Friday, August 28, 2009

A just because present

Are they not the best kind? I think so!!!!!!!!!! I made this stash of goodies and purchased this book for a very special young lady who has just started eating solids. Her mother and father are the godparents to our Cameron. If we had loads of cash and time - I would send a just because present to them every other week because:
  • They were the first friendship we made in the Netherlands independent of family or friends
  • We lived on top of one an other and heard each others laughter through the floor boards
  • We had great parties together.
  • They fell in love with Cameron immediately
  • Amanda taught Cameron the ice trick
  • They visited me every day when I was hospitalised for Anneke (it was a darn long time)
  • Amanda listen patiently to me when I was scared in hospital
  • Amanda threw the best ever hens night
  • Ton threw the best ever bucks night
  • Ton cried at our wedding
  • They just ROCK.
The Felt picture was made using this awesome tutorial - everything else I just winged. I am holding out for a cheap - green - quick - alternative to travelling to the other side of the planet. We just have to wait till next year - till we can meet this precious girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The teachings of Mrs Glynn

I made this dress following directions from a Nani Iro's pattern book (ISBN978-4-579-11183-1). I also splurged horribly and bought some of their divine fabric.

So upon embarking back into the world of sewing I took lessons from the amazing wonderful Beverley at Print Charming. However, my sewing teacher from my first year of high school is probably still one of the biggest influences upon me and my machine.

Okay I learnt the fundamentals from my mother and Oma - but it was Mrs Glynn that taught me perfection. Let me add I am hopeless at perfection - but damned if that woman did not try her hardest with me. " Ingrid tack everything - no pins it is lazy and reckless" "Ingrid make a draft copy in muslin" "Ingrid have you measured that hem before tacking it?" "Ingrid you really could be quite talented if you were more disciplined"

Well there you have it, I am not disciplined and so really not very talented - but I am okay with that!

The point of the story is, upon cutting into this amazing fabric it appears the ghost of Mrs Glynn entered me - I did indeed make a muslin copy - I measured my hem - but I am afraid Mrs Glynn I did not and will probably never ever tack again - and I am okay with that, cause really I have never aspired to perfection. Further more I am thrilled with the outcome and have all the amazing women who have taught me to sew, trace, interpret patterns etc to thank.

Mrs Glynn it appears you have the last word, as indeed your instruction has stayed with me and served me well - so the biggest thank you, is to you, this afternoon of yet an other completed project!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

WE HAVE BEEN........................

The past few weeks we have been

Receiving school awards for safety

playing with tea sets

Making grumpy trips to the art gallery

And making a quilt for Mamma and Dadda's bed

all out of a jelly roll of Japanese Fabric - I bought at a craft fair.

Pride of place on our bed - I think I will need to make matching pillow cases!

Done and Done- off to tackle an other project

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

oh hail the mighty cupcake

For special events at work - I provide the catering . My speciality at the moment is cupcakes. For the latest function at my wonderbah work spectacular - I whipped up dark chocolate cakes with a pear puree shot in the centre - dressed with a vanilla bean butter cream icing. I had a some great advice from a friend and was well pleased with the results, more importantly our customers just loved them.

The recipe was inspired by this wonderful woman I did however change a few things. I tend to always use buttermilk when baking , I also as a rule add a pinch of cinnamon when using chocolate (I love the back notes of cinnamon so rich and earthy).

The result is - I have two more functions this month that require me to don the bakers hat and really it is such a pleasure - I can see them improving with every new batch.

Prue - I promise you can taste test the next batch!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Play Dates

My dear mother worked - and thus was not around to provide or ferry us to play dates. This was not by choice and I always vowed that I would be around to allow my kids to have and host play dates.

I am so fortunate to have two day a week job - I have the ability to function in the so called real world, I work for two great women. Refreshed, I spend the rest of the week with my loves.

Thursday is play date day.

Cameron has developed a really lovely group of friends - in particular there is this awesome foursome - we all live close by and this foursome comprises of two boys and two girls - nice an balanced.

To make the latest play date more exciting, I made capes inspired from the ever wonderful stitched in time. I made the capes out of calico then appliqu├ęd their initial to each one. When I collected the awesome foursome - I had them spread out over the floor ready for the kiddo's to decorate with fabric pens.

The capes were worn the entire afternoon and through many games of simon said. Great gender neutral activity!

A women possessed

I have developed a quilters callous trying to finish this my first quilt. Here is the reason why - about two weeks ago, I went to the Sydney quilt and stitches show, whilst discussing the use of fabric pens with a seasoned quilter - she warned me of the perils of using fabric pens (even clover) on white cotton. Apparently they leave little brown residual marks, even when laundered. So I went home with the soul purpose of FINISHING,this, my first ever quilt.

The photo's do not show it - but indeed this wise woman was right - unfortunately there are some residual brown marks - however it is slight and my eye does not rest on these mistakes. More importantly my four year daughter loves the quilt and I hope it is in her family for years to come.

Cam bam you're next my love!


This is what I have been making these past few weeks should anyone have questions please ask and I will try and answer.

Sunglasses case

Tape measure cover

coin purse

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Apparently not. It has rained here in Sydney quite a bit over the last few weeks. Saturday gone - we spent the day shopping, cleaning and kid wrangling. At 6pm that evening we finally went outside to discover our most beloved tree had uprooted itself.

This wonderful tree provided shade, comfort ,beauty and love and it even disguised the building next door. But unfortunately when black wattles are in full bloom they re rather heavy and all the wet has provided no anchor for its shallow roots.

We heard nothing - granted it had rained heavily all day - but to hear nothing and to step outside and find a wall of foliage is rather surreal to say the least.

SES were called - they came the next day and chopped the ol' girl up. Gosh they were fantastic!!!!!!!!!!

My very green thumbed mother arrives from the Netherlands in 8 weeks and assures me they will fix everything . MUM'S make everything better!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here are some images of the fallen tree

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Big things little boy

There he is happy - dressed up - chocolate cake - all of his favourite things for Cam Bam.

This evening after the night time drama was over - the urging to change into pyjamas - teeth to be washed and EARLY TO BED. A few late nights and he is impossible.

I crept into my babies room to check on them - Anneke out for count, great. Cameron well he was staring at his canopy of stars. Cam I whispered what's up. He replied Mama "It stays in your head and just will not go".

Panic then calm - what is in your head. Bad thoughts of dying with out you and daddy. My heart sank, his realisation of his own mortality has hit. Mine hit at 8/9 - I remember clearly it does indeed stay in your head and plays over and over.

I sang - we talked of fairies and rainbows - I talked of the love our family has in all of our hearts. I crept out of the room, shed a few tears. I had hoped that this would be a few years away and that my Husband was not working late.

There are times that I feel he is growing faster then I can keep up - But then isn't that our job to keep them in dress ups, facepaint, silly songs and choclate cake for as long as possible.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


So I made this photo frame out of felt for one of the many babies born to our clan. I was inspired by tiny photograph buried in the back of cotton time a Japanese craft magazine . So here is a tutorial on my version


Snap Fastener
tiny bit of stuffing
Tiny bit of ribbon
Roving wool for dry felting

First I created a template - as I have no compass I used circular objects around the house - my circle measured 16.5cm and the inner circle 8.5cm

I then cut out the front piece from my gorgeous stash of felt from winterwood

Be careful when cutting the inner circle, I used a Stanley knife to make the initial cut.

In the name of economy the remaining circles were cut from ordinary felt that I purchased from spotlight. If I were feeling more extravagant I would use winterwood felt for the entire project - but alas this is my comprise.

I cut two doughnut rings and two full circles

Blanket stitch the inner circle of the two doughnut rings together

I then needle felted spots on the front of the frame - I think stripes would look way cool as well - imagination being your only limitation I suppose.

You need double thickness for the entire frame to provide stability.

Add snap fasteners to frame - position at the top. I went through both layers of the backing of the frame and just through the backing layer of the front of the frame

15cm piece of ribbon which I wrapped around the snap fastener of the back part of the frame

Looks like this

Now blanket stitch the outer side of the circle. Ensure you stitch all four layers together leaving a gap at the top of frame large enough to insert photo. Then stitch front and back layers separately.

You could leave it as is - but I decided to add a little somethin somethin. So a cut out a little bird shape - two identical pieces.

Stitch them together and gave the wee bird a gentle stuffing

Attach bird to top of frame - insert stunning photo of delicious baby and hang.

Failed Creations

Not everything I visualise works and I am finding a kind of thrill in the unexpected rather then being horribly down on myself when it all goes wrong.

You see we have this beautiful table - a table I bought in Leiden - and I must preface, my poor suffering Graham had very little input - he hadn't even seen the apartment we bought - as the market was sooooo aggressive a decision had to be made immediately. Luckily Graham trusts me!

As we had no furniture, it was all in storage in Australia, we had to furnish our beautiful new apartment(we still miss that place 2 and half years later) . The Apartment was about 400 years old and rather like a warehouse - I chose a round table that could fit up to 10 people.

Graham fell in love with the table - more then I ever did - but tables are funny things - I have decided in some ways they are the most important piece of furniture in the house. Pre children many a fine meal, wine and raucous debate occurred around that table. Christmases celebrated, birthdays cheered and even tears have been shed around the this table.

Songs have been sung around this table - laughter and joy are now in grained in its wood.

This table holds the memories of a family from its conception to its continuing growth. Post kids the table was part of my baby massage classes - decisions made to return to Australia - more tears lots of tears.

Now the table has an entire room in our small cottage (the apartment is larger then house) and aside from hosting the requisite Sunday dinners, it is our craft table, drawing table - display table.

I nearly wept when my cousin from Leiden was over to visit us and sighed when he saw the table"how I have missed this table" he said "many a good meal was eaten around this table".

To my surprise - Graham told me we need to protect the table - please ing lets find something to protect it - from the scissors the glue and general kids stuff. Ah uh, I am on to it. Yesterday I put the plan in action.

I had previously got the kids to draw and decorate over a large piece of calico. I then attempted to sew some PVC plastic (you know the stuff you buy by the metre as table cloths) over the top. The little engine that couldn't, was my sewing machine and had to abandon the project half way through.

It still adorns the table - and kind of seems fitting that it does - as this table has been witness success and failure in the history of our family .

I think next time I would use double side Velcro to attach the plastic to the cloth - or perhaps dispense with the cloth altogether and move onto the next project

Friday, May 29, 2009


So my new years resolution (aside from my constant battle with weight) was simple - finish what you start - complete all started projects no matter how big or small. You see I am a project starter, I love the thrill of embarking upon a new journey and consequently found, I had loads of unfinished projects hanging around desperate for an ending.

So here are some of my recently finished projects.

So I completed the smock and whilst the picture is blurry and hopefully disguises my girth. I still feel it is shapeless and makes me look larger then I am - however when my absolutely amazing little boy - who proceeded to tell me how fantastic the dress is - but mum I really can not possibly see how it would fit you as is it not far too large (he got money for the school canteen today for being so dash cute). Well here it is - I will wear it - perhaps not the most flattering but I love that I made it and I love that my kid gets a kick out of the fact I can make stuff. Mum I think you can make anything, he finished up with - I just about emptied the entire contents from my wallet into his eager hands........

The next project finished - is this bag for my wonderful friend JO - I am over enjoyed how this finished up and my normal critical self melted away. Whilst I had never given up cross stitch since I was first taught by my mother and Oma at the age of 8-9. I have always had a project on the go. My resolve to dust off the sewing machine after 15 odd years of abandonment filled me with insecurity.

The thing I love the most about this bag is that upon the release of the sewing machine one of the first books I bought was simple sewing and remember thinking wow how will I ever tackle the all - day tote. Well I even altered it and whipped it up an afternoon. The Panels were hand embroidered first - with inspiration provided from the new crewel .

I tend to always use cotton twill for my bag straps - isn't that what twill is made for - But I did line the straps with matching fabric. I used a stiff interfacing to provide a bit of extra shape and form - I also added the top ties to close the tote and all in all I think it makes for a wonderful gift. Off to Leiden it shall go........

So off to finish that quilt before I can start a new project... man I am itching for a new project .