Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Z is for...



...ZOLINO!!

It's a type of friendship bracelet. Awesome, huh!?



I've been busy making this for the last few evenings. It's pretty time consuming as far as knotted bracelets go! But well worth the effort.


There are lots of tutorials out there for this bracelet. I used this one. Give it a go! 




Well...this is my last post for the A to Z Challenge. It's been tough but I'm feeling a little sad that it's over now! A massive thank you to everyone who has visited and posted on my blog over the past month :)

Look out for my reflections post!



Monday, 29 April 2013

Oh, Yarn!



Now that I am officially a novice crocheter (I made handwarmers!), my life is starting to fill with thoughts of yarn...

As it turns out, there is SO much yarn out there. Miles and miles of the stuff. All in different pretty colours and textures and thicknesses. It makes my head all fuzzy! I'm still trying to figure out how you buy the right stuff for each project, but I guess this might be something that comes with experience.

Thanks for visiting :)






Sunday, 28 April 2013

X marks the spot


I missed posing yesterday, OOPS! I feel very ashamed, things had been going so well until now and we are so close to the end of the challenge!

But I am catching up today at least. X is all about cross stitch. Where Xes feature just about everywhere but in the name!

I was a big cross stitcher when I was younger. It's probably one of the things that has helped with my needle control and contributed towards my perfectionism in all of my crafts! Here is a pencil case that I made, many many years ago, decorated with pieces of cross stitch:



My photos are still leaving a lot to be desired, I know. I was home yesterday and just snapped these in a rush on my phone. I also forgot to pick up the nice sheet of paper that I usually use for a backdrop so I'm afraid my photos might not look great for a while until I figure out another nice backdrop!

Thanks for visiting :)



Friday, 26 April 2013

Wedding Fever!



I'm losing momentum with my last few posts so I apologise. It has been a long month with a lot going on for me.

I'm hopeful that Work is going to pick up in the next few weeks as I'm starting to gather things to keep me busy!

In a few weeks time I will be attending a 'Wedding Festival' which is apparently a reception in a field! With tents and camping and things. How exciting! It is for a friend I went to university with and it suits her down to the ground - so eco friendly! I'll be taking my best friend along for company.

Speaking of my best friend - she is also getting married in just over a year's time. I am a bridesmaid! I have never been one before and I'm super excited. On top of this I'm excited to spend some time doing some wedding crafty things to help make the day even more unique. I'm just not sure what yet. There is a huge wealth of wedding craft ideas out there on the internet, it is just a case of finding the right ones that will work for her special day.

What would you craft for a big occasion!?

Thanks for visiting :)



Thursday, 25 April 2013

Vintage



V is for vintage. I have a horrible headache so I am sorry to keep this brief, I can't concentrate on the screen for long.

I made this scotty dog doorstop using a fabulous vintage Guinness fabric that my mum had stashed away in a drawer.



Thanks for visiting :)

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Under the bed...


So, my plan for today's post says U is for 'Under the Bed'. Which was going to be all about the random stuff I keep under my bed, including lots of craft stuff.

Except, since I moved I have so much storage space that I no longer have any need to keep anything under the bed, besides a couple of pairs of shoes that I wear regularly! Instead, the craft stuff that I bought with me is now in either my immense wardrobe or my walk in cupboard.

And, clearly there is room for a lot more.......



Who wants to take me on a spending spree? Obviously I don't have enough clothes or craft stuff judging by these photos!

What do you keep under your bed!? (Although I'm not sure I dare ask!)

Thanks for visiting :)

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Tutorials!


I am ashamed to say that I haven't managed to prepare a tutorial for this post as I really had hoped I would. I'm going to play the 'I just got a new house and job' card. Along with the 'I'm wary of telling people how to do my stuff in case they make loads of money from it/ do it better than me' card. I would like to post more tutorials, but I am rather protective of a lot of my patterns. They are like children to me...I slaved over them!

Anyway, there are some absolutely fantastic tutorials for all sorts of wonderful things out there already...

Here are a selection that I have bookmarked on my browser:

 
I made these dolphins and the dinosaur from the tutorials on Nuno Life. There are some really amazing free patterns and tutorials for stuffed animals among other things! Clearly Runo doesn't worry about sharing these things like I do...









I have used this nice simple baked cheesecake recipe to produce my own yummy cheesecakes! Cheesecake is my absolute diet downfall...


I had great fun jazzing up my earphones using this tutorial at Kiss Me Awake.






Following this knitting pattern I made a nice head warmer to keep my ears cosy walking dogs in the cold weather! (Note, that I have very little knitting experience).

Finally, this post from Cute n Cool Freebies showed me how to add a link in the comments that I post on other people's blogs. I looked it up at the beginning of the A to Z Challenge and it has been invaluable - it is so much easier for people to click on a direct link to my blog than have to search for it on my Google + page.

These are just a small selection, I have many many more tutorials bookmarked, some of which I refer to quite often to remind myself how to do certain techniques and things.

I hope you have enjoyed looking through them and maybe feel inspired to find a tutorial for that item that you really want to make, but don't quite know how...

Thanks for visiting :)










Monday, 22 April 2013

Shoes!



In my first year at University, I went through a phase of painting shoes. It was great fun to create funky, unique shoes for myself and as gifts for my friends. Sadly, I have horribly wide feet so I can rarely find shoes to fit, or that I can bear to wear for more than a short while. So mine are more for show...


Chameleon shoes - these were the first pair I painted. I still have them. I love chameleons!



The mermaid shoes were for a friend.


Star shoes - also for a friend


Flower stencil shoes - for my best friend


Orange flower shoes - mine, all mine! And my absolute favourite. Too perfect to wear really. Orange is the most awesome colour ever...

Why not have a go at painting some shoes yourself? You can get usually find a pair of these white pumps for just a few pounds in the cheaper clothes shops. I use acrylic paints which are also inexpensive - between £1 and £2 a bottle. I also have a mixer that makes the acrylic suitable for fabric.

Have fun! Thanks for visiting :)

Saturday, 20 April 2013

aaaaaaaaand RELAX



Ok, so I promise I will get back to posting about crafts tomorrow. Promise.

But today I wanted to talk about what I do to relax when I'm not crafting! Well, mostly I browse Facebook, Pinterest and the web. Whilst watching TV series such as 24 on Lovefilm (that's the current one, the previous one was Greys Anatomy).

Tonight, I decided to paint my nails. (This will be yesterday night by the time you read this as I write most of my posts the night before). I rarely, if ever paint my nails. I'm not sure what made me feel the need to do so tonight. I think the prospect of a weekend of no plans made me feel like poorly painted nails would offend no one but myself, so why not have a little fun with some colours!?

The following is why not.

Having tried one colour and rejected it, I moved onto the next - a lovely deep purple. But when I unscrewed the lid, part of it got stuck in the pot. Upon attempting to pry this part out (it was pretty glued in place with semi-dried polish), it proceeded to ping out, flipping over several times as it flew through the air, and splattered deep purple nail polish all over me, my laptop, bed and wall.

Much nail polish remover later and I think I am possibly a little high (finding the whole situation rather amusing) and I have reduced the splatters on the wall to smudges. Well, I guess they needed christening as they were painted just hours before I moved in to the room last weekend.......!! And the smell of remover has nicely masked the horrible drain smell in my ensuite bathroom (but that's another story involving copious amounts of vinegar and baking soda).

So my relaxing evening turned out to be not so relaxing after all! And possibly cost me some of my deposit on the room in the process...

But oh well, such is life! What do you do to relax? Thanks for visiting :)


Friday, 19 April 2013

Quiet time!



In light of the fact that I have failed spectacularly to come up with an interesting 'Q' post, please use the time you would have spent reading it for quiet reflection instead.


Please meditate to this relaxing desert sunrise, as seen by myself from a hot air balloon in Dubai :)

Ommmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Thanks for visiting :)

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Pokemon, gotta catch 'em all!



Pokemon was an obsession with mine, around the age of 10! An obsession which of course I felt the need to express through my craftyness.

When I look at these now, I find it hard to believe that I was capable of such intricacy at that age! Sometimes I impress even myself...


Just in case anyone cares, my favourite Pokemon was actually Raichu. I'm not even sure why! I think I always wanted Pikachu to evolve......

Who was your favourite Pokemon!? Or what was your obsession age 10!? Thanks for visiting :)

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Over the rainbow



Firstly I apologise for tonight's awful pictures. I did not have time to prepare this post in advance and all my natural light had faded by the time I got round to photographing. Plus in my new house I don't have the nice big sheet of white paper I normally use to create a backdrop!

Anyway! Tonight's creation is one of the only remaining remnants of a past love of mine...rainbow. Ok, I still love rainbow I'll admit! They colours are so pretty and bright! But I don't now feel the need to own everything in rainbow which was pretty much the case about 10 years ago...

However I still own and use this gorgeous pencil case that I made way back when. I suspect a little help from my mum might have been involved! But I love it none the less. I wish I still had some of this material, and the awesome buttons...



Thanks for visiting :)

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Naomi and the Narwhals



N is for me! And because I'm not all that exciting in myself, N is also for Narwhals.

Narwhals might just be one of the most interesting and unique animals on earth (in my opinion). For those of you who don't know about narwhals - it's time you learned! You will not regret it I promise.

These mystical whales live in the cold waters of the Arctic and so they are not something you will often spot on your average whale watching trip! I would however say it is one of my life's ambitions to see one of these live in the flesh, in the wild, one day before I die...


In medieval times, many believed that narwhal tusks (the long pointy bit at the front if you haven't figured that out yet) were actually the horn of the mythical unicorn and they were regarded as having magical power. Today, I still believe they have a magical power....the power to amaze!

I have already posted about my felt narwhals fairly recently, but I just love this cute little guy so much I want to share him with the world over and over again:



I hope you like him as much as I do! Thank you for visiting :)


Monday, 15 April 2013

Music makes the world go round...



M is for music, which is my other (somewhat neglected) passion! Well, I say neglected but hopefully that is all about to change, today in fact. It is actually a nice coincidence - I had this post planned from the beginning to be about music but had no idea I would be talking about the exciting changes in my life.

I have played clarinet from about the age of 9, and added saxophone to my line up at about age 14. Although these were my main instruments I loved (and still love) picking up any instrument I could get my hands on...keyboard, cornet, guitar, ukulele, harmonica... I played in the school orchestra, a local youth jazz orchestra and a wind band. Alongside my clarinet lessons and practising, playing with these ensembles took up more of my spare time during my school years than anything else: music was my life!

Performing with others and even solo feels like a great achievement - I was lucky enough to play in front of audiences of thousands of people on occasions and even went on 'tour' in Spain twice. It's a huge adrenaline rush! However after leaving school my playing trailed off, without the bands to keep me motivated. I was able to play saxophone in a small orchestra at university but it wasn't very challenging for me and since then I have hardly picked up either instrument.

Until today! Now that I have moved out again and know I will be settled here for a little while, I decided to look into options for joining a local orchestra. I have found one that sounds perfect for those who are maybe a little rusty after a break from playing and I am going to my first rehearsal tonight!

Although I don't have as much time in my life for my music as I used to, I'd like to think there is a little room to squeeze some in around all the stuff I do to try and enhance my career. So I am excited to blow the cobwebs out of my clarinet tonight and hopefully make some new friends in the process.

I am struggling to find a photo for today! I want to share with you a picture of one of the groups I played with but out of respect for the many other people in the photos I feel it is not the best idea. I hope you have enjoyed my post anyway - do you play any musical instruments? Thanks for visiting :)


Saturday, 13 April 2013

L is for...


....Cheetah. Which I'm sure could be easily confused with a Leopard by most people. Including me! When I wrote my list from A to Z for my posts, I was very excited to share this creation with you all, so much so that it got a whole letter to itself! It's just a shame I assigned the wrong letter...still, C has long come and gone and this still deserves a spot in my line up.


One of my proudest creations, this was made for a good friend whose favourite animal is indeed the cheetah (NOT leopard...). At least I didn't get the two confused when I made it!

What's your favourite animal? I have too many to choose!

Thanks for visiting :)

Friday, 12 April 2013

K is for Keyrings



Keyrings! Quick and simple to make. Like this short and sweet post!


I might even make up some tutorials for these soon. Well it will mostly just be the patterns as they are fairly self explanatory...

Thanks for visiting :)

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Just another....



...Job! I'm taking a bit of a break from crafts today for this post. After all, crafting is only what I do in my spare time! The rest of the time I have to submit to the world of work. And trust me, I am no stranger to that world...at the tender age of 24 (and only just 24 I might add), my new role that I started this week is my 8th paid position. Not counting of course a wealth of unpaid and voluntary roles that I have also undertaken between employment.

Sometimes I wonder if this makes it look like I jump from place to place, job to job and never settle! This may be partly true - after all I really have no solid plans for my career path from here so I will just take each opportunity as it arises. But many of my jobs have been part time or holiday jobs along side school and university and have given me valuable experience in customer care and a general insight into the world of employment.

My very first job, at only 13, lasted just two weekends. I cleaned cat pens at a cattery and at this time I had never had any experience with cats. I was very much a dog person. Because I was unsure how to handle them, I got bitten and scratched and refused to go back again! On top of this I swore never to work with cats, and probably animals ever again.

Come 16 though, this all faded away with a part time job at a farm park which completely changed my mind back again to wanting to work with animals. And I finally got over my feline fears and fell totally in love with cats after I graduated and took a job which involved training and handling them on a daily basis.

That is just a snapshot into my world of work! What was your very first job? Thanks for visiting :)

(A view of the Johnstone Strait, Canada, during one of my unpaid work stints!)

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

In the beginning



My love affair with felt started way, way back. In the beginning, this was because it was what I had available (a big collection of scraps accumulated by my mum over the years) and because it was easy to work with. No fraying and no sewing machines required! At age 8 these are important factors to consider.

So I loved felt, and even more than this I loved horses; I was horse mad! I still have those very first felt horses that I made, starting with this little grey one:


The poor little guy has several gammy legs thanks to my terrible stitching, and the fact that I hadn't yet figured out how to get stuffing into the legs! But I learn quickly, and the rest of my initial attempts are definite improvements on this:


Only the black one in the middle is missing stuffing in his legs. And his awesome attire makes up for this in my opinion! 

So there you have it, my humble beginnings.


Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Hairclips



I apologise for this somewhat half hearted post! I have had a long, mentally tiring day at work but I wanted to get this written so I could schedule it for midnight as with my other posts. (I will post more about my job another day!)

Here are some hair clips that I made, a bout a year ago now. If you would like to have a go at something similar yourself, check out my mini flower hairclip tutorial. They are fairly simple to make and can be done with scraps of felt and those random buttons that we all seem to accumulate...


Apologies for the old picture too - also taken about a year ago and not up to the standard I am trying to achieve these days!

Thanks for visiting :)

Monday, 8 April 2013

GCSE memories



Before I launch into my G post, I just wanted to exclaim to the world how relieved I am to have finally figured out how to add the Google Friend Connect gadget! I feel like this is the way I prefer to show my appreciation for other people's blogs by following them and so it is great to have it on my blog too. To some of you it was probably glaringly straightforward, but despite following various instructions given by other sites, they always led to a dead end saying 'page not available'. How frustrating! It is sorted now though, beside other things which include (reluctantly) merging with my Google+ profile and adding the option to subscribe through RSS.

Anyway, back to the important A to Z stuff...It seems like a long time ago now that I took my GCSEs! But I was just as crafty then as I am now and had lots of fun in my Textiles Technology classes.

For my GCSE project I decided upon the theme of Cowboys and Indians (how original, I know...) and below are my finished pieces - a bag and purse set.



That's all for today folks! What did you make at school in your design classes!? Thanks for visiting :)