December 24, 2012

Wiksten Tank

I've been meaning to make this post of my first Wiksten Tank for weeks now, but unfortunately my DSLR is dead so I've given up trying to get a nice shot of this on me, here's a phone image of my tank instead.

Wiksten Tank

I made this tank a couple of months back.  Overall this is a great pattern to follow, I love the beautiful finishes and french seams, it makes for such a nice product to wear.  Unfortunately as I'm still nursing/feeding Violet, I'm really in between sizes, so I had to make some modifications to the medium and it's not a great fit.

Like many others, I also think the neckline could be just a cm or two higher to avoid the feeling of having to check for my underwear constantly, but overall I will definitely make this one again - it looks and feels fantastic in the Liberty Tana Lawn.  Next one perhaps in a soft and floaty Voile like Ros'...gorgeous!

Happy Christmas Eve - I have one very excited 4 year old today.  :)

December 19, 2012

Shop update

I've been very busy this week making and crafting for Christmas, but just a quick post tonight to let you know that I have a small bunch of new bibs in shop for those interested.  Great for baby showers/new baby gifts and special little people.  The latest batch I've made with some gorgeous Maze and Vale prints. 

Bibs by me

Bib by me

Bibs by me

If you'd like one you can find them here.

December 15, 2012

This moment.

Violet 10 months

{this moment] - a Friday ritual.  A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week.  A simple, special, extraordinary moment.  A moment I want to pause, savour and remember.

Playing along with Soule Mama.

December 13, 2012

Love this vintage:

1920's black dress from Dear Golden (LOVE!).  Just perfect for a Christmas party over a lovely black underdress.  Stunning beadwork!

1920's dress

December 12, 2012

Easy Handmade Christmas Cards for kids

Yesterday we made our own Christmas cards!  I loved Merrilee's idea last year, but alas, at 8.5 months pregnant and with family stuff/illness going on I didn't get the chance then. I'd forgotten all about it until I was reminded of it again over at Grace designs last week.

Handmade Christmas Cards

Handmade Christmas Cards

This was a super easy craft and therefore great for a four year old to manage.  We just used watercolours instead of fingerprinting inks, and it turned out fine -  I printed the image onto blank cards I already had and it took about 30 mins for the lot.   It's safe to say I loved this craft.  It was just like colouring in to me -  placing all those little coloured dots onto the therapeutic.  I wished I could keep going and going and I think I liked it more than the 4 year old!

Now we have cards for preschool teachers and a few other special people, handmade with love.  *High five!*

If you need to make some too, you'll find the template here on the Mer Mag blog.

December 7, 2012

This moment.

{this moment] - a Friday ritual.  A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week.  A simple, special, extraordinary moment.  A moment I want to pause, savour and remember.

Playing along with Soule Mama.

November 30, 2012

This moment.

This moment

{this moment] - a Friday ritual.  A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week.  A simple, special, extraordinary moment.  A moment I want to pause, savour and remember.

Playing along with Soule Mama.

November 29, 2012

My creative space.

New bibs for the shop in some lovely handprints.
Broken wings for repair.
Random christmas stuff from yesterday's decorating efforts.
One of my favourite doilies awaiting some more clay ornament impressions.
And I'm off to get some more Fimo today... ;)

Making and repairing

Joining in with lots of other creative spaces here.

November 26, 2012

DIY Polymer Clay Necklaces

Polymer Clay beaded Necklaces
My handmade Christmas is well underway here in an attempt to stay organised and not too stressed. Last weekend I made up these necklaces for Miss 4's preschool teachers.  I first spotted this fantastic idea over at Pip's and thought it was worth a go.  It totally was!

Polymer Clay beaded Necklaces

They were such fun to do, really quick and easy, and something that Ellie could help with threading for her teachers - exactly the kind of project I needed for my teacher gifts. Unfortunately the teachers always seem to be the last thing I get to, and I really try to avoid giving chocolates (having seen the amount of food my teacher friends receive - enough to last the century!!).

How to!

A few of my friends have already asked me how it's done, so here's how I made mine (I'm sure there are lots of different ways!):

1.  Head to your local art/craft shop and buy some 'Fimo soft' polymer clay (or 'Sculpey' as an alternative) as well as some durable / strong cord.  I just used cotton braided thread.  I got about 10-14 beads out of one 85g packet, but you may get more or less depending on the size of your beads.

2.  Cut your clay evenly on a hard surface -  dividing the clay into even portions will obviously give you beads around the same size.   I worked with mine on the dining table protected by baking paper as the colour does come out of the darkly pigmented clay.  If you don't want any colour to mix between beads, my advice is to change your baking paper and wash your hands for each colour used as there are a few clay crumbs.  If you want, you can combine and marble colours.  There are some good youtube videos on how to do that, but I preferred mine as a block colour for now.

3.  Form your beads to a desired shape and create a hole big enough to thread, depending on the thread you're using - I used a toothpick for mine, but you really could use anything that works in the same way.  Make sure you check the hole size before you bake the whole batch,  the clay should be firm enough to do this.  The sky really is the limit with the shapes and kinds of beads you make - be creative and try something really interesting!

4.  Lay the beads onto baking paper lined tray and bake exactly as directed on the packet.  Take care with the oven temp and length of time you bake - I used a separate oven thermometer to ensure it didn't overheat as I have heard that the fumes from overheated polymer clay aren't too healthy.

5. Once cooled completely, thread onto string as desired and tie a secure knot.

6.  Gift (or wear) your lovely new necklace!

For me, the hardest bit was regulating my oven temperature to 110 degrees C as my thermostat is completely hopeless but despite that,  this batch came out well, so I'm planning on making a couple more batches for special people and stocking fillers.  I'm also giving myself a few days between batches as rolling out the clay gave me a bit of a sore hand for the rest of the day (nothing serious but pace yourself and don't overdo it with hundreds and hundreds of beads. Trust me, I know a bit about hands).

Polymer Clay beaded Necklaces

I hope they appreciate the idea - what do you think?  Would you like to receive something like this?

November 23, 2012

This moment.

This moment.

{this moment] - a Friday ritual.  A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week.  A simple, special, extraordinary moment.  A moment I want to pause, savour and remember.

Playing along with Soule Mama for the first time.

November 6, 2012

Love this vintage...

Catherine Holm enamel bowl from Rabbit and Rally.   Yes please.

catherine holm bowl

Who doesn't love a bit of vintage tableware?

November 5, 2012

A month of My Creative Space.

This November I'm being brave and joining in with everyone for a month of creative spaces.  I'm posting over at instagram for a daily snapshot of my creative spaces/inspiration etc.  It's a great way to keep up that creative momentum for Christmas, and really not too late if you want to join in too! You don't have to use instagram, plenty of peeps are using their blog, facebook or twitter.

So far we've posted in response to the following prompts - a creative space; make lists; notebook; hands; and today's prompt word is happy!  (you can see how happy Miss 9 months is about her yoghurt art below).

All the details if you'd like them right here.  

Instagram collage #amonthof #mycreativespace
Instagram collage #amonthof #mycreativespace


October 23, 2012


Clothtopus complete and off to his new home shortly.  This is such a delightful pattern from Fiona's book (love!) and a great scrap buster.


I used a range of handprinted fabrics, quilting cottons and linen (some Yardage Design, Publisher Textiles and Lotta in there).  Fun to sew, a little fiddly to close - I hope he holds up.

We wouldn't mind if he stayed really, but he has little arms waiting, so off he goes.



October 14, 2012

Kids Clothes Week Challenge :: Pillowcase dress

I just scraped in for day 7 of kcwc with this quick and easy 30 minute project.  The sewing is getting easier as the week progresses, have you noticed?   I'm getting lazier and more time poor ;)  Details below!

Pillow case dress - kcwc Oct 12

The pattern: Basic pillowcase dress (no pattern).  I just guessed the width and length.  Probably a touch too large for her at the moment, but this child seems to grow as fast as I can sew for her, so not too worried about that.  Pillowcase dress tutorials are everywhere online if you're not sure how to do it.

The fabric:  Thrifted pillowcase - $1.  Not real happy with the fabric now that I've made it.  It's got some polyester in it so not as natural and comfortable as I would have liked.  I broke my rule about always using natural fabrics, and definitely regretted it.   It also seems a little see-through so it might just be a dress for playing in at home.  I might need to add some lining at some point (if I can be bothered!).  Cute print though, yes?

The sewing:  Nothing to it.  30 mins from start to photograph. Yay! 

Pillow case dress - kcwc Oct 12

Well I think that's it for kcwc for me this time round.  I've run out of puff and days, but perhaps I'll be better organised next time and might plan ahead a little more.  Did you sew along too?  I hope you enjoyed it, I certainly did.

Pillow case dress - kcwc Oct 12

Pillow case dress - kcwc Oct 12

[She loves a silly photo this one]

October 13, 2012

Kids Clothes Week Challenge :: shirt dress

Well I got something else done.  Very pleasing given we've been on 'Operation sleep through the night' with V for the last week.  Read tired.  Very tired.

But here's my very first refashion. Mens knit t-shirt to kid dress.

Shirt dress - kcwc Oct 12

The pattern:  Flashback skinny tee by Rae Hoekstra (nice!) but increased in length of course for the dress.  I highly recommend measuring your child and adjusting the pattern as instructed by Rae.  It was worth the extra 30 mins it took me to work it out.

The fabric:  Thrifted Men's tee  - $2.

The sewing:  Easy peasy!  Super Quick.  No hemming or binding.  Fantastic.  Only I think my rosette is wonky and bulky so I think I need to take a few lessons from Ros.  I hope it makes it through a wash.

Shirt dress - kcwc Oct 12

Shirt dress - kcwc Oct 12

And she loves it.  Bonus.

More KCWC inspiration right here (seriously fantastic).

October 11, 2012

Kids Clothes Week Challenge: Tiered Skirt.

I did it.  I got an item of clothing completed for Kids Clothes week!!  Hurrah!  It's only day 4 so I'm a bit slow but still some time to have a crack at something else too.  Details are below (I'm using Meg's summary idea)

Tiered skirt - kcwc Oct 12

The pattern:  Tiered skirt from Happy Homemade Kids Volume 2 (Oh how I love that this book is available in English now! Available in these online stores for those interested)

The fabric:  Some of my leftover Sea Island Cotton Lawn (from the Tova fail) that I picked up on sale for very cheap.

The sewing:  I've come to the realisation that I'm really not a fan of sewing gathers.  I don't like fiddle - pin - fiddle - pin - repeat.  But all in all it came together for a nice floaty twirly skirt.  Didn't take too long. Super quick to cut out.

Tiered Skirt - kcwc Oct 12

Tiered Skirt - kcwc Oct 12

Tiered Skirt - kcwc Oct 12

October 8, 2012

Operation clothtopus.

A little bit of sewing for a brand new little boy has been going on this weekend.  I'm attempting Fiona's gorgeous clothtopus from this book (it's just the most delightful book, I promise).  He's just about finished - just a little bit of closure sewing and some embroidery and my eight tentacled friend will be done.  Miss 4 has affectionately named him "Sammy" and  I've been trying to break the news to her all weekend that he's not going to be staying at our place for long.

Clothtopus progress

I'm also seriously considering having a crack at joining in with Kids Clothes Week Challenge over at Elsie Marley.  I've always been a bit scared to do it before, but I'm feeling pretty keen for the challenge this time round.  I don't think I'll be able to get much done, but just one item and I'd be happy!  What do you think?  Are you joining?

September 26, 2012

V's quilt.

A long time coming this one, but a little trip to the coast enabled me to finally get it finished.  This is my version of Kate's great geometric quilt pattern.  I made it slightly larger (just one extra row) to enable it to fit the cot and have slightly longer length.Quilt for V

Quilt for V

Fabrics used were a mix of linen, shot cottons, lotta jansdotter echo, liberty, Nani Iro and some delightful Maze and Vale handprints.  Backed with a single piece of Liberty Tana Lawn - super soft!  Bound with fabric leftovers.  It's just what was in my head and I'm really pleased with how the fabrics have worked out.

Quilt for V

Despite it taking me so long to get through it (long because I haven't been at it for a while), I thoroughly enjoyed making this, and my confidence grows with each quilt.  I think this is it for 2012 quilting,  maybe next year it will be a new quilt for the big girl.  You can see last years efforts here.

DSC_8154bQuilt for V

July 23, 2012

The daily grind.

Amidst life's hectic pace and the constant pressures of the week it's easy to forget about life's little blessings.  Kinds whinging, fighting, crying, not sleeping,  groceries, work commitments, getting to bed late, getting up early (you know the drill) - these things can cloud the precious moments - like cuddles, stories,  a good book, childhood discovery, a home cooked meal.  Lately we've been really busy, but have been doing our best to appreciate the little things in life.  To take our time where we can and cherish some of the moments we won't have again.

It's not easy.  But we're trying our best, and looking back over these images reminds me that even though it sometimes feels like we're sinking we have so much to be thankful for, and have made lots of wonderful memories in these last few months.  Blogging has slowed a bit, crafting is here and there, but I'm completely happy with that for now.  Things are still in the works, that's for sure, but I'm pacing myself and not putting any pressure on to do more than I can.

Do you know what I mean?   I hope so.

See you soon(ish)   ;)

PicMonkey Collage July 2012

June 19, 2012

Love this vintage...

Lace blouse from new shop find Fun Retro Threads.  I can totally see a refashion of this piece to a nice open boat neckline....or even perhaps a few more pretty coin purses? ;)

lace blouse

Have you had any vintage finds lately?

June 18, 2012

Our weekend.

I am pleased to announce that we are all healthy!  And I'm so thankful for that after a couple of rotten weeks of sickness.  We had a nice weekend of catching up on sleep (thanks to my fabulous husband), a bit of relaxation, cosying up in the wet weather and then getting on top of some housey stuff.  I got my new etsy "about" page finished.  I really like how the new format looks - what do you think?  Etsy are making some nice improvements of late.
Weekend snaps

Weekend snaps

Weekend snaps

Weekend snaps

How was your weekend?

June 14, 2012

A tale of two Tovas

Just to fill you in on my mentioned Wiksten Tova dramas from a few weeks ago....

Along with everyone else, I've had my eye on this pattern for ages, and have had the pdf sitting on my computer for a while, as I looked for the right fabric.

I found it, some lovely floral cotton lawn on sale so I headed straight into the making - measuring, cutting, sewing up a storm.   One problem.  When I tried it on it was a tad tight across the bust/back.  Hmmm.  I kept sewing thinking I could get away with it once I had completed it.  Once the arms were in it was impossible to get on.  And I mean impossible.   I really didn't think my size had grown that much since giving birth to V but obviously it has, and even more to the point, I clearly can't measure myself very well.  To say I was disappointed is an understatement, boo hoo for me, I was so pumped to finish and wear this one.

So I attempted the next size up in a heavier thrifted fabric I didn't care about.  I was like a sweat shop getting it done in a day or so, and when complete, it too was a little tight across the chest, back and armholes.  Sigh.  Although this one is wearable, it's not my preferred fabric, and I'm thinking for my third try I'll do a little pattern alteration - I think the reality is that at the moment I'm a small size across the shoulders and a couple of sizes up around the bustline, so here's hoping i can get it right third try!  I found a couple of ideas here and here for altering the bust, so might try that.

Wiksten Tova 2

I must also say that on wearing, the sleeves annoy me a bit too.  The armholes feel tight and cuffs are quite restrictive on me when I bend my elbow - I think that if I lengthened them a little they may feel better as then they wouldn't sit into my elbow crease quite so much.

Both times I lengthened my shirt by about 1.5 inches as I'm quite long in the torso.  I'm happy with how it sits on me around the hips and waist.

Wiksten Tova 1

But on the whole even though the Jury's out on the fit for me, I really like the way this pattern looks so I'm determined to make one that fits properly...not sure if I'll succeed just yet.  Watch this space.

[Ps. This post is a little late. If I thought I'd had a rough week with child sickness last week, I wasn't prepared for what was to come over the long weekend  - we ended up in Emergency at the Children's hospital twice with Miss 4 months....yep, Bronchiolitis is the pits.  It really is. ]

More creative spaces here.

June 7, 2012

10 minutes.

Not much going on here since the weekend.  After a weekend of Tova dramas (more on that later) sick sick sickie kids is all I've been doing through the week - exhausting.  I've managed to steal about 10 minutes a few nights in a row to start using up stashed yarn before I nod off early due to lack of sleep.  Sick kidlets are no fun, that's for sure.  And it's our second round in a month. 


I hope your creative space has been a little more healthy!  
Joining in with the fun here.

May 25, 2012

Pink Pouch

Most of us are sick today at our place - husband has gone to work with a cold, leaving me to juggle the two littlies who both have head colds. One demands everything, dropping toys, tissues and clothing all over the house, and the other gets cranky during feeds and wants to be held all day (you know the routine).  Thankfully I have escaped the bug so far... so a quick feel-good project was in order while the littlest slept to assist us with cabin fever - I made this pink coin purse for the big girl this morning and let her choose the colours.  

E coin purse

What else would a 3.5 year old girl have chosen?  It's her first real money pouch, so she thinks it's rather special and has been playing shops with me all day.

I rather like it now that it's done too. :)

May 24, 2012

My creative space.

There's a lot going on in my creative space today.  I'm still trying to squeeze in some time to finish this quilt top, I'm trying to make some more lace pouches for the shop, I have a Wiksten Tova on the go, and I have two skeins of this gorgeous Madeline Tosh Merino DK sitting in my yarn box while I'm trying to decide what to make with it.  In short, a lot of stuff in my head and on the table.

Madeline Tosh Merino DK Tern

The colour of this yarn is so beautiful.  I'm thinking something warm for my neck this winter....any suggestions welcome!

More lovely creative spaces here.