Variegated Plastic Bag Holder

Well, three of these plastic bag holders in almost as many days, I don’t plan on doing too many more of these any time soon!

I made this one for my friend after she saw the photos of my other bag holders on Facebook. We went to coffee and Lincraft yesterday and she picked some yarn she liked. Its a nice variegated acrylic with flecks of green, purple, orange and pink. For this one I used my 4.5mm hook because I started it at the library and didn’t have my 5mm with me, I don’t have a 5.5mm and the 6mm was too large. It still didn’t take me too long to make it up, especially because my husband made dinner so I could finish it!

I’ll probably make more of these, especially if the ‘product testing’ (!) goes well, just not too soon because I have lots and lots of other projects I want to make within the next 2 months. There are so many birthdays coming up, I’m not sure how I’m going to get it all finished!

Small striped bag with flower & Handmade 1st Birthday Card

Today is the second 1st birthday in our mother’s group so we have a party to go to, it’s very exciting! I made this small striped bag with a flower as a gift, I hope she likes it!

I used 5 colours from my batch of cotton blend, it’s a thick yarn so I used my 4mm hook. It’s a simple bag, changing colours every row of sc using orange, yellow, green, purple and white. I didn’t follow a pattern for the flower either, just did a couple of rounds in yellow ending up with 16 sc, then changed to orange and did 8 petals. Each petals started as 3 ch in every 2nd sc, then the second row is 5 sc into the sp with a sl st to start a new petal. I used fine cotton and needle to do a simple running stitch to attach the flower to the front. For the bag, a sc ch lip for a ch handle to be threaded through, and a larger ch handle with a second row of sc in orange. The one thing I’m unhappy with is this cotton is too thick to thread through my needle so I couldn’t finish off the ends very neatly. Instead I have to weave them in with my crochet hook which means the ends can poke through easily. Eventually there will be some loose ends visible in this bag which will make it look a little rough. Hopefully that will add to the home made character of it!

To go with this gift my mum made a special home made birthday card, which is very nice! I’ll also include a small Fisher-Price little people car inside the bag, and of course a book which I always love to give children! Children can never have too many books!

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!

Colourful Crochet Baby Cube

I was going to make a set of these soft baby blocks, and did this first one last year before Thomas was born. Now, I don’t think I’ll make any more quite like this.

I simply made 6 x 10cm squares of various colours in the same thick cotton I used for the drink coasters. They were fairly quick to make up, then I started joining them up into a cube with the black. I chose these colours because these were the brightest colours I had at the time, and the contrasting black is attractive to the eyes of babies. I then packed the inside with stuffing consisting of scraps of material saved from my sewing projects. I was unhappy with how the cube shape came out. If I packed it too much, it started to resemble a sphere! So I had to remove some stuffing, then the cube was a bit sloppy. So if I make any more cubes like this, they will need a firmer stuffing in the shape of a square, and the cube will have to be made to fit the stuffing. Hence why I probably won’t make any more, as I don’t have any stuffing material like that on hand, and I don’t want to buy it as I think it’s too expensive for what it is!

So here is an odd shape to throw into Tom’s toy box. Maybe in future I can make a sphere and a rectangle to match …

In other news, our little family has just got over colds that Thomas caught at a playgroup I took him to last week. That was the first time I’ve taken him to a playgroup and I won’t be taking him back. All we got out of it was the cold! This is the first time Thomas has had a runny nose and only the second time he’s been sick as the first time was a sore throat with fever. It was so awful listening to him breath through a runny nose all night! I know it’s good for his immune system to start building up resistances to these germs, but I don’t think he should spend his entire babyhood sick and uncomfortable. Getting sick only twice in 10 months is doing pretty well so far, considering how much illness is around!

My First Mother's Day 2011

Happy Mother’s Day to all mums, now including me! David made me pancakes for breakfast with a scrummy berry sauce, and Thomas did his bit by being very cute!

All the beanies I’ve made so far are too small for Tom, yet it’s starting to get cold and I think he needs to wear one. So I made this one this morning, using 100% Australian merino wool and a 4.5mm hook. I usually use the 4mm hook but the bigger hook made it slightly bigger, I also added an extra increasing round. So this hat is a bit on the big side, but he’ll grow into it! Now he can keep warm in this cold weather, and I’m feeling like making him some more beanies now I know his size!

Homemade Quilt for Thomas

On the weekend, we got a visit from Nanna and Poppy (David’s dad Brian and his wife Freya) and they came with many gifts, including this special handmade quilt for Thomas!

How very special this quilt is, including a lively print of playing frogs and a print of blue hearts. I’m sure this quilt will get some use, probably in the cot as it’s a bigger size than a bunny rug. Freya is very good at making lovely quilts. I think they would be too tricky for me to try, whenever I cut material it always comes out wonky. And once you cut it you can’t save the material. That’s why I like to crochet, any mistakes I make I can just undo and retry. I guess everyone gravitates towards the crafts that suite them the most.

Besides the quilt, Nanna and Poppy also brought a lot of fresh produce from Stanthorpe, including these tomatoes and zucchinis home grown in their very own garden. We’ve already eaten some in the few days since their visit, but I’m a bit worried that some might waste there is so much! They also gave us several jars of home-made pickles, again using fresh veggies from their garden. It must be so satisfying to eat from your own garden. I know it is and our own garden only has herbs and a lime tree!

They also brought this lovely posey of roses from their garden, now my kitchen smells like roses again! It’s a pity they live so far away, it’s a long three hour drive one way. Hopefully we’ll see nanna and poppy again before too long.

Summer Drinks "Frangipani" Coasters

This is the last coaster set I’ll do for now. I guess if anyone else wants one, I’ll just get some more cotton and make more! But next time I buy cotton, I’ll get some red, pink and purple so I can get different colour combinations. Below is a photo of the colours I used for this gift giving season.

It’s fun to think of a name, a scene or season to match the colours and vice versa. I have done this last set because these three colours to me say ‘frangipani’ and I had enough of these colours left over. When I lived in Darwin there were a lot of frangipani trees about. They would loose all their leaves in the dry season, which is the north Australian equivalent of winter, but it really doesn’t get very cold at all. Then as the wet season approaches, the trees would become full of flowers and the smell was gorgeous. Most of them were the yellow and white variety, some had a light blush of pink. And very rarely, there was a deep red variety which didn’t seem to grow as thick but had the rich fragrance of a rose and was very special. The blue in this set represents the clear blue skies of the Darwin dry season.

I do not recommended this coaster set for red wine drinkers, as it’s mostly white and yellow. If you spill red wine on these, soak in cool water immediately. Here are some more tips on how to remove red wine stains from cotton.

Next, to make some Christmas decorations and practice baking some home-made treats to share as gifts!

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