Thursday, November 10, 2011



... I have a date with the quick unpick and the couch in an attempt to salvage my first attempt at the Yard Sale skirt from Weekend Sewing*. If the weather continues on the way it's been in Sydney for the last few days (read: HOT), then I'm going to need lots of loose, floaty clothes STAT!

What are you up to?

*To save you from the same tears and tantrums that I've been having should you attempt this skirt, can I suggest you click over to the errata

Sunday, November 6, 2011

a fĂȘte accompli

Picture this: you're in the midst of the busiest time of the day (school pick up), at the busiest time of your life (baby number three only a few months old), when you get a note home from school about the annual school fete.

On that note is a list of all the usual stalls and the people who have volunteered to co ordinate that stall. You scan down the list and see the following;

"CRAFT - ????"

Hmmm. Your mind starts to wonder, "I could do that couldn't I?"

STOP RIGHT THERE. Can I suggest that if you ever do find yourself in that situation that the answer to this question should be a very loud, very definite "NO!". In fact, why the hell would you even ask yourself that question?!

Unless of course you're me. Which means you're notorious for thinking, "How hard could it be?", committing yourself and then a few weeks down the track having that sickening realisation (usually in the middle of the night), of what this really will involve.

I'll spare you the details of the emails, tweets, phone calls, and meetings I made/had where I begged for and borrowed supplies and helpers, and just show you a few of the bits and pieces that were made and finally sold at the school fete yesterday. This being a relatively crafty orientated blog and all.




In all we ended up with 631 items to sell (not including a vast number of things that were thrust upon our tiny stall yesterday just as the fete started up) and raised over $3000 for our small school.

Not bad.

Oh and that baby I had?

biggest & smallest

Is now FIVE months old. I'd ask where that time went but I'm pretty sure I already know!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

how to make an A-line skirt ... with a newborn baby

5 weeks old

Five weeks post this little dude I found myself in a bit of a conundrum: none of my regular clothes would fit (of COURSE though I stupidly tried them on just to check), and all of my maternity clothes were too baggy except for my jeans, which quite frankly, I'm sick of.

Looked as though it was time for me to finally confront my two all-time sewing fears: drafting a pattern for an A-line skirt from my actual measurements AND inserting a ZIPPER!

Sewing it went a little something like this:

Day One: Take measurements and draw up a vaguely A-line looking pattern on paper. Whoops, baby awake.

Day Two: Cut out pattern. Whoops, baby awake.

Day Three: Look for zipper insertion tutorials. Sew side seam. Whoops, baby awake.

Day Four: Follow zipper tutorial. Works! Awesome. Wonder why the baby isn't awake. Push on and attach waistband. Whoops, baby awake.

And that's about where I stopped.

Here's the finished result

A-line skirt

Yeah it's a bit wonky in parts. The waistband isn't quite finished and none of the seams have been finished off, such was my desperation to just WEAR IT (and such was the desperation of those around me no doubt to actually take off and wash my maternity jeans). BUT it fits! And did I mention it has a ZIPPER? It does!

Now to make another. If only that baby would sleep for longer than twenty minutes ...

An abundance of creative spaces here.

Excellent zipper tutorial here. Be prepared it's fast. I needed to watch it about five times before it sunk in but it's a ripper.

p.s. I've been totally CRAP at responding to comments lately ... hmmm I wonder why ... but I whole heartedly appreciate every one. I'll get better at responding. I will. 

Sunday, July 3, 2011

boy/s on film

Leo collage

Man it's hard to get a good shot of a newborn baby. Especially when said baby is born during a week long downpour. In winter. Leading to pretty poor light conditions. Add to that baby's compulsion to wee or poo all over the preferred outfit seconds before the photo shoot was to begin.  Sigh. Then enter the addition of a big brother who can't understand why you'd like him to be absent for the shot*.

I think we got there in the end.

* since the photo was to be used as a birth announcement/thank you card and all.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

a problem with monogamy

... of the knitty variety that is. Either I have to commit to one project or ...

knitting bag

... I need to make myself a bigger knitting bag.

On the sticks at the moment we have a cherry red Milo vest for Leo

cherry Milo

the Striped Cotton Cowl for moi

spring cowl - progress

and the super easy baby blanket which was given to me by my bestie Antonia as a most excellent baby gift.

baby blanket - progress

And then last night Luca said, "Mummy you have a scarf and I don't and that's not fair". Ouch. Far be it from me to leave the poor middle child's neck all naked! Looks like project number four will be cast on imminently.

For more creative spaces head over here.

p.s A massive THANK YOU for all the beautiful comments on the arrival of our Leo. He is two weeks old today and apart from having a cold (a gift from his brother and sister), he is doing very well indeed. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011



... decided to make his entry into the world last Thursday afternoon thankfully weighing a full kilo less than his older brother.

He's a hungry little fellow though and so the last few days have mainly seen me camping out on the couch using every cushion and pillow in the house in some effort to get comfortable.

But we're all good and so very glad he's here ... finally!

Monday, June 6, 2011


From the looks of this tummy (photo taken last week I might add) ...

39 weeks

... you'd have to think this baby is not far away right?

In the meantime there has been much crazed nesting involving moving large pieces of furniture, vacuuming in strange places, washing and folding all those teeny tiny clothes ...


... and a bit of decorating with a beautiful doll quilt I received from Lorraine in the Down Under Doll Quilt Swap.

Doll quilt + others

Also this weekend while packing up the fabric scraps left over from the Grellow Quilt I figured I might as well whip up a cushion cover. As you do.

Grellow Cush

And now I wonder if since all this is done, this little fellow might decide to make his entry into the world. Soon.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

my creative space : another week, another quilt

With each passing week towards the birth of this baby another "must have that done" gets checked off the mental "to do" list (mental, because I never actually write these lists and mental because there is no way in the world all of this stuff swirling around in my brain will ever actually get done).

Last night it was the final stitches on the binding for the Grellow Baby Quilt (top shown here).

Grellow Quilt

This one has been waiting for the quilting bit for some time. I always figured I'd manage to do it on my machine but two lines in it was quite clear that no amount of careful basting was going to stop the puckering, perhaps due to the choice of a quite lofty wool batting left over from another quilt. So I cut my losses and sent off a late night text to my sanity saver, Suzanne who, in her usual style had it done and dusted in a few days.


So glad I did.

The quilt features many an Aussie designer, most notably the awesome grey and white linens from Aunty Cookie as well as some of her "Paper Cuts" I bought as remnants a few years ago (which, I think is in fact my favourite fabric in the whole quilt), as well as some Pippijoe and some yellow dots from Sarah Fielke's "From Little Things" range (how cool is that fabric label name?! Only fitting some should find it's way into this quilt).


So then, on to the next thing on my list ...

For lots more creative spaces pop on over here.

p.s A small quilt I made for the one and only Nova as part of the Down Under Doll Quilt Swap found it's way to her this week. In true, "I-don't-keep-a-list" style I forgot to take photos of it. Luckily she did and you can see it here. I followed the excellent "Non-pattern Pattern" tutorial detailed by The Silly Boodilly and had a ball doing it.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

my creative space :: a long awaited birthday quilt

A long long time ago a pink quilt was begun for a then just five-year old, pink-obsessed girl.

For some reason that seemed to make perfect sense to the mother of said pink-obsessed five-year old girl at the time, the decision was made to hand quilt this KING single sized quilt.


And so almost a year later the quilt was finally finished just hours before the pink-bordering-on-purple-obsessed five-year old girl turned six, and was placed on her sleeping self to find in the

Sienna's quilt

And then it was forgotten when the  pink (and purple) cupcakes appeared.

birthday girl

For more creative spaces zip on over here. You'll be so glad you did!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

the countdown begins and other excellent stuff

So here we are, my little traveller and I with five weeks to go

35 weeks

Except that I'm pretending it's seven weeks so as not to be too stressed out when I inevitably wind up being overdue.

This past week has seen us with an urgent need to move large pieces of furniture (with assistance I promise), looking for paint colours to paint something bright yellow, planning a very excited soon-to-be-six year old's party, figuring out how to fit three car seats into the car AND the arrival of two amazing handmade gifts.


Firstly a pair of the comfiest pj pants (but I prefer to call them lounge pants. That way I reckon I get away with wearing them at any hour of the day), from my old high school friend Mel. Considering I failed to make myself a pair that fit and I have my body close at hand for measurements and such, I am astounded that Mel was able to make these having only my expanding waist measurement and that they fit sooo well! Sure to be sported a LOT during the coming months. In fact, it's amazing I was able to photograph them off quite frankly. Mel, you are a godsend!

And secondly this gorgeous little parcel arrived


This is apparently "hastily wrapped". Um, way better than the plastic bag I probably would have flung it in to at a moments notice. Inside the gorgeous Pebble Vest from that most awesome of crafty ladies, Tania.


I have to admit the sheer tiny-ness of this held in my hands had me welling up a bit imagining the little person that will soon fill it out. Tania, you are amazing. But we all know that right? Right.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

my creative space :: for my boys

Hi! How are you? I hope you had a great Easter break however you spent and celebrated it. Since my last post I've had a birthday and we've all been on a little trip north to catch one last "family of four" holiday before the newest little bloke arrives.

Also during this time a quilt was finished

Luca's shirt quilt

with a special little dedication added for one of my little fellow's

Luca's shirt quilt - embroidery

And whilst a bit of this was going on


and I had view like this


I finally FINALLY finished the all-consuming BSJ (Baby Surprise Jacket) first cast on way back here and twice frogged.


This teeny tiny little number gives no hint of it's trickiness. I'm not sure if it works for you or against you being a beginner knitter attempting this jacket. On the one hand it's great not having any pre-conceived "rules" for how something like this should be knit up because it literally looks like something someone ran over until it's off the sticks. On the other hand there were so many knitting conventions and terms which it seemed were assumed knowledge that I found myself quite lost on many occasions.


Enter the lovely Suzy and her VERY patient advice in person, via text, email AND twitter and in the end I muddled my way through. So many versions of this jacket have been Raved (mine here) but the one that first got my attention was Suzy's version for her then new baby girl. I'm certainly hoping my new little fellow can wear this on his way home from hospital in the same way.

For more post holiday creative spaces head over to Kirsty's place.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

32+ weeks

Oh the poor 'ol blog has been sadly neglected of late. Instead of blogging I've been choosing to put my feet up and out and catch a few zzzz's.

And here's why ...

32+ weeks

Those of you who follow my nattering away on Twitter would be well versed in what this little fellow has been up to lately. Namely, laying sideways and totally freaking me out that he is not going to move. Thanks to google I've been trying all sorts of kooky things to get him to turn around, most notably laying semi upside down on an ironing board that was propped up against the couch.

Anyhow according to my Dr he appears to have his head down south today so here's hoping he likes the view and stays that way.

And speaking of my little creation look what arrived for him in my letterbox last week

Kate's cardi

One of Kate's famous crochet cardi's this one featuring super squidgy delicious charcoal yarn and gorgeous orange Liberty covered buttons. You can see a better, less rushed photo on Kate's site. I'm completely blown away that someone I've met only a handful of times in the flesh would go to so much effort to make something so gobsmackingly beautiful for this little person of ours and I'm grateful beyond belief.

Thank you Kate!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

hanger challenge

What better way to while away the seemingly endless H-O-U-R-S associated with a move back (or forward?), from daylight savings time, combined with a sick child home from school AND a rainy day to boot, than to put on a pot of chicken soup, sit on the couch and pimp a wire coat hanger.

Hanger challenge

Yep the challenge set down by Kirsty this morning could not have come on a better day. And seen as how these wire monstrosities appear to breed in my cupboard (in much the same way as green bags do in the boot of my car), I may just need to make a few more. This one was just some scraps of a seasonal print of Liberty I had leftover from a pair of pj pants I attempted to make yesterday. The pants are unfortunately a little on the snug side but hey, at least they produced some nice scraps for my hanger.

Thanks for the welcome distraction from my to-do list today Kirsty!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

my creative space - progress report

It's been a quilty kinda day here today. Quite fitting really given the weather is finally starting to feel slightly cooler.

So you might remember this pile from last week's creative space? Well here it is a week later

yellow + grey - progress

I'm not sure if it's finished yet and since I don't have a cot set up I have no idea if the size is right or not. I  have had moments of sheer joy piecing this in it's haphazard, 'a-little-bit-of-this-a-little-bit-of-that' way. And then at other moments I have been so stumped by indecision about what should come next that I was wishing for a pattern.

BUT I figure I must be on the right track since the Mr's response was along the lines of, "Wow. You should make it bigger because I really like this one". Not entirely sure if that was meant to be a reflection of all my previous quilts or not ....

Speaking of which this one was picked up from the long arm quilter, Suzanne (you may remember her handy work from such quilts as this) today.

shirt quit - quilted

Just a sneaky peek for now. The final reveal will happen once the binding is on. So don't hold your breath or anything.

For more creative spaces head on over to Kirsty's place.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

my creative space

"... at the end of the day, it's only a quilt". 

I have had these words ringing in my ears since I read them on Monday on Kate's excellent blog series detailing her process of making a quilt. And with this as my mantra I am making a solemn vow to slice and dice (in a Kate like fashion*) into this ever growing pile of loveliness

grey + yellow

I've been amassing this lot for a few months now and even though I was given this amazing quilt featuring my latest colour combination obsession I still have a unstructured, choppy, piece-y quilt in mind to make before this new little person of ours arrives. I think it's taken me this long because I've been too scared to forge ahead and just have a crack. Well enough of that. Time to start chopping and sewing. After all,  (say it with me), "it's only a quilt"!

EXCEPT of course when you walk out of your front door on the way to school, only to find a massive parcel stuffed in your letterbox and the return address is listed as this person, at which point you tear open the parcel (even though you're running late for said school pick up) ...


... and pretty much faint on the spot at what you find in your hands


In this case, I promise you, it's not just a quilt. It's a very, very thoughtful, gorgeous piece of art from a truly amazing, generous and talented woman! Thank you Rita, so much. You have no idea how much this will be treasured.

For more creative spaces click on over to Kirsty's.

* minus the slicing and dicing of fingers!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

29 weeks and counting ...

The blogging mojo seems to have exited stage right around these parts. I love it when I read blogs that have seemingly ordinary day-to-day stories (I'm a bit of a voyeur like that), but lately mine have seemed way too ordinary, you know?

And then I remembered something that is so ordinary it's extraordinary ... I am cooking up a human.

29 weeks

Yeah I know tonnes of us have done it and done it a few times over but it is pretty cool isn't it? There's a person in there. Sure there's the three toilet trips a night, the varicose veins the ridiculously enormous bosoms that now appear to rest on the belly (cleverly edited out of the photo), the extraordinary tiredness coupled weirdly with insomnia, the low blood pressure and iron levels ... mmmm good times. But then every now and then I remember that this will be the last time I do this and of course how much I wanted to get to this stage last time and then suddenly this little guys cartwheels and elbows (or knees?) poking out aren't such a pain. Sort of.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

my creative space :: crafty friends

I was going to tell you a tale of knitting woe* for today's creative space but then I went to my craft room meet up last night and was caught completely unawares by some surprise, handmade and of course gob-smackingly stunning baby gifts. And so of course I have to do a little show and tell.

First we have a so-cute-I-can-barely-stand-it little elf hat from Jen

elf hat

I wish I could describe the silky softness of this hat. The only thing I can think of that's softer is an actual baby's head!

Next there was this awesome pillow from my long-time friend and all round crafty genius Sally


It'll be interesting to see if the new bub even gets to clap eyes on this considering Luca has taken quite a shine to it. And who could blame him?!

Next there was this gorgeous, gorgeous kimono style top from Suzy

kimino top

Basically I can't stop looking at this. The colours are right up my alley and the softness of the Liberty fabric is so perfect for a item of baby clothing. I was instantly able to visualise my new little dude in this very cool shirt!

And then there was this from Alison

no. 3

Yep that there is a quilt folks. She made me (well, the baby I guess), a quilt. And in my newest favourite colour combinations too - a bit of yellow and lots of grey. I was speechless.**

But wait did you see this bit

no. 3

Good lord. Is there anything this talented lady cannot do? I think not! My only hope is that this baby is not a vomiter. Because if he is there is no way in hell he is going anywhere near this quilt! For a much better photo and more details take a look here.

Pretty good huh? It's great to have crafty mates that's all I can say!

Oh and by the way you may be wondering why so early on these offerings? Well it seems there was some mix up about my due date with the general consensus being I was due next month. An easy mistake to make considering how H-U-G-E I am!!

For more inspiring crafty folk pop on over to Kirsty's.

* I am on my THIRD and FINAL attempt at the BSJ. Stay tuned.
** Actually that's not true. I'm pretty much never rendered speechless though I was very overwhelmed with joy. Which probably actually made me chattier.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

my creative space :: that'll do

A long long time ago the Mr was throwing out a stack of old business and casual shirts and having just read Handmade Home I came over all "nothing must be wasted" and screamed at him to, "stop right there and give me those perfectly good shirts which could be made into ... something".

So they sat and they sat until I had the brainwave to chop them up and make them into a quilt for Luca. I thought big squares, quite simple, piece of cake it'll be whipped up in no time.

In the meantime some further inspiration popped up when Kate made a lovely lap quilt for her little bloke.

But still my shirts waited ... and waited until finally recently in a few marathon sewing sessions the top was done

shirt quilt

In the end I also included a beige hail-spot shirt of mine which I could never quite part with but that made me look like I was in need of immediate hospitalisation which I think has given it a bit of a break from all the blue.

And finally, with a bit of support via twitter, I got up the guts to chop in to one very special shirt ...

shirt quilt

... one that the Mr wore on our first date ... almost (gulp) twenty years ago.

Now to back it and quilt it.

For more creative spaces you just know Kirsty's got the goods.


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