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22 June 2014

Winter warmth ~ part 1

Whilst those of you in the northern hemisphere are getting into the spirit of summer, winter is finally here in Australia. A lot milder than the winters we were used to in England, truth be told. This morning was 'cold' by South Australian standards - it's 12C and sunny! That would be a nice spring day back in London.  Anyway, it's certainly cold enough for the kidlets, so I have been getting my crochet on - Alice badly needed some new hats!

My little girl is absolutely hat crazy, I am very blessed in that regard. She is a pro at putting them on herself with no help. If her hat comes off whilst playing, she stops whatever she is doing, puts it back on, then continues from where she left off. This new beanie is definitely one of her favourites. The pattern is Cherub Cheeks by Amanda Tipton and you can purchase it here.

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I also wanted to make a scarf for her, and came across this very clever pattern for one that also doubles up as a headband. It's by The Velvet Acorn on Etsy and she has lots of other great patterns too, especially if you like the more 'chunky' look.

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The leaves on this warmer are knitted in the original pattern, but as I can't knit I crocheted the leaves. I do like the look of the original leaves better though, so maybe I need to take up knitting? Those who can knit, is it easy to learn?

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I confess I am loving winter this year. Something so cozy and comforting about snuggling under a wool blanket by a nice warm fire, eating roasted chestnuts whilst watching the rain fall outside. I had missed this.

More hats coming very soon....

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Just before I go - I apologise for the sporadic posts of late. Thank you for bearing with me, I promise I haven't lost the blogging drive!  I have recently finished my last project for Homespun magazine, my third with them and the biggest one to date (it looks awesome, I can't wait to show you). That took a huge chunk of time out of my normal sewing schedule, so I fell behind with shop orders, yada yada. I am finally back on top of things now after way too many sewing sessions into the early hours of the morning. I figure people don't stop following blogs for not posting regularly and I would rather not post 'fluff' just for the sake of posting. I hope you agree. And whilst my kids are so little and they need mummy so much, they are my top priority. But I will blink and they will be at school, and my days will hopefully get less crazy. It's my new mantra... it's not forever!

1 May 2014

Crochet market tote | 'Scrumptious' fabrics

It's been cuteness overload here lately. So I jumped at the chance when another hand-maiden asked me if I could make her a crochet market tote. Something 'grown up' for a change!

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The free pattern for this tote is by Daisy Cottage Designs and is for a children's size one. It took me a few tries to adjust the pattern for the correct sizing to fit an adult. I used a larger hook (6.5mm instead of 5.5mm), started with 15 double crochets in the magic ring (instead of 12), and added an extra 3 rows after rounds 6-23 in the original pattern. And a couple of extra rows for the handles to make them longer. The yarn I used is Passioknit Fairytales Angel, and is available at Spotlight for those in Australia. It's a perfect duck egg blue / mint colour and a very lush and soft texture as well.

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I also wanted to share a recent addition to my fabric stash - Scrumptious by Bonnie & Camille for Moda fabrics. I am a massive Bonnie & Camille fan, and this has to be one of their best to date. Both the pink and the mint colourways are gorgeous in their own right and perfectly coordinate together as well.

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I haven't had a chance to use them in a personal project yet, but I made a couple of bunting for customers.  Such a pleasure to work with such gorgeous fabric, and I can't wait to cut into more to make a patchwork cushion, or perhaps a quilt.

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20 April 2014

Happy Easter!

For those who celebrate, wishing you all a very happy Easter filled with lots of love, laughter, and of course, chocolate!

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I made this duck embroidery a few weeks back - it is now hanging on the 'wall of hoops' in my sewing room. I must share a picture of that wall with you sometime soon! The drawing is a vintage one, from here.

I appliqued his umbrella, coat and the bird first, then back-stitched the outline of the duck, added a satin-stitch eye in bright aqua, and a few french knot flowers under his feet. The fabric is a gorgeous mint Kaufman Essex linen/cotton mix, a recent addition to my stash.

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This was Easter Sunday at Down Grapevine Lane headquarters... we set the kids off on their first ever chocolate egg hunt in the garden. Heaps of fun! Alexander's favourite was the golden Lindt chocolate bunny, which took him quite a long time to spot.

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Note to self: make a cute Easter basket for next year's egg hunt!

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16 April 2014

Bunch of bunnies

Is everyone in an Easter-y mood yet? I thought I would jump on the Easter bandwagon and share a couple of crochet bunnies I made recently.

Remember this bunny? She was the first amigurumi animal I made - a year ago! Look how little Alice is - she was only 6 months old here.

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I just finished a couple more - another girl bunny with a flower and a boy version with a train conductor hat. The pattern is by A Morning Cup of Jo Creations.
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The boy version is a gift for my friend's new baby, whose name is Riley - only a few days old and cute as a button. I couldn't resist adding a monogram to the hat. I winged the hat pattern - it was going to be a top hat but I decided to give it a cap brim at the last minute so it turned into a train conductor hat, which I think suits it better.

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And these here are my two little bunnies, on a recent day trip to Victor Harbor. They are growing up too fast.

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We are starting to get quite excited about Easter in our house - pre-kids it was just an excuse for chocolate, but with kids it's becoming something a little magical. A few days ago we explained the Easter bunny to Alexander - it went something like this:

Me: Alexander, you know it's Easter next weekend? Have you heard of the Easter bunny?
Alexander: No mummy, what is it?
Me: Well it's a very big rabbit, as big as your daddy, that comes the night before Easter and hides chocolate eggs all over the garden. And then in the morning, what do we do?
Alexander: We find the Easter bunny and eat him!

I think all he heard was "bunny as big as your daddy - chocolate - hiding in the garden", and he got a little bit excited. Don't blame him, I would be!

So this weekend we are going to have an Easter egg hunt in the garden. It will be a good opportunity to teach Alexander the Hot-and-Cold game, and Alice is pretty good at spotting hidden objects so I think she will have a ball too. Can't wait!

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4 April 2014

Little Red hoop art | Sewing Room in Homespun

I don't get much chance to work with felt these days (it's all sewing or crochet at the moment!), so I have been really really itching to find a good project involving felt... and something a little bit different. I was browsing Pinterest for some inspiration and came across some beautiful 3D felt hoop art made by the very talented Erica Catarina from one of the best felt blogs out there - Ei Menina. If you like working with felt and haven't discovered her blog yet head over and check it out. I love everything she makes, her attention to detail is simply unbelievable. It's in Portuguese but there is a translate button.

I decided to make my own version of Little Red Riding Hood, one of my favourite classic children's stories of all time.

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I drew her up in Adobe Illustrator (it's crazy, I can't draw on a piece of paper, but I can do a reasonable job in Illustrator? I think it's the ease with which I can shift and angle lines, and erase any little mistakes).

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I envisaged her as blond initially but when I got all my felt out and started picking colours, she clearly wanted to be a brunette - she just didn't look right with blonde hair.

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If you like what you see here, then you will definitely like what I have in the pipeline. I can't share any details yet as it's a bit of a hush-hush project but one I am very excited about! Stay tuned.

In other news my sewing room has been published in Homespun magazine's March issue, as part of a feature on small craft spaces.

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So that you don't strain your eyes, the text reads:
"Sedef Imer, from Down Grapevine Lane, is known for achieving elegant designs from simplicity - a rare talent. Her sewing space is no exception. With a budget of just $300 to create a workable sewing nook within a guest bedroom, she has managed to include everything she needs - desk, cabinet, shelf, drawers, Ikea picture frames and pegboard from Bunnings. Sedef chose to keep the guest bed in the room, not only for comfortable crocheting with her feet up, but also for laying out fabrics - oh!, and accomodating visitors, of course! Cupboard space is tight, but Sedef finds it perfect for keeping her current stash away from dust. Plus, she says storage constraints keep a lid on excessive fabric and yarn squandering. Wall-mounted pegboard, cut to the width of the desk top, takes care of scissors, ribbons, tiny tools and accessories, and is crowned by a shelf."

You can see more pictures of my sewing room in this old blog post  - in case you were curious about where I make all my stuff! Mind you it isn't looking quite so neat and shiny these days - when I showed the magazine to my husband he said "So that's what it used to look like when you could see the desk and the floor". It isn't so bad really, he is exaggerating (*cough*).

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