Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Tartan Gathered Fabric Flower

TARTAN FLOWERS!!! I love them, can you tell??

This is such an easy fabric flower to make! I personally love this style as it looks great as both a fabric flower and can also be made easily with ribbon :o)

All you need is:
  • a needle and thread
  • a large button
  • a length of tartan 10 x 54cm
  • a headband or clip if you'd like to use it as a hair accessory, if not you could pop a safety pin on the back and add it to a handbag or use it as a brooch.
Firstly, fold your fabric in half lengthways. You can press the edge with an iron for a straighter edge if you like but it's not necessary. I'm not very anal when it comes to these things :o)

Take your needle and thread and begin to thread it along the open edge of the fabric about 1/2cm in, tugging the thread taught as you go. This will gather your fabric and create your flower.

Continue all the way along the edge til you reach the other end. Pull the thread tight again then overlap the two edges. Sew the two ends together once or twice to secure your flower.

Sew your button over the centre and do something AMAZING with it!!! Like add it to a headband!

To make the ribbon version, you follow much the same process, but there is no need to fold the ribbon in half, you simply sew along one edge as above.

Tartan Hair Bow

The simplest and sweetest of hair accessories - the hair bow! And what makes it even cuter?? Being made in tartan of course! It's really easy, all you do is:

Gather your supplies
  • a needle and thread
  • a 9cm length of ribbon
  • a glue gun
  • your choice of hair clip
  • a piece of tartan fabric, 15 x 22cm

Fold both sides your fabric horizontally into the centre, overlapping slightly.

Then fold both ends into the center, again overlapping the ends slightly.

Next, pinch the middle of the bow together and fold in either side to the middle like an accordian fold. It will look like this :o)

Thread your needle through the middle once or twice to secure the bow together.

Tie off thread. Dab glue in the centre and wrap your ribbon around the stitching.

Attach it to your chosen hair clip!

Wear it!

Totally Tartan!! The beginning of a love affair

As you might have noticed from all the pins on my TARTAN magic! Pinterest board I've recently discovered how much I love tartan!

Source: google.com.au via Tash on Pinterest
Source: google.com.au via Tash on Pinterest
Source: etsy.com via Tash on Pinterest
Source: google.com.au via Tash on Pinterest

Source: google.com.au via Tash on Pinterest

It all started when one of crafty groups I'm in suggested we work on something tartan this month and then share what we all came up with (I blame the ladies at Tamworth Crafty Crafts for this :p ) I had a dig through my fabric stash and with a big WOOOHOOOO from me I found a nice 2 metre long length of old tartan fabric! It's the kind you make school skirts and shorts out of from a few years back (if you want to get technical it's plaid but shhhhhhh), so not the more popular and well known versions of colours and patterns but it was tartan all the same, it was free and there was plenty of it to play with! It was given to me as part of two huge bags of fabric that my mother in law was getting rid of; I snaffled it up with the idea of giving it a new purpose and one has finally come along! To create a few fun crafty and sewing tutorials for us to play with and discover a new passion for this fabulous fabric!
I would LOVE to have the money to go out and buy some nice red and black tartan, or black, white and grey patterned, or pink, but alas being broke strikes again! It's ok, we do our best with what we have! I class crafting in my day to day life as a necessity and as someone once said 'Necessity is indeed the mother in invention!' or in my case, creation :o)

So that's how this new love affair began! And I am hooked! To use a cliche, line and sinker! So...without further ado...I introduce you to TARTAN and hope that you will join me on my crafty quest to create!

Happy Crafting fellow Quirky Beans!!

Monday, 28 May 2012

Pinterest Geek-a-Thon!

 Fellow geeks, this is for you!

My Little Kitty
Star Wars Rebel Scum Hoodie!
Source: amazon.com via Tash on Pinterest
Zombie Garden Gnomes
"Fender Bender"
Source: buzzfeed.com via Tash on Pinterest
Source: etsy.com via Sarah on Pinterest
Source: thinkgeek.com via Alice on Pinterest
Source: thinkgeek.com via Debra on Pinterest
Source: herblog.com via Bong on Pinterest

For more geeky awesomeness...check out the rest of my Pins! Hope this cheered you up a little, I needed a smile today!

Quirky Bean 'Meet the Blogger' Spotlight! Kathy of 'Kangaroo Mama'

This week at the Quirky Bean, we meet Kathy of 'Kangaroo Mama'. Lovely to have you here Kathy!

Describe yourself in 5 words: Only 5 words huh?!  But I'm wordy and long-winded!  I guess the 1st word would be wordy! Wordy, Bubbly, Loving, Cuddly, Adventurous

Why did you begin blogging? I actually always wanted to start a blog so I could share about products, services and places that I love since I already do it with all my friends.  But I guess I never had enough motivation to actually sit down and figure out a blog name and start blogging.  It wasn't until I was going back to work after 3 1/2 short months of maternity leave that kicked things into high gear.  I was feeling so sad that I was leaving my daughter behind and not being able to see her except for those short waking hours when I get home.  So in order to fill the void while I was at work and help decrease my stress levels, I decided to start this blog so that I could share about my family but it also provided me a way to think about my family, look at pictures that I was posting...all while I was pumping milk!  Some find this strange but it was and still is very therapeutic for me.  Yes, I am still breastfeeding at 17 months!  

I knew there were a lot of people out there that just needed someone to help them feel like they were not experiencing things alone and that's why I try to talk openly about my challenges and victories so that they know they are not alone on this journey, there are others that can relate in some capacity or another!  Although they may not be exactly the same as what you are going through, it's comforting knowing that you're not alone and what you feel is completely normal!  I think in the end, it was good for me to not have started my blog earlier because I wouldn't have had the same inspiration for the name of my blog and I probably wouldn't have had the same motivation to even start one if it weren't for me going back to work! 

What is your all-time absolute favourite food? I realize I absolutely love Thai food because anything with coconut milk in it is my favorite!

If had $1000 to spend on anything in the world, what would you spend it on? Hmm, $1K to spend on anything?!  I would love for a professional organizer to come into my home and help me find ways to be more efficient and organized, especially with my paper collection that's taking over the home!  I have so many nooks and crannies that can't be used because I can't figure out how to make it work but I know there has to be a way so I'd love for the organizer to come in and implement all those changes so it can work for our life and maximize the space in our little condo!  It seems no matter how much I donate or throw out, I still have so much stuff all over the house!  That $1K would be money well spent if it could produce lasting results...of course, that's if I had the $1K!

What was the last book you read? I'm a slow reader and haven't enjoyed reading very much since it became required in school.  BUT, with that said, the last book I read was The Shelter of God's Promises by Sheila Walsh, which I actually enjoyed.
If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional. with whom would it be? Does trading places with them mean I get all their talents for a week too?!  If so, I think I might choose an amazing organizer or someone with really handy skills to fix and implement all my design, decorating, plumbing, painting and other needs around the house.  Hmmm, maybe someone from Extreme Home Makeover since they're used to tight timelines (I only have a week) and a lot of things I want done! =P However, not sure if I want this person to be male or female since that would be awkward going into men's restrooms, peeing standing up, walking and dressing like a man for a week...plus my hubby would really miss me!  Maybe a handy-woman organizer?!  But I would hate for her to be good-lookin' 'cause then my hubby might not miss me so much if I came home as a good-lookin' handy-woman organizer! No just kidding, my hubby is amazing and he would totally miss me!

If your life could have a theme song, what would it be and why? If You Want Me To by Ginny Owens. This song was shared with my by a friend several years back but it wasn't until I went through a really tough year with a miscarriage, dual job losses with both my husband and I, and having Bell's Palsy (You can read about the Bell's Palsy here: http://kangaroomama.com/do-i-love-my-reflection/), that this song really struck a chord in my heart. Especially with the miscarriage, which was the day after my husband's birthday, I could not understand why everything was happening and if I had done something wrong.  But this song reminded me that God loves me no matter the trials in my life and that I can still grow closer to him despite or because of these trials.  This song also reminds me that I am not the same person today as I will be tomorrow because these trials haven't broken me but are changing and molding me into a new woman.  Hopefully, one that's not only wiser and more mature but also one that can learn to enjoy life to the fullest even in the face of challenges!  So since that point, this song has been one that I enjoy singing to and the lyrics mimic my feelings towards the trials that I face and also how I will handle them!
You can see a video of the song here and of course, I had to choose a music video sung by an Asian chick since I'm Asian! =P

Jwan Jordan Comic Book Poster Giveaway!

Have you grown up reading comic books or watching the shows about comic book characters on TV? I can remember reading and watching shows about comics growing up! I still love them now! This giveaway is hosted by Jwan Jordan Comics! Jwan is a self publishing author for comic books.

His comic books are good for all ages! You do not need to worry about your children reading his comic books because he gears them toward children and makes them all family friendly!

These comic books are also priced reasonably so you do not need to worry about them costing you an arm and leg!

Are you curious what his comics are all about!? I bet you are!!! Come check out all about them!!!
Affairs of the Mind (AOTM):
Tells the tale of Rose Wood, our humble hero of the story, with a big mission on her hands. Rose is a regular teen with a very peculiar gift, as she has a broken halo that floats over her head that only she, and a few special others, can see. Rose soon discovers that whenever she does a good deed for someone in who needs help, her halo repairs itself. Intrigued by this strange phenomenon, she embarks on an mission to help all those she can. The only problem is that Rose is the most unpopular girl in high school and no one wants help from her! Thus a very comical and peculiar quest begins for little Rose Wood.

Affairs of the Mind Chibi! (AOTM-C)
Affairs of the mind Chibi is more focused towards a very young audience.
AOTM-C stars little chibi Rose Wood in her many adventures of helping her friends while learning a valuable lesson about friendship, love and a variety of wholesome moral lessons. Staying true to children entertainment AOTM-C is a book that parents can read to their kids and enjoy while learning and fun lesson. Enjoy!
A bit about Jwan!
Tell me a little about yourself.
 My name is Jwan Jordan. I was born in Flint, Mi. Shortly after my birth my father, an experienced martial artist, moved my family to Hollywood and began his career as a stuntman.  While growing up in L.A. I spent a lot of time inside the Walt Disney Art Department where I got to watch a lot of iconic Disney characters being drawn right before my very eyes.  Needless to say it was that moment that inspired me to want to create comics.

What is your big dream or goal with your comics?
 My true dream is have a Saturday morning cartoon for kids. Similar to Ben 10 and cartoon network series that are fun to watch and I would like to add an education message at the end of each cartoon like back in the 80's when cartoons were really good and wholesome.

What has influenced you in some way?
 I'm a 1980's kid so a lot of its effects  rubbed off on me.  I grew up with Hulk Hogan telling me to “Eat my vitamins, say my prayers and stay in school!”  I grew up with watching the Tick, G.I. Joe, and ton of other oldies but goodies and I just remember this childish awe of loving these charcters that always seemed to provide me with entertainment and  wrap up the show with a positive message that I could take away from it afterward. Its that type of world that influenced me as a kid and I would like to bring that back.

Where can people find them?
 You can find my books on indyplanet.com (http://indyplanet.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=1682) or contact me on Facebook or wordpress.com

Prize 3 Winners US ONLY:
(1) 11×17 Color Poster
(1) 11×17 Black and White Poster
(1) 11×17 Animated Poster

May 27 12:01AM EST- June 10th 11:59PM EST

Who Can Enter:
Legal US Residents 18+

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you don't know how to enter read this post!

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Crochet Ric Rac Flower

Yesterday I learnt how to make wavy crochet, it's a very nifty technique and I instantly thought how cool would it be to make a flower with this crochet style? So, with a bit of fiddling, I found this works pretty well and if you're like me and LURVE crafting flowers, I'm sure you'll find a million uses for them! It's nice and easy, but you will need to know a few crochet techniques before you start such as how to increase and decrease. These are quick to whip up, so enjoy making oodles of them!

You will need:
8ply yarn
yarn needle
4.00mm or Size 'G' hook

Having the correct tension in this project is not important, you could use almost any size hook and yarn combination for a varied effect. Trying this will give a lovely range of different sized flowers!
Also you may want to use a crochet marker, if you're a bit muddle headed like me and forget what you're doing. A paperclip works pretty well.

dc - double crochet
st(s) - stitch(es)
ch - chain
(dc2tog) - half double crochet 2 stitches together (otherly known as a double crochet decrease)
inc - dc increase

For this flower we'll be working in multiples of 12 and working with a double crochet (dc) so you will need to start with a chain of 48. Add another 3 chains to this number as this will count as your first dc stitch.

In the 4th chain from hook, 1 dc then *1dc in each of the next 3 sts, (dc2tog) twice, 3 dc in next 3 sts, dc inc over next 2 sts* In last st, 2 dc.

It's easiest to understand how this crochet technique works once you give it a try and see for yourself. Each time you create a dc decrease, and a dc inc you are creating the ric-rac effect in your crochet. You will begin to see it working clearly after the second set of 12 sts.

After the second set of 12 stitches you will begin to see the wave in your crochet happening

You can see I have miscounted my stitches somewhere, as I have 2 chains remaining, but it doesn't really matter, just pop a dc into each of them and don't worry about it too much :o) Finish off with a slip knot and cut yarn leaving a tail of about 25cm.
See on the end there how I have 2 chains remaining instead of 1? It doesn't really matter, it won't affect your flower any :o)

Your finished wavy crochet should look like this

Now, thread your 25cm tail into your yarn needle and run your needle along the bottom of your ric rac pulling the yarn tight as you go so it begins to gather and curl (you can cut off that other straggler yarn, you won't need it)

You should have something like this!

Now overlap the two ends of your crochet together a little, and thread your needle through the two layers, pulling tight. Using the remaining thread, sew on a button over the centre of your flower.

And you now have a sweet little crochet flower! You can make them bigger or smaller by adding more or less sets of 12 chains or when you reach the end of your crochet, instead of finishing off, turn and repeat the row; once you get the hang of it, you'll be addicted! I've yet to come up with a use for mine yet, I want to make a few more but I just don't have time today, ahhhh life getting in the way of my crafting :o) What are you going to do with yours?

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

I thought I should let you know that I am feeling better today, and have managed to stay away from the negative thoughts that plagued me all day yesterday. My husband spent the evening playing Uno, Wii tennis and Mario kart on the 64 with me to cheer me up and it worked :o) When I'm in such a dark place, getting  me to laugh can be a challange but my husband has never failed to make it happen. I am trying to get things back in control, I've decided to focus on getting my drawing and painting back up and running as many people have told me now I should be selling them and I'm finally listening. I've registered for a few charity events this year and have a job opportunity that is only small but will help me get back into it after all these years. The antibiotics have cleared up my tooth pain and I'm able to go a whole day without pain meds and the X-ray is tomorrow so fingers crossed I can get the darn thing taken out. I am about to get stuck into make my apartment nice and clean and get some poached eggs as a late brekky cooking. I'm not at all feeling 100 percent, and I certainly am not smiling from ear to ear with feelings of great enthusiasm, hope and accomplishment but I am not sitting alone in my craft room at my desk crying to myself either which is definately better.

That's all I wanted to say today guys,

I hope you're all well and happy quirky beans! Nobody wants or needs to have days like yesterday, but sometimes they happen and we just have to go along with it.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012


Today I want to tell you exactly how I am feeling, and I'm not going to use my 'blogging voice' at all. I want you to know who I am, and I am going to be completely honest for the first time since I started my blog.

Today I am very depressed. I have spent the past hour sitting here at my computer on Facebook looking at my profile and thinking how sad and lonely I am and I have been crying my eyes out whilst shovelling Cadbury chocolate into my mouth and am about to start on my second block. I can't really even describe the feelings I have right now, because I don't understand them. I don't know how to respond to them, and I don't know how to make them go away. I am alone at home, my two dogs are running around happily as usual and my budgies are probably hungry as I haven't given them any seed today yet. For the past 7 days I have been in constant driving pain from an infected wisdom tooth and no one has asked me how I am feeling, or am I ok except my husband who has been doing his best to comfort me but doesn't really know what else to do and I can see the frustration in him that he can't help me more. I love him so much for that quality in him. I haven't been able to sleep, I've had to take panadol and codeine longer than the box says is safe just to be able to eat and get an hours relief before the pain comes back and I have to wait another 3 hours before I can take more meds. This week I have received no phone calls, got no text messages from any family or friends because I haven't called or contacted them first. Two days ago I broke down to my husband that I felt so alone in the world and felt so guilty because I feel like I am putting too much pressure on him to be my constant companion. He held me in his arms and let me cry, he told it would all be ok even though neither of us knew how it was going to be ok. He told me I have friends and that people love me, and I told him he was wrong. I cried and cried and cried, and then my little puppy came over and kept wanting to lick the tears off my face.

Today I feel like I have no purpose, and part of me knows I shouldn't think about such things but I wonder who in this world counts on me as a friend, who wants me around, who truly loves me? How do people express those things and how do I know anyone feels that way about me? Honesty is a rare thing in my life, I have lost many friends and everyday I feel so hurt because the people I've lost never asked me what was going on. They just left! Left me alone and thought the worst of me and I am left not understanding why and feeling so hurt. These are people whom I loved and I find myself not wanting to trust again in case more people leave me.

Last night I stayed up late cleaning and tidying my craft room and I started and finished a sewing tutorial for a guest post I volunteered to do because I needed to feel like I could accomplish something. And I did for a while, then I woke up and started feeling this way and now I don't think it's worth typing out and sending off. Is anyone going to care if I don't send it? Will anyone even use the tutorial? Will anyone thank me for it? Not that I really care about the recognition, but what good will it do? There are no friends around me who I can show the finished product to and get their opinion on it, no one to chat to about the hours I spent working on it and writing it out step by step, and taking the photos, and composing it all, no one to share my happiness and feeling of small accomplishment with. And today, that is digging really deep into my emotions. Is just enjoying it and wanting to contribute something good and fun and kind to the crafting world enough? God knows there's enough out there already, what will me and my blog do? Probably nothing much at all if I'm brutally honest with myself.
And then I considered giving it all up. I really did, truly and honestly. I am still thinking about it now. Then I think of all the other things I've given up over time because my feelings have gotton the better of me. All that work and time and effort put into doing something I enjoy to have it wasted and my self esteem goes back into the red. And then suddenly I know that whilst I am feeling like crap, and I don't know what the point is, that I will load those photos and type that post and send it as planned. It's not going to change how I feel today, but I don't want to let the blogger who asked for it down and have one more person in this world think I can't achieve anything.

I don't have any profound finishing words to end this post with, nothing clever or witty or life changing other than today, I am having a truly sad day. That's all there is to it. And I am hoping that my honesty has shown you that I am not some happy elf-like creature that lives in a fantasy world where I just sit around and craft and paint and sing all day and make the world a brighter place, because it simply isn't like that. Tomorrow I may feel differently, I may not, it doesn't matter. This is what I feel today, I am lonely, I am in pain, and to sum it all up I can say only this...

"I am Jack's inflammed sense of rejection"

Monday, 21 May 2012

Life Pains and no more Supanova ~ great photos though!

Hello everyone! Tash here, well at least I think I'm here... all those pills and medications I've had to be on this past week I don't know if I'm feeling completely myself...but I missed blogging so I've popped in (yes, the internet is a place one can 'pop' into...like popping in to a cafe for a coffee but not as tasty) to say hello and fill you in a little. I've developed a rather nasty infection in my lower right wisdom tooth and the pain of it has knocked a fairly large chunk of time out of my life... a whole week seems to have gone by in a painful blurry haze and I can't say I'm out of the woods yet and won't be for a while to come unfortunately. After having difficulty swallowing and eating, having pain in my tongue, in my gums and my jaw for three days constant I went to see the dentist. I was so EXCITED to go!!! When is anyone EVER excited to go to the dentist??? You know it's bad when that starts to happen! I was in the dentist's office literally for 2 minutes, all he said was that the offending tooth definately needs to come out (at which point I lost all my enthusiasm and my knees felt weak). I knew that was going to be the case but never having any kind of surgery before I was more than a little scared (and still am!) I've got an appointment for an X-ray this Thursday and after than I can arrange to make an appointment with a surgeon in Tamworth (about 2 hours out of Armidale).  My mental health and risk of panic attacks means that I will need to be completely anaethetised for the procedure which OF COURSE ups the price.

My teeth have been the main cause of my physical health problems for a very long time and it's probably safe to say that there is much more that needs doing than just a tooth removal. I have very compacted teeth meaning that my jaw is very overcrowded and needless to say I have very wonky teeth. I also tend to grind my teeth in my sleep aswell so a few little cavaties and cracks have sprung up due to that and most of the teeth are very sharp as a result of the grinding. The X-ray is going to tell me all four of my wisdoms need to come out and I am FREAKING out!! The cost is staggering, but it has come to the point now where I can't keep putting it off. My parents couldn't afford to have my wisdoms taken out when I was younger or for braces, and to be honest my husband and I can't really afford it either. We really don't know how we're going to handle this, or what is in store for us financially. We barely get by week to week as it is, a large chunk of money needed for dental surgery simply isn't there! We have no savings, and the small amount of money I contribute isn't nearly enough to cover even a fragment of the cost *sigh* such is life though I suppose!
So that's what is going on in our lives at the moment, not the highlight of our year but we make do. All this has also meant that my husband and I have had to cancel our trip to Sydney for Supanova next month which was supposed to be our one little trip away for the year. We're both pretty shattered and dissappointed. I am left with feelings of guilt for my teeth being responsible even though I know  can't exactly help it. And all my enthusiasm for my Dr Who Scarf crochet project has melted away, I was so looking forward to wearing it! On the bright side I guess this means I have until next year to finish it instead of next month. We'll just have to reshuffle our plans to take our trip next year instead.
So after spending an entire week in almost constant agony, yesterday I decided I'd had enough of the pain getting to me, took my painkillers with me and ventured outside to go on a photo-taking frolick to cheer myself up. And I have to say, while the drugs were working, hubby and I had a great few hours outside at 'Blue Hole', a local nature reserve climbing rocks down the river! That afternoon when I got home though the pain from the exertion came rushing back but it was definately worth it! Today I am DEFINATELY not feeling very chipper but I had to get out of the house...check out some the photos! We do love our mini-adventures together! :o)

My husband is a better rock climber than I am! I blame it on my short legs