Monday, June 30, 2008

Shadow Shot Sunday at the Seaside

What a lovely few days we had holidaying by the sea. My shadow shot is one day late ... but I have three to make up for it!

We had so much fun fossicking in the rock pools and playing. And there were shadows everywhere I looked!! (I have to thank Hey Harriet for reminding me of the delight in shadows!)

It was also nice just sitting and soaking up the sunshine and enjoying the kids' delight.

We have collected lovely bits of sea glass that have been tumbled by the sand. I'm still wondering what I can do with them; I love Rebecca Ward's 'sea jewels' ... so maybe this could inspire me, or maybe I'll just keep them as they are. The green and clear ones were particularly lovely but the predominance was for the amber glass ... obviously the drink of choice around there!!

It was a lovely little holiday ... when is our next one?!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Things For Winter

Today I had a blissful 'kidless' day. I decided to finally finish a grey woollen dress I've been making (for months) from this 1960s pattern - so sweet!

The lovely thing about this pattern, which is mum's, was that it had a treasure hiding inside it. For some reason, mum's wedding dress pattern and swatches of material were carefully tucked inside! It was like opening a little time capsule.

But my dress wasn't to be. It is just too big for me and some major re-structuring is required ... and it's lined! I'm going to have to enlist my mum for some assistance, I think. So, this lovely dress remains unfinished. (I'd better hurry up and finish it before our all-too-brief winter is over!)

Frustrated with this, I decided to make something easy and guaranteed to fit. This is based on a skirt pattern that I've used and adapted for years. It's a very brown, wintery-looking skirt: the 'apron' bit is actually a dark chocolate colour. The appliquéd pattern is cut from a curtain I bought at a Slavo's store in N.Z (I like these sort of souvenirs!)

I'm proud to say that apart from the thread, the whole skirt is thrifted! (and it fits!!) I also used an invisible zip - which is only the second time I've sewn one of these things in - and I think I'm an invisible zip convert!

Tomorrow's job - tidy my very full, very messy 'making stuff' cupboard!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Shadow Shot Sunday

Inspired by Hey Harriet's lovely photos, I've decided to participate in 'Shadow Shot Sunday'. With all this lovely winter sunshine we've been having, it seems a perfect time to capture some shadows!

This one was taken of the table in our family room - it's so warm and sunny in winter and has lovely rich wooden floors.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Hello Dolly

Not been doing a lot of making in the last couple of days - lots of thinking and working. I am making a little book of colours for my cousin's cherub who's turning one next month, but it's still a work in progress. So, I thought I'd share a few of my favourtie things...
Here is some of my dolly 'collection'.

They are all carefully placed atop of a bookcase which is where I put them when we moved into our house (14 months ago!) - as you can see they share their space with an assortment of bits and pieces which I've yet to find a home for!

They all have a special significance. The baby porcelain doll I got as a child, mum made a whole little cradle (complete with mattress, pillow, sheets, blanket and quilt!) for her out of one of her baskets. I named her Emily, the name I later chose for my most special 'doll'.

The little sailor is from a cruise Mum went on as a young woman. He has an ice-cream stain on his hat from when he accompanied me to dinner many years ago. I love his cheeky little grin and mischievous eyes!

The smaller Russian Doll is from my grandparents' World Trip in 1972. Grandad gave it to me a few years ago; she is quite faded and fragile.

And here are some dolls that I covet:
From astulabee - he has such a gorgeous textured face!

Sweet thrifted dolly from plump pudding's blog.

I love The Small Object for its simplicity and this one is simply delightful.

Lastly, thank you for your encouraging comments about my earrings - I've just listed two pairs on etsy so we'll see how they go..

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Saturday Sweetness

On Saturday I went to my monthly market at St William's Church, Grovely. I love going to this little market - it has such a lovely atmosphere and wonderful sense of community. My boy loves coming to help me out too, it's so nice having a little companion. All the older ladies love him and lavish attention and sweet cake goodies on him - and he's a little piglet so he loves the sweeties!

So, the sales weren't that great at the market, but the community is lovely and I have a nice morning with my boy.

Straight after the market, I came home and started making some vintage button earrings. I was inspired by my friend who's an 'earring girl' and not a 'brooch or ring' girl like me; she despaired to find no earrings for sale at my stall, only brooches and rings ..... So, away I went to make some earrings!
These are made with gorgeous 1950s (I think) buttons that my aunty gave me; pearly lattice encased in black - lovely! (sorry, the photos aren't good - photographing earrings is hard!!)

These ones are made with sweet pink buttons that I picked up at a treasure fair a few months ago.
Not sure what to do with these creations as I don't wear earrings myself and not being an earring girl, I'm not sure if they're good enough to sell. Finally, these lovely blue and cream ones are for my friend - she's a 'blue girl' as well as being an earring fiend - I hope she likes them!

The blue buttons came off a genuine vintage Beutron button card, complete with matching thread (like these at crazyhaberdasher's blog). Just so lovely, I was really reluctant to take them off ... but I have 3 others, and I plan to keep the little card anyway for collaging.
A happy, community Saturday.

Friday, June 13, 2008

A Nice Pear

I made this little pear last night.
I am planning to do similar sort of stitchery/applique thing with my students (but from a landscape image?) so I thought I needed a little practice first. I hadn't used that sticky Vliesofix stuff before so I had to try and nut that out ... by the way, I love it!!
I really enjoyed sewing this little pear; choosing the fabrics, sticking the pieces down, the fancy stitching - I'd really like to explore further and do more of this sort of thing! My head is running away, thinking of what I can do with this ... now where to I find more time to do all these things?!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Nifty Thrifty

The Queen’s Birthday was a lovely family day for us. We went to the Lifeline Book Fair then had a ‘picnic’ on my mother-in-law’s deck with little cousins (we had intended to go to a more picnic-y place, but it was raining).

At the Book Fair I picked up some lovely vintage goodies. These two books have wonderful images and funny stories in them – I can’t wait to use some of them in my making! I also bought some craft magazines and craft book from the 1970s – so much orange, brown and macramé! Great!

I bought this sweet Baby Animals book for my girl, my boy got some Dinosaur magazines (can you tell he has a thing for dinos?!) and J got a daggy old quiz book – ‘hours of family fun’!!

At my mother-in-law’s, I rummaged through her fantastic collection of sewing patterns. We had a lovely time; her remembering the different ones she made for different occasions, and me drooling over the fabulously retro outfits! Here’s two I borrowed. They are only a year apart – from 1969 and 1970 – but very different, I think.

And here’s the fabric I bought today that will be perfect for making one of those patterns up! I was so happy with this find from my local Vinnies shop – 3.8m of vintage Finnish fabric for only $7!! A bit bright for me, but I love it anyway!

Ahhhh, so much thrifty goodness!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Printing Practice

Here’s what I made this weekend – a cosy dinosaur pillow for my boy. He and I screen-printed the fabric months ago with me promising to sew it up into a little pillow for him. Well, guilt finally got the better of me and I made the pillow at last – he loves it!

And I love it too - I love all the little drawings he comes up with. He carefully drew the picture out, which features three dinos with the sun shining down on them, and then I cut it into a stencil. Then we set up the table outside and he helped me do the printing. The reverse is printed with the image too but is a little smudged - it was so hard getting the registration right. As well as that it was a really windy day and the screen and the ink was drying out ... but now I'm just making excuses! It’s the first screen printing I’ve done in years so it was good to have a little go at it again (and realise how much more practice I need!)

I also screen printed some fabric for myself … still not sure if it’s good enough to do anything with yet (bit tricky to see it properly in the photo) - maybe a bag or skirt? I’d like to give the printing another go and maybe design some one-colour prints for fabric. Fun.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

tales from outer suburbia

Last night I went to a talk given by Shaun Tan. He's one of Australia's most wonderful illustrators and authors. It was fantastic! He is amazingly talented, quirky, diverse and intelligent! I sat in awe, soaking up all he talked about; the stories he read, the beautiful images he displayed and the tales he told. His sensitivity and talent was so inspiring (and humbling!!). I also bought his new book, Tales From Suburbia, a selection of short stories accompanied by beautiful, poetic, images. It's beautiful.

I really admired and envied the fact that what he was doing with his life - the way he was able to earn a living - was so soul- sustaining and he obviously loves it! (He did a book signing at the end of the evening and for each book he signed, he did it with such tenderness and carefulness .... even drew little pictures in each book!!! So great!)