Wednesday, 12 November 2014

My New Clutch Bag

 It was my birthday party this weekend (21st... I know! Absolutely mental!) and I had to dress up snazzy. I needed a clutch bag and since I am a maker I thought that there would be nothing better than to make a special thing for a special day.

At the moment I am halfway through The Dark Tower series (if you haven't read it, read it! It's one of those real change-your-life series) and there is a very beautiful and poignant poem in it that I knew I wanted to make something around. I had also been mercilessly stalking the amazing Olympia Le Tan on Instagram and had fallen in love with her book clutches and so I thought I would kill two birds with one stone and create a Dark Tower inspired book clutch.

 I'm ridiculously happy with how it turned out. The longest part was, of course, the embroidery which took a couple of weeks of casual stitching. I wanted to create a design which looked a little bit Mexican inspired since I imagine the part of the book where the poem is said to be set in a Hispanicy area. Although this isn't my usual style I'm really happy with how this came across. I made the the book casing out of mount board and thin bits of wood for the edging. I then covered the edges and the interior with sticky back gold paper and added a little jewellery box hinge.
I'm really happy with it. It felt really nice on a special day to be holding something that I'd worked hard on but also represented one of my favourite things. I hope you like it!

Dark days and pleasant nights to you all, sais.
(Read the books!)

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

I need to save my Instagram feed!!!

I go on Instagram a lot. I mean A LOT. Lately university has really stepped up its workload and so instagram is one of the ways I can try and stay a little bit plugged into the blog world until I have more spare time. However, there is one huge thing I don't love about Instagram; you like a picture and then it's gone. Call me a hoarder but I like to see the little collection of things I am amassing grow, especially in the case of images. I WANT TO SAVE ALL THE PICTURES!!! That is why I have decided to put in a little effort each week and share my favourite instagram images; partly so you too can see them, partly so I can keep them forever. Enjoy. 

Monday, 22 September 2014

My New Uni Room

I'm not sure about you guys but I always notice around this time that the bloggosphere takes a little hit as everyone heads back to uni and gets their life sorted out a little bit. I'm guilty of that too, it suddenly feels like I've been so incredibly busy! I've suddenly gone from doing nothing with my days to having heap of reading to do, yoga three times a week, bhangra twice a week and bellydancing once a week. Plus I have to keep up to do with ANTM and bake-off; I'm telling you guys, it's hectic. I thought I would show some little snippets of my room just so you feel as settled in as I do. 
I thought a before and after was called for too. As you can see I have quite a small room this year, but I'm kind of loving that; you can clear it up soooo quickly! Plus to make it yours you only really need a few posters (or in my case heaps of garlands!). The only thing I'm worrying is that the light is really iffy in here. I'm sure I'll find somewhere to take project photos but it might mean spending a day stalking around the house with my camera in tow. 

This is the corner that really makes me feel at home. The minute I put up all my pictures and Snoopy cards (they're from my Mum) I just felt pretty settled. I also totally recommend building yourself a little gumball canopy; I got them here

It's been really great to get back into making things too. I made my little cactus garden and my book clutch was a project I still haven't quite finished yet from the summer. I've also started working on this huge mad paper mache bear head. I really love being about to do projects like that. The ones you do totally just because you can and you want to. So that's my room for now. Get ready to see little updates all year and a massive bear very soon. :)

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

DIY Mannequin head vase

This is one of those projects which I've had in my head for a couple of years, ever since I stumbled across this on the internet. It was one of those times where your finger goes straight to the buy button and then you realise it's just a concept and therefore not available and you utter an internal scream to the God of retail. You know, those times? Anyway, last week I decided to finally have a go at it and plucked up the courage to order a mannequin. Here is my warning. Having a mannequin in the house, cutting it up and drilling into its head is maybe on of the creepiest things a crafter can do. I hid this down stairs at night before it was painted so I didn't have to see its scary eyes! You have been warned!

You will need:
A head mannequin. I bought this one.
A heavy duty craft knife
A hacksaw
Course sandpaper
An elastic band
A sharpie
White gloss spray paint
A drill
A glue gun
A long thin vase which fits inside the mannequin
1. First asses what you need to do with your mannequin. Everyone will be different (unless you bought the same as me!) and so you'll need to decide yourself but I judged that the whole thing needed to have the bottom lopped off. 
2. Your mannequin will also need to be entirely hollow. Basically you need to have a continuous area between the head (where you're going to put the flowers in) and the body which you will place over a long thin vase. That way the flowers can get water. 
3. Using a craft knife, hollow out the head and neck. The plastic used for this type of thing are usually very easy to cut. 
4. If you need to cut down the body, stretch an elastic band around the body and then draw around the edge with a sharpie.
5. Saw using your hacksaw. 
6. Roughly sand off the base of your vase.
7. Now time to work on the head (shudder). Draw your hairline onto the head, you will use this as a marker for the drilling. 
8. Now drill yourself a tonne of holes. Make sure that the hole is large enough for the average stem.
9. Using a glue gun, attach the head onto the body. 
10. Now time to paint! Make sure to remove any external pieces like false eyelashes first, as these won't paint well. I didn't need to sand beforehand, but if your plastic is very shiny it might be harder for the paint to adhere to. And you're done! After drying time, fill up your tall vase and place the head vase over the top and you're ready to create a flowery hairstyle!

Saturday, 30 August 2014

The Costumerie

You guys, I am so happy to finally be able to show you my new business; the Costumerie!

I've always been so passionate about big, amazing costume jewellery. I've always loved that you can wear something which glitters and sparkles and looks like it could be draped around the neck of a Hollywood movie star, but it's affordable! And so I thought I would use my skills of tracking down amazing pieces and open a shop. After a few months of collecting, collating, designing and shooting I'm finally ready to share everything... and I'm so excited.
It's been so fun setting everything up and making it look spiffy. One of my main concerns was creating packaging which felt like a real treat to receive; I wanted every one of my customers to feel like the leading lady unpacking jewels for the red carpet. After working with some amazing designers I've finally got that and I can't stop boxing and unboxing everything and squealing!
I hope you head on over to etsy and have a look.
I'm offering all my readers a 10% discount with the voucher code OPENINGYAY10 to celebrate my opening weekend! This voucher is available until next Friday.
I can't wait to see what you all think! So many exclamation points!!!

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Festival Face Paint

I've been hired as a facepainter at Durham uni fresher's week. I can now officially say I am a professional facepainter. How cool is that!? They want cool and festivally rather than lions and tigers and dragons though so I've been having a little experiment. What do you think? Expect more soon!