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in the light of the sun

moments of me and my life by the sea

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sewing

warm fuzzy "look everyone, I made this!" moments

So even though Spring is well sprung these days, what with all the magnolias and cherry blossoms and wisteria waving hello as you walk down the street, I’m still making room for some warm fuzzy moments in my life.

If I can be THIS PROUD of my recycled woollen turtleneck jumper transformed into a hot water bottle cozy then I can only imagine how proud I will be of the little baby I pop out after 9 long months. I bet there will be a lot of “LOOK EVERYONE, I MADE THIS!!!”…apologies in advance people.

Meanwhile, here is my new improved hot water bottle. Turtleneck jumpers are terribly unflattering on me, but I always get sucked in by the woollen jumper rack at Vinnies, so rather than return it back to Vinnies in a recent spring clean I decided to get crafty. Wish I’d thought beforehand to embroider something cute on it before I sewed it up but the urge to make overwhelmed my thinking process.

Have you ever got so sick of a project you’d been working on that you never bothered to finish it? Well, I think I’ve come across a solution – pass it on! My lovely neighbour Gabi had been working on a sweet hexagonal crochet baby blankie for a friend of hers since her friend found out she was pregnant. Now that friends baby is 1 and Gabi still hasn’t finished the blanket but has grown sick of the sight of it. So she passed it on to me instead.

And I’m so excited! I just have to sew on 14 left over hexagons and edge it and it’s done! Almost like I made the whole thing myself!

I better get cracking on this though otherwise I fear I’ll lose the will to finish also, and it would be a terrible shame for this poor orphaned blankie to be abandoned twice!

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handiwork

I’ve been doing it. Handiwork that is. Stitching hands or things on hand shapes!
And in the words of my favourite 80s effortlessly cool dude Ferris Bueller – “Never had one lesson”.

Can you tell?

First up was a card for my sister in law to say thanks for trusting me enough to look after her darling lil one three days a week for 5 whole months! We have our last day together tomorrow. Le sigh.

The hardest part was getting him to hold still long enough to trace his hand…I had to sing some crazy songs to distract him.

Next up is a gift for my partner Tom, who requested fingerless gloves for his birthday. He’s been warned the weather will be pretty chilly in South Africa, even in the offices they will be working in, so I have embellished a plain black pair of woollen fingerless gloves with a little love for him to remember me by. So if you happen to watch any of the World Cup shows on SBS this June/July then it’s highly likely they will have been put together by my man, wearing my ‘handmade’ gloves!

I told him he could tuck them into his jumper but he said he would display them proudly. Awwww. Now to embroider his stab vest and stencil sweet nothings on his tear gas mask. EEEK!

And before you go I just want to say sorry for being such a stranger round here lately. Thank you for all your kind well wishes on my last post. I’ve plunged into unemployment gloom even before it’s officially started and I think I reverted to my December headspace without realising. I promise to try harder at thinking positive this time! Someone will employ me! Bills will be paid! And in the meanwhile – blog posts will be posted! So do stay tuned.

this couch potato is getting a serious makeover

I’d love a new couch. But I’ve been told by my better half that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this one.

I’d beg to differ.

I mean sure, it’s actually quite comfortable, if you don’t mind sinking into it and never getting up again. And the fact that it only cost 40 cents on ebay makes it hard to imagine a replacement that could scream !!!BARGAIN!!! quite like this one does. Everyone loves a bargain. Everyone that visits our home gets told “that couch cost 40 cents”. If we didn’t have the couch, what bargains could we brag about?!

But it’s so dark and shows so much dust and is getting threadbare on the arms and the cushions are sad and flat and missing buttons…

Oh, it would be so lovely and grown up to own a piece of furniture that I’d actually bought because I like the design, rather than the price tag. But I guess I’ll have to wait until I am…more…grown up.

In the meantime I shall exercise my powers of discretionary spending on soft furnishings.

Enter my Umbrella Prints cushions. I picked up two packs of Umbrella Prints remnants at the last Sydney Finders Keepers markets. Holy thread count, Batman, I am seriously impressed with their stuff.

Did you know that these original Umbrella Prints fabrics are hand screen printed in Australia on organic hemp/cotton and linen/cotton and the inks used are water based 100% solvent free. YES! It’s true! And unlike some other Australian, hand screen printed, environmentally friendly fabric* I bought recently, I’m really impressed with the quality of both the fabric and the printing. Seriously professional product. And it was a dream to sew.

Well, I dreamt that part up. Actually, my awesome, wonderful, kind and sweet mother sewed these up for me for Christmas. Bless her and her sewing skills!

So things are looking up, on the couch front, don’tcha think?

But there’s still so much brown….so I’ve decided to put my new found crochet skills to work and embark upon an epic project – my first granny square blanket!

I’ve purchased 15 balls of Moda Vera ‘Cupcake’ yarn, which is ever so soft and snuggly, in colours which I think will compliment my cushions nicely. I’ve got 4 base colours for this rug – a navy, pumpkin, mustard and red.

And then I’ve got 3 bright and cheery colours – turquoise, rose and purple – to add a little pop of colour here and there. Then I’ll bind them all together with a nice cream. Yum!

And this granny square rug will not be anything like the rug on Roseanne, which is what my ‘so called’ better half exclaimed when he saw my granny square pile growing…

Now, If we add up the cost of these cushions (easily $100 with feather/down cushion inserts and not including labour) and the wool to make this blanket ($70 so far but since I haven’t finished I’ll bet I have to buy more, 4 balls of cream to crochet it all together is definitely not going to be enough) I think I’d have just enough to purchase another (albeit pre-loved) couch from ebay. But where would the fun be in that eh?!

*No, I shan’t name names. I’d probably be ostracised by the Australian blogging community as this company gets a serious amount of online love. I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt and put it down to bad luck/exceedingly high fabric quality expectations/bad day at the press…but I doubt I’ll be spending any more of my hard earned discretionary dollars there in the future. Sad face…

WIP It!

Into Shape!
Shape Up!
It’s Not Too Late!

Sorry to put Devo in your head but I do like appropriating tunes to match whatever I’m doing. And lately I’ve been making stuff! Hooray for making stuff! And since I no longer work in an office where Management requires a weekly hour long Work In Progress meeting where I have to detail every single project I’ve been working on, leaving less time for actual work on said projects, I’ve felt a WIP meeting gap in my life. Perhaps I need some KPIs. Then I’ll need to see some ROI for my efforts at those KPIs. I’ll action this immediately and get back to you all by COB today okay?!

So here is my WIP report. Feel free to judge, provide constructive criticism, feedback or tell me to work harder, faster, better, whatever. Just do it condescendingly so I get that old office hierarchy feeling flooding back!

WIP #1 is inspired by soft lil yellow ducklings and fluffy grey kittens. Well, actually those thoughts came to me well after I chose the wool plucked from my mother and her mother’s stash. But it’s a nice thought, isn’t it?

This little WIP is destined to be a cozy neck warmer/cowl. Double sided, lemon and grey, knitted up in a moss stitch using two different sized sets of needles. I even learnt how to knit button holes for this project, which is quite frankly an amazing feat of learning on my behalf, from a book no less. Yes that’s right, I followed instructions from a book. I can’t even follow a recipe without thinking I know better. Very proud of my humble restraint and will to learn here! Although, foolishly I knitted button holes for buttons which I don’t actually have yet, so now I’ll have to find some that not only match my colour scheme but also fit the holes!

WIP #2 is supposed to be bright, cheery and fun. A burst of sunshiney goodness and floral frippery in the form of a crocheted pin cushion. I’m not sure if that’s just too much to ask of a crocheted flower or just too much to ask of my crocheting skills. Luckily it’s just a practice run for the Pin Cushion swap over at Foxs Lane because it’s really not doing it for me. I think I’m going to have to get all Blondie on this one and rip it to shreds.

WIP #3 is not really a WIP anymore, but I’m going to share it anyway. I SEWED! I haven’t sewn anything on a machine for years. I never really made friends with my sewing machine in the past. We’d fall out over silly things like broken needles, forgetting how to thread a bobbin, snapping cotton thread or slipping stitches. Plus with an expert sewer for a mum, it was always easier to put in an order rather than make something myself. Lazy, I know. But I decided that this is the year to move on from whatever trials we’d experienced in the past and learn to be a better, more understanding, caring friend to my machine. Listen to it. Hang out. Have cups of tea together, maybe a chocolate biscuit or three.

So I ordered Mum to hand it over (do you still stash stuff at your parents house even though you’re grown up and own your own home? nah, me neither.) dusted it off and enlisted the help of a kind and patient real life friend, Alex, to help me re-learn some basics and whip up a simple tote bag, even though I didn’t have a pattern or a clue.

Alex was super helpful and encouraging and we had whipped up a tote in (almost) no time! I was 99% of the way through, racing towards the finish line when a horrible groan escaped from my machine. Actually it was more of a frustrated growl, which I promptly matched with my own frustrated growl. We’d had a few hiccups along the way, but nothing that a timeout and a rethread hadn’t magically fixed. But this time my machine decided enough was enough and officially carked it.

So I marched back to Mums and she kindly applied the finishing touches on her machine. She also told me not to tell you that she helped me like that, that I should take all the credit for my efforts and sewing success. She’s nice like that.

Now that I have conquered a simple tote bag I’m thinking my next project should be something like a three piece suit. You know, to look smart and professional for our next WIP meeting. Well, once my machine is back up and running of course. Whaddaya think huh!?!

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