5-star Crochet Blanket means I’m a Happy Hooker!

Yes, it’s true! After more than two years I have picked up my crochet hooks again. It seems crazy to have left it that long, but life happens.

What is even crazier, I actually finished the project within 10 days! Talk about rekindling an old love. What did I make you ask? I won’t make you wait any longer:

Five-point star baby blanket

Five-point star baby blanket

Five-point star baby blanket

Five-point star baby blanket

Five-point star baby blanket

Five-point star baby blanket

Isn’t it lovely! It’s a rather large 5-point star baby blanket in olive green 8 ply wool, mixed with a green and black 2 ply yarn to give the side of each star point a different shade. Its turned out so lovely I almost think I’ll keep it…

But I won’t! I owe the inspiration to pick up my hooks again to a dear friend. She requested this blanket when she was pregnant with her first baby, and I was happy to oblige! Now the baby is 6 months old and preparing for his first winter, with woolly blanket at the ready πŸ™‚

Five-point star baby blanket

Five-point star baby blanket

The buttons came from a designer outlet store in Melbourne, they fit through the loops in the seams so it can be adjusts to be worn around my friend when she is wearing her baby. No button holes necessary, so it can still be used with toddlers!

The pompom tells you which was is up so you don’t get to swearing levels trying to find the buttons. The point also acts as a hood for baby!

Find more details on the project and pattern over on my Ravelry profile!

So, first crafty project in two years completed. What’s next? Well, I already started two more and might dig out a UFO…

Stay happy!
xx

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A creativity flare brings new projects – and products!

It’s a wonderful feeling to be getting creative again! That means I pulled out my old beading tools… it has been a while indeed!

I find myself with a lot of time on my hands these days to heal and reflect, which is bittersweet as I’m often not one to have a lot of time on my hands on account of I like being busy. Call me a creature of habit, but I did just that – got myself busy.

That means I’ve finally got something to show you after months and months of silence! Oh how fickle life can be. Anyways, there’s a bonus this time… I’ve decided to actually sell some of my creations! Yep, every thing I’m showing off in this post: I made it and I’m selling it in my brand new Etsy store!

Enough of that, here’s the juicy bits: click on the pic to see the listing on Etsy.

I fell in love with these blue glass crystals and had to make something a bit fancy with them and some Swarovski crystals I already had…

Glass bead and crystal necklace with pearl Swarovski crystals
Glass bead and crystal necklace with pearl Swarovski crystals

And then was obliged to make some coordinating earrings:

Vintage pearl and blue crystal earrings
Vintage pearl and blue crystal earrings

I realised I hadn’t made much using gold yet, so I gave it a go and was quite pleased:

Glass bead and gold chain necklace
Glass bead and gold chain necklace

And this one I just wanted some matchy-matchy fun with copper findings and the copper sparkle in the glass beads. I made matching earrings for this one too! I will list those soon…

Copper glass bead necklace
Copper glass bead necklace

Then I got stuck into the feathers. But the feathers, thankfully,Β did not get stuck on me.

Lilac diamante and feather brooch or hair clip
Lilac diamante and feather brooch or hair clip
Feather and Filigree Hair Barrette Clip Turquoise and Blue
Feather and Filigree Hair Barrette Clip Turquoise and Blue
Crystal beaded feather hair barrette clip with seashells
Crystal beaded feather hair barrette clip with seashells

And lastly I made a gorgeous hair barrette from some New Zealand paua seashells I bought on our holiday there some time ago:

New Zealand Pāua Shell Hair Barrettes Clip with 4 shell chips
New Zealand Pāua Shell Hair Barrettes Clip with 4 shell chips

So after all this time, I’ve finally made a crafty post instead of just talking about it! How does it feel? Feels like I’m needing to write quite a few more… but first, a nap! Like my cats.

Yeah, I still got it. Stay happy!
Xx

A beautiful old mystery machine…

On a recent trip to Canberra, I visited the tourist-y area Gold Creek with my family. We had a lovely day of wondering shops and afternoon tea. On our way back to the car, there’s always one last shop to look in…

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And look what I found! The shop lady said it was still in working condition, thought the electric cables need to be replaced for safe use. We opened the case and the little box of goodies that came with it all over the shop floor…Β I was in love… but how much was it? $50?? OK then…

It came home with me.

I was determined to carry this extremely heavy ‘travel’ model back to the car myself, but it turned into a shared family experience as they took pity on me taking a break every 20 metres. So we all took turns taking it back to the car together.

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Back at home I took all the bits our to see what I had collected with more time and a glass of whiskey.

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Complete with operating manual! Check out those illustrations!

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Certainly it’s not a Singer, but a pretty machine nonetheless. With the little research I’ve done so far I think it’s a model from the late 1930s or mid 1950s.

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I haven’t gleaned much about the manufacturer of the sewing machine motor yet, Warner Drayton Co. of Australia Pty Ltd operating from Footscray, a metro suburb in Victoria. Although I did find this advertisement in the National Library of Australia archivesΒ which shows the company was still going strong in 1963, with electric fans just in time for the summer heat!

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At the moment my new old sewing machine awaits patiently in Canberra. Once it is serviced and it comes home, I’m thinking it will be my dedicated corset-sewing machine…

Oh the joys of my craft hobby.

Stay creative!
xx

Knitting Machine: Singer MemoMatic 323 and Ribber Attachment

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Something I’ve noticed since becoming crafty is how much other people enjoy me being crafty. It seems bizarre to me, but in a nice way!

Crochet at the train station and strangers smile and ask what you’re working on. Leave a button and half-done sewing project on the coffee table and visitors ask about its status. Invariable it comes with a story about their grandma or how they could never finish something like that – this used to puzzle me but now I quite enjoy it.

Another side effect I’ve also noticed and like is friends who I’ve had for years pick up crafty projects with me and try new crafty things to show me. For years I didn’t even know they were crafty themselves!

So all this could be an intro for a post about how crafting can change your life and open a whole new world for you blah blah but that’s too obvious. What it is an intro for is a conspiracy.

ShandiShan and Sweetheart conspired to buy me a knitting machine for Christmas.

 

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“A what what? But you don’t even knit! What are you supposed to do with one of those?” you cry. Well, that’s what I thought. And here is the reason for my hesitation: I don’t knit because I can’t. Not a mental oh-come-on-give-it-a-go-it’s-easy kind of can’t, more of a it-gives-me-intense-pain-in-my-right-shoulder-after-half-an-hour kind of can’t. This is thanks to an old injury which also means I can’t do things like scrub bathroom floors (‘Aww…’ you say,), paint walls and ceilings (‘Poor you.’) and play contact sports (FYI that one actually does suck.).

So you can imagine how it pleased me when I found that crochet didn’t give me the same complications.

Knowing my love for woolly things, Sweetheart gifted me the knitting machine in hope I can knit with it instead. But checking out the videos tells me it uses the kind of motion that caused the injury in the first place, so I still can’t knit…

Bah humbug.

“Oh.” Sweetheart said. “Well, you can still set it up and design things on it and I’ll do the side-side actions. We can make things together!”

And so my interest in this knitting machine contraption grows. Now to learn how to use it!

I’m well aware it’s a conspiracy so Sweetheart can have more knitted jumpers.

So far my attempts have resulted in rectangles of various sizes.

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In the example below I had planned to graduate from test swatches but Sweetheart got over excited with the side to side action and broke the yarn at 221 rows. Oh wells.
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Stay happy!
Xx

Corset.

My latest project has me rather excited.

Over a year ago I made a simple post about a corset-making kit I bought. Well today, I present to you the beginings of a corset made from that kit!

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Golden Joy! Cut the pieces…

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… all the pieces. Line them up…

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And magically install the busk!

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Bruise your hands installing the eyelets…

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… and take some time to recover.

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Sew it all together!

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And all of a sudden I have half a corset! Part 2 will knock your socks off soon!!

Stay inspired
πŸ˜€

Cross Stitch for the Guests Room Update

Hooray!Β  A frame has been found!

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Sleek, black and techno-nerdy.

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Again, thanks to izacless for sharing πŸ˜€

See my progress post here for more details on how I made it.

Now we await the first guest…

Awesome Pants of Power (Or Something Rather Different)

And now for Something Rather Different.

PANTS!

Pants of Power

When ShandiiShan of Shandii Crafts showed me how to make your own pyjama pants from a pair you already own, I knew this was the beginning of something beautiful.

Visions of supermarket trips, theatre-goings, high tea afternoons and international plane trips all undertaken in the comfort of pyjama pants danced through my head.

Not to mention when the High-Street designers and Vogue deemed Pyjama Pants the next hottest trend I was determined not to let this one die.

And here we are in 2014 and I’m instigating the Pyjama Pant Trend Revival. Who’s with me?! YEAH!

Pants of Power: Seams to be

This fabric I bought on our trip to Malaysia in 2012. Quite the haul that was. I wasn’t sure what it would become, maybe a dress or a skirt, it didn’t really matter. All I knew is that it wasn’t so easy to get this fabric at home and I was leaving with a lot of it.

Now I have a day job where Pencil Skirts are overkill and wearing jeans everyday really isn’t my thing. Comfy pants are in order. This fabric presented itself as the perfect match!

Pants of Power: Detail

The salesman and the sign told me it was silk, but you know how salesmen are. I was sceptical because it was so cheap, although not the cheapest fabric they had which beared the sign ‘Polyester’. I liked the feel and pattern and decided to buy a few anyway, I’m not that much of a fabric snob (yet?). After getting it back home those with more experience than I tell me it’s a polyester-silk mix. I can live with that! πŸ˜€

Pants of Power: Proof of Pantessence

With the first pair down there will be more of these fantabulous pants. My world needs more of them, and so does yours!

Stay comfy!
πŸ˜€

Mug Shots of Pencil Skirts #09: Perfect Sitting

One craft I remember my mother doing was reupholstering my desk chair in my bedroom.

The original was a lovely cream textured cover but you could just imagine how long that would stay looking nice in a grubby teenage bedroom.

The fabric she chose was this nice black tapestry style. The offcuts followed us around for years and I’d always wanted to do something with it.

Around the same time she covered the chair I made myself a needle book which I still use today. But there remained a sizable scrap.

Perfect Sitting Pencil Skirt

Perfect Sitting Pencil Skirt: Back Detail

Perfect Sitting Pencil Skirt: Back

Perfect Sitting Pencil Skirt: Fabric Detail

This is where the joys of spending hours on Pinterest proves itself useful. Inspiration struck and BAM skirt.

Mug Shots of Pencil Skirts #08: Nick Swing

Here’s one of my favourites! However I’m not sure if I’ll ever wear it…

This one gets its name from the swingin sixties design of the fabric combined with the putrid smell of cigarette smoke (NICotine!!!) and old man that terrorised my nostrils when steam pressing it.

Nick Swing Pencil Skirt

Nick Swing Pencil Skirt: Back Detail

Nick Swing Pencil Skirt: Back

Other than that, this skirt is awesome. After I finished making it an before its final press, I tried the following:

  • washed it normally.
  • washed it with eucalyptus.
  • soaked it.
  • dried it.
  • soaked it in vinegar.
  • hung it out in the sun.
  • forgot about it.
  • left it in the rain for three days.

I’ve yet to steam pressed it again to see if my efforts worked, but in the meantime I’m enjoying the illusion of having a larger wardrobe.

Mug Shots of Pencil Skirts #04: Poodle Memories

I came across this square of fabric several times while growing up. As the years passed it moved with us untill a year or two ago when I found it amongst some fabrics and curtains from the old house. Well then, I thought, I’ll have it now that I can sew.

Poodle Memories Pencil Skirt

Lo it was in my pile of things to sew when my mum was over. She smiled and touched it, remembering she bought the fabric when our family dog was a puppy to make a bed for him.

Our old dog had a long happy life and died aged 15 years some time ago! It was decided then I would name the skirt in his memory.

Poodle Memories Pencil Skirt: Back

Poodle Memories Pencil Skirt: Zip

Poodle Memories Pencil Skirt: Fabric

What a royal doggy bed it would have been. Now it’s a royal pencil skirt welcome for any new family pet to have a nap on (preferably while I’m wearing it.)!