Monday, 29 April 2013


Gosh ... where did the last 3 weeks go to! Well for starters it's been all the boring stuff like work, work and more work ... then there's been only a wee bit of time for sewing and ... wait for it ... a bit of ballroom. Yes ... you read it ... I, along with my fabulous "Hey Girl Guy" decided to join a beginners ballroom course! Well considering I have two left feet, I arrived at the first class with a wee bit of trepidation! Firstly just having an hour of grown up time doing something fun together was already enough. Anything after that I considered would be a bonus. Two classes down and I am pleased to announce that besides been so much fun, I have surprised myself and am actually doing okay. We have been salsa-ing, chachacha-ing, jiving and foxtrotting around! Considering we have an upcoming wedding to attend ... this may just come in handy!

Back onto the bunting though. Erin at the almost age of eight has decided that her girly pink room is not quite the thing. Now that she is a big girl, she wanted a more grown up room and as her eighth birthday is around the corner I decided that maybe it wasn't such a bad idea after all. I chose a vintagey print for her linen, in predominately reds & blues but the touches of pinks & pretty florals kept it feminine.

Next, what better than some bunting to add a cheerful touch to her room. I went through my stash and chose fabrics to match. Using a cardboard template, I quickly cut out the triangles and soon had a pile ready to be sewn.

I always find it so satisfying sitting behind my trusty Bernina and disappearing into my sewing world where although things don't always go as planned I always enjoy it! So, triangles in hand I started happily sewing. Very soon the fun was over and after a bit of ironing I attached the triangles to the bias binding with my super quick method. 

Yep ... I use clips! No pinning, no fussing, just clip it on! Of course I wouldn't use or recommend it for everything but it certainly saves time on projects like these. Sewing is a breeze as I just slide the clips down as I sew and it keeps the fabric together perfectly all the way ... almost like an extra helping hand. When one clip eventually touches the next, I simply unclip it. Maybe a bit unorthodox ... but certainly quick and does the job perfectly! 

The bunting looked so pretty and cheerful once up in her room and by the look on her face, I had one happy little girl. Shhh ... just don't let her hear me say "little" girl! 

Sunday, 7 April 2013


We spent a week with my sister over Easter and of course when the car was packed my sewing machine took pride of place. In all my enthusiasm I even made lists for what was planned for each day envisioning myself sitting sewing whisking out project after project. HAHAHAHA ... one can but dream. Of course family days, beach days and Easter just happened to shatter that little daydream. 

The crazy cousins together and Erin having the bestest of times!

BUT ... I did manage some sewing ... a ballet bag ... two little girls totes and a little quilting around ...

Packed in was a layer cake that I just could not resist purchasing a few weeks ago. Basic Grey's "little BLACK DRESS" ... what a divine combination of shades of black and cream. Where else to get some inspiration than MODA BAKESHOP. I knew I wanted to do HSTs and had pinwheels in the back of my mind but after a quick search I came upon Kari Ramsay's (Fresh Cut Quilts Pattern Co.) tutorial for a lap quilt using HSTs and changed my mind. It was the first time I had used a layer cake and oh what joy not having to cut out before being able to sew!

I divided the pack into lights and darks ... oohing and aahing at the stunning prints! Taking a light and a dark, I pinned them right sides together and sewed all the way round the edge. So simple! Then cut them on both diagonals to form half square triangles.

Pretty soon I had a pack of HSTs. Having by this stage just about taken over my sisters craft studio I played around with the layout on her table and started sewing guiltily at each spare moment I could spare. Trying to be there for everyone it's kinda hard dividing your attention between everyone and still trying to spare a little time for yourself doing what you love. I feel so guilty and perhaps that's why I end up doing most of my sewing when everyone is asleep. Do you also feel guilty sewing when there is always so much else vying for your time ... things to be done and people to be with? I wonder why we feel guilty taking some time out for ourselves or is it just me? Mmmm ... back to sewing ... far cheaper than a therapist!

By the end of the visit I had managed to sew all the HSTs together into 12½" blocks.

Easter break over and back home, hopefully there will be some time soon to complete my quilt top. We had a stunning visit with lots of fun with family and great Easter memories ...  and the cherry on top ... me time for some quilting around!

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter as well!

Thursday, 28 March 2013

A Bag for a Ballerina ...

Sugar and spice and all things nice ... Isn't that what all girls goodies are made of? I love making all the girly things although growing up I must admit I was quite a tomboy and would rather run around wielding a sword than brandishing a ballet bag. But the joys of having a girly girl for a daughter is that I can now at the age of 42 (dare I say it) experience all the girlyness.

So ... seeing a gorgeous ballet print fabric (when once again in the quilting shop just browsing she whispers) I just had to have it. It was in the baskets with the offcuts and just had to be rescued. I have made quite a few ballet bags but usually in satin so couldn't wait to use this pretty fabric. 

Some pretty ballerina print fabric ... add to that some tulle, satin and sequins trim ... wave your magic wand and say abracadabra!

Okay, it wasn't quite as easy as abracadabra but I did enjoy sewing this cute bag and they really are pretty easy to make. For all the purists out there ... please read no further ... I use my trusty glue gun to attach the tutu and sequins trim which makes life far easier. Gasp, shock and horror ... I know, I know. And while I'm admitting to short cuts ... I make the tulle tutu by sewing it onto elastic ... yes it's out there ... I did not gather it on my machine. The first time I ever tried gathering tulle ... my halo slipped badly as the curses came fast and furious out of the sewing room. Tulle is not my friend! So tutu and sequins attached, the last little detail is iron on gems for a little girly bling attached with my gem wand.

One Tutu Ballet Bag later ... and a satisfied smile on my face.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Sewing for Sanity

Sewing is my therapist. I can be in the worst mood or have had the most awful day but when I start immersing myself in a project and the creative juices start flowing and there is just so much gorgeous fabric to choose from ... then all that reality just fades away. And yes, sometimes there are curses coming from my sewing room and my "hey girl guy" has come in  telling me to take a break as I can't possibly be enjoying it and then looks at me completely puzzled as I respond emphatically that I am loving it. You see ... I know that you completely understand that even when you have to unstitch or have sewn the lining on wrong side facing ... well it still beats a day at the office so to speak. Yep ... so guys ... like your worst day on the golf course is still better than a day at the office ... the same applies to us. Oh and in case you were wondering about my "hey girl guy" reference. Well unlike Ryan Gosling my guy actually does all those amasing things ...  like burn himself on the glue gun while helping me make fabric flowers or going to the quilting shop with me knowing full well what he is in for. So for being so fantastic I have named him my "hey girl guy"!

But I digress ... So as I was saying, my therapist, although not cheap is infinitely more satisfying. The sessions in therapy will be lifelong if you see the list of projects and tutorials earmarked to do. One of the benefits is rarely having to buy a gift as what better excuse than to embark on one of those projects. One such project that I was wanting to tackle was out of "Sweetwater's Simple Home" book. The market tote bag made from burlap. Of course I made changes but it was the source of my inspiration ... (by the way ... don't you just LOVE Sweetwater's creations)!

Taking an idea from a book and adding a personal touch.
I just love this floral linen with the burlap!

I used a burgundy topstitch to pick up the roses and added a detachable brooch to "style it up" a bit.
Ta-da ... the finished product ... which is always a little hard to part with!

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Pimping my Eggs for Easter

I just love all celebrations and tend to use them as an excuse to completely go overboard submerge myself in some craftiness and creativity. So with Easter around the corner what better excuse. My daughter is in Grade 2 and with each celebration day we do a crafty gift together to give to her classmates. For valentines day we got some inspiration from pinterest of course and did the "Valentine Butterfly" I'm sure you've all seen around ... 

While getting all easter inspired on Pinterest (yes ... am raising my hand to confess to being an addict) I came across a pin of a cupcake with a bunny ears topper. Yay ... the bunny ears was a free printable. Don'tya just love those! You can find the printable here I had bought some easter eggs to play around with and came up with a pimped up egg which is perfect for a little easter gift for her classmates. 

Easter egg + goggle eyes + heart gem + fluff ball + ears = one pimped up egg
Bunny Mugg Shots 
One down and 23 more to go ... 

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

From a wonderful world to a world turned upside down ...

Okay ... so over a year AWOL! Where to start. Well the last post where I was crooning along with "What a Wonderful World" came to a rather abrupt end. The moral of the story ... don't tempt fate! To make a long story short ...lesson to self ... watch out for business partners that seem too good to be true ... coz I tell you what ... they are too good too be true! So one year later I am ... minus previous business partner, add to that major loss due to aforementioned partner, new business flying solo and many bumps, bruises and scrapes along the way! BUT a constant among the numerous changes ... YEP ... my crafts! (and of course my wonderful man and daughter well most of the time.. and em ... not necessarily in that order). So I'm feeling rather happy with life right now and thought it was time to dust myself off and climb back in the saddle and say HOWDEE everyone!

Towards the end of last year a craft project that sort of landed in my lap was a "simple, little gift" from my daughter's class to their mothers as a end of year gift. Her teacher, knowing my rather fond attachment to my sewing machine enlisted my help. The children had spent the year being Earth Angels and she thought it would be cute to make shopper totes embellished by some fabric artwork by each child. Well if you know me you will know that nothing stays simple when I'm involved and I will accept full responsibility here but this simple little project grew to enormous proportions!

Laying in bed this simple little tote grew into a burlap shopper tote to tie in with the earth angel theme. Then this burlap shopper tote, albeit rustic, grew a calico pocket detail with an iron on transfer of the children's artwork ... nope not enough yet ... magically appear a ruffle detail and wait for it ... a detachable flower brooch WITH beaded tassel ... and not just one but 24 for each child. No not enough yet I decide that the teacher and principal should also get one! Going to sleep with a smile on my face this all sounded wonderful. Until amongst the year end rush these 26 bags had to become a reality. Burnt fingers (thanks to my glue gun) and bleary eyed they were finally finished with a little help from my man.
Very rustic burlap shopper tote with box pleat ... the inspiration & the progress


Oh did I forget to mention that I also thought stamping with StazOn ink would look good ... picture black stained fingers and mutterings trying to centre and space the letters. The kids did a handprint on the back of the bag to personalise it ... another of my midnight ideas!

Burlap Shopper Bags in varying stages of completion ... doesn't the kid's artwork look great!
Move over Ryan Gosling ... I have my own "Hey Girl Guy"