29 April, 2017


Fat free cake!

Sugar free cake!  

I spent a little time today winding some skeins of yarn into cakes.  All set & ready to knit up.  

The grey is a gift project that I needed to get started once I could make up my mind on a pattern.

While I was in the winding of cake mood I picked out a couple of skeins of sock yarn to wind ready for sock moments.  

Dilemma though on which one to do first!  My family were no help whatsoever with each picking a different one.  Which would you choose?  

28 April, 2017

Memorable Socks

This is some beautiful wool that I bought for myself last year.  

BJ was in hospital & I got to go for a walk into town when Stuart came up to visit for a few hours.  I nearly didn't get this one.  I left the shop but turned back to get it after all.  It is gorgeous.  50% alpaca.  What's not to love right?  

Definitely will be a little bit of luxury on my feet in autumn winter.  

Can you believe it?  I even tried a new pattern.  Fish Scales & Fairy Tales Socks.   (I think I picked them because I liked the name!)   They are not my regular super duper mindless sock pattern.  I did have to think about this one a bit more & ummm...  actually have another pair of socks going at the same time which were my mindless knitting moments.  I hadn't done that before with two pairs going at the same time but it is useful.  Rainy days & movies where all the lights had to be out were definitely the mindless sock knitting time.  That was Monday!  And Sunday!  And Saturday!  

27 April, 2017

Thursday Thanks

  • Lots of family time lately.
  • A lovely Easter break.  
  • Wellness for a friend who was able to join us at Easter.
  • Friends that are as good as family members.
  • Catching up with cousins.
  • Enjoyable holidays.
  • Birthday parties.
  • Non busy days.
  • Rainy days to enjoy & rest.  
  • Play time with newer friends that help to get to know each other better.
  • Being able to take some time to just think of my little family unit.  
  • ANZAC remembrance ceremonies.

25 April, 2017

Not Always Successes

I am branching out.

Trying new things again.  

I needed a new challenge.

So this time a stretch knit for me.  It's only a t-shirt actually.  But I had to start simple.  I also had some fabric that I got as a remnant from that spotty shop.  Cost of around $2.50 which is good to ruin isn't it!  

Last week I learnt a lot doing that jacket thing for BJ.  

This week I learnt some more.

Don't use this poly-interlock knit fabric is the first & most important.  It ladders.  You would think it was a pair of stockings.  Ladders without even sewing.  The edges just ran.  

No matter what I did I couldn't get a nice edge on it to neaten the raw edges.  The practice pieces went well.  Fortunately I could turn the first 2 sleeves into practice pieces too as there was just enough horrid stuff to make 2 more sleeves.  Sleeves & hem are now not over edged.  Isn't going to matter as I can't save it.  The ladders in the hem were already going around the pressed edge.  (it's ok remember!  It's only $2.50!  )  

I hadn't done a neck bias edge before either.  Looked good.  I think I did a good job of that.  But my head wouldn't fit through.  I did unpick a bit & restitched it with a different stitch to give a little more but that didn't help & the stitches snapped on one attempt over my head.  (2.50!)  

When I finally had all pieces together badly I found I had almost got the sleeves the same length!  Go me!  

So it's a bit tight.  I actually posted my pictures on a sewing inspiration group I am in on facebook.  Well the brains trust there soon had me pointed in the right direction on what the issues were & tips on how to do different things.  Turns out I wasn't imagining how awful the fabric was as it was a common problem with this stuff & one lady even returned all hers to that spotty shop for a refund because the ladders were terrible!  And if I had wanted ladders I would have gone to Bunnings not Spotty! 

Well here is my picture, taken by an 8 year old.  From his perspective it's probably better.  My chins are gone. I think the 8 year old was the most impressed with my attempt.  That's pretty sweet.  

So as a result I will try again, with it's matching pattern.  Just because I have to.  I can't let it win.   I have some more remnants to use, or some super sale pieces to practice on.  Like I say to the boys constantly, you won't get better if you don't practice something & you can't just give up when it is a bit hard.  So I had better make a point of doing what I say occasionally!  

21 April, 2017

Taking Stock - April

Making :  pillows.
Cooking :  food gifts
Drinking :  less water now it's cooler.  That's bad.
Reading:  Book of Lost Threads - Tess Evans
Trawling:  pattern inspiration
Deciding:  what to make for a friends freezer.
Wishing:  I knew more stuff about stuff.
Enjoying: having chickens.
Waiting: for eggs still...
Liking:  challenging myself to try new things.
Wondering: whether I can do this "sewalong" or not...
Loving:  school holidays!
Pondering:  what to do over the holidays.
Listening: to audio books while I craft
Buying:  not much 
Watching: giving Mad Men a try.  (no, not quite into it at the moment!)
Needing:  some extra enthusiasm when I have the time to use it for the right things.
Wearing: my nice cozy hand knit slippers from last winter.
Noticing: how crisp the days are getting.
Disliking:  snap fasteners on stretch fabric.
Hearing:  some rain at last.
Celebrating:  will be celebrating a little next month so invitations have been written & mailed or delivered.  Yes!  Written invitations!  No facebook event for this one!  :-)  I'm going old style.  

20 April, 2017


Yes, it's finished!  Not well, but finished.  I tried a lot of new things which was interesting.  But really in the great scheme of all the sewing I have done, I have probably done it before but just never known it was a "thing with a name"!  lol    

So I learnt - 
  1.  Understitching.
  2. Top stitching.
  3. Twin top stitching but without a twin needle!   ( I now have a twin needle to experiment with!).
  4. Getting to know stretch fabrics.
  5. Re-learning how to read dress making patterns.
  6. Getting with the new pattern phase of PDF patterns!
  7. Snap fasteners are rotten.  
  8. The front panel isn't even, but I can see what I should have done to get it all matchy matchy. 
  9. This was a project for a sew-along, so lots of people were making it at the same time & it's very encouraging.  
  10. I definitely should have done the sleeves in plain black.  
  11. The collar in the picture isn't sitting right.  
  12. I have an overedge stitch on my regular sewing machine that makes a nice edge not unlike an overlocker.  It does a good job when someone is too scared to learn how to use an overlocker.  
  13. Snap fasteners come off & make holes in garment. 
Well that is good & bad.  But at least it wasn't some super expensive fabric.  I had it ready to learn with so that worked out ok.  I expect to make a lot more mistakes if I keep trying.  But that's ok, I have picked up some good remnants from Spotty so it's not going to make me cry if I ruin anything.  As I tell the boys, you have to keep trying so you learn & get better at something.  Once isn't enough.  

19 April, 2017

Getting Close

It's getting closer to finished.  I am learning a lot in the process.  

Main thing is that stretch sewing isn't so bad.

17 April, 2017


I did it.  

I had been putting off doing the tracing of this pattern.  It's a jacket for BJ maybe, if it works.  It's purely experimental at the moment.  I am not used to sewing with knit fabric for one thing.  Stretchy fabric has a mind of it's own.  

I was pleased to get this far anyway.  It looks right so far too.  That's a good sign.  I won't get any more done for a couple of days & do need to sit & concentrate.  It's all a fun challenge though.  

We'll see if I don't stuff it up later.  

15 April, 2017

Pillow Presents

I had another crazy idea.  You know how these things come to you at crazy times?  Usually when you have so many other things that should be done first.  

My brother & sister in law are here from New Zealand at the moment.  

My niece got engaged a few months back.  

After some chatting about things, my niece & her fiancee still love Marvel Comics.  

So what better than a couple of pillows with Marvel characters all over them.  I had to fussy cut to try to highlight different characters for one than the other.  It's a pain when the pattern repeat is only small.  Oh well, we got there & had two pillow covers done & ready.  I have actually got them off the inserts as I think that they may pack better.  We'll see how they go.   

09 April, 2017


We've had a lovely rainy weekend.  Some beaut rainbows & some awesome thunderstorms.  

Lots of time in there then to finish knitting my rainbow socks.  I love this wool, though it doesn't show as bright here as it really is.  Teamed with the black for highlights I love it.  Winter is coming & sock season with some new socks won't be far.  

This crazy chicken lady is loving hanging out with her chickens.  They dodged the rain today for some play time made themselves cozy in the dirt we filled in last weekend under the fence to keep them in.  It's worked at least.  My little buddy Snowy lets me pat her a bit now which is pretty cool.

05 April, 2017

Cushion 4

BJ was asked to another birthday the other day.  I shouldn't have got excited at the prospect should I?  I was though.

Only because I wanted to make another cushion!  

We went through the fabrics to see what we had that BJ would be happy enough with to give his friend.  Fortunately this large print of Star Wars comic covers was a winner.  I had actually purchased it recently with this child in mind.  So that was lucky.  

This time BJ wanted the name on it too.  So I went to print it up this morning while trying to work out where I would place it.  

A lightbulb moment!!!  

Sometimes those moments are good & sometimes they are bad.  

Fortunately for me, this wasn't such a bad one.  I needed a Star Wars font.  Google & Pinterest are my friends.  The only thing I couldn't remember was how to actually get them into Word.  Google my friend again!  

As you can see I have squeezed the name into the top piece of the comic.  It isn't obvious this time, not like the last Star Wars pillow.  The child was turning 6.  This child is turning 9.  So lets have a little play.  I am waiting now until after school to see if the boys pick the name out easily or not.  

ETA - This pillow was a hit. They were fascinated to find his name on it.  Kind of stopped them in their tracks I think!  lol

03 April, 2017

Stitchy Play

We have some embroidery kits at work.

We needed a sample done.

Once again, I have "sucker" stamped on my head!  Really had to twist my arm of course!  NOT!

I started a while back at work on a few days when it was abysmally quiet.  That didn't last long & I have got sick of carting it back & forth so I just got stuck in over the weekend.

It's an odd design with the pattern on the fabric but you don't have to stitch all of it.  You can choose your own colours too.  I had a bit of a play with a variegated one & a couple of others.  It's not fantastic.  There are some parts I would have done differently if I did it again.  I guess that is often the way though with this sort of work.

01 April, 2017

Chicken Taming

When I get a chance to sit with the chickens & let them get to know me I do.  Usually if there is a DJ running about I have no hope.  

I was out there for a bit today feeding from my hand & patting Snowy.  She's a greedy one.  She is the only one that would let me pat her properly.   

We have worked today to fill in under fences though to keep them in the orchard.  I don't want to have to try to get one out of the neighbours tree again.  

30 March, 2017

Thursday Thanks

  • Care packages - love to do this.
  • Gifts of food.
  • Cooking using food from the garden still, but not for much longer...  
  • Great progress for the swimmer.
  • Great new piano teacher for the pianist.
  • An enthusiastic pianist.  

27 March, 2017


Confetti Sprinkle socks.  

A party on your feet every time you wear them maybe?  

Well these are my new socks just finished with a yarn I hadn't tried before.  It's pretty pretty!  I will have the best dressed feet in winter!  

26 March, 2017

Taking Stock - February & March

Cooking :  lots of food with zucchini.  See some favourite recipes here that we have enjoyed. 
Making :  stuff for the school fair
Drinking :  water
Reading:  Book Of Lost Threads - Tess Evans
Trawling:  sewing patterns
Wanting:  to get through more books that are on the shelf & have been for ages.
Looking:  at what I need to do next
Deciding:  what to do with zucchini next!
Wishing: I had a fairy to come & cook tea 
Enjoying: listening to BJ learning new piano tunes.
Waiting: for when DJ can have lessons.  
Liking: the cooler nights.  Ahhh...  sleep...
Wondering:  where February went!
Loving:  having the chickens in the orchard!
Listening:  to DJ sing crazy made up songs.
Considering:  what to make for next years fair.
Buying:  all sorts - piano books online this week.   I'm excited about that!  
Watching:  Our Girl season 1.  For the third time
Hoping:  Season 2 of Our Girl is out soon.
Needing: some garden magic.  Anyone want to pull weeds out?
Getting:  winter boots.  Can't wait to wear them!  
Bookmarking:  sewing stores
Feeling: clever that I made tomato sauce from our harvest.

25 March, 2017

Nailed It

Maybe I should call it "Zippered It"!  

Another party coming up in a week, but while I printed up the name for the other one I did this one.  So, got stuck into it & sewed it up.  Actually it took a little longer this time.  

I wasn't happy with the zips I had put in.  Or rather how I had put them in.  I just couldn't get them pretty enough.  Not for my liking anyway.  So I did a search & came up with this tutorial which was exactly what I needed to refine my work.  It worked a treat & made the whole bottom look so much better.  Six year old's won't care either way, but it is still nice to learn something.  Improve things, you know.  So we have different front & back for this Star Wars cushion.  Should be liked too I hope!  

ETA - This was a hit.  Apparently it will be something he treasures forever.  awww... nice...

23 March, 2017

Thursday Thanks

  • A successful day for the school with the fair.
  • Gifting food.
  • Being able to give back to some who have been so good to us in the past.
  • Fun with chickens.
  • A boy that is growing up & maturing in important ways.
  • Amazing creations in the grass - clever webs covered in dew early in the mornings.  So small but so intricate!


22 March, 2017

Back To Regular Schedule

Things might calm down a little now.

Well maybe not.

Birthday parties are here.  Last year we got almost through first term without any.

But that's OK.

That means I have a reason to sew again.  Not that I don't have reasons to do some things, but as expected, it's been a bit of a crash & burn few days.  Totally conked out.

 DJ told me that Toby likes farms.  Well he lives on one so that's probably something to do with it.  Hopefully this personalised cushion goes down well.

ETA - It did apparently, go down very well.  

18 March, 2017

Fair Day

Well the day arrived!

Just to add to the busy crazy time that has been this week, why not throw in a class dog!

Oh I was excited on Friday evening to find out that DJ had this weekend to take the class dog home & record it's exciting weekend with us!  I guess it was nice that we had things to report about other than making a fence!

Daisy Dog had 2 birthday parties for our family members to attend.

& of course the fair.  So yes, DJ had to carry her to school.  The family all walked down.  I went down at stupid early o'clock to help set up our craft stall though it was half done the day before.

Daisy & DJ at the craft stall in front of the slippers that Gran & Aunty Sheila knitted for the stall.

DJ & Daisy with the stand for the hamper prizes. 

DJ & Daisy dressed in the costume that DJ got in his show bag.  

It was a massive day.  The fair was a huge success as usual.  The boys had a great time.  I was flat out on the craft stall.  It was good fun really.

OK, a report on my stuff.  Success or not?

Peg bag aprons - all gone!
Fabric cover notebook holders - all gone.
Souvenir tea-towel tote bags - just over half gone I think.  Also hopefully networked a little to try to get hold of some more.  hehehehe
Hanging hand towels - not many gone at all.
Framed inspirational pictures - all but one lonely one gone.  The last one was never going to go once it was all that was left.  But the target audience of the school kids was a success as mostly they went to kids.  Good price & trendy product currently.
Fabric Baskets - Half went...  happy with that.

So there you go.  If you need some ideas for your own school, that may be a help!!!

17 March, 2017

A Little More

Some time back I saw an advert for some printables.  You know the sort?  You see them in every home decor store these days.  Foxes, deer, inspirational quotes - you name it.  I got this set of prints online.  They had a really good deal.  Combine that with some frames from the op shops & bingo!!!  You have some really cheap & effective cool pictures ready to sell!

Yes, the fair...  sigh...

ETA - these all went, fast...  the animals first.  I had a few more than what are pictured & I have one lonely one left.  Super impressed.

16 March, 2017

Thursday Thanks

  • Feeling good.
  • A great husband that can build stuff!  
  • Fun with our chickens.
  • Successful medical things for a friend.
  • Being able to give the gift of meals & food.
  • Great weather to be able to do more work outside.


15 March, 2017


So I gave a bunch away.  So I made some more!  

13 March, 2017


I've still been getting my sock knitting on!

Somewhere in all the madness that is sewing stuff for the fair, I manage to pump out a little bit of knit, usually on an evening when I have an hour or so finally & I stop myself from sewing & I watch a show on iview or The Great British Sewing Bee.  (there are some good English dramas on ABC at the moment).

Yet another pair of After Thought Heel socks & another colour way in the Cascade Heritage Paints yarn.  One of my absolute favourite yarns for socks.  Knits up beautifully!

Late Summer

The rumours were true about us getting summer in March!  I won't complain though as we have been able to get a lot done at home.  

Today was a holiday.  So not only was it a brilliant day as we were home, but the day was just magnificent.  Stuart & I had a big day.  Stuart had got quite a bit done over the rest of the weekend so I could get in there & nail some wire on fence palings.  It was great.  It is really good to be almost just about done.  But we ran out of wire, again!  Also out of U shaped nails that I have been nailing on.  I even went out to buy the next hardware store out.  So I have to find another hardware store this week.  (unfortunately Stuart knows that it is close to Spotlight so he doesn't think it is a good idea at all that I go to get them!  lol)  

Having got most of the wire on though I did open the chicken run so the girls could have a walk.  Snowy was the only one to brave the yard the first time & then later on when it had cooled off a bit I tried again & they all went for a walk about catching bugs.  They are quite quick really!  

While they were roaming, the boys were playing in the sprinkler.  We haven't done a great deal of that sort of thing at all this past summer.  So it was a really terrific day!  Busy & lazy too.  

12 March, 2017

Beautiful Rain

I was given a stack of souvenir tea-towels last week.  I was a bit excited!  I also picked up another couple in an op shop.  They weren't there last week!  Timed that well.  

Work on Saturday meant I didn't do much of anything but did get started on them on Saturday evening.  

The lovely rain all morning this morning meant that I had a good chance to power through some bags though.  13 bags, 2 of which went back to the giver of some of the towels.  She is excited to be able to use them in a more interesting way, that not drying dishes as we all know souvenir tea-towels are made to look at really as they don't dry a thing.  

Here is a selection of them anyway.  A couple of interesting ones that aren't from a particular place like most are.  But certainly retro!  

I also got my sauce making action happening...  I am not one to make stuff like that usually.  But this lot of little red things needed some use.  It was a very productive day!

11 March, 2017

What's Hiding In A Cupboard

I really love scraps of fabric, wool or anything.  Do you know why?  I don't see them as scraps!  Yes they are bits & pieces, but they are always waiting & ready to be turned into something!  

From scraps you get stuff.  Hopefully mostly useful things too.  

Yes, I did it.  I made a few more fabric baskets.  They didn't take long.  I had to play with them a bit so I have a couple with multi-coloured sides too.  But I think they look pretty cool.  I really like the world map one in the middle at the bottom.  

Oh yeah, there is one missing as I was asked by DJ to use some fabric for one for him.  So I did of course.  

06 March, 2017

Fabric Baskets

I'm mad you know.

I said I wouldn't do any more.  

But ummm.....  ooops...

Just using up a bit of the stash fabric that I have in the fair box, plus some quilt wadding scraps.  All good really.  

I found a pattern at work that I decided was easy.  I could also shrink it to fit onto the strips of fabric I had stashed.  So that was cool.  The one on the top is the first one I made.  It is actually missing it's draw cord through the top though.  I need to get some.  But I decided I could make some more quickly leaving the sleeve off for the draw cord & just make them box types of things instead.  They aren't too bad.  They aren't tiny or anything.  We'll see how it goes.  My fabric is lightening up a little so that's a good thing.  

05 March, 2017

Fell Chicken Farm

There was much excitement today.  We are now the proud owners of 4 little hens.  They would nearly be 6 months old I guess.  They came all the way from...   next door.  

They are settling in we hope.  They were used to being chased & picked up as they had 2 little girls taking care of them.  Now they have 2 boys ready & willing - for the moment at least.  

It was very warm again though so they chose to take cover in the shade under the Hen Hilton.  Can't say I blame them at all.  

We all chose a name & so they are now refered to as Billy, Snowy, Hettie & Doris.  

Also some progressed was made on the rest of the fence so before too long it should be all looking very fancy!  

02 March, 2017

Crazy Bag Lady

After quite a bit of unsuccessful op shopping looking for souvenir tea-towels, all I could come up with was seven.  

Oh well, that's just going to have to do then isn't it?

Yes, more stuff for the fair.  I have lined them with calico & put canvas webbing on for handles & voila, a cute & unusual tote bag.  Plus there is a picture both sides albeit upside down on the other.  Oh well, that's part of the novelty I think.  

01 March, 2017

Fair Madness

I was given one of these little notepad holders yesterday.  My dear old friend had made some for her church fair.  She gave me one to copy.  Top centre one is hers opened out.  Two pockets on the left, one in the centre for a little pen or pencil & then a pocket on the right for a little notebook to slide in.  I stocked up on little notepads.  I bought 10!  ONLY 10.  So I sewed 10.  That's it.  Done.  I just have to find short pencils or pens now.  That will probably not be as easy to find.   It was a great stash buster though, using up some smaller pieces of fabric.