Monday, May 31
Sunday, May 30
I really havent done that kind of browsing for about 6 years and it was lovely to have no pressure and be able to go in and out as we pleased and potter and chat as we went.
I got these lovely stamp french styled stamp set (which I have subsequently seen in Handmade on Chapel st) and a knitting book from a great knitting shop there.
For me it was a nice way to end the weekend which was really about winding down and recharging. Because I was under no pressure to produce I could relax and I got to the point where I was really looking forward to going home and seeing my boys which is the state of mind some days I wish I could just bottle.....
Saturday, May 29
While it is scary to leave the Big Squirrel with the boys I know that they should be ok and just to relax with a lovely bunch of girls. While I took a box full of stuff there was nothing that had to be done which meant I was happy to be at the mercy of others - a rare and nice way to feel. We stayed in a beautiful big house that Jo found and only had to arrange one meal it really did feel like a holiday. With beautiful food, lovely surroounds and gorgeous company with was a lovely break. Apologies for lack of pictures- my little camera went on holidays with a flat battery. Pop over here or here to see some great shots
Thursday, May 27
Wednesday, May 26
Really it is not anywhere near round let alone symetrical but it was the unwrapping idea that excited me...I couldn't fit the chocolates in so they were hanging off the edge. I will show you tomorrow what is inside...........
Monday, May 24
Now I am celebrating my two year anniversary of blogging. After two years and 569 posts I am still ignorant to many functions, rules and the proper ettiquite of blogging. I love getting comments but don't know how to get the noreply function off. I still use a preset templates and I have no idea how many people even look here, if any, but thats one I am happy to be in the dark about! I would rather spend my time reading about you than any instructions.
Surprisingly I have found blogging to be very therapeutic. I feel like I am a member of a secret community - a secret bloggy community all of whom have something to offer. I see this place as my secret identity - not in some 'masked crusader' kind of way, but in a way that I tell you a whole lot more secrets than I tell anyone else. It isn't here I wear my mask - but everywhere else. I have made some lovely friends through this, our weekly knitting group - and am now looking forward to a weekend away with them. Never would have guessed I would be making real, in the flesh friends with whom I am comfortable enough to go away with!
I am pretty good at keeping up my secret identity. I don't publicise my blog- in fact my friends don't even know I do it- not even Facebook "friends". Friends at the school gate hardly even know I sew (and I think that is best kept to myself especially in the lead up to school productions!) I am not embarrassed by it, I just don't think people would be interested in it, or even understand why I do it.
Why do I do it? For me this is like my diary, and I have found it helpful to write things and in some weird way share them. Once the post is published, to me it is finished and I feel some sort of relief, the weight off my shoulders. I enjoy reading your blogs because it helps me to feel like I am not alone. Not only is it a sense of 'like people', but it is the sharing of real stuff - the daily struggles or internal turmoils ,that stuff that we dont always share, but all can relate to and understand. I also love the inspiration, the sharing of ideas and skills. I have always loved handmade, and enjoy the thought, effort and love that goes with that. It is nice to share a place where this is celebrated.
So thank you for letting me be part of the secret club.
Sunday, May 23
Saturday, May 22
Friday, May 21
Thursday, May 20
Wednesday, May 19
Tuesday, May 18
So, the choice of something special was put to him - something for he and I to do together while the kids were at kinder. He decided that we would bike ride - to the bowling alley, bowl, ride home via the park. And we did.
We had a truly lovely time but my favourite bit is the bowling shoes. Yes they are smelly and have your size on the back and all and sundry have already worn them, but I think they are cool. I want a pair - in fact for the cost of the bowling, I think I almost bought them!
Monday, May 17
- Wind your thicker matching thread onto the bobbin and use a normal matching thread on top.
- Use a new denim needle to make the job a little easier.
- Cut off the excess hem and ensure you fold it over twice - to avoid a raw edge (and create a professional finish)
Once your jeans are pinned to length with the hem folded twice you can start to sew and sew until you get upto the thick seam and stop with the needle down.At this point you need to lift the foot and slide the 'helper' underneath the foot. The idea is that the 'helper' raises the foot of the machine making it easier to ride over the thickness of the seam. The 'helper' has two different thicknesses at either end, and you need to try to see which one is best for your job. Once you have decided slide it right in until the front of the helper is in line wiht the front of the foot - up against the seam you need to go over. Like this-
As you can see here, the foot walks off the 'helper' and onto the seam. If the seam isn't too thick you often don't need the 'helper to get back down the hill, however if it is thick like this, sometimes you get a better result if you stick it in at the front and work the instructions in reverse until the foot is off the seam and you are right to continue sewing.
- Pin hem with a fold at the top
- Put thick/matching thread in the bobbin so you can sew from inside the leg - much easier.
- Use a new Denim or heavy weight needle- nice and sharp
- Stop sewing when foot reaches thick seam - Needle down
- Lift foot and insert 'helper' from the back. Put foot back down
- Sew over seam
- If needed - lift foot and place helper in from the front
- Sew until over the thick area
- Remove 'helper' and continue sewing.
Happy hemming - this could also be really useful for making bags when you have to go over thick areas.
Sunday, May 16
Friday, May 14
I whipped up this squirrel coffee pot cozy for Mr P's birthday yesterday. It was so easy and looks so effective that I will have to make one for myself. I got the template for the squirrels from the long thread and traced it onto freezer paper which I stuck onto felt.
I then stuck vlisofix (double sided sticky stuff) to the other side of my felt appliques and iron them onto the red dotty piece. Originally I had planned to bag the dots out with felt once I had appliqued, but I changed my mind and went through both pieces to give the squirrels a bit more depth. As it was felt, and it wont fray I appliqued with a straight stitch.I had cut the dots and the red felt the same size ******, but reduced the dots by about a centimetre around each side by hemming it.I added some little buttons for the eyes and velcro to attach it. I added about an inch for the strap and this goes under the handle. This was really my prototype so I was having a go and measuring against my coffee pot, but I was really happy with the outcome - and it fitted Mr P's plunger pot which is a different brand.
Wednesday, May 12
What is a fairy door?
Our fairy door is a dolls house door from The Dolls House in Camberwell. I buy a raw door, numbers and the handle which comes with a key. I use 3M removable stickers to connect them to the wall and you can put them anywhere - mine is near our toilet which is a common thoroughfare, but others are in the bedrooms.
This isn't my idea - they are around other places, so I looked on the internet for how they are used and some of the "rules" behind them. The main rule is that only the fairies with the key can open the door and their fairy dust means that they can enter into their beautiful home. We cannot force the door, if we do, the fairies will feel that you are attempting burglary and they will leave in fear.
I wrote a little book.let which is a backstory and explains how they moved to the city and what the door means which helps explain the concept of fairies to a male household.
Why use a fairy door?
I use it for two reasons. The first is to encourage imaginitive play. Alexander is still young enough and innocent enough to enjoy the idea of fairies. They are only little for such a short time, that it is really nice to watch him enjoy and interact with our fairies.
The second is really developmental. We communicate with the fairies through written word. This means that if we want to know anything about them, we have to write to them and ask. We draw them pictures, and their magic fairy dust can reduce the size of the image and they decorate their home with them. This is great writing practice. The fairies write back with tiny letters either on their computer or hand written on special ivory paper. Everything from them, or if we make something for their home, it is little which helps develop the boys fine motor skills.
It is also about patience. The fairies aren't about instant results. If we write a letter, we need to leave it at least overnight, if not longer. They regularly check the door for any correspondence. Then if they do leave us a letter, we enjoy reading it together and taking any action. The fairies are up to date with all the happenings in our house. They know if your bedroom is messy, and a lost fairy in your room is a good reason to tidy it up!!!
Finally for us - a boy filled house - it is really nice to have something a little feminine and they all really enjoy the mystery.
How did we start?
Actually the photo here is when we had first mounted the door. We hung the key on the handle and Alexander knew the fairies name was Amelia, but he wanted to know more, so he made a little card asking her some questions, and the communciation channel was open.
We knew Amelia had been as there was fairy dust (glitter) left by the door. She had taken the key and also left her first tiny letter. They are now kind of like pen pals - yet our fairy has intimate knowledge of our home and sometimes leaves specific instructions - particularly about tidying a bedroom!
Alexander really leads how the door is used. When he lost his first tooth he asked if Amelia knew the toothfairy and what she did with the teeth. It was a beautiful letter (I save them all) and after some time Amelia wrote back and Alexander was very pleased with her response:
The good white teeth are used to build our houses and furniture, and the yellow, rotten ones go into maracas!
I am also really enjoying the fairy door- she left her muddy gumboots outside her door the other day and the surprise on Alexander's face was priceless.
Tuesday, May 11
So guess what - yes I am on another diet!! This one is basically based on the Atkins one - no carbs and lots of protein. I am up to day four and am staying far away from those scary scales. Today I am finally allowed to eat something other than pure protein. I thought I was about to turn into an egg! I have just been hanging out for something with a bit of crunch - lettuce even. Assuming it actually helps me lose weight (it promised 5kg in the first 11 days) I am actually not hungry. I am drinking all my water (2-3l) and am allowed tea and coffee with milk. Normally my biggest hurdle is giving up my beloved cuppa.
So while the scales rule the bathroom, me and protein bars will have to become friends.
Monday, May 10
I am sure someone who is not so happy is the mother of the boy who is getting this, and similar constructions from a number of other kids, for her sons toy frog. Yes, the frog isn't living but for some reason everybody has been making homes for this plastic thing. Whatever the reason, Alexander had great fun making this and thats what its all about.