Saturday, June 27, 2009

The GIVEAWAY is still on, don't forget!

Some clips for the shop

I made these ones yesterday, I'll see how they go in the shop. Its lovely to work on something that is completely hand sewn, so I can rest on the bed and make something at the same time.



Just over 2 weeks to go, I had a baby dream lastnight, the baby was a boy. Another dream I had last week the baby was a girl. So we're still guessing.......

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The persuit of cute

It took me a few days of contemplation to figure out what to do with the silver clips I bought from Charlotte . I already had the beautiful wool felt, just needed some imagination.

I experimented with glue and got a mess, so these ones are all handstitched. I have used clean carded wool for filling.

The girls love them!
I'll be making some for my Etsy shop, but in the meantime I'm more than happy to take custom orders.
Remember the giveaway from the last post!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

GIVEAWAY!

This could be my last giveaway for a while, only 19 days until baby arrives!
This softie is a prototype, so she isn't perfect and she's a little unusual, but I'm sure someone out there would love her!
She is made from very soft flannel and stuffed with polyfil. She is 40 cm tall (15.5 inches) She is meant to be a cat, though my husband begs to differ.


Her button eyes make her unsuitable for a very young child. I'll draw the winner on July 5th.

TO ENTER:
Please follow the link on the sidebar to my Etsy shop and tell me which item is your favourite and why.
Please feel free to link to this post on your blog (you can use the pictures of the softie too if you like)
This one is open to Australian Residents only please.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Wee little bairny

I think my impending arrival has made me a little "baby mad"! I made this little waldorf baby this afternoon after fiddling around with a head and wondering what to do with the rest, it just seemed to become a baby. I needle sculpted her face, her body is polar fleece (really snuggly) and her hat is knitted from organic rainbow wool. She has a soft flannel wrap for swaddling that does up at the back with velcro. She is 8 inches long.

She will be in my Etsy shop shortly, I think I'll be making another one for the little un's 2nd birthday coming up. Just realised I won't be able to call her that for much longer, there will be an
even littler un'!
And thankyou all for your positive comments on my last post, it means a lot to me :)


Friday, June 19, 2009

Sweet Little Mary Janes

I made these newborn sized Mary Janes from a pattern by Sweet Little Patterns. They are so
cute, a bit fiddly but not too difficult. These are for one of my husband's work colleagues who is expecting soon.
Now to something not so cute that I just have to share. I received an email from my older brother this morning that included a passage that was upsetting to me. Here it is, he is referring to the impending arrival of our fourth child:
"Surely 4 will be enough...I hope for your sake you're not going to go back for any more, otherwise you're going to be 60 before you get to live a bit of life for yourself. Your decision of course..."
Hmm. Not sure how to respond to that, in fact at this point I don't think I will respond. He only has 2 children himself and of course is not having any more. Its so saddening how anti - life our society is and how deeply penetrating it is.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

How to roast your own coffee beans...

My husband and I love to brew our own coffee in the mornings. We used to buy freshly ground coffee at the market each week until my husband made this discovery. Buying coffee beans in their raw state will cost you half as much as market coffee and much less than supermarket coffee (which usually tastes like dirty dishwater anyway!)
We brew our coffee in an Italian stovetop espresso pot (a marvellous invention).
Here's what we do:

These are raw coffee beans. We buy Ethiopian beans from a little African supplies shop.



We dry roast them on a just lower than moderate heat in a deep frypan. The roasting takes about 20 minutes and needs constant stirring, so be patient! You want your beans to be very dark, crackling and smoking. It feels like you're burning them, but its necessary to get a proper roast. The beans should also seem much lighter (in weight) and dryer by the time you're done.

Once the beans have cooled grind them in a grinder (we use a little electric grinder that we bought fairly cheaply, it does a great job). The ground coffee in this picture is actually much darker than it looks here, yours should be nice and dark too.
Store the ground coffee in the fridge either in a lined paper coffee bag or an airtight container.
Enjoy your delicious coffee!


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Just came across this GardenMama's blog for the first time and was really struck by her beautiful photos and surroundings. Well worth a look.

Saturday

Its freezing cold here today, but that is no problem to a dedicated crafter - quite the opposite in fact. Endless cups of piping hot tea...


Indoor games in your pyjamas! (Husband doesn't know I've posted a pic of him in his PJ's) Unfortunately he's on afternoon shift, so he's out in the cold now.


And of course there is always that wee bit of sewing to catch up on. I'm working on another journal design cover today, I wasn't thrilled with yesterday's results.
What are you doing with yourself today?



Friday, June 12, 2009

Corn flake cookies


2 cups sifted flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
250g butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 & 1/2 cups Corn flakes

Preheat oven to 180 degrees (C). Sift together flour & baking powder. Beat butter & sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs & vanilla, beat well. Add sifted dry ingredients & corn flakes, mix well for about 2 minutes. Drop by tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 10 minutes or until slightly browned.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A little update




I've been on bedrest for a few days with that awful pregnancy muscle pain again that means I can't stand or sit for long, but lying down is fine. Not terribly practical when you have 3 children and a house to run! Thankfully husband has had a couple of days off work to help so I can rest.

I managed to knit this little fellow in a semi reclining position:). Its hard to find things to do other than reading (no sewing!) Less than 5 weeks to go now, I wish it could be tomorrow.......

Go and check out this fabulous giveaway on the Australian Etsy Blog , so many wonderful prizes to choose from, I've entered!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Kid's clothes

Since I began my sewing journey I've always been very nervous about sewing clothes. I did a couple of terms of sewing classes with a professional dressmaker initially, and although I did learn a lot I also found her teaching methods somewhat intimidating - not a great learning environment.
I just finished this top and am so happy with how nice it looks, it has really boosted my confidence.

I used Stella fabric in red from the Crafty Mamas shop (I've tried other knits, this is the best to sew with so far) and bought the little cherry iron on applique. It matches the Kaufman cord pants beautifully (also from the CM shop).
My daughter thinks the outfit is great, especially since its another dress she doesn't have to wear! (Yep, dress hater!)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

New doll in the shop

Another wee waldorf at 6 inches, she is in the Etsy shop now.

Its very challenging making clothes for dolls that small!

Pondering....

I've been doing a great deal of pondering lately, as I often do towards the end of a pregnancy, knowing many changes (and a lot more hard work!) are ahead. The main thing that has been bothering me is the fact that for 9 years (since my first child was born) I've tried to find work that I can do from home to contribute to our income. We have enough to get by but we want to move back to the country while the children are still young and for that we need more income. I also dislike being dependent on the government for income support, particularly as our family grows larger.
I've tried a myriad of things to earn money from home and nothing seems to work, I end up losing money. Ideally I would like to be paid for a skill I already have but have not found any demand. I've even placed ads in the paper to do ironing (I hate ironing!) but received no response, so I often feel that I'm at a dead end. I have made very little money from making dolls and put in many many hours for little reward, my sales seem to have dried up too.
So what to do?
Well, next month I'm hoping to apply for a study grant and undertake a diploma in graphic design, which would be learning new skills but also using the creative skills I already have. I'd be doing this with hope that I could then work from home. I have no idea if this would work out and whether I would get any work, but I feel that I have to try something. I was always financially independent before I had children and find it brings me great satisfaction when I can contribute.

Sorry about the ramble, I guess it helps to share what's on your mind occasionally :)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Fly agaric fairy

Its not very often I take out my watercolour pencils these days, as I usually have to contend with little fingers messing around with what I'm trying to do..... tonight I had an hour to myself and did this somewhat pensive fairy. I was inspired by visiting Ayelet's blog some time ago to take out my pencils again, although the mushroom / toadstool thing is a coincidence as I sketched a rough picture ages ago.

Look what I won!


This lovely apron on the Mia Henry blog giveaway, it just arrived yesterday and I must say it is beautifully crafted, the photo I have here does it no justice whatsoever. The apron looks quite comical on my 33 week pregnant frame (that is to say - I'm HUGE!) but I can still do up the ties at the back. Go and check out Rachelle's blog and shop, she has some really cute things for sale.
Thankyou Rachelle!