Monthly Archives: September 2018

Memory Tray

craft, decoupage

One bag of many!



For years now I’ve been collecting train tickets from special journeys, wristbands from concerts, cards from guest houses, brochures from tourist attractions, place mats from cafes, and lots of other bits and pieces that bring back wonderful memories of happy times.  The only trouble is, I’ve never really found a way of displaying them anywhere, so they remain in bags in the cupboard.



craft, decoupageWell, sorting through my craft room the other day I came across a mosaic kit that I’d picked up for a couple of pounds at a charity shop years ago but never got around to using.  When I took a proper look, I didn’t particularly like the colours of the little mosaic tiles in the kit, but I loved the little wooden tray that was in there.  It was very plain and would need decorating somehow,  so I thought it might make a good canvas on which to display my paper memories.


craft, decoupage

With a little bit of help from Coco the chihuahua 🙂

I began by choosing a few of my ‘souvenirs’ from a variety of places and experimented with different layouts, overlapping the items so that I could get plenty on the small tray, but in such as way that you could still make out what they were.  Once I was happy with how everything looked on the tray, I carefully lifted everything onto the table, keeping the design intact, then I took each item, one at a time, and began gluing them down.  I found that as I worked I changed the design slightly, substituting items or changing their positions until I was happy with how it all looked.  I used lots of my trusty PVA and water mix to stick everything down, making sure there were no air bubbles or build ups of glue around the edges of individual items.  Once it was dry I painted a further 3 coats over the entire tray, allowing it to dry in between coats.

craft, decoupage

I’m really chuffed with how it’s turned out and the tray has pride of place on the coffee table in the front room.  I still have bags full of other souvenirs I’ve collected, but at least I’ve found a home for some of them and I can relive those memories every day now 🙂

One Small Step …

I regularly see inspiring on-line posts now from folk who are trying to find ways of cutting down on their use of plastic and find alternatives to the single use/throw away culture we seem to live in.  One thing that’s caught my eye from within the crafting community is the use of crocheted cotton face pads in place of disposable face wipes,  so I thought I’d give them a try.


I used a lovely free pattern I found on the wonderful Ravelry website, and the pads were quick and easy to work up.  The pattern calls for double knitting thickness yarn, but the cotton I had was all 4ply so once I’d completed the 3 rounds the pads were a little on the small side.  I thought about doing a fourth round of half  trebles, but plumped  for a border round of double crochet in a contrasting colour instead (working one dc in each of the stitches in the previous round).


A lovely piece of hummingbird cake always helps!

The pads were so quick to crochet I decided to see if there was another similar project I could find that would use the same cotton.  I came across another free pattern from Ravelry for a little soap pouch which I love!  It’s ideal for holding lots of bits of soap that are too small to use, or you can just pop a full bar in and have a lovely massage as the soap lather works its way through the gaps in the crochet, and the texture of the crochet exfoliates your skin.  It can take a little while to work up the lather, but it’s definitely worth persevering.

This little soap pouch is a great way to practice crocheting in the round on a small project, and you simply start with however many chain stitches you need to fit your particular bar of soap.  You can stick to one colour, or experiment with whatever scraps of cotton you have.  Once you’ve reached your desired height you work a row of eyelets (see pattern) through which you can thread ribbon, or you may prefer to crochet a tie to use instead.  To do this you crochet a row of chain stitches to the desired length then, starting with the second stitch from the hook, work a double crochet in each of the chain stitches all the way back to the beginning.

If you’re anything like me, it can be a little overwhelming when you see photos of the huge amounts of plastic currently to be found in the oceans, or pictures of devastated rain forests or mountains of land fill, and the danger is we feel powerless and do nothing.  I’m pleased to be able to find a few little projects that enable me to make a start, and hopefully, if we all do a little more, we can start to make a difference.  One small step …