Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Easy Marbling

We are currently doing a project on Space in school and I found this idea through Pinterest and have been dying to try it out. (Original website) This morning I was working with Primary 1 (5 year olds - all 3 of them!) and we made planets. The idea is they have designed planets that they will name and write about.

First you cover a surface in shaving foam (not gel), I used a sand tray lid. The children chose paint colours and we drizzled the liquid paint over the surface of the foam. Then using the 'wrong' end of paintbrushes we wrote letters in the paint to swirl the colours (before I hit on this idea they were mixing which didn't have such a good effect).

The paper was pre-cut into circles and they took turns choosing where to put their planet and take a print by pressing down on the back of the paper. (Write names on the back of the paper before starting!) Next, they lifted the paper and placed it on a newspapered table.

It looks good at this point but the next bit is the real 'WOW!' bit. Scrape the foam off the paper, we used stiff card but next time I will use scrapers cut from plastic milk bottles. What you get is a marbled effect without expensive inks - very impressive. It is also very easy to clean up and leaves you with an interesting smell ... "This room smells like my dad!"

The last three photos show the progress of one picture on a rectangular piece of paper done after the planets.

Monday, 16 January 2012

DS bag

I'm busy working on a sensory quilt for my niece, at the rate the ideas are coming in - it may be rather large! Not to be outdone, my 12 year old niece (sister of the one who is getting the sensory quilt) has been dropping hints that she needs a bag for her DS. I obtained an old pair of her jeans and came up with this, the ribbon, button and strap made from a belt are all recycled:

Editted to add, this bag is now lined with fleece fabric. It was a bit big as I cut it to fit the pocket size. The fleece (taken from a jacket I made my son about 16 years ago) makes the DS fit in more snugly and also provides padding to protect it.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Can you tell what it is yet?

Easily distracted as I am, especially from housework, I made something new today. I have been sorting through my clothes and find myself with a stack of items that no longer fit due to having lost 40lbs so far in my quest for a healthier me. This is what I came up with:

So - can you tell what it is yet?

My hubby gave me a kindle for Christmas and I wanted to protect it but the pockets online are expensive and not particularly 'me'. So, I made a kindle protector from the back of one of my pairs of now redundant jeans. It even has a pocket to keep the charging cord in. I hope you like it!

Monday, 2 January 2012

Crochet a Basket from Sheets!

This is my first attempt at a blog tutorial so I would appreciate any feedback.

My daughter wants a waste paper basket for her craft room/ spare room - and I can do baskets. I wanted to make one from recycled materials and toyed with the idea of weaving one with old jeans and t-shirts then I came upon a blog showing me how to crochet baskets from t-shirts. However it says that the curve in her baskets comes as a natural result of the elasticity of the fabric used. Back to square one as I wanted a straight sided basket. Remembering I had yarn made from old sheets upstairs in my craft room that I had made to use on my rug loom and not used, I decided to try crocheting with it and adapt the pattern to suit.

The first photo shows the base and the point at which I decided it was a goer.

To make this for yourself you first need the yarn. Measure along the top of your sheet and snip at 1" intervals. You can then tear down the length of the sheet quite easily. I have done this with both polycotton and flannelette sheets. Snip a small slit lengthways in each end of each strip and holding a piece in each hand join by pushing the lefthand piece through slit in the righthand piece and then threading the other end of the righthand piece through the lefthand slit. Pull tight and continue until you have used all the pieces and have a large ball ready to go. This creates a continuous piece of yarn that doesn't have bulky knots in it. I hope this photograph helps explain what I have been saying:

I used 2 balls for this, one made from a double sheet we got as a wedding present 26 years ago and one made from a double duvet cover I bought in a charity shop. You will also need a crochet hook, I used a 10mm one. OK, now for the pattern (written in English crochet terms):

Chain 2
6 dc in 2nd chain from hook

Continue in a spiral, marking the beginning of each round with a thread (orange in my photographs)

Crochet 2dc in each sc in round
dc in next dc, crochet 2dc in next dc, repeat around
dc in next 2 dc, 2dc in next dc, repeat
dc in next 3 dc, 2dc in next dc, repeat
dc in next 4 dc, 2dc in next dc, repeat
dc in next 5 dc, 2dc in next dc, repeat
dc in next 6 dc, 2dc in next dc, repeat

Continue with the pattern increase until the basket base is the size you want. Mine was 10" and ended with dc in next 8dc, 2dc in next dc.

DC in the back loop of each stitch in round. From now on you are making the sides of your basket and will be crocheting through both loops of each stitch again. Keep moving your marker up as you go so you know where the start of the round is, change yarns if you want stripes.

When you have reached the required height of you basket, you can do a slip stitch to finish or add handles. I decided to put on short handles. In the second last row I chained 10 and missed 8 stitches dc'ed to the opposite handle space, ch 10 and missed 8 dc and dc to the beginning of the row. Next round dc all round including in each ch, slip stitch to finish, pull end of yarn though the loop and hide it in your basketry!

Experiment with sizes. Make long handles for a shopping bag, or shorter sides and no handles for a fruit basket. Just make bases for coasters and placemats. Remember everything you make like this will be washable! Have fun playing, I'm going to - and will be casting an eye over the sheets in the airing cupboard soon!