Paper Mache Jack O Lantern Candy Buckets

We're going to have a family dinner right before Halloween so we gotta have something special for the kiddies. I've always wanted to let them have a little trick or treat for fun but I'm really skeptic about buying the ready made ones and make some rich business owners even richer by producing more plastic stuff. So a DIY paper maché Jack o Lantern is an obvious choice.

Here are the material used:
2 old unused balloons from last Christmas, blew them up and wrapped each up with a layer of cling film (for easy removal when the glue is dry), and these are the base mould for the pumpkins.Old newspaper and old receipts, torn into tiny strips.Glue made from tapioca flourLeftover white base coat paintAcrylic coloursString from an old wrecked drawstring bag First layer for the shape.

 Few more layers to shape the ridges.

Punched holes for the handle. Base coat done, in and out.

Getting the right colour, bit by bit.

Once the colour's done, smiley Jack-o-lantern faces are drawn …

Paper Lantern Lamp Shade - Get Ready for Mid Autumn Festival

How do you like my Mid Autumn Lantern lamp shade?

Since I've converted some paper lanterns into tea light shades, I thought I'd do just 1 more festive decor. Using the same method from the tea light shades, by cutting out a large opening on the bottom of the largest paper lantern I could find; I simply place it over a table lamp. Obviously, I removed the existing lamp shade and put aside for the moment.

Took me less than 10 minutes to get this done, and if I'm careful enough not to rip or tear it upon removal, I could probably reuse it next year.

Paper Lanterns as Tea Lights Shades - Much Safer Mid Autumn Festival

Lighting and putting up the colourful lanterns at Mid Autumn Festival is always a fun thing to do. The adults will guard the kids with the candle lighting and the hanging of the lanterns at first; 30 minutes later it is the adults who can't seem to stop playing with fire.

The traditional paper lanterns are our favourite but the problem is: it is extremely dangerous because the candles will either fall off halfway burning and burn the lantern up, or even if the candle manage to burn till the end it might still burn a big hole on the bottom of the lantern.

So I decided to revive these lanterns by cutting out the burnt bit on the bottom and make a large round opening, cup them over some tealights:

and serve as a beautiful centre piece on the coffee table:

Now they are a lot safer to handle, and could probably last much longer (and I can reuse them next year!).

Handmade beaded handbag

Years ago I bought a big bag of blue crystal-like beads and made 2 handbags as gifts for 2 of my friends. I've kept the remaining 1/3 of the beads and never had the time to do anything about it. I dug them out one fine day and decided that I must finish up the beads and put them to good use.

After several hours of weaving and dismantling and reassembling, over and over again, I finally made myself a summery handbag that I'm happy with. The beads to make the hook for the loop are from my collection of old and used beads, often cut from old shoes or broken beaded accessories. Some leftovers are from my other beads projects such as bracelet and necklaces.

I can fit in it a wallet, a mobile phone, a book, a pair of sunglasses, a hat, a foldable umbrella, a spare canvas shopping bag (just in case), keys, a tube of E45 and a lipstick. So when I don't feel like carrying my big handmade multi-compartment bag, this would come in handy. Sweet!

Here is how I started the basic weavin…

Drying Mint Leaves at home

Since replanting the mint, I've trimmed and pruned (and try to root more for planting again) a few times to try making the plant more bushy. Whilst I'm not planning to cook anything with mint at the moment and the amount of mint leaves I cut are not exactly enough to make mint sauce immediately, I'll have to preserve them by drying.

The process may take up to a week or so, depending on the weather, but it's not a complicated one. I'm doing it 100% manually, as we do not have any high-tech equipment specially built for that. All I do is to place a clean tea towel over a colander, arrange the mint leaves on the tea towel in 1 layer. I'll place another colander on top, upside down, to prevent them from being blown away or being disturbed by bugs.

Every now and again I'll shuffle them around to get more air circulation, as some leaves may get stuck onto the tea towel.

Hand sewn reversible apron floral print

My secondary school (high school) uniform was a bright turquoise pinafore design that everyone hated, saying that it looks like an apron; but guess what - I actually liked it 😊

Without doubt, I love aprons too (including all pinafore design clothing)! However, I have only bought ONE apron ever, which was then updated to slightly different look, and then got really worn off and was disposed of. I've then decided to not buy anymore apron - definitely not in Malaysia - where aprons are either too expensive or too ugly (and still expensive)!
Since then I've transformed an old sundress into an almost instantly made apron, and went on to making this new, reversible design apron. The fabrics used here were bought originally for making placemats but then I got really busy for many months that I forgot all about it (or rather, gave up on it). Not until a recent spring cleaning that I found them stacked in a drawer.

If I don't do anything with them, they will go to waste (or I migh…

Don't throw away that broken Umbrella just yet. Make a bag with the fabric.

A new addition has just been added to our home for old and forgotten possessions, after having a few tweaks here and there.
Meet our new shopping bag:

But If I don't tell, I don't believe that anyone would've guessed its previous life, would you?

Here's a little hint: the material is rain/water proof, and heat resistant to some extent; and is very light. That's right, it used to be my favourite umbrella which was crippled by the crazy wind in Nottingham during my last visit in June (2017).

I always have this strange sentiment towards umbrellas, and I get really attached when I find one with prints that I really love (which is often not easy). Most of the time, when one breaks, it's the metal frame that's gone and the fabric is often still intact. And me being me, I absolutely hate to throw it away knowing that it could become something useful, somehow.

Of course, there had been numerous deceased brollies in my life but never knew what to do with the remain…