Hidden treasures, everyday joys, and making time

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So I am sitting in my home office/sewing room/ library/drum room and trying to clean it up while I wait for a return phone calls from various people regarding my mother’s health. I find it all quite exhausting, it takes a lot of mental energy and sometimes I feel like I am getting nowhere. So while I wait, I am cleaning up my sewing kit. I was given this as a young girl and still use it today. Unfortunately it is a mess and needs a thorough overhaul. I did find some funny treasures buried at the bottom of the kit.

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This is an old pack of needles from a service station from the 1970’s called Amoco. I love it, it is so sexist, yet handy! Inside it had a delightful letter from some woman who says she is working with Amoco to make it more “woman-friendly”. I think I will need to keep it in the bottom of the kit, just for old time sake.

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Here is another of the politically incorrect things from my sewing kit. It is an old cigar box from Henri Wintermans Holland, that was used to store embroidery thread. Considering no-one in my family really smoked, let alone cigars, it is an odd thing to give to a child to store thread. I have found several things from childhood over the years that have been related to Dutch heritage, I think it was guaranteed that I would marry a Dutchman. It is a lovely hinged boxed with felt label, but inside it was a hideous mess of tangled threads, most of which had to be binned, which made me momentarily sad, then happy when I realised I could go and buy more beautiful thread.

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I finally got round to making a few things this week, and caught up on some reading. I am currently reading this lovely book called “The Little Paris Bookshop” by Nina George. It is so beautifully written and the fact that it covers two favourite subjects for me, books/bookshops and Paris, I can’t recommend it highly enough. Now if I could find more time to read it.You can buy it here: The Little Paris Bookshop. It reminds me of another book I read that was divine called, “The collected works of AJ Fikry” by Gabrielle Zevin, about a bookseller on an island and his salvation through books. You can buy it here: The collected works of AJ Fikry

I also made these lovely embroidered pieces, a necklace and a brooch. I realised how old I am getting though, when after several attempts to thread a needle I had to resort to using a needle threader. I should have got my reading glasses, but the needle threader is very handy, and I have a feeling I will be using it alot more in the future! I really enjoyed making these and think I would like to make a few more. They were easy, fun, and super cute. Little man wants me to keep them and even offered to buy them from me with the money from his piggy bank. He is such a sweet boy, I can’t believe how lucky I am to have him. However, I promised him I would make more but these where going on my website for sale. They will be online in the next week. In the meantime, you can check out some of my other great makes here: innerkitty designs on madeit

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I also got some limes from my neighbour’s tree (technically our tree, it floundered in our sunless backyard so we donated it to our neighbour’s community verge garden) and made some yummy lime curd, and then lime curd tarts. The tarts were for another neighbour who is in hospital with a knee replacement and the jars of curd were given to neighbours and friends. The thing I find hard with creating and making is finding value in it, so I tend to make alot of things and then either keep them for myself and family or just throw them out. This year I am focusing more on generousity and valuing my work, and despite my one free design that was more traumatising than a paying client, I am trying to get my work out there, appreciated and sold. (well not sold yet, but hopefully soon)

So, now that several hours have passed, the sewing box lid can finally close, and the blog is up to date, I feel I will have to start making more phone calls as my mother’s financial advisor has been “in a meeting” for three hours and will probably go to lunch if I don’t chase them! As I said, it is draining chasing people interstate to sort this mess out. I might have follow the immortal words of Pip Lincolne and do something creative this afternoon to soothe my soul. Meet me at Mikes.
You can buy her wonderful book “Craft for the Soul” here: Craft for the Soul

xo d

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Finders keepers market, minion cupcakes and a plan.

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So I still have a sick child at home, the doctor said he can go back to school on Wednesday (tomorrow; insert happy mummy dance here). He had a viral infection so he had to stay home until the rash cleared, just in case it turned into something worse. It didn’t but I have had a child bouncing off the walls for another two days, driving me crazy. The good news is, he is soo bored at home with mum he is desperate to go back to school. That will give me time to get some of the things I need to do done.

I begged the family to let me go to www.thefinderskeepers.com, a great independent craft market on at the carriageworks, so I could see what other people are creating, get inspiration, and generally have a good time. What I didn’t count on was the reluctant husband and child coming too. There is nothing less inspiring than being trailed by a pair of individuals, one with a bored expression, the other whining about wanting to leave. (They took turns at this, just to keep it interesting). I picked up up heaps of ideas, and feel inspired to start making so I can be ready for the next Sydney market, on in December. I might need to add a few crafty friends to my stall, (such as Lucy Penhallow and her sacred tummy tops, and Natasha Dickins fromLittle Red Industries) so I can make it a real fun weekend.

Step one is a bit of planning. I really need to sit down and nut out my ideas, troll through the one million Pinterest tags, and work out what is it I really want to make and sell; start out with a small range and move on from there. I think I may need to do some promotions and designs, for other clients to bring in the money to help fund my plans.

As it was my last sick day with the little man, he decided he wanted to make minion cupcakes. Green’s baking have brought out caramel and banana cupcakes, with edible minion discs for the top. He said they taste great but I think I will stick to a mandarin or two. They were fun to make and broke up the several hours of Rozopoly that we have played today. I am looking forward to the baking fair in a months time, and the quilt and craft fair in mid June, all without my unhappy men there, asking if we can go.

Sick days, Vegemite twists and Rozopoly

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So today was another day in our house with a sick little man. In my efforts to tempt him to eat something I made his favourite cheese and Vegemite twists. I also attempted yet another Pinterest find and made cheese and salami pinwheels, both of which he refused. He did eat his Greek salad last night with lamb kebabs so he won’t starve anytime soon.

Today we also launched the prototype, Rozopoly board; a Rozelle-centric version of monopoly in beta testing I designed for the little man as he is obsessed with the game. It was tricky because I haven’t made the property cards so we kept getting confused by who own what. Also the little man felt there was too many property and road maintenance cards, so I may need to work on that. I got tired of putting it down to accurate life in rozelle. He did delight in buying Rozelle public school, and we fought over who could buy the street we live in, but it was overall good fun and filled in the day. My favourite card is the chance card of “you get into trouble at the Bridge Hotel, go directly to Jail”. Who knows, people may want to buy it, or Hasbro will sue me. I have a feeling though, that in the status obsessed area I live in, people who live in the streets that are cheaper ie: the brown and light blue on the board will be disgruntled. Maybe I should just say every property is $1,000,000 and not include enough money in the game kit to ever afford to buy property, or just put in more “your development applications has been denied, pay $200” cards.

Hopefully the little man is better tomorrow as I finally want to see him play a soccer game. Thanks to the drenching in Sydney, games have been cancelled. And I can be pampered on Sunday.

Sick days, Anzac biscuits and fuzzy bunnies.

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My little man is having his first ever sick day and I think he is enjoying it too much. I keep encouraging naps, (mainly for me) and he keeps wanting to play FIFA 15. I feel bad because I am 99% sure he got it from me so I am letting him have a little fun. I don’t like my chances of getting him back to school tomorrow.

So I had some quiet time yesterday, between taking care of paperwork, trying to shake my cold and mum duties to do some creative things. I felt like making some Anzac biscuits for the little man and have got this amazing recipe from Australian better homes and gardens magazine that has the origial recipe. What makes it for me is the distinct lack of desiccated coconut. I loathe desiccated coconut on anything but a lamington; lamingtons get a pass because they are just so good especially the cream ones. So I rejoiced in my new love of Anzac bikkies and whipped up a batch.

I also saw on Pinterest ages ago, how to make cute knitted bunnies from a knitted square. I had a few knitted squares from BH&G office so I got the fingers busy and whipped up a little ombré family. They turned out ok, but I doubt I would make them again, once is enough. If you want to have a go yourself try here..https://josoandsew.wordpress.com/tutorials/knitted-bunnies/

Anyway, today my little man and I are slugged out on the couch, two poodles snoring beside me, and I am relishing the opportunity to snuggle down with a six year old boy, who not too far in the future won’t want to be hugged and smothered by me anymore.

Go ahead, make my day

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I decided this year I would waste my down time between jobs panicking about not having work and focus on all the amazing things I promised I would do if only I had the time. Things like bake the most amazing cakes, learn to crochet, learn to sew, learn to knit.. all things I should know by now but was so busy on my career and making money, that I forgot to enjoy life. Well here I am, mid 40’s, my career is in the wtf file, and I still have no money. But having a child has taught me to enjoy making mess and creating things that bring smiles not money. And what if I could start making all the things I file on Pinterest, I learnt to use that beautiful sewing machine, and along the way made some pocket money, or at the very least cover expenses.

this blog will follow my day to day struggles as I

a) learn to blog

b) learn to balance my life between business and pleasure

and c) try and find out what the hell it is I am good at! (I have the feeling I have a natural talent somewhere hidden under all the neuroses and insecurities)

There will be failures along with the successes and I will document both as I try and follow my new credo: Go ahead, make my day. I will try and make one thing every day, and document it here. Let’s hope it works out, or this will be very boring!

xoxo D Aka innerkitty