Dienstag, 17. Januar 2012

hand-knitted potholders

This is a project I have already worked on some time ago, but added a few more samples this week. The idea was to turn a pile of worn-out T-shirts, which I did not want to throw away because of the attached memories, into something usefull. If you cut up T-shirts into long strips of about 2 cm in width, they make very good knitting yarn. So that's what I did with the T-shirts. For best results try to find ring-spun T-shirts, which are luckily mainly sold in North America, where I have travelled to frequently in the past.

If you want to save the memories attached to a perticular T-shirt, you can add a little embroidered label to the pot holder to mark its origin.

Sonntag, 15. Januar 2012

Bottle decoration

This weekend we went skiing, so there was little time for recycling other than the diligent sorting of our garbage.

But on the slopes I saw this interesting decoration made from colour painted old bottles.

Donnerstag, 12. Januar 2012

No more messy drawer

In our kitchen we have a drawer where everything ends up eventually. Whenever the drawer gets jammed because it is too full it is time to tidy up.

In order to subdivide the drawer I have saved some plastic boxes, cut-off bottom halves of empty milk cartons and - biggest find of all - the inside of last year's advent calendars.

With this neat system in place I hope that at least one more year will pass before I need to tidy up again.

Mittwoch, 11. Januar 2012


I hate mending socks - and children's tights in this case. But I am equally unhappy about just throwing them away. So I tried out something new. First I cut off the damaged bit of the tights. Then I cleaned up the edge on the sewing machine with a zig-zag stitch. Finally I decorated the edge with stretchy lace. When summer comes, these will look great with a mini skirt.

Dienstag, 10. Januar 2012

Leg warmers

To go with my newly patched up jeans I decided to make myself some leg warmers. I still had a grey cardigan, which I had picked up at a flea market with the plan to make a cover for a hot water bottle. Well, the hot water bottle I might still make in the next few days, but in the meantime I decided to use the arms of the cardigan for some leg warmers.

I cut them off at the maximum length and made them a bit tighter to fit my legs. I then cleaned up the top edge with my sewing machine and stitched some stretchy ribbon too it to make it look less grey and more fun.

Montag, 9. Januar 2012

Make do and mend

Which part of your jeans wears out first? For kids it's definetely the knees, but it my case, it is the pocket, where I carry my mobile phone. For the longest time I have looked for a patch, which does not look too shabby or too cute, but couldn't find anything which I liked.

Yesterday I finally had the idea, to put an additional pocket on top of the worn-out spot. I used the back pocket of a seriously shredded pair of baby jeans for this purpose. I certainly like the result. And it is practical, too. Now my mobile phone gets an additional layer of protection, and I have gained a little pocket for storing my head phones.

What do you think? Let me know your Make-do-and-mend ideas!

Sonntag, 8. Januar 2012

More card board stars

When I took the paper garbage out, I discovered an empty Lebkuchen box with a nice print. Great material for more card board stars! At this rate I should have enough for next Christmas in no time.

What to do with all those Christmas cards?

Day 7 in the new year and I am still tidying up! Today I was faced with a (small) pile of Christmas cards, which are too nice to throw away, but too many to keep. Then I remembered a star-shaped hole-punch, which I had bought for the kids last year. It cuts out stars of about 5 cm diameter. Ideal for recycling Christmas cards.

After a few minutes of punching I now own a heap of colourful card board stars, which I will save for this year's Christmas decorations and gift wrappings.

Samstag, 7. Januar 2012

Recycling bins for our bathroom

Every year one of my new year resolutions is to become more tidy. It normally does not last long, but this year, I have at least started by improving our bathroom. 

We used to have one bin for all the bathroom waste. When it was full, I needed to take it downstairs to the kitchen, where all of our seperate recycling bins. Feeling passionate about recycling - I then had to sort the contents of the bathroom bin into the various recycling bins. Tedious work! Much better to have seperate bins in the bathroom to start with, which can then be taken to the main recycling bins individually. 

To find vessels of a suitable size, I talked to a friend of ours who runs a restaurant. He has plenty of large empty food cans, which normally go to waste. I bought some organic paints in a colour matching our bathroom and painted the empty food cans a pleasent turquoise. Then I searched for recycling logos on the internet and printed them out on stickers in the same colour. 

Now we have one bin for empty packaging (mainly plastic), one for paper and one for the remaining waste, which can sadly not be recycled.