Handmade 1st Birthday Card for Thomas

Thomas turned one nearly a month ago, but we’ve been so busy catching our breath after a very busy Christmas season, this is the first chance I’ve had to blog about it!

This was our first ‘proper’ Christmas with Thomas, as his first Christmas was spent in the hospital nursery, and I was still in hospital that day myself. That’s why we decided we should make an extra effort this season, and visit everyone in the family, which we managed to do, except for seeing my sister and her family in Darwin. We hadn’t gone anywhere all year, with Thomas being so small I didn’t feel confident enough. So Christmas was a very busy season for us indeed this year, and we’ve decided we should spread things out a bit better next year so it’s not so overwhelming!

One thing we can’t change though is Thomas’ birthday, which is on December 14th, right when things start to get busy. We had to have a party of course, in fact we celebrated all week with visits from family and friends spread out so our small home would not be too crowded in case it rained. Thankfully it didn’t rain! My mum came to visit Thomas on the day though, and brought gifts and this very special handmade 1st birthday card.

I just adore my mum’s handmade greeting cards, don’t you? They are so special. I’m trying to convince her to try and sell some, I think they might be popular!

Advertisements

A Christmas Eve Tea Cosy

This is my first attempt at a tea cosy, and considering I didn’t have the tea pot with me at the time to fit to measure as I went,  it turned out damned well!

It was pretty damn lucky this thing fit, but I did use a stitch that has a lot of stretch in it so it had a chance. I chose some nice soft acrylic my mum had spare and started with two rectangles of alternating rows of ridges. In hind sight, the ridges should have gone vertically instead of horizontally for even more stretch. This would increase the chance of the cosy being used for different tea pots. I chose the cheery and bright yellow colour, not only because it felt soft and would be nice to work with, but because it is a sunshiney happy colour for good luck, perfect for a family kitchen.

I was staring at the two rectangles wondering how to fix it all up as there were several options. In the end I opted to do a quick job with minimal fuss, with 1 dc 1 ch along the top for the ch pull handle. Next time this should only be 1 sc 1 ch to reduce heat loss. If I wanted to do a really good job, I could do two layers and sew them together with a 1 sc 1 dc lip, or maybe that would need the 1 dc 1ch lip, because it will be that much thicker. Also, there should be another row of dc above the lip, to further reduce heat loss. All good to note for the future, in case any one else wants me to make them a tea cosy.

I whipped up this tea cosy on Christmas Eve while everyone else slept and I couldn’t. It took me just under two hours, and I used either my 3.5mm or 4mm hook. On Christmas day I did a free form patch on my brother’s damaged beanie, I just used some blue that was on hand, it doesn’t match very well but I’m sure it doesn’t matter as this beanie is bound to end up in the bin. It was very tricky, especially as I’ve never done it before, but because I am so clever I did an absolutely awesome job!! I can not for the life of me imagine why anyone would think it was ok to take to an especially made custom crochet beanie with a pair of scissors to rig up a tea cosy, but truth is stranger than fiction it seems. Thanks for taking some time to read my blog.

Simple Gifts – girl’s handbag, soap savers, dishcloths

I made these things to give as gifts this Christmas, finishing the dishcloths today.

<<< My sister told me her daughter would like a grey and pink bag like the one I gave her last year, but this time with a zig zag or polkadot pattern. So this is what I came up with! It’s my own pattern and required a second attempt, the first one was just to work it out, then it got unravelled! The pattern is basically a sl st, sc, hdc, 3 dc, hdc, sc, sl st repeated, every second row does the same pattern but inverted with the sl st falling on the middle dc, if you know what I mean! Two rows one colour then the next two rows the other colour result in these wavy stripes. Otherwise, it’s a pretty straight forward bag, with a row of dc in the handle. I think I used a 4mm hook, I really like the pink I used its a vibrant colour, and some dark grey wool.

>>>My favourite soap is the pink Dove soap, its a pink ribbon fund raiser and is very nice, soft and creamy. I decided to use some pretty pink cotton I have left over from the sun hat I made for my niece last year, to make some pretty soap savers! Again, I had to have a second attempt, the first go I worked out the pattern then had to unravel it and start again properly. I started at the bottom with 9 ch, then a dc in every ch, 3 extra at each end, then another 9 on the other side of the ch to make a round. After that there are 7 rows of lace, the pattern is 2 dc 1 ch 2 dc, sk 2, 1 dc 3 ch 1 dc, sk 2, then alternated into the sp, if you know what I mean! Then the top is 1 dc 1 ch, and a ch threaded through and sl st onto itself to make a closed tie handle. I used a 3.5mm hook and a 50/50 cotton and acrylic blend. I hope the recipents like these, I think they’re really nice anyway!

<<< Today I finished these pentagon dishcloths using up the last of the pretty 50/50 cotton acrylic blend. It’s so sad to see the last of it go! Again I used the 3.5mm hook, and my own pattern. This is like other pentagon dishcloths I’ve made, but slightly bigger as my husband has said they need to be! If I didn’t run out of cotton they would be even bigger! I’ve made these for people who mentioned they’d like home-made dishcloths, I hope they like these!

Merry Christmas!!!

Five dollar limit on gifts a Great Idea!

There are so many cute little gift ideas under $5, especially for babies and young children, there’s no need for the gift giving ritual to be excessively expensive!

Now I’m a mum I’m making more of an effort with Christmas this year. Granted I could make more of an effort than I have, but this year I’m just warming up! Next year I’ll be even more organised! Today I brought in our living Christmas tree and decorated it, it does look a little small, scrawny and sad, but not as much as last year! And next year, if all goes well, the Christmas tree should look better and bigger after a year of growth. I couldn’t put much decoration on it at all, it started to lean over so much, so I could only put one small star on it, and the love heart garland I made last year.

All the gifts I’m giving this year, or should I say Thomas is giving this year, cost $5 or less. As much as I’m actually not that keen on Christmas, I don’t want to be the mean spirited parent who makes my son miss out on something that is an undeniably big part of our culture. So Thomas is giving everyone a small gift this year, especially considering all the generous gifts he got from them when he was born! But I do wish others were not so extravagant with their gifts, because we can’t afford to reciprocate. But there are so many cute things you can give for just $5 or less! Some ideas for this year include books and a toy car I found on special for the kids, gluten free chocolate biscuits for my coeliac brother and framed photos of Thomas for the grandparents. I prefer to buy children’s books second hand from the charity stores, as they usually only cost 50c. Sometimes I can pay $2 for a second hand book, which is still a lot cheaper than most new ones, but I found some nice ones for $4 at the department store.

Its not hard, and when Thomas is older I hope to teach him some graciousness when it comes to gift giving, even if his mum is clearly lacking in that department!

Homemade Gift Tag for a Young Child

I love this home-made gift tag made by our friend Lyndal for this year’s Secret Santa!

Isn’t technology great? To make this simple gift tag, perfect for a young child, all you need is a colour printer and access to the internet. Lyndal found a picture of Thomas on my facebook page, and printed it up along with a picture of her daughter, Isabella. And I just love the cheeky grin in this photo, when Thomas has chocolate custard smeared all over his face! This kind of gift tag is perfect for young children who are learning to read.

Thanks for this wonderful idea Lyndal, I think I might just have to use it myself this Christmas!

Colourful ABC 123 Cube for a Baby

Here is an upgrade of my first attempt at a baby block. This one is for a gift, as we are part of a Kris Kringle this year. This cube has numbers and letters on it, as well as a bell inside to make it jingle!

I find our culture of gift giving at times very challenging. I’d rather give gifts as a matter of course, when things arise that someone needs or wants, then you give it to them if you can. I don’t like having to wait for a special occasion, then there is this culture of having to give a gift,  giving gifts the receiver does not need or want. This, in turn, increases the consumerism and rubbish that piles up on our planet. But unfortunately, I am a social creature, being a mammal and all, so I’m compelled to participate in this ritual and not cause offence to my friends and family. But sometimes I just wish we would get more practical with this gift giving thing! I think even gift vouchers are better than an unwanted gift, but for some people this is not in the spirit of it, and they don’t like it. I just loathe to see people on modest incomes waste their money on expensive gifts that are not needed.

A month or so ago we had a hail storm here in Brisbane, which caused some damage to the roof of my friend’s house. She lost her potted basil plants, so a perfect gift for her (I think, anyway), is a new basil plant! I took a cutting from my youngest plant, and put it in a vase on my kitchen sill. Now it has lots of nice new roots and is ready to plant in a nice pot. I just have to get some more potting mix and it will be ready for its new home.

Yet another Christmas, here we come!

Tiny Red Love Heart Garland

I made this tiny red love heart garland, thinking it would be a Christmas decoration, but we kind of skipped Christmas this year, so now it decorates David’s computer!

For this garland, I simply made tiny love hearts in between 24 chains, using Suzetta’s love heart pattern. It turned out to be trickier than I anticipated because the tiny hearts sometimes turned out bigger than the first one. I simply redid them until I got 6 about the same size.

We have a tiny Christmas tree that I thought this garland would look nice on, but because I ended up in hospital this Christmas we didn’t get around to putting it up. Our Christmas tree is a small Norfolk Pine sapling I saved from our garden, it’s about a year old.

Now this love heart garland is stuck to David’s pc as a lucky love charm! We can think of it as an early Saint Valentine’s Day decoration!

Previous Older Entries