Archive for April, 2014

I made an article of clothing from a pattern and it fits!

As soon as Gorgeous Girl saw it she put it on and then grabbed dolly with the matching dress (same pattern, not the same fabric).


She likes it.


I managed to do french seams on the sides.


I’m quite impressed with myself about that.

Gorgeous Girl found some lace in the stash when we were selecting fabric and insisted that it be added. Thanks to my friend Google I worked out how to add lace to a hem without too much trauma.

lace hem

While the machine was out I made a pillowcase for a friend of Gorgeous Girl’s who is having a birthday soon.


Gorgeous Girl insisted on giving it a test run.


Funny kid. It’s now all wrapped up and ready to be gifted. I hope the recipient likes it. I’m always worried about giving handmade gifts to other people’s children because I know not all families value handmade as much as ours (and our extended family) does.

Gorgeous Man and Gorgeous Girl went out to one of the National Parks recently. Here is Gorgeous Girl relaxing after a 2 kilometre walk and a leech bite.

Araminta in Varirata

Gorgeous Man really does take the most beautiful photos of Gorgeous Girl. This really captures her. She wasn’t too fazed by the leech bite. She told me that she “wasn’t happy” because she got bitten by a leech, but it was OK because Daddy had picked it off.


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At Gorgeous Girl’s request I made her a bracelet. She selected the yarn and the beads.


I found the perfect purple button in the button stash.


I’m so thankful for the stashes that allow me to craft even though there are no craft stores easily available to me. (I will admit that, with the exception of the button stash, they are a bit larger than I would like and living here has been a good exercise in stash downing and I’m enjoying seeing a reduction in their overall size).

She likes it.


But has only worn it for 5 minutes as it’s too hot to wear in this heat. Oh well, she can take it to Australia with her in a few weeks…

After 24 hours without water the screeching in the pipes may indicate that water is on it’s way back into the house… I’m hopeful.

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Usually, I see a pattern that I like on Ravelry and I add it to my insanely ambitious far too long queue and it marinates there for years a while until I get around to casting it on. However, when I saw this Wrap around crochet bracelet I had to cast on immediately.

It took me a while to get the hang of it, and I’m still not entirely convinced that I’ve done it exactly right, but I love how it turned out.


The seeds are a Japanese seed bead mix that I’ve had for a while now. I bought them when we were living in South Africa (so they are at least 3 years old) and didn’t end up using them for the project I had them in mind for as they were too small for the yarn.

This thread is 100% silk handspun, Navajo-plied (three ply). I used a 1.75 mm hook so it’s smaller than the original pattern.

It’s too hot to wear here, but I’m hoping to get some use out of it when we visit cooler climates (where you don’t sweat all the time).


I’m still trying to decide if it’s beautiful and cool or really rather daggy.

Gorgeous Girl has requested one for herself. She raided the bead and yarn stashes and came up with a silver bead, purple yarn combo. It’s in progress.

I was going to show you a crochet blanket that I was working on. However, when I laid it out to take a photo I discovered that it was turning into a pyramid, going in at both sides. Obviously I have a problem with blankets. It’s been frogged and restarted using a different (hopefully fool-proof) pattern.

On the agenda for today is finishing a dress for a certain Gorgeous Girl.

We are currently without water. Fortunately I’d had a shower and made a pot of coffee before it went off so I’m feeling half-way human. And there is 15 litres of drinking water in the cupboard. What? You don’t stockpile bottled water at your place?

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This week I’m playing along with the challenge from Let’s Capture Our Memories.

Here’s the sketch we had to work from.

Layout Sketch 67 LCOM

I really wanted to tell the story of this photo, so I swapped out one of the photos in the sketch for a journalling space. One of the traditions I try to keep is to get a yearly photo with Santa (there have been a few years where we have missed it because Gorgeous Girl has not been willing and I wasn’t going to traumatise her by forcing her to sit on a stranger’s lap when she was afraid of that person), but for the most part I like my yearly picture when we can get it. In 2011 we were travelling through Zambia. Most of the time we were in safari parks and there was no Santa to be found. Finally in a shopping mall in the country’s capital, Lusaka, we came across a Santa statue. Here’s my take on the sketch.


Not quite the real thing, but good enough to satisfy this crazy lady.

Gorgeous Girl also did a page today, she then insisted on taking her own picture and told me I had to upload it to the blog. (I’m beginning to suspect that she may need her own craft blog very soon…).


I love that she is starting to add her own journalling to her pages. I’ve had that red tape in my stash for a while and never really liked it. Seeing it off the roll and on her page I think I’m changing my mind about it. Just need to find some suitably formal photos to use it with…

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Gorgeous Girl is currently on school holidays. This morning she asked if she could go for a walk around the block. I decided to grab my camera and go with her. Here are some of the things we saw. Gorgeous Girl took this picture. It’s called a candle tree because it’s shaped like a candle. She says it’s her favourite tree.

candle tree

These trees are my favourite.

favourite tree

I love the shape of them. Around the corner we spotted some corn one of our neighbours has planted at the edge of their yard.


The hibiscus flowers all year.

yellow hibiscus

pink hibiscusred hibiscus

Gorgeous Girl took this picture of the frangipanis.


There are also lots of coconut trees around.

coconut tree

Then we were too hot and had to come home for a big drink of water and sit under the fan for a while.

Because this is really a craft blog, I’ll leave you with a picture of my current favourite block for the hexagon quilt.  I love the little toadstool houses.

toadstools block

I need to prep some more hexi-pieces to stitch together. I have a few big plane trips coming up and these are my go-to travel project.

I’ve been accepted to present a paper at a conference in Poland. Gorgeous Man is presenting at a (related) conference in Germany a few days prior to the Polish conference and then he is also presenting at the one in Poland. So we’ll be going to that together.

Crafting time is decreasing as I’m trying to get the paper written for the conference as well as keep chugging away on my thesis…


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I finished the dress for Gorgeous Girl’s doll. I’m pleased with how it turned out. This doll belonged to me as a child but she lives with Gorgeous Girl now.

doll dress1

The pattern is a free one from from Oliver + S. I am a sewing pattern novice and this was easy to follow. I’d pay money for some of their other patterns it was so well written.

I think Gorgeous Girl is happy with the dress.

doll dress2

Dress, sewn by me, fabrics chosen by Gorgeous Girl.

(As an aside, you can see the neighbour’s house in the background of the photo. Ours is identical.  We park our car underneath).

While hunting through the stash to find the fabric for Gorgeous Girl’s dress I came across a few test blocks from a quilt I decided not to go ahead with (test blocks revealed some serious flaws in the pattern instructions). I decided to whip them together quickly and make a coaster for Gorgeous Girl to keep on the coffee table. Not my best work, but out of the stash and put to use…

quick coaster

This is my picture. Not content with that, Gorgeous Girl asked for the camera so she could style the shot.


Her dress is in progress, but I’ve learned not to sew when tired, so instead of finishing it off tonight I’m going to crash on the couch with some knitting for about 20 minutes and then head to bed. Hopefully I’ll be able to sneak a few minutes at the machine tomorrow.


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So tiredness has sucked all my crafting mojo this week. Yesterday we went into town to do the grocery shopping. As Gorgeous Man pointed out roadworks plus 2 days of solid rain are a bad, bad combination.

The 20 minute trip took over 2 hours to get to the store.


The bumps in the road slowed things down tremendously, as did the giant potholes (this photo was taken on the way home). We did have something interesting to look at for a lot of the trip.

pigs in ute

Two big piggies going to market.

Anyway, on to the scrapbooking…I decided that I should try to stick to doing at least one page a week and so made up this very, very simple page. This was taken at a playground in Cairns, Australia last year when we were there on annual leave. I turned Gorgeous Girl loose to run around and suddenly I heard a voice from way up high “Look at me, Mum.” She was the smallest kid at the top of the structure (and yes, it is a high as it looks).

fearless page

I hand wrote the title and the journalling.


I added a white dauber ink around the edges of the page. It was a bit stark, so I overlaid it with champagne coloured ink to tone it down a bit.


Since there is handwriting and ink on the page I’m entering this in this weeks Frosted Designs Handwriting and Inks Challenge.


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When I lived in South Africa I belonged to a number of yarn and fibre clubs run by the fabulous Carle at Nurturing Fibres.   Last year I used one of the yarn clubs to make this shawlette.

22.5 degrees1

Each yarn club came with the main ball of yarn and then a small ball of luxury yarn dyed in the same colourway. I needed to break into my luxury yarn to finish this off and I had a tiny ball left over. I didn’t want to just throw it out, but there really wasn’t enough to do much with. Anyway, a few minutes with my crochet hook and I had made this.

crochet flower bookmark

A new bookmark, and there was only one inch of yarn left at the end.

Recently I decided that it might be time to cut into the fabric that I bought to make Gorgeous Girl a dress with far too many a few years ago. This free pattern,  the popover sundress by Oliver+S caught my eye.

I decided to make the doll sized dress first to make sure I understood all the instructions in the pattern before cutting into the good stuff. (Also Gorgeous Girl is unwell and is not willing to stand still for measurements etc). Gorgeous Girl picked two fabrics from her fabric stash. I enlarged the pattern. Her vintage doll (used to be mine) is the same length as the doll the dress is designed for, but is a little bit wider.

Several hours later I have a half finished dress.


I think Gorgeous Girl has put really nice fabrics together. The sense of accomplishment I felt when I realised I had successfully added the bias strip to the sleeve was ridiculous.


You have to remember that the last time I made a garment from a pattern was 22 years ago and I did it with lots of help from a friend’s mother. You are also reading the blog of a woman who failed sewing in Year 8 (back in the days when F’s still appeared on report cards) and only managed to scrape a C- in Year 10 (the last time I took the subject…)

Gorgeous Girl is on holidays at the moment, and she’s got a nasty chest infection. So the school hours when I usually work on my thesis are otherwise occupied at the moment. This means I need to start using my evening crafting time as writing time instead. So I don’t expect to see this finished until next weekend.

It’s currently sitting on the ironing board and I pat it every time I go past.


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I’m trying to do at least once scrapbooking challenge a week. I find having a theme or sketch to work from has really helped with my creative block. I’m aware that my pages look nothing like 95% of the pages entered in these challenges, but that’s OK. I’m scrapping for me, the challenges are a good creative kick-start.

This week I’m entering this page in the “Handmade Flowers April Challenge” at Berry71Bleu.

This is an ideal challenge for me since I often make my own embellishments.

In 1994 I joined a group of friends for a road trip from Sydney to Perth to do promotional work for our uni. This photo was taken at the Great Australian Bight.  Here I am with my good friend S. This photo is very precious to me as S is no longer with us. Gorgeous Girl carries her name as a salute to my good friend.


Close-up of the flowers.

roadtrip flowers closeup

Gorgeous Girl helped with inking the edges of the flowers. Not bad for a 6 year old. The leaves were drawn free hand, folded and scored down the middle for dimension.

Punches are from Stampin’ Up and the buttons are from the button stash. I’m pretty sure these came off one of Gorgeous Man’s shirts about 15 years ago…

While I was doing that, Gorgeous Girl decided that she wanted to scrap as well. This is her page. All I do is provide supplies (though she does have her own paper stash thanks to one of her aunties) and help spell words (when asked).

She insisted I put her page here and she took her own photo.

Bo's scrappage

Thanks for stopping by.


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I’ve been working, very slowly, on the hexagon quilt. I’m going to aim for a progress photo at the beginning of each month to keep me motivated. Here’s April’s update. Hopefully I’ll remember to do May’s…


I’m slowly starting to square it up. The colour is a bit washed out, but that’s what you get for taking pictures at 10.30 at night 😀

I made a card recently too.

bird card

That’s about all the crafting I’ve got to show.


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