Saturday, December 27, 2008

Pack your bags

This is the bag I made Dad for Christmas from this freebie Burdastyle pattern. It was quite easy to put together and is quite a nice size. Next time I think I will embellish a little more, but this is a man bag after all.

The fam and I are going north for a week today so things might be a little quiet around this space. 

Hope everyone had a Merry Christmas, and I look forward to seeing what you are all up to in 2009!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Churning out crafty goodness

There are a million other things that I should be doing, but I couldn't let my most productive crafty day ever go unrecorded. Yesterday I made all this stuff. Go me!

Very Lazy Laptop Sleeve for Caleb's toy computer gift from here via here. I had plans to do something a little more spectacular, but I have simply run out of time.

3 notebook covers from this tutorial again, including little portraits taken from this painting I did a while ago. I have rediscovered ink jet transfer film. 

A simple lined tote bag that I threw together without using anything specific as a reference. After making it I decided I wanted to embellish it, but was avoiding hand sewing and I couldn't fit the thing into my machine. Enter ink jet transfer film again and it now has a little photo of the gift recipient on the bag (not sewn on at all, so we'll see how the fusible interfacing holds up...

A little dolly peasant top from this tutorial. Which I did take a picture of, but it is failing to upload, and isn't all that important really. 

Hope everyone's preparations are running smoothly.... one more sleep!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Biddy Bags

Hands off blondie, this one's mine.

I read this post over at Edward and Lily and then quite spontaneously purchased one biddy bag. It was quite difficult to decide on just one, but I managed. 

As it says on the tag:

Biddy Bags is a boutique social enterprise connecting socially isolated nanas and mature-aged ladies through craft, economic participation and social networking.

I had come across these bags a year or so ago I think and liked the look of them, but they were a bit expensive for me at the time. But as I have become to appreciate handmade in 2008, the price tag seems more acceptable to me now:

Biddy Bags as a non-profit enterprise, ensures that for each bag sold the woman who crafted it received a just amount of pay for her work.

And finally:

Carrying a Biddy Bag reminds us that the pleasures we enjoy are not derived from faceless entities, but real people.


Monday, December 22, 2008


Queen size quilt is complete! As of about 1am in the morning (and then I was caught up watching To Kill a Mockingbird and had to finish it. What a movie.)

I love it. And want to keep it. But that's a good sign, right? It wasn't all that difficult to make in the end, just very time consuming. It isn't perfect, but then, who is?

I can't speak highly enough of the technique for backing and tying the quilt here. It is a lot less painful than I would imagine machine quilting something this size, and the chenille backing is wonderfully soft and comfy. 

I am all glowing now. And need to clean the house. It has been a bit neglected these past few days...

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Eye Spy... a bit of bling

I went all literal with this week's eye spy. I don't really get into bling on my person, but I do have a rather nice diamond that I always wear. This is my engagement ring. Chris gave it to me when he proposed atop the Sydney Harbour Bridge at dusk. 

He did the whole thing very properly, calling ahead to let the Bridgeclimb people know. He joked with the guy on the phone apparently saying "I know she'll say yes, I've already checked", to which the fellow replied, "Oh that's good we had a few rejections on Valentines Day." Imagine that. It is a looong way down guy, and you are strapped to several strangers. Awkward.

Thanks to Cindy for hosting and Hoppo Bumpo for this week's theme. Yay!

Saturday, December 20, 2008


I've invented a new term. It is "quilted". As in "exhausted" or "buggered", but the fatigue is specifically linked to quilting. 

The completed quilt pictured here is not the quilt I have been working on pretty solidly for about 9 hours today. And a couple of hours last night and a few hours the day before that. This is a lap quilt from Bend the Rules sewing that I made pre-blog. If I was smart, I would have made another one that size for my brother and his new wife for their wedding/christmas present. But I thought a queen size would be more useful, didn't I. 

I have finished the top of said queen sized quilt, and it has come together very nicely. Fortunately I have no plans to bind it- that would take most of 2009 methinks. I have a vintage chenille bedspread that I am going to use to back it. I'll tie the quilt too so I don't have to be wrangling anything through my ailing machine. Oh, she will need a service after Christmas.

I will post the finished quilt hopefully in the next few days. I kept thinking of corny marriage metaphors whilst sewing, you know, like how sewing a quilt is like a marriage. Maybe I'll share those thoughts later. So cheesy.

I'm quilted. 

Thursday, December 18, 2008

What's brown (and silver) and sticky?

We are sorta fans of Ikea in this household  and the most recent catalogue had a photograph of a bunch of sticks hanging upside down as the Christmas tree, complete with presents underneath. Caleb and I thought it was pretty cool and decided we would do it. I forgot about it, then half remembered and truthfully hoped Caleb might forget, but Caleb never forgets. I spray painted the sticks silver (actually only half sprayed them as my creative director was insisting they only needed to be painted on one side.) Then I tied them together in a bunch (which I could have done better had I known anything at all about knot tying) and hung them from a hook that was already in his room. 

When we made it he declared, "When Daddy gets home, he won't believe his eyes!!"

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tutu crisis

I had another fairy singlet and tutu on the to do list for Christmas, this time for my Jemima. WIth the way our evening worked out (with children resisting sleep and the like) I didn't get started until late-ish. At one point I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and the word "ghoul" came to mind with my red tired eyes and mascara smudged into the bags under my eyes. Pretty.

The wings are a bit wonky, but I love the vintage sheet and the colour yellow. And the sheet is so soft. 

I couldn't help but show her the tutu this morning, and she cried and said "take it" which is the opposite of "have it". In other words, don't come near me with that tutu, woman.

Oh well.

I read this post over at The Bird Bath and I agree, fairy costumes ARE scratchy and my "all about comfort" toddler has probably already figured this out...

Monday, December 15, 2008

Thankyou Saffron Craig

Do yourself a favour and check out Saffron Craig. She designs beautiful contemporary fabric that is hand printed. At the moment she is giving away a free fat quarter simply for signing up to her newsletter. Win win. This is the fat quarter I received. I think it will end up straight in my brother and sister in law's quilt as it is yellow. But I also want to keep it. We'll see.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Eye Spy... a burst of colour

Chris and I went to Canada before having children. We went there so I could meet some of the people Chris had befriended when he lived there for a couple of years. On our travels we drove by this sweet looking town. Couldn't tell you where it was, but it grabbed my attention and so we stopped to take a photo. That red building is my burst of colour for eye spy Sunday. 

It is a little scene I now see everyday as I have a painting of it hanging in our lounge room. A very talented friend of mine (who has no blog nor even sells any of her work) did this with water colour pencils, and Chris had it professionally framed for my birthday last year. It is one of my favourite things. Thanks for the theme flossy-p and bugandpop for hosting Eye spy Sunday!

Well you're not hardcore..

unless you live hardcore... The School of Rock was on the other night and I caught enough of it to have that spinning around my head while I made these PJ skull and cross-bone pants for my brother for his birthday. I didn't mind. It makes me laugh. 

What I DID mind was sewing up every seam and then unpicking every seam because I had a MASSIVE brain malfunction the afternoon I made them. Anyways, I forgot to pull the middle seam to the middle before stitching up the side seams, sooooo yeah. But then I thought I'd sewn the crotch bit wrong and unpicked it, complete with its double stitching to make it extra strong. crap. But I persevered. 

And how funny am I? I have made COMPLEMENTARY boxer shorts for his new wife whose birthday is around the same time. Ah, couple dressing. Love! His to be paired with a black chesty bond singlet and hers with a red bonds t-shirt.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

For the little snapper

Caleb is getting one of those super tough kids digital cameras for Christmas. I am so excited to give it to him. He can do some paparazzi payback. Not so excited about that I guess.

I wanted to add a little something handmade so I put together this little camera bag. I used the instructions for this messenger bag from burdastyle, but resized it. I did the embroidery a few weeks ago. 

All in all I am quite pleased with it. I need to sew on some type of closure. I am thinking velcro. But I am not thinking going to the shops this weekend, so that little job will have to wait.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Bits and Pieces

I went to the op shop and what did I see?

I have that "walking through the jungle" song in my head. Does anyone know what I mean, or did I just make it up? It's from Bananas in PJs or something equally as rad.

Talking of rad, Norma has done it again. Look at this little cardy. Aw. And actually been quite useful this being the strangest summer ever thus far.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Eye Spy... something in my garden

I've decided to join in with Cindy's Eye Spy. Could be fun!

This is actually borrowed colour from the neighbour. We are down hill from him so he and Chris put up some lattice and he has grown a pretty orange climber up it. So now we both get some privacy. Before it's construction I'm pretty sure that he saw me in my t-shirt and undies walking through the house one morning in search of my jeans in the clean washing basket. Classy.

This little miss can often be found in the garden too. Today wearing the other of Sarah-Jo's creations. Just lovely.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Another Black Apple miss

This blondie is for a little blondie for Christmas. 

I am so thankful for the black apple doll pattern. This is the 4th one I have made and I really love making them. I keep giving them away, so we don't have any living with us yet. Maybe next year.

I am thinking of designing my own doll. A doll I can really call my own. Something more baby like and cuddly. I have made some sketches but I am trying to resist really getting started on pattern making until after Christmas. So many presents still to make!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Another fairy

I made two more fairy tops for my cousin's girls for Christmas. Jemima came home from swimming lessons and demanded she wear one of them. And then ran away so I had difficulty taking a photo. She was a very grumpy (and fatigued) fairy.

I made these 2 in just over 30 minutes including getting everything out etc etc. I felt like a super crafter.  

And, recognise the skirt Sarah-Jo? This kind crafter made it for Jemima along with another beautiful skirt for a craft swap that I will surely post a picture of some time in the near future. Thank you very much!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

A dramatic increase in the world's population

Not only is Christmas less than a month away, but I know of about a million (yes a MILLION) babies that have been born lately. An overwhelming number for someone resolved to give handmade gifts. Fortunately we are also close to Christmas so a couple of "welcome to the world" gifts can double as Christmas presents. Get used to it kids. (My birthday is within 2 weeks of Christmas, so I know the pain.)

A couple of mini ribbon blankets. Using this tutorial as a basis. (But lazier application. A recurring theme of mine.) It would have taken a lot less time if the bobbin thread hadn't gone walkies (the technical term) stuffing up my thread tension. I "trouble shooted" for at least half an hour, including changing the needle. Next time I will rethread the whole shabang before I do that. So, another project, another lesson learned. I'm getting used to that. 

(Apologies for dreadful photo. You shouldn't have to put up with that.)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The reluctant fairy

I made this little (very pink) fairy costume for a little friend Caleb's age this afternoon. I've seen tulle fairy wings on singlets for years and have always liked them, and have now discovered they are very easy to make. And cheaper than its $15 counterparts at cotton on kids. The skirt was very easy too. I decided to make a cotton fabric casing for the elastic in the skirt because (a) it looks cute and (b) it should be a little more comfy around the middle than scratchy cheap tulle. I didn't sew the tulle together down the back of the skirt as I think it would look crappy. It's for wearing over clothes anyway, I tell myself.

(Notably the tulle seems to have lost its fly catching capabilities.)

In August 2007 Caleb had a dress up party to celebrate his 3rd birthday. His costume of choice was to be a fairy prince. How things have changed. I had to bribe a very cranky-about-wearing-pink Caleb to help me out with this little fairy costume.

Lucky for me he was nearing his target of 10 stamps for a reward (a green cowboy hat). This "kind" and "helpful" act for mummy, so I could make sure this costume was a good fit,  earned him 3 stamps. A pretty good deal. He was well compensated.

Monday, December 1, 2008

A bloggy dilemma

So I made a gift for my Dad for Christmas last week and I would like to post it here, but I can't be certain that he won't read my blog between now and then. 

While I ponder this dilemma, I will leave you with pictures of my children at my brother's wedding on Saturday. They were very cute and so very well behaved. I was a very proud mumma as well as a very proud sister. The wedding was beautiful - the bride in a exquisite handmade gown which I may post later with her permission. The groom dapper in skinny black jeans and converse sneakers.   

I was having flash-forwards (I'm sure you know what I mean) of Jemima and Caleb on their wedding days and feeling sad but proud. Thinking ahead a little too far perhaps, and making a few assumptions. But once my brother and I (and my other brother and sister) were small just like my little ones, and I am pretty sure the time it has taken for us to reach adulthood has gone by so quickly for our parents. So, I am reminded to savour each age as they grow, and try really really hard not to wish any time away.