Monthly Archives

December 2016

Inspiration

Merry Handmade Christmas: DIY gifts & decorations

As much as I’d like to make a whole new bunch of DIY’s for this year’s Christmas, I don’t have time for this. No worries though, because I made a couple of christmas-y DIY’s in the past couple of years and when I went through my past DIY’s I realised a lot of them would make nice gifts!

Christmas decoration

DIY Christmas ornaments
I’m still very happy with these DIY Christmas tree ornaments I made last year. They’re currently up in the tree and are super easy to make. The only critique point I have is that I should’ve made more.

Plutomeisje_Geometric_Photoholder_05
My copper geometric photo (or Christmas cards) holders are also still one of my favourite DIY’s from last year. I leave a couple of them out all year, for putting up inspirational cards. When December gets here though, it’s time to get out the big guns and make festive groups of them. Another DIY that is super easy (and cheap).

If you’re in need for some Christmas decoration inspiration you should click the link and take a look at my inspiration from last year. I still love everything I’ve put together back then and looking back makes me itch to finish up decorating our house.

diy wooden poster frame
The handmade wooden poster frame isn’t a Christmas decoration per se, but if you put the right poster in it, it can be very Christmas-y. If you don’t have enough space for a Christmas tree you can create a large poster frame and pick up a Christmas tree print (such as the newest Zilverblauw print). The frame in combination with a lovely print would also make a nice Christmas present. If you’re looking for interesting prints you can always take a look at the Rijksmuseum archives. They have a very nice collection of botanical drawings (among other things) from old masters you can download and print.

DIY gifts


Giving personalised coffee mugs will make any coffee (or tea) love happy. And these mugs are very easy to make.

DIY Panda Pencil Case
The Panda pencil case is one of my favourite DIY’s I ever made. It looks exactly like I pictured it in my head and it’s soooo fluffy and cute. I use mine for pencils, but it’s big enough to be a make-up bag or a toiletry bag. There’s no need for these things to be boring!

DIY Jar Lamp
Another one of my favourite DIY’s are my handmade jar lamps. I still love how they look and they are used very often!

DIY Teacup Planter

If you want to give something small, cute and alive (but puppies are no option) you might consider these DIY Teacup planters. Ideal for anyone with a green thumb or who wants to cultivate one. Depending on the plants you pick these are very easy to care for (especially with succulents). And having plants in the house is the hippest thing you could do right now.

DIY Kussensloop // DIY Pillow Case
Sewing a couple of pillow cases and then personalizing them would also make for a nice gift, although you might want to know how your intended giftee’s house looks like.

Giving somebody a brand new tablet would make for an awesome gift, but giving them a handmade and personalized tablet cover surely is the next best thing.

If you’re not into DIY you might find some gift giving inspiration in last year’s list of 15 books you should gift. As I haven’t read much this year I’m not sure I’ll make a new one soon.

So, I think that’s enough diy gifts inspiration for one post. Did you ever gift or received a handmade present? What did you think of it?

Personal

28 in 28 birthday list [update 4]

It’s been a couple of months since my last update on my 28 in 28 birthday list, so it’s high time for a new update. As the year is coming to its end it also means my time for completing this list is also almost over.

28 in 28 - get a tattoo

Get a tattoo

Sooooo, remember last time when I said I finally found an artist I really liked, but I had to wait until April 2017 before getting my tattoo? Well, that still applies. Butttt, I did already get myself a tattoo at a new tattoo studio that opened in Ghent, called Noir. I decided I wanted to make my “Harry Potter Fangirl” status official and got myself a Deathly Hallows tattoo. The tattoo guy did a wonderful job, he was very precise and took his time. I’m now looking even more forward to my second tattoo in April, because that design has been a very long time in the making.

28 films (19/28)

I’ve watched a couple of strange films in the past months, like Dead Ringers, The Machinist & The Addams Family. We also watched GATTACA, which I really liked. Most recently I’ve watched Before the Flood, Fantastic Beasts & where to find them and Dr. Strange. There’s still some films I’d like to see in theatres in December, so I might get to my 28 films after all.

28 in 28 - complete 2 sketchbooks

Fill a sketchbook every six months (2/2)

I don’t know how long it’s been since I discovered InkTober on Instagram, but I’ve wanted to participate for quite some time. This year I picked a small A6 notebook from my shelf and started drawing patterns in ink during the first week of InkTober. The second week I switched to witchy things and before I knew it, four weeks had passed and I finished my first InkTober. I’m basically in love with my InkTober sketchbook at the moment. One of the fun things about drawing in a smaller sized sketchbook is the way it seems to fill up more quickly. So I did not only finish InkTober in one month, I also started and finished a sketchbook in October!

Read lots of books

I wish I could tell you how awesome my reading goes, but alas, I’ve been in a reading slump for the past couple of months. I’m not sure I’ll be able to finish any of the book related points at this point. Even starting a reread of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone hasn’t helped. #crisis

28 in 28 - going to museum night

Go to Museum Night

At the beginning of December I had my last chance to go to a Museum Night in Belgium. As it found place in my beloved hometown of Ghent I didn’t hesitate to go. We visited only one museum, because both the Boy and I aren’t capable of a lot of walking at the moment. We went to MIAT, a museum about industry, labour and textile. It’s a lovely museum and seeing the old weaving machines at work (the noise!) was pretty great. They were also printing 2017 calendars on an old printing press, so we got ourself a free calendar.

Mari Kondo the shit out of everything I have

I’m not sure Mari Kondo would approve of the way I’m cleaning and deciding what I want to keep, but my action to have more space and less stuff in my house was definitely triggered by reading her book. It did make it easier for me to say goodbye to things I don’t use and to deal with the fact I’ll probably never will.

So far we already did one trip to the container park and two to the second-hand shop. I also donated a bunch of things to the art school I go to, gave a giant stack of paper & supplies to my mother-in-law so my boyfriend’s nieces and nephews have things to doodle on for the years to come and I gave a way three entire volumes of VTWonen magazine. There’s still some room for improvement, but I’m pretty happy with how things are at the moment.

Nope to the nopest

With only one month left for finishing my 28 in 28 list I already know a lot of things won’t get finished, so why not list the ones I’m officially quitting on? 😉

  • Running 10k & doing 120 workouts. Both with the running and the workouts I had some issues with my knees. And now, after going through an MRI I’m getting physical therapy because I have some damage to my cartilage. It can’t heal, but hopefully it’ll become less painful. I wanted to run & do more workouts to lose some weight, but now my only option seems to be dieting. I’m not a big believer in diets (mainly in constant checking & the “ever after” part), so I’m on the lookout for something that fits me. I’m contemplating the 5 2 diet, because I need to punish myself only 2 days a week, which seems doable.
  • All the reading things. Not gonna happen. I’ve tried everything (eg Harry Potter) and it’s not working. I’m too busy with too many things to make time to get lost in another world. I do miss it though.
  • Go see and opera, ballet or musical. Fat chance that this is still going to happen. For one, these things are expensive. And they seem to sell out fairly quickly.
  • I’m also fairly sure I’m not going to finish the “follow 25 Skillshare lessons” one. I did watch quite some of them, but I never made any of the projects, so I can’t really say I “followed” them.

I still have high hopes for spending a technology free weekend, photographing at dawn and making a zine.
A lot can happen in a month!

Inspiration, Personal

A Small Wishlist [6]

We popped up our Christmas tree this weekend, which can only mean it’s really almost Christmas! Every year I make myself a wishlist and this year is no different. Read on if you’re curious to find out what’s on my wishlist, and maybe you’ll find some inspiration for your own Christmas shopping.

I used to make wishlists quite often (just check the “wishlist” tag here on the blog). This year really was the first year I needed to think about this list. Since I started working I’ve bought a lot of the things that have been on my list for ages, so it felt a bit like starting fresh. As always there are lots of books on my list, but there’s other things too.

All things Harry Potter

After I saw the movie I immediately went and bought the hardcover version of the screenplay, so it shouldn’t surprise you there’s more Harry Potter (or rather Fantastic Beasts) to be found on my list. I loved the setting of the movie and I’m curious to find out more about this part of the Harry Potter universe.

Some of the things on my wishlist are books related to the Harry Potter universe. Pictured here are the covers of each of these books.

1. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: Illustrated Edition, 2. The Art of the Movie: Fantastic Beasts and where to find them, 3. The Case of Beasts, 4. Harry Potter: The Creature Vault

For the love of plants

Is it strange to put plants on a wishlist? I’m almost ashamed of buying more plants, so for the couple of lovely special ones that are on my wishlist it would be awesome to get them as a gift.

On my wishlist are three different plants, which are pictured here and two books about plants/natural history.

1. Fiddle Leaf Fig, 2. Medinilla Magnifica, 3. Wonders are Collectible, 4. Urban Jungle, 5. Calathea

Name something, it might be a hobby of mine

Sometimes I feel like I have too many hobby’s. Especially when I try to make a list of them. But I wouldn’t be able to cut some of them, in my mind they’re all part of “being creative” in whatever way I feel like. On the other hand, sometimes I feel like I’m really not creative at all. So I added some extra, creativity boosting, things on my wishlist.

The covers of "Your inner critic is a big jerk" and "1 page at a time", next to images of a GorillaPod camer stand, a light box for drawing and a lens hood

1. Your Inner Critic is a Big Jerk, 2. 1 Page at a Time,  3. Lens hood for Canon 50mm/18-55mm lenses, 4. GorillaPod for Smartphone/Compact Camera, 5. Huion Lightbox

Do you make a wishlist round Christmas time? Maybe you need to make one to share with present-hunting relatives? What’s the number one thing on your wishlist?

Interior, Tutorials

How to make a natural history display

Have you ever entered an old fashioned museum and thought “this is how I want to decorate my house”? I have. Whenever I visit such a place, where time hasn’t touched the displays for years, I feel thrilled by the amount of wonder and possibility the objects on display hold. There is still so much a mystery! So when I ordered my glass and copper frame, I already knew I wanted to make a display inspired by the natural history museums I’ve visited in the past. When I finished my display, I realised this could be a cool DIY project to share.

naturalhistorydisplay05

When I finally started my own natural history display, it took me only an hour to finish (including time to draw a cute little bird). So it’s very easy to create your own (and for the pictures of this tutorial I quickly recreated another one). All you need is:

  • a cute frame
  • feathers or pressed flowers
  • tracing paper
  • tape
  • an ink drawing of a bird (or something else)
  • a pen (optional)

My frame existed of two parts, which led me to create my display on two pieces of tracing paper. Of course, depending on your frame, you can arrange everything on one piece of tracing paper. First I laid everything out on the tracing paper. Next I  teared the paper into the right size, because this gives the paper a softer edge than if you’d cut it. I took tiny pieces of tape to fix the different feathers on the tracing paper.

As finishing touch I wrote the latin names of the birds next to the feathers, in my most fancy, 19th century looking, script. I failed at the bottom, because the feather was in the way, so it’s better to do this before you add your feathers.

naturalhistorydisplay04

After placing and fixing the piece of tracing paper with feathers in on half of the frame, I started drawing my bird. After drawing and inking it, I scanned it in. I cleaned up my scan with Photoshop and then printed the bird on tracing paper.

naturalhistorydisplay03

Drawing of a bird

You can also draw directly on your tracing paper, but I wanted to make sure I wouldn’t waste too much paper on failed sketches. You could also find a sketch on Google or ask somebody to draw you something, but you can also use my bird, as it’s available as printable.

naturalhistorydisplay07

After printing or drawing the bird (or flowers, or whatever you want) and adding it to your frame you’re finished!

I love how to light falls through the tracing paper and how it outlines the feathers and the illustration. It fits the nature and natural history vibe I have in my living room perfectly.

naturalhistorydisplay01naturalhistorydisplay08 naturalhistorydisplay09

Some frame inspiration

Even though it took me a long time to finally do something with my glass frame, I absolutely adore it! I searched the web for some similar frames, so if you don’t have a frame like this and you want to try this DIY, you don’t have to look far. Most of them are fairly cheap (I paid about €14 for mine).

A collection of lists that are suited for making your own natural history display

  1. Madam Stoltz, 2.Sissy Boy, 3. Sissy Boy 4. Nordal, 5. Moebe, 6. Nordal

Footnote: if you want to use feathers in your displays, please only use feathers you find on the ground or you buy in a shop. Don’t try to take feathers from nests (or birds! obviously!). Also be aware that it is illegal to posses a lot of bird’s feathers in some countries (e.g. US, Great Britain). Look on Google to find out which feathers you can own in your country.