Thursday, May 29, 2014

My gratitude list :) It makes me happy

Hmm ... this is another day I'm not sure what to write about.  Sure I will have come up with something by the end of this post though :)

According to my terribly bad counting it's day 32 of my little blog/countdown challenge.

Maybe I should make a list of what I'm grateful for today ...
  • I'm grateful for the lovely people I work with (in and out of the office!)
  • for the way I'm greeted by Charlie dog and Psycho Bunny
  • walking in the sun on a springlike autumnal day
  • getting to read the brilliant Ranger's Apprentice adventure books with Little Man
  • catching up with a lovely friend I haven't see for ages and talking non-stop
  • talking about life, the universe and everything with my big kids - because they want to
What are you grateful for today?

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A cold remedy, Me-Made-May 2014 and a question of vintage ... or not ...

Firstly, I've lost track of the days before I leave for the UK ...

Secondly, I'm sitting here sipping the best cold elixir ever as I write this.  I was going to reach for the ibuprofen because of sinus pain, when a friend offered to make me a honey and apple cider vinegar drink.  Oh my word!  It really worked and I didn't needto reach for the pills ... a simple recipe, 1tbs honey, 1tbs apple cider vinegar in a mug, then fill up with hot water and stir.  Sip away!  Much, much tastier than a Lemsip (yeuch!)

This blasted cold is the reason for my having lost my blogging mojo for the past couple of days.  I was off work yesterday and just slept the whole day instead, which to be honest was probably the best medicine.

So I have another me-made-May item to share with you as well.  It's another splice skirt! I love them so much.  I was even looking at quilting fabrics the other day, imagining which ones would go together in another splice rather than which quilting project I want to do next :)  Quilting fabrics are just so beautiful aren't they? 

And of course, I've been working on my crochet fusion blanket.  Using my beautiful and faithful old 100 Classica Husqvarna machine.  Seeing as it was bought for me nearly 24 years ago, can I class it as vintage yet?

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Are you a fabric addict too?

This is me :)  Not sure who sent me this, but I've just found it in my photos file.  I've been having a hard time thinking what to write about today, so it seems just as well to share a funny with you instead.

I felt it was better to just accept sometimes I just don't feel like blogging, or have nothing specific to talk about, and sometimes it's just good to say 'hello'.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Fusion Blanket - sewing and crochet - yay!

Yesterday was day 26 of my blog countdown challenge, so today must be 27!  Yikes, that magical number 70 will be here before I know it!

I had training for work yesterday, a fantastic day learning all about nurturing youth, very thought-provoking but also exhausting - hence I went to bed early instead of blogging.  My brain was already stretched to the max!

Today has been a typical day for catching up with chores, but I also had time to catch up with my crafty crew for a natter and a cuppa.  It's my weekly sanity :)  I'm sure the girls don't know quite how much they keep my feet on the ground.  My project is the fusion blanket - part sewing, part crochet - totally beautiful!

This one is for my daughter who has set me a challenge to finish it before we leave for the UK.  Not sure how that one is going to go ... check out these blogs (here and here) who inspired us to start the journey.  (Thank you Little Miss Shabby and Sewing Daisies)

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Me-Made-May 2014 - Anna dress

It's now day 25 of my countdown/blogging challenge. 

Anna reflected in our new doors!
Today is also the start of week 4 of my me-made-May challenge.  I wore my first Anna dress to work today.  It reminded me of one of the joys of dressmaking - getting a garment fitted to your own body shape.  I usually have to do an FBA, but use a smaller pattern piece for the hips.  Also I don't have much of a waist so I like dresses to make me look like I have one - and this one does that.  Even one of my work mates said it highlighted my waist nicely!  And another work mate asked me to make one for her :)  A hit all round I think.  So, if you haven't already, check out the Anna dress pattern from By Hand London.  It' so beautiful to sew and there are plenty of tips on the blog as to how to perform various pattern alterations to get a great fit.

And yes, the fact that I want more Anna dresses in my wardrobe has become apparent in this challenge and will be put on my list.

I have some lovely microfibre fabric in a dark green that I bought to make trousers; it turns out it's too thin for pants, but I think it would make a fabulous long length Anna for winter work days :)

Here are more pics of me eing twirly in my Anna.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Me-made-May 2014 - Plantain Top

Day 24 of my countdown to the UK.  :)

This is the 3rd week of my me-made-May challenge.  I've worn a top for a second time this week, my green t-shirt with the heavenly faces on it.  So in fact I've managed to wear 4 items this week - the 4th being my Plantain top by Deer & Doe, which I have blogged about here.

By far, my stretch knit items are getting the most wear (if you include my running skort).  Yet, I always see myself as sewing wovens.  Hmmm ... I'm definitely thinking I would like to include more knitted fabric items in my wardrobe.  They are so easy to fit and comfy to wear, and as I'm discovering, much easier to sew than first thought.  That's another thing to add to my list of knowledge gained from Me-made-May.

I'd also like to thank the people who've been commenting on my posts during my 'comeback'.  Your support and encouragement are greatly appreciated and I'm sorry I haven't got round to replying to each one of you - I do intend to, it might just take time.  But you're all being sent a hug xxxx

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Bubba (how green is that grass?)
So it's day 23.

Today I saw one of my friends for the last time, for a while at least.  She's moving back to the UK.  I will miss her and it makes me feel sad.

Bubba and Mumma
Whilst preparing myself for the visit on my morning walk I was thinking of things that make me happy.

Here's my little list:

Walking in the forest
Breathing in the eucalyptus scented and COOL air
Laughter in the distance - my own is also good :)
Mist rising in the valley
Kangaroos in the garden
A hearty meal on an autumn evening (tonight it was beef stroganoff - yum)
Visiting Spotlight and looking at fabric - did this after leaving my friend!
Cuddling up on Little Man's bed and sharing the reading of bedtime stories
Purple yarn with fluffy pompoms (that's a whole other post)
Crosswords - especially with help - thanks Little Man xxx

Monday, May 19, 2014

Nothing is sacred ...

Day 22!!!!

Semi-circle pockets set in the side seam
I'm rather pleased with the pockets on this skirt. 

I'm also rather pleased with myself that it's a skirt I drafted myself.

I wasn't pleased when I went to work on my skirt and I couldn't find the front with the pockets.  It was a mystery - where could it be?  Eventually it was found in a scrumpled heap in the doorway to Big B's room.  Hmmmm .... strange ...

There were what I took to be cat paw prints on it, and some teeny tiny indentations I took to be claw marks.  We often have visits from next door's mischievous ginger tom.  He must have taken a fancy to it.  That was my little fantasy for why I'd lost 30 mins of good sewing time looking for the thing ... until I tried to explain it to my daughter ... who burst out laughing ...

Turns out she was playing a game with Charlie dog and he got a little bit over excited.  He ran off and returned with a piece of 'something' in his mouth and proceeded to toss it around in the air.  So it was teeth marks and dog slobber on my skirt.  Don't know which is worse really.

Well, it's all sewn up now, and ready to be blogged about.   It's going to have a really good wash first though.
A more accurate representation of the colour, and a good view of how the pockets look straight on

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Fundraising for Walk the Walk

Helloooo!  When I go back to the Island in August this year, I'm taking part in the Isle of Wight Challenge, which is a 100 km walk around the entire island taking place over the August bank holiday weekend. It's also a fundraising event for charities, so I have set up my own charity page for Walk the Walk.

Now as you know from reading my blog, I've done the Triathlon Pink and the Perth Mother's Day Classic walk - both of which raise funds for breast cancer research and care.  It's a cause that's close to my heart as one of my grans died from breast cancer, and my mum nursed her and experienced the pain and anguish this cancer causes for both sufferer and carer.  I'm doing this for women everywhere :)

Here's the official blurb from the website:

"Walk the Walk

Me-made-May 2014 - pink fluffy scarf

OK - so Saturday would be day 20 of my blogging challenge/countdown to the UK.  It's a bit late in being written as we've been to friends and had a wine and pizza evening.  Very pleasant, but not conducive to getting things done on time :)

Anyhoo ... it's my second day of my third week of my made-May 2014 challenge.  (Apols for photos; they were taken on my phone at dusk!)  Today I've been wearing my favourite me-made scarf.  It's very pink and very fluffy and I love it.  It's my feel good scarf.  It's warm and it makes me feel happy - win-win!

I knitted it when I first moved to the Hills so it's approximately 8 years old.  Consequently I can't remember the pattern or the wool I used, but I have some recollection of getting it in Spotlight.  You know it's a good handmade item when you wear it year after year just because it feels good.

Do you have anything like that in your wardrobe?

Saturday, May 17, 2014

A day late ... Laurel top - me-made-May 2014

Oops - a day late - so this post is for yesterday ...

It's my first day of week 3 of me-made-May - and I wore my 'Laurel' top by Colette patterns.  I've cheated and used some photos from when I made it last year. (The top is not looking its best after being worn all day yesterday).

For those of you who don't know the Laurel pattern is available as a dress or a top.  I love the top and made the size as given without any pattern changes and it fits well.  I used the keyhole neckline variation.  The pattern is easy to follow and very quick to make.  I recommend it :)

Not sure where I am with the countdown, I'll have to read my blog to find out!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Thursday - the new Friday

I love Thursdays.  They are like my Fridays because I finish my working week on Thursday.  Today was a training day in the city and I got to experience the rush hour traffic on the train.  One day was enough for me, and Perth isn't even a huge city.  I think I'm just a country loving hippy!

Thursday night is also a time I sit and do some crafty stuff.  Today I've been making a fusion blanket (not the nuclear kind!).  It's for HB and she sidled up to me today and said, 'if you finish it in time I can take it on holiday so I can think of you'.  I think I've been set a challenge :)  I will blog about it very soon and show you the safer version of fusion blankets!

Just a little chat today so you know what's going on in my life :)  It's day 18 of my countdown xx

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Seeing double?

Day 17 of my countdown! :)

And I apologize but there follows more dog and rabbit pics.  Although they are related to creativity - look at the beautiful bunny palace my hubby built for bunny no. 1.  It took two weekends, and two of us to lift it into position.  And you can see I've planted a container garden with the help of Little Man.

It's quite lucky we now had a spare hutch, because we have ...

bunny no. 2 ...

It's quite a sweet story really.  I was chatting to a friend at meditation about how lovely rabbits are as pets, and for her it was a bonus that they are also vegetarian - when my other friend said 'oh look, there's a bunny on the steps'.  My first thought as my brain struggled to catch up, was 'how on earth did my rabbit get there?' not even thinking about the fact that she would have had to break out of the hutch, climb into the car unnoticed for the journey down the hill and then have to break out of the car again to wait outside the mediation hut!  Duh .....

We decided to catch the rabbit as I know the dog next door likes to chase and then do unthinkable things to small furry animals ... so now bunny no. 2 is living in the spare hutch as we wait for any previous owners to contact me if they've lost a bunny.  Though it is very clear that some members of the family want to keep said lucky bunny ...

The new hutch is more than big enough to cater for 2 rabbits, but I'm going to have to assess genders first as I'm not sure it can cope with a myriad of rabbits!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Hand knitted socks

Eeek - day 16 already!  Time sure flies.  And we're nearly halfway through May!

It's my second week of me-made-May, and here's my third item for the week, a pair of hand-knitted socks :)  They took me nearly 2 winters to complete, because to be honest I was terrified of knitting on 5 needles - but I persevered and hey presto!  The more you knit, the less holey your socks are - practise does make perfect it would seem :)

The socks are very, very comfy.  I don't think you can beat a handmade sock for comfort actually!  I wore them all day, and they are as comfy as when I first put them on this morning.

These are made from a self-striping yarn, Spotlight's own if I remember correctly.  It seems very similar to Patons Patonyle, only cheaper and to be honest not as good quality :(  But I like the colours, and for a first pair of socks the yarn was fine.

The pattern was from an old Spotlight magazine, though you are bound to be able to find similar patterns on the net.  I just wanted a simple pattern as the wool is so stripey.  Next I would love to try cabled socks. 

Yes, more self-made socks are definitely on the agenda now I've overcome my fear of multi-needles!

Monday, May 12, 2014

bah humbug ...

I hate forms!!  I've spent the past hour and a bit filling in forms for passports.  It's so boring and so long-winded - I'm going to bed because my head hurts!

Oh and another gem from, I rather like this one:

Night, night! xx

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day Classic 2014

Oops - I've been a day behind with my countdown to my UK visit, I'm actually on day 14 now ...

Today is Mother's Day here in Australia - Happy Mother's Day mum!!!  xxxxx  And to all the other mums out there  xxx

It's been a great day.  I've been looked after and spoiled.  Little Man treated me to brekkie in bed, he proudly walked in with 2 slices of toast, an entire pack of butter, a jar of jam and jar of Marmite, all delivered on a silver tray :) 

A beautiful day for a walk ...
How to follow that?  With an 8 km walk around Perth foreshore of course!  A group of us got together to walk the Perth Mother's Day Classic; you can walk or run to raise funds for breast cancer research.  Most people do it in memory of someone who has struggled or is struggling with breast cancer, and I chose my grandma Grace and my mum who looked after her when she was ill. 

A sea of pink at the starting line ...
My lovely daughter HB kept me company and took the awesome selfies!  It was lovely to be able to spend time with one child - we talked about loads and put the world to rights!  I'm so proud of her because at one point she wanted to stop and just complete the 4km as walking in the bright sun was making her feel woozy, but she when it came time to choose she kept on walking with me towards the second loop.   Then after that we drove back home and she treated me to coffee and cake.  A perfect day :)

Still smiling after 10k which was the walk + the walk to and from the car park - yes, I did take my pedometer and measure the whole distance!!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Upcycled skirt from trousers

Remember this?  (Tutorial here)  It's my skirt made from a pair of woollen trousers, which made me look like a granny!  I loved the material though, so made a skirt instead.

So it's item number 2 of my second week of me-made-May.  I haven't worn the skirt for a while, and this has been a brilliant opportunity to start wearing it again.

Today whilst decluttering I found a pile of clothes I've been keeping to recycle, some items even had little notes pinned to them with instructions for improvements.

Looks like I'd better start upcycling ...

(Day 12 of countdown)

Friday, May 9, 2014

Lazy days of winter

Day 11 of my count-up-down to visiting the UK ...

Not much to write today.  It's been a lovely winter's day - very rainy, breezy, a slight chill in the air - perfect!  I'm even getting to wear my winter coat with fur (not real) trimmed hood.  I'm a very happy bunny indeed.

We lit the fire for the first time today too :)

Hello winter - I love you!!!! 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Splice skirt - my favourite!

I think I'm on day 10?

This is my first item of the second week of me-made-May, and it's one of my favourites - the splice skirt, a pattern by Jody Pearl.  (Should not have just gone to the site to check the link worked, I simply had to buy some of the 'In the Museum' fabric, it's gorgeous!)   It's a fabulous skirt, seems to be flattering on whomever wears it and it's so good to make, it's simpler than it looks, yet it's challenging too. I absolutely love this pattern!!!

And this version is my favourite at the moment out of the 4 I've made.  The first layer is from some vintage fabric I bought on Made-it, the second is some lace from my stash, and the top layer was some fabric I bought on ebay years ago.  It all came together rather nicely don't you think?

I definitely need to make some more splice skirts ...

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Healing salt water

Yesterday a friend told me that any salt water is healing: tears, sweat, sea.

I found this pic today and it reminded me of her advice.

I wonder what he's thinking?

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Quotes to build you up

I've said it before and I'll say it again - quotes are a great source of inspiration and encouragement.

There I was feeling a little sorry for myself as I struggle with trying to combine working with looking after my family (which after all I do see as my main and most important work) and I felt the need to search for quotes to lift my spirits.

I feel so much better after browsing for a while, for me it's almost as addictive as Pinterest :)  One of my fave places to look is

Hope these quotes strike a chord with some of you too. xx

Monday, May 5, 2014

An old favourite

Day 8 ...

... plus it's my third me-made-May day!  I've achieved my first week with 3 items - yay!  Unwittingly this time I put on an old favourite of mine before I remembered it's also a me-made item.  I can't even remember which pattern I used, although I'm sure the pattern is lurking in the far reaches of my wardrobe ... this should inspire me to go look for it, as this is a tried and tested t-shirt.  I do remember that I bought the material from a boutique fabric shop in Kalamunda several years ago, and I have just enough for the back and front of a new t-shirt which will be finished eventually, when I get the time.

This t-shirt is testament to the fact that when you get it right, spending that extra time dress-making beats buying ready to wear hands down.  Getting the right fitting garment, in a fabric that you know no-one will be wearing in the same way is damn near perfect :)

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Jalie 2796 - running skirt

OK, it's day 7 of my counting up and down :) ... and my second day for me-made-May.

Look at that - photo bombed by my dog ..,

Today I'm showcasing my running skirt.  It's made from Jalie 2796 pattern and proper supplex fabric, which wicks moisture away from your body when you run and get hot (basically you don't get too sweaty in your clothes, mmmmm, lovely)  The lovely aqua was from the Remnant Warehouse and the stripey rainbow fabric was from Runner's Fabrics.  The rainbow fabric is beautifully soft and very comfortable.  I would love to make a pair of leggings from this.  It's pricey at approx. $17 per half metre, but well worth it in terms of comfort and wicking capability and the customer service is fab.  There is a good variety of plain and stripey colours available too.

The skirt I'm wearing has in-built shorts, I did take a photo to prove it, but it was fairly horrible to look at so didn't bother to publish here!  You'll just have to take my word for it.  The pattern is for the skirt with shorts in-built or compression shorts, or mini shorts (hot pants!)

And look at this - pockets!  Great for your phone if you're using a running app, or for your car keys.

I found the pattern quick and easy to sew and I want to make lots more!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Winter is coming

Cor ... nearly forgot!  Day 6 ...

First of my me-made-May items - a  fluffy scarf!!  It's funny, but in winter nothing makes me feel more warm and snuggly than a scarf.  And if I happen to be poorly like yesterday, nothing gives comfort more than a fluffy scarf :)

I like this one in shades of yellow and green.

It's a yarn called 'Tracey' from Spotlight, and it seems to be a so-called 'magic ball' of yarn, i.e. it's various yarns knotted together to make a ball.

I knitted it up as shown on the band in lengthwise stripes, but I'm sure it would work as well with Dr Who stripes.

There is a photo of me wearing said scarf, but that one is on my phone and out of reach, so you'll have to wait for that delight.

I've learned one thing already from my me-made-May - I need more fluffy scarves!

Friday, May 2, 2014

Out of Order

Day 5 of Count-up-down

Blurgh ... today I am admitting defeat and not blogging much.  I have a sinus headache and am dangerous driving a car and computer!  I've been walking around today, feeling like I'm 'listing' to one side and I haven't even had anything to drink.

Got to get better for next weekend - it's the Perth Mother's Day Classic walk in aid of Breast Cancer Research, and I've persuaded HB and Little Man to walk the 8km with me.  We received our race numbers today ... we've got to use them.

Off to bed ... sweet dreams xx

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Out and About ...The Birthplace of Wanneroo

Day 4 ...

Whilst I was out on the road today for work, I spied this awesome little building by the roadside and decided to stretch my legs and to take a few quick photos. 

This is one of the first subdivisions of the suburb of Wanneroo - way back in 1838!  A little place called Perry's Paddock.  It was first inhabited by the Indigenous people of the area, who were moved on by European settlement to other areas in Perth :(  The park bears the name today of the leader of the Mooro people - Yellagonga.

I'm not sure what vintage the tractor bits are!
I'm intrigued by the lives people lead in the early days of settlement.  I find it hard to settle now with all the mod cons, imagine what it was like back in the 1800's, when you'd travel out to a country so far away from home, and that would be it - no visits back home every 3 years!  I like to touch the walls of such buildings, just in case I can pick up any vibes of past occupants ... strange I know ... but it's amazing what energies you can pick up from houses ... and your imagination!

And just look at that gorgeous blue sky ... and the sun!  This is supposed to be our autumn leading into winter.  At least the temperatures are more manageable 20+ degrees, so I'm a much nicer person to be around!