Watercolour Style Silk Painting Experiments!

I’ve been experimenting in finding my own silk painting style lately and while I still haven’t really found it yet it’s been fun so far! Today I’ll show you the techniques I used to make the rose painting below. I was aiming for a finish more like watercolour paints but I still haven’t really got it how I imagine in my head yet!

To begin with I outlined the rose and the leaves etc using clear gutta.
I mixed purple and red for each leaf. I wet the section thoroughly and applied a small amount of red.
I then dripped purple in the inner line of the petal so it mixed with the red.
As it dried I added more water to the centre of each petal so that it moved the ink closer to the edges.
Adding a lot of water was key to this technique.
Each drip moves the paint a little bit so more colour needs to be added in as well.
After each petal dried I repeated again using more paint and more water to layer.
I used the same techniques for the leaves and branches.
The leaves were made with green, yellow and blue.
You need to be careful not to overload the fabric with water otherwise it will drip off the back and take your ink with it!
That’s all of the main parts!
Now the background. I added blue, green and yellow gradually for the whole background. When it began to dry I dripped water in.
More and more colours layered together.
I really loved the colours on the left side background while they were still wet but once they dried it seemed quite dull.
It looked much more bottled green and dark when dry 🙁
For the last steps I heat sealed it and washed out the gutta.
The gradients and the techniques are definitely an improvement but I am still not happy with how the colours are drying. I think I need a few really bright blue based pinks and greens for it to be how I picture it in my head!
You can definitely see how the water effects the paint and pushes it around though.
Hope you found the post a little useful and I’ll keep experimenting with my silks!

Crochet Needle Case Tutorial

For today’s tutorial let’s make a knitting/crochet needle case! I say this like it’s for your benefit… but really it’s something that I have desperately needed for like 10 years and been too lazy to do.

But look, now my needles are so neat and I won’t lose them anymore!

Unlike before where it was like this:

Not even exaggerating there which is sad.
Ok let’s do it, I’m using a 3.5mm needle and 8ply yarn. Make a foundation chain which is 5cm longer than your longest needle. Chain 2 more and then do a row of single crochet. Chain 2 and do another row of single crochet.
Now we make the netting. Chain 4 and double crochet into the second stitch. Chain 1 then double crochet into the second stitch. Continue this pattern the entire row.
When you reach the end, chain 4 and repeat the pattern again. It will form a nice grid.
Continue until you have a piece which is big enough to hold all of your needles, hooks, etc. To finish it off, do 2 rows of single crochet at the end.
Once you get in the rhythm it’s actually really easy to do.
Just make sure you are matching up the double crochet stitches or else the grid will be lopsided.
Now you just need to fit all of your needles into it!
Just weave them through the holes.
For storage, roll the fabric up until a tube and use a needle to hold it closed.
Much more organised!
Well that’s one of my long term projects finally crossed off my list! I don’t know why I even waited so long, it looks so much better! What are some projects you’ve been putting off?

Does Drawing On Mugs With Sharpies Work?

So this whole Sharpie mug decorating craft has been everywhere. Like EVERYWHERE. And I figured it was time that I gave it a try finally. I wanted it to work so badly because it’s so cute but I only managed to get *kind of* results. Quite pretty and worth a try anyway so let’s get going!

I used a mug from Daiso and a mixture of Artline permanent markers and Sharpies.

There were so many different methods that I thought I would test them all and see what came out well. I drew each colour on to the bottom of the mug.
Plain drawing on the mug managed to stay through hand washing but not when I added detergent. Boo.
Then I thought that maybe using hand sanitiser would get cool effects like it does with Sharpies on silk painting. Yep it did! Cool watercolour effect!
I drew on a bunch of colour splotches.
Then used some sanitizer on my finger to spread it around.
Super cool look, very watercolourish! But even after being dry, it just came off on my hands because the sanitiser had degraded it. I then tried heat sealing it using a hairdryer on high until it was burning hot. Nope, it still all washed off with water.
So in a last ditch attempt I decided to try the oven version. I drew on my design again:
And tried slow baking it but still no dice. So what I’ve concluded from this is that it really does depend a lot on the glaze of the mug you’re using. There are so many kinds of glazes and so many kinds of mugs that this was never going to be able to work on all of them. Of course I could just continue buying mugs and trying until I find the perfect brand… but who has time for that? There is also the option of buying the specialty porcelain pens but until I have a whole crockery set to do I think they are a bit pricy for just 1 project.
Instead I have decided to embrace the non-permanence of it and am going to use the cup as my personal white board XD
Now I can write my order on the mug every morning for James XD
Lottie approves and that’s all that matters >_>

How To Make A Center Pull Yarn Ball

I’m in the middle of cleaning out my craft supplies, it seems to be a never ending process. Bleh. I got up to my yarn box today… this is my least favorite craft thing to organise because yarn never stays organised no matter how hard you try.

Monster yarn boooox!
To begin with I ignored the fact that the yarn was all tangled and wasted a bunch of time painting the basket instead. Because shut up. >_>
Rustic? Let’s go with that.
At that point I decided that it was probably time to do something about the yarn. So here’s how to make a center pull ball. Center pull balls are easier to work with because the yarn comes from the inside. So the ball can stay in the same place while you knit rather than rolling around on the floor.
So wrap the yarn around your 4 fingers several times leaving the tail long and hanging to the side.
Pull the bunch off your fingers and keep wrapping around the bunch.
Keep wrapping around the middle until it turns more into a fat sausage.
Eventually wrap it around into a ball shape. Keep the tail clear from the wrapping so it you were to pull it, it would easily unwind from the inside.
Wrap and wrap and wrap until you run out of yarn. Again, make sure that you can easily pull the tail. I like to hold the ball with my thumb on the tail while I’m wrapping so it’s easier to make sure it’s going to pull easier later.
And that’s done!
Repeat it with all of your other yarn and you might one day have a neat yarn box… maybe… until the next project anyway.
It’s marginally better at least and no more re-rolling next project!

Now I just need to decide how much of that yarn should even be in my collection because I have no idea what to do with half of it. -_-‘

Bee And PuppyCat Crochet Coffee Cup Cozy Tutorial

I know how many of you guys have been waiting for this one haha! Look at me doing this in a timely way for a change! Today let’s make a Puppycat coffee cup cozy ^_^

Now you can download the full pattern by clicking here.

I love Bee and Puppycat so much, if you’ve not watched the first 10 minute episode you should definitely check it out here. I can’t wait for the whole series!

Ok enough gushing, let’s get started ^_^ You are going to end up with a cozy that looks something like this:

You will need:

  • 4mm crochet hook.
  • White, pink, yellow, brown and black yarn. I’m using an 8ply DK weight and holding it doubled for extra thickness. My yarns were from different brands and slightly different thicknesses.
  • Scissors
  • Yarn needle

We will make the pink bottom collar section first and will only be working with just 1 strand of yarn for this section which will help give it the right shape for the coffee cup later.

For this part we will work from the top down.

Chain as many as you need to wrap around your mug. I was using a large mug so I chained 54 total.

Join the chain into a circle and make sure it’s not twisted around.

Chain 2 and then sc (single crochet) around the entire ring.

Once you reach the end of the round, join with a slip stitch and slip stitch 3 more. SC into the next stitch. DC (double crochet) around the row until you have 4 stitches left. SC into the next stitch and then slip stitch to the end of the row and tie off.

This will form Puppycat’s rounded Peter Pan-ish style collar.

Next let’s make the yellow bell. For the bell, use two pieces of yarn at the same time.

Make a magic ring with 6 stitches. Chain 1.

2 SC into each stitch for 1 round. 2 SC into the next stitch.

Chain 1 and turn work.

Alternate SC and 2SC until you reach the other side. Stop when it looks like this:

Slip stitch across the top of the bell, tie off and stitch it to the front of the collar.

I suggest weaving the ends in as you go using a yarn needle because it’s super tedious to do later!

Next we’ll make the main part of the coffee cozy.

Beginning at the back of the piece of work and working with 2 strands of yarn at once, tie on.

SC around the entire circle.

When you get to the back again, continue up and up until it’s as tall as you want the cozy to be. I needed 11 rows for a large cup. When you get it as tall as you need, continue to the back above where you joined on, slip stitch into the next stitch and tie off.

Next the ears, use pink and just 1 strand of yarn. In terms of placement, I did mine 4 stitches away from the edge of the bell.

Tie the pink yarn on and SC 3 stitches. Turn work, chain 1 and SC the next row.

Turn work, chain 1, SC into first stitch, skip the next one and SC into the last one.

Turn work, chain 1, skip the first stitch and SC into the next. Tie off yarn.

Repeat for the other ear!

Now we need to go around the edges of the ears in the brown. Again using 1 piece of yarn.

Tie on and slip stitch 1 stitch away from the edge of the pink ear. SC into the same stitch. SC up the side of the pink ear, when you reach the top do 3 SC into the same stitch to turn the corner.

 

SC down the other side and into the first white stitch. Slip stitch into that same white stitch, tie off.

Repeat with the other ear.

Next we need to make 2 grumpy eyebrows out of the brown.

Again these are with 1 piece of yarn. They are basically just little oval shapes.

Chain 6, SC down one side of the chain. When you get to the end, SC 3 times in the same stitch to turn the corner. SC down the other side. When you reach the end of the row, slip stitch into the previous round and tie off.

Repeat for a second eyebrow.

Now stitch the eyebrows onto the face and use some black yarn to embroider the eyes, nose, mouth and bell.

I used 2 strands of black yarn held together. The eyes are just 2 stitches into the same hole so they form a rounder shape.

The nose and mouth were each 1 stitch. The bell was a basic “Y” shape.

Once you weave all of the ends in you’ve officially got yourself a new friend to adventure with!

Now fill up on coffee and report to Fishbowl space for temp work!

I hope you enjoyed the tutorial, let me know if you have any questions and have fun 😀

DIY Tea Cup Candle Tutorial

I’ve seen so many of these tea cup candles in fancy shops but the prices are just exorbitant. You can buy tea cups in thrift shops for like $1 and candle making supplies are quite cheap too. Even cheaper?  Recycling old tea light candles. Cute result!

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So for this tutorial you will need:

  • Old candles or candle making supplies to melt down
  • Something to melt them in (I’m using a fondue set)
  • Chopstick
  • Twine
  • Tea cup
To begin, pull the tea light out of the metal casing and remove the wick and the metal part at the bottom.
Once you have enough of them, put them into a melting pot. I’m using a mini fondue set but you can also do the on the stove top which is a lot quicker.
Melt all of the wax.
Measure a piece of twine which is long enough to reach the bottom of your tea cup and tie it to the chopstick.
Once all of your wax is melted it should look similar to this. You can see that all of the crappy burnt parts and dirt sink to the bottom and you can easily pour the wax while leaving them behind.
Pour the wax carefully into the tea cup. Be careful, it’s very hot! Try not to get too many bubbles in there too.
Now dip the twine into the wax and position it so it hangs all the way down into the middle. It can be easier to use a toothpick to poke it in there so it’s straight. Ideally you want to dip it a bit further than you need to so the top part of the wick is covered with a little wax too.
Now allow it to dry completely and you’ve got a candle! If the surface isn’t perfect you can remelt it with a lighter to smooth it out.
Don’t forget to cut the wick so it’s not super long!
Taadaa candle! Cute as home decor and really cost effective to make 😀 I shouldn’t need to say this… but don’t drink it. Seriously.
Hope you enjoyed the tutorial, let me know if you give it a try!
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