Sunday, 4 September 2011

Been M.I.A. but still crafting

I haven't had a minute to post anything the last few weeks.  Well, I have had a minute but assumed noone liked reading incomprehensible babble written at midnight after a long day at work.

Here's some stuff I've been doing and will pop up some quick posts soon:

  • Craft desk progress
  • Stripey pencil skirt
  • Updated recyclables
  • Mantle clock
  • Halter dresses
I'm sure there's more on the go around the house, mostly half done projects or projects I have materials for, a plan and no time to start!

Blogging soon...


Friday, 12 August 2011

Easy Art

Council clean-up is one of my favourite things in my neighbourhood.  There are just mountains of junk lining the streets (I mean, really mountains - taller than me!) and on the Saturday evening before collection, people wander the streets rifling through them.  Some people seem very organised, some not so much.

An old cat bed gets taken... cat bed mysteriously makes its way back to our front verge a day later...  And a broken cricket bat has appeared... Along with a kid's play set!

I think I literally gasped aloud when I saw three gigantic canvases in front of someone's house.  One was so much taller than me that I couldn't physically move it down the street, but the other two I tripped and teetered my way back with...

I was going to make art!

But then I noticed that the uhh... "canvas" part wasn't really canvas, it was a gauze-like fabric that of course paint seeps through and, well... this was not going to work!

But I still had giant frames and very big very blank walls...

So, I made fabric canvases instead.  Super easy to do, only takes about an hour and - ta da! - instant wall art!

If you aren't as lucky as me to score some free frames, they are actually not that difficult to make.

Once you have a frame...

... Line up your print so that it's straight otherwise it looks a bit wonky once you hang it even though it's not (I didn't pay enough attention to that with the first one as you can see...)

Then I used tape to hold it in place...

... Hot glued all the way down the back, keeping the fabric taut... (you go through a LOT of hot glue on a canvas this size!)

You can tack in some nails for reinforcement on the corners and sides or if you have a staple gun just skip the glue and use a bunch of staples!

Then add a string to the back for hanging using screws....


Friday, 5 August 2011

Before and After: Laminate Bookcase Makeover

Quick before and after shots of my chipped, broken, ugly brown laminate... oh, the hideousness!

Look at it, sitting sadly, it was among the junk to be thrown to the council clean-up wolves...

My favourite pantone mug is the colour duck egg blue and it's... well, it's just so pretty!  And the inspiration for my new living room accents

I didn't take any photos of the process of revamping this bookcase - thankfully there's a second one!  When I get the time to do the next one (and the rain stops) I'll take some step-by-step pics. 


And, yes, just in case you're wondering over the bookcase contents, it's all mine.  Yep, I am a geek... history books, sci-fi shows, scrabble, comic books (or graphic novels to be more precise). 
And I can't even blame the other half - he doesn't read comic books! Gasp!

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Why my bathroom smells like a kitchen

My inner hippy loves to use all natural ingredients.  Natural products are cheap, plentiful and give amazing, unexpected results.  The other day I made some new tasty (well, probably not really) body scrubs that my skin is just eating up.

all natural, yummy smelling  home-made scrub

Coffee scrub
Coffee is said to be a great stimulant for your skin and apparently does good things for circulation... did you know most cellulite creams have caffeine in them?!  Plus that smell is great to kick start the day!

1/2 cup ground coffee
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sweet almond oil

Vanilla scrub
I pretty much want to eat anything that smells like vanilla.  Candles, lotions, creams... if it's vanilla I'll be sitting there smelling it all day!  Vanilla scents are also great for relaxing.

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup sweet almond oil
2-3 drops vanilla essence

Lemony citrus scrub
Lemon smells are so refreshing and invigorating.  The vitamin C is great and lemon's another one that it's known for being a good circulation stimulant.

1 cup sea salt
1/2 cup olive oil
3-4 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp orange zest

The best thing is that it's so easy to make these with supplies you already have in your pantry and they smell and feel amazing on your body!  They're so easy and versatile... you can use sugar or salt for the scrub, most oils and experiment with all kinds of flavours and scents.  It's so much fun to come up with your own formulas or add a cute label to give as a pretty homemade gift.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Before & After: Nautical Lamp

First DIY for our guest room redo: A New Lamp.

(and by guest room, I obviously mean the cat's room... have fun trying to kick him out of your bed, future guests)

Initially, I wanted a really country feel to the guest room, so naturally I get a nagging idea in my head for a nautical lamp that I really want to make.  Now just to decide whether the lamp is staying and the room is changing or vice versa...

I did have a really ugly cheap lamp in the room, but I kept seeing this simple little white one every time I visited Spotlight that just fit what I wanted to do.

before shot: plain boring old lamp

Starting with recovering the shade, adding the fabric as diagonal stripes to contrast with the rope base. 

Using the shade as a template, cut, wrap and pin to get the fit right.  Then folding a seam inside the shade, finishing with hot glue to secure it.

To add the rope base, I started with hot glue on the rope on the bottom for the whole circumference, then every 3 turns of the rope, I added a bit of hot glue to secure at the back.

It was such a quick and easy project and now we have a cute new lamp!

I wanted to title this post "I love lamp" but then I thought maybe no-one else would giggle at it but me and I'd just sound all lame, loving my lamp and all.  Ah, I always amuse myself with movie quotes.  No one else, usually, just myself.

What do you think?  Should I change my guest room or should another space be getting the nautical treatment??  I can hear the anchors motifs calling me...

Monday, 25 July 2011

Weekend cooking adventures: the big purple Fail.

I've been wanting to try this yummy blueberry cream cheese frosting recipe on some vanilla cupcakes for a while. Now, I'm not a big cupcake maker because we're not really sweet-tooth's at my place.  So this was adventurous for me even though it sounded easy enough...

They look SO good!

But OOPS! ... Mine are a sad, smooshy pink mess!

Make me feel better... tell me, what's your worst cooking disaster?

Meanwhile... whipped up some yummy homemade lemonade!  Doesn't really warm the winter chill but all that vitamin C is good for the immune system.

Haven't made lemonade before?  So easy to do!

Boil a cup of sugar and a cup of water in a saucepan til all dissolved.  Squeeze your lemons into a pitcher (about a half dozen for a litre).  Let the sugar-water cool and add, topping the jug with ice cold water and give it a good stir.  Pop in some slices of fresh lemon and ice cubes.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Sew cute baby gift

My gorgeous wonderful BFF chicky babe is coming to town, which will be the first time I get to see her with her lil baby-belly and I am soooooper excited!

I've had a baby gift sewing project on my to-do list for ages now:

And now I have my spanking new sewing machine (yay!) it was time to get right on sewing!  (thanks to my darling for the early birthday gift!)

It is an easy peasy project ... Provided kitty isn't in a playful mood.  The nights he is, he stalks under the table and I play kitty-intervention every 10 minutes as he has tried to eat or attack...

1. Thread
2. Plastic
3. Ribbons
4. Cloths
5. Scissors
6. Me!

A lot of my seams are a bit off from him trying to attack my feet when the foot pedal gets going.  Apparently, it sounds like fun.

I'm not precious when it comes to sewing.  I take a few shortcuts.  Okay, yeh... I'm a bit impatient!

I bought a big pack of large square nappies so they're lovely and big and pinned a wide strip of scrap fabric down through the middle.

The first two I made, I added the ribbon on after I'd done a seam over the edges..  I think they look lovely and chic without the ribbon too.

On the last few I added the ribbon and then seamed it over the edges of the nappy.  This was a bit of a neater option for the seam.

Unfortunately, I then totally forgot to get a picture of them all finished and stacked neatly... Whoops!  They're now on the other side of the country!

Oh, and we both got asked what we meant by "burp cloth"... There's some books you can read, lads...

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Yay! A new find...

I bought this art-deco looking sideboard from ebay for $10.  TEN buckaroonies!  When we went to pick it up, it was sitting giant warehouse and were told it had been there gathering dust for 10 years.

I tell you, this place was like thrifty heaven.  Rows and rows of old furniture, lumped on top of each other.  Yes, lumped, I tell you!  ;)  Oh my!  The things....  Old hutches, bookcases, a preserving kit, lamps, cabinets, mattresses, seats, sofas, mirrors.... eeeeek!

If I had a bigger car I have a feeling we would've left with more than the sideboard!

The ideas are flowing...

Painty, mouldy, dusty...

... rotting, rusting hardware...

... green carpet?!

It's just dying for some TLC.

A long project started and I already can't wait to see how it scrubs up!

Thursday, 30 June 2011

The Sweeter the Apple

My project hallway is on steroids... I spend weekends cleaning, sanding, destroying, screwing, nailing, hammering, swearing, priming, painting, crying, more painting, gluing, fixing, more cleaning, admiring... 

And at the end of the day, the remains get piled in the hallway to let you know "Hello, I work here".

In the meantime...

Warning:  These are VERY addictive! 

Hang on... Wait... Waaaait.... Why am I warning you?  They're a super healthy snack!

Baked apple chips.  
Sprinkled with a touch of cinnamon and sugar.
Oh, wowsers are they just golden delicious.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Lyrics Love

I'm loving typography as prints right now.  We have so many photos around the house how cute is it to add little words among them?  

I wanted to make a few that had some personal meaning so I used lyrics from songs that meant something to us. 

Fyfe Dangerfield for your auditory pleasure...

And Darwin Deez... Seriously, check both these dudes out their tunes are rockin out my lil eardrums all the time.


Monday, 20 June 2011

Upcycling my Recycling

I’ve had a bottle sitting on my kitchen ledge for months.  It's looked really cute with a ribbon around it and I've known I wanted to do something with it.

Today I finally gave it a makeover and some friends… two pasta sauce jars.

It was so quick and easy to spray paint them all white but the weather didn't make drying easy.

They look pretty just plain white too.

While I was waiting for the paint to dry, I dyed some doilies to decorate them.

To dye the doilies, all you need is some food dye.  Get a dish and add just enough water to soak them in and quite a bit of dye to the dish and dunk them in!  I recommend wearing gloves so you don't end up with blue spotty hands like me!

Dry your pretties by soaking most of the water up with layers of paper towel and leave on a sheet of paper towel until they're all dry.

And here they are on the ledge waiting for some flowers...

    Wednesday, 15 June 2011

    Creatively organised

    I have a job that requires me to be organised... there are deadlines and plans and schedules and milestones and KPIs.

     And so, most people would think, assume and probably wage money that my house would run the same way.  It'd be organised, there'd be a system.

    But the creative side of me lives in a world of CHAOS! 

    There is no method in the madness!

    It's like the Clark Kent in me.  So I'm slowly gathering the creative scraps around the house and organising all my little bits and bobs for easy access and inventorising (that's a word right?) for future projects.

    First step - a ribbon box. 

    I bought a little plastic tray from the dollar store and trimmed a wire coathanger to create a roll holder for the tray.  

    (note to self: get sharp wire cutter, this was much harder than it needed to be!)

    Bending one of the edges over will keep it from sliding out too easily… I worked mine out so that it slotted nicely into the hole below and secures the roll in.  

    But don't bend both or you won't be able to add new ribbons!

    Cute and useful!  Still on the fence whether to paint or decorate it.  

    But at least it's organised.