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 ❤️.

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My new jewellery

img_0764I have the beading bug again. After I did the bracelet for my sister last week, I just needed to do some more pieces – this time all for myself (Yes I know, greedy me). I have had bought a lot of beads previously with several projects already in mind but they were stored well away until now.

So I grabbed my copy of “Beadweaving Beyond the Basiscs” by Kassie Shaw and searched for just the right project. I seriously love that book and want to make each and every project in it for myself. You can learn so many fancy new stitches with it! It’s kind of weird however that every time I think I have all the beads for a certain project, I end up being short on one or two bead colors. How come, if I go shopping for exactly that project? I guess I am always led astray by all the other beautiful beads in the store – at least I have lots I don’t know what I will do with….

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The first project finished was a bracelet with LRAW (Layered Right Angled Weave). The front side is beaded first and then the second layer in another color is added. I love the effect that the second color is always showing a little bit on each side – more visible on the lighter side – and that you can actually wear it both ways. The only problem is that I cannot decide which side I like best. I even tried out to mix them on one side but this just didn’t pop. So I stuck to the original design and am really happy with it.

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Then I made myself some tanglety-tangle earrings <3. I have been eyeing that pattern for a long time but those dagger beads were hard to come by. I had to order them online at one of my favorite bead stores (and of course I bought more than one set…). The pattern name is “Le Petit Trapeze” and uses DDRAW (Double Diamond Right Angle Weave). Why did I never try out right angle weave before? Now I seriously understand all those people totally enthusiastic about that technique. I wanted to add a bracelet to make it into a set but am missing some size 8/0 seed beads for the one I want to create. What more excuse do I need to go some more shopping 🙂

Last Wacky square, a bracelet and partying all day (and night)

This week was a little bit more on the party rather than the creative side. It was Pride week again which means lots of music and fun outside. On Saturday my sister came over and we had a lot of fun together checking out small street markets all around Vienna. There was the Prosi exotic food festival (we checked that one out on Friday already), the StrassenKunstFest (little stalls where creative people sold DIY jewellery and other handmade stuff), the Mexican food festival (very tiny and with less music than expected), the Joya Yoga convention and open house at a couple of art studios (very interesting pieces of art – and some really strange ones).  The climax was the Pride parade on Saturday afternoon which was as colourful and fun as every year. Afterwards we decided to also go to an after-parade party which actually was more fun then I had expected. I am not that much the party girl especially with strangers but the atmosphere was cool, open and very relaxing.

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So that’s the reason why I was not able to do much on the creative side. I finished the last squares of the Wacky Weave CAL though, so I am through with one set of squares. Now I will continue with the second set but will not bug you with pics until the joining and border phase. I have been practicing Micro Macramé jewellery making a little bit but am not happy with the waxed cord I have bought for that. So I will be trying out different cords and hopefully will have something to share next week.

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Additionally I made a small bracelet for my sister. It looks quite simple with twisted rows of beads but it was the reason for some of my gray hair :). That twisting made me miss some beads when joining together and therefore I had to remake it once after having it almost finished. But there was no way I would give away something with a fault in it… But even though I had some struggles, it was fun to bead again. I really need to do some more soon.

 

 

About survival, new squares and sharing the beading bug

img_0725How come that weeks are passing by so quickly? It seems that as soon as I have published one blog entry, it is already weekend again. I am lucky that the Wacky Weave CAL is actually pretty fast to whip up – otherwise I would not have much to show again. I actually was able to almost catch up. I finished two squares of week 1 and 2 and have one and a half squares finished of week 3. I calculated however with the size of the squares and figured out that I’ll probably need 4 squares of each design to cover my hubby with the finished blanket. This will mean more yarn shopping as this yarn is used up pretty fast.

img_0720Next I went shopping with my friend amigurumi_craze for a basic set of beads. When I made a pendant for her last Christmas, she told me that she would like to try that out herself. The hardest thing was to figure out which pattern to use with the beads we bought – of course I did not do that beforehand :). We went with a design by Victorya Antipova – the Metalic Sunshine. It is an easy to follow Youtube video that really works up pretty! Didn’t my friend do well? I love her color choice <3!

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And last but not least I did run with my team in the Vienna City Relay Marathon. My part was the 9k and it started out pretty well. People were nice as usual and spirits were high. And then the sun hit me – it actually was 28 degrees with no wind and running without shade felt like hell. I survived however and did not do too badly: about 1h 17min with a 8:22 pace was pretty good compared to my training runs before. Our team made it in 5:08h which is only slightly slower than last year where we were shivering in 12 degrees windy wet weather… Maybe next year will finally be a comfortable run 🙂

 

Busy, busy, busy – or why not being productive makes me unhappy

There are those weeks when I run from one appointment to the next and at the end I realize that I was not able to squeeze anything creative into the last seven days. This week was definitely one of those.

My hubby and I love to go to the cinema but did not have time to do so since end of December. Therefore on Monday we went to watch “The shape of water”, a movie I can highly recommend. It’s a modern fairy tale but not in a happy-go-lucky world but with a dark, emotional background. I love the subtle pictures the movie paints in between the obvious.

On Tuesday I came home late and did some homework as I knew I would not have time the coming weekend. Wednesday was the last of my beginner’s Yoga course which took the whole evening. Thursday there was a company event taking place I wanted to participate and Friday I prepared everything for a weekend trip to visit some very good friends. My friend is singing in a choir and they were giving a big concert together with other choirs, an orchestra and a percussion group. The theme was songs from movies – so I just had to come. It was such a great performance that I do not regret going there but as the concert was scheduled late and it was far from home, we had to stay over night. I did take some needle tatting project with me but hardly could find time to work on it. On Sunday we went to a nice little Zoo with our friends so that we had some time to chat – therefore we travelled home pretty late. I finished my needle tatting afterwards but it is still drying on my blocking board.

So as you can see, I was busy but not in a way that makes me feel like I achieved something. I actually hate it very much when days slip by like this and I have not much to prove that anything even happened. With crafting I am always able to look at the finished product and can remember the happy times. In search of a picture to go with this blogpost, I actually stumbled over one of those happy moments I have not shared with you yet. These are the first pieces of jewelry I made in October last year as practice pieces for the Christmas presents I had planned. I carried one set to the concert this weekend and am still very proud of them. And guess what: my friend asked me to make her some earrings to match the pendant I made for her. This really gave me the shivers as that means she really likes it! Now I have to figure out how to change the design to make it smaller and more fit for earrings. I love a good challenge!

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….