Saturday, November 28, 2009

Fresh off the sewing machine!

Another one of these from Sparkle Power! Probably a long tunic rather than a dress. Not for Jemima, but for a little friend who turned 2 recently. The fabric was given to me last year some time, and I quite like those tiny swans. For the sleeves, I used left overs from the jedi robe, and the buttons are probably at least a couple of decades old, and are a perfect match in my opinion.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Dress ups and pondering

I have been hard at work crafting away, trying to be organised for Christmas. It is verrrrry hard keeping a handmade present under wraps. I usually like to do a big "look what I made! ta da!" on completion of an item. So this secret squirrel business is pretty challenging. I can't even do my ta da! here in blog land for the literate among my recipients might have their surprise spoiled.

But this I can show you... Caleb
asked for a "hoodie dress" a little while ago, and once I had surmised he meant Jedi robe, I did a quick google search and found this tutorial. I want this to be a surprise so I couldn't get him to lay on the fabric to get my measurements, so I used my simple servant dress pattern and added the hood and cut and hemmed down the front and added a little velcro attachment. I still need to hem it. I took a sneaky measurement to help in this- I want it to be good to go from unwrapping, not fussing with hemming it on Christmas morning. I hope it fits!

And this is not Christmas craft, and I am also not sure how I feel about it....

I found the veil that came with my second hand wedding dress in a big closet cleanout on Tuesday. I didn't wear it on my wedding day, but the sales assistant gave it to me anyway since she had no use for it. The kids spied it, and both had a go at trying to wear it, but because it was on a hair comb it wouldn't stay put. So I chopped off one of the layers and sewed it to a yellow headband we had lying around and then to cover my shabby hand sewing, sewed some flowers I had made with no purpose in mind, on top. When I finished it, Jemima said in her usual fashion, "I am not wearing that!", but about half an hour later put it on and didn't take it off for about 2 hours. There have been a lot of weddings to attend in her short life, and she is all about the "bride". She even has pretend weddings during her "rest time", that of course have no suggestion of a groom. When I ask her who she married at her wedding, she looks at me blankly or says "Uncle Tim and Aunty Kate."

It's quite funny because I was never "all about the bride". 8 years ago when I was the bride, I was looking forward to being married, but didn't really want to have the "wedding". I don't like being the centre of attention, and it's something that you really can't avoid on your wedding day! But I did want to mark the occasion with a celebration with lots of family and friends, and our service was certainly that. For our reception we had an afternoon tea in a hall in the adjoining retirement village which was just right for us.

I don't want to encourage Jemima to be focussed on her wedding day, but in the end, she equates being a bride with being a princess, a ballerina, a robot or a fairy, so into the dress up box goes the veil!

Monday, November 23, 2009

A new blog

After some lovely comments on this post, I decided to start an additional blog, "My brain popped an idea!", to document the creative pursuits of my children for my own records. You are quite welcome to stop by if you feel so inclined!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Bath Mats Revisted

The last time I made bath mats, they became pot holders. I simplified the process somewhat and now I have 2 new (but old) bath mats made from 2 old boring bath mats and scraps from the stash. I tied them together with my cotton yarn every 10-15 cm or so.

Need a couple more to allow for washing days, but since we have bought no new towels since we got married (adult sized ones) I have plenty of old towels to work with... and need excuses to get new ones.

Friday, November 20, 2009

With thanks to

If the result of this giveaway leaves you crochet dishcloth-less, do not fret! If I can learn to crochet this little number, anyone can. I mean it. Truly.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Cardboard Days

We had a self imposed quiet day at home today. Caleb has a fairly mild cold, but started to sound wheezy yesterday, so off to the doctor we went. He is now the proud (yes, he really is) owner of his very own puffer and spacer. He is much better today, but I just felt like the 3 of us needed a break.

The best thing about these long days kicking about at home is the kids always come up with some creative pursuit or another. (The worst things are the peeling screams of Miss Jemima when things aren't going her way.)

Pictured above is a bow and arrow (and "bag" for the arrow made lovingly by me from a toilet roll), and Caleb independently constructed the phone and foot-man-with-feet. We had a good laugh about that one.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Old school

I don't know where I first came across this idea, but I am pretty sure that it was in a couple of articles in Real Living over the past few months. We just got the door up a couple of hours ago after painting it with White Knight Chalkboard paint on the weekend.

I made a little hanging basket using this tutorial and there is an old peanut butter container in there full of chalk and a duster (plastic for safety's sake). I changed the tute a little bit, doing a few extra stitches here and there because I was using cotton and a different sized hook- this made me feel like a real crochet pro. Go me! It did turn out bigger than I expected, but I am still really pleased with myself.

We'll see if I regret this project as chalk dust builds, but for now I have a happy-finished-project-glow.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


My blog turned one about a month ago, and I wanted to do a giveaway of something I have made for a modest celebration. So, here tis, 3 little crocheted-by-me dishcloths in cotton yarn. I have been using my 2 dishcloths all the time, and I've just finished making a third which I think will be the magical crocheted dishcloth number.

To enter, just leave a comment before next Friday, 20th November. International entries welcome too.

Good luck crocheted dishcloth lovers!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Pretty trinkets

On Sunday we also celebrated my new sister-in-law's birthday! I gave her the black pretties from the little selection above. The cream and purple rose earrings have secret recipients for this Christmas-which-is-fast-approaching!

I have blogged the earrings before I think (yes here!), and the hair clips are an idea I lifted from Heart of Light. I can't remember how I found these headbands, but aren't they pretty? I bought this one a little while ago, and can't figure out whether I should keep it or give it as a present. She makes the clips now too.

In other news, I took Caleb to "big school" orientation today. Oh he is ready, but there will be tears come February (mine.) I am a massive sook when it comes to an "end of an era", a "new beginning", or just being a proud mum of my "big" little boy in his new green floppy hat.


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Today I gave my mum a bag

I wasn't going to blog this today, but for some reason blogger wasn't letting me upload certain photos from iphoto, so I just took what I could get! Anyways, on with the post!

It was my mum's and sister-in-law's birthday lunch today and mum had asked me to make her a bag. I made Dad a man bag for Christmas last year (and I am pleased to report he uses it daily and it hasn't fallen apart. Hooray!). So it was her turn for a Bek-made bag.

I was determined to make it completely from the stash because I have plenty of fabric and was sure it was possible. As a result, I used contrasting rather than matching thread, and didn't have enough lining for the handles. There is an error in the pattern so I underestimated how much fabric I needed.

It is the "Everyday Tote" from Heather Ross' book Weekend Sewing. (Errata here if you are planning to make one.) The pocket I made using this tutorial.

It is huge and so very green, which gave me the old "handmade gift anxiety", but mum seemed to really like it. I like it too. I would love a light denim one with two gathered pockets on the front and a mini floral 30s reproduction fabric lining (not that I have thought about it or anything). But I won't be making anything for myself for a while with Christmas around the bend.

It looks a little like I am giving you all the bird here, but I am most certainly not!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

My Place and Yours: Blog HQ

A bit dark and cluttered in my blog HQ, but I do love the Mac!

One of my favourite things about Mr Mac is that he has iMovie and for the last 2 years I have made a DVD of our family's "Year in Review". I finished our 2008 in about May 2009 (oops!), and I am starting to realise that it is November now, so it might be time to start on this year's highlights reel. I am so pleased to have our years video archived in this way- it will make for fun times reminiscing in the future, which is one of my favourite past times!

To address the "dark" situation in our study, we are getting a skylight put in on Monday! It will make such a huge difference to the whole house, as it is in the centre of our place and is a bit of a thoroughfare. I think once the "dark" situation is rectified, the "clutter" situation will be easier to deal with.

Thanks Pip for hosting, and Ninon for the theme!

PS I am so pleased it is cool and rainy today in Sydney. I have been sick the past few days, and the cooler weather is a nice welcome back into "well land".

Monday, November 2, 2009

Eye Spy... shoes

Dressed to impress at my brother's wedding

My little girl really wanted a pair of "ballet shoes", so we went in search of her first pair of ballet flats. We soon found out that Jemima has broad feet compared with the general population of size 7 ballet flat consumers, and I will say there was some tears along the way.

Finally we found these sparkly purpley pink ones at Cotton On Kids, and they are a little big, but at least her feet don't bulge out of them.

The skirt I made from vintage fabric in my stash from the Lazy Days skirt pattern.

Many thanks to Anastasia for this week's eye spy theme, and to Cindy for hosting.