Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Week in Indefinite Space

I love a busy week.  Catching up with dear friends, hanging out with my lovely, funny family and trying out a few new crafty things.

I caught up with two groups of wonderful girls, most of whom I've known for more than 20 years.  Catching up with girlfriends is like a years worth of couch and laughter therapy condensed into 3 or 4 hours.  We talk about stuff.  The stuff we do or want to do or don't want to do. The stuff we should or could do.  We talk about people we love the most and why they make us crazy!  Most of all we just get to finish a conversation without someone needing a banana peeled or a yoghurt opened .... and there's no lego under the dining table!

I caught up with my mum and my sister at Colossus Deli in Doncaster.  A Greek foodies heaven.  I bought so many yummy things which I used to cook a Bougatsa (or cheese pie pictured below). I LOVE their Loukoumia (aka Turkish Delight), and I LOVE their Nougat.  James was with me so he was allowed to chose some pasta shapes which we'll use for tonights dinner.  It was fun shopping there with my family.  We are like a comedy act when we're together - at least we find ourselves extremely funny!


I made a dress!  This blue one below.  Again, a Pip Lincolne pattern from Sew, La, Tea, Do!  Sunday was a really rainy, wet day so after breakfast and a quick read of the paper, I made some space and got stuck in.  I think it turned out ok and it looks nice on.  Making this has given me a bit more confidence so I might crack open one of the vintage patterns I've picked up recently and see how I go.


Oh and I have tried my hand at Embroidery!  I found the embroidery frame and yellow napkin at an op shop, along with a book about How to Embroider!  This is my first chain stitch attempt and it looks super cute on the front and really messy on the back ... It will be ok once I frame it!  :)


And I even made a crocheted pot stand so hot pots don't melt my benches!  I took a little break from my granny square blanket (going well btw) and made this cute little purple, green and cream pot stand with a hanging doover!  Its sitting on a Golden Hands magazine!

That's the week that was last week.  This week is looking bright.  Today is the last day of the Wettest Summer In Recorded History for Victoria. This is a photo of my husband's family's wheat and sheep paddock.  I have never seen such a green, lush Rutherglen and the swamps are teeming with life - especially frogs and dragon flies - so so glad they got their harvest in before this happened though! 


 I am looking forward to a russetty, crinkly, fresh and sprinkly Autumn. Aren't you?

love Miss G xoxoxo

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Golden Hands - Inaugural Meeting 17th Feb 2011

We had so much fun yesterday when five Golden Hands members got together for an excursion with crafty intentions!  

Pia, Bel, Lucianne and I met at Flashback in Northcote  ..... what a treasure trove of vintage and modern vintage fabrics and wall paper!  A great mix of colours, patterns, textures and inspired furnishings (lampshades in luscious fabrics!).  We looked, we touched, we drooled.  We left empty handed but I'm sure we'll be back when we have some projects in mind for the wonderful textiles we saw!!


We then headed across to GJ's Discount Fabrics and perused the three levels of spangly leotard fabrics, sheer organzas, thread, buttons and gorgeous patchwork fabrics.  We met Adriana there after spotting her across the road and yelling out of a second storey window!  Funny.  I bought some cute fabric (owls and stripes) and Lucianne bought some amazing fabric for what will be a stunning quilt!  Very impressed with the array of fabric, how it was organised and the service provided.  We are going there again, for sure!

Lunch was had at Vege 2 Go at 452 Lygon St. YUM!  The kids had a great play and the food was lovely!  

All round what a great day we had!  Thanks Girls!!  We hope to meet again at Lucianne's place for a quilting workshop!  Bring your projects!  More details soon!

happy crafters!
x Miss G

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Op Shop Jewels of the Fortnight.

I love op-shopping.  Its something we do as a family ie I drag the boys around op shops and they might pick up a 50c car while I check things out.  There are 4 decent op shops within walking distance of my house - theres Vinnies, Epilepsy, Senior Citizens and Mental Health - all great charities that I love to support.  There are also a few I drive past regularly which merit a stop - Greythorn, Doncaster, Kew Junction, Rutherglen, such fun!

It's always good to go in with a game plan.  I have a few things that I always look for - knitting needles/crochet hooks, sewing patterns, scarves, vintage glass jugs, fabric and glomesh/oroton mesh handbags.  Since op shops are a favourite haunt I thought I would update you on what I've found in the last 2 weeks or so.   Here goes!

I picked up this fabric at about 3 different op shops.  I think the most expensive piece was the textured blue fabric in the middle ($5) the rest are little pieces ranging from 50c to $3.  Bargains! I have already turned the green fabric into pyjama pants!  I have plans for everything else too!

Then I found some sewing patterns - these look easy and I particularly love the wrap around skirt pattern!  In a second hand bookshop in Rutherglen, Tapsells Books I found this book - Successful Dressmaking.  Straight out of the 50's, this book is gorgeous and at $20 I thought it was a bargain!  The patterns were all about 50c each and found in various op shops.  Hope all the bits are there!

And vintage tea towels!  This one is amazing and I have another that says I Love Pears (which I do - such a coincidence!)  This one though, I might frame.  It really is totally beautiful!  The one below is very sweet too - cute 70's motif and vivid colours. I could see this in a frame too!  Both of these were from Vinnies for about $3 each.  

So apart from a few other bits and bobs, these were the jewels in the op shopping crown this fortnight!  Get out there and have a look. You might be surprised (pleasantly) by what you might find!.

Happy Rifling! 

x Miss G

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Gym? Huh?

I loved being a couch potato.  This year I have no excuses to be a sofa spud.  With a year of not working looming ahead of me like some happy shiny joyful magic rainbow, I have made myself a few promises.

  1. I will work on my creativity and associated skills.
  2. I will go to bed earlier than normal (12.30am is normal)
  3. I will peel the spud, chuck it in boiling water and get it moving
  4. I will be organised around the house (clean, tidy, neat, decluttered)
  5. I will be sensible with what little money comes my way
  6. I will try and sell some of the things I love to make
  7. I will only read hardcover books written before 1970
  8. I will sort out the front garden
  9. I will cook a new thing every week
  10. I will whistle while I work

This post is about number 3.  I joined the gym this week.  Yes, I joined the gym.  I can see the people who know me well scratching their heads with a thoroughly puzzled look on their face.  My idea of exercise is a gentle stretching class, maybe a walk up to school or the shops, or a little bike ride with the kids.  The idea of sweating is anathema to me.  Totally against the grain - I get all red and flustered and my hair goes frizzy - it ain't pretty.  But I joined anyway.

Tuesday night was spent balancing my body in Body Balance (a bit of a mix of yoga, pilates and tai chi). Fun, relaxing, downward doggish.  I'll go back - not too sweaty or frizzy after that one and I feel good for days afterwards.

Today was a class called Danzika taken by Carlos from Columbia.  Set to crazy good Latin music, we shook, shimmied, kicked and laughed our way through the hour class.  I think we learnt 4 different choreographies and clapped at the end of each one celebrating the fact we didn't fall flat on our faces.  I did sweat. I did frizz. I smiled the whole way through it.  I'll be back next week and I'm taking a coordination pill before I go!

If you're interested I think Carlos might actually take every Danzika class in Melbourne - he has the market cornered so he might be shaking his stuff at a Rec Centre or Gym near you.  Ay Carumba!

So the journey to a fitter me has begun.  Do or Do Not. There is no Try.  May the force be with me!

And stretch.  Miss G x

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Finishing UFO's (un-finished objects)

I love starting things.  I get all excited about making something new.  It's becomes an infatuation, I flirt with the idea, I make my first move, I get all involved and then I stop.  Luckily I'm not like that in my marriage :).

On cleaning out some drawers and project bags a few weeks ago I found a couple of projects, hanging patiently on their needles.  A scarf and a neck warmer.  I started these objects last winter and then life must have distracted me because I put them away.  I remember starting them both -  they held my attention for a while - long enough for me to nearly finish both of them.  I needed closure.  I found the remaining colours I needed buried deep in my stash.  The scarf needed about 20 more rows and  fringed ends and lovely - I have a new scarf for winter!

The other UFO was a neck warmer which needed a bit more work on it than the scarf.  I remember buying the wool from the "Wool Man" at Camberwell Market.  Gorgeous stuff!  It was a bit trickier as I had to remember the pattern I had used when I started making it - it has a couple of ribbed sections. I also had to work out how to do buttonholes and find some cute buttons.  A few days later I had finished it and it worked out ok I think.  Now I have a cute new neck warmer!

I feel a great sense of satisfaction having finished these projects and I am scouting around trying to find other forgotten UFO's to finish.  I may even decide to remove the needles and return the knitting to its original home (the skein).  Either way we both know where we stand.  

Finish a UFO today!
x Miss G

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Public Displays of Crafting

I took my son to his Leaping Lizards class today.  This is an hour of play based activity which helps to improve fine and gross motor skills.  The girls who run it, Sandy & Helen are amazing in how they teach, what they teach and their ability to remember everybody's names!

For me its an opportunity to zone out for an hour.  Today I took my crochet hook and yarn so I could keep going with my Afghan rug squares.  It was a new group today. I didn't know anyone so once James was settled I took out my stuff and started.  It was really awkward to begin with.  Not sure how it would be received and was feeling a bit self conscious about it all.  Anyway, as the moments went by I started really enjoying what I was doing and where I was - I could listen to the hubbub of the room without necessarily feeling out of it and not feeling obliged to join in any of the conversations.  I completed about 3 squares in the time I was there (with the occasional look through the window to check that James was behaving).

Right at the end, a girl came up and said "Not sure if you overheard our conversation, but my daughter wants me to make her a crochet rug and I don't know how to crochet."  We introduced ourselves and I said I would bring in some extra hooks and yarn next week and I would teach her the basics (all I know) in the hour we had at Leaping Lizards.  Rapt.  I discovered that PDC's (public displays of crafting) can be contagious!

So get out of the closet!  If you catch public transport, are waiting for an appointment or taking your small ones to activities get out your latest project and get into it.  Who knows we could have an epidemic on our hands!

x Miss G

Monday, February 7, 2011

169 Granny Squares = Fire & Brimstone

I love crochet.  I didn't know this until about a month ago when I decided I would teach myself how.  I pulled out some books, looked at some tutorials on You Tube and got out hook and yarn.  My little knotted masses of crap started to take shape as the concept of crochet turned to reality.  I've always loved stuff made out of granny squares.  It reminds me of the 70's when I was a kid and I like to be reminded of the 70's (that's a whole different post!).  I thought I would make a rug out of granny squares.

I found some colours I like in my little stash of yarn and started making them. The first few were a bit weird but they started to come together quickly and I found myself relaxing more and more with each one.  This was the desired effect.  Fun, relaxing and productive - why can't all work be like that?

As soon as I had a few done I laid them on the floor to see how many I would need .....  

I love these colours - they do remind me of fire with the soft grey reminiscent of the ash that camp fire leaves behind.   It looked ok but then I realised something was missing.  It needed a colour to bind it all together when I joined the squares to create the finished product.  BLACK! Of course!

So I crocheted a black round on each completed square and things started to come together.  Each square measures 13cm x 13cm and I worked out I would need 169 squares for a 1.3m x 1.3m rug.  Needless to say I have a bit of work to do until I get there but winters a little way off! 

 I now have to work out how to join them and I am sure there is a handy tutorial out there in etherspace explaining the ins and outs of connecting a bunch of isolated grannies into a bright, warm community!

Happy Crocheting! x


Golden Hands: Project 2011 - The Year of Living Creatively

I've taken the year off work. A whole year to hang out with the boys and be around for their first year of kinder and Grade 3. The challenge is to keep my mind occupied and improve my basic craft skills while at the same time not spending money. I've been a bit of a bower bird over the last few years - collecting wool, knitting & crochet needles, sewing bits and bobs, fabric, jewellery making doodads - so I reckon I have enough stuff in the house to keep me busy for a while!

I have a few projects on the go - an afghan rug which is going to be very warm - its called Fire and Brimstone. I taught myself to crochet about a month ago and this project has been a fun intro. I am making a few squares every day and I only need another 100 or so before I can join it all together ....

I keep promising myself that I will make pants. Pants for everyone! Green, baggy, comfy pants for those rare yet wonderful pyjama days on school holidays!

I made a hat yesterday which was fiddly but fun. It was a pattern from Pip Lincolne's Book Sew, La, Tea, Do. I had the denim fabric in my stash - I think I bought it from an op shop years ago and the tulip fabric is patchwork fabric from Spotlight. The instructions in the book were very easy to follow and turned out much better than I thought my limited sewing skills would allow. Its all lined and everything.

This is my first blog ever - what fun! I will be coming up with more projects, showing things on the go, things that I've finished, and things that I want to make. I am looking forward to a year of living creatively. Miss G

Welcome: You're Floating in Indefinite Space

Welcome to Indefinite Space. It's indefinite because it will be a blog about stuff I like, stuff I don't like, things I make, things I buy, op-shopping, entertaining kids, collecting, fun stuff, boring stuff, etc etc. So put on your space suits and come float with me in Indefinite Space.