Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Princess & the Pea - project update

Here is the final result of my Princess and the Pea gift for my 5 year old niece this Christmas.

In the end I chose a green coloured marble for the pea as I couldn't find any tutorials on making a tiny ball out of cloth.

I'm pleased with the results and I know she will love it!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Make your own compost tumbler

For a total of $35 I made my own compost tumbler. I spent $15 for the old cherry barrel from the markets and $20 for the castor wheels from Bunnings. I had a panel cut out and a hinge and latch screwed on to act as a door. I also drilled some holes along the top and bottom of the barrel for ventilation. Just a tip, don't make the holes too big or a lot of dirt will come out when you tumble.

The castors where bolted to Josh's old play table that he no longer uses so it was great to recycle it for this project.

Close up shot of one of the castor wheels.

Close up of the latched opening.

Close up of the hinge on the panel.

Tumble away Josh!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Superhero Cape Tutorial


You will need 1 metre of polar fleece fabric. If you are lining yours then you will also need enough flannel to fully cover the inside. I had to buy 2 metres of fabric as the flannel was not as wide as the polar fabric.

The following pictures show you how to make and cut your pattern directly onto your fabric (I used paper as a guide to show you).

You will need to draw a semi circle straight onto your fabric, using a pin, a length of string just under ½ the width of your fabric and a fabric marker. My string was 75cm long. Draw a smaller semi circle at the top, the string for this one measured 13.5cm.

Cut out.

Shape the shoulders and level off any inbalances in the hem line ensuring that the centre front (CF) seam lengths match one another.

And shape the neckline.

Your fabric should end up looking like this (curved shoulders and a scooped neckline at the font).

Sew up the shoulders using a very narrow seam.

Sew up the hemline to about 1.5 to 2cm wide. I shortened my lining by 5cm in length and just overlocked the hemline.

Attach the zipper. If you are not using any lining then it will be pretty straight forward. If you are not very confident at sewing then I would recommend skipping the lining altogether, unless you can find someone to show you how to do it.

Attach the neckband. I measured 8cm (which includes 1cm either side for seam allowance) and measured out the length of the neckline. I didn’t make a note of what my one measured out to be. Pin in place and stitch. I hand sewed the inside into position to give a neater finish. Then sewed on some frog closures so that the capes can be worn unzipped and still be held in place at the neck.

For the logos, I just googled the emblems on line and traced them onto paper off my computer screen (my printer is down). I had to enlarge the superman one so I just cut and spread at 2cm intervals along the length and width to get the right size.

Cut these out of felt

and use spray adhesive to position the colours on top of one another.

Then zig zag stitch them together along the seams.

Position these about 8.5cm down from the centre back neckline and spray a little glue to hold it into position against the cape.

Then zigzag the whole thing onto the cape, remembering not to catch the lining!!

Superhero Capes

Jack and Josh are celebrating their 2nd and 3rd birthdays on the 14th August. They share the same birthday just one year apart which I think is very special indeed. This week I whipped up a pair of fleecy superhero capes to give them each their own on the day. I made a Batman one for Jack and a Superman one for Josh. They are super easy to make.

I'll post the tutorial on how to make one up shortly.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Lavender tea

The lavender plants I planted last year when I started my veggie patch have started to bloom. While I get to work thinking about what to do with all the lovely flowers I decided to make myself a lavender tea. When you don't drink tea or coffee it can be hard finding something nice and warm to drink in the winter time.

I like to make all my infused teas in this cup which I bought in a shop in Berrima over 10 years ago. You can see it's had it's fair share of chips and breaks but I can't bear to throw it out.

I love that it has it's own steeper to put your herbs into, then you pop it's little lid on to keep the volatile oils from escaping with the steam.

Then, when you're ready to drink it, you can pop the steeper onto the upside down turned lid.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Another use for newspaper

Recently, I've been thinking about ways to cut down my time in the kitchen. I have been trying to reduce the number of items I need to wash over the course of any given day. Last week I put my thinking cap on and came up with the idea of using newspaper more in the kitchen. This is what I have been doing.

I have been limiting the amount of times I reach for my chopping board and instead using newspaper as my cutting and meal prep surface.

What I like about this nifty frugal idea is that it keeps my bench top clean, all I have to do after cooking a meal is fold up the newspaper and then store in on the side of the bench until later that day when I head out into the garden and bury it.

I vary the size and thickness of the newspaper "board" depending on what type of work I am doing. If it's messy work I use several layers and open the pages out fully. If I am just making a sandwich then I just need one sheet, then I fold it up into a neat little plate size parcel, containing all the messy crumbs and use it as my plate. When finished I crumple it up and store it along side the other parcels I have waiting to be buried.

I have thought about the possibility of ingesting some of the printing ink that might be absorbed into the food I am eating, but I have decided that the impact is probably too negligible to worry about.

Monday, July 25, 2011


It's official.

We have crossed a new frontier.

We have entered the world of kid sports - gulp.

I can now proudly wear the highly coveted badge of the soccer mum LOL