June 29, 2009

Book of the week: Happy Gloves

Hi friends, sorry to disappear for a week or so, but I decided to take a little break from blogging while I was away on holidays with my two lovelies. Additionally, we only had a mobile wireless internet connection which really didn't work well due to poor reception, so uploading files to blog was made difficult. But I'm back, so here is this week's book:

Happy Gloves by Miyako Kanamori. It's the sister book to Sock and Glove, and it's very very sweet! The only difference is that these little friends are made from gloves only, not socks, which you are less likely to have hanging around the house, but they are a very inexpensive purchase anyway. Don't forget the good old op-shop/thrift store when you are passing by for things like that, or even the $2 shop, which is where I have found some very cheap knit gloves in the past.

Here are some of the colourful softies you can make from the instructions in here:

Oh, how sweet is this tea set?

Miss Ellie would LOVE this lion!

How cute are these little guys? My book was purchased during Leslie's closing down sale for really cheap, but I've since seen the English version of this lovely book in-store here and also online here. I have not regretted purchasing these books since!

June 18, 2009

Tutorial: Super-Easy Cosy Scarf

Following requests from you guys, here is the tutorial for making a super-quick and easy (but very warm and cosy) winter scarf. If you're new to sewing, this is a nice easy project to undertake. A great stocking filler for Christmas if you live in the Northern Hemisphere, or make one right now if you live near me!

Materials Needed:
  • Sewing Machine
  • 20cm (8 inches) of Polar Fleece in the colour of your choice. [You will use the full width of the fabric selvage to selvage]
  • Matching Thread
  • Scissors
  • Ruler or tape measure

Tips for Success:
  • Use sharp, good quality scissors for cutting a nice straight edge.
  • Pin carefully before sewing to ensure your edges do not roll and slip.
  • For a nice straight seam, use a post-it note or masking tape on your sewing machine to mark where the edge of your fabric should be.
  • Press your fabric using the correct settings on your iron to ensure that you can cut neatly and accurately.

1. Lay out your fabric and cut a 6 1/2" (or 16 cm) piece of polar fleece. Make sure your edge is nice and straight.

2. Carefully and neatly trim both selvages.

3. Fold the fabric in half along the long edges of the fabric with right sides together and pin securely in place as shown.

4. Sew around the 3 open edges with a 1/2" seam leaving an opening at the end of your sewing for turning your scarf out the right way. Use a 1cm seam if you prefer metric measurements. It's OK if you don't have exactly the same seam allowance as specified provided you are consistent throughout your sewing.

5. Turn your scarf out the right way so the wrong sides are facing inwards.

6. Press your scarf if required, but take care to use the correct setting for this fabric on your iron.

7. Pin around all edges to ensure that your fabric is flat and so that your seam stays straight and does not roll while you are topstitching. Ensure that your open edges are turned under and pinned securely.

8. Topstitch around all four edges of your scarf close to the edge, ensuring that you catch the folded and pinned edges of your opening gap and therefore seal it closed. Keep a neat, straight seam for a nicely finished look. I used a 1cm seam on my scarf.

9. Yay! Your finished! Fasten your scarf around your neck, or fold it neatly and take a photo and be sure to send it to me so I can see your lovely work!

  • Make this scarf in different lengths, widths and colours to suit the person who will wear it. You might like to make a tiny one for your little person!
  • If you are confident, why not try topstitching some more straight lines along the length of the scarf for a ribbed effect?
Enjoy this tutorial, and don't forget I would love to see your finished products!

Someone Buy Me...

...this beautiful vintage hankie from VR by violet reign. You may not know that I LOVE vintage embroidery. I can't get enough of it, so if you ever see some for cheap send it my way or tell me where to get it!

June 17, 2009

Free Stuff I love: Cool kids things

Today's post is for the kidlets. Here are some great tutorials that I've discovered and would love to make myself:

Balancing everything has a great Roll up kitchen play mat tutorial. Great for the little kitchen helpers in your life!

Learn how to make a cute felt crown thanks to Jessica at Juicy Bits

Try a nice range of these gorgeous free paper toys from the toymaker
And how cute is this little Superhero Cape Tutorial from Puking Pastilles? I need a little batman in my life!

Finally, maybe you and your kidlets can join forces to make Small Magazine's lovely Summer Tweets Bird Mobile. It's so sweet and would look lovely in my little one's room. Have fun making!

[all images from linked original sources]

June 16, 2009


Meet Ziggy. He's another little friend from Sock and Glove and so far my favourite. On the weekend we stayed with some lovely family (thanks guys for being great hosts) and Ziggy was a gift for little Miss Anya to thank her for having us stay. He's hand sewn from a pair of stripey socks, no machine cheating with this one. In fact I found sewing him very therapeutic and highly satisfying because he is so cute.
Ziggy was named perfectly by his new family and now has a place to call home - On Sunday that was cruising around in a tiny doll's stroller, but he is content with that, and never complains. Ziggy is always happy and loves cuddles, which will be in ready supply I am sure.

June 15, 2009

Book of the week: Mix and Bake

I found this book on my shelf this morning and thought I'd post it. It's Mix and Bake by Belinda Jeffrey. I received it as a gift about 12 months ago, but unfortunately I haven't made a single recipe from it. I can't tell you why, I just haven't. But flicking through this book made me want to bake, even though I am feeling very under the weather today! From looking through, it's full of baking, and old fashioned comfort baking too. Just what I feel like right now.
Here is this week's peek:
Apple and Pecan Crumble Cake

Egg, leek and bacon pie

Scrumptious Apple and Plumb Cobbler
Strawberry Jam snails

A pretty picture that I liked!

Have a lovely week everyone. I'm off to rest.

June 12, 2009

Someone Gave me...

..this wonderful hand-crocheted lap blanket for my little girl.  While we've been here visiting in Narrandera (rural New South Wales, Australia) Eleanor received this from her Great Grandfather.  It was made by his wife, who has now passed away.  It's a lovely reminder for my daughter of the Great Grandmother she never met, and a special way to warm one tiny little lap!  Thanks Pop, it's beautiful and we will look after it always.

June 11, 2009

Someone Buy Me

One of these beautiful covered stones from Resurrection Fern. How sweet! I think they are the cutest idea.

June 10, 2009

Free Stuff I love: Scarf Tutorials

It is getting MUCH colder in my part of the world, and I've been thinking about making a scarf for Ellie as I mentioned yesterday.  I have a few ideas, but was inspired by some lovely tutorials and I'd like to share my finds with you so you can make one too! (Sorry if it's Summer where you live and making a scarf is the last thing on your mind...just store these away for 6 months time!)

Don't know that i'll be able to do anything this beautiful with my clumsy knitting skills, but where else to turn for a knitted scarf tute than the Purl Bee? These four lovelies are my favourite from a big bunch at Purl:

Eva's alchemy synchronicity scarf

The eleventh hour scarf
The birdseed scarf 
And how cool is this free pattern for an extra warm men's scarf from cotton and cloud?

But if you prefer to sew, then try this patchwork kids scarf for the little someone in your life Sew Mama Sew:

And if you're not a sewer or a knitter, then I also have one for you!  Try this No-Sew Jersey Scarf from Altered Cloth

No-Sew Jersey Scarf - 2

A few of you requested the tutorial for my birthday scarf, so if you stay tuned, I promise that little how-to will be along very soon as well.


[all images from linked original sources]

June 9, 2009

We're off!

We are officially on 4 weeks holidays!  Yippee!!  Shayne is in between jobs, and tomorrow we are heading out to country NSW to visit family, and then stopping by Canberra on the way home.  Then again off on a trip on the NSW South Coast.    I will still be trying to make my posts here if i'm successful in getting some mobile wireless internet for the next month.  I am packing some knitting (and maybe just a little sewing) for this trip - thinking about a baby scarf for Ellie.  She'd probably just rip it off, but I feel like getting back on that knitting bike again, so i'm going to try it anyway.  Three cheers for holidays!  Hooray!

And for those wondering how much the Wizard of Oz cost??  One dollar.  Yes, you heard right.  One dollar people.  And i'm very very glad I spent it.

June 8, 2009

Book of the Week: The Wizard of Oz

Today's book is another of my finds from Rozelle markets on Saturday.  Sorry, it's not a crafty or a cookbook, but this vintage childrens book is beautiful nonetheless. It's a 1958 edition of The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, and illustrated by Maraja.

It was the illustrations that caught my eye.  Such a beautiful book, no pages ripped, but obviously loved by someone in the past.  I immediately imagined myself reading this to Ellie at night before bed when she is a little older and bought it without really thinking twice.  Here are some pictures of the beautiful illustrations on A3 sized pages...

I love this book more every time I look at it, the vibrancy of colour in the pictures is just so lovely.  And better yet...I googled it this morning and found the same one on a british website for 142 pounds!! (that's $285 AUD!!).  Can anyone guess what I paid for this little gem?  I will reveal tomorrow so guess away!

June 7, 2009

Rozelle Markets

Have you ever been to Rozelle Markets in Sydney? It was my first time yesterday, and I had great fun. My sister in law had recommended to me that it was a great flea market for vintage finds and she was not wrong! While some sellers were taking advantage of the "vintage" label, most were offering reasonable prices and yes, I did pick up quite a few little treasures.

I did take my camera, and my first photo was taken at the ferry wharf, however I got so excited when I arrived, that I totally forgot to take any more! (now that's saying something about this market). So, in view of this, I have posted some pictures of the market by mattspong on flickr.

They are exactly accurate to what I saw yesterday, and what is on offer there. They are open every Saturday and Sunday 9-4pm. More details here.

2006-01-14_1012.02_Book_browsers by mattspong.

Here is some of my loot: Some vintage tapestries, sewing patterns and silver serving spoons. I did get a few other things that I went looking for - some of you know what i'm talking about (namely Jo, Yana and Ros), but I shall keep that a secret for now.

Plus we went to Strudel Baron for a coffee.....Yum. I had the best Apple and Rhubarb Crumble.
Have a lovely long weekend Aussies, and lovely normal one the rest of you!