Friday, November 2, 2012

New toy ...

I've been having fun learning all the In's and outs of my new toy...

Mum brought it down for me when she came to stay after my oppie.
She was only here a week, so it was a crash course in learning all the wonderful things a knitting machine can do.

It's quite a technical piece of equipment, but once we got going I sure learned a thing or two.

Firstly that me and punch lace will not be friends...and secondly that my ignorant attitude about machine knit pieces being somehow easy to create was wrong.

It is a manual machine operated by pushing that big carriage with the handle back and forth. the wider your piece the longer your push. One push left equals one row. A scarf 1 metre and half long equals 900 rows. 900 times someone has to push that baby left and right. It sure does work out the arms and the core  muscles and over do it ... ie: try and do 7 scarves in a day and you'll cause yourself some harm.
Mum will testify to that!

From what I understand there are electronic ones out there, bigger and more expensive and the machine does the back and forth by itself. So I guess to me, this still feels handmade and quite labor intensive even though it is way quicker than hand knitting.

Definitely worth the time dusting it off and learning how to use it.

I have been experimenting with some lovely 3ply cotton that I got from Spottie and came up with these goodies.

Necklaces and summer scarves. 

The options are endless and quite possibly I have opened myself up to a new medium that I might lose my self in for a while.

I'm excited to try 1ply, multiple colors as one, metallics and patterns.
Did I say you can make your own patterns.
Yup ...sure can. Could put your name on stuff if you wanted to!

Fun and games.
Jay x

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween ...

We are still in go slow made over here at camp Finki, whilst my middle does the good job of healing and reconstructing muscle tissue that will once again allow me to bend over enough to pick up things off the floor.

Oh how I have taken my stomach muscles for granted. Oh how much do I now appreciate all that they did for me...goodness. One even braces said stomach muscles to apply strength to opening a bottle of drink. Who knew?

However, slow and steady wins the race. I'll be back kicking goals and opening jars free willy in no time.
Just have to keep reigns on my busy little brain...

It wants to do so much and the body just aint running at the same speed. So it's camp frustration on the crafty front. Zero advancement in making stuff, but soon..

Sometimes life forces us to slow down and we just have to comply. So instead camp Finki have been...

Helping little one dress up for Halloween at kinda...

and making scary green cupcakes too.

End of year concert for big girl, who has done an awesome job of mastering the clarinet.

Harvested the rest of our winter crop and planted all our summer. 
(which was more about me overseeing and planning whilst family did the labor) ...lovely family xoxo
We look forward to tomatoes, capsicum, cucumber and more all from our little suburban patch.

I managed to get through my pile of magazines, which was a tower really, waiting over a year to be looked at ... and I had the luxury of Mum being down from Queensland for a week to help with kid wrangling and all other WAHM duties. A true blessing that was.

So happy Halloween to you all, whether you be trick or treating or just hanging out enjoying this lovely bout of weather we are having.
Jay xx

Friday, October 26, 2012

Pop up shop ...

Tomorrow only ... 
there will be a special pop up shop in the Polly Pratt studio at Olive Grove Studios.

If you're in the neighborhood do pop by,
 there will be lots of handmade loveliness on offer.

Friday, October 19, 2012

The odds were in my favour...

So it looks like the odds of 98/2 were in my favour. 
I made it out of the oppie o.k. 
Ended up having an overnight stay and feeling quite battered right now,
but ....

image via here

Thank so much for all your wishes, craftiness will resume a.s.a.p
More importantly, I look forward to feeling well again soon.
Who needed a gall bladder anyway?
Jay x

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Before I go, I'd like to say ...

I'm feeling rather melodramatic about impending doom by way of a small operation I'll be heading off to have tomorrow... merely a day procedure, I won't even be staying in hospital overnight.
But there is something about reading the fact there is a 2% chance of death, that freaks the bejeebers out of me.

I'm an optimist 98% of the time and a pessimist the other 2%, so my pessimistic 2% mixed with the death rate of 2% has my little brain working overtime.

From the pessimist in me ... if perchance the advice that 'death is possible if complications occur' happens to be referring to me, I'd like to say ...

Image:  via here

The optimist in me now says... 
see you on Friday, albeit a little bruised and battered and probably feeling sorry for myself.
Jay x

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Dreaming with no barriers ...

I saw this image and couldn't help but feel that it hit the nail on the head for how I am feeling of late.

I still have dreams, big ones... 
I still believe we live in a world where anything is possible... anything.
I still have a heart that is full and giving and accepting.

But, I'm struggling with people who seem to want to stifle my dreams,
my beliefs and my way of being.
When that happens, I feel so dead inside. 
Like everything I knew and loved was wrong.

I fought hard for my dreams to become a reality and I work hard on them everyday
 so they continue to be an inspiration and a reason to get out of bed. 

So whilst I do ponder for a little while the negativity projected my way, 
thinking maybe I need to change or slow down or not have so many aspirations,  
I also remember that I am well and truly entitled to my dreams, 
I am well and truly allowed to believe that anything is possible. 
That I can explore, create, grow and soar... because that is what I was made to do!

So you know what, the reality isn't that I miss the kid who used to dream with no barriers, 
the reality is that I miss the kid who didn't let others stop her from dreaming with no barriers. 

My wish for you today and every day, 
is that you know your dreams are worthwhile 
and that you know you don't need permission from follow them.
Jay x

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A window has opened ...

Our new baby...

No I'm not preggers.
I'm speaking of the creative baby that has been in the making for the last month. 
Our new little range to grace the shelves at Olive Grove studios.

We focused on only 3 designs to get it off the ground and happening,
 but look forward to building it into something even more ab fab.

 Check out the rest of our goodies on our Lost in Melbourne Facebook page.
Jay x

Thursday, September 27, 2012

New range...

I've been a busy little squirrel working away on a new range being introduced to Olive Grove.

Lost in by Anna, Roze and I to be released real soon....
Follow us on Facebook for all the goss.
Jay x

Friday, August 31, 2012

Choose your own bag challenge...

I know it's the 11th hour on the 31st day of said challenge. But until the bell chimes at midnight bringing in the new day, I can honestly say that I finished my bag in time, for the 'choose your own bag challenge' hosted by the crafty diva Curlypops.


I had contributed my little man bags on day one, but they were a w.i.p before the challenge begun, so it felt a little like cheating. My plan was to make at least one more bag so that I could honestly and truly be working in response to and inspired by the challenge.

So here's what I whipped up this arvo.

 I made sure to interface, line, add pockets and top stitch so it looked all professional and all...
No zips, sliders or bling though. That,  i feel, is the job of someone who has done a Nicole M designs, bag making class. Although it is one my wish list, to do said class... I haven't. So i figured it best to stick with my current skill set, especially with such a deadline looming.

The fabric I had on hand is all furnishing weight, linens and a bit of wine colored velveteen for contrast. Quite a girly ensemble, but I do like that sometimes.
Making bags is something that has been on my to do list for ages. So I'm glad that I made the time to make and test this pattern. I think it needs to be longer in the body, but otherwise I'm really happy with how it turned out.

Thanks so much Cam, for being the hostess with the mostess and coming up with another great challenge for us.
Jay xx

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A little ray of sunshine...

The days are getting warmer and the sun is hanging round way past 5pm,
 letting us know daylight savings, 
long summer nights and all the goodness of spring is on it's way.

 Image available here : Etsy

Alls I can say is thank god!

I'm well over this winter. 
After 3 colds and life just being a bit too dark and dreary for my liking
 I welcome a little sunshine.

Jay x

Friday, August 24, 2012

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Experimenting and making new things ...

Have finally got around to making this little foxy after sitting on the pattern for well over a year. Tis the cutest thing eva.
I am sure I should be doing real work, but experimenting with new things is much more fun.

 I still haven't given up on the crochet training either.

Pretty quickly getting through that little stash of wool I bought at Spottie recently,
by learning new stitches and making lots of scarflettes.

What will I do when winter is over?
Jay x

Friday, August 3, 2012

Choose your own bag adventure...

The crafting queen Cam, over at Curlypops is hosting another fab sew along  This time it's on Bags.
Fortunately I have a head start on this one.

I was working on our new little sheriff range for the shop last week and decided that there needed to be a bag for little boys too. Mainly because I have a little boy that loves to carry his cars and dinosaurs around when we go out. So rather then weigh down my bag, makes sense he has his own.

With some black denim on hand, a bit of seat belt webbing and our screen printed star, I came up with this...

 He does love it.

Although, that won't be my only contribution to the sew a long. I have soooo much cute, cute fabric just hanging around waiting to be turned into something awesome. Small pieces that are not big enough for garments, so a bag is the perfect option.
I'm thinking ladies bag, saddlebag shape, over the shoulder...
Hmmm. Time to start working on number 2.

Thanks Cam for hosting the challenge.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

And the rest...

After a two day stint in the sewing room, I'm proud to say the rest of the Sheriff range is complete...

A fun little selection of goodies for 1 - 4 year olds by Roze Elizabeth and I.
Now available at Olive Grove Studios.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


For this weeks 'What's new Wednesday' over on the Olive Grove facebook page, we decided to focus on kids wear and beef up that colorful corner of the store. Everyone has made some awesome things, but I just have to show you mine...

A crafty collaboration between Roze and I. 

Roze the screen printer extraordinaire and I the....
well I ... the designer/machinist extraordinaire.

They come in size 1 to 4 and I'm nearly finished the black ones too.
The little star says 'Sheriff, protecting Melbourne' Sooo cute.

I'll be back with pics when the black ones and matching bags are done.
Jay x

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

New wool ...

I needed to add new wool to my little stash, 
so took my trusty $20 off voucher to spottie on the weekend and got some.

 I had finished another beanie during the week in this cluster design, 

So applied my new cluster skills to use the same pattern for a cowl
 in this awesome Dijon color I picked up.

I then made ...and remade a cowl in an awesome 12ply rusty color. But it still looks terrible, So I'm researching a good pattern to use on a chunky wool. Anything tight or delicate is just lost on such a thick wool. It needs to be really open I think, so it keeps it's drape.

I tell you, in the time I've spent making and undoing this rusty one I could have finished all the other colors.
But I will not be defeated, Oh rusty wool. I will make you beautiful.
Jay xx

Friday, July 13, 2012

Zoom, crop, resize, upload, repeat....

Whew...that has been my life the last few days.

I decided to re-open my poor neglected Etsy shop and totally forgot how much hard work it is. In my mind I was thinking, grab a bundle of new stuff, take pics of the clearance stuff and bob's your Uncle.

But 3 days later...
 Nah it's all good.
The reality is, a normal person would just upload one or two things here and there. I was trying to put 2 or 3 of each of the things I do, so I could represent a fair amount of my range....Hmmm...Seems I do a lot!

But, you know, diversity adds interest and the reality is making/creating/dreaming/designing is the driving force, the blood in my veins. So of course there is a lot.

Worst part was my little shop front message. It went something along the lines of 'My Etsy shop is closed whilst I focus on an exciting new clothing range, stay tuned for  updates soon'

Oh No...I guess my idea of SOON, was about two years.

So slack. but....onwards and upwards. Back on track. I look forward to exploring all the new features.

A lot has changed. Etsy is pretty jiggy with it and now have Apps', Connections to Facebook, twitter and Pinterest, live feeds on your activity and more.
I feel like a kid on my first day of high school all over again.

Oh and apologies to my FB page likers for 3 days of Spamming....they have a feature on Etsy, that when you upload products you can link to you FB feed and let your page followers know. Was fun at first, but in retrospect a bit Spammy. Soz...I was a kid in a candy shop.

Life goes back to normal...Now...Well as normal as it gets around here.
Jay xx

Monday, July 9, 2012

Pretty beads...

All in a row.

I've been busy painting up beads for my new necklaces. 
Love how they look all together.
Jay x

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Getting there...

So I've had a few more attempts at a shaped beanie over the weekend.

I'm getting better at it, thanks to Jennie's advice on how to mark the beginning of your round. Makes all the difference.

The shaping is coming along nicely, although my end result in sizing is somewhat unpredictable.

The first pattern was in a 1980's Womens weekly book and had all sorts of terminology I didn't understand. I get the DC, HDC, CH, SL ST... but was thrown by a few others MC, ISC and INC for example and they didn't have the key to their little codes anywhere, so I had to call in the big guns .... Mum to the rescue.

Seems MC = main color  CC1 = color change one and inc h tr means you have to increase hmmm. I reckon these pattern writers are LAZZZYYYY. Is it so hard to just write stop using blue and start using the red!

And how about saying... do two htr's in the next hole, then one etc...not just inc h tr, rep from *

My goodness, it's like learning Morse code. You know, the crochet bit is easy easy it's reading the lazy patterns that does your head in. Thank god I have my interpreter on call ( Mum xx)

So anyways, rant over...

I made this, which worked out well and to the correct size based on instructions from my 1980 Woman's day book.

Then I made this one following a pattern I found on Ravelry. Whilst it was my best attempt yet at having a shaped crown, the sizing was way off. It was supposed to be a 3-5 year old and I reckon it's 3 - 6 month old.

I think ... after googling and staying up far too late last night trying to conquer this thing, I think I'm doing it wrong. Well obviously! But to be precise I think I'm putting my stick into the middle of stitches and not in between the top two. That's the only thing I can think that might effect the out come. My stitch count is spot on, per round, so it's not that.

I dunno.
I have not been beaten though. I will carry on with my experiments as with each attempt I can see I am getting better.
I'm knowing where my rounds start and stop, counting my stitches... two little changes that make a big difference and hats are a perfect size project to test on. They don't take too long to do and they'll always fit someone.

I know I'd be too sad if I'd devoted that time to a Cardigan only to see it wasn't working and had to be unravelled.
But a few more attempts and I reckon I'm ready for a garment...

This perhaps:

 Pattern available here:

Oh ... blessed readers who are not into crochet...My apologies for boring your socks off.
Other types of crafting to resume shortly.
Jay xx

Friday, July 6, 2012

Is it a plane...

Is it a crocheted snow cone.
A pear cover perhaps?

Well no, it's supposed to be a beanie.
 One that is nice and shaped on top, not all cinched in like my last two.

Alas it is shaping up to look more like a snuggli for your pear.

Aint no human head gunna fit in there! 
And it has some weird pointy bit happening up top..

Sort of shaping up to be a form fitted crochet bikini perhaps!

Nope... time to unravel and start again me thinks.

I know where it all went pear shaped too. 
Some time around the bit that said, when you get to the end of that round start doing ...
Who can tell where it starts and ends. It's all one big circle. A circle that never ends. And who has time to count stitches.

Oh I know. If you don't pay attention Jay, you end up with nipple covers not beanies!
So I shall undo, start again and figure out a way of marking the end of a round.
Wish me luck.
Jay xx

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Beanie attempt no.2

So after my not too bad attempt at beanie number one,
 I tried another one from the same pattern and came up with this.

I crocheted it as double instead of single...again to suit my need for speed.
Seems that doing stuff in double crochet renders it a bigger finished size. 
It was still a 48cm band and 20cm long but it's looser. Probably the best way I can describe it.

I also winged it and tried reducing stitches as I got to the top, so it was somewhat shaped. 
It sorta worked.
After this one I decided to search for a new pattern to experiment with in the land of the beanie.

Come back tomorrow for my 'Project, shaped beanie... FAIL'... 
Seems I still have a lot to learn in the land of the things made with yarn and a stick.

I will persist, as I hear practice makes perfect.
Jay xx

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


On the print table today...
Jay x

Sunday, July 1, 2012

It's not a scarf...

So today, I roused up some yarn I had lying around the house, grabbed the nearest crochet stick and committed to making something that was not a scarf.

Perfect time to start a challenge, what with being 11 degrees and pouring outside.
I headed to the newly joined, Ravelry site and searched beginners beanie.

It's a size 2-3 and I mostly followed the pattern except for adding a few rows of double crochet, which occurred purely out of my wish to get it done quicker.

 Although I quite like the effect.

I tried the finished hat on Mstr.Finn and found it to be to high in the crown, but then thought it was probably more about it being a bit tight and not big enough to pull down any further to fill the crown, hence my decision that it's a size 2-3.

Knowing it didn't quite fit my little one, I decided to add a flower and make it for a little girl instead.

I'm quite happy with my first attempt at crocheting something that was not a scarf, but will try to find a beanie that is more shaped on top rather then a square pulled in.

Tomorrow's mission.
Jay x

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Something about this weather...

There is just something about this weather that makes we want be snug as a bug
 under a rug on the couch, knitting.

Image via here

Knitting or crocheting. 
I tend to be o.k at scarves or granny squares, but have never attempted clothing. 
So this winter, muchly inspired by Jennie's awesome efforts as a beginner, 
I think I shall challenge myself to knit a cardi and a beanie. 

Image and pattern via here

Of course it will be for someone represented in the infant category, or possibly a dolly...
have to realistic about my skills and patience on that one. 
The smaller the better.
Wish me luck.
Jay xx

Friday, June 29, 2012

Grand sale...

Big crafty sale happening down at the Grove tomorrow.

I've managed to hit the fabric shelves and have a BIG clean-out. So sad to see some go, but it has to be done. 
My home will breathe a sigh of relief for having a bit more free space.

I managed to rustle up...

Little pieces perfect for applique or fabric buttons,

Bigger pieces and by the meter for garments and bigger projects...

Test screen prints, great for applique' ...

and boxes a plenty of fabric. Vintage, jersey, craft and more...

Sale is one day only, including fabric from Polly Pratt, Starashan and the other designers down at Olive Grove too. So do pop down and grab yourself a bargain.
Jay xx

Friday, June 22, 2012

My boyfriends back....

Hey now, hey now...

After a week and a half of solo parenting,
 my man has returned from a trip with his mum,
 to gloriously warm Bali.

Twas his first overseas trip so he was mighty pleased to be having a break away
 from our cold winter for a little while.

After the initial shock of realizing that I had to get out of my pajamas each day to make sure the kids got where they needed to before the bell, we settled into some sort of routine. I learnt I could deal with spiders, change the light bulbs, take the rubbish out, dress and feed the children too.

All the single mumma's ...hats off to you. It's hard yakka doing it all on your own.

He had a delightful time away and managed to fill two memory cards with photo's. 
So nice to see him reignite his passion with photography. 

Of course it would seem the obligatory snap of man in skirt was had...

 along with many...


 and even more...

 pics of the wildlife.

I was just so glad to have him back. 
 Although the food lasted longer and the house stayed cleaner...hmmm 

 Nah 13 plus years together, I think it must be love!

Jay xx