Sunday, December 29, 2013

Weetim ( Mother of the Year: 2)

I made a doll version of Jemma's boyfriend for her to give him for Christmas.

Three days of awesome fun with teeny pockets and even teenier neckbands. Strips of leather and tweaks and do-overs and bits that were almost exactly but not-quite......
Dreadlock dilemnas
and tattoo embroidery kept me awake at nights
Flanno shirts and arse slouchy jeans,
teeny T-shirts,

And faithful hounds,

made me wish ( not for the first time) that there were government grants for farting about in the sewing room. Cause just between you and me, I totally nailed the farting about.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Mother of the Year (1)

It went slightly pear -shaped today with the call from Jemma ( can you believe she is 22 ?) asking for a lift to the hospital to get her wrist X-rayed. She seemed pretty blase about it, having hurt it last night. DO NOT feel sorry for her, the injury involved drinking games and cartwheels. ( We've all been there)

Yep, broken and awaiting plaster in a few days once the swelling goes down. Its not a great addition to Summer but know...... Cartwheels....

The whole catastrophe threw my baking schedule into complete disarray but its all done now. I had planned to pop in today and be all warm and wise and full of the Christmas spirit , instead I am a bit dressing gown , sticky note reminders and totallly knackered.

(Thats my gingerbread rendition of Jemma)

I do hope that you have a great day tomorrow or now or yesterday or whenever it might happen for you if it is your thing. If its not your thing I hope you get some down-time to yourself to do something relaxing and slightly wonderful. I made THE BEST Christmas present ever this week ( yeah it took me about three days to make but I love it and I'll show it to you soon.)


Until then... Embrace the crazy.

( trust me- it truly is the only way)


Friday, December 20, 2013

The minimalist guide to Christmas


They say it is the thought that counts

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Oh Christmas tree

This year, with the kids all moved out I realised I could actually have one of those beautiful balanced Christmas trees. I could leave the glitter coated egg carton blobs in the box and fill my tree with lovely things.
( All these photos are from my good friend Morgan's shop - The Crafty Squirrel)
Which is all good in theory. The reality is, I haven't even bought a tree yet and feel fairly disinclined to go to town and buy a tree and erect the tree and decorate the tree and keep the cats off the tree and stop the dog drinking the water of the tree and then vacuum up fifty five bajillion pine needles from the tree, then dispose off the tree.
but at the same time I love the smell of real Christmas trees and it would feel extremely weird to have no tree at all......
Anyway while I have been farting about thinking of trees I have made you guys a little present. I should be taking photos right now but instead I am here discussing the tree again. ( Mr Ric Rac has stopped listening). If you want to, pop up there and sign up to the newsletter and tomorrow when its all done, I'll send you a little bit of cute-but-useless.
If you think this is bad wait until I start on evening up the childrens gift piles.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Happiness is:

A long overdue date with Mr Gocco

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

All the ghosts

I am feeling a bit discombobulated at the moment. I won't bore you with my existential angst, but suffice to say I don't even have a Christmas list.

Oh in years gone by I had lists that would make you weep. I cross-referenced and I colour coded. The list was a mightly beast and it was long lived. Months of work went into the list, endless planning and changing and perfecting. There was no person, no gift, no awkward hardly-known Kris Kringle or Secret Santa that the list could not serve.

I was the queen of Christmas, the handmade cards were sent in November, ( there was a list so no-one was forgotten) ,the hand made wrapping paper which matched the THEME was made months in advance. I had last minute gifts, spare gifts and even a few dozen kiddy Kris Kringles in reserve so none of the kids at school missed out. I was like a human Pinterest board of glitter fuelled Christmas cheer.

The ghost of Christmas-now would hate the ghost-of-Jodies-past . She was a candy-caned fuelled pain in the arse. The ghost of Christmas now discuss practical vacuum-like gifts with grown children. She looks at value-for-money and finds herself buying things that they won't buy for themselves, like new sheets. She is not happy about this. She wants to buy Lego and potato guns and stupid zombie stuff.


Thursday, November 28, 2013

(Over) sharing

One of the delights of working with smaller people is their constant ability to surprise you.

And thanks to the kids I have spent today being surprised at both ends !

Sunday, November 17, 2013

I've long had a thing

for pirates
and now I seem to have a thing for Vikings as well.
(Could be worse)

Friday, November 15, 2013

Busy head - busy hands

I am busy getting ready for Australian Quilt Market next weekend and I seem to have been struck down with a thinking bug. I've been thinking small thinks, and tricky thinks and some really big thinks. 
When this happens, I need  some brainless repetitive craft to work on and so,

I have been busying my hands by cutting felt and making kits for the alphabet animals.

They are all in my Big Cartel shop, and each animal is available in natural or multi-coloured.

The kits (or fabric packs) don't contain a pattern but they do have delicious 100% wool felt, safety eyes, buttons for joints and embroidery threads. the patterns are in the shop of course but it got too tricky offering with and without pattern versions.

Being easily distracted I have to admit that they a bit of an endangered species. 
( lets call this an experiment)

Do you have a particular craft that you do when you need to think? 
A craft that soothes your mind?
(If you say crochet I may want to hit you)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

sideways glances

It's Ginger & Blue of course, finally ready and making there way to shops near you.

I am busy making samples for shops and I realised that making six tiny duffle coats gives me a strange kind of happiness that I can rarely speak of outside the land of blogs. 
 (Well I can speak of it, but people never look at me in quite the same way afterwards)

Friday, November 8, 2013

Little Dot

I have a new project in this months issue of Homespun Magazine. That rather straight forward sentence doesn't begin to convey how excited I am by this project.

 Much earlier this year I was asked by Homespun to create a little toy for them. The editor had been particularly taken with Baxter in his bathrobe and wondered if we could come up with something that would work for the magazine. I had never imagined creating a softie story for a magazine and really wondered if it would work (yes I am a control freak as we all know). I got hold of the magazine yesterday and
I love it !
So here (in the green) is Little Dot.  Her story along with her pattern are in the magazine and yes I have had magazine projects projects before and yes they are always exciting....
but this one has me buying copies for my mum and shoving the magazine at anyone who stands still for a minute or two.
My name is Jodie and right now I am loving myself sick.

(much much thanks to Susan for making this happen-you are an egg of the finest quality)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Sewing Tales: a book review

OK, so lets begin by saying I don't really review toy making books (I don't tend to buy them either). I get all crunchy undies about it and worried that I might "borrow" other people's techniques or ideas so I stay well clear of it all. (and lets be honest there's enough insanity in my own head without adding too much more to the mix). A while ago though,  I met Kerry Goulder on Instagram, and we became insta-friends, so when she asked me to take part in her book blog hop I was happy to say yes (and I am glad I did)
Sewing Tales to Stitch and Love is a brand new release containing 18 whimsical toys, each with a little story (you know how much that appeals to me). Even before I received the book I knew I had to make Morton the Turtle. The book is peopled with gnomes and mice and magic mushrooms.

I chose Morton because of his interesting construction and my abiding love of  turtlefolk- can you see his turtle body actually slips in there under the bottom of his shell? I was a bit worried, thinking I had chosen the most difficult toy in the book but in just under three hours - he was finished. Everything works and fits together perfectly.
I love his underneath so much !

Each toy has step by step photos and clear concise instructions.  The bummer for some people might be the lack of full size pattern pieces (you need to enlarge them on the photocopier). In the end those kind of things come down to the book production cost and really a bit of money at the photocopier is not too bad when you get 18 patterns for the cost of the book.

There is plenty to learn from in this book, Kerry has a very different instruction style to me and also a really new-to-me way with embroidering eyes. There is also a great way to draw larger pattern pieces on a corner fold (That actually took me a minute or two to work out), that i haven't seen before.
If you would like to follow along the blog hop, there are lots of people posting their projects and if you are instafriendly you can follow the hashtag #sewingtalesbookbloghop

MONDAY: Nov 4th

Mollie Johanson – Wild Olive
Jessica Fediw – Happy Together
Abby Glassenberg – While She Naps
Jennet Jones-Rau – Feathered Nest Studio
TUESDAY: Nov 5th
Sabra Gubler – Sew a Straight Line
Amber Carillo – One Shabby Chick
Caroline Hulse – Sew Caroline
Amy Friend – During Quiet Time
Miranda Anderson – One Little Minute
Andrea Taddicken – Knitty Bitties Sews
Kristi McDonough – Schnitzel & Boo
Terri Harlan – Sew Fantastic
Shari Butler – Doo Hikey Designs
Jodie Carleton – RicRac
Jen Goode – 100 Directions
Justine Henshaw – Sew Justine Sew
FRIDAY: Nov 8th
Emily Levey – Strawberry Patch Ramblings
Nicke Cutler – Kiss Kiss Quilt
Cathe Holden – Just Something I Made
Kate Henderson – Two Little Banshees

Thanks to FiskarsDritzFairfieldBosalFree Spirit, and F+W Media for the box of goodies that were sent all the people participating. I told Kerry not to bother sending it all to me (postage to Australia was a bit obscene) and I didn't want to be "paid" to participate, but she sent it anyway. (She's kinda nice like that)
So, of course I am going to share it with you guys. All you need to do to enter is pop over and have a look at   Sewing Tales  and let me know which project you like the look of to be entered.
The winner will be picked at random and they will get all the goodies plus a signed copy of the book (with a smudge on page 49 where the cat stood on it while I was reading the instructions- sorry)

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Nobody said life (or blogging) was fair

The busier I get, the more I do , the less time there seems to be share it here on the blog.
I'm trying to wrap up the fox pattern and the polar bear pattern (an old one) and a new beginner pattern and a number of heads on sticks are calling me...

So, I get busy
and you my patient friends get Butts !
(But I give them with love)

Friday, October 25, 2013

Heads 1 - 5 (or diversion up ahead)

The heads on sticks have had to be patient this week as the evenings were full of dull-work.
That little head on the right is so full of possibilities - Is he another little hand sewn fellow? Or is he someone else altogether? 

 I can't help thinking of blue linen dungarees.
(Which is not where I thought I was going at all)

Sunday, October 20, 2013

H is for Hippo

I really don't know if I am done yet

 As is always the case, the more I make, the more ideas I have and the more I want to make and I feel the pressure of not-enough-time and too many ideas. I am not really complaining, it is a great problem to have and far far preferable to the no-ideas times.
I just want to make everything small and hand sewn with befuddled little inquiring heads, and chubby tummies and wibbly limbs.

This puzzled little man is also available on sale in my pattern shop using the code verysmallbusiness until tomorrow morning. Thanks to the people who have popped in and thanks for the love for the new friends. I was very unsure about these guys, thinking they might have been just a for-me kind of toy so I am super pleased that you like them too.

A winner of the brooch kit Crafty Squirrel giveaway ?

There are heads impaled on needles calling me.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

I am not really here- Saturday sale

In actual fact I am mid-Saturday so that means visiting, sewing, gardening ( Annieflowergarden just passed out) and all sorts of busy stuff.
This morning I went to visit my friend Morgan at The Crafty Squirrel to help celebrate Small Business Day. I fell in love with this sample of an embroidered brooch so bought myself a little kit by dandelyne -
And I bought you guys one as well.
I thought I might join in the fun and am having a sale in my big cartel shop for the rest of the weekend, the code verysmallbusiness will get you 20% off all patterns and creative cards. ( yes the giraffe and elephant are there too)
So, what would you embroider in your little brooch kit?
A winner will be picked tomorrow and I'll send them a little Crafty Squirrel pack of goodies.
Now, back to Saturday.....