Sunday, March 1, 2015

Softie love

I am pretty pumped about this ! Sew Mama Sew have launched 6 weeks of Love for Softies on their blog and asked me to join in.
Obviously, I am obsessed with toy / softie / plush making and I am excited to see such a great site spreading the word.

The six weeks will include

  • Free patterns, tutorials, tips and techniques from some of the best softies experts in the business.
  • A daily inspirational soft toy or doll.
  • The Softies Contest:There are  categories for everyone, from first-time softie makers to plush and doll designers. You can enter to win fabric, books, thread, patterns, polyfil or even the Grand Prize, a Pfaff Creative 3.0 sewing and embroidery machine valued at $3,999! (the grand prize will be awarded with the US) 
  • There is also a soft toy drive with all the toys going to children in foster care.

For my part, I have designed a free pattern which will feature on the site soon ('ll be sure to tell you when). There are a lot of exciting toy makers involved and I have already found some new toy makers to follow. 

I won't be entering the softie competition but I did donate some patterns to the prize pool. You can check out all the details for the competition here. 

I'd love to see what you come up with if you enter ! 

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Finn and the tradies

Here I am at home on a not-usually-at-home day. 
The NBN has arrived. The street is a sea of men in high-visibilty clothing and the sounds of TRADIO (that bizarre radio channel that all tradesmen seem to listen to) is filling the air.

Our house, being of advanced age, has no crawl space under the older front section, causing a small headache for the NBN fellows. Yesterday they solved it with a bit of "we'll just cut through the path, and your fence into your back yard, then we'll dig up some of this garden and these pavers but don't worry we'll leave it all looking exactly how it is now."

Now you can call me a sceptic but the chances of things looking the same after the NBN chappies leave is pretty slim in my books, and it might surprise you to learn I am not that keen on having my fence cut though, nor my garden and I'd rather my pavers stayed paved. My protests and alternative solutions fell on extremely deaf ears.

This is the NBN and it will happen and "no you don't need to be home madam, yes we might have to remove a complete section of your very sturdy very high fence for the day Madam but that shouldn't be a problem - we do this all the time"

"Why do you have such a high and sturdy fence Madam ?"


Thursday, February 19, 2015

Getting the jump on Thursday

This morning I am doing bookwork, my second most hated task ( the first is photography). I recently checked and realised I had no bookwork for this financial year. Well I had folders of receipts but nothing written down. This is probably not the best way to run a business no matter how small.

So of course I set about making deals with myself. As of 9:30 this morning I have finished November. The plan is, December tonight, then January tomorrow morning. I am feeling positively Saint -like.

With the boring bits out of the way, the rest of day consists of a quick bloggy blog, hours of uninterrupted time with my new sartorially refined friend and no reason to brush my hair !


Thursday, February 12, 2015

A friendly warning

Today was meant to be a post about cute things and new things but I can't write it. I don't often get ranty here, but man.... I have a pretty big case of shit-on-the-liver today.

You guys know about The Big Comic Relief Crafternoon Magazine that I posted about recently. Well it seems some people are not happy with it.

  • A number of people have chosen to email me their 'absolute disgust' that I would support a UK charity when there are so many charities needing help in Australia.
  • Even more people have complained to me that they live too far from Sainsbury's to get a copy.
  • People have complained that they went to Sainsbury's and couldn't find it or it wasn't there or it might have sold out.
  • People complain that they shouldn't have-to download a copy just because they don't live in the same country that the magazine is printed in.
  • People have complained that it is 'not fair' that I got a friend to post me a copy from the UK. because 'Obviously not everyone has the money to pay a friend to post them their own special copy".
This is nothing ! Emma Mitchell awesome co-inventor of the whole shebang is getting these and other ridiculous complaints constantly. 
If you have been reading here for awhile you might have an idea of how I generally respond to a bit of inbox hate like this, but I have been very restrained and professional and as helpful as my little self can be ...SO FAR.
Today, I am taking a day off from being the bigger person, I don't want to be nice and understanding about this. I actually want to smack people... really hard, and ask them who the hell they think they are.

So, those folks should consider themselves warned.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

and...they're off !

It always feels like the race begins in February. I am back at my real job and I start to look at the calendar with a mix of excitement and trepidation.
I really am trying to be a bit sensible this year and space out the commitments and the travels and the teaching but already there is so much happening, (and sensible is not my strong suit).

 Firstly, I will be teaching in Mornington at Treehouse Textiles in March. I met Emma and her mum at a show last year and they had the most beautiful booth - and their store is the same by all accounts. I can't wait to see it for myself.

I'll be teaching Ginger and Blue 

and the Alphabet gang . Click on the link to see if there are any spaces left and to book and enquire all that stuff.

In May I am jetting of to Spring Market in Minneapolis.
Can you believe it? I still can't believe that this is me. I am going to America again ! and this time taking the ever patient Mr Ric-Rac with me. (Stay tuned for that particular brand of hilarity).

I am all booked and organised and there will be no passport hassles this time. We are going to stay after market for a little while so if anyone has any tips for us - please share. Mr Ric Rac is keen to visit Canada. As he says "It's just next door".

In between there are BBQ's and zoo visits and the day job and new patterns and new things. I will undoubtedly fall prey to booth panic again and I have blocked out the whole of April to be sewing things and fluffing things and freaking myself out.
The year of Dipstick is shaping up to be most excellent.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Ron & Audrey

Way back in 2013, I was involved in the  Red Nose Day Dolls. I made a little doll called Maisie, and she, along with lots of other wonderful items were auctioned to raise money for Comic Relief. They raised oodles of money and it was an awesome project to be involved in.
Then the wondrous Mrs Pebbles came up with a Bigger Brighter Better plan. She teamed up with some clever folks and the team behind Mollie Makes to create The Big Comic Relief Crafternoon.

The Big Comic Relief Crafternoon magazine is full of super wonderful projects and interesting tidbits. 
There is a host of projects including knitted beards, crochet red noses, exquisite knickers, DIY craft themed dinner plates, Spring-themed brooches and wrist warmers and, my friends, Ron and Audrey.
This super special edition of Mollie Makes goes on sale in Sainsbury's for £7.99 and £5 of that goes to Comic Relief to support their wonderful projects. Here in Australia, we should be able to get a copy on itunes. (I'll keep you posted on that).
Lots and lots of people have been involved in this massive project, donating their time, and their projects including. Lucy of Attic 24, Flossie Teacakes, Lynda Lewis from the Great British Sewing Bee, Oh No Rachio, and the wondrous Mrs Pebbles. 

My contribution is Ron (above) and his dear friend Audrey (below). You may have seen them prancing about on social media lately. In fact you can watch a wee stop motion video of them on youtube !

    This project was actually a bit of a challenge for me - it is not often that I try and make realistic looking animals and it dumbfounded me to begin with.

But once I added some little dress up coats to the pattern, I felt much more at ease. Ron and Audrey are included in the magazine in a full step-by-step tutorial. 
The magazine also includes instructions for running your own gala craft day so you could craft up a storm and sell your creations to support Comic Relief.
Last time I was involved in this fundraiser I remember saying that sometimes, being the maker  of things small and useless becomes bigger than small and useless.
I stand by that, but it takes more than all of the many makers to make something like this happen, it takes people like Emma to dream up these huge ideas and then to set about making them happen. I am so amazed and in awe of my blog-friend. 
She is an egg of the very finest order.
Please share this on your channels, your bookfaces and your what evers. Go to the facebook page and give them a like - spread the word.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Look closely

bird house pin cushion

apple house pin cushion

The holiday boss almost cracked a smile !