Monday, February 27, 2012

Crafty Update

Not a lot of crafting is getting done lately, or more accurately, not a lot of projects are getting finished lately. During the day I am pretty busy trying to keep my immobile Little Man happy, and at night I am usually too tired to do anything. But I have finished I few things that I wanted to share.

Most of my crafting is done on a spur of the moment sudden inspirational motivation buzz, so it has to be easy, quick and done using stuff I already have, or I will lose interest. I got a sudden urge to try designing and making a mermaid dress one day, and it turned out pretty awesome, except it is too small for Little Princess. She has had a growth spurt, and all of a sudden she's got some chub on her usually stick thin frame, which is great, but very inconvenient. The dress I made fits her, just, but its a little bit too tight and movement is near impossible, so not very practical.

 I've recently become a little bit obsessed with polymer clay, and watching video tutorials on YouTube. I made these two pendants last night, and the interchangeable necklace was made from bits of a necklace and a bracelet out of my junque stash. There are about a million videos on how to make a polymer clay robot, so I didn't follow any particular one, just took ideas from them and made it up as I went along. For the steam punk heart I used this awesome two part video tutorial. The heart locket in the middle actually opens, but I haven't put anything inside it yet. Tonight I am going to make an owl and maybe a crown.

This little shadow box was another random spur of the moment idea. I saw these dice in a dollar store, and I thought they would make cool feet for some kind of games themed box. When I got home I had a look around for a box or something and found this shadow box I got from a thrift store a while ago. It was pretty ugly, painted a gross yellow/green with some ugly flower thing inside. So I pulled it apart, painted it with a few coats of black acrylic paint, sanded it back a bit to make it look distressed, and filled it with game themed bits and pieces out of my stash. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Nature Explorer Kit

I put together this kit for on of Little Princess's friends, who is turning 5 soon. I got the idea from here, but didn't have the time to make the bag, so I thought I would just put the kit together with a bag I already had.

My kit includes:
> A compass.
> A dynamo torch.
> Five little specimen jars with holes in the lids.
> A magnifying glass.
> Binoculars.
> A sketch pad.
> A note pad.
> A set of coloured pencils.
> A mutlicoloured pen.
> Two fabric drawstring bags.
> A small tin.
> Khaki shoulder bag with pockets.

It was lots of fun to put this kit together, and at some stage I will do one for Little Princess as well, but I will have to make a bag for hers.
The labels on the note pad, sketch pad, tin and drawstring bags were from the original tutorial above. I printed directly onto the fabric for the little drawstring bags, then used this tutorial to make the bags. The label on the front of the shoulder bag I made using clip art from MS Word, also printed on fabric.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

How to Make a Flower & Leaf Press

I'm working on another gift for a daycare friend, a Nature Explorer Kit, which I will share when it's finished. One of the things I wanted to include in the kit was a flower press, so I had a look around the net to find a tutorial to make one. I only found a couple of tutorials which involved using power tools (danger danger), so I decided to make it up, and I thought I would share how I did it.
If you know me, or have been following my blog for a while, you will know that I love to repurpose coasters, and I have a huge collection of them. So when I was looking at my old flower press from when I was a kid, it occurred to me that it is about the same size as a coaster, and the idea was born.

1. Take two coasters that are not particularly attractive or useful, but make sure they are the same size. 
2. Cover the top of the coasters with whatever paper you choose. I used some pictures of leaves and flowers out of an old children's encyclopaedia. Use a thin layer of mod podge to stick the paper onto the coaster. 
3. Decorate the coaster that will be the top of your flower press. I used stamps to put the words 'Flower and Leaf Press' onto it, then glued on a pressed flower and leaf.
4. Smooth the edges of the coaster using a nail file or fine sandpaper. Once the edges are smooth, put a coat or two of mod podge over the top of both (being careful not to smudge your ink like I did).
5. Layer some pieces of paper between the two coasters. I used a sheet of printer paper, cut to size to fit.
6. Clip on some binder clips or bulldog clips to hold it all together.
To use the press, layer your flowers and leaves between pieces of paper, like a sandwich, making sure there is a layer of paper on the top and bottom, so your nature finds don't get stuck to your coasters. Press it all together and hold tight with the clips. Put in your hot water cupboard, or some other dry, warm spot, for about a week. Pop open and admire your preserved pieces of nature.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Latest Craft addiction

For Christmas my Wonderful Mum gave me a voucher to a local craft store, which I finally got a chance to use last week. The most favourite thing I bought has been a pack of Tim Holtz Fragments - charms, because they are just so awesome!

The clockwork birdie charm was also bought in the same shopping trip, I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it. I didn't want to make it into a necklace because it just didn't quite seem right, so I got some Kilt pins from Spotlight to make it into a brooch. I also got these and these bottle cap images, so I used the pocket watch image inside of one of the charms.

 Then I had to make another kilt pin brooch. I used another charm and a vintage bird image (which I think is from The Graphics Fairy). I did a little mini mixed media collage inside a watch face (inspired by ones found here). Then I added a little polka dot bow, some lace, and a pearl/bead/chain dangle off an old necklace.

I used a larger round charm, some vintage sheet music and another bottle cap image to make a pendant.
And I still have 45 charms left to use, just imagine how much jewellery I can make!

On a completely different subject, Little Princess has finally decided to start wearing headbands!! So of course I had to make her a couple, because I have been dying to do this for 4 years now. The crown was made using a cuttlebug die, some self-adhesive glitter craft foam and some felt. The yellow and blue one was made to go with her "fancy clothes", which is a frilly blue skirt and a yellow top with a cute tulle bow.