Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mummy The Sewing Goddess Pedestal

I must admit, now that I have started to make little girls clothes, I am quite addicted. Let's face it really, I had best make the most of it now as I am sure in a few years there is no way Emily will want to be seen dead in something that Mum has made ! Right now, however, I am up there on my Mummy The Sewing Goddess Pedestal. ( the fall down will be hard ! ) . Squeals of delight are forthcoming upon the completion of each item and well, thought she would pop a vein over this twirly layered skirt when she tried it on. Little devil was not going to stand still for a photo though, so hence I have pulled out the torso plastic dummy. The beauty of this style is the fact it can be made as a dress for a 2 yr old toddler ( just add shoestring straps ) or fits as a skirt for a 4yr old. I followed the pattern formula on this link at J Caroline Creative. You will just need to adjust your measurements to suit. Make one for yourself while you are at it !

Monday, November 16, 2009

my creative space

Tis the season..yes...Christmas parties! Quilting group Christmas parties to be exact.
So, on my desk this week are part of the Kris Kringle presents to gift at the parties. What may look like a pile of fabric,cardboard circles, felt and thread are the makings of a cute little Ready Threader.
I shall pop a reel of cotton and needle inside when gifted. Perfect size to keep in your purse as an emergency sewing kit.
The plan is to have these six whipped up plus a few other handmade goodies. Still looking for ideas though...any thoughts?

multiple personality disorder ? !

I was thinking about the name I had previously given to my blog "unpicking is the pits ". Seemed a bit negative and cranky. Not sending out the happy vibe , so to speak. That's not me ! So I have a fresh, new, positive title which happens to go nicely with my favourite piece of vintage embroidery.
Here's hoping everything links up okay still ! Fingers crossed !

Friday, November 6, 2009

love is the answer

I have been contemplating my navel, well metaphorically anyway, wondering what it is about sewing that can keep me awake until the wee small hours.Then it came to me…LOVE. I sew because I love it.I love the first seed of an idea…be it searching for a pattern or creating a design from scratch.I love to watch that idea grow and bloom. The sense of satisfaction from completing an item ,whether a small gift or a 70 inch square quilt, is amazing. Even better than this feeling though is when I gift the item to someone special and they LOVE it ! If you are a sewist, you know what I am talking about !

My latest project was born from my frustration at the selection of nightwear when searching for some PJs for my 4 yr old…not to mention the ridiculous price. Everything was polyester, not a scerrick of cotton in sight ! Off I trotted to the nearby Spotlight shop , purchased 2 meters of cotton voile -total cost= $8. Four hours later ( sounds a long time but I am a newbie to garment sewing ) and I had a shirred night dress and an appliqued PJ set. To top it off-they fit and Missy Moo loved them ! No pic of the nightdress yet !

The applique was without Viesofix as I wanted it to remain soft. The edges will fray over time but that is the effect I am wanting. Oh, and I made use of my stash of vintage sewing paraphenalia from my grandmother which provided the pink cotton ric-rac. A fab, cheap project that was useful and cute!

In case you were wondering, I used Simplicity pattern number 8493. A great unnisex design that has long sleeve and pants option plus a robe and a zip-up all in one style for the toddlers.

Happy sewing,


Saturday, October 17, 2009

op-shopping : vintage glamour on a budget

I had my best fashion find ever at the local oppy this week.
This fabulous 3 piece 60's tailored suit .
Fully lined. Gorgeous cranberry wool twilly fabric ( okay I idea watcha call it but I love it ! )
All in all...totally divine. Do you think?? or am I totally biased ??? I wish the cool weather would come back so I can wear it winter is such a long way away...sigh ! much as I would like this to be's not ! This is my friend modelling ...she is gorgeous !
Call me camera shy !

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

little tweetheart blogtoberfest giveaway

My parents travelled to Japan 10 years ago. Mum brought back some lovely pieces of vintage kimono fabric for me, which until recently have lay carefully wrapped in the original packaging.
3 months ago I unveiled them again and starting planning and scheming a quilt top design that I could best display these pieces in. I found the design needed a little more fabric than I had so popped it to the side until I had sourced more fabric.
Well...imagine my delight when I came across the giveway being hosted by little tweetheart as part of Blogtoberfest !! Fingers , toes and any other body part..crossed !!!
Pop over and have a look...and make sure you also visit her post about the Rainbow Present.
I am keeping that idea up my sleeve !
x PJ x

Saturday, October 3, 2009

hoot - hoot

owl book ends, originally uploaded by unpicking is the pits!.

Aren't these guys just gorgeous ?
Kitschy , vintage and cute! They tick all the boxes.I inherited these owl book ends from my maternal grandmother.They are in perfect nick. I can remember them sitting on her they are taking pride of place on mine .
I snapped this photo some time ago and came across it I thought I would share a little owl love with you !
( reading Nova's post ..thought she might like a looksy too ! )

x PJ x

Thursday, October 1, 2009

tulips and bees ....quilting bees !

Well, we survived the freezing cold conditions in Canberra for Floriade. It is a wonder there were any tulips left with the gale force winds !

Beautiful tulips, but must admit,I was frozen to the bone so I couldn't wait to get back in the car and drive to the mall. What luck ! A fabulous new Hobbysew had opened there with a great array of fabrics so I spent an hour or so warming myself up while browsing ( and buying ....sshh.. don't tell DH ).

These are my blocks for Amy for the ANZAC quilting bee. They proved to be a challenge in that I had to think outside the square..but I am pleased with the final result .I hope Amy is also.

Have you seen the latest blocks in the Quilt Project ? The quilt will be on display in Melbourne for one evening only, here are the details .

School holidays start at 3.10 pm tomorrow. I have been busy gathering ideas for crafty ventures to keep the children occupied over the next 2 weeks. First on the list is some goop ! definitely an outside activity.
Any links to some great sites with kids craft activities greatly appreciated !

x PJ x

Friday, September 25, 2009

tiptoe through the.....

Car packed. ( overpacked as always)
Portable dvd player ready - to allay certain boredom and the repeated question..are we there yet !
Camera battery charged.

Off we go... here....

for a lovely long weekend .

x PJ x

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Fun time wasters ...

Bored...? want to waste 5 minutes of your life...pop over here and see your creations on the gallery wall !

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Super-duper sized catch up post !!

I was horrified when I saw the date of the previous post !
Very neglectful of me. So, in no particular order , a glimpse of what I have been distracted with for the last 4 weeks.
A birthday party for Emily, 45 people at our house on a cold, miserable day.
We had the usual party food fair plus games. I made a piniata.Which held together really well. Too well. Note to time use less packaging tape LOL...I think Arny Schwarzenneger would have had a hard time busting it open !
We took some fairy cakes to share as her birthday cake at pre-school. All gobbled up rather quickly...3- 4 yr olds are apparently ravenous by morning tea time when they have been climbing , running and chasing !
Emily is putting the candle in her playdo know..the one they have at child care and pre-schools to "blow out "the they don't spit all over the cake that is to be shared !

I was lucky enough to win a few giveaways happening in blog land..and "meet"some lovely crafty types along the way!
These toasty warm, knitted/felted wrist warmers from Miss Muggins , love the wrapping !

and this stunning quilted pillow pattern from Kellie at don't look now.
I was in the newsagent this morning and spotted the latest issue of Australian Homespun..and there was Kellie's gorgeous quilt on the front cover ! She is one talented lady !
We had a trip to my Dad's orchard...Emily follows him around like a puppy dog, chatting incessantly ( NO idea where she inherited that trait from ! ).
She helped Pop in the packing shed...and found a few apples to bring home !
Blake enjoyed riding the motorbike and tractor , then whining all the way home about how hard done by he is , having to live in the city ."why can't I live on a farm ? "
Geez...give me strength !!

Then there's the stitching projects...Amy from Seven Stitches...all the way over the ditch in NZ kindly organised a virtual quilting bee for Aussie and NZ participants,and she called it what else but the ANZAC quilting bee.
Here is the fabric she has sent .Plus her lovely Gee's Bend postcard ! Very Amish inspired colours. We are to construct 2 x 12.5 " blocks using string piecing. I plan on sitting down tonight to complete mine , but Nova was on a mission and had her's finished in record time ! And they look great.

This is my piece for The Quilt Project. With a little extra added !

A big thankyou to Kirsty at kootoyou , for organising this group. I can't wait to see the final result. I must admit I procrastinated so long over my design but I was happy with the final result. I haven't done much stitching before, other than blanket stitch for applique, so the craftmanship may be not look too closely !
Do pop over to the flickr group , make sure you see this particular piece..totally inspiring !

This mumma can't do much without her little helper wanting to join in, so here is Emily working on her stitching...she really did quite well for her age..stitch spacing a tad uneven, but she concentrated SO hard on staying on the line !

Last but not least, I found this at my fave op-shop last week. A classic vintage print , the girl reminded me of Emily..had to grab it ..for a princely sum of $2. Yay !
x PJ x

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Such a Sew-Fantastic Giveaway !

One of the first blogs I started to follow when I discovered the wonders of blogland was that of Terri at Sew-Fantastic.
I have made the coasters from Terri's tutorial link that many times I am losing track.
They are a great gift idea.
Pop over and have a looksy, while you are there. have a peek at her gorgeous crayon wallets in her etsy shop.
Terri is being SOOO generous with a fantastic giveaway at the moment.
One lucky reader will receive a copy of Heather Ross's Weekend Sewing book ...PLUS....some HR fabric from her still my beating heart !!! Wow !!!

x PJx

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Where did my baby go ?

This is my baby.
Well, she was.
Now she is my big girl.
But she will always be my baby.

Happy 4th Birthday , Princess.

The cake ? A very sad make shift , make do packet thingy . Because you MUST blow out candles on the actual day of your birthday ! No matter how sad the actual cake may be..or how bad it tastes.
Heaps of chocolate frosting can always improve a sad cake however. At least that's what her big brother tells me.
Never mind. Her party is on Sunday.I will once again be able to play super- best mummy in the whole wide world role and create a special cake for the party day .
Which will hopefully taste lots better than this one did !
I am very relieved that she has requested a butterfly birthday cake this year.
Um..should be much easier than what she requested last year .
Go take a peek, I am off to find a recipe.

x PJ x

Monday, August 17, 2009

Every little girl loves to twirl...

Not much use doing some "twirling "if you do not have your own twirly skirt!
I found the tutorial for this sweet and easy little twirly skirt over at House on Hill Road. I have little experience sewing clothes but even lil'old me managed this one.
I loved the hem finish ...very neat .and am a tad lazy , so the fact that I did not even need to remove the selvedge was even better!
Emily's favourite colour is purple hence her choice of fabric. And did she like the final result ?
Well, after having to pry it off her to get her PJ's on last night, I think it was a winner!
x PJ x

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Paying the price.....

I promise not to roll in the dirt anymore !'t wash me...anything but that !

He just never much for old dogs and new tricks.

x PJ x

Thursday, August 6, 2009

What a great give away theme !

The lovely Elaine from Faithful Quilter is having a fab giveaway "the Stimulus Package " for quilters !
Very timely theme...the economy is not the only thing around here that needs a bit of stimulus !
My motivation would benefit from a wee bit of "stimulus".
Pop over and browse Elaine's blog...very inspirational for some traditional quilting designs and styles .

Sunday, August 2, 2009

First time.

We have had a busy weekend with a lot of "Firsts "

The first time I have seen a naked Banana !! I think I should have found a maple leaf for his modesty ... his PJ's needed a wash...

The first time Emily collected fresh eggs..

The first time I totally improvised a quilt top way to use up all my flannel scraps !!
Very utilitarian..I know it won't win any prizes !

Hope you all had a lovely weekend !
x PJ x

Seeing spots.....

These are the lovely goodies that arrived from Joanne, my partner in the Polka Dot Swap.
Dotty fabric, dotty grosgrain ribbon,cutest dotty Scotty dog buttons and a fabulous wallet with lots of room for cards!
Thanks Joanne !

And what did I send her ? well..this silly billy wrapped her parcel late at night and forgot to take photos.Duh !
Joanne has received her package and will be posting pics soon. I sent some fabric, buttons , cappucino set with spotty giraffes and a little quilt with cat applique for her cat's basket.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

What not to do......

with a plastic tea cup !

I was hurrying to get ready and out the door this morning, Emily was happily playing in her room with her teaset,when she apparently decided to put the tea cup over her mouth and suck the air out and suction it to her face.

The result was this horrible bruising and she had actually burst tiny blood vessels ,I wiped off droplets of blood.
Poor thing she was so upset...but I had to chuckle...she looked in the mirror then shook her head , turned and said "This is the worst day of my life ! "

okay... not the best day...but I hate to tell you my little 3 yr old popppet....there will probably be worse days than this one !!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

My little snow bunny...

had her first trip to the snow.How is this for her first toboggan ride?
I really thought it was going to end with an injury !!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Garden swap,river walk and pink tulip!!

This morning I received a parcel from Scotland ,from Emma, my partner in the Garden Swap.

Emma kindly sent me some gorgeous handknit flowers with button centres, a pretty flower button bracelet, a lovely piece of bright floral pop daisy quilting fabric,a postcard with a lovely scene of Aberdeen, a funky purple cocktail shaker and some recipes for her fave well as a recipe for a decadent sweet. Emma was actually going to make the sweet and send it but I advised Emma that our quarantine customs officers would have probably confiscated it so now I can make it myself..yummy...
I am thrilled with it all..thanks did you know that I do not have a cocktail shaker...??? And I have already planned a bag to make, that would feature the knitted flowers sewn onto it .

Emma received the package I sent her a few days are some photos....

An eco-calico shopping bag with a garden themed stitchery on the front, a purple apron with big appliqued flowers ( Emma LOVES baking and purple is her fave colour ) , a little needle and thread pouch- holds a reel of cotton and some needles in the felt on the inside of the lid ( finished off with flower buttons...oh...and it is purple fabric ! ) plus some cute coffee / hot chocolate stencils to decorate a cappucino or hot chocolate.( forgot to photograph them ) I made a note card and attached flower pot buttons to the front.

I have been lucky enough to win a little giveaway over at Loraine's blog Pink Tulip.Loraine sews some lovely clothes and bags, pop over and have a look....she has inspired me to try making a few skirts...I will post photos if they turn out half wearable ! I can sew quilts but I struggle with adult clothing................

I will leave with a photo from our family stroll/ walk/ bike ride along the river bike path last weekend. It is such a lovely location, very peaceful and restful.....

x PJ X

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Mmmm..... coffee and chocolate.....Kitchen Swap !!

My partner Melissa received the little box of goodies for the Kitchen swap I sent her.
Melissa mentioned her kitchen was brown and cream, so when I saw some cute coffee themed fabric in those exact colours , on one of my fabric shop adventures...I knew I had to get it!
Apparently I chose well, Melissa and her husband both have a love of coffee!!
I made a set of coasters and a chalkboard fabric message board with the fabric.

What goes so well with coffee? .. ...chocolate !! I included a Donna Hay Chocolate Recipe book, a spatula to help make some yummy chocolate cakes...and some cute stencils to decorate cappucino or hot chocolates with them over the cup and shake the sprinkles over !!

Thankyou ,Melissa , for being my kitchen swap has been lots of fun !!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

More Unbirthday swap fun!!

Hot on the tail of Miya receiving her swap package from me..I received my package from Miya !!
What a fabulous box of goodies !
A lovely handmade by Miya clutch purse and mini purse..( favourite colours pink and blues) with some yummy lip balm .

A vintage tin full of vintage sewing notions ...including wooden cotton reels...I LOVE old wooden cotton reels !!
oh, and see that little vintage wooden ruler in there, it is from a shop , Kramers' , in Cincinnati, where Miya cute !!!

AND...drum roll....this totally fabulous vinyl record box - screen printed and made by Miya...

one of the faces is Miya screen printed on it ...see her in the middle here ??
along with other notable dignitaries..hehe...

I had to hide it from my son after he wanted to claim it for himself...told me it was too cool for me and that he should have it ...hummph...I think not !!

As this was an Unbirthday swap..Miya had asked for a little question was..what was the worst birthday you can remember ? ...well.......I wrote....

Worst birthday in my very vague memory was my 11th Birthday. Sitting on the side of Mum and Dad’s bed...Mum passes my present, a paper grocery bag ..( Mum being a trendy eco-reylce person way back then)...which contained one after the other of crochet covered coat hangers !!! What the ? !!
I started to get upset, cried and ran off ( I mean after the seventh ugly nylon crocheted coat hanger, wouldn’t you ?? ).
I eventually gave in to the calls to come back ( was sobbing on my bed in the next room ...thinking what horrible present givers they were and maybe I could trade them for someone else’s parents ! )
They convinced me to dig past the last 3 coat the bottom of the bag was a box containing a watch ( some groovy brand that I can’t remember ) and a compilation music tape that had all the chart hits at the time.....Barry Manilow- Copacabana, 5- 7-0-5 , by an artist I can not remember, and Baby it’s Peaches.
I quite liked the pressies ( not the coathangers ) and still have nightmares of giant crochet covered coat hangers taunting me !!

So, in the spirit of this piece of background information I give you the final item in Miya's swap package she sent.............

LOVE it all Miya...thankyou..yes....even the coathangers !!!!!

x PJ x