Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Eight Great Things to do on Your Lunchbreak

This post stems mainly from the fact that now I'm on contract instead of a casual worker, I have to have an hour for lunch and finish at a set time instead of taking half an hour and finishing earlier - or whenever I like. *pouts*

* Go for a walk.
My new book Walk off Weight has you walking every day at different speeds and duration until, 8 weeks later, you are fitter and healthier than before. (Then you start over at Advanced Level). This has the added advantage that I won't have to do cardio exercise after work, and I will have more time to do my Susan Powter strength training video or my yoga DVD when I get home.

* Do online drawing course.
I have been wanting to take a drawing course for a few years now, but didn't have the money, time or courage. Perhaps this one?

* Do shopping chores.
Need to go to the chemist, or Lincraft, or the art supplies shop? Why wait til after work when you can get it out of the way in your lunchbreak?

* Maintain shop / post in blog.
Yes folks, you may be hearing from me a lot more often from now on!

* Do craft in the park.
How relaxing and lovely would that be? I'm lucky enough to have 2 fabbo parks just next door to my building! Just one of the few perks of working for the government. I could also listen to educational podcasts while I'm crafting and kill two birds with one stone.

* Catch up on reading blogs.
Let's face it - I have so many blogs on my reader that this is never going to happen! But it's fun trying.

* Visit art galleries.
How many art galleries are within 2 blocks of my building? At least 3 I can think of off the top of my head. There must be more. Get some culcha up ya and go to some galleries!

* Cook a hot lunch - using the microwave and toaster oven!
I love cooking and I love a challenge!

Monday, 27 October 2008

Neglecting you again in thus manner

Again I have no photos of my own to show you. Trust me, it would be really boring. I made a shoe bag on the weekend to give Boy for his birthday. (It's okay, I'm not spoiling anything, it's already been given.) However, I'm going to take it back and do a little extra reinforcing stitching on it and put a different drawstring in it. That's ok to do to someone's gift, right?

I started an art journal page yesterday. Puzzle pieces and other confusing, maze-like images are the main theme. I'm not sure what I'm trying to express.

My zombie craft of choice lately has been knitted flowers. I plan on creating a whole army of them to take over all my shopping bags and embellish them to death! Yes, there shall be sequins!

(I'm a little nutty at the moment because I'm at work on the late shift and I'm all alone in the basement. *rocks back and forth* All I have is this webcam [link inactive] of the Melbourne skyline to keep me company. Yes, it is sunny. In the Above Land.)

Meanwhile, I have a strong urge to order hundreds of pens and pen accessories from this site: JetPens. *gurgles* Patience grasshopper, you will have your fill of Japanese pens soon.....

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Speed Blogging, Part 4

Knitted Flower on Knitting Bag, originally uploaded by salihan.

Hey all,

Last night I finished/started some more knitted flowers. Anything more complicated is really beyond me at the moment.
My head's in an airplane and the rest of me is grounded at work!

Photos of that would be really boring, so I posted a much prettier flower from Flickr. Perhaps I'll try making that one when my head's screwed back on.

Friday, 17 October 2008

Mosaic Monday - Softies

So sure, it's Friday. But that pretty much reflects my whole crafty activity schedule lately.
Goals - uncompleted. Thoughts - unthought. Ideas - unhad. Crafts - unmade.

Here are a few things I've been obsessed with though:

Softies! How wonderful are they? I can completely understand why people collect them. Here's a quick summary mosaic from Flickr:

Today I also joined Twitter. At first I thought, what on earth is the point of this site? But then people started adding me ('following me' is the term they use, as if I'm some kind of goddess! Heh!). So I started looking at their profiles, and their shops or blogs, and who follows them, etc etc. And I guess that means that some of them are looking at my profile/blog/shop, hopefully!

P.S. Stephen Fry is following me!!!! How surreal!

Photo Credits:
1. Georgette & Lisette - Conjoined Twins plush, 2. Handsome Devil and P.T. Stitchy, 3. E, 4. horned ghost, 5. australian shepard plush, 6. Petronilla Oetingerilla, 7. Blue Mommy softie and kitten, 8. for etsy's upcycling contest, 9. Softie Mclovely Dinosaur "I'm ready for my close up", 10. for etsy's upcycling contest, 11. Frederick The Panda, 12. Puppy Forget Me Not, 13. Creature Feature: Alien - amigurumi, 14. jellimo kid dex, 15. Bjorn @ etsy.com, 16. reindeer oobees!!, 17. Striped bean softie, 18. Blue Siamese Kitty, 19. three chaps, 20. Dinosaur @ etsy.com, 21. new dolls, 22. Cute Face, 23. Prancer,Cupid & Donner, 24. Family :), 25. Luke The AstroNaughty

Tuesday, 7 October 2008


Hello! Just a quick update on what I've been making.
I apologise in advance - all my photos came out a bit fuzzy today. It was just one of those days, I guess!

There's these bookmarks that I made for a swap. The actual swap was for a Reading Log - these were extra treats:

Creative, no? No, not really.

[The text reads: "Let's get married, go home and read a book. "Sure thing, dollface!"] It was quite fun working with the airbrush pen and collage, though I think my mojo was a bit off that day. Then today I made this:

L for Lenny.

Well, technically I cut it out last week, embroidered it on the weekend and sewed it tonight. It's a pouch to keep my mouse and laptop cables in. Note the wonkiness of the sewing along the zip and ric rac. It's actually a lot more pronounced in real life. It's just for me though, so who cares! I bought a bulk lot of 50 zips on Ebay today, so I'll be able to practice quite a bit!

Then this happened! The plushes that I bought in the Softies for Mirabel auction arrived!

I have decided to call the one on the left Miranda. It just popped into my head and I tend to trust that. The car ones on the right are called Beep, Toot and Vroom. I am going to keep them in my car. (It's my first anniversary of getting her it, so they're a bit like an anniversary gift.) My own Monstrous Muriel has popped up in the middle there. She just loves to socialise! This morning I almost had the feeling that she was looking at me, but then again, it was 6.30am and I was distracted with getting ready for work. I do like the way her face has turned out though - much more expressive than I had hoped for.

Speaking of Monstrosity, Etsy has created a new item category for dolls, which has forced me to decide whether Muriel et al are toys or dolls. Or art toys or art dolls. Or soft sculpture. Geez, I don't know!!

Friday, 3 October 2008

End of September Wrap-Up

Boring for you, but instructional for me.
My goals for September and results:

1. Increase items in shop to 38.
The number actually went down this month! I let some expired items stay expired because I didn't like the way I'd photographed them. But with Boy's new camera, we can fix that!

2. Work 2 hours on Long Term projects.
I did this and then some! I'm really enjoying knitting or crocheting while I listen to the audiobooks I downloaded from The Classic Tales Podcast and I was itching to do a lot more! But I held back because I knew I had so much else to do! I worked on Branwell the Brachiosaurus while I finished The Hound of the Baskervilles. I had never read any Sherlock Holmes mysteries before and I have to admit I had a pre-conceived notion of what it would be like. I was all ready to be hatin' on Holmes when he swept in at the end and solved the case after Watson had done all the work. I was really angry at how Holmes treated Watson. What is their relationship, anyway? Friends? Master and servant? Whatever it is, Holmes has him wrapped around his little finger. Poor Watson has no confidence in himself and is petrified of putting a step wrong. But even I had to be impressed by the lengths Holmes eventually went to to solve the case and the intelligent twists and intriguing clues. In spite of myself, I enjoyed it. Anyway, this wasn't supposed to become a book review!

3. Do 2 pages in Art Journal.
I did one and have finished the other today. I also started two others which I should hopefully finish next month. I've been experimenting more with layering paint and collage elements. I also want to try some more new techniques, so I will continue this one.

4. Utilise drawing board.
I stuck a few postcards to it with blutac, does that count? At the moment it's broken and in the way, but Boy and I made a plan which hopefully we'll carry out this weekend. It's past the deadline, but it'll still happen.

5. Look through old paintings and list one in shop.
I never got around to this. I was too busy playing computer game.

6. Reduce number of projects by 2.
I reduced them by one. I did start 2 projects and then finish them this month, but I don't think that counts!

This is one of the projects I finished:

It's the headband that I crocheted. I'm very happy with how it turned out - only it's a bit too small! I'll have to add maybe 5 stitches when I make the next one. But I can't remember if I did 70 or 75 last time. Am I feelin' lucky, punk?

Here is the other one:

It's a laptop sleeve for my laptop, Lenny. It's just a very simple cover that will protect him from scratches, etc. (Soryr that the photo is so small and fuzzy.) I can feel this is only the beginning of the great pouch frenzy. Soon, all of my belongings will be in pouches! Even Boy! hehehehe

Here's my latest art journal entry. The theme is Spring. And mucking around with paints and collage. I like sticking stuff. It's calming. I really want to start another altered book but a) I already have one on the make; and b) shnyeh, who has time?

Some time ago I also blocked my skinny scarves. I think I've mentioned before that I was happy with them except for the fact that the ends twisted into ringlet curls that would look great on a 5-year-old girl, but not on my scarves! So I blocked them:

They turned out all right - the photos of them didn't! Boy, help!

1. Work 3 hours on Long Term projects.
2. Reduce number of projects by 2.
3. Finish 2 pages of altered book.
4. Re-arrange hobby room: drawing board area.
5. Start new zine. (I signed up for another zine swap. Oops!)

Confused by the Sub-Prime Mortgage Crisis? Read this simple yet biting comic.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Eight Great Products

I've decided to make like a poor person in the interests of my trip that's coming up in about 5 weeks now. However, this has made me even more excited about all the wonderful crafting equipment that's out there. Here's a summary:

Eight Great Products I'd Like to Get my Hands On

1. Padding Compound - This is the stuff that's used to glue notepads together. All you have to do is clamp some pages together, paint it along the edge and Voila!, you've made your very own note pad. For a compulsive list maker and increasingly enthusiastic re-user like me, it would be very handy. You could probably apply it to lots of other craft projects as well.

2. Diamond Glaze - It's a varnish that pours on thick, like a layer of resin, and it can be used on bottle caps, fridge magnets, paper, fabric, just about anything. You just pour it on, without the time consuming mess, faffing around with moulds and noxious fumes of resin. Well, probably not quite as many noxious fumes, relatively speaking.

3. Gel Medium - This medium is used with acrylic paints to change their properties. It can slow down the drying time and other stuff. I found out from the interwubs (bless it!) that you can also use it to transfer images. Paint it on the image, lay it on down face down onto your surface, and rub hard. Peel the paper off and whammo! The image is now on something else! I know this one is freely available, and less than a 15-minute walk away too, it's just that I don't think my credit card can take much more of a beating right now. But I want it!

4. Glitter - Oh sure, it's readily available in Australia, but have you seen how expensive it is? Why is that?? I wonder if I can make my own.... hmmm....

5. Temporary Marker - It's a fabric marking pen that magically disappears 48 hours after it's applied. How wondrous! I really need that cos I tend to go a bit overboard with the dressmaker's chalk and everything ends up with orange marks on it. You'd want to make sure you can finish your project in one go though. Often that's not possible for me!

6. Double-Sided Interfacing - I'm not sure what the official name for this stuff, but it's iron-on interfacing that's sticky on both sides. You'd think it would be easy to get a hold of, but no. The fact that Spotlight doesn't label anything properly and when it does, it doesn't specify one side or both, makes it quite difficult. Grrrr! (*busts a vein*) Boy and I were there just last Sunday, and we had a very stimulating conversation about why less people are shopping at big chain craft stores and how shopping online is much easier and more convenient. On that particular occasion, I would have much rather have spent a little extra on postage than spend money on petrol and parking, waste time wandering around the shop to find what I was looking for, paw through heavy bolts of fabric that were improperly labelled, spend more time in line waiting to pay, and finally leave with only one of the three things I was looking for.
Okay, rant over now!

7. Stencil Set - I never thought I'd hear myself saying that I want a tool that's used in quilting, but there you go! I can't for the life of me cut fabric into even squares or rectangles. They always end up looking really hinky and thus the end product does also! I'd really love one that can do circles and ovals of different sizes for both fabric and paper projects. There are times when I want my work to look handmade not homemade - and trust me there is a difference! I don't mind if a sewn fabric pouch that I'm just using myself is a little wonky, but if I'm putting them out there for public perusal, I don't want them to be too embarrassing. Not that I would try and sell pouches anyway, probably. There's about 3 trillion of them on Etsy already anyway. It must be a Thing. Anyway, I digress.

8. A photocopier - Colour, of course! Well, a girl can dream, can't she?