Housewife, cheapskate, crafter, mum. Trying not to go crazy, trying not to go broke.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Wouldn't it be Luverly!

I'm sitting in front of my heater all alone, thinking and knitting and drinking ginger tea, feeling like Eliza Dolittle, and wishing I had someone's head resting on my knee, instead of watching a horror film in the next room!  
I found a beautiful printed velveteen skirt for $3, which was so long I was able to make two skirts from it, one a-line, the other gathered into a waistband.
 But now that I look at the photo, people will probably think I'm just wearing the same skirt!
And I have yet to figure out what shape an elephant is. 
 I was trying to make an elephant 'blocker' in classic derby stance, but without the orange..
She looks like this, resting on her trunk because I've made her arms too little!  I don't know what to do with her, I haven't the heart to tell her she's not going skating anymore!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Happiness is ...

the wind in your 'kite'
 and a good friend popping over with her op-shop bag for me to rummage through!
And, yes, they are plastic shopping bags with yarn tied on.  The panda was taking out his fancy aerobatic kite and I grabbed some bags and yarn as we ran out the door, just to stop the spawn hassling him.  But our bag-kites worked much better than his, and were played with for the rest of the day!  Its true about appreciating the simple things.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Craft Therapy

This is what I have been crafting tonight.
Ask me how I feel about the Panda spilling 10litres of enamel paint in the back of his car, and me having to miss out on skating whilst he swore and cleaned it up.  Ask me, I DARE YOU.

My Creative Space

My Creative Space this week has involved dragging out this quilt which has stagnated! because I have been working on some random softies and roller derby shorts for my new etsy store!  (I had to find a way to stop my house filling up with soft toys and bout-fits.)
For more creative spaces, head on over to kootoyoo!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

At My House

I baked this Date and Banana Loaf to take to Big S's Kinder Concert.
I'm pretty sure I've changed my mind though.
 But I'll just have to check that again.
P.S Today I've found a new game to join in with, over at Buttons by Lou Lou .

Monday, June 21, 2010

An Elephant is whatever shape you can manage

I lay in bed last night thinking "What shape is an elephant?".  A distraction to avoid the things coming in from the edges.  The smell when you walk in, wrong, bodily, embarassing.  The framed prints on the walls, Denise Drysdale, Souths Football Club, Premiers 1933.  The halls, glimpses of rumpled beds, empty beds, veiled beds.  A middle aged nurse with a hair-sprayed coif, a young pregnant nurse with tiny black braids.
  We arrive in the 'living' room, where yellow skinned old people are waiting, waiting.  Some sleep reclined while their mouths gape, one flops forward coughing, gurgling, rasping.  A man walks across the room, tries the patio door but finds it locked.  He'll be back to try the same door another four times in our hour long visit.
  Pa, I will remember you, a tall, straight man with a white moustache and a warm smile.  Limping happily around the hydrangeas in the yard, shifting letters in the printing press in the garage.
  An elephant is whatever shape you can manage.

Beautiful Calendars Into Envelopes

I draft most of my own patterns.  Which is great, but it becomes hard to find things amongst all the little pieces of folded tissue paper.  I also keep old calendars, because the pictures are beautiful and I'm always sure I will be able to do something with them.  And now I've thought of what!
 I made these envelopes very quickly, and only with sticky tape, nothing flash.
But they look pretty,
and can now be neatly filed away in my wonderfully organized filing system. 
Update: Its true they say great minds think alike, Emma has also made some beautiful envelopes from calendars, and used them as seed packets!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Grassy Noel

This is what whispered to me.  His name is Grassy Noel, and he's been mixed up with wrong crowds before, but at the moment he is sharing the couch with the Panda.

The Fabric Whisperer

Yes folks, I am a fabric whisperer.  Fabric speaks to me, sometimes it tells me to make it into something I hadn't even thought of.
The pink fabric is saying "Grrr I'm a tiger", the grey fleece is saying "Love me, I'm an elephant".  You'll never guess what the green fabric is whispering to me - tune in tomorrow to find out!
  The printed t-shirt is saying I have a wonderful brother who brought me a t-shirt back from the Roller Derby Nationals!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

My Creative Space Damnit!

Let this be a lesson - don't sew whilst pre-occupied and tired!  In case you can't quite make it out, this is a lion with a TAIL sewn on the front. 
  I think the entire day might be a creative project, just trying to keep entertained.  Have a look at the weather at my place!
  Oh well, what better kind of day to sit inside and browse everyone else's creative spaces over at Kootoyoo!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Perfectionists Anonymous

Today's theme it would seem, is orange and green.  I was struck with the vibrancy of these colours in my food today!
Asian Coleslaw, made from that wonderful cabbage I received.  Its essentially the same ingredients as a regular coleslaw (cabbage, carrot, spring onion and celery today), but with a delicious light dressing.  (Sweet chilli sauce, lime juice, fish sauce and garlic in a ratio of 4tsp-2tsp-2tsp-1tsp)
Pumpkin soup, pre-puree.  Everyone knows how to make this right!  Mine just has lots of pumpkin, celery, carrot, onion, garlic and cumin.
  And continuing on with my green theme, this is the first quilt I ever made.  

At a time of brute anxiety and nervous tension, I had to be busy and just began sewing squares together.  I had never quilted before because I had let my ideas of doing things 'properly' stop me from doing things at all.  This quilt represents me learning to let go, and facing my fear of producing something embarassingly shitty.  I learned that an imperfect reality is better than a perfect (and never realized) idea.
  Spurred on by the wonderful support of friends, in blogland and beyond, I am gestating an idea.  Inspired by "Regretsy" and all those people who audition for talent shows despite not having any, I am cooking up a plan.
  Its not quite ready yet..

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Cabbages and Kings

This weekend everyone has gone to the ball , and Screamstress has been left to the housework again! 
Prince Panda has been delayed (by a kangaroo and a tree) delivering my glass slippers...
But, I don't mind, because sometimes a girl would rather be home with the housework, woolly jumper, vegetables, spawn, than dancing around in fancy clothes and uncomfortable shoes!  
Beautiful vibrant cabbage grown in my best friend's garden.
Three kings of the jungle, sensible baby gifts I have been threatening to make forever, and finally got around to!
And, this afternoon, I get to go to my own mini ball anyway.
I am also terribly chuffed to have my emergency couscous recipe featured on Frog, Goose and Bear
A good weekend, hope yours was too!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Helen Wheels

Alan's sister, derby name Helen Wheels, came to visit this week.  She doesn't like children.  Which is a shame, because I started off crafting gifts for my pregnant friends.  Oh well :)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

My Creative Space

I started off sewing gifts for pregnant friends, but I've gotten completely off track and made a toy I couldn't possibly give to a child!  (Those are her tiny roller skates poking into the top of the frame, I will introduce her in the next few days.)
  So, this week I'm going to make some sensible lions and tigers to give as gifts.
I will also be knitting squares for Big S's kinder project.
And of course I'm always thinking of things to sew for derby, I thought this red polka dot tulle would ruffle nicely!
  I wonder what everyone else is doing?  (Over at Kootoyoo)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Super Jiffy!

I may not ever use this pattern, I just like the simplicity of the toys, no batteries, sirens, or pieces that break off in the first five minutes.  And the fact that they suggest they can be made from 'gay' fabric.
I also love this pattern, its only got one main pattern piece, and according to instructions can be made in a "super jiffy"!  Fabulous!  The model is definitely looking pretty chipper about that, and I might make one up for derby in summer, if I'm not put off by the ever-present threat of giving myself a mega wedgie every time I raise my arms.
Finally, I kinda sheepishly really like this vest.  Its all hand worked, and what a gnatty collar!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Eight Answers with Kate

 Kate from Fox's Lane has invited us all to 'share', so...
  1. I love Greek Salad and grilled fish.  Simple, fresh.
  2. Would you consider it quirky that I enjoy making the happy face biscuits with different and sometimes slightly evil expressions?
  3. I was named after a paddlesteamer, the Emily Jane.
  4. I  feel passionate about teaching my kids that every person has a different story, and that every story has value.  Regardless of background, education, vocation, accent, appearance and all the other random things that people are judged on.
  5. Thongs in summer, two pairs of socks and boots in winter.
  6. Before kids I sewed when I wanted to and went to the beach.  My spawn have been my biggest challenge, and most heartfelt endeavour, and the one thing that I really care about being good at.
  7. Arrested?  No!  
  8. This weekend was a doozy!  I worked Saturday morning, then came home and had a birthday party for my three year old twins.  Sunday I officiated at a Roller Derby bout, raced home to give the kids dinner, bath and put them to bed, then headed out to the after party where I sucked at snooker and had a delicious beer I can no longer remember the name of!

Sunday, June 6, 2010


Meet Alan.  It should have been 'Alien' but someone at Immigration spelled it wrong.
You might recognize the green stockings from My Creative Space, and thanks to CottonKiwi for sending me a link to this "How to Make a Sock Monkey" tutorial.  Don't ask me why he's got glasses and a tie, sometimes I'm a mystery to myself.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Happy Birthday Twins!

I love the kids' birthday parties, because it gives me a chance to invite my friends over, and the kids run around and have a great time being ignored and eating whatever they like!

I always enjoy making happy face biscuits, just to see how silly the expressions turn out.
'Annie' the cat wearing her party dress which matches Spawnette's.
The duck cake the spawn requested turned out quite well.

Carnage at the party table.
Altogether a lovely day!

Friday, June 4, 2010

By Popular Demand - My Undies!

Well, due to popular demand, here are MY UNDIES! Ta Da!
I made the first pair because I had a small piece of fabric left over from the derby shorts I made.  They turned out to be so comfortable, I went through my stash to make some more!
As you can see they are mega-easy, elastic in the waist only (kind of a french style?) so they are very quick and cheap to make.  The pattern is drafted from another pair of knickers I had and liked.
So now I'm out of the closet, I wear home-made undies.  Now I want to know, who else is brave enough to come out and post their self-sewn-smalls?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

My Creative Space

This week in My Creative Space I am making underpants (which I will NOT be posting photos of), and thinking about how to make a cake look like a duck (for my twins' birthday)!
  Head on over to kootooyoo for more inspiring spaces!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Freaky Daddy Dolly

 Sometimes I nurture ideas in my head, happy, lovely, wonderful ideas, but then once they have been pushed down the creative birth canal they emerge into the world not quite the way I'd imagined.  The Freaky Daddy Dolly was given life in just this way.

For my Hen's night my best friend found the most hideous photo of the Panda, and had it printed on a t-shirt.  A few years later when Big S was a few months old and Panda had to go away for work, I made the t-shirt into a doll, thinking it would be nice to have Daddy's face around.
I don't think 'nice' is quite the right word though.
Daddy enjoying a sleep in.
Daddy wrestling on the couch.

The real Panda is jetting off again, but I'll be fine, I've got Freaky Daddy Dolly to keep me company, and I'll have plenty of extra time for lots of sewing!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Hello Winter!

As the sun smiles humourlessly through the clouds I say "Hello Winter!  Bring it on!"  Don your woollens and clutch your friends tight, we will plunge into the cold and emerge victorious in Spring!  Happy First Day of Winter everyone!
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