More Diamond Painting Stickers

Remember when I wrote about those Super Mario diamond painting stickers?  I admitted that I had a lot more sets on my wishlist, and that I may have ordered a set of monster ones.

Those monsters have arrived!  And they are adorable.

They came as one sheet, but I cut them apart to make them easier.  They also came with a tiny little sticker version.

They came with the usual tray, stylus, and wax.  And with a lot of very pretty colour diamonds. 

These, like the Super Mario ones, don’t have a DMC number on them.  Bigger kits use DMC numbers on their diamonds.  DMC is a brand of embroidery thread – and by using the DMC numbers you can use the same diamonds with other kits, and know that it’s always going to be the same colour.

These diamonds are pretty, but I won’t be able to use them with another kit.  I won’t even be able to mix them with the diamonds from the Super Mario set, because the shades are a little off. 

I do still save all the diamonds left over from these kits.  I talk more about storing DMC numbered ones in a longer diamond painting blog post that I haven’t written yet.  Ones that aren’t numbered are stored a little differently, but while the kit is still active I store them in these little tubs.  These are also mentioned in the longer blog post. 

One of the fun points of these stickers is that you can complete a project without it taking a gazillion years, and without using up the whole kit.  So, if I don’t finish all the Super Mario stickers, do I keep the diamonds in the little tubs?  Am I going to finish the stickers any time soon?  Does that mean I put the monster diamonds in new tubs? 

I probably won’t finish all those either.  So am I going to end up with more and more little tubs as I buy and don’t finish more sticker kits? 

This has been bugging me for a few weeks.  I couldn’t come up with an acceptable answer. 

It still bugs me a little, but there is one fairly obvious solution.  The stickers all have really simple designs.  It’s not exactly impossible to do it without the colour key.  If a monster has three shades of green, then I just grab three shades of green from my box of diamonds. 

I should just put all of these diamonds with the rest of the non-numbered diamonds.  Matching colours if possible – for example all the blacks are black.  And then if I want to make a sticker in the future I can just ignore the colour key and wing it. 

Will I actually do that?  Maybe.

In the meantime, monster diamond painting stickers.

The diamonds on these aren’t spaced in a nice grid pattern.  I’m not sure how I feel about that.  There are a few larger kits you can get that don’t have a grid pattern.  Ones that just have the main object as diamonds, and not the whole background.  Like this cat and unicorn that I’ve done before. 

I’ve always avoided non-grid ones because they just look messy to me.  But with stickers this small, I don’t think it matters. 

They still look super cute.

I tested the not-following-the-colour-key option with this little green one. Obviously, you need to make sure that whatever diamond you’re using still fits with the background colour.

So yeah, using any colour works. But I still have not commited to the mixing different sets of diamonds together. We’ll see if that ever happens.

And yes, I do already have another set of stickers on the way.


One of my Christmas traditions is to watch Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas.  This is a seasonal TV show on Channel 4 here in the UK, presented by the queen of craft, Kirstie Allsopp.  In each episode she hosts a contest, and lots of other crafty goodness. 

During last year’s season, there was a lady in the stocking contest who did Bargello and it instantly piqued my curiosity. 

It was cute, and simple, and so of course I had to try.  And my first step to trying anything new is to take to the internet.  I need to know two things.  Firstly, what does Wikipedia say about Bargello.  Secondly, what does Pinterest say?

Well the first one is easy.  According to Wikipedia:

Bargello is a type of needlework embroidery consisting of upright flat stitches laid in a mathematical pattern to create motifs. 

Simple!  There are a few more pertinent pieces I took from the Wikipedia page.

  • Traditionally, Bargello was stitched in wool on canvas.
  • In traditional pieces all stitches are vertical with stitches going over two or more threads.
  • Traditional designs are very colourful. 
  • The patterns are naturally geometric. 

It also says that “Bargello is considered particularly challenging, as it requires very precise counting of squares for the mathematical pattern.” 

I can skip a little of that complexity, by using patterns that already exist.  Which leads me to Pinterest. 

Pinterest found me a lot of very pretty images. 

There is so many colours and ideas on there.  So much to pick and choose from.  But to start with I selected a fairly simple motif. 

As for materials, that was easy.  You need yarn, stiff canvas, and a needle.  I have all of those. 

I split up some of the yarn into the different colours. 

And I started in the middle of the canvas, with purple. 

It felt a little too sparse, so I went over it again.

That’s better.  Nice and thick.  Full coverage, with the stitches well defined. 

And when you add the other colours, it looks even better. 

Repeating that motif wasn’t too bad.

Being lazy and choosing not to switch colours on the next row makes it a little difficult.  You can see here that that I used the rest of the pink yarn section that I was using.  And then I didn’t finish the pink on the second row because it was complicated. 

You can also see that I switched a lot between colours.  I have no idea why I did that.  It was partly that it wasn’t as easy to work out where to stitch as I assumed.  I really should have listened to Wikipedia. 

But I did end up with a very pretty looking piece. 

It needed finishing off, so I whipped around the edges with black.

This was a little hard to do with so many threads in each little hole.  So for the second piece – did you notice I had two squares of plastic canvas? – I did the black border first.

For this one I did a simpler pattern, with fewer colours.  But I still think it looks freaking awesome.

Both pieces are very cool.

I have many thoughts. 

To make the yarn look less sparse I ended up using two threads, which made it look fuller but also made it very very bulky. 

Because I was using a single skein of yarn, the lengths of thread that I was using were quite short – especially once I’d doubled it.  So I had a lot of ends to weave in.  Of course, I cheat with most of them and hold them flat against the canvas while I stitch so that they’re secured that way.  With those, and with the ones that I had to actually sew in, there was more bulk.

These were done with whatever stiff canvas I found in my stash, so I was limited in size. 

I enjoyed the process and I definitely want to do more, but I’m going to make some changes.  I bought some plastic canvas, with a higher count – that means there are more holes per inch, and the holes are smaller.  So you don’t need several threads to make it look full.

I’m also planning on using embroidery thread.  Partly because of the smaller holes and partly because that way I can use longer sections of thread and get more per section.  Plus, a wider variety of colours.

I will do more Bargello, and I will blog about it again.  One day.  I’ll make sure to link back to this block when I do. 

Washi Tape Tower

I love washi tape.  I do some art using it.  And I collect a lot of it.  I’ve tried various ways of storing it, and at the moment they’re all just randomly in a box. 

And then YouTube recommended this video to me.

It looked simple enough, and pretty cute, so I gave it a go. 

All I needed was some bamboo skewers, and some wooden clothes pegs.  Nice and cheap. 

The other tool that I needed was a hot glue gun.  I have a hot glue gun, and plenty of glue sticks.  It’s not my go-to choice for adhering stuff.  I make a lot of mess with it.  As you’re about to see.

The tutorial in the video was very clear and easy to follow.  Pretty soon I had a stand.  Wonky looking, and covered in excess hot glue, but everything I make is a little bit wonky. 

The important thing is that it works.

It doesn’t look so bad when the tapes are on it. 

So far it’s survived.  The smaller black and silver snowflakes tape on the left end of the top row keeps sliding through, but the rest of it stays in place perfectly fine.

I’m not sure if I’ll make another one.  I do have plenty of tapes left to display.  I don’t have a lot of desk space right now.  Maybe one day in the future.

And maybe when that day comes I’ll have more control over my glue gun and won’t end up with a massive pile of excess glue.

Bad Blogger – Time for a Change?

It has been a month since I posted a blog, and there’s a very good reason for that.

I am a bad blogger.

I mean, there are actually quite a few factors that go into it. It isn’t just procrastination. There are mental, emotional, pandemical, and many-other-ical reasons. But there is also a procrastination element to it. And that’s mostly because I detest the WordPress interface.

It’s slow, and awkward. I can be typing and I’ll be five sentences ahead before the first word appears on the screen.

I have considered moving to a different site many times. With all the adverts on YouTube for Wix and SquareSpace, there’s definitely interest. But I have so many posts and pages on here, and I know it’d involve a lot of work.

The biggest thing holding me back is the domain name. I pay WordPress so that my blog can be rather than (although I think you can type that in and it’ll still take you to the right place).

If I move to Wix or SquareSpace, do I lose my domain name? Will I have to copy and paste all my blog posts?

If anyone has any experience with them – or any other blog hosting site – please let me know.

In the meantime I am trying to get some blogs up. I have more than a dozen projects that are ready to be written up and posted – including a bunch of Christmas posts that never went up. I’m still trying to decide if I should post them late, or save them for this Christmas. Again, let me know what you think.

Happy Mar10 Day

I do have a blog post in the works about diamond painting and my history with it. But since it’s Mario Day I’m gonna show you these adorable stickers.

For the uninitiated, Mario Day is March 10. Mar10. See. And the Mario in question is Mario the plumber from the Nintendo Super Mario games. I grew up with a NES and a SNES. When I think of video games I think of Mario.

I did a quick piece of art. A funky little mushroom dude.

But I also have these diamond painting stickers that I got from AliExpress a few months ago.

The set cost me a grand total of £3.41, and comes with all these different stickers.

The pattern and the glue peels off the backing paper nicely, and you can stick them wherever you like.

The kit also comes with some instructions, the usual tools, and all the diamonds you need.

And the patterns are just like normal diamond painting. A colourful grid with the squares coded.

I have no idea where I’m going to stick them, but I think I’m addicted. They’re really quick to do and satisfy that diamond painting urge without dedicating hours at a time.

I have a few (lots) more sets on my wishlist, and I may have ordered a set of monster ones.

Sam’s Paint-a-long Part 2

A few months ago my good friend SamBeAwesome did a paint-a-long which led to me producing these two awesome birdies.

Well she’s doing another one.

The girl can work miracles with Crayola markers. I’ve been slowly doing a series of Crayola blog posts inspirired by here, but don’t expect anything as astonishing as what she can do. I mean, look at these:

Join us for the paint-a-long on March 14th on her Twitch channel, and see her perform magic live.

Knitters vs Arthritis

One of the things that terrifies me is getting a condition like arthritis, leaving me unable to do the million crafts and hobbies that keep my mind occupied.

So when I saw on Facebook that the charity Versus Arthritis were holding a knit-a-thon fundraiser I had to get involved.

The concept is very simple. Knitters all over the world – and crocheters – are partaking in various challenges to raise money. Some people are taking on a challenge like a making a blanket, some people are stash-busting, some people are knitting all day on March 6th (or other days).

I’ve chosen to add to my mini alien army.

I love these little dudes. I have several dozen in various places around my house, and if you’re a friend or family member you’ve probably got one or two as well.

I sell them too – you can get your very own on my Etsy store. I have some premade, and of course I’ll be making more soon. But I can make one in any colour or colours you’d like. I can add a keyring for no extra cost so you can take your little friend with you everywhere. I’m even experimenting with adding a magnet.

I make a lot of mini aliens. They take me about 25 minutes to knit and it’s something I tend to do when I’m watching a movie or I’m on a bus. I am incapable of sitting still.

On March 6th I’m going to knit as many of them as I possibly can. And since I’m doing it for a fundraiser I’m afraid I’ve reached that embarrasing point where I have to ask you for money.

Please donate whatever you can towards this excellent cause. My Facebook fundraiser page can be found here, but if you aren’t comfortable with using Facebook you can send your donation via my Ko-fi and I’ll donate it on your behalf.

If you want to wait until after the 6th, and donate per alien I’ve knitted, that’s fine too. The fundraising page is open until the end of March.

I’ll actually be doing two marathons for this project. I like to make up a whole bunch of aliens at a time. Since it’s something I knit while I’m not really looking – I’ve made so many now that the pattern is ingrained in my head – I end up winding the ends around them and collecting lots of them. Even before I start this knit-a-thon I’ve got 45 that need making up.

Making them up is very simple. You start off with this base shape that you’ve knitted.

Then you sew up a seam along the back, turn it inside out, add eyes, stuff, and then sew along the bottom. Simple. I just need to actually do it, instead of collecting mountains of the poor little things.

So on March 13th, I’ll be doing a make-up-a-whole-bunch-of-mini-aliens-a-thon. Doesn’t it just roll off the tongue?


In my quest to try every single monthly art challenge, in November last year I took on DiNovember.

I decided a long time ago that doing a piece every day was just not feasible for me. My plan for these challenges is just to do as much as I can/want to.

Having said that, I did plan on doing more dinosaurs. But you know, all the stuff going on in world combined with my mental health and did away with that plan.

The three that I did are insanely adorable though.

Jingle Jewellery

This post was – obviously – supposed to be a Christmas post. But things got a little weird before Christmas – Covid and lockdowns and tiers did a number on my mental health. I did the projects for a couple of posts, but never got around to writing the blogs. Instead of wasting them, I’m going to post them in February. Because why not.

I got these cute jingly bells when I did my last order from The Works back in… um, I can’t remember.

I had a vague idea of making some jingly earrings for Christmas, but no real purpose for them. They were just cheap and cute. I do that a lot. This is why I have a LOT of stuff in my house.

I’m not a hoarder, I’m a crafter.

Anyway, jewellery. Mid-November I had my jewellery making supplies out for something else, so I made these up.

I started with a single white bell on a chain, with a lobster clasp.

But I quickly decided that wasn’t enough jingle. One bell that jingles is kinda cute. But Christmas – for me at least – is about gawdy. So I added more.

Nice. I picked it up and shook it a little, to hear the jingle. It wasn’t quite right. Christmas is also about over the top.

So I added even more bells. I also made myself a matching set of earrings.

Jingle, jingle, jingle. Merry (belated) Christmas 🙂

January Scrawlr Box

The January 2021 Scrawlr Box was late, but I have no problem with that. There were delays due to Covid, and Brexit, and all the other chaos going on in the world right now. And Scrawlr were very good at giving updates and keeping the customers well informed. It wasn’t their fault.

And it was a good box. Well worth the wait.

Inside were three Tombow ABT markers, a Blackwing pencil in fancy Scrawlr labelling, a Zig Millennium pen, and a gorgeously smooth Clairefontaine sketchbook.

The featured artist this month was Chris Lambert, the founder of Scrawlr. And his specialty is doodling. Right in my wheel house.

The sticker for this month is missing – one of the reasons it was late was trouble with that. They’ll be putting it into February’s box, and I can’t wait. It’s usually similar to the featured art, or to the cover of the zine. And look how gorgeous that is.

This was certainly not one of those boxes that sits on my desk waiting to be used for months and months. This one got used right away!

First up, swatching. I made two mistakes. Can you spot them?

Mistake number one was testing the Zig pen under water-based markers, by using one of the Tombow pens. The ABT pens are alcohol-based.

Mistake number two is… well, you’ll see.

I got doodling before the ink on the first set of my layering swatch had dried. I was very eager. The Zig pen is very nice. So smooth. At first I thought it was the Clairefontaine paper, which is smooth and delicious on it’s own. But I tested the Zig on some other paper and it’s just as smooth. Very fun to use.

I got started with my main artwork piece. Big sweeping paisley shapes and lots of doodles.

And then I set to adding some colour. Which was a little upsetting.

It looks good at a distance (excuse the crappily cropped photo). But up close you can see a lot of bleeding.

Mistake number two on my swatch sheet was not doing a bleed test. The paper is very good, and bleedproof in the sense that there’s no ink showing on the back of the paper. Both sides of the paper are usable. But I should have tested whether or not the pens would bleed out of the lines I’d drawn.

I was a little unhappy with my piece, so I decided I’d go a step further. I did three things, each of them turning out very well.

First, I used a thicker lining pen to outline the paisley shapes on that first piece, to give it a slightly tidier look.

I did a second piece where I used bigger doodles, leaving slightly bigger spaces to colour so that I could colour a little away from the lines. This helps minimizing bleed.

And I used the markers to draw the paisley shapes, and then doodled on top of them.

I’m really happy with the last three pieces. And I don’t hate the bleeding one. I enjoyed this box quite a lot. I’ve used up most of the sketchbook already – they’re not full thickness books. Only 12 pages.

I love my subscription to Scrawlr. I know they’ve had some trouble with the past box or two, but they’re doing everything they can and I have no complaints. I’ll keep subscribing to this box for as long as they make them.

Bring on February’s box.