Thursday, June 30, 2011


I do love a good vintage dress. I have a few, stashed away, with my pre-baby wardrobe. But I am finding that they are getting increasingly hard to find, even in our country area. Only five years ago there seemed to be so much more around, but sadly I think that those days are almost over. I know for a fact of an arrangement in one of our local op shops, which explains why I have never seen a single vintage frock there. Ever. The other one charges vintage shop prices in a bid to attract the out of town shopper.

Only the other day, I was chatting with one of the managers who told me that people from out of town were buying woolen blankets at ten at a time. Ten. On one occasion I saw an almost clear out of all types of items, with a city vintage shop buyer buying up big. I also witnessed her try to make a behind-the-scenes deal with the manager.

Fortunately there still seem to be some good kitchen ware buys. Still the occasional fabric, sheeting and blankets. But I have always believed it good karma to only buy what you need, and leave what you don't for someone else who will love it. Or need it. As is the case with the woolen blankets.

But I do wonder for how much longer will the bargains still be there? Will all vintage items not make it to the shelves? As one big store has now gone online and with the rise of the op shop "boutique" stocking only the very best items, with prices accordingly,  is the bargain vintage buy destined to become a thing of the past?

Kid's vintage still makes the occasional appearance, though even it is getting more difficult to find these days. I will leave you with a few pics from Julia's wardrobe.

I know that most of you regularly op shop. Are you too experiencing a bit of a "drought" in your locals?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

around the house

playing around with origami

discarded after a walk to school

colourful twenty cent op shop mugs

op shop shells...the closest we can get to the ocean now

loving Julia's little wood work creation

cake baking

favourite snack

table all set for extended family

 when our big sisters get the camera they stick too big beanies on us

a slab of a slice

outside view... mind the sheets

I hope your week has been a mostly pleasant one so far.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

a skirt and a giveaway winner

Using one of those fancy random generator things, we now have a winner to yesterday's book giveaway. Congratulations, Hear Mum Roar! I will be in touch shortly.

On another note, I have been using my new sewing space quite a bit lately. And no, it's still not finished or even really fit to be seen yet. I'm waiting for the hubby to buy me some cork board. Still waiting... of course it will all come together after I get that cork board.

I always enjoy sewing girl's skirts,  as they are so quick and easy and finished in one sitting. No danger of being added to the unfinished project pile. So  I thought I would whip up a little wintery skirt for Miss Violet. Her wardrobe was sadly lacking in the winter skirt department, so of course we had to do something about that.

So I found some thrifted wool and an embroidered doily that had seen better days. No guilt about cutting into this piece of embroidery.

So quick to sew up, and then I added the embroidered pieces in the form of pockets, integrating the  embroidered edge to save myself sewing a pocket seam.  I added a machine blanket stitch to the edges - I do love that function! All very homespun looking, but I do believe that there's no use pretending to be something you're not. And home sewn clothing should indeed look a little different to the mass produced, mainstream clothing we see everywhere. 

A little girlier than the typical jumpsuits Violet has been subjected to this Winter. Though it is nice to dress up our little ones every now and then isn't it?

I think I may be suffering from sewing favouritism. Please tell me that I'm not the only one? After the baby leggings are done, I think it's time to make a few things for the other two.

Monday, June 27, 2011

from the weekend

The sun was out this weekend and it was almost warm-ish. I had some new reading material on hand, and even managed more than a quick flick through. Thinking about making some marmalade.

After Luca's morning soccer game, we were all off to a local birthday party for one of Julia's school friends. It was quite pleasant to all be gathered at a farm, with all the parents actually staying (too far out of the way to drop and go) and knowing everyone that was there. There is a sense of community here that I have not felt anywhere else I have lived.

On Sunday Daniel put a little more verandah work in, and even managed to entertain a friend at the same time. With the social obligatory beer of course.

I've been pattern making and dabbling in a little sewing.

Two planes created some patterns in the sky just before sunset. They looked as is they were having quite a bit of fun up there.

Don't forget that my book giveaway ends at 12pm today (AEST).  You can enter here.

I do hope you all had a lovely weekend.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

sunday song

I grew up in house where music was pretty constantly on the record player. I was also amongst a family of surfers and spent a great deal of my childhood at the beach. This song brings back lot's of memories of a simpler time.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

saturday links

Five links of inspiration and ideas to enjoy at your leisure this weekend

  1. Bib tutorial (this one I will be using very soon).
  2. Could I have found my next knitting project? I am very tempted to jump on the cowl bandwagon with this project here.
  3. Very much liking this embroidery PDF.
  4. Remember all that talk about extending the life of kid's clothes? This is one idea that I will be trying in the future.
  5. How delicious does this look?

If you haven't already entered yesterday's book giveaway, please hop over and leave a comment.

    Friday, June 24, 2011

    i've got mail + a giveaway

    I must admit that one of the highlights of my week is to receive a parcel delivery. In our village we only receive the mail three times a week, making a parcel appearance that little bit more of a treat.

    I was very grateful to be the winning recipient of an Oliver + s pattern from Little Betty's giveaway. If you haven't already, do check out her lovely blog. There's lot's of sewing going on over there, with some delightful bonnets on Etsy (you can see Violet's here).

    Some lovely fabric off Etsy from one of my favourite blogs to visit, Tiny Happy. The trouble with really nice fabric, is deciding which project to use it for.

    I just had to show you the sweet card that was included in the parcel. Isn't it pretty? I do love her botanical paintings.

     And last of all, is my new best friend in the kitchen, a Staub. I have been intending to buy a good cast iron pot for most of my married life (over a decade). Well, I finally took the plunge. I researched Le Chasseur vs Le Creuset and then finally decided on the Staub. The metal handle on the lid was the decider. It is a whopping 28cm and weighs a tonne.The verdict? I swear my cooking tastes better, really! And looked after they are supposed to last a lifetime.

    As time goes on I am far more convinced that it is false economy to buy cheaper items. Better quality items do cost more, but they do last longer. There is also the moral issue to consider with cheap items and the poor working conditions that goes with all that. Quality over quantity.

    And now for the giveaway part, because I know you like to get mail too. And I do want to thank all my lovely blog readers for visiting. Due to purchasing a book pack, I ended up with two copies of Sally Wise's Slow Cooker book. So I have one new copy to give away.  This book has been my slow cooker bible. Most of the ingredients are basic store cupboard ingredients and are quick and easy to prepare. Then you go about your day and that night dinner is ready and cooked.

    To enter, please leave a comment below. The giveaway is open to everyone, including international readers. Entries close 12pm Monday (AEST). The winner will be picked at random and announced on Tuesday. Good luck!

    Thursday, June 23, 2011

    the novice knitter's cardi

    Fresh off the needles is my first finished little cardigan. I know just where all the little mistakes are, but I'm giving myself a little pat on the back for coming this far, though progress has been slow.
    I started knitting not quite a year ago, and having a baby in that time did slow things down somewhat.

    It fits a little long in the arms, but that's fine. Room to grow. I lengthened the original pattern a little to accommodate a chubby little tummy.

    I learned a great deal with this pattern. Buttonholes, picking up stitches, decreasing and more. The design of the pattern with the yoke being all in one, made it very quick to seam together.

    I really must set up a proper profile with Ravelry, but until then here are the details:

    Pattern :  Classic Cardigan from The Ultimate book of Baby Knits by Debbie Bliss  (9-12 months size)
    Yarn : Hand dyed  4 ply wool/bamboo blend from Evoke in Apple Drift
    Buttons : assorted vintage pearly buttons from my button jar

    And of course just perfect for snuggling with big sisters

    Speaking of knitting, and of yesterday's post, I think I may have finally got this knitting in the round thing. With double pointed needles. Though it did take quite a bit of frustration, lot's and lot's of unraveling and wondering if I would ever get it. Feeling that I did not have enough hands and finding it very hard to co-ordinate all the needles. But I stubbornly persisted, refusing to let it get the better of me. I'm getting there.

    Circular needles now look a whole lot less scarier than they did a few days ago. I'm assuming they shouldn't be too hard after tackling the double ended needles? Does anyone have a recommendation for a good circular needle? I must admit that felt a little overwhelmed last time I looked for one online.

    Hoping that your Thursday is a pleasant one.

    Wednesday, June 22, 2011

    rainy day

    I had an enjoyable mid-weekish rest with hubby taking the kids to school. Soon afterwards the wind began howling and the rain started to fall. I wore my dressing gown until ten o'clock. The daggy one. Why are the daggiest ones the most comfortable? Anyway, I pottered around, popped some soup into the slow cooker and enjoyed three cups of English breakfast tea. In a row.

    The usual chores were still there,  but on a rainy day it seems fitting to go with a slower pace. On a rainy day, there is no washing to be hung out, so I just feel that little bit less rushed. More time for other things.

    Mum used to sometimes buy Top Taste madeira cake when I was a kid. This CWA recipe sultana cake reminds me very much of that rich cake.

    Experimental "sour dough" bread with my feijoa jam. Experimenting in that I leave the no knead dough out for 48 hours or so and it bubbles up and becomes a little sour dough-like. Holes and all.

    I also attempted  to learn to knit in the round. Let's just say there's been a lot of unraveling going on. I'm hoping to get a pair of these made for Violet in the not too distant future. A project in between projects. With the little cardigan finished (more on that tomorrow) I'm pondering which yarn and project to try next. Any ideas? What is on your needles right now?

    Hoping that you all have a wonderful Wednesday.

    Tuesday, June 21, 2011

    new season pants

    It seems that little Violet is growing faster than her wardrobe can keep up with. How fast do babies grow? Way too fast, as my babies have always been on the chubby side. So I realized the other day that it had been quite awhile since I'd done any baby sewing. Too long. And I realized that I had really missed it. My thoughts turned to the quick change trousers from this well read book that I had made for Violet before she was born, seen here. Then I saw these gorgeous ones over at Corrie's. But how to adapt for our colder climate? Not to mention adapting for a bulky cloth nappy and jumpsuit underneath.

    Going through my sewing basket, I realized that I had actually cut all the pattern pieces out for a pair months ago. Then I had forgotten all about it. So I sewed the floral vintage and $5 per metre fabric together and voila! One pair down. Though I did think they were a little snug. Maybe to do with the fact that I cut the fabric pieces when the little girl was quite a bit smaller.

    So I think I found the solution. I found a cloth nappy ("diaper") modification to the original pattern over at Sew Liberated, going up a size (18 months in my case) as recommended. I had used this modification on the first pair, but it was cut in Violet's current size, not the size up.

    Thrifted plaid wool and cotton seemed a nice Wintery choice, don't you think? The weightier fabric and reversible style seemed well suited for the colder days.

    And because I was on a roll with all this weekend sewing, I added a vintage corduroy and Laura Ashley print together for number three. 

    They are actually a little long in length and I have a good feeling that they will fit next winter as well. As for the cloth nappy factor - they fit just right.

    I think the smile says it all.

    Not to mention a bit of "fun"sewing for mum.