30 June, 2007

what should my banner look like?

What should I do?

I am now at the point where I have too many photos to have a decent looking banner, and in fact what I really want is a cute design that perhaps illustrates a little about me and what this blog is about... so, I have had a go here, and I am keen to for your feedback....

I will probably try a few here and will be keen to have your feedback over the next couple of weeks, so please let me know what you think! If any of you have any ideas, all thoughts would be appreciated!

Thanks everyone, chat soon xx

Oh! and I have just started a new monkey called Bob, who has a new home to go to in a couple of weeks... I will take photos in the morning when I have some natural light.

25 June, 2007

mmm...tamantha's banana bread...

Thankyou Tam for the terrific banana bread recipe..as you can see, it turned out really well! I LOVE this recipe, and it is so easy...(shh!)

Here it is for others to share...

tamantha's banana bread
100g butter
3/4 cup caster suger
2 eggs
1 cup banana mash (2-3 bananas)
2 cups self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp mixed spice
2 tsp cinnamon

1. cream butter and sugar
2. add eggs, banana
3. fold in dry ingredients
4. bake at 180 degrees celcius (140 for fanforced) for 45 minutes
5. enjoy!

have a lovely week! xx

24 June, 2007

summer pickles to appear in a book!

VERY exciting, that some of my handmade items (which you can find at flickr and can have commissioned if you contact me via email) are soon to appear in a Chinese slow handcrafts book. I was contacted out of the blue by Affa Zhang who had seen my button necklaces on my flickr.
It is all very exciting... I am just now awaiting the edited pages, and then it is due for publication in September!
Have a lovely afternoon,

23 June, 2007

frank the angel... a prototype

Have been playing around with the sketch I did in the dark one night, and trying to transfrom him into a softie... anyway, gave it a first shot after work this week, and have come up with Frank (the angel). I am not all that happy with his body, but I think that is more due to fabric choices... in my sketch his body was patterned, as were his legs, and I think that will add to him, next time around. Here he is for the very first time, comments are welcomed!!!

Have a fun weekend! (inaugural craft circle tomorrow.... any distance members feel free to sign up and email me your photos of you crafting!) xx

20 June, 2007

LOVELY weekend... fell completely in love with a very small boy!

What a lovely weekend with our gorgeous vistors!!! Have to admit that I completely fell in love with 8 month old Jye who is JUST divine (and who won amazing brownie points by also loving douglas the monkey). Have included a photo here.

We went factory shopping on the Saturday, Andrew's Hamburgers (Melbourne institution, highly recommended+++) for dinner, off to the St Kilda Markets on Sunday and then out for a lazy lunch of tapas etc on Sunday afternoon... just a great, relaxed weekend with my oldest friend on the planet (not in terms of her years, but in terms of lifetime friend... I have known her since she was born).

So, thankyou Fi, Pete and Jye for the visit.... we had a LOVELY time!!! More photos on my flickr site...

ps for you crafters, I am working on a quirky angel (the one I dreamt about) so will post a photo as soon as I finish! xx

15 June, 2007

no crafting this weekend

On my lunch break from work, so can provide an update...

No crafting this weekend, as we have lovely visitors coming from newcastle, where all of the floods were recently. They are bringing with them their little baby boy, so I have been in a mad frenzy this week, cleaning, clearing spaces and trying to make it child friendly... finding buttons and cotton reels in all sorts of spaces around the house!

I was hoping to make something to give Jye, but sadly, douglas the monkey has some major room for improvements, so my plan to give him away have been ruined (first shot at the newly created pattern, so not beautifully executed). Perhaps I will get a chance to whip something up over the weekend, but I doubt it.

Oooh! Having said that, have just remembered a terrific baby cap pattern I found at economical baby, which I could probably put together and then throw some embellishments on.

I have though made some clips(again, first attempts, so please be gentle!) for a little toddler friend Cate, so will be posting those out in the mail very soon. Had chats with her over the phone the other day and she can now say my name, which is very exciting (apparently they have been practising!).

Anyway, better get this kitchen cleaned before the visitors arrive!


13 June, 2007

dutch blue quilt - beautiful!

Just a quick one tonight... have just been browsing and stumbled across dutch blue and the most beautiful quilt... check it out she is amazing and this quilt is just divine!

This is my new favourite quilt! I really love the shapes of the birds (and being someone who plays around with toy making, this quilt makes me want to launch into a whole lot of bird creating!), and the colours are just beautiful. I think though I am incredibly impressed by the fact that this whole quilt has all been done by hand, which is just amazing.

If only I could quilt...

Chat soon,

12 June, 2007

oh dear... IT gets in the way of a good idea...

Okay, so computers are never to blame... but unfortunately no one can open the invitation to the craft group... hopefully though things have now been sorted out, so i should start to get some rsvps soonish enough...

I was trying to work out why I am so excited, and i think it is because there is a big whopping gap now for opportunities for women to get together in groups. I think back to when my mum was my age (and I was eight years old --- my goodness she was young!), and she was involved in the mothers' club in at school, and all sorts of other school community type activities. Country women have the CWA (okay, I have mentioned the CWA twice now... find out more about the national organisation here, and the NSW branch - a much better website - here). But if you are not sporty, and don't have children, it can be tricky to find a group of women (and an excuse) to just spend time with in a group. So this will fill some of that gap, focussing in first on some of my favourite women in this city! Should be lovely...

Anyway now I am rambling and still don't have any photos to share... worked on my monster toy over the weekend and could not get the pattern for his head right at all, so I have put him at the back of a cupboard and he will call out when he is ready to be finished. Have done a load of new clips but can't work out what is the best way to photograph these, so just haven't, at this stage.

Chat soon, and take care xx

11 June, 2007

craft circle in progress!

Hi again!

okay, after our trip to the markets I got excited, spoke with Kaz, and now the craft group is (hopefully) in progress! I have emailed out the invites tonight and will start making some casual phone calls during the week... I am so incredibly excited about this, i think it could be a lot of fun. Just an excuse really to sit around together, talking, crafting, even being totally quiet if we feel like it... should be wonderful.

here is the invitation I sent out..

chat soon xx

10 June, 2007

making a room a hideaway

hello again

working on improving things in the bedroom this weekend (not what you might be thinking)... looking out for fabric or a new quilt cover (we still haven't purchased a new cover since we re-painted... ages ago now). I miss having a lovely little hideaway where I can snuggle up with a good book on a weekend... so work needs to be done before we get into the depths of winter!

I did though find this website, and think some of these hangings by bride&wolfe might just brighten up our coffee coloured walls. We bought some pistachio coloured sheets last week, which look beautiful... not it is just for the covers, the cushions and then the walls (I am way too excited by this I know!).

I had a crappy day on friday, so the lovely hubby bought me roses, which were just incredibly beautiful, have included some pictures here.... beautiful aren't they? and they (surprisingly) smelt divine as well.

Anyway, just a short one tonight.. more later... oh! and went to the Rose St Market yesterday, which was terrific and the other stallholders lovely - they complimented Kaz on her clips (summer pickles fruit!) and we started talking... might be looking at a stall soonish!

Have a beautiful week,

09 June, 2007

how about a creative (craft) circle?

hi again!

I have been thinking in the last couple of days... how about a craft circle? I really love the thought of women sitting around, eating, drinking, sketching, sewing, knitting, crocheting, papercrafting? I think I might try to set something up... am going to run the idea past a few of my crafty girlfriends and see what they think.

I found these handy hints on how to start a knitting group on another website (awful name for an organisation... so negative!) and will have a little ponder about it.

I am heading out this afternoon to the Rose St Market in sunny Melbourne this afternoon, will let you know how it goes.

Beautiful weather down here - we are very lucky... Sydney is dealing with some terrible storms at the moment - have a look here if you are interested.

chat soon,

07 June, 2007

douglas the monkey

hi again

Well, I have been busily finishing off a wip this week... a (previously) faceless monkey now named Douglas (in honour of my hubby's grandfather who is still alive and well but very very bald --- hubby's idea). This was a brand new pattern thatI dreamed up and so there are definitely some teething problems, but nothing that can't be worked through.

As someone who always overstuffs dolls, I thought I would be cautious and understuff this one, and I am really not happy with the result. I think that all of the stitching lines seem too obvious, and he just doesn't look quite right...

As well I am not entirely happy with his head shape, or flat face, so I am going to revise that as well.

I am happy with the very plain stitched face though. I always try to make my dolls baby friendly wherever possible, so stitching is the best way I know to do this (mostly baby friendly except for the groovy scotty dog I am making at the moment for a 2 year old girl... but that's probably for next post!).

Not sure about his little stubby legs without feet either so I am going to work on some ideas around those too.

I have started to make a funny monster from the same pattern, with some alterations, so once I have stitched and stuffed that I will also show it here as well... probably gives me an opportunity to try some new things with the pattern too without getting too locked into the monkey idea.

But that's about it from me... long weekend coming up, so bring on the sewing! I have started dreaming in toy designs, which is a bit sad, but have started keeping a notepad next to my bed for note in the dark. Last night I designed a rocket and a cute angel, so I aim to get one of them designed and completed (ambitious!) over the weekend.

have a lovely one,

04 June, 2007

Hi all
Happy birthday Kaz! (forgot to write this on the 1st... hoping later is better than never). I created some little goodies for Kaz for her birthday - forgot to photograph two of them, so will have to take a photo of her someday when she is wearing the button hairclips I made. Here is the brooch I made for her anyway.

The button in the middle was a light purple colour, like the purple in the fabric, but the flash was so bright you can't see that here. I am really enjoying using quilting fabrics for my sewing crafts at the moment - loving the brightness and patterns! I got the instructions for the kanzashi from a great tutorial by SpanglySpangle at http://flickr.com/photos/spanglyspangle on her flickr site.

I also made another button necklace last night, am calling this one cherry cola and have a photo of me modelling it here...

This shot was taken in our bathroom, so everything has a slightly orange tinge. I have only made one other of these neckalces with the wire and buttons a different colour, so it was a fun experiment and I really liked the end result!

Happy crafting, chat again soon xx

01 June, 2007

hello again... have been having more fun with buttons this week and have really been enjoying myself! I don't know what I prefer more, the making or the photographing after...

Here is a first test of a new earring design using new and preloved buttons. I think that there is room for improvement here - concept is good I think, just needs some more work...

I was looking for somewhere to photograph these, and saw the pebbles at the bottom of my orchid, and got excited about the colours together. So it may not be the best "product photo" but I love the colours of the pebbles with the orange buttons, and the green plant in the background...

Here is another photo of works in progress...

....our coffee table often looks like this, covered in buttons, felt, beads, stuffing for toys etc etc. But this can't be called mess...it's just too pretty!

Anyway, off to work for me now, have a beautiful week!


to my other half who puts up with the mess, makes me happy and keeps me sane.
to my beautiful boys who give me so much i want to remember and make the everyday something to treasure.
to my mum who alway let me play with fabric and the good scissors, and who knows a lot of songs.
to my dad who was always happy for us to make a mess and who laughs at us when we deserve it.
to both parents for making sure i still got the work done.
to my dear friends for listening and for sharing the laughs.
and, to you for visiting!