School holidays

The heat here is, as predicted, just that.  Heat.  Baking down, blowing in the window like a furnace.  I got in the car to go the shop for milk tonight and the temperature gauge read 50 C (122F).  Hot.  Luckily it fell rapidly to 39C on the drive!

With the heat tempers are fraying, voices are snappy, and little things become difficult.  Oh wait – that might just be me!  Anyway – when I found myself with a house full of children yesterday (my three plus three more) and the temperatures were soaring, it was time to pull out some activities to keep them all engaged inside where it was cool.  Luckily a friend had put me onto the fact that the Sharpie pen range includes “Stained” – a series of fabric pens.  I found a pack of brightly coloured ones (orange, purple, green, blue, red, black, yellow and pink) before Christmas (for about $16 at Big W for those in Australia) and had tucked them away thinking they might work as a present for one of the chicks.  I also had a pile of blank t-shirts from my experiment with appliqueing shirts for the shop.  And voila!  We had a craft ready to go. (And by way of review of the pens – they worked well, lasted to do the 6 designs with more ink in them, had good clear colours and a brush tip which allowed for different finishes.  I will be recommending them!)

I made them all stick a piece of cardboard inside the shirts, and sat them down in pairs to design their own shirts.  The two older girls (the eldest chick and her friend) were the first.  Somehow they decided that “I rock – deal with it” was the statement of the day, and proceeded to decorate their shirts with that, plus a few extra swirls and squiggles.  I told them that there were no mistakes when you are a designer, so anything they made was going to be great! The friend also added pieces of fabric that I then appliqued on for her.


Then the boy and his friend went to work on theirs.  Strangely enough (or not) they also felt the need to announce to the world that they ‘rock’.  The boy’s friend did an amazing job of drawing, writing and colouring in (and I regret not capturing it in a photo).  The boy, on the other hand, made a mistake and would not accept any guidance to see that it wasn’t a mistake, it could be salvaged, etc.  Much yelling and crying later he tackled a new shirt and did a great job.

That left the middle chick and her friend.  By this stage I was out of pale shirts (and patience to be honest) and down to pinks and purples.  They decided to draw on white cotton that I will then applique onto their shirts (must do that – mental note).  Neither of them felt the need to announce that they rock in any way – what a relief!




So this is the middle chick’s offering.  She started with the idea of drawing bamboo…..


With children running here, there and everywhere, and the heat (did I mention that already?) I haven’t made it into the sewing room other than to hunt for various things that have been required.  I have, however, been busy in other aspects of this little business.

The first edition of my monthly newsletter was sent out last night, and, in addition to a free tutorial, links to free printables, and various other bits and pieces, it held a bit of news.  I have been accepted as a stall holder for the next Canberra Handmade Market, on the weekend of 8 and 9 March, which is a prestigious market, and has been part of my aim for the last 12 months.  I am very excited!

I was also contacted by two different organisations yesterday and asked to be a contributor of patterns, tutorials and tips.  One is a craft magazine published here in Australia, and the other is an international website used by many crafters.  In terms of things coming in threes, that was a pretty big three for this little bird!

I have also taken my first step to add another dimension to my shop, and have started to list bag making components for sale in addition to finished bags and accessories.  I have started with adjustable strap slides.  I have had no success finding these in the local stores (and I live in a fairly well resourced city) and ended up buying in bulk.  So I have decided to make these bits and pieces available more easily to those of you who might like to turn your hand at trying a pattern but are put off by not being able to find the right ‘notions’ in your local shops.

My intention is to follow this up with other bag hardware and some interfacing.  There are other steps that will follow this, but these are the first little ones before I start running!

I am itching to get into the sewing room and finish some bags, complete my not-so-secret project of making some baby items on commission and generally disappear into a cloud of creativity.  But reality is that it is hot.  Oh – and it is school holidays.  Once the children are back at their father’s house on the next ‘rotation’ I will be complaining of the quiet and having too much time on my hands.  (Or not!)

Either way, I hope that you are surviving the week wherever you are, and that you are able to enjoy some creativity of your own kind.

4 thoughts on “School holidays

  1. Louise Allan

    The t-shirts look fantastic! What a great way to keep little people occupied in the heat.

    Also, got your newsletter — thank you! And well done. x

    1. a little bird

      Hi Linda! Yes – giving them the chance to make their own creations that they get to wear is always a recipe for success I think!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *