Monday, August 31, 2009

Eye Spy.. Something Soothing

Lately something soothing is knitting. Getting a comfy groove in the lounge and put my feet up while stitching away in the evenings or while the kids play and read their books.

This little Mary Jane pair were knitted up last night and this morning before breakfast, the perfect project, quick and not much brain work required. They are off to a Mum of one of the little boys Liam swims with who, hopefully, is either in labour now or already had her baby.

Pattern: Mary Jane Booties by Lucie Sinkler
Yarn: Heirloom Easy Care 8 Ply in 705 colour

Thanks to Cindy for Eye Spy and Aussie Waffler for this weeks meme.

Next up is my 400th post. I want to do a giveaway but racking my brain what to do. Any suggestions? You might even get an extra entry if you do...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Red Socks

1 comment:
For me or hubby. The only time in our lives having the same size foot is a *good* thing.

Yarn: Patons Patonyle 4ply (Just under 1 skein) in "Red"
Pattern: Lady/Man Stripe or Contrast Socks by Patons Australia (I left out the stripe)

Next up, a pair for Bella with this from One Fat Slug aka Two Little Banshees which I planning on doing a basic ribbed sock.

Baby steps in this sock making business. No fancy schmancy anything!

Why oh why is sock yarn so pretty but so S-L-O-W for me to do.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

How I wasted an afternoon...

3 big 55L boxes of this from under our bed...

Condensed into these 4 small 15L boxes (10" wide), no fabric thrown away, all just folded and sorted.

(These are all min. 1/2 metre since I mainly make clothes. Anything less is in another box, not folded ... more like a "rummage box".)

A mess of embroidery thread, patterns, needles, hoops scattered in bags and boxes organised into a case from Spotlight ($10)

3 random boxes of patterns into this one I got with a magazine moons ago...

And with that all my crafty stuff now fits onto 4 shelves in a small under-used linen cupboard out of sight.

Nothing crafted but a successful couple of hours. Well it could have been more successful if a certain someone who is *supposed* to nap did. I might have accomplished even more.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Eye Spy ... Something I want to try

I've seen sock animals everywhere but never had a try so at the show last Friday when I saw CraftChmaft's patterns and kits (in SUPER demand) I thought I'd try one out.

So today between rolling out fresh pasta to go with chicken, fennel and lemon for dinner and baking Bill Grangers No Fail Chocolate Cake (it's true) for someone's birthday I broke open my kit and voila...

Something I want(ed) to try... and did. A mini owl made entirely by hand. Gotta start small you know!

Thanks to Bug and Pop and Kimono Reincarnate for this weeks Eye Spy meme.


Happy Birthday Daddy. Birthday bonanza weekend of trips with the kids for smoothies, beach adventures, dinner at our favourite Thai restaurant and still one more day to go.
A new work bag for Daddy made in secret to hold his laptop, books, Sigg drink bottle, iPod and phone etc...

and a laptop pouch made with tweed fabric and a strip of Cloth's boardwalk fabric in indigo and lined with wool felt.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Stitches & Craft Show

Yesterday was my adventure to the Stitches & Craft show. I was too sleepy to post last night and feeling a bit blurg so crept into bed very early.

As I expected, this year 90% of my time (and 99.9% of my money) was spent up on the Incubator level. I visited all my faves, bought from most, and some new ones. This year's incubator was so much bigger than last year, the Craft Labs were great and the Craft Bars looked popular too. They definitely made up for the bottom floor which was.... well... nonexistant. I don't do beading, I don't scrapbook, don't need soaps, or some funny looking exercise machine so other than a new rotary cutter blade and some check fabric from one of only a very very very small handful of fabric stores my time on the bottom level was pretty short.

Last year there seemed to be a whole lot more fabric downstairs so I was hoping to grab a fair bit, oh well lucky there wasn't I suppose because I did enough damage to my bank account up on level 4.

So what did I bring home?

back: wool felt from Winterwood, 25ct floba cloth to attempt some embroidery from the Made in France book, some dark grey and pink checkered fabric to make the kids some shorts for daycare and an UBER cute Mini Owl kit from craftschmaft
front: 2x cute bell buttons from Giggle Buttons, a new Olfa blade, the latest Mixtape, a clip and elastic set for Bella from Kids with Crayons and 4x fat quarters from Dandi.

And lots of patterns. Lots and lots of patterns. The downside to patterns is now I have to find time to make them all. Well except the button brooch from Dearfii cause I went to her crafty lab and made one. FYI I am the slowest button maker on the planet, but she was super-patient and lovely.

Matroyshka pattern from Kristen Doran, still as lovely as can be, she always makes you feel welcome! Kids Hat pattern from Nikki who remembered me from last year... she has a memory!, apple pincushion pattern from Craftapalooza which Belinda was selling, Baby Perles from Dearfii, Cosmo Caterpillar from Kate and some gorgeous pink sock yarn from Kate too. Not sure who will win a pair of socks from it, it'll be a fight between me and Bella. At the front is a Pippiejoe card.

Finally my haul of embroidery panels. What am I going to do with them? They were just too nice to leave. The top is from Prints Charming and the others from The Red Thread.

Finally I actually LEFT something at the show.. a little something I made Fi to say thanks for my free ticket. Another pin holder thingy (I need a better name) made from wool felt.

Maybe one year they might make a WHOLE show of the incubator level, I'd certainly be in line to see that. I'd love to see the Melbourne show too, sounds like that was fantastic.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Here's Where I'm Up To...

From Meet Me At Mikes! from the ever-blogging, ever-tweeting Pip. How does she have the time?

Making: Wrap cardigan for Liam
Cooking: Since Friday night: Chicken hor fun noodles, roast lamb with vegetables, roast vegetable frittata, shepherd's pie, sweet potato & pumpkin soup, self-saucing chocolate pudding from the book & rice pudding with stewed apples. ALL meals devoured by offspring, makes Mummy proud
Drinking: Rosabaya Nespresso coffee or Earl Grey Royale T2 tea
Reading: Zakka Sewing
Wanting: A clean house
Looking: Flights and accommodation for a trip to Melbourne next month for the book launch
Playing: Nothing. Hubby shooting things on the xBox 360.
Wasting: Time on Google Reader and Twitter
Sewing: Summer clothes for everyone when new patterns arrive
Wishing: For more hours in the day
Enjoying: Warmer days and longer daylight
Waiting: For Dad to go back to hospital for his bypass
Liking: Cooking, hence all the cooking above
Wondering: How long until Summer kicks in full gear
Loving: Watching the kids play happily together
Hoping: Hubby has a lovely birthday next week
Marvelling: How well the kids are swimming
Needing: Nothing
Smelling: Dusk Creamy Caramel candle burning at my desk
Wearing: Fave Golfpunk jeans, Minkpink top and brand new Country Road ballet flats
Following: Lots of blogs
Noticing: My little man getting bigger every day
Knowing: I need to exercise more
Thinking: How lucky we all are
Bookmarking: Crafty labs and stalls to visit at the Stitches & Craft show Friday
Opening: Mail
Giggling: Watching Isabella trying to get Liam to play along with her games. He isn't a very good Prince Charming apparently.
Feeling: Content

Join in!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Eye Spy.. Red

1 comment:
A little red number being knitted for my monkey boy for next year's cooler months using a deep red yarn from Spotlight.
I wish the pattern came in my size, but then again considering how slowly it feels even these little size 3 numbers come together, it'd never get finished.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Homemade: The Handmade Help recipe book OUT NOW!

Thank you to everyone who has already ordered their copy of Homemade: The Handmade Help recipe book. Those who pre-ordered a printed copy should be receiving them very very soon if you haven't already. Mine arrived Friday and finally this afternoon, the house is quiet while Dean and the kids are running rampant in the playground, my coffee is made and I'm perusing the pages now. There's even a couple of recipes in it from me, try the Sausgae Bake and Lemonade Scones. Yum. Decisions decisions on what to try first...

Make sure you get over to the website and order yourself a copy pronto, they're selling like hotcakes or pancakes or waffles... whichever you fancy.

Sneak Peek of Summer

Bring on summer if it's full of weekends like these...

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Aussie Farmers

Thanks to one of our friends, this week I signed up for Aussie Farmers. The speil from their website says...

Aussie Farmers Direct is a free home delivery service providing fresh products that are 100% Australian owned and produced

...Our range of fresh goods include – MILK, BREAD, EGGS, BACON, CHEESE, COFFEE, JUICE, WATER, FRUIT AND VEGETABLES and in some areas MEAT. Products are delivered to your door twice weekly, before 7am ensuring freshness. Prices are very competitive and the quality of our produce is unsurpassed.

So every Wednesday we'll open the door to milk and a fruit loaf, Friday afternoons is a big family sized box of fruit & vegetables and Saturday mornings, more milk and freshly cooked bread. Yep no more lugging home bags of milk (4 x 3L minimum each week) and kilos of fruit & veg.

Now our new challenge is rather than picking our meals and THEN shopping, making meals from what turns up in our full-of-whatever-is-fresh-from-the-farmers box.

So 2 nights into our box and last night we made up these Chicken Hor Fun Noodles from Not Quite Nigella. I used 1/2 the bok choy, some broccoli (not chinese broccoli I know but it's what we had), and I added some of the mushrooms thinly sliced. The kids DEVOURED it including seconds.

Tonight using up the potato (instead of buying pre-made mash the recipe says.. ick) and 1 of the corn cobs we had yummy Salmon & Corn cakes using a recipe from Another dish that was a hit with the kids and involved them eating what I thought might go in the freezer for another day.

Tomorrow night.. a slow cooked Rosemary & Mint boneless shoulder of lamb with the pumpkin and sweet potato. We had to pickup more potatos at the market today and some carrots but that's going to happen, at least the main stuff is here!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Evolving Projects

Most sewing projects start as something to fill a need. An idea of what I want to give to someone and then the process of figuring out what to make. Recently I was lent a lovely book on embroidery, so as I got ready to pack it up to send back to it's home I decided I wanted to send a thank you, something embroidery based.

I have a lovely stash of embroidery threads, so I picked out some lovely colours I thought she might like and decided to add something to hold embroidery needles to go on a ring, easy to add/remove more colours. I often take stitching with me to do while watching the kids swimming lessons or play so hopefully she would find it useful too.

So it started as this...
A flower made of felt with needles on the back, on an embroidery loop with some threads.

Then I thought having a spot for some quilting/sewing pins might be handy.

Safety pins are always good to have on hand for elastic threading and holding pieces together. Lets add a spot for them and a little embroidered matroyshka.

OK wasn't this supposed to be something small??

But what if she wants to hold MORE thread or spare thread holders or little scissors... better add a little pocket
That's it I'm done. A "small project" evolved to something completely different but I love the end result. No sewing machine on this little gift. A lovely way to spend an afternoon. Kids were playing, reading me stories while I hand stitched away adding random buttons and embroidery.

Now I want to make one for myself.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Stitches & Craft Show Countdown


Image from DearFii

Got a free ticket on it's way thanks to DearFii so I'm off to the show next Friday. That's 9 sleeps in case your wondering.

On second thoughts, maybe I should be trying to go for two days? and try to sell one of the kids beforehand to pay for all my stuff.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Just a minute... In July

No comments:
Yet I am well aware that we are almost half way through August for me to be talking about July. Let's just pretend I posted this a week ago.

Greiving... for Poppy in hospital for the last week in July and the loss of a baby for our dear friends

Meeting... Cousins neither Bella or Liam have met

Thankful... for all our friends and family and all their messages of support

Loving... sleep ins by kidlets, the record being 9.20am

Planning... a knitted cardigan for Liam, a knitted shrug for Mum and new summer wardrobes for everyone

Cooking... lots of new recipes and testing out the slow cooker alot with great success

Eating... strawberries almost every day

Working... on my new super laptop, able to leap websites with a single bound

Looking forward to... Poppy getting out of hospital and getting his bypass done soon, the Stitches and Craft show and Daddy's birthday

Planning Patty Young

I LOVE Patty Young's Modkid designs and fabric. I've already made Isabella a top using her Andalucia fabric back in AprilI love the greens and reds.
This lovely Frida pattern has arrived on my doorstop from quilthomeAlong with this fabric to make it upI even have some matching ribbon that I got from lovely Little Munchkins that I *might* have to incorporate somewhere

I love the samples Patty has made using denim for the bodice

Image from Patty Young's Blog

This Sophie pants pattern is on it's way from CraftyMama's.

I don't think I'll be making the flared version in the middle, but I love the version being modeled by her daughter. They look so great in denim. I'll have to find some light denim for the warmer months.
I got a metre of this in a light cotton from the Remnant Warehouse a couple of weeks ago too at a bargin $14 a metre.. no plans for it, but I'm sure I'll find something!
Looks like I'll be breaking out the sewing machine as soon as I get some light denim and the pants pattern arrives.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Eye Spy.. Inspiration

Is it possible to be an over-inspired person? That's me. Everywhere I turn I see magazines, books to buy or borrow at the library, blogs, blogs, and more blogs, websites run by communities of crafters, photographs, fabric ranges, and recipes that inspire me to craft, cook, clean and even be a Mother. My Google Reader subscriptions are a little out of control.

But what probably inspires me the most other than blogs is the reaction I get from my kids, family and friends including comments on my blog posts. Seeing something I have made be used how it was planned whether it is a gift or something simple like a school bag for my kids that they use every week inspires me to think up new things that I can make instead of buying.

'Cause don't you know everytime I make something for my kids, one hand has it's fingers crossed that they are going to like it because we all know if a kid doesn't like something, you might as well give it away because they will NEVER be forced to use it unless punishment of intense yelling and tantrums. Seeing their love for something I have made, makes me want to make something again straight away.

Eye Spy.. Joining a meme, pretty girl stuff and swimming babes

Just signed myself up for Bug and Pop's "Eye Spy" meme each week... should be fun. Next up is Inspiration, might be a big post!

I'm wishing away the winter cold and endless fights with Miss-refuses-to-wear-warm-clothes and getting a start on summer clothes. Both kids need new wardrobes after growing the past year.

This lovely dress arrived from Bug and Pop, ordered off the lovely Cindy at Mathilda's Markets

New PJs for Isabella. OK these aren't for summer, but the idea was if they had a pretty matching skirt I might get her to wear them. So far so good.
Valori Wells Urban Flannel and plain pink flannel with lace trim on the sleeves and skirt
Burda 9765 Pattern for the top.

New Skirt with lace trim
Fabric from Pitt St Trading, Ramsgate

New dress with ribbon trim under the bust line
Fabric from The Remnant Warehouse

Last week my little Nemo boy.. gosh he loves his swimming.. had his first whole swimming lesson without Mummy in the pool. No tears and no fear.

Finally, thank you to everyone for your calls, tweets, Facebook messages checking after Dad. Since my last blog post everything went downhill in a big way. A double bypass was booked for Monday but he had a massive heart attack Sunday night and is now in ICU with a balloon in the main artery keeping his heart going. The good news (if there is such a thing!) is he was doing much better yesterday and the balloon is scheduled to be removed today. He then looses his "free ride" according to the doctors and will need to get his heart working for itself again. Looks like his bypass is going to be at least 1-2 weeks away while he improves. The tests run yesterday came back much better than they expected so that's a good thing. For someone who hates hospitals he's going to have to get used to it, looks like he'll be living there for another 4 weeks.