Friday, February 29, 2008

Bonjour !

Did I mention that Miss Jemma leaves for France in the middle of March? This school trip has been a long time coming....... I am a bit beside myself with excitement and more than a little jealous.

She will have about a week in Paris and then some time staying with a family with teenage girls (as well as one of her friends). They are going to lots of places and to-ing and fro-ing about.

I have been saving this sweet Auntie Cookie applique guy since I bought him last year, thinking I would use him on something for Jemma to take with her. So this is her notebook.

It has some little pockets inside so she can slip in her bus tickets and receipts and all those little things she might want to keep. I made it with a wool blend fabric but being a bit thicker it means the shape and corners aren't as crisp as I would like.

Chances are she will be less than impressed ( Did I mention she is 16 ?) But I really loved making it - very quick and finished.

So I made it through the week, even though my Monday deadline was shortened to Thursday. I ended up with a line of children carrying things all about the school - it was total chaos and I have muscle aches in places that I didn't even think I had muscles!

So now I have no library, no computer, no office - just me and my pigeon hole ! The good news is that at least for the time being my boss agreed to let me work 3 days a week instead of 4 - and I will just catch up the days next term when the library needs to be moved back in !

You should expect to see a veritable mountain of finished projects soon .........well maybe a small hill !

Sunday, February 24, 2008

This favourite accessory.

Hi guys.

Thanks this week to One red Robin for her theme. This is my favourite accessory.

I am not much of a jewellery wearer but lately I find myself drawn to pins and badges and brooches.

The red bird I bought last year at Magnolia square from Maru. The beautiful mirrored silhouette which was so hard to get a photo of, was a gift from the Art teacher at school and also from Maru I believe. The owl is of course from our friend at Lino Forest and the little illustration pin I bought from Lilymoon on Etsy.

Today's accessory , and it is really Miss Jem's, is this beautiful flower she was given by a friend.

This flower is just killing me - that squidink purple and the mottled bits. It makes me think of alien spaceships and sea anemones.
ooops, I have just been trotting around blogland and then I read lara's comment - I was supposed to take a photo of myself in the mirror.
Well it is 9.40 sunday night , I am very comfy in my not-for-public-consumption dressing gown and staring down a massive week of work, 3 orthodontic appointments -4 meetings and a whole library (14,000 books alone) to pack in 5 days.
Maybe I should take a photo of whats left of me at the end of the week !

Thursday, February 21, 2008

1 hour bag- tutorial

This bag is so easy !

This is the new bag I made to take back to work this term. It took less than an hour from choosing the fabric to dumping my junk in it. In fact this tutorial took waaaayyy longer than the bag ! (the colours are great in real life but the orange doesn't photograph very well - sorry )

This pattern is on a piece of A4 paper so I'm sure you can work it out from that. It needs to be placed in the fold of your fabric as marked.

You will need:

Using the pattern piece and cutting on the fold of your fabrics.

2 pieces in your handbag fabric
2 pieces in your lining fabric
2 pieces in wadding or batting to give your bag a bit of body.
1 magnetic purse snap (optional)
2 x 6 1/2 inch squares of fabric for the pocket (optional).
2 strips of fabric 3 inches x approx 29 inches for the strap
1 strip of wadding about 2 1/2 inches by 29
2 large Buttons

Start with the pocket. Place your squares right sides together and sew around 1/4 in ch in from the edge. Leave a gap for turning (maybe 3 inches). Snip off the corners being careful not to cut your stitching.

Turn right sides out through the gap. . You might like to iron it. I like to do one line of stitching across what will be the top of the pocket but that is just for looks.

Pin your pocket to the right side of one of your bag linings. Sew around the sides and bottom of your pocket being sure to catch the gap you had for turning in your stitching.

I like to do two lines - looks good and adds a bit of strength too.

Now put your other lining piece right sides together with the pocketed one and sew around the bag, again leaving a turning gap at the bottom.

Take your bag fabric pieces and affix your wadding or batting to the wrong side of each piece (if it is fuseable). You need to sew all these four pieces at the same time. Your fabrics need to be right side together with the wadding on the outer of each. (check out the pic above if it doesn't make sense) Pinning might help stop these from moving too much.

Sew around the sides and base of the bag with a 1/4 inch seam. You may want to clip the corners , this will help your curves be nice and smooth and curvacious. Turn the bag right side out.

Now with the bag right side out- slip it into your lining. (This means you will have the right sides of your lining where the pocket is, against the right sides of the bag.)

Sew around the top opening of the bag.

Turn it all right side out through the gap in the bottom of the lining. Then tuck the lining inside the bag, smoothing it as you go. Pin around the top and topstitch.

This is when I like to add magnetic snaps. Putting your hand inside the bag through the lining gap you can poke your snaps through and affix them. Some people like to put a little circle of cardboard on the inside but just use a scrap of wadding or wadding reinforced with some interfacing.

Then that is it for the bag , you can hand sew or machine sew the gap in the lining closed.

The strap is super easy- Just place your pieces right sides together and sew along the length of the strip on both sides. You could add your wadding at this stage and sew it in but my fabric is a bit thick so it will be hard to turn, so I didn't add it yet.

Turn right sides out so you have a long tube. Then using a safety pin I just thread in a long strip of wadding for body.

Tuck in your ends, either on an angle or straight across and topstitch all around, ,making sure you catch the ends into your sewing.

Sew the strap to the bag - you can do this by hand or machine - add some buttons for decoration and you are done.

Obviously you can jazz this up as much as you want - maybe patchwork some fabric together first, add some trims, super easy and versatile ! Hope you like it!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The winner

Hiya guys,

Thanks for yesterday - I really didn't write that post just to get compliments but it was nice to find out you guys think I am back on the right track and of course that you all knew all along that I should have just left them alone !!!!

It is almost bedtime and still feels like 40 degrees here - YUK, so there is no fanfare and no fancy photos, just a winner courtesy of Mr Ric Rac and his amazing "picking a bit of paper from a bowl" technique.

yay Lisa, I am emailing you right now for your address and then you had better keep an eye on the letterbox!

Thanks Guys !

Monday, February 18, 2008

Great Day - Giveaway

Recently I asked for a bit of constructive criticism about my little dollies. I wanted to get them perfect before the whole shop thingo.

Miss 16 pointed out that they have no feet. Check! I added feet. But you know the feet kinda made the legs look funny so I had to change the legs. That meant the legs had front seams instead of side seams.....hmmmm.

Master 13 mentioned the hands looked a bit like shoes - or the bottom bit of Italy - ok, new hands. Then I went for new arms, then I didn't like how they attached. I tried more arms. But I did like the hands.

My criticism was the heads - when taking photos of the boys a while ago I did kinda noticed they were a little pancakey flat in the head department.

So, about two weeks of drawing, sewing , turning, stuffing and discarding has followed.

On Friday all the components got put together and......
BLAH !!!

She looked like a wrestler on steroids! I had tweaked this pattern to the point of no return.
On Saturday I bought some delicious Doctor's flannel, On Sunday I went back to my original pattern (with new hands) .....and today I finished these.


and the twins.

The wool also means they are less pancake like in the head and guess what? I love them !!!

All that beating myself up for nothing ! What a boofhead I am.

Anyway, after such a great day I thought I should cheer someone else up so I'm giving away this little bag. (and you deserve it if you read through all that post )

A little wristlet that might make a nice makeup bag.

Just leave a comment and I'll be back tomorrow evening to draw a name at random.

hmmm, now to tweak those little clothes just a bit................

Sunday, February 17, 2008

This is ...what makes me laugh

I have been having a good think about what makes me laugh.

Naughtiness make me laugh.

I laugh at rude T-shirt slogans, witty graffiti and people going the wrong way on escalators.

I giggle when kids call each other a "stupid bum poo head" or an "underpants face".

I love irreverence and am always giggling at people taking- the- piss.

If you need laugh go and check this out - It absolutely cracked me up.

This is funny

Thanks to Poppalina for the theme for this week - its a great one ! and of course to our "this is hostess as well.

Friday, February 15, 2008

My actual space

If a tidy space reveals a tidy mind........

It is a wonder my head hasn't exploded.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Community noticeboard

Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the community noticeboard.

I know I have mentioned before, how amazed I am by the generosity of the blogging community but its true.

Right now over at Lino Forest, the delightful Betty Jo is having an international giveaway.Update- in fact two giveaways, and everyone can enter - seriously get over there !!

Her work is spectacular ! I was lucky enought to win this beautiful piece last year and it is one of my favourite items , in high rotation.

Another amazing blogger is doing something right now as well, Pip of Meet Me at Mikes is continueing her crafty committment to Mirabel with her Hearts for Mirabel. You have still got time to whip up a heart over the weekend and drop it in or post it.

A long way away, the very lovely Monkee maker is holding a bloggy raffle to help raise money for a little girl who needs specialist medical help. She has come up with some great crafty prizes and is just such a generous person who is slowly taking over the world with her monkeys made of knit.

After saying I wouldn't enter any more giveaways.......along came Coco. I was so excited to win a PDF pattern from Samantha of mumistitches . She has a great blog and an etsy shop as well where you can get your own copies of her first ever pattern !

Thankyou for joining us for this weeks edition of community notice board.

P.S What is going on with spellcheck???

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Life in the craft lane

So life in the craft lane this week was going to involve lots of speedy lane changes, sexy open-top cars, green lights and the open highway of finished projects, instead I seem to have been stuck in the stationwagon crafting cul-de-sac, going round and round and finishing very little. There are plans of course.........

There are plans for friends (without pins)

and frocks

warm winter coats

and soft wooly cardi's

as well as all manner of scarves and beanies and wee little handbags and tiny quilts and little crafts and etsy banners that don't look like something from the house of mirrors.

There will be tags and sublime packaging and postcards and extreme cuteness and gorgeousness and it will all be perfect and ready and I will rise on my rickety varicose-vein ridden pins (but not too quickly as i don't want to risk an "accident") and will call in my proudest nanna voice "My shop is open". Shenara May (yes one day there will be old ladies with this name) will pause in her pudding eating briefly, look at me and then resume eating her napkin.

The nurse Tammie Electra will wander over and cluck at me. I will tell her that I have opened my shop on the internet. Tamie Electra will laugh and roll her eyes. "Jodie , honey you are so funny- nobody uses the internet anymore !" and the bloody etsy shop will be open.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

This collection

I tried to write this post a few times but there is simply no way I can justify the amount of stuff in my life.

These are some of my collection:

1. Random old stuff

2. knitting needles- love the colours

3. bakelite cake stand (I have two) and sewing mannequins

4. The kitchen collection of wheeled things

5. Coathangers - love the old ones!

6. Mannequin

7. Old suitcases and hat boxes with old quilts

8. Shopping jeeps - there are 4 unrenovated ones tucked behind the bedroom door.

9. Old sewing ntions

10. another kitchen wheelie

11. Selvedge - a slow collection to build.

12. Buttons - obviously

13. Sewing stuff, tins, french buttons - a bit of everything

14. Old wire mannequin - I think she was "bra-form" girl.

15. Old or interesting clothes - 2 tubs full, at least Cecilia can wear them.

16. tape measures- I just have to buy them, it's a compulsion!

I could make a joke here about Mr Ric Rac being another random old thing I have collected but I won't.

Yesterday the ricrac clan headed off to the Union of Soul Concert here in Ballarat featuring The Waifs, Clare Bowditch and The John Butler trio.

I was the nanna down the front with the camera, doggedly not letting people squeeze pass after I had stood there all day ! Dancing my special nanna dance, ignoring the drunks and the youngsters playing tonsil hockey and having a nanna ball! It was a great concert and I went to bed exhausted, trodden on and with my ears ringing.