Love… buttons!

Who doesn’t love buttons these days, they are no longer a functional commodity, we now realise their true potential and beauty. Buttons are colourful, pretty, cute and yet nostalgic all rolled into one. For me, they conjure up memories of haberdashery shops and longingly looking at the little drawers full of buttons as if they were sweets. Some shiny, some sparkly, some teeny tiny and some so big, the only thing you can imagine them stitched onto is a giants cardigan. And as you shut those funny long drawers, the jangle of the buttons tinkling together is music to your childish ears….enough reminiscing, let’s make a card with them!
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button card
You will need
Card
A ruler
A pencil
Pretty buttons
Thread
A needle
Letter stamps
An ink pad
Glue
Paper

To make your card, use your ruler to draw a line in pencil where you want your buttons to be. Place your buttons over the line. With a protective board underneath, make holes with your needle where the button holes are. This will make it easier to sow and make sure the buttons end up in a neat row. Using a pretty thread, sow on your buttons.
Now make another pencil line underneath and print your greeting neatly on the line. When the ink is completely dry, gently rub out your pencil lines. With a piece of paper the same size as your card, fold in half, glue down the centre of the card and attach to form the insert to write your message on.

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No eggs so flowers?!!

We’ve been getting chickens forever, and yet still no clucking going on in my garden. One day, one day, on the up side, my stash of egg boxes is stacking up nicely on top of the refrigerator but something had to be done with the over flow….
A big ball of egg box flowers? The kids love painting so this kept them entertained over the midterm break. It’s purpose apart from that, I’m a little unsure of but I suppose it’ll look pretty hanging in the girls room?

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egg box art, flower ball

You’ll need
Egg boxes
Scissors
Paint
Coloured paper clips
Polystyrene sphere
Ribbon

First of all cut I the first two egg cups from the rest of the box.

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Then cut in half so you have two cups.

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Cut one so that it has four pointy sides and cut the other so it has four rounded sides.

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Continue to cut more of each.

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Paint the rounded ones pretty colours with a contrasting dot in the middle. Paint the pointy ones green. Leave to dry.
Place the coloured ones inside the green ones. Using an unfurled paper clip the same colour as the centre of the flower, pin it into the polystyrene ball. Fill the ball up with all your flowers and finally attach your ribbon to hang!
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La pencil case

Apart from the pleasure of making things that go in your belly, I may enjoy making handmade presents even more. I mean, two fat quarters, a zip and some embroidery thread and voila you have a pencil case! If you’ve never done embroidery, please go online and get yourself a tutorial, it’s really not that hard and extremely satisfactory. Or you could just make the pencil case, which is completely satisfactory also and is as good as any puzzle your going to get your head around.
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you will need
28cm square outer fabric
28cm square of lining
9in zip
Embroidery threads
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to make
Embroider your design onto the fabric using an embroidery hoop.
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Lay the outer fabric face up, the zip face down on top and the lining face down also. Sew as close to the zip as your foot will allow, with the needle over in the left position.(I didn’t use a zipper foot)
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Open out to look like this.
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Now fold the lining back on itself, right sides together and do the same with the outer fabric on top, with the other side of the zip in the middle. Sew as before.
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It should look like this.
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Turn it the right way around and iron the zip flat with a cloth over it to protect it.
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Turn it with the lining on the outside and open the zip halfway.

Now turn it inside out with the outer fabric facing itself and the lining facing itself. Make sure the zip is open halfway and also facing down into the lining.
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Sew down one side completely from outer fabric to lining. On the other side sew the outer fabric together and only half way down the lining.
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Through the hole left, push the fabric through and turn completely out so the right sides of the material are showing.
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Sew by hand the remaining couple of inches in the lining and turn the pencil case the right way out and iron. Voila, la pencil case!
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While away a happy hour with the children….parachuting!

My eldest son is an inventor, also an engineer….he astounds me with his inventions and engineering feats, sometimes made with lego, sometimes with timber and a few bits and bobs, really the ten year old mind can be so creative. That is, if you give it the chance….and don’t smother it with too much tv or playstation. I just had to share with you his little creation, which entertained my lot for hours this holiday.

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lego men parachutes
1 lego man
Wool
1 tesco sandwich bag (the cheapest ones)very fine thin plastic
Scissors

Cut the bottom of the bag straight off so you have a tube. Cut down one side to open it up. Cut again to make a square. Measure about 35cm of wool and cut two pieces this length.
Knot the wool onto the end of one corner and bring it over and knot the corner furthest away with the other end of the wool. Do the same on the other two corners.

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Lift the lego mans arms up and tightly place the middle of one peice of wool under his arm and turn his arm down over the wool to secure. Do the same with the other arm. Now your ready to find somewhere to parachute your lego man. Have fun!
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Hats off to winter

There’s something very satisfying about making a present for someone. And I don’t know about you but I love it when someone has put love and hard work into a present. So I’m hoping my sick auntie will like this, as I’ve put stitches of love into it.
This the basic pattern, add stripes as it pleases you or not at all.
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Stitches

single crochet: insert hook,yarn over,draw through,yarn over and draw through two loops
half treble:yarn over, insert hook, yarn over, draw through, yarn over and draw through 3 loops
half treble 2together: yarn over, insert hook into first stitch, yarn over, draw through, yarn over, insert hook into second stitch, yarn over, draw through, yarn over and draw through all five loops….you’ll figure it out!

CROCHET BEANIE

Make 100 chains ( ch ) and slip stitch ( ss ) into the first to make a ring making sure it’s not twisted.
Make 1 ch and single crochet ( sc )into each ch until end and slip stitch into first sc. 100 sts.
Do 8 more rounds the same.
Make 2 ch, miss st at base of 2 ch, 1 half treble crochet ( htr ) into each stitch until end, ss into top of 2 ch at beginning of round.
Do 9 rounds the same.
Make 2 ch, miss st at base of 2 ch.* half treble2together ( htr2tog ) over next 2 htr, 1 htr into each of the next 7 htr * 11 times, ss to top of 2 ch at beginning of round. 89 sts.
Work 1 round htr.
Make 2 ch, miss st at base of 2 ch.* htr2tog over next 2 htr, 1 htr into each of next 6 htr * 11 times, ss to top of 2 ch at beg of round. 78 sts
Work one round htr.
Make 2 ch, miss st at base of 2 ch.* htr2tog over next 2 htr, 1 htr into each of next 5 htr* 11 times, ss to top of 2 ch at beg of round. 67 sts.
Work one round htr.
Make 2 ch, miss st at base of 2 ch. * htr2 tog over next htr, 1 htr into each of next 4 htr* 11 times, ss to top of 2 ch at beg of round. 56 sts.
This time don’t work one round of htr. But work as above and decrease the number of htr between htr2tog to 3. This gives you 56 sts.
Keep this pattern up reducing htr between htr2tog by 1st each round (4 rounds) till you htr2tog in each stitch, and end up with 12 sts.
Work one more round of htr2tog. Then fasten off. Run a gathering thread around the top of the last round and pull tight to close top and fasten securely.
Beautify your hat with buttons or ribbons!
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Pretty lanterns

We all remember making these at school, a little more rudimentary maybe but the concept is still the same. Any room could be brightened up with these pretty little gems, and depending on what card you have, they could be pretty and soft, bold and bright or even monochrome. Just have fun and let the kids join in!
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YOU NEED
Coloured card,various
Craft glue
Craft knife
Cord
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Cut your card to about 26 cm x 12 cm, basically you want a long rectangle. Fold in half on the length.
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On some thick cardboard, use your knife to score lines 1cm from the top down to 1cm from the bottom, spaced 1 cm from each other all the way across your rectangle. Glue the height together at the edge. Using contrasting card cut a 1cm thin strip 25cm long. Glue the strip to the top of your lantern. I used some pegs to hold in place till it drys. Cut another strip and do the same on the bottom of the lantern.
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Make five more the same but with different coloured card. When dry tie some cord from one side of the top to the other and string onto a long length of cord. Find the perfect place to enjoy your pretty lanterns.
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Happy hearts

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There aren’t many anniversary cards that I really like, most have big swirly writing and some cheesy quote inside. Now don’t get me wrong I appreciate any we get (it’s the thought that counts), but when it comes to picking one for someone else I’m pretty fussy. These days though I get great pleasure in making one myself so this is another one I’ve made.

Happy heart card

Patterned craft paper
Pritstick
Card

Make your self a template heart and cut out 2 hearts for each 3d heart you plan to make. Fold each heart in half patterned side in. Glue the left hand side of one heart to the right hand side of the other so that you have a heart with a flap in the middle. Glue numerous 3d hearts all over you card.
Write your own cheesy quote inside!
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