Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Isn't it funny how bees make honey

The tree outside our back stairs just bloomed with blossom.  We stepped out the back door this morning and were met with a loud buzzing sound - the tree is swarming with bees collecting nectar from the flowers.  It is LOUD.  There are bits of pollen and flower parts falling from the tree as it literally moves under the activity of those busy bees.

I just read that when a bee is full up on nectar and ready to go back to the hive they are carrying a weight almost equal to their body weight.  If you compare this to an aeroplane that can't take off if its carrying more than a quarter of its own weight then you get an appreciation of how super this little honey making creature really is.

I also noticed that the parts of the tree that don't get the morning sun are still waiting their turn to flower.  Maybe they will bloom this afternoon as the sun lowers over the back of our house.  I think we will have our bee visitors for a few days yet.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Multiplication is a vexation...

This is a case of the first one worked fine, and the second one was a fiddly old Pain with a capital P.  No I am not talking about children, I am talking about bunnies.

For a special two year old I made a yellow bunny from a vintage sheet scrap, just like the pink and white one, but this time around I had trouble with all those limbs.  Now that I have perfected a blind stitch I am resolved from now on to stuff each limb individually to avoid the whole drama of sewing the stuffed limbs inside the body pieces and then trying to turn it all right sides out (which always makes me think of a cow giving birth...sorry for that image if it doesn't agree with you).  Call me a woos but if something isn't reasonably flat while going under my machine foot, then it 'aint going there, thanks very much.

Anyway, she turned out acceptable, nothing a little hand stitching here and there didn't fix.  It was correctly identified as a bunny by the recipient, and its ears got a good sucking/chewing on so I guess she's now been accepted into her new home (well she's not coming back home to mine with wet ears).

Speaking of bunnies - if you have long admired Dandelion Beck's wool rabbits with their gorgeous outfits, she now has them for sale.  Very tempting, I tell you!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Double trouble

Pattern from the Meet me at Mikes craftbook.

No, not twins.  I made two pairs of booties for a new baby gift because my friend that I gifted a pair to about five months ago told me how ace they were, especially at keeping little socks on tiny feet. 

The pair with the cross-stitch flower was made from a vintage hanky and a pink pillowcase.  I did a quick and wonky attempt at cross-stitching a small flower onto the second bootie to make them look more like a matching pair.  The other pair was made from a vintage sheet and a remnant of white cotton.

Pattern from RevoluazZza
I also got down to a bit of softie making.  I haven't made a "serious-arms-and-legs" softie in ages so I was pleased when I set to work last night that this little bunny turned out just the way I hoped. I used the vintage sheet and pillowcase again.  I like the combination of soft colours.  Hopefully I will get to pop these in the post this afternoon.

Speaking of double trouble, I might even make another bunny...for someone else though.

Friday, August 20, 2010


I've been avoiding my sewing table since we got back from holidays last Sunday.  Government paperwork, reciepts and various odds and ends of God only knows what have been piling up and then sliding sideways and like sands of a desert slowing taking over and choking every centimeter of available work space.  I strangely can't find the energy to clean it up, and I am usually a very tidy person.  I've also got unpacking apathy, my holiday bag is still on the floor of the bedroom with the last bits and pieces kicking around in the bottom of it.  The skiing gear has been washed and packed away, and the bags from the other family members have been emptied, but I can't seem to finish my own.

But yesterday I got a little lift with some unexpected news while I was in the supermarket checkout lane.  A friend of mine had her second child a few weeks early, and on her own birthday!  I was just asking her the other day if there was anything in particular she would like me to make and I thought I had a week or two to get organised, but no!  So there is baby sewing to do, of the pink variety.  I got inspired and cut into a vintage hanky and a nice soft pink pillowcase...

But first, before I can get any further I have to get that desk tidied...and the floor under the desk...and the bed behind it...then, yes, I will be ready to work.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

My Creative Space: bookish

I have been holding off on this project for a little while now, time to dust it off and get it done I think.  You can find the original idea and tutorial at Esta Sketch.

I have myself a box of 100 postcards, but not ordinary postcards, they are book covers from Penguin publishers.  We have a LOT of books in our house that its only fitting that they adorn our walls, so I am going to frame and hang a selection of these that best reflect us and our literary tastes. But which ones to chose?

There are of course the classic fiction titles...

...and there are a range of what would surely have been very useful non-fiction titles...

...some of the more modern illustrated covers are interesting (and August IS a wicked month).

There are so many titles that you can turn them to any storytelling purpose, such as at home this morning it was...

...which lead to some...

...which had one of us thinking about...

Have a great Thursday and when you head on over to Kootoyoo for more Creative Space, grab yourself some...

Friday, August 13, 2010

Creating a scene

Hello from Wanaka in the South Island of New Zealand.  Never been to Wanaka? You really must.  Its just over the mountain from Queenstown, close to the ski fields...of course you now know what we are doing here. 

The scenery from my window over Lake Wanaka is really spectacular.  Its like an ever changing postcard, today was quite misty and dull after a few days of beautiful sunshine and clear skys.

Of course I never travel without a few things.

I wanted to try something new.

And this tree fascinated me.

I have stitched the following interpretation of the scene before me.  Next time I travel over here I must remember to bring more greys and soft colours, no reds, pinks or brights needed.

Back next week.

Friday, August 6, 2010

How to play: Materials

We played a game today.  Here's how it goes.

Sit on the couch and face your "shop keeper" who is on the other side of the coffee table.
Ask for the kind of material you would like and how much.
Watch how it is cut up...

...and folded.

Make payment.

Alternatively, Maisy Mouse can arrive in her priviate aeroplane slipper.

And try on some haute coutour paper garments until she finds a skirt that fits the bill.

Make payment.

Leave couch and wonder if somehow all those trips to the material shop have made a deep and lasting impression.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Something missing?

Yes today should have been alphabet Tuesday - the letter S has quite a complicated illustration but with the quilt making goings on this week I made no progress on my alphabet project.

I needed a little break anyway, so I made a softie instead.  I'll be back with the alphabet soon.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Waving in the wind

So here you go!  My finished bunting quilt.  If these little flags were flapping free they would be being whipped around by the wind here today.  Its hard to photograph a quilt at the best of times, and I discovered even harder still when you peg it on your Hill's hoist and the whole contraption starts turning around this way and that, and your quilt flaps this way and that way in the bargain.  I had to be quick on the shutter button of the camera to get any decent photos (plus a low winter sun is not helping either).

Its a larger size baby quilt, about 1.1m x 1m, the top is a nice smooth white poly/cotton, the flags are zig zag stitched onto this without any sticky interfacing because I didn't want the stiffness this would add to the flag pieces.  The middle layer is bleached calico to really bring out the whiteness of the quilt top (white fabric can be a bit see through).  I had thought to use some white cotton batting in the middle layer but I had size and cost issues so I gave up on that idea.  The top and middle layers are "quilted" together long the seams of the bias binding that I used as the flag rope. 

The backing fabric is yellow flanelette, this fabric is so soft and I can't go past super softness when babies are concerned.  Finally I bound it in blue gingham, hand stitched just for a little finger torture (and to make sure that any dodgy and wobbly machine top stitching wouldn't ruin all the fun I was having).

For a little more bunting quilt inspiration (and quite a different look to my version), pop on over to Clutterpunk for a squiz.


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