Wednesday, 29 December 2010

My first baby crochet garment

I've made some crochet toys and some accessory 'things' but I have never made a crochet garment for a baby to wear before, until now!

Do you like it? It's around the 1 year anniversary of my learning to crochet (I started learning it just before Christmas last year), and I'm pretty pleased with myself. My friend's babe just turned 1 on Monday, so I gave it to her! I love that's it's short sleeved and kinda kimono style!

AND, I'm going to explain how I made this, and show you all the other ideas I've learnt along the way. It's a little hard at first (where do you stick the hook? How do you do all this with just one stick? Why do I have to count all the time at the start? What's with the instructions? Why is UK and the US different, and what should I learn if I live in Australia?) and once you work out those hard bits, it's freaking easy and you can do MORE TV WATCHING because this becomes automatic after a while! Yep! Auto pilot on the old crochet! It's seriously a multitaskers dream!

Here are the little itty buttons as I didn't really wanna do ribbons or whatever, so I improvised with the crocheted button loops as well!

The pattern is on Ravelry, for FREE, via this darling person, who has an amazing story as to how this cardi came about. If you are serious about learning crochet (or knitting FYI) you should get on Ravelry, it's free, and there's usually shitloads of free patterns there. I am a total beginner in crochet, and not really a good knitter (I can purl that's about it, but when I concentrate I can do other patterns), and there's heaps of really great easy projects you can just look at and study.

Here's the back:

Ok, friends: if you'd like to start crochet, but don't know how (and I know some of you have spoken up in the past), please let me know what you want to know, and I'll explain how I learnt it, and pointing out the various online tools that helped me learn. Guys! It's not that hard once you get over the hard bit!

Personally, I don't think I even followed the cardigan's instructions right, and still it's a freaking cool baby jacket! It's almost like you can't stuff up crochet! (I have stuffed up crochet, but you just unravel it, and then NO ONE knows!)

Anyways, I'm no expert but I'm a happy go lucky amateur, who is really friendly, so if you have any crochet questions (and they can be dumb, don't worry, I've muddled a year's worth of WTF moments) let me know and I'll see if I can solve it for you!

P.S. The bike stains from yesterday are all gone now: Preen and a little nappysan in the wash, and my big skirt dress is as good as new! I'll heed your advice fellow bikers, sitting on skirt and mud flap thingies sounds good!

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Riding in big skirts

I was going to post about my baby crochet cardi today (that I made for my friend's baby!), but my Husbie got some awesome snaps and I just had to show you right away!

We rode into the city, watched 'Megamind' then did a little camera shopping (Husbie's fave, post Christmas) and I am totally amazed at how HAPPY I look!!!!

It took about half an hour of slow riding, so if we get fitter and better at it, it'll take no time at all!

BUT, a drama... Riding in big skirts without a mud flap or basket at the back means a dirty/greasy smear has appear on the edge of my dress (it's the one I made for Octoberfest, if you can recall) and I feel pretty bad, because I don't really care at all. I feel more bad that I'm like: "Oh well, it was an easy dress to make... I can chop the hem to make it shorter."

No Fear. That's what my helmet says, and darlings, I have no fear for stains.

As for my Christmas day dress, I should have made it a little more clear, I had to wear the stockings on the Wednesday prior to Christmas, but on Christmas day I was ok without the tights. It was kinda cold though for us in Melbs... a not really hot at all cloudy day. It's starting to look hot though, and after riding today in the glorious blue sky and sunshine, it now FINALLY feels like summer.

Yay! xoxo

Monday, 27 December 2010

Christmas Day Dress

Happy holidays to you guys! Hope the weekend was fun and you got to spend some time with your besties and loved ones. Finally I've got some photos of a party dress in full to show you! I wore it to work on Wednesday, with a red cardigan, as it's been cold in Melbs! I also wore it on Christmas Day, because I had no time to finish my green leafy dress.

The material is cotton drill, and my friend gave it to me, so not sure (and she can't remember!) where it comes from. The pattern in a dorky early 90s one, that I've used in different ways over the years (a dress for the Music Awards, for my friend etc) and it has a really great description of lining the bodice (instead of using underlining or bias tape, and for a tight fit it keeps the shape great.

I didn't pay any attention to where the back bits were in the layout of the pattern and am super happy with how the white swirl seems to meet at the back zipper, on my bum! I love it when magic happens in making a dress!

What have you got planned for today? It's still a holiday for us, but Husbie is going it to work. My friend's little baby is turning 1 today, so hopefully I'll get Husbie around 2pm, and we'll go to her party after that. I've finished up a little jacket (photos for you tomorrow) to give to her today, my first crochet jacket!

Thank you for reading my little chit chats through the year, I adore your comments and your blogs as well. Isn't it fun making stuff and writing and showing stuff to a group of fun like minded people! Hooray!

Best, Veronica Darling

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Happy Day!

Happy Holiday Day to you Darling Hearts!

I've never made this tinier kinda bunting before!


Tiny tiny bunting! Made from leftovers from this dress, and this dress, and overlocked together! Such a time saver!

Husbie says Happy Christmas!

And because we're having a day of darling foods, all small share plates, we had to write up our menu!

There's plenty more there, but thought you'd like to see the "rest and champagne" section!

Best, Veronica Darling xoxo

Friday, 24 December 2010

Friend Friday: Christmas Time

I haven't done a 'Friend Friday' blog post for a while (even though I started the 'party fash' one last week, but only wrote half a sentence... and then had to go to a party!), but if you're hanging out around blogland these days, 'Friend Friday' is a regular weekly blog post started over at Katy's Modly Chic that heaps of fash peeps contribute to. Anyone can join too!

So, here's today's questions:

Let's make this one a little more fun than some of our other question's about HOLIDAYZ. Our family kinda celebrates Christmas. I say kinda, because there are no kids, no grandkids, and we're all sloshy adults who sometimes do Kris Kringle, and sometimes don't care about anything other than eating delish foods.

Hmmm, I may be a bit dorky when it comes to these questions, sometimes I hate the modern Christmas time so much. This year I've taken a few deep breaths and have got off the soapbox. (I usually moan about consumerism and waste, but have been very minimal in my present buying and even though I hadn't the time to make things, I did take time to consider what I was buying.)

1. Your favorite holiday memory:

We had a lot of Christmases in caravans when I was little, as my Nanna and Pop lived in a caravan park and we'd go visit them. They were always fun with mini Christmas trees, but I reckon all childhood Christmases were fun! 


2. Were you ever a victim of those family Christmas party photo shoots? What do you think about them now? Care to share an old photo?

Eep, I'm not really sure what this means. We take photos, yep, in our family, but not too sure what the family party photo shoot is. I'm lost!

3. Best Christmas gift you ever gave:

I gave my Dad a year of sponsoring an Orangutang at Melbourne Zoo one year, and he adored it. He kept the photo of the darling creature on the fridge, and it was almost as close as the real thing.

4. Craziest/funniest holiday family tradition:

Santa leaves chocolates all over the house in little bowls, so when you walk around there's always tiny treats everywhere. Also Santa sometimes puts more chocolates on the tree AFTER Christmas too! OMG!

5. Favorite type of Christmas cookie:

Um... not too sure what choices there are? Does this mean something like shortbread? My family aren't really traditional with food choices, for example we usually have seafood and heaps of salads. I am usually vegetarian, but become good old Vege-quarian at Christmas/Holiday time, because my Dad is a die hard when it comes to fish and cooking it. He has 3 kinds of fish tomorrow, plus prawns, plus oysters.

Yay! Decorations! Happy Christmas Eve, and happy holiday time to all you guys!

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Glimpses of my party dresses!

This time of year it's always parties, events and things to do, and being back in Melbourne is no different to Sydney life. I mentioned to you yesterday that I've been sewing up a storm with any spare time I've had, making party dresses!

For some reason, even though I am ARMED with my gorgeous camera at every event, now that *I* am taking the photos, I rarely get photos *of* myself. I'll have to start taking a photo before I leave the house (and not rushing out the door putting lippy on in the car like above!)!!! This dress (that you totally can't see properly, sorry) is what I'm also wearing to work today, it's made of awesome material and it was for a Christmas house party last Friday night. I took a quick photo in the car to see if my lipstick was ok!

This photo (above) shows another vintage pattern from Amanda in Adelaide, who has kindly lent me some of her stash to make up. The material is a bedsheet, the zipper is thrifted, and I thought this could be my Christmas Day dress (the Red slimmer skirt/shorter sleever version) but I have to resize the pattern since it's a 36, and I'm still trying to work that out.

Sewing a half an hour here and there is hard for concentrating on big things like drafting patterns. HMPF!

And here's a purple dress I made over a week for a work function, based on the pattern below that came up quite nice, and I'll show you the full details soon. WHEN I get a full photo of it!

See you soon!

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Another random 'Hiya' note

Man, I can't believe I haven't checked in since last week!

Apols my online friends, I don't know why, but my day job is still MASSIVELY busy! What a busy bee, and right before Christmas too! Heaps of my friends are like 'Hurrah! Last day of work!' and I'm like ARGH, get me chocolate! I guess it happens when your home time is spent making party dresses, going to parties and weddings and generally keeping a LONG working day! (It's after 6pm and I've just finished for the day, thought I'd write you a little blog post before I head home!)

I've also installed ANOTHER app on my iphone, this one is the 'Instagram' free one... it's pretty cute! The above balloons were in my little neighbourhood here in Melbourne! Looks like NEW YORK if you ask me!

I call that car above the LOL-CAR instead of LOLCAT! If you're following me on twitter, you'd have seen these already, but I didn't think many of you check in there. I'm a very boring twitterer!

There's Husbie and Doggie Darling hanging out while we wait for Thai Food! Check out the custies clocking the good looking dog!

And here's one from last Thursday as I waited for Husbie to finish work.

I don't know about you but because Christmas is a Saturday, it's been chocablock with social things for the last week and a half! Maybe to make up for the 'weekendy' family holidays. Luckily I get Monday to Wednesday off next week too, because of the public holidays, so I bet by this time next week you'll be bored of me. Cause I'll post you all the things I've made and worn and fun parties I've been too. SO BORING yet SO popular!

Wishing you safe travels if you're out and about this time of year! Gosh how bad is the weather in Europe! Best wishes to you darlings if you're stuck at an airport!


Thursday, 16 December 2010

What I was doing this time last week

Sorry to be all 'Bali Bali Bali' this week, but I have to gush about where I was sitting just last week...

At this amazing, on the beach, type bar! Don't you love all the colours of the chairs and furniture? It's all miss matched and bright! That's how I'm making my crochet blankets at the moment, as many colours, all left over wool too.

We've totally settled back into Melbs after our holiday, the washing's all done, the 9 to 5 working day is well worn and it feels forever since we were in our swimmers drinking all those cocktails.

This weekend I've got a Christmas Party and a wedding, so am whizzing something up to wear for the Christmas Party now. I think I've got my outfit already for the wedding, but it's so festive at the moment, and fun! Might be in overdrive in the sewing room though!

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Bali Cocktails!

Well, one of the reasons I wanted to go on holidays was to drink heaps of cocktails by the pool! I can report that Bali is perfect for cocktails!

First up, here's the normal beer, Bintang:

Beer is a kind of cocktail! Now here's some more local stuff, The Arak Attack:

It tastes like tequila and lemon, but Arak is some kind of locally made spirit and makes you 'shudder' (or in my case, wudder!) because it's quite acidic, and apparently if you drink too many of these Arak Attacks, you'll become a different person. I've had too many bad tequilas in my time, so I just drank this one cocktail.

These two darkly lit cocktails were at Ku De Ta, and there was a storm rumbling outside, so it got pretty dark inside. I had the above Raspberry and Lemongrass Martini - delish!

And this one above was a rum based cocktail, there was a whole lime, frozen with holes in it, and it sat in the rum. You poured coke over it, which melted the little lime ball, and the lime flavour then seeped into the drink!

And our fave, the simple Bintang beer! Very refreshing after long walks around the shopping streets.

It's been so quiet at my day job/work at the moment, I'm tied up at the computer with stuff on my plate, but everyone's gone on holidays! There's only a couple of us in the office! Since I went to Bali last week, I'll just take the public holidays as my holiday time break this year. Are you getting some holiday time in the next few weeks?


Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Red dress with Red Hearts

A few weeks back I had to do a 'talk' at a conference, it was a fairly relaxed affair but I didn't have anything to wear (of course, a seamstress like myself never has ANYthing to wear), so quickly found some left over red floppy material and made this red dress in an HOUR!

I pretty much copied this pink stripey dress (that I refashioned to fit me) by lying each piece (front top, back top and skirt x2) onto the fabric, cutting an extra inch all around and then making some bias binding for the neck and arm holes. It's totally a large babydoll style, but somehow the way I made it up (oh so professionally) it dips lower at the back, so the front skirt is up over my knees but the back bit hangs around the back of my knees. It has a nice loose casual effect.

And just PERFECT for Bali! These beautiful heart lights are in the front garden of Ku De Ta, a very posh bar/restaurant in Seminyak.

More holiday shots coming to you this week! Apols for all these summer photos to you Northerners, it was 28 to 32 degrees Celsius in Bali, so very humid and hot!


Monday, 13 December 2010

The cutest chocolates!

As I mentioned yesterday, Husbie and I went to Bali for our holiday. It wasn't a destination I'd choose straight away, but Husbie's friends were going and they organised some fantastic accommodation (a cute Villa!) and it was seriously the easiest holiday to prepare for. But of course airline companies have terrible hospitality, planes need maintenance and connecting flights don't match up, so the to-ing and fro-ing to Bali was pretty bad with some major delays.

But, as I am a self confessed PosiTina Turner (did you get that there? Positive like Tina Turner as opposed to a NegaTori Amos) I thought I'd share with you the little things that made our holiday fabulous! You'll be spared all the tourist shots, although a nice cocktail might pop up every now and again!

It all started when Husbie and I went to Highpoint Shopping Centre to buy our luggage... we spotted the most magical of all chocolate shops!

Chocolate now looks nicer to eat than ever, and they kinda look like toys! 

I seriously don't go shopping that much, hey?!

Hope your week has started off ok! xoxo

Sunday, 12 December 2010


Yay! Happy December to you! I have returned from one of the isles of Indonesia: Bali!

Husbie and I are very relaxed and sunkissed, and it's weird not using the internetz for over a week! My day to day life is so usually connected to web stuff, so it's exciting using my laptop again! Hee hee!

Can't wait to whip around and see what you are all up to, but I've got heaps of darling photos and creations to share with you over the next week! (Yes, I did a *bit* of crochet on holz, and I have a few dresses to show you too) Together with my parents, we all decided to have Christmas at our place in Melbs, so I'm super keen to get a few handmade decorations up and around the house. Christmas for us is kinda usually low key, and I suspect that's going to be case again this year, so I might work out some sustainable decoration options for us!

Talk soon, Veronica Darling

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Back soon!

Phew! Sorry for the silence babes, but I've finished a mad week of work, and will now head off on holidays! LOLIDAYZ! Husbie and I are going away for his birthday, so we'll be sitting around the pool a lot and generally reading/cocktailing/lazing around for a few weeks. I'm so excited, and heaps exhausted from running around all year, so it's perfect timing.

I was going to set up some scheduled posts for you, but I couldn't find a moment to even get them written! When I get back we have some HUGE catching up to do, I haven't even looked at any of your blogs for a couple of days, so I miss you! Hope you're doing well, and see you soon.

 Maybe while I'm gone, you should check out these darling fash and design blogs:

Orange and Apples - I always visit Franca's blog, she's so colourful and beautiful!

Lucy at The Design Files - is suggesting some great presents for the family and sometimes has awesome giveaways! I'm a bit gushed over Lucy because I know her IN REAL LIFE! Very weird for me, as I'm a bit shy meeting peeps in real life. LOLZ

Love gorgeous photos? Especially of Sydney's Inner West? My darling friend (also IRL) has just started blogging and she's already awesome!

OMG It's snowing for Karin at The Mrs! She's a darling and has a gorgeous little family, but her sewing is amazing!

Emina has THE best shop in Brunswick (you know I love the Melissa shoes!) with OK OK!

See you in two weeks!

xoxo Veronica Darling

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Talking to the ends of the earth

It's nice to have a little sit down in the late late afternoon, and look at blogs and wait for the mini quiches to cook.

It's nice not having to talk.

These are some timer shots I took the other day, on my little itty bitty tripod. I quite like them! My knee highs are from my fave shop in Melbourne - OK OK! YAY

I have made a red dress today, but as I was making the quiche, I spilt cream all down the front. Great. I'll post it another day for you to see.

Friday, 19 November 2010

Friend Friday: Copy Cats

Every Friday, Modly Chic poses a thought/topic/group of questions and it's a meme called Friend Friday. It's kinda fun because on Fridays it's really nice to have a structure to what to post about and there's several other bloggers (that I follow) who are doing it, and I like seeing likeminded peeps write about stuff etc.

This week's Friend Friday therefore, as written her by Katy at Modly Chic:

This past week I encountered the topic of blogger copying twice. The first time was as I scrolled through the numerous bloggers doing the 30 for 30 challenge. I realized that after one person poses with an umbrella dozens others will. Or as Kendi poses in a parking garage suddenly 20 other bloggers appear in a parking garage. And then I was talking with Kinsey about some of favorite blogs and she mentioned seeing a blogger post a DIY recipe and two weeks later another blogger posted a very similar DIY recipe complete with the same wrappings. That got me thinking... how much of blogging is coming up with your own content and how much is mirroring what we see others doing?

Ok, so before I go on, I want to say: You may not really get what Katy is talking about above, sorry if it's confusing (Kendi? Kinsey? They are bloggers I'm assuming, and fashion ones perhaps). But I am also a little sickie. So this may come as a shock to you but I almost couldn't be fucked with this topic, and pretty much was just going to post the words:

Zeitgeist and Collective Consciousness

Because I've lived a bit of this kinda 'meme' stuff over the years where you think and do something at exactly the same time as someone else around the world thinks and does that too. We are humans and we do that for loads of reasons. BUT, then I thought I should be not grumpy and sickie and rude, and show you some 'nature' photos and answer the questions so you can see what I'm thinking! Buckle in peeps! These are photos from my parents place in the country too btw:

1. What are the 'unwritten rules' about copying content that we bloggers should all abide by?

I'm only ever going to speak for myself, because we're all individuals, but I don't copy content, and if when referring to blogs and photographs and other content, I linky dink back to it. However, I'm not sure posing in a parking garage or posing with an umbrella (aren't most of you in the Northern Hemisphere, where it's potentially raining?) could be called copying content. Hence my zeitgeist thought. But for me, I'm not really interested in looking at blogs and copying; I look at blogs and think wow, how inspiring!

2. They say imitation is the highest form of flattery. But when it a post imitation and when is it copying?

I really love some blogs, and how they inspire me to try new things or do new things. When I first looked at The Freelancer's Fashionblog, I was like 'How does she make her hair go like that?', then read that she does pin curls, then looked at 500 youtubes on how to set your hair in pin curls, and now I do that, and am so happy with my hair. When I first started blogging, I clicked onto Nikkishell's blog somehow, and saw her group the Wardrobe Refashion, and I loved how she was making clothes from op shop things (just like me) and I was like WOW, I'm connected to a whole different community. None of this is copying, it's just being inspired. I guess it's the content and photography stuff these questions are talking about though.

3. Taking another blogger's idea (perhaps for an outfit, or DIY tutorial) is pretty common in the blogging world. Do you think it is necessary to credit the original source?

I rarely look at a bloggers outfit to replicate it. I see fashion on the street all the time and love it, but I don't think "I have to get that whole look". I gather up ideas and styles and things that suit me. As for DIY tutorials and stuff, I always linky dink to things I see and make from online! The other day I was talking about how I love the open source nature of the internetz, so will always credit someone's generousity and show you how I learnt to make it. That's why I show you the patterns I use to make stuff too!

4. How have you improved your blog by comparing it to other bloggers? Have you made changes due to something you have seen others doing?

I know I take better photos and care more about my photos because of other bloggers. I think over the past 4 years the online world has really sparked up their photos and amateur photographers are really GREAT photographers these days. So I'm totally into that. Also occasionally I get annoyed with the look of my blog, and I think I've evolved it at least once a year! Franca at Oranges and Apples is one of my bloggie friends that I admire, and we LOL-ed (over email!) the other day how we both update at the same time. She's a darling, and I love how realistic she is about blogging and can be quite revealing, which I guess I try to be too. Oh, and recently I saw Vanessa at The Velvet Bird updated her blog/look, with a cute banner, and I drew up (by hand) something kinda like hers, but totally created by me, and when I put it up there (on the blog), I mailed Vanessa and told her she was an inspiration for me. She wrote something cute back in return, because she's a darling.

 5. Have you ever had one of your posts copied by another blogger or publication? How did you handle the situation?

Nup. Not sure what I'd do. Perhaps get grumpy? Probably not. It makes me think about copyrighting somewhere on my blog about my photos. I'd hate to see a photo of mine pop up somewhere as someone else's photo.

These questions make me think that originality is key.

Now, this photo is original. Do I hear anyone wanting to replicate or copy this look? No one? WHY NOT IT'S HAWT!

P.s. when you're in the country you can wear whatever you like and nature finds you attractive.


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