Sunday, February 28, 2010

just a minute… in february

Listening… to Paul Simon’s Graceland album in the car. I had an ‘OMG’ moment when I realised that the album is over twenty years old and I still don’t know most of the words to most of the songs!  Mr.3 still requests “the crying song” on our daily travels – which is R.E.M’s Everybody Hurts – he just can’t get enough of it, asking me lots of questions about it’s meaning as we drive around town. Other music pumping out the house, Passion Pit Manners, Yeah Yeah Yeahs Its Blitz and Royksopp Junior.

Reading… not much. Just haven’t seemed to be able to find the time.

Sewing… pyjamas, more dress up capes and a baby suit. Also finished a little Enid Gilchrist outfit for Ms. M. I actually started it the night before her first birthday – but on the day decided as a dress it was too short and it needed some pants. A good decision – particularly in light of some recent growth spurts!  She looks totally adorable in it!enid gilchrist top with no pattern pants

Crocheting… granny squares!!! Started the month fixing lots and lots of small squares for my footy scarf.fixing granny squares in the carI have since been working on bigger squares for my first every granny square blanket. Exciting times.

Growing…  zucchini zucchini zucchini. Thank goodness the vines are starting to die. I've hit zucchini overload. At the end of this month I find the garden needing a bit of work to prepare it for the change of season. Lots of plants have taken a bit of hit in the recent hot weather.

Playing… lots of dress-ups.

my little piratesuper M

We’ve spent lots of evenings at the beach enjoying the last precious moments of summer. Mr 3 thought playing in the sand in his pyjamas was brilliant fun.playing at the beach in pyjamas

Developing… Ms M is talking more and more each day. She started swimming lessons this month and took to it like a duck to water. Mr. 3 has really got into the swing of 3+ kindy and his ‘pretend’ role play has been taken to an even more imaginative level.

february sewing challenge :: something knit

12monthsewingchallenge

This month’s challenge was to sew something using knit fabric. I started out following a pattern, but then realised that I needed a zipper so rather than putting the project off any longer abandoned the pattern and made it up as I went.

baby romper

The pattern called for a zip down the back and also had attached booties. I sewed the seam up the back stopping at the top for one press stud at the neck to help get the suit over baby’s head.  I left off the booties and used press studs on the inner legs and crotch – again easier to put on and off and also change bub’s nappy. This decision was also easy to justify in the 40+°C temperatures.

Sewing for someone so small was tricky and at times a bit fiddly, but overall I found sewing with the knit material not too awful as long as I went slow. The slower I went the easier it was for me to guide the material, whenever I picked up speed the material seemed to take on a life of its own, dancing its way under the foot creating a wibbly-wobbly line of stitches. The overlocker was great – but I used my sewing machine first before committing a seam to the knife.

This challenge has been great for me as it has pushed me to finish projects that I would otherwise put off. Now that I have completed this suit I think I should have another go using knit material sooner rather than later. It’s the only way I’m going to get better at it.

… and now to decide if I am game enough to pass this little baby suit on as a gift?

Check out more knit creations as part of the February challenge at Carolyn’s.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

sewing guild

women sewing togetherNot so long ago I signed up to become a member of the Australian Sewing Guild. This afternoon I attended my first meeting with a local group. I have to share with you that I had a marvellous time – lots of fun indeed. Sewing, chatting, sipping cups of tea, air-conditioning… what more could anyone want or ask for on a hot Saturday afternoon?

The group meets once a month and I am very much looking forward to our next gathering. I’m not going to tell you too much about what we plan to sew next month – only to share with you that it involves invisible thread!!! I was completely oblivious to invisible thread’s existence before today. I’ve got a strong hunch that I am going to learn a lot about sewing and life from this eclectic bunch of women.

Image via

Friday, February 26, 2010

lucky me

IMG_2131

IMG_2137How lucky am I?

I won this beautiful bag in a giveaway hosted by Thouraya at Amelie and Atticus. I am so in love with it. I adore the fabric print – so cute! …but it is the vibrant and lush green handles and lining that really makes my heart skip a beat. It would be hard work not to be happy carrying this bag. Grey is one of my favourite colours – Iove love love it – so as you can see I am beside myself with joy when I open this sweet bag up to see such a lovely pocket and button.

If you haven’t checked out Amelie and Atticus already you really should head on over – a wonderous place full of enchanting inspiration.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

hot

a hot hot hot 45 degrees

Look at the outside temperature reading. The car had been parked in the shady carport too. It was about 1730hrs and we were on our way to pick up a takeaway pizza before heading to the beach to eat our dinner and have a swim.

my creative space :: sewing for baby

sewing for baby

I signed up to Carolyn’s sewing challenge again this month – February’s test is to sew something using a knit fabric. I have decided to make a baby body suit for a special baby boy that recently surprised us all by arriving a three weeks early. I’m very intimidated by stretch sewing – my first attempt was not incredibly successful at all.

The forecast for today is 42°C. It isn’t even 8:30am here and it feels like we can’t be far off that temperature already. So today I will be bunkered down inside sewing away before heading off to the beach this afternoon for a swim, pizza dinner and witnessing one of the last summer sunsets.

For more creative spaces head on over to Kirsty’s.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

map 5: K2

map 5

map 5: K2

Dear  ….,

It is with great pleasure that I write to tell you that my family and I had the most wonderful adventure to  Mill Point, the southern side of “The Narrows” Bridge. Named because it crosses the narrowest part of the mighty Swan River, at its opening in 1959 it was the largest concrete bridge of its kind in the world. Perth is very much a divided city – it is common for people to identify themselves as either living or working north or south of the river. As such The Narrows bridge is a fundamental link.

The mechanical thumping chug-chug rhythm of cars  and the smooth swooshing of trains overhead (the line to Mandurah runs over the middle of the bridge) combined with the sounds of rustling leaves and small waves lapping at the river’s edge to make a delightful song. Standing beneath the bridge we found ourselves within a cathedral of the industrial world– beautiful arches, sweeping structures overhead and the afternoon sunlight dancing golden upon the river.

The fish weren’t biting for any of the anglers we saw, but that didn’t seem important. All of them were couples and as far as we could tell the most important aspect of their fishing expedition was spending time together. (Not that you’ll see me and my other half bond by placing a hook through the eye of a dead sardine)

The views from the bridge are breathtaking, the city skyline to the north-east, Mt Eliza and the war memorial to the north-west, the mouth of the Canning River to the south-west and the south Perth foreshore to the south-east. Three hundred and sixty degrees of awesome.

A very pleasant afternoon indeed,

♥ Sally

going home

Sunday, February 21, 2010

from d’oh to da-da

granny square footy scarf

I am so chuffed to tell you that the granny square footy scarf that I’d been hooking was finished ready for the weekend. My team, the mighty Sydney Swans, first match was on Saturday. Victory for the team against Carlton and victory for me completing what to date appears to be a good-luck scarf.

Now I don’t want you to get the wrong impression of me and think that I actually sat down to watch the match. My attraction to the game is more the social banter than actually knowing much, if anything,  about the sport itself. I will watch the occasional game, at the ground or on the tele, but rarely does it have my full and undivided attention. I like the side show better. One of my favourite television shows is Footy Classified on a Monday night, which even I am at a loss to explain considering my otherwise blasé attitude to what I once referred to as boofhead ballet.

Do you follow the footy or have a team dear to your heart?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

my creative space :: seeking inspiration

my creative space

I managed to grab some crafty and creative books at the library today. It was such an enjoyable experience sewing the baby pyjamas on Sunday and I’m hoping that the Amy Butler’s Little Stitches for Little Ones will provide more inspiration. I have had a quick flick and whilst there is more of the same there does seem to be a couple of unique projects in there for me to have a closer look at. I also borrowed Crochet edgings and trims which at first glance looks really good – the patterns are both written in words and symbols. The book is certainly filled with some lovely crochet, whether or not I’m up to the task is another matter. Creative Digital Photography also looks inspiring – 52 weekend projects is just the inspiration I’m in desperate need of with my ‘a photo a day’ project. The death of my DSLR’s shutter has been a real blow and I’ve been rather blah about the project every since. Still, I’ve not let it beat me and while I wait for my new camera I’ve been playing around with the point and shoot and more recently the mobile phone. At one level I know this challenge will in the longer run make me a better photographer but I think it is a lesson I will appreciate more in hindsight.

To immerse yourself in creative inspiration head on over to Kirsty’s.

Monday, February 15, 2010

sharing the love

Thanks so much to Melissa’s brilliant solution to my valentine frustration.

two hearts

My spontaneous valentine’s day project is now complete and ready to send to some very special people.  I was browsing blogland late on Saturday night (sad I know) and came across this over at Leonie’s.

So on Sunday afternoon, once the family and I  had returned from our very romantic outing to swimming lessons, I got to work and made…

pjs …five sets of baby pyjamas using singlets that I had on hand (barely used since I’m more partial to onesies) and some sheeting and a pillow case. My fabric stash is rather pathetic so I didn’t have a lot of options on hand.

singlets

I embellished some more singlets but didn’t have enough fabric on hand to make more pyjama pants.

It was such a great feeling sewing using my new machine for such a worthy cause. I couldn’t help noting the irony as I sewed of me, the amateur sewer, sitting in the Australian suburbs sewing for Vietnamese orphans while the families of exceptional tailors and seamstresses worked away in townships such as Hoi An for affluent tourists.

Perhaps you don’t have time to make something? You could still contribute. Leonie has proposed an “undie run”head on over and check it out.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

a valentine frustration

This is how close I got to completing my valentine’s day project…valentine frustration … and then I ran out of thread! I’ve got no idea what the exact colour is and I’ve got no more. I was trying to be clever and use up a random bobbin.

Any ideas for a fix?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

fabric choices

I was passing by a fabric store the other day and decided that I might just “pop” in to have look. As a means of keeping Mr. 3 occupied I offered to buy one fat quarter that he chose himself. I was rather surprised, yet impressed, with his final choice. It isn’t something that I would have chosen. I’m not that attracted to brown. I love the pattern though. The women in the store kept trying to steer him in the direction of the children’s novelty prints – but he wouldn’t have a bar of it. He knew what he liked.

E's fabric choice

Thursday, February 11, 2010

my creative space :: sewing sphere

sewing sphere

Well I finally did it… took the new sewing machine out of its box. The big moment came late on Sunday night. I just gazed at it for a while and then went to bed. Monday was a hectic on day – but I managed to squeeze in an hour for my overlocker lesson which provided me with enough inspiration to come home and finally fire up the new machine. I’m not one for reading instructions particularly well if at all. There are benefits to this character trait – I am never expected to assemble Ikea furniture or work out how children’s toy work. I am making a special effort to refer to the instruction manual for my new machine… we’ll just have to wait and see how that goes. I haven’t entirely made anything to show you yet, but I have had fun just playing. Maybe next week I’ll have something to show you…

For more creative spaces head on over to Kirsty’s place.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

blanket beginnings

the beginnings of a blanketThese orange squares are the beginnings of my blanket.  Each row will have ten squares so I am pretty happy with my progress. The squares are seven rounds and 14 cm. The wool from Bendigo Wool Mill is delightful to work with, a real joy.

they're square

…and the “squares” for my scarf all now square and ready to be joined. It was rather good re-doing the “squares” while I'm was ill as the process inspired many random out loud chuckling moments. Those moments are so precious - the ones when you can really laugh audibly at yourself and there is no hurt. Craft is good like that.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

my creative space :: d’oh!

It’s all a bit blah in the creative space today – one sick Mama and two sick children. I have that strange space cadet feeling that accompanies sleep deprivation and I can’t tell if my muscles ache from fever or because the sick children have been bunkering down in my bed. How can such small people take up so much space?

My creative space today has been lying on the couch or snuggled up in bed crochet hook in hand… fixing the 70% of red and white squares that were victim to my crochet dyslexia. (Remote control at the ready to keep the entertainment rolling for the grouchy sick littlies and a path cleared through all the mess for a mercurial dash to the bathroom) Earlier in the week I started sewing in the ends of my beautiful red and white crocheted squares and noticed for the first time that a lot of them didn’t actually look that square. What??? On closer examination I noticed that at some point the muscle memory in my hands became dyslexic and rather than 3x treble 1x chain with 3x chain for a corner I had crocheted 3x treble 3x chain and 1x chain on the corner. D’oh!

d'oh image via

Thanks so much for popping by – but you better be off to check out all the much more inspiring, crafty and competent creative spaces over at Kirsty’s.

Monday, February 1, 2010

still in the box

new machine

Ooops! It would seem that I bought myself a sewing machine. The problem is I can’t bring myself to take it out of the box. I feel like I’m betraying my existing machine. The first and only machine that I’ve ever had. The machine that I have had for over fifteen years. The machine that I have carted with me around Australia. The machine that I have neglected and, as my partner pointed out, barely used, well until recently.

I have a sickening feeling in my gut that I am behaving like a stereotypical middle-aged man who trades in his wife for a younger model?