Inspiration despite moving, renovating, new job and patchy Internet connection

“getting back on track and some inspiration along the way”

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So it’s been awhile since I’ve had a chance to post anything. Moving, renovations, a new job and patchy Internet access have been conspiring against me when it comes to getting time for anything craft related.
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My craft materials are all still packed away but I’ve had some time to keep an eye out for inspiration.
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Whilst reading the latest copy of uppercase I came across Trent Jansen’s work and was especially taken with the ‘Briggs Family Tea Service 2011’:
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Source: Trent Jansen

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As an Australian the story behind the pieces was compelling but the mixing of two very different cultural styles to produce entirely new pieces inspired me the most. I’ve always been especially interested in the crafts of indigenous people and how we are loosing skills once thought essential to existence. I look to forgotten techniques when I can to incorporate into my work so these pieces were especially inspiring.
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Well I hope you all enjoy exploring the story and pieces. I hope from now to post more regularly again on so watch this space.
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Coming soon: I also hope to finish the robot toy pattern I’ve had in the work in progress stage for too long…
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Inspiration & Renovations

“embracing what you can do”

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I recently bought my first property – Yay 🙂  – it’s all very exciting. My life is now full of packing, cleaning, moving and renovating. I have blisters from removing what feels like thousands of staples from the hardwood floors following the removal of the old carpets and underlays. Just one of the many jobs to be done. I love the process of transforming things from one state to another so despite the less creative aspect of it all it has been rewarding.
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With all of this going on it is hard to find time and energy to work on crafts projects not to mention most of my crafts tools are packed away. For now I’m having to accept what I can and can’t do and have instead been using my downtime from work and renovating to seek inspiration for future craft projects. So for the next couple of weeks while the renovations are underway I’m aiming to share my inspiration sources. Here are a few to start with:
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(please note I do not own these images or ideas. Follow the links and check out the websites and blogs they originate from for a little inspiration…)
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I’ve enjoyed making a pillow from old tshirts and also a robot toy but what to do if you have lots of tshirts to recycle? There are only so many pillows and toys anyone needs. I love the t’shirt quilt designs from Night Owl especially this version with different sized blocks:

Night Owl tshirt quilt

There is a great selection of quilt designs on the website. Go check them out for some inspiration.
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I love ideas that utilise unusual tools and that are accessible to everyone. Maybe it is just my imagination but I think pom poms are making a bit of a come back of late. I remember making them as a kid using a cardboard doughnut shape which was always a little fiddly. This technique seems far more straight forward and I can’t wait to give it a try:
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fork pom pom by vividplease
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Check out Vivid Please’ blog for more details and instructions.
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As those of you who have been following my blog will know I’m a big kid at heart so when I saw Little Blue Boo’s sprinkles resin pendant I knew I had to add it to the list of things I want to make. I love the colours and fun nature of the design.
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DIY Resin Pendant tutorial by lil blue boo
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Check out Little Blue Boo’s blog for the tutorial.
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uppercase magazine
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When I’m not browsing pinterest or crafty blogs online you can find me kicked back with the latest copy of uppercase with a cup of tea feeding my creative inspiration. The magazine is beautiful and always packed full of articles of truly inspiring crafters from around the world. Well worth checking it out.
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**A little inspiration**
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So I hope that in the absence of sharing my own designs and crafting activities you will enjoy and find inspiration in some of the blogs, ideas, tutorials etc that I’ve shared above and will share in the posts to come over the next few weeks.
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Happy Crafting!
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The wonderful and beautifully intricate designs of JungJung

“some of my favourites”

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I recently came across the extremely inspirational work of JungJung. Her intricate knitting designs are awe inspiring and stunningly beautiful. As a crafter and knitter I can only imagine the time and effort that goes into creating these designs.
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I sent her a message to indicate how much I appreciated her work and also to ask permission to post some of her pictures here. (Please note I do not own these pictures – they are all from JungJung). Although she is busy she took the time to reply and indicate her gratitude for my appreciation of her work.
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These pictures are merely a taster and I highly recommend checking out her work on her website – http://jungjung.jp/
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I hope you find her work as inspirational as I do. I certainly will be following her work eagerly and can’t wait to see what she creates next…
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Dragon’s Loyalty Award

I was extremely excited recently to be nominated for the ‘Dragon’s Loyalty Award’ by Crafty Minx. Thank you so much. It really means a lot to be nominated. I love reading about her adventures and misadventures in crafts with her two mini men.
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I understand this award goes to loyal followers of your blog and/or the blogs you loyally follow. What a great idea!
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We all shape and construct our blogs for a variety of reasons. The act of posting online can seem initially like writing a message in a bottle. You’re not sure who will read it but you have taken the time to share your thoughts, ideas, photos and the like with the world.
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Those who read and comment on our blogs encourage and inspire us, as do the blogs we read and comment on. A big thank you to readers and bloggers alike.
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In keeping with the tradition of this award, I have to:

  • Display the award certificate in this post (tick)
  • Announce the win and link back to the person who nominated me (tick – thanks again Crafty Minx)
  • Present the award to another 15 nominees and notify them in their main pages about their nominations (see list below)
  • Post seven interesting things about me/my blog (see my list towards the end of this post…)
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My Nominations

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It is hard to put together a list of only 15. There are so many great blogs and bloggers. Here is my list in this moment. Tomorrow it may have been different. They are a mix of the early supporters of my fledgling blog and those bloggers I loyally follow.
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7 Interesting things about me/my blog

  1. Writing this blog makes me more productive. I’ve started and finished more craft projects in the last 3 months than I probably did all last year.
  2. My ‘kuki’ crafting inspires productiveness in the rest of my life too.
  3. The background image on my blog is a closeup photo of a blanket my Gran made for me. Crafting certainly runs in our family. Both my grandmothers taught me many things that have remained with me even though they are no longer with us. My mum and aunt create and craft as well and over the years we have enjoyed sharing the results with one another. And not to forget the boys who’s ‘making’ is just as crafty in my mind. then there is the extended family…
  4. I’m really starting to realise just how much of a big kid I am. I have visions of making as many toys as I can with more and more of my own designs. When I have too many I may have to accept I will have to sell some. Maybe…
  5. I still own and wear shoes in all colours though I now wear a somewhat larger size.
  6. I suspect animals would make good consumers if only they had a say in house hold spending. Monty very much still loves his monkey!
  7. I feel I’ve only really just got started with this blog so I’m leaving this one last ‘interesting thing’ open for the future…watch this space.
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Pink Doggie

“New life to an old ceramic figurine”

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Pink doggie before and after

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A friend of mine recently gave me some old clothes to add to my stash of materials for use in crafty projects. Along with the clothes was this little guy. She was planning to give him to charity. I thought the ceramic dog was rather cute and just needed a little modernizing to give him a new lease on life.
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Before

before 1

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before 3

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before 2

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I had several different styles and colours in mind but ultimately planned to use materials I already owned. So in a slightly unusual approach I decided to try nail polish. The process of painting the figurine with nail polish was fun and easy to do. Two coats of polish were used to ensure even coverage.
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Brightly painted using nail polish
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painting with nail polish

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pink doggie 2

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In order to ensure the nail polish finish lasts I then vanished the little guy with a gloss finish.
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Finished vanished look

pink doggie 1

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pink doggie 2

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pink doggie 3

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He now lives with a growing collection of toys…
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pink doggie and friends

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What do you think? I’m currently trying to think of other old ceramic figurines I might have stashed and forgotten. I suspect there will be more friends to add in the near future.
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Super Sweet Blogging Award

I have been nominated for the Super Sweet Blogging Award!

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Susan Delphine Delaney of http://ladyflowersbysusan.wordpress.com/ nominated me. Thank you so much Susan!!! I’m really touched. I’m glad you are enjoying the “beauty and craft inspiration I bring to the world”.
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To accept the award I have to do five things:
  1. Thank Susan for nominating me
  2. Answer 5 Super Sweet questions
  3. Include the Super Sweet logo in this post. You see it above
  4. Nominate a baker’s dozen of bloggers for this award
  5. Notify my nominees on their blogs
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Here are the Super Sweet questions:
  1. Cookies or Cake??? tricky one…depends on my mood. Cookies if it is a small snack with tea or coffee. Cake if I feel inclined to skip a meal and just indulge in dessert (I highly recommend going out and just having dessert)
  2. Chocolate or Vanilla? Another tricky one…probably vanilla (the fresh vanilla bean kind – yum)
  3. Favorite Sweet Treat? Recently I’m really loving Lindt white chocolate balls
  4. When Do You Crave Sweets?  All the time! How could I possible pick only one time of day??
  5. Sweet Nickname? Moppy (because my hair looked like a mop when I was little)
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Now for my nominees:
  1. Lady Flowers by Susan http://ladyflowersbysusan.wordpress.com/
  2. Ski Daddy http://skidaddy.wordpress.com/
  3. Crochet Concupiscence http://www.crochetconcupiscence.com/
  4. Adison Madison http://adisoninmadison.wordpress.com/
  5. Pangaweka http://pangaweka.com/
  6. Crafty Minx http://craftyminx1980.wordpress.com/
  7. Wiley Schmidt http://wileyschmidt.com/
  8. Pig Love http://piglove.wordpress.com/
  9. What the ducks http://whattheducks.com/
  10. Alison Gwen http://alisongwen.wordpress.com/
  11. Raxa Collective http://raxacollective.wordpress.com/
  12. I feel crafty http://ifeelcrafty.wordpress.com/
  13. Bird Cage Design http://birdcagedesign.wordpress.com/
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An evening of craftiness

“handmade presents”

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I usually consider my main craftiness to lie in the realm of sewing and textiles. This weekend though I had a friend’s birthday to attend and the jewelry making bug got me. I got to making while inspiration was high and here is what I made:
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evening of craftiness_earrings
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evening of craftiness_bracelet
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Hardly any tools or space are required making this a great portable project. Although (based on the amount of small beads that were lost in the shag pile carpet I was sitting on whilst making these) I would advise a bowl or tray to work over.
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Tools & supplies used

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  • round nosed pliers
  • wire cutters
  • stretch cord for bracelet (thickness and colour will depend on the project you are working on – the thicker the cord the stronger the bracelet but the larger the hole in the beads needs to be)
  • earring findings (style to suit you. would work equally well for non-pieced earring clasps)
  • selection of beads – variety of colours and sizes
  • aluminum crimps (check out your local fishing supplies store – I find crimps great as they seem to hold more securely than many other methods I’ve tried for elasticated bracelets and it’s quick and easy)
  • head pin and eye pin findings – I used a selection for the earring design
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It turns out my friend had indicated to her family she would appreciate jewelry for her birthday. Seems I was on the right wavelength when I got that buzz of inspiration and was glad the earrings and bracelet were well received.
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Fun Recycled T-shirt Pillow

“more ideas for those old tshirts lying in the back of your cupboard”

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Construction
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I’ve had some much loved old tshirts in my collection of sewing materials for some time now. They shrunk a little too much to be worn but the design is still in really good shape.
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In the past I would often feel compelled to give such items, with life left in them, to charity so someone else could enjoy the item. However I also enjoy re-purposing and recycling items so I saw the chance to create a fun pillow from these old tshirts that would give them a new lease on life.
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old-tshirts

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Mark out the pillow shape to encompass the existing design. To quickly mark out the other side use the first one cut to mark the other half.
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Place the pieces together design side inward and sew around the edges. Leave a small opening to fill the cushion. Once filled zigzag the ide with a hole closed. As a design feature I chose to zigzag stitch two sides as a finishing touch. I also chose not to leave an opening for cleaning as I felt the whole pillow can be washed including the innards.
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An alternative to the method I used here would be to add a zipper and or buttons to allow a store bought pillow to be added. I had a large European sized pillow I was no longer using that I have been progressively pulling the stuffing out of and reusing.
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If you favourite tshirt is so well loved it has holes in it consider adding another layer using  a plain tshirt and allow the holes to be a design feature.
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Completed
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Here is my completed tshirt pillow – front and back. What do you think?
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A growing group of toys

“and a happy inner child”

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hand crafted toys_recent additions

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Every time over the last week I’ve sat down to write a blog post I seem to have been waylaid creating more toys. My boyfriend seems to have a permanent bemused expression whenever I say “I’ve just finished another one!”. And as I sit back to finally write some blog posts for this week I note that it’s getting a little crowded on the couch arm wrest.
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toys_the growing collection

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Jumper monkey

“jumpers vs. socks”

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My latest crafty creation is a monkey toy made out of an old jumper.
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jumper monkey1

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I was rather taken with the sock monkey design from craft passion but didn’t have any socks that would suit so I went rummaging around my craft supplies and decided on an old jumper:
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jumper monkey step 1

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Following the general design in craft passion’s post I created my monkey toy. I felt he was a little plain and after an inspiring chat with my neighbour decided some clothing was required. So taking yet another old tshirt (I seem to have a lot of those laying about) I crafted a small tshirt for the monkey.
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jumper monkey tshirt sizing

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jumper monkey tshirt top

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jumper monkey and mini tshirt cut out

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Here is the finished monkey toy:
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jumper monkey2

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