Friday, April 17, 2009

works in progress in times of sickness

Sickness has gripped our house yet again - I am playing nurse maid to the entire family. Funny how my little girl soldiers on despite having a temperature and clearly feeling miserable. My little man of five, declares himself sick!! Tells me he is taking to his bed and does what you are supposed to do - SLEEP.

A lesson could be learnt from this little man - he really honours his body - tells me he would rather Karen medicine (our homoeopath) then chemicals. My three year old girl wants the panadol and to keep going on. Are we born with these patterns? I wonder about this, when I watch my daughter play the martyr, whilst my son is allowing and demanding to be cared for.

Below are my works in progress - that are constantly put on hold, for the needs of big and small people. I have requested to the god of common colds, for this to be our last for the season - hope our prayers are answered.

So I have started my first ever quilt - I took lessons at the studios of the ever wonderful prints charming - those girls have amazing fabrics. Our teacher is a wonderful seamstress by the name of Beverly, what this woman can not do with a needle and thread it just probably not worth knowing - I am trying soak up everything she teaches us for it is vast and great.

Our little Friday morning group is marching on, as we can not bare to part from Beverly's tutelage. I have thoroughly enjoyed this time - whilst the quilt is far from perfect - I like the combination of hand and machine quilting and it keeps me warm. Quilting it could well reduce our energy bills this year.

Below are the beginnings of panels for a tote that I am making for my most excellent friend JO - in Leiden. I miss her every day and despite the distance our friendship endures and ages like a fine red wine - I will be pulling out all the stops for this project and am even making a matching sunglasses case and coin purse.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


I gaze upon this photo with joy and sadness - to see the cousins together spurns my desire to have another to giddy heights. You see three is my magic number - I am born on the third, it is my lucky number, three is a prime number and prime numbers just ROCK......... three is the magic number.

Here is the kicker - my pregnancies nearly kill, quite literally. My last pregnancy resulted in extended hospitalisation. many blood transfusions - loads of drugs preventing me from breastfeeding after six weeks, excessive uncontrolled weight gain (despite being on a strict horrible diet) and three (there is that wonderful number again) years later my body quite literally thinks it is still pregnant and oh the places I have gone for treatment. I have residual lactation, weight and various other post-partum complications.

I would do it all again for an other, however, my long suffering husband refuses to go there again! Fair enough it was not so nice to see me so sick and I think perhaps he was actually very scared for both myself and Anneke . Anyways next year is the big 40 and time is running out - so I instead gaze upon this photo wistfully - what could have been huh. It was so lovely to play with Cousin Tijs for the day for he is one massive cutie, and hopefully we might sneek a sleep over or two on his own before he returns to Amsterdam.

Perhaps my appointment with the Endocrinologist this morning, may herald a new treatment in the offer and the chance to have a third for my 40th...........

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

images of easter

Cam at his Easter hat parade

the first chocolate of the Easter break

the accumulative work of 15 kids at an Easter egg decorating gathering!

the hunt is on!!!!!!!!!!!!

success !!!

Cousin Tijs came to visit from Amsterdam - my children have only 2 cousins - this wonderful little soul and his equally wonderful baby brother. This little man and my sister were the best Easter surprise!!!

rides at the easter show

more rides

still more

a 2 week old alpaca and its mother at the easter show

A fun full time had by all

Thursday, April 9, 2009

easter bags

We have having yet an other gathering - it seems all roads lead to our house at the moment. We have invited 20 odd kids tomorrow, to come and decorate eggs - each child is to bring 6 hard boiled eggs and an art smock - I provide dye, glue and glitter - perhaps some chips and cordial as well.

And basically they can craft away until things get to out of control and then I will start dropping subtle hints for home time....

I wanted to make a party favour that concealed the chocolate contents and required adult supervision..........this is result

vellum strip 10.5cm x 29.5cm
one pretty pretty paper cut into eater shape approx 10cm long
sewing machine
chocolate surprises for inside

I traced egg shapes on the back of pretty pretty paper then cut out

sew using sewing machine to vellum approx 4cm from the top of paper

strips of vellum ready to be folded

fold leaving a 2.5cm -3cm lip
sew sides using the zig zag stitch
a little pouch has been created

Insert Easter chocolate surprises we have supported the Bilby cause

fold lip over and sew shut !!!!!!!!!

ready and hidden!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bunny egg hider??????

Look I am not sure what these are - but I make them to put under the Easter bush and they hide/store an Easter egg - you could also use them as a egg warmer. This is a craft, older kids could easily manage - mine are still a wee bit young.

Felt embroider floss

I drew a basic shape of a bunny and cut out 4 of decided shape in felt the ears are separate

Then I embroidered a face and stars on the Easter bunny front and back.

I then Sewed all four pieces together - walking foot helps with this. Hand stitching would be fine as well in fact I did a simple back stitch around the edge for looks.

Stuff between the layers leaving a cavity in the centre to hide or warm impending egg

Blanket stitch around the bottom

Hide egg

Hello Bunny

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

easter bonnet

What to do........ for an Easter bonnet for a BOY - and a boy that does not like boys things (other then pirates) and would rather be in a pink frilly number. Well this was my solution.

I bought a Robinson Curosoe type hat (from the $2 shop) cam cut out and decorated the felt blue eggs. He was excellent - he was using fabric markers and completely respected that these could cause permanent damage to furniture etc. He then placed and designed where the chicks should go - I simply sewed them to hat. The dangle eggs were his idea (not an original one but his own design)- he thinks they add a "certain something". My son the fashion designer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

multipurpose egg warmers

Below is a quick DIY on egg warmers/chocolate egg holders, that turn into a glass coaster and napkin ring. The idea was to make them look like egg flowers before the are disassembled- I made 25 of them for a girls dinner and used them as a centrepiece- I forgot to take photos so you have to imagine the splendor of the evening. The centrepiece also became the party favour as they could take a couple home as an Easter treat.

This project was all about using up my stash of fabric SCRAPS- no purchase was made for this project - however I did eat into my felt stash. Hand on heart everything else came out of the scrap bag - so the whole look is RUSTIC....... and imperfect - as some fabric might not be quite square etc

2 x 13cm squares of light cotton fabric
1 x strip of felt 17.5cm x4cm felt
1x strip of slightly larger roughly cup fabric
1x small centre strip of contrasting fabric optional

Assemble napkin ring - I them top stitched around the upper edge of the felt and zig zagged around the centre scrap of fabric

Right side facing - sew strip together

For the coaster simply place fabric squares - right side facing - and sew. Leave an opening to turn inside out - using a chop stick gently push out corners and top stitch around the square.

The coaster requires lightweight fabric so you place egg in the centre of coaster and assemble into the napkin ring to create a egg flower/warmer.

Hope this is clear - Ing

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Winter is upon us and I have been attempting to teach my self to knit. I followed a tutorial by this amazing woman - and basically practised different styles to create neck cuffs for winter. Cause it is in my opinion, after living in both hemispheres, that if your neck is warm life is cozy and rozy...........

The best bit are the buttons which I bought last Queens Day in Amsterdam. Making use of my crafty purchases fills my with joy and vindication that constant collecting is never wrong.

I think I will make one for all the girls in Leiden - providing of course they approve of such neck attire.

My wonderful friend rob from England - modelled them for me.