Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Crochet Creations & W.I.P

I think I am getting better at crochet, and being able to follow patterns. Although I still have the problem of not being able to do anything too complicated because if I get distracted in the middle of a row/round, I forget where I’m up to and end up having to undo a whole lot and start again.

P6300020 Thanks to Megan of Simple Pleasures, who shared some very easy instructions with me, I have finally learnt to crochet flowers. They look cute when you layer a few together like this…


P6300022P6300023 Here is the brown and blue blanket I am making for little man, to go with the colour scheme I am planning to have in his room, when he gets one.

P6300025 This is the blanket I have been making for little princess. This started off as a little granny square that just kept getting bigger and bigger as I was practicing, so I figured I might as well keep going to make it into a blanket.

P6300027 A hat I made for myself. It’s not great, but it’s ok for a first attempt (and second and third, because I kept having to undo it and start again when it didn’t work out right), it’s wearable and it keeps my hideous hair covered. It’s embellished with a little crochet heart and a heart button.

P6300029 A hat I made for little princess. I haven’t even seen it on her yet, because she won’t let me try it on her, but hubby convinced her to try it on while I wasn’t around, and apparently it fits. She has a matching scarf that I finger knitted.

P6300028 Here it is modelled by little man, so you can see it actually is a hat not just a pile of fluff.

I have so many things I want to try to crochet now, but I figure I should really finish some of the things I have started first. I might sneak in a hat for little man though, because that’s pretty  quick to make, and if I don’t do it soon it will be too late (wishful thinking that winter will be over soon ;-{). I’ve found some blogs (Meet Me At MikesAttic 24, Carina’s Craftblog, Dottie Angel, Do you mind if I knit, just to name a few) with great crochet patterns, including basic ones that are even easy enough for me to follow.

crochet patterns Someone lent me some vintage crochet patterns that I can’t wait to try. It’s amazing what you can do with granny squares :)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Elephants Go Marching

While I seem to have a lot more crafting time lately, my blogging time has just dwindled. Little man has been sick on and off (more on than off) since winter started, and currently he has some kind of tired all the time bug, which means I have a lot more free time, even if I do spend that time worried that he is not eating or drinking enough and is it possible to sleep too much. Also, winter means a lot more time snuggled up on the couch under a blanket, so there has been more time for crochet and finishing projects that require hand sewing.

The elephant project started about a month ago, right before my sewing machine died, so I never got a chance to finish them. Well I still haven’t finished them all, but I am getting there with only three out of twelve left to sew. These are the ones I have finished recently….

P6280007 Meet Dot, she is a little baby elephant rattle, she has a bell inside that jingles when shaken and crinkly cellophane inside her legs.

P6280008 This is Elsie, she is MINE. I love this retro print fabric, even though others think it is hideous. She will be the guardian of my craft room (when I finally get a craft room).

P6280011 This is Annabelle, apparently she is from Antarctica. She is made from a soft corduroy, so nice and cuddly.

P6280014 And these two don’t have names yet.

P6280015 I have also had a few trials at making other animals/creatures, but I don’t like them as much as the elephants. In case it’s not completely obvious, that’s a taggie hedgehog and a (very skinny) Scotty dog.

P6280017 And a bunch of fish, which are almost complete, but some still need to have eyes sewn on or holes sewn up. I haven’t got rods yet, at the moment little princess is using a rather dangerous, pointy ended, too long, make-do fishing rod to play with them.

Don’t ask me what I am going to do with all these softies, I haven’t got a clue, I just like making them. Maybe they will go in my Felt store one day, if I ever get around to setting that up. Or they will just stay in the cupboard until I need a gift for a baby/child.

Linking to Anything Related @ All Thingz Related and Craftastic Monday @ Sew Can Do (see buttons on sidebar).

Monday, June 28, 2010

Want to win some Aussie/Kiwi goodies??

*If you are a follower and you are starting to think that all I ever do is blog about giveaways, I'm really sorry about that. I have a few posts typed up ready, but I just haven't been able to get decent photo's. Anyway, these giveaways are totally awesome and worth blogging about, so there.*
If you like the look of these

Or these

Head over to Leonie's blog Kiwi at Heart to enter her 100+ posts giveaway. You can either enter to win the pack of Kiwi goodies, or the pack of not kiwi goodies, or both. How great is that!?!?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Want to Win Some Snail Mail Goodies??

You know the deal, I really want it, but if I tell you about it I get another chance to if you would love some super gorgeous postcards, envelopes and goodies head over to Stella's blog to enter her great giveaway.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Want to win the most awesome quilt ever made???

Isn't it gorgeous in all it's vintage glory. Go here to enter, but keep in mind I really want to win this.

Finally Thrifty Friday

It feels like it has been forever since I did any thrifting, and it has been a really long time since I had a visit to Funky junk, so today, even though we have very little money, I decided a trip to my local thrift store was in order. I don’t often go there with both kids, but little princess actually enjoys it, and this is something I want to encourage, because as she gets older I want her to learn the lessons I learnt as a child about money. I grew up as an only child to a single mum, who struggled to make ends meet for most of my childhood, so I learnt the value of money, how to budget, and how to “shop smart”. Every now and then I get the “urge to splurge”, but at least my spending generally happens at thrift stores, where everything is cheap, and at least the money is going to a good cause (sounds like I am justifying it?? maybe I am feeling just a little bit guilty about spend $20 when we don’t really have money to spend). Anyway, here are my findings for today…

P6250019 A few clothing items for little princess (jeans, skirt, top = $2 total), Blue gingham apron, froggy bath mitt (this was little princesses “toy” of choice), zip up purse (which is currently the perfect size to hold the crochet blanket I am working on for little man), magnetic wildlife book (LP’s book of choice), A very old your home and garden magazine, some vintage heels that fit perfectly so maybe I will wear them, 2 vintage sheets (not matching, but similar colour schemes), and some little bags containing lace and “old doilies for craft work” (that’s what it says on the bags so how could I not buy them!). When you buy those bags of craft stuff, it’s pretty hard to see what's in them, and they put about a million staples in the bag to stop you opening them, but for $1 it’s usually worth it. This is what was inside those four little bags…

P6250021There was 5 metres of a creamy lace, just over 5 metres of navy blue lace, some odd amounts of other lace that wasn’t measured, but it seems pretty long, a cushion cover with a bit of damage to the embellishment, some lace edged hankies and different embroidered things. Definitely things I can use if I ever get around to making myself one of those awesome doily quilts/blankets that everyone’s making at the moment, like here, here and here.

And while we are at it, I found this photo of thrift store finds from a couple of weeks ago that I never posted about…

P6020003 The most amazing red doily which I guess is supposed to be a table runner, turquoise biscuit tin (LOVE the colour and the pictures), another vintage sheet, some cute floral fabric, another bag of random lace and stuff, a bag containing cards of 3 different ribbons in gray/silver still with heaps on them, a black cape for dress ups, a Barbie doll and a vintage Barbie doll dentist chair, and the navy blue hat that I posted about here.

I’ve got quite a collection of vintage sheets now, I should really start doing something with them. I’m a bit scared to cut them up in case I ruin their fabulousness….but I suppose there's plenty more vintage sheets out there if I need more, right?? If you have an idea for what I could make with them, or if you have made something with them, please let me know, I love finding new ideas and ways of using things in my stash.

Linking to:

Flea Market Finds at Her Library Adventures.

Thrifty Treasures at Southern Hospitality.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Instant Fun

My Hubby gave me some chocolates this weekend, but with a catch… I had to make him some 'balloon balls' for his work. While I was at craft night this week, he rang and asked me a lot of random questions on how to use a sewing machine (as he couldn't be bothered reading the manual). He wanted to use my brand spanking new sewing machine that I have hardly used myself. Naturally everybody in my craft group and myself were panicking a little bit (someone was even suggesting that I rush home immediately before he creates too much damage). Thankfully by the time I came home he had given up on this, but this meant that I had to sew a project for him. Balloon Balls. Basically what you do is create a little material bag that you inflate a balloon into, which makes the balloon last longer, makes a really light ball that can be used inside or outside, and is compact so you can pop it into your handbag whenever you want instant fun with your children.

Here is how they turned out


The balloon balls are made from fabrics such as lycra, silky material, cotton (with ribbons) and polar fleece.

Friday, June 18, 2010

My Precious…..

This is my precious (ignore the mess around her, in my excitement I didn’t really bother to tidy up, I just pushed everything aside to clear a space).

P6170018 Isn’t she beautiful. She has been living on my dining table since coming home with me on Wednesday. She has helped me make a few things so far.

P6170017Like this dress for the little princess, which is still in need of some embellishment, so we are going button shopping this afternoon (yippy yay button shopping!!!).

 P6170015 P6170014 And this little taggie blankie for little man (munch, drool, suck, he seems to enjoy it).

It also made a balloon ball, but I couldn’t take a photo because it was made by request at 11pm last night and taken to work first thing this morning. I will be required to make more of these in the near future. Many more. (they are pretty cool though).

I have cut out a whole lot of softies ready to be sewed (?? sewn ??), when I get a few moments of peace and quiet from my two sick children. And fish for three fishing sets, or maybe just one fishing set with lots of fish…..we will see.

Who knew sewing could be joyful (or maybe that's an exaggeration, maybe “less stressful” is a better description). I’m excited about all the possibilities now that I have a decent sewing machine.

By the way, in case you care, I just want to put it out there that this machine did not come from Spotlight, as it was supposed to. It had been almost three weeks, I had heard nothing about my online order, I emailed to enquire, still heard nothing, then hubby saw this great special in the Noel Leeming catalogue, I could get the same machine, plus a bonus label maker, for less than the one I had ordered through spotlight, and I could get it immediately! So I picked it up on Wednesday, sent spotlight an email to cancel my order and what do you know, later that day I get an email from spotlight to say they had allocated my order to the hamilton store and someone would be in contact with me soon. Well of course the next day someone rang to say they were ready to ship my order, and I said too late, and they didn’t seem to care so my opinion of spotlight has lessened considerably and I now understand why people refuse to shop there. I’m just putting it out there, so you know, for future reference.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Tea Party Success


Well, it's finally over, and it almost went off without any problems (almost). The party was great, the kids had fun having a playdough tea party, then the real thing. A few of the kids (mine was one of them) enjoyed pouring the Milo & milk and eating mini marshmallows more than anything else. The food was good and enjoyed by the parents more than the kids. The weather was even fine for long enough for some dancing in bubbles outside, and an impromptu adventure to find the end of the rainbow. After a while little princess was well and truly over it, having come down with some nasty bug the day before and not sleeping well, so after a couple of hours of excitement she had a fever and was exhausted.

I completely forgot to take photos pre-children, but I think the M.I.L did, so if there are some good ones there I might post them too. I didn't get a decent photo of the gorgeous bunting I made because the room was too dark when I took the photos. I want to put it up in little princesses bedroom permanently but other people in the house, who must remain nameless but are the only people who can reach high enough to hang it for me, do not like the idea so much. We will work on that.

All in all we are pretty happy with how it went, but will not be doing it again in a hurry. We/I have enforced a strict "every other year" birthday party rule, so the next one will be her fifth birthday. And little man will get them the years in between, so his will be for his 2nd birthday next year.

Her favourite gift this year: a bag of "rocks" which are actually different crystals like rose quartz, amethyst, onyx and others I can't think of the names of, 9 in total. She loves sorting them, saying the colours in English and Maori (and soon hopefully in Afrikaans) and "cooking" them. We bought some more for her with her birthday money, so now she has a total of 14, and I'm hoping to add to that when I remember where I stored my collection.
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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Busy as a bee with birthdays

It’s been a WHOLE WEEK since I posted anything on my blog. Every morning I start the day with a plan, what I want to create, what I want to blog about, what I need to do around the house, and anything else that needs to be done. Unfortunately the needs must come before the wants, and there really hasn’t been enough time for the wants lately.

Last weekend the presents were a big hit, with the children and adults (I’m pretty sure the adults spent more time “fishing” than the kids).

Tomorrow my little princess turns THREE! The panic begins because 3 whole years have gone by already since I was just a regular twenty-something girl with no plans to ever have a family. I only have TWO MORE YEARS until my little girl goes to school. That means I have to learn to drive and get my licence within 2 years. Cringe.

So these last few weeks have been all about birthday preparations, and I am so happy that we are nearing the end, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. No more pink cake, discussions on three year old tea party etiquette or hunts across town for tea pots.

Having a little princess who goes to daycare means I am obligated to make 2 cakes (one for daycare, one for home). That could even be extended to 3 cakes, but she will not be having cake at home tomorrow night, because it really can’t be good for kids to eat that much birthday cake in one week, right?? So we created, by request, a pink heart orange cake for daycare (it’s pink on the outside and orange on the inside, with chocolate chips added in just for fun).

P6090001 I almost like this one better than the one we are having for her party on Saturday, but this took a bit more time and effort, and at this stage I am all about taking the easy option.

So when the little miss wakes up in the morning, this is what she will find.

P6090004We wrapped her presents with fabric, because I have LOADS of it, and it is reusable, so it won’t make a heap of rubbish to get rid of. Looks pretty cute too, I think.

Even though I’ve been a busy birthday bee, I have had some time for thrifting and crafting, I just haven’t had time to write about it, so I’ll have to do some catch up after the PARTY!! Still no sewing machine (damn spotlight, why bother having online shopping, it would have been quicker for me to walk there and get it myself, all the way to ROTORUA!!) but when it arrives I will be ready. I am so happy I finally learnt to crochet, it is great to sit in front of the TV occasionally and crochet, so I don’t feel like I’m wasting my time doing nothing because I am still creating.

If you want to do something fun, you should join in on The Envelope Project, I have, and I’m super excited to see what everyone sends in.

The Envelope Project


I’m joining in on The Envelope Project. Head over to Meet Me at Mike’s to find out more about this fun project, and join in too for a chance to get a whole load of little goodies. Mine will be on its way as soon as I can get to the post office.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

My Creative Space

The heading should actually read “my creative mess”, because this is what it looks like

P6030001 I needed some buttons for a couple of projects I am working on, but I have been getting really frustrated with the state of my button collection recently. It used to be nicely organised by colour in several zip lock bags kept together in a drawer. But the collection has grown, and as I have added to it I have not been sorting, so it turned it to a huge mess of buttons which are half organised and half chaos.

P6030002P6030003 So I tipped them all out, intending to finally get them sorted and put away nicely so the perfect button can be found in a more timely manner. However, little man has decided to throw his routine out the window today, no decent nap times for me to work uninterrupted, so my buttons have been thrown in a drawer loose and unsorted and will have to wait for another day (or so). At least I won’t have to go through a million zip lock bags to find a button anymore, I will just have to sift through a trillion loose buttons (which is way more fun, I’m like scrooge mcduck swimming in his money).


I wish I had the space to have all my crafty items on display like this

DSCN0362 Maybe one day when (or if) we get to move into a bigger place.

This is one of the projects that required buttons:

latest A thrift store hat which needed a bit of embellishment. I added a couple of rolled fabric flowers, a lace flower with button centre and a few coordinating buttons, and now I have another awesome hat to cover my hideously overgrown, in desperate need of a cut and colour, housewife hairstyle.

For more creative spaces head over to Kootoyoo.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Crafty Goodness

I am so proud of myself this week, because I finally crocheted something! I found the greatest instructions here for learning how to crochet a granny square, so yesterday I sat down and watched these videos over and over again until I figured it out, and now I think I can almost do it without the instructions in front of me (almost). The hardest thing I find is keeping track of where I’m up to, with distractions all around constantly, but I think as I get better at it I will be able to see where I’m up to. These are my two itty bitty practice granny squares:

P6010001 Now that I know I am capable of crocheting (because I really was starting to lose hope), I think I will try a different granny square tutorial that I found here. I would LOVE to be able to make a whole granny square blanket for my little man. When (or if) he gets his own room, the colours scheme is going to be blue and brown, so I want to make a blanket for his bed in those colours, similar to this, but imagine the stripes as rows of granny squares:

Last week I made a couple of things to give to a little miss 3 next weekend for her birthday.

P6010006 But then I felt like she needed something else, so I spent a few days throwing ideas at hubby, who is her teacher at daycare so knows her a lot better than I do. Well, I went through LOTS of ideas, before I came across one he liked. I had seen this tutorial a while back and thought one day I might make that for my kids, so it was added to my mental to-do list. I altered it a bit, switching things around so the magnets are inside the fish and the washer is the “bait”. I also had to hand sew because I am still without a sewing machine, so I blanket stitched all around the outside, which was way easier because I didn’t have to turn them.

P6010003 I just love this fishing set, and so does my daughter. I think I will have to make more and give them to every child I know, but that will have to wait until I have a sewing machine to speed up production. Now that I have made them, Hubby has changed his mind and wants me to make her a fabric book cover, but that will only be happening if I get my sewing machine before the weekend, and because it is coming from Spotlight that is highly unlikely.

flowers These are the flowers I made using the knitting needles bought from a thrift store in the weekend. I have only made 5 so far, so they don’t really make a nice “bunch” yet, but I plan to make more. I decided to go with a neutral linen fabric, because there is plenty of colour in the needle stems, felt bottoms and button middles.

So that's two and a half things ticked off my mental to-do list, about a trillion to go ;-p
All Thingz Related