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.