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Stash

I have been trying to cull my craft stash.  This has not been going well for two reasons – a.) I am crap at getting rid of ANYTHING, and b.) I am very good at procrastinating.  But then, this week, I also have another, much more pleasant, reason.

My Mum’s friend Barbara asked Mum and I over to see if we wanted any of her “no longer needed” craft items.  Well, I don’t move quickly very often but, on that occasion, I moved like the wind ha ha!  You can probably imagine my face on hearing there was free craft stuff up for the taking…

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Barbara had laid out what appeared to be an entire wardrobe of stuff.  Papers, ribbons, various adhesives and varnishes, paints, stickers, rub-ons and embellishments.  Sigh.  I could have been restrained and not taken anything or even just taken a few samples but no, I pretty much gorged on crafty goodness and took a LOAD of stuff home with me.  I tried to just take what I thought I would actually use – papers in the colours I like and use often (browns and blues and neutrals) and embellishments that would suit what I do and not sit in a “what can I do with this?” pile.

There were a lot of text papers – I use them all the time for my cards as backing papers – so I grabbed them.  Barbara had loads of rub-ons, which I use less frequently but mostly because I just never seem to have any, so I snaffled them too.  Brads and braid, sentiments and quotes and awesome vintage advertising.  There was even a couple of lovely craft books (but I had all but one of them, so only took that one).
It was all so good, like a giant buffet 🙂

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I felt kinda bad afterwards for taking so much, but I guess if she didn’t want it any  more, then I was doing Barbara a favour.  In fact, thinking about it that way, with the amount I took, I was being downright altruistic and ha ha.

So now I am back to where I started – lots of craft stuff to find homes for.  I am still going to keep culling my own collection of supplies – I certainly don’t need half of what I have and I am sure someone else could use it.  I’m having a car-boot sale soon with my cousin, at a local market, so I could probably sell off some of it there.  I don’t want to throw anything away, and I want to make sure it goes to a good home where someone will be happy to have it and make good use of it.

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 I was going to post a proper picture of said stash but, every night after work, the lighting is so bad in my house it’s just not worth trying to photograph anything.  So, lazily, I will leave it up to your imagination and try and make something with the supplies on the weekend, and photograph THAT.

Hope you are having a good week.  May it be uncluttered (unless it’s cluttered with free stuff and things you love) 🙂

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Hand Made with Love (and a fair bit of swearing)

Hand Made with Love (and a fair bit of swearing)

So I’ve been trying all day to be creative and MAKE something I like, something about which I am proud to say “I made this!”
But it’s not been happening.  I’ve doodled a bit, painted a bit, fiddled around with markers and paints and ended up really just making a mess. Which is fine.  I’m ok with that.  A day spent trying new things and “playing” is always a good thing.  It would be nice to produce something you’re happy with though.

I’m a bit obsessed with the blog Elvie Studio.  Lori Vliegen’s art work is amazing.  I am inspired to create and make pretty things – water colour pages with quotes and cute designs.  But I am a long way off doing anything as good as hers.  I have been practicing my water colour technique but I am still a bit rubbish at it.  My Mum tried showing me the other day (because there is nothing artistic that she can’t do) but I am still a bit cack-handed and not quite getting things right.  But I will.  I am determined.  I just have to practice and keep at it.  I have to learn not to expect to be perfect at things straight off the bat. And I need to stop swearing so much when I fail.

I have decided to make my Art Journal more of record of my attempts and failures.  I have been hesitating putting anything in it because I don’t want to spoil the pages, but I guess even messes and mistakes have their place in a journey.

So here’s a few of my attempts from today.  I was mostly just messing about, as I said.  Just putting pen or brush to paper – even if it didn’t work out, at least I was doing something.  I won’t feel like I have wasted time if I have at least worked out what not to do.  That’s what I’m telling myself anyway.

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I like this little tag.  It is simple and sweet and it worked. 

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This could have been ok but I got a little heavy-handed with the paint and lost the plot.
But it’s alright and will do as a tag for a gift or card.

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I don’t even know what I was doing with these leaves.  I just wanted to use up some green paint on my palette.  Again, might use it on the front of a card or make it into a tag or something.

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By this stage I had just gone a bit mental, trying some abstract work and thought “I know, I will fix it by adding gold dots!”
The artistic process has no rhyme or reason (apparently).

So, a funny, wobbly-throwing, not getting things right kind of day.  But that’s ok.  I will keep trying.  I am still getting used to the idea of doing things for me.  Just because I want to make something.  Not for selling or because someone asked me to make something for them.  For me.

Hope you have had a successful, enjoyable day, doing whatever you love doing.
And if that’s just making a mess, then so be it 🙂

Colour Shop

Colour Shop

My house is a crazy mess right now.  I mean, normally it is a mess but, right now, it is a CRAZY mess.  There are beads everywhere – on the table, under the table, in the nooks and crannies of the couch, rolling around in the kitchen and hiding under furniture.  There is card and paper and glue and paint and tape and scissors and STUFF everywhere.  I am still busily making things for my mini-market on the weekend.  I am trying to make lots of different things in different styles and colours so there is something for everyone.  I always say that, but then I end up worrying that I don’t have enough variation or a big enough mix of items.  But I only have a couple of days left and then I have to go into mega-crazy cleaning mode.  I have to find all those pesky beads and scraps of paper and tidy up so that my house looks the very model of neatness and togetherness.  It will all come together in the end, it always does, but I still worry.  I don’t want anyone to come and be disappointed or not like what I have or not find anything that is suitable for them.

Here’s a few of the latest things I have made this week.  A few more colours this time and maybe some more dangly, bigger styles.  The first pair (the pink and green ones) have already gone (the dangers of putting their pictures on Instagram before the sale day itself) which I am pleased about because I wasn’t sure if anyone would like them.  You just never know what people are going to go for (another reason I try and make lots of different things, not just stuff I myself would like to wear).

Hope your day has been colourful and happy 🙂

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New Beginnings, Engagements & More Mess

New Beginnings, Engagements & More Mess

The “tidying and clearing up” phase for the week has ended in some tidying and clearing and then a lot of piles of stuff just moved to different corners of the house.  That counts, right?  I can only only be organised and domestic for so long before the inner clutter-bug in me decides to start making a mess again.  Yesterday I sat and made a few cards and a pair of earrings and another flag necklace.  There is mess everywhere but I don’t care.  I am starting my new job tomorrow and I am FREAKING OUT and my brain cannot settle enough to actually make things neat and tidy around here. So…

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Very simple friendship card.  Emphasis on simple!  I like the colours though (thanks Kaisercraft for the “Magnolia Grove” range)

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Another simple card (told you my brain wasn’t working!).  Papers & stickers from American Crafts‘ “Dear Lizzy/5th & Frolic” range.

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Another “collage” card using Kaisercraft’s “Needle & Thread” range.

I also started mucking about with my jewellery stash (as I was given a bag of unwanted jewellery from a friend this week) and made this pair of simple earrings (I’d also just bought a load of pretty glass pearls that I wanted to use…):

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These look a little “Wedding-y” to me…which might come in handy (see below)

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Dabbling with Washi tape to cover and decorate this wooden bangle…still not finished, still fiddling!  Might add some fabric strips or something…

My lovely brother-in-law and his equally lovely girlfriend got engaged yesterday so super big Congratulations to them!  I am so excited for them – they are so good together and I hope they will be fantastically happy forever and ever!  Also, I want more nephews and nieces, so, y’know, they need to get a wriggle on there, ha ha!  So I guess there will be a wedding coming up soon – just glad it’s not mine!  Weddings are hard work! 🙂  Hope I can help them as much as possible and support them in whatever way they need.  I’m always kinda secretly surprised when people get married these days.  In this cynical day and age it seems almost an old-fashioned thing to do and it gets a lot of bad press.  I’m glad it’s still embraced by some.  Love is love and I’m glad it’s still all around, in whatever form it takes.

Drove to my new workplace today to make sure I know where I am going tomorrow…I am a nervous driver so it’s good for me to get my bearings and directions well in advance.  Also, driving there tomorrow in peak hour traffic will not be fun so it’s better that I know where I am going – one less thing to concentrate on.  I’m so tired today and it’s partly because I am nervous and not sleeping due to worrying about starting work on Monday.  I know it will be ok but I am nothing if not a worrier!

Hope your weekend has been worry-free and super relaxing.  I’m off to make more mess while I still have time 🙂

Tidy Up

Tidy Up

Once again I am in the process of tidying up my craft room and office.  This is a process in which I start strongly, peter out in the middle and finish with a less than resounding success (which generally means I am in a worse mess than when I started).  I have a lot of stuff (you know this already if you’ve been following my blog for any length of time) and, truthfully, I have a big enough house to fit in all in.  If I was organised and neat and able to keep things where they are meant to be.   I am also guilty of keeping tiny pieces of paper with mysterious notes or information on them, which means I don’t know if they are important, or, in fact, complete rubbish and possibly not even pertaining to me.  For example, today I found a piece of paper with a phone number and “dude” written on it which isn’t terribly helpful in any way, shape or form.  Who is the “dude” (besides a character in The Big Lebowski)?  Is he a handyman, electrician, rental inspector, landscape gardener or guy next door?  It could be anyone and because of that I have bravely thrown the piece of paper away.  I’m a risk-taker like that.

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I have boxes of magazine clippings of clothes I’ve liked, recipes I want to try and general articles on everything from what to feed your guinea pig to how to throw a bridal shower.  There are countless “notes” from hubby (in better days when he used to leave me little love notes in my lunch box) and, for some reason, about four billion (slight exaggeration) post-it notes of various designs and shapes.  Lots and lots and lots of magazines to go through and recycle/donate.  Bills, receipts and invoices dating back to Lord only knows when.  I found several hospital ID bracelets (you know, those little plastic ones they put on you when you’re going to be staying a while) – why keep them?  They were hardly a reminder of happy times.  I have a lot of notebooks (today I counted 32, which is ridiculous, and that was only on one desk).  I have knick-knacks and ornaments, photo frames and albums, diaries and homework assignments from twelve years ago.  I am trying to de-clutter and make sense of it all, but, if it doesn’t make sense in the first place, I’m not sure how to do that.

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My craft room is no better.  I tend to “store” things on the floor.  Which means that when I buy things, I bring them home, put them on the floor in the bag they were purchased in, and they stay there, for a period of days (or, let’s be honest, months) until I start t use them or when I remember I actually bought them for a specific purpose.  I have a bookcase which is overflowing with books as well as wool, containers of bamboo and scrabble tiles, paints, moulds and unfinished artworks.  I have two desks, each completely covered in stuff. I have boxes on the floor and two drawer units filled to bursting.  It’s a mess.

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But I am determined to have it all neat and tidy, spick and span by the time I start my new job, which is looming ever closer in the distance.  If nothing else I want to just find the floor and maybe empty out a couple of boxes that are filled with goodness-knows-what.  Or I could just go out for a few hours and pretend it’s all not there…that sounds like a plan, now where did I put my keys?

Welcome…come on in and stay a while.

Welcome…come on in and stay a while.

Hello there.  Glad you could stop by.  Hope we’ll get along and that you feel comfortable coming back for a visit every now and then.  Don’t mind the mess – it’s the natural order of things in a crafty home.  In fact, if everything is tidy and in its correct place, well, you can pretty much guarantee there’s no crafting going on at all.  Or that I’ve moved out and someone much neater and, most likely, less creative has moved in.

Having said that, I am hoping to get myself (and my stuff) in order this year.  It may mean re-organising and (gasp!) discarding/donating some items so I can focus better and actually see what I have to work with.  As it is, things seem to get lost, never to be seen again, buried beneath piles of magazines, half-finished projects and jars of buttons and beads.  I would really like to see my dining room table again.  I would like to actually dine at my dining room table again.  As, I’m sure, would my husband (I think he’s in here somewhere – behind the stack of clothes I’m altering or maybe under all that scrapbooking paper?) who is long-suffering and permanently in eye-rolling mode.

So, do come in.  If you can step over that pile of egg cartons (I’ve seen an gorgeous mirror decorated in flowers made from egg cartons…I’ll get ’round to it sometime) and be careful not to knock over the collage I’ve got drying on the couch, I’m sure I can find you a spot to sit.  Actually, perhaps you wouldn’t mind having afternoon tea outside…I’ll just need to sweep up the leaves on the porch and find a place for all those bits of wood I was sanding earlier this morning, before I got distracted and started building the guinea pig a new hutch. Which will then need painting and maybe a stencilled design on the sides…  Maybe you should pop back tomorrow?  You know you’re always welcome.