Making diamonds from paper

l’m sure you’ve all seen book sculptures before and if you’d like to make one just do a search for “how to make a book sculpture” and you’ll find lots of different tutorials. I’m not going to do a tutorial here because I forgot to take photographs of steps as I went along.

Now I know that some of us feel terrible if we tear up, fold, cut or paint on old books. It’s because we were taught how carefully to turn the pages, how valuable they were and how much we could learn from them. All of this still applies to books and I would never just damage a book for the sake of it. There are many books I have at home that I hope to keep always; books that were given to me and inscribed by special people in my life. I still have my Enid Blyton books and my Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder (which sadly has one book missing from the box).

I don’t feel guilty though, folding an old paperback into a lovely diamond shape. I did this with a group of disengaged teens and they really enjoyed it. Two boys raced to see who could finish first, but the rest of us, just carefully folded and folded. It felt meditative and we found it a lovely quiet soothing task.

Making diamonds from paper

Making diamonds from paper

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Hippitedy Hoppitedy

I’m glad I made so many of you laugh at my magpie predicament in my last post. Thank you also for sharing your swooping adventures with me. Baby magpie has matured very quickly as birds do, and is now able to perch high up and so, mother and father maggie have relaxed a little and are no longer in attack mode.

Being inside did give me lots of time to make a special order request from my Winter Owls Etsy shop.I was asked to make two of my bunnies in sleeping bags for twins. I made them from lovely angora/ wool jumpers in pink and yellow. Their sleeping bags were made from vintage blankets. On one side, they are asleep and on the other awake. I think I love making bunnies because I had (still have actually), a much loved Miffy toy. She still makes me smile.

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Awake

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Asleep

A gentleman’s wardrobe

Poking around in a local opportunity shop, I found a locked cupboard with a price tag of $35.00 dollars on it. The manager asked if I wanted to look inside and she opened up what she referred to as “a gentleman’s wardrobe” made in 1931. The wardrobe stands at around 4 foot high and has a hanging space on one side, perfect for pants and shirts but too short for dresses. Perhaps this was designed, so the lady of the house couldn’t take over? On the other side is a handy set of shelves and drawers, just perfect for stashing crafty bits and pieces I thought. The very elderly manager and her even more elderly assistant, would not let me help put this in the back of my car. I felt very embarrassed standing by watching. They were very efficient and obviously furniture removal experts. I suggested they could start up a removal company. Perhaps “Gran with a Van”?

So, now you know what my last post’s key was for. Pom poms make sure I don’t lose the key. I had lots of fun organising the wardrobe. Standing guard over it all, is my latest creation, Charlotte the koala. She’s made from a vintage wool blanket, a mohair cardigan and wears a little doily apron. As she’s smiling, I think she approves of my latest find.

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A pom pom clad key

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A gentleman’s wardrobe

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Handy storage for craft bits and pieces

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Embroidery threads find a home

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Charlotte the Koala surveys the room, she is available in the Winter Owls Shop.

Eat your pom poms

 It’s raining it’s pouring, it’s freezing in Melbourne. Perfect for snuggling in and doing a bit of crafting. Today I made some little pom poms using a fork. I wish I could give credit to whoever first came up with this method because it’s so easy. A perfect activity for children or any age really. Speaking of crafts for children you might like to visit Easy Crafts For Children and Living Simply Free. Both of these wonderful bloggers have clever ideas for recycling what others might throw away to use in craft projects.

Back to the pom poms. I’ve made a little photo tutorial for how to make pom poms with a fork. I have used my pom poms to decorate an old key so that I won’t lose it. What is the key for I hear you ask? Well, you’ll just have to wait until my next post to find out….

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Three completed fork pom poms.

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First get a fork, wool, and scissors.

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Next, cut a piece of wool about 30cm long and place through the middle of the prongs. This will be what you use to tie the pom pom. I have doubled my wool because it is quite fine and I wanted it to be stronger.

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Wrap your wool around and around the prongs about 30 times. You can wrap it more if you want a really thick pom pom.

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Using the first piece of wool you placed through the centre, tie a knot tightly around the wrapped wool.

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Remove the wrapped wool bundle from your fork gently.

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Cut the “loops” of the yarn, being careful not to cut the thread you tied it together with! You can fluff up your pom pom and trim it if you like.

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Three completed pom poms ready to be…

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The waiting key.

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I threaded a cotton string through a key leaving two hanging pieces of string. Finally, I used a large needle to thread through the pom poms and tied a knot on the end. No more lost key! Hmm, perhaps I could do this to my glasses that I’m always misplacing.

“I don’t sew”

“I don’t sew” said one of the boys in my art for disengaged youth class.”Hmm”, I said. “Do you mean you can’t sew, you don’t know how to sew, or you don’t want to sew?” “I suppose all of those” he replied. “I’m here to teach you how to sew if you want to learn. What will you do when you move out of home and the buttons fall off your shirt?” I asked. “I’ll just buy a new shirt” he answered. “Okay, perhaps you might like to draw instead.” As he started drawing, the others got to work, designing patterns, picking fabric, cutting and sewing. They were having fun, comparing designs and chosen materials. Most made up their own patterns but the lizard and waving monster were patterns from a book called softies 22 friends for you to sew,knit and crochet. He quietly said, “I suppose I may as well do one of those things”. “Great, let’s get you started”. You can see Mr I Don’t Sew’s work in the final photograph. I thought it was rather wonderful, and I think, so did he.

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A definite chill in the air

It’s 5.00 pm and time to feed Ruby, my naughty dog. Stepping outside I thought ooh, winter is on its way, there is a definite chill in the air. I quite like winter for a few months, snuggling inside, hot soup and coffee and perhaps a little chocolate too. Of course, I tire of it after a while and long for spring to arrive. For the moment though, I’m relishing the cool change. I’ve spent the day making Wayne the Wombat from a two toned vintage wool blanket. It’s perfect weather for working with wool. I’ve also started knitting a jumper. Sadly, just as I finished the rib band, I discovered I had made a mistake in row two, so I will not be showing you that…. Instead you can see how Ruby enjoys the cold weather. She loves nothing more than snuggling in her bed by the heater.

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Wayne the Wombat is available in Winter Owls Shop

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Ruby the snuggler

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Ruby the Pugalier with her thrift shop blanket

A crafty mess

You haven’t heard from me for a little while, I’ve been in a bit of a hermit mood. I’ve got a few things on my mind, nothing too terrible, just things to work through. Creating is the best way for me to deal with this, it soothes my soul and brings me peace.

It’s been a bit of a koala making festival lately. The dining room table is in a mess, littered with ric rac, lace and other vintage trims. Buttons, embroidery threads, pins and needles, scraps of blankets lie around. It’s time to tidy up though, I’m ready to paint a commission I’ve had, for a yet to be born baby. For painting ideas, I need a clean, tidy space for ideas to flow. Once I’ve finished that, I’m going to start making a rusty fox from an old chenille blanket, that I have been wanting to make, for a certain lovely blogging friend. Yes Poppy Tump, that is you.

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A koala making mess

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Claude the Koala

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Clara the Koala

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Clyde and his friends are available in Winter Owls Shop