Thursday, April 29, 2010

My creative space

Okies.... the last blog entry was written very late at night. I was still up (stupidly) and very very sleep deprived. Sleep deprivation can be a real bitch. It can make people do things completely out of the ordinary... like confessing feelings of inadequacy. It can also completely blow out all sense of proportion. Yep that bitch got me again ! Thanks to you that did post a reply. The sleep deficit is slowly declining and Im realising that everyone that loves what they do makes beautiful things. Thats just the nature of it I guess.

As for my creative space, here are the panels for baby blocks im making for Lara (see letter blocks here). Its taken me alittle time to put these together and to choose the 8 that I like but ive got them now. Now just alittle more embroidery and then to sew and stuff. Im liking these lots and I cant wait to put them together to see the final results.

To see more lovely creative spaces head over to Kootoyoo.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


I have a really bad habit on dwelling on things that I shouldnt. I think its become a habit as Ive done it for many years. Its one of the things im REALLY good at.
Recently I came across a website that has basically got me doubting my ability to 1) make anything original and beautiful and 2) be able to sell said original and beautiful work. Before I go on, this is not a post intended to make you feel sorry for me or to fish for compliments. Its merely how I feel.
The blog is written by a woman named Kelli. Her designs make me want to cry. They are the kind of designs I want to do. Now that I have found them (and her) I kind of feel like the work I wanted to do cant be done as its already been done and knowing of their existance now kind of makes me a 'wanna be'. It took me 3 days to read her entire blog, from start to finish. I can get obsessive too.
Hubby tells me that its alittle hard to come up with something truely original. There are, after all, 6 billion people on the planet. But still, to come across Kelli's work has kind of put a weight around my heart. Sounds pretty dramatic hey. She is also a melbournian and has 4 kids and still pumps out this gorgeous work like its no effort.
I intimidate myself really. I continually look at these blogs and psych myself out. its a hard habit to fix. Maybe I should just put the computer somewhere out of reach and just get on with the job I want to do.

I suggest you do visit her site Dont look now . Her work is truely beautiful.
As for me, I'll just have to continue thinking of something Sew Sofie....

Monday, April 26, 2010

Angering the pinning gods

Ive been working on my brown / green / blue quilt and managed to get to the point where I start sewing large strips together. Being lazy, I decided to bypass the pinning process and get straight to sewing. I matched them nicely and stitched one continuous line to the end of the strips. And then I see this:

Why?! So, me being alittle on the stubborn side sew two more strips together. I figure ive just lined them up wrong. Nope, another uneven join. Ok Ok I'll pin them and I get an almost perfect match at the bottom.

So then I have to do this, my most hated task in sewing.

Cant figure out why though. I matched them up perfectly and yet they come together uneven. Obviously Ive angered the pinning gods.

Snail mail rocks
Recently I participated in a fabric swap. This is where you email your name to some unknown person and that someone somewhere in internet land sends you back the names of others who want to swap fabric too. It was fun, and I cant wait to see what the others have sent me. I have received one parcel (thanks Tara) with this inside:

What to do with this beautiful fabric.... I decided to use it on a notebook my sister had asked me to cover. Now some of the fabric looks like this:

I think its purdy :)

One mans trash
We currently have a hard waste collection going on ... well its not due to come around for another week but people are putting their items out. This morning, as we drove out to take the kids to the zoo this is what I saw across the road:

They need alittle TLC as they are alittle tarnished but with a good polish and re-upholstering of the cushions (they STINK of cigarette smoke) they will be ready for the girls rooms. Now all I have to do is thrift little dressing tables that match!

Last but not least..

A little card made for a lovely friend

Miss G was sick and unable to go swimming so while baby A and daddy went, we did some magic wand conjuring :)

Have a great week!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Northern Craft Bonanza

I was lucky enough to 1) get out of the house without kids screaming and 2) go to the Northern Craft Bonanza and see a heap of lovely ladies stitching away at various projects. I didnt get to meet many people but the stuff I saw being made was beautiful. I'll definately go back to visit again.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Tired kids, tired mummy

The kids aren't sleeping great again which makes me indecisive, anxious and, occasionally, incoherent. So I'll keep this post short!

Not much has been going on in regards to crafting. Alot of my time has been focused on getting the kids out of the house and busy to pass the time between waking and naps. My bones feel tired and all I want to do is to lie down. Eating isnt even a priorty... which is out of character for me!

I did have a burst of energy a few days ago and started another quilt. The intention is to donate it to a fundraiser but Im undecided (aforementioned lack of sleep) so i'll be making a few things. Here is what Ive got so far. It is super easy to assemble and I hope it will turn out as nice as those on the tute (again from Oh Fransson). I didnt bother with the charm squares. I just cut up my own. Im not too sure whats going on with this fasination of charm squares and the jelly rolls. I guess I just love to pick the colours and cut fabric. Makes me feel like Ive really done all the hard work... or Im a glutton for punishment.

Now for a lie down...

Sunday, April 18, 2010


Im not your average girlie girl that goes shopping in any spare minute for clothes. I hate clothes shopping. But I looooovvveee material shopping. I am alittle addicted to fabric and the fabrics around now are so beautiful I find it hard choosing. So I now only go when I need to buy for something specific.

Here is my sewing 'to do' list in fabric :) :) Did I mention I love to shop for fabric?

In family news....
Afternoons at our house, especially weekday afternoons when the girls and I dont have much to do, can be a very stressful time... especially for me. You see the girls both still have naps and when they wake from those naps they are full of energy and ready to go. I,on the other hand, am usually tired and grumpy. Occasionally I'll put my feet up and take advantage of the free time but im usually sewing or crafting which, after a morning of activities with the girls, leaves me pretty tired. Ive only myself to blame I know. Friday's are particularly hard. Its almost the weekend and Ive run out of things to do.
One of the things my girls LOVE is to get dirty. Im willing to bet that they could get dirty in a sterile white room ! So I thought that seeing as they love to paint (and make an awful mess in the process) i'd take them outside to paint (why the hell didnt I think of this before?!?). About a year ago a greedy, awfully arrogant and thoughtless developer bought the large block next to our property. In order to cram 7 (yes seven!) units on it, the architects decided that it would be a great idea to build a disgusting big grey wall on the property line. This happens to be the property line that faces the north... where all our daylight sun comes from and also where all our bedroom windows are. We did fight to have this proposal rejected but the council saw no problem in it. They were, after all, getting 7 new ratepayers in as part of the deal. Amazing what $$$ can do to make someone's mind up... but thats another blog entry.
Back to Friday afternoon. Kids, armed with pots of paint, rollers and water, descended on said wall and started to decorate. This is their story.

Lovely wall isnt it!

Mixing, creating, making a mess!

Chalk artwork by Baba (grandma) from the day before. Thanks Baba for the inspiration.

Assessing the work from afar.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Short and sweet

Ive not been crafting lots of late. Ive been reading lots. Ive been reading this heartbreaking blog. I cant go more than two entries without tears welling in my eyes. I want to tell you not to read it but you have to. So you can cuddle those little terrors that drive you mad day after day, who throw food on your floor after you've just cleaned it and nag you every 5 minutes for chocolate when you have a huge fruit platter in front of them. And for Maddie.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Bagged it

So it took till yesterday afternoon to finish it but it got done and its been delivered. I made a tote using this tutorial for my young niece. I like the way it came out but I think i used the wrong sort of 'fusible fleece' (I didnt have fusible fleece so i used ordinary batting and it came out kind of thick).
Rather than using the fleece on the pockets I just ironed on interfacing on both the front and back fabric of each pocket, and found that the pocket was sturdy enough. Ofcourse my niece knew what she was getting (as mentioned previously she's right into drawing so I got her some Copic markers), so she was right past the bag and into the bag for the markers :) I love that she gets so excited about what she does. Kinda reminds me of me with fabric ;) My older niece asked me to make her one too so I think that means its a job well done.

The sheer effort of doing something at the last minute always exhausts me and it takes me alittle while to work up to starting/ continuing on another project. So today while the girls slept I sat and watched some mindless telly. I let myself enjoy some quiet time without having to do something... thats a rarity. My hands get restless if I dont use them.
Miss G was a handful today so i promised her that we'd make some biscuits. Here they are, fresh out of the oven.

Ofcourse baby A knew what the timer on the oven means and she was straight over, demanding very loudly, that I give her one..

Recipe can be found here

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Im honoured!

So much has happened in the past few days that I have to sub-categorise this post!

Fantastic news
I got a wonderful call today from a dear friend. Her and her partner of many years have finally decided to set a date and get married (after a 4 year engagement and a gorgeous little boy) and she's asked me to be her witness!! Im really chuffed and excited to have been asked.
She and I met when hubby and I bought our first house. She was our next door neighbour but we didnt meet until we got our dog, LIbby. Libby used to run up and down along the gate when she heard her and neighbouroonie (as we now call each other) took to talking to her. I guess 'roonie made friends with Libby before we did!! I cant remember the first meeting but we became really good friends quickly and when the fence had to be replaced, we decided to put a gate between our properties so we could have the dogs (she had a dog Jack who became our dog too) run between the two backyards and we could visit without having to walk on the street :). Libby and Jack were pretty much inseparable and if they hadn't been fixed, i'm sure there would have been puppies everywhere!

A few years went by and she moved (temporarily) to another state so we looked after the cats and Jack. Then she fell in love.... with a man in the service which meant that she moved away. We were all very sad. Jack stayed with us for a year or so and then 'roonie, having settled into her new home with her new man, came and took Jack.
It wasnt the same without 'roonie next door which is one of the reasons we decided to move. She rented her place to the tenants from hell (one of many) and the house we were in just wasnt big enough for the next step in our lives (kids) so we moved. She is still interstate. Ian, Libby and I miss her terribly. I wish she was back in Melbourne but alas, home is where the heart is and she's now at home.. .and getting married!!


I've started (and hope to finish tomorrow) a present for my second oldest niece. She is the most amazing artist. She sits for hours and draws pictures good enough for the pages of a manga magazine. I'll have to ask her for a picture or two to put up. Shes only 12!! Here are the materials that im using for her present. Ofcourse, as she reads the blog, I wont put any pics up of the finished article till Wedesday (tuesday being her birthday).

Ive also started to do some embroidery again. I used to do alot of cross stitch (another thing roonie and I used to do together) but that has fallen by the wayside as Ive become obsessed with sewing. A few weeks back I was lying in bed and for some reason, the thought of embroidering little red riding hood popped into my head. A few days ago, whilst reading a blog by Chaletgirl, I was once again inspired by her embroidery and I just knew I had to pick up material and embroidery floss once again. Its only half completed but Im really enjoying it. Its not as neat as Chaletgirl's embroidery but I havent done much backstitching so Im pretty happy with it so far. Im not sure what Im going to do with it yet. Maybe a cushion, a library bag or I might just get a smaller embroidery hoop and hang it on the wall in one of the girls rooms.

Finally (the post is almost finished I swear! As a family, we did alot this weekend. Im not surprised that the kids went straight to sleep tonight.

Saturday morning we went and saw the The Giglees (put your sunglasses on before you click this link!) then had a wonderful lunch at the Gasworks Cafe with hubby's brother and sis-in-law and 3rd oldest niece M.

Today I dragged hubby and the kids off to the Melbourne Showgrounds Farmers market. There wasnt a huge number of stalls (and a surprising lack of fruit which I was after) but we did find some of the tastiest, crunchiest grapes around. Here is a pic of baby A crunching away...

and offering mum some...

Even Daddy got a treat. He picked up this old Atari and a huge box of games from the naturestrip (one mans trash, another mans treasure) and spent some of the afternoon (while the kids were sleeping) "testing" the games and console.

Then off to visit some of my oldest and dearest friends at their new place (and to check out her sewing machine which Im considering buying). Phew!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Ruffle butts

Last night I spent the good part of three hours working on a ruffle butt. 'What's a ruffle butt?' you ask... well here it is:

Looks pretty easy huh! Well it took me forever to do the hem stitching and the stitching on (first time working with stretchy fabric too... you cant half tell!)

Ive appliqued a gorgeous 30's style graphic to the front. I should really machine it on but i dont have the guts. So its going to have to be hand sewn.

Now all I need is a gorgeous little bubba who is a 00 to model it for me. Any takers?

I should add that the tute can be found here

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A breath of fresh air

Ive decided to restructure how I do things around the house and with the kids. Ive been feeling awfully sluggish of late and decided something had to be done. There has been a decrease in craftiness and an increase in mess. So the past few mornings, seeing as the kids are up at dawn b/c of the end of daylight savings, hubby gets the kids up and I jump in the shower. It means that we start the day off at the START of the day, not when mum decides to get off the couch / kitchen chair and have a shower.

Im feeling rather motivated today so as soon as this is done I'm off the the sewing / dining room to do some work. My mood has also improved as I had a lovely morning tea with Riina and her gorgeous boy. The (my) kids weren't as manic as usual in the play area and we all enjoyed our time out.

Due to said sluggishness above, no real progress has been made on anything so the following pics are of some of the girly hair stuff made for my little beauties.

Monday, April 5, 2010


What a totally decadant day we had yesterday. Lots of good food, drink, company and kids. Mums house was full of giggling and screeching and reminded me alot of my childhood. I have 3 small nieces and 2 not so small nieces and two daughters so the house was loud and lively.

For easter, I decided to make up some easter baskets for the kids to use for the easter hunt. Granted they didnt quite know what to do but with alittle help from mums and aunts, they were on their way.

My big girl and her cousin lead the pack (the flower dress was made by me for my niece and given to her for christmas).

The easter bunny had hung alot of the eggs from plastic bags on the line to ensure the dogs didnt get them first!

Introducing my baby A... modelling a lovely easter hat made by her Baba (grandmum)

Seven easter baskets made by me for all the gorgeous girls in our family. The two pin cushions were a present for my mum and my sis.

I really enjoyed Easter. I think everyone went home happy and well fed :)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Update on the Amelia quilt

Happy April fools day!! No tricks here. Morning spent with the girls at the maternal nurse. The results.... they are growing, happy and tick all the boxes in all developmental areas. I didn't really need her to tell me that but it is always reassuring knowing that they are ok. And the nurse was lovely. It always helps when they are helpful.

So my girls totally spoilt me yesterday and both slept for 3 hours + in the afternoon which meant I was able to finish all the embroidery on the quilt for Amelia. Here are some shots of the flower embroidery I did. I find sewing with my hands (rather than with the machine) so relaxing. Relaxing enough to be able to sit through a fairly violent movie and not be too disturbed by it.

Trying out polkadot red background. I dont mind this one too much but hubby thinks its too bright and distracting.

Im still stuck on a border though. I have procrastinated long enough and tried out a plain border and a floral border and neither of them made me say 'wow thats it!'. So i went searching through books and on the internet and came across a piano keys quilt border. I'll sew one strip and see what I think. Im really struggling with this. This is where my lack of knowlegde with quilts really does become obvious. I sure a seasoned quilter would know exactly what to do with this (keep it plain, make it elaborate etc). Ive also been toying with the idea of a thick, plain border and then doing sashiko (japanese style) quilting on it. Ive borrowed a book from the library with various designs so i might try that also. That way when i quilt it i can continue the sashiko style over the applique.

Here are a couple of images (not my work):