Thursday, June 4, 2015

Egyptian Coils!

Do you know how you stumble upon some new technique and fall in love with it head over heels and you wonder why you never tried it earlier?! No? Yes?? That's how I feel today about Egyptian Coils. I feel like writing an ode to them.. Oh! Coils! Egyptian Coils! Where have you been all my life?! (ok! I'm probably going nuts here!)  A late night wire wrapping session resulted in this pair of earrings.. and they were the start..


It was love at first sight. A pair of simple yet sophisticated earrings.. As with anything else I fall in love with,  I had to make another gazillion pairs using this technique. The best part of making an earring is the selection of the beads. I wish I had an endless supply of beads to select from. But, alas! I have a limited stash of beads. So, I really love this process of putting a bead to the wire form to bring it all together. My most favorite pair so far is this..


I love how the brown colored beads go with the copper wires. I made one with a blue onyx too..


Then, I made a variation of these with two Egyptian coils together. I love how that came out too..


Love the sky-blue glass bead on this. Since I was in a downward-spiral already (See, what I did there?!) , I decided to make a few spiral earrings.. Here is my favourite in that.. Love the cheerful yellow bead on it.


Now, for a small announcement.. I've started selling the jewelry I'm making.. I'm currently shipping only within India. Its mostly copper and brass wire jewelry at the moment. If you are interested in buying any of these earrings , click on the images and you will be taken to my FB page for the details. Like my page too, while you are at it, to get the regular updates. :-)

Until the next post,
Ciao!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

What's your style??

Mine is simple and minimalistic. I like clean lines and simple designs. This reflects in my choice of designs I make as accessories. This is a simple design I made for an earring and pendant set. I got the inspiration from Pinterest.


I think I used 20 gauge silver plated copper jewelry wires and some acrylic beads that were in my stash. this piece involved some hammering as well. It was fun to make this without any tutorial to follow. Since I'm still in the nascent stages of learning this craft, I depend on tutorials and videos a lot. One day, I hope to be independent of the tutorials, design my own line of accessories and craft what I see in my mind's eye.


Simple and minimalistic. Totally my kind of bling! So, tell me what is your style? Minimalistic or over-the-top? Nothing wrong in being either.. :-) Whats your most favorite accessory you have in your closet? Share a pic if you can.. I'd love to see your favorites.

-Josie

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Howdy??

Where do I start?? From where I left off? What prompted me to dust the cobwebs here and write this post? A chance discussion about social media during coffee break at work made me mention my long-forgotten blog. I shared the link to this blog to my colleagues (Very few know about my crafty side at my day-job!) which prompted me to visit this sad little blog. I felt sad when I couldn't recollect the last time I visited this page. *sad face*  So, why not revive the blog and breathe some life into it?! Today is as good as any other day.

So, here is what happened during my break from blogging.. The boys are growing like weed. The elder one, Alvin is 7yrs old and will be a Second Grader in June. The younger one, Alan is 2 and a half yrs old and is naughty as ever. Both the boys keep me busy in what little time I have leftover from my day-job. I do try to snatch a few minutes here and there to indulge the creative side of my brain. I'm also trying to lose some weight and regain my health and fitness.

Now, onto to my hobbies... wire-wrapped jewelry has taken my fancy these days. I'm a newbie at it and learning it all by myself. Its been going good so far and I have plans to attend a workshop to learn the art of making wire-wrapped jewelry. Let me share the first ever piece of wire-wrapped jewelry I made.


I loosely followed this tutorial from StudioDax. This pendant involved wire wrapping and hammering. Hammering is FUN!! Egged on by the success of this pendant, I made another pendant along similar lines..


This spiral pendant was based on this tutorial by Zoraida. Both are simple and minimalistic designs and a perfect introduction to the art of making wire-wrapped jewellery. Its an addictive craft and you need a bunch of basic tools like pliers and hammers and you can make your own jewellery. So, if you are on the fence about learning this craft, go ahead and jump in with your two feet. I assure you it will be fun..

So, my dear readers, what have you been upto? Fill me in with the deets. Give me all the goss!! :-)  I hope to be regular here.. so, thank you so  much for sticking with me, even though I wasn't around. Until the next post...

-Josie

Friday, June 13, 2014

A quilt for the little one!

Ages ago, I started an ambitious (as always) quilting project. A Queen-size quilt for my bed using fabric scraps. A scrappy quilt! I was tired of my old fabric stash and I wanted to get rid of it. So, I decided to make a scrappy quilt  using all the fabrics in my stash. This was in the year 2011. You might have read about it here. I made a bunch of squares and then the project went into hibernation.


So, when I found out that I was pregnant with Alan, I went on a cleaning spree around the house and got reunited with the quilt blocks from this project. I got an idea to downsize the quilt and make a baby quilt for the baby using these squares. I made a total of 36 squares and used white cotton fabric that I had in large quantities for sashing. The white makes the scrappy squares pop out. Here is the quilt top after I pieced it.


I was about 7 months pregnant when I worked on this quilt. I decided to make a pieced backing as I didn't have enough of one fabric for the backing and I really didn't want to haul my pregnant self to the fabric shops. Here is the pieced backing..


I debated between stitch-in-the-ditch quilting and free-motion quilting and ended up doing FMQ on the scrappy squares alone. There are some puckers in the quilting. But, I don't think Alan cares. :P Here is the front of the quilt after quilting.


Cheerful, isn't it?? I forgot the exact dimensions of this quilt and I'm too lazy to measure it now. But, its a good-sized quilt for a child to grow into. The quilt doesn't get used much. But, its always there on the bed for someone to snuggle into, when the weather takes a colder turn. Here is Alan tumbling on the quilt.. This pic was taken a month back.



I'm glad I saw this project to completion as I'm not as good at completing projects as I'm at starting them. I'm a pro a procrastinating. :P I came across this infographic on procrastinators.. I'm a side-tracker with a little bit of cleaner thrown in. What kind of procrastinator are you? What are you procrastinating now? I'm supposed to be working on a crochet bag... But, since I'm a pro at this procrastinating thing, I'll let it hibernate for a leetle while..

Its a Friday. So, I wish you peeps a lovely weekend. I'm going to have another hectic weekend. I'll come up for air on Monday, once the dust settles on the weekend. Happy weekend, guys!

-Josie

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Are you a hobby butterfly??

I'm a certified hobby butterfly! I can't stick to one single hobby.. I believe in picking up a hobby, pursuing it to obsessive levels and quitting it cold turkey, before moving on to another hobby. Anyone else out there like me?! This results in my house overflowing with hobby supplies related to too many crafts. Quilling is one such hobby that I picked up along the way and gave up way too easily. Recently, I've been seeing amazing quilled work on the craft forums and on pinterest. It revived my interest in quilling and I've been doing it for a few weeks now. I came across quilled typography projects that were so beautiful that I wanted to try it it. Let me tell you. Its not for the faint of heart. You need buckets of patience and nimble hands to do quilled typography projects. Since I had to try this, I traced the alphabet A and quilled it thus:


The toughest part in this is making the alphabet's outline. Once that is done, the fun quilling part begins. When I quilled this, I didn't have the necessary tools to get precise corners in the outline. So, this came out pretty rustic. I like it nevertheless. Motivated by this piece, I decided to make nameplates for my boys to hang on their room door. I bought a pair of tweezers to fold the corners perfectly and  I completed making the outlines for their names. See how much difference a pair of tweezers could make to the project.



Pretty neat, huh?! I made this on A4 printer paper. I plan to mount these outlines on an MDF board and finish the quilling on it. I did a practice run for this by quilling an ampersand last night and I'm thrilled with the way it came out.



Since I can only work on my hobbies after the boys have gone to bed, the nameplate project is going in snail pace. It took me a week to complete the outlines for their names. I hope to finish this project in time for this challenge happening on MV Pratyusha's blog here: Pratvam Progs Pratyusha does awesome quilling work. Check out her FB page here: Pratvam Progs

So, my question for you peeps this week is.. Are you a hobby butterfly? List all the crafts you've tried till date.. even if you attempted it only once. I'd like to hear about your hobbies. Maybe, I'll pick a new one after hearing from you. :D

-Josie

PS: This post is linked to Tami's Amis WIP Wednesday

Friday, May 9, 2014

Handmade Home!

There were so many things that happened during my absence here. Most notable one was that we moved into our own home. After being renters for the past 8 years, its a nice feeling to move into our own home. We've been making do with simple and cheap furniture all these while, thinking that we'll get good ones once we move into our own home. So, we had fun shopping for new furniture that fits the new house. Being a crafter, it was natural for me to want to cover my home with handmade pieces, both practical and decorative. I had to reign in my urge to crochet a thousand doilies to cover my house with. lol So, I decided to tackle one project at a time and take it slowly. The first one up was the dining chair cushion cover. This is our dining table and chair setup.


Excuse the grainy cellphone picture. But, you get the idea of the seat color of the chairs. Beige!! and, I have two rambunctious boys in the house. I had visions of ketchup and curries smudged on my brand new dining chairs. cue Josie clutching her pearls I had to do something about it. I didn't like the commercial seat cushion covers available. So, I decided to make my own. I traced the shape of the seat cushion, added seam allowances and cut up some linen fabric I had in my stash. I've been hoarding this black and white linen print for about 4 years now. I bought this when we were living in Hyderabad. I used plain black cotton fabric(also from my stash) for the backing. I also added tie-ups to secure the covers to the chairs. so, here are the chairs all spruced up.


I love the tribal print on the linen fabric and I'm glad it found its purpose finally. Its truly a stash-buster project as I didn't have to buy anything new for it. Here is a close-up of the print.


Of course, Alan had to photo-bomb when I was clicking pictures. He is like a cat.. He'll show up at the right moment to photo-bomb your project. lol.


I'm having fun doing up my house. I'm picking up small projects here and there to do for my house to make it a home. :-) I came across this quote somewhere and it stuck with me. "A house is made of bricks and beams. A home is made of love and dreams!" Very true, isn't it?? Maybe I'll make this quote in embroidery or quilling and get it framed. Its a Friday today. So, I hope all you lovely peeps have a great weekend. I'm looking forward to some peace and quiet over this weekend.

Ciao!

-Josie

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Cleaning the cobwebs!

Cobwebs! This place is full of it! Its been more than a year since I posted anything here. I'm not here to make any excuses or promises since a first-grader, a toddler and a full-time job means I have absolutely no time or energy to spend on my hobbies. I've been itching to get back to blogging as I love this virtual place I had created. I want to get back to blogging just to see if I enjoy it as much as I did before. So, here goes my attempt at reviving this blog. The last post was about the crib mobile I made for the little one who is not so little anymore. I did win the prize in the category I entered it and it felt nice to be recognized for the labour of love. So, a big thanks to all my lovely readers who voted for it. And, if you still have my blog on your blog reader, thank you so much for sticking with me. And, a big thank you to all those who reached out to me during my absence here.




So, I spent most of year 2013 in a post-baby fog. But, I did manage to make a few things for Alan, most notably a quilt for him. I also took a plunge and bought a Rigid Heddle loom in a moment of impulsive retail therapy. I blame it squarely on the postpartum hormones. Once the loom arrived and I warped it, I realized that I really LOVE weaving. Only, I don't have enough hours in a day to spend it with my loom. I'll be sharing the FOs and the projects I made during my break from the blog, in the coming days. If you know me on Facebook or Instagram, you might be seeing repeat entries.


Wondering what this feather is doing here on a craft blog?? I stumbled on this pretty polka-dotted feather last week at my parents' home and it made me smile. I felt light when I picked up this feather.. It reminded me of my childhood pastime of collecting various colorful feathers and hoarding them between pages of old books. It reminded me of the simple days of carefree childhood that I never appreciated then. Most of all, it reminded me to keep things simple and look for pleasure in the simple things in life, which is a challenge when you go though the motions of life everyday. Sorry! I'm getting philosophical here. But in a similar vein, let me share a simple project I tackled out of necessity.


Made out of old jean legs and hair elastic bands, these are life-savers in my home. Door-lock stoppers!! I have a toddler tornado at my home now. He loves to fiddle with locks in the door and my fear is that he'll get locked up in a room when the keys are inside and I'll have to find a carpenter to break the lock to get him out. So, these stoppers come in handy to stop the doors from getting bolted. I got the idea from a pin on Pinterest. Here is the stopper in use.


I don't take credit for this idea. Whoever came up with this is a genius. Don't you agree? So, whats the recent DIY project you tackled out of necessity? I love the sense of accomplishment I get when I've solved a simple problem at home with an easy DIY fix. So, share your latest accomplishments with me. I'd love to hear from you..

-Josie

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Felt crib mobile!

Hello dear readers!

Its been a long time since I popped in here.. The little one is 5 months old now and I hardly get time for myself these days. I've been wanting to share this simple project I did last year around August/September time-frame, when I was still pregnant with the little one. An easy to make DIY felt crib mobile.



All one needs to make this crib mobile are the following:

Felt sheet in various colors
An unused embroidery hoop
Hot glue gun
Cord or string
A metal ring

Optional:
Acrylic paint to paint the hoop

I cut the felt sheet into random shapes and stuck the pieces one on top of the another in order of their size. I cut 2 piece in each shape and used 4 shapes per side and made 2 sides in each combination to make a reversible felt sandwich. (Clear as mud?! Read the sentence slowly and it will make sense. :-) ) I made a total of 30 sandwiches.


Then I painted the embroidery hoop in white and tied 6 strings at equal distance around the hoop. I took the hot glue gun out and glued the sandwiches together on the string, keeping the string in the middle of the sandwich. Now, hang the hoop from a metal ring and use the metal ring to hang it on top of the crib. Watch your baby have fun kicking the mobile..


Alan loves his mobile and can entertain himself for a good span of time kicking and talking to his mobile. Gives this tired mommy a breather to get things done around the house. :-) A win-win!



I bought the felt sheets from Itsy-Bitsy, from their online store. I must tell you that my online shopping habit has doubled ever since I got pregnant and became home-bound. Thank God for online retail therapy. I'm linking this project to Itsy Bitsy's First Annual ItsyBitsy Craft Awards 2012-2013 in their Kids craft project of the year category.  Please vote for my entry. Its Entry # 10 under Kids craft category named as 'Jocelyn'. Its my first time entering any of my handmade in a competition. so, I'm very excited. Wish me luck!

-Josie

Friday, December 7, 2012

One baby sweater!

Thank you all for the wishes! Alan will be 2 months old next Friday... I keep wondering how that happened. It feels like I delivered him last week.. Time sure does fly. As I told you earlier, I did some baby knitting while expecting Alan. I came across this cute sweater pattern on Ravelry(Where else?!?) and I knew that I have to make it for the lil one. In the meantime, a dear friend of mine had a baby girl and I jumped at the chance to knit for her. So, I made the sweater for Baby N in a lovely raspberry colored yarn.


It took me just one day to make this. The pattern is called One baby sweater and the pattern description says: "One skein, one size, one needle, one piece, one button, one day to make" The pattern lived up to its name. Seeing how cute this turned out, I had to make one for Alan too. Here is Alan wearing his One sweater.


I never realized how much fun it is to knit baby items. you get all the fun of knitting plus the instant gratification. Not to forget the cuteness factor. I also made a striped cardigan for him, which is a tad bigger for him. Hopefully, he'll fit into it sooner than later. 


Alvin is excited to be around Alan and keep referring to the lil one as 'his baby'. I have given up correcting him that Alan is 'his brother' and not 'his baby'. Here are the two brothers with similar expressions on their faces..


Hows the holiday season coming along for everyone? Hope its a fun  holiday season for y'all.

-Josie

Monday, November 12, 2012

Breaking the silence...

It has been a long break for me from the blog world.. How have you all been? What was planned as a short break turned out to be a long hibernation. It feels a bit alien while I write this post. I'll slowly get back to regular blogging. So, without much ado, let me introduce the reason why I was away from this blog. We have a new member in the family. Alan Immanuel arrived 4 weeks early on Oct 14th,2012.


My elder son Alvin is excited to have such a tiny new brother. Of course, Alvin is impatient for Alan to grow up and become mobile so that they can play together. Alan is slowly becoming a night owl, keeping me and my Hubster up in the nights with his antics. yawwwnnn!!  Here are my boys together..


If you are wondering what happened to my hobbies and crafts, I still dabble in them.. only not as active as I used to be. I knitted a few things for Alan and others when I was pregnant. I will share them with y'all in the coming weeks. Here is something I was making over the past week. Its a very colorful project and hopefully, I'll have the finished object ready soon to share with you guys.


My posts here will be sporadic for a while.. Hopefully, you'll linger long enough to catch my updates. So, tell me what you've been up to while I was away? Spill the gossip, won't you?

-Josie
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