Monday, 1 June 2015

A fete worse than death

Things are still hectic chez Mippitt (looking back at my blog, when are they not?) - we have bedroom refurbishments on the go, and are still trying to progressively clear out and downsize our lives, but I'm making a concerted effort to have studio time most days.

One of my friends (we have a village crafty morning at mine once a month-ish whilst Little B sleeps) is on the village fete committee, and she asked if I'd like to have a table to sell some crafty stuff . . . and I've given her a tentative "yes" . . . which means that for now, studio time is MAKING time!  I've got some of those vinyl cake stands already, and the means to make a wodge of heat-deformed vinyl bowls, so I need more small items to fill up some space on the table (and empty some space in the studio) and make me a little pocket-money!

So starting with earrings - I've bought various bits of jewellery gubbins over the years, but I've never  sat down and actually made an effort to produce before.  So, a couple of coloured beads, a couple of fancy-shaped ones, some really flippin fiddly wire stuff, some ear wires, and a crimping bead.  I'm really pleased with these!

I'm planning on making a roughly business-card sized lino print, so I can present the earrings on a card with my blog details on.  Perhaps an outline lino print with the blog details, and a space for a separate title to be printed in for different products.  Ideas ideas ideas!

I'm also waiting for a Dremel type multi tool to arrive, which I'm hoping will be able to make nice cuts into vinyl, so I can make more nice things to sell from those records.  Maybe some bracelets and pendants to continue with the jewellery theme . . . I'm not sure . . . and I want to have a play with cutting and shaping glass and pebbles too.  Pinterest has a lot to answer for.

Plus we have a new (with 'lectrics) bathroom cabinet going up today or tomorrow, in the soon-to-be-master bedroom one set of 1970s fitted wardrobes have been ripped out, holes need filling, coving needs replacing, walls need painting, floors need covering.  Yeah, I've got plenty of time to put together a table for the fete, no problemo!

Thursday, 2 April 2015

You spin me right round . . .

Haha!  So,  think I I mentioned last blog that I'd been playing with vinyl, and what I've mostly discovered is that vinyl cannot not look cool.  It just exudes cool.  It sweats cool out of it's pores like the weird oily stuff that the soles of my boxed-up-from-college shoes were covered in when I found them last week (ew).

So, having made some heat-deformed vinyl bowls and some cake stands for my Dad's party (which Mum has vamoosed back to their house), I've gone back to eBay and ordered a bit more vinyl and some fixings to make some more.  I'm thinking they'd be decent market-stall fodder if nothing else, so I might make a little pocket money if I'm lucky.

I had a spare twenty minutes this morning whilst Little B was napping and Madam was watching Doctor Who again (Easter holidays, so I'm on full time Mummy duty), so I snuck out to the studio and had a little experiment on the plastic bowls I bought from Tescos last night . . . I bought some clear ones and some brightly coloured ones . . .

As you can see, the experiment was to see how they behaved when I used the soldering iron on them.  This is a crafty hexperiment for a Well Ventilated Area, 'k?  The plastic from the hole area melts a bit, and burns/evaporates a bit, so if you're having a go yourself Be Safe!

Now why, I hear you ask, would I need to make a hole in a bowl?  Well you see, vinyl records are remarkably flat.  If I made a cupcake stand with a flat record on the very bottom, not only would it be less impressive as a display, the record would create a vacuum when you tried to pick the stand up from the table - not a great plan if it's covered in cupcakes!  So I needed something to raise the bottom record up, which could be bolted into the cupcake stand fixings - a bowl with a hole!

So the bowl sits upside-down against the lowest record, and gets washered and bolted together -

Then you need another washer and the second record -

Then another washer, and this time a single for the top tier, and the handle fitting for the top of the stand.


Now it's worth remembering if you make any of these yourself, that the vinyl that records are made out of is not tested for food safety, and also the paper labels won't react well to washing-up liquid, so I'd reccommend decent cupcake cases . . .  or rock-n-roll doilies . . . my Mum found some circular cake-tin liners which sat nicely inside the bowls we made, making them safe for crisps or pretzels!  If you're going to use one as a fruit bowl, I guess fruit that you peel would be just fine, but use your own judgement.

Friday, 27 February 2015

Laziness and life.

I've been quiet on the blog this last couple of months - it's been a combination of post-Christmas haze and chicken-pox, neither of which have stopped me from also lazing around a great deal and watching too much tv.  Oh well, maybe the lengthening days and lessening frostyness will pick me up!

I haven't been out to the studio as much as I'd like either, but we have been continuing with the re-organising of the household.  I'm attempting to let go of more stuff that I don't need, to create space generally in the house, and we're still gradually shifting the usage of the upstairs rooms - master bedroom into playroom/guest, guest room into master.  I'll blog more thoroughly about that soon, with photos of the rooms as I go.

I've been working on two crafty fronts - firstly a blanket for my Brother's impending offspring, news of which was a delightful Christmas day surprise.  Having shifted all my yarn out to the studio, I decided to go cold sheep, and work only from stash for a bit, so I collected a bundle of rainbow shades and double-stranded them, working each colour either up a column or along a row of a mitred-square blanket.  We've got James C Brett Sparkle DK on all of the outside squares, then each rainbow colour in order from red to violet. 

I'm working a couple of rows of double crochet around the edges just now to neaten it off.  Of course, as I was attempting a yarn diet, I managed to run out of three of the colours as I went, meaning I HAD to purchase more yarn.  I'll weigh it when it's complete to work out the net gain or loss on the stash front!

The other craftyness has been in preparation for my Father's 70th birthday party this summer.  Mum has asked me to help with making the invitations, which she wanted to be shaped like records, so of course that set my mind working on all of the variations of music-themed party crafts I could do.  So I bought a plectrum punch and a stack of old vinyl records, and I've been having a play.  I also managed to pick up a really cheap old acoustic guitar which I'm hoping to customise . . . but Madam and Little B have kinda fallen in love with it as it is, leaning against the kitchen wall in a handy spot for little fingers to find strings, so we'll have to see how we go with that!

Anyway, I shall try to be more bloggy over the next few months!  There are interesting things going on, and blogging about them encourages me to document and appreciate my own work more, so I really ought to make the effort!