We had such a nice time in Melbourne. It went too fast - 3.5 days in Melbourne is never enough. We never made it to the craft market (bugger), but did spend a lovely afternoon in the children's garden at the Botanic Gardens with family. I'd never been before and came away so inspired by the fantastic vegie garden. What a gorgeous place! You Melbournians are so lucky.
Since getting back, I've been on a giraffe making frenzy. I cut out 5 over the weekend! This one, Lulu, is the first one off the production line. (Sorry about the photo overkill with the giraffes, that mug shot photo just amuses me - perhaps I should get out more?)
Aside from tinkering with giraffes, I've been spending a little too much time clicking about the internet. A couple of my current favourite places for inspiration:
I've been feeling a litte flat lately, lacking in motivation and optimism. I'm sure, in part, my lack of motivation is just a case of very boring, middle class, late-winter blahs. I've been dipping in and out of sewing projects, not really loving anything enough to forge ahead, and feeling completely intimidated by some of the beautiful work I've been seeing spring up around blogs and Flickr. And at night, instead of heading into my workroom - which I know will make me feel better - I've been flopping on the couch in an exhausted heap with a cup of tea and more chocolate than necessary.
But I'm sure you didn't come here to hear me whining. There are some lovely things happening. It's Spring for one (as of yesterday) - last week I even weeded the herb/vege garden and put in a couple of early seedlings. I'm slowly painting an old cupboard that we pulled out of our shed last month. It's earmarked for fabric storage, which is always a nice thought. A parcel came from Cia's the other day (including some of the DS flower ribbons in green, above). Audrey has started some transition visits at her school, which she begins full time proper at the beginning of next term. School, I tell you! Gulp.
I've been so inspired by some of the blues and greens that I've been seeing around the place lately - not least of which Blair's beautiful quilt in progress. We made these cupcakes to celebrate my Mum's birthday last week. And I made myself a fabric brooch, heavily inspired by this one over at Angry Chicken.
And to complete my rambling, I just wanted to say thanks so much for the quilt love. You're all very kind.
Thankyou for your nice words about little red. I'm slowly inching closer to that shop update. Finished yesterday, this little boy mouse, Ernie.
Our house is a mess! We demolished our shed - stuff everywhere, in the middle of winter - and then the shedding company decided to change the terms of the building contract. So it's been one of those mildly crappy weeks involving shouty phone calls to unpleasant people. So petty in the scheme of things, yet kind of consuming at the moment.
So, anyway. How beautiful are these rag dolls from Jess Brown Design? So inspiring. They have me thinking about dolls all over again. Much nicer than thinking about sheds. Definitely.
It's cold here. So cold! And my kids keep growing and needing new clothes. Plus, I've been recently been inspired by the blogsoftalentedwomen who are makingbeautiful clothes for their children. So it was only a matter of time, really, before I moved beyond making elastic waisted skirts for Audrey and attempted something more closely resembling a proper garment. Not much further beyond, mind you. But closer! I'm not good with instructions/patterns, so the shape of this pinafore was traced from one she already has with a few adjustments. It's made from dark brown pinwale corduroy. Although she insisted on wearing it for the photo with no layers underneath - brrr! - it'll be perfect with leggings and a shirt underneath this winter. It gapes a bit at the neck. Acceptably so, but I can see why using a pattern could really help me understand why that kind of thing happends and how to prevent it. Making this was not without a couple of revelations. For me, finally conquering my zip fear (lordy, why did it take me so long?!) For Audrey it was the addition of one of those upside-down t-shaped pockets: "look! I can tickle my hands through here!" Excellent.
Henry had to get some pinwale action too. More tracing led to some basic elastic waisted cord trousers for him. I'm not so hot on these, but think I know where to improve them. Fun!
smitten with this girl's bedroom from the new edition of Inside Out
magazine. This is pretty much how I'd like my kids' room to look (project kids' room is still ongoing) - from
the chalkboard table (love that idea, next weekend I'll be painting our
tattered old ikea children's table top with chalkboard paint) to the hand
knitted blanket at the end of the bed. And the poster! I've just looked online for a reproduction of that gorgeous vintage poster for
Audrey. All I can find are the originals,
which start at about $1200. Yikes! So that's not going to happen, but what a great poster.
On the same note, I'm finding Blosem' Kids
series, Open House, so inspiring when it comes to decorating with kids
in mind. I would need very little encouragement to set up camp in Eliza Gran's beautiful home. No problems at all!
Lordy, that went fast. Someone once said to me - or perhaps I read it - that as a parent to young children, the days are long but the years are short (sorry if I'm badly paraphrasing your blog entry). Those words are ringing very true for me at the moment. Thanks again for your lovely comments about Henry's arrival. We are still all here, and still doing fine. At 7 weeks old Henry is a real delight. The two child juggle has not been without it's ups and downs (those of you with 3 or more children will surely be scoffing at me), but we seem to be settling in to some kind of daily rhythm. Mr H is a catnapper by day like his sister before him. Hence no blog posts for a month as I remember what it's like to try to squeeze as much as possible into the 40 minute baby sleep cycle.
So I'm afraid there's not much for me to report, unless record breaking heatwaves are of interest. (I almost went bonkers staying inside for so many days on end with a newborn). I still haven't made it back to the sewing machine, although all that time on the couch spent feeding has been put to good use thinking about all the things I'm going to make one day soon. The photo up top is of an unfinished doll quilt I made for Audrey before Henry's arrival. (Still sitting on my desk waiting for binding - ack! the guilt!) The other photo was taken of the little guy last week. Just because.
Thanks again for all your kind words about Henry! Here's another photo of him, because I can't help myself. So far we're all doing ok, which kind of amazes me given how I fell apart at the seams first time around. The days are a blur of feeding, settling and cuddles. Breastfeeding has been a trial (again). He has the sweetest wee smile that melts my heart, and his sister is loving him to bits (sometimes almost literally). We have even managed to leave the house most days. Of course, Matt has had the past two weeks off work. He goes back tomorrow and so begins a whole new ball game whereby I'm outnumbered two kids to one adult. Gulp.
Over the past few weeks a few kind bloggers very generously bestowed me with a 'make my day' award. Thankyou! I'm supposed to list 10 bloggers who make my day, and then comment on each of those sites so they can play too. However, I'm on borrowed internet time right now, so please excuse me whilst I cash in one of my newborn baby cards and neglect the commenting bit. I could have made this list many times over (you should see my Bloglines!), but some of my favourite places to visit include:
1. Aunty Cookie
2. One Girl
5. Red Felt Flower
8. Brown Paper & String's flickr stream
9. Good Gracie
10. Sugar City Journal
You're all ace. Thanks for your words and daily inspiration.
It was hot again today - 41 degrees hot. How ridiculous is that? I usually try to get out every day with Audrey to avoid cabin fever, but cashed in one of my heavily pregnant cards today and, armed with some essentials (grapes for the fridge and a washable fabric pen), scheduled a day at home for a joint project.
I've been wanting to try some embroidery-type thing with Audrey's drawings for ages. This idea has been doing the rounds of the crafting blog world forever, and I can't remember where I first saw it - perhaps here with Amanda way back when? There's this fabulous looking Japanese craft book on the subject, too. It's extremely addictive, and I couldn't help but think when I was stitching these today that they could be the most precious things I've ever sewn (spot the pregnancy hormones, anyone?!) I got Audrey to draw straight on the the fabric with the pen, and then machine stitched over the top. It took a bit of trial and error with my machine. I'd hoped to do it free motion, but once I lowered the feed dogs the whole thing looked like a dog's breakfast. Also, I don't have any fancy embroidery feet for my machine, so I ended up just straight stitching with a tiny stitch length. Not perfect (my machine's stitch quaility and I are often at odds with each other anyway), but it worked. Some stabilizing fabric probably would have helped, but, honestly, I'm too lazy! Her first picture of a cat made it's way onto one of the bazillion singlets we have for the baby.
And then I couldn't stop. A person.
A house. I was tempted to appliqué some patterned fabric into this one - maybe next time.
And my personal favourite (other than the cat), a person with flowers. I'm not sure what these others will become - perhaps part of a quilt one day? But for now, the process of preserving these pictures I love is half the fun.
The cookies are baked, and gifts that haven't been given yet all ready to wrap. The Reindeer Dust has been made and is waiting in stocking no. 24 (thanks so much Tiel for that genius idea). The tree cookies above are made from the christmas decoration recipe in Nigella's How to be a Domestic Goddess. For the first time ever, I managed to get the icing to a manageble consistency so it didn't ooze over the edges too much. A christmas miracle!
We're hosting Christmas lunch this year, thankfully with significant donations of food from relatives taking pity on my 34 week pregnant girth. So Audrey and I made the christmas crackers this afternoon. We printed out some of Camilla's lovely downloadable tags from last year and appropriated the pictures for our crackers - (thankyou Camilla!) Inside are a tiny wooden animal figurine (50c from a local toyshop - bargain), a chocolate santa and a naff joke. No idea why, but I am excited beyond proportion about these!
I'm going to take a week away from blogging, but I just wanted to thank everyone who has popped by this past year. Wishing a merry and safe Christmas to those to celebrate it, and a happy festive season to all. Cheers! xo
I'm Fiona. I live in Adelaide, Australia with my husband and two small kids. This is where I blog about the stuff I make (mostly toys and quilts). Sometimes I also write about my little family, and the things that inspire me. Thanks for swinging by.