One of the current Twitter trends I’ve noticed is #MerMay.  It popped up on some feeds I follow, and was shared by some others. From what I saw, it was a challenge where artists draw a mermaid a day.

I’ve done some quick research and apparently MerMay was created by artist Tom Bancroft, who has worked on some of my very favourite movies, including The Lion King.  And it also turns out that there’s more to MerMay than just drawing one a day.  There are also prompts.

Maybe next year I’ll partake in the challenge properly, but this year I’ve just drawn a few mermaids.

The first one I did was this one…

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A lot of my learning to draw so far has been copying images I like, and I usually find them on Pinterest, which makes it very hard to trace the original artist.  I did a reverse image search but all I find is links to the image on Pinterest.  If you know who drew this, please let me know.

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My next attempt was baby Ariel…

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Again, I couldn’t find the original artist.  I promise I will start paying more attention to this.

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I need to work on positioning my pieces on the page, as evidenced by this lovely mermaid’s midriff being over the perforations on my sketchbook.

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Original image from Pinterest again – maybe I should find a new source.  Any suggestions?

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At this point I moved on to original characters.  I’m trying to do more of that.

I like kind of everything about this one apart from her face.  Face was much fail.  Also, positioning fail again.

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Next up wasn’t original, but inspired by a pin that was gifted on r/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon.

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I decided I hadn’t drawn enough rainbows so…

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My final (so far) MerMay is an original piece, taking an original character…

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…and giving him a tail.

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That’s it so far, but there’s still a whole bunch of May left so there may be more mermaids coming.

Follow me on Twitter @By_Colette to see more MerMays and other crafty madness.



Origami World Records

The other day I posted about my attempt to make the smallest origami sonobe cube I possibly could, and I promised to follow up and see if anyone had made one smaller than my 1cm one.

My Google-Fu is not strong, but I found this page on Origami-Instructions.com where their users have submitted the smallest cubes they’ve made.  It starts off with a 2cm cube, which made me excited because mine was smaller than that!  It progresses though, and gets down to 4mm!  That’s insanely small.

Note: the page does display a very dodgy looking 3mm entry, but I have to agree with the comments that it looks fake.

I also found this page, on RecordHolders.org which lists a whole bunch of origami related world records.  There isn’t actually an entry for the smallest cube, but there are some other entries that made my brain hurt just thinking about.

For instance, the “Model Folded From Smallest Square”.  0.36×0.3 mm.  MILLIMETERS!!!  Apparently the guy – a watchmaker in Spain – used a 20x magnifier, and the result was about the size of a full stop.  Jeeeeeezzz.

As I said, my Google-Fu is not strong, but I tried finding pictures of the origami piece and all I really found was other sites listing origami records, who used almost an identical paragraph as RecordHolders.org like this one, which also included a photo.


(Semi-Google-Fu skills found no other instance of this photograph online.  That is the exact image size from BritishOrigami.info – I didn’t make it tiny.)  It’s supposed to be a bow tie, but all I see is a square.

I also found a response on a question/answer website which mentioned the photo and didn’t show it, then linked back to the RecordHolders website (which also didn’t have the photo).

I did go to the home of records – GuinnessWorldRecords.com – and set up an account so I could a full search.  They have no record for the smallest origami cube, and no record for the model folded from the smallest square either.  Maybe I should submit my 1cm cube.

As for my best friend Cayden – mentioned in lots of my posts, and in the last one I’m following up on – he isn’t 100% sure but he thinks his smallest cube was made with 1″ paper, which beats me.

He has provided me with a picture he had of some very pretty cubes, but it’s an old image and not taken to prove size so doesn’t have any reference really.  Still – pretty and awesome.


He followed up the next day with two pictures.  The first was this one, with a 13mm cube – I still win.

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And then he sent this one… 8mm.  Cayden wins.


Update: the next morning Cayden sent me this one.


Show off.

Making Things, Then Making Them Tiny

As discussed before, when I do origami pieces I have a tendency to repeat the same piece over and over again.  Like these sonobe cubes.

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And when I’ve made seven hundred zillion of something, I like to see if I can make as small a version as possible.

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The cube on the bottom of this pile is made from 12×12″ craft paper (which was kinda difficult because I only have card stock which is hard to origami with.)

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The next cube is using standard 6×6″ origami paper.  The cube on top of that uses a quarter of that paper, so 3×3″.  The next one is a quarter of that, and so on.

Except… that the final teeny tiny square presented an issue.

These are the paper sizes for the first 4 cubes…

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As you can see, each time I’m using a quarter of the previous size.  Which means that the 5th cube should be made with 0.75×0.75″ paper.

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That is very, very small.  Folding the sonobe units themselves wasn’t too bad. But putting the cube together proved impossible for my big chunky fingers.

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So I gave up on that size, but I didn’t want to give up altogether.  I was convinced I could get a smaller cube than the one using 1.5×1.5″ paper.

Up til now I’d been folding the paper in half both ways, and cutting the paper into quarters…

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To get a size between 1.5″ and 0.75″ I had to fold the paper in half, then fold that half in half to create a 3/4 line.  Then fold up into a triangle to make a square, before cutting the shape out.

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Which left me with a 1.125×1.125″ square.  Which was nicely tiny, but a lot easier to work with.

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So this is the range of sizes I ended up using…

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And this is how small the smallest cube is.

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(I have been very confusing and given paper sizes in inches, and then measured the cubes with a cm ruler.  Sorry about that.)

Here are all the smaller cubes…

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…and the large cube all on it’s own because it wouldn’t fit with the others.

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And finally, here they are all with the size paper they were made from.

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So yeah.  Making something, then making it as small as possible.  I’m almost certain that someone out there has made one smaller. Someone with tinier fingers than I, or the ability to use tools to do their origami.  My best friend does origami too, and I’m sure he’s probably done one smaller.  I’ll do some research about that and get back to you.

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Art Journal, cont.

Back in November I mentioned my burgeoning 2D art skills, and the Monthly Notebook group on Reddit.

Since then I’ve done a lot more art, and I’m going to share some of my drawings with you in a few days.  But first, I wanted to share these Imgur albums with you.

The first is the completed “Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost” notebook.  All 166 pages of work that I’m proud of, and work that I’d rather pretend never happened.

That book was 166 A4 pages and took me four months to complete.  While I was working on that book I was fairly sure that I was doing a lot of rainbows, and a lot of unicorns.  But when I’d finished the book and I was flipping through it at New Year I did a count, and there wasn’t nearly as many as I’d thought.  So for January I decided that I needed a book that was entirely unicorns and/or rainbows.

It’s only a small book, but every single one of the 38 pages has either a unicorn or a rainbow.  Most pages have both.

I’ve been enjoying my foray into the art world.  I’ve found myself reaching for a sketchbook more than anything else these days.  A lot of the pieces in these journals I plan on scanning or replicating, some for display and some for sale.


Random Craft Quiz – Part 4

Good news!  It hasn’t been a year between installments this time 🙂


31) Where do you store your WIPs?

All over the place – by my armchair, under my sewing desk, by my bed.  Wherever I put it down last, really.  I have a lot of WIPs.

32) What was the last project you had to frog?  Why?

I’ve been working on various versions of a scarf using this amazing yarn called Mini Mochi (it’s discontinued now unfortunately) except that I kept changing what I want it to look like – and what amount of yarn I have available for it.  So I kept frogging it back.  Unfortunately it’s very fine, and made mostly of wool, so it does not frog well – it kinda melts to itself and you end up with lots of knots and tears.  Which is why, in my current version some of the colour fades don’t look quite right.

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33) What is the most frustrating experience you’ve had with a project?

The scarf above I think.  But it’s finished now, and it’s gorgeous!

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34) Have you ever sold your work?

I have!  I sell all sorts of random bits of pieces, all of which you can find by clicking the SHOP link at the top of the page, or by clicking HERE.

35) Have you ever finished a full sized blanket?

I have finished several.  My first ever knitted project…

family loom - all complete

(forgive the horrible photograph).  This is called The Loom, because my baby sister who was quite young at the time couldn’t pronounce “heirloom” which I told her it was going to be.

I’ve also made a VERY large blanket for my other sister and her husband as a wedding present, which wasn’t quite finished in time and ended up being a Christmas present.


I’ve made a rainbow crochet square quilt…


and a Tunisian crochet quilt.

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I’m also working on several others.  I am a little addicted.

36) Have you ever had an interesting interaction with a stranger for crafting in public?

The occasional conversation with someone on the bus when I’m knitting.  Nothing worth talking about really.

37) Have you ever had a household member complain about the size of your yarn stash?

Nope.  One of the advantages of being single and living alone.

38) Have you ever been to a crocheting/knitting circle or club?

Absolutely.  My friend and I started a Stitch & Bitch at our university way back in 2007, but it didn’t last long after we left.  And there was a group at my local library I used to go to.

39) Have you ever written a pattern to share with others?

The first iteration of my store, many many years ago was a store on Etsy called Celeena Cree Creations where I sold crochet, knitting, cross stitch and blackwork patterns.  Those patterns will be going up on this store at some point in the future.

40) Have you ever purchased yarn only to decide you hated it?

By the time I was finished making the Loom, I was really REALLY sick of that yarn.  I can’t recall what it was though.

When Craftiness Meets Nerdiness

Now that I’ve gotten over my initial issues with polymer clay, and done a bit more experimenting, I had a specific project in mind that I wanted to do.  I’m a nerd.  I have not hidden this fact.  I am working on some nerdy products for the store.  I am a nerd.

One of my nerdy tendencies is Dungeons & Dragons. I haven’t been playing it for more than a couple of years, but I love it and I love my current character, Arimorel.  When you’re making a character one of the things that they get is a randomised trinket from a list in the Players Manual.  I ended up with “a multicoloured stone disk” and I knew right away that I wanted to find an actual multicoloured stone disk as a prop.

I searched a lot on eBay and places for something that might do, but nothing seemed quite right.  And then I realised that I could use one of my crafts to make it.  And so I did.

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I rolled small balls of each colour and flattened them roughly.

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I stacked them, and smushed them, and cut the result in half.

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I stacked and smushed and cut and repeat until I had something semi-resembling stone, but with all the colours still in.

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Then I cut out the shape I wanted and baked it.

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I threaded it on some cord, tied a sliding knot and voila!  Craftiness meets nerdiness.

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Why It’s Been Six Months Since My Last Post

There are many crafts I like to do.  I find it easier to tell new people that if I don’t already do a craft, then it’s probably on my list of crafts to try.  And I do have other hobbies.  I have some experience in creative writing, I love movies, I like to read, I like to bake occasionally.  Unfortunately I also have depression.  Along with the depression I have lots of other associated issues like anxiety and some compulsive disorders.

I say this here on my crafting blog, attached to my fledgling store, instead of on my personal blog, because I want to explain why sometimes I go so very long without posting.  I’m not going to go into details.  They can be very unpleasant and I’d like to keep this a happy space.  I just want to say that my issues can leave me with very little energy or motivation to do anything.  On days when I can barely get out of bed, I still have the oomph to reach out and grab a crafting project from my bedside table.  Nothing complicated necessarily, nothing more than maybe a simple crochet stitch. But craft is always there.

One of the things I don’t often have the motivation or energy to do is to actually get out the computer, compile my thoughts, get together photographs and write a blog post.  I have so many ideas for them.  My brain never stops – even when I want it to – and the ideas are constant.  I often find myself taking photographs of the different steps of projects with the full intention of writing a blog post at some point.  It’s just that “at some point” can take a very long time to come around.

I can’t promise that I won’t have another six month gap, but I can promise that I will try.  While I’m feeling relatively normal I will write and schedule as many posts as I can.  And I will chase up the few guest bloggers I have lined up.

Venturing Into Watercolour Art

For my birthday a few weeks ago my best friend bought me this lovely set of watercolour pencils…

…which was extremely exciting for me. As previously mentioned in my art journal blog, I’ve been getting more and more into 2D art. I’ve been doing lots of sketching and drawing and getting these pencils was the inspiration I needed to take the next step.

Pinterest, of course, was an invaluable source of ideas. One particular image had been lurking in my “make me!” folder for months.

So, after a quick trip into town to buy a pad of watercolour paper I had a go. I started by drawing the outline.

I was worried that it didn’t look like what it was supposed to be, but everyone I showed it to knew what it was.

Next step was to add some colour. I didn’t go with the blue from the Pinterest post but with one of my favourite colours.

I was really nervous for the next step. I didn’t want to mess it up. Adding too much water or not enough could ruin it – or so I assumed. I didn’t (and still don’t) have much knowledge of practice with watercolours, pencil or otherwise.

So I went slowly and gently, and I’m really happy with what came out.

That particular page went into my art journal, but I’m tempted to do another piece for my wall.

Iris Folding

The other day I wrote about being intrigued by two new crafts recently.  That post was about the first, and this post is about the second.  Iris Folding.

While searching Pinterest for ideas for my art journals I found this image:


That led me to this page, where the author introduced me to Iris Folding.  Which led me to several hours on YouTube and Pinterest and Google Image Search.

Iris Folding begins with a pattern, like this one:

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In the tutorial I originally found she made her piece right on the template (without sticking it to the template), and then created an aperture for it.  Most of the other tutorials online begin with cutting your aperture from card stock, then taping it (with temporary tape like washi tape or masking tape) down over the template.

Then you lay strips of paper over the piece in line with each of the numbers on the template, using little bits of tape to keep them in place.

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When you’re finished, peel up the masking tape and flip your piece over.

With the triangle piece there, I made a few errors.  I had the pencil marks on my black card facing out instead of in…

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… and there were lots of gaps where I’d been paying attention to the lines on the template and not on the width of my paper strips.  So I had another go…

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…in which the pattern itself looked great but my horrendously cut aperture ruined the effect.  So I went again.

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This one I’m really pleased with.  It isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty.

Those three pieces are made with strips of paper originally intended for making lucky stars, like this.


…so the edges are nice and neat.  Many tutorials say to use folded paper strips so that you have a nice edge.  And this does work well, but there’s an issue with it.

My first attempt at Iris Folding was actually the C at the top of this image…

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…(That’s a page from my art journal by the way) but for some reason I didn’t take photos of it.  So to demonstrate the issue with folded paper (and because I really enjoy the technique) I made another one.

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I’m really really happy with this one.  I took lots of photos doing the steps so I might post a tutorial some time soon.  But the problem with using folded paper is this..

It doubles the thickness of the piece.  It’s not so bad with large images like this.  In the original C I did it was quite small, so I was essentially layering each piece directly on top of another, meaning I ended up with almost a stack of paper.

I enjoy the process, and it makes such a pretty result.  I’m definitely going to be doing more, including experimenting with ribbon and washi tapes.

Stick Weaving

I do a lot of crafts.  A lot.  When people ask me what crafts I do I find it easier to say that if I don’t already do it, it’s probably on my list of crafts to try.  So when a craft crops up that I don’t know about I get very excited.  In the last few weeks there have been two!

The first is Stick Weaving.

My friend Cayden, who you may have seen me mention on here before, came to my house for a gaming session one weekend wielding something like this:

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(That’s not his work, it’s a picture from Pinterest).

It looked relatively simple, and as weaving in general was something I’d like to try one day I did a little bit of investigation.  Well, I tried.  There isn’t all that much information online to be honest, but I found a simple tutorial on YouTube….

And I found the same sticks set that Cayden has on Amazon.  I used a ball of leftover yarn so what I made isn’t very long, but it’s a very satisfying fabric.


As I said, there isn’t all that much info available online about stick weaving, but a Pinterest search brings up lots of pretty ideas.


And then there’s this image, also found on Pinterest.

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Just looking at that image makes my mind boggle.  I might have to make a few pretty scarves before I tackle something like that.