Friday, July 29, 2011

Easy-peasy lunch bag!

I've been thinking of making a lunch-bag for me to take to work every day since I pack lunch from home. I've been using plastic bags to carry my lunch boxes and I hate it. I hate the rustling sound a plastic bag makes every time its handled. Does anyone else hate this too? Then, an idea struck me to recycle old jeans to make a lunch bag! Remember the Wranglers I sneaked from my Hubster for his cellphone cover from here? I had the entire jeans minus the pockets waiting for recycling. In the end, half of the Wrangler legs became this:



I loosely followed the pattern for Poochie bag from the Happy Zombie. I made my own version of the handles and I am thrilled with the end results. I was lucky I had coordinating lining fabric to go with the jeans. And, I wanted pockets on the outside to put in some change and my cellphone when I go for lunch. The size is perfect for a few Tupperware lunch boxes and a napkin, a perfect lunch set! 


Then I started having fuzzy feelings for the bag, thinking that its too cute to be used as a lunch-bag! It looked so pretty carrying my latest loot of Knitpicks lace yarns! But, nah! I WILL use it as my lunch-bag..and, it will be the most loved lunch-bag in the entire household! ;-)


and here is what is remaining of the Wranglers.. I think I can still get some use out of them.. I have some ideas in mind.. Lets see what the remnants become..


So, tell me what was that you recycled or re-purposed most recently? do you love recycling as much as I do? I get a thrill out of giving a new life to discarded items and jeans are my fave things to recycle. What is your favorite thing to recycle? Leave a comment and let me know.. :-)

This post is linked to FO Fridays hosted by Tami's Amis. Go here  or click on the image below to see more FOs on a Friday.



-Josie

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Minimalist WIP!

First off, confession time!! I haven't knit a single stitch for the past 3 weeks and that is a first for me.. The reason being an unusually hectic phase at work leaving me with no crafty mojo. So, what does one do to bring back the mojo? Browse though the inspiring patterns and projects on Ravelry, of course! and, then WHAMMM! I got my mojo back and guess what I wanted to make immediately! A cardigan for myself!! Yes. That's right. An adult garment..

 If you have been around my blog for a while, you'll know about my fear of knitting garments.. my first and only adult sweater has been hibernating since forever.. but, that didn't stop me from wanting to knit a cardigan.. So, I frogged the one I had on needles and decided to make a fresh new start.. The pattern I've chosen is the classy Minimalist Cardigan from Interweave Press. Its a bottom up knitted cardigan and I am done with the ribbing already after a few hours of knitting  last night. I hope this one crosses the finish line soon! Here is the progress till now..


I am knitting the body in one piece as opposed to knitting the front and back pieces separately and then seaming them. I am following the modifications done by a few Ravelers. Also, I conquered the Russian Join for joining ends of yarns in this project.. I followed this tutorial and, it was an easy-peasy affair.


and, here is my Russian-joined yarn.. Its not perfect but, it'll get better over time, I'm sure.


I hope to keep the momentum going and finish this cardigan soon. This post is linked to WIP Wednesdays hosted by Tami's Amis. Go here or click on the image below to see more WIPs on a Wednesday.


-Josie

Monday, July 25, 2011

On the bookshelf! - part 2

I talked about my knitting and crochet books on my bookshelf in the previous post in this series. So, this post is about the quilting,sewing and other miscellaneous craft books vying for space in my bookshelf. I've been sewing only since the past year and a half. I was inspired by the various quilting blogs on the interweb and wanted to try sewing and quilting. Then came the sewing machine into my life and the rest, as they say is history! My favorite quilting reference book is the one below. It is a quilting encyclopedia with almost all quilting techniques explained with pictures. This is my go-to book for looking up any technique involved in quilting.


But, my most favorite quilting book that I have is this one. Quick Colorful Quilts! The book is so inspiring that I get an urge to quilt every time I browse through it. Here is the book and a few quilts pictured in the book.




Someday, I'll make a quilt following these patterns. Some.day! I have just one sewing pattern book and its for sewing skirts. Just as with knitting, I have a fear of sewing garments. I always worry that I the finished garment might be too small or too big or just be badly fitting. But, skirts are something I am courageous enough to try and they are easy to make too. Here is the book Sew What! Skirts.


I made 2 skirts using patterns from this book and I am glad with the results. The patterns are more like recipes letting you measure yourself and tailor the skirts according to your size and fit. Here is the pattern and the skirt I made.


This skirt is almost worn out now after regular wear. I think its almost time for me to make a few more skirts. :-) I have a few more books to share with you. But, I am going to save it for another post. I didn't think this series will stretch into 3 parts when I started it. I only thought of writing one post on the craft books I have. I guess, I really have too many craft books! But, is there such a thing as too many books?! ;-)

So, tell me about your favorite craft books.. do you have books that inspire you every time you browse them? I'd love to hear from you..

P.S: Thank you for empathizing with my rant in the previous post. We did get a blue-colored bed sheet for Alvin but, didn't tell him why we were getting it. He doesn't have to know,right?

-Josie

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I have a rant!

...a rant about stereotypes! Of course, there are stereotypes everywhere in this world..and, we can't escape them. I try my best not to fall into this trap..but, when it is shoved down my throat and I can't escape it, I rant..and, that's what I am doing here.. Feel free to ignore this post if its a touchy subject for you..



Here is what happened.. My son goes to a day-care after school and he enjoys it a lot. He has made a lot of friends there and he has become more social after joining the day-care. We are happy with the facility and most of all, we are happy that Alvin is enjoying his time there. A few weeks back, I got a call from the day-care in-charge saying that I need to provide a 'blue' colored bed-sheet and a 'blue' colored pillow-case for Alvin's nap time. Its pink for girls and blue for boys. The one Alvin uses currently is a pink-colored floral one. I gave it because it was the only one I had to spare.

I was ticked off,mainly because I have to go hunt for blue-colored stuff just because someone else feels the stereotype. C'mon! how traumatized is my kid going to be if he sleeps on a pink-colored bed for an hour a day!?! I wouldn't have minded if the day-care charged me for providing uniform bed-sheets for the kids, whatever color they want it to be. I do not have control over that. But, this just grated on my nerves!

Tell me, how do you deal with stereotypes? Do you tell your kids blue is for boys and pink is for girls or that boys should play with cars and truck and girls should play with plushies and Barbies? Do you consciously avoid stereotypes or you don't care? I am not on a mission to break stereotypes..or create a stereotype-free world for my son. It is just that I have to go buy new stuff just because someone else feels that I have to. Sorry for the rant. I usually don't do this on my blog! I promise I'll be a good girl next time! :P

-Josie

Friday, July 15, 2011

Sockhead!

Even though the tip to Yercaud was an unplanned one , I had a knitwear completed in time for use there.. I've been knitting a hat for myself since February in between other projects and finally finished it 3 days before the trip.. right on time! Its a straightforward plain-Jane hat recipe called sockhead with 2 X 2 ribbing for 4 inches, stockinette stitches for the next 9 inches and decreases for the crown..



The yarn is a mystery yarn bought from a Raveler. The only thing I know about this yarn is its fingering(sock) weight and it has bamboo content in it. So, I went hunting for adult hat patterns in sock weight yarn. I zeroed in on this sockhead pattern mainly because of the stockinette stitch. I knitted this hat on DPNs and it made for a perfect TV knitting project. I watched many episodes of Castle while knitting this. ;-)


My nephew who came with us liked the hat and has asked me to knit one for him. I was very touched. I will start hunting for patterns for hats that will fit a child.. so, I see more hat-knitting in the future. :-) As I told you in my previous post, here are a few more pics of the flowers I clicked.. Here is a lily bud that I saw outside out hotel on the first day of our stay..


And, lo! the next day, it was in full bloom!


I was thrilled to see the flower in bloom. Simple pleasures,huh?! And, then I spotted this Crown of thorns also known as the Christ's thorn, in the wild.


So now, I am officially addicted to photographing flowers..preferably in the wild. I have to let you all know that I am very bad not so good at identifying flowers. I think I can spot a rose, lotus, hibiscus, a dahlia , fuschia  and lillies if I see them. Maybe, a few more flowers.. But, otherwise, I depend on Google Image search! ;-) So, if I am naming the flowers wrong or if you know another name for them, please feel free to let me know.. :-)

I am linking this post to FO Friday by Tami's Amis. Click on the image below to see more FOs on a Friday.


-Josie

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wordless Wednesdays!

Although this post is meant to be wordless, I just have to say that this series will feature photos taken by yours truly, in an attempt to better my photography skills. ;-)


Thursday, July 7, 2011

My craft table guardian!

I would like to introduce you to a cute fella who hangs out in my sewing room. He was a gift from my cousin, B to my son Alvin. But, I fell in love with this guy and I've cheekily sneaked him from Alvin and made him my sewing room mascot. He brings up a smile on my face every time I see him. He kinda reminds me of a Mafia boss like the kind you see on TV. (No! I haven't seen a Mafia boss in real life nor do I want to meet one!)


He does look menacing, doesn't he?! As if he is gonna hurt you if you touch anything on my sewing table.. Alvin and I are always fighting over whose doggie he is.. ;-) I am having a tough time finding a good name for him. I want a good Mafia name for him.. but, nothing strikes me! Here he is, sitting along with my diagonal stripes quilt blocks.


So, all you dear readers have the fun task of finding a name for him.. The only criteria is it should sound like a Mafia name. Suggest some name for this cute guy! Of course, you can use fun Mafia Name generator like this : Generate your Mafia Name!



This post is linked to Creative Spaces by Kootoyoo. Go here to see more creative spaces!

-Josie

Monday, July 4, 2011

Yercaud trip!

I had the craziest week which ended on a wonderfully high note! The seasons are changing in Bangalore and the monsoon season is setting in. Rains, as usual throws my family's health out for a whack! All of us took turns falling sick with sore throat , bad cold and fever! It was crazily chaotic for a few days the past week. My Hubster and I badly wanted a break from the chaos. So, we decided on a trip to Yercaud on the last minute and took off in our car! My SIL's family accompanied us too and the trip was a great success. Here is the proof. Alvin is chasing bubbles in a park here..


Yercaud is about 4 hrs away from Bangalore and its a perfect weekend getaway for Bangaloreans! Right now, its off-season. So, it wasn't as crowded as it is during the summer vacation. There are not many places to see there.. so, it makes for a perfect hill station to relax. The weather was awesome and we went boating in the lake there. Most of all, I had a fun time clicking photos with my new camera. The place is filled with flowers of all kinds. So, I went a bit trigger-happy with my new Nikon Coolpix.  Here are a few pics that I took.



Did I tell you that I am in love with the Macro mode in my camera?! I am yet to explore all the features in the camera..but, I did abuse use the macro mode heavily during the trip.. I even caught a butterfly and another insect in close-up..



Cool,huh?! I came back with loads of photos..but, I think you'll be bored to death if I were to show it all in one go. So, expect to see random pictures of flowers in close quarters for the next few weeks, alright? All I can say is, You've been warned!!

So, how was your weekend? I know the guys from the U.S are having a long Fourth of July weekend.Enjoy the fireworks, y'all and be safe. Hope everyone's weekend was and is as much fun as mine was!

-Josie

This post is linked to Today's Flowers.

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