Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I Screamo No Emo!

OK, if you haven't noticed the I Screamo No Emo pool on Flickr, I highly recommend a look. It's both hilarious, and faintly disturbing. It seems to have been a challenge that was set a while ago for people to do a week of 'I Screamo No Emo' self-portraits. And here were the rules:

1. looking at feet or the ground
2. being thoughtful
3. looking "cute"
4. cropped heads
5. tidying up your picture-taking space
6. trying hard to fit the "myspace profile picture" guidelines.
7. pigeon toes (we're talkin' faux-toes, not the real kind).
8. jazz hands

And this is where the disturbing part comes in, as I started thinking about the pictures I have taken of myself when showing off my various creations. Let's take a little walk down memory lane...

Oh boy, not off to a good start are we? Cutesy, thoughtful AND looking at the ground. EEEEKKK!

Hhhhmmmm, and here we have some pigeon toes....Kinda cutesy shot too.

Looking thoughtful here.... There's also a bit of head-cropping going on.

But most disturbing of all...

Looking at feet, looking thoughtful, pigeon toes...and gloomy grey/purples tones to boot. I actually made an Emo collage!


OK, just to clarify - I really don't have anything against Emos. In fact, I went through my own little Goth period at Uni (yes, when Emos were still just goths...am I showing my age?). But hey, I'm a 35 year old mum. I can't be an Emo!!!!

So to show off my latest creations in a NON-EMO way. Here ya go!

Can you tell I'm crying on the inside...just a little bit...hehehe.

Monday, June 23, 2008

this is...

OK, so once again I'm a day late. Just can't seem to get my act together on a Sunday lately. This week's this is... theme, as chosen by Kitty's Kaboodle, is this is... my most favourite outfit that expresses my individual style. And of course this picture is just a joke....no really... it is...really...ahem..

Anyway, this week I'm just going to cheat and show you some pics you've probably already seen before. Because sometimes I'm just lazy like that. And also, all my favourite outfits are summery, and right now it's too cold to put them on for a solo photoshoot. And trust me, you don't want to see me in my trackies, fluffy socks and pilled old turtle-necked jumper. Really.

If I had unlimited time and funds, my preference would be to make most of my own clothes. One of my favourite outfits is this dress that was made with op-shopped fabric and some old buttons. I used the Built by Wendy pattern. I love it!

I also love this top, also made with thrifted fabric and buttons. It's a happy top. Some might say 'clownish'. I say 'happy'.

The one part of my wardrobe that I do like to spend a lot of money on however is shoes. I like them to look great,feel comfortable, and not put too much stress on my hips. Hence, the selection of shoes in a previous this is... post.

But usually, I'm living in my favourite pair of wrangler jeans, with any old top thrown on. I love that I can wear a t-shirt, a handmade blouse, or a classy 'going out for tea' top, and the jeans dress up and down really well. They also have just the right amount of stretch and just the right amount of bootleg cut.

And of course, no outfit would be complete without a few accessories. And a nice bag.

And speaking of bags (I'm sorry - was that a bad segue or what!!!).

Here is one more for the shop.

The Briony reversible handbag. Made with 100% recycled fabric and buttons. I really love deciding on the button details on these bags - not sure why but it really makes me happy :)

And speaking of happy (yes I know, I should get a job on Today Tonight as their segue writer)....

...have a happy Monday all :)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

You say "Summery" I say "bbbrrrrrr".....

I felt a bit of a thrill today to see the Flower Power pants I made for Kate featured on the Sew Mama Sew blog.

Funny thing is, the inspiration for the post is 'Summery, sunny images'. And I made the pants for Kate because we are now into Winter and she doesn't have enough warm pants (plenty of gorgeous tunic dresses and tights, but do you think for a minute she will wear them.....oh no!). Then again, we are talking winter in Queensland - and today is a chilly 22 degrees (that's about 70 degrees Fahrenheit for those using the Imperial system)...which I'm sure is considered Summery weather in many places.

Oh, and the gorgeous jumper you can see there is the one I would love her to wear with the pants. If she would consent to wearing more than one layer of clothing (which she won't). I bought it from a local yarn fair and it is all handknit and so so soft. And so far it hasn't been worn...squealing and tantrums if I even pull it out of the wardrobe with hopeful raised eyebrows...

But anyway, back to the pants. Very stoked to have them shown in such good company - as always there's plenty of gorgeous creations on the Sew Mama Sew blog - check out the beautiful Summer Dress by Ibi - so gorgeous. The simple button closure is killing me....if only I could get Kate into a dress like this....in fact, if only she would even consent to wear a dress occasionally...**sigh**...and who raised such a strong-willed girl anyway!!!

Thank-you Beth for the inclusion in such a great blog. You made my day :)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Head in the clouds

I saw this on Pip's Blog, who saw it on Linzie Hunter's site.

Wordle is an online toy that generates “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. So I thought I'd put the entire text of the last blog post in and see what came up.

Really, it sums up this blog (and me) quite well (except for the word 'power', which was quite prominent. That had me stumped, until I realised I'd said "flower power" twice...that'll do it!!!)

Also, if you squint your eyes, it looks a bit like a guinea pig! Or is that just me?.....

Monday, June 16, 2008

Flower power

I think I've been channeling my inner hippie lately....

Genuine flower power pants for Kate, made from a 1970s pattern. The fabric is a really fine corduroy, and it sits beautifully. Made in under an hour during her nap. I love projects like this - ie. instant gratification.

And a new reversible bag for the shop.

This fantastic fabric was actually an ironing board cover.

Reverse side is made from blockout curtain fabric.

Art cards (or ACEOs) from Jellygnite - an Etsy purchase I couldn't resist.

They are now making me smile as they brighten up my sewing space.

They came in a gorgeous package with a lovely postcard and little handmade notebook too. Isn't it funny how the packaging and little extras count for so much? It just feels so thoughtful and personal. You don't get that from ordering things from big corporate companies :). Oh, and Ali has also started a new blog (called Charlie and Grace), full of everything from art, craft, sewing, book reviews, and lots of retro loveliness! I highly recommend it - check it out :)

Lastly, I know I'm late for the 'this is...' meme (the theme this week, as chosen by Quilting Mick, is the space in which I create). But I still can't decide if I can bear to show you my sewing space in all its messy glory. It's really a disgrace at the moment, and I'm worried that a photo of it might be, like, oversharing, you know? And I know, I could just clean it up - but (puts whiny voice on now) I have SOOOOO much to do this week, and if I start then I won't be able to stop there, and I'll end up cleaning and sorting the whole rumpus room, and then I'll notice the outdoor area under the deck and suddenly I'll be sweeping and tidying and gardening, and sorting out sand-pit toys.....aaaaahhhhhh. A job for next weekend I think (*wink*)....

Oh bugger it. Here it is, don't say I didn't warn you!

Slinking away to feel embarrassed now....

Monday, June 9, 2008

Sore fingers and flying needles = thimbles and a new beast!

Ok, clunky heading I know, but sometimes I spend more time thinking up a title than actually writing a post. So there ya go - big clunky heading and I'm just going with it. So anyway, what does it mean? Well, I've been having myself a few 'learnin's' of late.

Learnin' number 1.
Lots of hand stitching leads to a sore thumb and a sore finger.

I'm sure if I was a better hand sewer I would probably get a sore thumb OR a sore finger, but given my probable lack of technique, I get both.

This was the first bag that started the problem. I love how it turned out, and it's now in the shop. All reclaimed/recycled materials except for the thread, and fully reversible.

I really enjoyed making it...even the hand sewing..apart from the pain bit, that became gradually worse by the time the last buttons were being sewn on.

The second bag (not finished yet - not even 'blog finished' as Jodi would like to say) is being done in little spurts as I attempt to build up a callous. So far, it's not working, and this morning I remembered this post about thimbles from The Purl Bee, and decided I need to get myself some thimbles asap. I think the goat leather one is the one for me....in fact, I'm wondering if I could just make one out of a recycled piece of leather clothing...or suede...I have some thrifted suede fabric in my stash. Would that work???

OK, anyway.

Learnin' number 2.

Trying to make a low-end Janome domestic sewing machine sew through 11 layers of fabric (including upholstery fabric) leads to much machine jumping and needles flying in all directions.

Also much unpicking and double stitching to ensure durability and fastness.

This is the last bag I have subjected my poor little domestic machine to. It all worked out well in the end, but that last lot of top-stitching around the top took a LOT longer than it should have. This bag is also now in the shop, and I really can't mention it without also acknowledging the lovely Bianca from Hollabee and her gorgeous fabric. The hand screen printed Autumn leaves on the natural linen/cotton blend was a dream to work with. Even my husband noticed it and commented on how nice it was. So textural, and it washed and sewed up really well too.

But anyway, back to the bag, and the beast it has led me to. I finally found a second hand industrial walking foot machine.

And boy can it go!!! If I want to, I could now go into the horse saddle-making business. Saddles anyone? No? OK, I'll stick to bags then. Once I learn how to tame it that is. I am still at that 'break into a little sweat before I actually start sewing' stage. I can't believe a sewing machine can have so much power - at the moment it feels more like riding a motorbike than sewing...but I'll keep you posted on how I'm going. Oh, and if anyone has any tips on using an industrial sewing machine I'd love to hear them. I have learnt how to 'feather foot' the pedal, and I have also learnt (the hard way) that I have to hold down the threads every time I start to sew (because of the walking foot action), otherwise everything gets tangled in the hook. But any other advice would be gratefully received :)

This is...a road trip

Well, the theme for this week's 'This is...', as chosen by Hila, is 'my favourite travel memory'. This one is definitely up there, but the main reason I have chosen this road trip, is because I already had the digital photos on my computer, and I'm feeling too lazy to go through my photo albums and scan old pics. I know. Slack. Oh well, life's like that sometimes.

Anyway, here it is. Our road trip from Brisbane to Melbourne, pre-kids. Or rather, when our staffy was still our official 'child'.

We actually planned the whole road trip around our dog (Anouk) because we were going back to Victoria to visit family for Christmas, and couldn't bear to leave her in a kennel, or to put her on a plane to travel down. So we did the logical thing, and drove the 1700 odd kilometers down to Melbourne, then swung past Swan Hill on the way back. All in all it was an over 4000km trip. But so free and fun.

We camped along the way.

We all slept in a tent together (armed with our 'travelling with dogs' camping book we knew which places to head for), and with our doggy 'baby' safe in her special dog seat and doggy seat belt, we had a lovely time driving through the Australian outback.

Anouk even sat with us while we lunched in Chapel St (Melbourne), and I'm pretty sure she enjoyed the trip every bit as much as us.

As with all big trips though - I was glad to get home.

Monday, June 2, 2008

knit knit hooray!!!!

I have actually been finishing some knitting lately. Nothing very adventurous, just the typical beginner's knitting projects - ie scarves. And here they are:

Black scarflette - not sure what kind of yarn I used with this. I suspect it is some sort of synthetic, but the ladies at my local yarn shop are very snooty and unhelpful so I felt too intimidated to ask (and it didn't say on the tag). Anyway, it is lovely and soft and all knobbly textured. It was quite fun to knit with.

Green scarf which should really have been a bit longer but I ran out of wool and really didn't want to go back to the yarn shop. The yarn is a lovely mix of wool, silk, cashmere and nylon. It is also a bit thick and thin which made it interesting to knit with, especially as this scarf was just all plain knitting (I'm sure this stitch has a proper name - other than 'plain knitting', but I don't know what it is).

Scarf for Kate, almost finished. I bought the yarn at a local spinners and weaver's craft fair. This is handspun merino wool plied with cotton, and it is simply divine. It is beautiful and soft, and knits into lovely haphazard stripes. It is also really thick and really thin in places. I can honestly say I am enjoying knitting every row of this plain stocking stitch scarf, because the wool is just so gorgeous to touch, and watching the patterns emerge is deliciously mesmerising...mmmmmm. It is made by a business called Wild 'n' Woolie, which doesn't have a website (which is a shame as I'd love to plug it) and honestly the prices and quality of their yarns were fantastic. On the yarn tags they simply list a mobile number and an email address, so if you are at all interested let me know and I can email you the details.

I also have a greeny mix of this same yarn, which I plan on making into a beanie for myself. This photo is actually not very true, as the colours are more foresty and green/brown in real life (they kind of look a bit 'purple' and bright here). Anyway, I figure it is time to start expanding my knitting horizons...hell, I may even try to follow a pattern...(***bites knuckles and looks petrified!!!!***). I'll keep you posted. (He he he, get it? A blog post about keeping you posted...yeah? Ok sorry. Why does knitting always bring out the stoopid punster in me?.... hhhmmm must be a wool thing :P)

This is...my pet

This is... our pet staffy, Anouk. Before we had kids, she was our baby. This was her first Santa shot, taken at an RSPCA fundraiser. Of course, she's no longer our baby (athough sometimes she forgets and tries to sit on my lap like she used to when she was a puppy - all 20kg of her!). But she is still just another member of the family, and we often feel like we have three children instead of two.

She's lovely. I love her smile, her affectionate nature, her playfulness, and the way she 'talks' to us in Staffy talk.

What would we do without our pets? (Well, for one thing, I'd be much more scared when Matt travelled away on business, that's for sure!).

Thanks to Kyla from Two Peas in a Pod for this week's "This Is" theme.