making

Garden of Patience

Many years ago, I discovered English Paper Piecing. Very quickly I fell down a rabbit hole that would lead me to spending hours upon hours, cutting out fabric, carefully basting it to cardboard shapes & then painstakingly sewing them together again…by hand. I started with the quite respectable size of one inch hexagons and began to make myself a scrappy hexagon quilt (a project that is still ‘in the making’). Then I discovered something even more amazing. Mum and I made our usual yearly pilgrimage to the Sydney Quilt and Craft show. Here amongst the rows of quilts on display I came across a small wall hanging quilt that was created with quarter inch hexagons. I was immediately struck by it, so much so that it’s hard to describe just how in awe I was. I was amazed someone could sew such tiny hexies together, or that they even had a desire to work in such a small scale. Something about that quilt stuck in my mind and not long after I came across a packet of quarter inch hexagons in a local quilt shop. Quickly, I found myself purchasing them and thus began my foray in to the wonderful world of Miniature English Paper Piecing.

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Garden of Patience Issue One

I set about making hexie flowers. The first couple of times basting the shapes was tricky, but I quickly discovered a method that worked for me. I have tweaked my paper piecing methods over the many years I’ve been doing this style of patchwork. When I first started I used to tack through the paper and fabric, whereas now I baste through the fabric only. My method of folding and adding basting stitches has changed, and I’m always adjusting what seam allowance to cut based on which type of shape I’m using and the size.

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Garden of Patience Issue One

Once I had amassed a collection of hexie flowers I began piecing them together. I didn’t have a clear idea in my mind what size quilt I was making, I just kept making flowers and adding them in. Eventually I started to square the quilt up and decided I wanted to make it roughly A3 size to fit in an Ikea Ribba Frame. Once finished my first quarter inch hexie Miniature Quilt was made up from a total of 1,004 hexagons, with 129 flowers. I didn’t record the hours I spent making it, but it was many! I decided to name it Garden of Patience, very apt don’t you think?

I felt a great sense of accomplishment at the completion of my first Miniature EPP Quilt. It was a true labour of love. I discovered my passion in craft and making lied in hand sewing. The slow stitching nature of it soothes my soul and clears my mind.

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Garden of Patience Issue One

Not long after finishing it, a friend invited me to show my quilt at her stall at the annual Springwood Quilt Show. I happily accepted and helped man her stall over a couple of days, marvelling in the incredulous looks of people when they came to look at my quilt. I got a lot of comments like “How’s your eyesight” or “You’ll go blind doing that” and “you’ve got too much time on your hands”. I was ‘crazy’ and ‘insane’ apparently for hand stitching something so tiny. One thing that was true of the comments from viewers was that yes, I did have a lot of patience. Comments like these don’t offend me. I’m always proud of my work and what I can create on such a small scale. I always tell people that sewing quarter inch hexies is no different to sewing one-inch hexies, I use the same small whip stitches, just less of them and the pieces are just smaller to hold between your fingers.

After unveiling my Garden of Patience Miniature quilt, I received a call from a lovely local lady who commissioned me to make her a version, and so I completed my second Garden of Patience, Issue Two. This time I did record the time it took me to create, 186.5 hours! I added more hexagons and hexie flowers to this one so that when framed the pieced quilt extends a little under the mounting board so that no backing fabric can be seen.

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Garden of Patience Issue Two

I don’t really remember when I started Garden of Patience Issue Three and Four. I know I completed my Four Seasonal Garden Miniature Quilts first. Again, I started out by making flowers. I knew I wanted two different colour palettes, one in fresh pastel spring tones, and one in more muted tones. I dropped in and out of working on these two issues. By the time I had started them I had begun experimenting with other shapes in miniature size, diamonds, triangles and squares. I had also started making my Miniature EPP Hoop Wall Hangings, my core design of these being my Hexie Hearts.

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Garden of Patience Issue Three
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Garden of Patience Issue Three

Garden of Patience Issue Three was finished sometime last year…or possibly even the year before. I didn’t record my time for this version, but estimate it to be around 180-190 hours. The hexagon count is a bit less than Issue Two, 1035 total hexagons and 130 hexagon flowers. This time allocation doesn’t include appliqueing the finished piece on to backing cloth for framing as I haven’t done that yet. Garden of Patience Issue Four was finished this year in April. It has the same hexagon count as Issue Three, and I would guess time to create it would be around the same also.

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Garden of Patience Issue Four
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Garden of Patience Issue Four

Will there be an Issue Five? Well maybe, if someone wanted to commission me to make one, I might consider it. I feel I am done with this particular Miniature Quilt though. Hexagons are such a versatile shape when it comes to creating patterns and designs. I have so many ideas bouncing around my head and I think I’d like to realise them in Miniature Quilts.

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Until next time, don’t fear the humble quarter inch hexagon, it is worth the effort, and needle pricks!

Happy Stitching,

Miss Leela x

Garden of Patience Issue Three and Four are for sale. I can sell them framed or unframed, so if your interested in one of these Miniature Quilt Artworks (as I feel they should be referred to), please feel free to contact me.

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lifestyle, making

April Reflections

Hello Lovelies. One day I’ll write my monthly reflections at the end of the month & not half way through the following month! April began with some more autumn like weather, although it was still quite a mild month. It has taken the trees where I live a long time to start turning into their beautiful Autumn colours.

April saw a big focus on designing my new business logos. I finally finished my new Business Plan & also my new Branding…which I love! I think I will do a separate post to show off my new branding, but because I have already shared it, here is my new Miss Leela Handmade logo….

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Isn’t it lovely? It was designed by Maggi Molloy of Crooked Little Pixel I have tweaked the colours & fonts to my own choosing.

I attended my first local Brown Owls meet up which was lovely. It was great to sit in a room with other crafty women & quietly crochet whilst enjoying a chat over tea & cake. Not sure what a Brown Owls Group is? Brown Owls is a worldwide craft group which began in 2008 & was started by Meet me at Mikes owner Pip Lincolne. Essentially it is a group of mostly women aged between 16 to 70, who like to get together & craft, share ideas, support & teach each other all about their craft. You can find out more info here. 

I have worked on quite a couple of projects this past month. If you haven’t already cottoned on, you should know that I’m quite a monogamous maker. I like to work on just a small number of projects at any one time, though I have many MIP’s (Makes in Progress). I worked on a Custom Order crochet bear for a friend of a friend. This will be my last custom order for awhile (she says hopefully). She is very sweet is she not? For the bobble bow I used a soft acrylic pink yarn by 4 Seasons (available at spotlight). The bow was made with a baby yarn I pulled from my stash that I got from Lincraft ages ago.

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I worked steadily on my crochet pram blanket for my Best Friends new baby. I finished it last night actually so now I just have to sew in the ends, wash & block it. I’m quite happy with how it’s turned out. It was a bit of a pain to crochet though as the yarn split quite often.

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EPP wise I have been working solidly on my Garden of Patience Issue 4, which is now finished! Look out for a more in depth post about this too!

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I started a new EPP project using ½” Half Hexagons. I decided I wanted to make sample mini quilts & hoop wall hangings of all the shapes & sizes I offer in my Paper Piecing Packets range. I will be adding half hexagon papers to my shop soon.

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Parenthood has been a little on the tough side this past month…I’m not ashamed to admit it. Tilly has definitely decided that it’s time for the Terrible Two’s to start (she will actually be turning 2 in 11 days, at the time of writing this). She is becoming a very strong willed & stubborn little girl & when she doesn’t get what she wants or it’s time to stop doing something & she doesn’t want to, boy can she chuck a tantrum. She has the most ear splitting high pitched scream. Her dinner eating habits are driving me crazy, & unfortunately we may have facilitated an addiction to screen/device watching. Sometimes the only way to keep her still & clean up her poo is to give her my phone so she can watch nursery rhymes on YouTube. If that makes me a bad parent, then whatever, I’d rather not get crap everywhere thanks! I know we need to start limiting her screen time though, it’s just hard, ABC kids is such a good entertainer especially when I have business stuff to attend to.

 

It hasn’t been all bad though. We enjoyed some painting & drawing & time in the garden. My Dad & I took her to the Hawkesbury Show, an outing that started well, until she had an absolute melt down that was only stopped by an ice-cream! But apart from that, we enjoyed seeing the animals, climbing in a fire truck, winning a toy at one of the side show games & then later at home playing with the crappy toys in the overpriced showbags we bought her.

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The day after the show (Saturday) I had a stall at the local Glenbrook Rotary Markets. It was a lovely day for a market but sadly not a great day sale wise. It was the first time I’ve set up, manned & packed down my market stall all by myself & it was hard work. I’d been sick with a nasty cold all week prior so I was absolutely stuffed by the end of the day. I think I’m going to give markets a break now until Spring. I think local monthly markets aren’t the best kind for me, it’s not really where my target market is I think. Next year I’d like to try & have a stall at local Patchwork Guild Shows & Fibre shows etc.

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So that is pretty much what went on for me in April. As you may have noticed you’re reading this post on my brand new website! I have been working on this these past couple of weeks. This is where you’ll find my blog, podcast show notes & other things I wish to share with you.

Until next time, I hope you enjoy your making time,

Miss Leela x

lifestyle, making

March Reflections

Hello Lovelies. So, I’m more than a little late with my monthly review post for March. I don’t really have a good excuse for my tardiness to be honest. I can’t say I’ve been too busy to blog, that’s certainly not the case. I think every time I thought to myself ‘I must write a blog post’ I just didn’t really feel like it. I don’t want maintaining this blog to feel like a chore, so I waited until the time felt right. That time is on my lunchbreak at work while I struggle with a nasty cold.

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March was the month for chocolate thanks to Easter. I am happy to say that my Mini Egg jar is full to the brim & I should have no trouble making it last until next Easter. How? I hear you ask. Well It’s stashed away in my studio where no-one else can find it & I only raid it when I’m working in there, which I’m sad to say isn’t as often as I’d like.

For Easter we went camping over the long weekend with our friends. We went to Windeyer which is out in the middle of no-where, about 30 minutes from Mudgee (NSW West Country). We went there last year as well. We had a great time, Matilda in particular had an absolute ball, running around & playing outside with the other kids. Unfortunately, she was sick with a nasty cold (the one I seem to now have) so the first night was a bit rough & we were just about ready to pack our bags & head home the next day. Fortunately though, she settled in to camping life & for the rest of the time she went to bed at night & slept right through to the morning with no problem.

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On the road to Windeyer

It was a wonderfully relaxing time, sitting around the camp fire, having a yarn (of the verbal kind). We had an Easter Egg hunt Sunday Morning. Tilly was mildly more interested than last year (she couldn’t actually walk last year which made it difficult). This year she picked up the few eggs outside our tent & then spent the rest of the hunting time re-arranging her rather small loot! Still she was happy, & truth be told being so young she doesn’t need the copious amounts of chocolate to survive like her Mother does!

I did take some crochet with me, as well as a couple of books & magazines to read but I really didn’t get much of a chance to do any hooking or reading. Most of the time I just chilled out, watched Matilda, ran after Matilda when she decided to go exploring, & played with Matilda & the kids.

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Much of the month of March I concentrated on my new branding & business plan for Miss Leela. I have put a lot of time in to getting my branding identity right & also making decisions on what I want my business to be & where I want to go with it. I’m really happy with the changes I’m going to make.

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I have been keeping up with my Bullet Journal – mostly. I have added a few new pages to track my blog posting & podcasting as well as To-Do lists for my business. I am still enjoying it & like to flick back & see what I have & haven’t yet accomplished this year.

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Making time has seen me concentrate mostly on sewing. I made a fair bit of progress on my Flowers Floor Quilt, but I have put it away for a little bit now.

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I pulled out another unfinished project, the 4th Edition of my Garden of Patience Mini Quilt, made from ¼” hexies & all paper pieced. At the time of writing this I am nearly finished, just working on the last corner. I will do a whole post dedicated to this shortly.

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I have been doing a bit of crochet lately. I started making Tilly an Amigurumi lamb for her Birthday in May & I have been working on a crochet ripple pram blanket for my Best Friends new Baby. I’m at panic stations a bit with that as she is due next week & it is still nowhere near bigger enough!

Speaking of my Best Friend, she had her baby shower at the start of the month & so I busied myself making some decorations. I made lots of lovely long paper garlands made from moon & star shapes in the colour scheme of her nursery. I almost thought I wasn’t going to make it to the shower as Tilly was sick with a Gastro Bug the day before. I planned to just go & set up all the decorations & flowers, but Tilly woke up perfectly fine & dandy & so I stayed for the whole shower making sure to not breath directly on anyone & risk passing the bug on (a bug I got exactly a week after Tilly, & then my husband got exactly a week after me).

For Rachael’s present I had my mum make a crochet cardigan out of yarn that I dyed. I also crocheted her a pear rattle toy & a Bunny Buddy toy.

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Much of March was spent going through my stash & chucking heaps out for my De-Stash sale, which I wrote a detailed post about here. I’m still feeling good about what I’ve managed to cull out. I shall be taking my de-stash stuff to the Glenbrook Rotary Markets Saturday 21st April, as well as my handmade items. This will be my last Market Stall for a while.

Well that’s pretty much all that March had install for me. A busy month of planning, looking ahead to the future & de-cluttering. I feel refreshed & ready to dive in full steam for the rest of the year.

Happy Making,

Miss Leela xo

lifestyle, making, Uncategorized

To De-stash or not to De-stash that is the Question

Over the past month I have been slowly going through my craft paraphernalia. It is amazing how one can hoard so much craft stuff, from fabric & wool, to ribbons & lace, buttons & beads, paper craft & other bits & pieces. For some crafters, the phrase de-stash may conjure up feelings of distress & sheer horror. The thought of clearing out items from a well curated stash might seem like an unbearable thing, a terrible torture to inflict on someone creative. And what about all the money you spent on acquiring your stash? Surely you just can’t give it away for nothing in return?

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When I decided I was going to do a de-stash, I made sure that I did it with conviction. I think this is the key. You can’t go in to it half hearted, you can’t procrastinate on a single thing because that will cause your resolve to waver. I’m not saying it’s easy. It took me three goes to de-stash my patchwork fabric collection, and even now I still think that maybe I have held on to some fabric I’ll never use. But I persisted. Some of it was easy & I found myself thinking ‘why did I by this?’. Obviously I had liked it when I bought it, but tastes change, & you may find yourself drawn to other styles or themes of fabric that leave items in your stash redundant. This has definitely been the case with myself. As I am re-branding my business & in a sense re-branding my entire creative making style, I decided not to keep any fabric that didn’t fit in to my new brand. This made chucking fabric out just that little bit easier.

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De-stashing my fabric was definitely the hardest but I found going through everything else much easier. Now that I have discovered Indie Hand Dyed yarn & I’ve a growing appreciation for quality wool products, throwing out almost my entire collection of acrylic yarn was like eating a piece of cake. The same went with all the ribbons, lace, buttons & beads I had acquired over the years. If I couldn’t see myself making something out of it that wasn’t in-line with my new branding & making style, then out it went!

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So after one has cleansed themselves of un-wanted stash, what do you do with it all? Well I decided to have a Studio Open Day & De-Stash sale. Unfortunately for me the day I picked turned out to be incredibly hot so I didn’t get a stellar turn-out – though I greatly appreciated the lovely ladies that did come & take some of my stash of my hands. Still you never know how these sort of things are going to go if you don’t give it a try. It was nice to sit in my studio & sew all day, surrounded by my craft hoarding & feeling a great sense of relief that I was getting rid of some of it.

 

So what to do with what is left (which is still a massive amount)? I will bring it along to a couple of markets with me & try to sell it that way. It is all quality items, especially the fabric, so I would like to see it go to people who will be able to use it in their own making endeavours.

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I do not regret doing a de-stash, in fact I feel rather great about it! Plus it now frees up storage space in my studio for new stash! This time however I am going to be rather more critical when buying for my stash. Fabric & yarn must be bought with my brand in mind. I’m also going to try & only by items for specific projects, rather than buying something & thinking, yep one day I can make something lovely with that.

So if you’ve been thinking about doing a de-stash, do it! It might be hard, at first you might barely throw anything out. Consider doing a swap with another maker or crafter. This may make the releasing of stash items from your closely guarded collection more bearable. Go in to it with an open mind & you may just feel a great sense of relief & peace with it all.

Happy Making,

Miss Leela x

Tutorials, Uncategorized

English Paper Piecing Tutorial #1

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Hello There!

Just popped by to let you know I filmed my first in a series of Tutorials about English Paper Piecing. Tutorial #1 is all about Basting & Sewing Quarter Inch Hexies. You can view the Tutorial on my YouTube Channel here!

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask!

Happy Stitching,

Miss Leela x

lifestyle, making, Uncategorized

February Reflections & the End of Summer

Hello there! Hope you are all well. Today is the first day of Autumn, although it is still a rather warm sunny summery day. I don’t know about anyone else & I’m certainly no meteorological expert, but I really do think our Summer here doesn’t end until at least April. I feel like over the last few years the seasons have been slowly shifting & Summer gets longer while Autumn & Winter get shorter. I used to always be a summer girl & the heat never really bothered me. Boy has that changed! This year I have found the heat utterly exhausting & I can’t wait for the cooler weather of Autumn & Winter, to get rugged up & wear my boots again! I’m definitely starting to prefer Autumn & Spring now. The weather is so much milder & there are more opportunities to get in to the garden & get some landscaping done.

As one month ends & another begins I thought I’d write a bit about my reflections on the past month & what I have or have not achieved in my aim of developing a more mindful & balanced life.

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I started a bullet journal which is something I have not tried before. I’m not really following any kind of specific formula, or template, just creating pages for things that I would like to keep track of & explore over the year. So far I have really enjoyed it & I try to create a new page every couple of days. I think it will be a really nice way to see what I’ve achieved & remember all the things that we did as a family at the end of the year. So far I have pages for Books I’ve read, Makes for Me, Makes for Tilly, Makes for Gifts & Makes for the home. I’ve also drawn up a Walking & Hiking Tracker to count how many kilometres I do on my morning walks or hikes I go on. I also have a sewing time & crochet time tracker to see how many hours over the course of a year these two activities take up. I have listed my two Make Nines as well as a page for this year’s word, Discovery, & my Mindful Living goals. I have pages for Adventures, Holidays, Garden Tasks & Home Renovations completed. A page to list the things I’m grateful for, New Crafts I’ve Tried & Tilly’s milestones.

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As well as my bullet journal I’ve been working in my List Journal which was put out by the magazine Breathe. Some of the questions or lists have been really easy to fill out, but others are much harder & it’s really forced me to sit down & think about my thoughts & answers.

I have started going on a morning walk on Friday’s. I don’t work on this day, so I get up early & go for a walk before Tilly gets up & before my husband leaves for work. As I really want to get in to bushwalking or hiking, I thought this would be a good way to build my fitness levels back up. It’s also a nice way to clear my mind a bit after a week of being in the office & prepare myself for what the weekend will bring.

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Native Gum Blossom found on my morning walk.

It’s been really hot here this past month so I haven’t really gotten out in to the garden to do much. We have a lot of hard landscaping & clearing that needs to be done & that’s a bit hard to do in 35-40 degree heat! I did get a bit done last week before the rain deluge, & Tim & I cut some trees down & took two loads of waste to the tip. I’d really like to plant some spring bulbs this year, so I need to get the front garden beds weeded & mulched soon so I can do that.

I’ve really enjoyed my making time this month. It’s been nice having the pressure to make items for my shop or markets taken off my shoulders. I’ve enjoyed working on things that I want to work on. I’ve nearly finished my Hexagon Flower Mini Quilt. I have loved working on this & it feels good to have nearly finished something I started ages ago.

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I pulled out another project I started years ago in the past week to get done, a 1” hexagon quilt pattern that I drafted up around 6 years ago. It’s called the Flowers Floor Mat & I’m hoping to get it finished for Tilly for Christmas.

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I’ve been crocheting a couple of things for my best friend who is having her first baby. She is due in April. I’ve been crocheting a ripple pram blanket & I’ve also made a bunny buddy for her. I have plans to make a fruit rattle as well. I also dyed up some yarn which my mum has then crocheted into a gorgeous cardigan. This past week I’ve also been making decorations for her baby shower which is this Sunday.

I have been reading much more, although I still do find that the only thing I really want to do in my downtime is sew. I find it hard to stop when I’m engrossed in a project. This month I finished A Garden in the Hills by Christine McCabe. To be honest I actually started this book last year but put it aside as I got really busy with my shop & markets. I didn’t have much to go so I thought I’d get it done so I could start something new. The book follows a year in the life of a Garden in the Adelaide Hills. I really enjoyed it & it was quite motivating. The only thing I found mildly disappointing is that even though it’s a novel, there were no photos of the garden that the book was about. And while the author painted a really good picture, it would have been nice to see some actual photos.

We went on a couple of outings in February. There was the daytrip I took with Tilly & my parents last weekend, which I wrote about in my previous post to Mittagong & Bowral. Tim, Tilly & I also went on a drive up the mountains to Blackheath to Evans Lookout & also up Blackheath Mountain. Every time we go exploring in our ‘backyard’ & I stand on the rocky outcrops looking over the vast valleys I feel such a sense of awe & littleness. It always leaves me feeling rejuvenated & with a great sense of hope & optimism for our future. It’s so nice getting back to nature. Even though the bush is so vast somehow it also feels so comforting. We’re going camping at Easter with friends out west again this year & I can’t wait! It’s going to be so much fun watching Tilly explore, & you just can’t beat sitting around the campfire with friends having a good old yarn!

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The view from Evans Lookout

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On top of Blackheath Mountain looking down in to the Megalong Valley

Tilly & I did some painting this month. It’s so fun watching here develop her creative side. She really enjoys drawing with crayons & painting. I bought some paper plates for her to paint. Because they are a bit stiffer than sheets of paper I thought they’d be a bit more robust & stand up to the paintbrush stabbing & all the wet paint. Paper gets quite soggy & tears really easy. I bought a couple of small canvases for her to paint on next. Tilly now goes to day care, or ‘School’ as we prefer to call it on Thursday’s. Her first day was fantastic & there were no tears when I dropped her. Subsequent weeks were not so good & there was a lot of crying & holding on to me for dear life when it was time for me to go. She always has a good day there & enjoys the activities. The drop off has gotten better & last week there was only a brief little cry when I went to leave. I know she will get better, & it’s so good for development. I’m amazed at how much she is learning & how quickly she is learning. She can now count to 10 & can also read & say all the letters of the alphabet, except for G, J & W. The other day whilst doing the grocery shopping she even recited the entire alphabet from A to Z without any help from me!!

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This moth I also played around a bit more with my styling & photography, this time with a Valentine’s Theme. I’m still finding my feet with styling & photography & this is something I want to work on a lot more this year.

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I hope this past month has been a good one for you. I hope the start of your year has been great & that you feel you’re on track for a year full of all the loveliest things in life. I know I’ve certainly started this year very positively & I have enjoyed discovering new things, new ways to look at my life & new things about myself.

Have a lovely weekend,

Miss Leela xo

 

Uncategorized

An Introduction

 

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Hello, welcome to my blog, a place where I plan to document & share with you my creative life. Thank you for finding your way to my little corner of the inter-world. I will be sharing with you my making, gardening, styling, adventures & explorations, as well as snippets of family life. So settle in with a nice cup of something & take a peek in to my creative world…

I thought I would start this blog with a bit of a ‘get to me’ post. I tried to cheat & did a google search on creative person questionnaires, but I couldn’t really find anything that wasn’t written in a deep psychological manner, so I guess I’ll make the questions up as I go!

Where do you call home?

I live in the beautiful Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, Australia. I love living in the mountains & being close to the bush. We have such a stunning landscape up here. Even though I’ve lived here my whole life (30 something years), there is still so much of the Mountains that I’m yet to explore.

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Who do you share you Creative Life with?

I share my life with my Husband Tim, our daughter Matilda (Tilly, 19months old) & our Fur Children, a cat called Tink & a miniature dachshund called Indie. We are really fortunate to have a lot of our family living close by, including both our parents who live just in the next town over (perfectly convenient for babysitting!).

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What creative crafts do you pursue?

My main craft is patchwork & I particular enjoy English Paper Piecing. I enjoy doing a lot of miniature patchwork using this method. I also enjoy crochet. I have mostly been making amigurumi toys, with a few blanket projects here & there.

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Of the crafts you do what is your favourite & why?

English Paper Piecing is defiantly my favourite. I have been sewing using this historic method since my early twenties. Once I started using ¼” hexagons my passion for creating miniature quilts was ignited! I love the slow, steady nature of hand sewing that EPP (English Paper Piecing) provides. I find it incredibly therapeutic, & I find I want to do nothing more than pick up my needle & thread at the end of a day’s work. I get major withdrawals if I go more than two days without hand sewing! I also love how portable EPP is, especially my miniature projects. They don’t take up much room & can easily be packed up & taken away on holidays, or just as easily be worked on sitting on the lounge watching TV.

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What other crafts would you like to try?

I would really like to learn how to knit. My mum taught me ages ago & I made a very simple scarf, but I would love to knit myself some socks! I have been watching so many wonderful Knitting podcasts & seeing all the beautiful projects being made that I’m now desperate to join the Knitting Revolution!

There are more things I’d like to learn with Crochet, in particular I’d like to try Tunisian Crochet, & also garment making with Crochet. I’d also like to try weaving & I have started Yarn Dying & have plans to dye & print fabric also.

What other crafts have you tried, what was the first?

I think the first thing I ever learnt was how to Cross Stitch when I was in primary school. I also tried my hand at long-stitch, latch-hooking & Quilling as a young child. In my teen years I was mostly in to sketching & drawing & enjoyed working with chalk pastels. Aside from that I’ve dabbled in a bit of scrap booking but never really got in to, I prefer a more digital way to record photos & memories.

Who taught you your craft?

I learnt everything from my wonderfully talented & crafty mother. And I mean everything. She taught me how to cross stitch, use a sewing machine, everything she knows about patchwork I know about patchwork. She taught me how to crochet & has taught me once before how to knit, but I need some new lessons! When she isn’t around or available to answer my crafty questions, I turn to Google or YouTube tutorials to find the answers to my questions

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Who are your Crafty Role Models?

Definitely my Mum! Not only has she taught me so much, but we love sharing our crafty endeavours with each other. We enjoy spending time making together, as well as going on crafty expeditions to quilt shows, patchwork & wool shops. My Dad is also creative in the field of photography & so I call on him for opinions on that & other things. You are always guarded to get an honest opinion from him, whether you agree with it or not!

Aside from my parents there are many women in the making world I look to as Role Models. Amy Butler is a big one & I have admired her work since I first discovered her when I was getting in to patchwork quilting. Recently I have found new Crafty Role Models in the likes of Jooles from Sew Sweet Violet, Sandra form Cherry Heart, Melody from B Mandarines, Danni from Little Bobbin Knits & Molly from Homespun House. And really I could go on naming so many more!

Where do you get inspiration from?

I find inspiration from so many places. Of course there is the obvious Instagram, Pinterest & Podcasts, as well as books & magazines. But I also get a lot of inspiration from my surroundings & travels. Be it from my local bush surrounds, a trip to the coast or a trip out in the country. Being in these places not only inspires me but rejuvenates me. I also find inspiration from simple things such as flowers, going in to a craft or homewares shop, & also from fabrics & yarn.

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Tell us about your Crafty Business.

My business Miss Leela Handmade took many years to get off the ground. I held myself back from launching it for so long from a lack of confidence & feeling like I wasn’t ready. I also wanted everything to be perfect from the get go, my branding, my products etc. Finally I got the courage up & decided I was ready. I opened my Etsy shop on the night of my First Wedding Anniversary, October 13, 2013, so now I get to celebrate two awesome things on that date!

In my shop I sell my miniature patchwork wall hangings, as well as patchwork quilts, crochet amigurumi & décor items. I also in recent years developed my own range of cut paper pieces for miniature patchwork & I sell packets of these in my shop.

In 2016 I took Miss Leela Handmade out of the studio & did my first ever market, the Etsy Made Local Blue Mountains Artisan Market. I thoroughly enjoyed this experience which I shared with my Best Friend Rachael who kindly helped me out on the day. I also took part in last year’s Etsy Made Local event, both as a stallholder & organiser. I did a few other markets last year, & whilst it’s lovely to meet people out at markets, it’s bloody hard work! This year I’m not planning on doing too many markets & instead will be focussing more on my online Etsy shop.

What are you Making/Creative Dreams?

My big number one creative dream is to move to the countryside on a big rural property, with a lovely Australian country house & enough space to build a large studio & run a Making Retreat, where guest can partake in all manner of different creative crafts & stay in glamped up Yurts.

Other making dreams include writing my own patterns for EPP, writing a book, & to develop my own range of fabrics & yarns.

Aside from craft, what other creative pursuits do you have?

I have worked as an interior designer for the past 12 years. This has led me in to pursuing styling & photography. In particular I love styling crafty bits & bobs, & handmade items. I do also enjoy a bit of home interior styling. Last year I tentatively launched my own Styling Business, Miss Leela Styling. I am currently building up my portfolio & nutting out what my particular styling/photography ‘style & technique” is.

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When you’re not making, what else do you enjoy doing?

Reading, colouring in, working in the garden & watching a good movie or TV series. I enjoy spending time with Tim & Tilly, as well as catching up with Family & Friends. Going out & exploring new places is also something I like to do.

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What are some of your favourite things?

Tea! I love tea, pretty much any flavour tea except for anything liquorice flavoured, chai or green tea. One of my most favourite simple pleasures is making myself a pot of tea in one of my china cups. Also chocolate! Basically I need this to survive. Rarely is there a day that goes by when I don’t eat chocolate!

I love homewares & soft furnishings. I also like to collect things. So far my collections extend to cut glass vases, china tea cups & saucers, owl figurines, fabric & yarn (of course!), vintage sewing baskets, & vases of all different shapes & makes.

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Well I hope you enjoyed reading a little bit about me. I would love to connect with you so please don’t be shy in leaving me a comment below, or connecting with me on Instagram or Facebook.

I hope to be back really soon with more from my Creative Making Life.

Miss Leela xo