Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Make your own doll Part 2

I've just listed a more affordable option for all you keen doll-makers out there: my cloth doll kit minus all the bits. It's just a fat quarter with printed pattern to make two whole dolls, and a PDF file to explain how to do it. Nice and simple, and good if you already have a stash you can dip into. You can find the listing over on Etsy. If you don't happen to have a stash you can get the kit here.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Let me show you my final version of 'In the Neighbourhood' in FULL COLOUR! It seems I started working on this in March, but it took a couple of goes before I was happy with the result, and here it is. I'm very happy with this print and the colours, which were inspired by the Bo-Kaap in Cape Town.

The next print was actually just for myself, but I ordered enough of it to share. It's my 'Early Birds' design in chartreuse with blues and greys. I wanted something for a handbag lining, and my white fabric was not going to cut it. I'm also very happy with the colours here.

You may have noticed my rather large and obvious watermarks in the photos. I did it late last night, and regretted it this morning, but I'll have to find some time after the school holidays to design something a bit more subtle. It is of course a reaction to the problem of image theft I mentioned before, but I don't think I need to go quite this overboard!

I thought I'd show you just a peek at some samples I got of my latest design, Kowhai. Instead of using the beautiful but very obvious flowers, I wanted to create a pattern with the leaves and seeds. If you're not familiar with this tree, have a look here. The colours in this print were inspired by my mohair finds at the op shop the other day. Now I just have to decide on scale; I ordered 4 sizes ranging from tiny to huge, but I think the smaller prints will be more versatile.

I've put a few fat quarters of these fabrics on Etsy. The Neighbourhood is here, and Early Birds here. While you're there, have a look at my warm button scarves and other bits and pieces I've been adding to my shop over the past couple of weeks.

Keep warm and be happy :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


I've been stewing over something for a week now, and thought I might vent it over here if you don't mind. I know of a few instances where people have been 'very inspired by' others' work, but this really takes the cake... Last week I heard from a friend that somebody had used my images on her Facebook page to sell 'her' products. She stole images from other crafters' shops and blogs, put these on her FB page and then made the products to order. Apparently many of these photos had watermarks that had been tinkered with or even just left on for all to see.

Thankfully by the time I heard about it, enough people had kicked up a stink and the page had been closed down... for now, anyway. I'd be surprised if she uses the same page name when she starts up again, so it's probably not even worth mentioning the name here. As worthless as it seems in this case, I think I need to start watermarking my photos. I've been thinking about doing it for ages now and the time has come. Can I also please ask anyone who ever sees or suspects that sort of thing happening, to take a screen-shot and let the original designer know. It's so easy to remove all traces of thievery like this and a screen-shot is great evidence.

I am obviously so angry about this. It took me many hours to come up with the design, many more to make those products and style them, get the photos, etc. and then just a click for someone to claim them as her own. Not good.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Creative Mama

I'm very honoured to be featured on Anissa Ljanta's blog Growmama this week. She's doing a series on creative mums, and I'm on her list, together with some very talented other mums still to come. You can read a bit more about how messy my house is, and other interesting facts about me and my boys (all four of them: the big one, the little ones and the cat) here. Be sure to comment while you're there because I'm giving away one of my felt crowns to a lucky reader.

And now it's bedtime; as usual I'm up way too late. Read the interview and find out the reason :)


I've been eyeing up Dana's robe pattern for a while now, and couldn't resist any longer. I had a long overdue new baby gift to make and my boys have outgrown their swimming towel ponchos. This pattern has been very easy to put together, but I found the bias binding a bit exhausting. Bear in mind that I'm a massive bias binding fan. In saying that, I chose to do double the work by attaching the binding in the 'proper' way, plus I can't think of a better way to finish a robe like this as it adds colour and looks really smart.

I made the robe in the pictures (for baby 9mnths and up) from a small piece of stretchy toweling remnant, and lined it with some of the beautiful lawn Spotlight has at the moment. I didn't have enough to make the sleeves the suggested length, so added a cuff which was really just a very wide piece of bias binding. I actually love that bit because it shows off the fabric even more.

Some notes if you're interested in getting the pattern: you don't need as much bias binding as the pattern suggests (if you're buying by the metre); I think 6m should be enough. But then I always think you can never have too much bias binding in your stash, so having some left over is no problem for me. Also the sizing is for up to 4 year-old, but the one I made for Joshua (just turned 4, but rather tall for his age) is almost too small when the hood is on. I'm going to play around with the pattern because I'd like to make one for Daniel too, and will have to add quite a bit of length. Definitely perfect for younger/smaller kids.

I've got my eyes open for cheap and colourful beach towels now, and will show you more robes as I finish them. Maybe I should wait for summer so I can also take gorgeous shots of kids on beaches and outside pools like in the Flicker pool :)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Warm necks

We had our first frosty morning here today, and even though it was only on the rooftops, it's cold enough for gloves and scarves. Perfect timing for the neck-warmers I made yesterday. Daniel is wearing his the traditional way, and Joshua has his Survivor-style on the head. These took me 10 minutes to make, so I thought I'd show you how to make your own.

I used an old lambswool jumper of Craig's that had holey elbows. You can make at least two children's cowls out of one jumper, but might be able to squeeze two more small ones depending on the size of your jumper and its neckline (a V-neck will of course give you less fabric). I haven't tried it yet, but I think you could also make a nice wide adult's cowl by using the whole bottom half of the jumper. For a child's cowl, cut open the side seams 25cm from the bottom edge and cut across the jumper like in the illustration
Use a zig-zag stitch or overlock the raw top edge of the rectangle. Place this edge on the original bottom edge of the jumper, right sides together and stitch across. Turn the tube inside out and position the new seam at the bottom of your cowl.

Finally place right sides together (if there is a difference) and stitch across the two raw edges. It would be a good idea to try it on for size at this point, so you can make it a bit smaller if necessary. Finish the raw edges with a zig-zag stitch or overlock. Turn the cowl inside out and hide the exposed seam in the back of the neck.

There are probably other ways of making it look nicer, but I think the speed and ease makes it worth trying. Have a lovely Friday!