Monday, 19 January 2015

WTNV mountains painting and a cussing awesome cross stitched gift



Ok, first of all: the Get Geometric KAL starts TODAY! Eeeep! I've got my needles and yarn out and I am ready to knit! But, first, I want to show you the final Christmas gift that I made last year (it still doesn't feel like it was last year though!) which was this Welcome to Night Vale inspired painting for Rebecca ^____^
 

This was really easy and fun to do! I was inspired by this mountain mural; the first time I saw it on Pinterest I thought of Night Vale and then I simply *had* to make this painting for Bec ^____^
 

I started off by painting the entire canvas with a thin layer of spearmint green. Then, I used a pencil to lightly plan out how my mountains would look. This is not accurate to any set of mountains at all - I just scribbled along going "uppey bit here .... now a downey bit ... time for a plateau ..." until it was done ~____^


Next I poured out a generous glob of "tropical water" by Kaisercolour and painted in the first mountain range. I gave it three coats of colour to make sure it was properly opaque. I have a wet palette which means my paint doesn't dry up between layers. It's probably one of the more awesome crafting supplies I have. Once I was happy with the first layer, I added three drops of black paint to the blue and mixed it all together. I used this darker shade to do the three layers on the second mountain, and then I darkened it again to make the next mountain ... you can probably fill in the rest of this explanation ...
 

Once all of the mountains were done, I painted some chipboard letters white and stuck them on to the bottom on the canvas with PVA glue. Then I used a teeny tiny paintbrush to add in the first part of the quote. So tiny!


And here's Bec with her gift! Isn't her hair awesome?! I'm always slightly tempted to try a pixie cut, but I'm really unsure if it would suit me. It looks so good on Bec though! And even though Bec is a seriously talented artist, she still liked my painting! Isn't she sweet?
 

And this is the Christmas gift Rebecca made me! I think is the most awesome hoop I own ^___^ I love it so so much! The photo above makes me look very serious about it, but all of the outtakes are more like the one below ...




I can't laugh with my eyes open, apparently! I've hung this little beauty above my desk so whenever I'm testing my blood sugar levels or doing an injection or treating a hypo I can look at it ~___^ My diabetes birthday was two weeks ago ... hopefully we're another year closer to a cure! That would be the best diabetes birthday present ever.

- Lisa xx

P.S. I've been thinking about what I'll make and blog about this year, is there anything you particularly would like to see on here? Do you have any favourite parts (or non-favourite parts!) of this blog? I'd love to hear from you! ^____^
 

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Get Geometric C/KAL!


Hello! Exciting news, folks!! Tanya and I are doing another KAL! Yay! (cue raucous applause)  ~___^ This KAL (technically a C/KAL, as per usual ^___^) is all about chevrons and triangles - it's time to Get Geometric! Tanya and I have each created a free pattern for you to make; one for crocheters and one for knitters ^___^




I've made a pattern for these awesome crochet chevron mitts; they're super comfy and deceptively easy! The best thing about this pattern is that the colour work is done in alternating rows and you don't tie off between rows; this means that when you're finished you only have four ends to weave in! I don't know about you, but I *hate* weaving in ends so I'm super stoked to have a simple way to create this chevron pattern that doesn't end with me never ever actually finishing the project ~___^
 




You can download the free pattern for these mitts from Ravelry here and join our KAL group here


Tanya has made a pattern for an incredible double knitted cowl with a pattern of stacked triangles. It looks AWESOME and I can't wait to start knitting my own version! The KAL will run from the 19th of January til the 19th of February and we've already started chatting away on the group boards ^___^


Tanya has also gathered this awesome prize pack that's up for grabs for anyone who completes her cowl pattern. It includes three gorgeous skeins of wool, a notebook, compact mirror, washi tape, triangle earrings, and a cushion cover! If you're not already riding the geometric bandwagon, this will surely get you a seat ~___^

 

Those who whip up a pair of mitts will go into the draw to win this totally wicked prize pack! It includes three balls of wool (enough to make up the mitts in the same hot pink and deep grey colour scheme that I've favoured ~___^), a wooden bead necklace kit, a notebook, geometric earrings and ...
 
 


... this awesome watch! I suspect that anyone toting around all of these prizes would automatically become the coolest person in any room that they enter ~___^


I really hope you'll join Tanya and I for this KAL! You've got just under a week to download the patterns for the mitts or the cowl, gather your wool, introduce yourself ... and then we can get knitting/hooking! ^___^ We'll be sharing progress pictures on Instagram using the hashtag #getgeometric and I can't wait to see everyone's WIPs and FOs!

- Lisa xx


Tuesday, 6 January 2015

The top twelve from 2014



Hello! How have you been enjoying 2015 so far? I always feel like January is kinda a weird month, you know? Like, it's just the introduction to the year and I never really get much done. That said, I have been enjoying spending my time catching up with friends and family, looking for a new job, planning for a holiday in February which will be my first time leaving the country (!!!), and sitting on the fence over the decision to complete my honours degree this year. And, I thought this would be a good time to jump on the bandwagon of "things I did in 2014" posts. I went through and looked at which of my posts were the most popular last year and I must say some of the results surprised me! Here's the top 12 ...


12.
First up: the Pineapple and AT-AT string art. This project still looks just the same as the day I made it, so I can confirm they hold up well! I still want to make more geometric crafts, I love the fun impact they have! And I still think pineapples are the coolest fruit ^___^

 

 11.
Ahh, Instagram. A social media format that I love so much I made a pillow of the logo. I've had this on my couch since its creation, and it's gotten a lot of nice comments from visitors. If they're a little concerned by my commitment to a photo sharing app, well, they're too kind to say anything to me about it! ~____^  


10.
This one is a draw between the daisy flower crown I made using a loom, and my Lumpy Space Princess cosplay. My daisy flower crown is still looking good, and I made another one as a gift for a friend which she hung as bunting. I think I need to do that as well! Or, make some kind of flower crown display as I have accumulated a few by now. My LSP cosplay has held up pretty well; one of the bows of the shoes came loose from its clips, and one of the arms fell off my handbag. This is what I get for being rushed and using hot glue: E6000 is obviously the answer ~___^

 

9.
This one is perhaps not entirely accurate, as the post that included my crochet BMO brooch also included mention of two shrinky dink brooches and a ('nother) flower crown. But, awww, look at those faces! Surely BMO is the one who commanded all those page views, right? I wear a lot of my brooches to work (I have to wear a lanyard so I don't really bother with necklaces) and my Adventure Time brooches are always a hit with the kids. And some of the adults too! ^___^


8.
The Nyan Cat pillow that I made for my friend Molly's firstborn child was the closest I got to amigurumi this year and probably could top any list I made for "crafts with lots of parts" (which would certainly be a highly niche list ...). I'm glad this made the list as often I forget about crafts that I give away. This is one of the reasons why I like to take photos of everything!


7.
My crochet black rose flower crown is one of my most worn hair accessories and it's still going strong! I originally tied the roses onto the headband, but taking them off to wear the roses separately caused the ties to become loose so I ended up gluing them into place. The black roses seem to work with every hair colour that I've had this year (and that's a few!) and I've used it to add a fun touch to many, many outfits.


6.
The coffin purse was kinda a surprise addition to this list - at least to me! It's a bit of a different project to what I normally do so it's nice to see it got some love this year. And some of that love was from people specifically searching for coffin purses (at least according to my traffic sources). Isn't that cool?! I used this purse a couple of times for evening outings this year and it held up well. It's roomier than it looks and since the basic structure is thick cardboard, it's fairly sturdy. 

 

5.
My knitted pineapple tea cosy made it into the top five! I gifted this cosy to my friend Pip so I haven't examined it lately, but I'm sure she would have told me if it had spontaneously unraveled ~___^ I was really pleased with this project because knitting doesn't come easy to me. I must remember to continue perservering with it though, because I feel like I am missing out on lots of fun projects!


4.
The cat, rabbit, and bear planters are number four, but I'm not using these for planters currently (it seems it is downright impossible for me to grow plants inside). They are instead sitting in my laundry holding important things such as scrubbing brushes, soap, and fabric dyes and I can report that they're doing a very good job of it.


3.
I crocheted Wicket the Ewok cushion for International Star Wars Day and since then he has been hanging out on our couch; getting sat on and squished and occasionally thrown at people (I'm placing all the blame for that last one on rambunctious house guests by the way. You know who you are ~___^) and he still looks as good as new. That wide eyed smile gets me every time ...
 

2.
On a completely different note to all these other projects, my post on my Pyrex collection was popular enough to make it almost to the top of the list! My collection is still growing and I may need to do a follow-up post soon to add information about some of the other designs I've brought home ^___^


1.
The top spot this year was claimed by my post announcing the Giant Pineapple Cosy KAL that Tanya and I organised! Doing the KAL was such fun, and Tanya is such a wonderful and lovely crafter to work with, so I'm really glad you all got excited about it too! My crocheted version of the pineapple tea cosy lives happily in prime position in my kitchen. It's still looking wonderful, and everyone who has been served tea in it has loved it ^___^
 
 I hope you had a fantastic 2014, and that 2015 shapes up to be even better! Did you make a favourite project in 2014? Did any of my posts on this list surprise you? Did I miss out your favourite? Do you know the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow? ~___^

- Lisa xx

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Needle felted Piranha Plant and other gifts



Hello! It's time to show you some more of the Christmas gifts I made! I have a couple more to go, but they haven't been gifted yet (I believe in a very extended holiday period) so I'll show you those next time ^___^



For Scott I made this needle-felted Piranha Plant, of Super Mario fame. To make this, I used a very similar technique from when I made Oscar the Grouch. I used my scalpel to cut out a wedge from a large styrofoam ball which was to become the ... head (???) of the plant and then covered the ball in sheets of red felt. I needed felted the felt together where it overlapped to create a tight casing of felt around the ball. 
 

I cut out small triangles of white felt and used my needle tool to attach them to the mouth area. I also used my needle tool to ensure the bottom of the mouth was more sharply defined.
 

I rolled wool fibre into loose sausage shapes and felted them onto the ball to become the lips. I didn't felt the tops of the lips much, but was sure to felt the edges to create a more rounded shape.
 

To create the spots, I rolled fibre into loose balls and then felted them on. The balls are slightly 3D because I really wanted them to have solid colour so they are made up of a few layers of fibre each.
 

For the stem I used regular sheets of felt. I cut out a long strip and wound it around a wooden chopstick, needle felting where the sheet overlapped itself. I used a scalpel to cut a hole in the bottom of the head of the plant and inserted the stem. I needle felted where the stem met the head so that the felt wouldn't come loose and expose the chopstick.


The leaves were cut from the same sheet of green felt and needle felted only at the bases onto the stem. This gives them a nice curved shape, which I think helps make them look more leafy.


Once the plant was done, I hot glued the bottom of the stem into a paper mache flower pot that I had painted green. Then I stuffed the pot with variegated green chunky wool; this stabilised the plant so it doesn't wobble around but it's also very light. Scott really liked it and my parents thought that I had brought it. Two lovely compliments for any crafter! ^___^


My dad, Kevin, is pretty difficult to craft for since he mostly likes trees (I really should just stick to buying him a new tree every year). However, he does also like camping and happened to mention that soap on a rope would be useful for washing in the desert.


I used the instructions in "A Little Bit Crafty" by Frankie Magazine for these but they didn't turn out as well as I had hoped; they are a little bit bumpy and a little bit cracked.
 

If I were to make them again, I would ensure that my soap was in much smaller pieces before attempting to shape them into balls. I think the chunky flakes that I started off with didn't assist with the making of smooth soaps.
 

I braided cotton string to use as the ropes, which worked out well because all other actual ropes that I had turned out to be way too big. So, another suggestion: either make bigger soaps, or buy smaller ropes! 
 

For my Nana Alma and my mum, Anne, I made some lavender sachets using vintage look (but not actual vintage) handkerchiefs, ribbon, and lavender (bet you guessed that last bit, huh).
 

To make these, I cut the handkerchiefs in half, folded them in half again, and then sewed around three of the edges. You could hand sew these, but I used a sewing machine because it is so much faster (and I'm pretty lazy!).
 

Then I filled them with lavender and tied them closed with a length of ribbon. Easy peasy!


I also made these ink smudging tools for Anne; they are apparently used in scrap booking. I started off with two lengths of pine, one wide and flat and the other not so wide and not so flat, which I glued together.


I used Kevin's bench press to cut them into smaller segments and then stained them with wood varnish. I originally tried to use a saw and failed miserably. Power tools, people! They rock. I used stick on velcro dots cut in half to attach lengths of felt on and around each segment. They were a little time consuming, but once I had a little production line going it wasn't too bad.


My next post won't be until next year ... which starts in one day! OMG! It's time to start thinking about a whole 'nother years worth of crafts to create ... but, until then, Happy New Year and thanks for sticking with this little blog of mine for another 12 months. I hope we can do it all again next year!

Catch you on the flip side!

- Lisa xx

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Perler bead sushi magnets and a felt pug hoop




Hello! I know I said you probably wouldn't hear from me this week but, well, I guess I lied! I caught up with a couple of my friends to exchange early Christmas gifts, so I figured I could tell you about the presents I crafted for them now ^___^


For Philip I made these cute little sushi magnets! ^___^ I used a cross stitch pattern from weelittlestitches for these, but made them from perler beads instead of fabric and thread.


I wasn't going to put faces on these, but they really looked like they needed something so ... googly eyes to the rescue! I think it gives them a really funny expression ^___^
 

I used E6000 to attach the eyes and the magnets and they look good enough to eat ~___^ (Only, you know. Don't).
 

Using a pattern from Urban Threads, I made this felt pug hoop for Phillipa. I think it turned out really cute! Instead of stitching all of the lines, I cut out shapes from felt and stitched them down. I feel like this is a great way to add colour without having to spend an eternity doing fill stitches.
 

Everything is stitched down with running stitch, and the roses are 3D which I thought looked really cool ^___^


I feel like the roses could have done with a few more petals, but I didn't want to make them *too* bulky.
 

I think this pug's silly little face is my favourite part ^___^ The paws are attached with only one stitch so they can be lifted up; I did the same with the tail. I'm not sure why, but having movable parts to an embroidery hoop is so appealing to me. I added some little hearts to the banner because I wasn't sure about the phrase that the pattern suggested ("True Love") but also didn't want to leave it blank.
 

This photo shows the most accurate colour of the background fabric; it is definitely purple even though it looks blue in most of the pictures I took! The back is finished off with blue felt and the same technique I always use. Boring, yes, but also neat which is what I was going for.


Now, I must continue crafting as I have, once again, left my dad's gift until the last minute. Fingers crossed I get it done!

Best wishes to everyone for whichever holiday you celebrate! I hope you have a lovely one ^___^

- Lisa xx