Lil' Mim sisters

I finished the other doll I was working on, her new owner loves the colour blue and has hazel eyes with brown hair. I decided to give her super long hair, I just love a doll with long hair.

This is the first time I've made a pair of dolls for sisters, I think it's really beautiful that they'll both have              their own special doll for Christmas. These 2 are about 13 inches tall and made with the my usual favourites - cotton tricot, carded wool, mohair yarn and lovely prints for their dresses.

Last night I started work on my doll for the Melbourne Show, I've left it a little late, but it's cool, she'll get there!

Strawberries and cream

That's what she makes me think of. She is a custom order I've just finished for a little girl. I'm working on a doll for her sister now. I knitted her a little bolero shrug out of cashmere that turned out very nicely even though I don't really know what I'm doing when I pick up the knitting needles.

A back view of the bolero shrug.
I like to always put a little surprise like this into my customer's parcels. I want them to be really delighted when they open it up and get something extra that they don't expect.

                                                        I hope her new owner likes her!

Rain, rain, don't go away

Last week must have been my lucky week, not only did I get the parcel from Nic, but I also won Becky's giveaway. 3 patterns, a knitted dishcloth and some soap. Thank you so much Becky!

I'm loving the vinyl tablecloth I picked up at Spotlight today. If you're crafting with kids a vinyl table cloth is essential!

I'm so grateful for a wet winter, the garden is flourishing. Daffodils are one of my faves.

Lots of broad beans, we planted hundreds of seeds we saved from the last harvest.

             And the most thrilling of all - the first blossom on the apricot tree (can you see it?)

In the midst of all this rain the grump in me is finding a few things to gripe about. It's my first winter with 4 little ones who want to get out to parks and for walks and can't in this weather. It's also nearly impossible to get much washing dry (I won't give in and buy a dryer - never, never!)

I can't complain too much though, the tank is constantly overflowing, it's wonderful.

Some people are really sweet

As a general statement (I'm good at making those) I'd say there is a great deal of greediness in the world today. People who want, want and want some more. Who take from others thoughtlessly. 

Through having this blog I've gladly found some people who are the exact opposite. They are thoughtful and will give without expecting any return. They will send you something just because they know how nice it is to get a parcel. Or just because they know you would like it or could use it.

Thank you Nic for a parcel of loveliness that brightened my day.

Thank you to all others who take the time to think of me and who bother to read my little blog.

More adventures in colour

Now I've started this thing with colour I can't stop, it's so much fun!

Magenta and turquoise handpainted on homespun with sea salt resist.

Magenta and red hand painted on homespun with sea salt resist.

Yellow and purple hand painted on homespun with circle (I used little plastic bottle lids) resist.

                                     Light green hand painted on homespun with leaf resist.

Make your vote count

Unless you live under a rock you will be aware tomorrow is an important day for Australia.

When I was growing up there were a few "taboo" subjects - one of them being politics. There was no discussion, just an expectation that you would vote a certain way simply because that was what the family had always done. This is what I did for a while until I became interested enough to really look into who I was voting for.

 I urge you to take the time to find out as much as you can about the party and candidates you intend to vote for. You may be surprised at what you uncover. Don't rely on the media to tell you who to vote for, they are very biased and sensationalist.

So, who am I voting for tomorrow? I'll tell you who I won't be voting for. I don't think an atheist who supports abortion up to birth and has communist affiliations is what our country needs. I hope that whoever wins will steer Australia in the right direction and have the citizen's best interests at heart.

Happy voting!

In my studio today...

Doesn't that sound posh - "In my studio?" Maybe one day I'll be lucky enough to really have a studio but for now lets just pretend!

Some cheery little doll's faces for a custom order. Don't they look comical without hair?

Some more colour experimentation with fabric painting. I went for soft hues with these. The blue one is on homespun.

I painted cotton lawn with soft pinks, yellows and reds for this soft and muted one.

I'm contemplating introducing hand dyed and painted fabrics, ribbons and threads to my Etsy shop.
Any thoughts?

Chocolate pudding recipe

When the weather is biting cold you really need to tuck into a piping hot serving of this. Recipe here.

Chocolate pudding recipe

It is so cold here at the moment I felt it would be almost criminal not to bake a nice hot pudding for dessert tonight.

My Grandmother gave me this recipe and it has been very well used.

1 cup self raising flour                1 teaspoon vanilla essence or extract
2 tablespoons cocoa                                         3/4 cup brown sugar
30 grams melted butter                                      1/4 cup cocoa (extra) 
1/2 teaspoon of salt                                   1 & 3/4 cups of hot water
                                                                         1/2 cup of milk          
                                                                          3/4 cup sugar

Sift flour, salt and cocoa. Add sugar. Stir in milk, vanilla and melted butter, mix or beat together until smooth.  Spread into a casserole dish.
Sprinkle brown sugar and extra cocoa on top of mixture. Pour hot water on gently.
Bake at 180 degrees (C) for 45 - 55 minutes.

Serve with cream, icecream or both!

The most pathetic movie ever?

This one flew under my Superman radar for some reason (pun intended) and I never saw it. Now I wish I hadn't! With our 10 year old son being into all things superhero we thought we'd give it a shot, and besides, it was free from the library. 

Wow, was this movie a stinker! There was hardly a division between the geeky Clark Kent and the "supposed" superhero Superman, and as for "Nuclear Man", he was a total non event. 

As our son rather aptly stated after watching - "That was like one of my silly superhero stories from years ago".

I'll admit I got a chuckle out of the female character's pencil skirts, puffy blouses and boofy hair.

So tell me, what's your most pathetic movie ever?

Daughter's first dyed silk

We used the Liquid Radiance colours again to dye this habutai silk scarf but a different technique this time. I wanted to make G's first dyeing experience easy and not too messy!

We dampened the silk and randomly scrunched. We stuffed it into a jar and squirted in turquoise, pink and yellow. We left this in the jar for 2 days, agitating here and there. Then we hung it on the line (unfortunately it rained so some of the colour ran a little) and heat set once dry.

She is quite happy with it and hasn't put it down yet!

Colour me happy!

I've been playing with my new colours from Genesis Creations (their customer service is excellent) and I must say they're pretty cool. The Liquid Radiance colours perform like a dye but are not a dye and are completely non toxic. You don't need all the chemicals as fixatives either, they're heat fixed. I used some habutai silk scraps to experiment and the results are pretty impressive. The above piece was achieved with the assistance of epsom salts.

This one was streaked with 4 different colours, then scrunched to allow some bleeding.

                And this one is 3 colours applied in spirals then sprinkled with raw sugar.
                     I have lots of other techniques to try, these colours are a lot of fun!

Happy weekend to you all :)

Face painting fun

Kids love face painting and a new face can provide hours of entertainment and imaginary games. I use Derivan face and body paint.
There are heaps of internet resources including video tutorials on Youtube that are really helpful.

G wanted to be a two faced baddy.

M always requests a rabbit face.

                    And of course the boy wants to be a scary freak. I think it worked!

My tip is to use a good quality non toxic face paint and to practice as often as the children let you.

Lotsa leggings!

I've made many pairs of leggings for my girls this winter and I think they would be quite happy to live in them permanently. They look great on their own, with a skirt or with a dress. And they keep those little legs toasty warm.

Did I mention that leggings are super easy to make? I've used the same Burda pattern over and over.

I bought this beautiful spotty soft cord from Craft Mamas to make pants for G (that's a little pocket on the leg there, it's hard to see). I was a little disappointed when she proclaimed that they are "horrible!"
Apparently this is because they're not leggings! 
Ah well, lucky she has two little sisters who can grow into them.

Another embroidery?!!!

I can't seem to help myself, I'm now working on 5 separate embroideries and all I want to do is sit with my hoop and needle. This is my first attempt at ribbon embroidery and I think it is a gorgeous craft, so fine and dainty. I picked this Helen Dafter kit up from the Craft Fair. I'm only part way through but it's already so pretty! For my next project I want to try dyeing my own silk ribbon.

In other news, we awoke after a particularly blustery evening to find out Hills Hoist had snapped and collapsed. I wasn't too impressed when I realised how much new clotheslines cost (who would have thought some pieces of metal and plastic made and assembled in China would be so expensive?) but clever and thrifty husband has rigged up a temporary solution (kids, you don't mind those lines tied to your trampoline do you?)

Little A has taken her first unassisted steps and is quickly mastering the step - step - step - stumble - fall - giggle. I love this age - so much is new and wonderful.

Make do and make a start

I thought I'd share with you a little reality check today. It is easy for us to imagine that people we see on social media, on websites...