window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);} gtag('js', new Date()); gtag('config', 'UA-54570621-1'); Keeping it Real: July 2014

Thursday, July 31, 2014

(Another) Wordless Wednesday bloghop 30/Jul

I have been looking at Wordless Wednesday blog posts for a long time and it always fascinates me how beautiful pictures can sometimes tell a story better than words.

Yesterday I posted my first WW (here, in case you missed it) and I'm seriously interested in developing a series of WW in this blog.

So, after sharing the WW bloghop @ Clairejustine oxox yesterday, today I'm sharing the Wordless Wednesday bloghop @ a sorta fairytale



Linky is up and running until next Monday (August 4th).

(and if you host of know of other Wordless Wednesday link parties, let me know, I would love to be there as well) 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Monday, July 28, 2014

Creative Mondays bloghop

Sharing the Creative Mondays bloghop @ Clairejustine oxox

bloghop


Come link-up too! Join the fun!

Lined crochet basket

A.k.a. right now as Furby's nest...


lined crochet basket, furby nest

Has the Furby mania already reached your house? My son got a Furby on his birthday and since we don't have a real life pet, Furby has become a sort of family mascot. He is a lively little character but sleeps peacefully if left on his own with low noise levels.

lined crochet basket, furby nest
Our Furby sleeping on the dining room table
Well, as with most dolls and soft toys around our house, it was unanimously decided that Furby needed a bed, or rather a nest, to sleep in. An so the crochet lined basket came to be:

lined crochet basket, furby nest



It is a very simple project that can be made any size you want or need and I took some pictures of the basket in the making to put together a small tutorial in case anyone wants to replicate the process. Depending on size, it is a good project to use your yarn leftovers (mine were leftovers from the crochet spiral pillow)

Start with a round crochet piece for the bottom. I inserted ten double crochets into a magic ring and went from there, increasing as needed to make the piece flat.

lined crochet basket, furby nest


If you are making the basket using two different colors like me, you will need two circles, one in each color (outside and lining) and also a circle of cardboard (I used a sheet of clear plastic leftover from another project, so go with what you have at hand) to put in between the circles. This will keep the bottom of the basket sturdier and helps maintain its shape better, especially if you are using soft yarn.

lined crochet basket, furby nest

Now join the two circles with a single crochet, using your outside color of yarn, with no increases this time, since you want the crochet to go up instead of to the sides). Keep the plastic in between the circles.


lined crochet basket, furby nest

Once this is done, continue all around with double crochet. Again, no increases. Add rows until the side of the basket reaches the size you want.

lined crochet basket, furby nest


Now pull the side of the basket down, exposing the bottom lining side and using your lining yarn add a row of single crochet from the bottom up.

lined crochet basket, furby nest

lined crochet basket, furby nest

With this you will be basically adding a second side to the basket inside the first one, so once you turn the first side you crocheted back in place you will have your lining:

lined crochet basket, furby nest

 Now all you have to do is to join both lining pieces at the top with a single crochet, using whichever color you prefer. I used the lining yarn to get a contrast but you can use your outside yarn or even add a third color, no rules here!



lined crochet basket, furby nest

lined crochet basket, furby nest

As from now, your basket is finished, unless you want to add some more detail. This is what I did:

lined crochet basket, furby nest

lined crochet basket, furby nest

(five single crochets in one hole, slip stitch in the next hole, repeat until completing the circumference)

This is how it will look once finished 

lined crochet basket, furby nest
lined crochet basket, furby nest

lined crochet basket, furby nest

 In the end I passed a single yarn though the holes in the top and tied a knot and a bow

Furby seems to like his nest, but I've tested for other purposes as well and it seems to work just fine. It looks great with my crochet supplies for another project, so I definitely see more lined baskets in my future.

lined crochet basket, furby nest




I hope you enjoy,



Friday, July 25, 2014

Weekend blog hop

Sharing the Weekend bloghop @ Clairejustine oxox



I'm already there.
Come link-up too! Join the fun!

Weekend no rules bloghop

Sharing the Weekend No Rules bloghop @ a sorta fairytale

 bloghop

Linky is up and running until next Friday (August 1st).

Come link-up too! Join the fun!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Monday, July 21, 2014

Reuse and upcycle: pillow cases from a toddler bed sheet

I'm a huge fan of reusing and up-cycling things . It helps reduce clutter and saves money, and often all you need is a clever idea or a little inspiration to turn something you have stuck in your closets into a useful object once again.

This week that something was a toddler bed sheet which had not been used in our house for over three years. It was the first sheet we bought when our son moved from his crib into a big boy bed. It never got much use because in the meantime his sister got the toddler bed and he moved again to a regular bed, but the fabric is super cute for a boy room, so I kept it with the intention of turning it into something else. 

Finally I got round to it, so after the reuse and up-cycling of pants tutorial (if you missed that post, you can find it here) I bring you the pillow cases made out a toddler bed sheet, in two different styles (with snaps and with ties).


upcycled pillowcase


It was really a very quick project and I would have finished in a couple of hours (or less) if I did not have a mountain of laundry to wash, fold and put away and if I had not been busy trying to make my house look a bit more like a house and a bit less like a bad episode of Hoarders. In reality, the first pillow was made on Saturday, the second one on Sunday and some of the pictures were taken at night (which I hear is a no-no in bloggers' world, but I'm keeping it real here, right?).

Anyway, I forgot to measure the original sheet, but I have a vague recollection it was something like 160 cms by 80 cms. If not that, it should be close as it was enough to make two 60 cm by 40 cm pillow cases with a bit of fabric left over.

upcycled pillowcase






In this picture you can't really see the pattern (and I did not take a closer shot) but there are blue cars and trucks with the words "vroom" and "beep beep" repeated in each line.

Anyway, I cut the first pillow sideways because I wanted to use the stripy edge. This was the easiest thing ever: cut, fold. sew on two sides (the third side is the fold and the fourth is the opening).

upcycled pillowcase

If you want you can leave it as is. Because my son is a restless sleeper and thrashes around his pillow a lot, I added three pairs of snaps to keep the opening closed. Here is the pillow, ironed and already in use in his bed (pardon the mess, he keeps a full zoo of stuffed animals in there):



For the second pillow I folded and cut the remaining fabric from the sheet, so that again I only needed to sew on two sides (the left hand side and the bottom in the picture below).

upcycled pillowcase

Before sewing the sides, however, because there was still some fabric leftover, I decided to make ties to close the opening. The ties are long strips of fabric folded bias tape style and then sewn on one side.


I pinned the ties on the wrong side of the fabric (keeping them symmetrical when the fabric is folded over), then folded the edge over and pulled the ties to the outside again (if you're lost in this explanation, please look at the second picture below, hopefully it will help). This way the ties are secured and their ends do not show even if you turn the pillow case inside out). Because  was able to use the original hems of the sheet, there was no hemming involved anywhere.

 upcycled pillowcase
 upcycled pillowcase 

Here is how it looks after sewing the sides and then with a pillow already inside it (not the same pillow, the boy was already asleep by this time).

upcycled pillowcaseupcycled pillowcase

I'm sure there are much prettier pillowcase patterns around, but these were easy and fast, just the way I like (need) it. And allowed me to finally turn the toddler sheet into something that hopefully will get much more use in the future.











Weekend No Rules bloghop

Sharing the Weekend No Rules bloghop @ a sorta fairytale

 bloghop

Linky is up and running until next Thursday (the 24th).

Come link-up too! Join the fun!

Creative Mondays bloghop

Sharing the Creative Mondays bloghop @ Clairejustine oxox

bloghop

I'm already there.
Come link-up too! Join the fun!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Activities for Kids: Printable Summer Sewing Cards


In my endless search to find activities to keep my children occupied, especially during the evenings while I'm preparing dinner, my last exploit are sewing cards.

Activities for Kids: Printable Summer Sewing Cards

We tried them last year but I guess the kids were not ready yet and they were not a huge success. Now, because they see me sewing all the time (side effects of now having a blog and wanting to finish projects to show them off, I guess), they have been asking for the sewing cards again.

Since I have no idea where I printed them from last time, I decided to make some sewing cards on my own. Hence, the Summer Sewing Cards. They are a set of 5 bright, summery and happy designs that hopefully will keep children busy for a while:

activities for kids, printable sewing cards

If you want to use the cards, just download the file by clicking on this link, print the pages on lightweight cardboard (or print them on paper and then glue them on cardboard), punch holes where indicated and give them to your kids, along with matching thread and round point needles.

Have fun!

keeping it real, craft blog




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