Finished Things Saturday: Crystal in the Rough

Clear quartz (Bergkristall in German, which means “mountain crystal”) is one of my favourite minerals ever. As much as I like rose quartz and amethyst and citrine and calcite there is something about clear quartz that makes it special to me. Maybe it’s the spiky form in which it grows, maybe it’s how clear it is and how you can see everything inside. I don’t mind my crystals being battered or cloudy or somehow imperfect.

I made all of these quite a while ago but never showed them to you. The big one on the leather string is from a vendor back in Marburg, I think, while the smaller ones are from a flea market in Amsterdam.106_2089This one is the closest thing I own and wear to a choker. Most of the time I’m not too fond of things too close around my neck but this one is okay. The wire is recycled from old champagne bottles – Scoundrel used to detangle them as a child and once gave me a whole small box of them, neatly wrapped up.106_2083I usually wear different earrings on each side (when I wear two at all) so I only ever have to make one if I make some.106_2091I love the rough part at the top of this one. I wrapped it up very casually, just the way I think a witch with very little nerves for thought-through finery would. Which I basically am most of the time.106_2092106_2096What’s your favourite kind of crystal? I’d love to know, leave me a comment!
Have a wonderful weekend!

Finished Things Saturday: Canteen, Revamped

Revamped Canteen, made with an army surplus canteen and an old leather sofa

One of the most important things to carry around when LARPing is a bottle of water, especially when you’re at a game where you run around a lot, probably get into fights and get overall exhausted, most probably under the burning sun. I have a canteen for that, and while it was sensible and okay it wasn’t really pretty.

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Bambi has the same (and I couldn’t find pictures of mine before), we both bought it for less than 8,-€ and it doesn’t disturb the big picture too much. However there was room for improvement. I found improvement in the form of leather scavenged from a sofa destined for the dump.

Revamped Canteen, made with an army surplus canteen and an old leather sofa

I took the old wool cover apart, used it as a pattern for the leather pieces and then just sewed the new cover directly on my canteen. The top is still visible but it’s handier this way and it’s not really disruptive, either, so I decided to keep it that way for now. Now, pretty might not be the right word for how it looks now, but it is far more satisfying.

What projects did you work on this week?

Have a wonderful weekend!

Finished Things Saturday: Lace Bags

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Recently I noticed that my fabric cotton pads were too small to just toss them in the wash with everything else. They would wind up in the door rubber thingy and still be dirty. So I went out, got myself one of those short lace curtains for 50 cents at the thrift shop (because I had not tulle fabric or something similar at home) and made this. It has a drawstring secured with laundry buttons and I can simply hang it on the door, put my used pads in and then toss them in the laundry hamper when I’m running low.

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Of course I had leftover curtain so I made another one for salad. Many of our customers have similar bags that all look the same (it leads to confusion and stress. If you have those things it’s a good idea to mark them somehow as yours). This way I don’t have to use new corn starch bags from work anymore every time I get salad, too.

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And last but not least I made a tiny one for my soap leftovers. I only use slices of soap for showering, not the whole bar. On the plus side this keeps the rest of the soap dry and not soggy but on the minus side the slices break apart at some point and then I have tiny pieces of soap I can’t really use (because the “just stick it on the next piece of soap” thing doesn’t work for me). With the lace pouch I can simply put the pieces in there and then use the bag as a whole.

What have you been crafting this week?

Finished Things Sunday: Menstrual Pads

If you happen to have a problem with the concept, facts and idea of menstruation that’s perfectly okay but this is not the post for you. I bid you a nice day.

If you read on, you’ve been warned. Don’t worry, this post doesn’t contain any depictions of blood and monthly gore, only a bit of talk about a thing that happens monthly to roughly 50% of this planet’s population but is still considered taboo and/or unclean by an absurd amount of people. This is not a feminist rant blog so I won’t go into further details of my opinion about this, except for this:

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Menstruating isn’t something to be ashamed of. Nothing about it is unclean or embarrassing. Don’t hate your body for this. If anything, your moon blood will make you stronger in the end.

My history with menstruation is an entirely positive one. When it first started – I must have been 12 or 13 at the time – I was about to climb over our garden fence to go on adventures in the wild behind the house with my cousin. I noticed that something was feeling kind of unusual, so I told him to wait, went back to the house, pulled down my pants just to see that there was blood, called my Mum at work, had her tell me where her pads were and went back to adventuring. No trauma. Nothing bad. And when my Mum came home she baked me a celebratory cake.

I think this is the probably best way a parent could go about this. Treating it as a fairly normal thing that their (probably XX-chromosomed) child is going through. It might be best to have “the talk” (or, in my case, the “have a book because you like reading better than talking anyway”) before, though. Anyway.

Of course I hurt each month, especially in the beginning. Of course it’s somewhat inconvenient sometimes. But I was never afraid of it nor did I hate it. If anything it made me feel empowered, as in I literally felt more active during these days because the first thing I learned about menstrual pain was that movement is one of the best ways to get rid of it. And if you can’t move, blackberry leaf infusions. Sorry I’m rambly. But ask my close circle of friends, I really talk a lot about the whole “menstruation is EVIL” society issue.

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And part of the issue is the massive amount of waste the “feminine hygiene” industry makes us produce (let alone the fact that it’s not covered by health care in any way and the whole TSS thing, but I promised myself to not make this an angry feminist rant, see above). I already switched to a moon cup (and sponges far earlier, the perks of having somewhat of a hippie Mum) but sometimes that doesn’t cut it (hello there, workout and rather active sleeping habits) or towards the end of the bleeding it’s just a bit of an overkill. And so I made my own reusable menstruation pads.

Wow, this whole wall of text for this one sentence? Eh, whatever. The fabrics are leftovers as almost always – these things are a great scrapbuster -, including purple-dyed brocade* sheets that are what was left after Scoundrel sewed his super-fancy LARP character’s new coat, and the towel that already featured in this FTS here. These are not the first ones I made, but the first try had only one pair of snap fasteners per pad which was not enough to get them decently fixed. So learn from my mistakes and rather put a pair of buttons too many in.

All in all I’m really happy with these. Our foremothers made do with fabric scraps and moss and I feel like I’m just following their way like this.

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Oh, and maintenance is really easy, too. I just rinse them (cold water, or else the blood will coagulate and be harder to wash out), put them somewhere to dry (where not everyone can see them because I know that especially my non-menstruating friends take some issue and I don’t want them to feel uncomfortable) and just throw them in with the wash once laundry day comes around. Perfect. And far more sustainable than the commercial alternative (and prettier, too!).

For those of you who menstruate: Do you use moon cups? Disposables? Self-sewn? Sponges? I still use disposable products when I’m on the road like LARP or at hostels but maybe some of you know how to eliminate this factor, too?

Sorry for the surprisingly long post, I hope you’re having a great weekend!

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*sorry for the mix-up, it’s damask, not brocade. It feel luxourious anyway, though. ^^

Finished Things Saturday: Market Elf Hat

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Now that it’s cold I needed something to keep my ears warm, I love elf or gnome hats, and when I saw this fabric at the shop right next to my workplace I knew I wanted to make something from it. It’s incredibly fluffy and soft on the inside and I added a pompom made from wool from the stash to the tip.
And right after I made this I found my current working sweater at the thrift store and thus have never worn the thing to work. Not even once. Maybe I’ll just give it away some day, but I’m happy I made it either way.

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Anyway, I looked like a effing Carl Larsson character (and I mean the swearing in the best of ways) taking selfies in this getup so I played with filters a bit and I adore the outcome:

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I’ve been up for 16 hours at this point (and it’s only 8pm yet…) so excuse me while I just keel over. I hope you’re all having a wonderful weekend!

Finished Things Saturday

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We finally rearranged my lamp! It was set right at the wall and I wanted it in the middle of the room instead, so we fixed it there. Scoundrel had the idea to wrap my leftover Yule mistle toes around it – it’s an LED so it’s no fire hazard – and I love it.
I also wrapped the cord in fabric scraps as I didn’t like the idea of the naked plastic cable to be visible on my ceiling. It now fits in surprisingly well and I’m trying to convince my still-sceptical boyfriend that this is the ideal solution to the dilemma we’re having with the black projector cables against the white living room wall.

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Have a wonderful weekend!