raori

living handmade


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Cardboard TV – why not?

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We cancelled our TV subscription a few years ago. We we’re just fed up with the constant stream of never-ending advertising and brainless TV-shows, so we stopped. Especially concerning our kids: when a movie is finished you can turn it off and do something else, but on a tv-channel, there are no breaks. Ever. We thought we would miss having a TV, but weirdly enough, we don’t. Instead of watching TV at night, we found ourselves with a lot of free time to do what we love, create. And the kids use their imagination much more.

However, we are still really in to video games and movies, so the TV stayed on for that reason. We always wanted to do something fun and creative to our old TV-set, so last week, my clever husband finally figured out what to do with it. The result is an original TV made out of cardboard, with matching cardboard speakers. I love the way it looks!


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Apan’s new school bag

 

My son loves his monkey, Apan. He takes him along absolutely everywhere. We’ve already lost him so many times, but somehow we always find him back. Actually, it’s quite funny to watch them together: my son only uses one hand. The other one is always busy holding Apan. Sometimes he needs both his hands, but he never puts Apan away, instead he keeps him neatly under his arm until his hand is free again.

This has been fine until now: he refuses to let go of a red race car which is now occupying the only free hand he has. This was also ok, but as he has to put one of his beloved friends away, lately, it is often the race car that disappears.

Today I came up with a clever idea to keep them both together and to give my son back his free hand: I made Apan a little blue school bag! Now Apan will be the one carrying around the little race car instead and hopefully we can have peace at home again. (If you don’t have kids this might not seem like such a big deal, but trust me: bedtime, food time, toilet time, any time without these beloved items is impossible and leads to a lot of sadness… Luckily kids change and this chasing after favourites will be over one day, but I know from older siblings that I will miss the chasing.)


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Lace heaven in a basement

 

 

I found a treasure the other day! I was given the opportunity to go through a basement full of old lace, night gowns and table cloths from the 50s and 60s… The least to say is that I was in paradise!

My favorite find was a beautiful shear night gown, but the sad thing with night-gowns are this: to use the gown as a dress is almost impossible as it really is a night gown and however we style it, it’s hard to get away from “the pajama-look”. So my second thought was to sleep in it … But it’s too pretty to sleep in! And such a waste only to show it to my family. The truth is that lace-loving freaks certainly feel gorgeous sleeping in grandma’s old vintage dress, it is indeed romantic and beautiful, but definitely not sexy in any way ….

So I was left with one scary choice: to cut this beautiful piece in two and make something wearable out of it. And so it was that I got my sexy open back lace top (will look stunning with boyfriend jeans) and my daughter a gorgeous lace skirt with a silk belt.


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Starting an Art journal

 

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I’ve been writing diaries since I could write (I have about 35 of them hidden away! My entire life and everyone in it written down 🙂 It’s a very precious thing to save, but since leaving Sweden and after meeting my Belgian husband, I’ve been feeling slightly confused about what language to write in, so I sort of stopped… I was always very sad about that until I met a very special girl…

It’s been about a year since my friend Anna Denise taught me how to do Art journaling – THANK YOU, Anna! On her web site, she has an Art Journal 101, a tutorial, where she takes you step by step to get started for yourself.

Art journaling is a great way to express yourself artistically and I do it in my in-between projects periods, especially if I find it hard to start a new collection. Doodling with a pen, drawing special moments from my life, make colorful lists or just throwing out anger on a piece of paper, is a very efficient way to become creative if you’re in a “low face”. It is also the perfect way to learn how to draw. Or when you want to do something creative together with your kids: sitting together and drawing together is very relaxing 🙂

I was pretty bad in the beginning (I’m used to drawing clothes and stiff looking mannequins!), but little by little I figured out which colors that worked with my style, what layouts to use, and especially what we looked like – how to draw the people in my life! You can see my progress from the first ugly ones I did, to the more recent ones. I hope this little post inspired you to get started yourself? It’s really fun!

 

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DIY – pajama set from daddy’s old t-shirt




I never see the point of throwing away clothes. Giving them away- that’s different; if you have discarded clothes, clean and whole, which can be used by someone else, than it doesn’t make sense to cut it into pieces. If however, there is just a small hole, a stain somewhere or just a worn out fabric, then there is still so much you can do with it! 

Here is one of my favorites: a DIY pajama set from daddy’s old t-shirt! Your kid will love it- not only will he look like a mini-papa in his new pajama, but he will spend the night smelling the scent of daddy 🙂 This pajama is very easy to make, just follow me step-by-step and you’ll be done in no time. Let’s go!

– – –
 How to make it:

1. Take your kid’s jersey pants, fold them in two like on the picture and put them on the sleeve of daddy’s tee (from now on called “DT” !!) The end of the DT sleeve becomes the leg opening of the pajama pants (“PP”) and the bicep area becomes the crotch of the PP.

Draw around the folded crotch with a pen, on the sleeve of DT. Cut out. You should now have two pieces like this:

– – –

2. Now put one leg inside the other leg – right side to right side! Pin from the top edge all the way around.




3. Stitch together with a thin zig zag (normal zig zag, but decrease the width a little). You can check out my tutorial on how to sew in jersey to find out more.

4. The last step of the pants, is to fold down the top (the waist) to make a channel for the elastic band. Pin down the fold to around 3-4 cm and stitch with zig zag a presser foot width from the end. Leave an opening to insert the elastic band!

5. Attach the elastic band to the safety pin and insert it into the channel. Grab both ends and zig zag them together on the machine, securing it by sewing back and forth a couple of times. You can also tie them together, but it’s not so nice to sleep on a knot, I think … Anyway, pants are done! Let’s continue with the t-shirt.

– – –

1. The lay out of the Pajama tee (PT) will look like this on DT. The dark blue center part of DT will be the body of the PT and the side of DT will be the sleeves of the PT. Get it?

Mark out with a pen along the lines of the shoulders, the neck and the side seams of the PT.

2. For the armhole of the PT, lift carefully without moving anything else, and draw along the armhole seam of your kid’s t-shirt. Don’t cut yet!

3. Now, let’s move your kid’s t-shirt and place it like this on DT. Lift up the sleeve to draw out the sleeve head, following the seam of your kid’s t-shirt. Do the same on the other side, using the cut out sleeve as a pattern if you want. Go ahead and cut the rest.

– – –

4. Let’s do the neckline prettier … The front neck should be cut deeper than the back neck, so let’s cut down about 3 cm in the middle of the front neck, center front = CF, and mark out a nice curved line like above. Cut along the marked line, only on the front neck.
5. Now measure the total of the neckline.

6. Mark out a rectangular piece with the measurement of the neckline, width about 4 cm. Cut it out, you only need one piece.

7. Here are your pattern pieces! Let’s put it together and finish this thing.
8. Put together the body, right side to right side (check the already finished hem on DT for the right side). Stitch the shoulders together with zig zag.
9. We will put the sleeves on like above, so open the body with the right side up.

10. Pin the sleeve head on to the armhole. There is some twisting and pulling here, but start by putting together the center top of the sleeve head with the just made shoulder seam, and then move on to the end of the armhole /sleeve crown. Pin down the whole thing, the other side too and stitch it with zig zag. When you’re done it should look like below picture.

11. Side seams: Fold the sweater by the shoulder seam and pin together on the inside of the sleeve, making a curve in the armhole (match up the seams!) and continue down to the end hem of the PT. Same on the other side seam/ inside sleeve. Sew with zig zag.

12. Last thing now… The neckband. Grab the neck band, right side to right side and pin on the edge. Make the neck band to a circle by securing the end with zig zag. Just sew over the pins 1 cm in.

13. Iron the neckband wrong side to wrong side, making sure that the edges match up.

14. Pin down the neck band right side to right side on the neckline. Stitch 1 cm from the edge with zig zag. Take away the pins and iron the neckband so that it stands up over the neck line. You are done!! Well done, that was pretty easy, right?
Emil’s new pyjamas!


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DIY – potato printing

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Making potato stamp has always been something I really like doing. I don’t know if it’s the memories of my extremely creative mum, baking Swedish Cinnamon Buns while we (the kids) were occupied at the table next to her, trying to cut out the coolest potato stamp! Or, maybe the only reason is that potato stamping is … simple. And easy. You can do a lot with this technique, only your imagination will be your limit. Plus, it’s great to do with kids. Although, my 2 year old always ends up eating the raw potatoes …
You will need: a big potato and a sharp knife. Plus some color depending on your project.

 

 

How to do it:
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Grab a raw potato. Cut it in half with a sharp knife. Draw out some sort of image/shape. Cut around your shape, making the stamp about 7 mm high. Use an old lid from a glass jar, fill it with paint of your choice (fabric paint is good for t-shirts, normal acrylic or maybe even water color is fine for paper printing.) Stamp straight into the lid for a rough print or use a fine brush to make the print “cleaner”, like with the above tea towels. Go crazy and start printing! Have fun, it’s VERY addictive 😛

 

Ideas of things you can print and print on:

– Black triangels on a white towel for the dishes.

– A simple heart on a girl’s tank top.

– Flowers on napkins or table cloths.

– Shapes on the spine of paper storage holders.

– Geometric shapes on journals and sketch books.

– Something pretty on a canvas bag.