Monday, 31 August 2009

Beep beep!

Munchkin is crazy about vehicles. She likes cars, diggers, trucks, lorries, cement mixers, steam rollers, bin lorries, cranes, cherry pickers, trains....the list is never ending. She started at nursery for one afternoon a week recently, and on her first visit the only thing that would stop her crying was a big Caterpillar truck

She has quite a few vehicle toys, but as of yet no clothing to reflect her love of things with engines. I tell a lie, she has one top from Next that has a camper van appliqued on the front. But there appears to be little else out there if you're a girl and like cars. So I set to work :)

It was sooooo easy! I just made up a block stamp with foam shapes, et voila! I did a few test prints first to work out which fabric paint would be best.

The foam that the shapes came from works well as a stamp too, and I've printed up another tee with it, but it needs some words underneath - I'll try and finish it today. The tshirts were from a pack I bought in the sales, and I'm customising all four. Photos of the other three as and when I finish them. Toot toot!

Saturday, 29 August 2009

More neck warming

Just a quick little post, as I have a jam packed weekend - BBQ with mr pickledweasel's work mates this evening, shoe shopping tomorrow day, super posh belated wedding anniversary dinner tomorrow evening, ironing, general recovering and Twighlight on dvd on monday.

I've been cobbling together more of my blanket squares, and have another lovely soft neck warmer in preparation for autumn.

I like the colour of this one, it will go beautifully with my grey wool winter coat.

I've started knitting munchkin a neckwarmer too, as scarves and toddlers don't mix. A well meaning great grandma knitted her a lovely fluffy scarf last winter, but it was quickly removed every time I wrapped her up in it. Hopefully she'll be a bit more tolerant this year, and I'm thinking it'll stay on longer as she has to work out how to get it over her head :)

Thursday, 27 August 2009

The moon on a stick please.

I have another wedding in late October (it would appear 2009 is the year to get married for my friends), and I have no idea what to wear. Ideally I'd like to a) not spend a fortune, b) be warm enough, c) look halfway decent.

Unfortunately the dress pictured does not fulfill criteria a) or b), but it would blimmin well fulfill c) and then some :)

However, it only comes in black or cream, is far too short, and is £95. So my plan is to try and make a lookey-likey (but with a back and a bit longer). It's basically a boat necked shift with some bits on the shoulders and a peplummy thing........can it really be that hard? Hmmmm. Why do I get the feeling this isn't going to be easy?

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

From blanket to neck warmer

I have a confession to make - I'm a bit scared of knitting. The language of knitting patterns seems alien to me, too many abbreviations and special codes. It's like some sort of secret club. I can do your bog standard knit, purl, cast off scenario, but anything other than that and I get the fear.

So when I found out I was pregnant with Munchkin, I came up with a form of knitting therapy to help me resolve my issues and transform me into a confident and prolific knitter, churning out matinee jackets and bootees by the day.

I took some lovely soft chunky wool, and knitted practice squares using different stitches. The idea was to sew them all togther at the end to make a snuggly blanket. I managed to do quite a few, but then couldn't find any more patterns that fitted in with my square size - I was doing some complicated thing whereby the sequence had to be 17 stitches long plus or minus 2 stitches or something. Anyway, the squares were put in a bag and stuffed in a cupboard.

I recently retrieved them and was determined to find a use for them. So they have been very cunningly (if I do say so myself) been turned into a neck warmer. I took four of my squares and sewed them together into a scarf. I then overlapped the ends diagonally and stitched them together. Hey presto! It's a bit like a bandana shape, which I'm loving. And it felt really quick and easy and satisfying because I did all the hard work about two years ago :)

Monday, 24 August 2009

In Praise of Kitschy Coo

You know when you start secondary school, and you're in the yard at lunchtime in your shiny new uniform and knee length white socks, and you see an older girl who is the epitome of cool - effortlessly amazing hair, outfit that bears no resemblance to school uniform at all, surrounded by equally cool friends, clever but not in a geeky way - and you think 'I want to be her'? That's what I felt about Kitschy Coo when I first set up shop on Folksy :D

She makes tonnes of amaaaaaazing children's clothes, doesn't appear to sleep, and manages to raise two very cute and scarily intelligent kids as well. I think she must be on drugs. I just need to find out what they are, and then I can be equally as cool :)

Anyhoo, she recently had a sale, and I bought Munchkin a lovely little babycord dress / tunic. Not only does it look super cute (as you can see from the pictures), it should last for another couple of years as it'll become a top as she grows. Ingenious!

So here's to Kitschy Coo, long may she continue to be the coolest girl in the yard :)

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Pink bits

We have lots of them. We've returned from Kent with the obligatory sun burn, or at least me and mr pickledweasel have, Munchkin spent the whole time smothered with factor 50. But she has some sort of weird pink rash caused by grass / ants / airbeds. And I purchased a pair of pink Crocs. Oh the shame! I spent all last summer going on about how hideous they were, and how could anyone wear plastic shoes, and the holes in them looked really stupid etc etc etc. But actually they're quite comfy, and perfect for when you get up at 2 am and need to traipse to the toilet block for a wee :)

Other than the pink bits we had a lovely time. The wedding was great fun, and Munchkin was a little star all day. She got a bit wobbly towards late afternoon, but a quick nap and a go on the slide perked her up no end.

Camping was a great hit. Although I am thinking of crafting some sort of knee pad / glove combo so she can crawl around on grassy fields as much as she likes without me fretting :)

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Heart of Gold

I've just finished knitting this lovely little brooch, and it's all ready to go in my shop. But I'm off galivanting again, so it'll have to wait until Monday when I'm back.

We're going to Kent to do the following, in no particular order: camp, visit a poorly uncle, see old work friends, buy cheese, go emergency dress shopping, go to a wedding, see the sea and get some sunshine.

I was planning to wear a beautiful cream linen dress to the wedding, but the dry cleaner can't get out what appears to be engine oil (??!!) on the back, so I'm taking my boring and slightly baggy back-up dress, with the hope that I'll see something in the sales before saturday :( This scenario involves taking many pairs of shoes, much to mr pickledweasel's annoyance :)

Monday, 10 August 2009

*cuts ribbon*

Ta daaaaa! My little Coriandr shop is now open, selling my yummy handmade wares. You can get to it by clicking on my 'Seedling' in the right hand column of my blog. It's a nifty little tool, isn't it? One of the reasons I like Coriandr :)

Have a browse, marvel at my applique skills and BUY SOMETHING!!!! if you would like to make a purchase, please do.

I'll be adding bits and bobs as they get made, I'm in no rush to conquer the crafting world :) Currently in the pipeline: A moon and stars bib, a fairies bib, a couple more cute critter tissue cozies, and a knitted heart brooch.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

I *heart* handmade

It goes without saying that I'm a big fan of handmade, and I was thinking this morning about why it's so cool, and why I should make more effort to buy handmade instead of big shop mass produced environmentally unfriendly manufactured stuff. So here's my thoughts on it interspersed with some of my favourite handmade things from Coriandr - click on any of the pictures to go straight to the item.

I love the personal service you get when you buy handmade. I love it that you can have a conversation with the seller one to one about their products - does it come in another colour? Is it washable? Can I buy 3 at once? How big is it?

I love the fact that what you're buying is pretty unique. A lot of things are one offs, and even the things that are 'mass produced' by crafters are often slightly different each time. And how many things can one crafter make anyway? Even if you're some sort of crafting daemon who churns out work at a rate of knots, you're still only going to produce 20, 30, maybe a 100 of any one thing. So therefore only 20, 30, or 100 people in the whole entire world will own the same thing. How cool is that?

I love it that I'm supporting individuals, not big business. Stay at home mums, art graduates, retired peeps, or full on full time crafty entrepreneurs - every little hand made thing you buy puts pennies in their pockets to spend on bread / more craft supplies / beer / shoes / books / credit card bills / never ending loft funds.

By buying handmade, you're validating someone's hard work. Sometimes it's more important than the money - what you've made is *so* good, that someone, a complete stranger, (not just your Aunty Sandra or the admin person at work) will pay good money for it.

I've decided to try and buy as much handmade as I can for Christmas presents this year for all the reasons listed above, but also partly because I want to focus on quality rather than quality, and partly because I'm bored with the same old rubbish in the shops each year. It goes without saying I'm going to have loads of fun finding the perfect present for everyone! And if anyone needs any hints or tips on what to buy me for Christmas, I'd be happy with any of the things on this page :)

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Stitchy Retrospective No. 3

This one's a bit rude I'm afraid, but I've airbrushed out the naughty word (albeit badly, with Paint, because I don't have photoshop).

This was for another interweb friend*, who also has quite a dry sense of humour. He's Australian, and his girlfriend is Swedish, so the gave me homemade Anzac biscuits and Swedish gingerbread in exchange for my stitchy skills.

He says he had great fun explaining it to his girlfriend's Swedish aunts when they came to visit: "Yes, c**t means what you think it means but not only that. Yes, yes, lap means 'lick' in this sense too. No, it's not about licking vaginas" :)

*I do have some real life friends too, that I see face to face, honest. Although I did meet a fair few of them on the internet :D

Friday, 7 August 2009

Stitchy Retrospective No. 2

This was for a work colleague - when I was a fancy subject librarian at a university she was my counterpart in the learning technology dept., trying to drag academia into the 21st century (no easy job).

We had a north / south thing going on, and I'd often pull her leg about what a snob she was :) Hence we became Happyshopper Hurt and Waitrose Westerman. I stitched this for her before I left to go on maternity leave, and it sits on her desk. Funniest thing is she's an Essex girl, but you didn't hear that from me, right? ;)

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Stitchy retrospective

I used to have a big thing about cross stitch. I think it was the first bit of craft that I tried properly in my early teens, and I used to do lots of little designs, mainly for cards.

While I was pregnant with munckin I got back into it a bit, and amongst other things made four little samplers for friends. They all have their own stories, so I'm going to post one a day with a little tale to accompany it.

This was the first one I did, for a lovely fella called Piers. I know him from a forum I used to frequent whilst whiling away the hours at work in my lunchbreak. He's a likeable chap, if slightly dark. Many of his posts ended with ''s all baggage' - a true cynic :)

I posted a thread about picture phone recommendations, as I wanted to get a new phone so I could send pictures of munchkin to friends when she was born. Bless his blackened heart, he gave me a spare phone he had kicking around, and didn't want anything in return for it. So I stitched up this sampler for him. If you want to hear just how warped he is, you can tune in to his online radio show on Mondays at 8pm on Purple Radio. Just don't say I didn't warn you.... :)

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Mini me

Munchkin took this picture. No, really, she did! She'd been watching me take photos of Big Ted with a new bib I'd made, and decided she'd like to have a go herself. I had no idea she wanted to copy me, I just thought she wanted to play with him, but then she asked for the bib as well. I got an old one of hers, as I don't want sticky fingers on my stock, and then we put it on him.

Then she went and got one of her cardigans, and got me to put that on him as well. Then she asked for the camera :) She took the picture, I just held the camera for her and told her which button to press. Not bad for a 14 month old whose only form of communcation is pointing and babbling incoherently :D

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

From teatowel to turtletastic

I bought Munchkin some new sleepsuits at the weekend, as she just keeps on growing. They came in a pack of 3, including a blue gingham one which Mr pickledweasel said looked a bit like a tea towel :(

So to make it look more like a sleepsuit I appliqued on a little turtle from scraps of fabric. I'm liking it, so I think I'll do a turtley bib as well. It isn't quite anatomically correct, as I think turtles are meant to have tails. I did try a little tail when I was cutting out templates in paper, but it just looked a bit like the turtle was doing a poo :(

So this turtle does have a tail, it's just hiding in his shell :)