Thursday, 29 January 2015

Macrame hanging planters

After a few long months studying, then a couple more painting the house of a friend, I'm finally free for a while. Yesterday was my first day off and today I was ready to get a project done.

I had bought these tea light candle holders a few years ago thinking I would do something to them to make them more interesting. But I looked at them today and started thinking how cute they would look with succulents in them and how I had seen stacked macrame pot holders on Pinterest a while back. I couldn't find the pin I remembered but found some simple tutorials and came up with a design I thought would look good with such small containers.


So, here's what I did. The string was just something I had picked up cheap and was sitting on my craft table. I think there's nothing more satisfying than working with what you've got; taking what may seem to be totally unconnected, unspectacular resources, and making something worthwhile out of them. This project took me around 3 hours.

Now of course you can put anything you want in your containers - paper, plastic, or real flowers; plants; even pens/knick-knacks.
But I wanted to put succulents in. They are so easy to grow from cuttings, simply break off a piece from an already growing plant, chuck it in some soil, and water it little and not too often. This also means they are low maintenance, which is good for someone like me who tends to kill plants.

I can't wait until my cute succulents are more established! 
Happy crafting :) 

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Red-Riding-Hood Coat

My cousin told me a while back that she would love me to knit something for her little girl. I had this red yarn in my basket that I'd been staring at for a while, and saw an inspiration Red-Riding-Hood style baby jumper on Pinterest, so I set to work on this. I worked without a pattern, more of a general idea of where I was heading, but I think it turned out pretty well. I requested a few measurements and worked from that. I've been thinking about putting together a pattern of it, so let me know if you're interested and it will likely motivate me to actually get it done.

My gorgeous little second cousin is only four so it's a small coat and I knitted the whole body piece in one (so there are no seams down the sides) and only knitted the sleeves separately. They live in the South Island (of New Zealand) so I had to take these photos quickly before handing the coat off to my uncle to transport down. Anyway, here is the finished product.

I used simple crochet to attach the toggles and make some loops. I'm not a strong crocheter so just did my best and kept it simple.

It's a bit tricky to see (the close-up photo didn't turn out well) but I also put some elastic thread through the waist. It really gave the coat more shape.

And here is the photo my cousin sent me of the stunning wee model. Great fit me thinks.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Bath mat with sheet yarn

I used my sheet yarn (see here for the tutorial) and used three colours of sheets create a striped bathmat. 

I used a simple knit stitch so that one side is plain stripes:

And the other side has cross over small stripes.

I intend to make a round the toilet mat, and a door mat using sheet yarn.

No sew sheet yarn

Sheets that are ripped or have a localised stain become unusable on beds but are ideal for making sturdy yarn.

Firstly, the hems need to be unpicked or ripped off so that all the edges look like this:

Next, cut slits into one edge, about an inch apart (or whatever size suits your project).

Pull on a tab will create a rip that can be continued for the entire length. By ripping rather than cutting it the strips will be an even width.

Each strip will look like this:

There will be some loose threads that must be separated from the strip so that it looks clean, like this:

And you'll end up with leftover thread like this:

To join the strips first make a hole in each end, about 2cm in length:

Thread one end through the other:

Fold the end that had been threaded through back onto itself:

And thread the strip through the hole on its end:

Pull it all the way through:

And pull it tight:

Repeat over and over, adding all the strips and then roll them into a ball:

Using inch thick strips I knitted it together with 6mm needles, this was a bit tricky but made a nice thick knit:

Happy knitting!  :)

Thursday, 7 November 2013

New Watercolours

Well, it's been far too long since my last post. I've been so caught up in university work that although I have been doing some crafts, nothing much had been completed, and I didn't have the energy to update this blog. Nevertheless, university is practically over and I have celebrated by diving headfirst into crafting. It's been bliss.

Over the past couple of days I worked on these two paintings. A black robin:

and a hedgesparrow:

They seem to make my house look so much more cheerful. Would be nice to try and keep these ones. My paintings always seem to get sold or I give them away. It's all good fun though.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Bird and Foliage Embroidery

I've got soo many projects on the go and can't seem to stick to one, but I've been itching to post, so I thought I'd share my progress on one of them. I've never really done embroidery in the style I'm doing it, although I did some cross-stitch when I was younger.
Anyway, all I did was draw straight onto the fabric with pencil a design I liked - a bird sitting on a cherry tree branch (inspired by the cherry tree in my garden) - and have been stitching according to that sketch. I'm sort of making it up as I go. This all white, but I'm already pondering the possibilities of realistic stitchings of birds with all their natural colours. Could be wonderful methinks.
Well here is the half finished piece. I'm a bit proud really :)
The idea right now is to make it into a cushion.

More and better pictures to follow when I'm finished.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Knitted Owl Cushion Cover

The knitting side of this project has been finished for a long time, and I have just recently found the inclination to finish it, which was to sew and stuff an inner, and sew the knitted cover around it. I have found that the addition of an inner lining made out of a non-stretchy material (rather than simply stuffing the knitted cover directly) is essential, or the pillow stretches and refuses to stay "cushion-shaped".

I used the following pattern for my cushion cover which is simply a drawing I did on plain grid paper, and then used the grid to create the pattern. Each square on the paper corresponds to 4 stitches, as can be seen fron the way the pattern is staggered. I then only had to choose my colours and pay close attention to the pattern as I went.

 So here is the completed project from the front. I chose colours that I hoped would suit the seating area I planned to put it. I also went over it afterwards with a darning needle and some black wool, giving it an outline.

I decided to do a striped back in the same colours. I rather like it.

And this is the side. I sewed it up by hand, and the stitches were really handy in making sure I was sewing in a neat, straight line, I only needed to follow the knitting.

Here is the cushion in its new home. I think it suits the curtains and vases, but I may have to do something about that other cushion, it's cramping my new cushion's style ;)