Have been thinking about refashioning an old shirt for a while. And also trying to make those lovely fabric flowers that I’ve seen on t‑shirts at H&M. And so I did on my day off yesterday :D

I cut off the sleeves, as well as the collar, and then zigzaged around all the raw edges on the sewing machine. It kind of creates a ruffly effect.

I chose to use the zigzag stitch mainly because I don’t sew a lot and I don’t know how to machine-sew t‑shirt material without stretching it out of shape (I think I have to change the foot, but I don’t know if I have the right foot. I ought to find out sometimes…). So I don’t bother keeping it in shape and stretch out the edges even more with the zigzag stitch.

And then I cut up the sleeves, and followed this tutorial for making a fabric flower collar. Here I am cutting out flower shapes by hand again, but just free-handed this time, since the pieces will be bunched up anyway.

And again, the sad pile of cast-offs…

Bunching up…

… and stitching on…

And then it was done!

The neckline ended up being rather low… but other than that I’m happy with it :D It reminded me of hydrangeas. It’s nice to have a sleeveless top for the upcoming hot and dry summer… actually, the heat is already upon us :S

I also thought it would look nice with a high-waisted puffy skirt (pardon my make-shift terminologies here, I’m not very familiar with the fashion world), like this miniskirt I saw on Craftzine the other day by Tina Sparkles. It’s a free tutorial too! So that would be another project. Except I would probably make it a bit longer so I won’t have to wear leggings because it’s so warm outside… I also came across Tina Sparkles’ new book, Little Green Dress. It looks so incredible and it’s on my wish list amongst other craft books I want to get :D

Hope your weekend is great!

it’s never too late to celebrate Mother’s Day!

And never too early neither.

Somehow I thought Mother’s Day was the first Sunday of May, which was May 2nd. It was also close to my mom’s birthday, so I made her chestnut and napa cabbage to celebrate :D

While we were having dinner that weekend Mike told me that Mother’s Day was not on May 2nd, it was on May 9th.

I felt a bit dumb. But no matter. We couldn’t have gone to my parents’ to celebrate Mother’s Day on May 9th anyways. And we also couldn’t celebrate Mother’s Day with Mike’s mom on Mother’s Day. But! We were able to get together 2 weeks later. And during those two weeks, I worked on a secret present for my mother-in-law…

This! :D

Yet another brilliant tutorial on one of my favourite blogs, Ruffles and Stuff (I don’t think there’s anything I don’t like on that blog!), this is a family tree brooch. Usually a family tree brooch has every family member’s birth stone on it, but in this family too many birth stones are alike, I thought it would be fun to use beads of everyone’s favourite colours. I even found a black one that’s translucent. I have only ever seen opaque black beads, but trusty Arton Beads never fails to amaze me.

So, anyways. It is never too early or too late to celebrate Mother’s Day. In fact, we could celebrate mothers everyday!

A hobbit trail

We went for long walks in a different parts of the city this past weekend, in the woods and there was a creek and it was a bit hilly. Reminded me of the hobbits. And Mike always carries a small compass in his pocket so we don’t get lost.

And mushrooms! I’ve never seen such huge mushrooms growing in the outdoors before! Elevensies, anyone?

Kind of cool to look at. It’s like the bugs decided to celebrate Halloween early and put thick cobwebs all over the bush. Or like a caterpillar apartment, because all the caterpillars live in different parts of the bush wrapped in the cobwebs.

And this blooming pink tree was a real treat.

I really appreciate these parts of the city where one could pretend to be a hobbit and look for mushrooms and identify different trees by their leaves and listen to the bubbling creek. Hope your weekend was great!

A cuff named Rosie

Plunged into a craft project on Thursday night. It came from the rose cuff bracelet tutorial on Ruffles and Stuff! It’s one of my most favourite blogs to read, and it’s got amazing photography and many wonderful projects. And the rose cuff is just a brilliant idea and it’s very pretty… I’m planning to wear it to my sister’s graduation in a few weeks :D

The cuff is made with felt, petals from fabric flowers and pearly beads. I didn’t have fabric flowers with the right size of petals, but I had a bunch of fabric roses that Mike found lying in the middle of a street some years ago (he brought it home because he thought I could use it in a craft or something, and he was RIGHT! :D). So! I made a template with cardboard, cut off a bunch of petals, and cut out a flower shape from each petal.

I also cut some smaller flower shapes for the top layers of petals. It took a looooong time. I must have had over 80 petals at the end. And on the petals there were these fake dew drops. Fortunately they weren’t too difficult to get rid of. This one has some serious dew drops going on here…

And the sad pile of cast-offs…

Instead of using Velcro, I sewed on some mending tape to attach magnets for closure. (And the petals all lined up, ready for action!)

The tutorial suggested using glue gun to attach the flowers, which would make a stress-free and quick process, but I left my glue gun at work :( So, a needle pulling thread…

And here we have it, a cuff named Rosie :D

I’d like the petals to curl up more towards the centre, right now they look a bit flat… but I think I’m pretty happy with it, especially the bit of pink coming through.

Smile and wave…

Karate chop!

Uh, that was kind of random… but yes! it was really fun making the rose cuff. I really needed something to keep my hands busy and my mind calm this week, so I’m rather thankful :) The original project was designed as a Mother’s Day present, but I don’t think my mom would like to wear something like that. Rather, I’m thinking about making one for my 4 year-old cousin for Christmas, she likes flowery things, I think. (And no, it is never too early to think about Christmas presents.)

Have a wonderful weekend! :D

Happy Together :D

Meet Nigiri and Wasabi…

… and Piña Colada!

Happy Together :D

They were wedding presents I made for friends this spring. I can now finally post pictures of them after they have been given away. They’re all fridge magnets. I’ve jotted down the pattern for Piña Colada, and will post that soon!

Wasabi and coconut were actually inspired by Restaurant City. It’s a Playfish game, and I think it’s got the cutest graphics, especially the food items!

So here’s the wasabi ingredient on RC and Wasabi…

… and here’s the coconut ingredient on RC and Coconu!

By the way, I always thought coconut in Spanish is “colada”, as in “Piña Colada”, you know? But it’s not! Coconut in Spanish, according to Google Translator, is “coconu”! “Colada” actually means “strained”. Silly me.

And on a side note, despite having a busier-than-usual week I’ve actually kept to my blogging schedule, and also finished a craft for myself! I’m pretty happy about that. I’ll write and post pictures about it later, but for now I’ll show you the mess I made…

Happy Friday!

Operation Necklace!

I was going to wear a black t‑shirt to a wedding. With a nice flowery skirt. A friend suggested accessorizing the t‑shirt so it looks more dressed-up.

Like with a long necklace or something, you know?” said friend.

So I remembered that I had this long chain I bought for a project in 3rd year. And I have beads that seemed to go well with the colours of my flowery skirt and my pink shoes. So! Jumping quickly into action, I…

… took apart some of the links…

… and replaced them with beaded links made with jewelry wire…


I was kind of underwhelmed by the finished product. Something was missing. Or it was an awkward length. I wasn’t sure. More needed to be done. So I added to it the rest of the chain. It was quite a relaxing project while watching back-to-back episodes of Say Yes to the Dress on a Friday afternoon…

And finally, it was done! All 40 inches of it! I tried to wear it like this…

… but I wasn’t too impressed. I guess it looked OK

And then I tried it like this…

I think this is the winning look here! (I also really like how this picture turned out, with the “vivid” mode on my camera and the static in my hair  :P)

But then I thought it looked a bit odd with the neckline of the t‑shirt…

So this is the way I ended up wearing it to the wedding…

I really liked the large green beads.

Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures of me with the necklace and the skirt and the pink shoes that day. They did go well together, I think. But I’m planning to wear both the skirt and the necklace again to another wedding in the fall (but not the shoes; they killed my feet) so I’ll remember to take some pictures then! :D

I don’t like going shopping very much, mainly because my feet get tired easily and so I don’t like to walk for a very long time checking out every store that kind of thing. And so when I find a dressy outfit that works I tend to wear it again and again to other dressy occasions. With some variations, of course. And I figure, especially at a wedding, nobody will notice that that bonhomme is wearing the same skirt she wore 3 months ago anyway because everyone will be looking at the bride :)

So, anyways, Operation Necklace was a success! And fun time spent with old friends and seeing a dear friend marrying his true love are priceless :D

Have a lovely Tuesday!

Favourite-things Sunday!

Acorns! ♥

I love acorns. They just look so cute with their caps.

The only thing more cute would probably be small cakes shaped like acorns, made with this acorn cake pan I saw on The Kitchn. And the pan itself is shaped like an acorn!

$36 at Williams-Sonoma… yikes.

So! For a much more affordable (and equally, if not more cute!) version of acorn treats, check out this Acorn Love recipe from Lipstick and Laundry! :D

They’re made with Hershey’s Kisses and mini Nilla wafers! Isn’t that such a brilliant idea? I’m totally making these for Thanksgiving family/friends get-togethers this year :D

And recently I’ve come across these magical acorns at Lil Fish Studios.

They’re just the coolest things — the natural acorn caps are painted with metal paint, which means that they will continuously rust and change colours! It would be such a cool process to watch. And the felted wool is so colourful and warm and lush. I love felt.

On a side note, while searching for the actual link for the acorns with metal caps, I stumbled upon an acorn tutorial, also by Lil Fish Studio.

Mushrooms! Also my favourite things, and made with acorn caps! Have got to make myself some of those sometimes… I think they would look so sweet in a mason jar terrarium. Summertime is the best time for long walks in the park and to collect things like acorn caps and twigs :D

And of course, cannot forget about this amigurumi acorn I saw a while ago from Planet June.

With removable caps! How awesome is that? It’s a free pattern too! I was so excited when I first saw it and made one immediately… that was almost 2 years ago. I wanted to make an acorn that’s similar in size to an actual acorn, so I used the pattern as a guide for the general structure of it but made it much smaller with fewer stitches around. I also didn’t have brown yarn and round beads for eyes at the time so the acorn is yellow and his eyes are made of french knots…

I think the bumpy crochet texture is quite perfect for an acorn cap. And I thought it would make such a lovely fuzzy acorn if I crochet the cap and needle-felt the rest. I’m sure it’s been done before, but I had been wanting to try that myself for a long time and finally I got around to it a couple of nights ago…

I quite like it :) But maybe I will try a thinner yarn and small hook next time. And maybe use tan for the cap instead of brown?

And finally, according to Wikipedia:

Acorns appear only on adult trees, and thus are often a symbol of patience and the fruition of long, hard labor.”

Patience, that’s something I need right now.

And I think just the fact that a mighty oak is grown from a small, single acorn is a miracle in itself.

That reminds me of a quote by David Icke — definitely skeptical about his views but this quote is one of my favourites:

Today’s mighty oak is just yesterday’s nut that held its ground.

Have a lovely week!

Point & Shoot Wed… Thursday ^_^;

This is a day late… I have a feeling I won’t be able to keep to this blogging schedule very well… it’s been a busy week and I’m anticipating a busier-than-usual week ahead, so I probably won’t be able to spend as much time crafting and posting as I like in the next little while… oh well.

So, anyway, there is a lilac tree (I think it’s a lilac tree… wish I were more knowledgeable about trees…) growing outside of our church. And the wall is starting to be slowly blanketed by vines…

This is for all of my loved ones who like purple :)

Have a wonderful weekend!

Practice freedom

{Step 1} Place sheet of paper on table.

{Step 2} Rip a sheet of tissue paper into bits.

{Step 3} Hold bits of tissue paper in closed palms, raise palms above paper.

{Step 4} Close eyes. Open palms and release tissue papers.

{Step 5} Brush over bits of tissue paper on the sheet of paper with diluted PVA glue exactly where they landed. Do this as quickly as possible and mechanically if necessary to avoid giving in to the urge to “fix” the “composition” of the “picture”.

I once heard a quote, its origin I’ve forgotten:

The opposite of hopelessness is not hope; it’s imagination. Imagining that things can be different.”

I imagine the same goes for freedom.

For me, it is mainly freedom from fear.

Many people have asked me, and I’ve also asked myself many times, that whether making art makes a difference. Just because you can make a picture with tissue papers flying freely about doesn’t mean that you can actually experience the freedom that you want in real life, right? Well. I can tell you that I have definitely seen making art make a difference in people’s lives, including my own. I would also say that if we don’t even bother to imagine, to make a tentative gesture, to take a stance against whatever that took away our freedom — even just practicing on paper, then how on earth do we suppose we can experience freedom in “real life”, whatever real life means?

I’m not upset with anyone, really, other than the insecure chatters in my head that kept attacking my faith and confidence for the past two weeks. So I guess these are little steps I take to reassure myself. To regain my composure. To keep going. And it does make a difference.

So, anyways, on a lighter note, we have been celebrating Marshie winning the Instructable Critter Contest with cream cheese frosting on Ritz crackers :D I saw this idea on MADE and thought I must try! We have a jar of cream cheese frosting in our fridge from when I was trying to make cupcakes several months ago, and Mike went out and got Ritz crackers after he heard me talk about it (he’s the bestest!). It’s actually quite good! Reminds me of the lemon cream biscuits I really liked when I was a kid (there are different fun flavours! Scroll down to the “cream sandwich biscuits” section!). I love cream cheese frosting…

May your day be filled with peace.