Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Strap yourself in......

I have yet another big post! I'm sorry but I don't get a lot of time to post and this week I was unable to upload photos due to an iphoto glitch. As another few days have gone by I now have even MORE to show you.......

I will start with my latest exciting postal delivery.

I received a fabulous parcel this week from this amazing girl for the Back to School Swap. It was filled with so many lovely goodies for me and the girls.

Back to School Swap goodies

A summery bag, notebooks, pens, chocolate, a groovy 'Back to School' CD, a sweet little swing purse for each daughter filled with crayons, gum, hairties, lipbalm and for me - MAGAZINES!!!

Back to School Swap wristlets

How incredibly generous, thank you so much Kelli - it's just wonderful!

And all of my swap packages have finally arrived.

My Scrap Swap parcel arrived with Jade last week. Along with the scraps I included a needlecase for Jade.

Jade's needle case

And a little skirt for the bub, modelled here by Daphne.

Camille's skirt

This was fun and a really easy swap to participate in - thanks so much for organising it girls!

And yippy, my Back to School Swap parcel has finally arrived and I am so thrilled that Ali likes it. I have, of course, been dying to show you what I made!

I found this a fantastic challenge because I wanted to make something that was not only representative of what is inspiring Ali at the moment but also something really different to the average tote.

For my inspiration I went back to my trusty Inside out magazine that I found my Autumn quilt inspiration photo in and voila there it was - a little school satchel styled bag.

Inspiration

I played around with some embroidery ideas but the little owl seemed perfect in the end.

I added lots of cute stationery from every Australian child's favourite shop Smiggle and a little snack for those long school days.

Then I thought it needed a crafty element. Ali's way too smart to have to go back to school but I'm sure she'd be happy to do a few craft classes - especially something like knitting. So I made a craft pouch and put in some rosewood knitting needles, the left over cotton yarn and some dishcloth patterns so she can try a few dishcloths of her own. I also snuck in some lovely vintage chocolate brown ric rac and a little piece of Australia's own Sprout orange heart fabric.

Back to School Swap

I have to say the giving side of these swaps is by far my favourite bit. I just love the challenge of putting it together and then the delight (hopefully) from the recipient when it arrives - it is endlessly satisfying!

Even though it is the holidays I have actually found some time to do some sewing because my husband is also on holidays for a few weeks. I finally made some twirly skirts for the girls - my version of this fabulous tutorial.

A red one for Chloe.

Chloe's skirt

A purple one for Lucinda.

Lucinda's skirt

A slightly different one for my neice's 6th Birthday.

Jessica's skirt

And a cute wrap skirt for Lucinda.

Lucinda's wrap skirt

Lucinda's wrap skirt

I like this one and will be making a few more of these including one for me!

And I have also made a little bag for a friend of Lucinda's. I'm loving the plastic coated dinosaur fabric which I lined it with as well - then it can be wiped out easily.

Ben's Satchel

And we had TWO visits from The Tooth Fairy during the week!

The Tooth Fairy

Lucinda's front teeth finally gave way, one on Tuesday and one on Friday while eating a cupcake. She looks so different with that great big gap and she hasn't even started school yet - they grow up way too fast!!

Cupcakes!

I promise to try and post more regularly so I don't make such lengthy submissions! I am now off to stay up all hours to try and finish my autumn quilt! We are going away on Saturday and I have to mail it off before we go! I might try to be organised enough to show you it before it heads off to its new home. Enjoy!!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

A lovely week!

We started our Sunday with one of our favourite brekkies.

Sunday breakfast

Then a few chores were done on a windy day.

Washing

The sun is shining and the garden is coming to life.



The postman was kept busy this week too.

I got some lovely presents from Cathy. Some very pretty green cotton to make myself a dish cloth - I'm thinking cherries this time. And some adorable paper doll fabric which I just love. I'll have to think of something special to use it for. Thanks so much Cathy it was a really lovely, thoughtful surprise.

Presents from Miss Marzie

And I received two swap parcels.........

My wonderful autumn quilt from Julie W arrived this week. It has such amazing colours in it and such vibrancy.

Autumn Quilt

I just love the back fabric and it even has a rod holder attached so it can be hung - I think it will be great for Halloween. Thanks so much Julie - your work is fantastic.

Autumn Quilt Back

And another special parcel arrived from the lovely Jade. Look at all these goodies for the Scrap Swap.

Scrap Swap goodies

Some cute bits and pieces for the girls and a fab little squirrel purse for me!

Squirrel Purse

But just check out these lovelies...

Piles of lovely scraps

Chloe brought them to me while I was in bed the next morning to tell me which ones she and Lucinda had decided were 'theirs'!!

I have yet to have a really good play with these - there are some really decent size 'scraps' amongst each little pile - thanks for your generosity Jade.

And to top it all off - guess who got shoes!!!

New shoes for Daphne!

Now she can get outside...

Daphne

and throw the ball ...

Daphne

and chase poor Ella!!

Daphne

Life is good here - have a great week!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Sewing flowers, fairies and veggies!

I have been doing a bit of 'secret' embroidery over the past week and the girls have shown great interest. So we went and bought them some threads and a hoop each and away they went.





Chloe drew a lovely flower and Lucinda drew one of her favourite fairies.





I don't think they did a bad job!

It's been beautiful weather here, just perfect for a spot of gardening. The girls got out with their Dad and planted, corn, lettuce, beans, and snow peas. Fingers crossed they won't be eaten by the very naughty possums that live here. They have noisy parties under our big Jacaranda and munch on oranges stolen from the neighbours garden leaving us with a big mess.



We also picked up this on the weekend.



It's from hard rubbish, in other words FREE! It was found by a girlfriend and given to her sister but she can't be bothered doing anything with it so it's MINE. And I love it!! Check out the handles, I thought they were plastic but they're china and in perfect condition. It also has a lovely rectangular bevelled mirror to attach which is in great condition. Just you wait - it's going to be a stunning addition to little Daph's bedroom!

And just so Ali doesn't think I'm a complete meany pants here's a little sneak peak of a part of her 'Back to School' swap parcel that's winging it's way to her!



And Ali, you are the first to have something with my label!

I have had a few questions regarding the labels and thought I would just put the link here for you (sorry Carla but I had no contact details for you). I used Woven Labels Direct because they allowed a lot more choice in the colour of the ribbon and lettering. They were also very quick arriving within about ten days.

My next project to get on with is the Autumn Quilt. Apparently my partner is really organised and my quilt is already on its way which is exciting. I always concentrate so hard on what I'm doing for a swap that I forget that I'm getting something in return! I haven't heard anything from my partner in the 'Back to School' swap, so that'll be a big surprise. I'll be back with pics as soon as anything turns up.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Friends + Fabric = FUN!

There's so much to tell and I will start with the most exciting bit and work my way through!

Last Thursday was very special because I had my very first meeting with one of my Melbourne blog friends. I met the very lovely Cathy from Ms Marzie and she was every bit as nice as she sounds on her blog - just a bit taller than I'd imagined! It was a little like a blind date and we were both a bit nervous but not for long. We met at Amitie where Jenny made us feel incredibly welcome. Can you believe she sat us up the front of the shop at a lovely table and chairs, made us a cup of coffee and left us to it - thanks Jenny!

So after exchanging gifts (in true craft blogging tradition) and yacking for a while we then got stuck into the fabric choosing. Cathy had brought along some fabrics she needed to add to for a gorgeous quilt she is making for her sister's 40th next year and I had brought some fairly old Cath Kidston fabrics with me to add to for a quilt for Chloe's bed.

Assisted by Jenny and Judy there was much collective ooohing and aahhhing, fabric stroking and general sharing of the whole quilt, fabric loving experience. It was a lovely couple of hours bonding over fabric and I'm sure the very reason Jenny named the store Amitie, the french word for friendship. The perfect choice for our first meeting Cathy!



More than two hours later we purchased our goodies and had a quick lunch before racing off to pick up the kids from school. It was wonderful to meet Cathy finally, and it is amazing to have so much in common with someone when you haven't even met before. We agreed on so much, talked about all our favourite blogs and even have the exact same sewing machine! Thanks for coming all the way over to Amitie Cathy (not that visiting Amitie is EVER a chore) and I look forward to seeing you again soon because there is so much I didn't get to ask you.

Cathy made me a really sweet little linen purse, which I am going to keep in my handbag to hold lipsticks, a groovy tissue holder and my very own cotton apple dishcloth!



I made a needlebook for Cathy. I used pink and green wool felt, apple lining and a vintage button on the front. I also bought her one of my favourite apple containers to keep her sewing bits in.



In between chasing Daphne, who thought the embroidery threads at Amitie were hugely interesting to pull apart, I managed to gather some wonderful fabrics together for Chloe's quilt. It was looking very green/pink and she wanted aqua/red - that's what happens when you buy fabrics with the intention of making something and leave it for too long.



But I'm thrilled with how it has all come together and I have chosen this gorgeous quilt design 'Vintage Comfort' by Judy Newman for a really vintagey look. Chloe LOVES it which is the most important thing.



The train quilt is progressing. I have finished all the blocks and am now putting the top together. It is a little blue and I wanted it more red so I'm mucking around with it a bit.

I have also made a start on my Autumn quilt for the Four Seasons Quilt Swap.



I was inspired by this picture from the July/August edition of Inside Out magazine.



It came together when I found the little brown floral fabric which I adore. I'm not sure what to bind it with but I'm not going to worry about that until I finish the top - there are a couple of little extra things I'm adding to it which I will show you another day.

I'm also well underway for the back to school tote bag swap and have had a lot of fun with this as we can add what we like. It'll be on it's way soon Ali and I'm not showing anything until she gets it.

Today I received my partner for the scrap swap and look who I got - Jade! Yippeee one of my faves, this is also going to be lots of fun.

Look what arrived in today's mail!



YAY!!!, my labels! I can finally put my name on my work. I guess that means I'm going to have to start putting things into my Etsy shop or Made it. I'm just not sure what yet. Aprons, bags, hmmmmmmm, lots of thinking ahead.

And then look what arrived this afternoon - another delivery! I couldn't resist buying this sweet little smock from Jade. It is the softest fine green cord and cute apple tree fabric and it's just beautifully made. And tucked inside the package I even got some scraps to make something to match - thanks Jade it really is lovely and she thinks she looks fab in it. Do you like the collection of hairties she insists on wearing as bracelets!







Well that should be enough to keep you going for a few days. I certainly have enough to keep me busy!!