Monday, 22 February 2010

A little IKEA madness... or maybe a lot?!

Readers of this blog will know I love making a rather diverse range of craft.  None of which really overlap (read: use the same supplies).  For instance as far a thread arts go... I only make temari, I don't do any other hand embroidery.  I make soap and bath bombs but not lotions and creams, I scrapbook and make cards (OK they are complimentary) but I don't do any other paper-craft.  And so the list goes on.... 

Unfortunately my little house is full to the brim of crafting supplies from pearl beads to perle cotton, pliers, glass grinders and sheets of decorative glass to decorative punches, glitter and scissors.  Today when I was out and about, my wonderful husband surprised me by converting our spare room (read: room known as the guest room but actually used as a place where we have just put stuff we don't know where else to store) into a craft room.  I arrived home to find a table set up with my sewing machine atop and all my plastic boxes of fabrics and papers placed against one wall.  I am so excited because I can now have a clean dining table and leave my UFO's set up for short periods of time when they can't be immediately completed.

Every time I visit our local IKEA store I promise myself to NOT make any purchases... I don't know why I bother with this ritual as I never keep my promise.  On my last 3 visits I have purchased items that I have classified under the heading 'essential temari purchases'.  These items were as follows:

IKEA Stockholm Bowl - looks great filled with temari and is often featured in my blog images. This lives either on top of the coffee table or on top of the Alex unit featured below.

Alex wide drawer unit - loads of storage space and keeps my thread/yarn/book stash perfectly and I love, love, love the casters and the wide white surface is great for setting my temari up for photographing.

Kvart Floor Lamp - fitted with cool white bulb for my regular stitching all nighters and also helpful for lighting photos when used in conjuction with my sons lamp which is the table top version of this lamp.

Alex 9 drawer upright unit - Fab for keeping my books and various threads used for classes etc.  Also the new home for my latest temari purchase.
Bladet 45cm tall hand-blown vase: a lovely big vessel for displaying my temari.  It has a 25cm diameter. I also purchased a glass candle platter to place on top to keep out the dust.  I dumped in a random selection of temari in loads of different sizes to see how it might look.  Now I want to work on colour themes which I can change with the seasons.

Now that I have an entire room dedicated to crafty pursuits I might even look for another wall unit so I can be even more organised.  I guess I will be back to IKEA soon because this is the unit I am thinking of. It is from the Expedit range.

I am working at the 3rd round (of how many I don't yet know) on my HHG challenge ball which I hope to have completed and on this blog in the next few days.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Happy Valentines Day

Happy Valentines Day everyone.

We aren't too big on this holiday in our house but we do exchange a card and small gift.  Our son love it because we always buy him a small box of chocolates too.  This year was somewhat ironic because the cards we exchanged both have cartoon pics of mice on them.... how is this ironic you might ask?  Well at midnight last night I caught out of the glimpse of one eye a very small mouse skittering across the living room floor.  Oooh gross!! I hate mice! hate hate hate them!  Valentines day mice good, but real life scurrying mice are not. Our gorgeous dogs have made a small hole in the screen door that they lie against to catch the cool breeze as it leaves the house and I guess this little mouse must have decided it was a good idea too.  I am an animal lover but this dudes mouse days are numbered.

No new temari today but this is the update on my ball for the HHG Challenge.  Debi has issued the 7th installment of instructions and I now have a number labelled ball.  It took two goes to do it... I was chatting and getting too engrossed in conversation but the second time worked a charm. 

It's been so hot here this summer and from the look of the sky tonight it is going to be a stinking hot day tomorrow. This is the view from my driveway. Sorry its kinda fuzzy but I'm sure you get the idea. We will need plenty of fluids while we paint tomorrow.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

All quiet on the temari front... but.....

Not too much temari happening the last few days.  I am working on a Stitching Challenge so I prefer not to start any other temari projects while this one is on the go.  Pic above is the ball ready to be stitched. Of course that doesn't preclude (yes I am using My Word Coach on DS :)...) me from meandering through an array of other crafty persuasions.

This week I have made:

 A new handbag from a Nicole M design.  Nicole is a Melbourne based designer that sell hat and bag patterns (and other stuff too).  I discovered her work when I hit the 'make a month' button on MaMercerie recently.  I really like it but this one was just a practice run because I plan to make it again using some fabric I just love that I ordered from Japan.  I have been holding this fabric for a while (2 years actually) waiting for a worthy project to come along.  I am glad I made this practice bag because now I realise it is just a smidge too small for me and I will need to add about an inch and a half (or now i think about it - in metric about 5 cms to the length) so I can fit in all my junk.  I added the optional flap and gusset.

I also have a hat pattern I really want to try out but I will need to re-read the pattern a few times to get the process cemented into my brain.  I'd like to make my hat like the one modelled on the stand.

6 tote bags (only 5 more to go) for my son's soccer team buddies as part of my Morsbags campaign (yes I am a sociable guerilla bagger).  The team colours are of course black and white and whilst I wanted a stripe fabric I am happy with this look even if it meant I had to buy 2 different fabrics and make the stripe my self.  They look a bit too stylish for 8 yo boys... I can see some mums will probably end up with them.  I have been part of the Morsbags program for a while now but only give the bags to people I know... I am too chicken to stand in the Mall approaching strangers and asking them to take one of my bags. I have a set of 5 bags for myself that I made from a cute floral fabric.  They are really strong, (can carry 3 bottles of wine) machine washable, (in fact that's where they are right now getting their quarterly wash) and identifiable (so I always know I've picked up my own bag full of shopping and more importantly no one else have picked it up).

The final two panels on my IKEA curtain tracks... yes I did begin them 6 months ago but there are 12 panels.

10 Black Skull Soaps for my son's birthday party bags and a bunch of other baby duck and penguin soaps.  I also made the invitations for his party which people had told me they were quite stylish due to the fact they were machine embroidered to card stock... until of course I admitted I was too lazy to go ratting through my scrap booking stuff looking for double sided tape and I had the sewing machine already set up. I shouldn't be so honest... it is damaging my craft cred.

Next week I will be painting...  it wont be anything amazingly artistic (although with a 2yo in the house the floor is sure to end up looking like a Pollock), just the sleep-out at Miho's house... we all love green just not 70's mint green when it is on every single surface in the room.  I am sure that I will be back to temari after the painting is finished.

Thank goodness school is back in session.  I actually have enjoyed having a few guilt-free crafting hours!!!

じゃね さようなら!

See ya later! (working on my My Japanese Coach on DS too)

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Temari Challenge HHG (Hite Hude Gake) Stitch Along

Debi A (who is a member of  the TC Yahoo group) is conducting a stitching challenge for HHG as a design. We are working it on a 32 center ball. The challenge began on Feb 1st so if you are not a member of TC now is the time to join and get involved.  You will find all the information needed on the TC group.

I am working my ball on a red base which I have marked into 32 centers with red metallic thread.  I must admit I have never made a 32 marking before but I was determined to participate in this challenge.  I have previously looked at marking this division but after looking at the instructions my brain would fog over and I'd begin to feel the rotation of the earth then I would need to lie down with a cool cloth on my forehead.

This time I was not going to be beaten, so I printed off Barb Suess' instruction for 32 center marking (also found on the TC group) and read them through.  I marked the C10 on my base and then a little light went on in my head and I realised that all I needed to do was divide the sides of the 6 part triangles into 3 and make 5 point star shapes using these divisions.  How had I not seen it before??

I have learned to 'just keep swimming' and always revisit the temari patterns I had previously thought were too hard to do... at some stage they will seem quite obvious.

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Temari from socks and jocks

Perhaps that should read making mari from socks and jocks because I haven't stitched a design on this experiment yet.  I think it was Debi A who mentioned  using her family's odd and old socks for her temari bases and when I was updating the boy's underwear last week I decided that I'd try it too.  I have only made one 31cm ball so far (little feet = many socks per ball). I'm not sure how it will be to stitch into as it seems rather dense and heavy compared to my usual favorite (rice hull).  I have also partly balled up some clean knickers... sorry jocks... my 8yo son tells me they are jocks not knickers. But these are harder to get balled up with the elastic waist band so I may pull them apart and shred them before slipping back into a sock.

Of course there will be no temari today due to a nasty bee sting in the center of my right palm. I can't close my fingers with enough strength to hold the needle.... and can only just manage to type.  So I am off to the kitchen today to make soap... a craft I can do with my left hand.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Wahoo!!! I got it!!! AKA second C8 2010

So here is the follow up to my last disaster post...  Not that it was entirely a write off as I did like the outcome... just wasn't what I had hoped for.  Well after a little sleep and a browse through my English texts I managed to make the pattern I had hoped for.  I got help from one of the Vandervoort books (Temari Adventures).  I hardly use this book because my brain can't handle the abundance of text and diagrams - I know I'm just weird like that. I can't decifer what is going on in this series but inspite of that fact I still have all the books in this set - I keep hoping one day the penny will drop.

I must admit I still wasn't too confident I'd be able to stitch the design so I picked a squishy mari that I had made from dryer lint (and had decided I couldn't stitch on because it was too soft) then used some #16 kreinick thread from my stash (reduced to $2.20).  I decided to ignore the band wrapping and only stitch the top layer... I figured it would save time, would be pretty cheap and wouldn't waste any lovely threads.

Here is how this version turned out.  I have nicknamed it 'Revelation' because when it finally clicked what 'cross over an intersection of 4 then 3 then 4 then 3...' meant the sound of the penny dropping was loud as a sonic boom.

The marking out is a little strange on this one but the real focus was on performing the correct stitch... next time I will work on getting it in the right place in the triangles... but first I need to work out how to find the triangle center.  Mmmm maths not my strong point... but temari is teaching me an awful lot about it!!