Friday, August 26, 2011

New books

I have been hitting the online shopping a little bit lately. Okay. Just the I am loving it. These are my most recent purchases. I love making things from felt because it can be (in theory) so quick and easy to stitch up. I have seen these books around on other blogs too. And I am influenced by what other creative people are saying is good. :-)

Felt friends from Japan book

Felt Friends from Japan - I really want to make the deer on the front. Only its head though so I can make a new deer head for the office wall :-)

Fa la la la Felt book

Fa la la la Felt. Tis nearly the season and I would like to make some of the decorations in this for our tree and also as gifts.

Palm-Size Softies book

Palm-Size Softies. I think these would be such cute things to make.

Let's draw happy people book

Illustration School: Let's draw happy people. I love this book. I have never been much of a drawer and and I would love to be able to improve this. This book has step by step instructions and I am determined to work my way through the book and draw it all. There are two other books in this series as well which I will own one day too :-)

I should probably admit too that I have some more books to add to this list. I did get a great crochet book for my birthday and I have some kids craft ones too. I'll share them another day.

In keeping with my effort to declutter our house, I have had to cull some books on my shelf to allow space for the new ones. So far some recipe books have been given the flick. I had bought them years ago because they were pretty but have never used them. I ended up taking them to a friend who loves to cook. At this rate I will have to get more ruthless though.

Do you have any suggestions for books that I should consider for my collection?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Button obsession

Button bag

I have a thing about buttons. They are useful for all the usual buttony type uses but also for things like entertaining kids and for making pretty things. I had a small stash of buttons. We have looked through them a lot. We use them for pump time entertainment. Buttons are quite a happy thought to me. If I have trouble sleeping or I have had a bad day, I like to think of a quilt shop I went to a couple of years ago that had a huge tub of buttons there. You could buy buttons by the scoopful.

I put the suggestion out months ago to my in laws that I would be perfectly happy with a bagful of buttons for my birthday. Didn't matter if they were new or old. I just wanted more buttons. On my birthday, they certainly delivered. Look at the great supply I received. That terrific buttony bag above which is a perfect project size.

New button stash

New buttons in all different colours, shapes and sizes.

The button tin

I was handed this old biscuit tin which felt kind of heavy. I was a little bit excited because old buttons often live in old biscuit tins. It was from Auntie Jill. And it was the family button collection! I let out a shriek. Because isn't that what you do when you discover old buttons in an old biscuit tin?

Inside the button tin

Treasures in buttons 3

These are some of my favourites. That dog one is so cute. I wonder what it use to live on?

Treasures in buttons 2

And those green buttons with the flowers painted on are so pretty.

Shoe in button tin

There were some still on their cards and other interesting treasures in there that often end up in button collections.

Treasures in buttons

I love this sparkly blingy button. What could this have been for? Something super glamorous perhaps? Or maybe it was bought and never used? Now I am hunting out all the things I can make with these buttons. Can't wait to start. :-)

Do you have a crafty happy thought?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Matchbox house and doll

As I mentioned in my post here, I am trying to cut down the mid-craft pile so I can start some new projects. I have actually managed to do some stitching of late. Oh my, it does drag on! I try to do some stitching at night after the kids are in bed but that is not working because I keep falling asleep! I decided I needed to get back to stitching during the day. I do find it hard to be motivated when the kids decide they need to do sewing at the same time. Sigh. Oh well. It is actually what I want. I want them to be interested and learn about sewing. Can't have it both ways I guess.

Matchbox house

This is the first matchbox house that I have almost, just about, nearly completely finished. This one is just about the same as the one I found on the this post here. Oops! I didn't mean to do that. I tried to change things a bit for the next two I made. Which I don't have photos of yet because - not finished yet.

Back of matchbox house

I created a tiny felt doll to go inside the little house too. So that means I have to make 3 tiny felt dolls to go with the 3 tiny houses. I have also now made 3 tiny quilts and have prepared 3 tiny pillows. The tiny possibilities!

Matchbox house and doll

Esther, Ellamay and Amelia all seem to think these are pretty cool. So do I actually. Wish I could get away with wearing one. Soon I will have to find some ribbon to tie them with. And get some photos of the kids with them too. I really like matchbox crafts (remember the camera for Esther and Ellamay's birthday un-party) I will have to find some more crafty ideas. I was excited to find you can buy blank matchboxes from the craft shop back when we made the cameras and now I have restocked the supply so bring on the matchbox ideas.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Penguin foot cozy

Penguin foot cozy

This is what a foot cozy might look like if the world was ruled by me. Actually, it's a cheap black beanie that I got with visions of turning it into something ridiculous to cheer up my sister-in-law. She had broken her toes in a quilting accident (it happened at the time of quilting and was quite unrelated, but it makes a good tale). She had to sit with her foot up and couldn't do too much. So I made her a foot cozy to keep her foot warm and to give her a giggle.

I used some felt and buttons and the penguin foot cozy was created. Hopefully, that foot is well and truly on the mend. How's it feeling, Rachel? Now the foot cozy will just be another silly thing I made because it's fun to be silly and bring smiles.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Currently in the Mid-Craft pile

Matchbox houses in progress

Currently in my mid-craft pile is the following:

- Matchbox houses with dolls (above - inspired by this one)

- Rosette headbands for the kids that I actually started before school began in January!

- Felt hair clips. I always have some felt hair clips on the mid-craft pile.

- A secret gift for my new baby nephew, due in October. I hope it turns out like it is in my head.

- Crochet. I want to finish the granny square I am working on and then start on some new things.

- Dresden plate. Still haven't done that one. Sigh.

- Cushions. As above. Sigh.

Things I am trying not to start:

- Notebook holder for myself. I have the perfect fabric ready to go...

- Button flowers. Something like these.

- Felt eye masks.

- Button embroidery hoop hangings.

I just have to cross off some of the mid-craft list so I can start on some other fun stuff. I am bored of what I am doing already. :-) I have a low attention span for projects. If they can't happen fairly constantly and quickly, I really shouldn't start them in the first place.

What's on for your week? I am going to try to stay out of the rain and try to achieve some decluttering and some crafty stuff too. And hopefully some more blogging.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Err... 31 again

My birthday cake

It happened again. I turned 31. Actually, I turned 33 but I have decided to stay 31 from now on. It doesn't seem anyone is that convinced my plan will work. Whatever. I am not really that worried. If you see my hair suddenly change though - you'll know the few grey hairs I have got the better of me and I've started colouring. :-)
My birthday

I had a perfectly wonderful day. I woke up to Tim remembering to wish me happy birthday (you only forget your wife's birthday once in your lifetime!). After the kids gave me all their precious creations (I must remember to get some of the pictures on here), the kids had their breaky and we hurried off to school and daycare. I went to town because I booked myself in for a hair cut. That is such a treat. I love to doze off while I get my hair washed. I love the smells at the hair dressers and all the snippets of conversation you hear. And most of all I love how lovely my hair feels when I come out of the hair dressers. I get the hair flick thing happening then :-).

Anyway, I managed to wander some little shops around the hair dressers too. And bought myself a little bird ornament for my growing random collection of cute things. I met my great friend for lunch and we sat and ate chicken wraps while we chatted before she needed to go grocery shopping. I picked up Mum then and we went to Spotlight to buy some random crafty/sewing things.

When Tim got home from work, Tim and the girls carefully carried out a gift for me. It was a new laptop! Spoiled! :-) That kind of distracted the rest of the night then. Tea was late. It was an easy tea and yummy sponge cake for dessert (and candle of course).

So all in all, a great day.

Here are some of the goodies I got for my birthday...

Notice the quilt under the books? My sister-in-law made that one for me. It is so toasty and pretty. I snuggle under it every night on the couch while doing Amelia's physio and after she has gone to bed.

The Cake Stall book
Cake Icing and Decorating book

Some cake books, one new, one vintage. The vintage one is so great and shows how to do all manner of icing techniques. When the kids are bigger, I hope to get back to some serious cake decorating again.

Also, I put out the call for buttons for my birthday. I didn't care if they were old or new, I just wanted buttons. I have a slight obsession. Well, I think I have got more than enough buttons now. Although, maybe buttons are like chocolate and you can never have enough?
New button stash

The buttons are a whole other post :-) So there you have it. It was such a great day. I loved it.

Can't believe we are at the weekend again. The weeks are going by so quickly at the moment. Stand by for a very buttony post coming up soon. Enjoy your weekend. Stay warm (or cold if that's what you need :-]

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Dresden Plate

A couple of months ago, I signed up to receive a newsletter that I came across on one of my regular reads, One Crafty Mumma. It is called Teapot. You can read all about it and sign up for it over here.

The first issue included a tutorial on making a Dresden plate. I have seen these around but didn't know what they were called and they are always in the more traditional quilting colours. I like bright and colourful these days. It seemed easy enough and seeing it in more modern patterns made it look more appealing so I decided to give it a try.

dresden plate stitched

I printed the templates and traced up the wedge pieces. Half of the pieces of fabric are from my new stash. The other fabric was from dresses the girls used to wear (like in this cushion cover I started) and some was from my mum's vintage stash.

Dresden plate back

Once I got going it came together really quickly. I numbered all the pieces so I wouldn't get the order wrong.
Dresden plate unfinished

This photo is not as bright as the real thing. I really like this colour combination. I am actually using it for the colour inspiration for Esther and Ellamay's new room. I might even make this into a cushion for their room. Maybe.

I haven't finished it yet. Everything got busy at home right after I got this far and I am still trying to get back to it. I would like to make another one of these too. With all the hand stitching involved I found it quite relaxing.

I bought some really awful cushions on sale a few weeks ago for only $2 each just so I could use the inserts out of them. I really should get on with the cushions again. Now I have them I shouldn't be making excuses about them. You know except for all the other stuff I am mid-crafting :-)

Have a great week.