Monday, 31 December 2007

Life is tough when you're 2!

We have been frantically cleaning out wardrobes, cupboards, drawers, pantries in a bid to declutter and get a head start on our packing. Here's my little helper who insisted he wipe out the drawers with me:

And it's not all work... this is what I have been up to with my new toy:

Thursday, 27 December 2007

Looking for Santa

Looking for Santa, originally uploaded by austysmum.

I know it's not craft related but I'm not too sure that anyone reads Austy's own blog so I thought I'd post his pic here. I took this today so he's actually not looking for santa, but cross at me for not letting him sit in the boat while his Dad tried to start it... I am mean! But I told him he could go in the boat IF he had a sleep, which he refused yet again and after the third attempt to get him down we gave up and the boat got taken out the front without the boy. So he just looked from the window sadly... aww .. how can I resist smothering this gorgeous boy in kisses every day?!

He cheered up when I let him come in the bathroom and help me clear out cupboards and drawers, although the boat would have been much more fun. Hopefully we can get it fixed so we can head up the river next week and let Austy have his first ride and a little play on the kneeboards (not attached to the boat of course!).

Monday, 24 December 2007

Last minute quilted gift

Yes, this truly was at the last minute!! Austy wouldn't sleep for me yeaterday and we had a wedding to go to on Saturday, with me at work all week last week and a house to tidy up ready for the "home stylist" to come and tell us what else we needed to do before our opens in January. So in a last minute attempt to do some Christmas sewing, Austy FINALLY went to sleep after a very trying 2hrs of me going in and telling him to get back into bed (he was SUPER tired, which was probably the problem), I managed to convert this from mental plan to reallity. Just in time for the big day tomorrow!

With that said, now I'm off to open two VERY big boxes as the jolly man dropped them off early so that I can play before I have to abandon them in the morning :)

Merry Christmas everyone who reads this, and thanks for all your words of encouragement through the year.

Friday, 21 December 2007

We're FINALLY moving!!!

Yes, that's right after 3 yrs of serious searching we finally bought a house. I almost can't believe it myself, but Christmas means an end to my crafting for a while and some serious decluttering, packing and cleaning (windows - yeuch!). Maybe I'll get a little bit of crafting in... a girl's got to unwind somehow, but with my two weeks off work I will be going through the inside of this place we live in now with a fine tooth comb to make it sparkle when we put it on the market late January.

Then in March, we will be living in this little wonder - the house isn't perfect, but OH! The SPACE!!! No more wading through Austy's toys to put dinner on the table. Room for Austy to play so he doesn't get difficult when it's raining out. And when it's not raining I think he'll find plenty of room to run on 1276sqm!

And I did mention that I need something crafty to work on while I unwind, didn't I. Here's my first attempt at knitting lace weight, using the Live2Knit 2ply 50% silk/50% merino. Pure luxury! A big change from chunky soaker knitting and a lot slower. I won't tell you what it is yet, and you'll probably only get tiny snippets of reveals along the way because I'm not sure if I'm allowed to tell yet. But keep your eyes peeled.

Oh, and I really should mention - I got THOROUGHLY spoilt by my EB November Mum's Secret Santa! She sent me a Fat Quarter Shop voucher to feed my new quilting habit. So I will have lots of fun picking out and then sewing up my gift (on my new sewing machine I begged the real Santa for!)

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Knitting frenzy and shorts for Christmas

Wow - 2 weeks since my last post. You can tell it's the silly season. While I haven't done all the projects I had plans for in time for Christmas (might have to start them early next year so they do get done in time for next Christmas), it's great encouragement to see my long list of completed items for 2007 in my side bar. If I hadn't started this blog in January, I would never have known how many things I've finished. I am going to be a little sad when I wipe it clear for 2008 in a few weeks, but it's done it's job in keeping me motivated through the year, when often it feels like I'll never get anything finished, trying to fit me time in amongst Austy time, Austy's Dad time, study and work. I'm now back to 5 days a week as it's policy that once your child turns two you must be working a full time week :( which has made a huge difference to my craft time in the past three weeks.
Anyway, I did get a few knitty projects started, and a couple finished. Here's Austy helping me with one of them:

And the final outcome - an Everlasting Wondersoaker that has already been getting a workout with the warm nights we've been having lately. The photos were taken after a few washes so the wool has started to felt already. Unfortunately it's very easily felted, even with the most gentle handwashing. However it is a little big so it can handle it and it will just become more leakproof like the capris I made with the same wool (which are now heavily felted shorties just through normal use and gentle hand washing). I dyed the wool with landscape dyes from the muted primaries kit.

Another soaker on the go, a Curly Purly one this time, from the gorgeous Jolly Jumbuck wool I showed you last post. It didn't use nearly as much wool as I thought so now the leftover splish splash will become a newborn CP soaker or at least the cuffs of something else. There's almost 50gms left over!

How's this for instant gratification? I love making booties - not only are they super cute but you can whip them up in an evening or two. These were made with an antique patons pattern I had, with some bambino merino (lovely soft 100% 4ply wool) that I dyed with jelly to get the lemon lime twist effect. The idea was that lemon booties are a part of an old wives tale to help fertility, but I added a bit of green both for more interest and some luck as these booties went to AJ along with the FQ Christmas swap, who's had a tough year or two trying to start her family and a few IVF attempts recently. Hopefully these little booties will be the fertility/luck charm she needs to have a VERY happy new year!!!

On to the sewing: Last night I turned WIP Wednesday into an "I must sew until I'm finished Wednesday". With a half day at work for end of year celebrations the boys forgot to invite me to until the last minute (but I had to refuse as it was too late to organise care for Austin) I managed to get home just in time for his nap. He was the perfect angel and slept for 3 hrs giving me time to tidy up a bit and get started on this little Christmas project for him. Of course when he went to bed later in the evening I had to get straight back to the machine. Here are the little shorts he'll be wearing on Chistmas day:

I used the same pattern as for the stripey denim police car shorts I made recently, but added a little cargo pocket that I made up, based loosely on a pair of Osh Kosh shorts of his that I love. I would have copied the OK pocket but they were neatly folded in his drawer and I didn't want to wake him. So I attempted it from memory, and think it works well to add some interest to the lower part of the shorts. I made them shorter too as they were almost long pants on him last time.

I also have some fabric to show off:

And here's what I got spoilt with for the EB Christmas Fat Quarter Swap (and of course, I had to go and buy a matching FQ - the swirly one on the left). These were going to be used for our Christmas stockings but I doubt I will have time to make them before Christmas now. Not to worry, there's a whole 12m till next Christmas, so hopefully we will have three new Christmas stockings to hang on the mantle at our NEW house! The little window print would also make a fantastic event calendar. Thanks again Natalie!
Hang on a minute, did I say NEW house?! Really?!!! I DID!!! More news to come on that when I have some more photo uploading prowress...

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

WIP WEDNESDAY: A bubby quilt

Well it looks like I have a thing for sailing boats and nautical stuff for newborn boys, first it was a pair of nautical newborn longies, then it was a nautical tank and now a nautical quilt! But seriously how could I resist the gorgeous Hamptons charm packs from the Fat Quarter Shop? (The pic is from reprodepot as the fat quarter shop isn't listing them anymore). I love tiny prints, and the colours, the fact that it's a nautical theme didn't bother me, but I love how it's very boyish - there aren't many tonal fabrics that don't have flowers or leaves on them these days. Plus I have a thing for starry things - love that starry fabric even though the colours stars and stripes make it look a bit American. And the Engineer in me absolutely adored the blueprint fabrics with technical yacht drawings on them - wow!

So here is a glimpse at what it's turning into:

And some gorgeous bright woolly mail I got this week from jollyjumbuck:

I have a couple of fabrics that arrived recently and woolly wips to show off, but will have to save them for another day as the sun is down and I forgot to take pics earlier. I have decided NOT to take pics of my work with a flash if I can help it.

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Funky shorts and a craft market visit

I decided that with two VERY big boxes sitting in our bedroom waiting for Christmas (a new sewing machine with quilting table and an embroidery machine), I had better prove I was worth it and get some sewing done. So I decided to stop "cheating" making plain elastic waist pants without waistbands for Austin, and make some fully fledged pants with waist pockets, waistband and a fly. The last time I did that was for my nephew's pageboy trousers for our wedding in 2004, but I don't think they had waist pockets from memory, just front darts/tucks.

He's 2 now right so I went right ahead and made size 3... well he is too big for size 2 tops so I figure the shorts he would grow into soon enough! But alas, they are HUGE. They only just hang onto his nappy to stay up (which we are almost out of as he's using his big boy toilet and was thrilled to get Thomas jocks for his birthday) and the length makes them almost like trousers. I was about to unpick them and tighten the elastic in the back of the waistband, but decided against it, because he'd probably need that much elastic in there by the time his legs are long enough. Perhaps I should add belt loops??

I love them anyway, and they are velcro rather than buttoned as I thought it would be easier for him to undo when he goes to the "little boys room" now that he's no longer a baby. I chose one of my favourite quilting cottons left over from his quilt to do the pockets and a little designer patch on a back pocket. Austy's Dad just said "Go on, just make another pair in size 2 - more practice right?" He loves them too and wants me to try out one of the other quilters cottons I have for the trimmings. Think I might add something more to the front on the next pair. And I want to make some Christmas shorts from the same pattern with some embelishments.

Then I decided to spoil myself with one of these:

A toiletry bag that I am using as a circular knitting needle case since my circular collection has been growing and they get tangled with all the straights in the big pencil case I was using. There were too many lovely prints to make the choice easy, at the craft fair I went to yesterday. A friend from mothers group makes them, as well as zippered bags in other sizes and handbags. She has certainlky been busy, and I hope the sales were good for her, despite the 37 degree first day of summer we had. Check out her other wares here - RikRak. I don't know how she does it, I struggle to find time just to sew the few things I make for Austy.

And I sent off a soft fat quarter package last week, with a little handcrafted pressie for the EB crafters Christmas FQ swap. I am tempted to show you all now, but I know it will spoil the surprise! So I will be good, but keep your eyes peeled for the 12th, our designated parcel opening day!

I have a new quilt I'm working on too, so will take some photos of that to show you next week.

Thursday, 29 November 2007

Little quilts and a birthday boy

I was going to wait until I received confirmation that this little quilt arrived at it's destination, but it was due to arrive a week ago and I haven't heard anything. If I don't blog it now I will never blog it, as the longer it takes the more I think it's not worth blogging... (I was nervy sending it because I was worried it wouldn't be liked). I am a bit down about the whole thing now and not sure I'll make for people I don't know again. I know it's not perfect but I thought it was at least worth a "Thanks".

But here it is, the "This Little Piggy" doll quilt, for a DIN05 girl who is now 2!! I went a bit freestyle on the borders - heaps more fun than straight lines!

Actually, she turned 2 last Sunday, the same day my own little prince hit that milestone. Here is the birthday boy in his birthday finery (a little shirt I made him for the occation) although he had a sore throat so wasn't a very cooperative model.

He did get spoilt though, lots of Thomas, junior mechano, clothes, and other toys. And here is my lame attempt at making a Thomas cake. I was unwell all week preceding his birthday and for half of this week too, so this is the best I could do. It tasted good though! A rich chocolate cake that we thought gave Austy a tummy upset, but on Monday the doctor told us that no, it's not the chocolate cake but a virus Austy had that did that. So we let him have a nice big piece that night! (All he got on his actual birthday was a nibble after we thought the taste test Saturday night caused the trouble.)

And Down Under Quilts have finally released the winners of the blankets of love challenge, so I think it's safe for me to share my finished quilt now. Nowhere near as good as the winners, but I am all inspired for next year now!

For some strange reason only some of my pics enlarge when you click them, and today it won't work. So if you want to see them bigger, go to my flickr account - link in my side bar.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Nautical tank

Finally I get around to revealing this little tank I made for baby Jett, a second generation EB Due In November 05 baby (little brother to Austy's friend Kiera). I gifted it a few weeks ago, just a bit slow updating the blog!

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Quilty parcel RECEIVED!!!

And Austy is oh so happy - just get a look at that grin! We have had lots of fun this evening with a teddy bears picnic out the back. As soon as Austy realised this little quilt (carefully crafted by the talented AJ) was for him and Benji Bear, he scooped it up, ran to his bedroom and grabbed Benji Bear and his buddies and asked for his baby quilt (it was in his cot with the side up still) before running out the back to feed his toys a tasty dinner of leaves. Mmmmm!

Just check out the detail on this cute little quilt! The riangles are seriously tiny, and very much Austy's favourite part - his first remarks on opening the package were "WOOOOOOOOWWW!!" and "Little twiangles!". He loves the trucks too and the prarie points certainly set it off beautifully. My new baby quilt book has them on every quilt, so I'd love to try my hand at them sometime soon, and this little quilt has given me even more inspiration.

Here's the pretty pink wrapping fabric, that was tied with a pretty silver ribbon holding a little handmade card to the pressie:

I have tonnes of photos (can you tell I got carried away?!) but I need to get to bed some time tonight and blogger takes too long to load them all. Just about every teddy, doll and stuffed animal in the house had to try it out ;)

Check out all the other gorgeous mini quilts here Everyone did an amazing job. It is certainly a pleasure to be a part of this group as I can tell they have a lot to teach me!

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Ted quilt REVEALED!!

Ted quilt REVEALED!!, originally uploaded by austysmum.

Here is the moment you've all been waiting for! (Tee hee)

My EB Doll Quilt swapee has finally opened her gift, and the winner is.... Natalie! & Jai of course, after all it is his name on the label ;)

So there you have it in all it's glory, the teddy "Bug Collector" quilt.

Keep your eyes peeled as I am currently on a vendettor to catch my post man and make him hand over my quilty parcel from AJ too!!!

Monday, 5 November 2007

A garden tea party

Yesterday, our cute little neice and Austy's much loved cousin Elizabeth (or "Lizzi-Biff" as he calls her... hey, it used to be just plain "Biff"!) grew into a 2yr old! For her birthday she grew a tiny curl on her almost hairless head, and her Mum is certainly pleased, having worried she'd be bald for the rest of her life, especially after Austy had his 5th haircut on Friday!(sob - DH had his cute little clown curls chopped off!) However what she lacks in hair she certainly makes up for with character and cuteness, she loves to play Mummy and is often trying to feed Austy or hold his drink for him, while he likes to play baby and happily oblidges. So what else would I give her but a little doll quilt of course!

But DH had no faith in me, and told me to go and buy her a "real present" so Austy and I went out on Friday morning and picked out this tea set while DH played golf. I had already named the quilt, and wanted a little tea set to go with it. I nearly came back empty handed, until the sales lady steered me away from the super pink girls toy section (that seemed like a totally different world to me!) and into the much safer toddler section, where the Fisher Price musical tea set smiled at me and yelled "pick me, pick me!" It was perfect, and even kept Austy amused while I clothes shopped, as he kept pressing the teapot and singing along "I'm a little teapot, short and stout..."

So here they are, Elizabeth, Austy and second cousin Mackenzie celebrating together on teh little quilt I gave her.
And a few of you were wondering what happened on dress-up day... Well it poured with rain here, and DH isn't all that good with the camera indoors. Austy was all hyper from being trapped indoors, and made it even harder for him to get a good shot while I was at work (he only goes to childcare for the afternoon session just before DH leaves for work). So here is about the best shot we have for now, waiting for a nice sunny weekend when we can play dress-ups again and I can get snap happy myself.

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

A Wednesday WIP?

Well please don't choke on your tongue, but somewhere in me I found the motivation to pull this thing out of hiding after almost 2yrs sitting in solitary confinment in a hobby bag under my bed. Yep, it's Austy's birth sampler. I did loads of work on it in the months leading up to his birth and took it everywhere with me, even snuck out to the carpark at lunch time to sit in the car and stitch some in my measly 20mins break (and ate at my desk during work just so I had more stitching time!) in the hope that it would be done before he was born... all except the name and date of course because we weren't sure whether he'd be Austin or Madison and it seemed like he was never coming out, so there was no chance of guessing the date.

However once he was born, I TRIED stitching some more but sadly it was all too hard in my sleep deprived and milk bar mummy state, and it never made it onto his wall. In my defense it is the biggest thing I've attempted in embroidery of any kind, taking up the whole top of Austy's new table for this photo.
I lost even more motivation when I realised that the configuration of his bedroom was fixed due to the tiny limits of the room and big furniture I chose in the hope we'd have a new big house by the time we had him. What's that got to do with the price of eggs? Well his cot sits right under the only hook in the room (and only decent wall space for it) and I knew that as soon as he stood up, he'd be ripping it off the wall. We did have a framed photo of us there, but just as I guessed it, we had to take that down pretty soon, exposing an ugly safe door instead. His birth certificate is framed and just shoved onto his bookshelf behind stuff because there's nowher for it, so that meant there was definitely nowhere for this.

But somehow the urge returned to me last night to pull it out and before I curled up under my covers I finished that second little elephant (that still needs an outline like the lions and many of the monkeys) and decided I'd better take a photo of where it was at (minus that little elephant's ear and tusks) when Austy was born. I was going to press it for the photo, but I am posting it here in it's current state, all crinkled and stretched where I left the hoop on it all this time (Ooops!!!!!) to shame myself into finishing it. It is really silly - the theme of his room was chosen to match this thing as I had the pattern for several years before marrying Andrew, and had always wanted to do it for my first born. Yet I never finished it after coming so far. Shame, shame, shame! Now to get stitching...

Monday, 22 October 2007

Clown Suit for my little funny clown

Here I was panicing because there was a note across the sign in/out book last week that said DON'T FORGET - DRESS UP WEEK NEXT WEEK!! I rushed off to Spotlight on the weekend and bought some fabric that screamed out clown, and attempted to madly put this thing together, ready for Thursday. Well, it turns out that the ladies in the baby room got their dates mixed up, and it's dress up week NEXT week! So all that rushing for nothing... but at least that's one thing out of the way that I don't need to worru about, and Austy's first costume is complete, as a start to his new dress-ups box.
It was quite fun to design and make only it would have been more fun if I realised I had more time. I probably would have done the ruffle a bit fuller, but because I cut two right sleeves, I was running short of fabric once I cut the left one (doh!) so this little attempt at a ruffle will have to do. I have since found a pattern in one of my books for clown shoes, that are just his size, so dug out some puff paint for the soles of them now that I might actually have time to do them. It doesn't look like much on the chair and table set (my bargain that I picked up at Kmart on Friday for only $50!) but the pants look super cute on the boy - I can't wait to try the top on tomorrow after work.

Friday, 19 October 2007

Quilt design fun!

I was delighted to get mail today, as it was the order from soft expressions - my new Quilt Design Wizard software and a gorgeous little quilt pattern book. My Ottobre issue arrived too, but I wasn't that impressed with what they had this time around. The newborn and baby patterns are quite cute but there's not that much for Austy.

Of course I had to spend the evening checking out my new software, even though I had great plans to finish the top of Elizabeth's quilt (her birthday is only 2 weeks away!!!). But how could I resist playing with my new toy? Here's my first design, a baby quilt I have planned for that cute lambsy fabric I got in my last equilter parcel, shown a few posts down. (The lambs will go where the lemon novelty fabric is in the design).

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Quilty tease!

Just because I can! All will be revealed very soon...
(Quilt modelled by Austy's special Sleepy Pendoodle, named after the puppy in the book, by the same title)

Sunday, 14 October 2007

Why I love knitting on circulars...

Look at this - I can sit outside in the sunshine, watch Austy while he plays with his toy lawn mower and mini Sherrin, and then, when he veers too close to the edge of the retaining wall, I can throw the knitting, run and grab him and return to no dropped stitches, or lost needles. Fantastic! If only I had thought of that weeks ago instead of standing around bored out of my brains, because he won't let me play too - Austy has to do everything himself now, including playing out the back! (This is my rather brave attempt at mixing colours a bit differently - bordering on gawdy granny knits, but I don't know, it "sort" of goes!)

And just because I can, I am going to show off my woolly prize from the knittery that I mentioned a few posts down, and my latest equilter parcel. The monkey stuff is to go with my charm squares for bub #2's roll around and throw up on quilt, and the others are just because I liked them. I think the aqua, pink and bubbles are destined for my oldest niece and the cute lamby fabric was picked out for a friend who's preggas, if I get brave enough to make her bub a throw up on quilt...

Yesterday we had Mummy and Me time at Hazelwood Park, a beautiful spot to feed the ducks, not one annoying pidgeon in sight (at our local park the pidgeons outnumber the ducks and leave nice little "gifts" on the pram or on us!) and to stroll through to the playground area. Enough room for Austy to walk by himself without danger of getting out onto the road. We were delighted to see a new family of ducks - Mummy Duck, Daddy Duck and 8 little ducklings, about 1-2 days old. So sweet!! And two little black ducks among the bunch. It made my day to see them in all their fluffiness.

Oh, and we went to Nanna's 75th birthday last weekend and we were the ones that got gifts - check out Austy's new hand knitted jumper in the pics above! Nanna was given someone elses unfinished project that she ripped back, washed the yarn and knitted into this cute little jumper and hat for our boy. I love the colours. Suits him perfectly. Pitty he wouldn't keep the hat on though, he wanted to wear the one I made him... and the mittens and the scarf. It wasn't THAT cold, but I took this pic before we took it all off again and went to the park.