Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Try It Tuesday: Geometric Candles

#TryItTuesday is back! This one has been in the drafts box for ages, and it's one of my favourites so I'm really excited to share it now. These geometric candles are a stroke of genius from Kris Degraeve and the tutorial can be found here on How Did You Make This? The method is based around making your own candle moulds from card stock. 

I absolutely loved following this tutorial! It's not as tricky as it looks, but it is quite time consuming. My main tip is to use good thick card and make sure you seal all tiny holes with PVA glue, otherwise it can get very messy. If all else fails, put a lot of newspaper down and just keep trying; the results are so worth it. Be sure to check out the brilliant original tutorial

There were also two other great Try It Tuesday posts today: 

>>>Emily from Trends With Benefits made some gorgeous little hair pins.

>>>Leanne from Knit me a Cake made a lovely felt phone case inspired by my tutorial :) 

x Rachel 

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

My 2014 Craft To-Do List


I have a problem. I made a list like this last year in an attempt to be less sporadic with my crafting and actually get some projects finished. Even though I did make a lot of things and improved some of my skills, I didn't really master anything on my list fully! I've always been a bit restless when it comes to crafting. I want to be good at it all straight away - but that's resulted in me just being a "dabbler" in everything. 

I am determined this year - that's why there are only four projects on my list. Even if I don't finish them all, I want to make sure I've made some good headway. 

1// Screen printing. I got a silkscreen for Christmas (hooray!) and I want to start printing on fabrics and cards. I've done it before at A level, but I think it's time to have another go properly. 

2// Granny Square Blanket. I did actually start this last year and I've got quite a lot of it done, but I'd love to get it finished this year. 

3// Tapestry. My best girls bought me this Emily Peacock tapestry kit for my birthday! I am so in love with it and can't wait to work on it all year. It's quite big so it's a lovely project to keep dipping in and out of. 

4// Painting. This crops up every year but there is always something holding me back. I literally think I have some sort of deep rooted fear of putting colour on paper. I am slowly getting better, but I'd like to keep going. 

These are my favourite kind of to-do lists. What skills would you like to improve this year?

x Rachel 

Sunday, 19 January 2014

DIY Pom Pom Notebook

Pom Pom Notebook, washi tape, DIY, Yarn, Poms

Hooray for the internet! Firstly, because it has been gone all week and now I have it back, and secondly because it brought me these glorious pom pom makers! I was umming and ahhing about getting them for ages, then I saw how cheap you can get them on eBay and finally went for it. And let me tell you... I am obsessed. They are so SO much easier than the old cardboard ring method - you can make each one in less than 5 minutes. To test them out today I decorated my shop notebook. 

Pom Pom Loom, wool, yarn crafts, DIY notebook

Pom poms, bobbles, tutorial,

This DIY is so easy it doesn't really need a step by step. I just made three pom poms with the two smallest pom pom "looms" (that's a fun sentence to say). The loom allows you to wrap the wool one side at a time which is what makes it so quick - no more squeezing the ball of wool through the middle of the ring! I then used my glue gun to fix them to the notebook and decorated with washi tape and my trusty stamps. 

DIY Pom Pom Notebook, mini Pom poms, yarn notebook

Has anyone else discovered the wonder of these? I'm probably a bit late to the game... But now I'm predicting a house full of garlands and mobiles :) 

x Rachel 

Friday, 10 January 2014

The Happy List


Baby Llama!! Are you real......? I think not, but let's pretend so. 

What's making you happy this week? 

x Rachel 

Thursday, 9 January 2014

A Habit for January: Response // Ability

I had some lovely words of encouragement from you internet people on my last post, so thank you for that! Following on from my introduction to the I Think I Can Series, here's a little about the first habit I will be putting into practice this month... 

My challenge for this month has come out of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and it is focused on the idea of being pro-active rather than reactive. A Reactive person might have moods that are directly affected by their surroundings and other people. The majority of their self worth may come from what others think of them. They might be grumpy whenever the weather is bad. A Proactive person has the ability to choose their response to their surroundings and situation, their sense of self worth is within their control. As Covey says very cleverly; a proactive person "carries their own weather". I would definitely describe myself as a reactive person up until this point. I am so often floored by things that aren't in my control and it seems silly because I would be so much happier if I just learnt not to react in that way. 

A huge eye-opener for me has come from Covey's explanation of the word "Responsibility". It's basically the idea that one of our most powerful assets as humans is that we have the freedom to choose the way we react to our situations. Instead of blaming our circumstances for our actions and feelings, it's about accepting some accountability. We feel the way we choose to feel. The book obviously goes much deeper into this idea, but I don't want to spoil the whole thing (I really do recommend it if you are into this stuff). 

RESPONSE // ABILITY - is the ability to choose our response. 

So my challenge to myself this month is to practice using my own Response-Ability. I want to get into the habit of carrying my own weather and not playing the blame game with my circumstances. 

What do you think? Does this idea resonate with any of you? Why not take up the challenge with me? I'd love to hear how other people get on with it! 

x Rachel 

ps. I'll be back to posting pretty things tomorrow ;)

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

I Think I Can - A New Series


Happy 2014 everyone! I hope everyone had a wonderful start to the year. I am a big fan of the refreshed feeling only a new year can bring, but I have mixed feelings about making resolutions. I love setting goals (mainly for the love of list writing) and I think it's a really important part of getting yourself on track and achieving what you want to achieve. My slight problem with new years resolutions is that it's often tempting to make hazy and unspecific goals ("be healthier"), which end up putting you under false pressure because they are hard to keep. 

This year I am not setting resolutions exactly, but I am going to start a life project that I've been sitting on for a while. It has stemmed from my struggles over the past few years to balance my life and various jobs and trying to keep my head above water. In my first year of uni I discovered that I have dyspraxia, which explained a LOT about why I was finding everything so difficult and having panic attacks. I was so disorganised and stressed, and that was having a huge impact on my self esteem and my ability to progress at the rate I wanted to. Luckily over the past four years I have learnt that it's not that "I can't do" things, it's more that I need to approach things from a different angle. I gradually taught myself good habits, which have now become second nature, and now I feel so much more competent in organising myself and I don't feel overwhelmed with stress all the time. 

The reason for that slight tiny violin story is that my project for 2014 is all about habits. I've been reading a lot of inspiring books lately, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey is one of them. I'm only half way through, and even though some of it is a little dated (first published in 1989), I am finding the basic principal of reconditioning your habits really fascinating. The word "habit" is often used negatively - to describe your bad habits - but what I am learning is that good habits are actually more powerful than bad.  

Even though I feel a lot more capable now than I did a few years ago, I feel like I'm still not working to my full potential. So this year I want to teach myself 12 good habits that will allow me to balance my life more efficiently and achieve more with less stress and anxiety. They are not all going to be organisation based - some will be really simple and some will be more about changing thought processes. I don't even know what they all are yet, but I am really excited to get going.

As always, it is much more useful to share these types of challenges with others, so I would love you to join me! At the beginning of each month I will set out the specific habit I'll be focusing on, then anyone who is interested in having a go at it with me can do so in their own way. Then at the end of the month I'd love to get some sort of shared posting/forum going on where we can share our thoughts and any tips we've picked up along the way. 

I think that's enough of that for now, and all will become more clear when I post about the first habit later on in the week. In the mean time, if anyone has any thoughts or ideas then please share - I'm hoping that I haven't made this sound really boring and that some people will be inspired to join in :) 

x Rachel 


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