Monday, February 8, 2016

A Round Tuit 296

Happy Monday!
Time for another party and to see what you've all been up to this past week. 
I made myself a new peg bag last week - trying out a different design based on ones I'd seen pictures of. Here's my version, with a tutorial coming out tomorrow!


So let's get this party started! 

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Welcome to this week's linky party. A place where you can link up your posts and creations, and be inspired by others.

Tuits are very hard to come by, especially the round ones. For years people have been saying, "I'll do it as soon as I get a round tuit". Well now you can have one of your very own, and all those jobs that have needed doing will finally get done!
 
 
 
Here's my favourites from last week's party:
 
First of all, this neat 
School Supplies Tote from Nap Time Creations.



Next, since I'm learning to crochet this year, that kind of post is catching my eye more than ever, like this lovely 
Crochet Bowl Pattern from Tea and a Sewing Machine.



For those featured, feel free to grab a 'featured on' button here.
Creating my way to Success
----------------------------------------------------------
Now it's your turn:
Link up your own projects - old or new - no rules - just share your creativity and inspiration!
I'd love if you grabbed the button - then you can have your very own Round Tuit!
And of course we all love visitors and comments so do visit some of the other links!
By linking up here you're giving me permission to use photos from your post in features here on my blog.
I will feature my favourites on this post next week.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Friday, February 5, 2016

More plastic than fish - what can I do?

Have you heard that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans? (source)

The amount of plastic waste in the world is just shocking and single use plastic items are a major cause of this.  
Take a look at this short trailer for a new documentary coming soon, which highlights just how bad the situation is.



There are steps that we can all take to make a difference and stop the increase of plastic waste. 

Single use plastic bags are something we can all manage without.  By carrying a reusable bag in your handbag or car when you go out, you can avoid your need for single use bags.

You could go a step further and have a set of reusable bags for your weekly grocery shopping.
I have had a set of these for years now and never get plastic bags. They are made from old bed sheets and are remarkably strong!


As my own contribution to help reducing plastic waste from single use plastic bags, I have created an e-book of sewing patterns so you can make your own set of bags and a stylish personalised handbag to carry them in, hidden in a secret compartment at the bottom of the bag so you are never without them!

The book also includes tutorials for a simple handibag made from a pillowcase and net bags for your fruit and vegetables.

I sincerely hope that this book will help others make their own set of reusable shopping bags and so help reduce the need for single use plastic bags.  I am also donating $1 for each book sold to the WWF to further help preserve and protect this amazing world we live in.

For more details and to purchase this ebook for the bargain price of just $3.99, click here.

Thank you for your support!

Monday, February 1, 2016

A Round Tuit 295


It's February! Can you believe a whole month of the year has passed by already?  My girls went back to school last week so I had 3 days of catching up and working out where I'm at. I made a start on learning to crochet - which is one of my goals for this year.  I also did a bit of work on my blog - have you noticed my new swanky drop-down menu?? I'm very proud of it - took a while to get it right!
Now I'm all organised and back on track for the year. I've got more sewing planned for this week, with another new tutorial in the works! Stay tuned for more of that later in the week!

For now - let's see what you've all been up to. Let's get this party started.

-------------------------------------------------------------

Welcome to this week's linky party. A place where you can link up your posts and creations, and be inspired by others.

Tuits are very hard to come by, especially the round ones. For years people have been saying, "I'll do it as soon as I get a round tuit". Well now you can have one of your very own, and all those jobs that have needed doing will finally get done!
 
 
 
Here's my favourites from last week's party:
 
First of all, some very tasty looking 
Spicy Devilled Eggs from Living off Love and Coffee.
Can you believe I've never made devilled eggs! They look so good and so easy to make that I think I'l have to finally give them a go!



Next, this super cute Crochet Potholder from Flamingo Toes.
Since I'm back to learning to crochet this year - this caught my eye and has a free pattern too!



Finally, some awesome upcycled magazine paper earrings from Upcycled Design Lab.
Both of my daughters recently got their ears pierced and I'm sure they'll love these when they see them and maybe we can all have a go at making them!



For those featured, feel free to grab a 'featured on' button here.
Creating my way to Success
----------------------------------------------------------
Now it's your turn:
Link up your own projects - old or new - no rules - just share your creativity and inspiration!
I'd love if you grabbed the button - then you can have your very own Round Tuit!
And of course we all love visitors and comments so do visit some of the other links!
By linking up here you're giving me permission to use photos from your post in features here on my blog.
I will feature my favourites on this post next week.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

The World Is My Oyster!



Today is the last day of January and a time for me to reflect back and look forwards after a long summer holiday with my girls.

They went back to school last week, and I spent those 3 days getting things organised, sorted and tidied up ready to begin my working year.


In the Middle

A couple of weeks ago, I had a funny thought and checked a statistic out - average life expectancy here in Australia.  
I'm now 42 years old , and that average life expectancy for women is 84. Which means that I'm about half-way right now!

So is this my mid-life crisis? Maybe! 

What I really feel, is excited at this statistic.  When I think of quite how much I've learned, done and experienced in my first 42 years, the possibilities for the next 42 are incredible.  The first few years of my life were spent learning to do things like walk, talk, feed myself etc.  In this second half I'm already pretty proficient at that kind of thing, so I'm starting at a much more advanced point.  Think of all the things I can learn, do, see, places I can go, things I can try... 

I think as we get older, we maybe tend to make fewer, or perhaps less lofty long term goals and plans.  When we are kids, we have the whole, 'what will I be when I grow up' to think about, the world is our oyster! Learning, choosing, studying and working towards what we want to do with our lives.  But there's no reason why we can't do that at a more advanced age too!



Some inspiration 

Henry Ford, created the Model T car when he was 45.

Charles Darwin published 'On the Origin of Species' when he was 50.

Ray Kroc bought McDonalds when he was 52 and turned it into the world's biggest food franchise.

Colonel Sanders was 62 when he franchised KFC.

Martha Stewart hit it really big with the publication of her first book aged 41.

Samuel Jackson was 46 before he got his first major film role.

Peter Roget invented the Thesaurus at age 72.




What about me?

So having had this thought, I'm now standing at the beginning of a world of infinite possibilities!  I'm starting to look at plans and goals I've made and set, and think that I need to think much much bigger, to start laying a foundation now for the next 42 years.

Whereas before I have thought that my blog has been going for nearly 6 years now, and I sometimes feel frustrated that I haven't managed to grow it bigger in that time. If I haven't made it big blogging yet, is it just a hopeless task? Should I just give up now?
NO! Absolutely not!
 I'm now looking at it as 6 years of learning and foundation. 

My motto is very much, 

'Use what you've got' 

as I mention often, so now my task is to use what I've built up over the past 6 years to take it to the next level.  I've spent the past couple of years churning out LOTS of new sewing tutorials and a couple of e-books, but during that time I haven't really grown my blog. I share my tutorials in the same circles and on the same sites all the time. Maybe it's time to start stretching further afield. The internet is a massive place and I've only explored a tiny corner of it.


So I've decided that maybe it's time to pull back on the whole producing endless new tutorials and focus more on promoting and getting what I've already made, out there for more people to see.
I still have new tutorials planned for this year - but more like one a month rather than the one a week I was doing at several points over the past couple of years!


A New Look

This past week I've made a start on reworking my blog a little.  I've thought lots and often about the whole change to Wordpress, and getting my own domain name. And I'd like to say a big thank you to all those who took the time to answer my questions about your experiences doing just that. 
However, once again with my 'use what you've got' mentality, I've decided to stick with my Blogger blog with its mismatched domain name of  'jembellish.blogspot'!  
'What's in a name' anyway? as Shakespeare famously said 
(Romeo and Juliet).



A start

A few days ago I decided it was time to add something to my blog that I've wanted for a while -
  a drop down menu
I know this is just a simple option on Wordpress, but not so easy on Blogger. However, as one of my favourite quotes says:

"If you really want to do something you'll find a way.
 If you don't you'll find an excuse" 
- Jim Rohn



Adding a drop down menu to Blogger wasn't simple and straightforward, but neither was it too difficult.  I found this tutorial from a couple of years ago which helped me create the menu and insert it into my Blogger template.  I had to fiddle around with the sizes and colours to get it just right for my blog. And then I had it working on my 'test blog' (one I created for trying out new things) but once I transferred it to this blog it didn't work!  So more Google searches of my problem later I'd learnt even more about moving things about on Blogger.
In the end I got it to work and it was so satisfying to test it all out and see it working just as I'd imagined it!

Revamping the whole blog is going to be done gradually as I want to do it myself and that's going to take some time and learning on my part. No rush though - I want to get it right and I have plenty of time to do that!



Learning something new

The satisfaction I felt in creating the drop down menu on my blog was how I'd felt over the summer holidays when working with my youngest daughter on building cars powered by balloons, propellers and rubber bands

We learned together how to build these cars and with lots of trial and error, made a few cars that worked. What a rewarding project that was.  Spending the summer with my girls, learning and doing things with them, reminded me of how much fun learning and trying new things is and I want more of it!



What else?

This blog is just one aspect of my new thoughts about plans and goals. There's my family, my other education blog, my fitness, things to learn and places to go.  I've made a small beginning with my blog - and have also decided I want to learn to crochet properly and have made a start on that! There are so many possibilities it's hard to know where to start - so I'm starting small and adding plans and goals as I go. This isn't like making New Year's Resolutions and plans. I'm not writing everything down and trying to do it all at once.


I do hope you'll continue to come back and read my continuing and growing adventures on this blog. 
And do tell me - do you have goals and plans as an adult, as big as those you had as a kid?  What are they?  I'd love to hear your stories too!


Saturday, January 30, 2016

Friday, January 29, 2016

Learning to crochet in 2016


This year I've decided that I'm going to learn to crochet. 
I tried learning a couple of years ago and this was my granny square attempt then:
Quite round for a Granny square don't you think?

I also tried a few amigurumi with my basic skills:




But never progressed beyond that and kind of lost interest.

But I don't like to be defeated or to give up on anything, so I've decided this year I'll give it more attention and learn to crochet well!


So yesterday I followed this video tutorial for a basic single colour granny square. I paused the video lots as I worked through it and gradually got more confident in the terminology of what I was doing and saw the pattern emerging.
I was proud of my finished granny square!

Later last night, I tried a second square from memory and with my first to refer back to beside me.

For some reason it looks much better on the left side than the right side, but at least it's square and looks reasonably even!


My next step is to make another granny square but this time follow a written tutorial. I plan to try this one from Happy in Red and hopefully that will reinforce the terminology and help me learn how to 'read' a crochet pattern!

Can you crochet? Do you remember learning? How did you learn? Did someone teach you or did you use a book, videos or maybe just figure it out for yourself? I'd love to know!