Friday, September 23, 2016

Cat Rope Bed DIY

Let me tell you a little story about a DIY that took me 2 days (see below!) and on completion was deemed unacceptable by our cats :( A rope bed that I dreamed up months and months prior and in these thoughts always pictured a happy little cat curled up sleeping inside - sigh. I probably should have heard warning bells after this failed attempt now sadly gone to the bin gods after sitting for months and months unused :( :( 

I'm a slow learner I guess :P 

Adding more fuel to my already burnt out heart, a piece of discarded wrapping paper (left over from Ben's birthday) was thoroughly enjoyed (played with + even slept on) for days and days getting a whole lot more action than my now failed DIY :P :P Give it a few more days, I kept repeating to myself over and over.  Try moving the bed into different locations, let's trick them, pretend it wasn't intended for them.  Yeah yeah, we all know where this is headed :P

Despite this now being a failed project I did actually learn quite a lot about building rope baskets and turning them into something that sort of looks like a bed.  Although I really can't say whether any cat would actually approve of the design, two definitely hated it so, yeah, heads up :P

What you'll need
I bought 100 meters of 3 strand twisted rope (diameter 6mm).  I didn't use the whole amount, although with hindsight maybe if I would have and made the bed super big the cats would of wanted to go inside it more ?!?! I dunno, I was under the impression cats loved small spaces?!?

Cotton thread I think I went through 2 rolls which is kind of unheard of for me with sewing projects

Sewing Machine - don't even think about hand sewing this!

INSTRUCTIONS (very loose!)
Create a base as flat as possible (photos above) and as wide as you want your bed.  I created a little side table using books which became super important/helpful in keeping my base flat. It's actually really easy for your base to go cone shaped, and I'll admit it's what happened on my first go and thus that "basket" became the top of the bed with its (unintentional!) pointy look! Unless you like the pointy top :P

To sew the rope, I found the stitch recommendations from Juliette Lanvers spot on (zigzag 5.5mm wide, length 3mm) and actually her whole tutorial was really really helpful!!

Very very important - put the center of the sewing machine foot in between the 2 lines of rope (see photos above and below) so it catches the base and the new rope as you go round in a circle. Don't pull the rope too tight but just guide it along - after a while the process becomes quite natural and slightly meditative and may also make you go slightly cross-eyed

Make sure, if you're not a super confident sewer you check ever now and again that the zigzag stitch has been catching both sides.  Holes take a lot more time to fix then going slow and checking! I speak from experience on this one.  Oh and the bobbin thread will run out more than once, so keep an eye on that!

When you have your base big enough start curving your basket up. I measured Gremlin our biggest cat and made it to his size but again, I probably could have made it a lot bigger! Another very important point is to sew the basket with the bulk of the base on the left hand side of your needle, it's going to get bigger and bigger and you'll find you'll run out of room if you attempt it over on the right

keep sewing and sewing and going cross eyed

ARGHHH holes! I think this is the first "basket" I made, the one with the very pointy top To fix the holes, I hand sewed them together - this took a very long time, so just check as you're machine sewing that everything is staying together - you may even need to widen your stitch if it isn't catching both sides.

Oncee I had my two "baskets" made I went about joining them.  Pretty straight forward from the photo above - I hope :)

Once joined, I needed an entrance, so I simply cut a huge hole - kind of crazy.  I did use a strip of rope which I machine sewed around the hole's edges to make it pretty and stop everything unraveling.  It actually looked pretty decent by the end - surprise shock

Peachy was very enthusiastic throughout the whole process never making me doubt for a second she wouldn't love it in the end :)

I did notice the entry was very droopy, so I came up with the idea to reinforce it with a wire coat hanger, which I snipped and wrapped with white electrically tape and then sewed in behind the entrance.

By this stage Ben had wondered why I hadn't come out of my bedroom in a while and found me looking cross eyed, wrapping wire and photographing my steps.  He kindly took this photo - thanks Ben!

Oh Peachy if only you could talk and tell me why you hated the finish product so much! If you scroll back to the top you can see I stuffed the bed with a pillow.  Actually it's the same pillow I made for the other failed cat bed *double cries* I couldn't bear to throw that pillow out because it's so damn cute

I will happily accept condolences from anyone, over the two days wasted on this DIY

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

GOMA - August 2016

Last month we headed down to Brisbane to go check out the zine fest and check in at GOMA (gallery of modern art) to see what new exhibitions they had

I finally got to try Doughnut Time and golly gosh, it did not disappoint - soooo good! I hope the Sunny Coast gets a store real soon :)

GOMA's kid's activity section was also super amazing this time, we easily spent an hour + absorbed in the activities :)

There was a fun self portrait drawing activity were you got to sit in front of a mirror and draw yourself with some sort of object on your head.  I obviously went for a 100% cute fee version with a balancing Opera House :P

I thought Goma was really well curated too, I definitely enjoyed walking through the different levels this trip.

This cute guy was living at the library (opp. the gallery) and his mate I've posted a bit below!

Kids craft! I'm super appreciative they let adults join in too :)

Goma - kangaroo
Kangaroo and baby roo - how neat are they!

Goma - Dino
This display was new and belonged to the museum (next door to the gallery) I really wanted to check out the musem as its been too long but we ended up spending too much time at GOMA (oops!)

Goma - sexy Ben
See that scarf above, Ben's brother's wife (when they traveled over from the UK) gifted it to me.  This oversized scarf is the most amazing thing ever and I never knew about them until Caz gave me one as a present. Where I live, our climate isn't deemed cold enough to get the super warm fashion which is unfortunate for someone like me, who really feels the cold. Caz is from England and taught me all about Zara and oversized scarfs and yes, it was instant love! I can't believe you literally get to take a blanket outside with you and it be socially acceptable :) I love that you can wear them lots of different ways too and I'm also going to guess everyone knows about them but me, so I should probably stop rambling now :p

Monday, September 19, 2016

Seaglass Round Up

Its been a while sharing any photos of seaglass but I've been collecting behind the scenes and now have a bunch of photos to share with you guys. I'm hoping to hit the beaches a bit more come the warmer weather which I'm super super excited about :) :) 

Still loving those rare blues and I also love the parts of the bottle tops with their interesting shapes!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Kodak GC 400 rated at 200

I know I showed you guys some shots of this roll in my Japan film post but I wanted to expand a bit more and then pop that info into my film guide tab above. I've been a bit slack on updating that guide, so this is my push to keep it active and hopefully inspire myself to take more film!

The images are from a roll of kodak GC (ultra max) 400 that I used in my 1000f canon camera (which on a side note, takes my digital camera's lenses - a big plus in my opinion!).  The film is a standard type, jack of all trade, sold to the masses as opposed to something like Kodak's Portra aimed towards professional shooters. I have a horrible memory but I believe I picked up this roll whilst thrifting, so I have no idea of age but I would say colour and grain haven't been negatively affected.

I've come to learn that film loves light and that I have a particular love affair with film photos that fall on the over exposed side. When I shot film, I overexpose the metering by two stops which I have been loving but I decided to push it further and try an extra add on trick. It's a trick I discovered whilst reading about, José Villa's technique and how he creates his beautiful light and dreamy photos. He shoots 400 film but sets the ISO manually in his camera to 200. This means that your camera is going to work out the metering for 200 film, which is going to need more light and therefore you'll hopefully end up with lovely dreamy and bright shots. I've found film to be extremely forgiving, especially with highlights and the only time I've majorly stuffed up is when I've underexposed and my shadows (the blacks in the film) lost all details. Although dark shots might be your thing and a large joy of film is experimenting!
I scan my film using this method but I've got some supplies coming so I can try out the DSLR scanning method - I shall report back with how I go!

Kodak GC 400 - darth vader 
I'm really happy with this method of rating (in camera) your film at half its ISO and the processing per its original ISO. In other words, I loaded this kodak 400 into my camera, manually changed the ISO in camera to be 200, took it down to get processed and told them to process as normal at the rated 400 ISO.

I also wouldn't hesitate to pick up some more kodak 400 GC (ultramax) knowing it's cheaper than portra but still has pleasing colours and grain :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

bought/gift/made /03

Time to show you three things of late in the bought/gift/made category :)

First up, gifted from the lovely Ben
A traditional tarot card set which has been on my 'really want' list for ages. I've played around a couple of times and freaked out at the complexity, especially since my last set really spelt everything out for you. I am hoping to get my knowledge skill up over the next few years and start to memorise the cards - gulp!

In the made category, my Japan travel scrapbook of sorts, which I had a request to show you guys :)

I filled the book with paper paraphernalia I collected in Japan including stickers and stamps + included my instax photos I took whilst over there :)

And lastly in the bought category
A couple of zines and stickers I picked up at Zics, a comic zine festival that happened down in Brisbane a few weeks back. I finally got to meet Lilly Piri who I've been following online for ages and who has sooo much talent. I also got to meet a few new artist, including Ashley Ronning who did the Japan zine above printed through a risograph (it's beyond amazing) and artist Honey Elizabeth responsible for the wilder zine on the right and who was all sorts of delightful :)

Monday, September 12, 2016

Elephant Rope Tee

A while back I was contacted about one of my designs and incorporating it onto a girls soccer tee. I'd loved that idea so much especially because the design has its own story behind it - which you can read here :)

I got sent a copy, so cue improtu photo shoot in our front garden! How great are the colours!

I thought the brooch (from 'I like cats' etsy) that I got from Ben for my birthday matched beautifully :)

And lucky last, a photo of the back
Now I can pretend I'm in a rad soccer team :)