Sunday, 30 March 2008

She's Back

Hey check out my younger and very talented poetic sister, Alexandra. She's back with a new blog that I'm sure will be brimming with poetic delights. Here she is with her latest creation, she's a good baby maker too!

Tower of colour

I'm back from Sydney! Had a super time with my family. All too quick and so sad to leave again. My boys were happy to see the girls back though.

Here is Henry's leaning tower of Cuisenaire rods that I found this morning at a church garage sale. Cool hey!

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

We're coming........

Very soon (Friday afternoon) Phoebe and I are flying over to Sydney for 6 days of family goodness. I'm getting excited. Although, the pile of what to take is huuuuge! So packing will be a little scary on the way over and hopefully lighter on the way back - but hey, I can cope with a heavy sticker on my bag!

Beware though, as cute as she looks, she's a minx and a half. Just today I found her sitting in my sewing chair ripping up a brand new paper pattern piece. Agggghhh! Later this afternoon, she managed to empty the contents of the very full white vintage button container all over the floor. She's a really good climber and she can sniff out choc. Look out!

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Just chatting

This morning I was having a chat with a neighbour two doors down. Somewhere in the conversation I mentioned sewing and straight away her ears pricked up and she asked me whether I smocked. I've always loved smocking. My Grandmother Mars, did beautiful smocking for us when we were children, and even for my children she has done some pieces. I would love to give it a go, but at the moment my plate is full - overflowing really. So it will have to wait. Anyway, long winded I know, Vib said she had many smocking books from her mother that she would love to give to a good home. And a smocking pleater!
She arrived at my doorstep shortly after with her trolley laden with goods - a huge container full of smocking books, children's patterns from 1950's up, some Enid Gilchrist books, some sewing books, embroidery threads and a gorgeous button container with many, many vintage buttons all colour coded. I can't tell you how much my heart is singing at the moment. I'm excited!

Friday, 14 March 2008

Forever in blue jeans

Yes, that is a really cool Neil Diamond song. Sad, I know, as I'm in my early thirties! Anyway, I didn't make blue jeans, but I did make a denim pini. Cute as. I haven't sewn a garment in denim before - I leave that to Ksubi, Sass and Bide (pronounced like that thing that washes your bot bot) and Lee - but I wanted to make this pini for Phoebe out of denim, so I did. I'm a denim convert. It's good to sew.

I know you will be all shocked to know that Phoebe - surprise, surprise - don't like! I was telling my Mum this, this morning and I think she thinks it's a bit of history repeated. When I was about 3 should bought me a very cool yellow dress made out of shiny plastic stuff. She loved it, I hated it! It was actually cool beyond cool for the 70's. A piece a fashionista of today would pull out for her child to wear - were there fashionista's in the 70's? Anyway, Mum said she used to bribe me to wear it. Funny, as I had just finished bribing Phoebe into the above to measure the elastic for the back. It cost me 2 freckles!

I like it, she will wear it. It will look cute with a stripey skivvy and red and white spotted leggings. The chocolate is in the pantry ready, Phoebe!

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Sweet Birdy

I've caged the bird........

Monday, 10 March 2008

A Flirty Skirty

On the weekend I whipped up this little navy blue skirt for Phoebe. I wanted to embellish it so I got out the bedazzler and made it all sparkly. No I didn't! I don't have a bedazzler. Just wanted to see if you actually read these posts! No, really I wanted to stitch some goodness into it, so this is what I've done so far.

Stitching is very therapeutic, the possibilities for design are endless - well, if your brain allows it! I love starting something and watching it evolve, change and continue for as long as you desire.
I'm not sure were I'm headed with this, but you can see from the middle shot that I had to have that Liberty birdy in there. I'll probably add some branches and flowers as well. Phoebe should like the butterfly or flies as she calls them.

Friday, 7 March 2008

Stash and Dash

These, at the moment, are my favourite thing to make. I made them for the boys teachers for Christmas last year and they all loved them. I made a few for family for Christmas. And now I'm just making them. I love the different fabric combination that you can use, combinations that you know the recipient will love. Here's one I made today for a girlfriend. It's the blue one. The pink one is mines! I have to admit, I omitted the interfacing on this one for reasons even I don't know and I shouldn't have. But I will move on!

The blue is made from Amy Butler's Ivory Coriander and Sis Boom's Aqua Paisley. The pink is Amy's Pink Coriander and Denise Schmidt's something from her Flea Market Fancy range.


Oooooh, I love a bit of cake. Oooooh, cake. Oooooh, cake. Cake. Cake. Cake. Cake. I'm just one of these people. I come home and I need a piece of cake.

Here is my foolproof, best Birthday cake, double it if you want, never use a packet cake 'cause this is so easy, always get asked for the recipe, chocolate cake - Marjorie Dawe would love it!

1 3/4 cups self raising flour

1 1/4 cups sugar

1/2 cup cocoa

1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

125g butter, melted

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

Butter and flour a 25 cm round or savarin tin. Preheat oven to 180 (where's the degrees key?) degrees celsius. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, bicarb and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the melted butter, milk and vanilla and beat for 2 minutes (you can make this by hand). Add the eggs and beat for a further 2 minutes. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake on the centre shelf of the oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until the centre comes out clean. Turn the cake out onto a wire rack to cool. Ice and eat. And rant. Oooooo cake. Cake, cake, cake.

Notes: I sometimes double this recipe to make a big one for Birthdays. I do the same as above, but if I find that the top is cooking too quickly i.e burning, I place some foil on top and lower to about 160 -170 degrees C.

I usually dress this baby up with normal choc butter icing. Which is:-

1 1/2 cups icing sugar, sifted

1 1/2 tablespoons soft butter

1 1/2 tablespoons quality cocoa

a pinch of salt

1 to 2 tablespoons boiling water

Add everything except the water, mix, add hot water slowly to get desired consistency.

I got this recipe from a Vogue Entertaining 1996. Love it. I do have a couple of other great Choc cake recipes, for rich days. If you want these just ask.

O.K. I'm off to eat dust. And for those of you, who do know who Marjorie is, do yourself a favour and watch this..................

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Crochet Hoke Tote

My for me project is done!

These little fingers like it. She was a little partial to that bamboo crochet hook!

Got to be quick!
Done. Just got to find all my crochet hooks now.

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark!

'Tis fit for a little lady?

Mmmm. Perhaps a little more Shakespearean then I would desire!

On completion of this little smock (remember, I had to alter the collar to fit around the yoke), well, I managed to get this onto Phoebe and it's huge! The collar is way out near her shoulders. Funny, it was the yoke that was incorrect after all. I wasn't to know, but it's a lesson learnt. If I do another attempt, I will need to alter the yoke piece. It's much larger in the pattern picture. I just assumed that they weren't into drawing to scale pre 1966! Below is a picture of the liberty detail of the yoke - it's subtle, you'll only be able to see it as she runs through the meadows, collecting butterflies with her Mummy made butterfly catcher!

Saturday, 1 March 2008

Dream a little dream with me.....

How hot is this? I likey a lot! Actually, it comes in other fun colours, like a deep turquoise. I really like that one. Of course, it's French - made by a company called Moissonnier. It's not on my wish list, it's on my dream list! And whilst I'm on my dream list....I'll keep going and have one of these large rooms and these gorgeous Designers Guild lovelies.