Saturday, September 8, 2012

Pot Pinchers

Due to the wild weather we have been having I have been staying home as much as possible.  The main reason is I love my little car and trees are being blown down and ripped apart all over town.  Our houseboat marina is a mess and the jetty has been torn apart.  My car has been hit by small flying debris on the journeys I haven't been able to avoid, like going to work or buying food, and the risk is too great.  My car is 20 years old so I can't just go out and replace it.

The benefits of staying home means I get to do some sewing.  I have been making a doll and is turning out cuter than expected.  I just have the clothes to make and then she will be ready to show. 

I have been making a bit of patchwork from a book I purchased called "Playful Patchwork" by Suzuko Koseki.  It has turned into a "completely done by hand" project so will be a slow on going project.  I may show photos as I go along or else you will never see it!  ha ha.

I have made some Pot Pinchers for me and I love them.  They were a necessity after taking a saucepan over to my daughters for a cooking lesson and her stove made the handle hot.

 As you can probably see, the pattern is from a magazine called "Making" (issue 20).  

The part I like the most about these pot pinchers is the fact that you only need your fabric scraps and the scraps of insulbright leftover from making oven mitts and casserole carriers.  

I like the charging station pictured also so will make one of those as soon as I find a suitable plastic container to cut up.  There is also an awesome messenger bag pattern in the magazine that has been put on my 'to do' list.  That list is getting pretty long!

NOTE:  I am getting rather slack/forgetful and forgot to add the link to the tutorial I used for my kitchen towel in the previous post.  It is here as well as added to previous post.

Also  I am going to update my blog with a makeover.  Change the layout etc.  If anyone has any ideas/suggestions on how to improve it or advice on what not to do, I would be extremely grateful.

Take care! 

Monday, September 3, 2012

Thank you Internet!

The internet really paid its way today!  And about time too because its not cheap!!  How it saved a huge wad of money today is a DIY job it assisted in.  Here's the little story:

My daughter rang to say that the toilet in her rented home is leaking water.  Being a non plumber person but wanting to continue my daughters illusion that I can do anything.  I ummed and arred, asked some plumbing sounding questions and told her that first I needed to pop over to assess the problem.

Once I had seen what was going on I went home and hopped on the internet to find a fixing toilet tutorial.  Firstly I needed to find out what the different parts were called and so googled toilet parts and looked at pictures and found out that the part I was looking at fixing was called the Flush Cone which is connected to the Flush Pipe.

After that it was easy to find a tutorial on replacing a deteriorated flush cone with a new one.  They only cost a few dollars too!!  A plumber would have charged a few hundred dollars so my internet is paying for itself! Hooray!

My sewing has been taken up with sewing simple things for friends, ball gowns for my sister and making a dress for my mother in law.  The ball gown is a massive headache.  I made it according to the size she said she was and at the "fitting" I found out she has put on just a tad more weight than her dress would have liked.  So it doesn't fit and never will.

A friend who likes the kitchen hand towels I made for myself mentioned she would really love one that ties to the stove as her husband and kids always run off with her towels.  I can't resist a good sob story so I made her one.  Now her older daughter wants one and is currently thinking up her own sob story for me!

I used a tutorial from Pin Sew Press to make this towel. It was very easy to follow and the towel was whipped up in no time.

This photo is the best I could do due to the weather.  For the past three or four months it has been dark and grey EVERYDAY except when I am stuck in an office at work.  Then it is beautiful outside!!!

The sun is on its way so my photo's should improve!

Bye for now!

(PSST:  hello Wendy)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

I'm ok

I am still alive and well.

I am sorry for no blogging but I have found no joy in computers at the moment.

My laptop overheats really quickly and now only gives me around 15 mins before it shuts down. 

This had been going on for awhile and finally my computer tech hubby decided to give it a look.  So currently it has been pulled apart and is in a thousand pieces.  Ok about 5 pieces.

If your questioning why somebody that has a computer techie for a hubby doesn't have the best working computer in the world, go ask someone who has a kitchen cabinet maker hubby why their kitchen is still not finished (10 years later). Or the wife of a mechanic why she carries a hammer in her car to start the faulty old bomb she drives around! lol

My hard-drive has been put into my hubby's laptop temporarily while he fix's mine.  Which by the way has been bagged and put in a cupboard because he is too busy building a bulldozer!  Let's see how long before I get my laptop back!

Sewing!  I should mention sewing since this is primarily a sewing blog.

Well fabric has been getting me in trouble.  How? I hear you ask.  Well I am ashamed to say by the piles of fabric and projects all over the house (ok just lounge room, dining room and sewing room).  I have been accused of having three sewing rooms and I must admit it is selfish of me when I nag at them to put their junk away.  ( I mean junk in the old fashion way! not the new hip hop way!) lol.  For those who don't know the modern meaning of the word 'junk' then I will enlighten you (sorry).  It means your private sexy bits.  Mainly a woman's butt or a mans genitalia.

Also until tonight, I thought this computer had destroyed all the photo's I have been taking the last few weeks.  My hubby used 'Parted Magic' to do a recovery and I have my photo's back but I still have to try and upload them again and do some minor editing. So sorry no photo's tonight.

AND if I have any more PC problems I am shutting down my blog and throwing out ALL technology and electrical crap in my house and am going back to the dark ages!!!!!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

checking in


This past week has flown by in a blur!  It always does when my boss goes off on holidays and I have more work days than I normally am use to.  

Believe it or not but I managed to sneak in a bit of crafting.  Still not 100% finished as first I ran out of thread.  Then, I ran out of light (the sun has been hiding behind the darkest clouds).  Also it's cold and wet.  So I have been in front of the heater (again) with a few hand sewing/ stuffing projects.

But I have no pictures of them as my days have been regimented into:

1) get up and go to work early in the morning.
2) come home 5.30pm and tiredly think about whats for dinner.
3) Order takeaway because I am too tired and nobody else wants to cook.
4) Veg out in front of heater as its freezing cold.
5) Flake out at 9.00pm and get shooed off to bed.

Doing this everyday.

One miracle or blessing for me was the pile of dirty dishes that had stacked up by the sink were magically washed clean!!!!  "Whats going on here?" I thought to myself.  Also "What has he done/wrecked that needs this big suck up?".  Nothing as it turned out.  Must just be that love thing again.

I promise some photo's as soon as the sun gives me a little bit of light. (Not of the washed dishes or that love thing..sorry.  Just the crafts I have been doing)

I do have a bag that I made a few weeks ago and never got around to blogging about because I am not that happy with it.  Its too small to be any use to me.  Really, its about the size of a pencil case and should have a zip closure not a flap.

What I do like about this bag is what the flap is made out of.

My old sofa!  Yes I love recycling and when I couldn't keep my extremely comfortable sofa any more because it was becoming very worn out, I cut off and kept all the good bits of vinyl, calico, and stuffing.  Very soft fluffy stuffing for my softies and the calico will become some dolls.  The wooden frame is looking like it may become a mobile hen house!

So don't throw away your lounge suit.  There is a crafter's delight hiding inside.

Monday, July 2, 2012

My little nest

Thanks everyone for the well wishes.  I'm not doing too badly because this cold has given me a couple days off work.  I have spent that time in front of the heater doing a little bit of sewing or reading those new craft books I got in the mail the other day.

This is one spot I have been hanging out.  Either watching tv or reading my 5 new craft books.  The books are fabulous.  One is Wee Wonderful's book.  It's  full of softies to make.  The other is Hop Skip Jumps softies book.  So many cute projects just asking/begging me to stop what I am doing and start something new.  I am trying to be tough and finish off some stuff that's been hanging around for ages unfinished.


I have also been nesting in front of this heater doing some crafty stuff.  Mostly I have been making a mess with bits and pieces scattered over the floor.  Also reading Melly and Me's softie book to finish off Bella Boo.

Bella Boo.  She is so sweet and a wonderful softie to make.  I used some soft flannel fabric for her body.  I found it in an op shop years ago and the scrap was too small to make any baby clothes with.  Perfect for Bella Boo.

She has gone off with my cousins little girl.  Most of my softies fly the coup really early.  I guess that's good right?  I just would like one or two for myself but can't say no to any little tacker that wants to take one home!

Gotta go and curl up on my sofa.  Hubby's putting Farscape on to watch.

Friday, June 29, 2012


I hope you are all keeping well.  I have the flu but I am doing my best to keep as many people well as I can by staying home these last few days. It's been hard especially when the postie delivered some new craft books for me to read.  

Speaking of the postie.  He is the first person I have come across in a long time who has such as strong sense of self survival.  When I told him to stay clear, as I was not only sick but felt like patient zero, he wouldn't hand me my package but placed it on the ground in front of him and quickly turned tail and ran for his delivery van.  I must look like crap.

Also a telemarketing caller rang with some scheme to sell and after I politely croaked "no" she quickly hung up.  No keeping on with the sales pitch and falling into full hostile abuse when I keep politely saying "no thanks".  I must sound a fright too.

I made this bag a while ago but only just finished it recently. 

It's a little orphan purple bag.  It has no where to go yet.  I don't why I made it really.  I think its just because I love cutting up fabric!

CraftyStacie has kindly made a tutorial for this bag on her blog and you can jump into this portal to get there and make your own.

I have had a visitor the last few mornings.  A beautiful red robin.  Every time I race back inside to get my camera she flies away. 

I managed to stalk her a bit and by using my telescopic lens got this burred pic.  Still, it's better than nothing.

Monday, June 25, 2012

A project finish

Actually I am happy to say I have finished a couple of bags.  But I am only showing one today as I want this to be a quick post not a novel.

Love the colours of pink and chocolate!  This bag was a joy to make.  I used cotton for the outer fabric and the lining.  For the interfacing I used some soft cotton flannel.  It gave the bag some shape without making it too stiff and rigid.  I used the Phoebe pattern from  Artsy Crafty Babe.

The lining has a inserted zipper.  (not part of the Phoebe bag tutorial).
I also added the lobster claw thingy to attach my keys to.

You may have noticed I haven't been blogging much.  Well I am going to be honest and say I have lost my blogging mojo.  Its got to the stage where I am afraid to do a post!  Yes strange I know. 

So to try and combat this I am going to do short posts for awhile and hopefully two or more a week.  I haven't decided on which day of the week this will be.  It all depends on when I get regular free time and access to my own laptop.

Back soon with another bag finished.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Origami Bag tutorial

I would like to thank the kind lady who let me know that one of the tutorials I posted a link to online no longer exists.  If you want to see the first bag I made like this one it is here.

After looking for another tutorial to link to and not finding one I decided I had to make my own.

I now have a new appreciation of the generous people who make tutorials and post them on their blog.  Thank you. Tutorials are not as easy to do as I thought they would be.

Firstly I learnt I should have used a light plain fabric and clear contrasting thread so that everything was easier to see.  So bear that in mind when you read my tutorial.  Also that I have no time to do it again right now because I promised the kind lady I would make one as soon as possible.  It has already taken a week of slaving away at the tutorial at night after work when I was already exhausted from talking to clients all day.

What You Need

40cm x 40cm (16") of exterior fabric
40cm x 40cm (16") of lining fabric
two buttons
cord (or ribbon like I used)


Step 1:

Cut out one 40cm x 40cm square from both exterior and lining fabrics.

Please be more accurate than I was.  If you think you may not be perfectly square when cutting out, then stay away from spotted fabric!

Step 2:

Pin and sew the two squares together.  Right sides facing.

I used a 1cm seam as you can see (above).

Leave a gap of about 5cm to 8cm in one side so that you can turn right side out.

See my fingers.  Am I doing bunny ears or the peace sign?

Step 3:

Clip all four corners to reduce bulk.

Step 4:

Turn right side out and press.

Ensure all four corners are pushed all the way out and are square.

Step 5:

Fold in half.

Step 6:

Fold the sides over until tip of triangle is flush to the other edge.

(This is where using a light coloured fabric would have been more useful to show what I am talking about!)

Fold the top corner down.  Press entire project.

Step 7:

Draw lines on the crease lines.  The lines on the sides will be your stitching lines.

Step 8:

Fold over the top and bottom flaps to the line marked and pin.

Sew across about 1/2" to form your casings.

My casing.  If I didn't use spotted fabric you would probably not notice it looking so uneven.

Step 9:

Sew the sides.  Follow those lines you drew in step 7.

Just wanted to show that not only do I cut wonky uneven squares of fabric but I sew wonky straight lines of stitching.

No don't do this.  Sew yours straight.

Step 10:

Origami fold the sides in to look like mini squares.

Step 11:

Fold the top flap of mini square over as in photo on left.

Step 12:

Stitch a button onto each side. 

Step 13:

Stitch an embellishment to the front.

After making a couple of flowers for the front that all seemed too big, I got lazy and went ahead and used one.  Personally I think a smaller flower would look better.

Step 14:

Pull your cord through the casings and voila!  Your done!!!

Hope you like this tutorial and can follow my instructions well enough.  If you can't my email is always a few clicks away.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Weddings are  generally not my favourite event to go to, though I do prefer them to funerals.  I find church weddings are stiff and too formal.  So imagine my pleasant surprise to witness a beautiful wedding in a cathedral called St Francis Xavier that had fun, love and laughter.  A happy priest telling jokes and the bride and groom's close friends having participating roles in the service.  I cried a little. The bride's mother tells me I was the only person who cried.  I assured her that they were tears of joy.

This is not the best of wedding photos but about the only one I managed to take without a bubble up somebody's nose.

Spot the bubble!

To be fair to family I will embarrassingly expose myself on my blog.

before a few drinks at hens night

after a few drinks!  
My sewing mojo has managed to finish off a small childs tote that has been hanging around unfinished for months.  I feel so happy to finally finish off a project that started off exciting and ended up blah.

Next sewing finish is a neck pillow I made using a pattern from the book called "Sew Darn Cute" by Jenny Ryan.  That book is so darn cute and the projects in it are all on my "must do" list. 

Top of pillow was made using cotton scraps stitched onto a piece of flannel.  Then I traced the pattern onto this and cut out along with the backing piece which was from a child's dress made of soft chenille fabric.  Looks gorgeous and feels so comfy.  It is so mine! 

Mothers Day is in a week.  Do you think I will have enough time to make a couple more for the lovely ladies in my life?  (A little voice of reason is telling me no because stuffing the pillow is such a time sucker).

Thanks for reading.  May you all be blessed with beautiful weather this week.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

I have been attempting to write a blog post for ages.  I have lost count of the many times I logged in all ready to do a post and then been interrupted and lured away from the keyboard!

So lets be quick:

Made a fabric flower for no reason at all.  Turned out to be a blessing because I got asked to decorate church pews for a wedding.  No not with the above flower.  I made some white ones.

I made eight.  Well I stitched the circles together while my friend Min cut out all 12 circles for each flower.  Cutting out the circles is the hardest and most boring bit I think you will agree. Tutorial is from Precious Little Poppets.  Link here.

Some netting and the pew decorations are done.  We had about 2 weeks notice before the wedding as the bride forgot about the little details.

The Gnomes have eyes!  One (red hat) has a new home too.  Link for tutorial is on previous post. (sorry about being lazy.  Link to Gingercakes blog here.

The gardening job I mentioned last post about my friend coming over to help..........  well we had good intentions and did do some mowing but soon did more drinking.  Mowing and drinking do not mix.  I should think.  I don't actually know because I don't drink and mow. I'm not an idiot! lol

Hey!  I got a post done!  Yippee and wish my long suffering readers all the best wherever you are.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

I am a sewing crazy and I need help!!!

I have been sewing like mad for the last few weeks and guess what?  I have barely finished a single item.  What exactly do you call this condition? What does it say about me that I lose interest too quickly or am easily distracted by the next great project that comes along?

I also found I couldn't blog about a project until I finished it which made for a very sad and sorry looking blog indeed!

I have decided to try and post about all my projects right from the "Cutting Of The Fabric" stage and seeing if  this helps. Not only with finishing WIPs but getting a blog post out every couple of days at least!

As a craft blog reader myself I actually like seeing the whole journey of projects being made and well as the end result.  So somebody may actual enjoy my posts or at the very least find it useful.

They aren't actually finished yet as they have no faces:(

To be totally honest I am too scared to paint their faces as I am so messy at it and don't want to ruin the cute little things.

Tutorial was found here and I would like to say thank you to Virginia Lindsay, creator of Gingercake Patterns and the blog Gingercake for sharing her gnomes with us.  I found them quite adorable.

 Well bye for now.  I would like to finish a neck pillow as its nearly done!  Alas I also have a friend coming over tomorrow to help me landscape my front garden and I have to do some preliminary work first.

Also try and catch up with another friend whose daughter is getting married and I have volunteered to help her with the tasks she has to do for the wedding, like make the guest gifts and table decorations.  She also had to alter her daughters wedding gown and re sew the intricate lace and beading.  Now she has to give it a gentle wash.  I don't want to help her with THAT too much as all hell will break loose is something happens to the dress!  I will give her emotional support and thats about all! lol

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I want a little bit of empty nest syndrome!

I am having quite a bit of difficulties in writing regular blog post's!  It's frustrating me no end.  Is it a lack of sewing projects to show?  Is it having nothing to write about?  Is it time management?........a little bit.  What is making it hard to blog is the fact my son keeps wanting to use my computer which makes it hard for me to get access to it.

To write a blog post I really require a decent sized block of time, uninterrupted to write, edit etc.  I require private time and for it to be at night time.  The time management bit is that I need a regular time slot to be available .........regularly.  Mornings are also great times to write blogs but some mornings I have to get up, get ready for work and then go.  There is no time for personal activities some mornings!

What can I do about reclaiming my computer back for me?  He has a laptop of his own and our house is a hotspot.  Yeah, yeah I need to get a spine!  Tonight I will.  I have already asked my daughter for help! lol

I realized that I have put myself on hold until the kids move back out of home.  I want a little bit of empty nest syndrome!  They are both adults and act like ones when they live on their own but since moving back home I find they revert back to kids again and I treat them like kids.  Washing their clothes, cooking, cleaning after them etc. I am my own worst enemy!  Yeah, I know!  I need to get a spine..again!

The daughter is not so bad at helping with household chores.  Often when I come home from work I will find she has done some tiding up and the dishes.  My son though is a typical bloke that just doesn't see mess.  Just like my husband!!!!!

I made this kitchen floor mat using an old towel and some cotton fabric scraps.  I thought the idea for this mat came from some random blog surfing awhile ago but could be from a craft book I borrowed from the library  ages ago.  I stumbled upon blog posts of the towel projects the other day that came from the same book. The book is "Handmade Home" by Amanda Blake Soule from the "SouleMamma" blog.

The other mats were done differently to mine but look a lot easier to do (and quicker!).  A rectangle of towel and a rectangle of cotton fabric sewed together around the edges and turned right side out.  Towel scraps appliqued to the top.

For mine I layered two towel rectangles together.  Appliqued cotton scraps on top and binded the top and bottom raw edges.  I slip stitched the side edges together.  Looks alright, and being two layers of towel means its soft and plush.  The cat loves it and sits on it whenever it can.

I wish I could sit on a post all day by the river. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

5 cent scrap of fabric

During my weekly tour of the local op shops, I was lucky to spot a wee scrap of fabric that has two beautiful horses on it.  Horse fabric is so hard to find and to find this scrap and only costing 5 cents was like winning lotto.

I am not horse mad by the way.  I had horse mad friends growing up and did try to learn how to ride. Unfortunately one of my friend's had a fat and obese horse named "Star" who deliberately stood on my foot and refused to move.  Nearly broke a bone in my foot.  I chose motorbikes thereafter.

My school mate is now my sister in law and had passed her mad fetish onto my darling niece Becky.  So the fabric had to be "got" and a bag made.
Here it is:

A little close up

Interior with another horse on the pocket

Check out the handle on this bag.  I also scored a wooden belt  and turned it into the bag handle.  Compliments the cowboy/ country look doesn't it?

This wild duck followed me up and down the riverbank while I was looking for a great photo spot for my bag.  Looking to be fed?  Or is he after his 15 seconds of fame on a blog?  He (or she) is rather cute!  Sadly for him/her I will not feed wildlife.  They need to learn to look after themselves!  Tough love!

Bag pattern information:

This bag was made using a free bag pattern shared by Keyka of Keyka Lou - The sewing blog.  She also generously allows home crafters to make a few to sell on their stalls etc.  I am planning on making one or two to sell using some "African animal" fabric I found with lions, zebras, cheetahs and a giraffe. 

Kind regards and HAPPY AUSTRALIA DAY!