Saturday, May 31, 2008

denim bag

We had a 5yr olds party to go to today, so I whipped up this denim bag for the birthday girl. Hope she likes it! My big girl certainly liked it, and had a little play with it before we gave it away. If you want the pattern its free here. I had some issues with the shapes on it being way too big, but managed to scale them down to fit. The colours on the top photo aren't so accurate, they were much brighter like the bottom photo.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

vintage coat

I finally got this coat finished last night- it took a lot longer than I planned. The outer blue fabric is a piece I found at the Salvos last winter, held together with some rusty pins, looking and smelling like it had seen better days. Its amazing how a little napisan can bring old fabric back to life!
I opened it out and it looked like just the right amount for a little coat, took it home and measured it...and would you believe it- it was exactly the amount I needed right down to the last centimeter! 115cmX140cm exactly! This was the second time this has happened to me. A month earlier I was at the Salvos hunting for fabric to make myself a coat, I found a piece I really liked (and the choice was very limited), took it home to measure and it was the exact measurement as well! Divine intervention? Absolutely. God really does know the desires of our heart, as small and insignificant as they may be. I had never made a coat before and didn't want to experiment on expensive suiting fabric. I think I paid about $12 for the two pieces- bargain!
The pattern is not an original vintage, its Ottobre "girls wool coat" 5/2006. And a quick word about matching up those checks- remind me never to do it again! I am sure it doubled the time spent meticulously pinning, cutting and matching checks.
Grace chose pink for the lining, which surprisingly turned out a pretty match. Somewhere I went wrong and the lining was too short, so I added a line of the pocket fabric to the hem, still too short, so I added a little lace and it was perfect. Very feminine. I also stitched the height on a little tag for future reference.
I will enter this in the Crafty Mamas May competition and see how it goes.

Monday, May 26, 2008


Mondays are a slow day for us, no appointments or commitments. Today was one of those days. I put some lamb bones and bits in a pot when I woke to make an all day stock, nourishing traditions style. We then had a friend and her little girl come to visit with good news (baby on the way!). I think I now have about 7 good friends who are I missing out on something here? When it was rest time I did a little sewing on Grace's jacket. If I get some buttons for it tomorrow, hopefully I will have it finished that night.

Here's a little glimpse:

Sunday, May 25, 2008


How we spent our weekend:
relaxing scary kind of ways

Its almost over, but we have had a top weekend. We are trying to make it a new rule in our house to visit the beach each weekend, and so far all of us are loving it. We're not big on swimming at this time of the year, but we are loving the fresh, salty air and warmth of the sun. Grace is the only one happy to brave it and get wet. Yes, sadly we are the indoors, sheltered types who really really need to venture away from the home comforts (computers/sewing machine/guitars/books) and get a good dose of Vitamin D.
I was lecturing Luke the other day about how he spends 95% of his day indoors, to which I was quickly corrected to 100%. Its kind of sad (but funny at the same time) because we realised that he gets in the car (which is undercover) to go to work at the office (which has undercover parking) and then reverses the process to come home at night. A big fat "0" for sunshine. Hence, the new rule to visit the beach on weekends.

I have been sewing this weekend too (surprise, surprise). The work in progress is a jacket for Grace, made from fabric I found at the Salvos last year. Photos to come.
Crafty Mamas is running a competition this month for a project that utilizes vintage/recycled materials, so I am thinking of entering.
Speaking of competitions, the amazing Bloesem Kids is having a giveaway contest. Check them out and let me know if you join in on the challenge!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

more tops

So these are the other tops I made last time I was on holidays. They are for Grace since she has outgrown all of last winters clothes.
The first two are the same pattern- "Polka dot" blouse, Ottobre 1/2008. I think these tops are super cute, trust me they look much better on. Grace has refused to wear the red one on many occasions because she thinks it looks like a paint shirt (we have red paint shirts at playgroup that have gathered necks and sleeves!).
Then there is the dog hoodie. When I saw this fabric I couldn't walk past it! I gulped at the price, but knew how happy it would make my little dog lover. The pattern was New Look (kids tracksuit pattern) and I added a pocket on the front.
The stripy top is a boys pattern, but I liked the wide cuffs on the sleeves. Its a really wide cut shirt, too wide for my delicate daughter. I have tons of the fabric left, so I will make another one in the same pattern as the apple shirt.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

clay creatures

Check out these little dudes. These are Grace's creations from playgroup. The left is a person, and on the right we have an Echidna. I love how her person looks so much like the way she would draw a person, and I love the fact that she created them all on her own with no adult assistance.

nanna knits

How good is my Mum! She has been knitting this little vest for Grace, and it just arrived today. It is absolutely beautiful Mum- thankyou so much! I really, really love the little pretty. And thanks to the lovely Lisa for the pink/silver stripy top from her shop. Perfect combination.

Monday, May 19, 2008

apple shirt

Every time we stay at my parents I pack the sewing box full of patterns and fabrics for my sewing holiday. Last time we were there I think I arrived home with about 4 new shirts for Grace and a million others patterns traced to sew once I got home. This shirt is one of my favorites, because I absolutely love the apple fabric! I will post pictures of the other shirts I made soon.


What else would you play when you're feeling sick, doctors of course!
This blog was suppose to be pictures of thing I have made, but sometimes all I want to add is pictures of my girls...because they are just so lovable!
Actually I did make Maeve's pants recently. The are 'Susette sash pants' from Ottobre 1/2008. This is not the best photo of them. They turned out really well, but next time I would lengthen them quite a bit and use a prettier fabric (once again trying to use up all my fabric scraps).


Grace was up on Saturday night with a tummy bug (or eaten too much of a bad thing while we were out during the day). It meant that we had to spend the day at home Sunday and missed out on seeing some of her favorite friends- she was totally devastated! In order to ease the disappointment I asked if she would like me to make something for her, and she requested a pink twirly skirt (the kind that flares out when you spin around). Lucky for me I had not long ago ordered the pattern for a 'Redondo' skirt by Studio Tantrum. I didn't have much pink fabric that was suitable, so we made do with scraps of pink, green and white.

I copied the pattern over breakfast and she watched me sew throughout the day, passing pins and chatting away. It was finished before bed time and she was madly twirling away.
The skirt was hung, she went to bed, woke this morning, skirt back on, and has had a very twirly, girly day!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

art in strange places

What a surprise it was to find this little artwork on the furniture in my bedroom.
When I asked the culprit this morning, "What is this?"
she replied in the sweetest voice "its a picture of you Mummy...I thought you would like it"
Of course I like it, but it would have been much nicer on a piece of paper!
She ended up telling me that it was a drawing of me sleeping in bed with my teddy (as I do??). It was a cute story, but I am not sure if she was just making it up on the spur of the moment to cover herself.
We all had a good laugh about it, and I may even leave it there for a couple of days...just because it makes me smile.

Friday, May 16, 2008

a morning out

I know the quality of this photo isn't the best, but how cute is my little girl! She is big into her accessories at the moment, beads, necklaces, sunnies and hats.
We had a special outing yesterday with the lovely Aunty Kate- to the Aquarium. It took a while for us to convince Grace that it was safe to see the sharks, she had herself in such a state. Once she did see them all fears melted away and she came home asking for a pet shark. I think goldfish would be a better start.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Mending. What a boring word. This would have to be the lowest of the lows when it comes to sewing. So when I looked at Luke's jeans the other day and realised that he had five pairs that were in serious need of a patch or two, I decided that this had to be a labor of love on my part. Unfortunately, he likes the way I patch his clothes (I try to do it as bad as possible, so he wont wear them again...I have learnt this has the opposite effect). So while the babes slept, this is how I spent the afternoon. And yes, he was very impressed.

pig puppet

Our big girl loves pigs. It all started when we watched 'Charlotte's Web' for a mum and daughter movie night. I then ended up buying the novel which we read together. It is not unusual to see me out shopping with a kid dragging a large, toy pig around the shops on a dog leash. I am sure it puts a smile on most shoppers faces.
She wanted to pull out the craft supplies this afternoon, and this is what she ended up creating. I helped curl the tail, and she pieced the pig together. She added a butterfly sticker just so people know it is a girl pig. Very pretty, isn't she!


This shirt is really sweet. The fabric is from Mum again...which I think she got given from another lady who's sewing days are over. Its been around a while, and even has that old person smell about it. Another Ottobre pattern. They really do have so much good stuff.

Monday, May 12, 2008

mothers day

It was a great day for celebrating mothering. I awoke with Grace's arms around my neck and loudly whispering in my ear- 'Happy Mothers Day Mama!'. The girls & Luke had a beautiful card they had made for me, and present, which was really sweet. I had tea in bed, which was a treat, no rushing out of bed to feed starving children. Then the day got quite hectic- church, driving a friend to the airport, calling my mum, visiting Luke's mum, kids in bed, and finally time for us.
Amongst all the busyness there were many treasured moments with the girls, lots of laughs, a few frustrations, plenty of cuddles and happy memories made. There is nothing that quite compares to mothering!

4 years later...

...they are finally finished, and presented to their rightful owner! I started these towels for Luke's mum 4 (or 5?) years ago for mothers day. I guessed at the time I would have had them finished in a couple of week, but how wrong I was! I had no idea how long cross stitch can take. Anyway, I got bored of them after a while, and they were hidden in the deepest darkest corners of my sewing room waiting for their time to come. When my sister came to stay in the new year, she was doing a little cross stitch, which inspired me to pull this out and finish it off. I also have a set of towel for my mum which are yet to be this rate she will be doing well to receive them by 2012!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

a long awaited book

This special book, from this incredibly talented lady arrived on our doorstep last week. An early mothers day present for me! Soulemama would have to be one of my all time favorite blogs, I really love her style. Needless to say, I will have this read cover-to-cover soon and we will be crafting up a storm.

preserved lemons

A few months ago my wonderful husband brought me a Meyer lemon tree in a pot, something I have been wanting for years! At the moment it is loaded up with 7 lemons that are not far off picking- quiet a lot of lemons for such a tiny tree! I have been churning over in my head what to do with these precious lemons, and have pretty much settled on the idea of preserving them. I have never actually done it before, but these lemons will be perfect as they are unwaxed, and hopefully chemical free. Here's the recipe I will follow,

Moroccan preserved lemons
3 to 4 unwaxed, thin-skinned lemons
About 25g coarse salt
3 to 4 bay leaves (optional)
Juice of 2 to 3 lemons

1. Make slits or 'pockets' on either side of each lemon by cutting downwards from the top to within 1.5cm of the base. Gently open each lemon and pack salt into the cuts. Reshape the lemons.
2. Spoon a layer of salt into a warm, sterilised jar, then pack the lemons into the jar, pressing them firmly and squeezing in as many as possible. Sprinkle in any remaining salt and add the bay leaves, if using, as you go.
3. Add enough lemon juice to come within 1.5cm of the top of the jar. Cover with nonreactive lids. Label the jar and store in a cool, dark, dry place for at least one month before using. Keeps for one to two years.

If anyone has a recipe they think would be better than this one, please let me know!

kim pants

Grace has grown so much since last winter, and seems to be needing an entire new wardrobe. I recently ordered a pattern from Crafty Mamas for the 'Kim pants, with gathers' by Farbenmix, and sewed them up for her in a khaki corduroy. I omitted the frills and kept them plain and simple, which I thought was practical and would go with most things. She informed me however that these were boys pants and she would like me to make some new ones (if only it was that easy!). Luckily, she seems to have forgotten all that, and the pants have had much use so far. The next time we were at Spotlight I let her chose some fabric so we can make her another pair. This was her choice and I think they will look very girly.
I will probably even add the frills for her, and maybe some bellow pockets to keep all her trinkets in. Not my choice, but I really want her to be a part of the design process.
I am really happy with this pattern, great cut, flared leg and slim fit.

Friday, May 9, 2008

cloth dolls

These soft dolls were made for both my girls last birthdays. They are their cuddly dolls to take to bed. I made the smaller one first for Maeve and she is affectionately known as 'bubba'. Grace took rather a liking to bubba and decided that she too needed a soft doll, and would steal a cuddle with her whenever she got the chance. I recently finished off the second doll for Grace who was so excited to watch and be involved in the whole doll making process...especially when it was for her! She was very specific on how she wanted her bubba's hair, it had to be dark brown and very long. At the moment we are platting her hair down to get it to settle, because it is so bulky. Grace hasn't yet settled on a name for her baby, however she often gets named after a special friend we have seen recently. We are yet to make her doll proper clothes (she is wearing a shirt I made for Maeve that didn't quiet go according to plan!).

The dolls are made in the traditional Steiner (Waldorf) way, not that I follow this philosophy at all...but I do love the way they encourage the use of basic, natural toys that require greater imagination from the child. The pattern came from the book 'Toymaking with children' by Freya Jaffke, thanks to my amazing friend Rachel. The smaller doll is the flopsy doll, and the larger one is the formed doll. If you are creatively inclined and have children, then this would be a great book. This lady here is especially talented when it comes to Waldorf dolls. Check her stuff out if you are interested.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

gracie dress

The fabric on the pockets of this dress has been waiting a while to be put to use. Very special fabric for a very special girl. Another good use for all that light denim. And my favorite bit? The cream buttons for sure.
Pattern is Ottobre Design Bib Dress 4/2007

plum tree

Grace is now starting to use her imagination and draw things apart from people, which we are loving! A couple of days ago I was presented with this little treasure.
It's a drawing of the sun, a blossom tree and a plum tree. A couple of the plums have even fallen off the tree! A few minutes later she came back with a second drawing of me holding plums in my hand. She had even cut it out for me.
If only we did have a plum tree. It looks like the perfect, plum picking kind of day!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

a little leafy art

Our house is in need for some serious decorating. We have pretty much nothing hanging on the walls, and it is starting to bother me a little. I was rather inspired when I saw this leaf lino print on BloesemKids, and thought- hey, that would look awesome painted on a canvas and stuck above the fire place!
To begin with I cut out a leaf stencil on heavy cardboard and traced the design onto the canvas. Then I roughly filled in all the green bits. At this point it looked like some kind of optical illusion and was making my head hurt. Hmm, not good! I softened it out with lots of messy brush strokes, and this seemed to help.
I haven't painted a canvas since high school, so it was pretty frustrating and really I had no idea what I was doing...but at the end of the day I was happy with the results.
While it was in progress Grace kept asking 'so what wall are you putting it on?', to which I replied 'that one' (lounge room). She would then say 'oh no, not that wall mum, it needs to go on this one' (dining room). And of course she was right. It will now hang along side the dining table.

button love

Maeve has always had a fascination for buttons. So when I made her these pants recently, I couldn't help but add a few buttons to make it a little special. The fabric is some that Mum gave me from her stash, which I have almost used up. Its a light denim.
The pattern is found in Ottobre Design 1/2007.
And yes, we did have fun at the beach soaking up a little Autumn sun!