15 December, 2009

sold! and a question for those of you with the skills to refashion....

Hi there!

Thanks for popping by!

This past couple of weeks have been rather exciting and eventful on the summerpickles front, with the first pickles stock ever (a bunch of vintage button rings) going into a real live shop - Retrospections in Cammeray in NSW! And the first ever summerpickles stock actually selling in a real live shop! Very exciting indeed! The very lovely Justine from Retrospections is going to take some pics of the stock in the shop, and once she has done that, I will post them here... Thanks Justine for giving summerpickles a go!

On another front, I have been crafting up a storm - something about not having to study during the week (hooray for uni break!) has left my evenings all, well, relaxed! I have been making summer shorts for the gherkin like a woman possessed, crocheting like mad, and getting back in touch with my vintage button collection, which has been sitting unloved for some time.

I have even gotten to the point where I may brave making some clothes for me! Yep, happy to be a sporadic amateur all-rounder-type crafter, but making clothes for me has always completely freaked me out - perhaps it goes back to the days of failing term after term of Home Economics in years 7 & 8 with (I kid you not) a very stern teacher, Mrs Button (her real name, truly!). Now for some advice please, from all of you crafty peoples...

This shirt/dress/something? (apologies for the quality of the photo - a mobile phone photo taken in an opshop change room!) I found last time I was pregnant - I was going to a flashback fashion party, and as a woman recently knocked up it worked - it was stretchy, it was comfy, it was perfect. I found it in the stash the other day, and discovered that I love the fabric. I would like to make it into a skirt.... As a skirt (or, as a shirt pulled down around my hips!) it fits, it looks okay, but my fashion sewing skills stretch only to the idea of just chopping it across the body under the armpits and making a casing for some elastic... Is this horrific, a crime against thrifting, or would it be ok?

Thanks everyone, hope to hear from you all with fine advice soon! In the meantime, have fun everyone! (only three more work days for me til Christmas break - yippee!)


30 November, 2009

crochet for beginners

crochet for beginners, originally uploaded by summer pickles.

I'm trying out a new craft!!

Thanks Mum for the lessons and thanks Readers Digest Complete Guide to Needlework (thrifted, and fabulous!) for helping the lessons "stick"!

I intend to have this ready, and proper blanket size, by the time baby pickles the second arrives... too ambitious for a new craft??? I have til May....?

I am soooo incredibly proud of this effort, but, please, please don't look too closely!

15 November, 2009

things have been quiet...

Okay, so I promised I would be back very soon and then I disappeared again.

Since I've been gone though, I've been busy, I promise! I have finished (well, nearly), two UFOs - one dress for a little girl born in the same week as the gherkin - just need to work out how to do buttonholes! and one doll, who now just needs hair, eyes and a tutu (very important that she get the tutu!). I have also sacrifices another spectacular 1980s teatowel, this time to become a fabulous sunhat. Photos will come soon....

And sleeping.

I have been taking absolutely every opportunity to grab some zzzz's. I have been exhausted!

And, well, I really thought perhaps it had something to do with dusting myself off, picking myself up and climbing back onto the roundabout that is fertility treatment again(hurrah), but, well, after just two cycles, we are expecting another little pickle. We feel extremely fortunate - it took us two years to have our little gherkin, and this little pickle has decided to join us quickly. Now fifteen weeks along, and all going swimmingly.

So I hope you'll forgive the silence?

On another very exciting note, someone very lovely wants to stock summerpickles rings in her real live shop! More news on this next time.

And, another gorgeous bloggy friend has launched her new website, which features photos of our gorgeous little gherkin Check our the site - her photos are just beautiful - we are so happy we took the gherkin out for a day with her and will be doing it all again very soon.

Chat soon, and take care,

21 October, 2009

a vintage find... and brooches, brooches, brooches

What does one do with a one year old who has been told to rest? (after two weeks of resting already)

YouTube of course, searching for music & pictures to keep the gherkin occupied on mummy's lap (there are only so many times one can read I Can Fly!). And look what I found....

Oh, and when he's dozing on my lap, mummy looks at brooches on flickr....

brooch favourites

1. brooch - miss h, 2. felt bird brooch, 3. PLAYFUL fabric brooch corsage pin 31 Jul 2008, 4. fabric flower with beads #1, 5. happy brooch, 6. shades of pink, 7. Fabric Corsage - side view, 8. Some new work, 9. flower pod?

Chat soon xo

01 September, 2009

other things i should be doing right now...

* doing a uni assignment
* writing a report for barb
* cleaning the house
* washing clothes
* sewing?
* training the dog ... etc etc

But instead, I am sitting here, typing an extremely overdue hello post after a long time away, whilst the boy and I split a devon and sauce sandwich. (I know, not an entirely balanced and nutritious meal!) Not nutritious perhaps, but exciting.... devon is hard to find when you're living in victoria...

So... our news?

The boy is one (already), walking (albeit tentatively), talking (about 8-10 words), singing and being generally gorgeous.

The spare room is in the midst of a re-do, with piles of fabric now sorted into project piles, so when I do get a few spare minutes I can go straight to the, eg. pants pile and whip up a pair of pants for the boy. Likewise, collections of buttons await assembly into rings/brooches/clips etc for the shop

Being back in the paid workforce part-time is mad... a great time for my brain (and yes, I feel guilty confessing to this!) , but I do (like so many others) feel that I am not actually completing or doing a whole job of anything. But I am adjusting... and the gherkin seems to have settled beautifully into our new routine, bless him.

Otherwise my life has been fairly quiet, not counting some great visits with family & friends, being completely addicted to project runway australia and justine clarke's albums for kids, and the list of all the things I could be doing now, which I am not, so will have to do later....

Take care, I will aim to be back soon, especially now I have dipped my toe back into the bloggy waters again... xo

09 June, 2009

yes, we are still here....

We've celebrated our first mothers day together, watched our first play school together (I know... an ex-speechie and all, allowing television before the age of 1 - heaven forbid!), we've been to the beach, we've finger painted, spent time on a woodchipped play area (not for very long - the gherkin just wanted to eat all the woodchips), he's spent some time in childcare (it's a great centre, the experience itself is just ok), and i've become a juggling mummy with some paid work and some glorious days still at home with my little man. No sewing, no crafting, no creative stuff to share --- life has just been, well exhausting! But on the whole, quite wonderful.

We are all well and happy. I could go into a rant about how people don't take food allergy seriously, or about child care centres who don't follow instructions, or about mums who judge other mums who need to go back to work to pay the mortgage... but I won't.

I could also gush about the wonder of mothers groups, of close girlfriends who will answer the phone late at night when you are having a baby crisis, pretending to be perky and wide awake ("no, of course I wasn't in bed yet!"), or amazingly wonderful pashes from a certain little man not quite one year old... but I won't do that either.

Instead, hello again! And thankyou so much to all of you who left such lovely comments about the gherkin's teatowel board shorts. Credit where credit is due - my inspiration came from the lovely Miss Cinti at my poppet who makes the most gorgeous vintage teatowel tunics (but alas! the gherkin is not a girl, so we couldn't shop with Miss Cinti... well, for these, anyway).

The gherkin is divine, just so lovely, and so much of my day is spent either enjoying every moment with him, or counting down the minutes to leave work so I can see him again. Oh, and Mr Pickles is alright too!

Hope you are all fabulous, and I promise to be back soon... once I am into the swing of the juggle (which I can feel coming... I am getting on top of things... she types at 1am in the morning), I will be back into the crafting adventures again. I promise! Soon!

Have fun lovelies, xo

01 March, 2009

to teatowel, with love xo

new boardies!, originally uploaded by summer pickles.

Come with me. Transport yourself back to a time when all things "Oz" were great. When the height of fashion was a Jenny Kee jumper, a fimo koala and cockatoo necklace, a white Ken Done tracksuit. Once there, you will find one of these - a gorgeous teatowel, celebrating all things Gold Coast - gaudy parrots, beaches lined with highrises, tiny bikinis...

Now, come on back to the present day and here I am, stumbling across that same teatowel at a local garage sale. Buying it for just fifty cents. And madly hurrying home to start sewing these fantastic boardshorts (modelled by our very own, very gorgeous gherkin).

These were easy! And I reckon they're pretty fab.

Thankyou to tinyhappy for convincing me pants would be easy (i have had this post favourited for a looong time, waiting for babies and courage), Kath for this post with the how tos and for Miss Cinti for the inspiration provided by her lovely tea towel dresses.

Hooray for blogland, the eighties, the gold coast and all things vintage! (And of course for very gorgeous baby models!) Now, to the opshops!


16 February, 2009

i've been tagged

I have been tagged by Lin! (Sorry Lin, I am hopelessly useless at getting these done quickly).

So, six quirky, yet boring, unremarkable facts about me...?

1. I am medically infertile and have a 0% chance of falling pregnant without fertility treatment. What a blessing our little gherkin is! (hooray for modern medicine).

2. I like to mix foods... a mouthful of savoury, a mouthful of sweet and so on. One of my former housemates (a dietitian) told me it fools your body into thinking you are eating less - you can fit more in this way (oh dear). I also like to finish each meal with the perfect mouthful, so you will see me leaving the tiniest bit of this and that on my plate so I can finish with one gorgeous combined mouthful of the best bits!

3. When I was a little kid, I wanted to be: a nun, an opera singer, a nurse, an architect, a graphic designer, a journalist. Some of these ideas still sounds really good! I grew up to be none of these.

4. I am tactile defensive. There are some things I just don't like to touch. Like some velveteen type fabrics, or wet fallen leaves, that "slime" stuff you used to be able to get in a jar in the 80s, feathers (especially if I am not expecting them), uncooked egg whites. Sometimes these just make me feel a bit off, I get goosebumps and cold chills up and down my spine, or some things (like plastic bags of cornflour) make me gag.

5. I am living in my nineteenth home (I think that's right but may be underestimating by a few). My favourite home, obviously, is with my boys (the hubby, the baby and the pug). But my favourite house was here:
6. When I got pregnant, my body changed forever (not entirely surprising!). Before I was pregnant, I had seven freckles and three moles in total. Now I have too many to count. Perhaps more freakish is that I never used to grow toenails on my little toes... and now I do (I even have to cut them).

7. Sometimes, when I am bored or stressed, I count my steps. I think it all started when I first filled in a Dr Seuss? book all about me. One of the things you had to do was to count the steps to your letterbox, the nearest tree, the local shop etc etc.

Now... which bloggers out there shall I tag? Will get back to you shortly...
Have a gorgoeus week xo

10 February, 2009

lost for words

Kevin Rudd, our PM, lost for words

I have been struggling to think of what to write here about the Victorian bushfires. I decided if our PM couldn't come up with the right words, it was ok if I couldn't either.

Obviously we are thinking about those in the fire affected areas, your families, friends, animals.

You can make a donation here.

06 February, 2009

the lady of the toilet (or, how summer pickles got her groove back)

Firstly, apologies to those of you visiting for craft updates - this is not one of them. Though, perhaps DIY is not too far from crafty?

Recently i was bemoaning the fact that i felt i had lost my independence completely... i have no money of my own (mind you the pickles have always done what's mine is yours etc etc), i haven't really any time of my own, and, i confess, we have fallen into the trap of "you do the boy jobs and i 'll do the girl jobs" since having the gherkin.

So, when our 1968 toilet died on the weekend (actually, no it didn't quite die, but the problems it had were terminal), i was tempted to call Mr Pickles to do something. but instead, i rolled up the sleeves (metaphorically speaking of course - we live in sunny Melbs, so there were no sleeves) and got to work. thanks to dr google, i was able to diagnose the toilet's problems, disassemble the toilet, take a trip to bunnings (toilet pieces in hand), gather the pieces needed to make a repair and then reassemble the toilet.

Was it a dirty job? YES

Did it take a whole day? YES

Did i feel completely brilliant after it was all done and completely repaired? ABSOLUTELY!
(evidence being this post that i am writing, still basking in the post-toilet-repair glow some five days later!)

One of the best benefits of our repair was the thought that we will also now be flushing less water, quite literally, down the toilet, and getting ourselevs that little closer to the melbourne 155 target.

But the best bit? singing "i am mummy, hear me roar" to the gherkin all night (or course inserting toilet repair terminology throughout!)... nothing like some time with tools to get a gal's confidence back!

Chat soon lovelies xo

31 January, 2009

new button ring!

seems i am on a roll at the moment... another button ring will soon be arriving has arrived in my etsy ... don't ask me where i have found the time, i actually have no idea!

the gherkin has recurring hives of an unknown cause, is no longer sleeping during the day unless cuddled to sleep, has had a horrendous cold and has cracked two new teeth, but still i am managing to find some button time. i think it has been much needed.... i am loving it, and i think coming up with some more lovely ones!

be back soon!

21 January, 2009

thankyou blogland

Okay, so was out there catching up with some favourite bloggers this evening, and loving every second.

Seemed to be a bit of a theme tonight, finding out little gems about my favourite people and asking myself some questions along the way. I do love how blogland can change how I think, feel, interact with blogland and the "real world".

Thanks to the very lovely drewzel of blogportion i discovered 43things... and did the personality test. And discovered (not very surprisingly really) that I am a "spiritual romantic builder". I always love personality tests... love answering questions, thinking about what my answers might be...sometimes discovering things along the way. But here is where 43 things loses it for me... the next thing you have to do is to make a list (oh dear). While the list making works very well for some, for me, to make a list of my dreams and aspirations and to tick them off one by one... doesn't sound so romantic? But I am still interested enough to see if I can find the book (in a library) and voyeuristic enough to read about other people's goals, dreams, "things".

I have also spent this evening catching up with other favourite people who love to answer questions, via the fab interviews by the very lovely fairlie. Bundles of giggles, and so interesting to hear more about some people who I feel I know at least a little through the wonderful place that is blogland (and now feel I know that little bit better).

And this evening I have been getting teary reading some of your posts... some of you write so beautifully, and straight from the heart.

I am not a great writer, but still enjoy my little blogging life, and thank those of you who are out there for being fun, entertaining and open (and occasionally visiting here). Thankyou gorgeous people. It is sometimes a long time between visits, but I still love popping in. And hopefully in 2009 we will get to know each other even better.

Hope to catch up again soon xo

sometimes i wish i were smaller

I do! Browsing around flickr whilst trying to get the boy to sleep I have been looking for inspiration for my new wardrobe*, and have found all of these gorgeous things. The only problem? They are all made for little girls...

I love the details, the fabrics, the colour! But sadly, not the fit (I wish I were smaller!) At any rate, they are gorgeous, stunning creations and will serve as inspiration for me as I search for, sew, restitch, borrow new post-gherkin clothes...

20 January, 2009

new stock in the shop!

teal rose jan 09
Originally uploaded by
summer pickles

Just a brief advert everyone... in between managing the gherkin's recurring hives (we are going for alllergy testing in two weeks), I have been spending quality time with my button collection again..

My etsy store is now restocked!

Only three button rings at this stage, but more on their way...

[and there endeth the blatant plug!]

Have a gorgeous week... will be back again in the next couple of days.

06 January, 2009

a little bit of navel gazing...

Hi again!

I have been involved in some heavy duty navel gazing over the past few days What do I want for me, my life, my little clan in 2009? What do I need to do to make this happen?

1. Appreciate the two boys in my life more:

the very lovely pickles boys

2008 was such a steep learning curve! In our three weeks away from home with family & friends over chrissie, sharing the cuddles with everyone else, I missed those quiet moments we are alone together. In 2009 I will savour those moments more. I will be kinder to my gorgeous hubby. In 2009, I just want to remember to be thankful for the amazing, strong, gentle, fabulous, hilarious man in my life... and to remind myself of this when he doesn't unpack the dishwasher...

2. Find time for myself.

3. Use what I have (or use stuff that's free). Yep, 2009 is Year of the Budget. In 2009 I will:

a) menu plan

b) skype whenever possible

c) only use the fabrics already in my stash, at least until Easter 2009!

I think this is all... so far! What are your hopes and plans for 2009???

Chat soon x

05 January, 2009

happy christmas, new year, etc etc!

Hi all!

Wow, what an amazing few weeks we have had in the pickles household! Full of friends, family, & crafting galore!!!

It all started with some panic crafting for our handmade <$5 christmas in the gran & pa pickles home in sunny nsw... all the gals got one of these:

brooch - miss h

This was the perfect crafty creation for me... no neat straight lines, no accurate cutting required, just loads of fun combining colours and fabrics... perfect! And I used all scrap fabrics and vintage or pre-loved buttons, which made me very happy! (nothing like the de-stash... which, by the way is my aim for the first half of this year - no new fabrics!). Which is your favourite brooch? I have a definite favourite, but I won't tell.... Some more brooches similar to these will soon be appearing in my etsy, so stay tuned...

Then, after these crafting adventures, I got onto snapfish and ordered a photobook for the grandparents. Soooo easy to use their templates, the book looked great, the photo colours came out well, and they had it delivered in time for christmas, in spite of my only ordering them on I think the 18th December... impressive! Oh, and the book was a hit... we managed to get tears from some family members - the exact result we were after!

martha stewart pom poms
martha stewart pom poms by summer pickles

Off to sunny nsw then, sydney via wagga, and to the gherkin's naming day (we didn't officially name him The Gherkin). We spent the night before making these gorgeous martha stewart tissue paper pom poms, which looked b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l in our garden ceremony and the following lunch. Again, these were pretty simple too... and looked just gorgeous. It was lovely to have the opportunity to celebrate (again) the little man's arrival and to do this with our dearest friends, and soo much fun to catch up with everyone's kids!!!

Then to Christmas, and all of the family celebrations, and the gherkin's first beach experience... yep, on seven mile beach (of course). However, it was very poorly planned, so, being the middle of Boxing Day, it was hot and sunny and windy (not a winning combination for our new redheaded baby's first trip to the beach!), we had a sprint onto the beach, a quick point and click and a sprint back to the car.... Fortunately we had more relaxing moments down at the beach in Ulladulla and in various parks and gardens in the south coast the following week.

(recognise this summer pickles quilt???)

Hoping you all had wonderful festive seasons, and thanks for stopping by in 2009!
Chat soon xo


to my other half who puts up with the mess, makes me happy and keeps me sane.
to my beautiful boys who give me so much i want to remember and make the everyday something to treasure.
to my mum who alway let me play with fabric and the good scissors, and who knows a lot of songs.
to my dad who was always happy for us to make a mess and who laughs at us when we deserve it.
to both parents for making sure i still got the work done.
to my dear friends for listening and for sharing the laughs.
and, to you for visiting!