Stuff Cancer

I embroidered this self-cover button for a formidable lady with whom I work. She joined the school a year or so later than me. From the moment I first saw her I was curious. She always wears her hair short, but the colour changes regularly from blonde to red and back again. She laughs loud and often. Her taste in clothes is amazing – especially the floor length velvet coats. And the scarves. And the brooches. Actually, all of it is awesome. The more I get to know her, the more there is to like. Her irreverent sense of humour. A healthy but somehow respectful disregard for authority. The frankness with which she speaks of the not-so-easy birth of her boy helped me to prepare for the not-so-easy delivery of my daughter.  She calls a spade a bloody shovel. (I tend to call it a kind of diggy thing, y’know, with a long handle, sorry about that, and erm, a sort of a .. erm, sorry, a kind of , well it’s a … You get the picture.)

I watch her with the kids she teaches.  She builds them up and they visibly grow  in her presence. They find they can do things they only dreamed of. Everyone needs a teacher like this. Completely unshockable. More irrepressible that the most uncontainable Year 9 student. And unapologetic for it. There are so many things that I admire about her. And here’s one more:

Her Facebook status a few weeks ago read: Stuff Cancer.

She has breast cancer. This is rubbish news. Without wanting to be mawkish (which she really wouldn’t approve of!) it sucks that she is going through this. I don’t mean that it’s worse that she has it than if someone less awesome had it – it’s a completely crummy thing for anyone to be dealing with. And I don’t want to paint her as some sort of beatified semi-deity, calmly managing the disease as snowdrops grow in her footsteps and she smiles benignly on all around her. (Although I did see her  play a Greek goddess once, which was most suitable!)

To be honest, I have no real idea what she’s feeling like or how she’s managing it. I’m not a close friend and so I’m reluctant to ask, with the sympathetic head tilt and earnest frown that one always ends up adopting where cancer is concerned. And it’s highly unoriginal too- I don’t want to be the 50th person this week that requires a break down on her left breast. I’ve made her this button instead. She’s still exactly the same person to talk to: making us laugh in the staffroom, reminding the kids that the sky’s the limit. And by gosh, the woman has style.

Mystery Make Goes Global!

Gosh, I’m so excited at this news that I can’t wait to tell you all  about it. Two otherMoon Munkie Mystery Makes are underway! I hadn’t realised, but 2 of the winners of the competition I ran are doing their giveaways straightaway! So why not head on over and take part… that way if you missed out on the Moon Munkie packages, you still have 2 more chances to win. And while you’re at it, why not run a Moon Munkie Mystery Make of your own? (Be sure to drop me a line so I can enter!)

So, drop what you’re doing and pop over right away to visit Sica at The Seek Speak and Kat at Modern Vintage Cupcakes  and you could pick up a package of goodies.

If you decide to run your own Moon Munkie Mystery Make, help yourself to my button and drop me a line at moonmunkiemakery-blog@yahoo.co.uk  and I’ll post about it too!

Baby Blankets

 These were my most recent commission. And I’m quietly pleased with them. Twin baby girls, friends of a friend of a friend (catch that?) born 2 weeks ago.  The request was that they be very girly with their names on. So I went with pink and peppermint polka dots with a constrasting cream fleece.

Initially I thought that it would just be a square blanket with their names on, but as I started to sew I realised how easy it would be to put a contrasting fleece-lined hood onto the cream side. So the teeny-tiny twinnies will be cosy-warm and snug.

I don’t have an embroidery machine (yet… one day one will fall out of the sky as I’m walking past and beg me to carry it home…) so that limits my options a bit for putting names on.  I like applique, but  machine applique on tiny letters requires more skill than I possess. So I went for hand applique. It was ok, but I still prefer the smooth professional look that machine applique gives.

 

Just as a post script: Has this ever happened to anyone else? I managed to sew through my presser foot whilst making the baby quilts. Sometimes living with Noak (my Swedish-made trusty steed…) is like having a sulky teenager in the house. I select a straight stitch and he refuses and goes ahead with a zigzag. One day I’m going to come home from a weekend away and find he’s thrown a party in my absence. There’ll be a suspicious collection of sewing machine oil bottles in the recycling bin; a tell-tale strand of pink cotton where girl sewing machines have been going through my lipsticks; and on closer inspection I’ll find someone has thrown up behind the piano. But I’ll still love him anyway.

Mystery Makers

I don’t really have any time to write properly now, but I’m so excited to annouce the winners of the Moon Munkie Mystery Make Giveaway. Thanks to everyone who took part. I was amazed at how many people were interested. I hope lots of you will go ahead and host your own Mystery Make, even if you didn’t win. Let me know if you do, so I can enter! I plan to do another one in a couple of months, so do keep an eye out.

Four parcels will be winging their way to the the people below, as soon as they can get their addresses to me. I say “winging” because I think virtually everyone who entered the giveaway was from overseas. And the random number generator picked 3 from the United States and 1 from New Zealand (I think, anyway!) I hope everyone who entered will keep popping back to see how the winners are getting on. I’m very excited to see what they come up with.

So… (long, drawn out pause). The winners are… (cut to commercial break)…  The winners are…

Cation Designs

The Seek Speak

Modern Vintage Cupcakes

Jeanette

 I’ve tried to leave a comment on each of your blogs to let you know you’ve won. Drop me a line at moonmunkiemakery-blog@yahoo.co.uk Or leave a comment here. Can’t wait to hear from you!

Nosey Parker in the Neighbourhood

Diary of a Flutter.Kat
 
I’m taking part today in Diary of a Flutter.Kat’s Nosey Parker in the Neighbourhood. This last month I have been exploring the blogs of other makers like it’s going out of fashion. Since Sew Thankful Week I’ve been in touch with so many cool makers across the world. It’s been so fun getting to know other people. So I thought I’d join in with this one too. But before I do, if you haven’t already, go now and enter the Moon Munkie Mystery Make Giveaway.
 
 Done that? Ok, well let’s continue then.
 
1)  What are your preferred crafts? Do you have one primary one that you do most of or do you dabble around in many different crafts?
I love making. It doesn’t matter how, really. Each year I try to learn a new skill or two. 2011 was knitting and royal icing for example. I’d love to learn to crochet properly this year. I suppose sewing is my first love, but I also do a bit of scrapbooking, cardmaking, baking, quilting (which in my head is different from sewing, somehow!), origami and I really love writing too. Finding new ways to teach Moon Munkie is a craft all in itself too; we call that Playful Learning.  If I were to make a list of all the crafts I’d like to do then I’d probably be here ’til next year. But here are a few: calligraphy, flower-arranging, amigurumi, dressmaking, woodworking, photography, cake decorating, etc., etc. The craft that feels furthest beyond my reach is drafting – to be able to make my own patterns for clothes would be a dream come true. I’d also love to be able to paint and draw, but I have enthusiasm above talent in that area!
 
2)  What avenues inspire you most in your sewing/crafting that we might like to check out?

Well, probably the people who are reading this are the people who most inspire me -all of you out there who have sewing or craft blogs. I subscribe to Molly Makes Magazine, which is beautifully produced; he colours and photos make me want to leap up and make straight away. I love to browse through Etsy and shop for pretty things. Wibbling Wools is an amazing yarn shop in town; I want 2 of everything from there! Probably the most inspiring blog is read is Sew Liberated. Meg is amazing. She homeschools her boys and runs a business at the same time. Her attitude to life is the attitude I long to have!

 3) Are you a one project at a time person or do you have craft ADD?

Ahhh. I posted about this issue just this week. I’m a serial starter. It’s a problem. I get so enthusiastic about my next project that my others get left behind. I never, ever, ever have just one project on the go. If I’ve got less than 10 WIPs then it’s a good month. If I’m honest, some never get finished. Others, I get round to eventually. I’m currently having a month of finishing up, not allowing myself to begin any new projects until March 1st, 2012. It’s killing me! But I’m getting lots done.
4)  What is/has been your longest ever Work in Progress (WIP)?

Erm.. really? I have to tell you that? Well ok, if it’s just between you and me and you promise not to tell anyone else. I started to knit 12″ squares for a blanket. In 2003. 6 done. 10 more to go. At this rate, it will be finished by about 2025.

5 ) What are some of your crafty projects that you’ve made recently that you’d love us to see?

The project I’ve most enjoyed recently was making Moon Munkie’s play kitchen. It was so much fun and I learned a lot of new skills too. And the best of all time was a  wedding quilt for a friend. The applique on the central panel featured her and her husabnd on their wedding day and I adored every minute of making it.

My least favourite project recently has been my Dad’s birthday cake. I bit off more than I could chew and had a nightmare trying to get the sugar paste to hang together. Although I was reasonably happy with the finished cake, it took hours longer than I had anticipated and so I won’t be trying sugar modelling again any time soon.

 

Moon Munkie Mystery Make Giveaway Experiment

*This competition is now closed. Winners will be announced soon.*

I so enjoyed taking part in Sew Thankful last week. It was great to be talking with people from all over the place who sew all kinds of things. It’s given me confidence to attempt an experiment which I’ve been wanting to try for a while. And here it is: the Moon Munkie Mystery Make. I have 4 mystery parcels. They are bursting at the seams with beautiful bits and pieces from my stash. The packages are almost identical in content: more than 20 items in each. Some vintage some more modern, with a colour theme running through. I want to give them away. Would you like one?

If you do, then read on and see the guidelines for the giveaway.

1) They need to go to people with sewing or crafting type blogs which are updated at least weekly. Regularly. Weekly is too hard when we’re all busy making.

2) From the date you receive the parcel, you have 4 weeks to create something inspired by the items in the parcel.

3) You may use all or some of the items in the parcel and you may add from your own stash or buy additional items.

5) At the end of the 4 weeks (or before if you’re quick!) you agree to blog about the item you made (with a link to Moon Munkie) and the processes you went through – with pictures of course!  You can also blog as you go along if you like.  A tutorial for making your item is not essential, but would be appreciated!

6) I will also blog about the challenge. I’ll link to your blog from mine and from my facebook page. So hopefully your blog will get lots of extra visits, too.

 7) Optional You could then do the same sort of thing. Offer 4 packages from your stash to other crafters. I wonder how far it would spread?  I hope you will do this, but I don’t want to make it mandatory in case it puts people off joining in. [Edit: I didn't mean for people to do this until they're ready. It's not a condition for entering.]

So, if you think this would be fun grab the Moon Munkie Mystery Make button and show it on your blog, so other people can hear and take part. Then leave a comment below to tell me a bit about you. Put a link to your blog. I’ll leave the competition open until Tuesday 21st February and then I’ll use a random number generator to pick four people.

I do hope that lots of people want to take part. I’m thinking of making it a regular feature if it’s popular.

 

And the winner is…

I’m really pleased to announce that the winner of the Sew Thankful Week Giveaway is House of Pinheiro! And  I do recommend that you pop over there and have a look at her amazing blog. Is there anything the woman can’t do? She’s got a Valentine Giveaway going on all month, too. So well worth a visit. Thanks to everyone who took part and also to everyone else who did Sew Thankful Giveaways. It was such a fun week and I came across lots of cool makers out there in Internet Land.

In the same vein, I’m going to be starting another competition tomorrow. It’s called the Moon Munkie Mystery Make. I have 4 paper packages (tied up with string) containing a few of my favourite things. Pop back tomorrow to find out how to get your hands on one of them.

 

 

Finish-up February

I have too many projects on the go. I’m starting to feel guilty that some of them haven’t seen the light of day for months. Quite a lot of  months in some cases. Years even. I’m a starter. I get an idea and I begin and then I get another idea and I begin that. I lie awake at night wishing there were  more hours for Makery in a day. But even if there were, I’d probably use them up starting new projects and ignoring ones that have already begun.

So I’ve made a promise to myself that until the end of February I will just work on projects that are already started. And I’ll keep a notebook handy for writing down all the ideas that come during that time, so that I don’t forget them. No New Starting until March 1st. That’s only 17 days. I wonder how much I can get finished up in that time?

Here are some of the things that are on my finish-up list:

  • Sirdar Baby Crofter Fairisle Cardigan for Moon Munkie
  • Debbie Bliss Hooded Kaftan also for Moon Munkie (just needs to be stitched together, but I don’t know how yet!)
  • 2x fleecey baby blankets for twin newborns – friends of a friend of a friend. (finished 18/2/12)
  • 2x quilts made from baby clothes for twins who are friends with Moon Munkie – this is my biggest guilt trip as I began them more than a year ago. (done as much as possible, now waiting on a decision about backing from the twin’s Mama)
  • Felt tree with birds, leaves and weather bits and pieces for teaching Moon Munkie
  • Cabled scarf for a friend
  • Oven gloves I began on a course in November 2010. Just need binding and they’re done!
  • Wooden beading on Moon Munkie’s play table to hold the light table / mirror in place.
  • Set of bean bag fish  – I’ve even forgotten why I was making these, so I can’t see them getting finished now until I think of a reason.
  • Bibs – which the babies I began them for have now grown out of.
  • Baby kimonos from Amy Butler’s Little Stitches - see note on bibs.
  • Jelly roll quilt – I fell out of love with the colours soon after it was started and so it’s cut up but I’m reluctant to go back to it.

I know for sure that I won’t be able to get all of this done in 17 days, but I’m going to see if I can get some of the more important projects tidied away.  Let me know in the comments if you have the same issue! And don’t forget to enter the giveaway. 2 days left now.

Nappies for Baby dolly

 

Today Moon Munkie was playing with Baby. She wanted to change her nappy but the disposables I have were WAY too big for the 14″ dolly. She was having the best time, but the big girl nappies were less than satisfactory. When it was time for Moon Munkie to go to bed, we convinced her that Baby needed to stay downstairs tonight. And I spent a pleasurable hour stitching up 3 little reusables. They are so sweet and I managed to design the pattern, cut, stitch and finish off in about an hour and a half. So if your little one’s little one needs a clean bott, as we say in the Munkie Household, then grab the Reusable nappies for baby dollies template and photo tutorial.

 This is my first photo tutorial, so I’d be really grateful to hear what you think. If it’s not useful, how could I do better? If you decide to try, don’t forget to send me a picture and let me know how you get on!

Sleepless in Suffolk

Does anyone else have to do this before they can go to sleep? Or is it just my brain that does its best work once the bedroom light is switched off? I went to bed at 10.30pm. At ll.45pm I had to get up to find my notepad to write down all the things flitting around my brain so I could concentrate on sleeping and not on remembering intricate design details and colourway decisions.

Which brings me neatly to my reason for blogging today. As I mentioned briefly yesterday, it’s Sew Thankful Week. And I’m thankful that the thing keeping me awake is the buzz of designing and making and not the awful things that are keeping other people that I know awake at the moment. I’m thankful that I’m not facing ill health, debt, bereavement or any other of the Big Nasties that life throws in occasionally.

And I’m thankful for this luxurious existence that I have which allows me to spend days with my Moon Munkie and evenings doing whatever I like . . . which is often sewing, or other makery. I’m thankful for my one-day-a-week employment which is fulfilling and challenging; and keeps the financial pressure off our family a bit. I’m thankful for Mr Munkie who works so hard to provide for Moon Munkie and me. It’s really him who gives me the time and freedom to make. And he never says, “Really? You need a Horn sewing cabinet? /second pair of size 8 circular needles? /subscription to Molly Makes?” which shows you just what a lovely Munkie he truly is. I’m thankful for my Moon Munkie – its her antics and activities that give me inspiration to make things. And I overall I’m thankful to the Lord who makes all things possible. Even sewing.

Don’t forget to go and enter the free giveaway competition.