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Thursday, September 30, 2010

My Stepford Wife Creative Space

I have this little story that runs in my head about me as the perfect wife and mother.  My husband and kids go off to work and school each day with tasty, healthy and exciting lunches that I've made and packed, and clothes that have been washed and ironed well in advance (not frantically that morning).  When they come home at the end of the day, the house is clean and tidy
(no mess piling up like this....)




 ...the gardens blooming and weed free and a tasty inviting dinner is on the table.
I have time to spend with my kids after school, helping with homework, and playing games and having fun outside.  Then the evenings are spent relaxing with my husband - (this does not mean slumped in a heap together in front of the TV).

Do you have this same dream? or am I the only one?? Why??  I often wonder why I think it would be nice to be like this - it makes me think of the movie The Stepford Wives, where there was a whole town of wives and mothers just like this - only they had a chip implanted in their brains to make them so! (or were they turned into robots??  ) the point is, it was an artificial state - not something that happens in the real world, is it??

Why do we strive to be perfect - wouldn't life be dull if we all were?

At least my house is lived in! The toys are played with..



The garden may not be weed free, but we do have things that grow in the chaos!!


And best of all I have a whole big pile of sewing projects waiting for me to sink my creative teeth into!!



Even if sometimes things don't turn out pefect (or the way you planned) - they are still loved..

I guess it's just a matter of how you look at things.  My family is well fed and looked after.  The house is reasonably tidy, and we do have a lot of family fun together.

Some days I just feel like I can't be bothered - sometimes I get over it, suck it up and get on doing those things that need doing.  Staying at home means you have to be your own motivator, which isn't always easy.  Now and again, it's ok to take a day off and do NOTHING! 

My Stepford dream will always be there, and every now and then the house and gardens are both done and tidied, cleaned and weeded together.  Then we play a game, have something to eat, or do pretty much anything, and it's no longer a magazine perfect picture with nothing out of place.
 It's as it should be!!

Life is good,  but it doesn't hurt to always strive to be just a little better.....

Jill

Pop over to Kirsty's place at Kootoyou  to check out what everyone is up to in their Creative Spaces


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Time to bump up the recycling!

I've always thought I was pretty good with recycling.  I always separate my rubbish into the right bins and we have a compost for our organic waste. Basics I know.
  I'm also a hoarder - preferring to hold onto things that may otherwise be thrown away, knowing that one day I'll find a use for them.  Like all the old ripped silver car windscreen shades I kept for years -


and finally used them up this year together with fabric scraps to make all sorts of things including drinks coasters and placemats:


With an easy-wipe backing!


I was proud of my creativity, and happy that I'd put less into the landfill.  But it's a small effort, which pales in comparison to other examples I have found..


 
Every week when I look at blogs the world over, I find ingenious ways or reusing and recyling things
From the simple - pencil or paintbrush holders from cans (Olivia Renn)




To mini folders made from toilet roll centres (Hauplight)

To all the amazing things that can be made from plastic bags - like this groovy bag (allfreecrafts)

This is just the beginning..


Then there are the achievements of the family at My Zero Waste in the UK.
They are striving to reduce their household waste to nothing! They've made it down to just one rubbish collection in a year!!  It's amazing to see what they've found can be recycled and reused. Their website is well worth a visit!


 Last night I watched a programme on TV about Lagos in Nigeria, where there is a whole community of people who actually live on the rubbish dump and make a living scavenging from the rubbish.  Doesn't sound very pleasant does it? But it was a stark reminder of just how much of what is simply thrown away, can be salvaged and recycled and reused. 


All this has encouraged me to take a closer look at what I am throwing away each week.  I don't want to just start hoarding more things thinking I'll find something to do with them one day - but see what I can do right now! 

What do you throw away that could be reused? 

Leave me a comment with your ideas and suggestions!
I hope everyone is having a lovely week!
Jill



Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Bed pockets - a tutorial




A while ago I made some pink bed pockets for my daughter's beds, for them to store some of their many books in:

They proved to be a big hit - my girls love hanging over the side of their beds to choose a book - and even now - months later, they still put them away in them!! That has got to be a bonus!
At the time, several people asked if I had a tutorial for these pockets.  Well finally, I got around to making up a tutorial, as I decided to make more pockets for the spare bedroom bed to accomodate the girls growing book collection!!


So here finally is the tutorial:

First you need to choose your fabric, and cut the following:


Main fabric:85cm x 40cm (33.5 x 15.75”)
Top flap: 15cm x 40cm (6 x 15.75”)
Inside drawer magic grip: 20cm x 34cm (8 x 13.5”)
Stitch in velcro 10cm piece.(4”)
(the magic grip stuff is the rubbery mesh rolls you can buy to line your kitchen drawers with - this just helps hold the bed pockets in place under the mattress - but you could change this for velcro straps or ties - it just depends on what kind of bed base you have. My original ones had velcro straps which tied around the metal frame base under the matress)

First of all take the top flat piece and make all 4 edges neat by double turning them and stitching:



Then stitch one side of the velcro piece centrally and close to one one edge:


Next take your main fabric piece, double turn and stitch one of the shorter edges to neaten, then stitch on the other velcro piece centrally and 3cm (1.25”)
  down from the finished edge.



Next fold the main piece of fabric right sides together to form the pocket. From the fold to the finished edge should be 28cm (11”).
(of course beds may vary in height - the one I'm working on, where the base and mattress meet to the floor is 34cm (13.5”))
Stitch both sides (I use 3/8" or 1cm seam)



Next you need to box out the corners of the pocket so you can fit lots of books in!
To do this, reach your hand inside the pocket you just created and flatten out the corner with the seam in the middle:



Make sure the seam is central on your fold, then stitch across the triangle  4cm (1.5”)
  in from the point.  It's worth doing a double row of stitching here for extra strength.


Then snip off the triangle of corner just below the stitching, and repeat with the second corner:


Now turn the pocket right side out.  For the next part, I finished off the edge of the fabric that will sit under the matress.  This part will not be seen, but is worth doing to prevent fraying.  Of course it depends on the type of fabric you have used as to whether it will fray...
Just double turn the edges over and stitch:


Next you need to attach the grip material.  Just place this on the right side of the main fabric piece above the pocket-



Pin in place and stitch around the edge.  I found that I needed to firmly hold the fabric behind the needle as I sewed so the foot would move along the rubber grip.



Finally you need to attach the top flap. Place this above the pocket, slightly below the line of stitching from the grip material on the other side. Then pin and stitch on.


Now you are ready to put your pocket in place . Lift up the mattress and place the top piece of fabric with the grip material stitched on where you want it to hang on top of the bed base. Put the mattress back down, and fill with books!



You can fit around 8 large books in a pocket (depending on the thickness of the books)


There you go!
I hope that's clear!

If you're looking for some fabric to make these pockets with, why not visit the fabulous
Wrapped in Fabric:






For the downloadable PDF version of this tutorial with measurements in both cm and inches
 click here.

Jill



Monday, September 27, 2010

A Round Tuit (16)

Hello and welcome to this week's 'Round Tuit'

MOTIVATION and INSPIRATION and the key factors behind my Monday posts and opportunity to link up and encourage, motivate and inspire each other....with your very own ROUND TUIT
Tuits are very hard to come by, especially the round ones. For years people have been saying, "I'll do it as soon as I get a round tuit". Well now you can have one of your very own, and all those jobs that have needed doing will finally get done!

Thanks to those who linked up last week - and - here's my favourites:


First of all a fantastic casserole carrier from Learn and Go:


A little while ago I made a fabric pie box after someone asked for a way to carry a pie to a picnic.  This is another step up from that - fabulously made, its own carry handles and even a spot for the serving utensil to slot in!! I love it!
Go and check out her lovely blog at:
http://learnandgopollyco.blogspot.com/


Next, some gorgeous little I-spy bags from Oopsey Daisy:

Such a gorgeous idea - and she did a wonderful tutorial so you can make your very own!
Have a look at her lovely blog at:
http://oopsey-daisy.blogspot.com/


Finally, some cute one-minute pendants from Mich L. in L.A.

You have to go and have a look as she reveals her secret as to how to make these!!
She has a lovely jewellery design blog at:
Go and check it out!!!



Now on to my round tuit project for the week!
During the first week of our school holidays we had a lot of rain, which did help me with my aim to sort through a lot of my girls things to try and get rid of those they have grown out of - clothes, toys, books etc.  We were very successful overall, but with books, we only chose about 5 that we could all agree to part with!  So I got to work sewing and made a few more bed pockets for the spare room. 
These are the ones I made a few months ago - all nice and pink for the girls room! They each have 4 pockets along the side of their beds.




I didn't try to co-ordinate these new ones, more just used up fabric I had!  So we've got a bit of a mix now - but perhaps then the girls can use that to remember which books are in which pockets!!

Each pocket holds around 8 large books:



And the tutorial is almost done - I will post that tomorrow for anyone who's interested!

Phew!!  That was a good thing to get a-round-to this week! Good to get a bit organised - at least in one area!!

So what am I going to get a-round-to this week?
A while ago, I made my daughter's up their own small insulated lunch bags:



Then a couple of weeks ago, I decided to revisit the tutorial I made for them, and make another one:


This time using up some more girly fabric!



I was really pleased to find that my tutorial was easy to follow so the bag didn't take me long to make - and I've already got a request for another Bratz bag for one of my daughter's friends!
So, I decided that I might make up a few of these bags for my next market stall in a couple of weeks time.  I don't have any silver car windscreen shades to use for the insulation (I finally used up my stash of those), so I'm experimenting with other materials!
Come back next week to see what bags I've managed to make!

Please feel free to link up your posts - maybe it's a project you've completed that you're proud of - something you have wanted to get done for a while and need some extra motivation to get going on it - or you'd just like some of that fabulous encouragement, praise and motivation that bloggers are so good at spreading around.


Whatever the reason - grab your very own "Round Tuit" button, and link up.
Then head on over to some of the other links and praise, encourage and motivate!
I'll feature my favourite posts next week.
(by linking up here you're giving me permission to use photos from your linked post on my blog)








I hope everyone has a lovely week, and I look forward to seeing all your posts and projects for this week!

Jill


Monday, September 20, 2010

A Round Tuit (15)

Hello and welcome to this week's 'Round Tuit'
MOTIVATION and INSPIRATION and the key factors behind my Monday posts and opportunity to link up and encourage, motivate and inspire each other....with your very own ROUND TUIT
Tuits are very hard to come by, especially the round ones. For years people have been saying, "I'll do it as soon as I get a round tuit". Well now you can have one of your very own, and all those jobs that have needed doing will finally get done!

Thanks to those who linked up last week - and - here's my favourites:

First of all, a woodland deer pop-up card from Chantal Vincent Art


I always wanted to try to make a pop-up card, and she made such a nice straightforward tutorial.  I love the design too!
Have a look at her lovely blog


Next, are some great rosette tea-towel totes from Creative Passage

I just love these bags made from tea towels and dressed up with pretty fabric rosettes.
Please do visit Ellen's blog, she is amazingly creative!!


Finally, a fabulous address book makeover from the Multi-purpose life
I love the colour combinations - and the transformation from boring black to oh sew cute!!!
Go and have a look at her lovely blog at:


And so onto my project for last week, which was to finish 36 penguin suits!  Done!!
I took them into school last week and the kids tried them on.  Oh they looked so cute and they had so much fun waddling about the classroom!  I will definitely post photos in a couple of week's time when we get our snow 'import' for the day!

Now, it's school holiday's for me - two lovely weeks with my girls home.  Our big project this holidays is to clear and sort toys, books, clothes etc that the girls have grown out of.  This means lots of reorganisation and looking at our storage.  So as my 'round tuit' job this week, I decided to revist the bed-pockets I made for my girls a few months back:


The girls have 4 sets of pockets on each of their beds, and they are very well used.  The only thing is, is that they have yet MORE books in the spare room - which doubles as their playroom.  So I figured I could just make more bedpockets for the room in there.  I also want to make a tutorial on how to make them.  So that's my task for the week!


Please feel free to link up your posts - maybe it's a project you've completed that you're proud of - something you have wanted to get done for a while and need some extra motivation to get going on it - or you'd just like some of that fabulous encouragement, praise and motivation that bloggers are so good at spreading around.
Whatever the reason - grab your very own "Round Tuit" button, and link up.
Then head on over to some of the other links and praise, encourage and motivate!
I'll feature my favourite posts next week.
(by linking up here you're giving me permission to use photos from your linked post on my blog)






I hope everyone has a lovely week!

Jill

Thursday, September 16, 2010

My Creative Space

I finished!!! I finished!!  I finished!!! 36 penguins done!


It's been fun to do them, but 36 of them is a lot of sewing in black..


My eyes were tired by the end!  But I'm excited to think that on Tuesday October 5th, there will be lots of little penguins playing in the snow in Cairns, and they'll even be on TV on the Channel Nine Today breakfast show!  I'm sure the early morning start of 5am will be well worth it!!  I'm so excited!

But now I have to deal with the penguin fall-out in my house...


With a day of cleaning, and scrubbing!

Then hopefully I'll get a bit of time to weed in the garden, which continues to grow!  This week our grenadilla bloomed (like a large passionfruit)
The flowers are truly amazing and have a wonderful strong scent that welcomes you to our front door!



I was also chuffed to see that we have a broccoli starting to grow.  I was beginning to wonder if the plants would be all leaf and no vegetable, since they are a cooler weather veggie and the heat and humidity is really starting to kick in here now.  But it's giving it a go...


As is one of our eggplants...although I think some creature decided to taste test it!!



So on to the cleaning for the day....  Then once I've cleared a space, I can get to that fabric I bought from Spotlight yesterday......

For more wonderfully creative spaces, hope over to Kirsty's place at kootoyoo.

Hope everyone has a great day!

Jill
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