Monday, January 27, 2014

Making it Monday - how-to crochet, make a bag, coasters, tags and how to organise your life.

Here's a little round up of some sweet how-to's that I have found on the interwebs recently.

First up a simple sewing project for all you sewers (and aspiring sewers) out there.
I love this bright fun bag.
I've got some fabric that would be perfect for this!
You can find instructions on Frankie blog.

bucket bag from Frankie Magazine

We have a gazillion photos!
Who doesn't?
Mr planet is always saying that we never look at them!
Well here is a great way to make sure some of your photos are always on display.
They would make fabulous gifts too - it's never too early to start making things for Christmas....then there are birthdays, Mother's Day etc...

photo coasters by Dana Vastano

Crochet is definitely on my to-do list this year.
I've bookmarked this tutorial by Shelley over at spincushions.
I'll let you know how I go!

how to crochet by spin cushions
Sometimes the simple ideas are the best.
The little things you used to do when you were a kid...or do with your kids now.
Make gift tags from magazine photos - easy, right?
But sometimes you forget those easy little projects.
I found this idea on decor8.
gift tags from decor8

Of course a lot of these will be easier still if you are, home and supplies.
I've been reading a few posts about life and home organisation in the hope that I will eventually become more organised. I can dream!

If you need some organisation tips give Jenny Shih a go.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Today I'm loving - this week.

I think you know.
rain after a very dry spell
the name of this band *
my new take-away coffee cup
fun (adult) party game **
The other thing I loved doing this week was singing!
I took part in a women's singing group as a bit of fun at a friend's afternoon/evening of fun, games and performances.
Yes, we looked ridiculous....we probably sounded worse....but, wow! singing can really lift your soul.

 I did miss a couple of days this week, due being too busy one day and them being too blue another, but I'm not going to beat myself about it.
On to bigger and better things next week.

* a pun on the Austrlian band ACDC.

** you had to make insect genitalia from fruit and veg and then name it.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Dabbling - my creative space.

Looking for a quick little project to make I found these pretty earrings in a Bead and Button Magazine.

You need 10mm round beads for the centre. Unbelievably I could only find these bright orange beads amongst my copious bead stash.

I found that I had a bit of a colour theme going for the other beads needed, which was great as I no longer have a huge amount of 4mm crystals.

I love the green/aqua tones with the bright orange.

What do you think?

They made up really quickly and I'm pleased with the result.

I'd love to make some more but I have to find/beg/borrow/steal some more 10 mm beads!
Any offers?!

These earrings were designed by Alice Kharon.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Plain and simple - my creative space.

Sometimes I get asked for things that I wouldn't usually make.
I'm sure we all do, yes?

You know, you are very clear about where your creative direction lies.
Certain in your aesthetic.
Happy with your outcomes.

AND get asked "do you have a plain yellow necklace?".

Well, no!

What I really love to do is get a bunch of beads, spread them on my work with a little, and make something quite wild and wonderful, or colourful and bold, or at least, co-ordinated and competent.

So...I thought "OK, I will, just see if I don't!"
I can do it, it's not a too easy-peasy, boring-as-a-brick, *yawn* sort of thing to do.

It's not the most creative thing in the world, but I have some nice beads that would look really good just by themselves with no fussy distractions.

And some I prepared earlier!

They have been quite popular....and don't say "I told you so!"

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Today I'm first few snaps.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Today I'm loving.

I've started a little thing....let's see how long I can keep it up!

What inspired this little "thing" of mine?

Well, I had been taking part in a few photo you do....

There was the photo a day over on Fat Mum Slim.*
Then there was Project Life 365...**
And there was A month of over on Just B....***

I tried them all.
I tried them all at the same time. Which was, like...3 photos a day.

Phew! That was a bit much.

And then I thought I would just pick the prompt that I liked the beast and do that....and then I found myself wandering round my house, or my garden and just snapping the same old crap.

It all became a bit of an effort.

Then....I met Hayley Bartholemew at the Voices of 2013 masterclass (well, I didn't actually meet her face to face, you know, but I FEEL like I've met her)
She started a project called 365 grateful and I encourage you to go and check it out - it is awesome.

So I was feeling a little flat, stressed maybe, feeling quite negative about myself and my lack of energy some days.
I thought I needed a boost....something like 365 grateful, something uplifting, something to help me see the positive, the bright-sun-shiny-side of life.
I also do quite like having to take a photo a day, to document itty-bitty-bits of my life.

I wanted to choose things that would make me feel good, but with a wider scope than being grateful.
I want to find something every day that I, LOVE.

It could be something around me, or an activity, or something I've seen on-line, or a book, or a song, or a movie.....or food or drink!

It can be ANYTHING at all!

But the main thing is to find something every day to love, no matter how small or silly, or radical.

So now that is my daily "thing" now.

Feel free to join in, if and when you desire....could be fun, yes?

Tomorrow I'll post some of my photos from the start of my little "thing".
come back and have a look.

* there still is here.
** it has gone.
*** it's still going on here.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

How to - beading boards.

What to use as a beading work station?
I'm sure there are as many answers as beaders!

This nifty little ideas was posted in Bead and Button magazine.
It's a frisby! How clever.

frisbee bead dish

It's a lightweight, inexpensive beading surface by Shirley Dembo.
 Some people like trays with sections or indentations to keep the beads seperate.
Someone mentioned a fondue tray - personally I've never heard of such a thing, but you might find a dip tray or something similar.

fondue dish

 Another suggestion was the inexpensive plastic plates from IKEA.
You could line them with bead mat like the frisbee.

plastic plates from IKEA
 You just need to get flat bases as you don't want the beads rolling in to the outside or collecting in the centre.

If you need a bigger work space you could use a cookie tray or any tray actually.
Love these trays with compartments - must look out for some of these!

various trays from The Bead Diaries 
 I also love these colourful fabric trays.
They have a piece of bead mat in and the press stud corners let them fold flat when not in use.

fabric bead trays from Nimble Needle
I think these are meant for doing tapestry or needlepoint stuff, but they are just too pretty not to share.

For something off the shelf - how about this double bead tray from Bead Buddy?
Oh, I can imagine a whole stack of these!

bead buddy double bead tray
Available from Fire Mountain Gems.
I might dream about those.
My bead work spaces are not as sophisticated - 

These are the bead boards that I use.
This one sits on my desk for designing necklaces mainly.
It does have a plastic cover and a lid so I could take it travelling...but it usually have so many bits and pieces on it that it would be difficult to move!

 Instead I usually take a plastic shoe box and use the lid with a piece of mead mat in it as my work surface.
I use the plastic shoe boxes to store most of my bigger beads, and tubes of seed beads anyway.

I have a couple of these plastic trays, I think they are paint trays.
They did have a flimsy plastic lid but that has long since broken.
It is quite good for seed bead projects.

What do you use?
Have you any tips for making your own bead boards?
Or seen any great ideas?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Friday, January 3, 2014

A year of change and some resolutions.

This is going to be a BIG huge year for me and mine.
A move and a change of lifestyle.
I'm wondering how my little business plus my on-line activities will fit in.
We shall see.......

In the meantime I have lots to do!

So my resolutions, at least for the first part of the year, take this form -

Everyday I will try to -

1. Sort something.
2. Clean something.
3. List something (in my etsy or madeit shops or on the local facebook garage sale page).
4. Make something. (use up some beads and fabric)
5. Destash something - links in with #1 and #3.
6. Do something (active, walk, yoga, bike ride).

Sounds reasonable, yes?

How about you? Have you made any resolutions?
Are they any changes in the wind for you?

Keep in touch, I'd love to hear how you go.
and I'll let you know how I go too.
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