Classes have been running in the shed and  it’s been sooo much fun to run them!!!  I have been thrilled by sharing my passion with young people and thoroughly enjoyed all the incidental conversations that went with it. This sort of stuff people have been up to:


DSCN9769DSCN9765Notebook Covers

DSCN9768Monkey Man

DSCN9771DSCN9770Hooting Owls


Calico Messenger Bag

I have been experimenting with embroidery samples, to make them exiting, small samples that students could pick up when they are stuck with their project… and that could be incorporated into another project, eg a calico bag.DSCN9704 2

The bag hiccup certainly made me go into overdrive… I have explored a lot of stuff over the last few days – with the greatest intention to keep it SIMPLE so the calico bags would be suitable student projects – but I just couldn’t help myself adding DETAILS. Here is my ‘prototype’ – you can still see some of the magic marker lines that will disappear in the next few days (I love that thing!).DSCN9705 2

Here is the bag.DSCN9707 2

Ta taa – surprise when you lift the lid – extra pockets for small things and those pens!DSCN9709 2

And a zip pocket for your keys at the back!DSCN9712 2

And it is not too hard to do with my students – Mia made this yesterday – I just LOVE the fabric!

I was lucky to get a free ticket to see La Boheme at the Opera House last night. I have not been to the opera in ages… and I love opera nearly as much as sewing and knitting. Matthew and I cried through the entire acts II & III. It has never happened to me before (and I have SEEN opera galore), sure, the odd tear, but not like this. Not only was the production design amazing, but last nights performance was just so much more than the sum of it’s parts. Every artist involved gave their heart and soul, it seemed they gave their utmost, as if it was going to be their last every performance…

Screen shot 2015-01-15 at 7.51.11 AMIt made me think that what I should do, when my 6 months contract finished at uni… is… what I really should do – is follow my heart and go back to making costumes…

Embracing Mistakes

I think we all have regrets, thoughts about how we could have done something better, prevented some mishap or how we could enjoyed something more while we could (before it disappeared from our lives) and so forth. It’s hard to watch others make mistakes. We want to stop them, let them enjoy the benefit of our hindsight. So hindsight – how do we gain it? Through mistakes. Our mistakes. Us paying for our very own mistakes. So we better embrace them. Because there is really nothing else we can do. They are good for us.

I stuffed up a little pouch that I attempted to make. I cannot believe how I stuffed it up – spend an entire afternoon stuffing up this tiny easy project – NO, I am not putting a picture up for you. (I am just really quietly embracing my mistake). But what happened as a result was really awesome. I chose a difficult bag and collected lot’s of determination and I did not leave the shed until the job was done, … well done, I may add. I found a nice bag pattern on the internet and decided to customize it. And funny that – all of a sudden the pattern didn’t really work anymore and all of a sudden a heap of stuff had to be altered, since I didn’t think the whole thing through very well in advance.DSCN9701

I just unpicked, re-did, re-drafted, re-consulted google, changed my mind and am really happy with the result! I also added some extra details – like the little pocket with button loop at the back…DSCN9702

… and an inside pocket with sections sewn for pens (so I don’t have to keep nicking them from everywhere because I now have them in a secure spot!).DSCN9703

Note the wee tags at the end of the zip – to make the zip go in smoothly…

I made a lot of mistakes, which made me explore so many more options of possible groovy details to put into other bags, notebook covers and other items.



Upcycling to getting Organized

DSCN9694This might all be down to watching ‘how to get organized’ YouTube videos with my youngest daughter – we got hooked on Bethany Mota’s stuff, even though a lot of her crafty suggestions are not of very sound quality or long lasting… we just got inspired to salvage wrapping paper and bows, toilet paper rolls, paint a feature wall in Esther’s room and so forth…

As for me and the rest of the house and my craft stuff – I went out again to buy a set of sock needles in a size that I was sure I had somewhere… but just couldn’t locate and that’s when I thought enough is enough – just get organised in a crafty sort of way and sort your stuff. So here is the result.  DSCN9692

DSCN9691 I really enjoyed using up that Dresden plate patchwork sample to decorate this fabulous little sock knitting needle organiser!DSCN9693


I was just going to write the needle sizes on the fabric with a black pen… but then I thought it would make it hard to change the organisation of the needles, should I wish to do so for any reason… so I used these wee tags.

And it was not so hard to make, I just cut 2 pieces of calico (or one big piece folded in half) to have the entire pouch double thickness (a) for strength and (b) for sewing on the Dresden Plate and the dividing stitches – so those stitches would not show through to the other side.Then I sewed on the decoration, stitched the dividing stitches and then bound it all with ‘home made’ binding: NOT on the bias, just on the straight, and I used a 1″ bias binding maker.DSCN9688