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!

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Valda's Wedding card

Valda created a card for her niece Naomi's wedding.
There is something special about this card.
Naomi will definitely be very happy with the design.
Valda reused parts of the wedding invitation and recreated her 'Congratulations' card.

I know people don't always keep every wedding invitation they ever receive, but brides and grooms do keep the cards they received on their wedding day, so I think this is a great idea!


Saturday, 24 August 2013

25 ways to fold a scarf

Why make my own tutorial if there are so many good ones already?

I like this one...

Get your long, thin scarf ready and Click Here to possibly learn a few new tricks!

25 ways to tie a scarf

Thanks Heidi for the link!

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Lin's kids quilts...finished!

Back in March I showed you the beginnings of a quilt Lin was making. I said...

"Lin, your grandkids are so lucky to have you creating fun quilts for them!"


Your grandkids and friends can be thankful you actually finish things!
I am a shocker at the moment with finishing projects!

So for inspiration, here is a finished project by Lin.






Well done Lin. Keep up the quilting and enjoy your new home too by the way!

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Crochet tips, US and UK Crochet Conversions and a beanie pattern!

Firstly, Yay!!! It's saturday morning and I just received an email that my 23 year old daughter has arrived safely at her destination in India after 32 hours of travelling alone.

*big sigh* and Thank you Lord!

Now, onto some blog sharing of the crocheting kind.

I found this good tip on finishing off threads in your crochet.

from 'Playin' Hooky' blog
While checking out her site I saw on the top tab a free pattern which looks good too! She calls it the Brain Wave Beanie. :) 

from 'Playin' Hooky' Designs
But... I am always confused about patterns because of the silly differences in terms around the world.
The pattern above is from the USA.
The UK and the USA use the same terms but they mean different things. Being in Australia, I am confused because some follow the US was and others the UK. From the chart below, they say Aussies use the UK version.

I found this great, chart to convert crochet patterns Here



This following chart from "Fresh Stitches"  is a little different but also includes the hook conversions.
If you click here you can download this printable conversion chart. (Although I thought "slip Stitch' means the same in both countries???)

There is a really comprehensive guide on wikapedia here.

Are you as confused as I am, now that more patterns are coming through from the US?
Other Aussie crocheters... which version do you follow? 

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Postage Stamp Folding

Cutting little pieces of paper and aiming to get them exactly the same size with exactly the same design is tricky. So why not let the Australian (or any) government do all the hard work for you?

Postage stamps are great for folding and making cards. Perfect size. Perfectly identical.
Here is one by Rita featuring an Australian tropical fish stamp.






This style of card decoration originates from origami. Then, from what I can gather, The Netherlands seems to be the place where the craft became huge using the outer cover of tea bags.

The funny thing is that even if you are using postage stamps, it is still called "Tea Bag Folding".

There are SO many different ways to fold and create. Just google search 'tea bag folding' and you will have plenty to be inspired by. 
In comparison to Rita's card, which I find really classy, many on the web look a bit gaudy, but it is a matter or personal taste and trends in different areas.

Here is a basic little website. It's not that flash but starts with teaching the most basic tea bag fold to get you started.

If anyone knows of a better website with instructions, please let me know in the comments. (Elly?)

Monday, 12 August 2013

Cowls, the new scarves

Cowls are not new but there have been a few appearing at The Craft Group.
Here is Joan's.



Hers is knitted. You can find some free cowl knitting patterns here.

Here is one by Bronwyn. Hers is crocheted.


I love these next 2 photos. Bronwyn is chatting to me about her cowl she made. In the background are the quilting ladies frantically searching for a needle that flung into the air and landed who-knows-where. It was a very thorough search, let me tell you!



In the end it was found at home in someone else's quilting bag. 
It had landed there and wasn't on the ground after all!

You might have better luck searching for crochet cowl patterns here.

Stay warm! 
Although I can't complain with our Sydney winter which has seen so many 20 degree days. 
Nice!



Saturday, 10 August 2013

Kefir Grains

Buttermilk, yoghurt.... we're talking about fermenting milk. Sounds dubious but it is very healthy.
If you want to take probiotics for your gut, then buying Yakult can be expensive.
So, instead, why not make your own KEFIR?

From 'Homemade Mommy'

Elly has looked into it and has mastered it.
It is a bit tricky at first but once you have worked it out, it is quite achievable and cheap as chips. You can eat the 'grains', make a milky drink or add it to cooking. (Introduce it slowly though to avoid some side effects!)

If you are a part of The Craft Group, Elly is happy to provide you with some Kefir grains to get you started.

I found this blog post from "Homemade Mommy" really informative. Read before you try. She has a link you can click on for an informative post on fermented foods in general and how they are good for you.

I am no expert on this topic, just sharing that Elly has some 'starter' grains if you are interested. But I am interested to know if anyone has any experience with Kefir? Please share...



Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Many squares makes a card

During our recent All Day Open House Craft Day, the card making ladies, armed with their square paper hole punch, made some lovely cards!

 

Lots of punched out squares. Guess what they are cut out of? The insides of different envelopes! I bet you never knew the insides of envelopes were so pretty!



The edges of each square in this card were swiped along the side of a little ink pad to give them a shaded edge. Then, glued on dark blue paper, you will never see the little gaps.
Glue all the squares onto a piece of paper then place a template over it, trace and cut out a fancy shape.
The edges of this shape are also shaded giving the card real depth.
Katelyn was our youngest attendee at the craft day. She made some pretty gift tags with the envelope squares.



More squares! This time cut out of christmas wrapping paper.


This time, a gold three was used in the sewing machine to stitch around each edge after they were glued into place.


Hope you feel inspired!
A great card making method for all ages I'd say.









Saturday, 3 August 2013

Knit this month for charity

Did you know you can knit your little fingers off this month for charity?
(NOTE ADDED LATER: SEE BELOW*)
In the past, ladies at The Craft Group have made knitted items and asked me how to get them to people in need? I had trouble finding a collector and distributor because my local Guardian pharmacy, who used to take my collections, said they don't do it any more.

Some of the things knitted by Bev G given to "Save the Children"
Well, either the person working there had no idea or that particular chemist didn't collect. But anyway, they are still collecting and I have the website to prove it!

Save the Children distribute knitted items to children in need and you can easily donate your items at your local Guardian Pharmacy.  (look here for the one closest to you).

They give out a free pattern book too. In the past they have told me that the items donated don't have to be from the pattern book, they can be anything for children to wear, providing they are new.

Here is the whole pattern book. Rather than print it off yourself, you can get a copy apparently at the Guardian Pharmacy.
The Guardian Pharmacy knitting pattern book.
Happy knitting! You have until 31st Aug 2013.
*I feel a bit annoyed! I saw the ad for this in a magazine and then after writing this blog tried to find the nearest Guardian Pharmacy. There are only a few in Sydney and the closest to me is at the Airport. I rang and they said I can post them to a Guardian Pharmacy. I found out through many phone calls that I can post them to "Save the Children Fund" directly which is probably by prefered option. But then I did have to go to the airport yesterday, so I took them and dropped them off there which worked out in the end.

Friday, 2 August 2013

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