Thursday, September 3, 2015

Ginger Ninja


Our beautiful Ginger Ninja Sheldon outside enjoying the sunshine in the huge cat run. It's funny, in Queensland we had trouble getting him outside (we would take him outside with a harness) because he would be so skittish. But here, he spends so much of his time outside in the cat run :)

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

And what a year it has been!

Wow. The last time I blogged was almost a year ago! And what a year it has been!!!

In January 2015 we uprooted all six of us and hoofed it to the other side of the country. Literally. 3500 odd kilometers away from where we were.

Where once we were in sunny old Queensland we are now in the oh so beautiful town of Kirup in the south western corner of Western Australia.

A massive change! I could go on all night about all the sights around here but we haven't even seen a tenth of them yet ourselves!

So instead I've rejigged the blog. And I'm gonna apply a new technique. The internet here is pretty scarce so I am going to have to make all my posts on my phone or iPad. So I'm gonna try to make at least one post a week but I'm gonna make it mostly picture posts. I want to share with you what a beautiful place we live in, what sights we see, and what we get up to.

They won't necessarily be craft related seeing as I don't have a lot of my crafts accessible at the moment but I'm still crafting so there will be some of those too!

In the mean time I leave you with a photo I took today of the Squiggles! He's grown SO much! And even he too adores it here. :)




Friday, October 31, 2014

Ooher! Some new Changes!

Wow.  It's been a big busy few months!!!

That gorgeous baby of ours is almost 6 months old!  (Pics to follow in another post later!)

There might be some HUGE changes on the horizon but I'll have to get back to you later on that! 

But there's one HUGE change I CAN tell you about now!  Actually it's probably 2 changes really?  

For those of you who are fast, you might have noticed that I have changed about the layout of the sidebars a bit.  Mostly because I had to widen the bar.  Why did I have to widen the bar?  Why for my Etsy store Widget! Right there on the *haha* Right! 

Yes.  That's right.  I created an Etsy store.  After months and months and months of being to make things to sell, I finally did.  A few months ago I opened a Facebook page titled, obviously The Norti Corner.  I ordered Zips, and Labels, to build supplies to work with and a friend of ours ever so awesomely created me a business card:

Get it? It's always a 'Red' chair in the 'naughty corner' at school.  :) 

It then became a task of making things TO sell.  So I started cutting and cutting, and sewing and sewing.  Until I had a whole container of beauties.  I figured that whilst I don't have a lot of variety I still had enough products to upload to start selling. 

This became a HUGE job because at the last second I decided that it was better to open an Etsy store than just sell them from my Facebook page.  It just makes more sense.  Paypal is all linked, it's so simple to keep track of.  So fast forward 3 days and I have Finally got all the photos edited, and uploaded, and listing descriptions, etc all done.  

And finally, tonight I opened my own Etsy Store!! I'm so excited.  Within 1 hour I already had an "Admirer"! Even if I never sell anything, getting that one admirer who isn't someone I recognise was awesome! :)

And now, I'm off to figure out how to add a link to my The Norti Corner Facebook page to the side too!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Coin wallet and card holder

I have so many things that I am "in the middle of" and "planning" and "desperately want to make" and todays activities have crossed one of those items off my list!

I've been saying for a while now that I wanted, no, NEEDED a new coin wallet and something better to hold all my cards because what I have been using is very sad looking, and the zip holding in all my change only does it's job say 30% of the time.  I would be sitting there at store counters trying to put away my cards and change, and it would take 3, 4 sometimes 5 or more tries to get the zip to close without sticking, or separating.  Talk about embarrassing :|

I have been looking at patterns off and on for months trying to decide what kind to make.  I hadn't been able to find something that appealed to me until today.  This could be in part because I had been looking for a pattern or tutorial for a combined coin purse and wallet with sufficient card space.  That was a bit silly of me I must say because I have a lot of cards. 

So once I knew that I wanted them to be separate I went to my trusty Pinterest and searched for "Card Wallet Tutorial".  I found this awesome tutorial for a card wallet that holds an astronomical 38 cards! I thought surely I couldn't possibly fill it, but damn I loved the idea! 

And then the digging through fabric started! Which of course, let down a spiral that involved digging through fabrics, partially sorting them, cleaning my desk, which had an interesting side benefit of I now have a box on my desk dedicated to my 'current projects in need of completion ASAP!" but that's a whole another story that box! 

I knew I'd had some fabrics that I'd won off ebay that were a bit tougher than your regular old quilting cottons.  Once I found one I liked then it was the game of finding matching fabrics.  

The tutorial has a few spots that *I* found a bit ambiguous, but that could just be me.  Otherwise, it's a brilliant tutorial.  This card wallet literally whipped up in a couple of hours.  I am sure it would have been shorter but I had to eat dinner, and I intentionally went slowly so that I wouldn't make any mistakes.  Which is ironic because I managed to sew the outer and inner pieces the wrong way and had to unpick it all to fix it.  Then of course in my infinite wisdom of ironing it all once it was completed so that it was pressed ready for my cards .. I accidentally caught the velcro with the iron .. Guess who had to hand sew a replacement piece of velcro on?  Hence it's not super pretty looking, but it's functional! 

When it came time to putting my cards into the wallet I discovered that I actually have quite a few MORE than 38! So a few have had to double up and share their space!   But overall I totally love it!

So much so that I felt I just HAD to have a matching coin wallet made out of matching fabrics.  And of course it just HAD to be made tonight at the same time.

I couldn't find a pattern that was an exact of what I wanted, or supplies I had etc.  So I just basically my own knowledge from having read so many tutorials on zippered coin wallets and made this gorgeous lined coin purse.

Complete with little strap so that I can hang it off a finger whilst carrying things.  Yes.  I totally forgot to include this until my partner says to me "I thought you were putting in one of those little loop things?" so of course out came the seam ripper and in the little loop went!

Overall, I am extremely pleased with my efforts this evening.

Now if only I could be so efficient and actually get a good idea going for a new handbag!

***Note: Excuse the poor lighting in my photos, and the poor photography skills.  Not only am I taking my photos on my iPhone, but it is after 2 am in the morning so it's a mite dark.  But I desperately wanted to have this all posted today!  

Monday, July 7, 2014

Block 1

Here is the first block completed.  I haven't added a border yet because I'm not sure which colour I want to use :| 

I have to say whilst this block is quite easy to work I did have a bit of a rocky start.  :|

I have never crocheted into the 'back' of a stitch before.  Let alone from a chain.  So it took a couple (.. or four or five ..) attempts to get my block off to the right start .. with the right amount of stitches! 

I was breezing along until I was about halfway through the entire block when I realised the entire time I had been incorrectly completing my popcorn stitches.. or more accurately incorrectly NOT completing this stitch :|

Everything *looked* okay but perfectionist that I can be at times, I didn't want to risk it, or have half/half going on now that I knew the error and how to fix it.  So I started again. I am pleased to report that it only required one go to start this time! :) 

Actually upon a bit of a think back .. I have only ever once before crocheted a project that had more than one stitch used.  And I only ever completed about a dozen rows of that (and I'm not even sure where that project is any more :|) .  So this is a real challenge for me.  

Overall though I am absolutely loving this challenge.  I cannot wait to stitch more blocks! :) 

Now did anyone notice that the yarn used in this block does not match the yarn in the photo in my previous post about Stitch-Cation

That's would be because as per usual, after deciding on something I walked into a store with yarn on sale and totally changed my mind!  The previous colours to me felt a bit forced because I was adamant I was going to use yarn from my stash and not buy more.  

But these were on sale for $1.25 a ball because the store is going into receivership.  How could I refuse?  

Aren't they just gorgeous?  The second one in on the second top row is not black, it's a gorgeous deep purple.  Now the hard part is deciding what colours to use per block.  

I've also got some black and some white to add to these if need be.  

I'd better get stitching! 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Craftsy Class: Quick-Strip Paper Piecing

Recently I tried my hand at "foundation paper piecing" purely based on some online tutorials and oh my gosh it felt like an abysmal fail.

Despite having this one block finished, and reasonably okay looking, it felt SUPER awkward to piece.  So much so that I just couldn't bring myself to try it again just yet.

Which is a real shame because there are a lot of gorgeous paper piecing patterns that I really want to try!

And then a few days ago I got an email in my inbox with a new round of awesome deals on Craftsy classes.  I dunno about you, but every other week I'm getting these emails, and every single time I go looking, and I pick the classes I would absolutely love to get (list gets longer every time) but alas bills, and children etc come first, so I can't always get classes when there are sales.

This time however, my partner saw me eyeing off a class about strip paper piecing.  This class also came with an electronic copy of the instructors book, which made it all that much harder to pass up.

My partner said if I really wanted it, I should get it.  So I did. I purchased Peggy Martins class -  Quick-Strip-Paper-Piecing.  Totally worth the $15 odd I spent! 

I've spent the last few days, off and on between baby time, gaming time, and sleeping time, watching some of the lessons in this class and oh my gosh, strip paper piecing looks SO EASY!

So easy intact that, as you can see below, I have already printed and cut out a number of blocks of each of the first four patterns she gives us in this class.  I am just waiting on some fabric to arrive so that I can start auditioning fabric!

I cannot wait to get started on this project! I am literally itching to go!

So if like me, you're new to the whole world of Paper piecing, and the 'traditional' method just didn't gel, please go and give Peggy's class Quick-Strip-Paper-Piecing a go! I'd really like to see what you produce if anyone gives the class a shot! :) 

In the meantime whilst I wait for fabric I'm gonna go work on my blocks for Stitch-Cation! 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

A fancy dinner dress required!

Recently my 14 year old daughter was in need of a "Dressy dress" to attend a formal dinner as graduation of a school program.  Given that she is a bit of a tom boy, (shorts, singlets and flannel shirts etc) it was pretty clear she didn't have anything already in her wardrobe for this.

Off to the shops I trotted.  I walked up and down the local big shopping centre and I went into every store that sold womens clothing.  Could I find a dress suitable? No.  There was only one dress that was even remotely suitable, but it was totally not the right colours.

What was there left to do?

Why to make her a dress of course! 

I originally scoured the internet and with my daughters help we picked a pattern.  Unfortunately, she is in that phase of not quite a child and not quite a woman, and is therefore too big for "girls" dresses and too small for "womens" dresses.  So the original pattern chosen just simply did not fit her.  It was perfect in the waist, and shoulders, but just gaped FAR too much around the front and back of the bodice.  I thought about simply unpicking it and rejigging it, however this pattern involved darts .. which until that moment my only experience with darts was of the bar game kind, and dangerous.  

After a few days of wracking my brain I finally came up with a workable plan.  I would make a dress by using a bit of this pattern, and a part of that pattern, and a whole lot of guessing on my behalf!

There were a lot of moments where I simply sat staring .. because in my head I was mentally going forwards with the plan to make sure that I could *actually* proceed the way I intended.  Let me just say that a few times, I had to stop and rethink my plans because after thinking it through logically step by step it became apparent that it wouldn't work.

This was mainly for the bodice, and the pockets.  I knew in advance that I wanted a dress with a back zip, not a side zip.  I also knew I wanted it to have decent pockets.  I'm constantly hearing how my daughter cannot hold something because she doesn't have a pocket to place her iPod into.

After about three days of procrastination, I finally decided to just go for it.  I knew in my head what I wanted it to look like.  I chose to pretend the skirt didn't exist at this point.  That was a battle to have only IF I successfully managed to make a workable bodice.

I have to say, this bodice went together quite easily considering I literally merged about three patterns /online tutorials together for it whilst totally improvising the back bodice.  I was very pleased to note that once I had it sewn together and turned in the right way, I only needed to make adjustments around the arm holes ONCE.  AND both the front and back lined up! Here's the finished bodice..   

At this point I knew it was time to tackle the skirt.  I was on full steam ahead for a while there .. all the fabric was measured and cut out, including the pockets, and I had pinned the pockets to the outer lace when it dawned on me .. 

The pockets are usually attached to the outer layer of fabric, not the lining.  In this particular case the 'outer' fabric was a layer of black lace .. if I had attached pockets to that, bright purple pockets at that, it would have definitely been a bit ick.  

This was one of those moments of sitting and staring at the fabric for a while .. eventually I came up with a workable plan where I would sew the pockets to the lace, but then when I sewed the under layer (the purple) I would leave a gap to feed the pockets into, before flipping it all inside out, and adhering the seam from the pockets+lace to the inner seam of the under layer.  

I have to say I was skeptical that it would work.  That was until I saw it actually attached.  These pockets working so beautifully has to be my favourite part of the whole dress! 

After that, the rest of the dress was a breeze.  I didn't want to have black thread on the purple, or purple thread on the black lace, so I actually hand sewed in the zip.  Here it was all finished.  

Now I know to look at it here it looks a little bit .. young? blocky? And you're right.  I had intentionally made it a little bigger than it needed to be because my daughter is growing like a weed.  I want this dress to last a year at least.  So off we trotted to the store and sourced a funky wide belt, and some black boots to accessorise and the overall outfit was awesome.   For a while there I was really apprehensive about her wearing it because I didn't want her to get picked on for wearing something 'homemade' out, especially to a nice dinner however she was super keen to wear it! 

Here she is.  I wish I could remember what she was laughing at but oh well. 

Outside of making the pockets work how I wanted to, the best thing about this dress, and this whole experience was that I made this dress without any real pattern, and she wore it outside! In PUBLIC!  I even had a couple of comments about how gorgeous a dress it was!  

Now my 10 year old daughter wants a new dress too .. luckily for her I've already sourced some fabric I just need to decide on a design! :)

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Stitch-Cation Summer Challenge!

I've been wanting to get in on some craft-a-longs for a while now and finally here is one that I can participate in!  

Recently I was introduced to a Facebook group called The Crochet Crowd. They have their own website at and they have oodles and oodles of super helpful and extremely well done teaching videos for all sorts of crochet stitches.    

As of the 1st of July 2014 they have a crochet-a-long called Stitch-Cation Summer Challenge and it looks awesome.  Not too complicated, which is an awesome plus.  There are 10 blocks, and each block has a video tutorial and a written pattern.  I've watched 6 of their videos so far today and all I can say is wow.  They have such a way with making their videos super easy to watch, and to understand.  I was actually able to comprehend HOW some of these stitches were done without having to try and fill in the gaps a lot of videos have due to poor filming etc.    

I know technically it's Winter in Australia, not summer but hey I can still participate!  I have a boat load of wool laying around the place that I've collected over the years and I thought this would be perfect.  I did however run into one small snag.  Whilst I have oodles of wool, the rules of the challenge require 8 different colours. Unfortunately I don't have 8 different colours in one colour grouping.  So I've decided to half/half my project.  

As you can see in the picture above I have 4 'bright' and in your face colours, with black for the borders.  And I have 4 'warm' colours also with black for the borders.  That's a total of 9 colours.

*Phew* one part of the challenge met!  Now I just have to figure out what combination I want to use. But that's another post altogether! :) 

So if you're intro crocheting, whether you're a total newbie, or been crocheting forever go and have a look at the Stitch-Cation Summer Challenge and see if it's for you! :) 

I also have my eye on a quilt-a-long coming up soon so stay tuned! :) 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A new addition to the family!

I figured it was about time that I introduced you to the new member of the family seeing as he's a little over two weeks old already!

Meet Callan:

Here he is at the hospital on day two.  

These two are some of my favourite photos taken over the last two weeks.

And I couldn't resist this photo opportunity whilst he was on my lap yesterday for a feed with his socks off for the first time ever that wasn't because of changing, or bath times (It's apparently quite a warm almost winter here in Australia at the moment :| ).  Aren't those little feet absolutely gorgeous!?! I certainly think so! :)  

It was what felt like a super long pregnancy, probably because I was an Insulin Dependent Gestational Diabetic this time around.  Which was no picnic let me assure you! However it wasn't the constant needles to check blood sugar levels, or to administer insulin that was the real problem.  It was that no matter how healthy I ate, my readings were still completely haywire :|  I know now that it sometimes just happens that way during pregnancy, but it's still extremely frustrating! 

I'll spare you the details of his birth except to say that baby Callan was born on the 9th of May 2014  at 38+1 gestation (I was induced early because of the Gestation Diabetes), and was a whopping 8 pound 15!  Thank god they didn't make me wait until 40-41+ to deliver! 

Unfortunately at 35ish weeks my local hospital decided that I was too high risk to deliver there, so they transferred my care to one of the bigger hospitals.  To say I was miffed was an understatement, but the hospital I was transferred to was absolutely fantastic.  Great care, food was awesome, AND despite being a public patient I managed to score a private room.  Which made things so much easier! 

I just want to take a moment to thank everyone who helped us out during the week/s before and after baby Callans brave entry into the world!  Whether you flew across the country to be with us, looked after our older three kids, braved the hospital when you're not really a baby person, helped us with day to day needs, gave us baby gifts, offered your help or anything else I have forgotten, thank you. I had not realised before now just how awesome, generous and supportive our little circle of family and friends are that we have managed to develop.  

And now I have a gorgeous baby that needs cuddles .. and to try and think up a new banner for the top of my blog because the current one seems to be a little bit outdated now that there's four children.       Maybe I'll do something sewing related? :P 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

February Finishes!

**Disclaimer** I apologise in advance that this is going to be quite a picture heavy post.  

However,  I am ecstatic to show you everything that I have been working on this month! A grant total of 43 finishes! FOURTY THREE FINISHES! *bounces about excitedly*

At the beginning of the month I made 5 of these beautiful little bags, using This pattern, and a pin cushion bracelet as per one of my previous posts, although at that stage I had only made one bag, and pin cushion and was still in the cutting process of another three.  I did however have a request from a little friend of my sons so a fifth bag was completed. :)
Not to end there of course, I did some googling and wondered .. "What else can I make?" This picture below is the result of said search.  This is all the things I have made in the last week.  Last Friday the 21st February I decided to issue myself a challenge.  Could I finish all these items, before Friday 28th February?  

It appears, that yes, yes I can! 

I had already started cutting fabrics early February for two baby quilts for my son due in May .. So I figured I had better finish those first.  

Each one is backed in a fleece fabric for extra warmth.  The only thing I needed to purchase to make these quilts was the Stars for the binding.  

As you can see below, I had plenty of stars and repurposed the scraps for another project.  A nappy bag.  I scoured the internet for hours and hours trying to purchase a bag that I liked, I couldn't find anything that was even remotely in our price range that I liked.  Hence I changed path and started googling patterns.  I found this pattern over at Totally Stitching and I just adored the pattern. 

It wasn't long before my version of this bag was created.  The only thing I really changed was instead of using some heavier fabric which would have provided the right amount of structure to the bag, I instead chose to use fabric from my stash, which is all quilting cottons.  So I used some polyester batting for all the sides and bottom of the bag shell as well as straps.  What you see below is an adorable bag, with just the right amount of structure for all the required baby supplies when out and about, whilst being entirely machine washable.  I totally love it!  

And inside there are two largish pockets on one side, and three medium pockets on the other side.  With some beautiful star gazing sherries for the lining.  I originally wasn't going to add the zipper, but gosh I love how it looks with the zip in place! Totally worth the effort and struggle with the zip :P

Another project I discovered was a tutorial over at Sew Mama Sew for some adorable baby bibs.  The first ones I made using this tutorial are the dark brown cowboys you see below.  I felt that this bib whilst a perfect size for a newborn would be too small for a 6 month old baby, so I enlarged the pattern a mite, and the remaining 22 are all that size.  After making the bags, and quilts, I had just enough fabric left to basically mix n match to get two identical bibs in the opposing colour ways as you can see below.  Here they all are.  

There are two of each bib, totalling 24.  I'm thinking at this stage of keeping 12 of them aside until the other 12 have been used until their last legs? I can't decide if the Beach houses over the ocean is my favourite, or if it's one of the Safari animals ones?  They're all just so adorable! 

During my travels, I discovered yet another tutorial! (I know right? I should stop googling and finding all these tutorials! :P) 

This particular tutorial is from Feed The Dogs for nappy and wipes pouches.  Why should you take the entire bag to the bathroom to change baby, if all you need is a nappy and some wipes? these little cases are so gorgeous and even with adding in the batting and quilting which isn't a part of the pattern, I still managed to whip each of these up in about an hour and a half each! Including cutting of fabrics! They're just so genius! If only I'd already purchased nappies so I could show you how cute they'll look, but alas, oh well!

How many times have you taken your baby out with a pacifier in his/her mouth only to realise that at some point he/she has spat the pacifier and you've no idea where it's gone?  I know with my previous three children that this happened A LOT!  I found numerous tutorials in my googling travels and the directions are pretty straight forward.  Hence these four were whipped up pretty quickly using scraps from my scrap bins.  

The metal clips I had on hand because I had purchased a boat load of them for super cheap last year when I needed them to help secure some of my Cross Stitching on a scroll frame.  So yet again, nothing new was needed to make these. 

And lastly, because I was not purchasing a store bought nappy bag, I was not going to be getting one of those little travel change mats that would no doubt come with it.  This is probably good.  Having used them in the past I have to say that they're quite tiny. I decided to make my own.  I haven't used waterproof fabrics for this, because I wanted them to be entirely machine washable.  I have also made them quite sizeable so that they are still useful when my baby reaches a year old.  

I did have to purchase the piggie fabrics for this project as I no longer had any boy fabrics that were sizeable.  In fact, I am pretty much out of boy fabrics in general at the moment.  I might have to start making things for the girls :P 

So, all in all 43 finishes this month.  43 finishes where I only had to purchase:

Brown Piggies Fabric - 1.5m
Green Piggies Fabric - 1m
Stars fabric - 2m
(All of which were on the "clearance" racks at my local Spotlight) and
1x Black and Silver zip

Everything else used came from my stash.  I am still quite pleased with both the number of items completed, and the fact that I had such minimal purchases to supplement my stash!  Of course, now I need to replenish my supply of "Boy" fabrics, but that's gonna take me a while.

Now what can I do for next month?   I'm thinking Cushions for the sofa? I'm not sure yet, but I have to say I am quite liking this "Goal Setting" idea :)