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DIY Christmassy Purple Beaded Napkin Rings

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Since the last bunch of beaded napkin rings, I've gone a little obsessed with napkin rings and have made another set with different coloured beads and design. I managed to make 5 with the leftover beads from making my choker necklace and a beaded belt.


I think they look really good with my mostly white table setting and crockeries.



Unlike the turquoise napkin rings, these ones have a slightly more complicated design so it took me almost 2 evenings to complete. Here is the step-by-step process in illustration:

1. I use a 0.35 nylon fishing thread (that's what I have in my drawer), but you can use a thinner one as the napkin rings are only small. I measure it to about 1.1m for each napkin ring. It's always best to use 1 whole thread for each, to save rejoining work halfway through.

Start with the beads in the middle of the thread and criss-cross to make shapes:
2. Here's to complete the first circle and move on to the next row (then repeat for the row after that):


3. To …

Handmade Purple Beaded Belt

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Another accessory I made whilst watching TV over a few evenings, much better than having TV dinners πŸ˜€


This is the base pattern I've used for the purple beads, like what I did for the beaded choker:


It's totally adjustable, just tie around the waist on the white beaded part.

Paper Mache Jack O Lantern Candy Buckets for Halloween

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We're going to have a family dinner right before Halloween so we gotta have something special for the kiddies. I've always wanted to let them have a little trick or treat for fun but I'm really skeptic about buying the ready made ones and make some rich business owners even richer by producing more plastic stuff. So a DIY paper machΓ© Jack o Lantern is an obvious choice.

Here are the material used:
2 old unused balloons from last Christmas, blew them up and wrapped each up with a layer of cling film (for easy removal when the glue is dry), and these are the base mould for the pumpkins.Old newspaper and old receipts, torn into tiny strips.Glue made from tapioca flourLeftover white base coat paintAcrylic coloursString from an old wrecked drawstring bag First layer for the shape.




 Few more layers to shape the ridges.



Punched holes for the handle. Base coat done, in and out.




Getting the right colour, bit by bit.


Once the colour's done, smiley Jack-o-lantern faces are drawn …

Growing Basil on a Tropical Balcony

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Basil can grow up to quite tall but it needs to be harvested regularly, otherwise it will start to flower and then die. I try to keep mine growing for as long as possible by cutting long stalks and replant them.


It's really pretty easy. All I do is pluck off all the leaves (for cooking or drying purposes) at the bottom, leaving top most 2 or 4 leaves of each stalk, then place them into a glass of fresh water. Over the period of a week or 2, they will start to root. Once the roots are about 2" long, I will transfer them into soil.


I also do the same when the bottom of the basil plant start to turn woody. This would be the time I prune it all down, root the upper part that is fresh and green, and uproot the woody part to refresh the soil to be ready for new plants.



7 days later:


7 weeks later, after several cuttings:



Drying Mint Leaves at home

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The mint plants are growing so well I have to keep cutting and drying them, and I now have opted for a bigger container: my dish drainer which I don't use often enough.
And I have to start labelling them so that I don't get mint mixed up with basil, as they will lose their distinctive shapes when dried. 
Here's my little labelling stick: 2 small labelling stickers on a toothpick πŸ˜„


Last update: 15 Sep, 2017
Since replanting the mint, I've trimmed and pruned (and try to root more for planting again) a few times to try making the plant more bushy. Whilst I'm not planning to cook anything with mint at the moment and the amount of mint leaves I cut are not exactly enough to make mint sauce immediately, I'll have to preserve them by drying.

The process may take up to a week or so, depending on the weather, but it's not a complicated one. I'm doing it 100% manually, as we do not have any high-tech equipment specially built for that. All I do is to place a cl…

Handmade Adjustable Beaded Belt / Necklace

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I'm not one of those who can sit still and watch TV quietly. Not that I'd keep talking to disturb others in the room, but my hands have to be kept busy doing something else; otherwise I'd feel as if I'm putting time to full use.
To make myself feel less guilty or uneasy, I'd usually do my sewing, stitching, or weaving beads into some kind of accessories, like this beaded belt that can also double as a necklace.

Took me a few hours over a few days' worth of TV programmes, it was done using the same basic bead weaving method as the beaded handbag, except it's 6 beads for every section, but much simpler as it's a single line:

Can be secured around the waist by tying some knots at the right place, totally adjustable, even if I were to put on weight 😁








Paper Lantern Lamp Shade - Get Ready for Mid Autumn Festival

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How do you like my Mid Autumn Lantern lamp shade?

Since I've converted some paper lanterns into tea light shades, I thought I'd do just 1 more festive decor. Using the same method from the tea light shades, by cutting out a large opening on the bottom of the largest paper lantern I could find; I simply place it over a table lamp. Obviously, I removed the existing lamp shade and put aside for the moment.

Took me less than 10 minutes to get this done, and if I'm careful enough not to rip or tear it upon removal, I could probably reuse it next year.