Tuesday, January 31, 2012

press for help

That would be me, actually, pressing you guys for a bit of help.

At school this term I am hoping to have a bit of a look at places in Australia. I have made a big map of Australia for the pin board and am going to ask the kids to get their friends and relatives to send us a postcard from wherever they live in Australia.

Of course then I figured I'd up the ante a bit and ask blogland (well from Australia at least) if they would like to help us.

So as of tomorrow when I am "officially" back at the day job - if you would like to drop us a postcard from your town / city / territory...please address it to:

The AWESOME Library Chick (it pays to advertise, you know...the principal might collect the mail)

Black Hill Primary School

601 Chisholm street, Ballarat. Vic. 3350

Please don't write a personal message to me on it, you could just tell us what it is your town is famous for- or just leave it blank and we will do the investigating. At the end of term I will try and remember to take a photo of the pin board. At the moment we are only concentrating on Australia so please don't send any from O/S. It doesn't matter if your town is big or small, near or far...and if your town is too small to have its own postcard, why not just send us a photo.

Five hundred and twenty three children and one library chick thank you in advance.

(three office ladies roll their eyes in unison)

Monday, January 30, 2012


There has been talk of addiction (and not just from me). More than one person may have twittered, bookfaced or emailed about planning a second rag-rug already. In fact this is Georgia's second one.
and jenny's crochet

Bree's sheets and jelly roll combo
Sue's starting out

I hope it is OK to borrow these pics people, if not please just let me know and pop your photos on flickr if you get a chance, oh and while you are there, check out what Nicole managed in just one night . Remember you can join in whenever you like, no deadlines, no rush.....and this weeks prize is going to Nicole because its nice to know someone else is just as addicted as I am.
and mine ? well you could say it's cat-sized.

As it gets bigger, each 'round' is taking longer and longer so it has lost a bit of that "ooh watch it grow" appeal but I am really loving it and plan for it to get much much bigger. I am really enjoying the repetitive kind of switch-the-brain-off nature of this rug bizzo, much much more than I expected.
I am randomly adding colours but am already wondering about how a tonal rug would look - all shades of green, or blue ? Then I think about a natural linen kind of rug with a big thick red border around the outside. Or maybe a shades of grey rug....
When I asked on twitter how many of these rugs I could have in my house before it got weird .
The answer was one......but I am pretty sure they were answering on a per room basis.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Speaking of Doctor Who....

its obvious that the cat I had to unstuff this morning,

was also bigger on the inside

Monday, January 23, 2012

kitchen craft

I used this shrink plastic (bought on Ebay) and followed the instructions

to make little gauge type buttons for robots.

They say small things amuse small minds.

Friday, January 20, 2012


This morning I popped over to Sue's blog to see how she was getting on with her rug - only to find she has completely changed methods and is now working on a Tunisian crocheted rag rug. The only problem is, that I decided to copy her earlier method which she said wasn't working for her. Oops.

Sue's Tunisian Crochet rug

Clare's is looking awesome, I especially love that stripe fabric on the outer. I am kinda into the idea of using clothing, except most of mine would be black. Clare from matching pegs - winner of the weeks prize.

This is Bec's plait all curled up - you have pop over and see how Bec does her plaiting...

I started off plaiting the one and half inch strands (each one folded in half) but have to admit I just couldn't get my head around all that hand sewing, so I am plaiting mine into itself as I go.

Ok so its a bit less rag- rug and little more rag- coaster at the moment but we have big plans, this rug and I.

Once you get started, pop your pic in the Flickr group so we can all have a look.

Tonight, its me, Jax teller and the rag rag. An incongruent kind of bliss.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

testing testing...

Because the only way I ever seem to get the boring pattern writing done, is to make myself accountable: I am publicly declaring this pattern will be finished by Monday. Do you like the new thinner neck on the left ? I am much happier.
So that means I'll be needing a few pattern testers. Hells bells people- I have over 60 emails, I'm really sorry but I only need two or three people. I'll answer everyone tonight but please don't feel bad if you miss out.I'm just going with the first couple of people, there is no selection process. It's not that the existing Senior Management team are not awesome - they are ! But by now most of them speak Jodie fluently so it is a good thing to get someone new to give them a try, unless of course one of them is busting to have a go.

If you think you would like to give it a shot, just drop me an email. There are a lot of bits and pieces to this patterns so I'm looking for people in Australia, as I imagine it'll be a substantial parcel of things I need to post- I'll send everything except threads and stuffing.

You need to have a bit of free time and be happy to be critical. It's lovely when people say the pattern is great and a boost for ever inflating ego, but not actually very helpful...This is a job for someone not afraid to say it like it is! I guess I'd be looking for people who can do this pattern (doll, dress, cape, basket, food) within about 3 weeks ?

So whats in in for you ? err not much actually and I do realise this. One day when I am dead famous or rich or both I'll be able to pay pattern testers...but you know even if I squint real hard and look into the far far distance I can't see that day yet.

and I have been cutting and experimenting a bit more for the rag rug-a-long. Stay tuned for an update on Friday. If you've started let me know so I can pop over and have a look.

OK back to the pattern !

Monday, January 16, 2012


The similarities don't stop at the hair folks.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Musing-a-long and fat necks

It may surprise you guys to find out I have know idea how to run an a-long....No idea at all.
So here is the plan. I have made a page up there under my blog header called rag rug-a-long and have listed all the definite joiner-inners on it. (If you were a maybe , I didn't add you cause I didn't want add to the pressure but please join in if you want.) Its a great list with some new-to-me-blogs on it that I visited this morning while making the list.

I have also made a flickr group. Don't get stressed about flickr guys , its just a place to upload photos and an awesome way for us to keep an eye on each others progress. You can also post questions and discussions there. Okay so I guess the first thing is to choose what kind of ragrug you want to make.
Today I had a quick go at a bit of braiding or plaiting, just three strands - dead simple. I used selvedges because that's what I had to hand. It was much quicker than I thought...

So I coiled it up and thought...hmmm its a bit flippy floppy, but then again those selvedges weren't one and a half inches wide either.

Inspired by Clare, I thought I'd give the toothbrush method a go....errr.... No, this method is waaay beyond me !

So I went for a tighter plait - and although I had a little moment with that awful yellow where I thought of bad school camp craft, I took a few deep breaths and moved on. The tutorial on Moda bakeshop stresses having a loose braid and I know this is going to be my stumbling block..I'm a tighty whitey by nature.

So I'm definitely plaiting, 3 strands and they will be one and half inches wide.....now do I cut, or can I get away with a bit of snip and rip? Should I try both? Have you decided yet ? Get started, post some pics to flickr, ask questions, email me , bookface, twitter, whatever floats your ragrugging boat people.

Oh and the prize of the week goes to Clare, who not only joined, and started but got her husband to whittle her a "needle" as well. She is a woman of action !

For those people not rag rugging a long, I promise I won't be blathering about it all the time, there are still 3 patterns in the works, and Little red Riding Hood had some liposuction earlier today as well...Why didn't any of you tell me how fat her neck was ?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

New Sewing room and a dogs breakfast

The new sewing room, I posted a pic on Bookface last night and had a few questions so here goes: the tree is painted on the wall, done by drawing a tree and using an overhead projector to embiggen it-then painted. The chart reads "Do not panic it's often worse" and I made it and blogged it a few decades ago.See the three tubs on the table - that is the three projects I am working on at the one time this holidays (or not as the case may be) . I am a firm believer in buying containers in an effort to get organised, I think it is people like me that keep places like IKEA in business...the lure of that perfect container. The blue drawers used to live under the table but then I had sit weird 'cause of the knee lifty thingo so now they are next to me. Top drawer has a cutlery tray in it for all the scissors, rotary cutters etc. (genius idea I have to say -pity the cheapest way to buy one was with a complete unwanted set of ugly cutlery)
This shelving unit used to be Connors chest of drawers when he was little. Now he uses a floordrobe for all his clothes so a coat of paint (Dulux Shampoo) and it now houses batting, wool scraps, wool felt, garment fabric and linen. The little shelves on top used to live on my sewing table, but I am trying to keep the table a little clearer. I will no doubt end up filling these with crap. The basket on the floor is the scrap basket - pieces too small to make toys from. The pile on top I have a plan for.

more shelves, boxes containing zips, bias binding, ummmm, other important stuff. The card basket is full of buttons as is the willow tin on the bottom. The coat hangers need to be put on the wall. One of my favourite things is the 1950's Bakelite cake stand - just love it. (in fact I love it so much I have another one in the next photo.
That's the stash, shockingly small isn't it ? The spotty trolley I covered eons ago and it holds a 1kg bag of stuffing. There would be at least 4 or 5 more bags hidden in other places in the house. I often take this trolley to craft shows, perfect for putting all the shopping in.
Toys on top, either gifted, traded or purchased from other bloggers.
Wee things, lots from bloggers and few purchases bits...very old skipping elephants that was my mums when she was a kid.

I think that's about it for now. I want to paint or put new knobs on the drawers and put some more stuff on the walls.

I want to make a rag rug ?

and was surprised to see how many other people were keen as well. So I say we do it together .

We'll have a rag-a-long. You can braid, stitch crochet, or glue your rug together. I'll set up a flickr group - we'll ignore the rules and just bumble through (Actually I am far too anal for that, I'll work on a kind of vague -lets cut this week type guideline).

There will be no penalties if you go faster or slower, in fact I might just scrounge up some prizes and stuff. Would you like to join in ?

I'll be using the Moda bakeshop tutorial to make mine but you can make any kind you like.

Check out here and here for some inspiration.

Leave a comment if your keen, or of course comment anyway....if we get a few people I'll make a blog list and beg a clever person to make us an offical looking button.

I'm excited !

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Watch me pull a rabbit out of a hat

or try and fit all this (plus the stuff hidden in the cupboards)
into here.

This has to be my biggest avoiding pattern writing procrastination project ever.

In breaking news, I have been thinking of making a rag rug. Yes, it was a surprise to me as well, perhaps I need to back away from my inner Nanna a little ?

but this one from Moda Bakeshop really makes me want to give it a shot.

back away or jump right in ?

Monday, January 9, 2012


The thought that I might move my sewing room from the study (where it is now) to Jemma's old room seemed like a plan.

and then I entered into the abyss

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

and so it was

that in the fullness of time, Jodie decided she too should do a round up type post for 2011.

Some patterns were released. It was this time last year that I joined in with the Creative Abundance crew, and yes even though I miss the people interaction of an Etsy shop a little bit, I do not miss folding patterns and chasing payments at all. I am a bit surprised that I did all that in one year to be honest, I always feel like I am getting nothing done. Those beginner patterns still make me happy. (and there just might be one more coming)

Some tutorials were made, and some teaching happened.After my first somewhat disastrous class, I warmed to the whole teaching thing- and had some great classes last year. We don't always get finished but we laugh-a lot! I have some teaching booked in for next year -better add it to the classes page.

Some fun stuff was done, including some sewjourning and visiting. I made a teeny elephant and other bits of silliness.

I went to a screen printing workshops and loved it. I built my own portable(ish) screen printing press and have been having heaps of fun. I am letting go of my anal ways and embracing the blobs and blurs more than I ever thought possible.

Speaks for itself really,doesn't it?

Some maybe perhaps new things, you know I offer this with a grain of salt...as it was this time last year i said i would make a pattern for the knights... These are the folks currently living in the sewing room and waiting for me to decide whether to proceed, make patterns, not make patterns or abandon them completely. Speak up or forever hold your peace. (The big headed guy will probably be a knight)

So I guess you could say crafty wise it was a good year, full bodied, a bit of variety...some same old same old and a bit of new stuff. But the best stuff is right here, hanging out with you guys: getting a comment that makes hot Earl Grey spurt out my nose, getting advice and help and constructive (and not so constructive) criticisms, tips , hints and links to great stuff.

Lots of you axe-murdering Internet people have become my real life friends, some close by and others far away. Many many of you are now my virtual crazy Internet friends, who, unless a lotto win is forthcoming we may never meet in person, but as we kind of sneak into each others computers and look at each others craft, we learn about each other, our families and our foibles and we do create friendships just as valid as those over the back fence. We care, and this year we saw it in global ways and I felt it in personal ways, so thanks guys. Thanks for hanging out here and joining in the conversation, or just cruising by with a wave, or even just a silent little statistic that never comments - however you do it is fine by me. You guys are the holders of the stakes, my crazy Internet friends.

Goodbye 2011- The year of the arse crack.