Upcycled storage boxes

I love small boxes to store little things and could collect tons of them. That’s why I was really happy, when a very good friend gifted me such a little storage system for Christmas. It so called tea storage to me when I unpacked it and I fell in love immediately. It had only one flaw – somehow it got smudged a little bit and those smudges could not be removed from the wood no matter what. So I decided to pimp it up a little bit.

What I used:

    some sanding paper
    two small bottles of colours for wooden surfaces in white and lilac that I found at Sostrene Grene
    a medium paint brush

I sanded down all drawers a little bit so that the colour would adhere to the surface better and to get rid of some surface dirt. Then I added several layers of colour on all four sides waiting in between for the colour to dry. And that’s it – very simple but a great result. Now the little boxes look gorgeous on my white shelf in my living room and the rag stores six different types of tea easily accessible. The side even holds my new teabag holders that I bought in Berlin. I love my new tea storage ❤️.

Wacky Weave CAL and first yarn making

This week was again pretty busy. As next weekend I will be participating in the Vienna City Relay Marathon, it was trainig time again. Not only did I run 8k with my training buddy who is also part of my team. I also been hiking about 9k uphill (to 1260m!) for a friend’s birthday party. It was pretty intense but also much fun. We were lucky that we had really nice weather and the view was amazing up there! Of course I also had to go downhill the same distance the next day which was way more fun ;).

Not much on the creative side though. But I got squishy mail again for my hubby’s blanket. We found now the ideal design for him – the Wacky Weave CAL by Hilda Steyn – and he picked his yarn (“soft and fluffy”) and colours. The CAL calls for some special cotton yarn that is difficult to find in Europe and I just didn’t want to use regular cotton yarn as the blanket would be way too heavy. Therefore our choice is Sirdar Snuggly Baby Bamboo which is super soft and not so heavy. I love how easy it is to work with. Wacky Weave is a CAL with Interlocking Crochet squares – something I have never done before. It’s actually a technique how to weave two colours together so that front and back look different. So with a nice back the blanket will be fully reversable!

Last but not least I spent some time at the Long Night of Science that took place in Vienna last Friday. I read that the museum of nature had some representatives for their citizen science projects there. I hoped that the lady who studies ancient tablet weaving techniques was there and I was not disappointed. As she was busy when we arrived, we spend some time learning how to twist yarn with a hand spindle in the meantime. It was fun even though the lady showing us was a little bit too forceful when correcting. I like it more to try it out myself than to have my fingers moved by someone else. We got the yarn we did afterwards and even though it’s a little bit uneaven, I will keep it as a lucky charm. Afterwards we had a long chat with Mag. Dr. Karina Grömer on the faszinating science of experimental archeology and finding out how textiles where created, dyed and woven in previous times. I loved her enthusiastic way of talking and you could really see that not only is she an expert in her field but also that she loves what she does. I now know that, if I start tablet weaving and want to try myself on some hallstatt designs, I am more than welcome to share my project and any insights with her.

Of beading bugs and creative sprint backlogs

tempLast October I caught the beading bug. It all started out with – who would have guessed 😛 – a post on Facebook that ended in my stream somehow. It was about a loom beaded bracelet that was so beautiful that I was telling myself “I want to make that too!”. I already had a beading loom that I bought long time ago and hardly ever used and several colors of rocaille beads. I also bought some more – a decision which I regret now as rocailles are not so even that they are really good for loom beading. The first attempt on a bracelet was hideous – uneven beads, wonky thread and a hard time weaving in the threads in the too short bracelet (I was too lazy to measure exactly before removing the beads from the loom…). I was so frustrated.

img_0567That was the time my hubby stepped in with the comment “You know there is a lot more you can do with beads.” and he showed me some pictures of beaded jewelry. That’s when I started looking into beading patterns and found tons of beautiful projects. My hubby however had a serious consideration in suggesting that I might like to try beading as he told me later. He said that beads don’t take up as much space as yarn :P. He didn’t know by then what he has gotten himself into though as I have to confess that I am now officially a bead addict. There are so many beautiful beads out there!

img_0566After testing out my newly learned skills on some pieces for myself and being really happy with the result, I got the idea of giving beaded projects as presents to my friends. That’s why everyone ended up with a handmade pendant this year 🙂 Now I have time to make some more for myself but right now I am again waiting for some beads to be delivered …

 

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So in the meantime I was thinking about my plans for the new year. Which projects should I put on my list and in which order? It was kind of creating a backlog for my projects which was actually fun but also a little bit overwhelming. Brainstorming projects I would love to make really made me end with a huge list and still did not take into account any changes that might occur during the year (I am still participating in a lot of crafty groups which provide tons of inspiration!). Planning the whole year on that just didn’t work out. So I decided on actually planning short term – month by month. In the last week each month I am going to take a look at my backlog and pick the projects I want to tackle in the next weeks. Just like planning a new Scrum sprint.

So even though the first week of January has already passed, these is my January sprint backlog:

  • Start my 2018 bullet notes journal: This is actually just a plain book where I write in anything planned for a week/month/year (whatever comes up), collect ideas (e.g. new projects that pop up, books I want to buy, movies I want to see) and track activities (e.g. my running events and training sessions). Nothing digital – just plain simple paper. I carry it with me all the time, so when things pop up, I can add them right away and they are not lost in the depths of my mind. It’s easy, it’s simple and doesn’t have many rules (you can read more about it here). I set up January and February already but still have ten months to prepare – it’s not much work but I need it to get done now or later I might be too lazy.

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  • Finish my Spirits of the Orchid: I am actually already making good progress – I finished part 1-7 and just need to add one more week and the border. This should really be achievable.

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  • Print out the first three beginners projects from the “Beginner’s Guide to Bobbin Lace” and laminate them for more stability: As I really want to learn bobbin lace making I need to get the projects prepared. It’s not much work but without that I just cannot start seriously.
  • Sew that little fish kit I got as a birthday present last year: I got this from my best friend and just didn’t take time to work on it. It is so cute however and I really would love to see it finished.

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  • One practice session for hand lettering out of the book “Creative Lettering and Beyond”:  Hand lettering practice takes time – especially if you are struggling with even strokes like I do. I skipped practicing with all my crochet projects last year but really want to pick up a pencil or pen again.

It might seem small goals for some of you but I am a full time worker and do not have as much time for crafting as I might love to have. These goals I surely can reach tough….

A box (no troll included)

19D00C4B-DBF4-468B-91B4-03100666EA46At the moment I am waiting for some supplies to actually start working on the Christmas presents. I have finished practicing and need to get serious soon in order to finish on time. A big box was delivered on Friday but the second part is still missing – and this contains some essentials without which I just cannot start. So once again I was looking for some in-betweeners – small projects that I can finish fast or can set aside if my mail arrives.

For quite some time I wanted to make a small box for my bathroom to store things nobody should see right away neatly out of sight but still easily accessible. AE08E175-A26A-4A3C-9201-A03144C0E08FPreviously I had made a quick paper box but paper and moist air don’t go together well. Then I read about plastic canvas boxes and I like the look of them very much. I still had some plastic canvas for cross stitching and it was actually enough for the box I had in mind. My bathroom’s main colour is blue – so I picked the left over yarn from Ross Poldark and set to work. The yarn was not the best choice as it is very fluffy but I like the soft finish it creates. I winged the pattern starting from the middle and continued symmetrically. On the sides I copied the pattern but kept it straight. The only problem I had was that the plastic canvas I used was a little bit to thin – the edges started to tilt inwards. So I added some wires inside on the top edge and now it holds it’s shape. I love my new box – even though there’s no box troll included….

Book review: The Library at Mount Char

As I am currently working on things that I am not able to show you just yet, I start a new post series on one of my favourite subjects: books…..

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  • written by:  Scott Hawkins
  • ISBN: 978-0-553-41862-0
  • published by: Broadway Books
  • Language: English
  • Genre: Fantasy, Horror
  • Rating: 5/5
  • German version: –

Plot:

Carolyn is a little bit odd – but still less odd than the others she is living with in the Invisible Library. They have been living there since they were little after a catastrophy nearly wiped out the whole area. Only a couple of kids were safed by Father and trained by him to become experts in their field. Like Carolyn in languages or Michael in animals as well as fields like war for David or death for Margaret. Hardly anybody would know about the Library and get in contact with them, so social competence has definitely not been on their list of studies. But then Father disappears and they are all locked out of the library by a very destructive barrier. The weird group is on their own now struggling to find out what happened to Father and how to get back inside the library. And there is Steve, a guy with a black spot in his past, who struggles hard to be a good guy – which is not easy when he meets Carolyn. Or Erwin, a war veteran and cop who does not always play to the rules and just knows that something fishy is going on – and Carolyn is involved in it somehow.

My opinion:

First thing you need to know is that I usually don’t do horror – I just don’t because I am such a scardy cat that I can’t sleep for weeks afterwards. I picked this book up in the fantasy section of my favourite book store. I read the plot on the back and found it interesting – definitely not mainstream fantasy. When I started reading – there on the beach in Filitheyo Island – it was like “Hell, what? Really? What have I gotten myself into? How can someone even think of writing that”. It’s hard to understand without having read it but I just could not put this book down: it’s weird – a lot – and gross – in a lot of chapters – but it is written so well and the story evolves in so many unsuspected jumps and leaps that it’s a fascinating read. I just needed to know what happened to Father and how everything fits together. Kudos to the author for coming up with such an unespected gemstone which is definitely not for the feable hearted or for kids.

 

 

 

DIY Gift wrapping paper storage

48207BE2-858F-4EEB-868F-7B3098FDAD27Last week I already outed myself as being early for Christmas this year. Well, thinking about presents always ends in thinking about how to wrap up packages. And the continuous question: do I have enough wrapping paper or do I need to buy some? Of course I could have just gone and bought some – just in case as every year – but this time I wanted to actually check out what I still have at home.  I can tell you that I was not much amused about what I actually found. I had stacked everything just in the corner of my craft room and it was not easy to get a special wrapper paper out. What a mess!

19321AB4-B612-4D91-BEC9-DFF4388A5343So of course I wouldn’t be me if I would not come up with an idea how to clean up this self-made chaos. I remembered a project I had read about on someone else’s blog – sadly I did not save the link so I actually do not know any more where exactly. I would love to give credit where credit is due.

For the storage you need:

  • some round boxes: as I had eaten quite a lot of muesli and had kept the boxes I was set with that easily
  • some wrapping paper: honestly, I was making this storage for wrapping paper so I definitely had enough of that …
  • some glue
  • a ruler and a craft knife for measuring and cutting the wrapping paper to size
  • a glue gun

2DFE253A-07C8-42D6-937E-104202015D31The process is quite simple: take a measure of the size of your box – height and all way round – and cut a piece of wrapping. paper to the same size. It’s best to calculate some overlap going round so that you do not by accident end up too short. Then glue the paper on to the box – you can use the same paper for all boxes or play around with different papers. Be as creative as you like – there’s no right or wrong in this. Next clue the boxes together – with your glue gun put a strip from top to botton on the box you want to add and press both boxes together. In case you have two contact points when adding a box, put a stripe on both – just check without glue where you need to put it. You could actually do some maths to figure it out or just wing it like I did. Keep adding as many boxes as you like – or have. In the end you can store your rolls of wrapping paper easily in your boxes. You can differ between Christmas and birthday papers and whatever else you have in your stash.

Now I definitly know that I really don’t need to buy wrapping paper for Christmas ….