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Monday, 19 February 2018

From rags to riches!

I really love the idea of making something new out of something old.
I know many before me have perfected the art too. My first attempts at recycling rags has been making crochet mats and rugs.
 I got the idea while I was cleaning out my linen cupboard.
I watched a few YouTube videos to learn how, after checking out many great examples of #ragrugs on Instagram.

So far I have made two circular rugs and one rectangular mat.
I have given two of these away as presents and keep the red and blue one at home in my kitchen.
 
After cutting up the fabric into strips you join them either by sewing or knotting, creating a ball of 'yarn' to be creative with.
I look forward to making more rugs and mats. In the meantime I am following some wonderful makers that you should follow too. Happy crafting!

Have a look at these:

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Be your own Valentine

Image source
Valentine's Day means different things to different people. If you are alone, don't despair.
Today is not just about partners; make it about all of the love in your life. Including love for yourself!

Don't just use this day as an excuse to buy something for you (but if you do, go on and treat yourself). Make this Valentine's Day a day to remind yourself that you are important. Remind yourself that your self-worth is based on what you believe, not on other people's perceptions.
Give yourself a pat on the back for getting through the hard times and for taking the time for self-improvement.
You are amazing and your contribution to the world is special.

Remember - smile and smell the roses!

Monday, 12 February 2018

Softie cuteness for Mirabel

Softies for Mirabel is happening again this year! This annual handmade toy drive helps children from families that have been affected by drug use. It warms my heart knowing the special girls and boys out there are playing with toys made by heaps and heaps of crafty people around the country.


It has been too long between donations from me so I dedicated some time to make something over the weekend. This wonderful, charitable cause has been managed by Meet Me At Mike's in the past and now the softies go directly to the Mirabel Foundation.


I have made some Softies for Mirabel in the past. You can also see mine here. Lots of other Softies for Mirabel can be viewed here. Have a look. Cute!


My newest donation is a purple owl. It will be in the post this week and I really hope it makes someone smile!



Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Unplug : Be More : With Less :


Do you start conversations with 'I know we are busy but'? Do you always feel tired and like you are always trying to catch up? Is your life or the lives' around you controlled by technology? Are you always plugged in?

 

I have felt like this for the last couple of years - at work and at home. I admit that I am the sort of person who overcommits because I want to make people happy. However last year I realised that although making other people happy makes me happy, it really doesn't matter if I rush to finish knitting those scarves as I haven't spoiled the surprise by telling anyone that I was even making them! After a bit of soul searching, I have taken a step back over the past six months. I have taken a step for me.


Here are four things to think about and to work towards changing. It really will help!

Stop talking about being busy:
If you keep talking about being busy then you will not break the cycle. Try to lessen the use of the word 'busy' in your vocabulary and encourage others to do the same.

Take back your mornings (or evenings):
Getting up earlier to do something for you is recommended by so many people but it is easier said than done when you are not a morning person like me! On the weekends I endeavour to start each day with a cuppa to wake myself up in tranquillity - to be ready to start the day. I admit that I am a snooze alarm person so my weekdays are up and out the door. However that does not mean that I can't take a moment for myself during the weekday - I do it in the evenings now instead. This can be a few minutes or few hours. I attempt to lose myself in a movie, magazine, listening to music, or by pottering around the house.

Be better prepared with your meals:
One of my important aims this year is to lose some weight. This means meal planning. In only a short time, I have already found that this has made me more organised and less chaotic. Taking the same lunch a few days each week takes the worry out of it and also saves you money. Also try to plan a few simple meals for dinner during the week. More complicated and yummy treats can be cooked on your weekend. This will keep you well nourished - body and soul.
 
Unplug:
Social media and the television tell us that everyone is addicted to technology and that we spend exorbitant hours of our days plugged in. I am guilty of this too. Do you really need to constantly chat to people about nothing? Do you really need to scroll and scroll? I have been limiting my time by unfollowing things that do not really interest me. Also by putting the smartphone down when I am enjoying a movie or the like. The time you do spend on the internet becomes more interesting when you are more selective about what you watch, see, and listen to.

The exciting thing is that I am not the only one who reaps the rewards from these changes! My family, friends, and colleagues do too! By slowing down and unplugging I have actually become more connected.


Do not feel selfish about taking time for yourself. Self-care is super significant in terms of living a healthier life. Don't look at it as being selfish. Instead you are being selective about your busyness. You are stopping the glorification of busy. Take a breath and try it!!


Monday, 5 February 2018

Domestic Goddess or Sensuous Icon


International gourmet food journalist Nigella Lawson was in Tasmania last week to publicise her new book 'At My Table: A Celebration of Home Cooking'. She is often referred to as a Domestic Goddess or Sensuous Icon because of her beauty and luxurious approach to sharing her delicious recipes and way of life.

I was not able to attend her panel discussion as the tickets sold out within hours. However, I was lucky enough to go along to her book signing. The line of star struck followers were greeted by friendly Nigella and we all have new recipes to try at home. I am really looking forward to cooking something out of 'At My Table' this weekend. Yum!

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Memories take us back. Dreams take us forward. January 2018.

What a great idea! Following on from Pip, I am going to endeavour to do a bit of a recap each month this year. Life is all about doing and appreciating and fun!

Making: Using plarn (plastic bag yarn) to crochet some small panels for a project at work. I have noticed that disposable bags are much easier to work with so I am giving life to all those that would have otherwise gone to waste. The reusable bags can still be used but are not as easy to crochet with as they are considerably thicker. We no longer have the usual disposable plastic bags in Tasmanian shops which is a fantastic move for the protection of the environment!
Cooking: Delicious soups. It really isn't the weather for it but I am trying to eat well and I love soup. This is a great way of eating more veggies.
Drinking: Black coffee and white coffee. Coffee.
Reading: Danielle Wood's 'HousewifeSuperstar!' about Marjorie Bligh. Reading this in more detail and taking notes as I am doing a project at work which I am super excited about.
Next read: Pretty sure it will be something crafty.
Looking: Each evening I find myself looking into my back courtyard when the sun goes down and appreciating my solar lights. Pretty and sparkly.
Playing: The Game of Life and Monopoly. Spending time together is truly important.
Deciding: After looking at my courtyard I decided to extend the graveled area to stop some pesky weeds. A bit of hard work but certainly worth it.
Enjoying: Getting so much enjoyment out of my indoor plants. They are getting lots of attention due to the warmer weather and needing regular watering.
Waiting: To hear the result on an application that will steer me in a particular direction this year.
Liking: How my body feels after a few weeks of drinking more water. Do it! Your body will thank you for it!
Loving: My new diary for 2018 is brilliant - more room to write and scribble. I bought one from Typo.
Considering: Thinking about buying a new laptop. Click-ity click.
Buying: I purchased the Better Homes and Gardens magazine while waiting in line at the supermarket for the low-carb recipes. Inspiration!
Watching: Australian films. My friends host a '12 Days of' Film Fest each December/January which is fun. The theme changes each year and the idea is to self-curate 12 movies that match the theme. This year it was Australia-mas!
Next watch: Finishing the series of Vera. I love murder mystery shows!
Marveling: At the summer skies. They are so gorgeous and delightful!
Cringing: Fake people. Enough said.
Needing: A holiday - and I got one. Just time to do nothing but relax and get life in order.
Smelling: The roses. I received a surprise delivery at work this month - 12 red roses. These were from a loved one to say thank you for looking after family when times were tough. Kindness is not dead and neither is gratitude. Yay!
Following: Cute stuff at Mr Printables.
Worrying: Why as humans do we care what other people think about us? This is something that I have to work at constantly - but I am getting better at not worrying.
Thinking: Sometimes people just want certain things from you in life and will not be there when you need them. Less energy on those types of people going forward.
Knowing: This year is the year for positive change. My biggest goal is to lose the weight that I have put on over the past few years (mainly due to health problems). Slow and steady wins the race!
Admiring: I really admire my Dad for always checking in on me. Such a simple thing but it leaves me feeling loved.
Sorting: Starting to reorganise my craft room and sort boxes. Well overdue for a revamp
Getting: I am booked in to get my haircut and coloured tomorrow. It is important to reward yourself with self-care and love.
Bookmarking: Scheduling a date for my next group creative catch up - friends to get together throughout the year to do something fun - knit, crochet, quilt, read, colour in, draw, play games. I call it Behind the Seams!
Coveting: Nothing really. I am pretty happy with what I have and don't really need anything. Don't get me wrong, we all think about better houses, more clothes etc. But at the moment I don't seem to be daydreaming for things I don't really need. Yeah, pretty happy.
Disliking: The number of kittens being born and dumped by irresponsible pet owners. I greatly dislike it and it makes me sad. Poor ones.
Giggling: Haha! Laughing when we play catch as it always gets silly.
Snacking: Yummy yummy in my tummy - mixed unsalted nuts.
Hearing: New Kids on the Block. As a joke I got given the NKOTB CD for my music in the car. I was never really a huge fan but one of my high school friends was so I know all the words anyway! Amusing!
Wearing: Summer calls for cute shoes and no socks. As a result I seem to have developed a Mary Jane tan on my feet because I have been wearing my selection of Chocolaticas most days.

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

The snuggle is real

We want our loved ones to feel snuggly and safe, right?
I have been going through some old photos and have been reminiscing about a few of the baby blankets I have handmade for expectant friends and family. I love making them all and want to share them with you. Hope you think they are cute!
For Cameron and Thomas (twin boys that always match)

For Archie (a little brother to a big sister)

For Harvey (whose Dad likes orange)

For Reuben (whose mother is a crazy cat lady too)