insidious productivity guilt

Library book: Rhett Davis – Hovering. Selected entirely because of that gorgeous cover.

I appear to have lost my comfort with lazing about. Must do more of it. And re-remind myself that I don’t need to be doing or making things all the time.

First day of daylight savings (always a difficult adjustment) and the hottest 01 October on record. I napped. And thus missed putting the bins out. Universe, this does not encourage me toward napping. Fortunately the bin is half full** so it can wait another week.

** ha! optimist!

being more penelope

Yesterday was an in-office day, and at lunch I ducked out to the AGNSW** Members Lounge for a solo cup of tea and cake.

It felt completely indulgent, incredibly peaceful and I will absolutely be repeating this.

I am really not a tea-and-cake kind of person, but I am keen to disrupt the routine and push myself a just little.

** Art Gallery of NSW

future crafting: scrappy needlepoint

I watch a ton of crafty youtube** and have really been inspired by scrappy projects made from leftover yarn from completed projects. These usually come in the form of blankets or jumpers/cardigans^^ but those are not for me. Honestly, I don’t think I will have enough scraps in my lifetime for a blanket!

Inspiration sparked after watching the Curious Crafters: first stitch it or ditch it? episode. One of the projects mentioned was a needlepoint from Unwind Studio. I was intrigued and went digging around their site and came across the Couto Needlepoint Kit. It’s delightful but I didn’t think the pastels were quite my vibe.

And then I thought: why not see if I can grab some needlepoint fabric and use my yarn scraps to make the blocks?

Something with a bit of the vibe of Johannes Itten’s Horizontal-Vertikal.

Johannes Itten: Horizontal-Vertikal, 1915 – Bern Kunstmuseum

So I grabbed a piece of needlepoint fabric from The Sewing Basket – which I think cost around $2-3 – and my very small collection of recent leftovers. And am ready to start when the mood strikes!

** so, so, so, so much crafty youtube
^^ this episode has some wonderful heart-jumping examples

future crafting: bahnhof sashiko

Back in June when we were in Basel, Don and I were waiting for Joan at the Bahnhof waiting for Joan to arrive ahead of travelling to Spiez together.

I looked up – and was dazzled and inspired by the repetition of shapes the window panes.

And I thought … this would make a really cool sashiko pattern. And it has been bouncing around in my head since.

Very preliminary, very sketchy, feasibility sketch, taped up next to my desk

I still need to enlarge and tidy the sketch, acquire fabric and work out a transfer method.

The idea is to take along on our Summer/Winter vacation as my holiday stitching project.

recent crafting: portfolio box

My second class at the Bookbinders Guild this year was Portfolio Box.

While everyone else in the class chose elegant, sophisticated palettes – I (of course) took the wild colours route – immediately gravitating toward the vivid lime bookcloth. They all think I’m bonkers, which I totally own.

Base boards all cut. I’m a big fan of debossed shapes on my books and boxes, hence the holes.

Outside of the box complete – everything very carefully laid out and glued! We made a shim with board and bookcloth to ensure the spacing between the boards was correct and the box would fold without issues.

I had a really difficult time deciding on the accent paper and looked off and on around the bindery for a couple of hours. I eventually found the perfect small marbled sheet hiding in a drawer.

All folded and finished!

I’m still deciding whether to fill those circles with the accent paper. They’re not glued in and I’m sitting with it for a while.

I always enjoy creating alongside others! I’ve no other binding classes planned this year, but I will jump on whatever comes up.

I’m currently making some books for gifts – but I’m definitely rusty. I really do wish past me had taken better notes – but thankfully there are a surprising number of bookbinding youtubers with excellent and helpful content.

recent crafting: minimal lace scarf

I’m not sure where I first came across the minimal lace scarf pattern – likely it was bouncing around links from something on originating Pinterest. I adored that undulating wave shape and couldn’t get it out of my head – also appealing was that the called for Rowan Kidsilk Haze was actually available to me!

The pattern included the line “I purled all the wrong side rows in the sample, which resulted in a lot of stockinette with a tendency to curl – so I recommend knitting the WS rows”.

Wait. What? That advice would make for a somewhat different looking scarf.

I started four times before I was happy to continue. This yarn is quite unforgiving and as I posted previously quite difficult to unravel. My first attempt took the “knit in garter stitch” advice and I absolutely hated the look. The first two attempts were knitted with my favourite bamboo needles, but that made for a quite terrible experience, so I used the Aluminium needles I scored at The Sewing Basket which were much superior for this.

Eventually, with persistence, I got beyond the first 15cm! It took me a while to read my knitting but fortunately once you’re in the zone, the pattern can absorb small errors.

Oh my yes – a definite tendency to curl!

Complete! Pre-blocking.

Fairly aggressive blocking – which it very much benefitted from. I really adore that wavy line.

Action Shot!

Reflecting on it, the shape really brings to mind one of the buildings on the Novartis Campus in Basel.

(As an aside: if you happen to be in Basel, the campus is now open to the public and has some amazing architecture for wandering amongst and gazing admiringly at)

I am very keen to make a wider wrap (suggested in the pattern) with slightly offset multiple ripples, but I’m planning to kick off some other projects before drowning myself in yet more knitting!

(kind of) recent crafting: resin!

As part of my ongoing obsession with tiny houses, I bought a silicon mould of a tiny house on etsy earlier in the year (which doesn’t seem to be available any longer) with the idea that I might use it for concrete.

Some time later, I discovered that Kmart (unexpected home of interesting craft supplies) had resin kits! There was nothing for it but to make a tiny resin house.

Supplies. In addition to the kit, I bought sparkles and dyes. I also bought a coaster mould so I could use-up any leftover resin.

Safety first!

The dyes were opaque, but I (wishfully) expected to be able to get a marbling effect with different colours. This worked initially (as with the image on the left), but then they all melded together into solid purple(ish). So I stuffed it full of sparkles.


Well, sort of fin – a couple of the edges are a quite sharp and need to be sanded and buffed.

I love the sparkly house (though the sparkles settled oddly), but am less of a fan of the coaster (Don very much likes it) – both were definitely worth the experiment!

I have another kit, so will apply my learnings to a second house!