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.

Friday, 12 October 2007

Slowly does it...

It seems likeAusty's big boy bed quilt is taking me forever, especially now I'm onto the strippy squares. Mind you I did put it down for quite a while to practise on some little quilts first, and the practise has certainly helped. I can tell very easily as I had to trim quite a bit off the first lot of strippy squares I did at the beginning, but the ones I made over the last couple of nights were almost perfect. I have decided to add an extra row to my design so that there are two eye spye blocks on both the top and bottom rows, so am now waiting for an equilter order for more trucks and more of the blue swirl after a mismeasured cut rendered the two squares I needed, useless for this quilt... Argh! I would have had the exact amount I needed! Oh well, I can now make a pillow slip to match. Looking at it in picture form makes me feel I still have a looooong way to go with all those strippy squares and half squares, but I think it will be worth it. DH tells me that if I didn't spend so much time laying out the blocks all the time, I'd have it done by now... hmmm maybe he's onto something, but I can't help myself!
Excuse the pic quality - taken late at night...

Sunday, 7 October 2007

A Slinki Malinki Toy Tote!

As promised, here are the photos of Austy's new tote. It's taller than I was going to make it as I didn't want to chop asny cats heads off in the lining fabric and wanted to be sure the handle stitching stayed well clear of the applique on the back. I originally planned a bordered panel of the three pictures on the back but couldn't find a fabric that would not detract from the illustrations and went with each one, so instead decided on this placement, directly on the denim.

It works as a childcare bag during the week, fitting a couple of disposables (home nappies) in the pocket, spare clothes in the main and milk sippy cup in the front pocket, and then on weekends works beautifully as a toy tote, holding a couple of cloth nappies and wipes in the bottom, and that internal pocket holds two Linley Dodd books just perfectly.

Here's a detail shot of the internal pocket.

Saturday, 6 October 2007

Happy Friday

I had a wonderful day yesterday, but didn't get a chance to post, so here's the post a day late.
It was a beautiful warm spring day that saw the first rose of the season on Asteryx's rose bush start to open, so I cut it off and brought it in. It has such a strong and heavenly frangrance and currently making me giddy as I type it's so good. MMMmmmmmm. A perfect way to wake up!

Then we quickly got ready and dashed out to an EB sewing buddy's house (Natalie's) for a book party where I snapped up some gorgeous little storybooks for Austy, including a lift the flap Hairy Maclary book. Natalie lives out near a big patchwork and quilting shop that I rarely get a chance to visit, so I took the opportunity to pop in on my way home, to find they had a sale on! 20% off all fabric, 40% off selected ones and 50% off all patterns. I was hoping to get a good look through the patterns but Austin was tired after the book party and starting to run amok, so we left it at a couple of neccesities, like the printable fabric, a new biger quilting ruler and some pretty blue fat quarters and fat 8ths to add to the other blues I have to do the scrappy border of Austy's big boy quilt. How cute is this fabric?!

We left the quilt shop, and dashed off to the aquarium shop also out that way, to buy more food for Siegfred the turtle. While we were there I couldn't help myself but to pop into my favourite yarn store in the same complex, that's closing down :(. They too had a 20% off sale to clear out stocks before they cram it all into their other tiny shop at Highgate, so I grabbed some cotton to make another Debbie Blis Tank Top for Austy as last year's doesn't fit anymore.

So all in all a great day! When we got home Austy was rightfully exhausted so he fell into bed while I played with my new purchases. Here's a sneak peak at my latest project - a day care bag for Austy! Yes, that's Slinki Malinki right there on fabric - got to love printable fabric! Austy saw it today, pointed and said "Ohhhhhh Noooooo! Criminal cat!!!" I just know he's going to love carrying this bag into day care each day!

I promise more photos tomorrow when the handles are finished (Austy woke up before I could finish today) showing the cute lining and pocket and the other Slinki pictures on the other side of the bag.

Oh and you might spot a little teddy pillow in the pics.... just another tease for the teddy/doll quilt swap!!
And maybe TMI - but it's a good thing I made some trainer pants for the boy on Thursday night - two wees and a number 2 in the toilet today!!! No babies here anymore!

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Exciting email day

I checked my hotmail emails at lunch time today (I don't check them as regularly as my home address) and was thrilled to bits - lots of good crafty news in there! Here's the list of things that made me smile in the order that I read them:

1. A Creative Memories sale on with my local consultant and some exciting scrapping events coming up
2. My invitation to join Ravelry and find out what other web knitters are all raving about
3. I WON!!!!! A free ball of knittery yarn by posting a photo of Austy's cabled hat in the Knittery Flickr group.

I never win anything so that third item caught me by surprise big time! :) There were also a few other nice things in there, like the equilter and fat quarter shop newsletters which are extra good with the Aussie dollar doing so well, and a Jo Sharp sale at the Wool Shack, but after Austy's Dad reminded me how many projects I have to finish by the end of the year (on top of all that study I have to do), I am not quite sure whether buying more fabric and yarn right now is a good thing, as no doubt I'll want to start using it straight away. If I can buy it and restrain myself, all will be fine!

Now it's WIP Wednesday, but I think it's time I showed you something I whipped up for a 1yr old's birthday party on the weekend - a little toy tote, made from denim and a gorgeous Timeless Treasures aeroplane print.

I was thrilled with how it turned out and almost wanted to keep it myself for Austy to take his change of clothes and Sleepy Pendoodle Dog to childcare in, but it was well worth gifting as little Tristian's Mum was as thrilled as I was and was very grateful. Just what you want when you go to all the trouble of making something. Inside the little bag was one of Austy's favourite books (but a new copy for Tristian of course!) "Going on a Bear Hunt". Hopefully he will enjoy it as much as Austin does.

Oh, and I have another little bag planned for Austy - it involves his favourite story character - Slinki Malinki (of the Hairy Maclary series by Linley Dodd). More to be revealed at a later date!

Last night I went to my first embroidery class at a little shop on Deveraux Rd called Class Craft. When I walked in the doors for the first time a few months ago my mouth dropped at all the beautiful things in there. Vicki, the lady that runs it takes classes most of the week, teaching people how to make the little treasures she stocks, so I couldn't resist booking in when Austy's Dad had a Tuesday night off work to sit home with Austy while I stitched. I wanted to learn shadow work as the simple and delicate nature of it really draws me to it, and I have visions of making a little musical cushion for the next baby, to hang on the door or cot, with a sweet little rocking horse embroidered on it in shadow work with the baby's name and birth date stitched beside it. It might be a bit more achievable than the huge cross stitch birth sampler I was making for Austin, then never touched once he was born (all it needs is a few little details in the border and his name/birthdate stitched on so I really should get to it soon). I had to start my shadow work learning with a boring ribbon design, I have no idea what I'll use it for as I'm not too keen on it, but it is a good practise piece none-the-less. I doubt I'll ever finish it, as I will probably get bored since the design doesn't grab me at all.

When looking at it, please remember it's a learning piece and I have never done this before - my hand stitching is my downfall of any project, and I decided it's time to improve it. I'd also love to learn the wool embroidery to do a beautiful cot blanket, but the opportunity to go to a class will be a rare one for me with Austy's Dad working evenings and weekends, and me at work during weekdays. Since she doesn't sell kits and just teaches you as you go to each class, I probably will never get that project off my "one day" list.

Now, to get back to those many WIPs and check out Ravelry!