Saturday, January 23, 2010

Graffiti Knitting is Go

New and Strange flowers in Stella Bull Park

If you are any where near Greytown come and see our knitting. There is a whole Graffiti Knitting Trail. We are dashing around with various knitting resuscitation packs for rain bedraggled woollens. I have some reserve bees to join the buzz tomorrow and I even have some quilts in the garden tour.

Thank-You to everyone who has sent in the bumble bees and birds. I arrived home to day to find another package of them secreted behind a door.

Even hanging them has become an adventure. The weather has been challenging. While standing up a ladder, in the pouring rain, juggling bees, Big E has referred to it as the craziest sisterly thing we have done so far.

Some indication of the weather we are up against

Putting Ideas Into Use

I have a pile of craft books, a veritable collection. So many of them I pour over and think that one day.. Today just might be that day, or maybe that month.

These beautiful bloomers are taken from Emma Hardy's “Making Children’s Clothes”. I managed to finish then a few days ago. Rebekah has challenged us to finally tackle at least one of those projects that has been sitting, hidden in a book, this month. You read more about it here, but for now I’m eyeing up another pattern. Hot pink bubble skirts any one?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Making the Most of 2010

I plan to make the most of this year. As long as it is January, it is not too late to make a New Year’s Resolution. I have been thinking about this one for a while and I believe it will work. Some resolutions fall by the wayside, daunting tasks that don’t last the week and I won’t let that happen this time. This year I resolve to make the most of what I have. So much of my life revolves around the “more”. I need more fabric, more time, more money... Somehow I forget to stop and appreciate how much I have. Really I have a lot, I am just not making the most of it.

Last year I vowed to bust my stash. I started with meticulous tallies of fabric used, bought and stored. Some fellow busters had farsighted goals of using 100m of fabric a month. Personally, I just wanted to end up with less than I started with. I kept it up, until starting on a quilt that required a lot of new fabric. The resolution had become cumbersome and made my fabric sound like a waste product in need of disposal. I confessed to my fabric gluttony and stopped counting*. Not only did my resolution feel like a chore, it looked like a failure.

I do not like the way I have been feeling about my fabric. Tackling my crafting space has felt equally cumbersome. I end up moving, relocating and repacking an ever growing pile of fabrics and notions. My stash has become a burden, a heavy weight of stuff destined to topple and engulf me. Treating my craft space as a stash is not making the most of what is there.

First up, I am throwing away the word STASH**. It sounds like something a pack rat would have. How can a word that rhymes with trash sum up the beauty and wonder of a these textile possibilities? There are some treasures in there. They are all treasures in there. I know they must be, otherwise I wouldn’t have them. I am going to make the most of 2010 throwing away the stash and taking more care to treasure my collection.

Treasuring a collection does not mean just adding to it. It means putting it to use, and taking every opportunity to showcase it. Rather than waiting for the perfect project and elusive spare time, I will get into using my collection and showing it the light of day. Instead of seeing using existing fabric as a “must do” it will become a privilege. I am going to make the most of it.

*It wasn’t a total failure. Tallies and chores are just not my thing. Celebrations are more me and I kept on sewing. As I sewed, I kept a little of each piece. The selvedges were carefully secreted away for use at a later date. Without realising it, I was still counting and along the way have a reminder, little scraps that jog memories of fabric that were a wonder to work with. There are even some donations of selvedges from friends in there. With the help of a calculator and kitchen scales I can report that I have used about 23m of fabric over the last year and it was fun.

**I think this might mean I have successfully managed to bust my stash, without meaning to.

Making Me Giggle

I just had to take a photo. Maybe there are some elves waiting inside to sell their holiday home.

I'm sure the farmer thought I was nuts driving past, doing a U-turn and coming back to look at his pop-top caravan. Sometimes the simplest things make me giggle.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

2009 - Year in Review

Looking back on 2009 I can see that it has been a busy time. At first I couldn’t see much crafting being done. I have been getting up to bigger things than that.

This year we welcomed the arrival of Miss H. She is truly adored and adorable. It has been a joy watching her, and her sister, grow in their awareness of each other. Nights are still not quite so delightful, but the smiles certainly make them easier. That look of fear whenever Miss H could hear Little E coming closer has been replaced with gasps and giggles of delight. So here is the first instalment of milestones for 2009:

note: They really do get along, it is just hard to catch them both smiling

The second lot of milestones is of a more crafty nature. I consider food to count as a milestone finish too, because it was certainly fun to eat.

For now all I can say it was a busy, delightful, giddy year and I’m looking forward to making the most of 2010.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Grafitti Birds Too

The Graffiti Knitting is coming along nicely. We even have a pattern for the birds too. My family have taken it for a test drive. Thanks to my mum and sister, we have a takahe and pukeko. You can find the crochet pattern here (many thanks to Abigail who pointed me in the right direction) I cannot crochet, so I am contemplating making pom pom birds as well.

The graffiti is planned as part of the Greytown Arts Festival. If you're keen to lend a needle, drop me a line.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Twelfth Night - Taking Down the Tree

The Christmas Tree came down today in celebration of the twelfth day. I played the Christmas albums one last time before they too went away. Sometimes it is just as nice to celebrate the passing of Christmas, as it is the arrival of Christmas. I think we should do it more often.

We’ve had a lovely Christmas with family at both ends of the island. The camera was misplaced on the day and as a consequence, the day was spent very much in the moment. The photos above are from our Pre-Christmas feast.

A ginger bread house that actually worked and baking with grandma. You can also spot Little E trying to eat the dough off her hands. While it’s not strictly traditional, Christmas isn’t quite Christmas without a festive coloured lobster to start the meal. Can you tell I come from a family of fishermen?

Taking down the tree can have its traditions too; from the Galette du Rois with crowns and charms celebrating the epiphany in France, to reducing the tree to just a whisk shaped branch to use for the next year in Switzerland.

This year it was a vineyard lunch with friends. Who knows, I might even try to make the Galette, a week late, for some guests too.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Graffiti Knitting Helpers Needed

I have been putting my mind to ideas for a bit of graffiti knitting. I am looking to populate a tree with birds and bees and I will need some helpers. If you can put together a small bird of bee by January 22, drop me a line and I will email you my address. To get the creative juices going, there is a delightfully simple bumble bee pattern over here.

See, bumble bees are hard to spot when there is just one, but imagine a whole swarm. It’s going to be great.