Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Fairy Toadstool Child

This little Fairy Toadstool Child made its way to a new home after some last minute frantic pre - birthday sewing.

She's a little out of season but was able to be whipped up in record time to arrive for the birthday girl and join Mother Earth.
I've been working full time hours this past few weeks and I really don't know how you all find the time to work, run the family home, get some craft time to create and blog.
My hat off to you all.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

My Creative Space

With the wonderful sunshine coming in the window

some more knitting was on the cards.

Rainbow bowls for the Spring table

Only Red to go.

It's time to bask in some more wonderful creative spaces over at Kootoyoo.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

My Creative Space.

Spring has Sprung
With the warm - ish spring days beckoning the garden became my creative space this week.

After a long winter hiatus of neglect my garden was in dire need of some love and attention.

Some rocks were delivered to us by friends who didn't want them in their garden any more so with a bit of lifting and lots of grunting I created some stone sentinels to welcome visitors to our home and provide points of interest in our developing garden.

So rock over to Kootoyoo to see what other Creative Spaces there are this week.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Handmade in Melbourne

A few weeks ago Nikki over @ My Black Cardigan had a fantastic give away -
the Handmade in Melbourne book.
And lucky me was one of the recipients.
Receiving the give away was a wonderful experience from the beginning.
Wrapped in white paper embellished in red crazy sewing (I can see the red work quilt project inspiration here ... and lovely inspiration it is) and a little note card to match.

The unwrapping process was a wonderful tactile experience.

Fingers tracing the sewing to see where to led

... a wonderful journey before arriving at the back where the sticky tape was waiting, patiently waiting to be peeled back carefully so as not to damage the paper ...

...big breath ... paper folding open ... to reveal my new favorite book and inside another red stitched creation - a book mark!

Oh there is so much loveliness in this book ... loveliness that I would like to have in my home. Maybe if I put the bookmark in at the items I like Mr might get some Christmas ideas.

... yes that's a plan!

Thanks Nikki :)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

My Creative Space - to go

With more and more time waiting at work, and the increasing feeling of frustration associated with the wait, I decided to become better prepared and use the wait more creatively.

Thus each day when hi ho hi ho it's off to work I go, my Creative Space - to go, comes with me.

Inside my shiny red Creative Space bag is an assortment of projects waiting to be indulged in.

My wicked paisley meant to be toilet bag, needed to be used every day - not just the infrequent holidays / weekends away

... so it became my sewing bag ...
with patterns, felt, scissors, pins, needles, threads and wool stuffing

I never thought I would say it, being the absolute non - knitter of my family but another bag contains some knitting. It really is quite amazing what you can do when a suitably inspiring knitting project comes along.

Then there's my thread box

and the wonderful Handmade in Melbourne book that I received as a give away from Nikki at My Black Cardigan

So now my waiting at work is used to indulge my creativity.

And much happier I am.

Don't forget to pop over to Kootoyoo to see what Kirsty and all the other creative people are doing in their spaces this week.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Handmade Nativity

I was going to leave this blog until a bit closer to the festive season but after reading Nikki's ( blog about Handmade in Melbourne and on the urging of Peta ( I decided to blog about my hand made nativity while the inspiration was upon me.
Last year I was having difficulty locating a special Christmas gift for my friend Sonia. Usually by about August / September I have my pressies under control but with October beckoning I was still scouting around with frustration. In the past we have exchanged boxes of beautiful decorations and Christmas related stuff as we both appreciate a home decked with boughs of holly etc, but none of the available bling was giving me the signal that I needed to buy it.

On an unrelated visit to Winterwood I came across a doll making kit for the 3 kings in the nativity and so the handmade Nativity Christmas gift idea was born. The first item of business was to translate the instructions using google translate - yippee for the computer age! and once I'd got the gist of the making of the dolls the fun began. I made all of the heads for the dolls - 9 in total and then I was a bit freaked out and not sure that I could make the bodies and the clothes so I started to make the animals of the nativity - the easy part.

The 3 camels were followed by sheep and lambs, a donkey, and a bull (didn't have a pattern for an oxen), cow and calf. I was getting many a strange look from work colleagues as to what I was sewing and many questions as to the length of time this nativity was taking to make and comments that it would have been quicker and easier just to by one, and after a bit of explaining about the beauty and uniqueness of handmade gifts some got the idea ... and some didn't - but that's OK they will continue to be exposed to the handmade idea for many years to come and maybe it will eventually.

(Sorry photos are a bit dark - taken before blogging)

And then it was back to finishing off the people. Using cones for the body bases I made the clothes and put them on before sticking the head in place. This allowed me to poke the un-hemmed neck holes into the cone and not be seen, because by this stage the sewing machine and I were having a somewhat strained relationship - it would bite my finger / sew in the wrong place / in the wrong stitch etc and I would swear at it ... some of you would know the feeling.

By December 20th I had done all that I could and it was with much satisfaction, joy and some sadness (I had really come to love all of the things that I had made for the Nativity) I carefully wrapped each item.

First there were the Shepherds, sheep and lambs.

The Red King

The Blue King

The Green King

And finally Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus.

This little Nativity is one of the best gifts I have given. It has been much appreciated and loved for the fact that it was made by hand with a specific intention to bring joy at Christmas.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Adventures of a Winter Child

A while back I published a blog on the making of a Winter child. I had grand plans of following it up in the last week of winter with a story of what the Winter child had been up to in the past months. But a little holiday and illness have prevented me from posting until today - better late ... or something like that.

As the days grow shorter and there is a crispness to the air the winter children appear all rugged up and ready to explore the wonderful winter environment.

Going for walks on frosty winters mornings can yield many wonderful discoveries.

Frozen Puddles to look in

marvel at

and share with friends

that make us


A spiders web of spun silver waiting ...

A lantern walk on midwinter's eve to celebrate the shortest day and longest night and the magic that the world is turning with the season

An abundance of lemons remind us that a soothing honey and lemon drink can help with those pesky coughs and sniffles

and the wonder to discover that every snowflake is different - as unique as your own finger print

Hope you all had a wonderful winter and that the spring will bring just as much joy and wonder.

This little child was all packed up ready to be delivered to Hannah to continue a winter adventure in another home.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Welcome Tyler James

Another little Boy was Welcomed into our family over Easter.
Tyler James
was born on Good Friday after the lunch, Easter egg Hunt and afternoon walk were completed.
Too new for chocolate eggs I made this little chicken and chicks for his first Easter.

Mermaid Birthday Cake (possibly part one)

Each year on Good Friday our family gathers for a day of fish and chocolate eating, as well as Easter Egg hunts and an afternoon walk. This year I made a cupcake Easter cake with little bunnies, chickens and eggs made from royal icing (sorry no photos this was B.B - before blogging).
While enjoying a cupcake and a cup of tea in the afternoon my cousins daughter came up with a cupcake and sat next to me. "Mantha, can you make a mermaid cake for my birthday with this stuff?" indicating the royal icing chicken about to be consumed. "Well I haven't made one before but I'll give it a try Ellie" And so off she went to devour more chocolate and cupcakes.
So that left me 5 months to ponder making a mermaid cake for Ellie's 4th birthday in September. You know how it is 5 months was a long time ago 5 months ago but with 2 weeks to go before the big day I needed to do some serious pattern searching for a mermaid. I came across a great pattern at for mermaids and other sea creatures, now to translate this into icing.
OK first things first - a clean tidy bench - won't the man of the house be happy to see this, having made numerous mention over the past weeks that our kitchen was looking more like a sewing centre - and, a very untidy one at that!
Let's start easy ... some purple star fish made with star cookie cutter.

Then some sea horses (using nunodoll pattern)

Then onto the Mermaid.
Body and arms from one piece of icing. Head from another stuck together with toothpicks, then attached to the tail with yet more toothpicks. A little top that required off the shoulder straps (see later photos) to hide the very near bilateral arm amputations and she's almost done.

Some hair, a face and a little pearl and wal - ah

Mermaid is complete.

ready to take her place with the other creatures

to celebrate under the sea

Happy Birthday Ellie

Now to make the cupcakes.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Puppy for Alexander

After many a year of "When are you going to have a baby? ... I would like a grandchild ... I would like to be an aunt ... Are you ever going to have children?"

My dear friend, dating all the way back to our primary school years, had her first child in June. A wee little boy

Not being a big buyer of commercial gifts I spent many an hour pondering the available patterns ...
... will I go for ...
... the elephant? ...

... a cat? (no, not a kitty friendly family) ...

... something easy ...

... so much to sew and so little time to sew in ...

Oh yes!
... so ...
Alexander got his first puppy.
(Seen here enjoying a romp around my autumn season table)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Making of a Winter Child

With just a few materials and some very basic sewing sewing skills a little winter child was born in the late autumn to go onto my Season table.

I started by wrapping the feet and hands of the little wood and wire doll with masking tape to ensure that little hands were unable to pry them off.

... then came the snow suit ...

... and a warm woolen vest ...

... followed by some snow boots to keep those tootsies warm ...

...And last but not least a wonderful whimsical hat ...

... And so the Adventures of a Winter Child Begin ...