A play with macramé

On pinterest I seem to have a rather large collection of pictures of plants, and have seen lots of these lovely string plant hangers.

Most of my house plants sit together on a little table in the corner of our sitting room, but I’ve long been thinking it might be good to suspend a couple of them to add a bit of dimension to that area.

I wasn’t really sure where to start with the macramé – it looked quite complicated, but actually was really super easy, and after watching some youtube videos, I was feeling rearing to go! (I hope this description of what I did has the same effect on you and doesn’t put you off!) I warn you, I did go off in my own direction a bit….

I used some twine I had and some white knitting cotton I added in to make it a bit more robust. And found some wooden beads left over from my crochet beads which I thought would look nice with this natural colour scheme.

To start with measure out 4 lengths 4 metres long. Lay the lengths together, fold them in half and tie a loop in the top (so you are left with 8 lengths each 2 metres long)

I hooked my loop over a door handle and seperated the pieces. It was a bit confusing at first because I was using two different threads together, but had to remember that I was working with 8 (double) lengths and not 16. If you don’t use double thread though and use cording or something similar you won’t have this confusion to worry about.

DSC04914making a macramé plant hanger

Start by knotting two lengths together all the way around (4 knots) 20cm from the top knot. (There are a lot of different macramé knots to try, but I kept it very simple using a basic overhand knot throughout)

Next measure 10cm down and you want to seperate your two strands and tie one of these to one of the strands from the neighbouring pair. The strand that is left from that pair you want to tie to one strand from the next pair round. Repeat this all the way round. (make sure you always pair up with the neighbour – I did get in a bit of a muddle at one point and had to unknot!)

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At this point I added a bead to each knot by threading them onto one of the twine threads and knotting below the bead to secure it.

easter cactus in my macrame plant hanger

The next knots are another 20cm down (always seperating and knotting with the neighbour) with some more beads attached, then the next 10cm with beads, then another set 10cm with beads and finally some more knots another 10cm without beads. Lastly I tied all the strands together in one big knot 10cm from here to make a tassel. (I trimmed the ends and tied some more beads on for fun)

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I definitely want to make another one of these and will change my pattern a bit as realised that the top sets of knots hang tightly together so perhaps were not really needed, although do add a bit of interest, but could have been replaced with a plait or more beading or something like this. It was a bit of trial and error with the spacing of the knots and I think this will be fun to experiment with a little bit.

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Maybe have a go and report back for me!?

Watching you grow

This weekend was a very quiet one for Rose and I. Rich was away for a course he is doing so we decided to take it easy. The weather was really on our side and we had some nice outings and enjoyed the sunshine through our windows too.

woolapple with tomato seedlingswoolapple with our seedlings

We did have a little bit of excitement though as our seeds have started to grow, and Rose was very pleased to see this! Unfortunately the seeds I tried planting in the clear container went a bit moldy – I didn’t look after them very well – but I have been told broad beans are the ones to try so I bought a few of these seeds and have planted them in soil in a big glass jar. We are going to have quite a windowsill garden at this rate.

woolapple with broad beans in a kilner jar

I am pleased that Rose is interested in our seedlings. She wanted to carry them and we put them on the table for a while to look at them. She was very gentle with them.

 

 

Time to sow

Today is the first of march and I celebrated the day with a big bunch of daffodils and some seed sowing with Rose.

At nursery Rose has been learning a bit about where food comes from and now you can not say the word ‘egg’ without her saying ‘chicken’. I thought it would be nice for us to plant some seeds that we could watch grow and then be able to eat.

So I chose some tomato and basil as this is a good combination, and Rose loves olives and these are a good accompaniment to those. She also loves tomatoes. So that’s settled then.

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First of all we planted half of our seeds in pots. Rose enjoyed filling the pots (and everything) with soil, then adding the seeds, then (shh) covering them with a little more soil. Then a little water. It wasn’t as messy as I feared!

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The rest of the seeds I planted the rest of our seeds in a see through (grape) container. I added wet cotton wool to the bottom and then filled it up with strips of kitchen paper which started to soak up some of the moisture. I used some flour and water paste to stick the seeds to a piece of kitchen paper and then wedged this near the edges of the pot so that we can see them. Rose liked to look at them, and I am really really hoping they will sprout like this so we can watch the roots and shoots grow. I am not 100% sure it will work, but will keep you posted!

seed watching

I am looking forward to summer and tomatoes. And if you have any tips for other window sill crops we can try then please let me know.

Cement to be

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December was quite a busy month for me as I decided this Christmas I wanted to make some gifts for my nearest and dearest.

I saw this amazing tutorial for concrete planters on Laura and Tia’s wonderful Little Button Diaries blog and knew I really really wanted to try it.

It’s something completely different to anything I’ve ever attempted before – I didn’t even know it was possible to make something from concrete without any special equipment or tools – all that’s required is a few empty pots and some cement which I discovered is readily available in B&Q and just needs water adding to it. Hurruh! I had also never used spray paint before, and was very nervous about the warning on the can ‘if you feel ill contact a poisons expert’. That mostly made me nervous because I have no idea where to find a poisons expert, and if I was feeling ill that would be a difficult task. It is definitely recommended to do the painting outside, but as I live in a flat I don’t really have a suitable outdoor space. I did open my kitchen window up as wide as it would go though, which in December, living so close to the sea, was quite exhilarating! (you can’t see the wind in these pictures!)

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I went through a bit of a process of trial and error, but found this really satisfying once I found my feet with it. I had two cement type products to try – one was a ready mix concrete which consisted of cement and sand, but I found this a bit crumbly so bought some cement without the sand and found this was too dense – BUT mixing them together and all was goo-oo-ood. Laura used cement and sand and changed her ratios to find the best blend so this is really what I did and I would say a good way to go. I would say it is not really a good last minute present make (unless you have been through this little process) but it’s definitely an original and lovely gift.

Hop over to Little Button Diaries for the full tutorial!