Minimalist Wallets

I’ve spent the past few weeks furiously scrounging in as much time in the workshop as possible, in between all the other normal 9 to 5 responsibilities.

I love the Minimalist Wallet Pattern by NoodleHead because they are easy to piece into various parts (cut one night, iron one night, sew one night). They’re also a massive upgrade to the simple zipper pouch (and I get to use some weird pattern combinations).

Here are a few I’ve made recently. The mustard oilcloth one has sold but plans are in the works for making a few more– the oilcloth is SUPERB and really durable.

Etsy Shop – Cat Wallet

Etsy Shop – Camera Wallet

When life gives you lemons, make some lemon cakes because you’re absolutely amazing

As the title maaay vaguely suggest, I haven’t been very on top of my game lately. But rather than focus on the negatives (throws glitter into the air): I have repurposed the Kraft-tex material I made a while ago into something completely new!

I didn’t really like the zipper pouches (the zips were meh and didn’t match), so I took them all apart and have let them sit on my desk for a while. Just sitting there. Some unsewn little bits. Wondering what to do with them…

So after a “bit” of time (re: 6 months or so), I have finally found myself with some key fob makin’ bits and a bit of free time. A few hours later, and I had some brand new key fobs!

So what is the lesson here? Hoard things for months and months and stress over them until finally you crack and tear them up (THREE TIMES!!!) and then finally understand their true calling?

Maybe not. But anyways, I’m out of wisdom so here’s a link and a pretty picture to the aforementioned fobs. Have a good holiday everybody and see you in 2018 where I may even get my crap together!

Paper Leather Key Fobs by makeMonster

Velvet Cactus Plush Keychain

Who doesn’t need a velvet cactus plush keychain? (Say that five times fast)

velvet, cactus, plushie, keychain
Velvet cactus plushie keychain with flower!

I made these a while ago, hence the reference to my Etsy shop, but I really enjoy the little cactus dude 🙂 They’re now up on the MadeIt shop, with super awesome updated keychains that I randomly found while clearing out my craft room. Just click on any of the pictures to be taken to it!

velvet cactus plushie action shot, keychain

Button Earrings!

Okay, okay… I know they’ve been done 1,000x before… But I had such cute fabric, and they turned out so adorable!!!

Button earrings on button earrings!
Button earrings on button earrings!

SAMSUNG CSC
Close up of the vintage Japanese kimono fabric

button earrings
Navy striped and gold button earrings! (psssst, these are in my MadeIt shop)

Small update and miniature embroidery hoops!

Oh gosh, it’s been a while! My real job seems to have gotten in the way of doing anything on makeMonster, so I’ve had a backlog of things to write/update for a while now.

My meager efforts so far have bee building a Facebook page and uploading many random photos my Instagram.

So not a lot.

But but but! I have made some progress on this little pet project:

image

This has garnered more effort in terms of sourcing supplies than I would care to admit… Who knew trying to buy tiny metric screws was going to be so frustrating?!

The hoops themselves have been cut using a laser by Online Laser Cutting, out of sustainable bamboo. They’re absolutely perfect and I have a few more projects in my head that I’d like them to do!

(As a side note, if anyone needs any assistance re: buying a particular type of screw, nut, or bolt, let me know because I am not a self-professed expert.)

So this one is just a prototype so I could see how I went with the Dremel and the initial screw sizing. Way too long. And I am terrible at using the Dremel.

I’ve got some different screws on order, and I think they’ll be much more appropriate. Looking forward to using up some of my beautiful fabric stash for these babies!

Madeit Storefront

In an effort to just get out there, I’ve listed some things on my Madeit storefront! makeMonster @ MadeIt Currently I just have a few plushies and some embroidery art for now, but next weekend should have some jewellry up, and possibly I’ll get around to finishing some wallets or other Kraft-Tex things I’ve been working on 🙂 Preview: madeit, makemonster, store, I may have to work on the old photography skills… CSC camera =/= instant photographic talent. My favourite is the Lovely Octopus!

octopus, stuffed, plushie, felt, applique, sewing, DIY, craft, fabric
Look at those wee nobbly feet!!!

I decided to go for MadeIt instead of Etsy, mostly due to the Australian-centric base of MadeIt which tends to stop re-sellers. It feels a bit more like a community, not unlike you’d get at a local craft fair! If you’ve never been to MadeIt.com.au, I would suggest just popping over and having a look. There’s some really talented artisans on there, and may have even seen them at your local craft show.

Testing Kraft-Tex with Waterproof Ink & Stamping, DIY Sew-In Labels (Kraft-Tex Testing V2)

So I left off last time with just treating the Kraft-Tex (washing, mooshing, and then letting dry), with the intention on testing out how well it takes paint. I’ve decided to make a few ‘leather like’ labels to put into handbags or other things. I figured it would take the ink really well, but I didn’t know how ‘washable’ the ink would be after it were stamped.

As a side note, I got my stamps from this guy:

HootOwlPress – Custom Stamps

And I was really super chuffed with how they came out! Don’t let my stamping skills fool you, they’re super awesome on paper and you can get special stamps for fabric (which in hindsight would have been a much better idea).

So here is what I gathered to test out my wee experiment of stamping on Kraft-Tex:

stamping, branding, ink, product branding, kraft-tex
Step 1: Gather supplies.

I used something called ‘laundry ink’ which is a completely washable permanent ink. Be forewarned, it WILL STAIN EVERYTHING YOU OWN. It stained the stamps and my hands, but I will be happy to note this did not decrease the effectiveness of either.

I stamped the Kraft-Tex, making sure I loaded up the stamp with plenty of ink. I held it onto the material for a few seconds before slowly (I REITERATE: SLOWLY) peeling off the stamp, making sure nothing moved in the process.

stamping, crafting, kraft-tex, DIY, product labels
Step 2: Admire your stamping skills. Success! Kind of. I wasn’t that careful with these because they were just an experiment. I didn’t really think at this point that they would hold up. I am a pessimist.

I let them dry overnight before attempting Stage 3.

kraft-tex, washing, stamping, DIY, product labels
Step 3: Set up the washing station. Please admire my use of eco friendly laundry detergent in this endeavour.

To really drive the point home, I used scalding hot water and plenty of soap. I let the Kraft-Tex soak for 5 minutes before really scrubbing them, in essence, trying to rub off the ink.

kraft-tex, washing, stamping, DIY, product labels
This is the result after soaking and scrubbing like my life depended on it.
Keep in mind that the loss of stamp detail is mostly because of my inability to stamp things straight and not that anything washed off.

Sweet!!! No loss of the inked image after soaking and scrubbing. I promise I’m not working for these guys and trying to promote their product because I’m getting kick backs. These experiments are mostly to settle my own curiosity and to understand the limits of this weird material before making things out of it.

kraft-tex, washing, stamping, DIY, product labels
Step 5: Let dry. All finished! After the abuse there was no loss of the inked image nor did the Kraft-Tex break down.

I let them dry overnight, and the results were pretty awesome. They turned more ‘supple’ like leather, but there was no loss of the stamped image, nor did they break down. I’m pretty happy to use these as product labels that won’t degrade if they need to get wet. Nor does the laundry ink smear or fade after washing.

Craft Room Organizing and Stash Show and Tell

I haven’t really been much lately for doing things around the house… My excuse is that I’ve been in and out of the house since March, half living up on Ballina and other jobs. I got it in my head to at the very least unpack all my craft stuff and take stock of all the things I haven’t touched in a while!

Olive Tree Markets, fabric stash, remnants, Japanese cotton, craft room
Some Japanese cotton fabric remnants I got from the Olive Tree Markets

Fabric stash, fat quarters, Amy Butler, IKEA, craft room, unorganised
Old fabric stash, mostly from the US which I brought over in my suitcase.

fabric stash, craft room, unorganised, so much pretty fabric
Other fabric stash, mostly from Australia ($$$$) and the bottom one’s are from IKEA

Japanese cotton fabric, Nippori Fabric Town, stash, craft room
Stash of Japanese Fabric from Nipori Fabric Town (Tokyo)

craft room, fabric, stash, unorganized
Craft room 1.0 before the move, showing my swathes and swathes of fabric yet to be touched

The finished product (if you can even tell)! This is all a very moot point, because the room will have to be cleared out eventually to make room for a housemate when Pat leaves for his pilot training (sob sob sob). But I’ll take it while it lasts! Not like I will do anything, but hey…

What is Kraft-Tex Paper ‘Leather’ and how to treat it

Kraft-tex, fabric
Kraft-tex drying after being washed

I won’t lie, this stuff tripped me out when I first saw it. I was walking through Byron and little shop had these massive leather tote bags in all sorts of metallic colours. The shop owner saw me touching them (because I’m like a 4 year old and have to feel everything shiny), and asked if I knew what is was made of.

“Feels like painted leather” I said.

“Nope, it’s paper!” She replied, smiling as the shock moved across my face.

What. The. Hell.

I spent that entire night frantically googling this mystical material.

The makers of bags are called Uashmama (who have a whole range of cool things), and call it ‘washable paper’. It feels exactly like leather, but it’s a manufactured paper product that’s a vegan alternative to cow hide. I’ve even seen their stuff pop up in Newcastle now, at one of my favourite Hunter Street shops, Studio Melt. I don’t know exactly their source, but commercially it’s available as Kraft Tex (or KraftTex, Kraft-Tex depending on where you look).

But with some more research, I discovered that this isn’t some new technological miracle, it’s been around for ages. If you own a pair of jeans with a leather name tag on the back, it’s probably not leather, but this Kraft Tex.

Of course I bought some. It comes in bolts like fabric, but feels like card stock. The website said to wash it once to give it a bit of texture. So this weekend, I decided to see what happened when I washed a bit. I didn’t send them through the machine, but soaked them in boiling water for ten minutes. After they became soft, I crumpled them and molded them a bit to get that rough texture. After drying, as if by some miracle, it turned into a really supple leathery material!

The next level is seeing how well this takes fabric paint. I bought some silver over the weekend, and in my head I have some really cool accent pieces for tote bags I want to do.