Monday, November 30, 2009

Farbenmix Bjarne

This one is for the boys.

I don't sew as much for my boys as for my daughter. A few reasons. I stockpiled a lot of "sale" clothing for them before I started sewing again and we get some clothes from the boys' cousin as well. Secondly there are not as many fabrics or patterns to fall in love with as there seems to be for girls.

I have started both Farbenmix Bjarne top and Mika pants a couple of months ago. Yesterday I finally made up the top for one son and I hope to get the pants made up for my other son very soon.

Pattern- Farbenmix Bjarne
Fabric- Cotton drill with stars and lightweight ribbed polar fleece from stash
Approval rating- My boy was wanting to wear it to school this morning so that has to be a good sign. From my perspective, it is a super easy pattern to get sewn up. Two issues I had with it were shared by another lady who used wovens. The sleeve tops were wide and didn't set in without gathering or pleating or trimming. The fronts of the upper section are meant to overlap but didn't. It is not problem as with a tee underneath I like this look. I also didn't put slits in the sleeves as I preferred a straight sleeve for this style of top on a boy in a heavier fabric. But I will definately make it again.

Little Boozle 2009

Little Boozle 2009
Little Boozle 2009
Little Boozle 2009

Sunday, November 29, 2009

This Week I must...

Clean my overlocker.

Little Boozle 2009
I really, really must.
(Oh no, that's not mine. I wouldn't possibly let mine get into that state. That's just someone else's overlocker that I took a photo of. You you do... Nice weather we are having, don't you think?)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The good, the bad and the downright stuffed!

24 hours in the world of sewing.

Well, 24 hours with the in-laws visiting so that I could sneak off to the sewing room a lot more often than usual knowing that the offspring had some adult supervision, albeit the type of supervision that is wrapped around their little fingers.


...whipped up an Ottobre Creative Workshop tee for me in no time at all...

Little Boozle 2009

Little Boozle 2009
...and you have to love how you can make something like a Farbenmix Olivia in less than an hour...
OND 2009
...well, probably more indifferent than bad...
I started this Mamu Ulla about 8 months ago so I could wear it in Winter (which finished 3 months ago) It was early on in my knit sewing experience and I stuffed up the neckline then had to wait for some more fabric to redo the bodice. That arrived after a month but by then it was shoved to the back of my sewing table and I had lost my enthusiasm for the project. I'm not sure that I enjoy sewing up Mamu patterns.
So yesterday was THE day to finish it. And I did. And after spending a couple of hours sewing and thinking that it was not going to look like anything more than a particularly colourful though shapeless sack, it looks OK...and I'll wear it.
Some projects just aren't enjoyable from the moment you start till the moment that you finish.
Little Boozle 2009
Little Boozle 2009
...not a Studio Tantrum Laguna...
...but meant to be!
Little Boozle 2009
(Note- small photo lest you be too judgemental but yes, it is bad)
Luckily in a rare display of practicality, I made the Laguna up in a bargain bin print perhaps know that my brain these days is mush and that stitching 2 spirals together was not going to be as easy as I might arrogantly have thought.
Helen over at Stitcharooney made a comment the other day that with 40 minutes to go until leaving home, upon discovering that her youngest had no clean top to wear, she made a new one because it was easier to do that in 40 minutes than to try to wash and dry one.
Don't you love that?
And I love being able to do that.

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Blog Giveaway Bag

Keyka Lou's Lots of Pockets Tote
I posted this off to Claire a few days ago. As the winner of my blog giveaway, she chose the blue combos. I pegged her as a reasonably practical type of gal who would have a lot of large sensible bags to take all the necessities with her...but maybe enjoyed having some more girlie bags to use from time to time. So this is a smaller carry along bag.
Another great bag pattern from Michelle at Keyka Lou. This is big enough to take along all those things that you need to as long as it doesn't include the kitchen sink. It wouldn't suit Mary Poppins.

Little Boozle 2009
Little Boozle 2009
Little Boozle 2009
Little Boozle 2009
Little Boozle 2009
I really hope that you love it Claire and get some use out of it. It has been a pleasure to make it for you.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Economical or excessive?

I know which one my hubby would say.

One of my commandments in life is "Thou shalt not pay full price for washing powder, toilet paper, feminine hygeine products or dishwashing detergent. Ever."

There are a lot of other products that I rarely pay full price for, like breakfast cereals, frozen peas and icecream but these 4 are not negotiable! 3 of them because they are on sale at a great price often and the 4th? Because I can't see why little absorbant things are so expensive.
Maybe all that pretty blue fluid that they use in adverts is really expensive and they need to cover costs...

So even though we have a huge pantry, it is full. Usually stockpiling the freezer with meat on special and the pantry with food works well as I make a huge saving in the long run.

But when you discover two 1.2kg boxes of Weetbix plus a 3rd just barely started, all ominously hovering at their best before date, you think that maybe you have been a little bit excessive...(and your husband knows that you have...) And oh, that's right, just because 3 children loved Weetbix 6 months ago doesn't mean that they like the horrible stuff now.

So what to do? It's not as easy to dispense of excess oat cereal biscuits as it is for say, apples or eggs. There the possibilities, while not endless, are pretty generous. I spent the weekend making some chocolate Weetbix slice (doubling the recipe used 6 of the darn things) and some Weetbix marshmallow slice (woohoo! Another 12 out of the box) Much enjoyed by the Weetbix-loathing hoards...

OND 2009
So that leaves me with 2 and 5/6 of a box left in the pantry.
So I am open to suggestions. Any recipes which use a couple of kilograms of Weetbix?
Any good crafting ideas using Weetbix? Surely the way that it cements onto any surface when left to dry and refuses to move ever again means that it must have some useful crafting properties.
And me? I have learnt my lesson. I will never ever again stockpile Weetbix. But everything else is still fair game.
...until I end up with a couple of hundred tampons and come asking for ideas...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Remedial Quilting

Unchartered Waters...
OND 2009
Tracy (the Mad Quilter) is expecting her 7th bub early this coming January and asked the Crafty Mamas to make up a block each for a baby quilt.
It has come to light that while we sew madly, craft manically and even knit or crochet with a blinding faith, a fair few of us don't quilt. Haven't quilted. Wouldn't know how to quilt. Granted we might know a quilt if we fell over it but we quite clearly wouldn't have made the quilt before we fell over it.
So while we all waved our hands valiantly in the air with enthusiasm, there has been a lot of foot shuffling, throat clearing and avoidance of eye contact (if that is possible on the web) Meanwhile, those quilters amongst Crafty Mamas have given the pep talks, shoulder rubs and rousing choruses of "it's easy peasy"...if all of that is possible in cyberspace.
Anyhow, once I put my head down and focussed on the project, I put my little contribution together rather quickly. And am rather pleased with the result.
I don't know how many of the 10 Commandments of Quilting got broken in the making of this quilt block but no animals got hurt. That I can promise!

No Need to Row Row Row your Boat...

...when you have turbo boost!

OND 2009
Cut out some bread bag tabs to a speedboat shape.
Pour some full fat milk into a large flat tray.
Gently float the bread tags on the surface.
(Note to self- keep the 2 year old away or the casualties will be high)
Pop a drop of food colouring in the hole at the back.
(Note to self- next time get some pipettes rather than trying to use a skewer and hands might not channel the colours of the rainbow)
Then pop a drop of washing up detergent in the hole.
And off they go....
Kids just need to gently steer them when they get caught up at the edge. No, not like that, just gently, a little tap, right, nooooooo, not like that, aaaaaaah, where's it gone?, hold on mate, I just have to find it, it has sunk, er, so has his, ugh, now my hand is red, where are the blasted things?, right, got them, now, let's try again, shall we?, noooooo, I said NOT LIKE THAT...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

You'd better watch out...

Keeping the Man in the Red Suit faith.

Christmas carols can be heard,
candy canes are piled up in the shops,
the kids are counting down the sleeps...
OND 2009
My eldest is 6 and 1/2 years old and, at the moment, is happy to discuss ad nauseum how the toy making work load is distributed among the elves and what Santa's budget is (infinity dollars apparently!)
However, a 6 year old friend lost her first tooth this week and was very disparaging about her mother's attempts to fob off the dental retrieval and cash injection to the tooth fairy. Oh mum. Roll eyes. The tooth fairy isn't real. Snort. It was you.
How is it that I feel like our family is just starting out but our first child sometime very soon is going to lose that innocent and non-questioning faith in the magic of Santa, the charm of the Easter bunny and the cash flow of the tooth fairy? (all social commentary on the materialism and consumerism of said fantasy beings aside...)
At the moment daddy and I are thinking on our feet as to why Santa is in so many places and why he looks different in each place...But I will enjoy that youthful innocence while I can as I am sure that I will shed a tear when faced with my first loss of innocence.
(I will also enjoy that glass of Baileys that Santa loves to be left on Christmas Eve. Here's to you, Santa!)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Heatwave beauty

18th November, 2009

I am forever jealous of the gorgeous photos posted by Leisl at Hoppo Bumpo. If you go to her blog, you will see that she frequentlyupdates her photo posts that are the view from her desk.
The view from my desk and sewing table is a high beige colourbond fence with part of next door's unit in the lovely 70s yellow sandy brick peeping over the top. And let's not forget the brown and orange striped window awnings that can also be spied.

Anyhow, in a near 2 weeks of suffocating, bone-numbing heat here in Adelaide, there were few redeeming qualities to the heat wave. Nope, can't think of one actually.

But we were blessed with this sunset this week. It may have been in no way related to the hot weather, but it was almost like Mother Nature was saying "hang in there, kiddies, I'll play nice soon"...

OND 2009
OND 2009
OND 2009
The past day we have enjoyed cooler weather and even some rain. Heck, I even had to put a jumper on when we ate outdoors for dinner last night. Keep it up, Ma Nature!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

And the winner is...

Drum Roll please...

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:22
Timestamp: 2009-11-17 11:26:16 UTC

Sorry for computer illiteracy. I can't even work out how to copy the Random Generator page properly.

No 22 is the lovely Claire of "a little spunkiness"

Who now needs to decide which fabrics she would like me to use!

Congrats Claire!

And a big thanks to everyone who visited, commented and entered.

Keyka Lou Pocket Clutch

Yet another bag!

A year ago I would have vehemently denied any enjoyment from making bags and purses. Now I seem to be slightly (OK more than slightly) addicted. I do love little bags and things to keep my...well, stuff in. But it is a little out of hand so maybe I will actually get something in my etsy shop at some stage.

Pattern- Keyka Lou Pocket Clutch (Oh how I love Michelle's patterns)


Green spot- from my stash
Blue paisley- Fabric traditions

It is written up to be a more formal clutch with batting through the body, a magnetic clasp closure and an exterior decorative button but I don't have much need for formal clutches so I put in an extra layer of interfacing and used a snap instead.

It's cute!

Little Boozle 2009

Little Boozle 2009
Little Boozle 2009
Little Boozle 2009

Monday, November 16, 2009

Blast from the Past

Do you remember when...?

When you got more than 4 lollies for 20 cents?
When Wizz Fizzes actually has some kick to them?
When kid's movies and cartoons were the good, old fashioned kind?...

On our holiday to Queensland a few months back, my kids got introduced to those cartoon characters all but forgotten in today's kid's telly and DVD society. Bugs, Sylvester, Tweety, my namesake Taz...My folks bought them a Loony Tunes DVD. OK So it was modified and set in a Survivor type setting but old cartoons were laced through it...and the kids loved it!

No Yo Gabba Gabba, Ben 10 or really bizarre talking sea sponges in sight. None of those hideous Beavis and Butthead or Ren and Stimpy cartoons that appeared (and thankfully disappeared again) a while back.

My 4 and 6 year old were entranced.

My folk's latest addition to our DVD collection is a Tom and Jerry one. I explained to the kids that I watched these cartoons when I was their age. But there is something warm and fuzzy about kids of today liking and appreciating anything from yesteryear (excuse me while I just find my walking cane...that sounds so old!) I am not sure that it is PC given the amount of violence occuring but there isn't much realism for kids to file away in a coyote strapped to an oversize rocket chasing a road runner over the edge of a cliff.

So what did you watch and remember watching when you were a young kid?

I remember my pop loved those cartoons- and still does- chuckling away even more than us.
And he's now nearly 80.

I remember...

The Flintsones...Jetsons...Yogi Bear...Banana Splits...Calimero (it's an injustice, it is!)...Kimba the White Lion... Bat Fink (my wings are like a shield of steel)...Chip and Dale...HR Puff'n'Stuff...Captain Pugwash...the original and best The Magic Roundabout...Felix the Cat...Rocky and Bullwinkle...

Then there were those ace shows like...

Batman (thwack, bam biff!)...BJ Mackay (forget his best friend Bear...I had the hots for BJ)...Goodies...Dr Who...Good Times...Monkey...Partridge Family...Mork and Mindy...Lost in Space...Land of the Giants...Addam's Family...I Dream of Jeannie...Bewitched...The Partridge Family...guess I'd better mention The Brady Bunch...and does anyone remember Catweazle? I loved that show!

(And my still guilty pleasure of The Restless Years when I was an early teen)

A few weeks back, The Sound of Music was on telly on Saturday afternoon. I remember thinking that I want my kids to have the chance to see the older movies. I profess to loving them- Hitchcock, musicals, epics, anything with Audrey Hepburn- and yet I can't tell you the last time I got the chance to sit down and watch one. As a kid, I grew up watching Robin Hood (where Robin was a fox) Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Mary Poppins, Peter Pan..and those were the days when kids' lower budget movies were released to cinemas just for a holiday run (and nan and pop dutifully took the grandkids to see "The Electric Eskimo" and the like) No big budget animated flicks but entertaining and magical to young kids all the same. And I have hazy but happy memories of going to see the local "Snow White and the 7 Dwarves" holiday pantomime.

Man, I'm sounding old!

My oldest child is already 7 next year. I really want my kids to grow up and appreciate the quality and entertainment value of movies made last century (yes, some of them are mid-last century!) I think I underestimate their reaction. I thought that they would be bored with the old Loony Tunes cartoons and I have been happily proven very wrong. So I think that I will dig out Peter Pan or The Jungle Book and pull up a Bob the Builder beanbag (yes, I see the irony) with the kids and see what they think!

At the very least I know that I will enjoy them. Sing with me: One banana, two banana, three banana, four...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sew Liberated Schoolhouse tunic

Cool cover up for summer.

Given the week long heatwave we have had already in November, I think that we are in for a loooooong, hot summer. I really dislike sunscreen...oily, greasy stuff...but a necessary evil.
But I am aiming to make a few cool cover up tops for summer so that I can sneak out without having to run heaps of greasy stuff on me for a 10 minute walk.

Pattern- Sew Liberated Schoolhouse tunic

Fabric- Vintage cotton from stash (I really adore this fabric)

I made the length halfway between tunic and dress length as I don't like short shirts. I don't like 3/4 length sleeves but dopey-dick that I am, I just cut them out while in la-la land. I can roll them up a bit or put up with them but will adjust the length next time. I think that the bodice size is OK but feel that it could be more fitted lower down so may run it in a bit as it feels a bit balloony at the moment. I was expecting a more tapered look.

Little Boozle 2009

Little Boozle 2009

Little Boozle 2009

I will make this again but will adjust the fitting.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Sew Liberated Woodlands Shirt

Distracted again!

Whenver a new pattern arrives in my letter box, one of two things happen.

It gets popped into my disorganised black hole of a pattern shelf, gets lost for a month (or a year...or two...) and then finding it is reminiscent of finding a forgotten about Christmas present hidden at the back of the Christmas tree.


In which case, my "to do" list gets ignored again. Luckily it's pretty thick skinned and as far as "to do" lists go, it is not easily offended.

Two new Sew Liberated patterns arrived this week. I am halfway through making the Schoolhouse tunic for myself and have made up this one for Mae. The hot weather is well and truly here and my kids have to walk for school and kindy pick ups and drop offs so I need some lightweight long sleeved cover up tops for Mae that are good in the Adelaide summer heat.

Pattern- Sew Liberated Woodlands shirt

Fabric- Hot pink poplin. Appliqued roses are upcycled from an overdress fabric that was torn.

Little Boozle 2009

Little Boozle 2009
Little Boozle 2009

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Bag swap

Crafty Mamas November bag swap

The gals over at Crafty Mamas forum have a swap each month with a set theme. November was a bag swap and Krissy was my recipient. I feel the pressure of providing something that will be good enough and well received when I participate in a swap but that aside, it is fun!

I really don't like feeling that I am giving someone a gift that they wont like so I checked out Krissy's preferences- bold and bright. Not a pastel girl, our Krissy.

Pattern- Button Tote bag - Andrea Forstbauer

External- vintage sheet fabric
Lining- mushroom canvas from stash
Self covered buttons

Approval rating- seems to be well received!

Little Boozle 2009

Little Boozle 2009
Little Boozle 2009
Little Boozle 2009
It was a nice straightforward pattern and a really big tote bag. Could fit anything in there methinks!
Little Boozle 2009
Krissy has a gorgeous daughter Matilda so I made her up a little purse to stash her little treasures in.
Pattern- Bubble pouch - Keyka Lou
External- Fresh as a Daisy- Robert Kaufman
Lining- Party Time Cupcakes- Makower UK
Little Boozle 2009
Little Boozle 2009
Little Boozle 2009

Note to self

Dear Tas,

Please remember that the next time you are in middle of a heatwave and tired and niggly from staying up with ill children at night NOT to attempt to sew a flimsy slippery fabric, particularly if you have a blunt denim needle in your machine.

It'll only end in tears.

Warm regards,

PS Repeat after me: "What doesn't kill me will make me stronger. And evolution gave me an apposing thumb and forefinger so that I can open the cupboard to the rubbish bin and show my superiority at being a human as I turf inanimate objects into landfill"

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Blog giveaway: a bag in your choice of fabric

Celebrating 100 posts

I still think of myself as a blogging newby but having now hit the "publish post" button 100 times I guess that I need to consider myself climbing the ladder of blogging experience rather than standing at the bottom looking up with my mouth hanging open.

So I have worked out that it seems to be the done thing to give away something when you have posted a nice round figure- in this case 100 posts. I can't believe that I have posted that many times- and I even more can't believe that some of you loyal people have hung around to read my blogging blurb. A huge thank you to those who have! It is good for the soul to think that someone wants to hear what I say and do.

So in the spirit of blogland, I am offering to sew up a bag in your choice of fabrics as chosen from the selection below. I don't know what bag it will be yet but there has to be some element of surprise, hey?

So rules of engagement:
1 There are no rules.

All you need to do is post a comment nominating your fabric choice. One entry per person. Will post anywhere. Please leave means of contacting you if you don't have a blog.

You don't need to blog about the giveaway (though if you chose to, I'm not going to complain or apply for a restraining order) and you don't have to follow my blog (I think that it is cruel and unusual punishment to make people sign up to my blog if they don't actually want to)

So I hope that you find something to your liking. I will close this competition in oh, about a week and I will pick a winner through either a highly technical method involving a computer progam or a less technical method involving a 2 year old, box and pieces of paper.

1. Pretty pink.

Little Boozle 2009

2. Bold blue.

Little Boozle 2009

3. Bohemian brown

Little Boozle 2009

4. Pretty palette

Little Boozle 2009

5. Gorgeous garden

Little Boozle 2009

6. Rich Red

Little Boozle 2009

Good luck!

Blogtoberfest blog giveaway

My 3rd prize- but who's counting?

Cherrie from willywagtail ran a giveaway on her blog for Blogtoberfest and I was the lucky winner. A little parcel stashed with vinatge goodies arrived today.

Sewing 2009

Sewing 2009

Might whip myself up a little outfit like that on the left for, you're right. I'll burn that page right now! But a gorgeous granny rug.

Sewing 2009

And this gorgeous little vintage address book is a blast from my past. I used to collect cards with these pickies on them I swear.

Thank you Cherrie. Much appreciated!