Posts Tagged ‘crafts’

I didn’t know WHAT to get Henk this year for Father’s Day. I’m trying to be a bit more frugal since we’re building a house soon and will be working on a skinny tight budget. I had an old picture frame and the internet. Somehow I’ll be able to make him something, right?

I got the idea from Opi’s Ramblings. Every Wednesday {just about} is Wordle Wednesday, then she posts a wordle of her week’s blog posts.   What’s so great about wordle.net is that you can even put in raw text, and it will generate a wordle for you. You choose the font, orientation of the words, the colour scheme (there are preset ones or you can customise it), etc. Here’s one with my posts for this week in my site’s colours:

Similar to a tag cloud (see my sidebar) the more a word appears in the text, the bigger it will be in the final wordle.

So I made one for Henk in Afrikaans using adjectives and nouns that I asociate with him. A few key ones were repeated so that they showed up bigger and I generated about 20 of them to get it just right. Quick printscreen and photoshop sizing and I had it printed to fit into the photo frame.

Easy Peasy and cheap too. {Everything that my hubby isn’t 😉 }

Parties I link to


Someday Crafts Categorically Crafting linky party. The theme is Father’s Day!


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A few weeks ago I started making {another} a list with some crafts I want to attempt. These washer necklaces are one of the items.

Follow the complete tutorial from Not So Idle Hands.

Amelia loves wearing her washer necklace.

While visiting on the farm about a month ago, I mentioned that I want to get some of these letter stamp sets – Father-in-law said that he still has his old set that they used to ID the sheep. Henk tried to convince me that they actually stamped the sheep’s ears {I’m not THAT gullible} – Dad used to stamp little metal tags which were attached to the sheep’s ears.

The letters are a bit bigger that the size mentioned in the tutorial, but free is free right! Henk brought me some washers from work and I set off hammering. The hammer I got was obviously too small {Henk snickering at it didn’t help much}, so my first attempt was for Amelia and as you can see in the image, the letters aren’t very deep so the ink doesn’t stick in the groove.

Next stop was at Henk’s work where he gave me a some space at a workbench, a 4 pound hammer, and a practice bit of sheet metal. {darling} I found their stash of washers too – wish my kitchen was as organised as their stores.

I struggled a bit holding the letter and hitting it with one hard, swift blow and NOT hitting my fingers; so Henk lent me a shifting spanner as well to hold the letters with. Having the right tools worked a lot better, even though  it came out upside down 😉

I made some for Amelia’s friends and cousins, as well as a few non-personal ones.

Click here for parties I link to

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We have this patch of river stones in the garden. After watching Lili take a shortcut across them, only to slip and fall on her bum for the umpteenth time I decided to make her some pet rocks. Hopefully she’ll ignore the garden ones now 😉


A quick tutorial on how to make your own pet rock

You will need:

  • smooth river stones/pebbles
  • craft paints
  • sealer, like modge podge {It goes by many names – Love this site for ideas}
  • cartoon bubble eyes
  • craft glue that dries clear {or a hot glue gun}

Get some smooth river stones

I chose 3 smooth differently shaped stones with relatively flat surfaces: An obvious face side. Give them a good scrub in warm soapy water and leave to dry.

White primer

Paint the rocks with a basecoat – I used white.

All the pretty colours

Then paint them in whatever colours you like. I used the same colours Lili’s door letters.

It gets messy

I used a few coats of modge podge to seal the rocks; lightly sanding between coats and painting every coat in a different direction

I see you!

Finally glue eyes onto the stones and allow to dry completely – I left them overnight. Now you have pet rocks!

!! Pet Rocks !!

Link Parties!

Get your craft on Thurs. PonyTails and FishScales Photobucket

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Henk was getting annoyed with my stuff taking up all the space on the dining room table. My maid was getting annoyed. And eventually I was getting annoyed too.

I had a plan of where to have my little messy-crafty corner in our new house (that still needs building) but no solution for right now. Until last night. It finally hit me and I can’t believe I hadn’t thought about it before – oh yes, I know, we had a houseguest/lodger in the guest room – THAT’s why.

There is a small table in the guest room. There are a bunch of Henk’s magazines on it and my Art of Knitting subscription folders. Well, there WAS. They are now hidden and neatly stacked in the guest room closet.

This table has a history I tell you. Henk used it as a study desk while at tech. For a year or two it was our kitchen table. Then we moved into this HUGE house in Lutzville… that didn’t have a stove, so it became the gas hob table. The Lili came along (and we had moved again) and it became her changing table. I had even bought some clear vinyl or PVC or some plastic sheeting to tack to the table so bath-time won’t ruin it. Never got round to doing that, and somehow I misplaced that roll of PVC. Until last night. I fished it out from Lili’s closet where I saw it when sorting our and packing away her small clothes the other day. (Yes, we had move to another house by then… do you see a pattern forming? I swear if I connect the dots to all the places I’ve lived, it would mostly likely spell a very rude word in Swahili)

So I tacked (yes, with thumb tacks) the PVC to the table (yes, a solid pine table – I bent around 7 tacks before I got in the groove * snicker *). Moved (there’s that word again) all my crafty mess from the dining room into the guest room. All the while with Lili waving and yelling Bye every time I left the room to fetch more stuff. I have a lot of stuff.

Another light-bulb moment (I’m sure I had more than my share last night) and I fish out the supply of unprinted newspaper paper from under Lili’s bed (I got it so that I can custom make Christmas wrapping paper for the family; you know, get Lili to scrawl a bit, the cats to print some paw prints etc) and stuck it to the walls around my new crafty corner, just in case it gets too messy.

Ta-daaa! The shirt over the chair is my messy-mess-a-lot shirt. The plastic bags are for rubbish on the right, and still sorting out the contents of the one on the left. The pic came out really funny cause it was taken at night. It’s almost full on winter this side so I leave in the mornings and it’s almost dark, and I get home in the evenings and it’s almost dark.

Just a close-up of the table. Not room to move, but at least it’s not out in the living area anymore. Getting there!

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What do you call these things anyway: pot stand, hot pot stand? It’s something to put a hot pot or serving dish on so not to damage the surface of your table of counter. Point is, it was a boring piece of supawood and I made it pretty.

I was browsing Le Mar’s beading section (local craft shop) when I heard women talk of some craft courses. We swapped contact details and I booked my spot for this Saturday past – Jeanne only takes 5 people at a time, it being the middle of the month we were only two.

I took a mosaic class a few years ago, but it really doesn’t compare to Jeanne’s one. She showed me exactly how to cut those tiles to make up the fine detail you want create. She had reference books handy, showed examples of her own work and kept my coffee cup full. She has her own wood shed in the backyard where she custom makes her own wood bases, and where she cut ours.

I decided to make a bird on my plate. My personal twitter joke (well, not personal now since it’s on the web); since I mostly tweet from the kitchen (ironic cause #Ihatecooking) but that’s where the dynamics of our home happens. Also the bird had to be red cause my kitchen is red.

Jeanne helped twig out my branch problem and nodded and smiled when I couldn’t quite explain what I had in mind with the swirl. But she helped me with cutting some of the trickier tiles and wasn’t shy with complements and encouragement.

I am seriously considering sitting in at her next class with my own project. (She actually encourages this. That you buy your kit and bring it all with to her next class when she teaches new crafties, so if you need more advanced technique advice, or help cutting tiles, she’s right there – and you get to meet and mingle with new people too)

So, here are some of the pics I took, in order of work in progress.

Final product! Subtle background texture to really let the bird-on-a-twig stand out.

What do you think?


Link Parties!

Get your craft on Thurs.

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Find previous Last Pic Taken Sunday Entries .

LaPicTakSunScroll through your camera phone or digital camera, find the last pic you took – doesn’t matter what it was or how blurry or how random – Post it on your blog, and leave a link to it in this post’s comment section. I’ll stop by and check out your Last Pic Taken!

Play along, grab a button. Copy the code below and paste netso (as is) 🙂

<a href="https://henktracy.wordpress.com"><img title="LaPicTakSun" src="http://i46.tinypic.com/no62hh.jpg" alt="LaPicTakSun" width="83" height="148" /></a>

Here’s mine for this week:

Spent the whole day yesterday working on my mosaic hot pot stand. Finally there’s someone in town that’s giving craft lessons!

This is a shot before we started cleaning up. She only takes 5 people at a time; smaller group means that she can focus more on individual needs. Cause it’s the middle of the month, we were only 2 this time, and the other lady was back from the previous group as a sit-in. So technically I was the only noob 😉 was great fun and I’m writing a post for it during the week.


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{full title should be}

#34  Sew 3 items for Amelia (2/3) – Completed! Crayon Roll!

A few weeks ago I stumbled onto Skip to My Lou, I surfed around and found this pattern for a crayon roll. I thought it would be a perfect item for Amelia!

When I finally found some material I tried looking for the site again – I don’t do bookmarks cause previous experience proved that I hardly go back to them. THEN I found this site… and a whole bunch of others with similar patterns. I liked the instructions from Chocolate on my Cranium more, since all the fabric is cut the same size.

What you need

This is where my problem started. I converted inches to cm – even my measuring tape only has centimeter marks; I remember my mom’s one being inches on the reverse.

{This is not a tutorial, as there are loads better ones; I’m just sharing the experience with bad-lighting pics}

I found some bright, fun prints at Naald in ‘n Hooimied and matching ribbon and thread.

My fav part - loading the bobbin

Now, I’m no seamstress. I can barely shorten my jeans with a decent hem – I’ve given up and just cut the cuffs off straight. But I LOVE loading  the bobbin, especially if the final colours don’t match. *squee* {lookie-loo Lili is hiding behind the thread}

Tester lappie

I always make a little practice lappie (cloth) so that I can get the tension right. I seriously suck at gauging the right tension on my sewing machine – hence the stuff-up first stitch.

sew it goes

So I measured everything in centimeters… but I changed it as well. Lili has these big fat crayons, so I changed the pocket size. And since she only has 9 ofthese big crayons, I shortened the roll a bit too.  In hindsight I probably shouldn’t have muddled at all.

It is sew ready

Had some trouble with the top stitching; so I sewed really slowly. This is where you can see what went wrong. It’s not an illusion, the roll is a bit on the small side. Just how small?

Giant crayons from Giant Land

Looks like I someone forgot to add seam allowance at one stage.

At least I have more material left so I can try again. But not this weekend. Maybe next month sometime. It was a good thing that the material shop has a 1/4 meter minimum policy.

Crayon Roll Version 1.0

Crayon Roll Version 1.2 coming soon

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