Make it Archives - Jo Simply Will

You can make it yourself! Sort those photos into scrapbooks; knit; crosstitch. Make your own cleaning products.

Overwhelmed by photos? 5 tips to get on top

Photo overwhelm is more of a problem today than ever before. Prior to digital technology the only way you could see your photos was to get them developed. So that’s what we all did! For many, like me, those photos went straight into an album where they could be enjoyed by all. Others stashed them into a shoe box to sort out ‘one day’. These days we see photos instantly so there is not the same motivation to get them printed. Large numbers of photos can be stored electronically and so more and more accumulate. I can understand how this happens. In the first 8 weeks of my new phone’s life I already had 116 photos on Continue reading    

Make your own cleaning products

There is money to be saved at the checkout if you make your own cleaning products. Here are some recipes to try.

Liquid Laundry Detergent

1.5 litres water

1 bar of laundry soap, grated

1/2 cup washing soda

1/2 cup borax

Put water and grated soap in a large saucepan. Stir over medium heat until dissolved completely. Add the washing soda and borax. Stir until thickened and remove from heat. Pour mixture into a bucket and fill with hot water from the tap. Stir to combine. Using a funnel, pour the mixture into plastic containers. This recipe makes 9 – 10 litres. Use 1/2 – 1 cup per load.





Cleaning Paste

Mix together 1/2 cup of home made liquid laundry detergent and 1/2 cup bicarbonate of soda.

Shower Cleaner

I find the vinegar in this cleaner quite pungent. Be sure to keep the bathroom well ventilated when you are using it.

1 cup white vinegar

1 Tbs cornflour

2 Tbs dishwashing liquid

Combine vinegar and cornflour and gently heat, whisking. Allow to cool a bit, add dishwash liquid and mix well. Pour into a spray bottle. Spray over tiles and wipe off with a soft cloth and water.


Wallaby cross stitch – an update

I thought you might enjoy an update, over the next few weeks, of home and garden projects that I have been writing about since I started this blog.

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you may be curious about where my wallaby cross stitch is up to.

In an earlier post, I wrote about this very intricate cross stitch project which I had been working on sporadically for several years. I dubbed it the never-ending wallaby. Finally I finished it, getting it framed just in time to exhibit in the Mudgeeraba Show. I was so happy to get third place! Up close it’s not the neatest of jobs and that would have been well evident to the judge. From a distance however it looks great, and at least it’s completed and on the wall!










I love to have craft projects on the go, and as well as continuing to knit dishcloths and do scrapbooking, perhaps I’ll get back on to the cross stitch tablecloth I bought in Austria in 1999!

What crafty things are you working on at the moment? And what have you finished recently?

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Knitting 101 – Dishcloths!

Can’t say I had ever given much thought to what my great-grandmother used to wash her dishes, but we can be sure it wasn’t a dishwasher, and it probably wasn’t a sponge either. Enter the knitted dishcloth. The idea of knitting a IMG_1243dishcloth from cotton yarn initially seemed quite odd to me, but I can understand the rationale. Unlike sponges they can be washed, will last a really long time, will save money, and are a great way to get some basic knitting skills before moving on to more ambitious projects. I could remember the basic knit and purl stitches, but needed a reminder about casting on and off, joining a new ball of wool, and weaving in the ends. I also found a great tutorial on how to knit neat edges, so tried this as I got further along. All of these links are listed further on in this post.

Continue reading    

The Never-ending Wallaby

About 5 years IMG_0786ago I bought a cross stitch pattern featuring a wallaby, as these beautiful creatures visit our yard on a regular basis. I thought it would look lovely framed on the wall. When the pattern arrived and I saw that it required 91 different coloured threads I should have realised that this was not going to be a quick job. It has been my ‘holiday project’ over these years. I don’t know how far wallabies travel in their usual territory. But this one has been to Perth, Townsville, Cairns, Charters Towers, St George, Armidale, and Tasmania. Whenever we’ve been away on holidays or I’ve been at a conference, the wallaby has travelled with me.

Months can go by when I don’t work on it at all. But over the last few months I’ve felt a renewed interest in getting it finished. I had hoped its completion could be accomplished before the end of June so I could enter it as an exhibit in our local agricultural show. But the pattern is so intricate that 2017 might be more realistic. Meanwhile the paper pattern is becoming tattered, I’m using a pencil to cross off blocks that I’ve done, and a highlighter pen to mark the gaps to be filled in. This helps me keep track in a pattern that is so detailed you can easily spend 10 minutes searching the 91 symbols trying to find your place!

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I’ve dubbed the pattern ‘the never-ending wallaby’ and tried not to become discouraged when I see how much I’ve got to go. So I’ve implemented some strategies to help keep up the momentum with such a big project. You may also find these helpful if you have a cross stitch project currently on the go:

  1. Buy an organiser so your threads can be easily located. Nothing is more frustrating than searching through a jumble of threads for that elusive one that you need next.
  2. Before calling it a day, work out which symbol you will be working on next time, load up the needle and start the stitch.
  3. Always circle in pencil the stitch you are up to and write it in the margin. You think you’ll remember that you are working on ‘M’ or ‘#’ but you never do! This results in ‘*&!(%@$’ – all of which are also symbols in this pattern!

Is there a ‘never-ending’ project that you are currently working on? Do you have any additional tips or cross stitch advice to share?

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