Tuesday's Tip

We're into our 4th week of our summer holidays now, and surprisingly I have not pulled any of my hair out ...yet! ha ha.  Although I may start very soon, but not because the kids are playing up, I've discovered these strange long, thick, curly, white hairs which Mr World described as fishing wire - nice eh!  My 'normal' hair is long, brown and wavy... these little long buggers are multiplying and fast.  I liked my white hairs when they were well hidden under my fringe however on finding one of the fishing wires attached to my head, springing straight up,  I soon realised they are all over.  Hmm, am I bothered? I really don't know.  I suffer from 'know one can tell my age, or even guess close'.  You see I still get asked for I.D. when buying alcohol (so does that mean I look 17?)  I went to the bookies a couple of weeks ago (to place a bet for some else, not me honest!) and was refused as I didn't appear to be 25, and yet last weekend one of Mr World's friends I was introduced to, although he knew Mr World was younger than me, placed me at around 40!  I'd like to think that I have a youthful look but with a wise old head on my shoulders lol ;0)

Back to the summer holidays... Today's tip is a boredom buster.  Make a board game.  It doesn't take as long as you'd think and the only limit is your imagination. 

We started with an A3 size of paper, if you don't have a large piece then you could use a sheet of wrapping, wall paper or tape 4x A4 pages together.  While we were having a chat about what we would like to have in our game, we designed the counters.  Miss World had a good idea to use buttons on them, gives little fingers something to grab onto when counting out their turn.  Once you have the counters you can draw the squares to fit your counters.

We decided a house for the start, going over a river, through a play park and ice cream was the finish.  Not wanting the kids to get bored too quickly we didn't make a plan, just dived straight in and started drawing, colouring and used some stamps for quickness too.

Making forfeit cards was a good idea too as these can be changed or added too.  I found having 32 squares keeps it short enough to hold young ones attention.  If you don't have a dice available either use an old box or cut out a hexagon from card and push a cocktail stick through the middle using it as a spinner.

Don't forget to enter my giveaway ... a handy Pouch for a Nintendo DS, scroll down to the end of the tutorial and all I'm asking is you leave a comment.  Hope you're enjoying you're week... and my real age? 34 well for now- it's my birthday soon. :0)

Folksy Friday

Todays folksy friday's collection is photographs and prints.

Boudoir by Moontide Photography Vintage Sewing machine by Moontide Photography
Vintage Camera & Cupcake Print by Photography by Holly Cupcake Print by Photography by Holly
A Love Letter by lola's Room Travel Stories by Lola's Room

Catch all the other happy folksters displaying there favourite finds on the linky below
Enjoy the rest of your friday and remember to enter my giveaway for the Nintendo DS Pouch

Making a pouch for Nintendo DS Part 3

Almost finished our pouches now, just the front flap and closure to make.

Take the remaining two pieces of fabric.  Line up alongside the made pouch, you want the front flap to be able to fold over in between the two straps, so you'll need to trim a bit off.  With right sides together stitch along 3 sides, leaving one of the short sides open to enable turning right way.

To attach the flap to the pouch, lay it on top of the pouch, as if it were open and sew along the top (open) edge.  This also closes the raw, open edge of the flap.  Now for the finishing touches.  Sew a piece of elastic and a button on the front to close.  Tidy up any threads using a needle and pulling threads inside pouch before snipping excess.

Ta da ... there you have it, a pouch to carry your DSI in safely.  I incorporated a game pocket inside in my kids pouches, it's easily done when you are forming the lining and before attaching it to the main pouch.  So there's still time to get stitching before the holidays and your DSI will be carried safely around - great if you're away on holiday too.
To win this pouch... 
all you have to do is leave a comment below to be entered,
and I'll draw a winner on Sunday 31st July 2010.

Here's the pictures of Miss and Master World's pouches I made before they went on holiday, and I'm very pleased to say they loved them.  What's more is they managed not to loose the little stylus or their spare games - phew, definitely worth making them just for that! 

Tuesday's Tips

Little tip about batteries today.  Don't throw them out when you they run out as it depends on what they are being used to power.  For example when your Wii controllers begin to stop working there could be enough power left in the battery to run a clock for a few months.  Although remember not to mix old and new batteries together though, as they can ignite, rupture or leak... nasty stuff!! :0(

Hand Felted Wall Clock by Kelly Connor Designs at Folksy.com
Well worth a try and remember not to put batteries in with the household rubbish.  They need to be disposed of correctly, as they contain elements which are hazardous to the environment.  Whilst the exact chemical make-up varies from type to type, most batteries contain heavy metals, which are the main cause for environmental concern. When disposed of incorrectly, these heavy metals may leak into the ground when the battery casing corrodes. This can contribute to soil and water pollution and endanger wildlife. Cadmium, for example, can be toxic to aquatic invertebrates and can bio-accumulate in fish, which damages ecosystems and makes them unfit for human consumption. Some batteries, such as button cell batteries, also contain mercury, which has similarly hazardous properties.  So save our poor wee planet and do the right thing, dispose of batteries correctly.  Here's a link to Recycle Now, where you can find out where you can safely put your batteries.

Tutorial: make a Nintendo DS Pouch part 2

I'll jump straight back in where I left off last week....  ;0)

Having constructed the pouch, it's time to make the lining.  You'll need a piece of material, bigger than twice the size of your pouch.  I don't use measurements for the lining, I make them to suit.  Fold you material in half, right sides together.  Place your pouch along the fold, saves stitching another seam, and draw the outline.  Stitch along the outline, making sure you leave a large gap at the bottom, this is so once you have attached the lining, you can pull the pouch through the gap, and you're pouch won't be inside out.

Snip off the excess material.  Place the pouch inside the lining, right side of lining are next the right sides of pouch.  Tuck in the straps, now this may be rather tight as the straps are quite long and the pouch is small but if you don't tuck them in correctly you won't be able to turn your pouch the right way after stitching and /or the straps will be stitched inside and you can't use them.  What to do is push in the straps and then make sure the straps (where they are attached to the pouch) are tucked down neatly on either side. 

We are going to sew along the top of the pouch to the lining, but miss out the sides where the straps are so they can be pulled through after turning.  Once sewn, you can turn the pouch through the gap we left,  and push lining into the pouch, as we used the pouch as a template it should be a perfect fit.

The two strap edges of the lining are needing attached to the pouch.  Fold the lining inwards, to make a neat edge.  I iron them down to keep them in place, instead of using pins.  Now whilst sewing around the entire top of the pouch, we will incorporate the two 'strap edges' still not stitched.

Feel free to get in touch if you need any help, not sure how clear my instructions are as I never follow any!  Next week is the last part where we'll be making the front flap and button closure and of course the Giveaway for the pouch I've used in this demo. ;0)

Tuesday's Tips

I've spent the last few days phoning various companies customer services departments chasing up queries.  I'm sure I'm not alone in being frustrated with how long you can remain on hold, or in a queue, before you get to speak to somebody, never mind being passed about from one department to another.  Although I am always very (maybe sometimes overly) polite, as it does get you a long way when having to speak to operators, and you'll be amazed at what they'll do for you if you treat them with respect, no one like to be abused.  My father always said to get anywhere in life 'kill them with kindness'.  Now I'm not quite sure how that comes across to you, but he said it with good intention, I guess it's an alternative to manners costs nothing.

Waiting for my Sweetheart Print by Lola's Room

Waiting for my Sweetheart 8x8" print from Lola's Room on Folksy
click on the picture to check out more of her fabulous photographes.

I hate how all the telephone numbers are 0870 or 0845 numbers, which aren't exactly cheap, and if they had an 01... number I could get it free in my call plan.  So I thought I'd let you know a way to find out alternative numbers either 01 and some even have 0800 free phone numbers.


You can search through a website called SAY NO TO 0870.  One of the Companies I looked up was for the catalogue I use.  I simply typed in the Company name and it gave me alternative 01 number and a FREE phone number, and all the companies various listed phone numbers.  Another bonus is that you don't have to register with this site, it's instant and free - oh how I love that word.       Aah I'm a very happy bunny now ;0)

Folksy Friday

folksy friday returns this week and, as I've been painting the kids room,
I've chosen some beautiful children's homeware.

Like what you see? Then click on the picture to find out more....

Bookends by Olive Designs Sports Car Shelf by Great Green Ltd
Owl Clock by with Hugs and Kisses Three Heart Hanger by Padleigh Corner
Cherry Blossom Cushion br Alice & Charlotte Girls Personalised Bunting by Little Kitten
Have a lovely weekend
If like me you lurve buttons, then enter the Noddle Bubbles
Button Swap - click on the badge on the left ;0)

Tutorial: make a Nintendo DS pouch part one

Little Miss and Master World have saved up (since last Christmas) for a Nintendo DSI.  Through gritted teeth I let them buy one.  Argh! I swore I wouldn't let them have game consoles, however there are rules to when and where they can have them, and I'm SO proud of them for not grumbling or questioning the rules.  They've recently been on holiday and I wanted to make them each a pouch for carrying their DSI's in.  Now this is the first tutorial I have written so please forgive me if I've not been clear enough or on the other hand over explained.

Please be kind and only use this tutorial for your own personal use and not for selling, I work hard creating things and although I love spending hours at my sewing machine, please remember these are my designs.

I started with using a fleece, which Master World had outgrown, and some interfacing to stiffen the fabric.  Now I don't know if there's a right or wrong way to do things but this is how I constructed the pouch.  Cut 2 pieces of interfacing 19cm x 13cm and 1qty 11cm x 13cm.  I ironed these onto the fabric and then cut out.

Take the 2 larger pieces and 'right sides' together, stitch around the outside, cutting away any excess.  Next I made the strap from 2 pieces cut from the arm, stiched them together to form one long piece, roughly 70cm x 7cm.

Iron the edge in from each long side of the strap, to make two 'good' edges, fold in half and stitch together using zig-zag stitches.  Position one end of the strap to the inside of the pouch, and fold down the edge whilst sewing to keep the edges neat.  Stitch the strap to the pouch in a rectangle shape.

Stitch both sides of the strap to the bag, and thats the main construction of the pouch.  Next part is to create the lining, and following on from that is attaching the front flap with button closure.

If you fancy having a go, let me know and I'll show off your pouches at the end of tutorial.  I'd also love to hear your comments on the tutorial.

Part two of the tutorial will be posted next week. 
As I have already made my kids pouches I shall giveaway the pouch I've used for this tutorial at the end. 

Happy stitching.... Marice :0)

Tuesday's Tip

... on a Tuesday this week!! Yah for me ;0)

This week I'm giving you an incite to how I organise my week.  Since I gave up the 9 to 5 rat race, I initially found it difficult to keep track of which month it was, never mind which day.  Slowly each day moulded into the next, and as a result I have become a slave to my calender.  Without it I would become forgetful (okay, more so than I am already) and unorganised.  Now if I'm unorganised then it creates stress and anxiety for me, and I've learnt over the years that although I work very well under pressure, I can not do stress and anxiety.  So I've learnt to adapt a routine which works for me.  Most days have tasks assigned to them, but it's not regimented and certainly doesn't take me hours, I like making my life simple, easy and with little effort possible.  Apparently it only takes 28 days to do something repeatedly before it becomes a habit.
Rainy days card, £2.00 Accidental Vix 
Mondays  I usually do my grocery shopping on a Tuesday, so on a Monday I'll clean out the fridge, plan a menu for the week ahead and creating a shopping list from this.  Because I clean out the fridge every Monday (or day before my shop) it doesn't take me long to do, I know exactly whats in there and therefor less waste as I take note of use by dates.  Menu planning can be daunting at first, and take a while to get to grips with, if you find this then keep your weekly menus and rotate them on a monthly basis.  You can easily change one day a week where you try something new out so as not to become too boring and predictable.
Pair of Placemats, £12.50, love from Beth x
Menu Planning Tips
* Ask your family what their favourite meal is.  If you have older children, then why not get them to cook this one night a week. 
* Have one night where dinner can be rustled up very quickly, all of us have our days when we're just too tired, there's nothing wrong with good old beans on toast or baked potatoes.  Of course cooking double the quantity and freezing half the previous week is good for these nights too.
* Pick one chicken dish, beef, vegetarian, pasta and  fish to keep variety.
* I have two pudding nights a week, it keeps it a nice treat, we have them on the same days each week (Tues & Friday, Sunday we're at my mums) it gives us all something to look forward to, and there's no arguments! as the kids don't expect pudding every time they clear their plates. 
* You could have themed days, or weeks, ie: Italian, Chinese,
* Slow cooker, if you have people eating at different times then a slow cooker meal is perfect, it keeps dinner hot and no over cooking, also there's very little washing up to do as all prep is done in the morning.

The photos I've used are from Accidental Vix and Love from Beth who are on Folksy
Just click on the pictures to take you to their shops.

As always I'd love to hear your ideas too,
I'm no expert and there's always room for improvement!!