Friday, 28 February 2014

Cat, Rabbit, and Bear recycled planters

Cheap crafts are the best, right? I really love it when I see or think of a project and I don't have to make a list of things to buy for it, so when I saw these kitty planters made from plastic bottles, I knew I was going to have to give it a go!

To make these I used three 2-litre soft drink bottles, scissors, chalk-board spray paint, and chalk. I also made templates for the designs using A4 paper and a pen, which I then transferred onto the bottles using a permanent marker.

The templates are very easy to make - just draw a horizontal line across your piece of paper and then add ear shapes! For the cat I drew triangles, for the rabbit I traced around the handles of my scissors, and for the bear I went around the bottom of a jar of nail polish.

 But if you don't want to do that, you don't have to! I've made a copy of the templates I used and uploaded it to Google Drive for you ^___^ Just click on the picture above to go and download the template and, as always, let me know if you have any troubles!


Once you've got your templates, sticky tape them to your bottles and trace around them with a marker. Don't worry if you make any mistakes because they will be covered up by the spray paint ^___^ I used scissors to cut the bottles into the right shapes; I did try to use a scalpel but found that I had much better control with the scissors. If you're going to use these for planters, make sure you add some little holes in the base for drainage.

Then give your bottles a coat of chalk-board spray paint, wait for them to dry, prime them with chalk (that's just rubbing chalk all over it, and then wiping it off again), and then you can draw on the faces! Yay! ^___^

I love using chalk-board paint, because I adore the old school look it has, and it also makes adding the faces so much less stressful! Oh, it's not perfect? Rub it off and try again! ^___^

Chalk-board gives you a lot of possibilites; you could write on labels if you wanted to remember what you'd planted in each one, for example, or add names if you were giving these as gifts.

You could also change up what animals your planters are - the cat could also be a dog, and the bear could also be a mouse ... but I must admit I'm stumped on what else the rabbit could be! ^___^

My little bear has a terrible skin condition; poor bear! This is because when I first sprayed the chalk-board paint, a lot of gunk came out! I'd recommend spraying a bit of the paint on a scrap piece of paper or something first, so your animals can be bump-free! ~___^

I hope you like him anyway, I still think he's rather cute! ^___^

I think these would be perfect for a little kitchen window sill herb garden. What would you use them for?

- Lisa xx

P.S. I'm back to uni on Monday, so I'll be going back to a weekly posting schedule to leave more time for my studies. But you can always follow me on Instagram to see what I'm up to day by day ^___^

Friday, 21 February 2014

the crochet black rose flower crown

Hello! How are you going? I've only got a week until I go back to uni (for my final year! Eeek!) and unfortunately I've fallen into a little bit of a crafting rut! You know when you want to craft, but nothing really seems right? Usually when this hits, I try to tidy up my craft storage room, but since it's still extremely summery here, that room is boiling hot and therefore entirely unpleasant to be in. Yuck! So I went to Plan B: browsing Pinterest. This can be a dangerous plan as it often doesn't actually lead to any crafting, but this time I was lucky! I found a link to this tutorial for crocheting roses and, remembering my vague, unfulfilled desire for a black flower crown, got to hooking!

I actually totally love how it turned out, and the pattern for the roses was a very simple one to follow so it was easy to make as well ^___^

I made five roses, and I tied them onto an old black headband that I already had. Since I also already had the wool (and it is actually 100% wool this time, which is a departure from my regular acrylic!), this project cost me absolutely nothing to make. Huzzah!

I've also been paying close attention to fashion blogs lately, in an attempt to imitate their effortless posing. I think I've still got a long way to go! But it is good to have some ideas of what to do with one's arms instead of getting in front of the camera and having no clue of what to do. It's certainly a lot easier with a photographer as well; one can only do so much with selfies! ~___^

Also, having a photographer makes it a lot easier to get close up shots of things on one's head without having to be a contortionist! ~___^ You can see more of the rose detail in the photo below; although using a lighter colour would show up the details even more, I'm pleased with how they look in black.

And that's that project done, so I guess it's back to the drawing board for me! I do have a big pile of mending to do ... but what do you think the odds are of that happening? ~___^
- Lisa xx

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

the coffin-shaped no-sew faux-leather purse

Hello! Lately I've been seeing a lot of the pastel goth fashion around on the internets; gosh, I do love me a good subculture! I was an emo-kid in high school, but probably not a very good one; I liked too many looks to really stick to one subculture! However, I really admire people who *do* have that level of commitment to their style ^___^ Anyway, inspired by the pastel goths, I made this awesome coffin-shaped no-sew faux-leather purse! Whoa, that's a lotta hyphens! ~___^

The main frame of this purse is made from the bottom section of a Living Dead Doll box, but you could make a substitute from cardboard and tape. The good thing about using the packaging is that it is, for cardboard, thick and strong - plus, you get a creepy doll to go with it. Bonus!

I still had a heap of faux leather in my craft room, so I used that to cover the box and also to make the front. I used the box to trace outlines of all the pieces I would need, leaving a bit of seam allowance on the front piece to allow for a bit of overlap. For the front piece of the purse, I cut out the general shape, cut it into two where I wanted the zip to be positioned, and then used hot glue to attach the faux leather to each side of the zip. I cut small notches into the seam allowance so that they would fold around the sides of the box more neatly, and then used hot glue to attach the front leather piece and the box together. 

The side pieces covered up the folded parts of the front piece, which makes it look a lot neater. The handle is just a long piece of chain that I threaded through small holes that I cut through in both the faux leather and the box. I also added thin black ribbon around the edges of the purse, but I shouldn't have used hot glue for this part. The ribbon was thin enough that sometimes hot glue escaped from underneath it, which looks a bit messy. I would instead recommend a super glue that dries clear and that you don't need much of and possibly a thicker ribbon than what I used.

This project is currently made from 100% stash materials, however Spotlight has a great range of studded trims at the moment, so I'm very tempted to go and buy a couple of meters of one of them to cover up the ribbon.

I don't have any photos of this purse in action, as it were, due to the very windy weather we've been having lately (hair blowing all over your face = not a good look). However, that means we can use our imaginations to create an outfit to go with the coffin purse! Hmmm, I am thinking a fluffy black dress with a pastel petticoat, my Doc Marten heels, lacey white stockings, and a couple of my bat bows ^___^ What about you; what do you think would be the perfect outfit to go with it?

- Lisa xx

Monday, 10 February 2014

Flower crowns and crop-tops

Hello! Well, here we go; I've finally gotten up the courage to post pictures of me wearing the crop top I made! I also made the flower crown, which goes with much more things than I thought it would! But that's not what this post is about ...

The top pattern is one that Rebecca helped me make; let's be honest though, I couldn't have done it without her! Dressmaking is *not* one of my strengths! However, now that I've got a good pattern that I know fits me properly, I can use it over and over and over ....

This fabric is from the quilting section of Spotlight, and I think it's 100% cotton. It's also fully lined with a light-weight fabric.

Honestly though, I don't think I'll keep this piece as a crop top. Although I think it looks ok, it's not really my style and I don't feel really comfortable wearing it. I think I'll add a thick waistband to this and turn it into the bodice for a dress. Dresses are much more my speed! ^___^

I'm glad I gave this a go anyway ^___^ What's your take on the crop-top trend?

- Lisa xx

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Gem valentines

Hello! How are you? 
I am going to tell you a *fact*! Australian school-children do not give out Valentines. We do know that Americans give Valentines much more indiscriminately (about 90% of our TV shows come from there, after all) but we save our Valentine's for romantic partners, mostly. However, for me, this is about to change! This year I'm participating in a Twitter-based Valentine swap with some very lovely and very friendly American peoples! I am actually rather excited about this, as I have the chance to make puns. I *love* puns! ~___^

Since the point of this American-style exchange is to make multiple cards, I wanted to make something fairly simple. I think I succeeded! I used super sculpey to make these teeny little gems hair clips; to make the gems themselves, I cut a rolled piece of sculpey using a razor blade and used the same blade to score lines on them to give them a more gem-y look. ^___^

The internet helpfully suggested that the paints sold by Games Workshop for painting Warhammer models would be perfect for painting super sculpey; I was very pleased with this as Scott has quite a good collection of GW paints! (Plus, you know, armies of orcs and imperial guards and such things) ~___^

For the ruby gems, I painted them with foundation red and then dry-brushed a gold layer over the top. It gives the gem so much more dimension!
The silver and gold gems also use both foundation and layer paints, but it's much less obvious because the contrast isn't so intense. They do shimmer quite prettily in the sun though ^___^

To finish attach the gems and pins together, I threaded small pieces of felt through the bobby pins and then attached them to the gems with hot glue.

And then, of course I needed cards as well! I used kraft paper to make the card itself, then decorated with scrap-booking paper hearts and my best handwriting ~___^

The pun makes more sense when the gem clip is attached! I used this silver and red washi tape which is absolutely perfect for Valentine's Day ^____^

And that's that! Hopefully I have managed to create an acceptable "old-school elementary style Valentine"; but maybe some of my American readers can let me know what they think? It's going to take a long time for these babies to reach the US so I won't know what my Valentine's think of them for quite a while! ^___^

- Lisa xx

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Hoop exchange: Witchcraft and Catbug

Hello! This week Rebecca and I finished hoops for each other! Yay! ^___^

This is the hoop I made for Rebecca; the pattern is Witchcraft by Urban Threads. And, um, she does have limbs! They are a lot easier to see in real life! ^___^

I've long admired the works of Lucky Jackson, so, inspired by her, I embroidered the design onto calico, but then appliqued it (using Heat n' Bond) to a piece of patterned fabric.

Here are some of my favourite bits! The spider web is made from chain stitched DMC - I used a teeny tiny hook (I don't know the exact size, unfortunately!) and a single strand of embroidery thread. I didn't stitch the whole thing down, just where the strands intersect and also on the middle of the curved strands to make them, well, curved! ^___^ I like that it gives the piece a more 3D look, and also I learnt how hard it is to crochet that small! ^___^

Also, instead of stitching her choker, I used a short length of chain. I like the look it gives the hoop! ^___^

The kitty is actually probably my favourite of the whole thing. She's just so cute! ^___^ I made her face more detailed than the original pattern; I gave her a little mouth and some whiskers and I did the eyes a little differently ^___^

 I used metallic thread for the pins in the pincushion, as well as the witch's crochet hook. It's not the easiest thread to work with, but it does give a nice effect.


The original pattern has her knitting, but since I was crocheting the spiderweb, I thought a hook would be more appropriate. I also made her left-handed, because Bec is a leftie too! ^___^

Now, the hoop that Bec gave me!  

It's Catbug!! ^___^

Oh my gosh, isn't he ADORABLE? I absolutely love everything about this hoop, it's just perfect! ^___^

Look at those perfect stitches, and that cute little face! Eeek! I hope Bec likes her hoop as much as I like mine! ^___^

Here are the hoops together, for size comparison ^___^
And that's that! I've still got another hoop for Rebecca on the go, hopefully I'll finish it soon! It's basically all fill stitches so it's taking agesssss .... Good thing she's patient! ~___^

Are you making anything for anyone at the moment? I love giving crafty presents, do you? ^___^ 

- Lisa xx