Sunday, February 20, 2011

Happier than a cyclone over warm waters....

Yes that would be Paul.  Before he left for Port Hedland he was adamant, "there will be a cyclone while up I'm there, I bet!!!"  And one has just managed to scrape in.  As it turns out ex-TC Carlos (soon to be reinstated as TC Carlos) will be off the coast of Port Hedland Tuesday morning, the very day that Paul was due to fly back to Perth *sigh*.  So it looks like I'm still in charge of the monkey factory for a few extra days.  Paul on the other hand is very happy to be able to say "see, I told you there'd be a cyclone".  Port Hedland is currently on Blue Alert and as Paul is in charge up there at the moment its up to him to make sure that all preparations are in place to ensure the safety of the crew.  The crew certainly have nothing to worry about - Carlos is just a baby at Category 2 and nothing makes Paul happier than planning and preparation... happier than a cyclone over warm waters even.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

What do you do when you can't be there to sooth their tears... go home and make them something instead so hopefully they will realise that even if you weren't with them you were thinking about them the whole time!!


On Wednesday I dropped Chloe off at kindy and the penny finally dropped.  As much as she loves the painting and drawing and play dough and puzzles and as much as she loves her teachers Mrs H and Mrs B, she's finally realised that I leave.  The first few times I think the novelty was enough to win her over but on Wednesday she started crying as I was going.  Mrs B, the most beautiful soul on earth, was there immediately with lots of hugs and telling Chloe all the wonderful things they had planned for the day.  Because Alex attended this particular kindy last year as well, Chloe knows both Mrs H and Mrs B very well and has a very strong liking for Mrs B so I knew that Mrs B would win her over.  Still its not a nice feeling is it, leaving when your little one so desperately wants you.

I already had plans for some lovely fabric but I knew those plans would need to be put into action immediately.  With swatch in hand (how lucky was that), it was off to Spotlight for contrast fabrics and thread then home again to start cutting.  Later in the day I would be arriving at kindy with a dress for Chloe, I wasn't there during the day but I was thinking about her the whole time...

Its Modkids Kyoko pattern, however if you've been in Perth lately you'll know that the weather has been disgusting - hot, humid, sticky, blah!!!!  So I ditched the idea of sleeves and went with a bound, sleeveless look instead much cooler in my opinion.  I also thought that being sleeveless she would be able to wear long sleeves underneath when (if!!!) the weather cools down making it quite versatile.  So although the Kyoko pattern doesn't show/have a sleeveless version let me assure you it is incredibly easy to do.

The pretty geisha fabric comes from The Fabric Jungle.  The inspiration however came from a lovely friend Mel (seriously some of the most beautiful things you will ever see on her blog) who used the fabric in a gorgeous skirt set. The black butterfly fabric was an end of bolt from Spotlight.  I was originally going to get something in a soft grey with flowers (you can probably see the black geisha has grey butterflies on her dress in the next picture) but when I saw the black with the butterflies I knew it was meant to be.  The selvedge says its by Sugar and Spice Textiles.  Made for each other don't you think...

I loved putting this pattern together, so, so easy.  From whoa (woe LOL) to go in a matter of hours.  The instructions are so clear and well written with lots of photographs.  I used french seams so along with the binding its as neat on the inside as it is on the outside.

She had a great day as always, lots of painting (you should see my fridge!!!) and fun and I was waiting there with her new dress and she was all smiles...

My Creative Space - Up close and personal...

I've missed a few Creative Spaces lately, simply because the start of a new school year is pretty hectic at the best of times.  Throw in two children starting new phases of their lives - namely Alex attending his first year of pre-primary at the private school Samuel attends and Chloe attending her first year of kindy at a local state school.  So I travel between two school, Chloe's pickup and drop off times normally work brilliantly with the other school except for those first couple of weeks when we deal with the dreaded half days.  Alex has done two weeks of half days, Chloe one so on the two days Chloe goes to school I drop everyone off in the morning, I might go and do the shopping or run errands (or like I did on Wednesday go and spend some glorious kid-free time at Spotlight, what a treat!!!), pick Alex up at 12, pick Chloe up at 1.30, then finally pick Samuel up after 3ish.  As you can imagine it really wrecks the day.  However, Alex finished his last half day yesterday so no more running around like a headless chicken carting kids here, there and everywhere.

Yesterday I also received an ebay auction win... namely this:

This is actually the very first time I've ever been up close and personal with a jelly roll before.  I'm not a quilter, as much as I love them, but I've found a BOM which has captured me and so I'm going to give it a try.  Its here, Little Miss Shabby - Adventures in Quilting and wow the whole website is bursting with gorgeous colours, stunning quilts and pretty cushion - it makes me want to try them all!!!!  The quilt I'm going to try my hand at though is Birdie Stitches, the little birdies just look adorable.  I've decided to use Lila Tuellers Eden by Moda (as you can see) and so have been wondering what to use as the backing.  At first I was going to use the Dahlias, then I thought about using Paradise but since having got the jelly roll, I'm absolutely loving the dots.  If only there was some way of making a removable backing then I'd make a backing in all the different varieties LOL.  I'm so looking forward to spending a little time each day embroidering my Birdie Stitches quilt.

To see what everyone else is up close and personal to visit My Creative Space.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

My Creative Space

The boys have taken Daddy to the museum today so someone else has been featuring rather largely in my creative space today.  So here is my collaborative assistant taking you on a tour of a couple of the crafty genres we have sampled so far today...

Firstly, to the kitchen for cooking:

One small spoon for cake...

One giant spoon for Chloe-kind!

Next stop, the dining room for a bit of painting fun (and to try out the new Dora art smock)...

Finally we head to the front room for some serious discussion on what sewing project to tackle today...

So what shall we make... a dress, a top, a skirt.... and what colour???  I guess I'll just have to wait for the creative assistant to get back from morning tea...

or maybe, I might just join her!!!!

And do join us at kootoyoo for My Creative Space today...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

My Creative Space

All last year, every Thursday in fact, I would watch as post after post in my reader would pop up saying "My Creative Space".  And every Thursday I would want to join in but didn't.  How silly is that!!!  My excuse to myself always was "I don't have a creative space yet".  I can't really use that excuse any more because I do have a creative space now.  So one must jump in feet first don't you think.

At the moment I'm giving the sewing machines a rest.  My Creative Space currently revolves around this:

I scored this cute little dolls high chair from a swap meet a couple of weekends ago for $3.  Granted it was a horrible green/black colour but I'm slowly turning it white.  The top picture shows the way it sort of folds in half to become a table and chair.  It works in theory but not quite in practise, who ever cut the legs in half didn't do a particularly good job so they are all uneven and it wobbles terribly and the high chair tray is too long so it pushes the chair up when its been flipped over to the back.  So I'm going to restore it to its intended purpose as just a high chair.  And although its only half painted in these pictures, the whole chair is now white and its been broken down into its various parts ready to be carefully put back together.

Its a slow process though... the chair keeps disappearing.  Fortunately I don't have to look too far for it, Chloe will be off somewhere feeding her dolls.  They don't seem to be in the least bit concerned about the colour or state of disrepair.

Do pop along and join in My Creative Space, don't be a silly sausage like me and put it off... and off... and off!!!

I have a little secret to share with you...

I have not one, not two but three children going off to school this year.  Granted Chloe will only be at kindy 2 days a week but they will be two full days.  Alex will be in pre-primary full time and Samuel of course being in Year 3 this year is also fulltime.

So whats the secret?  Secretly, I'm so relieved... yes, relieved.  Not happy (although I'm happy that school holidays are almost over and the end of the fighting and whining and carry on), not excited (well maybe a bit LOL) but relieved.  Do you know that feeling after a long days work when you get home and sort of fall into your favourite chair cuddling your favourite cushion and at the same time exhaling?  That's very much how I imagine my first day home alone to be.

Of course, I fully expect to miss them terribly and I'll definitely miss my little shopping buddy.  After all who else will drag me off too Bed, Bath and Table and The Body Shop if not Chloe.  But I also think about all the things that I want to do... sewing, cooking, sorting, organising, gardening.  Yes they are all things that can be done with kids around, so many people do these very things day in, day out with their own children around and manage marvellously.  I'm the sort of person that becomes very focussed on a task though and I find interruptions throw me totally so I guess I'm looking forward to being able to throw myself into things completely for a few hours a day. 

But February is going to be a very lonely month this year because not only are the kids heading off to school but hubby is off to site for three weeks as well from the 1st of Feb!!!  Gosh, I'm not going to know myself.  So one project that I especially want to do while he is away is the Negroni Shirt by Colette Patterns.  As an added bonus there is a sew along happening for this shirt which by amazing coincidence also starts on the 1st of Feb.  It's fate I tell you!!!  So the fabric has been ordered from Fabric Tales and should be winging its way to me as I type and I've got the pattern so now all I have to do is wait patiently for 1 Feb.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I love a sunburnt country...

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror -
The wide brown land for me!

Dorothea Mackellar OBE


I feel privileged to live in the country that I do.  Its a land of great richness and natural beauty.  But it is also a land of stark contrast and the richness and beauty of the land comes at a price.  As Dorothea Mackellar penned so many years ago, so it is today, a land of droughts and flooding rains.  Here in Western Australia we are experiencing drought conditions and 9 homes have been lost to fire just south of where I used to live and grew up.  On the other side of the country, our fellow Australian's in Queensland are being devastated by torrential rains and flash flooding - flooding which is sweeping away everything in its path, cars, houses, livestock, crops and people.

The Australian crafting/sewing/blogging community is as always quick to react when our fellow countrymen are in need and now is no exception.  Make It Perfect are currently running an auction event starting on Monday 17th January with all monies being donated to the relief efforts in Queensland.  Are you able to donate something to the auction?  Maybe your talent is more with the purchasing of items?  Even if you can only spare a dollar or two I urge you from the bottom of my heart to donate to the Premier's Flood Relief Appeal (and if your donation is $5 or more pop over to Ric-Rac for the raffle she is setting up).

Australia, for all her beauty, richness and rewards, is a harsh and exacting mistress but we as Australians are stronger...