Monday, 19 December 2016

Christmas Craft - Wine Glass Candle stand and Cardboard Candles.

Today had my Christmas Craft party for my Great Nieces and Nephews.  Usually I get a few cheap craft kits in the after Christmas sales, we also do one "big" craft.  Last year it was sock snowmen, this year it was wine glass candle stands.

 These are made with plastic wine glasses, lighted trees, cardboard candles and battery tealights.

Use the rim of the wine glass to trace a circle onto firm card, I used a shoe box lid and cut out the disc.  Then cut a hole that is smaller than the base of the tree, but big enough that the on/off switch is accessible.

I used the square punch pictured above.

Hot glue the tree to the disc.

Wrap cellophane shred around the base of the tree, the base can be covered with a decorative paper.  I've just left it plain in the photo because I'm not actually putting this together.  This is just a dry run.

 I ran hot glue around the rim of the glass and then glued it to the disc.  Don't worry about the escaping cellophane, after the glue has cooled it just gets trimmed off.

At this stage a ribbon can be glued around the base and a bow added to hide any glue.

It's now ready to have a candle added.  If the wine glass is actually made from glass a real candle can be used.  Just remember to fix it well to the flat glass base  top and keep it out of reach of little hands.  Mine is plastic and not suitable for a real candle so we made candles out of rolled up card stock.

Cardboard Candles

Had thought about using toilet rolls but didn't think some of my nieces would think it hygienic and also the rolls ranged in size, some were too big and some too small to fit the battery tea light into. We cut a strip from A4 paper to the size we thought the candle should be - can be taller or shorter it doesn't matter.  We found that double sided tape wasn't always strong enough to hold the roll, hot glue worked well but also adding sticky tape around the top stabilised it.

Glitter paper is cut to mimic dripping wax and glued around the top, it also hides the sticky tape if used.    Hot glue can also be used to imitate dripping wax but I decided that paper would be  easier  for the kids to do.  The completed candle is then glued to the bottom of the glass top of the candle stand. 

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Mother Nature Costume accessories

The regular postings didn't last very long.

I scrapped the knitting, decided to crochet a vest - not gotten far on that.  Actually haven't done much in the way of crafting or sewing.

Until today  yesterday.

Tomorrow Today is Fairy and Fantasy Day at the centre I attend, it's the 5th year.  I decided not to make a whole new costume, I would use one I made 3 years ago and just update the accessories. I am going as Mother Nature.

 New headdress, the flowers are the only thing I bought new this year.  They are glued onto a headband I already had.  They cost the princely sum of $4.50.

Had planned on bringing an empty cardboard roll from work to make a staff with, but forgot to pick it up yesterday.  So today I asked the Angels for assistance in finding the perfect staff at our local reserve.  When I got there I got a message to "go over the bridge", there's a creek in the reserve so I drove to the crossing and found it flooded.  Then realised they didn't say cross at the weir, there's a walking bridge.  I then got told to go right, I turned left and was told to go my "other right".  Then I headed too far to the right and was told that too.  Basically got told which direction it was in and was heading to a grove of trees which was in the direction I was told, then was directed to skirt around to the back of the grove.  There it was just laying in reach, right where they said it would be.  I had asked for a particular thickness and wanted a handhold. It's perfect.   I was so happy and full of Gratitude. We just had to shorten it. 

The above sounds crazy right?  It's all true, I promise. 

I used my Ozito tool (similar to Dremel) to make a concave to hold a "crystal ball".  Which is made from two glass paperweights that I glued together for a costume two years ago.  Husband drilled holes to run twine through, I hot glued the ball in place - not successfully but finally held enough for me to tie the twine.  Then using hot glue I wrapped the garland around the staff.

I have plans to make another one, just waiting for the perfect branch.  This will have a genuine crystal ball in it, Amethyst or maybe a blue crystal ball.  Hoping that both come my way before Christmas as I am thinking of gifting it to my friend and mentor.

Friday, 8 January 2016

Wow three posts in a week, this might become a habit.

Today, my daughter and I went for a drive to Springwood.  I was hoping to find some clothes there, but the shop I wanted to go to is so chock-a-block full it felt overwhelming.  On the way back dropped into a yarn shop.  I had a pattern with me that I've had for a year or two, I only went to check on suitable yarn and prices - honestly - yeah right $100 later, walked out with the yarn and an interchangeable circular knitting needle.

Put my crocheting aside for the moment, have started on the back already.

Perhaps I should have gone to the beach instead like I planned to, would have been cheaper.

Think this one will take me a while

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Getting an Owly start on Christmas.

Sorry about the punny title.

After days of rain we finally had some sunshine and blue skies today....... grrr...... had the last 5 days off and it rained for most of it, the blue skies and sun appeared just as I made the final turn into work.  Hopefully it'll be fine tomorrow, I have the day off.  Hard life hey?  I'll be working the weekend, then Tuesday, Thursday, Friday.

Have had the urge to start a crochet or knitting project, chose the yarn from my stash and then set about trying to find a suitable project.  How hard is it to find a 4ply woman's cardigan/jacket when I only have ten 50g balls?  I wanted something Boho-ish and most importantly free.    Spent a lot of time yesterday searching, only found one thing I really liked but it wasn't free.  Tightwad me.  I was trying to keep with a challenge of only using what you have.

Tonight there was a show I wanted to watch and I leafed through a craft magazine I bought last week (positive it was before I read the challenge ..... I think ..... well that's my story and I'm sticking to it).  Found a project similar to one I pinned yesterday, one I had all the fixings for.

This is how far I've gotten so far, it's going to be an Owl basket and could very well be the first Christmas gift project for this year.    You can see my ingenious idea of using an earring as a row marker.   I was going to use a marker I got from a friend at Christmas but couldn't find where I put it, thought it was with my jewellery box where I found the earrings.  Which I think are easier to use than the small stitch marker for this project.

And here is the MKII version, the hook earring kept falling out, which wasn't a huge problem as I could count the stitches but once I stopped increasing stitches I didn't want to run the risk of losing place. 

The yarn is 2 strands of Lionbrand Heartland, using 5.5 hook.  It's going quite quickly, would have been quicker it I didn't put it down to watch a show on The Crystal Cave.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Welcome to 2016

I'm an infrequent blogger, can't promise I will change, will try to make an effort.

Last year was an ok year, so many of my friends said it was a bugger of a year and are glad it's over.  Yes it had it's ups and downs but I am glad for the experience, knowing that I could overcome what was put in front of me.  Lessons learned are valuable.

My brother has had a couple of surgeries, some think just run of the mill surgery, I wanted to throttle a woman who told me that a knee replacement is a piece of cake.  But I had to remind myself that she has no idea of the physical difficulties my brother has and it would look bad throttling a 90 year old, no matter  how opinionated she is.

Brother's first surgery was to remove a plate put on his thigh to straighten his legs when he was a teen, they wanted the bones to heal before they did the knee replacement.  They found that he is allergic to one of the post op medications, full blown hallucinations and psychotic episode.  All he remembers was that he flashed back to the surgery when he was 13 and that all he wanted was Mum.  The knee replacement was in August and was the Surgeons "worst ever", he was happy with the result though.  It's taken the burning out of his knee but his hip is making it impossible for him to walk, he's not walked since before the operation.  The plan was to do both knees, then do both hips but it's the hip that is preventing him from walking, so he's getting his hip replaced next week.

Anyway back on the homefront, I've spent time since New Year in an attempt to clean and organise this place.  It's going to be an ongoing project, so far I've tossed the old tatty curtains from our back room, cleaned the room and removed a tub chair that I've not gotten around to recovering.  The room looks nicer without so much furniture in it and I rewarded myself with a plant.

Also started on the dining room, my collection of Arnott's tins have been washed, I had thought about clearing them out but do like them.  And if google is right, there's some value in them.

Also completed a quick craft project today, my second attempt at Macrame.   An unevenly knotted A RUSTIC jar hanger,  complete with battery tealight and a handful of gemstones.  

Saturday, 11 April 2015


I keep saying that I am going to post to this blog more often and never do.  Oh well, perhaps in my retirement.

The last couple of weeks have been spent at our big Agricultural Show here in Sydney,  The Royal Easter Show.  I've missed going for the last couple of years, usually spending a very tiring day, but this time I wanted to try something different, I applied to work as a volunteer and got accepted.  Was able to see the show at my pace by turning up for each shift a couple of hours early.  Took a couple of weeks off work using my paid vacation time so still got paid.

At the show I bought some beautiful Alpaca/Merino blend yarn and have been making a feather and fan scarf.

The pattern is really easy.

Cast on 70 stitches.
Knit 5 rows

1st row :Knit
2nd Row: Knit 5 stitches,  Purl to last 5 stitches, Knit 5
3rd Row:Knit 5, Purl 2 together twice, *yarn forward, knit 1 - 4 times, Purl 2 together four times repeat from * to last 13 stitches, yarn forward knit 1 - 4 times, purl 2 together twice, knit 5.
4th Row: Knit 5, purl to last 5 stitches, knit 5.

Repeat last 4 rows until the scarf is the length required.
Knit 5 rows 
Cast off. 

I'm not a fast knitter, hadn't even known what the style of knitting I did was called, until I googled it last night, I knit English Style.  Thought I would give Continental Knitting a try, so watched a couple of videos.  It feels a little odd holding the thread in the opposite hand, I started off much looser than I normally knit.  Did a few rows of English Knitting then tried Continental again, tension is much better but the stitches look messier.  It is faster but if I persevere I would improve the tension. 

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Simple Scarf and Yellow Submarine update.

 Recently I found a new yarn called Moda Vera Hudson.  This brand is only available at Spotlight which has stores in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.  The yarn looks like a fine icord.  I played around with needle sizes because I knew I wanted a chunky knit, the free pattern that came on the yarn use 7 mm needles.  I used the yarn doubled to make it really chunky but none of my needle sizes worked, until I hit on the idea of holding 2 needles together.  Only because I didn't want to buy bigger needles for a possible one-off project.  I taped together 10mm and 15mm needles.   

Taped the needles near the end where the stitches would not catch on the tape.  Once I got used to them they were surprisingly simple to use.

Detail of yarn showing icord like construction

Free Scarf Pattern

This is a very basic scarf just knitted in stocking stitch with reverse stocking stitch stripes.

Holding 2 strands of yarn together, cast on 12 stitches

Row 1 :  knit

Row 2 : Purl

Row 3 : knit

Row 4 : Knit  - this is the right side of the scarf

Row 5 : Purl

Continue these 2 rows until knitted stripe is as wide as you want it, I chose 5 rows divided 3 rows of reverse knitting.  Just remember that  when reversing knitting to use the stitch as you used the row before. 

Result is a soft, chunky knit.  

This pattern is very basic and can be used with a variety of yarns, from lace to chunky.  More or less stitches, the choice is yours.   The stripes can be as thick or as thin as you like.  The stripes can be a different colour or yarn.  

Just have fun with it.

Update on Yellow Submarine.

 The project was a complete success, I am disappointed that I didn't get to see it in person.  I didn't get the time to drive the 5 - 6 hours one way trip.  I did try to get my parents to go as they were passing by the area for an Aunt's 90th Birthday.  Until earlier this year she lived in Holbrook.

It's now been made into blankets for animals shelters.