Thursday, August 19, 2010

My Creative Space...

...this week is a lesson in perseverance. As you may remember, I have been trying to master the art of crochet, for quite some time now. I fell in love with the Granny Shrug, printed out Lara's pattern, dilligently read Kirsty's fab instructions, purchased some Paton's Wilderness in Mulberry and a rather large hook, and have practiced and practiced. All I seem to make is a big pile of Mulberry Tangles. I have finally come to the disappointing realisation that I suck at crochet.

Determined not to be the biggest loser in the yarn battle, I have taken up a new weapon. I learnt to knit as a teenager, and to be honest, I wasn't very good at it. Probably because I found it a bit boring and time consuming, when really, I much preferred to spend my time at my besty's place, crimping my hair, dancing madly to 'Papa Don't Preach' and singing into a hairbrush.

These days my priorities seem to have changed somewhat (thank goodness, I hear you say), and the thought of sitting quietly, enjoying the rythmic click clack of the knitting needles seems like heaven on a stick. Okay, so I haven't knitted for...a really long time, and when I did knit, I never actually completed anything, but nothing was going to stop me now!

...except when my stitches strayed so far that the pattern was barely recognisable. This was how far I got on my first attempt before deciding to unravel and start again. And let me tell you, I don't knit very fast, so this attempt took me hours. Unravelling it was awful.

My second attempt was unravelled before I'd invested quite so much time:

Can you see the big hole and tangle where a stitch is supposed to be?

Here's my third attempt right before I unravelled it: 

Honestly, who thought that knitting a scarf would be so difficult??? It's almost enough
to make a girl dig out her Best Of Madonna CD from storage.

Okay, so I persevered. Which is not something I usually do. I'm more of a 'do it perfectly the first time or don't bother at all' kind of gal. Which, all in all, is not a very productive attitude. So here I am, in my creative space, persevering. And actually enjoying it a little...

For more creative spaces, visit Kirsty, who's a whiz with yarn and hook.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

One of life's sensational pleasures

I am pretty sure that, if you will be quite honest, you will admit that a good rousing sneeze, one that tears open your collar and throws your hair into your eyes, is really one of life's sensational pleasures.
~Robert Benchley,1932

Yes. Quite. Unfortunately, familiarity breeds contempt. The gloss has come off and we have all well and truly had enough of sneezing. And coughing. And sore throats. And feeling miserable.

Hope you and yours are still enjoying a good rousing sneeze.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


An excellent email arrived this morning to brighten up my my otherwise dreary morning, from the lovely Anna at Polly Pratt, to tell me I am the lucky winner of her dress giveaway!

Have you seen the lovely clothes Anna is making? If not, you really should, her dresses and skirts are so pretty. I'm usually more of a 'pants' kind of girl, but I'm looking forward to a change this summer in my new Polly Pratt original.

Thanks a million Anna, you've made my day.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

80s Movie of the Week - The Colour Purple

Week 4

Her Choice: The Colour Purple, 1985

What's it all about: Well, I have tried and tried to write you a short synopsis of this amazing film, but I have found it an impossible task. If you haven't seen it and want to know more about 'The Color Purple', there is a good (but lengthy) description here. If you have seen it, you will understand the difficulties I'm having!

Who's in it: Whoopi Goldberg, Danny Glover, Margaret Avery, Oprah Winfrey

The Upshot: This film is a heart wrenching and uplifting tale of the triumph of the human spirit. I laughed, I despaired, I wept, I hoped, I was filled with joy. If you haven't seen it, you must.

His Rating: 9/10 Violet Crumbles

Her Rating: 9/10 West Coast Coolers

Craft & Quilt Fair x 2

I must confess, I actually started writing this blog post last week right after the fair, but didn't manage to finish it and hit 'publish' until now! I hope you enjoy this somewhat belated account of the Craft & Quilt Fair!

Last weekend I made it to the Craft and Quilt Fair not once, but twice! What a lucky girl I am. On Saturday I spent the entire day admiring the beautiful quilts, making one or two small purchases (!) and being inspired by all the talented crafty peeps at the show. I spent the day alone, but before you start to feel sorry for me you must remember that I am the mother of 3 very busy little people and time alone is an extremely rare commodity in my life. So I absolutely relished the thought of spending hours and hours, by myself, wandering through the craft fair. (I did try to make Jodie's meet, just to say hi, not realising it had been cancelled, hope you're feeling better soon Jodie).

And it certainly was a great day. I stopped to admire the beautiful free motion quilting of a very talented lady who turned out to be Kate of Kate's Sewing Centre, who invited me to sit down with her and proceeded to give me a half hour tutorial in the art of FMQ. Kate was so lovely, not to mention generous with her time and sharing her knowledge, I learned so much, thank you Kate!

I was particularly taken with this beautiful whole cloth quilt "Hearts of Love" by Wendy Arnold. I am very new to quilting, and to be honest, it had never occured to me not to have a colourful pieced quilt top. This has opened up a whole new world of ideas for me. Although this quilt is actually pieced from three pieces of white cloth, it was still referred to as a 'whole cloth quilt' by the 'quilt angel' who was chatting to me about it. It is huge, measuring 216cm x 260cm and is machine quilted.
Andi has lots more photos of the amazing quilts that were on display, including another of my favourites, Crop Circles.

On Sunday, I made it back to the Fair with the Junior Crafter and her Crafty Sidekick in tow. We met up with Karen and Liesl (with Argy and Bargy in tow) and had a wonderful afternoon wandering around the fair.  Argy and Bargy were particularly well behaved and ever so cute, despite dire forecasts to the contrary!

The Junior Crafter was very interested in purchasing some 'horse fabric', so Karen kindly took her to a stall over in the next aisle to find some. The Junior Crafter carefully perused the fabric and informed Karen that although it was lovely, she didn't think she would buy it as it wasn't great value for money. She had already purchased a fat quarter for half the price this merchant was asking for a 30cm cut, she knowingly informed Karen. (She's 8 years old, and was ever so careful with her $20 spending money!)

The girls and Argy and Bargy had a wonderful time felting at the Sewing Art Studio. The kids were able to use the Pfaff Embellisher machine to make some amazing pieces of fabric art. I love this machine, it uses no thread at all but instead has 5 needles which punch through the layers of fabric, creating a felted effect.

The Junior Crafter using the embellisher (and wearing the pinny I made her)

Bargy discovering his artistic side on the embellishing machine

I also had fun playing with fibres and free motion stitching in the Sewing Art Studio:

I'm not yet sure what I'm going to do with it, but I really like it. I think it would be nice inset into a panel on a bag, or maybe just hung on the wall in my sewing room?

Of course, the afternoon was somewhat hampered by my painful foot, but I soldiered on and eventually made it home where The Bloke Who Lives At My Place administered ice, bandages, rest and a healthy dose of medicinal chocolate. Just what the doctor ordered.

Update: xrays showed no fracture and the foot's only bothering me slightly now, thanks for all the concern lovely readers.