Tuesday, 3 March 2015

What's new, pussycat? Kitty necklace from a beaded bracelet


Hello! I think I have finally gotten back to mostly good health, just in time for my first week of roller derby skills training tomorrow! I am so excited, and also quite nervous. I don't know about you, but for me crafting is a fantastic form of stress release and so, despite my illness, I have managed to start a few projects this last week. Of course, starting a project doesn't necessarily mean finishing it (my WIP crate can attest to this!), but there are exceptions ~___^


I brought the bracelet below while I was in Singapore, but soon realised that it was too big and too heavy for me to really want to wear around my tiny baby wrists. I didn't want those adorable kitty beads to languish in my jewellery box forever though, so I cut the elastic cord of the bracelet and reconstructed it into a necklace ^___^
 

I like it much better this way! I wanted to let the cat beads take center stage on the necklace, so I didn't complicate it overly.
 

I threaded one crystal bead onto a headpin, added one cat bead, and then trimmed the wire and twisted it into a loop which I then attached directly onto the necklace chain. You could use jump rings for this, but I felt having two jump rings between each headpin and the chain looked a little too busy. After attaching all the cat beads, I just added a lobster clasp with jump rings to attach the ends of the chain.
 

There are eight cat beads on the necklace, which is a deviation from my usual preference for odd numbers, but eight is a lucky number so I figured I would do well to keep all the cats together ~___^
 

One other thing that happened recently was that Frankie Magazine shared a photo of my knitted pineapple tea cosy that I made for the Giant Pineapple KAL! My pageviews went through the roof, so welcome if you've found this little corner of the interwebs via Frankie! If I'd known I was about to have so many visitors I may have tidied up a little bit ~___^

I'm picking up my sewing machine from the repair shop tomorrow and I can't wait to finally make some headway on my alterations pile! Shortened straps and taken-in waistbands aren't all that interesting to other people though, probably, so I'll simply have to make some new things as well. What a shame ~___^

- Lisa xx





Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Crochet chevron cowl, a 60s mod costume, plus photos from Singapore!


Hello! I'm back! I spent last week in Singapore, which was so much fun! I'd never been overseas before and we were in time for Lunar New Year, which meant everything was decorated and everyone seemed in a festive mood ^____^ One thing I was worried about though was that I wasn't going to finish a project for the Get Geometric KAL! I'd started Tanya's knitted cowl pattern a few times, but I just couldn't get my head around it! I think I need to do some more simple knitting and work my way up to it.


I also figured I'd want something to do on the plane flight over, so I packed some balls of chunky yarn and a big plastic crochet hook in my check in luggage. I did double check with the lady who checked me in at the airport, and she said I should be fine. Luckily, security also didn't mind and I was allowed to keep my crafting supplies!

I used the same stitch pattern that I used to make my chevron fingerless mitts, but I worked this cowl in the round. I crocheted with two balls of black yarn, then changed to green for two rows, and then finished off with another ball of black. It's very squishy and cosy, but not really appropriate for Australian, or Singaporean, weather!

My phone started playing up basically as soon as I left Australia (maybe it got homesick?) so I didn't get as many photos as I would have liked to. Nonetheless, I took a fair few!



 

          
 
On the first day we went to Gardens on the Bay, which was really lovely. We went into the Flower Dome and the Cloud Forest which were amazing feats of both technology and gardening, and I found the information on sustainability fascinating. However, my favourite part was probably the goats made of flowers! They're just so adorable!




We saw the Sultan Mosque, and spent some time wandering around the Arab Quarter. There were so many silk and carpet stores; the tiny camel carpet was especially tempting for me! We had coffee in a tiny Turkish coffee shop which was covered in beautiful tiles and lanterns; I wish I could have photographed that! Also, we saw lots of interesting street art!



Chinatown on Lunar New Year was amazing, and absolutely packed with people! We lined up to see the parade, but nothing happened for hours and we were too weak to wait until midnight to see the fireworks so instead we had dinner; at a Thai restaurant in Chinatown, ironically!


We also went to the Singapore Zoo, where my phone took many blurry photos. Damn! I did get these two of the flamingos and the mouse deer. I'd never heard of a mouse deer before and they were so cute! They are tiny and one of them had a baby, which was even smaller and more adorable! We also saw elephants, giraffes, a polar beer, a white tiger, a komodo dragon, giant turtles, otters, and many many monkeys ... it was incredible fun!


I'm a big fan of froyo here in Australia, and I thought it was cool how different it is in Singapore! Still very delicious though ~___^ The chocolate eclair I thought was cool because it had a merlion on it! Seriously, merlions are everywhere in Singapore! By the way, if you're ever in Singapore, I can highly recommend the high tea at the Ritz Carlton - eight courses of pure deliciousness and more tea than any one mortal could possibly consume.


And then, the day after I got back, Bec and I headed out to a 60s themed birthday party. It was so much fun! We hit up the opshop earlier that day, and found enough mod/beatnik-ish clothing to make some fun outfits ^____^


My outfit consisted mainly of a black polka-dot mini dress with an aqua collar and waist tie; it cost me $7! I also wore knee high black socks and black wedges, which I already owned. My handbag is one left to me by my Nana Tess; I don't know what era it is actually from, but I felt that it worked well with the rest of my outfit. I wore contacts so that I could wear massive false eyelashes, and I used a bump-it to fake a bit of a bouffant hairstyle.


Bec hit the jackpot and found a black turtleneck (high necked knitwear is very difficult to find in Australian opshops!) and this super cute overall dress. She also wore black ballet flats, round sunglasses (yes, at night; that's dedication to a costume!), and a vintage pendant she had found previously at an antique store.


Bec and I also spent some time before the party icing the birthday girl's cake. It's well ... it's not pretty. But, it tasted amazing! I used this recipe to make the two cakes, but I left out the milk (I used plain water instead), used coconut oil instead of vegetable oil, substituted self-raising flour for the plain flour, baking powder, and baking soda, and added 2.5 teaspoons of peppermint essence to the cake mixture. I also ended up doubling the recipe for each cake ... this thing is pretty massive as I used a deep square tin, about 12 inches wide. I made the icing from unsalted butter, icing sugar, peppermint essence, cocoa, and a *lot* of black food colouring. The dots are made from store-brought fondant, although I did colour the yellow dots myself using gel food colouring. If I had the option, I would buy pre-coloured fondant though, because I think the food colouring slightly changed the consistency of the fondant which made it sticky and harder to work with. Plus, I dyed my hands yellow >____< If I made this again, I would change the ratio of butter to icing sugar to make the icing thicker because the icing did seem to slowly kinda ooze off the cake ... the hot weather here also probably doesn't help with that! Anyway, Bec and I had a good time putting it together, and all the guests had a wonderful time eating it ~____^
 

 And that's it from me right now! Next week I start roller derby training and I can't wait! I did catch a cold the day after the party though (I'm blaming the aeroplane) so I'm really really hoping that clears up before then! My current plan is to eat lots of garlic bread and spend a lot of time resting (aka crafting) on the couch so I'm fighting fit by Monday! Any cold cures would be greatly appreciated ~____^

- Lisa xx

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Welcome to Night Vale eyeball plushie




Hello! I went to a roller derby skills night last night, and I am still sore! It was so much fun though; we learnt how to do slides and knee taps and jumps and all kinds of exciting things that you can't really do when you go to social skates and you get in the way if you keep practising stops while everyone else is trying to go in circles (oops!). I've signed up for a twelve week roller derby skills course next month (gah!) so stay tuned for more skating news ~____^ In the meantime though, let's talk crafts! ^___^


I made this plushie version of the Night Vale eye. Does it serve any purpose whatsoever? Nope. Do I adore it anyway? Yup! ^___^


If you'd like to make your own, you will firstly need to know how to crochet a sphere. Or, if you're more like me, be prepared to spending some time making it up as you go along and then getting it wrong and undoing it. I started off with black wool, to make the pupil, then changed to purple, for the iris, and then finally white for the rest of the eyeball. When you are almost finished the sphere, stuff it with plushie filling and then change colours one final time to red and decrease to close the sphere. 
 

Then, before tying off, crochet a length of chain from the middle of the back of the eyeball. This is going to be the largest nerve! Single crochet in each stitch back down the chain, and then fasten off. I added six more smaller nerves around the larger nerve, just by tying on where I wanted the nerve and then chaining to a random length and tying off. I didn't trim the ends of the chains as I rather liked how it looked with the ends still on.
 

I tied a length of the red wool around the ends of the nerves, so they were gathered together in a little bundle ^___^
 
  
And then it was time to make the most important part - the crescent moon! With it, after all, this plushie is just a purple eye! I used this pattern by Zaaynab Le'Von, which was the perfect size ^____^


I stitched it on with a little bit more white wool and then the Welcome to Night Vale eyeball was complete!
 

 It's quite a large eyeball; as you can see, I can barely get my hand around it!


I'm not going to post next week as I'll be quite busy but after that I'll have much more time on my hands! I might even try to post twice to make up for it ~____^ I'll see you in two weeks, but, in the meantime, tell me what your favourite fandom is! I love to make nerdy crafts, but it's tough to choose a favourite! I think probably Adventure Time is the most crafted fandom for me though ^____^

- Lisa xx



Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Kitty mugs: round two!


Hello! I was hoping to have another craft finished to show you today (well, actually yesterday since this is late now ...) but instead I did some research (ugh, responsibility). So, instead ... MOAR KITTIES ^____^



These were actually the first kitty mugs I painted, but since they were for a gift, I couldn't show them to you. But they have now been gifted - yay! ^____^ I made these for my friend Philip for his birthday; Philip likes cats and visiting Japan so I made him some Japanese kitties!


I looked up some photos of traditional Japanese costume but, well, it's kinda hard to draw clothes on cats so they're probably not very accurate.

 

Each mug has konichiwa written on the back in Hiragana; which I don't read or write so, again, this may not be accurate! But Philip liked them, so I'm super pleased with that! I also made him a caramel sponge cake, but totally forgot to take a photo of it before we all devoured it. I'll just have to make it again some day! ^___^


And I also made this knitty kitty mug for my friend Catherine, for making me the awesome hand-dyed yarn in the photo! It's sooo beautiful! I haven't decided what to make from it yet, because I want to choose the perfect project ^____^

I've almost finished my other project, so I'll show you that next week! It's another Night Vale inspired craft, so I'm super excited to get it done ^____^ After that, I want to make something for my skating; I don't know what yet, but whenever I get excited about something, I want to craft for it! Any suggestions? ^____^

- Lisa xx