Winter weekend beading

Winter weekends are ideal for craft projects. Especially if you live as close to the Arctic circle as I do. Crafts + hot chocolate + music = perfect snowy evening.
 A friend of mine who lives in a warmer place decided to brave the cold and come visit my part of the world in the middle of January! She did pretty well with the cold during the day, but when the temperatures dropped to single digits (Fahrenheit) in the evenings, we had to stay at home. While thinking of a fun project to do indoors, I remembered this bead store I pass on my way to work everyday. I promptly roped in another friend and registered the three of us for a 90-min beading class. While we weren’t sure what to expect when we walked in, it turned out to be super fun! Expensive, but fun :) We learned two basic wire wrapping techniques and made three earrings each. The techniques are very versatile and now that we have a ‘feel’ for the craft, I think we are better equipped for self-learning via youtube videos, reading and experimentation. These are the the earrings we made in the class –

Some of the techniques we learnt can be seen in the first five minutes of this video:

The next day, we went to another bead store, bought some more beads and wires and the tools: A round nose plier and a flush cutter. Another evening of beading produced a few more earrings and I think we did a better job this time:

Here’s to handmade costume jewelry! And to quality time with friends!


Felt Holiday Cards

A craft-enthusiast friend of mine had once showed me a picture of a wall art she made by mounting felt pads on canvas. It was simple, colorful and elegant. Since then, I had planned on using felt in what would be my first craft project in years. Handmade holiday cards seemed like a good place to start.

Considering that it was my first crafts project in a long time and that I was going to do it all by myself, I expected it to turn out looking like the work of a fourth grader. But I marginally exceeded my own expectations and ended up with 16-17 cards of 3 different types that I wasn’t ashamed to send out to friends.
Here’s the snowman, the one that took the most time:

The blue background, the black hat, black buttons, red nose, brown arms and the white body itself are all felt. The eyes and the smiley mouth are drawn using a black marker. I used the more expensive sticky-back felt for the blue background and simple felt fabric for the rest. Tacky glue works pretty well with felt.

Here’s a Christmas tree and some reindeer of which I don’t have good pictures. The glitter on the christmas tree is glitter glue and the star on top of the tree as well as the googly-eyes of the reindeer are store-bought. I was in a rush to send these out before christmas, so I didn’t have time to take good pictures. The christmas tree looked the best of all, although that’s not obvious in the picture because of the harsh flash light.

The reindeer look kinda scared because of the tad too big eyes :) But those were the smallest I could get in my local art supply store. Their horns are drawn using a brown marker.

This project was my first, began on an impulse and was completed on a pretty tight schedule. I hope to plan ahead and do better on handmade holiday cards next year. For now, this is my homemade christmas care package — handmade holiday cards with homemade hot chocolate mix — that went out to a niece, a nephew and a few friends.

Hello World

When it comes to arts and crafts, I have more enthusiasm than talent. So this space is merely for chronicling my very humble projects for my own future reference and for sharing with a few friends in the hope of seeking encouragement and /or advice. I have no illusions about my talents or abilities, so this is neither a showcase nor a tutorial blog.