Curb the Chaos – Cord Identification with Washi Tape

| For the Home

Tame cord madness with washi tape.

Tame cord madness with washi tape.

Cord Identification with Washi Tape – Charge cords have to be one of my biggest pet peeves. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a tech toy junkie and with all those devices comes a myriad of charging cords in various shapes, sizes and colours.  They drive me absolutely batty!  Seriously, how is it that no one has come up with a universal cord and charger for all electronic devices?

Since I have so many of these cords, and require them all on a somewhat regular basis, I thought I should come up with some sort of identification program because many of them look similar.  This is where washi tape comes in.  Oh, how I love washi tape. Such fun colours and designs and great for so many things.

Simply cut off a length of washi tape, wrap around the cord, trim the end and use a sharpie to write the name of the device on the tape. I keep all my cords together in a basket on my desk and now it’s easy to quickly pick out the exact cord I need right away.

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Easy-Peasy Crochet Beanie

| Crafts & DIY

Easy-peasy crochet beanie.

Easy-peasy crochet beanie.

Easy-Peasy Crochet Beanie – In an earlier post I talked about the bucket list of things I wanted to learn.  The first thing on the list was to learn how to knit.  This past summer I took the plunge and started knitting with an easy cowl.  It turned out beautifully (with a big thanks to my mother-in-law Lynda for her guidance and patience in getting me going). I ended up making a number of the cowls, some hats and leg warmers for Noelle.  I really enjoyed knitting but one fateful day when we were out camping at the beach, my camping neighbour offered to teach me to crochet – game over for the knitting!   Wow, I liked crocheting SO MUCH MORE than knitting.  It’s faster, requires a little less attention than knitting and it’s a lot easier to fix any mistakes you make along the way. I also find that crocheting is soothing and can put you in a zen-like state once you get going.

So I wanted to show you the very first crochet project (the hat in the photo is the actual hat I made) – the easy-peasy crochet beanie.  It’s so easy anyone can do it. After I made the hat, I wrote down all the instructions that my camping neighbour gave me. Here’s the pattern (hopefully you can make this out, it’s written pretty loosie goosie as this is just the way it made sense to me):

Materials:

  • A bulky yarn. I used Bernat Roving in cream that I purchased at Michael’s. If you’d like to embellish the hat with a design then you’ll also need a second colour.
  • One 5.5 – 6mm crochet hook.
  • Yarn or tapestry needle
  • Button if you choose to add a flower

Pattern:

  1. Chain 5 and then join together into a ring with a slip stitch (keep all your stitches loose).
  2. 12 double crochets into the ring.
  3. Chain 3 and then 1 double crochet into the same stitch as the chain 3 from the previous row. Now double crochet in each stitch around and then slip stitch to join.
  4. Chain 3, 2 double crochet in the next stitch then 1 double crochet and the repeat this pattern for the entire row. Slip stitch to join.
  5. Chain 3, 2 double crochet in the next stitch then 1 double crochet in the next TWO stitches and keep in this pattern for the entire row. Slip stitch to join. (If you’re wanting to make a childs hat skip to step 7)
  6. Chain 3, 2 double crochet in the next stitch then 1 double crochet in the next THREE stitches and keep in this pattern for the entire row. Slip stitch to join.
  7. Chain 3, double crochet in each stitch and join with a slip stitch.  Continue this for each row until the hat is as long as you want it.
  8. Final row, chain 1 and then single crochet in each stitch and slip stitch to join (keep this last row loose or else it will make the hat too tight at the bottom).
  9. Fasten off and weave the ends into the hat using your yarn/tapestry needle.

When I was done, I added in the second yarn colour to create the swirl design.  I found an easy flower pattern online and fastened it onto the hat with the button which I just love.

If you’re looking for more fun crochet projects check out this great book: Crochet One-Skein Wonders®: 101 Projects from Crocheters around the World

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How to Make Newspaper Seedling Pots

| Crafts & DIY, Outdoors

Newspaper plant pots.

Newspaper plant pots.

How to Make Newspaper Seedling Pots – Well, it’s that time of year to get all the seedlings started. Usually I just get those little plastic seedling trays to start my plants in but I’ve never been thrilled with the result for my tomatoes which grow stronger when started in roomier pots. And well, why not save a few bucks and be environmentally friendly at the same time. Simply use the newspaper you already have in your recycling and you can whip up tons of these little pots in no time.

I found a YouTube tutorial that explained how to make newspaper seedling pots but really, you can figure it out pretty quickly just by looking at these photos.

Materials:

  • Newspaper (the good old Saanich News is what I used – it’s a smaller tabloid size which is great for this)
  • Some sort of can (soup, beans, spaghetti sauce… whatever size you prefer)
  • Scotch tape

Instructions:

  1. Take one sheet of newspaper and fold it into 3 sections so that when you put your can on its side, it’s about 1.5-2″ longer than the can.
  2. Roll the newspaper around the can making sure you have your newspaper hanging over one end (don’t roll too tight or you’ll have trouble getting the newspaper off the can).
  3. Gently put a small piece of tape on the edge of the newspaper once it’s completely wrapped around the can.
  4. On the end of the can that had newspaper hanging over, fold over the newspaper towards the middle of the can until it’s all folded down. Tap and squish down the paper by pushing the can against a table or other hard surface.  Use a small piece of tape to tape it down.
  5. Remove the newspaper pot from the can.
  6. Fill your pot with soil and plant your seeds or seedlings.
  7. At this point I put all the soil filled newspaper pots in a low plastic watertight  tub that fits about 16-20 pots but you can use whatever you want.
  8. Pour water into the bottom of the tub and it will soak up through the newspaper and into the soil.
  9. When your plants are ready to go into the ground, you can either pop them out of the newspaper pot to plant or just put them straight into the ground since the newspaper will decompose (I’ll likely rip off the bottom of the pot to make sure the roots have room to grow).
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Indoor Fairy Garden

| Kids Fun

Indoor Fairy Garden

Indoor Fairy Garden

Indoor Fairy Garden – Recently Noelle had 2 weeks off for Spring Break.  That meant coming up with at least a weeks worth of activities to keep her busy. One activity we planned was to make our very own indoor fairy garden.  What little girl doesn’t love fairy gardens!  Here’s the list of what you’ll need to make your own:

Materials:

  • Short/wide pot
  • 2-3 little plants (make sure the plants are suitable for the room you’ll be keeping your garden in – ours was a bright and sunny location)
  • Soil
  • Little bird house or structure
  • Rocks and/or sea glass
  • Moss, ferns or any other interesting plant life you can find outside
  • Sticks/branches
  • Any little toy fairies, princesses, toad stools, or anything else you think would help accessorize the garden

How to put it together:

Paint your bird/fairy house and put it aside to dry. Add soil to your bowl until it’s about 2/3’s full.  Add in your 2-3 plants leaving a spot for the bird house.  Carefully add the birdhouse.  Put a little more soil around the plants and around the birdhouse to make sure it’s anchored in there and won’t fall or get knocked over easily. Create a little walk way to the front of the house with little flat stones or sea glass. Put moss around any exposed soil that you can see. Finally, decorate with sticks, rocks and any little toys that your child would like to have in the garden.

That’s it, your all done!  Don’t forget to water the garden or else it’ll end up being a fairy compost heap!

 

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