Monday, November 30, 2009

seasonal shmeasonal...

Xmas for me arrives with a big flashing neon light screaming 'Commercialism Ahead!' This Xmas I am boycotting as much commercial ick as I can by attempting to make, bake or buy 100% handmade. I have lots of delicious plans but sadly not much time.

What to handmake for a 30 yr old boy, that is of paramount concern here right now. Last year I asked him what he would like. He was being cheeky and rather ridiculous at the time, plus being the bug lover he is simply said "A praying mantis!" I laughed. We laughed. Then I started drawing up the pattern. Here she is. We adore her. She takes pride of place on one shelf in our dining room. Problem? This years gift has to top the darn mantis. Crap. The envisaged crochet stubby holder may not suffice this year.... any ideas?
oh, mum gave me a random gift today, wait for it.. a 72 PACK OF STUDIO DERWENTS!!!! :):):):):) ok ok, I have wished for these since I was 12 years old.. that is 15 years of wishin! I seriously love them mum, your the best!

C'mon already school holidays!!!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Peace and quiet...

Things in general, but especially on the craft front, have been pretty relaxed in our house. This time of the year for me means reports, assessment and camp organising. But... today I did manage to whip up a lovely playlist for Vic of Punky and Me's 'Music to craft by' CD swap - very excited to get some happy mail in the letter box sometime next week!

I also started some amiginumi making. I havent made any ami's for yonks, so I happily welcomed the urge to follow the pattern for Little Teddy Bear in my beloved 'KYUUTO! Japanese Crafts' book!

Hope you had a relaxing weekend too :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My Creative Classroom...

My creative space is in my classroom this week! For those who weren't aware, I am a teacher. I'm taking my class of Year 3/4 munchkins on camp next week for 3 days to the beach. Yes, I am brave! This week's pre-camp craft activity - making teddy bear friends for camp!!!!

Last Saturday morning I passed some time sewing up 50 simple calico teddy bears. I don't want to sew up a teddy - ever again!

Look at their busy little hands!!!! :)
They did such a great job....I was amazed at how quickly they all picked it up. Some of their hand stitching was super neat and tidy! Making the bears reminded me to incorporate handcrafts into the curriculum more often. Teaching life skills skills such as sewing and knitting are too often forgotten about in schools these days. What do you think?
The finished teddies.... I feel so proud of my class!!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Three Little Owls Giveaway...

*Hooray* It's Pip's 3rd bloggy birthday this week. Sheesh - three years of sharing craft, inspiration and all round niceness, of which I have been happily reading for about one. Pip is celebrating giveaways today! I have never held one but have always wanted to. Who doesn't love to recieve things just because?!

I am giving away these 3 (keeping with the theme) sweet owls handmade by me in 2008 when I first became interested in softie making.

I still adore them, but sadly all three currently live in a cardboard box in a cupboard. I would like them to have good homes, where they will be seen, fly free and perhaps be loved by a child (or adult). They were made with love using nice things like...

  • retro buttons
  • thrifted fabric from 1) velour cushions and 2) curtains
  • doilies
  • thrifted ric-rac
  • felt

Although I hate to split up the parliament, I will be giving away one owl to three different readers. So really .... you have 3 chances to win!

All you have to do is... leave me a comment on this here post. I will be choosing the THREE winners on Saturday the 5th of December (at approx 8pm) and will be posting the following week. Posting within Australia only, sorry international visitors! Oh, don't forget to leave your email address so I can contact you if your one of the lucky three winners.

Yikes, I am a tad excited :)

Good luck! x

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Getting out of the city...

I hope your weekend was inspiring too. x

Friday, November 20, 2009

My Place and Yours: My Collections

The lovely Kate from Foxs Lane has selected a fab theme for Pip's 'My Place & Yours' meme - My Collections! So here goes...
my brooches
Some have been received as gifts, some thrifted and some handcrafted with fimo clay, fabric and shrinky dink paper.
our travel guides
Although we can get grumpy with the L.P guides (hotels increasing ten-fold in price or restaurants completely disappearing) we tend to hold these close while in a non-English speaking country, at times VERY close. There is another book missing from this photo as the Boy has taken it to work to read for our nearing holiday *squeal*

our blankies
Most have been thrifted. The top one is my now 100% finished quilt (sadly the binding was not an enjoyable experience). One blanket was crocheted by my ultra crafty Oma for my dad who is 6'6" and couldn't buy blankets long enough for him when he was a boy - its been passed down to me, her 6'2" granddaughter. It's fantastically heavy, and even has a slight nana smell lol.

our chairs

I love odd chairs. In our house no two are identical. That's just the way I like it. All 10 are from antique shops or oppies. 10?! How did this happen you may be wondering? It all started as a rather spontaneous game with the Boy's 10 yr old daughter. The goal was to get 6 dining chairs for $10 each or less. We started with $60 and gave ourselves 3 hours to complete the task. It was our funniest and most epic op-shop attack to date!
The extra 4 chairs have been found at garage sales or in hard rubbish piles in the more ritzy suburbs in Adelaide. Yes that's me.... the psycho who you see jamming the car brakes, reversing at a dangerous speed, jumping out to give the chair a quick 2 sec evaluation for nesting potential, throwing the chair in the boot and driving off with a wide satisfied grin.
Thanks for stopping by and viewing my collections x

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My Creative Space: coat rack

I'm almost finished the binding of my quilt and the golden tainted coat rack is complete! Things on my "To Do" list are actually getting done slowly but surely. Here she is in all her sunshiney glory [poster on wall a la Frankie].

And a photo of what I saw last night in my kitchen. The flowers on the window ledge looked striking against the darkness of outside. I am not sure if it's creative....maybe just kind on the eye...? x

See some 'real' creative spaces over at Kootoyoo's.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

3D balloon wall art...

I saw these 3D ceramic wall butterflies on Nuestra Vida Dulce's blog. I do like 3D wall art, so I'm makin' some!
I have been getting well aquainted with my Stanley knife to cut my least loved magazines into hot air balloon shapes. Once I have 5 different sized paper balloons they will find themselves floating on our presently boring dining room wall.

2 down 3 to go. x

Alela Diane sings sweetly...

Enjoy x

Saturday, November 14, 2009

My Place and Yours: Come into my house...

Hello, you've probably visited lots of homes today from Pip's meme so thanks for stopping by our humble abode in Adelaide. We bought it in July this year and love it to pieces! I didn't know the love you can have for 'your own place'. Thanks Femme De Montmartre for deciding the theme.
Welcome! Can I get you a cuppa? Oh dear, no sorry .... actually we don't have any milk - it went off with this gross heat - black tea? :P

I wish we could teleport back to the days where my mail would POP through the front door. Or is that just lazy?

My apologies to those of you who have seen this shelf before :)

Here we have a $2 garage sale chair with some thrifted knitted blankets and my own tiny crochet one (my patience for bigger blankets is slooooowly improving). Also there is the $30 shell Singer sewing storage box (its empty except for uhh the GLAD rubbish bag roll stored in the bobbin section lol). Now there's a great storage solution.

Lastly my beloved matryoshka dolls from Berlin (how random) and the Boy's softie birthday gift Mr. Sanchez. My DIY picture frame whiteboard above holds some secret squirrel plans for the Fringe Knitting Nancy exhibition in 2010. It seems as though someone has drawn some obscenities too - will they ever grow out of bum-fart pictures (secretly I hope not hehe)?!

Then this cute opped embroidered table doo-dad. It's sweet and makes me smile each time I walk by :)

Thank you for stopping by xX

Friday, November 13, 2009

The great Aussie dream...

Look what we did at our house tonight.
We are over the moon!
I love you Target 30% off pool sale.
Eat this 40 degree heat tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

My Creative Space...

My makeshift scarf curtain stopping our hideously hot Aussie sun from baking the hallway.
Patiently (HA!) hand stitching the binding of this vintage-ish quilt ,which is well overdue being completed. Despite the heat I am trudging contently through this W.I.P. Who the heck binds a heavy quilt during a week-long 35+ degree heatwave?
Is putting on Jungle Red nail polish creative? :)
Until last week I had NEVER put colour on my toes. I know! So pretty & feminine. What colour next?

See some inspiring creative spaces over at kootoyoo's.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


I do love nice fabric.
I just keep on buying it.
But sadly...
recently I don't seem to be actually using much of it.
That is not a good thing.
These new Ikea fabrics will be used.
They will be cushion covers for the lounge.
Before the 1st of December they will be all sewn up.
That's 3 and a bit weeks right?
Ok, I can do this.

Cherry Surprise Butter Cake recipe

I did some baking' on Thursday. It was a success, so today I'm sharing my own trialled and tested 'Cherry Surprise Butter Cake' recipe. If you are thrifty, love yummy things and cherries I'm preeeeetty hopeful you'll like this.

* packet of Homebrand .95c Butter Cake Mix
* all the things the butter cake mix needs (egg, milk, 1 round cake pan etc)
* 1 jar of pitted Morello Cherries in syrup (Globus brand is good)

* Follow mix packet steps BUT ... just before putting into oven drop 20-30 (the more the merrier) cherries on the top of the cake mix.
* Bake as per packet. Some cherries find their way through the mixture and some remain on top.
* Hot from the oven is always great- watch out - those cherries are boiling hot!
* With butter it is lovely
My guess is that you could substitute other fruits too - strawberries, blueberries and maybe even tinned peaches??? Please let me know if you try this recipe and suggest any modifications :)

Enjoy x

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Fox Hotel : Denmark

I have been thinking about my brother tonight, who now lives his life as a graphic designer in Berlin. 2 years ago I visited him with mum+dad. We had a lovely holiday. It was rather cold. Hence I bought piles of gloriously high socks, mittens and scarves.

Anyhow tangents aside - I met his housemates who were also graphic designers. One of their jobs was to design a hotel room for Hotel Fox in Copenhagen. I love what this hotel has done - 61 rooms all interior decorated and designed by 21 artisits. Some are quirky. Some are outrageous. Others are cute and cosy. Fun. Fun. FUN!

You must visit here and view them all.

Rm 502 Hearts The Royal Wedding

Room 216 Ian O Pooc

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

My Creative Space...

Why hello, how was your day? :D

I'm sharing the goings on in my Craft Room today. I have just finished tidying up the craft cupboard, which I find such a relaxing job - folding fabrics, winding ric-rac, colour sorting buttons (obsessive compulsive or what!) and oh .. don't forget piling up all those W.I.P's (sigh).Also I am feeling bored and totally unispired by the look of our lounge and dining rooms these days. Perhaps a feature wall or two will be on the cards. BUT until then - our rather bland bamboo coat rack is getting a much needed makeover with Nippon's paint in 'Golden Pheasant' (I do so love paint names). I will post the completed project soon xX
See more Creative Spaces over here at kootoyoo's abode :)

Who's that on TV!?

I arrived home from work tonight, picked some flowers for the kitchen window, tidied up the dining room a smidge and turned on the TV and.... who did I see? None other than Martha Stewart!

Hoo-flippin-ray. Finally Aussie TV gets their ass into gear!

I am a sucker for any DIY homemaker shows but have never been able to rationalise paying for Foxtel just to get the Lifestyle Channel. Finally Australian mainstream TV [new digital Channel 7-2] has decided to alleviate the pain for us thrifty-nesty-DIY-crafty-shmafty-bakin' types by giving us some Martha love. Every day from 5-6pm - ear to ear smiles over here!!!!!

Couldn't help but share this good news! How sad lol

Monday, November 2, 2009

Dinner time!

Look what I came home to tonight! I love coming home to a prepared dinner, served on my fave metal camping plate (i now have 10 and love the cling! clang! sound they make against the cutlery).....and the dishes done! Feeling a bit special. Such a simple thing which I really really REALLY appreciate :D xxx Thank you!

Tomato, basic & boccincini brushetta. Yuuuuum!