Tuesday, November 30, 2010

November Challenge Complete!

This Months 12 Months 12 Challenges November Challenge from Carolyn over at My Favourite was to create something Christmassy.
November Challenge completed! but only just scraping in in time!!
This afternoon I took a break from the Feliz dresses and stitched up a little something for my husband.
Apparently I NEVER make him anything, so now he can't say that anymore..but really..how hard is it to make stuff for guys in general anyway!
I had hidden away in my stash for a couple of years, a Christmas stocking panel that was in the remnants bin at Spotlight for months on end, and I finally took it home for $2.
I added the extra white length at the top from the extra fabric around it on the panel so that I could chain stitch his name on it. It's the first time I've done any chain stitch on anything! so I'm glad it worked out. I also created a facing for the top section and a hangy loop from the fabric remaining from the panel after I cut the two prints out.
Garry loves it! but now I have to find heaps of stuff to fill it, it's enormous!
So pop on over to My Favourite and check out what the others doing the 12 challenges have made this month.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Whoops I almost missed it Giveaway!!

Whoops I missed it! I'm a little late, but thats not unusual;) I knew it was sometime around now, but last night I actually checked and...
One year and a few hours ago I started this little blog.
To celebrate I believe it is customary to give stuff away!

GIVEAWAY! -closed 4/11/10 drawing @ 3pm
You can enter multiple times all you have to do is:
1. Follow me and leave a comment on this giveaway post letting me know. (1 entry)
2. Blog about this giveaway on your own blog and leave the link in a comment here letting me know. (1 entry)
3. Add this blog to your blogroll and leave the link to your blog in a comment here letting me know. (1 entry)
Check back here next Saturday to see if you have won.
Bag Giveaway!!!
I sewed these up late last night and finished them off this morning so that I could give something away in celebration of a year.
One fairly large shopping bag and a matching little zippy pouch.
Zippy pouch with strap and Vintage Metal zipper
The jeans zip I used for the zippy pouch is vintage, it was unused and still in it's cardboard wrapper.
I have lined them both in a newly purchased navy blue poplin and used a scrap of ricrac I had left over, but other than that they are vintage, vintage vintage!

I have no idea exactly how vintage this paisley fabric is. But at best guess I do recall in the 70's Mum had made 3 large cushions from it. The bag and pouch are made from the unused fabric left over from making those cushions. Mum made the cushions for the back seat of the ancient Holden which had blue vinyl seats. The seats got superheated in summer and I remember if your leg slipped off the edge of the cushion the vinyl seat burned!! Now I look at it I cannot imagine this fabric going too well with an azure blue vinyl, car interior but, well there ya go! I love it's colours! and it's vintageness screams out to me and I wish there was more of it!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

My Creative Space

My creative space today began with making ruffles for feliz dresses and took an unexpected twist with a last minute call into work.
Buttermilk muffins in the making
Soooo, my creative space today is a school kitchen surrounded by young creative minds, hungry for learning, and of course muffins;)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I've entered a Lovely beaded giveaway

A lovely lady playing 20 questions along with Meet Me at Mikes came along and commented on my 20 questions blog post from the other day and when I went along to look at Christines blog Crafty Geordi, I saw she was giving away some wooden beaded loveliness.
Pic from Christines blog Crafty Geordi
Now while I hope to win and have the wooden beaded loveliness all for myself, you should all pop along and post something, and follow her and maybe you could make a new friend and win some wooden beaded loveliness for yourself.

Once I had a secret love

Well OK since I'm blogging about it, it's not at all secret! but it is very much love.
I just adore a tiny little baby bootie, I mean really, who can resist anything the size of tiny human feet!...but these one's in particular make me...wistfully, longingly sigh. Sometimes I pick one up just to touch it's tiny tininess!
I bought the crochet pattern from hookcandy.com and I really think everyone should go buy a pattern from there, they are so very cute!

My husbands cousin is expecting a bub next year. She's a great friend as well as a cousin. She was the first person we told when we got engaged, (other than our mum's). She was our bridesmaid when we were married. Despite being too ill to make it down here, she told us early that she was  in order for us to have something happy to think about the day of mum's funeral. Since then I have been wanting to make something special to send her for her bub and now that life has calmed down a bit, I've been practicing quite a lot every night to get them right. One bootie always ends up bigger than the other!!! despite using stitch counters and counting and re-counting the stitches. It must be the tension I guess, maybe I'm tense about getting a  pair hehe.
I hear it is a common problem for beginners though to try to get two booties the same! These blue and chocolate ones are the first completed pair the same size YAY!
We don't know if she is having a boy or a girl yet so I am working on booties in combo's of chocolate, white or cream with lavender, yellow, orange, green, or pink and then she can keep the ones she wants and pass any she doesn't need to another mum and bub. I'm sure she will know lot's of mums with new bubs soon enough.


Monday, November 22, 2010

I'm a Crocheter of Christmas Balls too

Well the Christmas Craziness has hit!
The air con is making clunkin noises so it wont be on today despite the sun broiling down on my very hot house and all the fans trying their hardest - I sit sweltering beneath yarn.
In preparation for Christmas tree decorating day and egged on by all the bloggers crocheting baubles, I bought a pack of 12 pretty cheap sparkly, shiny balls and I crocheted them. They rock! Crochet christmas baubles! YAY!
The first parts really easy but the pulling it over the ball is tricky on the glittery ones that the yarn likes to stick to, and on the shiny ones the top part gets slippery when you try to pull it tight. Today I often had balls launching, or squirming free of my hands, catapulting my hook to the floor!
It's a really quick little Christmassy task to do though. I completed 9 working on them on and off through the day. The other 3 from the 12 pack were not normal balls, they were spirally decorative cut-out and open inside, I wasn't going to use them, but in the end I thought they should have something handmade done to them so I worked 2 strings of CH30 wrapped around the bauble and joined at the top with slip stitches around the silver hanging loop thing.

Thanks ever so much to Pip from Meet Me at Mikes for creating the fab crochet bauble tutorial and to all the other bloggers I've been reading about lately that have been crocheting their own shiny balls this month too.

Friday, November 19, 2010

YAY I finished it

It took a while, I finished it, after going back and forth to it, while doing other things. It started out as this!
I tried really hard to get the stripeyness of the pattern to match up when I was cutting it out. But when it came to actually putting it together, it just didn't line up! grr!
This is it all finished! After having unpicked the lining, the zip and the hem multiple times, I am relieved it is over and it didn't get thrown into the UFO pile! It was supposed to be a quick project, but ended up dragging!
Despite it not lining up I think it came up quite nicely.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

20 Questions (Meet Me At Mikes)

20 Questions!
I'm playing along with the others over at Meet Me At Mikes, come on play along too...
The Questions:
1. Sweet or Savoury?
2. Dresses or Jeans?
3. House or Apartment?
4. Shop Online or Offline?
5. DVDs or Downloads?
6. Cocktails or Juice?
7. Chocolate or Strawberry?
8. Laptop or PC?
9. Magazines or Newspapers?
10. Facebook or Twitter?
11. CDs or MP3s?
12. Kids or Pets?
13. Macaron or Cupcakes?
14. Walk or Run?
15. Breakfast in Bed or Breakfast Out?
16. Market or Supermarket?
17. Sourdough or Grainy?
18. Heels or Flats?
19. Late nights or Not?
20. Coffee or Tea?
My Answers:
1. Sweet or Savoury? absolutely savoury I'd take salty, spicy herby flavours any day over sweet.
2. Dresses or Jeans? oh definitely jeans, although I do like to wear dresses over jeans on occasions.
3. House or Apartment? I so desperately want a little house all of our own, with aloofly big yard and some flowers.
4. Shop Online or Offline? Online! I totally hate shopping in person, as a rule, I avoid it. But give me a website and I will go to town!
5. DVDs or Downloads? We buy HEAPS of DVD's because I love to have the covers and boxed sets.
6. Cocktails or Juice? Juice, my drinking days ended on my infamous 30th birthday party(Oh how life has changed since my 20's)
7. Chocolate or Strawberry? BOTH! Fresh strawberries without question, but fake strawberry flavouring is bad. and chocolate cures everything.
8. Laptop or PC? iPad though I do love my enormous iMac for photo editing and creating stuff.
9. Magazines or Newspapers? Magazines, news i get off the net, magazines are fun.
10. Facebook or Twitter? I heart twitter!
11. CDs or MP3s? I do love the itunes music store! I'm so torn though because I love album art, but plastic CD covers annoy me! All our music ends up on our iphones/ipads. Plus we subscribe to uber amounts of podcasts and webcasts.
12. Kids or Pets? Would love some of both once we have a house.
13. Macaron or Cupcakes? Neither - Not a real cake & biscuit person really. I'd prefer a cracker.
14. Walk or Run? Walk. Why would I ever be in that much of a hurry ;)
15. Breakfast in Bed or Breakfast Out? Oh out! definitely out. who wants to eat in bed...crazy people...the thought of sitting at a lovely cafe on a cool morning makes me smile and someone else does the dishes.
16. Market or Supermarket? I love to wander around markets, so for the love I say market, in reality, I make lists, and the food magically appears at my house (my husband shops on his way home from work), because I hate supermarket shopping.
17. Sourdough or Grainy? Both - For the love of sourdough bread! YUMMO! though our everyday bread is healthy grainy.
18. Heels or Flats? Flats. One hour in heels now and I've had enough! (again...Oh how life has changed since my 20's)
19. Late nights or Not? I love the mornings now, I am much more productive, and I get tired by 10pm (again…Oh how life has changed since my 20's when I don't think I ever slept.)
20. Coffee or Tea? Totally addicted to Coffee and will never give it up! I can only drink tea when I am really sick, then my body craves it.
...and here's the latest little bunny I made to send down to Meet Me At Mikes for Softies for Mirabel.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Welcome to forgetfulville, population I forgot...

Sometimes I'm in a focussed rush of typing and blogging and pressing publish in moments, other times the post sits for days half done and i change it fifty times before i hit publish.
In my haste the other day to finally hit publish on a post that had been sitting there half done for several days, cursor blinking at me, goading me - I forgot to upload pics of the doll clothes I was talking about, thanks to a comment from Hilary over at Quilary for reminding me the pics weren't actually on the post.
Lucky they weren't deleted because I could have sworn I uploaded them to iphoto already, but hadn't! here they are, finally off the camera today.
Undies and head scarf. Undies from scraps of 80's knit fabric left over from a t-shirt mum once made me. Head scarf from a scrap of taffeta lining, I hemmed it using an embroidered daisy stitch from the machine and used some bias binding I had made that was leftover from another project. All fabrics from mum originally.
A collared crop top using some left over striped poplin that originally was on the back of the shelves in my sewing room.. I used a band of this for the elastic casing on the skirt. The floral is from mum, it was a small remnant of unknown light-weight synthetic fabric. You can also see her shoes, white felt, with an olive green rose bow attached.
A t-shirt made from scraps of 80's knit fabric left over from a t-shirt mum once made me. Shorts made from some heavy weight fabric, a bit like denim, but chunkier weave. Another scrap piece from mums house, I used it originally to make myself a backpack in the early 90's while I was still at school. the backpack was so heavy in itself, it wasn't much good for carrying things but it was handy for storing a sleeping bag that lost it's bag. I still have it somewhere.
Dress and bag. The orange fabric was a left over rom when Mum had made kitchen curtains that were in our house throughout the 70's-80's. Mum had always thought she would make the left over square into a matching tablecloth, but with the growth in the size of the family, they bought a bigger table, and the square wasn't big enough for the new table. I had used this fabric earlier this year to make some clothes for the Vietnam orphans, this is the last piece left, except for some bias I had made. The bag is a small piece of white striped fabric also from mum, lined with the orange which is also used for the straps.

Here is a bit closer look at the dress. The lace on it even came from mum, just enough left on a card for this dress. So did the white hair ribbons, already cut into appropriate lengths with the ends neatly trimmed into points, I wonder what she was going to use them for...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

My creative space

I wasn't even going to participate in My creative space today- I've been cursed with a very swollen sprained ankle from tripping over the vacuum cleaner (therefore, cleaning should never be attempted ever again.) and instead of doing other things, (like cleaning) I have been knitting while catching the occasional cool breeze through the window. Now that I have a shape that resembles a bunny I'm stitching him up.
He's all pastelly colours. This little fella is destined to join the other little Softies I have made to send down to Meet Me at Mike's to be donated for Softies for Mirabel 2010.

I'll have you know that Thursdays are my least creative, but most inspired day! Simply because as soon as Kirsty over at Kootoyoo posts My creative space each Thursday (and it so quickly fills up with links), I go off into blogland never to return!
Well OK, not never...just...some time later...after refreshing Kootoyoo over n' over, It's like a creative, inspiring drug! There's so many websites to look at and everyone is so very creative and inspiring and influential so go on, take a look.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The doll she is completed.

So this year I am attempting a completely handmade Christmas. But I assume that as time runs out to Christmas, "completely" will become somewhat or mostly ;)
This will be our first Christmas without Mum and that's pretty awful. I hope by making something handmade from the many patterns, fabric, laces, ribbons, yarn and what-not that came from Mum, that everyone will have something from Mum this christmas.

I made this doll for my niece. It started out as a UFO from a year ago. I had got this far, and then buried it in a box, and several bags of UFO's. I found all it's pieces while tidying up and organising my sewing room!
I think the most time consuming thing about making it was the stitching around the thumbs. Each time I went to stuff it, it split. I had to sew it a number of times. This fabric wasn't the best choice. It frayed easily. I also stuffed up the order of things. Then I wouldn't have ended up in this turning out mess!
But eventually she came good, but the nightmare of stitching on the head was, well, ahead...
I avoided that job for such a long time! and in the end I just went for it, and it really stitched up in no time..what was I so afraid of!?!
By Friday she was ready for the fun part! I used this boucle style yarn from a spotlight sale for her hair. First the fringe, I measured the length i wanted, then doubled it (it helps to wind it around and around a piece of stiff card) then i used some kitchen silicon paper strips wrapped around the yarn and used the sewing machine to sew right down the middle of the yarn. The paper holds the yarn flat but together and it stops the sewing machine eating the yarn. It also tears off really easily around the stitches. I left it on to pin place it, then ripped off the paper and hand stitched each piece of yarn to her head along the same line as the sewing machine stitch. Then you flip the back sections of yarn forward over the front section and no stitches can be seen.
We ended up getting this freezing cold rain shower Friday, that turned into a really cold night. What better to do than pull out Buffy the Vampire Slayer boxed set and stitch on the rest of the hair. You follow the same procedure as with the fringe, but down the centre of the head, a bit like a crazy mohawk. The Boucle yarn hides any stitches. Then I selected every second or  so strands of the yarn and stitched them further down the head about ear level (if she had ears) and stitched them down. This way, even when my niece decides to un-braid the hair, the doll head will still be covered and not mohawked! but some of her lovely long hair will still free.
So this is what she looked like finished. 
She's very cute, I'd quite like to keep her, awww but my niece will love her! If I were to make her again, (which I will have to as I had cut out 4 of these at once) I would alter the thumbs to make them easier to sew. Also the soles of her feet were too big for her leg parts, so they would need to be altered. I would also change the face or remove the darts in the chin area, to me they just look wrinkly. 
What every doll needs is clothing. So this week so far, I have stitched up a dress, some shorts, top, skirt, handbag, shoes undies and a head scarf!

Now I'm exhausted and she is being wrapped up for christmas! Yay! one down, 20 more to go!

Also some exciting packages came yesterday that made me almost squeal and be overly, overly excitable when saying thank you at the delivery man, as he handed them over.... I believe he now feels that I am a weirdo...but never-the-less, One package came from olivia in Germany as part of a Swap-bot.com swap of craft leftovers.
It was an envelope filled with, yarn, stickers, knitting needles, an ornament kit, tape, beads, a stamp, pieces of fabric and a lovely postcard.
The second package was an order I placed ages ago from Bendigo Woolen Mills. They've been super-busy with a huge sale on.
It's 100% cotton, it's 4 ply, (very very thin and a bit scary for me) as I am a beginner knitter. I bought it to knit up some stuff for Garry's cousin who is having a baby in march. It's so very cute and pretty colours too.
I had not knitted rib before last night, I was learning and making heaps of mistakes, so last nights attempt was very very poor! today I will have to pull it all back and start again. The great thing about it is that it is not wool, and so it is not so icky and fluffy and warm to knit in this hot muggy weather we've been having the past couple of days.
I was so excited I started knitting it straight away, despite having not finished heaps of other things - I know I know!!
The pattern came form mums knitting stash, I photocopied it to keep the original nice. It is from New Idea magazine, March 1976 just a few months before I was born!! I don't know if Mum ever knitted it...I hope so! I am making this first one striped, because I love little stripes. It also means I can use all the colours at once!
That's what I've been up to:)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

It's a relief to be free of "Stuff"

If you will recall from a previous post, or my tweets over the past few days, I have just spent 5 days sorting through all the "stuff" that accumulated in my sewing room. I had felt like I was trapped by it, it was all closing in on me. It was oppressive. I threw some out, sent some away, gave some to charity, organised and categorised, found a place for it all, but it was hard. I felt so often over the past 5 days an emotional connection to the "stuff"- so much of the fabric and patterns came from my Mum. But, I was able to force myself to get rid of much of the "stuff" that I really will never use, not in a million years. It is with some huge relief, (like a weight lifted off) that I can now take photos of my sewing room to share, the way that it is today without embarrassment.
Clear benchtop! Organised shelves with everything in a place of it's own...who's room is this..surely not mine.
My scissors and things I use often, still in reach but out of sight tucked neatly , on top of the filing cabinet underneath the table and contained within one sewing box on the table.
It's a bad photo, but my iPad is on the closed horn cabinet, in a heavy wrought iron plate holder from spotlight so I can watch/listen to the podcasts when I need to, without it getting lost under fabric on my bench. Older sewing machine is neatly away inside it's horn sewing cabinet, which is actually closed for a change! Mailing boxes stacked in the corner.
Futon, cleared and can actually be sat upon! Enormous recycled white picture frame is for a project I've been working on for ages. Now it's to be hung even while it's empty, to get it off the floor, as soon as husband gets time, or I do it myself, whichever comes first;) And hopefully the item to go in it will be finished soon too.
Terribly dark photo, but in centre of window I have hung my mums doily press. Her brother made it for her in the 3rd grade. I think it is too pretty to put away in the cupboard. It's made using a hot wire to burn a pattern into the timber, then stained in different colours on the flower petals. It was made in 1931.
Here is a closer photo of it, so you can better see the detail. It's a little bowed from being pressed around so many doilies over the years, and it's ties are odd. I vaguely remember when I was a small child, some dark leather strapping being in it instead of the ribbon and apron tie thats in it now!
See look at all that space on the bench to cut things out!
All my fabric is organised into categories and folded neatly to fit properly into each draw. I cut a piece of stiff plastic from and old folder divider into the exact size to fit the fabric into the draw height and width. Then I folded each piece of fabric to fit the plastic. It made it heaps easier than guessing the size for each fold. On top I have small and large scraps of fabric separated into 2 clear buckets ($2 each from sams warehouse) And baskets that might one day be useful again.
My unfinished objects and works in progress are all in individual bags in one box.
The mending and some pants that need shortening are in this flexible bucket from Bunnings. There's a lot to do in there.
I never thought I would get one of these, but I did. I bought a Dymo labeller from Officeworks. I went crazy with the labelling, but it helps SO much when organising, especially the drawers and containers.

On the weekend mid-cleanup, I left this Lil dude in a covering his eyes, sad, don't look pose...
My husband snuck in there and changed him to a...doing a jig pose! 
hehehe thanks for the giggle!
The sewing room I will always be a work in progress. I will always have to fight the urge to leave things out, or sort it later. I will always have to fight the tendency to start a new project before finishing the many that came before it. But at least, for today anyway, I can feel what it feels like to have a win.