Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Handmade Gift


This is what I have made for my M.I.L's birthday tomorrow. All handmade by me: Pillowcase tote bag, pillowcase apron, herbal bath tea bags, crochet flower brooch.

The apron was inspired by this tutorial, but I ended up doing it a bit differently. The herbal bath tea bags were inspired by this tutorial, which was featured on the Muffins and More Tea Lovers Roundup, but I also made mine a bit differently to use the supplies I had. The pattern for the crochet flower and leaves can be found on Attic24, it's a great pattern, quick and easy to follow, and makes a great reserve gift to keep stashed away for when you need something with short notice. I've already got a few made up as reserves.

Now I have more reason to buy pillowcases, because I think the apron I made is so cute, and can't wait to make some for myself. They would make great peg aprons, or add more pockets (this one only had two) to make it a craft apron. I'm trying to justify spending the rest of the day sitting in front of the sewing machine instead of packing....sewing, packing, sewing, packing...I know which one I would rather be doing, but I also know which one I should be doing....I'll decide after I've had some lunch :)
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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Goodies Galore

Yesterday was a particularly good mail day for me, I received two of my swap parcels, and they are pretty awesome.

P9210019 First up is the Here Comes the Sun swap parcel, received from Lex (who I think has the Captain Plaknit blog, but that’s just a guess from some quick detective work on my part, please correct me if I’m wrong Lex). She sent me a very cool scarf made out of recycled wool, and a brooch also made out of recycled wool as well as a crochet flower. Well, I can’t wear wool anywhere near my skin, but I’m thinking that this “scarf” will take on another purpose in my new craft room, and I might have to make some more to go with it.

P9210020Next is the Colour swap, in the flavour of Turquoise (my fav colour), from Sheila. I don’t know much about quilting, but I think a lot of work has gone into these items, and they are gorgeous. The package included a shoulder bag, a little purse, a needle book, a fat quarter of swirly fabric (LOVE IT!), a vintage heart pendant, and some sewing bits and pieces - embroidery thread, metallic sewing thread, velvet ribbon and buttons.

It was my birthday in the weekend, and I chose to spend my birthday doing what I love. I don’t usually get the chance to go out at night, because I don’t drive and because I am needed at home. Every fortnight there is a Saturday craft night on at the local scrapbooking shop, bookem. I haven’t been since May, but I managed to make it to this one because it was on my birthday and Hubby was pretty happy for me to go out for a special occasion. Let me just say that having so many crafty ladies as friends is FANTASTIC, because every gift they give is amazing, even the cards were great!

P9210030I didn’t actually get a lot of things for my birthday from family, I got money (except for the early birthday present from my wonderful mummy, my fantastic sewing machine!!). So these were the only presents I got on my birthday, and I am so lucky.

P9210034This is what I did while there, made a whole pile of tags to put on the stuff I sell on Felt, and just for general gift giving. The great thing about going to these nights at Bookem is that they have just about every shape punch, stamp, tool….you can ever imagine, and you are free to use them while there. So for these tags I used my own stamps and ink, but used a couple of different sized circle punches from their stash.

P9210026Did you see the bag I made last week? Well I made another one, and a little matching purse/iPod touch case. I also made another one, not out of a vintage pillowcase, but a plain black pillowcase with some pleat/fold details, and it came out great as well. No picture, because it’s part of a gift for a friend, and she might see it on here before I give it to her.

I have been busy sewing gifts all day, but now I’ve hit a creative block, and I can not think of anything to make for the last person on my list. Why are there so many birthdays this time of year? And really soon I will have to start doing something about Christmas presents, because they will be handmade too. Last year it was gift baskets full of handmade jam, lemonade, chocolates etc. I really would like to make some kind of relish/chutney, but it has to be easy and cheap. If you have any great recipes please share.


I almost forgot about this totally awesome award. Leonie from Kiwi at Heart has passed this on to me, my very first blog award.

Now here are the rules:

1. Accept the award. (Post it on your blog along with the name and link of the person who has awarded it to you.

2. Pay it forward to 15 other bloggers whom you’ve recently discovered.

3. Contact the bloggers and let them know that they have been chosen.

Ok, so here’s my list:

1. Vintage Mum, Modern Child

2. Melly & Me

3. Beach Vintage

4. Troc, Broc and Recup

5. Vintagesue

6. The Yvestown Blog

7. The Wardrobe

8. The Clip Cafe

9. Squidgyums

10. Striking Keys

So I know that’s only 10, but that’s all I have time for right now. I’ll do another 5 later, and email everyone to let them know. Time to go grocery shopping with the famdamily, yay.


11. Spunkee

12. Punky & Me

13. Pencils and Pins

14. Moose & Bird

15. Magpie Chic

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thrift Store Finds

Completely going against what I said two days ago, yesterday I stopped into my local thrift store to see if I could find some cool pillowcases to make into bags. Well, I didn’t find any pillowcases, but I did come how with a few other things, of course.

P9160017 I think this sis supposed to be some kind of nibbles station, with little removable dishes and a place in the centre to put napkins or utensils, but that’s not what I am planning to use it for. The women at the counter were admiring it and trying to decide what you would use it for, and I told them I was planning to use it for organising craft stuff and they both were a bit disappointed that they didn’t think of that, lucky for me :) I think my brain just naturally looks at something and thinks “what else could I use that for?”, it’s very handy.


Some vintage children’s books, with great pictures. See that little piggy bank in the top picture? I totally want one just like that! I thought the ABC book would make great artwork for little man’s wall, one day.

P9160033And something a bit more modern, to use as leverage to get little princess to be on her best behaviour when we went to visit the house last night. Call it blackmail, bribery, whatever you like, it works and I am not afraid to use it. Luckily, the house was empty, so there was nothing much to touch anyway.

So, how did it go?  House = Awesome, our chances of getting it = who knows. Credit checks and reference checks are involved, both of which should come back fine, I hate thinking that I am being judged on appearances, because that’s really all they have to go on if everything else checks out. There was another family leaving as we arrived and they had 4 kids, so I would think a family with less kids would be preferred, because 2 more kids = a whole lot more wear and tear, right? I don’t know, but I guess now all we can do is wait until a decision has been made, we should find out early next week. Fingers, toes and anything else possible crossed. We have met the only condition of the sale of our house, so as soon as we sign those papers, it’s unconditional, woohoo!!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wardrobe Wednesday

Today’s outfit is all about dressing to impress. We are going to look at a house this afternoon, the perfect house, a house we want really really badly, so we want to make a good impression. It’s hard when you have a preschooler and a baby who could be on the move any day now, to convince landlords that their house is not going to get destroyed. So we are all trying to dress in our most respectable outfits so we look like decent, house respecting, human beings.

P9150018Skirt – Thrifted, Boots – same ones I’ve been wearing in every other wardrobe wednesday cause I love them, Cardi – bought off trademe ages ago, Top – can’t even remember it’s that old, Necklace – made by me.

This outfit wasn’t really my choice, I think it’s a bit goth looking for a first meeting, but the hubby assured me that this would be best. So we are all going to go in there dressed mostly in black, will we be judged? Should I take out my lip ring? Is this similar to a job interview? In a lot of ways I am really not looking forward to becoming a tenant again, but it is so much better than the alternative of having a mortgage to pay.

Go here to check out what the other lovelies are wearing.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Look at me procrastinating again. But today I had to go into town to post a few parcels and do a few things, and I needed a bag to carry some things. Well, I could not find a single bag in my house, which is ridiculous, because I must own about a billion bags of all shapes and sizes, but I guess they are all packed or in storage. So I was thinking to myself that I must be able to use one of my million vintage pillowcases to make a simple shopping bag, and I decided to do a google search for a tutorial. An hour later and I couldn't find anything that looked how I pictured it in my head, or a tutorial easy enough for my very distracted mind to follow, so I decided to wing it. I am absolutely and totally happy with how it turned out, even though my boxed corners are a bit wonky. For a first attempt at making a bag of any kind, I think it's pretty awesome, and I am thinking that many more will be made in the not too distant future, maybe one to match each outfit. I love a project that is easy, quick and cheap, and this was all of those things, as well as extremely useful!!
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Monday, September 13, 2010

Moving On

We have sold our house, YAY!!! The paperwork is not finalised yet, but I’m fairly sure it will all go through without a hitch, and we will be moving very soon. I have been madly trying to find us somewhere to move to, which ticks all the boxes and is affordable, and I think I may have found somewhere. I don’t want to get too attached, because it may not work out, but I am already planning my new craft room. Really, I am going to have a craft room no matter where we end up living, because that is my main requirement. All I want for my birthday is a craft room :) Here’s some inspiration I found on Flickr.

craft room inspiration

1. Craft room, 2. Craft Room: Updated!, 3. Untitled, 4. 3 studio desks - overview - best view in large size!, 5. Where Women Create Blog Party, 6. My Playroom, 7. A corner in my studio, 8. MY CRAFT ROOM, 9. Scrapbook Room, 10. Craft Room, 11. My Creative Space November 25, 12. Mini Vintage Fabric Bunting, 13. Mini Vintage Fabric Bunting, 14. New Chair, 15. Untitled, 16. First pics of my Craft Room

While browsing through all the amazing images on Flickr I found a most gorgeous and drool-worthy photostream, and I am totally in love with EVERY.SINGLE.PHOTO. And she also has a pretty awesome blog, totally worth checking out.

Believe it or not, I have actually started packing. The problem I have is that there is nowhere to put all the boxes that are being packed. They are currently piled up in just about every spare “edge” of room, and soon there will just be small walkways to allow us to get from one room to the next. Small sacrifice to make in order to get a MUCH bigger house.

Funny thing is (at least I think so) the thing I am most excited about is getting to wash, iron and stack all my fabric, which is currently stored all scrunched up in bags stashed in different parts of the house. The downside is, I won’t be able to do any thrifting or bring home anything from funky junk until after we have moved, because it’ll just be more stuff to pack.

In my life I have packed and moved so many times you would think by now I’d be a pro, but I just can’t get my head around where to start, so I’ve ended up packing a couple of boxes of kitchen stuff, then moved onto the bathroom, then the bedroom, then the lounge…..the result is a bit chaotic. I guess once we have a definite home to move to and a date I will be able to focus more.

I don’t think there will be any crafting happening until after the move, and I’m probably gonna be pretty busy packing, so my little blog might get a bit neglected in the next few weeks. I hope you understand :)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Wardrobe Wednesday…On Thursday…

Today I am procrastinating, because I have plenty of stuff to do to get ready to move, but it’s raining, the boxes are out in the garage, and I don’t really feel like going outside and getting wet.

P9090005Cardi – from postie plus I think, top – thrifted, skirt – unfinished project found in funky junk, I think it used to be a dress, but someone cut the top off to make it into a skirt, but then never finished it. Works for me though, it was free and I love the retro print! Go here to see what other kiwis are wearing.

So, it turns out I didn’t have to make a decision after all (but I think we were leaning more towards staying here for another year and saving some money). We finally got an offer on our house that we are going to accept, a little below what we needed, but we can make it work. Now for the humungous task of packing up all our crap in as little time as possible, and I just don’t know where to start. I think I am going to have to start with my craft stuff, because that pretty much covers every surface in our house, but once it’s packed up I won’t be able to make anything, and I still have one more swap package to finish.

P9090006Rain rain go away. I need sunshine to motivate me to do stuff. Oh, and if you know of any 4+ bedroom homes coming up for rent in the Tauranga area, please let me know, otherwise we will be homeless in a few weeks.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Revamped Relics

Fullscreen capture 7092010 85805 p.m..bmp

Someone who follows my blog emailed me a flyer for this great event which is coming up soon, so I thought I would share it, in case any local people see this. It sounds like something I will definitely be keen to get to, possibly lining up at the door on opening day :) (retro fabric-aholic is a pretty accurate description of me, and I love me some up-cycling!)

Keeping it Real

As I get another week closer to the last year of my twenties, I find myself in a state of gloomy, unmotivated, emotional unstableness. Not so much because of my age, but because of the place I am in life which is so far from where I imagined. Ten years ago, as I approached my 19th year of life, I was in my first term at art school. Life was all about being creative, whether that was writing, drawing, painting or just sitting around day-dreaming about where life would take me. I wanted to be so many things, but most of all I wanted to be my own boss, have my own business, my own labour of love.

Anyway, that’s not the point, that’s just another reason for the gloominess. The point is that I have to make a decision, a rather largish decision that will affect the future of my little family in a big way. And I am struggling with the selfishness of this decision. For those who don’t know me personally, I feel that it’s slightly important to point out that I am an only child. But I am not your average selfish-spoilt-brat only child, because of the way I was raised. However, there will always be that little part of me that thinks like an only child.

The decision I have to make concerns our current living situation. Those of you who follow my blog have probably heard me bitch and moan about my current living situation many times. Coming up to 4 years ago, when children were not even a thought in our minds, we purchased our first property. We fell in love with this place immediately, the perfect modern little unit for a young professional couple. We knew that it would be a struggle to start with, but once hubby was finished his diploma and could work full time, it would be perfect. We moved in at the end of September 2006, about 3 weeks later I found out I was pregnant, completely unexpectedly and the situation was less than ideal. But it didn’t take long for us to adapt to that situation, three people living in a 2 bedroom unit wasn’t so bad. Well, loads of stuff happened after that, including moving out and becoming landlords so we could have more space, then having to move back in when the recession hit because we couldn’t afford it anymore. Now we have had our place on the market for 2 years, and it has become apparent that in the current market we are not going to be able to sell for enough to just break even, so we are in a position where we need to decide what next.

There is only so long that little man can sleep in a cot in our bedroom, there is nowhere to put another bed and bunks are not an option. But if we had to, at a stretch, we could probably keep him there for at least another 6 months to a year, as he is not mobile yet, and he may not even be walking by two. So my decision is selfish because: I want our bedroom back for the sake of our relationship, I want a room for all my creative stuff so I don’t feel stressed every time I want to create something but I have to dig around in uncountable places where things have been stashed away out of reach of little people or out of sight of visitors, and mostly because I want a HOUSE. A whole house. A house we can turn into a home. Because we never thought this place would take so long to sell it has always felt temporary, no point in settling in because we won’t be here long. The thing is, staying here would mean that for the first time in 4 years we would be a lot better off financially, because of the current interest rates (and ours is coming up for renewal). So, what would you choose, financial stability in a less than ideal living situation, or comfortable living with a bit of financial struggle? I just can not decide, and until I decide I can not get myself motivated to do anything except mope in gloominess (this gloomy weather doesn’t help at all!).

Sorry for the rather gloomy, un-illustrated, desperate tone of this post, but I really do need help.

Friday, September 3, 2010

My Felt Shop

Felt banner 06

Is finally up and running. I have started listing some of the jewellery I have made over the years, because it is just taking up space and needs to go somewhere where it will be worn and appreciated. Please browse and feel free to buy :)

***If you buy something then come back here to tell me, I will put in a little bonus item or two, to say thanks***

EDIT: It appears that my listings have to be approved because I am new to Felt, so they could take up to 24 hours to show up, please keep checking back if you want to have a nosey.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Stuff and Things, bla bla bla

I’m really not keeping up with the blogging thing very well, am I? I do try, I almost always remember to take photos of things before they get sent away/given away/stolen by small people, but those photos don’t always make it into blog land. So here is a bit of a catch-up with a bit of randomness thrown in.

P8310077 This was part 2 of my “here comes the sun” parcel, which was sent off yesterday.

P8260072Some bug softies made for the babies at daycare, because that's their theme at the moment. I have more of these ready to sew up, I just haven’t had the time. These three (ladybug, butterfly, bumble bee) have cellophane inside them so they make crinkly noises when squeezed. Unfortunately I sewed the ladybugs wings on crooked, but since they are just for babies, I didn’t think it mattered. If I had been paid to make them then I would have been a bit more worried, but they are just something that I thought would be fun to make, and there is only so many softies I can handle in my house.

P9010088These are my new sunglasses, which I had to buy in the weekend because I left mine at home and I can’t go a whole weekend without sunglasses. I just love them, and they were only $3.90.

P9010090Cute stickers also bought in the weekend, not that I need them or have any idea what I’ll use them for, but they were too cute to leave behind.

Yesterday I did something shocking…..I started knitting!!! I can’t tell you what, because it’s for one of my swap partners. But I can’t believe how easy it is, when all those years ago I struggled and never felt like knitting was my thing, to just pick up the needles and remember how to do it like it was only yesterday. I guess knitting is like riding a bike. Only problem is, because I never actually finished knitting anything, I have no idea how to finish it. Is it called casting off? I think I will have to do a bit of Google research to try to figure it out. 

At the moment most of the things I make are for swaps, so I can’t show them on my blog or it will ruin the surprise. One swap down, One almost finished, one just barely started but just about completely thought out. What I wouldn't give to have a spotlight close by!!

Wardrobe Wednesday

I’m going to cheat a bit this week and use a photo from the weekend. You see, last weekend I had the opportunity to be part of a very special weekend, what is called a “Magic Mums Weekend”. This is something that happens once a year, and it is a chance for mums with special needs kids to have a weekend away to be pampered and to connect with other mums in a similar situation. It was absolutely fantastic, I had my hair straightened, my nails done, my make up done, and I felt more glamorous than I have in years.

magic mums me2 magic mums me

So this is my recent go-to outfit for any occasion that requires something a bit fancier than jeans. The dress (which you can’t see very well because I am sitting down) was thrifted, it is super comfortable, can be worn casual or dressed up, and goes great with my favourite boots and tights in winter.

And to prove how much I loved this hairstyle, I’m going to show you a photo of me in my pyjamas, because I still felt glamorous at 1am sitting in the motel room drinking tea and chatting to amazing mums.

magic mums me3

BTW – HAPPY FIRST DAY OF SPRING!!! And hasn’t the universe provided us with the perfect spring day!! I hope the skies are blue and the sun is shining wherever you are today :)