Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Love you,Dad!

My Dad is retiring today after 33 years of Government service. Its a poignant moment for him and I am sad that I couldn't be with him today. I don't know how he feels about his retirement. I hope that he enjoys this new phase in his life and makes the most of the restful days. I was reminded of my days of living at my parents' home and how he took care of me and my brother when my mom was living in a different city 'cos of her job. He has been a pillar of strength for me all through these years and always has a listening ear when I pick up the phone for a whining session. ;-) Here is a picture of him getting to know Alvin, when Alvin was just a few days old.


I hope that my Dad takes good care of himself, and enjoys this well-deserved retirement. And, I hope to see more of him in the coming days, now that he has more time to visit us. Thank you, Dad for being the person you are. Enjoy your retirement. :-) Here is another snap of Alvin wailing his heart out, in my Dad's arms.


I love you , Dad. I miss you today.

-Josie

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Easy to make fridge magnets!

My RavFriends and I went on a shopping trip to the crafty by-lanes of Bangalore last weekend. It was a fun trip and all of us stocked up on craft supplies that we did and did not need. ;-) I got myself a shiny new glue-gun in this trip and I had to take it for a test-drive. I searched for ideas online to make use of the glue-gun and the idea to make fridge magnets struck me. I remembered seeing a tutorial for fabric flowers which I thought will make good fridge magnets. Thus came the fridge-magnets aka fridgies into my home.


I followed this tutorial to make the fabric flowers. There are many more tutorials to make flowers on her blog. But, I chose this one. Thank you, Rupi for leading me to this tutorial. I rummaged through my button jar to find the right buttons for the flowers. Once the flowers were made, I got out my glue-gun and stuck flat magnets (you will get this in craft stores.) behind the flowers. Fridgies are done! Here is a shot of the magnets stuck to the flowers.


Now, make your TO-DO list and stick it on your fridge or your workstation to remind you of what you need to do. Here is my list on my fridge.


I am planning to take these to work to liven up my desk. These are easy to make and I finished them in no time. Now, I want to sit all day at home making these flowers . ;-) These are addictive , I tells ya!  I got these magnets too during the shopping trip and I wish I had bought more than the dozen I bought. I got some yarn too. Of course, its acrylic but in beautiful variegated colors. Here is my loot. The yarn is Vardhman acrylic in fingering weight.


Do you have any suggestions for patterns that work well with variegated yarns? I've had tough luck with variegated yarns but, I still buy them. Maybe I will use them for decorative purposes as they look gorgeous in the skein. What do you say?

-Josie

Friday, May 20, 2011

Wrangler for a Samsung!

What do you do when your guy gets a cool gadget with a boring cozy with it?! You make a cool cozy for the gadget and force your guy to use it! That's what you do!! :D My Hubster got a new cellphone recently and it came with a BORING cozy with Samsung monogrammed on it. Its functional and boring. So, I decided to make a cellphone cozy with a personality. ;-) Here is the boring couple.


I was brain-storming ideas for what material to use for the cellphone cozy and I had a 'light-bulb' moment. What better fabric than denim to use for a guy to lives out of his jeans?! and, me being myself, I decided to recycle his worn-out jeans' pockets to make the cozy. I used his old and worn-out Wranglers that he had discarded and harvested the back pockets from the jeans. (Yes. I hoard old worn-out denims in a hope to recycle them. Why do you ask?!) So, here is the end result.


I love that I was able to keep the 'Wrangler' tag from the back pocket intact. This must be the simplest thing that I have sewn till date. I wanted to put a flap with magnetic snap for closure. But, I read conflicting reports on using magnets near cellphones. So, I decided to for-go the closure.


 

So, the Samsung now has a Wrangler of its own! I am now looking around the house for gadgets to dress-up and jean pockets to harvest. :-) Its fun giving a new life to these old garments. I remember my first denim recycle project. My favorite denim tote made out of my most favorite pair of jeans that I stopped fitting into.




Go here  or click on the image of the bag above to read more about this bag project. So, what have you recycled recently? Do you feel good recycling old item? Are you a hoarder like me who keeps these old and worn-out items in a hope of resurrecting them into new life? Share with me in the comments. I would like to hear from the  hoarder recycler in you.


This post is part of FO Fridays hosted by Tami's Amis. Go here to see more FOs on a Friday.

-Josie

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Different Lines!

Yes. That's my latest WIP to be added to the gazillion other things already in progress. Different Lines is a scarf pattern by Veera Valimaki. This pattern caught my eye because of its unusual shape and the endless color possibilities. I'm not a big fan of garter stitch. In fact, I prefer stockinette stitch to garter stitch. But, this pattern had so much 'ooomph' in it that I decided to set aside my feelings for garter stitch. ;-)


The pattern is addictive. Its more a recipe than a pattern and you don't need the pattern paper always with you to remind you where you are in the pattern. Its that easily memorized. I love patterns like that which give me the independence from the pattern itself. That is why I call them recipes. If you know what I mean! I am not sure if the yarn color combination is great but, I am happy with the results so far. The yarn is Shibui Knits Sock. The main color is the gorgeous brown and the contrast is a variegated in pastel colors(not really my favorite combination).


This is an un-put-downable pattern and its very addictive to knit. I hope to see it to completion soon. This post is part of the WIP Wednesday hosted by Tami's Amis. To see more WIPs on a Wednesday, go here or click the image below.


-Josie

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Lobster Hobo Bag!

I have a FO to show off here after a long time. There was a BAG-ALONG in the South Asian Crafters group on Ravelry which started a month ago. Each one participating was to start a bag of their choice and finish it along with the others. Since there were no specified or chosen patterns, every one came out with different and inspirational bags. I made the Summer Sling Tote as a part of this BAG-ALONG. This is an easy pattern to make a chic bag. I could've completed the bag a long time back. But, life happens,right?! Here is the finished bag.


Lining the bag was tricky because of the unusual shape and the features I wanted in the lining. This bag doesn't have secure closures. Because of its wedge shape, its difficult impossible to put in a zipper for closure. I used magnetic snaps for the closures. So, I needed zippered inner pockets to put stash money and keys securely. After some brain-storming, I came out with the plan to line this bag and put 2 zippered pockets in it. I used the tutorial from U-Handblog for zippered inner lining pocket. This tutorial works like a charm. Here is a close-up of the inner pocket I put in.


I made the lining a tad bigger than the bag to accommodate for the stretchiness of the bag. The closure flap was crocheted with single crochet stitches as I wanted a denser fabric for the flap. I plan to put a fancy button on the flap to add some zing to the bag. ;-) I love the shape of the bag and its surprisingly roomy. The only modification of the pattern was I chained 50 chains less in the foundation chain for the strap, although I found this the hard way. The pattern asks you to chain 220 chains and after finishing the strap, I realized it was too long for my taste. So, I had to rip the finished strap and made it with about 180 chains. I am happy with this strap length.


Let me show you a funny picture of the lining taken inside out. It will give you an idea about what I did with the lining.


Doesn't this look like a confused alien face?! Poor alien! ;-) I took this bag to work and my friends-at-work were all impressed with it. They do not know much about my crafty side and they all were pleasantly surprised. In fact, one guy , P thought it was a store-bought bag. :-) So, this Summer Sling Tote is going to be my bag for all seasons for sometime.


Here are the stats:

Pattern: Summer Sling Tote by Priscilla Hewitt
Yarn: 2-ply from Cottage Crafts Yarn
Hook: 5mm
Ravelry project: Lobster Hobo Bag

This post is part of FO Fridays Meme hosted by Tami's Amis. To see more FOs on Friday, go here.


-Josie

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Life updates!

Life has become very hectic for us all of a sudden. Weekdays are busy as usual with our day jobs and school/day-care for Alvin. Weekends are spent entertaining or visiting friends and family. Sometimes, the house feels like a nut-house and sometimes, it feels like heaven. I wish I had a self-cleaning house. How nice would that be?! I am craving for a lazy weekend with someone to cook and clean for me.. sigh OK. This is not a whiny post. I promise. In between this madness, we went to our home-town for the Easter Vacation. It was a short and hectic trip as we had a wedding to attend. Here are a few snaps from our vacation.


This pink gladiolus is from my in-laws' garden. My Father-in-law has become an avid gardener after retiring. So, this spring, we got to see many plants in full bloom. There was a white gladiolus in bloom too. But, sadly, the stem of the flowers broke in half after heavy-rains. Then, we met Buffy after a few months. You remember her from here? She has grown a lot and has become very mischievous. Alvin enjoyed playing with her. Here they are..getting reacquainted.


Here she is playing under a jack-fruit tree. She has grown tall and likes to jump at everyone expecting a belly-rub all the time. ;-)


Just to remind you of the cuteness she was when she was a puppy.. here is Buffy earlier this year. What a change in her,isn't it?! She is still cute,though.


On the crafty side, I am so close to finishing my summer sling tote. I've made the lining for the bag and now, all I need to do is assemble the bag. I hope to do it today, if I find some time after work. I started Different Lines by Veera Välimäki Its an addictive pattern and I am having trouble putting it down. I am yet to click pics of the WIP. I will share it with y'all when I do. So, tell me what you are working on these days?

-Josie

Friday, May 6, 2011

On the bookshelf!

As a craft fiend with a love for books, its only natural that I collect books on my hobbies. Boy! do I collect books?! My latest acquisition is the first and second volumes of the Barbara Walker Treasuries. I am yet to explore the books fully but, I recognized many lace stitch patterns from it at the first glance. I've heard so much about the Walker Treasuries that I jumped at the chance to buy it from Sue when she was de-stashing it. My only beef about the Treasuries is that the pictures are in black & white. :-( But, this will not stop me from referring to them. So, I got thinking about the craft books on my bookshelf  and decided to share a sneak peak at my book collection with you. Here is my entire knitting book collection..


Out of this, my most treasured one is the one in the left. It's the Knitter's Handbook by Montse Stanley. It's a treasure trove of information. I can look up almost all the techniques in knitting in this book. I recommend this to knitters in any level of proficiency and I got this for a steal @ Himalaya Book World in Hyderabad. I love the Harmony Guides Stitchionaries too. Great collection with great pictures for reference.


When I started knitting, I was enthralled by the Lady Eleanor stole that I saw on Ravelry and I had to buy the book Scarf Style which had the pattern in it. And, no. I haven't made the stole yet. Nor do I think I will ever knit one. But, I still cling to this book, thumbing through it now and then. This made me realize that I prefer e-patterns as I can buy them one at a time and that too only on a need-to-knit basis. This book has quite a few lovely patterns but, very few are my style. So, I ended up not knitting anything from this book. I learnt the lesson of not buying an entire book of patterns just to use one of them. :-) Here is a shot of the Lady Eleanor stole that prompted the impulse buy.


I learnt knitting from an instructor but, I learnt crochet on my own. I tried learning crochet via videos but, I can say I really learnt the craft with the help of this book that Swapna(MrsFife) sent me as a RAK. I asked her if she had any resources for learning crochet as I wasn't able to get a hang of it through videos and she happily sent me a few crochet books including a beginner's guide to crochet. Its easy for a novice to learn crochet from it. Thank you Swapna for the RAK once again. I can definitely say that I am crocheting now because of your kindness. Here is the book that helped me learn the craft.


My first crochet project was a granny square and I am still proud of it. :D I followed the instructions given in the book and it came out pretty nice.


Here is the granny square I made. I didn't do anything with the square and it remains a single and lonely granny till date. :D


I would like to talk about the quilting ,sewing and other craft books I have. But, I will save that for another post. So, you tell me what is your favorite knitting or crochet book? Although e-patterns are ruling the roost these days, nothing can beat the charm of a nicely compiled book of patterns or a reference book. Don't you agree? Maybe I am just old-school! ;-)

-Josie

Monday, May 2, 2011

Emergency ironing board cover tutorial

What do you do when you burn your sister-in-law's ironing board cover?! You make an emergency ironing board cover as its replacement. That's what you do. And, that's what I did! :D I was staying at my SIL's place a while back and while ironing a pair of jeans, I burnt the ironing board cover. I didn't expect it to melt but, poof  it went when I put the hot iron box face down on the board! I know. Silly me!  I felt very.very bad about what I did and I had to make her the replacement right away to ease my guilty conscience. Here is the burn-victim with the said wound:


I didn't have much time to search for patterns for ironing board cover. So, I decided to make the simplest cover I could make for the ironing board. I measured the length and width at the widest side of the ironing board. Added 4 inches on all sides to the measurements. Cut a rectangular piece of fabric in this dimensions. Then, I put a one inch wide casing all around the four edges and threaded a drawstring into the casing. Put the fabric on the ironing board and tug the drawstring around it under the board and tie it snugly. Voila! There you have.. your spanking new emergency ironing board cover! Here are the 'before' and 'after' pics..


Here is a close-up of the casing on the wrong side of the fabric.


Here is the tutorial in a better language:

  • Measure the length (A) and width at the widest side (B) of the ironing board.
  • Add 8 inches to both A and B to get C and D respectively.
  • Cut a rectangular piece of fabric of measurement C X D i.e, length = C and width = D.
  • Make an 1inch-wide casing on all 4 sides of the rectangular fabric by folding one inch of the fabric onto its wrong side
  • Thread a drawstring long enough to go through the four sides of the cover into the casing.
  • Put the cover on the ironing board and tie the drawstring snugly under the board
  • You are done. Really! Enjoy your new ironing board cover.
Now, if someone can tell me a sure-fire way to remove the burn stain from the iron box, I can blot this ugly incident from my memory. Do you have a home-remedy for that? Let know if you do. A poor iron box will be eternally grateful to you.

-Josie
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