Friday, April 30, 2010

Good things: Friday knitting pattern

I decided to go through my stash (which now stacks about 18 inches high) to see if I could find something garishly 80s to show.

But I just don't do garish (I can't bring myself to buy them) and instead found this elegant 1980s ensemble.

It just goes to show how each decade has its share of mistakes and triumphs.

The pattern uses 100% machine washable wool by Villawool and is suitable for machine and hand knitting.

I particularly like the long cardigan. It looks warm and elegant.

Doesn't she look gorgeous ... including her hair?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Good things: My Creative Space

My Creative Space has been a flurry of activity because of looming deadlines: well, the weekend really when I travel to Ballarat to visit my mother for mother's day (7 May), see my mother for her birthday (7 May), and see my niece Miss T for her birthday (1 May).

I need to finish my mother's shawl ... which I've only been working on for 2 months and it's still sitting at about 90% finished.

I'm putting together a cross stitch kit for Miss T's birthday. I know exactly what I want to do but I still have to pull the threads (sorry for the pun, it wasn't deliberate) together. The last things to do are to get the hand towel and draw up a pattern. I'm sure she'll like it ... she's definitely following in the family crafty tradition.

And I'm right at the end of my stuff for the Sew It Together swap. I'm more than 80% there but the pressure is always on at the last moment to get it right. And if this doesn't work I have less than a fortnight to make something new from scratch. Now, that's pressure.

What does your creative space look like ... check out kootoyoo for more crafting goodness.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Good things: What's Hot & What's Not

I haven’t posted What’s Hot & What’s Not for a couple of weeks. For a lot of reasons I haven’t really felt motivated to blog at all, although that’s changing at the moment. I find the urge not to blog usually hits me every six weeks or so. But I’m feeling energised at the moment and happy because it’s coincided with the end of the month when I compare how I’m going with my New Year’s Plans.

What’s been Hot

Cook more. I actually cooked twice this month. Amazing I know! It’s usually the same thing … lamb, although most recently I’ve experimented with lamb neck and barley, on a bed of mashed potatoes. Wonderfully warming and soothing as winter approaches.

Explore. I feel as though I’m really growing this year, both personally and creatively. I’m branching out in all sorts of ways creatively, and this month joined a local knitting group a few suburbs away that will be much easier to meet up with. I’m also exploring op shops in all sorts of new areas I don’t usually visit: the weekend just past I went to Malvern and the week before to Noble Park.

Spend time with others. I feel as though I’ve done well with friends and family this month. Plenty of time with crafting and other friends, including going out to dinner last weekend. I also went down to Ballarat to visit the family and I’m there again the weekend coming.

Find something good each day. In some ways I started this because I thought I could be too negative but I realise as time passes that isn’t the case.

5 craft projects. I’m well on my way to finishing 5 projects for 2010. The first two finished were for swaps but I deliberately joined them because the deadline kept me focussed. Now I’m working on a couple of knitting projects: a shawl, baby’s scarf, baby’s cardigan and another swap for Sew It Together. Three of them are 2/3 done with the baby’s scarf 95% finished.

Travel. I’ve been doing a few day trips including a walk around the city Saturday going looking at the graffiti in various laneways. I always enjoy that. Plus Mum and I are planning a trip to the Blue Mountains in August … I’ve wanted to return there for many years and haven’t got around to organising something before now.

What’s Not

Renovations. As usual this is a total dud … so I’m putting it on the hiatus pile until further notice. I’m so much more focussed on the craft side of things, which is so busy and fun at the moment, that I want to reduce that pile and get back to the renovations. If only the two coincided in some way.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Good things: My Place and Yours

Yesterday Danielle didn't put up the theme and I thought it was because her husband hadn't given the internet access back. It turns out she wasn't feeling very well--I hope you're feeling better Danielle. I wish every week started on Tuesday, and I love this week’s theme … what’s on your keyring.

My keyrings are a huge part of my life, littered as they are with reminders of the good things that have happened to me and what I love best.

They’re also hugely heavy … definitely not the sort of thing you could carry in your pocket or without the number of a chiropractor.

They showcase the places I’ve visited and love: New York and London in the last 12 months.

They include the World’s Greatest Mother keyring from my daughters.

And a bunch of other assorted stuff.

I think there’s still room for a few more.

Check out HelloOwl for more key rings. I'm off to check out a few now.

Good things: Ruby Tuesday

I like graffiti.

Done well it can be topical. Done well it can be art.

Together with a couple of friends I often go for a wander to see what's on the walls of certain alleys.

The red of this one I thought is perfect for Ruby Tuesday.

Go to Work of the Poet for more ruby goodness.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Good things: My Place & Yours

My Place & Yours isn't happening today ... because Danielle over at HelloOwl obviously still hasn't found the internet hidden by her husband a few days ago.

I wonder when she'll find it?


Good things: Vintage sheets and swaps

A few people posted yesterday (who I've emailed privately where they included their email address) about being happy to see my vintage sheets or wanting more information about the vintage sheet swap I've been referring to.

First up, my sheets. Every op shop I've visited over the last couple of months I've looked in for sheets and I've probably found something worth getting almost every weekend.

Yesterday I found a single bed pair of sheets ... the pair with the yellow daisies. Last week I found the pretty pink floral sheet and four identical (brand new) pink pillowcases.

And if you look really closely, you'll notice the top five sheets and the pillow cases match beautifully. Looks like the patron saint of vintage sheet quilts has decided I'll be making a yellow, green and pink quilt.

Now to the vintage sheet swap. I love reading blogs and I gladly follow embedded links because I often find something interesting or fun ... and this time I found the germ of an idea for a vintage sheet swap on Ange's Ramblings.

The post I hit was Ange bemoaning a recent US only swap and, lucky for me, she was looking for interest from Australians. You've no idea how long I've been interested too ... so I hurriedly added my name and now it's official. Hip hip hooray!

If you want to sign up, registrations are open until 30 June 2010. The details for the swap as well as the blog post to sign up are on Ange's Ramblings. It's best to read the details there in case I misquote or confusing things ... but I will add the swap is limited to Australians only.

PS If you're planning on entering and have photos of your sheets to share add a link to your post below ... I'd love to take a sneak peak too.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Good things: Flea Market Finds

I visited 5 op shops on the weekend ... in pretty quick succession, I admit, because I was in a hurry: two in Mordialloc and three in Malvern.

I really enjoyed trying new shops. Malvern has three in close proximity and one was an independent called MECWA (ie not Vinnie or Salvos). Op shops run by independents are always my favourites.

I got a few of my usual favourites (a pair of gorgeous single bed sheets for the vintage sheet swap coming up in July, a couple of delicate doilies and a few pairs of knitting needles) so I won't bore you with the usual.

Instead I'll share a favourite in our house for almost 30 years, and something Mr H sourced in an op shop before we even met ... the orange enamel tea pot we brew our tea in.

I love this baby.

More flea market finds can be found at Her Library Adventures.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Miss C turned 22

Yesterday the baby turned 22 ... I don't know where the time has gone.

It seems like only yesterday I was hospital cradling her in my arms

It seems like yesterday she started school ... so cute in her uniform with her sister looking after her.

And it's definitely too long since Miss C flung herself at me each night as I arrived home from work

Sorry, no photos of Miss C scowling at me for daring to even ask for a shot.

Just these photos of the tag/card I made for her ... in her favourite colour and looking suspiciously like another tag I made recently.

I know she'll love the perfume ... she bought it for me and steals it all the time! LOL

And the gift all wrapped up.

Happy birthday to everybody in blogland having a birthday.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Good things: Friday knitting pattern

Back in the day (I love saying that), baby's clothing came with the grand name of a layette. Like this amazing concotion ... bonnets, booties, dress, matinee jacket, vest. The list is endless.

But the downside was it was made from bri-nylon or synthetic mixes. In any event everything tended to end up as as rough as a Brillo pad ...calling it rough would be an understatement.

This photo should give you a bit of an idea ... eldest daughter Miss W during mid 1986 when she was about five months old wearing a yellow synthetic matinee jacket made by moi. It has a matching bonnet (love that word) to be found in some other photo ... which I didn't find tonight.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

My Creative Space

My creative space has been a hive of knitting activity ... this time something for swapping at Sew It Together. For that reason, all I'm offering is this cheeky sneak peak which I hope doesn'tgive away the game re what I'm making.

The colours are exactly those of Sew It Together. I'm loving the combination of teal and read at the moment.

How's your creative space looking at the moment?

Check out kootoyoo for more inspiration ... it's been a great week.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Good things: Pincushion swap

My pincushion for the swap organised by Kate of Foxslane is speeding on its way to my swappee ... and it should arrive today.

It's not been the easiest process. I had what I thought was a great idea and started it with plenty of time to finish, but in the end the idea didn't work for me and two days away from deadline I started all over again.

And I'm really happy with how it ended up ... mostly because it's completely my idea. That's always satisfying.

It's also been daunting because you should see my swappee's work. Her skills are amazing ... and she's so young.

And how much fun does the parcel look. I just had to make a tag to go with it, and in colours to go with the pincushion. I can see myself making a lot more of these.

Happy swapping guys.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Good things: Ruby Tuesday

I wonder why every country likes to colour fire hydrants and post boxes red.

I don't know ... but it's perfect for Ruby Tuesday.

Check out MaryT at Work of the Poet for more ruby redness.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Good things: Friday knitting pattern

I don't usually like much from the 1960s ... I'm just not a fan of short skirts and synthetic fibres.

So I was pleasantly surprised when I found this tweedy looking cardigan last week.

Surprised that I like it. Surprised it was soft and warm and natural looking.

It just reminds me of long walks along English country lanes. Very Heartbeat really.

What do you think?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

My Creative Space

My creative space is full of the pincushion for the swap ... which isn't at yet finished.

And here I have to apologise for not finishing on time. I started a pincushion--the cutest little mouse--but I just couldn't get it to work for me. I tried twice and then had to give up and start all over again wtihin only two days up my sleeve to finish.

I'm really happy with how it's coming together. I'm using my beautiful hand dyed felt by Trudi from Me & Ewe, I stuffed it since I took the photo, I've printed the pattern to use for a flower for one of the corners and on Friday/Saturday I'm looking for buttons to add the final touch.

And I have a cunning plan ... and unlike Baldric's plan my pincushion will arrive at almost the same time as if it was mailed on Friday. I'm off to buy an Express Post envelope and I'll mail it before Monday morning.

It was just meant to be.

Check out kootoyoo for more exciting creative spaces.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Good things: Ruby Tuesday

What could be nicer than posting my favourite sweet .. the lovely Dime bar.

These can be hard to find in Australia. They're imported by specialised sweets stores and can be pretty expensive ... $2.60 to be exact. I got this one yesterday in the city in the UK store on Collins Street.

Miss C likes them as well so I have to hide them!

Visit MaryT at Work of the Poet for more ruby redness.

EDITED TO ADD: I really should have explained what a Dime bar is .. so here goes. It’s a crunchy butter almond bar covered in milk chocolate. Apparently Hershey’s in the US produces a similar bar called a Skor. And even better, Daim bars are imported from Sweden and sold in all Ikea stores in Australia, the US and Canada … to name a few. I can see a trip to Ikea to stock up on the horizon! LOL

Good things: My Place & Yours

This week’s My Place & Yours is what do you see when you walk through the door.

In my house it’s not pretty ... I see a work in progress with lots of work and absolutely no progress! LOL

This is the door jamb above the kitchen door ... the sliding door's been taken down and now the door needs to be fixed up, and replastered.

There’s lots more My Place & Yours at HelloOwl ... and I'm sure all of them are much prettier than my contribution.

Flea Market Finds

This week Mr H and I wandered over to Noble Park and visited three op shops within a 10 shop radius of each other. A great hit rate but not good op shopping by any stretch of the imagination. Perhaps I’m just expecting too much?

The best thing I managed to find was a gorgeous vintage sheet. My collection is growing by leaps and bounds and this is the prettiest so far. The sheet alone is giving me hope that I'll be able to make a vintage sheet quilt.

Perhaps I might even be able to go participate in a vintage sheet swap ... when I get a few better sheets.

How was your flea market week ... check out Her Library Adventures for other fabulous flea market finds.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Friday knitting pattern

Back in the day (I keep hearing that saying all the time and I have to use it in every second sentence now) newspapers used to issue knitting and general crafting books.

I found this book of almost 100 years by the Herald and the Sun as part of a series about craft; this was the fourth in a series after gardening, cooking and dressmaking. I'm pretty sure from the clothing this dates from the 1970s.

Most of the book was pretty tragic and none more so than the outfit worn by this little boy. At first only the shiny shorts were horrifying ... but that was before the Hi and Bi on the crocheted vest sank in. From the rear the little boy's outfit would be perfect for a day out to the mardi gras ... I can't get that and the word Bi out of my head! Way too cruel

My favourite in the book was this really attractive men's fair isle vest. The fair isle pattern is really nice and the vest would look equally nice today.

I'm not sure what to make of this last photo. The matching jumpers are nice .. I like the pattern. What makes me laugh is whether guys really looked like that and, of course, the answer's yes. The singer John Tams wore his hair like this in Sharpe during the 1990s and I don't think he was extraordinary. Too funny.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

My Creative Space

My creative space is full of swaps and stuff ... I'm loving it at the moment.

Sew It Together name tag

I'm finally mailing my tag ... it was finished over a week ago but everything conspired against me to get it mailed before Easter. I foolishly thought the post office was open Easter Saturday, then I went away for the weekend and didn't get home until Tuesday night, and then I ended up sick on Wednesday.

So if your name starts with K ... I haven't forgotten you.

I sure hope you like your tag.

Pincushion swap

I signed up to the pincushion swap organised by Kate at Foxslane and I've already got mine ... thank you so much to Nick at Collecting Feathers.

About a week ago Nick posted her pincushion on her blog (scroll down to the bottom) and I thought how interesting it was ... how she'd used a punch to create holes in felt. Not in a million years would I think of doing that.

I just love this little baby ... it's just wonderful in person.

My first pincushion ... now I'm feeling much more like a crafter! LOL

For moe creative spaces ... pop over to kootoyoo.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Good things: Ruby Tuesday

I went away for the weekend and got myself organised blogwise before I went ... especially when it came to uploading photos because that way it would be easier at my mother's.

When I went to organise today's post ... Blogger lost my photo. The damn thing opened in Compose mode and when I changed it to Edit Html (my preference) ... bang went my photo.

So, after eight hours delay ... here it is. My smallish collection of tape measures which includes several red ones.

Happy Ruby Tuesday .. and check out Work of the Poet for lots more ruby redness.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Good things: My Place and Yours

This is my first time ever as theme queen ... and I’m so glad it’s for My Place & Yours. Thanks Danielle at HelloOwl.

My choice is gadgets.

Do you have a favourite?

Maybe you have a gadget you use every day?

Or are you drooling over a gadget that you really, really want … but can’t afford?

Our most often used gadget is the humble grater ... and here are a few.

The one I like the best is the hand held parmesan grater.

The gadget I wanted to share was our vintage nutmeg grater. The top twists off and the whole nutmeg is dropped inside. Then the mechanism is worked by turning the handle on the side. I love the smell of fresh nutmeg as it grates ... absolutely gorgeous with apples for apple crumble or apple cake.

But wouldn't you know it ... I can't find it!

If you want to share your gadget ... pop over HelloOwl to sign up. I can’t wait to see everybody’s.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Good things: Flea market finds

I've been wracking my brain for flea market finds this week ... mostly because I've been a little quiet lately in the collecting department because I have so many UFO (unstarted finished objects!).

So I've trawled through a house full of flea market goodies and grabbed my favourite crockery pattern.

I've posted lots of times previously about how much I loved blue and white china. And I've been lucky recently to find quite a bit of this Chinese or Japanese, or probably Taiwanese, inspired pattern.

I'll find a full set or three before too long.

What's your find for this week? Something you've just found or something you've had around the house for a while but haven't shared before?

For more flea market finds ... visit Sophie at HerLibraryAdventures.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Good things: Friday knitting pattern

How wonderful is it for Friday to be a day of rest ... no work for this over worked, over tired baby ... but still time to share a vintage knitting pattern with friends.

Last week was all about babies so I thought I'd go for something far removed from the soft sweetness of babies ... the rough and tumble world of a boy from the 1950-60s.

These boys look ready for any adventure: catching fish with a homemade rod, driving a rickety billy cart down a hill or playing cricket in the street.

For some reason, the patterns have reminded me of a movie called Tiger Bay. It's almost from the right era (the movie's from the late 1950s) and there are quite a few kids in the movie (including Hayley Mills in her first ever role). Surely one of them must be wearing something hand knitted.

Or maybe not ... here's an extract from the movie and I can hardly see a hand knitted item between them.

But don't let my hopeless memory stop you from catching the movie if you can. Grab your knitting and settle in ... it's well worth watching.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Good things: Sew It Together name tag

I'm double dipping today (two posts!) ... because I got my name tag for Sew It Together and I can't keep this baby under wraps.

Everything about it is so nice: everything was contained in this pretty patterned envelope. It was just like Christmas ... only I got what I wanted! LOL

So what did I get? A hand written note (surely the height of good manners and elegance), Caroline's cute business card, and the sweetest notebook for Sew It Together.

And of course the big unveil ... ta da!

My tag was made by the lovely Caroline of Maika Creations ... and it was posted on her blog a couple of days ago.

I saw it there and admired it but strangely didn't post a comment ... and it's even stranger when I've been trawling across the Sew It Together participants teasing everybody that their tag is for me!

But what I really loved was the quote at the end of Caroline's post when she said "The recipient has been a recent visitor to my blog in the last few weeks as a matter of fact, so that makes me feel good!"

Most definitely Caroline ... and I'll be back!

I am so lucky.

Good things: My Creative Space

Oh happy days … it’s time for My Creative Space and I have something to share. Hooray! (There’s loud singing and dancing and arms in the air at my place … it’s a very strange sight! LOL)

I’m happy because I’ve finished my Sew It Together name tag task.

This is the grand unveil … only you have to imagine the name of my swappee in silver metal letters sewn on with red thread. I’ve done a terrible job of blanking them out using Photoshop so it stays a surprise until my swappee gets her tag.

Today I'm off to get a few extra bits and pieces for my swappee … some crafty and others not so crafty … and the whole thing will be mailed shortly.

Now I’m off to stalk my swappee’s blog to see when she gets the parcel … are we allowed to introduce ourselves when the tag arrives?

PS If you'd like to play or see more creative spaces ... there's lots more to see and do over at Kirsty's blog kootoyoo.