Thursday, 24 December 2009

Merry Christmas


A big hello to all the lovely folks visiting from SewMamaSew to see my tututorial :-)
I'd really love to see a photo if anyone gets round to making the fairy skirt from my pattern (to see what it looks like if you can really sew!!).
When we arrived home for Christmas to my parents place this little cherub was waiting. Visiting alas and gone today but not before we all had lots of cuddles and she hopped her way around the house to the bemusement of the two dogs.

Friday, 18 December 2009

happy holidays!!


We are all exhausted this week - our 'little' A's last at primary school. Her last three days included a graduation dinner, a presentation assembly and a guard of honour as the year 6 walked out for the last time (yes I did cry!) It was all so perfect and we are left with such beautiful memories but it feels like yesterday it was her first day of school, and I was crying back then too :-)

I've just put up my holiday message in my Etsy shop. Any purchases won't be sent now till January. There isn't much left, I've sold out of quite a few designs :-) Flower Press has been crazy busy. I'm up to a whopping 443 sales now! Look out 450 sales, here I come!

Yesterday we celebrated the first day of school holidays with a lovely group of friends at the local pool. We swam, we ate, we swam, we chatted. The smallest people spent hours in the water and came home a little pinker than they set out, despite numerous sunscreenings. And I started to relax, just the smallest bit.

Before we get to really relax we still have all our packing and wrapping to do. We leave on Monday for our two day road trip up the coast, five of us and the dog. We are heading to my parents' farm for our last holiday there before it is sold in the New Year (more tears!) It will be lovely to spend one more Christmas there.

I hope to post the occasional update while I'm away. I'd like to put up an end of year mosaic like I did last year, to record and celebrate the crafty pursuits of 2009! In the meantime dear readers, I would like to thank you all for your lovely support, thoughtful comments and for always inspiring me on my creative journey. I love posting here and sharing it all with you.

* The picture at the top of this post is the finger puppet little Mr J got from his teacher on the last day of school. She made one for each child - with the hair personalised to match the kid, the blue is the school shorts and top! How very cool is that!!

Thursday, 17 December 2009

redpepper rickrack


The only thing more thrilling than seeing my fabric in one of Rita of RedPepper's quilts is seeing it beside the beautiful designs of fabulous Aussie Indie fabric designers Kristen Doran (Cheeky Beaks), Saffron Craig and Shannon Lamden (Aunty Cookie)! Bliss.
For those of you still shopping, Rita is having a free international shipping sale in her Etsy shop. (where she goes under the name knitknat) Her quilts are so beautifully made, she matches fabrics and colours with such style that they would make a really memorable present, something that would be cherished for years.

Best of all, this quilt is for sale, along with some of her other, truly beautiful quilts

If anyone else makes something from my fabric I'd love to see pictures and perhaps even feature them here. I'm thinking of starting up a flickr group next year to share projects made with this and future designs (I have number two on the drawing board!) I've also got a simple sewing pattern I've been working on that I'll feature next year which I've made up with RickRack, a simple project that is quick and easy to make. Oh, I've got lots of plans for next year! I need to stop first though and recharge.

I'm not quite on holidays yet. My shop is open one last day, and I'll be back for one more post before I go...

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

another year


My Etsy anniversary and blogoversary and flickrversary come one on top of each other in November. And then in December I have my wedding anniversary a week before my birthday and all two weeks before Christmas in the crazy busy end of the year! So usually its a blur.
This year though I got to pause for a moment and go out to a swishy Greek restaurant with my little family on Friday, and then yum cha lunch with some special friends on Monday. I feel well spoilt and well loved.
Yesterday I got so many thoughtful presents. Mr Flowerpress bought me some really lovely things, like this old printing block and the vintage bakelite thimbles. He bought me a truffle in a jar and a copy of Handmade Nation (all by himself, no direction!) and even op-shopped some vintage fabric amongst my other presents :-) How cool is he.


I got this lovely Elk brooch from a friend, an organic cotton bag, a printed cotton apron, a great Kikki K calendar (I will be organised next year), I got some thrillers to read over Christmas, a garden nursery voucher. Each present I opened showed the person knew me and had really thought about the gift. And then they all rang me :-) I felt very loved.
Today a little Etsy distraction arrived and I had to include it here. The lovely Mitsy from Art Mind is such a special person - so nice to deal with, and look how she packaged my little birds. I bought two so I could give one away... but I think I might have to buy a third! I love her series of emotions based on a simple shape too.

Friday, 11 December 2009

true up

How excitement! More nice words about RickRack found on fabulous fabric site True Up! It means so much to me to see my little fabric design out in the world. A dream come true :-)

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

the last piece

Thank you so much to the lovely Sarah Fielke who posted my RickRack fabric on her wonderful blog The Last Piece. Sarah, a star of the international quilting world, co-wrote the fabulous Material Obsession books which have done so much to inspire beautiful contemporary quilting. Her new venture SEWN is a treasure trove of sewing happiness and I see that now is a good time to visit with ten days of giveaways!!! Just click the baubles at the top to enter.

And thanks too to Madeit who featured RickRack in their Christmas presents under $15 email. I've recently uploaded a few more items to my Madeit shop for those of you who want to shop in Aussie dollars and support a local site (as always I'm happy to take bank deposit if you want to shop Etsy too).

I had another trip to the post office yesterday, there are going to be lots of Flower Press goodies under Christmas trees this year. Flower Press has reached 420 sales on Etsy! As always I am so touched by the lovely messages I get from people telling me who they are buying for, including the person who asked me not to leave feedback because her sister looks at her Etsy site, hee hee. Aaah, sisters. I wish mine were a little closer, her Xmas parcel left for Vietnam yesterday. I wish I could have stowed away with it!! (or with the eight Flower Press tea towels off to Italy for Xmas :-)

Monday, 7 December 2009

rose cuttings


Have you ever tried to grow a rose from cuttings. I have and I've had quite a few successes (see below)! I thought I'd share my method for anyone who wants to try. Finding a beautiful rose is never part of my problem! I'm always lusting over the garden fence at deep reds, bright yellows, pretty pinks, little cottage climbers or in this case, heritage beauties with deep rose scent.

My neighbour May has a deep pink scented rose growing near her door. May's mother in law planted it before May lived in the house, over 60 years ago, May is 92 this year! I love this rose, I like its cupped shape, the heady scent and I love its history and that it reminds me of someone special.

I've struck it before so I know it takes easily. Unfortunately the little plant was lost in a heatwave last year, while we were away. But I know anyway that May wants another plant to give to her bingo bus driver! So this morning when I was deadheading her roses I kept a few stems.

The best cuttings are stems which have had a flower grow on the end, like in the picture. Cut them about 20 cms from the end, bring them inside and put them in a vase if you aren't ready to pot them. I've had roses strike like this, in a warm spot on the windowsill but just to be safe pot them up. Here is my method:

* Cut the stems just below a 'node' (the nobbly bit where the leaves come out.) This is where all the good hormones are. Cut off the dead flower head.

* Peel a thin sliver from the outer skin to expose the layer where all the good stuff is. If you aren't confident about this don't worry. Also optional is dipping the cut end in honey or rooting hormone which helps it strike.

* Pack a small pot with seed raising mix (I love this stuff and you can buy a small bag at the nursery). Alternatively mix a little sand with your potting mix. This makes it drain quickly so the stems don't sit around wet.

* Water the empty pot gently with a watering can. Firm the soil.

* Poke a few stems in together around the pot. Firm the soil so it is close against the stems. (I've probably put too many cuttings in this small pot).

* Cover with a plastic vegie bag, tuck it in around the bottom and put the pot in a shady but warm place.

* Check every so often. Some of the cuttings will die and rot and need to be removed. Same with some of the leaves will usually fall off. If the pot seems dry top up the water.

Some people think that roses grown on their own roots, rather than grafted, are stronger and more long lived. I haven't had mine long enought to comment.

Read part two of rose cuttings here, or about growing roses from seed here and here.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

tutu-torial


I surprised myself this week. I sewed this skirt without a pattern, and I'm really happy with the way it turned out.

My beautiful girl finishes primary school this year (!). For her graduation the theme is Fluoro (back in apparently!) A while ago at Spotlight buying something else we had a look around for fluoro material. It was pretty thin on the ground but we did find this netting material, on sale, and snapped up a couple of metres (I think you need at least 2 and a quarter). We had a vague idea of producing a fairy skirt copying a favourite pink version that has survived in the dressup box since she was tiny. The idea is to wear it over black with some other fluoro accessories.
Anyway, we're both really happy with our fluoro fairy skirt. And it was quick and easy too (took me an hour probably) so I thought I might post a rough pattern for anyone who's interested. I'm sure the clever ones of you could easily improve on it. My sewing skills are quite basic!
It would make a good Christmas present and if you don't count the tiny bits of elastic and interfacing I used, which were in the stash already, this cost about $6.


Anyway, here's the pattern, if you click the image I think it will show a larger size image, but I'm happy to email a pdf if anyone can't see it, or upload it to my Flickr. I might do that anyway.

The waistband was added to hide the elastic as the net is seethrough, the interfacing and doubling it over made it opaque. I ironed it on mid-heat which bonded the interfacing and didn't melt the net.

If you wanted I think you could make it longer or add another layer. You could edge the skirt too but it doesn't fray. A couple of sequins might be a nice touch too!


I'd love to hear from you if you make one yourself.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

what's hot and not



Every week I mean to join in on loobylu's hot and not but get a bit distracted, I always love reading other people's lists.

So here at last is a hot and not from me.

HOT

* Definitely a highlight this week has been all the fabulous entries, comments, feedback from my giveaway.

* Finally buying new couches at Ikea yesterday. With spare washable covers to keep that new couch feeling a little longer. I don't know how anyone (with kids) survives without them!

* Finishing the front of our house. Painted a month ago and now old ugly brick fence has been knocked down (and didn't the male contingent of the family love doing that!) and new picket fence going in Monday! Driveway repaved with paving that you can grow stuff through.

*Etsy purchases. I love being an Etsy seller but I buy a lot too. Saw these cups and could not resist. And these bookmarks from Elsita will be perfect for all my lovely sister in laws who I'm not meant to be buying for.

NOT

A short one, I'm feeling pretty good about the world this week :-)

* Christmas shopping. (I love giving presents but I manage to stress myself out each year worrying if I've bought the right things).

* Tony Abbott