Thursday, 14 May 2015

Wooden Crate Woven Side Table

I decided this week that the out door crate coffee table, much as we loved it,  was too big for our balcony. So with Josh's assistance we pulled it apart and brought the crates inside. I didn't want the crates to go to waste so I started to think about how we could use them in the house. The most obvious use is storage, and one of them will go to being Ada's toy box in the lounge room. I was trying to think of what other furniture we still want to add to our apartment and realised that a crate on its side would  probably be just the right height for a side table next to Josh's arm chair.

Easy enough. All I would need to do was paint the entire crate and sit it next to the chair. After reading an old Mollie Makes magazine article about Maryanne Moodie, Australian weaver now living in Brooklyn, I've been itching to weave something, especially using my current favourite wool, Damask Ombre from Sugar 'n Cream.

 I remember that in year 11 textiles class we wove a simple pattern on wooden frames hammered together by the woodwork class. They were pretty crude frames but they did the job. Which got me to thinking. Could I turn the open face of the crate into a weaving frame? The answer to that is yet to be determined but here is my plan sketched out. I can't wait to see if it will work!

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Patio Makeover

We've had a few warm days already this spring which has had us itching to sit outside on the patio in the evenings. The only problem being we've not had any furniture!

We're lucky enough to have a South facing balcony, meaning we get a lot of sun! Perfect in Winter for warming up whilst in the Spring and Summer the trees in front of our balcony keep us in relative shade.

Having decided we were finally sick of carrying the kitchen chairs in and out we decided to buy some furniture.

Our colour scheme was inspired by a bird feeder in the shape of a teapot we saw at Joann's Fabric Store. 

Not having planted any plants yet we haven't been able to put up the shepherd hook up that this will hang off so it's still sitting pretty in our apartment.

We also bought some teal planters from Joann's and the wooden crates that we used to construct our outdoor coffee table. From target we purchased the pouf and grey pots. The Adirondack chairs came from Home Depot and the tiny pink pots are from Daiso.

Admittedly the space is a little tight but so far we've found in workable and a really relaxing space to hang out! We are still planning on planting the pots after we work out what's safe for our dog, Ada, to be around and we are also going to plant some succulents in the coffee table.

What plants do you think work well for a patio? Let me know in the comments.


Monday, 17 November 2014

What's In My Pencil Case?

I decided to take the plunge into YouTube and started by making a video of what's in my pencil case. Enjoy!

New Workspace and Craft Organization

After a huge weekend of putting together Ikea furniture my new workspace is ready to go! The Alex desk and drawers have proved to be a great craft organization tool! We tried several ways to fit our workspace into our living room but it wasn't going to happen so we set up in our bedroom instead. I was pleasantly surprised by how it all worked out!

I've downsized from a whole craft room to a craft set of drawers which was a little tough! I think though I'm happier with less supplies as I can clearly see what I have and there are a lot less unfinished projects!

I'm hoping to add some embroidery hoops to the wall and a piece of printed fabric that I bought in Japan to use as a wall hanging. I also can't wait to add a sewing machine! The drawers in the desk and the free standing drawers are great. They are shallow so there is no temptation to overfill. I've tried to group together items by craft.

And the best part about my new workspace? The view, complete with tiny birds and squirrels!

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

My Favourite Pens

Taking part in an Instagram photo a day challenge has been a new experience for me and I'm finding that it is stretching those long unused creative muscles! I'm following The Carefree Planner's November challenge, #tcfpnovember if you want to join in!

#tcfpnovember Instagram challenge 4th Nov, favourite pens
I started out by writing each of the prompts in my month to two page view in my Kikki-K planner so I could refer back to the challenge quickly everyday. I found that even as I was writing down the prompts the ideas for shots started flying in! I also realised that some of these prompts would make great blog posts. So without further ado onto My Favourite Pens! (Well maybe a sneaky planner pic first...)

The first, and probably best known, of my favourite pens is of course the Sharpie. Sharpie's are a permanent marker that come in a great range of colours and thicknesses. They even have a metallic range! These markers are the "go to" in the crafting world and are used in so many projects and so many creative ways. Just type "Sharpie" into Pinterest and you will see what I mean!

In my planner I use these guys strictly for writing on Washi or  paper tape. They don't "bead" or bleed like most other pens do on these surfaces and they dry quickly which prevents smudging. I don't use them directly onto my pages in any of my planners though as I find they go straight through the page.

These next pens have quickly been gaining popularity and for good reason... They're erasable! The Pilot Frixion ball point pens come in a range of styles and colours as well as sizes. I love writing in pen and especially writing in colour but I make mistakes... A lot! I don't know if it's because my brain is way ahead of where my hand is but I constantly write my words with letters in the wrong order. This used to be a major frustration for me, whiteout ruins the smoothness of the page and is terribly obvious but so is a scribble or a line! With these pens the problem has been alleviated. On the lid of these pens (and on some other models on the base) is a small rubber part that works as an eraser. I find it leaves a faint residue of what was written but if you are about to write over it this isn't major, also it's far less unsightly then whiteout or scribble.

I found that the single Pilot Frixion pens were becoming available in supermarkets in Australia just before I left but as yet the larger pack of colours wasn't available. I ordered the 12 colour pack from Amazon and they were shipped from Japan, there are larger colour packs available. I actually bought them to use for our wedding guest book so guests could erase mistakes... But I forgot to leave a little note telling guests they were erasable. The pens write smoothly although I sometimes find the 0.7 nib size a little too large so if a finer size comes out I will probably switch to that. Sadly these pens don't write on Washi tape... but look at all the amazing colours they come in! These are my go to pens for writing longer, journal style entries in my planner.

Kikki K. If you haven't noticed already I'm a bit of a Kikki K fangirl! For pretty much my whole university degree I wrote in their Felt Tip Pens which come in a cute 10 pack. It was only this year that I switched to their Write In Rainbow Gel Ink pens pictured below. Why? Well mostly because when I went in to restock my pens their super cute packaging got me! I'm glad they did though. The gel ink is really smooth and vibrant and doesn't soak through the page. Sadly they don't say what size nib they are but they are really fine and delicate. They are the precision of a felt tip pen with a much finer ink. These pens also don't write on Washi tape but their fine nibs combined with the fact that they don't go through my paper make them my go to for scheduling on month and week to two pages.

What are your favourite pens and what is it about them that you like? Let me know in the comments below :) 


Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Ikea Collage

When we started looking at apartments before we moved to America we realised that our apartment would be a lot smaller than what we were used to and that much of our furniture would be too big and chunky to fit, not to mention it wasn't very moving friendly furniture... So heavy!

Because of this we decided to sell it all and start fresh when we arrived. We want furniture that is more compact and easy to move so it seems like Ikea is going to be a good option. For a bit of fun last night I pulled apart the Ikea catalogue and put together a collage of things I would like. Obviously we won't be getting it all, we will be starting out with just the essentials but it's fun to dream!

I also think that by putting all the items that I want in one place I will be able to reference it quickly if we get the chance to add more items as the years go on. It was also great to put together a "look" and I am feeling a bit bolder about choosing some unusual colours ( fushia and emerald green) to add some fun to our new apartment. I know that if I hadn't put this together I never would have been brave enough to add emerald green to the mix.

Now I can't wait to actually find somewhere to live and set up our new furniture!

Do you collage? What sort of things do you make collages of? Let me know in the comments below.


Strengthening Sticky Notes

I love using sticky notes to mark pages in my planner for quick reference. I have them all hanging out from the top of my planner but I noticed they were starting to get a bit ratty looking. I sold my laminator before leaving Australia as it wouldn't work over here in the USA so laminating was out plus I still wanted the tags to function as sticky notes!

The top two sets are from Daiso in Australia. The bottom two sets are from Japan.

The solution seemed simple and has probably been shared before but here is my take on using sticky tape to strengthen planner flags. I used the Scotch Satin Finish GiftWrap Tape as this doesn't have that over the top shiny finish regular sticky tape does. It's quite a soft finish and I found it didn't take away from the flags.

I started by removing all of the old flags and replacing them with new flags so that they looked neat and tidy. There's no reason though that you couldn't use your existing flags if you don't want to replace them.

I stretched out the tape and placed the flag, sticky side down, on top of the tape. Be careful to make sure that the sticky part of your flag is hanging off of the sticky tape... If you cover it with the tape it wont be sticky!

Make sure the sticky part isn't covered by tape!

Then gently lift up the flag and tape and fold the tape back over on itself, as close to the edge of the flag as possible. I covered as much of the front of the flag as possible, not just the part that would poke out from the page.

I cut the tape from the rest of the roll and with a finger carefully smoothed out any air bubbles from between the flag and tape.

Then carefully cut the excess tape from around the flag. I left a little overhang the whole way around to make sure the tape stays sealed together.

On some of the flags that I don't reposition I left the excess tape at the bottom to help the flags stay put in my planner!

I then stuck all the flags back into my planner.

From now on I will do this each time I stick a flag in so that I don't have to waste them by replacing them when they get worn down. I love seeing their little faces peeking out!

What shape are your favourite flags/sticky notes? Where is your favourite place to shop for sticky notes? Let me know in the comments below.