Tuesday, 31 March 2009

we say baby, you say shower!

My creation

Indeed it is party central around here. Last week we had a baby shower for Lies and the little one, who is will be arriving very soon! Emily very graciously had it at her little cottage in Ponsonby. I found it very photographical. There are four people living in this quaint 80sq meter house, I am always impressed with people who make the most of small spaces, and live creatively inside tight quarters.

My creation

Lies had never been to a baby shower before, and neither had most of the other guests. Emily and I, both north americans, had no idea that they weren't as popular here and we were both glad to share the tradition. Though it was much more low key than many of the showers I have suffered through in the past. We pretty much just laid out plates of food, provided a variety of drinks, and then just let people sit back and chat. no games.

My creation

Usual baby shower games: Guess the width in cm of the pregnant belly, how many buttons in the jar, name that celebrity baby, memorize baby items on the tray, and I am sure there are many more. Any memorable ones you can think of?

lies baby shower

no photos of the gifts, I forgot to take them.

And I mustn't forget the little competition from my past post here.
Since nobody guessed correctly (my boss made the dolls!), I just picked a random number.
and the winner is.......
victoria of dear megan!
please just email me your address and I will send that bag off right snappy!

and I leave you with a bit of ironic humour: check out FAIL blog if you need a good laugh at the expense of others :)


There was a party...

With lots of little HAPPY friends. Traditional balloons in the tamarillo-tree. A cake (copyright auntie Helen) called 'ballerina-volcano'. Most of all, a very satisfied REALLY (and not nearly any more) three year old -checking her balloons today, we'll leave them for a while.

Thanks all for your input and enthusiasm with the give-aways, they are slowly slowly on their way. We've all got some post party blues now (it's called flu yuk), please bear with us a wee bit...


Wednesday, 25 March 2009

A winner and a carrot

So she will be three soon.
That's quite overwhelming for a very pregnant mum like say- myself.

I sometimes write down little thoughts in my Moleskine...
This is what I wrote about her :

Things just like you.
an incredibly loud cackle
hey there in the mirror
gold and silver
red as red can be
and very light light.

I read it out loud to her. She listened and nodded. Kindly added : oh yes mum AND A CARROT. A carrot dear? Uh-huh I do like a carrot.
Ok my Sweet :

and a carrot.

Ah yeah, hello pinafore-winner : Skymring (gorgeous blog you have) send me your details via email!
-X Lies

Friday, 20 March 2009

last week's market and another give away!

oxfam markets

well it is giveaway time on this blog! Lies is doing some this week, which I am sure you have all seen. Very generous, thanks Lies.

Just so you all have something to look at while you are holding your breath and waiting to win, here is another mosaic I made from photos I took at the Oxfam charity market. Loads of good stuff was sold.

Guessing game from last mosaic:
I asked who could guess the only interior space that was put together by a man (my brother) and NOBODY got it right! the unmade bed in fact belonged to melissa (her flickr here). And by the way I LOVE the unmade bed photo! Joel's room was the red living room, see it on his flickr here.

family portrait

And just to let the good times roll, here we are back in the early 90s. That is me in the white and navy sailor dress, brotown joel is looking dapper in the blue collared shirt, and little miss Carling is the wee sailor in the red and blue number. Thanks mother for coordinating so perfectly that we have something to look back on and laugh at.

Okay now next mosaic question!
Of the oxfam charity market photos, which one pictures something/s made by my boss? For a little incentive; if anybody get this right there is a prize! You can win one of my fully lined tote bags (with pocket! oo la la). Pictured in the market mosaic.

and just in case there are masses of right guesses, I will award the first 2 who are correct.

ps. I am loving mosaics right now, can you tell?

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

To give (2)

First, because I've never done it before and I'll have my second kid in three weeks (yes three ooh!), I figure if I don't do it now, I never will. And things will be fairly quiet from my side I think after B-day... So, I'd like to give you my simple sewing pattern for a tiny baby dress - if you're into it, scroll down or click here.
I had greatest fun developing/sewing/drawing this pattern for our blog - but I'm sure I've forgotten heaps and not everything will make sense to you... Let me know what you think! This is what the dress looks like :

Second, here are the lucky winners of the bamboo baby beanies, Lievie (who had a wee bit of trouble restraining herself from trying to fit the tiny hats) drew two names out of both beanies :
- turquoise bbb : 'auntie' Jen in Melbourne!
- black bbb : mama Rhiannon!
So girls - send me a small Email with your address please X

And last (but not least?) and third : my second give-away, a 'happy land' baby pinafore. It fits a baby from 6 months to approx 18 months (depends on the babe really), closes with cross-over kimono-style snaps, is made of 100% cotton fabrics and is reversible (happy land and flower diagonals on the one side, yellow-white gingham on the other). Please leave a little comment if you'd like to 'win' this little pinnie ( I'm sure there's a baby girl you know that would look super cute in it!). Next week Wednesday Lieveke will draw names again.

Hey, many thanks for all your enthusiasm in the draw and also for your lovely comments on Lieveke's nearly three...
-Lies X

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Simple baby dress

I'd like to give you my very simple pattern for a first baby-dress. The dress is easy to slip on, versatile (bohemian long on a newborn- short tunic later on) but above all it is an EASY sewing project - I started out hand-sewing one, later developed and fine-tuned it into a sewing-machine pattern. Just made one for my new baby girl to come :

Here we go, for a baby drawstring dress, size 0 months to 4/6 months (depending on the baby chub) :

Draw the (half) dress pattern on an A3 sheet of paper:
  • A=9.5 cm
  • B=16 cm
  • C=15 cm
  • D=8cm (draw 1/4 circle from bottom end D to right end B)
  • E=20 cm
  • F=25 cm
  • G=1 cm (draw a slight curve from right end E to bottom end G)
Then mirror the half dress pattern and stick pieces together (makes piece 1). Draw a diagonal 'bias' strip with length 35 cm and width 2.5 cm (makes piece 2). Draw a straight strip with length 44'' (+- 118cm) and width 3.5 cm (makes piece 3).
Take a piece of fabric standard width 44'' and length 1 yard, fold double lengthwise. Cut out from folded fabric (seam-allowances of 0.5 cm are included!):
  • piece 1 : twice
  • piece 2 : twice
  • piece 3 : once

FIRST STEP : make the drawstring from piece 3.
  • A : Fold (1) 1 cm inwards on the bottom side of the strip and double fold 1 cm + 0.5 cm (2) inwards on the top side
  • B : press fold (1) down, press double fold (2) with the raw edge tucked under on top and secure with pins
  • C : top stitch, width of your string should be about 1 cm. Tie the unfinished ends in a knot to prevent fraying.

SECOND STEP : sew side seams of pieces 1
Put both dress pieces on top of each other with the wrong sides out (or the right sides facing inwards) serge or zigzag the side seams on left and right with a seam-allowance of 0.5cm.

Double fold the hem of the dress inwards (o.5 cm seam allowance. 1 cm hem allowance), secure with pins and top stitch close to the fold.

FOURTH STEP : bias edging of the arm-holes
Pin the bias-cut strips (pieces 2) to the arm-hole edges with the right side of the fabric down on the wrong side of the dress, stitch close to the armholes. Then fold the strips over with the right side of the fabric up to the right side of the dress - tucking the raw edge of the strip underneath and securing with pins. Top stitch close to the bias fold.

FIFTH STEP : sew the 'gather tube' - pull string through
Double fold both top-ends of the dress inside (towards the wrong side of the fabric) and top stitch allowing +- a gap of 2 cm between fold A and top stitch B so you can pull the string through. After finishing the 'tubes' pull the string through as shown above under 'steps'.
I've made several of these 'first' dresses for Lieveke, after 6 months I upsized the pattern to 12 m and so on - and from 18 months she really didn't grow any wider or chubbier so the 12 months dresses functioned as shorter summer tops.
I really hope you try it out and that you like. If you need a bit of help - happy to! I'm very very open to feedback, this is the first time I stick a (VERY BASIC) sewing pattern on the net and obviously lots can be improved.

-X Lies

Monday, 16 March 2009

Not just yet please

Made this stretchy dress for her, from the Nai Iro sewing book (again ha). It goes so well with her cool lacey tights (she really calls them her 'cool lacey tights'). She will be three in two weeks. Practising to make the three sign with her little fingers in that last pic. Concentration. My spunky one. Don't. Loose. Those. Baby. Cheeks. Just. Yet. Please.

Some current inspiration spots :

-L'E dans l'A

-Nina in vorm (blogged about before, look at that happy studio!)

-La casita de Wendy (beautiful clothing, I want it all)


Wednesday : beanie-draw (scroll down if you want in) and new give-away.
See you then, thanks for your stroll in our space!

Thursday, 12 March 2009

Charity market this saturday! support oxfam!


Just to let you know that I am going to be part of a special market this Saturday which is a fund raising event for a group of young women who are doing the Oxfam walk. 100ks! An amazing undertaking indeed.

Though its not just a normal market, though there will be craft stalls like myself, there will also be stalls that are selling tons of second hand goods, and there will be a cafe. whoot! It starts mighty early though, kind of like a garage sale. Those bargain hunters like to get on the early deals!

bags for the market

Here are some bags I have made, hope fully I will be able to post more pictures today as I made more stuff!

Also Thanks to Lies for her amazing give away, If you don't know what I am talking about, scroll down. 2 little hand knitted beanies for the taking! Next week I intend to get in on the give away action as well so watch this space!

Hopefully I will see some of you at the markets this weekend!
Bargains! Handmade! Home Baked! All for a good cause! (how's that for a the hard sell?)


Wednesday, 11 March 2009

To give (1)

Made this simple but very sweet cardy for the new baby - in softest bamboo again. Then I had some of that lovely stuff left, and so why not knit a few baby beanies to give to you! I've made a black one and am currently working on a turquoise one (will be finished tonight I hope). If you want one (for your wee one, your niece/nephew, your neighbour's new sprout, your best friend's...) just leave a comment, next week Wednesday Lieveke will draw some names out of a beanie.

Hey why don't you give it a go yourself? Here's the in-the round-pattern for the newborn (up to 6 months) beanie, I've sort of made it up along the way. I used 4 bamboo double sided knitting 'sticks', size 3.25 and Cleckheaton pure bamboo - I really recommend this yarn, it's light, silky, ever so soft and it knits up an even and slim stockinette. You can use any yarn that fits the 3.25 sticks really, but some yarns (for instance Debbie Bliss's Baby Cashmerino) will make the beanie more bulky. Takes about 2 sessions of 2 leisurely hours for you to finish this enormous project.

  • CO 80 st, spread over 3 needles (26,28,26)
  • knit in the round till about 5", then :
  • round 1 : [k8, k2tog] x8 = leaves 72 st
  • round 2 : [k7, k2tog] x8 = 64 st
  • round 3 : [k6, k2tog] x8 = 56 st
  • round 4 : [k5, k2tog] x8 = 48 st
  • round 5 : [k4, k2tog] x8 = 40 st
  • round 6 : [k3, k2tog] x8 = 32 st
  • round 7 : [k2, k2tog] x8 = 24 st
  • round 8 : [k1, k2tog] x8 = 16 st
  • round 9 : [k2tog] x8 = 8st
  • knit the beanie cord in the round on these 8 st till cord is about 4",
  • thread through, secure, turn hat right side out, tie a knot in cord
  • as easy as that!
  • if you try it out, happy to help and please do give feedback on the above simple pattern, always room for improvement.

And in the giving atmosphere, those pretty fabrics and the little 'berry-forest' baby vest (hand knit from homespun wool!) came from the generous Sally. Thanks so!

Next week and the week after I plan some more to give - and I know Kimberlee has something up her creative sleeves too, we did promise oodles of time ago (gnaw gnaw guilty conscience) and I for my part am sort of realising that when the new babe arrives I just won't get to it, so there you go, March will be give-aways month, don't miss!

-Lies X

Monday, 9 March 2009

Someone might miss it a bit

My last workday at the gallery today, tomorrow : maternity leave! Someone's going to miss the 'trampoline'... I'll finally have time to answer some much belated emails and for little blog give-aways - later this week friends.

-x Lies

Friday, 6 March 2009

Peek Inside

peak inside

Today I spent the whole morning learning how to make one of these mosaics that I have seen so many other people use. The technical side wasn't all that tricky, but it took me ages to choose a theme. After all that, and even though I Iove all of these individual photographs, I am thinking this isn't the most attractive mosaic composition. oh well. I'm learning.

I am not sure if I was supposed to ask permission first since all of these people are in my contacts, their photos are public, and flickr automatically gives them linkage props. not to mention asking all that permission would have taken me all day instead of just all morning. So I hope this is all cool. thanks to my pals who I have up here, most of you are in blogland.

My theme was interiors, since who doesn't like having a look inside someone's well decorated home? and can you guess the only interior put together by a man? no cheating and checking the flickr links! Here is a hint, that man is my brother.

have a nice weekend all!

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Last of the summer days...

We're now having hot and humid days, alternated by wet and slightly cooler ones. The hot days are good for drying washing. The cool ones for giving my swollen babybody a break. Our days are just lovely and normal, Lieveke has her toys, I have mine. Made a wee little dress for the little sister to come. The tiny artwork is something we picked up when living in Barcelona, I like the way it plays with bodyshapes. Last photo is Lieveke's dog, Lellow.

Thanks for stopping by