Friday, 12 April 2013

Linkydinks II

As the cooler weather slowly begins to creep over Perth, my thoughts are turning more to sewing and quilting projects to keep my knees warm in the longer evenings.

This time I thought I'd share a few links to some lovely blogs written by people who are very handy with sewing machines, and awesomely talented when it comes to putting fabric together.

Top of my list is the lovely Amy from chick chick sewing. Not only does she make gorgeous zakka creations, she is also my warm, kind and generous friend from California who seems to give beautiful gifts to people nearly every day! Check out the bento lunch bag second from the right in this pic .... I own it, and I take it to work every day with a packed lunch. Amy made the bags to sell in her etsy shop -- in 2012 she selflessly donated all the proceeds of her shop to a Japanese charity for children orphaned after the tsunami/earthquake. I was very excited to learn of her book which will soon be released, called Zakka Handmades.

Continuing on the zakka theme, take a look at Pink Penguin's blog. She has numerous easy to follow tutorials. My favourite is the fabric basket of which I have made several - now I'm looking at this again I'm getting the urge to make another one! She also has a book which was released recently that looks really super.

Mairuru's blog is full of pretty things and cute pictures of her little girl. There are lots of tutorials and ideas on her blog, but it doesn't appear to have been updated for about a year :-(. Well worth checking out the archives though.

Check out the scraptacular goodness that is completely cauchy. I love the way she is pushing the boundaries -- there totally should be more profanity in the world of quilting!

I consider myself an extreme scrap quilter, and that's why I enjoy Karen Griska's blog. I am completely incapable of throwing away any bits of fabric, especially selvedges. I have a signed copy of her book about making entire quilts out of selvedges, and it's one of my favourite quilting books.

Now that she has received it, I can show some pics of a wrist cuff that I made for a friend in the States - you guessed it, I made it out of small and very small scraps, plus short bits of embroidery floss. And lastly, a pic of me running in last Sunday's 10k which I finished in 1hr 8 mins 56 sec, quite a respectable time for me.

I hope you enjoy these links. This is such a fun mission that Tammy set up -- thanks again, Tammy!!!

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Back in the blogosphere

Here I am, back again after 14 months. I have been inspired to resurrect my blog by one of my art and blog sheroes, the lovely Tammy of Daisy Yellow, who invites us to take part in a mission to promote sharing, encouragement of one another and a sense of community in the blogging world, by way of the ancient and neglected art of linking.

So, during April, I'm committing to write at least one blog post per week containing a minimum of five links per post, plus maybe a little about whatever is going on in my world at the time.

Today I've been messing around with watercolours which I am planning to cut up and reassemble into a few more postcards, having been bitten again by the mail-art bug that iHanna let loose last month. In case you haven't heard about it, you can take a look here. The group pool in flickr is worth a look too.

I love Kira's blog, Oops, I Craft My Pants! Just the name of the blog puts a big smile on my face, and it's so much fun to read and see photos of all the lovely stuff she makes. And in the spirit of SHARE THE LINK LOVE, make sure you check out her post about why she blogs.

I've been a longtime admirer of marizateria and her blog is interesting, quirky and often hilarious. It also contains much insight into the creative process -- for example, I turn to her post about moving through the creativity doldrums when I'm feeling stuck. Do take a look at her youtube videos, to see how her journal pages come together. (In a recent post, she mentions making dumbell cozies, which really appeals to me). I love how she's not afraid to tell it like it is in her journals.

Pip from Meet Me at Mike's has a lovely blog about craft and lots of other things. She is awesome.

Finally -- possibly NSFW depending on when you click on this link -- The Worst of Perth blog explains why I sometimes yearn to escape to the Bahamas, Bahrain, Bolivia or even just Bunbury .......

Today, besides a bit of painting, I've gone peroxide-blonde, had a massage, done my best to relax as much as possible, eaten some yummy carbs, and am planning to get a very early night, for tomorrow I'm doing a Fun Run. Maybe I'll come in under an hour. Wish me luck! See you in the next week or so!

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Gauge squirkle

I got this great Amigurumi book yesterday.

The author recommends making a gauge circle in order to figure out your suitable hook size, before beginning any of the ridiculously cute projects in the book.

She suggested to start with a 3.5mm hook, so I grabbed my variety package of ten, only to discover that it contained no 3.5mm hooks, but two 3.75mm ones. The idea was that if your circle turned out bigger than 2 inches in diameter, you should use a smaller hook than the 3.5mm, and if it was smaller than 2 inches, you should use a larger hook.

Anyway, I made my first attempt at a circle (actually a spiral) from a magic ring using one of the 3.75mm hooks. It took me a few tries to get the hang of the magic ring, and then I followed what I think must be a fairly simple pattern - an increase every second stitch for five rounds. I am almost ashamed to show a picture, but here goes....

As you can see, it is not the most perfect of circles, and somehow I ended up with about 35 stitches on the last round (should have been 30). BUT it is almost exactly 2 inches!

I also learned a lot during the making of this cat's toy:
1. (a) I can't count up to two without getting distracted.
      (b) Then I can't figure out whether I've already crocheted into that stitch.
2. I make such tight stitches that I sometimes struggle to get my hook in.
3. I'm getting more comfortable with my hand position.
4. Double crochet is single crochet if you are following a non UK or Aussie pattern.
5. It is best not to have a cat nearby during a crochet session.

Monday, 30 January 2012

The happy hooker

Yay me! I've been teaching myself to crochet for about three weeks and I feel like I'm finally getting the hang of it. Although this little flower did take me several hours and it's not even finished yet!

This is what it looked like before it got rolled up into the rose shape.
The pattern is from PlanetJune who has some lovely amigurumi patterns and probably the best instructions for teaching yourself to crochet I've come across so far.

Off to practise some more!

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Busy morning

I forfeited my usual Sunday morning sleep-in to take advantage of the cool of the morning to get a few jobs done out the back. I managed to put up a trellis in front of the ugly fence and transplanted a passionfruit vine which has already taken a hold of it!

I got a little strawberry plant and whacked it in together with some marigolds. I put a marigold in with the tomato too, since they are supposed to be companions.

Aren't marigolds the cheeriest sight?

Saturday, 28 January 2012

My little buddy

Considering what happened the last time I raved over a few tomato flowers, I don't want to go overboard, but I would just like to announce the appearance of some buds on my new little Grosse Lisse. I'm pretty sure they weren't there yesterday.

I got a decent photo of the rainbow silverbeet which are growing very fast and look much longer & leaner than the squat little stunted ones out the front - probably a very good sign!
 It's so exciting watching things grow!

Friday, 27 January 2012

Summer catches up

After a fantastically cool start to the summer, for the past week or two Perth has been mercilessly wrenched back to January reality. Even a sudden thunderstorm last night didn't bring the temperature down to a comfortable level for sleeping. I'm lucky enough to have an air conditioner and ceiling fans, so I shouldn't complain. It has been serving me very well but I'm not looking forward to my next electric bill.

My poor garden. Something has gone horribly wrong. I don't know if it's the heat or some kind of disease - it's certainly not neglect, as I have been fussing and fretting over it every morning, feeding it with seasol and blood & bone every couple of weeks. And it's not lack of water. I've had maybe a dozen fruit from the pear tomato plant, and there are only two small fruits on the Black Russian. The others have had loads of flowers but refused to set fruit. The only surviving silverbeet is not even growing - it has remained exactly the same size for a month. The rocket, which were shaded by the tomato, have all curled up their toes.

So anyway. I started kinda thinking that it's a lost cause, and set up a few containers out the back which only get a couple of hours of direct sun a day. I got a few seedlings - tomato, basil and silverbeet (because my tummy has been waiting for them). And some chives. So far so good. They are doing well in Yates potting mix.

My silverbeet and rocket seeds have germinated after only three or four days and are benefiting from the shade until they get established (I took pics but you can barely see the little green shoots). I'm hoping that they'll do as well as the kitty herbal garden I planted about a year ago for my two little catnip fiends, which has gone totally wild.

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