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!

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Upcycled mat

Cleaning out the playgroup storeroom at work we found an execise mat with a tear in it. Rather than throw it out, I suggested upcylcing it into a large cushion. There was a large piece of blue upholstery fabric also in the sorting pile which was just the right size.
Around 10 minutes of measuring & sewing last night and ta-dah! One large floor cushion, handy for babies/ non mobile toddlers when they come to our Mytime playgroup at work!   Miss Bunny checked it out when I finished it...

I also did some other sewing for work, but forgot to take photos - will do so for the next post!

Friday, 24 March 2017

Mind your own beeswax!

My lovely in-laws keep bees * and after the most recent honey harvest there was plenty of beeswax left over.  I asked for some to use for various craft projects, and was gifted this lovely block- cast in a milk carton, so I guess it is about a half litre of beeswax! It smells divine!
* I often wonder about the term "bee keeping" - because of all creatures which can be farmed, surely bees- who can travel up to 5 kilometres looking for nectar  flowers- are really not " kept"!

I used some of the beeswax to polish some hand painted beads, and also to stiffen the ends of the thread, to make it easier to thread the beads on.

Now I need to think of some other projects requiring beeswax!

( and is beeswax the actual word, or should it more correctly be  bees' wax"?)

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Shadow stripes

I love the shadow stripes made by the sun coming through the venetian blind...

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Work bag makeover

My work bag started to fall apart last year, and after a couple of months  of searching at op shops ( and using another bag, which I didn't like as much!)- I found another one just the same. I improved on it- and covered up the logo- by adding a zip pocket on the front. It is super handy to keep my lanyard & keys in, I can always find them & they don' t get lost or damaged in my bag.

My lovely work mate & desk buddy Fran turned up with a similar- but slightly larger- bag at work recently, and decided my front pocket addition was a great idea, so she asked me to give her bag a make over too- and she also requested owls! So I sewed up a pocket on the weekend, and bought her bag home tonight to add the pocket on. I also added a key clip and some velcro to bonus pocket behind the zip pocket.  Much more practical now!

Fran's bag

My bag before the makeover
My new work bag.

Friday, 10 March 2017

Trying dyeing again

I bought a blue short sleeved cardigan at an op shop recently.  I liked the style but was not particulary taken with the sky blue colour. So I thought I would have a go at dying it, and found a great indigo denim blue rit powdered dye. The tricky part is you add salt to the dye bath for cotton, but vinegar for nylon- so what if the fabric is 50/50???
I also found a little white crochet top at the op shop today, I already have an almost identical one, so thought I could add it to the dyebath, along with a ball of bright white acyrlic yarn.
Everything looked brilliant in the dyebath, lovely denimy indigo colour, the yarn looked awesome...but then I had to tip the dye out & start rinsing. You can see the yarn colour in the dyebath, and once I started rinsing.  Everything is in the machine now for a final rinse. I think the cardi is a shade or two darker ( of course  I forgot to take a " before" photo.  But really, I suspect the thing that came out with the most colour on it is my right hand!!!

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Saturday sewing

Saurday afternoon I actually got some sewing done! The Jedikid was at work, my H went fishing, and Tigetboy was doing battle with the Gotham underworld on the xbox.
The first sewing task was to make a denim pencil case, under instructions from the Jedikid, made to order & sewn up while he was doing his maths homework at the other end of the dining table. Even with putting in 2 zips I definitely had the easier task!

Pencil case done and given the tick of approval, I then sewed up 2 quick kimono sleeve tees and 1 boxy top ( all pre cut in the hols), finally hemmed the sleeves on a peppermint tee sewn up months ago, and did some minor alterations to some RTW jeans ( stitched down the pocket edges which were poorly made & only folded down, and added some elastic in the waistband to reduce the  gape at the back). 
A satisfying effort ( although there are still plenty more things on my sewing " to do list"!

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Fabulous fete finds

Brunswick South West school fete is always a winner, I always head straight to the 2nd hand stalls in the hall and find some great bargains.
This year I found some terrific items for work, I was super excited to find this rocker board,which has been on my wish list for a while!
Of course the only down side is I then had to carry a heavy wooden rocker, large play mat, and bag of books, puzzles, games & cd's around ( lucky I had Tigerboy with me to grudgingly help!)  - we had to make a trip back to the car to unload, then go back for a second look!

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Saturday morning Savers

Tigerboy has started playing tennis on Saturday mornings and was to have had today off but was asked to fill in for another player. My H had already planned to go fishing this morning,  so I got tennis duty. 
Those who know me will understand my complete lack of both ability and interest in anyrhing sporting.  Especially tennis. Ever since I was a kid, as soon as my parents would turn the tv to the tennis, I would leave the room and go read a book. Some one at one end hits a ball, someone at the other end hits it back-yada yada yada yawn yawn yawn. No offence, but I would rather watch paint dry.  Ditto pretty much any other sport.  Equestrian events- show jumping, dressage, cross country- are about the only sports I can watch and enjoy ( mainly because there is still that horse mad kid inside me!).
So once we got to tennis this morning, I went for a walk. 45 mins walking around the sports grounds, then  I walked down to Sydney Road to nip into Anne's fabrics for some white cotton lawn to finish making a dress ( when I tried it on I realized it needed some lining!). But most of the shops don' t open til 10 on Saturday!
Savers was open though- yay!  I hardly ever go there as  I prefer the little independant op shops, but I had  20 mins to fill in, and I found some wonderful treasures!  The best one was this sprouting set- it was meant to be, because in the last few days I have been looking at a packet of sprout seeds and thinking about trying to grow sprouts again, and then I spotted this! Looking forward to some home grown salad sprouts in a few days!

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Sewing yet more dresses!

I just realised that I haven't blogged about my most recent sewing - more dresses based on my 6602/ sew different mash up.

The first black- grey combo was made for one of my best friends, a funky new outfit to wear to work this year ( along with the necklaces I made her for Christmas!)

This one ( for me)  in shades of grey is cut slightly smaller for a closer fit
Plus I made a top- based on my favourite peppermint tee pattern- but sewn in non stretch cotton. $3 per metre when super cheap fabrics were closing the Roxy store last year. I bought a couple of metres so have a boxy top cut out of it too.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Vintage op shop pattern shopping

If I spy a box of sewing patterns at an op shop I can't resist looking through, you just never know what treasures you might find! 
Like these recently found treasures- unopened 70's patterns, an 80's dress ( hey it has pockets!) and a dressing gown pattern which will come in handy one day if I need to make some Jedi robes!