"Sheesh!" you may well be saying. "That lady sure is taking it easy for someone with about a bazillion skirt orders to attend to!". It's true. I haven't made a skirt in about 3 days! A rarity in this time of crazy-ass $50 skirt sales which, let me assure you, bring in the orders like ducks to a loaf of semi-stale bread, seagulls to a paper packet of chips and butcher-birds to some newly-weeded earth.
But I have a very good excuse! I have been engaging in some very serious (OK... Maybe not that serious... I seldom am very serious, it's true) and important happy-birthday-wishing business up north where I was celebrating with my exceptionally gorgeous and inspirational friend Jay.
Now, Jay, being extraordinarily talented and charming with a needle and some embroidery thread, regularly dishes up quite the breathtaking present. Each year the gifts get more elaborate and more beautiful, and her stitches just get tinier and neater!
For my birthday this year, she went crazy and made this:
Holy shit, right!? It is incredibly beautiful, and it reminded me (like I need reminding...) that handmade presents make you feel VERY special. And then, as if that wasn't enough, she made this little baby for Pearl.
Miniature embroidered details of plants and flowers, framed to look like photo-booth pictures. Amazing, I tell you!
In addition to being totally out of control fabulous in the craft stakes, Jay is very special to me and my family, so I wanted to make her something a bit spesh too. I figured an embroidered owl swooping through trees was a good place to start so I got to photocopying a swooping owl out of an amazing book called Panorama, which our also-quite-gorgeous-and-special friend Ruth (yes, that Ruth) gave us for christmas. Next up, I traced the owl onto some vliesofix, and ironed it to the wrong side of some spunky grey corduroy.
This seemed like a good idea at the time (can't remember why) but turned out to be one of those things that make your brain hurt because it meant I had to embroider the whole owl backwards, in reverse, and from the wrong side. Sometimes I just don't know what I'm thinking about... But, with a little help from my buddy, princess Olive,
the owl was done, ironed and stitched onto the waiting tree-scene which I made from some Ikea fabric that Ruth gave me for my birthday. What a friendly affair! Finished, the skirt looks like this:
She's hot yeah? And boy does that swooping owl look fetching teamed with an awesome speckledy t-shirt with lovehearted owls on the collar and sleeves. Or, if owl on owl doesn't tickle your fancy, there's always the yellow flying-seagull top.
And can I just say at this juncture how freaking exciting it is to have such a beautiful model filling out my humble creations!
Also on the birthday gift agenda, a hot water bottle cover that I made from scraps of tapestry thread I collected from the op-shop. This was meant to be done for winter (obviously) but took me AGES because the only crochet hook I could find was tiny, and I'm not the fastest crocheting person at the best of times, so luckily for Jay, it was done just in time for summer!
Cold water bottles, here we come!
And, after Jay made some appreciative noises regarding the bird skirt with the mustard pocket that freaking everyone loves, I used the leftovers to make her a bolero. Love that kingfisher sniffing the armpit - yeah!
I also made the hat and skirt that Jay's wearing in this picture. The skirt from some German embroidered wool that my Oma gave me, and the hat from one of my favourite pieces of fabric EVER. The hat was a bit of a "hey why don't we just make one?" moment, which happened after Jay tried on and admired Pearl's hat. I'm not at all accustomed to making hats, and they're usually a tad sub-optimal, but this one was actually OK. But the exercise definitely furnished me with a deep appreciation for more profesh cloth-hat-making enterprises like my favourite, Hyde.
But back to the important stuff...
I love you Jay. It was the most special-est being able to spend your birthday with you, eating deliciousness, dancing like loons in the loungeroom, loving you and hugging and kissing you whenever I bloody-well felt like it! Here's to more of the same, I say.