Save the date! We are almost ready to celebrate :-)

As we are slowly easing in into new normal (and hopefully this will feel like a distant dream soon) we thought it would be good to set the day for our grand re-opening. Are you ready to hear the date? Our Fair style reopening is going to be on 23rd-24th of October (now moved to 6th of December). The reason for choosing this date is because we believe this is when most of the restrictions will be lifted, but even if not then I think we will still be able to have some of the activities we are planning. Either way, let’s save the date and get ready to celebrate!

So far we have been open for takeaways for a few hours per week and added some seating outside. We have been also been finishing fit out works as well as this wall mural that is coming along very nicely! We are hoping to open for sit down service very soon as well, although we will still be using takeaway boxes etc till after the grand re-opening.

At the opening we hope to have stalls where you can sell your handmade stuff that you created during lockdown. Currently we have JEMAUS amazingly beautiful pottery, but there are plenty of stalls available for the day. If this is something that interests you then please contact us soon!

There are of course many other ways you can involve. We would love to promote or collaborate with small businesses locally. Currently we are thinking (restrictions allow) to have singers performing, face painters or even caricature artists? So if you think you would like to be involved please contact us! The possibilities are endless, you just need to think outside the box ;-).

The other idea we have is to start preparing for being the cafe that we originally wanted to be. Our core goal is to bring community together through various activities such as crafts, gardening or a book club. Wouldn’t be great if you could sign up for various groups at the launch? We imagine it might be like freshers week at Uni. I have some exciting memories when starting university and signing up for groups made this extra special. So if you like to lead a group based on an interest or a hobby we would love to hear from you! Maybe we can keep those ready for when we are good to go and socialise and meet new people in our area once again.

Finally we would like to thank everyone who helped with our community rainbow bunting. It is looking great! It has been moved onto the ceiling already as we started realising that the sun is bleaching them at the windows (oops). If you still want to contribute with the bunting flags we are still accepting them at the cafe (we even have a drop off box for it!).

Speak to you soon!

Rasa xoxo

Rainbow bunting project

Since sharing about this exciting project we thought we would give you more information.

For those who have not heard, here is where you can read how our idea came about. Essentially our idea is simple. We want to bring joy to the community and shift focus from being anxious, scared, or bored to a more positive perspective. We hope you can join us and make some triangle flags to be joined together so we can put them in our windows. We hope this will bring smiles to people who passes our cafe while we are on quarantine. The more bunting the larger the smiles and we have plenty of space in our windows!

When we reopen again we are going to use the same bunting to decorate our ceiling. We are planning on a fun fair style celebration with stalls selling handmade goods, fun activities for kids, and much more. So while we wait, we need to prepare for this exciting event. Which is why we would love to see your handmade touch on our opening deco.

The address to either post or drop off your handmade flags is:

  • 5 The Crescent
  • MK42 0UJ
  • SHORSTSTOWN

The flags can be made up from any material, as long as it can be stitched together onto our binding. For more ideas keep on reading! The possibilities are limitless! Although there are two rules to keep it neat:

  1. The flags need to be rainbow coloured. We felt it is essential this project is as cheerful as it can be. Plus, rainbow means hope, and thats what we need right now!
  2. All flags need to be roughly the same size. Each side should be approximately 15cm/6inch long.

PAPER FLAGS

Paper is the easiest way to make flags! It also makes a good template for making fabric flags. Paper can be painted, printed, cut, glued, and even stitched! The options are limitless and doesn’t require much skill therefore kids can be involved too!

FABRIC FLAGS

Fabric flags require slightly more skill and work compared to paper ones. However this is a more traditional material to use for the bunting. The key is to find a good method to finish off the flag edges. Our method is as follows:

  1. Cut out two flags from your chosen fabric, leaving a 1cm seam allowance on two edges
  2. Pin those two flags together leaving “wrong side” out
  3. Stitch the two edges of the flag where you left the seam allowance
  4. Invert the finished flag and iron to press it down

Of course some fabrics do not require such edge finishing (felt for example) and if you use serrated scissors to cut the triangles out then you won’t need to do any stitching.

Finished flags can me embroidered (for embroidery stitch inspiration go here), appliquéd, dyed, and/or printed. Edges can be further decorated with various trims.

KNITTED FLAGS

Knitted flags are fun and very good for meditation ;-). But seriously, knitting is so much fun! If you don’t know how, I think this is good time to start and this project is quite simple to begin with!

There are many knit stitch patterns out there to create different textures, but we will go with the most basic one, called Garter stitch pattern. All you need to know is a knit stitch with this one!

  • Cast on 30 stitches
  • row 1: slip 1 stitch, knit 29 stitches
  • row 2: slip 1 stitch, knit 27 stitches, knit 2 together
  • row 3: slip 1 stitch, knit 26 stitches, knit 2 together
  • row 4: slip 1 stitch, knit 25 stitches, knit 2 together
  • row 5: slip 1 stitch, knit 24 stitches, knit 2 together
  • row 6: slip 1 stitch, knit 23 stitches, knit 2 together
  • row 7: slip 1 stitch, knit 22 stitches, knit 2 together
  • row 8: slip 1 stitch, knit 21 stitches, knit 2 together
  • row 9: slip 1 stitch, knit 20 stitches, knit 2 together
  • row 10: slip 1 stitch, knit 19 stitches, knit 2 together
  • row 11: slip 1 stitch, knit 18 stitches, knit 2 together
  • row 12: slip 1 stitch, knit 17 stitches, knit 2 together
  • row 13: slip 1 stitch, knit 16 stitches, knit 2 together
  • row 14: slip 1 stitch, knit 15 stitches, knit 2 together
  • row 15: slip 1 stitch, knit 14 stitches, knit 2 together
  • row 16: slip 1 stitch, knit 13 stitches, knit 2 together
  • row 17: slip 1 stitch, knit 12 stitches, knit 2 together
  • row 18: slip 1 stitch, knit 11 stitches, knit 2 together
  • row 19: slip 1 stitch, knit 10 stitches, knit 2 together
  • row 20: slip 1 stitch, knit 9 stitches, knit 2 together
  • row 21: slip 1 stitch, knit 8 stitches, knit 2 together
  • row 22: slip 1 stitch, knit 7 stitches, knit 2 together
  • row 23: slip 1 stitch, knit 6 stitches, knit 2 together
  • row 24: slip 1 stitch, knit 5 stitches, knit 2 together
  • row 25: slip 1 stitch, knit 4 stitches, knit 2 together
  • row 26: slip 1 stitch, knit 3 stitches, knit 2 together
  • row 27: slip 1 stitch, knit 2 stitches, knit 2 together
  • row 28: slip 1 stitch, knit 1 stitches, knit 2 together
  • row 29: slip 1 stitch, knit 2 together
  • row 30: knit 2 together

When knitting you can also play with different colours if you want to create all sorts of patterns. Finished knitted bunting can be embroidered or decorated in other ways (like here with a mini bell)

CROCHET FLAGS

Crocheted flags can be equally fun. It all depends what you prefer. Some people swear by only knitting, some are totally in love with crochet. I love both! I think crochet is good for lace work or other intricate patterns. For this pattern I will keep it simple. Only double crochet stitch is used here!

  • row 1: work 22 chain stitches
  • row 2: dc (double crochet) 22 (stitches)
  • row 3: dc 20, skipping 1st and 22nd stitch (row 2)
  • row 4: dc 18, skipping 1st and 20th stitch (row 3)
  • row 5: dc 16, skipping 1st and 18th stitch (row 4)
  • row 6: dc 14, skipping 1st and 16th stitch (row 5)
  • row 7: dc 12, skipping 1st and 14th stitch (row 6)
  • row 8: dc 10, skipping 1st and 12th stitch (row 7)
  • row 9: dc 8, skipping 1st and 10th stitch (row 8)
  • row 10: dc 6, skipping 1st and 8th stitch (row 9)
  • row 11: dc 4, skipping 1st and 6th stitch (row 10)
  • row 12: dc 2, skipping 1st and 4th stitch (row 11)

Again, I just wanted mention again, there are so many lacy crochet pattern patterns out there! This triangle stitch pattern is my fave! I even think that it might be unique to me as I never came across anybody doing it! My source was an old book of trims, I just adapted it into a pattern.

All flags you make will be joined into one big bunting using our black binding material. I thought it will blend in well with black ceilings :-).

We really really look forward to your creations (and I am really getting excited about this!). And of course I am very very thankful to everyone who may participate or even consider participating!

Rasa xoxo

Let’s get ready to celebrate!

Hey everybody! Hope you had a lovely Easter. I was very excited to hear the Queens speech this year: yes indeed, Easter has not been canceled!

A lot of people have been telling me that it is such as shame that our cafe is closed right now. Yes, I know we only opened recently, but we still feel very very lucky because of all the support we have had since then. We are serving a need in the community and that means huge success to us! And I know for some of you these uncertain times are so so hard. I heard lots of sad stories around how some of you are not well, feeling lonely, really bored with monotonous daily routine. I hear you and we really want to help!

When I was in labour with my first (sorry that I am sharing my labour story here), I did not know when my pain would end. It was over several days and I was loosing my hope. I did not know when my suffering would be over and what really helped is to focus on the end. Or more like prepare for the end. The midwife I had by that time (when I was loosing my hope) was very good with shifting that focus. She kept saying “shall we get the bed ready for the baby?” and “should we make sure all the notes are done?”. These were only small, unessential questions. It’s not like it would take a long time to prep the bed for the baby once it arrives. But it really really helped to set my mind on the time when I can just celebrate!

I feel the same applies here. Currently we are in some sort of labour. It does not depend on you, but you are so tired of waiting! Waiting to resume to your normal life! So shall we work together and maybe shift this focus to something more positive? We decided to get ready for our second re-opening, and as a community focused cafe we would like to involve you too! So can you help?

A few weeks ago, Suzannah (one of our team at the cafe) suggested we re open the cafe in craft fair style. “Everyone will be making, so definitely will want a place where they could sell their produce” she said. And I must admit we fell in love with this idea! We elaborated a little, this could be so much more! This could almost be like a fun fair, but indoors! Lots of bunting came to my mind when I tried imagining all this!

So how can you help you may ask? Well, we thought wouldn’t it be lovely if we made gigantic bunting for this event! As it gets made, flag by flag, it could be displayed at the window to hopefully cheer you up as you walk by. Eventually it could cover the whole ceiling!

So the idea right now is for everybody to make up some bunting flags that we could join together to make it longer one as we go along. We have a bit of bunting in already, but would it be not great if every triangle flag is unique and and has a personal touch? Any material is welcome, as long as it is strong enough to be stitched together into a binding. It can be made of paper, fabric, yarn. Whatever suits your craft skill! It can be painted, dyed, embroidered etc to make your mark.

We are new to this idea still, so any suggestions are welcome. There are two rules to begin with so this project works as a one:

  1. The flags need to be rainbow coloured. We felt it is essential this project is as cheerful as it can be. Plus, rainbow means hope, and thats what we need right now!
  2. To keep all uniform we thought it would be good idea to keep all the flags the same size. Each side should be approximately 15cm/6inch long.

As I already mentioned, this is still a new idea and currently we are trying to get all the vibes from you. How do you feel about it? Would it help?

Once we see if this works we will post more details on logistics such as where to post the flags. Also we can then give you some suggestions on how to knit a flag for example or a few embroidery tutorials perhaps.

Excited to hear what you think!

Rasa xoxo

Woven Easter baskets

The first week after closing the cafe doors has been both overwhelming and relaxing at the same time for us. But we finally are getting into a routine! We are learning to work while with kids, to take turns in our responsibilities, work as a team, but most importantly we are learning how to slow down. Which is particularly hard for us as we have too many ideas (translated into jobs) all in one go. So we are kinda glad (although very very sorry to people who has been effected by the epidemic) that we now have an opportunity to pause, revisit the company ethos, finish all the unfinished jobs to do with cafe fit out, and create a better running system for when we reopen.

Meanwhile… I wanted to say that we had a few kids craft workshops planned for Easter and now this is no longer happening we thought to share some DIY ideas here. This basket will come in very useful for an Easter egg hunt either indoors or in your back garden. This craft is more suitable for school age kids, but younger ones can help with cutting the strips and decorating.

To make some woven baskets you will need:

  • A4 card (can be cereal box cutout, old kids artwork, or anything else from recycling)
  • scissors
  • glue (can be super glue, PVA, double sided tape, hot glue, or staples)

Begin by cutting the card lengthwise into 2-3cm wide strips.

Glue two strips together to make one long strip for the basket handle.

Arrange 10 strips ready to be woven (inc the long one you just made) as in the pic below.

Weave those strips together to create a bottom part of the basket.

Fold all the ends upwards to create basket walls.

Using more strips weave around into the basket walls. Use glue (we used double sided tape) as needed to make the weave more secure.

Continue viewing 1-2 more rows while adding more of ready cut strips.

Tidy up the ends (except the long strips) by either folding them in or trimming them. Make sure to use more glue to secure edging in straight line.

Finish the basket by glueing two long strips together to make a handle.

If you don’t have any chocolate eggs in the house, or just want to have a go baking and decorating with kids then check out this post on how to make these Kids art Easter biscuits. We used a shortbread recipe this year as we were short of actual eggs!

Happy Easer egg hunt ūüėČ

Rasa xoxo

IKEA Moppe advent calendar

This year Christmas is looking a little different to us a family. With the cafe launch in January we are not able to visit any of our family (Joni parents are in Devon and mine are in Lithuania). This means for the first time it is only going to be just four of us at the Christmas dinner (five if you include the cat). I am feeling hopeful as I heard lots of good stuff about celebrating Christmas without big family involved therefore I am planning to make the best out of it! 

Christmas preparation is looking also very different this year. Although we don’t always have Christmas tree in, I tend to finish decorating before December. Obviously this is not the case this year! Which is why I decided to make the advent calendar part of our Christmas prep.

Besides that, our advent calendar have to be less wasteful. Last year when I did my origami advent calendar, we had a good chunk of paper wasted . So you can imagine that going with the advent calendar design that can be reused again and again was a big reason why I chose Ikea Moppe solution. After doing some research on different examples I decided to go with something very simple as this can be updated every year. In worst case scenario this can be repainted and used as a craft supply storage!

What took most of my time in preparation was not an actual making of the advent calendar but filling the drawers.

To glue 4 Moppe drawers together all I used PVA and clamps.

I used black marker and white chalk marker to draw windows and doors to imitate a building.

To imitate the roof I decided to go with the cardboard. Making out of wood would have taken me much longer! I lined it with polyester filling which essentially looks like artificial snow.

To attach the roof was a little tricky. I tried duck tape as well as hot glue gun. None of that worked. Eventually I resorted to staple gun (it works every time). Although I expect it made some damage, I think it will be easy to fix with some fillers and sanding. I will definitely try making roof out of wood next year!!

At the end of the day, I am happy with the result! It took me to make in about an hour while filling draws with activities took me more like 3h (oops).

Happy Christmas waiting!

Rasa xx

A year to find my style again: Renewed clothes

Just because I have not been blogging much about this 2019 goal, that does not mean I have not made progress. Truth to be told I have not been blogging much in general this year, but I detoxed my wardrobe quite a few times in preparation to finding my style and I am very close to completing my goal. I did not have much time to make any clothes however as planned, but I will get into that once our cafe project is under control.

Today I am going to share what I do with clothes that I love, but which either don’t look right or they look too boring. If it is only small fix I don’t rush to throw it away.

By quick fix, I mean like shortening the length or inserting extra pockets for practicality. I will however show you how I do shorten my clothes. I had quite a few tops and dresses that were too long for my liking.

I simply used iron-on adhesive tape to do the hems. Was super quick! However I must warn you! The hems done this way are slightly heavier and not good with clothes that are constantly getting washed. I mean everything needs to be washed sometimes. But I think this method of hemming suits best something like formalwear (where you don’t want to see stitched hem) or coats (that does not get washed that often).

If you still want to try using iron-on adhesive tape then please be aware that I used HeatnBond one. I cut each garment to the length I wanted (plus 3cm extra for the hem folding). Then I simply folded hem once, iron press, folded second time, inserted the tape, and final iron press.

If you are more interested in doing hems the traditional way. By all means, Google it! There are lots of tutorials out there.

Now a little bit about what I do with clothes that need a bit of spicing up ;-). I often use either some sort of embellishment or embroidery. In the past I blogged about how I inserted lace into a neckline and recently I did embroidery on this t-shirt that had a pocket.

To do this embroidery I positioned the pocket in the embroidery hook and then sketched a design on it using pencil. You can use any sort of pencil, but don’t use anything inky or a biro as you may not be able to wash it out. To get you started on embroidery here are a few of my favourite stitches styles I learned over the years.

Hope you found this inspiring!

Rasa xoxo

It's not too late to knit a hat!

kids bear hat knitting instructionsFirst of all, Happy New Year everyone!
Secondary, just because it’s winter, that does not mean it’s over very soon. I hope I am not sounding too negative for some (I know some of you are really looking forward to Summer already), but we only had one winter month and there are two left to go. My point is that we should enjoy this weather and make the most of it!
I personally love love January (I learned to love every season), because it’s time for refocusing, spring cleaning (would like to call it winter cleaning but it sounds weird), detoxing (If you are into it) and knitting of course. I love January because it is a beginning of the year and the plans are not strictly set therefore it is often not a busy month.kids bear hat knitting instructionsOver holidays I have started knitting because we have gone away and I was free from doing all the house tasks. I find knitting (or any other crafting) is something I can do while chatting or watching a movie. I find it very relaxing! I knitted this hat for my nephew that Tomas is modelling here, hence blurry pics because he can’t stay still. If you fancy knitting this hat then you can access the project here!kids bear hat knitting instructionsHave an enjoyable January!
Rasa xoxo

Origami advent calendar

Origami advent calendar DIYSo here it is, our advent calendar for this year :). Very very simple to make and I have already received many compliments from friends! I simply used some pattern designs that I created for watercolour challenge few months ago and it brighten up our living room already. Yey!
Each package contain origami idea which is great for me (I love learning something new!) and great with involving kids. I am planning to either teach Lukas how to make stuff by folding paper (for easy ones) or let him decorate completed origami item. I am also considering not to be stuck with using only paper. The possibilities are endless, regular blanket could turn into star for all you know. For those who are following me on social media be prepared for daily dosage of origami!Origami advent calendar DIY¬†You ready to make your own origami advent for this year? Then let’s crack on!
You will need:

  • A4 or square size patterned paper, either printouts or shop bought gift wrapping paper
  • number tags
  • origami idea “ribbons”
  • scissors
  • treats to add into the packages (optional and we decided to go without this year)
  • a hanger
  • string or slim ribbon

First, cut out all the tags and origami idea “ribbons”.Origami advent calendar DIYMake¬†all the packages for every 24 days. Begin with folding in corners (1.), then fold in the sides and insert all the contents (2.). Finally fold in the pointy corners once again on both sides (3) and secure it using double sided tape. Use a string or a ribbon to wrap the package like a gift (4.). Don’t forget to insert the tag before tying the knot.How to fold an envelope from A4¬†Once all the packages are complete, then all you need to do is tie them on the hanger and hang it on the wall.Origami advent calendar DIY Origami advent calendar DIYHappy Christmas waiting!
Rasa xoxo

Make your own macrame inspired crochet wall art

Do you remember when I made watercolour and embroidery wall art? I did say I was not 100% sure if it went with our bedroom interior and I think I was right (although there is no right and wrong when it comes to deco they say). This artwork never grew on me and it was time to replace it to something else completely different.
Now I am currently loving macrame craft although I am clueless how it’s done. When you are too busy with other projects I think sometimes its best to use the skills you already have. In my case this means crochet. Don’t you think crochet looks visually similar to macrame? I think when it is done the right way it can look pretty close!
Few months ago I made the climbing plant trellis inspired by macrame. I loved the outcome (and some yarn left) so I decided to repeat the technique somewhere else (although it happened to be in the same room). What do you think?Make your own macrame inspired crochet wall art¬†If you are loving this as much as I do then you can access the project here.Make your own macrame inspired crochet wall artThanks for letting me share my macrame love ūüėČ
Rasa xoxo

How to make reusable food wraps (to replace cling film)

Reusable food wrap DIY (with wax and resin)The thing is that I always dreamed of living sustainably, even before it be became popular. Sometimes I succeeded and sometimes business just took over my life and I had to cut some corners. The bottom line is I passionately hate waste and I feel like my heart bleeds when I see stuff wasted when it could have had another life (hope I don’t sound like a hoarder, because I am definitely not!!).
When it comes to sustainable living I believe it comes to choosing the products¬†that should also benefit us directly (not only the earth). You see I dislike wasting money too (or even seeing somebody else wasting theirs). Which is why I always look out for things I could make myself and save money that way. For instance, last week I made some reusable food cloths, because I thought it would be lovely not to use as much cling film. I know, I know, this is not our biggest household waste (nappies and baby wipes are), but you’ve got to begin somewhere! I researched quite a few recipes and methods, so trust me you are getting the best here! Although after making some wraps I¬†had a few other ideas how to make it even easier and cheaper.
To make these reusable food wraps you will need:

  • 130g wax (I used some wax thats been given to me by my mother in law who keeps the bees)
  • 26g pine rosin (or any other tree resin)
  • 4tsp jojoba oil
  • about 5-7 squares of light, woven cotton
  • pinking shears
  • old pot
  • old paint brush (optional, you will only be using it just for this)
  • baking paper
  • iron with the ironing board

Reusable food wrap DIY (with wax and resin)First cut your fabric to size. I used pinking shears as this really helps to stop fabric from fraying
Put the wax, rosin, and oil into the pot and while stirring heat all the ingredients till melted. I think because I used not well filtered wax it had few black bits in it. It did not cause too many problems in the end result but it did leave a few black speckles on the cloth.Reusable food wrap DIY (with wax and resin)As you brush the wax mixture onto the fabric it hardens very very quickly. I think I was too generous with it (so be stingy). The excess wax created lots and lots of mess later. I felt like a brush is not necessary here as the wax hardened after few strokes. I think I will try just dipping the fabric straight into hot wax next time. I imagine that should give good coverage without the wax hardening onto the surface. But of course I could be wrong!Reusable food wrap DIY (with wax and resin)So here comes the mess I was talking about. In order to impregnate the fabric with the wax mixture completely, the fabric needs to be reheated. When I researched how to make reusable food wraps it seemed that one of the most popular methods to reheat the wax in the fabric is to stick it into the oven. That seemed a bit limited by oven size and I imagined it would be messy (plus the oven tray to clean up). I guess I failed to avoid the later! I used baking paper to sandwich the waxed cloth and heated the wax and the fabric once again by ironing it. In my case the excess wax spilled everywhere: the floor, another layer of baking sheets (I wasted whole roll!!), and the ironing board (thankfully not the iron itself). This wax mixture was very sticky to clean because of the resin (special ingredient to make the cloths clingy). Definitely NOT applying that much wax liquid on the fabric next time!!!Reusable food wrap DIY (with wax and resin) The cloth cools almost immediately and can be used a few minutes after making it.Reusable food wrap DIY (with wax and resin) As I mentioned before the resin mixed in with the wax makes the wrap slightly sticky against itself which is why you can use this exactly as you would use cling film.Reusable food wrap DIY (with wax and resin)Hope you found this very useful and you can learn from my mistakes.
Rasa ūüėČ