18 December 2009

words aren't always necessary

So let's just enjoy the view...
... and the clothes I've been making for her...
... that's my clever bunny.

10 December 2009

end of an era

We've sold my little house. I was 31 when I bought this house in July 2000. It came to represent a new beginning and hope for the future, it did that and more. It became my friend.

So it has served it's purpose and I'm moving on, so to speak. I moved out of the house nearly 5 years ago and had been renting it to another family member, but I still pruned the roses each year (in the garden that I made) and kept in touch with the place. Now I'm saying goodbye for good.
Our weekends are pretty much taken up with trips to Bruny Island, as this is the peak harvest time. My time there is mostly taken up with looking after Tamsyn, naturally. But it's nice, we go for walks with the old pram with wheels that were never made for dirt tracks but hey, it's good exercise and I still get time to sit and knit.
Which is nice.
The weather is usually a bit cooler in Tasmania leading up to Christmas, so this gave me a chance to try out Tamsyn's jumper. It's a little bit big still, but oh, she does look so sweet in it.

25 November 2009

six months

This wee girl is becoming less and less 'wee'. Now when I see newborns I think they're so very tiny, and said newborn may even be bigger than Tamsyn when she was born. *sigh* It's true, half of me wants her to grow and the other half wants her to remain a wee babe.

So, as the weather is warming up and the bright light of the Australian sun is being true to it's word, sun hats were in order. I made the green lady bug one first (another Ottobre pattern) and then had to make the brown one to go with her pretty dress.
Then I decided that some of the bibs she has were either ugly or worse for wear (a few hand-me-downs). So I traced a pattern from one of her bibs and made a few using some Japanese Kokka fabric which comes in a lovely linen/cotton blend. I backed the bibs with 2 layers of nappy flannel which works well, but when I backed a Prints Charming one with a cut up bit of bath towel it worked even better. So now I want to go bib crazy, but will have to stock up on more poppers soon. I find that they work so much better than velcro, which after a few washes starts to curl and can scratch the back of Tamsyn's neck.
My model likes to 'ham it up' for the photo shoot....
And because this girl is growing she is also trying to crawl, and can shuffle backwards until she runs into something. She will tuck a knee up under her tummy but hasn't worked out the rest of it yet. Therefore overalls were in order (more Ottobre goodness). I was in my favourite sewing shop the other day and literally pounced on this matroyshka fabric in a very fine cord. It swims on her at the moment but I'm hoping that by the time crawling is mastered it'll fit her nicely, and I'm sure there'll be patches on the knees before too long. Nice...

16 November 2009

Mini Fest 2009

Our Moke is still mid-restoration, but thankfully we had the use of my sisters Mini (far right). Even though purists will argue that the 'new Mini' is just not in league with the old Mini, it didn't stop us from joining in with the fun.

There were some serious Moke enthusiasts who came from the mainland (mostly Victorian - one from NSW too!), so they took a few days to soak in some of the sights Tasmania has to offer. The above photo is on top of Mt Wellington.

Mini's from all eras were welcomed, and seeing how Renee was in Melbourne we took her Mini to help boost the numbers. The organisers were very pleased with the turnout - just over 300 Minis and 20 Mokes participated. And it didn't rain.
There was even some motoring greats, such as this Bathurst winner. (yes, I am a rev head...)
The Mokes looked pretty impressive....
... before being let loose on the streets of Hobart.
And Tamsyn? Well let's just say that I that this maybe the beginning of a long love affair with Minis.
The girl had a ball.

More info about Mini Fest here.

05 November 2009

still sewing

Amazingly, but as this girlie grows she's sleeping less (naturally) so time is precious and my nearly-six-month-old is entering the clingy phase. And you know, I actually don't mind that. It's nice to have someone who's so dependant on me, who takes comfort in my presence. Also, I'll lap it up now because I'm sure there'll be a time when she doesn't even want to know me! Bless 'er.........

So I squeeze in some sewing here and there, although what with Tamsyn's christening and family staying, along with the Mini Fest in Hobart last weekend things have been rather mad of late.

For those who have known me long enough may remember this quilt, made in memory of my friends dearly loved Weimarana dog Char (blogged about it here). Rosie was left with Char's granddaughter Yazmin, who unfortunately had to be put to sleep a few weeks ago due to pancreatic cancer and tumurs on her lungs. I wanted to make something in memory of dear Yazzi too but knew it would take forever to make a quilt, and I wanted to make something that would complement the quilt anyway -
Even though the Char Quilt was a surprise the Yazmin Cushion wasn't, but this allowed Rosie to supply the photo she wanted and compose a lovely little message.

But what's this about Mini Fest you say? I'll leave that for the next post, in the meantime here's a little sample -

15 October 2009

well, at least I'm being paid for it

My lack of blogging this past week or so is due to the fact that I've had work to do.
Seven large foam cushions to cover for Ant's work. The customer provided the fabric and boy, is it ugly. Sorry, but I'm really really not into the big apricot coloured flowers. In fact, apricot and I have never been friends - ever since it was the height of fashion in the 1980's. A friend's mother redecorated their lounge room in apricot, walls, carpet, curtains, lounge suite, wall unit..... you name it, apricot as far as the eye could see. Sitting in that room I felt cold and uninvited, the seats didn't say "sit on me and get cosy" and I'm sure the floors were saying "take your shoes off first!!". Or maybe that was my friend's Mum.

So after meeting Ant and being invited into his home what did I find? Yep, apricot walls.......

In fairness to Ant he didn't paint them, and he didn't discourage me from changing them to white, with the chimney in each room and feature colour. It's also interesting, or maybe ironic, that my favourite fruit is a juicy apricot. Go figure...

But I digress. I'm so glad I'm not a seamstress working in a factory, it would turn me off sewing I'm sure. The flame of my sewing imagination would be snuffed out before too long. But as I said, it's paid work and I can do it from home, thanks to The Thug and my MIL's overlocker (all the raw edges have to be finished before piecing).

Oh and here's a Dad and daughter shot, because I can -
In her pj's again (Bond's polar fleece grow-suit, brilliant!), having fun with her Dad on the freshly covered couch - which I failed to mention is grey cord, and definitely not apricot.....

02 October 2009

busy...... doing......

stuff like this...
I've finished reupholstering, well actually, re-covering the lounge suite and I must say that I'm/we're supremely happy with it. Because to be honest, the old covers (second photo) were pretty damn grotty and outdated.

So I've been free to do this -
I discovered that this girl didn't have much in the way of 00 clothes, so what a perfect excuse to make her some. We were in Seworld yesterday and discovered that they stock organic cotton jersey, and a nice range of them too. It was like a breath of fresh air compared to the fabric jungle that is Spotlight.

I already had the dark brown jersey with the spots, and thought it would look good teamed with another colour. The little pants are black, but only because they didn't have any dark-ish brown. The pattern is another from Ottobre, which I muffed up a little but it was a trial run anyway. But I really love these earthy tones on her so we'll keep it.
Tamsyn seems pleased with it too.

25 September 2009

I heart socks

I've been knitting socks on and off for a few years now and never get tired of them, maybe because they're not that big and satisfies my love of knitting on four needles..... who knows. The wool is from Spotlight, Moda Vera - 75% wool super wash, 25% polyamide so they can be chucked in a normal wash. You could knit them on either 2.25mm or 2.75mm needles, I chose the former which gives a nice snug fit.

I finished this pair for Ant on Monday night and he loves them, wore them to work on Tuesday and Thursday, and have washed up fine.

The pattern has special significance as it's the one his Great Great Auntie Marj used -
The small print down the bottom says April 1941. Yep, this was the knitting pattern book for WWII soldiers (Tasmania Division). Auntie Marj knitted socks for most of the family for nearly all her adult life, giving up only after her eyes became too weak.

This copy now belongs to Ant's Mum and I took a photocopy of it. I feel very honoured to have it, and are reminded of all those women who did so much knitting for the men they sent off to war, not knowing if they would return and trying to 'do their bit' for the war effort.

Very humbling.

21 September 2009

get out of town .....

The oyster farm is calling us, and there's a lot to do leading up to Christmas. We've had our winter break, which also enabled us to focus more on Tamsyn (naturally). So this weekend just gone the wee girl had her second trip to Bruny Island. She did very well except for last night after we returned home, I think it was all a bit much and was rather ratty. But she had a really good sleep (8.30pm till 6.30am) and is back to her usual spirits.
The view from my back door today, so nice to see the sun.

I find that living in Launceston you can easily fall into a rut. I suppose this happens in most towns and cities, and you really have to remind yourself to just go, and go somewhere different. Bruny seems to do the trick.
And to come home with rejuvenated spirits, with a little girl who's trying not to fall over after being placed in a sitting position. Wearing your jammies all day too doesn't seem to hurt either....

Oh and before I forget, Gemma is having a challenge/giveaway type thingie. Come on, it's not too late to join the fun!

08 September 2009

fathers day

Tamsyn and I made a special little goody bag for her Dad, in manly colours of course, and filled it up with his favourite chocolates. I tried out some printable fabric for the first time, which I had bought from this lovely lady a while ago. It seemed like the perfect excuse to use it and worked beautifully.
I also finished this little dress today, another pattern from Ottobre magazine. I found the print at Spotlight a few weeks ago and on Saturday bought the fine brown cord. It would've been nice to have it finished in time for Fathers Day but alas, I don't expect to work to a schedule these days! She wore the other little pinafore that I had made instead.

My little girl is growing and learning all the time, and yesterday she performed her very first rollover. I managed to catch it on video too so her Daddy didn't miss out.

04 September 2009

hello spring

And hello to a lounge suite makeover. This project has been sooooo satisfying, and even though I've been itching to keep going I find I need little breaks in between chairs to do some crafting for me. Also, it's Fathers Day this Sunday and I need time to help Tamsyn make her present for her Daddy, well, Tamsyn will be present at least for the making thereof.

Years ago I did an Adult Ed course on upholstery which has been one of the best things I've ever done. Fate (and possibly good Karma) led me to fall in love with a man who manages an upholstery business, yep I'm a lucky girl in more ways than one.

Ant chose the multicoloured fabric when the suite was made back in the 1990's - one of his clients was making a whole heap of these chairs and couches for an hotel in Sydney, so Ant asked him to make 3 more chairs and a three seater couch as well. They're very well made and sturdy, so it made sense to recover them instead of replacing.

Having The Thug for the sewing part has been invaluable, and using the overlocker for finishing all the raw edges has helped me master that machine too. I have to remember not to use it like a standard sewing machine and I seem to be fine, which is a real relief. Really really.

Just have to get rid of the apricot coloured walls now.....

25 August 2009

knitting for my girl

This is the jumper I started a few weeks ago and finished the other day. Thankfully it's still too big for her so I've timed it nicely. We'll probably be well into Spring before it fits but with the mad weather we've been having I don't think it'll be too warm for Tamsyn by then.
The pattern is from an Australian mag called Creative Knitting, and was very user friendly. It also reminded me how much I enjoy knitting cables.

Right, back to reupholstering the lounge suite......

17 August 2009

maybe there's hope for me yet

Some may know that I've rarely enjoyed making softies, they're small and fiddly and I can never get the stuffing right - always lumpy.

However I think I may be passing a corner.
This bear was actually a tad enjoyable. It's a Wee Wonderfuls pattern I bought a while ago and is a present for a friend who had a baby boy on Saturday night. I had made the kitty for their first-born so it seemed only fitting that I make something else from the same pattern kit.
I've also made some new blinds for the kitchen, which were looooong overdue. These windows face almost due north so they cop a lot of sun in summer and I also needed to keep the warmth in in winter.

I suppose you call them 'reverse' blinds, in that they have a thick piece of dowel in the bottom and roll them up by hand, fastening them with the ties. They're attached to the window frame with velcro and the dowel can be slipped out so they can be easily washed. This was the only type of blind that I could do that with, other than making curtains. They're also backed with blockout, which I don't know if it will wash easily. Has anyone washed blockout?

07 August 2009


I couldn't decide on a title for this post. It was either "new challenges", "something to look forward to", "am I mad or just stupid".

Maybe I'll pick D - all of the above...
So the other day when I was at the op shop (opportunity shop/thrift store etc etc.) buying my yummy Cornishware jug, I spotted this dolls pram. Although I left it there I couldn't get it out of my head.

Yes it needs a bit of work but hey, if it comes out looking pretty good and my daughter falls in love with it on her first birthday then I'll be a happy Mum.
... if Gracie doesn't pinch it first.
She seemed quite taken with it.

05 August 2009

my sewing bible

This was either a birthday or Christmas present from my parents when I was about 10 years old, and I can't live without it. Debs has recently been showing her old sewing and pattern books and I thought it was a good idea.
I clearly remember pouring over these pages as a child, itching to do everything in it.
.. but childhood gets in the way, plus a lack of pocket money to buy the necessary bits and pieces.
I have made things using ideas from this book, using leftover fabric from Mum's stash. She made most of my clothes.
My first quilt was inspired by this book, an English paper pieced hexagon using more leftover clothes fabrics.
And the bookmark? It's a smocking sampler from high school, I think it was Grade 8. I enjoyed doing it so much I finished off a few of the other girls samplers as well. I haven't done any smocking since but the urge has always been lurking in the shadows, waiting to resurface. Naturally a little smocked dress may evolve...
There are so many things in this book that I've never done (I did do the macramé once), but I think that's what keeps us going - that yearning to do something new and different. I still use this book on a regular basis, it's one of my greatest resources.

I recently found the 'Readers Digest Complete Guide to Sewing' in a second hand bookshop. It's amazing too although I don't seem to feel the need for it so much.

28 July 2009

sewing for my man

It was Ant's birthday the other day, and I always like to make something for him. I had some fabric left over from this shirt and had remembered seeing the tie pattern at The Purl Bee.

Their patterns are very very easy to follow, with lots of pictures along the way too. Usually if I'm thinking of making something a little different I'll search this site first.
I've also made some wristers, for those times when it's not cold enough for gloves but you just need a little warmth closer to your hands.... maybe. Anyway, mine are a bit bigger than the pattern (I didn't think 28 stitches would make it around my arms), which was another found through Ravelry at this blog. I bought 2 balls of organic cotton from that lovely little local shop, The Ruby Pear. You'd think that 2 balls would be enough wouldn't you, but the big frills and picot cast off uses quite a bit of yarn, and had to go back for more.

I like them lots.