Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Ah, it's that time of the year again. Time to get my fingers dirty, squatting around in nature-based community reserves, filling hole after hole with natives shrubs, grasses, trees or bushes whilst nattering to fellow conservationists. And once I've done with my squatting (and admonished Grumbles for the fourteenth time that she's meant to be watering in the plants, not Mummy's bleeping foot!) it'll be time to head over to the free bbq to grab myself a falafel roll choc-filled with salad, and kick back and listen to the band.

That's right, folks - it's National Tree Day. Not only is it loads of fun, but the day is a great chance for regular Australians to actively participate in caring for our incredible environment. So, rather than loafing around on the couch this Sunday, head on over to your local tree planting site, and help make a difference in the fight against climate change and safeguarding our biodiversity.
For more info, see the official Planet Ark National Tree Day Site. Bring some friends (and gloves and rubber boots) and make a day of it!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Winners are grinners

Grumbles and I have been enjoying playing our new favourite game - Store Front Bingo! It's been a fabulous way to pass the time as we wait for our freshly dry-cleaned carpet to dry (why is it so wet if it's dry cleaned? Oh the mysteries of my life!), although I could do without the ear-piercing screams of BIIIIIIIIIINGOOOOOOOOOOO! every time she fills a card.

I could also do without the hassles of a rental inspection, which, of course, explains the cleaning of the carpet. Man am I sick of renting!

Never mind. It's a good excuse to give the house a jolly good clean, from top to bottom, polishing up all those nooks and crannies that I usually avert my eyes from. For who wants to dust and scrub when there is sewing to do? Or knitting, for that matter? Or even tweezering the hairs out of ones leg out of sheer boredom? Huh? Huh? Not that I'm owning up to the last one. Oh no, not at all...

Anyway, enough blathering. Let's announce the winners of the birthday giveaway!

Numbers one and four, which are Hoppo Bumpo and Lisette. Well done ladies! Send me an email with your address, and I'll post off the books pronto like.

Rightio - I'm off. I have many dirty windows that require the old vinegar and newspaper treatment. Bleugh.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Graffiti Dress

The amount of graffiti to be found in the inner city is incredible. Everywhere you look, there's another tag spray painted onto a wall. A shame, I tells ya, it's a crying shame!

Some individuals don't confine themselves to walls, though. These so-called graffiti artists will spray anything in sight, including fabric. And then make dresses out of them!

At the ripe old age of 32, you really would think she would know better. Graffiti dress indeed!

Project Details
Fabric: 1.2 metres of black and white printed 100% cotton from Tessuti Fabrics, painted pink with Jones Tones Glossy paint from Lincraft
Notions: 1 metre white rayon lining, one 22 inch dress zip and a hook and eye
Let me tell you, this was one fun project! I'd seen the fabric at Tessuti and really wanted to make a dress out of it, but had made a solemn vow to myself that I wasn't allowed to make or buy anything in black, because I really wear too much of it, and frankly, I need a bit more colour in my wardrobe. But I did love that fabric. What to do, what to do?
Brainwave! I'll paint some colour on myself! So I trotted down to Lincraft, got myself some pink fabric paint and then once home I diluted the paint with a bit of water and then Grumbles and I got to work. It was soooooo much fun! (You can read about our painting adventures here) I simply grabbed some old paint brushes I had lying around, and once I had spread the fabric on the table, we just painted bits here and bits there as we felt like it. Then, once we tired of that, we started 'splodging' the paint on. Grumbles looked up at me delightedly at one stage, and as she brandished her brush around she exclaimed "This isn't how we usually make dresses, is it, Mummy?!"
No siree, we don't. But gee it was fun!
After we finished painting the fabric and then let it dry, I threw it in the washing machine at 30 C, and it came out perfectly. The colour didn't run or fade at all. Phew! Because I diluted the paint, it lost the 'glossy' look it would have it normally, which was good - it was a more matt effect that I was after.
Once again I've used Vogue 8511, and ended up with a vastly different sort of dress. I made this one shorter, and left out the lower back hem opening. I love wearing this dress: once again, it's super comfy to wear, but I feel pretty darn glam in it! And it is so easy to wear - apart from the belt it doesn't need any other accessories. Not with that fabric, anyway! I just throw it on, find some heels, and away I go.
Oooh, newsflash: Just as I've been typing this, Lisa from Tessuti rang and said that they have sold out of the fabric, but do have some similar ones in store, plus lots of fabulous cottons that would be perfect for a painting project like this. That's one of the best things about making your own clothes - you can customise them no end, and end up with something wonderfully unique and totally 'you'.

So: I love this pattern, I love this fabric, I love my brilliant brainwavey idea and I love love love my new dress. Rock on!

Friday, July 17, 2009


Happy birthday to meeeeeeee!

It's that time of year again - my birthday. Hoorah! Tell you what, it's been a pretty good year. I'm pretty darn happy where I am, and feel that life is moving in the right direction. I'm blessed with a wonderful husband, a gorgeous daughter, fabulous friends and a rich, full life.

My only sadness is that we can't give Grumbles the much wanted brother or sister that we all long for, but you know what they say: you can't have it all, and I think my deal is pretty sweet as is. Grumbles and I have been chatting of late about looking on the bright side, so when I get that little ache in my heart, that's what I do: stop to remember how lucky I am. I'm very, very blessed, and it doesn't pay to forget that.

So folks, as per usual I'm sharing the love with a bit of Jorthy giveaway goodness. This year I've got two fabulous books to give away: Beads and Buttons by Erika Knight, and Crochet Handmade Style.

Both are filled with some very cool projects, and it's a bit of wrench to give them away, but I like to treat all you guys once a year as a way of saying thank you for reading my burbling posts! So here's the drill: leave a comment saying which you'd like (oh, and a birthday message would be nice, too!) and I'll do that random number generator thingamajig to find the lucky winners.

Good luck! And thanks for reading! I like having all you folks swing by.
UPDATE! I've decided to leave the competition open for a week, so hurry hurry hurry and get your entry in!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Is it a crime to deface fabric?

Why has Jorth carefully taped calico over her table? Is she planning on making a mess?

And why has she dragged that pattern out again?

Pleeeeease don't tell me that wet, pink stuff is paint. On fabric? Scandalous!

Oh, Jorth! Whatever are we going to do with you?

Although, I guess that answers the mess question.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Pieces of Sunday

Friday, July 10, 2009

My new favourite LBD

What? You can't expect me to be working at Tessuti and not be making up dresses in their gorgeous fabric, now can you?
Project Details
Fabric: 1.8 metres Japanese Cotton Print from Tessuti Fabrics (141 Flinders Lane, Melbourne), bodice lined with orange rayon lining
Notions: 22" zipper, hook and eye
This would have to easily be my pattern of the year. Hands down, no competition whatsoever. I loved making this dress, and love wearing it even more. It's so comfy, yet so chic! I feel very French whenever I wear it, which is just the most awesome feeling! But what's even more awesome is the amount of compliments I get whenever I wear it. This dress is a hit!
Even better than the dress is the fabric. The cotton (which is selling fast, fast, fast in our Melbourne store) was an absolute dream to work with. In fact, I can't remember the last time I had so much fun making a dress. To save it from becoming a bit too twee, I added my own special touch: I put in an open-ended jacket zipper, to give the dress a slight 'rock' edge, and it definitely makes an impact.

So, it's a big 10 out of 10 from me. The pattern was challenging enough to keep me from being bored, without becoming too much of a stress. The front skirt has some nifty side pleats, with a box pleat in the middle (fun!), and some darts in the back. I love doing darts! It really is a wonderfully versatile pattern - you can easily make a whole range of dresses, ranging from simple and classic to bold and crazy, depending upon fabric choices and skirt length. In fact, my next project will be making use of this pattern again, but let me assure you, the dresses could not be any more different! Watch this space!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

FurryBum moments

We have a little name around here for those moments when you really should have just known better. It's called being a FurryBum. It's when one of us here at la maison de Jorth will do something that causes the rest of us to groan in mock dismay and point fingers disdainfully and say "You are SUCH a FurryBum!"

For example, as I type this I am simultaneously trying to eat wheat biscuits covered in coleslaw and grated cheese. The outcome of this juggling act could easily be, shall we say, less than desirable. There is a very great potential for me to end up with a heap of coleslaw over my freshly washed jeans, and to choke on the crumbs as I curse my stupidity, yet I continue despite this, because I am being a total and utter FurryBum.

Yesterday was quite the FurryBum day. Whilst washing the dishes I managed to place my favourite glass water jug on the dishrack in such a way that the moment I stepped out of the kitchen it unbalanced and went crashing into the sink, smashing into a rather melodious thousand little pieces. Of course it smashed into the wet sink, making it rather hazardous to clean the glass shards (is that a piece of glass or a drop of water? Oh the danger!). Of course it happened as I was on the other side of the bench, so I couldn't do a spectacular save. And naturally this FurryBum moment was compounded by the fact that only the night before I'd made a crack to the Galumph about when he breaks the jug... because I would never do such a thing. Ahem. You could call this FurryBum squared.

Meanwhile, at exact same time, the Galumph was having a FurryBum moment of his own. We'd sat down, at his nagging insistence, the night before and filled out the forms for a local school. "C'mon!", he'd exhorted. "We've got to get these done and sent in. In fact, I'll ride around before work tomorrow, and hand them in to the office in person!" So ride around he did, but unfortunately the office was closed because, DUR, it's school holidays. FurryBum!

Then, to cap off a most FurryBumilicious day, I sat down at the computer last night to review some pics of a scarf that I made recently for my friend K.

Doesn't that blue suit her perfectly? Geez I did a good job. Well done me!

Hang on a second... WTF? Why is one end of the scarf waaaaaay wider than the other? How did I not see this before now? How did I knit it without noticing that colossal mistake? And then wrap the darn thing up? And then give it to her, and demand she send me photos?
Oh my sainted aunt, I'm burning up with embarrassment! I swear before the Knitting Gods that I truly had no idea - I would have ripped and redone otherwise!

Oh, the shame! The shame! The ignominious FurryBum shame!

Friday, July 03, 2009

Try not to breathe in the dust

Two digital archeologiest were hunting around the cyberspace that is Blogger, looking for a very old artefact. They stepped gingerly, not wanting to disturb any input or datum as they made their search.

It was tough going - after all, the blog - Jorth - that they were looking for hadn't been updated in over a month, and as Bob said with a rueful grin to Alfonso, that was akin to forever in the digital age.

Suddenly a cry rent the air. "Alf! It's here! I've found it! She's still alive, and has actually been doing stuff, by the looks of it!"

"Careful, me boy!", warned Alf as he scurried over. "Sometimes with these blogs it's very unclear whether they just haven't updated due to the old 'Oops, life got in the way' excuse or if they have actually decided to cease blogging for all of eternity. How's the data files looking?"

"Pretty good!", said Bob excitedly. Using his TIAD device (Thought-Intention-Actually Doing device) he scanned the blog carefully, then absentmindedly whistled the theme song from Dr. Zhivago whilst waiting for the results. Upon reading them he gave a sigh of relief.

"According to the data files, she has been meaning to blog but - yep, you guess it, you old pro, you - life did indeed get in the way. And not only that, but she's been making stuff. Give me a minute, and we might even get an image out of this thing!"

Bob continued reading the results as they waiting for the .jpg to materialise, and reeled off his findings to Alf as he found them: "Yep, she's been knitting... scarves again by the looks of it... and sewing... it's either pjs or some very ugly day pants... that Grumbles turned 5 and they threw a big party... they tried to buy a house but were outbid... oooh, she's made a lovely frock using Vogue Pattern 8511... Hey Alf... Alfie?... ALFONSO!"

Alf looked up as he carefully dusted down the sides of the blog. He could tell from the gleam in Bob's eyes that this was a pretty piece of news. Unable to contain himself, Bob splurted out "She's made the dress using fabric she bought from Tessuti! Bought, may I add, using her staff discount!"

"Well shiver my timbers and make yourself some jelly!" exclained Alf as the news sunk in. "Working at Tessuti! Busy indeed! Well, Bob, me lad, you've done a fine job. Hopefully, with the work we've done here today, the young Jorth lass will be up and blogging again in no time."

As they headed back into cyberspace, Bob said, "Oh, did you see the pic? Quite a fetching scarf she's made!" With a good days work behind them, they disappeared into the internet, looking for other neglected blogs to rescue.