Tag Archives: dr who

All sorts of developments

This week seems to be flying past quite quickly, yet at the same time a lot is happening. I am still off work so have been trying to focus on resting and recharging so that I can return to work on Monday. Of course this would not be possible without the support of my delightful mother. Part of recharging involves remembering to focus on just one thing at a time, especially while the chicks are at school. Would you like to hazard a guess what I chose as my one thing????

As a result a few new bags have been produced, and the cross body bag featured in my recent tutorial has been produced in all sorts of different styles and fabrics.
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I also discovered a lovely piece of burnt orange linen in a pile of fabrics I had been given, which inspired a new style of bag that I am enjoying playing with. Canvas and linen makes such a lovely combination!

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I had a mild panic on Monday, wondering if I am completely mad to think that I can have a stall at the Christmas markets, whether I will have enough stock, etc, etc, etc. Instead of making a rash decision to quit, I decided to lay out all my stock to see what I had. And guess what? I have quite a bit! It also helped to see that the things I am passionate about, and that hang together best as a collection, are my bags. All the other ideas – pencil rolls, pillowcases, t-shirt, etc, are fun, but I don’t have the same passion for them. Which was the first of several lightbulb moments I have had this week. I also addressed my dilemma of stockpiling rather than selling – I will stockpile until the markets then list the remaining stock online for sale. And I will take custom orders in the meantime too. Phew!

This also prompted me to get organised and accept that if I want to take this whole making and selling thing seriously, I need to act seriously. So I now have registered business, and a registered business name!! Oh my! I have also had the next light bulb moment in where I want to take this all next year, so stand by for announcements, developments, etc after Christmas when I will be completing my business plan.

Then, to celebrate all of this in style, I received my copy of the latest issue of *bespoke* magazine which includes a feature on handmade holiday escapes – and features overnight bag, in the lovely fabric by Sally Roydhouse, aka Peppermint Patty from Spoonflower!

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I have also realised that I need to draw a distinction between sewing for sale, and sewing for family and friends.  That way I don’t miss out on the fun stuff like making quilts or clothes, that doesn’t have anything to do with making money!  On that note I am off to make the boy a sun hat with Star Wars fabric as it is his birthday on Saturday.

I hope that your week is going well, and that you are having your own light bulb moments!

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Friday finds – a list of Geeky gifts to make

While I was reading the Gifts for Geeks list of Handmade Holiday gifts posted at Sew Mama Sew I realised that the chicks and I like a lot of geeky things! Which prompted me to pull together the following list of ideas that I have collected for gifts to make for the people in your life who love geeky things! Our geekdom stretches beyond Dr Who, Star Wars, and Lego but I have stuck to our favourites!

Dr Who
Being a woman-of-a-certain-age I remember watching Dr Who in my teens, when it was a BBC production, when Tom Baker was the Doctor and when, having a choice of only 2 television channels at the time (it was North Queensland in the early 80’s) we regularly were in trouble with the nuns for being late for dinner, as Dr Who finished a few minutes after the dinner bell went. Now my eldest chick watches it and it is slick and shiny and has a much bigger budget, but the basics are still there! Time Lords, TARDIS time machines, travelling companions, and the occasional Dalek. Luckily the resurgence of it’s popularity means that there are piles of tutorials on how to make things for fans!

Although I haven’t had any luck finding ‘licensed’ Dr Who fabric, there are quite a few “police box’ designs available through Spoonflower that can be used to make great gifts, like the messenger bag I made!

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Dr Who snow flakes tutorial

Free Printable Doctor Who Stencils

Printable Colouring Pages – Doctor Who

Tardis Garden Shed – Build your own – Gadgetizer
Tardis Garden Shed

DIY Tardis Bag – Quiet Nerdy Thing

How to Paint the inside of a glass ornament – Hey Hey Heather K

DIY Tardis Shoes – PS

Dr Who Sewing Kit – Craftster

Dr Who Free Crochet patterns – Moogly
Doctor Who Crochet Patterns - all free! Grab your hooks and allons-y!

Star Wars

Once again my age is an advantage in understanding Star Wars.  I remember going to the cinema to see the first movie.  We went into the city, and it was very exciting.  When the next two movies came out we were living on an island in the Pacific that didn’t have a cinema with proper movie releases (although there seemed to be an abundance of Kung Fu movies available to watch in a shed near the beach!).  When the next three were released I was busy with babies and didn’t see them.  Despite that I have developed a great knowledge of all the movies as my son is quite taken with them, and all things related to them!

If none of thesetutorials grab your fancy, there is a great range of Star Wars fabric available and you can use it to make bags, hats, skirts, pillowcases, etc!

DIY Star Wars Christmas Ornaments – DIY Geekery

Soft cuddly Chewbacca – Draw Pilgrim

Star Wars Stencils – Grrl

Star Wars stencils

Star Wars Snowflakes – Matters of Grey

Stormtrooper snowflake templates!

Star Wars Egg Ornaments – Instructables

Lightsabers made from pool noodles – Bit Rebels

DIY Star Wars Pillow – Craftiness is not Optional

Star Wars Peg Dolls – Pink and Green Mama

Free Star Wars Crochet Patterns – Moogly

Free Star Wars Crochet Patterns - Roundup on Moogly!

Lego

Lego was an important part of my childhood.  My grandmother would always bring some back from any trips to the Netherlands (there were only a few grandchildren at that stage – now it would break her bank!).  My mother still has all of our Lego and it has been used by all the grandchildren too.  Now my children love Lego.  They have the themed sets – Star Wars, Chima, Harry Potter, City, Ninjago, Pirates of the Carribean, the Hobbit (not ALL of them obviously) but they also have just general bricks and it is rare for them to use the patterns – they build using their imagination.  The tutorials below include ideas to store Lego bricks, ways to use bricks to make things, or making other items that look like Lego bricks.

Lego Earrings – Coupons Are Great

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Lego Key hanger – Felix Grauer

LEGO DIY Key Hanger by Felix Grauer in style fashion home furnishings  Category

DIY Lego Beanbags – One Artsy Mama

Train table to legl table – Over the Big Moon

Lego Ninja hat – We lived happily ever after

DIY Lego Storage Solutions – All Things with Purpose

Lego Cufflinks – Instructables

DIY Lego and art travel boxes – Repeat Crafter Me

DIY Lego magnets and necklace – She’s Called Claire

Lego Tray – That’s My Letter

Lego Spice Rack – Instructables

And finally – not a tutorial – but a lovely way of bringing all three themes together, this great picture from The Dalek Hugger

Stormtroopers and the TARDIS.

I hope that you find something suitable to make for the geeks in your life!

‘Right brain thinking’ preparation

Ah…..the weekend is here! This week seems to have flown by in some respects, and dawdled in others! But on a Friday night, slipping into comfortable clothes, listening to my music without complaints from the children about my singing (heathens that they are) and contemplating which of my collected links I will share with you, I have to say that I do love weekends! Two days of ‘free’ time spreading out before me! Ah the joy!

Before I start on my collection for tonight I thought I would share with you my preparation for the Right Brain business planning course that I am doing tomorrow. (The details are in the link so I am just going to share my thoughts on it here rather than try to explain it!!) I needed to ask some people who I trust for three words that describe me, and three words that describe my ‘business’. So I duly sent off an email to a small selection of my trusted friends and family. (And recognised how lucky I am that the list is so long that I had choices to make!) The answers have been intriguing to read. None have been confronting, but some have provoked thought, which is a great start to creating a plan!

I am also meant to be gathering visual aids to help me visualise what I want to do with my business. Hmmmm….. I keep seeing a lot of white in my minds eye for this one. Not so much ‘nothing’ as a lot of clean and empty surfaces. So I started to chat to friends and colleagues, and slowly over the course of the day I have started to add some colour to the white. I don’t have the actual images yet but by the time I get to the course I think I will have some good ideas to add to my visual aids.

I have started to do the ‘dreaming’ part of visualising… you know – what if I could do anything I want? What would my business look like? That part is fun – imagining colours, people, products, spaces, marketing……

As tomorrow and the start of the course draws nearer I am getting a bit excited. A whole day to dedicate to thinking about me and my business. What luxury! (I have also been practising saying ‘my business’ so that I start to think of it this way instead of just ‘my sewing’!!)

Other things that have spurred on my excitement over the last 24 hours have included one of my bags featuring on the front page of Etsy, and one of my treasuries featuring!  (Oh – and I worked out how to take screen shots!)

Etsy front page

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While writing this I have decided to break with my usual convention, and will add my Friday night finds in a separate post, so that this one can just be my musings at the end of the week and on the brink of a new adventure.

This means that I can share with you that I finished a couple of the bags that I started earlier in the week. I haven’t taken the ‘shop’ photos with great daylight yet (the perils of working in an office during winter – dark in the morning and dark at night!) but if you will forgive the use of flash, here are some images of the Dr Who bag completed!

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I can also share that the chicks are having a ball on their grandparent’s farm. Yesterday they went up to the snow and went tobogganing. They have been fishing, playing in the mud, helping with the animals, and generally having a great time. The middle chick has conceived a plan to build an incubator to hatch some duck eggs from her aunt’s farm. I think I have dissuaded her for now (given that we don’t live on a farm and already have 5 chickens!) but I love her enthusiasm and the fact that she had researched how to do it before calling to ask me. The eldest chick has called a lot, just to check in and say hi. So grown up and so gorgeous. The boy has been very busy and reluctant to stop his activities to talk on the phone, but when he does he asks “How have you been Mum?”. Just delightful from a 6 year old! I do miss them, but know that I need this time.

For those of you who read my post a few weeks ago about questioning my judgement as a parent I can share that the professionals agreed with me that that particular diagnosis didn’t fit my chick. The paediatrician then suggested that we explore another diagnosis and the school and I again completed screening questionnaires. This time round we were both on the same page. So it appears that we are getting closer to have answers about how to support my chick. Any sort of medical diagnosis that will affect your child for the rest of their life is a bit confronting. I, and my ex-husband, are focussing on the fact that we now know what the issue is, and what the treatment/strategy/plan will look like. And hopefully by identifying it so early in a young life we will be able to build strategies to get through life better than a later diagnosis. There are silver linings. And of course, I get to breathe a sigh of relief that I do have decent judgement when it comes to my children!

Have a great weekend! I hope that you get some time to yourself, to focus on you and what you want to plan in your life, whatever it might be!

Playing with colour

It is late at night here in the nest, so I will actually keep this brief (for once!). I had planned to have some finished products to show you today, but a bit of distraction in the form of a movie one night, a lovely dinner out another night, and a phone call with a friend, means that instead I will show you works in progress.

I have started on a bag to feature some of the lovely Dr Who fabric from Spoonflower. This will be the pocket on the back of the bag when it is completed.

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I also have cut out and prepared, ready for stitching, two more bucket bags. These are both made out of fabrics that I love and I have enjoyed playing with colour to find the contrasting pockets. So here they are, with interfacing attached, but no stitching, darts, etc! Hopefully the next photos will show amazing finished products!

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By Sunday I should have a fair bit to report as I am doing a course for right brain creative people on how to plan your small business. I am already toying with ideas, so am looking forward to a day focussed on bringing all my ideas together into a cohesive plan to use when my mind is wandering off with new ideas!

In the meantime I hope that your week is going well, and that you have had some special distractions in your life too.

A week of bags

The theme of this week has definitely been bags.  Followed closely by ticking things of my ‘to do’ list.

First of all I had my first purchase from a ‘stranger’ through my Etsy shop.  A person who I don’t know, and who isn’t known to one of my friends (including my on-line friends to my knowledge) bought one of my bags from my Etsy shop!  I was very excited.  It feels like I have ‘made it’!  Which is quite ridiculous when I consider that I have sold many, many items and filled many, many custom orders since I started my Etsy shop in January.  Still – celebrating achievements is important!

Then I decided that I needed some fresh bags in my Etsy shop.  So I made three bags.  All of them were from patterns I had already developed and used, but each of them was from fabric I have been wanting to use for a while.  I am particularly happy with the Raindrops and Poppy one, but like all three of them.  (Which is good as sometimes I don’t like what I have made at all!)

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Next on my list was posting some links to the many bag tutorials I have collected from different sites over the last year.  With the 30 odd links I posted in my last post I think I have only managed about 1/3 of the links I have collected so far!  I have been wanting to do this for months, so feel good that I finally achieved it.  Next will be links to tutorials for adding different aspects of bags, like pockets, straps, clasps, etc.  Then maybe some more patterns!

Then finally I made a custom order bag today, and included an adjustable strap for the first time.  It was so easy that I am kicking myself for not attempting it sooner!  I am happy with the way that it turned out, and like the finish on it, so will definitely be buying more slides and making more of these straps.

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The rest of the week has passed in a blur of children’s sporting activities, (played in pouring rain for the weekend matches),  managing behaviour issues with one child, and then attending the artist-in-residence’s First Eucharist (First Communion.)

It was a very special ceremony that had the children completely involved.  Our church and school provide white robes for all the children to wear, so there is no great explosion of miniature ballgowns, mock-wedding dresses and veils as there was when I was young.  Instead they all looked lovely and reverent and calm.  This group of 8 year olds read the readings and the prayers, performed a reflection dance, and participated in all aspects of the mass with complete confidence, reverence and joy.  It was so special to witness.  My little person was so calm she didn’t get at all flustered when the priest lost her gluten free host when she went up for her first communion.  After some quick muttering to me about whether I could bring her back in the morning we returned to our seat without her having received it.  She didn’t get upset at all, and stayed happy.  In the meantime the priest recovered his wits, sent for another host, blessed it, and made a special trip down the aisle to her to give it to her.  She felt special and wasn’t at all worried that everyone was watching and wondering what was going on!

In my continuing effort to learn and grow I decided that I could learn a lot from her.  In the face of disappointment she maintained her calm, and her faith that it would be sorted out without too much fuss.  Given that she has more than her fair share of anxious moments, it was impressive and something that her mother could do more of!

Now we roll into another week.  Winter has kicked in with a vengeance, so I will be crocheting beanies, berets and mittens I suspect!  I hope that you have a great week wherever you are.

A productive weekend – and a facebook giveaway!

Winter has arrived early here in Canberra – the dog’ water bowl, and the chicken’s water dispenser were both frozen this morning for the first time this year. Of course this didn’t stop the children running around the yard in short sleeved shirts and pants. Each time they got cold they would each have a complete change of wardrobe, then return to playing, get hot, and have another new outfit. My washing basket is overflowing!

We have had a lovely quiet weekend. Having finally returned to full strength after my head cold, we have restocked the pantry, cleaned out some cupboards, folded the ever present large pile of clean laundry, had some lovely visitors, attended the children’s sporting fixtures, and I have, finally (it feels like) managed to sew!!

I have finished three custom orders this weekend. The first for a lady who breeds and shows Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (and my first truly new customer – we don’t have a previous direct relationship of any sort.) She requested a bag and an ipad cover.

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The second order was for a Dr Who hot water bottle cover. I actually made one last week – but it was about a centimetre (roughly half an inch) too small all round. This week I took a different approach and used polar fleece as the inner lining, as it works so well as insulation. It is still not perfect – but is much better – and has a hot water bottle in it, so I know that it fits! My lesson from all of this? Next time use calico for a mock up before cutting into good Spoonflower fabric!

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The final order was for two art folders. I took a box with my current (quite small) stash of ready made items to my office last week for one of my team to look at as he wanted a bag for his mother. I didn’t want to make too big a deal of it, as I don’t want my team to feel obliged to ooh and aah over what is essentially my hobby, nor to feel obliged to buy anything. But one of the guys saw the art folders and decided that his daughter, who is turning 8 next weekend, would love one as she is a budding artist. Then he decided that his younger daughter needs one to avoid fights, so I made two! I even went back to making the pencil pockets pleated – although it is quite fiddly they really do work better…..

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As I was updating my facebook page tonight I realised that I have hit 100 ‘likes’. So I am having my first giveaway through facebook. If you ‘like’ my page and comment on the relevant post, you will be in the draw to win this art folder.  I need to thank everyone for supporting me in my crafty adventure this year!

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I hope that you had a great weekend!