Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Koala Accessories

A friend of ours had a baby boy recently and I wanted to make a little something.  I thought about making another little bunny cuddly, like I did here, but decided I wanted to do something new this time.

I've also made hats as presents and bags.  For a baby I decided that a hat made a lot more sense.  I umm and ahhed about whether to make an owl in more masculine colours for him, but I wanted something completely different. I've said before that I'm mad about owls, but my son is mad about koalas, so that was my inspiration.  

I used the same hat pattern as for the owl, but used grey yarn, changed the ears to pom poms and tried to create a koala looking face.  I did want to do bigger pom poms, but I was worried about whether they would be comfortable for a little head, so I went smaller.

Continuing on with the koala theme, I made a little coin wallet/purse for my son for Christmas.

I used the same method for this as I did with my stripy pencil cases, but used a 2 inch zip instead.  I think he looks cool and my son is very pleased with him.

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Bits and Bobs

I have been doing some de-cluttering and tidying up around the house recently.  You know the type I mean, properly going through boxes and all the bits and bobs that I keep hold of because I'm a hoarder. Whilst doing this I found one of the little monster packages I talked about here.  It had been hanging around for a while and the playdough was no longer usable, but you can see the little kits we created and all the bits and bobs that were inside it.

I also found some things that the kids and I had used the marbling technique I talked about here and here.  I love that they didn't always marble their items, sometimes they just created the colours on the top of the water and dipped their item in.  It gives a totally different design.  

We plan to make some necklaces out of the washers.  I do think that this would make an awesome craft for a party, I'll just have to see if I can fit it into the party idea we come up with this year.

The pegs were going to be Christmas presents (may still use this idea at some point) with magnets on the back so they could be attached to fridges to hold lists/letter/important info.

We also moved a whole load of CDs which were on display into boxes and put something much prettier on display instead.  This wasn't even my idea, but my Husband's.  I love it, the kids call it the "wall of wool" which makes it sound so much more impressive.  Isn't it pretty?!

And yes, in case you're wondering I did keep all the above bits and bobs, though the crafty bits were returned to the crafty drawers we have, the marbled items are still awaiting somewhere to live.  Sigh.  Never mind if I'm depressed about my lack of de-cluttering skills I can always look at my wall of wool...

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Zombie Brains Revamped!

I made Jamie Oliver's Zombie Brains a while ago, and although it wasn't very popular I was keen to try and give it another go.  In our house we have agreed that we should try everything ten times before we decide whether we like it or not.  There is a scientific study out there somewhere which suggests that we can't actually know until we've done that.

Anyway, although I wanted to try celeriac again, and I thought the kids and my Husband should, I thought I'd need a revamp to make them interested.  

We all like curry, so it seemed sensible to mix the two.  I make my own curry pastes as a base for the curries we eat and this is another Jamie Oliver recipe, well loosely at least, I think I added some cashew nuts to the Jalfrezi paste for this one.  I love these curry pastes so much and this has encourage me to cook so much more curry than I would have done using jars from the shops.

I started by roasting the celeriac - the smell of this roasting is lovely, and it is so easy to cut once it is roasted.

Then I fried the paste and onions and added a tin of tomatoes and a good splodge of mango chutney.  I think the sweetness this provides is one of the reasons that my kids love curry.  We tried a lentil curry at a farmers market once, and they really enjoyed it despite never eating any of my previous efforts, and that one tasted sweet.  Since then I've always added a little chutney (or if I'm out of that cranberry sauce, or jam) and they have always eaten it.  I love the slight sweetness it provides too.  

Once the curry  had been simmering for a while I added half a roasted celeriac and a tin of chickpeas along with a little cream and then it was ready to serve.

The kids did eat it, though they pointed out they prefer it with other vegetables (I normally use whatever veg is unused at the bottom of the fridge, or a couple of tins of chickpeas or a cup of lentils).  I didn't tell them it had celeriac in it, but they both twigged very quickly.  I preferred  Zombie Brains this way,  and so did my Husband.  Still a few more times to taste celeriac before the kids can decide for sure whether or not they like it!  

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Crochet Lamb Chocolate Egg Cover

I said I would provide the pattern for the Crochet Lamb Chocolate Egg cover in this picture.

I personally like the lamb best, but the Husband thinks he looks like a Zombie Lamb.  Hmm, maybe I should have used beads for his eyes, or possibly embroidery thread as opposed to acrylic yarn.  I couldn't be bothered to go find some when I was creating him though.  My own fault. 

I used a 2.5mm hook with normal DK acrylic wool for this project.  The pattern is my own.  The terms are American terms

Body (Make one)
Row 1:              Magic Circle to begin and chain 1, then 5 single crochet into the circle. (5 st)
Row 2:              2 single crochet into each stitch (10st)
Row 3:             *2 single crochet into next stitch and 1 single crochet into the next stitch* - repeat until end (15st)
Row 4 - 13:       Single crochet around (15st)
Row 14:            *Single crcohet in next stitch, single crochet two together in next stitch* - repeat until end (10 st) Fasten off and weave tails in.

Head (Make one)
Chain 5, 3 single crochet into 2nd stitch from hook.  Continue with 1 single crochet in each chain to end of the chain stitches.  In last chain complete 5 single crochet.  You want to keep going around the other side of the chain and single crochet into each back loop of the chains.  When you get to the last stitch (the one you have already put 3 single crochet into) complete 2 more single crochet into the same stitch.  Close with a slip stitch. Chain 1, then single crochet all around.  Close with slip stitch and fasten off.

Or you could simply use a scrap of black felt and cut into an oval shape.

Ears (make two)
Chain 3,  3 single crochet into 2nd stitch from hook. 
5 Single Crochet into next stitch
This takes you back around to the first stitch complete 2 more single crochet in that stitch, slip stitch together and fasten off.

As with the head, you could use a couple of smaller scraps of black felt,also cut into ovals.

Finishing Off
Make two French knots/use pale beads for the lamb's eyes and sew on a mouth to the head section.
Sew the head onto the body and then sew the ears on either side of the head.

That's it.  You're finished.