Monday, September 28, 2009

Eye Spy... something I shouldn't eat but do.

Chocolate mud cupcakes from Coles. Very very soft, but admittedly the icing tasted a little plasticy.

More food confessions here. Thanks to Jennifer Rose for the theme!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The evolution of 2 pot holders

Sometimes the best laid crafty plans go awry.

Plan A: I saw this tutorial an age ago and about 3 months ago set out to give it a try. Old towel? Check. Cool vintage fabric? Check. Ability to be precise? ummmm. My measurements and cutting and so on were not nearly accurate enough it turned out and the project started turning into a disaster.

Plan B: I decided against proceeding with the criss cross business and thought I would just quilt a couple of towels together with my fabric using this method and my new walking foot. Did my walking foot come with instructions? No. Did I try and just "figure it out"? Yes. Did I do it right? No. Did it make a mess of it? Yes.

So I abandoned this project and put it in the scrap bin. A month or so later I made an unfortunate discovery involving a cockroach and my pot holders at the time. Out with the rubbish went my old pot holders. That's all I want to say about that.

Plan C: I saw this tutorial via this post on Soulemama and rather than do the fabric collage I just used the best bits of my bath mat massacre. I pulled out the light blue backing from my stash. The pot holders have 2 layers of towel making them too thick to top stitch them closed, so I hand sewed the opening closed in front of the telly on Wednesday night.

Come Thursday these things were hot property in this house. Cries of "Give them to me!", "I don't want just one, I want both of them!" could be heard. I drew the line at allowing them out of the house with us when I took Caleb to his Speech Pathologist.

So there you have it. A pot holder's journey into existence. A not quite fascinating tale of making do with what you have, assisted by the crafty interwebs.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Bizarro! Gorilla Portrait on a Plate!

I bought the book Stencil 101 late last year with a plan to use stenciling as a part of Christmas crafting. I didn't end up using it, but I am really pleased to have it in the old craft library. Yesterday afternoon I found myself feeling a bit crafty and pulled it off the shelf.

I saw a plate on etsy (I have looked and looked for it but can't find it anymore) which I have had on my mind for a while. It appeared to be a vintage plate with something painted on it.

I bought this little plate- maybe it is even a saucer, from the oppy a few weeks ago with this little plan in mind. I used a paint medium for glass and tile (I did want porcelain paint, but my local junk/art shop didn't have any). I did want to do the little deer, but she didn't fit on my plate, so Mr Gorilla it was! He looks strangely regal hanging on the wall!

To practice my stenciling technique I made some cards with another stencil. It's pretty fun.

Don't stand still, I might stencil you!

PS The man of the house is home safely from his 2 weeks abroad which feels luxurious actually! Thanks to everyone who expressed empathy during this period without him!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Eye Spy... seasons change

I have managed to play along with Eye Spy this week! Thanks to Lisa for this week's theme of "seasons change". It was pretty easy as evidence of Spring time is everywhere you look! The warmer weather on the weekend inspired me to make Jemima a new dress for the new season.

I have had my eye on this tutorial for a while, and then I saw what Dana made (I love the buttons!). I used Dana's measurements, which I think would be about a size 2 Australian. I increased the length a little to make it into a dress. I am wondering about adding a sash from the same fabric. Yes, I surely will.

The fabric is a lovely light seersucker that I was given, and in fact the buttons were given to me as well. You may remember I was the lucky recipient of some pretty grand stash reductions during the year.

Next time I will make the sleeves a bit wider so there is more rufflyness! I must have done something wrong there. I always make at least one mistake!

I was thrilled when Jemima saw the dress this morning and said "Can I wear that today?". Win!

More Eye Spy here.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Ah me.

There is nothing particularly wrong in my neck of the woods, but I am tired and feeling a bit sad.

The tired one stems from Chris' absence. 8 days down, 6 to go. This time around I have just not been able to sleep. Strange really as he has travelled a lot in the past, and I have never experienced insomnia to this degree before. On more than one occasion I have slept with a weapon (a club that a friend brought back from Africa!) because I freaked myself out...

... and we all know what the effects of sleep deprivation can be. Tempers (mine) fray more readily, leading to inevitably to guilt, and problems lead to disproportionate anxiety.

The sad one I can't really elaborate on in a public forum as it involves tragedy that effects someone else, but I am a bit caught up in it as it is just that sad.

One of the coping strategies I employ in such times is to make stuff.

Banana bread from this recipe which is delicious, but Caleb and Jemima took one bite and spat it out. The recipe said it takes an hour to cook, but my tin was different dimensions and it only took 35 minutes. I have had a number of baking failures recently as I am a bit of a novice, so I am pleased that this one is more than edible. For the people over 6 years old in this house anyway.

And some random granny goodness. No real purpose in mind, just using up some wool I have lying around. It had been so long that I had to re-teach myself, and I don't think I am doing the slip stitch properly to do my joining up, but I am enjoying the colours. And the comfort of repetition.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Home Sweet Home

Ralph Blue and Pinky Ralphette celebrity lookalikes are to be gifted to one of Caleb's little friends tomorrow at her birthday party. When I made them, the gift didn't feel complete and I started designing a little house for them to live in. Then I saw this tutorial at The Long Thread via Whip up and I just made that. Because it is adorable! (Warning, if you make it, I think there is an error in the instructions when it comes to sewing the lining and flap/roof on. I ended up putting it together using the instructions for these.)

During construction I started thinking... does having so much inspiration and generously provided tutes and patterns actually make me less creative? It is a big help as a beginning sewist to have all these tutes, as with each one comes more confidence and new skills, and hopefully in the end give me the ability to be more creative. Something I am mulling over.

I am a bit blue today as my man has just left this sunny day to go to Paris for work. He will then be traveling to Amsterdam, before coming home in 2 weeks time. We will be OK, but it is much nicer when he is around. Looking forward to him coming back already!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

More quick fix craft

We are having a nice day here today. The kind of day I thought all my days would be like when I used to think about what life would be like as a stay at home mum. A day at home with the kids, popping out for a walk (the sunshine is lovely today), some kid crafting, some housework. And a quiet early afternoon with a young one fast asleep in bed from the morning's exertions and an older young one having a "rest" in his room. Sure, the kids have been pretty fighty this morning, but having nowhere to be and nothing pressing to do makes me a much more relaxed mummy to deal with these things.

Alas not everyday turns out this well. There are obligations, appointments, grocery shopping etc etc that can stress up our time, but I enjoy these days when they come about.

Above is Jemima's baby doll called "Ella". She doesn't get a lot of use, Jem prefers Kia the cat, so I felt like Ella might appreciate some attention from me. She now has a new outfit that is reashioned from one of Jemima's old suits. Size 000 *sigh*.

I saw this tute and slapped my forehead in a "why didn't I think of that?" moment and whipped it up last night (apart from all the hemming- I did one sleeve by machine = disaster, and a leg by hand = looks good but time consuming.)

And completely unrelated- here is a bowl from the op shop near my doctor's that I bought for 20c. I love it!