Yep. I’m cheating. I’m combining 2 days in one post. Why? Well, cause I missed posting for a day and really, I didn’t feel like posting. I didn’t even log in till now. Sometimes you need time off the computer.
I had a couple of busy days in terms of life in general, yet lazy days when it came to doing creative stuff and blogging.
I did do a few things cause even when I’m couch potato-ing I still do some things. For one I got Christmas lights and put them up. Outside. I bought them – I still haven’t found my old indoor lights. I obviously put them in a real safe place!
I also bought 2 new short battery operated light strands and put one in the window and one in the coffee table display.
I made a new bed for Lainee. I’d made her one out of a fluffy sweater last year*, which she loved, but I thought it was time to upgrade. I found that the best (and cheapest) way to make dog beds is to buy cheap throws and recylcing old pillow stuffing. It might be yuck for us, but for the dog its a bonus if it smells like us! And buying the fabric costs way more than the cheap throws. Go figure.
I bought the grey throw as it suits my bedroom. As you can see, Lainee enjoys her own space while sleeping on my bed.
*I recycled Lainee’s old dog bed as a bed for stray cats. They appreciate it even if its a bit ‘doggy’ smelling.
I’ve begun sorting Christmas gifts for family and friends. Small things I’ve made basically. I like to give gifts, mostly home made, cause they cheer people up. And it cheers me up even more!
I’ve done a little more work on the latest clay projects but they aren’t nearly finished yet. Worked on a new dog. Also not finished yet…
Other than that it seems like I’m always washing dishes… what is it with that? And putting the new vacuum cleaner to work… and picking up Eric’s toys…
Ain’t life exciting?
I’ll be back in form and feeling like posting again tomorrow. I hope.
Its weird that time both drags and rushes past during this surreal time of isolation. On the one hand it seems like days just fly past; suddenly its almost halfway through a month I don’t even remember starting; its almost the weekend and I barely noticed the week go by. I realise its Friday suddenly and I better go shopping before Sunday cause in Greece supermarkets are closed on Sundays.
On the other hand, time drags cause you’re home all the time, not seeing friends, not going to work, not living fast.
Actually, I rather like not living fast. I definitely like not spending a ton of money (mainly cause I don’t have it or I probably would be ordering take away food and buying stuff online all the time).
I’m not exercising as much as I told myself I would during this time. I’m rather lazy unless it comes to working on projects that I enjoy. When I’m deep into creating I forget to eat. When I’m watching Netflix or reading I tend to nibble. I enjoy nibbling. Its one of the great pleasures in life.
But I love being at home and working at my own pace on whatever I feel like making.
The wind has died down a bit today. Tomorrow is meant to be the start of another period of great weather. Tomorrow I go back to long walks every morning. I’ll go back to the garage and start on some workshop work.
Today I painted a bit but the whole morning was taken up by getting Winston to the courier, picking up more broken marble pieces, collecting my seedlings from the friend who was babysitting them while I went on the trip to Denmark that never happened, and shopping. I combined everything so I wouldn’t have to go out in the car more than once.
Some of the seedlings are doing great. Some are bashfully peeking out. Others have decided they won’t grow or maybe they’re just taking their sweet time about it. I re-potted some into larger pots and put them all out the back to nurture.
Unfortunately the labels I put on the plastic cups I used to grow the seeds have faded so now I won’t know what’s what till they grow and I can tell by looking at them.
I also visited the Post Office to enquire about anything that might have arrived for me since things shut down. No they say.
But do I believe them? Last summer a package arrived for me and they held it for 3 weeks, during which I had no idea it had arrived (and yes, they should have left a notice that I had a package), and they sent it back. I’m not happy.
I also asked about getting a post office box in the group of boxes on the nearest corner. No they say.
There are no free ones.
I suggested I might get together with a few people who live in this group of buildings all year round and see if they want to put together some letterboxes in our driveway. No they say.
In order to put out letterboxes we have to write to the council to apply for them to put a sheltered box there for us to put in letterboxes…
Ok… Is Greece the only country in the world where you need council approval for a letterbox? And for the council to actually put a box there for you to put letterboxes in?
So, having wiped myself out doing nothing much most of today and not having any finished paintings or crafts to share, I thought I’d share something I made a couple of months ago that I forgot to post about.
A long time ago I’d bought these little tin cans in Athens thinking I’d like to make fabric sardines to go in them. So while I was in sewing mood one day I some small fabric scrap fish.
I then designed and printed out the labels:
I wanted to make my tin of sardines a little different from the ones I’ve seen elsewhere – mine aren’t just fish in a tin, they’re tiny mobiles.
I only had 4 tins, so I made 4 sets. They’re in my etsy shop for sale.
I think I’ll go make something to eat and maybe even have a nap. Cause I can!
I love being at home and having nothing I NEED to do.
I’m so pleased with it. I’ve wanted one of these since I first saw one on Pinterest years ago.
In the end, I decided a pocket would do, no rings, no tabs, no bows. Just a simple pocket. Partly cause I was too lazy to make tabs or bows, but mainly cause it would hang too low if I added those things.
The couch sits under the window. Its not ideal, but its a small place and I have an L shaped lounge suite, part of which sits on that wall, under the window. I love having a big corner lounge suite, but getting to the window to open, shut or clean it can be a total pain in the butt, having to climb onto the couch to do anything.
But I love my new curtain.
The house is still a mess, but the curtain looks darn good!
So, remember this cute little tap?
Mystery solved. Its my curtain tieback. Well, actually I can simply toss the curtain over the tap to hold it back, or I can use the hemp string tassle I made back in Tasmania to hold it back. I’m going with the tassle for now.
I also did a few bits and pieces today – while the couch was out of the way so I could sort out the curtain, I took the opportunity to drill holes to put up my rustic chalkboard (which you can see on my porch in Tasmania here) and the fish mobile Wayne made me. I love that corner now. Its me!
The cubbies are almost finished. I still have to find the patience to make another 16 little boxes, then I need to find some kind of knobs for them so I can get them out! Its not easy making little cardboard boxes… I’ll get there.
Today has been a good day. I got up at 8am as I said I would. I did morning wake-up yoga, then was out the door by 10am. I did the first coat of paint on the sewing table and the second coat of varnish on the top. Its getting there.
I also asked the guys at the transport company just down the road if I could have a couple of pallets. They said no…
Then Lainee and I walked all the way into town cause it was a nice day. I collected some plant cuttings along the way and put them in some soil when I got home. Fingers crossed on those.
The seeds I planted are apparently doing well. I spoke to my friend who’s been babysitting them since I went to Athens. I haven’t seen her to pick them up due to quarantine, but I got a photo of the lavatera which is going great.
If all goes well we’ll have your lavatera growing on a greek island Ginny!
I haven’t yet worked on the curtain today other than to decide how I want to hang it and work out what I have and what I need to make it work. I think I got it now…
I also went around and looked at all the house projects I want/need to do and made lists of what they are and how to do them, putting stuff on the shopping list where needed.
I’m waiting for the weather to stop being so insultingly windy so I can venture into the store room in the basement (a nightmare*) and bring boxes out to search through them for all kinds of goodies I will need for current and future projects.
*The basement is a pit of must and dampness. Everything I put in there has been stored in plastic tubs and double bagged. That’s not the worst of it. The worst of it is that there is currently no electricity down there and therefore no lights. Ugh. And there are rats and mice in residence… Thus a certain reluctance to go down there…
My plan (hahaha, heard that joke before!) is to buy a good flashlight and go down wearing full protective gear, bring my boxes up to a non windy area and sort through what I need to re-pack and store and what I want to bring out.
Till then I make do and work on what I can with what I have handy…
Today so far I’ve hung a fruit label on my wall, decided not to hang the rest of them, did a load of washing, wrote a ton of lists and planned projects (ie worked out what I need to find/make/buy for each) and dug out a few odds and ends from the boxes I have within reach.
I walked Lainee up to one of the local roadside vegetable stores for some fresh vegies and made a red lentil soup for dinner. Its still early in the day so I have tons of work hours left to work on whatever I decide to do.
Meanwhile I made another bunny. This one is from new socks I bought while in Athens. Slightly different from the others, but its all about trying new ways to do things.
Sometimes I love small hand sewn or felted projects cause I can work and watch TV in the evenings.
I’ve always wanted to make one of these doily curtains since I saw them on Pinterest a couple of years ago.
So firstly the inspiration…
(Clicking on the images will take you to my Pinterest page and you can follow the links to the original source.)
Anyway, I loved the idea of them, how old fashioned and romantic they looked… I began collecting doilies for the last few years in Tasmania and I brought them all with me to Greece cause I still planned to make that curtain… and with things the way they are, now seems as good a time as any to start.
I mean… what else am I gonna do, right?
I began today and I’m about halfway through. Mostly cause I’m working slowly, I stopped for lunch and took Lainee for a walk, and then the sewing machine went haywire.
…I was working on mom’s old singer and things were going fine… then while I was at the table piecing together doilies when suddenly the machine went bezerk. It began running full pelt on its own! I tried to stop it but it just kept going. I had to pull the plug. The thread all got tangled and broke, the foot plate wasn’t jammed… It was totally possessed!
Luckily I still have my old sewing machine here so I can continue working on it. Imagine if I’d already taken that to Athens! Disaster!
Stay tuned for progress pics. I still need to finish the sewing and then work out how to best hang it… I know I’m looking forward to seeing how I do that!
I had planned to work on bigger projects today, ones requiring power tools and paint, but the weather seems to have gotten on board with the whole shutdown/isolation thing. It went from absolutely beautiful to crazy windy and cold overnight.
Indoor projects seemed the way to go. I was thinking about the various sock animals I’ve seen on Pinterest lately…and I had just washed 2 pairs of socks which had lost their elasticity… so I thought why waste them? Lets try out one of the sock bunny ideas.
I kind of made it up from a combination of sock bunnies I found on Pinterest, adapting it to create one bunny out of one sock.
I am in love. They’re soft and floppy and darn cute!
Of course if I make these to sell I’ll make them using new socks, but these are made from my own socks. I have no problem with my own socks! And I’m keeping these babies.
I might use the remaining two socks to create another animal… a cat, a dog, who knows. I have two more socks and a lot of time on my hands…
Time to share some of the soft toys I’ve been making lately. Some of them, like the two above, were custom orders as gifts. A cute bunny and a Trump voodoo doll.
There there are more Trump dolls for sale in my Etsy shop.
Let’s not forget Scott Morisson either… A Scomo voodoo doll for those who need to vent their frustrations down under. The voodoo dolls each come with 3 skull pins to enjoy!
Lastly a couple more cuties: another bunny order – 2 bunnies this time – and a teddy bear I made just for fun to be found in my shop.
I always have fun making stuff out of fabric scraps. Its a smaller way to create and I can do it comfortably inside my own little home.
Did I mention I now have mom’s old Singer? Its probably a bit older than mine (and mine is pretty OLD) but its like the Mercedes Benz of sewing machines compared to my little VW beetle. I learned to sew on it but its still taking me a while to get comfortable with it. It does so much more than mine does. Not that I ever do fancy work, but its just a much better quality machine.
Next time I go to Athens in the car I’ll take my sewing machine back to mom’s so I can use it while I’m there. I get bored if I cant work on something!
More scrap fabric projects to come, as well as some upcycled stuff. Stay tuned.
You know, it occurred to me that I haven’t share any DIY/craft projects for a while… and this post has been sitting in my draft folder for quite a long time (given I started this project while living in Tasmania!) waiting for more up-to-date-though-never-finished pics.
I figured I may as well share what I’ve done to my plain denim jacket so far. I hadn’t had a denim jacket for many years and decided I needed one, but when I went looking I couldn’t find one I liked so I bought a cheap one thinking I’d jazz it up myself. The one I ended up buying was comfortable but didn’t have breast pockets which made it look really boring… ugh.
Don’t know about you, but I love the crazy stitching a la boro/sashiko/japanese style etc. I also love visible mending and generally badly stitched and mended stuff. I have a huge collection of such images in my Pinterest boards if you wanna visit.
This image is the inspiration for part 1 of the jacket makeover.
Only I went with a patchwork of fabrics, and only under the collar for that flash of colour. At least in Part 1 of the makeover…
Step 1: Distress the jacket. I used a razor blade and worked at fraying some of the edges. I had planned to run over it with the car a few times but chickened out.
Step 2: Select fabrics that compliment eachother in colours you like. I chose different red tones and patterns.
Step 3: Start sewing them on. I did this by hand as I didn’t want the stitches to show on the top side of the collar. Plus I wanted to do it in my own very messy way. (I’m really not that good at hand sewing… or sewing in general for that matter… its part of my charm.)
Sorry for the blurry pic.
This is how the collar looked with the fabrics layed out and pinned to be stitched on.
Step 4: Colourful seams. I brought some needles and embroidery thread with me when I came to Greece on holiday last summer and whiled away some quiet hours inspired by this image on Pinterest:
I loved the different colours and thought they’d make the jacket stand out a bit… and turns out I was neater with the stitching than I meant to be.
Funny story actually… I have a natural tendency towards neatness and have real difficulty with randomness. I worked hard to loosen up my art for instance – not using glasses so I couldn’t focus on details, using my whole hand and pastels instead of coloured pencils and my face an inch from the page, forcing myself to go for expression rather than each individual hair on a dog’s head, etc.
Reversely, my sewing sucks. No matter how hard I tried for years to make my stitches neat and even, I just can’t do it. Yet when I want to be messy and random I end up with something that looks neat. How on earth does that happen?
Ok so I couldn’t find a photo of the jacket with just the coloured edging on the seams, so you a step 5 image…
Step 5: Embroidery… I began sewing random patterns and trying really hard to do messy embroidery. My french knots are pretty bad actually.
This is how the jacket looks currently, but its a work in progress. The blank area on the right side needs more french knots, kind of scattering out. The back yolk needs a whole lotta embroidery. And I’m considering something big on the back…
By the end of it I should know how to do any stitch you care to name, have made up some of my own, and have a jacket I need a forklift to put on.
You know those boho jackets and stitched patched jeans you see everywhere on Pinterest? Well, you see them if you’re me and you love them and actually look for them…
Something like the images below (all from Pinterest):
So pretty… so messy and beautiful…
Well, I decided to make my own. And since I didn’t have an old jean jacket to alter, I had to go buy one. I found this very cheap one at Millers while in Tasmania last year. Its pretty plain, no breast pockets, no fading, no rips or worn bits… I had to create my own. No rips (yet), but I frayed the edges where I thought a jacket would get worn by use anyway.
I did that by running over it with a razor blade to ‘shave’ off bits of thread. It worked, but obviously it needs to be washed a few more hundred times.
I did consider running over it with the car a few times, on gravel… I also considered tossing it in the sea and letting the sea beat it against the rocks a while. (I may still do that…)
Meanwhile I started working on it when I first got it. First step was to put patches of fabric on the underside of the collar.
I decided to go with reddish colours cause I like them.
I picked the colours and pinned them in place, then hand stitched them onto the collar by hand. My stitching is pretty bad which is why I decided to go with under the collar first instead of attempting that japanese boro and sashiko mending I just adore.
Didn’t turn out too bad. So I brought it with me on holidays in Greece last June… and while here I stitched the coloured bands on the seams. It was something to do during quiet times when my hands got bored.
Since then I’ve been practicing my stitching. I brought it with me to Greece again and while in Athens for longer than planned I began work on it again. Each time I sit and stitch for a while I end up doing a couple of hours while watching Netflix or listening to music. Its very relaxing and I’m loving it.
This is how it looks after about 4 sessions of stitching, maybe 5… and there’s still a blank spot on the right where I’m not sure if I’ll fill it in entirely or just scatter more french knots.
Yeah, I learned how to do french knots! I’m not great at them yet but practice makes perfect.
My stitching is still not great but this style is perfect for messy stitching. Its ideal for people like me who couldn’t make even stitches if their lives depended on it.
The plan is to keep going till I get bored, till there’s no space left, till the jacket becomes too heavy to wear or till the only thing holding it together is the stitching…
It needs more, doesn’t it? Every time I wear it it has another section added to it.
Its my learning project for this type of thing but its so much fun. I’ll add more photos as it gets more complicated…
I was bored the other day and I was looking for stuff to do. You know how it is. Restless hand syndrome. I can watch TV or listen to music and sing along but my hands are bored. I could have eaten something but I wanted a the non-fattening activity.
So I decided to try some visible mending on a new jumper which didn’t need mending. Cause, you know… why not?
I’d been inspired by a pin I saved ages ago on Pinterest (yeah, THAT site) and I really wanted to try to do something similar. Only I went tonal instead of contrasting colours. More subtle for my first try.
I’m happy with it. I know no one else has the same sweater… Maybe I’ll be more adventurous next time…