Category Archives: tutorial

ironing pad – a tutorial to make your own

I have finally completed my ironing pad and today is a tutorial to make your own.

Firstly, go to a hardware shop and buy a piece of plywood. I purchased mine from Bunnings and I got one the correct size. Mine is a quite a big ironing pad. You may want to make yours a little smaller. It is also quite a heavy piece of wood, which I like but again, you may want a lighter piece.

I have had the wood for a while and have been using it with an old towel on top, but I finally said, enough is enough and covered it.

I started by laying a piece of quilt batting I had over the wood, an offcut from another quilting project, and cutting it to the size of the wood.

Next, I measured fabric that was double the size of the wood. What you are doing is make a pillow slip for the wood to go inside. I hemmed one long side of the fabric with 1/2 inch hem. I chose to do the long side, you could just as easily do the short side, I just figured it would be easier to slide the wood into the bigger opening. Plus the wood is heavy so it worked for me better.

After that I sewed the batting to one side of the inside of the fabric. Then I folded the fabric right sides together and sewed up the short sides and bottom. I left the other long end opened, you can see in the photo that it is bigger than the wood, but I am Okay with that. If it bothers you then trim it off and re-hem.

I used a tutorial by Jenny Doan from Missouri Star as a basis for making the ironing pad. I think the black and white fabric looks great, especially with my lovely yellow iron on top.

ironing pad

tutorial: how to setup a wordpress blog

Do you want learn more about setting up a blog in WordPress?  Today I am going to share with you how to setup a WordPress blog. This post is for those of us that don’t want to use blogger or other blogging software but want their own domain name.

How to create a new website

In order to run a website you need a few things.

  1. a web site
  2. a host
  3. a url

Think of your website as a house.


You need land to build your house on.  This is called a WEB HOST.  You can do this with free sites or you can pay to put your “house” on someone else’s land (host).  On this site I pay for my own hosting and have my own unique URL.


You need an address so people know how to find you.  This is just the same as your street address and receiving mail in your letterbox.


On the internet, this is called a URL



and usually starts with “www.”

For example, the address of this site is

You will probably need to pay an annual fee for the URL and the hosting costs.  Many sites that sell URLs also sell hosting services. Personally I use for my URLs and for hosting.  These are just my preferences. I do have one URL that I pay for via webaccess and I used to use ixwebhosting for many years but had problems with them so I moved hosts.  ixwebhosting admin interface was much easier that hostpapa is but I guess I am still getting used to it. I am not affiliated with any of these services, nor do I receive any payment from them.

Changing Domain Name Servers

What does this mean? Well, it means that if you have purchased your URL from one provider and have hosted your website with another provider, you will need to change the domain name servers to point to your new host in order to see your website at your new host.

Think of this like setting up a redirect at the post office when you  move house.

There are always 2 domain name servers (DNS), they are always a pair. You will need to change both of them.

The first step is to find your host DNS. Then go to the provider of your URL and set the DNS there.  For godaddy this is what I see. They were set to godaddy servers and I changed them to point to hostpapa servers.  To change them, select Manage.  If you have purchased your URL from another site you should find similar functionality under managing domains.

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Installing WordPress

After you have all this set up the next step is to install WordPress. This can be done via  your host so before you choose your host make sure they have WordPress as one of the default applications. This means you will be able to automatically install it within the host service control panel. On hostpapa you will see the panel below, but you should be able to see a similar list on other hosting sites. See under the word Blogs (below) it says WordPress.  This means it will install at the click of a button, rather than you having to upload it yourself.

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Configuring WordPress

Once you have WordPress installed you will be able to login the admin panel. The Site Admin login is contained in the Meta panel on your site’s home page.

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The admin panel allows you to do everything to configure your domain. WordPress will have been installed with a theme and some information logged so as to allow you to see what it looks like. Normally this will be a post titled “hello world”.  I recommend leaving this post there until you get things set up and have posted your first post.

Login to your admin panel to see the various tools you can use to customise your site.  The side menu will look something like this.

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Let’s go step by step through the basic options.

How to create a WordPress post

To create a WordPress (WP) post, select the Add New button under the Posts section. This will display a heading section and a blank area where you can write your post. Here is the post I am writing now. You can see my title and the text I am writing. Create your post here and then select Save.

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A bit more about saving….

The panel on the right hand side of the screen allows you to save your post. You can select Save Draft to save but not publish your post, Preview to see what it would look like once published, or Publish to make it visible on your web site.  This panel also shows you how many times your post has been updated, in my case 13 revisions.  Practice writing and publishing a post.  Play around. This is computing, almost nothing is irreversable.

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View all posts by selecting All Posts from the left hand menu under Posts. Add a new post by selecting Add New from the left hand menu or using the button on the Edit Posts page. View all posts by selecting All Posts.

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Here is a view of the all posts page.  You can also add a new post from here.  You can see some of my posts below are in draft, others are published.

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What are WP Categories and Tags?

Categories allow you to classify your posts into different groups. I use both categories and tags, but you may only want to use one or the other.  Categories appear as a list, with or without the number of posts.

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Tags appear as a “cloud”. The higher number of posts, the bigger the font size. You will need to add a widget to make this happen. I will show you add widgets in a later post.

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bulb Tip: tags entered as plural and singular will show up as separate tags. For example, cushion and cushions.  You need to be accurate when creating tags unless you want to end up with lots of similar tags.


Create categories by going to Categories on left hand menu under Posts.

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Use categories by ticking them with the Edit Posts page.  Use tags by typing the in the Add box as per image below. This will bring up a list of tags you have used before. For example, if you type setup it will show both website setup and wordpress setup. Alternatively, select Choose from the most used tags to see a list of what you have entered in the past.

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In future posts I will be covering:

  • What is the difference between a WordPress page and a WordPress post
  • How to add pages
  • How to add media to your WordPress pages and posts
  • How to change your WordPress theme
  • WordPress settings
  • What are widgets and how to add them to your WordPress site.
  • What are plugins and how to add them to your WordPress site



how to make tram blinds

As you know I love vintage and industrial and tram blinds are wonderful.  I would simply die to have an original one but unfortunately I can’t afford such a thing and I think they are few and far between.  I found a site where you can get them made up (new) to your specifications but they cost upwards of $300 and I like to be different so thought maybe I could make my own and incorporate it somewhere in the house.

I think that I could do this.  I know I could have gone down the path of everyone else using London or Paris or New York train stations. I also could have used Melbourne tram stops if I wanted to stick with Australia as they still have trams down there but decided to use my own train line and the stops along that.  It probably doesn’t have the same impact as London or Paris but it is my local one and that is why I went this way.

The next thing was to find a font I liked and then think about how they words would sit on together. I started at Roma Street, I get off at Boondall but I decided to go the end of the line.  I mocked this up in Word and played around with it for a while before changing the font color to white and the background to black. It was quite difficult to change the words and sizing with the black background so I left that to the last step. Looks pretty cool, eh?


Now what to do with it? I could get some heavy canvas fabric and use it as a stencil to make my tram stop blind, or I could put this on a piece of wood, firstly painting it white and then putting some letter stencils down and then painting black over the top. I could stencil my tabletop, which I really like the idea of doing. See my post on stencilled table top ideas.  The jury is still out on this one.


Completed Mason Jar Pin Cushion

Recently I showed you how I did some fabric transfers and now I am showing you how I used the transfers to make a pin cushion with a Mason jar. Here is the completed product.



I am not sure I like the way you can see the fabric transfer outline on the top. In hind site I think it would have been better if I cut carefully around the edge of the transfer before I ironed it on to the fabric so you couldn’t see the outline as much. Alternatively, it may work better on different type of cloth but I had this cotton duck on hand at the time.

I got the Mason jars off ebay.  They are celebrating 100 years so I got them in this cool turquoise colour.  The jar enables you to store cotton or other items in the jar and have your needles or pins stuck into the top part.




Fabric Transfer

Have you ever wanted to do a fabric transfer? Today I finally managed to use my transfer paper that I bought a few weeks back to do fabric transfer. I found a fantastic graphic and tutorial at The Graphics Fairy (great site!) and thanks also to Gina from The Shabby Creek Cottage who did the tutorial on how to do a fabric transfer. I purchased some Mason jars just a few days ago and they arrived in record time. I will show you the finished fabric transfer post soon. A Mason jar is used for preserves and works well for this as it has a two-part lid (with a hole in it and a separate flat piece that is used inside the lid).  Here is the finished fabric transfer and the instructions are below.


Once you find an image you want to use for your fabric transfer you may need to reverse the image.  I used Microsoft Word to do this. Paste the image into MS Word document, right click on the image and select Properties then Size. Resize the image as needed.  I resized mine to 2 inches x 2 inches.

I have never used transfer paper before. I bought mine at Officeworks, they cost around $25 for 12 sheets so I think they are quite expensive, however, I wanted them so I paid the money. In the future I will try to do a fabric transfer with something other than the transfer paper.  The first step (read the instructions in the pack!)  is to print out a test print on plain paper. My first one I actually spent a long time working out the size of fabric (4 inches x 4 inches) I would need for my project and then to line up the images on the paper, as per the image below.



Then it occurred to me (doh!) that I didn’t actually need to print them like that on the paper as I would be cutting them out individually before ironing them on the fabric. I created a table in Word with 2 columns and then pasted the image in each column several times to fill the page.  The image below shows one of the columns. I was able to print 12 images on the one piece of paper. I could probably have done 3 columns and 18 images.



Once cut out then iron as per the instructions on to the fabric. I used cotton duck fabric.  It does leave the glue shape around the image. That may come off when I wash it but not sure. My project is on a small scale so that may not matter.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I did have one that didn’t work. I must have peeled it off too soon or maybe I did not ironed it for long enough. Once peeled off you should not have any image left on the paper. You can also see on the fabric that the left hand side of the image has not transferred correctly.



I hope you enjoyed reading about my fabric transfer. I enjoyed doing the process, except for the ironing bit which is a little repetitious and boring.  Come back and see my completed project soon.