December 20, 2009

December 19, 2009

Today I...

...slept in. YAY!

...finished this for here. Only 3 days late, and clearly not keeping up!

...played Monkey-Plunk. Our favourite.

...went to the haircutter and got the kid short back and sides.

...tried to make a wreath but failed miserably!

...started making a couple of pocket gnomes from "More Softies" for the Toy Society Christmas drop this weekend.

...demonstrated that actually I still have WAAAY too much time on my hands by making these. One of them twice (unpicking and all!). For DOGS. Someone else's dogs.

Currently cooking round three of teeny weeny mince pies and listening to Carols in the Domain! Joy!!

December 18, 2009

Nothing says Christmas like...


At our house, we have decided that "Ikea" is the Swedish god of gingerbread... This is how we spent this afternoon!

December 16, 2009

Here it comes... the REALLY silly bit of the silly season...

Although I am finally on holidays, it feels like I've hit the ground running this week... Friday night - work breakup at our house, Sunday was the first of two family Christmases we are hosting, now trying to make inroads into the mound of UFOs that is overtaking my sewing room so the next lot of rellies can sleep in there... I'm making up for six months of being snowed under, and I'm hoping to get it under control in a week... I am NOT holding my breath!!

Seems like ages ago now, but I have to comment on just what a fabulous night out the Brown Owls Christmas break up was! The company was splendid, the food was tasty (mine anyway!!), but best of all was the Kris Kringle of handmade goodness!

Further proof of the talented ladies you all are! I was lucky to get this gorgeous package from Megan - Cookies in a Jar (white choc and cranberry, no less!), hidden away in the cutest red spotty lunch sack!!! My favourite on both counts!

Oh - and our house is turning into a forest... we've been pumping pine trees out at a rate of three a night! Next year I'll start earlier and make them as Christmas cards, I think! I got the idea from

November 27, 2009

To market, to market!

Been spending the nights this week tidying up loose ends before the Goodwood Christmas Market tomorrow! I'm very excited - it's been two years since I did a market. I kinda miss it, but I also appreciate having full time work... not sure I could manage both!

So, my box is packed, I've stamped paper bags and I think I have everything we need piled by the front door! I'm really looking forward to spending the day with my lovely friends Vanessa and Linda - lots of gossiping!!!
Hope the weatherman was wrong...

And I finally finished this little guy - he's been my fall-back craft for months now...

November 14, 2009

Too early???!

I have to admit, I LOVE CHRISTMAS!!! So how could I miss the opportunity to watch the Pageant and put up our tree?! At least I waited until the manchild was home from his sleepover...
And another thing - it IS November ( he reminded me of the year we put it up in October.......)

November 10, 2009

Turns out I'm a lazy blogger...

... but I do have excuses! (I'm very good at excuses!!!) I have been focussed on getting all the loose ends wrapped up in preparation for the Goodwood Market on November 28th - it's a bit away, I know, but I haven't done a market in 12 months and I want to be VERY organised! I have made cards to put all the brooches on and thought about pricing ( the bit I dislike the most) and now have about 50ish finished, ready to sell brooches!

I have also been working very hard at my real job - yr 12 assessment time up until this Friday then yr 11 begins. I hate this time of year! On the up side - I have been inspired by one of my students who has been sewing pjs... came home full of ideas last night and whipped up a pair of shorts from a pillow case I found in the back of this mess (next holiday's project!!) -

The cotton shorts have that lovely worn feel to them that old linen gets. It reminds me of sleeping at grandma's! Now I'm trying to work out a design for a top from the other pillow case.

I have also been busy collecting bits and pieces for my latest addiction - gluing together pieces of crockery to create new treasures! I was a bit surprised when I bought Burda yesterday and found they have an article about the same thing! I like mine more though...

I upset one little old opshop lady last week. She commented that a lovely plate I bought was a Meakin, and I explained that I was going to glue things to it... she was stunned! But I did find other Meakin pieces which had been my ma's to use with it - at least I kept to a theme!!!

I have another project about to get underway - my 'Ramona was a waitress dress', a little tribute to Paul *sigh* Dempsey. No idea what I will sew it out of - love some suggestions, though! I will definitely make the blue version with topstitching. Funny how my taste in old patterns is changing as I get older - no way would I have looked twice at this pattern even last year!!

October 11, 2009

Little home improvements (and something to show for the holidays!)

This week I hung my latest aquisitions - two beautiful digital illustrations from Art&Ghosts...
This quote kind of sets the tone for her work -
"Up until the age of seven, Art&Ghosts rather fancied that she was actually a small sycamore tree instead of real person."
Quirky, hey?!! Take a look at her portfolio - very beautiful images!

Anyway, the bottom image got me thinking - bunting. There's sure not enough of it in the right places! Like my bedroom, for starters. And, given the number of unattached bits kicking around the sewing room, most other rooms in my house!
I can recommend it as a quick way to get rid of fabric - in no time at all I had worked my way through a great big pile of pieces I'd been hanging onto for too long.

I also managed to get out this week to spend my October IKEA allowance!! No, really!!)
Instead of what I went for, I came home with this! Now the budgie lives on top of a wine rack which used to be here, instead of a rickety piece of shelving I built one night 10 years ago.
Everybody's happy!!
(Oh, and the tin on the bottom shelf has nut loaf in it - it was a busy day!!)

And one last thing - I just wanted to show off this painting that L did during the arts and crafts afternoon we had at Victor! He has his own unique sense of humour!!

Lazy Days...

I love the weekend... but who doesn't? Gooey eggs for brekky then off to see lovely things at the Bowerbird Bazaar. How wonderful to see so much talent in one space!!! Can't wait for the next one.

September 30, 2009

Holiday Treasures

We spent a wind-swept four days at Victor Harbour to start off the school holidays in proper holiday mode for a change... Travelled down in two cars so the man of the house could get back to work on Monday and I could stay on a bit longer with the little guy.

We went whale-watching every day, sometimes twice a day, and were extremely excited to see whales on three occasions!!! As an adult, I feel a bit saddened that there are so few things to be truly excited about anymore - this kinda made up for that!! I was jumping around like a silly thing, while 12yr old watched me warily, checking that noboby else had noticed my behaviour...
Come on though - we were 50 metres from a WHALE!!! How often does that happen?!?

Another highlight was investigating the little old main street of Port Elliot. We found junk shops, book shops, cake shops and a shop that was all three in one! Paradise!!

I bought this...

and these (the bundle for $3 - bargain!!)...

and several treasures from Little Bird at Elliot, which comes highly recommended!

When we got back to our house, instead of doing the studying I'd planned, I made more of these...

I guess you could say it was a pretty productive few days - for a holiday!

September 3, 2009

Wish you could smell these....

I've been trying to buy stocks for 3 weeks now...
I'm always the customer AFTER they sell the last bunch.

The manchild got in the car not knowing I'd been flower-shopping and asked what the gingerbread smell was!!! I never thought of it, but they really do smell like gingerbread!

P is away in Las Vegas for 2 weeks, so I've been keeping myself
entertained in the evenings... it's starting to wear thin! I resorted to tidying cupboards last night.
(See - anything can be a distraction from writing essays.
Particularly now we have a six week extension!!!)

Buried in the depths, I found a stack of my grandma's old teacups. Last Boxing Day she had all the girls in the family over to choose from a selection of her treasures, so she could see what we loved while she is still around!

Apart from these pretties, my other favourite possession now is a fabulous 1950s swan vase - something I have adored since childhood.

Even on the interwebs, I have not seen another one as beautiful. And I also got some turkey salt and pepper shakers... apparently there's kitsch and then there's UGLY! (sorry for the crappy photo)

And while we're talking bird collections, here's my latest treasure. It's my treat for staying behind and NOT having a drinking, gambling holiday!

August 20, 2009

And more brooches.....

I think these are becoming a habit... HELP!!!!
This is the latest crocheted flower brooch - attached to my latest UFO, a Burda coat which I was certain would be amazing if I made it out of vintage curtain fabric. How wrong could I be!?!
While I still love the colours of the fabric, I have seriously lost interest in the whole coat idea. Maybe if it was shorter. And if I painted out the vast expanses of cream background... Next winter perhaps!

Then there is the beginning of the 'Small Furry Animals' range (as suggested by the man-child). He's partly correct - I do have an array of felt animals cut out on the ironing board, but I don't consider moose either small nor fluffy.

And a couple of views from the sewing room...

Much of my art from the last 8-10 years has focussed on the idea home and having a place in the world that is uniquely yours... The little houses are made from stitched gingham, copying designs from some of the handmade aprons in my (unnecessarily large) collection. The other two houses are made out of lino from my friend Carol's kitchen floor... complete with splashes of paint and grime from 50 years worth of daily life. Wish I'd known how to crochet when I made them.

And this is Ma-mee. My grandmother won her in a raffle in 1950, but only had sons, so luckily, as first grandaughter, she became my friend. Originally she walked when coaxed, and said "ma-mee" when tipped upside down, but going in the bath put an end to that :(
The even has a complete wardrobe of the most beautifully handcrafted clothes - a pleated tartan skirt, an eyelet blouse, pyjamas and underwear. I love her, even though she has a tendency to freak out friends who stay in her room...

August 13, 2009

Oh, My Broochy Goodness!

More Brown Owls last night - my fortnightly inspiration fix!!
However, as usual, at the last minute I decide NOT to do more crocheting (nobody in the house can think of anything else they want made...), so I hurriedly went through my little book of make and do ideas for - you guessed it - IDEAS!!!
I found some dodgy birdcage drawings I had started to do for a pair of custom Keds, and realised they would be rather fancy as brooches instead! And so far, so good...

My latest brooches seem to be verging on the larger side... I guess, given that I have no plans for selling them, they only have to appeal to me at this point though. And I do love a gigantic brooch!!! This one is about 8 cm x 5cm at its widest bits.

And then, beacuse I have the attention span of a gnat, I made this little girly.
She's only 4.5 x 3.5cm - much tinier!

I would like to start planning things to sell at the Goodwood Christmas Market - likely be brooches... Any feedback would be fabulous!!
After last Brown Owls, where lots of girls were making crocheted flower brooches, I attempted my own pattern, and came up with something wearable after only 4 disasters!

I wore it to school today and got many positive comments from teenagers...
who'd have thought, hey!?

I'm looking forward to my mum visiting Adelaide this weekend... might get her to this weekends Goodwood market if her and little sis don't have other plans. Sunday I'm off to the Gilles Street Market with one of my beautifully talented Year 12 students from last year. Can't wait for the weekend!!!

Ooh, and while I think of it... check out the loveliness at Shelbyville.
Particularly her
Etsy shop... another addiction of mine!!

July 18, 2009

Addictive personality? You be the judge!

Our last couple of weeks have been a flurry of planes, buses and automobiles...
just missed out on including trains, too. School holidays have never been less relaxing!
For all the hectic-ness, we have had a lot of fun visiting 2 sets of grandparents and a pair of great grandparents in two states - spent a lot of time drinking tea, looking at photo albums and hearing lovely stories from them all.

Since last my Brown Owls meet about 3 weeks ago, I have become seriously stuck on crocheting - learning a couple of stitches other than chain seems to have inspired me an incredible amount!!
In this short time, I have finished 3 cowls, a pair of wrist warmers, 2 scarves and several randomly shaped bits and pieces as I experiment with shaping!
Crochet is the medium for me... I enjoy the process of knitting, but am truly terrible at it, so I'm stoked to have found an alternative!

The black curly scarf is a lovely soft mohair from the Bendigo Woollen Mill.
It took me a bit to get used to the open fibres, but after persevering (9 hours on the bus to Victoria!!!) I was an expert. At least I spent SOME of my school holidays doing something for me!
Finished length is about 180cm, and it has quickly become my new favourite accessory!

The stripy scarf was whipped up in a couple of nights for my son to take on his scout camp, when we heard the temperature was going to be colder than expected.
This pic is post-camp, so ignore any unpleasant nasties that I failed to pick off it!!

He chose the colours for it based on one square of a (genuine-made-by-a-granny) granny rug he was given by his great-grandma during our visit.

I have been attempting to make flower brooches, stubbornly without instructions...
I was thrilled to see at Brown Owls next week we can learn! Serendipity! Just as my frustration levels were peaking, too! The colours are scraps - not necessarily wearable.

We visited Morisset on Lake Macquarie and were lucky to find a bunch* of op shops!
If I had the room in my luggage, I could easily have bought (for the princely sum of $10) an entire BOX of gorgeous men's patterns from the 60s and 70s!!! Oh the sadness at leaving those behind!
The illustrations alone were a barrel of laughs!
This one made it home, though!! Not sure if the big or little fella will benefit from it yet, although they are almost the same size now anyway...

*Some discussion on our way home to Adelaide... IS a group of op shops actually a 'bunch'?? Maybe a naphthalum of op shops... or even just an opportunity of shops (the 12yr old's suggestion!!)
PS: Apparently naphthalene is a sublime substance. For real!!! A million, trillion nannas can't be wrong!