crochet dishcloths are not icky!

I used to think that knitted/crochet dishcloths were gross! I have no rational reason for this. At some point I became a convert and we have been for the past few years a handmade dishcloth house. We save on not buying dishcloths, they are easy to look after, put them in the wash when they're ready for a clean. We use about 3 a week. Just keep them wrung out and hanging up when they're not in use so they dry out.

My current favourite go-to pattern is the Just Right Dishcloth pattern, it's crochet and it's quick. These were crochet using Peaches & Creme and were gifted to a friend. Before this pattern my favourite was the Practically Hyperbolic dishcloth pattern, another crochet pattern.

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tutorial: heart, flower & rain cloud felt fridge magnets

This is another one of those tutorials that you don't really need me for, but here it is anyhow. This one is easy peasy!

Grab your felt, my favourite is 100% wool.

You'll also need embroidery thread, I've used 3 strands.

A little bit of your choice of stuffing.

Rare earth magnets, these little suckers are stupid strong.

Some glue, I've used E6000, you don't need much.

  1. Download the template file and print it out at 100%. The template has 2 of each template on it, but you'll only need one, I just didn't want to waste paper, so give a 2nd copy to a friend.
  2. Choose which magnets you want to do and trace these shapes onto your felt, you'll need 2 felt shapes per magnet.
  3. Get one one of your magnets and glue one to one of your felt pairs. This helps keep the magnet in place.
  4. Once the glue has dried grab the other piece of felt and start your blanket stitch around the edge.
  5. Leave a small gap and put your stuffing into your felt shape, then finish your blanket stitch edge. There, you're done!
  6. If you're doing the flower magnets embroider the pattern onto one of the felt pieces before you blanket stitch the 2 shapes together.

Felt Fridge Magnets template – pdf file

For those interested the photos below are Sondra and I, I'm on the left 1973 in Araluen Park I think and Son was the same age, her nonna had put curlers in her hair, CUTENESS!

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homemade vanilla extract

I can't remember where I initially saw this on the internets, but as soon as I did I knew I'd be giving it a crack. I followed a recipe over at Chocolate and Zucchini, but I did 500ml of white rum and about 6 beans. The one pictured on the left I made for us in December last year and it'll be ready mid February, the right hand one is a gift for a friend's birthday and it'll be ready to use in March.

To purchase the vanilla beans I sceptically went to ebay Australia and guess what, yep I got over 30 nice juicy fat beans for about $30 including postage, which in my books is excellent. 

The beauty of making the extract is that you can top it up over time with more alcohol and refresh the beans.

EDIT: The lovely graphic I've used on my label came from Twig and Thistle's Valentine goodie bag freebie.

 Vanilla-extract-BLOG

green tea and sweet beans update

First up, have you donated to help the survivors of the Haiti earthquake? You could try Doctors Without Borders, or the Red Cross. Every bit does help.

Well I haven't finished the quilt top mentioned in the last
post. I got waylaid by whooping cough, yes adults can get it. I didn't
know this but apparently it's a bacterial infection. Yum. Would explain
why I haven't been able to shake this cough that I've had since Boxing
Day.

Anyhooo. I have been working on GTSB's. Slowly hand piecing my way through it. This is a totally new experience for me having never hand pieced a quilt. I'm trying to not get overwhelmed by how much there is to do by just focussing on the next lot of blocks at a time.

So here we have propeller blocks, not finished piecing them all together yet. There are also the 2 lozenge blocks, just don't look to closely at the parts not lining up. I'm not going to be too worried about imperfections like this as long as my final blocks measure the correctly it'll be ok.

EDIT: Oh and thanks for all the basting suggestions in the last post. I'm going to give spray adhesive a go on a smaller project first to get a feel for it.

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GTSB-Lozenge1-blog 

This? This is "mad as a cut snake piggie".
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my first aunt bec’s nine patch

LOOKIE, had to show you guys this even though I had to photograph it in bad light tonight. It's my first ever Aunt Bec's nine patch. I can't take credit for the awesome fabric combination, I bought it as a kit from Amitie about 2 years ago. LOVE the fabrics in these blocks, there are 3 Liberty prints which makes it even yummier.

I also string pieced the smaller patches and it does save time. Mental note for next quilt that I'm following a pattern for, make note of seam allowances!

HOPING that this weekend I can finish the top and even think about starting the quilting. I might even use basting spray after Sooz's comments this week about it. Any of you guys use it and happy with it? Any recommendations?

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2009 redux

2009. What do you guys want to hear? What do I want to share? I'm no sooz, she can and does articulate her thoughts so well. AND this is a craft blog so I don't often share the usual life stuff.

With the explosion of craft/handmade markets across Australia I jumped on the wagon. 2009 was the year of the crazy market lady/ies. I started out deciding that after hearing for the millionth time "you should sell these" that I would do just that. How did it go? Well it was interesting. It started with me being so nervous at my first market, Made on the Left, that I had to go home and vomit and leave Sondra. Yep, my gut is my emotional barometer. It ended with an outdoor market that was very dusty and dirty and a 35.5C day. Madness. Again, fatty here had to go home mid market due to being overwhelmed by the heat, but I made it back. I tell you everyone needs a Sondra in their lives.

It's been a fine line of making what I really love to making what sells and sells a lot of and accepting that even though it's not to my exact taste or style someone else does love it. Then there's the "what's next" in product creation, after watching people like Sarah do it for years I have nothing but admiration for her. That's the short answer. Will I continue this year, at this point yes. As cliche as it sounds I could not have done any of it without Sondra's support and help. She's effectively kept our house running and has been an intern of sorts oh and she loves me and that's pretty darn good too. As I said, short answer.

I'm still at my day job after 8 or 9 years. Yes I know, I can't believe it either. It's been a year of accepting what I can't control, reconciling that it's ok to be in one place for so long, accepting that I get paid relatively well for the life/work balance I want, of dreaming what's next? Where to from here? Sondra and I have been discussing this on and off, everything from move to Tasmania, to studying occupational health and safety (her) and doing the mine thing, to becoming circus clowns (just checking you're still here).

There's the being overweight and gaining even more weight last year due to even more ass time making stuff. Yes there's a reason you don't see pictures of me, I'm a fatty and this past year has been probably the worst as far as that goes. I've had a weight issue since always. This year Sondra and I are going to try and change that. Short story for this one too.

Umm, what else? I launched craftapalooza online and a pattern and had some success but it's something I'm going to continue to work on and see where it goes. I've managed to get some great press from crafty/sewing mags which helps and of course there's reader and market buyer support which is awesome.

So I'm not going to say new year resolutions, I'm putting down a list of stuff I'd like to try and achieve this year.

  • Lose some weight and get fitter
  • Spend time on our garden
  • Plant a vegie patch of sorts
  • Be more social
  • Go on a holiday with my sweets

A rambling post but it's a start for the year. The picture, well, this is a craft blog and here's something crafty. This was a Christmas gift for little Emerson, a nap/play pillow, it's European pillow size so nice and big.

 Mo-christmas-2009-blog2

Happy new year and big love. x