A power outage this morning made it impossible for me to work so I had a half hour to make something. At last. Just a little project I’ve been thinking about for a while, and my painting skills are not great. But there he is, a little bluebird of happiness on a wooden heart, with his inspiration beside him in the photo. I’m going to seal it with craft varnish when I’m sure the paint’s dry.

Bluebird of Happiness

Bluebird of Happiness

The Mandy Bag, awaiting its final coat of varnish.

The Mandy Bag, awaiting its final coat of varnish.

I promised Wendy an annual bag, and she chose ‘Mandy’, which was her favourite as a child. I tried to find one from the year of Wendy’s birth, but this was the closest I could get. Wends says she likes Mandy on her bike. I know that the red polka dot is a little loud for Wends, but it’s my current favourite fabric and I think it goes perfectly with the red title on the cover. The final coat of varnish is drying as I type, and the bag will be handed over to a friend this afternoon to be carted back to Cape Town and delivered to its new owner. Enjoy, Wends!

doe-c-doe: thursday = embroidery.

Oh me oh my. This is just a beautiful thing. Hand-designed, cut and embroidered, this is the most one-of-a-kind it gets. And I want one! It’s people like doe-c-doe who make me want to make things. And she’s one of those who is incredibly generous in sharing her ideas, projects and patterns. Thank you for this marvellous project, which has brightened up my day!

So after the (relative) success of Anti’s Birthday Present, I decided my male friends might occasionally appreciate an embroidered gift. Or at any rate, they’d have to pretend to because they know a lot of work has gone into it. <winky face> So, with my good friend Darren’s birthday coming up, I decided to make him something. Darren, if you’re looking at my blog for some strange reason, go away now because it’s not your birthday yet.

It’s still a work in progress. There’s some filling in to be done and I’m not happy with the face so I’m going to redo it. As usual, the photos are a bit blurry because my camera sucks (but I’m getting a new one soon – Yay!). I downloaded an illustration from the interwebz and traced it for the design. The iron-on embroidery transfer pencil didn’t work so I used white dressmaker’s carbon. This design would look great in colour, I’m thinking, but since it’s for a guy I decided to go monochrome. Just very basic backstitch and satin stitch.

Loving that retro 50s polka dot.

Loving that retro 50s polka dot.

What have I been up to lately. April is whizzing by in a daze of chocolate, parties, dinners, drinks, more chocolate, school holidays and, yes, more chocolate. I have indeed made a few things this month. I made some bibs and a kitty softy for a new member of the family (the very beautiful daughter of an old friend and his equally beautiful wife), but I was in such a rush to get them finished and pack in time to get to the airport, I forgot to take photos. The bibs were great fun to make, though, so expect to see some here soon.

I’ve made another annual bag, trying to get the thing right. I made a Barbie annual bag for my daughter. I still haven’t got that base right though, and my husband tells me it’s too flimsy. So it’s back to the drawing board with that.

The most fun I had this month was going shopping at the Durban SPCA bookshop and then at the Alexandra Park market in Pietermaritzburg. Look at these gorgeous books I found:

Gorgeous vintage children's books from Alexandra Market

Gorgeous vintage children's books from Alexandra Market

Finally, all done. I’m not sure that the contact on the outside is going to work. Wear and tear … We’ll see. But it looks great. The photo below shows the lining being inserted, glued and pegged into place, and then the final bag with clear contact wrapping the outside. It looks so cute!

Twinkle bag being finished off. Can't wait to carry this around!

Twinkle bag being finished off. Can't wait to carry this around!