Tuesday, May 31, 2011

present for the baby

In less than a week I am flying to England, by myself, without my family for three weeks.  I am going to stay with my sister and her husband and their new baby.  I am so excited and a bit freaked at leaving my kids and husband.  
He looks so sweet,  this him in a beautiful hand-knitted blanket.  My sister is a master knitter, somehow the knitting gene did not extend as far as me.  But I made him a Crazy Rabbit, which was inspired by my youngest daughter who does a good crazy rabbit face.  It is made out of one of my husbands shrunken jumpers, a good old kiwi blanket and a bit of corduroy.  I gave him a little patch in his knickers, but I forgot his fluffy tail, how daft is that?  My sister said " Did you buy it?" "No I made it" I said "Ah I didn't think anyone would pay for that"  She kindly said.  Ha Ha, family, don't you love them?  It only took me three days to make.
Crazy rabbit.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

one dolly finished, sort of.

I got one finished, minus clothing.
So just one to go plus some snazzy outfits and little bags.

making dollies

 I am slowly getting on with making these dollies,   the faces are done and all the fabric, lace etc has been chosen for the bodies. Tattos are chosen and sewn. 
I sewed up the legs yesterday and realised that the shoes on these two legs are completely different!?  I am not a perfectionist and I like the fact that they have a slight randomness but this is too much.  I shall have to paint some more black paint on the left one to match up,  and hopefully that will look ok.  Next I will sew them up and then it is hair, which is always a challenge.   I either do too much and is big hair or can be a bit thin and odd.  Any tips on doll hair?  I usually mix up the colours and make tassels tied in the middle, sew half on to the head to cover it and have the rest hanging down.  I'll do this with about six tassels in two layers and then add extra bit to fill in gaps and tidy up the fringe.  It takes a long time to do and I have been know to put this job off for months.  Unfortunately the Doll Hair pixies don't come along in the night and do it for me! 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

suzanne huskey

click this link to see more of suzanne huskeys wonderful fabric trees.  She has so many other  
projects all ecologically minded.  I love the story about the choir in the forest and also love the dressed up house, a very clever girl with good attitude.
I am making two dollies at the moment, one for a school auction and one for a little girls birthday present.  I will post on them soon, am really enjoying the process, but today I had to weed the garden as we have a builders skip in the drive that needs filling and plenty of weeds.  Managed to get rid of some tree trunks that have been lurking under the deck for about four years, and some lovely contorted willow branches that I had been saving, but had got grown over with weeds and muddy slime.  I had fun jumping on the top of the skip to make more room, but the worst is done and the skip is full and I can now do dolly stuff tomorow  (once I have been to the gym).

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Outdoor furniture and decor on the deck.

 Isn't this just gorgeous ( I need a theasaurus), all that clean concrete and organic knarly old seats, trees and the slightly groovy old houses in the background.
 I know this isn't a deck but its rather quaint
 One of these outdoor day bed things would be just the ticket, but we would have a fight on our hands to get there before the girls.
 romantic and a bit scruffy and lovely
 this must be scandinavian ( love nordic design? maybe)
 Sleek and smart and white ( it would never work) chuck some colourful cushions, throws, food, children around and that would be more like it.
I have collected these images off the internet and before I thought about blogging so I have not saved any addresses for linking so to those whose beautiful pictures these are thank you and sorry.  
We are replacing old, rotten, flaking, painted decking boards out side our house ( more about this on a later post) with nice new hard-wood ones which will mean no future painting, hurrah!  We bought the house with the biggest deck upstairs and down, not really thinking about maintenance issues. The deck was built in the 80's.   Five years on it was time to repaint, the tired dark blue ( Yep, dark blue ) boards, but they were mainly cracks and the nails were poking up and wouldn't go back in, I have sliced the bottom of my foot only once on one of these nails.
This is said deck without railings, I rather like it without but there are some rather serious safety issues.  Pretty good views though, and that rather fab Phoenix palm is in our garden too.  So any ideas on furnishing this deck would be greatly appreciated .  And plants, it gets very hot and dry over summer, it is north facing so gets sun all day long summer and winter , with a little frost in the winter, enough to upset the plants anyways.   

Monday, May 23, 2011

grey blanket slippers

My husband was going to go out and buy some cheap poor quality slippers to keep his feet warm for winter.  I had offered to buy him some lovely sheep-skin ones but he scoffed at me.
 So I decided that I should make him some out of a nice old grey blanket that I have in the cupboard awaiting some useful conversion.    I also used and old soft black jumper that had been shrunk in the wash ( not on purpose) and wouldn't even fit my 8 year old.
The sole's have 3 layers of blanket and one of felt and the tops have one blanket and one felt layer. I also added a velcro flap to do them up to keep them nice and snug.  I thought the cut outs looked rather good on this table top.
 I sewed them by machine.
 and blanket stitched over the top.  Not very neatly but I am quite partial to the effect.
 And they do fulfill their task of keeping his feet warm, and he likes them.
I did get this idea out of a library book, and was pleased to try it out, except I think their slippers were made from old jumpers, not blankets,  but I can't remember what it was called.  Something about green sewing, recycled stuff etc, a rather good book as I recall.  I must be more vigilant about these details now I am blogging.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Abigail Brown beautiful birds

Just found this ladies site while looking at geninne's art blog.  A link to Abigail Brown and all her lovely handmade, mainly birds, and other creatures.   They are all so pretty and such talented work and I can only imagine the hours that must go into making these.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

new dolly. birthday present

I made a dolly for my daughters friend cheska who writes new school shoes blog, very funny.  

 My daughter decided that she should have a little school uniform, which I thought would be a bit dull, but now I have made it I do think it is v v cute and I am pleased.  We had to cut the hem off my daughters school skirt for material to make this.  She has a little school bag with a little felt blossom to put her clothes in.
 and a felted wool flower in her hair
 she has a heart on the seat of her knickers, and pretty feet.
 and I designed and free-hand machined a tatto on her back.( based on some henna hand tattoo designs)
this dress was "Annie"  inspired. Me and the girls watched the film recently and I loved the dresses that the little orphan girls were wearing.  I can't find any photos of them , they are all dusty faded colours and sweet loose styles.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

birthday cake decorations

I thought this was such a good idea, making cake decoration out of paper, none of that fiddling around with icing and mini rolling pins, to make something that you wouldn't eat anyway.  All those grimy hands rubbing that icing around. 
And you can use anything I suppose, lace, glitter, paint, doily's, endless possibilities 
And anyway it was my husbands birthday today, he's not that keen on cake, or lacy, doily hearts, but we have two daughters and myself who need there to be a cake on a birthday.  So I took some inspiration from above cakes and tried to make a boy version.  So I painted/drew these little cartoons of him, being active and going crazy with the computer for work.
I cut the pictures out stuck them onto cocktail sticks and poked them into the cake.  And I put in some little hearts just because I could.  (It is not displayed very beautifully as he is a boy and he doesn't care about such things.)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

running with plants

 I went for a later run this morning ( more of an uphill shuffle possibly), so the sun was up ( it wasn't raining) and the sky was perfect blue and I got to look at this view while I puffed my way up the hill.

 And then there were the cool and twisted branches of the Kanukas ( I think, maybe manukas?  Correct me if I'm wrong)

And all the way down the hill there were these fantastic Black Mamaku tree ferns.  They are so fabulous, with their huge fronds and black trunks and I would like to have lots of them in my garden. 
These were all taken with my cell phone again hence the quality, but I think they still show what a glorious morning it was.