Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Crochet

It is now 3:43pm on Christmas Eve and I have just finished my last handmade gift...finally!!!! I feel safe to put this gift up on my blog because it is for my mum and she wouldn't know how to get on my blog - computers aren't a huge part of her life!

Here are some pics....

One side of the top has long tails that are meant to do up in a bow..just adds a little interest and prettiness to the top...

As you can see it needs to be worn with a singlet or camisole underneath...I added the beads for the photos...I think it would look really cute with a little skirt or even jeans...

The edges are all completed with 4 rows of double crochet - I think it finishes it off nicely..

I am hoping it fits (I am sure it will!) and most of all that she likes it.

This will probably be the last post for 2 weeks as it is holiday time!!!! If I get some great pics on hols, I may pop in, otherwise I will be using the time to rest, relax, and also create some new ideas I have been waiting to do all year!!
Have a very Merry Christmas from our family to yours - enjoy the day and the memories it makes.


Christmas Sewing

Over the last few years I have become a last-minute girl. Not in all areas of life - most things I am sickeningly organised - but when it comes to hand making gifts for people, I often over-estimate how much time I have and grossly underestimate how much I have to do!
It's almost Christmas Eve ( a mere few hours away) and I have a crochet top still to seam but I HAVE FINISHED cute little outfits for the beautiful little ladies in my life - aka my nieces....
I decided to make patchwork skirts and matching tops for them - comfortable to play in but pretty enough to be more than a nomal outfit. I wanted them to have something different and handmade is the only way to ensure that they have something beautiful and they don't look like every other 3 year old dressed like Dora (no offense Dora!)
Enough chatting, here we go!

Vintage crochet peice topped with a crochet dusty pink flower...

4 pretty skirts for 4 pretty girls....

Matching top and skirt for 6 year old...

"Cherry" themed outfit for 2 year old...

I love these colours...prettiness for the 1 year old...

Pretty purples and paisley for the 3 year old....

pretty fabric rose...

That's it for now....hubs is practically breathing down my neck waiting for his turn with the laptop (hehe). I will endeavour to get shots of the girls in their outfits over Christmas cause these photos just don't do them justice!!!

Have a blessed and Merry Christmas from our family to yours.


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Creating...

Hi friends!  It's now 1 week till Christmas! One week! I don't know where the time has gone this year. Sprouted wings and flown away I think! Anyway, I am fairly ready for Christmas apart from having to buy one more gift and finish crocheting another. I am very ready for some holidays and relax time, a chance to just stop and not have to be anywhere and do anything I don't feel like doing. It will be bliss!

This week I finished off a very cute present for my Nan and I am hoping she will love it....Here we go....

I used a pattern I found in the American magazine "Crochet Today". It was fairly simple, using the classic "granny square" and then joining together...

It was fairly easy to create the needed spaces for the handle and spout by measuring it against the teapot as I joined it together...

The top is made up of eyelets and then simply thread through some pretty lace or ribbon and you are good to go!

I also decided to decorate a wreath for our front door. I was really disappoined that I couldn't find a plain wreath (no leaves or anything) so that I could start from the ground up and make one. I searched EVERYWHERE and couldn't find what I wanted. I ended up only being able to get a greenery wreath so I made do....

A bunch of simple crocheted flowers, hot glue gun to the wreath and add a simple!!!

I will have one more "handmade Christmas" post before the big day! Super cute outfits for the little will love I'm sure...

Have a brilliant week! (4.5 days of work to go....who's counting????)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

A Very Vintage Weekend....

Hello dear friends! This weekend feels like we shoud be living in the tropics - thunder stoms, rain, high humidity and weather that can't seem to make up it's mind! Nevertheless, it's been a lovely weekend here in our house. Hubs and I went "thrifting" yesterday and I came back with sooooo many goodies! Mainly vintage material, pattern books and lots of ideas for future projects which I hope to get done in the new year. I stumbled across a gold mine in a shop called the "Retro Wombat" - metres and metres of amazing vintage fabric in beautiful condition at a total steal!! I left sooo happy with ideas dancing across my mind that stayed with me as a I dreamt about all sorts of random ideas and patterns...the mind will do as it wills! hehe.

Anyway, I have a few things to show you today....

Hubs came home this morning with this AWESOME vintage tea trolley he found for FREE!!! I immediately claimed as my "project trolley". It can sit in the corner of the loungeroom and hold all my needles, hook, notions and current crochet/knit/sewing projects. It will get it all off the coffee table and keep it looking organised and cute as well!

It's gaudy and retro and I love it!

It's in pretty good condition. The pattern takes me back to my childhood!

I also finished off a cute little robot friend today....

He isn't my best work to be honest, I was having trouble with my machine but he's not too bad for a first go. I was one of the patterns that needed to be assembled with mathematical thinking and lord knows I am no go at that! (think cubes and three dimensional shapes....ugh!)

I think he looks so friendly and cuddly (he is stuffed with soft toy filling). Fairly easy to work with but I would like to try it with 100% wool felt rather than the 30% wool felt I used.

The pattern calls for felt balls on the top o the robot for his "controls" but since I am stingy and wasn't about to shell out $7 for 5 felt balls and didn't have time to make any, coloured pom poms had to do. I didn't mind them actually as I think they are nicer to touch for a little set of hands anyway!

Now, a little clue as to next week's post.....can you guess what it will be???

How is your Christmas shopping going? I have hardly been to the shops to be honest, I have chosen to make a fair few of my gifts this year and apart from a few trips to my favourite sewing shops, I haven't had to venture far from my own lounge room. Bliss I say! A few of my favourit blogs have lots of posts about going handmade this year...for one of them check this out: Maybe Matilda

Also, before I forget, the robot pattern is from a great toy making book called "hop, skip, jump"by Fiona Dalton. I bought it at my local bookstore - I am guessing Amazon and most online places would have it too.

Two week till Chistmas! Yay!!!!


Sunday, December 4, 2011

A New Twist on a Old Fashioned Item...

I have recently been on a bender of buying retro/vintage sewing patterns...Yep I love 'em! One of the patterns I bought had a really cut head scarf for girls aged 2-10. I decided to whip one up but as soon as I started I knew there was going to be no "whipping" - it was tedious and time consuming and required far too much work for such a small item. This is the one time I actually preferred a more "modern" approach and decided to go with a tutorial for head scarfs I saw on a blog ages ago (sorry I can't remember which blog, I only remember it roughly and had the idea "roughly" in my head!)

Anyway, the method I used was soooooo simple (think making 4 of them in 20 minutes - yep that easy!). The colour combinations are limitless and you can add as much frill and frippery as you like, or none at all if that is your fancy.
I made a combination of different sizes and it allows you to use different colours of fabric as the scarf is meant to be reversible - that is, you can wear it either way (duh!)

I used my uber cute niece Marlee as my model and managed to catch a few shots when she wasn't running, climbing, jumping or trying to take the camera off me so she could take a "pitcher" (aka picture!)

Perfect for running and playing, to keep hair out of eyes and to keep you at the top ranks of cutest kid in the playground. For real.

This week is going to be mega busy! I have hubs sick with man flu (let's not even begin to discuss!), busy week at work and the rest of the silly season's events! Deep breaths everyone!

Have a brilliant week. Make sure you stand under some holly and get a big smooch! What else is that green stuff good for???


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Knit and Crochet Along!

One of the things that has inspired my creativity and encouraged me in my crochet/knitting/sewing work is by reading blogs. I have a zilion on my google reader that I visit regularly and am constantly inspired by women all around the world. It almost feels like you kow someone when you read their blog - you get to know who is in their family, what they do with their time and the highs and lows as they traverse the same world as we do, just perhaps in a different continent.

One of the blogs I love to read is Luvin' the Mommyhood - you should seriously check it out! I love her down to earth nature, her honesty and her creativity.

Anyway, she is hosting a "knit along" for people that are making handmade gifts a part of their Christmas giving - which is me!!!! I have decided I will join in, except I am crocheting, not knitting. I am also sewing gifts a well, but I will show you those in December.

Anyway, get on over and check out the blog. You won't be disappointed!!!

Happy mid week!



Sunday, November 27, 2011

The cutest pants you have ever seen!!!!

I had so much fun working on this week's sewing post. I bought a pattern a little while ago from Pink Fig Designs and excitedly cut the fabric out but life got busy and I didn't get back around to finishing it till this weekend. It was finally done and with an impromtu visit from my sister and her little one, we were able to get some pics!

The pattern is called the "Bella Pants". Aren't they gorgeous!!!

The pattern calls for plain pockets, however I thought it would be cute to add some detail
with the crochet flowers and motifs

I love this pic. Even though the surroundings are messy and not pretty, the eyes
say it all!!

The colour combinations for this pattern are limitless! I can alo imagine changing certain aspects of the pockets, perhaps adding cute little pockets on the back instead? The only limit to making these pants cute is your imagination!
The pattern was fairly easy to follow with great instructions and pictures. Definitely a win!
Having a gorgeous niece to photograph finishes it off nicely I say!

Have a great week!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

I'm Back!!!

What a full on couple of weeks it has been!! To start with, I contracted a mild case of shingles (who knows where that came from???) then the computer packed it in, then to top it all off I got a infected wisdom tooth removed - bad move by the dentist - which made me really sick. I am starting to feel somewhat normal now, back to about 60% and hoping to be fully recovered by the end of the week!!

So, after multiple trips to the doctor, a few day off sick from work at a time when I really couldn't be off and a new laptop later, I am back!!! I have been resting most of the weekend, not really able to do too much without totally exhausting myself, hoping to feel much better as I really need to go to work tomorrow.

In spite of all this, I have lots going on in my creative little world! Alot of projects are half-finished at the moment but will hopefully be done in the next 2 weeks. I do have a few things to show you today however!!!

A week or two back, I finished my "Grandma Bunny"....

I wasn't too sure how the embroided glasses would turn out, but I am pretty happy with how "grandma-ish" she looks!

Complete with apron...(I actually cut this bit of fabric from a vintage apron I bought a while ago..)

Tied at the back...

She is so cute don't you think???

I have bought a few pattern books of late and I cannot wait to have the time to get started! My favourite is a Japanese pattern book filled with pages of clothes for women (yes I am actually going to make things for myself!!) and I love every page. This is the book...

It is also the season for my favourite flowers! We have ou first hydrangea blooms!

They aren't the colour they do turn in mid summer - a really beautiful blue but they are a great start!

Here's hoping this week is a better one - and that whatever you are doing, it is filled with memorable moments.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Crafting with Kids

I have decided what my dream job would be. It combines two of my favourite things...kiddies and craft. I have decided that I would LOVE to teach kids to love enjoy the process and journey that creativity takes you on. I have always been a crafty person but in the last few years as I have seriously gotten into sewing/crocheting/knitting and lots of other crafting pursuits I can truly say that it has changed my life. I know that may sound slightly stupid to the uninformed but for those of you out that in the will know what I mean!
Anyway, in the lead up to Christmas and that beautiful long stretch of 6 week school holidays I thought I would do some posts on crafting ideas for kids. It is a great way to celebrate different seasons (Christmas, Easter, Halloween etc) and a great way to keep little hands busy. On top of that, helping children be creative has so many benefits...I will post more on that soon!
My first crafting with kids project is for a craft activity called "God's Eyes". I have no idea why they are called that but they are cool nonetheless! I did this at work with the kids this week and they loved it. I recommend it for kids aged 4 and up - they need to have a grasp on their fine motor skills and a decent amount of hand-eye coordination, but hey, if you have a child prodigy, try this at any age!

The finished project looks like this:

Here is a quick tutorial to show you how EASY it is...

Collect some sticks - I got mine from across the road of my home...under a big gum tree!
Chop to the required size and pair them up. 
You will need two sticks of identical size for each god's eye you make.

Choose your yarn. Any thickness, any texture will do. Scraps are great!
Place sticks in a "cross" shape and tie first colour yarn in a simple knot
Take yarn and wrap around the sticks diagonally one way, then go the other way. It should feel firm by now and ready to start making your diamond.
Wrap your yarn around each stick, moving around in a square motion, wrapping once around each arm of the cross. With younger children, it is best to let them do the wrapping of the yarn while you hold and turn the cross. That way, you can make sure it's tight enough and the yarn stays close together.
To add another colour, don't worry about tying it off, just wrap it around one of the arms and then keep going, spinning the cross as you wrap the yarn around the arms. If you keep going, wrapping the yarn once around each arm, you will end up with a diamond shape. 
You can make them as big or small as you like. It is so simple, I wrap my yarn in a anti-clockwise motion.
If you do decide to change colours, you will just need to snip the ends off as you come to the end and they are not long enough to make it to the next arm. Don't worry about tying them off, they are wrapped so much around the sticks, they won't come undone.
When you get to the size you want your god's eye to be, snip the yarn and use a yarn needle to thread the end into the back. You could also tape it to the back if you wanted to. I would recommend doing this part yourself for younger children and for older children, have them use a plastic needle specially designed for kid's use.
Tie a ribbon around the top arm of the cross and then make a loop in the ribbon that will allow you to hang your god's eye up.
I just used some scrap yarn I had at home to quickly do these up, took me 15 minutes. 
I had an idea that you could make small ones to tie on the front of Christmas presents, hang them as decorations in your tree or allow the kids to decide where they might look best!

That's it....easy peasy!
I will be back soon with more kiddie craft and other creative ideas!