bowls… a pinterest almost fail

Have you ever surfed Pinterest and thought “I want to do that!”… Go on. You know you have!

Well I’ve always looked at those doodle mugs and bowls, made using sharpies and a hot oven, and lusted after them. So last night I decided it was time to try it. I had my sharpie, some bowls and Orange is the New Black on Netflix.

I’ve always doodled lines and curls, so I decided to follow some of the examples I saw on Pinterest that I liked, combining some of my own elements and some I saw on other’s projects.

The good: It was easy to do. The sharpie glides on easily, its really pleasant to draw on the ceramic surface.

The bad: baking them discoloured areas of the bowls and trying to get the brown bits off rubbed off the drawing too.

I wasn’t overly fussed about perfection, I wanted them to look handsketched and imperfect. I achieved that….

What I learned: Probably best to use new bowls/mugs etc. The bowls I used had been used, mainly for breakfast cereal, and they discoloured in areas I suspect there were traces of milk left. A bit around the inner rim, a bit on the side where it might have dribbled…

I did what the Pinterest links suggested: I baked them in a high oven for 1 hour then let them cool before removing them.

And before you ask, YES, I do wash my dishes… they LOOKED clean… Maybe I should have wiped them over with pure alcohol before drawing on them… something to try next time.

The tiny bowl which had had olives in it did not discolour… interesting…

I’m not really happy about the rubbed off and discoloured bits… Still, they look pretty on my little kitchen shelf. I just wouldn’t recommend doing this on a plate which will need to be scrubbed to clean, I don’t think the drawings will last well enough on those.

I have 2 more of the white bowls to do, I’ll try alcohol on them and see if it makes a difference.

Another link suggested using a clear varnish as an alternative to baking. I might give that a try too… I was just concerned about putting food in a bowl I’d sprayed with varnish… but its the inside you put the food in… as long as the varnish doesn’t go yellow with time that might be an option to try later on.

Note: make sure you get all residue of labels off the bottom. That tends to burn and create more brown stains around the bottom of the bowl…

social commentary and a lamp

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I’m currently reading a book where the main character made a comment about manners… like how it was so important for a man to treat a woman like she was a precious gem… holding doors open, being polite, buying flowers, etc. But, she said, his mama would have taught him all that…

It struck me as funny in a sad “that’s how it might be in the south (of the USA) but this is Greece” way…

The difference being that southern mothers do/did instill in their sons a code of chivalrous behavior towards women. By contrast, all most greek mothers seem to do is spoil their sons and raise entitled spoilt brats who expect some woman to treat them like their mother did…

Okay… not all greek mothers are like that, nor all greek men.

Just the majority.

And I’m allowed to ‘greek-bash’ cause I’m greek.

So there.

It reminded me of a story mom told me. She said that, when we first moved back to Greece eons ago, my father would help her wash the clothes when we were on Paros. Back then there was no running water to the house (let alone a washing machine!) so washing was done by hand at the well on the side of a hill. In full view of the entire countryside. Buckets of water would be poured into wash tubs in the morning and left in the sun to heat up so clothes could be washed in warm water in the afternoon. Buckets of cold water would be brought up to rinse them and they would be hung on the dry stone walks to dry. Dad always helped mom. It was a hard job – ever washed sheets or towels by hand? Even with running water you didn’t have to pull up from a well yourself?

Anyway, dad’s mother was shocked. And embarrassed. What would people think – my mom had dad doing the washing! It was a disgrace.

Anyway, enough about greek men and how we spent years ‘showering’ by bucket in our bathers in full view of the neighbours…

I wanted to share a small project of mine. I saw a floor lamp advertised on the local buy/swap/sell Facebook page and jumped at it. The shade was broken but the base was sturdy and since when has a broken thing ever stopped me before?

Photo of the lamp shade, broken.

Same photo panned out a bit so you can see Lainee overseeing the project. Just goes to show how effective cropping can be. LOL

Anyway, I collected the lamp and thought about how I could fix it, change the shade etc. There were tons of possibilities but the easiest was to simply mend the existing shade and use rope to update it. I had the rope after all… and the hot glue…

So that’s what I did. I used a wide old ribbon to reconnect the shade to the wire support and make it secure. Then I simply hot glued the rope to the shade. Instant update. Instant gratification. New lamp for reading or crafting on the couch.

Excellent way to spend an afternoon.

z

no sew peg bag

As usual, here I am, posting days, weeks, after the last time I posted, when I’m sure I said something along the lines of ‘stay tuned, more coming soon…’

Seems I’ve already been in Greece too long. Soon is relative… it can mean in an hour or a few days or next year.

Its kind of like the pedestrian crossings here in Greece – they’re suggestions, not actual rules. My brother described it best once when he said that the minster of transport saw them in a movie once and thought they’d look good in Greece too. Decorative only. Drivers need not actually stop to let you cross.

Further proof that I’ve been here too long already is the way I park these days: any spot that my car will fit is a good spot to park. And my car is pretty small… Though I do draw the line at parking in the middle of a parking lot, on the end of a line of parked cars, or at an angle on a corner. Some lines are just too hard to cross when you’ve lived by the rules of a civilized country most of your life.

ANYWAY… thought I’d share a recent project…

I’ve made a few peg bags in my time and to be honest, I’m not the best at actually using them. I am one of those women my mother whispers about, who leave pegs on the line to rot in the sun… shock/horror!

Still, when I saw this tiny jean jacket while visiting op shops in Holland in May I just had to have it. I knew it would make the best peg bag.

So while I was in a mood to actually DO stuff (trust me, the mood and the energy rarely hit at the same time these days), I thought I’d get out the sewing machine and get to it.

Only the jacket had studs and things which would make sewing really hard… I could just see broken machine needles… and sewing it by hand was out of the question due to the hardness of the denim.

Out came the trusty hot glue gun again (ok… so I hadn’t put it away from fixing the lamp yet. Don’t judge me.)

All I did was glue the bottom of the jacket to create a bag. Done. How easy was that?

Of course I had planned to put it on a hanger of some kind (a piece of driftwood with a wire hook so I can slide it along the clothes line…) but for now I’m happy with it just pegged in place.

How cute is that?

Meanwhile life moves along at the regular pace… between work, home and being a social butterfly I find I have little time to get things done. I have a ton of projects on the go or waiting to be started (or on a list of things to do one day). I do a bit here and there but never seem to get stuck into anything.

I started liming the bookcase white… thought “Easy. Do it in 3 days. Lime it all in one day… two days to give it two coats of varnish. Laughing.”

That was over a week ago. The contents of the bookcase are still sitting on the coffee table, kitchen bench and any other free surface in the living room/kitchen/dining room… The paint is on the bench in a container with a lid. The bookcase is only 1/3 painted…

What do they say about making plans and someone up there laughing? sigh…

z

Shared at:

voodoo dolls

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It’s been a while since I shared any projects so here’s one I prepared earlier. I know you’ve had withdrawals.

I’m sure you’ve lived through this… the last minute rush to get everything done before a trip. Packing, making lists, tying up loose ends, organising… chaotic stuff.

And through it all my brain was still thinking about things to create. I need to be creative. It makes me feel good. So despite the long list of things I needed to do, I sat in the office to make something. Like I made the little sewing pouch.

I made these little voodoo dolls.

Aren’t they cute? In an ugly monstery voodoo way of course. They come complete with three pins each, you can always add more if you have a greater need.

Wayne put them to good use. Soon after he saw them he claimed one and would stick pins in it any time I said something mean.

“What’s for dinner?”

“Nothing.”

Pin in the head.

“Can you make me a cup of coffee please?”

“No.”

Pin in the stomach.

I was getting really worried…

z

a bunny ear-phone holder

Have you seen the cutest little bunny ear-phone holder on Pinterest?

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Well. I had to try it. Its just so darn cute! (I’m not the only one who tried it. You can see other examples here.)

So, meet my bunny. I made him out of extra thick felt and put stiffener between the front and back on the body to make him stronger. The ears and tongue are made from  regular thickness felt squares.

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Pretend you don’t notice where I went off kilter with the sewing machine on the ear…

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I gave him a little something extra… a pom pom tail!

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And, I couldn’t make him without making him more ‘mine’… hence the button eye and the X eye. My little imperfect bunny.

Since I finished him I’ve also added a little clip to his side so I can now clip him to my bag. That keeps him from getting lost (falling out of the bag or falling to the bottom of the bag requiring me to empty to entire bag to find him), and keeps him handy.

I’m happy with my little bunny.

z

a couple of small felted projects

I haven’t had a lot of time lately to do (let alone share!) a lot of projects. But yesterday I had a bit of time to do a couple of little things.

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You know those annoyingly tangley cords on your ear buds/headphones? Well, I’ve decided I need to take this pair with me when I go to Greece in a couple of months and I do NOT want to deal with them getting messed up in the bottom of my bag all the time. So I decided to make a little pouch for them.

I had this little pocket lying around on the floor of my office/craft room. Literally lying around. Cause I have 2 bags of pure wool jumpers I felted ages ago and haven’t done anything (much) with. I did cut this pocket off one of them at some stage though…

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All I had to do to make this pouch was to find two buttons I liked and locate a hair band in my stash of ‘handy things’. Then I stitched the band on one side with a button, and a button on the other side to sling the band over to close.

Easy peasy.

The front is way cuter with the edging.

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Then, since I had the felted bits out, and needle and thread handy, I figured it was time to make my old headphones usable again. These old things work fine but they’d been in a box for so long the foam pads had disintegrated. Very uncomfortable to wear without them. I wouldn’t recommend it.

So, I made my own warm and cosy covers.

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Not the fanciest and my design leaves a lot to be desired (notice I’m not showing the sides where I’ve had to fudge them to make them fit better). But hey, they work! And maybe next time I make covers I can do a better job…

z

merry christmas!

Free Photo Christmas Card Template - Karen Cookie Jar pertaining

I thought it might be time to post SOMETHING… maybe just a Christmas wish, maybe something more… its been so busy leading up to Christmas that I haven’t had a spare minute to even think about the blog.

My bad.

So what have I been doing, you might ask? Well. I’ve been grooming dogs. And dogs. And more dogs. I made more crazy critters for the market, and more wind chimes. I did the last two Saturday markets in New Norfolk. We’ve had a film crew here two weekends in a row, filming a short movie for Tropfest in our house. I’ve been watering the garden and ignoring the height of the weeds we call a lawn.

Yep. I’ve been a bit busy.

So today is a day of rest. The plan had been to take out the canoe and take a picnic and spend the morning on the water. But we slept in, had coffee in bed, opened presents and had a late breakfast…

Later today we’re doing a one hour slot on the local radio station and visiting some friends. A relaxed and easy day.

Last night I finally had the time to make some Christmas cards for my various FB pages and groups…

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You’ve already seen the Junk4Joy card at the top of this post… and lastly, my personal card…

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Its been a few years since I actually posted cards. I used to send out tons when I was younger but now I only do electronic ones. How lazy am I?

And yes, I don’t care how politically incorrect it might be to say ‘Christmas’ but I don’t care. To me it is and always will be Christmas, so as much as I respect others’ right to believe what they want to, I expect them to respect my right to say Merry Christmas!

On a crafty note, this year I made some little tree decorations to sell at the markets.

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There are multilayered white on white ornaments, made using scrap fabric, vintage lace, iron on stiffening fabric and felt. Oh, and buttons and cotton as ties.

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Pretty cute, even if I do say so myself.

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I’ll share some pics of the newest batch of critters later – the pics I have of them so far are really bad. Also some of the other stuff I’ve managed to do around here in all my free time.

I really needed this break.

z

fairy lights and a quick wreath

I’ve been getting into the Christmas spirit lately.  Over the last couple of days I’ve put up some fairy lights outside, on the porch. Not enough, but hey… its all I got what I got so I’m using them!

I had bought some fairy lights to use at the Etsy Makers Market last month so I decided it was time to make use of them. Firstly, I put the quick Christmas tree I’d made to hang my felt and lace ornaments from at the market. I put it in the grooming room to give it a bit of festive spirit. Of course, since I’m selling the ornaments, I had to find another way to decorate the tree… Use what you have I say, so I used grooming bows!

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In the house I just lit up the Christmas tree I made out of crib slats a couple of years ago. I mean, when you have perfection why mess with it? I love this tree so I’m sticking with it.

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I had one more sting of lights which I’d earmarked for a wreath.

So I went looking in my shed, to find the right item as the basis for my wreath. What I found was a galvanised tray. A bit rusty in parts cause I’d had pot plants on it.

I like the rusty look.

Obviously.

My middle name is rust. Well, it could be…

All I did was wrap some wire I’ve had for a long time – no idea what you’d call it, but it looks like dried vine. Then I wrapped all 10 metres of the copper wire with lights around it as well.

I printed out a retro Christmas card for the center and its done.

For now its sitting on our sideboard in the living room. Once I figure out how to hang it and hide the battery operated controller I’ll hang it on our front door. Here it is unlit…

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And here it is lit up.

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So pretty.

I love fairy lights. I think we should have them everywhere all year round.

I need more fairy lights…

z

 

 

barbie display box (almost finished)

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Remember when I began working on this display box for one of my vintage Barbie dolls? We (I) decided the TV would be the way to go for the background… The above is a Photoshop-ed version which is a good way to envision something.

I decided to put ‘wallpaper’ on the sides of the box, plus a floor, ceiling, skirting boards and cornices of course…

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Putting in a floor, dark timber, and wallpaper on the sides.

I decided I wanted to use a different barbie in this box so I chose another. These are my girls. The headless one in the back is the green-eared barbie I mentioned before. Her head is on a pen on my desk right now. Without hair. Kinda creepy really. Her hair is on the way so I can start re-rooting her soon.

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I went with the blonde ponytail barbie in her original outfit. In order to create the background I printed out the TV and mounted it on board to give it a 3D look. I also printed out a large vase and put in some plastic flowers.

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I’d printed out the TV smaller than I’d planned to, so the wall looks really bare above it. I could live with the smaller TV but I needed something more. I made bunny ears (antenna) for the TV using Fimo and wire but that wasn’t enough.

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A 60’s style starburst clock was the obvious solution. Its the ultimate 60’s decor!

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Yes… The clock needs hands, I did forget about that, but I see it now looking at the photos… Plus I’m thinking I may need to put some ‘floorboards’ on the stand so its not so glaringly obvious.

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I also need to decide how I’m going to mount this first box on the wall and put a perspex front on it to keep it from getting dusty. THEN it’ll be finished.

And then I can start on the next boxes. For my barbies, and for dolls I’m listing on Etsy!

Coming soon!

z

not enough time to do it all?

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I think I’ve always known that I might have too many interests, but it hit home last night when I watched a show on TV a friend told me I needed to see. It was about a woman who’s entertainment area was so full of ‘stuff’ no one could use it. Her ‘stuff’ had encroached in other areas of the house and was affecting her family.

The problem was that she was a crafter. She liked to do all kinds of crafts. She painted, beaded, sewed, knitted. Among other things. Everything she’d collected was stuff she thought she could use, remake, recycle, DO one day.

Now, I think I’m insulted that my friend thought I was that bad.

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I have outbuildings full of stuff. My house is livable. Ok, leave my office out of it! That’s my space and I’m the only one who has to squeeze in there…

But I do see her point. Grudgingly. I think the issue is with wanting to do too much.

On the show the ‘expert’ forced the lady to pick three hobbies and get rid of everything else in order to organise (and limit) her space.

I think he missed the point. Its not about having too much stuff, its about not having enough time to do all the stuff!

I know there isn’t enough time in a lifetime to do all the things I want to do. That’s the real problem. I don’t want to give anything up, but perhaps the old saying ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ is true…

I think I found the answer:

Take it in turns!

Concentrate on maybe 2 things at a time then move on to something else. Maybe a week at a time, or a month. That way you give yourself a chance to do a bit of everything and finish a few things along the way.

Problem solved. Maybe. Sort of.

Anyway…

Enjoy the funny craft related pics I found on Pinterest.

 

z

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