Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 Goals: A look back

I thought it would be a good idea at the end of 2007 to have a look at the goals I had at the start of the year and how they've all gone.

1. Learn some new crafts (I'm kind of cheating here because I've paid for some classes already, and I also have a new sewing machine and spinning wheel to play with, but it's a goal anyway!)

I accomplished this one. I did a fusing and slumping course, learnt basic spinning (one of those things I wish I could find more time for) and learnt to use a sewing machine. Yay!

2. Get a new job (my current job was just for a year, so it finishes in February so if I don't get a new job I'll be unemployed most of the year, so I pretty much have to do this one!)

Also did this one...about three days after getting back from Adelaide!

3. Only use re-used or re-useable wrapping materials on gifts. I've started doing this a bit, but once I use up my roll of wrapping paper I'm either wrapping presents in fabric or scarves, giving them in fabric bags, or those re-useable gift bags. This also has to be appropriate, so I wouldn't give my dad a gift wrapped in fabric (well actually I might, but I'd steal it back, because he wouldn't use it)

Pretty much did this one. I did wrap a few presents in paper, but most were reusable or reused materials.

4. Try not to get any more plastic bags. I've got lots and I don't need them. I just need to remember to take green bags to places other than the supermarket.

I did really well on this one, I'd say I got less than one bag a month...and most of those were when people didn't listen when I said "I don't need a bag" or "It can just go in here"

5. Organise my craft stuff (admittedly it's not too bad at the moment, but I can see problems looming when I move back to Melbourne in February because I have accumulated over the last year). I think I need to buy a cupboard for some of my stuff, but I'll get to it once I move back and I have everything in one place.

I bought some plastic draws and got everything sorted out when I moved from Adelaide, and I've just had another sort out so I'll go into the New Year with everything tidy.

6. It's a secret, that way if it doesn't happen, no one knows! Plus I think you have to have at least one private goal!

This one was getting my embroidery design published, which I did. Hooray!

7. Read at least 15 more books from the Angus & Robertson Top 100 Books list. Currently I've read the bold books. Books in italics are those I definately want to read this year.

Ok, so the bold ones are one's I've read previously, and the underlined ones are the ones I've read this year. Some of the ones from this year I have read before.

1. The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
2. The Lord Of The Rings – J.R.R. Tolkien

3. Pride And Prejudice – Jane Austin (2006)
4. To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee
5. Memoirs Of A Geisha – Arthur Golden (2007)
6. Angels And Demons – Dan Brown
7. The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold (2007)
8. My Sister’s Keeper – Jodi Picoult (2007)

9. Tomorrow, When The War Began – John Marsden
10. Magician – Raymond E. Feist (2007)
11. The Bronze Horseman – Paullina Simons (2007)
12. Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire – J.K. Rowling (2007)

13. The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien
14. Bridget Jones’ Diary – Helen Fielding

15. Cloudstreet – Tim Winton (2007)
16. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban – J.K. Rowling (2007)

17. The Power Of One – Bryce Courtenay
18. April Fools Day – Bryce Courtenay
19. Tully – Paullina Simons
20. Across The Nightingale Floor – Lian Hearn (2007)
21. The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho (2007)
22. The God Of Small Things – Arundhati Roy (2007)

23. Ice Station – Matthew Reilly
24. The Pillars Of The Earth – Ken Follet (2007)
25. Tuesdays With Morrie – Mitch Albom (2006)
26. Perfume – Patrick Suskind
27. The Bible
28. The Bride Stripped Bare – Anonymous
29. Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix – J.K. Rowling (2007)
30. Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone – J.K. Rowling (2007)

31. The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe – C.S. Lewis (2006)
32. Cross Stitch – Diana Gabaldon
33. Looking For Alibrandi – Melina Marchetta
34. Mao’s Last Dancer – Li Cunxin
35. The Secret History – Donna Tartt (2007)
36. Year Of Wonders – Geraldine Brooks (2007)

37. Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell (2005)
38. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy Series – Douglas Adams (2007)
39. Jessica – Bryce Courtenay
40. The Notebook – Nicholas Sparks
41. The Catcher In The Rye – J.D. Salinger
42. The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
43. One For The Money – Janet Evanovich (2007)
44. Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
45. The Shadow Of The Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon (2007)
46. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
47. Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason – Helen Fielding (2007)
48. The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom (2006)
49. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens (2007)
50. Life Of Pi – Yann Martel (2007)
51. The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver (2007)

52. The Poet – Michael Connelly
53. A Child Called It – David Pelzer
54. Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas – Hunter S. Thompson
55. On The Road – Jack Kerouac
56. Tell No One – Harlan Coben
57. Nineteen Eighty-Four – George Orwell
58. Almost French – Sarah Turnbull (2007)
59. An Equal Music – Vikram Seth
60. The Ancient Future – Tracey Harding
61. The Blind Assassin – Margaret Atwood
62. The Day After Tomorrow – Allan Folsom
63. Desert Flower – Waris Dirie
64. The English Patient – Michael Ondaatje (2006)
65. The Eyre Affair – Jasper Fforde (2005)

66. Fight Club – Chuck Palahniuk
67. A Fortunate Life – A.B. Facey
68. Girl With A Pearl Earring – Tracy Chevalier
69. The Godfather – Mario Puzo
70. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets – J.K. Rowling (2007)
71. The Horse Whisperer – Nicholas Evans
72. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte (2006)

73. Middlesex – Jeffrey Eugenides
74. The Pact – Jodi Picoult (2007)
75. The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger (2007)

76. Wild Swans: Three Daughters Of China – Jung Chang
77. Animal Farm – George Orwell (2005)

78. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy (2007)
79. Atonement – Ian Mcewan (2005)
80. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
81. Cold Mountain – Charles Frazier
82. Crime And Punishment - F.M. Dostoevsky
83. Emma – Jane Austen
84. Enduring Love – Ian Mcewan
85. The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald (2007)
86. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
87. Interview With The Vampire – Anne Rice (2006)
88. It – Stephen King (2007)
89. Like Water For Chocolate – Laura Esquivel (2006)
90. Not Without My Daughter – Betty Mahmoody
91. Plain Truth – Jodi Picoult
92. 1st To Die – James Patterson
93. A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
94. Alias Grace – Margaret Atwood
95. Assassin’s Apprentice – Robin Hobb
96. Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand (ok, so I didn't finish it but it still counts!)
97. The Potato Factory – Bryce Courtenay
98. The Redemption Of Althalus – David Eddings
99. Retribution – Jilliane Hoffman
100. River God – Wilbur Smith

So I did this one too, although I didn't manage all the books in italics on the list. Overall this year I've read 142 books, and it surprised me that this was more than last year (121).

I'll have a think about some goals for 2008 overnight and probably post a list tomorrow. I hope everyone has a wonderful New Years Eve and a fantastic 2008.

Saturday, December 29, 2007


Scatterday Y
Today's Scatterday letter is Y and the there are:

Green: It's a Yukka, and one which sadly has seen better days. In our family we have brown thumbs unfortunately.

School Days: My Primary School colours were blue and yellow and this is part of my grade six jumper. When thinking of scatterday ideas I generally start off think of sounds and so for a brief moment I was considering youniform...but then spelling kicked in and I realised that would just be silly.

Animal: Again I've gone with yellow...but to make up for that I've got two pictures. First we have a yellow bird, also known as a weaver bird or weaver finch...with some nests the male uses to attract females. Apparently if the female is unimpressed she simply destroys the nest. This is a photo taken off my parents computer from when they went to Africa. The second photo is some yellow fish, from when I did a bit of work experience at the Melbourne Aquarium.

Sunday, December 23, 2007


Scatterday S Only one day late today...I'd taken my photos and everything but just didn't have a change to get onto the computer. Today's (well yesterday's) letter was S and the categories are:

Christmas: It's Santa! I got this in the Second Annual Holiday Ornament Swap by Freshly Blended and Cake and Pie. I'll post more ornaments from this next week. I made a last minute decision to take part in this swap, but I'm so glad I did, I've got some gorgeous ornaments.

Beverage: It's some Stepping Stone wine. I got this from a lovely client to say thanks for looking after some of her dogs throughout the year...the only problem is that I don't actually drink alcohol (weird I know) but I'll probably take it to a party or something.

Medical: I had lots of options for this one, but I ended up just looking in my handbag and pulling out some needles in my bag though, so they're a bit useless!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Podgy Puppies and Curvy Cats

I'm bringing up a non-craft issue today, which is work related for me, but may affect some of you guys. If it does, don't take it personally, but it is a bit of an issue that's got me riled up at the moment and I figured since it was getting close to Christmas, it's probably something worth thinking about.

Overweight pets. They're a common site in vet clinics, ranging from the podgy to the massively obese. I've seen a number of animals, both cats and dogs, recently which have been double their desired weight. It is a joy to see a labrador of normal weight, and rare to see underweight animals (normally due to a health problem, rather than malnutrition).

Obesity in pets can lead to a number of health problems, many similar to humans. As well as the visible fat under the skin, fat surrounds internal organs and obesity can lead to diabetes, liver disease, cancer, heart and respiratory problems, and joint disease. Excess weight can lead to worsening of some diseases such as arthritis. Individual fatty meals can lead to pancreatitis, which not only makes pets extremely sick, but can be fatal.

Surgery and anaesthesia is more risky in overweight pets, as in position their lungs may not expand as much. Fat surrounds blood vessels, making them slippery and difficult to tie off. Suture material becomes greasy and slippery which can make knots less secure. This means surgery takes longer, which again is less than ideal for the patient.

So how do pets become overweight? There are a couple of medical reasons, but the most common causes are too much food and not enough exercise. Lack of exercise tends to be less than a problem in dogs (this is a wide generalisation and obviously doesn't apply to every case) than cats, who are obviously quite difficult to exercise. Indolent cats are also at an increased risk of urinary crystals.

Excessive calories is a more common reason for weight gain and often snacks and scraps are a big part of this. Many dogs in particular are very food responsive and food is a common reward when training. If you give your dog treats when it begs, you are rewarding this behaviour and training them to beg. Rewards given randomly are an excellent means of reinforcing behaviour for long term training as well.

The question is then, how do you get your pet to lose weight?
Increasing the amount of exercise can help, and activities such as a getting the cat to chase a torch beam around can help. If your pet is getting enough exercise, or for one reason or another they can't be exercised more, you have to concentrate on the diet. There are a number of restricted calorie diets available for obese pets. These have increased fibre and bulk to make them feel full, but don't have the calories. In less obese pets cutting down the food given, feeding a lower calorie dog food or substituting some of the meal with grated carrots can help. Pets should be fed for their desired weight and marking a cup rather than eyeballing the amount will help. Switching to a smaller food bowl can also make it look more full. Cutting out treats and scraps from the table is also key. One very important factor is communication. Everyone who feeds the pet needs to be involved in the weight loss plan so their is consistency in the diet and exercise.

Unfortunately, like in people, weight loss in animals is hard once they've put the weight on. One of my dogs was 42 kilograms and is now down to a healthy weight of 36 kilograms. This has involved persistence with diet and a lot of yelling at other family members. However he suffers from arthritis and so the little treats, while giving him a brief pleasure, are ultimately more harmful than helpful to him. At 11 years old it's far too late to stop him begging when food is around (he's been trained too well) but it's something we do our best to ignore now.

In the end our pets weight is our responsibility, and any preventative health care we can give them we deserve.

Monday, December 17, 2007


Scatterday D
Sorry I'm late again, and I also have to apologise for completely abandoning K (because it's now been completely abandoned!). Scatterday's letter for this week is D and the categories are:

Sewing: Alright, so I've got DMC embroidery floss too but I have been wanting to take a photo of this for a while because it is very pretty...and you get to eat Fererro Rochere's too.

Vehicle: It's a Decorated Car! I struggled quite a bit with this one and ended up going through all my photo files to find something that fit!

Touchy Feely: One of my babies, Deefa Dog. He does actually have the softest fur out of our two boys, and he's also got a bit soft personality as well

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


I had a wonderful trip to Bali. We spent a few nights in Kuta, then went to Ulawatu, which is at the south of Bali, and is a lot quieter, and very relaxing. Then we went back to Kuta, finished our shopping and came home.

This is a picture of the plunge pool in the backyard of our room at Ulawatu with lovely ocean views. The first room we were in, the air-conditioning didn't work, so we got upgraded to the presidential suite (the hotel was pretty empty), which was lovely.

This is a photo from the hotel next to ours in Ulawatu, looking towards our hotel. It was a bit of a hike down to the beach (down lots of narrow steps) but the pool was lovely. It was more of a surfing beach than a swimming beach, although I'm not sure how people managed to walk down with their surfboards!

And finally, a gorgeous sunset in Kuta.

Friday, November 30, 2007


Scatterday M I'm a little early today because I'm going to Bali tomorrow! Yay! I'm so looking forward to a break, I'm working 13 days in a row at the moment and working tomorrow morning so I'm a bit exhausted (which is why I haven't been posting as much on here, or leaving comments on other blogs). I'm hoping to come back nice and relaxed and refreshed and more enthusiastic about things generally. It's also my birthday while I'm in Bali, so that will be the fourth year in a row I've been away from home for my birthday. Last year I was in Adelaide (which I never really thought of as home, the year before in Hawaii (I went away after graduating) and before that I was in Colac doing work experience).

Next week I'll be posting Scatterday late, but if someone puts the categories in a comment I might get them in time to take Bali guarantees though.

Anyway, onto Scatterday.

First is texture, I struggled with this one but eventually came up with moist and here's a photo of some dirt with a seedling in it (watered with buckets from the shower of course).

Second is a weapon and we have a mallet, because I couldn't find the machete I'm sure lives in our garage somewhere, but I think the mallet would be deadly enough.

Finally, a hobby and it's making things. This is the Mesmerize Sweater from the Crochet Me book, so that starts with M too.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Pincushion and Tape Measure Cover

I had some cute little apple fabric scraps lying around so I used them for a couple of small projects.

First we have a tape measure cover (because mine was pretty ugly), much better now!

Then we have a pincushion. It's actually for someone at my dad's work so I don't have a matching pincushion and tape measure.

I used Whip-Up Tutorials for both of these. The pincushion was from the Stickin' it to the Pincushion, and the tape measure cover was from the Customised Tape measure tutorial

Saturday, November 24, 2007


Scatterday T
It's Scatterday again and today's letter is T.

Hot Things: It's a Tap Pepper Grinder, it used to have a hot on it but that fell off, but pepper itself it a bit hot.

Purple: It's a teddy bear that I gave my mum ages ago, which now lives on her bed.

Clothing: it's some ties (and there are some purple ones in there). Next to this rack of ties is another one, and there are normally quite a few ties that haven't been put away as well.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Bookmark Swap

I took part in the Bookmark Swap at Crafty Daisies and today my bookmark arrived! It's a lovely crocheted bookmark in a Catherine Wheel pattern and my partner let me know it was designed to look like flowers in a field of grass. Isn't it just gorgeous!

On the weekend I went to a primary school reunion which was a bit weird, seeing people I hadn't seen for thirteen years, since I was twelve. There were about 15 people there out of a class of 73, but more people than that had been tracked down, and almost everyone had been contacted through Facebook. It was interesting to see what people were up to, and amazing how many people had gone travelling for a year. No one could think of anyone who was married or had kids (at 25 you'd expect someone to be wouldn't you?).

Saturday, November 17, 2007


Scatterday H
Happy Scatterday! It's H today and the categories are:

Human: This was a bit of a tricky one, but then I started looking round and found this picture of Hedy Lamarr. My mum had carried a calender of black and white movie stars around for years until she eventually got all the images framed. They're all in our dining room now and look very effective. Other pictures include Errol Flynn, Lauren Bacall, Mae West and more.

Toys: We have a harp seal and a hedgehog. They were both gifts. The seal was from a friend when I got food poisoning in Perth (other than that I had a lovely time), and the hedgehog was from my aunt and uncle when they visited us from the UK.

Soft: It's a hat. My mum and dad went to a mad hatters fancy dress party. I made mum's hat which won, it was a desert island with a little palm tree and a little doll fishing. It was lots of fun with paper mache and sand and cellophane water. The only problem was that I didn't think about balance until it was finished. Unfortunately I think it's been thrown out now and I didn't get any photos, but we've still got the prize.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Aussie Tour Embroidery Swap

I've got my apron back from the Aussie Tour embroidery swap. It was a round robin and I sent around pieces of an apron which will be sewn together at some point. First though I have to embroider a couple of gaps. That may have to wait for a little while because my to do list looks a bit like this:

Christmas Ornament Swap (I signed up at the last minute)
Christmas Cards
Christmas Presents
Secret Santa Gift

Then there is my WIP List
Mesmerize Sweater
Cocoon Bag (which is probably more like a UFO)
September CAL Square

Plus lots of non-urgent things too.

Plus I'm working lots of hours at the moment and I'm going away in a few weeks (Yay, a holiday in Bali).

So it might take me a little while to complete the apron, but until then everyone else's embroidery deserves to be shown off, so enjoy the loveliness.

This one is from jane feebles, such a clever idea (I had a craft theme for my apron)

This one is from sharre. You probably can't see the little needle embroidered with metallic thread, but I love little details like that!

This is from librarylass and it's three dimensional! Doesn't the stick figure have so much character too?

This is from cmc_aust. I wish my French knots were as good as this.

This is from Miss_Vicki, how gorgeous is the sewing superhero fairy, and the stitches are teeny!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Cotton and Wool and Yarn. Oh my!

That title doesn't completely make sense, but with just cotton and wool you don't end up with the Wizard of Oz reference. Anyway a combination of factors led to me splurging on various yarns.

1. I'd just bought some new crochet books
2. Bendigo Woollen Mills was having a sale (and still is I think)
3. There was a destashing thread on the Australian Knitters Board of Ravelry

So I've ended up with all of this:

The first two cones are from Ravelry, no plans for this just yet and the rest is from Bendigo Woollen Mills. The other cones are going to be made into the Icelandic Sweater and Leaves Sweater, I keep changing my mind as to the colours of each. The next three balls are cotton and are going to turn into the Mesmerize Sweater (I've started this one), then we have two balls for a non-Crochet Me cardigan, but I can't remember the name of it at the moment, and finally we have another three balls of cotton, bought because they were even more on sale...not that I have to justify them!

Monday, November 12, 2007

TAST Week 21: Crossed Buttonhole

Week 21 in the TAST challenge was Crossed Buttonhole and we have some little sea stars (or starfish).

Saturday, November 10, 2007


Scatterday O

It's Scatterday again and today's letter is O.

First is Breakfast and we have some oats, which go on to become muesli (courtesy of Poppalina's recipe here). Very yummy and a wonderful start to the day!

Next is something shiny and it's a Cloisonné owl my mum and dad got in China, which is used to hold toothpicks. This was a very hard topic I thought so I'll be interested in what everyone else gets!

Finally it's something small and I've taken a photo of my mum's printers tray (a section anyway) with some ornaments. She's been collecting little things for years and has bits and pieces from over the world (I made the gumnut glued to the bit of wood)

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

My new books

All my books have arrived now so I thought it was time to do a quick review. I ordered them from The Book Depository which offers free shipping worldwide. All my books arrived very quickly and the prices were excellent.

First we have Sock and Glove by Miyako Kanamori. This is a lovely sweet book. The photography is lovely and the patterns easy to follow and would be manageable to hand sew. There is some assumption that you already know how to sew in this book. Overall a very inspiring book, and I'm sure I'm going to buy some socks and/or gloves for these projects soon.

Next is Plush-O-Rama: Curious Creatures for Immature Adults by Linda Kopp. This was a great book to read through, the introduction goes through various materials and techniques and there is a wide range of creatures to make, all with their own personalities. There are some great designer bios as well. The only negative would be that the templates need enlarging, but that is a small quibble. It's also full of inspiration for creating your own monsters as well!

Then there is Bend-the-Rules Sewing by Amy Karol, which is beautifully presented, full of inspiring designs, clear instructions, and lovely writing. It goes through sewing basics initially and then has a range of projects, all appearing nice and simple. I'm looking forward to trying some.

Next is Crochet Me by Kim Werker, which is a very empowering book. You don't often get crochet books that you get to the end of reading and go "Yeah! I crochet!" but this one manages to do that. As well as the essays throughout there is a lovely range of projects, and I've already ordered some wool to start some of them (it doesn't count towards your stash if you buy it for a specific project).

Second last is Amigurumi: Supper Happy Crochet Cute by Elisabeth A. Doherty and I must say, the patterns in this are adorable. There is a range from crochet food, animals and humanoids. There are instructions for the crochet stitches, embroidery and also some hand exercises which I think is a fantastic idea.

Finally we have the Harmony Guide 300 Crochet Stitches. This book is obviously designed to be very functional and gets straight into the crochet without any non-instructive text. The stitch patterns are packed in, all with clear photographs and some with charts. It's definitely a good base for different crochet patterns and motifs.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Scatterday (late again)

Scatterday A
Only a couple of days late today, but better late than never!

First we have vegetable...and I think canned vegetables only just count, but we have some asparagus. We did have fresh avocados and apples but they're both fruits.

Next a round thing and it's a stone apple. I think mum and dad got it (and the matching pear) from overseas somewhere, but I can't be more specific than that.

Finally it's Something I like the Smell of. This was even more difficult than the vegetable because I've got a terrible sense of smell so in the absence of taking a photo of the sky and calling it air, I've gone with some aromatic candles.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Christmas Ornament Swap - Part 2

So you've seen the lovely goodies I got in the Christmas Ornament Swap (I love getting handmade things), now you get to see what I made.

Some knitting elves.

A crocheted snowflake.
Almost everything made it without mishap...except for one parcel which got returned to me with a third of the envelop's very lucky the ornaments were intact so they got resent and arrived safely.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Christmas Ornament Swap

I took part in the Christmas Ornament Swap Round 2 on craftster and got some lovely ornaments.

I got some very clever puzzle ornaments from kittyvegas

A gorgeous beaded ornament and a cute little Christmas cracker from Harvey

A lovely tree and teeny little snowman from kibbi

And a beautiful quilted bird from gingerquilts

To avoid overloading the post with pictures (which I've probably already done) I'll put the stuff I sent in another post.

Saturday, October 27, 2007


Scatterday JHappy Scatterday! Today's letter is J and we have our three categories:

Restaurant: a sneaky phone camera shot here (bet you can tell) of a Japanese...possibly restaurant. It was in a food court. I should lose points for the photo and the very loose interpretation of the category!

Pointy things: it's some jagged glass! I didn't break glass specifically for scatterday, but I did have to clean it up. We've just got a new outdoor table and we put our old one on the front lawn hoping someone would take it. Rather than doing that some (we're assuming school kids as it was between lunchtime and 5pm and we're near a high school) people turned it over and dropped a large rock on it. Shards of glass are really hard to get off the ground, particularly when there is grass on it...and it's raining (cue the violins). The only good thing that's come out of it is that I got a scatterday photo!

Sport: It's some joggers...although I suspect these ones have never been jogged in. Still it's the thought that counts. I wonder if these joggers have dreams of an afterlife where they spend their days pounding the pavement, or maybe they are lazy too!

Friday, October 26, 2007

TAST Week 20: Butterfly Chain Stitch

Week 20 in the TAST chellenge was Butterfly Chain Stitch, and we have another in the series of 'Pressed Samples'

I've also got my invitation to Ravelry and I can see why people find it addictive! I've put all my projects in, and now I'm working on loading my stash. I think I've already got two or three projects in a queue (although that doesn't mean they'll get made), and that's before my new books arrive! If anyone else has got their invite (because I can't remember who has) my user name is starberrii, feel free to add me as a friend.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Rounder Roomy Bag

I've been wanting to make a cute little patchwork bag for a little while, and this was a bit of a practice run.

The tutorial was from here, although now that I've made it, it's not quite the shape I had in mind for my patchwork bag, although I do like this one, so I'll probably keep an eye out for another pattern (and then do a trial run of that). Other than the outer fabric (which was $1 a meter) I had all the materials at home.

I also had a go at putting a zipper pocket inside the bag, which worked really well (Yay!).

Monday, October 22, 2007

TAST Week 19: Basque Stitch

Week 19 in the TAST Challenge was Basque Stitch, although I threw in a bit of stem stitch as well.

I'm really pleased with the end result on this one, it ended up very close to what I was hoping to do!

Saturday, October 20, 2007


Once again it's Scatterday and today's letter is P and the categories are...*drum roll*
Scatterday P
Red: we have some red pins on a non-red pincushion (a lovely gift from MissMeshell). It was a bit of a pain to pull all my non-red pins out of the pincushion, and I've discovered that I've lost two...which honestly is surprisingly few.

Sweet Things: a pineapple that is either growing out of the table, or has had it's bottom cut off. Poor pineapple! This is going to sound quite bad, but I much prefer tinned pineapple to fresh pineapple (it's too pineappley)

Metal: some pots and pans (one is a pressure cooker, but that still starts with P!).

Friday, October 19, 2007

Bloggy Competition Winners

The winners of the Bloggy Competition are Librarylass and Sharre and your bookmarks will be heading your way soon (by the way Sharre, what bookmark did you want?).

Is it being mean if I let you know what books I've picked once they arrive?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Linda from Chloe's Place was selling some fabric, so I took the opportunity to make a purchase.

I got them incredibly quickly, and Linda did a fantastic job of picking pieces with minimal guidance from me (basically I gave her some colours).

Aren't they lovely? And packed so neatly as well.

Monday, October 15, 2007

TAST Week 18: Woven and Whipped Wheel

Week 18 in the TAST challenge was Woven and/or Whipped Wheel and I can see why people like this stitch. I'd never really done it before but it was lots of fun. I can see myself using it more in embroidery now.

Saturday, October 13, 2007


It's Scatterday again and I'm back to my routine and managing to post on time today. The letter for today is F and the categories are:
My creation
Cold things: I went simple, with our fridge which doesn't really have any exciting stories about it.

Elements: Fire! This is a photograph of my cousin doing Poi, or fire twirling on a beach in Vietnam. She's amazingly talented at it and it would have been nicer if my camera had got a better shot, but you get the general idea.

Signs: Probably inappropriate, this is another Vietnam photo, you can probably see why I took it. We actually went to Vietnam about four years ago so I had to scan these photos in. It was a wonderful trip and I'd love to go there again.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Books, books and more books

On the weekend the Australian Bookcrossing Convention was in Melbourne, and it was lots of fun. I've been pretty lucky because last year it was in Adelaide and this year in Melbourne, next year it's in Brisbane so I may use it as an excuse for a holiday (the only problem with that is getting the books home again)!

Anyway, as well as being an opportunity to pass along books (and free up space for new ones) it's a great place to pick up new books, like these...

...there are actually another two books which didn't make it into the photo because they're being read by me and my mum. I think I may be busy for some time...

This large number of books is by no means an excuse to not buy craft books, I have however decided to get the Crochet Me book, so I might wait until next week to finish the competition and order books. Yay, more books! (I think I may have a problem)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Scatterday (only a little bit late!)

My creation

I had a pretty busy weekend with the Australian Bookcrossing Convention on in Melbourne (I'll post a picture of all the books I picked up soon) so that's why I've been slack with Scatterday and other blog posting.

Anyway, this weeks letter is C.

First we have hobbies and I went with crafts, so there's a picture of my computer, on my favourite site on the internet, craftster, where I waste spend lots of time.

Then we have pizza toppings. I did go to Max Brenner's on the weekend, where they have chocolate pizza, but no one on my table ordered it, so we'll have to go with cheese, on top of some left over home made pizza I found in the fridge.

Finally we have furniture, and a couch. It's all scuffed up because when my sister was little she'd climb all over it in her t-bars/mary janes/those sandle things with the buckles. Once she drew on it as well.

Friday, October 05, 2007

TAST Week 17: Running Stitch

Week 17 in the TAST challenge was Running Stitch

This was simple, but quite fun (and easy in front of the tv!). It's also a prize in my blog competition (see down the page). Don't worry if your answers aren't particularly helpful, you can still enter!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


I had a masquerade engagement party to go to the other day and wanted to make my own mask (although I didn't have a huge amount of time!). After combining a mask base with a fake flower, a glue gun and a bit of embroidery this is what I got...

I was really happy with it and I got loads of compliments, which is always nice! There were a few other hand made mask's there, but most were bought.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Bloggy Competition

Recently we've had someone away from work for a bit, so I've been working extra hours which has left me a bit tired and grumpy. Anyway, I've decided that because of that I deserve some craft booky goodness...and that's where you guys come in.

I've come up with a bit of a list of books I'd like to get (but unfortunately I can't get them all) so I'm looking for feedback on where best to spend my money. Either let me know which books are fantastic (or which one's you've heard are fantastic), which one's overlap a bit (and so I should only pick one), or any other books that you think I should add to my list. I'm aiming to get a bit of a range of crafts.

1. Books I'm almost definately going to get:

Bend-the-Rules Sewing: The Essential Guide to a Whole New Way to Sew by Amy Karol
I've heard really great things about this one.

2. Books I'd love to get:

Amigurumi!: Super Happy Crochet Cute by Elisabeth Doherty
They're very cute...but I've got an excess of soft toys at the moment. Although great gifts.

Sock and Glove: Creating Charming Softy Friends from Cast-Off Socks and Gloves by Miyako Kanamori
Again, lovely and cute.

Crochet Me: Designs to Fuel the Crochet Revolution by Kim Werker
Ok, so it's not actually out yet. That shouldn't stop comments should it?

A Crochet Stitch Dictionary
I didn't actually find anything specific, so suggestions of good ones would be really appreciated. I'd probably like something with a nice range, clear directions, inspiring pictures.

3. Books I'm not quite sure of (but that still look lovely):

Lotta Jansdotter's Simple Sewing: Patterns and How-To for 24 Fresh and Easy Projects by Lotta Jansdotter
I'm just not sure how many sewing books I should buy right now because I don't sew as often as I'd like to.

Sublime Stitching: Hundreds of Hip Embroidery Patterns and How-To (Spiral-bound) by Jenny Hart
I've got a few embroidery books and there are great resources on the internet for different stitches, so this would mainly be for patterns, although I've heard they're not as unique as the individual Sublime Stitching Patterns.

Plush-o-Rama: Curious Creatures for Immature Adults by Linda Kopp
Because now I'm on my third toy book. But still cute!

Best comments* will win a bookmark so leave a comment, along with your preferred bookmark and I'll probably draw it (and order books) next week, so you've got a little while to think about it.

*Best comment may be based on most useful, most funny or simply picked randomly.

Saturday, September 29, 2007


Scatterday W
It's Scatterday and this weeks letter is W.

First of all we have a black thing, my wallet. Always too many receipts and not enough money. Anyone else have that problem?

Then we have tools, and whisks, more kitchen utensils I guess, but I reckon they're close enough. I don't believe I've got any interesting whisk stories though...

Finally we have games, and a wooden game chest
. There is also a Where's Wally jigsaw puzzle in there, but basically the whole thing needs a good sort out. Although it's not high on any to do lists.

Friday, September 28, 2007

12 inch square CAL: August easy square

Only two to go...but I'm definitely finishing this CAL late. Never mind. Although I'm quite impressed with the amount of stuff I'm managing to get done at the moment, particularly with the amount I'm working. I just need to stop signing up for swaps!

Here is the August Easy Square for the CAL, the pattern comes from here.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Briar Rose Quilt Square

Ceilidh has received one of the squares I embroidered for our personal swap (and liked it, yay!). The other two I sent on in the Aussie Tour (because our personal swap was for a couple of extra squares), but I didn't manage to finish this one in time.

I had lots of fun on the border with this one, and it turned out just how I wanted. I'm so glad the ribbon roses turned out too as it was my first time with them (I did woven wheels with the ribbon). Ceilidh is a spinner too so I wanted a spinning wheel on one of the squares I was embroidering, although I got half way through embroidering the wheel before I realised it was the wrong way for the old woman, but that means it's the right way for Briar Rose!

Saturday, September 22, 2007


My creation

Happy Scatterday! I hope you've all had a good week.

This week's letter is B and the categories are:

My favourite things: So Easy! I love books and here's a quick snapshot of my bookcase. I love taking a peek at other people's bookcases to see what they've got so I'm sure you'll enjoy looking at mine. I'm a bit of a fantasy nut and my books are vaguely arranged in order of preference from top shelf down (although rules may be broken depending on series length and available space). I've been rereading a couple of books lately which is why there are some gaps. I've also just started double stacking my books which is A Bad Thing. It leads to the accumulation of more books.

Big Things: A Bear. This is Freddy Teddy who belongs to my sister and is almost adult sized. One of her friends mum's made it for a birthday years ago. He lives upstairs away from the dogs because Barney would like to suck on his fur and make him dribbly. Disgusting isn't it?

Shop: I don't like using plastic bags and this is my favourite bag to use when I shop. It's also a bookcrossing bag, so there's another B. It's great because it folds up very small and fits into my handbag. Although I do have a yearning for one of those knitted mesh market bags...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

TAST Week 16: Palistrina Stitch

Week 16 in the TAST challenge was Palistrina Stitch and I'm really happy with how this has worked out although the colours are a little washed out.

I probably won't be posting very often for the next couple of weeks because I'm working way too many hours and it's putting me in a foul mood. Stupid twelve hour days...and that's if I can leave on time. Grumble Grumble Grumble

Saturday, September 15, 2007


My creation

Looks like it's scatterday and for once I have Saturday off. Woohoo!

This week's letter is Q and we have:

Music: A Queen CD. Lots of fun. I'm not much of a singer but last year I'd often sing when I was doing my night checks (the acoustics were good - high ceilings, and it was better than listening to barking dogs) and random Queen songs were a favourite. I'm not sure if I should have admitted that.

Square: It's a quadrilateral (a shape with four sides and four corners - so all squares are quadrilaterals, but not all quadrilaterals are squares). My granny got this for me as a Christmas present about 6 years ago. At the time she was caring for my grandpa and couldn't really go out shopping and they were staying at the Leukaemia Foundation. She bought this at a fundraiser event for the Foundation. I've been wanting to do something with it for a while but couldn't think what because it's not really a quilt. A couple of weeks ago I had a brainwave and decided to brighten up the wall above my bed.

Clothing: A quilted jacket. Probably from about 2001? I still think it's kind of cool (which is why it hasn't been donated to an op-shop yet). It'll come back in eventually won't it?