About Me

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With the help of my friends, I co-ordinate "The Craft Group" which is a place for women to gather and do craft! We share a whole range of things, from craft to the small things that matter to us right up to understanding the whole meaning of life! I learn so much from everyone, I thought a blog would be the perfect way to record the memories! The "Plus..." is all about extra bits 'n pieces that I have found and would love to show you. Welcome to our Craft Group. Please feel free to say hi, leave a comment or become a follower! Enjoy!

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Knitting for the Needy

Every year at "The Craft Group" we put together a rug for charity called "Wrap with Love".

Check out their website to see the great work they do. The rugs they collect can be knitted or crocheted and are all made up of 10 inch squares. Squares can be knitted straight, or on a diagonal (which is easier to get the exact size right and in strips made up of squares. You have to see their pattern sheet to see what I mean.

This term I thought we'd aim to put together another rug. Here are 2 rugs we made last year.
So load your wool and needles ladies, we've got ourselves a rug to make!

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Bag from the Op Shop

It's Saturday. A perfect day to go Op Shop shopping.


At The Craft Group I spotted this pretty handbag. But Bronwyn didn't make it herself, she found it at an 2nd hand Op Shop! What a great find.

Inside it was a note naming the designer and creator of this hand made bag. It says: 
"Christine Talbot. This bag was knitted in linen stitch on size 5 1/2mm needles. Pattern was self designed". I wonder if we will ever find out who Christine Talbot is. Although it would be a bit embarrassing that Bron bought it for $6 and it is worth far more than that!

Friday, 29 July 2011

My DIY curtains are a little bit famous!

In the land of blogging are whole new concepts I knew nothing about just 6 months ago. Some blogs have "Link Parties" where you can link up something from your blog onto theirs.

Roeshel runs the blog "the DIY Showoff" and lets anyone show off their DIY project for all the blogging world to see.

Last week I shared my "Super Cheap Curtain Tutorial" along with 250 other "Show offs". Roeshel picked 6 highlights out of the 251 and she featured mine! That is super exciting for me.

I'd love to showoff other peoples lovely crafts from "The Craft Group" but you have to give some step by step instructions. So next time you start a project.... have your camera ready and send the photos to me and I will "Show off" for you!

The DIY Show Off

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Family Heirloom Chest Makeover.

This is a very special box.
I hope you enjoy seeing it's 'before and after', but I hope you enjoy reading it's special story too!
This chest, or trunk as my Dad always calls it, was in the storage area under the house I grew up in ever since I was born. 
Things were stored in it, on it, behind it. I never really took much notice of it at all. It was just always there and all I knew was that it came with my Dad at some point in his migration to Australia.
Years after I moved out of home I had a sudden light bulb moment that I LOVED that box. Mum and Dad were a bit bewildered that I wanted the old box as a coffee table but were happy that it was going to have a new life.
It's had a busy life at our house. Here it is above, with a table cloth on it that my grandmother embroidered and a vase of pretty paper flowers that my youngest daughter made for me for mothers day. 

We've changed our family room from being based on sandy yellow to white, so time to spruce up the box. We treated all the nail heads first with a rust killing paint.


Ta Da! I didn't want to sand distress the paint because it will be naturally distressed over the years with real family use and I kind of like that. 

Before                                                 After

I asked Dad to write the story of the trunk so I can keep it's history. This is what he wrote...
"When serving in the Dutch Army, I was stationed in Indonesia in 1949. I was playing a church organ (a large Wurlitzer electronic) on Sundays in Malang (Java). An officer asked if he could play it one day as he was a prominent organist in Holland and I said to him, 'you are in charge of the carpentry shop, so you can play the organ if you make a wooden trunk for me to put all my souvenirs in for my return trip to Holland.'  He agreed and that's how I got this strong trunk. By boat it went to Holland in 1950, then again by boat to Australia in 1952 with all my possessions eg. a pushbike (dismantled of course), a blanket, clothes etc. It finished up in Bathurst, then Warragamba, Muswellbrook, Scone, Tempe, Sutherland and now it's found itself a lovely caring home."

How sweet. Quite a cheeky deal I think!

This project was featured at:

A Bowl Full of Lemons

The DIY Show Off

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Wendy's Bed Socks

Bed socks :)
Wendy made these from a lovely thick yarn.
They are enough to make you want to go to bed, or at least have a stay-at-home day.

I know that for those of you in the northern hemisphere, bedsocks are the last thing you are thinking of at the moment but down here in Sydney some mornings are a chilly 8 degrees c (49 deg F) and outside on some days it hasn't risen over a  cool 16 (60 F). I know. Winter in Sydney is pretty tough. Today it is blue blue sky and a top of 19 (66 F). Just 34 days til spring. Yay!
Cosy socks Wendy!

Monday, 25 July 2011

No-sew scarf to make

You can make this SO easily!

This scarf is a no-sew, no-knit project which is just too easy.
I found it on the blog called Organise and Decorate Everything. Go over there and see how she simply cuts up a men's seamless  t shirt, one cut across the hem and a second cut under the arms. She then stretches it on a door handle and even shows different ways to fold and wear it.
I think it looks great. She did choose a nice coloured T shirt though. I don't think I'll use my husband's holey "VW Nationals '87" number!

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Like us on Facebook

I have started a facebook page for "The Craft Group Plus". Click on the blue words in the right hand column that says "The Craft Group Plus on Facebook" and you'll be taken right there.
Once you are there, click on "like" and sign in to get regular updates sent to your facebook account.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Have a Great Weekend

In Sydney we have had the wettest july in something like 60 years. 2 weeks ago it was sunny for a week, and July hasn't even finished yet, so that goes to show that when it rained, it certainly did rain! We even have a waterfall in our backyard! The boys are making a track in this part of our yard for their Remote Control cars. It now has a water feature!
Heidi took a little video of it, so when I get the technology sorted I'll show you the new design feature that God put in our backyard this week.

Until then, don't get your nice shoes wet!

from LOLhome.com
Have a great weekend!

Friday, 22 July 2011

Wil's been busy

Well, my Mum, Wil, has been busy as usual. I'm jealous of her ability to read crochet patterns.

Two Shopping bags by Wil

A "Sharks" Football team colours rug for grandson Matt.

There is always a need for warm knitted socks. Mum makes them practically with her eyes shut sitting in front of the football or tennis on telly. Actually her eyes would not be shut otherwise she wouldn't be able to see who is winning! Go Mum!

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Elaine's Twirly Scarf

Scarf by Elaine
Elaine's scarf modelled by Pam

Elaine knitted this cute spiral scarf using a variegated yarn. 
(Pattern from Better Homes and Gardens, Quartet yarn from Morris Bros. Sydney)
Gorgeous work Elaine and nice modelling work Pam!

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Cheesy Strips

They may not win Master Chef for presentation but you have to believe me that these are yum. I will never throw day old lebanese bread out again.
We use lebanese bread at home for home made pizzas. If there are any left over we now cut them into strips, lay them on baking paper on a baking tray, spray them with olive oil then sprinkle them with fresh parmesan cheese*. Baked in a moderate oven for, oh, I don't know, say 10 minutes or until slightly brown, then cooled, they are really nice to have a with a dip, with soup or as an alternative to fatty old garlic bread. They keep well in an air tight container.
*I buy 'fresh' parmesan cheese already grated and keep it in the freezer with a clip on the open packet, ready to use any time.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Oven Mit by Lin

Lin made this oven mit using some lovely country kitchen fabric.

Her trick is to insert in the centre some silver ironing board cover fabric and padding to make it nice and thick and insulated. Her daughter put in an order. Lin is always so creative at 'The Craft Group', always bringing her machine along and giving it a good workout.

Monday, 18 July 2011

Jelly roll quilt by Lorraine

Whenever I am in a quilting shop, I am always drawn to the jelly rolls. The name of them is enticing and the colours and the way they are ready cut to an exact width all call out 'buy me and make something'. So far I have resisted, only because I have promised myself to finish a few projects before starting something new!  Well, here is a finished quilt by Lorraine, made from Jelly rolls. 

Lorraine is always making things for other people but this quilt, she said, is staying at her own home for all the grandchildren to enjoy when they come and visit.
Very nice Lorraine!

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Creative Card Inspirations

You should see the productivity of  the  card makers at The Craft Group! They are constantly looking for new and creative ideas and sharing them with each other. Here are a few highlights...

Cuts and folds and paper toe hydrangeas by Cheryl

Cutting, embossing and paper tole. A Free standing folded card by Elly.

Detail on Elly's card. When we talk "Elly" we talk "precision".

It's never too soon to plan your Christmas cards!
Pop-up Christmas cards made by Anne

Embossed and Paper Tole Card by Pat.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Explosion box by Cheryl

A few weeks ago, Michelle came up from Wollongong to show us her "Explosion boxes". We all love sharing ideas and putting our own twist on things. Here is Cheryl's explosion box.

You take the lid off and there is an 'explosion' of prettiness.

 Including butterflies flying around!

 Very sweet.

Everyone is now carefully keeping that clear plastic that comes with so many products. Strips of this are used to make the butterflies airborne.


Cheryl's floral center is striking too.

Here is the wrapping paper she used for the butterflies and some of the flowers. So really, not an expensive project but one that is very effective. Wouldn't that be a special box to give some jewellery or cash in as a gift?

Thursday, 14 July 2011

crochet bowl knock off

I went to IKEA and saw this crochet bowl. I had one of those "I'm not paying for that, I can make it myself" moments.
So I did.
I have done plenty of crochet before but never from a pattern. So I found a really old pattern for a hat and with a bit of help from my friend, Lydia, I followed and adjusted it to add a bit of a corner at the base. I like how the IKEA one is made from cotton but I just wanted to use what I had at home in my wool bag. Yay, another free project! We use it for those little puzzles people like to pick up and play with in our living room.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Kate and Louise

Once upon a time there were 2 friends called Kate & Louise.
Did they come to "The Craft Group" to
Louise & Kate
a) Create amazing scrapbook album pages.
b) Catch up with each other and have a chat.
c) Enjoy time out with the 3 little ones in Pam's amazing creche.
d) Make quick and stylish cards to give to friends and to sell at the local florist.
e) All of the above.

Here are some clues..
A whole box of cards by Kate

Lovely Cards by Kate (I should've photographed before putting in plastic, sorry)
Little Jade in the creche

A pretty card by Louise
More pretty cards by Lou.
If your answer was (e) then yay, you are a winner!

Prize: You get to see their inspiring cards again by scrolling up this page.  :)
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