Sunday, 24 August 2014

Guest post at Perfect Imperfections

Hello! Today I'm guest posting over at Little Moon Dragon - 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