Some pages

Monday, January 31, 2011

A Round Tuit (34)

Welcome to this week's 'Round Tuit'

MOTIVATION and INSPIRATION are 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. Here's my favourites!


Made without a pattern - and fitting just perfectly!!  I love it!
For more of her wonderful sewing adventures, check out her blog at:




What a lovely idea!!  I never thought to use chalkboard paint on something so small!  Fabulous!
Another lovely blog to discover :
http://mylifeoncedarstreet.blogspot.com/


She made a wonderful selection of them! Just beautiful!
Her blog is also full of so much more than fabric creations - go and check it out at:

For those featured, please feel free to grab a 'featured on' button from my sidebar.

---------------------------------


As for me this week, my girls returned to school after a 2 month break, so that kind of took up my week with preparing for it - then cleaning and tidying once I had the house back to myself again!
----------------------------------------------------------------
So 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 (see sidebar), 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)

While you're here.....
I'd much appreciate your vote for my blog!
So get down off the fence and click on this button to cast your vote for me!
Thank you!!! :)

Jill

Friday, January 28, 2011

Scrappy Friday

After deciding that it was time to get stuck in to using up my enormous scrap fabric collection - I've been a bit short on time this week!

My girls both went back to school yesterday after 2 months off, and after a big party at our place for Australia Day the previous day, I've been tidying up and cleaning since then!!!

After lunch yesterday, I thought I'd sneak a little time to start a scrap project I've been thinking of all week.

Unfortunately on part one, I managed to break the last of my larger needles!  It just clean broke through in the middle of the eye!!  Ooopps!
So, I decided to leave that project for now, and do a different quick one...


I've got a pot of long thin scraps!  Mmmm!! 
What to do??
I saw something like this while looking around online, and wanted to try it!


A bit of plaiting (braiding), and ....


5 mins later - three scrappy bracelets!

Oh - and after learning how to make fabric yo-yos last week, and making this jewellery set on a scrappy day with my girls....



I got a bit carried away making yo-yos...


Just look how easy it is:
Cut a circle of fabric - look at mine - it doesn't even need to be a perfect circle!
Then, turning the edge over a little as you go - stitch with a simple running stitch -in and out, all the way round:



Then slowly pull the thread and the edges will ruffle up together:

Pull all the way, until you get this:
Then secure with a few stitches - or add a button in the middle, then use to decorate - anything!!


So, using my new yo-yo making skills, I  decided to make a quick Australia Day necklace with some scraps!

All the right colours - I had my Australian flag bikini and sarong on too - so all red, white and blue co-ordinated!
Not bad I thought, until someone pointed out my necklace looked like one of the characters from the cartoon movie Madagascar......  Can you see the resemblance??? Nose, eyes and ears?? Mmmmmm, not sure that's a compliment for my jewellery making skills...


Do come back next week when I'll have a new scrap project to show!

Have a lovely weekend!

Jill

Linking to some of the wonderful parties whose buttons are at the bottom of this page!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

My Creative Space

I've been thinking a lot lately about why I sew, partly I guess because I've started to teach my girls to sew and I want them to see the benefits of it, and partly because I like to ask 'why'!!

My mum taught me to sew when I was little, and my granny was also a dressmaker, so it does run in the family !  Mum used to make everything for us - from clothes to bags and toys.  I grew up in a family where you could 'make' just about anything you wanted or needed - with fabric, or wood, or whatever you had handy!  Once I settled down and had my own little family, I began to revisit this philosophy more and more.

I did some hand-sewing when my first daughter was born, but soon my ideas needed a machine - and a visit from Mum and Dad from England soon sorted that out with a gift of a new machine!

The first things I sewed were baby rugs. I'd asked Mum to make me one with her scraps, with lots of different textures.  This turned out to be a fabulous patchwork rug with lots of scraps which had memories for me of things she had made over the years.  I wanted to take this idea one step further and make 'picture' baby rugs, with different textured fabrics.  Here are some I made:



I made these for a few years - for both my daughters, and friends who had babies - sold some, gave more as gifts, and thoroughly enjoyed it!  My girls still have a selection of these rugs - and still play with them - with their teddies, for picnics, covers when they're sick.....  They've been great!

As my girls have grown, so has what I've wanted to sew.

As we started renovating houses, I put my skills to use making roman blinds - I've now done two whole houses - every window!!
I've made a lot of storage solutions for my girls - from bed pockets for their books, to hanging jewellery and hair tie holders.  And I've finally started sewing for myself too - bags, and only this last week I started trying out fabric jewellery.

So why do I sew? and why should my girls learn?

Well, aside from the most important factor, which is that I enjoy it... It's a practical and useful skill.  To be able to mend your own clothes, sew on buttons, adjust hems etc, can save you both time and money.    A local DJ said recently on the radio, that she spent and extra $10 every time she bought a pair of trousers, to get them altered to fit her as she wasn't a standard size!  That's a lot if you add up every pair of pants you buy over the years....

I want to bring my daughters up to be independent and resourceful.  I think in teaching them to sew, I can help them develop those skills.  I can nurture their creativity, and also help their improve their growing skills of physical dexterity,  control, accuracy and spacial awareness.

I love sewing - it's one of my biggest creative outlets.  Discovering blogging over this past year has helped me enjoy it even more as I've found and connected with so many wonderful people worldwide who share my passion for sewing and creativity.  I gain so much from the blogging world, and I hope I put enough back into it, to help, encourage and inspire others. 

My tutorials are one way of doing that.  I've recently revamped them into PDF format, and have made them available for free download - see my tutorials page for the link.

As I've considered this topic over the past few weeks, I have revamped my blog and concentrated it a bit more in the direction I want it to take.

As such I now have my weekly routine, if you like:

Monday - A Round Tuit linky party - where I can showcase some of my favourite projects made by others, and try to inspire and be inspired by all the creative talent out there.  Also as the name of this linky suggests - it encourages people to 'get around to' those jobs and projects you've been planning for a while!

Tuesday - My tutorials and projects.  Never having been a big fan of patterns, I've actually found they are very useful (I know, bit slow on the uptake sometimes!)  so I've started making tutorials for the things I make, so others can have a go too, and to make it easier for me too, when I go back to making another one!!

Wednesday - Each week I'm featuring someone new - with a series of questions about how they are 'Creating their own way to Success'.  I love hearing other people's stories, and again, it's a chance for me to give back to the blogging community, and promote someone else's fabulous talents!

Thursday - This will be all about learning to sew!  Since I'm teaching my girls to sew, I'm going to show their sewing projects each week.  At 5 and 7 years old, they're just starting out, so it will be nice to chart their progress! I'm sure there will be weeks they are too busy to sew, so I'm also going to improve my sewing this year by learning some new skills!

Friday - this year I've decided that I HAVE to start using up my scraps!  So I'm going to make Fridays 'Scrappy day", and try out and discover as many useful, interesting and well - whatever ways I can, to use up my stash!

Phew!! 

Well if you're still reading this LONG post - thanks for sticking with me to the end!  I hope you'll come back and visit my blog again! Sign up to follow if you like (I always love new followers) - or you can even 'like' me on facebook (just started out on there too!). 
Do leave me a comment - and tell me why you sew / craft / blog ?  Like I said, I like to ask 'Why' and love hearing other people's stories!!


I hope you all have a great day!  See you again soon!!

Jill

To see some amazing creative spaces - pop over to Kirsty's place at Kootoyoo

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

How are you Creating your Way to Success? - Liz, My Sweet Life

·Welcome my new weekly post about how different people are Creating their way to Success.

My aim in this weekly feature is to :

• Provide an interesting insight into other people’s journeys towards their own personal success

• Help contributors to this post by encouraging them to advertise their own blog, website or shop / market within their post.

• Share motivation and encouragement with as many people as possible who are looking to use their creativeness to work towards their own goal of success.

This week's guest is Liz From Living My Sweet Life:


livingmysweetlife


 What do you create?
I sew. I pretty much sew anything and everything that I find that I like and want to make. I stay away from sewing clothing for me as of right now but I am hoping to tackle that soon! I have recently become in love in quilting and right now I am pretty obsessed with patchwork quilts, mug rugs, potholders and doll quilts. I also love to make things for my 2 boys and I am always on the lookout for some fun new boy patterns.



· Why do you create?
I create because it makes me happy. I am a stay at home mom to 2 young boys ( 3 years and 2 years old ) I found I was starting to get bored staying home and there is only so much you can do in a day with 2 toddlers without losing your marbles. I needed some me time! I started sewing during the kids nap time last year and now a year later nap time is gone for one of them and the other is in nursery school for 2 hours 3 days a week. I do almost all my sewing at night. It keeps me sane and very happy. It's nice to have a hobby just for me and when I sew it feels therapeutic. I also love giving my hand made items out as gifts now. I'm happy enough with my skills now that I am not embarrassed to gift items I have made.



· Do you sell your creations? If so, how? Where? And is it profitable?

...kind of. I did my first craft fair this holiday season. The fair was very quiet but I did sell some things and I got a lot of nice comments about the small selection I had made. I have a small Etsy shop (funatics.etsy.com) I don't have a lot in it yet, but I have some big plans for it in the coming months. I also have plans to do some more craft fairs this summer!


· What mistakes have you made or lessons you have learned?

I have made so many mistakes! The number one mistake I make is going to fast and being impatient! I always end up with a shoddy piece of work and then I am mad at myself for not being patient and taking my time!! I can't tell you how many projects I had to toss because of this. I have finally learned to take it slow and it's OK if I don't finish something in one day, it's not going to get up and walk away!



· What, to you is success? Have you achieved it yet, or are you on your way towards success?
Success is being happy at whatever point I am at. Right now I am happy so I feel successful. My little blog has some (maybe 4? lol) steady followers that leave such lovely comments. I am by no means a writer or a photographer, so I am so flattered that people actually stop by to look at what I have made!! It makes me happy!


· So what's next?

I'm trying to take blogging one day at a time so I don't want to get too ahead of myself. I am hoping to tackle making some of my own patterns this year so I can offer free tutorials. I am also participating in a few flickr swaps in the next few months. I need to focus on being the best mom I can to my 2 boys and the best wife to my amazing husband. He doesn't get my love of crafting but he supports it 100%! I also need to focus on less sewing during my down daytime hours and more cleaning. I fear I have let my home go... sewing or dishes? I usually pick sewing... So this will be a year of learning how to balance out my life!

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thanks Liz!  I just wanted to add a few photos of the wonderful things Liz has made:





Great eh??  Please do go and visit her lovely blog:


---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Remember if you would like to have a feature post here, I'd love to hear from you!

Jill

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Pencil and Notebook folders



A few weeks ago, I decided to make my girls some new folders to take with us out on our reef trips.  They both LOVE drawing and writing, and always take paper and pens with us - which end up blowing and rolling around the boat!  So I made them one each of these:

They open out to this..


To make them I managed to finally make use of a little of this massive pile of stiff cardboard...
(There are 100 pieces of card - with dots on!!  Left over from a number/ maths education activity I tried with my girls when they were really little!!!)
So, as you can see - I could make LOTS of these fabric folders!!

I also used some of these exercise books., which I've bought hundreds of over the past few years as they're sold for 1c each in the 'back to school sales' and I just can't resist a bargain!. So I have a reasonable stockpile of these too!!

The girls love using theirs, having chosen their own fabric from my stash -( Bratz and ballerinas). 
And they did turn out perfect for our boat trips!


This fairy one I made today, and also did a photo tutorial.

If you're interested in the 'how to', I've made the tutorial as a free PDF download, available if you




This is going to be one of the gifts I make this year for kids birthday presents.  My girls get so many party invites - and I always try to give handmade gifts!   They're always well received with no chance of giving the same gift as another party goer!  It leaves room to personalise the gifts too!

Do you give handmade gifts?   What kind of things do you make and give?
Boys I always find the hardest to make for - but I think with this, I have some cool camoflague fabric and other boyish stuff that may go down well!!

UPDATE:  I've now created a Flickr photo group - if you'd like to see all the different versions of these folders that I've made - and add your own as you make yours!
Jill

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Round Tuit (33)

Welcome to this week's 'Round Tuit'

MOTIVATION and INSPIRATION are 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. Here's my favourites!


I've never seen this done before ! What a great idea for all those old and unwanted ties!
Go and check out her lovely blog at:



Looks like an expensive work of art - don't you think?? 
Ellen is amazingly and endlessly creative! Go and have a look at her blog and see:


 
Finally, a great upcycling project: sweater to ear warmer from Polka Dots and Pizza:

You know I love upcycling projects - and Polka Dots and Pizza is one of my favourite blogs to visit for creative inspiration!  Go and see for yourselves!:
http://polkadotsandpizza.blogspot.com/

For those featured, please feel free to grab a 'featured on' button from my sidebar.

---------------------------------

As for me this week, well I managed to  figure out how to PDF my tutorials and offer them as free easy downloads on my blog (see the button in my sidebar!)
Another small step on my slow 'learning how to use modern technology' journey!!

If you came by on Friday, you would have seen that I decided to have a day crafting with my girls and my fabric scraps. We had lots of fun! They're getting very good with using my sewing machine, and also handstitching buttons etc. Here are their creations from the day:
Just in case you can't tell (!!) they are cars and planes and puppets!
They are very proud of them - and so am I!! All their own ideas and work.
 (although I admit I threaded a few needles and sorted out a few knots etc!!)


And here are my scrap creations!!  I decided to try some fabric yoyos, which I've never tried before, then made them into some fancy jewellery!!


I already have orders for more! (from my daughters! :) who were as impressed with my creations as I was with theirs!!)
What do you think??  I quite like them, and have decided that I want to experiment more with fabric jewellery!!

----------------------------------------------------------------
So 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 (see sidebar), 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)

Jill






Friday, January 21, 2011

Get creative with those scraps!

I'm sure anyone who sews has something like this....
Bucket loads full of scraps!
And that's just the realy small offcuts, deemed too small for my 6 boxes of colour coded 'larger' scraps!

I just can't bear to throw them away!  Surely I can make something with them...

So yesterday I picked up some scraps I had cut into shapes months ago, and started sewing!

My 2 daughters stood and watched over my two shoulders wanting to know what I was making.
"I don't know!"  was my reply as I grabbed and stitched..

This is what came out..


Could be a pincushion - stuffed with.....scraps!!

But also could be a pet cushion!


My girls loved this and have asked if they can help me 'invent' more things today with my scraps!!

So, I'm curious to see what we can come up with - three heads are better than one - so who knows.....

Do you have any good 'very small scrap' projects?  Do you throw out really small scraps like this?  Or are you like me and hoard literally everything??


Jill

Almost forgot - I've PDF'd some of my tutorials for free and easy download - see the tutorials page - or click on the button link in my sidebar!

Linking up to  Favourite things Friday

Thursday, January 20, 2011

My Creative Space

Ok, not the prettiest of pictures - but I guess that's my point today.  I'd decided I need to do something with all my scrappy patterns that I've made over the last couple of years. 
 They're all on paper which  is becoming torn through endless use, and the instructions are written on equally scrappy bits of paper!

So - I've decided to put them all on the computer! 
 I did that with my insulated lunch bag tutorial - which seems to have been a very popular post on my blog (I'm amazed and proud that a pattern and instructions I produced have been viewed so many times!)
And when I've made more of the same bags - actually found the tutorial very helpful myself!!  I don't have to dig around for the pattern and measurements - they're just there!

I do, however, want to be able to use them when not online - so I thought I"d PDF them then print them for myself - and make them available like that through my blog!
I tried doing this earlier this week, using Scribd to publish the PDF, then linking to that!
If anyone knows an easier or better way to make a PDF download available, I'd love to hear it!

For now- I'd best get started! I think it's going to be a long job!

Go here to see more wonderful creative spaces at Kirsty's place!

Jill

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

How are you Creating your way to Success? - Michelle, Pink Paper Paradise

Welcome to the first guest feature post on my new weekly post about how different people are Creating their way to Success.
My aim in this weekly feature is to :

• Provide an interesting insight into other people’s journeys towards their own personal success
• Help contributors to this post by encouraging them to advertise their own blog, website or shop / market within their post.

• Share motivation and encouragement with as many people as possible who are looking to use their creativeness to work towards their own goal of success.

Here's my first guest - my good friend Michelle:





Hi, I'm Michelle from Pink Paper Paradise and I'm super excited to be featured here on Jill's "Creating My Way To Success" blog. I'm married with three gorgeous little boys aged 7, 6 and almost 5. We live in Far North Queensland, Australia.

About two years ago Jill and I were chatting over coffee and discussing ways we could earn a little extra income for our families and still remain stay at home Mums. From this conversation JeMbellish was created. We started holding a market stall once a month at our local shopping centre and created our own website where people could view our creations and order custom made items.

Jill has already discussed JeMbellish with you all here on her blog so I will talk more about my crafts and my blog and how things have come along for me over the last twelve months.

Here are my answers to the questions Jill has posed to me:

1. What do you create?

Mainly cards but I love creating 3D paper creations too. Back in June 2010 I was given some Copic markers for my 40th birthday and I have become completely addicted to them. There is just something so relaxing about sitting down and colouring up an image.

click here to view

click here to view

click here to view

I have also dabbled in a few other crafts like painting and latch hook rug making but stamping and cardmaking is what I really enjoy.

2.Why do you create?

It's just so much fun!! I really enjoy starting out with a 12 x 12 piece of designer paper and some cardstock ending up with personalised gift set for someone special. Sitting in my craftroom at the end of a busy day and creating my mini pieces of art is a way of recharing my batteries. It is something for me, a way of expressing my own identity.

3. Do you sell your creations? If so, how? Where? And is it profitable?

Oh boy, thats a big question! Yes, I sell a lot of my creations but many of them are gifts.

I have a few outlets for selling them, there is the market stall and website , JeMbellish, which Jill and I created together. I also sell my cards through a new online store called Aussie Cards For Sale.


So far I would say I'm selling enough to cover my costs which I think is brilliant considering that I initially  had the huge expense of setting myself up with tools, papers and supplies etc as I was starting completely from scratch and the costs associated with the market stall and website too.

4. What mistakes have you made or lessons you have learned?

The whole process of setting up JeMbelish was a learning curve (and still is) and both Jill and I have made a few mistakes but it has been so much fun. I think one of the biggest things I have learned is that I'm far better off creating the things I love than just the things I think will sell. As my enthusiasm and the quality of my work is always far better when I am making something I feel like making. Making 20 of anything in a row can become tedious. Also I learned that it is always good to change things up a little. Just because something was a raging success for a few weeks doesn't mean it will always be. You need to create interest by creating new things regularly. Pricing was also a big thing for me, I found it hard initially to charge enough for what I was making.  Working how much something  has really cost you to make is really important, it is so easy to sell yourself short because you think people wont pay that much for it. You have to remember that if you don't think it is worth it no one else will either.
5. What, to you is success? Have you achieved it yet, or are you on your way towards success?

Hmmm, way to ask the big questions Jill, lol.

This would have to be broken down in to three different catagories.

Financial - Success in this area would be for my Husband to be able to retire, for me to remain a stay at home wife and mother and for us to have our mortgage paid off. This is sadly still very much a work in progress........

Personal/Family - To me success would be to achieve the perfect balance of wife, mother and individual. Not an easy task by any means but at the end of each day I feel as though I have had little successes so I must be moving in the the right direction.

Crafting - Generating a steady little income from the things that I create. Still working on this one too.

6. So what's next?

This year I have my youngest child heading off to school and I am going to have to redefine myself a bit. I'm hoping to pick up some partime work during school hours and still have time to craft so that I can continue with the market stalls etc.

I would like to continue to work with the design teams that I am on and perhaps try out for a couple more.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thanks Michelle!  Some great answers there! 

Remember if you would like to be featured here (and to promote yourself a little, then leave me a comment and I'll contact you about a feature post.

Jill

Linking to "Waltz on by Wednesdays"





Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Pencil cases - teaching my kids to sew!

My girls are now 5 and 7 years old - and definitely old enough to learn how to sew.  We've done little bits and pieces before - but I want to start some real projects with them, that they can do mostly themselves, and get something they want at the end of it. 
At the beginning of the school holidays, they asked if they could make pencil cases, so today, we finally got around tuit!


Cute little pencil cases -fully lined - material specially chosen!
 They have amazingly good control with the machine. Even managing with the zipper foot!

And pretty good with the pins too! no accidental pin pricks for either of them! Only me!!!


I had to cut the fabric
(mental note to buy a smaller pair of dressmaking scissors that they can manage with their little hands). 
 And I helped my younger daughter with the pinning a little.
I also did the iron on applique, and the finishing topstitch.

I really want to get them making things to practice.  Not just endless straight lines on scrap bits of paper - but real projects, so they don't get bored - and have something to show for their hard work and concentration at the end of it all!

I took pictures along the way, and made a PDF tutorial for this so the girls can print it out and keep it
 (I'm sure that will be great show and tell material for school one day!)


What age were you when you learnt to sew?  Have you taught your kids?  How are you teaching them? 
Or maybe you're learning to sew yourself now? Through online courses? Classes? I'd love to hear how everyone learnt or is learning...

Jill










Related Posts with Thumbnails