Friday, November 30, 2007

Things I like!

For those of you who were asking, or wondering about Christmas/birthday presents for me, here's a taste of things I like! Hardly prescriptive, though!

1. leyla necklace 2. PataPri teatowel 3. annacote maple notecards 4. marymarsh ponytail holders

Drink Me Alice - handcrafted vintage art resin jewellery (I like the squirrel!)

Hanging Tree of Life

I love the Bad Cat necklace, although it's kind of grim!

Lined coiled ring

Frankie magazine

Amazon WishList

Vintage tins, tea cups and platters (esp. with an orange accent)

Poppies for Grace Writing Set

Music: Whitley, Death Cab for Cutie, Angus & Julia Stone, bluegrass or latin in general, Missy Higgins, Xavier Rudd and heaps more

Themes/things in general that I look out for: matryoska/babuska dolls, squirrels, birds (esp. silhouettes of birds), vintage/retro stuff... and heaps more that I can't think of right now!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

We leave for Canada on the 5th of December, and all our stuff goes into storage this Friday, so that's why I haven't posted for a while, and won't post for a while again, I don't think! I'm finding I constantly have to let go of my desire to make gifts for people, because I simply don't have time. I'm thinking I might make belated gifts during the Canadian winter.

I signed up for Nikkishell's swap a month or so ago, not realising that the timing would be particularly tricky! I have, however, managed to pull together eight postcards to swap. Posted them today - glad to get it out of my head! I had one idea, and one evening to pull it all together. They just had to work, and I apologised to the person who got my first one - the first pancake, if you will!
Anyway, I'll post again from Canada. Best wishes to you all. Hey, can you recommend any good Canadian craft blogs you've come across? Cheers....

Thursday, November 8, 2007

More sewing (when I should be knitting!)

I whipped this up the other night, after having made a long list of all the people I'd like to make Christmas presents for. I know it's totally unrealistic, even moreso because I only have four weeks to work with, before we leave for Canada. But I just thought, maybe this bag that I'd seen in blogland, just maybe it might whip up quickly (seeing as it was posted on the whipup site -haha!) and it would be a useful gift...

Here it is, posing on the washing line with my bright nappies! (Well, mine cos I washed them, but Jasper's the one who wears them - just wanted to clarify that!) I used that ubiquitous apple fabric from Spotlight - not sure it's cut out to be a bag (pretty punny!), seems like it might work better as an apron, but anyway, this was just a prototype, to see how the pattern came together.

Came together okay, but as for creating a mass of gifts, I'm not so sure. I think I'll make some, but not the thirty that I originally planned, in my addled list-making state! I might just have to let go of the lovely idea of presenting ALL my gorgeous friends with handmade gifts... hmmm...

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Presents for Anna

Well, now that I've finally finished them and given them to Anna, I can post a pic of the presents I made for her. The purse is the Artsy Clutch from Amy Karol's book. The bag I made from fabric I had kicking around in my stash, using Tiny Happy's tutorial. And the journal I covered using Lara's tutorial. Inside it, I stuck a photo of Anna and I together for almost every year that we've known each other, and given we've known each other since 1985 (Prep!), that meant collecting and cropping a fair few photos.

I've neglected to say that the the journal album was a gift for Anna's birthday in October, and the bag and clutch were actually very very very belated Christmas gifts!!!! That's pretty slow, eh! Thankfully, this year, I know what I'm giving her, and it doesn't involve quite as much making, so I might just get it done in time!

On a different note, yesterday I suddenly realised that the hoodie I'm knitting for one of Piper's friends needs to be done by the weekend. I'm onto the second sleeve, with just the button band and hood to go, but I just need to put the time in. Makes me realise how I usually spend more time on the computer - blogland and the internet in general are so distracting! I will post pics of the finished product soon, and also of the bibs in progress, and the cushion cover I want to make, etc, etc!

Friday, October 26, 2007


Lunch today: toast, boiled egg, tuna, and veges with chilli hommus, consumed while perusing the latest issue of Frankie.

My partner is away til Sunday, and my parents are looking after my three-year-old, so it's just me and Jas hanging out. Cooking becomes an even lower priority than usual!! Quick and dirty rules the day!

Jas and I headed to IKEA today, with the intention of picking up some drawer dividers for Piper's playroom. Everything gets shoved into the drawers in there, and then she can't find anything. When the mess is overwhelming, she doesn't seem to play in the playroom anymore (who can blame her??), which defeats the purpose of having a playroom in the first place, to slow the spread of toys to every single corner of the house!

So yes, IKEA. I was pretty single-minded. RESISTED the strong urge to purchase an easel and carpet to add functionality to the room. My partner will be glad to read this. He's pretty against anything new coming into the house, seeing as we leave for Canada in six weeks and will have to pack everything up then.

After putting in a good effort all afternoon, Piper's playroom is clean and rearranged. I just have to deal with the piles of stuff in the hallway, and hope she doesn't find the bags destined for the op-shop!

On a different note, I've been enjoying one of the latest CraftSanity podcasts, with Amanda Blake Soule (aka SouleMama). Just appreciated her openness. Hey does anyone know if anyone's interviewing Australian crafters? I'd love to know...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Poppies, love em!

We had good friends over for tea last Thursday and I decided to go all out - roast beef, yorkshire puddings, roast potato, sweet potato and pumpkin, freshly shelled peas, with carrot cake for dessert. I also purchased two bunches of poppies while at the market. They have to be one of my favourite kinds of flowers. I even ironed the tablecloth!

I sometimes forget how much a little bit of effort in a room - tidying, arranging, adorning, ie. with flowers - changes my whole relationship to the space in such a positive way. I'm blogging about this to try and help me remember this fact, and do something about it more often!

Saturday, October 13, 2007


Well, another craft space happened at my place last Friday. Thought I'd post some pics, cos it's always inspiring to check out what other people are making! It goes without saying that it was a LOVELY mellow vibe.

Jotara brought along her hook rug - it has an amazing floating quality of movement, reminiscent of a sea anemone. Very tactile and delicious!

My Nan was down from Brisbane, so she came along, even though her current watercolour projects were too hard to transport. Instead, she set about untangling a few massive bundles of wool Jotara was working with. How helpful!

Here's me working on the old scrapbook, of course! I was very excited, at the end of the evening, to realise I only have ONE DOUBLE SPREAD and TWO HEADINGS to go, before the thing is COMPLETED!!!!! Unbelieveable!

Jotara, Piper and Bek, who was working on a knitted scarf, in between poking Piper in the head!
Anna's output for the evening: three stamps, from go to whoa! A tree, an elephant with a raised trunk, and an elephant with a lowered trunk, inspired by fabric I had on hand...

This is one of the pages I got done (excuse the bad photo). I was very pleased to get this one done (the letter O) because I knew I'd have to get into the creative zone and be willing to make a mess of tissue paper to get it happening. But that's the point of a long craft space - I had enough time to get into that head space...

The boys (Gord, Pete and Jesse) even got to puzzling in the kitchen (and letting Jasper suck on beer bottles!). Fun all round...

Friday, October 5, 2007

Finished outfit

Just ate a rather eclectic lunch: mexicana corn chips, a tin of Sirena (the best!) tuna, and toast topped with banana! Tasted okay, although I didn't mix it up much!

Am conscious that I haven't posted for a while. I've mused here about feeling driven to create or blog, when sometimes what I really need to do is something for myself, like having a rest! I've also been musing about the audience of this blog, and have figured out that I need to write it, and keep the record, just for myself, regardless of who's reading it. Hopefully this means I feel less like I'm letting people down if I don't get to completing (or even starting!) a post. This is not to say I don't appreciate everyone who reads this - I feel so chuffed knowing that y'all do - I'm just trying to switch off from attempting to please everyone, y'all included.

Anyway, here's that outfit I was working on a couple of weeks ago, for our three-year-old friend, Miri. It fit her, so I was really happy about that. My man wasn't so happy that I was so driven to complete it the night before her party, which just happened to be his birthday! Hence all my ponderings about being a driven person, (except when it comes to providing regular home cooked meals each night - you could hardly say I'm driven when it comes to food - not driving anywhere, just perhaps ampling slowly! Once I start, I'm okay, but it's starting that's hard!)

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Flashback Friday

I looked for a photo that matched the theme of 'what Mum did to my hair', and realised, Mum didn't actually do much to my hair! Now that I think about it, I always wished she could do a bit more to it, like braid it and stuff. I wasn't a kid who went to school perfectly coiffed - more often than not, my Dad would grab my hair into a ponytail on the way to school on the red and white bus!

So here's a photo of pretty much the worst I did to it, until I was older, anyway! I think it's 1987, and this is a photo of our household - we were living with two other women at the time. Mum, my brother Simon, (bushranger) Dad, brother Daniel, Suzanne, me and Coralie.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Sewing space

Was gonna blog before I had my teeth removed, but ran out of time. However, I'm not doing too badly at all, which is a pleasant relief. I took painkillers at midnight and haven't taken any since. My face hasn't swelled up to the size of a balloon. The hospital staff were nice, putting on the hospital gown wasn't that bad, and the surgery apparently only took half an hour. So yeah, I got off pretty well! But enough of my teeth! I had a biscuit as soon as I got home, in the spirit of Auntie Cookie!

We recently set up a table in the loungeroom, which I have promptly covered with crap, or rather, the makings of an outfit for a three-year-old whose birthday is this weekend. I'm loving having a space to leave my sewing lying around - means I can do ten minutes at a time, if that's all the time I can get. (I'm going to milk these teeth for a bit more time from my hubby, haha)

I'm making this Burda pattern - a tunic and pants with matching little bag.

Here's the pile of fabric awaiting transformation into (quick, easy and) cute baby bibs, once I finish the bday gift.

And look, here's the disdressed tote bag I bought ages ago, that I still haven't gotten to making. But I will! Before December, I will!

In terms of my other main medium, knitting, I've been working on this short-row hat (IK pattern). I love the effect, enjoyed working with the Noro yarn, but it is totally the wrong shape for my head - those skin tight hats just don't work for me - so that was a bit disappointing. I've yet to knit up the crown, but will get to that, and will feel more motivated when I can think of someone who might enjoy it! (It would have helped if I'd checked the final size and discovered that my head circumference was 10cm bigger! Does that mean I have a big head?? It said "to fit an adult"! But dunno if it would have made a difference, given the overall shape is close-fitting, which isn't my style...)

I've been enjoying having this straightforward piece on the go - a hoodie for one of Piper's friends. I love the mindlessness of stocking stitch, especially when I was having to concentrate so hard on the other hat - well, counting stitches, mainly... This gift needs to be finished by November, so I think I'll make that deadline...
So yeah... gonna have some lunch and crawl back into bed, not cos I feel like crap, but cos it's so delicious to be able to lie in bed in the middle of the day!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Flashback Friday

I reckon I'm about six or seven here - that old couch in the background brings back memories!Here's my brother Daniel with my Mum in 1985. Had to include it because, what a smile! On both of them really.

So cute!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Vintage finds...

Savers had a 50% off sale yesterday. Usually I avoid the madly overrun place on such days, but then, I just happened to be walking past, and my Mum just happened to take my three-year-old for an hour, so I moseyed on in! At first I felt like I was never going to find anything, and certainly the kids section seemed to have been picked clean, but then I kept thinking of things I'd been looking for. Bumped into a few old friends and had a pleasant old natter, and then, right at the end, I found myself in the crockery section. I've decided I love vintage teacups (hardly a novel idea, but who cares?), especially with an accent of orange. I trawled through the pricier stuff and this is what I found:

Look - that chip on the platter happened as I lifted the bag off the counter - I heard something go crunch and that was it. What a total bugger, cos I probably like that and the teacup the most. Oh well. Around twenty bucks for all that... not bad.

In other news, I have been making stuff, believe me! I've been working mainly on my hat, lovely Noro yarn with this IK short row pattern. Almost done, to the point where I might as well take a photo when it's all done, rather than right now...

And in other news, I'm having my wisdom teeth out next Tuesday. I am remarkably calm about this, having met the friendly oral surgeon (his discreet Irish accent is quite soothing!) and sussed it all out today. He had a cancellation, that's why it's all happening so quickly, but I figure, why not get it over and done with! Any tips for surviving the aftermath??

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Flashback Friday

This is me in 1986 (yes I know it's slightly out of the parameters of flashback friday, but I have a limited amount of photos - I was also a flowergirl in 1984 at my auntie's wedding, which I think would have yielded a more comical photo, but I don't seem to have one - will have to raid my parents' albums again!)

Suzanne, the bridesmaid, who lived with my family at the time, Jennie the bride, and me...

Friday, September 7, 2007

Things I love

Things I love:

These so cute stamps from The Small Object

They turned up in the mail this week!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Craft night

Well, the craft night last night was great, in my opinion! I was actually able to finish some stuff, in between dealing with my kids, etc (not that I did too much of that, in the evening, anyway, when there were a fair few other people for them to bounce off! And most importantly, a Pippa to play with!). Not only that, I got to hang out with people I really like! Can't get much better than that!

Here's what was on the go:

- Anna was embellishing two tops for some lucky new babies...

- Jennie was knitting a sleeve for her DH...

- Nat was knitting a baby hat with bargain yarn!

And I dragged out the scrapbook and finished four pages - whoo hoo!

Here's the saga of the scrapbook. We were in Canada a year and a half ago, for five months, visiting my DH's family. I decided that, for Christmas, I would make his parents a scrapbook of our time in Canada, an ABC of our experience, in fact. I'd never done any scrapbooking before. And given I was putting all this effort into pulling together layouts and Photoshopping photos, well, I thought I'd make one for us as well (two relatively identical scrapbooks).

Anyway, I left it a bit late, so the last week or two, I was up til 5am way too often in an effort to finish the gift in time, and being an ABC, I couldn't leave out any pages! I got about half? of ours done, and then I had to leave it, otherwise I was going to kill myself with fatigue. So yeah, it has remained unfinished til now, til I dragged it out last night and saw the light at the end of the tunnel. What an ace feeling - gotta love finishing off old projects!

Now for some reason, I neglected to take a photo of the beautiful red shawl my Mum was knitting - not quite sure how that happened, sorry Mum! And I didn't even think of snapping a shot of Samara's gorgeous array of tags earlier in the day... bummer... But anyway, you get the gist. It was just a really pleasant vibe, mellow music, conversation punctuated by periods of industrious silence, and a virtuous sense of accomplishment (for me anyway!!)....

Anna finished these two tops - top job mate!

And here we are at the tail end of the night - Mum, Jasper, Anna, Jennie, Natalie and Sally.

Flashback Friday

Can't believe it's been a week since I last posted! I guess I haven't done too much crafty stuff, although there's always knitting on the go. Actually, I did wake up one morning with a compulsion to sew something, a prototype of an idea, and I worked at that in all the little spaces I had that day, but now I need to make the next stage - how's that for secretive?! I will post about it when it all comes together, but yes, it's made for a boring blog this week.

And I can't even find a musical flashback photo - bummer! Here's a photo of me anyway, with my Mum and Dad in 1981. Tonight my friend Anna and I are hosting a craft space at my place, from 2pm til 10pm. We've hosted craft nights before, but I felt like we hardly got going and then it was time to wind it up, hence the early start. I also felt like I was forever jumping up to make people cups of tea, so this time I'm just going to leave all the stuff for that on bench. I'm not talking masses of people here, just our friends who are interested in making stuff. I'm hoping to finish the tea towel I started at the stitching night at Meet Me at Mike's, and perhaps tackle the next bit of the prototype, but I want to set low expectations so that whatever I achieve feels good! I could even post some photos, now there's an idea...

Before then, however, there's a house to tidy!

Here's Piper with the one finished crafty item of the week, a spider who came together 20mins before I had to dash off somewhere. So yeah, no finesse, but Piper was happy!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Flashback Friday

Well, this is the best t-shirt shot I could find - couldn't find anything more incriminating! This is me somewhere close to two years old?, in 1981. My t-shirt says: My grandma and grandpa went to San Francisco but all I got was this dumb t-shirt!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Thrifted Thursday

Hit the Salvos today, and guess what I found?

First, a full-length black velvet dress, really not my style, but consisting of copious yards of fabric, and I instantly thought: cushions, alongside some print or other. Nabbed it for $10 and now we just have to see if I DO something with it, or just store it in the cupboard for ten years (my husband will be groaning when he reads this!).

Then, after dumping a pile of clothes in front of the sales assistant? volunteer?, I was poking through the basket of jewellery they have right there, as they do, and I found this:
It's funny, cos I'm really not one for wearing one's name around the place but I just had to buy this. For one thing, it was the only one in the basket, just this little wrist band in amongst heavy gold earrings and chunky old necklaces and plastic clip-ons - and there's my name on it, or technically my nickname, but the right spelling and everything! Like it was just waiting for me to come along! For another thing, I kind of liked how it felt kitchy and cool at the same time - kitch to wear one's name, and a rhinestone-studded heart, but cool cos the style of the letters is at odds with the curvy-pretty heart, and the metal (esp. the clasp) is smooth and shiny. And hell, for $3.75, it wasn't going to break the bank!

I put it on as soon as I got home, after I laid out all my finds on the couch. Later on I was looking at it again and it hit me that it says, Love Bec, like a reminder to me to love myself, to cut myself some slack when I'm stressed and judgemental and losing it with the kids, to take myself off to bed to rest when the achiever part of me wants to stay up late and knit or blog or read or whatever, to put some effort into making good food for myself... lots of different things, but yeah, what a cool message... (but hehe I'm staying up right now!)

And as if bringing home a bag of goodies wasn't enough, at home a parcel had arrived from Stitch Cleveland - I ordered it late Friday night last week, so I wasn't expecting it for a while yet! Gotta love a good postal service (not like b/w here and Canada - dunno what's going on there, but if Gord's family sends us stuff, it invariably takes months to arrive - grrr)! (Don't mind me nekkid in the background!)
The funny thing is, going by the colour on my monitor, I thought this yarn was blue, but it's actually more purple! Now I'm totally happy about that - purple is eminently useable - but yeah, it reminds me of the tricky aspects of ordering anything coloured online. Don't really know a way of getting around it though - any hints, anyone?

Talking about yarn, I bought this pink and red pile recently to make this for one of Piper's friends. Her mother and I were bemoaning the fact that it pretty much had to be pink to be well-liked by the four-year-old! What is it with pink and little girls?? I figure the red will help mitigate the rosy onslaught!
Now, I realise I've neglected to write anything about the stitching night last week. I got all hyped about Magnolia Square and I forgot all about the beautiful matryoshka doll I began embroidering. Tried to take some photos of it this arvo, but the light was all wrong - I'll try again another time. I haven't worked on my tea towel since, but I will! Yeah, it was a great night - I enjoyed talking to those closest to me - loved the quietly industrious vibe - loved Pip and her attentive hospitality! Thanks to all who were there, for making the space what it was...

Monday, August 20, 2007

Flashback Monday

I only just joined the Flashback Friday surf ring (see link at right) so I'm a bit late posting my costume flashback. Here I am with my friend Tessa at kinder in 1983 - I'm in the black. We even put on a fashion parade (the one and only time I've been on a cat walk)!
Here's me the following year in a fairy costume my grandmother hired for me.
This day is seared into my memory, actually, as it culminated with a rather painful incident! One of the boys was being nasty to my friends and so I whipped him with my wand (as any righteous fairy would!). Unfortunately I caught him on the ear and he had to go and get stitches! Whoops! And yeah, my Dad gave me the biggest smack on the kinder steps... I can still remember exactly where it happened! But hey I'll cut my Dad some slack cos he's changed a lot since then, and now I have two kids, so I understand how they can push your buttons...!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Magnolia Square

Today my friend and I hit Magnolia Square, a craft fair here in Melbourne. I think you have to be invited to exhibit stuff there, so it's all pretty classy stuff. I found out about it through blogland (of course!). Ahhhh, retail therapy - you gotta love it! Here's what treasures I came home with:

Two plush duckies, by Gertie and Me, for two babies yet to be born. I think I'll knit baby hats to go with them...

Some ultra-cute magnets, by Little Chipipi, which I'll send out with some cards I plan to make (one of these days!)...

A gorgeous set of mail stamps, from I've forgotten who - whoops. We're heading to Canada in a couple of months, for ten months, and I'm on the lookout for cool letter-writing stuff, so I can send fun mail to my friends...

Here's my favourite (and most expensive) purchase! Me and my new bag, by Bell + Watson.

And here's what I bought from Auntie Cookie's stand, two cards, two badges and an applique pack...

I was hoping to meet Shannon (alias Auntie Cookie) - in fact, it's kind of what got me to the market - but she was coming down later. However, I was totally stoked to meet three other bloggers who I keep track of: Joanne of Teacup, Samantha of whizzme, and Angela of Three Buttons and Sew Your Own. I got the low down on the copying controversy, which was helpful. Amazing that people in the craft scene feel they can't be creative enough to come up with their own stuff. Anyway, it was ACE to meet these people in the flesh - makes reading their blogs that much more personal. And they knew my blog, which was so gratifying - hey, it's way better feedback than I get from most of my extended family, who I originally started blogging for.

Lastly, I would have bought these shoes by Chook Leaf for Piper (the Spanish Stripes in the pink/red colour scheme), but they didn't have her size. (I was very tempted by the Pullet boots too...) I can order them online though...

So to sum up: Magnolia Square, very fun but hard on the hip pocket!