Thursday, December 20, 2007

A Very Late Birthday Present

I have finally finished making two felted cushion covers for a friend's birthday that was in August. I had one already made ages ago but really wanted to make a pair for the present. I am quite pleased with the way I sewed the cushions together, I've never sewn anything other than stuff for my patchwork so I wasn't sure how to do it. There is a lot of overlapping material so I haven't even had to add Velcro or press studs. Well I am giving the presents to my friend tomorrow so I hope she likes them. I guess now they are partly Christmas presents too!

Here is the very simple gift wrapping of the cushion covers.

I thought I'd add a picture of a doll my neighbour had made for her little girl's Christmas present. I think it's absolutely gorgeous and it even looks like the little girl who is getting it. How much better is this than some Barbie doll?!

Anyhow I hope everyone is having a great week leading up to Christmas. Tomorrow is the last day for work this year then it's 5 weeks off for summer holidays, yippee! I'm sure I'll spend it being busy with craft projects. If I don't post again before Christmas I wish you all a wonderful and safe Christmas and a happy new year.

Friday, December 7, 2007

My First Block Swap

My swap partner asked for a block that had a nautical theme and this is what I have come up with. I chose the blue fabric because I thought not only is it blue but it has a bit of tone variation that makes a pattern which reminds me of the sea or water in general. I hope my partner likes it and can actually use it in her quilt. I've joined another two swaps since this one and am finding it exciting to be part of these swaps, sharing things we've made with our hands with others across the globe or in other parts of our own country.

I've never made a block like this so I am feeling a wee bit proud of myself, working it out and getting the size right without a pattern. OK it's not complicated or anything but I still can't help but feel like I've achieved something. Anyhow I hope everyone is doing well and not going slowly insane with all the running around and trying to get all that needs to be done for the holiday season.

Monday, November 19, 2007

First of Many Christmas Thingies

I have finished one of the table pieces I started last weekend. This one is for a friend. I hope they like it! I'm having a house warming on the weekend so I'm thinking I might try and decorate my room a little better because at the moment it is very 'daggy' for all those Aussies out there they will know what I mean. I was thinking I can at least make some pretty quilted cushions and square mats for the bedside table, bar fridge and top of the book shelf. I also thought an interesting vase with some flowers might help spruce things up. See if I have enough energy by Friday.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Christmas Presents in the Making

I've started making some Christmasy table runners that will later become Christmas presents for some special family members and friends. Whilst these are the first two, I think I'll have to make another 3 more to cover everyone I want to give a present to.

This is the backing material I am using. The binding will be done in the red/gold material that is featured in the blocks. I've done the quilting in cream/neutral thread but maybe for the others I will try doing it using a red thread.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Left the Nest...

Well I have been spending the last two weekends moving out of home. I've moved in with a friend who I work with, boarding in her spare room which is partly her old kitchen as well. It's a great space. There is a sink and built in cupboards, a huge table, cupboard and bedside table. I also bought a bar fridge and some cooking appliances, basically it's almost completely self contained. If I wanted to I could live in just the room only coming out for toilet and shower! Anyhow one of my bunnies is living with me also, the other is still at my parents who don't want to let it go. (Funny that because mum is always complaining about the mess it makes!) So yes Charlotte the bunny is now a house bunny and I think she is enjoying herself.

This is my craft corner with craft books on shelf, sewing machine set up, crocheting projects and wool stash under the table as well as my fabric stash.

And here is dear Charlotte in her 'day' pen. I just can't trust her when I'm at work, I know what she's like she'll nibble on all the furniture if I'm not watching her so when I'm not there she is in the pen otherwise she has free range of the room and house but she is still too scared to wander in the rest of the house and tries to run back into the room if I take her out.

On the craft side of things I've washed all my Christmas quilt fabric and just need to iron it before I get started on two Christmas table runners. They will both be presents. I've also continued working on the alphabet cross stitch, TRYING to get it finished before Christmas so I can take it with me when I visit my friends and their baby.

Happy crafting

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Christmas is on it's Way...

This year I am actually looking forward to dressing up the house for Christmas, partly because of this wonderful book I found at the library which has the cutest Christmas craft projects in it. I am particularly fond of the 'partridge in a pear tree' project and the birdy Christmas tree. These are both featured in the photos. I am also hoping to make a table runner in Christmas fabrics. If I manage to make any of these items it WILL be a Christmas miracle! I will of course keep you all posted. Sorry for not having any new photos of projects that I am actually 'making' at the moment there's been lots of finishing stuff off for work and trying to tidy up some junk around the house, as well as catch up on sleep but hopefully I'll be back into the craft soon. Until next post have a wonderful week and for those in Australia, enjoy your Melbourne Cup day holiday!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

It's Been a While...sorry

It's been a quite a long time since I last posted an entry, it's just that things have been REALLY busy. I've been back at work for three weeks and within those three weeks I've had to prepare the whole school art show, coordinate the opening night, finish an assignment for uni, have meetings with parents and adult centres for my students who are leaving, I've had an exam, my sister's 21st birthday and of course actual everyday work to attend. I've still got half of the assignment to finish it's due Tuesday so wish me luck! Oh and my cousin had a baby boy two weeks ago as well...can't forget to mention such good news!
Anyhow amongst all this I have managed to work a little on a cross stitch that I started around April this year. It is for a friends new born baby. I had planned to finish it last school holidays but the library lost the book with the pattern and I couldn't find my photocopies. I did though find it on and paid a heap load to buy it. The book itself just arrived a week ago.

As you can see from the first photo I've also bought a cross stitch book that has patterns inspired by antique samplers. I just love old fashion samplers, you know the ones with little houses and flowers, a few bunnies or birds. I want to adapt one of the patterns so that it includes 'home sweet home' in it. I think it would be just lovely to have a classic 'home sweet home' piece hanging in the house. Anyhow I better get back to the assignment, I've just felt a little bad for not keeping posts more regular. Hope everyone is well and getting ready for a festive Halloween. It's a shame we don't really celebrate it here in Australia.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Ilustration Friday "Open"

Nothing like a set of undone babooshka dolls to say 'open'

Brand New Sewing Machine- I'm in luuuuv!

I went the other day and spent all the money I got back from the tax man on a new sewing machine that is also designed for quilting. (So much for putting the tax money back on the mortgage... ) Here is a preview of all the cool things this machine can do...

Life is going to be so much easier with this blanket stitch option!

All I have to do now is practice with the free style stitching so that for my next quilt project I can put a whole heap of fancy stippling ( is that what that curly whirly stitching is called?) Anyhow I am just so excited about all the new things I will be able to do thanks to this machine. It's pretty heavy duty so I can put through thicker threads and metallic threads which will be great if I choose to get extra arty farty with my quilting. Anyhow as I said in the title 'I am in luv!"

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Autumn Lapghan in Spring

After trying to sew my blocks together for the other crochet project and ending up making a mess I got really cheesed off and just started crocheting and crocheting and ended up starting this big fat granny square using any bit of yarn I had around. Even though I just started it out of feelings of frustration with the other project it has now taken a life of its own and is pleasing me more and more as it grows.

The yarn stash that is very quickly disappearing, will need to get some more soon!

Anyhow I hope everyone is well and thank you to those who have left messages, they are always much appreciated!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

By Candle Light

I know it's not the best for my eyes but I love to read by candle light. I especially love reading or watching horror/thrillers by candle light as it helps set the mood. I usually find it a great way to use up candles I've used for spells, firstly because it continues to release the energy that has been invested into the candle already and secondly... why waste perfectly good candles?, can't reuse them in another spell! I would love to have my own home one day and deck out the whole place with candles. Candles in the most amazing and original candle holders. I think I should start collecting candle holders for when that day comes.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

In My Skin- Kate Holden

I am onto my second book that I have been meaning to read for a while now. It's Kate Holden's Under My Skin, which is an autobiography/memoir about Kate's life on the streets of St Kilda as a hooker and heroin addict. It's so weird reading it because I know St Kilda and the other places in Melbourne that she writes about. Even though she doesn't name places only streets I know by their reputation and physical description which places she is talking about. Usually the stuff I read is based in America or England so to have something set in my own home city/town it's really weird. Well I must say it's a one night read because it just reads so well and you don't want to put it down. There are times I wish I could just slap Kate out especially when she describes going straight from rehab to her dealer instead of home. I think you f^&$* idiot! Anyhow its an interesting read and very straight and honest account of one woman's life on the streets. What's best is she doesn't play the victim and talks about her inner thoughts regarding what she was doing. It's no Pretty Woman fairy tale that's forsure.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Finally it's all finished!

So here is some photos of the finished quilt which is for my sister's 21st birthday present. I decided on the maroon fabric for the binding which I'm happy with, looks like a double thin border. Now I have two items I can tick off my to-do list, also finished reading Dan Brown's Angels and Demons. Meh it was ok, nothing of literary genius or anything like that but a good no brainer read.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

First of Two Felted Retro Cushion Covers

As you can see on my to-do list I have to finish two felted cushion covers having promised a colleague that I'll make her some for her birthday. Yesterday I embarked on making the first of the two cushion covers with the help of another colleague mentioned previously in a felting entry. We are pretty happy with the results and are now thinking the other cover will be the same but reversed colours, so white with red line work. We will need to prepare some more red fiber though as this cushion pretty much took up all the red we had.
Here's a bit of a look at the process, well the felting part at least, there's heaps that goes on in preparing the raw wool for felting.
All we have to do after the other one is finished is decide on the backing material and to sew it together!

Monday, September 24, 2007

A Thrifting Monday

Just thought I'd show off some interesting thrift store finds from today's adventures in thrift land. Yeah I know I'm just buying stuff I have no use for, well at least not yet since I still live at home but then there's nothing stopping me from putting the ceramic plate away for when I do move out. Anyhow the brooch is definitely something I can use now and for only $3.00 I don't care if I just look at it and never wear it at all. I just love the cute little forget-me-nots on it, so quaint and sweet. I think the charcoal colour of the plate will look great with a bunch of citrus fruits like bright yellow lemons and green limes. I can already see it looking fabulous on a kitchen table with two gorgeous wooden jarah candle holders polished with beeswax. Hmmmmm sometimes I wish I had millions or at least thousands of dollars so I could just move into my house and continually redecorate every 6 months!

I burnt a little frankincense today and a concoction of my own dried herbs which included, rosemary, sage, white sage, thyme and lavender to try and get rid of some negative vibes. Here arch angle Michael watches over. I sometimes dabble in a bit of witchcraft but haven't had time for it for quite a few months now.

Anyhow I hope everyone has a positive, bad-vibe free week! Now with holidays I'm sure I'll be posting more often so do visit!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

When there's nothing else to eat... Muffins!

I am officially sick of ham and cheese sandwiches! I think I've had a ham and cheese sandwich at least once every day for the past week, ok ok I admit one day I had ham, cheese and tomato! So finding that once again there was nothing interesting in the fridge and feeling very hungry I decided to make some muffins. It's a fool proof recipe I've adapted for my students at school.
In a bowl put
1 cup self raising flour
1 cup milk
1 egg
1 pinch salt
and anything you like for flavour
stir and pour!
I didn't realise till this afternoon that I have become a better 'simple-everyday-meals' cook since becoming a special needs teacher. We do a lot of cooking in our class and I have to keep things really simple, sticking to recipes that one could make quickly and eat everyday. By nature I like to cook elaborate meals, I like to challenge myself with unusual flavour combinations and techniques but now I've had to learn to get back to basics and being able to whip up a batch of muffins for lunch today really made me appreciate this new approach to cooking. Though the irony to this story is that I only had CHEESE and HAM in the fridge so instead of cheese and ham sandwiches I ate cheese and ham muffins ahhhhhh!

Friday, September 21, 2007

The School Holiday's to do List

Yep it's Friday night and the final term school holidays has officially started! I've just handed in that darn assignment which I was still fixing till 20 minutes before the post deadline. Whether I passed it or not is another thing. So the to do list for these holidays, here is what it looks like so far...

1. Felt two pillow cases for colleague's birthday present
2. Finish cross stitch started for friend's newborn
3. Finish granny square blanket
4. Finish crochet flower scarf
5. Finalised invitations and special guest speaker for art show
6. Complete and publish art book 'Happy Pills' through Blurb
7. Study for exam
8. Read and make notes for second assignment for Teaching Social Behaviour subject
9. Finish reading Dan Brown's Angels and Demons
10. read Kate Holden's Under My Skin
11. Cast a couple of spells to help clear the 'illness cloud' that's been lurking around work
12. Finish binding on sister's rose quilt
13. Get other sister's engagement present framed
and finally...
14. Try to just relax and indulge in a little aromatherapy, tarot reading, gallery hopping and window shopping, maybe even get to take a day trip to the country!

Whether I get to finish all this in 2 weeks... we shall see. I'm starting tonight with working on the cross stitch and tomorrow I'm going over a friends to baby-sit her children and card and dye some more wool for the cushions.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Arts and Craft at the Royal Melbourne Show

Today the whole school went to see the Royal Melbourne Show. I hadn't been since I was about 12 years old and even then I hardly got to see any of the show, dad cracked it and took us home after half an hour! I must say I thoroughly enjoyed it even though I was a bit worried about it being too commercial and over crowded but there was one section that was commercial and another which was very traditional with all the animal breeders competitions and the craft and cooking displays. The students had a ball looking at all the animals and buying show bags. I personally enjoyed the arts and craft section the most. (not particularly surprising is it?) There were some good examples of quilts, cake decorating, photography, crochet and knitting but I have to admit nothing really stood out as outstanding. Some of the items that won first price were very amateur and both the other adults and myself could not understand how some of the items won! I did get a chance to take some photos while we were there, just so I could share them with some of the international readers of this blog.

I personally think some of the items people have made on granny along are more interesting and outstanding than these examples. But the pillow made up to look like a patchwork quilt piece out of small granny blocks is a good idea.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Granny Art

Looking for some inspiration I googled 'granny squares' and found this image. I am in love with the idea of making a series of gorgeous little granny squares out of unusual threads and applying them to canvases as this person has. I'm looking at the one on the top that is mounted onto jean fabric and thinking how quaint it would be to stitch tinny granny squares to say the bottom or the pockets of a pair of jeans or around the hem of a jean skirt. Could be a bit daggy I guess but unique! I'm afraid I am still just plodding away with the scarf and granny blanket so I don't really have any new photos to show you all. I'm also working on an assignment at the moment which is giving me a hard time. I don't remember having such a hard time with an assignment, I am literally just hoping to pass it which is unlike me. It's sucking all the fun and life out of me darn it!

I've been looking at some quilt patterns trying to decide which one I will try and make over the school holidays. I particularly like the one below. There's something comical about the image in the middle. You can't really see it in this photo but there's a English man taking a Victorian lady for a ride in the most ridiculous buggy which is being pulled by what looks like dogs instead of horses. I haven't been able to find any fabric print as comical as that so I've done some more googling to find images that I can then transfer onto the fabric.


Anyhow I hope everyone else is having a much better time these days than I am. The assignment is due Friday so only two more days of torture either way, or at least until I get the assignment back saying I failed. Ahhhhh. Thanks for the comments everyone!

Thursday, September 13, 2007


It's all chocolately goodness I tell ya! Haven't finished all the granny squares but have started going around all those finished with the final chocolate brown yarn. I am now very happy with how it's all looking, I think the chocolate brown just makes it complete. I don't even want to think about all the ends I have to sew in. I think someone could make a fortune sewing other people's ends in for money. Anyhow it's nearly the weekend and I am very much looking forward to it. I have been feeling so pooped at work this week, ready to get back to bed the moment I walk into work. *Yawn* I hope everyone else is well and busy creating yarn master pieces!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Made with Love and Roses

Just took some photos of a quilt I've been making for my sister's 21st birthday present. Her room is decorated mainly in pinks and mint greens and she just loves anything shabby chic so this is what I've made to complement her bedroom decor and taste. I haven't put the binding on as of yet as I can't decide what fabric to use. I'm tossing up between the pink/maroon fabric that is featured in the thin border or just using the same material used for the outer border. I've got till October to decide and finish it so I'm not too stressed at the moment. I tried to be more experimental with this quilt and use a range of colours and fabrics. I think all up I have about 10 different fabrics. This is also the first time I've made a pierced boarder and used Ohio star blocks.

This is what it looks like sitting on my sister's bed.

Bit of an Update

Hello! yep it feels like ages that I've posted an entry. I've been busy with the same projects. Me stick to the same project?,unbelievable I know. Believe me it doesn't happen often but I am feeling good about it because it means I should be able to finish the blanket and scarf sooner than later. Only problem borning blog entries! Sorry guys. Anyhow here is an update photo.

Well here is the flower scarf. Don't ask me how I'm going to stitch them together though. If anyone has any ideas PLEASE let me know, I'm just more worried when it comes to joining a red and blue flowers, how can I stitch them together without one looking messy?

Oh and here is what I've been reading lately, in between hours of 'academic' reading for university assignments. I found them at a local 'hippy-new age' store funny enough. Went in for incense and essential oils came out with Beatrix Potter. According to my mother I remind her of Peter rabbit, basically because I'm always getting in trouble without meaning to. Thanks mum! Apart from the beautiful and inspiring illustrations the stories are just so quaint and focus on all the simple things in life and for this reason I could just read them over and over again. If you haven't seen the movie Miss Potter with Renee Zellweger, I totally recommend that you get it out on DVD and watch it with a box of tissues, a cup of tea and some home made cupcakes. It is just such a beautiful story in itself.

Thank you to those of you who have left comments, I haven't had a chance to reply lately because of work and university commitments but will try and reply soon. I am so looking forward to handing in this last assignment and school holidays!!!!!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Another New Project...

I've started another project that I am quite excited about. I started making some 'flowers', for no particular reason other than to practice a new crochet pattern. So far I've only been making the 'classic' granny squares. Then I decided to browse Etsy and see what crochet products were for sale which lead me to this kinda neat scarf idea. There were a few scarfs that had crocheted flowers sewn together to make the scarf. The flowers were a bit different to mine but I think it will still work with these. There's also this tutorial on You Tube that shows you how to make this ruffled flower which I really like and so I'm thinking I'll make a few of those too and add them to the scarf in a random fashion, just to add some dimension and texture.

This is the beginning of the scarf, at the end though I want to sew them together so they are more random. I don't want just a chain of flowers. I don't quite know how to explain what I want with words, when I make more I'll take a picture and show you what I mean. It will be mainly that blue colour with a few red/maroon ones scattered between the blues, just to make it a bit more interesting.

This is just an update photo showing the progress I've made on the granny square blanket. I've decided to make it more of a lap blanket. I've decide to make it 6x8 squares which are about 7 inches. Also I want to add a bit of a boarder like a scallop shell design, not really quite sure but that's what I'm thinking of at the moment. Anyhow I hope you have all had a refreshing and pleasant weekend and may the week to come be full of fun creative moments!