Sunday, August 30, 2009


Big congratulations go to Jo from Joe Bloggs!

Jo, I'll be in touch!

Thanks everyone for entering, and mostly for being so nice. You are all good eggs.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

My creative space

My creative space

My creative space today is busy. Too busy! In fact, I'm leaving it all for the day so I can spend the time applying for a job. There are sunnyboys waiting for seams and waiting to be pressed, some beautiful fabric that a friend has given me to make some boxes for sockses for her, and a Clothkits kit that I won in a Lark giveaway. I just need a few hours to make the outfit up for a little friend. Added to the photo is a big yellow screwdriver. My very, very old overlocker has been giving me so much grief lately - jamming, breaking needles, not cutting. The screwdriver gets used on it several times a day. I know it needs a service, but I use it constantly and I have to decide if I can do without it for a week! Maybe I should pick that week to paint my sewing room.

Also, water. I need to drink more water. Being at home all day, I forget. If I have a big glass on my sewing table, I'll hopefully remember to drink it, and also hopefully remember not to knock it over (do I sound like the voice of experience?). And rice crackers to stop me craving sweet stuff, like the tiffin that is in the fridge at the moment.

My creative space #2

The beauty of a proper sewing table is the overlocker return. Today it is just taunting me, and not just because of the broken overlocker. I painted these stencils at Brown Owls on Sunday. They are to be produce bags - both calico and muslin. I don't like using plastic bags at the markets, so this is my attempt at stopping that practice. Do you like my purple carrot? I printed this one at home, and I didn't have any yellow in my paint stash to make an orange one. Oops! Carrots can be purple though, so I know I can get away with this one!

Hopefully I'll find time to sew them up before the markets on Saturday.

Does anyone have any spare time they can send me?

For more creative spaces, check these out.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


I'm having a giveaway to celebrate selling my 200th item in my Etsy Store and to thank all my blog readers for support, friendly emails and purchases! Seriously, you guys are the best. That might sound really trite, but you have no idea what a thrill I get with every comment, email and message on Etsy about my creations. I have a permanent warm inner glow and it's all due to you.

In the prize pack is:

* A Box for Socks
* a muslin produce bag, stencilled and made by me
* some very fine Twinings black teas (all my favourites)
* a block of Green & Black's organic milk chocolate

To enter all you have to do is leave a comment on this post! You don't have to buy anything, answer a question, be a regular commenter, or be nice to me. Actually you can be nice to me if you like - I get such a kick out of knowing nice people!

Entries close at 6 pm Canberra time, Sunday 30 August! I'll draw it and announce the winner soon after.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

If I ever

If I ever did a market, I think I'd find it hard to get a display apparatus as neat as my crabapple tree in late winter.

It's a beautifully cold, clear and very windy day. Oh, I love days like this, even if I had to spend some time this morning securing the garden furniture before this evening's expected gale force winds. The sun is coming through my sewing room window, and this morning I worked on a pile of quilted sunnyboys that were waiting for zips and some seams. I'm a lazy sewer - I don't like changing thread colours in my machine more than I have to. Today it was red thread and white thread day. Tomorrow it will be taupe thread and cream thread day.

Some of these are for my Etsy store, but the rest are for the gallery shop opening in early October.

OK, OK - I couldn't stay away for long. Come back tomorrow for the giveaway details.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

I beg your pardon ...

I know I promised you a giveaway last Friday, but the mister came home from an almost-week away, and since then there has been a lot of gardening and planning of the big painting effort we're about to embark on. There will be a giveaway, but right now I'm just very weary, and I need a computer and blogging break.

Back soon, with goodies, and that's a promise.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

My creative space


Yes, it's the hexagons again. I only have 53 twisted hexagons to make and then sew together, and another 15 or 16 half twisted hexagons to attach to the top and bottom. That's only, like, 451 papers I have to baste, sew and whip stitch in place. Pfft. That's nothing. Cough. However, it did provide a very good excuse to buy 8 new fabrics for the quilt - I was running out.


So when a warm sunny afternoon presents itself you make the most of it. Coffee, sun on my neck, and sewing under the elm tree. The grass needs mowing, the frog pond needs filling and the broad beans are in desperate need of a good staking, but that can wait a little longer. It doesn't matter right now. This? Under the elm tree? This is my bliss.

More bliss and creativity over at Kirsty's!

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I've just sold my 200th item in my Etsy store. I'm feeling the need to have a little celebration, but not being a big fan of parties, I think a giveaway of some sort is in order. Check back tomorrow!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

When good crochet goes bad

Remember these socks?

Red Socks

Red, Wollmeise, crocheted, gorgeous and so comfortable. They were awarded highly commended in the show, too. Want to know what they look like now, after just six or seven wears?

Wollmeise socks - fail

Remember this cardigan?

Chevron lace cardigan

Green, merino/cashmere, so very soft, and a first prize winner at the Canberra Show. Want to know what it looks like now, after just a couple of wears?

Chevron Lace Cardi - fail

I first wore this cardigan in Melbourne back in March, and managed to leave a trail of green fluff from the city to Fitzroy and Thornbury, up Degraves St, and through Parliament Station. A massive fur ball was also left in the ladies' bathroom in my hotel foyer, as I tried to use a wet paper towel to remove the green fluff from my shirt, jeans, bag and hair before I hopped on the plane. Urk.

When I returned home I washed it. Just a gentle float in some tepid water, but boy. Did she stretch OR WHAT? She grew about 20 cm in length, and about 10 cms around the shoulders, and the shoulders were already too big on me. I decided to frog back to the shoulders and remake it, but the merino/cashmere blend proved to be too difficult to frog, and I was doing more cutting than unravelling. Plus the fluffing problem was still there. I cried a little bit over it - I really did love this cardigan, especially it's colour.

Then someone told me that if I used a worsted weight yarn rather than a DK, I'd be able to retain the recommended hook size (I had gone up a size to get gauge) and still keep gauge. And she was right. Smart Cookie.

Chevron Lace Cardi

I made Chevron Lace Cardigan II in just 12 days, and it has been worn quite a bit ever since I finished it last month. I used Cascade 220 worsted in black. Sorry about the terrible photo above, but it's so hard to get black to photograph well.

When I washed it, there was no stretching, no blooming, no nothing. It pills a little bit, but with the amount of time I wear it and the fact I wear a backpack as a handbag, that's not at all surprising.

Not too sure what to do about the red sock, but I have now been put off short-row heels forever. They are just not strong enough. It will either be heel flaps, or afterthought heels from now on.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

My creative space

Oh dear, what a funny old week. Out of sorts. Worried. Tired of mean people. Cranky. Plus I've run out of tiffin.


Time for some therapy online fabric shopping! But instead I thought I would dig through my box of fabrics and do an audit of what I already had. This is only part of it.


So I did some cutting.


A cup of coffee and an hour later I had myself the makings of some sunnyboys, and I was feeling much more at peace with the world.

More creative spaces over at Kirsty's!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Cold as ice


We had a pretty amazing hailstorm this afternoon.


I love thunder and lightening, and especially hail, just so long as it's safe and doesn't cause damage. You know, a "good" storm.


I'm so lucky to be working from home. If I was still working in the windowless office, I wouldn't have even known it was raining. Instead I got to witness nature at her furious best and photograph the evidence.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Tiffin for Two

On Friday I went to the Canberra Quilters' exhibition and saw it for the first time as a non-exhibitor. It was a fantastic show. The winning (judged) quilt was made by a girl who lives in Tokyo, and I thought it was spectacular - red, hand quilted, hand pieced, hand appliqued, and gorgeous. It was very deserving of best of show, in my opinion (although I know there are some who don't agree with me, and that's fine. We don't all have to agree). I really wish I could show you the photo of the quilt, but I'm not allowed to blog it. Hopefully the website will be updated soon with photos of the winning quilts. If you have Friday's Canberra Times, there is a photo in there too.

Last night we had the annual Southern Cross Quilters' dinner. The company is always lovely and it's good to laugh and share with quilters that we often only see once a year at exhibition time. So on arriving back home, I was inspired (it may have been the beer) to lay my hexagon quilt-in-progress out on the spare bed, to check for length and to also see how much further I had to go.

Quilt at midnight

Seems that I have progressed further than I thought, so now I'm fired up to finish it off. I still have the bottom half to finish, and about 15 half-hexagons to insert into the top and bottom, to keep the edges straight. I still haven't worked out what to do with the sides, but they may stay pointy.

Quilt the next morning

This photo was taken this morning, after a deep sleep filled with dreams of odd shaped quilts and corners and piecing papers and pricked fingers. (Again, it may have been the beer, rather than the excitement before bedtime over seeing my quilt so close to being a completed top that caused such vivid dreams!)

I want to finish the top by my 40th birthday in late September. That will give me at least 9 months to hand quilt the monster. If I can do it, it will be the perfect birthday present to myself.

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A blog I only recently discovered is Attic24. Have you seen it? It's filled with crochet and bright colours and flowers and life in a northern English village. It is a very happy blog. Did I mention the crochet? I love, love, LOVE a beautiful crochet blog!

So the other day, Lucy posted her recipe for Cranberry and Pecan Tiffin. I was having a Project Runway Australia viewing session this afternoon with my friend who is also a massive Attic24 fan, so I made Lucy's tiffin, but I used dried cherries instead of cranberries.

Cherry and pecan triffin

Verdict? Delicious!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

They call me the Hiphopopotamus, my lyrics are bottomless

They call me the Hiphopopotamus

I've just done a big shop update. Hippos, elephants, pigs and scooters. Oh boy. And needlebooks.

But due to the Australian dollar no longer sucking quite so much, I've had to put the prices of the boxes for sockses up, just by a dollar. Sorry about that, but a girl has to make a living.

(Post title reference. Bron - don't look!! (It's that band from NZ you love so much))

My creative (tropical) space

How my afternoons were spent

This was my creative space on Saturday. Very different from my normal space - it was warm and I was barefoot, for instance. There was a pretty astounding view from where I was sitting, too.


Even after 16 years of visiting my parents in Cairns, and being a North Queensland girl for 16 years before that, the novelty of being able to sleep at night in summer pyjamas with the windows open has not worn off. Neither has the thrill of walking around outside barefoot. Nor the excitement at seeing this guy on the way home from Port Douglas on Sunday (we were driving slowly to avoid the silly tourists who were parking all over a narrow highway to take photos of the croc.)

So now I'm back in the cold of Canberra and it's not so bad, except I have to make my own coffee around here and it's not as good as Dad's. I love Canberra's winters and the beautiful blue skies, but by jingo I'm ready for spring already!