Crafty Crafts

DIY Dream Catcher

DIY-Dream-Catcher

I have this weird space in my bedroom between the door to my outdoor balcony and a column that I have been meaning to fill with something – originally I had two hanging plants there, but since I have a fundamental lack of motherliness, they both died within a week and have been sitting against the wall, dried up and dead for over a year, like plant-skeletons mocking my matronly ineptitude.

I thought that the space was perfect for a large-sized, uber-hipstery dream catcher, and since I refuse to pay money for anything that I can reasonably make myself, I set some time aside to throw one together this weekend.

It’s surprisingly easy – I looked at the quick figure below for about 30 seconds then got to bisznas.

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The first thing you need is a big ring.  I wanted a really big dream catcher and it’s actually pretty hard to find purpose-made “dream catcher rings” in large sizes, so I improvised and used a big embroidery hoop.  In retrospect, it’s a little too flat along the edge, but I don’t f-ing care that much.  What am I, the Queen of England?  Pffffffft.

Then you wrap the ring in leather or “faux ultra suede” like me.  IMPORTANT NOTE: you need much more leather than you think you do.  Much more.  Err on the side of caution and buy A LOT.

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This part of the dream catcher is the most annoying and boring, so it helps if you’re drunk.  I recommend a big, frosty craft beer.  It helps the “faux-ultra-suede” wrapping part go by quicker.

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Alright, wrap the whole hoop then tie the ends tightly.  You can see in the photo below that I have TWO ends on each side of the hoop.  That’s because I underestimated how much leather I needed, used it all and only got half-way, then had to go back to the store and buy more to finish the other half.  If you are a normal person, you will only have one end.

Anyways, as per the figure up at the top, you basically just wind the center thread in a repetitive pattern around the hoop over and over.  Some tips:

  • It’s really hard to get all of your first level of loops evenly distributed.  I recommend wrapping them all, then going back and sliding and adjusting them afterwards while keeping the loose end tight;
  • Keep your one hand continuously on the end of the string while looping it through the holes with your other hand… and use a consistent motion (i.e. over-under; over-under…. not over-under; under-over… that will suck);
  • Similarly, you can continuously adjust your loops by tightening and loosening the end of the string with your other hand as you continue to add more levels.

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At some point, you have to string a bead into the dream catcher… that is the “spider” apparently.  Whatever.

I chose a white bead.  Make sure you like the colour of bead, because you can’t pull that sucker out without undoing the whole thing.  I’m not sure I like my colour of bead.  Which sucks.

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Anyways, once you are happy with all of your web, tie that sucker off and leave a bit hanging – you’re going to tie a feather to it, don’t worry.

Then you just, like, tie a bunch of shit off the end of the dream catcher to  make it look all boho-y and junk.  I tied some leftover “faux-ultra-suede”, some embroidery thread, and twine and other garbage.  I might go back and put some better stuff on later.  Who knows.

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After you’ve tied all your junk on the end, you should put some beads and feathers and stuff like that on it.  It makes it even more ultra-boho-hisptery.

BLAM!  Dream catcher all up in yo’ face:

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Posted in Arty Art, Crafty Crafts, DIY, Housey Stuff 2 Comments »

DIY Retro Kitchen Appliances

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Hey.

Remember this?  I likey.  I likey a lot.

You know why I likey so much?  Because it’s all poo-green like in the olden-days. I like the olden-days, much better than I like the current-days, mostly because of the appliance colours.  I mean, let’s be honest.  Appliance colours really do define the zeitgeist, more so than political change or social movements.  The main reason that the 2000’s sucked was because of all the stainless steel appliances.  You know what stainless steel appliances lead to?  Paris Hilton.  Obviously.  And nobody wants that.

Anyways, so the other day I was sitting on the floor of my kitchen, staring aimlessly into space as I often do, wondering how I could make my kitchen more old-timey without spending a jabillion dollars, as I often do.  And then I realized the solution was simple.

PAINT THAT SHIT.  Like… with house paint.

I submit as evidence, the kitchen scale that I bought for $2.00 at a yard sale last year:

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It has a marginal retro vibe, yes.  But it is pretty boring.  IMAGINE IF THAT BAD BOY had an old-timey appliance colour?  I can guarantee no one would be selling it at a yard sale.  They’d be putting that shizz up on Etsy for like $150.00.  FYI: Old-timey appliance colours fall into the following brackets:

  • 50’s-60’s: mint green and like, farty pinks
  • 70’s: poo-greens and eyeball-attacking oranges
  • 80’s: anything with lasers painted on it

My kitchen has beautiful, imported, calm blue Italian glass tiles for a back splash (due to my MEGA BALLERDOM), and although I really like my poo-green Kitchenaid, I felt that a mint-green would be appropriately old-timey.

DIY Retro Kitchen Thingamajig

Materials

  • Appliance Thingamajig (i.e. yard-sale scale)
  • Can of paint (need ideas for colours?  I just gave you some.  Avert eyes upwards.)
  • Painter’s Tape
  • Paintbrush
  • An Exuberant Spirit and Positive Outlook (optional)

Step One:
Tape the areas that you don’t want to be all retro-looking (i.e. the areas that actual have functional parts and moving levers and pulleys and junk):

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Step Two:
Prime the Thingamajig:

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Step Three:
Paint it mint green.  Slap a coat of low-gloss polyurethane on it.  Bask in the glory of your mint-green success.  Put fruits on it.  Take pictures of it.  Instagram them.  And so on and so forth.

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Posted in Crafty Crafts, DIY, Housey Stuff, Vintage Love No Comments »

meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeh

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I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I feel/am very uninteresting lately.  Every morning I think to myself  “Do I have something interesting to share with people in an online format?” and similarly, every morning I think to myself “No.  No I do not.”

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But Molly doesn’t care – she give me stinky kisses regardless of my ability to wax philosophical-slash-make people interested in me.

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As long as she has her gross old Green Ball and she has access to a sun beam, preferably both, I am the best/most interesting person on Earth.

In an attempt to keep my brain churning, I am at least working on a few projects to be revealed soon.  This one might be familiar if you follow the blog… another huge Slatty creation that is going up in a very special place.  This one will be for SALE, so if you want a huge Slatty Map, but don’t want to put in the MULTIPLE HOURS of back-breaking labour into making one (trust me, I forgot how much work goes into it…), you can buy it.  Willing to hear what you are willing to pay so that I can price it.  May I suggest THOUSANDS UPON THOUSANDS of dollars in pure gold?  Feel free to pay that.

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In other news, I am starting to plan for the garden much earlier this year, because now at least I have an inkling of what’s hiding under there.  Look at my damn-ass beautiful field of Crocuses.  I know.  It’s like I’m the Crocus Whisperer.

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I have grandiose plans of buying annuals and actually planting window boxes and shit like a retired woman in Austria.  I imagine that is what retired women in Austria do – just spend the year planning out the window boxes to hang from their Austrian ski chalets and shit.

Finally, since I am a crazy person, I also have a whole other project in the works.  I haven’t really tested everything yet, but basically, it will be awesome.  TYPOGRAPHY!  CANADIANA!  WOOD!  All of the things that go into awesomeness will be present.  Stay tuned.

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Posted in Canines, Crafty Crafts, Housey Stuff No Comments »

DIY Feather Epaulettes

So, the other day I was shopping for a holiday outfit last minute, as is usually the case.  It’s not that I *need* another outfit, it’s more that I enjoy the pressure of finding something new and completely unneeded at the last minute like a crazy person.

Being a magic wizard, I managed to find a vintage black long-sleeved jersey Vera Wang dress at a local vintage shop.  I bet you want to punch me in the face.  I know.  If I weren’t me I would want to punch me in the face too.

Anyways, although the dress was beautiful and fit me like a sex-glove, it felt a little plain to be a “holiday” dress, so I started looking for some jewelry or something along those lines, and came across a shop selling these like, feather-shoulder-things with chains on them.  They looked kind of cool so I wandered in and took a look.

They were some feathers.  Some chains.  There was also a price tag.  For sixty bucks.

So in my mind I was all like – WTF, how is this sixty bucks?

Then the salesperson comes over and says “OH, those are from a Toronto artist, they are SO nice.”

And in my brain-hole I thought to myself “YEAH, one of your friends who lives in the city went to fucking Sussman’s on Queen and bought ten dollars worth of feathers and hot glued them together and added some cheap-ass chain.”

SO THEN I thought in my brain-hole “I CAN ALSO go to Sussman’s on Queen and buy ten dollars of feathers and hot glue them together.”

So I did.

Here is my DIY for feather epaulettes.  Total cost with pins: $12.00.

You will need:

  • 2 long brown feather fan-thingies (they come pre-fanned)
  • 2 short brownish patterned feather fan-thingies
  • Some pins
  • Hot glue gun

Process:

Glue the small fans to the big fans.  Sew on the pins.  Pin that shit onto the shoulders of your fucking dress.

Important Tips:

Don’t leave your vintage Vera Wang dress with newly affixed DIY feather epaulettes within reach of your dink-hole of a dog.

SHE RIPPED THAT SHIT APART.  No remorse, either:

So after all that work I had to wear the plain dress with NO FEATHER EPAULETTES like a NO TALENT BUM.

After five glasses of wine and three beers I decided to forgive her when I got home at the end of the night.

Posted in Crafty Crafts, DIY, Style, Vintage Love 1 Comment »

Current Obsessions – August 2012

 

Brocade
Yes, I’m sure you’ve seen all the huge crazy, ornate fall spreads with multiple paisley/Victorian/pattered what-have you junk all smashed together.   I envision myself losing about 30 pounds, growing about 6 inches, and buying a pair of like, lithe brocade bell bottoms and wearing them with a ridiculous sequined jacket and paisley silk tie-necked top and then buying a burgundy felt floppy hat  and then BEING A COOL HIPPIE GIRL FROM THE SEVENTIES.   Also Russian.  I feel like I want to be like, kind of Russian.  Note: percentage of time I have spent dreaming up this ridiculous “I’m a cool person” fantasy – 75% of my day.

 

Winter Kate
Speaking of boho-hippie-Russian-paisley-brocade-embroidered-what have you, I am totally and completely obsessed with Winter Kate, Nicole Ritchie’s clothing line.  Her F/W 2012 line actually kinda sucks ball sacks, but everything before has the exact perfect drape-y hippie COOL HIPPIE GIRL FROM THE SEVENTIES.  It’s *possible* I just bought that silk maxi dress with the eastern-inspired embroidery above.  Where will I wear this dress?  Why, to all the “cool girl from the seventies” events that will invariably pop up once my fashion dreams become a reality.  Obviously, I am currently not invited to these secret events because my boring “not a cool hippie girl from the seventies” wardrobe scares people away.

 

Socks
I have decided that wearing socks with heels all winter fits in with whatever mashed-up fashion monster I am creating here (see “cool hippie girl from the seventies” above).   So I went into Joe Fresh and bought every colour of sock they had, and I’m going to wear MANY-A-SOCK this winter, a la Madonna in the Borderline video.  ARE YOU READY FOR IT?  Probably not.  Just get ready. 

Weaving
Something non-fashion related, but definitely COOL HIPPIE GIRL FROM THE SEVENTIES related is that I have decided that I’m going to construct a make-shift ghetto loom and create a weaved wall hanging for my wall.  If you know me, you know that I will become obsessed with this idea and will make it happen at the expense of a lot of time and lost sleep.  If my ghetto loom is robust enough I might decide to quit my job and become a full-time “70’s wall hanging seller” on etsy.  How cool girl from the seventies is THAT?

Posted in Crafty Crafts, Randomness, Style No Comments »

DIY Floor Pouf

As mentioned previously, I had someone doing a shoot of my apartment this weekend (HA HA HA I am so fancy.  I have people “doing shoots” of things in my life.), and I felt the need to complete a few last minute unecessary crafty things to make my place look more interesting than it is.

My loft space has that huge, blindingly bright Turkish Kilim Rug, and although I LOVE it, it’s really really hard to design around because it’s like, overwhelming and basically attacks your eyeballs.

On an unrelated-but-related note, I have been thinking about making a floor “pouf” for some time.  First, because it’s always good to have extra seating, second, because there was this extra space at one side of the loft, and last because I like to say “pouf”, over and over and over.  POUF!

I saw these at West Elm.  And they are beautiful.  And I thought that the crazy same-but-not-the-same kilim fabric would compliment the craziness of my rug.

AND THEY ARE THREE HUNDRED AND TWENTY DOLLARS.

Like, seriously?  Come on.  FINE.  I get that they are like, “one of a kind” and someshit like that, but you clearly just took old rugs that couldn’t be sold as rugs because they were defective and cut them up and sewed them into fucking squares.

Then I was all like “I CAN CUT SHIT UP AND SEW IT INTO SQUARES ON MY OWN.”

So I went to designer fabrics and found me some “kilim-esque” fabric.  25 bucks a yard.  Bought a yard and a half.

Molly approves.

 

Then I cut it into two squares and four long rectangles.  It’s not fucking brain surgery.  Here are your instructions:

Then you stuff the box with shit.  I literally filled it with a bunch of old blankets and some old gross pillow or something, then I tore apart the stuffing from some other pillow I didn’t want any more and filled that shizz up.  A note – you will need WAY more stuffing than you think you will.

Molly approves.

Then you top-stitch around the seams at the top and bottom of the box. That is all you need to do.

I’ve just saved you $280.00.  You are welcome.  Buy me a present.

Posted in Canines, Crafty Crafts, DIY, Housey Stuff 6 Comments »

Apartment Therapy Shoot

Through a friend I managed to get in touch with one of the Toronto photographers for Apartment Therapy… she perused my bliggity blog and decided that I was worthy of a shoot and house tour on the site.  Yeah.  I know.  I pretty much exploded out of my brain.

Anyways, so I spent the majority of the weekend furiously cleaning my house, completing some last-minute and totally unnecessary DIY projects, and basically creating a fictional utopian home design environment that I felt would be suitable for the post.

For example, I do not usually have single, perfect blooms of flowers in small French ceramic vases next to the faucet in the bathroom.  HOWEVER, for the purposes of the shoot, I needed to increase my fanciness.

Hopefully, all went well.  I *think* it’s going to be on the site in late August.  Of course I will milk it to death if/when it is posted, so don’t worry, you’ll know.

I also had to answer one of those surveys that asks me like, what my “style” is and what my “inspiration” is.  I hate those so much because you sound like a huge poser no matter what you say.  If you say “My style is mid-century modern with a dash of edgy flair”, you sound like a poser.  If you say “I really don’t have a style, it’s more whatever grabs my attention”, you sound like a poser.  Rest assured, my answers were poser-y and you will read them and be all like “What a poser.”.

Molly was unimpressed.

She always thinks I sound like a poser.

Posted in Canines, Crafty Crafts, Housey Stuff 2 Comments »

Easy DIY Herb Planter Thing

In the spring, I had these grandiose plans of creating an organic utopian herb and vegetable garden on my deck and dancing around it in while wearing long floral dresses in barefeet and playing a tambourine, but then I thought “I have TONS of time to make an herb garden”, and decided to get drunk in my underwear and watch The Bachelorette.

Then, on the weekend, I realized it was friggin July and my poor deck was still barren of organic herbs and shit.  Unacceptable.  So yesterday I decided to get my shit together and get started.

Problem #1 – What to plant
Although I would like to say that I picked my herbs and vegetables based on future plans of cooking up some delicious domesticated pasta sauce recipe like mothers on mom-blogs and shit, it was  mostly dictated by the following:

  1. The vegetable plants that were left at the local corner store and didn’t look like they were on the verge of death; and
  2. Herbs that I could put in booze to make a delicious cocktail.

So I got a tomato plant that was big (but no tomatoes on it…), a pepper plant that was small (with no peppers on it…), but looked like, green or whatever, and the following herbs: basil (for caprese salads), mint (for mojitos), lavender (for fancy aromatic classic cocktail things), and parsley (because I needed four to make my herb garden symmetrical and I couldn’t think of anything else).

Please note my helper in the top right corner of the photo.  She made sure she was around me at all times, snoozing leisurely while I sweat and slaved in the heat.

Problem #2 – How to hang them up
So I had planned to hang my herbs up on the fence, but I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on some like planter-hangy thing because I’m cheap.  So I put something together that was likely modified from something I saw on Pinterest or some shit.

Basically, you buy terra cotta pots, and those like, tube holdery things that are silver and you always see at the hardware store and you think to yourself  “What the hell are those things?  Could I make something with them?  It looks like I could make something with them.”  Test the size and make sure they go around the pots, but stop right at the lip (so you can hang them).

Also buy galvanized wire, nails, and picture hooks (galvanized means “no get rusty”).

Here is my super-ghetto hanger creation:

Then you just smack the picture hook into the fence, hang the wire-tube holder thing on it, and stick your plant in it.


Ghetto?  Yes.  Expensive?  No.

Note – when I hung it, the planter was tilting a *little* too much, and the water like, spilled out the front of it, so I had to add another nail in the wire closer to the ring to keep it tilted up.

BOOM.  Instant herb garden for like, ten bucks.

I also planted my tomaters in a big pot as well as my “pepper plant”.

I give them both a 10% likelihood of producing edible fruit.

Here is my new and improved organic hippie garden!  Time to put on some Donovan and dance with a tambourine!

I decided to reward myself with things that are bad for me.  Molly also thought she deserved a rest from ALL THE WORK SHE DID.

Posted in Canines, Crafty Crafts, DIY, Housey Stuff 2 Comments »

T&A Wedding Weekend: Wedding Day!

Preface: In case you didn’t see in my last post, I went mental with the camera this weekend.  Prepare yourselves.

Since the wedding wasn’t due to start until around 3:00 pm, a crew of us decided to take a drive in the country and visit “Lake on the Mountain”, this lake that is on a mountain.

It sound mega-nerdly, but it was actually really weird to look one way and see a lake at ground level, then look another way and see a several hundred foot drop.  Then you start asking yourself all these questions like “How did the lake form?” “Is there a body of water that feeds it from BELOW???”  “Where did all the fish come from???”  SCIENCE!

So that took about five minutes then we decided to try and find this antiques store that we passed on the way in called “Dead People’s Stuff”, which sounded/looked awesome. 


We FOUND it!

Lots of cool stuff at actually REALLY good prices… but then I realized that I actually need no stuff right now.  Not even dead peoples’ stuff, which makes the stuff significantly cooler/more desirable.

 
 
 

So that took about five minutes and we were all like “LET’S GO DRINK!”.  So we found a patio on the “water” (read: swamp), and let our worries drown away in pints of cider.

 
 

Alright.  Enough of that.  Let’s get to the wedding.  T & A managed to find this AMAZING location that was a big old barn with a long back lawn, complete with a small covered outdoor tin-roofed wood structure with like, ivy growing all over it.  The ceremony took place in the tin-roofed thingie.  So simple and SO BEAUTIFUL.


FLARE!

 
Oh just some ADORABLE bunting here at the altar.

Alright, let’s cycle through some of my ONE MILLION pictures of the ceremony…

  
  
  
  

 
 HOLY MAKE ME CRY with your cuteness you two.

Alright, on to the reception, which was literally 50 feet up a beautiful lawn into a big old rustic barn.  But first champagne on the lawn in the beautiful weather.  Like, jesus crack-balls christ it was beautiful.

AND THEN THIS.


WHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT?

   
  
  
  

   

Here is the only picture of me.  I had these grand ambitions of putting my hair up in these complex and bohemian-esque braids, but then due to laziness/drunkenness/lack of mirror space in B&B bathroom, I decided to go “au naturel”… which in retrospect meant looking like a cocker-spaniel all night. I’m sure that the INTENSE SUN on my hair made it look a bit more freakishly frizzy than it actually was, but still.  NEVER AGAIN.

Thank god I liked my dress, which was this rust-colour that I am currently obsessed with.  RUST-COLOUR!!!!!  Best.

  
  

Oh, and introducing the drunkest people of the evening, preparing for their evening of extreme drunkenness. 

So, I got a little emotional and went up to Amanda on the dance floor and was all like “MEEEEEEEEEH AMANDA THIS IS SO BEAUTIFUL (SOB) I’M SO HAPPY FOR YOU (SOB), YOU LOOK SO BEAUTIFUL (SOB), HOW DID YOU PLAN ALL THIS FROM ENGLAND (SOB) HOW DID YOU FIND THIS AMAZING PLACE (SOB)?”

And her totally amazing answer was “I googled “Ontario Barn Wedding.”   Coolest, most laid-back bride ever.

Posted in Arty Art, Crafty Crafts, Delicious Food, Drunken Observations, Favorite Things, Randomness, Travel, Vintage Love 3 Comments »

Suprise Dong Birthday

** NB: Depending on your work, this might be NSFW… if your work is “inflatable-dong-adverse”.

Lots of big birthdays have been coming up for friends and one was hosted at my place a couple of weekends ago… I just got around to uploading the pics yesterday, so I thought I would tell the tale of The Surprise Dong Birthday.

So Brad was turning 30, and his wife (and me) thought it would be fun for him (and me) to hold a “Dirty Thirty” surprise party.  This involved trips to the Stag Shop and Dollarstore for a collection of dong-related paraphernalia to use as both decor and “costuming” for when people would be drunk enough to let their hair down.  Can I just say that I am blown away with the amount of dong-related items that are available for purchase?  Dongs have a huge foothold in the “nude-body-parts-made-into-hilarious-decorations” market.

So first, we all waited secretly in my kitchen getting drunk on my bourbon lemonade.  I was a bit of a crazy maniac and kept “shussh-ing” people incessantly.  Surprise parties stress me out.

Then Brad came in and was actually… surprisingly… surprised.

Here is his party shirt:

 We got him an ice cream cake, which he apparently doesn’t like.

Things were tame for a little while…

Then people got more comfortable with each other. 

In the end, we basically threw a bachelorette party for Brad.  HOWEVER, it was soon revealed that guys are more than happy to play with inflatable dongs all night.  In fact, I believe the dong-related shenanigans were exclusive to the men.

FYI – as a planning tool for your next dong-related event… I had the foresight to hang a whole bunch of inflatable dongs at face-level to get the party going.  It was an effective means of loosening people up.  They also resulted in hilarious photos where the aperture would only catch the glowing dong in focus in the foreground.  I also used “fore” twice in that sentence without making a foreskin joke.

I also spent some time buying costumes and props to set up a “photo wall” where people could get all drunk and dressed up and take photos with dong-headpieces and what not.  Unfortunately for you, only a couple of people participated.

Fortunately for you, one of them was Amanda.

Posted in Crafty Crafts, Randomness 3 Comments »