Rabbit Rattle

Crochet Rabbit Rattle for my friend's new baby.

Gardening Apron

Gardening Apron for a friend's house warming present.

No Junk for Us!

Handmade "no junk mail please" sign in Finnish.

Meet Cyril!

Cyril is an amigurumi pig, made for my nephew.

Boxy Matryoshka Pouch

Boxy pouch made with very kawaii Japanese fabric.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Ceiling trapdoor TV

How's this for a neat way to hide the TV when it's not in use? Not to mention a sure fire way to keep those sticky fingers off your flatscreen.

This one is part of a bedroom remodelling carried out by Dijeau & Poage construction company in San Francisco. Reckon you could do it yourself with a bit of thought and careful DIY though. Just make sure it's really, really securely fixed up there...

(via Unplggd)

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Keeping bath toys mould-free

This is not something I'd normally post about here, but when I was bathing my son last night I was reminded of the endless experiments we ran to stop our bath toys growing that scourge of the bathroom, black mould (mold). Mr Crafty Cactus reckons this is something that other people would like to know and I think he's right*.

I've always squeezed out all the water from the toys after a bath and that is important. However, it's not enough to stop the mould. Keeping the toys in a net to dry doesn't seem to make much difference and as ours kept falling down, I have abandoned it. Our toys now sit on the windowsill, usually lined up neatly by Mr V (anything to avoid getting out of the bath).

I tried using a weak disinfectant solution on the toys when they got mouldy. It made no difference to the mould and just served to worry me further. I didn't want Mr V ingesting mould, but I certainly didn't want him ingesting disinfectant. Those toys went in the bin (one by one, so they weren't missed).

Finally, Mr Crafty Cactus became interested. And of course solved the problem, so as to gain maximum smug points. What did he do? He first boiled all the toys in a large saucepan. I've got one I keep for dyeing things, so he used that. Then he made sure that each toy was full of water and microwaved them for a bit.

He did this a few months back and so far, no sign of the black stuff. I've continued to squeeze all the water out of the little blighters after each bath, but otherwise we've done nothing else. Problem solved. Hoorah.

As for non-slip bathmats, we just take ours out and lay it over the tub, sucker side up when it's not in use. No mould there either.

*I do have a slight concern that we are the only people worrying about this. Are we?

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Amigurumi cacti in crackle glaze pots

Julie over at Gleeful Things created these adorable amigurumi cacti for her mother and grandmother. I really should get round to making some myself - I've been thinking that a selection of ami cacti would make a great header.

Julie also did the crackle glazing on the pots - have a go yourself by following her tutorial.

If you fancy making your own ami cacti, there's a free pattern for a similar cactus over at Ana Paula's Amigurumi Patterns & Random Cuteness.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Pixellated PacMan cufflinks

Novelty cufflinks are nothing new, but these pixellated lovelies are surely something else! I love the idea of geek-chic things like this, things that most people won't notice that you can wear safe in the knowledge of your own geek supremacy.

Perhaps Mr Crafty Cactus needs some of these for Fathers' Day. If you or your man want need some of these, amble over to BeauJangles' stall on Makers Market. The Space Invaders are pretty neat too.

(via Craft)

Monday, 10 May 2010

Fabulous fireworks print chair revamp

I just love furniture revamps and here's one that features the lovely Fireworks print fabric by Jessica Jones (of How about orange...). This top job was carried out by Melissa Swanson - check out her blog post for the full details.

And don't forget to pop over to Jessica's blog while you're out and about - it's one of my RSS reader favourites.

Minesweeper pillows with sound effects!

Everyone has wasted hours playing minesweeper when they're supposed to be doing something else more productive, but few people have gone to the effort of bringing the game into their real lives. Meet instructables member BritLive who crafted these fabulously geeky pillows.

What I like about these is that  inevitably some people who come round to your house wouldn't realise what they were. So, in effect these pillows would act as geek radar. And even the non-geeks would surely be amused by a bomb explosion upon sitting.

(via Craft)

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Omlet's beautiful Beehaus

I knew we could trust Omlet, the people behind the urban henhouse Eglu to come up with something equally cool for the wannabe bee keepers among us. And I just knew they'd give it a good name and they have not disappointed on that front - meet the Beehaus!

Now, I don't profess to know much, if anything, about keeping bees, but I was very surprised to learn that one Beehaus could produce 1,400kg of honey a year. That's a lot of sticky stuff. Omlet do suggest that you take honey instead of wine to dinner parties and with that volume to deal with, you'll definitely need to come up with some kind of plan to get shot of it.

Of course, you could sell it to help pay back the £500 plus start up cost. By my reckoning, you'll be laughing all the way to the bank once you've flogged 250 jars. And you'll still have 2,550 left to find homes for.

(via Wired magazine 06.10)

Knitted antique chairs by Melanie Porter

Here's something that appeals to two of my favourite things at the same time - old furniture and fibre-art. Ex-knitwear designer Melanie Porter finds old chairs in auctions and markets across the UK and gives them a new lease of life through careful restoration and reupholstering before she covers them with handknitted panels.

I've chosen Henry (see left) to demonstrate Melanie's talents - a fine chair who's on-trend to boot. Alas, there are no prices on her website, so I suspect that means Henry won't be coming to live with me. But perhaps he or one of his friends could come over to your place? Melanie takes commissions too, if you've got an old Bergere that deserves a facelift.

(via guardian weekend magazine, 08.05.10)

Lufdesign's leaf cable ties

How about this for a simple, yet brilliant idea? Cable ties with little leaves on the ends, making them both functional and attractive. With these babies on-hand you can prettify your copious cables and give up on the much harder task of hiding the messy buggers.

The Leaf Ties are the brainchild of Korea-based Lufdesign. They weren't originally planning to sell direct to the public, but because of the happy problem of lots of consumer interest they are shipping via airmail. If you're quick you might just grab some for yourself...

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