Wednesday, March 31, 2010

My Holiday House

I have been struggling with my blog and blogging for a while now. Working out how it fits in with all the things I want to do and want to be is challenging. But rather than stop blogging, I have decided that My Black Cardigan is going to be my holiday house..... a place I love to visit, where I get to catch up and visit friends, and where I can leave the day to day life behind.

But even though holidays are wonderful, there is no place like home. Home is where the heart is, where my heart is. Home is where I am needed more at the moment and it is where I want to be.

But I am going to leave my suitcase packed so that whenever I have some time, I can grab my bag and head on down to my holiday house. See you then xxx

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Little People

My sister made these gorgeous little people for my gorgeous little people.

And they have been busy - getting together around the dinner table to share a meal, play Pictionary or have family meeting...

... and being tipped out the back of the dump truck along with the trains, cat and rocks!

If you'd like to make some bead people, Trudi is having a giveaway - a pack with all the bits and pieces you need to make your own. Head over and say hello to enter.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

My Creative Space

One day soon, little hands will help small people climb up high in these branches,

show animals (and let's be honest, probably trains too!) that they can play and rest in the shade,

and help dragons and dinosaurs reach up to munch on the leaves to fill their bellies,

and I look forward to sometimes sitting back and watching the adventures, and sometimes being part of them.

This thrifted woollen blanket is going to be a playmat for my kids. The plan is to dry-felt a river and make trees and rocks and flowers and hills and lots of things the kids can move about and set up in whichever way they want.

I started with this tree. It is made using beautiful felt that I got from a new online shop, Me & Ewe. It is 100% wool and hand-dyed.... by my sister. She's taken a big jump into her own business and I'd love you to stop by and check out the gorgeous pure wool felt she has... and to say hi to my taller-but-she's-still-little sister!

For other spaces full of creative goodness, Kirsty's got the list!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

A tart, a pie and stuff that starts with "t"

I tell my husband that 'I am a lover not a cooker' in the hope that his mind may start to wander and he wont notice that I am serving up chicken snitz and vegies for the third time that week. The truth is that I don't enjoy cooking. It just seems like a whole lot of time and effort put into something that will be gone in a few minutes.

Having said that, if push comes to shove, I can sort of cook. We had some friends over for dinner so I made this delicious lemon tart for dessert. Thankyou Cathie for your help.. you know your lemon tarts are my weakness!

Because I only had a smaller than suggested pan, I had some pastry left over. A quick call to Mum and I made a sweet Cherry Pie (at the risk of ruining my reputation, yes I did sing and hum and dance to this while I was baking.... and it felt good!).

This is an easy one that looks and tastes way better than it should for the amount of effort required. Blind bake your pastry. Drain a jar of pitted cherries. Add a couple of tablespoons of arrowroot or cornflour to the syrup and stir until it thickens. Spread the cherries over the pastry. Cover with the syrup. Allow to cool then put it in the fridge. It tastes extra good with icecream.

Then after dinner and too much dessert, I set my friends up with the "stuff that starts with T" tea towel. I am pleased to report that they passed with flying colours and all 48 "t" pictures were identified.

How about you? Can you name all 48? If you think you can, visit Tania and let her know. She's having a giveaway of this fab tea towel/dinner party game that she designed.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

My Creative Space - My Baby Doll

Remember old "What's her name?".......? Well she's all fixed up and it wasn't too difficult. Here's what I did....

Unpicked about 10cm of a side seam and pulled out the stuffing.

Washed her in the washing machine and hung her on the line (Steph, I can hear your cries of fear from here!).

Soaked her head in a bowl of boiling hot water which smoothed out the lumps and bumps and gave her face a good scrub.

Restuffed her with lots of new polyfill stuffing.

It is amazing what a difference these few things made.

She is now slightly less creepy (honestly, who can be that happy all the time!) and I must admit it is kinda cool to see my kids playing with something I used to play with... especially now that she sits up properly to be fed.....

...although I think I need to let me boy know that she is not ready for solids just yet!

Head over to see Kirsty for more creative spaces.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

My Creative Space - Wallet

We have lift off....

A new project that has been bouncing around in my head for a while has finally been started. Let's hope I arrive at the other end on this in one piece!

Moon walk on over to Kirsty-the-Cleaning-Fairy's place to visit other spaces of creativeness....

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Loads of Fishes Slouch

So many of us make beautiful things for others..... and it's easy to forget that we deserve beautiful things too.

This is my new bag. The pattern is the Small Slouch from Nicole Mallalieu and those gorgeous fishes are a Thea & Sami design, Loads of Fishes*.

It's the perfect size to take everything you need for a night out with good food, good conversation and an amazing person sitting opposite you.

Hey.... why don't you make something for yourself? Go on....

*I'm sorry Thea, but those fishes are way too beautiful to be drying dishes!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Some things for me, something for you

Some lovely things I have been given...

Thankyou to Jolie for these beautiful things.... The Twisted Sisters Sock Workbook and some hand dyed yarn. Jolie also kindly sent some extra yarn and bamboo needles. For a girl who wears woollen socks to bed all year round (tragic but true!), I am very grateful.

I'm not sure how I met Jolie but I love visiting her place, Tropical Soup. Aside from the gorgeous photos and cute things she makes, I often find myself laughing because it's funny OR because I am a little scared at the adventures her twins get up to. Hmmmm, fun things for me to look forward to! Jolie is very sweet... why not pop over and say hi.

Thank you also to Kelly for the voucher at Retro Mummy I won in her giveaway. As a very thrifty crafter, being able to buy myself some beautiful fabrics was a real treat. Thankyou so much Kelly.

And now something for you. I have one of Bettsy Kingston's new patterns, the Far Away Tunic to giveaway. Bettsy has a range of patterns you can see here. To win this pattern, all you need to do is leave a ONE WORD comment describing your weekend. Why weekend and why only one word? Well, it's Sunday afternoon and why not! I'll draw the winner on Friday 12th Feb.

Hope your one word for this weekend is a good one. xxx

**GIVEAWAY CLOSED.... Congratulations to Sarah who won!***

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A birthday torch

My niece wanted a torch for her 3rd birthday so while I didn't think it was the most exciting present, I bought one for her. And I am so glad I did.

Rather than buy her a cheap and nasty kid's torch, I bought a plain silver, heavy duty torch.... much better suited to a busy 3 year old! I also thought this would be appealing as it was a "proper" torch. I made a carry case for it so it can be worn around her neck for easy access while exploring.

My niece loved the torch. She disappeared with her cousin after the party had finished and they were found hiding under a blanket with the torch. Just them, the torch and their imaginations.

Torches are definately on my birthday-present-list now. They are not expensive and encourage exploration and wonder. A perfect present for a little person discovering their world.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A pram for my boy

So I wrote a big long post wondering why we* are so comfortable giving dolls and prams to girls, but not to boys. But I decided it was too wordy and too long and I was having trouble articulating my thoughts.

So all I will say is that I have been thinking a lot lately about the toys my children play with and how I - and others - influence them with the toys we give them.

All this thinking started with a pram given to my girl for Christmas. When she is not busily pushing Horse here and there, my boy happily pushes Bug around the place. So when my sister offered me another pram, I happily took it for my boy. My girl's pram is pink so I thought I would change this one for my boy (or am I worried what "we" would think about my boy pushing a pink pram..???) so I replaced it with red and blue train fabric. My boy loves trains, as does my girl.

Then clearly on a parenting and sewing high, we went to get some jobs done and the kids took their prams. It was a fun but short trip... and we didn't get the jobs done! But I guess there is plenty of time for jobs.

*we: as in a big general "we". Of course there will be exceptions to the general we. I hope I can be one of them.