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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12 Days of Christmas Blogging Challenge

Almost there!

Today I’ll be continuing the 12 Days of Christmas Blogging Challenge by ScaleSimple.

You can find Day 1 HERE, and Day 2 HERE, Day 3 HERE, Day 4 HERE, Day 5 HERE, Day 6 HERE, Day 7 HERE, Day 8 HERE, Day 9 HERE, and Day 10 HERE.

DAY 11. What was your favourite childhood Christmas present?

The other day I read an article about a couple who bought ~300 presents for their kids for Christmas. As can be expected, the internet had a lot to say about it. While some were saying they can do whatever they want with their money, others pointed out that spoiling children is akin to abuse.
When it comes to my family, sometimes too much emphasis was put on the presents – when we were little kids. Being a single parent, Mum always felt like she wasn’t doing a good enough job, and tried to show us her love in that way. I still remember being a little kid telling her she didn’t need to buy so many presents. Now I’m not saying we got anywhere near as many (after all, we didn’t have enough money for that, anyway), but this history comes to mind when I read this question.
Despite all the weight Mum put on our presents, I don’t really remember any from my childhood that was my favourite.
I love all the gifts that I get, but what I remember more about the day, are the jokes we share and the games we play.
What was your favourite childhood Christmas present? Let me know below, or start your own 12 Days of Christmas Blogging Challenge.

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Picture by ScaleSimple

I nominate: This week’s new followers on Instagram.

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!

Crayola Marker Airbrush – Product Review

Fun for the whole family? How often is that actually true? You’re either left with a sullen teenager or a screaming child. Crayola Marker Airbrush can actually be fun for the whole family.

Listen when I say I am in no way being paid by Crayola or anyone else. I just wanted to share my opinion.

Today I was feeling pretty crappy and tried to get my mind off it by walking around Target. With Christmas coming, of course there are a lot of new toys out. There were two that caught my eye: Crayola Marker Airbrush, and Crayola Color Alive Easy Animation Studio (latter review to come).

Let me give you the rundown:

Packaging And Pieces

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The box pretty much tells you everything there is to know about the product. Each pack comes with the Airbrush Sprayer, 20 blank sheets of paper, 8 Washable Markers (for designs on paper), 4 Fabric Markers (for designs on clothing – cotton recommended), and 4 Stencil Sheets.More detailed instructions are also inside.

It is great how much there is in there, but I still would have liked some more stencils, such as letters.

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Everything is very simple to use and there are only a few elements. You also don’t need batteries or to assemble anything, so you’re all set to go on Christmas morning.

How It Works

  1. The first thing you will do is decide if you want to airbrush a design on paper or fabric. My examples will be showing paper, with the only difference at the end (I’ll explain that later).
  2. Choose your colour. I chose a pinky/purple.
  3. Remove the lid from the marker and push the marker into the tip of the airbrush until you feel it kind of click. Don’t put the lid on the bottom of the marker. I did that and it messes it all up. Click the holder down so it’s all secure.Screen Shot 2015-12-01 at 12.26.56 am.png
  4. Twist the lid of the air pump machine, pull the handle up, and push down. Keep lifting it up and pushing it down, about 20 times. You will feel the air pressure build up, and when it feels enough, twist it back into place.
  5. Pop out your chosen stencil, place it on the paper (or fabric) and spray.20151130_225249
  6. If you have airbrushed onto fabric, I have read that you should then iron it with the iron set to ‘cotton’, and then put it in the dryer for 30 minutes on its hottest settings.

 

So there you go. It’s a very easy and fun thing to do. You can create your own designs on paper, books, windows, walls, clothing, etc. You are pretty much only limited by your imagination.

I had a great time playing around with this and hope to get some more stencils and airbrush on some shirts.

Target had this one for sale for $29.

Let me know if you’ve tried this and what you thought of it.