Easy sparkly gold and diamond jewelry

Easy sparkly jewelry

I just created a ring and matching earrings to go out New Year’s eve…

Supereasy, fun, and you can let your creativity loose!

All you need is some fabric buttons, gold embroidery thread, a gold colored ring base and gold colored earring posts.

Sparkly earrings and ring

First, embroider what you want onto the fabric (in this case faux leather). Make sure it’s smaller than the button you will be using. I wanted to have a diamond shape on my ring.

Cut out the circle size needed for the button and follow the instructions on the package (make sure to remove the metal clasp with pliers otherwise you want be able to glue it!)

Use some super glue to attach the button to the ring base. I use a peg and leave it on for a while to make sure it sticks.

Do the same for the earrings :-)…

 

I made mine a random geometric shape.

The faux leather is not too easy to use with the buttons… Luckily I have a hammer :-)…

But you can really use any fabric or any motive you want to match it up with your outfit!

Sparkly gold embroidery

Enjoy!

xx.

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Wintery red

 

Knit scarf and crocheted hat

 

Winter is coming and I was in need of some crafting and something warm :-)!

I’ve started to knit a couple of weeks ago, and figured a scarf would be a good place to start a project! For the hat, I hadn’t started on knitting in the round yet, so I opted to crochet this one…

Here’s how I made the scarf:

Knitted scarf

I used bulky yarn (Schachenmayr Boston) like the one found here. The knitting needles were size 8 mm.

I also had some faux leather fabric, which I cut into small strips of about 0,8 cm. If I were to do it again, I would cut them even smaller, ’cause it was quite difficult to work with, with this thickness. I used smaller strips on the hat (see below).

Start with casting on 25 stitches (or another odd number depending on how wide you want the scarf to be).

Row 1-5: knit one, *purl one, knit one* (repeat from * to end)
Row 6 – …:  Right side row knit – wrong side row purl (stockinette stitch)
(You can make the scarf as long as you want it to be. I didn’t count my rows but tried it on a couple of times until I was satisfied with the length.)

Just before I figured I would need about 10 more centimeters, I started working with the faux leather strips. Like I said, they were a little too wide to work with. If you use smaller strips, just be careful not to pull too tight or it might tear.

Faux leather rows:
row a: right side knit
row b: wrong side purl
row c: right side knit
row d: wrong side purl
I used about one strip of faux leather per row, and attached two ends to make a little bow. The other ends were weaved in.

After the faux leather rows, I did about 8 more rows of stockinette.

Repeat rows 1-5 and close.

Weave in all the ends.

For the fringe I cut a piece of cardboard about 15 cm wide and started to wind the yarn around it. Then cut on one side and take about three strands of yarn for one fringe and attach it with a crochet hook to the scarf.
Here’s a good tutorial on how to make the fringe and attach it:
http://www.howcast.com/videos/510793-How-to-Add-Fringe-to-a-Scarf-Knitting

I also used some of my faux leather to add something extra for the fringe.

Fringe scarf

Voila, that’s the scarf done :-)!

For the hat, I used a size 6 crochet hook. I started following this pattern up until round 17.
http://blog.darice.com/basics/slouch-crochet-hat-pattern/

Because of the size of the yarn, my hat was a bit bigger than this model. For round 18 I again used the faux leather and worked my way round with single crochet. Again, I made a little bow with two of the ends and weaved the rest in.

Scarf and hat

I also bought some black gloves and made some faux leather earrings to match up the outfit :-)…

Knit scarf and crocheted hat

 

What do you think :-)?

 

Make your own cute cat scratch sewing machine

Last year my cat passed away to this horrible disease that is cancer… I felt sad for a long time, but I missed some flufiness around the house… A friend of mine had a gorgeous male and female cat, so we were both hoping for an extended family soon! Two sweet girl kittens were born on the 20th of April. We immediately fell in love <3! We named her Bertha, after my late grandmother…

She arrived in our home late June. I live in an appartment on the 11th Floor, so she remains mainly indoors, except for some guided walking outings on the lawn behind the building…

This means that she has become the boss in the house, and we have to previde ample playing possibilities for her! She now has two tall scratching posts, seeing as she is a bit of a climber!

I’m also looking for cute stuff for her to play with, so that we can have some fun with it too! I came across this scratching toy by Suck UK, which I just had to have!

Cat scratch playhouse by Suck UK

Suck UK cat scratch dj set

It’s in our living room and I love it!!

I also have a craft room, where my sewing machine is. Unfortunately I don’t get a lot of work done when she’s around. That machine is just sooooo fascinating!!

I saw this lovely cardboard sewing machine, made by Cassie for her son to play with:

Cardboard box play sewing machine

I figured, what if I combine these two ideas, and make my cat her own little sewing machine to fiddle with!!

And came up with this:

sewing machine cat scratchFor reference, my sewing machine at home is a Brother Innov-is 10…

I’ll try to show you how I made it, but this is my first ‘tutorial’, so bear with me! And if you have any questions, just give me a yell!

Let’s begin with the necessities… This is what I used…

Collage sewing machine equipment

1. A curious cat
2. Cat scratcher board with catnip (at least 38 cm x 11,5 cm)
3. An old cardboard box large enough to cut out the template
4. Nice looking cardboard boxes to cut out the little pieces. I bought these at Hema.
(Cardboard boxes at Hema)
5. Rope
6. Ruler, pencil, scissors, pair of compasses
7. Eyelet punch
8. Some plastic hexagon screws
9. Colored rubber foam sheets
10. Glue
11. Folding rule, stanley knife
12. An ever more curious cat…
13. Small hammer and chisel
14. Some metal hexagon screws (just one really)
15. Hobby knife
16. Yarn (3 colors) + crochet hooks size 3 and 5

First of all, I made a small model, just to make sure I wouldn’t forget some corner of the machine. I wanted everything to be one piece of cardboard. You can skip this step :-)…
Making of the model of the sewing machine model2
I placed the markings of where the attachments would come.

Next up was drawing everything on a large piece of cardboard. You need at least 96 cm x 61 cm. Here’s the file with a sketch of the model with the appropriate measurements (in cm).
sewing machine blueprint

You should get something like this:

Cardboard box model drawing

Be sure to add the extra ‘flaps’ to be able to glue the pieces together and attach it to the bottom. Cut out the model with a stanley knife (and a cutting mat underneath).

Cardboard model cut out

You can fold the pieces to have the model, but don’t glue together until all the other parts are attached!

I started by drawing two big circles with my pair of compasses (you’ll be needing these a lot!) on the good cardboard, in which I wrote the different possible stitches. Cut the whole disk out.

Circle of stitches

You should then draw a circle the size of the inner circle on another piece of cardboard. The big disk goes on the inside of the box, the small one on the outside. You should also draw a circle (a little bigger than the markings of your stitches) on the side of your sewing machine. This you have to cut out, so when you turn your outer disk, the different stitches are visible.
Cut out one extra disk of cardboard to put behind the outer one. Punch a hole in the middle of every disk (if it’s not big enough, use your hobby knife and make a cross in it, so the bolt can get in. Put the hexagon screw through the outer disks, sewing machine and inner disk and screw tight on the inside – make sure not to screw too tight so the disk can still turn – ).

It should look something like this:

Choosing stitches

Choosing stitches 2

Cut out some pieces of your rubber foam sheets to make the electronic display. Put the markings on with a black marker. Glue the display above your stitch circle.

Electronic display

Cut out another disk to choose your thread tension. Cut out a small piece on top of the sewing machine where this can fit through. Punch a hole in the front of your sewing machine to put the screw through and attach the disk through (again don’t attach too tight so it can still turn).

Thread tension disk

Thread tension disk attached

Make the sewing thread. Attach the beginning of the rope between a piece of duct tape en put some glue on the tape. Role up the rope until you have a piece of sewing thread. Cut out another small disk to put on top of this. Put a screw through and attach on the inside of the machine. Role out the rope towards the other end of the top of the sewing machine, punch a hole and put the rope through. Punch another hole in the bottom of the machine and put the rope through again. Extend a bit more and put a knot in.
Punch another hole next to the rope hole in the bottom of the machine and screw in one of the metal screws from the inside. This will make up the needle (on the pic it’s one of the plastic ones which I later changed cause I didn’t have enough of those).

Sewing thread

Sewing thread 2Sewing machine needle

Cut out a disk and draw on a cat paw. Glue this on the front of the machine.

IMG_8969bis

Cut out the head of a cat and three smaller disks. Draw the eyes on and punch a hole where the nose should be. Crochet three whiskers as long as you want (chain stitch), leaving the middle stitch loose so the screw can go through. Screw on the whiskers, cat disk and three smaller disks and attach on the inside.
Punch another hole in the lower right corner to put the pedal wire through.

I made the pedal as follows. Hope this makes sense, cause this is the first pattern I write.

Pedal Wire:

In white yarn, crochet hook 5:
1. Chain 150
2. Turn, 150 SC
Leave an end and cut off.

Pedal:

In mint green, start with crochet hook 5
1. Chain 13
2. Turn, 12 SC
3 – 6. Chain 1, turn, 12 SC
7. Chain 1, 11 SC (don’t turn and work through), 2 SC in same stitch, 3 SC, 2 SC in same stitch, 10 SC, 2 SC in same stitch, 4 SC, slip stitch
8. BLO: 35 SC
9. Chain 1, 34 SC, slip stitch
10. *4 SC, 2 SC together* (30)
11 – 12. 30 SC
13. *3 SC, 2 SC together* (24)
14 – 17. 24 SC
18. *2 SC, 2 SC together* (18)
19 – 21. 18 SC
Fill up with stuffing.
22. Change crochet hook to hook 3: 18 SC
23. *SC, 2 SC together
24. 12 SC
25. *2 SC together* (6)
Close up and attach the wire.

Cut out another small disk to put on the inside of the machine and put a knot in the wire behind it. You can stick it up with a bit of duct tape too to be sure it doesn’t get loose.

Glue your sewing machine together where needed (flaps). Leave the bottom flaps alone for now.

Cut up the cat scratch board (mine was 11,5 in width, but I had to shorten the length to 38 cm). This was the length of the lid of the cardboard box. This way I didn’t have to cut this to size and I could use the folding and attachment of the lid. I only had to cut the width.

Cut cat scratch board

With my hammer and chisel I made the holes to fit in the flaps of the sewing machine. Don’t know how to explain this correctly, but you should have four flaps (reverse T-shape) on the bottom of the machine. Fold these arms of the ‘T’ towards the inside, so it can fit in the hole in the scratch board (which was 4 cm thick in my case – which is why I used hammer and chisel). When it’s through the board, you can fold the arms open again, so it’s attached to the board. Do this four times. I used duct tape to attach the pieces to each other for extra security.

Make attaching in board.
Now cut up the lid of your cardboard box so the scratch board can fit in. Fold the lid.

Cardboard lid

Put in the scratch board with sewing machine and tadaaaaaa!!!! Your cat can play :-)!!

Sewing machine collageCat playing with sewing machine
Scratch sewing machine

Creative therapy

I remember when I was little, I enjoyed all sorts of crafts… We learned cross-stitch and macramé at school. Both my grandmothers were a big influence as well! One taught me how to crochet, the other how to knit. When I went on holidays there, I had my own little knitting-needle-bag… It made me happy!
I also did other crafts. Once I made furniture for my Barbies. A hammer, nails, and a few chunks of left-over wood was all I needed…

Growing older, the crafts drifted to the background. I forgot how to crochet and knit… Like a lot of people my age, the computer became the center of attention. Not that I completely abandonded my creative instincts… You can also make beautiful things through electronic devices. Photoshop is still one of my favorte programs! I wish I knew better how to use all of its capabilities…

Being ill has changed a lot in my life, both physically and mentally. You see your timeframe diminishing. You try to adapt a different attitude towards life… This does not always work of course and I still have to take into account my physical limitations and on-going fatigue…
I found a rekindled love for hands-on crafts and creativity. It calms me. It’s a form of alternative therapy…

Last year, I took a sending class. Only 5 lessons, but enough to give me some basics… My first sewing creation: an apron!

Sew apron red polka dot

You couldn’t look to closely, but still, proud of my first accomplishment :-)!

Looking around you see that the internet is full of tutorials, you tube-video’s and a world of Pinterest-ideas :-)… There are some great books and patterns around as well!

I’ll show you around some of the creations that I have made this last year and a half.

I needed good material to work with, like a pincushion. So I fabricated one to put around my arm with velcro. If I were to do it now, I would probably do it differently, but still, it does what is intended…

Sewed pincushion - polka dot

One of the first books I bought, was “Allemaal Rokjes”, by Mme Zsazsa, an immediate bestseller here in belgium. Hip patterns and easy to follow instructions! Just what I needed!

Allemaal Rokjes

Since then, I used the book to sew two skirts for myself, one for my mom, and one for my godchild… You can be the judge :-)…

Skirts

I decided to try out my creativity on a black audrey dress. Here’s my ‘pimped dress’, using just my imagination.

Dress

For my little niece, I also made a little skirt, with a pattern from Minikrea (using an English translation).

Miniskrea Skirt

Next is a pattern I’ve used quite a few times as well. I needed an easy bag to go to work. I found this super-easy pattern from Happy in Red.

My mom and niece have asked me to make one for them as well!

Bags

For the small pouch on the upper right, I used this tutorial by Skip to my Lou.

In the penguin bag, I also inserted a zippered inner bag, using the tutorial by U-Handbag.

Zippered inner bag

My last sewing project, was a dress for a Monchhichi (24 cm classic girl). My little niece was very disappointed not to find any other outfits for the doll… I promised her I would try to make something. It is a first attempt, and a couple of errors, which I will try to correct for a next outfit, but she was happy nevertheless :-)…

Monchhichi dress

Making things, especially for other people, is so gratifying!

In my next post, I will try to add some crochet projects I have done.

Sweet Nini

Image

It’s been a month since she has passed… I miss her every day…

Some people don’t understand how you can have so much love for a pet… But they are part of the family… They have their own personality… They give so much love and comfort!

Nini was only six years old… This terrible beast cancer had gotten to her as well… Since January, she had been operated on twice, because I had felt a tumour. But it had probably metastasized to her lungs, because the last week she really had trouble breathing and wouldn’t eat… It was a terrible decision I had to make to let the vet put her to sleep… But I couldn’t let her suffer anymore… I wouldn’t want that for myself either… The process was very hard en painful to watch… But at least she’s at peace now…

We made the decision to have her cremated. I also wear a necklace with a bit of her ashes inside. People can be very cruel and harsh as to their response about this (not directly to you, but telling others). But the love for a pet is unconditional. Like I said, she’s part of the family. I can’t have children of my own. She was my little baby. She was there for me when I was ill. She made me laugh, she made me cry…
I once made a video of the tricks she used to pull:

I still imagine her running around the apartment… I still think she’ll be at the door when I come home…

Miss, love, pain…

Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn: a beautiful lady…
Her words:

“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others
For beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness
And for poise, walk with the knowledge
that you are never alone”

I admire her: her spirit, and way of life… A truly elegant woman…

She was actually born in Belgium.

A woman with a heart for people…
She died in 1993, at the age of 63, of the same kind of cancer as I have, PMP. 20 years ago, the medical options were still very limited. Had it happened today, she might have had a better chance!
Here you can find more information about this:
http://www.crmagazine.org/archive/Fall2009/Pages/AudreyHepburnAppendixCancer.aspx?Page=1

She’s now one of my role models… Both because of the personal link, and because of her soul…

I wanted to do something for myself to honor her and remember her and keep her spirit close to me. I already had two tattoos, but I wanted her to be my third.
Thanks to my friend Daniël, I came into contact with Cindy Frey, a beautiful lady, photographer, who started a tattoo shop a year ago. I liked the way she drew and tattooed and believed that she could make this dream come true. I told her what kind of style I was looking for and she came up with a gorgeous vintage-style drawing with a very girly Audrey! Just what I wanted :-)…
So last Saturday, I went to her shop and ‘the magic happened’ :-)!

Thank you Cindy!!

http://www.facebook.com/CINDYFREYOFFICIAL

Circle of Trust

Time to introduce you to my medical circle of trust! These are the people who have helped me on the professional level. Long overdue but here it is :-)!

First of all, there’s Professor Dr. A. Makar. I was referred to him two years ago by my gynaecologist. He found out what was wrong with me. A brilliant mind! He performed the first surgery, and helped with the last one. Now he helps me deal with menopause :-).

Professor Makar and me

Secondly, my surgeons: Dr. Y. Pirenne & Dr. P. Willemsen. In december 2010, I was the first person to receive this type of surgery in the hospital ZNA Middelheim: cytoreductive surgery with HIPEC. Dr. Pirenne is specialising in this type of surgery and he is my personal hero :-)! The surgery took over 12 hours! The second surgery, in September 2011, also took over 8 hours. He has stood by me and takes the time to answer any silly questions I may have.

Here’s a video about what HIPEC is:
HIPEC overview

Dr. D. Velghe deserves credit too! It doesn’t happen very often, seeing as he puts people to sleep as an anaesthetist, but he took really good care of me! And he went through a snow storm to be there for me :-). In the weeks that followed the operation, his department made sure I didn’t have too much pain.

The nursing staff at the Middelheim hospital have also played a huge part in my healing process. Seing as the hospital has kind of become my second home…

Corridor 8D at the Middelheim Hospital

My general practitioner is Dr. T. Van Roey. He’s been there for me as well every step of the way, and has been a great support!

Dr. Van Roey and me

And last but not least, there’s Eva Van Nieuwenhuyse, my psychologist. Not only care of the body matters during these times, but the mind is just as important. She has helped me during this and other difficult periods in my life.

Eva and me

To all of these people: thank you for the support!!

Oh, and I should mention Dr. House too, my favorite pseudo-doctor ;-)!