Thursday, October 27, 2011

the girl in the golden bonnet

How do you make an adorable baby girl even cuter?
 Add a bonnet!
Made with vintage sheets (oh, how I love yellow). I need to work on the pattern a little, but I am happily surprised as to how effective this style of hat is for tiny humans. It stays on her head, without falling over her eyes, and provides shade. And it's reversible too! Just in time for summer.

Connecting up with other craftiness here. I look forward to Thursday every week, to check out everyone's projects!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

my sweet surrender

During my last pregnancy, I discovered yoga, and the power of surrender. I practised breathing through my pregnancy, letting go. And it worked. We had a beautiful birth. Quick, really quick. No drugs. Laughter and dancing. On the floor, out in one push. Magnificent. I had surrendered, listened to my body and allowed it to do its work.

Five months later, my surrender has come to a screaming halt. And I want it back. I am trying to claw it back, but it seems like another one of the ever growing list of things I begin but don't seem to finish, or finish successfully. Caught up in the busyness that is three little children, I realise I am over thinking everything. Surprise! No wonder I can't surrender to the daily joy. I am worried about working or not working outside the home. I am concerned about renting as opposed to having a mortgage. I fear that I am too grumpy all the time for my children and husband.

So I need to surrender some of my ideas and fears. I'm going to write them down now, in an attempt to send them on their way.
1. Time is fleeting. I know this because I found to grey eyebrows this week. I lose my breath when I wave my big boy off at the school gates, wasn't it only about five minutes ago that he was the size of his baby sister?
2. My babies love me no matter how messy the house is. And they love me the mostest when I play monopoly with them/ dress up with them/ spend long minutes staring into their eyes.
3. I am not working outside of the home for the time being. And I am fortunate to be able to do that. Despite the fact that terms like "stay at home mum" make me shudder involuntarily (I don't know why, it just does). The work/ childcare/ home balance is going to be difficult enough when the time comes, so no point troubling about it now.
4. A lot about my life is easy. When I want to do a load of washing, I don't need to light the fire to boil the water in a copper. If I don't get around to cooking a nutritious meal, the supermarket is open and I can grab something quick and easy. I have a partner who contributes to the household chores.
5. Time taken to breathe/ meditate/ do yoga each day is neither selfish or wasteful. It is important and helpful.

I'm OK. It's just that, after experiencing how wonderful surrender can be, I'm frustrated to find myself living the opposite- holding on to stuff that doesn't now, and perhaps never will, be of any consequence.

How do you surrender? Do you find it difficult, like me, or is it easy peasy for you?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

found some more fabrics

And they are going to be fun!
A tablecloth in seersucker, with brown, orange and yellow flowers. Summer dress? Why, yes please!
A cot sheet with the cutest loved-up puppies ever. I'm thinking nappy outer for this one.

Fab finds like this make me sweat on the days when I can crack out the machine and get stitching! In the meantime, I will ogle the finds of others, here.

Friday, October 21, 2011

{finally} a quilt for my girl

Once the shock of having a girl finally sunk in (like, last week), I realised that I get to play pretties now. Today I needed little bursts of out-of-body-sewing, so I got stuck into a quilt for my daughter. Yes, my daughter. I have one of those now.
The heavenly vintage fabrics are thanks to the Vintage Sheet Swap organised by Kel. Make sure you are on board for the next one, it was so lovely to receive the collection of pretties from around the place.

I played for ages with the design, working really hard to make it look random. Funny that. I like how it came together. It looks like my Nana's old drawer full of scarves. Nothing matches, but each thing is so pretty, it just needs to be included, you know? I began with a strip pattern, wanting to create a rainbow effect. It wasn't higgeldy-piggeldy enough for me, so I did some more chopping and rearranging.

I am off to grab more ideas for creativeness here.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

a not-new outfit win!

So, it's buy nothing new month. And I'm not. Buying nothing new. Only, I realised last week that I had a work engagement looming. Actually, speaking at a conference, I'll have you know. Standing up in front of 185 people and talking. My first time doing this. My first time wearing proper shoes in months! My darling knew it was coming up, and kept giving gentle prompts...Do you need to get something to wear? And I snapped as only a woman being woken twice a night for five months can... Of course I bloody can't. It's buy nothing new month! And ignored the fact I had to get dressed in real clothes in a few short days.

The morning before (instead of writing my speech) I rummaged through my old work clothes. Lovely suits, pretty shirts. All too big though (thanks yoga!). And I caved. After the school run, I a shop. Luckily it was the nearest Salvos Store. I took the kids with me as insurance against wandering aimlessly for hours. And I struck gold, in the form of a perfect outfit! I had pinned this a little while back

loving the sweetness. But I like colour.

And I found all of this:
Country Road pencil skirt- $10
Rivers cotton pin tuck blouse with brown buttons- $6
Cardigan in my most perfect green- $6
Scarf- $3
I teamed all this with my favourite shoes- patent black with a white trim slingback peep toes, with a block heel. Super 1950s. $25 all up is a bargain in anyone's language, I think? And none of it was new! Yay for me.

What have you bought not-new lately?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

birthday love

Over the weekend, we celebrated my darling's birthday.

A visit from family on Saturday, complete with lunch at the pub. Warm day, cold beer, Grandma's carrot cake...heaven! Followed up with a morning at the beach, then dinner at a local Thai place. I have this condition, excusitis, wherein I can come up with at least 62 reasons not to do something, even though I actually really want to. Probably why I only get around to having my hair done twice a year. We looked at our rabble of children earlier in the day on Sunday and swiftly decided that a meal out was not in our destiny. By the afternoon, after some super-quick grocery shopping, I remembered my family going out to the same Chinese restaurant, for everyone's birthday, year after year. I asked my Dad about it not long ago, and he explained that they used to take us early (as in 5pm), order pretty much as we were sitting down, and be finished and out the door in about 40 minutes. I thought we might as well give it a try- we were all going in the car to get the takeaway anyway. And by golly, it was worth putting shoes on! The staff were so lovely, and looked after the little ones by bringing smaller bowls and cutlery, and talking to them lots. We ordered quickly, and I swear the food was on our table in less than five minutes. And it was delicious. Follow that up with a sunset walk along the beach? Yes please. 

I am appalling at choosing gifts for my love. We are both of the opinion at this time in our lives that we don't want more 'stuff', but boy that makes birthdays difficult! Added to that, my commitment to buy nothing new throughout October, and also give meaningful gifts, and I had myself a pickle.

Inspiration struck the night before his birthday, and I sat making a year's worth of tickets to adventures around our local area. We are still exploring this place, and it is overwhelming at times to know where to start. So I checked out the touristy websites, and found a bunch of inexpensive days out. 12, in fact.

And I have made a printable for you to download if you like! You can just print them, and write in what the tickets are for, or if you use photoshop, you can add text layers in the spaces provided. The gift was well-received, and will truly keep on giving through the year.


Monday, October 10, 2011

fabulous findings

Last week I had a lovely moment in an op shop near my place. A basket. A collection of gorgeous old dressmaking patterns. I wondered, were these dresses made with love for a daughter? Granddaughter?
I think what appeals to me most about buying second-hand is really the story. The fact that it had a life before me. So I have some lovely new designs to play with, and I can use some of my ever-increasing stash of vintage fabrics.

More thrifty goodness this-a-way.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

in a bind

I've been making my very own bias binding. Oh yes, I have.
The front is made from a vintage sheet. The other is a cute check cotton. The check will be a trim on some 80's shorts I am yet to make for my nephews. I followed the tutorial at made (naturally). I the following advice for those wishing to make bias binding:
  • a small amount of fabric goes a long way, my fat quarter made over 7 metres!
  • let the little taggy bits overhang more than you think when joining strips together
  • keep your fingers out of the way when you are ironing the folds. Burnies.
Checking out the other creative types here.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

buy nothing new for october

Hot on the heels of my year-long challenge to only give meaningful (handmade, upcycled, second-hand, ethically-sourced) gifts, I've decided to up the ante.
Dare you to join me...

Oh crap. I need a new pram to fit both the small chiddlers.


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