Monday, 30 March 2015

Inspiring my planner

So I know when I was looking at buying a planner at the end of last year one thing that was really inspiring me was the kikki.k. website. I LOVE stationary (I think it is a teaching trait) but I think it's more that I love things that match. Matching makes me soooo happy. I may also have visited the kikki.k. store and had just a little fun.

Alphabet stamps are becoming my new favourite toy.... I need to stop buying more.This is one I found at kikki.k.

I also bought this gorgeous dashboard kit. I am using the stickers and the bookmark is great for keeping track of where I am this week.
 
I also wanted to pretty up the paper I'm using so these notepads add some pretty colour.


However finding matching pretty stuff at a decent price is hard, which means I have to compromise. I've been using a set of cheap dividers I bought at officeworks when I first set up the planner intending to decorate them more but never got around to it. So instead this last week I went through my decorative paper and found the set of fairytale card. 8"x8" and figured it worked very well. I was right because they look awesome.

I cut a bit off the edge and used some pretty sticky notes to decorate. I then laminated the card and punched holes so I can use them as dividers. Don't they look so pretty.







And my pretty sticky notes from Kikki.K. look gorgeous as well.

It has been a couple of weeks since I made these dividers and I'm loving them still. They are pretty and make it easy to find the different sections. They seem to be holding up really well.

How have you prettied up your planner?

 Happy Stitching,
Caitlin

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

A-Z Theme Reveal

Ohk, I am officially crazy. I've been watching all the A-Z posts appearing with the theme reveals today and I did something crazy! I've signed up to do the A-Z challenge. I'm not entirely sure what I was thinking but I know that last year I kinda wished that I had signed up so today I am. I just jumped in and signed up. Of course being me I've made my own special button for my A-Z posts.

http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/p/a-to-z-challenge-sign-uplist-2015.html


Now I'm not entirely sure about what I'm going to write about. But I am going to make it something about crafts. Maybe a new technique each day or a different kind of craft. It will be something but I'm not entirely sure what. I will have to think about it but I'm really excited to be writing each day in April (except Sundays). So I hope to see you around in the next month cheering me on.

So we shall see how it goes.

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

WIP Wednesday

Well I have to say that this week has been an enormous FLOP!

I worked 14 hour days all weekend at CMC rocks Queensland I country music festival out at Ipswich and before that I was super busy just trying to get organised for working/living. So instead of a progress post today I'm going to share a video of one of the performers this weekend. He was inspiring and I've always loved his music.

I'm talking about John Williamson a wonderful, amazing performer who is very much an Aussie country bloke and he writes songs that just tell a story. Some of his songs are funny and some are sad but they all tell some sort of story.

So here is John Williamson playing True Blue have your tissues near.


and just to make you laugh if you're anything like me you would have been crying by the end of that song!

Here is Old Man Emu. He performed it very much like this when I saw him.


I hope this next week I'll have a bit more time but we will see. I'm working again this weekend so it could go either way.

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin

Monday, 16 March 2015

Capture 30 - how I'm using my planner now.



I know that the way I'm using my planner has changed a lot in the last couple of months since I signed up for the capture 30 class. I talked about it here. BUT for me the most amazing fact is that I'M STILL USING MY PLANNER!

Yes it keeps moving around and yes it changes but amazingly I'm still keeping track of my life. I'm not letting it just pass me by despite the fact that some days can feel like it. I'm also getting myself more organised in life but also on my blog. So I went looking at printable blog planning help and didn't really find anything that I liked SO I made some for myself. I even used them to plan this post. It gets my blog stuff off my monthly calendar and into a place where I can look at it and plan.

I want to show you what my planner looks like now and offer you some printables if I can work out how to give them to you...

I'm finally making it really work for me. It's been feeling like I'm slowly working out the kinks. Just last week I moved around the sections in my planner to make the order work for me and I also took out all of January because it was starting to get crowded to turn the pages. I'm going to have to get a spare binder to hold the old months.

Now I know I've shown you my project life pages and I took those out of the planner a month ago or so because they were just getting too bulky and I was worried about the photos being bent with me toting it around all the time. So they are in their own binder and looking very pretty though I still need to make a cover.

Inside my planner I'm still using the monthly spreads. Though I've moved them so that the notes section is before the calendar not after and that seems to be working a bit better. 


As you can see February ended up really full and March is slowly filling up. I'm definitely appreciating a tiny pen when I need to fit a lot in. 


I also still have a notes section where I'm writing weekly to do lists and tasks. Sometimes I break it down into days if I'm super busy but at the moment weeks seem to work for me. So when I open my planner now the Notes section is first then the calendar. I created a printable to do list which sits in the middle. I think it looks really pretty. I also decorate pages as I go to make them look interesting and not just boring.



I have been enjoying my calligraphy it's all through my planner at the moment.


I also have a section just devoted to my blog. This is where I have most of the printables as this is where I need to be super organised otherwise I let time get away with me.



  You can see the monthly spread I made it so I can add the month and the numbers myself so it works for any month. I also printed it back to back just to save me paper and space in my planner. Too much is one sided and not really working.
I even colour coded the different blog posts because I'm now posting on two blogs and I needed to keep track of it better.  I can also keep track of when the post is scheduled/organised and when it publishes and what social media platforms I've linked it to. This helps with facebook and instagram mostly but also sometimes pinterest and ravelry with some projects.


Here is the blank look and also an ideas page that I created. Washi tape looks so pretty along the top.


Here's how I was planning before. I was using a blank page that I would pretty up but I was finding it wasn't quite organised enough so I made the blog post planner pages. You can see them in action below. It makes it easy to see what I still need to do. I very rarely handwrite the whole post so that is enough space to get the start of the idea out and then I hop on the computer to do the rest.



I'm really happy with the way the planner is working for me now but what I want to focus on in the next while is making it pretty. The dividers I have are functional but I'm going to have to make some pretty ones and have some fun with colours.

If you want the planner pages urgently send me an email/comment below with your email attached and I'll email you the file but if you're willing to wait I'll work out a way for you to download it. It shouldn't take me long if I actually put my mind to it, I've just been very busy.

Happy Crafting,
Caitlin

Friday, 13 March 2015

Chevron Quilt - Cutting Out



This quilt came about as a gift for a friend's baby. I kinda offered something and this is what was asked a quilt that is black, white and Tiffany green. If you haven't been keeping up with my blog, or you just can't remember, I talked about my inspiration for this quilt pattern HERE.


On the weekend, I knew I'd be spending the day at my parents house because James had to work on the car in a quiet spot. (It's an excuse to visit.) So I brought the fabric that I spent the weekend before washing over to cut out.


Mum has a great set up downstairs where she has a tonne of room to move and to do what is needed. I ironed and cut out strips of fabric at 4 1/2" I decided not to use the biggest triangle because I found it too big and I didn't want to use the smallest one so 4 1/2" it was.



I then spent Sunday morning on the floor at home cutting out the triangles and laying them down on the floor. As I cut them I started putting the colours down. I started with the black and laid them out on the floor.

Notice the change of cutting board from mum's good green one to my cheap purple one, but it does the job.



I lined the triangle ruler up on the strips and off I went. I got 7-8 triangles out of a strip depending on the fabric. They weren't all the same width.


As I worked I started to lay out the chevron pattern on the floor. Replacing colours and mixing the patterns around the see how they looked.


 I loved looking at the pretty strips all laid out ready to cut. I didn't end up cutting all of them. I almost have enough to make a second quilt which I am tempted to do!


Don't they look amazing??

The quilt sits at about 45" square which will probably make an awesome size though I am wondering if I should add two more rows of triangles to make it a rectangle. I'm not sure if I like squares or not.


What do you think... Square or Rectangular? 

Now comes the fun part of sewing it all together!

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin


Wednesday, 11 March 2015

WIP Wednesday



This week I got some new mail. I was very very excited to get my latest VOODOO RABBIT toy club. I do have a confession though shhh... I haven't sewn my last one! I do have the pattern cut out at least. Other projects have taken priority.


I do have a concert coming up in a couple of weeks and I will need something to add to the raffle so I will have to get myself into gear and start sewing something. It will probably be a giraffe or a hippo.

I have been practicing my calligraphy skills because I want to be able to use pretty writing in my journal. When I was a kid I got given a calligraphy set to learn how to write and I still have the book which was very exciting to find.


So I've been having a go and I'm having a ball. My writing isn't always neat but it looks better than it did. I will be showing you more another day because I want to talk to you about how my journal/memory planning is going but this is something I've been working on throughout the week. It is so fun to use calligraphy pens.

I also managed to finish my ZickZack Dishcloth.  It looks awesome! Well at least I think so.... which has got to be a bonus. I know I had to back track a couple of times with this cloth as I got distracted and forgot to count properly but once I got into the pattern it was easy to follow. I did add one more repeat of the pattern as I found it wasn't very big.




If I was to do it again I would add another 6 stitches to the width. ( If you do add width the pattern is multiples of 6 + 10 for the border. So one more to the width would be 36 +10 which is 46 ) 

I just realised I seem to have a thing for zigzags at the moment. I've also been working on my Chevron Triangle Quilt for my friend's baby but I will show more of that later. There are too many pictures to show.

Happy Stitching,
Caitlin


Monday, 9 March 2015

My Goals - March/April



So I've been looking back at my goals for the first couple of months and as always I have done some and failed dismally at others. That is why we make goals isn't it? Though some were yearly goals and I'm not going to start working on my granny blanket until it gets a little bit cooler.  I also realise it's partway through March already but I didn't have any particular time frame for these goals.

For my blog

  • Change my logo and look by the end of January- This I managed to do and at the moment I'm really happy with this look.
  • Continue to post each Wednesday for my WIP Wednesday. - Sometimes I don't post until Thursday but I've kept up my weekly posting.
  • Continue adding posts to my Friday tutorial series - It's not every week but I like posting these when I can. There was one a couple of days ago.
New goals for the next couple of months:
  • Continue posting on Wednesdays
  • Continue my tutorial Fridays.
  • Start organising my posts more often. I have got a blog calendar now so I want to get myself more organised. 
  • Start each post with a header image.
For my crafts

Work on Baroque, Afternoon Tea, Winter Fairy and Masquerade Pale Dawn throughout this year. - I've been working on Baroque so far, but other stitching has taken priority.
  • Continue working on my granny stripe blanket once it cools down a bit more. - TOO HOT STILL!
  • Work some more with my new cotton, I want to come up with all sorts of projects to use it on. - still just making dishcloths but they are so fun :D
  • Finish some new/old small cross stitch - been doing some secret stitching which is kinda exciting.
  • Enjoy making and sharing my crafts. - ALWAYS!
New goals for the next couple of months:
  • Continue my Granny Stripe
  • Keep making dishcloths.... they are just sooo much fun to play with. 
  • Finish my secret stitching  - baby is here now so I'm almost done. 
  • Keep stitching on Baroque
  • Cut out and sew together the top of my triangle quilt. 
  • Make a Hippo and a Giraffe from the toy kits I've received.
  • KEEP MAKING STUFF!
  • Keep up with my photo album so that I have a full collection by the end of the year. 
  • Make a cover for my photo album.
 For me
  • Find a job - I've tried but still nothing though there are things that make it look very positive.
  • Live, Laugh, Love - it's not always easy but I'm getting there.
  • Get fit again, get out and enjoy myself. - I'm walking most mornings after I drop the kids off and I'm starting to throw in some running. Always a great was to get out.
New goals for the next couple of months:
  • Find a Job. - this is still a large priority
  • Finish more of my course. 
  • Get fitter and keep walking and running.  
  • LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE - I still love this saying and I need to learn to laugh more. 
 Happy Stitching,
Caitlin

Friday, 6 March 2015

Easy Mug Cosy - crochet pattern


Since I made so many of these before Christmas I wanted to give you a pattern that you could use to make your own. This is not everything you need to do, you will need to change it slightly to suit your mugs but from this you will be able to make your own mug covers.


I've been using Bendigo Woollen Mills Cotton 8 ply in two colours with a 4.5mm hook. You can use whatever you want to use and this pattern is open to lots of changes.


Note: This pattern is written in UK crochet terms.


Stitches:
Treble crochet
Double crochet
Slip stitch
Chain stitch

Pattern with lots of photos:

Start with a 12 chain.

ROW 1:
Work a treble into the 3rd chain from the hook. I like to work into the back bump it just makes it easier to do the edge later. 10 trebles (not including the chain at the beginning)


As you can see from this photo when you work in the back bumps you get a nice clean edge to work the border later.


ROW 2:
2 chain (acts as a treble), Work into the 2nd treble and then the rest of the trebles across. (10 trebles including the chain as a treble)


ROW 3:
2 chain (acts as a treble), work 9 trebles into all the trebles in the row the last treble into the top of the 2 chain. (10 trebles including the chain as a treble.)



ROW 4:
Repeat row 3 until your piece measures almost around the mug. You don't want it all the way around because you will add a border in another colour.

Note: 
Make sure you count the rows often. I found that I would make mistakes and sometimes forget to make the tenth treble. See the two different images below the first without the last stitch and the second with. If you don't make sure you have the 10 trebles your count will be out.


When you have it long enough finish off. You don't want it to go all the way around the mug because you will still have to add the border.




Finish off

BORDER ROW 1:

Join the contrasting colour into the corner stitch of the beginning chain. 

Do 2 Double Crochet in the first corner. Then work Double Crochet in all the stitches across. When you get to next the corner work 3 double crochet into the corner stitch.


Continue Double crochets along the side. I found it worked for me to work into the gaps that appeared but it may be different for you.

 Continue doing three Double Crochet into the corners and Double Crochet around the edge until you come back to the beginning.
 Work one DC into the starting hole and then Slip Stitch to join the row.


BORDER ROW 2:
Do 1 chain and then 2 DC in the same stitch that you worked the SS into. 2 DC into the next stitch then single DCs across the top.

When you reach the next corner work 2 DC in the corner then 2 DC in the next stitch. I found this worked for me you create a smooth corner but feel free to use a method/counting that works for you.


 Keep working around until you get to the beginning of the row.Join with a slip stitch then Slip stitch along the short edge until you reach the middle of the edge.



BUTTON STRING

Once you reach the middle make a long chain. It needs to be long enough to reach the other side. This is the loop that goes over the buttonhole.The chain below needs to be longer as it doesn't go all the way back to the start.


Measure is on your mug to check. Before joining with a slip stitch in the same stitch the chain started at.


 Continue slip stitching along the short edge until you reach the top corner.

 You're now going to make a chain about 4 stitches long. This will change for your mug. It will be joined to the other side with a couple of slip stitches. Like shown in the picture below.


Before you Finish Off make sure you put it on your mug you may want to take a couple of stitches away from the chain or add one more. This chain will hold the mug cover up on your mug.

Finish off your stitching and sew in the ends.


Sew on a Button and enjoy your lovely Mug Cosy. It's so nice to cuddle when it's hot.


Happy Stitching,
Caitlin
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