Thursday, March 31, 2011

My creative space.

In my creative space today I am hooking granny squares for pockets. I don't think I've got another granny square blanket in me, I haven't even finished sewing in the ends of my first one, but I do love hooking these little treasure collecting pockets.

I am pattern testing a cute little pair of ballet slippers. I have just finished knitting them in the softest, most luxurious organic merino wool this morning. Details here.

But now its time to felt them and I need your help. What is your felting method? I've only ever done hand felting and I've heard something about a hot washing machine and a pair of jeans for agitation, but I'm not sure.


And of course I'm sewing some vintage sheet dresses for my shop.

I love cutting and stitching these mixy matchy dresses. The colours and patterns and styles make me so happy. And I love dreaming about their new owners and hearing their happily ever after stories. Check out Tricia's here.

I hope this Thursday brings you some wonderful surprises.

See ya. XX

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sewing & selling & shopping.

I was walking through the most gorgeous shop the other day when all of a sudden those familiar thoughts started talking to me. They were saying things like: Hey I could sell my stuff here. My little dresses would look so great hanging up on these racks. How wonderful would it feel to see my clothes as part of this stunning collection...

But pretty soon after it started, it stopped. I don't have to have that conversation in my head anymore. Now I have my own shop.

And I love having my own online shop.

I love that I get to make whatever I want, how I want, whenever I want, as the inspiration drives me.

I love that the customer pays the price I think is right rather than double that.

I love that I 'know' so many of the little princesses my dresses are going to live with and I love the interactions and stories and feedback and photos I get from their Mamas/Grandmothers/friends who buy them.

Blog posts like Vic's and Catherine's make my day!

I love that I have my own paypal account with my own money in it. As anyone who runs their own business knows, often you don't actually get paid a wage for the work you do. So I feel happy and guilt free spending a little bit here and there on some craft supplies. Some yummy hand dyed yarn, a knitting pattern, a Foxs Lane stamp or a book, I've earned them myself. Yay!

So I guess this is just an enormous thank you to everyone who has bought something from my shop, has commented on something I've made, has been supportive, has suggested something or sent me something that they thought I could use.

Thank you Vicki for the parcel of doilies.

Must be off now. Indi gets home from camp in an hour and I still have to make her bed and make her favourite dinner.

So do you buy online? Do you have your own little shop? How's it going?

Bye for now. X

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Oh Tuesday, crazy day of highs and lows and wild contradictions. Weren't you listening when I said I wanted a calm and easy week?

This morning I woke up in Indi's bed because she is at camp and my Farmer Boy was snoring. I was feeling cranky and impatient and late to bush kinder, but all of a sudden happy and grateful and glad when I was handed a coffee in a take away cup on the way out the door. Yay! Thanks Farmer boy/barrista.

I was feeling disappointed that the quince jelly I made last night had to be thrown out because it got overcooked when I got distracted by a crying child and then a washing pile that needed folding. Then the farmer boys come in and ate some of it on crackers for afternoon tea and declared it the best ever! They've each taken a jar home for their families. Happy again.

Casting of my latest knit. Loving how it looks on my big three year old but being disappointed that she is soooooooo over posing for me and having to snap a couple of photos of her on the go and mostly from behind. Maybe I'll have to travel with some treats in my pockets in the future. Raveled here.

Looking forward to the most gorgeous sunny, autumnal day. The best forecast day of the week. But becoming a bit cranky when the DSE start burning the bush at the back of us and so all my washing and all our outside play is filled with stinky smoke.

Getting my giveaway package in the post from Suse. Thanks Suse!! A wonderful knitting book, Knitting at Home and some of her gorgeous handmade soap. After a quick flick I am FULL of inspiration but I already have too many projects on the go to cast on a new one.

Loving that Jazzy and her friend have been playing for hours with their dolls. Not loving that Miss Pepper hasn't been able to keep up with the intricacies of their big girl game and was quite upset for a while. And then being happy again when she decided to stop whimpering and start helping me my popping all the bits of quince that I've cut up in the pot for me.

Feeling oh so embarrassed at the state of my house when guests come in but using it as the kick up the bum I needed to spend a bit of time cleaning.

I could go on but you get the gist. Up and down and roundabout.

Maybe I'll run a bath with some calming lavender oil.

See ya!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Two gifts.

Hello Monday!

Hello fresh new week, clean diary pages, opportunities, plans, hopes.

Indi has gone off to camp, Jazzy has requested pancakes for dinner and Miss Pepper is always hungry. The puppies have been wormed, the farmer-boys are working on a new chick brooder and I am hoping like anything to keep on top of things and have a happy week.

Every week on a Monday afternoon I have this odd hour in between pick ups and drop offs. Most weeks I spend it with my artist friend Petrus, chatting, catching up, talking about inspiration and plans. I love this hour and look forward to it all week.

Last week Petrus made us coffee in the boot of his car. As we sat in my boot drinking the coffee he presented me with a ceramic pear he'd made. It is heavy and cold and real pear sized with a real pear stalk. I was and am still completely overwhelmed by this gift. At the moment its sitting next to our Petrus bowl on the shelf above the fireplace but I think it might have to move around the place so I remember to look at it and love it.

When Indi saw the pear she said it represented purity and passion to her. I kinda like that.

The second gift I recieved an embarrasingly long time ago from the ever so talented MonetPaisley. A pile of hand made, retro inspired bikinis for my girls.

I wish I could show you how cute they look on my girlies but I feel a bit uncomfortable, so you'll have to believe me.

But trust me, THEY ARE SUPER CUTE!!

They are hand made from the most gorgeous fabrics and they fit really well and did I tell you they look too cute! I love how different they look from the mass produced, garishly bright, lycra numbers everyone else at the pool wears.

I think there are so few really new and original ideas out there and we should really support awesome little businesses like MoneyPaisley.

I feel a bit sad that bikini weather is over here but they'll be coming on our caravan adventure that's for sure.

Money Paisley has an Etsy shop here and are also available at a few other selected outlets. Please go and check out Money Paisley the blog for more info.

So have you been lucky enough to receive any great gifts lately? Do tell.

Ok, that's me for now.
Have fun out there.


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Weekend end.

This weekend we walked through the top orchard and picked some apples and pears and quinces. We filled a crate but left most of them on the trees to ripen some more.

We hung upside down and sang songs that I used to sing when I was little. We drew with chalk and ate toasted sandwiches for lunch and we practised tricks on the trapeze.

We walked around the farm and were carried and we weeded the vegie garden. We painted a bit of the caravan and knitted a couple of rows. We've washed and labeled and packed Indi up for camp tomorrow.

We hung out at The Hepburn Folk Festival where Farmer Bren took some film and then later edited the footage into a little film. Its made him so happy working on that film and that's made me pretty happy too.

And I made another small dress. Ha! Did you think I was going to do an entire post without a dress?

Its in my shop if you were wondering.

Its got a granny pocket for treasure collecting.
All clothes must have pockets these days according to Miss Pepper.

And this one has long sleeves because although the days are bright and sunny, they can get chilly when the sun goes behind the clouds.

What have you been up to?

I hope this coming week is a fantabulous one for all of us!
I hope some really exciting things happen.

Bye for now. X

Friday, March 25, 2011

Week ended.

The Bright and Cheery Dress.

Phew, its Friday!!
Hooray for Friday.
Its been one hellava week.

See ya later second last week of March. I am thrilled to see the back of ya!

Crappy weeks call for nice cozy food and activities to get you through them don't you think?

Here are a few things that have gotten us (mainly me) through the past week:

  • Chocolate chip cookies. Baking and eating.
  • Knitting something easy and relatively stress free.
  • Lighting our first fire of the year. (Sorry Dad I know its not Anzac day yet!)
  • Vodka with pink grapefruit juice.
  • Lovely blog comments.
  • Getting dressed a bit fancy for the day to day.
  • Sharing my Ravelry love with my girls.
  • Sewing with Wendy's sweet doily pockets. See dress above.
  • Giving Miss Jazzy a jar of quince jelly and a packet of crackers to share with her class. Did you know not one single kid in her class could identify a quince!
  • Part time schooling.
  • Updating my shop.
  • Advice from my Mum that once you take the friendship power away from the mean girls and go and play with someone else, they'll want you back and be oh so lovely. It worked when we were kids and it still works now.
  • Homework club.
  • Loud dancy music.
  • Indulging Miss Pepper in her being a baby. Blankies and baby talk and no shoes oh my.
  • Relaxed mornings and being late to school.
  • Homeopathics.
  • Adapting my dress pattern for Autumn. See dress above. Its got longer sleeves for the chillier days and they are elasticised at the wrist to stop them from dipping into your porridge.
  • Spending one on one time with my big girl.
  • Realising that we only have three months here and then we are away on our great caravan adventure.
  • Cuddles in the kitchen with my Farmer Boy.
  • Lego cities.
  • The promise of a slow, cozy weekend filled with family, yummy food, a music festival and a lot of hanging out at home.
I do hope you've had a better week than me. Have you? Do you have tricks for getting through the tough times?

Have a wonderful weekend you guys.

Bye now. XX

Thursday, March 24, 2011

On a Thursday...

To be completely honest with you, over the past few days waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much of my creative space has been spent staring at this pile of deliciousness. I love, love, love this little rainbow of linen I bought from Leah's gorgeous little shop.

Now I have to decide: a quilt, a couple of little dresses or maybe they just have to sit on the side board for a little bit longer as eye candy.

I've been knitting little bits of a cardi for Miss Pepper.

I have knitted this pattern before. Last year when I was first learning to knit garments. It took so long that time and I undid bits and googled how to do the stitches the entire time. This time I feel like I know a bit more about what's going on. Its a great confidence booster.

I must admit though that I'm not entirely thrilled with the mess of colour. When I bought the yarn, the skeins looked like the colours were broken up into chunks of solid bits. I guess that's just another knitting lesson I've now learnt.

I am crocheting granny slippers. Well, granny slipper anyway. Another one of Michelle's wonderful patterns.

I am cutting and over locking and pinning and sewing little dresses.

And I am spending most of my time over a hot cauldron stirring sweet, sticky quince jelly.

I hope your Thursday is a creative one.
We are off to creative dance and then story time.

See ya. X

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Me & my girl.

We've been having a bit of a difficult week my big girl and I. Well actually she's been having a hard week and so my week has felt like an upset tummy. Sometimes its felt hard to breath.

There's been lots of talking, some tears and some problem solving.

Today we made the decision to take a break from it all and to run away.

We drove all the way to another town. We visited op shops and drank coffee and juice and peppermint tea. We bought textas and coloured by numbers. We talked about the crappy stuff and felt better about it. We breathed different air. We looked in shops and bumped into friends and were surprised to see some of my crocheted floral brooches from long ago in a gorgeous shop. We bought supplies for camp, for the farm and for dinner and some Lego as a present for the sisters. We walked holding hands, squeezing hands and played that pass the pulse game.

On the way home it poured with rain and we didn't talk but we sang along to a CD.

We came home feeling stronger and happier.

I need to remember to spend time one on one with my girls more often and not just wait until things go bad. But when things are a bit crappy sometimes a break from it is the best medicine of all.

I think we'll both sleep well tonight.

Monday, March 21, 2011

On a Monday.

Yesterday we had a little stall at the local Buddhist school's Autumn Equinox Fair. We sold a bit of jam and garlic and some dresses and t'shirts and skirts from long ago when I used to do markets. I also made up a few things especially for the occasion.

We had such a fun day catching up with friends and playing and quite a bit of selling too.

The best part of all was seeing the little princesses running and twirling and dancing in my dresses all afternoon.

The second best part of doing my pilates class every Monday morning (the best part is that my Farmer Boy has started coming along too), is the time spent with some older and much wiser women. Over the years these women have guided and supported me through some tricky parenting and life stuff. Sometimes we joke that we all come along to hang out together the exercize is secondary.

This morning these women assured me that difficult social situations at school are important for kids' development into strong, independent, socially aware adults. They told me that it is also probably so much more difficult for me than it is for her.

Its nothing major. Just a bit of friendship negotiating and not being sure where she fits but with this new advice I feel like I can support her through it without getting too involved myself.

I love living in a town where the post office lady asks me what I'm planning on knitting with the squishy parcel that's just arrived, when the guy at the cafe knows my coffee order even though I only go there once a week, when the local doctor tells me to go past his house and help myself to a box of quinces and when the guy at the fruiterer let's me come back at school pick up time to pay him the $10 I owe him. All on a Monday morning.

I made a play date for Miss Jazzy yesterday with a little girl I was sure she'd be thrilled to hang out with. The girl told Jazzy. Jazzy later told me that I am most certainly not allowed to set these kind of things up without consulting her first. And, she would not be going anyway.

Oops! Now I have no idea how I am meant to get her out of it. How was I to know we'd reached a more independent level of socialising?

This afternoon I have been doing some housework in my shop. At least its happening somewhere right?! I have been dusting, making sure the hangers are all facing the same way and refolding. Ugh, I do not miss my days in retail.

I've also removed all the sold stock and am slowly photographing and adding some new bits and pieces.

Better go now, its time to pick the girls up and take Indi to singing and Jazzy to creative dance.

I hope your week is creating and inspiring and fun.

Bye. X

Saturday, March 19, 2011

my day...

Today I woke up from a dream that's been at the back of my mind all day long. I spoke to my folks just before who told me they think the main character is not really the main character but someone else. Then they told me it might not be someone else but it might be a part of me. Now I'm really intrigued.

Today Miss Indi and her friend put on a show for me that was actually entertaining and funny and well rehearsed. I loved it! I've been watching little kid shows for about seven or eight years now. Shows that involve lots of chaos and screaming and mayhem. Shows that often end in tears. Today's was like something different entirely. Bring on more of these I say, I'm watching.

The other day Indi was scrolling through my blog and commented that there are hardly any photos of her. Today Miss Indi was more than happy to go outside and pose with the new cushion for me. Hooray!

Today Miss Jazzy told me that she loves her new friend so, so,so much and often she is happy just to sit around and listen to the sound of her laugh.

Today Miss Pepper spent almost the entire morning on my lap.

Today in an effort to cheer up a child, I sang and did a wild and crazy dance to a Violent Femmes song. After looking at me in horror for a minute, everyone joined in.

Today when I drove Indi's friend home she thanked me for having her. A bit of a welcome change after some recent visits.

Today my farmer boy spent the day making cider with his friends. When everyone arrived with their apples they were weighed and noted down and once the cider is made everyone will get their percentage back.

Today my sister took Indi to a ceramics class. I think its really important for Indi to be spending time with other adults. She had fun but said all they talked about was having babies so she didn't talk much.

Today me and Jazzy and Pepper popped into Beck's house for a visit. Sometimes even just a few minutes with a gorgeous friend can brighten up your whole day.

Today I took Jazzy and Pepper out for coffee and they had a macaroon each. Jazzy chose a raspberry one and Pepper an apple pie.

Today a little boy told me he loved the green cushion I was crocheting in the cafe.

Today I corrected a woman who asked me what I was knitting when I was actually crocheting.

This evening we are eating plums and apples from our trees for desert. Farmer Bren brought in a load in his t'shirt after feeding the dogs. I don't think the apples are ready but the girls don't seem to care.

Miss Pepper is asleep in my bed next to me as I type this. Is there anything more delicious than a sleeping child?

Today I finished the final stitches on my Granny Tic-Tac-Toe cushion, clever Michelle's latest pattern. I was lucky enough to test it for her and I love it!

I also loved seeing my Farmer Boy's face just now when I showed it to him. It was like he finally understood what I've been working on for the past few days, and he loves it too.

My project details are here.

Not such an exciting day, but a lovely day and I am so very, very grateful for it.

What did you get up to today?

Bye now.

Love Kate X

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The tale of a blue dress.

Last Friday I bought this pile of old aprons and table cloths from the church fete for $3.50. The blue appliqued table cloth on the top cost me $2.00. The lovely lady who sold it to me was apologetic, but said it came with six napkins so she just had to charge me that much.

The farm boys have been away at a chain saw course all week, so I've been Farmer Kate helping Farmer Bren out with all the chores and there hasn't been a lot of time left over to sew.

But I have been desperate to play with the blue table cloth and this morning I did.

First I drew a back, a front, two sleeves and a ruffle on the fabric.

Then I cut the pattern pieces out.

I over locked the seams.

Then I pinned them right sides facing.

I sewed the seams together.

I threaded elastic, I added a love heart tag, I ruffled and I hemmed.

And now I'm going to pop it in my shop.

I am really starting to stress about the tiny amount of clothing we'll each be able to take on our caravan adventure in a few months, so I purposely made this dress a size that wouldn't fit any of my girls.

I hope your Thursday is sunny and creative.

Oh and I'm over at Maxabella Loves today too. Check it out here.

Have fun out there.

Love Kate X

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