Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Making up for lost time

I do have a small excuse for not blogging. I updated to an Ipad nearly 2 years ago from a PC and the biggest drawback is that I can't seem to post photos etc from my iPad directly onto this blog. At first I thought it was just me, learning all the differences that go with change. However, after much searching through Google and asking others, I have discovered that Blogger and iPad just do not talk to each other.

I have to go back to my old computer. I am looking into options especially as I can no longer do market stalls due to health reasons.

Most of the creations happen when we are travelling around Australia in our Robbiebago Motorhome. This will be only the 2nd winter we have stayed home in 8 years. This time due to hubby needing a 2 month stint as outpatient in rehab for his lung disease and possibly entering in a medical trial which we hope to know if he 'qualifies' within 2 weeks. (The 1st was for my cancer treatment.)

I have been slowly but consistently making various crafts mostly sock dolls & sock monkeys.

Hopefully I can keep this blog going but either way, I will keep you informed as I get things together.
Keep safe & warm through this winter, where ever you are. Actually I would love to know where everyone lives, so please leave a comment and let me get to know you a little.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

The missing sock dilemma

How come so many socks  get separated from their twin?

With 6 people in the family, I don't actually ensure that they go in the washing machine as a pair, but I have to assume that  the kids and the hubby take both their socks off at the same time AND you'd assume that 90% of the time they would chuck them in the dirty clothes bin together. So why then do so many come out alone?

If this doesn't happen to you, then maybe you should tell me what it is that I am doing wrong so often.With 6 members to my family, you can imagine how many "lost" socks there were. Every now and then I would spend some time seeing if its lost mate was waiting for him, which it rarely ever was.

There was a stage when the fashions encouraged the kids to wear mis-matched socks much to my horror (My OCD tendencies flare up at such blatant odd pairings).

So just how long does one wait for the partner to roll up? A few days, a week, a month?

I have only been making sock dolls for the last couple of years so now when I look back... I can see so many missed opportunities where I could have at least turned them into something cute rather than using them for dust rags.  Now I can just save the extra one for my wonderful sock creations. Of course I hang onto the extra one for a few months just in case that missing sock will turn up one day. Well... that depends on how good looking the sock is. I might think it would make this fantastic sock monkey.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Life is wonderful

I must admit that I am totally spoilt in so many ways, being able to craft in lots of beautiful locations around Australia as I do.

My husband and I have reached a stage in life when we can take off to warmer climes for winter in our motorhome, which Rob converted from a small bus specifically so we can live in it off the grid and fully self contained. we named the motorhome Robbiebago II. You can follow our journeys on a separate blog of the same name here.

It is this life on the road that has prompted me to look for a craft I can easily source materials along the way, it doesn't require lots of space or weight and that there be aspects at least that can be done whilst Rob is driving esp on the long road trips. (Australia is such a big country, almost as big as the USA and it surpasses all of Europe.)

Europe fits in Australia with lots of room to spare.   On this trip we've only gone north as far as Gladstone which is a good 18 hours non stop driving.  We've taken a leisurely few months to get there.

The fact that I can use the sales of my sock creations to support Without a Ribbon is also very important to me. WaR is an Australian charity set up to support people who have been diagnosed with rare cancers of which I am one myself. Rather than count the days I have left, I can be proactive.

Sure there are some days that are not as great as others but the vast majority of them are great and these is what I focus on. Now that we know my husband also has a degenerative lung disease just makes our time together ever so much more precious especially while we can still both travel.

A sloth named Baffles

A Minnie Mouse Monkey in her little skirt

So lets leave all that extraneous drivel and get on with showing you my latest sock creations.
Many of them are still available for sale as I have not been attending any markets this trip other than from the other side as a browser and buyer! LOL

Baby Peaches

Pocket Pal Kitten "Minty'

Thursday, July 20, 2017

A week's holiday break

We recently had a week to stay on a friend's bush property as a break within our  travels. It was on a open bushland property and we were joined by Rob's brother and his wife.

Plenty of family time around the campfire

That's our rig in the back and my brother and sister in law with Rob talking to them. We enjoyed their company and also went sight seeing, had a fire every evening, went out for drives and a dinner out, there was also plenty of time for some craft. I was able to set up a sewing machine in the covered outdoor room you can see between us and the bus/motorhome. It was great to have it all out and indulge in some craft time whenever the opportunity and inclination occurred. The kangaroos come for a feed whilst I was sewing one afternoon.

Hungry but shy kangaroos
Here are some of my recent sock toys.

I finished these girls

2 of these girls are still waiting for their forever home on my Facebook page. I also had plenty of time to also get started on these delightful sock sloth dolls.They too can be found on my Facebook page.

Sock Sloths nearing completion

Now that's what I call a week of pure luxury. A holiday within a holiday! What's your favourite way to spend a week?

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Socks, Socks and more Socks

Socks are coming out of my ears. I picked this hobby for travelling as it is easy to find most of the items in just about every town on the road.

Just a small bundle of socks

Yes. I am back on the road, travelling around the lower eastern part of Queensland in our trusty motorhome, Robbiebago. My broken wrist is healing nicely after nearly 4 months now. I can do nearly everything though it is still a little weak.

Have socks - will travel & sew

I have made several items since breaking my wrist, starting with a no sew tied floor cushion for my first grandson.

You can see both sides of the floor cushion here and of course my darling boy!

Then a few dolls, monkeys and even a few sock sloths which I am happy to say are very popular.

Just 3 of my sloths

So where do I get my supplies?

I generally find them on special at Kmart & Big W and even some dollar shops have them cheap. Yesterday I was at this tiny little town called Monto, Queensland where the dress shop had some socks for $2. Of course I just had to pick up some more. They weren't the exciting patterned ones nor even stripey ones, but hey the plain colours are great sometimes too. I want to have a go a making a sock monkey of odd colours one day, eg a pink snout, green head and yellow... well, you get the idea. Actually I have ideas faster than I have time to make them. Groan... ;)

Then you can get embroidery cottons by the skein for around $1.00 each. Buttons can be found at the craft stores as well as op shops occasionally. For the stuffing I buy new hyper allergenic but cheap pillows and pull them apart. I have found that I prefer some brand over others, but that is just me nit picking. Felt from the dollar shops and even Spotlight aren't the good stuff but it is easier to get. The wool felt is so much nicer though and so far I can only find them on line.

Once you have these simple supplies, you can make a sock monkey for way less than $10.00 per monkey. It does take some time though which what you are also paying for when you buy anything handmade including my delightful sock toys. It is up to you whether you sew it totally by hand, or partially with your sewing machine and finish it off by hand.

2 monkeys made from dollar shop socks

Want some more info? Then comment here or send me a message!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Crikey: a broken wrist

Oh dear. Its rather difficult to make the lovely cute sock creations when one has a broken wrist.

My troop of monkey friends

It was just a simple thing, but who knew a little bit of gardening on holidays would cause me so much grief. We rolled up at a friend's place after attending a wonderful Rare Cancer Conference organized by Without A Ribbon.

I love gardening and it was a joy to spend some time outdoors, helping them by doing a little weeding. I caught my foot on a rock, I took a tumble backwards and knew almost immediately it was bad enough to need investigating. I broke right across the top of the radius on my left hand.

A trip to the hospital to confirm my suspicion only it's bad enough to require surgery to put a volar plate in. I am going to be out of action for the next 8 weeks!

No sewing! I can guess some of you are saying that I can sew with my right hand since I am right handed. However several things come into play. I consumed in a lot of pain and can't even think of any sort of crafting. I could hardly even concentrate to watch TV for about 3 weeks. Secondly we were still travelling in our motorhome. Surgery was required in an unfamiliar city. When eventually I can think again, the mobility especailly any twisting of my wrist was almost impossible. It is amazing just how much we rely on our non dominant hand for so many things.

I walked around like this for 3 weeks often in a sling

The scar has healed quite neatly. It is going to be a long road to full flexibility - physio reckons 12-24 months to my peak. Still I can feel improvements esp since I've taken the bandage off allowing more movement. I can't bend it back very far and about 50% forward. I also can't close my hand into a fist yet. But I can start to grip and carry a very light load in my hand. So it's going to be a lot of physio.

I still couldn't twist my wrist at the time of the photo but it's much improved now

I reckon sewing will help the physio part, don't you? 😉 Actually threading a needle was the hardest part needed to actually get started. I still find it hard to stuff. I think it is more to do with gripping it tight enough and holding the doll with my left hand whilst inserting the filling. It's all part of my physical therapy, I reckon.

I have a floor cushion that is my next project. It will be a gift for my first grandson. Come back soon and see it!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

My grand daughters inspired me

As a teenager I made my own clothes, more so that I could wear the latest fashions. Then when I married, I thought making my children's clothes was what a "good" stay at home mum should do especially when inspired by the example of my wonderful crafty mother in law.

As my kids reached their teen years, they didn't want hand made clothes and I was working more and more in my husband's business by then.

My craft time was taken over by paper crafts especially card making and explosion boxes. My poor sewing machine hardly got used other than to repair this seam or that, and when I took sewing again many skills had rusted over and had to be re-learnt.

One of my explosion boxes

I had dreams of making a quilt and when my first grand child came along, I did make her a baby quilt, but I soon learnt it just wasn't "my thing". I do enjoy making various bits n pieces for them. Children are easy to make for.

Bespoke Christmas and birthday gifts were always something to aim for.

Eventually, my husband stopped working so much and we started travelling extensively in our caravan called Robbiebago around Australia. As I don't get car sick, I looked for crafts to do in the front seat that allows me to interact with my hubby and look at the passing scenery. I first tried quilt as you go.

The beginning of my Quilt as you go, which eventually turned into a bag.

Then I tried crocheting whilst traveling. It happily filled in otherwise wasted time and I made many lap rugs.

It wasn't until I made my grand daughters a Olaf snowman from socks that started to inspire me to make other sock dolls.

Sock dolls and other wonderful sock creatures are so wonderfully tactile.  They are just lovely to cuddle.

They are easy to make and one can source the materials in just about every town whilst travelling and even the stuffing is easily available in most larger towns in the form of new pillows, so I could be productive, but grab the supplies as needed so I didn't have to cart stock from home. Another important consideration when living in a caravan or motorhome is storage and especially the wight of stuff. Sock dolls are extremely lightweight.

I could sell my crafts either online or via various markets as we travel. I donate at least 50% of all my sock creations to raise funds & awareness for Without A Ribbon - an Australian rare cancer charity close to my heart. The only thing more rare than the cancer itself, is the support available to those diagnosed each year.

My first stall on the road
It is certainly much more fun to make sock toys than to darn socks. I have renewed my relationship with my sewing machine and my pile of socks waiting to be rescued from a life covering smelly feet.

A troop of sock monkey friends