Tuesday, 25 December 2012

sunflowers in my garden

Why you should leave "volunteers" that accidently grow in your veggie patch:


Over winter we had a chicken house in the veggie patch, which resulted in some commercial bought sunflower seeds being planted in the garden, since my three year old sun is a bit messy when feeding the chickens!

I am very happy I left these plants when they germinated, as now I have some lovely sunflower flowers in the garden. Not only will they provide seeds for the chicken, but they are an attractant to the bees, and even the odd coloured native parrot. (As long as they share, I’m happy).

I have tried to grow sunflowers in the past, I can’t believe how attractive these one are. It must be all the fertiliser we added for the veggies.

We didn't plant this pumpkin either !!! Usually, you dont get pumkins off sell sown pumkins since the seed is sterile, but ours are actually fruiting well.

Attracting butterflies to the Garden for your kids

I dont know why this photo cant be turned!!!

I thought I would let you know about the fun my three year old is having. Here’s a kale I’ve got in the veggie patch- you might notice the insect damage.

Since we don’t eat the kale, but grew it as chook food, we didn’t bother to spray it for cabbage butterflies. Needless to say, the cabbage butterflies have been visiting us regularly, giving Johnny easy targets for his butterfly net. If he can’t catch one, there are always the caterpillars to investigate, meaning we have even more butterflies for Johnny to chase.

So, if you’ve got young kids visiting your backyard, I encourage you to let a cabbage family plant be a haven for the humble cabbage butterfly and give your kids hours of exercise.

This sacrificing of one or two plants is also an organic technique to defend your other veggies, as you could let the butterflies lay their eggs then feed the whole plant to the chooks, grubs and all, but hey we want the butterflies so we let them complete their lifecycle.

chickens in the suburban backyard.

I love having my three hens in the backyard. Not only do they turn all those kitchen scraps and left over food into lovely eggs, but they teach my young boys all about having animals. Temporarily, my hens are housed in this cage with a piece of fibreglass roofing as a roof. This allows them to have contact with the ground, very important for dust bathing.
If its nice weather, I'll take the roof of, as chicken do need light to make them lay eggs.
One of the ideas I wanted to share, was the use of a dog automatic waterer in the hen house. This allows you to leave your hens for a few days, knowing they will never run out of water. Chickens seem to have no idea not to pollute their own water, making other bowls etc unreliable. Those bell shaped wateres need to be refilled regularly, which can be a pain. They are also heavy when full and perish in the sun. This waterer is connected to a small tank, so they have weeks of fresh water, not including the wrapper my son gave them!
I bought mine from here:
but as i'm not affliated with them in anyway, feel free to browse ebay etc.

Monday, 24 December 2012

making a change purse

here is the change purse I recently made for one of my aunties for christmas.

After I turned a ladies skirt into a dress for a little girl, I had this lovely off cut complete with invisible zip.

I have been making a few change purses for christmas presents and decided this had potential
The first step was to cut out the purse shape keeping the zip. The most important part is to make show the slidder doesnt fall off or get cut off!

 My first thought was a french seamed little purse, but you couldnt move the zip when it was the right way round! i think thats because invisible zips are a bit funny.
So then I found some similar fabric to make a binding. the zip can now move and as a bonus the purse is bigger. 

Then I added some sequins to improve the look of the binding.

It was the night before christmas.....

Here are the gifts that have been taking up my time:
Here is a tablecloth i made for my grandmother. at first it was going to be just a cushion, but i like the look of it so went with a tablecloth.

 There is a bible quote about the lillies of the field, and then 3 other flower embroideryies from emblibrary. My grandmother has an awesome garden, so it suits her.
I also decided that my aunties would be getting change purses this year, so we have
the donut:

 One made out of an upcycle skirt remanent.
 A juke box,

And one made from recycle demin with jeans embroidered on them. I used double thinckness thread to get the shape to really stand out.

I liked the back pockets on that pair of jeans so made this cute little bag out of that part.

Friday, 21 December 2012

dinosaur bone hunting

In a departure from my usual sewing, i thought I'd mention a great new activity for boys I heard about on facebook. You freeze some water with some toys in it and them let you're little dinosaur hunter attack it with a toy hammer etc.
Johnny loved it so much we had to take it to "Papuo's " to show his grandfather.

Friday, 7 December 2012

child's name book

 Even I can't make a 6 sided cube work for 9 letters, so I made this book for my friends baby boy- christien.

Again, designs by designbysick.com

the thing I like about these deigns is the image is a match to the letter, and so cute!

I just put the designs on some squares then cut out the letters using my quilts rotary blade and ruler to try to get them square sewed togther the squares in the proper order, then used a scrap to bind them altogther.

angel bag

 When my sister asked me to make a bag for her friend, that loves pink, I thought this applique design by designbysick.com would be a good way of using up some scraps; I like the way the wing loves even though i had to cover some problem areas with a few well placed sequins- thats becuase the sheer fabric had a mind of its own. I like the gold work though, and its in a very cute place luckily.

I stiched out the 2 appliques parts on paper for a template first. I just used adhesive spray to stick the pink satin to the paper then cut out the whole thing togther, since the paper then made it easy to stick the fabric to the base, adn the paper just acts like another layer of stabiliser.
i really have to start working on my own christmas gifts instead of everyone elses!

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

how to make a cube toy

Here is my latest project, some cube toys for some babies in my life. I bought this embroidery  alphabet from http://www.designsbysick.com  . The original idea is featured on the janome website but rather than just a,b,c,d,e I use the letters of this child's name,
 Of course if the name has too many letters, you have to go for another idea, so I'll be doing a soft book soon.

Here is the cube fabric shell sewn togther on all but one side.
You make squares embroidered with each letter of the child's name. You'd think that you would be limited to six letters or less, but I did find a way of going to 7 letters, by adding a book style flap. I went for about 6 cm square on this one, but it doesn't really matter since you cut the inside to size.

Then you use some styrofoam to make the cube, so great recycling there, since you seem to get tonnes of styrofoam when ever you unpack anything. You can combine pieces, just try to keep it square. Most of the fabric i used was just scraps from various refashions and bits and pieces from other recycling efforts. About the only thing i actually bought were the bells.

When you are happy with the size of the inside ,just sticky tape it all together. First , I put a little bell or two in a cavity to give the touch a rattle sound. Since the small bell will be encased in the toy, it's no risk to the baby. Mkae sure the cavity is big enough that the bell has room to move and so make a nice noise.

Then I cover the cube with some polyester wadding to make the toy soft and it's only a matter of putting on the fabric shell and hand stitching it closed on the last side.

You can also make it more interesting by adding some sequins sewn behind some see-through fabric on one side. i did this for one of the cube, as the name only had three letters.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

latest sewing for boys sew along entry

Here is my latest entry for the excellent sewing for boys sewalong on the boy,ohboy,oh boy blog. I was so happy they decided to do this one, as I wanted to make one for my godson, joshua, for christmas. I used so t-shirt fabric that actual has black flowers printed on one side, luckily the other side is plain. I used a contrasting similar weight fabric i bought as a job lot of ebay. Because he lives on a small farm, the tractor is a bit of the themem this year.This matches the towel I've already made him. Here it is being modelled by my son, John, who is a year older.

I took the suggestion of another sewer and attached the belt on the back.

 Here's a close up of the embroidery.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

tractor gear

here is the towel i recently gave to my godson for his birthday.
i also plan to make a matching bath robe, as part of the sewing for boys sew-along.

Very excited! i won the sew along last month with john's very bright PJs

Sunday, 28 October 2012

october sew along- pjs

Thank goodness the october sewalong is something I've already done.
Here are the pj's i made for Johnny last autumn.

I have had to add a blind hem on the waist since then to make them fit again now that spring is here! My little man is growing so fast.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

easy sandal refashion

 For ages I've been annoyed that these lovely sandals my husband bought me when we were on holidays were so hard to wear. First, the ankle strap was hard to do up quickly and then the strap was uncomfortable any way. And of course, they were that practical for the beach because you couldnt slip them on and off.

With summer on the way here in australia, we were going to the beach so I decided to get radicle and just cut off the strap and part that attached to it. Two snips later-
Now they are very comfortable and so easy to put on!  hurray !!
I've always though shoes were hard to refashion, but seeing what the  guys on refashion co op have been able to do has inspired me- thanks

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Recycling a cake

After 5 years in the freezer, the middle tier of our wedding cake is ready for its second life as a christening cake. Its chocolate mud cake, and since each layer was different, we havent even tasted it! I hope its good!

When it was a wedding cake, it was a lovely pink, with piped pink and white flowers, which matched the flower girls' dresses.

However, I didn't think James would appreciate a pink cake, so....

I made some molding icing and covered the pink lid, as well as concealing the dent in the middle from the other part of the cake being removed.

I then added more of the same tone of dye to make the molding icing darker and cut out some stars. This allowed me to cover up imperfection in both my top blue as well as dents and pink flowers on the sides.

I still had the boottees from my other son's christening, so they went on top. There you go, one christening cake with minimum effort.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

another refashion for james

here is the refashion co op story on my latest effort for my youngest darling!!

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

latest projects

I made John a pair of jeans out of an old pair of maternity jeans.

 I also refashioned something for myself at of a $2 kmart bargain :)have a look

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

latest creation

 I have busy working three days a week, but finally got around to posting the latest  creation for the kids- just in time for summer! i made these shorts out of some t-shirts with a great print but not suitable. the t shirt is too short and the t shirt had an annoying bleach mark on the back.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

crazy quilt complete

Thanks to my friend  Kristen I now have some beautiful photos of the carzy quilt I made for the cancer fundraiser.
I made the blockas then added some embroidery and quilting

You can see the quilting better on the back

And here the finised item:

easy top refashion

I spent an hour making this top out of a hand me down that was too loose. To find out more
have a look here.