more sparkles sparkles sparkles

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I have a weakness for sparkly things. A couple of years ago I shared a tutorial for making sparkly earrings with buttons. After being inspired by these earrings by Happiness is Creating, AND finally buying myself a bottle of Mod Podge Dimensional Magic (with a Michaels 50% off one regular item coupon), I found a new and improved way of making sparkly earrings :D

I used:

1 clean kitchen sponge

4mm earring posts with backings

sparkly nail polish (I got a Sally Hansen “Ice Queen” and a “Big Teal” from the dollar store)

Mod Podge Dimensional Magic

a dash of patience

1. Stick the earring posts into the sponge so it stands upright

2. Apply a coat of sparkly nail polish to the posts (I put the teal one on first). Let dry for half hour (this is where the patience comes in… there’re lots of small steps with long stretch of waiting in between)

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3. Repeat step 2 a couple more times.

4. When the nail polish is completely dried (I suggest drying overnight after final coat, because the nail polish does build up to a bit of a dome on its own, and while the top layer has harden, the layers underneath may remain soft and take a while to dry), apply dimensional magic, wait a couple of hours, apply second coat to create as full of a dome shape as possible without the glaze running over.

5. Let dry overnight, and it’s done! :D

Here’s a super macro picture of them…

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I’m not sure if Mod Podge is waterproof so I would avoid wearing them in the shower. But I’m quite happy with how they turned out :) I like that they’re a lot smaller than my other sparkly earrings tutorial.

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Have a bright and beautiful weekend!

 

heart of the sea

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I recently went to a millefiori jewelry workshop with a good neighbour, who spotted this Groupon and we jumped at the opportunity.

I’ve always been fascinated by millefiori. I used to be obsessed with making imitation ones with fimo when I was a kid. But I’ve never worked with real glass millefiori canes. So here we are! :D

We didn’t get to make the canes but we used them in kind of a mosaic project, filling pendant bezel trays with pieces of the glass canes.

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Aren’t they so pretty?

I decided to use blue and green ones. And I found a heart! :D If it were an artwork, I would call it “heart of the sea”.

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The shop owners would then pour epoxy or resin into it to seal all the glass pieces in. We left our pieces there for the resin to set, and picked them up a few days later.

Isn’t this beautiful? I love the air bubbles in it, and the feeling of depth that the epoxy creates.

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With my macro lens :D

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I think it looks great on a long chain :D

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It’s a bit of a trek for me to get to the shop, so while I was there to pick up my project, I went on a small adventure nearby :D pictures to come, stay tuned!

Have a good rest of the week!

 

treasures from the beach

I don’t swim, or play beach volley, nor do I enjoy sun-tanning, and reading in the sun hurts my eyes, but I do enjoy going to the beach, combing for beach glass! :D

We’ve visited a couple of local beaches this summer and found some really interesting beach glass pieces. This piece has some loopy marking on it (super macro picture taken with the handy Photojojo macro band :D)

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And the other day I made it into a necklace. I was quite pleased with how it turned out :)

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This candle holder idea from Lovely Greens has been on my to-make list for a while. Finally I got all the material to put it together. I used drinking glasses from the dollar store, the smallest votive holders I could find, which happened to be at the Muji store, but I think other places like Michaels or Ikea might have them too, and some dollar store sea shells for the base, because the votive holders are much shorter than the glasses.

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It’s such a great way to show of the unique pieces of glass. Like this one that seems to come from a screw top bottle.

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Mike took some really nice pictures of them with his camera :D

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Have a bright and happy week, everyone!

 

library love

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Another reason to love and support the public library <3

I got this 3‑D printed at the Toronto Reference Library! :D If you live in Toronto, the 3D printers are also available at the Fort York branch and the Scarborough Civic Centre branch.

Back in February I was feeling really blah and stressed out at work. So I decided to sign up for a course that has absolutely nothing to do with my job, which was the 3D printing certificate class at the library. Once people complete the class, they can book the 3D printers to use whenever they’re available. They charge a very reasonable 5 cents per minute for the use of the printer, and that was all. One can choose from many colours of plastic, and staff is there to help if anyone needs technical support.

I once saw someone wearing a 3D printed bracelet and I was really impressed, so I’ve always wanted to make one. But of course I have not idea how to design one! So I downloaded one I liked best from Thingiverse, called the Subdivision Bracelet.

I must be honest that, after 3 months, I don’t remember much from the certificate course so I had no clue what to do after downloading the file. Kind of embarrassing. Good thing Mike was there as well and he’s very techy. And the library staff were very cool with dropping us hints and reminders as we appeared to be cluelessly flipping through our notes trying to figure out what the next steps are and all the settings we should be adjusting.

Our first try didn’t go so well. For some unknown reason the printer stopped working properly. Not only did the kind library staff not charge me for the failed piece, they offered to try printing another for me the next morning on a different machine, and I’d just have to go and pick it up!

I think the staff were also wanting to take the opportunity to test out an intricate project on a new machine, but I thought they were super kind to offer!

And it worked! It took just over 2 hours to print and costs about $8. Here’s a different side of it.

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I understand the 3D printer as kind of like a very precise automated glue gun, which squeezes out thin lines of hot melted glue to build a form. You can see the lines of glue pretty clearly in the picture above, and under the super macro lens.

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And this is how it looks on an arm :)

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The surfaces are less smooth than I imagined, I think it can be improved by sanding, but I think I might be too lazy to do that :S I’m OK with the way it is.

I’m thinking of going back to make some Christmas gifts this year :D

Have a lovely weekend, everyone!

 

caturday

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Painted some pet rocks one day. Magical sparkly cats! :D

The white one lives on my desk at work now, gifted the yellow one to my desk neighbour. Going to pick up more rocks from the beach when the weather gets warmer, and paint more cats :D

Also, finally visited the very first cat cafe in Toronto!

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As expected, the cats are mostly sleeping when we visited. But it’s still nice to hang out :)

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The Cat Cafe takes in cats from the Humane Society, and the cats can be adopted. These two are best buds and must be adopted together :)

In other news, I bought some reindeer moss the other day and made some terrarium necklaces for the shop. I thought they looked pretty nice. This one had some agate chips and lavender in it.

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Hope everyone’s having a good weekend! :D

 

 

Christmas crafting fun :D

Some of the gifts I made for Christmas :)

This was from a pattern by the Knit Cafe, I got it while participating in the annual TTC Knitalong. I don’t usually knit with such fine yarn, so it took me quite a long time, but the result is well worth the effort!

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I like the contrast between the solid garter stitch and the lacy mesh stitch when it’s all wrapped around. Might make another one sometimes, with a different colour combination :)

Here’s a much quicker project I made for Mike, using Bernat Blanket. It’s quite a soft but sturdy yarn with very little stretch, I thought it’d be perfect for slippers. The pattern is from Rainbows and Sunshine. Fits him perfectly! :D

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This bonnet was finger knitted on the plane, on our way back from the east coast, with a skein of beautiful Sirdar Kiko. It’s a baby shower gift I made it for a friend who used to work as a flight attendant on the airline we flew with :)

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This is one of the stones from Mike’s grandpa’s collection, which I wrapped with wire and made into pendants. Mike’s grandpa passed away a few years ago. He was quite a semi-precious stone and fossil enthusiast when he was young!

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I’m not educated in stone identification at all, so if anyone knows what this stone is, please feel free to drop me a note! I made a total of 13 pendants for aunts and cousins, but I was too excited about wrapping them up and writing notes to go along with them, I neglected to take pictures of the finished necklaces. I followed this handy tutorial for the wire-wrapping.

While visiting Mike’s parents we looked through more of grandpa’s rock collection, including this piece of petrified wood, with transparent inclusions! How cool is that?

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Look at the light shining through. Maybe it can be made into a sun catcher.

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And here’s my young nephew wearing his present :D

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I followed the owl hat pattern by Kat Goldin. Also made these owl mitts from Down Cloverlaine for my other young nephew, this pineapple bag for my niece, a couple of knit neckwarmers/cowls that I made up with bulky weight yarn, this casserole carrier from Moogly for my mother-in-law, and a couple more projects that I can’t show you just yet because the recipients haven’t opened them :)

After making gifts I thought I’d spend the holidays making something for myself. I recently started on this sweater from the current issue of Interweave Crochet. Here I am drinking tea, eating Kinder eggs, and watching family play scrabble while I crochet — holiday at its finest :D

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We’ve also got some very unusual weather in our corner of the world this Christmas. It’s not unusual to not have snow, but it was warm enough to find these turkey tails (I think that’s what they are) in the backyard!

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Happy about the fungi sighting, at the same time a bit uneasy about the double-digit temperature :S

Then on the weekend it was very windy, with water splashing onto the lakeside road. Reminds me of the roaring sea in the east coast! I don’t think I’ve ever seen the lake with waves like that, but then I don’t see the lake very much from where I live.

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But all in all we had a fun time away from the city visiting family. And I’m grateful to have one more week of holidays until the new year, which means more time to write about crafting fun here on the blog! :D

Wishing you a wonderful week!

 

adventure in rock-felting

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I was looking up Christmas gift ideas and stumbled upon tutorials for felted rocks. All I needed was some wool roving, some stones, hot water and soap. I had all of those things. So I thought I’d give it a try.

There are many tutorials for felted stones. I followed the one from Daily Colours. I was gifted two bags of roving some years ago. One bag was in fall colours, and the other was in beautiful shades of blue. I had really wanted the blue roving to work, but it just wouldn’t felt/bind/shrink around the rock. I thought the water wasn’t hot enough, or I wasn’t rolling the rocks in the right way… then I noticed that the tutorial had specifically noted not to use “superwash” wool, so then I read the label on my roving, and noticed that what I was using was indeed superwash wool. No wonder it didn’t work!

For some unknown reasons the fall colour roving worked much better though. It felt like the wool didn’t bind as firmly as it was supposed to around the stone, but I thought they still look great! Next time I’ll get some different wool, and maybe pick up some rocks from the beach! :D

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I think I might try stitching on them. Will keep you posted if I do!

Have a happy weekend!

 

lately

Made a necklace for the shop this week. Probably the most elaborate jewelry piece I’ve made so far. Quite proud of it :D

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The feather was made with shrink plastic. I might make more of these, maybe with different colour chevron stripes!

And then I made this.

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The stones were gifts from a friend so this is definitely not going to the shop. But this was the first time I tried making this style of necklace and I think it worked out well, so I might make more of this too if I can find similar drilled stone chips (not sure if that’s what they’re called :S).

Also want to mention that last weekend we went to a new retro malt shop downtown! :D

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Bean and Baker! We had a vanilla malt shake, which was dreamy. They also have pies of both sweet and savory varieties, and handcrafted sodas!

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I highly recommend a visit if you’re in the neighbourhood!

This is not lately, we went there back in May, but haven’t had a chance to post these photos.

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During Doors Open Toronto we went to the Gibraltar Point Lighthouse on the Toronto Islands, which is the oldest lighthouse of the Great Lakes! (Also supposedly haunted :S) I followed the Roundograph tutorial by Photojojo to mimic photos taken by the Kodak No. 1 in the 1890s.

Here’s one with a different filter, which I also like very much.

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I also took the Diana to the lighthouse. Here is the ladder leading to the top of the lighthouse. It’s my favourite picture of the batch.

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And we reached the light of the lighthouse! :D

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Me at the foot of the lighthouse.

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And on the ferry between the island and the city.

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Happy Friday everyone! :D

weekend wonders

Thrifting at a Value Village while visiting Mike’s hometown several hours away from Toronto. Found these! :D

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This is a brooch, looks like it’s enamel.

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There’s something hilarious about the way he looks, I just had to take him home. Looks like a road runner, but it might well be a dinosaur — given that apparently most dinosaurs were feathered! (according to this article)

Then I did some apartment gardening at home, and repotted the succulent we brought home from our trip to Montreal.

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I followed this tutorial to make the dinosaur planter. The dinosaur toy was already a pretty bright pink, which I liked, so I didn’t spray paint it. It didn’t have much room for the roots, so I hope the succulent does well in there.

I covered the top with the seashells I got for the asparagus fern to help stabilize the plant.

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Will be back with the second part of the tiny sushi series! Stay tuned :) Hope everyone had a good weekend, wishing you a good start to the week!

 

holiday crafting

I was waiting until the last presents were opened to post this :D And by the way, if you’re visiting because of the grown-up cardigan, thanks so much for dropping by! I don’t think I’ve ever had that many views in a day before. Thanks so much for checking out the pattern!

So, holiday crafting! This bonsai is a custom order. I’ve never made anything like this so it was all an experiment. I never really do preparatory sketches (or check gauge, or make swatches) but I actually drew a picture of how I wanted the branches to twist this way and that. It didn’t turn out looking like the picture at all after I inserted the sculpting wires, they seem to have a mind of their own? But I’m glad it worked out looking like a bonsai anyway :D

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And we even had a bonsai pot hidden away in our closet, waiting for years to be used for this of course! It was from a bonsai that didn’t live :( apparently few people can keep a bonsai alive for long — hence the need for a bonsai that never dies!

And I added a tiny gnome because I thought the bonsai looked a bit lonely. Here’s a close up of the gnome. It was crocheted with embroidery floss with a 2.3mm hook (2.3 is kind of an odd size for a crochet hook don’t you think? But that’s what it says on the hook… anyway, I digress).

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He’s kind of like a candy corn, except with eyes and a beard. Maybe I can even make a candy corn gnome in the fall… I like the gnome so much that I put him in the shop :D With a new and improved extra fuzzy beard. He is a pin :)

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And then Mike requested a tiny yeti pin for his co-worker who is rather fond of yetis. So I thought I could use the same method as the tiny yeti, except with the thinnest yarn I have and the trusty 2.3mm hook…

Behold the tiniest yeti!

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Doesn’t he look like he’s ready to give the most sincere hug? :D He’s in the shop as well. Both the gnome and the yeti are about an inch tall. My hand is in the pictures for scale.

And I made these for Mike — they’re soot spirit hand warmers :D

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I decided to make hand warmers for Mike because his hands get really cold in the winter, to the point where he has difficulties typing when he first gets into work in the morning. So I thought these would work great if he pops them in the microwave for 30 seconds before he heads out to subway to work in the morning and before he heads home from the office at night. There are many tutorials on the web showing how to make them (with rice inside). But because I have black flannel on hand I thought it would make really great soot spirits! They appear in My Neighbour Totoro and Spirited Away. Here’s a lovely video montage of them in action if you haven’t seen the movies already :D

Also made these for my friend’s shop, cat earrings and necklace!

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I bought them from a local Etsy seller, Yum Yum Objects. The shop owner is super friendly, and the package was wrapped in book pages and pattern tissue, with extra cat beads! The cat beads are a beautiful translucent grey that have an iridescent quality to it in the light. And so of course I have to immediately make myself a necklace (and a pair of earrings) when the beads came in the mail! :D I’ve been wearing it for the past few days. So excited.

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I also knitted and crocheted an assortment of scarfs/neckwarmers, a shawl, a hat, a few brooches and a loop stitch bathmat for various family members, but didn’t take pictures of them. Aaaand there’s one more gift that I haven’t yet mentioned because it will come with a pattern! So stay tuned! :D

Have a wonderful week everyone!