It’s a Lamp!

(imagine the title being read in the same way Admiral Ackbar says “it’s a trap!” in Return of the Jedi. Yep I’m feeling nerdy!)

So I managed to break my bedside lamp a while ago (ok, several months ago…) in the most lame of ways – I dropped a tube of lip gloss onto the glass lampshade and it made a perfect little hole in the side and a shower of glass splinters. I wish I’d taken a photo as it was quite cute but yeah broken glass doesn’t work as a bedroom feature. Not in my house at least, some people might be into it though, who knows?

Anyway, I’ve been living without a bedside lamp ever since, using the torch app on my phone when I want to read in bed. This isn’t ideal so I’ve been on the lookout for a replacement, with the thought that I might try to DIY something (maybe even make a replacement lampshade as the rest of it is still totally fine). I had spontaneously bought a string of cheap white LED lights a while back with the thought that maybe I’d use them on our balcony but hadn’t got round to stringing them up. Then I was at a second hand market a little while ago and saw a big ol’ glass bottle that gave me an idea, so i forked out the 5 euros and brought it home. 

OK

 

I don’t know if this even counts as a DIY but I’m really happy with how it turned out. I just fed the string of lights in and let them pool in the bottom of the bottle, with just a few leading up to the neck as the light-less section of cord was relatively short, but the little light poking out at the top makes it seem vaguely lantern-like to me. The light it throws is soft and lovely thanks to the kinda smoky-gold colour of the glass, but still bright enough to read by. Very important for me 🙂

What do you think? It’s something different and a little decorative, which is a big step for me as I usually go for strictly practical household items but I’m trying to branch out a little!

good needs cropping

Cheers,

Luci

Refusing to say goodbye to favourite jeans.

I’ve started bike riding regularly this year, which I hadn’t done since I was a kid. It is so much fun: I love being out in the fresh air and getting some exercise; plus the bonus of not having to pay for tram tickets, or get coughed on by random strangers. Ah, the joys of public transport.

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Anyway, one problem I learned about the hard way is that I can’t necessarily wear my street clothes on the bike. Most stuff is OK, but I’ve damaged a few things. Namely, my favourite pair of jeans that I brought with me from Australia, and would wear almost every day. Not anymore though. They got a upper-leg tear that wasn’t patchable (I tried but it came open. Three times.) so I cut the legs off to try for shorts. Unfortunately, I’m long past the days where I can confidently leave the house in fraying cutoffs, so they became housework shorts and I thought they’d stay that way.

The summer weather has hit us now and I noticed many people getting around in shorts, which made me remember mine. I realised something that may have been immediately obvious to anyone else – I could hem them!

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 I got home, rolled the hems outwards so the inner material contrast would show, made sure all the frayed edges were tucked away, and sewed. Five minutes later I had an awesome pair of short-shorts, which are great for bike riding in this early summer heat! 

Have you ever had an obvious realisation of how to solve a problem, well after you gave up on the project? Or is it just me?

Cheers,

Luci

Smoke Pouch.

AKA my first commissioned work!

There are way more smokers here in Germany than in Australia. I am one of four staff members in my area at work, and I’m the only non-smoker. So while I’m not pro-smoking, I’m pretty tolerant (the smokers in my family just rolled their eyes. What can I say, moving across the world has changed me, I guess). Anyway, a new colleague of mine got excited when she found out about my DIY experiments, and asked if I could make her a pouch for roll-your-own tobacco. I have a bunch of old pairs of jeans in my fabric stash that my lovely man Dom was getting rid of, and I thought denim was a nice tough fabric to choose, so I got sewing.

I needed the dimensions of the tobacco packet from my colleague, as I am bad at guessing. It turns out if I had’ve estimated it would have been WAY too big, so good thing I didn’t hey? Anyway, I used my new favourite toys:

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Yep, I’ve invested in a rotary cutter and mat. It makes cutting out fabric way easier, and more accurate. I know I’m a nerd but it’s exciting!

Anyway, I cut my fabric with plenty of hem allowance – denim gets really thick at folds and my sewing machine is older than me so I have to be respectful. Leaving a good wide hem makes less thickness to get through.

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I wanted to include a little pocket for papers, so in keeping with the upcycling theme I took off one of the back pockets from the jeans, shortened it to fit inside the pouch, and attached it to the back inside of the pouch, like so:

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Pinned pocket

 

Before I sewed all the seams down, I opened up the corners and cut off some of the excess, and from the corners of the pocket too. I decided on black stitching as I didn’t have the tan colour most often used with denim. I think it ended up looking alright, if you ignore my dodgy stitching.

Done closed

 

Then I added a couple of press studs to hold it closed (hand stitching and stabbing myself with the needle in the process), and that was that!

Open done

 

Then I wrapped it up, so I can deliver it on tomorrow. It was an interesting project, and while I think I could have researched the design a bit more I am happy with my off the cuff (haha, bad pun) style.

Wrapped done

I hope you’ve had a great Sunday,

Cheers,

Luci

Record Bowl.

Today’s post is something I actually made about a month ago. I was at the local Döner takeaway waiting for my order, and noticed a bunch of books, CD’s and records with a note saying help yourself. I’d seen a post on some blog or another (sorry whoever gave me the idea, I didn’t make a note of it!) that you can make a bowl out of a record, so I gave it a go. I picked the ugliest album cover available:

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And got to work. Basically you put the album on an upside-down oven safe bowl, heat to about 80-90 degrees, and let it droop a bit. then you grab it out and can, while it’s still warm, mould it. It’s a bit tricky to work with and I had to put it back in the oven twice before I got it right, and in the end it looked like this:

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It’s super-easy and I recommend it if you’ve got a record you’ll never want to listen to again. What do you think?

Also please note I probably won’t be posting tomorrow as I’m going to a wedding. I’ll put two posts up on Sunday to make up for it. And I’ll be wearing one of my creations tomorrow, too, yay!

Cheers,

Luci