Shh. Its a secret.

So I’m not going to share the 3 things I finished this week.

They’re all gifts so the recipients should be the first ones to see them. Then I’ll share them with the interwebs.

So instead I’m going to show you a present I made for my best friend’s birthday last year, and didn’t blog about it.
Instead it’s been sitting in drafts for ages.

It would be an understatement to say that midnite moose is my favourite girl in the world.
We woo together, watch sport together, and one night we drank vodka premix straight out of the bag together and dubbed ourself ‘classy bitches’.

There could only be one present to make to sum up our relationship.
A double sided cushion with “Woo” on one side and “we be classy bitches” on the other.

On polkadot fabric naturally.

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Which one of you bitches wants to dance?

I’m ticking off 2 items in my 13 in 2013 checklist. I spent the weekend making cushions.

My previous cushions I made are looking a little worse for wear. One got lost in the great cheese fight of Superbowl 2013, the other has been used as a pillow one too many times and as the closure wasn’t exactly stable it now looks like the cushion is escaping from the cover.
I’m hoping an invisible seam will fix the design flaw in my first two. (I used the tutorial on fern and freckle which was invaluable)
Once again I used quilting flats fabric. Not only are they already roughly the right size for a cushion, but they come in so many pretty designs and you don’t need to finding someone to assist you with cutting from a roll. They are really moreish aswell.

I have a notebook that’s getting quite full of sayings/quotes/lyrics that I want to embroider , but choosing which one is still the most difficult part.
This time I chose a quote from Black Books, and a lyric from Neutral Milk Hotel.

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13 in 2013

These type of posts are dime a dozen at this time of year. Everyone is enthusiastic about what the year will bring. I’ve always set informal goals for myself.

• I have the usual goals that I set every year. Exercise more, eat more ethically, live more sustainably, thrift more/buy less, have a cleaner house.
• I have work goals, which are too boring to share on this blog but usually revolve around completion of projects and implementing process changes (told you it was boring).
• I have my eye on buying a house in the next 2 years so I’m working towards saving for that.

But I don’t want to blog about that stuff.

So here is my list of 13 fun and crafty things to do in 2013.

1. Open my little etsy shop.
2. Host a giveaway on my blog (this one should be easiest! Stay tuned)
3. Finish Start the knitting for my Pay It Forward post. (Who knew finding the right project for two of my knitting idols would be so difficult!)
4. Knit 12 pairs of socks. 1 for each month.
5. Sew some cushions. 6 to be exact. (Fortunately I have a friend who is in need of cushions.)
6. Write a knitting pattern and post it on Ravelry.
7. Post a tutorial or a how-to guide.
8. Try a new craft, or 2, or 3.
9. Create an artwork for my apartment
10. Embroider a whole song (lyrics) onto something.
11. Sew a garment from a pattern, and wear it.
12. Read a new book every month. (something I haven’t read before)
13. Crochet a granny square.

Does anyone else have a list of things to do this year?
I’d love to hear about it.

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lets talk!
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what’s in my wallet

Well I don’t carry a handbag. I’m a bit of a minimalist when it comes to going places.
I have a collection of totes from various gigs or online purchases, but if I’m just going to the pub, or out for an evening all I want is cash, cards, phone, keys, and lipbalm.

I’ve spend ages trying to find the perfect way to do this, and I think I’m pretty close.

Kitsch Devine make this gorgeous wallet.

It’s a fabric wallet, and I really want this cat print one!

But I am so happy with mine.

So here’s what I carry everywhere…
Obviously my phone is conspicuously absent – but it fits in their perfectly, even with a case on. So many iphone wallets fit an iphone but only if they dont have a case.
This one fits my phone whether it’s wearing polka-dots, flowers, or the little mermaid (I have a mild iphone case obsession).

Lip balm is essential. Chapstick is always on sale so I usually have dozens of them but can never find one when I need one.

Endless receipts. I don’t know why I keep receipts as I tend to do my account keeping using my bank statements, but I still always end up with receipts.

Emergency panty liner. Learnt from experience.

Cards. The usual drivers licence, bank card, medicare card.
Special cards include my RTR fm subscribers card, spotlight card, and entertainment book card. Yay for discounts!

Business cards. Does anyone else have business cards for their blog? I find they’re really useful when I want to give someone my details, but I don’t want to give them my mobile number. Instead they have my url, email, and twitter handle. I always have a few handy.

Post It Notes. Because they’re really useful.

The heart shaped carabina is there because I sometimes attach my keys to it. It’s not the best solution, but it works.

Noticeably absent –
Bobby pins, usually I have a few tucked away in my wallet.
Money, I’m hopeless when it comes to keeping cash
Pen, I’m probably being optimistic, but I think having a pen tucked in there would be really useful.

So there you go. A little insight into my essentials.
(And check out Kitsch Designs – there’s so many cute things)

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I made cushions!!

I can make cushion covers.
I can sew straight seams. Ok well it took me a little while and a I had to unpick a couple, but I got there in the end.

When Spotlight recently had a 30% off everything sale I picked up some quilting flats. They’re 40×40 cm squares and pretty much made for cushion making.

Its all straight seams with an opening to put the inserts in.
Pretty easy and ended up less than $10 for two.

(I know that there’s a pretty black polka-dot fabric in there, but I don’t want to talk about it – there was a cushion disaster)

Totally cute and I can’t wait to make more to shake things up. Maybe next time I’ll get a little more adventurous like these gorgeous ones by .

And here’s me trying out spin cam…
http://spincam.net/s/ghpu/i

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I have no voice to speak of

Well the weekend got off to a bang when I made another hairpin skirt.
Then a yarn sale! Spotlight had all their yarn reduced so I picked up some more sock yarn (you can never have enough sock yarn!) and some Moda Vera Shiver in green.
Then it was back home to watch the football (port had a pretty dismal loss – with a very sickening injury in the last 30 seconds), and then go out to watch the football. The hawks – eagles game was very strange. And hawks lost which really sucked.
But at least it stopped raining after the girl next to me bought a $5 poncho. She was not impressed.

Then Sunday was spent In The Pines.
RTRfm is Perths community radio station, and they do a lot to promote local music. And in particular bands that wouldn’t otherwise have a voice.
And it was a tops way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
Lieing on a picnic blanket with a couple (ok three) bottles of wine, some good music and great company.
In particular I think it might have been a first for a couple of the heavy metal bands to have someone knitting in their audience.

Dancing like a mad person to San Cisco, swooning at the sexy violin playing of The Kill Devil Hills, and rocking out to Sugar Army were the highlights of a wonderful day. Very impressed with the way it was organised and looking forward to going along next year. 20120423-130148.jpg

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The polka-dots remind me of sunshine.

I made another hairpin skirt.
This time with a sewing machine and with more material.

I adore it!

I used more material than last time to make it really gathered. I also made it even longer as I’m sick and tired of skirts that I can’t bend over in. This skirt design is so super easy it took me less than an hour. Three seams, some elastic and you’re done.
And top tip, the polka dots mean that it’s really easy to see where you’re cutting. I measured everything in polka-dots!

I want to twirl around and sing songs to woodland creatures.
(Maybe it’s because of my new The Little Mermaid iphone case that I’m thinking disney. I’m so supercool.)

I may even attempt to take some decent outfit photos for this one (instead of hiding out in the work bathrooms). Now that’s me stepping outside of my comfort zone.

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slowly, sewly.

Well disaster’s probably a bit strong. I can probably save it, but I have to do a crash course in dress design before I would even attempt looking at this again.

I think I mentioned that I had a feeling that I had bit off more than I could chew? Well guess what! I bit off more than I could chew.

Some shaky seams, some terrible measuring, a wonky zipper, and a very low waisted garment means that it’s not going to be finished for a very long time. But I’ll post some unfinished pictures anyway.

Did I mention how terrible the lighting is in my apartment
I need more practice sewing zippers
the waist is in completely the wrong spot for me

So without further ado, here are 5 things I learnt about sewing.
Also titled, things Sparkles should have researched better or looked up along the way.

1) Basting means sewing it first and then unpicking it. Not just sewing the seam twice. It’s very difficult to press flat when you have two seams.
2) When transferring a pattern to fabric you actually cut out the triangles. That and transfer all the marks, even if you don’t know what they mean at the start of the pattern it generally becomes clear half way through.
Things like ease, I now know that’s important.
3) Cut slowly. Actually, do everything slower. You know how much you hate making mistakes and unpicking things, so just slow down.
4) When sewing something with lining make sure that the lining and the real fabric are the same size. Measure, measure, measure. You’re dating a carpenter, you’d think you would have picked this up by now.
5) If you think it doesn’t look right, don’t worry. You haven’t got the skills to write a pattern, so trust that companies that manufacture these things for a living know what they’re talking about.

I think my next project will be one that comes with step-by-step instructions, with actual photos, not a diagrams and a schematic.

But I had a lot of fun making my so-called dress.
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there’s a pattern here somewhere…

Turns out even sewing patterns think I’m a strange size!
I bought my first sewing pattern yesterday and have dedicated a bit of time figuring it out.
The biggest challenge will be figuring out my size. My measurements fall either side of 14 and 16, of course the pattern I bought is sold in either 8 – 14 or 16 – 22. I went with the smaller one and I hope that I can adjust it somehow. It just seems a little ironic that I wanted to sew so that I could make clothes that fit me properly. It’ll all work out I’m sure.

I can’t wait to get started, but I know I need to take my time and read everything I can before leaping in and making a mess. I really just want to make a mess though.

I had some wonderful service from Textile Traders in Morley. The lady (Kate) helped me when I didn’t know how the patterns worked (you pick them from the book and they’re filed away). It sounds logical but it took me a while of staring at a tiny rack of boring patterns to ask.
She then showed me how to read the back of a pattern and find everything I needed, including some cheap fabric to begin with. Its a really
sweet, lemon yellow cotton with white butterflies on it. Textile Traders has now got a repeat customer.
And the added bonus, I won’t get distracted by knitting supplies because they don’t sell them.

I love the excitement and anticipation.

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