Sewing Kit DIY

handmade life
Hi there!

I’m ready to write a new post for the blog, oh yeah! Exactly a week after my last post. If you’ve been wondering what was taking me so long, flu has. It sort of melted my brain into a mix of… stuffy, disgusting bits.

Anyway, here I am again, and I have a post for all of you. I’ve been working on this one for a while, if not on the text, at least on the images. They were all taken with my phone (S4) and then perfected (ha!) in Photoshop, mainly because I tend to get creative at night, so the lighting in all my quick phone pictures is usually bad. That’s how I seem to roll…

This is something I saw on Pinterest. I think the first time I saw stuff like this was probably on one of the million photos and posts about doing things with Mason jars.

For some reason, it seems I never pinned any of those, but pinned this one instead, which let’s be honest, it’s much prettier than what I’ve ended up doing! Unfortunately, the original link seems to be broken…

I don’t have any Mason jars, even though I keep thinking about buying a bunch. I know, they look awesome, but I can’t really go spending money around on something like that, so instead, I decided to use what I have. Enter Bonne Maman!

Jam jar

Obviously, it’s better to do this project after you’ve finished eating the contents of the jar, but that isn’t much of a problem around here!

First of all, I set my working space, which was no other than my coffee table, while I was watching TV.

Supplies

I wasn’t drinking beer, I just like to have big glasses of water and save myself trips to the kitchen!

Now, I must admit that the whole sewing kit you’re going to see here started really as a test, as a I’m bored, let’s see what happens… sort of project, so I didn’t have any plan at all when I started.

I cut a circle out of the cardboard, to give the cushioned top a circular shape, and made a hole in the middle to insert the stuffing (I finally found a use for all those broken socks, yay me!)

I then cut a bigger circle in my fabric, chosen at random from fabric my aunt gave me a few months ago. I threaded it along the outer area (if that makes any sense) very loosely, so I could then pull the thread tight around the cardboard.

Cushion bottom

Does that make more sense? As you can see, I filled the thing with my shredded sock(s), which gave it a pretty nice consistency.

Cushion side

After that, I gave the lid a coat of gesso, which to be honest, didn’t work as I thought. The idea was to make the lid a bit rougher so that I could paint it properly, but I didn’t expect the surface to end up that rough. I used some sanding paper to try to smooth it a bit once it had dried, which didn’t work completely either. It’s fine, as I was just sort of testing stuff. I decided to go ahead and just paint it in this pretty blue, and then added some white dots.

Lid dots

Once that was dry, I glued the cushion to the lid. Then, it was just a matter of getting creative and add decorations to the cushion. I made a pretty rose with some random fabric I found, I did a crochet flower, and added some pretty pins and a handmade button…

Rose side 1

Rose front

Pink button

Flower

Finally, I added the finishing touches: a metallic tag that shows it was made with love along with a card tag that I stamped myself.

Love tag

Butterfly tag

For the contents, I just raided my sewing box and filled the jar with a couple of threads, small scissors, a tape measure, and a thimble! The usual.

Kit supplies

Contents above

I think it ended up looking great, despite it being done with no plan and on a trial and error basis.

Kit final

I definitely enjoy doing this kind of thing, and I’ve been looking for new projects for the past couple of months.

For now, my next project is probably going to be a tie. I just finished watching The Great British Sewing Bee on TV and on their last episode, the sewers had to make a tie from scratch as their first challenge. Not only it look difficult enough, but the finished items looked absolutely beautiful. Unfortunately, I don’t know that many guys who wear ties, so I guess they’ll be just personal projects once again. I’ll let you know how it goes!

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Posted in handmade life

I believe I can… try?

I’m an idiot. No, seriously, I am. The worst part is that I know it. It never catches me by surprise, and that’s frustrating.

I am a full time procrastinator, and most of the time, I have little faith in me. I think the both are related. Actually, that isn’t entirely true, or rather, it needs some explanation.

Normally, I have great ideas, ideas that I think are awesome and I can’t wait to get working on. The problem is that I usually get these brilliant ideas whenever there’s no way of working on them. For example, I think about some DIY when I’m on my way to work, or about a photo shoot when I’m working on a spread sheet. Or I think about a brilliant way of becoming more efficient at work when I’m cooking dinner at home. Genius doesn’t know any schedules, it seems.

If I don’t forget about my amazing project, and I get to it, then everything is fine and dandy for about 5 minutes. At some point, I start worrying that the result isn’t going to look like I imagined, that my skills aren’t good enough. Yes, my lack of faith in myself kicks in. I start thinking about all the mistakes I’m likely to make, and all the people who can do the same task much better than me.

What happens then? Well, procrastination kicks in. Suddenly, I don’t want to finish my project. Suddenly, it isn’t exciting any more, it becomes a burden. I hate it. If it isn’t work, I kick the project to a corner and then fail to forget about it (I’m looking at you, scrapbook-style cookbook!)

I know, I should have faith in myself, and three different people have told me so today. They have told me that they believe in me, for different reasons and scenarios.

Guess what? It works. Sort of. I mean, I still worry that I won’t be good enough, and that I won’t be able to accept failure. I guess I’m scared of people suddenly thinking I’m a fraud or something and/or people laughing at me… Ah, same old, same old.

Anyway, this stems from a couple of things going on at the moment.

Thing #1, the dreaded half marathon. As you know, I’m supposed to run it next week, on 27th April, and as you might know, I haven’t trained as much as I should have. Between trips and procrastination, and then a knee injury, I haven’t done a long run in ages. I’ve been putting it off, because of pain, but today I finally put on my trainers again, even though I almost didn’t.

As usual, I wasn’t too positive about the outcome. I was expecting to hobble for about 10 minutes and crawl off the treadmill, clutching my knee in soaring pain, so I started walking fast for 5 minutes. And then I ran slowly for another 5 or 10 minutes. And then I ran a bit faster, and then slower again, and then I flew. OK, I didn’t really fly. I wasn’t even that fast, but hey, I ran for 1 hour, and it felt amazing. Of course, this doesn’t mean I can run 21km next week, but hey, it’s something. I’m forcing myself to believe I can do it, mixture of run and walk. That’s a start!

Thing #2 relates to one of my hobbies. Some friends are in a band (hi guys!), and they’ve asked me to take photos at their next gig. My first reaction was to think awesome, followed by a second reaction, following the first at the speed of light, that was but my photos are poop (I didn’t really use the word poop though). Consciously, I know my photos aren’t terrible, but I also know I take them for myself. These guys want me to get my camera and start taking pictures in a dark bar, and they expect them to look good(ish). Again, my friend (hey Sam!) has told me he knows the photos will be great. I sort of believe him a bit, mainly because I plan on taking a million photos, and then only share with them the 2 that look good. Yep, that’s my plan, I mean… at least 2 are bound to look good, don’t you think? I’m actually grinning as I write this because I know I’m being silly, I know it, but I can’t help it.

However, my friend Su gave me a great book for my birthday, it’s called Feel The Fear And Do it Anyway, so that’s what I’m going to do.

I’m scared of running for 3 hours. I’m even more scared of taking photos for others, but I’m going to do it anyway.

So, if you will take away just one thing from this post today, I hope it’s this: don’t do like I do. Don’t let your fears get the best of you and waste time worrying. You see, I argue with myself and postpone taking a decision. In the end, I do it anyway, and I feel stupid and angry at myself for having wasted my time. Don’t do that! If something scares you, it might be worth doing. It means it’s outside your comfort zone, but once you do it, whether it goes right or wrong, you’ll see there’s nothing to be afraid of and your comfort zone will have expanded. In my case, it will hopefully expand by 21 kilometres!

I have a task for you. I want you to do something that scares you (within reason, I don’t want you on the news for the wrong reasons) by the end of this month, and I want you to tell me about it. If you feel brave enough, leave a comment at the bottom, or a link to your own post (don’t just leave a link though, give us an introduction); or if you’re shy, send me an email at shutterandink.contact [at] gmail [dot] com. If you want to take a picture, or write a post, or whatever represents what you’ve done, I want to know!

Personally, I’ll share my experience about the half marathon, which sounds pretty scary to me at the moment.

Go on, be brave! Be scared, but do it anyway. I believe in you.

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Posted in life

Paris Part I – Pere Lachaise

In my last post, I promised you some photos from my latest trip.

The photos I took during my ski trip aren’t that good, so I’m afraid there’s not much to share. Unfortunately, I was using an old point-and-shoot camera (I didn’t want to break my DSLR if I fell down) and for some reason, many of the pictures appear blurred, even in broad daylight! Hopefully, once I get round to work on the video I’ll be able to show you something.

So, these below are photos of Paris. However, since I took like a million pictures (might or might not be exaggerating a bit), and I’ve spent most of my Saturday afternoon and evening editing, and I’m still not finished, I’ve decided to share them in installments.

Therefore, this is Paris Part I – Pere Lachaise.

If you know me, you’ll know that I love cemeteries. As I said in my previous post, Pere Lachaise is one of my favourite places in the world, or at least, the world I know so far.

There are hundreds of graves and they vary from simple tombstones to amazing mausoleums. I love walking along the uneven streets, lost in my thoughts, admiring how people have chosen to remember their loved ones.

When I visited this last time, I remember how these two ladies were just walking and chatting loud and laughing, and I felt they were desecrating the peaceful quietness of the place.

If you ever go to Paris, I recommend you visit Pere Lachaise, in the meantime, here are some photos for you to have a small peek at the beauty it has to offer. Of course, I’m sharing these photographs from the deepest respect for each grave and the families of those buried in them.

I haven’t posted all the photos below, they’re all in my Flickr page, as there are over 50! You can either click here to see them all, or on the link on the right column.

I hope you enjoy them and thanks for taking the time to read. x

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Posted in photography, travelling
marz

This is me! I'm a photographer, and a writer. Read more about me here!

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