Lamppostings

Finding and creating adventures in everyday life.


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Words on Wednesday – I’m Back…

Blogging is a funny thing. It’s a good thing, but it’s kind of strange. Blogging has turned into a career for many people, it has garnered international attention and bloggers are seen as a force to be reckoned with. Companies seek blogger’s opinions, endorsements and appearances. I think this is all great and definitely opening up the world to differing viewpoints, points of connection and dialog. For me, this has been a bit intimidating of late. There are so many voices, saying truly profound and meaningful things. There are bloggers posting amazing handmade crafts and gorgeous people showing such talent in putting interesting and innovative outfits together. Where do I fit in?

Blogging for me is a creative outlet, a place for me to share my thoughts, my outfits, my crafts. I definitely want to connect with people, otherwise I’m shouting into a vacuum. I am stepping back into the blogging world with joy and trepidation.

I hope my friends and family will stop by my blog and check out what is there. I hope to connect with other fashiony, crafty, wordy people. I hope to learn new skills both technically and creatively.

My boys are both in school now (sigh) so my schedule is a bit freer to explore some creative things. I need to keep my mind and creative energy engaged. And don’t ever let anyone tell you that blogging is easy – time, effort, thought and action. I’m excited to be back at it. I’m also disciplining myself to take time each week to write. I love to write, but if I don’t set the time aside it doesn’t happen.

Here’s to crafting, creating, style and sharing the journey!

I wanted to blog, but I got buried!

I wanted to blog, but I got buried!


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Make it Monday – Photo to Canvas Transfer

My friend A’Leah over at A Chic Twist, recently hosted a Pinterest Party. It was so fun. She offered two crafts and provided all the supplies and instruction, attendees just paid for however many of each craft they wanted to make. The two options were a mason jar pump dispenser and a photo to canvas transfer. I opted to do two of the photo to canvas transfers.January 2014 144 January 2014 143

Our fearless leader, A'Leah, guiding us through the process and being silly so that I could take a photo.

Our fearless leader, A’Leah, guiding us through the process and being silly so that I could take a photo.

Before the party I copied two photos onto paper using my ink jet printer. The canvases were 8×10. The first step was to trim the photos down to the appropriate size – I did a rough tear because I didn’t want to have a smooth edge.January 2014 155

The next step was to put a generous coat of gel medium onto the canvas as evenly as possible and then lay the photo face-side down onto the gel medium. Then you start from the middle and, with your fingers, smooth outward, pressing the photo into the canvas to ensure that there are no bubbles. January 2014 154

January 2014 157 January 2014 159After that it was a matter of waiting for the gel medium to dry which of course meant lovely drinks and treats and chatting. It still took a bit longer than we wanted for it to dry so we used a blow dryer to speed up the process. Once the gel medium is completely dry, you take a paint brush dipped in water and brush it over the paper – you can either do a small bit at a time or coat the whole canvas. I chose to do a small section at a time. Then you start rubbing gently at the paper with your fingers. It was like magic! So much fun as the top layer of the paper started to come away and reveal the brighter colors of the lower layer.January 2014 160 January 2014 162 January 2014 164 January 2014 163 January 2014 166

After you have taken away all the paper that you want to and the canvas has dried once again, you can add another layer of gel medium to seal the deal.

I was so pleased with the results. I chose to do one photo with lots of color and one photo that was mostly black and white. You get a lovely rustic, aged feel to the canvas and photo.

Additional points:
If you choose to do text, make sure that you print a mirror image as the photo will transfer as a mirror image onto the canvas.
Different types of paper and different types of ink will give you different results. It’s fun to experiment.
It’s good to share crafting time with friends. Lots of time to talk and catch up while feeling super productive and creative at the same time. Thanks A’Leah!


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Make It Monday – Post-Christmas Wrap Up

I wanted to share a few things that I’ve made over the last couple of months – mostly things that were made  in preparation for Christmas.

I didn’t do as many handmade gifts for Christmas this year as I usually like to, but I enjoyed making the few things that I did. As always, I hope to be more prepared this coming year and start making things sooner. We shall see.

Anytime I get craft supplies out, my boys want to join in and start creating. In November I did a big craft clear out and got rid of heaps of stuff that wasn’t being used and organized the rest. All of my crafting supplies are stored in the garage since I don’t have a craft room. While I was organizing, the boys saw my jewelry making supplies and were asking repeatedly to make jewelry with me. So one evening while Colin was out, we set to it. It is so fun creating with my boys – I love to see what they come up with.

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I also made a new crop of my repurposed vintage earring rings. My church has an annual Christmas Tea and Boutique and I make rings to sell at the boutique. I love making these rings. The designs are so beautiful and interesting.

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For Jude’s first grade teacher, I had Jude making a drawing with a note and then I traced it on to fabric and then embroidered it for her. I think it’s a fun, simple and meaningful gift.

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For my sons and my nephew, I created silhouettes along with the meanings of their names and then printed onto book pages. I framed them and I love how they turned out.

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I did another printing on book pages project for some friends. They are fox fans so I printed a simple fox onto a book page and then hand painted it with watercolors. Then I wrote their name in calligraphy.

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That’s my post-Christmas creation round-up. Here’s to a creative and more handmade 2014!


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Make It Monday – Embroidery On the Go

I like to keep my hands busy if I’m watching tv or just hanging out with the boys, but if it’s not easy and to hand at the moment, it’s hard to get motivated.

What I’ve been doing lately is to prep several embroidery designs so that they are ready to go when the mood strikes.

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I keep an eye out for free embroidery patterns online – there are heaps! Lots of great vintage designs. I have them organised on my computer by subject. I also design my own patterns on the computer or hand draw them. For phrases, I just find fonts that I like and use them in the phrase or quote.

I mostly use vintage sheets as my fabric, but I also use white flour sack towels, felt and regular fabric.

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I decide what size hoop I am going to use, size the design correctly on the computer, print it and then use carbon paper to copy the design onto fabric.

Then I put the fabric into a hoop, grab some thread and a needle and I’m ready to go.

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I keep a few supplies in a bag – scissors, thread, needle. I have a hoop with me in my (gigantic) bag with me most of the time so I’ll be ready when I have a few minutes of down time. It’s surprising how many stitches you can get done in five minutes.

Here are a few of my recently completed projects.

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Here are those same projects, and Chess.

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I have three ambitious projects that I will be embarking on soon. Maps of the United States, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Phew! Lots of little details!

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Make It Monday – Mason Jar Sewing Kit

I’m starting several new series here on Be Your Own Adventure. One of them is Make it Monday. Whether it’s a DIY project I find on Pinterest or something creative I come up with myself, I’ll be sharing a few of the things that I am up to lately. Of course, with Christmas only 10 weeks away, I won’t be able to share everything that I am working on.

This week I finally got around to making a mason jar sewing kit. I’ve been in need of a pin cushion for ages, but didn’t want to buy one, I wanted to make one for myself. I came across the mason jar sewing kit idea on Pinterest & thought it looked pretty simple & of course, I love jars! The extra storage space is a big plus too.

I tried the Marth Stewart tutorial twice, I couldn’t get it to work either time. The lid wouldn’t fit on. I was ready to give up & said so to Jude (my four year old). He promptly told me I couldn’t give up. Nothing would do then but to look for another tutorial. I found this one, and it worked!

Take a gander…

And just an FYI, hot glue is very hot & will give you a blister! Drat.


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Challenge #5 Loom Knitting

I finally got the courage & some clearer instructions to take my loom knitting off of the looms. I got the Knifty Knitter Looms a couple of Christmases ago, but only tried them out in the last month or so. I wish that I had started sooner! I have the round looms & the long looms in various sizes. They are super easy & lots of fun. I bought a book with instructions & some new patterns. So far I’ve done three projects all with just the basic patterns – I’m looking forward to trying some new stuff.

Taking them off the looms was intimidating & I’m not sure I did it completely right, but the scarves & hat are off the looms & functional.

So here they are – both on the looms & off.

Scarf for Jude on the small long loom.

Jude's scarf - I used a button instead of wrapping it.

Hat on the round loom

The finished hat.

The loose knit scarf on the loom.

The finished scarf.

For details of this challenge, click here.


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Challenge #5 Craft Projects

I’m a bit of a jack of all trades, master of none. I do like variety though & I like to try lots of different things. Things that I am currently dabbling in: embroidery, loom knitting, scrapbooking, clothing sewing, jewelry creation & card making. Things that I would like to learn: knitting & crochet for sure. I also am forever coming across fun craft projects that I want to do & just don’t seem to make the time for.

Then there are my boys. I also have lots of projects that I want to do with them – many are craft kits, but again, I often come across projects that would be great to do with my boys.

The challenge is to do at least two craft projects per month. I will post photos and progress reports. I am thinking that at some point, I might increase the frequency of these projects, but I don’t want to bite off more than I can chew. If I end up doing more, all the better!