Monthly Archives: January 2014

#13 Rediscover your Creative Side

Who doesn’t want to be creative?

Producing something aesthetically beautiful or cleverly functional or grippingly entertaining out of basic building blocks must be extremely satisfying, but I’ve also discovered that making something fairly ordinary-looking, barely functional and that entertains no-one but oneself can still be fulfilling. So here’s the latest fun and frivolous activity:

#13 Rediscover your Creative side

 A good friend of mine abhors tea bags. So whenever she visited, I brought out my finest leaf tea and my best teapot to make our cuppa. (She also insisted that the milk be poured first, saying it produces a finer-tasting cup of tea, but that’s a discussion for another time.)

Teapot and leaves

Definitely better-looking than a tea bag in a mug…

Thanks to her single-minded search for tea excellence, I, too, now abhor tea bags and use a teapot daily, rather than keeping it for special visitors only.

But a new problem has arisen. How do you keep tea warm for that second cup?

A good old-fashioned tea cosy is the answer – but where do you buy tea cosies to fit odd shaped teapots?

Well, nowhere locally, as far as I could find. So I decided to dust off my primary school knitting skills and create my own.

A quick search of the web brought up numerous patterns, in particular, one that looked like it would work for a teapot with a top-mounted spout like mine and with rusty fingers and bits of left-over wool, I got to work.

The first tea cosy was a success of sorts – provided the teapot was part of a child’s tea set. Clearly I’d forgotten the importance of wool ply and knitting tension.

The second tea cosy was much better, if by much better you mean much bigger. It wound around the teapot twice with a bit left over.

But by the third iteration, using real wool bought from a real wool shop and carefully measuring the tension, a perfectly fitted tea cosy evolved:

I'm a little teapot

A friend told me it looks Norwegian. I think that’s a compliment…

So now that my creative juices are flowing, I’ve moved onto making bookmarks.

Yes, I know everyone reads books on electronic devices these days and bookmarks are as obsolete as … well, tea cosies … but an old fashioned streak lurks deeply within me (who’d have guessed?) and I still like the touch of a book as I read.

On a trip to Shanghai some years ago, I found the perfect bookmark:


Made of a light-weight folding magnet, it slips over the top of a page, sticks to itself and won’t fall out

I was enthralled with it and wished I’d bought more of them, but a return trip to Shanghai just to pick up more magnetic bookmarks seemed a little excessive.

But when I discovered  self-adhesive magnetic strips at a stationer’s shop, I realised I could make a variation of my own.

And because I’m now Embracing my Foibles I’ve taken to matching the bookmark to the book.

Books and book marks

Who says creativity doesn’t improve your life?