Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Magic Bags and a Giveaway

Have you seen in the shops, those pads filled with assorted beneficial stuffings, such as wheat grains, or ground up cherry stones, which you put in the microwave or the freezer, and then when suitably hot or cold, you apply these pads to the part of your body which needs soothing or invigorating? They cost a fortune. I bought one a while ago only because it was on sale, but at half price it still cost £8.00!

I run a Suma food group - which means that a group of us order bulk amounts of wholefood at wholesale prices. On my last leaf through the catalogue, i noticed a 3kg bag of organic wheat grain, costing £2.85. Wheat is the filling in my very expensive, aforementioned hot pad from Culpepper, but it is not organic, and the covering is plain corduroy, not - as the price would suggest - fine linen or silk woven by scottish fairies, and breathed upon by lucky leprichauns with a lottery ticket for the pot at the end of the rainbow. So why the ridiculously high pricetag when you could make enough healing pads for your entire extended family with a few scraps of fabric and a 3kg bag of wheat grain - or rice for that matter! Here's how:

Determine the size of your pads, my square one is 6"x6" and the eye pad is 6" measuring accross the bottom. I cut patterns from paper which included a 1cm seam allowance.

The fabric is cashmere, left over from a cloak I made years ago, and Heather Baily Freshcut fabric scraps in pink for the hot pad, and green (like cucumbers) for the cold eye pad. I put each right sides together, sewed right round, leaving about a 2" gap for turning out and stuffing. If you leave a long tail of thread at one end, it will aid hand sewing the gap shut for a neat finish:

Trim the seams, clip the corners, and then when turned out, finger press carefully and you should have these:

You can then fill the bags with the wheat grain (or rice) and add other things, in this case, I have added dried lavender flowers with about 10 drops lavender oil, and mixed it altogether in a bowl.

I used a funnel to aid stuffing - otherwise it tends to go all over the place even if you are very careful!

When the bags are about 3/4 full, you can sew them shut either by hand, or by machine if you don't mind a top stitch effect on one side.

You could ofcourse, top stitch all the way round before stuffing, to make it even and give extra strength. You could also add embellisments before sewing or stuffing or add extra detail such as a seam or two down the middle.

I added a seam on this one which somehow gives more "weight" to each eye. The plastic case I made to go with it, so that you can store it in the fridge without it getting damp or spilled on. I since realised that a foodbag would do just as well.

This little set could be YOURS. All you need to do to be in with a chance of winning it, is leave a comment on this post telling me what makes a good craft blog. I will use a random number picker (when I find one) to pick the winner 10 days from today, 28 March.

To use these bags hot (i would not recommend hot use for the eye pad), put in the microwave along with a glass of water, for 2 minutes on high. I find the lavender bags particularly good for those nasty times of the month when all you want is a hot water bottle, a comfy chair and a mug of cocoa.


Joleo said...

what an excellent idea - great gifts for Christmas. See - I'm starting to think ahead...

I think it's hard to pin down what makes a good craft blog, but as I said the other day, my favourites are where you can spot personality behind the posts. Difficult to quantify I know, so not that helpful.

Thanks for the tag - I'll get round to that over the weekend :)

HellesBelles said...

I believe the best craft blogs I've come across are the ones with a sense of humor and realism. When you read most arts and crafts books there is often an overwhelming sense of "Oh my goodness the author is perfect and I could never be that good." This is often compounded by failed first attempts. With the best craft blogs there are pictures that show us the author is human and makes similar mistakes and then they laugh about it. :)

kathi d said...

These are gorgeous!

I like craft blogs that share more than just crafts--ones where you get an idea of the person behind the blog. (Just like yours!)

Kitten's Lost Her Mittens said...

Hi! My favorite craft blogs are the ones with nice pictures and that are well written. I also like a sense of humor, and as others have said, one where you get an idea of the blogger's personality. It's wonderful 'meeting' people in this community!

Thanks for your comment on my blog. Check back, cause I'm having a giveaway, too!

AnnieB said...

h, I've made a hot bag for my sister before - I love them - I used rice but will look out for wheat from now on...

things I like in a craft blog:
sense of humour
nice clear pictures
tutorials are great (my master plan for this year involves putting at least one of those up...but you'll probably need a fairly advanced sense of humour to follow it!)

thanks for popping by my blog, I am glad to have found yours

Marmadaisy said...

I used rice in mine too, but never thought of making an eye mask one. Clever!
As others have said, a good blog gives a sense of who the person really is, what they love, how they think. It's great to have that open two-way communication that you don't get in a "how to" book.

jennyflower said...

I love a craft blog with humour and generously shared ideas. I get so much inspiration from Blogs like yours and as crafting can be lonely friendly blogs do make me feel like part of something bigger! x

Helen said...

Great idea! This is one of the things that makes a good craft blog for me - how-tos and tutorials. I also like lots of pictures.

Thanks for your comment on my blog this week!

dottycookie said...

What a lovely idea. I love Suma too - will have to look out for the wheat grain when order time comes round again.

playhookie said...

I'm planning on making myself some of these - when I get everything else done though - so thank you very much for the tutorial!

I think the thing that keeps me coming back to the same craft blogs is the photos of new and interesting projects which keep me inspired to do new things with my various crafting skills - that and a lively wit which allows for mistakes to be proudly explained and so avoided in future...

Anonymous said...

Hi, I had a big laugh wenn I read your story about the eye mask and hot bag.
I have a little idea! If you make a new wann, make it a little bigger and sew tunnels in it and fill them and sew that close.Than you have a thing to put your theepot on.
I hope you understand it ,my english writing is not so very good. It is simpel and quick and lovely to give to somewone
Bye bye Hanneke from Holland