Saturday, April 27, 2013

Craft Books from China

I recently went on vacation to parts of Mainland China with my family. The itinerary consisted mainly of eating and shopping. Of course, I had to hunt for some craft books; they are so much cheaper in China than in Canada! I found some really neat new crafts for me to try. Unfortunately, I can't read simplified Chinese but luckily, I have a mother who can (parents are so useful that way ; ) )  This is why pictures are absolutely vital to a good craft book. I am so excited about what I found, I have to show them off:

Not a craft book exactly but this book shows you how to make bows and gives different ideas about how to gift wrap presents. Compact and very useful.

This was an impulse buy - I bought it because it was pretty and it was cheap but I honestly do not know what I am going to do with it. I have never hemmed anything before and do not really have anything to hem but it just looked so neat that I could not help myself. I am sure I can fancy up a few shirts and pillow cases.

Chinese knots look so complicated but also so cool. I found this encyclopedia of various types of knots to try. We shall have to see how my skills with rope are. : P

The bulk of my vacation was spent in Hong Kong and the books which I found there were several times more expensive than the ones I got from Mainland China but the selection was much better. (And I can read traditional Chinese!) Check out some of what I found:

I was quite disappointed with how few good beading animal books there were. Either I did not like the patterns but I already owned it. This was the only one new one that I bought. Some of the bears are so cute!

Clay is such a versatile medium and the results can be so adorable. I do not have much experience with clay but it is definitely on my to do list. Looking at these covers; how could I resist purchasing them? 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Music of the Stars

I love the look of music notes and generally cannot bear to just throw away old music sheets even if I no longer need them. These cute little stars were made from recycled, photocopied hymns. And the music lives on… : )

Dimensions: ~1.5 cm wide
Materials: old music sheets
Tools: knife, ruler
Time to Make: ~ 2 hours

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Because Every 3D Origami Collection Needs a Swan

I have just returned from Hong Kong after visiting my family there. I did not bring any origami paper on my trip because I knew the finished projects would be challenging to bring home. However, I did not anticipate the itchy hands I would experience without a stack of paper to fold at my disposal. Luckily, we were staying with relatives and they were able to scrounge up some scrap paper for me before I went through total crafting withdrawal. I stuck to the basics (due to the limited resources) and made them a swan to thank them for hosting me. I tossed in a few lotus flowers to complete the ensemble. Simple elegance, no? : )

Coming up: I lugged a suitcase full of craft supplies and books back from my trip. Over the next few Tuesdays and Saturdays I will be sharing my finds - check them out!

Thursday, April 11, 2013


Since I intend on a making a whole series of animals, I have decided to start naming them. It makes them more interesting to identify than just ‘paper puppy’ (although that does have alliteration).  I find that a Spanish name suits him and dogs are supposed to be a man’s best friend so Amigo was born!  I had originally intended this fellow to be a Pochacco figure but the head to body proportions did not look quite right and I was also too fond of my droopy eyes to give them up.  ; )

Dimensions: 11 x 8 x 8 cm
Materials: White paper, green paper, black cardstock, white cardstock
Tools: knife, glue, scissors, hole puncher 
Time to Make: ~5 hours

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Oh My Stars!

Dimensions: A little over 6’3 long, stars ~2cm wide (I know, I am mixing up my units : P )
Materials: white printer paper, white cotton thread, pink round plastic beads, red round plastic beads, silver round plastic beads
Tools: safety pin, sewing needle,
Time to Make: Not sure since this was spread over several weeks…

The strips that I used to make these origami stars were the scraps left over after I had finished trimming the edges of an agenda I was putting together. The cheerful little beads were a gift from a friend (from way, way back in junior high... how long ago was that?) which I never found a use for. A few meters of cotton thread and voila! A star garland. I got bored of having my stars just sitting around in jars.