Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Back to school!

Well, school went back today! Always a mixed feeling about that! The house gets quieter... the mess gets less... the routine kicks in... we really miss them when they're gone for the day!

Miss 2 and I pottered around the house this morning feeling a little morose, did some chores, then headed to Sewing Bee to do some more work on our Pads for Africa project. This is a huge job... bring on quilts any day!!! Jill has been a wonder sewing away getting pads finished. To this point I've done a lot of co-ordinating and overlocked what seems like a gazillion insides made of wadding or towelling overlocked together. If you know someone who can sew and would like to help please let me know... these hygiene kits can make a huge difference to young African women. What we plan to do is keep sewing until the container leaves sometime early next year and then send the kits along with a sewing machine, instructions, and materials. That way the project can continue if the girls are keen... no matter how many kits we sew there will never be enough so this feels like a nice compromise.

Tonight I was absolutely wrecked so I had a rare evening in front of the TV and did some more knitting on the red dress! It's almost ready for neckline and sleeves so hopefully it will be off the UFO list pretty soon!

While we're on the subject of red things...  mum and dad just got back from Singapore... thought I'd share a couple of the things they brought back... Just love this red dish...

Cannot believe that dad managed to hunt down and find a CAMEL in Singapore of all places!!! He is gorgeous and fits beautifully into my rather extensive camel collection! 

More beautiful things from Singapore to share another day! 

And last... just for fun... found these rather groovy tissue boxes at the Reject Shop recently! Just to make me smile!! Also made my friend hooked-on-yarn a little happier to sneeze too! It's the fun things that make a life well... more fun!!!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Blogger Uber-Quilt-Fest progress...

I've been really enjoying doing these blocks... sometimes being on the other side of the world is torturous... waiting until the time zones catch up with a new block! So far I'm pretty happy with progress... especially since I don't intend to buy a single piece of fabric to complete the quilt... oh, hang on a sec... I did purchase a couple of new black and white pieces that were too delicious to pass up the other day!!! Oops! That wasn't supposed to happen... but I didn't buy them FOR the quilt... so does that mean I get let off the hook?!

Anyway, here are my new blocks...

Block 6

Block 7

Block 8

Half way there! Thinking I will piece them all together with black sashing and a black inner border then a black and white striped border, then black binding... thought I might piece the first two rows together but I cannot believe I have run out of  black homespun!!! How is this possible?!?

An hour later... I scrounged and scrounged and found a bit of black... and a strip from another quilts... so... voila...

I am so loving this quilt so far! Thinking black on all the inside borders and sashing and then black and white stripe on the outside border... what do you think?!

Making Chewy...

Well... it's not something I thought I'd ever find myself doing... making chewy... but life is full of surprises!

Actually, it was easier than I thought... done in an evening... and although it's a bit off in bits I'm generally pretty happy with it! Not that I think it's edible... far from it... but I think the kids will like it... especially my 2 year old! We'll have to wait until the morning for a full report!

So how did I come to be making chewy!? Well... I was blog browsing... as one does... and I saw the recipe... and knew I just had to make it! I rummaged around in my boxes of material and found just the ingredients I needed and a couple of hours later... it was done!

I really must commend draw!pilgrim on her most excellent instructions!  They were super simple and clear! Sorry for the wonky bits... they are mine... not hers... ! Also I didn't have any cord in my stash so I used some fur I had been debating about sending to another home... and I stitched my felt face on instead of putting it under... Felt and duct tape stitched on for the ammo belt and he is done! Seriously that face is a bit wonky isn't it... but hey... you gonna tell a wookie that to his face?!!

Whadya think Princess Leia would say!?


2 Star Wars tragics love him... as does the 2 year old!!! :-)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Bloggers' Quilt-Uber-Fest

 Well, I have been having a lovely time since I joined the Bloggers' Quilt-Uber-Fest... a new block every day for 16 days! It's almost like instant gratification... except sometimes 24 hours seems like a long time!!! Anyways, it's holidays, and I've had a sick toddler so a little diversion has been nice! I decided on black and white with a splash of colour look! I have a big drawer full of black and white fabrics and a bunch of coloured scraps crying out to be used up! Okay, so I admit it's a bit of a favourite of mine! Strangely because I find black and white on their own pretty dull but they certainly do make the colours stand out and I'm always up for that!!

Here are my blocks so far...
Block 1

 Block 2

 Block 3

Block 4

  Block 5

5 down, 11 to go! Stay tuned!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A few more recent makes...

Funny thing was that this last week of school holidays I churned out a few clothes and made dolly things in between to keep everyone happy! Windcheaters are so quick and easy to make... about 1/2 hour these days! It's always very satisfying and they are so warm and cuddly!

I bought this bright stripey material a while back for only a couple of dollars a metre! I knew my eldest would like it! She wanted a hoodie instead of a windcheater which was fine! Actually a really great pattern... quick and easy even with the pockets... definitely be using that one again! I had to go buy it because I suddenly realised that she's wearing size 10 now and all my patterns were only up to 9!!! How does this happen?!!!!
I still have a pile of things cut out ready to sew but it's much quicker when you get to that stage!!!
My eldest was given this doll from an elderly lady who made clothes for dolls. It had a dislocated shoulder and she had got past making clothes so she gave her to us! We had her arm fixed and she's been played with for a long time! She's actually probably quite valuable... not designed as a toy... but we think she looks a bit freaky (Chucky?!!!). It was time she had a new wardrobe so now she has a halter-top and skirt!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Today the big kids went back to school... it's always a little sad when that happens and the house is quieter again... no endless Star Wars talk. They've had a really nice holiday even though it's been 3 1/2 weeks... no real fights or boredom. Little Miss S really misses having them to play with so we made sure we did a few fun things today... 2 baby chinos for a start!!!!

We've had a very busy holidays this time round. The last week of school we headed up to Brisbane which I have to say is a delightful city! The river snaking through is beautiful, the people were friendly and polite, the views were lovely, the traffic was fine, and it was all very clean, perhaps thanks to a recent "wash"?!!!! Actually we were quite astounded not to see any evidence anywhere of the recent floods. I would certainly go back again if I had the opportunity... not with Tiger Airways however...

While in Brisbane I worked on two dresses for Little Miss. Loving them both.

Second week of the holidays we had Sunrock Rainforest Holiday Club at our church every morning which was loads of fun. The kids pretty much look forward to it all year. This year I was helping out with craft so it was busy but rewarding. I tie-dyed t-shirts for all the leaders in rainforest green...

The whole family helped out painting boxes for rainforest dioramas...

I made a few different craft samples... the boys really liked the bats...

We had about 80 kids all up this year... last year I sewed back packs for all the kids (great way to use your stash!!!) and this year we had bags donated so I stencilled frogs on the bags and glued on google eyes!

The last week of the holidays was also pretty relaxing. We pottered around most days, had some friends over, watched movies... I decided to get some polar fleece cut and sewn! It takes up so much space and some of it I've had for years! This particular pale fairy fleece has been around since my eldest (now 9) was little but it "disappeared"... then turned up one day in a long forgotten box from a move which had somehow ended up in my parents' garage. It is now 2 jumpers in two sizes...

... but I had a little left over and it seemed silly to waste it... so I made a dressing gown for a dolly...
...but there was still some over... so I made a silly little cat with a remnant of some chenille fabric for patches! It is now being carried all over the house by Little Miss!

Well, that's all for now... more updates and photos to come!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Oh boy...

It's been so long since I posted... not because I have nothing to tell you about, but rather because I have so much to tell you about that I don't know where to start... and then I get distracted reading all the other blogs I love to read and before I know it time has got away!
Yesterday my mum and daughter (2) went to Melbourne city to visit Morris & Sons knitting shop! Oh, it was so tasty you wouldn't believe... all those lovely fibres in a beautiful open shop filled with light and tempting samples everywhere!!! Fortunately they had a toy corner and grandma and DD2 played in there for a while before riding up and down the escalators!

Outside I found this very appropriate sign! I guess this means I will certainly die warm! I guess that's a good thing?!!!

Mum and I had both seen a pattern for a Mimku Shawl quite independently of each other! The free pattern was in Better Homes & Gardens a little while back... hence my "accidental" purchase of 3 balls of Noro in the most delightful deep blue/aqua/purple tones. Mum's is tones of rich red! Knitted on 15mm needles it is a very quick knit and almost done since yesterday! This photo was taken last night and I'm a ball ahead since then!

Also bought a hank of 8 ply, 10ply, Noro sock yarn... you'll have to wait until daylight when I can photograph them in better colour! All in all a very enjoyable day!

Monday, February 28, 2011


Valentine's day rolled around and I found a tutorial for this gorgeous cushion and made it up in less than an hour for a friend! Stuck a fork in the middle since it's going in her dining area! Tutorial can be found at http://www.u-createcrafts.com/2011/02/creative-guest-amy-from-diary-of.html along with a gazillion other fantastic projects! Go check it out!

I love this quilt and it's finally up on my wall! I can highly recommend the tutorial for this Mod Sampler Quilt free from www.ohfransson.com. (she is apparently reworking it as a pattern so stay tuned if you want to give it a go!) It was so quick and easy and fun to do! All the fabrics in this with the exception of a tiny bit of black were from my stash! Win! The various black and white prints are psychadelic and do make your eyes go funny after a while!!! lol! All the prints are bold fun novelty prints... looks great in the playroom!

Finally for today I'm showing you a little quick tute I did (and sometimes I actually feel like I get nothing done!!!) for my DD9. A cute little bunny called Bunny! (http://allsorts.typepad.com/allsorts/2011/01/its-fluffy-its-stuffy-its-a-bunny.html) Fortunately I happened to have just the right size of fuzzy fleecy stuff just handy! :-)) She has a reversible dress! Very sweet!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Crazy days!

Thought I'd share a little bit about my last couple of days...

Yesterday morning my car wouldn't start... repair man came... declared a flat battery... eventually got it started and took kids to school an hour late...

Went and taught a friend's daughter how to sew on her new machine... patternless 1 hour skirt... wow! How proud and pleased does she look!? So I had just raided my stash and found this 150cm wide fabric which was just the right length! So... simple side seam, zig zag round the top and bottom edges, hem, whack some elastic in... done! She was very happy! Hopefully this is the start of a big sewing career!!!

So I went to school to get the kids... all fine until my almost 2 year old drops a can of coke, which punctures, sprays in huge, rapid spirals around my kitchen coating all the cupboards and floor... yep, every inch! So... mopping, wiping... just what you need before dinner! Every wondered why it's good to get smooth kitchen cupboards rather than those fancy ones with grooves!? Needless to say I didn't renovate this kitchen... grooves galore!

The day continued... suddenly thought it was time to clip my 7yr old son's hair... great idea... until... the size 4 cover fell off and I didn't realise until I'd done a big SHAVE track up the back of his head... aaaaaargh! I mean, how do you FIX something like that?!?! Poor lad! I'm good friends with his former teacher so I asked her to make sure she totally took the mickey out of me when she saw him at school... I was impressed... she obeyed!!! Poor kid!!! It was hilariously funny but I suppose a mother should NOT laugh at such things! His dad, who is very precious about his own hair, was completely unimpressed... which was even funnier! Hey, it will grow back in no time!!

But the day didn't end there... son decides to check his scary hair out using his sister's heart shaped mirror... promptly drops it on the floor... ohh horrors!... smashes into smithereens!!! At that point I was just thinking that maybe it was time I went to bed!!!

Today wasn't much better... car still wouldn't start... new battery on its way... 1 year old falls over bruises her nose... car still won't start... oh, I did manage to fit a little sideways trip into the patchwork shop (don't know HOW that happened!?!!!). Then I went to our school Parent's and Friends' meeting and handed over the job of president! So... now I actually have no schedule... except a 2 hr college course just for fun! 20th Century Theologians... should be sounding educated soon! Hopefully!

Well, there ends the crazy day... hopefully tomorrow will be better... I already have GENEROUSLY offered to stop in at the yarn shop to pick up some needles for a friend who desperately wants to knit something but has to teach children all day... such a shame!!! It will be a total chore to visit the wool shop... have I told you about my knitting stash yet?!? Maybe another day...


Friday, February 11, 2011

A spot of dressmaking!

I've been having a little fun lately with the boxes of fabric in my stash!! Oh, and my local sewing shop... Liz's Sewing Centre, Boronia (lovely ladies will serve you in there!)... have a 50% off dressmaking fabric sale... 40% off patchwork fabric...

I decided to break out a little and sew a knit dress for DD1 in size 3... well in advance for next summer! Not my usual colours with the brown background but I'm in love with it! I've never tried lettuce leaf (learn something new every day!) edging before and was quite satisfied with the result!I've also been playing with some summer shirts for myself in satin fabric... not something I've worked with in a long time... but I do have boxes and boxes of fabrics from when I made my own clothes a lot more regularly (pre-kids in reality!!). Also pleased with how this one has turned out (Butterick B5493 for those who are interested) and I think I will be soon using the other 3 appropriate fabrics in my stash for the remaining neckline variations! Very exciting to find a pattern that is simple, quick, comfortable and fits well.

On other matters... we have a new kitten... Patch (don't blame me... I didn't name him!!) DD1 has been having some trouble learning what is "gentle". We are getting there and she loves to carry him around (sometimes almost by the neck but we won't go there!) I promise you don't need to ring animal cruelty... we are keeping a careful eye on her! Anyway, today I took this photo...

Who knew... cats apparently like to watch Playschool!!! He was purring so loud I could hear him from where I was! I think a cautious friendship is blossoming!

Well, DD1 is asleep so I'm off to make the most of it... more photos of WIP will follow shortly!

Have a great day,

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Plans for the week...

We had a lovely day today with a new family at our church... 4 kids... and the mother still looks fresh and relaxed! Wow! She doesn't craft at all though... perhaps there's something to be said for that considering my manic (but generally enjoyable!) lifestyle! I always find that when non-crafty people come around I keep the door to my studio closed... it's a little embarrassing otherwise... ahem... Personally I can't imagine a life without craft... I would be intolerable to live with!

So, yesterday I promised you a picture of DD8s latest creation at her sewing class... here it is:

The gathered peasant collar, sleeves and waist are kind of cute... as is the fabric! This is probably about the only way such "pretty" fabric will make it into my house!! She really is getting quite proficient at sewing seams and I hope this is a skill which stays with her for life... I need SOMEONE to leave my fabric collection to!!!

Meantime I've been working on another quilt to put on my madeit shop. The top is finished and ready to be loaded on the quilting machine...

This is such a sweet and pretty quilt from a Layer Cake purchased last year at the Craft Show for a bargain price!

This week I hope to make a bunch of library bags, finish my book pockets, and get a shirt made for myself... as well as finish this quilt... What do you hope to get finished this week?