Tag Archives: handmade

Old house renovation in progress – laundry

We began renovating our old house about five months ago. The progress is slow, since my husband and I are doing all of the work by ourselves – and actually enjoy it. The place that shows major progress is the laundry, a tiny place in the oldest part of the building, about hundred years old. It was built as pigsty on a countryside farm, owned by a rich landowner from Austria. Later on it was used as a toolshed and small kitchenette. It was in a really bad shape and cried for some attention and love.

We wanted to maintain the farmhouse character of the building in structural elements and internal decor – this is where many of ideas from Pinterest came handy.

The plaster was falling apart, so we removed it completely from one wall and repointed the mortar between bricks. Long hours of work were put in, but now the exposed bricks add character to the place and look great with other walls that were re-plastered in white. We also got rid of old suspended ceiling, exposed the beams and put on the insulation. There is still some plaster work to be done, but it does already look pretty ok.

The furniture and internal decor is all made from renovated or reclaimed materials. Besides building materials we will not add anything new to the place.

A renovated credenza from 60-ties that will be used for storage in the laundry. A desk from reclaimed wood boards will cover laundry and dryer machine and will come handy for folding and ironing. The old sink is put on the simple wooden stand.

The lamp is Pinterest inspired DIY: an old piece of wood and simple fabric covered electrical cord. The main feature is lightbulbs in retro-style that are hanging on three cords of different length.

Still lots to do, I am really looking forward!


Do you have a project that gives you thrills of enthusiasm? What is it that you love about it?

 

Advertisements

Tough beginnings on Etsy

I enjoy crafting as far as I remember. So in the midst of middle age crisis I decided to upgrade my hobby and start selling things. The other truth is, I have no more space to decorate my home or to stock my little cuties. I opted for Etsy platform and opened my shop. So far so good. During first two weeks I listed 20 products and had 13 views, no likes and – obviously – no sells.

I have a lot of stamina and will not be defeated right away: I still have to upgrade my photo skills, figure out the CEO thing, start promoting on Facebook (which I do not like) and so on. Lots to do and learn, which is great. And getting out of my introvert comfort zone, which I guess is also ok. But I guess it will take more than this.

I wonder, for average shop owner, what rate of success is there? I mean, I do not expect to make huge money out of it, but at least to cover expenses and have a good feeling about it moving forward. To have some insight I turned to YouTube, where are lots of videos giving tips and telling success stories. But I have a vague feeling that some of them just shifted from selling stuff on Etsy to selling Etsy management knowledge on YouTube.

One video suggested that an option to think about when there are no sells is that the products are no good at all. Reasonable advice, but nevertheless this really stuck my strings of deepest angst I guess a lot of creative people share: of not being good enough.

I guess this will be a very interesting self-development journey as well.


Meanwhile, I keep going with my stuff. I made a wall decoration out of some old wood board, sewn a little bag to be used as a vase, pencil holder, candy holder or anything smallish holder, made some drawing… et voila, here it is.

P.S. If you like it, let me know ūüôā

https://www.etsy.com/listing/559690005/wood-wall-decor-farmhouse-rustic-style?ref=shop_home_active_1

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…

DSC_0227

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.

DSC_0151

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.

DSC_0179

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.

DSC_0181

 

 

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.

dsc_0125

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 Рmost 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.

dsc_0134

dsc_0142

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.

prvi-izdelki-003

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!

 

 

 

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.

dsc_0142

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 Рbobbins. 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.

3_cipka_zbirka

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

dsc_0168dsc_0173

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.

dsc_0137

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.

dsc_0196

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.

dsc_0225

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 Gorenjska, Slovene 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?

piscal

Worlds oldest instrument –¬†Neanderthal Flute