Watercolour Crystal Tutorial

 
 
Watercolour Crystal Tutorial leuro.com.au
 

 

Lately, I'm obsessed with crystals, so naturally, I've started painting them! I'm exploring different techniques and materials and am definitely still learning, but I thought I'd share my process so far.

Here's a video showing my entire process, and there's step by step photos below to break it down further. 
Post a picture and tag me @leuro.art if you give this a go! 

Some things you will need:

- Watercolour paper. Look for quality watercolour paper. I've tried them all and let me tell you; I LOVE Kmart, but their watercolour paper is pretty terrible! Head to the art store for good quality paper.
- Watercolours (I use these ones and they're so vibrant and pigmented!)
- Brushes (I use small soft calligraphy brushes, anything soft will do)
- White pen (these are the best white pens I've found)
- Washi tape (Can get this at officeworks) 
- A board to stick your paper down to

Some other essentials: water, water pot, kitchen paper, test paper, pencil, eraser, ruler, inspirational pictures, snacks

1: Prepare your paper

 
Watercolour Crystal Tutorial leuro.com.au
 

Using washi tape, tape down your watercolour paper to a board to keep it flat. 

Using a clean brush, apply a thin sheen of water across your paper. This is called 'stretching' the paper and will help to prevent your paper bubbling and warping when you begin to paint later. You will need to wait for it to completely dry before you can begin painting, but it's worth it, trust me!

 
Watercolour Crystal Tutorial leuro.com.au
 

2: Sketch out your design 

 
Watercolour Crystal Tutorial leuro.com.au
 

Find some inspirational pictures or use your imagination to sketch out a rough plan for your piece. Create facets of crystals by connecting angular lines. 

3: Lay down the line work on your watercolour paper

 
Watercolour Crystal Tutorial leuro.com.au
 

Use your ruler and pencil in a light border so that you get your design nicely centered on the paper. Transpose your sketch onto the watercolour paper and then erase the border and lighten up your sketch so that it wont be seen under your painting. Use a large, clean brush to remove any eraser bits. I use a brush rather than my hand to avoid smudging. 

 
Watercolour Crystal Tutorial leuro.com.au
 
 
 
Watercolour Crystal Tutorial leuro.com.au
 

4: Begin Painting 

 
Watercolour Crystal Tutorial leuro.com.au
 

Begin by laying out your materials. You're going to need your brushes, water, test paper, watercolours and kitchen paper (in case of accidents!). Begin by testing out the colours you are going to use in your piece. I was inspired by the colours of Aqua Aura crystals which are made up of blues, greens and magenta.

Watercolour Crystal Tutorial leuro.com.au

Choose a light source. I chose the top left corner. The facets of the crystal facing towards this light source will be your lighter sections.

You're going to paint in segments, beginning with the lighter segments. Carefully flood the first segment with a light wash of colour and whilst it's still wet, lightly touch in your other colours. The colours should blend nicely on their own, but you can always blend further by cleaning of your brush and blending with water. With practice, this will become second nature. Fill in all the light segments, but only if they're not touching! To avoid segments blending into one another, only work directly next to another segment once the adjacent one is completely dry. 

 
Watercolour Crystal Tutorial leuro.com.au
 
 
Watercolour Crystal Tutorial leuro.com.au
 

5: Add darker sections

 
Watercolour Crystal Tutorial leuro.com.au
 

Begin painting in darker sections once your first segments are dry. Start light and slowly darken. Make your sections darker the lower they are down the crystal. Flood the bottom rough section of your crystal with a dark blend of your colours. Add darker sections to the segments that are in the background to show depth. Remember to be patient and only paint segments once their neighbouring sections are completely dry! Sometimes I'm too impatient and that's why some of my sections are a blended mess! Once you've filled in all your sections, allow your piece to dry completely. 

 
Watercolour Crystal Tutorial leuro.com.au
 
Watercolour Crystal Tutorial leuro.com.au
Watercolour Crystal Tutorial leuro.com.au

6: Finishing touches

Watercolour Crystal Tutorial leuro.com.au

Once your piece is dry, carefully remove the tape from the edges of your piece. Washi tape shouldn't damage watercolour paper, but be slow and careful just in case. 

Using your white gel pen (white acrylic paint or white ink would work, too) add white lines to the borders of all your crystal facets. Also add in some highlights. 

 
 
Watercolour Crystal Tutorial leuro.com.au

7: Embellish 

 
Watercolour Crystal Tutorial leuro.com.au
 

I absolutely love mandalas, so I tend to add mandalas to the base of my crystals. Instead, you could do more line work to create a rough, faceted base. If you'd like to add a mandala, begin with a central point and radiate out with patterns, shapes and lines until you reach the edges.

Your work is now ready to be framed and admired! 

If you use this tutorial, I'd love to see your creations! Tag me on instagram @leuro.art or send me an email at jessicaxlindholm@gmail.com.

 
Watercolour Crystal Tutorial leuro.com.au
 
 
Watercolour Crystal Tutorial leuro.com.au || How to paint a watercolor crystal clusters
 
 

Winter and Crystal Clusters

 

It is officially freezing, and although I'd rather be toasty in the Bahamas, there are some benefits of winter. First, winter calls for the open fire to be lit daily. For some reason this makes me strangely productive. Second, it's broccoli season in our veggie patch and I flippin' love that vegetable. Third, if you're brave enough (re: silly enough) to head to the beach, it is strangely crisp and refreshing. I'm currently on a break from studying, so I'm working on all the artwork I can before uni returns for a second semester. I'm working on pieces inspired by the ocean, rockpools, the moon and the tide, and most recently crystals. 

I've explored painting crystals by first laying down masking fluid to get the edges of the individual components within crystal clusters to stand out, which is fast and effective, however, the lines come up rather wonky and rough. I don't necessarily mind that - anyone who knows me knows I love imperfection - but I wanted to explore other ways to create crisper, more precise crystals with watercolour. 

 
 
 Crystals with masking fluid and watercolour

Crystals with masking fluid and watercolour

 
 

The second method I've explored is to paint the crystal clusters individual facets with different shades of one or two complementary colours. This is a lot slower, but gives a sharper, more precise finish. I like to choose a light source (habitually, I choose the left, upper corner of my work as a light source) and then shade the segments accordingly. I think I'll do a DIY post on my process because it's really enjoyable and very achievable, even to those just exploring watercolours for the first time. 

 
Crystal cluster mandala by leuro.com.au
 

I'm lucky enough to have four days off this week where I can just continue working on content for an upcoming show on the 9th of August. If you're in Melbourne and would like to come along, you can buy tickets here! 

Have a wonderful week xx 

 

Altered Art Journaling

 
Intuitive painting - leuro.com.au
Intuitive painting - leuro.com.au

Somehow, it's June. Which means we're essentially halfway through the year which is kind of mind-blowing. Since my last update, I've been busy studying for my Masters degree, doing placement in a school and working. When I can, I've been squeezing in ceramic classes and painting. I started an altered art journal as part of an assignment and loved it so much that I kept at it, trying to add to it most days. 

An altered art journal is an alternative to your traditional artist journal - these are beautiful, and I have many, but they do get kind of pricey! An altered art journal is when you use an existing book or journal and work directly over the contents that already exist. This forces you to very carefully consider your background - will you mask the text or let it show through? Will you derive some sort of secret code from the text? I'm currently art journalling in a novel that I got from the op-shop for $2. I feel like working this way reduces the pressure that usually comes along with working in a perfectly bound journal with artisan paper. 

This journal lends itself perfectly to mindful art activities where the process of art making is more important than the final product. Some of my go-to art activities are: blind contouring, blackout poetry (where you mask certain words on the page, leaving certain words to show through with a new meaning), intuitive painting with acrylics (where you listen to your inner self and express this through paint), mandalas, collage and so much more. I've found art journaling to be a great way to compile a whole lot of ideas and inspiration and trial out ideas that would otherwise never find a home. 

If you're craving some artful expression with no risk and no pressure, I'd certainly recommend giving altered art journaling a go. 

You can see more from my altered art journal on my Illustration page. 

Until next time xx 

Intuitive painting - leuro.com.au
Blackout poetry - leuro.com.au
 

January Update – Hello 2018!

 

Hello internet friends! Believe it or not, it’s 2018, and I’m so excited for the new year. I have a new job training up as a barista at a local café and I’m loving getting to know the locals and their coffee orders. I’ve also been to quite a few markets and loving creating dreamcatchers from drift wood found along the trails by the bay.

Right now, raspberries and blueberries are in season and blackberries are on the way. Zucchinis, too! Harvesting fresh produce is one of my favourite hobbies.

 
Leuro.com.au
 

I have big plans for 2018 and a bunch of intentions. I want to be a more conscious consumer in terms of what I buy – in the past, I’ve been a bit of an impulsive shopper, buying things just because they’re on sale or because they’re nostalgic, but I want to commit to buying only things I love and need. I want to spend more time in the sun (even if that means getting a watch tan because I can’t live without a watch) and plant and harvest lots of stuff. I want to keep in contact better with friends and family and socialise more. I want to create more for myself, and more for others. I want to blog more and create more DIYs. I would like to tentatively put together some content for an illustrated workbook. I want to explore Australia and go on adventures. I want to eat and cook adventurously and sip on great lattes.

I don’t know if all these things will happen (lattes will definitely happen), but they’re exciting to think about, no less.

 
January Update Leuro.com.au
 

One thing is already in motion – I’m going on a bus trip from Sydney to Cairns late January. By coincidence, the day I leave home for my trip is also the day I was admitted to hospital in 2017, which was a pretty shit time that derailed my plans for the rest of the year. I’m much happier to be going on a trip.

This month I’m taking part in a creative challenge (search for #makestuffjanuary by Anastasia Tasou on Instagram) and I’m hoping to paint more and play with clay.

Happy new year <3

Jess

 

 

Minimalist + Fuss Free Ginger Stars

 
 
Fuss Free Gingerbread by Leuro.com.au
Fuss Free Gingerbread by Leuro.com.au
 

Somehow Christmas has been and gone and launched us into the new year, but the silly season is far from over and it's never too late to be a little festive in the kitchen! 

This gingerbread is not only deliciously crisp, but simple, clean and fuss free too. The decorating happens before baking, meaning your entire kitchen won’t end up littered with stray lollies and sugar. Simply decorating each little star with an almond or chocolate button keeps things sophisticated and saves so much time. This recipe is pretty heavy on the spices, and the minimalistic decorations really help the cinnamon, cloves and ginger shine. These little biscuits are perfect paired with hot cocoa, coffee or chai, or make a delicious, festive topping when crumbled over vanilla bean ice cream. Happy baking!

 
Fuss Free Gingerbread by Leuro.com.au
 

You will need:
     80g butter
     3 1/2tbs golden syrup
     60g brown sugar
     1 egg
     200g  plain flour
Spices:
     1tbs ginger
     1tbs cinnamon
     ½tbs cloves
To decorate:
     white chocolate buttons
     almonds

To Make:

In a saucepan, combine the butter, golden syrup and sugar. Stir over a low heat to dissolve the sugar. Continue with the other steps to allow this mixture to cool slightly.

Whisk up the egg in a separate bowl.

In a large bowl, combine the flour and spices.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the egg and the sugar, butter and syrup mix. Stir with a large spatula. Add a little more flour if the mixture seems too wet. Stir until it forms a dough, it will be quite soft.

Make a disc, wrap it in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 170°C fan forced.

Roll out the dough, aiming for a ½cm thickness and cut out stars.

Line a baking tray with baking paper and arrange the stars on the tray. Add a chocolate button or almond to the centre of each biscuit.

Bake for 10 minutes or until golden. The biscuits will be soft and fragile as they come out of the oven, but will firm up nicely as they cool.

Dust with icing sugar and serve with a hot drink. Enjoy! 

 

If you make these, I'd love to see your results! Tag me @leurocrafts or #leurocrafts

Happy baking, 

Jess
xx

 
Fuss Free Gingerbread by Leuro.com.au
 
 
 
 

Interview with Abbey Rich

 
 
meetthemaker.gif
abbey-rich-image.jpg
 
This past weekend, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Abbey Rich - the creative genius behind the namesake clothing label. We attended the same school and it's been so exciting to see Abbey's brand take off over the past few years. The label consists of beautifully handcrafted pieces, all ethically printed and designed by Abbey and sewn by Laura Clark in their North Melbourne studio. Her work extends well beyond the world of textile design nowadays - to murals, collaborations, art shows and more. We talked about how her practice has changed over the years, the therapeutic power of the creative process, how to move past being your own worst critic, and how to stop thinking about making and actually start making. All the while, we sipped on iced lattes and chai teas. 
 
 

Some quick questions to get started:
Coffee.

Mornings or nights?
Mornings.

First of all, for those who haven’t come across you and your work, tell me a bit about your creative process. What’s your main medium and materials?
I guess my practice is quite broad now – I’ve always described myself as a textile designer but now I think I describe myself more as an artist because my practice extends out of textile design now. So I’m a painter, clothing designer, textile designer, I’m a tattoo artist and I paint murals and I’m a workshop facilitator. So I do a lot in my day now, which is really cool because it keeps me interested and I’m able to do different things every day and meet lots of different people and do lots of different things. At the base of it all I’m an artist which is a big word to put on yourself. People are quite reserved in calling themselves that, but I think I hold it now and I want to call myself that above anything else.

I remember visiting your website a few years ago when you had just uploaded your first pieces, and then it just took off – has it changed much since then?
So much. I guess it took off two years ago now, which is crazy because it still feels really fresh but it does feel like I’ve been doing it a long time. When I started doing that I was just sewing and printing things, and it wasn’t really an artistic practice… it was a less vulnerable creative process, it was a way to put my ideas onto something and not say too much, whereas now it’s putting my whole mind, heart and body into what I create across different mediums. Now the clothing label doesn’t really exist anymore – it’s still kicking along, but it’s not what I put my time into. So it’s very different, but it gave me a platform to start from – that clothing label gave me a name so I can go and do all the shit that I really love as opposed to those things that are quite draining and repetitive. So much has changed in the last two years.

You also take workshops, correct?
My first workshop came up when Guild of Objects asked me to run a workshop on screen printing and I thought I’d never do that because it’s so scary having ten people have an expectation that you know what you’re doing, that’s really terrifying! But I did it because I needed the money at the time, and I thought it would be an interesting experience, and now I really like it! I like teaching people the thing I do in my day to day and watching something that seems quite mundane to me be quite inspiring to someone else and them get really excited printing and then they pull that screen up and look at what they’ve done, so that’s why I do it. And also, it means I have to be somewhere at a certain time and switch off from my brain whereas with my creative practice, I’m so in my head and I’m a really emotional person, so if I work five days a week in my studio, I’m very in my head and bogged down by that. So having a job that I can go to is not only very important for my mental health, but also lets me meet people and do something different.

What’s exciting you lately, creative or otherwise?
Tattooing.

I was going to ask you about that! I’m seeing a lot of your tattoos on Instagram!
Yeah! That’s really exciting for me, I’ve only really been doing it for two or three months and I’ve done over 50. I like the physicality of it, the process of it… I’m hand-poking them so all the tiny pin pricks make up the shape and it feels kind of like you’re embroidering. And there’s a connection and intimacy with the person you’re tattooing. I tattoo all the people really close in my life and that is so beautiful that they have my artwork foever on their body when I’m not with them. And having people trust you, come into my house and receive artwork. I’ve done people’s first tattoos and that’s crazy. It has given me freedom to restructure how I live – I’ve just come out of a period of being really ill and tattooing has afforded me the time to do a couple a day and make more money than I’ve been making in a long time and still have time to live and be a person and not run myself into the ground the way I was before. Not only is that really exciting – the actual process of tattooing – but the way it’s allowing me to live my life right now. I’m able to foster relationships better than before when I was running 24/7 working.

Is there a lot of pressure putting artwork onto someone’s body?
Everyone asks me that – you’re literally stabbing into someone this artwork. It hasn’t actually terrified me at all – the first tattoo I did was on my housemate and he was really chilled and he was like ye, have my leg, go for it. I feel like I was creating clothing that people were putting on their bodies and this is the next step. Maybe one day it will hit, but I do acknowledge that it’s a very big deal and important thing – I’m not taking it lightly.

I like being creative because I find it really therapeutic and healing. When I’m stressed I want to go and be creative. Sometimes I don’t want to, but I know if I do something creative I’ll feel better. The best thing for me is kneading clay. Is it tattooing for you?
Probably tattooing, yeah. For the most part my entire life is creative so I use things like yoga more as therapy than my creative process. Writing, too. Yoga and writing are the two things I go to when I’m not feeling good within myself. I go to something outside my creative practice.

Does that mean being creative ever feels like work?
No, it never feels like work. Sometimes I think the way I live my life is too linked with my creative process and it feels too much. Sometimes I think it would be easier if I just quit my job and got a job doing something else. But it never really feels like work, but can be draining.  

Often people say ‘I’m not creative’ and as a result, they’re too afraid to go out and explore their creativity. So many people lack creative confidence. Would you call yourself creatively confident?
Yeah, I guess so! I’ve never thought about it like that!

Is creative confidence something you worked on?
Yeah. When you knew me in high school, I wasn’t really that into art before we took that Design Tech class. I neglected that part of my brain, didn’t really want to explore, but now I’ve worked on it and gotten to a point where I’m not afraid of what everyone’s thinking. There’s no need to actually consider what people are thinking, because for the most part, half the people won’t like it, understand where it comes from, and others won’t give it time… What you do can’t be for anyone else, and you need to acknowledge that and accept that the creative process is only for you, and if someone gets something out of it, amazing. But if you get bogged down with why your work matters and start thinking about why it matters and what importance it has, you’re never going to get anywhere. So you might as well just do it and stop being concerned about what other people think. That whole thing about drawing… everyone can draw! You just have to pick up a pencil and do it over and over again and that allows creativity to flow and increase your confidence.

So doing… is that how you would encourage people to explore their creativity?
Yeah.

Is collaboration important for exploring creative confidence?
Yeah, my first big collaboration was with a boyfriend and we were just making work together. We discussed our process and we naturally began creating work together. It was just an extension of who we were together and as ourselves. Then I did bigger collaborations like a ceramics collab with ----- and frances Canon with a clothing line – stuff like that has been a little more difficult in terms of discussing money and what role we each have. But it is integral and I love learning from someone else. We each have something we can bring to a situation that has taken years to develop. You’re never going to be able to do all the things you want to do because it’s just too much, so why not lean on someone else's set of skills and brain and create work together or learn together? They are daunting sometimes, but when you’re just making work together for the hell of it, it’s beautiful.

The new year is coming up – do you have any big plans or resolutions you can share?
It’s all a mystery, really. I’ve only just really gotten back on my feet, I had close to three months off work this year, so a lot of work… I just didn’t think about it. So I haven’t got much planned for next year, but things come up. I’m doing fashion week in March, and we’re doing a show, and otherwise there’s not much planned, which is unsurprising really because for the last two years I’ve been going with whatever comes my way, I feel like if I planned it then I would never have done any of the things I’ve been lucky to do. I’ve got nothing tying me down, so I can take opportunities. I’ve contemplated the idea of doing some work overseas, but I don’t know. I’ll wait and see what happens.

Do you have any tips for someone to get the confidence to start putting their art out there in the world? And how they can be less critical of their work?
Well that in itself is a thing – be less critical, but don’t stop being critical. But try looking at things in a different way. Try to work out if it’s saying all the things you want to say, because that’s enough. It doesn’t have to be finished, it doesn’t have to be perfect, there’s always going to be people who are better, that’s just how it is. The comparison thing… you’ve got to forget about that. And a lot of people talk about social media and how bad it is to constantly compare yourself with this, that and the other… but it’s like that in real life anyway. Everyone’s always going to be comparing themselves, and the moment you stop doing that, is the moment that you’re actual to let go and actually create work. If I was really thinking about how good my work was? Nothing would be out there. To be honest, I don’t really ever think my work is any good, but I think that my work is saying what I want to say and it is doing something different to someone else, and that’s what I got the following that I do, because I’m not afraid to do it, and I work hard at it, and that’s the bottom line of everything. Get rid of that fear and work hard at it. ­

Finally, where can people find you, online and otherwise?
Instagram
Website

 
 
 

DIY Pom Pom Dreamcatcher

 

Are you as obsessed with dreamcatchers as I am? Pom poms, too? I have a serious addiction of adding pom poms to absolutely everything - clothing, bags, baskets, jewellery...  and now dreamcatchers! They're easy and inexpensive to make and add instant bohemian charm to any space. 

 
DIY Bohemian Pom Pom Dreamcatcher by Leuro.com.au
 

You're going to need: 

  • A metal or wooden hoop (mine was approx 25cm in diameter, but you may need a bigger or smaller hoop depending on the size of your doily)
  • Some calico torn into strips to wrap your hoop, about a meter in total - ribbon or string also look great
  • A crochet doily - make your own, purchase online or find at the op shop
  • Double sided tape
  • Thick, strong thread (like embroidery thread or crochet thread)
  • Scissors 
  • Large needle
  • Rope (I used 12 pieces that were 80cm long + a shorter piece to hang my dreamcatcher)
  • Pom poms (I used 7, but you may want more or less) you can buy these already made or make your own. I have a tutorial here for using cardboard. Pom makers are great to have, too! They're cheap on eBay. 
  • Needle and sewing thread
DIY Pom Pom Dreamcatcher by Leuro.com.au

The first thing we need to do is wrap our hoop. If you have a wooden hoop, you may want to skip this step. I think wooden hoops look great with this style of dreamcatcher. I like to wrap my hoops with torn strips of calico as they get a nice, rough edge which adds a little texture. I use double sided tape to secure my calico as I go. Alternatively, you could use glue, but I find glue is messy and fiddly. Wrap all the way around your hoop, secure the very end well with some more tape. 

DIY Pom Pom Dreamcatcher by Leuro.com.au

Now it's time to add our doily! Make sure you choose a doily that is small than your hoop. As we stitch it into place, it will stretch significantly so if your doily is too big for your hoop, it will end up flopping around loosely and not be as neat. You can choose a doily that is a lot smaller than your hoop, but then you will have quite a bit of negative space around your doily (which can also look nice, I just like to choose a doily that will stretch nicely to fit the entire hoop).

DIY Pom Pom Dreamcatcher by Leuro.com.au

Cut a looooong piece of embroidery thread/string and tie it with a double knot to your hoop. Leave a little tail - this will help us when tying off after stitching in the doily. Thread your needle. 

DIY Pom Pom Dreamcatcher by Leuro.com.au

Begin stitching your doily into place. I do this part kind of loose - I don't worry about pulling it tight until I've stitched the whole thing into place. If your doily is more like a flower or a star with lots of points, just stitch from each point. On a more rounded doily like the one I'm using, I stitch every 2cm or so. 

DIY Pom Pom Dreamcatcher by Leuro.com.au
DIY Pom Pom Dreamcatcher by Leuro.com.au

Once you've reached your starting point, don't tie off your string. Go around the hoop, pulling on each stitch to tighten it up to the edge of your hoop. 

DIY Pom Pom Dreamcatcher by Leuro.com.au

Once your doily is in place and nice and tight, go ahead and tie your string off to that tail you left at the start. Tie a couple of secure knots here - you don't want this knot to come undone

DIY Pom Pom Dreamcatcher by Leuro.com.au

Decorating this dreamcatcher is super simple, but you could jazz it up with tassels. Tassels and poms are a match made in heaven. I attached 12 pieces of rope using a larks head knot. Just fold your rope in half, stick the loop through your dreamcatcher, and then pull the tail through the loop. 

DIY Pom Pom Dreamcatcher by Leuro.com.au
DIY Pom Pom Dreamcatcher by Leuro.com.au
DIY Pom Pom Dreamcatcher by Leuro.com.au

Trim off your ends to a desired length. Alternatively, leave them uneven for an even more relaxed look. 

DIY Pom Pom Dreamcatcher by Leuro.com.au

Add a shorter piece of knotted rope the same way as you attached the dangly bits. 

DIY Pom Pom Dreamcatcher by Leuro.com.au

Now we need to add pom poms! I had seven, meaning I could place the first one smack bang in the middle and work from there. This is much easier than guessing where your line of poms should start entirely.

I threaded my needle and then stitched all the poms on to the right of this first one and tied off my thread securely. 

DIY Pom Pom Dreamcatcher by Leuro.com.au

Then I went ahead and stitched all my poms on to the left. 

DIY Pom Pom Dreamcatcher by Leuro.com.au

And voila! You're done! 

As always, I love to see your creations! So hit me up if you make this project or any others. 

Happy crafting xx

DIY Pom Pom Dreamcatcher by Leuro.com.au
DIY Pom Pom Dreamcatcher by Leuro.com.au
 
DIY Pom Pom Dreamcatcher by Leuro.com.au
 
 

Somehow, It's November.

 

These past few weeks since my last update have been a whirlwind of workshops, working my day job, markets, ceramics, crafternoons with pals and Stranger Things. 

 
Pom Poms by leuro.com.au
 

I ran two workshops at The Artful Collective in Dromana teaching a bunch of ladies (and one gentleman!) macramé. I put a lot of time and soul into organizing the classes, making a booklet with everything I’ve learned along the way and all the answers I wish I’d had when starting out on my macramé journey. I cut over three hundred pieces of rope which ends up being over 1100 meters of rope. That’s a lot of rope and a lot of time. But I loved every second – working with rope and knots is one of the most therapeutic creative practices I’ve come across. The classes were fantastic, and everyone took home a beautiful, unique piece just about ready to hang proudly on a wall. I’m so thankful to Rondelle who runs the lovely Artful Collective for allowing me to teach (and in turn, learn!) in such a creative, wonderful space. I’m so grateful to have met all the wonderful students who took part. Creative connections are the best connections. These workshops opened a lot of doors.

Macrame Workshop
 
Leuro - Cutting Rope For Macrame Workshops

Among other things that have happened this past month, I landed a new job! I start training next week and absolutely can’t wait to be learning more in a totally new area. I also accepted a place in a Master’s Degree for 2018 and was offered more sites at markets. I’m busy – so busy, oh my gosh – but I’d much rather be busy than idle. I spent the end of 2016 and first six months of 2017 very unwell and in and out of hospital, I physically couldn’t create or work, so I know all too well what it’s like to not be busy enough. It makes me very uncomfortable - I’m doing my best to practice gratitude for this newfound business and embrace a little stress.

Being so busy does make it a challenge to pursue personal projects – I dream of having an exhibition with my paintings one day, so I’m trying to set aside time to work on these more personal artworks whenever I can. These pieces are inspired by rock pools and often take the form of wonky mandalas. I take my easel along to markets these days – I find that’s the best time to work on these paintings. It’s also a great way to build creative confidence – I used to refuse to create in front of others, especially strangers, fearing that they would judge me for my work. I wasted so much time thinking this way – it’s really freeing to be creating in a public space. 

 
Painting a rockpool mandala at the market
 

I’m also loving pottery at the moment and have begun taking weekly classes. It’s more difficult and more technical than I previously assumed, but I’ve already had a few ceramic pieces survive the kiln and have met some wonderful ladies in class.

 
Ceramic Dish by Leuro.com.au
 

It’s also challenging to find time to create DIY posts. I feel like I have so much to share, but not nearly enough time to put together the content! Creating a DIY post takes a long time! But good news! I’ll have a new DIY up for you this week, and I think you’re going to really like this one.

 
Pom Pom Dreamcatcher Materials from leuro.com.au
 

Summer is just around the corner here, and the weather has warmed up enough that I’ve moved my studio outdoors. As I type this, I can see my dogs harassing the horses, can hear roosters crowing, hundreds of birds chirping and frogs… burping? How do you describe the sound a frog makes? There’s a gentle breeze and it’s most definitely shorts-and-a-tee-shirt weather. I feel happy and content and quiet in the nicest of ways. I hope you’re well and you’re feeling just as happy and content as I am.  

Happy creating,

Jess

 

 

Writing For Wellbeing

 

I've been journaling pretty consistently every day this entire year and I've found it really, really helpful. I began with the intention of just keeping a daily gratitude log to document each morning and night the things that I was thankful for. Then I discovered bullet journaling and became hooked. If you've ever thought you'd like to keep a journal but don't feel as if you have the time or energy, check out the bullet journal system! It's really simple but very clever. Bullet journaling is about documenting life through bullet points, so it's super efficient and takes next to no time to learn. All you need is a nice journal and a pen and you're set! Of course, you can expand beyond bullet points, too. I sometimes write pages and pages at a time.

 
Writing for Wellbeing
 

For a little while I took part in a group called Writing for Wellbeing. In this group, we would be given a prompt and then instructed to write whatever came to mind for a set time and share our findings with the group afterwards. I found this so beneficial and calming, so if you can find the time every now and then, I really recommend putting pen to paper and just fleshing out some ideas. If you're stuck for ideas, that's okay! Pinterest is full of them! Otherwise, I've put together a list of 101 journaling prompts for you to print off. I've got these printed and stuck on my wall and also stuck in my journal so they're always on hand. I like to text a friend and ask them to choose a number between 1 and 101 and that determines my prompt. Alternatively, you could use a number generator, but I like the excuse to say hello to a someone.

Sometimes you'll find you don't need a prompt - sometimes you know exactly what you need to write about. Also, if you find a prompt really resonates with you, there's no reason you can't return to it over and over. For example, I often start my writing by thinking 'what's something I need to get off my chest?' and I launch from there. 

I know it might seem hard to schedule in time for something like journaling, but for me, writing has replaced a lot of my insta-scrolling and TV-watching time. If you're not sure how you could integrate journaling into your day, consider making it a part of your morning routine. 

My morning routine looks like this: after enjoying breakfast and a coffee, I begin by putting down my to-do list. This honestly frees up so much space in my brain. Then I jot down at least three things I'm grateful for. These can be as silly or as serious as you like. Then I give myself permission to do something. For example, if I wake up exhausted, I might give myself permission to say no to requests, or permission to set aside time to watch my favourite show. I often set an intention so I have direction for my day. I also make sure to include how I plan to practice self-care during the day. Doing all this doesn't take very long at all. 

In the evening, I'll often ask myself another set of questions. Below is a little cheat sheet to print or save somewhere to help you get started with your journaling as well as a bunch of ideas on how to practice self kindness and ideas of how to be kind to other. Doing these three things - journaling, self-care and practicing kindness towards others are honestly the best mood boosters. 

 
Writing for Wellbeing
 

 

Sometimes my day is really shaped by my morning writing, sometimes I forget it all. It doesn't matter. You'll benefit from the process either way. Journaling forces you to slow down and be in the moment, so the process is just as important as the intentions you're setting. Some days I write less, some days more - just see where your writing takes you. 

If things in your day don't go to plan, treat that as an opportunity to write. Write what happened or what got in the way. It's okay if your day doesn't match up with your morning intentions, just enjoy the process of being present and mindful and putting pen to paper. 

 
 
 

October Creative Intentions

 
ropebasket.jpg
 
IMG_1327.jpg
 
 

Somehow, it's October. I'm pretty sure it was January, like, two days ago?! This year has flown by! I feel as if I've just packed away my market marquee and market season is back already!

Spring is a very exciting time as a creator - it means that Summer and Christmas are just around the corner which means we can do more of what we love and there are more people to share these creations with. I'm happiest when I'm at a market; from the moment I wake up (ridiculously early) on market day to the moment I'm home and unpacked (okay, admittedly sometimes unpacking takes several days), I have so much purpose and meaning and drive. I love meeting all the happy customers and other stall holders. I love the chance to share and the chance to learn and, of course, being able to purchase so many handmade, beautiful goods from other makers. Also, there's no bigger compliment than someone appreciating something you've poured your heart and soul into. So to all of you out there, in the near future, who will wander into my little stall, I thank you from the bottom of my heart because you breathe life into my creative works. Even if you just come in to say hello or express your interest in something, you give me so much confidence to continue on creating. Without your positive feedback and appreciation, I couldn't continue on with what it is I love to do. This market season I want to share more than just products, so I'm going to bring along some crafty tools and materials and if you've got time, come on into my stall and maybe we can make a pom pom together!

This month, I'm hoping to spend more time doing what I love by taking part in Tiarn Florence's #dowhatyouloveparty. Whilst I love creating products to sell at markets, it can feel a bit repetitive and commercial making the same product over and over and often, I find myself craving artistic exploration. So I'm going to make sure I make some time to do what I love, and that includes making time to journal, draw, write (a new love of mine!) and paint. I'm also starting pottery classes this month! I'm so, so, so excited to delve into the world of ceramics! I really want to make coffee mugs with three little feet. Wouldn't they just be adorable?! 

Here's how I plan to keep up the creative momentum this month: 

  • I've made little star charts to track my habits such as 'create something everyday' and when I get ten stars, I get a reward! I'm thinking I'll buy myself a book. Any suggestions?! 
  • I'm going to make my craft tools and materials more easily accessible. My sewing machine is set up semi-permanently on my desk to encourage sewing and I'm going to try and make at least one rope basket a day. 
  • I'm going to journal and set intentions for my days so that they stay pointed in the right direction.
  • I'm going to get lots of sleep, stay hydrated and not commit to too many shifts at work.
  • I'm going to host some crafternoons with pals! 
  • I'm also going to schedule in time to catch up on all my TV shows, podcasts and movies, because relaxing and sitting still is actually something I need to practice too, and it helps me reset for my next crafty adventure. 

How do you keep up creative motivation? I'd love to know! 

Happy crafting!

xx 

 

 

 

Tiarn Florence || Meet the Maker

 
meetthemaker.gif
 
 

For this edition of Meet the Maker, I've interviewed Tiarn Florence; a young writer, creator, educator and mum. Tiarn is a big believer in creativity as a tool to both learn and heal (this resonates with me on so many levels!), and has recently quit her day job, committing to doing what she loves, instead. I'm in love with Tiarn's style and attitude, inspired by her way with words and totally jealous of her beautiful studio.

On the first of October, Tiarn kickstarted the #dowhatyouloveparty which encourages people to share their creative endeavours online and do more of what they love.  I know I'll be joining in, hopefully you can too! I caught up with Tiarn to quiz her on where creativity comes from and how it can be used as a tool for healing.

  Pictured: Tiarn Florence Photography by  Jazmyn Smith

Pictured: Tiarn Florence
Photography by Jazmyn Smith

First of all, what does your creative practice look like in terms of mediums, environment and vision? 
Oh man, the first thing that comes to mind here is "chaos" haha. I'm actually working on becoming more structured and consistent in my creative practice at the moment. Since quitting my day job in favour of creative ventures, I've recognised the need to really focus my energy and time in a more methodical way so that I'm actually achieving something. I used to just wait for waves of inspiration to hit me; I'd never plan an artwork or piece of writing, preferring to serve as a channel for whatever was needing to come out. I'll often refer to images when I'm working on a piece of art now (especially if it's a portrait commission), but in the past I'd always just start doodling and zone-out/tap-in to see what I'd end up with. 

In terms of mediums, I love working with watercolours, ink, technical drawing pens. I've been sketching outlines beforehand with pencils too which is new for me. This all usually goes down in my home office/studio which is also coincidentally a total zen palace. There are copious amounts of plants and an unnecessary number of seating options and styles, topped off with essential oils in the diffuser and music playing, it's pretty hard not to want to stay in there forever.

 
 
 
 
Womban-Shadowed.jpg
Union.jpg
 
 
 
 

Would you consider yourself creative as a child? 
Most definitely! "Creative" is certainly one word for it, at least. It was always a struggle to feel like I belonged on this planet as a child (and even now, at times). I've always been very empathic, introverted, and highly sensitive, so creative writing, reading, and art were always the things I could delve into and feel at home. I actually remember being so engrossed in books that my parents would bust me reading under my bedcovers or in the dark when it was past my bedtime!

What do you do in the morning to set a great day in motion?
I'm a strong believer in a good morning ritual and rhythm. I'm a single mum to one free-spirited toddler so starting the morning right really sets the tone for our entire day. I make my son breakfast while the kettle boils, and now that I'm not using Winter as an excuse, I head out onto our patio and do some yoga. I've found gratitude journalling to be amazing in the morning too so once I've got my cuppa, I'll head to the studio and just stream a few pages of "whatever" to clear my mind, gratitude journal, then check out what's on the agenda for the day.

Do you ever lack motivation to be creative? 
I haven't lacked motivation in quite a while now, but most definitely have in the past, and I certainly procrastinate. I think it all depends on what other things you have impacting your life, and I've found my mental health to be the leading cause of those low-motivation times.

Do you think creativity stems from nature or nurture? Can it be taught?
I think that we all have creativity, it just presents itself differently from person to person. Creative people don't need to paint or be crafty; cooking, engineering, maths, gardening, construction, and even swimming can all be creative outlets. I think there are definitely left-brained and right-brained preferences in people, but we all have the capacity for creative thinking. Though, with the right outlet and intention/motivation, I don't see why creativity couldn't be taught. 

What tips would you give to someone wanting to build their creative confidence? 
Oh man, this is something I still struggle with even in my own craft. I think that all artists and creatives are plagued with self doubt at one point or another, but the main thing to remember is the reason why you're actually doing whatever it is you're doing. I don't pick up a pen with the intention of making art that people will like, I do it as my own form of healing and expression. It also helps to remember that we are all just a big interconnected consciousness experiencing itself through human vessels that aren't all that different from one another. Yeah, we're all unique, but we're also all the same. So just find what you love, what makes you feel alive, and then just do that as often and as fearlessly as you possibly can. My mantra for 2017 is, "Get outside your comfort zone", and this has really helped me to build creative confidence. I've set goals and thrown myself into situations, and projects that are far from my usual introverted ways, and it has been amazing!

In what ways can creativity be soothing or healing?  
Soooooo many ways. I am a huge advocate for creative therapies and cannot recommend it enough for anyone who needs to heal and find comfort in their lives. Like I mentioned earlier, I've always used art and writing as a healing tool throughout my life. I am more conscious about it now though; the way it affects my mood, the way it helps me to process emotions and life events, and the release it can offer. Writing is probably one of the most powerful ways I've found to heal. Writing letters is a 10/10 way to let shit go; write to your younger self, to your ex lovers, to your parents, to your childhood dog who died on your birthday, just write and get all that nasty shit out of you. Burn it afterwards if that helps, just don't let things stagnate and snowball when there are healthy ways to deal with whatever you've got going on.

Is there a project you're particularly proud of? 
My spoken word poem, 'Woman', is definitely the project I am most proud of right now, but moreso for the process than the final piece. I wrote it at the end of last year and performed in at Awake Studio here in Gympie as a nervous little debut performer. A couple of months ago, I performed it for the second time at the Sunshine Coast Aus Poetry Slam heat, and then for a third time at the Australian Poetry Slam QLD State Finals. Just knowing how much I used to belittle, doubt, and lack confidence in myself, and the fact I've just released a video of the piece where I got naked in a forest is so liberating for me. This project helped me to find, honour, celebrate, embrace, and heal myself in ways that I'll never be able to adequately express to another human being...but I am so grateful, and so proud. 

What makers are you loving lately?
I am loving Honor Eastly and her 'Starving Artist' podcast at the moment; a fellow badass female maker named Marine (@marmaladegardens on Instagram) got me onto it and I've found it so comforting and relatable. I'm actually loving Marnie's resin jewelry as well, and am constantly inspired by Jazmyn and Bella's work over at @aesthetefilmandphotography.

Where can we find you, online and otherwise?
I'm usually kicking about in the studio office, but if you head over to @tiarnflorence on Facebook and Instagram, or www.tiarnflorence.com you can keep tabs on me. I'm actually about to do some epic October giveaways to celebrate quitting my day job and making 'Tiarn Florence' a legit business, so if you want some free goodies it's worth a look.

Cats or dogs? Cats...and dogs....and all living beings. Ah, such an impossible question to answer! haha
Deadlines or infinite time? I want to say "infinite time" but the realist in my knows I'd squander it all procrastinating, so deadlines.
Light or shadow? Would there ever really be light without the shadows?
Tea or coffee? Tea. A thousand times, in a thousand lives, always tea.
Pencil or pen? Is it weird that I find black pen attractive? Like, how can life possibly be bad if you've got the right pen?!

 

Imogen-Ivy Grace Murray || Meet the Maker

 
Meet The Maker - Imogen Grace Murray
 
 

Meet Sydney based artist Imogen-Ivy Grace Murray. At 19 years old, Imogen has seen, done and made a LOT. Imogen’s work is often serene and thought provoking, varying greatly in content and medium, from film to installation, photography, painting and life drawing. I’m a big fan of her concept ‘More to Love’ which promotes acceptance and self-love on the deepest of levels. I took the chance to ask Imogen some questions about her work, message and creative process. 

 
IGM8.jpg
Imogen Murray

First of all, how would you describe your creative practice in terms of mediums and vision?

I am a creative director, self love promoter, artist and loon. My work rays from short films, skits, art installations, mood boards to large scale art.

One thing that intrigues me is that you left school to travel around Europe at 16. Were you scared? Hesitant? Or ready to jump right in?

I was in a really weird place. No real thought process. I wasn’t happy and I wanted to find what was internally wrong by changing the external - travelling to the other side of the world. I didn’t find the answer in England. I found it in my 16-year-old self.

What was the answer?

A few things but basically I didn’t love myself.

Imogen Murray
 
Imogen Murray

You seem to have a LOT of creative confidence! Has that always been the way?

No no no no. I think you have to find it somewhere if you decide you want to make a career out of it. My first day of film school, there was a stern lecture about how ‘everything you create will be online forever, criticised, judged and if in luck- applauded from now and forever.’

That lecture was a real slap in the face for me. A big reality.

How would you suggest someone builds their creative confidence to create in a less self-conscious way?

Surround yourself by supportive family and friends. Take time out for yourself. It sounds lame but yeah you gotta love yourself. That doesn’t mean been vain and up yourself.

Be proud of your work.

Educate and explore what other artist and filmmakers are up to. Get inspired and enlightened.

 
Imogen Murray
 

What does your creative environment look like?

Messy. Messy. Messy. I am blessed with having an artistic mum so there is paint all over the house. With Video work I am better with hard drives and folders etc. My journals and art books are very free, lots of colour, lots of energy on the page.

Do you have any ways that you ‘organise’ your brain? For example, I like to journal and make endless to do lists.

I fall asleep to music. Great way to imagine before bed. I have journaled since I was 14. Thoroughly enjoy that. Great way to express and get ideas, thoughts, poetry down and out of your head.

What’s exciting you lately?

Nudity always has excited me but as of more recent- plus size work has. I am a plus size gal and I would love to do some work inspiring others to feel comfortable in there skin.

I’ve noticed that self-compassion is very important to you - what are some ways you practice kindness towards yourself?  

I have a bath a day. Time to myself and play some slow but happy music. If I’m having a shit day I try wake myself up and go for a nudie swim either late at night in the local pool or in the day – a few kilometres off shore. It’s liberating knowing no one around you, getting the blast off cold water on you. Always makes me feel better and definitely changes my mood. Reflecting, as well. Noticing and seeing if I have been to hard on myself. Talking it out with friends is also great.

 
Imogen Murray
 

You write a lot of romanticised content. Are you in a relationship or have you ever been in love?

I am not in a relationship. I’ve also never been in love! I grew up in a very heterosexual, long term partner environment. My parents have been together 40 years and sisters are also in long term relationships! I’ve never had a boyfriend but I love writing romantic content. Don’t know where it comes from but I do enjoy it. One day, one day, it will happen.

What makers are inspiring you lately?

Makers that are consistently inspiring me are Ryan Mcginley, Spencer Tunick, @prue_stent , @honeylong.

Where can we find you, online and otherwise?

Online - @imogen.ivy
Website – www.moreaboutmurray.com
At night – Palm beach pool, NSW.
In the morning-  head first in coffee.

THIS OR THAT?

Mornings or nights? nights
Traditional or digital? digital
Write or type? write
Adventure or comfort zone? adventure
Shower or bath? bath

 
IGM1.jpg
 
 

Crafty Adventures #1

 
poms.jpg

Life has become a little crazy lately - I'm working two jobs, doing my best to run Leuro and get enough products made and ready for the market season. As such, I'm finding it hard to fit in time for leisurely art and craft.

I gave myself the goal of setting aside time for a creative activity every single day a few months back and I'm pretty happy with the amount of work I've made! I've made something almost every day. I've been prioritising creative activities that help build up stock for markets, but I'm craving more exploration and arty adventures. I'd like to develop my personal style further and explore new mediums like clay, film and photography. I also need to get back to illustration - life's been too busy to put pencil to paper, but I've got a lot of ideas. I just need to sit down and get scribbling. 

This month I've tried my hand at woodworks and wrangled some scary power tools. We had to have a bunch of gum trees chopped down on the farm and the wood was too beautiful to turn into firewood. So Dad did some chainsawing and I got planing and sanding until we had beautiful, silky smooth slices that could make the most beautiful serving boards! The plan is to use them at markets to showcase products and with a bit of macrame magic, they'll become hanging shelves. 

 
woodworks.jpg
 
woordworks2.jpg
IMG_0942.JPG

The other day I sat down for a big sewing session. The weather was so beautiful that I set up the machine outside and I've never been so content whilst sewing. Rope baskets are always popular at the markets, so I've been churning them out in all my favourite colours and then embellishing them with poms and tassels. Perhaps I'll do a tutorial on the rope basket - they're very rewarding to make and not as difficult as you would expect. 

sewingoutside.jpg
 
sewingoutside2.jpg

I've also been creating a lot of textile works like this shaggy wallhanging and giant macrame piece and I'll be running a macrame workshop in just over a month. 

macrame.jpg
 
wallhanging.jpg
flow.jpg

I've also explored acrylic pouring. It's seriously so much fun. If you'd like to give it a go, Riot art has all the things you'll need to get started. I love pouring paint because you have limited control over what your final piece will turn out looking like which I find removes a lot of the usual pressure which comes with creating something. 

I feel like my brain is brimming with all these ideas; I just need time to get making. 

What have you been making lately? Or planning to make?! 

Happy crafting

xx 

 

 

DIY Fabric Tassel Garland

 
DIY Fabric Tassel Garland

Here's a great little DIY that will cost you nothing and uses up those scrappy pieces of fabric that you know you need to do something with. These make for a great addition to any wall, above the bed, over a door or out in the garden. 

DIY Fabric Tassel Garland

You Will Need: 

  • fabric
  • scissors
  • sticky tape
  • ruler/measuring tape
cutstrips.jpg
DIY Fabric Tassel Garland

To begin, we're going to make some fabric 'rope'. You could of course use twine or rope, but I love the look of fabric twisted together. 

Cut a notch in your fabric and tear two long strips. If your strips are short, tear another and you can tie strips together to add length. 

DIY Fabric Tassel Garland

Tie together two strips. 

DIY Fabric Tassel Garland

Tape your strips down to the bench and begin twisting! It's important that you twist your fabric a certain way so that it doesn't unravel. 

Hold one strip of fabric in each hand. 

Twist the one in your right hand to the right. 

Then wrap that same strand over to the left and swap the strips over in your hands so that the strand from the left is in the right hand and vice versa. 

Now twist that second strand just like you did before, first twist it on its own to the right and then over to the left. 

By doing this, you're wrapping the strands in two directions which creates that 'unicorn horn' look for your rope. If you do this correctly, it wont unravel. 

Twist until you're happy with how long the rope is and tie it off in a knot. 

DIY Fabric Tassel Garland
DIY Fabric Tassel Garland

Now for the tassels! 

Start by cutting out rectangles that are approx 10cm by 30cm. We will be folding these pieces in half, so our tassels will be 15cm in length. If you want longer or shorter tassels, make these pieces longer. If you want flufflier, wider tassels, make these pieces wider. Each piece will make one tassel, so cut as many as you need! 

DIY Fabric Tassel Garland
DIY Fabric Tassel Garland

Fold each piece in half and cut thin strips up towards the fold, careful to leave about an inch at the top.

DIY Fabric Tassel Garland
DIY Fabric Tassel Garland

Unfold the fabric and lay it flat. 

Roll the fabric up. 

DIY Fabric Tassel Garland

Cut some strips to tie up your tassels. 

Fold the fabric over the rope and then tie around the tassel with a strip of fabric.

DIY Fabric Tassel Garland

Add more tassels and then give them a trim! 

And that's it! 

If you make this project or any other, let me know! I'd love to see your work! 

Happy crafting
xx

DIY Fabric Tassel Garland
 

DIY Layered Tassel Keyring

 
final-image.jpg

How adorable is this jumbo, boho keyring?! I'll never lose my keys again! Making your own is easy peasy. First you're going to need three tassels. You can buy them pre-made online, or you can DIY them following the same instructions as over on my tassel tote DIY. You'll also need a pom pom, again, go ahead and buy one if you want to save time, or make one following the instructions on this pom lampshade DIY! Even easier, get yourself a pom pom maker off ebay and making poms becomes a walk in the park. 

TOOLS AND MATERIALS 

  • three tassels  (DIY them)
  • one pom pom (make one using this tutorial)
  • needle
  • thread
  • scissors
  • beads (make sure the hole is big enough to slide over the needle and thread)
tassel-materials.jpg

Begin by threading your needle with around 40cm of thread when doubled over. Tie a knot around a bead. 

thread-bead.jpg

Open up the bottom of a tassel and thread the needle right through the middle until it comes out through the top of the tassel. 

thread-tassel.jpg

You can go ahead and thread the next tassel on in exactly the same way, or to add a bit more distance between them like I did, thread another bead and tie a knot around it about 1cm above the first tassel. Thread on the second tassel. 

Repeat again with the third tassel, adding another bead to keep the layered look. 

layered.jpg

Now thread through your pom pom, careful to go through the very centre. 

pom-threaded.jpg

Now add the key ring. Stitch through the metal ring and back through the pom pom. Stitch back up through the pom and through the metal again and then repeat this a few more times to really secure your keyring to your pom. Stitch back down through the pom to tie off your thread. 

key-ring-on.jpg

Thread another long piece of cotton. Stitch into your tassel through the part that is wrapped. Thread two beads, stitch back into the tassel. Repeat, stitching all the way around your tassel, adding two beads at a time until you have a nice circle of beads. 

thread-beads-1.jpg
thread-beads-2.jpg

Congrats! You just made the cutest accessory that'll make a great gift to yourself or a loved one. 
Happy crafting! 

finishedtassel2.jpg

 

 

     

    DIY Tassel Tote

     
    tassel-tote.jpg

    I'm obsessed with tote bags - I have way too many. I also love decking them out! So today's diy will show you how to make tassels that you can then go ahead as use as a funky key ring or add to your tote bags. 

    tasse-materials.jpg

    To make the tassels you're going to need: 
    - string/yarn/wool
    - scissors
    - a tupperware lid (cardboard will also work)
    You'll also need: 
    - a large needle
    - a pom pom
    - a tote bag 

    To make a tassel, first of all decide how big you want it to be. I'm going to make a long tassel, so I'm using a large tupperware lid as my template. For the rainbow tassels, I used a tiny lid. Wrap your string around the lid (or cardboard). For a thicker tassel, wrap more, for a thinner tassel, wrap less. The amount of wraps will vary depending on how thin or thick your string is. 

    wrap-tassel.jpg

    Once you've done enough wraps, cut your string so you have lots of even strands.

    tassel-cut.jpg

    Cut another long piece of string, about 30cm, to hang your tassel. Fold it in half and lay it under your pieces of string and pull the tail through the loop.

    tassel-cross.jpg
    tassel-loope.jpg

    Now we need to wrap up our tassel to make it neat and tidy. Cut a long length of string. Create a loop with this string and lay it over your tassel, leaving one end really long. Start wrapping this long piece around the entire tassel and the loop. Wrap tight, but not too tight. 

    tassel-wrap-1-.jpg
    BMwrapping-tassel.jpg

    Tuck the string that you've been wrapping through the loop you've been wrapping over then carefully pull the piece of string that's below the wraps. This pulls the loop and the end of the wrapping string neatly under all the wraps. Don't pull it too far - if you pull the loop all the way through to the bottom, your wraps will unravel. Just tug it gently so that the loop ends up somewhere in the middle of all your wraps. 

    BM-tuck-the-tail.jpg
    BM-pull-the-tail.jpg

    Trim the two ends of the wrapping string and trim and tidy the end of your tassel. 

    BM-trim-end.jpg

    Now you know how to make a tassel, go ahead and make the rest! I made another big one (pictured below) and a bunch of mini rainbow tassels. Make another big tassel and hang it off a very long piece of string (give yourself a lot to work with, maybe 45cm or so). Tie a loop in this string above the tassel. This is how we will attach our tassel chain to our tote bag later. 

    BM-tie-loop.jpg

    Thread your darning needle with the string connected to your tassel and thread on a pom pom. 

    BM-thread-needle.jpg
    BM-pom-pom-.jpg

    Tie knots in this same piece of string and tie your tassels at each knot until you've attached all your tassels. Trim up any messy bits and loose threads.

    BM-tie-on-tassels.jpg

    Attach the tassels to your tote bag handle by looping the tassels through that loop we made earlier. 

    final.jpg

    And that's it! If you make any tassel creations, I'd love to see them! Happy crafting! 

    final2-.jpg
     

    DIY Pom Pom Lampshade

     
    pom-lamp-shade.jpg

    Hey pals! Here's another crafty tutorial for you all! I'm going to show you how to make this silly pom pom lampshade. I love this project because it uses recycled materials. The lamp and yarn all came from the op shop.

    I never buy my yarn anywhere but at the op shop - it saves so much money! Plus, you always get fun little colour combinations! Making your poms takes quite a bit of time, so you're going to want to settle in to a good series of something or listen to your favourite podcast. 

    Of course, you could buy a bunch of poms (Riot Art is selling nice yarn ones at the moment!) but don't be frightened of making you're own. You can buy fancy pom pom makers at the craft store or online, or you can make pom poms using two pieces of cardboard. 

    Tools and Materials

    - Scissors
    - Hot glue gun
    - Hot glue gun refills
    - A cup
    - Cardboard
    - Lampshade
    - Lots and lots of wool/yarn

    poms.jpg

    To make your pom poms, you're going to need a whole lot of wool/yarn. Use up your yarn scraps or head to the op shop for these! You'll also need cardboard, scissors, a cup and a marker. 

    Trace two circles around your cup onto the cardboard. The size of the cup will roughly be the size of your pom. Draw a line through the centre and cut out the semi circle and cut this shape out. 

    pomtemplate.jpg

    Cut a little semi circle out from the middle of each piece of cardboard. 

    cardboard-cut-out.jpg

    Sandwich a piece of yarn, about 30cm long, between the two pieces of cardboard and wrap the yarn around the template. You need to keep wrapping until you've filled up that inner circle. 

    pom-wrap.jpg

    Tie the yarn between the two pieces of card around the yarn in a loose knot. Cut between the two layers of cardboard. 

    cut-pom.jpg

    Pull away the cardboard. 

    pom-cut.jpg

    Flip your pom over and tie another loose knot with that same piece of original yarn. Flip the pom over and tie one more knot. Now, go ahead and tighten the knot with a few careful tugs - tying a few loose knots before tightening will help you tie a tight knot as the yarn can grip onto itself. Skipping this step will make tying a tight knot really difficult. The tighter the knot, the more fluffy your pom will be. If your yarn keeps snapping, use a stronger thread. 

    tie-pom.jpg

    Trim your pom so it's nice, neat, round and fluffy.

    pom-trim.jpg

    Now it's time to stick on your poms! I chose to stick mine on around the base of my lampshade, but they'd also look good around the top or scattered all over. Stick your poms on with hot glue. Use quite a bit of glue and apply it to the centre of your pom pom where you tied it together. Apply it to the shade and hold it in place for a couple of seconds to make sure it sticks. 

    stick-on-poms.jpg

    Stick all your poms on and voila! 

    Let me know if you make this or any other pom pom creations! 
    Happy crafting xx

    pom-lamp-shade.jpg
     

    DIY Donut Tote Bag

    I have about 300 tote bags already so naturally, I thought I'd better make another one. This DIY is super easy but super effective and you'll only need a few things to get started. 

    What you'll need:
    ~ canvas tote bag (I got mine at Lincraft)
    ~ beige felt
    ~ pink felt
    ~ mini pom poms
    ~ fabric glue
    ~ scissors
    ~ donut template (included below!)

     Donut template - print at 100% on A4 paper&nbsp;

    Donut template - print at 100% on A4 paper 

    1. Print out the donut template above. First cut out the large circle and fold it in half down the middle to cut out the centre. Fold your beige felt in half and lay the template over the top with the template and the felt's folds matching up. Cut out the donut shape in the beige felt. 

    2. Unfold your template and cut out the shape of the icing. Lay the template over your pink felt and cut around the outside and the hole in the middle. 

    3. Apply fabric glue to the donut and stick it down in the centre of the tote bag. Allow it to dry before sticking the pink icing on over the top. 

    4. Scatter the mini pom poms like sprinkles, sticking each one down with a little fabric glue. 

    5. Leave your tote to dry and voila! You're now the proud owner of your very own donut tote bag!