Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Make Your Own Nature Tapestry!

If you follow me, or anybody, on Pinterest, you'll know that wall hangings are huge right now. Weaving is such a cool and technological art and can be done super inexpensively, like here. I made this tapestry last weekend when we were out camping for Joel's birthday, and I was even able to bring it and hang it on the wall at home, and the best part- I didn't have to buy an expensive loom, I used just nails and the ground to create the framework for this wall hanging.

SUPPLIES:

For this project, all you need is a couple common camping supplies, and a bunch of random stuff you find in nature. I went on a hike to gather supplies, it's basically a crafting workout when you mix exercise in. Bring on the bikinis!

  • Nails, or spikes
  • String (I used rainbow hemp that my awesome friend brought)
  • Random materials from nature- Bark, moss, marking tape (that I found on the ground), sticks, etc.
  • Two strong sticks that are around the same length, but longer than the finished width of your tapestry.

DIRECTIONS:

1. Create a rectangle in the ground the size you want your finished tapestry to be.
2. Put an even number of nails along the top and the bottom.
3. Starting at the top left edge, wrap the string around the nail a couple times, and then down to the mirrored nail at the bottom, and up to the second nail, all the way to the last nail. Wrap around the last nail a couple times to stabilize.
4. Weave the two strong sticks into the string, one at the top of the tapestry, and one at the bottom. Over the first string, under the second, over the third, etc.
5. Fill out all the strings with the random materials you found on your hike. Make sure you are weaving your materials in on opposite strings. If your first item started on top of the first string, then your second item must under the first string, and then your third has to start on top again, and repeat.
6. When it's all filled in and you're satisfied with how it looks, take the two ends of your string that you wrapped around the nails, and tie them around the top strong stick.
7. Tie a hanger string to the top strong stick.
8. Carefully slide all the strings off of the nails.
9. Adjust the strings until it all fills out naturally, and voila! You're very own super personalized and unique memoir, nature wall hanging tapestry!
Any cool camping crafts you've tried and loved? I'm all about painting rocks and Joel loves finding the perfect stick and carving it and embellishing it until it's perfect. I'm also thinking I wanna master a nature wind chime before the summer is over! 

Hope you try this out, and hey, if random nature isn't your thing, feel free to use fabric or yarn or wool roving instead. Weaving is one of those crafts that make people really impressed, it's a good trick ;)
XO_BITS

PS
This is BITS' 100th post! Thanks for reading along and keeping me inspired! Can't wait to see where the next 100 posts take me! 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Monday Musings: So We Went Camping

Joel's birthday was on June 1st, and as per tradition, we went camping!
We went to Weaver Lake this time around. It's an amazing little piece of Paradise tucked into the Fraser Valley perfect for a relaxed weekend away with friends. I finally got to use the fabric bunting I made last year, and I gotta say, really brought the festive vibe up a couple notches. 
If you wanna make your own, I made a tutorial last year, or if you're short on time there are tons of etsy shops that sell cute varieties.The weather cooperated and it was warm enough for shorts, but not too hot that we yearned for AC. There was no wifi or running water, and it was hella refeshing to just chill in the woods for a little while. 
 We made some super delicious meals, and a bunch of perfect coffee. The logs floating all over our section of the lake were taken as a challenge and we spent our weekend trying to make it to the last logs, and to improve our circuit time. It was actually super fun, and I'll have you know, I made it right to the end. Thanks to some help from a certain cutie birthday gentlemen. ;)
 We hiked around the perimeter of the lake and found some super beautiful serene creek/bridge combos straight outta a Japanese Zen garden, and also saw some pretty intimidating bugs. There was an otter (muskrat?) slithering around in the lake and so many red-headed woodpeckers and Robins.
I even managed to get my camp craft on with a nature tapestry! A couple of spikes into the dirt made my loom, rainbow hemp string made my warp and materials gathered from nature made the weft. I managed to pack it home too, and now it's chilling on my living room wall. A camping wall hanging- such a great souvenir for such a great trip!
 There were whittling adventures and late night glow stick parties, raspberry-orange jello shots and gigantic bubbles blown into existence by the wind. Overall it was the perfect weekend away.
I'm thankful for so many amazing and creative friends, life would be much more dull and uninspired without your shining faces. And to my brilliant other half, a very, very happy 25th birthday. It's only up from here!

XO_BITS
A huge thanks to @ehodgson_08 and @tamara675 for taking most of these beautiful photos. 


Monday, May 5, 2014

Monday Musings: Following the Flow of Failure

Sometimes life speaks to you in funny ways. Lately I have been a little distant on here. I'm trying to realize who I want to be, what I want to represent and how I want it all to come together and be presented. That's a lot of variables. Factor in time for family, my internship, events and my current obsession with both Steve Job's biography and Mad Men, and that leaves very little time to actually create any quality content, but still I feel inspired and excited about this outlet for creativity.

The internet is such a phenomenal venue. It's the place where the whole world goes. Sure it is easy to get ignored or avoided, but it is almost as easy to go viral and explode all over everyone's news feed.  It's also a place for infinite knowledge. You can learn almost anything on the internet, from plumbing your house, to the perfect cat eye, to DIY bomb shelters. While amazing, this can also be overwhelming. There are so many choices, so many websites and shopfronts, talents and characters, that it becomes more about the package deal rather than just content alone. Articles must look good, read well, be well informed and personalized and quirky in order to draw us in. If that's not enough, they must also be featured on a well organised site, with inter linking and menu bars for intuitive navigation.
When I was graduating high school and applying to colleges I knew I wanted to be a designer, and originally, I wanted to be a graphic designer. I put all my eggs into one basket and applied to a graphic design program in the city. And I got rejected! It was so tough, and I felt like such a failure. I took it pretty hard and decided university must not be for me. I had a full time job at a clothing warehouse at the time and enjoyed it well enough. I got free clothes and the opportunity to see clothing lines a season before they were to hit shelves.

Then one day, I got laid off. Boom! Real life. No job, no school, broken passions and hurt feelings. I went on employment insurance and let myself fall into a bit of a depression. I would wake up at 1 in the afternoon and spend my time on facebook and playing silly video games. All my talents were rotting away inside of me along with my self worth. This went on for months.
And then one night at about 3 in the morning I remember sitting in the living room on my computer. I was in the middle of a deep internet wormhole (you know, when you get sucked in by wikipedia,etc for multiple hours on end) and I ended up at the local universities website, specifically the fashion design program. I had always loved fashion, I made my own prom dress without any instruction or guidance (or even a pattern), and my warehouse job let that passion deepen as I got to see a bit of the behind the scenes work that goes into distributing the massive industry. And I just signed up. Right then. Portfolios would be due in about 2 months.

I woke up the next morning feeling a mixture of horrified and delighted. I managed to pull together a portfolio including some sewn items that make me absolutely cringe to look at now, and I got in!

The program was one of the toughest and yet most rewarding things I have ever done. The professors were an odd mixture of mad passion and sweet affection. Tears were shed by every student on multiple occasions. We stayed in the department until 11 pm most nights when the security guards kicked us out. We even had to be reminded to eat, and yet, we created some truly beautiful collections and learned some invaluable skills.
I graduated with a teary smile as I watched my collection being walked down the runway and was awarded with the "Most Marketable Collection". I had a job interview the following week and opportunities for internships, and I was feeling on top of the world.

The very next day I started this blog. I needed a place to vent my passions and share my creativity. Even if nobody read it, I wanted to share it.

Fast forward a year. I have an amazing internship at a beautifully curated consignment shop. My duties range from minor repair work (on beautiful designer items), product photography, and even plenty of graphic design work! I thought I had failed when I got rejected years ago, but I was just starting out in the wrong direction.
If you're in a place right now where you can't see the end of the tunnel, just remember that you can't feel happiness without sadness, you can't feel success without failure. Failures and mistakes are life's constructive criticism. Without them we wouldn't be able to improve and get better. I am thankful I got rejected to that first school because now I get to do fashion-specific graphic design with a strong knowledge of the fashion industry and a renewed passion for the graphic industry. I became better from that failure.
I'm still learning about how life works itself out in such odd ways, but I think I'm starting to realize that you just sort of have to go with the flow. Never stop creating and never give up.

Thanks for reading, thanks for letting me vent.
XO_BITS

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