Sunday, October 31, 2010

Testing 4 Nikki.

Late last week when Nikki was asking for beginner bag pattern testers, I put my hand up as quickly as I could. While I am not necessarily a beginner sewer, I have never made a bag from a pattern and was keen to give it a go.

This morning while my Mum was videoing the girls doing film clips to their favourite songs, I printed out the pattern and the pattern pieces and set to work.

Once I saw what I was making I realised that I have sewed a shopping bag before, a few probably, but I loved the idea of following Nikki's pattern and making it by the rules. I love that there was no guess work and therefore less room for mistakes and unpicking.

Nikki's Beginners Shopping Bag Pattern is brilliant, easy to follow, full of little tit bits of information and tricks and the end result is so neat and cute and practical. I learnt quite a bit along the way.

I think this would be a great pattern for a beginner or a refresher course for someone like me and I love Nikki's idea of wrapping her Christmas prezzies in these bags.

I made this one from a thrifted sheet and kept it plain but I have plans now to make some fancy ones.

My Mum keeps on saying how practical it is and what a great shape for toting writing books about in the city. Something tells me this one is going to be leaving my house tomorrow when she does. Lucky I've got the pattern and can make as many as I want and so quickly too.

So lovely readers, I hope you are having a great weekend.
We are off to listen to my sister Emily play in a cafe in town and maybe drink a glass of cider or two. That's about all this weather is good for.

See ya!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Critical Mass.

Today I am grateful for choice, opportunity and freedom of expression. Today I am sitting here thinking about how lucky we are to be living in this time, in this place with endless opportunities and only our own imaginations to limit us.

Late yesterday afternoon about 60 cyclists from the Daylesford area met outside the primary school and proceeded to ride their bikes up and down the main street of our town. Exactly the same thing was happening in over 300 cities all around the world.

These bike rides are called critical mass. While they do hold up and block the car traffic, they claim not to be protests against cars but celebrations of bikes. We aren't blocking the traffic. We are the traffic is a popular critical mass catch phrase and the name of a documentary about the phenomena.

This was the second Daylesford critical mass and the first one with an angry swear word yelled from an irate car driver with a hand gesture. It seemed so strange considering the happy, peaceful feeling amongst the riders claiming the streets of their own town for ten minutes once a month.

It is such fun and such a great feeling to reclaim the streets of your own town, to blow whistles, ring bells and to laugh and chat with your fellow cyclists. It is such fun for me to be the event photographer and to run up and down the street snapping away and watching my family riding/scootering.

gif animators

If you are in the Daylesford area on the 26th of November (the last Friday of the month) at 5pm you should come along. If you would like to ride along but live somewhere else why don't you google critical mass and the town that you live in, grab your bike/scooter/pusher and cycle on.

Like I said, today I am feeling grateful for where and how I live and for my right to be involved in events like the critical mass without fear of any retribution.

Sometimes I do take my freedoms and rights for granted but today I am feeling grateful.

Oh and if you are reading this as an email, why don't you click on the Foxs Lane link here or at the bottom to view the blog and the animation the way they should be seen..

See ya!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Favourite 4 Photos Friday.

So here we are heading down the home stretch of Blogtoberfest and with only two days to go I've got to say I've really enjoyed this blogging every day thing this year. Actually, I've blogged more than once a day, because I've also posted four blogs on my other blog.

For me its been great to put a little bit of time aside every day to capture a moment in time. To talk about what I'm making or how I'm feeling.

I signed up to blog every day in October thinking that if I missed a day nobody would notice but me, but I don't think there has been one day that I haven't known what to post about.

All those 'how to be creative' books talk about keeping journals and I have tried and tried but I don't seem to be able to stick to writing, drawing and sticking things in a book. I guess my blog has helped me to keep a version of a journal and I really enjoy it.

A lot of the time when I have something on my mind that I'm trying to process, if something has happened that I want to remember, or if I've made something I want to record, popping it on the blog means that I can move on. Kind of like a brain dump.

So nearing the end of October I am wondering how I will blog from here? Will it be every day? Most days? Some days? I guess I'll just play it by ear and see how I go.

Have you played along this year? Would you consider blogging every day? How did you go?

And these are my favourite four photos from this week that haven't made it onto the blog so far.

1) Jazzy trying on a new dress. That girl can model anything from a size four to a size seven. What would I do without her?

2) Our 1,300 chookies are not pets. They are out in the paddocks free ranging and doing their chooky thing. But once Miss Pepper catches one and cuddles it, you'd think they were as tame as can be. This one was lucky enough to be sung 'row, row, row your boat' to and fully snuggled.

3) With Pixie not around anymore it seems the farm dogs have to have cuddles too. Don't worry, we are looking for a new pet dog.

4) Apple blossom, pear blossom, plum blossom, quince blossom. Its been quite the week for climbing trees and watching bees.

So my blogland friends, I hope you have a truly happy and wonderful weekend. Ours is looking crazy busy but fun. Cross your fingers for us that we don't get too much rain.

And if you'd like to pop your four favourite photos of the week on your blog, I'd love to come and see them.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

My creative space.

In my creative space today I am binding,

overlocking and gathering,

crocheting a trim,

and putting together surprising colour combinations.
I cannot believe that I am considering sewing with this orange trimmed table cloth but somehow this combination looks summery and fun to me today despite my dislike of the colour.

Oh, and I'm also still hooking away at my Softie for Mirabel, knitting my Tea Leaves cardi and my test for Tikki but I haven't got any recent photos of these. I also have a whole pile of projects that will realistically never be finished so I'm not even going there.

I know I should probably stop starting new projects until I finish some of these but that wouldn't be fun now would it?

Over to Kirsty's for some more creativity.
Happy Thursday y'all. XX

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Last night.

Last night I was lucky enough to be invited to the launch of Pip's new book Sew La Tea Do.

It is a great and beautiful and chunky book. The styling is gorgeous, the projects look fun and like things you'd really want to make and use.

It was great to finally meet and chat with Pip. She is as ace as she appears on her blog and was kind and generous and surprisingly calm amidst all the goings on.

And it was also such fun to hang out with lots of other bloggers. It was a strange feeling to look around the room at one stage, and see so many familiar faces and know that many of them I'd never even met in real life.

And it was wonderful to be surrounded by like minded people. People who love craft. To be asked what I make rather than what I do. To stand next to someone and have them pull their knitting out of their bag to show me. To share this with my not so crafty but very musical sister who was my date for the night. To argue the benefits of crochet versus knitting. To not feel self conscious snapping away with my camera. To be complimented on the green cardi I was wearing that I'd made.

The venue, food and drink were all pretty fab too.

Today I am slightly weary and snatching moments between the chores to gather strips of fabric and bind bits of doily and I am looking forward to putting the girls to bed tonight so I can have a closer read of the book.

Have fun out there. XX

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A couple-a thank you's.

Thank you Lou Lou for the wonderful button/magnet/ring package you sent me. I love it all and so do my girls.

Thank you Abby for the Lunch Punch cutters. We just love punching our sandwiches, play dough, cookies and anything else that is flat and sitting on the kitchen bench for long enough.

Thank you Wendy for the most divine pin cushion I have ever seen. Love, love, love, love it. It is gorgeous and pretty but most of all it is huge enough not to get lost under the crap that resides on my sewing table. Thank you also for the pile of pretty pockets. I look forward to sewing them onto my everything but the thread creations and watching them work a bit of their Wendy magic. I am so thrilled to have a little bit of your gorgeous style in my house with me.

Thank you to Kate for the link to the Turkish bread recipe. I have one word for you, YUM!! Actually I have two more MAKE THIS!!

Thank you to Tamara for letting me use the little blurb on the top of my comment form.

And lastly but firstly and hugely, thank you to my wonderful Farmer Boy for taking these pics of my girlies and I on our way to the wedding on Sunday afternoon. They might not look like anything special to you but they are the only photos of all four of us wearing clothes that I sewed. Yep, I was pretty proud that day.

Actually I've got one more. Thank you dear reader for inspiring me, encouraging me, putting up with me, leaving comments for me, reading along with me and traveling along this wonderful and wild journey with me.

Have a fantabulous Tuesday. XX

Monday, October 25, 2010

The embroidered flower dress.

At my house today I am wondering how on earth I am meant to teach my kids about good time management, when I just disregarded everything on my list to sew this dress.

At my house today I am wondering why on earth anybody would spend hours embroidering gorgeous tablecloths like the blue one in this dress, only to have people spill their food all over them.

At my house today I am wondering how come the wind always picks up as soon as I go outside to take a few photos.

At my house today I am wondering how I can disguise all the freshly picked asparagus Liam just brought in, so the girls will eat it for dinner.

At my house today it looks like a bomb has gone off, so I'd better run and tidy some of it up before school pick up.

What's going on at your house today?
What are you wondering?

Oh and if you're wondering, The embroidered flower dress is in my shop right now. How cute would your, slightly littler than mine, princess look in it!

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Happy birthday to our gorgeous Pepper Berry!

May your life be filled with squishy cuddles.

May there be lots and lots of exciting times and fun surprises.

May your life be filled with celebrations.

May you share lots of secrets and fun times with your sisters and friends.

We hope you have lots of great adventures and journeys. And that sometimes you take us along for the ride.

We hope you win some of the time.

We wish you lots of yummy things to eat.

And we hope you reach great heights...but don't grow up too soon.

Happy birthday sweet girl, you are such a joy and we all adore you to the moon and back.

Saturday, October 23, 2010


Have I told you that I'm doing a bit of knitting pattern testing?

It seems like not very long ago that I popped into Georgie's blog and saw all the gorgeous patterns she was designing and decided then and there that I had to learn to knit.

Fast forward a few months and I have knitted five pieces using Georgie's patterns and now I am one of the testers testing her latest pattern that will be added to her range next month.

It is such an exciting feeling receiving a pattern that so few people have seen before, to start knitting knowing that soon people all over the world will be knitting these same stitches and to watch this new garment coming together before my eyes. And it is such fun to be included in all the chit chat that goes on in the secret pattern testing website, (did you even know such a thing existed?)

But I have struggled with this responsibility too. I did three gauge squares before I was certain I was knitting the right tension, I have counted each stitch waaaaaaaaaaay too many times and I am overly aware of how much yarn I am using and making sure that I follow the pattern exactly.

I know that there are quite a few other testers testing this same pattern, I know that I have knitted her patterns successfully before and I know that the fact that I am a beginner knitter is probably why Georgie chose me to test but still I want it to be perfect and I am taking this responsibility so seriously.

So far my stitch count has differed from the pattern once and after undoing it and reknitting it and getting the same count again, I checked the testing site to find that it had already been corrected.

Let's hope it is all smooth sailing/knitting from here and that the pattern will be released really soon for you to knit and enjoy as it sure is a gorgeous one.

I hope you have a really happy weekend.
When Miss Pepper wakes up from her nap, her and Jazzy and I are going to catch the train to Melbourne to meet Bren and Indi.
See ya! XX

Friday, October 22, 2010

Farmer Bren says...

This morning my farm boy took a look at me making the girl's school lunches and said he'd quite like to blog bomb my blog with photos of me in my grey, holey trackies, a stripey hoody, ugg boots and my hair all piled on top of my head. Apparently I did not look very glamorous.

Its almost been a whole year since he came up with the words blogutation and blie and it probably was time for a new one.

He says that where yarn bombing is using knitting and crochet pieces to decorate and make a statement in public spaces, blog bombing takes real, unedited, photos or video of a blogger perhaps not looking or acting their best and uploads them without permission onto their blog for the whole blogworld to see.

This morning my farmer boy told me the list of the things I had to do today was nothing, barely even a list compared to his, even though mine included make a dress for Indi to wear to a wedding on Sunday, pack everyone up for farmer's market in Melbourne tomorrow, throw together a small, family party for Pepper for Sunday, wash, cook, shop, clean, make a birthday present for Pepper for Sunday...

Funny how when I explained to him how long each thing on my list was going to take he offered to finish work early so he could help out and pick the girls up from school. Love him.

And finally, Farmer Bren said that there is no way he could decide on the two grateful giveaway winners so he asked me to ask Mr Random generator thingy who he thought should win. Lucky he didn't ask me, I thought they were all wonderful and worthy of fabric.

Soooooooooo without further ado, according to the random generator the winners are:

Levin; I'm grateful for people like you who make me feel 'normal'. People who make me realise that it's okay to get frustrated with your family, to want to have time away from them, to need to be alone. That these feelings don't make me a bad mother - just human. And I am also extremely grateful for my family - both the one I have created and the one that created me - I get so much love and support and encouragement and it's absolutely priceless :)


Megan K: Oh how I would love to raid your fabric stash Kate! Now that would be something I'd be grateful for :)
Right now I'm feeling grateful for the past three days of absolutely stunning sunshine, just in time for my big girl's birthday, after weeks of heavy rain.

Please contact me with your details lovely ladies and I'll pop your fabric in the post on Monday.

The apron dress Jazzy is wearing in the pics is in
my shop. And this photo shoot showed me how impossible taking photos of her for my blog is going to be now that she has her very own camera.

Have a wonderful and happy weekend out there.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

My creative space.

In my creative space this week I have been making this skirt for me.
When I was in Melbourne last week I tried on some clothes but was so uninspired that I thought I'd better make some of my own.

This skirt is the start of my new summer wardrobe.
The pattern is from Stitch magazine.
The fabric was bought from the Daylesford market a few years back. It had a sticker on it that said vintage fabric. I adore the colour and the print but I've been too scared to cut into it, until now. The buttons are some odds and ends found in my tin from goodness knows where.

Unfortunately I didn't realise that I didn't have enough fabric until I was cutting out the bum piece and so I had to use two smaller pieces.

I really love how it turned out but I think I might try it again in a plainer fabric to show off the pattern of the skirt more. I also think I had better iron the creases into it before I wear it off the farm.

So what's cooking in your space today?

Farmer Bren is picking a winner in my grateful giveaway tomorrow. You've got to be in it to win it.

See ya!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I'm loving...

Wowzers! What a lot of wonderful things we all have to be grateful for.
Thanks for all your honest and thoughtful comments, I am loving reading them.
The grateful giveaway is open until this Friday so be sure to enter.

Today I am also loving that the sun is shining and that the world smells like Spring.

I'm loving hanging the laundry outside on the line.

I'm loving sewing for me.

I'm loving that this morning my big girls emptied their piggy banks (literally) to pool their money together to buy Miss Pepper a birthday prezzy.

I'm loving freshly picked asparagus, silverbeet and garlic for lunch.

I'm loving being a pattern tester.

I'm loving that I am sleeping again after taking myself off the iron tablets.

I'm loving playing with photo booth.

I'm loving that we have quite a few celebrations in the next few weeks to come.

I'm loving wearing a skirt and tights and boots.

So much more but I have to run to pick up the girls from school.

Have a wonderful Wednesday. XX

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Grateful Giveaway.

I had the most wonderful day alone in the city yesterday.

It was a real day of contradictions. I felt free and I felt guilty, I felt happy and I missed my family, I felt alive and inspired and I felt exhausted, I felt like I could walk at my own pace and I felt like I wanted to rush to fit in everything I wanted to see, I sat on the floor of book shops poring over the art books and always found myself in the children's section before I left.

And I totally did things my way too. I had no idea where the closest toilet was just in case, I barely stopped to eat but I drank three coffees, I flicked through every Japanese pattern book in Tessuti and I bought myself some ace sandals and some gorgeous wool.

And I knitted. Until I forgot how to do a SSK and had to go to the closest book shop to have a look in a knitting book to remind myself how.

It was a great day and the best part of it was the feeling of excitement I got when I returned home to see my lovely ones all jammied up and waiting for me before they hopped into bed.

Today I feel more patient and happy and calm than I have felt in a long time.

For all this I am grateful to Bren. He listened to me and heard me and encouraged me to have this day and to try to work on some more permanent Kate time.

If I could I would give him the world but I bought him a kilo of Fat Tony coffee and a bag full of Haigh's chocolates and I know that that will make him just as happy.

So in order to celebrate the generosity of my wonderful farmer boy and my gratefulness I thought we should have ourselves a giveaway.

Leave a comment letting me know what you feel grateful for at the end of this post.

There will be two winners. Each winner will win six fat quarters from my vintage sheet stash.
Farmer Bren will choose two winners this Friday the 22nd October.
We will post anywhere.

You've got to be in it to win it.

Have fun out there.

Monday, October 18, 2010

At my house.

At my house today...well actually I have no idea what's going on at my house today because I'm not there.

I'm catching a train to Melbourne ALONE!!!!

I'm sitting on the train dreaming and knitting and thinking and just being.

My wonderful farmer boy is looking after things at home and I am off to explore the big wide world. To visit some exhibitions and some shops, to be inspired, to think and to be alone.

The truth is I don't even care if I sit in a cafe all day and knit, this day is about being by myself as much as its about anything else.

Hopefully I'll return this afternoon having missed my family, full of my own ideas and stories, energised and ready to take on this new week.

I hope your Monday is a funday.

More @ my house at Lou's.

See you tomorrow. XX

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