Embroidery hoop art

There are some things you just can’t do when you’re a cat owner. 

One of these things is having a tea cup on your bed side table as a jewelry holder. 

Cats will jump on it causing the clinking of China to wake you up at 4am on a Saturday. It may be pretty but sleep does come first. 

So I needed to hang my jewelry out of cats reach.

I am pretty obsessed with embroidery hoops so I picked out a couple in my crafty stash which I had painted and put away for future use.  

I took some fabric also from stash, secured it in the hoop, cut around the back, and poked some earrings into it!   


Then I screwed a couple of hooks into the wall and hung them. 

 Then I screwed a couple more hooks behind the embroider hoop to hang some of my necklaces on. (If you’re renting or don’t have walls that you can put holes into, 3M command hooks work as well.) 



 This has got to be one of easiest DIY I’ve ever done. 


I now know that I’m missing some earrings which I’ll have to track down. And I found some that I need to return to their original owner! 

It also has the added bonus of being almost entirely from stash, keeps my necklaces untangled, and looks pretty cute to boot. That makes it a winner in my book. And the cats aren’t really all the interested!





Fun with permanent markers

Possibly my favourite part of grocery shopping is checking out the stationery section.

It’s not even a whole aisle but depending on what’s in stock you can usually find something interesting, new, or pretty.

Recently I spotted some metallic sharpies and they somehow slipped and found their way into my basket!

I sat down on the couch with some glass jars, some coloured permanent markers, got comfy and started experimenting.

My drawing didn’t go too well. The glass was slippery, my drawing skills are limited, and once you draw on the glass it doesn’t come off!

I experimented with text by taping the design on paper and sticking it to the inside of the jar.
That was not easy. It was fiddly, I didn’t have enough light, and half way through the paper moved.

I had the most success when I went to basics. Horizontal lines and geometric patterns. They’re my strong suits. Nothing too tricky but striking.



I then ran out of jars, so I moved on to the pot I use as a yarn bowl. I had bought it from the hardware store with a little plant because I thought I’d try my hand at keeping 1 solitary plan alive.
I was quickly informed by the gardener in the relationship that the pot was too small for the plant.

So it’s been holding my yarn ever since.
Using the gold metallic sharpie I gave it a scalloped top.


It was exactly how I thought I’d spend my friday night, but there you go.

Oh and naturally I filled the jars with pompoms because that’s how I roll.

PS for those readers who use feedly or by email. I’ve redecorated! Come have a look and tell me what you think?

Jewellery for knitting

I’ve been putting off knitting Parcel for the silliest of reasons. The stitch markers I had were annoying,
A while ago, inspired by knitnrun4sanity’s; jewellery making adventures, I bought some supplies.
It was a half baked scheme which was concocted whilst in Spotlight. Ideas that happen whilst in the shop are usually half baked which means that I don’t actually know what I need, but I want to buy stuff now and not wait to research it properly.

So I bought a starter kit, a plier kit, and some pretty things that caught my eye. My first attempt was so unsuccessful that I gave up.

Now I’ve joined My Sisters Knitter’s knitalong to finish off all those pesky unfinished objects I figured I needed to do something about my stitch marker situation.

So I had a look in my big craft book which wasn’t much help. Well I didn’t have the right tools. The Internet was more useful with this tutorial on stitch markers.

I modified it slightly but I ended up with some stitch markers.

Now I have no excuses not to knit parcel.



Look at me playing wire and stuff.




I may have got a little carried away. I had only planned to make as many as I needed. Instead I used all the round things I had.
I think these mean that I can put Jewelry making basics on my new crafts to try list.


I knew I kept things for a reason

I’ve had these jeans for ages. After a month of wear they developed a tear in the crotch.
And yet for some reason I kept them.
It’s a family trait. We don’t like wasting things and so reusing scraps or repurposing material was something I was brought up to do.


Obviously these pants were waiting for me to have a really stiff neck. I was lieing away, trying to sleep when the idea came to me.
The pant leg is the perfect size for a heat bag, long enough to drape around my neck but not fall off.

The finished product isn’t exactly pretty or well finished, but it is practical.

First start by draping the pant leg around your neck to determine the optimal length.
Cut the pants.


Sew up the leg on one end. Sew about half way along the other opening. You need enough room so you can turn it inside out.
Using a funnel, start filling the tube.

Fill it a bit and then sew it up to create segments. I divided mine into 3 (so I did this bit twice).
Using the sewing machine with rice already in it was tricky, but it did work.

Once it’s all full, sew up the end

I had a great idea to use contrast embroidery thread, before remembering that my hand stitching is pretty terrible.

So it’s not going to win any beauty pageants. But it does the job.
Put it in the microwave for 2 minutes and put on neck.
Heat packs are wonderful things.



a cure for cast-on-itis (+FO#13)

New crafts!!!

I did spent 6 hours untangling a ball of yarn! Looking back I don’t even know how I managed to be patient for that long. But I had a plan to dye that yarn and didn’t want to waste it.


Then I did some research and found that acrylic doesn’t really dye too well with food colouring.
So it was back to the drawing board. I did just test that theory anyway. It didn’t turn out all that well. I also had an idea about bleach dyeing coloured acrylic yarn.
That didn’t go so well either.
I was hoping that soaking it in bleach would take the colour out of the yarn, meaning I could dip an end into bleach and create a self striping yarn. Similar to how you can with clothing. But it turns out that yarn (well Moda Vera Marvel) is quite well dyed.

So that my 6 hours wasn’t completely wasted, I unwound and then rewound some balls which were similar to the white one that caused me so much heartache.
A broken chair became a makeshift niddy noddy which I should really put back in the spare room. It would be hard to tell if the place was robbed or not.

I did however make it to spotlight over the weekend and bought some pure wool yarn. So I’m hoping to have a go at dyeing that sometime in the near future. (As well as getting it straight in my head how to consistently spell dyeing correctly.)
Whilst at spotlight I concocted a plan to make some pretty stitch markers. So I bought some jewellery making supplies. As usual I spent money before researching which added to my pre-existing crankiness when I tried to do what I thought would just be easy but actually unsurprisingly isn’t.
So I’m going to wait until my crankiness has lessened before trying that again.

I’ve also been researching drop spindles. I had always had the idea that I would learn to spin when I was living in a house, rather than an overcluttered apartment. I have since grown impatient, particularly as our house plans are now a little further out of reach. So I’ve been researching and after showing pictures to hewhofishes , he said “I can make that!”. So we’ll see what happens there.

But I do have a finished object to show you!
I present the Weeble Wobble Cowl.
Remember the poll I did a couple of weeks ago? Even though it wasn’t the winner, the recipient got the final choice.

Importantly, it’s a good luck scarf because the brown and gold team won on Friday.
This weeble wobble is pictured in its new habitat – the inglewood hotel.
Thanks Midnitemoose for being such a good model.




13 in 2013

These type of posts are dime a dozen at this time of year. Everyone is enthusiastic about what the year will bring. I’ve always set informal goals for myself.

• I have the usual goals that I set every year. Exercise more, eat more ethically, live more sustainably, thrift more/buy less, have a cleaner house.
• I have work goals, which are too boring to share on this blog but usually revolve around completion of projects and implementing process changes (told you it was boring).
• I have my eye on buying a house in the next 2 years so I’m working towards saving for that.

But I don’t want to blog about that stuff.

So here is my list of 13 fun and crafty things to do in 2013.

1. Open my little etsy shop.
2. Host a giveaway on my blog (this one should be easiest! Stay tuned)
3. Finish Start the knitting for my Pay It Forward post. (Who knew finding the right project for two of my knitting idols would be so difficult!)
4. Knit 12 pairs of socks. 1 for each month.
5. Sew some cushions. 6 to be exact. (Fortunately I have a friend who is in need of cushions.)
6. Write a knitting pattern and post it on Ravelry.
7. Post a tutorial or a how-to guide.
8. Try a new craft, or 2, or 3.
9. Create an artwork for my apartment
10. Embroider a whole song (lyrics) onto something.
11. Sew a garment from a pattern, and wear it.
12. Read a new book every month. (something I haven’t read before)
13. Crochet a granny square.

Does anyone else have a list of things to do this year?
I’d love to hear about it.


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Merry Happy Everyone!

I hope everyone has a fantastic day, whatever you’re doing, whether that’s working, volunteering, spending time with friends, family, or the Internet.

I’ll be taking a break until after the new year.
But I’ll leave you with a last minute gift idea which the ladies in my family are getting this year.

Home made sugar scrubs.

Not to be TMI, but I’ve had to experiment with some organic skin products this year. And I love this.

Basically (and there are variations on this all over the Internet! But my main inspiration was this post here), the formula is 2 parts sugar to 1 part oil plus some scent.


Mix it together, spoon it into containers, and then add a pretty ribbon.

I experimented with 4 different scents.
Lemon, strawberry, coconut and vanilla & brown sugar.
I used essences as they’re easier to buy from the supermarket, but they do need longer to infuse.


Add a pretty ribbon and there you go!


Merry Happy to all!!

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Embroidering things

I’ve been embroidering. I asked a question on A Sheepish Girl‘s (oh so lovely) blog about what stitch she uses for her text, I’ve been itching to try back stitch ever since.
It’s just like knitting but in lines. (In a kind of not really sort of way.) but a lot easier then stem stitch.

So I opened up phonto on my iPad and typed in a couple of quotes. (If you then set that image as the home screen it makes it easier to trace.)
So once it’s traced onto the fabric, I used back stitch to make the letters.
And things just clicked. More so than they did with stem stitch.

It is really relaxing. Not as much as knitting. It doesn’t have the same TV watching options (I don’t think you could ever embroider with your eyes closed, or during a really important scene), but it’s great for listening to music.

But quotes!!! And music lyrics! I have so many things to embroider on cushions and to put on walls and I can see a lot of decorating until my Bloke gets fed up with embroidery and I have to start decorating my BFF’s house (who reads this and can now request embroidered items. I promise I want embroider a doily for you!).

I digress! Here’s my embroidery attempts.
The quotes are from Silversun Pickups, Wolf Parades, and Parks And Recreation.




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The weekend I tried to teach myself to stitch

I really only want to know embroidery so I can write/stitch really cool quotes and phrases. And then I can hang them on the wall or put them on cushions.
But I have a lot of practicing to do first.

Also on the weekend, we cleaned out the spare room. We now have room to swing a cat, or do a full 360 revolution when I’m at my sewing machine.

I started a whole stack of really cool blogging related projects.
I caved and my blog now has a Facebook page. Go look on your right – there’s a fancy Facebook thingamajig. Currently it’s linked to this blog (obviously), my Instagram, and there’s a spotify playlist for all my passion pop Wednesday (song of the week) picks.
If you’re a Facebook person, go and check it out.
(If you’re a twitter person you can find me at beks_sparkles

I also knitted a whole lot for a blog tutorial. And I’m planning a giveaway!
It’s exciting times.

There’s also exciting news on the family front. There’s going to be a wedding!
Not mine, but my Bloke’s sister (who is one of the coolest people I know).
So I did the dutiful thing and introduced her to pintrest! (YOU’RE WELCOME!)

So it was a pretty awesome weekend. I’m really excited about the future.



(What’s a weekend post without a photo of Max.)
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I made cushions!!

I can make cushion covers.
I can sew straight seams. Ok well it took me a little while and a I had to unpick a couple, but I got there in the end.

When Spotlight recently had a 30% off everything sale I picked up some quilting flats. They’re 40×40 cm squares and pretty much made for cushion making.

Its all straight seams with an opening to put the inserts in.
Pretty easy and ended up less than $10 for two.

(I know that there’s a pretty black polka-dot fabric in there, but I don’t want to talk about it – there was a cushion disaster)

Totally cute and I can’t wait to make more to shake things up. Maybe next time I’ll get a little more adventurous like these gorgeous ones by .

And here’s me trying out spin cam…