Saturday, 30 November 2013

Starry Advent Calendar


Hello my lovelies!

I am so so sorry for having been MIA for the last week or so, but everything’s just been so busy… Christmas is only four (4!!!) weeks away and I’m completely stressed out over my presents.
But, and I hope this doesn’t come too late for you but still just in time, here’s something I have been working on: This beautiful DIY Christmas Advent Calendar!
 
 
I found the Origami Lucky Stars online somewhere and immediately thought of turning them into something Christmassy – and here we go!

This is a really, really easy project to craft, and you barely need anything for it:
 

1)      Sheets of paper (I used coloured one, but you can take anything you want)
2)      scissors
3)      thread and a needle
(4)    a pen)
(5)  ribbon)
(6)  numbered clips)
 
I started with looking up cute quotes on the internet – some with Christmas already in mind,  but most of them just chosen because I thought they would put a smile on your face when you’d read them in the morning. The biggest problem I found was that you only need 24 of them. And there are so many, so beautiful quotes to be found online! WAAH!

Anyway, you don’t have to use quotes for it – you could write down some jokes inside, memories you connect with that particular person or sweet little messages. Your choices are unlimited!
What I did was write them all down in Microsoft Word, change each one into a different font and print them out.
I realized only later, when I was making the stars, that the larger they get, the more difficult (Or even impossible) they get to make. So you’ll want to make sure you only have one line on each strip of paper, or use a smaller font size to make it easier for you.
 
Next step is cutting them into strips – the longer they are, the easier. That’s why I changed the layout to horizontal format.
 
 
Here’s how you fold your Lucky Stars:
1.       Start by making a knot into one end of your strip. Pull on the end and flatten down the knot.
 



















1.     Fold the left over end onto the backside of your knot.
 
 
2.     Start wrapping the longer end all around your pentagon. If you always fold your paper exactly over the already existing edge, then it should turn out like this.




 
1.      Fold the last bit of paper over and tuck it underneath the previous layer. I now drew a star onto the tucked away end, so that my friends would know where to pull without looking for ages or just ripping it open because they can’t stand the excitement anymore. But that’s completely up to you.

 
 2.       Now, with scissors, or a credit card, or any other object with a thin edge, press down onto the
         middle of each side of your pentagon. You star should now acquire its 3D-shape.

 
TADA! That’s basically it – and there are various ways of hanging it up – or you can even just put it into a bowl or jar!

I threaded every star on simple sewing thread and then put them onto the appropriate clips, but you can also just write the numbers onto the stars if you don’t want to get clips or or or… Get creative!


I loved this idea because it’s so simple and so personal and just so so cute!
 

I’d love to see your DIY calendars or even your takes on this one! I hope you all have a mighty fine first Advent weekend,
lots of love,
Kathybell
<3


Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Sock Snowmen

Days like yesterday are really hard to assess. There are the incredibly joyful parts that just make you so, so happy - and then there are the few bits and pieces (as it happens often allocated at the end of the day just to make themselves more prominent in your memory) that are completely exhausting.  Like having the children throw up on the table just because you tried to get them to eat KNOWN and (previously) approved of vegetables.
They make you want to crawl underneath the covers in your bed and stay there for the rest of the year. Yes, that bad.
But if you manage to focus on the great parts, they can make your day. Like laughing so hard you can't breathe at another one of the ridiculous jokes of your friends. Or having the kids on your lap telling you how much they love you.
Or, for example, finally being able to realise a project you had wanted to do for forever. Like this one!
 
 
 
I hope it's not still socially unacceptable to admit you're already in your Christmas mood because I clearly caught the fever early this year. Soon after Halloween I started thinking about presents!
 
I can't wait till all our dearly missed (at least as long as it takes us to realize that there are reasons for not visiting that often) family members arrive, turn the house into an overcrowded place bustling with activity and fill it with the mouth-watering smells of that nights dinner.

Well, taking all that into consideration, I find it quite surprising that I have only just finished my first piece of Christmas decorations and haven't gone up into the hundreds already...
Anyways, these little Snowmen are the easiest project you can imagine and are finished in about 15 minutes. If you're feeling ambitious and have some special decorating ideas to pimp up their hats or clothes it might take you a bit longer, but still... You get the point, don't you?
 
The only things you need are 

1) a white sock (preferably knee-high, but you can take anything you can find. As we couldn't find knee-socks we just made do with smaller ones. It's really just a matter of how tall you want your snowmen to be!)
2) patterned socks (either a pair of ankle-socks or a single higher one per snowman)
3) stuffing. Rice, oats, beans - raid your kitchen cupboards!
4) rubber bands (2 per snowman)
5) decorating material like yarn, buttons, shish kebab skewers (for the nose) etc.

It's easy - cut your white sock into the foot part, including the heel, and the calf part, which you will use.
 
 
Secure one end of it with a rubber band, turn it inside out and stuff it with whatever material you were able to dig up. Depending on how chubby you want your snowman to be stuff it lightly (slim figure) or make sure you press and squeeze to pack it quite tightly for a chubbier one.

 
Secure the other end with a rubber band. Cut a part of the patterned socks off for the clothing, leaving the toe part for the hat. Tie it around the snowman with yarn, ribbon or whatever other thing your creative mind can come up with!

Because the fabric of my patterned socks was quite likely to roll itself upwards, I glued the hat onto the white sock, but of that's not the case I suppose just putting it onto the top end without securing it should work just fine.

Last, but definitely not least: decorate to your liking! I used buttons for the eyes and the... well, buttons, and the tip of a shish kebab skewer painted in orange as a nose. I just glued everything on for efficiency, but if you’re feeling perfectionist, then sewing them on would also be an option.
 
Et voilĂ !

Monday, 18 November 2013

Tea Pot Cozy

After having knitted like crazy this weekend, I have finally finished my first Christmas Present – and am so, so proud of me. I normally don’t start caring for gifts until it is too late and everything has to be rushed and it becomes really stressful, so this year is my personal best starting time. How about you? Has the Christmas Fever already got to you? Or are you still relaxed and fine with the world?


This was an idea I had seen many times on the internet and absolutely fallen in love with it, but I didn’t really like the patterns available. So I made up my own, which turned out like this:
 
 
 
A really cute, easy-to-accomplish present idea for any tea lovers in your family!
What have you made so far? I would love to see your self-made presents and inspirations!
<3

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Excess knitting CAN cause serious health issues!


 

 
Sooo... guess how I spent my day? Turns out that knitting is in fact quite dangerous – watch out for your fingers fellow crafters! Excessive knitting apparently should be avoided, I suggest finding a different occupation for at least 10 minutes of your day.
 

(You could always look up new knitting patterns!)
 
(and it turned yellow as well!)

I hope you’re all doing great, have a lovely weekend!!

<3

Friday, 15 November 2013

Christmas Time

Christmas Time

Christmas Time von kathybellslife

A few inspirational (or obsess-worthy) items I chave been looking at. I have been able to contain myself until now and have not bought anything yet, but I see the resolution crumbling...

Hope you've had a nice week and can look forward to a nice, relaxing weekend!
<3 Kathybell

 

Thursday, 14 November 2013

So many ideas...

… and so little time!

It’s a vicious cycle: Every day I stumble upon so many incredible, must-try-instantly-like ideas – and they are all written down neatly in my little notebook. Sadly, that’s where they’ll stay for a good amount of time, because the day’s just not got enough hours to squeeze everything in!

This is what my current To-Do-Pile looks like:


During winter, I always have a knitting piece I’m working on – it’s just the most practical thing ever: You can take it with you almost everywhere, you can knit on the tube, on the bus, in waiting rooms etc. etc. The only requirement is of course immunity to all the bewildered looks received by the innocent bystanders.

Honestly, I can’t understand what’s so weird about knitting in public places – it’s like the most innocent occupation ever! I mean, come on, it’s not like I’ve got my earphones on full blast (Don’t you also think it’s the most annoying thing ever?  Arrgh, I seriously hate it when people do that!), I’m not sneezing or coughing or anything. So why these looks? Never solved that mystery. Any help would be most welcome!

This


is my current sewing project – which is still on the line because I haven’t found a sewing machine  I could use yet. Although there seems to be quite a nice sewing cafĂ© in my borough, has anyone ever had experience with sewing cafes? Is it nice?

Can you guess what it may be? I guess not; it’s still pretty unrecognizable I have to admit.

That
 

is something I have wanted to do a long time and will hopefully get the chance to finally try tomorrow. So you can hope for the riddle’s solution to be posted tomorrow! (Or the day after. Hehe.)

And finally, the oddest thing in this heap of random things

 
Socks. Yes, you got that right. And guess what I’m going to do with them! Any ideas? Hm? Hint: It will involve a few other white socks and lots and lots of rice.

So that’s my current Creative Corner – what does yours look like? Are you like me and always have to start on different things at the same time just because you’re too excited to wait? Or do you take it easy and do one project at a time (as it should be done, really…)?
 
Tell me about it,
<3 Kathybell

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Newspaper Nail Art


Ciao bellas!
There’s one thing in particular that never ceases to amaze me: The endless possibilities you have when you start thinking outside your box. There are so many ways to express yourself, so many different things you’ve never done and so, so many surfaces you can turn into art.
Today I want to show you a project a little bit different and something I’ve never done before: Nail Art!
I mean, I obviously have painted my nails before, but until recently I was more reluctant about using attention-seeking colours or patterns even.
And then I just started thinking ‘So what?’ So what if somebody cares?’ So what if it’s not to everyone’s liking?’ I realized I should start living for myself instead of living for the expectations of others. Because the thing is: You’ll never be happy with yourself if you don’t listen to yourself. And even if there are thousands of people mocking you for your choices, you always have to remember that the people that matter will support you no matter what.
Ahem, yeah, back to business: Nail Art. (Sorry for my little ramble…) I found a picture of Newspaper Nails online a few days ago and thought it looked amazing. And it is really easy to do as well!
 
The only things you need are
 
1)      your nail varnish of choice as the ground layer (I went for a more neutral colour so that the writing would stand out more, but I bet it would look great on red or similar intensive colours as well!)
2)      a transparent top coat
3)      newspaper snippets (I cut mine into 1in x 1in) and
4)      a bowl filled with water
Just paint your nails with your coloured nail varnish and let it dry. (HA! If only it was that easy! I'm honestly THE worst person in waiting for nails to dry. I can guarantee at least 1 smudged nail on each hand. Do you fight similar battles?)
I found that letting it dry completely before applying the newspaper will result in paler writing, whereas putting it while the varnish is still in its final stages of drying will cause more intense letters.
(Excuse my Hands, please, they are quite patchy...)
 
Next up is soaking your newspaper squares in water, pressing them onto your nails and leaving them on for at least 30 seconds. Gently press the newspaper down, but be careful not to move it around, otherwise the writing will be smudged.
Peel off the newspaper, wait a bit to let your nails dry and coat them with the transparent varnish.
TADA! Incredibly easy, isn’t it?
 
As you can see, this clearly is my first time trying this, so it turned out quite uneven... But practice makes perfect, doesn't it?!
 
Have you got any special beauty DIY-recipes? Are you experimental or more layed back about trying out new things? I’d love to hear your opinions, and thank you ever so much for reading!
<3

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Raised In Rain


Some time ago, I coincidentally stumbled across the song ‘Finders Keepers’ by Miriam Bryant and absolutely LOVED it. What an amazing voice!
 
 
 
Now you can imagine my joy when I noticed this weekend that her debut album was finally out!!! It’s called ‘Raised In Rain’ and it’s just plain gorgeous. Wow. Wow. I just don't have any words left.
Although Finder Keepers is still one of my hot favourites, Last Soul On Earth is serious competition.
If you don't know her already, make sure to check her out! It's amazingly deep, soulful music!
This is set on repeat during my knitting sessions now. Which  basically means (ahem) all day. Don't judge me.
 
What are your current favourite tunes? Anything you just can't seem to get out of your head? I'd love to get some new musical inspiration from you!
See you soon lovelies!

Monday, 11 November 2013

Baby Bunny


Hey there, Hi there, Ho there!

Are you all doing fine? Or great even? I certainly hope so!

Well, it may be just me, but as I think I’ve already mentioned, I just love this time of the year. You can already start thinking of gifts (and not just one, mind you, like you do when it’s someone’s birthday, no: you are officially allowed to get presents for everyone you can possibly think of! Hurrah!), you can snuggle up on your sofa with a big mug of tea and your favourite book or movie – or, in my case, your knitting needles!

After a long summer break for them it was finally time to get them back out, shake off the dust and get these bad boys back to work! They were so eager to finally create something again I just wasn’t able to stop them. Not that I tried. Or wanted.

It’s this time of the year again!

Since I’m a huge fan of stuffed animals and my current  obsession are bunnies, guess what I started with this season? Yaaaay, you got it right – aaaa bunny!
 
Although it looked really weird at first, I think it turned out quite nicely. There were some stages though that created some odd thoughts - like this one for example:


Is it just me or does it look like a Voodoo doll? Anyways, I couldn't resist to try...


Needless to say, Baby Bunny survived. She got her dress, the heart on it and all those other extravagant whishes she had as well – hell, I even made her a face!





 

 

What were your first knitting project(s) this winter? Or were you persistent, knitted through the summer and just ignored all the bewildered looks thrown at you by various onlookers?
Tell me about it! But most importantly: KEEP ON KNITTING!
<3

 



Sunday, 10 November 2013

Pop-Art Photo-Painting

Today I want to show you how to create a very personal present that will ALWAYS  be a winner. This is perfect if the person you want to give a present to is very special to you, you want to show them how much you care about them and you’re not afraid to invest time into a self-made gift – but unfortunately you have run out of good ideas.

I find that when in doubt, beautiful (and well, let’s be honest, not really needed) presents are the best to give.

So, I wanted to give my friend something special, preferably using a photograph of us together, but didn’t want to resort to the overused photo-in-frame-solution because

a)      no one ever wants another frame they don’t know where to put
b)      it really has been overused and
c)       I think it’s plain boring.

As it happened, when I went into the city center one day I saw a really nice painting of…  flowers… I think… using only two colours. And I thought why not try and convert a photograph into a kind-of-pop-art-painting?
(I have no idea if that style is really called pop-art, but that’s what I’ve always called it in my head. Ha. Deal with it.)

So I took a picture of me and my friend
 

and turned it into black-and-white. You can easily do that with even the most standard photo-editing software, so no worries.


 I then tried to get it as pixilated as I could, by using the sharpen-tool of my program.

Okaaay... this doesn't look different at all...
 
Quick note: as you may (or may not, in which case I would be delighted and advise you dearly to skip this paragraph) have noticed, I don’t know anything about technique other than the most basic stuff. Yay me. So, I think you could have done this a LOT more professional and this is by no means the only way to do it. It was just the easiest for me.

I then coloured all the black to really dark areas red. This took me quite some time, as I did it in Paint and had to redo it quite a few times because my 5-year-old self couldn’t contain itself and just had to colour over the lines… Now that I think about it, this really seems worrying…

Again: I am positive you could have done this a lot faster. I just didn’t know how.

The next step was to colour the lighter-nuanced greys… grey. Yeah. Just… even it out a bit. I mainly did this so that the grey would be darker than the original tone, so that I would be able to see the difference between white and grey while painting.

 
Now, this is how your photo-painting will (or is supposed to) look like when it’s finished. Looks great, doesn’t it?

But…  how on earth do we get that onto the canvas now? This proved to be quite the tricky question. I ended up beaming it onto the canvas with the beamer I made my mum bring home from work, but if you can/ already have figured out other, easier ways to transfer it from the computer, please please tell me!

Now, paint all the coloured bit in colour, the grey bits grey and just leave out the white areas. Pretty self-explanatory. And there you go! Finished is the gorgeous piece of art!
 

You can just leave it like that, or, which I tried the next time, add a memorable quote, an inside joke or a personal message for your special person. Add anything you want to it to make it more personal.


This is a german quote saying 'Not beauty decides whom we love, love decides whom we find beautiful'

What do you think of this idea? Is it something you would like to try? For Christmas perhaps? What are your ‘special photograph’-ideas?

I’d love to hear some from you, love
Kathybell