Maker of sock critters, shaker of cocktails, baker of occasionally edible experiments involving peanut butter and chocolate. If you'd like a customised cuddly critter, tweet me @makeitwednesday

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

You know the automated cookie cutter scene from Edward Scissorhands, with the robots' feet cutting shapes out of dough as the dough moves along a conveyor belt? (No idea what I'm on about? That's normal. Here, watch the clip, it'll make more sense then.) Sometimes I wish I had one of those for cutting out critter patterns. I'm a pretty slow cutter-out-erer so a machine would make things heaps faster (and probably neater, too). Plus, how cool would it be to have a machine like that in your house? Imagine giving first-time guests the guided tour.

'The kitchen's through there, this is my craft room - watch out for the giant zombie octopus - and, oh yeah, that thing in the corner? That's my Pattern-bot,' all said with a nonchalant shrug, of course.

Since I sadly do not yet possess a Pattern-bot nor the knowledge of how to build one (I am pretty sure pipe cleaners and empty toilet rolls are NOT involved, since the last time I tried building a robot out of those it was a dismal failure) I have had to become my own Bot and cut out lots and lots of shapes myself.

I spent nearly three hours today cutting circles out of felt. These are just a few of them. I could be a wanker and say I am exploring how different colourways work together here, or I could just explain that the felt circles would later get sewn together and used as owl eyes. (Oh, and the tin of pins you see there? The tin came from my sister (it had beads in it that I made into a necklace for her) and the little bit of orange chalk (handy for marking fabric) is a leftover from childhood. Our family really are hoarders.)

I also spent some time cutting lots and lots of owl shapes out of assorted fabric. I'd been asked to make one owl so I figured, why make just one when I could make a dozen and have some in stock for the next time someone needs one? The above shot shows how useless I would be as a cutting-out robot, unless I was programmed for chaos. There's owl parts and eyes and leftover felt and gluey bits everywhere.

And now, through the magic of time lapse technology...also known as me updating this blog sometime after I started writing it.... I bring you the finished result. Yes, only two owls, but man, you oughta see the number of eyes I've stitched up! (Er, that would be "several" since I am REALLY slow at sewing such things, but please just pretend there is a whole MOUND of owl eyes ready to go in my very well-organised studio *cough* OK, in my craft room *cough, cough* OK FINE, in the ROOM OF UTTER CHAOS I choose to call my craft room. There, happy now?)

My scissors have been in my hands for so long today I almost feel like I'm Edward himself. Maybe the Bot isn't so far away after all.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Unbearably cute

My pal Robyn and I are hanging out in Hobart for a few days, and we found these guys hanging out in the foyer of the Ronald Mcdonald House there. Too cute! I had a knitted bear that was kinda similar when I was a kid, only he was nekkid (ie knitted without clothes). On special occasions I'd put a red bow around his neck, and that was about as dressed up as he'd get. Either he was a pervy nudie rudie bear, or these guys are wearing built-in clothing simply because it's colder in Hobart than Melbourne.

Hobart must be the unofficial knitting capital of Australia - the CWA shop is full of gorgeous knitted goodies (as well as cakes, jams and home grown fruit) and we've found at least three places specialising in hand-knitted clothes and beautifully dyed wool. In my short time here I've developed an obsession with hand-knitted tea cosies, which is kind of nuts since I rarely drink tea from a tea pot (I usually use a cup, boom-tish). These super cute ones were at the Salamanca Market, a huge art and craft and fresh produce and clothing and bric-a-brac extravaganza held every Saturday in Salamanca Place. If you're ever in Hobart, GO, it's great fun.
As for what I purchased... well, I'm off to check out Hobart's nightlife, so you'll have to wait for the next post to find out!