Thursday, 29 September 2011

Patience - or lack thereof

I am not a patient person.  I am especially not so patient when I haven't had much sleep, which is the state I find myself in today.  My current patience sapper is oilcloth and lamintated cotton.  I've been beavering away getting things ready for the Titirangi Mum's Craft market next weekend and have been (trying) to make some great things out of the oilcloth and laminated cotton I got a few months ago.  I'm afraid the frustration level whilst working with said material is just too much for me so I don't think I'll be getting any more of it.  In some ways this is a shame because the cases made out of the black lace oilcloth look great.

And what a stylish way to store and change a nappy while out and about, what baby wouldn't look good kicking back on this change mat: 

When Mila died a significant chunk of my memory died with her.  So along with the lack of patience I forgot exactly how I make my change mats (even though it's only been a couple of weeks since I made the last one) which led to quite a bit of unpicking, as well as mucho (say that in a Spanish accent, it's not a typo) cursing at the slipperyness of the laminated cotton.  My memory is such that sometimes I put a flannel layer into the change mats and sometimes I don't.  I originally couldn't make up my mind as to whether the extra padding the flannel provides is nice or if it just adds too much bulk.  I've decided it adds too much bulk so hopefully I will forget to add the flannel next time.  Or rather, hopefully I won't forget that I came to the conclusion that it adds too much bulk.

This is the first one I've made out of the laminated cotton, the others have been made with vinyl, which didn't invoke quite so much cursing.  The change mat fits inside the nappy wallet, along with some travel wipes and a couple of nappies, and (provided it doesn't sell beforehand) will be for sale at the Titirangi Mums Craft Market next weekend.

Sorry about the photos in this post, I've had to resort to the camera on my phone as our camera has spit the dummy and decided it can only take photos like this:


A couple of gifts I've made recently.  A journal cover for my sister, pretty much the same as Paige's wellchild book cover but with a different coloured letter.

A card for a cat lover.

A card for one of Ruby's friends.  This one was made with a potato stamp and food colouring.  I made matching wrapping paper with the Js stamped all over it but didn't bother taking a photo of it because it ended up looking quite naff - don't you just hate it when things don't turn out as good as you envision.

Thursday, 22 September 2011


A random post today.  Just went on a brief tour of our 'estate' with Orange on my mind.  Clivias are a favourite, one of them is just starting to open. 

We have a princely sum of four clivias in our clivia patch, three will flower this year, this is the first to flower.  They take four years to reach flowering size, so I'm hoping in four years I'll have a much larger patch thanks to these:

They're clivia berries, a bit shrivelled because Ruby got sick soon after picking them but I'm going to extract the seeds and hopefully propagate myself some new baby clivias.  

Most afternoons we'll walk around the garden with Ruby showing her the new spring growth popping up everywhere.  We finish each outing with a Tangelo picking ceremony, Ruby likes to help carry them inside.  

They are great for juicing.  This year we've had a bumper crop, and I'm sure it's all down to my girls - Sally and Sophie.

That's Sophie, our egg layer extraordinaire - she's got rice on her face in this shot.  She's been laying since early Feb last year.  Her BFF Sally went off the lay for a couple of months earlier this year but most days we get two eggs.  Since they started laying we've only had one day with no eggs.  That's an awful lot of eggs.  Here's today's harvest, I forgot to collect them the last couple of days.

I'm hoping their poo is going to help us grow something else orange - a giant pumpkin.

We're having a giant pumpkin growing competition with Wayne's family.  Last year we had a potato growing competition - we lost dismally.  That last photo was a bit unnecessary I suppose, a bit like the ubiquitous pointless live cross during the news on TV. 

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

A patchwork starter

We've had another rough week in our house, Ruby has been unwell again, so not a lot of crafting has taken place.  But I have managed to squeeze something in....

One of my pet peeves is when the malls put up their Christmas decorations so early, so let me apologise to all those people out there who also hate how the Christmas madness gets earlier and earlier each year.  I added a stocking pin to my 'Things to make' board over on Pinterest a while ago.  I wanted to try my hand at a bit of patchwork and make a stocking for Ruby at the same time.  I'm hoping to one day make a quilt for her for when she moves to a big girl bed and thought a Christmas stocking would be a less risky foray into patchworking/quilting (is someone out there seeing red that I lumped those two terms together?). 

I took the pattern from a FabricWorm tutorial, and then worked out how wide I wanted the blocks/stripes (unsure of correct patchworky term) to be.  I cut out the strips, sewed them together and then cut out the stocking pattern - this seems like the easiest way to achieve it.  A slight miscalculation meant that the stripes are not all a uniform width but oh well, I don't think Ruby will mind.  I didn't include the flap that the original tutorial has, I deemed it unnecessary for a patchwork one.

Isn't it difficult to photograph a stocking in a stylish manner?  Here it is hanging from the handle of a 1940s oak wardrobe that ended up in our garage yesterday.

And here it is hanging from a hook in the laundry. The front and back have different stripe configurations (again, probably not the correct patchwork term).

A closeup of my patchwork prowess, you'll no doubt be in awe.

I plan on adding her name in felt at the top, using the Heat'n'bond I got a while ago.  But I'm holding off because I've got another fabric combination I want to try first.  Her cousin can have this one if I like the other one better.  Or maybe I'll sell it.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Buttons, buttons!

I've got an order to fill for some button hair-ties, so have been bevearing away covering buttons.  They are just so cute.  My favourites (at the moment) are the cat ones, closely followed by the pig and toadstool. 

They come in pairs packaged up like this:

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

The Racetrack Take-Along

This is my prototype racetrack take-along, it's something I've been working on for quite a while, but had not had a chance to get it made.  Although this is my own design, car caddies are not my own idea, I first saw something like this on Emily's Little World, and then on various shops on Etsy. 

The Racetrack Take-along is a way of keeping little guys (or girls who're in to cars) occupied while out and about.  It holds three matchbox cars, has a street grid on it and rolls up nicely so will easily fit into a kids backpack or mum's big handbag.

We (my husband helped) have designed the streets so that they link up, so if two kids are playing together and they've both got them then they'll end up with a big circuit they can cruise around just by placing them side-by-side:

Or end-to-end:

Each one has three garages for matchbox cars (cars not included).

I'm probably going to play around with the design a bit, I've had some comments that the roads need to be curved and that they need white lines on them to look more like roads.  I'm thinking some of Joel Henriques' paper city print-outs would be fun to play with one of these.

A colourful Neighbourhood

So it's been about two weeks since I last blogged.  This is partly because I've been busy with other things and partly because I've been doing lots of 'bread and butter' sewing lately and there's really only so many colouring take-alongs and pencil cases you can blog about.  But I think this is one worth mentioning.  Recently I acquired a FQ of Heleen's In the Neighbourhood fabric in pastel, it's so cute, I love the little details like the kite and the butterfly.  I thought it was perfect for a colouring take-along, what do you think?

And also perfect for a pencil case.

One of the 'other things' I've been busy with was a girls weekend away to Wellington.  What a great place to go for a weekend, it was so easy to get around, we walked everywhere.  The highlight of the weekend was the Wearable Arts awards show - fantastic, awesome, can't wait to go another year.  Another highlight was getting along to the Underground markets and buying a few FQs from Stitchbird Fabrics.
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