Stash-Buster Challenge 2013, Project #4: Tablet/e-reader sleeve

Hi. How are you all?

The 7in tablet fits in snugly.
The 7in tablet fits in snugly.

Things are hectic at home at the moment. Nothing major, just spring cleaning of sorts. It’s the height of summer in the kingdom and it could get really, really dusty. Add to that, my two dogs are shedding at the same time so just imagine the amount of fluff, in addition to the dust, that accumulates inside the house πŸ™

Okay, enough of the excuses. I finished one project yesterday. Actually this wasn’t part of my list but – because this month is my birth month – I received an early birthday present from my thoughtful in-laws all the way from merry England. I was so delighted when I opened the parcel. Mum and Dad, you are the best!

So I had to make this right away. For “protection”, you know. Tee-hee-hee.

I used a pattern I found in this blog, Handmade by Haniyya. But unlike her design, I opted for more colours in one project. I’m in love with stripes of various colours, thus the choice. I attached the bottom ends by using single crochet stitches. I think that looks better than sewing the ends of the sleeves. But that’s just me. To each her own πŸ™‚ In addition, I also added a lemon yellow crochet flower and olive-green button that not only as serve embellishments but also to catch the latch to fasten the top ends.

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Stash-buster Challenge, Project #3: Colourful granny squares

Hi there.

I’ve been meaning to post the finished baby beanie that is my second project for the Stash-buster challenge. So here it is:

finished baby beanie

The pattern indicates that the finished beanie should measure 6.5inches. As you can see, mine is just 6inches. I don’t know if it’s going to be problem later on, but, aren’t newborns tiny, right? This should fit.

For my third project, I haven’t really thought much about it. I was still recovering from our weekend kite-flying activity outside of Phnom Penh. We flew kites for three hours under the baking sun! And not just ordinary kites – they were handmade by my husband and fitted with a camera to take pictures while up in the air. It was worth it, sunburns, dusty feet, sweaty clothes and all!

Anyways, back to the project. For my baby project, I wanted to make a pair or two baby booties but could not find patterns that I like. I think I need to search more so I just tossed this idea aside and looked for something else to do so I can share it here. And guess what I’ve finally decided to make… granny squares. A lot of them, actually.

stash-buster-challenge-granny-squaresstash-buster-challenge-stacks-of-granny-squares

I love mixing and matching the different yarn colours. They look really great, aren’t they?
I was also crocheting from memory. The pattern was taught to me by my mum and the very first one that I “mastered” when I was beginning to crochet πŸ™‚ I think it’s a pretty simple pattern and very easy to follow. I’ve made a lot of these way back so I know the pattern by heart. Funny thought that while crocheting the squares, I was feeling a bit nostalgic. Thoughts about the many summers spent with my mum and sisters, sat together and learning how to crochet, flashed in my head. Please excuse the sappiness, it must be the hormones, hahaha.

Now, what to make of these again?
I think the squares will make a nice cover – of what, you ask, of just about anything. Hahaha. It can be a table runner, sofa cover, or even a laptop sleeve or something. But I just don’t know how to attach the squares altogether πŸ™

Any suggestions? Please do. I would love to hear from you. Meanwhile, I’m going to visit other Stash-buster challenge participants’ sites and hopefully I can find inspiration from their works.

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Stash-Buster Challenge 2013, Project #2: Baby beanie

I’ve been quiet these past few days but my silence doesn’t mean that I’m in the throes of idleness. It’s actually the opposite of that as I was busy revamping my other blog. It has a mini shop of postcards and I wanted to do a total makeover. Since I am no-web designer, it didn’t happen but. at the very least, I managed to organise the categories and tags.

Anyhoo, today was a good day. I’ve accomplished a lot of tasks and it was only tonight that I was able to sit down and touch my crochet paraphernalia. Since the news of a new family member’s arrival, my goal is to finish one project for the baby once a week. Sounds a lofty goal but we’ll see…

This week, I’m meaning to do a baby beanie. We do not know of the gender yet so I’m going to use gender-friendly colours until I am told so πŸ˜€ I already started on this very easy pattern for a baby beanie. All double-crochet stitches (US) and if I can finish one a little later tonight I’ll post the picture.

Meanwhile, here’s a sneak peak of my beanie. I love the colours. I think most of you will be reminded of autumn πŸ˜€ (which we don’t have here but I have the good fortune to witness when I went to Japan some years ago)

I’m using a 5mm hook and medium acrylic yarn. After three rounds, I measured to see if it is the right size. Smaller by half an inch πŸ™

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Jar of hearts and other heart stuff

So this is an update of yesterday’s post.

Yesterday, I ended my post with a picture of crochet mini hearts and left a question about how am I going or what am I going to make of them.

I draw my inspiration from Pinterest and a host of other fantastic craft blogs out there. But the thing about these sites is that there are too many beautiful stuff and I end up ooh-ing and ahh-ing at other people’s boards for hours and hours… which doesn’t really help me at all because the more time I spent pinning what interests me on my boards, the more I can’t follow or do what I’ve pinned because I’m buried deep in the images! Lol.

Anyways, going back to what I made out of the mini-hearts… I managed to rein myself and actually finished some things to show you, guys. I kinda like the slide-show feature here at WP, so enjoy the slideshow πŸ˜›

Crochet mini-heart buntings
The crochet heart buntings. It was difficult to photograph them. Please excuse the messy background, this is like our workshop where all the crafting and DIY actions happen. And that's my dog there, if you can spot her πŸ˜‰
Crochet mini hearts bookmarks
Mini-bookmarks, hand-drawn, with baker's twines and washi tapes. Can also be used as gift tags.
Love is all we need Valentine's card, 2013
Jar of hearts. The mason jar is hand-drawn using a metallic pen and a coloured pen, and I glued the hearts onto the card.
You Have My Heart, Valentine's card, 2013
And this one's for my husband. Hand-stamped V-day card with crochet heart applique.

The buntings actually look nice but I have to find a better spot for it. I think the hearts are too small so I’m going to make another batch of bigger hearts to add to that.

Well, I hope you had a great Valentine’s Day. My husband and I are not really big on V-day but we appreciate the holiday. Loving gestures, in my opinion, should be every single day. And I believe you don’t save them up for just one day.

See you all again next… post. Lol.

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How to alter an old blouse into a sundress top

This is one of the many tops that I haven’t used for a very long time. I actually got bored of it but, at the same time, I dreaded the thought of getting rid of it either. So, I thought, why not alter it into something wearable inside the house?

Since my sewing skills don’t lie (yes, I don’t have any formal training!), I don’t want to do a horrible thing and toss it out of the window. However, I took comfort in the fact that the blouse has a dark, printed material so I wouldn’t worry about my newbie-not-so-straight-stitchings! Lol.

So okay, here’s the blouse I was talking about, a short-sleeved version of the Indian tunic (kurta), except that I already cut the sleeves off before I took this photo:

short sleeved indian tunic
From this…
end result
… to this! It’s perfect for the hot weather here πŸ™‚

I may sound like an apologist for saying this over and over but — really, I’m just a trying hard DIYer so please excuse if the end result doesn’t look that much πŸ™‚ I actually based this on Heather Ross’s sundress pattern. But instead of a dress, mine ended up as a top because of theΒ  original length of the tunic and I just left the slits on the sides as they are. With the current hot weather here, it is just perfect!

I’m not so much of a tutorial maker myself but, if you are interested, I created a slide showΒ  below documenting the steps on how I altered the blouse.

And so, this is my first attempt at altering my clothes. I had fun, really, especially with the shirring part. It’s actually my favourite part.

Sewing demands a great deal of skill, expertise, and patience. I have a completely renewed respect for the dressmakers and admiration for people who choose to remake their own, after doing this myself.

I also want to thank the countless talented dressmakers and crafters out there who selflessly shared their tutorial videos online for free. Keep them coming. They’re very, very useful for people like me.

And this is my entry for the following weekly parties:

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Stash-buster Challenge 2013

I was browsing some craft sites today, hopping from one blog to another. I could not believe the many creative and talented people are out there, whether it be in needleworks, paper crafts, recycling/upcycling, and many others. I envy these crafty people and at the same time they inspire me to be diligent with my own crafting.

I’m relatively new into this crafting bandwagon (although I did a bit of crafting when I was younger) and I have lots of interests – crocheting, rubber stamping, card and tag-making, just to name a few – which is really a problem. Why? Because I do not have a focus, that’s why. I tend to start a project and later on drop it halfway to begin a new one. Tsk. Need.To.Change.

I have a boxful of crochet yarns gathering dust in my craft nook. I had them since 2011 but never had the chance to really sit down and make something out of them.Β  I was waiting — no, no – I was looking for project ideas but everytime I scour the Internet, I got overwhelmed at the number of wonderful patterns. So, I ended up with nothing at all, hahaha.Β  So what do I do with this yarns?

my stash of crochet yarns
So many yarns, what would I do with them? Here’s hoping the Stash-Buster will help me use them all up this year πŸ™‚

stash buster1After several hours of ooh-ing and aah-ing at the fantastic works displayed on the many sites, I found this very interesting meme, a challengeΒ  of sorts and it gave me a fantastic idea. Over at Lanas de Ana site, she is hosting a Stash-Buster Challenge and I was excited! See that logo on the right? That’s it! πŸ™‚ It’s a challenge for crocheters like me to tackle the problem of having too much stash of yarns stored in the house. It’s sort of crocheting together and showing and telling the challenge participants about their individual projects by posting it to their own blogs.

So I think this year, it is going to be different. With the Stash-Buster challenge, I will be forced to take on one crochet project at a time and will have other participating bloggers to encourage me to finish one! I hope they’ll accept me πŸ˜€

Sentimiento de Azucar

I finally finished writing the CBET Project Proposal and Budget for CF. I knew it took me too long, and it was just lying there, and I was fully aware that it was pretty urgent. Now all I have to do is wait for further clarifications from CF, which I’m sure are plenty.

The budget that N, the PC based in Kompong Speu province, submitted to me looked like, nope, it’s really a copy of last year’s (just as I expected), which made A, the Project Advisor, concerned about the Khmer staff’s (especially the PCs and POs) ability to understand the project cycle. I looked at it again and again, and I agree with A. A new donor might buy into this because they don’t know the history of the project well, but I think that it’s important for MB and for the staff to see the progression of activities and not repeat the same ones year after year. This was the whole point of the “graduation plan”, but N has missed the whole point. In designing new project budgets, we really need to look at what is working, what isn’t, where is it going — and sometimes make hard decisions such as cutting off support as part of the exit strategy. For example, N should have not included the revolving fund for homestay in the 2005 budget since it is already included in the current budget, and revolving means that it will still be available in 2005. A also questioned the budget for traditional dancing and music. She said there are young kids studying with the older ones and it doesn’t cost a thing really. So the question is what is the money for? Aarrrgggghhh!

bumperAnd then there’s this incident where I asked N to come to Phnom Penh to discuss activities for the Gender project. Guess what? She assigned M, our volunteer from down under, to meet me instead. And I quote N “… I don’t need to meet with you because I will learn from M…” Wtf? This responsibility shouldn’t be passed on to the volunteer. It just difficult to deal with N.

In case you are wondering what I am talking about, it’s the proposal for the Ecotourism Project and N is the Khmer Program Coordinator. It’s always been difficult to work with N, with her complaining about almost anything and when you ask her why, she can’t even give sufficient reasons. Very typical N. I have to be firm to her, and ask VM the Director to back me up. My job is to help PCs write and finalize proposals, donor reports and other official documents but I almost always end up writing the entire documents. It’s really important that PCs like her take the responsibility for fundraising since MB is stepping up its localization process where MB will be an all-Khmer organization. It may take a loss of funds and lay-offs for them to really understand this – and I hope it doesn’t come to that, but there’s definitely an attitude that the foreigners are the only ones capable or responsible for it.