Thursday, July 31, 2008

Anaphylaxis Talk

Anaphylaxis Talk has moved homes. AT can now be found at

Anaphylxis talk is an Australian based forum for anaphylaxia, asthma, eczema, food intollerance and other associated conditions. Message boards can be so informative, and bouncing your story around with others is more than helpful.

The support I have recieved from this free forum is beyond belief.

I am yet to transfer over all the latex (NRL - Natural Rubber Latex) allergy research I have compiled as I want to categorise it a bit first, but it will be there soon!!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Been busy

Clearly catchphrases and witty headlines aren't my thing. Pretty sad for an editor! I am rather excited at the moment, I just bought myself a new sewing machine!!! A Husqvarna/Viking Huskystar C20 which you can see at the bottom of this page if interested. It is a clearance model, but it looks like a really good machine. I can't wait for it to get here and replace the elcheapo we bought me. The little elcheapo has its uses, but not enough for what I want it for, and it's tension hates to cooperate. I will probably put it toward scrapbooking or something like that.

As you can see I've changed my Blogger template. I'm not too sure if I like it at all? The one I did like had a funky little graphic that just didn't work for me. I do like the boxes on the sidebar that keep all my history and tags etc contained neatly rather than sprawling way down the page. Lets see how long it stays this way. I got the blogger template from B Template.

On to the show and tells. I've really enjoyed playing with sewing of late. I bought some things I wanted like felt in Esperance the other week specifically to play with baby shoes. I have so many patterns saved from the net specifically for different baby shoes! I just never had the felt I needed to create them. The little cream ones with variegated cotton came first, then the cream ones with grossgrain ribbon (these are actually polar fleece, not felt) and lastly the fuschia ones which I am fiddling with embroidery on. Not really in love with any of these 3 pairs and the fuscia ones need another pair made as I put the button loops on the same strap on these ones and they are supposed to be opposites! *head-meet-desk* So, none of them are entirely perfect but I enjoy the process. That's the important bit!

I borrowed a book from the library called something like "sew vintage bags". I'm not sure it's by the sewing machine and I am simply too lay to go get it. It divided the bags up into eras they were fashionable. I chose this little wrist bag which was probably a bit more challenging than I had anticipated. I've only ever sewn one zip before (on the pencil case in my last post) and I don't find it too hard. I never would have expected glue sticks to become a staple in my sewing room!! I sewed the loop slightly wrong, it has twisted the wrong way but I guess that's one of those creator only noticed problems as no one else understands what I mean when I point it out. As I was being a good girl and following the pattern the lining is hand stitched in last. I don't like this idea one bit! My hand sewing is really poor and it's awkward to do. The bag also recommended having a rather large flower pin attached which I've not made. I used a fat quarter as the main fabric, and a royal blue one for the lining. I love the bright colours but they don't really match my clothes! I find unlooping the bag, then unzipping it, all a bit fiddly for every day use. To counteract that problem I spent ages looking online for a wrist bag pattern. I knew the basic shape but couldn't be bothered sketching it out!! I couldn't find one, lots to show and tell but no patterns. I ended up finding one on the Martha Stewart website when I was looking at something else!! Always the way. So using another fat quarter and a nurses dress from the thrift shop, I made the wristlet bag (reversible bag I think it's called on the Martha Stewart website). I decided to make a pocket on the inside just cos I could and wanted to play with making things my own, and bias binding. I've used this bag every day since I made it!! Having it looped over my wrist is so much easier to carry than any bag I've used. Again, the colours are intersting and don't really match my clothes, but I'm of the belief, WHO CARES! I like the colours and pattern :D

There was enough fabric remaining from the fat quarter of the above bag to make a little something, when I saw this lamb pattern online I knew it would be sweet. I didn't read the instructions before printing the pattern so I made a few errors along the way but overall I think it's cute! We gifted it to Jessica's school teacher yesterday and she was most impressed. The ribbon probably blends a bit too much, but I do like it. I really need to be bolder with colour. I don't know how to do that. I've tried this with scrapbooking etc and I still can't cope with mixing and matching colours/patterns.

So now I am all excited for the new machine to arrive and play with all the prety stitches and stuff. I've already purchased some extra feet for it, and some bobbins! I have no idea how long it will take to ship as I ordered it from the Lincraft website. There are a stack more I want to get! Xmas wishlist writing time I think!!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Those photos I promised

Decided it would probably be easier to add pics in a new post than to update the other one. So, here are pics of what I've been working on. Minus a couple, like the little purse I sewed from a recent "Handmade" magazine but can't find right now and the doll I was happily crocheting until I snapped the plastic crochet hook I was using and unsure where in my stash is another 5mm one. I've never broken a hook before and actually attempted to continue crocheting with the 1.5" stub but it hurt my fingers. Was possible though, I finished off some of the dolls dress with that stub!! Crazy I know. Yay for the life of a bored person. Anyway, the pics.....

A little doll dress I started. As you can see, it's far from finished! I used hemming tape for the hem. My sewing machine is really touchy about tension. I have to finish the neck and back, including the buttons or some other closure. Not sure if I will finish it. Just isn't working for me right now. I planned to do some applique or embroidery on the front, not to mention the matching bloomers. Maybe one day!

I used a pattern to make this little sun suit for Kristina. The pattern was actually for swimmers but hey.. It's a little too wide at the hips and wasn't quite tall enough for the baby bjorn doll. I fixed the height by hand sewing on the purple lace, which I then added to the legs as well for some continuity. I'm really pleased with it! I chose purple and green to work with some of the items I crocheted.

A little halter and some shorts. Of course, my own designs. One leg of the shorts seems a tad smaller, and take no notice of that little gape in the crotch.. It's just not there, ok?! *lol* I like the halter, though it seemed to drag on forever! Such a little doll too. This is why I am no good at wearables for people.. far too impatient. You can't really see the little flower but it has a yellowy-pearlesque button in the middle. Again, these are my own designs.

A little skirt (teamed up with the halter from above) and some shoes. The skirt is still waiting on a green belt and a top to match. I can't find either of those yarns at the moment, buried under a pile of books I think. The shoes were interesting to make. I wrote down what I did but not sure if it really "works" as a pattern. Might have to ask LeAnna to test it for me. All my own designs. You should expect no less ;)

I love, love, LOVE the little hat I made!! Just a basic round with fpdc and bpdc details. It just looks so cute!! Probably not the bext photo. The little ribbon flower worked better than I expected. The mittens look huge, these dolls have their hands in bizzare poses so to make it fit they had to be biggish. I just tied them with ribbons to match the hat, but sewed one end to the mittens so the ribbons wont fall out and get lost etc. The blanket is some polar fleece and a panel cut from this really cute Sunbonnet Sue type fabric I bought in Perth earlier in the year, for 50c a metre!! The place was relocating so they sold everything totally cheap rather than move it. How lucky to be there at the right time *happy dance* I got something like 24m of fabric, or maybe it was 48m, I don't recall... Anyway, the diagram had little yellow "stitches" around the girl, the dog, and the inside of the patchwork border, so I hand sewed on those lines around the doll. It's given it a nice, raised, quilted effect so I think I will do the same around the dog then perhaps machine sew the rest, possibly in a bold pink or something. Might add some ribbons. Who knows. It's only for the baby bjorn doll afterall!! Hope Kristina loves all this :)

I sewed this yesterday and I really quite like it!! It was intended as a pencil case for Shania as part of her xmas present. I'm not sure yet. Maybe a 10yr old will think school supplies is the suckiest present ever. I tried to make it have some width in the bottom and had no idea what I was doing. Of course, today, I find out how easy it should have been so I will likely fix it. The flower is 5 ribbons cut to about 2" and sewn with a few stitches once folded, then the button to cover all the mess. I couldn't get one length of ribbon to fold how I needed it to do it all in one piece. Random blue buttons just for some more depth. The pink ribbon was also used as a little tab/pull on the zipper. It just works. The pink really brightens the whole thing. If I did it again I think I'd use a wider ribbon for a bigger flower. Otherwise, I am happy!

A double scrapbook layout that just ISN'T working for me. I think that it's far too busy. But, seeing the photo, I might actually like it. The righthand photo is a collection of other pics I want to include, hence the huge frog tag which is destined to become a little album to stash all these pics. And to think, the eldest girl (left) is 13 this year!! Sharyn's (elder girl) photo is so much darker than Amanda's which is making it a little frustrating to make this layout work. I am a bit stumped by it for the moment so have walked away. Will return in a few days and see how I feel. Have already drawn out some scallops on a plain blue paper to use somewhere on this layout.

A vintage pattern for a dress I am crocheting for Jessica. I FINALLY got some Bendigo Woollen Mills cotton and I am loving it!! Perfect for wearables, so soft and slightly fluffy. Not at all tough and rough. The colour is "light teal". Jess likes it so far which is fabulous! This is front/back (both are identical) and maybe 1/3 of the length it needs to be. Fast to crochet just tedious as it's just repeating and counting (5dc, 1dc, 5dc, 1dc etc). I do like it a lot and will finish it up soon. It may be too warm for her to wear in summer.

A scarf for Kristina's younger brother Deegan. Still in the works. No pattern just random rows of knit and purl. I like that the thick/thin yarn is giving it a textrure it would otherwise be without. I originally bought this yarn to make Deegan a comfort blanket but his mum (Nichola) bought one before I had the chance. After I told her I had the yarn! I also used this yarn to make a hat for her new baby Nate. I gifted that before getting a pic as she was heading off to have him. I'll try get a pic of him in it when they come home. The book is from the library and probably overdue...

Back in March was our local race day (horses) and for whatever reason I was bit with the sewing bug the day before, sometime around 2pm. I sewed this in record time and Jessica loved it!! I used some cheap earrings on the ends of the ribbon tie for fun, bought a hair clip to go with it (would have made that too but was threading the ribbon just before walking out the door! She got blue fairy floss (cotton candy to my USA friends) on it. It probably wont hold up, the seams are finished and such. It was just so sweet! Has matching bloomers underneath from the print fabric. It was from a 1970's sewing pattern. I had to fold the neck and tack open as it was just too high for her. She looks so sweet and got a ton of compliments on the day.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

I'm bored!!

Got sent this survey by email the other day. Decided to answer it for something to do. I took photos to add to my last post then realised I've been working on a few more things I want to take pics of so haven't updated it yet. I will, I promise!! Now for the survey..

1. What time did you get up this morning? 9.00am
2. Diamonds or pearls? Neither
3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Over the Hedge (yes, it was THAT long ago)
4. What is your favourite TV show? I guess Amazing Race, or Grey's Anatomy
5. What do you usually have for breakfast? Iced Coffee or Mocha
6. What is your middle name? Stefanie
7. What food do you dislike? Tinned- be it soup, veges, etc
8. What is your favourite CD at moment? don't have one
9. What kind of car do you drive? VX SS Commodore
10. Favourite sandwich? I'm not big on sandwiches.
11. What characteristic do you despise? belittling
12. Favourite item of clothing? PJ's!!!!
13. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go? I can only choose one?!?! How unfair is that... Umm... If alone I'd say anywhere, with a friend I'd say a polynesian cruise, if it was with a partner probably Italy or somewhere European
14. Favourite brand of clothing? fat people don't have this luxury
15. Where would you retire to? My own 10+ acres somewhere
16. What was your most recent memorable birthday? My 21st, cos it was supposed to be in a park but we decided to move it to a hall at the last minute and it pelted with hail 10mins later!!
17. Favourite sport to watch? Figure Skating
18. Furtherest place you are sending this? this is the web...
19. Person you expect to send it back first? N/A
20. When is your birthday? April 5th
21. Are you a morning person or a night person? Neither
22. What is your shoe size? 10-11
23. Pets? Jessi's allergic so no pets in this household
24. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share with us? Nichola had a baby. Nothing exciting happens for me :)
25. What did you want to be when you were little? A Nurse
26. How are you today? Fine
27. What is your favourite candy? Minties
28. What is your favourite flower? Lillies and Orchids
29. What is a day on the calendar you are looking forward to? I have nothing to look fwd to
30. What is your full name? Michelle Stefanie *********
31. What are you listening to right now? TV, heater and a car driving by
32. What was the last thing you ate? Hazelnut chocolate
33. Do you wish on stars? YES!
34. If you were a crayon, what colour would you be? Turquoise
35. How is the weather right now? cloudy and cold
37. Favourite soft drink? Coke Zero
38. Favourite restaurant? Never really been to any
39. Real hair colour? Brown
40. What was your favourite toy as a child? A little plastic sink
41. Summer or winter? Spring
42. Hugs or kisses? Hugs
43. Chocolate or Vanilla? Chocolate
44. Coffee or tea? Tea
45. Do you want your friends to email you back? My friends hate these things
46. When was the last time you cried? Last night
47. What is under your bed? The floor
48. What did you do last night? Brett kept me company
49. What are you afraid of ? Myself
50. Salty or sweet? sweet
51. How many keys on your key ring? 3
52. How many years at your current job? Don't have one
53. Favourite day of the week? Don't have one
54. How many towns have you lived in? 2
55. Do you make friends easily? No
56. How many people will you send this to? the whole entire internet *lol*
57. How many will respond? None

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

My poor abandoned blog

One would think I had forgotten all about my blog, when infact, I think of it with fondness on regular occassions. Dragging my butt in here to post, now that's another story!!

As has been typical of my recent blog posts, life has been a rollercoaster! Jessi has spent a week in Princess Margaret Hospital, Perth. I've had to accept my bf doesn't want more than to be my friend. My sister is pregnant but has placenta praevia. There's a fire bug in town which is worrying! What concerned me was that the majority of the fires have been within 3 blocks of my home.

On the plus side, Jessica is well now! The doctors and staff at PMH fixed her up in no time and I am so grateful to them. My friend Nichola had a baby boy yesterday and from the photos she's sent through mms he is so sweet! (ok, yes, I love babies so I'm probably bias). My mum gave me use of her VX Commodore (SS, V8, red)! I am so thankful to her. I sold my car for a few hundered bucks and used that to help buy Jessi's essentials like creams, as well as a little gift for us each. Mine was Peaches and Creme yarn from Perth (never seen it in Aus before, so yay!) and Jessi's been getting bits and pieces all over the place. She didn't need anything big.

I want to thank my friends at Anaphylaxis Talk. I've mentioned it before, but it's an Australian Forum/Message Board for people with allergies, eczema, asthma and anaphylaxia. They are so supportive and so loving of one another. During our stay in PMH we got txt's, visits and even a gift from the wonderful ladies at AT. I encourage anyone who needs a support group in Australia for the above mentioned ailments take a look at Anaphylaxis Talk. It doesn't come up in a google search which is sad and frustrating. I was given a link to AT from another message board and it was lucky as the message board I was on didn't come close to fulfilling my needs. AT is where I keep information relating to Latex Allergy including email responses from manufacturers etc. There is a link to Anaphylaxis Talk in the sidebar. The best bit, it is FREE!! Was hard finding a free site, but they are out there..

I have been making clothes for Nichola's 10yr old Kristina's doll. I've sewn a "swimsuit" but it looks like a little a summer sun suit (and totally cute), crocheted mittens and beanie, skirt, shorts, halter, sandals and am sewing a little blanket. I guess it needs a few more things, like a top that matches the skirt, and something warm to wear with the mittens and beanie, and was thinking of making a nappy with some polar fleece or something. Lets see if I can manage to update this later today with some pics :) I'm really pleased with the sun suit and haven't used any patterns for the crocheted items (of course).