21 December 2007

bags I said, oh and merry christmas!

I'm not really repeating myself with these bags, honest. It's just that when I filled them all yesterday with their goodies they looked so cute all lined up on the ironing board, especially with their groovy gift tags. I printed these off on standard A4 paper and then found some really cool patterned card stock at Spotlight (sometimes that place amazes me!) to glue them to, I showed these tags to Tara the other day and we both cracked up laughing.

I don't know if I'll get any more posts in before Christmas as we're back off to Bruny on Saturday. We have to handle the seed (little baby oysters), bring in a BIG harvest on Sunday and deliver them to the processor on Monday morning - where apparently they will be shipped straight away to Sydney. Nice......

So here's my big fat Christmas greeting to you all. Enjoy you day, enjoy the food, enjoy the plonk, laughter, family, sunshine, snow, bulging waistlines, headache the next day - you know, all that good stuff. "I'm going off now to stuff loads and loads of paper down the toilet", thanks Vivian.

18 December 2007

about being 'wrapped up'

I know I'm repeating myself and maybe I shouldn't have 2 blogs but in some ways I seem to need them. I have made some really nice friends on the APQ site and I want to keep those relationships going, however this blog lets me delve into other things/issues/experiences which I like to think is helping to shape my own business.

The whole time I've been making these bags I'm thinking "these look good, these fabrics work, I could make these to sell and feel good about that ......", and the interesting thing is that I've only used a discontinued upholstery sample on one of them (not including the first one I made entirely out of samples which isn't pictured anyway - that was the trial run!). (Shannon - what do you think of this style of fabric print for your work-mate's bag?)

So a lesson is being learned I believe. I think I'm going to achieve a lot more by using the fabrics that make me happy, instead of trying to soldier on with samples that are nice but not always me. I do feel that one day I'll be able to use them in a way that will look creative and attractive but I think that may involve a type of machine embroidery that I hope The Thug (industrial machine) will teach me. In the meantime I'll continue to let little embryos of ideas form in the back of my mind. This is good too - I need that sort of thing. We all need something to strive for.

Speaking of The Thug, Ant had a play with it last night. It's the only type of sewing machine he's used so it's not daunting for him at all. He made a cushion cover but sewed the seams envelope style, I suppose you'd call it - you know, picture a square with diagonal lines from point to point to make a X. Probably best to take a photo but I had an idea of how to fasten it as he forgot to put a zip in so I'd like to take a photo once it's done.
So here's Shannon's Christmas wrapping before I popped it in the mail last week. I thought it would be safe to show this, especially if it doesn't get to her before Christmas Day. She can have a mental image to place under the tree until it arrives. I placed the Bend the Rules Sewing book in the photo as that is the pattern I adapted to make the bag so I should credit it where it's due. I do hope the present is the one she wanted, I liked the look of it (hopefully that doesn't give too much away!!).

By the bye, I'm trying to figure out why a lot of my photos come out a bit wishy-washy. Maybe I need a tripod. The sewing room has lots of natural light but almost all the photos I take with the sewing table just don't look as good as I'd like. The top photo was taken using The Thug's bench and seems to look better, perhaps I'll just go with that in future.....

more present love

You'll have to excuse my lack of skill when it comes to arranging a photo 'presentation', but it was a quick whip up before I left for work.

The machine embroidered picture is from my oh-so-talented mother (B), which compliments the one she made for Ant when he had his birthday in July. I think I'll put them side by side on the wall and shall post a photo of them together. She (and Dad of course!) also gave me the vinegar bottle, man it's so good! She always contributes to my Cornishware collection each year, but apparently there's a rumour that T G Green will be closing down next year - that would be bad. Very bad indeed. If this is the case then I'll have to stock up, and end up with quite a valuable collection perhaps!

Dear old Tara (and Rainier) gave me the hand made soap and plant markers, both from Wychwood Nursery (love that place so much). Tara also made the gorgeous birdie/girlie purse, because every girl needs one. Then after I took the photo the Australia Post van turns up with another package, this time from brother Pete and sister-in-law Lenore - who has a great shop Just Because and therefore alway guarantees nice pressies!!

16 December 2007

my turn today

It's my birthday and this is what Ant gave me. Yep, I now have my very own industrial machine! Now I can make more heavy duty bags, re-upholster the lounge suit and ...... well whatever takes my fancy!! I've said before how much I love my husband but I'll say it again, he is rather amazing at times!

And I made a softie -
This kitty (scroll down to see the pattern) is for Charlotte, the new addition for our friends Craig and Tania. We're seeing them tonight so I thought I'd better pull my finger out and make kitty. I still struggle with softies but this one wasn't too bad. Her body/dress is made from Amy Butler fabrics, which I didn't think I'd be able to buy other than through Ebay. Well, yesterday I had to make myself scarce while Ant and his co-worker Damien unloaded the sewing machine at home. It was really a case of wandering the streets aimlessly with Lucy as I had already been into town that morning and I really didn't want to go back there. Anyway I ended up in Elizabeth St and thought I'd look at the second hand book shops, as there's a lot there. However the fabrics in the window of Seworld caught my attention. The lady there is a kindred spirit, we both love Amy Butler fabrics (she's getting the new range in next year too!), Wee Wonderfuls (she's made the Pointy Kitty) and all the other blogs that are too many to name. Ah bliss, I assured her that I'll be back!!

So a happy birthday has been had. I feel very loved and very special. Thank you!!

14 December 2007

ho ho hee hee

Shannon forwarded an email to me with all those silly Christmas cartoons, you know, you get them every year. Fortunately I hadn't received this email before and I really laughed out loud (no 'LOL' for me!!!!) when I came to this one. All he needs though is a copy of the sports section from the days' newspaper - a la Rocko's Modern Life (didn't have the clip I wanted so this one will do!).

I love my one and only Japanese craft book, I must buy another one. I started these a few weeks ago but needed to get some sort of foam from Ant for the insoles. I've put leather on the actual soles and the outside and lining are all ex-Swaffer samples. I love to use these as they're always 100% cotton and are BIG samples - some 1.5m long.

Anyway, must get back to the goody bags.......

11 December 2007

grubby times were had

Did you know that if you hold an oyster up to your ear you can hear Vivaldi's Symphony for horns? Don't believe everything Tara tells you, I'm sure she made that up.
We had 4 willing helpers last weekend and a very good job they did too, made things a lot easier for us regulars. Tara, Rainier, Damien and Allison were up before the crack of dawn (hi Dawn!) on Saturday and managed to drive from Mole Creek/Wensleydale in time for the 9.30am ferry, quite a good feat that!

Ant the Grading Machine Man was in action too. Since we inherited this grader it's made our job a lot easier. It's powered by a washing machine motor hooked up to a car battery, this drives the belt that rotates the barrels. Easy peasy. Edit, it's actually a windscreen wiper motor - apparently oyster farmers would know, and be suitably upset if they knew I said it was a washing machine motor.
Our guests didn't leave empty handed either. Naturally they received oysters and on Sunday Debbie took them out to collect mussels also. Had some on Monday night for Mum's birthday tea, along with a salmon (previously caught at the lease) and scallops - yum-o-licious brought to you by Bruny Island, how good is that?!

Back home and the sewing is in full swing for Christmas. Things like finishing off the dining room and working in the back yard are on hold till after when I'm on my 2 week break from work. I also whipped up a bag for Shannon's present (instead of wrapping paper) and will post it today, unfortunately it most likely won't be there in time for Christmas - sorry Shan.

06 December 2007

birthday bags

Birthday girl Shannon finally received her bags so I can now happily post a photo from my end. I am very glad she likes it, Ant also helped choose the fabrics - he makes a great second opinion.
Another December baby is my Mum B. She requested a hedge trimmer which is fair enough as she has some beautiful topiary in her garden, but that's another story (all her children love to rave about her garden!). Must take pickies and post them some time........

I wanted to do up a goody bag so I made this semi-rigid shopping bag. Only 2 sides have cardboard inside them so in theory it can collapse for storage. It's big enough to hold a standard shopping bag but also has lots of inside pockets so it could be used as a utility bag instead.I stressed the importance to her that she needs to provide me with feedback, especially as I've never made anything like this before and any type of feedback is important. I also made her a hat and bought Turkish Delight and some yummy T2 tea.

My family likes to try a different style of present wrapping each Christmas. I'm thinking red and white gingham (sorry Mum) with these gift tags. The next sewing project is making Christmas goody bags for Ant's family, I like this pattern but I think I'll adapt it a bit and perhaps make it not so Christmassy. I'll fill it with Tasmanian cheeses etc etc. (oh and that APQ site is a bit of a shocker at the moment with it's bouncy screen - apparently the techies are looking into it, seems to be taking a while but....)

04 December 2007

summer sewing - ahaar!

Thought I'd get your attention.

Now that December is here I'd better get a move on I suppose, as I realised that come the 2nd of January my darling husband would like to look a bit like the chappy pictured above. This is why he's been growing out his goatee ready for beading and I have to make a pirate outfit. The reason being is that our beloved Tony Purse will be celebrating his 40th birthday on that day and the theme is 'Pirates & Wenches', so yes I have to look like a wench. At least I have the boobs for it. If I could get away with looking like Keira Knightley, I'd go as her. I'll probably buy this pattern for me and I'll do *something* up for Ant I suppose! Yeah, better get my arse in gear.....

So just another thing to do before Christmas. I have been sewing but again it's for presents so no photos to show just yet, although I have made another tunic top in the brown linen I bought in Melbourne and are in the process of making cullottes in the black linen - must post some photos when it's finished too. Therefore I think I'm about right for some long hot summer days, cool.