Lamppostings

Finding and creating adventures in everyday life.


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Make It Monday – Wire Wrapped Bead Necklace

You know when you are expecting something in the post and that just seems to make it take forever? So much anticipation!

As a Christmas present for myself and my sister, I signed up for Whimseybox. Whimseybox is a monthly subscription box that comes with everything you need to complete a craft project. And they’re cool craft projects – modern and hip. We both got a year-long subscription and our first box arrived at the end of January. You have no idea what’s coming so there’s a lot of excitement when your box arrives and you open it and see what’s inside. My sister and I actually opened ours together over the phone. January 2014 171

The January Whimseybox was a wire wrapped bead necklace. The packaging was lovely and it was fun to open. January 2014 172 January 2014 174

They truly include everything you need to complete the project. Beads, two pairs of pliers, head pins, fasteners and the necklace. January 2014 175

The printed instructions were excellent. They actually have video instructions as well, but the printed instructions were so clear that I didn’t need to access the videos. January 2014 173

It took me a few tries, but I got the hang of the wire wrapping and it was fun. I liked that I could customize how I put the beads on the chain – the pattern. January 2014 208 January 2014 210

The whole project took me about an hour and half. I love that the box is complete with everything you need to be crafty. No excuses!January 2014 218 January 2014 216

The completed necklace is pretty and I really like it. I’m also pleased that I have a new skill – wire wrapped beads!January 2014 177 February 2014 087 February 2014 085

Now I can’t wait to see what’s in the February box.


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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 – Tooth Box

Jude is so excited. He finally has a loose tooth. It’s not very loose, but it’s not in there so solid anymore either.

I’ve been thinking for a while about what we would use for him to put his teeth in when he lost them and wanted to exchange them for cash. I definitely wanted a container or a pillow so that the teeth wouldn’t get lost under the pillow. I remember my own tooth pillow clearly. It was a small, circular pillow – pink gingham on one side and green gingham on the other. It had eyelet lace around the edge and a little pocket for the tooth. I’m pretty sure my Mom or a relative made it for me – I’ll have to check with her. I always got a silver dollar in exchange for my teeth – I actually still have most of those silver dollars. We haven’t decided what the tooth exchange rate will be yet for our kids.

So I had this idea for a little box. I basically knew what I wanted, but wasn’t sure it would work until I just started into it.

I began with a metal mint box, spray painted it red – Jude’s favorite color.

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I found a fabric remnant that I had lying around and set out to make a little cushion. I traced the shape of the box onto the back of the fabric and cut it out.

As I was making it, I had the bright idea to add a pocket for the tooth to go in so it won’t rattle around. This will be helpful in the middle of the night I am sure. I simply made one side longer than the other and made a fold in the fabric. I pinned it together with the right side of the fabric facing inward.

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I also cut out some batting to make it cushiony.

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I stitched around the edges leaving one side unstitched, turned it right side out and stuffed it with the batting. I did a stitch along the open side. I thought about hand stitching this edge and making it super neat, but I wasn’t patient enough and just did a machine stitch.

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I wanted a way to keep track of when Jude lost his teeth as well so I made up a sheet that has his name on it and a tooth chart with places to fill in the dates that he loses his teeth. My first thought was to glue the cushion to the bottom of the box, but as I was going along, I liked the idea of the cushion being removable and being able to store the chart underneath.

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To personalize it, I used a stencil and put a big “J” on the lid. I just used a Sharpie pen to color it in, but you could use paint, add stickers or embellishments.

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I am super excited about this project. I am so happy it came out how I envisioned it.  Jude loves his box and is excited to use it for the first time. I’ll definitely be making one for Zane too, but I thought we’d try Jude’s out for a while first and see if I need to make any changes to the design.


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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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30 Days of Creativity – Day 24

I’m back! Had a couple of days without doing anything intentional – I cooked meals, put outfits together, played with the boys, but none of it felt like an intentional act of creativity. It’s been a really bad week sleep-wise & I think that has contributed to my lethargy. Snapping out of it now though. I had a brief window of opportunity today while Zane was napping & Jude was at VBS, so I got on with it & made a button tree.

I have been wanting to make a button tree for ages. I’ve lately been obsessed with buttons – my grandma used to have lots of crafty things & I was frustrated that I didn’t have a big collection of buttons for the boys & I to make stuff with. So I set out to build my own button collection – Freecycle, thrift stores, family & 50% off buttons sales at Joanns. I’ve now got a great collection going. I originally had them all in one jar, but soon realised they would be more useful if I sorted them by colour. Jude & I had a lot of fun sorting buttons. I think they are beautiful in their jars & inspirational too. I love jars of treasures!

Jars full of wonderful things.

 

Colourful buttons.

 

My Button Tree

Now I fully intend to go to bed when the boys do tonight – must get some sleep!


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Cardboard Fun on Creative Night

Last night we had a Blackett Creative Night. I try to do this once a week, it doesn’t always happen, but I don’t beat myself up if it doesn’t. When it does, it’s really good. I come up with an activity for the whole family to do that is creative. It might be painting, dancing, making music or some fun craft that I found on my interweb searching.

This week, I came across this idea for a Cut Up Cardboard Sculpture. During the day Jude & I got prepared by drawing shapes on cardboard & cutting them out. I chose not to paint the pieces beforehand because I intended to just spray paint the whole thing when it was done. This didn’t happen, I’ll explain why in a moment.

After dinner we cleared the table & laid out all the pieces and started on a base. We cut slits into the shapes & started fitting them together. We built a fun sculpture & everyone enjoyed it.

Things we learned:

  • Just cutting a slit is okay, but actually cutting out a gap (I just cut a long, narrow triangle) works much better.
  • It’s not going to be a long-lasting, secure structure. This is why I decided not to paint it. It’s pretty precarious & falls apart easily.
  • It was a lot of fun!

An easy, fun activity to do as a family.

They're part of the sculpture too!

 


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Challenge #5 Theme Pillows

I’ve been wanting to make something for my boys. While in the fabric store, looking at all the cute fabrics for kids, I came across a couple of great patterns that I thought would make fun pillows for the boys. I had intended to just make rectangular pillows – nothing fancy.

Recently while feeling quite sick, crashed out on the sofa, I was thinking about getting the pillows done, but wasn’t very inspired by my plain, rectangular pillow idea. So while I wasn’t feeling well, I made a plan for cooler pillows.

I had two different fabrics – one was a space-theme & the other was owl-themed. I decided to make each pillow a simple shape related to the fabric – a rocket ship & an owl. So I drew the shape & cut out the fabric & added a bit of felt & button embellishment to each pillow. Windows for the rocket ship & eyes for the owl. Then I sewed it all together & stuffed them & I think they turned out super fun. They are quite big so they will be great lounging around pillows for the boys.

Rocketship Pillow

Owl Pillow

For details of this challenge, click here.