OMG! Its May already!

It’s hard to come to terms with the fact that it’s already May! Where did this year go… for me it’s been a whirlwind of activity that ended up plonking me down on my fathers doorstep in Western Australia with all my worldly possessions and the always adorable Cider Cat.

I’ve been over here for a few months now and am starting to get my groove back! So much so that I’ve taken on a few alterations for a workmate (yes, got a new job too!), made a small gift for a friend in Paris (that I’m planning to visit in December) and had a large bundle of fabric purchased (by a new boyfriend that is adorable!) for me to make the quilt of my dreams.

So yes, things are a bit different in my world just now, all good though which is lovely and I have the Stitches and Craft show to look forward to this weekend! My boyfriend is coming along and has mentioned something about me spending all his money 🙂 and who knows I might actually post some crafting on here again soon!

Holidays are over!

I’m heading back to work tomorrow and have spent most of my afternoon cleaning up my craft room / office. I bought a bookcase for the room and a few storage boxes so that I can organise and be more efficient… so far, so good. I’m liking the results… but what I’m not liking is the realisation that I still haven’t finished my christmas gifts!

I was able to get all the kids santa sacks done and sent out to their respective homes but the other gifts… not so much. It didn’t help that we had some serious flooding from the storms in our area. My room was the one most effected and I’m still fearful that it will rain again and the carpet will be a pool once more!

What I have been able to get done though is some crafting in preparation for next Christmas! This year we didn’t decorate the house and our gifts ended up wrapped and placed under the candle holder on the bookcase… Next year I plan to have so many decorations!!

Christmas Paper Decorations

The internet has been brimming with handy little projects for christmas decorating and I’ve been focusing on the ones using recycled paper. I stopped at our local Savers and got a couple of old books and instead of throwing the Coles Christmas Cookbook in the bin after I scanned the recipes I wanted I put it aside to transform.

I had to buy a few small tools (the cutting mat and blades) but I already had a circular graphic punch to make the garlands and I have more embroidery floss than any normal girl needs (i’m not normal *g*) so the overall cost of this exercise has come to about $10 and its something I can work on more through the year as I find more fun paper decorations to make.

The Folded Christmas Tree was found at Hoppo Bumpo (original idea from her sister) and the Origami Wreaths were courtesy of Domesticali (I’ve since used my sewing machine to secure the wreaths with all manner of patterns in red cotton).  Garlands and snowflakes were inspired by shop windows and many christmasses past…

I hope your christmas was calm and cheerful… and that you’re new year is shaping up nicely 🙂

I’d best be off to bed so I’m not tired on the first day back…

Running out of time!

As I’m sure you’re aware… Christmas is coming! and its not taking the long way or stopping for a carton of milk! its now only TEN days away!

Sorry to shout just then but I need to give myself a bit of a wake up because I have completed only 1 gift and there are many more I need to get done.

Unfortunately over the weekend I was distracted by the leaking sieve others like to call the house I live in… and also organising my teams christmas party for work. The rain has slowed and the party is over so now I have no excuses! I need to get stuck into my sewing!

I did get a tutorial written over the weekend though that has been posted to CraftBlog today… yay for french seams!

Heres a list of the handmade gifts I am planning on having completed by the end of the weekend;

  • 3 x Santa Sacks for my eldest brothers children
  • 1 x Santa Sack for my youngest brothers child
  • 2 x Santa Sacks for my work mates children (this can be the last gift completed as it does not require posting!)
  • 1 x Ovenmit set for Dans nan
  • 1 x Patchwork pillow case for Dans brother
  • 1 x Sleep Mask and drawer sachets for Dans mum
  • 1 x ???? for Dans Dad – SUGGESTIONS PLEASE!

I also was trying to work out what to make Dan but I’m struggling and think I may just buy him something.

Thankfully the santa sacks are all started and the fabric for the others has been washed, dried and ironed… I just need to sit down in front of my machine and stay there till they are all finished!!!

Wish me luck! I hope you get all your gift making completed too!

I’m stitching along! are you?

I think it was about a week ago that Pip at MeetMeAtMikes posted about her stitchalong and I straight away knew this would be my relaxation project for the run up to christmas… I’d overbooked myself with a promise to only make gifts this year and was already starting to stress out! What better way to relax than to get ONE MORE! project underway.

I turned to my walk in robe / craft stash closet and looked for some calico but came out with some teal blue cotton I had purchased for lining skirts and my bag of floss eager to get started… I printed out the pattern and added my name to the Stitch Along then left it for a few days. When I came back to it I had a fading marker and my embroidery hoop ready to go!

Sorting through my floss is a great joy to me and now that I have so much of it the choices are never ending! I pulled a few colours that I liked and put them in little cloth bag to keep them safe then traced out the little boy pattern. Since I’m not much of a traditionalist I started making changes to him pretty much as I was tracing.

My little boy has come out sporting some wider leg jeans and a pair of chuck taylors and now I’m working on a band shirt and a funky hat but photos of that will have to wait till Pips next update as I want some fancy new stitches to play with!

Christmas crafting in full swing!

I started buying up fabrics and bit&bobs for my christmas crafting projects a few weeks ago and although I have started on two other projects it was my third that came together easiest! I was asked to make santa sacks for my niece and nephews (aged 7, 4 and 2) this year which I was super keen to do. I’ve never really sent presents over to them but this year was planning to try and do something for them when their mum rang. Perfect timing! I was actually in Spotlight when she asked! Grabbed myself a roll of calico and a half metre of some nice christmassy fabric then got the heck out because it wasnt pay day for another week 🙂

Last night I started cutting and imagining how it was all going to come together when I thought, bugger it, just start sewing! So I did and tonight I was able to finish off the prototype! Its for my best friends son who is only six months old, but its never too early to get started on Christmas!

Tomorrow night I will do all the appliques for the remaining 4 (maybe 6 if I get energetic as a friend at work said she wouldnt mind some for her kids) then I’m going to space out the rest of the sewing over a few nights so it doesnt seem so tiresome! I might even make a bit a tutorial on this project and post to Craft Blog for a change!

Hexagon Crazy!

A year or so ago I bought on ebay a partially finished 8″ hex quilt top that had a bunch of extra pieces just waiting to be sewn together… It was about twenty dollars and I thought it would take me no time at all to finish! ha! my sewing machine died about a month after I received it and i just put it back in the cupboard and promptly forgot about it.

Now, at work last week I was arranging the team christmas party and have locked in a picnic in the park. So when I was plotting the details I realised that I still havent finished my quilt and since it was always meant to be a picnic quilt then maybe this would be the time to get it done! This weekend I pulled it out and realised that it is so close to finished that I will do it!!

I laid it out on the bed with the checked seersucker table cloth i got for the backing, added a double layer of batting and a blue tarpauline for waterproofness. I sewed a few straights for the tarp to tablecloth layer so they dont move around so much while i’m quilting and started on the quilting of the top. Its hard going!

I counted an extra 34 hexes as well and I’ve decided to stitch them together and make little reusable napkins! I’ve made three so far! the rest are started but they are so fiddly… good for short bursts at the machine though.

The best part about all this sewing is that I’ve had to clear off my sewing table! Its now so pretty and clean, I’m inspired to keep on sewing instead of getting annoyed at having no space to work. Christmas presents and other random crafting will start next weekend!!!

Late night craftiness

I just got home from a movie (its my fiancees birthday and he got to pick the movie so we saw Rocknrolla) and have an insane urge to try and get a top sewn to wear to work tomorrow!

Thats right folks. Its 10.30pm and I’m starting to sew!

I picked up the material for $4/mtr at spotlight on the weekend. Its so cute! I like to think of the pattern as trees of love… seeing as they are little hearts in the tops. I also got a really nice button in case I decide to tackle a yoke neck instead of elastic.

mobile phone for scale 🙂

I’ve not sewn with a silky fabric before and if the effort it took to cut it out is any indication i’m not sure if I’ll get it finished or not. I’ve located a ballpoint needle for my machine, i have new thread and the cats are occupied downstairs so at least I’ll have some peace and quite while I attempt this!

Photos will follow if I’m succesful!

Handstitching as relaxation

With life being a little bit stressful lately I’ve been doing a few handstitchery type things to try and relax. I take my little paper bag with my cotton, snips and needles on the tram with me and just stitch away. My fiancee likes to pretend he doesnt know me when I’m doing this but I know he likes that I’m doing something I love… well at least I’m hoping he does 🙂

Last week I worked on another little spotty scotty this time for a friend. He’s white with black circles and has the most gorgeous blue eyes. I’m still working on his collar so photos arent available yet. I dont want him out in public undressed! I also whipped up a birdie, but again, still naked so no photos.

This week I’m going to use Ferns Creepy Critters pattern to offset the just plain creepy halloween stuff that is invading my house in preparation for our first halloween party. I think I might make them into little stuffies and hang them by the ears in the doorway.

So theres a photo for you all… heres a pic of my button tin!

I’ve made a habit of buying the little bags of buttons my local opshop sells and was able to find a cute old butter cookies tin with a pressed lid to hold them in. When combined with my bag-o-buttons bought from spotlight and all the buttons I’ve collected from clothing purchases over the years its pretty darn full! so I might be on the look out for another tin soon!

Sisterly love…

I’ve been pushing myself a bit lately to concentrate more on my studies. I’m trying to get back into schooling in an effort to get a diploma by the end of next year. Unfortunately its turning out to be more of an effort than I first thought but the end result will be worth it! So, in order to do this I’ve been locking myself inside on these wonderful spring weekends and working on assignments.

I’m not one of these people that can just sit there for six hours and throw out a 2000 word piece on event venue selection criteria… I like to stop every now and then for a brain break or I’ll go insane or die of boredom… So on the weekend what I did was this…

My very own SPOTTY SCOTTIE!

I used the wonderful Allsorts pattern and some remnant felt I had laying about with the fantastic random retro spot fabric I was going to use for a quilt but have decided against in preference for random craft projects.

I also made a few short trips out into the world, one for halloween goodies. We’re having a party at our house and needed supplies! Spotlight also featured in my weekend highlights! Mainly because the Brunswick store has freezer paper for $1.50/mtr and secondly because random quilting fabrics were reduced to $3/mtr! I stocked up on some more stash building half metres and got a few extra colours of felt to make more stuffies with.

But best of all my trips (gosh it sounds like I was hardly at home all weekend!) was to the Sister Market at Brunswick Town Hall. I got to meet the delightful (and oh so understanding of just how busy we all are) Shannon who has decorated the walls of my study with two of her custom drawing/collages, aided in my stash building with her gorgeous fabrics and now covered the tootsies of my best friends little boy with some oh so cute fabric shoes!

I also picked up the latest issue (and issue 5 that I some how missed!) of MixTape Zine from Justine who was quilting away at her very hungry caterpiller quilt. Once I’d made these two purchases I realised I was pushing my limits for outside time allowances and made my way home to hit the books again.

I’m almost looking forward to this weekends self imposed exile! I’ve got a few Spool Birdies cut out ready to put together and some christmas gifts to prepare for.

A short trip to the island

A couple of weekends ago my future family in law whisked my fiancee and I down to Tassie to visit for a few days. It was a lovely break and so wonderful to catch up with them again… As it turns out it might be the new year before we see them again.

While we were down there I got alot of sleeping done (I always sleep when I’m on holidays!) but also went down to the Salamanca Markets in Hobart. I must admit I was a little dissapointed by the markets, I had thought there would be more handmade crafts than there were… There were quite a few but still, nothing I hadnt seen anywhere else… I did see one lady that was selling little wooden knitting needles but I had no cash so will need to pick them up next time we’re down.

We met up with a few friends for lunch while we were in Hobart and went to a delightful little cafe, Tricycle (they dont have their own website that I can find…) My chai came out in a tea service with a pot of honey and little jug of soy milk. The breakfast dishes were delish! and the sun stayed out long enough for us to eat!

In Launceston I was also able to drop into the patchwork shop ‘The Quilt Patch‘ (blog seems to be dead but the shop is well and truely alive!) and had just enough time to run into the ribbons and lace shop directly opposite (will update with the name once I find the business card). I didnt make any purchases since we were travelling with hand luggage only but am looking forward to being able to buy up a storm when we visit for longer.

We had planned to go back for the christmas / new year break but it seems we’re staying put this year! Should be good though, I’ll get to make christmas food! YUM!