Saturday, December 31, 2011

in love

with shabby apple
I discovered this gorgeous on-line shop afew days ago via grosgrain

I love so many of the dresses on offer, it's Impossible to choose just one favourite.
Here are just some I'm coveting

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The dresses are to die for and I love the names they give each one. Not to mention the styling and photography - photo shoots on location in Paris, Rome etc..  I could, and did, look for days on end.

I would kill to have any of these in my wardrobe.  Unfortunately unless I win the lottery (or this competition!) it's not gonna happen due to the ridiculous cost of shipping :(
Inspiration to get the sewing machine and some vintage patterns out???

Happy New Year to you all, hope the year to come is a great one!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

holiday christmas craft - a tutorial for peg reindeers

As alot of you would know, the Summer holidays have started.  Ours got off to a fabulous start with afew days away at Port Macquarie.

With all the rain thats around at the moment we were very lucky with the weather.  Although it did rain abit, in between it was sunny and warm.

THE best way to start the holidays!

So today was our first full day of the school holidays at home. 

Aimee, my little crafter, was keen to make something.  Happily, I had all the things we needed to make Peg Reindeers on hand. 
So between making several batches of Christmas Candy Cane Fudge (more on that in another post) we made a number of Peg Reindeers.

We basically copied one Aimee made at school last week.  Here's how we did it.

First gather your supplies.
You will need
  • two wooden pegs
  • craft glue
  • a 10cm length of ribbon
  • two googly eyes
  • one small pom pom
  • some bull dog clips come in really handy too!
  • a couple of keen children

Now, seperate the pegs and dispose of the spring. 
Lay the pegs down in front of you with the flat side up and spread glue below the notch for the spring at the thick end of the peg on all four peg pieces.

Now place two of those peg pieces back to back with the ribbon in between and clamp them together with a bulldog clip.

Repeat with remaining peg at other end of ribbon.

Making sure you have the right side of the ribbon facing out, spread glue onto top section of pegs, at the narrow end. 

And clamp together like so, to dry.

Dab three spots of glue onto the pegs for the eyes and nose of the reindeer

Stick on the googly eyes and the pom pom nose..........


and done!

Super easy and fun. 
Between the three of us, we made eight in about half an hour.  Aimee and Bethany love giving handmade gifts as much as I do, so these will be going to family members on Christmas Day.

So there you have it, a great little handmade ornament for hanging on the Christmas tree!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Skinny jeans anyone?

Spotted these fabo coloured skinny jeans on Shorties facebook page and lamented,
"if only they came in adults sizes.......".

Loved little betty's red pants which she made herself!  So cool.

Out shopping on the weekend and found these at Glassons

Snapped up four pairs. Yay :) 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

a long winded tale or a Christmas gift - whichever you're interested in

I've been mulling over ideas for a while now about what to give to Miss A's first grade teacher as an end of year gift. 
This teacher is an absolute gem, I wish my girls could both have her, every year of school!  She is fun, thoughtful and an excellent teacher. 

I had found out awhile ago that she loved elephants so I went out yesterday and bought her a lovely little elephant statue (no photo, sorry) and a nice little box to put it in.  But I really feel that handmade is my chance to show people how much I appreciate them, so I wanted to make something for her also.

One idea I had for simple handmade gifts this Christmas was based on a calico shopping tote that came with a magazine I purchased some time back.  Its such a simple design, but everything about it makes it the perfect shopping bag (except the magazines name stencilled across the front of it!).  Lightweight, easy to roll up and stuff into your handbag, and best of all - the perfect length handles (straps??) for carrying on your shoulder.
I've got metres of calico stashed away in my cupboard from one of my "kooky projects" as my husband likes to call them, making a lounge cover, about a decade ago.  No I didn't make a lounge cover out of calico, just a muslin.  Is it still a muslin if its not a garment to be worn............?  Anyway I digress.

As soon as Miss A saw the elephant after school yesterday she decided that today was the day she H.A.D. to give her teacher the present.  I toyed with the idea of making the bag after the kids were in bed last night, but after an hour and a half of fidling with fabric I realised it just wasn't going to happen.  I told her this morning I would make the bag today after I'd dropped her off at school. 

So we get up to school and I am reminded that this morning is the end of year School Mass.  Hmmmmmmmm, I better hang around I think. 
Just as well too, because after mass the principal handed out a bunch of awards including Best in Class to each grade and who should get the award for Miss A's class!  It was a very proud moment :))) 
Then the principal announces there is a morning tea being held after mass for all the parents who have helped out through the year with things like the Daily Reading Program, school excursions, sports/swimming carnival and tuckshop duty - yep, tick ALL those boxes, might as well hang around abit longer and get a free cup of tea!

So, finally get back home three hours later, have lunch, do violin practice with Miss B and find I have exactly two hours to make this bag.
After a bit more fidling with fabric followed by some hardcore sewing, I was very pleased with how the bag turned out.  

I couldn't leave the house without snapping a quick couple of photos, then I managed to get back up to school with said gift only 10 minutes after the final bell had rung. 

Miss A was happy, her teacher was happy and I am happy.

Definately think I'll be whipping afew more of these up before Christmas rolls around! 

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

bring a plate

Its that time of year, when we all like to get together to celebrate the year that was and have a little last horrah! before we move on to next year and whatever exciting things it will bring.

Inevitably for some of those shindigs a 'plate' of something is called for.  I usually go the baking route. You know, some gingerbread, a slice, cupcakes etc.  This time round I decided to keep it simple.  Also I wanted some 'real' food as the party coincides with dinner time.  So Miss B and I prepared these plates for her Pre-school concert/Chistmas party this evening.
a mixed variety here -
cheese and cabanossi, cucumber and cabanossi, black olive and cabanossi and cucumber and cheese

Basil, feta and cherry tomato - very Christmassy!

Don't they look purty!!!
I'm feeling hungry already.............

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

puffball skirt - making children's clothes

Here are the details of the Puffball skirt I made for Miss B to wear to her Orientation Day. 

Miss B has been rather apprehensive about starting school next year, so as a sweetener and to add some excitement to the whole Orientation Day proceedings I gave her my copy of making children's clothes by Emma Hardy and asked her to pick out something she wanted me to make for her.  I also let her pick the fabric, which we got from Jack's Textiles (love that shop).  For the lining I used a piece of plain teal cotton I had in my stash.

The skirt was very easy to make, the instructions in the book are clear and easy to follow.  And a first for me, the waistband was one of those which is elastised only at the back, but has buttonholes in the elastic with a button fixed at each side to allow you to tighten or loosen the waistband as necessary - you know what I'm talking about, alot of kids clothes from Big W have it.

My only issue with the pattern was that the waistband pattern piece was too small and I didn't realise until the skirt was all sewn together and I got Miss B to try it on.  We just managed to pull it up over her hips.  I wanted her to be able to wear the skirt more than once or twice so I unpicked it and made a bigger waistband.

She loves it and happily wore it to Orientation, which got off to a shaky start but ended extremely well.  Miss B seems now to have embraced or at least accepted the fact she will be starting school next year. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

On-the-Go Art Satchels now available at Shorties!!!!

That's right folks, just in time for Christmas shopping.  I took my wares into Shorties at Newtown today, hoping that I might sell afew  - Celia loved them so much she bought all my stock!!!
I just realised I didn't even get a photo of them all.  The one's above are just some of the Art Satchel's you will find at Shorties.
I personally make each and every Art Satchel myself, and no two are identical.

There is currently only one available in my Etsy shop.  Find it here

Miss A
Miss B

I did a little photo shoot the other day, both my girls got right into it.  They really wanted to be involved.
See the skirt Miss B is wearing, I made that for her to wear to Orientation Day for "big school" last week.  Hopefully I'll post more details about that and lots of other things I've been making soon.

No time for chatting now though, better get sewing................

Saturday, November 12, 2011

you know that sinking feeling

you get when your computer dies?  I mean really dies, like you are told that it's gonna cost thousands to retrieve anything off the hard drive.  In other words everything is lost forever.

Do you know that tightness you get in the pit of your stomach when you realise you haven't backed up any photo's to the external hard drive for the last six or so months (because you didn't know you could set up the computer to do it for you automatically - double d'oh).

Do you know that complete and utter feeling of dispair and desperation when it dawns on you that
every. single. pattern.,
both free and bought, crochet and sewing, that you have very concienciously and systematically filed on your desktop just waiting for that day when you'll have the time to make them are

Half glass full - slate clean, start again. 
Probably never would have gotten to them anyway.............. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Couscous Salad

About a month ago, Miss A's school had it's Sports Carnival.  I spent the day at the oval as I'd volunteered to help out for the day.  At lunch time, one of the other mum's gave me a taste of her Couscous Salad.  Yum!  I couldn't stop thinking about it, so last week I asked her for the recipe.

A couple of days later she presented my with a beautifully typed up recipe!  I made it for dinner tonight and it did not disappoint :)  Thanks Maria!

Couscous Salad
  • In a glass bowl put 1 cup of couscous
  • In a saucepan put 1 cup of water, pinch salt, 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder.  Bring to the boil and mix well together.
  • Add to the couscous, stir well and cover the bowl with cling wrap - leave for 5 mins
  • Thinly dice - spanish red onion
                            - red capsicum
                            - spring onions
                            - celery (stems and leaves (if you like))
                            - cherry tomatoes (take out the seeds)
                            - Avocado (optional)
  • Finely chop - fresh coriander (optional)
                             - flat leaf parsley
  • open a can of chick peas - rinse and drain well.
  • Once the couscous has absorbed all the liquid use a fork to seperate the grains making the couscous fluffy.
  • Add all your chopped ingredients, season to your liking with salt, olive oil, red wine vinegar and squeeze some lemon juice and mix well.

Did she really eat it for dinner? - not a chance

Monday, October 17, 2011

A day in the sun

Today Miss A's school had a Pupil Free Day, so Mr D organised the day off work and we had a family day out.

First port of call, Harry's Cafe de Wheels for lunch - a first for my girls!  Miss B l.o.v.e.d. her sausage roll.  In fact when asked at the end of the day what her very favourite part of the day was she hugged me and said, "my sausage roll".  Simple pleasures indeed!

We then drove down to Nielsen Park at Vaucluse.  What a beautiful little part of Sydney.
And today it was perfect. 
Sunny, warm and a weekday, so not many people around. 
Don't kids just love the most simple things.  Give them some water and some sand and you could just spend a whole day having fun.

Unfortunately we didn't have a whole day, just a couple of hours, so after an ice-cream each it was off home again.

Oh, and I found my new house!
The Gardener's Cottage at Nielsen Park. 
Even as a child I dreamed of living somewhere like this.

Picturesque isn't it?!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

boy sewing................

is not something I've had much opportunity to have a go at. 

But recently a cousin of mine gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, so I jumped at the chance to make something hand made for him. 

Ive been crushing on the tie shirt tutorial posted by Emily over at Saltwater Kids ever since I first came across it so knew straight away I'd be making a tie shirt onesie for the little fella.  I decided to pair this with a matching pair of shorts. 

I used the baby bloomers pattern from the book making children's clothes by Emma Hardy.  The idea was to use the same patterned fabric for the tie and the cuffs around the bottom edge of the pants. 

As usual though I managed to stuff it up and attached the cuffs to the top edge of the pant pieces. 
As I'd lopped 2 inches off the main pants pieces I couldn't just unpick and re-sew though.  And as I have been trying to use only fabric in my stash for projects this year I had squeezed the pant pieces out of a very small piece of blue cotton I had left over from this dress so cutting the pants again wasn't an option.

After much cursing and chastising of oneself, I decided the contrast as a waistband was a fabulous idea and that adding a couple of matching knee pads was only fitting as the little man will surely be crawling by the time he fits into this spiffy little number!

I have to say I am very happy with the end result, and if the need to make another little boy outfit should ever arise again I will do it just the same :)

I'm also happy to say my cousin seemed genuinely delighted with this little piece of hand made and I thouroughly enjoyed an afternoon of snuggling and cuddling the latest addition of my extended family.