Sunday, November 29, 2009

A surprise wedding present

Last night MrG and I hosted or first 'real' dinner party. We've had people over for dinner many many times but it's never felt like a real dinner party. This time though it certainly did. The guest list was Mum & Dad, good friends of the family Penny and Tony and my brother and his girl friend.

I'd been planning the meal for a few weeks now and it was a big success! I served rack of lamb with handmade spinach gnocchi and tomato and basil sauce. I did take cooking photos but in the haste to serve the meals forgot to take a photo of the finished plate... Ops!

The most exciting part of the night though was the surprise extra wedding present that Tony and Penny gave us. They did give us a beautiful Jamie Oliver saucepan on the day but Penny decided this was a bit uninspired so the next day bought us this Royal Albert plate. I LOVE IT!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My Creative 'Christmas' Space

My space at the moment is full of Christmas projects. Most of which I can't show you as I'd hate to ruin the surprise...
What I can show you thought is the Christmas Grandma Twinkle Stars that I found here via here. Aren't the pretty! I've been searching for patterns for a few weeks now and was thrilled to find this one! I just love the white stars on the red wall.

Now for the big news - the winner of last weeks give away via is....

June at Noon! I'll be in touch for postal details.

Happy Creating! x

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

moving home with all my toys - by cathy

I am packing up all my crafty/art things today - my 'longer' stay in canberra is over - its been a very creative time - i will be making shorter visits back to Canberra next year - so i need all my 'TOYS' where i will be mainly living - Adelaide - yah !! - I will have to get used to bringing smaller projects back and forward to canberra - i have tried to pack projects already - see the quilt bag photo - i put in some photos of my sewing things all packed - then i thought wow i can see the top of my sewing table so thought you might all like to see that too

Saturday, November 21, 2009

My Place and Yours :: My Collection

Kate from Foxes Lane is this weeks theme queen and gosh has she picked a fun theme - Collections!

There are lots of things I could have shared but I've settled on teacups. My collection is a combination of pieces I have from my Mum's and Grandmother's collection, some are new, some are thrifted and some were presents. All have lovely stories behind them.
Next is our pin board. I collect lots of things here. I like to think of it as an archive of our lives. It has postcards, birthday and wedding invitations, letters, exhibition invites and lots of things that make me smile. If you look close you can see a photo of MrG and our niece Olivia.

Thanks for stopping by! You can see some other lovely collections over at Pip's Cherry x

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My Creative Space

Some more inspirations entered my space today. The postman delivered 3 parcels!
From the top, a thank you card from my little friend Hollie. I made her this Ruby doll for her birthday. She's since named the doll Wiggle and no amount of 'oh really, I think she looks like a Ruby' has changed her mind. Doesn't matter though, especially since when she opened the parcel Hollie said 'Oh I've always wanted one of these' and gave her a big hug. Now that made me smile!

Next the buttons, I won these on a Blogtober giveaway that V for Violet hosted. Thanks so much! I love them and can't wait to get creating.

Finally a card from my very creative mum (who shares this blog with me). Mum bought the most amazing stamps last weekend and made me a card with them. Thanks Mum x

There was one more parcel that arrived but it's a Birthday present for Mum so can't tell..shhhh
Although I'm on a little sewing break I did make these eye masks a week ago. I guess a girl only really needs one mask but I got a bit excited to see what all the fabrics looked like quilted so made 6. They'll come in very handy for Christmas presents and... big news... our first Bright Red Cherries Give Away! Just leave a comment on this post and include which one is your favourite. I'll pick a winner randomly next Wednesday and post the details on the next My Creative Space.

See more creative spaces over at Kootoyoo

ps - did you hear the news.. Stitches and Craft are coming to Adelaide, thanks Gillian for the tip off!

Thanks Burda - by Cathy

I got a 'free pattern' to work - yah - from burda style. I have to admit I haven't had luck in the past - it did need a little tweeking but not difficult at all - so if you want to make the dress just email before you cut your fabric out (sorry I am too lazy to go into explanations now) Its called the coffee date dress - it is comfy and flattering - betty and I both love it!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

In search of other creative inspiration or 'Mum I need help'

Unlike Mum, whose been making some lovely things, I’ve had some bad luck with sewing lately and it’s kind of crushed my creative inspiration.

Last night’s disaster was washing the La Fleur playmat that I have made for my niece.... the felt face shrunk in the cold water! Grr! I avoided temptation to throw the shrivelled mess in the bin and set to work unpicking all the quilting on the face (cheeks, face, eyes) and have managed to save the rest of the mat. I’ll buy new wadding today and fix it up over the weekend. Oh what a day!

I’m leaving the sewing until Mum’s back in Adelaide again – Mum I need your help....

As a motivator for trying something other than sewing I have bought a copy of June at Noon’s embroidery pattern. Gretchen embroidered this house for the Quilt Project that I was part of. Will start it over the weekend – It might take me months but I’m in need of a non sewing challenge! Go check out June at Noon - it's a lovely little shop and there are some lovely giveaways on her blog too!

Monday, November 16, 2009

reversible skirt - two for the price of one

I just love the idea of reversible clothing - I bought this pattern by Betty Kingston and made it up last week - I have worn it non-stop - I just flipped it to black when I went out to see a local band the other night. The red and black fabric has a very fine stripe and the edging is some lovely japanese fabric I bought through Tessuti. The black skirt has side pockets and little covered buttons and the red skirt has the little square pocket and feature bows. I also bought a vintage Vogue dress and reversible coat pattern (I will make the dress first but may tackle the coat as we move out of warmer weather).

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A win in the kitchen

Ok - the sewing might not be working for me at the moment but I did manage a win in the kitchen. Last night dinner was 'awesome'. I made Mexican Breakfast from Jamie Oliver's new book, America.For a slight twist I served the wraps with bacon and sour cream.SO TASTY! There is nothing like a new cookbook to motivate me to cook.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

reaching the limit..

Well it seems that 7 days of 40+ is my limit! I'm hot, grumpy, sweaty, tired and in general not so nice to be around...

Thursday night while cleaning the BBQ I got grease all over my only summer nightie/house dress. I've washed it but no luck - still ruined.

MrG and I are trying to save for a house so I though instead of buying a new nightie I'd try making one, I can sew, right?! I had seen pillowcases turned in to nighties but turns out that must only be for children and people of smaller builds... When I cut the bottom open just to see how it fitted it got stuck on my hips... had to get MrG to help me pry it off! Not a confidence booster you can be sure...

So then I thought I'd try and cut a new nightie off the ruined one. Also a disaster... you know measure twice cut once - well I just cut... Did I mention the heat is making me crazy?! Another piece of fabric ruined and the bad mood has set in...

So I've tidied the house, Heat also makes me claustrophobic! and shut the sewing room door. I'm not going back in there until either the heat or the mood has shifted.

Tomorrows post will be far more cheery - promise!


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My Creative Space by Cathy

I thought it was about time I showed one of my paintings. In the past I have had long breaks between painting - for all kinds of reasons - not the least being - the feeling of terror in picking up a brush again and wondering if I can still paint - I am trying to overcome this problem by painting first thing everyday - in my PJ's - it seems to be working a treat - I have one completed painting - the commisioned portrait you can see above and another two on the way - yah - fills me with great joy to get going again!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Getting to know Betty

Yes I finished the dress - at last - loads of unpicking to get it fitting just right. I had to tweek the pattern to get it to fit just right - just the top really - the skirt has a lovely tulip shape.
I learnt something very important about Betty though - she just stands straight all day long - I need to bend move stretch my arms etc etc - and guess what the dress is a little too snug :(
It cuts into me when I move my arms forward - well I suppose I could avoid that movement altogether - mmmmm - it cant be undone as it is signed sealed and delivered eg seams all trimmed. Oh well - you live and you learn - the pattern I used was Vogue V8511

Monday, November 09, 2009

Plans for Christmas…

Christmas is all about spending time with family (of course) but when you’re a couple that are driving distance from both families how do you decided where you spend lunch and dinner?

Growing up we spread Christmas over two days. Christmas day with one family, Boxing day with the other. Then on the next year we swapped. It worked out well especially because both mum and dad come from big families, one of 7 (Mum) and one of 6 (Dad). That makes for huge Christmas lunches 2 days in a row and 30+ cousins total. It was great fun – swimming in the pool, present swapping and eating til you were busting.

These days though I have to consider MrG’s family too, which is no problem at all – I love them dearly however the domino effect is that their respective families need to also be considered (again totally fine) and so on…. When I think about it if you follow the chain total strangers end up effecting where one might spend Christmas day… A funny thought really.

This year’s timetable is:
  • Breakfast at our place with Mum & Dad, my brother and his girlfriend
  • Lunch with MrG’s family including his sister, husband and baby girl. It’s the first Christmas with the next generation – so exciting!
  • Supper/Drinks/Dinner at my Aunts to see my Grandma and Grandpa and cousins that are here from all over the world.
It will be a big day but it’s worth it – I love Christmas! Lucky I do too as we do lunch again the next day with Dad’s family. If you need me on the 27th I’ll be lying down!

The photos above are from my Kikki-K purchase that arrived today! Love it!

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Meet my new friend Betty

I cant believe I have been sewing for 40 odd years and have not considered buying a dress makers model - well I bought one on line at last - my husband decided that she should be called Betty -Don's wife in MadMen - his favourite TV show.We are still getting to know each other and in the picturte I have here the dress ended up being way too big - Betty and I like our dresses a little more fitted. It has turned out to be an absolute boon for photos for ebay sales.
I have also included a picture of my latest purchases - not sure why I bought so many Amy Butler bag patterns - I think I have this idea of matching bags and dresses and then the other day I found this link to how to make your own shoes - I was just about delirious - OMG matching shoes.

Sleeping Beauty

I've managed to get a whole lot of craft time in lately. MrG's been working late so the evening have been free to craft.

On Thursday night I tried out the Amy Butler sleeping mask patten from her book In Stitches.

The pattern called for a quilters ruler and muslin, neither of which I had so I substituted with cotton and a paper back as a ruler...
For a first attempt at quilting I'm pretty happy with the results.
Lessons learnt:

  • Paperback books do not make good quilters rulers.
  • Thin wadding must be much thinner than the wadding I used. Pattern said 4 layers... I used 3 and it's way to thick.
  • Be careful pinning through so many layers and if you do prick your thumb stop what you are doing and check if you are bleeding... Lucky the blood came out in the wash.
In fact with practice and my new quilters ruler I think I've found what I'm making for Christmas presents.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

My Creative Space

My creative space this week includes my owl softie for Mirabel and another Ruby doll for my friends daughter Ruby.

My Mirabel softie is using a pattern from One Red Robin
I'm really enjoying the process of picking colours for the Ruby dolls and then selecting a basic outfit for them. This little one has a red gingham apron. I'm going to include a little note with the present to introduce Ruby to her new friend Ruby. Something that gives the doll a little story, 'likes to cook, esp cheese cake. Loves listening to stories and picking flowers in the garden.' Something like that...

In my Blog HQ post I mentioned my and Princess and the Pea crochet project for Knitting Nancy's so I thought I'd share some of the details.

Knitting Nancy's is a Fringe exhibition that I'm taking part in. For my piece I was inspired by Follow the White Rabbits embroidery pattern for the Princess and the Pea.
I've made a bed frame out of cardboard to use as a pattern. I'm planning to crochet a cover for the bed and then cover a wooden version of the bed in the crochet. Then I will crochet lots more of the mattresses and pile them up on the bed. I also have a plan to crochet a frilled bed skirt. Finally I'll add a felted green bead to the bottom of the pile. In my head it's going to look amazing.. Every now and again I get freaked out that it will be a disaster.. Cross fingers!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

a (slight) addiction

I have a small addiction to buying fabric - but don't we all (my guess is if you are reading this your a crafty type too). In the past week I've bought these. The green and white one are from ebay and the others are from s_o_l_g_t. Mind you the service in the city store is... well lets just say I might have something to add to my 'What's Hot, What's Not' list... Maybe it's on purpose so I stop going there...

I also have an addiction to the new penguin orange classics - I own 5 so far, have read none and have a voucher from Borders for 3 for $20... So tempting... They look so pretty on the shelf and I get a strange sense of satisfaction from looking at them.

Monday, November 02, 2009

A day at Vinnies

Mum spent the day at Vinnies today with Grandma (Grandma works there) and came home with the most lovely things for me!

The blanket is crocheted with chain stitch woven through it - must have taken hours to make!

The apron is based on this nursery rhyme

Sing a song of sixpence a pocket full of rye,
Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie.
When the pie was opened the birds began to sing,
Oh wasn't that a dainty dish to set before the king?
The king was in his counting house counting out his money,
The queen was in the parlour eating bread and honey
The maid was in the garden hanging out the clothes,
When down came a blackbird and pecked off her nose!

If anyone can tell us more about the rose doilies we'd love to know more - we think they are 1950s, they look like the are printed on very fine stiff fabric and delicate velvet finish.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Sunday jogging

I went for a jog this morning and came across this little rocking horse at a garage sale - super cute! Ran home grabbed my purse, ran back and now he's all mine.

Nothing like a reason to get you running!