Second hand shop finds #1

Despite the title, this is in no way shape or form my first foray into second hand shopping. More like my 300th.

But this is the first post of my finds in what I hope will be a series. Since reading Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth L. Cline, I’ve been working hard to only buy second hand, exceptional quality, or absolutely necessary.

So today’s finds, from the St Vincent de Paul Society in Islington!

File 10-02-2016, 7 54 38 PM

That cute little apron was only $4!!! It’s so damn adorable I couldn’t leave it there.

The patterns were all uncut, modern, larger size designs, 50cents each:

  • Simplicity 5403 costume poodle skirts
  • Simplicity K2497 Cynthia Rowley dresses
  • Vogue V1041 Anne Klein suit jacket and pants
  • McCall’s 4296 evening elegance tops and skirts

The red book is Sew Easy, Sewing of Knits and Fabrics by Phyllis Cooper. It’s kind of like a text book, with plenty of notes pages that are covered in a neat scribble from a very thorough student. I really love that personal touch! And it was only $2.

And finally, I also picked up Prey by Michael Crichton for $2 as well. It will be the first of his books that I read.

So $10 total! Not bad for a 15 minute fresh air break from work.

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Mincraft craft

My brother recently had a medical emergency which saw me zooming down the highway to collect my 11 year old nephew…completely unprepared. I had him with me for about two days. He’s a very easy kid to care for….if you are willing to let him watch Minecraft videos on YouTube all day long. I wasn’t willing to be quite that laid back about screen time, but still wanted to be the cool Aunt, so we went on a Spotlight shopping adventure. There was quite a massive eye roll when I told him where we were going, but the mood significantly lifted when I let him know that he could pick out fabric to make his very own Minecraft Slime. From there on he got very excited.

For those who aren’t down with the kids these days (I’m not…How on earth is it fun to watch others play a video game for hours? Wouldn’t it be more fun to play yourself?), Minecraft is a game where you dig (mine) and build (craft) different kinds of 3D blocks within a large world of varying terrains and habitats to explore. I lifted that definition directly from the linked site which is designed to help parents understand what the heck their kid is talking about. You’re welcome.

Anyway, this is a Slime, which is apparently a hostile mob that spawns underground and in swamp biomes:

In case it isn’t obvious, I picked it for its simple shape.

So anyway, back to Spotlight and Sean was utterly determined that unlike a store bought Slime, which would have a black mouth and eyes, his would have a dark green mouth and eyes which is how it’s supposed to be. I love this kid so much!

We got all our bits and pieces back to the house and I quickly realised that considering I was still totally unprepared and Sean seemed quite concerned that the sewing machine will eat him, this project would mostly be done by me, with Sean “helping”. And you know what? That turned out just fine. I created a template for our cube sides, Sean designed the face features according to his expert specifications, I cut the main pieces, he cut the face ones and helped place them, I sewed the face on and then the cube together explaining structure, pinning and seam allowance as I went, he stuffed it to his desire (“I want less stuffing so it’s all squishy because it’s a slime.” Fair point.), and then I hand sewed it shut whilst we watched TV.

Oh and the corners, according to Sean, HAD to be curved/soft. I was happy to oblige since it was quicker.

This is the end product:

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This is the expert stuffer, doing his thing:

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And this is the slime watching itself on YouTube:

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And the best part of all? Sean and I now have a plan to make ALL the Minecraft characters, increasing the level of Sean’s participation and the level of difficulty each time. We’ll level up!

He really go into it! Watching his excitement, and watching the learning curve as I explained how we would turn 6 square pieces into a cube, was just awesome. It was so awesome in fact, that I am considering having a go at teaching other kids to sew as well….hopefully with more structure and preparation.

Does anyone else want to share their experience with teaching sewing? As I still consider myself a beginner I never ever thought that I could teach…other grown ups. But children? Now that I’ve considered it, I can’t stop thinking about it!

New digs

As a newly single lady I thought I’d share some pics of my new home. It’s a one bedroom apartment in the lower half of an old house. And it’s perfect! There is heaps of room for all my stuff and I have oodles of space for sewing and craft. You will see there are three main rooms: sewing/dining, living/study, bedroom nook. I love it!

IMG_0431 IMG_0432 IMG_0433IMG_0435 IMG_0436IMG_0430   IMG_0437 IMG_0438 IMG_0439 IMG_0441 IMG_0442

In recent times this blog has been a place to lay down goals that never get achieved. This stops now. I have the following projects planned:

  • Having a go at making my own workout leggings. I picked up some great practice fabric for $4 at a Lifeline opshop. If it goes well I’m ordering Harry Potter fabric off Spoon Flower 😀
  • Making new curtains to replace the threadbare ones that came with my house. They divide off the bedroom from the living room so it’s a big job.
  • Making small curtains for kitchen because blinds don’t close properly and the street can see my dirty dishes.
  • Making a new workout bag…because I can’t have too many of those!
  • Trying out resin jewellery. If it goes well: Etsy store!
  • When I can afford Annie Sloan paint: picking a colour scheme for my home and doing up a bunch of furniture

The Coasters of Catan

It’s taken me a while to post this one. Firstly I had to wait until I had given the gift to the recipient, then I finally did and just straight up forgot to post about it. Woops.

My boyfriend and I regularly go to a friends to play board games and video games.  We’ve often said our friend needs some coasters to protect his furniture and we should probably be the ones to give them to him since we so regularly invade his home. I decided I should make him some nerdy coasters to suit our nerdy nights and went looking for suitable fabric. It was then that I managed to find The Settlers of Catan inspired fabric on Spoonflower.

The Settlers of Catan is a great board game that was pretty much the beginning of our regular board game nights. We love it! Click the link and take a look, you can also play it electronically through a number of media 🙂

The board in The Settlers of Catan is made of of numerous individual hexagonal pieces and the game revolves around earning, trading for and using resources.  The design contributor on Spoonflower combines these two elements, and the result is a pattern of hexes, each representing a basic motif version of a resource (brick, wood, wool, grain or ore).

The fabric came with both small hexes and larger hexes and I was really pleased to discover that the large hexes were pretty much precisely coaster sized!

This is the result:

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And I also knocked together a cute little box for them too

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Nerds just wanna have fun!

Fabrice found here

The happenings…

I am making my way back to blog world. The night I finally do this, the internet goes down. Yay! So I’m drafting this in Word with the Back to the Future bonus material playing in another window, because I’m obsessed with that at the moment. It’s a nerding good time.

What has been happening creatively? Well, I turned myself into a Goomba for a video game themed birthday party:

goomba

Which I sewed with beer in hand:

sew beerMy mum bought me the best book ends EVER for Christmas:

sewing machine ends

I bought a cute owl that I’m thinking might house spare cottons or embroidery floss:

owlie

And I’ve made a pact with myself to not buy any more patterns until I’ve used at least 2 of the ones I already have:

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Buying the blueprints for pretties apparently requires the addition of effort if said pretties are to eventuate…

So that’s what’s been happening! I won’t go into the lengthy reasons behind my absence from blogging, or my absence from sewing. I’ll just dive right back in here and get on with things 🙂

Ch ch ch changes…

Just a quick note! I realised my creative interests were expanding a little beyond sewing, as you will have noticed from my most recent posts which have covered jewellery making, crochet and terrariums!

I don’t need yet another blog to document non-sewing interests, so have made a few tweaks to this blog to cover both. No name change even necessary as no matter what I am creating I will always have some cotton handy! 🙂

More crafty goodness soon!

xo

Tiny terrarium set

Apologies for the absence! I have been extremely busy and also quite unwell. I am having some minor surgery in July which might help. All has been explained on my other blog here.

But the main reason I am posting today is to share a little project I recently completed! It’s certainly not sewing related and it is barely even ‘crafty’ but its definitely creative 🙂 I made a tiny terarrium teapot set! I spotted the cutest tea pot stand in the BigW Mother’s Day catalogue and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. Take a look!

Bits and pieces

Bits and pieces

Tillandsia (air plant) in teapot and front left jar

Tillandsia (air plant) in teapot and front left jar

Fly traps in front right jar, sedum in back left, succulent in back right

Fly traps in front right jar, sedum in back left, succulent in back right

Isn’t it cute! The succulent, sedum and the fly trap may not cope well in the jars due to lack of drainage so I’m monitoring them closely. The air plants will be totally fine. I think the teapot is a little cluttered so might remove some of the rocks and add more sand. This is my first green thumbed thing since a huge heat wave killed my only ever herb garden in Sydney in 2009 so I am hoping the teapot fares better 🙂

I took inspiration and advice from here:

http://thehipsterho.me/2010/01/how-to-make-a-tiny-terrarium-in-a-light-bulb/

In other news, I bought a new chair and would love to crochet a blanket for it. I might buy some wool and print off some instructions and make a project of it over the two weeks I will have off to recover from surgery.

Any simple crochet instruction sites I could look at? I did a little bit of crochet many years ago but will have to relearn 🙂