Saturday, September 29, 2007

Crafting clearout Giveaway!

In true style, I am now bored with painting (hmmm pity there is so much left to do).

So whilst the gentlemen ric-racs were busy watching football today, I had a bit of a clean out.

As you guys probably see, I do tend to sew a lot. Thing is, then I leave it hanging around the sewing room or in a tub and really.

So all of these things are now in need of a new home. they have never been used, just made and ignored as I begin the next project.

scribble - GONE to Tara

felted jumper bag - Gone - to rebecca

ugly betty bag - Gone to tassie

pirate monkey - Gone to Lara

monster - Gone to Mel (and David)

frilly tote - GONE to sarah

If you would like one - please leave a comment saying what you would like-I'll try to edit the post so it will be obvious is something is already claimed. In the spirit of general niceness, maybe one thing each.

Please include your email in your comment if I can't contact you through your blog - cause I'll need to know where to send it ! Go on pick something !

Thanks guys.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Lights on but nobody"s home

No post yesterday, busy all day and by the time I was ready the teenager boy-girl - pizza-lollies-horror movies- musicals- more lollies- sleep in the tent even though it is only 4 degrees had kicked in.
They were great though and kept the noise to a minimum but I still had that crazy wake-up every hour to see if I could hear them thing going on. So a little tired and zombied today (hence the title)

Yesterday involved some more painting, I got the final coat on the blackboard wardrobe and another coat on the grey /green of the hallway. Here is where it stands today.

The right hand side needs one more coat in the morning and then I will start on all the trim !

I am not usually a talk about the weather kind of person but seriously what is going on? We have had huge flurries of hail today and the outside temp is currently a gnats whisker over 4 degrees.

In crafting news - all is not lost ! I am still in awe of the bag of fabric I was given and slightly disturbed by my mothers rather pushy request to iron it - ALL. ( My mother and her ironing is a post or two all of her own so we might leave that)
Yesterdays bit of craft was finishing off some sock-critter type presents for two little girls

and todays craft (and no it was not ironing all that fabric ). .......well lets just say something exciting is afoot !

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Everything old is new again or you guys are really going to hate me!

Oh dear, where to start.

The day kind of followed the plan, I went to the gym and the op-shop (no luck) then to the paint shop -Home and washing, sanding, filling sanding and eventually some painting. I got half the hallway done for the first coat - that grey green is hard to cover so I am working on that - still a long way to go (there are 6 doors in this hallway) .
In the back of my mind were the presents I have planned for some little girls (need calico) and need a trip to Ballarat Patchwork for some stripey fabric.

YIPPEE !! The new challenge for their blog Scrap Bag is up and running and it is a Dick and Jane challenge. You have to make an apron or a smock. I have an idea already but I really don't want to use my Dick and Jane stash so I had to buy some more ! (That's a crafter's logic for you).Pop over and sign up !!! ( you know I did think of calling this post "The Dick Challenge" but thought better of it.)

Miss Emma had a "little surprise" waiting for me in the back room. Someone had dropped off a bag of old fabrics. (here is the hating me bit coming up right now)

These were an assortment of styles and not really suited to patchwork so she offered them to me.......old fabric.......lots of fabric..........and seriously cute fabric........You should have seen the other customers faces as I heaved this out through the shop with a jaunty "just put it on my account!"

The pieces in here range from 12 inches right down to wee little scraps. Some of these old fabrics are so "right now" if you know what I mean and these little pieces will be lovingly washed and ironed and saved for very special projects.

Some of the weird chiffony stuff and other pieces will be taken to the art room at school. Lots will be offered to friends and when I am organised some will become presents for here on the blog too.

Come on guys..................As if I would keep it all to myself ! Stay tuned..................

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The art of compromise

I don't want to bore you all senseless with my house stuff so I will try to keep a bit of craftiness in the blog over the holidays.

Miss Jem said she wanted black walls - we said no !!! (yes horrible parents) but we have reached a happy compromise.

Today I painted Jem's wardrobe black - with chalkboard paint - and she is free to scribble all over it. I must stress the wardrobe is a very daggy old thing that was here when we moved in. She loves It !!! and I love that it is so much fun (and we don't have black walls).
I'll post a proper pic when we have handles etc.

The hallway is all but empty . Usually there would be a chair, a stack of suitcases and probably a guitar or two in here. (There would most definitely be dirty socks up by Master 12's door as well).Tomorrow I will be sugar soaping the last of the wallpaper paste off and starting to prep and paint.

I bet you are all envious of that design statement there with the bin !

The right shade of whiteishness has finally been chosen (did you know there were so many?)and I am very keen to start slapping the paint around. The hallway is a kind of green grey and pink at the moment and very dark.

On my way to the shops today to forget the sugar soap (as you do) I just ducked in to the local op-shop for a second (because of course I was so very busy at home but really just a little look wouldn't hurt would it?)

Well yay for the grand total of $4.75 I got some coat hangers for my collection and this great tin - I love that blue colour. It is saying button tin to me!

And of course I got a little bit of crafting in today as well. This is Hoot from a great Melly and Me pattern. I need to finish off the hand sewing and then he is done. I'm not sure about the ears - do any birds have ears that stick out like this? but I love the feet !

Tomorrow is gym, op shop (they are almost next door to each other) then home to paint !

Monday, September 24, 2007

How many hours in the day

Today was the start of the reno's.

This involved myself and Mr Ric-Rac trying to remove the wallpaper from Master 12's room.

My plan was to clear the room yesterday and get the steamer first thing this morning but Mr Ric-Rac arrived home with it yesterday unannounced so it was all a bit of rush.

You can understand why Master 12 (he of the Wolfmother concert, recent Silverchair powder finger adventure, owner of 3 guitars, 2 amps and a bongo drum) would not be pleased with this wallpaper.

Things went swimmingly for about two walls and then the cracks began to appear (literally).

Plasterer brother-in-law can soon expect to invited over for a few beers (and bring your tools with you). I believe we may have to replace a few walls (this is a five walled room) as they are at least 80 years old, maybe more.

Gone are the days when I expect any renovation type plans to actually go to plan. We have always lived in old houses. Tomorrow I am starting on the hallway ( I took down the ugliest weird flower type wallpaper frieze today).

Once the steamer was returned to the hire place I got to work on something that had been eating away at me since I cut it out last night.

Oh yes!!!! another little doll sized quilt. I have been thinking of the practicalities of chenille jelly-rolls for a while and have a very old project stashed away in this style (only much larger) so I gave it a whirl today - super quick, easy, cute and no disgusting bits of wallpaper paste in my hair either !!!

Stay tuned guys - tomorrow is paint and blackboards and all sorts of stuff !!!!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The power of the Blog!

Hiya guys !

Guess what ? The dearest person ever - Miss Jane of the crooked road has helped me out with my wish for the spotty fabric slicker from spotlight.
Now, the thing is I have never met Jane, and only saw her blog for the first time this week - I don't think she knows me and yet she went out of her way to check out if her Spotlight had the fabric, then she convinced them to put the whole roll away and then sent me the details.
Can you believe this? Lots of people offered to check their local stores for me, blogger friends and people I have never met. Do you live in a world where people will go out of their way to help strangers, where people will spend some time making a perfect stranger happy, even though they get nothing out of it?

Well apparently I do. If you think I am surprised , astounded, gob-smacked - I am.
I (very ) occasionally read papers and hear the news on the radio and I was led to believe that we lived in a heinous world where everyone was doomed and we had no community spirit. A world where we all snatched and grabbed and got what we could for ourselves so we had more than the others.
Today I believe the world I live in is filled with fabric and felt, it is peopled by folks who love sewing and knitting and felting , spinning and dyeing and beading and paper crafts and printing and painting, crotchet and patterns and giving and sharing - this is the world I choose to live in- no it is not about getting fabric, it is just about people caring, A perfect complete stranger did something nice specifically for me today . It wasn't a random nameless faceless act - Jane did something for me and I want to say A HUGE THANK YOU - yes I have found the fabric I wanted but seriously and more importantly , if Jane did this for me , then maybe the rest of the human race is not so bad after all.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Holidays !!!!!!!!

Holiday !Celebrate !

Holiday ! Celebrate !

If we took a holiday

Took some time to celebrate

Just one day out of life

It would be,

it would be so nice.

Ok, so after that the song becomes a bit of an anthem for saving the whole world and completely irrelevant for this post which is just me saying Hi and telling you that at last , through the concert and the flu and the poopin' is school holidays. Before you all hate me for being so happy about not going to work,(and the fact that it means all your school kids are home for two weeks) , don't forget my kids are home with me now for two weeks as well -Its the good the bad and the ugly of school holidays really.

Because today was the last day of term I had to work and do all the fussing and backing- up and things so I had a swap and stayed home yesterday ( I work 4 days a week).

So this is what I did:

This is made with some great fabric from spotlight - of course they got ONE ROLL and no they can't get anymore ! I think they called is slicker or something, it is a plastic coated cotton - if you have some at your spotlight please please let me know !!!
Did you see the gorgeous little (very Japanese looking) mushroom fabrics in the catalogue (Homemaker page 20) Well no they don't actually have those either!
They don't know when they'll arrive and no they won't ring to let me know " might not even know. The catalogue is of an idea...of the range...but it doesn't mean it' in the store."
Oh silly me I thought it was an advertising catalogue of stuff you could actually go an buy. What was I thinking........
But you know it doesn't really matter because !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Stay tuned for some more regular blogging and the beginning of some reno's on the house. (I have convinced Miss 16 she will not be having black walls !)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Dick and Jane

I seriously love the Dick and Jane range of fabric, so even in my grumpy sick state I was thrilled when they arrived in Ballarat Patchwork last week.

Naturally, I had to get a little bit of everything, they have the whole range, with the co ordinating spots and stripes as well. I bought reasonable amounts of each but already am getting worried that I may need more and all I have done is chop off a bit to play silly buggers with the typewriter !

Thank you to everyone for their kind words on my dose of the flu - Holidays at the end of the week so I am sure to improve ! A special thanks to those non-bloggers as well who visit ! I can't return the visit but I seriously appreciate you popping and say hi. *waves at Bren, Cath, Jenny*

The boys had a great time at the concert on Monday as the lovely Ballarat gale force winds ripped a 15m hole in the tent and Sunday night was cancelled. The couch was still cosy- just a little more crowded

Sunday, September 16, 2007

A project a day keeps the doctor away

Those of you who read that whole last whingey whiny post will know I have been reasonably unwell of late.

Today I self medicated in the sewing room. I worked a little bit on my gifts for my Pay It Forward recipients...

and started to feel a little better but I knew it was just a brief moment of well being and a relapse was right around the corner.
It was time for preventative medicine!!
What was needed to combat this horrid flu was a new project, of course.....what better way to fight germs and disease than the thrill of riffling through the stash waiting for inspiration to strike!
I did think of all those Unfinished projects but I knew they just didn't have the appeal to really get me well again. No a new (preferably with no purpose) project it had to be............ and off I went.......

Quick and cheerful !!!

The answer - a little doll sized or miniature quilt with vintage chenille. Twenty little 4 1/2 inch squares and it was as easy as winking.

Now the boys of the ric-rac household are off to see Silver Chair and Powder Finger in concert tonight, in Ballarat, in a big top, in the rain and it is currently about 8 degrees........hmmmmm.

Those of us left behind will be nanna-ing it up on the couch with a bit of Australian Idol, lemon tea and the binding to hand sew.

and we are as happy as happy can be about it !

Friday, September 14, 2007

Today was MY day !

So today was MY day !

Not such a big deal I guess and hardly worth a whole post but after a month or so of early starts, late finishes and working weekends for concert , today was MY day. I was really really looking forward to it. I had slow-breakfast, out for coffee, spot of shopping, crafting afternoon thoughts.

Concert week (last week) was spent running around like Mrs invincible doing at least 20 things at once and by Wednesday I kinda had a little niggly, yes-your-tired-but-maybe-this-is-something-else kinda feeling.

The show must go on and on it went - It was a huge success !!! A few small hiccups of the getting -smacked- up the- side- of- the- head- by- drum- waving- grade- 6- boy variety didn't put me off. Nor did getting my finger caught in the back curtain mechanism . Throat felt like a wee volcano had erupted inside but I blamed the over reliance on the smoke machine to cover the bad dancing.
The next day saw me front up for the jury duty lotto draw ! No hassle, I looked like Frankensteins bride, sat far away from everyone, glowered and coughed. They only needed 6 people from a room full. I'll be safe and get let off and then have the rest of the day to rest. But nobody voted me out and I made it to the final six -lucky me
So jury by day, concert by night and my hand gets run over by the drum riser when I try to lock the wheels. Darling little boy tried to use it as a giant skateboard. Another success and then Bump out ! LATE night , can't go for celebratory drinks as I am sure I have been eating crushed glass.
"Friday off " is sacrificed to jury duty. Strange muscles ache , ears ache, no sense of taste, no will to move.

By this time it is obvious I am not well. The fact that the judge had to exit the jury because I could not stop coughing was a bit of a giveaway ! Not too worry it'll be over soon right? My cough sounds like a cross between a ships foghorn and a harp seal in distress.

Spend the weekend trying every potion known to humankind and still continued to cough until I vomit ( mmm nice !!!!!). Ache in every conceivable place on the body. Begin to think I may as well just eat Vicks vaporub-at least I could taste it.

Monday ! Armed with an arsenal of potions I head back to jury duty and cough my way through the next four days. Found some great throat lozenges that kinda stopped the coughing - sugar free !!! Do you know what that means - yep whatever they use to sweeten them means one must keep ones person within about 5m of a toilet at ALL times. Judge has to exit jury again so I may poop, and yes I had to get the jury foreman to request this of the judge in open court !
To cough or to poop? That was the question! Coughing of a vigorous nature very nearly inclined the pooping so it was a tricky time ! Of course all this had to occur with minimal disruption to the court and whilst listening to every word of every witness and taking notes and trying not to cough, sneeze, poop, vomit or fall asleep.
At last, yesterday jury duty finished after a whole week and today was my day .

Woke up, coughed a bit, coughed some more and coughed so much I cracked a wee little bit of a vertebrae in my back ! (this is self -diagnosis on the law of probability , the fact that I have done it before and the fact that no doctor has the time or inclination to help me until next Tuesday at 4.35!!!!!!!!!).
Sitting hurts, laying hurts, stretching hurts, scrunching hurts, thinking hurts, throwing stuff in frustration doesn't feel too bad for about 3 seconds but because no-one else is home and I have to pick it all up and that really hurts.
Ring every person I have ever met begging for drugs - BIG DRUGS - The kind of drugs that stop back pain. Think of just starting at A in the yellow pages and ringing every number. I'm willing to pay.

Yes !!! A friend of the mother has some spares - just a few but they are the make- you- really- really- want- to vomit- but- you- can't- because- you- will- vomit- them- back -up-and-then-you-need-to-start-again variety - do I want them?
YES !!!!!!!!
Tomorrow, Now tomorrow is MY day.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Back with buckets !

Here is my very belated bucket tutorial. I was hoping to do this for Whiplash but never mind. I fluffed the first lot of photos but had to use one of them here as I missed a step - just ignore the fact that the fabrics change won't you?

There are probably a gazillion versions of these floating around in the craft cyberspace, so these are the way I make mine. They are super useful for little things in the sewing room or for hair ties and stuff !

For each bucket you will need:
· 5 ½ x 18 ½ inch strips of outer fabric, light wadding and iron–on interfacing.
· 6 x 18 ½ inch strip of lining fabric (note it is a bit bigger so you get the nice trim at the top.
· Circles measuring 6 inches across in outer, wadding, interfacing and lining for the base.

Step 1.

  • You may do this differently but I prefer to iron my interfacing to my wadding rather than my fabric – I hate those little wrinkles I always get if I iron onto the fabric.
    Do the same for the bucket bottoms as well.
Step 2.

With outer fabric and lining right sides together (and the wadding interfaced piece under the outer fabric) sew along the long (18 1/2 inch) edge that will be the top of the bucket.

You can see the layers here. The black is the lining (face down) linen is the outer (face up) and then the wadding/interfacing on the back of the linen.

Open up and press the seam.

Step 3.

Take the short (5 1/2 inch) sides together and sew along creating a tube. Almost done now –

Step 4.

Sew the bottom into the outer fabric end right sides together. I do this by dividing the circle and the outer into fourths and than matching up the pins. You can clip this seam after you have sewn it if you like. Do the same at the other end with the lining base BUT leave a turning space (I leave about 1/4 of the circle).

(the brown is the lining in this photo)

Step 5.

Turn the whole bucket back through the space you left in the bottom. Then you simply tuck your lining into your bucket and slip stitch the opening closed. I like to top stitch around the top.

You can stitch-in-the-ditch for a nice finish.

Add a bit of Auntie Cookie or whatever you please and they are ready to fill ! You can add handles too !!