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25 July, 2011

Dala Horse Soft Toys

Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, it's Christmas in July

Winter & Darma Dala Horses



I've been secretly working with Pam from Gingerbread Snowflakes on the 3D Dala Horses.  I didn't even know what a Dala was until about a month ago.  Pam gave me links and lots of information that I soaked up like a sponge and then got to work making my Dala's.
There are some other blogs which have a keen interest in this little Christmas in July challenge so you should sooch over and check out what's going on.  Carina at Carina's Craftblog has the most beautiful embroidery designs, then Katryn at The Pickled Herring blogspot who amongst other things produces beautiful felt inspired Scandinavian Crafts and don't forget Pam from Gingerbread Snowflakes who has been working on her own Dala 3D horse.

If you would like to make a Dala horse similar to mine, click here to go to the tutorial and download the pattern template.  Thanks for visiting and I 'd love to hear what you think of my Dala's and let me know how you go if you decide to use my pattern.

Cheers and Merry Christmas for July

24 July, 2011


My mother taught me many superstitions as I was growing up, possibly something to do with her Irish background or maybe just silly ‘Old Wives Tales” but nevertheless I've never forgotten the things she told me.  

There’s one I remember clearly, ‘If you can untie a knot your husband will be good to you’.  As a kid, when I got my knitting into a tangle mum would always tell me that I should try and undo the knot myself otherwise my husband would not be good to me.  According to her I was destined for a miserable life because I never had the patience to undo really tangled knots but she would sit until she undid the knot and got it all sorted for me.  What can I say, my husband is good to me and likewise but these days I cringe if I can’t undo a knot and have to cut the thread.

Another tale I have trouble ignoring is “Never put new shoes on the kitchen table unless you want bad luck”.  I’ve done somersaults to stop new shoes being placed on a table.
If I ever see crossed knives, I go out of my way to straighten them as I couldn’t stand the thought of having an argument with anyone (and it’s best not to be seen doing it just in case you didn’t get to the knives in time).  I carefully handle mirrors otherwise I will suffer seven years bad luck if I break one.

When I open a new jar of jam, or sauce I make a wish for luck, just like I make a wish when I have the first fruit for the season.  I never go to bed with dirty feet, otherwise the rats will eat my toes, and should I stand on a crack, I will break my mothers’ back.

Your wish will come true if you blow out all the candles on your birthday cake and same with the wishbone from the chicken or turkey if you get the long half of the wishbone.

As a kid I slept with my arms crossed over my chest because my guardian angel would watch over me and if anyone in the house spilt salt, we had to throw a pinch over our shoulder to keep the devil away.
When someone drops something and I pick it up for them, as I hand it back I say “You’ll get a surprise tonight”.  I practice this on a regular basis.  Not sure why!
Hot ears means someone is talking about you (not in a nice way) and an itchy right palm is great because you will receive money, whereas an itchy left palm means you have to part with money.
I never walk under a ladder for fear of more bad luck and a pimple on my tongue means I’ve told a big fat lie.  To find out if your friend loves you pick the petals off a daisy one by one saying, he loves me, he loves me not, until you get to the last petal to find out your fate.  If you want to see into the future, pick a dandelion that has gone to seed. Take a deep breath and blow the seeds into the wind. Count the seeds that remain on the stem. That is the number of children you will have.

These are my fondest memories, I know there's heaps more.  I don’t think I’ve suffered in anyway because of them, in fact I have great childhood memories.  I was an adventurer.  This may sound like strange thought patterns for a Sunday.  Am I becoming my mother?  Do you have any childhood memories or superstitions you’d like to share?

22 July, 2011

21 July, 2011

Friday What's on my mind

What's this mystery object?

Last Friday I posted a strange item and asked anyone if they new what it was.  Thanks to everyone who took the time to guess.  A couple were close, even warm but I'II show you what it really is.

Well, it’s called a Vinturi - apparently wine needs to breathe!  As wine breathes, it opens up and releases its intended aromas and flavours.  This fancy item can be used for a single glass of wine, whereas the other alternative, if you decant wine, is to pour the wine into a jug.  My son said it’s the same principle as a carburettor except when associated with a car it’s called Venturi.  The carburettor mixes air with the liquid.

This is my husbands 2 minutes of fame demonstrating how his Vinturi works.  

Link back to Down To Earth to see what other people have on their mind today.
Have a great day

It's been a Heart Felt kind of day

I made these hearts recently and had such fun I thought I would share.
First up I made my first Christmas decoration for the year, using a weaving technique and then just decorating by sewing on some tiny beads.  Finished off with a bit of blanket stitch and it was done.

Then I decided I wanted to work more on my embroidery skills because they are not the best, so I had a go at this one.  It's a comfort heart pillow.

I liked the outcome of this so much, I thought I'd make a pin cushion heart pillow.

I wanted to try an idea I had for the woven heart again, so I made this.  It's the same as the Christmas decoration, except I wove ribbon over the top of the felt and then added odd buttons at each join to secure the weave in place.  All the hearts have been fibre filled and have a ribbon attached to hang as you please.

If you'd like to know how to do the felt heart weaving, I've put together a small tutorial and you can download the template to make the heart.  Click here to go to my tutorial.

20 July, 2011

Today I have

Posted six pom poms to Pip from Meet Me At Mikes for the Pom Pom Project.  I have to wait till next month to find out why I made them, but you can go and have a look for yourself here at Meet Me At Mikes.  I don't have to know why I'm doing stuff, I just love to participate.  Making pom poms is so easy, fun and relaxing.

Searched the house looking for Christmas Story Books and favourite books I used to read to the kids, I've kept them all.  I got the idea from Pam from Gingerbread Snowflakes.  Take a look at Pam's blog to find out more about this great idea.  If you have young children in your house, this will be a real treat if you love reading.  Even though I don't have any young children around, I'm still going to collect more Christmas story books and get into the spirit of things.

Went shopping to buy the ingredients I need to make my own laundry liquid.  I follow a great blog called Down To Earth and Rhonda has every tip known to woman and man on how to save money and look after our planet.
So you can get the recipe from Rhonda's blog here Down To Earth Home Made Laundry Liquid.

Picked most of the lemons from my tree and again following Rhonda's advice from her blog, I have put the lemons in the shed for a couple of weeks before I go ahead and juice them and probably freeze them.  Here is how to do it if you're interested.  Down To Earth - Lemons
Empty Lemon Tree
Finished my gauge swatch which came close to the mark, so I can crochet a pair of socks.  I bought the pattern book from this blog here KRW Knitwear Studio.  Karen Ratto Whooley designed all the patterns  and I plan to complete all 9 designs by end of Winter, fingers crossed.   Naturally, I will share my lovely socks when the are finished.

Finally, today but maybe tomorrow I am waiting patiently for the postman to arrive with my purchase from Marti from Martha Winger Crochet blog.  Marti crocheted me a cowlscarf to keep my head warm when I'm out walking my dogs, which I do every day.  So when my cowl arrives, I will make sure it's posted for all to see.

16 July, 2011

Art Class for Beginners

I love to paint but the talent is not really there.  Anyway my teacher was very complimentary with this effort.  It was my first lesson in using watercolours.  

She is a magnificent artist who loves bright colours just like I do.  This is the end result of two fantastic hours of sheer pleasure, fun  and relaxation.

14 July, 2011

Friday What's on my mind

Can You Guess What This Is?

This is the weird object my husband bought home this week.  He won't tell me what it is I have to guess.  I wonder if anyone out there would like to help be guess what it could be.  The only hint I have is that it belongs in the kitchen.  

I said it looks like a ridiculous paper weight or could it be the pot that catches gold at the end of the rainbow, we could do with one of those.  Anyway if you know what it is or take a guess leave a comment.

Next Friday all will be revealed.

This is Friday What's on your mind from Down To Earth 

13 July, 2011

Comments Can Be So Frustrating

Leaving them that is, I'm still getting used to receiving the odd one or two.
Picture Clip Art
I hope somebody reads this and comes to my rescue.  I am about to blow a gasket with blogging and attempting to leave comments.  It's like the "Comments Mafia" is on every blog I visit.  I know that in the past bad things have happen to bloggers like others copying content, stealing ideas and other stuff I don't know about.  But what's the go, I thought blogging was about sharing and connecting.  Connecting-  that's a funny word because boy do I have trouble connecting.

One day in order to leave a comment I had to enrol in a thing called 'Discus' which I did because I am such a trusting fool.  Then I came back to my blog a bit later and my comments were missing.  How stressful was that because I only had a few comments and they were so precious to me.  I finally worked out the Discus was the horrible goblin and dealt with the problem immediately.  It was probably something I did wrong but once bitten twice shy.
Picture Clip Art
I love to leave comments and I never leave a comment for the sake of a comment.  If I don't like what I see I go away, if I like it a little bit but can't deliver a comment of value I leave.  If I fall head over heals with what I'm reading then I comment and I do a damn good job of it too.

Anyone who receives a comment from me gets the real bananas and I would never be rude.  It's my belief that a lot of long time bloggers have been hurt badly in the past with thieves and stuff and hence their blogs are full of web mafia wording which is starting to put me off -  no it's scaring me.

Yes, I would be extremely precious of my tutorials and patterns and everything else I created or made.  (BTW. I was taught at school (by nuns) that you should never use the word 'created' unless in reference to God. Thought I'd add that because I just can't get that out of my poor muddled brainwashed mind!!!)

Photo Clip Art

Anyway, back to comments. Which brings me to another problem "links" what the!!!.  I need a book, a good book, no a great book that will teach me about comments and links so in the future I don't waste my time on blogs that have so much security I can only participate if I've been I lifelong friend.  I'm a newbie, I'm the typical blogger you want to visit your site, fresh eyes, beautiful, meaningful comments.  Lots to give.  I don't want to steal your work, I'm too good at what I do to bother taking some thing you have screwed down anyway.

As nobody will read this I think I will comment on myself for providing such a delicate, insightful, demonstrative and interesting blog.

Any way, if I can't find a book to help out with comments and links then I'm going to do what I do well and that's all sorts of craft.  Today I think I will knit and live the dream

Picture Clip Art

Quote of the day - well it suits me for today

"Well, isn't that just the pickle on the giant crap sandwich that is my day" - Elliot Reid from Scrubs

Sarah Chalke as Elliot Reid in Scrubs
I don't think I've ever mentioned how much I've enjoyed the comedy series "Scrubs".  I discovered it years ago on the TV and got to watch it on my own as nobody else could stand it.  Then when they heard me laughing till I had tears running down my face one or two would emerge from the bowels of the house - to have a gander.

I have all the Scrubs DVD's and have watched them over and over.  I regard myself an SME (that's technical talk for subject matter expert) on Scrubs but have lost many a challenge to other 'Scrub SME's.  What I love so much about this show is that I can guarantee it will have me laughing every time, no matter how down in the dumps I might be, it's the best damn medicine I know of.

 I've been down and out lately but since taking my does of Scrubs I've improved.  I so relate to Elliot, my sons have said that I am an Elliot.  I think it's good to connect to someone.  When ever I read a book, which is all the time, I usually connect to a character in the book - if I don't think it's me, I'd like it to be me.  Harmless fantasy (in my case) that I'm sure the creators of books and movies want to achieve with their audience anyway.

So next time you don't feel so good and want everyone to just leave you alone, go and find something funny to read or watch.  Take some time for you and what ever made you unhappy in the first place will be much easier to deal with after a good dose of nonsense.

08 July, 2011

I've got garden weeds on my mind today

link back to DOWN TO EARTH Rhonda has much more interesting things for you today.

06 July, 2011

05 July, 2011

Knitted Hand Bag

I made this today - What do you think?

03 July, 2011

French Knitting

I've started French knitting because I spend so much time at my computer and so many things take so long to stream, download, update, install, copy, file and all those other things like purchase ITunes music read and respond to emails and the list goes on and on that I have my little knitter beside me and I can keep busy while I wait for technology to catch up to me.  I am such an impatient person.

My appreciation to Clip Art for this gorgeous pic