Friday, 30 March 2012

RIP Suki

On Tuesday I took my cat Suki to the vet to get her teeth cleaned. The thought never crossed my mind that it would be the last time I saw her. She only turned three last month. 

She was my first pet that was truly mine, I picked her as a tiny kitten, everything for her is in my name, I made all the decisions for her, she was my little baby. As soon as I saw the photo of her on the RSPCA site I had to have her. We drove all the way to get her and arrived early to wait for the kittens to be dropped off. We took home this scrawny little kitten, who loved to be cuddled and turned out to be food aggressive! She loved her food, which was totally obvious when you saw her tubby belly. Even though she was fat, she jumped, climbed and ran around like the kitten she still was. She loved to snuggle under the blankets and would stay with me for hours if I felt sick. As she got older she became more scared of other people, and with most visitors she would run and hide when she saw them walking to our door. If it was us coming home she knew, and she would be waiting at the door so she could sneak outside. 

I really miss my little girl and wish I had not taken her to get her teeth cleaned that day.

"It is better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved at all."

Please excuse my absence from my blog and my 365 day challenge, my creativity has disappeared, as has my motivation to do anything other than what I have to. 

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Bee Cross Stitch Pattern

I have been a bit cross stitch obsessed lately. Of my first 20 days of crafting, 5 of those days have been the completion of cross stitch pieces.

Today marks another day of working on a cross stitch pattern for my crazy bee. I have made up a pattern sheet to share with you. It is just a basic pattern sheet as I know I ignore the instructions that come with cross stitch kits. All I need to know is what colours to use and how many strands!

This is the first time I have ever made a cross stitch pattern, so please forgive the blurry lines! If I can get the quality any better I will let you know, but for now I feel it is legible.

If you want to see photos from my "Create for 365 days" you can visit my Flickr account. Or even easier - watch the slideshow located at the top left of my blog!

I think this would be a great cross stitch pattern for kids just starting out with half stitches. There are only 3 colours and each side is almost a mirror copy (it easily can be if you want the eyes in the same spot).

Oh and don't tell anyone but I didn't have any white embroidery floss... so I used my sewing machine thread! I now know embroidery floss definitely looks better for cross stitch, but I wouldn't drive all the way to the craft store just to get white floss - it is hardly noticeable.

I am adding this to the label of tutorials to make it easier to find the pattern.

* Edited to add this image of the pattern so you can simply right click and save as...

Friday, 16 March 2012

Puzzle Magnet

When I was little I used to make puzzles using magnets and stickers. It is so easy to do, and a fun craft for kids to make and play with.

The easiest way is to use stickers, but you can just as easily make a magnet of your favourite picture using double sided tape or glue.

For this tutorial I have used a panda photo cut from a calendar. You could use photos, magazine pictures or even artwork you have drawn yourself.

The best thing is that you can use magnets that companies use for advertising. Yes, I do have a lot of these ready and waiting to be used for craft.

  1. Glue or stick your picture to your magnet and trim the magnet to fit your picture.
  2. Mark out your cutting lines for the pieces.
  3. Cut each piece carefully so they line up properly.
  4. Assemble either on your fridge or the back of another magnet.
Please excuse the bad quality photos, the weather has been terrible again and my lights don't help!

Monday, 12 March 2012

Trixie's 1st Birthday

It's my little puppy's first birthday today! She looks all grown up posing for the camera for a total of two photos, lucky one of them wasn't blurry.

She is all grown up, and behaving a little more as each day goes by. 

Because it is her birthday she will get ice cream for dessert and has already made sure her new soccer ball is full of tooth holes!

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Coiled Magazine Coasters

I thought I would show you my coiled magazine coasters.These are the coasters I made for our first house. We didn't really have any spare money to waste on things like coasters when we needed things like furniture, vacuums and microwaves. So a late night search and I found photos of coasters people had made from strips of magazine pages.

Perfect - old magazines and sticky tape. I never bothered putting felt on the bottoms or decorating the edges with ribbon, I like them how they are. After 3 years I am only down 3 coasters - they have lasted longer than the ones I bought at a store!

I did an internet search and found this tutorial which explains how to make the coils. I kind of made it up according to what I thought was easier when I made mine.

A quick run down for my way of folding the paper (let me know if you would like me to create a photo tutorial).

  1. Cut strips from your magazine lengthwise that are 2 inches wide - you will need a lot of them so use a paper cutter or guillotine.
  2. Fold each piece in half lengthwise.
  3. Now fold the 2 lengthwise edges down into the middle.
  4. You will now have strips of paper that are 1/2 inch wide. One side will have 1 folded edge, the other will have 2 folded edges.
  5. When making my coasters I flipped my strips each time. Coil your first strip as tight as you can with the 1 folded edge facing up, then use a little bit of tape to tape the end to your coil. 
  6. Take your next strip and with the 2 folded edges facing up this time, tape your new strip to your coil (make sure you butt it up against the end of the previous strip).
  7. Coil it around and tape the end.
  8. Keep repeating, ensuring to alternate the folded edges.
The tighter you wind your coils, the better it will look, and the better it will stay together. You will know if you are coiling tight enough when you feel your hands cramping!

And yes people will play with these. The will push the centres up and in some cases destroy the coasters. If you don't want this to happen, I suggest you glue felt on the bottom. People just don't realise how long it takes to finish one of these coasters!

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Origami stars and a vase

We got given a few vases as wedding gifts that are too big to use for cut flowers, but too small to safely keep on the floor - especially with cats.

So I found all my little origami lucky stars and put them in one vase. Unfortunately I didn't have many and it looked rather silly. So I started keeping a box of paper on the coffee table so I could fold paper stars while watching tv. I finally had a decent amount but just could not be bothered to make enough to fill the vase up completely - and I have absolutely no blue paper left!

Would you believe me if I told you that the vase on the left actually has less stars in it than the vase on the right?

Yep, that's right, I cheated and I wanted to share it with you. I mean you could do the same thing with a jar of buttons, beads, dice, gemstones, shells, and the list could go on and on and...

All you need is paper, tissues, toilet or paper towel rolls, scissors and sticky tape! Actually you could even omit the tissues and scissors.

Here is what I did:

  1. Gather your supplies.
  2. Sticky tape your toilet rolls together.
  3. Sticky tape paper around the 2 rolls.
  4. Use your tissues (easier to mould them flat than it is with paper) to cover the top and bottom holes.
  5. Make as many as you need to fill your vase.
  6. When you start filling your vase, just do one section at a time, making sure that your stars have hidden the toilet paper rolls. I actually compacted mine a little to make sure it all held in place and didn't settle later on.
And there you have it - a time saving illusion!

If you want, make a lid for your vase to stop it getting filled with dust.

I used a stiff piece of plastic from the carton of a salt and pepper grinder set. Just sit it on top of your vase, trace the edge with a permanent marker, cut it out and use Blu Tack to hold it in place. You can remove the permanent marker using metho.

It works great for fish bowls as well, just make sure you have a hole cut out for air. It also stops the cats drinking the fish bowl water!

Now I still have another glass vase to fill...

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Create for 365 days

I have been reading a lot lately about people who are aiming to do something everyday for 1 year. The most common goals are to take a photo every day or complete a drawing every day. I have been thinking how fun this would be, only I am no good at photography and certainly couldn't do the same thing every day. That and I would probably forget or it would feel like a chore doing the same thing each day.

So I am going to aim to complete something creative each day. It gives me the freedom to switch between my crafts as I normally do and allow for proper drying time. If I don't have the time then I can make something small like a phone charm or a piece of origami. It also allows me to do big projects little bit by little bit without feeling the need to rush them, while still having time to complete something else that day.

Instead of thinking constantly about finishing something for a whole year I am going to focus on a month at a time. So today I will start "create each day for March".

Today I finished a beaded bracelet. I have been making this style of bracelet for a few years now and have finally made one for myself! It is a lot heavier and bulkier than I would normally wear or even make. I'll see how it fares next weekend.

So that is one creation finished. I have made a Flickr account where I will try to add a photo of my finished item each day. Here's hoping that we have lots of sunny days for the next 364 days!
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