It’s been over a year since we last posted on this site, as much of our energy is now going into our farm project – see http://treesbeesandcheese.wordpress.com for more on that. We also have a busy nearly 2 year old son so much of our creativity is now funnelled into finger painting, play dough sculpture, cubby making, and cardboard kitchen construction!
However my fingers have not been idle on the sewing front, here’s a few projects I’ve made over the last little while:
Embroidery of a Stubble Quail (a bird we just discovered lives on our farm!) for Joel’s birthday
A pig and a goat knitted for Asher
A wedding “coat-of-arms” for friends Renee and Ben, featuring their daughter, dog, and other family interests
A “message in a bottle”, left on a seat in the neighbourhood
A wedding embroidery for sister and brother-in-law Abi and Shane, the house image is a replica of the one they share together (this embroidery inspired by Stitched Gifts by Jessica Marquez)
I ran a workshop as part of Adult Learners Week on “Repurposed planter pots” – the community brought in various secondhand vessels to become pot plants which they took home or gave as Christmas gifts
Little shoes made for Arlo and Asher
Knitted booties made for Arlo – an antique pattern that I’m never making again!
A bath mat made from a recycled towel
I’ve also been working on and off on a rag rug, I’m at the stage of stitching together the plaited part into a big coil, but just can’t summon the motivation to finish that job!
In the inner southern suburbs of Adelaide, a small group of permaculturalists have been gathering to experiment with artisanal food skills. From cheese-making to sourdough, they’ve been exploring and sharing the skills that make good food. To herald the end of summer, we sourced 180kg of tomatoes from local farmer’s markets and had a go at making passata. A 15-hour food preservation epic, our kitchens are now lined with long-necks filled with crushed tomatoes. This film is a little something I shot amid the spraying tomatoes and bubbling barrels.
Some friends of ours recently had a baby – Mathilde. In the lead-up, we organised a Baby Anticipation Celebration as we wanted both men and women to be able to share in the culture of looking forward to bringing a child into the world. Though don’t worry, we did still organise some traditional baby shower games such as “Guess the flavour of the baby food!” (as well as some other baby-themed games of our own creation).
Our parent-to-be friends bought a chest freezer to be able to store large amounts of cooked food prior to the baby’s birth. So as a gift idea, we asked guests to the Baby event to bring along a frozen meal to help tide the parents through the crazy months ahead. After all, every parent needs food!
At the event, we set up a craft station where guests could sit and make various kinds of origami animals and nice things out of nice paper (we had books showing how). We also asked people to write messages inside the origami, wishing the baby well. This origami was then constructed into a mobile and given to the parents later which they then strung up above the baby’s bed. Years down the track with the child they will be able to open up all the shapes and read the messages together!
The completed baby mobile
As a gift for the baby, I made a knitted tortoise (my first attempt at stuffed toys!). It seemed a good way of using up lots of small amounts of leftover wool. I found the instructions in a book called “Knitted toys: 25 fresh and fabulous designs” by Zoe Mellor. I did sew on buttons for eyes, then realised buttons are a choking hazard, so I will add felt eyes instead. I really like the idea of making a series of Depression-era toys – toys that don’t require you to go out and buy any items whatsoever, you just use up things you already have – bits of string, cardboard boxes, wood scraps, buttons, fabric or thread. Wool could even be ripped back from an old jumper or something. Joel has a great old black and white family photo of his Dad and uncle as small boys, playing nude in a tiny pool of mud in their backyard with a boat made of wood shards and a leaf sail. Awesome!
The completed knitted tortoise