Tag Archives: handmade

Pack ALL the things!

So, we’re moving house in a month or maybe two (at the most). It’s one of the most stressful things you can do, apparently. And today, I am feeling some of that stress, as I attempted to tidy up my craft room and pack away some of my stash. I started attempting to tidy up a while ago, but there has been a lot of to-ing and fro-ing of things, as I try to figure out what I’ll feel like doing in the next few weeks. See, even though *all* we have to do is find a new house in the UK, prepare our current house for tenants, find ourselves jobs, and move us, our stuff (I’m pretty sure we have 50 boxes already, and we still have two 5-shelf bookcases to pack) and two cats, I know I will feel the need to do something creative to relax while we hurtle full-speed into Moving Chaos. Today I decided that I would work on tidying/away my bead stash, or at least getting it to a manageable mess, so if I feel the need to make some jewellery, I can do it relatively easily. So I worked for most of the day on organising supplies, sorting through stuff, and now some stash is neatly stacked on my desk, while the rest has been packed away. Of course, as I was packing stuff away I found things I *needed* to use right away, so there was a short pause for an earring frenzy.

Yes, those are bat earrings with discoball-esque beads.

I forgot about these until I’d taken the photo, but they’re quite big and would’ve hogged all the attention in the first photo:
These galaxy rings are a bit of a cheat, as I started making these yesterday, although to be fair, I was sorting out my glass dome jewellery supplies and that triggered me to make ‘just a few more’ before packing everything away.

And now, all that is left to do (today) is to clear all the stuff off the sofabed in the spare room, so I can put my feet up this evening with a large mug of tea and Animal Crossing: New Leaf. Move – what move?!

Crafteroo Pinterest Challenge – January

Yes, we’re not even halfway through the month, but several of the Crafteroo gang have been mad busy crafting. I say most, as I seem to have spent the beginning of the year making sure that the sofa doesn’t feel neglected, and ensuring that the chocolate mountain in the fridge doesn’t engulf the entire kitchen. So far, mission successful. *high fives self*

Less successful are my attempts at making something from my Pinterest Challenge board. The first attempt at making something resulted in a small pile of bent wire, a slightly scratched finger, and some excessive swearing. The second make looks promising, but will need to be sanded and painted at the weekend. And so third time lucky, here is what I have made so far. It’s a felt flower brooch.

And here is the Pinterest version:

The tutorial is from Infarrantly Creative – it shows three flowers together, with leaves, which looks really cute, but I wanted just a simple flower brooch for a jumper or coat.
As for the rest of the Challengers, well, take a look at what they’ve been up to!
The first make was actually posted on the last day of 2011, which is pretty impressive – talk about organised! It’s a baby blanket in lovely candy colours from Jaydee:
Pin details here
Next is a super cute fabric purse by Pennydog:
Pin details here
This next item from md0u0131 looks delicious – cookies in a jar!
Pin details here
And to go with the cookies, how about a nice cup of tea (or coffee)? And you can keep it warm with one of these mugwarmers by audrasilk:
Pin details here
The last item is two challenges in one – t-shirt yarn, made into a cute rug by BigBlueBed:
Pin details here and here
Phew, it’s made me tired just reading through that list, and there are still a couple of weeks left of January. 🙂

Button earrings: a trio of turquoise

I’m not sure where these buttons came from – well, I found a packet of the flower ones when I was looking for something else the other day. It’s odd that they’re all a similar shade AND that they all turned up on my craft table at the same time.

As you can see from the photos, it’s not ideal weather for taking photos. The light is a bit too bright, it’s mid-afternoon, and I can’t get the colour balance right (that’s the same background paper in the top two pictures).

Speaking of paper, I’ve just ordered some more backgrounds for my photos. And I also bought some papers just because I needed to have them.

My Little Shoebox: Who’s there Wise Old Owl

Melissa James: Kitschy Kitchen Cherry

My Little Shoebox: Sew Cute Made with Love

They are too busy to be used as photo backgrounds (well, the cherry one might be OK), but they’re so cute, I just had to buy them. 🙂

Otter charm necklace – handmade jewellery

….(aka Otterly Splendid)

I have recently been joining Crafterminds chats every Monday evening (they’re US-based, so they take place lateish in the evening, but they’re worth staying up for) and the last chat was all about SEO. There was a load of great information in the chat, and one of the ‘takeaways’ (ick, sorry, still in work mode) was to use search-friendly titles for blog posts, rather than cutesy ones. Regular readers of my blog will know I loves me a good pun (well, actually, a bad pun), so this goes against my natural inclination. But I will give it a go.


Anyway, I recently got my ‘paws’ *smirk* on some rather cute charms, and this weekend I decided to use one of them to make myself a simple necklace:

It’s teeny tiny but super cute. That’s the best pic I have at the moment, as for some reason, I teamed the otter with a disproportinately large crystal bead, which means the poor otter can’t stand up straight. Then again, they spend a lot of time lounging about in the wild, so maybe I’m just being accurate. Yeah, that’s it.

Maybe I should’ve made the necklace with two otter charms?  But seriously, look at the cute. My girlcat, Phoebe, gets called otter, because she sometimes looks like she has otter paws. Mind you, she also gets called BatBearCat as well. Moving swiftly on…

I’ve also made my Mum a little pressie as it’s Mother’s Day in the UK this coming weekend. However, as she has managed to find my blog before now, I’m not posting a pic – I don’t want to spoil the surprise. Instead, here’s a pic of some earrings I made this weekend.

Oh, and I have also recently been awarded not one but two blog awards. The first is a Stylish Blogger Award, and I was nominated by the lovely Claire from Les Bijoux de Claire. The second is a Versatile Blogger Award, and I received that nomination from the charming Jess of The Vintage Huntress. Thank you both for nominating me, I will blog more about these awards in the coming few days.

Experimenting with a white background for photos

So after getting all overexcited about backgrounds in this post, a thread was started on the Artfire forums about trying to use ‘catalogue style’ photos to see if they affected views and sales. I tried out a couple of shots, but I wasn’t keen. Anyway, I stumbled across this blog, with a handy tutorial on making a white background for your photos using a cardboard box and some foamboard.

So I tried it out – first with a cardboard box and some white card. This was not successful. So I managed to find some foamboard at our local craft shop, and here’s what I made:

I just used the board taped together, rather than trying to fix it to a cardboard box. It seems to work OK. And here’s the shot I got of that ring:

It’s a quick snapshot, taken in quite poor light (there was some sunshine earlier today, but it’s raining now), but it’s not bad. It’s not as white as the next photo, so I could improve on it.

I also took a pic of these new button earrings which I made earlier on:

The earrings were being tricky little beggars to photograph, so the pic is slightly out of focus.

I don’t know if I really like the white background or not yet. I think I will need to take some more pics in order to decide. I also did a sort of comparision with another recent make.

This is the sort of photo I’d normally take these days – patterned background (possibly this is a bit too busy, but I liked the colours) and a prop of some description:

Here is the same pendant with a plain background and prop:

And here it is in the new white background box:

It’s not exactly a scientific study, as the last photo uses a different set up without any props. But give me your opinion anyway – which picture do you prefer?