Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Broken camera lens

Broken camera lens
Originally uploaded by richardmasoner

....this isnt my lens....but mine is broken too....I'm very upset.....the camera is only a few months old....and i didn't even do anything spectacular or stupid to console myself with.......anyway....needless to say this has interrupted my week of projects....I'll be back later today or early tommorrow depending on your time zone with the next project...once i did out my trusty old instamatic...and the enerygy to haul myself out of my pit of misery

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Project Two - A simple vest

Project Two - A simple vest
Originally uploaded by redmag

This is a lightweight cotton vest for the in-between months - the ones when it’s too cold to go without something to "protect the kidneys" as Nan would say but not cold enough to convince little people to put on a coat.
This pattern is for an average two year old.

What you need:
6 balls of Patons Serenity* in black
1pair of 7mm needles
1 stitch holder
1 needle
1 tape measure

Note the gauge is 13 stitches by 23 rows for a 10cm square after washing.

What to do:

Using two balls of yarn combined at once (i.e. as if they were a single strand) cast on (CO) 76 stitches.
Row 1 **knit (k) 1, purl (p) 1, repeat from ** until the end
Row 2 **p1, k1, repeat from ** until the end
Repeat the previous two rows until the garment is roughly 23cms from cast on. Finishing on Row 2 or the pattern

Next row - Continue the moss stitch pattern for the next 38 stitches (i.e. k1, p1,....) and transfer to the stitch holder, finish the row in the established moss stitch pattern.
***Continue the established moss stitch pattern on the remaining 38 stitches until it measures 11 cm from the row where half the stitches were placed on the stitch holder.
At the beginning of the next two rows loosely cast off 8 stitches and continue in the established moss stitch pattern.
Continue the moss stitch pattern for another 10 rows and cast off very loosely.
Transfer the 38 stitches on the stitch holder back onto the knitting needles and repeat everything from ***.
Sew together the neck/shoulder seam and the side seams and to daa!

More photos here....and here.

* This is a DK Bamboo and Cotton yarn that comes in 50g balls but feel free to substitute.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Project one - Liddle girls

Liddle girls
Originally uploaded by redmag

This is Project One of Five for my week of blogging a project a day....

Fabric Paper Doll Garlands
These were inspired by the need to use metres of heavy-weight iron-on interfacing that I got for free.

You will need:

  • Heavy-weight iron on interfacing approx 20cm high and how ever long as you'd like your garland to be - mine is 1.5 meters long. You need a heavy weight interfacing because this is what makes the fabric stiff enough to behave like paper and give you pretty erect little dolls.
  • A length of fabric cut slightly bigger than you length of interfacing - to make it easier to attach the two together with the iron - I allowed 1 cm clearance but it can be smaller if you are methodical and cut straight - which I am not and can't do.
  • A doll template (I've attached mine here but feel free to use your own)
  • An iron
  • Scissors
  • Small metal rings (optional)

What to do:

  • Attach your fabric to the interfacing using the iron following the manufacturers instructions.
  • Trace the template out on the back side of the fabric/interfacing strip. I found it too difficult to cut all the dolls out at once like you would with a normal paper doll garland and so traced the template out over the entire strip - it takes time but gives you a much nicer end product.
    If you are using the metal rings leave some material on the end of the first and last doll that can be folded back to make a loop that will secure the metal ring.
  • Cut out the dolls
  • If using the metal rings, sew them into the first and last doll. I found that the rings made it easier to hang the garland but they aren't

    ...and ta daa you have a fabric paper doll garland.

Some options to customise....If you'd prefer a garland of liddle boy dolls...just trim the skirt of the dolls in the template.....I've made a nice garland that had pairs of boys and girls.

Also you can have different fabrics along the garland - just make the join at their hands using the template to determine how wide each piece of fabric needs to be.

A comment on the picture - while not the prettiest of shots - i just loved that the two-year old's first instinct upon laying eyes of this harem of liddle girls hanging around his room was to grab his liddle Cambodian boy doll and proceed to get him to give them each a kiss...........owwwww.......which reminds me of a little picket fence my dad built when we were kids that got a similar treatment from my little sister....although she went further and declared they were her boyfriends....I guess she expected a commitment for her kisses....

See you tomorrow night with Project Two.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

My creative space

invent a new product that doesn't need a label
Originally uploaded by redmag

.....due to technical problems I've missed most of this week's fall colour challenge.......... instead I'm setting myself the challenge of posting a new "how to" every day next week....starting with fabric paper doll garlands... today my creative space is all about following my own instructions to make sure they make turns out they don't make as much sense as I'd hoped so this is a photo of my successful garlands from a few weeks ago.....but you get the idea!

See you on Monday....and more spaces over here

Monday, September 21, 2009

Red Baby

Red Baby
Originally uploaded by redmag

....Not quite brick red....and pulled from the archives....I have a photo like this for most members of the's not planned they just seem to find themselves bathed in red light just when I have a camera in my hand....ok maybe bit a bit staged....still working out how to get the dog to sit still up the top of the climbing tower with its nice red roof in the local park....

I'm playing along with the Autumn colours week over at Elsie Marley......check out this one its terrific

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A few friends

A few friends
Originally uploaded by redmag

Apologies for my absense - I've been sewing....Here is a sneak peek at the collection I'll have with me at this weekend's Handmade Market at the Yarralumla Woolshed (just of Cotter Road for those of you in Canberra and its surrounds planning on coming along)

I'll be inside on the Friday night - between 6-9pm and outside on Saturday between 10am and 4 pm......(please let it be a glorious day like last weekend)

...even if you're not in the market for a toy do stop by and say hello!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

My creative space

The production line
Originally uploaded by redmag's still Thursday somewhere in the world isn't it?

I started this yestyerday with the best of intentions and somehow didn't publish it....this is my creative space.....I'm trying out a couple of new designs for the upcoming Handmade market in Canberra next Friday and Saturday at the Yarralumla Woolshed.....I'll post more details over the weekend.....but this is my interpreatation of a "Dusty Gnome"

My house is obessed with them...all of us even those that don't attend playgroup.......and here is their little song....

"I met a little dusty gnome
Who said it's time to pack away
Round, Round, Round
Swish, swish, swish
It's time to pack away"

More creative spaces over here.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Robo Hendrix

Robo Hendrix
Originally uploaded by redmag

This is my contribution to the plushteam's tribute to Woodstock - Plushstock. See the Plush team blog for more AMAZING free loving hippie plush. There will be voting to come I'll post the details here when it's all ready to go...
.....I do wish I was at some open air outdoor festival right now...sunshire...loud music.....*sigh*

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

There was one in the bed...

A new bed
Originally uploaded by redmag

..and the little one said roll over, roll we all rolled over and one fell out....

Ok the little one didn't actually say roll over....he's only a few months old....but he did roll over in his basinette last night and tried to it's out and everyone gets a promotion bedwise......from cradle to cot....from cot to keep....growing....up?

They'll be into our liquor and smoking ciggies down at the bus station next thing!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

My creative space (and a shameless brag)

My creative space
Originally uploaded by redmag

On my table today is:

  • Broken wings in need to some glue
  • A new wallet needing to be filled with my pocket litter
  • Some pretty floral fabric for a custom order from my first repeat customer!
  • ...and most excitingly a fresh copy of Peppermint magazine....I love this magazine but hadn't managed to get this latest one yet...silly really because this one quite remarkably contains one of my owls - I had no idea he was in it until yesterday....this has made my week (well year actually nothing like a close brush with the uber-cool to put a spring in ya crafting step - and I have added some owls to my shop if your interested.

but....Canberra is de-frosting and the sunshine and two-digit outside temperatures beckon...creative things will need to occur after dark....

More spaces over here

Monday, August 3, 2009

A moment

A moment
Originally uploaded by redmag

A rattle found at a garage sale over the weekend....some flowers gifted to me by my neighbour from her garden....sun still streaming in my front window after 5 pm...both me and the season seem to have turned a corner.....sleep has been in short suuply at our house and I havnt been able to do more than make lists and think about the crafting things I'd like to be doing - new fabrics for old designs, new designs for old fabrics.......but we making adjustments and sometime this week I'll actually get something the meantime I might just sit on the couch and enjoy the sunlight

Friday, July 24, 2009

Sweet Hat

Sweet Hat
Originally uploaded by redmag

....this sweet hat arrived in the post along with two other - also beautiful - hats for the bigger little one last week as part of a swap and while they boys have been wearing them non-stop I haven't managed to get a photo of them until today!

The hats are made from recycled wooly blankets and were designed and crafted by the very talented gabrielle. Having road tested them for a week they are great! Gabrielle is offering the pattern in all sizes imaginable - see this post for details....but do check out the rest of her blog she takes the most wonderful photos of her kids exploits and they are always having loads of fun!

Thanks gabrielle...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The candlelight scarf

Candlelight scarf
Originally uploaded by redmag

...As previously featured....I finally finished my "lace" scarf....only five years in the making

It's funny but taking a few years out from it makes it clear that my tastes seemed to have come full circle....I went from loving the colour and the wool to down right hating it (hence the project shelving phase) back to loving it again....I found the pattern slightly hypnotic to do and so I thought I'd share the pattern with you

A candlelight scarf

3 50g balls of Ramie by Filature di crosa
1 pair of 3 1/2 mm knitting needles.

This scarf is knitted using the candlelight lace pattern in repeat. The pattern requires multiples of 10 stitches plus an additional 11 stitches. I used 51 stitches but feel feel to use more of less depending on taste.

A copy of the chart is here, A tip to stay on track - there should always be the same number of stitches at the end of the row as you had at the beginning despite all the knitting together and making new stitches.

If you do make this scarf please leave a comment to let me know I'd love to see the end I feel a certain fondness for the old candlelight pattern.....and I loved to see it out and about more.


Originally uploaded by redmag

The very wonderful Christina sent me a copy of the latest edition of Stuffed has a feature on the Etsy Plush team and they used some of my photos for it. I've never beeen in print before so this made my week!

For those of you interested in making soft toys its actually a prettty good magazine...contains a wide ange of artists, loads of pictures, a couple of patterns (most of the artists featured don't really use patterns hence only a couple) and lots of technique and tips ranging from online stockists to fabric selections - It's definately worth a look - here's the online sneak peek.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

In my garden...

In my garden...
Originally uploaded by redmag

Day one of blogging daily...and so far so good....

This is what our brocolini looked like about an hour ago....before I picked it clean for tonight's dinner (recipe below)...........

Penne and brocolini with a balsamic butter sauce.
500g Brocolini (or Brocoli or asparagaus) chopped into bite size peices
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
500g penne
100g butter, cut into pieces
Grated Parmesan cheese

Pop the vinegar into a small saucepan. Simmer gently until 3 tablespoons remain. Stir in the brown sugar and once it has disolved remove from the heat.

Meanwhile cook the penne and brocolini in a large pot of boiling - I usually add the brocolini when the pasta is nearing completion because I like my brocolini with a bit of crunch.

Drain the pasta and brocolini. Add the butter to the reduced vinegar and sugar mixture and stir until it has melted and combined - you should end up with a beautiful dark glossy sauce.

Toss the brocolini and pasta through the sauce and add grated paramesan to your taste and serve.....this one deosnt keep so serve immediately....

Been away.....

Soviet Vision of the Perfect Family Holiday
Originally uploaded by tatraskoda

I should probably have poped up a note saying things would be quiet here this week before our little holiday.....but I've never been all that good at goodbyes.....

We've had a holiday of sorts.....celebrated a birthday, grew a first tooth, weathered the storm that is the aftermarth of immunisations, received glorious packages from far away places, slept ( sometimes but never for very long), ate, explored and of course make up for a the silence I'm going to (try) and post every day this week just to catch everyone up!

Friday, July 10, 2009

The perfect dress

The perfect dress
Originally uploaded by redmag

....this morning I fell in love all over again was love at first sight....
....on first touch it felt so right.....
....i know this is going to be a rocky one....there are already signs of high maintenance....perhaps this will be a short but fiery love...and you clearly have tell-tale marks from previous lovers
....but already I can't take you off

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Friday love

Friday love
Originally uploaded by redmag

I love looking through old holiday photos and all the thoughts that come with it
I love the good stories - the ones about kindness and honesty when it didnt have to be like that
I love yellow
I love playing along

See more friday favs here

My creative space

My creative space
Originally uploaded by redmag it was on the edge of the garden watching one little one potter 'round the garden while listening out for the other one to wake up from his nap.....this is a scarf I started more than 5 years ago (!!!!!) I always suspected I had a problem seeing things through but five years of kicking round in the knitting bag is quite serious......

.............more spaces over here

Friday, July 3, 2009

A jar of honey

Originally uploaded by redmag

we bought this this morning....from a local lady who keeps bees in her backyard only blocks from our home....I quite like the romantic notion of bees buzzing around my garden and then knicking off to their hive to get to work on making this big jar of golden i get to feel like I've done something good for the environment - reducing my carbon footprint and all that - while eating crusty fresh breaad smothered in honey.

Doing acts of good never seemed so easy!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

My creative space

My creative space
Originally uploaded by redmag

....this was yesterday arvo and a storm was brewing.....and it was all dark and moody......I'm working on my rattle's currently being roadtested as I far it passes the chew test.....more creative spaces here.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Wooly booties

Wooly booties
Originally uploaded by redmag

I accidentally "felted" my favourite grey jumper at the end of last winter ....and as the hoarder that I am decided to add it to my stash rather than get rid of it....and there it languished for nearly a year....

.....until this week when I dug it out in the hope of making something useful from it....these two wooly boots are from one sleeve......the buttons (again from here) are largely ornamental....

....I think they're cute and they stay on reasonably well....maybe next time I'll put some elastic on the inside of the boot at the back of the ankle to make them extra secure......if you'd like the pattern (for 3 month old feet) just leave a comment and I"ll email it to you....

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

When does collecting become an addiction

A nana rug collection
Originally uploaded by
redmag it when the Mr begins lunchtime conversation with : " did you buy another nana rug this morning?"

Is it when you look in any direction in your house and you see at least one thing from your ever growing "collection" ? (Confession: There are another four blankets off camera in that room alone!!)

Is it when you make a beeline straight for the manchester section of every op shop that crosses your path in the hope of finding another one?

I think i have a problem...... at least its a warm fuzzy one

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Rainbow chard

Rainbow chard
Originally uploaded by redmag

For years and years I've bought punnets of Rainbow Chard seedlings and never once have I ever gotten anything other than the red chard - I don't really mind, I quite like the red chard with its small stems that you can eat, soft leaves and pretty colour - but still, I always felt a little misled when none of the other colours appeared.....this year I actually have all three colours growing in my garden - remarkable!!

This bunch is due to turned into a spinach, chili and chickpea's still in the making stage so no recipe to share yet.......and given the string of disasters I've had in the kitchen and craft area this week - in the interests of public saftly it's probably best I dont share it's a very flat cake from Monday for instance.....hopefully I'll be graced with some creative mojo tomorrow.....

Here are some very funny shots of other people's cooking distaster photos.

Happy hump day

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Otto strikes a pose

Otto strikes a pose
Originally uploaded by redmag

I think he felt sorry for me....... he actually sighed and then struck a pose which he held for a few seconds.....he's a bit of a duffa but a very nice looking one.....

Monday, June 15, 2009

The Ramones meet Dr Suess

The Ramones meet Dr Suess
Originally uploaded by redmag husband packed up a bunch of clothing to send off the the op shops over the weekend and I spotted an old Ramones tshirt amoungst the pile......and given I'm trying to reduce reuse and recycle as much as possible i fished it out and refashioned it into a toddler tee during naptime this arvo.....when i tried to coax said toddler into trying it on later in the day...with promises that it was cool....he countered with a very firm - "not cool" he's probably right but until he gets a part-time job I get a bigger say in his wardrobe than he does....and I quite like's the "making of" picture.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Firing it up

Firing it up
Originally uploaded by redmag

It's done - and while it still needs some cosmetic things done to it given it sits smack bang in the middle of the backyard and can be viewed from every point on our block - and many of the neighbours - today we enjoyed blue skies (thank god)....and wood-fired pizzas (delicious!)

....there was some tragically doomed crafting activity - booties for the baby made from patterns intended for babes much smaller than mine. Although it was funny to see you could only squeeze 4 toes into the finished product and dont even ask about how far the straps got round his sturdy ankles...............also a first attempt at mittens for the toddler - sadly his hands are stumpier than the ideal toddler the pattern was designed for (even more sad is that his hands take after mine - i may as well have 5 thumbs - and now I think about it finding gloves that fit me is impossible, maybe I'll strike mittens of the winter to do list for everyone's sake he can just stick his hands in his pockets!). tomorrow I renew my love affair with the sewing machine while I search for new things to knit that might actually fit my apparently misshapen family.....

…..hope your weekend was what you needed it to be....and for those of you in Canberra let us please have more of this weather and less of the only 4 degrees at 3pm kind this coming week.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Three finished items

Three finished items
Originally uploaded by redmag

Three little cardigans all done and dusted (ok I didn't block them but I am an instant gratification type and blocking before sewing them up was just never going to happen - they will be washed in good time.)

The one closest to the camera is a six and a half stitches cardigan (I actually knitted that one two years ago but it needed to be repaired before it could be worn this time round and so counts for this weeks knitting related activity.

The middle one - is my favourite - it's the duffle coat from Debbie Bliss' Essential Baby. I used Paton's Serenity (DK Bamboo and Cotton) in Black. The buttons are japanese vintage and charcoal in colour from here and were added using red thread. It's just a lovely shaped hooded coat (The hood is not shown here but trust me it is nice)

The far one is also from Essential Baby - but I used some of my own tweaks - the sleeves are longer to provide real protention from the cold (this is Canberra and my house is made from monocrete!) I also didnt really like the contrast and suck at picking up stitches along the neckline so to save the jumper I just machine sewed black bias binding along the neck line and continued it on to be the tie.

Apologies for the crap photo - while it was sunny today it was bitterly cold and there wasnt much motivation to go back out and re-shoot.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Knitting inspiration

Knitting inspiration
Originally uploaded by redmag

The week of knitting continues and the clickety-clack of knitting needles can be heard at odd hours of the day and night....although that makes it seem like a knit like a train which is far from the case - what sound would a snail make if it could knit I wonder?.....

I am making terrific progress on my half arsed half finished piles of projects (based on my normal performance level anyway) and we should all have winter woollies before winter ends this problem - crappy weather, terrible light and so no photos....instead here is other people's knitted eye candy.....

Also an oven update for those eagerly awaiting wood fired treats....nearly done - ONLY one layer of concrete to go I'm told's a blow by blow pictorial account of its erection thus far for those of you who like to see how these things are done.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A week of knitting

Neat (ish) stitching
Originally uploaded by redmag

I have so many knitting projects lying around that I thought this week I'd devote myself to all things knitting and hopefully finish them all (fingers crossed) off.....I've never been a fan of seams in knitting - I'd always thought you just use backstitch to join all the bits together....leaving a bulky and usually ugly seam in your wake - it really never worked for baby clothing....well apparently there are other stitches you can Mattress stitch.....while I still need more practise because if i was still in Year 8 Craft I'd be asked to rip this seam out and do it again neater (and this is one of the better ones)....this seam (using mattress rather than back) looks almost like a real jumper from a proper no more avoiding seams like the plague......

although you do still have to weave in all those annoying threads so I'm not exactly a seam lover just no longer a seam hater.....

I'm just waiting for the shops to open tomorrow to get some buttons for this one and I'll show you the finished thing and tell you all the details in a day or so.......

For the Australian readers hope you're having a lovely extra day of weekend on this the Queen's (un)birthday weekend.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Thank God its friday....

Otto takes this moment of calm to also nap
Originally uploaded by redmag

...and all is quite and EVERYONE is actually asleep ( yes at the same time)....we've all been sick this week....and every time I feel like we're all on the mend someone breaks ranks and gets cranky and I've given up dreaming of life without mucus..even the dog seems to have had enough and has curled up in the sunniest comfiest pozzie in the house for a nap....I'm torn between enjoying the silence and popping my head on a lovely cushiony cloud and catching some zzzz but given Otto has claimed the good spot I might soldier on....

I also have a strange craving for homemade vanilla slices. I hope it’s not a snot related association rather just a craving for some comforting sugar infused custard. ....anyway just wanted to say were still here and to anyone I haven’t emailed or replied to this week - sorry - and I'll get to you as soon as we stop coughing ourselves awake in the wee hours of the morning and need hugs to get back to sleep....have a great weekend and if you have a killer vanilla slice recipe please shoot it my way....

Monday, June 1, 2009

More brave new pants

More brave new pants
Originally uploaded by redmag

....those of you who've seen my back catalogue might remember me making some pants from a couple of Dreamworld tea towels about this time last year....well during last week's dream op-shop run I picked up a very bright and very cool 1970's tea towel covered in the cutest (although very un-pc) pictures of Aussie cowboys working hard with their animals in the outback....and it was huge!!! One tea towel easily became a pair of pants for my smallest child (they are either a big 000 or a small 00). There are close ups of the pictures here, here and here.....

Those of you who know me in real-life might have heard me complain about how terrible the range of clothing for little boys is when compared with the choice and variety offered to little girls once or twice (or a 1000 times) while these pants aren’t everyone’s cup-of-tea and I’m sure that he will grow up and have a phase where he is embarrassed by them…I love them – bright, colourful and just kitsch enough to be interesting without being totally clown like (although others might disagree) I just wish I could buy little things like this – if someone knows of a magical place where you can get lovelies like these I’d love to hear.

(Edited to add - forgot to give the woodfired oven update - we now have gravel in the base making it actually base like....and the frame for the opening has been weekend is a long weekend here and the oven is due to be finished then)

Sunday, May 31, 2009

The robot thief

The robot thief
Originally uploaded by redmag know...I started making toys just after my first child was born....and well....he never really showed much interest in's not that he didn't like soft toys....he has a blablah lion that never leaves his side even now that he's a toddler.....he just wasn't into mine....

.....until recently....I made him a robot that he got a little while ago and seems to love....he requests that it comes to bed with him....but yesterday he spotted my first mini robot ...made for the plushteam fundraiser 5 minis for $5 for the next 5 weeks check it out if you like little softies... at $5 they are cheap!....

anyway he grabbed it and wouldn't let rides around in a little trailer he didnt really bother me that he showed no interest in my toys...but now that he does it's nice to think that he loves them

Friday, May 29, 2009

My second quilt - finished at last!

My second quilt - finished at last!
Originally uploaded by redmag

Here it is....the second one was intended to be a blanket for my oldest child to take to day care for naptime....but it seems too lovely to send off so i might need to make something else for day care....although at the rate I make blankets he might have stopped napping by then…so off it will go.

It is blue on one side, white on the other, with red and white hand embroidery. The quilt layer (the bit in the middle not sure what it is really called) is a piece of polar fleece I had lying around.

The brave use of white was inspired by a lovely quilt I once saw on esty but forgot to bookmark (grrr!) I used a flat sheet for the white side; it came in a sheet set that we didn't use - idea nicked from here.(scroll down to find a very cool red and orange quilt) The colours and hand embroidery were inspired by this photo on flickr (found via here).

This quilting thing is quite addictive I can see why people get hooked...maybe my next one will be a full patchwork one machine there's a challenge!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Stitching up the NGA

Knit Wit
Originally uploaded by roctopus

...I found out about this via consumption-rebellion....

Stitching up the NGA
Knitters are invited to help create pieces that measure 10–20 cm wide and 140 cm long, which will be stitched together to create coverings for 6 large concrete poles at the front of the National Gallery of Australia. Any colour, yarn and technique is accepted—the brighter and wackier, the better!

Send your knitted pieces to the address below before the 7 July or drop them off in person to the NGA security entrance, located near the NGA car park off Bowen Drive. Include a small note stating your name, location and age (optional) because each knitted strip will have a small label stating the maker’s details.

Please send your completed knitted pieces to:
Knitta Project
Public Programs
National Gallery of Australia
GPO Box 1150
Canberra ACT 2601

For enquiries please contact

This event is part of Knitta Please, a festival of events from 5 to 12 July, which celebrates the final week of the exhibition Soft sculpture.

I think this is very exciting....and my head is spinning with ideas....none of which I actually know how to execute but that is minor detail....Please leave comment if you're planning on making something I'd love to see what everyone is planning so that I can play spot the strip when it goes up in July.

From puzzle piece to handy hook

From puzzle piece to handy hook
Originally uploaded by redmag

....I find winter in Canberra drives me inside where I develop an overwhemling urge to clean and purge......its started and in up ending a box of odds and ends I came across these two puzzle pieces.... I couldnt bear to throw out after the dog managed to destroy the other two bits because they were too lovely......anyway with a bit of blutac on the back they have been transformed into handy hooks on the wall nearest the change table....they're cute and hold medium weight things like baby cardigans and face box down only an entire house and a shed to go!

Monday, May 25, 2009

This little guy arrived yesterday

This little guy arrived yesterday
Originally uploaded by redmag

...and we already love him...he's only the size of the palm of my hand and can actually be cuddled by a baby....made by the very talented Monika from monkeytonkey. She has lots of other lovely things.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

New drawers

New drawers
Originally uploaded by redmag

....we picked these up from a second hand furniture place yesterday......they look great and now the baby has a place for all his stuff rather than just a box on the floor....and as my husband looks like something you'd find in a real person's house....nice.....we also started building our much anticipated wood fire oven yesterday (ok I'm pretty much a spectator for this project) the base - which looks like a water tank but is actually designed to be a raised garden bed - is now in will continue next weekend....and there is already much talk of entire days spent wood firing.....and eating

Thank you

Tired but happy
Originally uploaded by redmag yesterday's market was a wonderful joyous and tiring many of you know it was my first one...and it was an incredibly supportive and fun event for me - so much more than I'd even hoped for.

I just wanted to say a big thank you to all of you who stopped by to look...those that said hello (apologies to those of you who got a quite a stunned mullet look of shock and some incohenerent mumblings when you said you read my blog) ...and those that said nice things about my toys.... you made my day a complete joy....

To those of you who bought some things I hope you love them as much as I did making them...... know one of the best things was seeing that lovely child-like look of wonder on faces of all ages when they saw a toy they like....I guess we all still love toys.....and as a crafty type selling things to real people face-to-face is so much nicer than selling things on the internet (having said that I had a handful of things left over which I'll put in my etsy store during the week so if you regreted not buying something on Saturday there is still time)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Two sleeps to go

Two rabbits
Originally uploaded by redmag

....although these two look like they party hard and sleeping isn't a priority for them.....

They will be at this Saturday's Handmade market along with georgeous things from over 80 talented locall artist and crafters.....

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Only three sleeps to go

The Hilbert Owls
Originally uploaded by redmag

....until the Handmade Market....oh crap ....I have so much to left to do!

These three Hilbert Owls will be with me on Saturday. Check out more soft toy threesomes looking for new homes here and here.

Also for those of you who don't live in Canberra and won't be at the market on Saturday....all the toys left over at the end of the market will go into my etsy store - and if you see something you like here you an always send me an email and I can keep it for you.

On a separate note - has anyone seen the ad for the Cosie? It's bascially a polar fleece monks robe - that might or might not do up at the back (there are no rear shots on the infomericals)....a very strange product.....I prefer lap blankets myself and when the market is over I'm quite keen to try and keep up with Pip's A Granny a day activities....look at the beautiful squares people are making...

Monday, May 18, 2009

Four Marvin Minsky Robot boys

Four Marvin Minsky Robot boys
Originally uploaded by redmag

Only four sleeps to go til .....

The Handmade Market.
This Saturday (23rd May 2009)
10 am - 4 pm
Albert hall - Yarralumla.
Music on the lawns from 12noon.

I'm going to be right out the front with these fellows and more so say hello as you wander past

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Pile of toys

Pile of toys
Originally uploaded by redmag

.....With less than a week to go....all spare minutes in the day seem to be earmarked for Handmade Market loungeroom has taken on the air of a sweatshop....I think i may even be developing a case of fluff lung.....Anyway given I'm not really doing anything else I thought I'd do a plush count down this week to give you a taste of what I'll have with me on Saturday.

I'll also flag the other stalls I'm itching to spend some money in....None of the shots of 5 (i.e five sleeps til the market) worked out so instead I thought I'd show you the pile that accumulated just out of shot.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Eat your way to love and Beauty

Eat you way to love and Beauty
Originally uploaded by redmag

I picked this up a couple of weeks ago at the local op shop and with a title like "Eat your way to love and Beauty" how could I go wrong....

Written by Swami Saravati and first published in 1971 it’s a gem..

The philosophy of the book is: "Eating for love and beauty is eating for health. Smooth wrinkle free skin, lustrous hair, a sensuous shape and warm loving smile come naturally to a healthy girl or woman" - sounds good doesn’t it?

Other words of advice include.....

"Girls, to keep your marriage fresh and exciting, you must keep yourself and your husband youthful and vital".....

And in answer to the question "How does food make me more loving?" the author has this to offer....."We live in a society that is becoming more and more stressed and anxious each passing year (don't forget this was written in 1971 so we must all be a complete mess by now).....The results are everywhere: irritable parents, neurotic husbands and wives and confused children. A well nourished woman will have the strength to be a patient and understanding and loving. Your children won't turn to drugs"

Overweight people are called fatties!

I haven’t tried any of the recipes yet.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

My little sometimes crafting corner

My little sometimes crafting corner
Originally uploaded by redmag

...the plush team are being featured in a magazine and the we needed to provide photos of our workspaces....sadly all i had was this work in progress wasn't until yesterday - my toddler free day - that I realised that I don't really have a work space ( i do have a table in the spare room/computer room/nappy changing room that is meant for crafting but it is really piled so high with things that it's really a storage area) ....

What I have is crafting time and the area that I'm in at that time becomes my workspace....when i can spread out without little fingers to worry about the dining table (pictured above) is my favourite's sunny and I sit in a corner with windows facing out in two directions....I can sit there watching the comings and goings of everyone in my street like the nosy neighbour that I have a tendancy to other times my space is my lap while I sit on the couch watching tellie or in the car when we're driving round....everywhere is a crafting space but only for brief moments in time...

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Another WIP

Tent WIP
Originally uploaded by redmag

I literally have piles and piles of half finished things around the house - its driving me and everyone else insane.....this one is a tent I started last November when it started to heat up as we headed towards summer....its now Autumn and given the sudden burst of sunny days I dusted it off and put it up....its made from two single bed sheets and only took about an hour to make (ok it doesnt yet have sides) ....but it does work and we lounged in it all morning......milk spills dont need to be cleaned up in outside rooms - yeh!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Autumn Harvesting and the missing words

Autumn Harvesting
Originally uploaded by redmag

....I've been a little short on words lately and I've sat down to blog a few times this week only to find I have nothing to say....this might become a photoblog for a while....I'm not sure why its happened maybe it's a side effect of spending the majority of my time with small children with my daily dialogue has been reduced to:
Child - More cake? (Despite the fact its been over a week since he's seen cake)
Me - No more cake
Child: No more cake
Child: Cake?

I need to find something else to use as a bargaining chip in getting good behaviour at the supermarket before the weekly shop tomorrow...

Or maybe its just that the colder months are clearly coming this way and my brain has decided to hibernate this year....

Either way here are some of the last of the summer fruits from the garden....we have loads of green tomatoes and I'm not very good at throwing things away. I plan to make this with some of them......

Green tomato relish from Robert and Maria Strybel’s “Heritage Polish Cookery” – it’s a fantastic cookbook if you like polish cooking – I warn you though – there are very few pictures so its not one of those very lovely food porn numbers you can pour over on a cold winter’s night – here’ an abridged version

Slice one kilo of green tomatoes and 500g of onions thinly. Combine with one and a half tablespoons of salt. Leave over night at room temperature.

Preheat your oven to 195degrees C. Pack the tomato/onion mix into small clean jars (no need to sterilise them – yea!). Separately in a saucepan combine 1¼ cup of water, ¼ cup sugar, ½ cup of vinegar, some peppercorns, mustard seeds and a bay leaf. Bring to the boil and then pour into the jars over the tomato/onion mix. Cover loosely with the lids and pop into the oven for 20-25 minutes – This will pasteurize them. Once out of the oven seal tightly and allow to cool.

But for the rest not sure - might have to try fried green tomatoes and see what all the fuss is about!

If you have a delicious way of using the poor late tomatoes that missed the sun leave a comment I'm all ears - There are actually about 5 more kilos of the things beyond those in the picture.

On review maybe I’m not as short of words as I thought…

Friday, April 17, 2009

Easter in the big city

Toddler help in the big city
Originally uploaded by redmag

This photo sums up my easter break.
A flying visit to Melbourne - a city I love because its big and noisy and exciting but not in a too big way , its colourful and filthy all at once and while I dont live there.....its home

That blur in the middle is ours - a toddler, nicked named the cyclone months ago, who found a sense of determination over the weekend which is both wonderful ( he now does puzzles) and frustrating for everyone and manifested itself in insisting on pushing his own pram everywhere for miles and miles.

For more pictures of cute grafitti see here, here and here.

Hope yours was a good one!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

An update

An update
Originally uploaded by redmag

This isn't going to become one of those blogs that is just a vehicle for sellig things and it will largely continue to be a document of my mundane daily goings on.......but given things on the toy making side have been so quite for so long I thought I'd just add a short note to let people know that I've added some new toys to my etsy shop.....and there are more on the way in the next couple of weeks....I'm also open to swaps and special requests.

For those of you in the Canberra area I'll also be at the next Handmade Market on 23 May, 10am to 4pm at the Albert Hall ....its my first market and is looming as very daunting so stop by and say hello.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

9: A new project

9: A new project
Originally uploaded by redmag

Just over a week into my things of joy project and I'm fasting working out that often the most joyous things sneak up and hit you out of the blue and dont lend themselves to photographing - things like a little person's first smile at you ever - while some things can be photographed later without introducing a fakness many can't so rather than feeling bad about skipping days both on the blog or on flickr I figure I resolve to capture what I can.....

Here's something that has been making me feel pretty good for the last 24 hours.....its a new quilt in the making.....I love the intial stages of project....any project really but especially a crafting one......I love the big piles of fabrics that get assembled and disassembled as you look through your stash for just the right things.....and then the trip to the fabric store to buy what you dont but absolutly must have....

I love the way it feels to make things......its weird I once had a house mate who upon completeion of her Arts/Law degree announce that she wished she learnt a trade instead because she thought it would be more fulfilling to work with her hands - at the time as someone from a decidely working class background with parents who both had hands that had suffered terribly in order to earn a crust it seemed like the utterings of a middle class fantasist....and I guess part of me still does think that it was.....but I also agree that there is something deeply satisfying about making something with your hands - however the real joy comes from being able to also do it on your own terms - your time, your design or idea.