Thursday, October 29, 2009

My Creative Space - Assessed with Dogs

My space this week has gone to the dogs! My niece is obsessed - or if you ask her "assessed" - with dogs so for her 5th birthday, she has a new bag to carry her every growing collection of dogs.... and other special treasures.

I wanted a basic lined bag with a zipper closure, easy for 5 year old fingers to open and close, and secure enough so as not to lose anything while out and about. I have made and love the shape of Nicole Mallalieu's Make Up Purse so I enlarged the pattern and added handles.

There is fusible wadding on the outer fabric so it feels soft but also gives it structure, and I followed this tutorial to add a base using template plastic. I used two pieces of plastic for extra strength.

And because I had some little bits of fabric left over, there is a matching snap purse.

Thankyou to the lovely Miss Marzie for coming to my rescue with some perfect fabric for my dog-assessed niece.

My niece's party is this Saturday and the invitation says to "Come as your favourite jungle animal". Seriously??!! What was my sister thinking!
This is what I have so far.....

While I am confident I can talk my way around a leopard being in the jungle, has anyone ever seen a jungle cow?

Not sure what I am going to do next but if I run out of time, I could always cut out eye holes and the kids could go as jungle ghosts. Is it a spooky coincidence that Saturday is Halloween??? Oooooooooohhh.....

For more creative spaces, head over to visit Kirsty who just can't get red out of her space!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ethical Clothing Pledge

I have taken Isis' Ethical Clothing Pledge.

I pledge to only wear clothing that is one or more of the following:

1. Pre-loved
2. Handmade (preferably by me)
3. Reconstructed
4. Made with ethical / environmentally friendly materials
5. Made by a company with strong ethical policy & workers' rights

There is more info on the pledge and Isis' thinking behind it at her blog. I think it is amazing and inspiring, and I am excited at what is possible. Thankyou to Isis for sharing her thoughts, ideas and beliefs and for encouraging me to think about how I can make a difference.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Some success and a beautiful quilt

It's amazing what a difference a fresh set of eyes can make. After stepping away from my frustrating refashioning project and looking at it again the next day, things fell into place. My thread sketched tree turned out just as I had imagined....

...I added a strip of black fabric around the hem and used the same idea on the right side of the neckline. I was having real trouble deciding how I would 'close' the top as I thought a brooch would be too much with the tree. A clever friend suggested the black tab which meant I was able to hide the snaps.

So all in all, my $1 Op Shop top turned out pretty well. I even wore it last night....

..... when I went to see the all-sewn-together quilt for Kootoyoo's The Quilt Project.

Image taken from The Quilt Project

I must admit to a "wow" when I walked into the room and saw the quilt. Even though I had seen many of the beautiful squares, together they even more beautiful. Kirsty has done an amazing job of coordinating this project and of making the squares into a quilt.

I couldn't help myself and even at the risk of being daggy, had to take a photo of my little part of this big project.

If you would like to see more of the quilt and read about all the people who sewed a little bit of their souls into this community project, take a visit to The Quilt Project website.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

My Creative Space - Thread Sketching

Or should I say "My Frustrating Space"! I have been desperate to get refashioning and after seeing this beautifulness on Clutterpunk, I was on a mission.

I started by trying some thread sketching and was really happy with my first attempt. I think this was due to the amazing tips and techniques so well described by Gina.

If you haven't yet discovered Clutterpunk, pop on over and say hello. Gina is gorgeous and lovely and clever and she'll make you want to do stuff (good stuff!!).

Then I got started on my Op Shop top....

... and this is when the frustration set in. I wanted to create the same style of the felted woollen vest I refashioned earlier this year but this fabric was not as easy to work. The changes look quite simple but it seemed to take forever to get to this point and... I don't love it.

The square neckline seems to have worked OK but I just can't get it to fit well and it just seems... well.... boring. Maybe it will come together in the end but I'm not even sure I want to finish it. Hmmmmmm.

Head over to Kirsty's place who, although may be hiding under a pile of squares, will still be able to point you in the direction of lots of creative people to visit.

And if you want a quick laugh, have a look at what my Mum has done over here. This is the sort of stuff she did for my sisters and I when we were little. She is awesome.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

My Creative Space - Dinosaur Game

I bought these dinosaurs when I was teaching after watching how much the kids enjoyed playing with them. And sure enough, they are also very popular with my two.

Aside from just good old fun, they can be used for counting, sorting and classification so when my friend told me about a game her husband had when he was little, my teacher brain* started ticking and I made up a game board.

On one side are white pictures of the six dinosaurs. This side is used to identify the different dinosaurs and sort them by type. There is also the opportunity for language development through talking about the different dinosaurs and describing their individual features.

On the other side are coloured dinosaur footprints. This side is used to sort the dinosaurs into the different colours. This side will also help with colour identification and recognition.

The actual game board is made from plywood, wrapped in one of the kids' old fleece blankets, then covered with fabric.

As the kids get older, we'll be able to use the dinosaurs and game board to make up our own games and activities. I'm already thinking I'll need to make two dice - one with the dinosaurs and one with the colours.

For more creative spaces, STOMP STOMP STOMP your way over to see Kirsty.

Edited to add:
A few people have asked where I got the dinosaurs from. It was through a school supplier just for teachers but I have found them online here and here. I haven't bought from these companies but I thought that at least you will see what they are called and look like if you want to shop around. They are expensive because they are a teaching resource.

*surprise surprise, it still works!!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

My Creative Space - Sock Owls

Who would have thought socks could be so damn cute! Yes, these little owls are made from little-people-socks.

I've had these four little fellas hanging around in my space for a week or so and they sure have been getting lots of "oohs" and "ahhs" from visitors.

The owls were made using the new and soon to be available Owl Mobile pattern from Craft Schmaft. Claire does magic things with socks - little monsters, dogs, G-rafs. It seems that wearing socks on your feet is soooooo yesterday! Head over to her new shop to have a look, but be ready to ooh and ahh.

And don't forget to fly over to Kootoyoo and say hoot to Kirsty and all the other creative people.