Monday, December 9, 2013

80's Bead Necklaces

I wasn't that cool in the 80's, I was a bit young, financially deprived and from a fashion neutral, non consuming family.  (No offence Mum, but it is true and not it's necessarily a bad thing but it may be the source of my current spending/consuming issues.)

As I am now an independent adult, I am free to indulge my 80's fashion needs.  I have chosen to start with fluro colours and geometric shapes, Miss S has been assisting me.
I ordered some really cool raw wooden beads from Etsy here . We Pinned a whole heap of inspiration pics from Pinterest,  got the old toxic nail polish collection out and opened some fresh Sculpty.  Away we went
There is just so much colour!
If you aren't getting something crocheted from us for
 Christmas, you will be getting a necklace or perhaps even both!
This is my favourite.
It was a great way to use up the old nail polish, I cant believe I nearly threw it all out a few weeks ago! Master B and Miss M also got in on the action and had lots of fun painting the beads.  Make sure you do it in a really well ventilated space, the kids enjoyed the activity very very much, a little too much in fact, they may have been high.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Zauberball Splash Cowl Finished

I have finished my Zauberball cowl, it's been grafted and blocked and the colours are just so captivating.  This one is a gift but I want to make another one for me now.  I am going to need to grow another neck for all the scarves, shawls and cowls I have.

One skien of Zauberball, size 4 needles using Splash Cowl pattern

Friday, November 22, 2013

How to Make a Little Bag

The kids have been sick for about a week now so I have had a quiet week at home and the chance to catch up on some jobs - yay.  I have made cracking start on christmas gifts I don't think I have ever been this far ahead in my gift preparation by November.  
Project Bags with external decorative zips. 
This is how I make little project bags with an external zipper.  I am not sure if this is technically the right way so proper sewers best look away now.  I hope this makes sense...

Start with a zip,  2 pieces fabric for the outside of the bag and 2 pieces fabric for the lining.  The outside fabric needs to be the same width as the zip and whatever length you would like.  I cut the lining fabric a good 1.5cm larger than the outside pieces. 
I start by taking one top piece and one lining piece, wrong sides facing out and join with a single seam about 1 cm from the top.  Turn the fabric the right way out and press seem down.  Do the same to the other two pieces of fabric.  
You should then have two sides of your bag and be ready to attach the zip.
Pin the zip to the top side of the seam you have just pressed and sew down one side, do the same for the other bag side.
Fold your pieces out with the good sides of each fabric type facing each other and the zip closed in the middle.  Like pic above.  Pin the sides together making sure that the two ends of the zippers match up, like pic below
Match the zipper ends and pin.

If you want a side grab handle on your bag, insert it now.  I use a loop of ribbon, and insert between the pinned pieces of the top fabric, just below the zip.  The two ends of the ribbon should poke out so they can be caught in the side seam, see pic below.  
Ribbon ends poking out.
Open the zip and sew a seam down the two sides and along the bottom of the top fabric only.  Make sure the lining end (blue fabric) is left open at the end.  Trim away excess fabric.
Now,  I make the gusset shape.  This is made in the fabric that will become the outside of the bag.   Pin the corners according to the shape bag you would like (see above).  You can put your hand into the bag via the lining end, make the triangles larger or smaller depending on the gusset side you would like.      Sew in a seam and cut off the excess corner so it looks like the pic below. 
Corners done
This is what it should now look like.
Turn the bag the right way out, keeping the lining out like the pic above.  It should be starting to look like a little bag now. 
I measure how long I want the lining to be by folding the bag over the top of the lining like this.

Fold in the raw ends of the lining, pin and sew the seam like above.
Tuck the lining in, tidy it all up and TA-DA, you should have a lovely little bag with a feature zip.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Cath Kidston + Fossil = Bag

I have much admired anything Cath Kidston for a long time.   I regularly go to the web site and make up dream wish lists, but the shipping price to Australia is so horrendous that I never get further than a wishing.  I was recently luckily enough to acquire a few bits and pieces via my lovely cousins in London, and a book from my Aunt, thanks girls.

All my stars aligned when I was on Etsy recently and stumbled on some well prices CK fabrics.  This is the really simple messenger bag I made using one of the oil cloths.  The thing that makes this bag, I think , is the up-cycled strap.  It makes it look a whole lot less home made.  It's from an old Fossil bag, and has parrot clips so I can swap it between the two bags now.

Really simple, an envelope shape with some lining and velcro.

It really makes a great bag for scooting.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Fancy Zips and an Ethical Dilema

How cute is this decorative zip,  I got it about 6 months ago at our local patchwork/fabric shop, it was the last one.  Apparently they stocked them years ago and had trouble selling them,  this one literally had been dosing around the store for ages with no one to love it.  It was a bit pricey, I cant remember exactly how much but I remember it was a bit of a splurge.  (Maybe thats why they didn't sell well.)  
I had this fantastic piece of bunny scrap fabric I was hoarding  saving for the perfect project.  The zip really makes the bag and it is a perfect size for a small crochet or round needle knitting project.

Now for the Ethics part -

The fabric shop haven't stocked the zips again since and said they don't really have any plans to stock them again.   Which initially I thought was a good thing as it would save me lots of money.  But I kept thinking about them... needing them for my projects... then low and behold I found some on eBay.  24 X 25cm zips for $18.00 including postage, how good is that?  I feel bad buying things from china via the internet and not supporting my local shops but if I cant get them locally, surely it is ok??

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Dory Shawl With Bobble Fringe

Because I am so addicted to Dory shawls, I have made another one!  Its made out of my favourite Cascade Ultra Pima Cotton in a brilliant multicoloured skien, called Carnival Mix.  The exciting thing about this shawl is the bobble fringe.  I don't really know if I like the finished shawl but I am really glad that I did it and it is quite striking.

How pretty is this, the Carnival Mix Skien. 
It used up just over 2 skiens for this size, you can see
 I ran out and had to finish the border bobbles in pink.
 I love the pink and sort of wish I had done all the border
in pink now.
Click here for Dory Pattern link
Ta da, the bobbles, click here for awesome Bobble how to - tutorial.
I really like the pink.
It goes with everything, so many colours. Yes I think I do like it very much,
 I just need to step away from it a bit.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

So Good For You Coconut Slice

My knitting muse, Yvette has this awesome Coconut Treat recipe.  I was actually blown away by the party in my mouth when I tasted it.  Not only are they amazingly tasty, but they are sooo good for you. Full of coconut goodness, no refined sugar, no gluten just pure health health health.  A bit like the old party favourite Chocolate Crackles but without the hydrogenated fat or the refined sugar and with a higher fibre content.  
Not great      
Yvette had rolled hers into beautiful little balls of coconut goodness but as I am a path of least resistance kind of person, I have just pressed the mix into a tin and cut up as a slice.  

Yvette's Coconut So Good Slice

3 cups shredded coconut
3/4 cup almond meal
3/4 cup cocoa powder

1/3 cup coconut oil
2 tablespoons of honey (or maple syrup if you prefer) 

Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. 
Melt coconut and honey until liquid and mix into the dry ingredients. 
When well combined pour into a paper lined tray and press to compact.
Refrigerate until set and then cut into squares.

Store in the fridge and best served cold.  

Mix all the ingredients 
Press into a tray and refrigerate

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Bargain Maker Pencil Skirt

Mr Daddy and I recently went to Sydney - child free (I know, how awesome is that!)  While we were there we did much sight seeing and of course shopping.  We found a Trenery store, it's the mature older sibling of Country Road (because we are mature now.)   It is also more like the Country Road of the 90's, classic well cut pieces that aren't too trend dependant so you can wear them for more than one season, Wow what a concept.

I don't buy many clothes these days because A. I make quite a few things and B. I hate paying retail prices and hate being held to "what's on trend."   I did how ever love this spotty skirt in Trenery but at $120 of course I was muttering I could make that for a fraction of the price.   Mr Daddy was in a retail frenzy and said to just get it!  So I did!

The best thing is I got home, traced the pattern and made another one out of some Amy Butler I had in the stash pile.  So I figure that I now have two skirts for $120,  or $60 each that feels much better doesn't it.

Home Made Amy Butler skirt
Gorgeous Trenery Spotty Linen
I will call this skirt the Bargain Maker

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Dory Shawl, They're Addictive

A few months back I finished my first crochet  Dory Shawl, (I say first because I challenge anyone to just make one.)   I use my favourite yarn, Cascade Pima Cotton in my favourite colour combo, grey and yellow. It is really quick to hook and most of the shawl is one very, very easy stitch.

However when I got the the scallop edge my pattern reading difficulties kicked in and I couldn't for the life of me work out what I was ment to do, so I made up my own edge.   I need to do a technical class in pattern reading.  I am great at the visual patterns just not the written patterns.  Anyway I still love it and I am currently hooking my third shawl.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Zauberball on The Hooks

I have found my knitting mojo.  I was really struggling to find the right project that was easy enough but inspiring enough.  Then the good people at Tangled Yarns published this Splash Cowl pattern and I just happened to have a ball of this amazing Crazy Zauberball Sock yarn, the stars were aligned.

I just love these colours and I am really enjoying the mediative effects
of just going around and around.
I am about 3/4 of the way through and will join
up the ends just before the yarn runs out. 

So I picked up another couple of balls for my next projects!  Warning - its really had to choose with Zauberball, the colours are amazing.

I think this one is called Little Fox and the one below is Lilac Flavour