Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Stash buster

Being the typically bad blogger that I am, I don't have any pictures of the swap goodies I recieved on the weekend in the Craftroom/Snailblazer great swap-o-rama to show you as promised. 

Not because I didn't take any photo's, I took quite afew late this afternoon. 
All the pictures have a lovely orange hue due to the setting sun; too much to be corrected by clicking on the nice little auto correct button in the photo editing program I use! 

Also in typical me style, I failed to charge the camera battery, so it promptly expired mid photo shoot anyway.................. 

All I've got to show you today is a Poochie Bag I made quite awhile back, the only salvagable photo out of the lot of them. 
It had been on my list of "favourite free tutorials to try" for quite some time. 
I used some Valorie Wells Del Hi fabric I bought ages ago as a fat quarter pack.  When it arrived I didn't know quite what to do with it but rather than leave it languishing in the fabric stash I whipped up this cute little tote. 
I love the shape and construction of the bag but find it a little too small to be really useful. 
Next time round I'll add a couple of inches to it.

some hexegon love

Not of the quilting kind but of the crochet kind.

Well I jumped on the bandwagon a couple of weeks ago and decided I just had to make myself one of Kirsty's to die for Granny Shrug's.

I couldn't wait to get started so ducked out to my nearest Lincraft, hoping that they might stock Patons Wilderness.  No such luck, so I bought six 100g balls of Lincraft Premium Luxe, which is a 100% wool yarn, mostly because I really liked the maroon colour - and the price was right, at around $6.50 a ball. 
Unfortunately I was less than impressed by the fact that each ball of yarn had several joins in it; that is a knot where lengths of wool had been joined together to make up the 100g ball. 
I suppose the old adage "you get what you pay for" comes to mind.........

I used  an 11.5mm hook, 'cause thats what I already had.

It would have taken me only afew nights to make the whole shrug, but, I originally made nine rounds thinking it would be too small with only the suggested eight rounds due to the smaller hook I used.  Then of course, after figuring out how to crochet the two hexegons together (I slip stitched the seams) to make the shrug, I realised it was too big so had to frog some of it and then crochet it back together again.  I then did a row of slip stitch around all the edges, including the sleeves to give it some stability and then decided to finish it with a row of fan (shell) stitch, which formed a lovely sort of collar. So add a couple more nights for that little hiccup.

I am overall quite pleased with the end result, barring the fact that I seriously need some help with weaving in my ends, because they keep unweaving - not a good look!

Miss A snapped these pictures of me the other day at the park.  I was, as usual, trying to kill too many birds with one stone - take the kids to the park, walk the in-laws dog and get some photo's for the blog. 

The dog was doing it's darndest to drag me away, Miss A almost stepped off the timber deck in the background there into the river and Miss B nagged me alternately for a go at walking the dog and taking some photo's.

Feeling a little stressed me thinks..............

At least I had my two most favourite at the moment made by me items on to keep me warm!!!  The scarflette was a prototype for the fantastic Craftroom sampleswap which took place yesterday at the Sunday get together. 
I had a lovely couple of hours chatting and receiving four fantastic swap items from fellow craftroom girls.  Unfortunately I couldn't stay the whole day but was most pleased I at least got to pop my head in for a bit and do abit of catching up with all the lovely ladies who came along.  So much beautiful work going on, I truly love it. 

I will do a show and tell of my gifts received tomorrow. 
Until then I bid you a cheery goodnight xo

Friday, June 11, 2010

My creative space........

This week I made a vest for Miss B. 
I completely love it. 
It fits Miss B perfectly, not just size wise but fits her personality too, you know?

The pattern?  A project sheet I picked up a little while ago in Spotlight, called Chevron children's hooded vest.  I found it a very easy and enjoyable project!

The yarn?  I used a Lincraft branded yarn called Prism.  It is a 70% wool 30% soy bean composition.  I bought it before I even knew what I was going to make with it because Miss B fell in love with it in the shop, the rainbow of colours caught her eye and she just had to have it!


I really liked working with this yarn and it has worked up into a nice thick, weighty vest, but it is still soft and supple - just perfect for those very chilly walks up to school each morning.

I added a couple of pockets to the front, just working one repeat of the chevron pattern for six rows and whip stitching around three sides to make a pocket for all the little bits and pieces which are collected and carried around each day.

I also added two little cat buttons Miss B selected awhile ago in a quilting shop. 
Miss B absolutley adores cats and I've had these buttons stashed away, just waiting for the right project to use them in. 
Although the pattern didn't call for closures I wanted to be able to do the vest up for abit of extra warmth.  And besides I hate the look of clothes half hanging of my kids as they run around playing.

It's big enough that she should get a couple of season's wear out of it, so I've got one very happy little sweetpea on my hands at the moment, which makes me happy :D

Now on to the next project, Kirsty's absolutely to die for Granny Shrug.  And thanks to Kirsty for hosting my creative space...each week.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

A shift in priorities

I have been so very slack with blogging of late. I do have things I've been meaning/wanting to share with you but the motivation has gone....................or should I say has temporarily been put on the back burner. My focus has shifted at the moment to my eldest daughter Miss A, who you may recall, started Kindergarten this year.

Miss A reading at the Mother's Day School Mass
she said: My mum is the best. My mum helps me make cupcakes. I love my mum.

Although Miss A settled in well and seemed to be enjoying school on the most part, I was finding it increasingly difficult in getting her to do her homework.

Now we're not talking about anything major here, just reading 4 - 5 sight words and a short home reader book each day, all up about 5 minutes worth.  But each day she would winge and moan and sook and cry. Each day it got progressively worse until eventually I was the one in tears............What was I doing wrong??? - things aren't meant to be this hard in Kindergarten, surely????

A new approach was definately in order!! I am so, so lucky to have a dear friend with children the same age as my two and who is also a primary school teacher. She came to the rescue, giving me tips and hints on how to make learning/homework F.U.N.

It's not rocket science folks, it's all about, wait for it........................playing. Making a game out of it.
So now, just about every afternoon we play "schools" - on Miss A's request!!! I've made a variety of games to play; simple games which concentrate on reading, writing and maths.

What a turn around. I can happily report we are all feeling much better about things : D

And although this is primarily a craft blog, I thought I might share afew of these with you over the coming weeks.

But for now, a quick catch up on the last month!

May was such a lovely month for me - what with both Mother's Day and my birthday to celebrate.

As seen in the photo above, Miss A took part in the school Mother's Day Mass, reading reciting a few lines about how she loves her mum, my heart melted xoxoxoxo

On Mother's Day, we went to visit Rouse Hill House and Farm. I love a good stickybeak around an historic homestead and this one even had something for the kids - the opportunity to feed some cows and collect an egg from the onsite chicken coup. The girl's were scared to death of the cow's (they are rather huge and scary up close) but loved collecting an egg. The weather was beautiful, we packed a picnic lunch and made a day of it - just the four of us - perfect!

On my birthday, my husband whipped me up a birthday cake,

presented me with a beautiful bunch of flowers,

and treated me to not one but five delicious, delightful new craft books I had on my wishlist!!!!!
I am sooooooo itching to get started on some new projects out of this lot, itching I tell you!

And I did manage to finish the Phannie hat I started back in April.

I tried and tried to get a good shot of it on my own head..........
then plonked it on Miss B's head.

Ahhhhhhhh, much better.

I am not a fan of itchy, scratchy wool against my skin and as I have dust allergies which seem to flare badly whenever I pull out all the winter woollens I steer clear as much as possible.
The yarn I used was Moda Vera Cupcake, which is 50% Nylon 50% Acrylic.

Part of the reason for making this hat is that the beanie I've been wearing for about the last 15 years is made from sheeps wool and every year my eyes water, my forehead itches like mad and I swear I'm going to replace it - that and the fact the beanie has a bell attached to it - cute when I was 18ish, not so cute now I'm 33 with two kids attached :)))

Hope you have a pleasant weekend wherever you are.
And if that happens to be Sydney, hope it's not too wet!