Craft, stitchin' and sustainable living

Monday, December 28, 2009


Each year I theme my Christmas gifts - this year's theme was screenprinting, so I bought plain pillowcases, cushion covers, placemat sets and other bits and pieces to print my own designs on. Now, I'm certainly no expert screenprinter. I had done it a few times with my friend Vic, who is very good, but this was my first time having a go on my own. I had two basic designs, an eiffel tower with a cute birdy on either side, and a simple leaf pattern.

Despite a few colour smudges and a couple of other technical hiccups (me getting a sunburnt neck, for example) the prints came out ok. The leaf pattern came out better than the eiffel tower, mainly because the tower had more corners to fill with paint and more fiddely bits.

And thus, my Christmas presents were made and shipped off to Queensland for my family.

And for my next trick I will attempt to sew a dress for New Year's Eve. It will be 35 degrees here in Melbourne. I have four days to go.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


When I came back from overseas I brought with me a head full of ideas of things I wanted to sew, knit, crochet, make etc. I also saw some excellent crafting on show - particularly around the Grassmarket in Edinburgh where there is some really clever vintage clothing refashioning going on.

The above pic is just some bits and pieces of inspiration that I picked up; Teatowel from the fabulous Anthropologie store in London, Angora bunny wool from the Orkney Islands that I bought at K1 Yarns in Edinburgh (oh to have my own fluffy bunny farm!), Hypotrochoid set that I got at the Tate Modern in London so that I can draw spirals in spirals in spirals in spirals...

Anyway, today's adventure is into the world of screenprinting. More on that later (hopefully a success story).

Friday, December 4, 2009

Christmas Stockings

Hello! I am back from Scotland, with suitcase full of shopping and a head full of ideas. I saw so many cool, crafty, arty things being done all over the place, and at one stage I dreamed of having a little cottage in the Scottish highlands where I have my own sheep, spin my own wool and spend the rest of the day with my knitting on my knee, looking out the window to the magnificent landscape. Ahhh. But it is a bit premature for me to be thinking these thoughts of retirement. There is much to do! Most importantly... Christmas!

If you know me, you will know that I am a big Christmas geek. I love the cooking, the decorating, the gift wrapping - all of it. So, with a few days up my sleeve before I have to go back to work, I decided to get stitching and make some Christmas stockings for all the people that will be in my household around the festive time.

I wanted the recipients to keep the stockings and hopefully use them in future years, so I decided to visit Tegan at Ink and Spindle to pick up some good quality (and beautifully designed) fabric. I must have stood there looking indecisively (and admittedly, half jet-lagged) at their range of prints for ages, but finally decided on a white and a red print, both on natural cotton.

And with that I was off and stitching, and I've got to say, I am quite pleased with the result. I just used a really simple stocking shape, with the alternative print for a band at the top, and a little handle for hanging. I don't have very good hang-availability in my house so I strung up some twine and pegged each stocking to the line. Looks pretty good, if I do say so myself : )

Let's just hope the twine holds the weight of all the gifts!