that I had to do something inspired by it! Since I'm a student now (read: I have no money), I wanted to use materials from my stash and I wanted to do something fast and simple.

A hoopla was the winning answer! All I needed for this craft was some calico, black embroidery floss, and a 4 inch hoop - all things pulled from the black hole of craft supplies that is my spare room ~_^

 I used only one strand of floss and did the entire thing in backstitch. I think it turned out pretty well! And now I have another hoop to add to my wall ^_^

What do you think? Do you like it? Do you have a favourite female fictional character? Let me know! I've been missing our chats ~_^

- Lisa x