Monday, October 31, 2005

Blythe Discovery

My TOP SECRET present went over a treat on the weekend, so I can now tell you what it was - it was my first ever Sock Dog for Nic's 20th! She loved it, so Im very pleased :) I will upload pics over the next couple o days (I know I keep saying that, but I promise I will!!)

The beautiful Corabel from the Noellie forum

I have been noticing around craft blog land that there are a number of crafty types interested in Blythe dolls. I remember playing with a blonde one of these strange blinky dolls at my Nanny's house when I was young, which means she has an original 1970's Blythe doll packed away somewhere since Nanny never throws anything useful away. After a little bit of research, I learnt that the original dolls were only made for a year (1972) and hence were quite rare and collectable, which I was telling Nanny yesterday at Nic's party. So this morning I thought I might do a quick eBay search and see just how much these babies are worth, and I almost passed out at the prices! Fair condition 1972 dolls are selling at around $1000AUD, and mint condition ones are apparently worth around $3500AUD!! Wow!! I dont know if Nanny would ever sell her, but its always amazing to find out that something you just happen to have is worth a lot of money. I feel like Im on an Antiques Roadshow episode! :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Sssshhh.... its a secret!

No crafty post just yet - I have been doing some pretty heavy crafting these past couple o days but its TOP SECRET!! ;) Lets just say its someone's birthday on Sunday, and without giving too much away, Im making some things I think she will enjoy very much...

On an entirely different and not top secret topic, I love clever decorating!! I saw this sort of colour-coding in a magazine a while ago and was considering giving it a go, and after seeing the idea again
here (and executed so beautifully!) and over here (a whole book store!!) and given my OCD-esque tendancy to arrange everything, I think I will definitely try it. I am a little bit worried about my different sized books - ranging from giant graphic design ones to postcard books that are, well, postcard sized - but we'll see how it turns out!

The Queen Victoria Building Tea Room

I went out with my darling friends Emma and Pete on the weekend, and after scouring the city we finally found me some beautiful 21st birthday shoes :) Yep, my 21st pressie is almost 3 years late now, but better late than never right?? ;) We had a wonderful afternoon tea at the QVB Tea Room, which is really what I wanted to do - just the girls, a good chat and a nice cuppa. I had the most lovely vanilla tea and many tiny, tiny cakes. Yum!!

On a geeky note, inspired by what Jess needs at Fig and Jam
I let the all-knowing Google tell me what I truly need, and this is what it said:

Danielle needs to go there periodically
Danielle needs to let the Social Security Administration know.
Danielle needs some advice about IUI pregnancy please!
Danielle needs to win this because it would be a great confidence booster for her
Danielle needs new sequencing with her putting
Danielle needs to retire
Danielle - Needs a room to rent, Female.
Danielle needs to receive this within two weeks of your event!
Danielle needs to find out about using the wireless network at Uni.
Danielle needs to feel that she's safe at all times and could be located in a real emergency.
Danielle needs more than nine hours to paint a room.
Danielle needs another bath

I love it!! I would say 2/3 of these are actually correct! Ha! Now you just need to guess which ones... ;) Speaking of Google being all-knowing, I dig this latest Google trick: type in "Miserable Failure" as a search and click "I'm Feeling Lucky". Its top result certainly made me chuckle :)

Friday, October 21, 2005

Arty/Crafty/Geeky Me

I have finished my submission for Penelope's 'Draw a Witch' competition, and I am quite happy with how it turned out. Its a bit of a different interpretation of the topic - Id like to think this idea came from me being exceptionally witty, but really its just because the first thing that popped into my head on the topic 'witch' is the witch hazel face wash I use each morning!! :) I am very excited that all the participants get some of her beautiful postcards, they will be fab as part of my collection.

In crafty news, I have started work on the animal magnets Ammi has asked me to make for her friends for Christmas. So far the only one I have finished is a rather cute camel (pics on the way!), but there will be 6 more creatures to see soon. As a bit of a catch up, other recently completed projects include the strawberry box (including embroidered strawberries on the annoyingly-difficult-to-stick-straight-and-not-as-nice-as-the-lemon-fabric plaid material):

Monkey/Bear creature (meant to be a monkey, hence the tail, but ended up more bear):

and Elephant purse:

And, showing my true geek heritage, this week I finally succumbed to temptation and bought a Nintendo DS and Nintendogs. I know, Im a professional woman in my 20s, I shouldnt really be playing games like this - but they're just so damn cute!! While I am a bit disappointed there is no British Bulldog in any of the Nintendogs series, I still have the most gorgeous Golden Retriever called Rufus going at the moment. He's very good at catching the blue frisbee and is getting quite obedient *grins proudly*

When I was at the E3 conference earlier in the year, industry types were rather critical of Nintendo's strategy/games/hardware, especially with Microsoft and Sony pulling out their beefy next-gen consoles, but I always thought Nintendo were much smarter and more innovative than they are given credit for. Games like this really drive home how well Nintendo knows its audience, and how fantastic they are at making a simple concept into a super fun game - which, when you think about it, is what gaming is all about! Id much rather look after an adorable puppy than play some boring, annually rehashed EA sports game, wouldn't you? If the 'girl gamer' dollar is the holy grail of the gaming industry, I think Nintendo have it in the bag with this one :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


I made crochet creatures!! It is super exciting!! After my first attempt at the mouse last week (below), I spent Sunday watching the cricket and making the above little guy from the
roxycraft elephant pattern. His body is a bit long and skinny, his trunk is not really in proportion, and one ear is a bit wrinkly, but I think he at least vaguely resembles an elephant so Im very proud :) Lak has named him Gus, as in 'snuffleupagus'.

The original crochet animal attempt mouse. He actually has a pointy little snout, its a bit tricky to see. Im wondering if he is actually inside out - there seems to be a 'knit' looking side and a 'stripey' looking side to crochet, and this guy is stripy side out, which he probably shouldnt be. Oh well, mice are stripey, right...??

In other news:
I know, I know, Im obsessed with reality TV - but James went from Australian Idol, which is a bit sad. He wasn't that good a singer, but he was a couple of years below me when I was in high school so it was nice to see a fellow Inaburrian on teeves. Now we just need to get rid of the rest of the boys and we will actually have some talented finalists!! Harsh, I know, but boring punk-pop Lee absolutely CRUCIFIED Eye of the Tiger and got a touchdown for it (!!), so I am becoming a bit disillusioned with the whole thing. Go Emily!!

Friday, October 14, 2005

Louis Vuitton is da bomb!

This week has been a wonderful week of overseas presents and parcels. My best friend Pete bought me a wonderful Louis Vuitton Alma bag from her recent trip overseas, which I am very excited about (my old Multicoloure Pouchette is almost dead from taking it absolutely everywhere!) Thanks Pete!! :) xxx

And what I am also very excited about is Lak picking up my new Japanese craft book from the Post Office today!! It has been over a month since I ordered it from, so I am very glad it has finally arrived. It actually arrived earlier in the week and they left the pick up notice for us to go to the local post office to get it. So because I don't work nearby, the wonderful/helpful/amazing Lak manages to find some time in his horrendously full schedule to go there to get it, and the post office guy tells him its not there, he can't track it, and basically that he doesn't care. Even though the notice clearly said it would be at that post office. Bad service makes me very cranky. But luckily a new notice arrived yesterday to tell us it was actually at the larger, more helpful post office in town, so Im super relieved its not lost somewhere in the postal system. I cant wait to look through it tonight and make some of these guys:

And speaking of Japanese craft, I am SUPER excited that my
earlier creatures are now on the Crafting Japanese website!! I really love all the different books and projects everyone on there makes, so I am honoured to be on there myself :) Hopefully I will have some new projects to submit now that I have my new book!! (I have just realised Crafting Japanese wasn't listed in my favourites on the right, when it really is one of my favourite favourites!! doh! Will fix that now...)

Crochet Update: Thanks to the lovely ladies and lads over at the crochet forum, I have figured out that what I thought was a Single Crochet stitch is actually a slip stitch, which explains why my original sphere turned out much tinier than I expected. So I made a new sphere using a proper stitch, which was much easier than slip stiching the whole thing and it turned out fairly good. I attached it to my earlier attempts at crochet in the round (ie small circles of pure frustration), and voila! I had made a mouse. Its not the most fab thing I have ever made, but after only 1 week of crochet (half of that doing the wrong stitch!) its not too bad. I will put it up on here once I take a pic! :)

Proud Sister Update: My littlest sister Kate (aka Corn) has decided to start her own crafty blog to document her school holiday crafting, which is fantastic! She is only 11, but she is super creative and is starting to get really good at stitching neatly. There are no pics yet, but stay tuned! :) Love ya Corn! xxxx

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Crochet Crusade

I asked my mum to teach me how to crochet last weekend because I am dying to make some amigurumi creatures. I have been practising dilgently all week, and have discovered that I am far better at going in circles than I am doing straight rows (I cant help but knit when doing straight rows, so all my stiches end up on my hook! lol!!) My circular crochet tendancies are so strong that last night I completed a sphere, which is particularly exciting because it means I successfully increased/decreased stiches, and because amigurumi creatures appear to mainly be spheres and cylinder shapes!! :) So my crochet plan is this:

1. Progress from tiny green sphere to Small Animal, such as these

2. Work my way from Small Animal to slightly more complicated Small Creature like this

3. Evolve to Large Creature like a bunny or a monkey

4. And then eventually create my own Large Complicated Creature, like these

Thats the long term plan anyways, we'll see how we go!!

Friday, October 07, 2005

How do you catch a crow?

Lak has the most wonderful story about a crow: When he was little (about 3 or 4) in Sri Lanka, he wanted to capture a crow that he had noticed hopping near their kitchen door. So he set up a box held up with a stick for a trap, ran a piece of string from the stick to the kitchen door, and as bait he put in the trap ... an egg. I love it - the simple logic of small people is fantastic, it makes a strange kind of sense to lure a bird with an egg. Despite his ingenious effort, he didnt capture the crow, so I decided to make him one of his very own on my SWB* day with Mum and Kate on Monday. Lak has named it Englebert.

DELAKS Trivia for the craftsters: Hardcore crafting is known in our family as "SWB", meaning "Secret Womens Business" - ie. us girls surrounded by fabric and sequins and ribbons, and my dad trying to avoid the whole thing!

Feeling Fruity

To go with my retro sewing basket, I really wanted a funky pincushion, and Bella Dia's strawberry one is absolutely amazing. I must admit I tried my own version, which is nowhere near as beautful as Bella Dia's, but it does do the job of holding my needles & pins, plus it was a good exercise in making something from scratch without a pattern:

So the pincushion got me thinking - if I can freestyle a strawberry, what other fruits can I make? And the inspiration struck me whilst investigating the 'Inspiring Images from Craftbooks' Flickr pool and I saw this round lemon box...

I thought "By Jeeves, Citrus!!' Which lead to my own lemon box, including 3D lemon wedge!

I have a strawberry one of these little boxes in the works now too, and I think I may make a series with things like watermelon and kiwifruit. Then, when I get better at it, I might try something really tricky like this ;)

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Sweet Suzie McNeil

Kate made her First Holy Communion recently, so I made her a monkey in honour of the occasion. She was beautiful on the day, very respectful, and she did magnificently. I am so proud of her :) This one is made out of the smallest baby socks I could find, and so went through a distinctly egg-like stage when its body/legs were stuffed but before it had arms and a face, which was rather cute. This was also my first attempt at monkey clothing, which turned out pretty good I think (theres even a "tail hole" in the back of the jumpsuit which makes me chuckle). Kate has since sewed this little guy a spunky little yellow sunhat which Ill have to try and get a pic of to put on here.

Kate named her Sweet Suzie McNeil in honour of her favourite Rockstar INXS contestant. Pardon my reality TV obsession ranting for a minute, but I just have to say that after watching the whole series again on the Rockstar Marathon on Monday and hearing the new INXS song on the radio, I am a bit disappointed that JD won. He was a painful brat the entire time, and had this bizarre habit of claiming that he desperately wanted to be the new INXS singer but then not actually doing what they asked him to do. Hrm. Suzie blew everyone else out of the water with her Bohemian Rhapsody, I dug Mig's version of Baby I Love Your Way (plus he's Aussie!!), and Jordis' Knockin On Heavens Door was awesome... and JD just postured about and made everyone else cranky. As far as Im concerned, JD is NOT right for our band INXS :( Even though she didnt win, at least Suzie will be immortalised forever as a monkey.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Chic Magnets

I decided to put my refound crafty energy into small presents for my Aunt (Clinique superstar and provider of the most fabulous lipgloss ever), and for Lak's ammi* who was recently in hospital, which lead to these little guys. This postcard they are holding by the way is part of my rather large collection of free postcards, and is a particular favourite. Aunty Lana got a set of 3 chick magnets (top left), while Ammi got the set of 4 different creatures as well as this pethapoo*

Both pressies went over an absolute treat which is great! :) I am thinking of making some different types of creatures in addition to the 4 little guys above - my thoughts so far are a mouse, a tiger and maybe an owl.

DELAKS Trivia for the linguists: "Ammi" means "Mum" and "Pethapoo" means "parrot" in Singhalese, Lak's native language

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


The next few creatures after the monkey included an owl (now residing on Nanny's fridge), two dogs...

Benson (above) and Clyde "The Glide" (below, he's a bit hard to see but he has a gorgeous smiling face and dark blue eyes)...

...and an elephant.

These guys are from the Keiko Matsuda Felt Mascots book, and are all magnets - cute AND useful! And yep, thats Lak holding a baby pig in the polaroid for our University of Wollongong Oxfam club 'Pork Against Want' day last year.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Sockius Monkeius

The second monkey, Benjamin. This little guy is made from a pair of baby socks so he is only quite small, but he is rather cheeky looking. Honestly, look at this face, he has to be up to something...

DELAKS Trivia for the sports fans: Lak has been naming all the creatures - the monkeys so far are West Indian fast bowler Winston Benjamin

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Thats not a basket. THIS is a basket!

I decided if I was to be a serious craftster, I would need some serious craft supplies. That of course means a kitchy retro sewing basket. We managed to do a deal with Aldi for some rather nice tapestry covered sewing baskets (2 for 1 - bargain!) for Kate and I, and then off we went hunting for some good monkey-making socks at Vinnies Cronulla. And whilst there I found the most FANTASTIC kitchy retro sewing basket! D'oh - double baskets! So Mum has inherited the Aldi one, and I must say I love my Vinnies one, best $6 purchase ever :)

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Monkey - of the sock variety

There will be a bunch o blogs coming in short sucession to catch up my blogging with my crafting

Is it just me, or is the sock monkey not well known in Australia? It seems to be an American craft staple, yet I hadnt ever heard of one until recently! Of course, once I found them, I made one immediately:

My first ever sock monkey: Winston. I particularly like that there was a hole in the toe of the sock, so his forehead has been stictched up making him a bit Frankenstein :)