Monday, August 23, 2010

Cheap and Weird

We have a new tag title for our family's dominant personality trait: Cheap and weird. My sister came up with it but it describes us all perfectly. It is meant in the nicest possible way, of course. I just had the best weekend hanging out with people who are as cheap and weird as I am.
What better to celebrate a significant birthday of my sister than a cheap and weird present? I made her a knitted bunch of flowers to decorate her sewing room. They never wilt (unless a small person pulls the skewer out from the stem, ahem), and they never die. They go on blossoming for a soft, warm, crafty, home-made eternity.
The bunch of flowers contained some knitted roses. Link. They're knitted on two needles so they're easy as pie (changes: I used double knitting wool and 3 mm needles, cast on 60 or so stitches, and knitted a stem instead of leaves using my own pattern, as follows:
Stem pattern: Cast on 12 stitches on dpns (4 each needle), work in the round for 2 rows, k2tog at the beginning of each needle in the following round (9 stitches remain), knit two more rounds. k2 tog at the beginning of each needle in the next round (6 stitches remain), k another round. Transfer remaining stitches onto one dpn. k 1, k2 tog, k 1, k 2 tog (4 stitches remain). Knit an icord to desired length using remaining 4 stitches. Link to youtube for how to knit an icord. Sew onto flower at the base. Insert a skewer or pipe cleaner to make it rigid.
I also knitted a few tulips. Link to tulip pattern. These are knitted on 4 needles so the're a little more fiddly, but they're pretty quick and they're a great stash buster.
And here they are, all together. There is a rogue petunia in there too. That wasn't so hard to knit but the weaving in of ends was too much hassle for me to contemplate knitting another one. The pattern for the petunia, as well as several other flowers, is available free here at Lion Yarns.
And here's Auckland, in case you've never seen it, or forgotten what it looks like. It's a great city for a weekend with your cheapest weirdest friends.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Happy as a little pup

Yes, I am as happy as a little pup (even though I burnt the pikelets this morning) because I'm off to Auckland tomorrow for my sister's birthday. I've made her something really cheap and really weird, because that's her favourite type of gift, and also our familial personality type. But you have to wait till next week to see it because I can't spoil the surprise.
And do you know what else? I'm now among the ranks of people who live in warm houses, because next to our nice warm tapa cloth there now resides a nice new warm heat pump. Who says they don't belong in 140-year-old houses? They are awesome in 140-year-old houses, let me tell you that for nothing!

Happy long weekend to me! Woops, I mean, to you!
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Sunday, August 8, 2010

Make my oysters cinnamon

Sometimes I become obsessed with a recipe. Okay, maybe 'obsessed' is a little too strong, but you know how it is when you think of that delicious thing the minute you wake up, and you look at pictures of it in cookbooks just to remind yourself how good it looks, and you look for any occasion, any occasion at all, to justify making it?
Actually 'obsessed' was the right word, wasn't it.
My name is Jenny and I am obsessed with cinnamon oysters. To fulfil your cinnamon oyster obsession you need a genuine cinnamon oyster tin, this 'Bonco' tin with no rust and no dents was waiting for me to find it at the local antique shop, and I paid a full $15 for it without even blinking.

Then you need a recipe. There's a good one in my favourite baking books, these two little treasures.
I wont bother writing out the recipe because it's already available online, right here. Now that you've assembled everything you need you can whip your cinnamon oysters up in a flash. If you want to get all fancy pantsy you can make these glamourous alternatives, ginger and lemon oysters.
Oh but they are good. They are so good. All the obsessing just made them even better.
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Monday, August 2, 2010

Practicality and flattery

Sometimes my frivolous, fun, but ultimately rather pointless craft projects must give way to practical items required for day-to-day living. This isn't a great burden because I like making even the most pedestrian of household items. I just like making stuff.
In this most practical of categories lies hottie covers. I perused flickr groups (check out the recycled sweater group for lots of great ideas) and various blogs looking for inspiration, but in the end, I went for the ultimate in practical - polarfleece. Machine washable, soft, cuddleable, it's got everything except retro charm. For decoration ideas I turned to my favourite designers, Harry and Sylvie. I shamelessly copied Sylvie's little person for her hottie cover, and she was delighted.
And for Harry's I just had to copy his octopus that he drew on my mother's day card. I think it's hilarious.

The back of each hottie cover has a simple envelope closure, with one side overlapping the other and each edge finished with bias binding. No buttons or velcro because they just end up being uncomfortable when you're resting your feet on them.
Next sewing project: A party dress for myself to wear to my sister's birthday party in a couple of week's time. I just know she will have sewed something for herself, and if I sew something too we can participate in our favourite pass time- checking out eachother's sewing mistakes and teasing eachother about our degree of good/bad taste. Sisters love to bicker. It's a fact.
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