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Biscuit tube tutorial

biscuit-tube001-196x300

Some wonderful well meaning relatives came over to visit us recently, and brought a mountain of ginger nut biscuits to me as a gift!! Well not many biscuits left, but the carton tubes which contained them are still around and here is what I have done with one of them. A pretty container to use as a special gift wrap, or perhaps to store my crochet needles inside.
Well, go collect the tutorial for yourselves but you will need to eat your biscuits first of course ;)

Painting with glue

metallic-leavesRemember the post I put up about checking out the dustbins some while back?

I mentioned some salvaging I had done – or rather – my husband had done on my behalf – of display items which had been thrown out by a local store – they never actually went in the garbage by the way! Well I have a dozen of them sitting in my craft room, and this weekend I decided to put one of these boards to the test with paints and heavy colouring treatment to see how well it survived.

I’m actually quite pleased with the results even though I consider this to still be a work in progress as I am not 100% satisfied with the painting – there are still a couple of areas I will be giving my attention to – a few more details to be added. I have included an image here anyway so that you can see for yourselves the direction the work is taking.

I knew I was going to be using metallic paints and inks, so I wanted the base/background to have a sort of grungy copper type effect with a touch of ‘verdigris’. That was achieved using an earthy/orange coat of paint and a dark umber, both of which were brushed on with a large brush in a very irregular manner. I then used my brayer wrapped with randomly wrapped string to add streaks of turquoise. When everything had dried nicely I used a background stamp for adding minute gold details.When all the upper layer 3D details (created using my hot glue gun) were dry and painted, I sponged the whole painting with black shoe polish and quickly rubbed away some areas to reveal the gold details below.

Great fun, though very smelly! Make sure you keep your windows open if you try this.

Pompoms galore tutorial

pompom-tutorial001If anyone is interested, I have just added a pompom tutorial – I have set it all up in a downloadable pdf file for you – free for the taking, and have fun with the pompoms – they are always such a cheerful addition to scarves and hats and sweaters for both children and adults alike.

You can pick up the pdf file for download by clicking on the link below …

Papier maché bauble tutorial

Managed to get the tutorial done for the papier maché baubles if anyone is interested. You will see that I have suggested inexpensive toilet paper to create the paper base, but of course other paper, preferably from recycled sources is a good alternative. Just be aware that the build up of thicker paper is going to make it more difficult for the light to show through, and so try to leave some areas a little thinner with fewer layers — or even to create small open ‘keyhole’ spaces for the light to be seen. You can pick up the pdf file and more information — just follow the simple instructions in the tutorial pdf which you can download by clicking here …

Big cosy collar

knitted-collarI just made myself this big, cosy collar with a big pair of needles (size 10 European guage) and a ball of chunky wool in black with bright flecks of colour. I was supposed to follow a pattern, but I just ignored it and did my own thing! Love the results, so I thought I would share.

Big cosy collar [Tutorial]

So easy it almost knits itself!
This lovely collar looks great over a simple crew neck sweater for indoor wear, or as a cosy collar ‘cum cowl hood outdoors as a substitute for a normal scarf.

Materials required:

150 grams chunky wool (soft acrylic used for the one in the image)
Size 10 knitting needles
Darning needle & toning thread

Method:

Cast on 35 stitches
Simple plain knit stitch for 58 – 60 cms (I did a purl stitch at each end of the rows)
Cast off
Stitch together the short sides of the completed rectangle

Coronavirus isolation relief

Funds were raised for the Japan disaster relief selling my little geisha bookmarks through Made4aid on Etsy. All proceeds from the sales went to Médecins sans Frontiéres / Doctors without Borders / Medici senza Frontiere who were working in Japan as part of the relief organization. It now seems appropriate to offer this little tutorial for another kind of relief.

Other blog fund raisers were:
Hannah at Bubble Bay “Life in the Bubble”
Vera’s Creations who was offering her keyrings…

Make your own geisha bookmarks by picking up the pdf instruction file below, or by purchasing them from me ready-made on my Etsy page.


Yield: One

Geisha bookmark

Geisha bookmark

A bookmark with a difference -- embellished with a small Japanese geisha 'doll'

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Estimated Cost: €3 each

Materials

  • A selection of printed paper – origami paper is best (for doll’s clothing). Don’t use paper that is too thick as you will be building up several layers for the doll…after all, this is a bookmark
  • White/off white card stock (for neck and face)
  • Black tissue or crepe paper (for hair)
  • Kraft or neutral shade cardstock – I used upcycled file dividers (for bookmark base)
  • Narrow satin ribbon (bookmark tie)
  • Tiny artificial flowers, beads or stamens (hair decoration)

Tools

  • Glue gun or glue stick
  • Scissors and cutting knife. Guillotine also useful if available
  • Pencil
  • Hole punch
  • Cutting board
  • Ruler
  • Rubber stamps and inks OR watercolours & brushes or kitchen sponge OR coloured felt tips (to decorate bookmark base)
  • Red & black felt tips or similar (facial features)

Instructions

Doll pattern pieces (see IMAGE 3):

  1. Neck in white card approx.5 cms x 0,50 cms.
  2. Collar/neckband in pattern/colour approx.2 cms x 4 cms
  3. Kimono in pattern/colour 9 cms x 6 cms
  4. Belt (aka obi) in pattern/colour 6 cms x 3 cms
  5. Coat in pattern/colour 8 cms x 4 cms
  6. Hair in black approx. 5 cms x 5 cms
  7. Face oval in white card approx.1,50 cms x 2 cms.

You will notice that I suggest pattern or colour for some parts. This is all a question of taste according to the paper you have. It is quite nice to contrast the neckband with the kimono – the kimono with the belt – the kimono with the coat etc. After you have done the first one you will see what I mean.

If you are making more than one bookmark, don’t be a slave to the measurements. Cut out the first one correctly…and maybe do a template with some stiffer card – but you will see how things fit together and can snip away if there is any overlapping that you don’t like. My only suggestion would be not to alter the long side of the kimono to make it shorter. If anything, you might find it looks nicer a little longer. The same goes for the white neck…just make it shorter if you need to.

Let's start with the neck and body - use images 6 to 19 in the gallery as a guide. Don't forget to use a dab of glue at each stage to fix the parts firmly.
1.Fold neckband in half and stick at about 1cm down the neck piece, folded side towards top (Image 7)
2.Fold inwards the 2 extremes of the neckband to cross over one another (Image 8)
3.On the non-patterned side of the kimono, fold about 1 cm down across the short edge (Image 9)
4.Turn kimono over and with the patterned side facing you, fold down about half a centimetre along the short edge (Image 10)
5.Stick the neck with neckband at the centre top of the inside of the kimono piece (Image 11)
6.Fold inwards down the length of the kimono. Glue only the lower half (Image 12)
7.Fold back slightly the collar area of the kimono to partially reveal the neckband underneath (Image 12)
8.Repeat on the other side of the kimono (Image 13)
9.Fold inwards on the non-patterned side the 2 long edges of the belt so that they just meet in the centre (Image 14)
10.Stick the belt (folded edges inwards) on the front of the kimono so that the top part
just holds down the kimono collar (Image 15)
11.Glue the 2 ends of the belt to the back of the figure
12.Fold about 1 cm on the long edge of the non-patterned side of the coat (Image 16)
13.Take the coat and fold in about half a centimetre along the long edge of the patterned (right) side (Image 17)
14.Glue the coat, centre back to the wrong side of the doll figure (Image 18)
15.Here you can see more or less how your figure should be (as seen from the front) at this stage (Image 19)

Now for the head - use images 20 - 24 in the gallery as a guide. Don't forget to use a dab of glue at each stage to fix the parts firmly.
1.Fold both sides of hair inwards at a slight angle so that you form a squared off triangle, narrower at the top and wider at the bottom(Image 20)
2.Fold inwards about 1 cm on the narrower part of the triangle. Check to see that the head fits and the folded over section of hair covers approximately half of the face to act as a fringe. Use just a small spot of glue in the crease between the fringe and the back of the hair to fix the top of the head (Image 21)
3.Check to see that the neck is not too long to fit snugly under the face with just the clothing neckband on view. If it is too long, snip off a little and then glue the neck to the back of the face making sure that the hair does not get caught up with the glue(Image 21)
4.Your figure should now look similar to this image (Image 22)
5.Twist the stamen ends together leaving a flat open area at the bottom. If you are using a glue gun, you can add a blob of glue. If you are using a glue stick, it might be an idea to put a little piece of sellotape around the end to create a larger surface for the glue (Image 23)
6.Glue the stamens to the back of the hair checking that they are positiioned nicely. If you are using small flowers or beads, stick them to the front of the hair as a decoration (Image 24)
7.Please note that you have still NOT added facial features. We will do this at the very end

Last but not least, the background card - use images 25 -- 31 in the gallery below as a guide
1.Cut card to size, each approximately 20 cms x 5,50 cms(Image 25)
2.Mottle background using either rubber stamps or a kitchen sponge with almost dry paint cover in a colour similar to the background. You can of course use felt tips as a substitute. Just remember that you only want a very delicate, almost invisible effect. (Image 26)
3.Check the position of the figure and how much space remains above(Image 27)
4.Add a floral image with a rubber stamp (or hand painted/drawn) in a stronger colour in the space which remains above the figure (Image 28)
5."Distress" the edges of the card, either by rubbing lightly with a stamp pad or by flicking an almost dry sponge or by drawing the edge of a felt tip pen as described in point 2 (Image 29)
6.Punch a hole for the ribbon in the top of the card. I find it useful to remove the bottom cover of my double punch and use it the wrong way up which makes it easier to position the single hole centrally on the card (Image 30)
7.Glue the figure securely to the card base (Image 31)
8.Now you can add the ribbon and facial features to complete the bookmark (Image 32)
So there you go...hope you have fun making these!


Made by Hand

When you buy something from an artist, you are buying more than an object. You are buying hundreds of hours of failures and experiments. You are buying days, weeks and months of frustration and moments of pure joy. You are not only buying a thing, but a piece of heart, a part of the soul, a moment in the life of someone.

by Giacomo Cinque
'La Sartoria Antica'
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