I’ve been up to my eyes studying lately. It must be the bane of my life because my study is also the place where I do most of my creative activities. So every time I tried to put my head down I’d get distracted looking at some half finished project that seemed to be calling me away…. So in retaliation, much coffee and biscuits and junk food were consumed in order to keep me chained to the books.
And why is it that when you have to study or do some serious work, the best weather arrives?? It has been scorching here. We’ve had a terrible spring but now suddenly summer is here, and I get to watch everyone in their shorts and vests heading down to the park next to us from the window next to my desk. Sods law. But one result of the stunning weather is that I get to appreciate the sudden growth spurt of my toms. They’re huge! I think my makeshift bottle greenhouses are going to be too small any day now. I can’t wait. Keep it up Mr. Sun.
I’m feeling very eco conscious lately. I think it has something to do with my growing feeling of connection to nature. That’s sounds a bit preachy, but summer is here, and I’m outside loads and my Toms are thriving in my front window, and I’ve managed to maintain my last New Years resolution to start recycling so I’m pretty happy. But boost my eco credentials a little more and to satisfy my interest in beading I thought I’d try something new.
A jewellery friend of mine said that you could make beads from plastic bottles really simply. So intrigued, I thought I’d give it a whirl. If you fancy giving it a shot, just follow my super simple tutorial.
- Take a clean, empty plastic bottle. Cut the top and bottom off. Then cut along the remaining cylinder to open it up flat (Mind out doing these bits as you don’t have much control of your blade. Don’t worry about getting straight lines)
- Take a steel ruler and start cutting strips of plastic 1-2cm in width
- Colour them in with permanent markers (I used pantones for more variety in colours) and leave them to dry for about 20 minutes
- Roll each strip up as tightly as you can and hold in place with a pair of pliers
- Hold near a heat source for a few seconds turning as you do. For the heat source I used the gas flame on my cooker but I have also used a candle. Be careful not to hold it too close or you’ll start to melt the plastic and some pretty nasty fumes will be let off. Open a window just in case to keep air circulating.
And that’s it! Keep repeating to increase your bead stash. Try different bottles, strip widths and lengths and colours. I’m delighted with them, they look ace! I just wish I had more time to make something with them. Soon, I promise.
I’m moving out of my lovely flat for a few weeks this summer and heading off for some city living. It’s not as exciting as it sounds really. I’m dependent on the patience and kindness of friends to let me stay in their flat. I’ll be on my best behavior cleaning and cooking circles around my new flatmates to keep them happy and trying to stay out late in the evenings hanging out in coffee shops with my knitting to try and give them a bit of peace and quiet. But on the odd occasion when I am back in my new digs I’m going to have to use my new keys and what are keys without a keyring? I saw this as a perfect chance to put my new cupcakes to work. A sweet little keyring for what I hope to be a stellar summer in the city.
It’s very simply made; some chain, headpins, tigertail and the odd bead or two. Easily done, and a nice weekend project.
Why is it that birthdays all seem to come at once? And always when you’re up to your ears with everything else?
I had one of those panic moments today. It was an hour before I went to meet a friend and I suddenly though, ‘oh, isn’t it her birthday soon?’ Shucks, and I pride myself on being organised. All my beading things were still out so I ran and sat down and had 30 minutes to whip something up. To be honest I thought about giving away my cool blue bracelet, but I like it too much! So I thought a slight variation on it would be nice. I didn’t have long to pick beads but this is what I decided. It’s bright, it’s bold, it has a slight hint of glitz, and a summery air. It’s the Anne bracelet, for the carefree, fun loving, never-on-time Anne in your life!
Time to strike no. 3 of my 10 for ’10 off the list! I’ve tried my hand at fimo jewelery. I thought since I don’t seem to be able to get any work done I might aswell do something fun as a break. I haven’t used fimo since I was very small. I have a vague recollection of getting a jewelry making kit and gifting messy hand made broaches and earrings to my poor family.
I hope this attempt is a bit more successful than my ones at the age of 8! In retaliation to the rise of the whoopie pie I made 9 little cupcakes. Yum! They are very cute chocolate cupcakes with coffee, strawberry and swirly frosting with cherries and sprinkles on top. I only need to bake them for 30 minutes and there was no horrible washing up to do after. My kind of baking! Now I just need to decide what to use them in…..
Apparently the reign of the cupcake is over. I’m obviously not hip enough to notice, but while the cupcake was looking all sweet and dainty a big, heavy, calorific, chocolate cake has stolen its crown. It is now the year of the Whoopie Pie. Another american dessert has found its way accross the ocean and become a British delicacy. Apparently even M&S are now selling them.
So when they featured a recipe for them on Something for the Weekend, I decided it was time to give them a try. They used all store cupboard basics and take no time at all to whip up and bake, the only trouble comes when you try to eat them. Wow, the are heavy. Two sides of dense chocolate cake, with marshmallow centre and more chocolate on top! Yum! But a very guilty pleasure. Best thing to do is find your sweetheart and split it with them as a cosy treat. They aren’t a dessert to be made every week but when your in need of a pick me up they are a good choice. Try them, they are something else altogether!
More beading! At last. It takes such effort to get all the beading stuff out and arrange it (somewhat precariously) on any available desk/table that I just don’t do it that often and I really wish I did. My mother inlaw got my involved in the whole lark. She bought me a huge beading kit for christmas a few years ago (I think she was maybe lonely for beading buddies). I saw her a weekend or two ago and she was wearing this really lovely bracelet that she had had for years.
After examining it I decided it would be really easy to replicate. So I took a photo and went home to get searching for suitable beads. This is what I came up with. I love it! My beads were a bit bigger so I used less, but otherwise its the same. It’s a really unusual bracelet, and doesn’t irritate me as I go about my day (generally I get fed up I take off jewelry even before lunch). That and it was really simple to make and only cost me about £3 (the large link chain was the most expensive element), makes it a winner for me. I think I’m definitely going to repeat it; in gold for myself and for presents for friends.
I think I’m going through a blue mood because it exactly matches my latest bargain purchase of a le creuset casserole dish. Aces!