Hey Good Lookin’, What’s Cookin’?


You’ll have to excuse me. I’m a little… rusty. This whole blogging business is a bit last decade for me, I’m afraid! But I did want to pop by and show you a very recent addition to the family…

Monster Chef

Do you love him? I do. He’s a little shifty though – won’t look me in the eye, no matter what angle I try and photograph him at. I think he may be plotting…

I’ve been pattern testing for a lovely friend – Claire, of Matching Pegs fame. If you want to create your very own Monster Chef, you don’t have very long to wait – some of Claire’s patterns will be released later on this year under the Creative Abundance umbrella. Keep your eyes open, then get busy and make a whole *mob* of ’em for the little monsters in your life! (My three have already requested more, in different colours, and yesterday wouldn’t be quite soon enough, if you please!)

Btw, how totally perfect is the ‘mustard

Oh, and the other prop there? Another recent addition – my definitely-cost-far-too-much-but-I-got-it-half-price-worth-every-penny Anolon non-stick frypan (this is definitely not a sponsored post, coz y’all know I don’t do that!) If it’s possible to be in love with cookware, then I have totally fallen for this baby πŸ™‚



Time stood still.


I’m learning again though, to appreciate the wonder in my life.

Thank you friends, old and new, for being there when I learned how to reach out.

Can’t. Stop. Needle Felting!

So since I started, the stabby needle and I have been quite busy together. Here’s a few of the resulting creations:

There have been macarons – a few of them went to my fellow Craft Camp antendees, but these two have so far stayed with me:
Felt Macarons
Inspired by Cinti, who makes lots of these yummies. I found a tutorial here, if you’d like to give them a try too πŸ™‚

And there’s this sweet terrarium:
Felt Terrarium 01

I couldn’t get a decent pic of it inside the jar, so here’s a better one:
Felt Terrarium 02
The kit for making this comes from Holly at Two Cheese Please. Totally love it – this is my favourite thing I’ve made to date.

Then there was the tutorial I found and just could not resist:
Angry Bird 01

My pig is a little different… not sure I’m 100% happy with it, it’s kind of more cute than menacing!
Angry Bird Pig

Niamh got right into the action, helping with both the photo-styling and the actual-bird-flinging.:
Angry Bird 02

Angry bird had to be rescued before too long. Needle felted toys don’t really hold up to much rough play! Niamh was sad until she realised she could use the slingshot to fling any small toy around. Plus, I made her a ladybug:

Ladybug Brooch

And then we had to have a final photo-session with everything in:
Needle Felting

What’s next? Not sure, but I’ve been busy pinning a whole lot of amazing inspirational images over at Pinterest – here’s the link to my Needle Felting Love board, if you’re interested. Wow!

What a Hottie!

Along my way, I’ve tried a craft or two. Or thirty. I’ve origamied, macramΓ©d, quilled, decoupaged, tie-dyed, beaded, book-bound, crocheted, knitted, sewed, quilted, hardangered and cross-stitched my way through life. But until recently, I had never dabbled in the waters of needle-felting. I had made a plan and a purchase though, because the temptation was there. But it took a recent callout from Ms CurlyPops to join the cause over at Open Drawer, to get my itchy stabby fingers moving πŸ™‚

The challenge was to create a hot water bottle cover using whatever textile medium/s took our fancy. For warm and cozy, I thought, what better than some snuggly felt? I set about using a long hoarded piece of nubby green fulled jumper to create my cover. I then got busy with a needle and some roving to add the accents. I pieced the lot together (my sewing machine did not enjoy this part of the process, and shortly afterwards needed a restorative trip to the mechanic), and then foolishly decided I didn’t like the exposed seams, and that a good idea would be to create a faux ‘binding’ with more roving and a whole lot more stabbing. Several long hours later, I wished I had left probably-well-enough alone! But the end result was just what I wanted:

Hottie Cover - Front
Hottie Cover challenge, Open Drawer, 2011. Front.

Hottie Cover - Back
Hottie Cover challenge, Open Drawer, 2011. Back.

Barely squeaking in under the deadline, I delivered my hottie to Cam, who in turn delivered a whole lot of them to Open Drawer, where the crafty glitterati (!) congregated a few days later for the opening night excitement. I took the whole family, and we made several donations towards ‘best in show’ (but not one of my children voted for mine, I’ll have you know! Traitors!) I didn’t win, but my cover did sell (to somebody not my mother!), so I’m pleased to have played a small part in raising some funds for an excellent cause.

My itchy-stabby-fingers weren’t sated though! Coming soon – what happened once those felting floodgates were opened…

The Second First Quilt

Wait a minute… there are TWO quilts in this shot!


I also (finally) finished the First Second Quilt! Did you guess? I’m sure you did. It made an appearance or three in Brianna’s Craft Camp post, after all.

While we were there, once Quilt #1 was finished, I (finally) pieced up the back for this one, and then took advantage of all available hands to (finally) get it basted. The quilting and binding I (finally) completed last weekend. There was happy-dancing then, oh yes there was! Then I just had to wait for the misty-meisty Melbourne weather to let up for a bit so I could get a halfway decent photograph or two. And so…. (please to be excusing our hideously-neglected-because-it’s-winter “garden” in the background):

The front:


The back:


And the binding:


The design is the Mod Sampler Quilt by Elizabeth at Oh, Fransson. I found Elizabeth’s instructions provided a really clear walk-through for this very newbie quilter (though at the end, I decided against free-motion quilting, and just went for a simple diagonal grid instead).

I can say, now that it’s completely finished, I do love it. It just took me a while to get to the love. I think this is a successful ‘man’-quilt, for my littlest man (who is refusing to have a decent photograph taken today):


Now let’s see just how long it takes me to fulfil the quilty-requests of the rest of the family!

Could it be? Surely not…

It started here. Twenty-eight months ago, I first showed you the fabrics I’d picked out to start my first quilt. Somehow, even then, I knew that it would take a while. I knew, because I know myself, and how I have procrastinatory tendencies. Also, because I was more than eight months pregnant with my third child, at the time. I might have had an inkling that time was not going to be plentiful.

The plan was for a cot-sized quilt which would also do as a comfy couch-snuggling size, because, you know, I might have had that inkling… about the child being out of the cot (and the cot gone for good from this house – sniffle!) by the time I finished. I was right. Purposefully, I picked out non-babyish fabrics, for those reasons.

I buckled down relatively quickly, and the finished blocks were seen in the background of this post, a mere two months later. And then, uh, I stalled. What, with the baby and all, you know!

Come July 2010, and my first trip to Sewjourn, I pulled out all the bits and bobs, and finally finished me a quilt top. And then, uh, stalled. Again. This time, I think, because I was just a little bit not-in-love-so-far with my First Quilt. Hmmm.

So come early 2011, what am I do, of course, but start a Second Quilt. Naturally. Spotlight had 50% off jelly-rolls, you see, and my siren colours called to me! So I purchased, cut, pieced front, pieced back, and basted my Second Quilt. All in a matter of a week. (Despite, I might add, the atrociously poorly cut jelly roll. Siren colours or no, I won’t purchase another Spotlight jelly roll. Yuck!)

And then I stalled.

I am nothing if not consistent πŸ™‚

Which brings us now to early-July 2011. A second trip to Sewjourn. The complete rundown of which may be found over at Brianna’s place (accompanied by far too many photographs of yours truly, I must say).

AND….. (bom bom bommmm…)

A finished quilt:

With a front:


And a back:


And (my very favourite part), some binding:


I might have had a wee tiny bit of unasked-for-help from the Craft Fairy with that lovely binding. The Craft Fairy has, I believe, learned her lesson, and won’t be doing that again πŸ˜†

It’s small, I grant you. About 110 x 130cm (talking about quilts in metric measurements – not the done thing, I know, but I only measured it just now, and all I had to hand was a 30cm ruler!) But it’s warm and cozy, and just right for two little people (or one slightly bigger one) to snuggle under on the couch, or just for me to put across my lap like a granny. And I love it! Hurrah for Second First Quilts!

(And for long-belated returns to blogging, too! There just might be a Part Deux to this story, by the way…)

A Tale of Two Cakes

You may have already heard the tale of the (thankfully not chocolateless) chocolate cake… it’s already quite famous, you know. But on my return from the stashbusting expedition*, I found another waiting:


Sponge cake with strawberry jam, fresh strawberries and cream. Drooooool……

(Dermot’s first ever sponge cake, he will have you know. What do you think Liesl, should we enter him for next year’s Melbourne Show?!)


My birthday (one with a 5 in it) is, in fact, tomorrow, but Sunday is a much more celebration-friendly day, which is why we did it all today. (There is, however, an ominous bag of goodies awaiting kids-in-big-bed time in the morning. In the immortal words of Lola,I can’t wait, I can’t wait!)


It was delicious! (There’s none left, by the way… but it’s not quite as bad as it sounds, we did have guests come for yummo roast-chicken dinner as well, we didn’t polish off the lot by ourselves!)

All that and the Finders Keepers market yesterday with Niamh too. An entirely satisfying weekend!

*If you follow that link you can find a picture of me blowing out the candles – I am clearly moving very fast… which is when I am at my most photogenic, I think**! Thanks Cam πŸ™‚

**I also have quite the photogenic foot, as seen over at Bec’s place. I point this out only to reassure you that I am not kicking Houdini-dog in this photograph, but merely scratching his chin with that foot (which left him in raptures, and my hand quite untainted by Houdini-dog smell!)

Lavender’s Blue, Dilly Dilly


When the opportunity came along at the right time last weekend, I raised my hand to test Nikki’s lavender bag pattern, because I happened to be in need of a quick and easy crafty boost.

Ok, and also, I had an inkling that it might be the perfect fit for some certain someones. I was right:

Gracie' s Bag

(You know, just in case you were in need of further evidence that I have gone a bit doll crazy!)

Cute, yes?! And smelly too (in a good way!) If you don’t have a dolly who needs a handbag, you can hang yours in your wardrobe and have nice smelling clothes instead πŸ™‚

You can find the pattern here, or a kit (including the pattern, plus bits and bobs you’ll need) is available here. All complete with Nikki’s most excellent instructions, natch!

No need to thank me!

PS. Hi – how are you? I know, it has been a while. I’ve been busy with… stuff! We’re just back from a family trip to Perth, which was super-ace, and I should probably find time to post some pics. There may also be another doll-related-craft post in the works. Erm… sorry in advance! The doll thing kind of passed me by as a child, I think I may be developing a delayed ‘habit’.

All Dolled Up

Remember this skirt?


Well, finally, here’s a look at Gracie modelling the first result of my refashioning efforts:


I’m not super-dooper-ooper excited about the sleeves, they were a getting-close-to-midnight effort, and better in concept than execution. I’m going to rework this idea on the next try.

Molly wanted to get in on the action too – she’s showing off a pair of PJ pants I made to match the ones seen on Niamh seen in this post. I thought she (Niamh, not Molly) would be over the moon to wake up and discover them this morning, but she woke up distracted and full of stories about watching The Dark Crystal in her dreams. Go figure!


He’s a Blogging Superstar…
Finn Cool Top 01

…and pretty good kid (mostly!)
Finn Cool Top 02

Thank you for all the wonderful comments on Finn’s post. He was over the moon to receive each one. Every time my phone bleeped with incoming email, I had to check to see if it was for him :giggle:

He also ‘Show and Tell’ed the blog at school – an, um, interesting side effect of letting him guest post, which I probably should have foretold. Not sure how I feel about being ‘outed’ to school! I don’t think I’m in the habit of using naughty words though, so the Year 2’s should be relatively safe.

Being involved with the blog certainly made Finn a more enthusiastic model today! He’s showing off a top I made from New Look #6932 (the same pattern the PJ pants came from). The fabric is awesome too, no? I found it at Spotlight amidst all the boring stuff, and it brightened my day no end πŸ™‚

Finn Cool Top 03

Heh. I just noticed he’s wearing this backwards – there’s a seam in the center of the ribbing because it’s the back! It looks otherwise the same – I guess I should think about creating/acquiring myself some labels so the kids can differentiate front from back.