Saturday, 29 September 2012

A Chanel inspired bracelet and an easy wrap around one

Note: This post was delayed due to the fact that my camera decided to wreck up the micro SD just when I wanted to post this... so this is kind of an filler during moving for university^^

You've probably all noticed, summer time equals festival time. And since I am happy enough to be at "Rock am Ring" when this post is published I had to find myself jewelery that is not only fitting the rock theme, but also easily replaceable and affordable because I am definitely not taking the real silver accessories I inherited from my family... And what does look better with a festival band than two nice and new bracelets?... I know, nothing.

The "Wrap Around"

This one is pretty easy to recreate, I believe the hardest part about making it is finding the right fastener. Obviously you could simply use some "normal" one like you find them on every cheap bracelet or necklace, but I believe using a more interesting one gives your accessory the certain "something".

What we need:
leather band, about 80 cm - 1,2 m long

your fastener

optional: two closeable eyelets like you use them in jewelery making in case your leather band is too thick fitting through the eyelets on your fastener.

1. Depending on the thickness of your leather strap you will maybe want to have already pulled the band through your fastener before making the loops at the end.
For all the others including me I made my end loops by pushing needle and thread through two pieces of the leather band quite close to each other...
2. So the loop was formed
3. Wrap the thread several times around it, so it will stay like this.
4. Connect your fastener and the loop by using the eyelets and your thongs.

The "Chanel Inspired One"
I have to admit this one was not invented by me but by the blogger from "Honestly WTF (+ her picture tutorial is quite good as an addition to my (crappy) ones). I saw it quite a while ago and fell in love with it, because on the first view the project recreates the Chanel wrapped chain bracelet everyone seems to have this summer, but in the same moment it does use not a chain, but hexnuts...

What we need:
1 m of cord
18 hexnuts

all stuff you need for a decent fastener

The concept of this bracelet is pretty easy.. whilst you braid your cord you are supposed to add a hexnut before crossing another string....

The finished result is supposed to look somehow like this:
The whole problem about this bracelet was the way of closing it. I wasn't the hugest fan of any knot I did come up with, so I simply added a classical fastener...

So its time to go out and get yourself some festival tickets, there is always a band ready to rock you...

Friday, 21 September 2012

Fall time is Wiesn time: Hairband DIY

Tomorrow one of Germany's biggest events starts. Even though it is located in the very south, many people think about Germany and the Oktoberfest at the same time. So just around the end of September the shops are filled with Bavaria themed things. I am actually not the biggest fan of the whole festival, like many German people I associate it with beer, drunk people and awful music, but the whole cuteness of the dirndl inspired items actually hit me this year after finding my knitting Jenny just when packing my stuff for moving to Hamburg.
I remember making quite long strings with it in kindergarten, but neither my Mum nor me knew what to do with the finished result except using it as leash for my stuffed toy fox...

What we need:
wool +knitting Jenny = about 1,70 m of knitted string                                                              needle with a large eye                                    patience

1. The whole hairband consists of one braided knitted string... because actually dividing it with scissors can always be risky, I folded it twice, so it was divided into three equally long pieces. After fixing this with a safety pin your are ready to braid.
2. Due to this technique you will probably encounter a little chaos further down, but you can easily loosen that up...
3. Pull your actual end through the loop you get at the very end...
4. and either knot or sew the both ends together!

And you are done..

Friday, 14 September 2012

VISIT: A Saturday in Amsterdam XX(X)

Amsterdam is quite a lovable city. And I'm not saying this because of my love to drugs and prostitutes, because I like neither of them, but because of the things you can see there. So when I had the chance to get a free ride home from there I got myself a ticket for an awfully early train to the Dutch capital and went there. Even though the train was quite cliché with more than one group of semi-grown up guys carrying their beer cases (filled with full and empty bottles... at 7 am).

Anyway, just in case you get an opportunity for a short trip to Amsterdam here are a few things you can do:

Check out the markets

After following my posts for a while you will probably know that there is no city trip without visiting a market. So for Amsterdam I went to two (actually planned to see three, but one time my plan was wrong and it did not take part on Saturdays), one being at Waterlooplein, where you find Vintage pieces for affordable prices and lots of bicycles, a market as like it. It takes part from Monday to Saturday (no guarantee there) and it was worth the visit. The second one was the Albert-Cuyp-Market in the South of Amsterdam, which is more of an "classical" market with groceries and miscellaneous things, I believe markets like represent a cities flair best, so make sure you check this one out. I loved drinking the awesome smoothies and you should look out for the really good fabric stores along the way, because there I got quite good bargains.

Walk down these streets

When you look into any guide to Amsterdam searching for "alternative" shopping streets they will advice you to go to "De 9 Straatjes", nine little streets filled with quite a lot of independent stores, offering (Vintage) clothing, and nice cafés. I really like it there, but it is still quite touristic and the prices for clothing a bit too much, so I never bought anything, window-shopping is the way to go.
Quite close to these streets is the district Jordaan which is also one of the more alternative parts of the city where you find nice little locations, when you do not have that much time walk at least along Rozengracht and Elandsgracht, but checking out the smaller streets around is definately worth the effort.

Visit these museums

Amsterdam is full of museums like every bigger city, but when you do not want to stay in a museum for the whole day I advice you to check out the Houseboat Museum, a lovely example for the typical boats in the canals all around the city. The entry fee is not too high (I got in for free because I am as tall as a child, damn) and you get to see something special.
Since I am a sucker for history I was quite keen on seeing the Anne Frank House where this sadly famous girl hid with her family during the Third Reich. I remember it as really good presented by especially creating a feeling of anxiety after seeing the narrowness of the room the whole family had to stay in. When you want to go there you should try to go quite early to avoid the queue because the place is always packed with tourists.

Have some good food

I am always surprised how close the Nieuwmarkt is to the lovely restaurant / café  Latei. While the first is packed with coffee shops (the ones selling not coffee, but other substances), souvenirs and Asian restaurants, the Latei seems to be completely different. You can buy nearly everything you see there (apart from the cat) whether it is your chair or a nice pair of shoes and the food is really good. Especially when its one of the evenings when they have Ethiopian food, I believe it is mainly on the weekends except some weeks in the summer...

This seems a lot, but one great thing about Amsterdam is that everything is really close, you can reach every location by simply walking around and even on the way you will see nice places, so its always also worth the walk. For all the Germans in the west: There are quite good train and bus deals to the city (hint, hint xP)

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Guide to perfect breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Thats what nutritionists say and I personally like to go by this rule even though I am not even that hungry in the morning. So on normal daily basis I simply eat a tiny amount of muesli and a huge amount of fruit salad (fruit salad does always work).
But sometimes I do not just want to treat myself, but I also slept long enough to be truly hungry, so having a nice, big breakfast sounds like something worth leaving my bed.
On the other hand pancakes are always awesome, but a lot of work, so when someone would wake me with ready-made, I wouldn't say no, other times I need a alternative. I found one when I was in Chine. Since the Chinese tried to copy European breakfast for their guests they made crappy bread and... French toast. I was in love.

What we need ( for 1 person):
1 -2 slices of old bread, depending of the size
1 egg
a bit of milk
cinnamon, vanilla
maple syrup
1. Mix the egg and your milk.
2. Add some vanilla and cinnamon to the egg.
3. Lay your bread into the mixture and let it soak from both sides.
4. Fry it in a pan with heated fat.

I serve the ready-made product with maple syrup and fruit salad... nothing of that should be optional, because you miss out on something amazing

Friday, 7 September 2012

Recycled dress turned into a circle/poncho-top

As I mentioned before, by going thrifting I am sometimes drawn to certain patterns and materials. Just today I got myself a pleather dress from More & More for 2 Euros. It looks pretty bad worn, but I did not get it for its looks but the material (who does say no to cheap (p)leather?).
So my today's cutting-up victim is an old h&m dress in XL (obviously not fitting me), that fascinated me by its print. Plus it was stretchable, but made out of cotton, so therefore it also gained all the material points. And since the whole print reminded me of birds, I wanted to make something more soft, without any geometric/harsh lines.
To put it in a nutshell: Today I am going to show you the pattern I created after brainstorming, being inspired by a circle, ponchos and batwing-sleeves.

Hat: h&m; Lucky-Coin-Necklace: DIY by my Aussie Mum; Two-Color-Jeans: Cheap Monday; Shoes: Geox

What we need:

fabric: 60 cm* 130 cm or two smaller pieces in contrast colors ( I used my inspirational dress and IKEA fabric, as usal xP) for XS/S, measurements do especially depend on how broad your shoulders are, stretchable
measure tape
some paper for notes
scissors and typical sewing stuff

 1. Firstly I had to cut up my dress and to estimate the diameter of the half circle the shirt is based on, mine was 64 cm, but that depends on your body measurements.
2. I marked the center of the half circle by crossing two pins.
3. Going from the center I marked down the circle line always using my radius of 32 cm.
4. Fold your piece before cutting it, so the half circle will be symmetrical.

5. Since I had to use the given width of my dress my half circle did not have the radius I wanted, so it would cover anything. To prevent my stomach from freezing I added 20 cm on the open side that were supposed to go straight.
6. I traced the outline of my cut out "half circle + 20 cm on top" onto the fabric for the backpiece.
7. To make sure the neckline of back and front would meet up I added a little slit to the meeting point after folding and lining up both pieces.
8. Go wild on cutting your neckline, but better go smaller at first, you can always cut away more.

9. Lay the right sides of your both pieces on each other, then I pinned and sewed the shoulder seam (aka the straight line of your piece) together.
10. Iron the seam allowance, so the seam will lay nice and flat on your shoulder.
11. Then I had to work on all of the open edges. So you fold them in once...
12. ... and a second time, so no unpleasant fraying is visible. Use your zig-zag stitch to fix that.

13. For the last step you should wear your now poncho and pin down at the sides were you want your seam to be. Maybe you can ask someone to help you.
14. Then try to line up left and right and sew down, so you get side seams and by that sleeves.

And you are done. You did not just recycle an old something, but also joined the whole poncho trend of the autumn (even though it will probably too cold to wear it). So open your eyes for nice material and patterns. One day you can work with that stuff.