Sunday, 31 March 2013

Egg hunt


Egg hunting today and copious amounts of chocolate has been consumed resulting in two very happy and hyper kiddies.

Enjoy the rest of your Easter weekend and I will see you on my return.


Quick sew Kindle Case Tutorial

Easter weekend is flying by and it suddenly dawned on me yesterday that I need a little cosy for my kindle whilst on hols. So as mentioned yesterday, I want to share this quick and easy kindle case with you. I don't know about you, but I find tutorials incredibly useful and the more pictures and description the better for me. So hopefully this works for you.

So here is what you are going to need:
Two different materials, one for the outside and one for the lining
Sewing Machine or you can sew it by hand if you like
A button
A small piece of yarn of your choice
A crochet hook, any size between a 4mm and 6mm will do (I used a 4mm)
Some pretty ribbon or alternative fabric
Small piece of crocheted lace

Now to make it
1. To start cut your four pieces of fabric, if you double fold your fabric you only need to cut twice. The measurements I used were 9 inches x 6.5 inches. I used a lovely thick grey felt and beautiful soft velvet for the lining.

2. Now you want attach the ribbon and/or lace that's  if you want to attach any. I used two strips of Cath Kidston ribbon on one side and some Cath Kidston ribbon and lace on the other side. It's also a good time to attach the button, to save flaffing with it later.

Once you have attached the ribbon and/or lace, cut off any excess. 

So this is what it should look like once you have attached all your bits. You should have your four pieces of fabric which we are going to join up next.

3. Now you want to sew each little bag, so to speak. First do the outside bag, so in my case the grey felt. Put right sides together and sew the bottom and both sides, leaving the top open. I did half and inch on all the seams.

4. Now do the lining and this is where it can become a little confusing. You want to leave an opening (no seam) of about a minimum of 3 inches at the bottom like this. So sew from one side double back, leave 3 inches and sew the rest, again make sure to double back on all your seams.

5. So now you should have two bags sewn together, apart from the little gap at the bottom of your lining bag. Turn them out like this (again Blogger is having its own mind with these pictures being upside down, sorry)

6. Now you want to do a little crocheting and if you don't crochet, this is pretty easy, but you can also just use a piece of thin ribbon or some elastic if you prefer to skip the crochet bit. I have tried to do a video on how to do a crochet double chain stitch, but as my kids keep interrupting (don't you just love that?!) I started looking for a video on how to and here goes.

Here is the diagram that I used.

Basically what you do is start with a slip knot, then chain two, then do a double crochet (UK) or single crochet (US) into the second chain from the hook. The way you do this is by putting your hook through the left part of the second v (each chain looks like a v if you look closely) from your hook, wrap the yarn around your hook and then pull it through both loops on your hook. Continue to do this all the way until you have the desired length. Mine was about 2.5 inches.

7. We are almost there. All we have to do now is to put the two bags together, make sure to include the little loop and then you're done. So for me doing a lined bag without any visible stitching required some oil for the old cogs, so hopefully this is straight forward enough for you.

Keep your outer bag with right sides out as in the picture in 5. and turn your inside lining bag wrong side out. Then put your outside bag (felt) into the inside bag (velvet) like this. So your fabrics should now be right sides facing.

8. Adding the loop. Once you have them snuggly fitted together line up your opening and edges. Now add your loop and pin it securely on the opposite side to your button so be sure to check it is on the right side (an easy mistake to make that will require a lot of unpicking).

9. Pin all around to make sure it stays perfectly in place.

10. Now you want to sew it all firmly in place.

11. Once it's all sewn pull the inside bag through the little gap that you left

and keep pulling it all out very gently until it looks like this

12. Almost there all you need to do now is close that little gap by sewing it by hand

13. You little kindle case is now complete.

Hopefully this was pretty painless and your kindle has now got a new cosy corner to rest in. As a newbie to this world of blogging and tutorials, I would really appreciate your feedback and comments. Do let me know how you got on and do share your experiences and photo's of making your kindle cases.

To kindle or not to kindle that is the question?! I sit on the fence here, even as a kindle user I still can't part with my books, so I use both. I love the smell and touch of books and their oodles of character. I also love the charm of beautiful and old books around the house, so I don't think I will be completely kindleminded (couldn't resist). It funny, but for me one of the first things I look at when I go into other people's homes are what books they have on display, I think it says so much about a person, what do you think? In fact I haven't picked up my kindle this year, but I know it will come in handy whilst on holiday, saves having to take two books as I am currently half way through Suffragette Girl, which I already once this month abandoned for another book, so I now WANT to finish it. One thing I noticed is that I read faster using a kindle, possible because of the increase font size. Old age is slowly creeping in and gone are the days of Twenty Twenty vision, there is certainly alot more squinting going on, heehee. What are your experiences with using a Kindle?

So are you a kindle user or do you still use good old fashioned books?


Friday, 29 March 2013

Last minute Easter Tree

Happy Easter to you all!! Hope you're enjoying a hoppity Good Friday and that it has been filled with lots of Eastery things.

It was originally my intention to give the Easter decs a miss this year as we are about to go abroad, but having discover the lovely little vase during yesterday's thrifting I simply couldn't resist. Fortunately it took no time at all to throw together, thanks to these lovely little Easter templates I got off Amy's blog, nanaCompany. If you haven't already looked at her blog do so as it's beautifully inspiring, she is one very creative soul.

So, all I did was enlarge the templates to the desired size and then cut them out on to a variety of pretty craft paper and tied some ribbon on them, a twenty minute job if that.  I love all the pretty spring colours and it does feel really lovely to have something Eastery in the house.

Easter is not Easter without some lovely chocolate nests, easy and loved by all.

Josh and Es also made some little Easter treats for some of their besties. I got the idea here on Pinterest. Its just bog roll filled with yummy easter treats.
Our day was mostly spent packing suitcases and organising things for a trip abroad. We are all very excited. What are your plans for this Easter?
I very quickly threw together a little Kindle case for our trip today and I hope to share this with you before we go, but for now it's time to sign off.
Happy Easter

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Thrifty Thursday

There is something so satisfying about thrifting, finding little gems and treasures. Well today my angels were definitely watching over me, as not only did I get 20 minutes in a charity shop, a very rare occurrence these days, I also found some lovely little bits for a total of £11!!! So here are my little bits:

1. Some Wedgewood plates and side plates, they are so pretty for spring and although there are only three of each, I know I will make very good use of them.


2. A cute pink vase and a little one too. I really love the pink one, just perfect for Spring.


3. Some vinyl and two lovely scarfs (blogger clearly has its own perspective on this now upside down pic, we will allow him his moment!)


4. Several metres of green cord fabric and some really pretty floral curtains that I know will come in handy for some future project(s) currently unbeknown to me (oh how the cogs are turning).
Not bad, right?! So now I'm running slightly high with this after-car-boot-sale glow that I used to get back in the days when I was able to go, oh how I miss it. With these finds come inspiration for new projects and a forever increasing list of things to do, but how I love this gentle pressure that builds up somewhere in the back gently nudging me to make and create.
What have you been doing today? Any interesting finds or projects? Hope you have all had a lovely day and look forward to some R&R time over the Easter weekend.
Hannapat xxx

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Wonderful Wednesday with Mr. Lurgy?!

The last couple of days have been rather yukky to say the least, I have been flat out with flu, which is kinda weird for me as the last three years have been largely devoid of any cold/flu symptoms (snotty nose, sneezing, sore throat, etc). Unfortunately one of the main symptoms of M.E is severe body aches and pains, so I am overly familiar with this one, but not thrown in the same pot as all this snottiness. It's one of the strange mysteries of M.E that your immune system is too low to express itself with symptoms of fighting a cold or flu (or so they say). As far as I understand it the symptoms associated with colds and flu's are basically just an expression that your body is trying to fight off a virus or bug, but when you have M.E your body hasn't got the energy to express this. Offcourse this varies across the board as there are so many varying degrees of the condition. So, really in truth I should be OVERJOYED that my body is finally finding strength to express itself in another way, and I am I am, but just not right now.

If you are a mum you will know that there is very little understanding or sympathy in life when you are ill, so it can be tough going at times with kids jumping on you and wanting everything NOW. Well  today is Wonderful Wednesday with no children for six hours and I made the very most of it. I stayed in bed and enjoyed my own personal snow globe from my window as the snow fluttered down . I did have plans to sew this and do that, but I just couldn't and so offcourse there is that sneaky 'procrastinating' feeling rearing its head again, but for once I am pushing the pillow firmly over it's head - there! I stayed snugged up under the eiderdown and enjoyed cups of tea and even my lunch (naughty naughty). I even managed to do some crochet joining (whoop-whoop) and even managed a quick peak at the new Country Living magazine.

I love this bed!
So that's it from here for today as I am off to loose myself in this delicious Venison and Chestnut casserole made by my wonderful hubby. Oh how blessed I am!

Monday, 25 March 2013

Alternative to the crochet turning chain

Happy snowy Monday. Having hibernated for the last three days, I was completely flabbergasted by the sight that embraced me this morning on the way to school. Where did all this snow come from?! People were digging there cars out, wow!

When I returned home I had to rescue some of my recent purchases from the garden centre, fortunately still in the containers. What was I thinking buying plants in March, right?! They look so desperately in need of warmth and love, I just hope they will survive this icy torture they have been subjected to. Hopefully some time in our little snug will re-energise and revive them.
The little cabbage plants we've grown from seed was supposed to be planted out in the middle of March, but there is no chance of that happening just yet. I suspect gardening books and calenders will soon require updating with our forever changing weather?!

I've enjoyed cosying up this very wintry spring. There is something strangely satisfying about being snowed in, it calls for a completely different perspective on life. Sadly life is kinda back to normal, schools are open and the usual routines have fallen swiftly back in place.
So as my crochet picnic blanket is slowly progressing it has become more and more apparent that my little niggle about the rather unsightly turning chain is growing in a similar vein.I was as pleased as punch when I discovered this alternative link to the turning chain today (yippee!). Its only 1.47minutes so definitely worth a watch if you're not already familiar with this crochet tip. I feel so excited about trying it tonight and look forward to seeing some semblane of symmetry amd no flicky-out end bits.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Lemon Drizzle Sunday

Today's been a lovely calm Sunday with some baking, crochet weaving-in-ends (arrghh) and some rest. As a newbie to this world of crocheting, I am still exploring, learning and getting to grips with most things crochet, but  today I started to develop a 'strong' feeling for weaving in ends, and just maybe I am not such a fan of this weaving-in lark. So the way I saw it was that I needed good companions to get me through this process.  The choice: Kosheen  (Resist) and Basement Jaxx (The Singles). Over the years I have become quite a fan of Kosheen, I love her voice and her music. As for Basement Jaxx, I have always loved them, but after seeing them live about 7 years ago, I am an even bigger fan. They are amazing performers and I was blown away by sheer volume of people on stage. This song 'Do your thing' certainly did the trick today, do have a listen.

The soon-to-be picnic blanket is very slowly growing and what better way to test it than with a cup of Rooibos (with almond milk) and yummy lemon drizzle cake (gluten and dairy free). A slice of cake to ease the weaving-in pain.

The kids stepped in the shoes of Mary Berry today and I love how they get stuck in and get messy. Don't you just love the face pulling?! Why do they always do this when you want to take a photo??


Love Es's open mouth as she concentrates to get the flour in, something I still do trying to get mascara on (ha-ha!).

I originally got the recipe from the BBC, but unfortunately I can't find the link, so this is my copy. If this isn't legible enough then let me know as I will be more than happy to type it up for you. I used Pure sunflower spread, 50g Doves gluten free flour and 125g ground almonds. Its a really easy cake to assemble and foolproof.

Hope you've had a wonderful Sunday, what have you been up to?

Hubby has just pulled the scarf I crocheted for Es out of the washing machine (which he apparently didn't notice in the pile) and now my pink alpaca scarf has been FELTED!! Not a happy bunny :-(
The pink one looked like the cream one, hard to believe right? Another thing for the list.....