Thursday, December 31, 2009

End of Year

Have a wonderful New Year's Eve Everyone!
Bring on a Happy 2010!
My 2010 New year wishes: A year of much sewing, art, crafting relaxing and good times with friends and family oh and maybe some teaching work too!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

All setup and soooo freakin Large!

Everytime we walk back into the room now we go, damn thats big!

Our New Arrival!

Look what just arrived..I am beside myself with glee!

Sorry photo taken quickly with iPhone so a little blurry and dark without a flash, plus jumping with glee!!

Still in a mess

Well the sewing room is in a tizz still. It's actually looking a little bit worse than before I started the "cleanup". I got quite a lot of washing and folding done yesterday, but no more washing can be done today due to weather and apathy ;) It wont hurt not to do it for a while either as I managed to hurt my back when I was in there all day yesterday. I also forgot today was a public holiday and nothing is open, especially not the chemist..whoops. iMac is in Australia too, it just wont be delivered until tomorrow because of the public holiday! Nothing to be done today except lay on lounge and soak in the cricket.
In the wee Early of this morning towards the end of our Big Bang Theory marathon..(those guys are hilarious and just the thing to perk you up) and now mentioned to distract you from enquiring about my sewing room cleanup, look over here I made something

He's an Arno Cat from the Softies book. He took 10 minutes to cut out (but at the same time I cut out 6 more of various scrap fabrics) and about 30 minutes to embroider, sew up and stuff.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Boxing Day Clean up

Oh Lord! Today is the big cleanup after the fact. The piles of material on top of the work table (used in the past few days).

It's also been noticed that most of my fabric stash is hanging out in piles in washing baskets, on the Futon or in enormous plastic boxes under the work table, or in plastic shopping bags waiting to be washed. Most of what came from mum is in those huge plastic storage boxes. This is from when we moved house several years ago. I can never find anything and I've forgotten most of the stuff I have and more importantly - if I have to climb under that table to retrieve the big boxes to look for stuff - I just don't bother.
So..Today's the day, possibly the week. We bought 4 lots of those cheap put together plastic draw units from the bargain stores. I've had 2 put together for a little while with cottons and ribbons in it, but we've had to buy two more. They can sit on top the filing cabinets. more bending or climbing under the table! YAY! And so today is wash fold and sort the fabric and find everything a home. If this rain holds off things might actually dry!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas

And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store?
What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more? - Dr Zuess (One of our favourites)

Merry Christmas & A Happy New Year!

Look what my husband got me as a surrogate Christmas present

I now have both of these excellent books :

(My other present is my lovely new iMac thats stuck in HongKong at the moment according to TNT's tracker but thats ok..we knew it wouldn't get here by Christmas - I just wish I didn't know it's lack of progress. ;)
We went up to my parents for Christmas was lovely...SOOOOOO Much rain here today!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Havier - The last one for Christmas

Lovely Havier is the last one I need to make before Christmas Day, oh look at the time...MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone! Havier is going to my friends new baby. I hope he loves him!

Hilda and Henly - Nice to meet you

Hilda and Henly, These two are for my cousins recently arrived baby MissT I'll need to manipulate the stuffing a little as I can see now they are little wonky, but they should come good. I've also been getting more and more frustrated with the applique, the satin stitch kept getting caught on the foot. My old machine had a dedicated embroidery foot that was all open at the front. This new Bernina didn't come with annoying! I've ordered the proper Embroidery foot...Once all the shops and suppliers open again sometime into the new year. Apparently the Bernina #20 Embroidery foot as well as being open so I can actually see where I'm stitching! also has a wedge tunnel underneath to allow for the thicker Satin Stitch stitches without getting stuck. I hope the new foot arrives soon and works...because I'd love my stitches to look better.

Meet Hendrik and Hilary

Hendrik and Hilary Have been made for my niece MissR for Christmas, Again using the Hector the Giraffe pattern from the book Softies. You should check out some of the amazing Softies on Flickr, that the creator of Hector has made..shes amazing! Check out her Blog too.
The fabric I used on Hilary's arms, legs, antenna and tail was left over from fabric my mum used to make dolls pram Sheets, pillows and mattress covers when My Sister was about 4 years old, now her little girl gets it on her Hilary...totally by accident..I only realised I'd done it, when I took this photo.
I love the striped Hendrik though! He's cute and aloof and I love the colours! Not long until Christmas, a few more to go!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Lady Hector Giraffe - I'll call Her Harriot. Oh and the Bibs

I made this today for a friends new baby. I've named her Harriot. She is from a pattern in the book Softies to make Hector the Giraffe. You can see more of the Hectors other people have created with a quick google search theres tonnes of them! I just need to starch her antenna  to make them stand up! 

I also made her new bub some bibs using a pattern from Chickpea Sewing Studio and started some for my sisters imminent End of January arrival - TWINS! The bibs take no time at all to make up and are backed with flannelette (See the backs on the side of the image above) to soak up the inevitable drool;)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Placemats for Mum

This week I made 6 heatproof place mats for Mum, they are heat proof because mum and dad like to heat their plates to keep the food warm - which is a great idea, if you don't use vinyl placemats, or have a laminated table, which they do. These took an awfully long time to make. But they are done now after a few sleepless nights, all they need is a good iron. I think they turned out pretty good! Making these frustrated the heck out of me though. Theres probably heaps of things I have learnt from this frustration, here's a few.
  1. Don't buy rotary cutters whose brand you don't know - and don't believe the sales people when they don't have the one you want, but they say "this ones just as good!!" They aren't just as good - 6 cuts til the rotten thing went blunt in one part of the circular blade and then on made weird perforations and tore instead of cut. I wasted a whole heap of material thinking I was doing something wrong (I'd not used a rotary cutter before now) - Sorry I wont  say which brand in case I get sued.
  2. Do buy Olfa Rotary cutters, they are awesome. Thankgod, after getting a refund for the first rotary cutter, that the other store had Olfa rotary cutters, which is a brand I knew from the snap-off blade cutters I'd used for paper Arts and crafts over the years.
  3. Pins are sharp and they hurt. And the bigger they are the worse they hurt, thanks quilters pins! Have bandaids for the bad ones and the ones that get up under your finger nail, but nothing can prepare you for a big-arse scratch to the boob, through your clothes.
  4. I hate unpicking. - That's it..theres no advice..theres nothing that makes unpicking better.
  5. Probably should have thought about the mitred corners requiring a seam allowance when i measured and cut stuff..oh well they are all a bit smaller time.
  6. It's time to go to bed when: You can't cut straight, you scratch your boob, need to unpick and need to account for your own miss-measurements and theres no one else awake in the house to blame.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Taa Daa! Three Cosmonaut Devils

I've called them Leonid (Blue), Ivan (Red) and Uri (Green). Each has a different personality (and expression). They took about an hour and half each to cut out sew up and stuff. Their little hands are the hardest to get the stuffing to stay into while you stuff the rest! One wonders how they scratch themselves.
The cosmonaut pattern came from the book Softies.
I have 7 nephews and nieces and two more on the way, the Cosmonaut Devils are for one of my gorgeous nephews, LilB. I wrote him a space adventure story to go with them. It is making me laugh as I illustrate it today, I hope he likes it!
It is however taking ages as I'm using Adobe Illustrator and it's all a bit slow on the Macbook I have. The Macbook...He's lovely for carrying around school! I have him plugged into the monitor at home for working without eye damage, but I hope the lovely big 27" iMac comes soon with all it's power and enormous screen! He's on order, but he won't make it here by Christmas. He'll be a new year present instead!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Attempts at a handmade Christmas...mostly!

Well this year, I decided to make Christmas Presents. In recent times I had made some things for Mirabel that turned out well, I'd bought a brand new sewing machine, Converted the spare room into Sewing World - (where men fear to tread) my head was exploding with ideas and I had a massive fabric stash, Why not!? I said! I bought the extra supplies I needed and many many other things I didn't, but..who can resist anything in those fabric stores.
But...even as I was setting back towards home...Doubts crept in...What if the stuff I think is cute/cool/good really isn't. What if they think handmade is stingy? What if my stitching isn't perfect. Will they notice if I make a mistake!? What will I do if it doesn't work out!?
Making things for other people takes a whole lot of effort and a whole lot of time and a whole lot of weird apprehension. When it's for yourself you don't feel nervous about it, but for other people it brings on anxiety!
I had waited until the last day of work for the school year (Yesterday) before starting to sew for Christmas. The theory was then I could work on each one uninterrupted...was this a mistake!? Should I have started weeks ago...Probably! That only leaves me..hmmm 9 days! But hell, 9 days of sewing, with no work sounds like pure heaven at this point in the year! Wouldn't it be easier just to go buy some stuff someone said.... When I looked at the mall and all the thousands of people I'd have to fight and/or wait in line with just to buy stuff I still wouldn't be sure anyone actually wanted for 10 times the price it should be...I heard a big resounding NO! leap from my mouth...And just wouldn't be as fun.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Wow Where did all the time go!

Well I sent some Softies off to Meet Me At Mike's to help with the toy drive for Mirabel. In the big rush, I forgot to take photos before I sent them. Here are some photos someone else has taken in the shop window that I pieced together showing some of the ones I made.

Go take a look at some of the fabulous Softies created by very talented and wonderful people and donated to Mirabel: