Monday, October 18, 2010

Numero Tre

Luca's 3rd Birthday

Although it seems like five minutes ago, apparently yesterday it was three years since this child decided to make his very late, but quick entrance into the world.

So yesterday we celebrated with a few presents and what has become a family tradition of pancakes* for breakfast at home before dashing up to Newcastle to have a shared birthday celebration with a cousin and extended family members.

All in all a lovely day for this gorgeous, gentle, caring TALL boy of ours.

Happy Birthday Luca!

*Quite honestly, if you have a hankering for thick, fluffy American style pancakes then this is the recipe for you! 

p.s. - I may not have managed to reply individually to all the amazing messages of support for our Maxie last week. Your comments really buoyed me through what was a pretty harrowing week. After a few steps forward and many steps back our furry fellow will have surgery on his jaw today. He has regained sight in one eye and is meowing - all small but very good signs for a recovery. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010



A few weeks before my 30th birthday (six years ago - *gulp*), I spotted that gorgeous fellow above in a shop run by a breeder of Burmilla cats. I'd never heard of the breed before and really couldn't have cared less what he was. I just fell in love on the spot with this cute little silver bundle. After much negotiation with the non-cat-loving Mr I finally won out and Max ended up being my birthday present.

He was soon dubbed "cat-dog" due to his ability to play fetch, go for walks on a lead and a penchant for playing hide and seek. Within a few days he had the Mr well and truly won over.

Fast forward a few years and poor old Maxie had to get used to small babies entering his domain. At times he looked visibly depressed that he was no longer the only focus of our affections but before long he was submitting to all sorts of child lead torture fun.



And truth be told Max is probably the family member who was most enthusiastic about my entry in the world of sewing and quilts



Max and quilting

On Sunday afternoon Maxie was crossing the road, no doubt to see one of his many neighbourhood "friends", when he was hit by a car. Luckily the people who hit him know us and critical minutes were saved getting him up to the local vets. As I write this Maxie is still alive but has some fairly massive injuries. I'm still waiting for the vets to tell us we need to let him go but for the moment they are giving us hope that they have seen cats fully recover from the same state that Maxie is currently in.

And so we wait and we hope for our affectionate, gentle, quilt-loving, sun-worshipping boy to make it through and come back home where he belongs ...


... in the sun atop of a pile of clean laundry.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Schoolhouse Tunic

Ever since I sat next to Sophie at The Craft Room all day craft-a-thon and witnessed her whip up a Schoolhouse Tunic in the space of a few hours I was chomping at the bit to make my own. To me this top is the perfect combination of a flattering neckline and then that fantastic drop-from-the-waist-ness that cleverly disguises any hint of late night chocolate eating.

So when I was in New York recently I had my yardage requirements handy as I navigated the overwhelming isles of Mood.* I found some lovely, gauzy, silky voile and immediately fell in love. Of course the voile and I have not exactly been seeing eye to eye over the past few days but otherwise I found the Schoolhouse Tunic pattern to be pretty straight forward, thanks in a large part to the very clear instructions.

schoolhouse tunic

Now here's the problem.

When I bought the fabric I didn't notice the large rose design in the circle running along the base of the fabric. When I was cutting out the pattern I felt it was going to be better to try and keep the rose on the skirt part of the tunic rather than emblazoned all over "the girls".

HOWEVER I now realise that perhaps a great big rose over my lower abdomen is not perhaps the most flattering look either.

schoolhouse tunic

Confirmed when I modelled it for the Mr last night and he loudly guffawed (and a guffaw is big from the guy who usually lets not even a snigger pass his lips).

Oh and in case you can't see my butt highlighted by the other huge rose I'm helpfully pointing it out for you.

schoolhouse tunic - back view

So friends here are my options as I see them:

1. Cut the tunic up to the shirt length thus rendering the circle shape to a semi circle. However this would mean I would have a large semi circle at the top of my backside. Would that be worse?

2. Leave it as is and wear it with confidence as if I had planned it that way.

What say you?

p.s Jo also made a lovely shirt version in the past week which you can see here.

* For fellow lovers of Project Runway you'll know how much of a struggle it was for me to not shout out, "Thank you Moooood" a la Tim Gunn at the end of my Mood visit.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

my creative space

Well I had hoped to share with you the item of sewing that has been consuming my creative space for the last few days, my school house tunic but this is the state it's in as of five minutes ago.

School house tunic WIP

Cat hair included. So I might share that in a few days.

Instead I thought I'd take this opportunity to alert you to the  fourth round of Softies for Mirabel, you know, if you've been living under a rock or something. Now by my count you've still got plenty of time to get cracking on your softie of choice before they are due in at Pip's place. Last year was my first go and I made this guy. Believe it or not, he is my most viewed image on flickr. Go figure.

This year I'm feeling inspired by this little bit of cuteness I happened upon in the French Marie Claire Idees magazine (and if anyone can tell me what the brown fabric on his belly is I will love you forever).

bunny from marie claire idees magazine

Or perhaps I can find inspiration a little closer to home in these guys.

softie friends

Sienna made the chocolate brown one in the front (named, "Elizabeth" until just this moment when she declared it's called "One-patch ear, one-patch eye underpants"), at a sewing class she attended last week. Of course we then had to whip up a companion for Luca the next day, the appropriately named "Spotty Dog".

Now if you want to see an amazing donation in progress head on over to Kate's for a look at what she's up to.

For more creative spaces pop over to Kirsty's.

Friday, October 1, 2010

that handmade sigh of relief

You know the one right? That comfortable groove when you get to make something for a fellow crafter or believer in the "I-don't-care-that-it's-got-wonky-seams-cos-it's-handmade" philosophy.


That cosy feeling had me sailing through this second version of the ice-cream social dress*. Even the bits where I was muttering through my gritted teeth and unpicking seams into the wee small hours were worth it knowing that it was going to be worn by the daughter of a fellow sewist.

Fellow sewist herself also had a birthday and suddenly I was completely and utterly stuck for ideas. For weeks I was tossing up potential projects. Placemats? No she's made them already. A table runner? No she's made one already. A tote bag. No she's made one already. Knit something? Don't be stupid you know how slow you are at knitting.

In the end I came up with a variation on the burlap bucket I made here (pattern from the very talented maya*made) and this book.

Sam's bucket

My other crafty (and Libran, and red loving), friend got the same fabrics (which, incidentally are both from Kelani) in a different way


A cushion with a tiny bit of quilting on the branches of those beautiful trees. She got some other stuff too (namely an antique amber owl brooch from Yard Sale), but I just know she's loving the handmade cushion just that little bit more. You know?

*Believe it or not the dark fabric used in the ice-cream social dress is actually the same denim as used in the other two projects. A combination of a dull day and an early morning, pre-birthday party photo shoot has ended up making it look black. Which it's not. Just sayin'. 


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