The Crafty Mummy http://thecraftymummy.com Crafts. Sewing. Quilting. Crochet. Tutorials. Fri, 03 Jul 2015 23:44:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.2 DIY Shadowbox Makeover http://thecraftymummy.com/2015/06/diy-shadowbox-makeover/ http://thecraftymummy.com/2015/06/diy-shadowbox-makeover/#comments Sun, 21 Jun 2015 23:45:43 +0000 http://thecraftymummy.com/?p=21340 Sometimes you just need a little pretty. Something to make you smile and brighten up a room. This is my latest “little pretty” project. Not practical. Not useful. Not functional. Just pretty. It started out looking like this – a picture frame with little square shelves and a glass front. I covered the original pictures...

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DIY Shadowbox Makeover

Sometimes you just need a little pretty. Something to make you smile and brighten up a room.

This is my latest “little pretty” project. Not practical. Not useful. Not functional.

Just pretty.

shadow box start-001

It started out looking like this – a picture frame with little square shelves and a glass front.

shadowbox squares

I covered the original pictures with pretty papers from a scrapbooking kit I had in my stash. The soft aqua and silvery grey is the perfect mix of patterns and plains to go behind the treasures I planned to add.

shadowbox papers

The squares were 3.5″ square so I cut my papers to cover them, then had to add some extra around the edges which were not as covered by the frame as they first appeared. I simply stuck my papers over the original back sheet.

shadowbox cat

Then I repacked my frame with the “pigeonholes” first, then the glass, then the new papers, and finally the backing board. This way I can easily add or change the ornaments on my shelves.

shadowbox bottle

My treasures came from Typo – a corked bottle, a reel of twine in aqua, and some white laser cut shapes.

This pretty is heading to my workplace today to make my colleagues and I smile a little.

shadowbox bicycle

 

It would also be great for a kid’s room to store all their treasures.

Ideas for Treasures to Add

  • Rocks
  • Shells
  • Mini cars
  • Sports medals
  • Baby shoes
  • Flowers
  • Small toys – Lego figures, Trashies, Littlest Pet Shop, Polly Pocket, etc

shadowbox done

Have you made anything lately just for the “pretty” factor?

DIY Shadowbox Makeover

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My Online Homes http://thecraftymummy.com/2015/06/my-online-homes/ http://thecraftymummy.com/2015/06/my-online-homes/#respond Tue, 16 Jun 2015 01:23:59 +0000 http://thecraftymummy.com/?p=21234 The Internet is a magical place where we can live in lots of houses, all linked together. It is like having a bunch of holiday homes! I’m talking about social media homes, of course – those place where I hang out and share things that are often never shared here on my website. The fun...

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Social Media Holiday Homes

The Internet is a magical place where we can live in lots of houses, all linked together. It is like having a bunch of holiday homes!

I’m talking about social media homes, of course – those place where I hang out and share things that are often never shared here on my website.

The fun thing is that different people visit our different homes online. I know that more Australian readers visit me on Facebook than anywhere else, while I seem to lots of readers on Google+ who speak languages other than English. It is fascinating!

I guess some places are easier to visit than others. I know for me I’ve always spent more time on Facebook and Pinterest than any other social media, but I do try to visit everywhere each day if I can.

In fact I often visit my holiday homes more than I visit my website itself – and maybe you do too!

So here’s where you can find my other homes online.

 

facebook  pinterest  google+  twitter  instagram

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DIY Scarf Organiser http://thecraftymummy.com/2015/06/diy-scarf-organiser/ http://thecraftymummy.com/2015/06/diy-scarf-organiser/#comments Sun, 14 Jun 2015 06:39:30 +0000 http://thecraftymummy.com/?p=21293 It has moved back into scarf season here. I was never a big scarf wearer but the influence of BBeingCool and StylingYou have meant that I got a little braver. Plus it gets pretty chilly here in the middle of Winter so snuggly scarves have become a “must have” item instead of just a fashion...

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scarf storage simple

It has moved back into scarf season here. I was never a big scarf wearer but the influence of BBeingCool and StylingYou have meant that I got a little braver. Plus it gets pretty chilly here in the middle of Winter so snuggly scarves have become a “must have” item instead of just a fashion accessory.

I have a small collection of scarves that is slowly growing but had all been shoved into a shelf in my wardrobe. Then jumpers and pashminas and hats had been shoved on top and I couldn’t find ANYTHING, let alone the one scarf that I needed NOW to wear on the school run.

scarf storage bar

Enter two hooks and a pole.

Yes. That simple.

The hooks are 3M Removable hooks because I like to think I’ll be able to remove the hooks without the paint later. These were the largest ones I could find to accommodate the width of the pole.

The pole is just a piece of 1cm wooden dowel that we used at some point in the past in the window tracks of the bedroom – makeshift security system!

rainbow of scarves

So I measured up from the floor for my first hook and attached it. Then sat the pole into place and positioned the other hook, measuring up from the floor once more to make sure it was all even. DIY Scarf Organiser done!

Next came the fun part: tipping all the scarves, pashminas, hats and jumpers off the shelf onto the floor. Some sorting and the scarves went onto my new storage pole, the scratchy poncho/cardy that I’ve worn once went into the donation bag, and everything else was folded back onto to the shelf.

Love it when an organisation task is going to make my days easier!

Like that time I put shelves in my cupboard or the time I tipped out all my clothes on the floor

Check out 3M Removable Hooks on Amazon – these are the ones I use the most:

(affiliate links)

           

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DIY: Family Footprints http://thecraftymummy.com/2015/06/diy-family-footprints/ http://thecraftymummy.com/2015/06/diy-family-footprints/#comments Thu, 11 Jun 2015 00:00:00 +0000 http://thecraftymummy.com/?p=21280 Today we have a Guest Post from Ty Schmidt for Modernize.com, a site full of home ideas and inspiration. Now that I’ve had two sons, I can say with some authority that every baby is different. Yet there is something that ties my boys together with each and every other newborn ever to grace the...

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DIY Family Footprint

Today we have a Guest Post from Ty Schmidt for Modernize.com, a site full of home ideas and inspiration.

Now that I’ve had two sons, I can say with some authority that every baby is different. Yet there is something that ties my boys together with each and every other newborn ever to grace the world with his or her presence. Though not everyone agrees that all babies are as cute as we say, there is something people seem to say upon meeting a new little one more than anything else.

“He’s so tiny!” they exclaim, as they reach out to touch the tiny little fingers or toes. And at an average weight well under 10 pounds, they’re usually right. What’s interesting is the motive behind the words most likely has some sentiment related to an affiliation with one’s own background dealing with a small child. Because there’s another common thread we can’t escape when it comes to newborns: they grow up. They get bigger. Lots bigger. And quick.

So when it comes to do-it-yourself projects, I’ve developed a passion for encapsulating the “little” times as best I can. I love to integrate them however I can, not only for the learning experience of putting something together as a team, but also to make the project itself into something to remember.

Most recently, my family worked together on a “family footprints” piece for my older son’s room. The project called for blotting each of our feet into paint, cutting the piece out of paper and then layering the feet together in a way that captures the size difference from dad to mine to my son’s little feet. (See the inspiration for this project at The Realistic Mama)

DIY Family Footprint

It was messy. It took a lot longer than we thought it would. But it was fun. My then one-year-old son didn’t quite understand the concept of sitting still long enough to make the process easy, so there was a good deal of chasing after a small child with paint on his foot, but it wasn’t anything we couldn’t handle.

A few months have passed, and he’s a big brother now. He’s a big brother who’s grown almost two inches and a whole shoe size since then. Meanwhile, his baby brother is earning that precious phrase from strangers about his tiny size, which serves as a constant reminder that the time might be now to capture that foot and add it to the family frame.

Yes, every baby is different. My newborn looks freakishly similar while at the same time nothing like my first born. He sleeps differently and eats differently and has a different nose. But he has the same sleep smile. And he’s wearing the same tiny clothes. And he really is “so tiny” right now, so I can’t wait to add his little foot to our collection of fingers and toes. Just because it’s little doesn’t mean his footprint hasn’t already left a huge impression on my heart.

For more ideas and inspiration, head to Modernize.com.

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Tools I Use: iPad Stylus http://thecraftymummy.com/2015/06/tools-i-use-ipad-stylus/ http://thecraftymummy.com/2015/06/tools-i-use-ipad-stylus/#comments Wed, 10 Jun 2015 06:16:27 +0000 http://thecraftymummy.com/?p=19997 There a little tiny tool that has revolutionised how I feel about using my iPad. Yes, really. Revolutionised it! You see I haven’t had my iPad for all that long but I was getting really frustrated by the smudgy marks on it all the time. I try to have clean hands when I use it...

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iPad tools

There a little tiny tool that has revolutionised how I feel about using my iPad. Yes, really. Revolutionised it!

You see I haven’t had my iPad for all that long but I was getting really frustrated by the smudgy marks on it all the time. I try to have clean hands when I use it and not use it when I’m eating but still it seemed to get greasy sticky marks on it. Constantly.

This made it yucky to use. That feeling of stickiness was uncomfortable and the marks made it hard to read things at times.

Enter my pretty red stylus

The kids and I were shopping for a birthday present for CraftyDaddy one day and we saw this along with the other electronic accessories. Probably the red caught my eye – a prefect match to my case – but I immediately knew this would help. The black end is soft rubber that is much more accurate for tapping my screen than my finger.

But the best bit is no sticky marks!

Now I use my iPad much more – every morning I try to check my emails and social media while I drink my coffee.

Trust me – great investment – and not expensive – mine was about $10.

iPad Stylus

Find a stylus on Amazon:

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Crochet Heart Blanket & Yarn Splitting Questions http://thecraftymummy.com/2015/06/crochet-yarn-splitting/ http://thecraftymummy.com/2015/06/crochet-yarn-splitting/#comments Mon, 08 Jun 2015 01:03:48 +0000 http://thecraftymummy.com/?p=21244 My crochet Rainbow Heart blanket is growing steadily. I’ve finished a row of each of the colours that I bought for this and started repeating the colour pattern. I’m still loving the heart pattern as the I switch to white between each colour. You can find the link to the pattern in my previous post...

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Tips for Yarn Splitting while Crocheting - and Rainbow Heart Blanket progress #TheCraftyMummy

My crochet Rainbow Heart blanket is growing steadily. I’ve finished a row of each of the colours that I bought for this and started repeating the colour pattern. I’m still loving the heart pattern as the I switch to white between each colour. You can find the link to the pattern in my previous post here.

But I’m having a tiny problem as I work on this one: the yarn has a tendency to split. You might be able to see it in the picture on some of the long spike type stitches – that’s where it is most noticeable I think.

rainbow crochet heart green

Often as I crochet a stitch I notice the hook splitting the yarn and I need to undo the stitch and try again. Sometimes I need to try a couple of times to get a stitch without the split yarn!

So I’ve done some research and here’s what I found:

Tips for Splitting Yarn while Crocheting

  • Try working slower – When we hurry we are more likely to push our hook through the yarn instead of pushing through a hole or loop. So trying to work slower can help.
  • Try a larger hook – Smaller hooks are generally more pointy so they are more likely to split the yarn. A slightly larger hook can be blunter and less likely to push through the yarn accidentally.
  • Try a different brand of hook – Different brands of hook can have slightly different shapes to the ends – some may be sharper or blunter or curved differently – so some crocheters find one brand better than another.
  • Softer yarns generally split more – Writers seem to suggest that softer yarns split more than coarser yarns. Perhaps they have a less tight weave in order to be softer. (I wonder whether some yarns are treated in the manufacture process to hold their twist better and that makes them harder? Just my random thought as I write – must try to find out!)
  • Thicker yarns might split more – Along the same thinking as softer yarns splitting, I have found that sometimes my thicker yarns split more, although not always. Sometimes they seem to have more strands twisted together than finer yarns. (This blanket uses a particularly thick yarn.)
  • Yarns often twist as we work – This is a natural part of the way we hold our yarn as we work and the direction we twist it with each stitch so be aware and if you are finding your yarn either tangling (from twisting tighter) or unravelling (from twisting looser), then stop every now and again to fix it.
  • Some writers suggested that working from one end of the yarn or the other would make a difference, but other’s said that wasn’t true because the yarn twists the same way no matter which end you start at. Apparently there are S twists or Z twists – basically clockwise or anti-clockwise. Most yarn is S twist apparently. But either could be un-twisted as you work depending on your personal way of working with the yarn.

Do you have any more tips for dealing with yarn splitting as you crochet?

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Build A Robot http://thecraftymummy.com/2015/06/build-a-robot/ http://thecraftymummy.com/2015/06/build-a-robot/#respond Sat, 06 Jun 2015 06:18:22 +0000 http://thecraftymummy.com/?p=21202 My kids are book worms. Which I love! Because my husband and I are book worms too. We enjoy very different books but nevertheless we love books. In our home we have a room with no windows in the middle of the house which is designed to be a “Media Room”, as in a home...

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blue robot

My kids are book worms.

Which I love!

Because my husband and I are book worms too. We enjoy very different books but nevertheless we love books. In our home we have a room with no windows in the middle of the house which is designed to be a “Media Room”, as in a home theatre, but our immediate reaction when we saw it was “Library!”. It would be the perfect room to have floor to ceiling book cases on all the walls. We dream of transforming that room but already it has a couple of bookcases, a piano and two very comfortable arm chairs and a footstool. (Oh, and it is also housing all of my sewing and crafting stash!)

Anyway, back to the kids who love books…

One of the latest books to come into our home is this very retro “Build a Robot” book by Steve Parker. It has information about robots in the first section – including brief sections about what robots are and the kind of things they can do, “doctors” to robots, and what robots might be like in the future. Despite it’s retro look, this book was published in 2014 so the information is pretty up to date.

Build a Robot book

The fun part is the box attached to the back of the book. This contains three small wind up motors and cardboard pieces to create three robots. The pieces are thick cardboard that is printed on both side and laser cut ready to push out. All the instructions are included to slot the pieces together so there is no adhesive required. Mr Happy (9) found some of the building a challenge so younger readers might need a hand from a grown-up but the robots are pretty cool as they walk around on their own, thanks to the wind up motors.

Just couldn’t resist sharing such a crafty book!

orange robot

Find it on Amazon:

Note: There are affiliate links in this post. This just means that if you click through and purchase anything, I may get a small commission from the company, but there is no additional cost to you. This small income helps me keep my website running.

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Colouring Book Review: Secret Garden http://thecraftymummy.com/2015/06/colouring-book-review-secret-garden/ http://thecraftymummy.com/2015/06/colouring-book-review-secret-garden/#comments Tue, 02 Jun 2015 04:00:00 +0000 http://thecraftymummy.com/?p=21222 In the midst of our busy lives, it is easy to get overwhelmed and disoriented. There is so much that we are expected to do by society, and then there are expectations we put on ourselves. If, like me, you are also a person who strives to do her very best in everything and wants...

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secret garden colouring book

In the midst of our busy lives, it is easy to get overwhelmed and disoriented. There is so much that we are expected to do by society, and then there are expectations we put on ourselves. If, like me, you are also a person who strives to do her very best in everything and wants every job done “right” then there is even more pressure at every turn.

I’m watching my 11-year-old recently feeling so overwhelmed that she doesn’t know what to do first, or what to do next, or what she even needs to do! We have deliberately not taken on too many activities this year as she finishes her last year at primary school and has a school leadership role. She has only one sport and one musical instrument in a society where many kids have 5 or 6 activities beyond school work. But I can see her struggling to study and practice, so we are proactively starting to teach her coping strategies. We really want to teach her how to deal with her worry and overwhelming feelings now before she hits the even higher pressure environment of high school.

One of the strategies that I have learnt has worked for me in coping with life and it’s demands is to ensure that I have time out to do things I enjoy. It feels like time out “for me”, but it only works if I spend that time doing something that makes me happy. Hence I write a blog about sewing and crochet and quilting – some of the things I enjoy doing and help me slow down each day.

My latest activity is colouring in. I know this seems like a kids’ craft activity but there are more colouring books appearing for adults with beautiful detailed drawings. I had seen them around and I know they have been associated with the mindfulness movement, so when I was in the book store recently with my kids I picked up this beauty: Secret Garden by Johanna Basford. (affiliate link)

The illustrations are gorgeous, the detail incredible after years of only looking at children’s colouring in pages. The pages are beautifully thick so I’ve been colouring with Faber-Castell Connector Pens without any seepage to the next page. We have a huge 100 tub of these so I grabbed them to get myself going, but I also want to colour with pencils at some point.

For now I’m just getting started and making myself sit quietly as I colour. It is a great opportunity to sit with the kids while they do homework, or on the couch while they are practising their clarinets. (Yes, we have two clarinets at our place. Yes, it is kind of loud sometimes.)

But mostly I’m trying to spend my colouring time thinking, reflecting on my day and things that have happened. Yesterday I worked through my feelings about an email that was not so nice from a reader, and that was really valuable time.

I can see this being a new crafty love!

secret garden colouring

If you’re curious to see more of this book or Johanna’s other book, Enchanted Forest, click the pictures below to take you through to Amazon where you can “look inside” them. I’ve also linked to the Connector Pens that I’ve been using.

secret garden Enchanted Forest

Note: There are affiliate links in this post. This just means that if you click through and purchase anything, I may get a small commission from the company, but there is no additional cost to you. This small income helps me keep my website running.

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Coschedule Tip for Pinterest http://thecraftymummy.com/2015/05/coschedule-tip-for-pinterest/ http://thecraftymummy.com/2015/05/coschedule-tip-for-pinterest/#comments Mon, 25 May 2015 23:45:30 +0000 http://thecraftymummy.com/?p=21209 I’m a huge fan of Coschedule – especially recently when I’ve gone back to part-time work outside the home and I have less time to devote to this website each day! Coschedule is a tool that helps me to organise my posts to social media. I’ve been writing here for a few years now so...

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Coschedule Tip - record your Pinterest URL to share

I’m a huge fan of Coschedule – especially recently when I’ve gone back to part-time work outside the home and I have less time to devote to this website each day!

Coschedule is a tool that helps me to organise my posts to social media. I’ve been writing here for a few years now so even when I don’t write new articles there are heaps of great posts in my archives that I want to share with readers. However it takes time to be on social media sharing all of these and I simply don’t have that time any more.

That’s where Coschedule is helping me. In my WordPress dashboard under each post that I write or edit there is a special Coschedule box where I can schedule sharing on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.  For example, I can go into any post and set up a share to my Facebook page. I can choose whether it will show an image and which one. I can write the words and format them. The link to the post is automatically added and shortened with my URL shortener of choice – Bit.ly – and I can add other links as well if I wish. I usually add a link to Pinterest with my posts so that readers can easily pin my posts if they want to save them for later. (Look for my tip on this below.) Then when I’m happy with the content of the share, I can pick a date and time for it to be sent out. This is the bit that is invaluable for someone who is not at their computer all the time. I can set up a post to share today, next week and next month and not need to go back to that post again for weeks. Perfect! You can schedule multiple shares to multiple platforms all in one sitting then get on with other things.

CoSchedule-Calendar

In another tab I can see a Coschedule Calendar showing me when I have posts scheduled as well as what articles are planned for the weeks ahead. This helps me plan both blog posts and social media posts all in one place. (This screenshot isn’t mine but it gives you an idea of how the calendar looks.)

Yes, a service this powerful does cost money, but that $10 a month is a very small price to pay for something that helps me so much.

If you work with a team of writers on your blog then Coschedule gets even better for you. You can have a team use this to plan, create tasks, and get an overview of where everything is at, all in the WordPress dashboard. You can discuss items with your team, assign tasks to team members, see whether the tasks have been checked off and finished, and then schedule all the social media tasks as well. This is invaluable if your team are all working from different locations as often happens with websites and online businesses.

My Coschedule Tip for Pinterest

One of things I always try to do when I share my articles on Facebook and Google+ is to include a link to the pin on Pinterest. This makes it easier for readers to pin the article themselves, it gives them a clear way to save something to read later, and it allows me to see how many people have pinned that article from my pin easily as well. I will pin my article to Pinterest then go to the pin and copy the URL. Then I share this URL in my social media update.

But with Coschedule I often share articles multiple times over a period of time so to save myself going to find the pin each time, I have found an easy place to save the pin URL right there in Coschedule. I use the Comments section for the post and write a comment to myself then save. Next time I want to share this post, the pin URL is there in the comment where I can copy it again and use it in my social media share. Tip: If the URL is shortened or cut off in the comment, just hit “edit” on the comment, copy the URL, then save the comment again.

Coschedule Tip Pinterest

 

If you’d like to learn more about Coschedule, check out their video. To sign up for a 14 day free trial, click here.

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Saturday Night Craft Along http://thecraftymummy.com/2015/05/saturday-night-craft-along/ http://thecraftymummy.com/2015/05/saturday-night-craft-along/#comments Sun, 24 May 2015 23:20:34 +0000 http://thecraftymummy.com/?p=21195 Have you found the Saturday Night Craft Along on Instagram yet? Saturday night’s often mean football on the TV if hubby is home so I keep him company but I’m not that interested. Instead I usually work on my computer or craft while I half listen to the commentray and we chat about our week...

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saturdaynightcraftalong

Have you found the Saturday Night Craft Along on Instagram yet? Saturday night’s often mean football on the TV if hubby is home so I keep him company but I’m not that interested. Instead I usually work on my computer or craft while I half listen to the commentray and we chat about our week in the breaks. Plus I try to share whatever I’m working on Instagram.

I’ve been loving this little community of crafters sharing each week and I discovered that it has just celebrated its one year anniversary.

The hashtag #SaturdayNightCraftAlong was started by Rachel from Barefoot Crafter. She’s in Australia and also part of the fabulous team that I work with over at And Sew We Craft blog. With the time difference, Saturday night in the States falls a little later so the party is coordinated by Meg from My Tea & Brie for the U.S. participants. I love popping back in to see what they have shared on a Sunday!

Anyone can join in on Instagram. Just search the hashtag “#saturdaynightcraftalong” to see what people have been sharing and use the hashtag when you share your own Saturday night crafting pictures. Also tag @barefootcrafter and @myteaandbrie so that they know you’re around.

I usually take a break to grab a cup of tea at some point and check out what everyone has posted. I’ve found some lovely new accounts to follow this way so it is more than just a Saturday night thing.

Last weekend I shared progress on my rainbow heart crochet blanket but previously I have shared my sashiko stitching too.

I’d love to see what you’re working on next Saturday night! And tag me to say “Hi” too.

red rainbow heart

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