Monday, October 31, 2011

'made by me' monday {1}

Hello! I hope you all had a lovely weekend. This weekend I worked at the shop on both Saturday and Sunday along with my friend the lovely Miss Amanda. We spent our working hours in raptures over the new 'Etchings' range by 3 Sisters for Moda which arrived in the shop on Friday. What stunningly gorgeous fabric! As fast as we were cutting it into kits and packs, people were buying them. It truly is a beautiful range, and in three days we have almost sold out of it.

I have always wanted to try dressmaking, or at least specifically to try my hand at making some skirts, and so I have put some of this fabric away for two skirts, one in the greys and another in the lovely aqua colour. Hopefully there will be a post on that soon!

Speaking of things I have made or am planning to make, I thought I would like to have a 'made by me' monday series of posts showing things I have made in the past, or current WIPs and UFOs that finally become FOs! Kind of a way of keeping some photos together in one place and documenting them for posterity!

One of the things I used to do is pottery. I actually took weekly one-on-one classes for five years with an amazing teacher and for that period of time I loved it, and my skills became pretty good. I LOVED working on the wheel; the feeling of moulding and shaping the clay and creating a form simply by the pressure of my hand, and the excitement as something grew and took shape - and the occasional disappointment of it collapsing in a heap! I now have a lovely collection of bowls and vases which I cherish, and my family have lots of different bits and pieces that I made over this period.

These are a few pieces that I have made:

After five years of classes, I decided to take a break for a month or two. In fact, it was 12 months before I felt ready to pick it up again, by which time my fantastic teacher had unfortunately moved away. Sadly, I have not felt the urge to take it up again since; nonetheless, I have found that I can now achieve the same creative satisfaction in other areas, particularly in my sewing, and although precious little of that has been happening lately, I hope to have something to show again soon.

Have a lovely week all, and Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

'working on' wednesday {1}

... in other words, my works in progress that are currently on the go.

I have a few WIPs at the moment, and the progress part seems to be going very slowly! I do find though that my creativity, or at least the actual doing part of my creativity, seems to come in cycles. I find that for a period of time, two or three months usually, that I get really into my craft work (whether or not this means much actually gets finished could be an entirely different matter!) and then I find I do very little for a few weeks. Am I the only one who finds creativity runs like this, or do you find that it happens to you too?

Anyway, here is my first 'working on' wednesday project, a granny-stripe blanket, inspired by the wonderfully talented Lucy at Attic 24. In fact, I had never really learned how to crochet before, but once I started reading Lucy's blog I was inspired to learn and taught myself. This blanket was an early attempt to practice my crochet and I started it in acrylic wool. I wish now I had used pure wool, but I'm sure there is another granny-stripe blanket somewhere in my future which will be wool - and probably in different colours. I do love the colours in this one though for autumn or winter. This one is 3/4 finished, and hopefully will actually be finished in time to be able to use it for next autumn!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

happy thoughts on thursday{1}..... excited!

Hello! Today I thought I would start a 'happy thoughts on Thursday' series as a way of feeling gratitude and appreciation for something that has happened during the week, or for a beautiful photo, or quote, or poem or..... well, you get the idea.

So, over the last week I have felt not just excited, but very grateful and blessed to have received some gorgeous gifts (and it's not even my birthday), and the prizes from two lovely blog giveaways I won recently.

Last Thursday evening (my goodness, where did the week go?!) I had dinner with my gorgeous 19 year old niece (19?! my goodness, where did the YEARS go?!!) and she gave me this lovely little wallhanging which she bought for me, just because she thought I would like it. And I do, I LOVE it.

On Tuesday I met for breakfast with my friends, the lovely Miss Amanda and the lovely Kylie (both of whom I work with at the quilt shop) and Kylie's utterly adorably sweet daughter Cameron. Whilst we were there, Amanda gave me this gorgeous Cath Kidston book which was very kind of her. I know many of us feel a bit of 'Cath Kidston Love' and actually, it turned into a bit of a Cath Kidston week, as you will see.....

I still had a book shop gift voucher from last Christmas which I finally got around to using and I got - you guessed it - a Cath Kidston book, 'Patch!', which I think is a new one. I also bought a Penguin Books 'Pride and Prejudice' mug, which I plan to use for pens and pencils on my desk.

My first giveaway prize which arrived this week and was won on Ballarat Patchwork's Scrap Bag blog, was a kit for this pretty selvedge bag - thank you Emma.

The second was received from Crafty Mermaid, a parcel of sweet goodies which included a Cath Kidston bag which was made from a kit by the obviously-very-talented Ms Crafty Mermaid herself and also some of her pretty handmade cards. It also included a candle and some little kiwi bird fridge magnets which are a cute memento of New Zealand, along with a very nice hand-written note in one of her cards. THANK YOU Ms Crafty Mermaid for your very generous gifts!

Lastly, the new USB cable for my camera arrived and as you can see I can now post photos to my heart's content!

I feel so lucky! Yes, it's been a very exciting week..... and now to finish with just one more photo of something I love:

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

magazine love.....

I tried. I really did.

I love my magazines. Anyone who loves magazines will know what I mean: their smooth, glossy covers, the swooningly gorgeous photos, the lovely writing, the sheer tactile joy of a new issue, the wishing and hoping to have a chair/room/house/garden/life like that.

I guess I'm a bit addicted. The I've-got-20-years-of-back-issues-of-Country-Living kind of addicted. And I do often pull out old issues to flick through and savour. But, just lately, something did not feel Quite Right. I would catch a peek out the corner of my eye of their glorious piles in my bookcase, and I would feel a bit kind of ...... squirmily uncomfortable:

that really is a lot of magazines; maybe they are just a whole lot of clutter; do I REALLY need that many magazines?; maybe that's getting to be kind of an expensive hobby;

I tried going cold turkey. But I missed my shiny little friends.

So I tried buying and viewing them online. That's good, right? Cheaper, sometimes a lot cheaper. More up-to-date issues. Less clutter. Maybe a few less trees being chopped down.

Only it was not The Same. Where was the thrill value? To read an article I needed to zoom in and slide the page around, back and forth until I felt dizzy. And, it's a bit hard to feel ridiculously excited about snuggling in bed with a new magazine and a cup of tea when you don't have a laptop and your desktop PC is in the other room.

So now I'm off to read Country Homes and Interiors with a cup of tea and a freshly home-baked bikkie (or two).

Saturday, October 15, 2011

new..... {1}

Pressies in the mail! Well, not really; but doesn't it just feel like that when you have purchased things online and, when they arrive sometime later, it feels like you have just received some lovely gifts - because by then of course you can selectively forget that you actually spent money to buy them!

These arrived this week - some new books and some gorgeous Lily & Will fabric which I was inspired to buy after reading Sherri's post here at A Quilting Life, and after seeing the lovely quilt she made in the same range.

I'm not sure what I plan to make with this fabric yet. In fact, although I love brown in all it's different shades, yellow is one colour that I almost never choose, either in fabric, clothes, or anything for my home. The yellow in this fabric though is just so soft and pretty and kind of snuggly-feeling that as soon as I saw Sherri's quilt, I just wanted one in that fabric for myself!

The books have some lovely projects in them, and I'm looking forward to perusing them thoroughly over the next few days, and maybe posting a few photos of the projects I might think about making.

So, I'm off to do some reading, and I'll see you back here soon!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

still here......

I'm still here, but still having a few issues with uploading photos - namely, that I have a second hand older digital camera, but no USB cord to upload photos to my computer, and it seems that the USB I need is specific this particular model. I had the last lot put on to a CD, but (as I'm pretty new to this stuff, sadly) it seems that the easiest thing to do will be for me to track down a USB cord to buy (or maybe just buy a new camera....). So, I hope to be posting with lots more photos soon!

Edited to add :: Yay! Success! A new USB cord is on it's way.....