Sunday, September 30, 2012
Bijou: How I often find you; a sprinkling of crumbs around your mouth, lips pouted and head cocked in concentration, wrapped in something silky or sparkly.
Remy: My little man...you eat anything and everything with such gusto.
Capturing little snippets of my babies' daily magic and joining in with this gorgeous soul.
Thursday, September 27, 2012
I have amassed rather an abundant collection of embroidered guest towels from my delicious potters around op shops. Sorbet hued and hand sprinkled with tiny stitches of flowers and curlicues.
They lie hidden in the depths of my vintage cupboard. They wait. On a good day when the cogs of my brain glide together effortlessly I think of them in all their pastel glory. Oh what plans I have for this delicate assortment. But today...today Birdie needs bed clothes.
Perfectly sized for her cradle only needing a snippet of vintage sheeting for backing. A pillowslip or two stuffed with fleece and a much loved crocheted cushion from the dearest of souls.
Sherbet flowers, a steaming mug of vanilla scented chai tea, simple sewing for my girl. Just the tincture I needed to cure my creating malaise.
Part of this wonderful community today.
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
The cupboard above our fridge houses her creative tools. The shelves hold paints in rainbow hues, snips of paper, patty pans, feathers and shells. The Play School play dough recipe penned in teal in my familiar scrawl is taped to the door where it can be referred to often. Beside it, her first ever drawing of me.
Stopping myself short today as I reached on tippie toes for something playful for my girl I pondered our views on children's art making. In our bid to make their world full of excitement and captivation there is always colour. But oh what wonders hide in the inky places of this universe.
My hand reached for the vivid yellow paint and wavered. It then headed east toward the white. A contrasting black paper was inevitable. And silver. Metallic silver pigment , a shower of silver glitter and mirror like silver stars.
White swirls erupted over the jet surface. Cumulonimbus clouds billowed high in the night sky. Would there be rain? Not this night. With a gentle breeze the luminous stars were unveiled. I closed my eyes and blew a wish to the heavens. May you shine my little one.
Monday, September 24, 2012
Tucked away in a quiet surburban street is a haven for flora, for fauna...for us. On a block just like any other flanked by main roads, a nearby shopping centre, a local school, two souls have created a wild world. Vast trees reach their woody fingertips to the sunlight. Dense green undergrowth veils busy creatures. The air is cooler, cleaner there.
One steamy afternoon many years ago my parents marked out an area at the back of our yard and began digging up the grass. Rainforest plants were lovingly homed in the idle soil and buckets of water were heaved backwards and forwards to nourish them. Many, many times. Over the years this natural land has flourished and it is a place my children and I adore.
There are always cuttings paddling their toes in jars of water waiting patiently for whiskery roots to sprout from within. There are always animals (both the alive...and the not so lucky) to discover; to investigate. There is always tea.
It is an ever evolving micro-organism breathed to life by heart and hand.
It is a sanctuary.
Thursday, September 20, 2012
My girl is besotted with guide dogs. I spend my every car journey telling her stories about fictitious puppies and their Enid Blyton style adventures at guide dog school. So a serendipitous find of a vintage Guide Dogs for the Blind tea towel at the op shop begged to be transformed for my love.
And because it was so easy I thought I'd share how I did it.
Using a slightly A-line singlet as a pattern lay it on the tea towel where you want the print to feature.
Fold the top of the singlet over to to make the top of the chest.
Cut across the top in line with the folded singlet and in line with the arm holes (these will be encased with bias binding later so don't allow a seam allowance) and then cut down the sides allowing a 1/4 inch seam allowance (I would have preferred her top to be a bit roomier as tea towels don't stretch but Madame Chanel had other ideas!) You could allow as much room either side as you like. Allow about 2 cms for a hem.
With the first piece cut out, lay it over the remainder of the tea towel and cut the second piece (If your tea towel has a simple print you could cut both pieces out together).
With right sides together, join the two sides. I used the overlocker but you could stitch it on the sewing machine and finish the seam off with a zig zag stitch to stop it fraying.
Fold over about 1/4 inch on the hem and press. Fold over about a 1 and 1/2 cms and pin. Stitch.
Using shop bought bias binding, encase the top raw edges. Stitch these in place.
Cut two pieces of bias binding about 90cm long. These will form the straps. Fold these in half to find the mid point.
Match this mid point to the underarm seam and encase the raw edge of the arm hole with the bias binding.
Continue pinning the bias together to form the straps, overlapping the ends and tucking them in to make a neat finish. Stitch.
She thinks she's the bees knees in it!
Joining in with these lovelies today.
And for a chance to win a gorgeous Sakura Bloom Sling pop over to this gorgeous soul.
And for a chance to win a gorgeous Sakura Bloom Sling pop over to this gorgeous soul.
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Ah Birdie! She is finally finished and oh boy, I crawled over the finish line with her. There is something strange and altogether unsettling that happens to a maker of things when they realise that they can indeed make most things...or at least have a decent crack at it. We have to make it all.
Over the last few months I have become shadowed by a looming mountain of projects. I began writing "to do" craft lists each day in order to slowly sift through the chaos that was my craft cupboard and filed these beside day to day errands, shopping and house work. These had the pungent odour of "chore" about them and the joy that I once gleaned from creating with my hands had all but dried up.
The completion of Birdie (named after a favourite story) however, was the catalyst for change. Yes she was an incredible achievement; something I'd always wanted to make. And yes, she is much loved by Bijou. But the time, the effort, the perseverance I poured into her didn't reap the pride and satisfaction I expected. Quite the opposite. The tediousness that was the last few hours of her creation left a bitter taste in my mouth. I felt a fool! I have let my ideals about handmade become a dogma I know longer wish to prescribe to. What is the sense in "handmaking" my world when it snuffs out the spark of creativity?
I make every gift we give. I make all those things that make our household tick along. I make my children's clothes (well, alot of them). Lately, I've made an awful lot of work for myself. Creating runs through my veins and the "mend and make do" philosophy is an ideal we are passionate about so yes, I will continue to do alot of these things. But only those that resonate with meaning. Passed onto kindred spirits who hold dear the value of handmade. Things that enrich our lives.... things that nourish my soul. I can not nor will not do it all. The winds of change are blowing my friends. And my they smell sweet.
Thursday, September 13, 2012
You come to expect...to look for the milestones. The first smile, standing by themselves and walking are all eagerly anticipated and celebrated steps in the journey of life. It's the subtle changes that herald a baby becoming a child that sneak up on you and catch you unawares. The ones that leave hot tears pricking your eyes at the thought of time and how quickly it travels.
Butter soft baby heels hardening ever so slightly as feet go from wee little socks to shoes, from dangling about your waist to running on grass. That tiny hand that has grasped your hair, your breast, your own hand now often pulls away when the wonder of this great world lures it from your hold. The yearning for their own space.
Somewhere to throw themselves headfirst into their imagination and bathe in the intangible yet altogether magical creativity that emerges. A space to digest all that their sponge like brains have soaked up in a day.
To wander in and out of stories. To be alone with their thoughts; alone in their world.
I try to give her such space. I endeavour to create little nooks in our home just for her and her musings to let her imagine, ponder and grow. With immense pride I watch her unfurl in this world. But oh my heart....
Joining in over here this fine day.
Bijou's beanbag made from vintage fabric using a pattern from here. (Obligatory cursing as beans were deposited into said beanbag!) Op shopped basket and dear, sweet Golden Books.