meet patch

As promised, here’s Patch. He’s the first ever dog sculpture I made – this time using the same system for the armature but hand sewing the body for the finish.

He turned out great and I love him. He’s about twice the size of my usual dog sculptures and he took way longer to make due to the hand sewing. I want to make more like him but they are very time consuming, and I also love the glued fabric look… hm… Then again I love the hand sewn patched look as well… Oh the dilema!

Whatever. I’m really surprised I couldn’t find him on my blog yesterday. I was sure I’d shared him. Obviously not. Either that or I called him/the post something totally unrelated so he didn’t come up in my search.

Odd.

z

footstool summer look

This is a small easy update to a very wintery looking footstool I bought this winter. This is what it looks like:

Nothing fancy, just warm and furry, goes well with the faux cowhide rugs I throw over the couch in winter.

But in summer I wanted something lighter, more in keeping with the summer look of lighter throws. So I dug out the old flour bags I’d collected in Tasmania. I was going to get a friend to make a quilt out of them but never got around to unstitching them to give her. Now I have a few very old and some not so old ones I’m not sure what to do with sitting in a suitcase under my bed.

I selected a not so old one (its in kilos) to make this cover.

I don’t have progress photos cause I always sew by the seat of my pants (ie sometimes things work, sometimes they don’t though I always make them work somehow)… but basically these are the steps:

  • I cut the bag open to separate front from back.
  • I laid the front fabric upside down and placed the stool on top (also upside down) and traced the shape.
  • I cut the circle allowing plenty of seam allowance.
  • I cut the back into a strip deep enough to cover the sides and go under a bit – the length wasnt enough so I used a piece from the front (with writing on it) to make it long enough.
  • I sewed the two pieces together to form a long ‘side’ piece.
  • I hemmed the side piece with a channel to fit elastic in it.
  • I slid the side piece onto the stool inside out and placed the top piece on inside out and pinned it all together.
  • I sewed it all together, trimmed edges and zig zagged them to stop fraying.
  • I threaded elastic through the channel and voila:
  • Fitted it onto the footstool!

I didn’t bother ironing it (cause I’m basically lazy and ironing would have meant cleaning the stove top of the sundry bits and pieces its collected, putting out my ‘ironing’ towel and getting the iron out from under the sink*), so its the edges aren’t all sitting in the right spot, but you get the picture.

*My iron is only out when I’m dedicated to sewing. Naturally.

Underneath you can see the elastic holding it in place.

One small project finished!

Meanwhile I’ve been busy doing stuff, painting on marble, grooming dogs, going swimming, napping in the middle of the day when the heat gets too much for me, making baskets, watching a lot of Netflix…

I finished Orphan Black (loved it), started iZombie (loving it)…

Hey, at least most of the time I work while watching Netflix, don’t get on my case!

Gotta go groom. Later!

z

walking dead dolls

I know I’ve shared a couple of my Walking Dead doll remakes, but I found I had this post in my drafts folder and it includes one previously unshared doll: Sasha.

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This is Sasha in the show:

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And this is my Sasha, complete with a high powered rifle with moving parts.

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Remaking Sasha included a total repaint of her face and a new hair style. I made her singlet top and she wears Bratz jeans. I bought her gun on ebay as I’ve bought various other accessories at times when I can’t make them myself. I already have a crossbow to make Daryl… I just have to get there.

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Let’s revisit the other girls… Firstly my all time favourite: Michonne. This is how she began, a very messy Bratz girl I bought in an op shop. That’s one thing I miss here (among other things…) No op shops. I’ve never seen dolls I can remake for sale anywhere for instance. I’m glad I brought a ton with me! When I eventually get around to re-making some again.

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This is Michonne on the show…

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And this is how my interpretation, complete with a katana and a chain to hold her pet walkind dead.

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In Michonne’s case I had to do a total overhaul. I had to remove her hair and make dredlocks by wet felting a combination of wools. I made her top, including a leather vest plus a studded belt. Her jeans are original Bratz jeans as they’re just too hard to make.

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Last but not least, Carol. This is Carol on the show:

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This is what the doll looked like before I started. A typical overdone Bratz doll with wild hair.

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And this is the finished Carol, complete with a gun, a military warrier knife and bag.

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In Carol’s case I did a repaint of the face, gave her a haircut and coloured her hair grey. I made all her clothes and made a pair of Bratz sandals into boots by painting and adding laces.

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I miss remaking dolls. Its one of the things I planned to work on in winter but never got around to it for two winters in a row. This winter I was working on sculptures and last winter who remembers… All I know is that time never seems to be enough.

And I get bouts of laziness and inspiration blocks.

I should really be working on things like this constantly but instead I spend hours doing all sorts of things instead of creating. I really work best when I have a ton of projects going at once cause then I can pick what I want to work on at any given time. Space becomes an issue in a 2 room flat.

Last night I was up till 12.30 working on one of my new (old) cabinets. I didn’t even realise what time it was till I saw it was pitch black outside.

I love it when I’m in the zone like that.

z

visible mending – lockdown 2 day 149

Yesterday when I put Lainee’s little blue jumper on I realised it had 3 holes in it. I have no idea where they came from but they were definitely there… And getting bigger. So something had to be done about it.

So this afternoon while watching Bold Type on Netflix (light hearted, fun, easy to watch while I work) I began mending with embroidery thread I had on hand. Lucky I had just enough in each colour to create a border around the holes to keep the jumper from totally unravelling.

Oh and for those who noticed, I did create 4 rings when I said there were 3 holes. That’s because I decided to make another hole so I can put Lainee’s harness on underneath the jacket and still clip on her lead through the hole.

Ok, so I’m not the neatest… I see mending by others on Pinterest and drool and want to emulate but mine always ends up looking like it was done by an sightless mole without opposing thumbs.

Still, Lainee isn’t complaining. She’s an easy girl to please.

Poor little darling is in the wars right now. You may remember she has a huge mammary tumour which I wanted removed a while ago but she’s got a heart murmur we’ve been treating meanwhile to make it safer to put her under… Well, she began licking the tumour while I was away in hospital and yesterday she made it bleed. Hence she’s swaddled in bandages and vet wrap around her middle now. I have her booked in for surgery to remove the tumour next Thursday… sigh.

At least she’s been a happy little girl, she loves the wind and goes bezerk when I take her out in it, and she’s playful every morning. So although its bothering her she’s been well in herself. That’s something.

z

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cheating – lockdown 2 days 37 & 38

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.

z

paros day 26: tinned fish

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?

sigh.

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.

Providing my creative mojo stays strong.

z

paros day 15: the curtain unveiled!

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I’ve finally finished the curtain!

I’m so pleased with it. I’ve wanted one of these since I first saw one on Pinterest years ago.

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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.

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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.

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But I love my new curtain.

The house is still a mess, but the curtain looks darn good!

So, remember this cute little tap?

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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.

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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!

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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!

z

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paros day 3: keeping busy

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.

Keeping myself to myself and being creative.

z

paros day 2: curtain in progress

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!

z

paros, day 1: sock bunnies

I’m in love with these bunnies!

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…

z

 

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