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Saturday, 9 January 2016

A Crafty "Resolution" for 2016

Paracord projects crafted by eSheep Designs
Paracord bracelets and key chain...
I have never made resolutions so I am not even comfortable with the idea of calling something a resolution. (And I gave you my thoughts on goal setting a while back in this post.)

But during that peaceful part of late December between Christmas and New Year's, I decided to look into expanding my crafting horizons for 2016.

There you go, that's a good turn of phrase for what this is: an expansion of horizons.

Or, put another way — learn new things; now there's an admirable resolution that can probably be achieved without even half trying!

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Sewing and its related activities have been a renewed part of my life for more than three years now. (Unbelievable how fast time flies!) While I'm sure that the hobby itself will last as long as I am able to continue doing it, the personal journey that I'm documenting here will come to an end when I decide that I've "been there and done that" with it.

In the meantime, it's a good idea to experiment with other crafts as a way to mix up the creative juices and perhaps get inspired via other avenues. And no, I'm not about to turn this into a blog about "everything", but here are some ideas that have caught my eye...

Paper Quilling

quilled paper
Closeup of a teardrop paper quilled shape...
Until a couple of months ago, I hadn't even heard of the term "paper quilling", even though I am a fan of paper crafts.

If you are similarly in the dark, the photo here shows you one of the basic elements (a teardrop) of paper quilling. The basic technique used to make this little item is the whole idea behind the craft. You simply take narrow strips of coloured paper, twirl them tightly around various circular objects, finish them off in unique ways and then glue the created elements down to create anything from cards to ornaments to jewelry... yes, jewelry.

But the project that caught my eye is the one from the front cover of Shelly Krzyzewski's The Four Seasons of Quilling.

The Four Seasons of Quilling by Shirley Krzyzewski
Shelly Krzyzewski's Four Seasons Tree Sampler project... 

Isn't that just gorgeous? (And yes, this was a book I borrowed from the library.)

This project — or should I say a variant of this project — is on my "to do" list for 2016. (Note that I said "to do" and not "to be done"... there is a difference!)

You might wonder how I stumbled onto the topic of paper quilling; I came across this post from Craftsy's blog... and of course, being Craftsy, they actually have a class (Quilled and Sculpted Cards) featuring paper quilling too! (Snoop around... you'll find a link to a free guide that you can also download. And while you're checking out the blog, be sure to enter their January giveaway; you might win your choice of five classes from your wish list!)

Paracord Crafting

Dollarama paracord bracelet kits...
Having once done macrame, I am familiar with the art of tying different types of knots to make things.

Recently, I picked up a package of paracord for a project and inside were these same little quick release buckles that I first encountered when I purchased cording for my waxcloth bucket bag. Those clips were ultimately very useful for my bucket bag projects, but you'll notice by the picture here that this item is actually a kit for making bracelets.

Didn't know this then, but of course, the clips are meant for bracelet closures! (Easy to use ones, too, as I assume I am not the only one to wish I had three hands when trying to put on or take off some bracelets.)

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I bought the cord for another purpose entirely, but only needed two of the four inside the package. But I was intrigued by the bracelet idea (and couldn't follow the "text only" instructions on the back — LOL), so after an online search of paracord projects, I ended up making the single colour bracelet that you see at the top of this post.

In the process, I found several other paracord projects that intrigued me... including — of course — the dual coloured bracelets! Needless to say, it was back to Dollarama to grab a couple more packs.

String Art

In my early teens, I received a great Christmas present one year of a Stringart craft kit. The finished project was of a 3D spaceship with pieces of lucite incorporated into it. Ultra cool looking, but unfortunately, the acrylic string and glue did not hold for too many years and at some point during a move, it had to be committed to the trash bin.

The craft appeals to the math geek in me. Plus, it's actually quite easy to do and doesn't involve a lot of expensive materials to start (much like the two previous crafting ideas I've highlighted here). To prove it, here's a string art idea that is truly ingenious in its simplicity...

String art made simple with jute and canvas (image courtesy of Dana Frieling)...

The project is from interior decorator Dana Frieling, who blogs at Make Them Wonder. When I saw it, I had all kinds of ideas pop into my head. This one is made with just canvas, some jute and glue. But can you imagine the addition of colour by using twisted lengths of embroidery floss? Or paracord??

Anyway, I have no excuses to be bored over the upcoming year.

How about you? Is there anything new in the crafting world that you want to conquer in 2016?


  1. I have never tried quilling and never really wanted to either. I did macrame back in the '70's a lot. I tried string art around that time too. Nothing new I want to try because I don't have time for all the stuff I like to do now!

  2. I did lots of string art in the 70s - my first as a course when training to be a teacher. I then did it with all the classes I taught in my first few years. The kids love using the hammer and nails. My own string art was a great way to add some art to the walls of our home when we couldn't afford anything else. Wish I'd taken photos.


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