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Look what I made: All the things edition

Lately I seem to be on the biggest craft kick. I have a million things I want to do and make, but more importantly I’ve actually been finishing projects. Not starting and then abandoning, or (and this is the worst) just pinning or writing down an idea and doing nothing else with it.

First was a frame to display my drop and hoop earrings. There’s plenty of ideas with lace or wire strung across frames, or just a piece of sheer fabric stretched to hook the earrings in, but I found the perfect solution with a crocheted table cloth my Grandma gave me. I love crochet. I do. But as a tablecloth, nope!

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It worked out extremely well. Easy to hook the earrings in, so simple to display, and the frame was even lighter than I thought because I forgot about removing the glass.

Second project was the completed catch-all crocheted from builders line. I had a little issue with the edges (they rolled in on themselves) but it turned into a ‘just go with it’ moment as I had passed the point of no return. A catch-all plate is perfectly acceptable.

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Third project was a knitted pixie hood. Pink Brutus had a very cute and VERY easy method to knit one up.

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I’ve noticed I have a ‘thing’ with knitting or crocheting. If the wool looks appealing I’m 100x more likely to keep at it and finish it in a reasonable time frame. If not I really have to force myself to get it done. The mustard colour of the wool and the natural wooden knitting needles kept my happy meter right up there and I got this project done in about a week. IMG_1561

It also has plaited tassel/cords which are hidden under my hair.

Lucky last was a large, but actually quite simple one. A macrame screen for the back door.

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Emma from A Beautiful Mess made a beautiful macrame screen for her study, which I adapted to be an insect screen for our back door. I know it’s not going to be perfect, but I’m sure anything is better than the wide open space that we currently have when our back door is open.

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The worst part was cutting up and attaching the cotton cord to the dowel. I’m pretty sure, even after measuring the pieces against each other, that each one is different. The macrame was dead easy, I used this tutorial here, but the ends leave a little to be desired. They’re all different lengths, but y’know what. I’m not perfect, life’s not perfect, so these ends aren’t perfect.

Nicole

 

 

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Personalised notebooks

My brain is pretty terrible at remembering things unless I write them down. In high school and uni I studied alot of the time by re-writing my notes. It’s just the way I work. Even today I write myself to-do lists (often on my hand which so grown up, I know) otherwise it will just seep out of my brain.

paint splattered notebook

At the beginning of the year I decided to personalise my own calendar/diary for 2014. I bought a hard cover notebook, painted and splattered the front and back covers and finished it off with a coat of clear sealer. It was so much more me. It fit my needs because I made it. I decided what I wanted on each page, how to write up the date and days of the week and how much room I wanted to leave for other things. It’s been great so far, except for my inability to do maths which lead to having to re-do the placement of each week as not all 52 weeks fitted.

Incidentally this video has some pretty shrewd ideas for creating a calendar/diary out of a plain notebook.

After seeing some very cheap A3 visual diaries advertised in my favourite store Kmart I snapped them up with the intention of turning them into something similar.

Elsie from A Beautiful Mess and Natalie from Smallest Forest both had some really great ideas for creating and personalising ideas journals, and as always Pinterest had it’s say.

paint supplies in the sunA brilliantly sunny day, watered down acrylic paint and untouched paper combined to become an ideas journal for my future business.
Two images of watered down paint
I dipped the corners of a journal and some blank greeting cards into the painty water and then cursed as the pages blew all over my back deck.

But at the end I had two plastic containers that were still full of the paint water. Do I tip it on the garden? I’m not sure that plants really like paint. I shouldn’t tip it down the drain. More paper? Yes!

I unraveled what was left of some brown butchers paper and then splattered the remains of pink and blue liquid all over. Then I again cursed as the damn wind snapped the paper up and down, flicking blue paint all over the side of the house. Goddamn it!

pink and blue splattered art

Last but not least the cover. The journal came with a black plastic cover (and a super annoying sticker that refused to come off) which was the perfect canvas for some silver paint pen. My paint pen may be a little wrecked from using it on cork tiles, but by pressing the tip into a small dipped section of the lid I managed to create a sort of ink well and use it like that.

Journal cover with rabbit images

It always has to be bunnies.

blue dipped journal pages

Opened journal pages with blue dip

After showing off mine to Matty he said he wanted one that “wasn’t so girly”. Is paint dipping really girly? Anyway, I left his pages blank and only artified the front cover. Some lines and a paper airplane. Simple.Airplane journal cover

Nicole

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365 Project: 4-10 February

Day 29: My first live cricket experience

Day 29: My first live cricket experience. Apologies for the blurriness

Day 30: Obviously bunnies should not be left unattended

Day 30: Obviously bunnies should not be left unattended

Day 31: Eating leftovers from work

Day 31: Eating leftovers from work

Day 32: Jenga buildings at work

Day 32: Jenga buildings at work

Day 33: Sewing up some travel pillows for our upcoming trip to USA

Day 33: Sewing up some travel pillows for our upcoming trip to USA

Day 34: Some new additions to our fridge. More on the image coming (hopefully) soon.

Day 34: Some new additions to our fridge. More on the image coming (hopefully) soon

Day 35: I made these Sunday night, but snapped a picture Monday. Homemade polymer clay necklaces.

Day 35: I made these Sunday night, but snapped a picture Monday. Homemade polymer clay necklaces

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Did you know: that I have an Etsy store?

Did you? I have a little button on the right side of my blog that says “I sell on Etsy” and I have a Facebook page for it, but did you really know? Have you ever looked at it? It’s got the same name as this blog, Billy & Elizabeth.

Hedgehog pincushionI love being crafty and making bits and pieces and it seemed that more and more people were telling me that I should be selling what I make, or that they’d totally buy it, or that I should definitely open an Etsy shop.

So I did. But now I’m not sure. I have some assorted jewelry, two phone cozies and a pincushion listed and have only had one sale (by a friend who was so lovely to pay for the shipping even though I could have just given it to her). That’s a bit of a bummer.

Silver hoops with a wooden blue bead and smaller silver beadsAre my items too ‘handmade’? Am I just adding to an already over saturated platform to sell crafts? Are my shipping prices too high?

I have no idea.

Billy and Elizabeth brown bag packagingAnother friend said that I hadn’t tagged my items correctly, which was the reason for low traffic and therefore sales. I’m looking at my item vs. an item that I’ve purchased myself and the tags seem pretty similar. Maybe it is the over saturation issue.

Natural wood bead earrings on silver hoops

Anyway, have a look at my shop if you’re interested, or not (I’m not trying to be pushy I swear!), and if you have any suggestions I’d love to hear them.

Nicole

 

 

 

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Look what I made: kitty and bunny catch alls

Kitty and bunny catch allI’m one of those people who forgets about, or can’t find things when they’re out of sight. Or even worse, I make a place to keep something but never end up using it. That means that catch alls, or boxes or bowls or display boards are perfect for me.

I saw these cute cat planters on Pinterest and was momentarily excited until I realised I had no plants to put in them. Note to self, get off my butt and buy more plants. Incidentally, where does one purchase air plants from?

Cat Planters

(Click through to see the Pinterest link)

Ding ding. Hello brain? These can be used as catch alls.

I was a little worried that the paint wouldn’t adhere to the plastic but I had no issues. I painted the outside of the bottles with acrylic paint, used acrylic paint for the pink ears and permanent marker for the facial features.

I’m not sure how the original planters are such a smooth white, maybe the bottles were already white or maybe they painted the inside. Who knows. All I know is that mine are pretty damn cute.

These two are currently residing on my bedside table holding assorted junk from inside a clutch and some cords.

 

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Heart embroidered leggings

Heart embroidered leggings

The minute I saw leggings with heart shapes over the knees on Etsy I added it to my mental craft to do list. I wasn’t too keen on the leather patches because, well I’m really not that into leather. I was also worried about how they’d feel when you bent your knees.

My Leather Heart Leggings // size large

I finally decided a few weeks ago that I was going to bring these to life. I bought some $10 grey leggings and started to think of all the ways that I could add a little something to the knees. First I thought of adding some felt, but then I had a sneaking suspicion that it might shrink in the wash and that I’d be left with some sort of wrinkly puckered scrunch patch. No thanks. I’ve been pinning embroidery like a bit of a mad woman recently, so maybe it was a better option. After much humming and hawwing I finally decided to do it fairly simple.

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Embroidered Heart Leggings

Supplies needed:

  • Leggings (or any clothing really)
  • Paper template of your shape
  • Embroidery floss/cotton
  • Needle (with an eye big enough for the cotton to fit through)
  • Scissors (not pictured)
  • Pins
  • Cardboard

Supplies

The first thing I did was to try my leggings on and mark with a pin where my knees were. Then I fiddled around a bit with the size and shape of the heart, as well as the colour of the cotton to make sure it looked alright. I made a paper template of the heart and pinned it onto the knee area of the leggings.

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Next step was to get the sewing started. I made a knot by pointing the tail end of the cotton in the opposite direction to the needle, wrapped it twice and then pulled the knot along the length until it reached the end. If you cant make sense of what I just said, or my photos you can go here.

Beginning the knot

Making the knot

After the cotton was ready I began to back stitch around my template. I had to force myself not to rush so that I could make the stitches fairly even because I’m big on ‘just getting it finished’ and then hating the final product because of it.

Beginning to sew

Back stitching

Sewing around the template

To finish off I just tied a double knot on the underside.

The finishing knot

Finished heart

I’m really happy with how they turned out. I’m also glad that I decided to stick with something so simple. I have a bit of a weird thing where I don’t like anything too ‘loud’ on my bottom half. It makes me feel self conscious for some weird reason, so I’m glad that these are cute without being over the top.

Heart Leggings complete

Also if you’re interested, I sell the little hedgehog pincushion in my Etsy shop, Billy & Elizabeth.

Nicole