Monday, 25 June 2018

Batik and Wood Ornament Tablecloth

I think I have found the secret of a relaxing weekend and learned to live according to this great discovery. Whether it is weekend or some other holiday I want to use purely for relaxing and gathering energy, I won't make any plans. I don't take any meetings or book activities that are at a certain time. I might make a mind map about things that I would like to do. I try to catch the mood that I currently have but I don't make a schedule like finish that DIY project or read two books. I just want to figure out what would make me happy in that particular weekend.

What comes to blog posts I love to write and create but I have began to feel that all my weekends and free time goes to blogging. Because my blog is small, indie and gives no income, keeping it should be fun. Spending all weekends and evenings in front of the computer was not enjoyable anymore. So I made a rule that Monday-Thursday are my writing and blogging days and other days are free from blogging no matter how few posts I get published. It would be different if this was a work that I could do as my day job and if it would offer me the basic income. I haven't earned a penny from this. It has been also a conscious choice not to fill my blog with ads and sponsored posts. I have spent so much time to this that I won't sell my hard work cheaply for example advertising products that have nothing to do with this blog's focus and values. I have nothing against collaborations with people or companies that have similar ideas and values. Still I have felt it has been also a good thing that I don't have to please commercial interests. I have been able to express my own opinions more freely, create content that I hope inspires you my dear reader and choose what ever topics that come to my mind.

I have often thought about my blog and social media focus. I feel like there should be a coherent idea that can be pressed into one sentence that would express my whole blog. I know that if I would want to become successful I should concentrate more and write about DIY projects and maybe combine that with home decor. That was how I started blogging. This year I have been reading more than usual because I took 52 books challenge. Because this is a lifestyle blog I thought it sort of goes to the theme. For some it might seem like there are too many things going on. I have read some guides for bloggers and one rule has been that a good blog should answer to readers needs and try to help them. In search results blogs that have a focused theme might succeed better if I have understood correctly. There is like more hits for the word reader is looking for. But then there is the thing about inspiration and what the blogger wants to give for the world. And blogger's own need for self expression and to spell out the thoughts blogger wants to share. There are as many bloggers as there are readers so there is plenty to pick from. I have always loved blogs that have many themes, crafts, opinions, culture, art, home decor, books, movies etc. It is like the blogger opens the whole world that inspires them.

Sure in fast paced world it takes time to find these gems that really put time and effort to create, explore, write and take inspiring photos. It is against click baits and fast consumed culture. But for me nothing is better than a writer who challenges, provokes thoughts in a sophisticated manner and who seeks to inspire people to think and act differently. I don't know what the future of blogging is or if there is even a future for this. The quicker ways of consuming creative content have taken the lead. What I see as a problem is the huge workload that falls to indie content creators. There is an appetite to have more and more great texts, pictures, video, sound.. and that all should be easily achievable. Watching TV  has become rare but that doesn't mean we are not after entertainment or eduntainment anymore. We carry phones that are huge online libraries full of creative content that we are allowed to enjoy for free. We spend a minute or two browsing hundreds of interior pictures of craft ideas. It might be a micro second we spend on a single picture. But behind that picture might be an indie content creator who has spent hours creating the post without receiving a single penny.

Time used for a single blog post is enormous compared to how much attention it gets. Sure some get more attention than others and there are also professionals, solopreneurs and teams that really do content creation as their day job and get their salary from it. Still I see the culture social media has created is not based at people getting paid of their work. It is based on millions of people doing social media as their hobby or second job. The dedication these unpaid professionals have to their so called hobby is high. This really makes me wonder the earning logic and what we wait people to do for free. If there is no money transaction could there still be a good practice how much time, as readers, we give to this work. Is it possible to do against the fast consumed culture and decide that, wow this idea is amazing, I am going to read this post through, watch the pictures again, comment and share. Or do we instantly seek the next wow and take for granted what has bee spread in front of our eyes.

I have felt that concentration instead of a massive load of stimulants keeps me more relaxed, productive and creative. What comes to this blog's content it is going to be the same mosaic it has been for the past two years. I don't see a reason why books, opinions and DIY projects could not co-exist. For me making crafts and DIY projects has always been empowerment. It is a wonderful feeling to create something yourself and make a piece that is 100% what you want it to be. Using upcycled and low cost materials has been one of my main principles. Crafts and home decor is for all!

I had planned to write few words about past days atmosphere but ended up writing more about my current thoughts. It has really circled in my head lately if there is any sense of writing this blog when it would seem more clever to spent the same time on social media posting pictures and videos that get more attention than posts that take huge amount of time. That is something I need to ponder during this summer.

So with this long lead that took us to side track it is time for part 3 of how many projects can you make from one broken shade! I have already made this Nordic Style Plant Wall and Decorated a Box with Upcycled Material. Now I show you how to upcycle an old tablecloth with washing machine color and little wooden ornaments that are made of the scraps of the broken shade.

Batik and Wood Ornament Tablecloth

You will need:

An old white tablecloth
Color that is attached in washing machine 
(read from the package how much do you need to dye the tablecloth)
Strong cotton yarn
Some wood from old shade

Japanese saw
Sanding paper
Drilling machine and 2 mm drill

Step 1. Use clothespins to mark the first row of batik patterns.

Step 2. Cover the tablecloth with knots: twist the fabric and bound yarn thickly around the fabric and make a firm knot. To get a pattern where there is two circles make two knots as shown in the picture.

Step 3. More patterns you want the more knots you have to do. If you want just few patterns you don't have that much work to do. It is according to your own design. Then dye the tablecloth according to the instructions given on package.

Step 4. This is a piece of an old wooden shade (pictures here!). Make one model according to the measurements shown in the picture. Using the model draw the cutting plan to the piece of wood. Saw of the pieces and sand the edges. Drill a hole in every piece with 2 mm drill.

Step 5. When the tablecloth has been dyed open the knots and let the fabric dry, then iron it properly. From the knots you get beautifully colored yarn to attach the wooden ornaments! You can use both dyed yarn and yarn that is not dyed.

Step 6. Put yarns to the ornaments so it is easy to attach the ornaments to the tablecloth.

Step 7. If there is a pattern on the fabric, like on this tablecloth there are subtle stripes, use it as a starting point when you design how to arrange the ornaments to the tablecloth. Use a needle to attach an ornament to the fabric and make a firm knot.

Inspiring New Week To You All!


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