Monthly Archives: January 2013


While most of the city was on edge today with the high winds and fire danger, there were many good things to come out of it. Respect for our firefighters who run towards the danger that everyone else is fleeing is one of them, but on a more artistic level, the blue skies that appeared late in the day as the wind blew the smoke and clouds away, followed by the stunning pink skies on sunset (neither of which I managed to capture on camera), showed that the best colours still come from nature.

I seem to be spending a fair bit of my time setting up my blog, my shop and my facebook page, which is eating into my sewing time, but I know that once the chicks return in a few days, my computer time will be limited, but my sewing time will increase, so bear with me as I work through all these amazing new systems I am learning!

Despite all of this I did manage to finish four art wallets tonight. While I continue to trial new methods, I am happy with the way that they turned out. They are listed in my etsy shop, but I will share a couple of pictures here anyway, so that the colours can be enjoyed.


Tomorrow’s aim is to pop into Lincraft where there is 50% off all fabric (yay!!!) and stock up on some basics (which in my case involves dots, bright solids, dots, and perhaps some black and white quilting fabric I have been eyeing off……)

I hope that you all had a safe day, full of beautiful colours.

What is important

After my quick earlier post I became responsible again for a few hours and cleaned up the house, and checked my bushfire survival checklist.  Tomorrow has been categorised as “Extreme” fire danger for my region, so if a fire starts near me I will leave immediately, with the dog and the budgie and keep my fingers crossed for the (feathered) chickens.  So the main part of the checklist I had to concern myself with was the ‘relocation supplies’ section.  I have all the important papers packed, and some clothes, but then I was hit by the same issue that always strikes me when preparing for an emergency……..what is important?  

I have packed each child’s special soft toy, and backed up all the photos onto an external hard drive, and have my wallet and phone.  Then I am left wondering – if the kids and I, (and hopefully the animals) are okay, what else is important?  If I take some books, will they be the right ones?  Will I care if my pre-digital photos are lost?  Is it important to save my wedding photos for the children to look at one day?  Should I grab my fabric stash as that will keep me happy?  I have packed the creativity suitcase I made for the artist-in-residence’s birthday, as being able to draw helps her when she is anxious.  Do I take Lego for the other two?  If so, how much?

The questions could go on all night.  So instead I have decided that if I have their special ‘sleeping toys’, and the photos, and we are all okay, then anything else is a bonus.  Although it is quite confronting to face these questions, I think that even if I had more time to prepare, I would still arrive at the same answer.  However I wonder what the kids would answer if I asked them the same question?  Once this current set of conditions is over, and they have returned from their holiday, I might ask them.  It will be interesting to see what they think is important – it might provide an interesting perspective.

In the midst of all this thinking I managed to pre-wash my spoonflower secret order and the great advantage of the weather is that it dried outside in the night air within an hour!  So with all my chores attended to (Mt Foldmore is still in existence but a lot smaller) I took the big step of setting up my etsy store!  With orders coming in from friends based on the photos of gifts I made at Christmas time, I thought it was time to set up a mechanism to control it all, so here I go!  I hope to list some art wallets tomorrow night, and then some bags will follow.

What is important to you?

Fabric distractions

It is hot, damn hot and while I try not to channel Robyn Williams from Good Morning Vietnam, you get the picture – it is hot. In Canberra, living across the road from a mountain covered in bush and grass, this means fire danger. The risk for the next 24 hours is extreme. So I came home from work resolved to tackle housework and review my fire plan. But then not one but two parcels of fabric arrived…… and I am just delaying my other tasks for a few minutes to share them with you, because they are so full of colour and possibility! (Well – I will share one because the other one will make up part of the birthday present for my eldest chick, and I don’t want to spoil the surprise!)

It is at this point that I have to confess that I am an addict. Colour, and especially colour on fabric, will get me every time. I haven’t even washed and ironed these! But already I am dreaming of what I can create with them. Now I am going to do the responsible thing and pack the important papers and water before the fabric lures me back in. Because it will…..


The weekend

I always start the weekend with a long list of things that must be done, or that I want to do, but it is rare that I reach the end of Sunday and have it all ticked off as completed. However I normally end up doing a whole pile of extra things that weren’t on the list but that were important (in the scheme of things). This weekend has been no exception. The list of things I didn’t do is long and quite boring, but the things that I did instead have been quite lovely. Like making marmalade!


I don’t remember ever making it before but the sight of all my citrus fruit in the bowl not getting eaten while the children are away prompted me into action. The oranges were so orange!


Then I threw in some limes and lemons and tried hard not to hum a nursery rhyme while chopping away.


And then the important part – into the Thermomix, add sugar, and let the machine do it’s thing.


And hey presto! Five jars of marmalade waiting for their labels! Could be a good excuse to have toast for breakfast tomorrow.

I spent the afternoon playing with fabric and trialling new methods of making pencil pockets for my art wallets. I think I have it mastered. I am trying to add pockets so that the wallet sits flat when it is full of pencils. The jury is still out whether this is a worthwhile endeavour or not! It is very fiddly and the wallets don’t look as neat when they are empty. On the other hand, by using this method I can fit more pencil spaces into the same space. So the experimentation will continue! In the meantime the vibrant colours that I added to my stash with my visit to Spotlight gave me some new combinations to play with.


My time of uninterrupted creating will come to an end in a few short days, so I am wondering what else I can fit in before my chicks return to the nest. I should probably also tackle Mt Washmore before they return, although I should probably call it Mt Foldmore – the clothes are all clean, they just haven’t been folded, sorted, or put away. One of the indulgences of being home without the children. Yes – it is the small things that keep me amused!

How was your weekend? Did you make anything?

The beginning

Happy New Year and happy new blog!

As a start to a new year, despite it being soooooo hot, this one is going well. After all my mad Christmas preparation and handmaking of gifts, fudge, jam and pavlovas, I have been using the down time to think about what I want to do next with my ‘making’. I have also been hibernating in my house and garden and taking advantage of the very rare absence of children to rest and think and dream (and play with fabric a bit!!)

An art wallet for Ruby’s birthday – with my new pencil holders so that more pencils can fit in one folder.

Today I finally left the neighbourhood for the first time in weeks (one of the many advantages of working locally means that even though I have returned to work in the office after the Christmas shut down, I have been able to maintain my sense of summer hibernation) and headed off to have a haircut. Although I initially complained when my hairdresser moved to a new salon so that instead of a 5 minute drive I now have a 20 minute drive to the salon, I have discovered the upside – her new salon is near Spotlight…..where there just happens to be a sale on! Not only did I finally manage to get a haircut, so I look respectable again, but I also got to stock up on lovely fabric and yarn at sale prices! Then as an added bonus, while chatting in the salon and showing my hairdresser photos of my Christmas creative efforts, I walked away with an order from her colleague (which I made this afternoon as I was so excited to have my first one!)

My first order!

So after months of friends and family saying ‘why don’t you sell these’ I have decided that I will start to make a few things to sell, in between making things for the kids and myself. And the cascade effect of that means that I have a facebook page, a blog, and a few potential orders! Eek! All in one day!

I have one more week child-free, and one more week in the office before my angels return from their visit to their grandparents with their father, and then life becomes busy, noisy and delightful again! Although it is harder to sew with a house full of children, their input into the design process keeps things interesting! The dog will be happy to see them too – she has missed having a house full of people to spoil her.

Some of my learnings from the last couple of weeks include that I am still not a great dressmaker, despite my abilities to make ‘things’ from fabric. Or at the very least I am not good at fitting clothes to my own body. After spending some hours making a dress that I planned to wear to work on the first day back after New Year, (including three attempts to get the zip in properly), I discovered that wearing it would be a bit dangerous as the lovely cross over bodice that appeared to be such a good fit when I was testing it out, was only a good fit if I stood as still as a statue and didn’t breathe…..any movement more than absolute stillness resulted in the bodice gaping open and revealing far more of my chest than would be considered decent even in a nightclub! Oops! Still – at least I realised before I left the house! So now it is on the ‘unpick and remake’ pile. I need to take the dress up about 2 centimetres on each shoulder – which means completely deconstructing the dress, then adjusting and reconstructing. Although I don’t believe in setting myself up to fail by making rash New Years resolutions, I think I need to put some pressure on myself to do it before we find ourselves in the midst of winter again.

My ‘to do’ list for the next week includes some work on the boy’s quilt, more rows on the crocheted blanket that the artist in residence requested, and another skirt for the biggest angel before she gets home. Now to record some of that in photographs! (Which might also prompt me to tidy up the house before the kids get home too!)

But for now I must sleep.
Thanks for reading my first blog post!