28.3.12

Some Granny Square links

I have been having a good ole scout around on the net and have found a lot of gorgeous patterns for granny squares so I thought I'd share the love and hopefully save someone else a bit of research time.
  
 
3 links for Heart Grannys
  • lilley stitches has got a great visual photo tutorial for a heart in a granny square
  • Crochetville is  a bit of a combination of the above two.


Other grannys, non heart related 
  • I like this one at Suzie's Stuff a lot, it looks like a poofed up flower
  • Sols (tr)ikke has shared a stunning pattern for a circle in a square and it has a fabulous photo tutorial to go with it.  This is the one I followed for the other work in progress blanket I have on the go
  • This link will take you to a page at all free crafts which has patterns for six squares including a popcorn flower square, a puff flower square and a petal flower square (which looks like the one I winged)
I have only tried a couple of these out but I thought I'd pop them in one place so that I can remember where I've put them (my favourites bar is a scary place!)

Let me know if you try any of them and link up so I can pop on over and check out your squares

Happy Grannying
Jo :)

Granny A Day and a new appreciation for Mothers

This is a bit of a mixed post as there are so many things I want to write about that I am going to combine a couple of things that are totally unrelated into one post.  So apologies in advance...

Firstly I want to share my progress on the granny a day business....I knew I had no intention of doing a granny a day when I started this as I am so not disciplined enough to do anything every day, (other than personal care of course!) So for me it's more of a 'six granny's in one day and then none for a week or so'

Here is where I'm at....

 
I added a row of double crochet to these little squares to
make them slightly bigger,
 I'm more taken with them now that I was before!

 

I made this pattern up and ended up putting too many petals in. 
I'll do another one and write down the pattern when i have a bit of time


 I made this one up too, I like the way the middle section looks


Taken from http://www.crochetville.org/forum/showthread.php?t=125626

I love the little heart square and tried hard to follow the pattern by Champygirl but I am so much more of a visual person and I got myself all confused so I ended up winging it. I think 'wing it' should be my middle name!

Do you have any links or patterns for the Granny a Day project?  If you happen to visit and are also hanging out with grannys, please leave a comment so I can come on over and check out your grannys too!

And now on the topic of my new appreciation for Mothers.....
I have been busy looking after my niece for a few days and man alive do I now have a new appreciation for Mothers.  I only had her for four nights and she sleeps through the night but I realise how time consuming another human being who relies on you for every single thing is.  I absolutely loved having her and every little smile just melted my heart and I loved spending time with her and learning about her; she's at the stage where she's communicating with this funny little noise she makes at the back of her throat and does it to get attention, from people and from the dog.  Too cute!

I  certainly realised how easy I have it!  If I want to hop in the car and go to the shop, I can.  If I want to do a spot of gardening then off I go and get on with it.  I can use both my hands to hang out washing and I don't have to wait for windows of opportunity to have a shower.  How on earth do Moms out there do anything, and I mean anything?  I'm sure if I had my own baby I'd have a system and things would work just fine but I was totally exhausted when I took her home.  SO hats off to every single Mom out there who manages it all, you all have my utmost respect!

 One of the things I really enjoyed doing was showing her round the garden; she totally loves plants and gets so excited, kicking her little legs and holding her hands out.



I'll be back very soon as I have a received a sunshine award and want to pass it on to five other bloggers that bring a bit of sunshine to my day.

Hope you're enjoying your day
Jo :)



21.3.12

Bicycle wrapping paper & a special visitor

The hubs was off to his bike club dinner & meeting last night.  He had to buy a little gift for one of the other members on behalf of the club and I told him I'd wrap it for him.

I love that my creative spirit just comes out willy nilly; there I was wrapping it in the plain brown parcel paper which looked nice enough when 'ping' went my creative lightbulb and I remembered a little stamp I had a go at making ages ago.  So out came the white acrylic paint and the Artline pen and voila.

I think I should have maybe stamped them a bit closer together
The recipient who loves all things bicycle related thought it was lovely.

Today I am nervous and excited.....

I will be in charge of looking after someone very precious for a couple of days


Fuzzy Wuzzy (my niece) is coming to stay for a couple of days!!

Such gorgeous little smiles coming my way.

:) Jo :)

p.s. The name Fuzzy Wuzzy came about when I called it her once when I saw the little fuzzy tuft of hair on the back of her head, and like nick names do, it stuck.

20.3.12

Granny Happy


I've been hanging out with the grannies again.


I've decided to unpick a blanket that I bought a couple of years back from the op shop and to refashion the wool into something that is a bit more beautiful


It's quite a heavy blanket so it should make a nice heavy crochet blanket

I like the idea of recycling the wool; it feels a bit disrespectful in some ways to be unpicking all the hours that someone has put into knitting it but I also think it's a nice way of re purposing the wool and I like to use what I've got instead of buying new. 
As I unpick the squares I've been thinking about the hands that held the wool when it was being knitted up



There is some unusual wool in there; I've never used multi coloured yarn before and I'm finding that sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't...


I don't like the inner section at all!


And I just can't get enough of these cute little flower squares that I linked to in my last post.

They are so cute

I tried changing the first row to have 16tr instead of 8; that way it's not so 'gappy'

See the difference in the middle?

I'm scouring the internet at the mo for any granny patterns and have come across a few.  I'll be sure to share them when I try them out.  I've been sort of winging the other patterns by seeing squares I like and guessing how they're made, but my winging it skills will only stretch so far!

Happy Grannying
Jo :)

18.3.12

A Granny A Day

In my 'Things I Want to Make' post I mentioned that I wanted to make an afghan crochet blanket using all sorts of different squares. 

I thought it would be a good way of developing my skills in the crochet department and I was quite taken with the idea of learning a whole heap of different patterns, using a variety of different coloured wool and having another exciting project on the go. 


I didn't really plan to get going on it just yet, as I do have quite a few other creative endeavours that I flick between already on the go at the mo.... 



However......

One of those Granny a Day crochet along projects has pushed my intention forward by a couple of months.  Pip over at Meet Me at Mikes has set up 'A Granny a Day 2012' and I just couldn't resist.


Image by Meet Me At Mikes

The pattern I used for the flower in a square above was suggested by Pip and can be found here.

I used a size 4mm hook and the finished square came out at 4 inches / 10 cm.

Also one thing to remember about this pattern is that when it says to do a 'dc' it's actually an AU / UK treble.  I tried them both ways but the tr looks far better.



Two down, and many more to go!

Happy hooking
Jo :)

16.3.12

Vintage fabrics and my March Intentions

Today I get to tick off one of my

It has taken me MANY MANY hours to figure out how to do it and a fitful night of dreaming about it, but this morning I awoke with an epiphany and finally I managed to make a photo collage. Hoo-flippin-rah!

And these fabric vintage finds were the motivation I needed to figure it out. 


Mind you looking at it now I still need to do a bit of work on the image selection; the full pictures of the table cloths don't look so great. 

Images from the top are: tabbard apron with funky orange peacock patterns, a circular Sheriden tablecloth, the floral edge of the rectangular table cloth on the next row, a beautiful mustard and floral rectangular tablecloth, a close up of the circular Sheriden tablecloth, a half pinny in green floral, a pink half pinny with the most gorgeous pocket details, a very awesome piece of unused fabric (the scale isn't apparent here but the flowers are about as big as dinner plates) and another tabbard apron in orange floral vintage fabric. 

A close up of the peacock pattern

Super duper florals
 Now what to do with them I wonder.  I absolutely hate the thought of cutting them up, although that is what I tell myself I will be doing with them when I buy them.  I have been saying the same thing about the other vintage fabrics I've bought, but as yet they remain untouched.  I think I'm afraid of ruining them and feel like I would like to improve my sewing skills so that I can do them justice. 

Maybe that can be a plan for later in the year...I've got a few things on the go already at the moment.

Jo :)

p.s. If anyone has any good tips on using Gimp and making collages that are more beautiful than my one is, I would be most appreciative of any advice / guidance / help / useful links
ta v much 

My philosophy on life...


If you risk nothing you do very little.

Sometimes I see this little postcard that I've had for the last 20 years and I am reminded and inspired.

And I know that if I want to fly to the moon, reach for the stars or fly on a trapeze, I need to venture out from my little
walled garden.



15.3.12

Sometimes I forget to look up, do you?

I've been casting my eyes skywards of late

The sunset last night was beautiful with two layers of cloud; one brighter cotton woolly type cloud above and a more wispy grey cloud below.  The contrast of light and dark made me want to get my camera out and see if I could capture the moment.....


Then at about 9pm last night the lightening flickered for a good half hour without any rain.  I struggled to get a photo, as whenever the lightening flashed and I pressed the button, the shutter stayed open for so long that the flash of lightening had ended.  This was the best of the bunch.  I quite like the squiggles of light. (Can you make out the heart shaped eucalyptus tree?)..........


After a rainy night, I was jolted awake by a massive clap of thunder and this morning the sky was heavy with rain.  Then in true Melbourne fashion, the day warmed up and the cloud dispersed a wee bit.  It ended up being quite a hot one; quite muggy with a warm gusty wind that played havoc with the hair!

This was what the sky looked like in my garden at about 4pm today....


Beautiful Autumn skies


13.3.12

A spectacular find

Unlike the UK, here in Australia you pay to take your rubbish to the tip.
For a car boot full of rubbish it costs $14.50 and for a heaped trailer load it's $39.50.  For a mattress it's $19 regardless of size.

I've got to admit I was a wee bit shocked at first but it definitely has its advantages.  Another thing I was MEGA surprised at was that there is a shop at the 'resource recovery centres' (the fancy name for the tip).

Fondly named 'the tip shop' :)

The tip shop is stocked with items that people bring in and pay to dump but are salvageable.  So salvaged they are.  And to see a shop filled with the stuff people throw out, well you realise how wasteful we are as a society. 

It's not the prettiest of places, the tip shop, but it's an Aladdin's cave of miscellany and usually worth a gander if I'm passing and in the mood.

And look what I found there the last time I went....



Bought for $10 AND it works



It does need a bit of TLC and a service, but plug it in and off it goes. 



I learnt to sew on my Nan's singer treadle machine when I was about 7 and I left that machine in England with family when I emigrated.  I can remember the smell of the wood and the metal.



I don't know where I'm going to put it, but I knew I had to have it.


11.3.12

Something strange is happening to me!

Something strange is happening to me!

All the things I once thought I'd never ever want to do, I now find myself wanting to do them!


Take making hexies, for example.

I saw many a hexalong type post in the bloggy world a year or so ago but thought "nah, I couldn't be bothered with all that fiddly malarkey".


So imagine my surprise at myself when I was totally excited at the prospect of learning how to do hexies in my Brown Owls group.

And y'know what?

I really enjoyed it and have been thinking of things to make out of hexies; so far I've started a pincushion and am thinking a notebook cover might also be a go-er.

10.3.12

Baby Doll

Is it wrong for a grown woman to buy herself a doll?

Surely not if it looks this cute!


It's a Cupie Doll (also called a Kewpie Doll, I believe)


Adorable!

9.3.12

Baby sleeping bag and waterproof bib

I had a request at the weekend to make a little something for my baby niece.  She's four and a half months old now and is rolling over and therefore kicking off her blanket and waking up because she is cold.  Poor little bunny.


 A sleeping bag was just the ticket and one with arms that would keep those little hands warm too.  I used a chenille blanket to make the outer layer and some fluffy minky type fabric for the inner with a sheet of wadding between them.


It was pretty fiddly to work out how to make it with the three layers but I applied the same principle as making a lined fabric pouch; make one layer and then the other
and attach them. 

So away I went and made up the outer blanket part first and along with the fluffy lining, I added the wadding and treated them as one fabric.  I made the fluffy/wadding lining up next, then placed the fluffy part inside the blanket part. 

It got a fair bit more tricky at this stage.  In order to get the zip in, I had to separate the inner and outer sections and attach the zip and then turn them inside out again so they fitted inside each other neatly.  I'm sure there's an easier way to do this.


I think it turned out well for my first attempt.

The pattern was adapted from this vintage pattern


While I was at it I thought I'd have a go at making a couple of waterproof bibs.  Anyone who has or knows a dribbly baby knows how helpful waterproof bibs are so that the dribble doesn't sit on the baby's chest, making it cold, wet and sore.

The only ones that we seem to come across are the old fashioned tie up at the back style of bib that I think I had when I was a baby.  And they are quite rare and hard to get hold of.

I tried to find proper plastic backing fabric but wasn't really sure what to use; the stuff on the roll from spotlight was too thick, as was oilcloth.  And I wasn't too sure that the nylon fabric that the salesperson recommended was going to be enough of a barrier.
So I thought I'd see how a waterproof tablecloth would do (I had also considered a shower curtain).



The bottom layer is terry towelling, then the plastic tablecloth, then the chenille / top layer.  I may add in another absorbent layer under the top layer next time.

The edges were left raw and a fabric binding attached, along with a dab of Velcro.

All that's left to do now is to see how they wash.  I think they'll have to go on a cool, gentle cycle.  They'll certainly get a thorough testing.  Anyone else made waterproof bibs?  What did you use as the waterproofing liner?

UPDATE (11th March): They have been through a couple of washes so far and are still fine; they've held together okay and the lining is still intact.

8.3.12

Ginger!

Meet My New Bike


Built for me by my hubby!

I've called her Ginger.

I love the colours; the original chrome wheel arches were a lucky find on the donor bike.

I got the basket from Brunswick St, Fitzroy.



It's made of recycled, new and used vintage parts. The frame and wheel arches came from a 1970's Apollo ladies bike.  He amalgamated these together with parts from my old bike, plus sourced other bits to create my dream bike.


It's a bike of the world; made up from parts bought from Australia, America and England.

I LOVE IT!



5.3.12

I've made a start.... hoorah!

The weather was a bit dismal on saturday so instead of going for an intended ride on my bike, I took full advantage and made a start on the patchwork blanket that I mentioned in my previous post. 


I'd already got a template cut out for a baby quilt I made several years ago so away I went on Friday evening and cut away like a woman possessed.  I ended up with three different piles of fabric

1. patterned


2. contrasts / mixers


3. made up squares of scraps of fabric that were
too small to make a whole square. 
A bit of magic and they become this...


and  this


and this.......


I then started from one point and worked my way out from there, making sets of three, then six, then twelve, then joining them up along the row.



I intend to make this quilt in a queen / king size and figure that i am approx a quarter of the way there at best.

The one quilt I made before was a small cot sized one and that was enough of a challenge, so this will definitely push my not yet developed quilting skills to the limit!

And here is my favourite square so far...


Orange, gaudy and flowery!

Sew happy here in my neck of the woods

Jo :)


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