Monday, September 27, 2010

No matter how bad a night sleep I've had

I do love to come and sit at my dining room table in the morning sun.




When I've actually dragged myself out of bed, that is!

I received a lovely package from Red Riding Hood Yarns last week, and have been admiring the yarn ever since.




Both sock yarn, in 'Woodcutter' and 'Posie of Pansies' colourways.



Neither of the photos show the richness of the colours. Yum!
I did have plans that Woodcutter would become Christmas present socks but but now that it's here... It might need to be a shawl or something for me for next winter.

It's been awhile since my last yarn purchase ... And I think I made a good one this time :)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

If a picture is worth a thousand words... Then what do a thousand pictures equal?

A big catch-up post!!

So. Let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start...

I have been sewing a fair bit with knit fabrics lately, thanks to my trusty overlocker and to the purchase of some yummy merino fabric from New Zealand.
Now, just to clarify, I think I bought the fabric in July? And it's now September. I bought it for this winter.
Sigh.
Part of what it was bought for was to make some cycling jerseys for my husband instead of paying $70-120AU each.
Sorry about the crappy just-out-of-the-washing-basket photos, but here are some of the creations.




Firstly, baby blue and chocolate brown. I really like the neckline on this one...



Apart from the slight catch at the front.


Secondly, black and red.



They really do look better on than hanging!

And a shirt for me, not from
Merino but from random purple stash knit. This shirt is not long enough. So will probably not get worn alot, I can't cope with shirts that ride up!



I love that the differential feed on my overlocker copes so well with sewing the knit fabrics, and I can even say I'm not so scared of necklines anymore, but I just hate hemming on my sewing machine when I can't get the finish I want.
Coverstitch machine anyone? ;)

And also a garden update for you all.
Spring has sprung in a big way, and I'm loving the gifts it has brought with it.
My lavender, which did not flower at all last year, has given us some beautiful blooms after being repotted.




My lettuce and spinach (one of 4 plants) are going well...








And the strawberry leaves are bigger every day. Now, some fruit please!




And the broadbeans. It feels like they've been there forever, with no beans, and I was even considering ripping some of them out, until I saw ...



Wahoo!! Bring it on, we've got heaps of plants so hopefully heaps of beans to come.




And also for summer salads, some rocket (one of 4-5 plants) for your perusal ...



Snowpeas (these are in the last weeks I think, we've had heaps of snowpeas while hanging out the washing!)...





Beans to climb the fence ...








And tomatoes, both big ...



And small :)




Herbs to go with the salads? Sure!
Thai basil from a cutting?




Normal basil (one of three)?




Or is mint more your preference?




A bit of heat with some chillis too.




Sometimes it's nice to end the meal with a nice homegrown blueberry (if the free plant given to us from the nursery can be nursed back to life!)




And even though I'm not going to eat them, I'm loving the simple beauty in the flowers in my garden too.




There's something so lovely about sunshine, green gardens, and new things coming to life.



Saturday, September 18, 2010

Baby Bunting

I love bunting. There's something so happy and festive and smile-giving and decorative about the colourful fabrics all strung up in a row.

I recently participated in a bunting swap on a nappy forum I'm on, where a group of us sent sets of 15 fabric triangles (all cut from the same online template) cut from our own stashes (so 30 individual cut triangles, but in pairs of the same fabric) to the organizer, who then mixed them all up and sent them back to us.

I was lucky enough to get back enough for two sets, and I sorted them into one light and pink and girly set for my 4yo girl, and one bright and colourful and fun set for my 2yo boy.

So yesterday, determined to get out of my creative funk, I sewed up not one, but TWO strings of bunting.





Girly goodness :)





And funky colours for my boy
:)





I really love this one!






I learned some things while sewing these two.
Firstly - even though thinner, store-bought binding (as shown on the girly bunting) seems like it'd be harder to sew than wider, home-made binding (as shown on my boy's bunting) ... it's not. And the finished bunting hangs much better.

Secondly - colours are fun to play with, so play! Be brave. And if you're not sure of a particular flag, just don't put it in. I was unsure about the flag 4th from the left on my girl's bunting, and I should have just left it out.

Thirdly - if you want your bunting to hang evenly with a middle hook, then it needs to have an even number of flags. Otherwise you may need to improvise (as conveniently hidden in the bottom photo of the boy bunting).

I can definately see myself sewing some more of these in the future.

Friday, September 17, 2010

A sneak peek

At some leftovers from today's creations...






The frustration has lifted! Awesome. Just have to buy some hooks to display the finished objects and then you'll see what's made me smile today.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Frustration.

It used to be that I loved fabric shops. If i was having some child-free 'me time', I'd even choose to go to them over having a sleep, and that's saying something! I'd wander the aisles, stroking the fabric, loving the colours and prints, my brain going a million miles an hour imagining all the creations I could make.

But lately, I haven't had quite the same energy about fabric shopping.

It's not that I don't want to create. Or that the lovely patterns and textures don't still call my name.

The problem is, there's too many things that I want to make. Too many things that I've been planning for awhile and still haven't gotten around to doing. Too much fabric that I bought for a particular project, washed, dried, and put in the cupboard. Too many patterns that I want to try. Too many things for Christmas, or birthdays, or just because. Too many ideas running around in my brain, taking up space until they get made.

I'm just a bit exhausted by it all. I don't know where or what to start.
Yet I still want to create. It's very frustrating.

So I haven't been fabric shopping lately. Which, though has been good for the bank balance, has been, as I said before, just plain frustrating.

And don't even get me started on knitting.

Speaking of which, I did start a new knitting wip for my girl's birthday in August. I refuse to feel guilty that it's not finished yet, and am chugging away on it as the mood and late-night-tv takes me.




Hope all of you are much less creatively frustrated than I'm feeling today :)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Some inspiration from a sick household.

The mumma and dadda in our house have had fevers and aches and tummy pains so far this week. We are on the mend (hence blogging now!) but are still not 100%. The kids seem to have escaped, thank goodness, though them having normal energy levels has been quite trying! But they are lovely.

So in these situations, when you cant even turn to chocolate or coffee for comfort, my visual nature finds rest and inspiration in some internet bloggy goodness.

Lucy at attic24 has a beautiful blog, and such a beautiful way of writing and bringing us all into the life of her little family. Her crafty goodness is totally inspiring, and her love and joy in her family shines through every post. Do check her out :)

In new yarny goodness, a yarn-dyeing goddess on a cloth nappy forum I frequent has just started a new yarny business Red Riding Hood Yarns and they are amazing! If I wasn't on a self-imposed try-and-knit-what-i-already-have yarn buying ban, I would have at least three of the colourways on their way across the ditch from New Zealand :)

And a friend from the same forum, Sheryl from Shortly Stitches has been inspiring me with her photos of her spring garden blooming, and her scrummy new hat knitting pattern Benji (scroll down her blog to see the post 'Benji at the beach') which is available for purchase here on Ravelry. Have a look, you know you want to :)

What's been inspiring you lately?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!

Not the bodily fluid kind (!). But the excited "woohoo!" exclamation when something really exciting happens .... like a darning foot for your sewing machine arriving in the mail.

Now, I did receive this about a week ago, but as all mothers with small children can probably appreciate, I had to wait until the stars aligned significantly for the smaller one to be asleep, the bigger one to be significantly distracted enough, and my energy levels to be enough to set up the machine, sort through the fabric, and to be brave enough to try and attach it to my machine when I've never even seen one in real life before!

And so all of that happened. And I took a deep breath ... and played a little.

You can see my attempts at getting the right tension on the bottom of that photo!

And I smiled. Such a long time thinking and doubting and thinking and waiting, so much worry about "will it fit my old machine?", "will I be able to lower the feed dogs?"...

But it was fine. And I'll practice, and it'll be a new skill to learn.
And it's ok that I'm not perfect at it straight away ;)

The first practice attempt was this potholder ... that my little girl informs me will be a pillow for her Barbie. Fine with me!


Which is not as wavy as it appears.


Red cotton, pink poly/cotton fleece, red gingham. Fine for a practice!

Off to google more freemotion quilting help ... anyone got any tips or suggestions for me?
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