Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Naughty girl!


I don't like wearing gloves when I tie dye. Inevitably a drip of dye will be on the gloves, and it will end up where it doesn't belong. With my hand I can rinse and use a towel and know that I've removed the dye (well, the dye that hasn't attached itself to my skin!).

The colour on my hand is from working through the rainbow. It will fade in a couple of days, but my cuticles will be purplish for a couple of weeks.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Fluffy swap!

A big huge thank you to Claire.

She made Will a pair of chenille pants.
star on leg

And a fabulous tiered chenille skirt for Moo.
spunky skirt
Moo loves the skirt and is excited about wearing it to school tomorrow!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Busy, busy

Expect my posting to be sporadic over the next few weeks. I am furiously preparing for the Kamaroi Fair on May 24.

Cut Antonia shirts waiting to be sewn. Washed organic cotton/spandex knit waiting to be cut.

pieces waiting to be sewn, tied, dyed, sewn some more. Jule hoodies waiting to be sewn.

For Felix

Recently a friend asked me to make her son a few things. She had been shopping and could not find what she was looking for. She's also a crafter and does a bit of dyeing, but has her hands full with her little one. She's the kind of friend who helps me out, so I'm happy to help her.

I made two pullover tops. The blue one is already at my friend's. It is the same blue as the pants. All the fabric was dyed by moi. The fabric is a fabulous stretch French terry that is made here in Australia.

Ottobre 03/03 #6
Dyed pullover top

Ottobre 04/03 #3
Hand dyed pants

Another birthday

Moo's best friend turned 6 today. When I asked the birthday girl's mum what the birthday girl would like, I was told a nightdress. And so I turned to my trusty Ottobre Design. This is from Winter 03, pattern #10.

I had intended both of these nightgowns to be for the birthday girl, but Mollie protested that the wavey sparkly fabric was her most favourite. If I had made it for Moo, I would have cut a 122, but the 116 will do.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

And the birthday boy says...


Congratulations Peta!!! I'll email you shortly to discuss what size you'd like.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Retail Therapy

Nothing like a bit of retail therapy to cheer up a girl.

I bought it, the embroidery module! I installed the software. Col was mean and told me that I was smart and could do it myself. I installed the patch (not hard!), so it'd play nice with Vista.
new toy

First ever embroidery - dinosaur

And something for Moo
mollie embroidery

Pictures aren't the best because of the light inside.

And you want to hear some other cool news? Me and my friend, Kirrilee, are going to have a stall at the Kamaroi Fair!!! I'm so excited.

Chocolate Chip Biscuits

My all time favourite chocolate chip cookie recipe is from The Good Cookie by Tish Boyle.

I like to bake using ingredient weights, so I've added them in. Remember I am a chemist. Plus baking needs more accuracy, so I think weighing ingredients is the way to go.

Soft Baked Chocolate Chunk Cookies
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (302g)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 baking soda
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted (170g)
1 cup of firmly packed light brown sugar (217g)
1/2 cup granulated sugar (100g)
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, cut into 1/4 inch pieces (275 g)
2/3 cup walnuts, chopped (optional) (I usually use about 100g nuts if I use them and I prefer pecans)

Preheat the oven to 350deg. Line 2 baking sheets with baking parchment.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda.

In a large bowl, whisk the melted butter and sugar. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, until well blended. Whisk in the vanilla. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the dry ingredients until combined. Stir in the chocolate and walnuts (if using).

Using an ice cream scoop or a spoon, drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them 2 inches apart. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes (but check them after 9 to 12 minutes), until the cookies are just brown around the edges. The centre of the cookies should be soft and slightly puffy. Let the cookies cool completely on the baking sheets or a wire rack.

  • I love these biscuits. I have made them so much that I bought a ice cream scoop that is 1/4 cup sized. I love scooping out my perfect portions of dough.
  • The melted butter makes this recipe easy to quick to make. No worrying about if the butter is soft enough to cream.
  • It is quite adaptable. I've added in shredded coconut and/or dried sour cherries to vary the cookie.
  • It freezes well. These cookies taste best freshly baked. I scoop the dough on a cookie sheet and freeze them until solid. Then pop them in a ziplock back. All I do is add a couple of minutes to their baking time. The other thing you can do is pop the dough onto the tray while the oven preheats, so it defrosts while waiting.
Lesley made the Chocolate Fudge Cookies with Toffee and Dried Cherries from The Clean Plate Club. I wanted to make these cookies, but didn't have quite enough butter in the fridge, so I decided to adapt my fave recipe to be similar.

So I used
250g cups all-purpose flour
50g dutch process cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 baking soda
170g unsalted butter, melted
217g light brown sugar
100g granulated sugar (100g)
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
250g dark chocolate bits (I use Callebaut Dark callets)
125 chopped dried tart cherries (I buy these from the US, but I've seen them in some grocery stores or fruit shops in Australia)
2 x 100g bags of Daim bit pieces. (Daim can be found at Ikea! It's a super yummy chocolate covered toffee. It makes a great substitute for Heath or Skor bar/bits that some American recipes call for.)

I followed the basic directions for the soft baked cookies. Sift the cocoa, flour, baking soda and salt together. Follow the other directions and fold in the pieces (choc bits, Daim pieces and cherries) at the end. Scoop and bake.

They were divine! I was going to take a photo, but oooops we at them before I could take a photo.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

For my boy

Two weeks ago I was stressing about what I was going to get Will for his birthday. Then I had a light bulb moment, make him a DOLL!

I've made him two outfits. One is a red t-shirt with pants out of Japanese fabric with robots. I used some Farbenmix robot ribbon on the t-shirt.
Will's doll in robot outfit

The other outfit is a green shirt with a bit of the gnome ribbon and red corduroy pants.
Will's doll in gnome outfit

I am so glad that I've made this doll. I went old school with the doll. The doll has been completely hand-sewn. It's really not bad sewing the doll body by hand. It's the hair which is a killer. I had sore fingers from stitching it!

Will saw the doll while I was working on his hair and was really excited about having a little friend. I think he's going to be thrilled when he receives him on Saturday with his outfits.

The little t-shirts make me smile. Three years ago when I made Moo's doll, I couldn't have made little shirts like that.

Monday, April 6, 2009


This word describes my last week. Last Sunday I write my 100th blog post and I wake to lovely comments from you. Thank you so much. UP!

Then my other half forgets my birthday and doesn't even make me a cup of coffee in the morning. DOWN!

I have coffee with a friend and then Col IM's me and says Happy Birthday. He remembers. Then he brings home flowers. UP!

Tuesday morning wake up to email rejecting me from Mathilda's Market.
Thank you for your interest in Mathilda’s Market. Unfortunately we are not able to offer you a stall. Although your products are great, we feel they are not suitable for Mathilda’s Market. We strictly follow a certain theme/style of products for Mathilda’s Market, and we feel your product does not fit into this category.

BIG HUGE DOWN! (initially)

My fantastic crafty friends on Crafty Mamas rally around me and give me the most wonderful support. BIG UP!

I have to admit I was a bit confused by my rejection as I think what I make is quite beautiful, but when I looked at my application for retail, I think perhaps I didn't represent my goods as well as I should have. And really, my work doesn't fit with their market. My stuff is quite unique. I love being unique. I've always marched to the beat of my own drum.

But the big UP about this situation is that I have once again re-evaluated what I am doing. I sew and dye because I love to create. I love making different things. My head is always ticking over new ideas. I don't want to make 15 of the same skirt. And that does not really suit doing markets. Doing markets means that I have to have a certain amount of items to fill a stall. And for each item I would need a range of sizes. Some items it's easier to do that with that others. That is a lot of pressure, and it means I am just sewing to fill space. I end up neglecting my family in the process which does not make me happy.

In addition to my work model not fitting well with markets, I don't fit well with markets. I am an introvert. I much prefer working one-on-one with a customer.

I'm not saying I won't ever do a market, but it will be only special places. I will continue at the Lorien Market because I'm part of the school community. I enjoy being there and helping with the playgroup stall.

Ok, so you've listen to my ramble my insane thoughts. Thanks for listening. And now what I did on Friday night to make myself smile, and of course, it made Moo smile to wake up to a new outfit. UP!!!!

For Mollie: It's the Hilda hooded top #27 and Lily leggings #28 from Ottobre 06/07. The top is made from Knut sweater knit from Hilco. This fabric is so super soft on the inside. Moo even commented when she put the top on.
Hilda top and Lily leggings

The leggings are from Hilco's campan knit. The stripes almost match!

This outfit went together so easily. I highly recommend these patterns!