Friday, 23 June 2017

Bargain boots

My latest op shop find- cute grey ankle boots. Pretty sure they are brand new. I googled the brand, and apparently they retail for around $220!!! Bargain at $16 then ( 'cos I don't think I have ever paid anything like $220 for any item of clothing/ footwear, ever!).
They are great for work because I can quickly zip them on & off when visiting a " shoes off" house, and when crawling around on the floor with kids - much quicker than my boots with laces!

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Look what I made!

I was quite inspired by this book I found at Savers recently, I like the story telling and other ideas - it even includes a couple of recipes. And I have bookmarked a few pages in some craft magazines, looking for ideas. 

I ran out of oomph- and time-to knit another blanket, but still wanted to make a special gift for a lovely work friend - in time for her baby shower at work today.
So I spent the weekend sewing this-

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Pascoe Vale Spinners and Weavers Exhibition 2017

Another wonderful display, so many coloure, very inspired by the variety of shawl patterns.  I want to "knit all the things"!!
Just some of the photos- more to come!

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Marvelous discs pt 2-

As promised, here are some ideas for using the marvel discs  - these are aimed at younger children/ preschoolers.
Muffin trays (and egg cartons)  are great for sorting and counting small items like buttons, mini pom poms, coins or discs

Try a simple stacking activity- which one is taller? 
Can you make yours the same?
How tall can you stack before it falls over! With younger children make sure you use lots of words to match your actions-" up up up" "oh no it is wobbly" " the tower is getting taller and taller".
Try building too- who can make the longest "train"? Let"s make a big, tall monster! Can you help me make one the same?

Next time- maths ideas!

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Marvelous discs pt 1

Ok so I know this blog is supposed to be about craft & stuff, but sometimes I like to take a creative detour. You may have guessed from the title what today's detour is about- yes those collectible plastic discs from Woolies. 

With both my boys in high school I thought we were over collecting the latest " collectible" novelty from the supermarket, so  at first I was saying "no thanks" to the discs.  Then I decided to collect some and give them to my friend as "rewards" for her grade 3/4  students. I hadn't even opened a packet to see what the discs actually looked like, I assumed they were thin plasticy cardboard pieces, something like tazos ( another  collecting craze from years ago!).

It was only when I saw some discs during a home visit for work, that I realized how solid they were, and that they were buildable.  They remind me of a toy which I think used to come in the cereal box ( showing my age here I know!), which was made by the Australian Jigsaw toy company.  I have a box of jigsaw "daisy" shapes bought when my kids were at playgroup,  a set of simple plastic shapes which slot together- exactly like the marvel discs! *
Suddenly I thought of all the teaching activities I could use the discs for, so I started collecting them for myself! And thanks to friends, family and workmates who have added to my collection, I have ended up with quite a few! I bought a storage tin for $1 at Woollies today, and with some cardboard dividers made from a cereal box, managed to fit them all in the tin.
Here is my collection so far- stay tuned for lots of ideas on how to use them  for a range of teaching activities.
( *seriously until tonight I had only looked at the colours and had not looked at the pictures on the discs, apparently some are rare and worth real money!)

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Crafting memories #1

I found a folder of old drawings and stuff recently, dating back to my uni days.  Sketches, hand made paper, designs for a painted calico bear, stencilled wrapping paper and other things.  A trip down memory lane.  With help from my sister's cat who actually climbed inside the brown paper folder and sat in it!

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Crochet op shop finds

Spotted these gorgeous knee rugs/ blankets at Vinnies in Glenroy this week; they look brand new, priced around $10 each. I LOVE the fluoro brights with the black border! Like a giant liquorice allsort!

Monday, 15 May 2017

Mitts in May

I needed a small, quick project after finishing the last blanket, so since the weather has been a bit cooler, I decided to knit some mitts.
I had a pattern in a knitting book (which I mainly liked for the colours used!) I found a similar colour flecked grey at Lincraft.
When I knitted up the pattern, it was waaayy too big, so I frogged the whole thing and started again. These fit much better! I had to use youtube to figure out how to do the picot bind off- which I love the look of! - but will have to try blocking it again to make it sit flat.

Monday, 1 May 2017

And yet another blanket!

I finished another blanket - my first for the year! It is probably about single bed sized, I basically kept knitting until I ran out of yarn!

Now I need to get cracking on the next one, but after the blast of winter last week, I really need some new arm warmers. And I keep looking at shawl patterns, and the ball of wool and pattern for the " little dragon shawl" I bought from the brilliant craft store in Lakes Entrance last year...not to mention all the Outlander knitting patterns I have been looking at...and I always wanted to make a proper Tom Baker Dr Who scarf....!!!!

Thursday, 27 April 2017

A cake, a cat and a quilt

Cake - My eldest made - and decorated - an amazing birthday cake for my birthday this week! I had a lovely afternoon tea on Saturday ( except I completely forgot to take any photos of the table, laid out with my lovely embroidered table cloth, lots of vintage plates, flowers, and of course all the yummy treats!

Cat-  I bought my eldest a satchel bag from an op shop earlier this year, and he has been using it to carry homework in. He took it to his grandparents' house on Anzac Day- and their cat went crazy for it. She rolled around on it, slept on it and it ended up covered in cat fur!

Quilt- my MIL - owner of the cat! - made me a beautiful quilt for my birthday (which I have just realized I haven't taken a photo of yet, so I just took a quick one now, but it does not really do it justice!).  I will have to take some proper photos in the daylight!

Monday, 17 April 2017

There's a "new look" chair in there (part 2)

Tah dah! Here is my made-over chair.  I used some lovely grey upholstery fabric off-cuts, from a bag of bits bought from Rathdown Remnants a few years ago. There was just enough to cover the seat cushion  with one piece, and the back cushion with another- using another piece for the side seams, but they match the slip cover for the back frame of the chair. (Which wasn't actually planned, I kind of hadn't thought about the back, but it all worked out fine!)

Then the next day I decided the chair needed a cushion, so I used an offcut ( long term stash, I think it actually came from a box of offcuts from Nicole Mallalieu's workshop in Brunswick years ago!). A little touch of vintage style floral for my " new" vintage grey chair! Yay!

Friday, 14 April 2017

There's a chair in there...( part 1)

Many years ago when I first moved to Melbourne, our lounge room furniture consisted of 2 deck chairs and a sofa bed couch.  We still have the deck chairs (updated January 2014) with wood stain and cushion covers)  and the couch ( also recovered). 
Then we discovered the giant Brotherhood store nearby in Brunswick, and started adding more furniture to the house, including 2 60's recliners. I covered them with cream fabric ( purchased from the original GJ's fabrics out the back of Barkley Square. dyed darker cream with tea & coffee).
Then we bought our house, moved to Coburg, had 2 kids...and needed more seating in the lounge room!
I found a great blue couch at Salvos, but didn' t have space to keep my 2 chairs, so I swapped them for the couch.  But I always regretted getting rid of the chairs.  I loved their lightweight, the timber frames, and the way they reclined when you lean back on them.
I have seen similar chairs in scandi furniture shops for upwards of $200, so when my neighbours put this chair out for hard rubbish I couldn't resist!

It looked like it had been a bed for a cat, and had several layers of covers in a range of colours and fabrics!

Definitely ripe for a makeover!

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Sewing spirograph circles

Long term readers might recall a little op shop treasure  I found a couple of years ago- a janome "spiral stitcher".

The instructions left a bit to be desired, but I managed to figure it out. The tricky bit was getting the speed right- the instructions say to sew at half speed but my machine doesn't have that option.
They turned out really well, so cool!  Now I just have to think what to do next- use it on a bag, or maybe for a pocket? And I need to try some rainbow thread  next time too!