Category Archives: Deviousness

In which I deviously sneak in some non-craft-related stuff

A nautical theme

For Mum’s birthday this year, I had something stashed and ready to roll – a little cross-stitched lighthouse. I made it for Mum years and years ago, then put it ‘somewhere safe’ and forgot about it completely. I found it again when I moved house last year, and this time, I actually remembered its existence when planning for gifts. Add a vintage frame and voila!


I also wanted to crochet something cute to go with it – Dad already got the whales, so for Mum, I went looking for seal and sea lion patterns. I eventually found one on Ravelry, from Sandsteel Designs. Some of the results looked…variable, but the pattern had some extremely clever shaping. I had faith that if I got the gauge right, I could pull it off. I fished out a variegated greyish-brown cotton, sat myself in front of the TV and got stitching. Result? Adorability!

baby seal

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Additional! I have an excessive amount of Christmas craft to blog, so stay tuned for an upcoming four-part post full of holiday cheer, gamer craft, mysteries and other such signifiers of the season.

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Posted by on January 10, 2013 in Craftiness, Deviousness


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The theme for the latest Phat Quarter swap was “It’s not the end of the world”. My piece has landed safely in America, so without further ado, I present my take on the theme:

The text is, of course, from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and the border is from an early 20th century DMC pattern book. Going by my limited understanding of German, the space in the centre was originally designed for a memorial – however, I think the timeless words of Douglas Adams are much more important to remember!

I received an awesome piece myself, from jojobooster – a very cool twitter-feed take on the theme:

It was a most impressive parcel to receive in the mail!

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In other news, I am aware that I’ve been neglecting this blog over the past few months; I plead the turmoil of moving house and consecutive illnesses which have knocked me flat. I have a massive backlog of stuff I need to post, which I’ll hopefully be plowing through over the next month or so. Stay tuned for some black (books) humour, crazy awesome yarnbombing, super cute amigurumi, random book art, and even more Christmas craft!

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Posted by on February 28, 2012 in Craftiness, Deviousness


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April was a very … odd … month; I don’t really know where it went or what I did with it. I’ve been crafting bits and pieces of lots of things, but not really finishing any of it – including crochet for Adelaide’s satellite of the Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef Project, and some tortuously slow lace-knitting (with this very yummy yarn). As soon as I have results for this stuff, I will certainly post it.

Something I have finished, though were Mothers’ Day presents. Nothing like a deadline, right?

The frames are from a little vintage shop Fleurieu Peninsula – the matched set of three was perfect for Mothers’ Day. The blackbird on the left is for my Mum, the ducks in the middle are for my Grandma, and the fairy wren on the right is for my Gran. All the little birdies were happily received into their new homes, and Mothers’ Day has been successfully navigated for another year.

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Posted by on May 8, 2011 in Craftiness, Deviousness


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Smiling winsomely at watchmakers

Following the sheer awesomness of last year’s steampunk ball, and its associated crafting, I was keen to attend again this year. I had serious plans – my costume was going to be more awesome, my role-playing more full-blown – I even managed to drag a friend into the madness. But my number one goal this time around? Cogs and gears.

Last year, having no clock-innards on my costume made me feel a bit left out. This year, I was determined to accessorize with gears. My dilemma was that I had no idea where to find them. Op-shopping for old clocks proved futile – any gears were either plastic and nasty, or horrifically expensive. Jewellery shops looked funny at me when I mentioned “steampunk”. Model-railway shops were a little more fruitful, but their gears just weren’t pretty at all. Ebay was time-consuming and frustrating.

So, I went cruising the phonebook for watch repairers, and armed with a list of obscure addresses, I ventured forth. Sure, they’d look at me funny too, but it was worth a shot, right?

The watchmakers I encountered fit broadly into two categories: the Organised, and the Collector. The Organised watch repairers had frighteningly clean workshops, with containers of beautiful gears and other minuate of the watchmaking trade. When I asked if, maybe, they had some cogs or gears that I could buy, they gave me a Look and patiently explained that all the gears they had, they used for repairing watches. Duh.

The Collectors, at first glance, looked remarkably similar to the Organised; their shopfronts were just as orderly, their magnifying spectacles just as awesome. But when I inquired about cogs and gears, they looked thoughtful for a moment, then they popped out the back, or levered a dusty briefcase out from under the counter. “No cogs or gears,” they’d say, “but would these do?” And they’d present me with a modest pile of broken watch mechanisms. Some old, some new, all totally beyond repair, and all COMPLETELY AWESOME. When I replied that, yes, these would be perfect, and thank you, and oh my god (and just generally geeked the fuck out), and asked how much they wanted for them, they just looked at me funny. “Take them,” they said, “they’re just broken mechanisms”. And I would smile, and geek out again, and leave with a handful of broken watches.

Once I brought home my haul (gleaned from several very nice Collectors), I appropriated my Mum’s jeweller’s screwdrivers, and went to work. Did you know that some watch-screws are reverse-threaded? That when you try to unscrew them, you actually tighten them instead? I know. I learned. Eventually. And after many hours of cursing, squinting, and the sad demise of the smallest screwdriver, I had this:


After some determined embroidery and glueing, my accessories were now 100% more steampunk.

In addition, I made some earrings by the simple expedient of putting an existing earring through a cog. Since I have two piercings in each ear, they looked like this:

I also adapted a tie for my companion on this steampunk adventure, sewing cogs onto his sharp op-shop find:

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I realise this post is now unfeasibly long. Nevertheless, a brief word on Olympia: A Steampunk Spectacular. It was ridiculously fun! I was given very little info about my character before the event (I was Miss Coxspring, an amnesiac outpatient of an asylum) but it soon became apparent that I was a genetically engineered psychic weapon who could read minds by having an “episode”. I was told by the game master that the better I roleplayed my fit, the more information I would receive. So I went to town on it, crying, whimpering and generally hyperventilating. As a result, I found out that the prisoners’ control collars were inactive, discovered people who were infected by alien parasites and uncovered Jack the Ripper (who was disguised as a Bishop).

If that weren’t enough, once during the evening, I could knock a whole bunch of people unconscious. I did this by screaming, loudly and repeatedly, and collapsing to the ground. I freaked out a whole lot of people that night. I also think I impressed the event organisers: “Most awesome scream ever!”, “My favourite Miss Coxspring, she set the standard for genetically engineered psychic weapons”.

It was a totally fantastic night, and I’m definitely going back next year.


Posted by on April 8, 2011 in Craftiness, Deviousness


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Happy Birthday (to me)

It’s now officially a year since I started blogging, and I’m quite chuffed that I’m still going! It’s been a fantastic way for me to keep track of what I make – there’s a lot more of it than I realised – and also hopefully a way to show off my craft to people who are not my Mum (who, don’t get me wrong, is a fantastic crafter. She’s just not huge on the swear words).

I fully intend to continue as I have begun; the upcoming year will have much in the way of excitement, including Knitting Nancy, Knitted City, Format Festival (check us out on page 12!) and more stitched profanity. Of course.

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In any case, to celebrate the annniversary of this Crafty and Devious blog, here are some shots from our latest Radical Craft outing, the Ninja Picnic, held a few weeks ago in Botanic Park:




Posted by on January 27, 2011 in Craftiness, Deviousness


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’tis the season

Unsurprisingly, I have overreached somehwat, as is customary at this time of year. This means that I have a whole stack of stuff just waiting to be posted – exegetical profanity, wedding amigurumi and kris kringle cross-stitch, not to mention knitted angler fish, more dad-geekery and Exciting Craft Plans.

However, actually posting these things at the moment is completely beyond me. I’ll get to them in the new year, promise. (Along with finally upgrading my damn blog theme to something at least a little customisable, because this one is frankly giving me the shits.) Anyway, right now, all that thinking and photographing and writing? It’s not gonna happen. I have too much stuff still to make.

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In the meantime, please enjoy my offering for the holiday season. I made it last year, but the sentiment still rings as true as ever.

… and to all a good night.

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Posted by on December 22, 2010 in Craftiness, Deviousness


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Three and a bit.

While not strictly craft, I couldn’t resist sharing one of my favourite recent creations: Rhubarb Pi.

I don’t remember when I started using pastry scraps to geek out my pies, but now I do it every time I bake:


The insides of the pie are full of rhubarby goodness. Best Pie Ever.




Posted by on December 15, 2010 in Deviousness