Saturday, March 31, 2012

coast(er)ing along

sorry for that lame title, but i just love words! i also love Mollie Makes magazine, its stuffed full of projects, inspiring homes and you could almost read it just for the advertising. one such page prompted me to have a look at nook which is a blog mainly about yarncrafting. there are some free patterns available, one of which is for these crocheted jardain coasters.

jardain coasters

i made a set of four because these might become a pressie for an upcoming event (ssshh) and added an extra row to comfortably fit mugs. i love these easy projects that can be made in an afternoon with such good results and just use up scraps of yarn.


i'm thinking this pattern could be used for other things as well, maybe sew lots together to make a matching table runner or some placemats? ready? set? go..........!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

thats my boy!

my kids are used to me always making something at all hours of the day and night. although i encourage them to join in, they don't like to sit for very long and lose interest pretty quickly. on the weekend i had left my sewing machine on the table while i did something else and came back to this...

a need for speed

i have taught him the basics of machine sewing and happily they also teach boys and girls in high school how to sew as well. he loves my machine because its computerised so, like most kids his age, its hard-wired into his brain how to use it. he told me what he wanted to make and with a little direction and some handsewing by his auntie he got this softie made.

ipod softie

being a boy means he loves adding a gross sense of humour to his work, but what i am most impressed by is how meticulous he was with adding detail. every button had to be added, the apple cut just so, without a pattern in sight.

where my toons at?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

knippie knuffel

my collection of recycled clothing has outgrown its current location in the laundry to the extent that it must be used before i dare hit the op shops again. to make matters worse it seems every local op shop is having a sale, aaargh i can't resist! my sister got a new knippie which is a Dutch sewing magazine, and i saw the perfect pattern to use up old jeans.

denim knuffel

it was fun to choose the areas to cut the dog from and i only needed one denim skirt for this project. a scrap of vintage sheeting made a cute neckerchief and the knuffel was ready to live on the couch.

home at last

i've still got lots of jeans to use up but luckily there a more knuffels to make; a guitar, a cloud, and its even been suggested that a pink pair of jeans could be repurposed as a pig.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

single sock blues

i would like to dedicate this song to makers of socks, gloves, sleeves or pairs of anything (with apologies to Bob Dylan)

single sock blues

knit one
purl one
sit here just for fun

dee de dee dee dee de dee hum hum

sew it up
try it on
dont wanna
make another one

(plays harmonica for a few bars)

feel bad
look sad
you had
to get mad

the knit dont work
cause you got no more yarn.

lonely sock

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

t-shirt makeover

its a bit of a running joke in our family that all of us girls love a grey marle cardigan or t-shirt. we all have one or two of these and its not unusual to be caught out wearing the same kind of look on the same day as another sister! recently i picked up two grey t-shirts on sale for $2 each, but i thought they were a bit boring and needed something extra.

boring grey tshirts

there are quite a few t-shirt makeover tutorials on the net, but my favourites are from tea rose home. not only is her blog pretty and inspiring, but she is very generous with her tutorials and photos. i have been meaning to give this tutorial a go for a while, so holding my breath, i chopped up one t-shirt as instructed. sewing on the ruffles took a bit of time because they have to line up neatly, each hiding the stitching of the last.

new pretty grey tshirt

after making a fabric rose to stitch on the neckline the t-shirt was ready to wear. its amusing to think of a sporty grey marle t-shirt being converted to a pretty ruffly top but i think it works. i love it and i think its just different enough from my sisters grey t-shirts!

Monday, March 19, 2012

owls for hope

last month a little niece was born in Melbourne and mum and i went to Spotlight and saw the perfect quilt panel for her. last week we thought it was time to sew it up before her 21st birthday! mum chose a stripey binding fabric to match and i sewed it on. mum reluctantly put down her crochet hook and stopped making squares for her almost finished afghan (stay tuned for a finish soon) and handstitched it down in front of the tv that night.

owl quilt in the garden

the following day it was posted off to Melbourne and it should be in little Hope's baby hands quite soon.

Friday, March 16, 2012

olive and kashmir

welcome to two little creatures that sneaked into my house today...

birthday suits

sunday best

crafternoon stitching

bedtime story

a pea? what pea?

olive and kashmir tell me that they are made from all recycled and thrifted materials. i hope they stay, they are girls after my own heart!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

all the small things

i've always believed that you don't need to spend lots of money to achieve happiness. the things that make me smile usually cost little or nothing at all. today i did some overdue housework and found pockets of joy all over the house...

autumn fruit

a contented cat

new magazines

a new project

vintage vignette

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

pass me a rainbow please

we woke this morning to the wonderful sound of raindrops on the roof. it was so refreshing after months of no rain at all, and a relief to be cool at last. i was inspired to finish another ufo i had on the needles that i started at the beginning of the year. by the time the sun burnt off the clouds and the humidity had risen, i had cast off the last row. phew!

sartorial mitts

over a morning coffee chat i sewed in all the ends and because these mitts are knitted in the round they were finished. i got the idea for these fingerless mittens from lion brand in a story by Michelle Edwards and the pattern was from Charmed Knits with a few minor fit alterations for my narrow hands. its still much too warm to wear them but my model was happy to try them on anyway!

Monday, March 12, 2012

beetle bug and a ufo!

well its still rather steamy in the southwest of Australia at the moment. as much as my fingers are itching to knit some winter woolies, the humidity will not allow it. my mojo started to slip this weekend but as always i could rely on the kids to perk me up. abby suggested making a softie, brought me all our pattern books and a cup of tea; she knows just what i need sometimes and is very wise for 11 years old!

beetle bug

beetle bug is made entirely of recycled materials from sheets, clothing and a doily. i think she is cute and had to wrest her away from my kids for the photo shoot! with mojo firmly back in place and a cool night breeze helping nicely, i decided to finish off a ufo.

zigzag "missoni" throw

i've been working on this zigzag crochet blanket for a while and all it needed was an edging and the loose ends to be woven in. i saw the idea for this blanket on dottie angel and loved the fresh retro colourway she used. she has generously provided a tutorial for this and another equally lovely blanket on her blog.

finished throw

i am very happy to have this finished as i think it may come in handy in the next month or so, the leaves in the garden are starting to turn all those lovely colours now...

Friday, March 9, 2012

marrow minded

at this time of the year you don't always have a choice between cooking and crafting. my mum has a fantastic vegie garden that always has something ready to eat. the strawberries ripening in the sun smell like summer and the cucumbers, zucchini and watermelon seem to double in size everytime you walk past them! it was one such zucchini yesterday that dictated everything to be put on the back burner.

massive marrow

this beauty weighed 2.1kg which is less than ideal for casseroles and stews, so out came the cookbooks. over a cup of tea i decided on a recipe for zucchini and apple relish, mum had plenty of apples from the farm so that was the clincher.

jars of summer

that took care of half and i gave the other half to Manz to make something. she didn't disappoint, at our Friday morning coffee today she served up Zucchini & Date cake which was delicious, even more with a dab of butter! it definitely did not look or taste gluten free, she has got a magic touch with cake.

hide the zucchini cake

between the three of us we managed summer's bounty rather well i think...

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

BAMCAL marches on

i know its only just March, but this months' blocks for the 2012BAMCAL looked intriguing. i haven't done much fancy crochet in the past, always being quite happy with granny squares or simple mesh, but this year i intend to remedy that.

double treble burst

hint of spring

this kind of crocheting requires ultimate concentration, its definitely not tv crochet. all that double triple treble, front back post and wrap row below really takes it out of you but the results are fab!

Monday, March 5, 2012

labour day fun in the sun

today is Labour Day in Western Australia and the weather dictated a day at the beach. after all what is 38 degrees on a public holiday for?? all craft was put on the back burner, boogie boards and towels packed and off we went to Nanarup beach.

perfect beach weather

beautiful scenery

beach feet

when we got home i managed to whip out my crochet hook and make the third block in the Spotlight Krista throw crochetalong. it was a bit tricky and unlike anything i've crocheted before, but blocked nice and square. i like the way a new block is posted on Facebook every week, it stops crafty forgetfulness and reminds me to check up on my son's page more often!

cal block 3

Saturday, March 3, 2012

cereal box redux

recently i got a stack of mixed media magazines from my local op shop. i've been wanting to dabble in this area for a while but, like di, i was wary of letting papercraft take over my house and life! well, it's too late now, i've collected used envelopes, junk mail, old books, dictionaries, flyers and cereal boxes while i've been procrastinating so it was time to actually make something.

cereal box notebook

closeup of closure

for this notebook i used two cereal boxes, a birthday card, a vinyl sample and a childrens book. i layered some elements and Manz kindly stitched them and the vinyl binding on her industrial sewing machine. the covers are strengthened with thick card for durability.

stitched binding

i used some recycled card and ephemeral materials combined with brightly coloured new card for the pages. in my beading stash i found some coloured waxed cord for the stitched binding and followed the instructions for a five hole pamphlet stitch. finally, a spare toggle button and some old ricrac was just right for the closure. unfortunately this project hasn't made much of a dent in my collection of cereal boxes...

Friday, March 2, 2012

february blocks for BAMCAL

now that february is over i thought i'd better hurry up with my 2012BAMCAL blocks before the march ones appear on Ravelry. even with a leap year last month was too short to get everything done! these blocks were a little more difficult than the last two, requiring more concentration so last night i turned off Mad Men and sat down with my crochet hook on a mission.


morning glory

i'm really happy with how these turned out considering i'm not a really experienced crocheter. the instructions are quite clear and easy to follow row by row. i also love the colours, this afghan will be a riot of retro when it's complete, and will be just right for next summer. right now though, i'm soooo happy we are finally in autumn, even though the weather isn't following the calendar yet!