15 March 2015

Finished 2015: Lotta Reversible Sun Hat

Well blow me down with a feather, Ive finished something else.  My first thing from the Make Stuff from my Existing Craft Books Project......definitely need a snappier title for this project (any suggestions?).

I have had Lotta Jansdotter's Simple Sewing book on my shelf for many years and love most of the projects in this book.  However, until now I have only got around to making one thing from it and that was back in 2009 for goodness sake (see my version of the All Day Tote).

This time around I decided to make her version of a Sun Hat.  Originally the yellow fabric was my choice for the outside of the hat but since I have finished it, I think I actually prefer it the other way around with the paisley on the outside.  Well that is the joy of being reversible!

Next thing up from my The Crafty Books are off the Shelf project is a new pin cushion........ ooooooooh I hear you cry.

06 March 2015

First thing I finished this year

The problem with having lots of different projects on the go at any one time, is that it can be ages until you finish anything.  With this is in mind I decided I needed some little projects to go along side the almighty ones.

I made a couple of little coin purses last year out of cute fabric but really wanted to make some with my own embroidered designs on and here is the first cab of the rank so to speak.  I am thinking I might make a collection of them for the school fair this year, just slowly plod along with them and by November I should have a nice little pile of them.

Oh and remember all those craft books I was browsing through and all the projects within their pages that I wanted to make this year, well I decided that my first one would be Lotta's Simple Sewing Sun Hat.  Hopefully have this finished by next week, fingers crossed.

Love these smaller projects!

20 February 2015

2 quilts and a lighthouse

Work continues on my denim quilt / picnic blanket. It is a slow process embroidering these 14cm squares but I try and do a little each night in front of the teev.  Ive worked out that I need about 50 embroidered squares and I have about 10 done so far, seems this may be an all year long project.

Obviously, I don't have just the one project going on, of course there are many!  I decided to get cracking on the quilt I started cutting out late last year.  Just a a load of 5 inch squares incorporating some of my stash fabric and some specially bought ones from Remnant Warehouse.  But realised I didn't have quite enough and happened to be walking past Lyncraft last week, just as they were having their half price fabric sale.  My god their fabric variety is woeful but I did manage to find a couple that I thought might fit in with the colour scheme.

All the squares are cut out now and the sewing has begun - no thanks to her ladyship below.

My other little side project is this lighthouse embroidery.  We were lucky enough to be treated to a weekend away during our recent trip to the UK - with my brother and his family.  We were completely blown away when we arrived at our little holiday home and it was a lighthouse.  The kid drew the cutest picture of our lighthouse home and I thought it might be kinda cute to turn it into an embroidery for Ellie to send back home to her cousins.  Ive actually decided to make two because I want one as well - so better get cracking on the second one.

11 February 2015

Projects galore

If you are like me you probably have a LOT of crafting books.  I have loads but the sad thing is that it is not very often that I get around to making any of the cool projects found on the pages of these books.

So I was just browsing  through one of them the other night and I started sticking post it notes on the projects I would really like to make in 2015 and then I grabbed the next book and then the next.  OK so I  have bookmarked quite a few projects and it will in no way be possible to make them all but it sure seems silly to have such cool books and never make anything from them.

So I am going to choose a few of my favourites over the coming months and see if I can't knock a couple off.  The only problem, what to do first!

05 February 2015

Books in 2015

I set myself a target to read 30 books this year - thats pretty doable don't you think?  Im also interested to see what percentage of fiction to non fiction I read.  My reading tastes have really changed over the years, in my twenties I would have read 90% fiction but now in my forties it is the complete opposite.  However, I am wondering if another swing of the pendulum is starting to happen.

Fittingly then, my first two books of 2015 were both right ripping yarns (though one may have been more ripping than the other).

First up, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Time and Time Again by Ben Elton - it was perfect airplane reading - a bit of a mystery, an easy read and a lot of time travel.  Damn I LOVE time travel stories and this one was a good one.

My second choice was The Martian by Andy Weir.  I loved this book too, but it was a slower read and very nerdy.  Think Apollo 13 set on Mars - I got a bit bogged down in all of technical space stuff at times and would put the book down for days on end, however, I was still intrigued enough to keep coming back to it.  If you thought the movie Gravity was cool you would probably like this book, if you would rather poke your eyes out with a stick than watch that movie (as some of my friends have said they would like to do) then maybe give it miss.  Me, I liked Gravity and I like this.

On the nightstand for February and in various stages of being read are:

... Mindset: How you can full your potential by Carol Dweck
... The Book of You by Claire Kendal
... Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel
... Elizabeth is missing by Emma Healey
... Happiness by Design by Paul Dolan

03 February 2015

Daily habit for 2015

I wanted to commit to a creative daily habit in 2015 but wanted to be a more specific rather than just anything creative.  Therefore, I decided to concentrate on making quilts - as the kid become less interested in wearing the things I make for her and I'm not really that enthusiastic (yet) in making clothes for myself - it seemed like quilts were the right thing for me at this time.

Starting this project whilst on holiday in the UK was a bit tricky as I had no access to all my fabric or a sewing machine.  However, it had been on my mind for a while to make a picnic blanket style quilt made out of up cycled denim and then thought it would be cool to embellish some of the squares.

So began my square embroideries that saw me through all of January.  I opted to limit the colours to a rainbow palette and picked appropriate shades which I pretty much plan to stick to for this project.  I have been inspired by both the sashiko and zentangle styles for my squares.  I am not sure how many squares I will do in total and I am planning on leaving some squares blank, and I may incorporate some non denim squares into the patchwork - just not sure yet, it is a work in progress.

Whilst some days I only managed very little towards my quilt progress, I still have only missed one day so far and I had a good excuse for that one (a 24 hour cross the world plane journey will do that).

I have two other quilt projects on the go at the same time that I started in 2014 - one is very close to being finished and the other is just in the cut out stages and hopefully I will find some time in February to look at these two projects.

My progress for the denim quilt so far (including another daily habit I may have picked up nom nom nom):

30 January 2015


Well jet lag sucks big time doesn't it!  I have been back from England nearly a week now and I am still waking up at 2am in the morning, completely unable to go back to sleep.  I feel like I am living in the twilight zone and I am getting somewhat grumpy about it all.  I want to get my energy back and get on with stuff but instead I am in a constant woozy and vague state of mind.

At least the Kid is back on Australian time......I know, I must be getting old, Im sure crossing 11 time zones never used to be this bad.

It was, however, completely worth it.  We had a ball back home with the family.  I had been worried that we were going to be a bit bored going to UK for 7 weeks in winter and be stuck in a lot but I was so wrong.  I won't lie, it was blooming cold, but we had very little rain and there was much more going on that I realised, we did so much.

I want to do it all again next Christmas.......well except for the jet lag.

09 January 2015

Non Resolutions for 2015

So you may have noticed that it's 2015 already.  And a new year means resolutions, right? Well, I'm not really one to set hard and fast resolutions but all the same there were thoughts and ideas knocking around my head, things that I hoped to get done or start in 2015.

Consequently, I grabbed my notebook and as an idea came to me I would pop it on the page and before I knew it the page was full.

OK, so what are those non resolutions:

  • spend even more time on my bicycle
  • get a job
  • work out if I can afford to study fulltime
  • spend less time down the internet rabbit hole
  • learn 100 new words
  • work out if I can afford to visit the UK again next Christmas
  • finish my foundation Uni course
  • start my degree course
  • stick to a couple of daily habits and track them
  • 10,000 steps every day in 2015
  • eat mindfully
  • keep my Instagram and Blog up to date
  • finally finish the C25K running programme
  • I can never take enough photos
  • lose enough weight that I feel good in my jeans
  • run the City 2 Surf again or do a charity run or both?
  • read more books - target 30 for the year
  • start a gratitude project with the kid
  • get more plants
  • make 2015 the year of the quilt
  • make handmade gifts for everyone - need to start planning early
  • work on my patience with the kid
Lots to think about there, some Im very excited about, some I know will be hard (i.e. getting off Facebook) but a shiny new year is always full with opportunity and this one is no different.

Happy New Year to everyone, hope yours is a wonderful one.

31 December 2014

2014: the year in review

Sometimes I get to the end of a year and think well I didn't manage to do very much. However, when I actually take a stroll through the year that was, I realise that in fact I did a lot more than I had imagined.

This year saw some big life changes for me, not all that I have gone into in this space, but in short I moved house, got retrenched after 18 years with the same company, started a part time university degree course and flew home to the UK to see my folks who I haven't seen in 3 years. Phew!

So I was actually quite surprised that I have managed to complete as many craft projects as I have...

So I wish you all a wonderful 2015 and my it be filled with joy and peace and a lot of crafting.

27 November 2014

Finished: Stella Monkey Dress

I told you that the projects were all finishing at once: voila another completed job.  I've made this dress before and the Kid loved it, and she actually asked for another one and picked this rather subtle yellow, monkey fabric for the job.

I couldn't find the pattern I used before, so I cut out another one but I must have gone a size up because this dress has turned out huge.  I have to tie the bow very high on her shoulder otherwise the kid is liable to have wardrobe malfunctions all over the show.

Pattern used was the Stella One Shoulder dress by Violette Field Threads.

26 November 2014

Finished: City Gym Shorts

Another project finished.  I am simply racing through them...or should I say they have taken me months to make but all the projects seem to be finishing at the same time.

I loved Purlbee's City Gym Shorts tutorial from the minute I saw it and was really pleased it came in adult and kid's sizes.  And you know what that means....matching shorts of course.  Though I haven't actually been game to wear them out in public yet.

I will definitely be making more of these for me and the kid - but perhaps one pair of matching shorts is enough.

25 November 2014

Sydney Rock Pool Challenge: #2 Mona Vale

The weather has been hot hot hot.  So it seemed just plain stupid not to squeeze in our next Sydney Rock Pool visit - number 2 of 29 pools has been ticked off the list.

Last week saw us visit glorious Mona Vale Beach and it definitely gets a 3 Shell rating from us girls.  Its got the lot: surf, rock pool, golden sands and even a headland to climb (did I mention I love climbing hills).

Hoping the rain holds off this week so we can get one more swim in before I head overseas.

21 November 2014

This week...I worked on my grammar

This week I started to read Eats, Shoots and Leaves.  I am now in week 4 of my second university trimester, endeavouring to complete a foundation course which will gain me access to the full degree I am longing to do.  This unit is like being back in my old school English classes but on steroids.  Its all dependent clauses, spliced commas and avoiding exclamation marks!  (Shhhh, Im loving it).   This book was optional (but recommended reading) and has just so happened to have sat on my bookshelf for the past 6 years: unread.

This week I got the urge to make another quilt.  I know, I know, I haven't finished the last one yet but remember my philosophy is that you can never have too many projects on the go at one time.  I blame this lady and her gorgeous quilts.  I discovered her blog after listening to the Elise Gets Crafty podcast (episode 35 to be precise).  I particularly loved Astrid's idea of just cutting up 4 and 5 inch squares and keeping them in bowls until you are ready to use them.  So that is what I have been doing.

This week I have been enjoying a cup of my favourite tea ever, Monk Tea from The Tea Centre. Not quite sure how I got talked into a bag of coconut tea mixed with chocolate tea; the lady said something about hot cuppa bounty bar and I was sold.  Not quite so sure now its home and have yet to try it.

This week I have just been loving that early morning sun as it makes its way across my living room.