Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Time Flies

Oh dear it has been a long time with no posts! There has been some crafting happening but as it is mostly Christmas presents it remains unseen. A birthday has been celebrated, a tree has been decorated, an advent calendar has been hung and the days are filling in.

I can very much relate also to this post. Lots of little units of time being juggled to get all manner of stuff done.

Will leave you with a quote for the day and a mosaic of beach things.

"The world is round. Only one-third of the human beings on earth are asleep at any one time, and two-thirds are awake and up to some mischief." - Dean Rusk

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Christmas Ornament

During my blog cruising this week I came across this little birdie. This, along with the purchase of some Christmas fabric, inspired me to create the little bird below. I have not added the bead feet to this ornament but will try that with the next one.

The wings are held on with the buttons and the eyes are sequins and small beads. The hanging ribbon is threaded through the body by making a small hole with a piercing tool.

I used the sewing technique from I'll Teach Myself Sewing Machine Fun by Nancy Smith and Lynda Milligan. The design is drawn onto freezer paper and this is ironed on to the fabric before anything is cut out. Batting is sandwiched between two pieces of fabric (the top piece has the freezer paper pattern pieces ironed onto it) and pinned together. Each pattern piece is then sewn around and then cut out just outside the stitching line. I used pinking shears. I have had the book on my shelf for quite a while and found it very useful when Avid Crafter and her brother were starting to use the sewing machine. I have seen another book called The Best of Sewing Machine Fun in my local Spotlight store recently.

The book has instructions and patterns for a button up dog or cat. Avid Crafter and I have made the cat and Avid Crafter attached her cat to a patchwork bag. The cat and dog are about 28cm wide and 26cm high. My ornament is about 9.5cm wide and 8cm high. This small size made it a little trickier to cut out with the pinking shears.

Saturday, 1 December 2007

Coinless Wallet

Yet another dabble with a pattern from Bend The Rules Sewing. This time it was the coinless wallet. There were a few constructions issues with this one - most stemming from the need to have it produced in very short time frame.

Oh boy do I wish that there were full size patterns instead of the need for enlarging. I am certain that I used my scanner correctly and had the correct size but the cards didn't fit. Well they did fit when turned sideways but not snugly and they would fall out easily. I found it hard to visualize the size that it would end up after sewing. I think that I would add some width to the pattern and reduce the length for my next try. The stitching lines for the folds appear to work exceptionally well with the cards turned sideways whereas if they were lengthwise there would be a lot of extra space between the pockets. The slightly off centre button is another thing I would be more careful with next time.

Many apologies for the poor quality photos but again time was against me. This little wallet was being put into use straight away so down on the floor it went in a sunny room that have a quick snap - no time for a nice outside spot.

Friday, 30 November 2007

Secret Crafting

Oh, this time of the year gets hard! I have just finished something that I would love to share but the someone that it is intended for reads this blog. I will just have to be patient and wait 'til after Christmas.

A sneak of colour wouldn't hurt.

Will leave you with a few new places I have found to visit.

Need a drawstring bag tutorial then check out this blog. Just click on the category of drawstring to explore a lot of different options.

I have made a couple of zippered pouches using Amy Karol's book and was just a little bothered about the hand stitched lining so went web cruising and found a great tutorial for a cosmetics bag. I am going to try her zipper technique soon.

Another zipper tutorial for making a zipper wristlet. I love the clear photos.

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Zipper Pouches

This is the second project from Amy Karol's book - Bend the Rules Sewing. My daughter needed a zippered pouch for a new bag she has and it seemed like the ideal thing to try. There were some errors in the instructions. A quick visit to the Bend The Rules Flickr group soon sorted that out and the second pouch progressed much more smoothly. My questions had already been asked by someone else and the answers were all there. This is one of the things that I find so amazing about the Internet - the connections that are created by it. Amy's answer was there for all to find and she is so encouraging.

Have you seen all the softies in the window at Meet Me At Mikes? They are just hanging around until they are delivered to the Mirabel Foundation.

Sunday, 25 November 2007

More Button Necklaces

From Avid Crafter'...
From Avid Crafter'...
From Avid Crafter'...
From Avid Crafter'...

Here are the next lot of button necklaces. I did make them a while ago, but just haven't got around to posting them yet. These four are going to be gifts. I experimented with putted beads on eye pins in various positions, but my favourites are the blue and green necklaces. The green and yellow ones don't have any beads in them, just buttons.

This necklace is for me though:

From Avid Crafter'...
This one has a button with 3 holes at the top which makes it split into two. It took quite a bit of rearranging before I was happy with it, the addition of the tiny pearl beads just seemed to add more to it. The only downside of it is that the clasp is particularly stiff making the neclace hard to put on.

Friday, 16 November 2007

Have you seen?

No crafting to show but have you seen:

Moonstitches flat owls for banners. I made one of the owls that she has the tutowlrial for and I am itching to try this next idea.

This potholder by Creative Little Daisy. I love the colours and the whimsical look that this owl has!

This cool Christmas decoration idea. Do you remember making yarn dolls? I couldn't help myself so one was made yesterday but no photo yet.

I have sent my little monster off in the post to meet all the other softies that are assembling at Meet Me At Mikes for the Mirabel Foundation. I hope he travelled safely and is catching up with all the gossip.

Avid Crafter is very busy making many more button necklaces. Hopefully she will post some pictures when they are all finished. We are looking forward to a girls' weekend as the boys have gone spectatoring at the V8 Supercars!!

Monday, 12 November 2007

One Little Monster

One little monster waiting to be posted. This is my softie that I made for the Softies for Mirabel campaign run by Meet Me At Mikes. It is based on a pattern in the book Usborne Art Ideas How to Knit. This book was given to my daughter just recently and has some very simple patterns in it. I made the monster with 100% wool and felted him before adding the stuffing. Instead of knitting the arms and legs I used my Clover french knitting tool and felted the braid before cutting it into the pieces for the arms and legs. I added a little bit of blanket stitch to the ends of the arms and legs just to make sure that they didn't unravel.

Friday, 9 November 2007

Latest Sewing Attempt

From Sewing Stuff

Here is my latest sewing attempt. It is a playmat/bag that opens out and could be hung from a hook. There are tabs of velcro in the top corners to hold it shut. I got the idea from a dinosaur mat/bag that my son was given when he was small. The picture above shows it hanging from a hook with the little card pockets and felt board showing.

It all started with this applique which was completed a couple of months ago and was just waiting around for an idea. The applique was a purchase at the Craft Fair at the start of the year. It is from The Craft Cubby.

Very slowly the idea of making a carry bag/play mat was born. I wanted little numbered pockets to hold some cards that I had also made. These can be used for memory games, snap, sorting or number matching games. Then I wasn't sure what to put on the other part of the mat/bag so I had to sleep on it some more before coming up with a felt board.

It is still evolving as I am creating felt pieces for the board section. I think I might make a couple of little holders for the felt pieces as these could be stored in the front pocket.

What have I learnt!

1: How to quickly quilt the outside fabric using the method outlined in the beautiful book "Last Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts" that recently arrived in my household. This method is used for the very quick baby quilt and I found that it was just what I needed to hold the batting in place on the outside fabric. It is hard to see in the photo showing the front and the pocket but there are little red satin stitched ovals in some of the blue squares.

2: When a project evolves as you go along sometimes things don't go to plan. The handles are too far apart and so the mat buckles when you carry it around. This meant the addition of a piece of cord in the centre so that if it is hung open from a hook then it will not buckle. See the photos below! I also think having had a second (third, fourth..) look at the dinosaur one that the handles are too deep for a little one as it will drag on the ground if they are carrying it. I have no little ones to try it out with!

3: The pocket also gaped when the bag was carried and so another loop of cord was attached - this came over from the back and down to the pocket and over a big button. This was decided on very late in proceeding and so I had to hand sew the buttonhole. Only took two tries to get it looking nice! Oh well at least it looks even with two pieces of cord hanging around as well as the handles.

4: Deciding on the outside seam allowance first rather than after the creation of the inside pockets is a better idea. The edge pockets are narrower that the others. Measuring and dividing is a better approach that eyeballing and guessing. Lucky for me I chose squared fabric because I used count the squares as the way to decide where to stitch the pocket lines.

5: Stiffening the felt board with an iron on stiff interfacing (it looks a bit like holey white card but is slightly more flexible - sorry cannot think of it's name and I do not even know it I was told the name when I bought it) is a good idea except for when you are trying to turn the whole thing through a small opening after sewing the outer and inner fabrics together.

6: Making the cards is easy with pre-purchased business card paper that runs through the printer and is then torn apart on the perforated lines. There is even a template in Word so that everything aligns properly. By the way I created the ladybird image on the cards a couple of years ago when I was learning how to create vector images in Paintshop Pro. You can buy laminating film that is just the right size for the cards and has nicely rounded corners. I just used my little home hot laminator and had no trouble.

7: If I tried to sell it I would lose money on the deal. Isn't that the way with lots of handcrafted stuff - we put so much love, effort and heartache into our creations. Lucky that it is a Christmas gift.

8: The button worries me as the intended recipient is probably too young for things with buttons. I did stitch it on as securely as I could with waxed dental floss and chose the biggest one I could find at short notice in my collection.

My idea was that even though the recipient is a little on the young side for learning numbers etc that they would have fun just putting things in pockets now and be able to play card games with Mum or Dad or someone at a later age. What do you think?

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

Second Try and Much Happier

Here is my second try at replacing the sad, old double oven mitt I owned with a newer, nicer model. I think it is better than the first try but it still needs to be put through its paces in the kitchen before a final verdict is reached!

I used a layer of cotton batting (at least I think it is cotton as I have just found what I think is the labelling that came with the batting when I bought it eight years ago) which I quilted to the bottom layer of the mitt. I attached the Insul~Bright to the top layer and quilted that as well. I put the two layers together and added the pockets which are doubled for a bit more protection. Once it was all stacked up I stitched around the edge with a multi-step zigzag stitch before adding the binding. I even tacked (a very rare occurrence) the binding before I stitched it on. I was much happier with the binding on this one as it didn't wrinkle much at all.

To make the pattern I just measured the old one and drew a rectangle. I found a nice curve (that matched the curve on the old one) to trace for the ends and then measured the pocket depth and created a pocket pattern piece.

If the test run in the kitchen is successful I will make a few for presents. While I sit typing this my mind is wandering back to pleasant memories of my children using the old one as alligator jaws and chasing one and other up the hallway going "SNAP, SNAP, SNAP!". I think they were about 3 and 4 at the time. Got to love vivid imaginations!!

Monday, 5 November 2007

Log Cabin Patch

From Avid Crafter'...

Here is my first attempt at a log cabin patch. It's the most adventurous patchwork I've done as I've previously only made 4 square patches. It has turned out quite neat considering it's my first. I had a LOT of help from Crafty Things on this, otherwise the strips would probably have been much wonkier!

All the fabrics have come from the stash. I originally planned for pinks but that sort of didn't happen as there wasn't much in the way of dark pink. If I did it again I probably wouldn't use the pink on the 'darks side' or the very bright fabrics.

It's very eclectic, but it's mine and I'm proud of it!

Replacing an Oven Mitt

Here is my first try at making an oven mitt to replace my much loved and very worn oven mitt. I have had it for longer than I should! The old one was just the right size and had just the right insulating properties (couldn't think of a better word!) and so I just kept on using it long past the time it should have been retired. One Mother's Day my children even gave me a new one but it was too thin and so just resides in the cupboard and never sees the light of day.

I had some batting that I had purchased ages ago intending to make a replacement but just never got around to it. I think that the batting is Insul~Bright or at least something similar but I didn't keep any product information from when I bought it. I didn't do any web research either which was a bit silly as then I would have read the suggestion about also using a second layer of cotton or wool batting. This mitt is OK but still not as good as the old worn favourite!

The fabrics were from Frangipani Fabrics. A roll of Japanese cotton prints that caught my eye and had been waiting for a suitable project to be used. I still have lots left for more projects. A second mitt is in productions using more of the same fabrics but this time I have added a wool (make that cotton) batting layer as well as the Insul~Bright layer. I have also quilted the layers more with the second mitt. It is still waiting to have the binding added to the edge. I also added a second layer to the pocket section because I felt that the pockets of the first attempt were too thin.

I was not at all happy with the stitching on the binding of the mitt in the photo and ended up going around twice. The binding moved and stretched and wrinkled dreadfully! Any tips on how to do a better job would be greatly appreciated.

On another tack altogether. If you have small ones and need some ideas for some creating fun check out this site! It is called "kid's craft weekly" and boy did I wish that it had been around when my biggies were littlies! So many great ideas and an online newsletter subscription option plus a book offer. Oh to have some littlies to play with again! Oops - such a lot of exclamation marks in this little post.

Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Sewing from our Bend The Rules Sewing book

The first pattern to be trialled from our newly purchased Amy Karol book is the little bib. Wow what an easy pattern. I did change the neckline slightly after much umming and erring as I my own baby days are back in the distant past and when I looked at my first attempt the neckline seemed a little small. I just re-drew the front curve a little deeper in the centre and tapered this back towards the original line at the shoulder area and I only mean a little - 0.5 cm is all. I have no little ones near me for a trial fit so I am just a little worried about it being too small around the neck.

When my children were little I made lots of bibs from towelling that I edged with my overlocker and added a ribbed stretch neckline. These were great as they could be thrown into the wash time and time again. They always came out clean and ready to use again. Any really grotty ones could have a good soak first.

What I like about the pattern is the fact that you sew before you cut. This makes it so easy to turn through because your seam allowance becomes very narrow after you have cut it out. I made my pattern out of a piece of card which will make it very durable for tracing around.

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Amigurumi Elephant

From Crocheted Flo...

From Crocheted Flo...
Almost finished this first try from one of my new books. The book is called "Mr Funky's Super Crochet Wonderful" and is by Narumi Ogawa. I wasn't quite sure as I was making this but quite like the end result. I still need to add a flower on top and I'm thinking of adding a scarf. I am still not sure if I sewed the trunk on correctly but it will have to stay like that now. I think maybe instead of a flat line the trunk needed to be sewn with the end still rounded - a bit like the bottom legs.

Places to Visit

I worked out how to add a link to to our sidebar. I have had a wonderful time looking at all the creative handmade goodies. If you have never visited - it is an Aussie site for selling unique handcrafted items.

Of course Etsy is the other great place to discover all things crafty. I love using the connections tool to find new and interesting creations.

Just recently I have also been spending more than I should on some new craft books. Just can't help it when so many luscious books are shared between blogs. I have used Buy Australian and Fishpond as places to look for titles and have bought from both sites with no troubles. I have some things ordered from Amazon but try to buy from sites closer to home or local bookstores if I can. Just look at the pile that is growing. Just need to rearrange the bookshelf to fit them all on!

Saturday, 27 October 2007

Button Necklace

From Avid Crafter'...

This necklace is adapted from one I saw on somebody's blog - I'm very sorry to whoever's it was but I can't remember which one!

I've made a few now, each slightly different. This one has a couple of beads in the middle on a drop pin as well as the buttons. It's all held together with jump-rings. The actual necklace string came from the local cheapie shop in a pack and already had the silver beads on it. It was given to a friend as a birthday present. 2 of my friends have very close birthdays so I was quite busy making quite a few presents.

This isn't my favourite button necklace but I haven't got photos of the others.

The next one will involve buttons with 3 holes so that a single 'strand' becomes two. Oh the possibilities!

Sorry again to whoever it was who made these originally!

Edit: Thankyou futuregirl, the necklace idea came from Maitreya at craftlog

Pretty Little Bag

From Avid Crafter'...
I made this bag to give as a present for a friend's birthday. It held lots of little surprises all wrapped up. It is made of felt and the heart is just fabric from Mum's stash. It was from an Usborne craft book about fairies with all sorts of stuff to cut and sew. It was fairly simple. I machine sewed the heart on and the rest was blanket stitched.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Starting on Things Christmas

Yes it is time to start thinking and organising gifts and bits and pieces for Christmas. I know it is only October but when you like to craft most of your gifts an early start is a good thing! These little felt mittens with decorate our Christmas tree and will be given to various people as small gifts at Christmas. The pattern is delightfully simple and I purchased it from my local craft store several years ago. The original pattern came complete with the felt, thread and button to be able to make several mittens. Nice and easy to put together using blanket stitch. The star and heart a stitched on with large, primitive stitches and I sew the button on even though the pattern suggests glue.

Christmas has changed again for me now that my children have hit "teenagedom".

They no longer awake early looking for signs of stockings filled with surprises and I am awake before them. Many pleasant Christmas mornings in the past have begun with us listening as the letter from Santa is read aloud and commented on before little rustlings sounds indicated stockings being explored.

They still enjoy the spirit of Christmas and love the gradual accumulation of parcels under our tree. We have a family tradition of not counting down to Christmas until after our son's December birthday. The day after his birthday the tree is taken out of its box and all the accumulated decorations are placed upon it. I am glad that they still both take part in this Christmas tradition. Our decorations are an eclectic collection of handmade and store bought items that have grown with the years of marriage. I love how the tree looks with all the different types of decorations mingling on it.

I am still struggling with an idea for this year's cards. I will be using my gocco machine for part of the idea that I am still pondering at the moment. Every now and then I think back wistfully to when both children wholeheartedly helped with stencilled cards, glittered cards and lots and lots of drawings for calendars that were given as gifts. The calendars are still made but the style has changed a lot and the contribution from my son has shrunk proportional to the years he has grown since we started creating them. Just part of the cycle of family life.

To finish this post here is another Art Rage image I created the other day. The inspiration for this came from an Usborne Art Activity book.

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Finishing Off UFO's

At last a little bit of time to add the finishing touches to a few more amigurumi. These two little ones have been waiting oh so long for eyes and and a beak.

See this post for the pattern reference about the little owl and this post for the tortoise. I found a very soft baby wool on sale in Spotlight and just loved the blue/brown colour combination. The tortoise has already found a home with one of my daughter's friends as part of a birthday gift.

These are great fun to make - they don't take long and can be made out of all sorts of scraps!

Had some fun shopping the other day but cannot reveal all the lovelies that were purchased. Someone might see something they are not yet supposed to.

Thursday, 4 October 2007

Pencil Rolls - my take on a useful holder for arty stuff.

I have wanted to play around with making a pencil roll for a while. I needed a little thank you gift for a few children I know and thought that this would be the ideal thing. I really liked the one made by Pink Chalk Studio. If I had more time I might have tried coloured sections but I needed these in a bit of a hurry. I also loved the ones made for kidding around's - Made For China appeal.

I wanted to avoid a ribbon tie so I have tried felt with velcro for the closure and I added a fold down flap because I didn't want the pens and stuff to slide out the top when the children were carrying them around. The first one I made can hold twenty four pencils but was just a little big for the intended recipients. I cut the next narrower and when they were finished they could hold twelve coloured pencils plus a grey lead, blue pen and red pen. I am hoping that the children will let me know if they were useful and if the felt and velcro worked to hold them closed when they are rolled up.

I loved being able to choose bright prints for the rolls and if there wasn't quite enough for the size I wanted it was easy to add in a little contrast. I also needed them all to be different so that the owners would easily be able to identify them.

The fabric for the body of the roll is 33.5 cm wide and 28 cm high and most of the time I cut this piece on the fold across the widest measurement. The pocket piece is 33.5 cm wide and 12 cm high with a 2cm fold down hem at the top. The finished pocket is about 10cm high which seems to be a good height - especially for well used and much sharpened pencils. I made each of the pocket channels about 2 cm wide and sewed from top to bottom for each one which gives the whole roll a quilted look. A walking foot on my machine made sewing the channels very easy as nothing moved.

Putting them together became quicker with each one. First step was to overlock and press down the hem on the pocket. Next I lay this right side up on the other piece of fabric. I then folded the larger piece over the top so that the right sides were together and this sandwiched the pocket inside. I sewed around the three sides, leaving a small gap on one of the short sides to turn it through. Once it was turned through I pressed it and topstitched all the way around. I marked the channel lines and them sewed these, using the walking foot. To sew them I started the first one and then sewed along the topstitching to the next line and so on to the end. This meant fewer ends to cut off. The felt was attached last and it had a hook piece of velcro attached to one end.

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Oh so CUTE!

Another recent purchase of crafty things was The Cute Book by Aranzi Aronzo. Today my friend and I tried making a few of the critters, with very cute results.
From Avid Crafter'...

Here they are all together. I made the two cats and the fish and my friend made the monkey, the sheep and the dog. The fish was a rather tricky first one to try and it didn't help trying to sew it up with too much stuffing in it! But by my third critter, the grey cat, all my stitching was much neater. I added the ribbon loops on the cats so that they can be hung off things.

From Avid Crafter'...

Very early on we decided that the french knots were much too hard work and used beads instead! I very much dislike french knots as they always disapear on me and turn into a straight stitch, evil little things! Beads are much more co-operative.
From Avid Crafter'...

As The Cute Book is translated from Japanese some of the wording is a little strange. This monkey is a serious monkey. He is a serious monkey because he is from Japan and isn't a chimp. That is why he has a short tail. It instructs you to craft him seriously.

I think there will be many more cute critters to come because they just so CUTE.

Monday, 17 September 2007

New skirt and some more cross stitch

A recent trip to sewing stores led to the discovery of a new skirt pattern, which Crafty Things and I tried out today.
The result:
From Sewing Stuff

It is Kwik Sew pattern 3513. We did view C with the front flounce in size XS and for once didn't have to make many adjustments to fit me! This is a full skirt with a roll over waistband and we added some elastic at the base of the waistband just to make it firm. The other thing we changed was doing a rollover hem on the flounce instead of a normal one. The fabric is a lightweight stretch with a pattern of stars on it that we found at Spotlight. This is only the first one! We already have another piece of fabric for the next skirt!
Thank you Crafty Things for doing the sewing, she is much faster than me!

I have finished another cross-stitch project. I found this kit that seemed perfect to give to a friend who is moving to another school.

From Avid Crafter'...

I put some pretty fabric on the back to hide all the ends! Now I just have to get it to her.

On all these trips to sewing and crafting stores I inevitably picked up some new kits. 'Summer Chic' and a Suzy's Zoo one that says "Have a Daisy Day". The picture is of a teddy holding daisies. Also Crafty Things discovered a small kit of a lorikeet buried in a box which she promply 'donated' to me. So I finished one kit to find another three!

Monday, 10 September 2007

A bit of cross-stitch and my to-do list

We haven't been blogging for a little while but we're still being crafty.
I've gone on another cross-stitch craze and have been doing nothing else! I have stitched up a pair of little owls, one is sheltering from rain under a daisy and the other is a saluting sailor owl. The designs were in an old issue of Cross Stitch Crazy. We have so many old magazines stashed away downstairs and all of them have great designs to be stitched. It would take several years to stitch all the designs in them by which time we would have bought MORE magazines! So I'm not even going to try to do that.
I've started stitched a little kit of two birds and the words "Forever Friends" on it. The kit includes a tiny hanger and instructions on how to hang it. It's for a friend of mine who's changing schools. I've done a couple of this brand of kit before but I cant remember which brand it is now! They use unusual threads in them and are all of small cute designs.
I also have some stitched things to be turned into somethings, one a card, one a bag and a few others too.
And of course I have a line of other designs to get started on as soon as I finish this one.

I recieved a knitting book too, full of quick designs which I love. I've picked out about 5 projects to do from there too. It looks like I'm going to be busy!

Crafty Things whipped up a couple of amigurumi ladybirds over the weekend which soon became missiles in the hands of my over-exuberant brother!

School holidays, hooray! More time for crafting!

Tuesday, 4 September 2007


Our little Queensland holiday was great! The temperatures were wonderful and we did all sorts off touristy things. We visited Dreamworld and I was convinced to go on the Cyclone roller coaster but I wasn't going near the Giant Drop! I also got to go to Dreamworld which was excellent! A total of 8 rides on the Corkscrew roller coaster as it was slightly tamer than the Cyclone and I saw all the shows. We went to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary and had lorikeets on our heads and even on the camera as I tried to take pictures! We kayaked around Wavebreak Island area and snorkeled too.
The Robotics went quite well, with my brother's team winning one of four encouragement trophies (made out of LEGO) and a pewter plate from the Singapore teams for the Spirit of Robocup or something, which was good. We ate lots of good food and were entertained by a member of the robotics team attempting to eat ice by using a straw and a lot of slurping power! We also went to Harbour Town and wasn't that fun!!!! As Harbour Town is full of outlet shops, many things can be got cheaper. I picked up a skirt from Esprit meant to $45 for $10 because of a broken zipper that Mum quickly fixed, and she had a gift voucher for Rivers so we spent ages in there and got 8 items and paid a total of 30 cents.
Coming back was a bit of a shock though, we got off the plane and it was only 7 degrees! Also it was raining which we'd not had for a week. So of course my brother had to say "What is this rain stuff falling from the sky?"
Unfortunately I caught a cold that made flying back really uncomfortable with my ears. Today has been spent mostly in bed and catching up on emails and blogs.

Sunday, 26 August 2007

Spring cards

Today I created some cards from some co-ordinating paper packs I got free with a magazine. I have now got this same pack twice from two different magazines so I thought I'd better start using it!

From Avid Crafter'...

Here's the first one - my daffodils card. It's very simple, with the various papers cut to size and stuck on with double sided tape. I used foam tape to give the raised up effect. The plain papers and blank card came from the stash but the others papers came from the pack.

From Avid Crafter'...

This is the second, well actually I made it third but it's second in my Picasa album so it's second here too. This one is made the same way as the last with the word 'FRIENDSHIP' coming from the pack too. The yellow strip down the side wasn't intended to be there at first but the orange striped paper wasn't quite wide enough to cover the card. This yellow paper matched so on it went and it covers the gap quite nicely.

From Avid Crafter'...

This is the last one, which shows the other colour scheme in the pack. The purple/green colour scheme is very Mother's Day orientated in its embellishments and tags - these three are the least motherish.

Looking at them now, these cards all seem very 'Spring-ish' which probably isn't surprising as down here in Australia, Spring is just around the corner.

I also made another card but I wont show it until after fathers day, so no surprises are spoiled. It may be quite a while after fathers day though, as we are going to Queensland in two days. It's so exciting, I've never been before! We get a few days sight-seeing and shopping as well as two days watching the Robocup Junior Nationals Competition. My brother's team won their state heat so are competing in the nationals, which are in Queensland this year. Instead of just him going, we are having a family holiday. It should be fun, but it does mean that the crafting and blogging will get put on hold!

Saturday, 25 August 2007

More ArtRage play

From ArtRage Butte...

I have had great fun with ArtRage 2.5. The background for this one was created following the instruction in this ArtRage forum discussion. The wording was done by creating a stencil from a png file created in Paintshop Pro and the butterfly stencil was created in a similar way. The stencils were airbrushed with metallic paint. Love that option to change the look of the paint.

Friday, 24 August 2007

More Washcloths

Two washcloths completed and one more half done. When I get back from our little trip to Queensland I might just treat myself to some more Organic Cotton. It is just one of those yarns that is nice to work with and feels good to touch. I particularly like the cream (vanilla) colourway.

Our trip is just around the corner now! Yippee!! Never been to Queensland and this will only be a short look around in one small area.

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Knitting whoops that should be - Crocheting with Cotton

Having explored Ravelry a little and then reading a few blogs that mentioned an online store called Ecoyarns I bought myself some Pakucho Organic Cotton and tried my hand at crocheting some washcloths with this pattern. What a very nice simple design - just right for whipping up in front of the television. I like the finished texture and the cotton feels very soft.

Monday, 13 August 2007

Digital Creations

I am having great fun exploring ArtRage 2.5. My latest experiment was to scan a pressed leaf and use that image to create a stencil. I then used the airbrush to create my own leaves.

From ArtRage Butte...

I scanned the leaf and then edited it in Paintshop Pro to create a greyscale image. I saved this as a png file which can be used in ArtRage as a stencil. I just used lots of different colours with the airbrush tool to get the final leaves.

I used ArtRage to create the background for this mini-poster.The text was added in Paintshop Pro.

From ArtRage Butte...

On the knitting front I have finished the bag I started last week and this is now waiting to be lined. I also received my invitation to Ravelry last week. A little overwhelming to a newbie but oh so many patterns to browse and yarns to drool over. A great resource of patterns, knowledge and images!

Friday, 10 August 2007

Nice Places to Visit

Crafting has taken one of those slow dives down as the rest of life intervenes. We have had lots of other exciting things happening and I know more crafting will come later. My son and his friends have been involved with the Robocup Junior competition for three years and this year they designed and built their own robots to play soccer. They have just finished competing in the state competition and they WON!! This means they have the opportunity to compete at the National level. The competition is being held on the Gold Coast this year so we decided that the whole family would go - a short holiday and the robotics combined into one. My first ever trip to Queensland!!!! We only get three days of sightseeing so we are trying to plan carefully and then there is the two days of robot soccer to watch along with a little shopping excursion for the girls!

On another tangent altogether I recently stumbled across this site:

It is great to see a site specifically for Aussie creators to advertise their wares. It is specifically for Aussie sellers and lists all items for sale in Aussie dollars. Of course purchasers can come from anywhere!

Another little web cruise led me to this book. I will have to put it on the wishlist for Christmas.