Friday, August 31

a pattern review of sorts

I have a back log of posts to share, so instead of swamping you with information I have resolved to keep it to single bite-sized reading. I'm nice like that :)

I recently purchased 'simple gifts to stitch by Jocelyn Worrall'. I had seen it reviewed somewhere but for the life of me can't remember which blog it was (if I find it, I'll let you know). You may remember that I used this book recently to make my own version of the Accordion Wallet. I was impressed with how easy this came to gather, so decided to try another pattern. Next up the Tri Pocket Ticking Tote, which is featured on the front cover. As I'm trying to be a little more efficient in my craftiness I cut out two bags - one in oil cloth and one in some cool fabric from aunty cookie and that nifty measuring tape fabric. Once again the instructions were extremely easy to follow, and the bag itself was whipped up in a 1/2 hour.
Ta da, Miss L's new ballet bag.

Ballet Bag

This oilcloth was much easier to sew with than the version I used for the accordion wallet. I bought it ages ago at one of those craft fairs, and I haven't been able to find it any where else. The only issue I had with the finished bag, is it is quite deep which I didn't think would be ideal for a knitting bag. Thinking cap on (doesn't happen often) I decided that instead I would cut each of my pre-cut fabrics for the second bag in half (even the handles) and make two from one. Thrifty!!
Knitting bag
So, here is the Aunty Cookie knitting bag, which got some very positive feed back at the market. It is a great size for carrying around a project or two and some bits and bobs.

The down side - I don't like the unfinished look inside - so I have decided to line the inside of both knitting bags. It doesn't bother me so much with the oilcloth version (?!) but it really bugs me every time I open it and see all those nasty seams.

Final results - a biga - two from two for this book.
Pattern: Tri Pocket Ticking Tote
Bag One Fabric: Polka dot oilcloth
Bag Two Fabric: Aunty Cookie Knit One(now available) and American Jane Building Blocks Measure Dark (available here)

P.s. Reprodepot have the book on sale.

Wednesday, August 29

crafty japanese inspiration

japanese craft magazines

continuing with the inspiration theme from my last post, I thought I would share my latest Japanese craft books. Superbuzzy had a sale recently, and after giving so much away recently I thought I was due a spend up - any excuse really :) So for your viewing pleasure here are my latest additions.

Cotton Paint Issue 12 : see more pictures and buy here

Cotton friend Spring 2007 : buy here

Cotton & Paint Volume 27: see more pictures and buy here

pochee fall 2006 : see more pictures and buy here

Cafe Summer 2007 : see more pictures and buy here
As you can see plenty more inspiration to fill my head. But if you don't have the money to spend on Japanese craft books at the moment, here are some places you can get some free patterns. Of course the text is in Japanese but the drawings are so easy to follow that it won't matter. Have fun.
naniIRO (thanks to Purl for this link)
kitty craft (I've been using this one for over a year now)

Friday, August 24

inspiration filling my head

inspiration filling my head, originally uploaded by whizzme.

my head is bursting, it is heavy with the weight of inspiration it has absorbed this week. Wednesday I bundled up all the magazines lying around the house that I hadn't read yet. I lugged this assortment into the library with notebook, pens and scissors. Feeling like a school kid with a project to complete I sat there until I had read every single one. Phew! I emerged out into the beautiful sunshine filled day, bleary eyed and overwhelmed with ideas. My head is still reeling two days later, But, funnily enough I'm feeling more focused and a little more strategic about my crafting. I'm concentrating on a main focus for my shop endeavours, which includes some branding - you know tags, wrapping etc., quality testing with air and water and continuity. I've narrowed my yarn projects into chevron and hexagon themes. Suddenly those doctoral research skills are coming in to play again - who knew?! Wow you might think - doesn't she sound organised and focused?! It's OK, I haven't added that tag to my banner for nothing you know - I'll be back to my chaotic, procrastinating self by next week no doubt :) In the mean time while this alien life form inhabits my head I'm getting done what I can.

This weekend we are off to Hamilton to visit family, so the hexagon's a packed ready for some steady progress - I'll let you know how that goes :)

P.s. it hasn't stopped me lusting after this and this though.

Sunday, August 19


you and me both! You from reading that last mammoth post - sorry about that - too much tea that day I think!
I'm recovering from helping a very talented gal at her first market. It was a ball, but my legs are pretty tired today, and I must say the brain is functioning pretty slowly!! Of course we made lots of sales, because who wouldn't want their own Aunty Cookie masterpiece-right?! And we met lots and lots of fellow bloggers, which was quite exciting - a bonus of being an Aunty Cookie roadie! A couple days to recover and once again catch up on bloglines then I should be ready to share the latest sewing expedition with you. A bit of a pattern test run. While you wait - go check out the new flickr group for showing off aunty cookie fabric inspiration.

Wednesday, August 15

catching up

(the post could also have been link bonanza - you have been warned!)
well with the lurgy all but gone it is time for me to knuckle down and get this blog here up to date! Firstly the little holiday was a lovely break for our small family. We stayed at a cosy old house in a small little town, Stanley. The heating was on, and the fridge provided local produce for breakfast. We stopped on the way up on Friday in Beechworth to purchase more local produce for dinner - sensational. Saturday we ambled our way to Rutherglen, did some antiquing before venturing to All Saints Estate for a sumptuous lunch, wine tasting and more local produce buying. Sunday after sitting around the fire and playing games we headed up to Mt Buffalo to partake of some snow play. Miss L and I made a snow woman (very p.c.!) and R and Miss L did some tobogganing, while I watched with a comforting cup of homemade soup. It lightly snowed while we were there, which was magic. Before we knew it was Monday and time to be heading home. We did managed to stop in Beechworth so I could make some small purchases from The Ardent Alpaca,
and we could enjoy the Beechworth Bakery and Beechworth Sweet Shop. Some wine and cheese tasting stops before getting home and falling in to bed. (Holiday photos can be found here).

Now of course I had to take some crafting with me - which was fortunate for Penelope, as Miss L decided on Saturday that she needed some more layers, especially if she was going to be hitting the slopes the next day. Of course I had my trusty little case of fabrics, needle, thread, buttons, elastic and scissors - ready for just such an occasion. Miss L decided that Penelope would be most warm if she wore all her clothes, and I think it makes a lovely ensemble. I am certain Penelope does as well as she hasn't taken them off yet!

My main project however was to finish my scrappy scarf, which I started on my bestfriending weekend away. Finished. I am very happy with the result - stripey, soft, goes with anything! and just the right length.I knitted this scarf on 4 needles, size 12 (4mm) with odds and ends of 4 ply from my stash. The majority of yarn is Rowan 4 ply or from Greta's yarns. I sewed the ends closed using Kitchener stitch which provides a neat and smooth finish. I made the dimensions and length up as I went along, but I noticed the other day that Interweave Knits as a free pattern for a similar looking ribbed scarf if you wanted to make one.

With all the time spent in bed last week, I was craving some crafting time. Lucky for me the Master Chef wanted to cook all weekend, and Miss L had a friend to play. So Saturday Miss L and Miss H and I spent a few hours making softies, with an idea from this book.
Although all the text is Japanese the pictures are easy to follow, and the girls had a lot of fun designing, choosing fabric and buttons and watching their softie come to life.

Although this little craft session with the girls required quite a bit of sewing from moi there were also several hours where the girls disappeared to play their own games, leaving me like the proverbial pig in pooh!

I managed to finish up quite a few WIP's that have been sitting around for quite some time but they are for a future post and shop update coming soon. I also mucked around with another idea from the Japanese craft book used for the girls softies. The book produced a cat and mouse balancing toy made from paper and wire. I decided that it would be nice if the cat and mouse were softies - so I set to work. It works a treat, and Miss L has spent quite some time seeing what objects they will happily balance on.

Next I put together my prototype bunny for an idea I have for the shop. It has been floating around in my head for ages, so it was great to finally get this one made. Meet Pebble. She is quite a shy little bunny, and only 15 cm tall, but I am hoping that as time goes by you will get to know her well.

Lastly, I decided to try something from one of the new books I have (there are a few, and that's a whole 'nother post). Having recently treated myself to a new wallet, I wanted to make something to hold all the extra cards I seem to have that usually bulk my purse up and make it hard to close. Jocelyn Worrall supplied the answer with her Accordian Wallet from 'simple gifts to stitch'.
This pattern was very easy to follow and came together really quickly, despite the pain of sewing oil cloth. I altered the pattern slightly so that my cards are vertical and provide more pockets. Even one for my moo cards. I'm not sold on the magnetic closure yet, but I'll give it a few outings before making any judgements.
Fabrics used are oilcloth from Sew Mama Sew (that particular one isn't there) and stripes from Amitie Textiles.

Now I am going to give the tote from the front cover a go. I have some great Aunty Cookie fabric which is dying to be used. And Moonstitches has enticed me with another of those beautiful chevron scarfs so I'm winding some yarn as you read - who doesn't need another project?!

P.s. Nanna and Poppa there is some photos for you here.

Thursday, August 9

Not up to much - but I have a winner

August Favourites, originally uploaded by whizzme.

This lurgy thing is hanging around which is starting to really annoy me - begone oh dreaded lurgy! It has put a serious dent in any sort of crafty output this week too - begone I tell you, begone. However, I got Miss L today to help me choose a winner..... drum roll just one Miss L..... ok the winner is:


so send me your postal address for your surprise parcel

Thanks everyone for the birthday wishes. I enjoyed reading what people like to do on their birthday. I now have so many bloglines to catch up with it has become ridiculous. I apologise for my slowness now in visiting and emailing you all, but I am very much the turtle and not the hare at the moment. And because I am yet to upload the weekend photo's I have left you instead with some things that I am loving at the moment.

Wednesday, August 1

it's my birthday and I'll give away if I want to...

UPDATE: we are back, and had a lovely time but I have come back with a dreaded lurgy, so please bear with me while I convalesce - back soon.

Yes folks it is another year since I celebrated my fabulous birth - thanks Mum and Dad! So, far it has been a wonderful day, with breakfast and stories in bed provided by Miss L. R gave me two new books, The Passionate Shopper by Marion von Alderstein and Bags: A Lexicon of Style by Valerie Steele and Laird Sorrell. Me thinks the boy is going soft in the head, encouraging my materialistic consumption like that, but I ain't complaining!

Then a sumptuous lunch of lemon risotto and a glass of champagne followed by profiteroles covered in chocolate sauce with my girl friends. Talk about rolling out of there!

Followed by some browsing, and only a small amount of purchasing, just this, this and this, sort of a present to myself, you know!

Cards in the mail, and even a surprise present to be found in the spare room - getting sneaky in your old age Mum!!

Now Miss L and I are happily playing with her latest Felicity Wishes outfits and waiting for R to come home to cook us up a feast - something he has proven to be very good at.

I like my birthday's to go on as long as possible - must be the Leo in me. So, on Friday morning Miss L, R and myself are heading up to the Alpine Country for 3 nights. Fresh local food, frolics in the snow, and cruising the local shops. Something for everyone.

Finally, because I like to give as much as recieve I am having an early giveaway this month. Shrouded in mystery, the winner will receive a goodie bag created uniquely for them. So leave me a comment about what you like on your birthday. When we get back from our little break I will draw a winner. Good Luck - and Mary this even means you - craftiness not required!

P.s. I haven't heard from all the winners of last month's giveaway, so check below to see if you won.

P.p.s I also still have some magazines up for swapping so check here to see if you would like some.