Wednesday, 28 January 2015

felt hair clip

Just after Christmas I started sketching ideas for more little things to make with felt. I came up with this little sketch of a cherry blossom and a leaf, thinking of making it into a little felt hair clip. Now I finally put it together. This is a rough draft, I want to refine it a bit, and then maybe make a pattern / tutorial.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

inspiration and learning

One of the main focuses of my blog is to share things I learn (for instance through the tutorials I post) and places where I find inspiration for designs.

I love to browse through the library, picking up books about design, artists, knitting, gardening, cooking etc. When I have a bit of time at home I leaf through the books, get inspired and learn new things.
I love design reference books and have recently started analysing how designs are put together by sketching elements of the design. Actually putting a pencil to paper helps me to see better how the design works.

In the bottom picture there is a book I borrowed about the history of Morden and Merton. The house in the picture is where liberty fabric used to be printed. After looking that up I came across Merton Abbey Mills, close to where we live and a place I'd like to visit some time!

Monday, 12 January 2015

tea towel calendar

I posted earlier about my tea towel calendar design for 2015. Since I gave a few tea towels as christmas gifts, I didn't want to post photos in December. Here is a picture of the finished tea towel. I ordered the linen cotton canvas and hemmed the edges. The fabric is now available for sale in my shop.

Friday, 9 January 2015

inkscape tutorial - create a union of different objects

When I work in inkscape it's often helpful to create a union of different objects. This is similar to grouping them, but rather than creating a group of different objects, a union functions as one object. This is useful if you have many small objects in a design like the dots on my rosehips below.
Inkscape seems to be a bit buggy when it comes to very large files with many groups of objects. Reducing the number of groups helps when working with large designs.

Step 1: Decide which objects you want to create a union with. All the little dots on the rosehips are single objects. I want to be able to manipulate the colours more quickly, and want lines of dots to function as single objects so that I can more easily change colours and move the dots around.
Step 2: Select all the objects.
Step 3: Under path click on union. Or use the keyboard shortcut CMD +
Step 4: The row of dots now functions as one object. Change the colour, or move the object to a different position.

ps. do you like the pattern? Its one I've been working on the last few weeks. I'll share more when its done.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

baby booties

Happy new year! I hope you all had a lovely break. I'm back in London after two weeks in Germany and the Netherlands.

In a burst of "finish old projects at the beginning of a new year" I finally finished these little booties yesterday. Thankfully they're still a little bit too big, so its okay that they sat around for over a year waiting for the second button.

Now lets see how long the "finish old projects" feeling lasts...

ps. I posted details about the booties on ravelry. If you knit and are on ravelry, feel free to connect!

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

how to wallpaper a dollhouse

I'm making progress on my dollhouse renovation. I love the exterior paint colours and have been slowly building up layers of white paint inside to cover all the colours. Here are some work in progress shots. As you can see, there is a lot of bright paint to cover! One of the first things I did was remove the plexiglass windows which were dark and covered in paint. Then there was a lot of sanding and scraping and cleaning to do.

Yesterday, after a third layer of white paint that didn't cover the bright green on the upstairs walls, I decided to try wallpaper. Here are some pictures of the process and some tips if you want to try it yourself!

0. Choose some paper! I went to a few stores looking at wrapping paper before I found this paper in Flow magazine (it was a good excuse to buy the magazine as well, which I love).

1. Make a paper template of the area you want to cover, especially if there are windows involved. I have little window sills that needed to poke through the paper. Very important: measure at least three times before you cut the actual paper!

2. Cut out your paper template,

3. and try it on the wall. If you look closely, you can see that there is some wall showing through at the top of the window, so I adjusted my template accordingly. If you measure correctly, then cutting the actual wallpaper should go smoothly.

4. Cut the wallpaper. I used a quilters ruler as a guide to make sure everything was perfectly straight and squared up.

5. Try it on inside the walls. My paper didn't fit all the way around both walls, so its important to make a fold on one paper to go around the corner and start the other paper in the corner on top of the folded paper, so there is no gap.

6. Using your template, cut out the windows and window sills.

7. Another way to make sure the windows are positioned correctly is to place the paper inside, and mark the back with a pencil, especially if the corners of your windows are not completely square.

8. Once the paper is cut out, I used modge podge glue to attach it. This meant working quickly, putting down a layer of glue and smoothing it out with an old drivers license and then putting more modge podge on top to act as a varnish, that is especially important around the windows so that the paper doesn't tear when it is handled.

9. The finished room! And because I was so motivated, I right away laid the floor upstairs. I'll post a tutorial another time.

I'm very happy with how it turned out, and am thinking about whether I want to wallpaper downstairs as well (the white paint did a better job of covering downstairs, so it isn't strictly necessary). If I had had the time though, I would have gotten a wallpaper swatch from my spoonflower shop. The swatches are only $5 and are 12 x 24", so would have been the perfect size for the wall. Since they are peel and stick, I wouldn't have had to mess about with glue. So if you want to try this project, head over to my shop and buy a swatch of peel and stick wallpaper :-)

Here's a shot of the dollhouse how it looks now. You can see the exterior paint colours and the floor as well as the two different papers I used as wallpaper upstairs.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

christmas tree

On the weekend we put up our christmas tree. We have it in the bay window which takes up some of the precious light these days, but since the sun goes behind the houses at quarter past three, it doesn't really matter. 

The last three years I've made different kinds of ornaments each year. Last year I knit these baubles, the others will have to be another blog post! This year I made felt ornaments as part of my preparation for teaching a felt craft evening. I love the little dala horse. It was kind of a make-up-as-you-go thing, so I'd like to make another and think it through a bit more.