A beautiful old mystery machine…

On a recent trip to Canberra, I visited the tourist-y area Gold Creek with my family. We had a lovely day of wondering shops and afternoon tea. On our way back to the car, there’s always one last shop to look in…

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And look what I found! The shop lady said it was still in working condition, thought the electric cables need to be replaced for safe use. We opened the case and the little box of goodies that came with it all over the shop floor… I was in love… but how much was it? $50?? OK then…

It came home with me.

I was determined to carry this extremely heavy ‘travel’ model back to the car myself, but it turned into a shared family experience as they took pity on me taking a break every 20 metres. So we all took turns taking it back to the car together.

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Back at home I took all the bits our to see what I had collected with more time and a glass of whiskey.

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Complete with operating manual! Check out those illustrations!

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Certainly it’s not a Singer, but a pretty machine nonetheless. With the little research I’ve done so far I think it’s a model from the late 1930s or mid 1950s.

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I haven’t gleaned much about the manufacturer of the sewing machine motor yet, Warner Drayton Co. of Australia Pty Ltd operating from Footscray, a metro suburb in Victoria. Although I did find this advertisement in the National Library of Australia archives which shows the company was still going strong in 1963, with electric fans just in time for the summer heat!

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At the moment my new old sewing machine awaits patiently in Canberra. Once it is serviced and it comes home, I’m thinking it will be my dedicated corset-sewing machine…

Oh the joys of my craft hobby.

Stay creative!
xx

Knitting Machine: Singer MemoMatic 323 and Ribber Attachment

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Something I’ve noticed since becoming crafty is how much other people enjoy me being crafty. It seems bizarre to me, but in a nice way!

Crochet at the train station and strangers smile and ask what you’re working on. Leave a button and half-done sewing project on the coffee table and visitors ask about its status. Invariable it comes with a story about their grandma or how they could never finish something like that – this used to puzzle me but now I quite enjoy it.

Another side effect I’ve also noticed and like is friends who I’ve had for years pick up crafty projects with me and try new crafty things to show me. For years I didn’t even know they were crafty themselves!

So all this could be an intro for a post about how crafting can change your life and open a whole new world for you blah blah but that’s too obvious. What it is an intro for is a conspiracy.

ShandiShan and Sweetheart conspired to buy me a knitting machine for Christmas.

 

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“A what what? But you don’t even knit! What are you supposed to do with one of those?” you cry. Well, that’s what I thought. And here is the reason for my hesitation: I don’t knit because I can’t. Not a mental oh-come-on-give-it-a-go-it’s-easy kind of can’t, more of a it-gives-me-intense-pain-in-my-right-shoulder-after-half-an-hour kind of can’t. This is thanks to an old injury which also means I can’t do things like scrub bathroom floors (‘Aww…’ you say,), paint walls and ceilings (‘Poor you.’) and play contact sports (FYI that one actually does suck.).

So you can imagine how it pleased me when I found that crochet didn’t give me the same complications.

Knowing my love for woolly things, Sweetheart gifted me the knitting machine in hope I can knit with it instead. But checking out the videos tells me it uses the kind of motion that caused the injury in the first place, so I still can’t knit…

Bah humbug.

“Oh.” Sweetheart said. “Well, you can still set it up and design things on it and I’ll do the side-side actions. We can make things together!”

And so my interest in this knitting machine contraption grows. Now to learn how to use it!

I’m well aware it’s a conspiracy so Sweetheart can have more knitted jumpers.

So far my attempts have resulted in rectangles of various sizes.

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In the example below I had planned to graduate from test swatches but Sweetheart got over excited with the side to side action and broke the yarn at 221 rows. Oh wells.
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Stay happy!
Xx

Cross Stitch for the Guests Room Update

Hooray!  A frame has been found!

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Sleek, black and techno-nerdy.

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Again, thanks to izacless for sharing 😀

See my progress post here for more details on how I made it.

Now we await the first guest…

Cross Stitch for the Guest Room

And now for something else rather different!

I was into cross stitch as a kid. Not so much as a teen and certainly not in the last 10 years, but when I saw this little number floating around on the interwebs it had to be done!

Home is where the WIFI connects automatically
Source: izacless.tumblr.com

In all honesty, I actually first saw this design at work. As the only female in an IT department, there’s not a lot girly-ness going on in my workday. One Friday one of the guys thought it would be a larf to replace the web stats screen with the above pic and LO!

I went home, found the pic online and started it that night, with one rather large modification:

Buy a vowel: Home is wh_re th_ WIFI ____cts __tomatically

I added our WIFI password mwa-ha-ha-ha-ha!

Trying to find the right alphabet style was a little tricky. After a few attempts on a scrap I settled on a slightly modified version of this:

childmemoryalph
Source: craftdesigns4you.com

I didn’t think it was right for us to have the password in blue or black, so a added a third colour to my design just for the password. In my stash of embroidery threads I had a ton of colours but settled on a neutral similar to #3864 or #841 on this chart:

Thread Color Card 4
Source: dmc-ap.com

No, I’m not publishing my WIFI password on the interwebs.

Home is where the WIFI connects automatically cross stitch

Now I have this wonderful piece awaiting the right frame where after it will hang happily on the guest room wall. The question is, who of our guests will work out that it is indeed our WIFI password..?

Thanks to izacless for sharing 🙂

Update: Check out the finished piece framed and on the wall »

😀

The Fourth Ottoman

It’s the last day of winter and finally it’s starting to feel like it could be warm again. I sowed poppy seeds this week and am eager to see them pop up!

I love the idea of gardening… That to sow a seed is to believe in tomorrow. It’s such a peaceful thought to have at this time.

Speaking of believing in tomorrow, it also applies to my little UFO pile in my sewing room! It has since been cleaned, but still nothing to write home about. The important thing is it’s organised enough to sew in!

One thing in my UFO pile was the last little Ottoman to complete the set. The most time consuming part was moving the beams from the excessively large triangle bean bag into this one. But it has been done!

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I love this feeling of spring in the air 😀

Stay creative
Xx

Won’t Get Over This Colour Phase!

Won't Get Over This Colour Phase!

Akris green wrap dress
$2,690 – stylebop.com

Leather blazer
$399 – danier.com

Modstrom nylon pantyhose
€15 – welikefashion.com

Mollini purple platform pumps
$150 – frockaholics.com

Prada leather bag
£1,250 – flannelsfashion.com

Kendra Scott yellow earrings
$55 – kendrascott.com

Color craze yellow bangle
$8 – jcpenney.com

American Apparel neon nail polish
$6 – americanapparel.net

Morganisation with Free Printable Sewing Pattern Envelope Template

Through all my experimenting and winging it over the years I’ve accumulated quite a few “self-drafted” patterns. At the moment they’re all rolled up in a big mess at the top of the cupboard, some yet to be taped.

 

To fix this problem, I designed my own pattern envelope and I thought it was so cute I have to share it! It’s a bit smaller than the commercial pattern envelopes as I wanted it to fit on an A4 sheet for easy printing at home.

As I do, I got a bit carried away and designed some more for you! Download your favourite design and print away!

 

  

When you print set Page Scaling to None, or depending on your computer just print at 100%. This will make sure your envelope doesn’t get shrunk when you print it. Also, there’s an optional page 2 with each design – if you’d like to have a nice pattern inside the envelope, print them double-sided.

It’s pretty simple to make up the envelope, but here is a quick tutorial on how to stick them together. You’ll need:

  • Sharp craft knife
  • Steel ruler
  • Cutting mat
  • Glue
  • Pens or pencils

After you’ve made sure you’ve got them printed on the right sides, set up!

Cut the rounded corners with the craft knife.

Then cut all the straight edges with the knife and ruler.

Tada! You should have something like the above.

Then, using the BACK of the craft knife blade, VERY LIGHTLY score the paper along the 4 white dotted lines. Don’t cut through the paper, you just want to define the fold line for a crisp fold. Notice that the back panel of the envelope is about 1.5mm shorter than the score lines at the top and bottom – this is so it will fold together nicely.

In order, fold the back panel, side flap and bottom flap over to form the envelope. With the back panel closed, glue down the bottom flap then the side flap.

Fold over the top flap, or the opening flap, and envelope DONE!

I recommend letting the glue dry before you put your patterns in else it might pop open. In the meantime, you can label your envelopes and perhaps draw a little picture to help you remember what they look like!

Aren’t they cute! I wonder how many I’ll use… How many will you use? 😀

I’d love to hear how you organise your patterns, be they sewing, knitting or whatever – How do you do it?

Stay happy!
xx

Six months of writing and rambling about STUFF.

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Today marks six months since I started this blog, and I can’t believe how rewarding it has been! I’ve managed to stick with through my ups and downs, and it has been truly worth it. Today also means we’re six days into the new year already! 2012 is going to be a big year for Sweetheart and I and we’re so excited.

January has always been a time to relax and get organised for me, and this year will be no different. Here’s what I want to focus on this year:

  • Finish the Star Anise and Blanket Scrabble blankets
    When I first started these, I figured they would take me forever so I was quite happy to finish them over a few years. But lo! they are both progressing so finely I’m sure I’ll finish them in 2012.
  • Get my sew on
    2011 was a breakthrough year for me, finally getting my act together and overcoming a few sewing fears that were just plain silly. I want to continue that trend in 2012, and makeover my wardrobe with me-made items that actually fit! After following The Sew Weekly for the later part of last year, I think I’ll aim for 52 new items this year!
  • Update my jewellery collection
    It’s been a while since I’ve made any jewellery and I’ve found my taste have evolved with my birthdays, so this year I’d like to create more pieces I’ll wear in the coming years.

Woohoo! Excitement.

While accomplishing these, they’ll also involve lots of interesting sub-projects, like brushing up on my Japanese so I can create from a whole new world of patterns for sewing, crochet and beading, exploring my style in my favourite themes of tailored, tea parties and goth-y things, and getting better at modelling… (Sweetheart says the poses I choose always make me look awkward… hehehe).

Bring on 2012!!

xx

Happy Christmas Time Sparkly Starry Skirt!

Christmas is almost upon us and it’s the season of parties: This year I have surprised myself by making two skirts for Christmas! Next year I hope to make a dress… but anyway!

Yay! I’m sure there are some other crafty department store shoppers out there who are currently thinking “Hey, I’m using that as our Christmas tablecloth this year…” Well now you can eat from your happy Christmas table knowing that someone was wearing a rather uncomfortable skirt made from your tablecloth fabric.

I made this as a wearable muslin for another skirt – so glad I did! The pattern is Kwik Sew 3852 which I bought a few weeks ago. I’m pretty happy with how this turned out, two things to note though: This fabric is waaay to scratchy to wear comfortably in Australian summer, and I really should finish all the waist fastenings before running around in it for a day. Several times I had to stop it falling down after getting out of a chair because the hook and eyes had come undone… so the slip I decided to wear underneath helped with my two problems… Will I wear it again? Isn’t it fun learning how to sew!

Now here’s a rather abstract Christmas Horror pic as proof I wore the skirt:

It’s like I’m the Christmas Swamp Fairy… or something… 😀

Happy Christmas!!

Recycled Bread Bag Crocheted Library Bag

Back in the day everyone had to have a library bag: if you didn’t have one you couldn’t take books home from my primary school’s library. I recall having a few, but they all had a drawstring and some silly cartoon design on the front.

When I got to Uni however, I found I was in need of a library bag again! One day while I was at my great grandmother’s house we found this:

Recycled Bread Bag Library Book Bag

How awesome! I declared. She said I could have it. She had made it from the plastic bags you get when you buy bread from the supermarket. This fascinated me, as I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how that would work.

Flash forward about 10 years and I have the bright idea to search the Internet on how she may have done it and, well, that’s a post for another day!

Hehe 😀