Holy holly wreath, time certainly flies when you're having fun. Or when you're insanely busy. It was nice to spend most of November getting ready for christmas, I made all of our christmas decorations in time for me to leave for England at the beginning of December. We had to put the tree up a fair few weeks early so I could enjoy it before I left, but it was definitely worth it. I really fell in love with decorating this year, and most of ours are hand made so it was nice to spend time making things just for us.
One of my favourites this year are my reindeer constellations. I just love the moon and stars, and I drew these little designs originally for a few pebbles I had in a bowl. I started out with the heads as that was all that would fit on the stones, and doodled those with a white gel pen. The star details I added after with a little turquoise paint...
Afterwards I thought it'd be nice to have the full constellations, it was kind of fun figuring out the heads. But Pete told me I was drawing too many connections between the stars, so after a few attempts I got the hang of it with Dasher, and went through all eight.
I got some lovely navy blue card and silvery embroidery thread, and made a 4" x 6" card for each reindeer. They came out really nice, I'm really pleased with them. Hung up all together on the wall they're the perfect addition to our christmas line-up of decorations this year.
I resized my drawings and printed them out at the 4" x 6" size. I cut the card to the same size and lined them up, using a bulldog clip to hold the image in place. Using a pin tool I punched holes through the stars, so that when I removed the print out I could easily see where to thread.
Using a needle I pulled the embroidery thread through the holes, using the drawings as reference. I used a back stitch to keep the thread in place, doing the first stitch as normal then going backwards. The back looked a little bit crazy, but the front design worked nicely.
To add a little extra I added little stars with a silver pen around the thread, and a hand stamped name tag for each reindeer.
I made stencils for each of the eight reindeers, if you'd like to make some constellations feel free to download and use them. They're zipped files so you'll need to unzip them after download, the left is all the reindeer individually, the right are 3 printable pages containing them all and cutting border.
They make great hanging decorations, but if you fancy it they make nice christmas cards too, just glue them onto the front of a folded piece of card to hide the back. Enjoy!
So this was stage two of my little halloween shrine this year. I decided my skulls needed a little company, but I don't really like going too much over the top with decorations. Less is more, so I created this super mini star garland to give a backdrop to my skull candle holders.
This was so mega easy to make, and they look awesome. Whatever colours you want to do will look amazing, I chose matching colours to the skulls I made at the weekend to keep the theme going.
1. Start cutting out your stars with the star cutter. I got mine from the craft store for like a buck fiddy, they have them at Michaels and usually most dollar stores. For every one star you'll need 2 sides, so however many you want to make e.g. 12 stars on the garland, you'll need 24 cut out.
2. Glue a star and place the thread cutting through the middle. Take another star of the same colour (or different colour, whatever you want) and stick it to the first, keeping the thread in place. Hold it down for a little while to make sure the glue really sticks tight
3. Leave about 3 inches of plain thread, then repeat the process with the opposite colour. Or the same colour. Use five colours, it's really up to you. Go crazy!
And that's it. Rinse and repeat about 12 times and you've got yourself a tiny garland my friend. Hang where appropriate. Enjoy. If you like those and want to make some of your own,click here for the tutorial.
The last few weeks I've been out of commission thanks to some weird things happening with my neck and back. I've wanted to make these for so long, but so far my weekends have included sitting on the sofa with 5 pillows, a hot water bottle, and a big batch of deep heat. This was the first weekend I finally started feeling better, and as halloween is fast approaching, I thought I'd better get cracking on some decorations before I miss it! So after a long overdue craft space tidy-up, I got to work.
These are pretty easy to make, they take a little time but are worth it in the end, they look super cool and are a great way to refresh the standard halloween decor. I went with turquoise instead of orange, just for a change of pace. And because everything I do involves turquoise somehow...
I got these decorative skulls from the local market store, they came on a plastic chain and were the perfect size. Take a look around, these ones are pretty common but any skulls will do, as long as they're hollow.
1. With the scissors or xacto knife, cut a small hole in the top of your skulls, about the size of a penny. The plastic on mine was pretty thick, so be careful, wear protective gloves and cut away from yourself / fleshy areas or fingers you want to keep.
2. Fill the skulls with plaster of paris. Check the box for instructions on how to mix. When you're done do NOT put any extra down the drain - it hardens down there and causes no end of trouble. Wait for it to dry and then crack it to throw it in the trash. This stuff dries pretty quicky so don't hang about - get it mixed and get it poured.
This will make your skull heavy enough to balance the weight of the candle. You could try other methods, maybe sand, but this worked for me.
3. Leave the plaster to dry completely, usually overnight. When it's dry, you can start to decorate any way you want, using the acrylic paint. I used turquoise and added just the details of the empty sockets and mouth. On the other one I painted it black and used a silver sharpie to add the details. Colour coordinated my candles too, although be careful when buying coloured candles - make sure they're coloured all the way through and not just a coat on the outside.
4. When the paint is dry, use the super glue to glue the candle to the top of your skull. I chopped mine down from their original size, as they would have toppled over, and it gave a flatter surface to glue.
5. After the super glue set I used a lighter to melt the bottom of the candle, so it melted all over the skull and looked wicked awesome.
Et voila - mega easy skull candles. Once the candle burns down you can either snap it off and glue another one in its place, or melt the new one into the gap.
I've got a few other halloween decoration DIYs coming up this week, just in time. Come back tomorrow and see how to make a matching star garland for your spooky skull shrine - happy halloween!
I wanted to try this awesome idea from Paper & Stitch, Brittni has a great tutorial on how to make plaster houses using milk cartons. When I first saw the tutorial I thought they'd make perfect bookends, but wanted to try it out with a mini version before I got too adventurous.
The tutorial has some really cool simple colours, but I wanted to add a little more detail. I've got red brick houses in mind for the book ends, but right now I've started with a little sea-foam green and blue/black slate style roof for my beach-side cottage. The blue shutters came out nice against the green, and I'm really pleased with how the plants turned out.
I love these, they're a brilliant idea and I'm excited to make some more. Make sure you check out the tutorial over at Paper & Stitch - click here to see how to make a little house of your own
As mentioned before, a good way I like to stay on top of my productivity is to make a to-do list of all the things I need to get done. It helps me map out my tasks and tackle them one at a time, and gets them all out of my head so there's more room in there for creative thinking. Plus my memory is awful, so if it doesn't go down on paper, it's probably never getting done.
There's just something about list making that is incredibly addictive. Neat little lines filled with beautiful cursive and endless possibilities... And let's not forget that sick thrill we all get when we tick something off. It's like my heart is filled with helium when i tick that tiny box...
Anyway, recently I've had an increase in the amount of projects I'm taking on, and it's getting hard to keep track. So I bought a few of these pocket sized notebooks and used a paint pen to label them with different categories. They came in two other colours, but obviously the turquoise won out.
The paint pen is easy to use, not too messy, and won't rub off after it's dried.
I just free handed it with the pen straight away, but I guess you could plan it in pencil first if you wanted to do a cool design.
You can get paint pens from any craft store and in any colour. I got mine from Michaels, 2 of them for around $3.
If you make a mistake, it's really easy to fix too, all you need is a bit of rubbing alcohol. Make sure you fix it right away though, before the paint dries.
Whenever an idea strikes me or I think of something I need to get done it usually ends up on a scrap of paper or the back of an envelope. This then gets lost or recycled by my well-meaning boyfriend and all my best plans are gone forever. This way, I can write them down somewhere safe and always know where I need to go back to. If I'm out and about I'll write notes in my diary then come back and jot them all down in the right book.
Having an organized system that is also aesthetically pleasing has helped me be way more productive. Instead of a chore, it's actually quite nice to look through my tiny books and find a project to work on. All the right ideas are in all the right places, and my head isn't nearly as scattered as it used to be.
Try not to deny it, everyone loves a good list. We've all got our favourite methods of crossing things off too, whether it be the classic line through, the controversial scribble out or the fancy box with a tick. My particular method of choice is the highlighter. That way I can see what I've written after crossing it out, hold on to that victory a touch longer...
If lists are your thing, this is a simple, cheap and easy way to keep track of your ideas, projects and goals that looks good and will make it all the sweeter to get stuff done.
my friend ricky drew this awesome picture for a friend of his. he brought it round last night and i helped him with some of the outer spots and with the outlining. i think it looks really cool, i love how the spots spread from the face, and the eyes are really awesome. i think the idea was to fill the spots on this one with neon colours...
this then paved the way for other similarly artistic ideas, and we decided to experiment with black card and tippex pens. the obvious choice for this project was zebras, so we had a practice round with smaller images. the next step is to do one big image, but white paint might be better for that, as the tippex pens run out quickly, and aren't as smooth. i didn't mind the texture and the messy quality, i kind of liked it. using the pens was fun too, but after a while you have to squeeze them pretty hard, and it begins to hurt you hands.
all you have to do is get some black paper or card and an image to copy or try. start with pencil and draw out the picture or pattern. a handy tip i figured out was to mark the spaces you'll be colouring in with the tippex as you go with pencil first. i just put a quick crosshatch in mine, so that i could distinguish the black areas from white.
then just go for it with a tippex pen, outline first and then fill in the spaces you marked out to be white. easy....
it turned out really cool. it's not perfect, but i like that quality about it. if i wanted it to be perfect i would have used paint...
we don't have a frame for it yet so it's just resting on my shelf, but when i get one from the thrift store i think i'll hang it in the bathroom, maybe with another one to match. i took a really nice photo of a zebra's face at the zoo when my mum came to visit, i'll give that a go and hang them together.
i love this project because it's an easy and cheap way to decorate, and you don't have to be a world class master with a paintbrush...
After seeing this project floating around on pinterest a few times i decided to give it a go. it's really easy and cost me less than a dollar to make. with the added bonus of never having to buy a calendar ever again, it gets super thrifty bonus points.
if you want to make one of these you'll need...
paint chips: these are free from pretty much any hardware store. mine were pretty long so i took 16 and cut them in half. you'll need 31 squares in total, plus a couple extra for notes if you want them.
picture frame: mine is one of those big ones from ikea with plastic instead of glass so it's really light. glass works well too but it will be heavier. i also urge anyone wanting to do this use a frame from the thrift store or one you already have as it's much better for the environment. i found mine abandoned in the alley, so it was free.
background: i used a piece of black card to match the frame, but any colour paper/card would do. you can even use wrapping paper for a cheap and easy background.
tools: knife + ruler/ scissors, blu-tac/tape, dry erase marker.
we went down to home depot and i got an array of different colours in the same hue family, plus a couple others that went well. i'm into blues and turquoise right now, but i needed soft colours that could be written over. i think they look pretty nice together...
i cut the lettering off each end, then folded the remaining rectangle in half. i cut down the middle of the fold so that i had two equal sized squares, and repeated about 16 or 17 times...
i arranged the squares on the front of the frame so that i could see which colours looked best next to each other, and make sure i had room for 31 squares. if they don't fit in your frame, you can cut them to size or share one square for sat/sun etc.
once i had them in order, i numbered them 1 -31 in the bottom corner with sharpie. i opened the frame and flipped them all so that the numbers would be in the right order, then pete helped me blu-tac each one on the back to hold them in place.
i lay the black card over top and flattened it down to stick them on before putting the back of the frame in place.
and that's pretty much it. you can then use your dry erase marker to fill in the days of the week on the right date each month. i didn't have enough room to leave a space to write the name of the month on, but i guess that's something you could do. i figured i would know what month it was without looking at the calendar...
the dry erase markers that we use have magnets on one side of the lid for sticking to the fridge, so i got one of those little craft magnets out of my little craft kit and glued it onto the frame. that way i never have to go hunting for the pen whenever i need to write something down.
the last three squares along the bottom are just blank for little notes and messages that may have to be written down.
there are other little bits and pieces you could add to this project i'm sure, but for now i'm happy with the way this one turned out. it was so simple to make, took around half an hour if that, and all i had to buy was the black card background, a grand total of $0.79
hopefully now i'll be a little more organised, but if not, the calendar is not to blame....
I made this awesome present for my friend lauren, I think she's gona love it. she loves sugar skulls and day of the dead art, and religious iconogrophy. when i saw this statue at the thrift store I was going to give it to her how it came, because it was pretty cool to begin with. but then I got really excited about the idea of decoratng him in that style.
it took a while and there are a few smudges here and there, but I'm really pleased with the way it turned out. she just got word that she's moving into a pretty sweet new apartment in the new year, so this will sit pretty on her new furniture.
although it took a long time this project was pretty fun. I might go and find some more cool statues, turn them into seth macbeth illustrations...
Another card commission, this time for Pete's dad. if anyone else is interested in custom cards there's no extra charge, these ones are just $5 each!
i've been working hard to get a lot of stock ready for a few christmas craft fairs coming up this month. once it's all ready i'll be posting the photos up here, and adding a few more things to the shop, i know it's been a while! time flies when it's nearly christmas...
the apartment is a mess right now, covered in glitter and christmas cards. i want to get enough made to cover both the shop and the fairs, so i'm on a production line right now. this is the couch, covered in my cards and gift tags. there's more to come too.
there's also a lot of christmas decorations in the works, when i get a chance i'll put a few pictures up of those too, but for now i'm in making mode...
we'll see what happens with the craft fairs, im hoping i'll get rid of a lot of this stuff in a short amount of time!
started messing around with photo manipulation a bit more today, made this picture, and although it is really weird, i quite like it.
the girl fox looks really shifty, like she's some sort of femme fetale. i'd watch out for her if i were that guy...
i think i'll try doing some more of these style pics, they're really fun.