Little Blue Bag

So it’s time to confess.

I’m fascinated by the various things that people carry around with them. Whenever there’s a “what’s in my bag” Instagram challenge or hashtag going around I get totally drawn in. They say a woman’s hand bag is a window on her personality!

So here’s the junk I lug around with me every day!

Now that I am working in the city I have an hourlong commute on the bus, so what I bring with me has changed dramatically!

I carry everything in this cute blue backpack for convenience:

My pink and white striped umbrella in case of rain. This thing is ancient and desperately needs replacing.

My alpaca water bottle.

A napkin, because I hate the wastage of paper towels and don’t see why I can’t use the real thing, even at work.

Crystals. Obviously essential.

Silver pocket mirror.

My Kath Kidston wash bag which now has a new purpose! I’m trying hard to reduce the use of plastic in my home, but carrying containers of leftovers without them being wrapped up in a plastic bag has been fraught with difficulties! My solution is to put my lunch into this old wash bag which has a waterproof lining šŸ˜Š.

Makeup bag.

Fur-lined fingerless gloves to keep me warm walking to the bus stop.

Chocolate. I get up way too early for my stomach to tolerate breakfast these days so an emergency chocolate bar has saved me from starvation more than once! (Yeah, I know, I know it’s very unhealthy!)

My beloved MacBook Pro goes almost everywhere with me!

As does my iPhone. I keep my earbuds in this little pink pouch to stop them tangling.

A notebook, notepad and fountain pen.

The little blue silk pouch holds a microfibre cloth to clean my glasses with….essential especially when it rains!

Wallet – upcycled nicely now, as per last week’s post!

Keys. My mum and dad brought the adorable little wooden camel key ring back from a holiday in Broome.

Essential oils…..this is a blend of Spike Lavender, Hyssop and Frankincense, which is an amazing cold and flu remedy.

The little pink silk pouch contains lip balm and lipstick.

And finally I get a couple of hours a day now to read which makes up for the long commute as I’m getting to read a lot more often! This is an old favourite, the first in a series of about 15 books. I’m really looking forward to re-reading all of them!

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Upcycled WalletĀ 

I’ve had this leather wallet for over 20 years. I’ve bought and used others in that time, but I keep going back to this one.

I just really love the layout, it works for me.

But it is well worn, the leather is scuffed and cracked. It pretty much looks like shit.

So it needed a makeover….

Enter a bunch of fabrics 

And my massive tub of Mod Podge of course!

I cut pieces of fabric and glued them on in a random pattern, just winging it as I went. (This seems to be my preferred method of creating!!)

Then I trimmed all the edges once it had dried.

I’ve given my ancient wallet a new lease on life!

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Harry Potter Craft Swaps

If you follow me on Instagram you will know that over the last couple of months I’ve participated in not one, but two Harry Potter themed craft swaps. 

In December 2016 I was made redundant and it took over 5 months for me to find work again. That’s pretty soul crushing, and my friends and my crafts kept me sane, in particular these craft swaps. With so much time on my hands, I really went over the top with these swaps! And luckily for me, so did my two AMAZING swap partners!!!!

Now that everyone has received their parcels, I can share both my creations and the amazing things I received!

Swap number one:

My partner was a fellow Gryffindor…

Some bookmarks and a Gryffindor headband that I made using my French knitting spool.

I upcycled this unicorn mirror with quotes about Unicorns from the Harry Potter books.

I turned an old box into a Hogwarts trunk with paint, paper rolls and decoupage.

I made Floo Powder bath salts

And I created a notebook that looks like Harry’s potions textbook, some coasters of each of the Hogwarts house animals, and a Hermione quote artwork !!

So much fun!

In round one, I received truly wonderful things from the host of the swap herself, the very talented Anna Ritson.

An amazing Gryffindor weaving 

The world’s cutest Gryffindor Mandrake whose name is Mortimer.

A fabulous magic wand.

A gorgeous embroidered The Burrow.

The most inventive upcycled book on houseplants….

Check out the work Anna put into this!!

All the parcels were beautifully wrapped in Gryffindor-y colours, and some chocolate frogs included šŸ˜€

How lucky was I? 
On to round 2, and this time my partner was a Slytherin, so I went all out with lots of snakes and plenty of green!

I was so in love with this patchwork bag that I had to make a Gryffindor version for myself. Funny story, for years after reading the books I felt that the Sorting Hat would see I belonged in Ravenclaw, so imagine my utter shock when I finally logged into JK Rowling’s Pottermore site and discovered I’m actually a Gryffindor!!

I also made 

More bookmarks (I love making bookmarks and my swap partner said she is bookish!

A slytherin pom pom garland 

A small slytherin decoupaged bowl

I included two snake bracelets. My parner’s patronus is a parrot, hence the green parrot bracelet too.

Hermione shadow painting on a HP book page

A Flourish and Blotts bookshop sign

Some potions bath salts.

A Slytherin quill

And felt pennant 

And finally I ordered a pair of cute Slytherin socks from eBay for my partner…

Apparently the Chinese can’t spell Slytherin šŸ˜”

While making things for my swap partner, I also made some gifts for Anna, the host, as she had done me a big favour.

Anna is a Hufflepuff, so I painted her a badger..

Then I found a handbag at the op shop that resembled an envelope (although I had to trim off a whole lot of frilly bits!)

It made the perfect Hogwarts acceptance letter with an owl post key ring.

I almost kept This for myself!

Then I received a parcel from the 2nd swap partner,

Holy moly, I was so totally blown away. This was just HUGE.

These miniature potions kits are amazing. The level of detail is insane!

The little chests are personalised with my name/initial.

Then there are these beautiful Weasley-themed artworks (I love the Weasleys!)

This one is one of my favourite quotes and is now residing in my bathroom 

This fabulous Gryffindor scarf was wrapped around the Mrs Weasley painting:

A Harry Potter duck compliments the Arthur Weasley quote (and has indeed floated around in my bath!)

The Grim teacup….I love it SO much, I can’t even say!!!!!!

And the Hogwarts Castle embroidery perfectly fits withThe Burrow one Anna made for me. They live in my entryway and are symbols of home for me… happy places!

When I opened the next parcel the amount of work that went into, the creativity that went into it and the way it was so well thought of, the perfect gift for me actually brought me to tears. 

Thank you so much Lisa for the worlds best dream catcher ever!!!

Then we have “Weasley ” the Pygmy puff …. so cute!

Some Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans

My very own Hogwarts Graduation Certificate 

The cutest lion card!!!!

Honestly, the size of this box of goodness? Wow!

Lisa is a very very special, amazing, creative, talented woman.

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Harry Potter Cupboards

I am a total nerd. Not only am I a Whovian, but among many other fandoms I am also a Potterhead.

I picked up these copies of Harry Potter books in op shops and second hand book stalls to use for crafting projects. (Don’t worry, my original copies are sacred and I wouldn’t dream of destroying them!!!)

I have been meaning to do something to the cupboards in my studio for ages as they are marked with paint and scuffed and generally daggy.

Given the mural I have just painted dominates the room I wanted something neutral. As you have seen if you’ve followed my blog for a while, I love to decoupage using book pages, newspapers etc. there is something I find very soothing and comforting about the printed page. 

So I set about decoupaging the pages of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince to the cupboard!

This used nearly a whole 16oz tub of Mod Podge and approximately half a Harry Potter novel. Cost approximately $30.

And I love it….

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May Bed Post

My favourite red kantha quilt, some pretty green, pink and red pillowcases and my favourite recently knitted cushion to reflect the cool weather and short days.

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Dyed Bead NecklaceĀ 

I love making jewellery and have more necklaces than I can ever wear, but that doesn’t stop me making more!

I bought a bunch of plain wood beads on eBay and wondered how they’d work if I tried dyeing them with ink?

I blended acrylic artist inks with the water and left them for several hours.

Once the beads had been removed from their little baths I dried them on some paper towel.

They came out really marbled and pretty, not at all what I was expecting!

I had this cute tassel in my jewellery making stash and thought it would make a nice focal for this necklace.

Using some dark brown leather cord I knotted the tassel in and began knotting the beads in groups of three.

I think this one might become quite a favourite!

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Bohemian Paisley Tea Tins

Months and months ago I picked up these three enamel tins in the op shop with vague ideas to upcycle them in some way. They’ve stayed tucked away in a cupboard until now.

I was out and about shopping when I discovered a new shop filled to the brim with gorgeous ethnic bohemian stuff. Clothes, jewellery, candles, furniture, books, trinkets, incense…. oh my it’s a treasure trove! Their website is Ishka Homewares and it’s beautiful. They had a 50% off sale so I picked up quite a few things, amongst them this heavenly hand blocked paper and I knew it would be perfect for the canisters!

So I armed myself with a can of gold spray paint and my brand new tub of Mod Podge (you should see this thing it’s enormous ) and cut three strips of paper for the bases and three teeny strips for the handles on the lids.

Once sprayed with a couple of coats of gold, I glued down the paper strips.

Then once they were dry I brushed a nice thick coat of Mod Podge over the top.

I love them!!!! 

I have a huge collection of tea tins (I drink a lot of tea!), and these are definitely among my favourites!

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