I have just read the most amazing article on another lady's blog about how she see's vaccinations and vaccines.
It was an article that I wish I had written myself. So I am sharing it here.
I can go months without looking at a pattern then all of a sudden I hit a week or two where I go 'crazy' and want to make 15 things right this second even if it is 10pm on a weeknight.
I am lucky in that my husband humours me when I am in this frame of mind and I often turn to him when I have decision trauma about a colour scheme or which item on my list to sew first.
This week it has hit again and I have been looking into making a handbag of sorts. I think most of us are fussy about our handbags and I believe rightly so, it is a statement of sorts about us. I always look at a persons handbag as I am assessing them when we first meet. I have a lovely handbag in my favourite colour, Teal. Unfortunately one of our cats also took a liking to it and wee'd in it YUK! Being leatherette I have no idea whether I can wash it or not, and I just haven't got around to finding out. With 4 kids I often have to carry another bag for other assorted item as well anyway, so I have decided to make use of my favourite fabric that I bought 10 years ago and have been keeping for that *something special*.
This is what I ended up with, it is a pattern from a site called Craftsy, (www. craftsy.com) you may have come across it on Pinterest or FB. I have spent many hours drooling there.
Anyway this bag has a great tutorial to go with it and no pattern pieces everything is a rectangle and you cut out the length and width required. It gives you the basic bag instructions and then gives you 6 options that you can add if you wish. I added a pocket on the outside a zipped pocket on the inside and a divider for the inside too.
I started this yesterday afternoon and would have had it finished if I hadn't developed brain fog about 8pm and ended up sewing and unpicking the neck 3 times Doh! It took all of 15 mins to get it right this morning.
I was able to use fabric and zips I already had at home and that always makes a spur-of-the-moment project better in my opinion.
Yesterday I also spent some time put in to sort out my overlocker (some people call it a Serger). I love that machine although I am still somewhat of a beginner when it comes to utilising it. I have had this particular Janome for about 8 yrs and only yesterday did I discover that I have had the needles at the wrong height for successful sewing. Sometimes it is amazing what you can learn from the manual!.
It made such a difference, that I find I am looking out for things I can use it on. I might even have a go at removing the knife and sewing on it with only 3 threads! I've always wanted to do that top stitch which you find on most commercial clothing that hems and decorates at the same time. I'll report back if I do.
I now have plans to make a couple of travel bags, a nappy bag for a certain someone I know and hopefully I'll find a project that I am so happy with that I can make some extras to put in my Etsy store.
Now if any of you want to join my sew-aholic / Binge Sewers anonomyus - send me a message on Facebook.
Or if you have any other symptoms you'd like to add to my list, I'd love to hear from you
until next time
So here is the deal, the kids and I are taking part in a walk-a-thon for our dance school in a couple of weeks (we do not have a mirror and need one). We NEED sponsors! our aim is to raise $300. So far we have $15, as you can imagine the kids are a bit disappointed.
Anyway I have decided to run a competition to try and encourage some of you to help out.
Everyone who sponsors the kids and/or me will go into a draw to win one of my unique bracelets. This lovely bracelet is elasticized with aqua and purple beads along with a lovely silver dolphin charm.
To Sponsor us please click on my contact button above, find me on Facebook, or leave a comment and I'll email you. I'm happy to send you my paypal details if you want too.
Thanks for your time everyone, I know this isn't sewing/craft or bead making related. :-)
Entries will be drawn June 30th and winner will be notified by email and on my Facebook page.
So last week, I added my top tips for sewing. Hopefully some of you will find them helpful.
This week it is the turn of Jewellery Making and Beading.
I have decided to put this list together because I know that trial and error can be a frustrating way to learn things, especially when a lot of money, time and energy has gone into something.
For myself when I started making jewellery I spent many hours scouring the internet trying to find some helpful hints on ways to make my new hobby more fun and less scary. I did not have much luck. So here it is in the hope it may help and even encourage a few of you out there to have a go.
1. When in doubt use glue! There are many different glues, depending on your project, I like Zap, I know others who use Araldite.
2. Don't be put off by mistakes, leave gluing until you are complete and happy with your project, until then you can always undo it and remake. I have a necklace that I love the moonstone and apple green pearls on it, but I don't like the design, I have only recently realised I can undo it and make it into a design I am happy with.
3. Make sure you have everything you need BEFORE you start. - It never hurts to write a list. I find this can also help me get into the right frame of mind.
4. Work on a towel or piece of felt. White is a good colour for this. This fabric helps stop escapee beads and you can also stick your needle in it for easy access mid beading.
5. Storage boxes can be quite expensive. Try a good fishing and tackle shop they have exactly the same products for the same price, we discovered our local BCF is fabulous for storage supplies.
6. Cut the label off the packet the beads came in these little pieces of paper will usually fit in the storage compartment and not only lets you know at a glance the specs of the bead ie a 3.2mm or a 4mm, it can make it much easier to re-order later on.
7. Store Silica bags with Sterling Silver to reduce tarnishing.
8. You can use normal sewing needles but check with the smallest bead in your project that the needle and eye will go through smoothly.
9. My Favourite - The BEST TOOL I have ever found for picking up small beads is a damp finger. I find that my fingers are the best tools for manipulating beads and thread to where I need them.
10. Use a bulldog clip on one end of your project. This gives a good secure hold, great for saving the project from being accidentally knocked off the table (often by little helpers).
I'd love to know you thoughts on these, do you have any that you have found particularly helpful?
Anyway until next time
P.S Since it is coming into Winter here in Australia it is the perfect time for you to have a go at your first project, and when you do make sure you share some pictures with us here. We'd love to see them!
So this time I thought I'd add some of the tips I have learnt over the years sewing. Many of them are from trial and error and some from sewing friends.
I know sometimes sewing can be daunting, many people have a bugbear with sheers or satin fabrics, for me it is knits. They terrify me, no idea why, I've put off making leotards because of it.
So hopefully some of these might help you out.
1. For Quilters - when it gets hot and your hands get slippery keep some talc powder nearby and use that on your hands. I do this often in summer as other wise I can't hold a needle from the sweat on my fingers.
2. Make a little hole in your pin cushion and add some steel wool inside it. This will keep your pins nice and sharp.
3. When putting elastic in your kids waistbands, don't stitch it in. Pin it. This way you can easily alter as they grow. I let the pin sit under the fabric waistband, the kids never know and it makes alterations and repairs less hassle.
4. Keep a small magnet with your sewing supplies, this way if you drop pins or needles (as inevitably happens when you are in a hurry) they are easy to locate without ending up with sore eyes or pins in your knees.
5. When choosing thread to go with your fabric choose a shade darker, it always looks darker on the spool than it really is.
6. If you are having trouble threading a needle (I find the ones on my overlocker particularly painful) dip the end of the thread in a contrasting nail polish it becomes much easier to manipulate and gets rid of those pesky wisps of thread that stop it going through.
7. Buy your Rotary Cutter and blades from the Carpet laying section of your hardware store, they are exactly the same and much cheaper. I a new one just last week with 10 blades for $10. It works just as well.
8. To sharpen your rotary cutter fold some foil and run over it a handful of times, viola! sharp rotary cutter (Oh and don't test it with your finger!)
9. When pinning try and keep the pins in the seam allowance so that on the off chance the pins leave a mark they won't be visible in the end product marring it.
10. Save those bots of soap from the bathroom and use them for marking fabric. It can easily be shaped to a point or a sharp side like the chalk blocks, it is definitely washable and smells nice too.
So there is my list for Sewing, I have one for beading and Jewellery Making too, I'll add that in the next few days. If you have any to add I'd love to read about them in the comments section.
Ok so I have to have a bit of a rant, I apologise to you all in advance but this just drives me mad. I am of the seemingly minority who love big dogs.
If I could I’d happily have a menagerie of German Shepherds, Great Danes, Newfoundlands, Briards, Irish Wolfhounds, Mastiffs, Golden Retrievers, Old English Sheepdogs, Rottweilers, St Bernard’s, Ridgebacks and Giant Schnauzers. My favourite being the so called ‘scary’ German Shepherd. Personally I have never met one I didn’t want to snuggle with, I totally understand that some people have had problems with dogs such as these due to bad owners who don’t train properly or they train the dogs to be vicious.
But why oh why do people think it is acceptable to accuse me of owning a dangerous dog just by looking at our dogs and me, yet it is perfectly ok for their little yappy thing to jump all over us and nip at my dogs and baby. Yet when I complain or reprimand their dog I am told “it is only playing!” Can you imagine if I had tried that!
I find it infuriating!
We take our dogs for a walk each day when we walk to pick up the kids from the bus stop. On those days no one comes near us, yet on the days we don’t have the dogs people are happy to have a chat and be friendly. Our dogs have NEVER shown any sign of any hostility to anyone or anything, our boy, Ozzie, just thinks he should greet everyone with kisses and play, he is not the brightest GSD I’ve ever had (he’s a mix with cattle we think) but he has a good heart and just wants to make everyone happy. He’d happily be a lap dog if we let him, yet we’ve seen people cross the road to avoid him.
We enjoy taking them to a leash off beach on the weekends, we aim to go when there are less likely to be any one else there as we do put a lead on them when there are other dogs around, yet when smaller dogs (you know the ones I mean) come racing up barking at him, we get accused of “making the beach unusable for others” I think was the term once used on us. We are talking about a beach that is 10km long and isn’t particularly well known.
Grrrr! It bugs me so much that there are so many double standards!
It is happening with the BSL as well, BSL – Breed Specific Legislation is just wrong. What ever happened to people taking responsibility for their own actions? What ever happened to punishing the people who create the dangerous dogs not the breed. Any dog can be vicious, I bet there are just as many dangerous Jack Russell’s and Maltese Terriers out there as Pit Bulls. Every dog is as individual as its owner ! Surely I'm not the only one who thinks like this???
GIVE ME A BIG DOG ANY DAY!
Don't forget Mother's Day is coming up here in Australia! May 12th.
Have you thought about what you are buying your mum this year? or your mother - in - law, what about that friend who is pregnant but not yet technically a mum?
Have a look at my bags on Etsy.
At $10 each they are a great gift at a small cost and I'm doing a Deal for Mothers Day!
Anyone who buys 2 or more items, use the code MDS in your order and I'll return the cost of postage to you. Thus giving you free postage.
So my little discussion today is about finding time when you have kids underfoot. I currently have a 8yr old a 7 yr old a 5 yr old and a 11mth old. So things can certainly get very hectic. I try very hard to be organised which allows me more time to ‘play’. Everyone needs play time, as I call it, whether it be reading, sewing, playing on facebook, watching tv or making jewellery.
I’m actually writing this today while waiting for my eldest at tutoring as I have just realised that I have left my ironing board set up in our bathroom, yes the bathroom, it seemed the safest place to me as the baby can’t get in there, despite his best efforts and neither can the cats. Although I don’t know what the other kids will make of it when they get home with dad and discover it, they’ll probably just think mummy is having one of her ‘crazy’ days. Oops – at least I’ll get home before bathtime and can put it away it after their bedtime.
One thing that has always puzzled me about people is when they drop everything and completely change their lifestyle to suit others, whether it be a new boyfriend, a baby, kids or pets. I will on occasion change my mind about sewing because there is a certain cat looking very comfortable curled up on the fabric I want to use, but she is 21 now and I think she deserves a little dispensation.
I have always planned that we would work family members into our lives and not the other way around, all of my kids could sleep anywhere, we never made the house ultra quiet when the baby was napping and we never choose to be at home at certain times just for the baby to have a nap or a feed.
I feel that my sewing and crafting shouldn’t be any different. I certainly take precautions, I won’t sit on the floor with a bucket full of beads when the baby is crawling around and climbing on me. By the same token when the kids get home from school I’ll stop what I am putting together to help them with their homework. Mind you while they are reading to me, it is the perfect opportunity to do any hand sewing I have. I hate hand sewing, it drives me mad. I think it has something to do with never being happy with the results.
Once again it has to do with being organised or at least thinking ahead. If I know I’m going to be helping the kids with homework, I’ll put aside any hand sewing that needs to be done, just for that time. Hand sewing is always handy to help keep busy when you are waiting for the kids at an activity or watching them play sport. I used to do a huge amount of cross-stitch (that was before I discovered beading and jewellery making) and I took one everywhere I went, whether it was my boyfriends house, a friends place, even work. It raised a few eyebrows at different locations but I seem to be happiest when my hands are busy and I can’t knit to save myself. It even became a conversation starter and I made new friends this way.
So for me I have everything I use in bags or boxes that are easy to locate and move, I sit down and plan what I am going to do with my next project, even going so far as to write a step by step of what I plan to make, this helps me think about what I am going to need. I then locate the bags and boxes in which the things I need are and haul it all out to our living room. We have a desk set up behind our lounge facing the tv, it was initially for our PC but since going to the laptop it just gets used as a dumping ground. Now I have my sewing machine on it and room to get creative. I have some ideas saved on Pinterest, it’s a great place to save ideas but be warned if you haven’t delved there before, you can lose ABSOLUTELY HOURS!!!! . I have a couple to get you started - http://pinterest.com/elayinej/dreams/
My Thread Wall
What do you have as your set up? .....
Are you lucky enough to have a dedicated craft room? .......
I’d love to see pictures if you do.
Do you have a favourite storage idea? .......
Mine is an adaption my husband made of the thread holders you can buy. He made them so that the sticks are long enough so that I can fit the matching bobbin on top of the thread. That way I don’t have to go hunting for nor make another bobbin every time I get out some thread.
The Jewel Box Cluster Credit: M. Bessell
Well where do I start? It has been suggested that I start a blog to help get myself “out there” especially when it comes to people seeing what I make. My name is Elayine and like a lot of women who sell jewellery and other things online I’m a stay at home mum.
I wanted to do this with the idea of being able to add information and tutorials here for others to use. I am always getting frustrated when I want to know how to do something and I can’t find it on the internet. Yes I use the internet for everything, I live in a smallish community (put it this way, there is nothing open after 6pm any night of the week). So getting information and supplies for jewellery making and or sewing can be problematic.
I have an Etsy store and use the name AstronomyGirl Designs. Why? I love astronomy and get a lot of inspiration from the sky, ever heard of the star cluster called “The Jewel Box”? It is a southern sky object found in the Southern Cross. It is one of the first I remember learning as a kid and still one of my favourites, now depending on your eyesight, the stillness of the night and whether you are using a telescope or binoculars you can see a LOT of stars there all different sizes and colours. Thus its name.
So for me I like to use anything starry or spacey in my designs, I collect and stash fabrics, beads, crystals, charms and more fabrics from op shops, spotlight sales, the internet and stuff I get given. I love to work with Swarovski crystals which, as far as I’m concerned, give a most beautiful sparkle to any piece of jewellery or item of clothing for that matter and they are fabulous to work with.
Star and moon charms feature as well in my work. Another favourite element in my jewellery making is the Moonstone. Named so because it resembles the sheen given off the moon when full and is just beautiful. Moonstone is great because it works with every colour and hue and whether it be gold or silver. I am yet to find an item I was making which didn’t work with moonstone.
All my creations use have been thought up from things I like, that is the key if you are interested in making things yourself, make stuff you like, make things that would make you happy to wear. I am happy to do custom items too, they are actually easier really, it can be really really tricky to come up with a new design or colour scheme sometimes, but there is no limit to your creativity.
Favourite things: Astronomy, Ancient Egypt, Dance, Sewing, my kids
What am I good at: Sewing, Jewellery Making, Talking (writing)
Why do I want to sell my creations: it is great for the self esteem – the idea of someone being willing to spend money on something I created is wonderful. I like the idea of my work making others feel good, and I’m not one of those wonderful types of people who can be a nurse. Selling creations also allows me to go and buy more bits and pieces to play with.
Thus resulting in me having a go at selling some of my work online – when things sell it also gives me a great excuse to buy more supplies. I imagine I am not the only one whose fingers start to itchy at the sound of a spotlight sale.
So for those of you who are curious, have a look at my Esty store and let me know what you think.