Sunday, September 25, 2011

Silly Specifics with Sunday Stealing

It's Silly Sunday so here's a few random facts about moi.

A.   Age:  29

B.   Bed size:  Queen

C.   Chore that you hate:  Ironing

D.   Dogs:  No pets.  But I (very) occassionally borrow my parents' Maltese/Poodle for walks on the beach

E.   Essential start to your day:  A hot shower

F.   Favorite colour:  Purple

G.   Gold or Silver:  Gold

H.   Height:  163cm... err...5'3"?

I.   Instruments you play:  None well but I have dabbled with the recorder (ugh), keyboard and trumpet (double ugh)

J.   Job title:  (Super) Nanny

K.   Kids:  None

L.   Live:  Perth, Western Australia

M.   Mother's name:  Lynette

N.   Nicknames:  Ernie... or Ezza (but I suggest you don't go there)

O.   Overnight hospital stays:  Just one, I think.  I hate hospitals

P.   Pet peeve:  Lately I'm on a crusade to stop people from parking their shopping trolleys in the middle of the aisle and then just walking away.  Move to the side, people, move to the side.

Q.   Quote from a movie:  "I just know, before this is over, I'm gonna need a whole lot of serious therapy. Look at my eye twitchin'"  ~ Donkey (Shrek)

R.   Right or left handed:  Right

S.   Siblings:  1 sister and 3 brothers. I'm the youngest

T.   Time you wake up:  As late as possible

U.   Underwear:  Yes

V.   Vegetable you hate:  I like most vegetables but am not a fan of cooked carrots (raw is fine)

W.   What makes you run late:  Sleeping in

X.   X-Rays you've had:  Some on my back waaaay back when... but thankfully nothing was wrong

Y.   Yummy food that you make:  Everything I make is yummy.  Ok, that is a total lie

Z.   Zoo animal:  Orangutans.  Love!

This post has been linked to Sunday Stealing.  Check out their site if you feel like killing some time. ;)


Thursday, September 22, 2011

TTT - the Dolly Edition

I know my last post was a little depressing (thank you for the sympathy and lovely messages, they meant alot) but I now have good news. Nay, great news.  I have finally found my sewing mojo.  Yippee!  To be fair, credit must be given to the group of lovely ladies who came to my house last night for our first ever Night of Craft.  Admittedly not much craft was actually done but there was plenty of chat, brainstorming, encouragement and oohs and ahhs.  It was exactly what I needed and I woke up this morning with a renewed sense of excitement.  Consequently, I quickly grabbed my Christmas stash (before I lost the urge again) and started cutting, pinning and sewing.  I am trying something new (for me) and, I must say, it is coming along nicely.

I'll leave that as a little teaser, though, and move onto the real purpose of this post...

Thursday Think Tank

During this week I shamelessly begged for a doll cot that one of the families I babysit for was about to throw out.  Even though it was slightly embarassing and the Dad thought I was slightly weird, once I saw the little cot next to their bin I just couldn't get it out of my mind.  What potential!  I was thinking, with a little love and care, it would make a wonderful display item if I ever get around to holding my own market stall (as is the eventual plan).  And, since I have re-discovered my mojo, I've had a million and one ideas bouncing around in my head in regards to this little find.  Because once you start talking doll cots... it can only naturally progress to dolls and quilts and clothes...

The Cot that Started It All
Firstly, here is a picture of what the doll cot started as, way back before Miss M and Miss E got their little hands on it (minus the mobile, doll and... err... little girl).

Score!  Stay tuned for the post where I turn the remains back into something of beauty.  I promise to include photos from every step of the way - from its current state to the final reveal.

Doll Softie
At this point in time, I am a huge fan of the quirky, yet simple, doll, with triangular shaped body, long limbs, round head and cute little embroidered face.  I love how, with one pattern, you can create dolls with completely different personalities, by just changing fabrics, hairstyles, embellishments and expressions.  There are many, many, many similar dolls out there, and just as many patterns, but, to give you an idea for what I'm on about, here is an example, by Dolly Donations

Doll Quilt
In the last week the Fabric Fairy and I have become BFFs and, as such, my sewing den is starting to resemble a shop.  So, in the interests of severely reducing my stash before Mr C comes home and has a conniption, a couple of adorable doll quilts will not go astray.  Due to their compact size I am thinking that these quilts with give me many fantastic opportunities to be adventurous and try different patterns and techniques and, maybe even, free motion quilting.  Eek!

Here is a simple, yet effective, design by During Quiet Time that I am hereby adding to the list.


So, there you go.  A whole doll extravaganza seems to be in my future.  And, you know what, I can't wait!

Once again, this post is linked to Thursday Think Tank with making rebecca lynne.  Don't forget to pop over and see Becca's wonderful ideas for this week.  You'll be sorry if you don't!  ;)


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Whinge and a Reveal

Truth be told, I'm not doing so well lately.  I guess the main reason is that my beloved Mr C has recently flown off to South America for 3 whole months... and even though I thought I was mentally prepared for that, it is now glaringly obvious that I wasn't.   I miss him more than I thought was possible.  So, take this as a warning.  I may be up-and-down, in-and-out until Mr C returns and wraps his long arms around me for a big, squeezy hug.

What is really funny is that I had planned to dive head-first into a million crafty projects to keep myself busy while he was gone BUT... as he flew away so did my inspiration.  It is gone.  Lost.  AWOL.  I just keep hoping beyond hope that it returns soon or I might just go crazy.  Surely a sane person has a limit on how many infomercials can be watched??

Thankfully, I had finished this little project before he left and, as it has now safely arrived in Tasmania, I can reveal it to you all.

I started making this personalised pillow months and months ago, when I first heard about the arrival of little Miss Nelly.  Then... her mummy started up her own little business making & creating (check out her Facebook page - Crunchy Baby Crunchy Kids) and I freaked out.  Literally freaked out.  How could I possibly send my creation to someone who is, bets on, much more talented and crafty than me??  Eek!  So the Nelly pillow got put aside... and was destined to forever languish unfinished and unloved in some deep dark corner of my sewing den.

Then, lo and behold, I suddenly got guts and, after a few minor design tweaks (ok, ok I completely changed the font and fabric) I got it finished.  Yay!  And, surprisingly, I am really happy with the final results. 

Miss Nelly, I hope you love it too.  :)


Thursday, September 15, 2011

An Apron Fit for a... Bear

This is just a quickie post to finally unveil the apron I made for Fathers Day.  For those that don't know me - it might help to understand that from a very young age I've called my dad, Ted.  I always just used to think he was like a big cuddly bear so the name stuck. 

So, when it came to a motif for his apron, how could I not?

Yes, that is actually me in the picture.  It seems Ted prefers to be on the other side of the camera.  This may have been take 5, so not too bad considering.  :)


Red and Orange and ...

Exciting news this week - the Fabric Fairy finally decided to grace my doorstep with her presence.  Joy!  I put this order in about 5wks ago and have been patiently waiting with bated breath ever since.  And, I have to admit, even though I would much rather receive my orders right away - the wait has been worth it for these lovelies.

BLUE - Children at Play - Chasing Airplanes / Dot to Dot / Racer Stripe
GREEN - Me and My Sister Favorites - Swirls / Rick Rack / Bouquet
 RED - Aqua Red - Baby Boomerang / Mini Fleur / Tiny Gingham
YELLOW - Hoo's in the Forest - Plaid / Mini Dots / Jumping Jacks
ORANGE - Annie's Farm Stand - Ring Dings / Annie's Big Dot / Good Old Gingham

It might look like a slightly eclectic mix but my rationale is this - (1) I needed bright fun colours (in triple) for a project I'm currently working on (stay tuned); and (2) I figured any new blenders etc wouldn't hurt my stash.  Now I've seen and stroked and talked to them I am extremely happy with my choices and think that they all mix and mesh together pretty well.  I love how bright they all are!

Of course, I find it had to go beyond the gorgeous Children at Play.  Originally I didn't see what all the hype was about this line (I know, I know... I'm a newbie... forgive me) but after seeing some lovely projects pop up all over the net I had to jump in and get my hands on some, and this was a perfect excuse.  Probably not surprisingly, now I want some of the girly designs too.  Hmm...

While I was at it I also added this cute and fun Snails & Turtles fabric from Love U as I have a friend who is a little obsessed (yes, you are) with turtles at the moment.  How could I resist?!

In all honesty I've already cut into these darlings, and starting sewing, as that's how eager I was to receive them.  At least it'll give me something to do while waiting on my next 3 orders to arrive...  ;)


Thursday, September 8, 2011

TTT - the Research Edition

Thursday Think Tank

So what does one do when one is not talking to one's sewing machine?  The answer is simple (and, no, it isn't housework).  Google.  Pinterest.  Flickr.  Blog hop.  Any of these ring a bell?  ;)  So many yummy items and ideas are out there just begging to be found and ooo'd and aah'd over.  Many are even destined to be added to my to-do list (uh oh).  So, in no particular order, here are today's top 3.

Black & White Quilt
I have been considering a black & white quilt for some time and I just love this design found at Leanne's House.  The simple layout is extremely effective and allows the fabric to speak for itself.  And that splash of red towards the bottom is divine.  Mind you, I can't imagine ever being able to quilt like that.  Ahh.

Sleepover Pajamas by Oliver & S
My mum and I have been umming over a project for my 19th month old nephew and we've now finally come up with a plan.  As my brother, his dad, has always been a little obsessed with the army I'll be making some sleepwear in a green camoflage print, together with a little matching soft toy.  Cute!  Of course I went straight to Oliver & S... and luckily for me they have just released some Sleepover Pajamas in their new fall (ahem... autumn... ahem) range.

Subway Art
I've always loved subway art and would love one of my own with a little personal twist.  What that personal twist is is yet to be determined so my thinking cap is on.  If you, too, love these artworks and would like to create your own then check out this great tutorial at Lil Blue Boo.


This post has been linked to Thursday Think Tank with making rebecca lynne.  If you are yet to check out her fabulous blog then pop over there now, have a looksee and say hello.  That's an order.  :)


Erin v Brutus, Round 1

Brutus, in the... err... flesh.

As I finished work at 9am yesterday I was motivated early to get lots of sewing done.  Yay!  I happily envisaged hours and hours behind the machine working away to my heart's content.  The house was empty, dinner plans had been made and no housework desperately needed to be done.  Bliss!

Firstly, I finished my Dad's apron (photos to come).  Then I moved onto a project for Mr Missy Mac (oh how he will just love that name) which was just about finished when disaster struck.

*** play scary music now ***

In the final few stitches my needle broke.  No great disaster, it happens.  But then, just for fun, it fell down into my machine.  Oh shit.  Now I'm not a mechanical person.  I'm more the kind of gal who is just happy that things go so the thought of having to use a screwdriver and open up my machine wasn't very appealing.  But neither was paying $$$ for someone to do for me.  Not surprisingly my stinginess prevailed and out came the screws.  Wow... look at all the bits and pieces and thingymebobs inside.   Ooo.  Preeeeetty.

This is about where I started to make mistakes.  I tend to be a little rough and heavy handed when things... excuse me... piss me off.  And, by this point, I was pretty grumpy.  So I yanked and tugged and poked and prodded, all the while swearing at my machine.

Brutus (he has since been named and we are still not on speaking terms) then got the last laugh.  During the struggle I somehow managed to pull a muscle in my back.  Ouch!  Consequently, sewing ceased and the dinner plans (which had already been paid for and were non-refundable) were cancelled.  I instead spent the evening laying on the loungeroom floor in pain.

Erin 0, Brutus 1.

The moral of the story?  I am really not a mechanical person so next time, no matter what the situation, I'm going to happily fork out my hard-earned cash to a hot repairman/woman and let them deal with it.  Honestly.


Monday, September 5, 2011

The Moment of Truth

Last Monday I wrote a post listing a number of items that I hoped to have finished within the week.  Well... now is the time to own up to my successes and, sadly, shortcomings.  Here is a rundown of the projects I did finish.

APRON #1 - Admittedly I did leave a little project off my list, as I didn't want to spoil the surprise.  The first apron I planned to make wasn't actually for my own father (sorry Ted) but instead for a friend, Dave, who is a brand new Dad celebrating his first ever Fathers' Day.  As he has previously been seen wearing a very pretty, light blue and white apron with lovely little cupcakes pictured on the pocket I thought it was high-time for a change.  So, to give Dave a small shot of testosterone, I whipped up a black and grey number with "Who's Your Daddy?" appliqued in red.  Here is a picture from their phone (sorry about the quality) complete with props.

BLOCKS - As I've previously mentioned, So Sarah Sews recently put a call out for people to donate either a Charming Stars block or Garden Fence blocks, in pinks and purples.  As the two quilts are destined for sisters I really wanted to make one of each so I could really spread the love.  Below are the blocks I made.

I am sooooo happy with the Garden Fence block (on the left) and I now have a million and one plans to make a million and one quilts using this pattern.  It was so quick and easy to make yet turns out really well.  I especially like it in the grey and yellows as per the original design by Hyacinth Quilt Designs.

On the other hand, though, the Charming Stars design (the pattern I used was from Moda Bake Shop but I seem to be having a little trouble finding the direct link now, sorry) wasn't so much fun.  I just couldn't seem to get the points to meet the centre square while sticking with the 1/4" seam allowance.  In the end I think I may have stuffed up the final sizing so I have bets on (with myself) that it will be used on the back of the final quilt...  ;)

PIN CUSHION(S) - For this quick and easy project I just raided my scraps bucket and simply sewed together a few squares and added a button to finish the look.  Easy!  In fact... these were so quick and simple that I whipped a few more - as I tend to spread my sewing areas around the whole house so just one would never do.  Again I apologise for the less than crappy photo.

 PLASTIC BAG HOLDER - My poor Mummy is often the one left waiting the longest for sewing presents so I am happy to report that, for once, she wasn't last on the list.  This plastic bag holder was destined to be displayed proudly in her kitchen so I made it a little smaller than my own as I liked the idea of keeping it cute and compact, rather than big and bulky.  And, yes, before you ask - the chairs I tend to use as props are also on the to-do list.  :)

So... now it is time to own up to those WIPS which are still feeling neglected and unloved in my sewing room.

APRON #2 - I am confident that this will be finished this week as the hard part (the applique) is all done and dusted.  And, may I say, it is GOR-JUS!  Now all I need to do is cut out and sew on the lining, together with the ties.  One of the things I love most about this design is the adjustable neck strap - perfect for everyone.  Stay tuned for the big reveal.

PERSONALISED PILLOWS - Nope, no progress has been made here.  Bring on their 21st birthdays...

TUTORIAL - I obviously didn't get this one done, or you would have seen the post.  Never fear, though, as I have all the necessary "ingredients"... I just really need to find my nerve.  Hmm...