Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Sample Quilt: Humble Beginnings

About two years ago now (gosh, was it really that long ago?) I began a sample quilt. This is my very first quilt.

A group of us teachers had decided to get together for craft once a fortnight. Some of the girls were going to learn to quilt; Fiona, a new teacher at school was going to show them the ropes.

I went along, planning to do little bits and pieces of sewing, or maybe do some scrapbooking. To be honest, I don't know if it was peer pressure, or whether I simply wanted to join in because it seemed like fun. Either way, I bought a whole load of quilting things, and soon I was enjoying sitting in the lounge room, doing a spot of hand sewing in the afternoons or on weekends.

The most thrilling part was choosing fabrics. It has become an obsession, buying pretty florals or cute, more modern prints. I'm always drawn to a lovely floral, though...they're my favourites.

Here are some of my squares. I took these photos on my old phone, so the quality isn't the best. You can get the general gist though.

This was my first square. I learned some important lessons while completing these squares. One was, 'never use polyester blends to make your quilt.' I made this mistake with the brown fabric on this one, and had half my fabric shrink when I was pressing the blocks. Ah well, next time I won't make this mistake!

Next, I tried a few different colours of fabric.

 This one was nice to do. I liked the way it all fitted together in the end. It's very effective.

Drunkard's path...this one drove me crazy! I hated the pattern. The way it wasn't a 'pretty' block annoyed me. I will live with it. 

I certainly needed patience when putting this block together. The spinning tulips are appliquéd. I think I tried to be a little too fancy, and in the end I wasn't completely happy with the shape of the tulips and leaves. I really loved doing the appliqué though. I think that's something I will do again.

This one was a simple block in the end. I'm not entirely crazy about it, but hey, it's no drunkard's path!

These are just the first five squares. I'll make another post soon with the next four squares.

Looking over these, I feel somewhat accomplished!

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Three DIYs I'm Keen to Try

I spend a lot of time on Pinterest. Sometimes I feel like I spend far too much time on there, browsing images of projects I'd love to do. The problem is, there's never enough time to do everything!

Here are three DIYs I'm really keen to have a go at. Let's hope I will get to it soon!

The Graphics Fairy have posted a tutorial on how to transfer ink to fabric. They have made a table runner, but I have been trying to think of what else I could create with the same method. Apparently, the ink is permanent depending on what sort of printer you have.

I love the idea of giving old biscuit tins a bit of love. Cynthia Shaffer has simply spray painted them and dressed them up with a little paper from an old book. The result is fantastic. I think this would be excellent for Christmas baking. Can't wait to give it a try!

I am an avid collector of buttons. In fact, I already know which buttons I will use to create these cute little bobby pins from A Homemaker's Journal. They are so simple, yet so beautiful! They would make lovely handmade gifts too.

Got any plans for crafty adventures soon? Hopefully you find some inspiration here!

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Rings and ring display

Recently I bought some little plastic roses. I don't know what else to call them. When I first saw them, I thought they may have been buttons, but they aren't. The backs are flat and they have no holes or anything. Either way, I thought they would make a lovely ring or two.

I went on eBay and bought some ring blanks from Elsie's Jewellery Box. They were perfect. Then all I had to do was use the hot glue gun to put them together! They worked a treat. Energised, I moved on to another project.

A while ago, I spotted a cool DIY for a ring display. I often leave my rings laying around in the bathroom on the bench or shelves, so I was in need of something a little quirky for my rings.

While at the local Op Shop I found a cute little ramekin. It was just what I was after!

I followed the instructions from Tea Rose Home, and was pretty pleased with the end result. It was a little tricky because the ramekin was round, but it still works just fine. The fabric I used for my 'spring rolls' was from an old pillow case I got at the Op Shop. I love the pattern.

Not bad for a rainy afternoon. I've given two of the rings to my sweet sister and have already been flaunting mine around the place.

"Where did you get your ring? It's super cute!"

Made it myself!

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Homemade Peanut Butter

I try to be conscious about what additives go into my food. It's especially important because by the time I have kids, I want to be eating healthy. The last thing I want is to be poisoning my children without realising.

I have been reading Additive Alert by Julie Eady recently. I was pretty shocked when I read the section on peanut butter. In Australia, because of a loophole in food labelling, if something makes up less than 5% of a product it doesn't have to be listed on the label. How crazy is that?

For this reason, it is likely that a chemical called BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) is in our peanut butter. This additive is a known carcinogen in animals, and can affect the reproductive system. It also accumulates in your system and is difficult to eradicate once it's a problem...So who's for making your own peanut butter?

This is a recipe I have adapted from the Thermomix Everyday Cookbook. You could make it using a food processor though.

400g unsalted roasted peanuts.
4 tbs grapeseed oil.

Blend up the peanuts for about 15 seconds. You might add another few seconds depending on how smooth you want it to be.
Add the grapeseed oil and turn the food processor back on for another 15 seconds.

This is what the peanuts will look like after being chopped for 15 seconds.

Too easy, hey? Why not get fancy and make a nut butter with pecans or hazelnuts?

This tastes great with celery. of my favourite snacks!

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Teacher Style

I had a funny goal to reach during the week. A co-worker and I were making a video for one of our classes. I was starring (I'm a bit of a show-off!) and I had to dress 'like a teacher'. I know, I am a teacher. But this day I had to look like a stereotype of a teacher.

I bought some dorky glasses frames online a while ago so I wore them.

I added the customary bun. I tried to jazz it up a little so I didn't look too scary.

It was pretty cold this day, so I had to wear a scarf. With the scarf and the jacket, I was feeling pretty toasty!

The video in the end was hilarious. We were crying with laughter. Hopefully the students will learn something and be entertained!
Jacket & Shirt: Op Shop, Skirt: Jacqui E, Shoes: Spendless, Scarf: Brown Sugar

Hope you're having an excellent week,

Monday, 2 July 2012

Lovely Thrift Finds

It's been a little hectic around here for the past few days. School finished on Friday and so my body immediately decided I had enough time to be sick. Gee thanks, body. 

I've rested up all weekend, watching too much television. I'm feeling far better and am super excited about going to visit my friend in Queensland tomorrow. Yay!

I just wanted to share a few cute bits and pieces I got from the local Op Shops today. I spent a total of twenty minutes shopping today, so I was thrilled with what I found.

I've got a thing for blazers and jackets, and the colour of this one leapt out at me. What a steal for $4.50!

This little number was on the same rack. I absolutely adore mustard. This will perfectly match the rest of my mustard collection. I love the collar and the buttons.

Lastly, I thought this was a book or journal when I saw it. It turns out that it's a file-o-fax. This will be really useful because at the moment I am throwing all my letters into the one's getting kinda messy in there!

I'm looking forward to the Gold Coast sun tomorrow. Let's hope the weather is great. Perhaps I will find the time to do a spot of Op Shopping there?