Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Working with wool.

I've been making woolly things lately, learning some new stitches and getting a little better and faster at my crotchet. I'm enjoying being part of a crochet group and meeting for crochet and chats.

On the weekend I taught Juliet how to make pom poms, which was great fun. Then we found out about an awesome way of making pom poms with a fork, so we tried that too. It was so quick!

By Sharon Newth

Monday, July 29, 2013

1 Sweater worn 3 ways - A zero waste sweater upcycle

Firstly - sorry about my lack of blogging. Again! I'm technologically cursed, and after waiting for years to get a new computer, one of the kids broke it within a couple of weeks. Hoping the Dr can fix it. Totally cursed!

Here is my latest refashion of a sweater I got at the thrift (op) shop a few months ago, with the intention of making myself a skirt. Of course it has ended up being used to make something for my biggest fan, who has been wearing her new clothes non stop since I finished them.

Sweater - purchased for $2.

The first cut.

The high neck, which ended up becoming the headband.

The cutie.

by Sharon Newth

Thursday, July 18, 2013

What I've been thrifting lately.

Here's what I've been finding at the thrift shops lately.

Awesome vintage tea towel. Unused as far as I can tell. It's my colours! Not sure if I want to use it make something out of it. I'm not much of a dishes dryer.

Vintage footy jumper for the little Pies supporter in the family.

Fab vintage foot stool that is going to be recovered by me in either a vintage fabric or yarn.

Another vintage tea towel. This one has been sewn into a bag to hold plastic bags. I remember that was a thing in the 80s.

Old wooden box.

Books. Childhood memories. I loved Judy Blume, and Nancy Drew.

I've been having some fossicking fun as usual. Have you found anything good lately on your thrifting adventures?

By Sharon Newth

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

How to make an old case look lovely. The beauty case upcycle.

Hello! Boy has life been busy! The kids are back at school again now though, but Mr 19 months is pretty much a full time and a half job on his own these days, so life is never dull. It's pretty awesome though.

Here's what I did today (in between kinder gym, kinder duty, a big pram walk, wood foraging, footy training and other mad kidlet stuff).

I'll start off with my morning. Rushing off down the driveway to school I happened to spot these little beauties. I thought they looked so gorgeous, I didn't mind stopping to enjoy them, even if it meant being a minute or so late for school.

What followed for the next 7 hours was madness and mayhem, until finally, at the other end of the day, I claimed a little bit of time to make something special. Here it is.

 It all began with this old case I found at the op (thrift) shop a few weeks ago. I think it's an old beauty case of some sort. It looked a bit shabby, but I knew it had potential, and it was a total bargain at $5.

Glue and some vintage fabric scraps came to the rescue. I glued the scraps on to the case, then put a bit more glue on top of the fabric to seal it. Glue, fabric, glue. Easy peasy.

It's so pretty now. :) It already has a use too.

I'm happy now. Hope you are too. Better go and fold that mountain of washing now. Catch you soon. xxx

By Sharon Newth

Thursday, July 11, 2013

7 Easy Upcycled Pillowcase Projects

Following on from my previous vintage linen post, today I'm sharing with you 7 easy upcycled pillowcase projects.

1. The Pillowcase Dress. 

A pillowcase makes an adorable dress for a little girl, and is one of the easiest projects for the beginner sewer. All it takes is a couple of scissor cuts, creating a casing, and some ribbon. Here's one I made a few years ago for my daughter.

Life Created gives you a tutorial over here.

Here's another I spotted in this lovely etsy shop. How gorgeous!

2. A pillowcase cushion. 

Here's my Hootie Hoot the Owl Vintage Pillowcase Upcycle. I made it here last year as part of my 365 creativity challenge. All you need is your pillowcase, a couple of doilies, buttons and some fabric scraps. Oh and a little bit of imagination. 

3. The Pillowcase Top

This is a cute option if you are petite. Lovely and cool in the summer months. Erica from Recycled Fashion shows us how to make one on her blog. Most of the work is already done for you.

4. Pillowcase Toddler Trousers. 

Made by me from a 50 cent pillowcase. I actually got 2 pairs of size 1 trousers from the same pillowcase with this stunning African print. Little trousers or pants are one of the easiest sewing projects.

Here's another pillowcase to pj's and pj bag upcycle I made for my nephew last year. You can find it here.

5. Pillowcase Wall Art

 For the non-sewer, try some pillowcase wall art, as featured in my last post here. Super easy and it looks gorgeous.

6. Pillowcase Skirt

If you have a bit more time on your hands you can make a stunning skirt by layering up your pillowcases as I did with this project, a-pile-of-vintage-linen. What little girl wouldn't love a skirt like this?

7. Pillowcase bag.

Last but not least, rhythm of the home shares a tutorial on how to make a quick bag from a pillowcase over here. 

And here's another gorgeous one over here at creatively satisfied.

No excuses now, delve into your stash, your linen cupboard, or pop into your nearest thrift store, and get making. Turn that pillowcase into something amazing.

by Sharon Newth.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Vintage Linen Wall Canvas

You may have noticed how much I adore vintage linens. I buy them whenever I see them in op shops, and have more than a little love for floral vintage. I'm always on the lookout for sheets, pillowcases, tablecloths and even dish towels (tea towels). These are some of mine. Then I just wait until inspiration strikes, which can take hours, days, weeks or years.

I really needed a change on one of my lounge room walls so last night I decided to make some vintage linen wall art.

Here's my starting point. Blank canvas and spray glue.

I sprayed the canvas with glue, stretched and stuck my fabric on,then cut come 'library corners' and hot glue gunned the fabric are the edges at the back. I love using my hot glue gun. There's just something very awesome about a hot glue gun. It that weird? :)

Here's my finished canvasses. I love them. Flowers and colour and smiles make my world beautiful.

I also stuck all these stickers on my wall yesterday. That took AGES! The kids were good at posing for me in their Elvis costumes today though.

My big and my little man. Love, love, love.

Then we watched Mary Poppins and ate movie snacks. I served them up in egg cartons, just for something different.

I love the school holidays. For me it's about a slower pace, staying in pjs until lunch time, and spending time with family. I know some Mum's dread them though. How about you? Do you love them too? Do you love vintage linens? Perhaps you love Mary Poppins? There is so much to love in this awesome world of ours. I'm still in my pjs at 2:30 in the afternoon and I love that too.

by Sharon Newth

Thursday, July 4, 2013

A tale of 2 Grannys.

Many of you know that my Nan passed away earlier this year at the wonderful age of 93, and the immense sense of loss I felt at her passing. Today I am writing a post to link in with Meet Me At Mikes Granny-a-long, dedicated to my Nan and my Gram, both awesome ladies.

I'll start with my Gram.

Name: Mavis Newth

Four words to describe her: Passionate, Positive, Determined, Proud.

Achievements: Mum, Grandma, Great Grandma, Great, Great Grandma, Mother of all Richmond Tigers supporters, sewing wizz.

Mavis looked at the world with rose coloured glasses, and always had a positive word to say about, well, everything really. If I was renting the ugliest student house ever, she loved the carpet and the light fittings, my meals were always restaurant quality, and my achievements world class. That was her and it always made me laugh. She was awesome.

My gram died almost 2 years ago now, she was 90. We never lived nearby but I loved her visits and always knew how strong her love was. She was always sewing, mostly from remnants. She loved that remnant basket at the fabric shop. She made her own clothes and many of mine, in which she sewed a label that said 'made with love by grandma'. About 6 months before she died she gave me some of her clothes to refashion.

One of her dresses.

Here I am in her red coat.

She loved to dress in bright colours, yellow and aqua dresses, colourful handbags, and a warm personality.

She was a strong woman, one who got things done, and who had a social conscience and the gumption to do something about it.

When she died, she did it on her own terms. She made a decision to throw away all of her medication, and to leave this earth. She did it with a dignity and strength that I have never before seen in another human being. I was pregnant when I had the privilege to be a pallbearer at her funeral, and farewell a woman full to the brim of courage, love, optimism and fun.

A note that came in the mail a few months after her death.

I miss her every day, but I carry inside me a little of her strength, her determination and her optimism. And a deep love for the Richmond Football Club. Carn the tiges!

This is my Nanny.

Name: Anna Barnard

4 words to describe her: Family, Community, Carer, Tough

Career: Mother, Grandmother, Great Grandmother, Great, Great Grandmother to 5 children, 26 grandchildren, 50 great grandchildren and 4 gg children. MacRobertsons chocolate factory maker of the swirly chocolate with the nut inside. Maker of awesome soup, pasties and custard.

Claim to fame: Used to look after our former PM Julia Gillard's cat when she was out of town.

With my daughter Juliet.

With me.

My Nan lived in the same house for over 60 years, and this was a huge part of who she was. Her inner city Melbourne street in Abbotsford morphed from one thing to the next. From slum, to immigrant haven to inner city trendy, and for every incarnation, she was at the heart of it. She was known by all in the street, would always be the one to collect mail, look after cats, children, and generally care about those in her neighbourhood. In turn, they cared about her, and were always there to look after her.

She was also the thread that held her huge family together, not just her immediate family, but that of her 10 brother's and sisters. She was who everyone could count on, go to in times of need, and she would just sit and be. She wasn't one for too many words, she would cook her hearty food, and dispense hugs and common sense with equal measure.

Anna was thrifty, as were most of her era, she never let go of much, and when she passed a couple of months ago much of her home was as it had been all those years ago. She migrated from Ireland as a child, and her Irish beginnings were never far from her mind. If my crafty sewing gene comes from my gram, the op shopping gene is from Nan. She was always taking us down to her local salvos in Abbotsford when we visited, or, when I was a student, finding hard garbage treasures for my share house from the neighbouring alleys. Her way was not to throw away.

At her 90th birthday.

I hope that I too will be the glue that holds my family together. Instilled in me is her sense of community, of right and wrong, and the notion of repair and rejuvenate rather than throw away.

Sometimes happniness can be a cheese toastie, and a memory wrapped up in a whole lot of love. My Nan's table, the centre of her kitchen and home for over 60 years, now lives in my house, another house of love and comfort for friends and family alike. (I hope).

I love using the ramekins Nan gave me years ago.

I miss these two strong and amazing ladies every day. They live inside my heart and my mind, and impact all that I do, all that I am, and all that I love. Grandparents are a very awesome thing, treasure them while you can. When they are gone there seems to be a huge hole where they once were, but you can fill it up by living a life that does them proud.

by Sharon Newth  linking to