Tuesday, August 23, 2011


There has been a lack of posting from me over the last week or so, and the truth is that I am a little burnt out.  Fortunately I am going skiing for a week with my wonderful DH (and without my wonderful girls).  So I will attempt to right the apple cart on my return, so watch this space.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

No project this week

No project this week.  I was going to get stuck into my very neglected garden, but the Antarctic storm that roared up the country has put paid to that idea.  So since I am feeling a little burnt out I'm taking a break this week (well I will hopefully do a little knitting), but the main aim is to tidy my sewing corner, and put away my machine.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A horse, of course

My hobby horse is a success! I am so thrilled with the end result, and it was actually pretty straightforward.  I used this tutorial, and the instructions are detailed and well written, which made the whole process super straightforward.  However, I do have some issues with the way the tutorial is written.  I like to cut out everything, then sew all the bits, and then put it all together.  That is not the way this tutorial is written.  If you are like me, it would pay to read through the whole thing and get an idea of what you need to cut out before you do anything.  Otherwise you may find yourself up and down to your stash several times during the process like I did.

I did make a few modifications to the pattern.  Rather than pressing the inner ears and topstitching, I just zigzagged around them instead.  We've canvassed my lazy sewing before, I've never met a short cut I didn't like.

Also, the eye pieces on the pattern show the pupil at the bottom of the eye.  But if you look at the tutorial photos, the pupil is actually a little way up.  This is the better idea.  I did my pupil on the bottom of the eye, and when it came time to sew it onto the horse's face, the stitching showed on the pupil.  This is the only thing that I'm not particularly happy with.

As another general tip, where LiEr suggests that you can join the neck dart and the ear dart together after the head is sewn up, make sure that your needle will actually make it through that many layers of fabric.  Otherwise you may get halfway through, get your needle stuck so far in that you practically can't see it and have to pretty much take your sewing machine apart and then try to jimmy the needle back out with a pair of scissors (although needle nosed pliers actually do a better job), I'm just saying.

My final modification to the pattern is in the joining of the head to the wooden dowel.  I showed DH how it was supposed to work, and he suggested that I use a pipe clamp rather than just hot glue it to the wood.  I'll just hot glue the ribbon on over the top of the pipe clamp. (photos to come, I had all sorts of problems taking photos of the horse while the girls weren't around)

Its so awesome, I can't wait for J to find it on her birthday.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Christmas presents

That's my project for this week.  To make a start on the Christmas presents for the girls.  This way, when December rolls around, and everyone starts to complain about how much they have to do, and how close it is to Christmas, I can be all smug and breezily announce that I finished all my Christmas presents months ago.

This week I am focussing on the sewing I need to do for the girls.  I've got a couple of smocks for J, and I thought I would sew P a dress, since she just isn't all that keen on the smock I made her.  I have plans to alter a dress pattern that I've used before.  I'm sure it won't be too difficult (I can hear all of you laughing from here).

Monday, August 8, 2011

On the subject of presents

My last few projects have been about presents for the girls, and I thought I might explain the whats, and whys of our present giving (well I say our, but since I organise everything, DH just goes along with whatever I've done).

Those of you who are observant will know that J is getting three presents for her birthday.  That's one from me, one from DH and one from P.  If/when she has any other siblings then she'll get one from them as well.  As a general rule, the girls presents are handmade, thrifted and/or made from natural materials.  I try not to buy the girls things for no reason either.

Christmas presents are a little different.  Father Christmas gives them presents, and they will each get quite alot, but again, mostly small, handmade gifts.  As well as these they will each get a main present, something more substantial.  This year, P has informed me that Father Christmas will give her a bike.
I love to make their presents, and I love giving them things, but I am trying to teach them at the same time.  We live in a consumerist society, where we are bombarded by messages telling us we need more stuff, that our lives are incomplete without bigger and better stuff.  I want the girls to learn that this is not true, that we don't need a whole heap of material possessions to be fulfilled, and that the love with which presents are given is the most important thing.

All of which is easy at the moment, because they are too young to know any better.  Once they get a bit older, I'm sure that they will feel terribly hard done by that we are such mean parents to not give them all the things they want all the time, but I'm okay with that.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Birthday presents

My project this week is to finish off J's birthday presents.  I only need one more gift for her, and I have been on the lookout for a dolls pram or cot in all the Op shops that I frequent.  So far, no luck.

But I found this awesome tutorial and I thought I would make her a hobby horse instead.  The only issue with this plan is that I will need to make one for P at some point, because there is no way they will manage with only one hobby horse between them.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Some changes

I've changed the template etc of the blog (in case you hadn't noticed).  So what does everyone think?

Cultural Swap organising

 I started organising the bits and pieces I need to put together for the cultural swap this week.  So far I have started collecting all the little coins in the house.

The 10c piece is the smallest coin in our currency.

I also took a whole heap of photos to print out from our bike ride.
The beach

Lolly cake for morning tea

And some playing at the newly revamped park.  There are also plenty of photos with us in them to send as well.
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