Tag Archives: crafts

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!

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!

Inspiration from cultural heritage

We just celebrated the Slovenian Day of culture (which is also a non-working day, yey!) and many cultural institutions held celebrations and other special events for the public. Slovenian cultural heritage is a rich one. The first association I have when trying to picture a typical Slovene imagery in my mind is rustic carnation from Upper Carniola, lots of red hearts and beehive panels. Not sure what I am talking about? Here they are in all their vivid colours, rounded shapes and lots of detail.

These are so beautiful that just call for reinterpretation. A small detail from these images can be put in all sorts of crafting products. I can already see the detail of carnation from the cloth as a pendant or line with hearts from painted egg as a bracelet pattern. Maybe in different colour or stylised lines… or maybe not.

So I jumped to Museum of GorenjskaSlovene Ethnographic Museum and other websites for more inspiration. Here are some images with objects that caught my attention.

I will definitely try to include some of the details in my future projects (see the pattern on the furnace doors – great for projects with wire).

To me these are just beautiful and it is amazing how much effort was put in these objects in the old days. They are part of the heritage of my nation – and tell us even today how our ancestors lived, what they liked, what were their values. Amazing, isn’t it?

 

What is your cultural heritage – does it attract you? Are you inspired by it?

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Worlds oldest instrument – Neanderthal Flute

DIY Vases with test tubes

Vases made from driftwood

Pieces of branches that have been washed by the sea, treated by the winds and bleached by hot sun have a unique colour and are very light and soft. We found driftwood pieces at the local beach. After washing it thoroughly (you do not want to have any marine bacteria at your home) we simply drew holes and attached the piece to aluminium stand. Finally the wood was treated with wood oil and wax – it gives it a velvety touch and smells divinely. The pieces are quite narrow so we put in the hole glass test tubes. It can become a vase or a candle holder, even pencils or brushes can find a new home. For larger pieces a glass vase or jar could be used instead of test tubes.

Simple vases from plywood

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Two pieces of plywood were cut to shape so they can be put together – one is inserted into another – and in the middle goes the test tube.

Upgrade plywood vases

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For this vase we glued several layers of plywood, cut it into “O” shape and drilled the hole at the top, so the test tube can be inserted into the wooden piece. The piece is put onto aluminium stand and secured with a screw. Finally we put two coatings of lacquer for shiny finish.

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Aluminium piece vase

This is a bit more complex piece. A spare aluminium piece was cut into shape and sanded. Than my husband drilled recesses and holes with his homemade CNC machine. This time it is the stand that is made out of wood – it is an old piece of wood board that was lying around.

 

Handmade wall clocks

Handmade DIY wall clocks made out of natural or recycled materials.

The wooden farmhouse clock is Pinterest inspired. I found out it was originally designed by AveryStDesignCo – a small business that makes furniture and clocks out of reclaimed wood. I liked it so much that I tried to do one for myself. I used reclaimed wood, cut and sand it and aged it with steel wool and vinegar solution. I painted the outer circle with white chalk paint and finally draw the numbers with black acrylic paint.

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Back side of the clock was treated with vinegar solution as well. My husband cut the recess to hold the clock mechanism.

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This clock is made out of beach stones, that were painted with acrylic paint – green and grey ones. Some stones were covered with gold leaf that was glued on their surface.

Finally I simply hot-glued stones and clock mechanism to the wall, since we do not plan to remove this clock in near future and wanted them to really stick tight. I am not sure if hot-glue will leave any residue to the wall though.

I had an old stack of number stickers that I used to indicate hours. This clock is in the kids room so to make it more playful I used different fonts.

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A really old project. The central part of the clock is made out of an old piece of aluminium. My husband drilled holes in it so the wooden sticks and spheres could be fixed in. On the back side there is a recess for clock mechanism. I painted the wooden parts and pointers on the clock with high gloss paint in different colours.

With some imagination a lot of different natural or recycled materials can be used, making the projects friendly to environment and our pockets.

DIY Beach stone jewellery

Simple beach stones turned to jewellery.

Nice small beach stones, mainly from the local beach called “white rocks”, have been used for this project. The beach is situated under steep cliff and exposed to strong winter winds, so the limestone stones are pretty rounded and smooth. It is quite easy to find the right sized and shaped stones, but they are not rock-solid, so due care is needed during processing, especially when drilling holes.

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I made holes with Dremel, using diamond drills and drilling under water. Stones are connected with silver plated wire (6 mm) and swarovski stones have been put to add some glimmery touch. The texture of stones is smooth, so no surface grinding or warnishing is neccessary.

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The right earring is made out of sea glass. Shape of both earrings is similar, but different material has been used to make the set more interesting. To match them together the swarovski stone is added to the stone earring.

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Stones can be used to make pendants and rings as well. For pendants I used larger stones, so combination with various materials is possible: I inserted smaller stones, pieces of wood and even metal.

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And here is my treasure hunting site, the “white rocks” beach.

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Painting stones – kids games

A simple one afternoon project to do for kids.

During the summer we collected interesting small beach stones and brought them home. It is such an interesting material to work with. For this project I chose flat stones with smooth surface. Painting stones is pretty simple: you will need small brushes and plain acrylic paint. I used the Rayher Decoart paints. They come in various colours but will easily mix together to create different shades.

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This time I created two-in-one kids games.

  • Story telling game. On one side of the stones there are pictures of fairy tales characters or fantasy drawings. Players pick stones randomly and tell the story including the character or object from the picture. The story might go on like this: Once upon a time there was a martian living on a lonely planet. One day a space craft landed on his planet. Out it came a very strange astronaut, from far far away planet…

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  • Tic-tac-toe game. The other side of the stones is coloured. One playing set consists of 4 stones in one colour and 5 stones in another, so tic-tac-toe game can be played.

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Games are designed for young children, so the drawings are pretty simple and mostly basic colours were chosen. Here are the sketches and doodling versions of the drawings, that were used on singular stone according to its shape: smaller stones are fit for simple small pictures and larger stones for larger ones: a house, a castle, a cave (each story should have it, right?).

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One set is composed of 9 stones (number needed for tic-tac-toe game), but for storytelling game the sets can be merged or mixed, so the stories can become even more interesting. Each set has a theme.

Ocean life

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Medieval story

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Space journey

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To ensure durability of pictures the surface was warnished with high resistant warnish, so the stones can even be washed with water and so far no bruises appeared.

And here is my ever-present crafting assistant.

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