23 February 2012

FO: tiny book necklace!

I made myself a necklace! One I'm really, really happy with, even. A book!

Earlier this month, I told you about the adorable tutorial I found on The Perfect Pear for a mini book necklace, because I had fallen in love with the idea. I wasted some time contemplating looking for some leather to buy to make one, until I realised that there was an old wallet lying right next to me. The zipper had broken, there were scuffmarks, and I had found plenty of reasons besides those to justify buying a new wallet, so I didn't need this one anymore. It was perfect to do a little test run! I cut off the back of the wallet, cleaned off all the interfacing and filler material, and got to work.

The prototype

The result was.. Not what I had hoped for. Because the glue I used was less than perfect for gluing a stack of papers together, the whole stack had started to wobble. As you can see, so did the cover. I still loved the idea, but some more work was in order before it was the way I wanted it to be.

For necklace #2, I decided to go the sturdy way, and added some thick paper (an old business card) that I cut down to size and glued to the inside of the cover. This way, it wouldn't be influenced by the pages as much. There were more things that bothered me about the prototype, though. The tutorial for the necklace was to create a purely decorative necklace, but I liked the idea of an actual book far better...

So #2 did not get the stack of glued pages.

#2 is fully functional!

I love my new necklace! The pages are simply a stack of cheap, A4 printer paper, cut into rectangles slightly smaller than the cover and tied in the middle with the same tie that is used to keep the book shut. Simple but effective, and I love the effect of the lighter brown cord on the dark brown cover.

But not only does it look nice, it's also part of its functionality. I liked the idea of carrying around a tiny book that I could write down quotes in, or let friends doodle or write something. When the pages are full, I can simply undo the knot, take out the pages, cut new ones, and add them to the cover without having to cut the binding.

I'm planning on writing down a little tutorial for this in the near future so you can make your own little book! And think of the possibilities! I'm thinking cutting up old books to use for the pages.. Or print out some tiny illustrations... Or make themed doodles... Or make it a one-sentence journal..

20 February 2012

This & That: not my regular crafts

This week's This & That is all about different kinds of crafting!

On the one hand... You wouldn't expect it, probably, but the first picture has everything to do with a necklace! I'll show you the results in a future post. I was trying to flatten it a bit, so I piled a load of the heaviest books I could find in the living room on top of it. Which was quite a challenge, since most of the books we keep in the living room are the Discworld novels in paperback, the Harry Potter novels in paperback, the Game of Thrones-novels in paperback and some random fantasy novels. Most of which are also in paperback.

On the other hand... I've been working on a secret project! Another one! Shhh, this one is for my dad's birthday. I'm pretty sure he doesn't read my blog, so I can tell you. I'm building him a portfolio website! My dad likes to paint and build furniture in his spare time and he's gotten pretty good at both in the past few years, so he deserves a proper portfolio to show off with! I think he'll be really happy with it. It's been bugging him for a while that he never has pictures with him to show what he's been working on to friends, now he can just hop on the computer and show them his website! I know it doesn't look like much now, but hopefully, once it's up and running and has some good pictures, it'll be awesome.

16 February 2012

FO: Cowlol

Last week, I spent two days at the office of a translation agency to learn to work with their software. This was still in the middle of that cold wave we had, and the walk from the train station to the office was a good 20 minutes. On the first day, it was a mere -6 degrees Celcius, an unpleasant temperature, but it was neutralised by a glorious morning sun and no wind whatsoever. I enjoyed the walk to the office, but the walk back was less fun. The wind had picked up, and it felt like it was nearer to -10 than the -5 that it actually was, with the wind constantly finding ways through and under my scarf.. That evening, I read the weather report for Tuesday: temperature was expected to drop to -13, with a biting wind that would cause it to feel like -20!

I needed a quick and easy solution to keep me warm in those arctic temperatures. I dug through my stash bag and came across...

This thing. The big black knitted monstrosity that was my first real knitted.. thing. I never figured out what to do with it, got bored with it, cast off, and stuffed it down to the bottom of that bag. It's acrylic yarn, but quite soft, and because I knit it on larger needles but with a double strand, the fabric is quite thick.

So I crocheted the shorter sides together, made a long braid out of two colours of yarn, looped it through one side (to hide some mistakes I made while knitting... Yeah, yeah, I know, but it was one of my first knitted things.) and..

(Please excuse the bed-hair. That's not bed-hair. That's 'I've been playing around with this thing and now my hair is clingy and weird'-hair.)

It's a cozy cowl! I call it, the Cowlol. Nothing to do with cows, trust me, before you break your brain trying to figure out the logic. It's snug and it's thick, so I can roll over the top or the bottom, or just...

pull it up and have it cover my ears and big nose! (that snuck out of the cowl when I was taking this picture because it made me giggle. I made myself giggle. I do that a lot, actually. Easily amused.)

But why is it called the Cowlol? Because of this.
I can pull on the string and turn it into a hat! A goofy, silly, ridiculous hat, but hey, a hat is a hat is a hat. And now you know why my hair is looking like bed-hair in these pictures. I think this may be the warmest hat we own, but I won't go out of the house looking this silly. On the other hand, I can't remember the last time we had crazy weather like we had the first two weeks of this month, so who knows? I might need a hat like this some day.

12 February 2012


Oh hai. I had such a busy week! I had all these things planned for the blog... And then work got in the way! Needless to say, I was thrilled. (Yes, really. Not being sarcastic, for once. I got a big translation job this week, and a small one as well, and got invited to spend a few days at a translation agency's office to learn the ins and outs of their translation software! Work is picking up and I am excited as hell!)

I'll fill you in on some crafty stuff I got done this week later. But first...

In case you missed it: we had a cold wave since the beginning of this month! Snow! Ice! Temperatures well below -10 degrees even during the days! Frozen toes and fingers galore! Train service that got buggered over because of even the remotest hint of cold weather!

Okay, so that last one wasn't as positive, but you get the idea, right? The whole country has been enthralled with the weather these past 2 weeks, ever since it got so cold that the ice was thick enough to skate on, the buzz about a possible Elfstedentocht got louder and even the slightest change in the weather was reported in the news.

I'm a cold weather kinda gal myself, even though ice skating isn't really my thing, but snow, ice and frosty weather makes me ridiculously happy. Embarrassingly happy, even, if you ask the BF. I turn into a five-year-old girl when there's snow on the ground. I look for fresh snow that hasn't been stepped in, just so I can be the first to step in it and hear the crunch. He has to hold my hand otherwise I'd jump in every snow pile I see to make snow angels.

So I wasn't really surprised when he declined my invitation to go out for a walk through the snow towards the lake, and simply set off on my own, my camera in hand.

The lake is an artificial one, almost perfectly round, and a walk around it takes you a good hour if you take it relatively slow. It used to be one of my most dreaded locations of this part of town, because it was near my secondary school, where they had a tendency to make us run a lap around the lake for phys ed at least once a year... And I never was much of a runner. Now that I live close-by, though, I like to walk over there every now and then and enjoy the view and the weather.

The paths around the lake are all straight as an arrow and very unimaginative, but they do lead you directly to the water's edge and around it. Despite the gorgeous weather, with a clear blue sky and barely any wind, it was still -6 degrees and surprisingly quiet for a Saturday afternoon.

Well.. quiet... See him? With a mouth full of leaves? He made such a racket that I could hear him from a mile away! I had to sneak through the bushes to investigate.

The branches on most trees and bushes were covered in snow and ice, sometimes so much that it seemed to almost be defying gravity. One tap with a finger, or one gush of wind, and all that snow would come tumbling down...

Which, I might add, happened regularly during my walk. And even though I love snow, I still don't like it to slip down the collar of my coat when I'm not expecting it.

I never even made it around the whole lake, funnily enough, though I did spend an hour and a half outside in the snow. There was so much loveliness to see outside! I love those trees.. And the snow on the ground.. And the colour of the sky...

I think this was the point where I decided that I loved my fingers more than my pictures and went home, my hands tucked away in my pockets because I was a dolt and forgot my gloves back home. It took a good 3 hours to warm back up again, but oh, it was worth it.

As we speak, it is snowing again, but the weather is expected to turn later today and tomorrow, they're expecting rain and +5 degrees... Oh well. It was fun while it lasted. And at least we've got the pictures!

3 February 2012

Nifty links!

It's time for another linkapalooza. Here are some great tips, tricks and tutorials I have found on the internet!

(note: I do not own any of these images, not even the screenshot.)

"Pointers for point-and-shoot photography" on Shrimp Salad Circus!

I think I speak for all of us when I say that it is a photographer's dream to take the best pictures we possibly can, even though all we have to work with is a simple point-and-shoot camera! This post on Shrimp Salad Circus gives some nice pointers on how to make your photos really pop!


"Mini Book Necklace DIY" on The Perfect Pear!

How adorable is this tutorial? I love long necklaces, and I love pretty, leather-bound books, so this is just perfect! As soon as I find myself a scrap of leftover leather, I am making this one!


"Chocolate heart imprint cookies" by A Food Lover's Journey!

With Valentine's Day getting closer, it's time to get your baking act together! Look at these babies. Cute, chocolatey and cookies. Perfect!


(image from All About Ami)

This adorable dragon pattern from All About Ami!

Look at that tiny wittwe dwagon! Cute! And while you're there, take a look at all the other patterns on her site, there's a ton of similarly cute tutorials on there!



I'm pretty sure I'm the last person to jump on the bandwagon, but yay for Craftgawker! Not only is it a great overview of the latest and greatest crafty projects on the net, it also leads me to gorgeous, gorgeous blogs, like the ones I posted about above!


Do you have any posts or pages that you love? Leave a comment!