31 July, 2007

the bird mobile... completed!

Hoping everyone has had a beautiful week. We had a rough ol' week in this house last week, but life goes on...

So, I finished off the bird mobile on the weekend, and so wanted of course to give you all the progress update. Here 'tis:

(more pics on my flickr)

I found the threading much more difficult than I had ever imagined (!) as I had to get the entry and exit points "just right" to get the birds to "sit" properly. I am also not particularly thrilled with the black thread... I was thinking of fishing wire but didn't know that there was enough weight on the thread to keep fishing wire straight. Any ideas very much welcomed!!!

I love how they move... the birds seem to be bobbing their little heads up and down... I must admit I was thrilled with this result!

The mobile was a great hit with the recipients as well... even the grandparents gushed, which made all of it incredibly worthwhile (of course giving a handmade gift always is extremely rewarding!).

Hoping you have a gorgeous, wonderful week. I will promise to pop back in and let you know about the Melbourne craft fair which was a great source of inspiration, but not now... later!

27 July, 2007

flashback friday! me in 1976

Yay!Flashback Friday again....

I am sure that if dad were in this photo, it would be the right era for him to have had a packet of smokes up the sleeve of his tshirt, and he probably had big sideburns as well. Mum would have had gorgeous long brown hair.
This is a photo of me back in 1976. What a round little face! So cute! (even if I do say so myself...). Funny how you can still see yourself, even in older photos like these... I don't know that my face has actually changed all that much! I guess when I think about it, it is not so surprising that I have such a love of sunshine and being outside. This photo was one of many photos taken at various barbeques with loads of mum and dad's friends about.
Do you have experiences from when you were very young that you think may have shaped who you are?
Oops! Roll call... other flashbackers include:

25 July, 2007

welcome to the outside world little man!

I have some lovely news (and a picture to ooh and ahh over!).

Announcing the arrival of:

Hugo Alexander
Born 23rd July 2007
4.04kg (8lb 14.5oz)

Hugo is the first-born of two of my dearest friends. Congratulations Tash & Pete! We are so incredibly happy and excited for you all, and so thrilled to be able to meet Hugo in the outside world! Welcome little man! May your days be filled with many blessings, love and loads of gorgeous, warm cuddles.

23 July, 2007

good luck Tash! and a work in progress

Hi there!

Just a quick one (have to get out and do the gricery shopping at some point!).

Thought I would post an update on my secret squirrel pressie to be. My girlfriend is in hospital as I type this post, so I KNOW she won't be checking out the blog... Good luck Tash & Pete! We can't wait to meet your new member of the family in the outside world! xx

So, here is a bit of an update on my bird project... I had fun with these small scraps of fabric... I need to remember to put a coin next to my toys when I take a photo so you can get a sense of scale... next time! My own pattern, so a bit of room for improvement! But I am really enjoying working on these.

Have a gorgeous week!

22 July, 2007

etsy catch up! and 500 visitors!!!

The Melbs ETSY catch up yesterday was lovely - got to meet loads of beautiful, talented women, all with a common interest. The show and tell session was fun and encouraged loads of shopping on Melbourne ETSY stores.... there are some amazing crafters/designers/artists in Melbourne!!!

I will be trying to feature one of these stores per fortnight on this blog... so keep watching this space!

Little Rebel in Fitzroy was a terrific host for the event, too.

Here are some pics of the crowd that attended...

I also had to share my excitement and thanks that this blog has now had 500+ visitors! Thanks so much for dropping in, I am hoping to continue to provide something that is interesting to keep in touch with, so remember to pop back in when you get a chance!

Have a gorgeous weekend! xx

21 July, 2007

(shhhh.....) secret squirrel baby gift & a wee bit nervous...

(Shhhh.....) I am on a secret squirrel mission at the moment, to make my girlfriend something special for her new baby, who is very soon to arrive to the outside world!

As I am not sure if she will be whiling away these last few days on the net, I won't put too much detail in here (and certainly won't include my sketches of the hoped-for-finished product!), but did want to show you some of the amazing bird crafts that are out there. My heartfelt thanks to all of these brilliant people who have been completely inspiring!!!

1. 9 birds, 2. Bird bag and coin purses from one of my Japanese Crafts books, 3. Carved Folky Birds, 4. Flock Together, 5. another birdie, 6. Bird, 7. Erin, 8. peaky beaky bird, 9. Botanical bird, 10. ♥ bird, 11. Berri, 12. 03/08/07, 13. passaropapel, 14. Bird ornament, 15. in progress, 16. FINALLY!!!!, 17. One of my little bird mobiles, 18. 1_bird with paper flowered, 19. Egbert, 20. birdmobile_31, 21. Easter Tree Hangers, 22. birds on a string, 23. felt bird ornament, 24. bird quilt patch, 25. gift for enya, 26. crib mobile, 27. Handmade bird mobile, 28. Friendly Birds, 29. flock of birds closeup, 30. 9 birds

Keep an eye open for the finished product.... think this will be a big weekend project, so I hope to have photos up early next week....

Am also doing something quite exciting/terrifying today, which is going to a Melb Etsy catch up in Fitzroy. I do feel very much like a beginner at all of this, so don't know that I can exactly go along feeling like I belong, which immediately makes me feel terrified! But I am counting on those in the craft world being lovely and generous.... I guess I can always pop in for a coffee and leave if I am not comfortable, but it is still incredibly nerve wracking!!! I will let you know how it all goes...

Happy Saturday!

20 July, 2007

flashback friday!

Ah, the days of sitting outside in your short terry towelling shorts, eating a sambo on the grass... I am the toothless wonder on the right, with the pigtails and short shorts! My lovely friend Fi is the one flashing her nappy, with the short hair (sooo cute!). I can still smell this day (or days like it), the smell of geraniums getting warmer in the sun, the smell of someone watering the garden (and the hot footpath!) next door.

(For those of you who aren't aware, we now have very tight water restrictions in Australia because of drought. We can only handwater on designated nights on the week according to your house number, between certain hours of the evening....times have changed!).

But I am not taking you back to pre-1985 land to talk about water restrictions...

This is all a part of the new Flashback Fridays initiated by Angela at three buttons. There are currently four bloggers involved, and you might like to check out the fabulous pre-1985 shots of Jacinta , Emma, and of course Angela. Ah, nostalgia! (I love it!!!)

Want to join us in Flashback Friday??? If so, drop me a note so we know you're in and I'll include you on our group list next week!

16 July, 2007

Favourite things... one little acorn

Well, sometimes you read something that inspires you as well as making you smile and giggle (and hum!) out loud... and this is one of those things! The very clever One Little Acorn(Jacinta, another Melbournite) developed up her own version of My favourite things, and I just had to link to it here... it is just delightful!!! Thanks Jacinta!

Jacinta's gorgeous and fun lyrics made me think of my favourite things, but thankfully (for all of us!) I will spare you my dodgy attempts at poetry!!! I hope this short list will be okay...

1. Black & White Gerberas, 2. spectrum, 3. friends, 4. Lygon Street, 5. Furry Frriday Flower Torture continues....., 6. Drought Rain, 7. love and marriage, 8. View over Gerroa Beach, 9. mum and dad on holidays (years ago!)

Oh! And I almost forgot....

....goodnight! xx

14 July, 2007

guess how thrifty these purchases were!!!

Well! I had some success today checking out some of our great op shops in Melbourne... and this is what I brought home:

This is what this tidy little set of items includes....

3 craft books still with their patterns intact:
* 65 easy to make gifts (1973)
* The best of easy sewing for tiny tots (1992)
* The best of handmade (the Australian Womens Weekly) (1994)
A straight, pink check "tweed-like" skirt (mid calf length... fits beautifully!)
The following fabrics:
* 160 x 140cm brown felt... quite heavy, feels and smells like wool but I could be way off here
* 130 x 100cm licorice allsort pink (ie. pink with black and white stripes) heavy cotton
* 110 x 75cm "flutter bright" by woodrow studio
A fantastic green tshirt
An "interesting" mother of the bride type long sleeved top (with great pearl buttons all the way up the back) - 3D floral lace with sequins (to be pulled apart and made into a bag, or used as embellishments)
25 buttons (see close up below... check out the apricot fabric covered evening buttons... my guess is the 70s...)

Now, here is your challenge, to guess the price paid for all of these items...
Can you guess how much these purchases were?

Oh! I would also be increibly grateful for any advice on how I might be able to save this tshirt... I love it, but I didn't try it on... ...as turns out it just makes me look like a swollen, busty frog... BUT, I love it! So any ideas would be extremely welcomed (and I would be forever thankful... did I mention that I love this shirt?!?)

Thanks everyone, have fun!

13 July, 2007

NEW button bracelet

I tried to make something new this evening. Sadly, I ran out of wire, so it is a wee bit smaller than I would have liked (so may only fit my skeletor-style wrists!). But here it is....

I really enjoyed layering the buttons (this was a lot of fun!) and deciding which set was going to go on next... fun! (nice to do something newer to me than the button necklaces too... I get bored easily!).

The "clasp" at the back is simply a loop of wire which goes over the other end's button, to button together. This also means that the bracelet (like all of my necklaces) are metal-allergy friendly as I use only plastic coated wire and plastic, wooden, shell or fabric buttons.

Looks as though we will have an interesting group at the next craft circle (aka creative gathering)... a knitter, a dry felter, me (I think I will be felt toy making this time around), perhaps a doodler... exciting skills!

Anyway, I am now going to head off to make the most of a great Friday night tradition of ordering in noodles, watching a chick flick, and perhaps crafting in front of the telly.

Happy weekends everyone (I am op shopping this weekend so hoping to come home with gorgeous thrifty finds!)

12 July, 2007

summer pickles creative gathering.... you are invited!

Hi there! (thanks for popping in!)

This is the invitation I put together for our creative gathering in July (previously called craft circle but that made some people nervous!). Of course you are more than welcome to join in our craft circle (aka creative gathering) as our virtual membership is growing! So if you are a lone crafter, get crafting at 2pm on Sunday 29th July and let me know the link to your photos so I can link to these from here.

.... to be involved, you just have to be crafting at 2pm on Sunday 29th July! Let me know if you intend to join us by popping me a note below...

Happy crafting!

Oh! and for those of you who aren't familiar with the great Australian tradition of the Country Womens Association (CWA), here's a link for more information.... www.cwaa.org.au/ One of the best things about the CWA when I was growing up was the craft and the sponge cakes! They still sell their recipe books which are great and include no-fail recipes for traditional bake-off items, like scones, and slices... They now do a lot of work to support Country Women of Australia in supporting their men (there is a lot of depression in men in the bush at the moment because of long drought).

10 July, 2007

a new recipe!

photo originally posted at http://allsorts.typepad.com/

Wow, I just foud this amazing recipe for a bread and butter currant & raspberry pudding on allsorts' blog. This looks amazing! I can't wait to try this out! Will have to see if I can get some berries from the markets this weekend (though it is probably the wrong time of year here....oh well). Thanks Jenny for sharing this recipe xx

Happy baking everyone! xx

09 July, 2007

mosaic.... a "retrospective"

I don't think you can have a retrospective if you have only been focussed on crafting for a few months (it was only in March this year it started to become more of an obsession for me!), but I had a play on fd's flickr toys today and put together this mosaic of some of my crafting highlights since then. It looks like I have been much busier when it is all put together like this!


Have a fun week! xx

08 July, 2007

more button necklaces

I have been productively making more necklaces this weekend, using my existing button collection as well as some of the recent additions received through the mail, so thought I would show them off here...
I am modelling the pistachio one above - much more tricky photo to take than it looks (there is a lot of double chin sucking up going on in this shot!)
Of course, you can get these necklaces at my etsy shop!



Trash and treasure markets were just okay.... found a terrific green tweed coat at the first market, but failed in my haggling... think I need some major lessons there! In spite of the fact that there was a huge hole on the front left (all the way through to the lining), the seller was not going to come down by $5, and in the end, I left it there, thinking it was the principle of the thing (now, I think I should have juist bought it and then I would have been at my sewing machine right now, rather than at my computer!). The second market was much more trash than anything else, and not worth the travel. But, never mind... there is always next weekend!!!

Have a gorgeous week xx

07 July, 2007

Well, a new batch of pre-loved buttons arrived in the post, and they are wonderful! I have included a couple of little photos so you can get a sense of the fun I have to look forward to this week!

I am finding that whilst my button necklaces in the past used to be primarily the same colour, I am getting more excited about mixing different colours as my collection of odd vintage buttons grows (by odd I mean one only, rather than a few of the same style/colour). So I have numerous piles of two of three buttons around the place at the moment, of happy button combinations, waiting to be made into something....

Heading off to a "trash and treasure" market tomorrow, which promises to be a bit of fun, rummaging around things people no longer want.... I am really after an old lined jacket, which I can unstitch and make into a bag... I have something quite specific in mind, so probably won't find anything like it, but I will certainly post it here if I do! Of course, I can nevsr have too many buttons.... ;)

Anyway, it is quite late, so I should probably go and see how the hubby is going and then crash out (need to have energy for the market tomorrow!).

Chat soon, xx

ps. not sure if you have noticed the new header, with the buttons.... think that this is what I wil stick with for now :)

03 July, 2007

new button rings

Hi there!

Firstly, two quick apologies:
1. apologies to those of you who were checking here for the information about my button rings and couldn't find the relevant post.... one day late!
2. a second bunch of apologies to those of you who are like me and have visual brains... there are not incredibly details instructions here but I hope you will get the idea...

Anyway, I did promise on my flickr site that I would explain how it was that I made the button rings on my flickr site here and here, so here is the explanation as promised.

Essentially, it all comes down to two things:
1. a ring base (which I found a huge variety of on the weekend in several bead shops on Chapel and High Streets)
2. some great buttons.

Now, I decided to have a play with the ring base which I thought would be most suited to wiring on elements in the first instance.

I thought that this one would be easiest due to the number of holes (so the number of options for wiring positions!). But, it is worth noting that there are loads of different types of these, and you may want to have a play yourself.

The terrifically helpful woman at the shop that I bought these in also suggested that I might like to flatten the ring "plate" to make attachment simpler (can't think of a good technical term, so let's use the word plate for the flatter piece that you attach the buttons to, as opposed to the part that wraps around your finger). She suggested that I used flat nose pliers for this, but I found it easier to push it up against a flat surface (like a tabletop, a wall, or a really big, flat button!).

So when I got home, I found two good looking buttons, flattened the ring plate and then got some really fine wire (I have had some terrible thread snapping experiences, so like to work with wire sometimes), threaded the wire onto a needle, and then basically started stitching the buttons to the ring plate.

I am sure that there must be an easier way than this, but I ended up stitching on all buttons at once (which got me into the terrible craft pose that I often find myself in, with a little tongue poking out the top right of my mouth, and eyes slightly crossed!). The buttons I chose for my first try (in the photos) weren't easy ones either - the smaller one was a shanked button, and I decided to thread this through the larger button (and the shank didn't quite reach all the way through), so a tricky one to stitch!

Perhaps it might be easiest to sew your buttons together first, and then sew them to the ring base?

To finish up I tend to knot and twist to my heart's content so I am convinced that the buttons will not fall off. Final photos are on my flickr site...

Again, the really helpful woman on Chapel St said that I could just as easily glue the buttons on, but I don't know that I am confident enough yet to use glue with some of my favourite buttons... think I will have to try with some less loved ones and then work my way up to my favourites!

Hope this is helpful, and I will try to add more photos soon! Please feel free to leave me a comment or question.

ps. Have also discovered more findings at another store in Prahran, so I will have a play and get back to you... (stay tuned!)


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!