Monday, November 26, 2012

Navy IS the new black (and other futile arguments with three year olds)

See this lovely little vintage dress? This lovely navy dress? Apparently it is actually BLACK and that is why miss Liongirl has refused to wear it for the nine months it has been hanging in her wardrobe. In fact , she not only wrinkled her little button nose up in disgust when I pointed it out,  she was adamant that we should just get rid of it, because it is just too black.

I tried to educate her in the subtle differences in colour hues. It was an epic fail, and she remained adamant.  Nope, it was not navy, it was black. Definitely not dark blue either. Black, black, black and going, going going. So I did what any self respecting mother would do when faced with an irrational and deluded foe.

Bribery and corruption.  In the form of a pink lollipop.

If indeed this lovely dress was destined for the non wearable pile, then we were at least going to get a few pictures. So, I could raise this issue again, say at her 21st birthday. Or any time in future when she plans to wear black. Or navy.

It also explains why I had a little trouble getting her to wear that lovely new green dress that I lovingly sewed her last week. Because it has BLACK sleeves and trim. No wonder the guinea pinny pocket wasn't met with the rampant enthusiasm I was expecting.

Amazing what you can achieve with some sugar on a stick. Guinea has been upgraded to Sasha, the crochet pig who likes to ride in a front pouch. And despite that BLACK trim, the dress stayed on all day.

While we found a dead stick, and did some felt decorating.

With some of these gorgeous little felted mushrooms we picked up on a recent jaunt to Ipswich. There is a lovely little shop out there called Cultiver full of handmade goodies and we just had to pick up a little bag full of these, a brown paper bag of course. (The brown mushroom was the only one the kids would let me use in my giveaway bundle).

Speaking of giveaways, the official draw was finalised by the grubby paws of miss Liongirl late this afternoon, under the stern eye of Roboboy.

The winner of prize 1 (vintage sheet fat quarters) is Sammi.

The winner of prize 2 ( book & tray) is  Malea.

and the winner of prize 3 ( wallpaper and scraps) is

Yes, that is you Annie from Artistica Domestica!

So girls, contact me via email ( I have added up at the top right of the blog) and leave your details and addresses and I will post those goodies off pronto.

And welcome to some new followers and some lurkers who finally popped in to introduce themselves and say hello. For the rest of the gang who read my little blog, I have decided to do another vintage sheet giveaway soon but there will be a catch with this one......... Will keep you posted but probably around the New Year.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A sunny spot of pop up shopping

I was off doing a spot of gift purchasing today when I stumbled across a pop up shop. You know, this new craze where an empty shop front is suddenly filled to the brim with goodies for a couple of days and then equally all of a sudden it all vanishes again back to wherever it came from. A bit like a circus I suppose.

This particular pop shop was packed to the hilt with colourful goodies and well worth a poke around, especially if you like contemporary Australiana and all things pineapple. Being quite partial to this very iconic fruit, I fully intend to re string my  $6 white perspex christmas ornament and wear it around my neck.

There were Australian map and pineapple blackboards, sets of wooden Australian animals, gorgeous colourful ceramics and a fantastic range of tea towels. Perfect gifts for homesick Aussies abroad and anyone who loves Australiana, minus the kitsch.

The pop up shop is at 29 A Logan Rd, Woolloongabba and is open every day until 2pm this Sunday. But don't fret if you must have one of those map of Australia blackboards and you are not lucky enough to live here in Brisbane, they have an online shop as well. Pop over here and you might get all your Christmas shopping done before we even hit December.

I would have bought more myself (I am coverting that map blackboard), but I had just only minutes before, managed to get my paws on my first pair of these which I have been wanting  for ages but was reluctant to buy over the internet as I have very difficult wide feet. Hooves really. Thankfully a lovely little shop right here in West End is now stocking them and they are a remarkably good fit for anyone whose feet have bovine tendencies.

Having never owned yellow shoes before, can I say that it is impossible to have anything other than a sunny disposition while wearing these. Hoping Santa might bring me the red ones for Christmas.

And while we are on a yellow theme, I could not forget Roboboy who has been obsessed with this colour since he was two. It does not get better than this really. Lego + yellow = happy child.

If you want to find one of these for your own gang pop over to Mini Mayhem to see the range of colourful T shirts for boys.  Mine came from a lovely local shop called Handmade High Street which supports local artists and designers and is also full of amazing crafted goodies. Happy sunny shopping !

Monday, November 19, 2012

Giving Back

Thank you for all the lovely feedback on my first attempts at frocks. As I mentioned last post, after 200 posts,  now just over 200 followers and nearly two years of blogging, it was definitely time for a thank you in return.

 I started blogging as an attempt to re establish some creativity in a life consumed by a having a complicated child. I had no idea that noticing and recording the small things in my complicated world would have such an impact on how I felt about my life and especially my children. The unexpected icing on the cake was the connection to all those other mothers relishing their children, crafting themselves happy, renovating houses and appreciating the joy of vintage sheets. Thank you all for your kind words, advice and inspiration.

So without further ado, I would like to announce a little giveaway to share the goodies around, so to speak.  There are three parts to this giveaway, and you can enter for just one or all three. First up is a set of eight vintage sheet fat quarters in the brightest colours, the absolute favourites in my stash. This part of the giveaway is open to all Australian and New Zealand Bloggers.

Part two, includes some recent op shop treasures that I already have but were too lovely to leave behind. A gorgeous bessemer tray, an Enid Blyton novel and a tiny handmade mushroom (more about these later). This part is only open to Australian bloggers ( these are heavy, and international postage is scary).

 Part three is open to everyone, anywhere in the world. A selection of vintage wallpapers and a small bundle of vintage sheet scraps.

So, if you want to enter, just make sure you are a follower of my blog and leave me a comment on the post telling me if you are entering for parts 1, 2 or 3 or any combination. The giveaway will close this time next Monday.

If you are not into vintage sheets, wallpaper and Enid Blyton, I do apologise. I may have a selection of doors, windows, floorboards and a carport to  get rid of  offer you in the new year.

Disclaimer - the fat quarters may have some decidedly wonky edges, cutting fabric is not a precision sport for me.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The green dancing girl dress

I've got the bug. The sewing bug that is. The rush you get ferreting through a stash of fabric, drawers of doilies and the sublime beauty of pink ric rac. Liongirl and I went to Spotlight  just to get the 6 mm elastic. And then I stumbled over this gorgeous green dancing girl fabric and she found the roll of sparkly pink bling ribbon and the next thing you know were were in cahoots, making another dress.

The navy blue floral fabric has a story of course. About a year ago at my first ever Suitcase Rummage the lovely Kimberley had a bundle of fabric from an estate sale. The story goes that the elderly lady who owned this fabric had brought trunks and trunks of beautiful fabric with her on a steamer from England many many years before she ended up in a house on Bribie Island. And now some of this lovely old fabric which had been carefully folded for decades has been lovingly added to a little girl's green dancing girl dress.

I myself could have left off the pink bling. But in order to get miss Liongirl to contemplate a dress that is not pink, we had to have some incentives. And she loves her bling. The pocket was essential for her travelling companion, Guinea Pinny, her toy stuffed guinea pig rescued from a $1 claw machine. Fingers crossed she will frock up tomorrow and let me take some photos.

I discovered the The Cupcake Parlour at West End the other day, and had to take a little assortment to share with the sewing gals. There is nothing more wonderful that chatting over a cuppa, a petite cupcake and some crafty creating with like minded pals. Especially when you put your bobbin in backwards and need help sorting out why everything you are stitching is self ruffling when it is meant to be flat.

And what were the kids doing today, while I finished adding the bling to the dress?  Well, first they colour coded my buttons,

then Roboboy colour coded all my pin wheels so they were in a rainbow formation. Then they watched The Little Mermaid. I had to share the look on my boys face watching the romance scene in the movie when the prince is working up to kissing Ariel in the boat.

Sheer unadulterated joy. You would never guess that only hours before this same child approached me in the bathroom  with a proposal. To sell his sister. (He was quite serious). I in turn grappled for a satisfactory response for his logical brain. I informed him that unfortunately as they were a pigeon pair, they sadly could only be sold as a set. He was disappointed but understood completely.

I wanted to say thank you to Kate from Foxs Lane for inspiring me to make the green dancing girl dress. About a year ago I bought a miss Liongirl a peasant dress from Kate and have been building up the courage to sew my own ever since. And fitting that I finally get it together for this slightly auspicious day of my 200th post. Back soon with a little giveaway to celebrate this bloggy milestone.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Woohoo, I made a dress

Yep, sewed to completion. It is frankly, a complete miracle. I have been pfaffing around for months whilst having distinct problems committing to sewing anything. You know when you are so overwhelmed with tasks that must be done, that you just move piles of washing from one spot to another around the house and feel guilty even reading a magazine? There was tax to be sorted, house plans to be altered, boxes of baby clothes to be sold, a spare room to be cleaned out before visitors, work papers to read, walls to paint, and that is on top of the daily groundhog moments of washing and folding and cooking and I could go on but you all know what I mean. I could not even sit still long enough to focus on one task.

And then my 14 year old neighbour came and raided my fabric stash to up cycle her cut off denim shorts. And I had some kind of internal teenage rebellion and decided that if she could spend an entire day of the weekend attaching a tablecloth to her buttocks then I was indeed entitled to "waste" time making a dress. For my daughter, who in all likelihood may refuse to wear it.

In order to maximise the odds of this dress being worn, it was time to ramp up the pink factor. These two vintage sheets were both in perfect condition, with vivid colour and were very, very pink.  I ordered what looked like  a simple pattern from this lovely etsy store  ( it was the playdate peasant dress) and would you believe it took a total of three hours including cutting out. And, I have never even attempted anything with elastic  before. Hence the woohoo. Now while I should be doing all manner of important things, I am plotting my next version. At least my sanity sewing circle is back on tomorrow so I don't have to wait long.

And, she has worn it, with gusto, lots of times already. I do suspect she is hankering for some pockets, may have to add some the next time I need to stage a rebellion against  my household responsibilities.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

At our place

there are some of the brightest of bright  vintage sheets that just turned up from my local oppie.

Winter blankies have been packed away.

This magazine has been pawed over by most members of the house. Roboboy is still begging me for it so that he can chop it up to make a picnic collage. Like me I suspect he was completely sucked in by the embossed cover.

He has started learning how to play chess in after school lessons. Here he is trying to teach his three year old sister the basic rules. It was all going well until she started galloping the horsey all over the board.

We have had a bit more luck with this one. An old vintage game from a garage sale where you have to collect rare animals to fill your own zoo.

And there has even been some cutting out of my own. I am determined to sew something to completion.

And there is a lot of gazing out of this window. Soon it will be the view from my lounge room and not the view from a nasty cupboard that contains my laundry in the middle of my lounge room.

It seems that after a few weeks holiday Legoman and I managed to resolve most of our disagreements about our renovation plans. He has finally come around to the idea of louvre windows, the kitchen is mostly sorted, the plans have been checked, there are chalk marks all over our deck and driveway so we are sure where the new bits are going and we have a couple of builders quoting on the working drawings as I type. And I didn't even need to send him to an oil rig as planned. Now it's off to an engineer and certifier while we go and find some more old floorboards, try and find the least ugly fan created, choose light fittings and order a marble slab for our kitchen bench.

Can you believe it has only been eight months since we started on the plans? Apparently sarcasm does not always translate well in a blog so I'll just spell it out. The only thing that tops the eight months of my stove now sounding like it is going to blast off into space whenever I have to bake anything, is my mum's comment recently that apparently the Feng Shui was all wrong for renovating this year. Great, so nice to discover that now. Apparently it is all good for 2013 though so as long as we don't start within the next  seven weeks we are all okay. Phew, crisis averted.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Boo from the Burbs

So, it's that time of year again and this time we decided to rope some mates in from school to go trick or treating with us. The word was out that we had some seriously scary spots to visit in the streets surrounding Betsy and everyone was desperate to get down to that house with the real dungeon. Roboboy true to his usual form was not up for a costume but conceded to wear his only black shirt, ghost light and my hat.

Liongirl was happy as a pig in mud in her new "Nurse Nancy" outfit. Complete with handy candy pills  which she likes to dispense for even the most trivial of ailments. All inspired by her favourite of all time Little Golden books.

Despite being a good year younger than everyone else, the girl has superior staying power when treats are involved.

Although the witch who owned this cauldron did seriously freak her out.

 Roboboy and his best mate were happy to stir the pot.

As night fell, a noisy tribe of excited children ran past giant inflatable pumpkins, swung their goody baskets and asked me yet again, are we at the house with the dungeon? The house with the dungeon is an old creepy looking three level stone mansion that for a period of time was a war hospital. It is seriously creepy and the occupants are dedicated to maintaining the scary vibe. The dungeon was indeed open, pitch black and filled with hanging corpses and a kooky witch. The front stairs had received an upgrade since our last visit with jugs of water poured from the second level onto unsuspecting trick or treaters. We walked home with worn out children carrying full baskets ready to be sorted and shared. Nothing better than a halloween walk on a starry night with all your mates.

In other news, Legoman got a scooter for his birthday recently. It's the big boy version of the kids micro scooters and it's called the Monster.  See the seriously big wheels. I am hoping to pinch it and have a go myself next time we need to nip out and get bread.