Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Making flowers

Hmmm, what a week we have had around here. Illness and bad news have sent us on a real rollercoaster. Amongst it all we are making it turn out the best we can.

Today we are having a mid-week family day. Its very nice to cruise out to a cafe mid-week, its much quieter and more relaxed than the weekend. The suburb around us is quieter too, people are out at work, nobody mowing their lawns or splashing in their pools. We have also just made very impromptu plans to visit family overseas during the month of May, so in late April I will be taking a very deep breath and boarding a plane to single-handedly take my 3 year old from Brisbane to Dubai and then onto Istanbul to meet up with my husband (who is travelling ahead of us), and he will help us over the finish line to Sofia, Bulgaria.

This also means that I am going to have to regretfully withdraw my attendance at Sew it Together in May. I am really disappointed at having to miss it (and the first weekend away from my son ever) but I am sure there will be another opportunity to attend such an event.

And because I can't go without a little bit of crafting in my week I quietly sat down and experimented with a few felt flowers. Making my own little bit of brightness amongst everything. One of these is going to morph into a pincushion pretty soon.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Alphabet Tuesday: C is for Castle

Hello, hello, its Tuesday again. This week its a castle, with teeny yellow flags fluttering from the turrets. I left out some of the finer detail on this one, mainly all the black outlining. Maybe its more medieval to have six panes of glass in your castle windows, but I went for a more conventional four panes. Putting all the little pieces together to make this picture was fun, a kind of fabric jigsaw.

After I made this piece I decided to abandon any idea of doing any applique stitching around the edges of the work, it would probably just ruin the clean lines, as a wall hanging I think just using fusible interfacing is OK.

On the alphabet front, I am waiting for a few sample letters from an Etsy seller to see how they look. Also, I have a lovely reader from the USA called Mary who left a comment last week on how I might make my own fabric letters. How nice is that! I love it when someone takes the time to share stuff like that. Thanks Mary.

Happy Tuesday.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

My creative space: Svenska

A little more Ikea love this week.

I bought an enormous canvas bag from Target a while ago. Its really a giant, you open it up and drop things in there and they just disappear, right now its being used as our weekly swimming gear bag.

I had some of this Ikea fabric in my cupboard so decided to make another big shoulder bag, for useful things, you know.

Got some spotty fabric for the lining.

And maybe a little birdy will get a home in one of those trees before I have finished...

For more creative spaces pop on over to Kootoyoo.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Guess who?

I had a massive burst of day time sewing activity the other day and cooked up this concoction for my Sew it Together name tag swap.

I set the small one to work with a pair of pinking shears and a few supermarket catalogues, local magazines and a glue stick (sorry if you sent your wedding photos into the Brisbane News, but you are now cut out and pasted into a mural that is now on our fridge, amongst pictures of sausages, apples and Danish furniture...). Anyway, I digress.

The colour theme for the name tag should be blue and aqua, although I have used these colours more subtly than I imagined I would when I first started thinking of ideas for the badge. The fabric is lovely soft hemp and organic cotton and in between there is a layer of wool felt to give it body.

The recipient has been a recent visitor to my blog in the last few weeks as a matter of fact, so that makes me feel good!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Alphabet Tuesday: B is for Bear

Holy moly! I nearly forgot, its Tuesday. Isn't Mr Ted E. Bear cute?

BTW, if you are reading this and know of where I can get a sew/iron on alphabet in a nice lowercase font, please pipe up, I am still searching. All I can find in the shops are the kind of block, square capital letters that you might put on a sports shirt or something just as distastful.

I was just busy taking snaps of my Sew it Together will have to wait until tomorrow for that one now.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

My Creative Space: chaos and peace

My craft table is in a real mess - attention deificit has struck me down pretty badly this last week.

So I picked myself up, brushed myself off, and moved over into the kitchen.

I peacefully got on with the job of baking lemon cupcakes from Yardage Girl's recipe. And I managed nicely without my "very expensive and totally accurate" kitchen timer, thank you very much.

This one looked too good to resist, mainly because I put too much icing on it.

Ahhhh. Now, if I find a pen and a scrap of paper I should write myself a "to do" list...or just have another cupcake?
For more creative spaces, pop on over to Kootoyoo.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A symbol of my frustration

This is not a craft post, its a personal rant.

For weeks I have been meaning to purchase a kitchen timer. I have always relied on my brain and the clock to time my cooking as somehow I have never possessed an oven with a working timer. But with increasing distractions around the house that might lead to ruined baking, and the need to have an indisputable marker of time in the house for a certain three year old ("Bath time in five minutes when the timer rings."), I splashed out $7.87 for this simple white timer at the supermarket.

What it has going for it is that its not shaped like a hamburger or a cupcake, its easy to read, its simple and mechanical, no batteries or special functions, very low tech.

What it doesn't have going for it is that its made in China and is slapped together in a factory with zero quality control by an under paid worker, and it doesn't work. When the time is up it just limps to the finish line and tic-tocs into silence, not a tinkle of its little bell sounds forth to let me know "time's up".

Its a symbol of everything that troubles me about life in the 21st century. Where is the integrity, the pride of work? What happened to quality? Why can't I just buy a simple mechanical 60 minute kitchen timer that works?

Mum had a kitchen timer, it was ugly mustard yellow, it was made in Germany, the bell was so loud it was scary, and it helped to rule the household. I would not be scoffing at its colour now if I had it in my possession.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Alphabet Tuesday challenge

I went AWOL for about a week there. I have been slowly working on another kitchen playmat for the young man around the house, have a quarter finished tote bag on the table (not enough fabric for the handles and no time to go and seek out such fabric)...but to tell the truth I have been a bit crafted out and real life butted in on my time.

Late last year I made an under taking to re-create my Dick Bruna freeze in fabric. I got off to a flying start, and then ground to a halt because until I finished E for very fiddly eskimo I couldn't move on to F for relatively simple fish. The long and the short of it all is that unless I make myself present to you A to Z as I go along, I am never going to get it finished.

So here begins Alphabet Tuesday. Starting with A is for apple today I will post a picture of one letter for the next 25 weeks, unless I have a super reason for falling off the alphabet wagon.

Yikes! Lucky I have a few up my sleeve, but thats not going to last.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Finally...Ikea fashion

On my "to do" list for several months have been the words "sew skirt". Today I got up in the morning and just went for it. I laid out my Ikea fabric on the living room floor, I pulled out my Little Bird skirt pattern and got down to work.

I have done two prior runs with this pattern, see here, and here. First time I stupidly made the large size, and had to drastically cut it down to fit, then I more reasonably made the medium size, but that was still too big and again needed re-adjustment. I was not game to cut the pattern down to the small size, so with the knowledge that really I am a size 11 I just chopped the pattern down the edge between the medium and small lines, voila, size 11.

Ikea fabrics are 150cm wide so plenty of room to decide the pattern placement for the front and back panels of the skirt. The fabric is fairly thick so it was really easy to work with and I had it all together in no time. I did manage to bend the needle on my sewing machine though. I am unsure how this happened exactly but I did have a hang up about changing a sewing machine needle, so I learned by necessity today how that's done. Someone should have told me it was reeaaaallly easy.

And it fit first time, no adjustments.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Sunday, March 7, 2010

A little theme...

Inside my handbag.

Sunnies, keys and new sunnies case by Curly Pops. Notice a theme going on?

Thanks Curly Pops, my sunnies are cheap, and have never had a decent case, this one is perfect.

Right, I am off for chocolate high tea this afternoon. Yum!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Kitchen playtime

Gee, thanks everyone for all the lovely comments on my felt hotplates. Its been so nice to hear from you. I did say in my post that it was a work in progress, and I have been making strange posts about felt soap, so now I am all done its time to show you what I made of it all.

I have put it all together as a kitchen playmat. The original idea source is over at Balancing Everything, but I made a lot of modifications to this basic version and changed the overall size of it. The front piece is entirely hand stitched, I very quickly found that machine stitching was just not neat enough for such intricate pieces, its a bit of work to do it like this but well worth the results I think.

So, come on a tour of my kitchen...

First wash your hands.

Prepare your favourite foods.

Do a little cooking.

Don't forget the washing up! Some left over backing fabric made the perfect sized tea towel.

There are some lovely kitchen inspired fabrics out there at the moment with which to back your playmat. Mine is the size of a standard kitchen tea towel so you could back it with a new or vintage tea towel, that would look ace.

I added some ribbon corner tags so that you can tie the mat to the legs of a kids playtable, stops it sliding around and falling off.

All rolled up and ready to travel (in this case its off to Melbourne next week).

Thursday, March 4, 2010

My creative space...

A lovely friend is busy creating a new set of these, they're almost ready. Its been a while coming, this chance for a second baby, I want to do something special for her.

This week I am attempting some baby shoe making. I have been thinking about this challenge for about a week and on Tuesday went scouring the shops for suitable fabric. These booties need to be neutral, whether I am making for a boy or a girl is a secret only known to the baby itself right now. I finally settled on a small print and spot combination.

I'm pretty sure they will warm the soul.

For more creative spaces, pop on over to Kootoyoo.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Keeping it clean

Having lots of fun with felt.

There's plenty of water about, the dams are over 70% full, no excuses for not keeping things clean then...

Its not very foamy, but if you had hard water you probably wouldn't notice...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


If you don't live in Brisbane then I am here to tell you that its been raining non stop for two days now. And its dark. Not good for taking photos of your craft and more likely to have you curling under a doona on the couch with a good magazine rather than wrestling with a sewing project.

Have you ever read "100 Years of Solitude" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez? If you have you will remember that in the town of Macondo it rained for four years, eleven months and two days and everything and everyone went to wrack and ruin: "...threads of brocades rusted, and wet clothing would break out in a rash of saffron-coloured moss. The air was so damp that fish could have come in through the doors and swum out of the windows, floating through the atmosphere in the rooms." Constant heavy rain always reminds me of that book, its one of my favourites.

I have been looking at this little guy I made a week or so ago from a free pattern shared on the Blinking Flights blog. He is to be for a new baby coming in about three weeks. I don't know if it's to be a boy or a girl. I am thinking I need to make something to accompany him. A pair of baby shoes perhaps? I have a pattern in the Meet me at Mike's project book. Hmmm, still musing over that idea.

Do you like my seagrass basket? I bought it to contain all the little sewing things that are usually spread over the dining table. Every now and then I catch the smell of seagrass, which is always surprising, and kind of up lifting.

Time for a coffee, and to decide on a plan of action for achieving a few non-crafy goals today in the rain.


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