7 days of crafty (28/01/13)

I’m one day late with my planned 7 days of crafty post, with good reason I think. Today was a public holiday so it is only now that I’m feeling in a Sunday frame of mind!

So today we celebrated Auckland Anniversary Day – the sun shone, there were plenty of boats on the harbour and the bush behind our house was filled with bird song. Beautiful! And way better than being at Day Job! ūüėČ

So the next 7 days of crafty goodness will not e too exciting. I’m working on a crocheted baby cardigan for a friend who has a baby due in a couple of weeks. Here is how the week is shaping up:

Monday: baby cardigan
Tuesday: baby cardigan
Wednesday: baby cardigan
Thursday: baby cardigan
Friday: crocheted ring bases
Saturday: day off (phew!)
Sunday: crocheted ring bases

Anyone game to share what they are working on this week?

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The long lost pin cushion

My last post here was All quiet on the craft front at the end of September. Now almost a month on, I’m reflecting on what I have achieved – sadly, nothing much that is exciting! Oh I have definitely been crafty – trying out¬†a few new ideas but mostly doing what I find hardest… amassing a pile of stock for sale at the markets. I have to say that while I¬†am proud of and love each item I make, this is not¬†my favourite thing to do which is probably why I has taken me so long to get around to selling at markets.¬†For the baby beanies I make, I’ve been delighting in¬†every individual colour combination, for the tiny¬†crocheted flower attachments I enjoy¬†imagining the possibilities of where they will end up and what combinations their eventual owners (right word? I think not but never mind) will come up with. But because I know my patterns inside out, there is not a lot of creativity outside of colour combinations that goes into these items, and my mind starts to wander. This is great news for new products – I’ve come up with several new ideas this week alone while I’ve been making hat after flower after hat. BUT I’m now getting to the point where I am going to have a rather ecclectic collection of goodies at my market stall and am a bit nervous that this will confuse the market goers.

This morning I read a post that really resonated with me over at Knitrun4sanity that spells out eloquently how confusing it can be to have so many ideas whizzing around and not enough hours in the day to implement them. Well said! And on that note I’ll get onto the real point of this post – the long lost pin cushion! Back in August I started work on an idea for upcycled pin cushions – I had a gorgeous wee salt dish that came to fruition without too much drama (yummy, still pleases me to gaze upon the finished product), but the napkin ring presented a few more challenges. Firstly I was bored with the green felting wool so had to wait until I could get to the store and buy a different colour. Then I got sidetracked by the markets. Then I thought I had figured out a new way (fabric instead of wool for the cushion part – fail). Then the napkin ring went into a project bag, which went into a box and remained “lost” for a few weeks. Last week I finally uncovered it and finished the project – phew! Delighted with how it turned out – what do you think?

Napkin ring upcycled into a pin cushion

Napkin ring upcycled into a pin cushion

All quiet on the craft front

Well after I burst onto (or perhaps off!) the Nz craft market scene, it has all gone rather quiet on the craft front around here. I had a week in (R)Adelaide for a Day Job conference, and then a weekend and week recovering from a hectic fortnight. Inspiration and activity have both been low but I can feel the creative energy regenerating. Good news!

Today I attended a baby shower for an old university friend. I received an incredibly cute Dr Zuess themed invitation and knew immediately that I could make the perfect gift – a Dr Zuess onesie with a matching(ish) beanie.

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I am really loving that lemon and grey colour way at the moment and thought it perfect for a little bubba, gender unknown. I also whipped up the wee card with the pram (perambulator – great word!) which tickled me as well. Then all wrapped up in brown paper, tied with a decadent black bow and voila! A perfect, homemade baby shower gift xox

WIP it…

WIP it good. (That is¬†one of the strangest music videos I’ve seen – but I do love that song.)

This was quite a busy weekend – Saturday was a craft write-off after my time in the gym, hair appointment and then dinner out. Sunday was a bit more fruitful – I started and finished my upcycled cotton reel holder, finally finished my salt dish pin cushion and cut yet more fabric for purses. It was Father’s Day here (everywhere?) yesterday so I made Dad a card using Vintage Funnies comic strips and my Cameo Silhouette.

Still no sewn together purses – next weekend is completely free and I’ve decided that will be my big day for sewing up. I can just get a production line going so I don’t have to keep changing the sewing machine feet when I’m doing the zippers. Also a handy excuse for my procrastination – clearly other things have held my attentionmore than the sewing this week!

Absolutely horrendous day here today, and I’m actually kinda enjoying it. Rainy as anything outside and very blustery – a perfect way to start Spring, and a perfect day to go checkout everything going on at Handmade Monday.

x

Quick weekend W.I.P

I’ve had one of those whirlwind weekends that has left me feeling unsure if I am coming or going. Saturday was a craft write-off in the nicest sense of the word – I had my nephew’s 2nd birthday party. The morning saw me “slaving” over mini cupcakes which were a great success, and we weren’t home until late in the afternoon. My husband set off to do some remote control car racing and I was left with the gift of an evening at home alone (something that rarely happens, despite my hopes). I thought: I’ll do this, and that, and then some more of this! Did I?

No.

Instead I sat on the couch watching Bridezillas and then the NZ vs. Australia rugby match, while finishing some cross-stitch. By the time my husband came home I was feeling very lonely and sorry for myself, and more than a little annoyed for sitting on my chuff for the duration of his absense. Oh well.

Sunday was much better. I had a coffee and a walk along the beach with girlfriends in the morning, then a nice looooong rummage around Junk & Disorderly, the most heavenly of second hand shops. I walked out with a wooden L-shaped box that I’m going to have a go at decoupaging, some vintage comic strips and a silver napkin ring that I shall attempt to turn into a pin cushion. Delightful. I got all my wares home and set about sanding the wooden box back, and while I was on the sanding buzz I dragged out a sewing table I bought over a year ago, that has sat in our shed. Husband was very pleased to see that work had commenced on that particular project!

Then more craft shopping in the afternoon, a visit with my parents and a healthy dinner of chicken wraps… Just one more day in the weekend would have been ideal, but mostly I feel pretty content with my lot and I think that is a good way to start the week.

Will take some photos tonight of other works in progress and write my Handmade Harbour blog post. Now back to Day Job!

xox

Craft rage

When it happens, it isn’t pretty. You can usually feel it coming – starts with eye-rubbing (a certain indicator that it is time to put down your tools), progresses into swearing at your tools, and occasionally escalates into a full blown craft tanty.

This happened to me last night.

I’ve been working on the crazy patch stool cushion for the last couple of nights. You can tell my enthusiasm for this project by my evening dedication – after 8+ hours at Day Job, I am often not inclined to craft in the evenings. But I really want this project finished (I admit that my key motivator is to post the photos up here) so have been beavering away. Last night I thought I would definitely finish – I completed all my decorative top stitches, pressed the finished product nicely and went to gun-staple the fabric to my cushion base/pad.

(I should mention here that I am the proud and diligent guardian of the gun-stapler at Day Job. I don’t know how this came to pass, but I take my responsibility seriously. The perk of this is that I am free to take it home whenever my crafts demand it. Others are welcome to use it – they just have to ask for it and return it immediately after use.)

So here I am: gun-stapler primed for action,¬†I squeezed the trigger and …. nothing. I looked inside and sure enough the last person that used it hadn’t replenished the staples, and of course I had not thought to bring the staples home with me. Cue the mother of all craft rage tantrums. Stomping, swearing, thumping. I even attempted a work around! No, a regular stapler will not do the trick here.

(I should also mention here that I am aware there are legitimate¬†excuses to be made and some personal responsibility to be taken here. 1) The previous user may not have realised they’d used the last staple. It could happen. 2) I could have checked the stapler before I brought it home. 3) I could have brought the staples home as well. I know all of this. But you would have been a crazy person to try and apply that logic last night when I was mid-rant.)

Incidentally, I calmed down almost immediately and began my next project, which is a felt box for my nephew’s second birthday. Phase one was cutting a whole in the paper mache box¬†and painting the whole thing white. I’ve been photographing as I’ve gone and will post a tutorial afterwards if it turns out halfway decent.

And in the night of night-time (i.e. couch and TV o’clock) I finally picked up my hook again and began my granny square throw. I’m two squares in – this is going to be a slow process!

A lurgie took me down

Last week was a quiet week for crafting – I’m blaming a dirty lurgie that snuck up on me while my defenses were down. I’ve been a sniffly, blocked up, sore eared mess for the last week – finally feel like I might be getting on top of it today after a glorious 9.5 hour sleep last night! Glorious for me… Not so much for my husband who had to vacate to the spare room due to Olympic-level snoring. Sorry ’bout that!

So in between nose-dabbing and sorry-for-myself-feeling, I haven’t felt inclined to do much of anything until this weekend, in which I finally made some headway on my crazy-patch footstool cover. I have taken some photos in progress which I’ll post once it is all finished, with a tutorial to explain how I did it. Warning: quilting purists possibly shouldn’t read that tutorial, I think I have broken some rules! Namely the use of heat-bonding seams, and machine-stitching the decorative top stitching. I think I probably could have knocked the project off last night but I ran out of thread – who would have thought! So I’m off to the Little Craft Store in Pt Chev at lunch for a dose of heaven and to purchase the thread. They have a fab special in store until tomorrow (Tuesday 14th August), so I am probably going to walk out with more than thread. What a lovely way to spend lunchtime (away from day-job AND in craft heaven)!

Once the footstool project is finished, I think it might be time to up-hook and get back into some crochet. For a blog that was originally supposed to be largely about my love for hooking, it has taken a bit of a backseat and I’m feeling guilty. I think my next project will be a Granny Square throw in bright popping red, baby blue and one other colour yet to be decided upon. I’ve never made anything more than the one granny square, so it will be quite an undertaking to finish a whole throw. Stay tuned – once I get started I will take pictures as I go.

Ted 3.0

My old favourite teddy bear (“Ted”) has recently made a comeback, and he’s back in the bed! Husband is mildly bemused but never mind – Ted deserves a bit of loving. Only problem was that his old outfit was falling to pieces so over the weekend I took it upon myself to give him a natty upgrade.¬†Staying true to his original red jacket and the heart on his chest that was cuddled off long ago, I’ve chosen a lovely large check and a wee appliqued black heart. I think he looks adorable and will be sure to stick around for another 31 years thanks to his new garb.Love you Teddy!

Ted 3.0

Ted 3.0: Looking very handsome in a natty new suit!

PS. In other news I finished the final Tiki and have added to the post Five tikis down one to go. What next?!

Weekend craft update

We had some wild weather in Auckland over the weekend. Saturday was actually stunning, so I enjoyed¬†a day out in the city checking out the Auckland Craft Fair then lunching at the Northern Steamship Co in Britomart. Thoroughly enjoyed both – the Craft Fair was packed with people, so didn’t get to see quite as much as I would have liked, but hey! Great to see so many people out in support of handmade.

I also popped into The Embroiderer in Birkenhead for some help on my blackwork. I have to give a big shout out to these guys – the lady was so very helpful and reassured me that I was doing well and had indeed come a long way with my technique, from the first tiki I attempted. Hurrah! She showed me a beautiful book (Made in France: Blackwork by Sonia Lucano) which of course I had to have. The lady – darn, wish I had gotten her name – was really kind – she showed me the book as an example of how a stitch should go, then I think might have thought I felt pressured to buy, so we did a little dance of “I want it” “You don’t have to buy it” before she finally succumbed. I have a bit of an obsession for crafty books – some people like cook books and can’t walk past them, and I am like that with craft books. Made in France: Blackwork doesn’t have a lot of words – just lots of beautiful, inspiring pictures and the helpful charts at the back so you can get started on the various projects. In light of it being light on words, I think I will focus on this book in my first book review, later today.

Sunday brought rain and wind, so a perfect day to nestle down and get stuck into some crafty pursuits. First on the list was my pukeko applique that I’ve been procrastinating on, mainly because I haven’t been able to find a pukeko template to have a go at. I am wanting to applique this into a onesie for a friend’s 1 year old baby, so revisited this project yesterday afternoon. It certainly doesn’t look like a pukeko, so has now morphed into another bird of indeterminable species. I’ve never done anything like this before so am enjoying the tiny little stitches – need to redo that beak though, it’s looking very clumsy!

The pukeko that wasn't

The pukeko that wasn’t

Then of course it was Tiki-time. Finished all of the white ones and think I could possibly knock off the first and only black version tonight. Must remember to take a photo!