Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Speed Posting, Part 4

I'm going to try and keep this short today as I want to get back to crafting! After the doctors' appointment, and doing some dishes and laundry, etc etc. I'm home sick from work today (or should that be 'sick'...?) but I haven't had much of a chance to do anything crafty. Here are the photos I promised last time though:

It's amigurumi - in chihuahua form!

I finally finished the amigurumi chihuahua that I started in July last year. That's a whole year, people! It shouldn't take that long to finish, even if it was my first one! I was too hurt (both physically and emotionally!) by the memory of all the needle wounds from sewing the arms and legs on. But he is done at last! Actually, the main reason I got on and finished it was so I could take back possession of the really cool beauty case I was using to hold the project. But don't tell him, he's very sensitive! He's currently sitting on the bookshelf waiting for a name.

Next up is the scarf I made for a work colleague of a friend. It took a lot longer than I'd hoped, and I feel pretty bad about that, but apparently she loved it! There are ups and downs to making things to order, the main up being you have a guaranteed sale! I'm still enjoying working with different textures and colours of yarn, so I wouldn't mind making some more.

I've also been working on my third kokeshi doll:

I'm still a bit iffy on how the proportions are going to turn out, but I'll have to wait and see I suppose. I have an idea for how I will embellish the body but I'm not going to reveal that yet!

I started a second cat blanket to donate to the Lost Dog's Home today. The first one is nearly finished, so I felt justified. I was working on it this morning in bed while I was listening to the Hound of the Baskervilles talking book and drinking coffee. Geez, I could get used to this lady of leisure thing!

I also re-jigged my sidebar a bit, for anyone who may be reading this independent of a reader. It now has a 'non-yarn projects in progress' section. This reflects the projects I have started and want to start to do with the Retro Crafts book I mentioned in my last post. Yes, I'm still obsessed with it! For a while I wanted to make every project in the book. But I admit that might be a little too crazy, even for me! I'm hoping to have time to work on my painted things tonight.

Gotta go now!

I finished the Farmyard Pencil Cups!

Monday, 28 July 2008


Hi all, just letting you know I'm not dead or worse!

Last week was a pretty slow week as I've been more motivated to go to the gym. I did finish an unexpected project that I'd had on hold for over a year though! I'll show you pictures in the next post. Oooh, I wonder what it could be??

I also worked a little on decorating the picture frames for my prints. I varnished them with some wonderfully gloopy varnish that I've had in the back of the cupboard for a long time now. They look so shiny and wonderful! I'll make the matt boards for them next weekend.
I varnished the Farmyard Pencil Cups too. I'm going to cut out felt chickens to stick on them (hence the inspirational felt craft pic above!).

This coming week I have to work on my craft zine. I had 2 months to make it and I left it to the last week to start! I'm a bad zinester! I'm out a few nights this week, so I'll have to pull some late nighters and lunchtimes to get it done. Aaah, how I miss being a student!

I have some ideas written down - I just need to flesh them out and gather some pictures. It will mostly be tips and ideas with a few projects thrown in.

I let the craft slide a little last week (not to mention the blogging), which I feel a little bad about. But I did jog 1km on the treadmill yesterday, so at least some of my goals are being met!*

* I should probably point out that it wasn't all in one go. It was in 1-2 minutes intervals but totalled approx. 1km. I'm still quite proud of myself!

Monday, 21 July 2008

Mosaic Monday - Retro Crafts

I've just finished reading Retro Crafts by Suzie Millions. I heard about it from one of the blogs I read. (There's about 145 on my list currently and I can't remember which one, sorry!) I am completely and utterly in love with this book!

If you're into retro, kitsch, craft, recycling, glitter, powertools, hardware store strength glue, and/or complete craziness, order this book now! I have an burning desire to make just about everything in it RIGHT NOW. I want to spend all my money on glitter and epoxy and vintage plastic flowers. NOW! *wheezes*

More sensibly, I would like to make a few things from it, over time. I'm also listening to old episodes of CraftyPod again, to try and get over my depression caused by there not being any new ones for the foreseeable future, and I'd like to actually get down and make some of the featured projects instead of just listening and imagining. I think at the moment I'm starting to focus more on things I want to make, no matter how awful and kitschy, not just what might sell in the shop. I'm a bit over my shop right now. Things are slowing down again, and my yarn things aren't selling at all, just my zines. Which is OK, I suppose!

Last weekend, I decorated the picture frames I bought on Thrifty Thursday. I got busy with the Crackly Medium - gosh, I love that stuff! I just need to varnish them and they'll be all done. Also, I'm making some pencil cups out of tin cans. I painted them, and then I'm going to varnish them and stick felt shapes to them. I was inspired by Craftypod #4: All About Felt. Pictures when I have something more interesting to show than paint spatters!

I also started a new Kokeshi doll. This little girl is blue, and I've finished her head already. Judging by the size of her head though, she won't be a little girl compared to my previous efforts! I want to try going for a sky/cloud theme with the embellishment this time. Headshots later.

I'm off to go swimming now. Love youse all!

[Later:] I sold 5 zines while I was writing this post! Shut my mouth!

Photo Credits:
1. Vintage Ad, Retro craft ad, 2. Crafting 365, day 173 - pink teacups, 3. Better Homes and Gardens Easy Bazaar Crafts, 4. Paper Arts & Crafts: murals, 5. tv retro horror, 6. vintage, retro, items,, 7. institches, 8. Retro Food Clock, 9. Retro lion

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Things New and Old

Firstly, I decided that I would take some time out each month to visit Op Shops and try and score some cool stuff. So I initiated Thrifty Thursday, which I have decreed will be on the first Thursday of each month. Or whenever I have time to go. So I went last week and had a lovely time looking at everything and brought these home:

* books x 4 (half price)
* partitioned dish with flowers
* picture frames x 3 for painting and framing the prints I bought
* clothes. Including a beautiful drop-waist dress with a flowery border print that I just couldn't resist. It's about 3 sizes too small (I know, I can hear the groaning, not least from myself!) but I figure it's extra motivation for me to head to the gym every night.

Secondly, here is the picture of the kokeshi doll I finished on Sunday, as promised:

I'm not too happy with her proportions - her head is too small and/or her body too large. And her face is too small too. But I figure it'll take a few goes to find proportions I'm happy with. I tried embroidering the body this time, with a flower felt shape which I needle-felted to make it stick on, and used stranded cotton, a sequin and some tiny beads to embellish it. It was fun. I want to do it some more. I started embroidering some doll faces in preparation.

Lastly, I did get up my courage and I went to the Brown Owls craft night last night. And, gosh I had fun! Yeah, I did feel a bit awkward at times, but everyone was really friendly and I enjoyed making my project, vis:

embroidery and more stash enhancement

It's of some martini glasses and a cocktail. Sublime Stitching have some really cool patterns. At first I thought it was a bit pointless, if fun, but then I started thinking of some things I could make the fabric into - a drinks mat for our (at the moment) pretend retro bar that Boy and I are one day going to build. It would be really cute as a round mat with a crocheted edging. When I started thinking of all the things I could embroider, I got quite excited!
I also came away with a small stash of kitschy-cute stuff to decorate the hobby room with, and some pieces of fabric that I might use to applique a knitting project bag one day soon.
Unfortunately, the next craft night is sold out, but I'm on the waiting list and keeping my fingers crossed!

Now back to your regular programming - I really need to get that scarf finished!!

Monday, 14 July 2008

Mosaic Monday 14-7-08 and Zoo Trip

This week - it's the zoo! I am inspired by and in love with the Melbourne Zoo. Animals - I love them! I want to go back and draw them. Being 15oC on the day I went though, most of them were either shivering or asleep. Poor darlings.

I've spent most of the last week either shivering or asleep as well. I've had another cold, and I've been so sick that my hands lay limp and lifeless (or holding a book) instead of having their normal impulsive need to be doing something. So I've torn through about 3 books, but no craft was there to be seen all week.

Things improved yesterday though - I finally finished my 2nd kokeshi doll! I also started making some doll faces as I still have the hope that I might make a series of them. Pictures in the next post.

Last but not least, I'm off to my first Brown Owls craft night tonight! They we are doing Sublime Stitching embroidery. There's a different project each fortnight. I've only signed up for the first one as I want to see how I go.

Will she go? Will she chicken out and go straight home after work? Will she go, but stand outside in the dark peering through the window wistfully? Will she muster up the bravery to go inside and have a really wonderful and not-awkward time?

Stay tuned to the next exciting episode!!

Photo Credits:

1. Melbourne Zoo, 2. Melbourne Zoo - Meerkats, 3. Sumatran Tiger at Melbourne Zoo, 4. Melbourne Zoo's Largest Resident!, 5. Melbourne Zoo kleine Panda, 6. Melbourne Zoo - 19 July 2004, 7. Some Of The Gardens At Royal Melbourne Zoo, 8. Meerkat, Melbourne Zoo, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 9. Melbourne Zoo, 10. Melbourne Zoo's Largest Resident!, 11. Melbourne Zoo, 12. Orang-Utans, Melbourne Zoo, Vic (AU)

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

The G word....

I threatened to talk about my goals, and here I am!
My June goals were these:

1. get my Works In Progress list down from 15 to 12
2. get the number of items for sale in my shop up from 32 to 40.
3. Tidy up the hobby room.

The results are these:

1. My WIPs list is now 12. Woohoo! But all the old stuff is still on there so I want to look at that next.
2. No. of items for sale is currently 35. It was 36, but then it dropped back to 33 cause a few things expired, and I re-listed 2, but the third one had a crap photo so I left it. I've got 6 items that I let expire because I no longer liked them/was ashamed of them/thought they sucked, etc. This goal could get quite complicated!
3. I tidied up the big desk enough so that I had room to do some painting on it. I thought that was pretty good going!

OK, now July goals:
1. Increase number of items in shop from 35 to 45.
2. Finish 3 older projects.
3. Re-photograph and re-list 4 projects.
4. Work on long-term project/s for at least 4 hours total.
5. Improve storage situation in hobby room.
6. Set next month's goals at the start of the month, not a week in!!

Okay, I am going to make this July/August goals, so that I don't feel quite so pressured. I do have to work full-time and do my exercise goals as well! (That's another blog completely!)

I'm gonna go do stuff now!

Saturday, 5 July 2008

What I Did Last Weekend

I meant to write a post about all the exciting, crafty things I did during the week, but I didn't do any. D'oh! So I will just have to talk about what I did last weekend.

Firstly, I bought these:

This purchase was completely justifiable as I needed pink yarn to finish the Pinks and Purples scarf, plus everything in the basket was on sale. Every single thing. So I'm sticking to my guns! Nyer!

Then I did this:

Before; After

I baked a cake for Boy. It was chocolate with rum and orange flavoured cream cheese icing. It disappeared mysteriously during the week. (It was quite yummy, if I do say so myself!)

Then I worked on this for a bit:

Actually, the Pinks and Purples scarf was the only thing I've been working on this week, on and off. On Sunday I was tidying off the desk in the hobby room, had a sudden hit of inspiration and made this:

double mini zine

I stole appropriated the idea from a zine I recieved in a swap, of making 2 mini zines and stapling them together so they have twice the number of pages of a normal mini zine. I wanted to make up a quick, little zine that would be fun and relaxing to make. I was inspired by another zine I had recently recieved which was in the form of a list, with a page dedicated to each item on the list. Going with the 'fun and relaxing theme', I decided to do 7 Things that Bring Me Joy. I've been going through a pretty stressful and annoying time at work lately, and I needed to give myself a 'relax and just chill out, dammit!!' kick in the butt. I could wang on about how I wasn't just making a zine, I was actively meditating, blah blah blah. But I really had a lovely afternoon designing it, drawing it, colouring it with watercolours, and drinking pots of green tea. Then I scanned it and printed it and stapled it, and it came out perfectly! I chucked it on my shop straightaway. I'm so pleased with it that I made some bookmarks a few days later to give away free:

I printed pithy sayings using different fonts onto a piece of cardstock. Then I cut it up and collaged them using some papers and stickers I found lying around. Then I laminated them. I don't know if they have any artistic merit, but they were a huge amount of fun to make. It was one of those rare situations where I had an idea and I was able to just get to and do it straight away. It gave me a great sense of satisfaction to be able to make them. I am giving them away in my shop with every purchase of 2 or more zines. (I know I have been selling far more zines than anything else lately but I figure, why try to buck the trend?)

Last but not least, I finished the
amigurumi beer that I was making last week as a pattern tester. This is all I have to show for it:

Artists' (i.e. my) impression

You see, whenever I make something as a gift for a certain deadline, my camera dies for one reason or another, and I don't get to take a picture of it. It happened with Sparky's blue jacket, and her penguin, and her Babe Sweater, and now it's happened with the Ami Brewski too! I had decided to give it to a colleague at work whose last day was on Wednesday. Of course, on Wednesday morning, the batteries in my camera had gone flat and I couldn't take a photo of it! It keeps happening to me. I think it must be my Thing.
P.S. When I drew this it was the first time I used Boy's hinga-ma-jingy what's-it-called Graphics Pad, so the picture is a bit wobbly. It was fun though and I might experiment with it a bit more if I ever get time.

I'm a bit posted-out now, so I won't go into my June wrap-up and July goals this time. I'm gonna go play some computer games now! :)

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Speed Blogging, Part 2

eva's gallery diorama, originally uploaded by my sunset road.

Just checking in with you-all to show you that I'm still alive and kicking, even if feebly. I'll post in a few days about all the exciting projects. I've finished and the other things I've been doing. I wrote a zine, and made some bookmarks, and completely failed to achieve my June goals. Heh, goals are for chumpies, anyway! *

* Disclaimer: Not actually true. Apologies if I insulted anyone.

Talk to you in a few days! Love!