Pinterest screengrab

Pinterest Inspiration: Chinese New Year

Pinterest inspiration is my place to show you what I’ve been falling in love with recently over on Pinterest. This is one of my favourite place for finding inspiration and I can easily loose a couple of hours pouring through all the beautiful things to make.

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year will be celebrated on the 8th of February this year and it will mark the beginning of the year of the monkey. If you want to celebrate Chinese New Year why not try making your own decorations such as these paper lanterns with a tutorial and printable over on Marie’s Pastiche.

 

 

 

Traditionally, red envelopes are given to children with gifts of money in. I found this cute tutorial to make your own from ThriftyJinxy.

 

 

 

You could also, go all out and crochet one of these amigurumi monkeys to mark the occasion. The pattern is by Amigurumi to go adn is really detailed with lots of pictures.

 

I rally love learning about other cultures and traditions and what better way to find out about Chinese new Year than by making all the decorations yourself!

Do you love to get lost in the beautiful world of Pinterest? Leave your user name in the commetns below and I’ll be sure to check out your profile! If you want to see the rest of my pins you can find me here.

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Pinterest Inspiration: Christmas Crafting

I’m so excited its nearly Christmas!

In just one week I finish work and I cant wait to fully get into the Christmas spirit. In the meantime I have been scouring Pinterest for some Christmas crafting ideas and I thought I’d share some of them with you here:

First of all check out this great way to upcycle old jumpers into Christmas decorations!

I also love this cute Reindeer hat…do you think I could get away with making one for myself?

Or for the more mature amongst us what about these gorgeous Reindeer ornaments

There’s so many great ways to bring a little bit of Craftiness to Christmas, you can see even more great ideas on my new Pinterest board: Christmas crafting.

Do you make your own Christmas ornaments or do you love to buy new each year? If your anything like me you will have a mish mash from across the years of shiny trinkets that caught your eye, some home crafted ones and everything in between!

H.

mousemat made from postcards by hshandcrafts

Craft at the office

Craft doesn’t have to be restricted to at home. Sometimes it can be fun to bring a bit of craft into your workspace…just to brighten up the day!

I love to keep my workspace colourful. I do this by keeping postcards on the wall, having bright storage solutions and using coloured pens as often as possible.

I wanted to come up with some other ways to brighten up my work space so I thought I would try to make some!

I have always had issues with how to store some of the smaller items I need out on my desk such as paperclips and post-its. Then I spotted this tutorial to make origami baskets. I chose to make mine from some bright yellow lined paper I had lying around (didn’t I tell you I like my stationery to be colourful?!) They are great and can sit out of the way on my monitor stands!

origami baskets for paperclips and post its

origami baskets for paperclips and post its

I also decided to get rid of my boring old mousemat and create a new one using some postcards from the Natural History museum. They are basically stuck together using sellotape on the back and then bluetacked to the desk so they wont move around!

mousemat made from postcards

mousemat made from postcards

Ive found some other great ideas which I might also try when I get some time, such as these bookends which would be a great use of the remnants from some of my sewing projects

Fabric bookends – tutorial from design sponge

There’s also lots of ideas using washi tape such as this one to spruce up your keyboard

H.

Make a card for your Dad

Its just over a week til Father’s day and so all of the shops are filled with cards and gifts for Dad.

I always like to make a card so I thought I would share with you some card making ideas that can be great fun to make!

spotty overlay Spots!

Make a template of whatever shape you like and then stamps paint dots around it  making sure to overlap with the edge of the template as you go.

Another way to make this craft work if you don’t want the mess of paints is to scribble all round the edge of the template with coloured pens!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

stampsStamps!

Make your own stamps and layer them up on different coloured paper.

You could even add Washi tape to give it that proper scrapbook feel!

 

 

 

 

 

string art String Art!

You can easily make this work for a card by punching holes into paper using a pin or a needle and then using embroidery floss to make your design. Then stick another piece of card onto the back to hide all the messy knots and loose ends.

 

 

 

 

leaf cut outsLeaf Cut outs!

This might be a better craft for the Autumn when the leaves are dried out and all beautiful colours but you could always use the same idea with different pieces of coloured card or paper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now I have so many ideas I just need to decide on one and get making!

H.

KCBW6 Day 3: Experimental Photography And Image Handling For Bloggers

For day 3 of knitting and crochet blogging week we are looking at photography. I have recently been trying to make my photos more appealing and have been thinking more about lighting and positioning but his was a chance for me to try some new ideas.

I scoured pinterest to get some inspiration on how to take better craft photos. I even created a new board!

As I don’t have any newly completed knitting or crochet projects (everything is currently firmly parked in UFO status) I decided to dig out something old to photograph. This little teapot was something I decided to crochet one day just for the fun of it. I haven’t used it for anything yet and I’m not really sure what I could use it for, perhaps a keyring or a necklace. Anyway the pattern is from here in case anybody wants to make one and it seemed the perfect thing to try some new craft photography techniques out on!

Crochet teapot Plain photograph - no editing

Plain photograph – no editing

The first technique I really like the idea of is playing with the background. For this I used a piece of white fabric to nestle the teapot in. I have then edited the photo using picmonkey to change the brightness and contrast to make the object stand out more from the background.

Crochet teapot - with background altered brightness and contrast

White background with altered brightness and contrast

There’s always the classic black and white

Crochet teapot - Not quite black and white - Ive left a hint of the blue in there

Not quite black and white – Ive left a hint of the blue in there

Another idea I idea I tried was to use framing and text to enhance the image. I used the same photograph as above but this time I split the image into 9 frames and then removed the image from the top corner to give space for some text.

Crochet teapot - Framed image with added text

Framed image with added text

and finally no round up of photography techniques would be complete without some bokeh!

Crochet teapot - bokeh!

Bokeh!

I found loads of other techniques I would like to try but I just havent had time yet. I’m not sure if I will use any of these again but it was fun to see how easily you can change the feel of your photograph just by playing around with how you take and edit the photograph.

H.

embroidery floss necklace

embroidery floss necklace

It definitely feels like spring is here and all the flowers that are popping up everywhere make me want to brighten up my wardrobe. My winter wardrobe is often quite dark incorporating jewel tones such as the blue of my geometric cowl or the red of my delphine skirt, but spring calls for bright blues and pale yellows!

After taking the time to think about some of the great ideas I found when searching through my favourite pins I decided to have a go at making the embroidery floss necklace that I had pinned onto my craft board

Embroidery floss necklace

Embroidery floss necklace found on pinterest

I took the time to click through and find the original post which was actually on Mollie Makes and had some nice simple instructions.

I decided I wanted to make my necklace a little more discrete and so opted for only 24 threads instead of the suggested 137! I thought such a big change might really alter the style of the necklace but I ‘m really happy with how it turned out and I think if I had made it much bigger it would have looked a bit ridiculous on me.

Check out how it turned out and let me know what you think:

The final stage of making the necklace is to cut off the end. This gave me about a 20 cm length of all the embroidery threads. Of course I wasn’t going to through these away so I folded them into quarters to give me a 96 thread bunch and tied it up to make a tassle. I strung this onto a much longer piece of thread to make another necklace so nothing went to waste! You could also make it into a keyring if one brightly coloured embroidery floss necklace is enough for you!

tassle necklace made using the leftovers from my embroidery necklace

tassle necklace

To make your own:

You need

  • 6-10 skeins of embroidery floss
  • scissors

Find the instructions on Mollie Makes but if like me you want to change the thickness don’t be afraid as it seems to be quite easy to make this necklace your own!

H.

 

decorated egg by hshandcrafts

Washi Tape Eggs

It feels like spring is here at last! After a weekend of wind and rain the sun has come out, the blossom is in bloom and the birds are singing. With Easter just around the corner all thoughts are turning to bunnies, chicks and eggs and what better way to brighten up your home for Easter than with some simple decorated eggs!

Lat week I was making a cake to say thank you to some colleagues at work for helping me out and I thought that rather than cracking the eggs right open I should save them for some Easter decorating.

I carefully inserted a pin into the top and bottom of each egg to make a hole. I then gradually made each hole bigger until it was 3-4 mm in diameter. Then I could carefully blow the contents out of the egg to be used for my cake making!

once the eggs were emptied I filled them with water to clean them out and then left them to drain for a couple of minutes before putting them in the microwave for 10 seconds to prevent any remaining bits of egg from going mouldy.

Once the eggs were ready it was time to string them up. This proved more difficult than I had first thought but I managed to do it by threading some embroidery floss onto a darning needle that was just about long enough to pull through the egg.

I could then start decorating. For a quick and easy result I decided to use Washi tape as it adds colour and fun patterns without requiring delicate drawing work.

So in less than 15 minutes I had 2 nicely decorated eggs!

 

Mothers Day African Flower Keyring on hshandcrafts

African Flower Keyring

Happy Mothers Day!

I hope everyone has had a great day treating their mums (or being treated to lovely things). Unfortunately I live a long way away from my mum and so have been unable to do so but will get to see her in a couple of weeks so I am very excited for that.

As I didn’t get to see her today I sent her a little treat in the post which is why I have held back this post until today rather than publish it as soon as I had finished making it last week! I made an African flower keyring

I really like the African flower crochet motif but have not really been sure what to use it for. I often see them made up with double knitting, which despite looking lovely always seems to be too big a design for anything I would like to make.

So I decided instead to try making one out of embroidery floss and it worked a treat! African Flower Keyring

The finished hex is about 2inches across

African flower keyring

To make your own…

you will need:

  • embroidery floss in 5 colours
  • a keyring
  • 2 beads in colours of your choice
  • some wadding (1.5inches square)
  • a 2mm crochet hook
  • scissors

1. Crochet your African flowers

To start off you need to make 2xAfrican flower hexes or any other crochet hex would be great. I followed this picture tutorial

http://heidibearscreative.blogspot.co.uk/2010/05/african-flower-hexagon-crochet-tutorial.html

but…most importantly you need to use embroidery floss and a 2mm crochet hook to end up with your hex small enough to use as a key ring.

2. Begin to join the African flowers together

Place your two African flowers together with all the loose ends pointing inwards

Join your embroidery floss in a colour of your choosing (I used dark blue here) to one of the corners making sure to join the 2 African flowers together

Chain 1 and then single crochet in each gap between the double crochets from the previous round around three edges of your hex. At each corner put 3 single crochet into the chain space from the previous round.

3. Stuff the keyring

To make sure the key ring holds its shape you need to stuff it with some wadding or any kind of stiff fabric.

Cut this to a hexagon that will easily fit inside your crocheted hexes. (Mine was approximately 1 inch across)

Place your cut out shape in the gap between your 2 African flowers.

4. Continue joining the African flowers

Continue to single crochet all the way around the hexes with three single crochet in the chain space at each corner.

5. Join the round

Once you have crocheted all the way around and your 2 hexes are joined together complete the round with a slip stitch into the first single crochet.

6. Cut the embroidery floss

Be sure to leave a long tail to attach to your key ring

7. Add beads

Thread your beads onto the embroidery floss tail

8. Attach keyring

Thread the end of the embroidery floss through the loop on the keyring and tie it as close as possible to the beads.

9. Cut the embroidery floss

Leave enough of a tail so that the knot wont come untied but so that it still looks tidy.

Voila…your very own African flower keyring!

Have you made anything with the African flower motif recently? i would love to see your designs

H.

Pinterest screengrab

Pinterest Inspiration

I absolutely love Pinterest!

When I have had a super busy week like this one I dont always have time for lots of crafting. However, I can spend just a few minutes (ok, it’s usually more than that!) on Pinterest and get a fix of all the beautiful things I could make.

I like to use Pinterest to keep track of all the amazing projects I want to try as well as a record of my finished items. So I have 4 boards for my projects:

as well as boards exclusively with inspiration for new projects

Today I thought I would share with you one item off each of my inspiration boards so that you to can be inspired to go and craft.

Or… if you dont have time – just to gaze at it longingly with dreams of what you could someday create!

So here goes…

Craft

I love the look of this necklace made from embroidery floss – it is so simple yet effective and has been on my to-do list for some time. I reckon it would look great in the summer paired with a simple t-shirt and maxi skirt.

Embroidery floss necklace

Crochet

My crochet inspiration board is one of my fullest boards currently and so it was difficult to pick just one pin to share with you but I really love the way the pattern and colours work together on this blanket to create a really interesting texture. It also means I get two as I know from the original blog that this pin came from that there is also a really cute cowl using this same stitch pattern that I am a huge fan of so you should check that out too!

diamond and stipes crochet blanket

Knit

I’m not sure if this is cheating slightly as my chosen pin from my knitting inspiration board is actually one that I bought the pattern for a couple of weeks ago and is currently a WIP. So watch this space if you want to see how mine turns out!

Knitted cowl on Pinterest

Sewing

My final piece of inspiration for the week comes in the form of this really cute lace trim for a Peter Pan collar. I think it is currenly a little bit beyond my abilities but I can hope that one day I will be able to create something as nice as this!

Sewn Lace Trim

Well, that is my round up of some crafty inspiration from Pinterest. I think this little exercise has made me realise two things. The first is that I need to learn to take better pictures if I want my crafts to look as good as this and the second is that I better get busy if I want to make all of these things any time soon as well as all the other projects I have on the go!

H.

stag and leaf screenprinted design on hshandcrafts

Screen printed tote

Last night I went on a textiles taster course. We were shown the process of screen printing and even got to try it out ourselves.

With only three hours it was a busy evening to get a design drawn, the stencil cut out and the 2-colour design printed but I had loads of fun and now have a cute tote bag with my own design printed on it!

I started out with the idea of a stag silhouette but when I saw some of the tutors portfolio with multiple prints layered up I decided to try something similar so incorporated some leaves and layered them on top.

I am pretty pleased with the outcome, I just wish the blue  would have shown up a bit brighter to emphasize the stag.

Screen-printed tote bag with stag and leaf design

Screen-printed tote bag with stag and leaf design

screen printed stag and leaves design

screen printed stag and leaves design