Monthly Archives: April 2010

See you Soon!

After a long think I have decided to continue blogging.  Thanks to everyone for your feedback and encouragement :o)

However, I will be taking a break of 2-3 months while we travel and get settled into our new home.  So please check back in mid to late July.

Taking the time to reflect about what I’m doing here has been a good thing as I have identified areas where I can make changes to improve the experience for me and hopefully for you too:

Blog Identity and Networks: I’ve been blogging for a long time (blog-wise) and I continue to be very interested in textile art and innovation.  However my main creative outlet is currently utilitarian textile creations (craft?), and I realised that I haven’t been making much of an effort to connect with the many like minded bloggers out there! 

At the suggestion of Gina, I linked into the Kootoyoo’s ‘My Creative Space’ meme over the last couple of weeks which has intoduced me to many bloggers with similar and inspiring interests.  This has lead to new commenters too 🙂

Comments:  A few of you suggested that the comments part of the blog could be improved.  I asked Chris to look into this and we have made some changes.  I hope that commenting is now easier for everyone. 

I’ve also asked Chris to find a way to have comments sent to my email address to make responses easier for me. Another option is to respond to comments within the the blog itself  e.g. ungtblod.

Content: Most of your feedback indicated that you are interested in crafty content with some glimpses into what’s happening with my life…. the past year ‘life’ has been a bigger factor than usual – I had a baby!

I also had a good look at some of some of my favourite blogs and the quality of images is a huge factor in my enjoyment of them. So I’ll be keeping the camera close by over the coming months to work on improving the quality and quantity of my photographs.

Signing off for now:

Thanks for reading everyone.  I’ll see you in a couple of months.

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I have no restraint

I thought I’d better refresh my memory of crochet by making up a couple of granny squares.  I used these fabulous video tutorials from Meet Me at Mikes to refresh my memory.

The problem is that I can’t seem to stop!  Combining the colours is my favourite part 🙂  I’m not sure just how far these tiny balls of wool will go, but I plan on continuing until they run out.  My ideas for ‘things to make’ depending on the amount I can eek out are:

1. cushion cover

2. scarf

3. bassinette blanket (even though blankets are ‘on the outer’ due to SIDS)

4. pram blanket (ditto)

5.cot blanket (ditto)

6. lap blanket

I seriously doubt that I’ll get anywhere near lap blanket size… but it’s there as an option. Just in case. 

I have contempated weighing the squares done so far, weighing the balls of wool and calculating the number of squares I could expect to achieve.  But where’s the fun in that?

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Travel Preparation – My Style

Crochet for the road!  It’s decided.

I browsed around the net looking at yarn options and not finding anything that gripped my crochet imagination.  Then, eureka! I remembered that there were 4 skeins of white handspun wool yarn in my craftroon AND my little stash of dye out in the shed.  SORTED!

I seperated my yarn into many mini-skeins – winding between my thumb and elbow.

And I’ve got a new dye method – after an initial microwave disaster I moved operations to the oven.  My containers are teensy, disposable pie tins and each mini skein is dyed in it’s own tin.  I roughly followed the directions from this Hello Yarn tute. The tins went onto tray and into the oven at 180degC for 20 minutes. 

Last night I just switched the oven off when the time was up and I retrieved the tins this morning.   Which is a Useful Thing when you are caring for a very sooky baby.

I used Landscape Dyes for the pinks/oranges and Procion MX for the greens/blues.  I think I threw out my blue Landscape Dye as I can’t find it… so that’s why I tried the Procion on the wool.  I seem to recall that I had problems with Procion on wool in the past, but this time it worked fine.  I just added a good glug of vinegar to the dye mixtures

I’m chuffed with the results.  Jasper is too, even if he looks unimpressed here, the nano second before I took the photo he was smiling an pawing all over the wool with his vegemite fingers.

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My Creative Space – Inspiration

Today I’m participating in My Creative Space.  Which feels a bit fraudulent because I haven’t done anything creative since Sunday.  Until today that is. Today I took my camera into my workroom and took a photo of the only orderly thing in there.  My button box.


My friend Erin emailled me a few months ago – she said she’d like to learn to sew and did I think she’d be able to do it?  Uh YES! and I’d happily show her how any time, any place. 

Well let me tell you, Erin has put me to shame!  She now whips up cute little outfits for her baby at an astonishing rate and you should see the big monster softie she made – FANTABULOUS!!!  Erin isn’t afraid to tackle things… drafting up outfits, sewing on elastic, applique – you name it, she’ll try it.  I’m so inspired! 

And she’s set for buttons for life… She ‘accidentally’ bought another 2000 buttons on ebay last week LOL

So I’m now scouting around for a portable project to take with me on the road.  I’m thinking crochet, paper piecing or an embroidery project.  But I want it to be something a bit different, a bit exciting…. Any suggestions?

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Four (4!) Finished Garments

And now the sewing nest has been put away and the house has returned to some resemblance of neatness.  What did I make?  Well:

Charcoal linen blend pants I mentioned in my previous post.   The pattern is Vogue 2532 with the waist adjusted to fit my bod.

Then I made these skirts:

1) Eyelet overload and 2) Shack Curtains.  The shack skirt turned out ok I think, and it’s not scratchy against the skin because I lined it with a soft cotton voile which peeks out at the bottom 🙂

I  need to get (make?) some lovely tops to go with these skirts as stretchy, clingy, black knit t-shirts don’t really cut it. 

Pattern details for the skirts are in my last post.

And finally:

Blue linen(esque)* pants.  Same Vogue pattern as before.  This pattern includes things like pockets and cuffs, but that’s the sort of thing I might think about doing on maybe my 5th sewing of the pattern. 

There was just enough fiddly elements here to keep me interested.  I’m now fairly comfy with the fly zip installation and I also lowered the waist and drafted a contoured waistband – a real achievement.

I’ve come across a tutorial for narrowing the legs of wide leg pants – and I’m going to try this out before I sew these pants again.  These really are WIDE.

So there you have it.  My week of sewing.

*You know how much I love linen 🙂 But there seem to be two types sold as ‘linen’.  One is crisp and smooth and generally yummolishous the other is rough, scratchy and horrid as it has all the bad elements of linen (wrinkle prone and shifty), but it doesn’t have the lucious hand of the good stuff.  I’m wondering if the bad stuff actually IS linen or if it’s some other fibre pretending to be linen (hemp? rammie?jute?).  This is a bit of trap if you buy online because you can’t tell what you will get until it turns up.  Anyone know what the story is?

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The Sewing Nest

The dining room table has been appropriated for sewing this week.  Rather than worrying about freezing to death in Hobart due to my wardrobe of only tropical appropriate clothes – I’m using my stash’o’fabrics to whip up a mini wardrobe.

This morning I finished a lined, A-line wraparound skirt which is made from eyelet fabrics with an eyelet lace a the bottom.  Eyelet overload!  I think it’s pretty though 🙂  Not exactly Hobart Winter Appropriate… but perhaps with a pair of woolie tights and a nicely heated house I’ll survive.

I traced the pattern from a book called 49 1/2 Skirts by Alison Willoughby.  The skirts featured in the book are a bit too over embellished for my taste but it’s fun to browse through.  I added a couple of inches width to the pattern for a nice overlap.

On Tuesday I made a pair of wide leg pants from a beautiful charcoal coloured linen/cotton fabric.  I used that Vogue pattern that I adjusted – though I undid most of the adjustments as my first pair of shorts were a tad tight – over fitted is a term I’ve recently come across 🙂   No photos of these pants as yet… because I wore them yesterday and now they’re in the wash :-).

Today I plan to make another wraparound skirt from this Nani Iro fabric.  I really dislike this fabric (which I bought mail order).  It has a rough, coarse feel to it, it’s see through and the print is a little too ‘shack curtains’ for my taste.  Better to sew it up into something than having it moudering around in my workroom for the next 100 years.  You never know, I might enjoy wearing it!

Thank you to everyone who took the time to respond to my last post.  I’m still mulling things over but I’m currently leaning towards continuing the blog.  Over the next few days I’ll be making a list of the things I’d need to modify around here to make it a more enjoyable place to blog in and to visit.

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The lollies intensive didn’t get as intense as I would have liked.  There has been just too much stuff going on to really concentrate on it.  I’ve had the time, but not the headspace.  Even though this project is perfect ‘fluff’ for times like these, I still found it difficult to reach for fabric and thread.  I’m thinking I’ll add a few smaller scattered shapes in the bottom left hand corner and call it finished.

On Blogging

Ok. I’ve been thinking about stopping this blog.

There are so many wonderful craft blogs out there and I find that I really am a tiny fish in a HUGE pond.  I worked out how to discover the number of subscribers to LittleFishCreations on Google Reader… the first time I checked it was 22 subscribers and then I checked again and it was 21!  One of those subscribers is Chris and one is ME!  Most blogs I read have hundreds or thousands of subscribers.

Not that my aim is to be popular… but those low numbers make me wonder if perhaps my blog is irrelevant.

I started blogging over 5 years ago.  It was sooo refreshing to have my own space on the net after years of reading but not really participating in groups like QuiltArt. I was also just starting to feel about with my own creativity and had enthusiasm after enthusiasm that I loved to share.  Quilting, spinning, knitting, drawing, painting…. anything and everything!  And I had lots of comments and felt connected with many really nice people.

Over the last few years I feel like I’ve lost my way with this space especially with other things (like having a baby) which have shifted my priorities.

I don’t really comment much on other blogs anymore (I blame Google Reader as I read so much but don’t visit the actual blogs much anymore) and people don’t comment here very much either (though I do love and appreciate each and every comment I do get!) So I’m not feeling that sense of community and connection that I would like from of my internet experience.

I’m mulling over my options

1) continue as I’ve been going; blog when I feel like it, about whatever I’m working on at the time. I do enjoy revisiting my archives as it’s like the diaries that I alway’s wanted to keep as a teenager but never did.

2) stop blogging – go private.  Make things for my own enjoyment and don’t fuss about the documentation and sharing part.

3) find another forum to share my creativity (flickr??).  Still making and documenting, but without the commentary and obligations I feel towards this blog.

4) revamp this blog so that it works better for me and allows me to develop the sense of community that I would like.  This  would really take a committment to DOING THINGS DIFFERENTLY.  Also I think I’d need to develop some GOALS for the blog. 

5) something else I haven’t thought of yet!

So.  I’m going to have a think.  Normally I’d keep such thinking private but I’ve decided to share 🙂  AND

I would love to hear your thoughts!

What do you like about my blog? 

What do you find interesting?

What do you find less interesting or annoying or things you think I could improve? 

If you use flickr, I’d appreciate your thoughts on the pro’s and cons of moving my internet life over there. Do you know of other sites/forums that I should consider?

Any other thoughts or comments you would like to share with me 🙂

(I won’t hold negative comments against you – I promise XX).

If you are uncomfortable leaving a comment here, please email me at littlefishcreations – at – gmail – dot – com

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The Epic Road Trip Home

A couple of weeks ago Chris and I decided that we would start looking for opportunites to move back ‘down south’ (as they say in the Northern Territory).  Preferrably somewhere in Victoria or Tasmania. 

Chris noticed a job ad with a paper mill in Southern Tasmania and sent off an enquiry.  The next day they were on the phone, last weekend they flew him down to Hobart for an interview (crazy, crazy flights), and yesterday he accepted their job offer and resigned from his current role!

Whew!!!!  I’m SOOO excited.  We are returning to the city (CITY!!! OMG!!!) where we went to university, where we met, where we still have many friends and where we never in our wildest imaginings thought we would find suitable employment for Chris (ya just gotta look, duh!). 

We’re thinking of driving back:

I should probably start knitting.  Poor Jasper has lived his whole life in the tropics and we are just about to dive into a Hobart winter. I’m off to browse Ravelry now (too bad I sold all my wool!)

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