Thursday, January 28, 2010

afternoon sewing

Miss E and I sewed a new little outfit for her baby doll this afternoon. She wanted to do it all by herself, which at nearly 4 was a bit ambitious. But she did almost all the cutting and with instruction did some of the sewing on my machine. It was fun, but all the hovering by mum meant that she soon moved on to other things, like getting all the zips out and covering the sewing machine pedal and my feet with them. Then not a minute after the new clothes were finally put on, I found the above little pile of clothes next to the paddling pool and found the doll having a swim. Not so good for a doll with a material body, but luckily it was a sunny day and the wee babe dried out quickly.

I'm so excited at the second crop of raspberries in the garden, despite lack of nurture on my part they seem to be growing at a tremendous speed, and size! Yum

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

at last

I've long been searching for a white candlewick single bedspread, yesterday my search ended in the purchase of this beautiful example. It's in great condition and has only one small hole that was easily fixed. Miss E loves her new bed cover and I love how crisp and white it is. At $5 it seemed such a bargain that I nearly skipped home. I bet the person who donated it to the local thrift store had no idea how happy it would make this mama and how it would put to rest a long search. So what about my no thrifting resolution? well it's perhaps a little bit too strict for me at this stage, but I'm much more restrained and thoughtful in my purchases.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

slow pace

We have been enjoying the slow pace of these summer holidays. It's a couple more weeks before miss E starts back at preschool and the rush of normal life will begin again. Our days are filled with playing, baking, hut making, "swiming" in the paddling pool and not much else (especially not much cleaning) it's a nice pace of life. A small amount of crafting is slipping in there too, I made the above lightweight scarf from a couple of balls from my stash. It's 90% silk and nice and light to wear, perfect for having in your bag over summer if you are going to the movies with super cold air con so you don't freeze in your summer clothes (can you guess what happened to me? Next time I'll be prepared).

Although I've been trying to consume less and was trying really hard to stay away from thrift stores, I couldn't resist this beautiful piece of embroidered linen in Bullion stitch. It's so beautifully finished that it will stay in my collection and not be re purposed in any way.

While we are enjoying a slow pace the garden seems to be growing living at a much faster pace and things are growing at great speed. We are enjoying courgettes, silver beet, strawberries and beans, oh how I love this time of year in the garden.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


A friend's daughter wanted one of those zipper pencil cases that seem to be in all the shops at the moment, so I offered to have a go at making one for her. My mum was given a big box of new zips many years ago by a friend. They have been dipped into over the years for many projects. At the moment the "zip box" is in my possession and was perfect to find the 14 zips that I used for this pencil case. I found this cool match stick pencil/eraser to pop in it. Now miss E has spied it and wants one too, luckily there are plenty more zips left in the box.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

for a little boy

I made this quilt for my little one year old as a birthday present. I made this wigwam for miss E for her first birthday so I thought another big sewing project was in order for mr A. It's made from thrifted jeans and my old cast off jeans, men's shirts were used for the backing side and the batting is a thrifted woollen blanket. The blanket was queen sized and marked as a dog blanket (suitable only for a dog to sleep on I imagine) for only $3. There were a few small marks and a couple of small holes but nothing I couldn't work around especially as I was cutting it all up into squares, I couldn't believe my luck. The whole thing cost me around $20 with nearly half of that price the thread. I used the ruffle quilt pattern again, mainly because it's so easy and I'm scared to try any actual quilting. It's really warm and I made it a generous size, would fit a single or a double. I tried to keep some of the "architectural" details of the jeans, like pockets. I think there are about 10 pockets sewn randomly around the quilt for hiding little treasures in, note to self - check pockets before washing! I hope that it is built to last a lifetime and will be treasured for years to come.
In other news, I'm having a summer sale in my Etsy and Felt stores check them out.

Monday, January 11, 2010

little hands

These little hands (seen here picking little alpine strawberries) turned one yesterday. We celebrated with a small gathering of friends and family. I tried to keep things as simple and as green as possible, no paper invites, a request for no presents and a plate of food to be brought to share, fabric bunting and no paper plates or cups. Of course close family ignored the no presents request but I was pleased that everything gifted was made to last, wooden toys and books and a few special homemade items. The few children that attended were given a small package of homemade play dough to take home along with a few cookie cutters (alas the cutters were plastic, I left it to the last minute to look for some and the only ones that I could find that didn't cost me more that the total cost of the party were plastic), they seemed well received by all. A big bonus of everyone bringing a plate was there wasn't a huge amount of leftovers nor a mountain of dishes to deal with, which has got to be a good thing.

The cake was a construction theme, my little boy already seems to gravitate towards little cars and trucks so it seemed a perfect choice for him and simple enough that I didn't spend hours labouring over it. I can't believe how fast this first year has flown by and I'm acutely aware how fast he's growing up. I am making the most of cuddles and little chubby feet realising that they will disappear all to quickly and one sad day he might not be overjoyed to give his mum a hug. His mumbled mummumumms and daddaddads will change to a clear mum and dad. I just want to bottle him at this age and never let him grow up!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

with my little eye

As part of my new year's resolution of not purchasing any new craft materials, a big part of that is actually to use up what I already have and this project is perfect for that. I spotted an I-Spy bag in a magazine many months ago and I thought what a great idea it was and how I'd love to have one for Miss E, and they didn't seem to hard to actually make myself. Basically they are a bag with a little window, filled with pellets or rice and toys and you squish the bag trying to find all the toys. I used a pair of jeans for the sturdy fabric such a bag needs, I filled it with an assortment of little toys that were kindly donated by my sister. I used some plastic PVC pellets that I bought many years ago for some crochet project and never used more than a tablespoon of them. I decided rather than to print a little card with a picture of the toys to search for, I'd print a picture onto a t-shirt transfer that I had. but alas I've had them for over 5 years and they don't seem to be "transferring" properly. Then I remembered that I had some ink jet fabric (that again I've had for years and never used) and that worked a treat. I was in a hurry to get it finished and didn't type out the word for each toy underneath the image but the next one I do will have that. Miss E loves it and I will definitely make some more, even just to use up all the PVC pellets that I have.

As for my resolution, it's only 5 days in and I have bought some fabric. Only 2 metres, it was some Christmas print fabric on special 75% off. I'm trying to convince myself that it's OK because I plan to make these reusable Christmas wrapping fabric bags for next Christmas, tell me it's OK. As I past my local fabric store today I noticed that all their sewing patterns were half price and I just kept walking so I do feel good about that.

Monday, January 4, 2010

a little green

Before all the Christmas crafting madness kicked in, I bought the September/October copy of Crochet Today. There was an article on Margaret Oomen inside and a couple of patterns for her beautiful crochet rock covers. We had a quick trip to the beach last week and I was on the lookout for some smooth rocks to make covers for, I was looking for evenly shaped stones, much harder than I thought to find. They worked up quickly, especially as I had a thicker crochet cotton in my stash and due to my new year's resolution of using up what I have I didn't purchase any new cotton. I think a thinner cotton would look better, but I'm still pleased with these. Now I'm on the lookout for a much larger stone to cover to use as a doorstop.

Friday, January 1, 2010

one small change

I decided to join in on the one small change on the hip mountain mama blog mainly because it ties in with my big new years resolution. I'm going to try really hard this year to use up all the craft supplies that I have before I buy any more. It's something that will be really hard for me because I'm adding thrifting to the no go list too. I get a lot of fabric at thrift stores and I visit them at least once a week so cutting them out will be a change in routine more than anything. I've decided that I've got more than enough supplies to last a years worth of crafting, and the bulging cupboards prove it. I admit there will have to be a few exceptions, like thread and a few little things like that, but on the whole I'm going to make with what I have already as of today. Oh this is scary stuff.

So the one small change part, this month I really want to concentrate on consuming less, only purchasing things that we really need. It's something I want to concentrate on more than just for January. I'm sure somethings that I purchase are more wants than needs although I sometimes convince myself I need them. At the same time of consuming less I want to watch what I do buy and make sure it's quality and will last - So watch this space and see how I go.

As for the photos, the strawberries were what I took to a New Years day late lunch and they disappeared very quickly, a visit to a stony beach with little feet that are soon to turn one, I can't believe it, and a special little forraging satchel that has hardly left the side of my little one since she opened it on Christmas morning (thanks melissa she loves it)