Don’t drop the F bomb!

crochet fbomb

Hey y’all! Hows your week going?

It’s crazy here.

This little crochet project was inspired by Jodie Carlton of RicRacs enamel pin. (I still haven’t bought myself one, I should get onto that!) I’ve been wanting to make one for a while now, so when our copy of “Throw Throw Burrito” came in the mail I was super enthused to make more things I can throw around the house! ( that sentence is such a random train of thought, but that’s legit how this came into existence!)

It’s just one loan “f bomb” at the moment, but I plan on there being a whole basket of them on the kitchen table (maybe two baskets, one for the coffee table too?!) I’m sure we can come up with some kind of game to go with them!

crochet fbomb
Don’t drop the F bomb! (my hands are never a normal colour!)

The pattern is pretty simple to figure out, some day I will try and write it up properly, but for now, here’s an explanation on how I made it.

I started by crocheting a black ball shape. I stopped two increased before finishing a whole ball and changed to grey yarn. I stuffed it about here. I crochet up three rows, before decreasing again to close the top. The fuse was several chains and then single crochet along to give it some body, with a couple of sparkly threads knotted to the top. The “F” was made by crocheting onto the side of the ball.

And to finish off, I’ll leave you with some things I’ve recently tie-dyed.

scale tie-dye
Scale tie-dye pattern. My favorite dye yet!
hearts tie-dye
Hearts tie-dye

oh, and I picked up a couple of boxes of old kimono scraps. Some of it will be silk, and anything white I will try and dye!

kimono scraps
Kimono scraps

Have a tops week!

<3 Cate

Sock Puppets

sock puppet

With the winter school holidays upon us, I though I’d give this post to the kids 🙂

I made sock puppets with a small group of children last school holidays, they were a hoot!

What you will need to make your own sock puppet:

  • A sock
  • a piece of cardboard
  • felt shapes for decorating
  • google eyes
  • wool
  • any other decorations you can find
  • Craft glue. PVA will frustrate you as it doesn’t really stick fabric. You want the clear gummy kind.
sock puppet making materials
grab yourself a sock, a piece of cardboard, some felt, and anything you want to use to decorate your puppet! Don’t forget the glue!

Now on with the making!

First thing, cut your cardboard into an oval like shape and bend in half. This will become your mouth.

sock puppet mouth
cut a rectangle of cardboard 12cm by 7cm. Fold in half, round off the ends.

Next up, decide where you want your mouth in the sock. You want it towards the end of the sock, but experiment with placement, you might make a feature of some of the elements in the sock!

cut a hole in your sock
Cut a slit in your sock approximately 7cm long (the width of your cardboard)

Run a line of glue around one side of the cardboard, and gently stretch the opening in the sock (which you just cut) around the cardboard and gently press into the glue.

glueing a sock puppet mouth
Run a line of glue around the inside edge of the cardboard. Carefully stretch the sock over the cardboard, squishing the sock into the glue around the edge.

You might like to cut a piece of felt the same size as the cardboard piece and glue over the top of the cardboard and sock edge to make it look neat.

gluing a felt mouth into a sock puppet
To make the mouth look neat, cut a piece of felt the same size as your cardboard. Spread glue over the cardboard, and particularly on the edges of sock. Glue the felt one, starting in the middle and working your way out to the sides.

The next part is where your imagination can really be let loose! Use google eyes, wool, felt shapes, pop poms, buttons, and anything you can get your hands on to decorate your puppet and really bring its personality to life!

an undecorated sock puppet
This is what your sock puppet should look like. Now it’s time to let your creativity run wild! Use felt shapes, wool, google eyes, pom poms, feathers – anything you can find really – to decorate your puppet and bring its personality to life!
sock puppet
sock puppet
two sock puppets

Have a creative week!
<3 Cate

Patchwork Chair

hexagons

Two weeks ago I decided I wanted to fancy up the chair in my walk in robe. I had something very specific in mind – a chair with a fabric back and seat, that was upholstered in patchwork fabric.

One trip to the Green Shed and I found the perfect chair to re-upholster!

before
The before pictures

I got started straight away, pulling out staples to remove the fabric.

pulling out staples
pulling out staples!

I had already had some fabric, in the forms of a skirt, a dress and a pair of pants, and I had already started turning it into hexagons. I had initially thought of making a quilt with the fabric, but when this project came up, the fabric was perfect!

skirt
A skirt…
a dress
a dress… and the pants I have no before picture of. The pants started life as beige velvet and went through the dyeing process to become a lovely splotch of green and purple.
a stack of fabric hexagons
A stack of hexies ready to sew

I madly sewed sections of hexagons, each big enough to cover the areas of fabric which I had removed from the chair. I then “quilted” each section of fabric to a piece of old bedsheet. Because I used the english paper piecing technique to sew the hexagons together, I was a bit worried my hand sewn seams would not hold up to the wear and tear a chair experiences without some kind of reinforcement. I am confident sewing it to a backing will reinforce the patchwork well.

hexagons
I madly sewed sections of hexagons
quilted hexagon fabric
I “quilted” the hexagon fabric to a piece of old bed sheet to support the patchwork

I employed Guys amazing skills for the actually upholstering. He has more experience with this and was super excited to help with this project. He has been wandering around the house for days now exclaiming “this is one of the best up-cycled pieces we have done!”

Guy re-upholstering chair
Guy did most of the actual re-upholstering. He did a splendid job <3

Once all the fabric was stapled down, we gave it a bit of a trim and glued gold cord over the edges.

hotglueing trim
Hot gluing the final feature – a gold braided trim to all the edges.

And tada! a beautiful chair for my cupboard! It almost feels a shame to keep it in the cupboard!

patchwork chair in cupboard
The chair in its final position. It’s going to be so much fun putting my shoes and socks on now!
after..

Breakdown –

Chair – The Green Shed – $10
Fabric – Vinnies – $20 (three items)
Trim – Spotlight – $15 (5m)

Having an amazing piece of furniture – priceless!

Have a creative week!
<3 Cate

Dyeing Alpaca Fleece

dyed alpaca fibre

In the background of all my other goings on for the past week or so, I’ve had a dye pot full of alpaca fleece slowly bubbling away.

There’s a lot of hobby farms (especially around Canberra) who keep alpacas for the animals, and then aren’t sure about what to do with their fleece come shearing time. If you keep a look out on the buy-swap-sell pages (and lets be honest, have all your friends and family keeping an eye out too) you will occasionally find some one giving away bags of fleece. This is how I ended up with a box full of the stuff!

alpaca fleece
A big box of alpaca fleece waiting for me to start processing it. (it is a happy coincidence there is a picture of alpacas in the background, my brother gave it to me last week and I’m yet to hang it up!)

I have been working my way through this box of alpaca fleece. I even gave my mum a big bag full so she can use some.

I had already washed some of it. So I divided it up and started dyeing it. Each day I have been dyeing a little bit more.

firey orange alpaca fleece drying
Today I have a gorgeous fiery orange drying in the sunniest window

I dyed the last of the washed fleece yesterday. So this morning I have just dropped another bag full in to soak and clean. Even though dyeing it takes very little effort, it is quite rewarding to be achieving something little every day.

washing alpaca fleece
Washing more alpaca fleece

I have dyed pink, green, purple, blue, yellow and orange so far. After dyeing, it needs to be carded to make it super fluffy . In the photo below, the pink has been carded.

dyed alpaca fibre
My dye results so far
carded v non carded fibre
This shows the difference between carded fibre and non carded fibre. To the left is the carded fibre, it is super fluffy, and all the fibres have been aligned.

What am I going to do with it all once I’m finished? Well, I have already taken some of it to work, where the children were convinced there are pink alpacas wandering the world, that was until I explained how I processed it and dyed it. I might hold onto it for doing more fibre related workshops with the children because, well, free means I keep the expenses down, and there isn’t usually a lot to spend on resources. It also creates a super valuable intentional teaching moment.

drop spinning
The children at work practiced drop spinning. I’m about to go and ply this so they can use it french knitting this afternoon

I am sure you are all wondering how I’m going with my patchwork chair I wrote about last week. Well, I’ve been madly sewing hexagons together all week. I finally had enough pieces together yesterday to start the reupholstering! I employed Guy for this bit, He has more experience and skill in this area! We have the seat to go, and then the trim to attach.

patchwork chair
The chair in its current state! So close to the finish line!

I hope to have the chair finished in the next day or so. I look foward to showing you the process and results next week!

Have a creative week!

<3 Cate

New Bedroom Outfit!

staple removing

Since, like, January, Guy has been madly working on a new bedroom suit for our room. He searched buy-swap-sell pages for something suitable. Eventually a gorgeous bedroom suit popped up and we grabbed it. Alas, the tallboy didn’t fit, so we sold it off and found another one that kinda looked like the rest of the furniture. With a little bit of help from me (realistically I only helped with the bed) he sanded everything right back and did a white wash kind of painting technique before varnishing everything.

bedroom suit
Guy sanded back bedroom furniture and repainted it. In this photo you can see the bed and bedside tables. He also redid a tall boy, and is searching for a bookshelf to do in the same way.

All his effort really looks amazing and has bought our room together to look like something out of a magazine! Whilst Guy is still searching for a bookshelf to redo, I decided the chair in the walk in robe needed to be redone too! (I’ve also decided to make a bunch of felted flowers for my bedside table, but I’ll leave that for another post)

Because the walk in robe closes off to the rest of the room, and is basically completely white cabinetry and clothes, we decided the chair didn’t necessarily have to “match” the room. The only stipulations we decided on is that it needed to be arm-less, to make it easy to put shoes on etc.

And because I am completely in love with the idea of patchwork upholstered furniture, I went looking for a very specific type of chair, with fabric cushion and fabric back!

A very quick trip to the Green Shed (our local tip shop) and I had already fallen in love with a chair. It has carved flower features and fabric upholstery in all the right places!

Chair
Green Shed find! Exactly the chair I was looking for!

I got to work removing staples and all the old fabric. I still have a few more staples to remove, but my hands are a bit sore from coaxing staples out, so I’m concentrating on the patchwork element at the moment. Then I will need to evaluate the foam and consider how to replace it.

staple removing
Removing alllllllll the staples! phew! That’s a hard task!

The fabric I am using is up-cycled from clothes I found at the op-shop! I had initially chosen the fabrics to make a quilt, but thought this would be a perfect place to showcase them! And the leftovers will be used to make a quilt anyways.

hexagons
Making hexagons to piece together to upholster the chair! Fabrics are from a skirt, a dress and a pair of pants, which I had collected from op-shops

I will be spending the rest of my week alternating between fixing up the chair, and piecing together the fabric to re-cover it with! I love continuing/adding to the story of pre-loved items!

hexagon prep
Sewing hexagons!

Happy Creating
<3 Cate

Tie Dye Practice

I wanted to get better at dyeing, so I figured the more I practice, the better I will become. Good in theory right!

I really wanted to do a good heart, so I tied several pieces with hearts in them. Some worked, some didn’t, but I think I understand the concept of tyeing a heart now. I also fell in love with the fish scales pattern, and my first attempt at that was pretty good! It has also been a lot of fun to play around with different colour ways.

tie dye patterns
All the different patterns I have been playing around with

I found two brand new, still in packaging, white, bath towels whilst we were cleaning out the garage over the weekend. So they immediately went in my “to dye” pile. I decided on a simple swirl. They took a LOT of dye. I guess absorbency is in their inherent nature.

bath towel

I dyed a long sleeve shirt as well. Testing out some ideas, I will be making some “team” shirts for races later this year. This one might become a gym shirt for the winter.

dye shirt
Dyed shirt

I even managed to dye some alpaca fleece I got for free.

alpaca fleece
Alpaca fleece still drying in the sun

My ultimate tie-dye goal is to dye pieces that I can then work back into with stitching or turn into whole cloth quilts. I have a couple of bigger pieces of fabric waiting, and after a lot of experimenting, I have a few ideas!

Have a creative week!

<3 Cate

Fly Awayyyyy

wings

At my day job, I work with school children, and there is an obsession with birds at the moment. This has spurred on a range of bird related drawing, craft and play.

One afternoon, I noticed some paper and pipe cleaner bird wings costume trickling out of the craft area. It reminded me of this project I had cut out a few years ago and not worked out how to finish it. It was a wings costume.

So I pulled all the pieces out and had another look. I had cut two quarter circle pieces and several rows of “feathers” out of poplin.

bird wings costume base
Firstly, cut two quarter circle pieces. these will be the “base” of the wings. I finished the edges by zig zagging over them.

I think were I had got stuck previously was how to finish the raw edges. Maybe I had planned to back the wings. But with fresh eyes, I decided a simple zig-zag stitch over the raw edges would suffice. The feathers edges I left raw, I hope any fraying that occurs to them through use will add to their feathery look.

feather fabric
feather pieces. I made a simple pattern by folding up a piece of paper, then cutting the shape I wanted the wings to be. I then used this pattern to cut lengths of fabric.

I only added three rows of feathers to each wing. I think its enough of a suggestion of feathers to make them look like wings. I applied the feathers to the curved edge. To achieve the curve, I have put in tiny little pleats along the straight edge of the feathers. I stitched these down with a straight stitch and then a zig-zag stich.

wings
Two wings

I added pieces of elastic at the wrists and in the middle. I over lapped each wing at the centre by approximately one inch, then securing as I attached elastic here as arm loops.

I overlapped the wings at the centre by approximately one inch. I then took a piece of elastic, long enough to form two loops to go around the shoulders. I found the middle of the elastic and pinned it to the centre of the overlapped wings, I then pinned each end of the elastic either side of the middle. I secured all of this by stitching over the edges and through the middle of the elastic.
wrist loops
wrist loops. I simple stitched loops of elastic to the top edge for the children to slip over their wrists.

It took maybe an hour to gather all the pieces and put it all together. Add a little bit extra time for cutting all the pieces out. But this was a quick and easy project, and I’m hoping the children love them. I am concerned that one might not be enough though and anticipate having to make another pair so they can be shared around easier.

finished wings
finished wings
bird wings cosutme
ta da! finished bird wings costume

This coming Saturday (8 June 2019) is World Wide Knit in Public Day. I am yet to lay solid plans for this day, but be assured, whatever I end up doing I’ll have some knitting or crochet with me!

Happy Wednesday! Have a creative week!
<3 Cate

Tutus

A friend asked me to make some tutus for an upcoming event. The event is to be held the first official weekend of the snow season (alas, winter has come early, and there is already enough snow for some areas to open this weekend!)

So with 42m of tulle and some elastic I set about making a set of ten tutus.

tulle and elastic
LOTS of tulle and elastic

I cut strips 6inches wide of the tulle. I cut the elastic 4inches shorter than the waist measurements I was given, and then sewed the ends together.

cutting layers of tulle
Cutting layers of tulle

Then I simple knotted the tulle to the elastic.

knotting tulle
Knotting the tulle onto the elastic. I put them over the chair backs to help hold them in shape whilst I worked

That stuff is hard on the hands! It is quite abrasive!

To make them a little more winterish I added snow flakes. So I was planning on just buying bags of snowflake sequins. Do you think I could find snowflake sequins? Nope. None at all! So I ended up getting a snowflake punch and some shiny stuff and making my own!

making snowflakes
Making snowflakes

We road tripped to Jindabyne to deliver them. I’d never been before, and now I understand why a couple of my friends have moved there in the last few years. It is spectacularly pretty!

Road tripping! with a backseat full of tutus!!

I made some hair clips as well, finishing them in the car on the drive to deliver them. (In my defense, dropping them last weekend meant they were finished at least two weeks ahead of schedule!)

hair clips
Car crafting hair clips

I hope my handiwork is all good and they are enjoyed by many.

tutu
tutu sans snowflakes
tutus
The snowflakes add a needed element of sparkle!
hair clips
Hair clips!

Stay warm and creative!

<3 Cate

A Few Things…

Happy Wednesday!

A friend asked me to do some tutus and shirts for an upcoming event, so this week I have been madly knotting tulle and stressing over screen printing!

Guy and myself have decided that the collective term for “tutus” is “a cloud of tutus” this is quite fitting, wouldn’t you agree?

“a cloud of tutus”

As we speak, I have my whole living room set up as a print studio. I got out the fold up table so I could have everything spread out at once. For some one who doesn’t have a lot of experience screen printing, I went pretty bold, deciding on a two colour print! Only time will tell if I can pull this off!

My living room is a printing studio!

The weekend just gone saw the Old Bus Depot Markets hold their annual “wool expo”. This is a weekend I try not to miss! Its a good time to stock up on supplies, and find new people and shops to buy from.

Some wool to dye! From Glenora
Two new bobbins for my spinning wheel. From Glenora
I tried, but I could not resist! A pair of 30mm knitting needles! And I don’t even knit! From Yarn Hub
A lovely plait of purple to spin up! From the Coloured Wool and Fibre Company
I’m loving this mustard colour lately! And this plait is full of sparkle too! From Raxor Yarns

Guy and myself have also signed up for the Anytime Fitness Tread as One challenge.  We will be running for an hour at our local gym to support R U OK? on the 31st of May. It’s themed “Hollywood” so I suspect my next move is coming up with some kind of costume for it!

Mental health issues sure have hit pretty close to the heart in the last few years, and it’s important for people to know they can reach out. If you would like to donate you can follow this link 🙂
http://treadasone.gofundraise.com.au/page/cateruth

I have a busy day ahead of me! I must get these prints done and the tutus finished!

Have a creative week

<3 Cate

Dye, dye, dye all the things!

More dyeing from me this week!

A pile of white jeans, shoes and plastic bottles. All ready for more dyeing!

I found a large stash of white jeans at a factory seconds store and stockpiled. This week I started experimenting with dyeing them. So far I’ve dyed two pairs.

Front. This pair I did a simple circle tie kinda at knee level
back
front. I kinda consatina folded these and then striped the dye. Pretty happy how they turned out!
Back

I also dyed a set of serviettes for my sisters birthday. Everyone loved these! I think they might be on my Christmas make list. Or at the least, I will use serviettes to practice on so I can have some pretty ones on my dining table!

A set of serviettes for my sisters birthday!

Now I’m off to make tutus and t-shirts! I’ll be sure to share that adventure with you in a few weeks!

Have a creative week!
<3 Cate