Art in August #17 – Loomband Hot Air Balloon

Hot air balloon and passenger

Hot air balloon and passenger

I had so much fun making my loom-less flower (using only the hook) that I decided to make this hot air balloon using a tutorial by the same person, FeelinSpiffy/Crafting Fantastic.

It took quite a long time for me to get the hang of it, and even longer to finish (it uses a lot of bands). Mine doesn’t stand up too well, I think because the jelly bands are so bulky. I wouldn’t have used them, but they were all I got in my last bulk order – unfortunately the cheaper the bands are, the less choice you get about what turns up!

In the original tutorial, Ellen (I think that’s her name) uses one of her super-cute turtles as passenger (and weight, to help it stand up), but my kids insisted on these penguins instead, using a DIY Mommy tutorial. They’re much easier to make, but the black doesn’t show up too well.

Hot air balloon with penguin

Hot air balloon with penguin

Of course my son wants a hot air balloon now, in green and black, although I doubt he’ll ever play with it. I’m having to take it easy though, as, even more than using the loom, this hook-only stuff kills my neck and strains my eyes. I feel 100 years old today.

Actually, hubbie and I are both shattered. Hubbie finished work on Friday, so has that post-handover exhaustion, and I’ve definitely discovered the limits of my childcare ability. Three weeks and I’m ready to do pretty much anything other than listen to twelve hours of squabbling for another three weeks. At least I still have my loom bands!

I’m trying to decide what to make next. There are so many cute things on the tutorials, I want to make them all. Suggestions? 🙂

Art in August #15 – Loomband Crochet Flower

Loomband Flower

Loomband Flower

I had a loomband crisis today, after reading all the news articles on cheap bands potentially being carcinogenic. Especially after 4,200 cheap bands turned up in the post. As usual I panicked and thought about throwing all my bands in the bin. Rationality – in the shape of my husband – suggested it probably wasn’t that bad. None of the things I make are worn, and I’m the only person who does much looming.

I have suggested my daughter wash her hands after looming, and I have ordered some official bands (10x the cost!) for the gift creations I’m making, but I’ve kept all my cancerous bands. I get through that many bands a week, pretty much, so I’ll just try and limit my looming when these are all gone. I can’t afford to make big projects with official bands! I can only assume they’re cheaper in the US.

Anyway, today I’ve been experimenting with loomless banding, using a crochet technique as demonstrated on FeelinSpiffy/CraftingFantastic tutorials. The flower is a bit wobbly but I think that’s partly because some of the bands were different sizes. I have to say, crochet has always terrified me but, when my loomband obsession has worn off, I might have to see if there are crochet tutorials on YouTube too. At least wool isn’t going to give me cancer!

Art in August #12 – Loomband Octopus

Loomband Octopus from an Izzilicious tutorial

Loomband Octopus from an Izzalicious tutorial

There’s something cruel and sod’s-law-ish about getting a virus in the school holidays where the only symptom seems to be chronic fatigue. I am only keeping the panic that I’ve got CFS at bay by the fact that my mum seems to have the same virus.

I took the children to the Farm today, after a lazy morning looming while they created chaos. Normally the Farm is an easy trip. We feed the animals, go on a tractor tour of the fields and have a picnic. Today we also got to watch a ferret race and have a cuddle with the elusive farm cat. We were there for three hours.

When we got home we had our usual hour watching TV. And then I went to plug the iPad in to charge, lay down and barely moved for the next two hours.

For the first hour the kids watched more TV, and yelled for me a bit. I couldn’t even get up to stop the noise. I heard my daughter say to my son, “just go upstairs and ask her,” so I knew it wasn’t serious. When he did finally come up, sobbing, it was to say, “but Mummy I didn’t want to watch that programme.” I think you call that a First World Problem.

Sick or school-holiday-itis?

Sick or school-holiday-itis?

For the second hour they came and wriggled in the bed with me and, when they’d had enough of being told to lie still, went off to play. It seemed to involve much shrieking, running and giggling, combined with, “he hit me!” “she pushed me” which I ignored.

I managed to go down for an hour to do some writing and numbers with them and play board games. But as soon as I’d cooked the kids’ tea I had to hand over to hubbie and come back to bed. Poor hubbie, he’s having a rotten time at the moment – he’s barely over his tonsillitis and he’s having to play tag-parenting like he did when they were babies. Only they were less annoying then!

He also informed me that he’s felt this exhausted for the last two years, which made me want to get up and stop being pathetic. But I couldn’t. So much for all our summer holiday plans, all the house projects I intended to get done.

It’s a weird sort of exhaustion. Not the kind where you’ve been up all night, or you’ve been digging in the garden all day. This feels like I’ve been drugged, like the tiredness is a heavy coat I must wear. Kind of the opposite of depression, which is a heaviness on the inside. Anyway, I just about managed to finish this octopus. Now back to bed.

[I moved this pre-written post a bit later out of respect for my previous post on Robin Williams]

Art in August #11 – Loomband Purses

Loomband Purses

Loomband Purses

I think I should have probably called this month’s posts the Summer Loomband Challenge or something, as there hasn’t been all that much in the way of art so far this August. Instead there have been far too many I’m-sadly-obsessed loom-band creations.

Today’s efforts were a labour of love, especially the second one, on the left, as each purse took over 1500 bands and at least five hours of repetitive looming.

Although the design is deceptively simple, and needs only a single loom, I still managed to get into a pickle with both when it came to casting off, and at least half an hour was spent sweating and cursing as I grabbed at disappearing bands with a blunt hook.

I must also credit the tutorial video, made by a young and confident girl from Craft Life who talked through the details. It is no fault of hers that my flaps curl and there are several holes and emergency knotted bands. The link to the tutorial is here.

I do miss my pets, though, so I think I’ll go back to my four-legged friends. Another dragon maybe, or a zebra or guinea pig. Hubbie asked if I was going to unravel some of my creations or buy more bands. Hmmmm. Well, the bands aren’t much use once they’ve been modelled, so new bands it is!