Fun with permanent markers

Possibly my favourite part of grocery shopping is checking out the stationery section.

It’s not even a whole aisle but depending on what’s in stock you can usually find something interesting, new, or pretty.

Recently I spotted some metallic sharpies and they somehow slipped and found their way into my basket!

I sat down on the couch with some glass jars, some coloured permanent markers, got comfy and started experimenting.

My drawing didn’t go too well. The glass was slippery, my drawing skills are limited, and once you draw on the glass it doesn’t come off!

I experimented with text by taping the design on paper and sticking it to the inside of the jar.
That was not easy. It was fiddly, I didn’t have enough light, and half way through the paper moved.

I had the most success when I went to basics. Horizontal lines and geometric patterns. They’re my strong suits. Nothing too tricky but striking.



I then ran out of jars, so I moved on to the pot I use as a yarn bowl. I had bought it from the hardware store with a little plant because I thought I’d try my hand at keeping 1 solitary plan alive.
I was quickly informed by the gardener in the relationship that the pot was too small for the plant.

So it’s been holding my yarn ever since.
Using the gold metallic sharpie I gave it a scalloped top.


It was exactly how I thought I’d spend my friday night, but there you go.

Oh and naturally I filled the jars with pompoms because that’s how I roll.

PS for those readers who use feedly or by email. I’ve redecorated! Come have a look and tell me what you think?


I have too many nail polishes that I don’t actually like on my nails.

I cannot apply black nail polish to my nails. It just doesn’t work.
Most of it ends up on my cuticles and it never looks neat enough.

Same with the banana yellow colour I have. You need 15 hundred coats to make it look any good and I just don’t have the patience to keep my hands still for that long.

Somehow these unusable colours keep finding themselves into my nail polish collection. I blame the $2 price tag and the 3 for $5 sales that all my local chemists seem to have. (I go to the chemist a lot at the moment.) A gal only has so much will power.

So inspired by my polka dot jars, which I’ve just found out I never actually blogged about.
So quick tutorial – I used nail polish and hole punch protectors and you combine the two to create polka dots on jars.

We have a rather large collection of empty jars. They’re just so practical! I use them for my dyeing but also for storing things on my desk, but they have to be pretty.

I didn’t have a plan, I just turned the jars over and poured nail polish over them. Very simple but effective with the right combination. Really how can you go wrong with black and pink.




My desk is messier than usual because I’ve been busy. As the Pogona needed 20 stitch markers I thought I’d better make some more. And of course some earrings had to be made as well.




the spreadsheets have a calming influence

Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’d know that hewhofishes and I are buying a house and are moving in 21 days (and counting).

This is all very exciting and wonderful and lovely to have a mortgage to call our own, but that comes with bills.
And the crippling fear of ‘have we made a terrible mistake, how can we possible afford a house and an investment property when I’m not even 30 and all gen Ys are terrible with money and can’t get into the housing market, which must be true because there’s a news article every week about how bad everything is for me, and we’re doomed and all it will take is for one of us to lose our job and we’ll start fighting, have to sell our kidneys and be alone out on the street begging, whilst sleeping in a pile of yarn that is all I have left because I couldn’t bear to part with the indigo dragonfly because it’s so pretty and it’s yarny punny goodness!!!”

Fortunately there are two steps to cure this particular brand of insanity.
Step 1 is burying your face in indigo dragonfly (or any pretty yarn will substitute). Let the yarn fumes calmly explain to you that you haven’t made a terrible mistake.
Step 2 is a spreadsheet.

Before we even went looking for houses I started making spreadsheets.
I have a whole collection of spreadsheets of ‘lets buy a house’ spreadsheets which made damn sure that we have most contingencies covered, including pay cuts / interest rate rises / illness etc so really this insanity was mostly unfounded.
So I reviseted those original spreadsheets and realised what caused this crippling fear was ALL OF THE BILLS!!

I am hopeless at remembering when bills are due and combined with a deep hatred of late fees I’ve been trying to find a solution for this for ages.

I’ve tried putting them on the fridge, putting reminders in my phone, writing down everything in a book, remembering that because I had my last car accident in August the insurance renewall will always be in August, but I still wake up in the middle of the night wondering whether or not my phone bill is coming out of the account on the 12th or the 15th.

I searched the web for an answer to my problems and couldn’t find what I was looking for so I made it myself.

If you also suffer from an inability to remember when your bills are due, then this spreadsheet may also help you.

I get paid fortnightly whereas Hewhofishes gets paid weekly.
Some bills are monthly, bi monthly, quarterly, or yearly.
Some always fall on the same day, others are always the same date.
There are direct debits, paper bills, and electronic bills.
And I need to know when they all happen or else I get hasty and put all my money into savings only to transfer it back again two days later.

The calendar part is for the monthly bills. Bold indicates that they’re on the same day each month, normal means that it’s the same every date.
Then each month I create a new tab and transfer any yearly bills into the calendar that month.

I can then see from paycheck to paycheck, how much is needed in the account so that I can pay all the bills.

Google drive also has the added benefit of being available on my iphone. So when I (hypothetically) know that I’m buying tickets to The National on Monday morning, I’ve put that into the ‘extras’ column for Monday and I know that I need that money available.

As long as we each stick to our weekly living allowance I know we will always have money in the bank to pay all of the bills.
(And yes there was also a spreadsheet to figure out what our weekly living allowance needed to be)

If a spreadsheet says its possible, I am calm (er).





I knew I kept things for a reason

I’ve had these jeans for ages. After a month of wear they developed a tear in the crotch.
And yet for some reason I kept them.
It’s a family trait. We don’t like wasting things and so reusing scraps or repurposing material was something I was brought up to do.


Obviously these pants were waiting for me to have a really stiff neck. I was lieing away, trying to sleep when the idea came to me.
The pant leg is the perfect size for a heat bag, long enough to drape around my neck but not fall off.

The finished product isn’t exactly pretty or well finished, but it is practical.

First start by draping the pant leg around your neck to determine the optimal length.
Cut the pants.


Sew up the leg on one end. Sew about half way along the other opening. You need enough room so you can turn it inside out.
Using a funnel, start filling the tube.

Fill it a bit and then sew it up to create segments. I divided mine into 3 (so I did this bit twice).
Using the sewing machine with rice already in it was tricky, but it did work.

Once it’s all full, sew up the end

I had a great idea to use contrast embroidery thread, before remembering that my hand stitching is pretty terrible.

So it’s not going to win any beauty pageants. But it does the job.
Put it in the microwave for 2 minutes and put on neck.
Heat packs are wonderful things.



If you don’t take pictures did it really happen? (FO 12 & 13)

I’ve failed as a blogger this week.
Only after I had three packages of knitted goods complete with care instructions all wrapped up in tissue paper did I think about photographing them.

The mittens I already had photos of because I’d blogged about them before, but I’ve just sent two hitchhikers into the wilderness without any proof they were here.

Well that’s not entirely true, but it does leave me at a bit of a blogging loose end.

I do think the hitchhikers were a success. The colours I chose matched what they were wearing when I saw them (always a good sign).

The hand knitting process gives you plenty of time to um and ah over colour choices so I was a little frazzled by the time I had finished.

So in absence of good pictures, I have the ones for my care instructions.
I use the Phonto iPhone/iPad app which makes putting text over photos very easy.
I use that app to make personalized cards too. My mum is always requesting photos of me and my partner so I find a decent photo, add our names to it and put a fridge magnet on the back.
Next time I think I’ll crochet a border for something different.






Merry Happy Everyone!

I hope everyone has a fantastic day, whatever you’re doing, whether that’s working, volunteering, spending time with friends, family, or the Internet.

I’ll be taking a break until after the new year.
But I’ll leave you with a last minute gift idea which the ladies in my family are getting this year.

Home made sugar scrubs.

Not to be TMI, but I’ve had to experiment with some organic skin products this year. And I love this.

Basically (and there are variations on this all over the Internet! But my main inspiration was this post here), the formula is 2 parts sugar to 1 part oil plus some scent.


Mix it together, spoon it into containers, and then add a pretty ribbon.

I experimented with 4 different scents.
Lemon, strawberry, coconut and vanilla & brown sugar.
I used essences as they’re easier to buy from the supermarket, but they do need longer to infuse.


Add a pretty ribbon and there you go!


Merry Happy to all!!

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Pea soup

For when you can’t stand anymore takeaway, but are so tired you put the frozen stock (in the foil packet) in the microwave to defrost.

Top tip! Foil packets can burst into flames when you put them in the microwave. Fortunately they do make crackling noises before they burst into flames. Otherwise this may be a very different type of blog post.

Fortunately I’m not being nominated for a Darwin Award, but sharing a soup recipe.

Add stock, frozen peas, whatever herbs sound good at the time to a pan.

Check to see if there’s any ham or bacon in the freezer. Nope.
Check for cream or Greek yogurt. Nope.

Eat it anyway.
It’s not that bad.



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Lesson learnt.

Always, always write down why projects you’re working on.

Particularly when you run out of yarn and don’t know when you’ll buy more.
Particularly when it ends up being about 6 months between shopping trips.

Because you’ll probably forget what pattern you were working too. There’s a lot of lacy baktus scarf patterns around.

Lesson number 2? When you don’t know what pattern you’re using, put a lifeline in place so when you have to frog back it’s a bit easier.

And frog back I did. 4 times.

I really was ready to thrown the damn thing out the window. Perhaps use it as a mop, or leave it in a draw with velcro.
But I persevered and ended up finding this photo still on my phone.

So apologies to whoever created the pattern because I’ve lost all other evidence.

But I’ve finished the damn thing and now I don’t know what to do with it.
I really don’t like it.
It’s not something I would ever wear, and dear ol Mumsi took one look at it and declared it not to be her either.

So it will sit in the gift bin until someone deserving comes along.

It’s such a pretty yarn too (Moda Vera Beauvardia) and fortunately I have a lot left to make something that’s actually pretty.




what’s in my wallet

Well I don’t carry a handbag. I’m a bit of a minimalist when it comes to going places.
I have a collection of totes from various gigs or online purchases, but if I’m just going to the pub, or out for an evening all I want is cash, cards, phone, keys, and lipbalm.

I’ve spend ages trying to find the perfect way to do this, and I think I’m pretty close.

Kitsch Devine make this gorgeous wallet.

It’s a fabric wallet, and I really want this cat print one!

But I am so happy with mine.

So here’s what I carry everywhere…
Obviously my phone is conspicuously absent – but it fits in their perfectly, even with a case on. So many iphone wallets fit an iphone but only if they dont have a case.
This one fits my phone whether it’s wearing polka-dots, flowers, or the little mermaid (I have a mild iphone case obsession).

Lip balm is essential. Chapstick is always on sale so I usually have dozens of them but can never find one when I need one.

Endless receipts. I don’t know why I keep receipts as I tend to do my account keeping using my bank statements, but I still always end up with receipts.

Emergency panty liner. Learnt from experience.

Cards. The usual drivers licence, bank card, medicare card.
Special cards include my RTR fm subscribers card, spotlight card, and entertainment book card. Yay for discounts!

Business cards. Does anyone else have business cards for their blog? I find they’re really useful when I want to give someone my details, but I don’t want to give them my mobile number. Instead they have my url, email, and twitter handle. I always have a few handy.

Post It Notes. Because they’re really useful.

The heart shaped carabina is there because I sometimes attach my keys to it. It’s not the best solution, but it works.

Noticeably absent –
Bobby pins, usually I have a few tucked away in my wallet.
Money, I’m hopeless when it comes to keeping cash
Pen, I’m probably being optimistic, but I think having a pen tucked in there would be really useful.

So there you go. A little insight into my essentials.
(And check out Kitsch Designs – there’s so many cute things)




How to fold a plastic bag

I know this seems like an odd post, but in preparation for my finished object (a plastic bag holder) tomorrow, I thought I’d share my patented technique for folding plastic bags.

Well it’s not really mine, I learnt this from an aunty’s friend. It was on a trip down south because they had a farm. I always wanted to grow up on a farm. Mostly because I sounded so cool in Enid Blyton novels. The place had a really awesome stream too.
But the real takeaway is how to fold plastic bags.

Plastic bags are infinitely useful. Going swimming its so easy to just put all your wet things into a plastic bag until you get home.
We use them as a bin too. And I always carry a couple in my bag just for emergencies. And they’re easier to carry if they’re folded.

So here is my tutorial for folding a plastic bag.

Take your plastic bag and lay it flat on the table.

Fold it in half, and then in half again.

Roll the bag up.

Pull one loop between the other and tie.

And there you go.
One convenient plastic bag, all wrapped up and ready for anything.

Tomorrow I have a knitting pattern to store all of these plastic bags neatly.