Friday, October 11, 2013

Ralph, don't eat the paste!

When I was a kid I could never understand nostalgia. When adults started whistfully telling me about what it was like in their day I would feel an overwhelming desire to beat my head against the wall until I fell into a coma and wouldn't have to endure the subject any longer (yet at about this time I was fascinated by 'the olden days', possibly because I believed everyone got a pony). I promised myself not to bore hapless children with my ramblings about how great things were 20 years ago. 

This hasn't been a difficult promise to keep... until recently. Now I am starting to realise how good things were 20 years ago, not because the world was any better but because I was a kid and didn't have to worry about much. I am being careful to keep my promise, but I have been rembering some of the fun stuff and doing it again (it's fun still but in a slightly different way, a bit like watching old Simpsons episodes you haven't seen since they originally aired and suddenly understanding why your parents laughed at bits that weren't funny).

I spent an afternoon window painting and had a pretty good time at it. I have to say the crafts we did back in my day were cheap. I painted this window using straight black student acrylic paint to make the outlines and PVA glue and food dye for the coloured bits (you could also use a small amount of acrylic paint but I am not sure how transparent it woul be). I used a whiteboard marker to do the outline first but that's because I'm an adult, if I was a kid I would have gone straight to the painting. If you plan to fo the with kids, mixing a small amount of dish washing liquid will help with the clean up (but not adding the dish washing liquid means you can peel the dry PVA glue off your hands which was part of the joy of window painting, I didn't do this bit because I am a boring adult).

While I am being a boring adult, make sure all the paints, glue and markers are nontoxic if kids are going to be dipping their hands in it. It should say on the label that it's nontoxic- but even then it's best not to let them eat glue...

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

This is my whirly thing

Although I have been meaning to post a tutorial on how I made the butterfly mobile, I have found so many other things to do that it keeps slipping down the list.

Not content to just have butterflies hanging from the ceiling, I made a whirly thing and hung it in the hall. I then forgot about it and scared the cheeses* out of myself at 3am this morning when I walked into it. Anyway, it was quickly done yesterday afternoon and I have been considering how to make a better one... I am thinking of using card instead of corrugated cardboard so it curves evenly and using paints instead of textas. Still, this one whirls pretty well and I am thinking of putting a heap of them on the back veranda so they can twirl about the place. If you are interested, it is just a spiral cut out of cardboard and hung on a string- nothing to it really but it looks nice.

This is my whirly thing**

I have also been busily sewing things, and finished a monogramed pillow slip this afternoon. I am really happy with how it turned out and am planning on making a matching flat sheet to go with it... perhaps with some butterflies. I am quite liking butterflies at the moment. Anyway, if you are interested in making one too, the monogram design came from Needle and Thread ( and the crochet border instructions came from You Go Girl (


*Trying to give up casual swearing and have been coming up with alternatives, not sure if it really counts when the alternative sounds remarkably similar to the real thing when said out loud though
** Red Dwarf fans will probably understand this quote from the cat, for those who don't know here it is...

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Its a bird. No, it's a plane. No, it's a butterfly!

I have been fairly busy over the past couple of days with birthday parties and anniversaries. I was invited to our neighbour's son's 3rd birthday over the weekend and had a momentary panic. There was no time to go into town to buy something and so I decided to make something that, theoretically, should only take an hour or so (Hah!) and could be made using what I have lying around the house. Since I have spent the last four years accumulating craft stuff, I thought there should be something a 3 year old boy would like...

Google to the rescue, and I decided to make a superhero cape. I got the instructions for the cape from here; and the logo from here;

It took two nights to make up, but I think it turned out quite well. The birthday boy's name started with an 'L' so I thought it was a nice touch to customise it for him. I was told that it was good timing since he has just started taking an interest in superheroes and enjoys wearing it everywhere (always nice when you make something that someone really likes).

I have also been busy making a butterfly mobile based on the one in this blog; I think the one in the blog is beautiful, but wouldn't look like much from below, so I have modified it a bit.

I am still working on it, so I'll post how I did it once it is finished. In the meantime, here is the almost finished mobile (please excuse my blurry photo, the butterflies are constantly moving and are hard to get on camera)...

It makes me think of the birds I saw this morning circling in the sky

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

I am not a fly!

I have bugs. Thousands of the damn things crawling all over everything. You can spray as much fly spray as you like but it seems the bugs just laugh at me and say things like 'mmmm, yum! Have you got some more?'. This happened last night as I blearily walked into the laundry some time around 3am and saw what I thought at first was a mouse, but it turned out to be a spider (grown large from feeding on all the bugs I guess). This is a bit like good news bad news. Good news; its not a mouse. Bad news; it is a big ass spider.

Since this isn't my first experience with large spiders (you can read all about it here) I was keen to get rid of it before it produced a million tiny spiders to haunt me. So I sprayed it with fly spray but it didn't do much except hop towards me (I guess the spray was a bit cold). After a few failed squirts I realised it was immune to fly spray and since I didn't have any spider spray I bludgeoned it to death with the can (it took a few goes but eventually the fly spray won out, even if it wasn't used in the way intended on the can).

I have mentioned the horrendous bug problem to the people who manage the property (in the real world they would be called real estate agents, but here they are better known as our glorious overlords who would be quite at home in a mediaeval feudal society) and was told they would be getting a person out to spray the place soon. That was 7 months ago, so I am guessing soon means something different to our glorious overlords than it does to normal people. So for now I will just have to keep a tin of fly spray handy in order to beat the bugs to death while I wait for 'soon' or die of old age.

Also, I put the flatted spider carcass in the garden as a warning to other big ass spiders

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Please could you direct me to the foolish!

I have been thinking about blogging a bit lately -mainly that I have one that is looking like one of those frowny clown paintings you see in second hand shops due to all the recent neglect, which leads to bizarre feelings of guilt sometime around 1.30 in the morning. This is probably not a time when I am thinking my most clearly, although it is when my imagination is at its most rampant (a reason why I have stopped watching horror movies). For example, it is around this time that I decide I am going to learn French and amaze people with my ability to rant in another language (to be honest, I probably don't need to learn how to ask where the post office is to do this. However it is usually 1.30 in the morning at this point and in addition to my heightened ability to hear a hockey mask wearing lunatic stepping on a small twig in the back yard I also tend to overlook the reasonable-ness of things. In this case it would involve yelling a request to be directed to the post office in an angry way with perhaps some hand gestures thrown in. I would then hope that A) they don't speak French so I can convince them that I have just told them off in a very chic way, and B) they are foolish enough to believe that I have acquired this skill at 1.30 in the morning. Now, due to an unhealthy habit of pinteresting before bed, I have devised a fairly extensive list of things that I would like to do with some vague hopes of posting the progress on this blog (also done at 1.30 in the morning with no thought as to how much free time I actually have to achieve these goals).

Monday, July 9, 2012

Its not a spice rack!

In my usual style, after proudly announcing I was back to blogging I left my charger in Darwin and couldn't log onto the internet for a week.

I may possibly be addicted to the internet...

and sugar...

Anyway, I became inspired by pinterest (if you have been to pinterest this probably doesn't amaze you- pinterest could probably inspire moss) after seeing a 'pin' for a spice rack turned into a nail polish rack.

It was so amazing it was repinned multiple times and then I stumbled across Anna White's instructions for a jewelry cabinet (Anna White- Wall Jewelry Cabinet) I decided the cosmos was clearly telling me to find a home for my growing collection of nail polish. For those of you who witnessed me smash a window on the far side of the woodwork shop after failing to hold a block of wood on the band sander properly during wood work class at school prepared to be stunned.

So I went the the hardware store and spent more on wood and nails than the whole thing is probably worth. Its probably best to include the satisfying experience in the end price, that way its relatively cheap.


I still have to paint it and put my fancy fabric on the backing board but you get the idea. Its a little wonky, but I am blaming the bendy wood for that (when Anna says to check the wood is straight, you should listen to Anna).

I'll post a photo of the finished piece of amazing once its all painted and stuff.

Before I go, I thought I would share my new great wall of tea. I was given some delicious tea for my birthday and luckily have recently constructed a shelf to house it all. I think it is far too nice to have it all shut away in a cupboard.

One day I will have an antique dresser specifically dedicated to the preparation of all kinds of hot drinks and it will be a short distance from a fire place with comfy deep armchairs so I can sip my tea in front of a fire (possibly falling asleep, possibly dribbling all over myself).

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The clay bat concussed the cat

I spent the evening last night painting glaze onto clay bats that are destined to go on a wall somewhere. Possibly somewhere there are bats... or not (well there will be once these ones are glued wherever they are going to get glued- hopefully firmly since these things have a bit of heft to them. I can imagine some poor person, or stray dog, stopping to sit by a shady wall, possibly to snack on a tropical fruit, only to have a bat to fall on them... all that effort smashed). I'm not entirely sure of the grand plan for them (possibly obvious by my opening sentences), although I do know they will end up somewhere public. Which is why I haven't signed my bat. This way they won't know who to blame.

After spending far too much time with the vampire genre lately, I made an owl in an act of rebellious-ness. I have no idea what I'll do with it. I like to think that art doesn't need a purpose, although it probably has the same degree of artistic-ness as the same thing crafted by a 6 year old. Still, I like it and can always stick a pot plant on it if nothing else