Category Archives: De-lights of my life

Sew Up-Lifting

Soon Wellington’s streets will be a-buzz with groups of sheilas commanding the footpaths by day, shopping up a storm, only to vacate them at night so they can go and swoon over the amazing creations at the 2012 World of Wearable Art (WOW). It’s almost tradition!

A fan for a long time I’ve often wondered what it would be like to enter. What does it really take to make it into the show, let alone be a front runner for one of the sought after prizes. Here’s hoping I find out. Well the first part mainly. I decided to enter the small Bizarre Bra section this year with a back to basics approach. Sewing, teamed with a bit of 1940s inspiration, and thoughts of my nana who influenced me to save ribbons, buttons, fabric and the like cause you never know when you might need it.

With a quick concept sketch (who’s been hanging out with the designers at work too long now..) I created Sew Up-Lifting. So far she’s made it through the first round of judging which means winging her way to Nelson to be reviewed further.  I hear she’s arrived safely so that’s a good start. Now I just need to send her all the luck to make it through to the show; the judges will now inspect her in person to decide if it’s an extended trip or back home. She’s a wee beauty (of course I am biased) so fingers crossed.



Fairy bread… or is that bed?

Mmmm fairy bread. All dolled up, minding it’s own business sitting next to piles of chocolate crackles, bowls of chips and tasty cocktail sausages, it’s synonymous with kid’s parties surely everywhere. A simple recipe (the best ones always are) harkening from a relative of Nigella Lawson I am sure all it requires is a good sprinkle of hundreds and thousands applied very, very liberally to white bread slapped with butter. It really is a delight.

Always eying up my  next crafty pursuit I eagerly decided to whip up my very own fairy bread pram blanket from Pip Lincolne’s Sew La Tea Do for my nephew Sam. With a small number of supplies needed and a bit of straight line sewing the toughest thing to master was the beautiful French knot. Oh what an inspired little knot the Frenchy is; loved equally by Mel who some days may fancy them more than Ryan Gosling.

Dotted randomly across my fabric this wee blanket came together easily and in no time at all.  I’ve lined the back with a nice soft stripey jersey so it’s super snug for it’s recipient. Enjoy Sam!

To bake is to breath

Birthday’s come and go with the cake being a fond memory of mine. Harken back to my little years I remember clearly mum’s super efforts … Minnie and Mickey Mouse, The Pink Panther, A Hansel and Gretel house made with cholocate fingers – heaven!  With a couple of friends coming over for a spot of afternoon tea to celebrate our birthday’s a cake of meringues was just the ticket.

Piled high on my favourite cake plate courtesy of Tim’s folks cream was lashed on along with roasted slivered almonds, grated chocolate, and berry coulis. Oh baking I do love you!


Woolly wedding wishes

Way back when The Doily Grind began my pal Nicola was getting hitched to her fella Lindsay.  Well the BIG day came and went with much joy and delight for the happy couple.  Awaiting their return from England were lots of their friends and family armed with treats to mark the occasion.

With a gift challenge on my hands my new love of crochet (which has slightly waned with the time it took – I’m a quick win crafter!) came to mind with a woollen wedding blanket the result.  Red being Nic’s accent colour of choice in her beautiful workman’s cottage I got stuck in and a few months later it was ready.

Ta da!  Welcomed with open arms the wee blanket is loved dearly by her cat Brian’s paws and Nic’s shoulders when Skyping late at night to her family back in old Blightly!

A little quilt for our little family

I’m not about easy wins but most of the projects I have done to date have been short and sweet just like my favourite pastry.  So what you are about to see is something of a momentous occasion!

Now the gals I stitch and bitch with are a talented bunch when it comes to many things, but when it comes to quilts the wow-ometer goes sky high! They are crazy good, making amazing quilts left, right and centre for their  friends and family.  How could I not be inspired.

Not one to follow a pattern exactly I decided that my quilt would free-range and would feature a few things to make it personal to me and my little immediate family.  First I added our surname. Strange is one of those names that gets a lot of comments. I must say I’ve always found it to be good.  People love it!  Second I wanted a silhouette of my moggy Imogen (thanks Margie!) because she’s just so cute and a big part of our family. Thirdly I wanted to celebrate our first home so I popped in the address of our wonderful we bungalow.  Everything you need to make a ‘our first home blanket’ if you ask me.

Days, weeks, and months of sewing, cutting and hand-stitching have gone by with my quilt now finally complete.  It’s so beautiful (I hope you agree) and will welcome any guest who comes to stay, taking pride of place in our guest room.  There’s just nothing quite like taking all that time to make something really special that you can not only enjoy yourself but share the people who come to stay x

A poem for Lucy

Lucy is my niece. She’s three months old, very smiley and a very sweet chubby baby. As I love her dearly I can’t help but think of lovely things I can make or find for her.

So the other day I was wandering around some sites and saw an illustration, almost like a piece of ruled paper with the picture of a small girl and some words.  It was beautiful.  Well I can’t draw to save myself, but I do like to work with fabric and a needle. So my interpretation is stitched.

It’s a poem I found, embroidered onto cotton in my best handwriting … now you don’t see that much these days do ya!

I love Frankie

I’ve fallen head over heels for Frankie magazine. Everything and anything they put in their mag or on their site I absolutely love. The lucky gal that I am saw a few treats from the Frankie store arrive under the tree for me from Tim (Mr Doily Grind).


Sweet relief

So my friend Nicola is getting married!  She’s a great admirer of the well-designed, all things pretty and anything crafty. So as you can imagine she has some marvelous plans on how to create her wedding invitations and needed a bit of assistance from me on the sewing front.

So what better way to spend your Sunday arvo than helping a mate with a bit of a project.  I’ve never taught anyone to sew before so it’s new for me too. But she’s a pretty good student so it’s great!

Armed with a pile of stuff Nic came on over for lunch with sewing lesson #2 set to follow.  For anyone who loves kransky’s we had some for lunch, smothered in lots of mayo and hickory sauce and whacked into ciabatta with rocket – mmmmm yum!

All of the 20 odd stitches on my trusty Janome were explored with Nic extending her skills and having something at the end of the day ready to take home to show her fella Lindsay.

To reward her for being so studious I’d made a gingerbread treacle cake which has a super lemony butter icing.  Check it out!