Sunday, December 20, 2009

Last minute creating...

A friend's little boy had a third birthday party yesterday, and she requested a Thomas the Tank Engine drawstring bag to store all of the Thomas bits and pieces he was (hopefully) going to receive. "Sure!" I said, thinking, "I've made a drawstring bag before*, this'll be a piece of cake!"

So off I toddled to the anti-best fabric store in the country to pick up a Thomas motif. Of course, they didn't have anything like I was after, so I improvised with some other less-ideal-but-still-Thomas fabric.
Having got what I needed, I promptly put it aside until the night before the party. Enter sewing machine crisis. I don't know about you, but I seem to have tension issues. I can't work out whether it's the top thread or the bobbin, but every time I think I've got it sorted, I bugger up the start of the next project. Fortunately I still had a friend's machine that I borrowed while mine was in for a service (yes, that was a couple of months ago but apparently she never uses it!?!). I KNEW this machine works properly!

Or not. Apparently the tension thing is me, not the machine. I managed to replicate the problem almost exactly! So after several unsuccessful attempts to avoid swearing, I took a deep breath, checked the instruction booklet, rethreaded the machine and tried again. Fortunately for everyone's sake, this time it worked. I'm not entirely sure what was different (maybe I'd twisted the thread around the needle the first time(s)?), but we ended up with a satisfactory drawstring bag.
It's a tad smaller than expected, but that's what you get for not thinking about seam allowance. At least I have enough fabric left over for another one if required!

The moral of the story? CHECK that the machine is threaded correctly, especially that the thread isn't twisted around the needle. Oh, and start it the night before the night before the party next time!!

*From Heather Ross's Weekend Sewing

Monday, December 14, 2009

We made it!

This weekend has been one of the busiest we've had in a long time! In addition to the usual Christmas-related silliness that happens at this time of year, my little one turned 1 on Friday! For this birthday, we took the relatively-low-key-morning-tea-time-in-the-park option, which worked fabulously. There was play equipment nearby to keep the older kids entertained, and there was proper coffee (supplied by us) to keep the adults happy.

And I made and decorated a cake!
Which I thought was yummy, and so did uber goober!
I managed to finish the cardi in time, too, but it was a decidedly chilly summer's day and the lovely short sleeves in the cardi weren't going to do the job. Oh well, there'll be another opportunity, I'm sure!
I also somewhere found the time and a (semi) willing sucker to help me wind my yarn, which means I've now started a time-pressured project. Hopefully I'll find the time to finish it!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

My creative space

My creative space is a tad overloaded today! It's mostly a function of 'that time of year', slightly complicated by a first birthday tomorrow!?!
I've only included the Need. To. Sort. It. Now. stuff: there's oh, so many other projects going on right now too, but SOMETHING must be put on the back burner!!

So today:
I need to finalise a birthday cake for a party on Saturday. I think for this birthday, the book is about inspiration rather than replication - I'm sure I have that to look forward to in the years to come;
I need to make a cheesecake today for a Christmas party tomorrow night. No time tomorrow;
I need to wind a skein of yarn for a Christmas gift project that needs to be started yesterday; AND I really want to get this cardigan finished!! All that needs to be done is the final edging and weaving the ends in. No more than an hour's work, but where do I find the hour!?!

Oh, and the in-laws arrive this afternoon for a few days, which may mean more or less time. We'll see...

Is everyone else's creative space this chaotic in the lead up to Christmas? Visit Kirsty to find out!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Return from Never Never Land

I've spent the last 11 days absent from blogland while visiting my parents in Northern NSW. My husband was in PNG for a little over a week, and as I'm not a particularly good single parent, I took my daughter to hang out with her grandparents.
Other than a few hairy moments - one involving my nearly one-year-old and the chilli above (this is the aftermath!), we enjoyed ourselves immensely. Hopefully it won't take too long for the grandparents to recover!

I very nearly finished a crocheted cardi which is so close I might even have pictures sometime this week. But that depends on whether or not I spend too long starting to catch up on the 500+ blog entries in my reader. Gulp!

One of the benefits of temporary family separation is presents! This is a bilum that I received from my husband, and given my current interest in crocheting string bags, it's particularly appropriate! The stitch detail is really interesting, and I think I'd like to find out more about how they're made. You never know, I might make one myself one day!