Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A little bit of Yardage

A week or so back Nic from Yardage Design had a samples and seconds sale.  I filled up my cart, and emptied it again.  Surely I don't need any more fabric, and things are tight on the money front.

In the end I justified settled for a tea towel and a fat quarter.  The fat quarter's Verano Leaves in crimson.  I love both this design and her Verano petals (I still haven't found anywhere to use these cupboards in the new house though, so they're languishing in the garage).  I thought the fabric'd make a great 'handbag' for the young one.  She's very girly, and a bag of some sort is well overdue.

Well, the fabric arrived a few days ago, and I decided that I needed the Verano Leaves for myself.  Operating on the theory that its linen and therefore should be suited to the task, I've made it into a second tea towel (I'm fantasising about the new kitchen it'd look great in).

Fortuitously, Nic sent the fabric through in a calico bag which, with the young one's approval, became a handbag this morning.  I added some extra calico, and some firm iron-on interfacing so that its reasonably stiff, as well as fully lined.  A zipper, webbing, and the obligatory red cotton fabric, from the stash make it complete.  I'm really pleased with the outcome, and glad to say that she's also very happy with it.

PS.  I am assuming that the print on the bag wasn't heat set, but didn't think to iron it before I washed it, so it has faded a little in patches.  This isn't reflective of Nic's fabric or other items, which I've never had that issue with.

PPS.  This post is in no way sponsored, although you'd be forgiven for thinking so!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Ten things

I had some rare quiet time over breakfast this morning and took the opportunity to take myself on a crafty blog tour.  I'm sure I've visited Foxs Lane before, but its been a long time.  Kate is sharing '10 random things', and she and her commenters got me thinking.  So here's my 10 things:

1.  Four months ago we undertook our own 'tree change'.  Literally, we moved house and swapped a large Manna Gum for a large Box Elder.  We laugh about that fact, but in truth we've moved to an older house in a neighbouring suburb, swapping swanky neighbours (Ed. swanky housing, the neighbours were and are lovely!) for proximity to parkland and schools, and ditching the mortgage in the meantime.  The result is the sort of downshift that you usually associate with a tree-/sea-change (including drop in work hours - the Cyclist's at home with the kids whilst I work two part time jobs), except that we're still cycling distance to the city, walking distance to the Yarra Trail, and in the same circle of friends and businesses.  No downside from our point of view.

2.  We felt more at home in one week at our 'new' 1950s house than in one year at our 'old' (and at the time brand new built-for-us) noughties house.  It was lovely, and the setting was fantastic, but somehow the 'fit' wasn't quite right.

3.  There's nothing better than a bit of demolition.  We're not exactly serial renovators, but we've done our share, and there's nothing like knocking out a bathroom/kitchen/etc. to make you feel like you're making progress.  This afternoon it was the eldest's built in bed, which had been in place since 1974 and contained the dust, lint, and lost paraphernalia to prove it.  As you can see, the anticipation of demolition's nearly as much fun as the actually carrying it out.

4.  When I think of my maternal Grandma I always picture her wearing a particular teal dress and jacket suit with 3/4 sleeves.  I think it must be the outfit she wore to my mum and dad's wedding, as I can't find a picture of her the particular dress and jacket combo I can so clearly picture, and it was definitely a special occasion outfit.  Grandma Ede was the one who first taught me to sew, and the source of my ancient Singer.

Anyway, I was at Lincraft yesterday looking for some stretch fabric for some pants to go with this top when I came across this fabric which just fits the bill.  There is just enough for the pants I'm planning.  I love it, and as an added bonus I know I'm going to think of her every time I wear them.  Just better do a good job on the making and fitting front!

5.  The Cyclist and I call hot air balloons holograms.  We had tickets once.  We booked a total of fifteen times in 18 months, and fifteen times the weather was too 'iffy' and all balloon flights were grounded.  That's fifteen times of having the parents/in-laws stay the night so that they'd be around for the kids on the morning of the anticipated flight.  In the end we decided that we simply weren't meant to go, and gave the tickets away.  One morning during the week I saw eight holograms over our house when I got up to walk the dog.  I still like looking at them, but the longing I had to go for a flight has passed, for the time being at least.

6.  I'm hanging out to do some gardening.  Its been so hot this summer, and I haven't gotten to planning what I want to do in the garden yet, so I haven't made the effort to turn even one sod of soil.  It's nearly driving me batty though, and this morning's rain has me thinking that maybe the ground will soften up a little soon...

7.  I can't keep my eyes of hard rubbish piles.  The Cyclist says that pilfering off the piles is against the law.  My law-abiding self isn't as strong as my thrifting-self though (blame it on Grandma Ede's Scottish influence), and I'm always on the look out for the perfect thing on the side of the road for my next project.

8.  I'll try my hand at anything.  Over summer the eldest and I made a cargo net to hang in the tree instead of hammering into it to make a cubby house.

 9.  A big part of why I blog is just to be part of a crafting community.  I loved My Creative Space, over at kootoyoo and the friendly, supportive nature of the people who contributed.  I've run out of steam a bit in the last 12 months.  Packing and selling and moving and working full time plus and still parenting and partnering will do that to you I guess.  I'm not sure that there's anyone out there reading, but if I can contribute to the community that I've found so supportive, and if in doing so I happen to notice that I do manage to fit some creativity in amongst all that, then I guess blogging is worth it.

10.  I take all my photos on my phone.  I know that I'd get better shots if I got out the camera and charged it, and that I'd get even better ones if I bought a new camera and took some time to set things up right.   It also means that there's not likely to be any photos of me on the blog for some time to come, so you'll never get to see if anything I've made actually does look any good on.  Sorry about that.

So that's me.  How about you?

Friday, February 14, 2014

Library love

I love browsing the magazines at my local library.  I have to confess that I rarely make it to the 'real' shelves - I get quick snatches of time whilst supervising kids or on my way out to lunch (I'm lucky enough to work next door to my local library), so the magazine section it is.

The Burda magazine pigeon hole is one of my first points of call.  So often I borrow them with good intention of tracing off patterns I like, but usually they get renewed the maximum of three times before being sent back unused.  I'm proud to say that that's not the case for the 6/2013 edition.  Granted, I've already renewed it once, but no only have I traced off the patterns for Views 137 and 138, but I've actually finished a top based on them.  What's even more impressive is that I love it!  So often I take copious amounts of time to finish clothes for myself, only to find that they're not quite right - the fit's not great, or my fabric choice is wrong, or the cut isn't really my style.  This time though, the dark navy crepe from my stash is not only right down my alley, but it has just the right weight and drape for the pattern.

I've used the length from View 137, but the neckline of View 138.  Its a size 46, which I find horrific, but the fit is beautiful.  There are darts in the front and back of the upper section, but just the back of the lower section, and a side zipper that extends to the integrated sleeves.  Beautifully comfortable, but fitted at the same time.

Up next I'm planning a shorter length A-line skirt in the rest of the same fabric, plus the dress length (with a slightly narrower neckline) in a some more fabric from the stash.  I'd love a pair of narrow-leg trousers to go with the top.  Trying not to get too far ahead of myself though!

Its a curriculum day today, so amongst adjudicating between the kids and doing stuff with them, I'm going to loiter over here and check out what the crew have been up to.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

My [new] creative space

Hi, remember me?  I thought that it was probably about time that I re-surfaced and shared some of what I've been up to.  Like so many others, I've been finding that life's a bit too full to blog lately.  Suffice to say there's been big changes (new house, full time job, etc.) since the last post.  I have managed to squeeze in some crafting though, and am really happy that in the last month or so that's included some time in the shed.

This week I've finished (well, manufactured, undercoated and installed) some narrow shelves on the side of the small one's wardrobe.  The wardrobe itself is built in, but only made of chipboard, meaning that the Cyclist and I installed the shelves by drilling and screwing straight through the end wall of the wardrobe and into the timber.  They'll get their final coats of paint when we paint the room sometime later this year.  In the meantime, they're housing some of our favourite reads (except when Abbie's emptied the bottom two shelves so she can sit on the floor and 'read' aloud to herself instead of sleeping).

Abbie loves them, and so do I - its an idea I've been wanting to use for a long time, and this's the perfect spot for it.  She's two, so I figure we have a while before picture books are packed away.  After that I can see them used to show off favourite pictures and photos.


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