Friday, 29 May 2009

a little encouragement after foiled crochet plans

i really have been enjoying all the crochet displayed all over blog land. like here and here and here... but i have also been feeling a little discouraged, as my attempts to teach myself to crochet have been so unsuccessful. so tonight, the lovely sayraphim from page 63 of your manual was planning on coming over to teach me to crochet. i was thinking it might make a bit more sense when i could see it happening in front of me - with the added bonus of being able to get answers to my questions (even the best youtube tute hasn't been able to do that for me). however, unfortunately something has come up and the plan has been foiled. rats.
so, i thought i would post some encouragement for myself. see, i think i have mentioned that i can actually crochet. i have done it before, not like granny squares or anything - just a simple scarf. i had a bit of a dig around in my scarf stash and found it - proof of what now seems to be a past-life-ability to crochet.
and i also found this scarf, which i bought when i lived in nepal and i thought i'd post it too. i always find bright colours encouraging - don't you?

Thursday, 28 May 2009

my creative space

so, this is my space. it is messy and i am embarrassed to admit, left just as it is from a few days ago. i usually try to pack away each project when either it is finished or i am done. however, i am still stuck on felted jumper project the second (unfinished in the bottom corner there). i don't have a clear plan for how to get her looking happier - she looks so sad and lonely and not at all what i want. so until i figure it out, she seems destined to be spread all over the floor of my space. check out more fab spaces at kootoyoo...

Sunday, 24 May 2009

a quick distraction

so, i've been working on my felted jumper project the second this weekend, and it is still not coming together the way i'd like. so i thought a quick distraction was in order. i got so many lovely comments about my buttons from my creative space post below, i thought i would share about them with you. my grandmother was always making stuff - for as long as i can remember. she was in the cwa, and would make all sorts of things, dolls, teddies, bags, slippers... and she had this amazing collection of buttons, mostly donated to her by people who knew she would use them. when we were little, us kids would always pour all the buttons out onto the floor in her sewing room, and comb through them, picking our favourites, finding out new ones. a few years ago, when she had to go into a nursing home, i inherited her button collection. they sit proudly on my shelf, most of the time - only to be poured out all over the floor and combed though for projects of my own. here is a little sample, from two little handfuls taken from the big cookie jar of buttons...

Thursday, 21 May 2009

felted jumper project the third

ok, so for those of us counting, i do know that second usually comes after first. i have started my second project from the jumper i felted the other day, but i am kind of a bit stuck with it. it hasn't quite turned out how i was planning, so needs a bit of a rethink. so while i am doing that, today i started on with the third project. i used this pattern from allsorts (which i found via the toy society). i have a friend who had a baby boy the other day, and i wanted to make him something. it was pretty quick to make, and good fun (and if you look carefully, you can see him nearly finished sitting on the window sill in my creative space post below)

my creative space

I love this meme from Kirsty at Kootoyoo. i find it really interesting to see the spaces people create in. one of the things that strikes me is that it seems everyone else's spaces are so neat. mine tend to be less so - i have two creative spaces to share today, and they are anything but... the great thing is that now that i have my art space back, i can mess it all up by making things. but even though i have the space to myself now, i still find that often my creative space is in our lounge room - floor based, like on monday while i was making the tea cosy posted below.
pop on over to kootoyoo to be inspired by other people's neat creative spaces...

Monday, 18 May 2009

first felted project - a tea cosy (with a how-to)

yay! don't you love it when you have an idea in your head, and then when you make it up, it looks just like you hoped it would... yay! i am so happy with it, i thought i'd share it.
i wanted to make a felted tea cosy for one of my favourite tea pots, so i made up the pattern by drawing around the bottom of the pot, and then planning out the sides. i then cut out the pieces from the sleeves of the jumper i felted last week. this pattern took a sleeve and a bit. i hand stitched the sides to the base. i decided to leave the front open for the spout, but stitched up the back. (this pic is while i was part way through the hand sewing). i finished it off with yellow blanket stitch around the edges and a little feature button - also yellow (i tried a number of colours and button sizes, but i liked the simple yellow best). so there you have it, a simple felted tea cosy - to keep your tea pot warm, cosy and pretty looking...

Thursday, 14 May 2009

a day

i had a bit of a day today. the gray melbourne sky seemed to seep into my soul. but coming home from work, and turning into my house - the free range parsley that lines the path to my door brought, well, not sunshine - but fresh herbs into my soul.

Monday, 11 May 2009

felting success

just a quick note, as actually i am looking up crochet tutes (i am determined to get the hang of it - those butterflies won't make themselves) in recent times, i was given a mostly finished hand knitted jumper in amongst a whole stash of wool. having been inspired by this book that i got for Christmas, i decided felting the jumper was the way forward. i have all sorts of felted projects in my head to make - but the trouble was, i was not having any luck with making the felt. i had washed the jumper in the washing machine on the hot cycle a few times, but to my disappointment, it never seemed to shrink at all. so today i went searching for tutes. i found a great one by laughingpurplegoldfish here. its got a great explanation of the process and of what is required to make jumpers into felt (heat, moisture, agitation and soap). after learning this, i did a bit of a re-think. heat - i was using the hot wash, so fine. moisture - ditto, fine. agitation - well, i had been throwing the jumper in the machine by itself. it seems a lonely jumper just won't felt as it has nothing to rub up against. laughingpurplegoldfish uses gumboots. i decided to throw in a couple of old towels. soap - i had been using my gentle wool detergent. i decided instead to use a big scoop of harsh washing powder. i put on my washing machine, with the new improved felting plan and finally success!
its such a cute little jumper now - all tightly felted together and ready to be turned into other things (once it dries, of course)

Friday, 8 May 2009

quick birthday present (for a 3 year old)

so, i am blessed to have an incredible fabric stash, inherited from my grandmother. it comes in really handy for days like today. the kind of days when you realise that you have not yet bought a present for the three year old, whose birthday party you are attending the next day. a quick fossik in my fabric stash box, and i pulled out the perfect fabric with neon pink and purple flowers - just what a three year old girl needs. so i made this bag up today, lining it with black and white polka-dots (also found in the fabric stash). it was pretty quick to put together, i just sewed the lining and fabric together, then zipped down the sides. i ended up sewing the strap on by hand, as it just seemed easier that way. now all i have to do is wrap it up!


pip's words and pictures this week is called Fragrant. i read it earlier in the week, and then it slipped my mind, until something happened yesterday. see i work in health and as part of my job, i see clients in their homes. sometimes, although not very often, clients like to express their appreciation for the work i do by giving me a little gift - mostly chocolates etc. twice this week, i saw this one client in her home. the second time was yesterday. she was very appreciative of what i am doing for her, and so as i was leaving she stopped me, and turned and went into another room. when she came back, she was holding a bottle of perfume, which she then generously and liberally sprayed on me. i'm not sure what the perfume was, but it was quite strong, and not really the sort of fragrance i would usually wear. i thanked her and headed off. it was an unusual event. and as i headed back to the office with the fragrance wafting in my wake, i was contemplating its significance. a thought occurred - was it simply an expression of gratitude? or was it a reflection on her opinion of my personal hygiene? i choose to believe it was about gratitude...

Monday, 4 May 2009

when i can crochet...

i had this brilliant idea. i was going to crochet my mum a present for mother's day and seeing she lives interstate - i have to have it finished by, well, tomorrow. but there is a slight flaw in my plan. i still can't crochet. ok, so i haven't actually been practicing, (i've been busy learning to do origami, but that is another story). so my mum's mother's day present is going to be a wee bit late this year. still, i thought i would share the plan with you. i am going to make her some fridge butterflies - like these... these were my grandmother's, they were on her fridge as long as i can remember, and now they live on mine. my grandmother was a very crafty woman, and very talented, but i know that she actually couldn't crochet (which may be where i get my lack of crocheting from). so i don't know who actually made these, but i thought my mum would really like some for herself. and they are pretty easy to make (as long as you can crochet). make a circle, fold in half. tie something in the middle for a body - the orange one has braiding and the brown one has a pipe cleaner. and then stick a little magnet on the back, and post to your mum. or just put them on your fridge. or your friend's fridge. and enjoy...
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