NRL Earflap Hat – Free Beanie Knitting Pattern

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With the last game of the 2016 State of Origin series about to grace our screens, what better way to celebrate your team than by knitting your own beanie?

If you have wool left over, check out the other free knitting patterns HERE (cushion cover), and HERE (scarf).

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NRL Scarf – Free Knitting Pattern

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So we’ve had State of Origin NRL Cushion Covers (HERE), and now we have State of Origin NRL Scarves.

These are free knitting patterns from Lincraft, so make sure you go in store (or shop online) to get the very best colours and wool.

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NRL Cushion Cover – Free Knitting Pattern

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YAY! I’m so happy! My local Lincraft store has released a lot of new knitting patterns.

To help spread the love for those not near a store, I will be uploading them here. Let me know what your favourite is.

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Bear Designs – Hand-Made Items

*Please note – I am not getting paid for any of these ‘reviews’. They are merely articles to share the love and support small Australian hand-made businesses/hobbies.*

One thing that I have found while researching these Australian Hand-Made Businesses, is that their contribution to society is much more personal. Unlike big businesses that are only out to make a profit, these businesses focus on pleasing others. Here is one such independent business.

Bear Designs

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Who doesn’t like dressing up? I don’t know a kid that doesn’t. But with so many superheroes and characters, it can be difficult to keep up with the cost of buying costume after costume. This is where Bear Designs comes in.

Bear Designs was created by Nadine Bear, and stocks capes with a virtually-endless array of designs. Her product size range includes 1/2 years, 3/4 years, 5/6 years, and custom orders are welcome. Products can also include capes for teddies, and props for photography sessions.

Prices are very affordable, and the capes can easily be tucked away for further use.

I spoke with Nadine to hear how she came up with this brilliant idea.

“I came up with the idea as my son loved dress up and I could never find good quality capes with his favourite theme; so I decided to give it a go myself. I hadn’t sewn in years, and was surprised how much I loved making them.” Nadine told me.

“I first started making capes for my kids, and then friends, which then extended into people requesting all types of super capes. I decided to start up a Facebook page (found HERE) and see how it went.”

When talking about her products, Nadine said: “I do a variety of patterns/favourite characters/themes and custom orders. Basically it depends what people are looking for and their child’s favourite theme.”

Not only does she do individual sales, but also collections, for kid’s birthday parties.

As I said before, independent businesses have a closer link with their communities and and Bear Designs is no different.

“I was recently involved in a massive charity event, which I called ‘Capes for Cancer’. It was for a little boy in my son’s pre-primary class.”

“This is the reversible cape I designed with ‘C’ for childhood cancer on yellow being the gold representation and the other side being the super hero fabric. I made 70 capes for all the kids, and 15 for the teachers. It was a massive event/quiz night, to raise awareness for childhood cancer, and I managed to raise over $7000. All the kids looked amazing in their capes. Shawn Redhage from Perth Wildcats also came out on the day and chatted to the kids.”

Nadine’s final words echo those of other independent Australian Hand-Made businesses: “As I’m still a new business with a young family, I haven’t yet ventured out to the market arena, but I’m hoping to as my business grows.”

 

Crayola Easy Animation Studio – Product Review

When you think of animation, you think of hours of hard work to create simple second-long videos.

Not anymore.

While wandering through Target the other week, I found the Crayola Easy Animation Studio.

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It immediately caught my interest, and with it only costing $29, I figured I would give it a try.

Inside you will find – Manny the Mannequin (with a stand to clip him into), Crayola Twist crayons, a stand for your phone/tablet, and a book full of characters and backgrounds for you to colour-in. You will need to download a program on your smart-phone/tablet, but it’s free.

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Inside the book –

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*Helpful Hint*
I wanted to make something really cool, so I decided to make Captain Hammer from Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog (2008). Unfortunately, I used other brand crayons as well, and I think that put-off the system, so always use Crayola crayons.

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I’ll take you through step-by-step making an easy short animation.

STEP 1 – Character

Either colour your own character, or use one provided on the program.

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STEP 2 – Background

You can choose a background from the book, use one on the program, or you can even take a photo of your house and your character can be there with you.

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STEP 3 – Actions

There are a bunch of actions you can choose on the program, or you can use Manny to do it yourself. The program works by capturing images of Manny in positions, and filling in the blanks.

It works best if you keep the smart-phone/tablet still, and have Manny facing a window with light.

*Helpful hint*
You’ll have to be patient while capturing the positions, as it needs time to figure out where Manny’s limbs are (through the symbols on his limbs). Here is what happens when it is having trouble:

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To make your character wave, capture Manny in these three positions:

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STEP 4 – Voice

You don’t have to do this, but you can record some audio. I record “Hello” in my best bear-voice.

STEP 5 – Save

It only takes a second to turn it into a video.

And voilà, here is my video:

How-To: Wrap a Present

I used to absolutely suck at wrapping presents. I used too much sticky tape, I ripped the paper, and there was WAY more paper than present.

Last year I volunteered with The Family Centre, wrapping presents for donations at a local shopping centre. I suddenly had to get very good.

After watching and giving it a try, I’ve found a pretty good way to wrap presents, and I thought I would share it with you all.

STEP ONE

Gather your materials. You will need:

  • The present
  • Wrapping paper
  • Sticky tape
  • Scissors (ADULT SUPERVISION)

 

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STEP TWO

Lay out the wrapping paper with the present on it. I started wrapping this on the carpet, but then moved to a table. Don’t cut too big of a sheet. You can always cut some off before finishing. I lay the top of the present down, because the folds end at the top and this way the top will be seamless.

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STEP THREE

Bring the longest sides together and place one bit of sticky tape.

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STEP FOUR

I moved to a table to make sure my folds were crisp. Push down the top layer of the paper, and fold the sides into crisp angles.

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STEP FIVE

One corner at a time, fold them over to form a point. Do this on both sides.

 

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STEP SIX

Fold the sides up and use one piece of sticky tape.

 

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There you go! All wrapped. This technique works for more than just square gifts too.

Happy wrapping!