Wednesday, October 26, 2011

production line

Over the school holidays I didn't have much chance to craft for the upcoming craft fairs I've got. I couldn't do much with two little ones needed me to make huts, snacks etc for them all the day long, but I could start a little production line. I started to cut up some of the vintage linens I've got saved up to make notebooks from, the linens all are a bit worse for wear, stains, holes, even paint marks. I got a big stack all cut up ready to sew over the past few weeks, and now the sewing has begun! The best part of a production line is that all of a sudden you have a whole bunch finished! I haven't really made any of these notebooks since the last fair in December last year and I'd forgotten how fun they were to sew. This time around I tried hard to keep little details from the linen in the finished objects, like the crochet boarders. The inside front and back is like a little pocket to tuck receipts or little notes in. The top photo shows about half of the notebooks I've got finished, they were a best seller so I want to make super sure I've got a good supply of them made.

Monday, October 24, 2011


Today marks the last day of the school holidays and it's also a national holiday here, Labour day. I think many New Zealanders will be happy in the fact it's a public holiday today, after the All Blacks won the Rugby World Cup last night, I imagine that there might be some tired heads today.

With the sun shining brightly we headed out to a local beach this afternoon, the kids had a swim (it was a wee bit cold for me though) and I did a little bit of crochet on the beach. I've got a couple of craft fairs coming up and I'm trying to make the most of every spare bit of time. The first fair is in a couple of weeks at my daughter's school and the other is....... the Auckland Art and Craft fair! I hope to catch up with some local readers there, so book the date in! Saturday the 10th of December. Is it just me or is Christmas creeping up mighty quickly?

Thursday, October 13, 2011


This was my favourite sculpture from the sculpture trail at the Auckland Botanic gardens on the weekend. A carpet of flowers made with "caution/danger/keepout" tape and plastic bags and what looks like a green twine. No surprises that this "needlecraft" sculpture was my favourite, I loved how it looked so different from a distance compared to close up. The artist is Mia Hamilton and I found a link to another "needlecraft" inspired sculpture that she did here, giant french knitting! Amazing. Makes me want to sculpture a GIANT Doily like this one, or maybe decorate a tree like this .

p.s - just found this little article on Mia too

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


We had a very busy weekend, tractor rides, pony rides, visiting relatives, thrift shopping, farmers market, the first real fruit ice creams of the season and the list goes on. The highlight for me and the kids was visiting the Auckland Botanical Gardens, the cherry blossom trees were in full bloom and it was nothing short of magical (my little point and shoot doesn't do them justice at all- seriously magical!). They looked amazing and it was so amazing to walk below them, several families were having picnics underneath and it seemed like the perfect spot to have one.

It was the opening weekend of their sculpture trail and we really enjoyed spotting sculptures in the distance trying to work out what they were made of and then getting up close and admiring them. Little legs meant we didn't get a chance to explore them all but that gives us a good excuse to go again soon.

Friday, October 7, 2011

usborne guide

Make your own jewellery - an Usborne guide published in 1987 has got to be the book I read most as a child. I was 8 years old in 87' and I can't imagine ever getting rid of this book even though it's a bit dated now. As a child I wanted to make everything on every page, the sunflower seed earrings, the rhinestone brooches, the brightly coloured paper mache necklaces! I did actually make many of the projects in the book, begging my mum to buy me the supplies I needed. The model looked so cool (to my 8 year old self) and I wanted to be just like her.

Going through my book shelf recently I came across this book and got inspired all over again by the projects. I really liked the aeroplane necklace and for years I've been looking for some suitable to make a necklace with. I haven't found any yet, but it go me thinking what else I could hang from a chain/necklace. I've got a very small collection on little teacups and bits and pieces from toy tea sets and thought they would look sweet hanging from a chain. I've made one so far (and run out of chain) but hope to make some more (once I've had a trip to spotlight).

Do you have any favourite childhood crafting books?

Thursday, October 6, 2011


 There aren't many gadgets or things to buy in the world of crochet (luckily as the yarn is a big enough expense!) so when I heard about a special hook I was keen to know more. It's a sharp crochet hook, designed to push through fabric easily, to crochet borders etc on fabric. It arrived in my letterbox last week and I was keen to try it out.

I'm finding it really hard to find summer tops in natural fabrics this year (ones within my budget that is) and I thought I'd have a go at making my own. I cut up a top I had in my wardrobe that I liked the style but not the print to get a pattern. This is my "calico" and first attempt at using the pattern, I think it needs a few changes but it is good enough to wear. I made it from some soft striped linen that was only $2.50 a metre from Designer Textiles (have you been there yet?). I used the hook to crochet a border on the hem. I was impressed with how the hook worked and found it easy to use. I think a firmer weave fabric would make it easier though. I've got all sorts of ideas in my head now about making some summer skirts for miss E a bit like these ones.

 I've started another top too with a crochet bodice a bit like this one, but as I was in such a hurry and I'm not so much into measuring, and I was making it up as I went along -  it didn't quite work the first time. So I had to undo most of it and start again, which means of course it is taking longer - should have just measured!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

ho ho ho #2

There is also this Christmas swap going too. You get partnered with just one person (great if you don't want to make lots of ornaments to send) and it's open internationally too. You can sign up here

Monday, October 3, 2011

ho ho ho

I've signed up again for the Kiwi Christmas Swap, it was lots of fun opening all the little parcels last year. A job perfect for miss E! I'm really looking forward to adding some more handmade decorations to my tree this year too. Pop over to Sew Funky to sign up!