Friday, July 31, 2015

Yeah I Made It.... 31/52 - Bellatrix Blazer

Greetings Crafters,

So I was very excited to win my pick of 2 PDF patterns from the wonderful New Zealand pattern company Papercut Patterns from The Monthly Stitch's Indie Pattern Month.

I chose the Bellatrix Blazer and the YoYo Dress pattern. Also this month (can you see I'm skidding in by the tips of my lapels!) at The Monthly Stitch they are doing checks as their theme.

Earlier in the year when my sister was here we designated this check fabric for some kind f fun jacket combined with denim because it was just a small piece that I received, in a bag from a friend (I love those kind of friends!).

So I cut a size M and made no alterations or tests - 1. Because I'm lazy like that and 2. Deadline!

It's a while since I've made a jacket or coat so all the lining and collar was a bit of a brain scratch now and again. The blazer is really simple and I like it - I kind of like the juxtaposition of the tuxedo style with the brushed cotton check feel. I think the M is the right size but I could do with a bit less armhole (something I never thought I'd say!)

I also like the mix of the denim against the check - it feels a little 'ruff and ready' (for me, which isn't really... but hey!). It was the first time trying to do a button hole in ages and the first time ever on the machine I bought last year.

Of course I did no work to try and match the checks - sometimes it's enough to remember to cut out the fusing and clip the seams. Not sure how I'm going to style this one but I'm open to suggestions.

Apologies for the entirely below average photos - it's a deadline thing! :o) I did think about only putting the ones on the hanger in but I always feel disappointed when I can't see clothes on real people in an outfit post so you get me in my untouched glory!

How about you, what styles work hardest in your wardrobe?

love you more than a new style to experiment with xxx

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Yeah I Made It 30/52 - Blankies

Warm and Cozy Wishes,

When we happened upon a 40% off all fabric, even the ones on sale, Bounce didn't need to do much to convince me to whip him up a soft blanky. For two 1.5x1.5m blankies - blue one side and red the other I paid just under $21.

The making was a doddle - right sides together, leave a small gap, turn right way out and sew all the way around the edges again.

I added a tiny patch of something they each selected from my scraps so there is no arguing over whose is whose. Not that we ever argue here!! ;-)

We are gathering rather a slew of warm rugs and blankies here but really in winter is there anything nicer to do than snuggle under a blankie and read???

love you more than fabric so soft it makes you purr xxx

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

29/52, 30/52, 31/52


Don't the holidays just rush in like a whirlwind?

Art making morning

Saturday morning markets

Candlelight tour in the Art Gallery

Claymation with Pop

Reading to Ma

Have a Go Parkour in the City

Have a Go Parkour in the City

Someone had their artwork selected for an exhibition in the city.

Change-room fun - mama I have no arms!

We had all sorts of lovely people to share our holidays with so that is why there has been the crackle of radio silence... plus some other changes for another day.

Holiday memories and  snaps though with Ma n Pop and Auntie K.

Special times those holidays with some of my very best people.

love you more than clean sheets xxx 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Reading Days and Nights

Hello fellow wannabe librarians,

My reading mojo seems to have returned, which is good because I have so many good books waiting to be read. Lately it's been adult fiction that I've been ploughing through. Here are some of the things I've been reading...

The Convent by Maureen McCarthy

The Convent is one of those books that flicks between time frames and characters but with a thread that weaves each story together. Based on the lives of Cecilia, a nun in the 1960s and Peach a 19 year old who finds herself working at was once the convent, now converted into studios, cafes (actual setting in Melbourne - which I'm now desperate to visit!)... I really enjoyed this read it manages to harmoniously and sympathetically blend the life of a young novice in a convent and a modern, agnostic teenager. Neither life feels contrived or stereotyped and I think that is a hard balance to strike when they are both running side by side. This is the first of McCarthy's books that I have read but I am looking forward to the next of hers I have on my reading pile. Great reading for anyone who likes books where women of all ages are the main characters.
Details - Allen & Unwin, May 2015 RRP $16.99, also available as an ebook

Hush Little Bird by Nicole Trope

2 women find themselves in the same minimum security prison. Their crimes are unrelated, their ages and social status totally dissimilar but their lives are tangled by a past that both of them keep closed. As the story unfolds their pathways close in... what will happen when their stories come together? This story also bounces between both characters points of view. Hush Little Bird really hooked me in but it is also a really difficult read - you can see and sense the lives unravelling and you sort of know where it is going before it gets there. The characters felt realistic not caricatures of what they might be. I would be happy to read other titles by Trope - her writing is engaging and she deals with difficult topics with sensitivity and in a gentle way. Warning - this book contains sexual abuse of children. It is handled without gratuitous detail but it is still there, and harrowing.
Details - Allen & Unwin, June 2015 RRP $29.99, also available as an ebook

West of Sunset by Stewart O'Nan

F. Scott Fitzgerald, author of The Great Gatsby, one time darling of Hollywood. Written as a novel West of Sunset follows the final few years of Fitzgerald's life. The glamour and grind of Hollywood, the  encroaching shadows of WW2 and the decline of a man who is scrambling for the adoration that was once his. This book is like peering through the windows of the glamour-world we imagine the golden years of Hollywood to have been. Only, we find when glancing through the windows that the reality is not what we imagine. I found Fitzgerald's alcohol dependency and decisions hard to read at times - but I guess that is the reality of a brilliant person undone by their own weaknesses and addictions. The book also follows his difficult relationship with his wife Zelda, who spent many years institutionalised. Perfect for the lover of great names, the 1940s and Hollywood glitz as well as the struggling artist.
Details - Allen & Unwin, May 2015 RRP $29.99, also available as an ebook

The Wonder Lover by Malcolm Knox

John Wonder - man of 3 lives. Three wives, three sets of children - all named Adam and Evie and a carefully, intricately constructed life that keeps the three hemispheres separate. I like the premise of this book and the ending really worked for me but I really had to push myself to keep reading and there were a number of times that I wanted to give up. There was quite a lot of sexually explicit imagery which really diminished the book for me. I find this kind of thing really off putting and it was the whole identity of one of the key characters, so it does dominate the narrative. The book is clever and the way things unfold at the very end is really interesting but I wanted much more of the end and more of the three wives and who they were - which I didn't get enough of. This book and its author has a lot of praise - it didn't really work for me but I'd be open to other books by this author.
Details - Allen & Unwin, April 2015 RRP $32.99, also available as an ebook

At The Water's Edge by Sara Gruen

If I struggled to get through the novel above then I gorged on this one. Ellis, Hank and Maddie disgrace themselves in Philadelphia and find themselves cut loose socially and financially. So begins their journey to Scotland in search of the Loch Ness monster and trying to redeem themselves. Set against the backdrop of World War Two and the relationships between Maddie, her husband Ellis and his constant companion Hank the relationships become more difficult and entangled as the novel progresses. This book is really all about relationships and perceptions and I enjoyed the character of Maddie immensely. Perfect winter reading. I would happily read any of Gruen's novels. Highly recommended.
Details - Allen & Unwin, April 2015 RRP $32.99, also available as an ebook

Phew.... see I told you I'd been reading!! Next up some book reviews by some awesome boys I know. Hope that winter has been affording you some wonderful reading moments to snatch.

I sometimes have the opportunity to interview authors too, which is really cool. What questions do you always want to ask an author?? Do you like author interviews too?

love you more than the opening line of a wonderful read xxxx

thanks to Allen and Unwin for these great books - reviews and opinions my own, obviously ;-)

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Yeah I Made It 29/52... Where The Wild Things Are

Welcome storybook fashion lovers,

So this is the other Simple Sew Ruby Dress that I made for the Monthly Stitch IPM. Which I placed in and won 2 patterns from Papercut - Wohoo!! Special thanks if you voted :o)

I adore this Where The Wild Things Are fabric. It was, as usual, an impulse purchase made when I feel in love with the fabric. For me the fabric almost always comes first!

The pattern is very simple to put together although given the width of my fabric I had to get creative and do a little patchwork on the sides to make it work.

The full skirt is something I really like, though hazardous on a windy day.  The other dress I made from this pattern can be found here.

What about you...would you wear character fabric??

love you more than a twirly skirt xxx

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

In My Neighbourhood - The Movenpick Shop

Ice cream lovers and others - welcome!

We have a little tradition of a mama and boy date for birthdays around here. I have the totally intentional aim of training my boys to think that going on a date with just mum is something that can and should be enjoyed, in the hope it will continue into their adulthoods!

So we are a little late with this date but finally my newly 9-year-old, and I, got to the Movenpick Shop/Cafe. It was his pick. It was also his job to do all the ordering and to do the paying (with my money).

The waitresses were rather taken with him and we ended up with another scoop of ice-cream after I took this photo. We ordered fondue for 2 and he had a raspberry sorbet drink and I had a green tea smoothie.

He chose raspberry sorbet and blackcurrant and cream ice-cream for the ice cream flavours and they were very nice against the velvety chocolate. All in all if you are an ice-cream lover a very pleasant way to while away an afternoon in Adelaide.

love you more than a chocolate dipped pink marshmallow xxx

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Yeah I Made It 28/52... Another Creeper

Greetings Minecraft Lovers,

If you happen to not know about minecraft, do not be worried - you are not missing out.

A birthday invite issued

a minecraft creeper cushion made using Fay's pattern from last time with a textured minky back.


love you more than a go-to, still-cool-enough-to-give, handmade-gift xxxx

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

In My Neighbourhood - The State Library

Hello dear readers,

Despite my flagrant disrespect for the place of commas I do actually harbour a desire to write books and stories. Trouble is, the days I am at home between 9-3 I often get sucked into the vortex of washing, email checking, blog writing, reading, baking, folding mounds of washing (scrap that one, I should be folding mounds of washing but I hardly ever do)..... suffice to say that writing tends to get squeezed out of the focus it needs.

So the other day I decided to take my pen and paper, I'm old school like that, and head to the State Library.

I sat with other people on laptops and computers in the awe-some place that is the old part of the state library and wrote. So peaceful, so bookish, so lovely. Pretty sure they have free wi-fi and really for a person who needs to not be distracted by jobs and chit chat this tops them all.

Where I sat, there are lots of these booths.
Even if you aren't inclined to writing or studying this is a beautiful place to walk through and breathe in the atmosphere. Also need I say - movie set???!!!

love you more than a shelf of books with bound covers xxx

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

27/52 and 28/52

We were invited over to play and they had dogs -

which delighted one

and gave the other cause for watching through the door of the play house.

Also.... new pjs!

It's all the fun around here. :o)

love you more than flannelette on a cool winter evening xxx

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Yeah I Made It 27/52 - The Best Dress

'Sup Lovelies?

So I recently entered 2 versions of the same dress in The Monthly Stitch Indie Pattern Month challenges.

This is one I made from IKEA fabric, which I have had for a while but was planning to make a coat from, I didn't have enough fabric and then they sold out. It's from a company called Simple Sew and it's called the Ruby dress. It is a very simple make, although the instructions are pretty simple too...

Because the fabric is intended for furnishing it is really heavy and that's what makes the skirt part stick out so beautifully.

I absolutely love this dress.

The first day I wore it to school and I walked into my first class for the day and one of the children asked, "What are you teaching us today?" - long story I teach several subjects. One of the other students replied with considerable contempt in her voice, "Art obviously, look at what she is wearing." So funny. I had no idea that I dressed for the subject - but I probably do!

The next time I wore this dress I was waiting to cross the road at the lights and a man ran up to me and asked where I got my dress from and then launched into a conversation about the fabric and the designer and said how much he loved it. Then he told me he is a a street fashion photographer and was bummed he didn't have his camera. Can I just say, me too!!

Anyway - outfit for the win! I am so thrilled with it and I can see it will be a go to dress when I want to feel special.

How about you? What is your go-to I need to feel special outfit?

love you more than being stopped by a stranger to admire my outfit xxx

*** edited to add I made the finals! Whoot. If you want to see the wonderful finalists and vote for your favourite please do here. ****

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

In My Neighbourhood - Booknook & Bean

Hello virtual travellers,

Just recently a rather scabby part of Adelaide, a carparking underpass area, has been transformed with a series of cute shops and finds. I'm sure I'll be back to check out all the bits but today The Atlas and I had a coffee date at this wonderful place.

Small but cute it serves drinks and a few pastries. I had the orange hot chocolate and The Atlas had the white hot chocolate. They were good. There was quite a few hot chocolate flavours and seeing as I am still too immature to drink coffee I am very excited by this.

The thing I loved most though is the second hand book wall. As part of the cafe/coffee shop they have shelves of donated books and an honesty box in the middle. The books aren't priced and if you ask they'll suggest you donate from $2-10 depending on what you feel the book is worth.

None of the money goes into the till. All money is used for Kiva (microloan company) and when the loans are repaid they'll reinvest it. Definitely check out Kiva it's a great idea for helping to empower people the world over.

I donated seven books today and bought 3, strictly to support the cause you realise!! ;o)

If you are in Adelaide and want a hot drink or to be inspired by how urban eye-sores and dejected spaces can be revitalised and awesome then you should definitely check out topham mall.

love you more than a feel-good hot chocolate xxx