31 March, 2009

No crafting

Autumn garden, originally uploaded by Ansis68.

No crafting, not much of anything. I've got (well had now) a sick husband and a sick child and have a touch of the cold myself. Too much tv has been watched and too many computer games played by the young Miss.

Tomorrow, however, I shall wave them goodbye as they leave for creche and work and I shall do something creative. Like have a cup of tea maybe. Pet the cat. Blog. But no! I have plans! Especially trying to track down the pattern for my bunny* which I have, erm...misplaced somewhere. I shall be mightily annoyed with myself if it's gone because I'll have to try and copy the dimensions off Hazels and that will be a royal PITA to put it mildly. Especially knowing that the pattern is somewhere, neatly stored in a ziplock bag, placed somewhere clever by yours truly at some point when I "cleaned up". Just not somewhere clever enough to be immediately obvious now.


Hazel's bunny

29 March, 2009

Heather Ross's Sole-ful Slippers

I'm having a bit of a love-hate relationship with these.

Heather Ross's Sole-ful slippers

As I said I like the look, the way they're made, the overall appearance, but functionally I'm not so sure... Here they are on Hazel. Cute eh? But look at the way her toes are pushing against the tips.

Heather Ross's Sole-ful slippers

And then look how much space there is at the back. The elastic is the only thing that holds them on and they're loose as it is, so while I expect if I loosened it her foot might be able to come back a bit, they'd never stay on.

Heather Ross's Sole-ful slippers

I made these at the end of last winter but they were miles too big so it was quite a bonus when they fit this winter! From memory I had to fiddle the size quite a bit and also put in a curved instep and toe which seemed kind of necessary for fit. I remember trying to figure out my size at the time and giving up because they were so oddly shaped. I think you'd have to create your own personal template based on tracing around your foot. Perhaps they're worth playing around with a bit more because like I say - cute!

I have been enjoying my stats counter recently for all the neat places people come from plus as well as the lovely colours they use. I must admit to being addicted to site visits etc. for awhile but that pales eventually and the other stats become much more fascinating!

And of course since I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Mac user (and have been since the Apple IIe) I find this figure very interesting ;)

28 March, 2009

A new love

Mmmm. Fabric., originally uploaded by cicadastudio.

I just discovered Cicada Studios - ohhhh I'm in love! This is the 'Earthly Delights' range and the dandelions are blowing me away. The other collections are just as lovely. They're about to open a new shop called Cloud 9 Fabrics which will sell organic fabrics at reasonable prices. I'm just hoping this brings the designs into my price range! I could probably afford some fat quarters but that's about it at the moment...

How did I not know this?

Heather Bailey posted about using a feed aggregator last week and I felt superior because I've been using Google Reader for like, forever. And then she posts about the 'next' button and I am put in my place. Maybe everyone else is in on this but just in case there is some poor benighted soul out there like me who isn't - if you go to the 'settings' tab and choose 'goodies' you can add the 'next' button just by dragging it up to your toolbar. Then you can just click through your unread blogs one by one instead of viewing them in small on Reader. I think sometimes I'll want to pick and choose, especially now that I haven't checked it for a couple days and I have about 50 to go through; but sometimes the randomness of "what comes next?" will add much-needed excitement to my life.

At the moment I'm finishing up a pair of slippers for Hazel made from Heather Ross's Sole-ful Slippers pattern. I've got one finished and the suede sole to put on the other. I'm sort of at an awkward point because I actually don't think it's such a great pattern. Sure it looks good, very cute, great idea, I like the construction method, but...they don't fit well and are a kind of odd shape. I'll post some pictures tomorrow when they're done and the model is a bit more co-operative. I hate putting in the effort on this last one though, when I have a feeling they won't be worn much, and will be more annoying than anything. Oh well, not everything's a winner right?

26 March, 2009

Old movie night

I'm not really planning on making this old flim clip thing a habit or anything, but Nickel Pickel posted this over at her blog and I think I might be just slightly obsessed with it! It's filmed in Barcelona in 1908. I'm not sure what fascinates me most - the clothes? the bikes? the street urchins? the passers-by? Best watched in the high quality version I think (not sure if that will come through if you view it here). Watch out for the little 'flasher' just after the 5 minute mark :)

The good old days

Just to continue the whole cooking theme - Via Ancient Industries, this rather amusing cooking lesson.

I was able to explain to Hazel how until quite recently girls and women did all the cooking and cleaning and the boys and men didn't have to lift a finger and were waited on hand and foot. Well ok not really but honestly, the way the women in this film hover around the boys as they gobble down their food...

I just read somewhere that Typepad has enabled nested comments - c'mon Blogger, get with the program here! It was such a toss-up for me, Typepad or Blogger, and I went with Blogger because I already had an account via Google, but man if I were choosing now it'd be a different story!

25 March, 2009

Oooo the excitement!

Today I had a guest lecture to give to a third year class, so I took advantage of being on campus to check out the art supply store there. They had most of what I wanted to make stamps, but a limited choice and no breyer, so I'm not completely set up yet. I got 3 sheets of lino, some carving tools, some fabric paint (black and green) and two Staedtler erasers for trying little stamps.

stamp carving supplies

None of it cost very much, I figure if I like it and prove to be decent enough to satisfy myself, then I can get better supplies and equipment.

These carving tools cost $16, so I'm guessing they're not all that flash but if they can do the trick for awhile there's a nice Speedball with my name on it out there somewhere :) Plus they have squirrels on them so how could I resist?

stamp carving supplies

I certainly don't need this many, but it was the only set with a fine V-shaped one and a broader U-shaped one, plus the squirrel thing. The erasers were a total bust. If I'd been paying attention I'd have seen that they had small flowers embossed all over them so they're utterly useless for stamps. I guess they'll just have to revert to their original purpose!

I've decided that my first larger print will be a squirrel, I just need to come up with something. I'm not particularly gifted in that sense, and I have a strong tendency to inadvertently copy designs because I simply can't get them out of my head. Like these little guys from Kristen Doran!

I will try and do something myself I think, I'd feel prouder of the final product for sure. Speaking of squirrels, I highly recommend this post over at Whoopee, I'm still snickering over it and wanting to do the same here although perhaps I'd need to subsitute 'possum' for 'squirrel' to make it more applicable (and scary).

23 March, 2009

Hot Cross Bun recipe

I'm a cooking blog now too!

Hot Cross Buns

Makes 12

1 Tbsp active dry yeast
1/2 cup caster (superfine) sugar
1 1/2 cups (12 fl oz) lukewarm milk
4 1/2 cups plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted
2 tsp mixed spice
2 tsp cinnamon
50g (1 1/2 oz) butter, melted
1 egg
1 1/2 cups sultanas (white raisins would be closest if you can't find sultanas)
1/3 cup candied mixed peel
1/2 cup flour extra
1/3 cup water

  1. Place yeast, 2 tsp of the sugar and all of the milk in a bowl and set aside for 5 minutes. The mixture will start to foam, indicating that the yeast is still active.
  2. Add the flour, mixed spice, cinnamon, butter, egg, sultanas, mixed peel and remaining sugar to the yeast mixture and mix until a sticky dough forms. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 8 minutes or until if feels elastic. Place in a greased bowl, cover with a tea towel and allow to stand in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  3. Grease a 23cm (9 inch) square cake tin and line with non-stick baking paper.
  4. Divide the dough into 12 pieces and roll into balls. Place the balls in the tin, cover with a clean tea towel and set aside in a warm place for 30 minutes or until they rise.
  5. Preheat the oven to 200C (400F).
  6. Combine the extra flour and water, place in a piping bag and pipe crosses on the buns.
  7. Bake for 35 minutes or until well browned and springy to touch.
Notes from me:
  1. I used bread flour without thinking and the buns were quite dense, plain flour would probably make softer buns.
  2. I baked mine on a baking tray because I didn't have a cake tin deep enough (slice tins are too shallow), they cooked faster this way.
  3. I left in the instructions for the flour-paste crosses, but I strongly suggest you use icing!
  4. These make a medium-fruity bun, increase the peel and sultanas if you like them heavy on the fruit (like me).
  5. Chocolate chips are also really nice in these kinds of buns. I was going to say it was totally untraditional but what's more traditional at Easter than chocolate? Ok so most of it's more traditional but I do like the chocolate.
  6. Like most egg breads they go stale very quickly so they're not much good after 24 hours.

22 March, 2009


This afternoon we went out to visit friends who live at Muriwai, a local west-coast beach. We did the obligatory sun and surf and then met up for a dinner fish and chips on their deck looking out at the setting sun over the ocean. Sometimes I do actually understand why people are so darned desperate to live here, although I do think it'd be better if it was OUR house we were eating at :)

Mat and Hazel (with large piece of kelp)
Muriwai March 08

Being later in the afternoon in late summer the sun was quite low and the sparkles on the water were fantastic, all shimmery and dancing. I don't think photos really capture it...but of course I tried.

Muriwai March 08

Muriwai March 08

and on the sand too

Muriwai March 08

The west coast beaches have a lot of iron in them, like if you take a magnet down to the beach you can pick stuff up with it. Other than that fun activity, the black sands are very very fine, very clingy, and when you're wet you can end up quite black. We'll be getting black sand in the bath for a couple days I suspect...

Muriwai March 08

A traditional end to a post about the beach should be a silhouette photo - I'm such a sucker for the silhouette!

Muriwai March 08

Pyjama love

Finished the Oliver+S pyjamas a couple of days ago and they were road-tested last night. Overall I'm really pleased with how they turned out although I have a couple of issues with how seams are finished and some potential weak spots in the construction. I hate admitting I don't find them perfect because I wanted to! I love the look of the patterns and their blog and want to support smaller businesses, it seems right to me. The issues are really just niggles that I can easily fix the next time around but for a pattern that seems to be marketing itself as suitable for beginners I have to wonder how satisfied they'd be with the finished article and how much they'd blame themselves for the bits that don't work out so well? Perhaps I'm being too picky, but the instructions for finishing the seams suggest ways that to me are just a bit...half-assed. Whatever, the finished product is still darned cute and I can fix the problems next time around like I said.

Here is Hazel sporting them this morning on the unmade spare bed (oh how I cringe at this because someone once posted a rant about people who post photos with piles of laundry in the background, or filthy floors etc. and it must have hit a nerve!)

Oliver+S pyjamas

I love this flanelette, it was a Trade Me buy a couple years ago and it's deliciously thick and brushed on both sides. No idea how old it is but the quality of the fabric suggests some antiquity! Initially I thought of it as being very Nana-ish but as I sewed it into this kimono style I realised that it's actually quite oriental in design, if not colours! Flanelette or flanel, what's the difference anyways?

Oliver+S pyjamas

I love the white flanel trim I put on, it makes them look so wintery and clearly non-seasonal (see next post). They're too long though, I'll have to take up the pants a bit. They're also good for doing somersaults in :)

Oliver+S pyjamas

This morning, other than model pyjamas, we had a first birthday party to attend (small giraffe glimpsed in above photos was the gift). I've been quite take with this idea of furoshiki, the fabric gift wraps from Japan (I think I've got the right term there) and have done it for a couple of people recently. I thought for Arlo we could stamp some cotton with Hazel's animal stamps to make it more fun. I used some fabric pens to colour in the stamps and Hazel helped stamp the cloth before I heat set it.

Tsutsumi for Arlo

It worked very well! I wasn't as pleased with how it looked wrapped though, I think the giraffe was a bit too big for the cloth and the parcel looked a bit small with most of the stamps hidden. If I do it again I'll definitely do a much larger piece of fabric.

Tsutsumi for Arlo

Great fun and the beginning of my adventures with creating my own stamped fabrics!

20 March, 2009

Hot Cross Buns and Cards

I think I made myself sick eating one and a half of these this evening.

Hot Cross Buns

(they're not quite as yellow as this, my light source was still set to 'daylight' and it's night now) I grew up having the cross iced on rather than as a flour paste and I definitely still prefer it that way.

Hazel drew this to go on the front of her Grandad's 89th birthday card. Apparently it's a whole lot of little bears.

Card by Hazel

She's been working on her name for almost a month now - the urge to do it and all the letters came within about three days, now she's refining it. The E has the right number of bars on it (almost as opposed to about 8) and it's all in a line. The Z still needs to come in the middle but hey, work in progress right? I adore the round little faces with their big eyes and happy smiles. She says she can't draw sad faces and I figure that's a good thing.

Ah easter...

I've got Hot Cross Buns rising in the oven as I type, so I thought this fitted with the theme. Well the bunny does anyways, the bear was just too cute to leave out! Via Indie Fixx came Stitchcraft with her insanely cute bunnies (and bears). Curse you weak NZ dollar! Actually with the lower US dollar we've now made it to the dizzying heights of about 55 cents US. Woot!

I love these kind of softies - dead simple but so full of personality I just want to squee.

18 March, 2009

Phone cover!

I'm really pleased with how this turned out, considering it was from scratch.

Phone cover

In the end I put velcro dots on the tabs and sewed buttons over the top, it seemed the best solution to having a nice button but not having to try and undo something fiddly in a hurry to answer my phone. I found two buttons in my box that were the same colour and had the same sort of powdery iridescence but with different shapes which appealed to me. I like the rose on the front best, it sort of echoes the stylised flowers in the fabric. Well in hindsight it does, I really chose it for the colour and because it was neat ;) Mat looked at it admiringly last night and said "tackorama!" I'm choosing to take that as a compliment.

Phone cover

On to the next thing which is a pair of flanelette pyjamas for Hazel from the Oliver+S pattern. Although it's still pretty warm here it's cooling in the evenings and autumn will be apon us before we know it I think. It's been a very long summer this year - started early and seems to be going strong, but it can't last forever! I love this stage of making something up, it's so full of possibilities...


17 March, 2009

In Town Bags

Last week I decided that it was really silly to make myself nice things and then not use them because I had some idea they were for special occasions. Case in point was the bag I made for my brother's wedding in NY last September, it's been hanging on the back of my wardrobe door after its one and only outing:

Amy Butler In Town Bag with Kristen Doran fabric

It's an Amy Butler 'In Town' bag made with Kristen Doran Matryoshka fabric. So I took it out and transferred all my stuff out of my tote bag and used it for a couple days. It was fun! I felt quite jaunty swinging down the sidewalk with this, it's distinctly non-mother-of-a-small-child in size :) I made it up while we were staying with my parents so I got to raid my mum's button box for the ribbon attachments. I've loved these buttons since I was a kid. My own button box is great, but I think there's nothing better than your mum's :)

Amy Butler In Town Bag with Kristen Doran fabric

The nurse at the doctor's clinic went mental for it, and asked if I'd bought it in London or Sydney. When I told her I'd made it she was all "NO!" and grabbed it up and interrogated me on how I'd done it, did I have an industrial machine to do that fabulous top-stitching etc.

Amy Butler In Town Bag with Kristen Doran fabric

I actually started to get quite embarrassed. More embarrassed than I normally do when I admit (admit!? I should be proud!) that I've made something. I think this comes from my childhood when my mum made a lot of my clothes and I was perennially embarrassed they weren't store-bought like all my friends' clothes were. Funny how times change, now it'd be a badge of pride I'd think.

I made this purse for my sister-in-law as a Christmas present the year before last, it's interesting how the different fabrics really change how it looks. It's a good pattern, I'd say it was a medium on Chef Messy's 'swear factor', the only thing I don't like about it is the handle placement, the middle tends to bulge out between the handles. I wonder if having them a bit closer in to the centre would fix that?

In Town Bag

14 March, 2009

Blogger vs. Flickr

I'm going to have to look into the reasons for this but woah the difference!

First the photo as it appears when I upload it straight to the Blogger album:

And then when it's hosted at Flickr and embedded:

Snuggle blanket

I guess I know which way I'll be including photos in my posts from now on...

Snuggle taggie blanket

Baby Amy has her snuggly taggie blanket so I can post pictures now. I wanted to copy one that I'd bought in Sweden at DesignTorget over a year ago now (how time flies!) which was simple squares of fabric with tags sewn in and a plain backing. I had all the fabrics and wanted to centre it around the cute fabric with the little girl and the black cat, and mum suggested that I try a simple quilt block look. She helped me figure out the dimensions and showed me how to sew it all together which made it all seem very simple but I'm quite sure that next time I try this kind of thing I'll get myself hopelessly muddled at least a couple times :) Getting the pink in the right places was actually the hardest part as it proved to be the 'pop' colour against all the rest and very noticeable as to its position.

It came out beautifully, although I have to say that as an adult the concept of chewing on bits of ribbon don't really do it for me - I did a wee 'road test' to check mouth feel and I can honestly say that velvet ribbon is heinous. We'll see what Amy thinks.

Sewing on the minky backing was horrible, the nap pushed it around against the cotton and I was so scared that it would come out hopelessly wonky, but somehow it worked itself out in the end and although it's not as perfectly square as it started, it's not that noticeable (the camera has distorted it quite a lot in that first photo too). And of course the minky is utterly divine, you can't help rubbing it on your cheek and stroking it fondly. Well I can't anyways. :)

ETA: After looking at this post published I'm not very impressed with the quality of the images. They're lovely when you click through to the original, but these smaller views are really hazy and unfocused. I wonder if it's better to link from Flickr than use Blogger's system? I might have to choose a way of putting in photos and stick with it based on actual final appearance rather than vacillating like I am at the moment. I apologise if in future you find posts appearing and disappearing with images all over the place, it's just me playing :)

13 March, 2009

Drafting and graduating

Whee, my invoice for gown, hood and bonnet rental arrived in the mail today, I'm really doing this! May 4th I'll finally get to wear the outfit that I think perhaps was the only thing that kept me going at times - I was so determined to put on the fabulously mediaeval bonnet that PhDs wear. LOL, I guess whatever it takes...

I took this photo completely unaware of the typo it contains - of course the second I actually looked at it on screen my eye was drawn to it like it had a big neon sign over it saying "missing space! missing space!" I told Mat there was a typo and he looks and says "well this sentence is a tautology...is that what you mean?" No, that wasn't what I meant and thanks for pointing it out. :P The thesis is 300 pages, double-spaced, single-sided in case you're wondering. Not that I counted or anything.

My mock-up phone cover worked beautifully, almost scarily so. I'm assuming it's not always so easy. My only problem is closures, I might post more about this when I have something to actually show you and canvas opinions.

11 March, 2009


I'm now minus a small 1cm-ish basal cell carcinoma off my left shoulder by my neck. The local hurt the most of anything, although the sensation of having it cut out, or should I say the lack of sensation, wasn't very nice at all. The doctor showed it to me floating around in formaldehyde and I said "oh that's big!" and he laughed and said "that's small!" to which I replied "yeah maybe, but that's ME in the jar, it looks big!". It's starting to hurt.

To take my mind off being hacked about, I started drafting up a pattern to make myself a cover for my cell phone, which is preliminary to making Shelly one for her iPhone. I'm doing it all properly with unbleached cotton first, and then the real fabric. Not that I know what 'properly' is, I've never drafted a pattern from scratch all by myself, I've always had something to leap off from. It's actually very interesting and involves much complex brain goings-on inside my head, to paraphrase King Julien in Madagascar. I was so sad I didn't enjoy the second movie as much as the first, although King Julien was still delightful (as my mum would say). And the penguins, the psychotic penguins are my favourites by a long shot. But I digress! Or do I, I don't actually have anything left to say about phone covers :)

10 March, 2009


The fabric printing course this weekend I'd been looking forward to for so long was cancelled because not enough people signed up. So disappointed. I'm going to go out looking for the stuff I need to carve my own stamps and do stencils etc. though, I've got all this fabric that needs using up! I was really looking forward to having someone actually teach me how to do this, instead of muddling through it on my own. It's not that I can't figure it out, I'm sure I can, but someone showing you is just so much more efficient and by far the most natural way of learning. If the NZ dollar wasn't so shocking right now I'd be ordering up large from Dick Blick or similar, although it may be that when I pop into Gordon Harris they will have everything I need too. You never know here, sometimes it's a bit of a wasteland for crafting supplies, sometimes you are pleasantly surprised.

On the other hand it was a lovely sunny day today, a touch on the cooler side (22 degrees) and I'm of the firm opinion that a stiff G&T and very dark chocolate can do wonders for your outlook on life.


09 March, 2009

My favourite fabric

Getting the wee pouch from Terri reminded me to do this post and to get on to something I've been meaning to do for ages.

I bought a grab-bag of scraps from Purl Soho last September and when I got home to New Zealand I found a scrap of fabric about 20cm wide that I absolutely adored but no indication on the selvege as to what it was.

Ume-Komachi 'Blossom'

I searched the shop website, searched other fabric sites under ‘floral’ which is really like looking up Smith in the phone directory. then, vaguely dispirited I ended up at True Up to look at pretty fabrics that actually had a name. I spied the link to ‘Best Fabrics Ever’ and clicked. What was the first fabric on that post? MY fabric and now I know it’s Ume-Komachi ‘Blossom’.

Ume-Komachi 'Blossom'

From what I can gather it's no longer made and not available in this colour, although it is in others. I might try posting it over at Missing Fabrics although I don't hold out much hope. I think I'll have to resign myself to just this scrap and figure out a project that uses as much as possible and that I'll use lots and lots. The thing that really burns me is that it's used on an apron in 'Seams to Me' and I have to look at it and know that it's not destined to be mine!

One fabric that IS mine however, is this 'My Folklore' by Lecien, which I've been coveting for ages. Precioussss...

folklore by lecien

I asked Hazel if she'd like a blouse made out of it and she said "I've got lots of shirts mummy" and I said "oh, ok" in a disappointed way. Then she said "but I need more dresses" with a little tilt of her head and a winning smile. Baggage. Not enough for a dress though, or she might have got her way. :P

The Easter Bunny

I was lucky enough to get to test Hanies' pattern for an Easter Bunny toy/bag to put treats in and this is how mine turned out. It'll be available from her shop soon I believe :)

Easter bunny

It was a fun pattern to do and I'm really looking forward to giving it to Hazel with some eggs in the back. What this will do to her understanding of how mammals reproduce I have no idea, but I figure a small amount of confusion will be worth the reaction! While I generally like the fabric I used (from a nightie that I never wore because I kept falling out the very low-cut front) I should have payed more attention to pattern placement because the flower over the mouth area is annoying. I probably need to change the embroidery thread colour but to be honest I doubt I'll bother :P The ribbon is definitely not right, I need something softer and floppier, but needs must when the sun is out and the child is at creche.


Yay, finally got to take photos of everything. Well not quite everything because I can't find one lot of buttons and I forgot to include some lovely ribbon that matches one of the fabrics. Also, I have a confession for my fellow swappists - I was carefully keeping all the fabric with the envelopes so I knew who sent what and could credit you but in a fit of excitement I showed everything to my mum and then realised I had no idea what went back with what. I do sincerely hope I thanked everyone for everything they sent but I have a sneaking suspicion that a set of buttons, some wool, and a button on burlap were not included in any thank-yous! It's been great getting to know some of you and I'm so looking forward to my next swap :)

Fat Quarter Swaps

I also got this lovely pouch from Terri, which is doing duty as protection for my phone (Hazel tried very hard to get it away I must say).

Ume Komachi pouch

I think that one of the best things about swaps is that you end up with things you might not necessarily buy yourself and it stretches both your colour appreciation and your stash in new ways! So thank you to Catherine, Deb, Dione, Viv, Maren, Regan and Terri! I hope I got all the links in that I should have.

06 March, 2009


Just further to the pincushion if anyone wants to make one (the ones in shops are so uninspiring, if functional) but doesn't want to buy a whole book for this pattern, there are also nice (free) patterns online, including the pin cushion caddy from Seams to Me which I also considered but it's more involved:

Heather Bailey's patchwork pincushion (just continue past their blandishments to the pincushion pattern on the next page along)
Another patchwork pincushion (probably the most similar to mine)
Stickin' it to the pincushion
Pin cushion caddy from Seams to Me
Wild flower pincushion
Bari J square pin cushion

05 March, 2009

Playing catch up

Man, you leave the internets for a few days and suddenly you have 172 posts on Google Reader and about 15 photographs to post and some more to take. She's a hard task-mistress...

So my thesis is bound and looking fine, I've submitted it in pdf form to the University and tomorrow I'm taking the two bound copies in. My parents fly out for Canada in the afternoon after 6 months touring the country in a camper van and Mat is having a small surgical procedure tomorrow afternoon too. On Saturday I'll probably have a small mental break-down ;) I'm also scheduled to have a mole gone wrong taken off next week, it's an occupational hazard of living down here sadly, even growing up in Canada doesn't make me immune and I'm definitely noticing 15 years of accumulated sun damage on my face too. So all of this has, or will, interfere with this whole blog thing but I've been taking photos.

I finally finished baby Amy's little something, but that will wait until Jess gets it in a couple days. I'm pleased with how it turned out but let me just say that sewing Minky is the devil's work. 'Nuff said.

Usually my projects take hours and hours and progress can be slow and the whole thing is complex and takes brain power. I like it like that mostly, but I've just discovered the joy of the quickie. Get your mind out of the gutter! I made myself a pincushion :) My pin tin has been driving me mad, never in the right place, tips over and spills pins everwhere, gets lost under fabric, the lid gets lost etc. etc. There are so many lovely little pincushions around that I've been considering one even though I don't actually have a permanent sewing spot for it to live. I did the one out of Last Minute Patchwork+Quilted Gifts and it took way less than the 2 hours implied.

Picking out the fabrics probably took the longest time, and it really showed me where the gaps lie in my stash - no oranges or yellows or reds really, just pink, green and a couple blues.

The pattern itself is ok, although it may simply be a case of practice makes perfect. I couldn't get the threads pulled as tightly as the picture in the book because it made the fabrics pucker, so perhaps I need to stuff more firmly?

After I took the photos of the pincushion I piled it on top of a bunch of other stuff (tidy? me?) and then thought "hey, that looks pretty!" so I took a photo. If only all my messes were as photogenic. :)

Thanks to all the SMS fat quarter swappers who have sent me the neatest stuff - I know I said I'd photograph and post and haven't, but hopefully I've emailed all of you who included contact info to say thanks and will get everything into the same place to take pictures in the next day or so. I've really really enjoyed it and am looking forward to doing another!

02 March, 2009

I hate computers

The struggle betwee me and my computer, Word, and printing to pdf continues, I think I'm winning but I won't know until this afternoon when I take the thesis to the printer. I'll have all my appendages crossed that the images come out properly - which is what the problem is at the moment although heck, there may be problems that I'm not even aware of yet! Did I mention I hate computers?

On the bright side however, I got some more fat quarters in the mail today and I need to get cracking on taking some nice photographs of the seriously lovely fabrics I've been getting. I'm so blown away by the generosity of the swappers, including buttons and pouches and ribbons on top of the fat quarters themselves. I feel my single anadorned quarters were a bit thin on it now, but at least I know for next time how fabulous it is to open up an envelope and find unexpected delights. I have something to aspire to now. :)

Speaking of buttons - Dione from Sew Funky sent some buttons along in the swap, and since Mat had his studio lights at home I took them out for a spin. All I can say is that it's a skill! My favourite button was a round creamy white and it has a fabulous solidity to it so I focused on that

and added in some crystal buttons I'd bought ages ago off Trade Me and have yet to find a use for (though I have some ideas).

I don't think I really got the hang of the lights, I can see that you'd have to practice a LOT to get reliable results. They did make me feel rather professional though :)


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