Put a needle in my hand

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How often have you found a garment that you liked but didn’t buy because something was off? A bit too long, too loose – it just didn’t fit right. I think that we all have been there. I know I’ve been there with this blouse. The print is lovely, abstract but not loud. And it was the first time I’ve seen cufflinks for women. I have to admit I didn’t know how to do them at first. It’s such a nice touch to the blouse. So are the pintucks on the shoulders.

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The sleeves, however, they were way too long. I’ve never encountered that problem before but there was at least  5 cm fabric that shouldn’t be there. Even so, I took the blouse with me. I was confident that I could fix the sleeves. At first I thought about removing the cuff and then cutting off the excess. But when I consulted my mother she suggested going an easier route: Since the fabric is so delicate it would be easier to fold in the excess fabric and sew it in place. This way there would be no cutting involved an therefore no hemming. I’m glad I took her advice because even then it was difficult to get the sleeves even. Now that this problem is solved I’m thinking of taking in the sides to make it fit me in the waist…

DIY: Envelope and letter paper

 photo Ostergruumlszlige2_zpsa4fe6f0b.jpegIs there a sweeter way to send letters to a friend than a self designed envelope and letter paper? This year my Easter greetings are completely hand-made by myself. Not only is this a nice gesture but better for your wallet, too.

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The envelope consists of three layers of paper: One colorful page cut out from a magazine sandwiched between two sheets of white paper. I traced the lines of photos to get the template for the cut-outs and flipped it horizontally. That step was important since I taped it to the back of paper (the inside of the envelope) for the cutting. After I was finished cutting the template was removed from the paper.  The best tool to do such fine cutting is a craft knife which you find in any craft store. For the colored paper that peeks behind the cut-outs I’d suggest browsing through some old magazines to find some pages you can use. In my case it was a picture of grape vines.

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Compared to the envelope the letter paper was much more straightforward. The template was found online, all I needed to do was to do the cut-outs. I printed the words mirror inverted again but this time I glued the template to the colored paper with a glue stick. I didn’t want to remove the template after cutting since the letters are quite delicate and a second layer of paper makes them much easier to work with. Magazines are such a great resource for decorative paper, can you imagine that the letters used to be part of a picture of an orchid?

I can’t wait to send these to my friend and see her response!

 

DIY: Book cover

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Urgh. It has really been three weeks since my last blog post? That’s an eternity. But at least I’ve got an excuse: Exams. Gosh, I almost forgot how much I hate them. They always get in the way of something fun. Like making a new cover for your cookbook.

My cookbook is a notebook I got somewhere during elementary school. Remember how horses and ponies were the epitome of a girl’s dream? The gift store in town used to sell a writing set: A notebook with a glitter pen. Horse themed, of course!  photo cookbook2_zps329efe15.jpeg

So yes, my cookbook was indeed a notebook with a horse in the cover. Not very fitting, is it? Adding to that, I couldn’t shake off the feeling that I was a tad to old for horses. It was time for a make over.

I wrapped regular white paper around the book, similar how one would wrap a book cover with plastic for protection. The design on the front was quite simple, the word “Recipes” inside a decorative frame that I cut out from gift wrapping paper. The back consists of words inside a leave shaped frame and punched out golden circles. But the best thing? The protective plastic wrapping! Now I can leave the cookbook on the kitchen counter without worrying about getting it dirty. Just wipe it off! Plus, the cover is now glossy and shiny.

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The second best thing? The make over looks halfway professional since a white sheet of paper glued to the inside of the cover hides all my messy taping and clumsy craftsmanship. Voilà, a cookbook that is ready to hold your secrets for yummy food.

DIY: Make a choker, take a bracelet

PhotobucketBracelets are impractical. On my right wrist they get in my way when I’m writing.On my left wrist they always bump against my watch. So, yes, I believe that I’m not made to wear bracelets.

But chokers, on the other hand, are lovely. I find it’s incredibly sensual and attractive when there is a necklace hugging the neck, sitting above the collarbone, emphasizing the long lines. But chokers are also incredibly hard to find in jewelry stores.

PhotobucketOne day I was perusing bracelets in a store. They were so pretty! Much prettier than the necklaces sold there. Sadly, I can’t stand to wear bracelets. But I really wanted this one bracelet and I wanted to wear it. But not on my wrist. So we’re here, turning a bracelet into a choker.
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  • a bracelet
  • a strong string like nylon
  1. Twist the jump ring open so that the chain isn’t connected to the bracelet anymore.
  2. Take the string and tie to the bracelet and to the chain.
  3. Now put your new choker around your neck and admire your handiwork.

DIY: They’re fluttering away

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Plain white walls are good for one reason: You can cover them up with everything. So when I saw the butterflies at Living with Punks, I knew what to do with the bare wall above my bed but a more mature, elegant version.

Instead of colorful cardstock I opted for silver cardstock with a mirror effect. The light bounces of the reflecting surface and looks beautiful that way. In addition, the cardstock cost me nothing since I recycled one box of Dickmann’s Schaumküsse (German chocolate marshmallows)! A very easy and fast DIY that’s even cheap – how great is that? And don’t you just love the way the butterflies seem to fly away from the peonies?

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Let them bloom

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There is nothing that brightens up a room like flowers. They add warmth and personality to the space. And color, of course. But flowers are also expensive in the long run. They may last two weeks before they’ll start wilting and need to be replaced. Blooming plants are more cost-efficient since they bloom several times. But they don’t flower all the time and require a certain amount of light, so you can’t put them everywhere. This leaves artificial flowers. While there are some that look fake from far away (and cheap) there are also some that really fool your eye.

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How do you find these roses? They are gorgeous, aren’t they? Moreover, they come in every color and are super affordable – since you make them out of coffee filters! The instructions can be found on Martha Stewart’s web page and there’s a very thorough video on Youtube.

Some thoughts on them:

  • If you don’t have the floral tape at home, go and buy it. Making the roses is much easier with it, scotch tape can’t compare. Floral tape stretches so that you can adjust the petals later on.
  • Go for white coffee filters. In Germany the brown ones are more common but they don’t bring out bright colors. I needed 6 coffee filters to make one rose, so with a pack of 80 I got 13 roses.
  • I used water color to paint, the ones that are often used in primary school.

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DIY: Make up pouch

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Do you know the feeling when you’re looking for something but nothing appeals to you? Ugly, too big, too pricey. I search and search and find nothing. At some point I get angry and frustrated and then there are two paths I can go: Either I give up on it entirely or I make it myself. This time I decided to try to sew a small pouch for my make up.

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There are really lovely patterns freely available on the Internet, I chose this one. Since I don’t have a sewing machine at my place it took some time to get everything done. But sewing by hand is pretty soothing and it’s a perfect pastime while watching House M.D.! I used the same lining fabric as on the pinboard and chose a red zipper and red thread for contrast. Since the fabric on its own wasn’t stiff enough I added felt between two layer of fabric. And voilà!

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