Craft, stitchin' and sustainable living

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Round Up

Christmas has passed, we've ripped open our presents, eaten too much, perhaps had a few too many rum balls and fallen asleep on the couch.  Ah, but now I can finally show you some of the Christmas gifts that I crafted this year!

Jars of seasoning mix - possibly the easiest gifts in the world to make, but always well appreciated!  It's simply a mix of your favourite herbs - mine included rock salt, colourful peppercorns, oregano,  rosemary and fennel seeds.  Just mix it all together, spoon into jars and give them cute fabric tops to make them look festive.  Easy!

Hypotrochoid hankies.  These were a gift for a friend of mine who likes sciencey things but also crafty things.  I used my trusty hypotrochoid set to draw the shapes (I knew there was a reason that I had to buy one as an adult, even though a voice inside was telling me that they're for kids) then embroidered them onto soft cotton linen.

Ooh... smokey barbeque sauce.  This is one of my favourites.  It really does turn out smokey and yummy, and you know the main ingredient used for smoking?  Tea. Yep, good old tea.  If you would like to make some smokey barbeque sauce of your own (I highly recommend it!) I wrote up the full recipe and instructions here.  I also made plum and nectarine jam, but sadly forgot to take photos!

Some boxer shorts for boyfriend.  I used an old pair of boxer shorts as a pattern, and was impressed with how well they came together.  Fairly simple too, taking about an hour to whip up.  I used some fair-trade, organic cotton that I bought online.

And I crocheted some face washers from fair trade, organic cotton yarn (I thought I had taken full photos, but can't seem to find them now).  After looking at a few patterns online I decided to ad-lib a bit and just make up my own.  I ended up doing a row of double crochet then a row of three double crochet in one stitch, chain and skip the next stitch.  It worked out really well!

And me?  Well I was truly spoilt this year, receiving some fantastic gifts that I had really wanted.  Some beautiful books, new running shoes and something that I will blog about in the coming weeks - a yoghurt making set-up!  Awesome!  Just another step towards cutting down on the amount of packaging and food additives in my life.  My yoghurt requires just two ingredients - milk and yoghurt culture.  I promise to show you very soon.

In the meantime, enjoy your New Year's Eve celebrations and I will be back in 2012 with many more exciting stitchy stories!

Friday, December 23, 2011

The bow belt

Only two sleeps until Christmas my friends!  I can't wait!  And guess what?  I have one Christmas gift that I have made which I can show you... this bow belt which is for my Mum.  How do I know that my Mum isn't going to see this?  Because she's actually at the airport right now, about to hop on a plane to come and spend Christmas with me.  And once she's here I'm going to keep her well and truly busy glazing the ham, making salads, and when she's not busy in the kitchen I will make sure she has a drink firmly planted in her hand - and that she goes nowhere near my blog.  Should be easy!

This fabric bow belt is modelled off the clever original made by Tilly of Tilly and the Buttons, and you can find all the instructions on her blog. The fabric is actually the off-cut from a 2nd hand skirt that I bought in Antwerp - I shortened the skirt and this was the leftover fabric!

This is me trying it on for size before I give it to my Mama.  Do you think she'll like it?

Merry Xmas all!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Caught in the Christmas rush

Guys, did you realise that Christmas is less than two weeks away?  I know - scary!  But also fun!  I am a big Christmas geek so I spend lots of time making gifts, decorating the house and planning a yummy feast (including a big free-range ham). 

So although things have been quiet(ish) on the blog, I have been doing quite a lot of crafting, but I can only show you a sneak peek here in case the gift recipients are reading.  So right now, I am joining other Christmas crafters to blog over at the Crafty Christmas Club blog.  Now, if you're the kind of person that usually receives a gift from me (i.e. a family member or close friend) then you'll just have to sit tight and wait.  But if you're not and you want to see what other Christmas crafters and I are making before the big day, head on over to the Crafty Christmas Club and take a look!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Well looky what's finished...

Oh yes... they are finished!  Here they are *drumroll*...

The finished Bella high-waisted shorts (based on the Burdastyle Bella Trousers).  Looking pretty good, aren't they?

I had hoped to take these photos outside in the summery sunshine, alas, today was wet and thundery in Sydney (not that I'm complaining - I love this weather!).  So here are the shorts modelled with a cardigan.

Boy, these shorts really were a challenge to get finished - I had problems at every step.  Even when I was stitching on the buttons, of which I only had five, I stitched on four then reached for the fifth one to finish it off... and I couldn't find it!  I called in boyfriend and we looked everywhere - on the desk, under the sewing machine, on the floor - it was nowhere to be found.   Then suddenly I remembered - it was in the automatic button-hole foot for my sewing machine.  Duh!  Thankfully I got the last button on and I am very happy with them.

Ok summer, you can come now, I'm ready!