Monday, 26 October 2015

Fete finds and a garden update..

I managed to get to 2 fetes on Saturday- the church near my house had their annual fete on in the morning, then we travelled across town to my neice's school fete for the afternoon. Some kitchen goodies from the church fete-

Balsamic onion relish, red pepper relish and quince jelly (of course!) plus a sweet pot holder which caught my eye.
And some craft books -

2 near new Usbourne craft books, I will probably give to a friend's daughter, and a classic children's sewing book from 1970. I rather like the ghost hand puppet, and the elephant cushion (shown in bottom right corner).
2 origami books for Tigerboy- who gets the urge to try origami every now & then, & the house gets overtaken with interesting origami creations!

Can't you just tell this one was published in 1984?!

The loud fabrics, the Princes Di hair cut, the wide sleeves...

And a few new cookbooks, the combined haul from both fetes-

Yes, there are 3 chocolate recipe books! I have already made a chocolate muesli slice yesterday, from the "Best Ever" book. The "Simply Heaven" book contains "75 Philadelphia recipes for lovers of Cadbury chocolate" - what a delicious combination!

Remember the seedlings I planted a couple of weeks ago? The lettuce are growing well, and the spinach is ready to pick and eat!

The snow peas did not fare so well, as one tub was attacked by birds digging in the fresh soil. I had put wire around the boxes but not covered in the top, so one tub was untouched, but only 2 seedlings survived in the second tub. So I have now planted a tommy toe tomato (also bought at the church fete) in there. Now I need to look up some recipe ideas to decide on the dinner menu for this week, might try out some of the baby spinach leaves!

Monday, 19 October 2015

Twilight market stall

The VCAL students at my son's secondary school organise and run a Twilight Market as part of their program. I had a stall there last Friday, shared with my friend and work colleague Kate.

We had a full day of markets on Friday - Kate was set up at the local Seniors' Festival in the morning, and I joined her there at lunchtime. We had been told the festival was crazy last year, and everybody sold out of everything, but I think the free food and entertainment were more popular at this years' festival, and we sold next to nothing! Thankfully the Twilight Market was better for sales!

One bonus from the Seniors' market was that we were given these gorgeous bunches of helium balloons when we were packing up, they brightened up our stall and helped bring more people over for a look ( and we gave them away to any younger kids still there at the end of the market!).

It was lots of fun, especially with the added bonus of getting to hand pick through the second hand school uniform stall to outfit Tigerboy ready to start high school next year. He is no where near as tall as his big brother was at the same age, so he won't fit into any hand-me- down uniform for a while yet, so I was going to have to buy a whole new set of uniform, just for a year's worth of wear. So I was very happy to find a looks-like-it- has- never- been- worn school jacket!

And how great does our stall look! The green velveteen fabric ( $4 for a 5-6 metre long piece, found at an op shop last year) and wooden boxes ( mine are old ammo boxes I used to keep CD's in) work really well together. My macrame hangers are hanging on an old art smock stand from work which was on its way to the op shop, when I intervened, bought it home and slapped some white paint on it. It is the perfect height for displaying macrame hangers or calico bags. It is definitely more fun sharing a stall rather than going solo, Kate is a market pro now with 3 markets notched up. We are hoping to find one more to do before Christmas!

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Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Yet another Scoop! ( and another dog & cat)

I know, I know, I think this might be number 11! But I have tweaked the pattern again, this time with a bit less of the " scoop" neckline, and a longer sleeve ( sleeve length dictated by the size of the fabric off cut!).

I think this is one of my favourites! The fabric was a lucky find during a school holiday trip to the Preston market with my sister & the kids (her 2 & my 2). We had a quick wander around the rest of the market, after a thorough look through the first 3 shops, particularly the cake decorating shop, with some serious searching for the perfect sized patty pan for baking muffins!
I had a super quick look as I walked past at the fabric stall, and spotted a box of $2 pieces of fabric. These 2 pieces were so different, but work together I think; and half a metre of each ( plus plain black I already had for the back) was just enough for a top. Plus there is plenty of the stripe left for another shirt or two!

And another treasure unearthed from on top of the piano - a photo of 2 of my childhood pets, Scamp the cat and Ben the dog. Ben looks quite grey in the muzzle and I can see the dark spot of skin cancer on Scamp's nose which eventually claimed his life. We had 2 cats - Scamp and his mother Fluffy; Ben ( Benjamin Brown was his full name, paying homage to his breed - anyone recognize what type of dog he is?); Fred & Chip the budgies, and a couple of rabbits named Honey Bunny ( 2 or 3 in succession); Tommy the turtle ( long necked tortoise); and some fish. There was also - briefly - a fox, and a ferret, but I never got my much longed for horse! Oh, and a wild blue tongued lizard who lived under the house, and used to come out and lie in the sun alongside the dog and both cats!

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Sunday, 11 October 2015

A cat & a dog

CAT - I have found a new op shop recently, went there once when I drove past & saw it was open, bought a dress, a shirt and some great books. Took my 2 kids plus a friends' daughter ( lets call her Miss B) their in the school holidays & bought a shirt I had seen on the first trip, the kids all found some treasures too. Miss B bought 2 tops and a skirt for $5, and found a large grey t shirt with a funky cat print on it. The shirt was too big for her, but we all liked the print - so I said I could make it into a cushion for her.

You can see it was a quite large shirt! I used the a panel from the back of the shirt, plus the piece cut from below the print, to make an envelope closure for the back of the cushion, using the already hemmed edges of the shirt. Pretty happy with the result. Haven't caught up with Miss B yet to see if she approves!

DOG -I had to have a clean up on the study so we could FINALLY get the piano tuned. Among the weird and wonderful things on top of the piano (amongst a few framed family photos!) was this paper sculpture dog I made years ago. He sits about 40 cm high. Unfortunately his tail was nibbled by our previous rabbit; haven't shown him to the current pet rabbit, she will probably nibble on his tail as well, as she loves chewing cardboard!

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Monday, 5 October 2015

Macrame pot hangers and other stuff...

Coming up on Friday 16 October is a Twilight Market at Brunswick Secondary College. The market is organised and run by the VCAL students as part of their studies. I will have a stall there again, similar to the Sussex St Artisan Market - ok, basically selling the same stuff... So I thought maybe I should make something new for this market...
So last week I made a couple of macrame hanging planters!
(left to right)
1. Blue nylon cord plus original birch brand green macrame beads ( an op shop find years ago, 2 bags of macrame beads, green only. Just had to wait for macrame to come back into fashion so I could use the beads!)
2. White cotton rope with green beads
3. Natural cotton rope, sprayed with 2 shades of green dye
4. Natural cotton rope, wet and sprayed with several colours - red/ orange/ blue/ green from memory
5. Blue nylon rope
6 Green nylon rope - stiff & slippery to use so only made 1 of these, using rest of rope for another craft project.
7. Natural cotton rope, sprayed blue & purple.

There is quite a noticeable difference between the rope which was dyed when dry -number 7; and the rope which was dyed when dripping wet - number 4. The colours bleed in together on the wet rope, and are more muted, plus they soak through to both sides of the rope. Whereas the colours sprayed onto the dry rope sit on the surface and look as though they were painted on with a dry brush.

Here is another rope sitting in my "spray booth" - you can see by the wet newspaper and blended colours, the rope has been soaked in water first before spraying the pink and orange paint on. Then I hang it up to dry overnight ( or a few hours in this current heat!) before tying all the knots.

Basic instructions for the pot hangers are from here -

PLUS I will be sharing the stall with the lovely Kate and her beautiful scented candles ( the french pear, & lemongrass candles in my lounge room smell divine!).

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Thursday, 1 October 2015

Experimenting with colour via fabric dye

I bought these spray bottles of fabric dye last school holidays for $1 a bottle at Riot Art & Craft. Being the middle of winter back then, and figuring that spray dye really needs to be used outside, I didn't play around with the dyes for a while, other than spraying some rope to sew into bowls as mentioned in a previous post.

Now the weather is not so cold outside, I have had a bit more time to play around with colouring fabric. I had a strip of lovely soft jersey fabric (left over from last year's mega pants sewing day, making white pants for a friend's church concert performance) -°perfect size for making a scarf-

I followed a step by step guide in Mollie makes magazine for shibouri dyeing, twisting the fabric and wrapping it around a long piece of dowelling, before spraying. I had to twist & re- wrap a couple of times, but love the colour and effect. The down side it I used a fair bit of the purple dye!
A google search for more tie dye ideas showed instructions for a fabric necklace, similar to others I have made, but this time the fabric is dyed first, then cut into strips before making into a multistrand necklace -

Love this one! So I have dyed some more fabric pieces ready to cut & make more necklaces - seen here hanging up to dry. Made from the last of the white pants scraps.

I also had just enough white cotton lawn to make a large, bright scarf dyed neon yellow and green. The dye colours differently depending on how wet the fabric is to start with, and also if you move/ reshape/ scrunch the fabric up immediately after spraying on the dye.

I am really enjoying playing around with different colours and effects, but disappointed that I can't buy any more dye ( the latte brown colour in the centre top row of the first pic was basically the last colour left anywhere in Victoria after a phone around to several stores across the state!). Apparently it was a one off special Riot had, and will not be a regular line. Damn! I have found some on ebay but not the same brand - and in a pack, not single colours. Single colours available on Amazon but they won't post to Australia. If I had have only known they were so cool to use ( did I mention it washes off hands etc. in water? So no issue with wearing gloves or having purple hands for a week!) I would have bought a heap more the first time, and looked around for a couple more colours, especially dark blue and black!

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