Sunday, March 27, 2011

Going bush...

Amelia on the swing bridge that crosses the Kauaeranga river.
Sorry about the lack of blog posts lately, life just  gets in the way sometimes. Tomorrow I'm off on a school camp with Caitlin's class. We are walking the"Pinnacles track" , staying the night in the hut then back down again on Tuesday to spend 2 nights camping in tents in the Kauaeranga Valley at a DOC camp site. Should be fun, in fact I know it is because I have done this very same camp trip with her older sister Amelia 3 years ago.
This camp was originally planned for last week but was cancelled due to extremely heavy rain but this weeks weather forecast is all sunny. I'm looking forward to seeing lots of gushing waterfalls after all the rain we have had in the last 3 days.

Monday, March 21, 2011

An unwanted visitor....

A rainy day here today which for me makes me want to be creative and sew something. I have doodled a few designs for pillows/cushions and quilts and would love to rummage through my fabric stash to audition potential fabric groups but a little unwanted visitor is stopping me today.
A 6am this morning we were all awoken by Caitlin's cat 'Shimmer' running around her room (which is directly above our room) chasing what we thought was a bird. She had obviously taken it upstairs to show her owner how clever she was. Unfortunately she let it go and was not clever or fast enough to catch it again and it turned out to be a mouse or maybe a small rat (ugh!!), last seen scampering into Amelia's room. We have not seen it since and as my 'sewing attic' is in between the girls rooms it could easily be in there as well. I did bravely venture in there this afternoon and had a little look at some fabrics but made sure my feet were up off the floor. I know I'm just such scaredy cat when it comes to wild rodents in my home. My husband has set up a rat trap with peanut butter on it which we are told they love so hopefully it will be caught sooner rather than later. 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Getting organised...

This week has gone by way to fast for my liking. A lot of my time was spent learning a new skill, wallpapering...yes it's taking a wee while to redecorate what will be Amelia's new bedroom but good things take time don't you know. Amelia chose this wallpaper a couple of weeks ago and she has been waiting patiently for her Grandmother to come over and help put it up.  So on Tuesday my parents came over and whilst Amelia was at school Mum and I made a start on the wallpapering and Dad did some hedge and tree pruning around my garden which was a great excuse to play with his new toy...a cordless hedge trimmer. 

I also decided it was time to get a little more organised in my sewing attic. I bought these inexpensive file holders  and covered them in some pretty scrapbook paper that I had in my scrapbooking stash. (Yes I have a scrapbooking paper stash as well as a fabric stash)

I also made up this memo board using up the leftover squares from making my indie biz folder. I crisscrossed it with some pretty white rick rack and then raided my button stash for some nice white vintage buttons which were mostly originally from my Mother's button tin. 

Here's a close-up of one of those vintage buttons plus you can see I also embellished it with some decorative machine stitching. I love how this turned out and can't wait to put it up and start using it. I also love that feeling  of being organised!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Today I am........

.....wanting to spend time on this new little project but the late summer sunshine today beckoned me into the garden....
.....enjoying the burst of colour that these fuchsia's are still bringing to my back garden....they haven't stopped flowering all summer long....

.....forgiving, for now, these pretty flowers for overtaking the garden bed where they are planted ......

.....enjoying a little play with my camera after the garden was watered and  loving the delicate drops of water.
So my entire day was spent pruning and weeding and enjoying the warmth of the sun whilst thinking of our Japanese friends that have endured 2 large earthquakes and a devastating tsunami. Just. not. fair.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Crochet Statistics...

Now that I have finished hand quilting my wonky houses quilt I've been able to do a little more crochet at night and make my pile slowly grow some more.

These photos were taken outside this evening and I love the way the sun has caught the corner of this colourful pile of crochet goodness.

I have 5 more of this size square to do. I have started to run out of the yellow when I began making this size which is why there is only one square with a tiny yellow centre. Every time I went to buy more wool I would forget which colour I needed and consequently have lots of white, orange and blue skeins. Tomorrow I must remember it is yellow I need. 

So 5 more squares to go doesn't sound too bad does it, but in total I have '157' to go! Yes that number is a little daunting although to make it sound better they do get smaller in size as I go along so I should be able to whip up a few of the smaller squares in one evening. I'm still really enjoying working on this project, the portability of it and putting together different colour combinations. I know I will be definitely doing more crochet projects in the future.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Brainstorming and a new little addiction................

One of the projects we had to put together for the Indie biz workshop was a collage of pictures that reflected our style. I'm not sure what I would call my style exactly but I definitely know what I like and what I don't like. I ended up doing 2 pages because I found it hard to edit down the pictures I'd cut out...guess I got carried away going through some of my old magazines.

Yep colour is something I'm definitely drawn too from flowers to clothing and to how I decorate my home.

No style collage of mine would be complete without a few fabric swatches of course, complete with a cute pink heart topped pin.

I found this quote from "Mark Twain" that seemed so appropriate to me right now that I had to include it.
Another thing I spent a lot of time on this weekend was the website Pinterest. I put my name down on the waiting list a week ago after seeing it being mentioned on a few blogs but managed to get an invite from a fellow indie biz student as did a few of us. (Loving the networking that has come with this workshop.) All I can say is I found it very hard to tear myself away. It's a great way to bookmark all your favourite things. I often "star" things on Google reader that I really like and want to keep for future reference but then you have to scroll through to find what you've starred. With Pinterest they are all there on one page, so its much easier to keep a track of. It's like having an endless selection of eye candy from your favourite magazines. Can you tell I love it?

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Indie Biz 3.0 workshop...

At the very last minute I decided to sign up for the online workshop "Indie Biz 3.0". I had originally read about it a few weeks ago on Gussy's blog but was undecided until last week when I decided I had nothing to lose but everything to gain. I really want my little indie business on etsy to work and I guess to be taken seriously about it I need to take it seriously and not just my little hobby. It is run by 3 women who each run their own successful indie business's. Our first project was to make a portfolio to put the course work into decorated to reflect our personal style and I think my portfolio definitely reflects my personal style as it brings a smile to my face whenever I look at it.  

Making this portfolio was right up my alley as I also love to scrapbook so had all the supplies I needed at hand. The above photo is the inside pocket with my blog/etsy shop name.

This 6 week course is divided up in 3 terms with a new topic each day. We are up to day 2 and I'm loving it already:)

I used one of my favourite designers scrapbook papers for the dividers.

And being an passionate sewer/quilter I had to have a patchwork cover using some of my favourite fabrics! I just kept it simple with squares but used some fancy machine stitches for embellishing/quilting.

Each seam has a different stitch so that's 10 different stitches all up. Now I want to make a quilt using this method!

If you interested in this online workshop there is still time to register. You can check it out over here on my new button on the right hand side bar.
Hope everyone's week is going well !

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Weekend Sewing for the girls......

This past weekend both my girls had sleepovers. Whilst Caitlin stayed overnight at a friends on Saturday, Amelia made the most of some freedom from her younger sister and had a friend over to stay with her. By mid morning Sunday after a breakfast of pancakes they were both lying about claiming they were bored. Oh to be young and have nothing to do....I wish. It was a beautiful day outside and I was going to spend it in the garden but to alleviate their boredom I offered to help them make a bag each that Amelia had a vague pattern for in one of her magazines. 

This is Amelia's version made from some of my beloved batiks. The bag is made from 2 circles of fabric cut from 26 inch squares sewn together right sides facing then turned right sides out. We made a casing around the top, a button hole on each side of the outer fabric then threaded some ties through to form a drawstring enclosure. Some wide woven ribbon was attached to form a long shoulder strap.

We chose a brown/green batik print for the lining which provides a nice contrast to the vibrant purpley blues on the outside.

This is her friend Ruby's bag made from some recycled curtains and  scraps she found at home.

A close-up of how we attached the handles.

These bags proved to be a great project for beginner sewers with lots of practice of straight sewing and also the satisfaction of finishing something useful in an afternoon. They both learn sewing at school and enjoy it but get frustrated at having to wait for a sewing machine to use so I think having some one on one sewing time with me was good for their sewing confidence. It's also nice to be able to share a skill that  I know will benefit them later in life as well. It is pleasing to hear that sewing and crafting is having a resurgence and becoming fashionable again.

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