Saturday, February 27, 2010


Missy Moo helps alot with the  markets that I do and has a little side line business, which I call Baby Bird. She makes hair ties using buttons that she covers with different fabrics.  Stitchbird Fabrics gets a lot of samples and she uses these, plus off cuts from sewing (both hers and mine) to cover the buttons.  Up until now Missy M has been selling these at markets, but she now has some shops who are buying her hair ties.  A few hours of today have been sitting and covering buttons.  My role is strictly as a staff member (or should I say indentured slave, as this is a no pay gig for me).  But it is a lovely activity to do, we sing (badly and loudly) to CDs and chat.

This is from todays labours...

Also one of the perks of working on the school fair craft stall is you can buy before the day.  At this week's meeting I snaffled up this beautiful tea cosy.  Jo has made several of these and egg warmers.  They are fantastic.

Have a lovely weekend and happy making!

Friday, February 26, 2010

At the Oppy

I am an Op Shopper.  There are several op shops where we live and I always allow another 5 minutes or so when I go to the supermarket to just pop in and have a browse.  Most of the time I come away with nothing, but occassionally you strike gold and there are some real treats for very little money.  Today was one of those days...

Six of these little milk glass jars with lids.  I don't know what there original purpose would have been.

This great tin and a wonderful tea towel from Austria.  It could do with a soak but it still has a lot of life left in it.  I will have to think of a suitable use for it.  Should I use it for it's original purpose - to dry dishes or in some sewing?  Any suggestions.

I also picked up some lovely old buttons and two cute embroidered doileys which I will use either to make some needle books or as quilt labels.

Also from a couple of weeks ago these singer sewing table drawers which some silly person has painted gold.  I will need to get out with some paint stripper and see if I can restore them to there former glory.

I hope your day has been as rewarding!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Cramming/Crafting for School

Thank you everyone for your kind words and thoughts about Harley, each day it gets a little easier,but he has left a big gap in our family.

Next month is the school fair and tonight we have a craft stall meeting, where we have to take along our crafted items and indicate how many we can make and what prices we would charge for our craft.  I have known for sometime that I needed to get on and do this - but do you think I felt inspired.  NO.

I have put it off and put it off.  I tried to craft over the weekend but I had a bad case of EITTS*, which if you read Jodie's blog you will know about.  I gave up and had a glass of wine instead.

Well today had to be the day and I have got a few things done in amongst my other work, so I won't look like a total time waster.

I have made a bunny (and cut out ten more).  There is an easter egg tucked inside.  I got this idea from someone's blog (sorry I can't remember who) but if I do I will let you know as I think there was a tutorial.

I also made some babies bibs using the pattern from Chickpea Sewing Studio.  These are quick and easy to make.

I will also make some girls reversible headbands and monster softies.

Now the big questions is how many of these can I make (given I am self-confessed procastinator) and how much can we sell them for? 

* EITTTS - everything I touch turns to sh**t

Sunday, February 21, 2010


I have not been able to blog about what happened to Harley up until now.  We found him on Thursday night.  He had been hit by a car.  Our last big act of love for him was to have him put to sleep.

He was the best buddy and packed so much excitement and love for life into his 3 1/2 years.  I wish we could have had him for longer but we were privileged to have the time we had together.

I said to my sister "he thought the whole world loved him" and she corrected me and said "he knew the whole world loved him".  Everyone was a friend.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Feeling Sick with Worry

I am feeling kind of sick with worry.  Our wee boy cat, Harley has gone missing.  The last time we saw him was 3 pm today and he is one of those cats who is around and is always home for dinner. 

We have walked the neighbourhood calling him and looking in the gutters, in case he has been hit by a car, but there is no sign of him.  I am hoping that his friendly and nosey nature has got him into some place that he can't get out of - somebody's garage or shed.  He is well known and has many friends in the neighbourhood, including neighbours who feed him crayfish and salmon!  Fingers crossed that he shows up tonight or tomorrow,  because he is one very much loved puss.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Somethings been needling me

In January I was fortunate to attend one of Alison's printing on fabric workshops.  A small group of us had a lovely day creating in Alison's beautiful study in Carterton.  I cannot go on enough about her studio and her work, it is beautiful and I am green with envy.  Alison markets her beautiful creations under the name Agnes Coy

I wasn't particularly well prepared, having just got back from holiday and did not have a vision in my mind as to what I was going to use these lovely images for.  But one of the things that has been needling me lately is that I don't have a needle book.  My needles get stuck into my pincushion and there they seem to go into hiding burying themselves in that polyfill wonderland, ready to attack an unsuspecting finger when you pick it up or scratch the table.

So in the weekend I used one of the images to create myself a needle book. 

The outside is linen and on the inside I used a piece of Amy Butler fabric I had in my stash.  I also put a little ribbon on to keep my needlebook closed when I am taking it places.

I feel very grown up, having this, almost a proper sewist.  in my pincushion I found a wealth of sewing needles, there are most probably some still lurking there.

P.S. Alison takes the printing on fabric to a whole different level, so please check out her blog and visit her studio if you get the opportunity.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


To celebrate the Year of the Tiger and to clear some space for my next shipment of fabrics Stitchbird Fabrics is having a 10 day sale from Saturday 13 February. Enter the word TIGER in the discount code and you will get 15% off all purchases.

There are also some remnants in the shop. Not many, but a few and these will be in the Sale section on the website. So not only will you get these fabrics at a reduced price you can also get a further 15% off if you are quick.

Also in a world where prices seem to be continually increasing it is nice to be able to tell people about a price decrease. The price of shipping from Stitchbird Fabrics has decreased to $2.00 per order (for New Zealand customers only). Orders over $50 are still free. I have found that most of the time I can package and send fabric orders under $50 in value for $2.00 and I think you should only be charged the actual cost of the postage and packaging.

Once you have bought what you want tell all your friends!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I love magazines

I have a bit of an addication, apart from caffeine and the occasional glass of wine.  I love crafting magazines.  Unfortunately I tend to like the more expensive, international magazines.  Here are some of my more recent indulgences

The Maire Claire Idees Christmas edition, Quilting Arts Stitch and Sew Hip a UK sewing magazine.  None of these magazines are particularly easy to come by, but once found they are a treasure to drool over as you sit down with a cup of tea and dream of a life where you can spend endless time creating.

Here are a few of the gorgeous photos from the Marie Claire Idees and Sew Hip.

I am getting ideas for this years Christmas Swap.

These guys are great.

And I love this.  Time to stop looking and get making.

Monday, February 8, 2010

A Great Book and the Cats that Own Us

I would like to share with you a great book that I am reading at the moment called Cleo how an uppity cat helped heal a family. Written by Helen Brown, a New Zealand journalist, it is a true story of a cat that came into her family's life shortly after the death of her son.  I like Helen's slightly irreverent style of writing and I cannot recommend this book enough.

I am a cat person - I/we are owned by two cats Alley (aka Elvis, Alley Belly Ballerina) and Harley (aka H-man, Harlemesiter).  We were only ever meant to have one cat (says Alley) but a couple of years ago we fostered kittens for the SPCA.  We were going to be home over the Christmas, New Year holidays and the SPCA was desperate for foster families.  We were interviewed, had our house inspected and deemed worthy fosterers.  So three kittens came into our lives, all black and white and all from different litters.  A few days later the SPCA asked whether we could take one more - he was black and white - so of course we had to say yes.  We named him Harley because he roared around the place like a bikey on a Harley Davidson.

Now when we entered into the world of fostering I was very clear to my family that WE WERE NOT KEEPING ONE.  Well it was me that crumbled - I was sprung by family one day introducing Harley to Alley. 

So Harley joined our family..

The rest is history and we would not go back.  But for now I am banned from fostering for the SPCA.  Alley would not allow it.....  it might spoil her beauty sleep.

I would however highly recommend fostering, it was a great experience, but be aware you may end up with an extra cat or two and a new lived in look for your lounge suite/curtains.  It was all worth it.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

New Fabrics and Quilt Top Finished

Yeah the Lizzy House Red Letter Day fabrics have finally arrived!  I am loving these - they are happy fabrics.  I wish I could have got more.  This is called Ugly Duckling but I think he/they are gorgeous.

In a record time (for me) I finished the Princess and the Pea quilt top.  The not overthinking things seems to have worked.  No procrastinating, no wondering about if, buts or maybes.

Do you want to see...

This photo is not the best, more ironing, better lighting and angle etc all would have helped but you get the picture!  Now I need to decide on backing fabric and binding etc.  Any suggestions?

Missy Moo very innocently asked who's it for?  I don't know I replied.  To which she said could she have it.  How many quilts does a 12 year old need?

It is nice to have something go well, because just recently I seem to have been plagued by computer problems which has a serious mood altering effects on me.  I have been ready to throw either myself or the computer out the window.  I have been grumpy.  Compterman (like Superman but more nerdy) came around today and he can make it all better again - Windows 7, more memory, more money.... sigh.

Also on a brighter note my sister and brother in law arrive in town today ready for the Martinborough Fair on Saturday.  I will be Market Assistant for Glitz Art Glass, my sister's art glass jewellery and Missy Moo is going to be the able Market Assistant to the Golden Bay Toy Boy aka my brother in law, who is a toy maker.  If you are in Martinborough come and say hello - we are in The Square.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Trying not to overthink things...

I have tendency to overthink things especially when it comes to my sewing, quilting, crafting.  Is it good enough, should it be wider, smaller, are the colours right.  You get the drift.

Well after a dry patch of very little sewing I am trying to get back into the swing of things with a new quilt.  The rules of this quilt are that it has to be put together quickly, no mucking around, no overthinking things  -JUST DO IT!

These are the fabrics I decided upon...

These are from Heather Ross's Far Far away range with a couple of spots thrown in for good measure.

This is what I got done in about an hour or so this afternoon

Now you will see the green dot is absent.  I couldn't help myself.  I just wasn't sure about it.  See what I mean.  I am intending to put sashing between each row.  The great thing about this quilt is that apart from the width of the pieces nothing else is measured.

I am blogging about this to keep myself honest (no going back) and also as a motivational tool to get it finished in keeping with the illusion of everything is effortless (NOT).

Stayed tuned for more quilt updates!