Thursday, 20 December 2012

Happy Holidays

I don't know if I'll update here again before the start of 2013, so here's wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Thank you to all of those that follow and/or have stopped by, pinned, commented, and shared links to my posts. You've given me the motivation to keep this blog going! 

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Friendship Bracelets

A while ago I got hooked on making friendship bracelets. Though they were time-consuming, I liked the result. Since I have a ton of embroidery floss (perfect for these bracelets!) I ended up making a number of them!

I won’t go into detail about the process, because there are tonnes of friendship bracelet tutorials out there.

However, here’s a quick rundown of how I embellished the ones above.

Left to Right:

Blue Tones: Added studs (taken from a broken watch strap)

Pink/Purple/Yellow: Sewed on colour-coordinating skull beads using matching embroidery thread (I finished this bracelet with a snap closure, as I made it a bit too big!) 

(These last two bracelets were made for a friend. As she very much an outdoorsy, nature-loving person, I picked natural colours!):

Green/Brown/Beige: (No extra details)

Green/Brown: Added small beads in the process of weaving the bracelet. I threaded a bead onto the centre two strands and then continued weaving around it, leaving the centre strands out of the design until I reached the bottom of the bead, where I tied it on. This gave the bracelet a ‘wobbly’ shape.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Advent Calendar and Christmas Window!

Whilst browsing Pinterest, I found a great idea to use toilet paper tubes as an advent calendar.
Mind still on the Christmas window planned for the charity shop (more on that later in this post!) I decided to make one!

I painted up a bunch of toilet paper tubes, bent them to shape, and used scraps of ribbon to decorate. The numbers were written on the back of cracker playing cards, cut in half.

In order to hang these up, I used loops of clear elastic (the same stuff as I used for the recycled magazine garland)

 We’re lucky to have this gorgeous lace curtain as a background for the window, so I pinned the advent calendar to it, in a heart shape.

Using a paper decoration kit, I made some woven hearts and stars, along with some interconnected heart and star decorations, some of which I pinned on the curtain around the advent calendar….

Isn’t the straw star cute? A fellow volunteer brought it in for the display. 

Yet again my attempts at photographing from the outside were scuppered by the reflection on the window!

Here’s part of the display. Recognise the printable over the back there? ;)
I utterly love that old lamp. I hope it finds a good home.

Using off-cuts from the woven hearts and stars, I made these paper heart chains as well.  I also sewed the two hanging hearts (they aren’t for sale though!)
Of course, the angel specimen art I created is there, too…

One of these has already sold! Hurrah!

 And here are the woven stars, which turned out to be one of my favourite parts of the display. They are simply strung onto cotton and pinned into the ceiling tiles:

This year, there was a ‘Best Dressed Window’ competition in the town where the charity shop is.  
We won third place!

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Angel Specimen Art

angel specimen art with sequins

The other day I posted about the recycled magazine garland that I made for a Christmas display window at the place where I volunteer.

Today I want to share another Christmas project: Angel specimen art! 

specimen art for christmas

I started off with some really worn out old frames from the charity shop; I actually borrowed these from the shop where I volunteer, in order to give them a ‘makeover’ so they could be re-sold! Originally they were a grubby pink, filthy, and with sticky gunk all over the glass. Yuck!

Specimen art was one of the suggestions I had when I posted pictures of my crafting stash a few months ago.

Here’s a quick how-to, though it’s really pretty simple!

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Recycled Magazine Garland

recycled magazine garland

At the charity shop where I volunteer, we were recently discussing a Christmas-themed window display. The manager, Ann, wanted a red and white Scandinavian-inspired theme! I decided to make this red and white garland from old magazines to put in the display.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Spam Strikes Again!

After somewhat reluctantly deciding to enable word verification on comments, what should pop into my inbox this morning?



Are genuine human beings taking the time to post these comments?!

Or have the spambots got smarter when it comes to getting around word verification?!


Now I am considering whether or not to disable word verification again.

This post was brought to you by Procrastinating on NaNoWriMo Novel. I think I'm writing the next War and Peace

Friday, 9 November 2012


I’m not one for jumping on the bandwagon, but I’ve resisted making bunting for too long!

Of course, I had to give it more of a personal touch. No floral, pastels or chevrons for me, oh no!

Instead, I’ve got punky bunting…punkting?

Bunting seemed like a scrap-busting project, and my scraps supplies consisted of a lot of plaid, vinyl and skull-print! So punk-inspired bunting seemed like the obvious choice.

I was incredibly lazy with making this too...

I cut out the pieces...


...pinned them to some leftover tape/ribbon (I made it I said, lazy!)…

…sewed all the pieces on  and customised with safety pins, fabric paint and eyelets

I cut the fabric out using my rotary cutter. The woven fabrics fray, but (asides from my chronic laziness that day) I felt that using pinking shears or hemming two pieces together would detract from the messy, punky image! 

In the process of making this, I discovered how difficult it is to photograph bunting! Especially when outside – the only ‘big’ space suitable – the weather is wet and windy...

Saturday, 3 November 2012



It's already November, which means it's National Novel Writing Month

I have participated since 2010 and love the challenge of writing a 50,000 word novel in 30 days!
Over the years I've become a very lazy writer and never get around to sitting down properly to write my ideas. NaNoWriMo is the ideal challege for me!

The idea of the challenge is 'quantity over quality': you don't go back and edit (you can do that in January, once the Christmas period is over!) you simply sit down and write.

I've added a word count widget in the bar at the right hand side of this blog. Over the past couple of days I've been writing like a mad thing but this year I'm not 'feeling it' as much as the past two years, so who knows where I'll get to...

If you're participating too, let's be writing buddies! :)

Keyboard Key Brooch

Are you a computer geek? Perhaps you know a computer geek. Or maybe you just think that keyboard keys are cool.

I have a bag of keyboard keys, because I think they can look cool (and I’d like to be a computer geek, but I don’t have the brains). They came from various defunct keyboards and although I’ve collected them up with different projects in mind, this brooch happened:

Pacifist Geek Chic?

On top of a new pile of keyboard keys, I acquired a bit of circuit board from a broken ‘computer thingamy’ (I think it was a keypad of some kind, but it came to me with stuff broken off and no housing, so I’m not sure).

Here’s how to make a little keyboard key brooch of your own.

You’ll need:
Keyboard keys
Backing for brooch (I used a piece of circuit board)
Brooch back
Strong glue
Cutters or a small saw

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Mrs Ogg

Every year, I love to carve something a bit more detailed onto my pumpkin for Halloween.
This time around, I racked my brains for ages! I'd done a cat, Dracula, Death (of Discworld fame) and more cats, and Frankenstein's monster.
Being a Discworld fan, I ended up opting to make a stencil of Nanny Ogg, one of Discworld's witches.

I scanned a picture from Nanny Ogg's Cookbook and used the Photoshop stencil-making method that I explained last year.

The pumpkin isn't all that big (large pumpkins seem to be in short supply this year) so the stencil ended up being just 15cm high!

Due to all the little details, this took me just under 5 hours to carve. Phew!

Of course, I made pumpkin soup with all the innards. This year I added (a little too much) curry powder, and subsequently blew everyone's socks off!

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Big Agate Necklace

Months ago, I bought a big agate slice for £2 at a local charity shop, with one intention:

“I’ll make a giant necklace!”

Then it sat in a drawer for ages, partly wire-wrapped, because I hadn’t really decided what I was doing.

Eventually I put this necklace together using an old chain belt, some jewellery chain, small pieces of amethyst, embroidery thread, spikes, and the usual assortment of jump rings and clasps :)

My necklace was inspired by Assad Mounser’s ‘Wild Horses Mega Collar’ (F/W 2011 collection):

Obviously mine is much smaller!

I utterly love Assad Mounser’s designs. Sadly there’s no chance of my affording any of them! So I was happy to be able to pull my own necklace together. It took about a day and a half to get finished--weaving all that chain together with embroidery thread took ages!

Agate slice: charity shop, £2
Chain belt: charity shop purchase, ages ago
Jewellery chain: from crafting stash (left over from another project)
Amethyst: bought last year at a Christmas fair (I used some on my Amethyst collar!)
Jewellery wire: from stash
Spikes: from a necklace (given to me)
Embroidery thread: from stash (given to me)
Findings: from stash
Glue: from stash

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Wool Cape for Winter

Capes have been in a lot of fashion magazines recently, tipped to be the 'thing' for Autumn/Winter.
Happily, I'd been planning to make one using some fabric I was given :)  And here it is!

I made a muff to go with it, too.
This cape cost me just £2.50 to make, because I am jammy.

The outer fabric is 'All Wool Made In England', according to the selvedge! It was free.
The lining is part of an old blanket, £2.50 from a charity shop.
Buttons were free (given to me, like the fabric!) and the press studs were left over from a pack I bought for something else.

The muff is just an offcut of fake fur with a piece of blanket inside for extra warmth, and some grey polycotton over the top! The velvety ribbon is from a reel that my Mum bought me years ago!

I'm pretty pleased with how well this turned out, considering I went at it with a completely gung-ho attitude!
I didn't use a pattern, and drew around a cloak I already had, straight onto the blanket. It took me two whole days to put this together! Of course, there was a bit of seam-ripping and cursing done a few times ;)

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Halloween Printables

free halloween printable BOO!

Halloween is creeping ever closer, and since I felt like playing around in Photoshop, I made these printables!
First off is the bog-standard BOO!

free halloween party printable dracula quote printable

And Halloween wouldn't be complete with a famous quote, so here's one from Dracula. 

free halloween printable halloween menu

Finally, because I was feeling silly, a 'Halloween Menu' of grotesque grub.

The rose brush used is one of my own; I tried to make the spider webs as a brush too but Photoshop wasn't having any of it, so it's a separate layer!

To save or print any of these, either right click and save as for the size you want, or click to print straight from your browser--all links will open in a new tab!

These printables are 100% FREE for non-profit, Personal Use. That means your mantels, vignettes, parties etc. Please do not re-upload these onto other websites without my permission!

Will be linking up to some of the parties listed below!

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

A Top Hat for Halloween

To continue from my recent post about customising hats, here is another that I got my hands (and glue gun) on.

This time around, my inspiration was the hats of Kikirara Shoten, a fantastic purveyor of weird hats, unusual corsets, and unique accessories in Japan.

The hat is a basic top hat from a fancy dress shop. Sadly it’s a bit tight on my head, but I love how it turned out!

I used multipurpose glue to attach gathered lace trim around the brim. This hides the ugly brim edge that screamed ‘I bought this from a party shop’! Then I added a piece of ribbon (to replace the hideous plastic one) and glued on a strip of marabou. 

Everything else is attached with a glue gun. Hooray for glue guns!
This little picture frame feature on one side is my favourite part.

I didn’t buy anything specifically for this hat: aside from the frame and bats, everything was left over from other projects. The frame came from a charity shop (more recently I used another one to make a necklace) and the bats were amongst my Halloween decorations.

Admittedly the bat side doesn’t look as ‘cool’. I didn’t want this side of the hat to draw too much attention from the picture frame, so went for something simpler. In hindsight, perhaps I should add some extra decoration!

Here are some unusual hats I’ve found online that have particularly tickled my fancy.

Will be linking up to the parties listed below!

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Creepy Fingers Tiara

As a cheap Halloween headdress one year, I knocked together this quick, cheap and easy ‘creepy fingers tiara’.

Here’s what I used:
Nine ‘witch fingers’
Alice band
Hot glue & glue gun
Spray paint

First off, I cut a piece of cardboard with tapered ends, wider than the alice band, to give it more of a ‘tiara’ shape and appearance.

I glued this on with hot glue and then added the witch fingers in a slightly arched shape, again with hot glue.

After that, I just gave it a few coats of silver spray paint!

This is a really cheap and somewhat ‘slap-dash’ project, but easy to cobble together at the last minute for a fancy dress party, or for a silly accessory to wear when answering all those calls of ‘Trick or Treat’! 

Will be linking up to the parties listed below!
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