Friday, January 31, 2014

Month By Month: 1/12

Last year I found Jodi's 52 Project to be a bit much for me so this year I'm going with a monthly photo post which I'll share at the end of each month.

Simple and achievable.

Too hot for clothes. You spent the afternoon inside creating an obstacle course in the lounge - laughing and playing in your tunnel.

Your first taste of Mr Whippy. You thought it was pretty cool that you could get ice cream delivered straight to your door.

Mummy and Riley selfie. We don't get enough photos of the two of us together.

Swinging yourself on your swing. You only needed a little push to get started.

A fun day at the Zoo with family.

An afternoon out at Staglands for your Uncle's birthday. You love throwing stones into the river.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Crochet Coffee Cup Sleeve

I whipped up this coffee cup sleeve as a last minute gift. Paired with some nice coffee and you have a quick, inexpensive gift for any coffee lover.

When it comes to following crochet patterns I can never seem to get the gauge right and I usually end up winging it - sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. All you need for this project to ensure a perfect fit is to have the cup that you are making the sleeve for on hand (I got mine from Starbucks).

Here's the pattern if you'd like to have a go at making one yourself:

Yarn: Panda Magnum Soft

Hook: 5mm

ch: chain
sl st: slip stitch
hdc: half double crochet
sc: single crochet

All stitches except for round 1 are worked in the back loop.

Make a chain that fits snugly around the bottom of your coffee cup. Being careful not to twist your chain, sl st into your first ch to create a circle.

Round 1: Ch 1, hdc in same stitch and in each stitch around. Join with sl stitch in top of beginning ch 1.

Round 2-?: Ch 1, working in the back loops only, hdc in next stitch and each stitch around. Join with sl st.

Repeat this round until your sleeve reaches the desired length. Keep trying it on your cup to ensure a good fit.

Finishing Round: Ch 1, still working in the back loops only, sc in each st around. Join with sl st. Fasten off and weave in ends.

Find more patterns and tutorials here.

If you make a Crochet Coffee Cup Sleeve 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.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Book Review: Pom and Pim by Lena and Olof Landstrom

That's bad luck.
Or is it ...?

Pom and Pim is a sweet story about friendship and luck.

The two friends make the most of every situation that they find themselves in and what we might think is bad luck, may even lead to a bit of creativity and ingenuity.

The simple text and illustrations work perfectly together and will appeal to not just pre-schoolers but slightly older children as well.

It's a great book for encouraging independent reading and I think all children can relate in someway to Pom and Pim's story making it all the more enjoyable.

Pre-order your copy here.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Ham and Egg Cups

I'd never thought of baking eggs in the oven before but when I came across the idea on Pinterest I knew I had to give it a go.

These ham and egg cups make a quick breakfast or even lunch and they are super simple to make. 

  • Oil a muffin tin
  • Line each case with ham
  • Crack in an egg
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Bake at 180 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until the whites are well cooked. Yum!

Find more recipes here.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

iPad Mini Carry Bag

R got an iPad mini for Christmas. It comes as no surprise that it's now his prized possession and he wants to take it everywhere with him. To make it easier for him to carry around, I made a carry bag for it.

I decided on a messenger style bag with an elastic closure to keep the flap in place. I picked the fabric up in a recent sale and it was just too perfect for this project - the writing on it says 'geek gone wild'.

The strap is a little long so I've tied a knot in the end of it and it can be adjusted as needed. It's a snug fit for his iPad so there's no chance of it falling out by accident.

R is thrilled with it and even allowed me to take a couple of photos of him carrying it.

Joining in with Sew Cute Tuesday and Show & Tell.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Book Review: The Warded Man (Demon Cycle #1) by Peter V Brett

I am a huge lover of the fantasy genre and I get so excited when I discover a great new series. 

Now I did my research before diving into this book and while the concept certainly isn't all that original, I decided to give it a go anyway. (It reminded me of Terry Brooks' Shannara series but that's just my opinion).

As darkness falls, demon corelings rise — multitudes and giants, from fire, wood, and rock, hungry for human flesh. After centuries, humans dwindle, protective wards forgotten. Three young survivors of demon attacks, Arlen, Leesha, and Rojer, dare to fight back.

This is the first book in the Demon Cycle series by Peter V Brett. The novel follows the lives of three main characters and their respective struggles in a world where demons rule and humans are the lesser species. The magic system, known as 'warding', is all that protects the last vestiges of humanity from the horrors of the night.

The book is very well written and the story flows well despite the constant shifting between characters. With the perfect mix of action, loss and romance, I was thoroughly engrossed and found it difficult to put down - the sure sign of a good read.

I found the author's writing style to be very concise while still painting a vivid picture. The characters are believable and with all the back story we're really able to understand how certain events shape them into the heroes that they become, making them all the more likable.

The book ticked all the right boxes for me and I can't wait to dive into the second book in the series.

Rating: 4/5
Note: I was not paid to write this review. 
I just love books/reading and want to share my passion with you. 

The Desert Spear (Demon Cycle #2)
The Daylight War (Demon Cycle #3)

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Drawstring Pouches

Now with Christmas all finished I find myself needing to make a few pouches to accommodate some of R's newly acquired bits and pieces.

I love drawstring pouches. They are so quick and easy to make.

I think the drawstrings on this particular pouch are a little long but R says they're just right - makes it easier to carry maybe?

And just for fun I whipped up this super cute jewelry pouch. It measures 3" x 4" and was very fiddly to sew.

Joining in here.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Zebra Cake + White Chocolate Icing Recipe

It was my brother's birthday at the weekend and my mum asked us to make him a cake. I wanted to make something a little bit special so I decided to try a zebra cake.

I wanted a nice tall cake so we made two and stacked them up. They were pretty easy to make and only slightly more time consuming than making a regular cake.

It was awesome cutting it open and seeing the cool stripey effect. We iced it with my favorite white chocolate icing.

125g butter, softened
A dash of vanilla essence
150g white chocolate melts, melted and slightly cooled
Icing sugar

Cream together the butter and vanilla.

Beat in the melted white chocolate.

Slowly sift in icing sugar until icing reaches a spreadable consistency.

You can find the recipe that I used for the cake here.
Find more recipes here.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013 Projects

This year has just flown by! It was Riley's first full school year and somehow that seems to have made the time go by even faster.

Here are some of my favorite projects from 2013:

Most of my makes for last year have been clothes, including a few things for myself. It's been fun trying out different patterns, drafting my own and adding some unique pieces to R's wardrobe. I also made my very first quilt which was one of the goals that I set at the beginning of the year.

Wishing you all a safe and happy new year