Tuesday, 31 July 2012

A Confession

Okay, so I have a little confession to make.

I bought things. Crafty things.

But only a little bit--that's okay, right? Plus they were get-it-or-forget-it, you-won’t-see-this-again things.

First, on a rare trip to Worthing, I found it was market day, and through the drizzle I saw this gorgeous fabric:

It was just £3 per metre! I fell in love with the combination of gold with splashes of pink and purple, the velvety flock and the ethnic patterns. Gorgeous! I bought it with a bedspread in mind, but need to check how it washes first.

(Yes, I have made a mental note of that incredibly cheap market stall!)

As for the second addition to my stash, it was just something little that I’ve been lusting after for ages...

Watch faces! I’ve seriously admired some jewellery that uses old watch faces, but not known where to get them for a reasonable price. These were in a box of ‘odds and sods’ in the charity shop, and I paid £1 for them.

Now though, I’ll definitely not buy any more for my stash. Nuh-uh. No way. Not going to happen.

(I hope!)

Saturday, 28 July 2012

A Few Little Random Photographs

Every so often, I'll take a photograph with the intention of sharing it here.
Then it never happens, usually because I want to make longer posts rather than just share one photo.

So this is a little image-dump of photographs I've accumulated over the months!

First off is the fulfilment of a request :)

Terry of These Peas Taste Funny and Write.Create.Connect commented on my Amethyst Collar:
I really want to see you modelling it,...I wonder if you can be convinced. :)
...yep, I can!  :D
I had a haircut last Saturday and dyed it Tuesday...it was meant to come out purple but didn't turn out so good. But that's okay, I like this random colour! Was also trying out some green mascara and eyeliner that sister #1 gave me.
Excuse the frazzled expression. I blame the heat and lack of sleep!

Moving on!

This is the heron that frequents the pond near my house. Usually he (she?) sits on the far side, but on the day I took this picture, he was on the near side, oblivious to all the commotion coming from the builders next door. Of course I still had to zoom in a bit, but this birdy was not going to allow himself to be bothered by humans with cameras.
Unusual, since normally he takes off the moment anybody goes near the pond :)

Herons look quite strange when they fly, I think! They look like they belong in the time of dinosaurs!

This is a necklace I made recently. I won't be posting a tutorial because I didn't take photographs as I made it. This was one of those, 'I'm bored, what stuff can I stick together?' projects!
The mini picture was 50p in a charity shop--I bought five of them several years ago with various crafty projects in mind! The chain was from a junk/scrap drawer, I'm not sure what it's original use was because it seems an unusual shape--anyone have any ideas?
Originally the beads were one of those crystal bracelets that were all the rage about ten years ago! The elastic had worn so I took off the beads and kept them for future use! To attach them to the chain, I used eye pins. It was a bit fiddly, but I like the end result.

Mirrors and trays at a Morrocan market that happened in a nearby town. I didn't by anything but this place was full of beautiful furniture and decor!

This door, also at the Moroccan market, particularly tickled me. Not only does it look like it has a face, but I love how it was set up to stand in the middle of the pathway--a door to another realm!

The market also sold jewellery, traditional food (cooked fresh!), handbags, trinket boxes and things like soap, beauty products and herbs. It was really lovely to wander around it, despite the weather! I didn't buy anything this time around as I was rather lacking in money, so I hope next time I'll have something to spend on a lovely piece of jewellery, some delicious-smelling soaps, or maybe a little trinket box.
And of course, those traders do love to haggle :)

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Amethyst Collar DIY

DIY Amethyst Collar 

This amethyst collar is a project I’ve had in mind for ages!
Inspired by Assad Mounser’s 'Rocks Off' collar, I put this together using a plain gold-coloured choker I bought on a trip to Bluewater back in May and some of the amethyst chips that I wrote about previously.

I love Assad Mounser's designs. If I had lots of money to spend on awesome jewellery, it would be gone in seconds on this brand :)

cystal collar tutorial

Essentially my choker was easy to put together, but there were a couple of times when I could have done with an extra hand or two!

Read on for a tutorial!

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Slash that Stash!

Do you ever get the feeling that your crafting stash is taking over your space?

I’ve made a resolution to craft using only what I have.

I’ll not buy more.

To try and stick to this, I’m sharing these pictures of my stash so it’s here for anyone to see that I have enough!

Also, I'd really appreciate suggestions for projects based on the crafting materials and tools I already have. So if you've got an idea, please do comment and let me know! :)

This drawer also houses some half-finished pieces and a couple of little boxes of charms, which I took out in order to take the picture.
Otherwise it’s beads, findings, jewellery to break up/broken jewellery and small pieces of crystal.
The rest of my jewellery-making materials won’t fit in the drawer, so live under the bed:

More beads, and tools...

Then of course there are fabrics. I’ve shared pictures of these cases previously, and wrote about the tags I made for them.

The amount of fabric has remained pretty constant--as I use some, I end up getting more!

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Mindset: Negative to Positive

(Note: This post is entirely my opinion and shouldn’t be taken as professional advice--I am by no means a professional!)

Normally my blog posts are all about crafting and material things.

Today I want to post about something completely different: attitude.

Kitty got 'tood

Specifically, turning negative into positive (and generally being the kind of person people want to be around--rather than the type people avidly avoid).

It’s very easy to be negative.
I was a very negative person for many years, including my years as an ‘emo teenager’!

But negativity isn’t good, not for yourself, or for your relationship with others.
People don’t like to hang out with negative people. I’m not talking of an old-fashioned snipe-fest with friends, but a general negative attitude.

I’m no expert in the psychology of the human mind, so all I can do is write from my own experiences of finding a more positive attitude.

What will be, will be.’

For me, this was a hard concept to process; it meant admitting that I cannot control everything and that sometimes, I have to deal with things I’d rather not deal with!

If you can do something about it, calm down and do it. If you can’t do anything, calm down because it is out of your hands.’

Granted it might be pretty hard to calm down if some massive drama is going on! Really, it’s about acceptance.
Basically, if something is out of my control, I can stress and rage all I like but the only impact will be on myself and those around me--and it will be negative!

Of course there is that age-old adage:

“If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”

…which is a fantastic piece of advice!

You might think, ‘But what if I’m asked an opinion and my opinion is negative?’

In which case, look for the positive.

A friend asks your opinion on a piece of art that you think sucks?
DON’T say: ‘It sucks! How is that even art?!’
DO say: ‘You know, I can see how much work has gone into that. It must have taken ages! I admire that people can sit down and spend so long creating in this way.’

Your sister has stepped out of the changing room asking ‘How do I look?’ but she looks (in your opinion) terrible?
DON’T say: ‘That looks awful, your bum looks huge! Hurry up and take it off before somebody sees.’
DO say: ‘That colour looks great on you, but have you thought of trying an A-line style to show off your tiny waist?’

How do I look?!

An acquaintance is telling you about a film you have no interest in, nor any intention of seeing--in fact you hate the lead actor with a fiery passion.
DON’T say: ‘I don’t care about films like that. The main actor does my head in, too!’
DO say: ‘It sounds like you really enjoyed it! Though it’s really not my kind of film, I can understand why people find it so engaging.’

A colleague tells you he loves Lady Gaga. You can’t stand Lady Gaga.
DON’T say: ‘I hate Lady Gaga. She’s a faker and her costumes look stupid.’
DO say: ‘She’s really rocked the world with her crazy visuals, hasn’t she! I don’t listen to her music, but the fact she can pull off all those mad outfits is pretty impressive.’

I’m not talking about doling out insincere compliments, because those are pretty transparent. Instead, I hope these examples help to illustrate how a negative opinion can be expressed in a more positive way. Doing so helps those around you to identify your opinions without being hurt by harsh or dismissive words!

Being positive is also about the small things, too.

It’s raining? Good, that’ll save watering the garden later.
Somebody ate the last KitKat? Oh well, it will save me the calories.
The last KitKat was yours? They can buy me two more to say sorry, muahaha!
You broke a nail? At least it wasn’t a bone.
You caught every single red light on your journey to work? Well, it will give you extra time to chill before joining the daily grind.
It’s going to make you late? Bad traffic is a perfectly reasonable excuse. Unless you work from home ;)
The favourite dish you always order at the restaurant is sold out? Great! That gives you the opportunity to try something completely new!

(This last one always happens to me!)

There are slightly bigger things that have happened that I could have been negative about, but I try to find the funny or positive side...

(It’s anecdote time!)
On holiday once, I was riding a horse along a sandy riverbank – one of those horse-riding-for-dummies things – and the horse, name of Millie, suddenly stopped. She ignored my encouragement for her to go and instead? Sat down.
Millie then proceeded to have a sand bath with me still in the saddle.
She then jumped up and ran off, leaving me sprawled across the sand like a fool.
I ended up with a huge bruise on my leg, but I found the whole thing hilarious!
The bruise became something to show off to friends for the period it was there, and I was glad it was just a bruise, not a break!
(Sidenote: the picture is not Millie!)

Admittedly, despite all the above I still have days where I feel the whole world is against me, but this definitely doesn’t happen as often as it used to!

It is hard to fight off the negative thoughts and feelings sometimes, after all nobody is superhuman! But keep at it.

Make positivity a habit.

If you're looking for crafts, I do have a few in the pipeline! Just a few more pics and some write-ups and I'll have things to share--what with the recent torrential rain I've been limited with space and natural light to take good pictures. But hey, at least the hose pipe ban has been lifted! :D

Friday, 6 July 2012

Beaded Tassel Earrings

My big projects are done!
Now that I’ve got more time to craft and blog about it, I’m hoping to update here more often.

beaded tassel earring tutorial

Today I’d like to share a tutorial for these beaded tassel earrings. They were inspired by some I saw in a shop a while ago; unfortunately I couldn’t pin them so I can’t share a pic of the inspiration!

This is a good craft for someone who is more confident in making jewellery; however this tutorial does briefly cover some of the basic jewellery-making techniques needed. 

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