Sunday, April 29, 2012

Lead up to Birthday week.....

Its been a big, busy, crazy emotional week.   Not only because that is how I usually get around birthday time (another year , more grey hair, what have I achieved?  where am I going? - you know how it goes)  but because I am also working on many projects all at the same time.  Its like my cook/gardener/DIY/crafty inner self is on autopilot (and on a time clock apparently) and wants to start and/or complete all projects I have going.   Crazy - I know.

No matter what I am creating, experimenting or doing, I always have my trusty pocket camera with me. A photographic diary of sorts.   I know one day I will look back and realize these days (the crazy busy ones) are my happiest.   So here is a photo diary of what is keeping me interested of late:

In the garden:: A tiny Echeveria plant grows out of what I thought was a dried up root.
From a friends well established edible garden - beautiful, nourishing beans.
Fabric ::  Watching mum create something gorgeous with this fabric (More to follow soon)
From El Mercado::  (Top) Organic Food Market free range VS  (Bottom) Supermarket free range.  The proof is in the taste.
From my Father::  Admiring his latest original, upcycled work of art.

From my Mother::  a beautiful crochet creation
Cafe::  Martino honing his skills.....
while I admire the cafe's refurb including these gorgeous mango wood stools.
From the sewing machine :: new fabric place mats, that are teaching me much patience along the way....
thats all for now.  Thanks for reading.

a (nearly) older and (hopefully) wiser craftyclaudes.......

Monday, April 23, 2012

Lots of Cardboard and 9 years worth of imagination:: Caine's Arcade

Have you seen it yet? Caine's Cardboard Arcade. Its heartwarming and will make you smile. Made us smile. The imagination and resourcefulness of Caine is pure magic. Caine cuts, folds and sticks cardboard together to build THE greatest arcade ever. All done whilst hanging out with his dad at his Auto Parts shop. Caine created the games, tickets, the ticket booth and even designed his t-shirt proudly bearing the words "Caine's Arcade" on the back and "Staff" at the front. Caine was set. All he needed was customers.

Caine's Arcade from Nirvan Mullick on Vimeo.

What happens next will make you smile.....and take you back to your childhood. A time where everything felt possible and achievable.  Something we may (sometimes) forget as adults.......

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A quick refashion:: sheer top to infinity scarf

I have been giving my wardrobe a little bit of a tidy up as we enter the cooler months.  Deciding on what to put away, what to donate and refashion. First refashion on my list was this top. 

An old top that was starting to fray.  I have always loved the colour and pattern, but was not so happy about the short sleeves and the fraying on the neckline that could not be saved without an over locker.  So I took to it with the scissors.  Basically cut it off from below the sleeves in one straight cut:

Once cut, I pinned a hem all the way around.  Sewing this proved a little tricky as I have never worked with such sheer,delicate (read: very slippery)  fabric so I had to do a little bit of research on the best way to sew a hem.  Lucky for me I remembered that back in February,  the the very clever Jenn from mytwobutterflies had kindly put up this technique for a refashion she had completed using similar fabric.  So I got to working on it and is my completed sheer infinity scarf!

I am pleased with the result and happy that I was able to save the fabric.  Now I have a little sheer scarf for all seasons....

Monday, April 16, 2012

Craftyclaudes handmade:: Pretty little Babushka Doll Softie

I have been working on a new softie/doll.  For a while now I have been researching Babushka dolls but hadn't found any that incorporated a little bit of hand sewing as well as up cycled fabrics that I liked.  So I set about designing one using a simple pattern I made on my own.

The pattern allows me to use double layers of fabric for extra strength and colour possibilities.
So on my recent visit to the Salvos I found these beautiful linen knickerbockers in a light grey. The quality of the linen is A1 - no pesky knots (slubs) in the fabric.  Although they are a very tiny size 4, for a couple of dollars I couldn't resist.  
snip snip - off with the leg!
I also found this lovely fabric napkin.  This one has a sweet, hand embroidered trim that sets off a little  applique flower.  A lot of  hand made love was put into this napkin, and just my luck, I rescued it from the fabric miscellany bin.

After cutting out the fabric pieces, I did a little hand embroidery.  A quick refresher from mum allowed me to chain stitch the eyes in a sleepy little look. A peaceful babushka ready for a nap and many hugs.  Here she is all finished!

The new Brother NS20 is working a treat. Allowing me to sew through many layers of fabric and with 40 stitches I get to experiment a little with some machine embroidery.
So there she is all finished. She is very cute and plump like a good cushion and soon leaving me to go to a new home.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Teeny Tiny and Micro Animal friends.....

Are these not the cutest you have seen?

all via their Etsy shop

Su Ami is a group of 5 crafters in a family, living in Vietnam selling their magnificent crochet creations on Etsy.  Each animal is made using embroidery or sewing thread using some super small crochet hooks (0.4mm).  Some of their creations are even made with movable limbs and polyfill stuffed bodies!

Here is one of their micro creations  - a honey bee!

All available via their shop

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Ombre Ombre - Everywhere.......

and I don't mean (misspelt) Spanish men! haha.....I mean  Ombre::  shaded or graduated tones.

Lately everywhere I look, every design, lifestyle or fashion blog I follow mentions this look.   I must admit at first I was not that keen on it, but after seeing it in different shades and looks,  I really like it.   What do you think?

image via here
images via Pinterest
image via here
image via here
Image via here
image via here
Ok I am sold.....

Monday, April 9, 2012

D is for .......

Doilies are my favorite.  Ive been admiring them ever since my Great Grandmother would sit and crochet them.  There I was a chubby 4 year old sitting at her feet trying to copy her with my pretend crochet needles (ie: my fingers).  Once we migrated to Australia I remember doilies sitting under each and every glass ornament we had around the house.  Doilies of all shapes, sizes and shades of white. All made by my dear Great Granny who continued to make and send them to us in care packages from our far away homeland.  Lovely memories. Now in my crafty pursuits I have used them for bunting , to make my own brooch as well as using them for a refashioned cardigan (project to come soon).

Here are some other doily pretties:

A Megadoily  that can be made to order ---- via here
A gorgeous Doily Lamp made by one of my favorite Swedish blogs - Dosfamily
Doily bowl DIY - tutorial available here

oh doily.
I. Heart. You.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Happy Weekend :: A lovely Easter to all....

Franc Grom - A Slovenian artist who takes egg shell decorating to another level. Using a drill he makes as many as 3500 holes to create some intricate designs on your average sized egg. For the last 18 years he has been creating these beautiful works of art, each taking a week to create.  He is the only known artist of his kind.  Beautiful.......

Wishing everyone a weekend filled with a little sweetness and a lot of fun, laughter and inspiring interactions!


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Quick Crafty Project :: Mini Paper Bunting

A fun little project that anyone can make. You don't need any special tools. This could have easily been made using a pen/pencil/marker to write the message on each little flag. However, if you are feeling a little bit more crafty and you have access to some lettering stamps and ink, then go for it!

Materials I used:

* card stock/paper
* scissors
* wooden skewers
* twine
* hole punch (I used a single hole punch but a two hole one is fine )
* lettering stamps
* stamping ink (my colour was Harbor Blue by ColorBox)

Step 1:   Draw and cut out a template flag of your chosen size and shape.  Mine were tiny ones measuring about 3cm wide by 3.5cm long.  Once I was happy with the size, I used that template to trace onto the card stock/paper.  I used scrapbooking card stock in various patterns and shades of pale blue.

Step 2:   Once you have cut out enough flags for the message you wish to write, line them up and get ready for the stamping!
Step 3:  Stamp or write your message.  If using ink, make sure you let each letter dry before punching the hole on each corner.

Step 4:   Once you have written or stamped your letter, then take the hole punch and  carefully punch a hole on each top corner - making sure that you leave enough room between the hole and the edge of the flag.  I suggest cutting extra flags so you can try lining up your hole puncher to the edge.

Step 5:   Once you have punched 2 holes on each flag, then you simply thread them with the twine (use more twine than you need as you can always cut the excess away).   Then tie each row of flags to the wooden skewers.  I used 2 cups to hold the skewers in whilst I did all all the tying.  

Tadaaaaa.  Its done!  I think the Birthday Boy was very impressed :-)   It was a fun project to do and made for a nice keepsake.

I love can you not?  When there is laughter, yummy food and cake!  happy times!