About Me

Naughty Elf on a Shelf Adventures

I have noticed lately that in some blog circles there is a real Anti-Elf on the Shelf Movement.  I’ve read the arguments and I acknowledge the bloggers opinions.  However for myself I love the little guy.  Elf on a Shelf is a bit of a new thing to Australia thanks to the internet, I haven’t seen them in stores yet and I ordered mine from America.

The reason why I love this little guy is it adds a bit more excitement to Christmas.  Not that I need more excitement…I LOVE Christmas!   I’ve noticed some people like to use the Elf as a “moral/good behaviour” reminder for the children.  I however happen to have a very naughty elf in our house.  I wake up every morning to the kids excitedly dragging me out of bed to show me his latest escapade.  I love the light in my children’s eyes as they tell me to hurry up and come see what he’s done, I love the way one of my children dances and hops from leg to leg as he pulls me through the house.  I love the laughter from my oldest boy who no longer believes in Santa but still pretends just to be kind to his mother.  I love hearing them discuss in the evening what naughty things he could get up to while they are sleeping.

My children can still describe all the naughty things he did last year, I hope that when they are adults they will look back and remember the excitement of these days as a family.

Have a lovely lead up to Christmas…may it be full of joy and excitement!

Underwear decorations while absailing
Underwear decorations while absailing

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About Me

Kitchen Drawer Tidy Up to Mental Health

As I wrote about in my last post I’ve been a bit stressed out lately in fact I’ve come to the point where crochet can’t always help. I’ve been having a few panic attacks and they are getting worse.  Isn’t mental health just wonderful you don’t think about it until  you feel like your falling to bits.  As someone who had a cousin die through depression,  I think I’ve done the the right thing and taken this seriously.  I went and spoke to my family doctor last week (maybe because I thought I was going to have a stroke).  She advised me to speak to my family, have some time off work and see her next week.  So I have spoken to my family and now I am currently having a week of unpaid leave.

Now a week leave sounds like a wonderful thing I can picture sitting on a verandah in a beach house reading a book under my crochet throw as a storm comes in….Well as a mum that didn’t happen (never mind that I don’t have a beach house anyway) .  Kids sometimes get in the way of complete relaxation.  I decided something that may make me feel relaxed would be to have the house a bit more tidy.   Yesterday I cleaned my daughters room…for 6 hours..it looks fantastic and the relaxed feeling I got when I read her a book and tucked her in was worth it.

Today I really didn’t feel like cleaning a kids room, so I tidied mine and now it has a bit of a resort feel ( My room is always the last to be cleaned because there is always kids mess to clean up and there is usually a husband sleeping after a night shift in there).  I baked some brownies with strawberries worked on my sour dough bread starter.

I tipped everything on my CLEAN floor and started from scratch I had a good look at everything, tossed half of the items out. It also kinda feels nice to tip everything out into one big pile. I went out and bought brand new tea towels as mine are disgusting…does anyone else have children who think tea towels are for cleaning up mess on the floor?  My kids will be getting a tea towel lesson today!

Its certainly not perfect I’m sure a really organised person would question why I have kept 5 cake spatulas but hey its better than what I stared with.

It’s so nice to open up a drawer that has been such a mess for a year or so and see some sort of order.  That order might only last for a week but for today its enough to bring some peace.

Tipped on the floor
Tipped on the floor
My tidy drawers
My tidy drawers
About Me, sewing

Crochet Therapy

It has been absolutely ages since I have posted anything. I have still been creating but I’ve been super busy getting a new career on track (it’s still not on track) and the simplest of things I had forgotten my password to log into word press. Silly me!

Last time I posted I was still working on some quilt squares and fantasising about making a quality quilt.  Guess what?  I gave up. Those squares I was cutting have not really grown in size at all and the thought of putting them together is not exciting as it once was.

For the last year my dad has been quite ill with heart complications he’s had 2 surgeries this year and needs a heart transplant which may never happen.  I’m a bit of an  emotional stress head.  I’m also an emotional eater ( I know I’m not alone and there are heaps of people out there in the same situation).  Knowing that I was going to start eating buckets of ice-cream I decided that I’m  a crafty girl, I should occupy my self with something other than food.  I love the men who quit smoking by starting knitting!

So in an attempt to keep calm I’ve taught myself to crochet.  I love it and yes I now have another addiction ( I really should never go to the casino I would definitely get hooked).

My Nana taught me how to knit, sew, hand sew and cook, however she could never teach me to crochet.  I remember her trying to teach me and I was just wrapping wool over and over all over the place.  My poor sweet Nan who was so good at passing down generations of knowledge to her grandkids had to just shake her head and give up on this one.  So believe me when i decided I was going to crochet i really didn’t think I would ever to be able to.

In the last few months I have completely surprised myself and made some beautiful items. I wouldn’t say I’m a master and I still sit on the sofa flicking backwards and forwards in my big crochet book, but I’m definitely getting there.

Handmade crochet quilts that I have made in the last few months.
Handmade crochet quilts that I have made in the last few months.

Its been really nice to have something to do with my hands (instead of eating) and to count stitches instead of worrying my dads health or how my teaching is going.  I feel really proud of myself knowing that I can teach myself this skill and when I feel completely deflated about things knowing that I can teach myself something like this is quite inspiring.

I would highly recommend to anyone else who is going through a tough time to learn crochet or a new skill that you need to learn from scratch you might find it really uplifting.

Crochet the complete step by step guide. Hands down the best crochet  beginners book ever!
Crochet the complete step by step guide. Hands down the best crochet beginners book ever!
sewing, Tutorials

Whistle Up Cycle

Upcycled Teacher Whistle

OK so now I’m going to go back to teaching, its time to get serious about my teacher bag.  What does every teacher need?  A whistle!   I love taking the kids out to the oval and play some games a whistle is going to make my life much easier.

I’ve gone through my old teacher gear, there is boxes and boxes sitting in my dusty shed.  I found my whistle.  Gave it a little wash but I’m not too sure about the string it hangs off its a bit boring for the creative me.  So time for an Up-Cycle.

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I’ve cut off the string and added my own lovely bright yellow chevron. I’ve used the same hardware from the original string and cut a 6cm strip of fabric from my stash.  Therefore my project has now cost me $0 and I have a cute whistle.  Hopefully it will show that I am a creative fun person.  I know its only a whistle but I guess every little bit helps when trying to get your foot in the door.

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About Me

Well Hello Again

http://bitsycreations.blogspot.com.au/2011/12/free-teacher-appreciate-printables.htmlThe quote above is from  Bitsy Creations please use this link to get your own free printable

Its been a bit quite while since my last post at Button Tin Life. The reason is because I have been spending the last few months re registering as a primary school teacher…after 10 years of raising my children. Its such a scary thought and with the enormous over supply of teachers in Western Australia I’m not really sure how good my job prospects are.

I love children and I love teaching children, this however something I didn’t really think I would ever go back to again after experiencing work place bullying…I figured my children are my priority and I could just do retail which has no stress. I am no longer someone who can be bullied in the workplace. Ive grown into a much stronger person maybe from being a mum or maybe just from working in my retail position working with sometimes rude customers and having such supportive coworkers around me.

Knowing that I am a much stronger person I have been able to reflect on the fact that I loved my students, I loved working with them, I loved seeing them learn, I loved their stories, I loved being a teacher who would strive for the best in each child. I loved knowing that I was a fantastic teacher who put in lon
After not really keeping up with current teaching practice other than helping out every now and then in my children’s classes this has been a huge step for me. I’m hoping to get enough relief work so that I can build my resume, Ive been doing as many workshops and professional development courses to get my skills up. Hopefully within the next year or so I will be able to find myself a permanent position so I can have a class of my own and be back on the track of inspiring some young children.

sewing

Quliting Madness Takes Over

I’ve been cutting squares for nearly a week now for my fist ever scrap quilt (To be precise its my first ever quilt.). I think I will need about 800 squares and I only have 200. I have to admit I haven’t really enjoyed all the cutting. Even though I haven’t enjoyed myself so far with the cutting I have however enjoyed the day dreaming.

I’ve been picturing the quilt finished, I’ve pictured the next quilt I’m going to make and the next… Its kinda strange that I actually feel like a quilter without even being close to finishing my first ever quilt. Is this how all addictions start? I went our and used my Spotlight 40% off voucher and splurged on a pretty little book called Sunday Morning Quilts written by Jean Nyberg and Cheryl Arkison.

I took the book to Gymnastics last night and read it, no I actually devoured it as my children practiced their cartweels, splits and strengthened their core muscles. This book was so pretty, its got me thinking of new ways of storing scraps who knew I would need to sort out my fabrics more than stash and scraps. I will now be thinking about colour, size and shapes. Instead of bagging up those precious scraps to give to the school (I’ve already sent the kids with 4 shopping bags full) I’m going to use it all up. Oh this book is so delightfully thrifty and practical it was right up my ally.

I had been saving these scraps but not knowing how to use them now I have some guidance and a vision. Oh dear, I will be dreaming of coloured scrap piles tonight. I’m so tempted to go out right now and buy a heap of Amy Butler fabric to make a bedspread….no I must resist…use what I have and I bet something special will eventuate.

Lots of Love from a Crazy Beginner Quilter
Kylie

Sunday Moring Quilts Review by Button tin Life

sewing

Quilting is hard work

I’ve been at it for a week now. Cutting little 4″ squares to make a giant quilt. Its soooo hard.

Why on earth did I challenge myself to use all my scraps? Why is it so hard?

I have definitely got a new appreciation for all those quilters out there. I’ve been cutting every day now and I’m hardly getting anywhere and I’ve only gotten half way through one box of scraps. Ive still got 2 and a half to go.

I guess the up side will be that I will really love my quilt once its finished.

oxox

My tiny pile of scrap squares.
My tiny pile of scrap squares.
sewing, Tutorials, Uncategorized

Fully Lined Coin Purse Tutorial

Fully Lined Coin Purse Tutorial
Last week I mentioned I need to use more of my scraps. I’ve been doing my best cutting 4 inch squares for a quilt but It is kinda driving me a bit crazy so here is another little scrap fabric idea.

I love making my little coin purses and I have heaps of them in the house. They are just perfect for carrying all those loyalty cards that we all get these days. I love to use them on a night out as well, to keep a credit card and some cash on me when I need to downsize and use a small clutch with a pretty dress.

These purses are super easy to make once you get the hang of it. If you’ve never worked with zips before they are a great way to practice. You’ll only be using a small scrap of fabric if you mess up, rather than a few meters of fabric on a dress or skirt. These coin purses make great little gifts. By changing the size of the zip you can make pencil cases or even evening clutches. If your interested down the track I would be more than happy to share some great beginner styles with you.
Coin Purse Tutorial
So lets get started
You will need
2 coordinating fabrics (I’ve used 2 from my scrap pile)
Zip (I’ve used a 6″ 15cm zip)
scissors or a rotary cutting tools
Sewing machine zipper foot

Too easy!
Cut out 2 x fabric rectangles
cut 2x lining rectangles the exact same size.
I’ve cut my fabric 7″ x 4.5″
I like to line up the fabric with the zip to picture what measurements I will use, remembering there will be a 1.5cm seam allowance

***I always open the zip half way at the start , it saves me from forgetting to do it later (big mistake, if you forget)***
Coin Purse Tutorial

Working out how to sew the fabric rectangles was the trickiest part for me when I was beginning.
Lay the fabric out directly under the under the zip on a flat surface. Touch the top of the fabric to the zip edge, keep these 2 edges together and now flip the fabric over so the right side of the fabric is laying on top of the zip. Still keeping those 2 edges together this is where we are going to sew using the zipper presser foot. I now do this after making many mistakes of sewing the fabric upside down a purse with upside down owls or dead looking turtles is not as cute.

Zip presser feet can usually be put on either the left or the right side, choose accordingly and sew. I like to use the zip under the fabric as the guide of where to sew. Keeping the zip on the left hand side (in this instance) of the zipper foot and just using touch to know where to guide the fabric.

Once you have sewn one piece sew the other piece using the same technique as before. The right side (picture /owl side) needs to be touching the zip. In the picture I haven’t lined it up to the end just to show you what all the pieces will look like. Make sure you line it all up to the end of the zip.
Coin Purse Tutorial

OK so when you get to the lining we are going to do the same as before but make sure you fold the piece you have already sewn under so you don’t sew through it. Again in the picture I haven’t lined it up to the end just to show you what all the pieces will look like. Make sure you line it all up to the end of the zip.
Coin Purse Tutorial

Once all four pieces are attached open it all up so that the owl fabric has its right sides facing together and the lining fabric has right sides facing.

Now pin the selvages down over the lining side where the zip joins. Check to make sure you have pined the zip so that they will be lined up when sewn. Trim the fabric to make sure it all lines up.
Coin Purse Tutorial

***Make sure your zip is at least halfway unzipped or fully unzipped.****

Sew around the whole rectangle starting at base of the lining. Leave a few centimeters /inches gap open in the bottom of the lining. Clip some triangles from the corners, you can also clip the corners where the zip joins to take a bit of bulk out.
Coin Purse Tutorial
Turn the Purse in the right way.

Pin and sew the opening
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Press and your done. Start making heaps for everyone you know.
Coin Purse TutorialCoin Purse Tutorial

sewing

Scrap Challenge

Scrap Challenge
Are you like me with piles and piles of scrap fabrics? I just can’t throw them out. I’ve got three huge tubs filled to the brim of small scraps of fabrics. I’ve even got those little scraps that are really just savages and are mostly unusable. I rarely use my scraps for sewing, I do however sometimes make a few hair ties, clips or bows with them. To be honest though I really don’t use them enough for the amount of scraps that I keep adding to the pile. Soon I will have to build and attic just for scraps.

Well its time to get my life under control, its time to start being creative, its time to get thrifty and its time to be realistic.

Today I have tipped one tub out onto the rug and sorted the scraps into colour piles. Anything to small to sew has gone into a separate pile and these will be donated to the primary school for arts and crafts.

Scrap Challenge

My first project will be to iron these newly sorted piles and cut them up to make a scrap quilt. I am not a quilter I have only ever made one simple baby one and it certainly was not perfect. I do however love the idea of making a true scrap quilt. Other than the backing and the batting I will not be purchasing any other fabrics. Hopefully this will make a dent in the pile.

Seeing that I am not an experienced quilter I want it to me really simple and I think it would be nice to not have to join up the corners of each square. So I will have to pop off to Pinterest for some inspiration. If you have made something like or know of a good beginner project please feel free to share.

While going through my box of scraps I’ve rediscovered some amazing prints. I will definitely have to find some other scrap projects.

Please join in an leave a link in the comments to any of your scrap projects. I would also be interested in seeing how others store and organize these scraps. I think storage is going to be a huge problem.

oxox kylie

Uncategorized

Re-opening my store

I’ve been thinking that its time now the kids are in school to to have another crack and making some money from sewing. It’s hard work and sometimes I feel like its very hard to make money from handmade. Hopefully I can get it rolling again. It really is my passion and one day I hope to be able to sew all day every day.

There is nothing in my store yet. I need to start photographing and listing products eeeew computer work is the hard part.

Dont stress I wont be trying to sell you all heaps of stuff ( well maybe a little bit). I just wanted to share what is going on in my life.
oxox kylie
chickadoolane