I love craft blogs. I love reading them and taking a tiny peek into the lives of other crafty souls - their passions, projects and sewing spaces. I love the way in which people share information, the way they spread inspiration and are so very generous with their hints, tips and ideas. Just lately though I've been thinking... (My husband hates it when I say that - he thinks that I'm going to suggest a renovation project or initiate one of 'those 'relationship talks.) W
hat's this blogging business about anyway?
For me, blogging is about trying to make crafting connections and friendships beyond the people that I come across in my day to day existence. It's for this reason I love it when people make blog comments - especially ones that initiate a conversation or a dialogue. While it's lovely when people say 'Wow that's amazing'
or 'I love it'
, ultimately it's constructive criticism and questions that really make me think and make me happy. Craft and creative projects are all about aesthetics. What you find aesthetically pleasing is just that... what YOU
find pleasing. Chances are, it won't be someone else's cup of tea and that's ok. If you're only after positive comments to boost your creative ego, then blogging probably isn't the right crafting zone for you
Funnily enough, Pinterest has taught me something pretty important about blogging and blog comments - just because people don't comment on a project, it doesn't mean they don't like it. Maryanne and I have many, many, many posts that haven't initiated any comments, and that's OK. But a brief check on Pinterest (is searching your blog on Pinterest weird? Probably, but that's beside the point...)
reveals that tonnes of people have pinned the said commentless post or project. Hey - who am I to complain? It's great that they like it and it's not like I make a comment on every single thing I pin. It has inspired me to be a lot more diligent with commenting on other people's posts and ideas, though, especially those that I have pinned.
Since we finished up on Project Run and Play
, Maryanne and I have been thinking a lot about our blog and the direction we want to take it. We haven't really firmed up any answers yet other than the fact that we love to sew and craft and that we love to connect with other crafty souls and maybe that's enough.
What kind of commenter are you? What kind of comments do you love? I'd love to have a chat to you about it!
PS - don't worry - we're not going all existentialist on you. There are plenty of crafty posts coming up soon!
Madeleine turns 7 on Thursday and preparations are in full swing - dinner on Thursday with our family and a party with 5 of her friends on Saturday. It is all going to be lovely, but I have to admit this year I am feeling a little confused when it comes to presents...
A take along art satchel made by me, filled with beautiful art supplies and a watercolour nature journal or some Littlest Pet Shop?
All my instincts about parenting would instantly tell me the Art satchel is perfect. It is a gift that I have made for her and making for me is a way to show my family that I love them. It is full of quality art materials that I hope will nurture her creativity, her interest in the environment and an appreciation for the beauty in the world around her.
And well Littlest Pet Shop is... Littlest Pet Shop - a huge collection of plastic stuff sitting on toyshop shelves waiting to be purchased and collected. Stuff that I would usually dismiss as rubbish, stuff that would annoy me if anyone else gave it to my children. But this stuff has another role that I am only just learning about. It is something that helps Madeleine connect with her peers. The two littlest Pet Shop characters Madeleine already has are highly treasured possessions. Madeleine would say that it's because they are cute, but I think it's got a lot more to do with her feeling like she belongs - she has something that her friends have and that makes her feel good. This is probably the first lesson they teach in Marketing 101, but I haven't really thought about it like this before!!!
So what do you think...
Should birthday gifts be virtuous or should you put your parenting philosophies aside and let your children have what they would truly love but you don't really approve of?
I'm going to sit on the fence this year...
On Thursday morning Madeleine will be unwrapping the Art satchel and a Littlest Pet Shop character to add to her collection.
If you're feeling virtuous or you're a fence sitter like me, I'll have a tutorial for the Art satchel later this week. It's quite nifty!! I'll show you how to measure up your art supplies and make a take anywhere satchel in any size you want.
It's time for us to pack our bags and head home...
We are feeling a little sad...
We would have loved to have participated in the final round of Project Run and Play
, but it was not to be. We have been amazed by the skills and talent of everyone who participated in Project Run and Play and are really looking forward to seeing what the final three will show us for their signature looks.Please indulge us for a moment...Project Run and Play has been such a focus for us for over 2 months. We don't know what we will talk about now that it is over!!! Despite some minor differences of opinion and completely different timetabling styles you'll be pleased to know that at the end of Project Run and Play we are still talking to each other. Interestingly all the personality traits you would expect from a little sister, big sister team panned out exactly as you would imagine, but maybe now we have grown up we are a little more accepting of this dynamic. In fact, we still love hanging out and sewing together!!Some very important thank yous...
- Our husbands - the true Handmade Ryan Goslings in this world
- Our Mum - a never ending inspiration and support
- Our Dad - just as inspiring and supportive but also incredibly tolerant of 3 women talking incessantly about sewing!!!
- All our family and friends who have cheered us on.
- Romy, for all her help with the photos
- Liz and Elizabeth from Simple Simon and Co who organise Project Run and Play. The work that goes on behind the scenes must be phenomenal and we can't thank them enough for making it happen.
- All the other Designers from Season 4 - you are such amazingly talented people. You made us think harder, sew faster and push ourselves further than we have before!!
- Our five amazing kids!!!! Our little boys did not feature in Project Run and Play but they did put up with plenty of very average meals and lots of play dates that involved just a few discussions about sewing!!! And our fantastic girls and their brilliant modelling - they always rose to the challenge.
So for now, we might sip a little coffee, read a few books and catch up on some sleep. But we will be back before you know it.... Sewing up a storm for sure!!!!
Caroline and Maryanne
This week we were inspired by Shirley Temple playing Heidi in the 1937 classic of the same name.
Look at those curls!
We grew up loving this movie (and of course Johanna Spyri's novel.) When this week's theme was announced, how could we resist?
Pip is our Urban Heidi - look at her curls! She was so excited when we flew her to Switzerland for our photo shoot this week. (we wish - thanks photoshop!)
Anyway, enough with the cuteness... Let's talk about the clothes! (that's what we are here for, after all...)
We actually found this week quite challenging. There are so many great movies out there with amazing costuming but we didn't want to just make a replica of an iconic costume. We wanted to make something wearable - not a dress-up as such but a set of separates that together evoked a sense of Heidi and the Swiss Alps but on their own were perfect to wear to school, to the library, to parties and on play dates.
There are three parts to this week's outfit. To start with , a twirly red skirt, perfect for skipping along and playing in the back lane ( as well as climbing the Swiss Alps, we're sure!)
The hem is bound with black bias and highlighted with a fine black ribbon trim
While black isn't usually a colour associated with children's clothes, it highlights the bright colours of the skirt and jacket, it's a little bit sopsophisticated and reflects Heidi's Swiss heritage.
We used the same black trim on Pip's shirt. This, coupled with some Eidelweiss inspired broderie anglaise and a super fine grosgrain ribbon trim around the neckline created a very 'Swiss' but still wearable shirt.
Now... onto the jacket.
(see how much fun it is to pretend to be Heidi?)
The jacket is made of purple corduroy and bound with black bias. It's waisted (well, as much as a four year old has a waist!) and is cut away to create a cute peplum and make it easy to move in. It's lined in a purple floral cotton which screamed 'Swiss Alps' to us. You can see a tiny bit peaking out from the three quarter length sleeves and in the neckline of the jacket.
Our favourite bit of this jacket is the closure. Made of black grosgrain ribbon and brass buttons it reflects Shirley Temple's jacket (in our inspiration picture) but it's a little more modern and up to date.
So there you have it... an outfit you can wear in the Swiss Alps AND in the streets of Sydney - what more could a girl ask for?
Maryanne and Caroline
Let me introduce you to two little girls. They are cousins, very good friends (most of the time!) and responsible for our choice of colour for this week's challenge on Project Run and Play
. Pippi and Lizzy are the reason that we chose PINK!
We spent a lot of time this week sewing together strips and squares of a rainbow of pinks, from the palest of baby pinks to deep cerise hues. There are actually 14 different pinks in the girls' dresses. Stripped together, they created a beautiful 'quilt top' which we then proceeded to cut up to create Pippi and Lizzy's outfits. Our husbands thought that we were completely mad...but hey... you've got to do what you've got to do. (Especially in this competition!)
One of the exciting things about this week's design was cutting and piecing Lizzy and Pip's dresses. The horizontal and vertical stripes created lots of lovely lines and surprises. They created fantastic patterns where the side seams joined, where the box pleats met and along the hemline. We weren't exactly sure how the dresses would turn out till they were finished.
While the girls look like they are wearing pinafores and blouses they are actually wearing little dresses - high waisted with big a box pleat in the centre front. The peter pan collar and puffed sleeves are created out of crisp white cotton - a lovely contrast with the warm pink tones of the rest of the outfit.
Our little girls like little details...Pink button bracelets, pieced headbands and covered buttons added to the overall colour of the outfit and the bracelets and headbands were excellent bribes!
We had lots of fun creating the outfits for this week's challenge and the girls had lots of fun having their photos taken (and are still possibly coming down from their pink sugar high...) We hope that even though their obsession with pink won't last forever, they'll continue to be the best buddies that they are today.
Make sure that you go over and check out the rainbow of projects at Project Run and Play
. Don't forget to VOTE
Maryanne and Caroline