Friday, 13 March 2015

decked - reno part 1

renovationrenovation progressIMG_0970

I've been promising renovation pics for a while now. I was waiting for those perfectly styled 'after' shots, but who am I kidding! Heaven knows when that will ever happen, we actually have quite a lot of stuff still to do, so I'm giving you a progress post instead.

I love seeing other people's before and after renovations, so I hope you enjoy them too.

This montage of progress shots show how the back view of the house has changed, dramatically, over the course of the renovation from our initial daggy cement porch and metal stairs through to the new wooden deck and lovely blue gum stairs.

Most of the building happened last year, which explains why I've been less active as a blogger and maker than usual. Having builders in the house when you work at home is a big thing. Luckily our builders were lovely and they managed to partition off our kitchen and leave our dishwasher working for the whole time. So we were pretty lucky.

Below stairs is the part that still needs most work. Those downstairs doors were a fortuitous Ebay find for less than $200! And while they aren't actually installed yet - just propped in place so we can dream about how they will look when its finished - it won't be long.

Upstairs the deck is painted and oiled. That took us about four weekends of 8 hour days but its very satisfying to see the final product. I've bought some inexpensive furniture for the deck and we are spending lots of time out there now. Its great for catching a cool breeze on these hot muggy days and lovely to eat dinner in the outdoors.

During the day the birds and butterflies float around this space as I hoped they would and if you follow my instagram you will see that a baby dove even slept there for a day!

We are loving the extra space in our tiny kitchen too, which was doubled in size. It was tiny and its a luxury to have more room. We also have more dining room too and now it opens through bifolds to the deck.

More photos to come as more gets finished!

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

frankie's blankie

Frankie's blankieimageimageimageIMG_1103

Baby Frankie arrived late last year. He is a much loved little brother for Poppy.

Poppy was the first baby I made a quilt for and its still one of my favourites so I'm very happy to hear that baby Frankie is using it in turn. But everyone needs a little blankie action of their own, so when I knew we were going to finally catch up with Mr Frankie, who doesn't live nearby, I wanted to make him something special.

It is inspired by the summer wrap I made little Zoe back here.

Adapting it for a different season, summer in to autumn, I decided to make a two sided blanket, one side cotton and the other flannel. I wanted a lightweight throw that was easy to drag around, good for car seat or stroller, or big enough to make another layer in the cot. Something soft and cuddly.

I decided to border it with bias binding because I'm in love with patterned bias. Encouraged by my last successful foray into the dark arts of bias sewing I bought a bright stripy yellow fabric to marry the two prints, my Triangle Twist design fabric and a soft blue flannel with delicate dark blue pinspot. I like the way the colours and geometrics are a little more boyish.

Once you get your mind around the cutting and directioning of Bias binding its really not that difficult. I took some photos this time to remind myself of the process, in particular the folding that gives your strips their diagonal cut. I've reproduced it below in case it might help (and so I don't have to look it up again next time I try this!)

The sewing is tricksy but I figure practice makes perfect and I'm going to keep sewing it till I'm really confident.

There's nothing like starting a new body off with some handmade loving, and its a tradition I really love. Best of all I got the most beautiful photo the other day of Frankie, who is very cute, lying on his blankie so I know its going to be well loved :-)

It was nice to have an excuse to do some making, I've been feeling stretched at the moment, spare time has gone to endless painting of the new bits of house, helping our HSC student, putting the garden to rights and the other endless list of jobs we have around here to finish off our reno. I'm not complaining though I promise, we are loving the extra space and its great being part of the making of our house, in some small way!

p.s. When the good camera is better I'd like to rephotograph it and put up a tutorial so I have it on the blog, but for now here is how you get the fabric to cut on the bias:
trim the fabric square by lining up the selvages;
open it out into one piece; fold the top across to meet the bottom diagonally;
then fold in the other side along that fold, turning until it is all wound up in a rectangle;
cut the end off your 'package' of fabric and then cut your strips the correct width for your bias maker, mine was 1/2 inch double fold so I cut 15/16ths of an inch widths;
finally make sure you choose two pieces that are cut the same way (hint, they aren't all the same!) and then flip them and pin them like this, overlapping the pointy edges by the margin you are going to sew.

My creation

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

holiday pics

xmas 2014xmas 2014xmas 2014in his happy place #fishing #brunswickheadsloved this vista the other day...Got the whole gang today! #beachwalkswimcoffeecamp 2015camp 2015love you mercurial mysterious sea

Before I get back to my year I wanted to post some of my favourite photos from our holidays. Very late I know but I always like to record this time on my blog, so please indulge me :-)

Time away with family and friends, lots of both, is part of our annual recharge. Its exhausting taking the Christmas show on the road, but once the wrapping paper settles, I'm never sorry we did it. And returning and repacking for camping is a chore. We're used to it now though and find the camping is when we really relax. Lots of swimming and beaching, walks and drinks and late nights around the gas lanterns are just what the doctor ordered.

And after all that home always looks pretty good. It was most exciting this year because we got to come home to our completed renovation without the builders who had transformed our house over four months.

We are still settling in and there has been a lot of painting but I hope to share some of it soon.