Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Cushion, A Needlebook, A T-shirt and a Dress All Walk Into a Bar...

OK I actually have some Finished Projects for once!

Two days ago I got impatient and gave my friends their Christmas presents. Partly because I couldn't contain my excitement about the Pingu cushion, and partly because I was excited to get mine as well, since I knew what at least one of them was going to be.

So first: 


Noot noot, motherfucker!

And for his girlfriend, the Twilight-lover:


The Pingu pillow was made by reversing a picture I had found on the net AGES ago and printing it into transfer paper, which I then ironed onto some white fabric. A cushion is damn easy to make, so I won't bother going into it here unless requested, but the hard part was finding some good fabric. It's for a guy so I didn't want flowers or anything, and it was pretty much impossible to find some cool printed fabric that didn't have flowers or baby stuff all over it. I settled on khaki sharks because, I mean, khaki sharks, yo.
Then I discovered that I had made the cover a bit big for the pillow form I had (I always make things too big, out of fear it'll be too small if I follow my measurements) so I whacked a Coraline button on the back and made a button loop out of embroidery thread. It looks pretty wicked.

The top is a plain grey tee I bought at Kmart. I whacked a Quileute High Protectors badge on some transfer paper (reversed, of course) and ironed it into it. I also put a qr code on the back left as a tag:

I don't know if she's noticed it yet but it's going to be cool when she does, especially if she recognises it and checks it out without asking me :D
I also finally managed to finish the dress I've been making in sewing class, which finished last week by the way. It felt like it took forever, but that was because a) it takes an era to cut material, and b) I made a calico version first, to make sure it fit. Which it didn't. But I made it anyway. 

The lining made up for some of the bigness, but I ended up having to take the dress in anyway, by about 4 inches. I didn't bother cutting the excess away though, because my weight goes up and down like Oprah's and it's possible I'll need some more of that fabric in a few months time.

In any case it looks totally adorable, but since I finished it yesterday when no one was at home, I couldn't take a photo of it, so I'm going to wear it to a party today and get Mum to take a photo of me that I'll then post next time. I've given up asking The Man to take photos - he removes heads and limbs and has people off-centre and then insists that there's nothing wrong with the photo. Hmph. Men.

Anyway I still have plenty of stuff to make, including a car organiser for my best friend, a gardening apron for my Mum, a jacket for my brother and a wine-carrier for The Man's folks. So I'll be posting a bit more later on this week.


Monday, December 6, 2010

The Christmas Crap Post

OK So I made a few more things for Christmas presents and stuff. I made Crystal another present, which can't be shown here or spoken of because it's possible that she comes on here and reads my blog. I will show one tiny little photo of one tiny little section of it though, because I need to share with you something incredibly epic that I found yesterday.

Yes that's right. It's a QR code. Now, I don't know whether it's readable or not, since the qr code-reader on my phone seems to have disappeared into fat air. But to be honest, I don't care. I have found a way to tag my items that is both nerdy and cool-looking. The generator that I used to make the tag can be found here. It says WitchArachne, by the way.

Her man's gift is another thing though, since he's not likely to read this. So check this out for a Pingu fan:

Yep. A guttermouthed penguin pillow. Noot noot!

That's pretty much all I've done so far though. Which is pretty sad when you think about how much spare time I've had, but to be honest the huge amount of fuck-all in my life now that I'm jobless is actually pretty depressing, so I've been doing little else other than lying around feeling sorry for myself. I'm just getting back into form now (hopefully) and this is what I managed to get done today. I can't wait until after Christmas so I can actually post the rest of the stuff I've made :D

PS. I found an awesome, AWESOME website that's packed to the eyeballs with links to craft tutorials. It's called Sew Mama Sew and is so mind-bogglingly fucking awesome that everyone needs to look at it.

Check the plans they have:

Christmas Stockings

Camera Strap Cover

Go. Now!

Noot noot!

Friday, November 19, 2010

The First Annual Mongomery Burns Award For Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Making Up Blog Titles

So once again, Corvis Tristis has motivated me to do something. This time, she introduced me to Chronicle Books, publishers of many a crafty codex and creative compendium. Right now they're having a little competition to celebrate the coming holidays. Post a list of books you want from them, up to the value of $500, and you can win every single one of those books that you post.
And get this: Comment on my blog, and you will also be in the draw to win the books I choose. Not to share with me, mind you, you win your very own stash of epic crafting goodness. Because who doesn't love free shit?

So here we are guys, my list of desired books:

1. World of Geekcraft by Susan Beal, Because I am a geek and proud to shout it. And yes, the last project I favourited on COAK was this. The book is $19.95.
2. Amy Butler's Style Stitches. I love bags. Bags and shoes. Bags and shoes and gloves. Amongst my many loves are bags, shoes, gloves and... I'll start again. I want to be able to make awesome bags. I already do this, but I want to make different awesome bags. This will give me some ideas. This book is $29.95, bringing my subtotal to $49.90.
3. Every Day's a Holiday - Year-Round Crafting With Kids by Heidi Kenney. My best friend's neice is a smart little cookie, and she's so willing to play and experiment. We both love to teach her new things, and this would be an awesome way to include some creativity and motor-skills while increasing her awareness of cultural things like Christmas and yes, National Bird Day. This book is $22.50 so my total is now $72.40.
4.DIY Fashion - Customize and Personalize by Selena Francis-Brydon. The blurb about this book doesn't say much, nor does the review on Amazon, but it looks pretty awesome, and apparently includes a section on fixing your own clothes so you don't have to buy new ones. Awesome idea for the poverty-prone such as moi. The book is $24.95 so my subtotal is now $97.35.
5. Witch Craft: Wicked Accessories, Spellbinding Jewelry, Creepy-Cute Toys and More! by Margaret McGuire and Alicia Kachmar. I'm going to ignore the use of an exclamation mark in the title and simply point out that creepy-cute = freaking awesome. Considering also that every single thing on the front cover looks like something I'd love to own, I reckon this book is probably for me. It's only $14.95, which brings my total so far to $112.30.
The 6th book on my list is Whip Up Mini Quilts by Kathreen Ricketson, for the following reasons: 'Whip Up Mini Quilts' is an awesome way to phrase a title, and reminds me of my own "whack together". Mini quilts is exactly the kind of thing I'd like to learn to do. I've always thought patchwork looked like a lot of fun, but I didn't want to start on anything too big, like an actual quilt, or too old-lady, like a cushion cover. Mini-quilts sounds just the thing. 'Kathreen' is a radical name. And finally, she's an Aussie, and that gets her bonus points.
Whip Up Mini Quilts is $24.95, bringing the subtotal to $137.25 so far.
7. As a woman with ADHD, I find it near impossible to keep a track of, well, pretty much anything. The Craft Inc. Business Planner is definitely something I could use. Pockets, notepads out the wazoo, pen-holders, and helpful reminders to keep you on track, if I don't win the competition I'll probably buy one of these anyway. It's an awesomely cheap $16.95, so so far I'm up to $154.20.
8. I decided to have a look for crochet books. I haven't tried knitting since I was a wee little kiddy, and I was bloody awful at it when I did. My "edging" came out scraggly, to say the least. I managed to add stitches, drop stitches, double-stitch the same stitch so I had a double row but only in one section... I buggered it up every which way you can think of. Theoretically, I should start with the simplest and easiest crochet books, since I'm so awful at it, but guys... NINJAS! Creepy Cute Crochet by Christen Haden is $14.95 so I'm up to $169.15.
9. Along the lines of crochet ninjas, we now have a knitted Mr T doll. I. Must. Own. This. Book: Knitted Icons: 25 Celebrity Doll Patterns by Carol Meldrum. It's 15.95, which brings us to $185.10.
10. A wicked way to combine nanna craft and being a bitch: Subversive Cross-Stitch: 33 Designs For Your Surly Side by Julie Jackson. It's at this point that I realise I should stop looking or I'm going to buy something, and then I will be in deep trouble. $14.95 so where are we up to now? $200.05.

Moving away from Craft books now and into the realms of fiction.

11. Sense and Sensability and Sea Serpents has managed to combine my love of squid with my love for Alan Rickman. This is both disturbing and awesome and I must own it. It is $12.95, which adds to make $213.
12. In the same line of books, I still haven't read Android Karenina. I've read the original (Anna Karenina) and it's great. Steampunking it would probably kill me with the awesome. I am willing to risk it. $225.95 so far.
13. Fuck This Book is a series of photos of public signs that have had a sticker with the word 'fuck' on it stuck to them. Immature and stupid. I can totally get behind that. It's $14.95, so the total is now $240.90.
14. In a totally different direction, Disneystrology does what all those other birthday books did, making up personality traits for people born on each day of the year. Only they've added Disney characters. I want to know which one I am. It'll cost me $16.95 to find out. $257.85.
15. I have a deep and abiding love of Absinthe. A nasty-tasting, poisonous-looking, addictive, drug-laced alcohol, with a butt-load of symbolism and a glamorous reputation. Absinthe: History in a Bottle is a perfect addition to my cabinet. It's $22.95 and is another item that if I don't win it, I will buy. Total so far: $280.80.
16. Although I'm a traditionalist who thinks Absinthe should be taken by itself, or with burnt sugar and laudanum only, I'm willing to give absinthe cocktails a go. The Man is a cocktail-bartender too, so I reckon he'd get a kick out of 50 Ways to Mix With the Green Fairy, which is only 19.95. This brings the total to 300.75.
17. My addiction to the seedy-yet-glamorous side of pop culture continues with Playboy: 50 Years The Photographs. It's an expensive one, at $50, but well worth it, I reckon. $350.75 now.
18. I'm not a huge fan of the Worst Case Scenario Survival Guides. Sure, they're kind of funny, but they're one of those things that you sort of giggle at and then forget you own. As a life-long addict of weird shit, I must, I repeat, MUST own their guide to the paranormal. Must. It's only 14.95, but if I don't win it, I'm buying it. $315.70 now.
19. Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better is the woman's guide to doing kick-arse stuff. I want to know how to kick down a door. I currenly can't spit further than on my own foot (and would like to remedy that). I want to be able to tell the difference between a blended and a single malt without having to read the label. If I don't win this competition, I'm requesting this book from The Man. It's $14.95. $330.65.

OK. So we're getting to the pointy end of the list now, but I still have almost $150 to go. I don't have any books left that I desperately, desperately want, but I'm greedy, so fuck it. Here are the books that I think are cool enough to add to the list. Books I want, but not enough to actually pay for or even look for, though if someone offers them to me for free, I'll be taking.

20 and 21. First up we have two kid-wrangling books. I don't have any spawn but I'd like to one day, and I'm the kind of person who, when planning to do something, reads fuck-loads and fuck-loads of books about it in order to be completely prepared. Then I don't do it after all. But I'm sure it'll happen one day, and it'll be nice to have some guides that won't make me panic and think my offspring are about to die. How to Have Your Second Child First is one of those guides that every mother should own (I assume, since I haven't read it yet). Two comedy authors have written a funny-but-true book about how the second kid has it a bit easier, specifically because the parents have already done their panicking and overparenting with the first one, so the second is left to have a normal childhood. How to Con Your Kid helps you come up with lies to make annoying little shits (sorry - little angels) do what you want them to do. Won't eat broccoli? How about 'baby trees'? HTHYSCF is $18.95, and HTCYK is $14.95. $364.55.
22. My mate showed me a new dance move last week that he learned from an old lady at a nightclub. I'm going to ignore the awesomeness of that situation and move on to the awesomeness of the dance move itself. It is called The TV and basically involves making a box with your arms, doing The Robot for a second or two and then flopping sideways and having a fit. Said mate would love the shit out of The Best Dance Moves in the World... Ever! and I would like to win this book so I won't have to pay for his Christmas present. What? I'm unemployed! If I were to pay for it, it would be $16.95. $381.50.
23. The Book of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks is a must-have. My best friend and I regularly find signs around town with quotation marks that just really shouldn't be there. Quotations marks change the whole vibe of the word. I gotta say, I'll probably never hire that "reliable" farrier that I saw advertised at the pet shop a few years back. And the six-pack of "sausages" at the shop the other day can stay right there. $14.95 so my total is now $396.45.
24. As an Australian, it is my patriotic duty to barbeque as frequently as I can, weather and money be damned. The problem is (and don't tell my family this) I'm not very good at. Weber's pretty famous. Maybe they can help. Weber's Big Book of Grilling would probably help. It's $24.95. My total is now $421.40.
25. I am a big fan of wine, red wine specifically, and I especially love finding the weird ones. There's a few around here - I live in a wine region so they're not hard to find - but I want to know about ones the world over. Marilyn Merlot and the Naked Grape is a collection of weird wines. Either with weird names, like Cat Pee on a Gooseberry Bush, or they have a cool label feature, like thermochromic ink, and braille lettering. This book would be a great addition to my library, plus it sounds like a porno Nancy Drew book. $16.95. $438.35.
26. I would have liked to have ended the list with a nice, round number like 25, but I found a book that was so perfect for The Man that I just couldn't not include it. He enjoys the superficially gentleman-like style of smoking rooms and single-malt whiskey (with the 'e') and Old Man Drinks: Recipes, Advice and Barstool Wisdom is perfect. So perfect I may ignore my intention of making everyone's presents this Christmas and buy this for him. It had to be included. It's $14.95, which brings my final total to:


I have enough left over to find a few more books, but I'm starting to press it now, plus I've been working on this post for three days and frankly, I just want to go to the pub. So I'm simply going to say 'sayanara' and get my drink on, and hope that at least one person comments or I'm going to feel like a loser.

Sayanara motherfuckers!

PS. I have more combs to show you soon! Also some fuzzy pink stuff XD

PPS. When I first came across this competition I wondered if I was included since I'm across the other side of the globe. I couldn't find anything to say I wasn't, so I forged ahead. I now see that the rules of entering are in youtube format. I have chosen not to watch it because if I find out I just wrote a list for 3 days for no reason I will probably cry. Fingers crossed, people. Fingers well and truly fucking crossed.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Well That Was a Long Hiatus - EDITED

OK so I took a little longer to get back into the swing of things than I thought I would.
It's been a hard few weeks for me. I've recently been diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder (also known as Manic Depression) and ADHD and it's been a constantly changing cocktail of drugs to try, in hopes of making me somewhat more... I hesitate to use the word 'normal'... Functional? It's been pretty freaking horrific at times, and I've come closer to death than I feel comfortable with, and it's only now that I feel like I'm getting back on track, which is sort of strange, since I'm not actually on any drugs at all.
In any case, I want this blog to be mainly about my often hilariously awful attempts at making stuff, and not so much about how shit I am/was feeling, so I'm just going to say that the above issues have been the main cause of my lengthy absence, and I apologise.

Now to the good stuff:

I've made very few things lately, for the reasons listed above, but in the last few days I feel like I've been kicked in the arse by the craft fairy and I've started making a few things. The craft fairy has appeared in the guise of a girl my own age, named, well, I don't know what she's named. She calls herself Corvus Tristis after the Grey Crow, and I like that, since the bird I've always identified with is the Australian Magpie - a passeriform bird, as are all true crows. Plus crows are just fucking awesome anyway!

She's given me the urge to make the combs I've been planning for months now. I've so far made only one, for reasons I will outline below. For now - LOOK AT MY PRETTY COMB!

I bought the comb ages back in a set of 8 or 10 for this specific purpose in mind. I may have made a mistake buying them from the cheap store though, because as soon as I put the hot glue on it and whacked the flowers on, the comb itself started melting. If you look close enough at the actual comb you can see that the tines aren't quite as aligned as they should be. That's because I had to push them into place while holding all the flowers in place and not burning the crap out of my hands. I did well enough that the comb will stay together and will stay in my hair, but they're not good enough for me to sell. I'll have to buy some slightly better ones for next time. For now I'll stick with the cheapies while I work on styles and techniques. They look nice enough anyway. I might make some for friends too.

Corvus has also inspired me to try making everyone's Christmas presents this year instead of buying them (except books, I will be buying books as always and they totally don't count). It should be a lot easier on my pocket (not that I carry my wallet in my pocket but you get the point) and it sounds like a good way to focus myself and have a bit of fun as well. Last night when I couldn't sleep I made a present for Crystal. Behold: the REDACTED, shamelessly filched from the mind of someone else (probably Corvus again).

Yeah, sorry guys, my real life friends don't really check out this blog, so I wasn't too worried about posting pictures of upcoming presents. Then the next post came along and I'm directing everyone here to post, so I've had to take the photos and all mention of what they are of, away. I will put them back up after Christmas :P

I had (and have) plenty of felt lying around, and Crystal loves REDACTED, and also sewing, and I thought it was an item that combined the two quite well. I also plan to make a AHEMHEM WHAT'S THAT OVER THERE? for her, using transfer paper and an image I flogged from someone on Craftster (though she found it through Google Images, so I don't think it counts as flogging). I'm going to have to print the picture on regular paper at least 85 times before I try it on transfer paper though - that shit is expensive.
I'm going to make all the girls personalised gift bags too. I don't really see guys using bags very often - in fact they seem to be allergic - doing all that they can to avoid using one, even when it's downright inconvenient to do anything else. Plus most of my male friends live with their parents still, and won't even be able to use a bag for grocery shopping, so they will just get their stuff wrapped up or something.

OK. As far as regular sewing goes. I have been doing sewing classes with a girl from work, and they're going pretty well. We went through WEA, the local adult learning centre, and it's a course that's designed for people with no experience at all with sewing machines. We both do have a little bit of experience - I did sewing in school, and she has made one or two small non-clothing items - but we wanted to go as simple as possible to make sure we didn't go out of our depth and waste the tutoring fee. We both picked out our simple patterns from Spotlight (and they're actually pretty similar, which isn't surprising, really, since we're quite alike in our fashion tastes) and the third class will be on tomorrow (after which we'll be going to the pub as a farewell drinks night for me). We've both been pretty capable of keeping up with the instructions, and I haven't actually had to ask for any help yet - which is strange since I think if I didn't have the option available I would have needed help. In any case, I'm currently in the process of making a calico version of the dress to make sure it fits ok, and then I'll know what needs fixing for the end product.

And finally, for Halloween this year I did a bit of decorating, but with such a small house I was left with few options. I did get an awesome idea from Cut Out And Keep to make a Halloween Wreath for the front door. I grabbed a wire coathanger and bent it into a circle, then cut dark grey plastic bags into strips and slipknotted them onto the hanger. Once the hanger was full, I hot-glued some fake flowers I had previously spray-painted black (it's ok not to cover them completely in paint, in fact, I think it looks better that way) and also added some cobwebs I made with the hot glue. And voila! One Halloween Wreath:

And that's what I've been doing when I wasn't here. Stay tuned for a competition, bitchez!

Monday, October 11, 2010

OK I swear I haven't abandoned this blog, or, FUCK LIQUID NAILS (UPDATED)

I know, I know, it's been AGES since I last blogged, but it's not because I haven't been doing anything (I totally have, strangely enough) it's because I can't find my motherfucking usb cable anywhere. It's like it's disappeared into fat air and fat air won't give it back.

Epic, epic sadface. :'(

Until I find it again or buy a new one, I'll have to just talk about what I've been doing, and y'all can just use your imaginations.

Since I last blogged about painting my dresser so beautifully, I felt the fires of inspiration take a hold of my soul and when I walked in the bathroom and saw the ugly "pine" (read: chipboard) cabinet with the missing door and melamine drawer base, I decided to get rid of it (read: take it to Mum's) and swap it for something better (read: take the one from Mum's garage).

The one in Mum's garage was in worse condition than I remembered, probably because like me my mother likes to start projects and then gets distracted or lazy and takes ages to finish them. So I grabbed the pieces of the cabinet, found the awesome metal ruler and took to the sky-blue gloss enamal like Conan with a motherfucking sword. Except slightly less kill-y. Also I stopped for coffee a few times. Once I had stripped and sanded most of the paint off (I got bored and figured "meh, that'll do") I went to Bunnings and got a can of gloss spray enamel because spray paint is much easier than regular brush painting.

Note: spray painting is not easier than regular brush painting. For one, the paint barely goes on if you hold it the recommended 15-20cm away from the surface you are painting. If you hold it any closer though, too much comes out and you end up with paint drips. I did a coat and then went and clipped the hedge. An hour later I came back and did another coat. On the cabinet only, not the door or drawer. Unfortunately, my spray ran out before I could get to the door or the drawer for a second coat. Unlucky for me, since the door and drawer were the two things that had the most amount of blue left on them from when I had gotten sick of stripping the paint.

*sigh*. So once that had dried I grabbed some thin strips of wood and some Liquid Nails and glued drawer runners to the sides, and some supports for a shelf in the lower section.
Liquid Nails sucks cock in hell. It's impossible to push out of the gun if you don't have Hulk Hogan-like biceps, and once out of the nozzle it dries up like my vagina while watching Smallville. With the help of my brother, I managed to get the drawer runners on. Of course, the glue wouldn't dry. A few hour later when everything was still repositionable, I got the shits and nailed the damn things in. Because the supports were curved, I bent about 15 nails before I gave up and pretended to cry and Mum found me some square ones in the garage.

When I attempted to put in the shelf, which I had measured to the millimetre to fit in the cabinet, it didn't fit. By this point I was about to shit a brick. Matthew came over to ask me a question and I started hissing and growling and rocking the cabinet around. He ran away. I grabbed the rubber mallet and bashed the shelf into place, then nailed it from the sides to hold it in place, though I don't think it would have moved anyway, it was jammed in that tight (that's what she said).

My attempts to put the hinges back on were, of course, foiled by the huge amounts of gloss paint all over them. A poisonous mixture of turps and WD-40 in a jar with the hinges and shaken around for an hour or so seemed to loosen them up enough to be useable however by this point I was so damn cranky that Mum literally took the cabinet off me and sent me to the movies. I have reason to believe she may have put the door on for me. I hope so. Because it's been almost a week now of having the contents of my bathroom cabinet all over the floor and it's annoying to have to step over 3 hairbrushes, a bag of TP and a tonne of makeup just to brush my teeth at night.

The cabinet had better bloody well go nicely in the bathroom after all this effort, though having a look this morning has made me suspect that it may be too tall to fit next to the sink. Goddammit.

UPDATE: So I chuffed around to Mum's yesterday, expecting the cabinet to have been finished for me. No such luck. The door was still not on, the hinges were missing (I later found one on the floor and one in a jar of scraps - thanks Mum) and all the tools I needed to continue working on it had been put away. I decided to get a move on and actually work on it. I grabbed the door and attempted to measure where the hinges should go.

The door did not fit.

To this day, I do not understand how the door, which came OFF the cabinet in the first place, could suddenly not fit it anymore. Maybe someone put it in the dryer or something. All I know is that when I went to put it on, there was a gap about an inch wide between the door and the bottom of the drawer.

I got the shits and went inside. After 3 hours of Age of Mythology, Mum badgered me into having a go at finishing it. She sawed off a thin piece of wood and I decided to nail it in from the sides, because Fuck Liquid Nails, and of course we put it in too high and had to redo it. Then she pestered me into glueing a thick piece of wood in the back to act as a spacer between the back and the drawer, because the drawer kept sliding in too far. We used the cheapo wood glue from the Reject Shop instead of Liquid Nails.

I took the cabinet home that night (almost forgot it actually) and it fit in the space in the bathroom with about 5mm to spare. Thank fucking Christ. I was (and still am) hell proud of having actually completed it, despite the universe's clear attempts to make me give up, and pointed it out to The Man upon his arrival that night. His only thoughts? "That bit's not painted."


Fucking photos y'all!

Check my dodgy paint job and last-minute addition!

More of that sexy, sexy, glossy blue goodness! (Also I just noticed you can see The Haunted Tampons in the cupboard)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Distressed and Beachy Chest of Drawers (also Doom) (UPDATED)

This is the probably-boring backstory to the COD. Skip this part if you don't care, but please know that by doing so you are destroying my bard-like spirit.
About a year back BFF and I were driving down the mountain to my house for post-archery cuppas during council pick-up week. I fucking LOVE council pickup week. Council pick-up week = free furniture and untold plans to renovate said furniture, which normally just sits in Mum's garage until she gets the shits and takes it to the tip a few months later. Mum doesn't like council pick-up week as much as I do.

This time I found a chest of drawers that looked to be in pretty decent condition. It was also about to rain and I was worried it would get wet and ruined before I decided if I wanted it or not, so we jammed it in BFF's Lancer and shimmied on down to my house where I whacked it in the back room and promptly forgot about it.

A few weeks later I was getting the shits with the mess in the study and after 3 days of clearing away and filing papers randomly (god forbid the ATO should ever audit me) I found the COD. Inspired by recent episodes of Better Homes and Gardens (or maybe I was just in a manic phase) I decided to repaint it and put it in the lounge room. So off to my Mum's garage it went.

Scroll to here for actual blow-by-blow directions for stressing out your furniture.
First I had to strip back the paint. The COD was wooden (not that chipboard shit) and had been painted a few times, once with a matte white and at least once in gloss white that had gone creamy-yellow. Originally my plan was to get the belt-sander out and just rub off all of the paint back to the original wood base. 14 000 slipped sanding strips and 10cm later I got the shits with this technique and decided to just get rid of the gloss. I grabbed a metal ruler and planed the paint off by dragging it towards me along the surface like a razor. This got the majority of the gloss off. The smaller bits were done with an actual paint scraper. This technique worked better than using the paint remover, which just sort of bubbled and then sat there looking pathetic and useless. Go figure.

OK. Next step. I sanded all of the surfaces to make sure they were smooth but slightly rough. Paint will only stick to porous surfaces, but I didn't want splinters either. This only took about 20 minutes to do, including  making sure all the corners and edges were smooth.

Then I got my sea-blue pot of paint from Bunnings. It was only a sample pot of water-based paint that I had bought on sale for $4 (they sell out old sample pots cheaply, and they're more than enough to coat most furniture a few times over) and I poured it into an old ice-cream container. I mixed in about the same amount of water and stirred it well to make a thinner paint mix and did a coat of paint all over it (making sure to do the drawers separately of course). Once that had dried I noticed that the 10cm spot I had done with the belt sander was actually pretty noticeable because of the thinned paint, so I did another coat of blue.
If you do this yourself, remember that the point of it is to look distressed, so it's not too important to do a good job. I mean, try not to make a real hash of it, but missing little bits in corners and stuff is actually a good thing. You may want to make sure that just inside where the drawers sit is done, and between any legs (of the COD, not yourself - no one finds Blue Waffle attractive). If this is going to be the outer layer, you may like to take more care to get it right than if it's the inner coat.

Once that had dried I got an old tin of white ceiling paint (water based) and did two coats of that (allowing for drying time). This step is not essential. You might like to just have the one colour, with the wood grain peeking through at some points, but I wanted blue, white and wood to fit in with my beach theme.

Once dry, I grabbed the sanding strips and went to town. I made sure to work on corners and edges, which always get bumped when moving furniture, and added a few rubbing circles on the top and on the sides. I left the side panels alone, because I plan on adding a painting on each of those, but they would look good with some rubbed circles as well (from leaning on them, of course). I scraped away at the drawers, and made sure to match scraped parts on drawers with the parts between the drawers, so they look natural.

Then I covered the whole thing (separated again) with a coat of satin wood seal. It needed to be sealed because water-based paint rubs off fairly easily, as is very porous, so it soaks up any dirt or stains. Since my cats like to sit where it's going I decided I should probably give my masterpiece some protection from the little douche-bags. I picked satin because a) I hate glossy paint on furniture, and b) it's meant to be beachy and glossy just doesn't suit that theme. Satin was a good compromise between matte (which I couldn't have) and gloss.

Then I added the handles I found at this gorgeous little vintage shop in Thirroul. They were only $2.50 each. It turned out though that the screws were a little bit too long, and I had about 5ml left after screwing it all the way in. I didn't have any shorter screws, so I got some thin wood, sawed some small squares out of it and drilled a hole in each of them about the diameter of the screw. I then screwed the screw into that (to act as a buffer) and then through the drawer and into the handle and the whole thing was finished!

Now as soon as I find my damn USB cable I'll add the photos.

UPDATE: Here are some radical beachy-type photos!

Here's the drunk-ass looking photo from the front
Slightly less drunk-ass side photo

The Paddington house ink-and-watercolour

My swexy drawer lining and stuff
When I got the COD to my house I was intending, at some point in the probably-distant-future, to paint something cool onto the fairly-boring side panel. While clearing out the old COD I found the third in a series of ink-and-watercolours I have up on the wall of various terrace houses in Sydney. Conveniently, it fitted perfectly on the panel. So yay!

The drawer lining is done half-arsedly with wrapping paper :D

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Plans, Plans, and Lack of Effort

Lack of Effort really does seem to feature a lot in my blogging, doesn't it? I'm such a lazy bitch, but I guess that's just me.

In an effort to make an effort, I've found a new sewing blog with a Dresden Pillow plan that I would like to attempt. I love quilting, but I'm not the type to use quilts or blankets with that scrappy-sort-of design on them (the doona cover does me fine) so a floor pillow sounds like a good idea, and it looks simple enough for me to do.

I've also signed myself up (slightly late) for my first craft swap on Cut Out And Keep, a sewing/craft website that I've been a member of for ages. The plan is to swap an office-envelope of small things with someone from another country. I like the idea of getting in contact with someone from the other side of the world (maybe get another penpal and exchange REAL letters instead of just emails and facebook) and maybe if I get something crafty and small that I haven't seen already it'll inspire a new work from me. Fingers crossed I get to join in because I was a day or so too late for the sign-ups but there's always someone who pulls out or turns up late like me so I'll hopefully get partnered up with someone anyway.

In the meantime, I've been avoiding my latest essay by finally working on the chest of drawers I found halfway up Mount Keira during Council Clean-up Week. When I found it it was all shitty with glossy-cream paint all over it and looked like it'd had a hard life. Nice though, and real wood too instead of that chipboard crap. I've stripped most of the gloss from it, back to the original matte white (with some bare patches in places) and then, once I get a chance, I'll paint it with the light-blue paint I got for $4 from Bunnings, wipe a lot of that off so it's all faded, then a few more coats of matte white over the top which I'll then sand back so it's distressed looking.

w00t. I can haz planz. Still no money though.

Saturday, August 28, 2010


Haven't really done much sewing this week, mainly planning and buying crap I don't really need with money I don't really have when I should be putting it on bills I don't really want to pay.

The end result is that so far this week I have:

Sewn my headband closed because it kept opening up and looking horrible on my melon, and unpicked an apron so that I can make a sewing belt. I need to wash it before I do anything else to it though. The material inside the pockets was filthy, and I don't get how that happens because I have never ever used the damn apron before. WTF?

Oh, and I also sewed the most basic thing ever, an elastic wrap-around to surround the bottom of the rat cage so they don't kick all the pine shavings all over the house. If I ever have some money left over for myself I may buy a cute pattern from Urban Threads and embroider something on it so it's not so plain.

I'd show photos but I'm far too lazy today to do that so I'm just going to sit here and read my Bernard Cornwell book and maybe fart-arse around on facebook a bit.


Monday, August 23, 2010

Little Shorts of DOOOOOOOOOM (A Lazy Girl's Guide to Feeling Productive)

So I spent most of my work day feeling like someone was drilling into my right leg through my pelvis and pouring nitroglycerin through the hole. Sciatica is a bitch. On the bright side, it meant I felt less guilty for passing up on a shift tonight so I could go to pub trivia with friends and bludge around at home afterwards. I did feel a little guilty though, so I felt like I had to do something vaguely useful to make up for it. Also I've been feeling slightly sewey this week, but not enough to do any actual sewing.

I've been needing a new pair of little denim shorts since last Summer when I finally bit the bullet and threw out the LDS I've owned since High School. They were so ridiculously big on me that I just had to get rid of them. When I threw them out I felt like I was throwing out part of myself. Which is really just fucking pathetic when you think about it. Also they were totally cute. And denim goes with everything (especially in Summer).

So anyway, I needed some more. So I grabbed the pair of jeans I bought last year that are just a little too small on me, and I cut them off just under the crotch. So these really are little denim shorts, yo. I made sure not to cut across the pockets at the back and front, but I didn't reallu measure them, just put them on, estimated where they should end, and cut across in a line. When I put them back on afterward I discovered that they needed to be a bit shorter at the outside of the leg, so off they came again while I kneeled on the floor in my knickers and snipped away some more. Simple as Ashton Kutcher at a Mensa meet. The end result is serviceably cute. Definitely worth it when I remember that every single pair I've seen in shops has been $20 minimum. The bottoms should fray nicely after a few turns though the washing machine, and since it's been so hot lately, I get to wear them straight away! w00t for me and my sexy shorts!

Now I just have to work on getting rid of my winter arse.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

15 Things You May Not Know About Sesame Street

Holy shit. I actually finished something. What is the world coming to?

2010 Volkwagen GTI

I sew.

I'm not great at it (though I'm not totally shit either) but I enjoy it. It gives me a sense of accomplishment, and it's kind of fun, and that fills both columns in my therapist's "reasons to do things" graph.

I fight a not-exactly-epic-but-still-fucking-hard battle with depression and anxiety and a thousand other mental and emotional issues. Finding something I enjoy doing is a fight in and of itself. I figured I may as well add to the sense of mastery that I'm supposed to get from tasks, by actually setting myself goals and attempting to achieve them. But I gotta record them too, hence the blog.

So here I am, first post in, explaining what's gunna be here. Not much really. Just me bitching and whinging, with some occasional photos and descriptions of the latest things I've been making.

So. What have I been making? I'm most of the way through making a pair of hippy pants. The original tutorial can be found here and her pants look way better than mine. Probably because she used hippy-type fabric. When I went shopping for mine, all I knew was that I wanted black fabric and that I wanted to wear the pants in winter and spring so they had to be a bit warmer than whatever hers were made of. About halfway through doing the hems I realised I was making them out of tracksuit material. Fucking posh y'all. In any case, what I have so far looks like a thick sheet anyway, so I can't imagine I'll be wearing them in anything resembling public.

This is what they look like so far:

Yep. I told you. A fucking sheet. So I'm going to have to cut them down a bit. But for now I can't be bothered. I still need to buy some ribbon to use as a waistband/tie which means I can't finish them yet anyway, so they'll have to wait until next week when I can afford/be bothered to buy it.

About halfway through making the pants I realised that I have an annoying habit of never having my sewing kit with me when I need it. Not that it's far away - I live in a 3-room apartment - but I'm lazy, and fuck having to move 8 whole feet to get my sewing kit when I could just stay sitting on my fat pasty arse. So I grabbed a slap-band and made a little cover for it with some leftover material I had. Then I found a 2D re-endition of a sphere, printed it, pinned it to some leftover felt and cut it out. Now, when I can be bothered, I'll sew the bits together and make a ball that I'll somehow attach to the slap-band. Then I can just whack the band on my wrist when I'm sewing, and I'll have a pincushion on my arm and I won't have to get up and go to the loungeroom to get my kit whenever I start at the sewing machine. As I'm typing this, it occurred to me that I should make a leather apron to carry scissors and stuff in. I am a fucking genius.

Also in the making is a denim bag that I started on weeks back and then lost momentum with. I grabbed a zombie embroidery pattern from Urban Threads ( a totally kick-arse sewing site) and at some point in my facebook-addicted-week, I will start to sew a zombie on to my new little bag. Yay me. I can haz planz. :)