Monday, September 28, 2009

A Crown of Golden Trim

One of the many things I love about blogging is being challenged to do things I wouldn't have done otherwise. This is a perfect example. Gemma from Loz & Dinny set a great challenge with some unloved gold trim she was given. She wanted it to be loved!

So with a little bit of fabric stiffener and a little bit of love, my kids now have some new dress ups...

The crowns were made by stiffening the trim using Fabric Stiffener (thanks to Cam for her advice with getting this right). I used two rows of boning in the headbands and then covered them in the same fabric I used for the cape. To allow the crowns to fit on growing heads and make them easier to put on and off, there is a piece of elastic sewn into the back. I figured if you're going to wear a crown then you need a cape so I got an idea on how to make the cape from here. The outer fabric is upholstery fabric and the lining is satin. The cape does up with a snap so I can add another as the kids grow, and it will come apart easily and not choke them should an accident occur while playing. Which is important I think!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

My Creative Space - The Gold Trim Challenge

This week my space is all about Loz and Dinny and the fun challenge that Gemma has set. I have 80cm of gold trim to use 'in some crafty project to make it have its day basking in the sunshine of handmade'. What a cool brief!

So I have teamed the trim with a $1 piece of upholstery fabric from the Op Shop and some satin kindly given to me from my mother-in-law's stash. And I have until the 29th Sep to make this into something worthy of sunshine basking!

Also waiting for my attention are 3 balls of Sugar 'n Cream cotton. They desperately want to be made into knitted dishcloths and they will be, as soon as I have time in between wiping snotty noses (mine and the kids'), giving extra cuddles, driving children to sleep and trying to find some slither of sanity in my severely sleep-deprived, snot-filled mind!

I hope your house is a happy, healthy one with lots of creativity happening. Pop over to the Redwork Quilt Maker extrodinaire to see who is inviting you into their space this week.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Handmade in Melbourne Winners

Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway for the Handmade in Melbourne books. It was so lovely to sit with a cuppa and read your comments. I found myself nodding and smiling and nodding again! I feel lucky to be surrounded by such inspired, connected and creative kindred spirits.

While I was sitting reading the comments, Mr joined me and started reading them too. Which gave me an idea. You see, while I get the whole random number generator thing, my issue was that I asked you to do something, not just leave a random comment. I asked you to think about your answer. So to then choose randomly didn't feel like I was doing you justice. But because I wanted to make everyone win, I took advantage of Mr's interest and asked him to choose the winning comments. I figured he was an unbias judge.

So Mr narrowed down the pile but as there was more than 5, I randomly pulled 5 from his pile. So I did resort to some randomness, but some I could live with!

Anyhoo, that was the long way to say congratulations to Kate from Craftastrophies, Miss Muggins, Leonie from Raglan Guld, snowflakes4sam and Mary from ChickenFlowerTots who all have a copy of Handmade in Melbourne with their name on it (not literally!).

Thanks again to everyone who took the time to comment.

PS.... I also wanted to tell you about this post I read by Sally at Virtually Sally. It is just beautiful.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

My Creative Space - Redwork Quilt Square

It was with a mix of relief, satisfaction and sadness that I finished and posted my contribution to Kirsty's Quilt Project this week. After too much stressing, I was reminded that this project was about being part of something. So I stopped worrying and got started. As this square is part of a community quilt, it got me thinking about being part of the blogging community. I have found so much inspiration, support and friendship since blogging, an unexpected benefit of being a mum. Not that you have to be a mother to blog.... but for me, it was being at home with the kids and rediscovering the creative me that lead me to blogging.

So I decided to stitch my family on my quilt square, to represent the best things in my life and to acknowledge them as the reason I am part of this project.


The idea came from a photo our friend Jamie took. This verison has been blurred to protect the innocent... and not so! The original is beautiful and amazing thanks to the incredible talents of Jamie. You can check out his work here.


I traced around the outline of each of us to get the design for the quilt square.


Because it was such a simple design, I practised a few fancy stitches thinking that I needed to "tart" it up a bit but realised that the simplicity was what I loved. After all, I am but a simple girl! So there is a tiny bit of satin stitch but otherwise it is just stem stitch.


I loved being part of this project and am so thankful to Kirsty for making this project happen.

I suspect there will be a common theme of red in many creative spaces this week.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Handmade in Melbourne - the book & a giveaway

When reading the foreword in Handmade in Melbourne, I had an "uhhhh" moment. Stephen Kent from Wilkins and Kent talks about how as designers, they have a story and how the materials they use have a story. He believes that it's the stories of handmade products that customers appreciate and value. Uhhhh..... of course!

I love knowing that a person has made what I buy, not a programmed machine.
I love that I can order or buy from the maker, not by lining up in a queue.
I love that the maker created their art because they knew what they wanted and were frustrated they couldn't find it.
I love that I don't have to remove tonnes of packaging to get to my handmade buy.
And I love that two products sitting next to each other are the same but not exactly.

Handmade in Melbourne tells the story of 200 Melbourne artisans, including photos and details on where to buy their products. While not a book you would sit and read cover-to-cover, it is beautiful to look at and great to flick through and read about a different person each time you pick it up. But a warning.... you are likely to be inspired and want to buy stuff!

You can buy a copy of Handmade in Melbourne at their website or I am lucky enough to have 5 copies to giveaway. All you have to do is leave a comment telling me why you love things that are handmade. I'll use some random thingy to pick five lucky people next Sunday night (20th Sep). Due to postage, this giveaway is only for bloggers in Australia.
***Giveaway has now closed***

Thursday, September 10, 2009

My Creative Space - Dishcloth & Plane

There is a dishcloth and a plane in my creative space this week. The dishcloth is an awesome present-for-no-reason from Julianne at Chasing Snails who has a mission of converting every single household over to handmade knitted dish cloths. Well let me tell you, I'm converted!

Converted so much that I have ordered some Sugar 'n Cream cotton from American Yarns and I plan on having a kitchen full of knitted dishcloths.... well not full because that would be silly, but certainly enough so that I always have a clean one ready. If you are keen to have some knitted dishcloths in your house, now is a great time because American Yarns is having a sale so head over to their Ravelry page to check it out.

So I wanted to say thankyou to Julianne for being awesome but what to do? She commented that she liked my nephew's planes so that was a start but I needed more. I first met Julianne when reading her blog post, Top 10 Lessons for Surviving a Zombie Attack. This appealled to me as I thought it was very funny, and I now feel more confident should zombies ever attack. It soon became apparent that Julianne has an interest in things a little creepy... so this is what I sent her...

While I'm not sure that I would board this plane, it was great to hear that she loved it... especially the skull!

If you're game, jump aboard Skull Air and fly over to Kirsty's to check in at more creative spaces.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Vegetarian Meatloaf

Yes, I see the irony. But this is one of those recipes that I got from sister and I don't know its proper name or where it came from*. But it looks like a meatloaf but it's vegetarian....

Anyway, Steph from MooBear was challenged to share a recipe using one ingredient from the person who challenged her - which she did here - and then she challenged me. So I chose onions and here is a 'Vegetarian Meatloaf' recipe. It's quick and easy (the way I cook) and delicious (what I hope for when I cook).

75g uncooked macaroni pasta
125g brown lentils
2 cups breadcrumbs
1 onion, grated or finely chopped
1 carrot, grated
2 stalks of celery, chopped
60g pine nuts
¼ cup tomato sauce
¼ cup water
2 eggs, beaten
2 Tbls Worcestershire sauce

I didn't have celery and only a small carrot when I made this one so I added a grated zucchini instead.

1. Cook pasta
2. Heat oven to 180 C
3. Combine dry ingredients, including cooked pasta and mix well
4. Add remaining ingredients and mix well
5. Cook until browning on top (about 20-30 minutes)

Now because I'm terrible at tagging people, I'll leave this up to you. If you'd like to take up the recipe challenge, choose an ingredient from this recipe and post a recipe using that ingredient on your blog. Otherwise, whip yourself up a Vegetarian Meatloaf..... you wont be disappointed!

*I'm sorry I don't know the source or who to credit for this recipe.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

My Creative Space - Black Jumper

Some more refashioning this week. The jumper I started with is different from last week's project as the wool is machine washable. Learning from previous lessons, I bought this one knowing that it could not be felted!

Here's what I did:
- chopped off the arms
- cut across the top just underneath the V collar
- took it in at the sides
- overlocked around the neckline
- took in the sleeves and reattached them (next time I will cut the armholes in a bit as the sleeves don't sit well on my shoulders)

I wanted it to be a bit longer and the sleeves were too short, so I cut up a woollen skirt I had also bought at the Op Shop (forgot to take a photo) and added about 12cm to the body length and sleeves.

Then I sewed random reverse darts on the front, back and sleeves. And that's it.

Grab a cuppa and see what creativeness is happening out there at Kootoyoo.....