Thursday, December 23, 2010

(fragrantless) trees and cloves and johnny...

This year's tree is the real mccoy. Pint sized but still alive. I'm hoping to bonsai it thereafter. It's not as fragrant as I hoped it would be. But then again, I've lucked out in the past buying ceiling sweeping chopped tress that are of some inobviously different and pineless smelling variety. Also, this one has droopy branches that can only handle light weight decorations, so we have reinstated the driftwood one from last year (as a kind of double act) with the added bonus that the kids get to do their own thing and make one of them look ugly. Seen as I have been making jute stars and stockings I decided to sit the tree pot a plastic bag inside a coffee bean sack as well. And I'm remembering to water it.

Some hungry stockings hanging and other decorations strewn around the house by the kids...

I have also made these small hand embroidered decorations to stuff with wool and cloves to give as gifts. In case other people have rip off neutral smelling trees and so we still get to enjoy the smell of Christmas. I guess there is always cinnamon and brandy and almond too and beer and barbeques and.... who needs the pine really?
Anyhow, leaving you today with 'The Man in Black'. It's Ok to laugh.
Merry Christmas peeps - have a goodie x

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

ho ho ho hat

ho hum... bah humbug... I don't care...
Ho ho He he look at me
"me more cherry!!!!!"

The kids were harping on about a Father Xmas hat.
I hate acrylic felt - so I made one out of red linen triangle (50cm base, 45cms high) cut on the bias (diagonal grain of fabric) with a side seam down the back + some white cotton ribbing (50x 7 cms) + a doodacky pom pom me wipith upith.
It's solstice tonight. So I think I might
go have a beer outside, while its still light.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

above the red verandah - STORE

Under the red Verandah is running a store upstairs (Above the red verandah!)
where you will find a choice selection of art, textiles and vintage goods.
Entry is thru the big red door down the side of the cafe on Tancred St.
Open every day 9-4 until Christmas. (artwork and floral brooches by Brooke Georgia)
It's bustling and merry and full of heaps of wonderful Christmas gifts.
(Mandy's been cooking up a storm downstairs and is stocking a wide range of her ever popular sauces, jams chutneys as well as chocolates UTRV t-shirts, funky tea towels + more!
There's a little mamaGhomemade thrown in for good measure as well as a whole host of other product by talented artists and designers.

Emma has also sourced a selection of second hand vintage goodies for fans of unprocurables.
and made these geometric books...
There are quite a few decorations, stockings and the like to adorn your home.

In the words of James Brown... Get on down and get on up! (or visa versa)

Monday, December 6, 2010

needing to knead

We have another bug on the go for our sourdough. And a budding and bossy apprentice... amazing is that technique of hers! - she's totally putting her back into it and giving it all she's got.
I'm loving the age they get to when you can start teaching them how to do it themselves.
The bread is coming along nicely too.
I'm finding these two books the most helpful and inspiring.
I will happily donate some starter to anyone wanting a low maintenance (and edible) pet and a new healthy hobby... sing out or miss out. X

Thursday, November 25, 2010

coffee sack decorations

I've been playing around with burlap coffee bean sacks - making over sized decorations -
during which I even used a protractor for the first time since high school!

The ginormous five point star came to me in a flash of inspiration was made with a few tips from here. The rest of the process was guided by gut feeling and the added benefit of having no sprogs around offering to "help".
If you are keen to do something similar - it goes a little something like this...
80 cm radius (the average length I could get out of one side of each coffee sack) with 2 pencils and a piece of string and/or a measuring tape to form the circumference. A whopping 1.6 metre diameter...
Pattern folded in four to make a cross and center the protractor...
72 degrees x 5 star points...
Join points to get intersections, cut out petal shapes and use as pattern for burlap and canvas interfacing. Baste interfacing inside seam allowance before sewing up, leaving hole to stuff.
Skuzzy op shop pillow inners are practically free and make for perfect filling.

The star is a little too big to hang anywhere inside the house without it being a hazard. I thought about putting it outside, suspended under the pear tree - only it'll get rained on and rot. See those lovely angles... the wonderful symmetry and awesome accuracy...cabinetry and boat building just might follow.
The sprogs are requesting more of the stockings. I suspect that has less to do with craft and aesthetic appreciation than it has to do with their intended function and fill-ability a month from now. Ho Ho Ho kiddo.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

wool gauze singlet

Beetroot wool gauze.
Slippery and prone to fraying quickly after it's cut.
In hindsight I wished I'd used 'french seams'.
I used pinking shears and zigzag instead.
The bias binding kept loosing its shape and needed to be re-cut much wider.
But it drapes beautifully and is slightly transparent which is elegant and cool to wear.
It has pretty gathers through the front and simple neat shoulder seams.
I adapted the pattern by shortening it to just below the waist with a curved hem.
Adapted from this dress pattern form my favourite Japanese sewing book.

Friday, November 19, 2010

today - I (re) learnt....

That my sometime confidence belies a great deal of shyness.
That just looking at lemons makes me feel healthier.

That I must get back into that habit of having half a lemon squeezed into a glass of water every morning upon rising - it feels so good.
That one bottle of Lemonade is too much in the bellies of a 2 and 3 year old and should be shared - not one each (or they will burp endlessly and won't eat their lunch)
That on a hot day, a mac's pilsner straight from the fridge is a very good idea.
That drinking said beer under the sprinkler is an even better idea.
That cut-up milk containers make for the best tiered fountain.
That hummus always looks best in a wooden bowl with paprika sprinkled on top.
That porridge doesn't look so good 6 hours after it was made, but the kid will still eat it.
That cacti look great in german pottery.
That bottle brush are quite christmassy.
That stainless dutch water pitchers by stelton and travel cups are beauty to behold. (I'm collecting them.)
That the kids are going through a growth spurt not unlike the beans and every time I turn away and look back again they have shot up some more.