Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Just A Minute... in September.

Eeek, I'm racking up the posts this week, but I just had to join in Jenaveve's Just A Minute... it's such a good way to reflect on the month gone by.

Celebrating... one year of my Pudding Pie.

Juggling... full-time parenting with a bit of paid work for the first time. I'm copy-editing a book. This is a new thing for me, and I'm happy for the opportunity to explore something I think could be a family-compatible 'career'. So far I've found it energising and the balance is working out. I think my crafting will have to drop off a bit come deadline-time though!

Reading... mostly chapters for the book I'm working on. But also dipping into:

Unpicking... this courier bag I made for my husband last Christmas. We had a strap malfunction and it's been sitting dormant since February while I've procrastinated and dreamed of corner-cutting ways to fix it. Finally, I just unpicked. It took a whole 5 mins. Duh. Now waiting for sturdier strap material to arrive.

Sewing... a skirt from a pattern for the first time! Jen, you would be proud of me. It's coming along very nicely.

Refashioning... some shirts for spring/summer. If they decide to come.

Planning... gifts for the birthday-Christmas-wedding extravaganza that is looming from now until January. 4 library bags, 3 girlie smocks, 2 kinder boys, 2 glasses-cases, 1 simple quilt and a partridge in a pear tree.

Thinking... about ethical clothing, body perception, linen fabric and cupcakes. Mmmm, cupcakes.

What have you been up to this September? Pop on over to August Street and add your link in if you like.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Loz and Dinny to the rescue...

Well howdy, pardners.

When my old mama received this bit o' yeller trim from Loz and Dinny, she knew straight away what she was gunna use it for.

You see, I'd been kickin' around in these baggy girly jeans with pink embroidery on the bottom. Mama found'em at the op shop for one buck and made me wear'em, and I was lookin' just a bit too purdy. So after takin' the legs in to add a bit of cowboy flare, she whacked on the trim:

I don't think mama'll be winnin' herself any prizes, but I sure am happy that I've stopped lookin' like a big girl's blouse, ya know what I'm sayin'?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Why sewing and football shouldn't be mixed.

Firstly, I would like you to know that I have demonstrated great restraint and NOT used the title that first came to mind for this post. After all, I'm attempting to welcome to the world a sweet, innocent baby with a lovingly-stitched pair of slippers:
And it would hardly be appropriate to acknowledge this momentous occasion, the birth of baby Ava, with such a tasteless title as 'Felt up ya bootie' , would it?
Frankly, I blame the AFL*. Usually, I am a model of all that is demure and tasteful. (People who have met me in person, stop snickering this instant). But I put it to you that such crass title entered my mind purely because I was hand-sewing these beauties in front of Before The Game last night. Hubby's idea, not mine. Half an hour of blokey blokes guffawing and saying 'testicle', and my mind was in the gutter.
Moving on... is it just me or have baby feet shrunk since my lads were born?! I based my booties on this Heather Bailey pattern (pointed out to me by Sal, thanks lovely!). They're so sweet-looking, but I'm not convinced that these booties will actually fit baby Ava. I asked Sock Monster to try them on for size:

Now Sock Monster only has stumps, no actual feet, and they were still a bit of a squeeze. Oh dear. Perhaps these will have to be ornamental booties. Or ear-muffs. Yes, that might be the way to go... that way Ava will also be protected from the foul language that will no doubt spill out of my mouth upon presentation, now that I've been forever tainted by my brush with Aussie Rules.

*Australian Football League. Yeah, I don't really know what it is either, I'm originally from NSW. Or QLD. Or anywhere else really, on Grand Final day.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

My creative space...

Unbelieveable. The house is quiet except for the hum of the washing machine and the lovely sound of rain falling outside. My two boys have just grizzled themselves to sleep simultaneously. Finally I have some creative space.
So I've slipped on my dressing gown over my clothes, poured myself a cup of pai mu tan tea and am going to make the most of it and get sewing. Meanwhile, here's one I prepared earlier...
A little hexagon brooch a la Dear Fii which should be arriving on my mother-in-law's doorstep today. Thanks to Kate at One Flew Over I no longer fear paper piecing.

Some cute-as-pie pyjama pants made for my littlest guy - just in the nick of time - for his first birthday on the weekend. I actually have another few presents in progress for him, but they didn't get done in time. So I grabbed a basic pants pattern sent to me by CurlyPops, and sewed these pants the night before. And then some denim ones with a bit of (dodgy) cuff action for the older brother:

Anyway, I'm off to enjoy my s-p-a-c-e and contemplate my next crafty move. More creative spaces at Kootoyoo.
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Monday, September 21, 2009

Putting the 'u' in...


Kirsty's been taking us on a little magical mystery tour of her regular blog haunts and thrown in a game for fun. Have you been playing along?

For me, connecting with other people is vital for survival and meaning. For ten years now, I've been a part of a wonderful church community. Since having kids, I've become entrenched in my geographical community, to the point where my family would rather squish into a flat together and maintain our relationships with the local families, shop owners, services and facilities than dislocate ourselves for the sake of more home space.

And now, the 'blogging community'. Personally, I was cynical that such a thing could exist. Happily, I've been proved wrong.

Where are your communities? Where do you feel at home?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Fine China

I lost my Beloved to China for a whole week last week.
Barely coped at all...
in spite of the fact that SuperAunt Moo, my delightful friend and sister, was here for most of it keeping me company and entertaining the boys.

And in spite of the fact that my Beloved left us seven little 'Chinese take-away' boxes, one for each day of his absence, every one containing a letter for me and a treat for the boys.
His absence reminded me just how vulnerable we can make ourselves when we truly let someone into our lives. I've always considered myself fairly independent. But in this marriage, I'm very interdependent. I couldn't do what I'm doing, being at home with small kids, without him. Take the kids out of the equation and I'd still be a mess.
It's probably unfashionable to be so enmeshed... but I don't regret this vulnerability. It's costly, it makes being apart horrid, but what is the other option? To be guarded, hold back, to try to make myself invulnerable, just in case...?
Anyway, enough of those musings. He returned bearing tea-related gifts (given my recent obsession with tea paraphernalia)...
{Confucius say: happiness is to be found in the teapot.}
Welcome back Beloved. The boys are all yours for the next week... I'm off for a cuppa.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

My creative space... brought to you by YOU

I was gazing at the Hack Station this morning, wondering which current project (of the seemingly hundreds on the go) was worthy of exhibition in today's creative space.

And as I gazed at the board, and the table beneath, it struck me just how many new things I've been inspired and prompted (and occasionally forced!) to try since I've started blogging. So I thought I'd run through a few of them. And really, this is the tip of the iceberg...

1. The pippjoe fabric bag was enabled by raglan guld, who sent me the fabric for a skirt refashion. I cut it out wrong (oops!) and had to turn it into something else... so it has become my version of a handkerchief dispenser, inspired by this post of Leonie's. It's stuffed with hankies I made from gorgeous Liberty scraps given to me by myrtle and eunice. (Sorry Tania! But it feels almost elegant, snotting all over Liberty!).

2. The hexagon paper piecing is a new love - material and basic skills provided by one flew over. Kate, you don't know what you've started!

3. The piece of mustard vintage trim, hanging around awaiting inspiration, is c/o loz and dinny's birthday giveaway challenge.

4. I'm planning to cover up a stained shirt with a cute birdie screenprint, part of a super gift from Mim.

5. That bit of brown paper pegged up there is a cute toddler-pants pattern provided to my by Curlypops.

And down on the table:

6. Why yes, there's my handy and attractive HAC spool holder, thanks kootoyoo! (Sitting under the gorgeous paper garland I won over at my handmade heart...)

7. The laminator's getting an airing thanks to some ideas I got over at my black cardigan.

8. And there are some felt booties, from a pattern link recommended to me by virtually sally. I've just finished embellishing them with a bit of dry-felting, materials generously provided by selina's vintage.

Holy schemoly. And to think that basically all I'd made before I started blogging was a bag or two... Thanks to you all, I have serious craft ADD. And I'm loving it.

More creative spaces here.

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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

What should I make?

In ten days, my little Pudding turns one.
Like so many things in my long-suffering little Pudding's life, his birthday is a bit of an afterthought to me. This has nothing to do with a lack of love on my part - I adore him beyond words - and everything to do with the fact that he's my Number Two Child. Yes, my firstborn probably takes up more than his fair share of the energy and attention, but it's also due to the fact that I've relaxed, I've backed off, I've observed more and interfered less, I've let my no.2 just BE a bit more. He doesn't need stuff, he needs love.
My precious fly-under-the-radar, tender-hearted, sweet-natured, little chappy is quite used to his lot. And even though he is expecting nothing; even though he has all he could need or want (in hand-me-down clothes and toys); even though I'm keen to avoid accumulating stuff we don't need - of course I want to mark his birthday with a gift. Something just for him.
But I'm short on time. And I'm committed to handmade.
What, oh what can I make?

Friday, September 4, 2009

Oh la la????

As per yesterday's creative space, I've spent a bit of time today tweaking my shirt-skirt refashion.

So that's the back view, with the shirt buttons down the back. (Sorry, the photos are terrible! DIY mirror shots of my butt are not my strong suit). I'm pretty happy - I'll add a hook and eye or a tie, but I think that's it.
As for the front... well I've had some issues. It looks like a high-waisted skirt, but given that my bosoms have taken up residence where my 'true waist' should be, I won't be wearing it as one! It sits pretty happily at mid-waist. However, I do get THIS unattractive little problem:

Now all of youse proper seamstresses can probably tell me WHY this occurs. Is it the thin cotton fabric? Is it too tight around the hips - doesn't feel it - or not tight/shaped enough around the waist?
Anyhoo - it doesn't matter. Because I'm taking the quick-fix option:

Yep, Woolworths and Paris, together at last. It's all a bit French Maid, don't you think?

I've had this doiley in my stash for a while waiting for the perfect project. A little 'frilly apron' to smooth over the lumps and bumps. You may notice that the daggy shirt tag (Woolworths XL) is still sitting there on the yoke... I'm thinking about leaving it there as a little tribute to its roots. It makes me laugh.

I guess the final question is, to tuck or not to tuck?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

My creative space...

I feel like there has been a bit of a creative lull at clutterpunk central, but yesterday whilst wandering around in the spring sunshine with my boys, a refashioning puzzle popped into my head. So when I got home I made a start on transforming THIS:

Into THIS:

I bought it at the op-shop for my husband but it's too big, so mine to play with! So far I have cut the arms and collar off, sewn up the arm holes and folded the top down to make a kind of yoke. I thought I'd keep the buttons down the front but it seems to sit nicely back-to-front like this.

All this was done with the boys rampaging so there was no measuring or pinning, I just sewed along existing lines and did the eyeball-measuring thing. Here's how I was repaid for my inattention:

Well... at least they like books :-)

I plan to let a similar attrocity occur later today so that I can keep working on the skirt. I have to finish the waistband and sideseams 'properly'. Then I'm thinking about some red rick-rack trim, maybe some pockets made from the sleeves... oh, the possibilities.
More creative spaces at Kirsty's.