Author Archives: Helen



A friend I used to work with recently challenged me to 31 days of Halloween craft. The idea was that we would post one craft related thing on Facebook every day during October with a Halloween theme. So I have been busy, and it has been fun. After months of avoiding my sewing room I am starting to feel like I am getting my mojo back. I have been making some old favourites as well as trying some new things including origami for the first time.

I am stretching the definition of Halloween just a little by including some day of the dead fabric, but it was just too nice to resist.

I am also still knitting. In addition to the little pants I finally finished I am in the process of knitting a baby hoody. I will save a picture of the hoody for next time as it isn’t quite finished yet. For now you will have to make do with pictures of my Halloween related stash.


Some actual sewing


With some trepidation I went to my first stitching day out on Saturday. Trepidation because not only is attention to detail in hand work not one of my strong suits, the days seemed to be themed very much along the lines of pink, flowers, shabby chic style work. Totally not my style, but it was a nice day out. It was a pleasant environment to sit and sew with a decent sandwich for lunch, and snacks to snack on. I think I came away with more stitchery patterns than I know what to do with, and I didn’t really follow the instructions but I think it looks alright. Plus it’s close enough to actually finished that I might get round to finishing it.


Being out all day Saturday meant that Sunday was mostly about chores, but I have been trying to restore some order to my craft room and last week I picked up some cute balsa wood containers for storage. I spent Sunday afternoon decorating two of them. I painted one of them and used fabric decoupage on the other. I did also manage to finish the pair of baby pants I’ve been knitting but think I am going to deconstruct again as I am not really happy with the making up.




Creative Urges


For the last couple of months I have been doing some serious adulting. Grown up stuff like painting my house, un-clogging my drains and getting a new stove.  All of which have been serious accomplishments in real world terms but have been taking a lot of my energy, and even more of my money, and haven’t left me with a lot of creative time. The most crafty I have been for the last month is knitting half a pair of baby pants and I am feeling a serious lack of creativity in my life. So much so, that on Wednesday I went rogue and turned the team meeting PowerPoint into a comic book. Thankfully my boss thought it was cool.

Deciding that I need to relax a little I have booked myself into a stitching day 3 weekends from now. I’m not sure that the work they will be doing is really my style as it seems very pretty, delicate and embroidery focused, but I figure I might learn something that I can apply in my own way later on. And…I’m looking forward to a break from the house stuff.




Still painting the house


It feels like I have been house painting forever even though it can’t have been a month but I am definitely making progress. I have one more long wall of the house to do which I think I can polish off next weekend and then it is just down to fiddly bits. Windows, my house’s crazy knocked together porch and of course going round and fixing all the edges where I haven’t quite got it right due to my absolute lack of finesse with a brush.

I’m making equally slow progress on the quilt I started, but am doing ok considering I have pretty much only been doing a half hour a day. It’s a pretty straightforward design five inch squares and ten inch squares all from my stash of batiks. I’m hoping I might be able to rummage and find enough material for a backing so it can be a total stash quilt.



Progress of sorts


The house is nowhere near finished (who knew painting a house would take so long), and despite my best endeavours I never did get a boost of afternoon energy. At least not in the way that I wanted.

I managed a trip to the library, some reading and some knitting. My Mum and Dad came over one day to help and bought my eight year old nephew with them. Nephew needed a birthday present for his Mum, and wasn’t looking forward to a trip to the shops. When I offered him a chance to raid my handmade stash he jumped at it and decided that his Mum would like a hat and scarf.

I started knitting a replacement straight away, because I actually quite like knitting hats and scarfs. I think because they come together very quickly I feel like I am achieving something and they are simple enough to do while watching tv. So, there was a lot of afternoon movies last week, and I finished a new hat and got a good start on a scarf.

On another note: I seriously thought I would be sore from the painting, and I was mostly fine all week but I woke up this morning after one day back at the desk job and everything is stiff. I suspect just doing weekends from here on is going to be physically harder than doing one long slog.


Painting my house


For some reason, I thought it would be cool to take a week off work to paint my own house. Ok, mostly it is because I’m a total cheap skate and I’ve heard horror stories of people being quoted up to $20,000 to get their house painted. While I’m sure my little house wouldn’t cost that much to paint it would still be several thousand.

I decided that I would only paint in the mornings, and I’m glad I did. My day job involves sitting at a desk for most of the day so even being on my feet for 4 hours at a time is energy draining. After 3 days, I have almost one wall done. It’s not going as fast as I would like but it’s going and that’s the main thing. I figure if I don’t finish it this week, that’s ok too. I imagine there are bits that I’ll have to go back and redo as well as I am far from an expert painter. Once I have a sense of what I’m doing I can throw the odd weekend in here and there to get it finished.

Now I just need for the rain to hold off, for this sniffle not to get any worse, and to find some left over energy for doing some afternoon craft.


Unsuccessful experiment


I started playing with a glass art kit over the weekend. The idea being that you put pictures behind the curved glass and make yourself something pretty and decorative. They look alright from a distance, but on closer inspection it looks like the paper is wearing out. I suspect I was probably a little heavy-handed on the glue. Either that or I needed some more robust paper.

I guess my major learning is that I should have done one, waited to see how it turned out and then adjusted my technique rather than just jumping in and making up the whole batch.