Friday, September 30, 2011

+1



A ‘+’ quilt for a NEW ADDITION to an excellent family.



Nudge, nudge! Wink, wink! Do you get it? Do you get it?!

Um. Yes. I do always over-think things.



Crafted with love (considered wonk) and seriously inspired by this and this,



as well as this organic approach to the quilting bizzo.



Hey! Two bloggy posts in as many days. I AM ON FIRE! Actually, the kids are at Grandma and Grandad’s house. I am now rushing off to urgently NOT clean, bake, or tackle washing. I’ll be sorry later but I can already feel the wind in my hair.



I hope you have the same kind of wind-in-your-hair weekend. x

Thursday, September 29, 2011

It’s All in the Timing



Which is something I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN with that breezy half-pledge to come over all blogging blogger. Only a parent living in her very own dream scape could contemplate such a happening at the BEGINNING of school holidays. (I have a slow-on-the-uptake gene).

Also born with a leave-things-to-the-very-last-minute gene, I began work on my Bunting Swap at 10pm the night before the postal deadline. I have never made bunting before. Pretty easy, I thought and already with a plan in mind, I started hacking into my treasured collection of misprinted and practice run linen tea towels. I sewed all these hacked up bits back together and, like Nic, fell in love all over again with the wrong side of the fabric.



’Course all that seam business on a heavyweight linen does not for nice bunting make. At midnight I started a new set.



In the morning, the weather was not conducive to pieces of ‘bunt’ gaily swaying in a light breeze for photographic posing purposes. The trampoline was hovering on take-off; the gale blowing spring blossom like snow flurries.

The hardy third kid, who also drives a hard bargain, (yes – but if we can make cake!), agreed to huddle against the shelter of the fence and tightly hold a bit of string.



I timed the sending of the five packages to perfection. The heavens opened and Someone Up Above tipped a bucket of water on my head just as I reached the postbox a few puddles in front of the postal guy.



EDIT:
It has come to my attention that the Bunting Swap deadline was extended. Ahem. Funny, I do vaguely recall that particular email whizzing right by my left ear. So now I am busy smugly basking in the afterglow of a deadline NAILED, waaaay ahead of time, for the first time in my whole entire life.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Apparently...

...I have been off on some sporadic, unintended, bloggy sabbatical thing.

Tired of my own voice, I’ve been finding quiet in quilty making,



and french-knotting another weirdy, left-of-centre gift, [this time for a fabulous, departing-Melbourne type].



I have been knee-deep in four year old wardrobe attitude,



Until the four year old gave up the feist and fell true-dinks asleep, (as opposed to fake asleep), in the wardrobe cupboard.



I have been busy dipping a big toe into the world that is Parenting a Dyslexic Kid.

I have been taking big, deep, challenging breaths and playing a (hopefully) objective and (I-so-hope) supportive role, standing beside a different kid suffering from School Yard Angst. A tricky proposition when the mama instinct is pure, protective lioness.

I’ve produced twenty-seven million (four) cushions, all of which are modelled by my all-time favourite Lawn Chair.



Two of which were mostly ON-TIME birthday gifts,



for friends.



Another which used lots of those teeny, tiny scraps from a certain marinating quilt top,



and took eons to make.



And another, which was so quick, it was a bit of a blink-and-miss, (Ikea fabric) affair.



Figures that my favourite is the blink-and-miss affair.

I have begun excavating the dear, departed stick insects from their salty tombs,



(not as icky as you might think and not even that whiffy).

I have been remembering the ‘YES’.



This particular YES involved three kids morphing into Wild Things,



a square metre of backyard mud, extended (with scrubbing!) showers and a Mountain of Laundry.



Worth it.



Already, the Spring school holidays are here and the year is near three quarters baked.



(It’s nice to be back).

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Post Where Even The Worst Procrastinator Gets to Feel a Tiny Bit Better



The ingredients were first purchased back in April 2009. A month later, a sweet bundle was born. Over the course of TWO YEARS AND FOUR MONTHS, that small bundle has sprouted into a walking, talking, youngest sister to two brothers: she brims with chutzpah, is a force to be reckoned with. Throughout this while, a quilt has marinated* at glacial speed, through various phases. Last weekend I vowed to complete the binding. The sewing machine broke. I hand-sewed the binding. Last night, I gifted a quilt, crafted with (slowest ever) love. “Congratulations on the birth of your third child, Lissy!”, I exclaimed. (Lissy looked a bit startled).

My third kid is startled. As far back as she can remember, she has shared a home with this half-finished, marinating quilt. She cannot fathom why, now that it is finished and all the pins are removed and it is finally, officially snuggly, that it has been gifted away to a baby who isn’t a baby anymore.

Now that the quilt has left the house, I feel compelled to post a truckload of photographic evidence. This is so I can raise my hands in the air and fully mark the sweet victory that is crossing off a ‘To Do’ from the ‘Very Long-Term List’.

I heart french knots...



Thanking my lucky, procrastinatory stars for the SINGLE BED sizing...



This child is not asleep. ’Tis but a last-ditched, keep-the-quilt, ‘cute’ appeal...



Told you...



Random, quilt/mostly-clean-feet shot...



Mum has leant me her sewing machine. The first ten stitches into the use of her sewing machine, I was hit by a bolt of clarity and my own sewing machine was finally christened: Battleaxe. It is with forward-thinking clarity that I am sewing up a storm. Amongst the bluster are two quilts – one for a newborn, another for a not-yet born. I know that when Mum’s machine is returned and Battleaxe and I are left alone in a room, she will win the war without twitching a bobbin, let alone budging from the shelf. Quilty projects will marinate for years. Sewing into the wee hours, I am a woman possessed.

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* Term coined/adopted/stolen from the last craft camp. Specifically refers to projects of the slow burning type – the type common to the Myrtleandeunice household. Examples of marinating projects, include a french-knotted rug, a chair for the naughty corner, the knitting of a pair for TWO different socks (except I suspect I have frogged both of them and they have morphed into something that I have forgotten about), the unearthing of dead stick insects from their salty embalming and needless to suggest, that blooming blanket which I can’t even bring myself to link to...

Please. Your turn to ’fess up. Tell me I’m not the only one(?). What’s marinating at the bottom of your craft basket?

Monday, September 12, 2011

High Five



Ever since I posted on the Blanket That Became the Legwarmer, (thus making things official-like), the Mr has come over Whole New Bloke. The concrete set to the jaw has melted away, there is renewed skip to the step, a lightness to shoulders no longer bunched around ears. It would be remiss of me not to report an overwhelming sense of household relief.

And, lo! A legwarmer-bedecked tree...



I’m not sure tree-legwarmer-bedecking, in your own backyard, counts as ‘yarnbombing’. There was no involvement of ladders and no ladder-induced concussion: none of that usual foray into the Art of Public Humiliation.



In the defence of my suffering, I did stitch a legwarmer through blindingly bright bursts of sunshine, interspersed with two, fleeting but horizontal rain showers and I did DOINK! my head on a branch, (so that’s the concussion covered). Reeling back, I placed my eyeball in the path of an oncoming twig-bit. There was a generous dose of tribulation.



After a while, the non-horizontally-rain-sodden household members ventured out to survey the Knitwear Art and the Mr led everyone in a jubilant THANK CRIPES IT’S OVER! round of high (twenty) five.

Not a natural, know-when-to-stop-type, I used my good eye to squint upward and quietly mused over a tree wearing half a legwarmer...



nb. Unlike the legwarmer bedecker (me), no tree was hurt in the (above) process. That bit of cut-off branch sticking out in the second pic from the top, is the result of dodgy tree-pruning practices of yore. I have a vague recollection of a twig-bit sticking in my eye and a half-blinded wrestle with the secateurs.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Our Creative Space: A Change of Plan



Two months ago, I threw an armful of coloured yarn onto the living room rug and declared CHOOSE! The day before, there had been a general consensus to have a bash at the making of a family blanket. Everyone could knit as much or as little as they wanted, in any colour combination that they liked. After the next Ice Age had passed, Mum would sew up all the bits to form a snuggle-on-the-couch blanket and then she would bribe and corrupt the nearest unsuspecting child to weave in the ends.



The girls threw me with their uncharacteristic colour schemes, (sadly, evidence suggests this does not mark the end of a four year old’s relationship with Infinite Pink). The boy-kid was always entirely chilled, knowing that bottle green and blue would totally rock. None of them were particularly enthusiastic over posing with knitting in the squinty bright:



Everyone is certainly chuffed with their yarny lengths but lately, I have had the words of The Gambler playing on rewind in my head (AGAIN). I reckon I live my life by that song. You gotta know when to hold ’em/Know when to fold ’em/Know when to walk away/Know when to run...

It wasn’t only because every spare, waking moment, requires the Middle Kid to be drawing dragons, or that the Eldest suddenly has way too much on her plate, or even that the Small and I would do five stitches per session on her knitting...



...before she’d have a hissy fit, because she’d rather knit with chopsticks (the joined together, ‘training’ ones).

Nope. It was the Mr who was the clincher. Meet Mr Tense:



Knitting prompts the tense in every way. Tetchy headache, extreme shoulder pain, the tension of his stitchery, the tone of his questioning: "When did you say this would get fun?”

Change. Of. Plan. The vote has been cast. It’s now an all-in, one-wigged, family yanbombing affair.



(We’re making a small legwarmer for a tree).

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For more of Our Creative Spaces, pop by here...

Monday, September 5, 2011

Five Hundred and Sixty Squares



On Friday afternoon, I sent the last of the jobs off to the printer, threw a few Craft Camp essentials into a bag, grabbed a large pile of the scrappiest scrappy fabric, blew the dust off the sewing machine and HIT. THE. ROAD.

WOOHOOOOOOOO!

Please note: The honest-to-goodness truth, is that when this soiree was originally organised, none of us innocent campers had considered Father’s Day on the Sunday.



Craft camp was a breath of fresh country air. Fabulous company, conversational hilarity, too much wonderful food and a suspected Repetitive Strain Injury incurred from cutting 560 squares from the scrappiest scrappy fabric.

Please note: The honest-to-goodness truth is that way back when last year’s camp was originally organised, none of us innocent campers had considered Father’s Day on that Sunday either.



Originally inspired by the perfection that is Rita’s quilted gloriousness I had an uncharacteristic desire to try to do things proper-like – at least in a beginner, not-quite-sure-what-the-rules-are fashion. It worked! Albeit randomly and somewhat wonkily but excellently, there are lots of matchy up ‘perfect’ bits too.

Sewn up, the ‘big’ squares are three inches and the tiny squares are 1.5 inches and 560 of them pieced together is plenty big enough for a destiny involving snuggling on the sofa.



As usual, I like the ‘wrong’ side, possibly as much as the ‘right’ side.



So chuffed was I for sticking with it, I eyed the teensy, inch and a bit offcuts and contemplated a quilt-let of fairy-sized piecings. Another case in point of never knowing when to stop, I packed ’em all up and brought them home.



(Though I’m not holding my breath either).

Please note: Next weekend it is Father’s Day in our household. I am planning a scrumptious breakfast in bed for the starlet Mr. There will be three cups of kid-made lukewarm tea (using the hot water tap), with which to wash it all down.

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S, J, G, K, K, S, J, E, C...thank you for a weekend of Exactly What I Needed.