Friday, 24 February 2012

Op-shopping....material goodies

Today was actually grocery shopping day but I decided to save fuel & go to Spotlight (big Aussie fabric etc store) as I needed toy stuffing, & then on the way home check out some op-shops....hmmm, how terrible a task ;-)

Mousie at the moment is having swimming lessons at school as she is lucky enough to go to a public school that has it's own pool. I found a really groovy brand name sun-top for her (she is growing so fast that her sun-suit is getting to the stage of cutting her in half...ouch!) at Vinnies for $1...hardly or not used....bargain!

How 'groovy' is this? I love the pattern!!

I also seem to be in the habit lately of finding vintage souvenir hankies, so I grabbed
those too...

Sydney is still in it's original wrapping, while the QLD ones
are somewhat newer

Tableclothes, of course, are another weakness...

Cooktown, Qld

50's (?) orange & floral...
Last of all...a wonderful double bed sheet...

I really love need to see it close-up....
You'd love it 'Aussie" Dee!

Have lot's of ideas for these fabrics! xxx :-)

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Creating...Kirsten Snuggle Koala

I have a new 'Snugglebuddy' for my Aussie series to introduce...the groovy Kirsten Snuggle Koala... 

This is a native tree but not one koalas usually
like to feast from. Kirsten just thought she'd
check out our backyard wildlife...

She is made from a recycled pair of 80's woman's trousers, oddments of felt, and the floral 'belly' is from some leftover ikea fabric. As I was working on her I thought "how groovy & 60's does she look...yeah baby!"...

Felt pieces are hand stitched but the flower
'belly' is machine stitched around the flower
petals & circumference.

I named her Kirsten after an old friend that I grew up with. We learnt to sew on her Grandma's old singer treadle sewing machine & boy did we have some laughs! ;-)
I haven't seen Kirsten for many years but hope to catch up with her again one day. xxx

Kirsten posing by the Janome...not a
treadle in sight....hahaha!

Stay tuned in the next few days for Kevin Snuggle Koala, Kirsten's brother...

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Saturday, Saturday...Saturday's alright!

What does everyone get up to on a Saturday? Mousie & I spent most of the day over at our good friend's home, a newbie to blogging, Lisa ( ) & her family. We had such a relaxing day! We girls (2 generations) chatted about pretty serious stuff involving pretty much how friggin incompetent the Government policies involving families & children are...not really relaxing ;-)  
Besides that we did have lots of laughs & ate yummy food while the 3 girls donned gumboots & played with the chooks & dog etc....
Besides that, Mousies' favourite dolly had her 2nd birthday today so we made her some presents & had a bit of a celebration!

Oh! For me?

Happy birthday card for Flossie..

Flossie's birthday dress ...back view.

Flossie's birthday dress front view...

Of course the doll clothes were designed & made by NinaV & to be honest they were really quick to make. If anyone is interested in 14"-14 1/2 " baby doll clothes patterns I would be interested in maybe doing a barter for other patterns or something similar!!?? Neens xx

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Creating...Vintage t-towel, bag

I blogged yesterday about this lovely vintage t-towel that I found at our local op shop...

...and said that I planned to make it into a shopping bag...well, 'she' be...

I cut the t-towel in half so both the front & back picture would be upright; added the crotcheted pieces & sewed it together with the top joining hem already ironed. The red lining & handles are recycled from a medium weight red cotton that was a cloth I had made for under our (fake) Christmas tree in 2006. I am super pleased with the results (I don't think the photos quite do it justice) & will include this as the 'handmade' part of my prize when I have my first competition to say, 'thankyou for following' :-)...Neens xxx

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Op shopping finds

I went to our local post office on Monday to 'farewell' Tasmina as she makes her way to her new home in Tasmania & decided to have a quick look at the little Lifeline op shop nearby. I mainly wanted to check out the sewing bits & pieces but of course 'had' to have a quick look at everything else ;-)
Luckily enough I found some nice thick french embroidery thread in black for 50cents...lucky because I'd just run out of black! The Pyrex carafe I'd spotted weeks ago & had said to myself that if it was still there the next time I looked I'd buy it. Sure enough it was still there peering down at me from a top shelf. This is the first one I've seen that still has it's lid, so for $3 I'm delighted to give it a home & what a lovely pattern...'sunburst' ??
I love a nice vintage t-towel & someone had taken the trouble to crochet the ends of this linen floral one. This will become a lined shopping bag & I'll incorporate the crochet as it is quite pretty. $2 for seems to be the going price for unused vintage t-towels but it wont cost much more to make the bag as I have everything I need :-)

Lovely vintage floral linen t-towel...

Pyrex carafe with lid..

Friday, 10 February 2012

Competition for 13...???

I'm excited that my blog is growing slowly but surely! I love competitions, even if I don't win, so I'm thinking that as I like the number 13 (many don't)...when I have 13 members/peeps/followers...I will have my first competition...

Something old,
Something new (handmade),
Something op-shopped,
Something to read (whether crafty or maybe a good old Aussie novel),
Something from my stash of fabrics & stuff,
If I pick you there will be questions about what you like, to make up the perfect parcel! spread the word...this comp will be open worldwide!
Neens x

Creating...Tasmina Snuggle Devil 2

With a big sigh of relief...yesterday I finished Tasmina Snuggle Devil 2. There were no major dramas & no swearing (that I remember) *phew*. I am extremely happy with the results & hopefully she will be off to her new home next week.
I had planned to make her out of vintage fabric but didn't have any predominately black material of a suitable thickness. The fabric used is an Ikea one that I bought 5 years ago to make cushions, which have now been re purposed (obviously!). I think the pattern has an indigenous art look to it so really suits my Aussie critter theme of the moment.
With regards to my sewing this year my plan is to use as much of my stash as possible & only buy essentials (hopefully on special or other peoples cast-offs) like threads, elastic etc...but...I would love a decent needle threader & a bias binding maker like the ones seen in American craft books...very nifty! My stash is a combination of vintage & more modern bits & pieces. Some were clothes that my Mum & her Mum (Mumma) made or bought that I just love the fabric of...a lot is from op shops & of course lots that I've bought from sewing shops over the last 20 odd years to make clothes & soft furnishings with & have remanents of. I have old buttons, bits of lace & ribbons & ancient ric-rack (a lot of the rick-rac seems to have grown very weak unfortunately). Anyway...that is the grand plan which I actually find exciting & inspiring, plus I borrowed a heap of craft books from the library to learn some new skills & of course ogle other peoples ideas!
Back to Tasmina 2 who has been waiting patiently on the side-lines to have her picture posted...

Tasmina 2...front view

Tasmina 2...back view

Ready for my close-up!!

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Creating...New Snugglebuddy

I spent last week working on some ideas for a range of Aussie animal inspired snugglebuddies. I decided that I would improve *eye-roll* on my original design and add separate limbs & tails. My first design was my interpretation of a female Tasmanian Devil who by chance will be moving to Tasmania (when the design is tweaked to my satisfaction...'nother eye-roll) . All started well...

Happy with the pattern...check. Happy with the features &
extremities...check. Hehe, all goes well!
Everything seemed to be working well & the construction coming along quickly. I had decided to stitch & stuff the limbs & tail separately & then sew them into the seams when the body was inside out. I was getting very excited, pumped with adrenalin, thinking I would be finished before I had to pick up Mousie from school (Friday)...Oh, dear *head scratch* on earth is everything going to fit in that cavity while I sew the body together?? To cut a long story of swearing, unpicking, re-sewing, swearing, adjusting, head scratching, clock watching, a bit lot more swearing, a very fast walk to school *mutter, mutter*, short...I finally got Tasmina (cute, huh!) finished & apologised to Mousie for being cranky & banning her from the workroom until I was finished.

Tasmina front...

Tasmina back.

When I invited Mousie to come & 'check Tasmina out', she said "Why have you made a girl vampire Mummy?". I replied " She's not a vampire. Tassie devils have some very long fang-like teeth!". Mousie promptly started chasing me around the room with Tasmina saying "I vant to suck your blood...aaaaaaah!"...Good grief!! A bit later on when Daddy Rat came home from work, Mousie yelled out "Hey Mum, where's the thing you made that sucks? I want to show Daddy!"....Ahahaha...thanks for the encouragement oh child of mine, I know where you live!
I was all ready to email Allana from 'High Maintenance Hippy' (who along with her little munchkin are adopting Tasmina & also being an alternative sounding board) to let her know I'd finished my 'sample' when I realised that Tasmina looked like she was ready to do either an Irish jig or one of those jumps where you click your heels together sideways....grrrrr...with all my mucking around the legs where skewiff! Not good enough I'm I'm anal, what of it ;-)
What have I learnt from this? Don't try and change too many things on a fail safe pattern at the one time! OR...If it ain't broke, don't fix it!
The good news is (Allana, if your reading) Tasmina Snuggle Devil 2 is redesigned, cut out & ready to be decorated & put together...phew :-)

Tasmina 1, chilling out & catching a breeze
on our front veranda.

Mousie of course has decided to adopt Tasmina 1 herself & has been proudly showing her the neighbourhood & sharing her bed...One happy ending xxx

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Creating...The lovely NinaV elephant

I want to introduce the special lady that heads my blog...*drum roll*...the lovely Elly. I made Elly for a very close friend of mine, Jen, as a birthday present (grown-up toy), not only because she loves elephants but because she'd been going through a very, very crappy time in her life. I think elephants are beautiful creatures that represent strength, strong bonds & support, & a very wise dignity. And of course there is the old saying that elephants never forget, so I wanted Jen to remember that no matter how far apart we roamed I would always be her supportive & loving ya Jen xxx

The lovely Elly is based on a pattern I found in a fantastic craft book first published in 1957 :
'Toys For Your Delight' by Winsome Douglass (what a fab name she has). I was lucky enough to find this book at a local Lifeline 'Bookfest' two years ago. (Bookfest is a charity bookfair that in Ipswich runs for three days & has thousands of donated books to rummage through...absolute bliss when it's not too crowded!). I love to collect books, mostly old history & craft/decorating ones. Oh & kids books too!
Neens xxx