Thursday, December 29, 2011

TTT - the 2012 Resolutions Edition

Now that the Christmas hangover has well and truly worn off, it is time to start mulling over my goals for 2012.  Admittedly, I don't normally go for resolutions, per se, as I tend to disappoint myself quite early on in the game and that just gets depressing.  This year, though, I really want to set myself some challenges, just to see how I go.  So here is a list of what I want to do/try/achieve over the next 12 months.


I know, I know... this is a common "resolution" for women (and men?) all over the world but, hey, I figure putting it out there might, just might, force my hand.  The story is simple - since hooking up with Mr C approximately 2.5 years ago, I have stacked on at least 10kgs (22pd) and it is seriously driving me mad (and my friends and loved ones are sick of hearing me whinge about it).  I have half-heartedly attempted to lose it here and there but it is now time to get S.E.R.I.O.U.S (said with Aretha Franklin's sass and style)!

To achieve this goal I need to do the normal things (ie increase activity, decrease intake) so I have started stocking the pantry and fridge with all the good stuff and I have joined a gym (and, yes, actually worked out).  BUT... I also need to learn to respect myself and my body and, honestly, that is the hardest part for me.  I am the emotional eater of emotional eaters so I need to learn to care about myself.  And then, once I manage that, I will look like this.


Ok, ok, looking like Jennifer Hawkins might be stretching the envelope just a tad but a fitter, healthier, happier version of me is definitely an achievable goal so it's on the list (and staying).  Bring on the lettuce!  ;)


No, that is not a mistake - unlike most people who are overworked and overtired - I am keen to step it up.  I've mentioned once or twice before that I have been battling with depression and, not surprisingly, this has impacted my ability to hold down a job.  Don't get me wrong, I have had some fantastic employers in my time and, upon learning of my illness, have bent over backwards trying to accommodate me as best as possible but, unfortunately, my feelings of guilt go into overdrive and, against the advice of pretty much everyone, I invariably quit.

Now that I am definitely on the mend I am looking forward to picking up some more hours (somewhere!) and stretching myself in a variety of ways.  Even though I'm not after the big bucks, often choosing to work for not-for-profits and the like, I can't lie - some extra cash would certainly come in handy too.  Especially as I have my eye on one of these.


Or maybe not.  But at least more $$$ = more fabric.  Ooo yeah!


Ok, enough of the heavy stuff... let's get onto the fun stuff.  This year I finally managed to try my hand at quilting - and was so excited to finish my first ever quilt in August.  Since then I have done a lot of playing and reading and piecing but am still yet to complete another quilted project (well... besides a mug rug or two).  Ahh!  So, a definite goal for 2012 is to finish some of my WIPs (ha!) and have a go at some of those on my to-do list. Like, a plus quilt.  And a snowball quilt.  And a scrappy quilt.  And... uh oh...


Lately I have been struggling to teach myself to crochet.  I say "struggling" because it is really not going very well.  At all.  I've read books and watched online vids... and practised, practised, practised... but I still just don't get it.  So I aim to rectify that and finish a crochetted item this year.  Even if it means staking out an old folks' home.  ;)

My latest inspiration to conquer the hook is from Tracey of Cotton and Card who makes a range of gorgeous items, including these adorable bags.


Cute, no?


2012 will also be the year of my first market stall (how's that for positive thinking?).  I envisage getting busy and sewing lots of fantastic items and selling up big.  Ha!  Well... I can try.  If I don't perfect crochet in time then maybe I'll have to make a few more of these Easy Girl Dolls instead.

Aww... maybe I need to make one just for me first.  ;)

Lastly, to prove that I haven't just been thinking but have actually been doing, here is my latest project, another Mod Mosaic Pillow.  This one is 16" and made using Terrain by Kate Spain.  Yum!  It is a lot more eclectic and busier than my previous effort but it is definitely growing on me.

Any suggestions on how to quilt it though?  Don't cater your answer to my (lack of) skills... let me know exactly what you would want to do.  I need to extend myself so would love your input.  Thanks!

Hope your goal list for 2012 is looking good too.  Not long now til we wave goodbye to 2011!  Happy New Year!


Thursday Think Tank

I'm desperately hoping that Making Rebecca Lynne is hosting Thursday Think Tank this week so I can link up.  Fingers crossed!  No pressure, though, Becca.  ;)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

My Blogger's Choice FQ Bundle

I'm sure most of you would have already heard about the fabulous competition currently being hosted by Laura of Quokka Quilts fame but, if not, then head over there toot sweet to be in the running to design (and then win) your very own Blogger's Choice FQ Bundle, consisting of 12 prints and 3 solids.  A-huh.  You read that correctly.  Awesome!

I spent quite some time last night mulling over the Fat Quarter Shop's website (whilst Mr C scurried around trying to hide the credit cards) and eventually came up with this collection of browns, limes, aquas and red.  I've included each choices listing below, in case anyone is interested (and, you know, to make it easier when I win.  *wink*).  This collection is definitely out of my comfort zone but, hey, I figured that this is a perfect opportunity to try something new.

I'm sure many of you will jump on board and enter this wonderful competition so good luck to you all.  I've had a quick look at some of the links already on Laura's post and -- WOW -- they are stunning.  Win or not, though, it has definitely been a fun experiment so give it a go.  Just be warned that you may be tempted to buy, buy, buy.  ;)


Want to know more?  My bundle is made up of -

1.  Baby Safari Lime and Aqua Large Stitch Dots Yardage SKU# 4528-67 Baby Safari by Carina Gardner for Northcott Fabrics
2.  Stitch Organic Lagoon on Brown Loop Stripe Yardage SKU# 11897-71 Stitch Organic by Betz White for Robert Kaufman Fabrics
3.  Super Green Swirling Words Yardage SKU# 22084-GRE1 Super by Gudrun Erla for Red Rooster Fabrics
4.  Hall of Fame Red Game Turf Yardage SKU# DC5367-REDX-D Hall of Fame by Emily Herrick for Michael Miller Fabrics
Oval Elements Chartreuse Yardage SKU# OE-907 Oval Elements by Patricia Bravo for Art Gallery Fabrics
6.   Modernology Cool Contempo Blooms Yardage SKU# MO-4802 Modernology by Patricia Bravo for Art Gallery Fabrics
7.  Domestic Bliss Teal Lattice Yardage SKU# 18075-12 Domestic Bliss by Liz Scott for Moda Fabrics
8.  Central Park Brown Wild Ferns Yardage SKU# 2715-36 Central Park by Northcott Fabrics
9.  Sunny Happy Skies Blue Lace Yardage SKU# C2733-BLUE Sunny Happy Skies by Bella Blvd for Riley Blake Designs
10.  Hall of Fame Red Game Jersey Yardage SKU# DC5363-REDX-D Hall of Fame by Emily Herrick for Michael Miller Fabrics
11.  Meadow Friends Cotton Pond Blue and Boy Turtle Texture Yardage SKU# 19491-16 Meadow Friends by Deb Strain for Moda Fabrics
12.  Modernology Bright Posh Florets Yardage SKU# MO-4808 Modernology by Patricia Bravo for Art Gallery Fabrics
13.  Kona Cotton Peridot Yardage SKU# K001-317 Kona Cotton Solid by Robert Kaufman Fabrics
14.  Kona Cotton Teal Blue Yardage SKU# K001-1373 Kona Cotton Solid by Robert Kaufman Fabrics
15.  Kona Cotton Mahogany Yardage SKU# K001-1215 Kona Cotton Solid by Robert Kaufman Fabrics

Thursday, December 22, 2011

TTT - the Embroidery Edition

After all the handsewing I've been doing lately I'm quite surprised that I have a sudden urge to do some embroidery.  The desire is so strong that I've been searching Etsy for days looking for an appropriate pattern to start on.  And, my, what gorgeous designs there are!

Some I've fallen in love with, include:

On Parade by Sarah Jane Studios

Golden Puppy by Penguin and Fish

Birdie by Stitching Always

Cherry on the Tree Swing by Aneela Hoey

Duck Duck Robot by Shiny Happy World

If, like me, you are relatively new to embroidery then I highly recommend checking out the Shiny Happy World site.  Not only does Wendi have some gorgeous patterns, perfect for beginners, but she also has a range of step-by-step YouTube videos in her "Embroidery School" to cover the various stitches you may need.  Perfect!

Before I get started, though, I may need to do something about this.  ;)


Thursday Think Tank

I've been a little slack linking up to Thursday Think Tank of late but today I'm managing to surprise myself.  Head on over to Becca's always inspiring blog to see everyone else's thoughts for this week.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Zip It

For some last minute Christmas gifts you can't really go past zippered pouches.  They are fun, handy, quick to make and don't require many materials.  So... as Mr C and I recently did an inventory of our presents and realised we were a bit short... it was time to get sewing.

These little beauties came together in no time - and I had everything I needed already on hand.  I didn't use a tutorial, per se, but have just read a few in the past, such as Noodlehead's, and then went with my gut.  Each pouch measures 7" x 8.5" so is a nice, handy size for a multitude of uses.

First up is this darling frog pouch using Tula Pink's Frog Prince in Indigo from the Prince Charming collection.  I have to admit that I adore this fabric.  Truth be told, before I became the #1 member of the donkey fan club... I was lover of all things frog related.  From frogs to donkeys... not much of a leap really.  ;)

I originally considered using more fabric from Prince Charming for the lining but in the end went for the Blue Sahara Stars from the Bazaar Style collection by Pat Bravo.  I like the simple, muted design which should minimise the chances of things getting "lost" inside the pouch.  Or does that only happen to me?

The second pouch was made using Peacock Feathers in Sea Grass from Amy Butler's gorgeous Soul Blossoms collection.  This is a lovely, bright fabric and, I think (hope!), perfect for the giftee.

 Again, I opted to keep the lining simple and chose this Kona Lupine.  Mmm purple.  ;)

I have to say that I am slowly but surely coming to terms with zips... and though I am yet to master them I think these pouches are a definite improvements to previous tries.  For some help and advice for this often traumatic job... I suggest heading over to read this great tutorial by Sew Sweetness.

Zips I may not have mastered just yet... BUT... I now crown myself the Queen of Boxed Corners.  Uh huh... yep.  I am absolutely loving this fool-proof method, as described in this pouch tutorial by Kim Sherrod Studio.

Two more presents crossed of the list.  Yay!  If you, too, are in need of something quick and easy then consider giving these zippered pouches a go.  If I can do it, you can too!


Saturday, December 17, 2011

TGIF... err... S

I know, I know, I'm running late.  I had the best of intentions to at least get this post up whilst it was Friday somewhere in the world but alas... it wasn't meant to be.  Oops.  I hope that you can forgive me, though, as I have managed to finish another two personalised pillows this week (that makes four since last weekend), just in time for Christmas.

Before I start I must warn you that the pictures in this post are even worse than my usual (poor) efforts.  Oh man, am I grumpy about it too.  Just ask Mr C.  So, please excuse the lack of quality... and just imagine the fun, bright, child-friendly fabrics.  A little imagination will go a looooong way.  ;)

Each of the pillows are 18" so are big and funny and squishy, perfect for the kiddies. They all have zip closures, on the back, so are removable for washing.  I think this is a must for messy little ones!

On top of the pile, is a tractor for Rowan.  I think this one is a bit of fun and, hopefully, Rowan will get a kick out of it for a few years to come.  What little boy doesn't love tractors?

I kept to my usual simpleness and left the back plain.  I'm starting to worry about this decision... but can always whip up another, speckier design if Rowan complains.

Secondly is a duckie for Rowan's big sister, Lara.  I'm really pleased with how this one turned out so I hope Lara loves it too.

For the back I went out of my comfort zone and did some basic stripes.  I have to admit, I can't say I love it but I do think it's cute.  And the little Spoonflower swatch that I pieced in is a little bit of fun.

On the bottom of the pile is Mitchell's pillow but I can't reveal this one just yet.  Infact, as Mitchell's mum is the World's Biggest Present Snoop (you know it's true), I've pre-wrapped this one and reinforced it with a fair bit of sticky-tape.  Fingers crossed that's enough to keep away prying eyes.  ;)



I'm linking up to this week's TGIFF, hosted by the gorgeous Lucy at Charm About You.  Lucy has a "bleeping awesome" finish to share so be sure to check it out.  And, while you're there, click on some of the other links to see what goodies people have finished.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Beep Beep - A Pillow for Alexander

With Christmas approaching at lightning speed I had warned Mr C that I would be locking myself indoors on Saturday to sew, sew, sew.  So... when I saw Laura advertise the Occupy Your Sewing Room linky party over at Cat Patches, I figured, why not?

Therefore, I am pleased to announce that I managed to achieve my goal of finishing two personalised pillows.  YAY!  Unfortunately I can't show off pics of the first just yet... but here is the final version of the car pillow for Alexander, originally blogged about here.

The design of this pillow has been a slight collaborative effort so thank you to everyone who shared their thoughts and ideas.  I love brainstorming with you all! 

The basis, though, was intended to compliment this fabulous Alexander Henry print, used for the back.  I mean, seriously, how cute is that print?!  Perfect for a little man. 

For a bit of fun, and to help the overall balance, I embroidered "beep beep" into the bottom corner.  Probably won't mean much to Alexander, 22 months, but I think it's sweet.  ;)

Lastly, as Alexander has very recently relocated to Australia from Scotland... and... has learnt to say the word "koala"... I was asked to add in this little cutie.  Everyone say "awwww".

If you're still here thanks for sticking around to scroll through the most photos ever taken of one little pillow.  Can you tell that I'm a little bit chuffed that's it's finished?  I'm pleased to report that Alexander was also pretty happy and immediately pointed at it and said "car".  That made me smile.  :)

Thanks also to Barbara of Cat Patches for ensuring I kept to my word and spent Saturday sewing.  Result!


Saturday, December 10, 2011

We Have A Winner!

Thank you to everyone who entered my first ever little giveaway for a zippered pouch (above) and a charm pack of Walk in the Woods by Aneela Hoey.   As I don't want to leave you in suspense I'll just jump right in and announce the winner...

Congratulations Beverley!  As you forgot to leave me your email address I will endeavour to contact you through Facebook and Quilt Club Australia.  I'm looking forward to seeing what you create with that adorable charm pack.

Thanks again everyone.  It's been fun.  I hope to do another giveaway soon.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

I Love Lucy

You all know Lucy from Charm About You, right?  She is a gorgeous blonde bombshell from the UK, with a cheeky sense of humour and a zest for fun who has made Blogland that much better since her arrival on the scene.  She also happens to be extremely generous and kind.  You see, yesterday Ms Lucy surprised me with not one but TWO little gifts - one in my email and one in the mail.  Yes, actual goodies!  And look at how lovely they are.

When Lucy first made a batch of these zippered pouches I fell in love - so she got busy sewing and sent me one.  How awesome is that?!  I love it even more in real life!  She even included a few little British lollies (sorry, sweets) for me to try.  Yum!  And, because I kindly requested her not to send any body parts when she first asked for my mailing address, she even found a soft and squishy dismemebered finger.  What a crack up!  I'm still giggling.  :)

The second present I received was this lovely award which made me feel all warm and gooey inside.

To fulfil my obligations I must share a few little tid-bits about myself.  So here are 7 fun facts about moi.

1.  I hate the smell of lavendar.  I often wonder if I'm the only person in the world who feels this way.

2.  I love spending time on, in or near the water - swimming, diving, sailing etc etc.  I find it revitalises me no end and I always feel happier afterwards.

3.  I have a dream to cycle across Vietnam.  I don't exactly know why but it is something I've always wanted to do.

4.  I do not understand the Justin Bieber phenomenon.

5.  I still don't know what I want to do when I "grow up" and I envy those that have always known and are living their dream.

6.  I am addicted to Diet Coke (but, like Lucy, I have no fillings).

7.  I was a vegetarian for one year (to the day) when I was 16/17... but I love meat too much to give it up for good.

So there you have it.  Now you know a little bit more about me (more than you wanted to know?).  Thanks again to the lovely Lucy for the gorgeous zippered pouch, yummy lollies and thoughtful award.  Mwah!  x


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

D is for ???

Today's blog post is proudly brought to you by the letter...

Unfortunately it is stormy here today so the first D word that pops to mind is 'dark' but, as it's given me an excuse to stay indoors and sew, I'm not really complaining.  So here are a few things that I've been working on in the last 24 hours... including two projects which are D... D... DONE!

D... D... DONKEY

Yes, it is true - I have a slight infatuation with donkeys.  In fact, it is probably safe to say that I love them.  I even sleep with one every night (no, I am not referring to Mr C).  Therefore it may not come as a surprise to know that I have been trying to recruit another person to the donkey fan club... my friend's 4yr old daughter, Miss A.  I think I'm pretty close - she does seem to be teetering on the edge so, I figure, it's time for a push.  A big one.

Meet Ruby.  Isn't she lovely?  I whipped her up using the Reuben the Donkey pattern by Ric Rac.  To add some pazazz (and, let's be honest, cover the head-body seam) I knitted a simple scarf in Miss A's favourite colour, pink.

Ruby will also be gifted with this gorgeous children's book by the talented Tohby Riddle.  If you are yet to come across his works I suggest you check them out asap - they are seriously adorable.  And, well, the main character is a donkey so how can you go wrong?  ;)

D... D... DOLLY

Remember this post talking about Softies for Mirabel, a softie drive for an Australian based charity?  Well, I finally finished my donation (yes, late) - a sweet doll made from a Dolls & Daydreams pattern.

Honestly, she should have been finished weeks ago as the pattern is very quick and easy but I ummed and ahhed about the facial features - tossing up between embroidery and paint.  In the end I decided to investigate the latter option (as I'm soooo over handsewing) and this is what caused the delay.  I googled, I read, I googled some more.   I still had no real clue so just went with something, anything, and I am loving the results. 

Granted, I could use a bit more practise, but the Tsukineko markers I ordered from OzQuilts are won-der-ful.  I'm soooo excited about using them for future projects.  Stay tuned!

D... D... DUCK

As Christmas is looming ever closer, I've made a start on yet another personalised pillow (yes, I know, the other two are yet to be finished) and this time it is, you guessed it, a duck.

Lara loves ducks as much as I love donkeys so her pillow couldn't really be anything else.  I adore the cute bubbles.  It makes me think of relaxing in a nice, warm bath.  Ahh... bliss.

Hope you are having a D... D... DELIGHTFUL week too.  ;)


P.S.  Don't forget about my Walk in the Woods by Aneela Hoey giveaway.  Check it out here.

Weigh In Wednesday

Friday, December 2, 2011

Did Someone Say "Giveaway"?!

UPDATE - this giveaway is now closed.  Thank you to everyone who entered.

Yes, I do believe someone did say "giveaway" and, lo and behold, I do believe that someone was me.  ;)

I have recently hit the 50 followers mark (ok, ok 52... but one is my Mum and another Mr C...) so I think that this is the perfect opportunity for me to give a little back to Blogland and to say 'thank you'.  I have absolutely loved being part of the blogger community over the last few months and have been lucky enough to make some wonderful new friends, as well as be inspired every single day.  It's truly amazing so thank you.

Really, that's enough of me blabbing on, let's get to the all important giveaway.  One lucky reader will win this zippered pouch, measuring approximately 11" x 8".  Yes, she's a biggun.  And, here's the kicker, it has been made with Aneela Hoey's new line, A Walk in the Woods (due for release in February 2012).

Side A also includes some Kona Lake and for the lining I chose this adorable Aqua Red, Red Mini Fleur by Michael Miller.

Of course, I couldn't just leave it there.  So... for your own little sewing pleasure, I am also throwing in a charm pack of A Walk in the Woods.  Only cavaet is that you have to promise to show me what you make with it.  ;)

So there we have it.  Would you like to win?  Really?  Well... follow the steps below for the chance (max 5 entries per person). 

1.  Leave a comment on this post telling me what you'd like to do with the charm pack.

2.  Become a follower or let me know you're already with me.

3.  BONUS ENTRY - for the original 52 followers (minus Mum & Mr C).  Say hi!  ;)

4.  "Like" the Missy Mac Creations Facebook page and comment here to let me know.

5.  Post about this giveaway on your blog or Facebook.  Please leave me the link so I can pop over and say hello.  :)

Please write one comment per entry.  Also, ensure your profile includes a valid email address, or be sure to leave it in your comment.  Mr Random will choose the winner next Friday night, approximately 10pm (Perth, Western Australia).

Good luck!


I'm also linking up to TGIFF over at Quokka Quilts.  Laura is hosting this week - and showing off her absolutely gorgeous star quilt that was begun in 2002.  Yes, nearly 10 years ago.  So be sure to pop over and drool over the utter loveliness.  I believe that it was worth the wait!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

November Swapping with QBSA

This month in the Quilting Block Swap Australia group I was paired with Michell, who asked for either a Sawtooth or Pinwheel in civil war or reproduction prints.  Even though we are only asked to make one 12.5" (unfinished) block, I decided to make Michell one of each of her choices - for the practise and to use up the fabrics.

In the past I've had problems with star blocks and, though this Sawtooth still proved tricky for me and is not perfect, I do believe I am now a little closer to conquering it.  Next time!  Hopefully Michell is able to use it regardless of the little errors.


Thankfully, the Pinwheel went much more smoothly and came together with no problems at all.  Infact, it was alot of fun.  I am extremely happy with this block - and that is especially nice as of the two patterns this was Michell's preference.  Yay!  (Sorry about the weird, unrealistic colour of this pic.)

Yesterday I was lucky enough to receive my block from Michell.  For the purposes of this swap I've stated my preferences as either Abstraction or Birds in the Air in predominately white & black with touches of red or orange or yellow.

So, without further ado, this is the lovely block that Michell made for me.  The yellow swirls are gorgeous.

Birds in the Air

For December I have been paired with Brenda of Ohio who has requested Storm at Sea in blues and browns.  This one looks a little trickier but I'm up for the challenge.  Wish me luck!