Two Way Tea Cosy, Ladybird and Lady Grey

You’d think that deciding to decorate a red tea cosy to make it look like a ladybird wouldn’t be too hard, right? Well, it turned out to be a lot more difficult than making this reversible tea cosy in the first place!

The idea for this tea cosy is based on the first one I did in a sunshiney yellow. But that was only one layer, this one has two layers for added warmth. Because it has two layers, why not make it reversible, right? I wasn’t sure I would be able to do it, but it turned out to be fairly straight forward. I know the recipient requested neutral tones, which is why the first layer is a tasteful grey, but it’s for a red tea pot, so I couldn’t resist some fun! And I had a good roll of nice red yarn to do it with. I started off with 4 squares, 2 in grey and 2 in red. This time the ridges are vertical, not horizontal like in my yellow tea cosy, so there is more stretch. I don’t have the intended tea pot here to test the size, so hopefully it will fit with the extra stretch. For the body I used a 4mm hook, and medium weight yarn. I ran out of the thick black, so had to start using a finer black wool for the edging, as that was all I had. Because at least some of the black is pure wool, as well as the grey which looks like it might be a sock wool, this tea cosy will need to be washed as if it was wool, just in case there is some shrinkage. Another idea I have for a tea cosy, is making one side green and decorating it like a garden with butterflies and flowers.

Joining up the squares and neatening off the edges proved to be fairly straight forward. Making the final decision on how to make the red side resemble a ladybird was trickier. Do you think it looks like a ladybird? I hope the recipient does, and gets a nice surprise when she turns the grey tea cosy inside out!

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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.

David's Red and Blue Dragons

David just loves dragons! When I asked him why, he replied because they are strong and intelligent, and also because they are both beautiful and terrifying! Here I will showcase David’s collection of Dragons. I couldn’t decide if this collection is more red than blue, so I’ve decided it is equally both, which is why I’ve linked this post with two parties, Blue Monday and Ruby Tuesday. If you’d like to know more about Dave, be sure to check out his cooking blog.

This red dragon ornament was given to David by his sister. It lives beside my Chinese Tea Set which my mother gave me, and is decorated with blue Chinese dragons. Its considered good luck to face dragons toward doors to scare away any bad luck or negativity before it enters the house, as the red and blue dragons are doing here.

David’s favourite t-shirt is worse for wear, it’s his favourite colour blue with a dragon on the front! I wonder what the Chinese writing means?

The other weekend when we went to the Rocklea markets on Sunday and picked up some cute trinket boxes, we also grabbed this red dragon box. I don’t know what’s going to go inside it, but David just had to have it!

Besides the red dragon box sits his collection of dragon books – the Eragon trilogy. I haven’t read it yet, maybe I will one day! We also own a copy of the Eragon DVD and are still eagerly awaiting the release of the sequel movies. This is a very special movie for us, it was the very first movie we saw together on our very first date on Boxing Day 2007! Awwww, isn’t that romantic?!

Last Valentine’s Day I made a gift using some cut out dragons. Should I tell you where these dragons came from? He had a couple of boxer shorts with dragons on them that were falling apart but he couldn’t bring himself to throw them away, so I had to recycle the dragon print didn’t I? LOL! I cut them up and made them into a bedside organiser! Hanging off the hooks are two dragon key rings he has been given, the one on the right I gave him a while ago now.

Another special dragon David owns is this red-winged dragon candle. I don’t think we will ever burn it, its just too special!

I bought this dragon pendant in 2008 and he loved it, wearing it all the time until he woke up one morning with it bent out of shape! So now it is a little memento.

Finally, below is a picture of a delicately etched glass dragon. I bought this for David from a shop in Toombul when we lived on the Northside of Brisbane in 2007.

I hope you liked looking at pictures of David’s red and blue dragons!

David has started his own cooking blog and is calling it “Dave’s Home Cooking“. If you like cooking, be sure to check it out!

My selected highlights from this week’s Blue Monday party

My selected highlights from this week’s Ruby Tuesday party

Tiny Pink Treasures

When I went to the Salvo’s store a couple of weeks a go with David, I picked up a couple of special pink treasures! This is my Pink Saturday post for this week, which is hosted by How Sweet the Sound!I had already looked on ebay for some miniature doll’s tea sets and found they were a bit overpriced for my very modest doll collection. I remember when I was little, I was given a couple of tiny doll’s tea sets. I’m really sad I haven’t been able to keep any of them. I did treasure them for a little while, but as a child I lost them or they broke. Then I saw this set for just $1! This tiny tea set is part of my Barbie’s Pink Tea Party setting.
Also at Salvos, David spotted this small bag of cheap crochet cotton. Well spotted, David! Most of you will know how expensive new crochet cotton can be, but I picked this up for a total of $2. I’m really keen on that unused ball of pink, it’s the perfect shade for something special! And it hasn’t even been used, what a bargain find! I’ve already made my first small pink doily with it, which I use as a doll’s coffee tablecloth.
Using the pink cotton, I also made these special tiny pink scuffs for the flat footed Barbie I gave my niece. They were very easy, I just pierced some black plastic vinyl with a large sewing needle, then used those holes to crochet tiny straps to form the top part of the shoe. Easy Peasy!
Thanks for stopping by for my Pink Saturday post this week, be sure to check out the other great pinks at How Sweet the Sound!
❤ ❤ ❤

My selected highlights from this week’s party

Barbie’s Pink Tea Party

The pink dress I made especially for today’s Pink Tea Party could very well be the most beautiful thing I’ve made so far! I think my Barbie is very pleased to have something so nice to wear to the party today, which is to celebrate the 2nd anniversary of Pink  Saturday and is hosted at How Sweet the Sound.

The vintage doll’s cane furniture is the first thing I’ve ever bought from Ebay about two weeks ago. I remember when I was a little girl some of my friends had these but I didn’t, and when I saw them on Ebay I just had to grab it! There was also a four piece lounge set for sale with normal chairs instead of the peacock chairs, but because it was my very first ebay purchase, someone else bid at the very last minute so I lost! I didn’t make the same mistake on the peacock chairs though, and got them for $16 including postage. Probably a little on the expensive side for my modest doll collection as I’m not too serious about it, but I do believe the seller when they said this cane set is about 40 years old! I think it’s a very special thing.

Using a 2.5mm hook and a small ball of baby pink yarn, I started the doll’s dress on Monday afternoon and finished midday Tuesday, so it took less than one day. This is not the first dress I’ve made like this, although I think it’s an improvement on the orignal because it crosses over at the back so you can’t see her knickers – if she is wearing any! The Barbie dresses I make are inspired by a dress I’ve kept and treasured from my childhood which my mother tells me was made by my Nanna Pam. You can’t tell when she is sitting down, but you can pinch the skirt to make pleats appear. I am so tickled pink I could manage to make something as pretty as this!

In an attempt to preserve the doll’s hair as long as possible, I try and keep it tied up in a little snood. Anyone who has collected dolls knows how synthetic hair can ruin over time. But the pretty pink dress needed it’s own hat, so I decided to give making a bonnet a go! I looked on google for images of crochet doll bonnets, but there were not many that I could see. I remember a knitted bonnet I wore as a young child which folded neatly into a square, so I made one up kind of like that. I didn’t follow a pattern at all, and used the same stitches as in the skirt of the pink dress.

The tiny coffee table needed a pink doily, don’t you think? This is my first completed proper doily and it took me between 2 to 4 hours I think, finishing it last Thursday morning. I used a pattern in a book I borrowed from my local library on Monday called “101 Easy Scrap Crochet Projects“. The pattern for this doily is on page 40-41.

This doll’s setting would not be complete without a tiny doll’s teaset but when I looked on ebay for those I decided they were too expensive. But when David took me to the Salvo’s store last Saturday I saw this set for just $1! That was more like it I thought, but didn’t notice until I got to the counter that the teapot has been broken and glued back together. Oh well, I don’t think Barbie minds! And the tiny teddies don’t drink tea anyway. The cheeky things have hidden a big bottle of liquor to sip during today’s party, those Party Animals!!! A good thing too, because there is only one teacup!

I hope you enjoyed reading about my special pink tea party!
❤ ❤ ❤

For more pinkness check out today’s special anniversary of Pink Saturday at How Sweet the Sound.

Highlights from this week’s party

Love Sprinkles and herbal Love Tea

I’m working on some herbal combinations, one is a herbal tea and another is some herbs to add to pasta sauce. I’m also working on a mix of herbs to add to a relaxing hot rice pack. All the herbs I’m using come from my garden and, according to tradition, are good for love and weddings!

Marjoram is thought to be the herb for ‘marital bliss’ and should be added to food to strengthen love! It has a very subtle flavour, so it will be the main ingredient of my Love Sprinkles. I’ve read marjoram is best dried, then elsewhere I read it’s best fresh, so who knows? I’ve dried a bunch already by hanging them up in a paper bag. I’ve started to remove some of the leaves to test how it holds its flavour. To that I’ll add a little rosemary, which is a strong flavour, and some flecks of chilli flakes for a bit of spicy passion! These herbs would be good added to pasta sauce or maybe vegetables. I hope to try it out very soon.

For a herbal Love Tea, I use peppermint, lemon balm and pineapple sage. This makes a subtly flavoured relaxing tea. As I used fresh herbs for this, it needed to be steeped quite long, about 10 minutes. Lemon balm is well known as a good herbal tea.

Here are three ideas I’m working on for herbal combinations which are good for love and weddings.

good for herbal tea (Love Tea)
pineapple sage – weddings, wisdom
lemon balm – love
peppermint – love & sleep

good for food (Love Sprinkles)
rosemary – weddings, memory
marjoram – weddings
chilli – passion

good for rest (Hot Love Rice Pack)
lavendar – love & sleep
lemon myrtle – love & sleep
oregano – weddings & sleep


Lavendar Afternoon

Last Easter, when we visited David’s father and his fiance in Stanthorpe, we stopped by a lavendar farm and got our very own lavendar plant to grow. So far it seems to have adjusted to the climate change (it can get very cold in Stanthorpe). We gave it a good sized pot and put a lucky grow charm at the base. I’m trying to shape it by pruning lightly. I’m supposed to do this after it finishes flowering I know, that’s why there aren’t as many flowers on it as there otherwise might be.  After the flowers finish, I deadhead them and keep the dried flower. It prefer’s a sunny spot and a good water, but doesn’t like to sit soaking.

After the stresses of the morning, I knew I had to take my stress management into my own hands and decided to make a lavendar bag! I made this one in about 30 minutes and did it by hand, not machine, as I did it for relaxation more than anything. It’s quite easy, this is how I did it.
Fold a scrap piece of pretty material in half with the back of the material on the outside, the front facing each other inside.
If a seam of the lip will fray, hem it first using blanket stitch and some matching coloured thread.
Using backstitch hand sew down the side of each of the two edges.
Turn the bag right way out.
Fold a scrap piece of thin white ribbon in half, put a knot in the end.
Sew the half way point of ribbon about an inch down from the top of the bag.
Put some tablespoons of dried lavendar inside and twist the ribbon around the bag to close it.

On one of our trips to Indoorpilly with David’s mum and his sister Michelle, we stopped by the T2 Tea shop, which is full of relaxing teas.  While we were there, some tea cups and saucers fell from a high shelf, as if of their own accord. One tea cup remained intact, so I declared it a lucky tea cup and bought it! I also picked up a packet of dried lavendar from there. Lavendar tea is very good for stress management and soothing migraines. I didn’t know you could drink lavendar tea like that, and through trial and error this is how I’ve come to prefer my lavendar tea.
Add 2 teaspoons of dried lavendar to a small tea pot with a removable mesh cup.
Fill with boiling water for no more than 2 minutes.
While waiting, jiggle the pot!
Test the colour every 30 seconds to make sure its not too strong.
Add 1 teaspon of sugar per teacup of tea before sipping.
Enjoy!

I remember a song my dad used to sing to me when I was little…
“Lavendar blue, dilly dilly, lavendar green.
When I am King, dilly dilly, you shall be Queen.
Who told you so, dilly dilly, who told you so.
Twas my own heart, dilly dilly, who told me so.”
/awwww