Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Bringing the forest into the living room!

 For a while I have been trying to bring more plants into the living room.  We have three big sliding glass doors in the living room so you can see my lovely tropical garden from every angle.  I hung a macrame hanger in front of window, and borught in more pot plants.  Some of which didnt like the transfer from my garden to inside!


I mulled over it was that I wanted - actual plants? or did I want something different on the walls?  Huge sunflower posters? Wallpaper?  I just didnt know, all I knew was that I needed a change. We had just purchased  new living room furniture.  Dark grey, a safe colour with the silver grey curtains, and pale yellow walls. In the meantime, I began to wash down the walls, and curtains, and remove clutter.  

  It was very timely to recieve an offer from a wonderful company in Sweden called Photowall. 

 Check them out here: https://www.photowall.com

They offered to send me a product so that I could review it on my blog.  Ohmigosh - the choices!  I knew that I wanted a nature theme, but did I want wallpaper or a canvas print or a wall hanging?  

There are lots of different articles and ideas - how to make little baskets for your office equipment from  leftover wallpaper - or a garland of rosettes!   Gosh I certainly came away with all sorts of wonderful ideas!  

In the end I ordered a canvas print of a forest scene.  Thinking I would put it behind the couch and it would seem like a window looking out to the forest.  I ordered a long narrow print, thinking that I did not want it to be overwhelming.   Considering it came all the way from Norway it arrived very quickly. Very well packaged in a long box.   Immediately I could see the quality of the product.


I laid it out on the table out in the garden, and followed the instructions on how to put it together.  Placing the wooden frames along each edge and then turning them inside to stretch and lock the frame in place. 

There are hinges that fit in each corner and some very easy to use screws to screw it all into place.  Everything lined up perfectly.  I am so very impressed by the quality.
So I flipped it over and took it inside and hung it up where I had orginially intended it to go.   Bearing in mind that I had never measured the area, or put much thought into how it would fit I was not too surprised  to see that it was not going to  work where the hangers from my other pictures had been or even directly above the couch.

The other place I had thought it might fit was above the TV, and immediately we both thought that was the best place for it!   I love how it fits in with the plants that I have being bringing in from the garden, and now there is something lovely to look at even when the TV is off!   It was so easy to hang with the little hanging bracket provided.   
Now I looked back at the area behind the couch and decided to hang the same pictures up on the wall.  Batiks that I purchased when visiting Tanzania, which bring back lots of lovely memories.   

I still feel I need something else on that wall.  These pictures were hung up when we first moved in because there were two nails in the wall.  It always worries me though that things should come in threes.  I feel I need something to the right of these pictures.  Should I install a series of boxes down the side of that wall next to the batiks?  Should I add a strip of wallpaper?  A macrame tree of life?   What would you suggest?   

Photowall havve been very generous, and offered my readers a wonderful discount, will you tkae up their offer?   Do you have any suggestions that I could add to that wall?   




Thursday, May 20, 2021

 

Beeswax wraps

 

I have been making and using beeswax wraps for about a year now. Reducing plastic in our lives is so important. Plastic never goes away, and it is really worrying to think about that fact. Micro-beads of plastic are showing up in the fish we eat, and the only way we can stop this occurring is to STOP USING PLASTIC. One way is to use beeswax wraps instead of cling-wrap. Choose pretty 100% cotton fabric, and cut it into the sizes you desire. You can pink the edges, or sew with a three point zig zag as I do.

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I buy my beeswax locally from a dear friend who sells honey, and I love the fact that it is a little bit rustic, and even sometimes has the odd little bits of unknown objects in it! I used to grate it but find it is easier to take a large knife and just shave pieces off it. If you get natural beeswax like this, then I would suggest you select fabric that does not have a lot of white background, as the wax tends to yellow it. You can buy beeswax pellets that are white from echo warehouse. https://ecowarehouse.com.au/products/beeswax100purerefinedpelletsper100g?utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=google&utm_campaign=Google%20Shopping&gclid=Cj0KCQjw2PP1BRCiARIsAEqv-pRYGNQC3Hp9Y5Dts21Xjm7v2qaPo8cshFI4IPhgkTqNMhCiq3aqAXkaAmO9EALw_wcB

The other product you are going to need is pine rosin, this is used to create the tackiness. You need twice as much beeswax by weight as pine rosin.

https://ecowarehouse.com.au/products/colophonypinerosinpineresinper100g?_pos=1&_sid=9dc273c15&_ss=r

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These need to be placed into a double boiler, or a bowl on top of a pot containing water. The water should not touch the bottom of the bowl, but make sure you have enough water that the pot does not boil dry. Add jojoba oil or coconut oil, this keeps the wraps a little more pliable.

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Once the mixture has completely dissolved ( the pine rosin takes much longer than the beeswax) you need to paint the mixture onto the prepared fabric. I put the fabric on a baking tray covered with wax wrap, for larger wraps the material can be doubled over. Then I pop the tray into the oven, set on low or 100*C for a few minutes. Take it out, and check that all the fabric is evenly coated. When well coated, lift the wrap up and gently wave it around until it starts to dry. the wrap can then be place on another sheet of wax wrap to harden and dry.

You have just completed your first beeswax wrap.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Necklaces from recycled t-shirts.

While visiting my daughter in America I came across a wonderful organization called re-threaded that is based in Jacksonville FL and creates jobs for women rescued from the sex trade.  I love to support companies like that, that empower women who in the past have felt that they have no other options.  I purchased some items from them, and looking at the necklaces that they make from t-shirts I wondered about making them myself here in Australia.    I intend to donate 5% of my earnings back to them since that is where I first got the idea.
This is what I am making, and will sell them here on my blog and once a month at the markets here in tropical north Queensland. They are so comfortable and light to wear, you can twist them, double them up, clip on brooches or fabric roses.  I am really loving this new craft I have discovered!




All necklaces are made from santized recycled t-shirts and/ or t shirt material.       Handmade right  here in tropical North Queensland.  

Sensory necklaces for Mum and Bub.  Something for baby to tug on, play with, grab.

Completely machine washable - each necklace comes with its own little gift/wash bag.

Buck the trend - Reduce, RE-use, recycle.

A simple t-shirt can cost less than a cup of coffee but uses 2700L of drinking water to produce (enough for one person/yr)
95% of all clothing thrown away could have been recycled.
Australians throw away enough clothes each year to completely fill an enormous football stadium twice over!

Necklaces are AU$15.00 each or two for AU$20.00, plus postage. Bracelets are AU$5.00 each and if you bring me two use-able t-shirts you get a free bracelet!


Sunday, April 9, 2017

Rag quilt


This is the rag quilt I made for my grandson - these are such fun.

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Heirloom Quilt finished

I have finished the quilt, and quite happy with it.  The center embroidery sampler goes back four generations.

Now we wait for the new baby to arrive, and my visit to see her. 

Monday, January 2, 2017

Another baby on her way - another heirloom quilt to make

Three years ago I gathered together some of the old family linens and made an Heirloom quilt for my grandson.  Now my daughter is pregnant again, and this time I am using the more colourful pieces of emboridered linens.  I made a start on the quilt this Christmas holidays.


The sampler in the center was embroidered by my great grandmother, who was born in 1860 so would be the new baby's great great great grandmother.  At the moment her name is tiny tiny, due in May.  It is wonderful to be making something for this new little addition to our family.  

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Busy books for kids

I am starting to make a busy book for my grandson.  There are tons of ideas on the internet, but I think each one will boil down to what you have available, and what the childs interests are.
These are my first page started.

 Two pages facing -
Day.   You can move the sun behind the grey cloud and pull out the ribbon to make it rain.


 Night,  You put your toys in the toybox - am going to knit five little crocheted monkey finger puppets.  they you say goodnight Mr moon and unloop the buttons hoding back the curtains.

Road, the cars will move back and forth on a string threaded through two eyelets.

 House, You can lift the flap of the house to see Mommy Daddy and child.  Pull down the roof so see the cat hiding in the attic.  Peg the clothes on the line.



 Underwater, you unzip the pocket to place the fish and octopus and whale underwater.  The whale can also ride on top inserted into the waves.


 Sailboat, will have lacing down the middle that you can open up to see the bear inside.

 Frog, The fly is buzzing around the flower, when you pull the ribbon the frog pops out and tries to gobble him up, but he hides behind the flower.

 Farm, this fabric was sent to me for my blog hug quilt, but I think I will use a bit since it so perfect.  Farm animals in the backgorund and in the front will have different fabrics with slots that can have felt carrots inserted into them.  they can be pulled out and put into a crocheted basket.


This has been great fun, and so far I have just been creating the pages.  At first I thought they should be bound and placed back to back into a book. That is the way I have seen them done before.  I think they need some sort of stiffening, but dont want to make it all too heavy.  One thing I could do is insert a thin plastic folder to give each page some stability?  I am also wondering about making separate booklets for each double page, and then make a tote bag where they can all slot into.  This would be great for travelling and in that case you could just take one boolet at a time. .  Ideas?