Thursday, 28 March 2013

Paper Petal Artwork


This week I thought I'd make some new artwork for my bedroom. I was looking for something modern, yet relaxing in style.

I love this pattern - it's based on my Pretty Petals Quilt I made last year. 

This was a simple, and inexpensive way to make something new for my home.

I bought the card from Spotlight and cut out simple hand drawn petal shapes.

Next, just lay them out to fit a frame you have. Make sure you balance the colours out so no one colour dominates any part of the artwork.

Once you are happy with the layout you can secure each petal with a little bit of glue - you don't need to use anything too heavy duty as you don't want the glue to seep through. 

Then simply put it into your frame, hang and admire!

Happy crafting and a happy Easter to everyone.

Caity x

Monday, 25 March 2013

Giant Fabric-Maché Easter Eggs


This week I thought I’d make something for Easter, as it’s actually only a few days away!

These Giant Fabric Easter Eggs were REALLY easy-to-make (and quick too). They look nice either in a bowl, as I have mine or hanging up as a group. 

You may also like to check out my Easter project from last year too, my Pretty-in-Pastels Easter Egg Mobile.

The materials you’ll need for this project are: some balloons…

...some fabric cut into strips (I used leftovers)…

...and some craft glue. You’ll need to add some water to the craft glue so that it is easy to spread over the balloon with your fingers. Not quite sure why I took a photo of two bottles of glue, by the way!

Firstly, I blew up a few balloons. Then I smothered them with the craft glue, and started placing my fabric strips around the balloons. My five year old daughter Poppy did her own one too.

I found that not too many fabric strips work the best once the balloon has been popped inside and you’re left with the shape. So don’t load up your balloon too much with fabric strips!

After I stuck all my fabric strips onto my balloons, I smeared some more glue over the fabric on the balloons, and then sat them in little foil trays to dry.

I left them to try overnight before popping the balloons inside the eggs.

And that was it!! The photos (see above) of the eggs in a bowl are before the balloon was popped, and the photo of the eggs on the wooden floor are after the balloon was popped. You can see that the shape holds nicely.

We had quite a few leftover strips of fabric, so Poppy made this lovely jellyfish which we have hung from the fan in the kitchen.

Happy crafting this Easter!


Thursday, 21 March 2013

Pretty Tulle 'Nanna' Coat Hangers


I'm still on holidays (bliss for me, I know) and while I did pack a fair bit of sewing to do I have found it really hard to pick up anything.

So this week I have another great SUPER easy project that you can make for under $3!!!

There is a little story to go with these coat hangers first. My grandmother, on my father's side, was blind. She only lost her sight later in her life, but my memory of her is of her having no vision.

Like many women of her time, she was amazing at embroidery, could crochet and knit like no tomorrow and loved to bake.

When she lost her sight I think she struggled for a long time until my granddad organised her to make these simple hangers. Needless to say every time we went to visit I could come home with some more coat hangers.

I still have a couple at home now - amazing purples, greens and pinks. 

They really are so simple to make I will keep the instructions basic.

What you will need:
  • wire coat hangers
  • tulle (0.6m per hanger)
  • ribbon, flower or something to decorate
  • scissors

1. Cut up all the tulle into strips of approx 2cm wide and 11cm or 4.5 inches long (if you don't have a ruler that's ok - just use the length of your iPhone like I did!!).

2. Start tying the tulle in simple single knots around the wire hanger until you have filled the hanger.

3. Attach ribbon or pretty flowers to the base of the hook and admire!

This is a great project for the kids to do (obviously you may need to cut up the tulle for them!). They are also really cheap to make. This is a breakdown of the costs to give you an idea:
  • 0.6m tulle per hanger = $2.1 ($3.50/m at Spotlight)
  • Wire hangers = 35c each ($3.50 for pack of 10 at Kmart) 
  • 50cm Ribbon for bows = 17.5c (35c meter at Spotlight)
Happy crafting!

Caity x

Monday, 18 March 2013

Ideas for Creating and Arranging a Garden Courtyard

Home Decorating:

This is my courtyard so far! I still have a bit of work to do, namely, back-filling behind the grey wall and then growing a Japanese Box hedge behind it… but I’m so pleased with how it’s looking now that I thought I’d post a few photos of it for this week’s project.

This courtyard was basically the corner of our house. The area was mostly filled with mostly empty garden beds beforehand -  there were quite a few of them and they took up lots of room.

With the help of a bobcat, we widened it and then paved it with rocks from around the property. The paving was done simply using crusher dust and beach sand. It’s really practical and looks fantastic.

The other side of the courtyard runs straight onto the parking area out the front of our house, so I “marked out” the courtyard area by placing a line of pots across one side. This helps to create the courtyard area and provide separation from the gravel… even though the rocks and the gravel are on the same level.

The grey wall was built using common bricks and then rendered. And the lovely table you can see came from our local craft shop. I painted it in oil-based paint in the same colour as the house.  I also painted a few of the pots.

Because this area is sort of a triangle (it was cheaper to leave the shape that way than to change it with heavy machinery), I’ve arranged the pots in groups to take the focus off its strange shape.

It is certainly a lovely place to sit, and for the children to play. I hope it may give you a few ideas for your place!


Thursday, 14 March 2013

Simple Tassel Keyring


We are on holidays at the moment and I purposely didn't pack my sewing machine OR much sewing at all - I thought it would force me to have a really good break.

But I still wanted to post some simple things and really prove to myself that you don't need to have much at home to be able to make some great things.

We made a trip to Spotlight and found some really cute satin crochet threads which I thought might make cute tassels.

So I bought two 50g balls - one Ombre Blue and the other, Sweet Pea.

This is my key ring at the moment - rather uninspiring isn't it!

Wrap the thread around a thick piece or card the length you want the tassel to be - I used a drink coaster for mine.

Next, slip a thread through the top and tie it securely before cutting through the other end.

Next wrap a contrasting thread around the tassel and secure with a tiny knot that can easily be hidden under the body of the tassel.

Here's another little one I made for my spare key!

Happy crafting!

Caity x

Monday, 11 March 2013

Simple Cushion Using Children’s Art


This project was very easy-to-do, and not much sewing skill was required at all! The concept is quite similar to another project that I did last year using children’s artwork.

I just love the simple shapes and designs of the things that children draw. And it’s nice to try and use their pictures where possible, rather than putting them away in a drawer.

Firstly, I made this cushion the same way as my No-Zip Cushion Cover, and I just made it out of different scraps of white material that I had lurking in my cupboard. The only difference with THIS cushion is that I put two pieces of material together to make the front panel, so that the front of the cushion was going to be strong enough to 'hold' the sewing. This is a view of the cushion from the back.

Then I chose one of my daughter Poppy’s drawings to use – the bird! I’d also like to have a go at doing this horse too at some stage in the future. Isn’t it lovely? 

Just make sure you choose something simple, and something that will be easy to sew the outline of.

So, I traced the outline from the original picture onto some tracing paper.

Then I went over the outline on the other side, then flipped it over again and traced the outline again onto the material. I had to go through this process so that the duck was pointing the way I wanted it to be on the cushion!

Once I had the outline traced onto the material, it was just a matter of sewing over the pencil marks. I just used a basic cotton thread that I had purchased previously at Big W for one of my Christmas projects.

I went around once, sewing the outline, and then I went back over it and ‘sewed in’ the gaps. 

Not very technical, and I’m sure it’s not even the proper way to do it. Someone asked me, “is that called back-stitch?”, and I said “no, it’s called rough-stitch” !!

And I’m very pleased to say that my cushion won a Highly Commended in the Handicraft at my local Show over the weekend.

Happy sewing!


Thursday, 7 March 2013

Paper Napkin Bowl


Firstly I apologise for only having a single photo for you this week. We are away on holidays and I forgot to bring the camera with the photos of me making this! Oops!

Anyway, this is a super simple way to make a really sweet bowl using paper napkins.

I bought the napkins at Ikea and found I was reluctant to use them as I thought they were too dammed pretty. Solution - make something with them!

So without photos to show you I will keep the instructions really basic:

1. Choose a bowl shape you want to use and cover the outside with a thin layer of vegetable oil spray and then 2-3 good layers of cling wrap. This will mean you can removed your bowl easily once it's done.

2. Tear or cut up your napkins to a size that reflects the bowl you are going to make.

3. Like you would paper mache, start layering up the strips of paper napkin using modge podge as your glue. If you want to have a really clear image of your napkin and not layer the print, just use a plain white napkin for a couple layers first and then a single layer of your print napkin.

4. Leave to dry for a few days and then remove the cling wrap. 

5. Trim the edges and you are done.

Happy crafting.

Caity x

Monday, 4 March 2013

Pastel-Painted Outdoor Setting

Home Decorating:

This was a very simple project… but in fact, it was quite difficult to do this weekend! We have had SO much rain here over the past week or so (like many areas!), and it has also been raining non-stop all weekend. It was hard to find a dry spot on my verandah to get the setting painted, and then I couldn't even sit it outside to take my final photo! At least we’re not flooded though.

I’ve been looking at my outdoor setting for some time, wondering what colour to paint it. This is what it looked like before. 

Then I decided that it would look better in three colours instead! I used all Dulux colours: Pastel Mint, Airbourne Quarter and Pale Daffodil.

I was actually very lazy, and didn't sand the setting at all, nor did I do any undercoating! I’m not expecting the paint to last forever (I did two coats on each)… but by then, I’ll be wanting to paint them a different colour anyway!

I can’t wait for the rain to stop so that I can put my “new” setting out on my deck and put something on top of the table.

Happy painting!