Saturday, 28 March 2009

More cherry love

It's time to get back to making some baby essentials as Madelyn has grown out of most of her small nappies. So as a break from nappy making I made this wrap, using some cute cherry fabric I had to bind a piece of muslin. She needed some new extra wide wraps as she is a bit more of a houdini than Austy ever was, but still likes to be wrapped tightly to sleep.

And another sneak peak from DQS6...

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

WIP Wednesday: Late night sewing and curtain hems

This morning was a very busy one, and this afternoon wasn't very accommodating for sewing as my darling girl seems to be teething (yes, already!) so wasn't happy to be put down, and only managed a half hour nap this morning during my fitness class, and then little spots of sleep here and there in my arms.

However a late night last night (which ended well into this morning) helped me finish the backdrop for the Doll Quilt Swap 6 mini quilt. I am yet to do the applique, but other than that, the quilt top is complete. Golf ball for size reference.

Then today, miracle of miracles, I hemmed one of the curtains in Maddy's room. I planned to do them all while Madelyn wasn't in her cot asleep, and Austy was out, but the little miss had other plans. At least I got one done, and am now not as afraid to attempt the other two. For some reason, no matter how carefully you measure and cut, the hemline on curtains seems to want to be wonky, and it bothered me because I am a perfectionist and would rather sew straight!

And another miracle was that DH finally got around to painting the feature wall in our family room. It has had two test patches on it for months now, and he's had lots of time off work due to the poor car market at present. He thought painting it might get me off his back, but he didn't realise it's that horrid 70's woodwork that I've been whinging about. We have the paint in the shed as we got it when we got the paint for the kids' rooms, but apparently it will be another year before he gets to that bit, and he won't let me do it. Oh well, a girl can try. The holes in the wall are for our TV which is now back on the wall (he did that as soon as it was dry, of course!).

Shoe fenatic!

Sandals, originally uploaded by WendysWTN.

I have to confess that while I am not so excited about shoes for myself, I absolutely adore baby shoes, and now that I have a beautiful little baby again, my obsession has been reignited.

I saw these absolutely adorable aqua sandals on flickr one day (browsing through one of the many baby shoe groups I have joined, of course!) and when I realised she was selling them, I quickly flickr-mailed Wendy and asked for a pair to be made especially for Madelyn. They are crocheted and whi;le I can do lots of different things crafty, Ican't crochet for the life of me. I managed a few granny squares as a teenager, but couldn't even do that when I tried again as an adult.

Choosing the colours was the hardest part. You all know how much I love aqua, and I was never much of a "pink person" until Madelyn came along. However I am really fond of pink on her - it's kind of celebration of the fact I have a daughter I guess, and she has the most adorable little dress with pink flowers and mint trim so I thought these colours would go with the dress perfectly.

I can't wait to get them now, they are just so beautiful! I will be stalking the postie over the next two weeks I think, and they will be here for us to take all the way back to the US for my graduation day, to wear with that pretty dress.

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Do the Dinosaur Roar

Yesterday while stuck to the couch feeding Madelyn, I put an SD card on top of a mobile phone, thinking "That is going to get lost". I just sat it on top of the phoe to remind me to put it away once I'd finished feeding, but when I put Madelyn down to bed, I came back and it had vanished. A whole months worth of photos of my rapidly changing girl, and antics of my boy. We hunted high and low and finally gave up thinking it must have fallen between two of the lounge chair modules, which are cleverly locked together and we can't remember (or access) how to unlatch them.

But this morning just as I crouched down next to Austy to see if I could find out where it went from him (suspecting little fingers may have taken off with it) I spied it! There on the floor next to his toys.

So now I can show you what I made for the EB clothing swap, gifted to Marie's Scott.

A pair of rich chocolate cords, made from a thick cord fabric with pockets on front and back, and "ROAR" appliqued on the back of one leg. All the topstitching is the same colour blue as the t-shirt sleeves.

And an appliqued t-shirt, my very first embroidery machine applique! I finally braved it, and loved it so much I made that cupcake top for Maddy immediately afterwards. I used ribbing to match the cords, and the topsititching from the twin needle used one thread blue (on the chocolate bands) and one thread chocolate (on the white or blue stretch knit). The dinosaur fabric is the same as that used in the front pocket linings on the pants. Both patterns were from Ottobre 4/06. I ommitted the knee patches in the pants, because I couldn't find any chocolate flannel, and Scott is walking now anyway, but wouldn't you know it - after I finished them I found some blue flannel scraps left over from portacot fitted sheets I made Austy as a baby, that would have been fine (the flannel goes on the inside of the pants so a bit of contrast is okay).

Marie has posted some photos of her little cutie modelling them too - you can see them here.

Friday, 20 March 2009

Opening day!!!

Today was opening day for the EB kids clothing swap. I was very excited when I saw Karen's name on the back of the parcel when it arrived yesterday. I had been the first to comment on the fabrics she showed us, and once I got the satchel had to check her sneak peak!

(A blurry hug for his new jacket)

Austy was very excited to open a couple of gifts this morning, so excited that he couldn't sit still for photos! He scored a very detailed and spunky winter jacket, that would have taken alot of time to make. Thanks Karen!!

And a reverse appliqued t-shirt that he wouldn't take off, he knows A is for Austy!

And I scored a little brooch:

So I took my two little darlings out in handmade today, Austy in his A t-shirt and Madelyn in her little owl dress that I finished off last night. I love the back view best, all tied up like a present.

What a day! Off to check out what everyone else got now.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Testing a pattern

My mailbox has been enjoying lots of wonderful fabric mail the past few weeks, including some gorgeous knits from Crafty Mama, some beautiful baby cord (oililly reprints) from Holland Fabric House, and some wonderful winnings of pink and white charms from Emma, and cute Christmas fabrics from Kylie. Honestly, I almost don't know where to start, and to top it off, a back issue of Ottobre Design came today. It is one of the best issues - 2/2005 - on recommendation from the very clever Milly, who was making one of the cutest little tees from it for our EB swap. Austy will have one of those for sure! The pattern that sold me on it though was the beautiful blue baby dress, with matching frilly knickers and tee, that would just be sooo pretty on Madelyn.

While hunting down baby cord on etsy one night I also came across this baby bootie pattern from Lil Baby Thangs. Now that the weather is getting cooler and socks just never stay on, I thought it worth a try. I want to make a couple of complete outfits with the fabrics I bought from crafty Mama, comprising of a wrap over top, leggings, hat and booties, but before cutting into the good stuff I decided to try the pattern out with some left over cherry fabric first. They will go with her little cupcake top perfectly, and I wished I'd found the pattern sooner as they would have been cute as newborn booties at Christmas when she was wearing her matching cherry scratch mitts!

Anyway I will definitely be making more of these, either as newborn gifts, teamed with a hat and scratch mitts (my pattern that actually stays on - none of my bought mits did despite me being prepared buying several pairs after Austy still has a scar on his face from scratching it at only 2 days old), or as little winter boots for Madelyn. I can see them being made out of a soft fleecy, minky or faux fur for winter, perhaps with an embellishment of some kind. And I was also thinking of modifying the design slightly to allow for a suede sole - thoes with suede soles remind me of teddybear paws. Too cute!

They were easy to make, and pretty quick too (every mum loves that!) and most importantly she can't kick them off! I will be sending on a pair to the cute little Ashton as well who came to visit yesterday but between both babies feeding and sleeping for the short time they were here I couldn't egt a photo. So I have booked my sis in for a photo play date with Madelyn and Ashton, before they get too mobile. Ashton is already almost breakdancing on the rug at only 4 months!

Monday, 9 March 2009

My photography mojo is back!

I have been kicking myself for not trying very hard to take nice portaits of Maddy each month like I did with Austin. I always thought I would take MORE of her than him bnecause I am better at it now than I used to be, however having Austy as a subject put me off a little. Not because he isn't super cute (because no matter how naughty he can be he is always 100% adorable!) but because he never stays in one spot long enough to use manual settings. Since I am still without a DSLR, I have to use buttons to change exposure and focus rather than lenses. So it does take time. And as soon I get it right, he's out of the shot and in different lighting and I have to do it all again. As a result I have just been using the camera like a standard point and shoot and the photos have been uninspiring.

However after the shots I took at my friend's wedding on Saturday, I felt confident to give it a go again with a much less mobile model. Here are the results!

And one the girls set up while I was photographing the bride - it was screaming at me to pop the colour out a bit with photoshop for a bit of fun!

Wedding wind up

So how did I go with those wedding projects? Unfortunately Madelyn's little cardy is still on the needles as Andrew decided to play golf all day Friday leaving me TRYING to sew to finish my skirt. I met him at the golf club for lunch and the plan was for him to stay home in the afternoon and watch the kids so I could sit at the sewing machine uninterupted and get it done, which would have left me with a relaxing evening snuggled up next to him on the couch as I did the button band on Madelyn's cardigan. Instead, he had taken too long to get up there (he's never out of bed before 9am) and decided to stay there for the afternoon. So I sat alone in the sewing corner while I finished it off once the little ones were asleep.

Oh well, at least I got the skirt finished - there wasn't much else in my wardrobe that fitted me (I'm still 2 sizes above what I normally am with baby weight to lose) as well as allow me to breastfeed and suit the wedding. I hate those unflattering auto timer shots that are never in focus unless you have someone else in the photo to focus on while you press the shutter button, and unfortunately the kind lady who offered to take a family shot of us at the wedding cut me off at the waist - and me holding a 17kg Austy probably didn't allow me to show off the skirt properly anyway. If only it wasn't so difficult to get hubby behind the camera sometimes...

So here are a couple of hanger shots. I love the gathering at the sides of the waist ties, and this was the first time I'd done a rolled hem. I was really happy with how it turned out, although at first I thought the fullness made my bum look huge! It had just enough sparkle to make it wedding-ish and still comfy enough for me to flit around being the wedding photographer for the couple. I did nearly stack it at one point though - the Australian bush doesn't really suit high heels on people who are staring at the world through the lens of a camera. Thankfully I didn't make too much of a spectacle of myself and a few other guests caught me!

I was really stressing that the photos I took wouldn't be good enough - I didn't want to stuff up one of my best friend's wedding photos, but luckily I took a few nice shots and have enough good ones to turn into a photo book to give the happy couple when they return from their honeymoon in a few weeks.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

WIP Wednesday: Bamboozled!

I actually have a WIP Wednesday post for a change... but only because nothing is getting finished. My cute little distraction hasn't been very happy the last day or two, particularly sad today and no idea why. She is loving being carried in her sling...hang on, make that Austy's old sling that I made when he was about 6 months old. Hers is still sitting in the form of pretty fabric on my sewing desk. I have chosen some from the delicious Ginger Blossom range (soooo pretty!) to team with cream canvas fro the straps and inner.

So perhaps I am being a bit ambitious, expecting to complete this little cardy for her to wear to a wedding on Saturday. I am knitting it with a bamboo cotton blend, so it's silky soft - much softer than plain cotton, and hopefully not too warm, but keeps the wind off her still.

And even more ambitious - suddenly going out and buying fabric and a pattern to make a skirt for me to wear to the wedding. This will be made from bamboo too, just because I loved the gold embellishment across the fabric.

Hopefully the little Miss will let me do some sewing tonight. The knitting I can do with both kids awake when Madelyn is happily swinging in her swing, spinning the animals around that hang from the arches of her play mat, or snuggling up to someone else (she does love those cuddles!) But for now it's back on feeding duty so that she might go to sleep at a reaonable hour.