Blah blah blah … and oh! Blah di blah!

32 is a much better number than 31 – I have a much more positive outlook as a 32 year old.
Sunday involved croissants for breakfast, birthday cake, chocolates, flowers, a cuter than cute jug, music, a dvd, a box for my sewing stuff, a sketchbook and some pjs, unexpected phone calls from folks near and far and Amelia J clapping madly at the end of “happy birthday” and then saying “Ha!!” to me from time to time for the rest of the day.

This sounds totally ridiculous, but I have had to teach Amelia how to hug. Who knew that hugging isn’t necessarily natural?! Previously she would come up to one of us and give us a kind of nuzzle or maybe sort of hook her chin over our shoulders accompanied by an expression like “aaaah” or “mmmm”. I would see other little kids Amelia’s age or younger throw their arms around their parents and I was starting to worry that we had a problem here. Perhaps Amelia would never hug and never discover the joys of such an activity! So over a couple of days last week we went into training. I kept looping her arms around my neck as I said “arms around the neck – this is how you hug! See how good it feels!” and now there’s no stopping the girl. Any opportunity she puts her stubby little arms around my neck and buries her face into my shoulder. Duck to water I tells ya! I got lots of birthday hugs and they were the best.

Yesterday I paid a visit to my favourite japanese second hand textile warehouse and dived into the (somewhat smelly) racks and bins and found an old stained kimono that has some perfectly usable panels (now soaking in water and baby shampoo) and a length of beautiful silk ready for turning into tiny clothes for strange looking rabbits, kittens and bears. I am still experimenting with fabrics and patterns and ideas for these animals. I am inspired by funny old homemade vintage toys that are made from bits of recycled material with hand stitched faces. I like their quirkiness and their character and I am trying to get something of the same feel into my little animals. I have started hacking into polar fleece and toweling and flannelette and after I produced a very funny lopsided bunny (still needs buttons and a pocket etc) which was a rather hit and miss affair, I decided to cut out some patterns so that the arms and legs would be basically the same size. But they are still pretty odd. All this means they aren’t exactly the drop dead beautiful dolls that you might find in the finer doll stores and this also means that they do get misunderstood (our neighbour thought they looked pretty weird and told me that they were something you’d find in a op-shop (thrift store) ). But it’s a work in progress!

While out on my fabric hunt I also visited Dimmey’s which really does have some incredibly cheap bric-a-brac amongst the bargain basement pyjamas, sheets, tshirts and very scary fuzzy slippers. $15 later and I had a bag full of flannelette, gingham, bias binding in three weird colours and a length of beautiful ribbon.

My head is all over the place. I am also working on a three colour screen-print design for class to be printed through cut out paper stencils. As it’s all very blocky and I have to use pretty basic shapes and colours I am doing a Mary Blair inspired girl in the autumn leaves.

I am not sure what it’s going to look like when it’s printed up but I will get some digital snaps of the finished product.