Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What happiness a teaspoon can bring :)

Teaspoon in its new home with my favourite teapot

Whilst walking today I realized I've been feeling blue lately because I'm homesick.  Don't get me wrong, I love my home in the hills and realize what a special life I lead here.  But family and my homeland keep pulling me back in my thoughts!  It's always a bit difficult to settle back in after a visit home, but I'll get there.

So I was thinking of 'home' when a parcel turned up for me today.  Ever so tiny.  But very special, from my dad.  He sent me a silver teaspoon with a teeny tiny Australia decoration at the top.  I was expecting that as I'd had an email warning me to look out for the delivery - but I didn't expect the lovely detail such as the kookaburra sitting on the side branches.  Isn't it lovely?  And really uplifting to get a parcel from home, from my dad who had sent it because he thought I would like it.  It's definitely heartwarming to know that somewhere in the world there is always someone thinking of you.  Thank you dad. xxxx

Monday, September 26, 2011

For the boys ...

Creativity has been focussed on the Little Man this past week - a birthday cake for a recent birthday party and army pajamas finished today!

For the cake I went for simple and yummy!  Little Man lent me some Lego Star Wars  figures although he had no idea what I was up to until he had his party.   It's a space base made from choc sponge, a tube covered in foil to make the joining tunnel, with some foil bits to look more 'spacey'.  Ta dah! 

I made these pajamas today from fabric I've had for over 18 months.  He's complained about the cold for the past few days (we've gone soft after being away from the UK for so long!) and as we do have a few weeks left until summer is in full swing I thought I'd make the pj's at long last.  Although at one point I did worry that our power cut this afternoon was due to me having both my sewing machine and overlocker set up side by side ... found out at school that the power cut extended to Midland, so knew then that even I couldn't be responsible for that :)  Really enjoyed the sewing, and the smile on Little Man's face said he doesn't mind me making stuff either.  xx

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

no blogging for a bit

Hi!  I know - I haven't blogged for quite a while - I mentioned in my last post that all the kids were ill, well now it's mum's turn and I've had this blessed virus for over a week now and am still feeling very grotty.  When I asked my hubby if I'd appeared unwell it was obvious by his replies that I am not functioning at all properly, but his exact words are not repeatable here :)  So while my brain is fuzzy I'm staying away.  Think the problem could be not enough oxygen to the brain as my sinuses are not at all well.  Enough detail for now methinks.  Will write when I can ... in the meantime, I hope you are all busy creating xxx

Thursday, September 8, 2011

My Creative Space

It's been a chocolate cake sort of day ...

Children at home ill and I'm feeling a little bit homesick, so made a very chocolately choccie cake, with a very high dose of cocoa in the real butter, butter icing.  Yummy!  Funny, now we're all feeling better ...

And look at this - my dpn crisis could be over - I'm actually doing it - knitting on 5 needles!  Yes, there are a few odd stitches here and there, but I will wear these socks proudly and everytime I see the little holes I will be reminded that I didn't give up.  And the great thing is according to all the sock experts I aspire to be, the more you practice the less holes you make!  AND apparently there's nothing quite like a handmade sock - I shall persevere!!

Look at some more lovely creations here.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

DPN troubles

Sounds like an illness doesn't it?  But in the sock knittiing world it's double pointed needles.

I've taken it upon myself to make socks for Christmas presents this year, and thought I would practice on a pair for myself first.  The magic loop method is not working as the circular needles aren't quite long enough so I have 2 dreaded ladders.  After searching the net (I love the www!) I've found it mentioned several times that 5 dpns are better than using 4 for avoiding ladders.  (Probably better to get tangled up with too).  We shall see ...

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Happy Father's Day 2011!

Wishing all the dads in the world a Happy Father's Day - especially my dad back in the UK :)

The boys organized a yummy breakfast for their dad.   Very proud of them that they like to celebrate these little family rituals.  It's taken me long enough to train them :)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

My Creative Space

... or how to frame a cross-stitch the cheapskate way!

My creating took on a new project today - or not so new.  I've had these cross-stitch pictures for over 10 years, hidden away in a box.  The cost of framing has always put me off, but I am a great believer in not paying somebody to do something I could do myself, so here goes:  (do not read any further if you are a cross-stitch/framing purist, the following may make you faint)

Materials used:
Ready-made frame $4.99
Mount $3.95
Board $2.50

I used boards which are used for acrylic painting, they are sold in newsagencies/stationers and are acid free, so they shouldn't discolour your stitching over time.  Cut board to size with a box cutter - be very careful!  And use a mat to protect the table!  Position the board centrally over the reverse side of the piece of fabric and fold edges over to back of board.  (Make sure your work has been pressed -  use a gentle steam setting and place the piece upside down on top of a towel so that the stitches don't get squished).

Thread a needle with a long piece of strong thread (I used quilting thread) and sew back and forth in a zig zag across the board - I did this five times to give a nice even tension to the stitched fabric.  If the fabric is long enough to fold over the ends, repeat the procedure.  If you leave long ends on the threads, it means you can a tie a double knot for security.

You'll have to keep testing to see where the stitching lies in the frame - I had to wriggle the picture up over the board a few times, smidgen by smidgen until it was centralized in the mount.

Put the frame together - mount, picture, backboard - and you're done!  I did use framer's tape on the back of one picture as the layers altogether were quite thick and the fasteners wouldn't bend over the back board!  But I think you'll agree, although done on the cheap - less than $15 per picture - they look pretty good.  And it sure beats being shut away in a box, never being looked at ...

... and one more thing, I also learned it's probably a good idea to store your stitching flat - trying to iron out 10+ year old folds is not easy ...

So that's my creative space for this week - click here to go and view others!