My Weaving Tutorial on The Interiors Addict

After sharing an image of my woven wall hanging during 7 Vignettes this month, Jen Bishop from The Interiors Addict asked me if i would put together a tutorial. Of course i was thrilled to be asked and the tutorial featured on The Interiors Addict earlier this week. Yay!

how to weave

Click the image to visit The Interiors Addict and see my weaving tutorial!

It’s an easy to follow tutorial for those who know nothing about weaving but are keen to have a try. I was also thrilled to discover a fellow Instagrammer was so taken with the idea of making her own weave, that she headed straight to Spotlight for supplies and posted her finished weave only 24hrs after my tutorial was published. Someone has definitely caught the WEAVER FEVER!

weaving tutorial

An amazing for weaving project from Melanie @meldzam that she posted 24hrs after my tutorial!

We have a winner! #craftastherapy

@oliveandpickles crochetWe have a winner for the #craftastherapy gratitude giveaway. A big congratulations to Ryane from @olivesandpickles for her entries into the giveaway. Ryane regularly posts beautful crochet images under the #craftastherapy tag and is a worthy winner. The following two images are Ryane’s entries in the giveaway –

granny squares“I use the #craftastherapy hashtag because crocheting is my escape. Because some days the constant worry, the endless trips up and down the stairs, his crushed hopes and the never ending feeling of wishing you could do more to relieve his pain, takes its toll. Taking care of a loved one is a difficult task but I love him for better or worse, in sickness and in health and I wouldn’t trade my life for anything in the world.”

Crochet for #craftastherapy“I use the #craftastherapy hashtag because of the creative community I have recently discovered. So many people share tips, tricks, opinions and ideas. I am constantly learning and inspired by others tagging their photos and I hope to be able to do the same for someone else.”

Crochet on Instagram

@olivesandpickles on Instagram

Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway. Your beautiful images made it extremely difficult to choose a winner.

Granny square blanket

@olivesandpickles on Instagram

Crochet squares

@olivesandpickles on Instagram

#craftastherapy on instagram

@olivesandpickles on Instagram

 

Gratitude Giveaway for #craftastherapy

stationary and craft

I have put together a gift of thanks for one lucky crafter who posts to the #craftastherapy feed on Instagram this week. One crafter will be gifted everything you see in this image – all you need to do to participate is – 1: use the hashtag when posting your crafty imagesย โ€จ2: start your post with “I use theย #craftastherapyhashtag because….” Your reason could be a simple one such as craft being a stress relief or for more serious reasons like illness and hardship. You can enter as many times as you like. There’s no obligation to follow me as this isn’t about increasing following, but more about building a bigger community under the hashtag – and saying thank you.

craft as therapy

{Top Left – @deborah.brandon} {Top Right – @_riaparamita_}{Bottom Left – @melissablankets} and {Bottom Right – @coachhousepictures}

Old and new posters to the hashtag are welcome. I will choose a winner at 10amย next Sunday the 1st of March and will base my selection on the image and/or the reason for crafting. Everyone is welcome – I will post to anywhere in the world. The package includes – 3 balls of Patons Cotton Blend, a sewing tin, 1 large and 1 small notebook, red and white bakers twine, stamp stickers, pretty envelope, Brittany crochet hook, 2 crochet flowers and 5 wooden pegs ๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’•Have a great week crafters ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

craft as therapy

{Top Left – @daintyanddevine} {Top Right – @lilychezmoi}{Bottom Left – @oliveandpickles} and {Bottom Right – @littlemittenvintage}

craft as therapy

{Top Left – @gigglemay} {Top Right – @byvintagedaisies}{Bottom Left – @melinda.szente} and {Bottom Right – @toni_edge}

Annie Sloan and Mr Darcy – a romantic chalk paint makeover

Country style dining roomI am so excited about my very first Annie Sloan chalk paint makeover! I have seen so many fantastic furniture makeovers online and read a great deal of positive reviews that I’ve been wanting to try it out for a while, despite my hatred for painting. Our dining room setting is beautiful, but the mango wood doesn’t quite match the other wooden elements in our home, and while i am not willing to paint the entire setting, I though just painting the bench seat white would help it to tie into the room better.ย Chalk paint makeoverI have a hatred for painting, so I thought a little of Mr Darcy in the background encouraging me would make the process more enjoyable. It did!! Why thank you Mr Darcy. This was the most romantic painting project I’ve ever experienced. ๐Ÿ™‚Old white chalk paintHere I am in action – completing the first coat. I did two coats and one coat of soft clear wax. I found the paint goes a long way and I only used about 1/3 of my 1litre tin.ย Old White Annie SloanOld white Annie Sloan chalk paintI am really happy with how it looks and I love that the setting doesn’t look too matchy matchy anymore. I have a couple more projects in mind for this paint, which will help me incorporate more recycled pieces into my home. This might be the very first time I have enjoyed painting. ๐Ÿ™‚Annie Sloan old white Bench seat

Fun Ideas for Fabric Stickers

fabric stickers DailylikeI discovered fabric stickers a little while ago and fell in love with them.ย They are so pretty and practical, which are my favourite two words when it comes to craft. I found these gorgeous crafty items online at Dailylike. Have you heard of them?ย I promise you this is an unsponsored post! I just adore the Dailylike store. You MUST visit their online store for a sticky beak. It’s a crafter and gift wrappers dreamโ€ฆ.i really had to restrict myself to items i neededโ€ฆ.yeah, that’s right, i NEEDED fabric stickers. ๐Ÿ™‚ย fabric stickersMy first fabric sticker project was to cover my iPad. Actually, i covered my iPad cover. It was bright pink and while i like pink, i wanted something a little more unique and i really, really don’t like paying for expensive iPad covers. And this way, when i get bored of this design i can just recover it again, at the fraction of the price of a new iPad cover.ย fabric stickers ipad coverI had a few sheets of stickers to play with so i prettied up this boring clipboard and attached it to my pegboard. I change my pegboard often and add new inspirational quotes or work related lists (boring) to my clipboards, so this will be perfect for when it is hanging bare in between new attachments.pretty pegboard craft roomFabric stickers are ideal for covering daggy old containers and glass jars. ย The oval container was the packaging of a gift i received from a friend. I didn’t want to throw it away, so i covered it in matching fabric and now i’m keeping all my pens and pencils stored in it.ย pegboard office prettyI also dressed up an empty glass jar that i use for storing my paint brushes. With some of the smaller scraps i cut out shapes and decorated some of my paper bags.pretty paper bagsย There are so many uses for this versatile craft item. And i love that i was able to use the scraps for smaller projects, so that there wasn’t any waste. Yay!pegboard organisationFinally, i used some of the fabric sticker tape to wrap a loaf of banana bread for a friend. I can’t wait to use more of this tape in my gift wrapping. Please make sure you visit Dailylike and check out their stock – great products and super fast postage. ๐Ÿ™‚ย pretty wrapped bread

Features from #craftastherapy on Instagram

crochet dragon

@littlecosythings makes so many gorgeous characters that feature in the #craftastherapy feed on Instagram

The #craftastherapy hashtag on Instagram is quickly approaching 500 images. I am really chuffedย thatย so many creative crafters are using the hashtag to show off their handmade pieces. Crochet is obviously flavour of the month and fills most the feed, but that’s ok with me. There are some seriously talented ladies who know how to use the hook!! Here is a selection of my favourites from the feed. Enjoy!!

crochet bracelet

A gorgeous crochet bracelet by @kenjiku_ found in the #craftastherapy feed

hand painted bowl

A beautiful hand painted ceramic bowl – by @hookedandneedled

crochet blanket

A stunning crochet blanket and bag by @winterbeachbymab

crochet #craftastherapy

Crochet squares in pretty soft shades by @mariam_mim

woven bowls

Handmade woven bowls by @string_harvest

crochet blue and white

Perfectly crocheted blue and white squares by @maritparit

Please feel welcome to join in the fun and use the #craftastherapy tag when posting your creations on Instagram. It’s a lovely, warm and welcoming community. xx

A #craftastherapy story: Jane Balke Andersen

Yarnbombers UnitedWhen I contacted Jane to ask her to be my first #craftastherapy story, I really didn’t know that much about her, but I knew she battled a chronic illness and used crochet as therapy. After she sent through her story, I sat down to find some images to accompany her words. The images were easy to find, but I found myself distracted and lost (in a good way) wandering through her social media world. I began to see there was a lot more to Jane than I initally thought.

Yarnbombing redfern

Yarn bombing by Yarnbombers United – Redfern Railway Station

While her story about her battle with Fibromyalgia is a moving one, her zest for life and generous nature is what struck me as her most defining characteristic. While many people of perfect health live in a constant state of negativity, it is beyond inspiring to see someone like Jane, living with chronic illness and being grateful for every moment.

bike racks red fern

Jane yarn bombing bike racks in Redfern

You can find Jane in many places online, so please take the time to look her up. You’ll be glad that you did. She’s a member of Yarnbombers United, a small group of creative friends who have completed various yarn bombing projects. You can find her Facebook page here and don’t forget to hunt her down on Instagram! Here is Jane’s story – in her own words.

crochet mandala

The Hope Mandala by @maritparit – project to raise awareness of Fibromyalgia

Getting a chronic illness was like waking up on a new planet. Gravity suddenly worked differently and my balance was thrown off. I learnt to adapt to completely unknown situations, daily challenges and the unpredictable. Added to this I had to survive constant pain, exhaustion, isolation, disbelief, insults, experimentation by well meaning doctors and not knowing what my own body was going to do on an hourly basis.yarn bomber

I needed a coping mechanism, a wall of defence and so turned to creative ideas. I painted, sewed, decoupaged, grew herbs in creative patterns, made soft toys, tried aromatherapy, candle making, quilting, card making, stamping, stencilling, baking, cake decorating, scrapbooking, beading, jewellery making, photography, digital art, crochet, yarn bombing and now machine knitting too!

Redfern oval - yarn bombing

Yarn bombing by Yarnbombers United – Redfern Oval

After more than 2 decades of chronic illness, crochet keeps me going. It is both a creative outlet and a meditation. Craft is my therapy. It saves my sanity and allows me to cope with life, illness and depression. It has also allowed me to meet like minded people in craft groups and in social media. It is a way of connecting with others and expressing your artistic side. I encourage everyone to find a hobby they love. It doesnโ€™t matter if you are good at it or not, as long as you enjoy it. Get creative!

yarn bombing

Rainbow Tree and Land Tree at the National Centre for Indigenous Excellence (NCIE)

You can find Jane Balke Andersen on –

Thank you so much Jane for taking the time to share your story! xo

Introducing #craftastherapy on Instagram

#craftastherapyI am really excited to introduce the #craftastherapy hashtag on Instagram. Over the past few years crafting and creating has become a huge part of my life and has helped me get through the toughest of times. I have spoken to a lot of fellow crafters about the benefits of using craft as a method of therapy and so many agree that time spent crafting is relaxing and therapeutic. I have heard many storiesย about how craft has helped provide stress relief during mental or physical hardship. Whether it is learning a new skill or revisiting a previous hobby, time spent creating is good for the mind and body.
Upcycled atlas wreathย A number of clever, crafty instagrammers have already started using the hashtag. The #craftastherapy feed is filling up with inspirational and beautiful images.ย I hope to share projects here on the blog from the #craftastherapy feed, so please feel welcome to join in and tag your crafty projects with this hashtag. Or if you’d like to share your story and have a feature of your own, i would love to hear from you.ย stitching on embroidery hoopThe above sweet stitchery is by Robyn from @shopsewrobyn and is made on a canvas of vintage sheets. Robyn was kind enough to share her story with me – in October just past, she suffered a miscarriage and used her newly acquired skill of hand-embroidery to help her get through the waiting and recovering time. She said, “I could just sit and stitch and think as much or as little as i wanted, and have the comfort/satisfaction of making and completing something beautiful with my hands, even though my body had failed me in other ways at the time”.
crochet blanketThis beautiful crochet blanket is just one of the creative images you will find in the #craftastherapy feed. Robyn aka @crochetgirl99 is super talented with the hook and her own feed is full of stunning creations. She calls this projectย her “summer loving” blanket.ย weaving projectsThis unique weave made by Anna aka @ansiesย also features in the #craftastherapy feed along with some of her other inspiring projects. Her weaves are like nothing i have ever seen before and feature lots of natural and foraged materials.
crochet vignetteThe above image is from Chaney, aka @lovemylittlebird – what could be more relaxing than crochet and a cup of coffee?

Please check out the #craftastherapy feed on Instagram and be amazed by the creative and crafty people that are posting under the hashtag. It is a visual feast of crafty projects plus a you will find loads of encouraging and supportive people there.

DIY Christmas Wreath – Ribbon Poinsettias

christmas craft - poinsettia ribbons

Making your own Christmas wreath is a great craft project to help celebrate the festive season. This tutorial is for a christmas wreath made from ribbon poinsettias. These ribbon poinsettias are easy to make and look beautiful when made from glossy satin ribbon. Here’s what you will need –

  • satin ribbon – 5cm wide
  • floristry wire
  • scissors
  • a wreath base – of whatever material you like
  • a hot glue gun
  • embellishments – bells, bead (optional)

christmas craftFor each ribbon poinsettia you will need to cut three strips of ribbon approximately 15cm long.ย christmas craftCut the ends of the ribbon to form points – you will need to do this for both ends.ย christmas craftFold each strip of ribbon like a concertina: fold in half and then fold the outer edges in opposite directions. Your ribbon should look like a bow tie (see the image above)ribbon poinsettiasAs you fold each strip thread them onto a pin to hold them in place until you are ready to secure them with wire.
christmas craftTake a piece of wire, also 15cm long and fold over so it resembles a hair pin.
christmas craftPut the wire over the centre of the three strips of ribbon and twist a couple of times at the back to make it secure. You can now remove the pin.
ribbon poinsettiasCross over your wires – this is the hardest part. If you look at the image above you can see the wire is attached in three different directions: one straight across (the first step of attaching the wire) and two in diagonally opposite directions. To makeย your first diagonal, take one of the ends of the wire from the back, separate your ‘petals’ and take the wire up through one pair of divided petals and down through the opposite pair of divided petals. Take the second end of the wire from the back and repeat the same steps on the opposite side. With both wire ends now at the back, give them a final couple of twists to make your flower secure. You can now play with your petals until you have achieved a look that you are happy with.ย christmas craftIf you want to add beads or bells to the centre of your ribbon flower, simply add the embellishment at the wiring step.

christmas craftThe rest of the ribbon is completed in the same way as the plain ribbon flowers.
diy Christmas ribbon wreathI made a lot of ribbon flowers in a short amount of time – enough for two wreaths. It is up to you how you choose to attach your ribbon poinsettias to make a wreath. I added my ribbon flowers to a gold wire hoop using my hot gue gun. A similar method could be used regardless of what you choose for your wreath base.

DIY christmas wreathHere are my two Christmas wreaths hanging in our rumpus room.
DIY christmas wreathAnd there’s no reason you can’t make these in other colours and use them as gift toppers or hair bows. Join me on Instagram for other Christmas craft activities.

Paper Cone Wreath: Christmas Version

ideas for easy Christmas craftLast week I was invited to run a Christmas craft activity for some local carers in our community. Carers are people who look after a friend or family member that is sick, disabled, elderly or mentally ill and unable to cope without support. Most carers are unpaid, work very hard and deal with high levels of stress. They can be any age, come from all walks of life and varying cultures, but one thing they do have in common is that they need a break sometimes.

Vintage Sheet Music Paper Wreath

Paper Cone Wreath made from Vintage Sheet Music

I am extremely enthusiastic about using craft as a form of therapy and tag of lot of my Instagram posts this way – #craftastherapy As a few of you know, I turned to craft in a massive way during 2013 as my mother neared the end of her battle with brain cancer. For me, it was a way to shield myself from the stress when it was getting too much. I’ve always loved craft but #craftastherapy began for me with my first Paper Cone Wreath. You can find an updated tutorial here.

paper craft

Paper Craft – silhouette heart and Vintage Music Paper Cone Wreath

It seemed fitting that my first Carers Craft Group should start with a Christmas version of my paper cone wreath. The construction is identical to my standard wreath, but a gap is left in the centre to glue Christmas decorations. There are only three rounds, which makes it quicker and easier to construct.ย Christmas Wreath from paper cones

I am really happy with how they turned out and they all looked beautiful hung together in a cluster on this wall.ย christmas wreath from paper cones

Please come and join me on instagram and hashtag your craft projects as #craftastherapy I would really love to see any craft activities that you have created to help get you through difficult times.

7 Vignettes August

Craft