Sketch Sunday 26


A shell collected while on school camp at Lorne, a looooong time ago. I remember that we left them in acid for a few days to enhance the pearly surface on the inside. It’s probably illegal to take shells from the environment now.

Sketch Sunday 24


These are small on the page, but that’s because they’re life sized. These are a set of pots from my miniature vessels collection. From what I recall, they’re from Africa – but I could be wrong.

I’ve neglected Sketch Sunday for four weeks now. Life has been too busy, and even when I had a spare half hour I couldn’t find the enthusiasm. I suspect I’m a bit tired of drawing things around the house, too. For a while I was in danger of buying things to sketch, just because I thought I’d be able to revive my interest that way.

But it turned out that once life got a little less hectic my enthusiasm returned all by itself. And it helped that I had a sketching trip arranged. I now have four sketches in order to make up for the weeks I’ve missed. I considered putting them all in one post, but they don’t ‘go’ together very well. So I’m going to post four in a row.

A 2010 Project Done: Mirror Frames

Remember this post? Well, believe me, I haven’t forgotten that list!

Well, I’ve finally finished one of the projects. In fact, in doing so I’ve crossed another off the list as well. I had these mirror frames to make, and I was going to put some art on the bathroom wall. Well, it occurred to me when I was trying to work out where to put the mirrors, that they’d look good on the bathroom wall. Two birds with one stone, as they say.

Now, the idea behind the mirror frames came from having some leftover round mirrors. I also had some circles of mdf that I didn’t use in the original circular mirror decoration idea, so I figured I’d use them as bases for frames on the leftover mirrors. But how to decorate the frames? Well, I’ve always loved those big starburst mirrors in home decorating magazines. What did I have that could form a starburst pattern?

Lots of things, it turned out.


I had wooden pegs. (These are constantly handy, for weaving, for when a metal clamp is too savage…)


I also had heaps of those wooden corner filler thingos you get with stretched canvasses.


And chopsticks, because if we bring takeaway home we tend to use our plastic ones. Though I didn’t have enough chopsticks, so I put out a request to friends in order to form a decent starburst. (Thanks everyone!) The ones with the square ends just begged to have little circular mirrors on the ends, and I also just happened to have a leftover pack of those, too.


All I needed to buy was Liquid Nails and white gloss enamel paint.




Here they are up on the bathroom wall:


As I’ve ticked two projects off the list, I’ve manage to come up with another:


During a resort of some boxes of ornaments, I discovered that I’ve managed to collect quite a few miniature jars, bottles, vases and baskets over the years. Many of them because they were cheap souvenirs when I was a child, and because they don’t take up much room in your suitcase, and… well… I used to have a bit of a love for miniature things. I want to display them, but how? When I saw this divided box at Riot last Saturday I knew it was the perfect display cabinet – painted or stained and varnished, and fixed onto the wall rather than lying flat.

But I still have all those 2010 Projects to tackle, so it might be a while before I get my Mini Vessel Cabinet up on the wall.

Bookbinding Progress

My two bookbinding projects are coming along nicely.

I’m calling the first the Podcast Book after the CraftyPod podcast that inspired it. I now have pages cut and folded ready for binding, and I’ve selected some grey embroidery thread and beads.


Then there’s the Denim Book, which now has a cover (which is drying under a pile of books right now).


All that’s left to do is the stitchin’.

Knitting Progress Report

The Ivy League Vest continues growing slowly:


I noticed a mistake a few rows down the other night, but since I did it consistently across the row, I just copied the mistake on the matching row in that stripe of design. You wouldn’t pick it unless you scrutinised the chart and vest together.

The sock yarn I picked to replace the thicker-than-usual one is amazing. It’s soft and lovely to knit. And the colours aren’t lining up to form stripes or flashes. It’s called Fannie’s Fingering Weight. (No sniggers from you Aussies, please.)


I bought this yarn in New York last year, and I seem to remember the owner telling me that it is cleverly dyed to stop the colours lining up. I don’t think I believed her, but so far she’s right.

For the first time, I’m suffering sock yarn envy. I’m making these for a Socks for Others Club recipient, but I want to keep them for myself. Good thing they’re not going to fit my stupidly long and narrow feet!

Mossy Mobius Scarf

I finished this scarf… um… well… three weeks ago. The next day I headed up to Canberra and took it with me, and it’s been out and about town ever since. Basically, the reason I haven’t got around to photographing and blogging it is tht I like it so much it’s either been either around my neck or hanging on the coat rack ever since.

The pattern I based it on is the Easy Missoni Style Long Mobius Cowl. (Which only has a Rav link.) I changed the stitch pattern to moss stitch and knit until the yarn ran out. You can wear it as a big loop:


Or doubled to form a cowl:


I like this so much, I’m thinking of making another, only this time keeping to the pattern to get the ridged look.

Unexpected Pretty

A few years back I adopted some plants from an ex-neighbour who was moving overseas. Among them was a rather healthy succulent. I’ve been keeping it on an outdoor table under some shade cloth. Well, I’d noticed a while back that the tips were going a bit pale, and I assumed that it was not getting enough water (as you do when you live in a drought-stricken country). I moved it so it would get more rain, but it didn’t seem to be recovering.

I should have taken a much closer look. One day I glanced out the window and caught a splash of vivid orange-pink. So I went had had a look, and found the pale tips were actually flower buds. It now looks like this:




I’ve really come to love succulents in the last few years. Not only are they survivors, but sometimes they can transform from sculptural to spectacular.

Try Outs, False Starts & FOs

This post is a mixed bag of incomplete projects, which is pretty much how things are around here right now.

I tried this tutorial, and made some recycled magazine coasters. Well, except that I wasn’t intending to use them as coasters, but trying out the method with bookbinding in mind. I remember doing this sort of paper weaving as a child. There was a way of making a basket which was similar and kind of magical, as when you were done you could open up the woven square to form the basket.


After watching the two episodes on making a handbound journal on the Crafted By Us podcast, I started my own version, which uses a textured, coated card that looks like a canvas for the front and back, and scraps of ungessoed canvas for the spine. Then I used a plastic lace tablecloth (yes, you read that right) that my mum gave me as a stencil. Next step is to select and cut some paper for the inside, and bind it all together using the long stitch method.


I’m taking the opposite approach with another bookbinding project: starting with the paper and making a cover to suit it. The paper came from a pad of 100% recycled, unbleached paper, and I tore it rather than cut it for a rustic, old-fashioned look. The cover will probably be made from the denim and/or cotton here, which I turned into book cloth, and be sewn with this hemp thread. Probably long stitch, to show off the thread colour.


Finally, my latest bit of lost knitting mojo manifested itself in this abortive sock knitting attempt. The yarn is too thick for my favourite sock needles and the sock was too big. I’m worried at the ‘machine wash but recommend hand wash’ on the label, too.


The yarn is lovely, though. I’ve frogged the sock, put the yarn aside for another project, and chosen another sock yarn to cast on.

Still Here

But I was in a bit of a funk last week. Mainly due to back pain, so I haven’t been able to knit or do much craft, let lone work. Even a session with the osteo didn’t help. But by Friday I was starting to heal up, which was not much good for work deadlines but great for the weekend!