Author Archives: craftdiyblog

My sisters’ bobbin lace jewellery – part 2

I already presented my sisters’ work with bobbin laces. She is doing quite a lot of them, so it’s time to show you what she’s been doing lately. Let’s see some traditional bobbin laces that are firmly sewn to different supporting base: a bangle, earrings, a brooch…

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The lace in the picture above is made with purple cotton thread and sewn into metal circle. This piece can be used as home decoration, if you simply hang it on a wall or on the window, but it can be turned to jewellery as well. A pendant or, if done in smaller circle, a pair of earrings.

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Bobbin lace within bangle. The lace is handmade with silver metallic thread, so it adds texture and colour to shiny bangle base. Very elegant piece.

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This brooch has a base of cotton cloth. Two lace flowers, that are done with cotton thread are sewn to the cloth base of the brooch.

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The lace is put in pendant base. Some beads are sewn between the lace and the supporting metal. Gold complements beautifully to the soft pink and purple colour.

 

 

 

 

I love my sisters’ creations, she is doing really amazing things. Love you, sis!

Happy crafting to you all!

DIY Felted necklaces

Wool can be transformed into felt using needle technique. Here are some ideas how to make necklaces out of wool roving. It may not seem so, but it is really an easy process.

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You will need a special needle, which has small sharp hooks, so when you poke the wool with it, the wool fibres get entangled and slowly get compacted in the desired shape. Besides needle you will need a felting surface, usually a foam pad. The wool is placed on the pad when doing needle felting so there is no danger to poke yourself with very sharp felting needle.

There are many different choices about what kind of wool to use. No worries, just be sure to have the wool that is suitable for needle felting – most of them are. I am using merino wool roving. This is all there is to know to get started.

With some practice and imagination lots of beautiful creations can be done.

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Happy crafting to you all!

Bring kids drawings to life

Many years ago my daughters and I made a fun DIY project. My daughters like to draw and are keen on their drawings, which are on display on our fridge. At the time they also liked dolls so we had the idea to make dolls out of their own drawings. Younger daughter had 3 years and older about 7.

We took two pieces of paper and crayons. The only instruction I gave them was to make a large enough picture, so that it would be possible for me to sew the doll.

The younger drew a humanoid, which seems more like a banana, but I can guarantee you that it is actually a very beautiful princess with long hair and blue eyes. My older daughter drew her own princess, with many more details and colours.

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Next, I drew over the lines and transferred the picture onto a cloth. I put two pieces of cloth and some stuffing in between and sewed main lines of the picture with zig-zag seam on my sewing machine. Finally, we coloured the dolls with crayons and I embroidered details: eyes, mouth, crown…

My kids were so proud to have dolls made out of their own design. They played a lot with these dolls and are still keeping them as memorabilia.

Happy crafting!

 

 

 

Beach stone earrings

I wanted to upgrade my beach stone jewellery with some silver plated wire. It looks so easy when others do it, but I had quite an experience with different sorts of wires. Some were too thin, others just didn’t go into shape I wanted them to. Not to talk about working with cutters and round nose pliers (yes, I had to buy those first)… But here are some final results I would like to share.

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Not exactly round, but I like them anyway…

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I even tried inlaying a smaller stone into the larger one. To make the smaller white stone pop out, I glued a piece of gold leaf in the recess prior to putting the smaller stone in.

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I guess I have some more practice to do, but first products aren’t that bad either.

Happy crafting to you all!

 

 

Life suckers

Little children are so easily overwhelmed by too much external stimuli. They hear, observe and smell their surroundings and suddenly it’s just too much for them to bear. My daughter tolerated a total of 5 minutes of first Santa visit at kindergarten and at the age of 5, after her first cinema matinée, burst to cry and then had to eat and take a nap. To eliminate excess stress and recover her forces.

With age we withstand more. But how much more?

There are various types of stresses, but we will keep aside all obviously good or bad stresses, since we usually recognise them easily.

But life suckers – they are worth a word or two.

Life suckers come to our life embodied in nasty persons usually disguised behind pretty smiles, as difficult situations or as oppressing places and in many, many other forms. The worst kind in my opinion are the human ones. They have some common traits: they come, suck as many life juices as they can and usually stick to their prey as much as they can (why leaving a fresh source of blood?), always taking and taking.

Leaving us exhausted and empty – but many times we just don’t recognise it right away. Since we are adults, right? And we won’t cry and take a nap after. We are taught to rather endure, even these silent stresses day by day, burning a lot of energy in vain. Sometimes because of fear, compassion, politeness – who knows?

What about being more aware and learning to recognise our life suckers? And not letting them taking more of our energy than we are consciously willing to give. Allowing ourselves be more child-like again and take a good care of ourselves when we need it.


Do you recognise your life suckers? How do you cope with them?

Finding perfect career

Today is one of those days. When a bad morning becomes crappy and then evolves to shitty before lunch time. I know for a long time now that the work I am doing does not reflect me anymore (ok, job sucks), but still did not make the next step in other direction (yes, I am procrastinating). Even though the spirits have been dashed for a long time now, leaving behind only restlessness to exit the situation. Where to?

Ok, now let’s be practical.

Very nice people at YouTube know exactly what I need (thanks!), so I was suggested to watch the “To find work you love, don’t follow your passion” TED talk by Benjamin Todd. To summarise: rather than start with things we are passionate about and then hope to reach a fulfilling career out of it, we should focus on what brings value, which will result in passion and fulfilling career.

This is not what we’ve been taught, right? Following the suggested 80000 hours (incredible amount of time we spend at work) website I ended doing their “decision tool”. The nice thing is that it does not give ready answers (“you should be an astronaut” thing), but merely questions to help you think about your career choices from different perspectives.

It turns out, I am concerned most with unfair distribution of wealth and I could therefore pursue career helping people discover their talents (their own source of wealth). Maybe doing crafting workshops or making reviews of innovative handmade items or maybe helping managing small craft shops would be my thing?

I guess there is quite some of you who felt stuck at some point in your lives – can you share which strategies you choose, how did you cope with it, what was helpful? Maybe share a story of your career change? 

I wish you all a very bright day!

 

My sisters’ bobbin lace jewellery

My sister Alenka is doing bobbin laces for 20+ years – since her elementary school when she joined the beginners course of Idrija lace making. She is doing wonderful jewellery, using an interesting mix of traditional craft and modern elements. Here are some of her latest products.

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Above is a pair of earrings from black cotton thread. An interesting mix of dark and light elements are interacting in a circle. Thicker patterns make darker lines around the more loose and transparent nets. For final touch the beads were added.

Bobbin laces are done from thread that is wrapped around wooden profiled sticks – bobbins. The lace pattern is drawn onto piece of paper and it is pinned to a special pillow which is stuffed with sawdust. Bobbins are then handled in various ways, so that different number of threads are crossed, turned, shifted or mixed between them and around the pins to create the design.

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The Idrija bobbin lace making is registered as Slovenian intangible cultural heritage. Picture above: Idrija Municipal Museum

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Brooches in the shape of flower are done from thread in different colours and thickness. To ensure that products are stiff and maintain their shape either they are starched, the metal thread is included in the lace itself or, as in the products below, the silver platted wire is added to the outline of the lace.

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The three larger petals of the flower in the above brooch are knitted around the silver plated wire, so the brooch gains 3D form. The smaller petals are done with metal thread.

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Here are two more products made out of metal threads. Above, a very special and elegant necklace pendant and in the picture below the brooch in warm tones.

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My sister is doing an amazing job, so I will have the pleasure to share with you some more of her creations. Love you, sis!

Happy crafting to you all!