Friday, July 16, 2010

villa renovation part three

I cant seem to upload photos to my computer to give you anything crafty at the moment. So ive been scrolling through some more of the shots from our villa renovation that I had saved for a rainy day.

 A glimpse of the finished rangehood that isnt yet constructed in the shot underneath.

We attached it to the wall and then built around it, much easier than having to measure.

 We had no electricity for ages so we had lamps at night which I think gave it a really nice frenchy glow.

 The tiles were big 600 by 300 travertine which I cut up with a grinder into 5 smaller tiles (I love my grinder)
I wanted the effect of handcut tiles, and adore moroccan tadlekt in particular, but they are NOT CHEAP and we needed 6 metres of them so I decided to give it a go. Afterall, it was either going to work or it wasnt.

This is the bad photo of a photo that has taken all this time for me to find and im now wondering if it was worth the search.
This is the best I could do but nothing can make this kitchen look good.
The floor sloped by a whole brick height from one end to the other.
The stairs were built across the window.
The electricals were never done ie. the stove was plugged into a powerboard under the sink!
It was a challenge.

If you are doing up a house at the moment please leave me a comment as id love to check it out.

Monday, July 12, 2010

the wedding singer

our first hug after the ceremony

Theres no substitute for a Singer sewing machine when you need to make things for an event as important as a family wedding. I have my dearest nanna's archaic but trusty, vintage Singer as my constant companion and was happily sewing away making the dress for my son's wedding when I broke a needle.
This sort of thing wouldnt normally have deterred me from finishing what im working on. I keep a constant stash of back-up items for when things like this happen. I have an extensive range of needles for overlocking and twin stitching, ball points and denim. What I hadnt banked on was the fact that my kids have been sewing gloves and mitts and fingerless armwarmers.
Its been a busy couple of weeks at Textured Leaf Central.
No-one has told me theyve been breaking needles. I had none left but the thick denim variety. The dress I was making was silk. Denim needles dont sew through silk. They shred it and pucker it. I had one seam to go and I dont even know how, when I broke my last decent fine needle.
I had 40 minutes to go before we left for the airport and I still had to dye my hair, shower, dress, check the boys had everything, do a last minute run around check of the house, you know the drill.
So I gave up. The dress making I mean.
It shouldnt have been that bad. I had promise of a machine when we reached Perth at Nanna Muriel's who is a quilt-maker. I was told she had a studio with everything at my disposal. It should have been an easy decision to quit sewing and jump in the shower in the nick of time, but it wasnt. I had a funny nagging feeling that things could not be that easy. I love the way my nanna's Singer can sew through fine silk to thick quilts without even changing the settings. It seems ive been spoilt all this time. And my fears were well founded.
After a few days of meeting the new in-laws and socialising I finally found myself at in-law Nan's. She made me feel right at home and showed me the gorgeous quilts she was working on. Shes an accomplished patchworker and it was very inspirational. But her machine sucked. Like, it literally sucked my silk into it.
I was considering wearing another dress, (yes. I took a back-up) but I persevered and got there in the end (after sneakily adjusting her machine tension while she was making cups of tea) and a teeny bit of hand sewing.
It took me around an hour to sew a single line of stitching down the front of a dress.
Theres nothing like a Singer at a wedding.

Other wedding disasters included:

Locking the house keys inside before we'd even left for the airport and climbing back in through a window that shouldnt have been left open, (lucky)

Adelin (the bride-to-be) having to work up until the wedding when I was supposed to be designing and fitting her wedding cape and fascinator (feathers were flying right up until the final hour as the cape had large ostrich feathers falling from it too)

Navarh's buttons falling off his jacket 30 minutes before the ceremony and having to quickly sew them on

Navarh having an unknown bug from his overseas trip to Thailand and Cambodia (as a last minute bucks present with my husband) and not being able to eat at his own wedding. He's a budding chef and had chosen a menu with Wagu beef and Salmon, poor thing

Other happenings where youll have to just, simply, trust me

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