Sunday, October 2, 2011

School holiday fun

ChingyPingy and I got to spend a couple of days together this school holidays - just the two of us, no little brother, no play dates, just us!

It was so lovely, 5 nearly 6 is a really fun age. We went on a bit of a shopping spree and I bought her lots of random little goodies, an activity book, a bracelet that turns into a cat figurine (weird I know, but it's true!) and a necklace. That afternoon, we kicked back and I read a magazine while ChingyPingy did her activity book. Along the way, I explained multiplication to her and then explained why 11 - 4 is the same as 10 - 3. Unexpectedly fun!

The next day, we decide to renovate ChingyPingy's doll's house. The doll's house was made by her great grandfather for her aunt. It's a great doll's house but it was getting a bit run down - and the lino floors were a bit out of date, so we have been slowly renovating it over the last year or so.

That day, it was time to paint it. This is what it looked like when we started.

We ripped off as much of the flooring as we could, then painted the outside of the house. Miss 5 asked for pink paint of course - so I think we'll have to repaint the roof something a little more subtle, in the interests of our eyeball health!!!!!

I will post a picture of what it looks like with the pink paint on after we do the next coat.

Then in the afternoon, we finished off the kirigami ball we started months ago. It was from a cool little Djeco kirigami kit

The other holiday crafting we did was to make these gorgeous crepe paper flowers from Alex Toys

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Identity Crisis

Or a game of cat and mouse?

Loving Susan B. Anderson's Itty Bitty Toys! This book has turned out to be worth 10 times it weight in gold - I've made toy after toy and they've all turned out beautifully.

A few months ago, some good friends of mine had a little baby boy. I wanted to give them a knitted toy and rather than decide between a cat and a mouse I knitted up one of the reversible toys in Itty Bitty Toys. Sooooo cute!!

Look - it's a mouse.

Now it's a catmouse!
 And now it's a cat.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Catching up

How slack am I??

Two and a half months since my last post! Really, really slack.

Well, I have no excuse. I've been crafting up a storm, so there shouldn't have been any problem! Anyway, to make up for it, I'm going to endeavour to do a catch up post every night until I have caught up.

So, today's post is going to be about the beautiful ABA forum. I joined this forum when my Mr McGillicuddy was a few months old. I wanted a bit of support with my feeding troubles and this was the perfect place to go! Two years later,  I am still hanging around there, for the wonderful warm people and the fabulous parenting tips.

One of the ladies on the forum had a health scare last year and we all rallied around to try to do things to help. One of the things we did was to all knit or crochet squares for a blanket. Another one of the ladies was going to stitch all the squares together, but the arrival of her gorgeous second baby meant life got a bit busy so I offered to finish it off.

A couple of weeks ago, a group of us met up to present her with the blanket -

I think it turned out well! The seaming wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. I can't wait to make another blanket now!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What comes first? The duck or the egg?

Hey Bubbles had a duck themed party recently - see here.

We were lucky enough to be invited and we were all so excited! I started hatching plans (pun intended) for knitted gifts. I'm really really into Susan B. Anderson's book Itty-bitty Toys - I particularly love her chapter on reversible toys.

But what do you knit for a one year old who is having a ducky themed party?

Why, an egg of course!

But this isn't just any old egg. This egg is just about to hatch. Can you see the cracks?

It's hatched! Look, a little duckling!

This wonderful pattern from Itty-Bitty Toys usually has a little blue bird inside of the egg, waiting to hatch. But I wanted to stick to the party's duck theme, so I made a little modification to turn the little blue bird into a duckling. As usual, it was down to the wire in terms of completing the gift and I was crocheting in the car on the way to the party. You'll be pleased to hear that my husband was driving!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Kanzashi Flowers

I've just come home from a fantastic "Kanzashi" workshop with the lovely Melanie from Kimono Reincarnate. The workshop was part of Saviour of the Lost Arts (SOTLA).

I was lucky enough to be one of the 20 people registered for this workshop and along with two of my friends, got to make one of these.

The workshop was fantastic. Melanie explained how to make the "Kanzashi" flowers very clearly. We started off with some beautiful vintage kimono fabric which we cut into squares.

We then did a little bit of folding and sewing and ended up with this -

A little bit more fiddling, we then added some beads etc and voila!

Thanks so much Melanie! I had a great time and I'm so happy with the beautiful "Kanzashi" flower that I made. I can't wait to make some more!

P.S. The photos with the black borders were taken by my lovely and talented friend who also came to the workshop :) - thank you!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Festival of bags

I love to give hand made gifts to people, but I do get a bit stressed out at the thought that they may not like them. I've been looking around for some nice gifts to make for 5 year old girls. I'd thought of the pencil rolls and they're nice, but whenever I've given them as a gift, the recipient has been less than enthusiastic!

But I've had three birthday parties this month and I was wracking my brains for present ideas. So when I saw this tutorial, on Living My Sweet Life's blog I suspected I might be onto a winner! I bought some very very pretty fabric from the wonderful Peppermint Stitches and away I went.

I made a couple of modifications. I didn't do the applique, because

a. I am lazy
b. I can't do applique.

I didn't double over the pocket, I just hemmed it. This was because I didn't have quite enough material to double it over, so I did a 4 by 10.5 inch pocket with a hem.

The other difference was that I put the pocket on both sides of the bag (which is why I didn't have enough material for the pocket!)

I also used interfacing, because I had a bunch lying around that I wanted to use up. I don't know if that made any difference to the bag. It certainly gave me a lot of grief!

I also did the strap differently, mainly because I couldn't inside out the strap, I'm too uncoordinated. Whenever I try to inside out things, I end up ripping the sewing! Instead, I cut two 21 by 1 inch pieces of my main fabric and two 21 by 1 inch pieces of my lining material. I turned each long edge in and ironed, then I put one strap of main together with one strap of the lining material and top-stitched along each long edge.

I've made 4 - one for each of the birthday girls and one for my daughter. I think they're really nice - I'm planning on making one more for my son and another for myself, to put my knitting and crochet in. I just have to work out which is my favourite!

Monday, May 23, 2011


Lots of crafting lately, not a lot of blogging!

I have been knitting, crocheting and sewing. Projects on the go include, a reversible toy for a friend's baby, a shrug for myself, a bag with crayon holder pockets and I'm sure there is more - but true to form, I can't remember any more!

Ages ago, I made a mini nappy bag for a friend's baby shower. It's from One Yard Wonders - which is a pretty cool book.

It looked pretty easy, so of course I left it till the last minute. What I didn't realise was that the change mat was actually sewn into the bag - so assembly was a little trickier (ok a lot trickier) than I thought it would be! It turned out ok in the end.

Nice little gift though. I need some practice with using interfacing, I got into quite a lot of bother with the interfacing in this project. Kept having to rip it off and start again!

Sunday, April 10, 2011


I get a bit confused sometimes. Recently, I spent a couple of weeks crocheting a dragonfly, only to discover that it was in fact a butterfly! Never mind, it is cute...

The butterfly is for a friend's new baby. It was fairly easy, but took a bit of time as there are lots of pieces in this. It's from Kyuuto! Japanese Crafts!: Amigurumi which has loads of lovely little projects in it.

In other news, I sewed sheet bag for Mr McGillicuddy. The poor little fellow has been going to childcare with his sheets in a crusty old grocery bag and we can't have that! I haven't ever sewn a drawstring bag before and because I'm lazy, and always in too much of a hurry, I kind of made it up as I went along. It turned out ok - the drawstring part is a little dodgy, but it works.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


This week, I have three new song obsessions.

Slow Show - by The National

Sunset Mirage by Ghostwood

Pumped up Kicks by Foster the People

Monday, February 7, 2011

Project busting #1

I think that this project busting is going to take me some time.....

I finished one thing last week! Huzzah!
I'm a big fan of Yarnydays blog - I think she has awesome taste and her projects are just great. I've made a sweater of hers before and it turned out so nicely -

so when I saw this post - I just had to try to make a scarf like it. The pattern is originally from this blog which also has a lot of absolutely gorgeous crafting on it. A good friend of mine had a birthday coming up and I thought she'd love this!

Anyway, I picked some red wool from Bendigo woollen mills and started crocheting. The pattern is great - really pretty and also quite easy - my favourite combination!

I was concerned that I wouldn't have enough wool, but figured I could always order more. But the Queensland floods sent my life somewhat out of kilter (we weren't directly affected, but couldn't go to work/daycare etc for a while and had flood refugees staying with us). So I didn't end up ordering more wool in time. Instead, I decided to turn it into a bag!

I sewed a bag out of denim with a cotton lining and a zipper. I then sewed it into the scarf - voila!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Starters vs Finishers

Are you a starter or a finisher?

I am definitely a starter!! I have so many half finished projects - I love to start a new project, but don't often finish them, unless there is a deadline like a birthday party.

Anyway, I have decided that this week is finishing week - I'm going to finish all those half finished things lying around the house - so stay tuned for some crafting action!

If anyone cares to join me, leave a comment and then a link to your project busting posts - I'd love to see what everyone else is finishing!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The shrug

I crocheted a shrug! My ravelry link is here.

To be honest, I'm not sure if it is a shrug or a bolero - I always get the two confused!

My mother in law asked if I could make her a shrug - we looked through some patterns together and she decided on one of the Drops studio patterns. You can find the pattern here.

I was too lazy to do the flower edging properly. Instead, I just did the first layer of petals - and instead of doing many separate flowers and then sewing them together, I made them in one string - because I HATE sewing the ends in!!

All in all I think it turned out pretty well! A huge relief because it took a fair bit of time to make, would have been very sad if it had been a disaster.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My top 5 books of 2010

I thought I'd write a post about the best 5 books I read last year. They weren't necessarily written or released in 2010, that's just when I read them.

Would love to hear what others thought of these books! Also, if anyone out in blogland is reading, post your top 5 and then post the link to your blog in the comments so that I can read your favourite 5 :)

In no particular order:

1. This Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Nifenegger - the follow up novel by the author of the Time Traveller's wife. I loved this book, it was eerie and kept me guessing all the way through

2. Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke - a tale of the last magicians in England. This is a gripping book - it's long, but I didn't get bored for a second.

3. Major Pettigrew's last stand - whimsical and delightful

4. The Book Thief by Markus Zsuzak - a very poignant story about a girl in Nazi Germany.

5. What is the what by Dave Eggars - this book should be compulsory reading for everyone! It is about one of the Lost Boys of Sudan. It is amazing what some people have to endure just to live.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Retrospective Part 1

I was very very slack last year with posting on this blog. This year I will be better!

A little retrospective of what I crafted last year.

From One yard wonders,  I made this very cool apron

It converts into a tote bag

Pretty quick and easy to make - made good gifts for two little girls I know!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Donkey vs Llama

I love Amigurumi - it is the cutest!

I had some long overdue crafting to complete before I could even think about Christmas presents in 2010! My cousin had a baby girl turning one and my best friend from high school had had a baby months before! Slackness, I know.

Anyway, I ended up making the amigurumi donkey from Kyuuto! Japanese Crafts! Amigurumi - there are lots of bits to it, but it was quite easy. Since the donkeys were for babies, I embroidered the eyes instead of using bought ones.

I think I did a good job - but everyone thinks they look like llamas. I tend to agree - llamas a very cute though!

What do you think?