Thursday, April 30, 2009


On Monday...

On Tuesday...

On Wednesday...

Hmmm. You were all right. So addictive. I can now do them with no instructions (with more mistakes) in front of the TV (with even more mistakes). So I am well on my way to more grannies. I have already gone off my colour choices though. I have such a short attention span.

In other news, Chris is home. We are all so pleased.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Eye Spy...a WIP

This never would have happened if I didn't do the blog thing.

I have started to teach myself to crochet. 

A bit of help from here, and a bit of help from here, a rummage in my granny's knitting bag that has been loaned to me (could only find 12 ply and a 4.5 hook, but I figured I was only practicing), and as of last night I have mastered the slip stitch and the chain stitch and am making progress with the double and triple stitches. When I have the latter two sorted I will embark on a granny square. I was quite inspired by Pip's A Granny a Day, but really for me, A Granny in May is possibly a more realistic ambition.

I am so excited that while doing the groceries this morning, I bought a 5.5 hook and some pretty 8 ply, as recommended in the book. I have a lot of housework to do today, so I am telling myself, as I tell my children from time to time: Do you work, then you can play.

Thanks to Michelle of Hugo and Elsa for the theme and visit Cindy to see who else is playing along this week.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Little pink slippers

(Relative) success! These are made from my most recent stash acquisition. The floral design is a very soft but nicely sturdy flannel. These came together a bit better than the last pink attempt, but you will notice one is a little shorter and asymmetrical than the other. And no, the little baby's feet are not similarly mismatched. Still I think they are sweet and (hopefully) wearable!

When Jemima was born, I met a lady in hospital who had just had her second baby girl. She always avoided pink, she just didn't like it. I could understand- pink alone seems so limiting. But two things hindered my anti-pink stand, 1) I was a non-sewer and you can pretty much only buy pink things for baby girls (and still have them "look" like girls) and 2) Jemmie looked/s great in pink. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Patchwork pondering

Ever since I made this quilt for my brother and his wife as a wedding present late last year, I have wanted one for me and Chris. I needed a little break from quilting/patchworking after making it though, as this one was a pretty intensive effort. From cutting to completion was about 4 days- and it was queen sized, albeit rather large squares, tied and the simplest design possible.

But now I feel ready. I purchased quite a bit of fabric from in preparation for it, but I have actually decided to only use 2 of the 6 or so I bought, favouring some vintage sheets I bought on holidays. I think I will do the same pattern as the last one- the checker board deal- as it is simple and I like that. I bought a chenille bedspread on ebay yesterday, so I am going to back it and tie it in the same way. Can't wait to get started. Might even start cutting tonight. Probably won't be finished in 4 days though.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Eye Spy...a magic elixir


Image from here.

And here you come, with a cup of tea

Wreathed in steam.

-Sylvia Plath

I loved English at school, and in fact originally intended to study Literature and Ancient History at uni, but my mum talked me out of it on the basis of eventual employment. I like to think that I stuck to the theme of language and communication by studying Speech Pathology, even if it is in a more scientific direction. 

And actually, I rarely read poetry or plays anymore. But there are the odd quotes that stick around in my memory banks, and this one particularly resonates. Tea is my magical elixir. Usually a tea bag, usually Dilma. Occasionally the Earl. Always before I do pretty much anything else in the morning.

Thankyou Amy at Badskirt for this week's theme and to Cindy for hosting.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Caleb makes a doll

It's my sister's birthday, and the confetti cookies are in the oven. I have bought her a gift from Lark online, but I only ordered it this week, so I will be offering the cookies as an IOU at birthday dinner tonight.

Caleb has been wanting to make a snow man out of a sock ever since he saw a particular episode on playschool a little while ago. I got some free socks from a work fundraiser last term, so we put one of the pair to good use. It morphed into something of a self portrait. I did the sewing, but Caleb did the stuffing, the drawing and the choosing of the scarf and button. This mini Caleb will be gifted to Aunty Sarah this evening, because in his words, "Aunty Sarah really really loves me doesn't she." Well, of course little monkey.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Eye Spy... a surprise!

Remember when my mum's friend gave me her craft stash? Well, it happened again! Twas my mum's friend's mother in law this time: it the de-stashing domino effect! I am stoked. There was also a few bags of fabric in the stash transfer that I am in the process of washing. I am at the point where I think I really need to make a big quilt or something to whittle down the enormous amount of vintage fabric I have accumulated. Poor me. 

I tried to make more baby shoes, but it was a total bust. I meant to take a photo to visually present my failings, but I ended up throwing them out in a fit of cleaning (which doesn't happen all that often.)

I will try try again, however. I will have lots of time as Chris is off to Las Vegas (yeah, for WORK), for a couple of weeks starting tomorrow. We will be OK. We will miss him a lot though, that's for sure.

PS Apologies for late eye spy, and thank you to Miss Muggins for the theme, and Cindy for hosting!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

New Life

teeny-tiny goody-two-shoes made using Meet me at mikes

I hope that everyone is enjoying their Easter weekend! It has all been a bit disorienting for us. Friday felt like Sunday (because we went to church), Saturday felt very out-of-place (even more so because we did some gardening, quite an out-of-place activity for us!), but now we are back on track. Today feels like Sunday. 

It's been a reasonably quiet weekend, in between church on Friday and Sunday, all of which has given us the head space to reflect on the basis of our faith- that Jesus lived, died, and rose again so that new life is available to us all. This is something that I have believed just about my whole life.  This is a new Australian doco about Jesus. It was on Channel 7 on Friday afternoon.

So, back to craftiness: The little shoes I made for a new little guy that was born a week and a bit ago. They came together fairly easily, though sewing around curves and doing the whole "easing" thing needs a little practice. I'm also pretty sure there is a marking that is not on the pattern, but it is pretty obvious how they go together by the time you get to that point. I am totally making more of these. Pink ones next for my latest first-cousin-once-removed, one of the cutest newborns I have ever seen. Apart from my own of course.

Enjoy the rest of the long weekend! Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Cuddle Pillows

I have found inspiration over at Loobylu. I love Claire's work and her blog very much indeed.



I prefer the look of embroidery for the face like the Loobylu original, but after being unhappy about how my embroidery was turning out, I quick unpicked and painted the faces instead. I had a little internal struggle about what fabric to use. I really wanted to buy some new stuff. However, I do feel a sense of satisfaction that I didn't have to go to the shops at all for this project. I just rearranged some things that were already in the house and these two cuddly friends were born. I wonder who else is waiting in the wings, currently unassembled? 

By the way, I received my copy of Meet me at Mikes today. I lurve it. Just owning it makes me feel more crafty. Well done, Pip. It is fabulous.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The way to a man's heart...

I like to give handmade as much as the next craft blogger, but sometimes it is quite a challenge. Particularly when it comes to young men I think. Am I right?

My brother turned 27 on the weekend. Last year I made him some mad skinny leg hipster punker PJ pants. I know he wears them quite a lot. There are witnesses. But this year he all but said outright that he would prefer money to handmade. Fair enough, I spose.

So money he got, but I also baked. I know. That's not like me. 

These "confetti cookies" as they are known are from Super Food Ideas (the last edition, not the current one). They turn out so pretty and round because you roll the dough into a sausage, wrap it in glad wrap, refrigerate it until solid, and then cut it into 1cm slices. I chose to do this one particularly because it didn't require the use of a rolling pin. I don't have one. They were completely delicious (185g of butter, they would want to be. Ouch)

I blame crafty blog land. You are a bad influence! 

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Eye Spy... a new development

I now have a staple gun.
It is quite a lot of fun.

I sewed a bunch of vintage buttons to the dark denim and covered a canvas using my new staple gun. It is a new development in craft for me, and I am dreaming of recovering my office chairs with some funky op shop fabric.

The tea cup is actually a GIANT tea cup (with a drainage hole, so not quite so useful for drinking giant cups of tea, but quite useful for planting a pretty in it). It was my farewell present from work. I love it. And I love tea as well. White with none. Sweet enough and all that.

Thank you Christina for the theme and thank you to Cindy for hosting!

UPDATED TO ADD: I just realised I should clarify that the button canvas was an idea from one of the articles about someone's house in Real Living magazine. I can't remember which issue of course. I did not come up with this idea by myself!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Painty and ponderous

I so enjoyed painting Madeline's giveaway prize. So much so that I put life on hold a little while I finished it. 

Life in general will slow down for a while now as I finished work yesterday. 

I have very mixed feelings about becoming a stay at home mother (again). Mostly positive, but some sadness, as I say good bye to colleagues and families who I have worked with closely for the past 6 months.

Overall I have peace about my own situation and decision, and I am thankful for the opportunity, very.

I read this book last week and was fascinated by the way the Amish community lives. Life seems like hard work, but the family roles are clear, community ties are strong, and life seems a little simpler. People with whom I have discussed this book have all independently come to the same conclusion: there is something very appealing about this way of life. Is it simply that the grass is always greener? What do you think?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Kid's Mail Swap has Lift-off

We finished our letters for the Kid's Mail Swap yesterday and so today was the big mail out. I realised the moment we dropped the letters into the big red post box that I should have written something on the envelope or on the letter itself about being the "Kid's Mail Swap", but I am  guessing if other little ones are as excited about this thing as Caleb is, no-one should be surprised by a card decorated by Caleb in their letter box: The grande mail swap will be in the forefront of their minds! I also thought as the letters slipped into the slot, that perhaps it would have been nice to include this blog address so they could look us up and see Caleb in action. Oh well. So if anyone gets a black or white card in a red envelope- it was US!

Caleb was so excited about the whole process. From making the cards, to dictating his random thoughts for me to scribe, and writing his name - and the name of the recipient (a very new skill for him, very exciting!) Even licking the stamps, which were "yummy", apparently. 

Jemima was dressed as Snow White on our trek to the post office, and received many an adoring stare, so she was in heaven also. 

Good day. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Rainy days...

It rained and rained yesterday while I was at work (second last day!) and I really just wanted to be at home all day. I am a total homebody and rainy weather is such a good excuse to be at home and hang around.

But, it rained again today! Hooray!

Jemima was kind enough to have a nice long nap, so Caleb finished his cards for the mail swap and I had another crack at my brother's engagement portrait. I am STILL not 100% happy with it. His fiance is exceptionally pretty, and I don't think this portrait does her justice. I think I will let this one settle and have a go at the lettering and then see how I feel about it.

For the mailing labels for Caleb's postcards, I used this freebie download. I love Sarah's blog and what she creates. She generously shares some of her handiwork in pdf form. Very nice.

UPDATED to add: So, when I posted the portrait picture here I realised that Savannah had a significant facial asymmetry. That problem has ben rectified (when I really should have been cooking dinner) and now, she is prettier. Still not sure. Sorry about the blurriness. Jemima was leaning on my arm peering through the view finder saying "I see Vanna and Lukey".