Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Candle light

I made some little candle holders last week, from an idea my sister gave me. Turned out ok I think, still have to experiment a bit more with different glue to hold the end of the string. Finally found a good use for the little charms I have collected from craft shows over the last year or two!

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Sunday, 15 December 2013

Craft on TV

"Making it Handmade" is a documentary about craft in Australia, featuring interviews with Pip Lincolne & Gemma Jones - from the ABC tv website-

**Think craft is for grannies? Think again. Watch Anna Brownfield's documentary Making It Handmade...

A seditious and subversive subculture is gaining momentum in Melbourne. But rather than wielding megaphones and placards, they’re cross-stitching slogans on hurricane wire and constructing plush female genitalia from craft supplies.

Following four local women who’ve taken a seemingly staid past-time and injected it with a youthful, modern aesthetic, filmmaker Anna Brownfield shows a side of craft more closely aligned with punk DIY culture than with Martha Stewart and ‘home sweet home’ tapestries.

“I wanted to show that craft was no longer daggy but had moved into a new era and was being reclaimed by women who had been brought up as feminists."**

Set your recorder - it is on ABC 2 at midnight tonight!

P.S. look what I found at a garage sale last weekend!

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Wednesday, 4 December 2013


Christmas tree birdies finished and hanging on the tree! Actually went for a colour scheme on the tree this year- blue and silver- the birds provide a bright splash of colour! Quite fun to sew actually- don't look to closely 'cos my hand sewing is rubbish- but I am very pleased with these birds. Might inspire me to make some more critters from the same book.

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Sunday, 1 December 2013

Little birdies ready to sew...

Had a mini "crafter noon" with a friend's daughter after school on Friday, we did some sewing from my "Crafty creatures" book. Miss E made a tiny felt fox in a box, while I cut out some birds to sew - might hang them on the Christmas tree. There was a pattern for a simple bird "4 calling birds" in this year's "Better Homes" mag I think, but I think these will look better once they are stitched up with a range of bright embroidery threads.

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Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Vintage fabric loveliness

Found some gorgeous vintage pillow cases and bed valances at my favourite little op shops in recent weeks. Unpicked ( the 2 valances were interesting to unpick. The main fabric was sort of thick muslin/ cheesecloth, rather odd!), washed and ready to be made into...

Kantha heart cushion cover maybe? - from Handmade Living mag (UK and sadly no longer in print - too much competition from too many other new UK craft mags).

And I love the vintage sheet picnic rug in Kate Ulman's "Vantastic" book (gave a copy to my sister for a belated birthday gift). Very tempted to make one or two of those. Christmas present idea maybe?

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Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Hello kitty!

Bought this fantastic book at the Craft Fair, l love DK books so could not resist this one.

So many cute critters, where to start...? I hadn't done any knitting for a while, so the "knitten" pattern seemed like a good place to start. It is basically a rectangle for the body, and 2 teeny ones for the arms. The pattern only has button eyes for the face, but I had to add in a proper cat nose!

Miss Bunny said hello! (She did try to nibble on kitty's ear, I have to keep her away from my knitting, she always likes to have a taste of the wool!).

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Sunday, 27 October 2013


Spent some time in the garden again this weekend, after last weekend's family gardening blitz to tidy up the overgrown front yard.
Repotted some of the JediKid's succulent collection, relocated the parsley & chives out of the firing range of the soccer ball, and created a combined herb & succulent garden in the old laundry trough at he side of the house. You can see it as you step out the back door, so hopefully it will get watered over the summer! ( the gnome was a present from one of the boys years ago, from a school or kinder mothers' day stall I think)

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Sunday, 20 October 2013

LOL & OMG cushions- my first craft market!

I had a stall at the Brunswick Secondary College "car boot sale and market night" on Friday night. Took along my cushions, and a couple of new designs too.

The creeper cushions were very popular, in fact they sold out! (Ok so I only had 3, but that was because I ran out of cushion filling. In hindsight I really should have driven down to the supermarket the night before & got bought some more, but by 10pm I couldn't be bothered!)
There are also Daleks and skulls-

Sold 1 Dalek cushion, hmm, there is actually not a rainbow coming out of the Dalek, it is just the sun coming through the lounge room window whem I took the photo!
I know it is early to mention the "C" word... But they would make great presents, especially for those pesky hard to buy for teenagers! I should know, my boys were the product testers for the designs! And the biggest one is so nearly a teenager!
For sale over at Coburg craft collective on Facebook, or put a comment on the blog for more info.

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Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Sewing for a bomber baby

We are absolutely hanging out to meet the newest member of the family, but since we have all been unwell over the last month- since she was born- we have not been able to visit yet! My husband's cousin had her first baby, a little girl, and both parents are very keen Bombers supporters... So when my H was going through his membership gear from the last few years, I decided to upcycled some bombers towels into baby gifts.

Tah dah - hand towel becomes bombers taggy blanket!
And the beach towel makes a perfect pram blanket!

Hope they are home this weekend!

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Thursday, 26 September 2013

Yarn bombing at the Melbourne Show

Cold and windy at the show today, but had a great day out and only got rained on once. Came home & put the heater on for the first time in ages, crazy spring weather! Loved all the yarn bombing, craft and cooking at the show. And the animals- spent quite a bit of time in the animal nursery feeding the baby goats! Sooo tempted to bring one home!!!

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Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Perler bead creations

The boys & I have had fun with perler beads- thanks to Polly's Crafts in Queensland, about the only place in Australia you can still buy them! I made creepers badges for the party bags last week - perler bead creations with a brooch back glue- gunned to the back. The Jedi kid got in on the act and made a range of other minecraft goodies too! The poke all looks particularly awesome!

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Saturday, 7 September 2013

Minecraft birthday cake!

With a lot of inspiration from "YoYoMax" on YouTube - here is our version for Tigerboy's birthday party yesterday. I baked the choc cake, made the blue jelly, rice bubble slice and butter cream icing - and my H did the rest! Steve & creeper are cardboard, the rest is all edible. Amazing Minecraft printables and party game ideas from the "I choose awesome" blog- thank you, love your work, all those pdf's! (Plus some very inspiring reading about teaching and the creative use of IT at a Sydney high school)

Party was a big hit, everyone had a great time, as one of the guests was leaving, her big brother looked through her party bag and declared it was "the best party bag" he had ever seen! What was in it? Some lollies from the piñata, plus home made: creeper badge, minecraft bookmark & stickers (again, big thanks to the Ichooseawesome blog!).

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Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Birthday party planning

It's all about Minecraft with the boys at the moment, so we are busy planning a 10th birthday party with a minecraft theme. There are plenty of ideas out there on the net, including some amazing looking cakes!
So far I have the piñata and party bags made & ready to go-

This is the quickest piñata I have ever made. Much as I love the paper mâché, creepers are cubes! So the quick version is made by covering an A4 photocopy paper box with plain paper, then pasting on random green squares & a face. Party bags are green paper bags, with a sharpie stencilled face! Too easy! Just waiting on the pearler beads to arrive now, to make some party bag goodies!

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Friday, 23 August 2013

Jeans bag

Recycled another pair of jeans for a special birthday present for a special 10 year old...

And thinking of making one of these for another special soon-to-be-10 year old! found on the indestructables website. Been looking up a lot of minecraft ideas for a themed birthday party!

By the way - the Sister's Market is on this Saturday 10-4at the Coburg Town Hall, Coburg Farmer's market at Coburg Nth PS is on Sat morning too.

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Monday, 12 August 2013

Mixed bag...

Firstly- free to good home-

DIY hair clips - you cover the solid piece with fabric, clip together - like self cover buttons. I taught myself to embroider grub roses, from a Women's Weekly or Family Circle craft story I'm sure- and made a few hair clips and things years ago. Like really years ago... Just found these unused clips, so if you want to make some hairclips (I'm sure they would look better in some bright funky fabric than the chambray & roses ones I used to make!), let me know.Otherwise they go to the opshop.
One still has the price ticket on it from "Bargain Box" fabrics! Ah, memories...

Speaking of op shops,I had a couple of interesting find recently. This intriguing little gadget, complete with instruction book

At first I thought it was a travel Spirograph set, but then I noticed the word "Janome" on the lid, which really got my attention! In fact it is a type of Spirograph kit- for a sewing machine! A "spiral stitcher" it is called. Haven't been game enough to try it out yet, I want to take it on to the Janome shop first to check if it will work on my machine, and find out how to work it. Would be effective on denim fabric I think, especially with the rainbow thread I am crazy about at the moment!

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Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Text talk pillows

1 finished (with buttons) and the other nearly done. Trying to think of another suitable "text" but all I can think of is "WTF" which is a little bit rude really! -although I'm sure people would buy one if I made it!
Does't show up so much in the photo, but the letters are zig-zagged on with rainbow thread - works really well against the denim. Only catch- I need to find a good clear sans serif font to use, too tricky to get all the corners right with this font! I used a pack of chipboard letters bought from the Fiskars garage sale a few years back, very handy for tracing around. But I think maybe Helvetica or something similar might be easier to sew!

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Friday, 2 August 2013

Craft markets in Coburg this weekend!

The "Round she goes" vintage market is on at the Coburg Town Hall this Sunday, 10 -3. And the Pentridge Farmer's and Artisans' market is also on Sunday, 9-2pm. Forecast is for 14 degrees and 60% chance of rain, which means a 50% chance I might venture outdoors this weekend!

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Sunday, 28 July 2013

Knitty necklace

Have you seen the "seven sisters six loops" knitted necklace on Ravelry and (posted in 2011)? I really like the idea of knitted jewellery - kind of in between a necklace and a scarf. I saw this one (featured from etsy) in "Knitsy" a free downloadable knitting magazine from the UK -

Love the colours, and when I saw it it reminded me about the Ravellry one, and got me thinking... So I found my double pointed needles, got out a knitting book to re learn how to make i-cord.

The yarn is acrylic, bright multi shades of green. I only made 3 loops, 6 or 7 seemed to bulky for me. Love the colours. It got a lot of compliments at the craft show!
So now I am trying a few other colours-

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Friday, 26 July 2013

Off to the craft fair!

I headed into the craft fair yesterday afternoon after work. I had a small list of specific things to look for- a yellow fat quarter for a sewing project; some nice bright washi tape in yellow, green, orange and blue; some new stamp pads to replace my nearly 20 year old ones which are pretty faded now!; and some jewellery bits & pieces for a lovely girl at work to make some necklaces with ( after she admired some of mine, and I told her I made it from bits & pieces from the craft show!).
I found plenty of washi tape-

Ok, so the music, keyboard and birds were not on my list, but I figured that last year I bought some Elvis fabric to make a bag for my son's piano teacher for Christmas, so I will make something (not sure what yet!) with the music themed washi tape this year! And the birds- I just had to get it! I'm sure to find plenty of opportunities to "put a bird on it"!

If you are going to the craft show & looking for washi tape, I have to recommend stall C26 "the paper craft hub". $3 a roll, and they have all the washi on a brilliant display, so you can see all the rolls, and even have sample tags for most colours. I bought some for $2.50 each/ 5 for $10 at another stall first ( maybe art stamps? Forgot to take note of the name, but it was in row A or B. Had to dig through a tray of tape to find colours. Then when I got to "Craftqueen" where I had intended yo buy the washi, having seen the amazing range on their website, I was very disappointed to see that you had to dig through a deep tub of random colours (at $3.50 each too) - so I went back to the paper craft hub and told the stall holder their that her washi display was head and shoulders above the rest, and bought 2 more rolls!

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Saturday, 20 July 2013

Purple carrots

Spotted these purple carrots at the local IGA the other day. They are soooo very purple...

This is what my hands ( and the chopping board) look like after chopping them up-

And the water after steaming them...

But they taste good! In fact the 12 y/o reckons they taste better than the regular orange carrots, although the 9 y/o disagrees and only eats the orange ones. They even stained the other carrots as they are cooking, and even when stored in the fridge, the cooked purple carrots stained the cooked potatoes! I think they would be great for dyeing fabric or wool!- if you like purple!

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Monday, 15 July 2013

My new favourite snack

We are big on cheese, dry bickies and dip as a quick snack in our house. Especially good for an easy afternoon tea for last minute visitors ( ie. inviting friends over as you walk out the gate after school!) and every now & then a new flavour dip appears in the shops & catches my eye. This is our new favourite, it is very very moreish! Especially good with Turkish bread.

Spent a lovely day on Thursday catching up with friends who are living in Taipei. They loved the dip too, one of the many things they really miss from home is hommus - they haven't been able to find any over there!

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Friday, 12 July 2013

Skirt sewing

Have you seen those lovely skirts with the ribbing waistbands, sold at craft markets & online? They look so comfy, & knowing how comfortable my patchwork jersey wrap skirt is to wear, I have been trying to work out how to make one. Turns out the style is called a "yoga waist" skirt. Tried a net search once I figured out what I was looking for! I found some good tips on the "sew mama sew" and " crafty mamas" blogs.
I used my old faithful A-line skirt pattern, tried on one of my skirts, measured how far up I could get it on with the zip open, traced off a new pattern and gave it a whirl!
First time around the ribbing was a bit loose, so I unpicked the waistband & re- sewed it a bit smaller. I didn't allow extra length to turn up a hem, so just overlooked it. 2nd time around I made it a bit longer, got the waistband right first time, and am very pleaded with the result! Fabric from Rathdowne remnants.all done on the over locker bar the hem. Might add a pocket but I ran out of the matching thread & haven't got into the Coburg Sewing centre to get some more yet.

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Monday, 8 July 2013

Writing kits

My niece & nephew are heading off on a very big adventure tomorrow, so I made them each a writing/drawing kit.

Inside is a sketch book, set of coloured pencils, HB pencil, coloured biro, and some blank postcards with plenty of space for writing on. The one thing I forgot to put in was a book of stamps!

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Monday, 1 July 2013

Op Shop Doiley stash

I have been collecting - not making! doilies from Op shops for a while with the plan of using them to decorate skirts & cushions. I try to find the littlest ones, and preferably coloured. All rather autumnal tones actually!

Now I have finally played around with my a-line skirt pattern and made a yoga- waist skirt, the plan is to make more in various colours, including some doiley decoration here & there.
Sewing day today, better get a move on & hopefully have something to show for it later today!

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Hand stitched note books

I have been wanting to make some hand stitched note books for a while. I had collected a stack of A4 cardboard from the recycling tub at work years ago, along with superseded letterhead paper. Trimmed up with my paper trimmer to half A5 size (ie. cutting an A4 page into 4). Handmade style magazine (UK) had this project in a recent issue, which was just what I needed to figure out how to get the sewing right.

The hardest part was finding a bookbinders awl tool- eventually had to buy a set of 5 weird tools from Bunnings to get the one I wanted, and got a very sore hand "drilling" the holes through each book. Vintage crochet cotton to sew them together, and some cute washi tape & fancy packing tape for decoration...ta dah!

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Monday, 17 June 2013

Lamp makeover

I bought this lamp for the boy's room years ago, for about $5 from Kmart. It was moved into a lounge room when we rearranged the room earlier this year, hoping for inspiration to give the lamp a "make over".

Flicking through some copies of "Better homes & gardens" mag, and watching "Kirstie's vintage home" on Thursday night, I had an idea!

Many many years ago, at uni (although it was actually still a "college" back then), when I was doing my teaching degree, our art course was very thorough. One of the multitude of amazing things we did, was to spin a ball of wool! As I have only taught myself to knit in the last few years, this ball of very badly spun natural wool (it still has a fair bit of lanolin in it!)has languished in the bottom of a craft box, waiting for its moment to shine!

...which it now does, literally shine! Wrapped around the lamp frame, there was just enough wool, and the lamp is actually brighter now, with light peeping out from the little gas in the wool ( ie. the unevenly spun bits, some thick, some thin, are now a "design feature").