Challenges, Crafts, My life

What a Crafty little creature

I made something! With my own hands! So proud. Sooooooo proud. It’s been ages since I’ve made anything, so this little project was oh so welcome. As my husband (Hahaha, it’s still very funny to say that, I’m so not used to having a husband) got me this set of really pretty brightly coloured yarns (my favourite kind), I’ve been thinking for a long time what to make from them.

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After careful consideration, I decided to make a plastic bag holder! You know, the ones where you plop plastic bags in from the top and pull them out from the bottom? That’s the one. It may not be obvious from the pictures, but trust me, stick some plastic bags in it and it’s good to go. Perfect for people who like to be all organised and neat. Or if you just want a quick little crocheting project to work on.

Uhmm… I’m not sure about any instructions. I mean, I did take pictures of what I did but I don’t think I could explain what’s going on on said pictures. I may give it a go?

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First I made a chain of about 15 stitches and connected it to make a loop.

Technical: CH 15, join with sl st to make a loop. (Yes, I had to google this)

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Then I made some normal stitches into the loop. It was between 35-40, but I don’t know how many exactly. I guess I could try and count from the picture, but I don’t want to. Then I joined the last stitch to the first and made one normal chain up.

Technical: Hdc 35-40 in the loop. Sl st to connect the circle. Ch 1. (That’s as technical as I can be)

 

After that I just kept going until I ran out of wool, really.

Technical: Repeat previous row.

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Now, I’ve never been great with changing colours and I’ve pretty much avoided it where I could. However, (everyone who can actually crochet, please skip this part) I just made my final stitch with one colour, then tied the ends of the green and orange (my next colour) together at the point where my stitch was, so the next one was already done with the next colour. It’s alright if that makes no sense, I did it different every time.

Technical: Uhmmm… Just keep going?

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It kept growing! It took me a few hours altogether as I was watching TV at the same time which slowed me down a little, but it was a lot of fun.

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Now all I had left to do was hiding the loose ends. Oh, and the handle, I guess. Basically I just made a chain, fastened it on the other side, made a row of stitches back, fastened it, went the other way again. I had to redo it a couple of times as I couldn’t get the length quite right the first few times.

Technical: Ch x (how ever long you want the handle), sl st, ch 1 (don’t know if you have to do it, but I think you would do), sl st to the bag, hdc back, sl st, ch 1, sl st to the bag, hdc back again. Sl st to finish. (If it made no sense, don’t worry, it probably only works in my head)

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Tadaaaaaah! Your very own hand made plastic bag holder. It doesn’t sound very glamorous, but if you want to reuse your shopping bags then you may as well have somewhere pretty to keep them, I think. Plus it feels soooooooo good to make something and then be able to use it!

Let me know your ideas for any future projects I could do 🙂

G.

Books, Challenges, Crafts, Food, My life

Of life in general, briefly. / Ups and downs

Hmm. It’s really weird what I now consider to be my ‘downs’ as they’re actually more of a ‘not that up’. It’s weird to explain, if you haven’t experienced it. But even on my days when I feel like I can’t really be bothered to do anything, which before would’ve found me in a dark hole, I can now just shrug it off. Dealing with things is so different when you’re not well. Also, realising how it’s different is hard when you’re in a place where things aren’t that great.

Now that I’ve noticed the changes I keep finding that I’m more conscious of the slight differences. For example, the other day I was focusing on the feelings in my stomach and the thoughts in my head and realised I last felt like this more than a decade ago. After struggling for so long, it feels amazing to realise that yes, my memories of feeling like this once upon a time weren’t just ‘memory goggles’ that make times gone by feel better, but that I actually did feel different then.

So, back to the topic — oooooh, I just thought that I should’ve told you about my Sunday. I was SO productive and got a buttload of things done. Hmm. Now I’m torn about whether to continue this post or start again. I think I’ll go ahead with my current one at the moment, but expect to see a ‘The Most Productive Sunday Yet’ post soon.

Ok, can I pleaaase get back to my post now? — Today I didn’t go bouncing/trampolining. I should’ve done, but didn’t. Why did I not go? Well, because today is one of the days when I felt like I’d rather eat a reasonably sized portion of lasagna and attempt to make T-shirt yarn. Check and check. The lasagna was a frozen ready meal and actually surprisingly nice. (Today was also one of the days where I couldn’t be bothered to cook from scratch.) T-shirt yarn however… well, I think I’ve got some room for improvement. The first one would be to get proper scissors. The second one would be to learn how to cut even strips… I’m pretty sure some toddlers could surpass me in cutting skills. Once I’ve practised a little bit more I’ll let you know in more detail how it goes and what I’m going to make of the yarn.

Speaking of toddlers (erm… young kids), I watched an episode of Masterchef Junior today. Turns out I’ve got a LOT to learn about cooking and I could learn a lot of it from kids — my fiance just tried to ask me what my post is about and as it’s about everything whilst being about nothing I didn’t want to lose my train of thought so I growled at him. He didn’t appreciate it. — that are half my age and less. My cooking skills were very extremely limited until I was in my early twenties, I think. That’s when I started to explore the world of food a bit more courageously.

Watching a cooking show also reminded me that I haven’t made many soups this year. For those of you who are wondering why I’ve singled out soups – my this year’s challenge is to make 12 different soups. So far I’ve made two. That’s low even for my usual cooking variety, not to mention that I’m supposed to be doing this to complete my challenge. I’m pretty certain I made a lot more soups when it wasn’t a challenge. I’ll need to look into this, I think.

Anyway, it may not have been as brief as the title suggested, but there it is. I got most of the stuff off my mind – a lot of it straight from thoughts to paper without much editing, so I hope you’ll enjoy a glimpse into my brrrrrain. Oh, the image I used is a picture of daffodils that are on my way to/from work. How cool is that. A sea of daffodils that I walk past every day.

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I’ll go try to make amends with my fiance now and then go read my book. I’m getting really close to the end of the last book in the trilogy and such interesting things are happening! I can’t even… Yeah. I’ll see you soon!

G.

Challenges, Crafts, My life

More unicorns, of course

That’d be the answer to ‘What have you been up to tonight?’. Well, kind of. But yes, I’ve been dealing with a unicorn. And Mischief. Fine, I shall talk in riddles no more. I made a cushion cover tonight. Out of an old jumper that never fit me quite right (the sleeves just felt off and weird). I have to say, it turned out quite a bit better than I expected. Here’s a quick tutorial or whatever you want to call it – me showing step by step how I did it.

1. I started off with my jumper – exhibit A. Plus some buttons, thread, scissors, a cushion, needle and measuring tape. I also used some pins but I forgot to include them in the ‘before’ picture. Oh well.

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2. Then the actual first step, which was measuring my cushion and the jumper. With some help from my loyal side kick/assistant, of course.

3. This was followed by me completely ignoring the measurements I’d just taken (once I got the cat off the jumper) and just cutting out some shapes. I’m not going to call them squares or rectangles or give them a defining name, as to do so would probably damage my reputation in the geometrics circle. Do I even have a reputation there? What is this?

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4. Anyway, now I got to use pins to try to make it all cushion shaped. I must say that it went better than I expected. That little colourful bit you can see there is my slight ‘envelope’ design. If you want to know what that is, please check out a proper tutorial.

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5. This was followed by sewing all the edges together, except for the one with the colourful bit showing. I also added buttons because why not. That’s the back of the cushion cover once I’d finished sewing (if you have a sewing machine it’ll take you about 2 minutes. It took me a bit longer as I did it by hand), and stuffed the cushion in it.

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5.2 And that’s the front of it. You have no idea how difficult it was to get a picture of it without my loyal side kick/assistant (or his shadow) blocking the cushion.

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5.3 Exhibit B.

Now that I’ve established myself as a crazy cat/unicorn lady who enjoys a night in sewing cushion covers… To be honest I wouldn’t even know where to take it from here. I think I’ve reached my limit. And probably yours. I’ll just leave it at that.

I hope you enjoyed my little tutorial/step-by-step. I think it’s the first craftsy thing I’ve done this year and it was a nice little project to kick things off with (this means that now I’ve done 1/4 of my crafts for this year’s challenge). I’m hoping to get some more waves of inspiration soon enough. Possibly something wedding themed? Any and all ideas are welcome!

G.

 

Challenges, Crafts, My life

Late night thoughts

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Late night? It’s only just gone 10pm. Wow, I AM getting old. Well, in just less than two hours it’s my birthday so I guess that’s fitting. Anyway, I’m in bed, watching Pretty Little Liars and thinking the awesome thoughts and making the awesome plans that you can only do when you’re utterly comfy and just feel like you’re in your happy place at this moment in time.

We’ve been celebrating my birthday weekend and it’s been super awesome. Went to Manchester today for sushi and a bit of shopping. I had way too many cheesecake balls but not nearly enough. I feel like I should’ve bought some to take away. Oh well. I guess that only makes them so much more special. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about then you want to look up Strawberry Cheesecake Mochi) As for shopping I actually didn’t buy much at all. I was feeling a bit anxious so everything was a bit swirly and closing in on me. It was alright and I had it under control thanks to my Mr but I felt more like browsing than actually buying anything.

I did get two candles from Home Sense though (yeah, I’m still a candle nut). A Cooling Eucalyptus one (I’m hoping it’ll lure a couple of koalas in for me to cuddle as it smells very strongly and amazingly of eucalyptus) and one called Serenity which is … you know what, I’ve no idea what it actually smells of. But it is a rather fresh yet calming sent. Kind of purifying maybe? Is that a way to describe a smell? I don’t know. Continuing with the smelly theme I also picked up a reed diffuser – Purple Blackberry Fig scented one. Very nice and quite fresh. This year I’m really feeling the fresh theme for some reason. Usually I’d still be pining for Xmas at this time but this year it’s all about freshness and spring and all that.

Changing the topic completely – I said I’d write more about my goals and challenges and stuff. Well here’s what I was going to say – I want to do at least six craft projects this year. Last year I did way more than the four I’d set as my target and I’d like to keep it up this year. I love wearing the clothes that I’ve made myself or using my crafty and nifty bits around the house. So yeah. More crafts!

Anyway, I’ll go back to PLL now. I’m in the middle of season five so just two and a half seasons to go!

G.

Challenges, Crafts, My life

I’m on a roll this year

I finished another craft project. (Actually two, but one of them is a Yule present for my sister so I can’t really discuss this here yet) If to include the secret item I made for my sister, I’ve finished four craft projects this year. It so happens this was the goal I set for myself. This means I’ve completed my craft goal for the year! That makes me so happy. I’m always starting everything but really struggling to finish what I’ve started, so having successfully finished this challenge makes me very happy.

What did I make? Well, I made myself boot cuffs. They’re to be worn with boots to make them more interesting, in some cases to help the boots stay up and also keep my legs warmer. They’re either going to be tucked into my boots with the upper half showing, or if I’m wearing ankle boots I can also wear them on top, covering the boot edge a bit.

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They’re crocheted using quite chunky wool. I made the buttony things using little bits and bobs that were sent to me by my friend V from Ireland (*waves frantically*). It was also the very first time I’ve used a hot glue gun. With some help and encouragement from my Mr I realised it’s super easy to use and I really shouldn’t have been afraid of it. I just felt that hot glue and me wouldn’t mix well and I’d end up glued to my desk or something. Luckily nothing like this happened and instead I ended up with cute little buttony things for my boot cuffs.

Very excited to start my next project. If you’ve got any ideas about what I could do, let me know.

G.

Books, Crafts, Food, My life

I’m awake now

After I’d published my last post I started to think about more things I should’ve written or comment about. So this one will be like part two of the previous one. With pictures.

A bit about the book I finished on Tuesday – The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie – it took place in the same world and had the same characters as The First Law trilogy, but as far as I know it’s not actually officially a part of any specific series. Goodreads just calls it First Law World #5. Go figure. Anyway, it took me a while to get through it. Mostly because I’ve been juggling and struggling with all the changes that have been happening in my life. Partly also because for me there were above average amount of battle descriptions and to not get bored of it I wanted to spread it out a little. Don’t get me wrong, I still absolutely loved it. I love Joe’s writing style, the brute bluntness he uses to plough through some of the themes that could be a sugar-coated by some other writers. And without giving too much away, the book was about war, so a fair amount of battles was to be expected. I liked the character developments, some more than others and overall found it a great read. Thank you Joe!

On Tuesday and Wednesday it was snowing in Estonia. And not just the kind of snow that melts away two hours later. Oh, no. That snow meant business. I apologise to the people of Estonia for wishing for snow and then going away after a few days, leaving you to deal with the rest of it.

On Wednesday I got the results back from the first unit of my interior design course. I put a lot of work into it and it paid off. The feedback I got was amazing and constructive, encouraging me to work hard on my next assignments as well. Also, that’s what seven pomelos look like in a shopping basket. Except that they weren’t actually that blurry.

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The very special cake my Mr made for me on Thursday was the best cake I’ve had in a while. And not just because of the amazing surprise that was in it. It was a Victoria sponge cake and it was so airy and moist with just the right amount of sweetness. Absolute perfection.

On Friday I wore the white jumper I made and posted about a few weeks ago to the party we went. The compliments I got were amazing. Definitely encouraged me to crochet and craft more. Thanks guys!

The trip to town on Saturday ended with me buying quite a few items. The best find was definitely the £5 orange jumper from H&M’s men’s sale section. At size XL it’s a perfect jumper-dress to wear with leggings and boots. From H&M I also got the cute pinkish jumper with bats. From The Body Shop I got a vanilla chai scented body cream and hand cream, tea tree BB cream and cocoa butter lip balm. As I haven’t tried any of them yet I’ll leave reviewing them until a later date. The Works supplied me with an interesting book about interior design. I figured that as I’m studying it, I may as well buy some literature on it. Would this count towards my reading challenge? On our way to The Works we stumbled upon a … I don’t even know how to describe this shop. It felt like a shop that would be impossible to find the next time I fancied something from there. Anyway they had a lot of skin and hair care products, including Palmer’s coconut oil shampoo and conditioner. I’d tried a sample of the shampoo whilst on my holiday and absolutely loved it. A little went a long way and it smelled absolutely amazing. As an added bonus it’s free of sulfates and harsh detergents. I can’t remember exactly how much they cost but it was less than in other shops I’d seen it in. From the same shop I also bought the two soaps at the bottom right corner of the picture. Just love Baylis & Harding soaps. Oh, and lastly from Sainsbury’s I got the set of three crochet needles that you can’t actually see too well. I’ll put them to good use though.

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I think that’s it. I don’t think there’s anything else that I felt I should’ve written about last night.

G.

Crafts

I made this!

Ok, some time I ago I was so happy and proud about having finished crocheting a top and I promised to take some pictures of it but somehow never got round to it. Well, I got round to it today. I also took some pictures of the jumper that I finished just a couple of days ago. I can’t believe I’ve actually done this. Completed not one but two crafts projects in a row.

So, that’s the top I made. I used black, slightly shimmery wool, but for the life of me I can’t actually remember how much of it was needed. As for the pattern I merged two patterns that I found on Pinterest and then added some of my own ideas such as the halterneck part and how it goes in the back as well, but you can’t see that on these pictures and I couldn’t figure out a way to show it either so you’ll just have to check it out when I’m wearing it. If you like it and would want any more details, just let me know. I almost forgot – the ribbon I added was part of a crafts box present from my friend V in Ireland, so I just wanted to thank her for being such an inspiration (she also crochets and she’s absolutely amazing!).

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This here is my latest project and one that I’m also super proud of. I’d have never ever thought I’d make myself a jumper. Like, not in a million years. True, I kind of cheated a little, as you can see it’s quite airy. But it’s a jumper nevertheless. I used the same wool as for the top, but in white. It’s still slightly shimmery, but you can’t really see it much. I used 3 whole rolls on wool for it. Like, exactly 3. I was left with maybe 4 inches of it in the end. Don’t think I’ll ever manage anything like that again. As for the pattern, again I got it from Pinterest and found some useful guiding pictures for it as well so overall it wasn’t too difficult to follow even for a beginner like me.

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Now I just have to think of what to do next. All suggestions are welcome. Although soon I’ll need to start on Yule presents. At least the ones I’m going to make myself. So also, if you’d like a hand made item for Yule this year, please let me know now-ish so I have plenty of time to do it five times over to get it right.

G.