Sunday, February 28, 2010

Flea Market Finds...

This lovely cabinet was once a 21st birthday gift to a woman from her future husband.
For some sixty years this cabinet lived as a glory box - home to the special linen and the good crockery. Until, unable to fit into a room of a nursing home, this dear little cabinet sat beneath an old quilt, in a shed, until moving day.
Then this dear little cabinet was given to us because I love old furniture.
She has seen better days, although her position in the garage and the flash I needed to use on this rainy day are not the most flattering. I was just so excited to share her with you. Isn't she beautiful? Look at those original metal handles and that etched glass!
I wonder was she originally intended to be a bar? The top lifts back, the doors beneath it perhaps to store glasses? The door of the next compartment drops down like a writing bureau and beneath it sits another draw.
Today I am going to clean off the dust, wasps mud nests and cobwebs and rub in some furniture oil. Part of me loves the colour and another part of me would like to take to her with white paint, but I am afraid it would be a bit sacrilegious.
Either way, I can already imagine her in the guest bedroom, home to an heirloom dinner set and other special bits and pieces. I will share some more pictures when she has settled in.
More Flea Market Finds here.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Sewing boxes...

The first sewing box I ever owned was a birthday gift from my parents when I was a little girl. The second was a gift to my Grandfather from someone he worked with many years ago and which my mother gave to me. The third I found while thrifting and I wonder at its history.
And this is the fourth, my parents gave me yesterday, which was my Grandmothers.
It is a beautiful pink and white woven sewing box, lined in a pale pink satiny fabric with little faux pearls instead of buttons. It was filled with old hand embroidered hankies she had been saving, some still wrapped in their original plastic.

I remember that Grandma had a little sewing room off the dining room in her old house. There was a small cupboard and lots of drawers. There we old jam jars with rusty lids full of old tape measures, pins and buttons. Things tied with lengths of stocking. Large heavy scissors hanging up on hooks. My sister and I used to love sneaking in to the sewing room just to look at everything, but I don't remember seeing this old sewing box in there.

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I have finished the shawl, all but weaving in the ends and will show you soon.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

My Creative Space...

There's someone new in my creative space...
A beautiful old girl who has come to visit for a season. She has lead a long and interesting life since retiring from Selfridges of London and has such wonderful stories to tell.
I know already that I am never going to want her to leave.
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More creative spaces here.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A boy and his cubby house...

It has been such a joy to watch Cohen explore and enjoy his new cubby house
(new for us, with thanks to some friends whose daughter has outgrown it).
Complete with four windows, a door, a shelf, a sink and stove.
Cohen can open and shut these windows and that door, he can turn the knobs on the stove and walk in, out and around his little house.
He laughs, he claps his hands, he falls over and laughs and gets up again.
And I couldn't be more proud or more pleased of my gorgeous boy and how much he has grown and learnt.
How I wish I could have my own cubby house too, maybe something like this?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

You may find us...

Baking Oatie cookies.
Reading Beatrix Potter.
Making progress on the Eva Shawl.
Or having tea and biscuits with friends while our toddlers play.
Life is sweet.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

My first shawl...

A shawl seemed like the perfect thing to put over my shoulders when I got out of bed on Winter nights to feed Cohen. So I started on Eva's Shawl, found on Ravelry.
Well, back in August I was still a crocheting beginner. I had only just mastered the art of granny square and may have been a bit ambitious trying a shawl. How frustrating is it when you want to make something and cannot? Since then I have been slowly practicing, learning new stitches and most importantly, how to read patterns.
Yesterday I started on the shawl again and while rereading the pattern realized that what I had missed last time was the word 'corresponding.' Now, with yarn from Clare, the shawl is coming together.
And while I expect that hubby may raise an eyebrow and question my Nana style once more, and even though Cohen doesn't feed often in the night now, I know that any time I throw this shawl around my shoulders I am going to be so proud of it and comforted by it, knowing that I made it.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Flea Market Finds...

A few years ago I took a plane to visit my sister. We talked nonstop, we drank coffee and wine, we watched movies and went shopping and we wandered into a second hand bookshop where I found this darling book, 'The Home Book for Young Ladies', and knew I had to take it home. It is full of all manner of interesting information for young ladies, and...
inside the front cover -
"A Small token of
Love from Charlie to
Clarrie on her 20th
Birthday 23/2/95"
1895
Inside the book was a small black and white photo of a beautiful building.
I am left wondering, who was this Charlie?
Charlie definitely sounds more of a term of endearment than Charles.
A token of love. I wonder what ever happened to these young lovers?
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More flea market finds here.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Craft nerd...

We went back to the Asia Pacific Triennial exhibition at the Gallery of Modern Art on Valentines day, and this time I remembered to put the battery in my camera...
I just wanted to share this picture, a merging of fine art and craft - amigurumi animals found in Yoshitomo Nara's Mobile Studio installation.
Aren't they gorgeous? I love them!
Do you think I looked like much of a craft nerd as I lent down to take this photo?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

My Creative Space...

We all have days when it feels like everything is going wrong.
Or weeks like that.
Isn't it comforting to have a project to pick up at such times? To either take your mind of the problem, or to think about those problems slowly, stitch by stitch?
And isn't it even nicer when you get fabric in the post?
Danielle was so lovely as to send me a bag of amazing Liberty scraps.
I am quite in awe of Liberty fabric. While wandering around the house as I clean I have been thinking about what little project I could make to make the most of these little pieces of sweetness. Thanks again Danielle!
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Back to cleaning, thinking and stitching.
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Monday, February 15, 2010

Up in the mountains...

On Saturday we went exploring the lovely area of Beechmont, in the Gold Coast Hinterland. Up mountains, past dairy farms, and on to a national park and lookout.
The view from Bellbird lookout was fantastic although the ground just dropped away from the lookout, with no rails in sight, which was quite unnerving.
Dave noticed this huge blue tongue lizard while walking back up the track.
We stopped at another lookout beside the road on the way back and watched the clouds roll over the mountains.
I love going exploring with my two boys.
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More photos on flickr.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day...

If I know what love is, it is because of you. - Hermann Hesse

Saturday, February 13, 2010

An Early Flea Market Finds...

When I was a little girl I used to follow my parents around antique shops with my hands behind my back, knowing I mustn't touch anything.
I learnt about the antiques - this is silky oak, that is a writing bureau, this is a Toby mug, these are left over from a war, that heavy iron they used to sit on the fireplace.
As a child one of the things that really caught my eye were the brooches.
The seemed like small art works.
I supposed they seemed like a very grown up thing too, as children didn't wear brooches.
Some of my brooches are resting on coats or have been lent to my sister, here is an eclectic selection from my jewellery box. Some are gifts from family, some brought off ebay or etsy or while thrifting, some given to me or brought from bloggers, one was found in a little shop in a romantic village, one brought at a concert, all loved and worn and waiting for more friends to be added to the collection.
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Do you have a collection of vintage brooches? Is there something you are always on the look out to collect? Sophie likes to collect antique ink bottles and flea market finds.
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I hope tomorrow's celebration of love makes you feel special and reminds you how many people love you.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Alarming travel - how to...

1. Remove arm from one strap of car seat.
2. Grab a sand shovel. (Optional)
3. Lean over as far as you can.
4. Scare your Mother when she turns around and see you like this...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

My Creative Space...

"Look honey, I made a pair of pants for Cohen. What do you think? Cute huh?"
"That's great Christina. They are pyjama pants though, aren't they?"
"Um, yes, yes of course they are. Sigh...."
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For crafters who know what it is they are actually making, before their husbands point it out to them, you may want to look over here....

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Ten things to do on rainy days...

Stay in bed, grab all the pillows, get comfy and read.

Go through your closet and make a pile of any unwanted items to give to charity. The same can go for your bookshelf, children's clothes and toys.

Bake. Cookies and cake are great on a rainy day.

Take photos of the clouds, puddles or anything that reminds you of rain.

Ring a friend and talk for an hour (as long as it isn't storming).
Rent a movie you loved as a teenager but haven't seen in years.

Write a letter to a friend and tell them a story about how you met, or a funny memory you have of a time you spent together.

Make yourself a mixtape, whether it be on your MP3 or burnt to CD, go through your favorite songs and make the perfect album for driving to work, or gardening, or just for a rainy day.

Take up that hem and sew on that button that you have been meaning to do for ages.

Sit in your favorite chair and knit or crochet or (insert craft of choice here) , listen to the rain and let your thoughts wander.

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Do you have any rainy day ideas to add to the list?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Pip's Blog Tour...

"Hello Pip, lovely to meet you! I'm Christina and this is my dear little boy, Cohen.
Let me take you coat and come in and have a seat.
I think you will know most of these ladies? Of course, it is a small world isn't it?
Tea? Sandwich? Scone? I made them myself.
I have been so looking forward to us all meeting like this. Thank you so much Pip for making the time for this lovely visit, I can't wait to see what you have been working on!"
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"How exciting to be visiting Christina today! I thought we could refashion these napkins (or whatever they are ...!) They are much used, tea stained and unravelling, so a re-make is just the thing! These are perfect for prettily picking up scorching hot coffee pots or tea pots.
Don't you dare use them on any grubby fry pans!" - Pip.
Ok, I am off to raid my basket full of linens!
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PS. My University application has been accepted! I start studying again next month.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Flea Market Finds...

On a particularly difficult day, a little 'I saw it and I thought of you' gift is always welcome.
And if that gift be eight balls of thrifted yarn, so much the better.
Thank you Clare, you brought some sunshine to my day.

Friday, February 5, 2010

You, me and a cup of tea...

If you can manage it, may I suggest you drop by this little old blog on Tuesday?

You see, the lovely Pip is dropping in on her blog tour and will be leaving us with a guest post. I know, I know, it is wonderful isn't it? You hope to be back? Oh good, that's lovely, I will put the kettle on.

Ahhh... a blog tour, sounds positively wonderful and I can see images of the 'tours' of olden days.
I imagine Pip will have sweet vintage suitcases, a travelling hat and a pair of gloves and she will hang her coat on the coat rack before sharing with us a little something, a little surprise something and I will make her tea and cucumber sandwiches.

I am quite excited by all this and have no idea how I shall sleep tonight or the following nights! Pip, the crafty goddess that she is?!

I had better go and get the good cups and saucers out...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I love thrifting...

Yesterday my darling mother and I wound our way through three opportunity shops and found some little treasures amongst the racks and shelves of the unwanted. There was trash amongst those shelves and racks too of course, which always makes it all the more rewarding when you find your prize.
I came home with my hands full of sweet vintage tops, old belts, funny old beads,
a little something for the entry to the house, and a pair of NOVO flats that my husband is convinced are much too Nana-ish for me to ever wear...
But they looked quite nice with a pretty top and a vintage skirt today, thought I.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Loving Summer...

Loving the rain and the cooler change in the weather. Just what I had hoped for, though still not quite cool enough for the throw to be draped over legs and snuggled into.
Still loving this shawl and thinking about making another attempt at crocheting one for myself.
Loving Kylie's inspirations and cool plates.
Loving friends coming for dinner and setting the table with the good stuff.
What are you loving?

Monday, February 1, 2010

The last stitch...

I am afraid my photography skill or lack of has been severely tested today!
A finished mustard throw, a brown lounge and an overcast day do not seem to add up to a great photo. So you will have to trust me that it looks nice laying over the lounge, and it feels so snugly and lovely being 100% wool.
It is such a great feeling too for it to be finished, ends woven in, and ready for some cool weather.
The design reminds me of snakes and ladders and the pattern is very simple and only requires two stitches;
Row 1- Ch odd no. to desired width, plus ch 3. Turn.
Row 2- 1 Dbl crochet in fourth ch from hook, 1 Dbl crochet into each chain until end. Turn.
Row3- Ch 3, 1 Dbl into first stitch and 1 Dbl crochet into each stitch until end. Turn.
Row4- Ch 4 (counts as 1 Bbl and ch1), 1 Dbl crochet into third stitch, Ch 1, miss next stitch, 1 Dbl crochet into next stitch, Ch 1, skip next stitch, 1 Dbl crochet into next stitch. Continue until end. Turn. Ch 3.
Repeat Row 2 - 4 until desired size.
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As this is the first pattern I have ever written I hope it makes sense and welcome any feedback. I think this would look great in stripes of colour as well...
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Edit: I used a 5.00 mm crochet hook and 10 balls of 50 gram 8 ply wool for this project and my finished piece is approximately 100 x 80 cm.
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