Todays post is about some of the wonderful knitted crocheted and woven pieces I have received and some of my own yarn projects.

Gifts

Lets start with some of the lovely items I have received.

Firstly my most recently acquired item is this colourful  bookmark from one of my colleges.

Though she is an accomplished knitter she has just taught herself to crochet and so she has been making bookmarks  to hoan her skills before moving onto bigger projects. I absolutely love the colours and she even took the time to stitch my name into in.  I haven’t put it to use yet as I’m currently read an eBook but I will definitely be using it soon.

The next Item Is a fabulous TARDIS bag which I received in a secret Santa craft swap. I’m in a Nerdfighter craft group on Facebook and each year they run a secret Santa craft swap. I was extremely fortunate to receive this fantastic TARDIS bag from my secret Santa and I love it! It is going to be my craft project bag as it looks like a good size for carrying a craft project in when I’m on the go. Its even lined with some awesome Doctor Who fabric. Well worth the wait for it to be posted.

The last item I have to show you is this lovely lap blanket that my Grandma made me last year while I was in hospital.

The squares were woven then crocheted together. It is of course in two tones of my favourite colour, Purple. It currently sits on the back of the couch for days when I need a little blanket when I’m watching TV or working on craft. It adds a nice touch of colour to our reasonably neutral coloured lounge room and generally brightens my day.

My Projects

As I knit and crochet I have built up a few yarn crafted items of my own making.

Firstly Beanies

I have both knitted and crocheted beanies and my current WIP (work in progress) is a crocheted Hi Vis slouchy beanie for one of my friends at Supanova.  When I take the time to just sit and work on it I can knock one out (knitted or crocheted) in a few hours.  The Ravenclaw Beanie is one of the first Beanies I knitted and the Hi Vis is the first one I crocheted last year. While they are slightly different shapes they both fit well and do their intended job. I’ve made a few beanies for friends over the years.

I also have a lot of random granny squares and stars which I use as coasters. Most of them I made when I was learning new techniques and stitches. I have a set of six of the stars and the rest are different granny square designs but I like them all.

I’ve also been experimenting with making crocheted hair bows. I like how they’ve turned out so far and can expect a pattern for these soon. I want to work out a few different sizes for them so once that’s done I’ll post it up.

So that’s some of the Yarn items and projects I have around the house.  Do you work with yarn? What’s your favourite way to work with it? What are some of your favourite items you’ve made or received?

 

Another week has gone by and is suddenly February.  As usual I can’t believe how fast the year is already passing.

Its been an awfully hot week and this week doesn’t look like it’s going to be any cooler. I managed to get a little burnt  in the 10 minutes I was hanging out the washing yesterday. That definitely didn’t help my motivation for doing the housework.  It did however make for quick drying washing.

I’m looking forward to trying out some new recipes this week as I stocked up the fridge on the weekend though as I’m camping this weekend I possibly won’t get to try all my new ideas. I made a big crock pot of congee yesterday and I think its becoming a fast favourite lazy meal for me. I just need to work on flavouring it up differently. I did make a really yummy stir fry and cocktail for diner last night.

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This weeks craft is something that may not come in handy for everyone but I’ve been wanting to do it for a while. I may or may not have mentioned previously but B and I have a reasonably large collection of books.  So many in fact that we like to refer to our house as the library. I like to be able to recommend and lend books to friends and family so I decided to make them library cards.

Library cards

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Materials:

Index Cards (102x152mm or similar)

Scissors or paper trimmer

Permanent  Markers

Printer

Paper

Laminator

Laminator pouches

Washi Tape

How to:

Firstly cut your index cards down to size. I cut mine to be about the same size as a business card which was 85 mm tall and 50mm wide. I got 3 cards out of one index card.

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Next I wrote the name of my library at the top of the card (short edge being the top) then wrote the recipients name a couple of lines down.

I lined the bottom of each card with a piece of washi tape to give it a bit of decoration then numbered each card. These numbers correspond to a spread sheet where I keep track of books that are on loan.

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I then created a QR code that links to my library database and printed out a whole bunch on a sheet of paper. I cut them out and glued a code to the back of each card.

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I set my laminator to heat and lined up the cards in a laminating pouch making sure to leave a gap for them to seal between each card. I used an A5 sheet but you could used a smaller or larger sheet and adjust the number of cards to suit.

I ran it through the laminator then cut out the cards leaving a 2-3mm laminate boarder on each card.

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So that’s how I made my library cards. You could add more decoration or information to your liking.

So what’s your book collection like? Do you have an extensive library or a few well treasured gems?

Lil

Happy New Year!!!

I’ve had a good and mostly productive week this week.

I crossed a fair few things off my ‘To Do’ list and still had time for some relaxing.

I went shopping at the sales, Had afternoon tea with a friend, dyed my hair purple for the new year and spent a whole day reading a new book.  I also did some cooking, tidied the house a little and took down the Christmas decorations.

Hair

I managed to rearrange some of the stuff in my house to set up a craft space in one of the rooms we haven’t been using much. I’m so excited to have a place to leave all my crafty mess that’s not the dining table. I also have access to my sewing machine again!

On the craft front I’ve mostly been working on my planning. I’ve designed and printed a few stickers for my own use and spent a few hours cutting out printed stickers too. I’m working on a project to show how you can still do glam planning with a very small budget.  Now I can get to my sewing machine again I’m planning on working on some sewing projects which I’m sure I’ll share with you later in the year (once I’ve worked them out).

Todays pattern was one I made a few years to make myself a hair bow to match a bow tie I had made for B for a ball.

It’s a fairly simple pattern and doesn’t take a lot of fabric.

Hair Bow

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Materials:

 Pattern (download it here)

Fabric (at least 16×34 cm)

Matching thread

Scissors

Sewing machine or sewing needle

How to:

Assemble pattern. Cut out two pieces from your fabric.

Pin pieces together patterned sides facing each other. Starting near the middle stich around the edge of the pieces. Make sure to leave a 2cm opening.

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Trim corners then turn your work right side out. Use a chop stick or a blunt pencil to push out the corners and edges.

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Iron flat making sure to keep the edges folded in around the opening.  Top stitch the opening shut.

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To create the middle strip for the bow use an off cut or another piece of fabric to create a 1.5x6cm  rectangle with folded edges.  Fold rectangle in half short edges and patterned side together and stitch ends together.

Turn your work right side out which should form a loop.

Fold your bow into 3rds as shown.

Concertina fold bow from top to bottom so it can fit through the loop. Feed one end through the loop until the loop in in the middle of the bow.

That’s the bow done. You can now attach  air clip to the bow or just put the clip through the back of the loop so it is re/moveable.

I hope you enjoy this pattern. Let me know if you give it a go.

Lil.

So in an effort to eat more vegetables B and I have decided to go vegetarian for week nights. We realised that when we eat meat we tend not to eat as much vegetables as we should but if we have tofu or no meat we eat a lot more vegetables. Now were not going to be completely strict on it (bacon is totally a vegetable) but we are giving it a go. For medical reasons I shouldn’t go vegetarian and I like meat so I wouldn’t anyway but I’m excited to challenge myself to get more vegetables into my diet.

Also this week I’ve been binge watching ‘Friends’. Most of the episodes I’ve definitely seen before but there are some I’ve just missed over the years. I’m really enjoying re watching it all even if I do know what’s coming up most of the time.

In other news, this week my sister is off on a big adventure with her boyfriend and one of her friends to Canada. We had a nice goodbye party for her last night and it was great to see so many people come to see them off. If you would like to follow their adventures you can on her blog “Out & About“.

My herb garden is so far doing well and I’m getting a lot of basil from my plants. Now I just have to work on making more meal with basil in it. I’ve also gotten to make some nice mint teat with a mix of both my mints. It’s really nice iced especially with some of the weather we’ve had. I suspect we will be drinking more iced tea over the coming months if its already getting this hot.

This week I thought I’d show you the process I went through to design my current day planner.
I wanted a planner page like some I had seen that had various helpful categories for notes and reminders.

I looked all over Pinterest and the internet for a planner page that would work for me. Some had spots for keeping track of water intake and I just can’t be bothered to do that. Others had spots for exact schedules whereas my days are usually pretty flexible with a few appointments here and there. While I found a lot of pages that were good none of them were quite right for me so I decided to come up with my own.

My Planner Page

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How To:

First I listed out the categories I wanted to be on the page.
Mine are:
Appointments
To Do
Dinner
Scouts
Blog
To Buy
Notes

These are the categories I felt would work for me and while I don’t always use all of them they have all often come in handy.

To draw up the planner page I got an A5 spiral bound note book with dot grid paper so I could use the dots as guidelines to draw up my page. I chose A5 as I wanted it to fit in most of my bags without a problem. In pencil I started drawing up some different sized boxes to see what fit on the page. I knew I wanted the notes section to be biggest and I only needed a small box for dinner. From there I just played around with the layout till I got something that looked good and was functional. Then I went over it with a felt tip pen so I had solid non erasable boarders. Lastly I changed the wording of my categories so it would fit nicely in the grid.

This is what I ended up with:

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Now of course you could leave out the dates and scan your page so you can print a bunch out and put them in a binder or you can hand draw them like I did in a notebook.

You may also want to add a weekly view page like I did.

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I got a pack of coloured felt tip pens so I could colour code my notes but since they are in categories you can just use a pen. (I like stationary to much to pass up an excuse for new pens.)

The dimensions for the boxes are as follows
Day page:
Date box – 105mm x 5mm
Rendezvous Box -55mm x 40mm
Dinner Box – 55mm x 20mm
To Do Box – 45mm x 65mm
Scouts and To Buy Boxes – 30mm x 40 mm
Blog (TGC) Box – 35mm x 40 mm
Notes box -105mm x 45mm
Spaces between boxes/boarders – 5mm

Week Page:
Each box – 50mm x 40mm
Spaces/boarders – 5mm

(all measurements width x height)

It’s been yet another busy week full of doing bits and pieces. Visits to the Physio and Occupational therapist, meetings with friends, watching “The Magic School Bus” on Netflix.

I’m very lucky this week to have one of my aunts up to visit so i’ve been showing her around. I’ve also been doing some knitting as I seem to have misplaced all my beanies when we moved.

Since i’ve been sick i’ve been feeling the cold much worse then usual which has lead to many days and nights shivering under blankets, curling up near the heater, and trying to absorb the warmth from heat packs (I would have hot water bottles out too if I could find them).

So today I will show you how to make microwaveable hand warmers.

You will need:

Fabric

Needle & thread

Rice

 

You can use any fabric that is made of natural fibre. I prefer flannelette but I have also used cotton and even old terry towelling wash cloth.

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I cut a rectangular piece of fabric 23cm x 10cm. (To get the size I wanted I cut a fat quart into quarters the cut one of the quarters into thirds.)

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Fold the rectangle in half, small edges together, right side (patterned side) together. Stitch up two sides leaving the short side open. If hand stitching I suggest you stitch each side twice to reinforce it. Fold open edge down 1cm to create a hem then turn right side out.

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Fill pouch with a third of a cup of rice. Stitch up the open edge using a whip or overcast stitch. (If using a sewing machine just top stitch it.)

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To heat microwave fro about 30 seconds. It should keep your hands nice and warm for an hour or more.

 

This project was my valentines day gift to Ben. My inspiration came from trolling through the many pins for valentines gifts and cards on Pinterest. I first came across some pins for making your own teabags and since we love drinking various flavors of tea at our house I thought this would be a great gift. Then I found this post for a card and I decided to combine these ideas. This was the result. 

Tea

To make this you will need 
Coffee filters 

Scissors 

Sewing machine 

Tea 

Teaspoon 

Cooking string 

Stapler 

Brown paper 

Stickers 

Pens and pencils 


Method 
Cut filters into rectangles as shown below 

Sew up the 2 long sides and one short side. Trim the edges and excess string.  
Fill each tea bag 1 teaspoon of tea into each bag.  


I made 3 different types.  

Prepare 1 length of string per bag (10-15cm) 


Fold the corners of the open end to the middle of the bag creating a triangle at the top. Loop 1 end of the string around in a small circle. Place on the middle edge of the triangle. 


Fold top of triangle to bottom and staple.   


Pull string slightly to ensure it doesn’t come loose. 


Cut 4.5 x 8 cm rectangles out of brown paper. 


Fold each in half and decorate one side as you wish. 

Write a message or the name of the tea on the other side. Tape the loose end of the string inside the fold of paper then staple the edges together. 
To make the individual wrappings 
 for each bag cut 16 x 9.5 cm rectangles out of brown paper. Fold in half and sew up the 2 sides.  

Trim extra string. Write tea type on the bag then place tea bag inside the bag. Fold over the edge and secure with a sticker (or tape) 


By far my favorite meal to serve to friends is Tea. Morning or afternoon tea It doesn’t matter but I like getting out my nice teapot/s and tea cups and making a range of small nibbles to eat. So one day I made some small serviettes to go with my tea set. These serviettes are very easy to make and don’t take a lot of fabric. They are also easy to embellish to make them your own. you could add matching lace or ribbon around the edges or even some buttons or beads in the corners. I made 4 small square serviettes using 1 fat quart but if you have more fabric and want bigger ones you can use the same method on any size square or rectangular piece of fabric.  
Makes 4 Small Serviettes: 
1 Fat quart fabric, (54×46 cm) 
Matching thread 
Iron 
Scissors 
Sewing machine or needle 
Ruler  or card with cm measurements marked on it.  
Iron flat your fabric. Fold then cut into quarters.  

One edge at a time fold the edge in 1cm and iron flat. To do this I use a piece of card from the middle of a fat quart marked with 1 cm apart lines from 1 edge.  


Unfold the edges and cut the corners off where the folds meet (pictured below). This will make your corners much neater and not to thick. 


Fold each edge under itself and iron flat creating a rolled edge.  

Stitch around the edge, keeping on the hems. If using a sewing machine, start at 1 corner stitch along the edge in the middle of the hem and just before you reach the edge stop the machine with the needle in the fabric. 

 lift the foot and turn your serviette so that it is in position to stich the next edge.  

place the foot down then repeat until you come back to the first corner add a couple of back stiches before cutting your threads.  

Cut of any excess threads. you can leave the serviette as is or add any embellishments you like at this point.  (e.g. Lace or ribbon around the edge or beads, buttons, or embroidery to the corners.)