Life in Lists

Auckland city auckland harbour bridge

auckland lantern festival

chinese new year

auckland chinese lantern festival

buckwheat

1. This week it was the Chinese Lantern Festival in Auckland. Or should I say is? The last night is tonight but we went on Thursday. Being an Aucklander for almost four years now I can’t believe I had never gone before! The lanterns were very pretty and it was cool to see the Chinese New Year being celebrated. There are heaps of lanterns that depicted old Chinese fables and things which were interesting.

2. Sometimes living in the CBD makes me forget about nature and greenery and areas not covered in tall buildings. Or that I can find that without driving for an hour! This week I made an effort to go for walks to places that aren’t busy streets. The photo above was taken on a Friday night stroll I took with Luther down to the waterfront and we watched a cruise ship go out. It is so nice to get out after being cooped up in the office all week.

3. I was a fan of Serial and have been looking for  a new podcast ever since that ended. I stumbled across the Accidental Creative Podcast.  Not only is it sound advice for those in or wanting a creative career, it is also just really nice to listen to.

4. I bought some buckwheat on a whim. I had no idea how to cook it or what to do with it. I’ve done a little experimentation and so far I am at 1 success v 1 failure. You can read more about that here.

5. I’m not a big cricket fan but I am a sports watcher. I wholeheartedly support my team and it was no different yesterday. It was the Black Caps v Australia so we had it on and at first I wasn’t paying too much attention ’cause Cricket is normally boring, right? It was crazy tense!!! But our boys came through and Brendon McCullum is a trooper. Imagine getting hit by a ball going 150km/hr. He kept playing!

That was my week. How was yours?

xo Isabel

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Star Wars Gathered Skirt

Over the past couple of weeks I made a Star Wars skirt. I am a fan of the movies and when I saw the fabric at Spotlight I just couldn’t go past it! This skirt has been made following Gertie’s Pattern. I did make it a little shorter because I’m only 5’3” and a little wider because I like lots of gathers.

gathered skirt high waisted skirt star wars fabric

gathered skirt high waisted skirt star wars fabric

I put off making this for a month! Sometimes my sewing machine intimidates me. It is a heavy thing from the 60’s which is a pain when sewing in a shared space. And cutting pieces out is so final. I sit on projects for so long that I can’t go back and get the same fabric. On Thursday I just felt like I had to start. I wouldn’t let myself put it off anymore.

I created a little kit to go with my sewing machine. With everything in the one case I could just pull it out and sew – no digging through my various craft boxes.

I kept in there:
pinking shears (cause I’m lazy and don’t want to zigzag all my edges)
quick unpick (otherwise known as a seamripper)
2 extra machine needles
pincushion and pins
the fabric pieces
matching thread
the zip
tape measure
and my machine manual of course.

star wars skirt star wars clothes

I had a lot of fabric to gather into the waist so I did a very long running stitch and gathered it along the thread. This made pinning the gathers into the waistband so much easier!

The most difficult thing to do was inserting the zip because I made it more difficult for myself than it needed to be. I watched a whole lot of videos about it on youtube and we eventually got there…

I am so ready to wear this for Episode 7: The Force Awakens.

xo Isabel

P.S just looked up the release date and it is soooooo far far away!!

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Life in Lists

quote years are short

purple flowers

vintage plates vintage crockery retro flowers

image

1. This week has been long and short at the same time. It does not feel like a week has gone past. I swear my alarm comes too soon. And bed time comes so late – there are so many things to do! We had a busy weekend. Parties and helping people move and board games with friends. Munchkin is great by the way. I would definitely recommend it.

2. We went without a vacuum cleaner for three weeks. Ours broke and for various reasons it was a little while before we had a new one. For starters, it was a bit gross. After finally cleaning the carpet the apartment felt transformed. It got me thinking of the little things that make me feel re-energised and a little more on top of things. Like having a clean apartment and having flowers/plants inside and pretty crockery and getting out into the sunlight and a good cup of tea and a full bookshelf and a well spent Sunday evening.

3. I’ve taken a little oath with myself. Thou shalt wear the many lipsticks one has decided to own. Or something similar spoken in a deep voice. I reached for my daily makeup bag and it was about the same size as the makeup bag of just lipsticks! This week I wore four of them and got over my fear of bright lipsticks… just a little bit. So three lipsticks a week, until I want to wear them all regularly. I have yet to wear a red to work. That will be the day that I know I am one of those people that wears lipstick and not a shambles masquerading as one of those people.

4. I went to a first birthday party this weekend and it was adorable!!! There are so many babies in my family now (oh my goodness there is 6!!) that I really need to get onto the baby crafts. I’m thinking baby quilts. What other crafts for babies (or mothers of babies) would you recommend?

5. Judging by the weather in Auckland I will probably be singing this song this week. Cause Sunday/Monday/Tuesday… morning rain is falling.

xo Isabel

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Mini Terrarium Embroidery #2

My fascination with cacti and plants continues. The weather here has started to turn grey and I like the little sections of (mental) sunshine I get by stitching these.

quick embroidery project pattern

This one takes about 30 minutes

  • The fabric is a cream calico with a medium stiffness interfacing.
  • The light green of the cactus is split stitch with very short singular running stitch in the centre.
  • The darker cactus is done with 1 thread (all others are 2) in split stitch and the a few long stitches through the centre.
  • Everything else is split stitch.

 

Pattern coming soon!! Click here to download the pattern.

 

xo Isabel

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Mini Terrarium Embroidery

cactus embroidery jar embroidery fern embroidery

I have this fascination with cacti and terrariums at the moment. I think they are a nice way to get a little garden inside and are generally pleasing to look at. Maybe I am just struggling with the lack of greenery in my inner city apartment.

Instead of getting some plants (like any rational person) I have embroidered some! I’m hoping to fill up this fabric with heaps of little plants and things that grow. It will hopefully delay a shopping spree at the local garden center.

This is a super quick and super cute little embroidery. It took me an hour while watching tv. So about 30-40 minutes of focus.

  • The fabric is a cream calico with a medium stiffness interfacing.
  • The green of the cactus is chain stitched around, and then rows of chain stitch vertically to fill up the space.
  • The yellow cactus flower is just satin stitch.
  • Everything else is split stitch.

 

Pattern coming soon!! Click here to download the pattern.

 

xo Isabel

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