Hobbycraft’s Make of the Month Competition

Disclaimer: This post is a repost from my old blog, which was more personal and less crafty.  I don’t use that blog anymore, but thought I’d share some of the craft-related posts from there.  This one was from October 2015.


 

Whilst browsing the Hobbycraft blog this weekend, I found a Make of the Month competition.  It’s very simple: you upload a photograph of your project, and tell them what inspired you or how you made it.

I submitted this bracelet I made recently:

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I made it for my store, but it got bought by a friend before I could even upload it properly.  I do love it.  I’m tempted to make another one for me 🙂

The Make of the Month entry page says a selection will be showcased on the blog.  At the time of writing this post I’m not on the October page, but that might change.  I’ll keep an eye out 🙂

People are invited to comment and share and so forth, so I’m gonna go have a flip through and see if I can find some inspiration.

There are prizes for Make of the Month: £100 Hobbycraft gift card for the winner, and ten runner up prizes of a £10 gift card.  And winning a prize would be great, but I’m loving just entering.


 

I did make another one.  I didn’t win the competition, then I completely forgot about entering again.  I’ll have to check if they still do them.

A Cute Skirt For a Cute Niece

Disclaimer: This post is a repost from my old blog, which was more personal and less crafty.  I don’t use that blog anymore, but thought I’d share some of the craft-related posts from there.  This one was from January 2016.


 

With the success of the Great British Bake Off, the BBC decided to add to the “Great British” series with the Great British Sewing Bee.   I liked this show as much as the Bake Off, because I am a fledgling seamstress.

One of the challenges they do every episode is to give the contestants a plain item of clothing which they must completely and utterly alter. For instance, in one episode they were all given a plain blue shapeless t-shirt to transform.

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My favourite was this beautiful technique.

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In another episode they all got to pick an 80’s power suit to transform.

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I decided that it was something I wanted to try. If nothing else, it’s a good exercise for practicing my skills. However, I am quite large. So I knew it would be difficult to find something big enough to make something for me, so I settled on making something for my little niece.

With that in mind, I picked up this stripy shirt…

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And I knew what I wanted to do with it. The first step however was unpicking this rouching (not the technical term) on the back so I could use as much of the fabric as possible.

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Luckily that was just a case of cutting the elastic on the inside in a few places.

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Next step, trim the shirt to reveal the fabric I had to work with. I needed two pieces. Fold each piece into quarters and cut out a circle waist. The internet told me the average waist size of an 18 month old, and I found something that was approximately the right size.

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Cut out the circles from both pieces of fabric…

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…and overlay the two pieces, with the points at angles with each other.

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You could tack around the circle here, just to keep them in place.

The next step is the waistband. I cut a piece of elastic to just a bit smaller than my niece’s waist, pinned it together and marked the ends with pins.  I marked the halfway points as well, and then the quarter marks of the circle on the fabric. I aligned the elastic with the skirt, pinning in place.

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Next up, sew the elastic to the skirt. I knew that when sewing elastic you’re meant to use a zig zag stitch, but I couldn’t remember if you were supposed to stretch the fabric as you sew or not. I erred on the side of not, and still managed to get some give in there.

My cutting skills need a bit of work. My sewing skills still leave a lot to be desired too, but it works.

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I somehow managed to mess up joining the ends of the elastic, and had an ugly little bump.

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But I am a creative genius! And I figured out how to solve the problem.

Isn’t it cute?

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Waterbrush Experiments

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Things I have learned in the last hour..

One… do not outline in paint.

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Two… be patient and wait for one colour to dry before adding another colour right next to it.

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Three… I have one good brush and a bunch of crappy ones.

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Four… while the wide brush makes great rainbows when held sideways…

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… it does not work for details and small areas.

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Five… gradients are pretty (this is a cheat really cos I already knew this).

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Six… my unknown-brand watercolours are less pigmented than my Reeves pan.

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Seven… the cheap waterbrush I got from AliExpress leaks when you squeeze it.  I need a proper one.

 

 

Remakes Are Not Always Better

Disclaimer: This post is a repost from my old blog, which was more personal and less crafty.  I don’t use that blog anymore, but thought I’d share some of the craft-related posts from there.  This one was from April 2017.


 

There was a thing going around the craft forums online last year, to pick a project you made years ago and remake it. To pick something you made when first starting your craft, and see how far you’ve come.

I decided to remake this little turtle…

That little guy was first made way back in November 2009 – literally a month or two after I first started crocheting.

I had another attempt 8 months later, that came out looking a little… off.

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And then my recent remake..

I’ve always known that the plushies I make are slightly weird looking. I guess I hoped that 8 years would’ve improved my crochet skills a little better than that, but there you go.

To be honest, I haven’t crocheted many plushies in years. I knit a lot of mini aliens, but I mostly crochet blankets. Blankets I can do.

Draw This In My Style

Months and months ago there was an art challenge making the rounds on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.  Artists would post a piece of art, and challenge people to #drawthisinyourstyle.

Since I’ve been doing pretty much nothing but drawing for almost a year now, I decided to have a go.  I picked one of my favourite YouTube artists, Kasey Golden, and her gorgeous cactus lady image.

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I did my sketch in July, actually.  I just got distracted with my many many projects.  Apparently I suffer from startitis (a crafter’s affliction in which one starts projects before finishing others) with art as much as I do with everything else.

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And then last week I finally got around to finishing her off.  I’m quite pleased.

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I enjoyed doing this.  I’m going to be on the hunt for more pieces to try, but since it’s a months old challenge, it might be a bit hard.  Let me know if you know of a piece I could have a go at.

Making Washiween a Thing

October means Inktober to a lot of people.  It also means many other challenges, as do all the months of the year.  You’d be surprised how many different monthly challenges there are out there: FairieFeb, March of Robots, MerMay, Junicorn.  It goes on and on.  I have a list in my bullet journal and I intend to attempt as many of them as possible.

There’s at least one on my list that I’m not entirely sure is “officially” a thing.  Arty Advent.  One of my favourite YouTubers, Baylee Jae, did Arty Advent last year in which she posted a new video every day of December until Christmas.  I don’t think it’s an official thing, but it’s something I’d like to do.  I did do a 25 Crafts of Christmas in 2016.

Another monthly challenge put out by a Youtuber is Washiween by SamBeAwesome

I have lots of washi tape, and “colouring” a piece in with tape is something I’ve wanted to try for a while.  So after seeing Sam’s video last week I got out my tape, and I had a go.

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I had lots of fun.  And I learned that I don’t actually have enough washi tape.  For instance, I only have thin flesh coloured tape and it doesn’t look quite right.  After I did that piece, I had another go…

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Even though I enjoyed this piece too – especially figuring out that if you hole punch tape you can get neat little tiny circles – there is a lot about it that I’m not too happy with.  My cutting skills are horrible, for example.  And drawing with the sharpie over the top is difficult with all the edges.  But, as with anything, I know that I’ll improve with practice.

And so today, while testing some supplies from Wish for an upcoming blog, I decided to make another #Washiween piece.

Wanting to use all 10 colours of the washi tape I bought from Wish, I added a background to it too.  This is where I discovered that cutting the edge can leave a bit of a mess, whereas wrapping the excess to the back is a lot neater.

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I’ve also learned that cutting eyes sucks… I need to get more sizes of hole punch.

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I’ve learned that I press too hard with the knife to do this on sketchbook paper.  The first piece was on mixed media paper, and the second was on 250gsm card.

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It’s difficult – nearly impossible – to see the lines you want to cut round.  I do think it might be easier using my lightbox, but I don’t want to use that until I trust my knife skills better.

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Here’s where I realised that putting the inner ears and nose in first was probably silly.

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And here’s where I realised that this tape in particular really does not like being stuck to itself, which is why he ended up with no spots.

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Lots to learn still, and lots of improvement to make.  But here’s my finished piece.

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I might not do 31 days of Washiween this year, but it’s going on my list of monthly challenges to attempt.

Budding Artist

In October last year my best friend gave me a set of watercolour pencils for my birthday, and since then I’ve been drawing.  Drawing and drawing and drawing.  I’ve spoken about it before briefly, here and here.  It’s become my favourite hobby.  I do more drawing than anything else at the moment, and I’m really pleased with my improvement. 9 out of 10 pieces that I produce make me really, really happy.  And the best bit of all is that I’ve moved on from copying things I find on Pinterest to creating my own original content.

I am doing Inktober, and I’ll be sharing my pieces later in the month, or maybe in November.  If you want to see them as I do them, please pop along to my Twitter feed.  For now I just wanted to share some of my recent pieces that I’m proud of.

I’ve developed a penchant for adorable monsters.  They’re what I draw most of right now.

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But I’m also trying to draw “proper” people too.

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You might not be able to tell, but he’s actually a piece of fan art.  I humanised a Pokemon.  Spinarak…

I’ve even jumped on the Bowsette bandwagon.

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I have a lot of art I’m really proud of, and I hope I continue to improve 🙂