27 April 2013

DIY: Tote bag

As I mentioned in past posts, I recently purchased a sewing machine! Unfortunately, I have been so busy that I still haven't got the time to properly explore all its potential. However, I did somehow managed to sew a tote bag!  

Here are a few pictures of the bag:

 Unfortunately, I wasn't able to take enough pictures of all the steps I took when sewing it, but fortunately there are many blogs that post pretty good tutorials to follow. My favourite one for  a Tote bag, is this one here, by one of my favourite sewing blogs, Made.

Here are a few pictures of a detail of my stitches, not sure if I should feel this proud of my Tote bag, but I am!

I simplified the tutorial, by not doing it as a reversible bag. I did not think that was quite ready to do it, and besides, I did not have the time for it.... Also, this tote bag will be  used as a reusable shopping bag, so it does not have to be such a glamorous bag! And finally, I was using leftovers of fabric from my previous projects, and did not have sufficient fabric for it....
Maybe in a future attempt!


24 April 2013

procrastination projects

I have been really busy this past days.... I am a little behind on papers that I should have already submitted, and so work and stress starts to pile up!
yesterday I arrived really late, and had this little gift waiting for me! I was sooooo happy, my heart melted once I opened it! 

You really love when you feel supported on you little procrastination projects! And what exactly are procrastinations projects?.... Well,  it´s everything that you start to do.... or plan to do....instead of what you really should be doing.... Here´s a clear picture of what I am dealing with:

 And so, if I already had so many projects.... Now I even have more! Not so sure about the knitting though....
 Even so, I can´t wait to explore freely all my endeavours...
So let´s get back to work, so I can explore properly my "sewing skills" ...

21 April 2013

New Forest

Last weekend I visited new Forest for the first time. For the ones who don´t know, New Forest is a national park located in southern England.... and is simply beautiful. This park is filled with commoners'  horses and cattle, that simply graze away freely in the park. So, now and then, you usually have an extra party companion following you!

 I wasn't there simply for sightseeing, I was helping out a friend with her PhD fieldwork, so besides enjoying the amazing landscape.... we worked...! I was completely beaten by the end of the day, we walked a lot, and I was able to visit areas that would not be usually visited. We were a bit unlucky though, for the weather wasn't the nicest one (surprisingly, right?), but it was completely worth it!I will be definitely returning and hopefully with a sunny weather....

For now I will just leave you with a few images of the park!


15 April 2013

Meet my brand new......

Sewing machine!!!!

As I already blogged a long time a go, one of my wishes was to purchase a sewing machine. And.... I did it!
I had a few doubts about the machine I should purchase, as I am a beginner, and I don´t know a lot (practically anything) about sewing. My latests projects were done hand-stitching, and the blogosphere was  quite handy for me to learn hand sewing, all that I learn so far was thanks to blogs out there that have tutorials.

John Lewis web site does have a web-test on the type of machine that someone should purchase (find it here).  I found it quite useful as a machine guide. When I went there for purchasing the selected machine, the employees there were even more useful and thought me a few basic steps and how to use it!

So, I am less then a beginner when it comes to sewing... And even less when using a sewing machine, again I am so thankful to these amazing tutorials that show the basic steps on how to use a sewing machine! DIYdesign has these really good tutorials with a few videos that I am following (you can found these here). So I spent time getting to know my sewing machine, and getting the sense to the different stitches and I absolutely loved it! I can´t wait to try it for real, I have so many projects in my mind!
Here are a few examples of the stitches I sewed.... I used a leftover of fabric from my project "purse organizer" for this experiment...

Bear with me, as I explained I am less than a beginner! But I am improving with time, I can notice a difference, the final stitches (on the right) are done forming a really straight line!! Not bad for a first time right?

13 April 2013

Blog as work in progress, Chapter3!

OK, lets see a black & white signature!
Much better...But not yet the final one....

Blog as work in project, Chapter 2!

Ok! Lets see how the signature image is now....
So, first step, signature is set, even though I will change it later on...
Second step,  I finished the rearrangement of my DIY projects page... And I added the buttons of the blogs I usually use for inspiration (fav DIY blogs)....
And finally!   I understood the way to change my twitter button... As expected is so easy.... Now, I will design new icon buttons so its more personalized.
Now what I still don´t understand is why this post is connected to my first one... And why I have a green line between the posts? Blogger just keeps surprising me...


Blog as work in progress

Everytime I search the blogosphere, I see all these amazing and extremely talented blogs, with designs so beautiful, and then I see liittle ol´mine, and get really embarrassed.
yes, I am not slightly satisfied with my blog´s design, starting with the follow me icons for twitter, Pinterest and to rss feeds. Twitter´s button is the one that is giving me more trouble. I just wanted one either with the "t" or the bird, but Twitter´s choice for buttons don´t including these ones now. I don´t mind designing one for my  blog, the thing is, I still haven´t learned how to link the new button to the follow me on twitter link. In twitter´s help website they only show how to link to the buttons they offer (see it here), and the customization choices are really limited (just add/ remove your name, show/don´t show the number of followers and size). As you can see, the design is really limited! What is puzzling me is that when you copy the button´s code to your html gadget, I am not able to understand the code for the image, and so, I am not able to replace it. Really frustrating, and when I finally get I will know that will be this really easy step.... Until then this is just frustrating!
I am also thinking about simplifying the blog rolls that I have... I have several, divided according to themes, but I am thinking about just mixing all up.... I want to simplify the appearance of my blog, keeping it to the minimum.
SO I am guessing this weekend´s DIY will be my blogs design!

10 April 2013

DIY: Convert a small drawer into a jewellery box

This is a project that I had in mind for a couple of days, I got inspired when I saw this post by Tea Rose Home and mixed it a little up with the tutorial about the purse organizer.

So here are the photos of my little recent DIY project before and after:

And now, the materials I used.

I also used and extra pink fabric for the little pillows to contrast with the striped fabric.

And now, how I did it:

Step 1.
Measure you drawer, and design the shape of the jewellery box to better fulfil your needs. Cut the cereal box / card paper as the dividers and  base of your jewellery box. Bellow you will find the template I used.

Step 2.
Cut the fabric and the wadding that later on will be little pillows of the box . I did cut rectangles 8/15 cm, 15/15 cm of wadding and pink fabric, but these measurements might have to be adjusted depending on the size of your box/drawer.

Step 3.
Sew the wadding, and later on sew it to the pink fabric. (for this step follow Tea Rose Home tutorial, that explains it beautifully - click here for the tutorial).

Step 4.
Cut a strip of fabric, 6/15cm and sew it as the form of a button loop. This later on will be a hold that will be handy when removing the "jewellery box" from the drawer.

Step 5.
Cut two pieces of fabric to line the card paper that will be later on the base of the box, use the card paper as a template. Sew three sides of the card wrong side out. Turn it outside out, insert the card and sew it closed with the loop. Repeat the first three steps of procedure for the box dividers.

Step 6.
Glue the dividers and the little pillows to the box base, and insert the box in the drawer.

Step 7.
Enjoy your jewllery box!

Please feel free to comment if you have any doubts..!

09 April 2013

DIY: Temporarily hang wallpaper

So finally I am posting about this DIY project. I did it last weekend, but did not blog about it immediately.
A small sample of the wall paper pattern that we used:

Here is a picture of the wallpaper in the wall:

I really loved the pattern of this wallpaper, and it was such a bargain!

So we did it using double sided tape, and I have to say that surprisingly the tape works perfectly, (read the Update for more information) and we did not need to use the masking tape to protect the painted wall.

You don´t need much, we basically used:

 And of course:

The process is simple but it is time consuming....
So here are the steps:

Step 1:
Measure the height of your wall, and calculate the size of the wallpaper strip that you need to cut by adding about 12 cm.

Step 2:
Tape the double sided tape to the wall. I show how we taped it on the picture below, btw, 50,2 cm is the width of the wallpaper. The three strips of double sided tape will reinforce the attachment, as the diagonal strip. We also added a horizontal strip near the ceiling, and one near the skirting board.

Step 3:
Attach the wall paper to the tape. This step was the most complicated one, we needed to repeat it several times until we got it right. But the tape worked wonders, as it did not rip the wallpaper, and even when we needed to re-attached it to the wall, it did not damage the paint. We begun by attaching the wallpaper in the horizontal strip of tape, near the ceiling, and verified that it was vertical. This step took ages... When right, we attached it completely. Afterwards, cut the excess of the wallpaper strip using the utility knife and a ruler.

Step 4:
After the first strip of wall paper hanged repeat the process, and matched it to the first strip. We just hanged two strips of wall paper. It was sufficient for the look that we were going for. But, its just a matter of repeating this process until the wall is completed covered.

Step 5:
Enjoy your wall paper!

Here are a few pictures of the steps, and a template of the double sided tape on the wall.

Absolutely love the flower pattern and the blue colour....Btw, the pattern is based on  "Large magnolia blooms on a leaf trail with a diamond trellis effect" (complete description here)....of course it had to be a magnolia!
Hope this method helps you!

We recently moved to  new rental, and had to remove the wallpaper.... So my advice is, the masking tape is necessary! The wallpaper was removed quite easily, but the double sided tape was really glued to the wall. Final result, we needed to paint that wall at the end... But I do believe that the removal of the wallpaper was done more easily compared to a regular aplication..!

You may want to check this post with more tips, and this one with other solutions for temporarily hang wall paper!
Feel free to comment any questions you may have, I would love to hear from you and help any way I can!

08 April 2013

Blogging, copyright and privacy policies

Again I face myself with some doubts about this new hobby of mine, how to do it properly and respecting the sources of  "my projects" and works.
When reviewing my blog, and looking for some lapses, in my introductory I wrote a text to try to protect the posts I make, where I referenced copyrights issues. And then I remembered some pictures I already used, and that they were not originally mine (found those on Pinterest and websites), so was I allowed to use them? And  what about the tutorials I found? I also linked every blog/site I used to do it, but what about legal issues? Was I allowed to link it? I did it to cite my sources, and attempt to attribute the due author the deserved credit. Do you all face these questions when blogging? It seemed so easy in the beggining...

And so, I did a quick search in the web to find some answers. Surprisingly (or not), the legal issues of blogging and copyrights were already being discussed in the academical field. Before tackling any heavier reading, I started with The complete idiot´s guide, that  posted an article about blogging and etiquete (you can find it here). I already have a few basic notions about Royalty free images, but in the blogging field, every policy and licensing seems to be really greyish. When I began to search by the very first source of "my" images, I found that those were already re-published, re-pinned thousands of times, and it was very difficult to track down the author of those images, and even then, I am still not sure that I am indeed allowed to publish them (even if they were already re-pinned, re-published)! When reading more about image use in blogging ( I used About.com, you can find the article here) , I found that we should ask for permissions to use photos and images, unless a the permission was already given (as the case of royalty-free images). Again, pretty challenging when you can´t trace the author, and one of the tricky things about blogging seems to be finding royalty-free images. Well, at least most of the pictures I used were mine, at the exception of the ones I used as introduction to the pages "Fashion and Style" and "Ramblings". Yes, true, those Louboutin were not mine, neither was the cute Kitten.... And the sources were cited (even doubting Pinterest can be recognized as a source - this is the case where I found difficulties in tracking down the author). Update, I was reading the licensing for my sleeping kitten, and the website does not authorize their consent for "projects", its only for "personal use", I was not sure were a blog stands though, particularly mine... Its personal, but its out there, its public, well but its definitely not for commercial use though...! what about transforming the pictures? That is other issue I am not sure how to deal with. Re-updating, Susan Gunelius is quite adamant in one aspect, "you can't use an image on your blog unless you created it, have permission to use it from the creator", (you can read it here) so there goes, Louboutin and my cute kitten have to go...and be replaced by other photos!

However, there are a few websites that store royalty free images, as Wikemedia commons, and seems that Google image search also has a Creative Commons tool too, you have to add manually though, find how here.

I also panicked a little when I read that I could be sued by using pictures without a clear consent, a blogger found all about  the consequences for uncredited sources the hard way (read all here) ...

But I will not plagiarize, I am careful regarding that aspect, since citing and quoting is a daily routine in Academia. Well, at least in terms of linking, I believe I am doing it right, since a link back to the original source is the common procedure,when citing the sources... I was not aware though that was could use a trackback too (read more here)! Will definitely use it in the near future.

Continuing the discussion about licencing, I already had stumble on Creative Commons, and so  I have to think about licensing my blog.
An update, while continuing researching on licenses (this matter is quite complex....), it began clear that if the work does not have any license, is copyrighted by default (read more here ). So my Creative Commons license does make sense, so that whoever stumbles on my blog knows where my work stands on terms of use. This post will be a on-going project.....

Another issue I haven´t considered is my blog´s privacy Policy, which I will disclosure (following Susan Gunelius guide, I should had start by reading her guidelines first, you can find it here).

I will start looking for Royalty-free Images now, since I have to replace my current ones!

07 April 2013

Ramblings on yellow

Today I finally realized that Spring time arrived!

When walking around London, sprinkles of colours  flourished around the city, and one of this colours was undoubtedly dominant, yellow!

Usually I am not particularly fond of yellow, however this time I was really happy to see it, it represented that Spring time was definitely here.

This year Winter was really rough, I guess I was desperate for some warmth, even if it´s yellow...

Everywhere I looked, yellow was present. It began earlier in the morning, I visited the National Gallery, and re encountered my favourite painting, "Sunflowers" by Van Gogh.
This encounter inspired a search for yellow during the day.  I even purchased a new ring which design was based on the painting.

And any search would not be completed without my camera... here is the ring and my companion for the yellow search:


So here are a few examples of yellow features that I found today :

Ohhh....lovely yellow.....
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