Previous month:
October 2011
Next month:
December 2011

November 2011

Liberty quilt blocks

I've never been a huge fan of Liberty in quilts strangely enough.  But when I saw the cute little Liberty blocks from Film in the Fridge I fell in love.  With no shortage of Liberty offcuts it seemed like a must that I give these a go myself.

And so I did.

Liberty crosses

I think I'll make a simple doll quilt for Adelaide.  Something quick and easy.  I already have enough of these little blocks to make a doll sized quilt.

Liberty crosses in a pile

Just another Christmas deadline.  But for now, I'm off to make up a pile of creche bags that my customers are patiently waiting for.

More Liberty sundresses

It's official.  I have an all-time favourite Liberty.

Sundress detail

This Liberty in the Tatum print has enough pink to satisfy Adelaide, and enough blue to keep me very happy.  So a win-win, which is why I have another few metres of it in transit from the UK as I type.


This dress is a Townmouse pattern from the last few summers. (You can pick it up on sale in other fabrics here.)

This is my contribution to Adelaide's summer wardrobe so far.

Summer wardrobe

Let's see, there's this linen sundress from a few ranges back.  I kept the sample that my little muse wore in the photograph. There's yesterday's flutter top, a sundress with flutter sleeves from a few weeks back, a wrap skirt and coordinating t-shirt; and there's even a pair of Oliver + S Puppetshow Bloomers hiding at the back in a blue spotted fabric.

O+S Bloomers

There they are.

I must say, it is so lovely to have reduced my workload this year. This is why I wanted to be able to free up some time - to enjoy sewing for my children before they are too grown up to appreciate what I make. Please excuse me if I overload you with frivolous Liberty creations. There's a lot of pent-up sewing in me that needs to come out. (There's also a sizeable Liberty stash that needs decreasing.)

I even made something for myself last night.  That will have to wait for another post as I haven't hemmed it yet.

My first cloth doll

With Christmas coming up I had the idea that I'd like to make Adelaide a cloth doll with its own wardrobe of clothes.

Inspired by Fiona's fabulous Hop, Skip, Jump book, I pulled out some fabrics and set to work.

Doll in train

I used the Poppy doll pattern, which I received from Fiona a long time ago, but never got around to making up.  It's a lovely pattern with very easy instructions for the first time doll maker.  Next time, I think I'd like to try these pigtails.

Anyway, here's my first attempt.


I'm not sure what Adelaide is going to think of this miss.

Doll face

To me she looks like she's just had a tooth extraction and is still sporting cotton wadding from the dentist.  I'll have to get out my long embroidery needle and work away at those lumps of stuffing in her face.

Flutter top

The doll's top is made from some Liberty scraps from a recent top I made for Adelaide.  I wonder what she'll think of matching outfits with her dolly.  This fabric looks ever so pretty with the little Jacadi hot pink cardigan that is also pictured.


And now that all my Townmouse stock is nearly sold I have moved Adelaide's wardrobe into the armoire in my studio.  I'd much rather look at this pretty selection than the remains of the Townmouse stock, as I've been looking at that since last summer.  We can use the extra storage space in the children's bedrooms these days, so the armoire is a handy alternative.

When I tidy out and straighten up the whole armoire, I'll show you a wider view.

Lovely softie book

I was very excited to receive my copy of Fiona Dalton's new book, "Hop, Skip, Jump".

Hop Skip Jump

This book is fabulous.  I absolutely love it.  Fiona is a such a talented toy maker, and the little outfits she makes for her softies are so clever.


Look at the cute little vest this chap is wearing.  See more in her amazing Flickr stream, or on her blog, Hop, Skip, Jump.

Softie fox

I can't wait to find some time to make up one of the patterns in the book.

But it seems I'm not the only family member who likes to make soft toys.

Henri's softie

This is 6 year old Henri's creation that he made in art.  It made it onto the School Library display wall.

Prep softies

Henri was very proud when I bought my camera into the library especially to photograph it.

Lago d'Orta

Will is currently travelling for work.  


I just received an email from him with the subject line: "My run last Sunday".


These images were enclosed.


He always packs his running shoes when travelling for work.


This beats hitting the treadmill in the hotel gym.


Impressive photos for an iPhone camera.  Nice shots Willy. Now run home to us (two more sleeps).


The northern part of Italy is where all the great textile brands of the world have their mills.  It's something about the water that runs off the alps that is good for making the world's finest cloth, I think.  Lago d'Orta is one of the lesser known lakes in the area.

Stylish mail-order design

A friend came to stay with us at Flinders over the weekend and bought a beautiful mail order catalogue from German store Manufactum.

Manufactum toboggan

It's full of beautiful, utilitarian products.

Manufactum slippers

I'd love a pair of these slippers for indoors at the snow.

Manufactum blanket

There is everything from homewares to garden fences in this catalogue.

Manufactum stationery

And of course stationery.  Let's not forget the stationery.

Manufactum box

How lovely would it be to do all your Christmas shopping from this store.

Green Smoothies

Since returning from Gwinganna in mid September I've changed my diet quite significantly.  This is partly necessity, and partly because I felt so healthy I wanted to keep feeling that way.

Necessity because I was told that my liver is/was quite fatigued.  Worn out trying to process the foods I'm intolerant to; like dairy, and sugar-rich foods.  (And I don't even drink - how sad is that?)

As well as switching to an organic diet I've cut out gluten entirely.  By removing bread from my daily ritual of breakfast it also removes other bad stuff like butter, vegemite, and jam - all things my body gets angry about.  But probably the best thing I've discovered is this:

Green smoothie

Green smoothies seem to be part of my personal zeitgeist at the moment.  They keep coming across my path from unexpected sources.  Gwyneth's talking about them, a friend of mine who doesn't have a particularly healthy lifestyle talked about The Raw Food Family.  And the subject has been popping up on various blogs that aren't always health related.  

In answer to your question Jane, here's a raw treat I can recommend.  I have this for lunch most days.

Blend (don't juice) 3 kale leaves with an orange, some ginger, a kiwifruit, fresh pineapple and a cup of water. This kale smoothie tastes like a fruit drink, but has the goodness and fiber of the kale.  

These must be good for weight loss too.  On the days I have a green smoothie, I'm always lighter on the scales the next morning, even though what I've eaten the rest of the day varies.  It's filling and you don't feel hungry for hours afterwards.

Corrie, you might like to give this a whirl in your Thermomix. It might be the more healthy, wholesome answer you've been seeking.  You can even get a Green Smoothie app for your iPhone.

Thomas Paul tray

I really love the work of Thomas Paul, particularly his melamine trays and plates.


I bought this tray a few months ago, when I was having my girlfriends over for bridge lessons.  It proved to be a handy drinks tray.

Tray in kitchen

When not being used it lives here, on the kitchen bench.  This bench is not always tidy.  That little corner there is where the pesky pile of paperwork seems to gather - you know - the school notices and stuff you bring in from the car.  And when I tidy this little corner of the kitchen it somehow feels like the house is disproportionately more organised and under control.  

I think the tray fits in well here. Oh, and I've since worked out that it's actually upside down in this shot.

To share

When I was in Tokyo I bought this for Adelaide.

Collar for Adelaide

I get very sad when Adelaide grows out of the little dresses I adore.  I figured this is something she can wear no matter what size she is.  I found it in the children's wear department at Takashimaya.


And then I thought, well I can wear this too if it's not size dependent.  I think it looks rather cute with my trusty old favourite Scanlan knit.

Collar detail

I'm sure if I'd bought this in the women's wear department it would have cost 5 times the price.  We're both rather happy with this purchase. I just didn't think I'd be sharing clothes with my daughter so soon.

Real Estate Dreaming

We will be house hunting in earnest next year. We are 6 people living in a 3 bedroom house. I still love our house.  It's my dream house and I'd be happy to never leave.  But the reality is, it is getting a little tight.

I'm not really looking forward to the looking.  Our current house took us three years to find.  Will and I were at odds about what we wanted.  He didn't like our house on first viewing.  It took a lot of persuading to get him over the line.  

Towers Rd

If you don't put an upper price limit on your online real estate searching, houses like the one above pop up in the results. Isn't it picture perfect? And that's just the back of the house. Many would argue that it is the best house in Melbourne. It really is exceptionally pretty. Just a modest shack that will only set you back around $28 million. Go take a peak.

Kinkora Rd

But if I could have my pick of all the houses currently for sale in Melbourne, it would be this one. It's pretty, classic, understated.  It's in a great street, close to the tramline that takes the boys to school and a short walk to shops.  To me it's a no-brainer, a sensible and realistic move. I'd enlist the help of this clever woman, the mother of Max's school friend, to give the house a classic contemporary update. Do you think I can get Will remotely interested?  Nup, naddah, not a whiff of interest.

2012 will be an interesting year.

Shirt dresses

I love a shirt dress.  I have a few in my wardrobe and I wear them a lot in summer.

Shirtwaist dress

This is my favourite.  It's classic and comfortable.

Shirtwaist profile

I'd like to try replicating it; maybe in a blue shirting stripe with self tie belt.  I've gathered a few patterns, including this one, which I plan to modify to get a similar look to above.

Jump rope

And speaking of shirt dresses, here is Adelaide wearing hers - the Jump Rope Dress from Oliver + S.  This is such a cute pattern.  I will definitely have to find the time to make another one of these.