Category: Crafts


*Gasp!* It’s an update!

Yeah, I know. It’s appalling that it’s been so long since my last update but I’ve got a very good reason.  Since I last wrote, I’ve actually been working extremely hard in one of Dublin’s most famous universities. Basically I’m part of an IT  team that’s upgrading the servers and my job entails a lot of meeting interesting people, upgrade their accounts and visit their offices. I’ve been in pretty cool and awesome places and I wish I could have taken photos in a lot of them. I’ve been in two actual factual labs (complete with having to put on those lab suits and having to go through one of those air cleanser shower things, just like you see in the movies!), a mansion, 3 hospitals, a conservation library and countless offices.

So, as you can imagine, after all of that excitement and running around, I tend to be a bit tired after work and therefore cannot muster up any energy for crafting. But fear not, for my weekends are filled with a crazed desire for sewing and I have actually been working on a lot of stuff. (I just hadn’t gotten around to taking photos.)

So, here’s a plethora of stuff that I’ve done in the last 6 months:

Fabric bracelets

These are fun to make, very easy to do!

I also got on the pincushion buzz too:

I’ve also managed to make my very first messenger bag, woo! Thanks to this handy tutorial http://pinoyinoz.blogspot.com/2008/07/tutorial-messenger-bag-with-zip-top.html, I now have a very funky and secure bag!

Sorry the pictures aren’t great but the light was dimming and it was hard to get shots.

That’s all the blogging I can do for now, I’m tired. Laters!

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Ooooh quilting is fun!

So, like I said in my last post, I tried out some quilting. I wanted to do it for ages but with the lack of an iron, I couldn’t allow myself to try it. I’m a perfectionist at times and the OCD in me refuses to let me start something new in a half-assed manner. My darling sister got a job recently with a little help from me and so in return she asked what would I like as a reward. She didn’t bat an eyelid when I said I needed an iron. She figured it must be for crafting rather than actual ironing of my clothes. Ah, she knows me so well!

One thing I love is scouring the mighty oceans of the Internet, searching for tutorials. There’s just so much cool stuff out there and I want to make so much of it! I rarely follow the full directions, somewhere along the way I’ll insert my own twist on things.

Anyways, one of the most awesome tutorials I’ve seen is from Obsessively Stitching. Caroline makes lots and lots of funky stuff, including fabric storage cubes.
The tutorial I tried was the quilty belt and I must say, it’s a fantastic tutorial. I never thought it could be so easy to make drab belts look so awesome!

(I don’t have a before shot, but it was quite boring.)

Time for the Action shot!

Nifty! The photo was taken by my boyfriend, who is feeling poorly. Awwh!

Much thanks to Caroline at Obsessively Stitching!

So the first anniversary of my blog is coming up. I’m not going to celebrate it or anything like that but I have been thinking about what I’ve done in the last year. I’ve learnt a lot, I really have. Some skills I already knew, so I improved on them and I’ve come a long way.
I learnt how to sew and knit when I was younger and I sewed here and there but it wasn’t until last summer that I bought a sewing machine (see post) and really started headway. Then I had to go back to hand sewing after about 2 months because it turned out that the particular sewing machine turned out to be utter shite and refused to work properly anymore. Making mad funny plastic clunky noises, throwing temper tantrums, deliberately messing up the threads…I don’t know what issues it had with me, but I eventually just threw it out and tried never mentioning it again.
Lesson learnt: €40 does not mean it’s a bargain for a brand new sewing machine. €40 for a vintage sewing machine is actually a great deal, especially for a treadle.

My sewing toolkit

On the upside, my mam gave me her sewing machine, a glorious Singer 9012. (Yep, the one I wasn’t allowed touch as a kid!) This workhorse has lasted 20 years and it’s still going strong. T’is a dream to use!

(I call her Attie, short for Athena, the goddess of crafting. It’s not an ego thing, it was either that or Zapp from “Futurama” fame. Personally, I don’t want to sew nothing but velour!)

Getting my love of photography on with my love of sewing...

I’ve already made loads of things with her, but that’s for another post.

The other things I’ve learnt this year: knitting (learnt basics as a kid, but I forget almost everything until January just gone), crochet (I’m only at the basic stage now), digital art, jewellery making, embroidery and I’m sure there’s other stuff but I can’t think of them right now.

My first embroidery piece - ever!

OK,  so some of these skills are still at extremely basic levels, but it’s all fun and I’m gonna keep on trying! I’m gonna try quilting next 🙂

Out of everything though, I gotta admit that sewing is probably my favourite.

I joined up to Craftster.org which is this unique community of crafty people. Everyone’s so nice and so goddamn talented that my jaw drops on a hourly basis at least (I do occasionally have to drag myself away from Craftster). Some of the tutorials are incredibly brilliant as well, I wholeheartedly endorse having a look!

I also joined up to the Monthly Odd Holidays swaps which have been fun, slightly nerve wrecking (“oh insert-deity-here, what if my partner doesn’t like what I sent? What if it doesn’t arrive?!”)  and invaluable to my learning. But mostly a lot of fun!

Well, I’ll leave it at that for now. But I’ll be back again soon(ish) with more updates!

Hello again and I hope everyone had an awesome Christmas!

The reason why I haven’t updated in a while was due to, yet again, a lot of stuff happening. There was the gig on the 11th of December that I was co-organising so that meant making decorations and visuals for the night. The actual gig…well, there was some technical problems and some anger to deal with but it was all dealt with and the audience seemed to enjoy themselves. I felt I aged a thousand years but the best and most awesome Christmas rest sorted that out for me and now I’m back to my youthful 27 years old!

Also, there was Christmas to deal with that distracted me from blogging. Being broke and funemployed (someone who enjoys being unemployed, i.e. actually making good use of all the free time), I had to resort to cheap, crafty presents so I was frantically trying make presents (whilst doing the other stuff too). I succeeded too, so I’m pleased. However, I’ve already given all of those presents away so the only photo I can show you is the present I made for my boyfriend.
My boyfriend and I are comic fans (generally not the Marvel/DC stuff, more Watchmen/Preacher/Sandman kind of thing but willing to dabble) and we both agree that Rorschach is the most bad ass superhero of the lot. It’s true! He never loses sight of what’s right and wrong, he doesn’t want ANYONE to see his real face, he’s a bit crazy and he can fight as well as any superhero. He’s the quintessential anti-hero.
Anyhoo, I made him a Rorschach plushie. He was originally going to be part of the Aido’s Monkey Army but then I thought to myself “nah, this guy’s got to be special” so he’s just himself.

Rorschach from "Watchmen"

Rorschach from "Watchmen"

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
Who watches the watchmen?

(Answer on back of the poster: ME.)

What do you think?

Kitty Hat!

Winter is most definitely here and my poor little ears get very cold so I took it upon myself to make a hat. I got the idea from a craftser on www.craftser.org and while I didn’t use the exact same details, I felt I should also link to the tutorial. So here ya go!

http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=56636.0

Me wearing my lovely warm hat:

Kitty Fleece Hat

Detail on one of the ears:

Kitty Fleece Hat Ear Detail

 

I probably should mention that this didn’t cost me anything at all to make!

 

Photos by Aidan O’ Brien.

Roundup Collection

I’m notorious for multitasking, though I have been known to get stuck in certain loops, like my papercraft obession. I can’t help it, I love making things.

So for all you fine folks out there, I give you a roundup of the latest things I’ve made!

To kick things off, I present you with two more members of Aido’s Monkey Army, complete with personas:

The Mad Scientist

The Mad Scientist

I’m really pleased that I managed to get the lab coat mostly right! Oh, he’s totally crazy.  You should see some of his experiments.

Mutant Monkey

Mutant Monkey

The very first of the Mad Scientists’ experiments. Whether the experiment was successful or not remains unclear, as a 3 tailed monkey could prove to be quite useful for certain missions.

Next, I have some vinyl art for you. Not much but there will be much more on the way!

House of The Rising Sun

House of The Rising Sun

I found a vinyl EP of the Animals singing “House of The Rising Sun” in a charity shop. It’s a track that I’ve always loved ever since I was a kid listening to my Dads’ records but I don’t have a record player so I decided to turn it into art. I painted a (modern) New Orleans skyline against a rising sun. I’m still unsure as to whether it’s finished but I’ll update again if I do “finish” it.

Vinyl Heads

Vinyl Heads

A simple piece but I like it nonetheless.

Next up, still on the stencil theme:

No Face from the Studio Ghibli movie Spirited Away

No Face from the Studio Ghibli movie "Spirited Away

Flying Towards The Sun

Flying Towards The Sun

The Great Wave of Kanagawa

The Great Wave of Kanagawa

Credit where it’s due, the link for this template is here!

Taks SIIR (Standard-Issue Information Retrieval) robot from the cartoon Invader Zim

Tak's SIIR (Standard-Issue Information Retrieval) robot from the cartoon "Invader Zim"

A piece of jewellery next:

Blue Beaded Necklace

Blue Beaded Necklace

And finally…

In case you’re wondering what this has to do with my blog, I made him play the piano.

See? I’m constantly making things!

Let me know what you think of them in the comments, cheers!

I AM THE CONQUEROR OF MY SEWING MACHINE!

Sorry about that, I’ve been pretty excited about that. I’ll back up and explain a little.

Before my mam became a missus and a mother, she used to be a seamstress in a factory (not in that Discworld “Guild of Seamstresses” sort of way). After she left her job, she continued to make outfits for various occasions. She made my communion dress, a flowergirl dress and 2 debs dresses. (For all non-Irish-school-attended-people, a Debs is sorta like a prom, but it usually happens a few months after leaving school.) Of course, all of that was for me, I can’t even think of how many other dresses and outfits she’s made for several other people.

So you’d think that my mam would have taught me how to use a sewing machine from a youngish age but no. I never really found out why (maybe she was afraid I’d break it?) so I learnt to sew by hand. Which is all fine and well for a while but a sewing machine is far superior to hand sewing. So, off I toddled to Dunnes Stores to pick up a cheap one and after much cursing, practising, slightly more cursing and finally re-reading the manual, I finally figured out to master it!

NOW you can see why I got excited!

Anyways, today I present you with my latest skills:

Totoro from the Studio Ghibli movie My Neighbour Totoro

Totoro from the Studio Ghibli movie "My Neighbour Totoro"

Greetings fellow allergists! You may recognise the next creature!

Snot Monster will devour all of your tissues!

Snot Monster will devour all of your tissues!

The next two were made for my boyfriend who REALLY wants an army of monkeys. I’m doing the best I can with recycled materials such as old tshirts and whatnot but don’t you worry my love, you will have your army!

BW Bush

BW Bush

This monkey’s talents lie in being a Class 1 Distract-O-Mime. Ever been distracted by a mime? No? Well, you will be. How can you resist? It’s a miming monkey! Oh noes, ambushed again!

Ninja Monkey - deadliest of all ninjas!

Ninja Monkey - deadliest of all ninjas!

I managed to get a picture of this secretive simian while he was posing but as soon as he heard the “click” of the camera, he was gone! Now who knows where he could be…

I do have more plans for Aido’s Monkey Army! Many more plans, but I won’t tell you what they are yet (in case they turn out badly!) but guaranteed, I will post more pictures!

Jewellery

Wow, my last post received a lot of views! Now I’ve got standards to live up to I guess 😀

So, today’s post is all about the jewellery I make. I’ve made and fixed jewellery for over 10 years but not much, mostly due to lack of the right tools. However, that changed about a month or two ago and ever since I’ve been making jewellery almost every day.

Here’s a few examples:

Flying Spaghetti Monster - Im not a Pastafarian but I enjoy his noodly goodness

Flying Spaghetti Monster - I'm not a Pastafarian but I enjoy his noodly goodness

Instructions from:

http://www.winonatong.com/archives/2006/06/flying_spaghetti_monster_jewellery.php

Butterfly Necklace

Butterfly Necklace

4 Earrings

4 Earrings

Necklace Mandala - my own design

Necklace Mandala - my own design

Origami Crane Earrings

Origami Crane Earrings

Well, that’s all I have for the moment, I still have a lot of works in progress. I’m hoping to sell a few of these at an arts and crafts fair soon enough so let me know what you think!

Alien Abduction Lamp

I was using Stumbleupon when I read this article on how to make your own alien abduction lamp for under $5 and I laughed heartily at the idea. Then, almost instantly, I leapt upon the challenge of making my own.

I was slightly hampered by some minor details, such as the lack of owning a drill so I modified slightly and made my own version with paper-maiche on a cassarole dish.  (It was extremely difficult to get the UFO shape off the dish!)

Anyways, here’s my version and it cost me roughly about €5:

Alien Abduction Lamp

Alien Abduction Lamp

Now all of my friends are asking me to make one for them! I made a much bigger version for a friend’s gig recently, I hung it over the dancefloor so people could pretend they were being abducted while they danced 😀

Papercraft

This post is all about papercraft. For those who don’t know me, I spent a year and a half working in IT services in an university . During the summer, exams, mid term breaks and all that sort of thing, the uni gets extremely quiet and there’s very little to do, except make use of full access internet and a colour printer. (My StumbleUpon ratio was ridiculous!)

So, in order to keep my sanity sort of intact, I began making papercraft models with templates I found on the internet.

If you’re interested in making them yourself, there’s LOADS of templates online that are free to print out and make. They can make great little presents for people and I greatly enjoyed making them!

Here’s a selection of my favourites models that I made (links to original sites included):

Milky & Girlfriend

Milky & Girlfriend

Brain Slug

Brain Slug

Gir!

Gir!

Earthworm Jim

Earthworm Jim

Futurama Death Clock

Futurama Death Clock

No Face (Kaonashi) from the Studio Ghibli movie Spirited Away

"No Face" (Kaonashi) from the Studio Ghibli movie "Spirited Away"

Portal

Portal

Magic 8 BallMagic 8 Ball

Magic 8 Ball
Cat Bus

Cat Bus

I made several papercrafts over the space of about 10 months, most of them in work. I gave them away as my final parting gift to my job:

Goodbye Papercraft

Goodbye Papercraft!

That’s all for now, I’ll update again soon!