Tag Archives: making stuff

Salt dough ornaments

First things first – last night I officially lost exactly 20 kilos! It took me seven months (and three days) which is pretty damn good. I have 1.7kg to lose by February 4th to get my fertility treatment referral and after a couple of good losses this month I feel relly confident that I can totally do it! It means I can’t gain a gram over Christmas (gulp!) if I want to brag that I lost 20kg in 2010 but I love a challenge.

Salt dough ornaments

So…salt dough ornaments. I never made these before, not even as a child so I really didn’t know about them but they saved my sanity this week. That boy does not switch off. Ever. We baked them yesterday using this recipe and other than the hanging holes shrinking a little during baking them came out perfectly. Some were thick and some thin but they all cooked evenly. It’s a brilliant kids craft and really quick to throw together. Three ingredients and there’s a rolling pin to keep the kiddo excited. Today we painted them in PVA glue and sprinkled them with glitter. It was either that or paint….no contest! The glitter came in little shaker top bottles (which I highly recommend for younger kids!) from the $2 shop and the PVA was from my craft room. He really enjoyed picking which colours to sprinkle on each ornament. I carved his inital and the year in a couple of the ornaments in the hope they may be used on his family tree every year. I threaded them all with string (Dave took him outside while I did it – I love that man!) and he took them home in a box. I feel like it was a good 3 days when he was able to take a finished project home with him. Even if my cat will have sparkly poop this week. Festive!

How to entertain a child: act like one.

How to entertain a 5 year old


Filed under home, making stuff

Wood and wool

I’m making plans for next year and deciding what I want to achieve and learn:


– I think it’s time to admit it – I can’t own a yarn store if I can’t knit! That will be rectified in 2011. I’m giving myself December 2010 as well cos I’m just a bit thick about getting the hang of it. But oh yes knitting, you will be my bitch one day soon!

Wood and wool

I have very very vague plans and hopes to open my yarn store mid 2012. Our mortgage is up for renewal in early 2012 so I figure that’s the best time to discuss finances with the bank. ven if they say no they make say when. It’s hyperventilatingly exciting to have even a vague potential date picked out. Inned to do business classes next year. If only I could think of a good name….

– Wet felting: a few ideas from the Waldorf festival are still rolling around in my brain and taking shape. I forsee soapy wet wool in my future and perhaps I’ll even felt a few of the thrifted sweaters I’m hoarding. I picked up an amazing cream lambswool one with cables all over it yesterday.


– I got out the badly hewn previous attempts I did and then hid out of embarrassment. I’m thinking that a dirt cheap jigsaw and a pine plank on my back step ain’t gonna cut it. Well that’s pretty obvious actually. This time around I’m thinking a proper (second hand) scroll saw and beautiful recycled native woods will do it for me.

Wood and wool

I can’t afford to buy the sort of things I really want my children to have one day but I’ve certainly got plenty of time to learn to make it. It’s almost as if infertility has given us the gift of time….almost.

– You could also perhaps include the bajillion redecorating plans under the wood category too. The partly sanded wooden kitchen table. The partly sanded wooden thrifted bookshelves. The two cupboard doors I removed and….yep, partly sanded. 2011 is going to be a busy year…


Filed under knitting, making stuff, woodwork

Big Butt Baby Pants

As part of my attempt to learn to sew clothes I bought the Big Butt Baby Pants pattern from made-by-rae. It’s got a big ol’ gusset in the rear for those big cloth diaper butts and I thought it would be a perfect project to try something more advanced without having to sacrifice a lot of fabric. The fabric I used began it’s life as 3 large, brand new tea towels which I got for $1 each from the thrift store.

Big Butt Baby Pants 3-6 months

The crotch ended up a big wonky and maybe the fabric wasn’t the best choice (the weave was too loose and it started shedding threads like crazy – I suspect it might rip with daily wear and tear of actual pants) but it’s all another lesson learnt. They are as cute as I imagined and for someone so fashion and colour challenged to be able to picture something and bring it to fruition is a big achievement. It’s the 3-6 month size cos the 0-3 month size terrified me with it’s teeny tiny littleness. I’ve done one pair of newborn pants and the hem seams are microscopic! A hot iron, tiny hem and fat fingers is a recipe for burned fingers!

Rae has a new free pattern for newborn baby pants which I might try though. She gives an option for finishing the cuffs with a contrast binding which sounds burn free and would look funky on adult jeans. Although there’s a bag of peas in the freezer with my name on it just in case.

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Filed under making stuff, sewing

Sewing up a storm

My gran is about 84 and can’t sew anymore so occasionally something will head my way – a little bit of ancient bias binding or something. Sometimes it’s useful, sometimes it’s not. I never know what to expect in a package from her. So this weekend when I told her I want to try sewing with knit fabric she said she would send her old knits book and some ribbing down to me but it probably wouldn’t be this week so I completely forgot about it. But I got home from my walk today to find an enormous box jam packed with goodies sitting on my doorstep. I have no idea how she got it to the post office, I had to drag it inside!


Fabric, a LOT of ribbing, patterns, a couple of sewing books, elastic, bias binding, thread, iron on appliques, fleece and even a cut out dress that needs to be sewn together. She can’t find the pattern so it might be quite a challenge trying to get it sewn together and looking like it is meant to!


My gran sent me this little pinafore with the box of goodies. She found it hanging in the wardrobe and thought I might like to sell it. Yeah right! If I have a daughter and have no granmade dresses to dress her in that would be sad indeed. The photo does not convey how delicate and white it is.

I haven’t looked through the box in depth but it will really help to pad out my impoverished stash a lot! I am on a real sewing kick lately. Sometimes I won’t touch my machine for months and then I’ll feverishly slave over it for the next month. I’ve made a couple more fluted toddler hats with thinner fabric which has made them much tidier at the seams.

Bonnet and hats

I also finally made a baby bonnet. I struggled for ages to find a pattern like the one my gran made for me 30 years ago. It photographs terribly but I promise it is excessively cute.

Baby bonnet

Now if only I could find some f&*$#$* boy fabric locally without having to spend a fortune to buy some online. Boys need handmade stuff too!


Filed under mail love, making stuff, sewing

The blood, sweat and tears baby pants

I finished them. The supposed “just for practise, easy as pie, quick as, hardly any fabric cos they are so dang small” baby pants. The ones that resulted in physical injury for me, violent flinging of needles through the air, 2 crying jags (sleep deprivation), cutting three pairs of pants to make one wearable pair and oh so many swear words.

It took a couple more incidents. Oh there were incidents. I forgot to lower the overlocker foot. This does not make your stitches look nice. On the plus side the stitches are so loose that unpicking them is really easy. (Also really necessary). Then I sewed right up to the crotch stopping at just the right place and choked slightly when I realised I forgot to lower the cutting blade which is about an inch ahead of the needles. At this point I started to worry that 3 metres of fabric might not be enough to get one finish pair of baby pants. But they say the third times a charm and I guess so because other than only having black elastic they were suddenly, perfectly, finally finished.

The blood, sweat and tears pants

They have so much effort put into them, they have hope in every stitch and I am also painfully aware that only a fool makes 9-12 month baby pants in cream. But at least now (once I try and save the first two attempts) I can risk making pants in nice fabrics. But not just yet. My overlocker and I are taking a break from each other, for the sake of the relationship. We’re seeing other hobbies for a while. I have a hot date with a crochet hook in just a little bit…

(The pants are Yoga Pants for Happy Babies from the book Meet Me at Mikes. Other than my user error the pattern is excellent.)


Filed under making stuff, sewing

Sunshine yellow

A WIP from yesterdays post is complete – my happy yellow bunting:

Sunshine yellow

The photos are a little washed out due to the bright sunshine. I might take better photos at some stage. But right now I’m just glad to have one less WIP finished, photographed and filed away.

Sunshine yellow

Maybe this will set a precedent for me to get a few other WIP’s finished. But maybe not…

Sunshine yellow


Filed under making stuff, sewing

Busy times

Despite a couple of wet yucky days the weather is definitely warming up. Spring baby!! Which means it’s time for all those decorating plans I had when we bought the house in late summer. I’ve spent all winter thinking about which hideous old lady decorating disaster is going to be the first to go. Dave’s ghastly bright green and yellow computer room? My badly decorating, peeling around the edges, one coat of paint on the door frames sewing room? The kitchen of many colours, none of which match? Tempting but in the end the cheapest, fastest job seemed like the best place to start. The hideous pink kitchen cupboard doors. Oh yes, that pink is going. The hinges are completely painted to the doors so I have no idea how I am going to get them off without causing huge gouges (any tips?) but I’m just so happy….the pink is going:


The decorating has inspired a lot of spring crafting too, there are unfinished projects everywhere I turn. I got the jar of hexies out which can only mean trouble:


A cheerful yellow bunting is also underway:


But I think the crafts might have to wait. The electric sander and the ugliest shade of pink paint in the world are about to get hot and heavy.


Filed under home, making stuff

Slow growth

Life has been pretty crazy lately and I haven’t had much time to sit and relax with my ripple blanket. I have made some slow progress though and I have high hopes that one day it will actually be big enough to deserve the title of ‘blanket’.

Slow growth

Small it may be but I absolutely love the colours. I can’t wait to see it grow.


Filed under crochet, making stuff

An extra layer of protection

As my ripple blanket slowly grew I realised there was a pressing problem – some sort of anti cat security device was needed. As it grows bigger it will become irresistable to searching claws and I’d prefer they refrain from kneading it into shreds until it’s finished at least! The very next day after I realised this I walked into the thrift store and saw a basket with a lid. Oh I love it when that happens!

Anti cat protection

I used some stash fabric that I didn’t think I would ever have a use for and stash elastic (I LOVE making a project and having everything I need on hand!!) to make a basket liner – there’s no point protecting it from cats if the basket ends up snagging it. It’s big enough to hold the growing ripple, the yarn, a simple washcloth project for when I need a mindless break, the little colour chart I made and the pattern is tucked down the bottom in case I have a mental hiccup.

Anti cat protection

And I am so in the mood to sit and crochet today. We were gifted a beautiful, sunny day yesterday – just one days break in between the horrible windy, wet spring weather. And I spent the sunny morning doing a 10km walk! A few months ago when I walked up to the local water tower I couldn’t walk the next day. Now I walked a 10km(6 miles) event yesterday and am going up to the water tower later, for a little light walking. And we’re talking about doing another 10km walk in 7 weeks!!! I’m going to have to find out the route – I’m not ready for hills yet! But we’re talking about doing a duathlon next year and….well it’s all going crazy! I’m a little bit worried because I’ll probably have lost my weight loss buddy by then – she and her partner have decided she’s lost enough weight to try get pregnant now so basically I am at the mercy of her body! But I think that I’ll just have time to do the duathlon in April before I start fertiity treatment of my own and what an achievement that would be! The only issue – I thought leaving home at 8.15am yesterday was early but the duathlon rules say you should be there before 7am! The thought makes me feel faint. I best go crochet and ponder this whole fitness thing! (But I am so going to have a kick butt weigh in on Tuesday night!)


Filed under fitness, making stuff, thrifting

Scratching that craft itch

I had the urge recently to make something and particularly to crochet something. Without reliving the nightmare I will just say it did not work out very well. There were tears shed at the worst point of my frustration. It became clear that a quick sewing project was in order. By Thursday night when I had my final meltdown I just had to make something, I needed to create something asap. After a good nights sleep I decided that I would finally sew my first project from Soulemama’s book Handmade Home. Since I’ve owned the book for a year I figured it’s probably time to use it….

The kitchen sink has no draining tray thingy around it (one of those little things that annoy me out of all proportion to their size) so when I wash the dishes there are usually several waterfalls trickling onto the floor. So I decided it was a good time to make a dishmat based on the bath mat design so that just maybe I might be able to do a load of dishes without using half a dozen tea towels at a time to stop the flood! I was able to save a holey, ancient towel that I would normally throw out too which felt really thrifty and pioneering.

Dish mat from Handmade Home

I’m actually quite keen to do a sinkful of dishes just to test it out. But not quite keen enough to actually go do them. Progress on my ripple blanket has come to a halt right now too. I added a couple more colours before my motivation left me:

Slow progress

Weight loss update: current total loss of 12.8kg/28.2lb. Current weight: 95.8kg/210.8lb. I’ll crack 200lb just before it hit 90kg which is pretty exciting. My losses have gotten smaller lately though which is frustrating me. I’m only so grumpy because I have a target to meet and hate the thought of not hitting it otherwise I’d be very happy to sit back and enjoy my huge progress. Nothing has made me happier lately than being thin enough to try on thrift store clothes. It makes me feel normal.

I was wondering if anyone would be interested in a little peek inside the baby basket? It’s actually just a couple of huge plastic tubs now but I’m planning on going through them to see what’s what (yeah, sometimes I don’t even know what I’ve collected!) so maybe you’d like to see some of the prettier vintage dresses and stuff?


Filed under crochet, making stuff, sewing, weight loss challenge