Monday, December 19, 2011

Secret Santa Can Suck It

So I got a wicked cool series of Secret Santa Can Suck It presents from the wonderful xJane at Mind on Fire. I've already added a tonne of "must have" items to my 'to buy' list, since it was a little late for me to add them to my Christmas present ideas list on the fridge (what with Australia being about a million miles from everywhere, according to the post office).

Of course, getting Secret Santa presents from someone means I get to buy (or not, in this case) presents for someone else and this year I drew Pensive from Pensive Pumpkin out of the Santa hat.

A quick scan of her blog leads me to believe she may be Pagan. I'm not 100% on this, since I've beena  bit short on time lately and didn't get a chance to read very extensively. I hope I'm right though, because I based pretty much all her presents on this theme.

First of all we have this absolutely stunning circlet:

Every girl loves a nice piece of jewelry and this is nice and simple. It's silver plated, which means it should go nicely on any skin type and should be wearable by most people (though of course, I don't have a budget with this so if she needs platinum then hell, why not? Let's have one made).

And for Pensive to keep her spells written in (or her recipes, or her innermost thoughts and dreams, or her passwords), I chose this leatherbound, buckled, and strapped journal:

Because hell yes, that's why. I love leatherbound books, and I love journals. Who wouldn't? The symbol on the front is customisable. If given the chance I would ask what she would like on it but since this is meant to be a secret I can't, so I suggest having a pumpkin.

Most women love candles. Most people like having money around the house. These candles are meant to attract money, and even if they don't work I bet they smell absolutely heavenly:

They're rolled in myrrh, fools gold, cinnamon, clove, sandalwood, nutmeg and devil's claw, among others. I want some for myself. In fact, I've added them to that 'to buy' list.

Alongside candles, every woman seems to get bath oils and the like for Christmas and birthdays. Although the tradition can get a little tired, I do love good handmade cosmetics and bath accessories and I loved the sound of this bath oil:

The Midnight Gypsy Magick and Moonlight Bath Salts are made with frankincense, sandalwood, lime, jasmine, vanilla, lavender, almond extract, along with a heap of herbs and plant extracts. It looks gorgeous.

While Pensive is relaxing in the bath, she may like to enjoy a good book. Probably shouldn't take this one in the tub though. It's likely a little heavy:

This book was written by a fairly well-known occultist and spiritualist named L W De Laurence. He actually converted to Catholicism later in life but before that happened he managed to bang out a few great books like this one, printed in 1939. It's apparently in brilliant condition and if Pensive loves books as much as I do she'll go crazy for this one.

Pensive's Thirteenth Day of Creepmas blog post had an image of a dude in what I think is a Baphomet costume. Baphomet was/is awesome. He was the god/demon that the Knights Templar were accused of (and subsequently wiped for) worshipping. Because of the association with the Templars, Baphomet has become linked to the Freemasons and all that Pagan/Christian cult conspiracy stuff. Then Alistair Crowley got an arm in and changed his public image even more. Look, it's weird, but if you're into weirdness like I am you'll see why it's cool.
Anyway, I had a look around and found this cute little guy on Amazon:

Assuming he's real, Baphomet probably doesn't appreciate me calling him cute. Whoops.

And finally, as I began posting all of this I suddenly remembered my friend Jon and the bowls that he makes. I really think that this handcrafted pewter dancing hare bowl could be something Pensive would like:

So. How do you think I went?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Merry Christmas. Holy shit. Where's the Tylenol?

Right. So it's been a while. A LONG while. I've been rather slack this year haven't I?
Well I can't promise I'll be any better next year but I do have excuses!
I've moved in with my boyfriend and his family and although it's a big house, it's not mine, which means I've been sewing-machine-less for the last 6 months. It's driving me quite batty. His Mum keeps telling me I should bring my machine over, but if I do that I'll have to bring my sewing kit too, and then my fabric stash, and then my craft kits, and pretty soon her spare bedroom would be chock full of my stuff. So for now I'm holding back on the craft somewhat.

I will TRY to be more diligent in the new year. I do have a few things I plan to make and I'll try to blog about them, but being the start of a new year I'll have a whole heap of stuff to get ready and plan and start, so I won't have a whole lot of time to blog. Obviously I'll be starting uni again. I also have my boyfriend's 21st birthday party to organise and fancy dress costumes to make for us both AND my Mum. Then I also have the new horsemanship classes my best friend and I will be taking. And the cruise we're all going on in February. And an all-day concert that's also in February. And the BF and I will be down the coast for much of January too. So it's a packed start to the year.

For now though I have a little time on my hands so I thought I'd stop in and drop a line to my millions of adoring fans *cough, cough* and let everyone know I'm not dead yet. Just lazy.

Also there will be another post soon. I've gone and volunteered myself for the 'Secret Santa Can Suck It' game at Shadow Manor and will be putting up my own gift idea for my Secret Santa recipient by the 21st of December.

So anyway. Merry w00tmas.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Return of the Return of That Craft Chick

OK so I may or may not have been a little... negligent about updating this blog. In my defense I started uni this year so I've been a bit swamped. It's the first time I've studied full-time since I finished high school almost 8 years ago, and it's been pretty intense. Alongside that, I've moved house (back to my Mum's place), broken up with my boyfriend AND started dating someone new (who is proving to be all I've ever dreamed of, thank you baby). I haven't had a lot of time to craft.

A few weeks back though, I began my mid-year holidays and after reading psychotically for the first few weeks (reading for pleasure in the middle of term makes me feel guilty because I know I should be studying) I started to feel a bit lost. I needed something to do with my hands. Now, I haven't been completely unhandy since the beginning of the year. I've been working on a hanging jewelery box in the garage for a few months now, but I need to get some glass before I can finish it, and glass is a little expensive for now, especially since I have nowhere to put the thing once it's finished anyway.

So the other day I grabbed some things for the seemingly bottomless 'To Be Fixed Bag' and did what useful stuff I could. By the time evening rocked around I was in a sewing mood and had nothing left to fix. I looked at my sewing machine and saw this:

White. Bland. Boring. Also torn:

I decided I needed to begin a campaign of beautifying. In the morning. At that moment I was too tired to think. Of course, by the time I got to bed I was back into planning mode and couldn't sleep because of all the ideas running through my brain.

In the morning I trawled by fabric box (a wicked old New Kids on the Block blanket box my cousin gave me when I was 10). I grabbed some fabric I'd picked up at Spotlight a few months earlier. It had been in the scraps and offcuts bin and I bought it for $3.75. I bought a half-metre of quilting cotton in a contrasting colour (I didn't need that much but half a metre is the smallest allowable cut), and a cotton cord and toggle and set to work. By the end of the day, this is what I had:

There's a gap at the back so I can get my fingers under the handle, a pocket in the front big enough to hold the instruction manual, power cords and foot pedal, and the bottom can be tightened so it doesn't flop around, unlike the old one.

All in all I'm pretty happy with my work. It's not much, but it's something, and it's kept me occupied for a few days. Now I just have to work on crossing off all the projects on my craft favourites list ;)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Stuff and Nonsense

So it will come as a surprise to not a single entity that I have done bugger-all of the Iron Craft Challenge I was so enthusiastic about in my last post.
I came in at the end of that week and just didn't have the time or energy to think of anything other than curtains, and when the next week rocked around and the theme was basically "ways to keep the house warm and muggy as shit" I gave up. It's far too hot here to have to think about ways to convert a theme of keeping the house warm to keeping it cool every single week, while sticking to a piss-tiny budget.

In other news, I managed to get into uni! Yay! I start on the 1st of March, which isn't far away at all, and I'll be moving to Sydney in a few months so that I don't have to commute. I'm an awful student, and even worse when I have to travel 2 hours to get to a one hour class. And travelling in Winter is unthinkably shit. Although it doesn't get all that cold (compared to other places anyway) it does get dark at like 5pm, and considering that that's when my classes end, I don't feel like lazing around Central Station until 6 just waiting for a train full of bogans when I could just zip on home to some hot soup in half an hour.

So for now I'm trying to flog all my old crap I don't need and make some money while I move back to Mum's place to save what I can for the move. Crafting and sewing has pretty much fallen by the wayside for the time being.

A friend of mine convinced me to sign up for marching in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. I've always wanted to go, and I figured why not make my first time going be my first time in it too? The theme of our float is 'Angels and Demons', with half of us dressed as angels and the other half as demons (obviously). My first instinct was to go for demon - I love red, I love the slutty style of the demon costumes lately, and I pretty much own all of the right things to make the costume. So I went with being an angel instead :D I wanted a challenge, and dressing as an angel when I hardly own anything white was pretty challenging.

I bought a silver sequinned lingerie-dress from Bras n Things for $8 (down from seventy!) and took the red straps off it. I bought some silver sequinned shoes ($10 from Tattoo) and hot-glued silver ribbons to the sides so I can tie them up my legs like ballet slippers. And I found my old white wings from years back and tried to add a bit of razzle-dazzle to them by gluing on some extra feather. Frankly the wings look a bit shitty, but they'll do.

I've worked out makeup (whiteface, with silver glitter Carnivale eyes, cheekbones and lipstick) and I'm going to bleach the shit out of my hair, but my main concern is the dress. It's just not Carnivale enough for Mardi Gras. It's been suggested that I add silver ball-tinsel to the dress but I don't know where, plus I still have to fix the straps after I took the old ones off. Mardi Gras draws ever closer and I'm going to look like a gimp.

Gimpy or Fabulous photos will ensue in a few weeks.

Friday, January 7, 2011

SHOES! Also some annoying wanker curtains

I fucking love shoes. Seriously. And I love comics because... well... I don't know why, I just do.
I've had a plan in my head for quite a few months now for a pair of shoes that I could make. It was inspired by a tutorial posted on Cut Out and Keep.

Before Christmas I had every intention of having a garage sale and flogging all the crap in my house that I didn't want anymore, but I realised that few people would be garage saling that close to Christmas, and after the holidays everyone would be broke. So a few days ago I got the shits and took it all to the local op shops. On my way out I found a pair of shoes in the exact style I wanted, in the exact colour I wanted, in my exact size, and I had exactly the right change on me. Jackpot.

This was them when I found them:

Observe the ensuing nerdliness:

Yes. That's right. Harley Fucking Quinn shoes. And if, god willing, I find a pair of green slip-ons, her darling girlfriend will follow.

Also I made some dickweed curtains. I needed some for the bedroom badly. Summer is bad enough in Australia without having a huge bedroom window that catches all the afternoon sun and none of the sea breeze. Mum had some old damask left over from what was either her own curtains, or a bedspread, and I just folded over one end and sewed it to make a lining for the curtain rail. Of course, halfway through doing the second curtain I accidentally sewed the top of the curtain to itself halfway down. My ensuing hissy fit resulted in a hole torn right in the middle of the damn thing. I couldn't fix it. So for now my curtain has a hole in it which, to be completely honest, is entirely invisible to everyone but myself. I debated appliqueing some pretty blue patches onto the curtains, dismissed the idea as dumb, and then had The Man suggest exactly the same idea to me a few minutes later when I whinged to him about it. So that's now the plan. And I've decided to count the curtains as my contribution to the Iron Craft Let In The Light challenge. I decided to do the opposite because, being in the antipodes, I get to do that. So ha!

Next challenge: Stay Warm. How am I going to change this one to suit me?

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Iron Craft Craft Challenge

I know, I know, I still haven't posted a photo of my dress yet. Every time I wear the dress somewhere I forget to take my camera, and every time I remember my camera I'm not wearing the dress, and every time I have both on me, I don't have someone else to take a photo. It's starting to drive me a little nuts, actually, because I have clothes I want to put on ebay and I can't just whack them on there without photos :P

I may just take a pic of myself in the mirror in the dress. It's probably simpler, but it looks so nice all puffed out, plus my room is a hole. As evidenced in this piccie here, of something I did manage to make over the holiday break (break from what?):

Yes, that's right, a zombie dress. Based off this little t-shirt here (PS, how adorable is that kid!). Here's a close-up of the front part of the dress:

And here's where my butt goes:

 I had a cotton minidress lying around that I'd gotten for free with a magazine. I laid it out flat on the ground and spray painted it green, making sure that I coated the bottom of the dress with more paint than the top so there was a graded look. I did manage to drip some paint on the dress (I find spray paint near impossible to use) but I think it suits it. Then I printed out some zombie silhouettes onto transfer paper, and ironed them onto the dress at the bottom.

Things I would do differently: I would make sure to use fabric paint instead of spray paint. I am a knob who bought cheap green spray from the local $2 shop, not thinking that 'enamel' is probably not best used on clothing. The dress is a bit stiff but it'll live. Also ironing the transfers onto enamel destroyed my iron. *sadface*
Also I would probably just do as the original t-shirt and cut out zombies for use as templates. The transfers didn't go well with the stiffened, yet still slightly stretchy cotton, so the zombies are surrounded by haloes of plastic.

In any case, while I haven't been exactly productive lately, I do plan to make some changes. I've set myself a goal this year to make at least one thing every week, and coincidentally within the first week of the year I found The Iron Craft Craft Challenge.
Basically, they will post a challenge every week: a pattern, a plan, or even just a theme, and people in the challenge will have a week to make it (or something in the theme of it). It seems to me like a good way to expand my crafting abilities. I run out of steam if I'm left to my own devices - I run in too many directions at once, and sometimes run out of ideas and have severe crafter's block. This will fix that.

The other good thing is that it will give me something to blog about, so I won't have so much blank space floating around here. And if I make anything that I think will be easy enough to explain, I will post tutorials, coz I'm nice like that.

So join me, one and all, as I try to focus some of my insanity with my hands!

PS. Totes promise to post a photo of that dress. Eventually.