04 February 2016

Hama bead gem

I love finding ways of using Hama beads to make items that look sophisticated rather than just treating them as a child's toy. Here's my latest project, a pendant that got lots of compliments!
1. Plan out the outline of the design first, using black beads 
2. Fill in the areas using different shades.

3.  Melt the beads together with an iron, and attach a chain at the top corners.

Blogger Tricks

01 February 2016

Shrink plastic gem

At the moment I'm a bit obsessed with gems, crystals, geometric designs and constellations. So here's the first of a handful of projects inspired by that theme.

1. Start by drawing a design onto shrink plastic using a black pen. I based my design on a template I'd cut out of Mollie Makes magazine a while back for another project. I used white shrink plastic and a permanent pen.

2. Colour in the design. I used brush pens. These made the black pen bleed a bit, but I felt this gave it a watercolour look.

3. Cut out the shape around the edges and punch a hole at the top.

4. Shrink the shrink plastic. You can do this in the oven, but I pin it to a cork mat and use a heat gun.

5. Add a jump ring and hang it from a cord or chain.

31 January 2016

This month on emuse

This month I didn't get round to much crafting, so it's just as well I had lots of photos from my holiday in Italy to share!

I did do a couple of craft projects:
Berry crown
Crochet collar

Some Sunday self-portraits:
Totally tartan
Winter Sparkle
Modern vintage

Showed 5 ways to use vintage brooches to spice up a basic outfit

And listed my 2015 reading

30 January 2016

This month I have been mostly...

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, and Hollow City, both by Ransom Riggs, The World According to Anna by Jostein Gaarder, and The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage by Sydney Padua.

Sherlock, The Young Montalbano, some great old episodes of Top of the Pops from the 70s and 80s, Silent Witness. I'm watching Spin (Les Hommes de L'Ombre), which is kind of a French Borgen, and it has Gregory Fitoussi from Spiral in it. I'm kind of obsessed with the look of the character Valentine, she has such a classic simple French look, and I've started wearing brown eyeliner to emulate that look! I also got Netflix so I could watch Making a Murderer. While I do find it interesting, I was a bit disappointed in the production values - I know there is only so much that can be done with archive footage and prison phone calls, but I did feel it could be done better. I suppose I was expecting a TV version of Serial and it didn't really live up to that.

28 January 2016

5 ways to use vintage brooches

I've collected lots of vintage brooches over many years, so I'm always looking for new ideas of how to wear them. Here are some ideas of how you can use vintage brooches (or any brooches) to add fun to a basic outfit!

Here's what I started with - a simple Breton striped top and a bright cardigan.

1. Use a brooch to pin a scarf
If you are worried about pinning a delicate scarf, choose a large brooch with enough space to squeeze all the fabric inside the pin without piercing it.

2. Use a brooch to pin a furry collar

3. Create a brooch cluster
Groups of three look good, but try more if you like!

4. Make a necklace by hanging a brooch from a chain or cord
Don't choose a brooch with a particularly savage pin on it if your necklace will hang against your skin

5. Attach some lace behind the brooch

I hope this has given you some ideas of how you can use brooches in different ways to spice up a plain outfit!

26 January 2016

Crochet collar

This is a little collar that I made from a Mollie Makes kit. It was very quick to make, and I made it over one evening. The only thing I found difficult was that the instructions didn't seem to say that you needed to make two halves - I was puzzled by how small it turned out until I realised I needed to make a second half!

What I tend to do with the Mollie Makes kit is cut the instructions out of the magazine and place them inside the kit, and seal it closed with a piece of washi tape. Then, when I need a quick craft project, or one to pop in my bag in case I get bored, I have everything there I need and don't need to hunt for the instructions!
I store all the kits in a little basket.

24 January 2016

Sunday self-portraits: Modern vintage

This vintage dress, that I bought almost exactly a year ago, is looking much better now that Mum has given it a makeover! I teamed it with a bright cardigan and knotted belt, and a cool geometric necklace (that looks a bit like a cat's face) that I got from a charity shop.

22 January 2016

Travel memories: Sestri Levante

Sestri Levante, where the group stayed for the second half of the holiday, was a lovely place, and luckily the weather was great for the afternoon and morning that I had free to explore the town. It faces onto two bays, the larger one where our hotel faced, and the smaller Bay of Silence which had a lovely sandy beach. On the morning I was leaving I collected some beautiful sea-glass and pebbles there in the sunshine. I also explored up the hill towards the Castelli where we'd had dinner the evening before.

Pesto-making demo

Delicious food in the sunshine



Trompe l'oeil decorations on the buildings

Interesting stone-work

My favourite shop in Sestri - it sold children's books and illustrated items

The stunning Oratory of Santa Caterina

Bay of Silence

Church bells in the morning