Sunday, July 30

bits and pieces

This is a catch up post because it hasn't been the best week - sort of up, down, organised chaos. a bit like I am at the moment, all over the place!.
1. Shannon & I managed to get organised for Morphe 2 - now just have some quite a bit of sewing to do!

2. Finished some requests - a few still to go....

3. Visited the local Japanese supermarket just discovered thanks to Mrs Davey

4. Managed some thrifting - scored a cute little clock like I have wanted for ages

R thinks the clock is "too damn loud" and has threatened throwing and buckets of water.
Think clock will have to be relocated :(

5. Received my Rowan exchange gift - a brightly coloured, felted tea cosy and great goodies

Thanks Lis - she writes about making the tea cosy here

6. Also received a wonderful email from my exchangee which made me smile -
"Firstly I was secretly hoping for socks and you have chosen my favourite colour. For only your second attempt amazing, now I will have to get round to trying socks myself.I have been padding about this morning with them even although we have an unheard of heatwave here"

7. Picked Mum and Dad up from the airport for their little stay with us.

8. Went to sewing group - much needed therapy - thanks girls.

9. My favourite piece of art work arrived from Irisz

She is so talented - look at the packaging which I have put on display too.

10. Finally finished this post - hallelujah!

Thursday, July 27

Illustration Friday - Opposites

just a quick sketch this week

a day at kinder for Miss L, lead pencil

Tuesday, July 25

Bookshelf Tuesday - the lite version

Well I am still recovering from my sensory wool feast from the weekend, desperately trying to catch-up with overdue projects and R is working interstate this week. Why am I telling you all this? - these are some of my excuses for why Bookshelf Tuesday, will only feature one book this week. In my defence it is a pretty good book I am serving up!

blogger not cooperating so apologise there are no photos yet

Happy Times Together by Jo England. ISBN 1740663624

"Happy Times Together is not about spending a lot of money, it's about spending quality time." This is what Jo England wants people to get out of this book. She is orignally an Aussie girl from Sydney, but now lives in Kuala Lumpur.
I really love this book not only for the great ideas it provides, but also the lovely recipes. Apple cinnamon spirals, chocolate mousse cones, pesto twist pasta, watermelon whizz are just some of the delectable goodies that can be made with your kids - each recipe serves 4 and is designed for kids to make themselves with parent assistance. There are 12 themes in the book, and each theme has activity ideas, recipies, party ideas and lots of wonderful photos. The 12 themes with an example of the acitivies are listed next:
Tropical Spa - henna tattoos, fingernail painting, facials.
Superheros - obstacle course, card cities, awards cermony
Gardening - hairy caterpillars, portable gardens, pebble bugs
Water Play - dog wash, water chimes, water fountains
Alphabet Play - alphabet dance, letter bingo, alphabet crafts
Money Play - shops, penny hunt, collecting collectibles
High Tea - garden scultptures, memory game, paper fortune teller
Photography - mini monsters, man-made & natural, narrow & wide
Outerspace - moon magnifier, solar system, space fallout hunt
Camping - hug a tree, scary stories, star gazing, map making
Beach Play - secret tunnels, beach hooplea, send a wish
Yoga - resting butterfly, brave warriors, soaring eagle

It is a handy guide for 12 birthday party themes, with the recipes provided, suggestions for the party bag, and a guide for the party agenda. What more could you ask for?!

Miss L and I have scheduled to make the portable garden this Friday in her play wheelbarrow. What fun!

Sunday, July 23

counting sheep

well, really counting balls of wool! The Sheep & Wool Show at Bendigo was an amazing sensory overload. It was just one shed after another full of hand dyed, hand spun, home grown, unusual combinations, interesting imports. I'm beginning to feel tired again just thinking about it - yet it was one of the best days I've had out for a while!

We stopped on the way to Bendigo at the lovely town of Malmsbury where the appropriate tea and scones was had. Good fortification for a days wool shopping - there really was no time to stop for food once we were there. So, it was really a great ending to the day, to stop there once again that day for a homeward bound takeaway tea and food delicacies.

Apart from the awesome selection of yarn for sale, there was also everything else you could think of that should be at a sheep and wool show - books, knitting displays, nanna's spinning, sheep (obviously!), sheep dog displays, sheep farming machinery (well it was listed as there, we didn't actually get to that bit!) and fashion parades! I think next year, I may have to plan an overnight stay so I can really see everything. Now, for what I came home with;
From clockwise from top left: Himalayan silk, ceramic bird beads, vintage yarn and buttons, handspun oddments, japanese fabric crochet hook holder & metallic threads, alpaca hand dyed and spun hanks.

Other purchases included the wonderful woven cane & fabric basket, which was the first purchase for the day - very handy! Vintage spools of linen & cotton thread, wool dyes (no picture), and, a large bag of premium Australian lavender (no picture) which has made our living area smell so lovely I haven't been able to put it away yet.

If you ever get the chance make the effort to get to this wool show - it will not let you down.

Just got a phone call from the Threads & More stall and I was their daily winner yesterday! I get to choose $65 of products.... hmm... more Himalayan silk or some Noro yarn, or maybe some opal sock wool.... oh the choices.

Friday, July 21

WIP shambles

What a shambles! Even my Illustration Friday - Sacrifice is a work in progress today. I've always said I like to have several different projects on the go at once. I'm not very good at the make one thing a zillion times thing. You should have seen the sheer determination it took to make 15 little hand bags for Miss L's last birthday - 15 of the things - phew! I think it could have been the exact moment I realised that mass more than one production is just not me. So, if you have a new tutorial throw it my way, I like to start something new. You, can stop grimacing now Mum!! :)

Thursday, July 20

I really must

thank a lot of people. I really must. I have been quite remiss in acknowledging some of the wonderful things the postman has brought to our house recently. There has been a bit of talk in the crafty blog land about the etiquette of swaps, see here for example. I think it is nice to post about gifts and swaps, just simply to acknowledge and say thank you to the giver. I will try to keep it as brief as possible.

Amanda and I traded in a recent Open Yours swap, and decided to extend the mag swap to ourselves too. Amanda sent some lovely fabric and a great bag she made, some chocolate that went long ago, as well as two magazines - one (Adorn) which went to my sister for her birthday. The photo also shows some wonderful goodies including fabulous papers that Jessica sent, with the gorgeous little shadowbox. This was in exchange for a trio of squirrels. (If you check out her site, everything will become much clearer!) Thank you so much Amanda and Jessica - just love everything.

Also my One Skein Secret Pal, sent this wonderful skein of Noro, which is fabulous colours and I can't yet decide which project to use it for.
Thank you whoever you are Secret Pal!

Then a quick thank you to the two people who made the first purchases from the whizzme shop - such a boost when someone actually wants what you make.

I have also received my Rowan exchange gift, and a beautiful work of art from Irisz, but unfortunately have been unable to take photos yet. I did manage to finally post my own gift to my rowan exchangee. The second pair of socks I have knitted which I was really happy with so have started my third pair for me, and a hot water bottle cover, slightly felted. The socks are made with Debbie Bliss DK merino and the bottle cover with an Australian merino wool that I long ago lost the band for. I also included two skeins of handdyed and handspun silk/linen from the Victoria Hand Spinners & Weavers Guild.

Finally, I must also thank two of my local stores - one for having a HUGE sale, and one for such delightful service & products. Mum, you may want to look away now, because the photos below may just distress you!!

Amitie, a wonderful patchwork store near me, had a wonderful two day sale (and I have to admit, I went both days!!) But just look at all the gorgeous fabric I came home with. I spent Saturday afternoon having a lovely time, sorting & pressing and putting all the fabrics in with my stash. The stash is now in two parts, as the fabric cupboard is so full I cannot squish anymore into it, lucky we have that guest room! The second store, Little House, sells beautiful linen for baby and children's rooms. While browsing nearby for my sister's birthday present I discovered they also now sell fabric. The lady inside was so welcoming and wonderful to deal with that I know I will head back soon. For $10 I got a wonderful bag of 'scraps' that is now a tempting pile of fabric. I felt like a little kid who found the lolly jar I was so excited unpacking the bag! (I know I really need to get out more!!)

I am off to the Sheep & Wool show on Saturday with a kindred textile spirit, to add to my other stash - yarn of course!! Lucky that tax check arrived....

Tuesday, July 18

Bookshelf Tuesday - more eye candy

Well last Tuesday's book selection was very popular so I have decided to tease show you more of the wonderful books available from Ryland, Peters & Small.

on display: displaying your treasures with style by Lesely Dilcock. ISBN 1841722758

It really is what it reports to be - a great guide to show how to put together eyecatching displays of your treasures. And like last week's books, there is once again a load of scrumptious photos to inspire. This book is in two sections (the publishers seem to like that!). The first talks about 'What to Display', such as fashion, jewellery, textiles, tools, ceramics etc., and the second section provides the 'How to Display' recipe's. Yes, there is more than one way to display! Still life, ceilings, windows, floors, furniture etc. The great thing about RPS books is most certainly the pictures - it is what tempts you with the cover, and woos you inside. All their books have stunning photography and great style. But to be fair there is substance to those words scattered between. It is why I have these books next to my favourite chair and constantly browse. Once again, it was hard to choose which pictures to share.

vintage fabric style by Lucinda Ganderton and Rose Hammick. ISBN 1841724165.
I really like Lucinda Ganderton's books, and you will see the next book reviewed is also one of hers. Catherine Gratwicke is the photographer for this book, and for the previous book on display. I think she takes gorgeous photo's so I am now on the lookout for more of her books too.
Just to confound my earlier statement, this book has 3 main sections: hunting & gathering; living with vintage fabric; celebrating & decorating. This book's aim is to show you how to breathe new life into highly prized finds. Although not all the projects provided are something that I long to make, I think it does give a wonderful insight into using textiles in ordinary homes. Because let's face it, not all of us have a home that is dripping with the Vogue, Country Style or Architecture magazine look. Some of us(me) prefer the homely, lived in quality! Last year, my father told me that sitting in our lounge room was like being in a second hand collectables store - God bless him! I was very pleased. Maybe, there should be a book on how this can be achieved?! Anyway, back to Vintage Fabric Style... The projects included are; Patchwork woolen pillow, Damask duvet cover, Hankerchief curtain, Baby quilt, Apron and a Floral drawstring bag. Like in Childhood Treasures reviewed last week, this book also contains little suggestions that provide fodder for other projects - "In a reworking of an old-favourite, wool hot-water bottle covers have been recycled from knitted sweaters and are just perfect for snuggling up to on a cold winter's night"> Just off to shrink my cardi after this post is done!!

pillows & throws by Lucinda Ganderton and Lucy Berridge. ISBN184172476
Okay so I am going to totally deluge with Lucinda Ganderton goodness! So I suggest if you didn't think much of the last book, then you might want to check back here tomorrow! Otherwise, read on for more projects. Although the back cover claims there are "clever ideas for hundreds of pillows and throws" in actual fact there are only 15 projects with instructions given. I have yet to add up all the hintful text contained by side the photos, so maybe? I'll have to get back to you on that one. Anyway, the projects included are; Linen throw, Sugared almond bolster, Ethereal throw, Wool & silk throw, Mattress cushion, striped & piped pillow, Tie-on cushion cover, Luxurious patchwork pillow, Oxford pillowcases with embroidery, Giant patchwork throw, Eyelet pillowcases, Bejeweled cushion, Transfer print pillow, Pyramid beanbags and Gingham quilt. I might have to admit that as yet I haven't made any of these, but quite a few on the to-do list! I think I just love looking at all the red & white textiles found within this book's pages - have I not mentioned my slight addiction love of red & white?!

Now, where is that cardi?

Monday, July 17

owning whizzme craftiness

Finally the shop is up! Only a few things on offer at the moment but plenty to come. Please let me know what you think - feedback always welcome. The link to the shop is over there

or just go here.
P.s. aussie readers please note that prices on etsy are in US dollars...

Saturday, July 15

Work Bag Tutorial

This tutorial is a step by step of how to make a lined Work Bag with or without a drawstring closure. This is also my entry for this month's whiplash competition.

What you will need for the bag

3 different pieces of fabric for outside of bag - 26 cm wide x 30 cm long
1 piece of fabric for bag lining - 26 cm x 76 cm long
2 pieces of fabric for handles - 5 cm x 40 cm long OR 2 pieces of ribbon for handles
(optional: 2 pieces of ribbon 45 cm long for drawstring)

Step 1

Cut fabric 2 and fabric 3 in half - these will be the middle and top tiers on either side of the bag.

Step 2

Sew fabric 2 pieces to either side of fabric 1.

Step 3

Sew fabric 3 pieces to fabric 2.

Step 4

Fold in 1cm hem for bag top and sew place.

Step 5 (If you are making your fabric handles)

Fold fabric in halfway lengthwise with RS together and sew in place.
Turn fabric RS through and press.

Step 6

Sew handles (fabric or ribbon) to bag top. Place 7 cm in from side on WS of fabric. Pull threads to WS and secure.

Step 7

With RS together sew bag seams. Match up tier seams on side. Trim corners.

Step 8

With RS facing, sew lining fabric side seams. Trim corners and turn RS out. Press.

Step 9

Turn a 1 cm seam inside top of lining.

Place outer bag inside bag lining as per diagram. Pin bag lining to outer bag at stitching line. Hand sew in place.

Step 10

Turn bag RS out and Press. You may wish to leave the bag as is.
However, the following instructions will add a drawstring closure if you desire.

Step 11

Sew two lines of stitching around bag, approximately 5 cm from top of bag. Open side seams between stitching. Thread one piece of ribbon through each side of bag double stitching. Knot ribbon ends.

Step 12

Your finished bag.