Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Just like last year, we spent Christmas at home here in Canberra. At this time of the year, travelling so far to see family (either 800 km one way or 1400 km the other way) for only a few days is exhausting and ridiculous. For the last two weeks I've been flat out driving up Northbourne Avenue without some idiot wanting to kill me with his or her car, so I can't imagine travelling safely for such a long distance.

An idiot is how we found ourselves with unexpected guests for Christmas lunch. Our friends (not idiots) were on their way to Victoria to see their family on Christmas Day when they were cut off by another driver. They ended up totalling their car on a guard rail, but thankfully they weren't too injured apart from whiplash and seatbelt bruises. After the Mister drove in the pouring rain to pick them, their dogs and all their gear up from the side of the highway, they came back here and shared our lunch with us, because heaven knows I had more than enough food! I think we all counted our blessings that day. In the excitement I forgot to take photos of our lunch, but I can safely say that there was a lot of food, served on a lot of vintage Pyrex.

Since then there has been a lot of gardening, swimming and sewing. He's been gardening. I've been swimming and sewing. We picked 47 little nectarines off my tree and they are all delicious. I don't even know what day of the week it is. This staycation is really rocking my world and I can't believe I have another week off work (I think - I still don't know what day of the week it is).

Yesterday I made two A-Line skirts. Count them. Two.

Skirt #1

Excuse the poor photo- I'd already worn it riding to and from the pool, had it scrunched in the bottom of my bag whilst swimming, worn it in the car for an hour as we drove around town getting haircuts, and then made lunch in it. Plus I can't seem to keep still. I used the most beautiful Japanese linen given to me by Liesl and a Simplicity 5208 pattern. And no, I don't normally tuck my shirts in, but I wanted to show off the lovely yoke/waistband.

Skirt #2

Dress two is made from a navy blue linen blend that I have had in my stash for about 10 years, and Butterick 6841 which I'd had just as long. It was starting to look a little corporate as I made it up with all the darts, so I added details like an orange zipper and orange top stitching on the hem, side seams and waistband. Much nicer, and much more casual.

Contrast topstitching
Contrast zipper

Next on my list is a dress using Burda 8379, and another skirt using the fabric I bought from Tessuti's the other week. I'll report back!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

In the air there's a feeling like Christmas

Merry Christmas

Nineteen hours after my last post, the tree was up, the presents wrapped and posted, the cards written and posted and a Toy Society drop was made.

And now I can breathe. I'm looking forward to the next few days of longer coffee breaks and good spirits and finishing tasks off. I'm not looking forward to the fact that some people can be so cranky at this time of year (you'll note that I am ignoring the fact that up until yesterday afternoon, I was the cranky one in my neck of the woods).

And then from Thursday lunchtime I will have two weeks off to do nothing but, well, nothing. A lot of sleeping, a little sewing, a little gardening and morning swims and coffees with friends every day.

On the weekend I realised that there were a few boxes for socks that I hadn't listed in the Etsy store. If I can get online tonight (my ISP was out last night) I will photograph and list them. The bags are now listed! But the last day for me to post is Wednesday, I'm afraid. So you'll have to get your orders in by 10 pm AEST on Tuesday night to get your parcel otherwise you'll have to wait until January 6 for me to post it!

In the meantime, that's it from me! See you in the new year! And merry Christmas!

When Christmas is only 5 days away

Bunnies, originally uploaded by quiltingmick / michelle.

When it comes to Christmas, I'm usually the most over-organised and excitable person you could know. I love Christmas. No, really. Love it. The tree goes up on the 1st, all the presents are organised and sent a week before they need to be there, and the baking and rumball-making is in full swing.

Not so this year. I have just been so busy with other things (including the market and that pesky day-job gig) that I haven't had time to put the tree up, buy presents (let alone send them) and work out what we are having for Christmas lunch.

Which is how I find myself still up at 12.35 am on Sunday morning, waiting for a fruit cake to finish cooking so I can go to bed. Christmas cards are currently sitting, half written, on the dining room table.

I did find some time last night to make up these little dudes. They look so relaxed lying there on the step. Gosh, I wish I was lying down right now... Anyway, Mustard Bunny Dude was given to a wee boy for Christmas earlier tonight. Red Bunny Dude is headed for a Toy Society Christmas drop sometime tomorrow.

In the meantime, I have just two more social occasion to attend and two more fruit cakes to bake. The tree will go up whenever and then I intend to relax. And sleep. Lots. Can't wait.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Roll up!

Buttontree Lane update

I've just updated my Etsy store with a heap of new sunnyboys and boxes. If you were after a unique Christmas gift, now is the time. These pouches aren't just for knitters and crocheters. You can use them for anything - lunches, notions, sewing projects, toiletries, overflow from your handbag, phone and iPod holder - you name it.

Plus there is free postage to Australia, always!

I'll be posting every day until Christmas, so if you purchase before the end of this week, you should hopefully be right for a pre-Christmas Day delivery.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

This little blogger went to market

Market stall at Manuka Childcare fete

My first market was so much fun! Unfortunately the crowds weren't there, but my friends came and visited (and bought!) and Michelle and I had a lovely day sitting, stitching, eating sausage sandwiches and lots of chocolate and talking to nice people. I was happy not to sell out, and very happy to just be sitting still for the first time in a fortnight. The weather was perfect. It was just a lovely day.

Of course I took my camera and took photos of us setting up, but then the camera was packed away and I forgot to take more photos. But our stall looked so pretty. Here it is being set up (we fixed the skewiff table cloths and mountains of boxes and cases, and put a screen up behind our stall shortly after). You'll notice the priority early on was finding a shady place to sit. We like to be comfortable, us Michelles.

Market stall at Manuka Childcare fete

Market stall at Manuka Childcare fete

I made way too many sunnyboys and boxes for sockses and most didn't even see the light of day, as there was no more room to display them. So we got creative and used the hooks I'd brought along.

Market stall at Manuka Childcare fete

I'll be photographing and listing stuff for my Etsy store tonight (hopefully), so if there's something you were after as a Christmas gift, keep an eye out.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

My creative space - to market, to market


It's been all systems go here at Buttontree Lane - I am participating in my first market this weekend. Nerves are jangling but I'm also super excited to be sharing a marquee with my friend Michelle from Poppy, Bean and Bloss. Not only is she super nice, but I get to die from the cuteness of looking at her Waldorf dolls and sock monkeys all day!

Boxes for Sockses

Anyway, every night after work I've been locking myself in the sewing room to pump out sunnyboys and boxes for sockses. These here are just some of them. I'm at that stage of wondering whether I have made too many or too few, but I get to play with fabric while I work out my dilemma. I love this job.

If you're in Canberra on Saturday and want to do some Christmas shopping with a handmade flavour, come by the Locally Made Fair and Fete at Manuka Childcare Centre on Flinders Way. I'd love to see you. It's on from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm and apparently the weather is going to be pretty nice! Phew!

See more creative spaces over at Kirsty's.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Summer photo #2

Hot afternoon, ice tea

Hot afternoon.

Face washed of grime and makeup.

I've changed into shorts and singlet.

A batch of peach ice tea is prepared.

Sit on the stairs.

Survey the burnt lawn.


Summer photo-ing along with Jodi.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

How to forget life for a while

Moon over Elizabeth Bay

We've just spent a lovely few days in Sydney. Just the two of us, with no obligations to see anyone other than our bestie, and when it comes to her that is no obligation at all.

I walked up a beautiful leafy street in Eveleigh and visited the Finders Keepers markets, and left again with an empty purse and a head full of inspiration and ideas. We met up for lunch and got lost in a few hours of book shopping at Kinokuniya, and then we visited Tessuti's Fabrics in Surry Hills which was very husband-friendly with sofas and magazines.

We had dinner with our friend at the same place we'd had breakfast, and wondered at the magnificent magnolias on the street that were in bloom. We laughed and ate and drank and admired the view we've been enjoying at the same hotel for fifteen years.

Oh Sydney, I love you. But I love being back home just as much.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

My creative space

Quilted and trimmed

I have my first market in nine days and I'm trying to maintain an aura of calmness and control. My day job is busier than ever, I'm going away for three days and my house looks like a cyclone went through it. Cyclone Michelle, that is.

I spent three nights machine quilting bags for the market, and last night I got to trim them all with my rotary cutter. It's very satisfying seeing the bags go from messy layers of fabric and batting to neat rectangles of cuteness.

It's even more satifying seeing them become useful little bags.

Play along with Kirsty!