Browsing Tag

decoration

Craftiness, Thrifty

Quick and thrifty retro bird decoration

12 February, 2013

*****Warning: contains strong, possibly offensive views*****

You know what I hate? PINK. UGH. It is so disgusting. I have no doubt that my hatred of it is in part because of how it is now a prescriptively female colour, to the extent that nearly all girl kid’s clothes have to have a smattering of it, just to identify them. How ridonkulus is that?

I don’t own one single pink item of clothing, not even a ribbon. Putrid, vomity Shade of Average.  *Begins petition to have it taken out of the rainbow*

Of course, unless it is on something retro. Retro pink is an altogether different kind of thing, no? I have quite a few 1960’s duvet covers in bright, bold, flower power pink and they are completely rock and roll. Ooh, yeah, 40 year old pink bed linen has got it going on.

Let me tell you a really cool and quick craft trick. If you smother fabric in a mixture of PVA and water (or homemade mod podge- click here for the recipe) and then leave it to dry, it turns into paper! Not actual paper, obvs, but you can cut it and treat it in the same way, so it doesn’t fray, snips super easily and bends to your will. It means you can do lots of papery- style crafts with it but they will be loads more sustainable and hardy, water proof and quite possibly in cooler patterns. Hooray!retro bird garland

I made a little string of retro birds and hearts – in fact you can catch me making this garland over on the Netmums Youtube Channel- eeep! It is a cool way of getting into the loving vibe of February, but also of showcasing some of those retro bed linens my husband doesn’t want to sleep in (see? SEE? It is so prescriptively feminine… or they have so obviously been slept in by many old ladies…)

I drew around my homemade bird cookie cutter on to the back of the fabric and then cut them out.retro fabric bird

I placed them on this old velvet ribbon and used some of the beautiful buttons from my Nana’s old button tin to sew them on.retro fabric valentines birds craft

Are you upcycling anything for Valentines Day this year? And, also, if you love pink, I don’t mind, honest. When it comes to YOU I’m quite colourblind.

PS I’d hate for you to miss a post… enter your email to get them pinged into your inbox. I won’t be spamalot, promise!


Craftiness

DIY Valentines decoration with a doily and a coathanger

3 February, 2013

Doilies are little things of wonder, an intricate relic of a daintier world whose stars faded in the eighties. (Like most good things, eh? MC Hammer pants, Button Moon, my childhood.) I heard it was once commonplace, before the advent of T.V cabinets, to have a giant doily placed over your telly, to hide its big, boxy crassness.  Giant doilies, eh? Can you IMAGINE.Stack doilies

I recently inherited a small stack of doilies from my Nana. I was thrilled to BITS with this lacey, memory exuding pile. Although when I got them home I figured out why I normally don’t snap them up when they are going for a song at a car boot sale. What do you do with them? They are superfluous wee things. When put on your shelves under ornaments, as is, I gather, traditionally done, they add a fiddliness to dusting that makes me think there was probably a perfect correlation between the increase in women in the workplace and the descent of the doily’s popularity.

I need no other disincentive for cleaning so I have had a LOT of fun crafting with the doilys over the last few days. I am most excited about this:
Homemade Valentines Wreath tutorial

*sings operatically* “YESSS! A Valentines Wreath! It is exactly what everybody neeeeeeds” (Since seeing Les Mis last week, which was basically me paying a tenner to sit in a public place and sob for three hours, I have been UNABLE to not sing almost everything. It all just sounds so much better, makes life a lot more dramatic. Imagine every other sentence in song, if you can.)

You need:
Air Dry Clay – this is worth having, it is so easy to work with and non messy and especially good if you are a parent who likes to craft as it can occupy tots too. Ramona and I can happily play with this together for an hour. Although salt-dough would also work.
A Doily
Scissors (or a cookie cutter – but I love the way it feels, cutting this stuff)
A rolling pin
A coat hanger

Simply roll out your clay to about 0.5 cm, and then cut out your hearts. Place your doily on one corner – or the whole thing, if you fancy- and roll your pin over it again, very, very firmly, just once, it should end up about a third of a CM thick. Valentines Doily decoration

Do this with about ten hearts of different sizes.

DIY air dry hearts doily
Meanwhile, take a coathanger and undo it. Twist it in on itself until it is a sphere with a circumference of about 10cm, with a small hook at the top.coathanger

Once your hearts are dry (this could take up to a day by a radiator) glue them on (liberal with the glue folks, this isn’t the Depression. Nope, just a quadruple dip recession.)
hearts glue

Hang it up! Ta Da!

Valentines Decoration Air dry dough doily

I am pretty happy with how it looks, but mostly I flipping loved making it. So much fun, so quick and simple.

Made anything lately? Would love to see it!

PS I’d hate for you to miss a post… enter your email to get them pinged into your inbox. I won’t be spamalot, promise!


PPS Linking up with the most magnificent Liz and those other marvellous Magpies!

Activism, Craftiness

It is all about cross stitch… (no, really!)

10 November, 2011

I had a dream this week where all my friends, old and new, were at a cross stitch party and they were all better at it than I was. Dreams are so boring to hear but it is still so impossible to refrain from sharing your own eh? I’m sorry. And I bet that dream sounds like THE MOST BORING EVER! A crossstitch party?!
But actually, while dreams are boring, cross stitch is not. Nope. It has been transformed by the ranks of subversive stitchers and now it is The Absolute Best.
It was the Craftivist Collective who first got me in to it – they cross stitch gorgeus social justice messages and leave them in prominent places such as this one I found last week at the Occupy LSX camp at St Paul’s.

However my first cross stitch was a bit of a fail as I liked it so much I kept it and put it on my wall. (Don’t tell them.) How un-world changey of me. And now I am unstoppable. (Sort of, I do a few a year.)

One thing I like about crossstitch is that it has a rep for being one thing (antiquated and quaint) but has now become something else (cool and even edgy) kinda like if Katy Price was to picket the upcoming Miss World (cool) or if Bono (justice warrior) was to become a tax dodger (ah, yes, done. And so not cool.)

I love words and sentences and my house is covered with them, like this lamp and this wall. But crossstitched words and sentences are completely Next Level. 

Another thing I love about it is that it is so thrifty; a few bits of cotton and the canvas bit you sew on to will set you back a couple of squid and last FOREVS. Giving cross stich words epitomises the goodness of thrifty gifts- it is cheap but not cheapskate- the time and effort put into crafting it up can far outweigh the flashy beauty of a bought thing.  Something like this from this epic selection would be ideal for new babies on the scene: 

And you may have picked up that I love quick craftiness- while crossstitch does need a bit of patience it can be picked up for the odd five minutes here or there, or taken with you so you can do it on the hoof. The Love one below was done on a train journey while Ramona slept. Chucked in a cute old frame it sets off this bookshelf rather deliciously.

This post is sponsored by NeedlePointer; Camberwell’s favourite needle supplier. JOKES. When I was about 11 me and my cousin and my sister spent several hours making up a melody and beautiful harmonies to a song about Needle Craft- we had seen an ad on telly and for some reason it seemed like a grand way to spend a morning. The tune has been running through my head this whole time. Bonkers. I’ll have to sing it to you one day. As a treat. Maybe I could also tell you my top ten weird dreams too.