Monday, April 30, 2012

As Winter Comes....

Aren't you glad we don't have to do our washing like this anymore?

The little girl on the right is my Grandmother (Oma) Josephine. She was born in 1904 and would have been around 8 years old here which makes this photo 100 years old this year.
Looking back at old photos makes me ponder over how difficult life would have been back then. Just to have to carry heavy loads of washing out into open air and hand wash every piece of clothing in an open barrel and then wring them out and hang them out to dry. Ofcourse I imagine they didn't have as many clothes as we do today either so washing day was once a week, depending on how many children you had I suppose.

Today a lovely new Stitching book arrived that I ordered on Ebay from Stitchery Express.
A Stitchers Journey by Blackbird Designs
I sat with my cup of tea this afternoon and looked over all the lovely handiwork of young girls in days gone by.

Girls of my Grandmothers era who would all have learnt to stitch and sew and do needlework as part of their home education. There are some lovely small projects in here that I am longing to do.

I also got the three Loose Feathers designs from Blackbird Designs in time for my winter stitching.
Summer is the first in the series and they can be stitched either individually or all together as one long piece.

Autumn is second in the series

...and last of all Winter. I'm wondering why Spring wasn't incorporated as part of the design too?

This is another old photo I wanted to share of my Grandfather who was a tailor in Graz, Austria from the 1920s until he died in 1973.

He taught my father who was also a tailor in Austria but gave it up when he immegrated to Australia because there was just no money to be made in the rag trade here once everything was being imported from overseas. See that old iron he's using???

Well here it is as our door stop! Seems a shame that it doesn't work anymore.

So until winter comes I'll be busy stitching this lovely piece from The Gold Collection from Dimensions.

Friday, April 27, 2012

April Projects

Remember this cross-stitch I started two weeks ago?
"One Will Never Do"
Designed by: Brian Jackins

It was a great little quick project to do while I was home with a cold.

I just love all the different bags

The colours were so bright and happy to work with

This gorgeous little brown one was my favourite

I found the perfect little frame for it today at Big W and it was very easy to lace up and frame. It's only 5" x 7" (13 x 18cm).
I wasn't too sure about the black frame being that I just love whites and beiges and creams and all things French country. But Michelle just loved it when I dropped in to her this afternoon - and it perfectly compliments the other one I did for her last year

(which I might add she hadn't framed yet)
This cross stitch kit was a present from her Mum but as Michelle had never tried cross-stitching before and wasn't inclined to any time soon I offered to do it for her. Maybe this will motivate her to get it done.

I also had this one framed this week. I really do need to get my camera out and stop using my mobile phone for photos. The colours just don't do this justice.

I also want to share with you this lovely beach bag made by one of our kids for Home Economics class last term. It's fully reversible and has a pocket on the front for sunglasses and such.

I was amazed at the excellent sewing as a first timer and it was what really motivated me to go and finally buy us a family sewing machine and get our sewing corner up and running.

Our other young one also caught the sewing bug and this is a first attempt at sewing up a pencil case.

....and ofcourse Marley had to show you that he too loves to work with fabric... though not in the way that I like. Hey, is that one of our good bath towels you're chewing there Marley???

Two Hearts Wedding Sampler

Two Hearts Wedding Record
Designed by: Navina Capecci
Size: 28cm x 36cm
Stitched on linen that has a tea dyed look

I completed this lovely wedding sampler a few months ago and finally found a frame at Target that I thought would suit it.

I wanted to use matting board but it would have had to go with a much bigger frame and I felt that it would have made this picture just too big for their home. So I decided to attempt framing it myself using this cross over technique that I've seen used before. I was surprised at how easy it was to stretch the fabric to get it taut using this "shoe lace" technique.

It's for my lovely Indonesian friend Elisabeth who married our friend Phil last year in August (as you can see it's done almost in time for their first anniversary.) They've been busy renovating their home so they weren't ready to use this yet anyway so thus the reason for not rushing its finish.

I loved working on this piece especially that gorgeous lacey white border.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sewing Corner Score - Part II

Here's my new sewing desk again. We picked it up last night. See that cupoboard on the left? Well, that door slides upwards and pushes right inside...and here's what I found underneath/

All these neat little cubby holes. We think there must once have been drawers in those three at the top and a big file drawer at the bottom. It still has the stoppers on the floor of the cupboard. My husband wants to try to get some Silky Oak timber to make a new drawer, but as one of my sewing friends said tonight: "Just the right size for an overlocker." Hmmm.... come to think of it Mum did offer me hers. It's only 5 years old and like brand new. She doesn't use it but I said no because I didn't have anywhere to put it. Well.... looks like I do now. By the way it's very dusty in there isn't it?

 This is the long drawer at the front. Eeekkk!!! Needed to vacuum, dust and scrub it.

Then I lined it with some pretty duck egg blue scrapbooking papers

... and put in some small containers to organize all my sewing things that used to be in my old broken sewing basket. Happy to toss that one out today.

This is the other smaller drawer under the cupboard door that will hold all my cottons - AND.... knitting needles in every size. That's another skill I never mastered but I know a small someone here who wants to learn.

I found these lovely small glass jars at Spotlight today for only $1.00 each. Perfect for storing all my buttons - black, brown, rainbow colours, gold and silver and ofcourse those lovely white toned ones at the back in the larger jar.

So here it sits so far. Isn't it cute?

I also found out the story behind the desk when we picked it up. It had been in this couples family for over 50 years. Belonging to his parents who are now in their late 80s who saved it from an old fire station in Bundaberg (northern Queensland) and then lovingly professionally restored for his wife years ago, it was her sewing table too. They lived for many years in the country and it suited their style but now they have moved onto the coast for the sake of their grown children and their new house is very modern. As the lady of the house said "it just didn't suit our new house style." They had a garage full of items like this one that they were selling on Ebay to make room for the new.

Well old is new for me and I just LOVE it!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sewing Corner Score!!!

Not ten minutes after finishing my last post I popped onto ebay to have another quick look for a sewing table. Nothing! So I decided to check out if there were any desks that might work for us and found this one. It's restored silky oak, exactly the same timber as our office desk. It even has a glass top which is what I was going to do with the other desk I saw. So easy to keep clean and won't scratch or damage. Perfect!!!

I LOVE that it has this door that opens upwards and has the drawer and cupboard underneath. It's like a secret compartment.... ooooo exciting!!!

...and best of all it came with a bonus matching chair so I don't have to keep borrowing one of our kitchen chairs when I want to sew. One chair like this alone would retail for around $165 over here.

Can't wait to pick it up and start sewing.

The Changing of The Guard

9.00am - Kids gone back to school after two lovely weeks at home on holidays to play with Marley and I. I'll just sit here and wait for them to come home...

10.00am - Time for a nap...  Marley! Marley! It's your turn to keep a watch.

What? What's that? Oh. Okay. I'll watch the window while you sleep.

11.00am - What to do now?

12.00 Noon - Should I go back to the window and keep waiting...

12.30pm - Waiting..... Waiting....... Waiting......

1.00pm - What was that? Did you hear something Marley?'s just all those high school kids catching the bus home for an early mark.

2.00pm - What? Huh! What was that? Did I hear something? ...Grrrr... it was just Mum making herself a cup of tea.

3.00pm - Here they come Jasper!!!!

Yay! Licky time! - My kids are home again.

(We apologise for the multiple postings today. We exceeded out internet download limit last month for the first time ever and so couldn't post all these photos until the new billing cycle today. We think it's Mum's new iPad just sucking up all those Gbs. Hopefully that won't happen again. They (our ISP) slowed our internet speed right down to almost dial up speed (or should we say non-speed. We've forgotten how slow that used to be).

Cross Stitch - Work in Progress

My good friend Michelle is 15 years younger than me, but we have so much in common - books, movies, and an old fashioned love for all things crafty. Michelle loves sewing but has never attempted cross-stitch. One day last year while I was visiting she showed me her amazing sewing room (she has no kids yet so has a WHOLE room to herself just for craft and sewing). She told me her mother had sent her this Dimensions cross-stich kit which was still brand new and unopened and not wanting to attempt it herself I offered to take it home and do it for her. It came up beautiful!!! Unfortunately I am yet to get a photo of the finished project. Note to self: Take a photo next time you visit Michelle.

Last week while buying our new sewing machine at Spotlight (local craft and fabric store) I found this smaller Dimensions kit. It's a baby sister to the other one and I just couldn't resist getting it for Michelle. Shhh... don't tell her, I want to frame it and surprise her.

So this is my progress so far...