Thursday, 29 November 2007

New Shop is Open!

Just for experimental purposes - I thought I'd give the sister blog/online shop concept a go....

There are two Ginger Dolls there waiting to be taken home!

'Ginger' Doll

'Ginger' Doll

You can find it here:

Hyena In Petticoats Online Store

Happy Shopping!


Wednesday, 28 November 2007

New Things...

*UPDATE: I will be opening my new blog-based shop tomorrow with two of these dolls in it sporting their cute new clothes! Stay tuned for details! *

The last few days I've been workshopping a new pattern.

It started off with really wanting to make something with arms. There has been some discussion on this blog before about the Nongs, and the various reasons they don't have arms, and frankly, I like them that way.

But toys with arms are fun, and you can dress them in outfits, which was really the main reason I wanted to have a go.

So folks - I introduce to you; Ginger:

New Doll - Ginger

She's not perfect, but she's quite close to what I wanted - a classic looking, rag-dolly type thing, with simple features that will compliment some cool outfits. (The outfits are still in the works, but she was happy to pose in her underwear for this exercise)

And if anyone out there thinks "pshaw - dolls are EASY PEASY" - I give you, the doll graveyard:

Doll Graveyard

As you can see, she originally had a drawn on face, which I might go back to, but I was so terrified I'd fuck this one up as well that I went for easy-to-unpick embroidery. Just to be on the safe side.

Her name is Ginger because the shape of her body is based on a gingerbread man. That's all.

I'd like to make a few more, refining and perfecting the pattern, for my Etsy Store. I'm having a little trouble deciding what to do about Etsy - it's a great selling platform and I love it, but it seems that I sell most of my toys and things privately, either by email arrangement or in person, to friends and things, which leaves my store often looking rather empty. So I'm considering doing the old trick of having a side blog where I list the current things for sale and whoever wants to buy one can email me..... any thoughts on the pro's and cons?

In the meantime, while I mull over Entrepreneurship From Home - I thought I'd leave you with an idea I've been implementing here in Petticoat Land....

I know from trawling the internets that lots of crafters keep an inspiration board - a pinboard with cut out pictures and such of things they like the look of, but because I draw most of my inspiration from the net, my Inspiration Board is actually a folder on my computer, where I drag photos of things I like.

So today, I thought I'd increase it's visibility by using the images as a wallpaper for my desktop:

Inspiration Board

(the photos are a bit crap - but hell it's hard to take a decent photo of the computer! )

All I did was copy and paste the photos into a photoshop document, arrange them how I liked them, and save the file as a JPEG. Then I set the JPEG as my wallpaper, using the "centre" function, chose a colour I liked for the background, and voila!

I recommend that you don't tile the image when stting the wallpaper settings, because it gets too busy and your folders are really hard to see - this way you get a nice wide border around the lovelies to keep your important bits in.

Here's a close up of mine:

Inspiration Board

Nice, isn't it?


Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Thrifted Tuesday....

This week has been a good one, second-hand speaking.....

First up: a fantastic vintage green and white wicker sewing basket, $4, plus a groovy old rolling pin with chipped red handles, $2:

Thrifted - sewing basket and rolling pin

I've been hankering for a sewing basket like this for a long time - it's perfect for carting my quilting around the house in, and I feel like a 'proper' seamstress now that I have one!

And of course, there's no such thing as thrifting without a good haul of fabric and books:

Thrifted - fabric and craft books

From top to bottom, there's a cream wool with navy embroidered dots, a brown check cotton with orange cherries, a heavyweight cotton drill with vintage flowers, and some space age polyester stretch, just because!

In the book pile, we have:
Time Life - Restyling your wardrobe circa 1976;
Woman's Day all Colour Book of Handicrafts circa 1975;
Golden Hands Collage circa 1976;
and Cake Icing and Decorating circa 1956.

The cake decorating book is for a mad cupcake baking lady for Christmas, and the reason I bought it was this:

Thrifted - endpapers

Just look at those endpapers!

And if I ever depart on a journey gallavanting around the world, I'll have a cake like this at my farewell party, thanks:

Thrifted - Cake Icing and Decorating - circa 1956

And last, but not least, I scored some of these adorable wooden blocks:

Thrifted - Old School wooden blocks

With which I couldn't resist doing this:

Thrifted - Old School wooden blocks

Pity there wasn't just one more 'T' in the box.......

And when I got home, there was a parcel waiting for me:

My Gift from the Craft Fairy

My gift from the Craft Fairy! It's a cute blue glazed mug with my name on it, packed into a box with a whole lot of fabric scraps - brilliant! Thanks Craft Fairy, whoever you are!

A pretty satisfying day all up......Now I'm off to lock myself in my sewing room, to try and perfect the pattern for a new toy I'm working's been nothing but disaster so far, but I'm pushing on, and hopefully I'll have something to show in the next few days.....

And for those of you after a vintage Fabric Mix Pack, there should be four more in my Etsy Shop by tomorrow......xxxxx

Monday, 26 November 2007

Shop Time..

Just in case any of you are interested - I've listed a couple of Fabric Mix Packs in my Etsy Shop...

I'm working my way through my fabric stash, and clearing out a little bit of stuff, which I'll be listing over the next few days, so keep your eyes peeled!

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Breakfast Sunday...

Today, I'm having Regime Change for breakfast.

Anyone care to join me? There's a fresh pot of tea......


(photo courtesy of Cartoons Australia

You can read about the Australian Federal Election HERE

Friday, 23 November 2007

Pay It Forward....

Nongs Ahoy!

So there's this thing that's going around, where people are sending out random presents, and I thought - 'I'm up for that!'

And because I've been a greedy bugger, I've actually participated in two of these, so this post will be two for the price of one....lucky you!

What's the deal?

So the first six people (usually it's three, but like I said, two for the price of one...) to comment on this post will receive a gift from me, sometime within the next 365 days. Who knows when it will turn up, or what it will be, but rest assured, it will arrive. All you have to do is promise to make the same declaration on your blog, and send out gifts to three of your lovely readers. Easy Peasy.

So what are you waiting for?

*the photo above has nothing at all to do with this post, but who doesn't want to see stuffed toys learning to fly?*

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Back on the Chain Gang......

Well, actually, these guys are:

Night Roadworks

This has been the scene on our street for quite a while now - from six at night 'til three in the morning..... resurfacing the road, accidentally digging up our phone line, driving steamrollers and playing havoc with our sleeping schedules.....These guys aren't so bad for us, since we're night owls anyways, but it's their compatriots that turn up at 7am with the jackhammers I could really do without!

But the roadworkers with their massive night lights have provided some intersting photo opportunities in the garden.....

Night photography experiments

I love taking photos at night - the light looks all otherworldly and strange.... and look at that tree! The long exposure really captures details, the knee high weeds in our garden, for example......!

There has been some making, going on, especially with the internets still playing up (now we think it's the wiring inside the house, having bought a new modem with no change!), and I've started an absolutely-nothing-to-do-with-christmas pile.....

new crafting pile

Which includes this little Work In Progress here:

WIP - counted cross stitch

It's been eons since I've done any counted cross-stitch - something I loved when I was little, and would take with me when I went to the Golf Club with my Nan, only to be cooed over by packs of grannies lamenting the fact that their eyes weren't good enough to do needlework anymore. As hand stitching is very quickly become my new passion, I've panicked a bit and booked myself into the Optometrist for an eye check and glasses update, determined to actually WEAR them this year, even after the novelty of looking like a raunchy secretary has worn off......

I'll show you what the words say when it's done......

I've recieved some lovely mail this week as well, the first of my excellent packages being a sample pack of fabrics from Bianca, of Hollabee.... who designs and prints her own fabrics out of Melbourne, doing a wonderful job, might I add.....

Sample Pack from Hollabee

I was confused when I saw a photo of the pink swirl on her website and thought it was red; so she sent me a parcel with a little of both colourways, as well as some little scraps for me - too cute!
And after taking this photo, I understand how difficult it is to accurately represent colours on the net - bloody impossible! But my description of the colour would be a true magenta - deep, vivid, purply pink.....even for a girl who hates pink, this is a lovely colour, with plenty of guts!

And this morning the postman got me out of bed for a parcel from the wonderful Leslie of OneGirl Design Wrks and OneGirl Gathers....

OneGirl Gathers is her new venture, selling vintage fabrics and homewares in her Etsy shop.... I couldn't leave this teacup and sugar bowl behind!

Package from OneGirl Gathers

I'm a sucker for a wooden spoon..... Leslie also included some fabulous tea for me to drink in my new cup, which I did immediately on opening the box!

wonderful tea - Tazo Berryblossom White

Yum! And I know she only has a limited supply, so I feel VERY lucky......Thanks Leslie! xxx

And, this week I got smooched by a Mysterious Stranger who has been popping up on craft blogs, dishing out kisses and pressies...... I have my suspicions as to the identity of this benevolent fairy, but any speculation is more than welcome in the comments!

Have a brilliant week, lovelies..... xxx

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

More Technical Difficulties....

Our modem is behaving like a bitch right now, allowing me to use the internet in short, 30 second intervals, so this post may be a little truncated....

It's been a big sewing day for me today, trying out some new patterns for some Summer clothes - all of a sudden it's swelteringly hot here in Adelaide, and there is a cry through the wilderness for skirts!

new handmade skirts

These two are from a Jill Chalker's "Complete Summer Wardrobe from One Pattern!" Which is a big fold out sheet from a Family Circle magazine in the 70's, with some brilliant patterns on it.
Jill Chalker's Summer Wardrobe

Luckily, the skirt is exactly my size (which is unheard of normally), it's so nice to just be able to make something without having to alter the heck out of it first (read: cut out all curves, boobs and hips!) This is the skirt pattern I've been following:

Jill Chalker's Summer Wardrobe

The second technical difficulty I am having is the fact that I heartbreakingly dropped my digital camera the other day, meaning I now have to take photos holding the lens on with one hand, so I can't take photos of myself wearing the skirts. Sorry. Maybe next week, when I get it fixed. grrrrrr.....

This next one is an experiment for a summer shirt pattern - this is one I adapted from a stretch t shirt pattern - basically just cutting it a little bigger, and adding a back seam and short neck zip. I'm reasonably happy with it - it's fitted enough for me - I can't stand all that smocky looking stuff, it makes me look "like a peg in a tent" as my Mum would say.

summer shirt experiment

But the best thing is learning to pay attention to details - I've been playing around with French Seams, and bias taping the hems on things, and I've got to say, it makes the WORLD of difference.

bias tape seams

see what I mean?

Hope you're all well - be back with a new modem soon!

Friday, 9 November 2007

Flashback Friday....

Flashback Friday

This week's theme is "All In The Family".

Although my family has MANY family portraits, all of them equally embarrassing and all of them hanging on the walls of my parent's home - the ones I have access to are rather limited.

For weirdness though, this one takes the cake:

Flashback Friday

This would have indeed been the best shrub at our new Dairy Farm home, (we moved there when I was about two, and I can't be much more than that in this picture) though that tank stand in the background was destined to become the new portrait backdrop as it was taken over by bright pink climbing roses.

The weirdnesses in this photo, though only noticable by my immediate family, are as follows:

Why is it a family portrait without my eldest sister?

Why is my Grandpa's second wife (who we all hated) in the photo, too? Especially without Grandpa?

Why is Dad wearing flares?

I have no idea what's going on here, so I'm going to venture one more for the road:

Flashback Friday

Now that's more like it: Dad, his three girls, and the dog, in front of the yellow Leyland in the shed. Much better.


Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Against All Odds....

Proof that there can be beauty in even the most inhospitable of places, my garden gave up these beauties this week.....

First of all - after five years of being unceremoniously stuffed in an overcrowded pot with a rather more showy white Lily, this little cactus (succulent? wtf?) bloomed overnight into a spectacular red flower - putting that old Ugly Duckling story to shame, I tell you.....

Against all odds - cactus flower in my garden

And then, wondering to myself 'what is that thing that seems to have taken over the front fence in the last five minutes?' I tootled over to check out the offending rampant creeper-looking thing, only to find this:

Against all odds - passionflower in my garden

I defy anyone to find a more complex and beautiful design in the plant world anywhere..... the Passionflower totally rocks it. I couldn't care less that it's supposedly friends with Jesus, being able to explain the holy trinity and all that - this thing has bought me a stupid amount of pleasure just by it's discovery. Plus, the creeper is LOADED with them. Yum.

That's about all the gardening you'll see from me this year. Drought and water restrictions, coupled with my unwillingness to either carry buckets all day/urinate on my plants to keep them alive means that the whole yard is a trash pit. Though, a trash pit with hidden gems. Nice. Anybody got a rusted out old car I can have?

Anyhoo - on with the weekly business of Op Shopping.

If you haven't joined my Flickr group yet - get your thrift-shopping butt over there and join, so you can brag about how you found an intact 1930's patchwork quilt in perfect condition, or a Christian Dior ballgown for five dollars, or even just knitting needles for 50 cents a pair.....

Come and see us at Thrifted Tuesday.

So, on with the goods:

Today's haul began with a new, but nonetheless, quite attractive Moulin Rouge themed tea set for $8:

Thrifted Moulin Rouge Teaset - $8

There's a picture of Jane Avril on the saucer, and the whole lot, despite being a blatant Toulouse Lautrec rip-off, somehow appeals to me rather a lot.

Thrifted Moulin Rouge Teaset - $8

On to the actual vintage, I got an amazingly kitsch picture of a girl knitting herself into her jumper:

Super Kitsch thrifted Knitting Girl picture - $2

A tapestry cushion for my sister, who collects them:

Thrifted Tapestry Cushion - $5

And the best vintage sandals EVER.

Thrifted Sandals - $5

Yay to the thrift Gods for today.

And I'll leave you today with a quick snap of the newest member of the Nong family:

WIP - new Nong

To all of you whose emails I am yet to respond to - please forgive me! Last week was a bit of a trial and I've fallen behind..... I hope to be more diligent with my replies this week..... sorry!


Saturday, 3 November 2007

Catching up (again)

Seems the old blog posting has been sporadic lately, necessitating a big 'catch up' post once a week - I am working quite a bit at the moment, which eats into my blogging/creative time quite a lot, so this will probably be the format for a little while, I'm afraid!

On then to the news!

After a week of craziness, including credit card fraud (resulting in $900 worth of airplane tickets being bought on my credit card without my knowledge), dropping my gorgeous new digital camera, which means I have to hold the lens on with my hand when I want to take pictures, and three car accidents in a week outside the pub where I work - it was nice to get some fun news via blogging land over the last couple of days......

First up, I have been chosen to host the theme for next week's Flashback Friday - I have chosen "All In The Family", which is, a shot of your whole family, whether that be a Pixie Foto from the 1970's Australian shopping centre, a noice backyard shot in front of the 'best' shrub, or one where even Grandma and Grandpa and the nearest available cousins are roped into the task - I want to see your old family photos!

This weeks' Flashback Theme is "My Stylish Mum", to which I venture this little beauty:

Flashback Friday - My Stylish Mum

This is my Mum on her honeymoon, in the summer of 1969 (yes, yes, we've all heard the song), and first up I've got to say, look at those pins!

I'm actually a little bummed I didn't have access to the full range of family photos for this theme, my Mum, despite being born and bred in a small country town, had some awesome outfits, including this fantastic hot pink mini dress, and I seem to recall some beehive hair action, matching hats and shoes and bags, and a few brilliant badminton outfits as well!

Little did she know that before long she'd be knee deep in cow shit on a dairy farm with three small kids, and that cow milking clothes would be regular staple of her wardrobe henceforth.....

Despite this, Mum was always particular about looking good, practically ironing us inside our clothes before we walked out the door, and still scrubs up well to this day, something which I'm sure she wishes she'd passed on to me!

So this one's for you Mum - I love you!

You can find other Flashbacks HERE

My second bit of news is that my Pincushion Tutorial was chosen to be part of the November Craft Month on Sew Mama Sew, where every day in November, the girls will post some crafty ideas for you to make for Christmas, especially if you are taking the Handmade Holidays Pledge that's doing the rounds.

Finished Pincushion

Even without taking Christmas into account, this is a great tutorial list, with heaps of small, fun projects and ideas for people who are stuck for something to make.

The month will be as follows:

November 1 ~ Aprons
November 2 ~ Pincushions & Pins
November 3 ~ For the House
November 4 ~ Lunch Bags
November 5 ~ Tote Bags
November 6 ~ Blankets for Baby
November 7 ~ For your Purse or Pocket
November 8 ~ Whimsy
November 9 ~ Fabric Ornaments
November 10 ~ Ties and Belts
November 11 ~ Reading & Writing
November 12 ~ For the Table
November 13 ~ Placemats
November 14 ~ Kids’ Clothes
November 15 ~ Warm those Toes
November 16 ~ Gifts for the Crafter
November 17 ~ Purses
November 18 ~ For Baby
November 19 ~ Tech Gifts
November 20 ~ Gifts for Organization
November 21 ~ Pillows
November 22 ~ Fun for Hair
November 23 ~ Soft Toys & Games
November 24 ~ Sachets
November 25 ~ For the Kitchen
November 26 ~ Embellishments
November 27 ~ Gifts for Warmth
November 28 ~ Drawstring Bags
November 29 ~ Fabric Boxes
November 30 ~ Gift Compilations

Thanks so much to Beth for including me, I'm quite stoked to be in the company of Hilary Lang in the pincushion category!

Well m'dears, that's it for now, I'm going to get myself off this bloody machine and go and read the weekend papers before all my spare time slips through my fingers....
Have a marvellous weekend.... xxxx

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Much Better.....

And so, taking myself off to bed with the quilting is exactly what I did....

Quilting in bed

But not before eating this:

Cheese for dinner

I cannot even describe how much I love the woman from the cheese stall in the markets. I ask her what's good this week, and she sends me home with two packets of fabulousness. This week is Woodside sheeps milk brie and some crazy french goats milk hard waxy stuff that tastes like marvellous. Yum.

I'm feeling so much better now that I had to do two posts in one day. Now I just need to get my sewing mojo back.......dunno if cheese will fix that......