Wednesday, July 28, 2010

July Sewing Challenge - Part 2

Here's the groovy, lovely pleated shirt I want to make for this month's challenge.  It's using a pattern from the April issue of 'Sew Hip' magazine.

Trying to make sense of the pattern.  'Nuff said ...

Monday, July 26, 2010

My new studio

At the end of last week I used my new studio room for the very first time! I was so excited!! Like a kid in a sweet shop – I unpacked my trolley bag of treasures – and spread them liberally across the tabletop. My own creative space!

The silly thing is I’ve had this space available for over a year, but I’ve found all sorts of excuses not to use it. Mostly based on fear. I think I was worried that as it’s a room at our place of work for the family business I’d be pulled into working in the office at every moment. So, instead of talking to my husband about it, I sat on my fears and let them become reality, presuming to know what would happen without actually voicing my concerns. Not good! Just before I started Sark’s course I got so frustrated with the situation that I did bring the subject up – this last week our lessons have been about how to ask for the support we need – wish I’d known how a few weeks earlier, then I wouldn’t have made such a ninny of myself!

Other lessons we’ve been learning from Dream Boogie is to think of ways to do things differently; so instead of making linear lists I’ve had fun making shapes for my ideas to be displayed on as well as using different coloured pens (which I’ve always enjoyed doing, but it used to be because I wanted to make revision for exams more interesting!)

Now I have a beautiful space with a noticeboard already filling up with ideas for future projects, adorned with photos of sunsets and loved ones, and some lovely cards from my babies to remind me what’s important in life and how much I’m loved. Can’t wait to see what creations come out of that new space!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sewing Challenge for July

Blimey, just realized it's nearly the end of July and I still haven't started my sewing challenge for this month yet.  Oh dear.  It's supposed to be something with pleats;  I do have the fabric and the pattern so I suppose that's a start.  I need the timewarp to take me back a few days! ...
Eek - a whole week has passed since I last blogged - feel like I've been stuck in some kind of timewarp!!  And now I have another cold to contend with - slept most of the day whilst Dunc made the Sunday roast and looked after our lovely Japanese homestay guest.  That's the bind of winter I suppose, germs ...  or ... maybe I just like the heat and sun more than I thought?  Wow, this bug really has gone to my head!

Here is our little strawberry friend who for a few minutes before it was eaten became a rabbit, a mouse, little creature from the woods, anime character ... and so on.  Anything can capture the imagination and send it on a merry journey into the whimsical - one of life's pleasures!

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Don't you love how life takes charge sometimes and wonderful things happen?  This morning we helped out with planting seedlings as part of protecting the bushland around our area.  The small group was brought together by a friend of ours who is passionate about environmental issues and walks his talk; it was fantastic being in amongst nature and having the opportunity to meet other people on our street, whilst helping to slow erosion from the stream when it floods by planting out seedlings, which will hopefully stabilise the ground with their roots.  We stopped for morning tea, and I swear that the cup of Earl Grey I had outside, in the bush, chatting with new friends was the best cup of tea I've had in a long, long time. 

I got chatting to another member of the group who is also an artist, and before we knew it we'd organized to have a walk together later in the week - I can't wait!  It's awesome to meet someone who is as passionate about creativity as I am. 

And to think, when I woke up this morning, I wanted to stay in bed and read and take a slow start to the day.  So glad I was persuaded to change my mind!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Every picture has a story

As I was looking through my photos tonight looking for something to post about, I was drawn to this one which shows a small corner of my bedroom, and is proof that my little creations are dotted everywhere throughout the house!  Each element has meaning to me - the green hexagon is a crochet experiment and is now a soft pad for my pebble which I brought back from a holiday in New Zealand; the tiny bundles of wool are the ends of the skeins of wool I used for my recently finished afghan - they're waiting to be tied into one length so I can try 'magic ball' knitting.  The dragon was a gift from my sister a long time ago, and is special because I collect dragons and because it reminds me of her (as the gift-giver, rather than that she is like a dragon ...)  The red in the background is part of my cantilever jewellery box that my husband made for me out of tobacco tins when we first met; it houses all my very special little items I don't want to lose.  You might also be able to see an outline map of the UK which is on my visionboard that I try to look at everyday to keep me focussed on my dreams - and I want to be able to visit my home country more than once every 8 years!!  Most of these items are resting on a pile of books - books are amongst my most favourite things in the whole world and like my arty-facts are distributed liberally through the entire house!  In fact we sometimes wonder how we fit the family in with all my stuff taking up so much room.  And you thought it was a photo of a messy little corner - everything has its own story!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Making dreary DELIGHTFUL!

I woke up today feeling as though I'd hit a brick wall.  I've been thinking about how to proceed with my artistic dreams, thinking about how to entertain the kids whilst it's raining, thinking about my old friends in the UK, thinking, thinking, thinking, but not doing!  I've lost my get up and go.

In the Dream Boogie with SARK course, we are encouraged to approach our goals in teeny tiny steps, and to make the most mundane task appear miraculous, marvellous and magnificent, just by altering the way we describe it and perceive it.  So, I thought I would draw a deliciously, delightful wall.  And do you know what.  I feel so much better.  Really.  I don't know whether it's the combination of colours, the lovely silkiness of pencil against paper or simply the relaxing effect of having 5 minutes to myself to colour in!

Whatever it is, I'm prescribing myself (and you!) 5 minutes at least of colouring in with really bright colours when you're feeling blue. 

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Gingerbread Men

You may have seen my little badge in the corner that says I'm doing Sark's 'Dream Boogie' course.  Well, I haven't blogged too much on it as it's personal work and I don't want to share everything with the world!  But, at the moment we're learning about energy levels, and how we can pep up our own personal energy levels when they're on the wane.  I learnt today that one way I recharge my batteries is to go outside and sit in the warm sun (notice not the scorching summer sun!) and daydream - I'd been at the park with my little man who was playing with a friend and got some unexpected quiet time. 

You can see his exuberance with his baking in the picture above!  Despite me trying to explain that if we put the gingerbread too close together they might all stick together he wanted to put all the people on one tray so they didn't get lonely.  When they'd baked I had to lift one giant biscuit off the baking tray - it was rather lovely and I had to record it for posterity.

Friday, July 2, 2010

First complete afghan of the 'A Granny a day 2010' challenge!

As having a red, runny nose and itchy watery eyes is not a terribly good look, I will wait until my cold is gone before having my photo taken wearing my new fabulous, Frida skirt.

Instead ... I shall unveil my long awaited first 'A Granny a day 2010' project.  It has actually been completed for over 2 weeks, and has been in my bedroom where I have been able to gaze at it proudly for hours on end.  I have also wanted enough spare time to be able to blog about the afghan it all its magnificence (as you may be able to tell I am ever so slightly pleased with myself - it's so much better than I imagined it would be).

So, here it is, just a little section for a starter ...

then, just look at this stylish mitred corner, worked in double crochet ...

the whole thing ...

another pic because I want to ...

Mundane details:  I used Spotlight Basic 100% wool, 16 x 50g of cream, and 6 each in the other 3 colours.  I had a bit of yarn left over, but always better to have too much than too little.  I used a 4 mm crochet hook, and made 120 squares, and worked 7 rows of double crochet as the border, making 3 stitches in each corner stitch from the last row to make the mitre.  I was going to do a picot edge to finish, but liked the simplicity of the straight edge in the end so stopped right there.

It's so lovely and warm and soft.  And it's stopped my husband moaning about being cold.  See, crochet solves many of life's little problems.  You should try it :)