Tuesday, 20 March 2018

DIY Blood Moon Lamp

Soooo I had intended to make a nice and easy DIY replication of that moon lamp that's been doing the rounds in my Facebook feed but what I've created didn't quite go to plan... therefore I bring you The Blood Moon Lamp! I think I know where I went wrong and will be doing it again but in the meantime here's how you make this pretty and ambient light. 

Step 1. Partially blow up a balloon until you have a perfect sphere. To make the glue all you'll need it equal parts plain (all purpose flour) and water mixed together so there are no lumps or clumps. For the paper mache you'll use toilet paper squares! It's nice and thin, extremely pliable, and readily available. I use a silicone basting brush to apply the glue initially but ended up just smearing it around with my hands. It was so very very messy but worked great and was oddly satisfying. 
Step 2. After you've applied the first layer, add another 2-3. I used 4 in total but I think 3 would look nicer. Leave it to dry COMPLETELY, mine fully dried in 2 days.
TIP smooth the edges with your fingers to remove the visibility of the edge of toilet paper sheets 
Step 3. Pop the balloon and take it out. If you need to trim the base so your lamp sits flat on a surface then you can do that now with scissors. Spend some time stroking the inside of the lamp because it will be SO smooth in there...I mean, I'm totally not weird at all *hah*
Step 4. Using a square of kitchen sponge dab some gold paint over your moon lamp using a photo of a full moon for reference. This was the point I realised that my lamp wasn't going to look like it did in my head but I also waited 2 days for this fucker to dry and I wanted a damn lamp. It's still really cool! Just not what I set out to do. But anyway, carrying on...
Step 5. Add a light inside your lamp. You can use a string of twinkle lights like I have, battery powered candles, any kind of LED white light.
Annnnnnnnd TA DA! Blood Moon Lamp, Sun Lamp, whatever. It's funky.
Fun fact- the flour and water glue has a yellow one to it and will give you a yellow lamp. Damnit. 

Sunday, 4 March 2018

I made my kitten a harness and leash

My little puss cries whenever I go out the door. Even if she can see me while I'm hanging out the washing. She'll scale the screen, mew and mew, and generally make me feel like a terrible human. She's an indoor kitty so she isn't allowed out to roam around on her own but I felt like taking her outside with me while I'm gardening, hanging washing, or just having a cup of tea out under the patio would be a nifty thing to be able to do. Safely, that is! Being so young she'd be at a good stage to start harness training so I can take her out into the world but harnesses are either too damn big because they're meant for dogs (the affordable ones at the Reject Shop), or too damn expensive.
I don't have- money
I do have - fabric scraps, a sewing machine, crochet skills, time (sort of), and a foolhardy sense of determination.

And so, with a little trial and error, I made both a kitty harness and a leash all with crafty supplies and shit I had already. What I did was start off using a crochet harness pattern I found online {Pixie Heart Strings} and once I'd determined the first was too small I made adjustments and came up with a good fit. A friend pointed out that maybe crochet would have too much give to hold her securely inside and she was right, so to counteract that I've rather shittily but somewhat successfully lined it in cotton to decrease that stretch that crocheted fabric naturally has. I then sewed it to the inside of the harness and attached a loop on the top for the leash clip. I realise that as she grows I will need to make larger ones, or I may get to a point where I'll be able to buy one, but I'm ok with that. I've always found huge satisfaction finding handmade solutions to problems I have around the home. As Bigweld from Robots says, 'See a need, fill a need'! The leash was made using multiple cut strips of fabric folding over and sewn together end to end as I didn't have one piece of fabric large enough to cut a whole length from. The plastic clip I salvaged off the strap from a travel duffel bag I never use the strap for anyway.

And does it fit Moira? Yep! There's a little room in there for her growth over the next month I think but it's still snug enough to start using now. I popped it on her for a final fitting and to let her run around in it, she's not fussed by it at all. She isn't too keen on having it put on but she gets over that pretty quickly. The next step will be to put it on her, attach the leash, and take it for a test run. The weather is waaaay too hot and humid to do that today, I don't want to make her any hotter. I'll wait til it cools down, if it cools down, during the week.

Maybe eventually she can come with us to the corner shop to get milk, or have a walk around the block. We'll see!

Saturday, 3 March 2018

(Almost) 28 days of kitten sketches

At the beginning of the month I decided to practice my drawing from life skills but setting myself a little challenge...that challenge being to do a sketch of Moira every day of February either from life, or if need be from a photo taken that day. Trying to see an object as a collection of shapes and being able to sketch the basic form is something I want to work on so that I can incorporate it into my watercolour painting. When setting up the scamp, or guide drawing, pre-loose watercolour painting, it's a good idea to capture the subject quickly, without too much fuss, and get the shapes down on paper.
Some days I was able to get a little more detail in my sketches, other days and especially on those when she was awake when being sketched, I'd get little more than an outline. I've tried to focus on proportions, and drawing what I see rather than what I know is there. So here we are... (almost) sketches of Moira the kitten!

How I got back in control of my anxiety

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