Thursday, October 29, 2009

My Creative Space - Knitted & Felted nest of bowls

My very clever friend Sam is not only a wonderfully kind, caring and compassionate woman but is also now my knitting teacher (that's her hands below showing me what to do).

You see I have sat back here in my land of Pippiwillow, needle felting, sewing with wool felt and more recently playing with and trying to befriend the sewing machine.

All the while watching, with ever greening eye all of you very clever knitters out there.

I have only ever attempted to knit a scarf and I needed my Mum to 'assist' me (which actually means to cast on, off and to sort out all of the dropped stitches-I love my Mum.)

I've always fancied the idea of being able to knit stuff, it seems relaxing, it's very transportable and I shouldn't really cause myself too many injuries with a knitting needle (as opposed to the dry felting needle-stabbing of my fingers type injury I normally sustain).

Sam has been knitting these.

After proudly coming over to play (chat) and to show me her almost completed project I decided I wanted in.

I wanted to learn too.

So, armed with a shopping list I went to the wool shop and purchased
1. The wrong sized double pointed 4 pack of knitting needles.
2. Not enough wool to complete the entire set.

However, I did remember to buy wool that is NOT for the washing machine - so that it would felt. (oh thank you other very clever friend who reminded me that the local school with the Steiner stream was having their school fete this past weekend - this is where I got to buy my wool from!)

Whilst I am away this week I have decided to try to finish my first of seven knitted bowls.

I will also try to start some of the other sewing projects that ought be done prior to the night before the big red fella comes down the chimney.....

Have a lovely week, & hop on over to Kirsty's to see who else has stuff to show and tell this week.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

My (no sentences on my kids please) Creative Space

Our dislike of branded things here at our place is not a new topic of conversation for this blog.
I haven't opened up this can of worms before though..

My children are beautiful, your children are beautiful.
Why then do people produce items of clothing such as this?

The sexualisation of children well before their natural time, the marketing 'genius' of mass production and big business, allowing our precious children to be exposed to situations and conversations that they can not possibly understand and societies idea of what is 'good looking'.

Where/when/why did it all go so pear shaped.

When did the average age for girls to stop playing with dolls go from 10-11 to 6!

My small girl came in to our bedroom the other day absolutely bursting with pride because she had dressed herself.

Orange and white stripy dress, purple long sleeved T-shirt, rainbow coloured tights, black 'outside working boots' and a woollen rainbow beanie.
I was so happy because she was so happy. I could see how proud she was of her effort - we previously were needing to help with the pulling of the top over the head bit or the tights.. but not today.

"It's because I'm four" replied my small girl when I asked her how she did it all by herself.

Then, right in the middle of my heart almost bursting with singsong happiness my small girl positioned her body in the "model on red carpet stopping for photo shoot" pose, stuck out her tiny bot' and asked "do I look sexy Mummy?"

The world stopped, I could hear in slow motion, my heart sped up to one bazillion beats a minute and my face fell.


She saw my face go from utter joy and elation to disbelief, fright and finally anger. It was as physical as it was emotional and I couldn't stop it.
I was not and am not angry with her, let me clarify that point right now.

How did she learn such a phrase? How did she learn the pose?
I asked the question and she simply said "the Telly".......

We don't let them watch commercial TV, they are only allowed a very finite amount of time watching ABC!!! and even that is on a rare occasion.
How far off "our" plan for raising our kids have we gone since we swapped roles and I went to work full time?
Undo it.
Take it back.
Erase those images and ideas from my daughters head. She is only four years old.

So when we are asked why we don't like clothes with sentences or why the TV will not be on in the presence of my kids - I feel quite justified in giving my answers - even more so now.

I haven't decided what to do to this yet - it was a gift for the small girl for her fourth birthday.

I do like the bird print though.
Any ideas?

Head over to Kirsty's for more creative spaces this week - and you'll likely find blogs about creating beautiful things rather than an anti slogan rant!

Thank-You - this has been quite cathartic.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

My (Bon Voyage) Creative Space

I work away from home - A LOT. My beautiful family come and stay with me sometimes - which is pure joy for me whilst they are there.

With all of this trekking up and down highways going on I have seen all manner of travelling luggage.

I got to thinking about the small peoples travelling luggage. We are not 'fans' of branded stuff here at our place which, made getting some 'kids' type luggage really tricky.
So, off to the "Op-Shop' I went.

We found some suitable sized suitcases (big enough for a four day trip & easy enough to 'play with').

I then found my stash of bed spreads and got cutting...... and gluing.

I love these cases now and so do the kids.

They will often 'pack' them and go travelling around the house and garden until they arrive at their desired destination....

Whilst not resolving the 'Mummy working away from home issue', at least the kids now have some seriously funky travelling gear.
Head over to Kirsty's to see what everyone has to show and tell today.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Re-Fashioned Crocheted Cardigan

Like many of you, I really like having the 'time' to go 'Op -Shopping' (which actually means..'not having the kids with me so I can peruse my wee heart out, without fear of one of them - or me, having a meltdown in the shop).

I spied it from across the room and knew that I must buy it.
A bright purple Crocheted Cardigan!
I had absolutely no idea what I was going to do with a massive bright purple crocheted cardigan.

It was woollen and heavy. Someone made this! Someone took the time, passion and energy to make it. Someone who liked the colour purple and flowery perfume.*

After seeing so many re-fashioning posts on many blogs and enquiring as to how this was done I had a vague understanding of the 'you just start cutting & don't be scared approach'.

I knew eventually I would do something to it but, for now I was lacking the 'creative vision' that was required. I felt that I should at least have a plan for this fabulous purple creation given the energy it took an unknown person to make it.

Whilst I may have been (at this point) lacking 'creative vision', I wasn't lacking a washing machine, several tennis balls and pairs of thongs.

So, the massive bright purple crocheted cardigan was felted - it required two 'sessions' to get it done and then when I cut off the arms I realised they needed their own special extra 'session' in the felting machine, as they started to unravel!

I am still working away from home several days a week, and this week I decided it was time to do something to this cardigan ..

The arm holes were too tight now for me to wear as a cardigan so I cut them off.

After the felting process it was too short now so I cut the arms along the length and attached them to the bottom of the cardigan. I like the 'choppy chunky' look of the reverse seam along the base.

The centre buttons came off in the washing machine so I didn't need to think about those.
It was clear this was going to be a vest and I wanted the centre closed.

I took the section at the back - the bit that attached at the sides and drew in the waist at the back (so sorry, I clearly am lacking the correct term for this bit). Anyway I sewed that down the front to join the two sections together.
I removed the pocket 'flaps' as I figured it was looking fairly 'bulky' by now and did't want to add to it.

The back of the cardi'/vest was still quite plain and it wasn't fitting snuggly around my mid bits.
I could hear the wise words of women who have inspired and encouraged me to try re-fashioning and so, with heart in mouth I 'just had a go'.

Here is the end result. I think I like it although, it is a little odd but aren't we all!
Today it is getting a public wearing. I shall keep note of the odd looks I receive.

I am venturing off to work again today for several days and I have been given homework to complete in the vain attempt to improve my relationship with the sewing machine and actually - eventually create something that I can wear.
I'm hoping for an 'A'!

* I am sorry, I forgot to take a pre-felting and pre arm removal photograph.