Framed!

Scrap Yarn

What do you do when you have lots of scrap yarn that can’t really be used to make anything but you still can’t really throw away?  You can throw them around and create a tangled mess?  You can put them in a bag and wait for something to come up.  You can use them to make colorful headbands, but having only one head that many headbands isn’t really useful.  You could make baby headbands so your 2 year old daughter can wear them for 2 minutes then throw them in the trash.

-OR-

You make magnetic photo frames!  And then you make more photo frames.  And then you think about posting about it because you are a crazy yarn obsessed chic who also happens to love blogging.  Then you decide to post about it AND write up a tutorial.

Crochet Magnet Photo Frames

Yes, I blurred the photos because I wouldn’t want other people posting pictures of my daughter without telling me first, but trust me they were sooooo cute. :-)

Materials NeededYou are going to need:

  • Scrap yarn (you can always use a new skein but then it wouldn’t be a stash busting project).  I used DK Acrylic yarn in green.
  • A pair of siscors
  • 3.5mm hook.
  • A tapestry needle
  • Magnets ( I have the kind that just stick on but you might need glue too if you just have regular magnets)
  • And some felt

How to make them:

The pattern is for a standard photo size 15 x 10 cms.  You can customize it to fit any size photo.

Make a slip knot and chain 86.  I got to 86 by chaining until the chain was 8.5 cm long and that was my first side and it took 17 chains, then I chained until it got to 13.5 cm and that took 26 chains (86 = 17 + 26 + 17 + 26).   You want the frame overlap the picture a bit because there is no plastic to keep the photo from falling out.  If you want to  change the size or if you are using a different sized hook or yarn weight just figure our your own starting chain length, just keep in mind the number of chains it took for the lengths to be right.

Round 1: Join to the first chain with a slip stitch, chain 1, single crochet in the next 16 stitches (this creates your first side), single crochet 3 in the next stitch (this creates your first corner), single crochet in the next 25 stitches (this creates your second side), single crochet 3 in the next stitch (this creates your second corner), single crochet in the next 16 stitches (this creates your third side), single crochet 3 in the next stitch (this creates your third corner), single crochet in the next 25  stitches (this creates your final side), single crochet 3 in the next stitch (this creates your final corner). [94 stitches in total]

Round 2: Join to the first single crochet with a slip stitch, chain 1, single crochet in the next 17 stitches, single crochet 3 in the next stitch , single crochet in the next 27 stitches , single crochet 3 in the next stitch , single crochet in the next 18 stitches, single crochet 3 in the next stitch , single crochet in the next 27  stitches  single crochet 3 in the next stitch, single crochet 1. [102 stitches in total]

Round 3: Join to the first single crochet with a slip stitch, chain 1, single crochet in the next 18 stitches, single crochet 3 in the next stitch , single crochet in the next 29 stitches , single crochet 3 in the next stitch , single crochet in the next 20 stitches, single crochet 3 in the next stitch , single crochet in the next 29  stitches  single crochet 3 in the next stitch, single crochet 2. [110 stitches in total]

Slip stitch into the first sc to join.

Now you have yourself a nice rectangular frame.

You can finish off and weave in ends or you can go on to add a picot edge or a bobble edge.

To make the bobble edge:

Lucy at Attic24 has this really amazing tutorial on how to make bobble edging.  Just slip stitch 10 between each bobble, you will end up with 10 bobbles along your edge.

To make the picot edge:

*Chain 3 then slip stitch into the sing crochet where the chain comes out from, slip stitch 3*.  Repeat what is between the ** until you reach the very first slip stitch, finish off and weave ends.

Make the back:

Cut out a rectangular felt piece 18 x 12.5 cm. I snip off the corners to give it a cleaner finish.   Using the tapestry needle and the same yarn you used to make your frame whip stitch the felt to the crochet.  Make sure that the felt is straight. If for any reason the felt is a bit larger than your crochet piece you can trim it.  Sew only three sides leaving one of the wider sides open so you can insert pictures easily.  Stick the magnets on.  I used five because 3 were not enough.  Voila!  Insert photo, stick on your fridge and enjoy.

Other tips:

  • You can use iron on interfacing to make the back sturdier, I tried one that way but decided it was not worth the hassle.
  • If you have stronger magnets you can use two pieces of felt and glue the magnets inside for a cleaner finish, unfortunately my magnets did not work underneath the felt.
  • You can sew on a loop and hang these on a nail on the wall or use paper backing instead of felt and use blue tac on the wall.
  • Experiment with different edges and color combinations.

Bucket of Seashells

I’ve been busy busy busy.  Making things and stuff.

I would like you to meet the bucket of seashells.  It is shaped like a bucket and is shell stitched in the round, hence the name.  It is the perfect size for me at the moment,it measures 7 inches wide at the bottom and 8.5 inches tall without the handles. My own design.  If you are interested you can download the pattern here or click on the pdf thumbnail image. It is a pdf file with clear instructions.

If you want to add a rigid base check out this tutorial

Would things be different if we were born knowing when we would die?

If  we were born with an expiry date or just like a DOB ( date of birth) we had a DOD ( date of death ) written in our birth ceritificates would our lives be any different?

I wonder.

We would not need a death certificate, they could just add a feild for reason of death that could be filled out once we die.  It could help reduce the load of paperwork for our loved ones once we are gone.

On a more serious note though, would we be more daring and experience more living or would we be apathetic towards life.  Human beings tend to live thinking that they will live forever until they actually get old or just die suddenly.  The first thing that comes to mind is that people with shorter life spans would get discriminated against.  They would become undesirable for marriage, jobs and even buying things in installments.  Which most probably would lead to a whole new world of forgery.  We would probably read books and watch movies about love stories where couples would fight for their love because one person knew he would only live for another year or two and the other decades but they would still choose to get married and be together for whatever time they had.  Genetic studies would explore the human genome to find if they can modify your unborn baby’s genes to get a longer living baby.  Would people who knew they would live longer take better care of their health?  Would they make more friends and try more things because they know they have enough time to change their mind? Would decisions be harder or easier to make?

It is a blessing that we do not know.

At the end of the day it does not matter because

“اعمل لدنياك كأنك تعيش أبدا واعمل للآخرة كأنك تموت غدا”

Translated to

“work for your earthly life as if you live forever and work for the hereafter as if you die tomorrow”

This is sometimes said to be a hadith, but after a bit of research it was either said by Ali Ibn Abu Taleb or an unknown source.  Al Albany claimed that it was hadith da3if.

Either way, whomever said it, it has a lot of truth in it.

Why mother’s day sucks

1 day out of 365 days?

Leh ya3ni?

Howa el mama beteb2a mama only one day a year?

I change diapers every day.

I have been potty training for what feels like forever.

I kiss ever ouffa to make it better.

I worry all the time.

I yell sometimes (well more than sometimes recently, but you are welcome to come try talking sense into a very naughty two year old).

I watch Curious George, Sesame Street and Timmy Time (I confess I do enjoy that).  No more Barney in this household because the purple dino drives me insane.

I dream of her future but hope that I will never turn into a nagging or pressuring kind of mum.

I pick up toys all day long.

I have a bad back but will give piggy back rides whenever they are asked for and sometimes even do the cooking while she is sitting on my shoulders,  pulling my hair and poking my eyes.

I do it all hoping that someday, years from now, on mother’s day she will come and say “happy mother’s day” and really mean it.

Mother’s day does not really suck, it just reminds us that one day is not enough, a whole life time is not enough to say thank you to the woman who carried you, birthed you and raised you until you became the person you are.

To my own mother, thank you and happy mummuz day (she will probably remind me that it is a bed3a :-) bas bardo happy muzmuz day ya mummy).

To all of you, call your mother and wish her a happy day.

Call your daddies too, because even though the daddy over here has never changed a diaper, he is still a sweet daddy and deserves a day too.

To those unfortunate to have lost your moms, say a prayer for her.  Tala3olha sadaka garya because I am sure that is way better than any other gift.

And this is my gift to myself.  I am going to print this and have Lulu color it (a.k.a scribble all over it and smear it with pasta sauce)

Coloring page from Bubblegumclub.com

Friday’s Five: TED Talks

I think TED Talks are the coolest thing ever.  I used to watch the videos but lately I subscribed to the podcast and have been listening to them in the car.

Here are my favorite five this week:

I so wanted to be Nancy Drew when I was a kid

Really, I did.  Did anyone else want to be Ms. Drew?  I thought she was awesome.  The sharp young red head was my super hero.  She didn’t have any super powers except her brain so I thought I could eventually be like her.

I was at Jarir this morning and came accross these books and felt really happy.  Happier than a 10 year old nerd in a library.

I read all the copies that were available at our public library when we lived in Scotland.  Then my parents got me some more.  Unfortunately my mom gave them away to a second cousin or cousin a couple of years back.  I thought of buying one, but I am not buying any books until I finish the ones I already have so boo hoo.  I turned around and saw a shelf full of TinTin and Asterix books.  Other favorites but not as dear as Nancy Drew.

Oh well, maybe when Lulu is older I can introduce her to Nancy Drew.

Who was your favorite fictional character as a kid?

Seriously, why block Skype? Embrace it!

I keep coming across articles about Egyptian government’s decision on blocking Skype.  I don’t get it.  Everywhere in the world people are embracing new technologies and learning to use them to make more profits if they are businesses or save money if they are consumers.  Why do we always have to be the people who ban technology to force people to pay more?

Instead of banning it why don’t they regulate it so they can get paid for it too.  For example why don’t they offer people the option of buying skype minutes using their top up cards and negotiate a deal with Skype to get a piece of that pie?  I mean Skype Out does not have the best quality all the time, they could give users the option, they could either pay more for better quality.  Besides they could make more in the end anyway because people would most probably use more minutes.

How are they going to block it anyway?  I understand technically how it can be done, but will they block SkypeOut (PC to Phone calls) and allow people to use regular Skype (PC to PC) or will they be blocking the application all together?

I don’t live in Egypt at the moment, so the decision doesn’t really affect me but it bugs me.  Isn’t it enough that people have to deal with loved ones living on different continents, do they also have to make it cost an arm and a leg to call them.  Even if we take it from a business perspective, companies who use VOIP technology are doing business overseas, many of them exporting goods or services, why do we have to make them pay more money.  Shouldn’t the government be aiding businesses that export?

The question that now bugs me, as consumers what can we do other than just accept it and live with the decision?

Is there a way to fight back?

I guess not other than finding other programs that haven’t yet been blocked.

Another example of failing to take an opportunity and turn it into success.

11 Books

I am so behind on my reading.

All of these books, sad that I haven’t read them yet.

I’ve been reading Istanbul for what feels like forever now.

Edited: The books from the top are

Atyaf

Sale7 Heisa

Awlad 7aretna

Resalat el Basa2er fel Masa2er

Azazeel

Istanbul

The girl with the dragon tattoo

Eat, Pray, Love

Talk to the Hand

e

Snow

Friday’s Five: Egyptian Women and Biographies

I am still researching Egyptian women but here are five I found interesting and would like to read more about.

  1. Saheir al-Qalamawi
  2. Rania Elwani
  3. Shajarat El Dor
  4. Doria Shafiq
  5. Hoda Shaarawi

The moral of the story is …

In a land far far away in a time long long ago, there was a country. That country was beautiful and rich. The soils were rich, anything sown in the land would grow and be fruitful. They had one character flaw; someone should always be blamed. So instead of planting their land the farmers would squabble all day long on whose fault it was that the neighbor’s cows wandered into their fields. Was it the farm boy’s fault or was it the farmer’s wife’s fault. They would go on for days on end, for they were very skilled in arguing, they had had years of practice. So the land was not farmed and the people did not have any food to eat. They started to blame the king because of their character flaw. The king made a new law and said that anyone who blamed anyone would be jailed. The people were happy but they could not stop blaming each other, for it was in their nature. Many of the young able bodied farmers ended up in jail. Still, people did not farm the land because they were either in jail or complaining that the men who could farm were in jail and started to blame the king. The king canceled his law. People complained and blamed the king that spring had passed and that they could no longer sow any seeds. The king jailed people for complaining. Things got worse. A neighboring country tried to attack them but they got lucky and were saved.
The king died and another king came, the people complained and blamed the new king. The new king blamed the old king. The people blamed the old king and the new king. They thought if the new king died and they got an even newer king things would change. So they prayed all day long. They did not farm the fields, they did not work, they did not do anything except pray, blame and complain.
Finally after decades of praying they got a new king. But things had gotten so much worse and the people were still poor so the people blamed the newest king and the newest king blamed the people for their laziness and they all blamed the dead kings.
Things did not change, but life will go on.