Thursday, 30 October 2008

Crochet Bowl and Shop Update

In amongst the other things I have been doing there was time for a little crochet. Nothing difficult but quite relaxing and great for in front of the television as I fed my addiction for TV crime shows. No one else in the family understands the fixation with any of these shows so mostly they only get watched when no-one else wants the TV.

What did I make - I hear you asking - a little double layered bowl. I crocheted it amigurumi style and then just tucked one half inside the other to end up with a fairly sturdy bowl. It will be just right as a thread catcher for the odds and bods of wool that gather when sewing up knitting or crocheting.

I stitched the two layers together in the centre of the bottom and did a row of running stitches about one centimetre from the top. The most interesting bit was making the decreases at the end match the increases at the beginning because I didn't write anything down. I just used the good old trial and error method and undid and redid the decrease until it fitted.

There was also time for a quick madeit shop update with another pair of helping hands being added. Edited Nov 17 - helping hands have been sold.

Please drop by and take a look - not just at ours - but at all the other loveliness being listed on this Australian site.

Monday, 27 October 2008

More Felt pages - well one more!

After a looonnnngggg time of not feeling enthused I got back into creating another page for the felt book. Remember that way back in July I shared the first few stitchings for this little creation. As I always seem to be saying - life intervened and this little project has been sitting around waiting patiently for the next pages to be sewn. At the weekend one more was finished. This one is another bird.

I experimented with a little silver around the eye and added a daisy on the wing for detail. A second row of stitching around the body also seemed to call out to be added. The single row of green just didn't seem enough.

This little bird was first inspired by this Bird of Peace that I stumbled across late last year and used as the basis for a Christmas ornament. I took the pattern pieces I have developed and cut them from felt to make this latest little bird.

One more page is all I need to do and then I will start putting the book together. Never know it might be finished before the end of the year. Possibly by Christmas......maybe.....perhaps!

Monday, 20 October 2008

A little bit of craftiness...

I saw these paint sample notebooks over on a Spoonful of Sugar and just had to make my own. And then we just happened to need to go to the hardware store to get snail pellets so I picked up some paint sample cards.

They were so quick and easy to make, and stickers made decorating them so easy too. I like the plain ones too because they show off the different colours more. They have around 10 pages in them and are 8.5 x 5cm-ish in dimension, just a little size to tuck into a handbag.

The above photo was taken with my new digital camera :-)

I have a little film point-and-shoot and I've been experimenting with Crafty Things' digital lately (She doesn't use it as much now that she has her digital SLR) but I wanted a digital for my own. My brother has an earlier model of this and it's been good for him with no troubles. We saw this one in various shops getting cheaper and cheaper with the different deals and we eventually picked it up for $113. It's a Canon Powershot A470. It's auto function is pretty good and the manual settings are simple enough to change around. The one thing I dislike is that it doesn't have a viewfinder which I like to be able to use when the sun is too bright to see the LCD screen clearly. But it takes pretty good pictures which is really all I need.

Isn't it fun to experiment with a new toy!!

We have invented a good indoor picture taking studio. My dad recently got a big daylight bulb magnifier for his fiddling with electrical circuitry stuff (they all have tiny numbers that are really hard to read) and when you put your subject on the chair and position the light above it you get quite good light for taking pictures inside.

Tote Bag

Sewing is starting to fit back into the scheme of things. After the very quick whip up of the Discovery Bag the weekend before last, I found time during last week to make a very simple tote bag.

The front panel is a print from a piece of Japanese themed fabric picked up at Picture Patchwork the weekend before last. Each panel is different and I have seven more to play with. I simply added two bottom panels and then two side panels to the picture piece. I then used a piece of textured cotton for the bag and lined it with calico. I used flannelette for the inter-lining as is described in the Bend the Rules Sewing book. I like using this technique because the bag still looks quite soft. The handles are made from calico folded four times for added thickness.

The bottom of the bag has box corners. There are lots of ways to make these corners. Here are some tutorials I have come across.

Lazy Girl Designs
Craft Apple
Sew Mama Sew - Classic Tote Tutorial

One of the amazing things about today's Internet connectivity is the amazing array of ideas, how-to's and tutorials that are so freely shared.

Monday, 13 October 2008

A Little Sewing Project

I managed to squeeze in a little sewing project over the weekend.

I had the opportunity to visit a little shop in Latrobe, Tassie called Picture Patchwork. Inside I found lots of lovely things to look at and some even found their way home with me. One of the things was a kit to create one of these.

The pattern is by make it perfect and is for a little thing called a discovery bag. It is a wonderful tactile hidden puzzle with lots of little objects hiding amongst the white pellets waiting to be discovered through the plastic window.

The shop had the whole thing packaged up for you so that all you needed to do was cut the fabric to size and sew it all together - too easy!! I started the cutting late on Sunday, started sewing very late on Sunday and finished it off today. There has been very little time for sewing -- - I have a stint of full-time work occupying most of my time at present --- and this was just the thing to keep the sewing withdrawal symptoms at bay.

Here is another photo showing the little laminated card that came with the kit. It lists all the things to find.

Sunday, 12 October 2008

Useful Bag

I made this bag before we went to WA and used it every day while we were travelling. It fitted the essentials just nicely and stayed slung over my shoulder messenger style even when I was in the car making it so easy to hop in and out. The pattern is a Melly and Me design called Sunshine.

Changes made were:

* added lots more length to the strap - too much it, as it happened, so I shortened it by adding a button on the strap to hold the not need length together. See second photo.

* I did not want the ties for a closure so I added a stretchy hairband that reached to the first button on the bag. This made the closure off centre but in the end I decided that I liked that. The hairband needed to be knotted to make it hold securely to the button. This first button was then stitched on with twice the number of stitches to make sure it did not fall of with constant use.

* I lined it with calico and added a layer of flannelette (as described in Bend The Rules Sewing) to the calico before sewing it all together to give the bag a little more structure without being too stiff.

Some of the fabric used had been in the stash for a very long time. It was a textured open weave in pale greens and natural tones. I combined it with a texture cotton in an off-white colour and some small pieces of patterned quilting fabrics. The buttons have been lingering in the button jar for a while as well.

Two different sized zipper pouches kept all the items inside neat and tidy. When I was in the plane I squeezed in an extra zipper pouch containing MP3 player and earphones.

Last photo is just to show the bag in use.

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Busy Bees

Yet again not a lot crafty is happening around here. This past week I have been playing in an Eisteddfod with my various school bands. My school did fantastically this year, getting five 1st places, two 2nd places and two Merit Certificates. I play in a stage band, concert band, flute quartet and sax quartet so I was pretty busy! It's all over now except for an awards ceremony tomorrow that I'm attending as representative from my school with another girl because we've been awarded one of the big awards! Hopefully things calm down a bit now and I can get back to crafting.

However, in slightly crafty news we recently bought a small daylight lamp for my cross-stitching which I tend to do in the evenings, when there isn't a whole lot of natural light around in our house. It's only a small lamp that is designed to clip onto the frame of a piece of stitching. I've found that my music stand makes a really good stand for it because it gives you a lot more flexibility in pointing the light different directions. It's amazing how bright the tiny bulb is, and the difference it makes to the lighting on my stitching!