Posts Tagged 'Sewing'

Anzac Day Activities

Anzac Day is more than just a day off work. It is a day to step back and remember the sacrifices made by the troops of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps in the First World War, and beyond.  Yesterday there was a very moving assembly at school led by the Head Girl and Deputy Head Girls, who, along with a teacher singing The Band Played Waltzing Matlida and a moving rendition of The Last Post, recalled the events of April 25th, 1915 at Gallipoli. The poem In Flanders Field by Candian poet Lt. Col. John McCrae was read:
In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

 

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie,

In Flanders fields.

 

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

Tomorrow Miss 5’s class are going to visit the Cenotaph which will be a first for her.

And today at home we baked a big batch of Anzac Biscuits.  They are a popular biscuit here in New Zealand still. And especially with my husband. He’d love it if I made them year round. Rather than using the traditional recipe, I read some online and then amalgamated them, attempting to make a delicious but still healthier version of the biscuits.

Here’s what I used:

1C Rolled Oats

1/2 C white flour

1/2 C wholemeal flour

3/4 C Caster Sugar

3/4 C Descicated Coconut

1/4 C LSA

175g Butter

2 T Golden Syrup

1t baking powder, dissolved in 2T boiling water

2 t vanilla essence

Method:

Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl. Make a well in the centre.

Melt together butter and golden syrup, and add to dry ingredients along with baking soda mixture and vanilla. Stir until combined.

Place teaspoon sized amounts of the mixture on a greased tray, bake until crisp in a 190 C oven, about 12 minutes.

Leave on the tray to crisp up for several minutes after you remove them from the oven.

They seem really good- you barely notice the reduced sugar content, they are still very tasty and by still using butter they are still crispy.

I have also managed to get into the sewing room for the first time in forever. My oven gloves were in a desperately sad state, and I was delighted that I was able to make up a couple of replacement pairs from stash items.

The top one is from some fabric scraps, I’ve no idea the designer. The bottom one is some delicious Michael Miller fabric I’ve had for a while waiting for a project.  The binding is home made binding I had made years ago, and I have two layers of woollen blanket inside, taken from a cot blanket I picked up from the hospice shop for a few dollars.

I don’t think the last time I made an oven glove I used the overlocker, but it was super simple to pin all the layers together and then overlock around. All the remained was to put on the binding and sew it on. A great use of a spare hour, and things from stash.

I’m not sure what rest of the day holds – I still have my machines out, the garden is calling my name too, and the children are about to claim the computer.  I hope that you have a great Anzac Day, and that you take some time out to remember those who sacrificed so much for the freedom we all enjoy every day.

Treasure Trove

I had a lovely parcel arrive on my doorstep yesterday. It was full of tiny treasures, a prize that I won in a draw on a forum I’m on, for entering a project in their theme of the month competition. The theme last month was embellishment and I submitted the cushions I made and was lucky enough to have my name drawn for the prize.

Fittingly enough, the prize contains a real treasure trove on things for embellishment – everything from size labels to printed snap caps (the owls have to be my fave, I have an owl thing going on right now), crocheted flowers through to seriously sparkly bling, a hoard of brightly coloured zips thought to handmade buttons.  I have been utterly spoiled.

Thanks so much to the Gingham gals for putting together such a beautiful and generous prize pack.

Cosy Cushions

Sometimes you get a gift so good you just have to have more. I got a gift like that for my birthday from my sister.  A gorgeous appliqued cushion cover made from a recycled blanket and quiliting fabrics. Look!

Our cushions were desperately in need of updating, and I asked my sister if she minded me copying her idea. She enabled me (good girl!) by giving me her leftover ‘trunk’ fabric. I wanted to use up some scraps for the ‘leaves’, and I was able to use fabric scraps of Amy Butler I’d been saving for an occasion like this, and some from some Sandi Henderson fabric as well. In fact if you’ve been reading my blog for a while they will likely be rather familiar. 

In fact it wasn’t just the applique fabrics that came from stash – everything from the thread and interfacing through to the woollen blanket came from stash. The cushion my sister gave me closes with a zip, however, I didn’t have any of these stashed. And of course I soooo love sewing in zips too.  Or not! I do have a snap press, and a massive stash of snaps, so I made envelope backs with snap closures.

Because they are made from woollen blankets, these are seriously cosy cushions. They seem to attract children…

The only potential problem is that that my son appears to have left one upside down on the sofa. I think I’ll become one of those people who have to straighten the cushions before I got to bed.

Easter Treats

Good Friday marked the end of the teaching term for me and DH. So our household is feeling a bit more lighthearted than on a usual long weekend. The girls and I got busy in the kitchen making a batch of Hot Cross Buns this morning. Miss 1 crashed for a massive nap before she got to shape any. Miss 3 made up for it though 🙂

 See how flour covered Miss 3 is at this point!! 

And when they were both tucked up safely for their naps (yay for tired girls who take loooong naps!) I was able to make these cute wee Easter Baskets for the girls. (I resisted the urge to make one for DS, who really wouldn’t appreciate one!)

I found a link to a tutorial for these bags on a forum I frequent, and was inspired to make them as I knew I could whip them up from stash.  All you need is about 15×8 inches of felt, a few buttons, and some contrasting or complementary felt to make the flowers from. My felt wasn’t quite the right dimensions, but I figured that the girls won’t be getting a huge haul of eggs to stash in them, so size wouldn’t matter too much!

Making the handles out of a different colour felt helped too 🙂  I love the vintage buttons from my button stash too. Too cute!

I suspect Miss 3 will snaffle this spotty one because it has pink flowers.

Which means Miss 1 will get this red number. You can see the seam details in these pictures – the are sewn on the right side and seams trimmed with pinking shears when they are done – a lovely idea to finish felt nicely.

We are looking forward to more enjoyable family time over the next few days. DS goes away early next week to stay with his grandparents so we are trying to enjoy these special days while we can. I hope that you and your families enjoy a blessed Easter season.

Amy overload

As promised, I spent the day in front of my sewing machine today finishing the third library bag, and working with my gorgeous Amy Butler Nigella fabric.

So, a book bag for Miss 1 to match the ones I made for Miss 3 and I. 

The second thing I worked on today was a bag to hold my swift. It was made by a friend’s father, and had been stored in the brown paper wrapper it arrived in, until it fell apart. I cut this out months ago, and then did nothing more. I had decided it needed a pocket but wasn’t sure how I would make it. Today it was a doddle, as I realised a full width pocket would be sewn in with the seams. With a small flap for the top, and a bit of contrasting binding, it was done.  The pocket will store the dowels easily and closes with a snap. I totally love my snap press, it is so much easier than trying to get my machine to produce a passable buttonhole!  Then it was a matter to whipping up a lining and side seams, and making a casing for the ribbon closure.  Ah, yet another bit of Amy loveliness to sit around being useful and pretty.

I had enough left overs to make myself a beautiful work in progress bag too.

And speaking of left overs, I played around with them too, and made three more slightly smaller work in progress bags – the one of on the right is the smallest and would be perfect for a sock knitter.  These need rehoming, as a girl doesn’t need *quite* this many beautiful bags.

And now all I am left with from two yards of beautiful fabric is this:

Oh, and a floor desperately in need of vacuuming.   What fun it was to spend a whole day sewing. I can’t remember the last time I did. But for now, I had better pick up those knitting needles!

Some sewing at last!

I’ve been busy at the sewing machine over the past few days, making the most of some pretty fabric and finishing off the work in progress bags I have orders for plus a few more.  I have also been working on an outfit each for the girls, although the fact they are incomplete didn’t stop me from working on something entirely different today.

Inspired by our library visit today, I took the opportunity to (finally) cut out the second and third library bags I got the fabric for several months ago.  I got one done too – it was one of those magic days where both girls slept and slept.  This bag is for me, I adore the fabric, and have enough to make myself a WIP bag which will be made tomorrow, as there is no time like the present!

Like the other library bag, I used a pattern made from an old cloth bag we had worn out, which I cut apart.  I added a patchwork panel and contrast of my own design.  The fabric is some lovely decorator weight Amy Bulter from her Nigella range. I totally adore it and am glad I have made something ‘useful’ from it. I love having the library books stored in the bags, as they girls books stay in them between visits, so I have an excuse for the bags staying out looking pretty all the time. 

We visit the library fortnightly on a Sunday, and today was our library day.  A while ago, a friend’s husband was bemoaning to me the pathetic collection of fly fishing books in the library and I pointed out that the section was approximately four times larger than the knitting section. It seems in recent months they have actually been buying some new knitting books though. I was able to get out these good old stitch dictionaries, as well as two new additions.

I have borrowed the Simply Baby book before, in fact the lovely knitted teddies I made were sourced from this book, and while I might not *use* any patterns from either book, it is lovely to flick through the patterns and admire them. 

I can see the days ahead taking shape – lots of finishing projects, secret Christmas knitting, and enjoying the spring sunshine before my marking contract tears me away from my life of leisure.

Creative Time?

With my exam over, you might be excused for imagining me taking things easy today while the girls were in daycare. No, instead I got busy in the kitchen with sandpaper and paint, scraping down windowsills and doorframes and then painting them back up again. I hardly had time to sit down all day! When I did, I managed to finish up a few more WIP bags.

001

These ones are all for rehoming so I can reallocate any funds earnt to my stash improvement fund 🙂 Yes, these are up for grabs. I have listed them for sale on a forum I’m on and the yellow/blue one has gone, and one of the yellow paisley ones is gone too. But, the others are available. So, if you’ve got $15 burning a hole in your pocket, I’m a very worthy cause.

Heehee. 

But seriously, if you want one, if you leave a comment I can email you… don’t write your email in the message because I can email from the WordPress sign in thingy – it’s clever like that.

I am hoping to get a stack more painting done tomorrow, but I will try to sneak in some knitting time as well. And maybe a few minutes on the sewing machine too – yep, I’ve got more WIP bags cut out.

Oh, and if any sisters like these, please say so, because Christmas pressies are still in the formative stages… 🙂


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