Sunday, September 30, 2012

Elsie Demented or why it takes so long to make a new friend


I have had some deadlines to meet in the last few days and someone who shall remain nameless has been tapping her little softie foot and drumming her little softie fingers from the sewing table. (Hey do you think she should have little lines sewn into her hand to look like fingers?)


While I was happy-ish with these final limbs, that wrist is so teeny tiny, it was a bugger to turn (even for me who loves itsy-bitsy sewing)


So Elsie went on a weight gain diet and got slightly chunkier limbs. The thicker leg, changes the appearance of her derriere No? I think this is a more child-like shape but I could just be talking out of my own derriere.

Time for a start-over to do something  more with that hair.


I changed to a creamier coloured linen, and of course introduced the new hair colour (she was always going to have red hair in my mind). That smile is all kinds of too-wide but it is only pinned so it doesn’t matter.


I wish I had thought of the ear before the remake though…No point in making a matching one as I have to make another Elsie with the ears inserted.


She’s an impatient cartwheeling, lopsided piggy-tail kind of girl who tells me to hurry up so I can meet her little brother.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Running from the drugstore cowboys

This morning I drove myself off to a local lane way (previously scouted)
I took from my car a basket containing 3 robots, 3 tins of beans (labels removed) and one camera.
I sat on the ground and proceeded to take photos of robots.
My peace was shattered by a pointy woman asking “Exactly what do you think you’re doing?”
“Oh Hi, I’m just taking photos of some toys”
“You can’t do that here, this is not your property”
“It’s a laneway, I think its a public space…it’s only toys”
“I just don’t think its could be some sort of freak”
“I make sewing patterns, I am taking a photo to put on the cover..really, there is nothing to worry about”
“Well I’m going to find out about that” and the pointy woman stomped off……
robots three
I wonder if they let you blog in the slammer.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Elsie 1–8 Bodies

Yesterday, being the first day of school holidays, it was declared the Day-of-Pyjama and as such, much of it was spent in the sewing room ignoring the

To-Do list and playing with Elsie


  Here she is with her Viking friend just for a sense of scale. I was a little bit fruck out by her petite nature (can you imagine that neck seam!) and thought I might embiggen her somewhat.


Whoa Nellie ! I embiggened her into gargantuan proportions, she would have been about 20 inches tall if I had proceeded with this body. (I tried a new idea with the neck seam and it worked a dream, I cannot believe I didn’t think of it earlier.


So then I worked toward a happy medium, which, while I didn’t hate it, kind of felt a little rodent-like to me. I added a few features to see where I was headed and then it dawned on me…This is someone else entirely! He is going to be set aside to peculate a little longer as well (Pity his pattern pieces  have been mutilated beyond use). That weird strip of linen? I’m glad you asked. It is to cover up a different drawing of a mouth. I should draw faces on bits of fabric and pin them onto the dolls head to try out different features…but I get carried away and hey presto, mouths that look like moustaches.


So  a little smaller again , but not so small as the first one. I am happy with the shape and proportion of the body. I know it just looks like a stuffed tube, but it really isn’t. I decided to hang it all and make a four piece body if I was going into crazy-land with a four piece head, and it is quite a nice shape.

I’d like to tell you that today is the day for limbs but then we would all be disappointed. Today I have to do some computer work, the finished patterns are creating a backlog, I have some embroidery to finish and blah blah domestic blah.


But you know she is going to be calling me don’t you?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Heads and shoulder, knees and toes


Today I made heads…lots of heads. These guys are the ones with potential. I tried some four piece heads (I’m not usually a fan of the seam up the middle of the face, but I am leaning that way at the moment.)


yes, he is ugly there is no denying it, and his head is a little baseball shaped for what I want , but the ear is cute. I seem to be adding ears to everything these days. He is the very very starting point to someone I have wanted to make for ages and ages. He will be left to percolate for a bit longer.


The guy I thought was a knight, is in fact a Viking . (Of course).  He seems to have reverse mumps on one side doesn’t he? Also his mouth is not quite happy enough is it? It is too wide.There is something just generally not right about the face but that’s Ok as it was just the head I was working on. I know the weird side of the head is just my crappy rushed sewing so I might proceed and give this guy some limbs and play with some clothes…a little shield maybe?


And this little madam just popped up unbidden from a four piece practice. I’m going to nut this head out a bit more – especially that stuffed hair idea. She may of course turn out very very different in the end, but for the first time in a long time she popped in to my brain with her whole story.

May I introduce Elsie Cabbage.

(and she might just look like an unfinished head on a stick, but let me tell you – she means business!)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Cut a Rug

Remember the rag rug ? Well it is still slowly growing.

Occasionally when the brain is too tired for anything else, the rug gets dragged out and I do a round or two

Most of the time it lives happily in the sewing room, gathering dust bunnies and threads .



I am still inexplicable in love with it. Emma from Ballarat Patchwork came up with a brilliant idea, and now I use these plastic kids needles instead of safety pins, it makes it much faster.


I want about another 10 inches on this one before I can call it done – and then I will start another.

I didn’t ask permission to steal photos so I will just link and suggest you go over and check out Claire’s Toothbrush rug and Bec’s rug that became a cupcake cushion. have you made a rag rug? Stick it in the comments so I can check it out.

This did not start out as an advertorial but for today only Ballarat patchwork have 25% off all Creative Abundance designers patterns, so if you want to grab an instruction card for your own rag rug it will set you back a whopping $4.13 !

Yep, this is how I make my millions folks,

Monday, September 17, 2012

If you like Pina Coladas

and getting caught in the rain…

Then you just might want to join the newly-married Melly, the gorgeous Rosalie and the talented Simone for Urban stitches 2013.


urban button


For the first time Urban stitches will also be travelling to Sydney ! Totally  Awesomesauce in my book …it has been far far too long since I caught up with the Sydney crafty folk.  Urban Stitches will be in Melbourne on the 16th and/or 17th March at the Novotel Glen Waverley, and in Sydney on the 23rd and/or 24th March at the Novotel Darling Harbour.  That is two crafty weekends in a row for me (might have to have a preparatory detox and a few early nights before then).

Melly and Rosie have cooked up a "Pyjama, Pizza and Pina Colada" event on the Saturday night, so if you are coming to either Sydney or Melbourne for the weekend you might want to get your name down for that….I have no idea what they have planned, but my mind is racing.

For more info go you can pop over here for a sticky beak. Melly tells me that Urban Stitches sold out in a flash last year so you may want to head on over to Under the Mulberry Tree and get booking.(You can even pay in instalments)

Of course for your dollars you get four fully kitted designs, yep the patterns, the fabrics, the whole kit and caboodle, gorgeous foods and tuition from three great designers. As is my want I usually have to buck the system and offer teenager raising advice, life coaching or marital counselling instead…My stitchery does not stand up under scrutiny in such company , but I will do my best.

( You know, I’m thinking a new underpants embroidery is needed for the occasion.…any suggestion? )

Sunday, September 16, 2012

For the sake of a cord

The kingdom was lost. So yes, amongst the icky bits of yesterday I did manage a wee bit of crafting, but the boy child and his moviemaking have taken over every computer device in the house, so I never managed to get back here to the computer spot. He is making a film for his VCE (final year of school exams) starring Finn-Dog-of-wonder and the inside of my messy house. When it started I kept wanting to butt in and style every shot (or at least sweep the slut’s wool away) but I was banned from interference and most of the filming has happened in my absence.


I performed a bit of plastic surgery on this guy yesterday. I had always planned to make a beginners pattern with this big knight. So yesterday he lost his round base, I hacked his head open and removed about half an inch of excess headage, then pinned away a bit of the top of the hat as well.


I removed his felt eyes and cheeks and drew a face on, adding some safety eyes. I gave him an arm and some teeny ears and worked on his neck.

Isn’t it funny? now I quite like the idea of this project again , so he will get bumped up the making list.

and yes I only gave him one arm – not as some sick joke about Mr Ric Rac but in the early stages I only ever make one limb, my sewing room is littered with one-armed and one-legged creatures.

In a room filled with little creatures and personalities, it is delightfully macabre.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

I promise



that I will be back here this afternoon and there will be something of a crafty nature to show you.

(Or my head may very well explode as the life:craft ratio rockets into the red zone)

Friday, September 7, 2012

Sunday, September 2, 2012

It’s Spring!


and the baby rhinos are basking in the sunshinebaby rhinos

I personally have no time for basking but I have perfected the  running around like a headless chook look. I have one more week of intense insanity before things return to normal.Today I am working on a life sized, doubled headed chicken wire monster sculpture and photos of teeny tiny little railway model people….

Hang in there folks