Thursday, June 20, 2013

Tiny Origami Stars

I got a bee in my bonnet a week or so ago about Origami Stars. I had spotted them on Pinterest and maybe elsewhere on the interwebs and decided I would learn how to make them!
The first few were pretty amateur and I had a moment where I decided I wasn't reading the instructions right but I plodded on and got there in the end...

Then I remembered I had silver paper somewhere. Somewhere as in last-seen-in-a-box-in-Palmy-almost-a-year-ago...queue lots of box opening, rifling and asking husband to heave some boxes around. Of course we found the paper in the box at the bottom...always the way :-)

But I'm so glad I made the effort as these stars look awesome-sauce made with silver paper!
It's the perfect Winter evening activity to keep your hands busy while you're catching up on some television and I quickly ended up with quite a large pile of them!
I'm currently contemplating stringing them up for a Winter garland and just deciding whether to glue them on to some bakers twine or try to pierce holes through them with a needle. 

But in the meantime I thought I'd share the tutorial I used so you can have a go at your own...

Be sure to click through to read the instructions if you struggle to begin with.
And a quick tip - it pays to have long-ish nails when squeezing the sides in!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Project Life (Weeks 21 and 22)

As Winter takes hold I'm finding it harder to take photos of my Project Life pages - trying to find decent light without any glare is tricky so I apologise if these photos aren't the best.
Today I'm sharing Weeks 21 and 22...

The left side features my title card, some baking, the 12wbt push-up challenge (hubby and Mr Mischief joining in), and a snap of my desk at work (which I instagrammed when I was tagged for "what are you doing right now?"). Across the middle is an instagram of my cousins baby wearing a hat I made for him, a 12wbt update, me ready for a workout and a filler Seafoam card with an Amy Tangerine camera sticker.

I tried to use the same letter stickers across this week and I think it helped join it all together.
On the right we have a snap of my workout (via the 12wbt website on the laptop showing on the tv using a monitor cable!), the boys planting some herbs, some birthday RAKs I put together for a Project Life group I'm involved in and discovering a new park/stopping for an ice-cream. In the middle was me putting my feet up for 5 minutes with a hot chocolate, Mr Mischief at a cafe, Mr Mischief enjoying a read of my scrapbooks and some beautiful birds who were in the bushes in the garden (which you can see on this photo but it's reasonably clear in the actual album).

And here's the full spread.

Week 22 features some photos from walks, playing with some wooden shrimp at the fish n chip shop, a Seafoam 5 senses card, sleepy boy, 12wbt update and me after a haircut.

On the right side we have a chilled out PJ clad boy, seed progress (the mothers day seed in a jar), my stamp carving class at Handmade, a date with my husband and through the middle a screenshot of Kate Bush (I was named after her!) on MTV, some journalling about swimming, our movie tickets from our date and Margarita's with the lovely Handmade ladies.

And here's the full spread.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Pilates Adventures

I'm not sure if I've mentioned it here in this space before but I've been going to Pilates classes.
In fact, I've been going for a while now. Since last October. That's commitment in my books. A weekly class for the last 8 months (we did have about a months break over Christmas and I've missed a couple of classes due to illness and being away but nothing too significant). I even carried on while my Mum visited and while we moved house.
Now I'm no expert but I do want to share my experience here as I think Pilates may have been where it all started. By all I mean my current health and fitness kick.

I got a flyer in my mailbox advertising local classes offering a beginner option with the 1st introductory class being free. It took a lot of courage to make that initial step - I didn't really know what Pilates was about and me + exercise has been known to have disastrous results. We were still fairly new to wellington at that point so I didn't even have a local friend to come along and hold my hand!

The weekly class has become an important part of my routine. Pilates day is my only weekday home with Mr Mischief these days so we tend to have quite a relaxed start but knowing I have to be out the house to get to class within 5 minutes of hubby being home makes the late afternoon something of a military operation around these parts.

I'm really noticing lately a huge improvement in my flexibility. I can bend over and touch my toes without bending my knees and when I did the fitness test for 12wbt I was at advanced or intermediate level for most of the core based exercises. 

Some of the exercises in class may feel easy but I still believe they are doing something. Other exercises are tough... feel-it-in-every-muscle, not-sure-I-can-hold-this-position-any-longer tough and I think these are the ones doing me the most good.

I always come out of the class feeling good for having done it and pretty relaxed too. The breathing component of the exercises helps me concentrate on my body and ignore all the day to day nonsense (what do I need to buy at the supermarket, I must put blah on my to do list etc etc).

I'm really glad I made that initial step of courage. As I have felt my flexibility increase its given me more confidence to increase my fitness in other areas and inspired me to learn more about how I can live in tune with my body. 

I'd definitely recommend giving Pilates a go and if you're in the Wellington area I'd highly recommend Tabitha's Pilates

Note: this isn't a review and I haven't been asked to write this post. I just wanted to get my thoughts down as a reminder to myself of why I've been making the effort!

2nd Note: I didn't even know where to begin taking flattering photos of me doing Pilates so I hope you enjoy these photos of the beautiful South Wellington coast instead :-)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Handmade NZ :: adventures in hand carving stamps

Over the long weekend I took a class at Handmade NZ. It was taught by Melissa from Tiny Happy and was really interesting and good fun! 
The class was Hand Carved Stamps and Printing. We were asked to bring along a set of lino-cutting tools, some rubber erasers and something to print our stamps on. 

I have tried my hand at carving my own stamps before with some success. Back then I was using a craft knife which was a little too big and rather-too-easily chopped off bits I needed!
I enjoyed the process though so was keen to sign up for this class when I saw it on the schedule.

Melissa started the class showing us examples of her own hand carved stamps and what she had made with them. She had some beautiful simple designs and seeing how some simple stamps could transform brown wrapping paper, fabric and a little zipped purse was super inspiring.

After she explained the basics she gave us free reign to come up with our own designs and get carving.
I went with a simple chevron design. I sketched it out in my notebook, transferred the design to the eraser and got busy carving. I really like this design and it can almost be used one after the other to create a long line of chevrons....

During the class I also carved a small leaf-like design. It started in my head as an oak tree leaf. I'm not convinced I got the shape right but I like how it turned out. You can see it at the top of the piece of paper in the photo below.
My 3rd attempt during the class was some text. This was by far the trickiest as I initially sketched it as a mirror image forgetting my the time it was transferred to my eraser it would be the right way round meaning when it was printed it would be a mirror image! Luckily I realised before I had carved too much and did it the other way round on the other side of the eraser.

We (Mr Mischief and I) had fun playing with the stamps at home after the class and I may have a go at carving some fun shapes just for him to use.
I also got busy and carved 2 more shapes at home over the weekend. I went for a simple circle/ring shape (it's wonky but I find that endearing!) and an ampersand.
I've already stamped some brown paper for wrapping paper and some little journalling cards to use in my Project Life album. And I am thinking about making some little notelets and cards.

I'm really glad I took the class :-)

Other highlights from Handmade NZ were going to The Story of Felt lecture by Lucy who runs Felt, catching up with Cat and taking her to the Chocolate Fish Cafe for a coffee and enjoying yummy margarita's at Flying Burrito Brothers with Cat, Gill from Mudbird Ceramics and Fiona from More Than Fabric.


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