Saturday, December 29, 2012

Advent Swap: Sent 2

Here are some more of the goodies that I sent my advent swap partner ....

Crochet Ornaments

Mitten Ornament
Circle Ornaments

Buttercup Bag (large version)

I've had so much fun participating in this swap and I've received some lovely gifts in return (hopefully I'll get around to showing you some of them next week).

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Goodbye Harvey the Elf!

On Christmas Eve it was time for Harvey to leave us and return home to the North Pole. Even though he was only with us for a short amount of time, he made a big impact and Riley was sad to see him go.

Riley loved getting up each morning and seeing what our cheeky elf had been up too during the night and he'll definitely be back next year for some more Christmas fun.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Elf on the Shelf: Harvey

Look who's finally arrived .... it's Harvey our Elf on the Shelf!
Better late than never right?!

I ordered him months ago and we had completely given up hope of him ever arriving, until I saw this article and sure enough he was here the next day.

Riley is super excited and looking forward to having some fun with him over the next couple of days before Christmas.

Find out all about the Elf on the Shelf here.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Advent Swap: Sent 1

The last couple of weeks I have been busy finishing off some Christmas gifts but you'll have to wait until after Christmas before I can share those.

In the meantime here are some of the handmade items that I sent to my advent swap partner (that have definitely been opened) ....

Key ring

DIY Button magnets
Crochet flower brooch

Fabric button earrings
Crochet soap saver/scrub

Find more Creative Spaces here.
I'm also joining in with a new linky which you can find here.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

DIY Button Magnets

- buttons
- small round magnets
- industrial strength glue

Simply glue the magnets to the back of your buttons and allow to dry.

Package them in a little tin like I did or pair them with a magnet board (I like this idea here) and you have a sweet little gift.

These particular magnets were sent to my advent swap partner, I hope she likes them.

Find more Creative Spaces here.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Letter to Santa

For the last couple of years Riley has always drawn a picture for Santa and I write his Christmas list on the back for him. This year he was able to write his own letter with very little help from me (I was mainly on spelling duty). It's so cool to see how far he's come after just 6 weeks of school.

I decided to keep it simple so it's more of a list than a proper letter but it does start with Dear Santa ....

Thankfully his requests are both reasonable and achievable, phew.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Crochet Wreath Ornaments

I have been working on some more Christmas ornaments this week, this time for the Kiwi Christmas Ornament Swap.

I'd come across yarn wrapped ornaments while browsing Pinterest for inspiration and decided to combine that idea with crochet. I'd never crocheted around a ring before but it was very easy to do and I love how my ornaments turned out.

Here's a quick rundown of how to make them if anyone wants to give them a go ....

- curtain rings
- yarn and crochet hook in a size to match
- gold bells (3 for each ring)
- ribbon
- yarn needle
(for those of you in Wellington I got the curtain rings and bells from Pete's Emporium in Porirua)

1. Leaving a long tail (about 4 inches), make a slip knot at the end of your yarn.

2. Single crochet around the curtain ring (there's a good tutorial here if you need help figuring it out). Keep your stitches nice and tight and every so often push them down to make sure that none of the curtain ring is showing.

3. When you get back to where you started, join with a slip stitch in your first single crochet.

4. Chain 20 (this will make your hanging loop). Join with slip stitch at the base of where your chain starts from. Fasten off (I use this method here), again leaving a long tail.

5. Take the long yarn tail that you left at the beginning and bring it through the center of your ring so that it's at the front, thread on three bells. Use a yarn needle and thread the tail through the stitches where the hanging loop is attached to the ring. Cut a length of ribbon and place it behind the yarn tail at the front, pull your yarn tail right through to the back. Make sure the bells are hanging in the middle of the ring.

6. Tie your 2 yarn tails at the back together to make a knot. Use a yarn needle and thread the yarn under 5-6 loops on either side of the knot. Trim yarn ends.

7. Tie your ribbon in a bow at the front and trim ends.

8. I put some fray stop on my ribbon ends and dabbed a little super glue on the knot at the back to make sure that it's nice and secure.

I hope that all makes sense. It really is self explanatory once you get started.

Find more Creative Spaces here.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

New Zealand Handmade Ornament Swap: Sent

I am all about easy. I love nothing better than making items that are simple to put together but turn out looking so pretty.

For this ornament I used the instructions from here.

Find more Creative Spaces here.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Crochet Soap Saver/Scrub Pattern

I have been doing a lot of Christmas crafting lately and one of the items that I have been making is a soap saver/scrub. Pair it with a nice bar of soap and you have a sweet little gift.

They're really easy to make and would make a great beginner project.

Yarn: 100% cotton yarn
Hook: 5mm

ch: chain
sl st: slip stitch
dc: double crochet
sc: single crochet

Make an adjustable ring.

Round 1: Ch 2, 12 dc in ring. Gently pull tail to close ring. Sl st to top of ch 2 to join.

Round 2: Ch 2, dc in same stitch. 2 dc in each stitch around. Join with sl st to top of ch 2.

Check to make sure it fits the width of your soap. If it's too small, add an extra increase round (ch 2, dc in same stitch. *1 dc in next stitch, 2 dc in next stitch - *repeat around).

Round 3: Ch 2, dc in each stitch around. Join with sl st to the top of ch 2.

Repeat round 3 until desired length is reached. (Keep a bar of soap handy to check fit, you want your pouch to be about 3 cm longer than your bar of soap).

Last round: Sc in each dc around (check to make sure soap fits).
Fasten off  (I like to use this method here) and weave in ends.

Ch 60. Weave your chain through the 2nd to last row of double crochet, then use it to cinch the top closed around your soap.

If you make a Crochet Soap Saver/Scrub using this pattern, I'd love for you to share some photos in the Monkey Makes Three Flickr group or leave a link in the comments.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Christmas Linky - Children's Books

I just love losing myself in a good book and reading has always been something that I've wanted Riley to enjoy too. For the last couple of years we've been getting Riley a Christmas book, I think overall we've missed a couple of Christmas's but it's definitely a tradition that I intend to keep up.

I'm not very consistent with when I give it to him but it's always at least a week before Christmas so we have time to enjoy it before the big day.

These are the books that we have so far:

If anyone has any good Christmas book recommendations I'd love to hear them.

This year we are adopting an elf, I can't wait for him to arrive! You can find out all about the Elf on the Shelf here. He comes with a book too, so not only will we be starting a new tradition this year but continuing an old one as well.

Linking up here.

The Golden Adventures of

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Tutorial: DIY Washer Necklace

This is not an original idea and there are heaps of different tutorials around but I thought I would share how I made mine. They were really easy to make and I love how they turned out.

- A washer from the hardware store (choose the size you like best)
- Nail polish in whatever colour you want your washer to be
- Mod Podge Dimensional Magic
- 1 meter of cord
- Beads (optional), keep in mind that the hole in the center of the bead needs to be big enough to pass through two strands of cord.

1. Cover the front of the washer in nail polish, allow to dry. Apply as many coats as you need to get nice, even coverage.

2. Once your washer is completely dry, use a cotton bud and some nail polish remover to carefully clean off any excess nail polish that may have gotten on the back of your washer.

3. Apply a layer of dimensional magic following the instructions on the packaging. If there are any bubbles, just scrape them off with your finger nail.

4. Fold your cord in half and push the loop through the center of your washer from back to front. Thread the ends of the cord through the loop and pull tight.

5. Now if you want to, you can add a bead like I have done, by simply threading it onto both strands of cord.

6. I used this tutorial here to make a couple of sliding knots.

That's it! Super simple and super cute. The dimensional magic was so easy to apply and the finished product looks great.

Find more Creative Spaces here.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

My Creative Space

My creative space has been a hive of activity over the last couple of weeks. I think I must have had a moment of insanity because I've signed up for 3 Christmas swaps this year, so I have been busy, busy, busy getting things ready for those.

Once they're out of the way then I can get started on my own Christmas crafting ....

Find more Creative Spaces here.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Tutorial: Pocket Tissue Case

When I first started sewing I went through a phase of making lots of tissue cases. I tried a bunch of different tutorials but I never found one that would fit a whole pack of Kleenex pocket tissues, they were always too small.

So with Christmas coming up I thought it would be a good time to make my own pattern. These would make great little gifts and are really quick to make.

- 8.5" x 6.5" piece of fabric for the outside
- 7.5" x 6.5" piece of fabric for the lining
- coordinating thread

Take your outer and lining pieces and with right sides together, match up the raw edges along one of the short sides. Sew together with a 1/2" seam allowance. Repeat for the other side.

Turn right side out and press seams open. 

Press entire piece flat. Since the lining fabric is shorter, the outer fabric will fold in at the edges. Try and keep it even on both sides. Top stitch close to the edge. I use the lining as a guide and sew right next to it.

Fold piece in half and mark the center of each raw edge. Fold in one side and overlap your center mark by 1/2 an inch at both ends. Fold in the other side and match up the line where the outer and lining meet. Pin in place and sew both ends closed with a 1/2" seam allowance. You can use a zigzag stitch or leave the edges raw. I trimmed mine with pinking shears.

Now we're going to box the corners. Start  by opening out your corner. Center your stitch line on top of the folded edge and fold the seam to one side, making a triangle. Pin in place. Measure 1/2 an inch in from the corner and rule a line at right angles to the stitch line. Repeat for all corners and sew along the marked lines (don't forget to secure your stitches at both ends).

It should look like this:

Cut off corners 1/4 of an inch from stitch line. Turn right side out and gently poke out corners. 

Fill with tissues. It may take a bit of wiggling to get your tissues in but it's the perfect fit for the Kleenex pocket tissues, 21 x 21cm (remove the plastic first).

If you make a Pocket Tissue Case using this tutorial, I'd love for you to share some photos in the Monkey Makes Three Flickr group or leave me a link in the comments.

Monday, October 29, 2012

1st Day of School

Riley's first day of school went without a hitch. There were no tears or tantrums when it was time for me to leave and I left him sitting happily on the mat.

It's amazing how much more grown up he seems after just one day of school!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Crochet: Adjustable Ring

Since learning to crochet I have struggled with the adjustable ring technique. The adjustable ring is often used in amigurumi projects so you don't have an ugly hole in the centre of your starting round.

I looked at heaps and heaps of tutorials but I just could not get it! Finally I came across a description that I understood and that worked for me so I thought I'd share it here in case anyone else is struggling with making an adjustable ring. I hope it makes sense ....

Wrap yarn around your finger.

Insert hook into the wrap and draw up a loop of working yarn.

Chain one to secure loop and remove ring from finger.

Follow pattern and work stitches of first round in the ring.

Pull gently, but firmly on tail to tighten ring.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Saying Goodbye ....

Yesterday we walked to Kindy for the last time. We said goodbye to Riley's teachers and friends, the people who have played a big part in helping him learn and grow into the wonderful little person that he is.

Monday will mark the beginning of a whole new chapter ....

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Big Five ....

Today my little boy turns 5! Riley has grown into the sweetest little person and I couldn't be more proud of him. He has brought so much joy and happiness into our lives.

Less than an hour old
1 Year old
2 Years Old
3 Years old
4 Years Old
5 Years old