Monday, August 30, 2010

A finished find

Home alone at the weekend and I seemed to have fits and spurts of energetic moments. Which has resulted in wee piles of part projects or decluttering scattered around the house - oops!!!!
But I did have some productive episodes along the way!!
Remember those two yellow placemats I picked up a couple of weeks back from the op shop? Well....
Da da!!!!! Aren't they cute? I'm really pleased with how they turned what were plain ol' yellow placemats into funky mats.
Here's the pukeko - one of our native swamp loving birds with his funny white tail feathers and lovely blue body. They are a kooky sort of bird that intrigue me. And yes, they do have a reddish beak 
                                  Then, of course, there is our dear ol' kiwi.
This chap is particularly appealing with his rotundness. I chose to do him in a more orange toned fabric to lift him rather than browns. Think the feet fabric was pretty groovy.  

So all in all I am feeling quite proud of myself that from woe to go these placemats have not become stuffed in a cupboard as "something I'll do one day".  
Not sure what I'll do with them now.

Although I did make an unconscious decision on Saturday that as September 1 is officially Spring maybe that would be a good day to set my sights on launching my Felt shop.  Perhaps they could be one of the first stock items to go on the midget magic 'shop'......mmmmm..... and how many days away might that be?


Friday, August 27, 2010

New look and whizzing week

How exciting - the launch of the 'midgetmagic' prototype logo via the banner for the blog. What do you think???? I reckon between my initial in-my-head idea and Emma's design it has come out pretty jolly well. Yippee!!!!
Still not 100% sure about the background of this page but will give it a week before making my final decision......
Anyway, it has been an up week - definitely no more blah. A walk up the Papamoa Hills to set me off on Monday 
I must admit I struggled going up, but actually managed to run most of the way down. Gee I hate going up hills but looooooove coming down:) Was a bit windy up the top but simply stunning - roll on spring.
By the time I got home after a slight detour to the op shop in Te Puke to see if there were any teapots for cousin Belinda (and no there weren't but I did somehow come out with a bag of goodies) it was early afternoon and I was suddenly struck by an overwhelming guilt at how neglectful I had been towards my poor wee car. So for the next hour and a half I lovingly washed her.
(and no, that photo is not taken at home but when I was in wet Auckland a month or so ago). She is now amazingly brighter in her yellowness and far happier I am sure. I do wonder, though, why I had children? Was one of the reasons not to have them washing dishes and cars? Must make sure I vacuum the inside before the week is out though so she is completely spic and span. 
Ongoing is the decluttering and organising of the sewing room, and I am constantly finding treasures. 
I found these poor gathering of angels scrunched up and rather dishevelled, looking the worse for wear. Funnily enough I had found the patterns for them earlier in the week.
Obviously when I stitched them I had some wonderfully masterful plan for their final outcome........heaven only knows (pardon the pun) what that might have been, especially now that there are marks on the fabric that will not come out.
Now must be the time for Plan B to come into action, whatever that might be.......
Watch this space.
The other thing keeping me busy this week and stopping me from being truly creative is that I have been working on my cv
Uggh - not the best of photos of the cover as it's in a plastic sleeve but you get the idea. Need to polish my covering letter and then drop it in tomorrow - oops, that'd be today. The position is an interesting one that is for a period from September to December and would add to my current skills, while still allowing me to develop the 'midgetmagic' journey. Will see what happens.


Monday, August 23, 2010

Black n white n zing quilt

While Sam's having a super experience in Jakarta, we headed off to his best friends 21st birthday armed with a quilt that I hope he will like. Pete and Sam were at primary school from when we moved up from the South Island, and have been through high school, rowing, and many experiences that probably I'd rather not know about!!!!!!!! So I wanted to give him something that, while he might not necessarily have put on his "Top Ten List of 21st Presents" , when he was older he might come to realise the meaning and love that had gone into making it.
I've always been a fan of the stunning clarity of black and white but this quilt particularly appealed with the addition of the bright jewel colours. Think it's the rainbow and sunshine part of me coming out :) Of course Pippa felt a particular affinity for this one - must be something to do with the similarity of her fur colouring!!!!!!!!
It was interesting how some of the black and white fabrics I went to use almost read cream and just didn't work. The squiggles worked in helping bring the border colours into the main part and link everything together.
We gave Pete his present but he didn't open it at the party so I don't know yet how he feels about it........mmmmmmm. Have my fingers and toes crossed on this one.


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Ikea Care Package

How lucky can a girl be? Not one but two surprise packages this week. I just love getting parcels in the post :) This one wasn't hard to guess re it's place of origin as it was almost completely covered in tape that had Canadian maple leaves on it.
Oooooooh a parcel from Emma and Jen. Wonder what this was all about?????? Well, as you know I'm pretty good at opening presents so...........
Oh boy!!  They've been to Ikea. Why don't we have an Ikea in New Zealand????? Oh why???? But I guess it makes moments like these just so much fun. Now I have zip loc bags in almost all the colours of the rainbow. All I need now is the pot of gold at the end (teehee). Very funny re the Pop Tarts container. You can't actually get Pop Tarts in supermarkets here, but my buddy Sam took me to a special place in Auckland not too long ago so now I know where to get some .... so guess where I'll have to go next visit to the big smoke? 
I was able to share some of the wee matchbox post-it notes with Mal's young lady Jordan, and my cousie Bee. They are too cute for words. And of course I'm not meant to be buying myself stationery but that doesn't mean other people can't buy it for me!!!!!!!!
But look at these ...
Oh Jen - how did you know I was having a flat world week?????
These will now be my oh so special glasses to lift my world should I have blah times again.
So to the sewing room they have gone ........
....... and into their own wee kimono pouch on my 'Happy' board so they will always be within reach. They're right beside my Fairy Godmother Wishing Powder and wee wand, and the funky doll I bought when we were on Granville Island, Vancouver, so in very good company.
Wow, blah week sure took a real turnaround.
Surprises are just so great - makes me think maybe I should surprise someone and make their day turnaround.


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Exciting treat!

The knock on the door was our friendly courier man bearing a parcel with a surprise - Vince and I had won a competition we'd entered the other weekend when we'd gone up to Auckland to go to the first Auckland Art and Craft Fair, held at the Art Gallery. Yipee!!!!!!

Such cool packaging - but can't see what's inside! Gee, what's a girl to do? Mmmmm......
...... well didn't have to think too long about that one!!!!!!!!!

Check out all those sweet goodies from the Frankie magazine peeps. Way cool. This neat pack includes the latest Frankie mag, their Sweet treats baking mag, Frankies 'the photo album' (might sneak that in Em's birthday parcel- shhh don't tell her), some very cute Frankie postcards, cards, and button badges, a very sweet t-shirt and dah-dah-dah---dah ------
What's this?
"Open me for a treat......
AND what a treat! A 6 month subscription to Frankie magazine. And even better I can start it from when my current one (thanks Em and Jen) ends.
What a lovely prize pack that was. And I really enjoyed the craft market, even though it was kind of cramped in the Auckland Art Gallery foyer. Maybe next time they will have it in a bigger space. There were some amazingly creative people there who really deserved more space for all the people who were trying to get to their stalls. But I think no-one expected it to be so successful.
Can't wait for the next one - maybe we can win another competition!!!!!!!!
It certainly helped put a little less blah in the blah day.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

CIrcle of Hearts on a Blah day

It's been a strange sort of week so far - a blah week. Can't put my finger on it really. Not achieving a lot and just doing the 'have tos'.
I managed to head into my sewing room yesterday afternoon and distract myself for a few hours sorting the cabinet that my sewing machine sits in (yes, the beginning of the very public challenge I issued myself here on my blog about sorting that room).  It's actually quite satisfying once you start to get going, although I know I did do a lot of moving things from one spot to another!!!!!!!
However I did find a surprise - a bag containing a project started two summers ago.
Cool ay? BUT they didn't look quite like this when I found them! I had started them but they were in various stages of 'unfinished'.  I decided that I would use them as a wee extrinsic reward for working on sorting my room.
Every so often I would stop, and spend some time finishing one.
The love beads have been with me since I was a teenager - I can't remember how many times they have been tipped accidentally out of the jolly container onto carpet and then painstakingly picked up complete with bits of fluff!!!!!!!! I still have a bit of finishing to do on that heart.  I love the look of paua - can never tire of the beautiful mix of ocean colours, and particularly like the blend with silver.  The outline for this one is actually a kiwifruit tie (at least I think that's what it's called).
Another yummy paua one, and the one I feel super pleased with - the copper and mini starfish heart. The copper wire came from electrical wire Vince had been using when doing our renovations and was throwing out. Me being the scavenger I am had stripped the plastic off and dah-dah ........ look what I produced! Just the right colour to offset the gorgeous wee starfish. And no, they don't smell!!!!

I'm thinking they would make great Christmas decorations for a Kiwiana Christmas, or else lovely brooches. Or would look nice just hanging and being.

What a nice momentary break in a blah day.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Great Cupcake Birthday Cake Creation!

Ok. A baker I don't proclaim to be, but I have to say I'm pretty pleased with the way this cupcake birthday cake turned out considering it was a "create-as-you-go" job!!!!! 

This is Isobel's (friends daughter) first birthday cake and we wanted it 'pretty'. Think I achieved the design brief. I love the idea of cupcakes for littlies cos really they aren't into 'big' food. I had absolutely no idea how I was going to decorate the cakes once I'd made them so it was a bit of a creative experiment at 9.30pm playing with royal icing and discovering that it would've been a good idea to have had a bit of a practice run!!!!! But in the end I think the flowers and butterflies are recognisable, and the stars were quite straightforward.

On the day of the party the next creation was the actual stand. The bottom tier was a footed glass cake plate but then I had bought two really neat cut glass plates as well as a couple of sherry glasses from the op shop, and used blu tak to secure them all together (we will glue them eventually but discovered that the glue would need two days to take so decided against doing it that morning!).

And what respectable Kiwi child's birthday party would be complete without meringues and fairy bread? I tried to carry through the theme of pretty by making the meringues pink, and used a neat three tier stand cousin Bee had lent me specially to present some of the other party food. You can't see the table cloth unfortunately - it's this great backing fabric I've got for a quilt I'm planning to one day make that is pink with big funky flowers and butterflies on it. This is the second time it's come in handy for table use; last time was a pink baby shower. On top of that I spread a lovely old antique white linen cloth and then a bright pink runner. The effect was super.
Of course, on the morning of the afternoon tea party I decided I needed to make Isobel a birthday present (I really do need to work on my time management) so whipped up one of those discovery bean bags I've seen around that have the clear window in the front and can be filled with either rice or the pellets you sometimes fill bears with. I used rice cos that was what we had.
I had to guess measurements etc, but it turned out pretty well. Half the fun was finding bits n pieces to pop inside!

What was even more fun was when Isobel picked it up at one point during the afternoon. She was sitting on the floor and put it over her shoulder, but it pulled her off balance ( you know how it is when their nappies make them like those rolly polly toys) and she just rolled onto her back. She got such a surprise that she lay their for a couple of minutes stranded - not really knowing what had happened. Mmmmmmmmm ... maybe I put a wee bit much rice in it???????? But she pulled herself up and enjoyed scrunching it and sucking at the plastic so all was good.

So all in all creativeness was a great success. Yay and double yay!


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Home sweet home cushion

Yay! I've been planning to make this cushion for ages and finally got my act together over the weekend and finished it.

I had some of the felt badges from family trip double ups, and got the others off Trade Me. I cringe when I think I had a whole lot when I was a kid but sent them off to the op shop in a bag of stuff when I packed up my mum and dad's place!!!!!!
Anyway, I was pleased with the final design on the old grey woollen blanket but the top bit looked a bit bland until I embroidered the running stitch red wool 'HOME'. Yep, that was the finishing touch.
The back is pretty groovy too with the red wool blanket stitching and the buttons are some old ones off vintage coats and clothes.

So all in all I'm pretty happy with the final result. 
This one is destined for the pool room where the decorating theme is Kiwiana, and the colour scheme of the living area/bedroom is red, black, white and grey.
So nice to actually start and finish a project!!!!!!!!!
And even better to have used materials that were pretty much on hand and not purchased - reusing and repurposing. Gotta love that.


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Triple Treat Thursday

Strange title I know considering it's Sunday, but in amongst everything I did have to mention happenings of Thursday.
After an impromptu lunch with Vince, we popped into the tyre shop as the yellow VW's tyres were somewhat low on air. I know, I was being a pathetic female but am happy to let blokes do their job in this area. As it was, the nice Beaurepaires man discovered that indeed one tyre was more than low; it had a puncture and he proceeded to extract a jolly great long nail!!!!! 20 minutes later he despatched me with a happy pumped wee car without charge - what a sweetie. Must bake some muffins and drop them in cos it's not often you get something done for nothing, especially as I thought we were being cheeky going in there just to get air put in!!!!
So with a spare hour on my hands before I had to get the youngest son from school I treated myself to a spot of op shopping. And look at the treasure I managed to come away with......
I can't resist doilies or pretty linen embroidery and at 50cents these I couldn't pass up. I have seen a picture of a quilt that I am going to attempt so one of these is going to be ideal for it. They have already been popped into the doilie basket so no lying around for them!
The bag with the dandelion print on it I also couldn't resist as it is so in keeping with the design concept I have for the 'midget magic' logo. At 50cents it, too, just seemed a must have. And you can never have too many handy bags.
The Frankie mag is one I haven't seen - last December - and it is the magazine that one of Emma's friends introduced me to in January. Very inspiring in its funky creativity, and I was so spoilt when Em and Jen gave me a subscription for my birthday.
Now, the last treasures are two yellow placemats which I am going to upcycle. I know exactly what I am going to applique onto them and am not even going to put them into the sewing room for fear they will get lost amidst the chaos!!!!!!! My goal is to have them done before next weekend.
So all in all it was a really positive Thursday - gotta love those sort of days.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Working on reverse pyschology in sewing room organisation!

Right - taking a big deep breath as I am about to bare all......... no, no flesh is involved but something worse in some respects - my craft space!!!!!!!! I am really very spoilt in that I have a whole room that I can call my place but it is not very organised. In fact I keep procrastinating when it comes to sorting. I do make small inroads but then get sidetracked and start another project and ...... well I'm sure you know how it is. SO I figured that I would use reverse pyschology of sorts. Without further ado I am going to show you my space without Photoshopping!!!! I am hoping that by baring all it might just make me actually do a bit of decluttering and sorting so that in December I can post some "after" shots and you will be amazed. As will I.
I love my library catalogue drawers but as you can see they are just a wee bit lost currently. But hey just wait til December ... nothing like a challenge - especially now I've made it public! Mmmmmm maybe I should head in there now and spend half an hour doing a wee bit of sorting. But where to begin????? Any ideas would be more than welcome. 

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The scariness of hitting the world of blogging!

Well ..... after much procrastination (and talking) I have finally taken the step of starting a blog. Drum roll could feature about now but probably that would just send my nervousness over the edge! I must say my lovely friend Roch has made this seem much easier than it seems, and I only hope that I will actually be able to find my way back here so I can add more about my "midget magic" creative adventure.

So without further blurbling, let the adventure begin!