Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays!

christmas owl ornaments

Wishing you a wonderful time this Christmas!

(Pattern from here).

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Family Piano

Family piano

Delivered today and already being pounded by the next generation, oblivious to how badly it needs tuning.  So looking forward to making our own Christmas music this year!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Falling through the days..

... to the point that this poor blog is quite neglected.  When I actually do something blogworthy, it's a struggle to capture it.  So we have this new strawberry dress for Strawberry (the Oliver + S ice cream dress made entirely from stash materials) which has been around for a week or so, and this is my best shot of it.  It's a case of put the dress on her to model, get distracted by a phonecall and other kids, and she's asleep on the couch.

asleep in ice cream dress

I only just noticed the snotty nose!

Proper shots to follow!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

This week, and more quilt shots...

We have all been a little sick, the kids have watched too much TV, but I finally got up to date with my baby thank you notes, so one less thing to feel guilty about!   There is of course some ongoing guilt about my fabric stash, which grew after going to the Craft & Quilt Fair last weekend and Bargain Box Fabrics this week - I keep buying fabric for little girl clothes, it seems, and not even for the clothes she needs.  Hoping to have some actually made up soon!

For now, here is the full shot of Strawberry's quilt on the line (on a very sunny day)...

little girl's quilt

It is actually different (if only in fabric choices) from Mr F's, I think I just need to find something other than the clothesline for showing my quilts in full!

Backing and binding...

little girl's quilt binding/backing detail

Backing again from Spotlight, with Kaffe Fassett spot for the binding.  Like Mr F's, this quilt features essentially all colours (for the kids to point out), but with more pinks and girlie prints.

I am quite happy with the quilt overall, and it will look great opposite Mr F's in the soon to be shared big kid's room, but I am certainly still learning a lot with my quilt-making.  Looking forward to the next quilt which will be for baby boy's cot- poor little thing has had nothing made for him yet!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Top 5 Music.

Ada May, with banjo.

image from here

As prompted by Pip over at Meet me at Mike's, my current 5 favourite albums to play at home:

Anais Mitchell & others- Hadestown (gorgeous folk opera)

Paolo Nutini- Sunny Side Up (young guy sings like an old guy)

Steve Martin- The Crow (yes that Steve Martin, a banjo album!)

Florence and the Machine- Lungs (stunning voice)

Justine Clarke- Songs to Make You Smile (good kiddie songs- Mr F loves it)

All are great!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Quick Fix

babushka softie

I was wanting the thrill of a one night project, so made this babushka (pattern and face from the Red Thread).  Another item for Strawberry's big girl bed!  Love the beautiful face and a great way to use some quilt leftovers.  And I'm definitely keen for more fast projects now...

Sunday, October 10, 2010


little girl quilt folded

Finished last night.  Full shots to come (when I get a fine day).  Can't wait to move Strawberry into her big bed to use it!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

My latest excuse!


The new baby of the family and an absolute joy.  Seriously, I am going to get back to more frequent blogging now that this little guy is approaching six weeks!  I have been trying not to beat myself up about not getting things done- my only goal for the first six weeks was to keep all three kids alive.  Which I have done rather well.  On top of this, there is a nearly finished quilt which should be ready for showing any day now!  So glad to be back to stay at home life!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Getting back into it!

After way too long an absence, I'm relieved to be finally posting something.  The last two months have been so hectic, I have barely been able to keep myself in clean clothes (actually, I am still struggling on that front).  But, things are now winding down at work, with me going on maternity leave in four weeks!  Can't wait.

Danika jacket in progress

I have managed a little craft lately, currently knitting this cardigan for Strawberry in the hope she will get some wear out of it while it's still winter.  Only have the sleeves to go after this piece, then the dreaded sewing up!

I have to thank Sandra at The Surly Seamstress for helping to pull me out of my non-blogging funk, by setting me some homework with these questions:

Which pattern/vintage style have you been thinking about lately?
My next pattern to make up is this little Oliver+ S dress for Strawberry- aiming to do it for end of winter/spring.  I love the yoke and piping detail, and hope to make use of some old buttons I have stashed.  And I do love vintage patterns and have a bit of a collection of hand-me-downs and Vogue reprints, but they are all completely impractical for me as I have been either pregnant, breastfeeding or both for years now!

Oliver+S playdate dress pattern

What is one place that you really want to visit that you haven't been to before?
Japan- would love to experience the totally different culture, scenery and hunt down fantastic craft supplies!  This is in addition to plans to return to many great places I have already visited!

What are your favourite/least favourite words?  These can be connected to sewing or not!
Favourite word:  awry- I seem to use this a lot at work.
Least favourite word:  gonna- I use this way too much!

If you had to spend 3 consecutive days on the same train, who would you want with you and why?
Not a very creative answer, but my husband.  After having to spend several days away from him and the kids recently, I realised just how much he helps me keep my cool, and shares my interests like no one else.  It was very healthy for me to be reminded what a great choice I have made!

What's your sewing threshold?  As in, what will you let go, and what must you absolutely fix?
I tend to complete my projects, but this does result in the odd item that I would never wear which gets given to a family member or charity shop.  As for correcting mistakes, I will unpick to a certain extent, but if after several attempts I don't get a perfect result, I settle for less than perfect and move on.  And once it's complete, I never seem to notice the imperfections that once seemed such a big deal anyway.  

What's your desert island book/movie and why could you read/watch it over and over?
Love books, but can't commit to a favourite to be reread.  My movie would be Cabaret because: a) I love musicals, b) in addition to being a great musical, the plot is also great, and c) Liza just breaks my heart.  Here she is on an old t-shirt I can't bring myself to throw out...

Liza t-shirt

What garment/accessory do you wear the most?
Not the above t-shirt.  Stretchy wrap dresses with black opaque stockings- none of my current wardrobe is homemade sadly, but it serves a working pregnant lady rather well.

What wouldn't you be caught dead in?
Shoes with ankle straps- no matter how fabulous the shoes, my (otherwise perfectly healthy and strong) legs just cannot carry them off.

So, there you go.  I think I should now be setting this as homework for someone else, but I am that far out of the blogging loop, I have no one in mind- feel free to pick it up if you are stopping by as I 'd love to hear your responses.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Lately I...

... have been quite preoccupied with preparing for what I hope will be my last exams ever, which will all be over in about a month.

for little girl's quilt
... am having fun cutting out a quilt for Strawberry, to (sort of ) match this one I made for Mr F, as they will be sharing a room later this year after the arrival of baby number 3!

magazine and bump
... am admiring this beautiful family home (that I first spotted here on the lovely homelove blog)  in Inside Out, as well as my growing belly.

mermaid doll kit
... am quite excited over this mermaid doll kit by Louise Elliot, handed down from a friend of Mum's- such cute design and great loud colours!

... feel determined to get back into making lots of things soon!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Autumn love

Hooray for cooler weather!  Despite feeling bogged down with long hours at work and study, and viruses passing back and forth through the family, I managed to get the needles out for some simple, satisfying knitting.

stripy scarf in progress

This scarf was a request from my husband, who wanted a multi-coloured stripy scarf with a bit of a 'Paul Smith' look.  I don't think this is anywhere near as cool as that sounds- it seems more 'clown' or 'Doctor Who' than Paul Smith, but he tells me he likes it.  At least it can be used by the kids if not him.  I'm using up yarn (Cleckheaton Country 8ply) from a frogged blanket for Mr F which just was torture to knit.  There is actually about $200 worth of brightly coloured wool to be used, so this will make only a small dent in that.  I believe there will be more colourful stripy items to come!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

You look like gold to me...


I had been wanting to buy some Koigu Premium Merino for ages, and was lucky enough to get some 40% off online at Purl Soho!  In exactly the colour I wanted, despite there being only two colours left by the time I found out about the sale.  Intended for this little girl's dress found at the Purl Bee.  No urgency to make it as it won't fit Strawberry until next year, maybe not even then.  Which is great, as I cannot actually crochet yet!  The yarn does seem every bit as beautiful as the descriptions I had read, and the colour is a gorgeous orangey-red.  Just delicious!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

One year old

girlie number 1 cake

We had our little party for Strawberry's first birthday on the weekend, which was great.  Lots of girlie looking treats, flowers and paper dolls on the walls, and more little kids than we have ever had before at a party!  Most of whom loved running wild in the backyard.

The cake was inspired by the classic Australian Women's Weekly one, but decorated in a girlie way.  I had to use musk sticks as I just love them and wanted an excuse to eat them!  Just the classic butter cake with buttercream icing (Women's Weekly recipes of course).  I think it's really worth making the cake from scratch rather than a packet mix- it just tastes much better and is still easy.

Can't believe our little girl is one- she still looks like a baby to me- yet she thinks she's a grown-up and says 'bye-bye baby' to older kids!

birthday girl

And no, I didn't end up making her dress- too much deliberating over fabric and pattern choices and too little time in the end.  So thank you Esprit DFO for a lovely party frock for our little doll.  And thank you to the birthday girl herself- what a joy you are for us!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Well loved

Valentine's breakfast

Happy Valentine's Day!

My lovely husband gave me a waffle iron (no, he doesn't usually get me kitchen appliances but he knew I wanted one) and so we all enjoyed heart-shaped waffles for breakfast.  I'm yet to perfect the recipe and technique but still pretty good stuff!

I have spent some of today going through my old toys (pretty much dolls) to see if there is anything suitable for Strawberry.  Several of the most special ones are now spotty with rust.  I'm torn between whether to keep them or not.   Especially as I've kept them this long!

rusty Hannah

Hannah here is the only example left of a doll I made as a child.  I was given this book from Mum when I was in primary school, and loved it.  It was about a little girl making dolls and quilts in the 1800s on the Kansas prairie.  I also did a doll quilt kit from the same range (still have another one not yet made up) and a Christmas cross-stitch.  All very much in keeping with the whole country look popular at the time - I remember tea-dyeing stuff!  So maybe the rusty look would be considered okay?

This is the remainder of her little wardrobe.  The doll and clothes were all hand sewn- pretty apparent if you look close enough.  I love the drawstring on the pantaloons, just the sewing thread!

Hannah's clothes

Last of all are these- Strawberry Shortcake and her cat made from a panel by Mum, a pegasus toy given to me at birth and two Holly Hobbies.  All rusty!  Maybe this will be the last evidence I have of them or maybe I won't be able to let go.  I am tempted to cut up Holly on the left's non-rusty dress for that great 70s patchwork print! 

old toys

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Plodding, and party plans!

paper doll birthday invites

This week I am still feeling a little off and so really am just plodding along, struggling to do anything much outside of work, and feeling like I am falling behind with basic things I have to do- like dropping off dry-cleaning and mending.  That said, my husband has been great, the kids remain charming, and I should be feeling a bit brighter soon!

We have hit our run of February birthdays, which will now include Strawberry turning 1!  So I have been starting to plan her little party.  These invitations by Suzy Ultman I picked up a while back at the GOMA shop, not sure if they'd be used anytime soon, but it turns out Strawberry loves dolls already, so they seemed appropriate.  I doubt anyone loves them as much as I do though!   Such a cute design with gorgeous envelopes and stickers.  Now to plan a cake and party dress!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Happy Australia Day!


Still feeling sick, but not so sick I couldn't enjoy my husband's damper with butter and golden syrup!

Have a fantastic day!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Cute new/old things.

Pippi and buttons

Okay, so I have been doing nothing except working the past six days, and now, on my one day off for the week, I am sick.  Which should not surprise me as everyone else in the house has their turn with the same thing this past week.  Still, I am feeling quite sorry for myself.

These recent arrivals are courtesy of my aunty.  The Pippi doll she picked up in Sweden as a Christmas gift for Strawberry, who loves her and calls her 'Ippi'.

And the buttons were long stashed, awaiting some children to be able to use them- a lot are animal shapes, some are sparkly, some pearly and all are fairly small, so ideal for kid's clothes.  Some were handed down from my uncle's mother in Sweden, some were on my Mum's and aunty's clothes made by my Grandma.  I hope to use lots of them, although (despite my determination not to hoard), I too am sure to hand some down, unused, to my children one day!

old buttons

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Back in the loop, and more Oliver + S things.

Work this week was actually really good.  I was quickly reminded of some of the things I really like about my job, and I seemed to cope okay after a whole year off.  Nowhere near as hard as when I returned after my first maternity leave, which was a much shorter period.  And the kids are doing great, probably because they are at home with Dad, who is keeping them busy with lots of adventures.

I have done virtually nothing outside of work (lovely husband has really taken care of all the household stress) and have been quite exhausted this weekend, but I have finally got some pictures of little girl clothes I made a while ago.

swingset dress front

This dress is actually the Oliver + S swingset tunic lengthened.  The fabric was scraps from Mum, previously used for a dress in the 70s.  It's an Australian crepe cotton (kind of like wool crepe suiting in texture) which I had never seen anything like.  Just gorgeous.  It frayed terribly though!

Back view:

swingset dress back

In action, front:

swingset dress (front) in action

And back:

swingset dress (back) in action

Again, very happy with the pattern and sure to use it again.  I made the 6-12 month size, which was perfect for Strawberry- true to the measurements given.  I did french seams, which I would not repeat with this style as it ends up a bit bulky under the arms where the facing is.  This dress is really not my best sewing- done in a hurry late at night, but still the design holds up well.

puppet show shorts

Finally, yet another set of puppet show shorts.  In lightweight denim from Spotlight.  I had been putting off trying flat felled seams, then a lack of the right colour overlocker thread forced me!  I just copied the seams on some old baby bloomers and they turned out great.  The trickiest part was staggering the seam allowance down the centre (3/8" on one side and 5/8" on the other, then vice versa when topstitching), so the seam ends up perfectly in the middle.  Not tricky now I know what to do, and probably less time consuming than getting out my overlocker (let alone getting new thread).  And the inside of the shorts is completely smooth- great for a baby.

puppet show shorts in action

My favourite little chubby legs!

Now I'm off for my last little bit of kiddy time before the working week starts again...

Thursday, January 7, 2010

This year...


My first post of 2010!  A few months ago I actually had no intention of having a blog at this time, then started it on a whim when my husband was off running the Melbourne marathon.  And it has been great.  I am clearly not the most active blogger, nor much at marketing my blog, but this is motivating me to keep being creative.  Which will be all the more important this year, as I go back to full time work at my rather serious job on Monday.  I'm half dreading it, half looking forward to getting back in the loop.

So although I'm not into New Years' resolutions, I have been thinking about how I'll keep my creative self sustained.  I'm hoping I can keep up at least weekly posting, though I doubt I will be quite as productive with my crafts.   One of the best decisions I made in 2009 was to try to keep to high-yield projects, so I get more of the satisfaction of completion.  This meant abandoning some projects on which I had already spent too much time, and making simpler things.  And letting go of the need for my work to be perfect.  I am definitely keeping up this attitude.  I will have to if I want to get anything done in between weekday work, after hours rosters, expressing milk and actually spending time with my family!

I am hoping to do some (very basic) art this year, like my calendar drawing above. Just stuff I can do very quickly to get back into it, after too long a break from doing any art regularly.  I'm not sure I am even quite the artist I was in high school when I dropped my favourite subject of Senior Art for Physics (yes, everyone else thought it a strange move too), but I would love to get back into the habit of drawing.  And I figure this will often be an easier creative thing for me to do than get out my sewing machine/s at the end of a busy day.  Again I am planning to avoid fussing and trying to make my work perfect (which should differentiate me from my high school self) and just get lots of little things done.  Sounds good in theory- we'll see what comes!