Sunday, September 30, 2012

Easy Outfit for a Teddy

I'm not sure why my mum gave me this teddy bear, her arm was off and she needed repairing. Mum said she thought I might like to repair it, so I have. Then of course she needed a new outfit!
a repaired and dressed teddy ready for a new home
The dress is simply two 6 round granny hexagons with a skirt added to make a dress. After joining the shoulder seams and the two pieces together at the back, I over lapped them at the front and added the pink skirt. I did all 3 parts in different colours so you can see what I mean. Then I lengthened each sleeve with a contrasting colour.

I decided she needed pants to go with it so whipped the trousers while my toddler son slept. I used a tiny bit of vintage floral print my mother gave me. The pants came out a lot better than the last pair I made, so I must be getting better at it! I think I might try and give this back to my mum, I wonder what she will think?

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Cotton Bow Tie with Pink Stripe

I made this bow tie up quickly a week or two ago. I love men's ties that have a little pink in them, I just think they are so pretty!
cotton bow tie with a pink stripe by Teena S. Murphy
This is the first bow tie I've made in multi-colours, I just made this one to see how the stripe would look. The next bow tie needs to be stouter and shorter, so it bunches up better. This time, I just wrapped some chains around the middle part. I popped this into a package I sent to Ronda, who won my first giveaway on my facebook page. I know she is a crafty person, perhaps she will find a use for the bow tie.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Variegated Wool Scrap Yarn

Here is some more variegated yarn made from felted wool scraps. This is time consuming to do, and produces a yarn that is tightly spun. This time its just white and pinks, similar to the first variegated scrap yarn I made.
variegated yarn made from felted wool scraps
I made this yarn to test my new poplar drop spindle my father-in-law made for me. I quickly made it into a 5 petal flower to see the result straight away. I'm keeping all my wool scraps separate from other scraps so I can always make my own variegated yarn if I want.
a simple flower made from variegated wool scrap yarn

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Poplar Drop Spindle

My father-in-law has made me a second drop spindle, this time its smaller than the first and is made from a raw piece of poplar from his property. The raw natural bark is left on t he spindle creating a rustic look.
drop spindle made from raw poplar wood
I love this new drop spindle, as soon as I found a hook for it I put it straight to work! I had a go spinning some felted wool scraps into variegated yarn. This smaller spindle actually took me more time to get used to than the first drop spindle, which is larger.
detail of the spindle hook and natural poplar bark

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Sweater for Scout

I made this sweater by joining 4 small granny squares, for a toy called 'Scout'. I made it up quickly so my son could take him to bed with him as a comfort toy.
a sweater for Scout, made of 4 small granny squares
This toy is perfect for Thomas to take to bed because it sings him songs to go to sleep, and you can programme them to say your child's name/ I would never spend this much on a toy like this though, so its a special gift from Aunt Debbie to enjoy.
back detail of 4 granny square sweater
I simply did 4 granny squares, each have four rounds. Because the toy is short and stout, it had to be a short, wide sweater. Two pairs of squares were joined with invisible stitch down the sides, then the pairs were joined at the corners to form arm holes. Lastly, I did 6 rounds of sc to form a turtle neck. I quickly chose colours from my acrylic stash that matched the toy. Now my son can grab the short of the toy to comfort him at night.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Recycled Magnet Puzzle

I've been saving these magnets to make a puzzle for Thomas to play on the fridge. I didn't buy any of these magnets, they were free.
puzzle made from recycled magnets
I simply printed up 4 pictures of the first eight words Thomas can now say. They were up, dada, mama, baba, cheese, milk, banana and apple. For now, he points to the pictures and says the words. When the time comes I can cut off the words to make two magnets that can be matched together for a puzzle game.
recycled magnets found in junk mail
These magnets are on our fridge, I'm not sure how they will last because I simply glued the printed pictures on with craft glue. To make a durable game I will need to laminate them, but I don't own a laminater. Maybe I should get one?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Cherry Tomato Harvest

When we visited Stanthorpe in Easter, amongst our spoils was a large box of cherry tomatoes. We collected the seeds and planted them into two planter boxes, and now we have our 1st harvest!
most of our 1st harvest of potted cherry tomatoes, with plenty more to come
This is most of the first bunch we have harvested, a few were taste testers! They are especially nice on bread sprinkled with cheese and put under the griller. There are heaps of green tomatoes on the bush right now, ripening. And just in time too, because tomatoes are very expensive in the shops right now, the other week they were $10 a kilo!

They are being fed every weekend with worm tea, as well as a monthly feed of a stronger commercial fertiliser. The leaves are dying off so I don't know if these bushes are meant to die after the harvest.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Natural Cotton Doily

I made this doily on a whim, using what looks to be naturally coloured pure cotton thread. This doily is not made for any purpose or for any one in mind, I just made it to see how the cotton would make up.
a simple doily made with naturally coloured cotton and a 2mm crochet hook
I followed the same pattern I used for a pair of small green doilies, as it is easy to memorise. My 2mm hook seemed the perfect size for this yarn. I'm now thinking I could do a small rug in the same pattern with some large cord I have here, I wonder if that would work?
reclaimed natural coloured cotton
My mum gave me this natural cotton, she says she found it at a garage sale and it still has its labels on, which says it was made in China. I think this yarn will make a great string bag ...

Friday, September 21, 2012

Patchwork Quilt Birthday Card

I asked my mum to make a birthday card for my friend who is a keen quilter, and this is what she came up with!
patchwork birthday card by Heather Sutton of Feather's Nest
This card is so pretty and perfect for my quilting friend, I hope she likes it!
inside detail of Patchwork card by Feather's Nest

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Pair of Small Green Doilies

I made these two small doilies for my sister-in-law Lynelle, who asked me to make some to match the large green doily I gave to her last year. These ones are intended to sit on a dresser as doilies for small objects, but they are the same size as drink coasters. You can use them as coasters but I wouldn't recommend that because they will need to be washed more often.
pair of coaster sized doilies with tea cup
I was going to make up my own pattern, but decided to follow one I saw on pinterest. This easy doily pattern was easy to make up, the pattern is by Maggie Weldon and is available for free on

Although I do prefer working with less fine cotton and larger hooks, tiny work like this really hurts my eyes. For these doilies, I used fine cotton and a 1.5mm hook. To help me memorise the pattern I simplified it, its basically a round of 24, then a round of 24 (dc 1 ch), then a round of 3 chs, a round of 4 chs, then 3 rounds of 6 chs, the last is 7 dc into every 2nd ch sp, (1 ch sc 1 ch) into the other ch sps.

The doilies needed blocking because they were slightly different sizes, after blocking they came out fine. To wash these doilies you need to wash in cool water and squeeze gently. Then lay flat onto white foam or thick white cardboard and pin out, starting with a pin in the centre. This will make the doilies sit nicely, don't remove them from the pins until the doilies are dry.
blocking a matching pair of doilies on top of each other
I'm going to post these to Lynelle for her birthday, I hope she likes them!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Vintage Crochet Edging

This vintage crochet edging is on a set of 6 napkins given to my parents in 1969. It was given with a large crochet tablecloth as a wedding present, but we don't know who the person was who made it. I didn't take photos of the tablecloth yet, perhaps I can manage that next time I visit my mum.
vintage napkin edging from 1969
Next time I need to crochet an edge, perhaps I can look at this photo again and try and copy it. I think it's particularly nice, don't you? Although I'm sure I won't be using as tiny a hook and thread as this person did, that just hurts my eyes to think about!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Vintage Doily from 1969

This is a gorgeous crochet doily made by one of my great-aunts and given to my parents as part of a wedding present in 1969. I believe it was given with a vase, perhaps my mum still has it? That's highly likely, my mum has a huge hoarded stash which I'm sure she doesn't fully comprehend the extent of it. When I get the chance, I'd love to try and copy this pattern, perhaps I could even write it down. I just love the simplicity of this symmetrical design. It would be nice if I washed and blocked this doily, I will when I get the chance ...
doily made by my great-aunt and given as a wedding present in 1969

Monday, September 17, 2012

2 week old potted cotton sprout

Here is an update on my potted cotton. The first seed I planted is now two weeks old, and I have planted a second seed which has poked through the soil today!
3 day old potted cotton sprout
I planted the second seed on Sunday 9th September 2012, at a depth of about half an inch, but it still poked through on Monday 17th which was day eight. Although though the packet says 5 to 7 days, both cotton seeds poked through on day 8. I planted the 1st cotton seed on Sunday 26th August and it poked through on Monday 3rd September.
4 day old potted cotton sprout
5 day old potted cotton sprout
The weather is started to warm up here now, and its still very dry, it hasn't rained in weeks. They get a little water every day, and their 4 inch pots are sitting on top of saucers. They are in a spot that gets afternoon sun, it seems this is the perfect time to plant, so I shall plant more. I think for this 1st season I'll plant 3 more seeds, and see how we go.
one week old potted cotton sprout
It so very exciting for me, I wonder what this next adventure will bring ...
two week old potted cotton sprout

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Filet Dolies made by my Great-grandmother

This filet crochet doily set was made by my great-grandmother, Mary Margaretta Davis. I apologise for the quality of these photographs, but as I have stated before, these treasures are stashed away at my mother's house, and these are the photos I managed to get at my last visit. One day I hope to share better photographs. The purpose of these posts now, is to record the identity of these heirloom crafted pieces, as I get the chance to do it.
small filet doily made by my great-grandmother Mary Margaretta
matching large filet doily made by my great-grandmother, Mary Margaretta

Saturday, September 15, 2012

3 Vintage Motifs

Here are some motif samples made by my mum, I'm not sure when she made them. These are made with fine crochet cotton and are about 40 years old.
two small square motif samples made by my mum
a small oblique shaped sample made by my mum

Friday, September 14, 2012

Pink Edge Crochet Doily

Here is a lovely crochet doily with a pink edge made by my mum, I think this was also made between 1969 and 1971, like the two embroidered linen doilies I blogged about yesterday. I'm very sorry, but she doesn't remember where she got the pattern. It was, afterall, a very long time ago!
40 year old crochet doily with pink edge made by my mum between 1969 and 1971

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Vintage Embroidered Linen Doilies

As promised, here are two more embroidered linen doilies made by mum. These are designs and colours she chose to make after she was married in 1969, before I was born in 1971. She says she did them because after she was married, dad didn't want her to work so she was bored and wanted something to do! But don't worry, my mum chose to go back to work when the kids started school.
a gorgeous blue embroidered linen doily with crochet edging made by my mum between 1969 and 1971
These are simply gorgeous and obviously made by a master. My eyes hurt just thinking about trying something like this. These are so very special, I hope you like seeing these photos, but I do apologies for the state they are in. One day when I get the chance, I will wash and press these and take fresh photos for you to enjoy. They are currently tucked away in a safe place in my mother's hoarded stash.
a stunning crochet edged linen doily with pink and purple flowers made by my mum between 1969 and 1971

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

1960s Highschool Embroidery Samples

This week I'd like to share some photos of vintage crochet and embroidery work, starting with these four embroidery samples made by my mother in the 1960s. I apologise in advance for the state they are in, these samples are in need of washing, pressing and blocking, but I feel a dismayed sense of urgency to record these precious things while I can. When I get a chance, I will share photos of them in better condition.
1960s high-school embroidery on linen made by my mother, one corner detail
this is the 4th embroidery sampler my mother made in high-school
I believe these high-school samples are so very special so I will start with these, although there are many, many photographs to share with you from my mother's stash, including intricate doilies made by my great-grandmothers and great-aunts that were given as wedding gifts to my parent's in 1969. I can only share a few photographs this week, because this is what I managed to get photos of at my last visit on the weekend. We are planning to try and visit my parents once a month, they are couple of hours drive away, and we have now committed ourselves to care for their fruit trees, which are in such a dismal state we can't bare to see them slip further into decline. I will also be posting about that adventure in the near future.
3rd year high-school embroidery sample from the 1960s, the large leaves were made by someone else and added on
When I looked at these samples, I got a sense of the amount of time this intricate work required. Every year the home-economics teachers got the students to make a new sample. By the time you look at the 3rd and 4th sample you can clearly see my mother had already graduated from this skill, so the teachers had set her to some busy work to keep her occupied. I hope to find time to improve my embroidery skill, I do still remember a bit my mother taught me when I was younger, but my skill is very rudimentary to say the least!
2nd year high-school cross-stitch embroidery on linen sample
Personally, I find embroidery, and cross-stitching for that mater, a luxury in time-wasting. In my opinion there are far more productive things you could be making with needle and thread, and quicker ways to decorate with paint and stamps. That's why I think this skill is so treasured. If I find time to improve my emrboidery skill, it will be with the goal to simply sew faces onto crochet toys, I think a face on a toy is best embroidered on. But who has time for this intricate decoration?
this simple red napkin and tray mat set were the 1st sample my mother made in high-school
I hope you enjoyed seeing photographs of this very special embroidery work from the 1960s. Check back on my blog soon for more photos of vintage crochet and embroidery.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Easy Baby Doll Outfit

I found this tiny dolly in the RSPCA op shop on Wednesday, I got it with a pink plastic doll bath for $1.50! I thought it would be perfect for Thomas to play with in the bath, and to dress, its just the right size for him. This doll is 8 inches long.
a cute baby doll I found at an op shop, and dressed in a quick to make outfit
When I gave it to him he loved it straight away, cuddling and kissing it. I was surprised when he moved the baby's head while saying 'no, no, no, no, no', something he's only just learnt to say himself recently. So today I decided I should quickly make something to dress it in, so I made this outfit because it was very quick and easy.

blue square and sleeve, with yellow sleeve

yellow square and sleeve, with blue sleeve
I started with the sweater, which is simply two granny squares of 4 rounds each. I used a 3mm hook and 4 ply acrylic baby yarn. After I finished the 1st square I did not cut the yarn, but left it ready to use for one of the sleeves. When I finished the 2nd square I then attached it to the 1st square right away, just joining 2 clusters with slip stitch. I sl st along 2 clusters to leave a gap for the arm hole then joined the corners only at the shoulder. Then I went straight into the 1st sleeve, doing 4 rounds of dc, finally fastening off when that was done. I then went to the yarn left at the end of the 1st square and joined 2 clusters at the other side seam, left a gap of 2 more clusters for the other arm, then joined at the corners for the 2nd shoulder. I finished with the 2nd sleeve of 4 rounds of dc. Because I used two colours I hope you can see what I mean, with one square and one sleeve in each colour. This made a very quick project, with only 2 fasten offs. You certainly are too busy to spend too much time on something like this, aren't you?
this outfit for a baby doll was very quick and easy to make
For the hat, I did 3 increasing rounds in blue, the 1st round is 10 dc, the 2nd is 20 dc, the 3rd is 30 dc. Then I switched colours and did the rest in non-increasing rounds. 7 rounds were enough to cover the doll's head with a turned up brim. This was also really quick to make up, I used the same yarn and hook as for the sweater.
detail of the crown of the hat, and back with contrast sleeve
Lastly, I made the shorts using 2 squares of printed material I had left over from other projects. I'm not too happy with how the shorts turned out, but I'll be the first to admit that working with fabric is not my forte! But I do think they look cute, with wide legs like a little sumo wrestler! The elastic waist sits very low, because I didn't leave enough room for the elastic pocket. Something I'll have to remember next time I sew pants!

Over all, this was a quick little project so my son can enjoy his new toy. If I ever get the chance I'd love to make a cute pink outfit for this doll to make it look like a girl, but who knows if I'll ever have time for something like that?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

My First Potted Cotton Sprout

I am so very excited to see my first potted cotton sprout appear! My husband gave me 20 cotton seeds for our 2nd wedding anniversary, which of course was the best. present. ever. I planted the first seed last weekend, and it finally poked through Monday on day 8 after planting.
my first glimpse of my first potted cotton sprout
After some reading, I planted the seed less than an inch under the soil, which was rich compost in a 4 inch diameter pot. It's in a sunny position that gets some good afternoon sun, and cotton does prefer the warmth. The pot has a saucer, because cotton also likes a good drink every day and doesn't like it's roots to dry out too much. Now winter is suddenly over and any chance of any chill resembling frost is long gone, it was time to plant the first seed. I decided to just plant the one seed to see if it would sprout. I'd love to try and see every seed sprout, but apparently not all the seeds will germinate.
my first 2 day old cotton sprout
I was beginning to worry when the sprout had not appeared by day 6 so gently scrapped away a tiny bit of soil, and then I did so again on day 7. Then on day 8 she finally appeared, one day late! On Tuesday, I could see her first leaf. I will plant another seed very soon, I hope to maybe plant 3 to 5 seeds for this first season. Next time I won't plant so deep, maybe half an inch.
a 2 day old potted cotton sprout in a warm, sunny position
I won't plant all my seeds now, because I'm still learning and I could waste them all. Also because, on the other hand, they might turn out wildly successful, and what then could I possibly do will All That Cotton??? hehehe!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Organic Spiral Baby Beanie

I used organic wool from Nimbin for this spiral beanie, this is the first thing I've made with it. I basically wanted to see if I could do it! It was simple enough, except the final rounds were tricky to decide how to finish it evenly.
spiral baby beanie made with organic wool from Nimbin
In the end I allowed an uneven finish, and embellished it with a vintage button from my old collection. I used 8 ply organic Australian wool and a 4mm hook. I made this up in a morning, while David watched Thomas so I could get some much needed time out! As much as I love being with my son, he had to stay home all day every day this week because he had a bad cold, and I think he missed his friends at day-care. Staying home with mum every day can be a very boring for an energetic toddler a few months away from his second birthday!
organic newborn beanie in green with blue, embellished with a vintage button

Monday, September 3, 2012

Spring Flowers Coasters

Here is a set of 6 spring flowers coasters I made up the other day to update my online shop for Spring. They are simply the same as my Summer Drinks coasters I made for Christmas 2010, just in different colours.
6 Spring flowers coasters made with Australian cotton,
This time I used 8 ply Australian made cotton in lime, lemon, sky and pink. Just what I need to pick me up for the new season!
perfect for a Spring tea party
... or for pink champagne!
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