Quick Easter Bag

This is really quick and you even have time to do it before tomorrow. I left things to the last minute as always and Rachel has been nagging me all week to make Easter Baskets. Then we saw a felt bag on Pinterest and decided a bag was a better idea. We did not have felt though, but quite advantageously we had some yellow material with little lambs. Rachel loves yellow and I know lambs are not strictly speaking Easter but they do fall into Spring, which is what the pagan festival Eostre was about this time of year in the Northern Hemisphere. Down South we should really be having an autumn celebration like Halloween.

This is not the proper proper way to make a bag but I had limited time and did not want to sew the edge together and then sew the top seam together while this was in a tube, I just went with what was fast this morning. I did not measure a single thing. I just looked and saw more or less what size I wanted to there are not fixed measurements here.

You will need:

– Fabric. The type does not matter, I did not line it or make this bag for longevity. I used a light printed cotton, but a thicker fabric like denim can be used too.
– Pins
– Scissors
– Ribbons, ric rac, buttons or other decorations
– Iron
– Small safety pin
– Sewing Machine
– Over locker

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Fold over and pin the fabric to the size you want and cut, mine had a pattern so it was easy to cut without needing to measure and still get a straight line. You may need to measure and pin if you fabric has no design as a guide to cut straight.

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Open fabric and fold over a small fold on what will be the top edge of the bag. Pin in place

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Iron the fold down removing the pins as you go, this step can be skipped if you can confidently make a rolled hem without ironing.

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Fold over again this time a slightly bigger fold for the top as you will later attach the handle in this space so it needs to be a decent sized hem.

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Cut handles, remember they need to be folded in half and over locked so make them wide enough. The length depends on how long you want your handles. Make it long enough to cut in half to make 2 handles or cut to strips

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Sew down the folded over and ironed top edge
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We added ribbon over the row of sewing stitches of the top hem
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Sew second row, or other decorations like ric rac, different ribbon colours etc, we just used 2 stripes of the same colour ribbon.
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Now fold your bag in half, sew down the side and bottom seam to close the bag.
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I overlocked both the side and the bottom edges
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Now take the bottom edge and fold it over to meet the side seam
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Pin and sew across this line, you don’t need to do this step but it gives the bag a box bottom, easier for getting things in and out of.
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I used the side that I had already sewn to measure and pin the other side.
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Fold the handle in half lengthwise, with the right sides together and overlock.
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Pin the safety pin to one side of the handle, through only one layer of fabric
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Turn and push the safety pin through the middle of the handle tube ( excuse the messy desk behind)
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Keep working the safety pin through
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Until the pin pops out the otherside and you have successfully turned your handles the right way around.
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Iron flat and cut in half
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Attach the 2 ends of a handle with a square of sewing on the inside of the bag on the top hem, each one about 3-5cm from the side seams. Repeat on the other side with the 2nd handle
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And voila your bag is done.
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Caleb did not want a yellow lamb bag and not one can blame the boy so he took some boxes from the recycling and ask Pappa to make him a Robot Easter Bag.
Robot in progress with scale weight to hold it in place while the glue dried
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Easter Robot – with caterpillar track wheels and all
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Callie thinks he looks like Wall-E
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DIY wedding: Living Plants in recycled tins

rainbowtins
Being a Pink Haired Girl who is green at heart, I wanted to include elements of recycling and green eco friendliness into the wedding. Besides it is a great budget saver if you can make a lot of the decorations from stuff you collect. This blog is about recycled tins into plant pots for living decorations at a wedding or party.

You will need:

* clean tins
* Philips Screw driver
* Hammer
* Potting soil
* Small trays of plants
* Origami crane or other decorations

Step 1: Collect the tins
Collect tins of various shapes and sizes during the months leading up to the wedding/party.
If you want a rusted more antique look then leave them outside to the elements to get a bit rusted.

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Step 2: Make drainage holes
Use the star screw driver and a hammer and make a small drainage hole at the bottom of the tin so that that water does not collect around the roots after you have planted the little plants into the tins. I planted mine the week before to gibe them time to get used to their new environment and also so I had less to do closer to the wedding. No plants likes wet soggy roots so drainage hole are important.

Tins

Step 3: Buy plants and potting soil

If you are really really adventurous you could get seeds and grow the plants you are going to use from seeds but I just went to the nursery and bought small flowers. The fun part is choosing all the colours and pants to suit your theme. We went with a multi coloured, but you can get flowers in certain colours. Bear in mind if the area you are going to use the flowers is in the shade or the sun and then match the flowers accordingly. Depending how far in advance your wedding is remember to look for plant that still have closed buds so that they will be open at the time of the wedding.

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Step 4: Planting

I planted about a week before to let the plants settle in, I used a small amount of potting soils in the bottom of the tin, then added the plant and filled the sides with more soil, press down lightly and water. Keep i the shade until the wedding and remember to water them.

Step 5: Add Decorations and Enjoy

There are many ways that you can decorate the tins, we added ribbons and rainbow origami birds on wire sticks
You can also paint the tin or decorate them in other ways that suit your wedding/party theme

There we used some on the logs next to the isle with little knitted and fabric birds to match our theme as we met on twitter
tinbirds

logsandtins_Snapseed

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Tutorial: Swiss Darning/Duplicate stitch

My Owl and the Pussy Cat pattern uses Swiss Darning otherwise known as Duplicate stitch to sew the cats onto the hat. Here is a quick Picture Tutorial on how to Swiss Darn

Swiss Darning allows you to go over the stitches you have done to make them a different colour or picture. Stranded knitting is often used to do this when knitting in the round, but in some patterns, like The Owl and the Pussy Cat one of mine, the spaces between the different colour sections are too big and so swiss darning is very helpful for adding the colour on afterwards.

I like to work up and down the rows of knitting but you can work across too. Find what seems easiest to you. One darning stitches covers a stocking stitch, what you see is the legs of the V, the yarn also goes across behind the next stitch to hold it in place. You can see a few done already in the picture below. The yarn is now below the stitch about to be covered.

yarn below stitch to be covered

follow the leg of the stitch V and insert darning needle behind the legs of the stitch above, following where this stitch goes across.

insert the needle back where you started this stitch and so covering the other side of the V

Have the needle exit moving one stitch up ready to cover the next stitch in the pattern.

continue covering the stitches that correspond to the pattern in the same way

when moving down the next column you will be crossing underneath the stitch that you have just done before

move one stitch down to complete the stitch and have the yarn ready to cover the next stitch

the back should look something like this

finished cat

I hope this is clear, if my wording is confusing try just looking at the pictures, it was actually harder to explain than I thought. If anything is not clear or you need help please feel free to email me cameronsallyjane (at) gmail.com

Tutorial: Alternative Cable Cast on

ALTERNATIVE CABLE CAST ON TUTORIAL

This is a fantastic cast on for a knitted item that starts with a 1X1 rib.
The rib stitch then runs all the way from the cast on up the work. It is a little fiddly to get right in the beginning but well worth it. Be sure for hats and other items where a bit of stretch is required not to cast on too tightly. If you usually have a tight tension, consider going up a needle size.

Here is my Titus with his big blue eyes modeling his new Owl and The Pussy cat hat that I designed. You can see the rib extends right down to the cast on edge with this method.( I am quite excited the pattern goes out for test knitting tonight) Yay for my first real pattern

Start with a slip knot


Insert needle as if to knit

Yarn around needle

pull through

pull the yarn through with the right needle

 

 

Slip new stitch onto left hand needle. ( Leg of the stich that was in front on the right hand needle is on the back of left hand needle)

 

 

These form your first 2 stitches, the slip knot is the first purl and the new stitch is the first knit stitch.

 

Next is a purl stitch: Insert needle purl-wise behind the legs of the previous stitch

Yarn around needle as if to purl

Slip needle to back keeping yarn on right needle

 

Slip stitch onto the left handle needle again the front leg goes onto back of the left needle

You have now completed the 3rd stitch the purl cast on, you will repeat this stitch every alternative stitch

For the knit stitch this time you do not go through the stich like the first knit, this time you insert your needle knit-wise behind both legs of the previous stitch.

wrap the yarn around the needle

pull yarn through

Continue with these 2 stitches for the required number of stitches
It can be helpful use a stitch marker every 10 stitches to mark progress

If you have any questions please feel free to email me. It can be a bit fiddly to get this right in the beginning but for a rib edge it really is the neatest cast on. cameronsallyjane (at) gmail.com

Download as a PDF hereAlternative Cable Cast on Tutorial

Tutorial How to make a Cinnamon candle

I came across a picture for a cinnamon candle on Pintrest that linked to Martha steward but I made mine slightly differently. Here is what I did.

Materials:
– Candle
– Cinnamon sticks – make sure you have enough to go around the whole candle. I got some from the health shop, the whole bag was about R16
– Glue gun
– Pencil
– small hand saw

You need to mark and cut the cinnamon sticks to the same level as the top of your candle. Martha suggested using gardening sheers to cut them but I found that this crushed the sticks and left untidy edges. The Geek suggested a small saw and this worked much better. While sawing you get such a lovely smell of fresh cinnamon it is like being in a bakery

Then glue gun the sticks to the candle. I first put the glue on the sticks as I was afraid of melting the candle more than necessary but it actually works better to put the glue on the candle and then attach to the candle. I found that the candle did not actually melt much at all.

Clean up the glue stringy bits, add a bow and viola you are done.

Give it a try

How to make a Halloween wreath

A boer may make a plan but they have nothing on Pinky!

I am interjecting in all my narcissistic droning to post some pics of our Halloween news
We decided rather last minute to have a Halloween/housewarming party on Saturday. So this week we have been rather busy making all the preparations and finding all the things we needed.

I saw this picture and wanted to make one of these Halloween Wreaths that I saw on this website
Halloween Wreath

But it needed a vine wreath which I could not find anywhere. On my hunting around I found these bamboo paper plate holders and thought that maybe I could make it work. I think we did quite well.

Paper plate holder
Halloween Wreath

Cut the center out of 2
Halloween Wreath

Wired them together right sides facing in
Halloween Wreath

Add dry twigs
Halloweeen Wreath

Add fake spiders web, spiders, tissue paper orange fans, and a skeleton.
Halloween Wreath

I then wanted to make a cake and some cupcakes. We made the mixture and got ready to put it in the oven only to discover that the oven here in the new house does not work, it get warm but no way hot enough to make a cake. Suddenly I sat with all this cake mixture and no way to cook it. I don’t know the neighbours well enough yet so it was a bit of a crisis. At first i thought to try drive to Yme’s mom in Durbanville but with the Baking powder in it would have been too long before the cake could get into the oven so I decided to try microwave it, what did I have to loose. The cake cakes I turned into trifle and the cake actually came out okay for our ghost cake.

My helpers
baking helper

The cake
ghost cake

The Gory Trifle
Gory Trifle