Inspiration challenge – here’s what we made in July & the new theme for August

We’ve had another fantastic month of sunshine in July but the hot weather didn’t lure our regular inspiration challengers away from their projects. Here’s a catch up on what we made this month on the theme of Maneki Neko – Lucky Cats.

inspiration challenges for July maneki neko

  1. Andy Greenacre from art blog AndyGtheArtist tells me that he spotted this Kokeshi doll painting kit in a charity shop at the start of the month and immediately thought of the Inspiration Challenge. He snapped it up and set to work transforming the blank wooden doll into a lovely oriental friendship doll using the paints provided in the kit. He tells me it was a quick and easy project (thanks to quick drying paint and hot weather!) and he is pleased with the results, having never really painted 3D objects in the past.

inspiration challenge for july andy greenacre kokeshi friendship doll maneki neko lucky cats

  1. Lucy from LucyLovesYa blog went the whole hog and got a tattoo! She was planning a new tattoo of this oriental Kokeshi Doll prior to the challenge being announced and realised that it would be the ideal contribution to the Inspiration Challenge this month. So while I don’t expect you all to rush out and get tattoos, this is a pretty funky creative project and one that I probably won’t ever be able to top (ouch!). I just hope it doesn’t hurt too much Lucy!

3. The lovely Will from Abakhan fabrics made his second-ever sewing project for the inspiration challenge – making an envelope clutch bag from oriental fabric. The bag isn’t quite finished yet, so I’m keeping  my fingers crossed that Will finishes off his new project and I hope to be able to share a photo of it soon!

july inspiration challenge maneki neko embroidery by katy ella betsy boo

  1. Katy from EllaBetsyBoo (check out her shop on Etsy) embroidered this Maneki Neko design one of her two-year-old’s t-shirts, based on a template she found on Pinterest; “I really enjoyed trawling Pinterest and Etsy for ideas, and it’s the first time I’ve stitched freehand without following a pattern. It was fun choosing threads and styling it a bit!”. I think this is a fantastic way to update a t-shirt and I have just got some new embroidery hoops from wholeport, so I think I’d like to give this technique a go soon!

  2. Seeing as this month’s theme was a total self-indulgence of my favourite things, I had no trouble in deciding to make Maneki Neko t-shirt that I have not been able to stop wearing since! I found this cute cartoon drawing of a lucky cat holding a fish online (by Articubone) and printed it onto t-shirt transfer paper. This sounds like a much easier process than it actually was, due to my printer breaking half way through and the paper continually getting jammed in the machine. But once I’d used my in-laws’ printer to get it printed, it was a pretty simple process. I followed the instructions to cut the image down leaving a 5mm border and ironed it onto a plain t-shirt. After only a few minutes of ironing and cooling, I had a brand-new t-shirt with my favourite maneki neko (with a similar colouring to my cat Muffin) on it! I shared this t-shirt printing tutorial on the Oxfam Fashion blog too 🙂

Step 4 Oxfam Fashion DIY Printed T-shirt

And I hope you haven’t forgotten that this month there was a prize to be won from online gift shop. Joanie has very kindly donated a prize of one of these small ceramic lucky cats below (I have actually bought one of these from Joanie in the past and they are just lovely!) and a super-cute maneki-neko purse. The winner has been drawn by from all the projects received in July and the winner is number 4 – Katy 🙂 Congratulations!


p style=”text-align: center;”>july inspiration challenge prize from joanies gifts

And now it’s the summer break and what better excuse to join in with the Inspiration Challenge?! How about getting the children involved too while they are on their school holidays? Why not take your projects outside this month and enjoy the warm weather while it’s here – grab a picnic blanket, your crafting weapons of choice, and some SPF cream and get to work on this month’s new challenge theme: vintage wedding dress. Lucy has kindly sent in this photo (below) of her vintage wedding dress and bolero as the starting inspiration for August’s challenge – very appropriate seeing as we are at the height of wedding season and I’m celebrating my 10th wedding anniversary this month so I’m already feeling all wedding-y! So get thinking about what you might make around the theme of vintage wedding dresses and let me know how you’re getting on with your projects – tweet me all month at @CassiefairyTutu and send me your finished items at the end of August. This month we have been offered a lovely little prize from Abakhan – the amazing online haberdashery and fabric shop – check out their website now and I’ll share the prize details with you a littler later in the month!

inspiration challenge for august 2013 vintage wedding dress from lucylovesya blog

I hope you have a lovely summer and happy creating! 🙂

5 Responses

  1. I’m so excited to win Joanie’s prize (my first maneki neko!) and I’m blown away by everyone’s creativity, as usual. Lucy – we need to see that tattoo!

  2. Yay that would be brilliant! I can’t wait to see what you make – I’ve already got a few ideas that “loosely” follow the wedding theme! 😀

  3. I didn’t have a chance to make anything for the July challenge but I’ll definitely have a go for the August one 🙂

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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in Lifestyle Promotion Studies and is trained in Personal Money Management. She loves to ‘get the look for less’ so regularly shares thrifty-living advice, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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