Sunday, May 30, 2010

Spare a thought

Our heating broke today, and it's freezing cold here in tonight.

I was having a bit of moan about how cold I was and generally feeling a bit sorry for myself, when I suddenly stopped. I realised I have nothing to complain about. I thought about how many people are cold tonight because they can't afford heating.  And how many people are cold tonight because they are homeless. And I thought about how easy it is to not think about them when we are tucked up warm and safe in our homes at night.

So I've called the heating repair guy. The Bloke Who Lives At My Place has built me a fire. And I've made a donation to the Father Bob's Foundation. Father Bob Maguire (or Uncle Bobby as he's known around here) works incredibly hard to support disadvantaged members of our community. I only wish there were more people like him on earth.

Spare a thought tonight for those who are less fortunate than us.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Kirsty's Granny Shrug

 I was super impressed when I saw the Granny Shrug that Kirsty has whipped up over at Kootoyoo, and I'm looking forward to the tutorial she has very kindly promised to share.

This morning Kirsty set a little shopping list for the Granny Shrug. Oooh, I read it with great excitement and amidst visions of whipping up my own gorgeous Shrug was grabbing the car keys to go buy some supplies, when...darn it...common sense crept in...only momentarily, of course, but long enough for me to glance in the direction of my pile of UFO's. Which seems to currently be a decent size (by which I mean I can't get to the craft cupboard due to the enormous pile of projects in varying states of completion which is blocking the way. I'm keeping Cheese Boy well away lest it actually topple and bury him, never to be seen again).

Not even rating a mention is the fact that I can barely crochet, and have yet to complete more than one granny square. I'm never one to let lack of experience/knowledge/ability get in the way of crafting fun!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

My Creative Space


1 oversized quilt top*
3 layers of quilt sandwich
361 basting pins
1 rather large blueberry danish & a packet of Twisties

Making progress on my very first quilt? Priceless.

*I added a border. A rather large border. This quilt started out as a baby quilt. It almost fits my queen size bed. Ambitious? Deluded? You decide.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Do you know what this is?


In case you can't tell (due to the very poor picture quality) it's a walking foot. Installed in anticipation of a rather exciting crafternoon tomorrow. And despite the fact that Janome provides virtually no instructions regarding how to attach this foot to one's machine, I managed to attach it in less than 2 minutes, thanks to this excellent post which can be found at Hoppo Bumpo.

Incidentally, Liesl's post contains much better pictures of the walking foot, probably using a fancy camera with a flash instead of an iphone ...and yes, it's actually the same one, thanks for the loan Liesl!

Completed - Kinder Safety Vests



I finally finished stitching clear vinyl pockets on to the backs of 65 High Visibility safety vests for our kinder. Yes, that's right, 65 of them. Here's a tip for you for free: if someone happens to ask if you can sew some clear vinyl pockets onto 65 of anything, you should probably just say no!

Although, on the plus side, I did save the kinder $660 of hard earned fundraising money which can now be spent on paints and puzzles and toys for the kinder, so I do feel pretty good about that. And of course, if the children do have to be evacuated in an emergency, they will be wearing High Vis safety vests with all their personal info safely tucked into a little vinyl pocket on the back, which will keep them as safe as possible, and I feel really good about that.

Many thanks to Liesl for putting me onto the teflon foot, best $25 I've ever spent.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Weekend

The fancy hotel

The room

The 'do

The big event


The girls

The date

The perfect ending.

Hope you had a lovely weekend too.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Ernst's Big City Adventure


Ernst was very excited about going to Sew It Together. He was so looking forward to meeting some lovely bloggy crafty friends and living it up in the Big Smoke for the weekend.

Ernst had a lovely time admiring all the things being crafted at Sew It Together.


After lunch, some of the girls went on a shopping trip. Ernst was very excited, but his face fell as he watched everyone leave without him. "Wait for me Jodie" he cried...but Jodie didn't hear him. Poor Ernst.


So Ernst decided to do a little sightseeing of his own.
 . Ernst was very excited about going in an elevator (There aren't many elevators in Ernst's town!).

Not far from the hotel, Ernst made a most delicious discovery.


It was very hard to choose just one!

Next stop was Clegs. Ernst thought the stripes would make a very nice shirt, and wondered if Jodie could be distracted from her wool purchases long enough to check them out...

And of course even a little turtle knows that you can't visit Melbourne without a stop at Tessuti's. Ernst loved the soft cottons, and thought this gray gingham would look very dapper on him!

Oh Ernst, what are you doing? Those are ladies shoes!!!


Back at the Citigate, Ernst sat back and drank in the creativity around him and thought he would never have such an exciting day out again. What a lucky little turtle!

A beautiful example...

of a completed pinafore. I just had to show you this stunning pinny that Steph has made for a very worthy cause. Isn't it gorgeous?

More pics of this beautiful frock and a rather inspiring post can be found at Mon Petit Poppet. Thank you Steph.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Pinafore news

Thank you so much to everyone who has contacted me to say you will be whipping up a pinafore for the Dago Dala Hera Orphange. I have spoken with staff at Spotlight Bayswater today and they asked if completed pinnies could be returned to the store in the next 2-3 weeks, which is by the 2nd week of June. They also mentioned that they are looking for plain elastic waist cotton shorts for boys, so if anyone can sew up a pair or two of those that would also be a great help.
As I mentioned on the weekend, you can send your pinafores/shorts directly to Spotlight Bayswater or you can send them to me and I'll deliver them to the store (email me for my postal address thecraftgypsy@iprimus.com.au)

**I'm more than happy for people to mail their dresses/shorts directly to me, I'd love to be able to present the store with a pile of clothes and let them see just what craft bloggers have done to help.

**Shorts can be made in any boys' size, I'm thinking any size from 2 to 10 would be fine.

My Creative Space - I need help!

I'm having a little problem with my creative space this week. I'm attempting to make a Pinafore for a very worthy charity, but I've hit a little snag, and as I have absolutely no experience making pinafores (or any other sort of frock for that matter) I'm stuck! Maybe you can help?

Here's the problem:
The pattern is size 8. I borrowed the pattern from the store and was advised I would need two different fabrics, each1 metre, to make it reversible. So I need to cut a back and a front from each piece of fabric. Here it comes: One of my fabrics is a directional print, and selvedge to selvedge it's not wide enough for me to cut both a front and a back. Aaarrrgh. It's short by about 3cm, and only at the bottom of the dress, where the skirt is the widest.

Here's the question: Can I just reshape the curve at the bottom of the sideseam so that the bottom of the dress doesn't flare out quite as much? That will make it fit on the fabric, and I'm hoping won't alter the dress very much as it's only a small amount?

PS. Would you like to make a pinny too? Go on, please do!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Sew It Together with Pics

I think I summed it up pretty well in my last post, but now you want all the goss, right?

See, there actually was some crafting getting done! (Great pose there Bec!)
I pieced my first ever quilt top which would not have been done without this terribly awesome chick:

Here is clever, sensible, finished a quilt in one day yes including the binding, Patch Andi


And here is Let Your Hair Down, "the quilt is finished, I'm having a Pina Colada with Gypsy" Andi!


I am, of course, ridiculously proud of myself. Thanks Andi *heart*


Here are Kate and Beck, glad you could make the trip to the Big Smoke girls.

This is me with the lovely Kelly, who was just a little bit too much like me...Single White Female anyone?

Liesl, my partner in craft and the perfect 'roomie', thanks for a lovely weekend!

Trash and me. She got me drunk and tried to instigate a cheese wave. Don't come back Trash, you won't be welcome here. Unless you dance for cheese.


No pics, but special mentions to Bianca and Abbe thanks for the secret handshake girls, and Karen, who Danced for Cheese *heart*

I'm still at a loss for words when trying to thank Sheridan properly for bringing us all together. Sheridan, you had me at Hello.

You asked for it!

I am now officially The Blogger Formerly Known As The Craft Gypsy. By popular demand, my new blog title is "Dance for Cheese". If you didn't make it to SIT on the weekend you probably have no idea what this is about - suffice to say "Dance for Cheese" is about doing something silly and fun (and a little bit wrong) purely for my own amusement, a perfectly apt blog title for me I think!

I'll be working on a new blog header later today, so just talk amongst yourselves for now.

PS. HoppoBumpo has officially won the prize for comment of the year. If you missed it, check out the comments on this post. Liesl, your oversized novelty prizewinner's cheque is in the mail.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

And sew it begins

Thank you Nikki for hosting a fun and fabulous soiree tonight for the Sew It Together girls, what a lovely start to a crafty weekend.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

My Creative Space

This week my creative space is about making space to get creative...get it?

My 'space' has been in complete chaos and I haven't been able to find anything let alone actually make something! I really needed to organise my stash, but don't have any shelves to store it on as my space is part of the Sewing room/Study/Library/Music room, so there are many competing interests for the available storage.

So I got creative and found some plastic tubs that used to store kids' toys and started folding. All the fabric is grouped by colour and I actually know what I have in there! Excellent. I have also sorted my stash of zips, snaps, elastic, binding, ribbons and scraps. Now maybe I can find something to take to S.I.T. this weekend...

Thanks for hosting Kirsty, click here to see what everyone else is doing in their space this week.

PS. Would you like to make a little Pinafore for a really worthy cause? Click here for the details!

Pinafores for Orphanage - can you help?

I was in Spotlight Bayswater yesterday, stocking up on a few things for the weekend, when I noticed a line strung up across the back of the store with a number of very pretty little pinafores pegged up on it. Intrigued, I enquired about it at the cutting counter and was told that they are being made by staff and customers to be donated to the Dago Dela Hera Orphanage in Kenya.

Apparently a young Melbourne woman spent some time volunteering at the orphanage in Christmas 2009 and was struck by the fact that the children there have no proper clothing. So she and her mother, Karen, along with about 20 women who Karen works with in the dress department at Spotlight, have started making reversible pinafores to send to Dago Dela Hera, and they have asked customers to join them as well.

Want to be involved? All you need to do is make a girl's reversible pinafore and take it or send it to the store! Simple! They are collecting pinafores in many sizes to suit young girls of different ages, so you can make whatever size you like. The lovely ladies in the dress department will even lend you a pattern if you need one (however when I was there yesterday all the patterns were already on loan). The patterns they are using are
New Look 6576 and New Look 6578 but you may use any simple pinafore pattern - preferably a reversible pinafore so the girls can have two dresses in one!


Of course the other thing that you can do to help is mention it on your blog and try to spread the word! If you do, can you leave me a link to your post so I can read it too! Thanks :)

If you have any questions, please leave me a comment and I'll reply, or alternatively you may call Chelli at Spotlight Bayswater on 03 9729 0770 and she will be happy to talk to you.

**If you are coming along to Sew It Together this weekend and have a pinafore pattern bring it along, maybe we can make a couple of pinafores over the weekend!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

In the know

Pic from here

Ooh I love learning new things! I 'collect' information the way some people collect stamps and others collect vintage teatowels. I love to know stuff. I like to learn new things. If I find myself wondering about something, I just head straight to my faithful friend Mr Google...but often I get really annoyed at having to wade through a bunch of self promoting websites telling me they have all my answers if only I would sign up to their account/pay a membership fee/join their mailing list/buy their product...when all I really want is to hear from someone who has tried it/bought it/made it. Like, say, a craft blogger!

Well, on Sunday at the Stitches & Craft Show, in Studio 4 at 1.30pm I learned a very useful tip and an easy to find just the information I'm looking for.

Thanks to Jodie, I learned there is a way to search within blogs only, which is a fantastic way to find real information from real bloggers not pushy websites trying to sell you something!
When you open Google look across to top where it says:

Web Images Videos Maps News Books Gmail more 

Click on 'more' and select 'blogs' from the drop down menu, and get searching! Thanks Jodie for keeping us all in the know ;)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mothers Day @ Stitches & Craft Show...

does it get any better than this?

My day began with real coffee and honey toast earnestly prepared by the kids, and loads of presents, not least of which was a pen and ink drawing of yours truly. I queried the 4 year old artist about the *ahem* detail in the picture..."That's your boobies Mummy" he grinned at me. I was desperately afraid to ask for any more detail but was thankfully assured it was my belly button. Phew! And then I had a lovely day at the show with The Junior Crafter and my very crafty Granny (who lives in Perth so it's always a treat to see her!).

I met up with an old friend, Carolyn and a new friend, Carmel and we went to Jodies talk in The Studio which was fab! Do you know Jodie? Have you heard Jodie talk before about something she is really passionate about? Like Craft? Or maybe blogging? Well, today she was talking about both and her level of enthusiasm almost put a rent in the space-time continuum (and almost got her told off again by the ever so sensible business type fellow giving a very serious and dignifed talk in the Studio next door!). Anyway the talk was funny and entertaining and informative and really quite inspiring...a bit like the girl herself really *grin* I made a little purchase at the RicRac stand, very exciting.

I ran into Bec and had a bit of a catch up at Nikki's stand, while Bec's daughter and my daughter sized each other up, liked what they saw and wandered off to draw some pictures together for the storywall. Saw Nikki of course, (and the other Nikki!) and admired the beautiful bags and hats, and oh my gosh, I really wanted to get a kit and make one of her gorgeous purses but there were too many choices and I didn't know what I could do (not having actually made any purses before and not being at all good with zips or those metal closing thingys!) and I got so overwhelmed by choice I didn't choose anything at all, and now I'm kicking myself VERY HARD because I wish I had bought a kit to take to S.I.T. next weekend where there will be plenty of crafty girls on hand to help me if I get stuck! Not to mention Nikki herself will be there! Doh!


I introduced myself to Caitlin of Pippijoe who was lovely and who's fabric designs I have admired for quite some time! I just missed Liesl but will be admiring an iron with her next Friday over a little glass of something bubbly and at a certain crafty girl's place.

It was heaven on a stick for a crafty-bloggy girl and has made me more excited about Sew It Together which is only a week away!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Anyone going to the Stitches and Craft show tomorrow?

I'm going to the Stitches and Craft Show tomorrow, with the Junior Crafter and my gorgeous Granny Margaret the original Queen of Craft. I'm so looking forward to it, but of course I am a wee bit disappointed I couldn't go yesterday and meet up with all the lovely bloggers who were there and also wishing I could have gone on Wednesday and met up with Kate and Vic at Jodie's stall!
Soooo I'm wondering who is planning to go tomorrow that we might run into? I'm really looking forward to the show!

PS Happy Mothers Day for tomorrow everyone.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Sew Darn Cute - Book review

I have just been given a copy of Jenny Ryan's Sew Darn Cute, and it seems to be aptly named, the projects are very cute. The book contains 30 projects, ranging from things for the home to kids stuff to totes. There are a lot of projects suitable for beginners in this book, but as mum to a junior crafter (aged 8) what I really like is that there are heaps of projects in here suitable for us to sew together.There is a Tools and Techniques section at the front of the book which I found to be a useful reference and would be particularly good for beginner sewers I think. The book contains all the templates you need to complete the projects as well.
I'm off to try to rescue 'Sew Darn Cute' from my daughter's bedside table so I can make a start on a project!