Saturday, 27 April 2013

Sock Bunny

In the washing basket...where socks are frequently found!
Around Easter time I showed Zoe these cute sock bunnies from Lil Blue Boo. While we were far too busy to even think about one during Easter, Zoe whipped up this little cutie during the week!

The tutorial uses knee high socks. However, as Australia is still enjoying warm weather (yes - even in Autumn!), when we looked for knee high socks the only ones to be found were a pair of black ones. Neither Zoe or I were keen on a black sock bunny (where's the fun in that?), so we opted for some stripey crew socks from Kmart (great value - about $5 for three or four pairs of socks. Don't I have a fabulous memory?!).

Anyhoo, isn't this bunny cute? Using knee high socks would make it's legs longer, but it is still fine proportionately.

As the winter socks begin to roll in to the stores here we might come across some happy knee high socks to make a few more. They were quick and easy (and Eli has started telling everyone - except Zoe -  that Zoe is going to make him a sock bunny. I think he wants a sock bunny!).

So, if you see any happy, good value knee high socks in Australia please let me know!

And Sew On

This is my April block for the And Sew On BOM (aptly named Snip It Real Good) hosted by Kristy.  I really enjoy these monthly blocks!

Follow the link to have a look at some more Snip It Real Good blocks!

Friday, 26 April 2013

Blocks In And Out

I recently participated in a scrap vomit swap. I sent 49 squares that measured 2.5" x 2.5" to five people and I will receive 5 lots in return.  The idea is that 'ugly' fabric (hence the title of 'vomit'!) is unnoticed amongst all the other small squares of fabric that make up the block. This is such a great way to use up scraps! The original scrap vomit quilt can be credited to Katy of I'm A Ginger Monkey. I am really enjoying these and love that they (surprisingly!) come together very quickly.
Scrap Vomit squares sewn up into a block.

I received this beautiful star from Ann who lives in Nova Scotia.
Look at the lovely fabric -  it reminds me of the beautiful winter photos that Ann shared. 


And these are some pinwheels that need to be trimmed and will then be on their way to Rose who is the Queen Bee this month. The photos don't show up the colours very well, so just to clarify, the blocks are sewn up in red, aqua and white!
The next two blocks feature some Sew Stitchy by Aneela Hoey.

I think I might pop these under the iron one last time before sending them off!

Water Beads and The Three Little Pigs

We have been having some fun with water beads! Eli will spend ages scooping up the beads and pouring them from one container into another. Whenever we have visitors with young children I'll usually pop some water beads in a tub the day before they come. It's a great activity that every child loves (because it involves water!) and is a fabulous tactile experience for them. For younger children, it also provides a good 'parallel play' experience where sharing is not really required (just make sure you have at least one scoop for each child!) but everyone still has fun. Packets of water beads are pretty economical at about $2.50 each. I usually purchase mine online from ebay, though they are probably easily available from florists.

We play with the water beads for 3 or 4 days and then we find that they are starting to get to the end of their life. Leave them too long and they will start to get a bit smelly (probably because they are biodegradable)!

Water beads usually come in clear or opaque. We prefer the clear and have tried a variety of colours (even rainbow!).

So, if you have youngsters and haven't tried water beads yet, have a play!

While the older children were at school Eli and I recently enjoyed making a stained glass window picture. We read the story of The Three Little Pigs and then started our artwork. We took a piece of clear contact, peeled off the back and stuck on house and a pig cut out of black cardboard. Then we covered the rest of the contact in pieces of coloured cellophane.

The contact is quite sticky and there were a few moments where Eli had seven fingers stuck down or the entire piece of contact was suddenly waving around in the air, but it was lots of fun! It looks great stuck up on a window where the light can shine through it.

The trickiest part of this project was cutting out the pig (yes - it is a pig!). You will note that I didn't cut out three pigs for good reason!

Friday, 19 April 2013

Beetle Bug

Eli was absolutely thrilled when Zoe made him this Beetle Bug from a book that she and I both love. It is called Softies: 22 Friends for You to Sew, Knit and Crochet. It has been around for a number of years (in fact, there is now at least one other book as a follow up - sort of a 'volume two'!), but I just haven't got around to posting about it.
If you are interested in making some softies with a bit of quirkiness, cuteness or originality then this is the book for you! It is exactly the type of book that public libraries love, so you probably don't even need to purchase your own copy!

The book is beautifully laid out and the instructions are very clear.
I hope to share some more projects from the book that we have enjoyed making, but for now this is Mad Dog that Jed made a few years ago.
What do you think? So ugly he's cute?

Sweet Drawstring Bag

I decided to make Lily a little drawstring bag after seeing this one from s.o.t.ak handmade. It was the perfect opportunity to use this sweet retro inspired fabric (though I love The Big Apple range by Benartex that Svetlana used!). I adore the hula hooping children and was thrilled when Lily gave her approval for me to make her something with it (no pinks or extremely girly fabrics for her!).

I teamed it up with a retro red floral and am very pleased with how it turned out. So pleased in fact that I have pulled two more fabric combinations from my stash to make some more. I had hoped to have made a few items in preparation for Christmas this year, but have not added anything. Two little drawstring bags would be perfect for the Christmas box.

The tutorial  made a slightly bigger bag with a strap. As I only had a small piece of the hula hoop fabric (about a fat quarter) I omitted the strap and used the following measurements for a finished bag of 9.5" x 10".

Exterior: 2 rectangles 10" x 12"
Lining:   2 rectangles 10" x 12"
Casing:  2 rectangles  3" x 8.5"
Ties:      2 strips 2" x 30"

Once you have your fabric cut, it is a very quick project to put together (made even quicker if you have your iron close by!). Svetlana's tutorial is wonderful - clear, easy to follow instructions with great photos of each step.

Zoe hasn't seen the bag yet - I am anticipating a request for one for her. Girls collect lots of treasures and are always in need of somewhere to safely keep them!

I think these would also make beautiful birthday treat bags!

Monday, 1 April 2013

Tea Towel Parade

I recently enjoyed a post from Blue Mountain Daisy where Rachael shared some of her lovely tea towels. I found myself making little comments to myself out loud things like "oooh, that's cute" and "how lovely!". I like a good tea towel. One that is not only functional (and actually absorbs the water while drying dishes - I love linen!), but has a bit of personality as well. But I don't like paying an exorbitant amount of money for them either. I think that's why I love vintage and retro tea towels - they tend to satisfy all three of my requirements.

So, here are some of my tea towels in all their natural splendour (which means they haven't been ironed!).

What's a retro tea towel parade without a little brown?
Yes - I have tried the recipe and it's not bad!
This Women's Weekly tea towel is non standard size, but I love it!
 A bit of nature (not that I have been to Hervey Bay in Queensland).
Some Australiana (I haven't been to the Desert Oaks Resort in Erdunda, Northern Territory either, but I thank them for their tea towel!).
 Now, just a reminder that these are not ironed (I don't want you fainting with shock!).
Sticking with the Australiana theme with some native animals.
 A bit of Christmas linen. Very scrunched - just keeping it real!
And then there's this guy. Organised, neat, clean, composed and it looks like he's just had another inspirational food idea. This is the only chef that lives at our house by the way!
 One of my favourites - simply butterflies.
 Something slightly Western Australian - the Sturt Pea is actually South Australia's state floral emblem (ours is the Kangaroo Paw). However, as South Australia shares a border with Western Australia and the printing says Greetings from Balladonia, Western Australia (another place I haven't been to and it's unlikely I ever will), it's Western Australian enough from me. Because I need to be a bit more laid back about some things!
Yet another place I haven't visited, but almost did (sort of). Back when we only had half as many children as we do now, Tim and I looked at job opportunities overseas. Jersey was a possibility, but as it turned out, the closest we got to moving there was a few hours spent online looking at the local real estate, Jersey's proximity to Europe and tourist sites as promoted by I'm sure that Jersey is far more attractive than the photos on my tea towel!
 And another of my favourites. This one continues to be well loved - look closely and you can see some little holes from all the love! I bought this Save the Children tea towel 15 years ago when the school at which I was teaching embarked on a fundraiser for the Save the Children fund. They also sold enamel pins in the variety of children shown on the tea towel. Whilst the purple is not quite as vibrant as it once was, it is still such a happy tea towel (and sometimes a bit of extra happiness is needed in the kitchen!).
Most of my tea towels have been found in op shops over the years, though a few of them also came from my mum's linen cupboard (she'll probably recognise them if she sees this post and will probably say something like "I wondered where those went!").

So, do you have any unusual, interesting or favourite tea towels?
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