Move Over Etsy….

….there’s a new craft business taking the world by storm!

Okay, so maybe it’s only taking Australia by storm.

Okay, so maybe it’s just my town that’s getting stormed.

Okay, okay, so it’s only my immediate circle of friends and family.

And there’s no storm.

It’s not even a business.

It’s just MOSY Creations – my new initiative to explain the weird handmade gifts I like to give to people.

mosy-creations

I have, for many years, rather enjoyed making things as gifts. I’m pretty sure there’s still a couple of small framed watercolours I gave my parents for Christmas when I was about 13. I know. You may pity them.

I especially like making things when babies are born.

I went through a period of making animal gift baskets with themed baby items including embroidered singlets. eg, a duck basket with ducks embroidered on socks, singlets, etc.

Then, each of my nieces and nephews received a handmade teddy bear for their first birthday. (The absolute tragedy of this commitment is that I never did the same for my own children. I still feel bad about that.)

Then, in the throes of raising my own children, I got a bit slack. My apologies to any friends whose babies received a store bought present. I owe you one.

I did, however, keep my hand in by making costumes for my kids when required for various school events.

The Youngest Son dressed as some explorer whose name escapes me for a ‘Wax Museum’ exhibition of his work. Some of it made from scratch, some just a clever use of what was in the wardrobe. The jacket was a lucky find in an op shop that just needed the sleeves adjusted to look like they had cuffs. (Smoke and mirrors, people, smoke and mirrors.)

But recently, I’ve been reinvigorated to make things again, inspired mostly by a creative friend whom I knew would fully appreciate a handmade gift.

First it was Mr Snuffleupagus when her son was born.

A year later, I dragged out the knitting needles for the first time in about ten years to knit him a beanie. (It’s Rowlf, for the Muppet-uninitiated.)

imag0452s

And there have been capes and wallets and Muppet Money (very valuable on the Puppet Exchange).

But the thing about all these creations is that I really had no idea what I was doing and was mostly just making it up as I went. Snuffy was based on an elephant pattern but I had to adjust his head. And his trunk. And his tail. (I think it took three trials to get the tail right.)

The beanie was made up of four different patterns.

So they’re never perfect. There’s always a slightly dodgy element to them all. But I never really thought of giving them a label until recently.

Another friend was expecting her first baby this year and she’s a Doctor Who fan. So, it occurred to me that a really cool present would be to make a Tenth Doctor doll (David Tennant being her favourite Doctor). I figured I’d try and knit one but when I went looking for patterns, I didn’t like any of the knitted ones. I did, however, love a crocheted one I found:

img_1496

Image courtesy of Allison Hoffman at craftyiscool.com

In typical fashion, I took to this project with gusto despite not actually knowing how to crochet. (Sometime in my deep dark history I must have learnt because it felt familiar but let’s just say YouTube is a wonderful thing….)

It was far from perfect. I honestly had no idea what I was doing. So, this time I really felt I needed to attach a tag to clearly indicate that this was made by a Jack of All Trades who definitely had not mastered crochet. And thus MOSY Creations was born. It seemed easier to declare at the outset that this was something you would not find on Etsy or Ravelry or even some sort of “Crafties Have Talent” excruciating audition episode. “This is just between you and me”, it says. “It’s not perfect but it’s made with love.”

I was still pleased with the result of my efforts. You know, in that “Gee, that was hard, but I did it” kind of way. And as long as I didn’t keep going back to look at the picture of what it was supposed to look like….

I should perhaps explain that this is a baby-friendly version of the pattern. The original required a piece of dowel in the neck and wire in the limbs. These were obviously omitted in this rather wibbly wobbly Doctor.

My dear friend loved it and she paid me the ultimate compliment. On opening the gift she exclaimed, “Where did you find it?!”

Oh, in a very exclusive establishment.

A Boy and his Doctor (Photo used with permission.)

A Boy and his Doctor
(Photo used with permission)

 

 

 

HOME button Able Theme small

The Great Aussie Blogger Meeting – Coffee, Laughs and a Neurotic Cat

So how was it?????

That’s what you’ve been wondering, right? What happened when the Great Margaret-Rose and the Nervous MOSY finally met in person? Were there earthquakes in Sydney? Did the Space-Time Continuum tear open? Did the sky rain with meteors?

Nah. We just had a fabulous time.

The following is a recounting of the experience from both sides. M-R has decided to close her own blog next week and will no longer be posting on it but you deserve her side of the story (she says nervously) as well as mine.

MOSY’s Version

Although I stepped into the lift in her building with a heart beating hard enough to make the walls bounce, I stepped out of it to be greeted by an old friend.

And that’s what it’s like, folks. That person with whom you’ve got along like the proverbial incendiary dwelling out in the Blogosphere is, in my experience at least, the person you will meet in person (so to speak).

Of course, M-R made the smart first move of offering me coffee almost as soon as I got in the door so how could I not love her?

So what did you do?

We hung out. That’s it. We talked, we ate, we laughed, we drank coffee, we went to lunch at lovely little places. It was just two friends hanging out together. We ventured out for various things that needed to be done and had a great time. Even a visit to the optometrist brought joy. While I waited for M-R, I wandered over to the bookshop across the road. Outside the door on the Sale table was another of those addictive 1000 Dot-to-Dot books! Score!

I didn’t need a tour of Sydney (I’ve seen it). I didn’t need to be ‘entertained’ (our conversations covered that). Just the chance to be together was payment enough for the journey and I was richly rewarded.

Oh, plus I got to eat a rather substantial amount of that delicious bread she makes.

But what was M-R like?

You’ve read her blog. Or blogs. (She’s had a few.) You’ve read her comments on your blog and those of her many friends. THAT is what she is like. The personification of WYSIWYG, as Su Leslie so cleverly described her in a comment on the last post.

Actually, that’s not quite right. In person she is actually more than you get through the ether. A life-giving force of humour, knowledge, passion and most of all, generosity. Margaret-Rose has a heart as big as that new apartment monstrosity she so despises. I practically had to push her over to let me take the dishes to the sink.

Did you meet the fabled Lui Stringer?

Yes I did. He hid in his little hidey hole in a credenza when I arrived but not to be outdone, I slid open the door and reached in to give him a scratch under the chin. I think he must have been paralysed by the audacity of my actions because he allowed it. Then, as I slid the door across again, he hissed at me.

This was to become a theme.

It’s rather disconcerting to spend three days being looked at by a cat as if you are a visiting serial killer.

IMAG0487

This was when we came back from lunch on the last day. “Oh gods, you’re still here. I thought you’d left.”

Three days flew by all too quickly and it seems odd to know that I can’t just pop over for coffee and a laugh whenever I feel like it. Thank heavens for Mr Bell and Mr Edison and Mr Turing and Mr Sir Berners-Lee and their ilk that we can still stay in touch. And a little thanks to the Wright Brothers for the ability to ‘pop’ up to Sydney without a 10-hour car journey.

So, thinking of arranging a meeting with a favourite blogger? Do it. Do it now. You won’t regret it.

M-R’s Version

Having been apostrophised by Mrs Dempsey regarding the lack of need to meet her at the light rail stop at Central and been suitably cowed (I am a very nervous person, after all !), I waited in the little flat to hear the intercom sound and H’s familiar voice be heard – I have terrorised her by ‘phone on more than one occasion …

And then, as I stood outside the lift, anxious as buggery*, she was suddenly there ! – slim, vital and smiling, looking about 25!!! At which point I knew instantly that it was all OK: here was H, just as I knew she’d be, and life was good.

Much coffee from the Gaggia Classic, and many cups of tea. Some food, too, every so often. The only momentous example of that was when she took me to lunch yesterday, and we went to visit my friend Tino at his restaurante português, where we ate his mum’s delishus cannelloni (it’s very confusing, Portuguese food …) and drank a glass of the wonderful Terras d’el Rei red each.

Did I take her all around Sydney ? Did I even take her to, say, the Maritime Museum and Darling Harbour ? Did I show her the sights ? – did I what ! Oh, no, sorry – that was a lie: the real answer is no, I didn’t! I did take her to North Sydney/Blues Point, but only because I had to visit my adored optometrist and his even more adored optical technician; and there H was given many examples of my habit of smooching on the men who mean a lot to me. (Well, why not ?!) But that was more or less the extent of what she saw in Sydney.   :-/

I believe the rest of the time we talked. Amazin ain’t it ? 🙂 I think I gave her some talking time of her own; but to be truthful it seems upon reflection it was entirely the sound of my voice that was heard in the land (just like the turtle-dove).

H and I have many extraordinary similarities in our lives. We’re both quite mad, of course; and we’re separated by something like 26 years … but she makes me feel as if we’re the same age, and start wondering if I shouldn’t think about doing <X>, just as she has done. Dangerous, that ! [grin]

I can add only that when we realized she had a bit left on her Opal card (bus, train, ferry and light rail transport) and no way of reclaiming it, and she said “I can use it next time” that I understood her to have enjoyed herself in the company of this whingeing, grumpy old fart. REALLY mad, then …

I wait for the next occasion on which her family feels they can possibly do without their motivating force in their midst for a couple of days: it can’t come soon enough.

I LOVE HEATHER DEMPSEY !!!

*you’d be anxious too, if you were an almost 72-y-o living a VERY unadventurous life on her own and about to meet an amazing young woman who can do anything and often does, as well as being someone who knows tons of stuff and is a wife and a mother of three boys. Why on earth would she not think “How did I let myself in for this boring time ???” …

IMAG0482_1

 

 

 

HOME button Able Theme small