30 May, 2009
No, that's not my note to self, I know where that particular post is. No, the note is:
When you are putting a quilt together and not following any set combinations of fabrics and you have to leave it for awhile please please please note down what you were planning on doing with the little piles of fabric you had sorted out, plus the squares that were still waiting on a third fabric to be added. You might think that you'll remember, or it'll be blindingly obvious to your future self, but I'm here to tell you that No. It. Won't. Your future self won't have a flippin' clue what you were thinking or where those missing third fabrics are or what they should be. She only vaguely remembers a sense of self-satisfaction that you'd settled all the fabric combinations and that it would look fabulous. Now she's afraid it won't ever live up to that vague feeling of greatness.
p.s. can you also tidy up the sewing area, it's really messy now and if you'd just done it when you meant to I wouldn't be having space issues now.
A photo from happier days when I knew what I was doing (and the lighting was better)!
28 May, 2009
When I was taking photos of my giveaway bunny I ended up being quite taken by the leaves themselves and decided a still-life was in order.
I'm not a 100% sure on the placement of the key things like the rosehips or the manuka blossoms, or whether it could use more white at the top (hello Photoshop!), but oh the colours! You can see it bigger over at Flickr if you select the sizes option.
The inspiration for a studio setting for natural things came from fabulous images of grasses at Oote Boe, check them out!
27 May, 2009
Welcome to my giveaway! I'm currently in the throes of a felt bunny obsession, so it seems only right to share some of the bunny love around. So for one lucky commenter I've got this little guy (gal?).
Standing 19cm (7 1/2") tall, not including ears, he's made of a wool blend felt and has red felt flowers appliqued all over his back. He sports a magnificent wool tail, truly the envy of all other felt bunnies! He's not really designed for the younger crowd, I doubt the flowers or tail would stand up to much pulling or sucking; but he's up for lots of bouncing and other more gentle forms of loving. Let's say older kids and the young at heart generally, just to be on the safe side.
I'm happy to ship internationally too! All you need to do is leave a comment on this post and tell me where you're from in the world - I'm always fascinated by the far-flung places people visit from! Please make sure that I can contact you either via your own blog or by email. The draw will be open until the evening of June 1st here in New Zealand, which will take it up to about midnight, May 31st in North America. I'll use a random number generator to pick the winner and will post the result immediately.
ETA: I'm planning on posting a tutorial for the bunny with pattern and instructions in the near future - so if you're not the winner this time please check back for the tutorial and make your own!
I can't wait to start working my way through other participating blogs, I'm wishing everyone (including me) good luck!
Master list, originally uploaded by Ansis68.
Ha! So yes, I have actually ticked off a few , and mostly in order, but there seem to be a few projects that "accidentally" slipped in without being written down. How did that happen? Like the felt bunnies (plural), the chibi kitten and rabbit, the felt crown. Oh yes, I plead extenuating circumstaces your honour - birthdays! a mania for felt rabbits! But shouldn't I at least anticipate the birthdays? I've got them marked on my calendar, they are anticipatable. Clearly I need to work on my mad list-making skillz.
26 May, 2009
In the end I got mine from Yes Asia as they had the cheapest prices by far (free shipping!) - although as I discovered that's because they're as slow as a wet week in getting it to you! But they did come after a month or so, and really for those prices it was worth it. The site comes up regularly as a good place to buy them so it's not a fly-by-nighter by any means. As an English-speaker it's not the easiest site to navigate, although I notice that in the year since I got my books it's become heaps better. For craft books the categories you want are
Damn, now I want to order some more books! How about this one - imagine the amount of time I'd need to waste before committing to buying a book that was both a Japanese craft book AND about wool felt? Welcome to the Felt Bakery
25 May, 2009
It's the same as the one I made for myself, but without the pocket for earphones. The fabric is from the Botanica line by Art Gallery Fabrics with green lining fabric from my stash and a button from the button box. I love these green buttons because they have a wee sparkle in the middle - I'm fond of a small amount of bling in unexpected places. It has a layer of cotton wadding as well as I gather that iPhones are pretty delicate and prone to breaking if dropped. Poor Mat is dying to have one but an archaeologist's phone needs to be moderately robust so he's being sensible (so far!). Reminds me of one dig I did where Pete lost his phone and got someone else to call it and we all heard it ringing from in the spoil heap (big mound of sieved dirt). Not really iPhone territory...
Shelly was really taken with the idea of having a button closure on the cover, but I figured that fumbling with a button while your phone was ringing would just add to the stress of modern life so I did a fake button hole and put velcro underneath.
Sorry the photos for this are dreadful, so washed out! They don't do the fabric or the lovely pale green button justice. Must have been a bad day. I'm really keen to turn this into a wee tutorial so that people can do this themselves - there's lots for sale but I couldn't find a pattern myself when I looked and it'd be so handy to have the measurements out there for people to experiment with. I just have to figure out how to draft up the pattern and find somewhere to host it.
They end up looking quite different as the bunnies have their ears pulled in a lot more than the kitties
The light was so bright behind them yesterday morning you can see the clipping around the bunny ears! I hate clipping curves So. Much. but really, how else can you get a good curve? I'm always surprised by how many patterns don't do this step and to my mind it makes all the difference in the final appearance of the toy. Although I obviously didn't need to clip as much as I did for these ears, I tend to be a bit OCD with that kind of thing!
24 May, 2009
There were three to choose from in the giveaway and Hazel liked this one the best. I'm glad she had a preference because I'm not sure I could have picked my favourite so quickly :)
In honour of winning a kitty cat print from a kitty cat site - here's my fur-kid, Lucy.
I mostly used the great tutorial and pattern at Balancing Everything, along with the tutorials and pictures at Woodcraft, Juicybits and Koala brains with a few modifications of my own. I think Rebeccah's decision to use red as the accent colour was inspired, I just love how all the colours work together.
Unfortunately all we had to work with was the wool blend felt, which compressed like crazy when ironed, so the crown lacks thickness. I ended up with with two layers at the tips, and three at the bottom. I did the embroidery and the zig-zags through two layers of felt (small and large pieces) and then backed both with another large piece and attached the ribbon at the bottom for stability. The points have a tendency to get bent, but an iron will straighten them out easily. I'm sure nice thick pure wool would be soooo much better!
I extended the sides back a bit on the Balancing Everything pattern and I like the curved effect, although I obviously needed to bring it down a bit narrower to match the width of the elastic I used.
21 May, 2009
The first skirt before I unfolded it:
They come with all the notions and everything, and you can see the cutting lines for the various sizes. I love how the facing for the skirt is a road with all the markings!
Yes! It's the Trellick Tower one. Am soooo excited although I'm sure people will mostly look at and wonder why I've got a building on my skirt. Better bone up on it in case someone recognises it and I need to sound like I know what I'm talking about.
Last one for Hazel:
The colour really is that bright, the camera didn't cope at all well with it!
The pockets etc. are adorable:
I'll be honest, I really wanted to get Hazel this one, but she picked the pink without a second thought so I just bowed to her superior judgment :)
And to make all the cutting out easier, a lovely pair of shiny very very sharp scissors:
If anyone, including me, uses them to cut anything other than fabric they'll be very severely punished.
I'm a very happy camper at the thought of all these lovely things to sew up. Now if only I could fit them into my vast list of projects!
20 May, 2009
I've really been enjoying the free downloads from Indie Fixx's 'Feed Your Soul' section. I don't like them all, in fact some are downright creepy and weird and not at all my taste, but there are some real gems in there and I've been printing out a few to put up in Hazel's room. Not sure whether I should be framing them or what, but yay it's great to have neat pictures! Check out the gallery and see if anything takes your fancy (free!).
18 May, 2009
ETA: Oooooo and by fabulous co-incidence the Crafty Crow is having a giveaway of $20 vouchers from This and That From Japan who carry Nani Iro fabrics. Although by telling you this I have probably lessened any very slim chances I have of winning it by decreasing my odds :)
I really liked this bag - I can't crochet but I think felt flowers or yoyos would look equally good.
I also found the 'what to do with men's ties' amusing and I do quite like that hat
I also loved this kitchen shelving idea
Not sure how stable it would be but I guess if you screwed everything together top to bottom and then bolted it to the wall at the top?
Then I met up with Lyn and gave her the bunny and she gave me a wee giftie for Hazel - so really it felt like a top-secret clandestine craft exchange in the business building ;) The gift was a brooch
and I can assure you that Hazel feels well-compensated for letting the pink bunny go and she adores this icecream cone that Lyn made to say the least.
Her stuffed animals have been pouncing and eating it all evening, and it's been carried around constantly - can't wear it pinned on anything because then she can't see it. Fair enough actually, that's the drawback of brooches! I'm planning on making her a dark grey wool coat for winter and I think this would look adorable on that in a little cluster with a few little round badges like the ones from Nut and Bee. She might knock people over ded with teh cute though, I might have to reconsider on public safety grounds...
17 May, 2009
Today we are doing panic-y gardening and weeding before it starts raining again. It's a mass of weeds out there because while we might not enjoy daily rain they obviously do and have gone nuts. All we can do is watch them run rampant through rain-streaked windows :( So I'd better get to it asap, I can see the clouds gathering out west.
15 May, 2009
embroidery, originally uploaded by Ansis68.
I've never done felt applique before and it's surprisingly easy - I like working with felt more and more, even the wool blend stuff lends itself to this kind of technique. And I love this red, what a fabulous colour to handle and look at - bright and cheerful and brave. I think I feel a red bunny coming on! :D
Such a lovely day today - soft air, warm, beautiful fluffy white clouds in the sky - but I don't trust it. Don't trust it At. All. I'm sure a rain cloud is going to sneak up on my washing on the line any minute now. I'm watching, I'm vigilant, but those clouds are cunning like weasels.
And Happy Birthday to my mum! After I moved down here we discovered that we'd been born on the same day - she was born here on the 15th, I was born in Canada on the 14th - so if I phone her on her birthday here, it's my birthday there. Cool huh?
14 May, 2009
I'm having a lovely day so far, despite the fact both Hazel and I have a cold.
To celebrate I'm giving away this wee felt bunny! They're multiplying like...rabbits around here as I work on refining the pattern and I'd like to send them to good homes.
So let me know what your felt bunny adoption credentials are like in the comments and he might be hopping his way to you in a few days. I'll get Hazel to draw from the bowl on Sunday the 17th, NZ time. This little one is made from a wool blend felt and given the buttons and pompom tail I'd say it's for kids over 4 or adults only - no little babies!
Here it is with the originals that I'm working on replicating. The brown one was mine and the red my brother's and we've had them for as long as I can remember. Kind of showing their age huh? :) Hazel adores them though, and given that they're absolutely on their last legs I'm going to make a couple more to take the brunt of the loving.
ETA: I do hope that people I know well will also enter if they want the bunny - just because I've met you in RL doesn't preclude you! Same for anyone on my list of gifty-goodness - which I haven't forgotten I assure you!
Hazel has decided the bunny's name is Cubby, personally I call him Beaker (Muppets reference there) ;)
13 May, 2009
So I've joined the rest of the crafting world and made a couple yoyos. I'm not really a yoyo kind of person, they seem a bit frou-frou on the whole but I need them for this project I'm working on. All very mysterious and hush-hush of course ;) So check back tomorrow because it's my birthday and since I'm a massive Lord of the Rings geek (honest, I belonged to the fan club and everything) I'm going to go with the Hobbit tradition for birthdays. If you don't know what that is then I suggest you get reading quick! Or just wait until tomorrow :)
I've also put my name in the hat for the Sew Mama Sew May giveaway which happens on the 27th, so I need to get busy for that too! I'm paranoid about forgetting though, I had a doctor's appointment yesterday that I thought was today so I missed it and quite understandably he's got the pip at me. I'm scared it's a sign of advancing age, I've never forgotten something like that before!
11 May, 2009
Angela! Hazel drew this morning, graciously taking time out from Yo Gabba Gabba and creche preparations to pull a slip of paper out of one of her bowls. She was quite bemused ("why did I have to choose a piece of paper from the bowl mummy?") but parents do so many odd things it's just part of the background noise of being a pre-schooler I guess.
I'm off to your blog to leave you a comment Angela, or you can contact me at ...
Let's hope my monday continues in this positive vein :)
09 May, 2009
the top drawer of my desk. Now this drawer is full of wonderful and useful things (and about a million pens) but I spend a lot of time rifling through it muttering "I know it's in here". Thanks to Design Sponge it now looks like this:
I should totally enter it in some sort of before and after contest! I still have about a million pens (I'm not a pen thief honest!) but all of them work and they're separate from the pencils and markers. There are a couple of problems with the divider sizes, like I can't really access the back two easily, and there's nowhere for my rulers to go, but man it gives me a shock of pleasure and surprise every time I open it up! Plus I got rid of the child-proof catch on it which Hazel figured out long ago. I covered the cardboard with this very pretty paper a book came wrapped in from Borders. I need to go back and see if they sell it because it's heavier than printer paper and would be sturdy enough to do all sorts of fun things.
Anyways, because Nikki asked about carving materials I thought I'd just share a few links from which I've gained most of my very limited stamping knowledge. Yes, I've carved ONE stamp and am now going to share my knowledge with you :) Basically there are two, Geninne's Art Blog and Two Cheese Please but of course there are lots of other resources out there, particularly if you live in the States where materials seem to be a lot more readily available. Gennine is a gold mine of information, she's very generous with her information! Particularly useful was her video of how to carve a stamp which gave me a good idea of how to hold the carving material and just general technique. Yesterday she posted about what she likes to carve and with what - and all of her posts about stamping techniques are found here.
Holly at Two Cheese Please is also a great resource, particularly for us Antipodeans, because I sense that getting the fancy-schmancy carving materials (other than old-fashioned lino) is probably the stumbling block down here - particularly in NZ. Not to mention she makes the cutest stamps evah! She's got a great list of where to buy things here, and sells beginner's sets on etsy here. (I think my fangirl underpants might be peeking out a bit here)
So there we go - the sum total of my stamp carving knowledge. I'll come back and add to it as I explore a bit more, buy a few more supplies etc.
08 May, 2009
Growing just down the street on our walk this rainy autumn afternoon. They are there every year and I love seeing them pop up so pale and get redder and redder every day they survive the passing school children.
I'm going to turn this photo into a stamp - how could I not?
07 May, 2009
I finally tried carving a stamp last night. It was much easier than I'd expected, although clearly my technique needs some work - both carving and stamping! I'm going to be a bad artist and blame my materials though, the stamp pad is one of Hazel's and so were the marker pens I tried using and they were all a bit dry (she leaves the tops off the pens) It's quite cute though, I like it. Not entirely sure what to do with it now, but I'm sure I'll find a use for it eventually.
These two toys are off to Edmonton tomorrow if I can get my act together. I think I'm about two weeks behind schedule with them, and that despite promising Nicole, a five year old child, that I'd be done. If I can disappoint a young girl I think I'm a pretty hardened procrastinator. The monkey is for her younger sister Danielle. This photo doesn't show his lovely, possibly even magnificent, tail, but you can see them here on a couple of others that I've made.
I've also got a graduation photo to share
Sadly, despite the care I put into my choice of shoes they don't show up in many of the photos, and certainly in nothing that I'd consider showing to anyone else! I don't consider myself photogenic at all to be honest, so it's a wonder I'm putting this up at all. I went to a seminar this afternoon and there were lots of studio photos of old archaeologists and to a man (no women) they were posed and serious-looking. Why won't people let you be serious-looking these days? Everyone's all "smile!" and if you don't produce a real grin they harass you until you do. I like looking serious, I look better serious in photos, why can't I be serious? When I smile my eyes squinch up and my nose looks really wide. People like me should be allowed to be all serious and intense-looking in photos, you know, like we've got deep and meaningful goings-on inside our brains. Even if we don't.