Friday, July 30, 2010

awaiting inspiration

I happened across this beautiful voile at global the other day. Half price!
Also fortuitously some cotton cord in a complementory magenta/shocking pink tone.
Just enough to make a loose summer blouse for the wee lady, with a drawstring in a cowl neck or something...Hhmmm... off to the drawing board.

It does seem rather Kandinsky inspired.
The flowers are from my Mum, who works part time in a plant nursery. I am the lucky recipent of the odd bouquet of rejected blooms, which I noticed perfectly echo the colours of the fabric.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

70's simplicity

This pattern was published by Simplicity the same year I was born.
I pulled it down from my stack of cut outs ready in waiting, and made it up in this delightful (also 70's) fabric from that (SSsshhh, it's a secret) junkshop Mayfield.
I had a spot of difficulty sewing the pointed yolk to the dress front. It was very fiddly, but I threw caution to the wind, put my foot down on the peddle and went for it (top stitching away the unevenness as much as possible). I reckon that back in the day, it wouldn't have been considered very clever to 'wing it,' and precision, knowledge and technique were of the up most importance. I guess back then, we had a few tricks up our sewing sleeves, so to speak, and were generally more experienced sewers and the patterns of the day seem to reflect this.
The bow at the back lends a lovely party dress look.
She keeps talking to the dog on the front...
and is mesmerized by the graphics of pigs and bikes, flowers and little hobo folk.
I think I picked this pattern up from an op shop for about 50 cents.
Yay for cheap successes, even if you do have to 'wing it' on the odd occasion.

Friday, July 23, 2010

favourite things #2

I am an op shop whore to the core, and an eco consciousness lass too, but I still have the tendency to go weak in the knees for things of exquisite hand crafted beauty, usually procured at considerable expense.

So, in appreciation for hand crafted finery, made to the highest quality and standards...
here are a few acquisitions that are making my heart sing...
Paton's delicious crepe wool. $7 a ball.
Long lasting quality, smooth finish and less likely to pill than ordinary 4 ply.
Knits like butter on a pair of steel needles.
Why would I ever knit with anything else again?
Shown here in a deep slate grey/ liquorice. A spring Cardigan for the wee lass.
Issac Ibbotson earrings. Sterling silver forged and beaten to perfection. A birthday gift from my man. Available here. I am an earring addict and since the arrival of this pair, several months ago, all my other pairs have been relegated to the back of my drawer.
I have several pieces made by Issac. They are contemporary takes on timeless classics.
His swamp Kauri rings are quite something to behold.
Deep mahogany brown oiled biker boots.
Handmade in Italy by these folk.
The anatomy of this boot is exceptional. Balanced yet edgy. Modern straps fastened with stainless studs and slightly Victorianesque with the curved edge detail on the toe cap. They are my new ten year pair of boots (that's how long my last pair lasted me) and I'm planning on getting at least that out of these gorgeous puppies.
An expedited lay-by from here.
Much could be said about attempts to reverse the trend of cheap, toxic and badly designed and disposable purchases, and efforts to support businesses whose ethos is built on sustainability. But, there is never any moral high ground on such matters and so I try to simplify the dilemma by sticking to these rules...

Never buy on impulse. Question the need. Consider longevity. Where possible it ought to be maintainable and repairable. Function before form (but only just!) Buy once and buy right (within your means).

After all, there is nothing quite like the smell of a long loved piece of leather and the characteristics of metal worn smooth over time. Patinas that develop given the chance. A measured materialism, with an heirloom approach.
What are your favourite things?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

school hols- a retrospective

The school holidays finished two days ago and once again (perhaps thankfully) there is the reinstated and familiar routine of early wake up, drop off, regimented nap times, kindy, pick ups etc

But I do love the school holidays. I really miss the big boy (who has been at school for nearly a year now). Though, I'm not particularly good at organizing myself during the holidays, and more often than not, I am prompted by other mum's ideas of ideal outings and get togethers.

I'm not sure I have the stamina for full time events coordinating and the intensification of 'doing' a million and one things and paying through the nose for it all. They make their own fun most of the time, so I can continue having mine! (that's not technically neglect is it?)

We did host play dates and we were guests at others. We made huts and ice blocks and went for a ride on the tram. We train spotted, and there was a session of kiddy yoga too.
But mostly breakfasts dragged out into lunch times and lunches into another round of snacks. Boredom came in the form of cuddling and reading on the couch, for hours, like blobby lounge lizards.

The days all rolled into one ...and the play dough into the carpet.

I took 3 boys to the movies to see Toy Story 3 (tho prey tell why must we be subjected to half an hour of unsolicited crappy trailers before the movie has even begun? They didn't even seem age appropriate. And we ran to get there in record time, trying not to be late, and had one kid fall over and eat concrete in the rush time for said crappy trailers) It was schmaltzy and cliche but its pixar and it is good.

We had a vomit bug... eeeerr... yellow bile. Enough said.

The highlight of the holidays had to be visiting the local lock shop and seeing the vaults, safes, electric key pads and trying our hand (and ears) on the manual combination dials. There were also photos of safes after burglars had tried unsuccessfully to break into them with blow torches etc ...the boys were fascinated to no end.
Obviously there is always a lot of craft. Boxes strewn everywhere and sellotape galore. A house decked out like a mid winter christmas tree.

After watching Mary Poppins (we must be nearing the 100 mark) we thought of the hungry birds outside "tuppence for the birds" so we made birdie biscuit treats.
Chop stick perches poked in take away coffee cups,
match sticks tied with string to hold the mixture in muffin cups once it sets,
the unbearable smell of animal fat wafting through the house for too long afterwards.
The strategic positioning of treats within birds reach in the familiar old pear tree down the back of yard.
And the medals we made and awarded ourselves, for being funny people and tolerating each other, and for living in each others pockets as best we can, in a small house that by the end of the holidays began to feel as if it was closing in on us all.
Mine is the mother hen one, of course.

Monday, July 12, 2010

quick shop update

Donkey Pants in camel corduroy with vintage fabric pockets
size 3-4
Donkey Pants in navy corduroy with pink polka dots
size 3-4
Lazy Daze skirt in charming seersucker fabric
size 3-5
Take a squizz at these and many more listed on my shop...

New stock uploaded for your perusal on a regular basis.
Overseas customers can pay by pay pal.
New Zealand customers can pay via internet banking.
Feel free to email me with any custom orders or queries.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

regular guy

This 'regular guy beanie' pattern from ravelry, comes well recommended by its members.
For those of you who aren't already a member and like to knit and crochet (and especially like the idea of free patterns)... do sign up. It's a really great resource and you get the added benefit of being able to learn from other peoples mistakes, as each of the patterns are reviewed with feed back etc

I did however adapt the pattern by adding an extra inch to the length before I decreased.
Nothing worse than hats too short and not at least half covering the ears.
Even still, it fits the smallest guy it wasn't even intended for, in a cute baggy kind of way.
A good snug fit for the mister tho.
The wool is paton jet (double knit) just like Melissa's

I think this would be a good first hat for someone at a confident beginners level, wanting a new challenge. Don't be afraid of using 4 double pointed needles and working in the round.
The difficulty is not in the complexity of the pattern but in the way you hold your work.
Taking it easy and slowly will overcome this... and anything else life throws your way!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

fresh milk

Early yesterday morning, the Curry family very kindly took us out to a friends farm, where they and two other families cow-share a jersey called Sandy.

We had a go milking her with our bare hands and then listened as the electric milker (made from converted parts of an old tractor) whirled away.

Full respect to Sandy, who at the time was technically 'tandem nursing' as she was also in calf.

There was something wonderfully warm and delicious about the whole experience from teat to
tall glass.
not forgetting the beautiful barn...
the light lending a cathedral like drama
a bone dry wood pile
stables littered with straw
getting fatter geese
the little boy and a big toy
the somehow captivating corrugated iron....
a lamp post shadow
and paint peeling from sign referencing Scotland.
Ti's the good life for sure.

Friday, July 2, 2010

cut it out

Sometimes the prospect of a sit down sewing session seems like too much hard work, to intensive and requiring too much attention to detail. It's on lazy days like these when I cut out a million things instead. Then the layers of fabric and tissue sit staked on top of one another, shelved until I feel more energized and purposeful.

Other days I feel the urge to sew, but are indecisive about what exactly to commit to, which makes it more convenient to have spent these lazier days lining up projects that are all ready and good to go. Beginning can be the hardest part right?

Shelved for days when I have more drive, are the following..
A backpack with HARD WEAR...yeah!
in this laminate by Nani Iro and contrast linen by Etsuko Furuya from these folks
50's fabric from Jan Howden at the Mayfield junk shop.... SSSsshhh its a secret.
and again, good for girlie summer smocks etc

And a duvet cover for the wee lass,- which I was persuaded into, having a little too much pink in it for my liking, which I am hoping I will be able to over look in favour of the minty/mustard tones.