Welcome to the Workshop

Welcome to the Workshop

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Final Countdown

Well, I thought I was done but then one of our lovely babysitters asked to be paid in Poppets. I love a good barter so made the deal. She wanted presents for two little girls, one of whom is crazy for unicorns.
I love making little felt critters at the moment so decided to make a pet for one of the Poppets.
Here they are...

It's hard getting good light for photos as the winter starts to shut us in. Minus 4 is predicted for Sunday! That makes me happy, at least I will have a cold blast before hitting the hot temperatures of my hometown next week. I have one last bit of sewing to finish, a present for my Mum, and then I'm on holidays!
Expect to read posts about swimming pools and hot weather real soon.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Weekend Wind-Up

We spent the weekend outside in the wind, the cold and (sometimes) the rain.
It's getting nice and cold in Toronto which makes me very happy, this week the temperature will hover around 3 degrees. The temperatures in my hometown are scaring me though, I'm not a fan of anything over 25 and Perth is already at 34. I shall just have to cling to the air conditioning like a crazy woman!

Here are some shots from our weekend.

Lovely lemon and poppy seed cake. If you want the recipe click here.
Now I need to get it out of my house before I eat it all!

Friday, November 8, 2013

A Boy and His Dog

Just thought you'd like to see the photos of my final custom order for 2013.
I was asked to make a boy and his pet dog. I love these sort of requests, they really challenge my creativity.
Here is the result, I love them!

Aren't they adorable?

As I mentioned, orders are closed for the year and it's almost time to shut up shop. Poppet and I are nipping back to Perth for a few weeks for some much-needed extended family time. We'll return to Toronto just in time for a jetlagged Christmas and then we have some skiing planned for the New Year.
I have a little bit of designing left to do (I'm going to be teaching some sewing classes in January and need to draw up the patterns!) and then it's time to pack.

We have over 24 hours of transit to get there. Give me strength!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Trick or Treat

Smell my feet, give me something good to eat. If you don't, I don't care, I'll pull down your underwear.

Yet another wet and bleary Hallowe'en night in Toronto. We took Wednesday Adams, Supergirl and Darth Vader out to beg for candy...

Scary that we've already eaten our way through a considerable amount of this stash four days later.

Time to plan the next holiday. 50 days until Christmas!

Saturday, November 2, 2013


Halloween is behind us now and the countdown for Christmas looms immediately!
I just wanted to share some pics of our pumpking carving session. Poppet decided on an adventure time theme, naturally.

I'll post our trick or treating photos tomorrow. Right now I'm off to the craft store (it's a long drive!) to pick up equipment for the kids classes I'll be teaching at the local craft cafe starting in January. Lots of scissors and needles and thread for small hands. I'm really looking forward to it!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

In The Workshop

I feel like I'm coming up for air.

Over the past month I have been working hard on custom orders. They have all been international (yay) so I've had to push to beat the postal cut off dates.
I went for my first long walk yesterday in weeks, a good sign that I'm over the custom mountain and returning to some sanity. I'm even making soup for dinner instead of buying it.
My latest order is for lots of Christmas-y goodness. An Elf Poppet (just completed) and some gorgeous hanging Christmas Poppets. I've cut them out and will continue to stitch them today while I watch Mr Selfridge on Netflix.

Here are some shots of the finished Elf...

Isn't he delightful?
Next week I'll be working on a little boy Poppet and his dog. I love trying something new!
And I took a quick snap yesterday of my tiny workspace. It's a long way from my studio back in Australia but it works fine for now.

The weather has turned completely now. This week we'll have high temperatures of 8 or 9 degrees.
Poppet and I sorted through our hats and gloves yesterday to have them ready to grab in the mornings for the walk to school. I didn't realise she had so many darn hats! Me either, for that matter...

Halloween is turning up all over the neighbourhood, we need to get our skates on and put some spiderwebs up over our place. Poppet will be dressing as Wednesday Adams this year for Halloween.
Fingers crossed it isn't the complete washout we had last year, we only managed one street before dragging our wet and bedraggled selves home to bed.

We'll pick up a pumpkin this weekend and carve it too. Poppet has decided on an Adventure Time pumpkin. Surprise surprise.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

A Day With Ai Weiwei

We spent the day exploring the art of Ai Weiwei downtown.

A massive installation of over 3000 bicycles was installed downtown for the all-night Nuit Blanche festival earlier in the month. You can read more about the bikes here, but I've also taken a silly amount of photos of them.
Unbeknownst to us our daytrip coincided with the finish line of a city marathon so we had to wade through blocked streets and thermal blanket-clad athletes to reach the sculpture.

It was worth it!

Ai Weiwei was once chosen by the Chinese government to co-designing the birdnest stadium for the Beijing Olympics. But when he started to criticize the government very publicly and internationally through art and social media he ended up imprisoned for it. Like all brave activists he continues to speak out to this day.
I'm a sucker for this sort of art and found his work at the Art Gallery of Ontario today incredibly moving.
We walked up to the gallery after spending some time with the bicycles. The exhibit was incredible but I only took one photo. Sometimes you need to just be in the moment, photos be damned.

In 2008 the Sichuan Province in China was hit with an earthquake in which over 90000 people died. At least 5000 of these were children who died when government built school buildings collapsed. The government refused to give an account of how many children died and never released their names. Ai Weiwei and his team went door to door in Sichuan and collected the names of the dead from their families. He has created many incredible works of art in their memory. One of which is this backpack snake seen above.
If you are curious about the man and his art I encourage you to watch the documentary released recently.
Never Sorry.

Poppet really enjoyed the art as well, these big installation pieces are so engaging for children. It shows them that anything is possible, no idea is too big. Certainly not in Ai Weiwei's case.
She did manage a little sketching time of her own while we waited to enter the exhibit.

She drew some characters from Adventure Time, if you're unfamiliar. She is a big fan.
Fittingly, we wandered through China town on the way home, stopping to look at some anime books and then finishing up with dumplings at a wonderful Chinese restaurant nearby.
Another great day in Toronto.

And it's going to be 7 degrees during the day this week, time to look for some gloves!

Hope you had a lovely weekend too.


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