26 Sep 2013

Planning for Christmas Crafting; project one

Today it's 90 days till Christmas, and my first project is complete. This little ornament is very simply sewn together and stuffed.

Luckily, I had some hobby fill in the stash. It's a fibrous material used to stuff toys, and I purchased the bag in 2005 - Spotlight kindly taped the receipt to the bag! Obviously, I don't make many toys.

It's a very simple project, and pretty much all I've been able to do. My cold turned into a big one, and then into a chest infection/sinusitis combo. The misery isn't over yet, but I'm hoping it will be gone SOON.

17 Sep 2013

Planning for Christmas Crafting Stage Two

Planning started by looking through my stash for likely Christmas type projects.

First off the mark was this wooden ornament kit that I bought in January with my sisters.  It came with instructions for cross stitching designs, including an adorable reindeer that I think will be my choice.

Secondly, this little panel by Lisa of The Red Thread is perfect for turning into a little ornament, or as a centrepiece for a quilted thing.

I'd also like to spend time making some photobooth props, like these ones here.  I'm hoping this would encourage the large group of cousins I'm expecting to gather to spend some time in front of the camera.

Next, I have a pre-printed Christmas themed bunting panel. The panel will make up to 40 bunting pennants, and has the advantage of being portable enough to travel with us to wherever we spend Christmas!  I see it as equally at home here, at my parents place or at a campsite by the sea.
A peppermint candle is high on my crafting list, like this one  It looks very straightforward to make, which is a very good thing.

I have eleven of these quilt blocks. (Which makes me wonder a little- surely there should be 12!) They need to be turned into a quilt, so this may take a little longer than it's allocated ten days.

I know I have a set of place mat panels to sew together and quilt (but can't lay my hands on them right now.)

I'd like to make pillowcases for the family along the lines of this one by Rita May of May Days

Ninthly, I need a pickle ornament for my Christmas tree.  I've been looking for one since I first heard about this but haven't found one.  (I know it's at least two years since I remember looking for one at the Disneyworld Christmas shop.)  Abby from While She Naps has a great and free pattern, so this year I'm making one.

And finally, I'd like to spend some time in the kitchen being creative (as opposed to churning out large amounts of food to feed lots of people.)  I'm not yet sure what it will be, but most Christmas recipes I see involve lots of chocolate, peppermint or lollies.  Even if it's just my favourite Donna Hay candy cane biscuits,  I'm planning to spend this time.

Now, to set up reminders on my e-devices to help me keep up to speed.

16 Sep 2013

Planning for Christmas crafting- stage one

So, today I realised it's 100 sleeps till Christmas - confirmed with a handy app;

I love thinking about Christmas, pinning lovely things to make (or not) and crafting to decorate our house.

So, it's time for a Christmas crafting plan. I'm hoping to finish 10 items for Christmas before it starts. Tomorrow, I'll be back with a list. (i hope you're appreciating how I did not say I'd be checking it twice!)

12 Sep 2013

Mountains vs beaches

It's not hard to know what i find so wonderful about mountains.
It's the smell. I adore the smell of the mountains; that fresh, clean air.  Snow grass has a special scent all it's own, and I can't get enough of it.  Often it's cool when we visit the mountains, so that freshness  nearly burns, like a nose full of eucalyptus.  We can see the Brindabella mountains around my hometown of Canberra, and my eyes are often drawn to them. Is there snow? Smoke? Maybe a haze.   When we take a trip to the mountains, my kids will be in any stream they can find.  It's all about the water for them, regardless of the temperature.

But beaches? They're wonderful too.
I adore the smell of the beach. Fresh, salty air with accents of coconutty sunblock. It's usually windy when we're at the beach, which means the waves are busy and it's generally invigorating.  There are rock pools to explore, and if we're lucky there'll be some cuttlefish washed up, and maybe a sponge to collect {that can bring invigorating smells if we're unlucky!}. The air is more humid near the sea, which feels like a blessing on your skin after our dry home.  But that wears off.  Then it's just more of that oppressive humidity.  And sand. And sand flies.
The children love it.  There's just so much water, you see.

We'll continue to holiday in both the mountains and at the beach, but for me and my nose, it's got to be the mountains.

This post was written as part of a challenge at the ProBlogger Conference.

11 Sep 2013

Three reasons to be happy spring has arrived

Firstly, the warm weather has started. It's such a treat after a fairly cold and grey winter. Last year, I was lucky enough to be included in the annual bulb dig after Canberra's spring flower festival Floriade. I brought lots of tulips home and planted them in my garden, and gave some away to my inlaws and local sister as well.
They're just about ready to flower, and I'm thrilled.

Secondly, it's warm enough to camp. Not here, but on the coast. We had a lovely weekend by the shores of Jervis Bay.
Thirdly, it means that the Problogger Conference is nearly here. I'm leaving the family behind and heading to the glamorous Gold Coast.

But first, I'm stopping along the way in Brisbane to see the Quilts exhibition.

And cannot wait. To see the quilts anyway..., the conference I'm a leetle nervous about!

7 Sep 2013

Jeans transformation

Quite some time ago, I pinned a tutorial for converting a pair of jeans into a skirt. This seemed like a great idea, not least since it would eliminate the fit problems that low rise jeans give when combined with my figure.
Last week, I finally took the plunge.

The first method involved unpicking the seams along the inner leg. I started with this technique, but it was really slow. I'm impatient, so switched to the rotary cutter and cut the seams off instead.
Next step was to slice more off; specifically, that pointy bit where the seams previously met between the legs.

Trimming the legs off resulted in a couple of rectangular pieces which I used to fill the gaps.
I just tried to fill the front in with flat piece, being a little worried about what would happen to the shape of the skirt.

In contrast, I angled the back ex-leg pieces out which meant I could add more fabric in, thinking it would be a fuller finish. Turns out, it's not that different, and the extra room starts midway down the thighs. As could have been predicted if I'd thought it through. There are no pictures of the back, since its nearly impossible to take a back skirt selfie - this was awkward enough!

Turns out there's no pictures of the front either - it was both abysmal and sideways!

I'm quite happy with this as an addition to my spring wardrobe. Although I could do with a new pair of jeans...