Friday, February 24, 2012

What I've been up to lately

 I tried my hand at making fresh pasta the other day. Very tasty and quite simple.

 This is the raggy quilt I had cut and ready to make before my sewing machine died. Now I have my Janome I can finish it off.
 I bought this free standing wardrobe the other day, now I can store my crafty stuff with out getting it dusty.
Really bright white clouds last week.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

On my mind

Apologies for the lack of posting lately, I've been busy with...well... life in general. I've been spending my time focusing on 3 things: my tafe course, my source of income, and my future. Let me explain.

1. My tafe course, while it is interesting is a lot of work. There are quite a few assessments to get through, the days are long, the transports a nightmare, they've just changed the timetable and the main tutor is a bit rough.

2. My income currently consists of centrelink. It's not glamourous I know but while I'm studying it provides what I need to make rent, bus fares and groceries. However my course is only for 6 months and I don't want to be on centrelink forever. I want/need to work on getting more/better income. I do want a job but I'm not planning on staying in the area long. I have been selling fabric and crafted items online and at the markets for a last few months but thus far it's not enough to provide a reliable wage.

I'd like to do the markets more often but I don't have a car as of yet to do them regularly. I have approached a couple of shops about selling my stuff on consignment so my next move is to go through my stuff and find the best stuff I have to sell.

3. My future consists of both the last 2 things but also of growing my fruits and herbs on my windowsill, learning how to make my own pasta and bread and other stuff, continuing to be frugal with my money, learning new skills and making plans to move in the next few months. I am very much looking forward to having my own house/flat where I don't have to worry about housemates and other stuff. I also can't wait to get out of my local area.

I can't wait to move to a place where I can do my own thing without people looking over my shoulder and where I have my darling boyfriend to take care of and make a life with.

So there you go. I've had a lot on my mind lately but am always learning new skills, drafting new projects and making plans for my future. I've eased off the craft forum and have been spending more of my time on the down to earth forum. I'm still crafting but am now spending more time just trying to get by rather than be inspired to buy yet more craft materials when I don't have much money. I'm thinking more about my future than right now at the moment, which is where I really need to be focused.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Catch up post

This is only a really quick post on my tafe break because their internet is WAAAAY faster than mine. So it's like this:

  • tafe is ok. I'm doing a small business management course that I know a lot of so far...wish me luck.
  • I LOATHE cityrail. They decided to have trackwork this week so not only am I up earlier than normal for my first week of tafe but I'm stuck on buses and and trains at funny times that don't match up with the service bus home from the station.
  • I love love love my new sewing machine. I can't wait to explore with it further later on in the week when I'm not so tired.
  • I'm going to see Sherlock Holmes on thursday. Anyone else seen it yet??
  • Also going to see The Vow on the weekend with hubby for our 5 month anniversary. awww lol
  • I'm in the middle of a raggy quilt I can't wait to finish as it will be the first thing I've made start to fnish on my new machine.
  • I made scones last night. Very Very tasty.

Must dash, breaks over. Fast internet yes but not fast log in. Silly Tafe.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Rag rug tut. And dessert.

found a recipe I had to try

with ice cream on the side and icing sugar on top, hubby approved

Now onto the tutorial.

Start with strips the same width. Snip a little slit near the end but not too close.

If you join strips this way they will look like this. Alternatively you can knot the ends together but this is less bumpy.

 To do so, get the next/2nd strip and poke it through the slit in the end of the last/1st.

Then, poke the end of the same/2nd strip through the slit of the 2nd strip.

 If you pull it gently it will end up looking like that first picture. Don't pull too tight in case you tear the slit. Don't be afraid to use your fingers to jiggle it down a little. It will look like that as the loop gets smaller before the knot is created.

The 'tool' I use is just a safety pin. You can poke the strip through the hole or you can just pin the pin onto the fabric. Whatever works for you.

 To start you have the knotting strips (white) and the guide - is what I'm calling it. In this case I have used green to show you the difference and so you can see how it shows up later. You don't have to use different colours if you want them to blend.

Join them as instructed above and drape the white ( which will be hereto referred to as the 'feed' strip) over the green (guide) in a 'q' shape.

As with making a knot tuck your feed strip under you guide and up through the loop you left in your 'q'.

 Pull as tight as you wish for your pattern.

Keep going until you reach the desired length using your guide as

To determined length, work out whether you want a circle, oval or squared off shape - more about this later.

 To widen, turn your work and drape your guide around an imaginary corner.

From now on in you knot BOTH around your guide and the loop from the last row.

 Continue around your corners watching your work grow.

If you are doing one in the round you may need/want to do 2 stitches in the same hole around the 'corners' to account for any curling up around the edges.

If you find later that there is too much fabric and it is bunching up you are also able to skip a stitch and move on to the next hole. Work it out as you go along.
This photo was taken a couple of hours later after I taught my boyfriend how to do this.


As you can see, the green guide fabric is still visible. This is not always the case depending on the thickness of your strips and the tightness of your knots.

To finish the rug simply choose an appropriate place i.e. not in the middle of a row where it's noticeable. Try to blend it in. Tie a knot onto the stitch next to yours and tuck the strip in so it wont come out and unravel anywhere. You'll figure it out but basically you just tie it to something, there is no magic way.

As mentioned you can go around and around or in straight lines. Round is easy. To make a circle make a relatively short first row and go around it. For an oval make it longer to stretch it out.

To make a straight edged rug takes more focus. As you can see round builds on itself, with straight lines though you need to continually use your guide strip to make new rows. You are essentially zig zagging your guide all the way through your piece. While it is relatively easy, the tricky part is keeping all your edges the same size because they are loops so you have to pull them tight but not too tight.

There are other methods of making rag rugs: crochet and braiding and stitching. I have tried both of these methods and found this to be the easiest one out there.

As for the strip width - the size of your rug depends on the strips. The rug will be thicker if you use a wider strip. The same could be said for a thicker fabric.

As for your tool. I use a safety pin because it suits my strip size and has a hole I can thread through. I have seen people use a toothbrush shank - if you buy the ones with the hole in the handle.

Good luck and happy knotting.

P.S. I taught my boyfriend how to do this in about 10 minutes the other day. He picked it up quite well. He is blind, so he learnt how hands on, without the pretty pictures.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Happy Saturday!

Just a short post to say

I Get My New Sewing Machine Today!! *happy dance*

Also, my internet has been particularly painful so I haven't been able to post when I want to be nor upload photos. I plan to work around this later.

My friday was spent tidying house. I like it to be clean when boyfriend comes to visit so he doesn't bump into things and such. Then we proceeded with the quiet night in I had planned: a nice dinner and movies. That is until my brother showed up with no warning and the rest of the night was spent 'watching' the cricket. Yay fun!

I was able to work on my latest crochet while they were doing that and prior to dinner I even taught hubby how to make a rag rug. He got a bit addicted. Kept saying 'I'm running out of strips' and I was thinking yea but I'm making dinner, it'l take longer if I have to keep making you strips LOL

Have a lovely day everyone and hopefully there will be pictures for you all later.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Take two

So apparently there was a slight mix up with the winner of my giveaway so I am having a redraw.

The new winner is Geniene!!

Also on my mind... I went shopping yesterday and stocked up on lots of lovely fresh fruit and veg. Plus I bought some gardening stuff and am now trying to grow some seedlings on my windowsill. I have parsley, cherry tomatoes and strawberries. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

And the winner is.....

Drum roll please *brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr* EVIE!!!!!!

Congrats. If you get me your details I will get about sending you your lovely fabric.

Apologies for the late and rather short post but my internet is be really difficult today.