Last year I decided to learn to knit. My mother in-law taught me how to do a basic knit stitch (there were a few very humorous attempts at this before I got the hang of it!) and then my mum showed me how to follow a simple pattern. Last winter I mastered the "art" of knitting scarves and simple booties. I did not become a great knitter, but really enjoyed the repetitive nature of it, and found knitting in the evening very therapeutic (much like hand sewing.)

After much practice, I can now do a slip knot, cast on, knit, and cast off ALL BY MYSELF. Impressive, right?

My mothers got me going (thanks, ladies!), but there are still too many skills that I have been lacking to knit some if the things I'd like. So this year I intended to learn a few more skills, in particular:

Knitting purl (and therefore, being able to do a whole bunch of new stitches!)
Adding in different colours/new wool

For an experienced knitter, I'm sure these sound very easy, but for a novice they are quite daunting, but I am determined!

So I thought I’d share with you my secret weapon for "Operation Learn how to Knit "- a knitting book for kids! This book is unreal (and pretty darn retro!) Picked up for 10c at a local church fete last year, I hoped my kids would enjoy this book one day. Little did I know what an invaluable tool it would be for me. With very simple instructions and patterns, this is a great place for someone like me to start.

I have recently perfected (that word might be too strong!!?) my "purl stitch" (thanks you tube!) and am now working on my first knitting project for the year: a bright orange oven mitt! While I have no great hopes for how this will turn out, I'll keep you posted on how it's going. I promise I'll share my disasters as well as triumphs!

So far so good!(ish)



Easy party decorating

You may recall from a previous post that this year I resolved to decorate my surroundings all year round, not just at Christmas time. Why? It makes me smile!

I thought I'd make some party decorations that are a little more environmentally friendly then the disposable streamers and balloons that usually get used once and then and chucked. My hope is that we can use these for parties and lend them out to friends. I have already made a few pretty bunting strings in the past, but realised they are all a bit too pretty and girly for Coleman Jnr. So here is my environmentally friendly, gender friendly, party friendly birthday flags. What’s more, they were super easy to make. And they're cute.

Using felt, I cut the letter shapes I wanted and then hand stitched them each to different rectangles of material folded in half. I could have used Mr. Janome for this, but I find hand sewing very therapeutic at times.

These folded rectangles became my flags. I sewed a straight stitch a few centremeters from the top of each flag, and then threaded some brown twine through the small space at the top, and that was it!!

materials used: Coloured felt, blue and white polka dot material from the op shop, old piece of brown twine.

Very easy, have a go yourself!!

I wonder what other party decorations I could make? Any ideas!!?



The Artist

Mr Coleman and I celebrated our 8th Wedding Anniversary a few days ago. Life has been getting pretty full on recently, so it nearly passed us by without much of a thought. But I think it's important amongst the craziness to stop what you're doing and take a bit of time out for yourself, so we managed to pop off to the movies once the kids were asleep. (thanks Uncle John for babysitting!)

We ventured off to the lovely art deco Sun Theatre in Yarraville, which is pretty local for us and one of my favourite places to see films. If you're in the Melbourne area and have not yet been there, treat yourself. You can check out their website here. We hadn't checked what was showing online, but luckily for me a film I'd been hoping to see was on, woohoo! "The Artist" has intrigued me since first hearing about it a month or so ago: a black and white silent film set in the 20's, made in the now, nominated for heaps of awards and getting the big yes from everybody!
I absolutely loved it. The main actor (Jean Dujardin) was just so old school, I felt like I was watching Gene Kelly. I never once found myself thinking "oh come on, turn the sound up, i want to hear what he's saying, damn it!" The music was incredible. It told the story so well. The few times sound was used it was so powerful it took my breath away!

Everything about "The Artist" was charmimg: the characters, the music, the style. If you're like me and enjoy a bit of vintage and a bit of music, i think you might like it too!

Seen any good films recently?

Mezz xo


Good Music for Crafting....

I thought I'd share with you some of my favourite albums/songs/artists/styles to listen to while spotting a bit of craft. Some of these have been on repeat in our house over the summer!!

Gospel music for a bit of crochet. My lovely sister in law Ash came round last Friday while both our little Jnrs were off at school. We had lots of cups of tea and Ash taught me how to crochet granny squares. She is a wonderfully crafty lady, with a particular knack for yarn and I had a lovely day listening to the Blind Alabama Boys and Mahalia Jackson while Ash gave me a Crochet 101 lesson. Nice.
Kate Bush. Our 5 nearly 6 year old little man is a very quirky character. He has many interests typical for a boy his age such as trains, space and dinosaurs... he also loves sewing his own soft toys (yes, true!!) and listening to Kate Bush on repeat ALL. THE. TIME. So when we are making and sewing with Coleman Jnr, the incredible Kate Bush always provides the soundtrack.
Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald duets for oh my goodness hubby is at work, one kid is at school, the other is asleep I have the house to myself this is amazing I’m going to sew moments. This happens rarely, so you really need to treat yourself to an awesome accompaniment. Louis Armstrong’s charming vocals on "The Nearness of you" will make you want to sew something bright and cheerful that will put a smile on anyone's face. Perhaps a string of party bunting? A soft toy? An apron?
To Survive (Joan as Policewoman.) This is such an amazing album. Not only is this incredibly talented woman Jeff Buckley's ex (so she must be cool, right!?) she is a super dooper songwriter and singer. If you want unique, here it is. I like to listen to this album when I'm sewing at the machine, perhaps something useful like clothes, lunch bags and wraps or storage solutions. I don't know why.
Abby Road (The Beatles) This is what you want when you are at the beginning of a new project. You know, when you are still excited about it, before you've majorly stuffed anything up and feel like screaming. I like a bit of Abby Road while I’m sitting on the floor and measuring, cutting and pinning. The optimism of George Harrison’s “Here Comes the Sun" makes me believe at least for a while that whatever it is I'm working on is going to be great!

I hope this list provides you with a bit of inspiration to combine your crafting with some musical appreciation.

What do you like to listen to when you get your craft on!!?



Say G'day

A few folk have mentioned to me that leaving comments on my blog is quite hard for non members. Well I'm definatly not into exclusivity, but I am however a bit of a technophobe. So it took me a while to venture deep into the belly of the beast (ie fiddle with the settings!) but I think I've done it. Let me know if you find it any easier!!

Love Mezz

Chickpea Burgers

Sorry folks, I promised to post this Chickpea Burger recipe a while back, then totally forgot! This recipe made a large amount of patties. You could halve the recipe and still probably get quite a few. I know some of you think you need a big piece of meat in your burger, but these are so tasty and filling, I promise you won't be dissapointed!

Here it is, Chickpea Burgers!



Try making a burger with some nice turkish bread, chickpea patties, chutney, yogurt, and whatever else you might like! (lettuce, tomato, cheese and cucumber all go down well!)


New cushion

I just finished reading Whitney Otto's novel "How to Make an American Quilt." I'm no quilter, but felt really inspired by the story. Like the women in the book, I decided to make something out of all the little bits of old scrap material I had lying around, as women from all over the world have been doing for such a long time. (Amazing how recycling and being thrifty is a pretty cool thing to do these days, but people have been doing it forever!)

So with Coleman Jnr at his first day of school, and Little Miss Coleman sound alseep, I've had a few hours to myself (woohoo!) and used that time to whip up my new cushion cover, made from some of my fabric leftovers.

Some of the material used include: An old skirt, an old dress, a few old shirts, aprons, and a few old pillowcases.

What crafting have you been up to recently? I'd love to know!