Sunday, May 30, 2010

Flea Market Finds

OK, so I said I'd take a break from op-shopping, and I did - really!
It's just that I was walking to the park, and saw a sign for a White Elephant Sale at a local church. Being the community minded person I am, I just had to go along, didn't I?

Initially I managed to be practical - a great kid-oriented craft book (with bits I'll quite enjoy too!), and a couple of 5c spoons for "gardening play" - a soup spoon should make it easier for our girl when next she tries to relocate water from puddles to garden beds (last time she patiently used a tea spoon!). After seeing this idea for vintage spoons, I wish I'd bought more!

And then I saw, lingered over, walked past and around, then finally purchased this little cup/saucer/plate set. They just seemed to want to move to a home with a lime green kitchen (with absolutely no space left in the cupboards!).

Immediate storage woes were soon forgotten when I found this in their back "shed" - a bookcase just made for our hallway - for just $8 (plus a little extra money forced upon a kind church volunteer who delivered it to us when it became apparent there was no way this was going to fit into our little car!). Storage that fits our house and is not impossibly expensive has been so hard to find, and we're going to have fun painting, then filling (again) and rearranging this.

For more flea market finds, visit Sophie.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Daft ideas 101

I'm lucky enough to be the mum of a gorgeous and clever girl who likes to be just like me (and yes, I know this won't last forever!)...

So when I started blogging, it wasn't long before I heard the words "I'm a blogger too - we could blog together!"

Luckily a little plastic container was found and blogging commenced on her red laptop...She was happy, but of course I thought we could do better, so I grabbed that cardboard, soon realising this was going to take a little longer than I'd planned...
And ta-dah - a mini computer for a mini blogger (finished some time after said blogger had gone to bed!).

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Flea Market Finds

This is my first contribution to Flea Market Finds - and it might be a while before I have another, as our little home is now full to the brim - looks like I'll be trying to creatively find ways to make more space next!

My first 3 finds were from our local op-shops (one of which is part of our weekly after-playgroup ritual - a trip to the op-shop, then to the bakery for a scone!)

Some sweet fabric and a tablecloth...Two metres of beautiful upholstery weight fabric, already put to use - wrapped around an old folded quilt to make a comfy cushion for a "book nook"...And our most exciting find - 200 pieces of duplo (well, mostly duplo, with some imitation product included)! We spent the rest of the day cleaning the stuff (I'd suggest keeping plasticine and duplo separate as it's not fun to remove), then waited for dad to get home to try it out! This is "The Amazing Dr Seuss Staircase House"...
Today I treated myself to a real flea market experience - a trip to Camberwell Market, inspired by Kirsty. I exercised considerable restraint (while plotting to come back another day, maybe with my far-more-stylish sister), and came home with...

a part roll of sweet wallpaper...and a $3 Jacket for my girl (who was too excited to stand still). The bargain price made sense when I looked more closely and noticed a number of stains - but a pre-stained jacket might actually save us some stress and give us the freedom to have more messy fun!

One of the nice things about being in Camberwell this time of year is walking through the beautiful autumn leaves on the footpath, so my last "find" was free, but much appreciated...For more flea market fun, visit Sophie.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I think you're great

Wednesday was a tough day for me - nothing terrible, just one of those days. So that night I treated myself to a visit to blogland - as it turns out, there were giveaways galore, with links sending me off to places I'd never visited before. I had fun entering the giveaways (and some of the prizes were just amazingly generous), but after a while I realised that what I enjoyed most was reading the wonderful compliments being shared, and contributing some of my own.

I think this is one of the most appealing aspects of craft blogs and bloggers - a generosity of spirit, and a willingness to share ideas, knowledge and especially praise. Until recently, I've felt uncomfortable commenting on other people's posts, wondering why they'd want feedback from some random person they've never met, but I'm learning how valuable those comments can be ... so today I want to say to you, craft bloggers of the world...

I think you're great.

And a special "you're great" to a few of the people who led me to join the blog club -

Jodie of Ric Rac fame - thank you for being warm, funny, self-deprecating and incredibly clever - on your blog and in person (I was the person who was already sitting waiting for your talk on Saturday at Stitches and Craft when you walked in, and who finally worked up the courage to speak to you an hour or so later - thank for being so friendly, and putting up with my awkward attempt to tell you you're my craft hero!

Pip - of the blog/shop/book(s) Meet me at Mikes - thank you for inspiring me with your energy, your incredible breadth of interests, and for promoting - in your blog and through Make and Meaning - inclusiveness and friendliness in blogland.

Steph - a lovely francophile who makes truly lovely things (first discovered via the network - building Kootoyoo with this "my creative space") - I love your blog and am amazed at how much you've done in such a short time! I'm so grateful to you for following my comment back to my blog (in the midst of dealing with 200+ comments!) and becoming my first follower - just the motivation I needed to keep writing when I was wondering why I'd started this blog...

There are many more insp
iring people I could mention - but right now, I'm going to try and take some of my new-found blog confidence back to my "real world", and spend some time telling my family and friends how great they are too.

Have a great day!

Edit: sorry about the strange font size changes at the end of the post - blogger refuses to let me fix this!

Friday, May 7, 2010

All in the timing

After months of thinking "should I?"... "no, I couldn't"... "but maybe?"... "no, really, get a grip, I'm not creative / consistent / organised enough to have a blog"... I set up a blog last week - when I really should have been washing dishes.

The thing is, now I've started, I don't actually have any just-finished or even half-started projects to show... so - and I hope I'm not breaking any craft bloggers' code of conduct here - I thought I'd start with a reflection on craft projects past...

This dino softie was the first project I completed after buying a sewing machine a year or so ago. Our daughter has loved dinosaurs since she was tiny and regularly requested "dino" drawings from her parents - mine all turned out looking a bit like this - and one day I decided to turn the drawing into a three dimensional toy I could give her for Christmas.

It's wonky, and a little puckered in the nether regions, but she still loves it, and so do I.

I came to knitting fruit and veg after reading a parenting book late one night (in hindsight, I think sleeping would have been more useful) - and coming to the realisation that we simply did not have enough balls in the house to stimulate our child's visual and motor development (yes, I really should have been sleeping). Instead of visiting a shop (or sleeping) I decided to make one - and came across a pattern for a garter stitch ball (like this one - there are plenty more out there).
It worked, then the next time I made one, I noticed that it looked a bit like a banana when half-finished, then the next thing I knew I was drawing little diagrams, checking my maths and making a little collection.

I know there are better knitted food patterns out there, but mine are easier (for me, anyway), and I quite like the fact they are obviously home made!

This princess crown is my take on curlypops' excellent tutorial for superhero headbands - just a little more girly (and wrinkly). I made 3 in one night - thanks to this first one turning out a little wrinkly after some careless application of interfacing to satin fabric (I was going to my twin nieces' birthday party the next day). I'm happy to report that the birthday girls received smooth and symmetrical crowns - and ran around too much for a clear photo (thank goodness for teddy bears). I'm also happy to report my daughter doesn't mind the wrinkles at all!

It was looking at my huge bookmarked collection of tutorials and inspiration that led me to start this blog - in the thought that soon I might be brave enough to share my own tutorial and hopefully give someone else a little inspiration. As a previous blog lurker, I would like to say I'm really grateful to all of you who do share their knowledge and skills so freely.