Saturday, August 27, 2011

P&E goes to the country

Big changes are afoot dear friends! Pearl and I are getting closer to embarking upon our journey towards self-sufficiency, and to celebrate, I'm downsizing my fabric collection. This photo shows le proverbial tip of le proverbial iceberg.

What does this mean for you? Well, it means that for the next 6 weeks or so, all P&E custom skirts are a phenomenally cheap FIFTY BUCKS EACH! Holy crap, right? AND that includes gift certificates that are claimed before the start of October. Seriously folks, tell your friends. We ain't talkin' 'bout no sweatshop-made-exploitative-disposable type clothing here, we're talkin' 'bout handmade-just
-for-you-in-the-coziness-of-my-own-dining-room type clothes. HUGE difference.
Tops and boleros are also looking pretty attractive at $30 each, but let's face it - if you're wearing a P&E, chances are it's a skirt.
The rules? Well, there's basically only one rule, and that is that the skirt has to be made from fabric that's already in my collection. Here's a close-up of some of what you have to choose from. It's all vintage and/or reclaimed and/or repurposed, so you can rest assured that our poor old planet will be shedding no tears on account of your choices (quite frankly, she's got much more depressing things to cry about).

You can give me colour guidance and general preferences, of course - this is your P&E custom skirt we're talking about, after all - but the whole point of the exercise is to get rid of fabric, so NO DENIM REQUESTS PLEASE!
You can place your order by either emailing me (payment by paypal or direct deposit) or through the Georgie Love website (if you want to use a credit card).
Exciting times.
Oh, and I'm pretty much in love with all this caper from some super-cool couple who live in Brooklyn.
What the heck? Do you need to be talented in the red-felt-fox kind of way and live in Brooklyn? But seriously, who needs Brooklyn anyway... I'm off to the country!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Dear Bec

I finished your top last night! I'm really happy with how it turned out, and I think the olive was an excellent choice!
the fabric I chose for the sleeves is a little beauty that I picked p from repro depot years ago. I love it, but I realise that little ducks aren't everyone's cup of tea, so I've been reluctant to use it. But I knew you'd love it because you are SO FUN to sew for, because you are absolutely not scared of cute and/or kitsch (2 of my favourite things).
I used red bias binding on the inside of the neck, so a little extra flash, and to bring out the little head-scarf worn by the mother duck. I know! A head scarf on a duck! Cute central!

And thank you SO much for sending the remnants of that other fabric, especially the donkeys, which I was absolutely in love with when I sewed your skirt. I can't wait to work with it again... and I think this time I'm going to use it for myself.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Beautiful but dodgy - what to do?

The trouble with ye olde kids' books, circa 50s, 60s and 70s is that, while the illustrations are sometimes gorgeous and/or irresistably kitsch, the stories at times leave a lot to be desired if you're trying to raise kids who are aware of gender and class difference and independent of extraordinarily gendered representations of nuclear families. (Obviously more contemporary kids' books have these issues too, but for now I'm just talking about the older ones because they are the ones I most commonly find in op shops, and they pretty much invariably have the best illustrations.)
I don't know about you, but I'm a sucker for a beautifully-illustrated book, even if the story is more than a little dodgy. So what to do? The answer is... drumroll please... CRAFT!

This evening, while Pearl was at Alfalfa House's management committee meeting, I had a rather hedonistic time eating chocolate, drinking beer, crafting and browsing itunes. Was I in heaven? Pretty much. And I have these cool cards to show for it. Here's how you do it.
Firstly, you get a box of some kind, which you've been diligently saving for just such an occasion. My personal favourites are Ryvitas (amazing with butter and cheese) and Weet Bix (amazing with butter and raw sugar, and can I just say at this juncture that mis-spelling something for the sake of branding is lazy and annoying). I'm pretty sure that other boxes work just as well.

Flatten out your box, and, using your sewing machine, stitch your chosen illustration to the printed side of the box. The book I'm using is called The Mouse's Wedding. I found it in the op shop in Tathra, which was a veritable GOLD MINE of kids' books, both dodgy and otherwise.

Now, cut out the picture, quite close to the stitching, so on one side you have a bit of lovely, unbleached cardboard for you to write your messages of love on, framed by some stitching, and on the other side you have a cute/kitsch/beautiful/nostalgic illustration. Cool! If you're adventurous, and can be bothered changing the thread on your machine, you could use something other than white. This could complement your illustration, and would also make the stitching show up in any photos you might take for your blog.

And now you have a super-cute, one-off, totally recycled, easy to make and awesomely awesome card (or pile of cards) for some people you love. Easy peasy.

And the edges of the boxes make super-duper bookmarks.

The end.

Monday, August 15, 2011

All P&E Georgie Love skirts are now on sale!

Check 'em out! Because even though it's the end of winter right now (hence bargain prices on wintery woollies), it'll be the start of winter again soon enough, and then you'll be sorted. If you know what I mean...

Bubba the sock bunny

For my little friend Ilo's 2nd birthday, I decided to make him a sock bunny. Closely related to ye olde sock monkey, the sock bunny is, I think, a bit cuter and more fun, because you can tie bows around its ears. Though I do have to admit that the sock alien, crafted here by my friend Claire, is also quite outstanding, and a hit with baby Oscar.

When I first started making sock bunnies I was making them for EVERYONE. Seriously, I was obsessed. Then I kind of got over it, because everyone I knew already had a sock bunny, so I had to stop. But then people started kids, thereby creating a whole new generation of people who don't already have sock bunnies! Yee har!

Things I like about the sock bunny (or other sock animal, if you're that way inclined and, unlike me, can move beyond single-species sock-crafting):
* You can use your "I-lost-my-partner-somewhere" lonesome socks. Nothing better than giving something a new life.
* The lips!!! They're made from the heel of the sock! Hilarious!!!!
* Every one you make will have a different character, and you won't know the character of the bunny until it's finished. Cool.
* You can tie ribbons on its ears!
* Kids love 'em, though I suspect Ilo was moderately freaked out when he first saw the bunny, he did eventually give it a cuddle and name it Bubba.
* They're easy to sew while you're doing something else, like watching the terrible ending of series 4 of Big Love.

So next time you find a lone sock, make it into a bunny or some such. It's worth it.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

handmade love

As you may have noticed, I love craft. I mean, I really love it. I love sewing, I love embroidery (especially small things that don't take too long), I love cutting stuff up and sticking stuff together. It's cool. And, more importantly, it's fun. The bad thing about loving craft however, and believing wholeheartedly in the joy and love that handmade gifts not only embody, but also create, is birthday season. Yes folks, a close succession of birthdays is enough to strike fear into the very heart of any avid crafter, and I am, at present, in the midst of such terror.

It starts of kind of gently, in June and July, when I make things like home-brew, aprons, photo collages and clove oranges for my grandparents. Smooth and pleasantly-fragranced enough. But come August, things really start to hot up.

First there's my little sister Meg who, being a bit of a P&E fan, usually scores a skirt or something. This year, she was the recipient of a fruit-flavoured bias cut scoop neck dress. It's gorgeous, and she looks hot in it.

Next up is my little baby Olive who, today, turned 5! When she turned 1, I made her a scrap book of her first year. I'd always thought scrap-booking was a tad dorky (and seeing as I am decidedly un-dorky, thought this was not for me).

But let me tell you, it's crazy-fun. And the accessories - oh my! Little paper-cutting knives, shiny stickers, heart and star shaped brads (!)... The bad thing about this is that even though I'm making a home-made present, usually a bit cheaper than a shop-bought do-dad, the budget usually gets a little out of hand because it's all just so exciting. Oh, and it takes AGES. Each year, I tell myself I'm going to start early, or even make a page per month. But I never do. I just cram for the 3 weeks before her birthday, staying up late cutting and glueing and sifting through photos, laughing and crying as I remember all the hilarious things she's said over the year, and thinking about how much she's grown.

It's actually an amazing process, because it's such a focused kind of reflection. It really makes the presentation of the book, on birthday morning, extra-special, as I've spent so much time thinking about how far we've come in the last year. This kind of reflection is, I think, the best thing about birthdays and anniversaries. It's a time to look backwards and forwards and every which way. And if you're hand-making something for the birthday-ee, you really have time to think about them, about your relationship, and how much you love them. And then all the love gets stitched or glued into whatever it is you're making. Awwwww shucks!

So this morning, my little Olive was the proud recipient of a stuffed rocket, made using a pattern from a pretty neat little book called One Metre Wonders, a pair of dragonfly wings made from a curtain we found on the side of the road, the Little Rosie Book #5, complete with embroidered Olive tree on the cover, some books, a tiara, and a unicorn costume (totally crazy, last minute addition found by mum and I at the op-shop yesterday).

After Olive, I take a little breath, but don't dare take a night off, because I know there be no respite 'til the end of September. Between now and then I've got my love of loves, Pearl, one of my bestest and most beautiful friends, Jay (who always sets the bar extremely high in the handcrafted birthday stakes, thereby simultaneously invoking and freaking out my competitive spirit), and both of Jay's kids. Holy smokes!
So let me tell ya, I'm swamped. But secretly loving every minute, because handmaking love is the best of the best.