December 18, 2009

And that's all we've got time for...

Out today looking for a Kris Kringle gift for work was a little stressful.  Firstly, I woke up with a head cold.  Second, when we'd been at the shops for about a half hour I realised Ellie was not holding her most precious  (read "No.1, she sleeps with him") toy.  Murray the puppy.  I presumed he had been thrown over the edge of the pram somewhere along the way.  She was oblivious to the loss, but we could not lose him and I was a wreck trying to retrace my steps and find him, leaving my name at various shops and desperately reporting lost property to the concierge.

After some time searching around what is arguably the largest shopping complex in the Southern Hemisphere, Murray was found.  A random kind stranger had found him on the ground and left him on a fence post for us.  Murray is now back with his loving owner, and her Mother is a little worse for wear.  Never again is Murray joining us on a trip to the shopping mall.

After that horrible ordeal, we went and had 2 stiff drinks - Ellie some boiled water, and me a large capuccino.  Then off to Kringle shop again, where I came across this lovely mug.  Now, I really hate buying mugs as Kringles - such a typical, boring gift, but I couldn't go past the sweet design from Marie Claire:

I thought I'd spruce it up a little by making a coin purse to match, which I did whilst my small companion was sleeping.  Do you think it works as a gift?  I hope not too predictable, and well liked by it's recipient.

Well, that's all we've got time for on this year's postings.  It's time for a little break - I'll see you here again sometime in January 2010 (yikes, 2010!!).  Not sure when, but I'll be here soon.  Thanks to you all so much for being such a supportive and encouraging bunch in my very first year of blogging.  I appreciate every one of you and can't thank you enough.

I pray you all have a fantastic, relaxing and enjoyable Christmas and New Year with your loved ones as we celebrate the birth of Jesus.


December 17, 2009

Mister Maker

Mister Maker is a pretty cool TV show.  Preschooler crafts galore and how to make them.  That's it.  Nothing but making.

Is Mr Maker playing where you live?  If not you can get it on DVD.   At the moment, it's on in Sydney here on ABC2 at 2:40pm each day.   Here's the website with DVD info too!

December 16, 2009

Free Stuff I love: Summer

There are hundreds of Christmasy kinds of free tutorials making their way around the blogosphere right now, and for that reason I thought I didn't really need to add to it.

SO, this being my last "Free Stuff I love" post of the year, I thought I'd get you set up for summer holidays.  Sorry if you live up North where it's cold.  If you do, just tuck these away for a while and before you know it, you'll be wanting to make them!

I've really enjoyed this little segment of my blog, although it is lots of work to put together posts like this every week.  I'm yet to decide whether or not I'll be doing 'free stuff' again next year, I need to think about it a bit more, but if not, I will most definitely still be here, just blogging about other stuff, thats all

Enough chit chat!  Here are some lovely free projects for you to enjoy over the holidays....

Cute summer slippers at Lady Harvatine


Summer picnic blanket at Sew Mama Sew

A gorgeous bag from vintage tablecloth by one of my all-time favourite bloggers Rubyellen of Cakies for Free people.

If you're feeling confident, a child's tent at Sew Mama Sew!

I LOVE this!  A very cool crochet summer sling tote.  Get it at ravelry here.

Can't go past this gorgeous baby sun hat at Purl.

That should do it for now!  Enjoy everyone, and I will be back soon for a couple of final posts for the year.

G xx

[all images from linked original sources]

December 14, 2009

Love this vintage...

Love this vintage pair of baby shoe lasts. They are so sweet!!

Vintage Pair of Baby Shoe Lasts
[image: +]

From Nana's Trunk on etsy.

December 10, 2009

My Creative Space.

Well, to be honest, it's really her creative space.

Christmas tree has now gone up, and Ellie happily and excitedly helped me do it.  Trying to be so helpful she pulled balls off one by one, as I placed them on the tree.  Such sweet intention I had to let it go as I have the  daily redecoration because I can't help but love the joy on that small face as she sees it every morning.

Here is one of my favourite tree decorations.  I bought them a few years back and have been slowly collecting all of the twelve days of Christmas - she is a  'piper piping' (is that no.7?? I can never remember).  I love her. Unfortunately they're not being made anymore....:o(

And here is Ellie's very own and very important creative space.  A self-decorative work that she was quite proud of (and didn't want me to come near mind you!).

Hope you're enjoying all the creative spaces this week.

December 9, 2009

Free Stuff I Love: Bloesem Kids

Summer school holidays are nearly upon us here in Australia, so how could I not post Bloesem Kids?

I love it - such an amazing blog of cool kids stuff but even better, free craft projects you can do with your own kidlets.  And cool ones too.

Like these printed gift tags:

[image: bloesem kids]

And best thing is that this is project no. 45!!  Surely that will keep them going all summer!!   If you're not familiar with this fantastic blog, then head over and check it out here.  Click on the craft projects button for heaps of great ideas.

December 8, 2009


I love to wrap and package.  I love making it neat and pretty and suggestive of something nice waiting on the inside...

Paper, ribbon, string, I love it all.

Do you like to wrap too?

December 7, 2009

Love this vintage...

LOVE (and I mean love) this vintage baby dress.  Perfectly sweet in every way.  I adore the crochet at the top.   Have you ever seen this shop? I found it via Bloesem kids.  It's called Belle Heir and has the sweetest and cutest little person clothes you can find.  I just can't afford to shop there, as most things are a little pricey.  This is a 1930's baby dress in mint condition, and I'm also hooked on the gorgeous little toddler jackets like this one.  Sigh.  So lovely.

[image: +]

December 4, 2009


A sweet little pair of feet.

Inside a sweet little pair of handmade, hand felted shoes.

From a much loved and very sweet friend.

Thanks Deanie - we love them and they fit perfect now! xx

December 3, 2009

My creative space.

I've been making up some Christmas gifts for the little people in my life this week...I needed something for the weekend, something quick and easy, so I happily found a pattern for a patchwork fabric ball from one of my Japanese Craft Books.  Away I went, cutting up the pieces quickly on my knee whilst I supervised a sick youngster watching Playschool.  Thinking I knew what to do, I added seam allowance to all the pieces as that's what I've had to do in my previous Japanese sewing...

Unfortunately, not this sewing. This is how my first attempt turned out - sort of like a pink, warped looking pumpkin:

Trying again, I omitted seam allowance in the pattern, and success!!  It's nowhere near perfect, but so much better on attempt no.2.

Maybe I'll stick a couple of buttons in the first one and use it as a pincushion?  Either that or I'm sure the little Miss will be happy to find some use for it.

What has your creative space been up to?  Tell us over at Kirsty's right here.

December 2, 2009

Free Stuff I love: Pickles

This blog is so cute!!  I discovered it on the weekend via sew mama sew.  Pickles is a lovely place to read about knitting, crochet, cupcakes and craft!!  Check out the sidebar for heaps of freebies and ideas (don't worry if you can't read it - scroll down a bit for English).  I particularly love this wedding bolero.  If only I was a good knitter....

Check out this cute Norwegian blog right here.
ps.  there is a nice shop too!

December 1, 2009

Linen and Lace

It's a lovely duo I think, do you agree?   I just wish I had some more of this pretty vintage lace to sew with.  Must go lace hunting...

Finished this one last week and it's now listed in the shop.

November 30, 2009

A very sweet giveaway...


Just a really quick post to let you know about this lovely giveaway at this very lovely blog.  Head over and check it out for your chance to some cute handmade stuff.

Love this vintage...

Love this collection of vintage trinket boxes.  So sweet and perfect aren't they?  From such pretty things.

[image: +]

have a lovely week. x

November 29, 2009

My place and yours :: My collection

Oh man, I'm really really late for this one.  But better late than never, right?  I had great intentions of showing you pictures of all our book collections along with this theme last week, but it just didn't happen, so here is my collection of Japanese craft books (continually growing I might add).  We're pretty addicted to books at our place, so much so that we're having trouble finding the space for them.  I'll show you more of our book collection another day.

A few covers:

Now, lets see if I can keep up this week with my place and yours.  See this week's theme here and last weeks collections here.

November 27, 2009

My creative space.

This week I'm loving vintage lace on linen.  It's so pretty I could stare at it for hours.  This is something little I've been making this morning...more pictures soon.

See some more very nice spaces here.  Yep, it happened yesterday, I'm late again, but that's good for you, because now you can head over and you have 100-odd to choose from....

November 25, 2009

Free stuff I Love: Calico

I'm loving this blog.  Calico is perfectly simple, has beautiful photography and is a place where Cally writes about life and craft and other stuff.

Also, she has some fab free tutorials for us. like this infant seat blanket.  Personally, I'm also loving the oilcloth lunchsack, golden snitch shirt, and homemade babylegs.  All very cool ideas.

[image: +]

You really should head over and have a look.  There are more tutorials to see and do.


November 23, 2009

Love this vintage...

...photograph of a mother and child.  Love the happy faces.

From Tobyotter on Flickr.

November 19, 2009

My Creative Space...

One project at a time.  That's what I'm trying so hard to stick to, because I have this habit of starting and never finishing.  Boy it's difficult, but today I finally finished another.  I'm home sick from work,  wondering what to do, the youngun' is off at daycare (peace and quiet is what the head needs today), so I thought I'd finish off the hem for this pretty shirt that's been waiting to be completed for a week now.

Last time I wrote about this lovely book, I was at tracing stage.   Despite my care to do it right, of course I went to sew the first seam and discovered that I had traced wrong.  AND all my pattern pieces were cut.  Sound familiar to any of you?  Lucky for me, it was fixable.  I'd cut too big rather than too small, so all was well!!  And as hoped I was able to cut it out of only 1.5m of this lovely Heather Ross double gauze (so soft!).

Anyhow, this is Dress B from Stylish Dress Book 1.   A very simple and easy to make dress with binding and gathering at the neckline, and also some gathering in the sleeves.  I also ran the sides in a little for a slimmer shape around the waist and hips.  It's still quite loose and relaxed though, which should be nice and comfortable with jeans and shorts.

Japanese sewing is addictive.

(Please ignore my sick looking rose in the background here - it's not coping too well with the heat wave we're having here in Australia.  Here's hoping for some milder weather so I can wear my new top!)

What are you making right now?  Join in and show us by playing along here.

November 18, 2009

Free Stuff I Love: Design*Sponge

I love Design*Sponge.  It's such a great place for inspiration and design ideas and includes many funky little DIY tutorials.  Below is just one of my favourite project ideas from the Design*Sponge team - vintage sheet file folders!  Genius.  I use a filing cabinet all the time at work, and I really should put all that vintage sheeting fabric to good use.   What a cool idea, no?  You can too with the tutorial right here.


[image: +]

For many, many more project ideas head over and check out Design*Sponge's DIY section.  Happy browsing!

November 16, 2009

Love this vintage...

1940's wallpaper used to cover jotters.  Very cute.  

You can buy some here.

November 15, 2009

Where I buy linen.

[fragile flowers by Windsors Child on flickr]

Hi everyone,  how is your weekend going?

Firstly, I wanted to thank you all for your well wishes and kind comments regarding our family situation on my last post.  The last week has been a real struggle for us all - to keep it short and simple, my Aunt has suffered a terribly serious traumatic brain injury and is in a critical condition in intensive care.  We don't know what's going to happen yet, and we're all just pulling together to get through it.  She is in her early 50's and has three children, who along with my Uncle are praying and patiently waiting day after day.  So thank you again for your kindness, it's much appreciated.  Times like these make me treasure those I love even more, and reminds me that life is so fragile - none of us know what's around the corner.

On a lighter note, a few of you have been asking me where I buy my linen from.   I recently purchased a large quantity from here.  Shipping costs are very expensive to Australia, but I stll found it a cheap purchase by combining my order with friends and sharing shipping costs.  I've been pretty happy with the linens I've purchased so far, so if you need to get some, now would be the time to do it with the Australian dollar being so good against the US.

And a little tip - check out the OOPS and Doggie bag sections for an even better deal.

Happy making everyone - see you soon!


November 14, 2009


Oh my.  Aren't these just the sweetest tiny little patchwork pincushions?  So pretty I just had to share them with you.  Tutorial (yep!!) available from The Purl Bee right here.

[image: purl bee]

Have a lovely weekend everyone - sorry if the posting is a bit sparse from me over the coming weeks.  I've had a pretty serious extended family tragedy happen here, so I'm a little distracted by that, but I'll endeavour to keep posting where I can.

November 11, 2009

Free stuff I love: MADE

Today's free stuff blog I love is Made.

I love Dana's blog, and read it often.  She is such a talented lady and has a number of fabulous free tutorials including this cute little market skirt on her blog below.  She has free clothing tutorials for little girls and boys, so if you have a little person to make for, head over to Made and check out her 'tutorials' tab on her sidebar.  Dana is also the most recent weekly winner on SYTYC (So You Think You're Crafty) online crafting competition.  Her tutorial for the winning design can be found right here

[image source : +]

I'm in the mood for making some little skirts now, but I did promise myself in January that I'd finish one thing before I start another so I'll stick to my resolution.

Have a lovely day guys.

November 9, 2009

November 6, 2009

My creative space

I'm really needing some sewing for me time. My little munchkin is having her sleep of the month right now....going on 2 hours which is pretty much unheard of for such a light little sleeper. SO....I've stolen away to start tracing up the pattern of a top for yours truly.  So much fun.

I'm sure you recognise this book.  I bought mine from Megumi who is just the loveliest lady.  And her etsy store is just my absolute favourite.  I can't tell you how long I could spend in it (she also sells on ebay if you weren't aware, and sometime you can get a better look inside the book you're after there).

I've also recently made a purchase of some Heather Ross double gauze from Retromummy.  Pretty isn't it?  It's so soft, but I'm afraid I don't have enough of it.  The pattern I want to make needs 1.9m and I only have 1.5m as that's all that was left.  Doh.  Might have to buy a little more from somewhere.

What are you working on? Join in on sharing your creative space here (even if you are a day late like me!)

November 4, 2009

Free Stuff I love...Between the lines

I thought I might change it up a little on the free stuff weekly post here.  For a while I might point you to some wonderful blogs I've been reading for tutorials, and let you browse the blog for some excellent inspiration for your own projects.  Wow, there are some clever and talented people out there.  I can't wait to share them!

First up is Between the Lines.  Pascale has a beautiful blog with so many great free tutorials, including this fabulous shopping bag.   I'm a sucker for linen, so this is my kind of bag!!  Thanks Pascale for your beautiful work, and beautiful photography!

[image +]

So head over to Between the Lines and check out more of Pascale's lovely things you can make yourself!

November 3, 2009

Linen Drawstring Giftbag Tutorial

So, Christmas is coming.  If you're like me, then you may normally say 'Meh. I have heaps of time.  I'll deal with that after I've done all of this'.  But wouldn't it be nice to cut back just a little on the last minute stress?   Start thinking about it a little bit sooner? Make at least something handmade?  Even if it's small?  Because handmade is cool.  And means a whole lot more.

So I started thinking about Christmas, made this little bag over the weekend, and thought I'd share how I did it with you.

Obviously, the method isn't that hard, or anything remarkably new.   I just wanted to share how I did it, and how you might like to do it too if you're not sure how.

So, here we go....


Sewing Machine
20 x 40cm piece of linen fabric for bag exterior (lightweight would be best)
20 x 40cm piece of lining fabric (I used Japanese cotton, but a vintage/thrifted cotton would also be lovely)
VIntage crochet doily (bear in mind the more open weave your doily is the harder it is to applique on)
Matching thread
Matching ribbon or string of your choice


1. Press all of your fabric pieces and doily.

2. Cut out your fabric.
  • You need to cut a piece of linen to the size you require for your bag.  Mine is 16cm x 38cm.  Make larger or smaller depending on the size of the gift you're giving.
  • Cut your lining to the exact same size.
  • You should have two rectangles like in the picture below:

3. Position your doily on your linen.
You have lots of options here.  You might like to cut your doily into individual flowers and scatter them over the fabric, you might like to halve your doily and position it on the side, or you might like to place it in the centre like I have. It's completely up to you.  I pressed my piece of linen in half so that I knew where to find the exact centre point.

4. Pin your doily in place.

5. Sew your doily onto your linen.

  • If your doily is not too open a weave, use your sewing machine to sew around the parts of the doily that might lift.  This will be the edges and anywhere else in the centre.  I sewed around each individual flower in this case using a straight stitch.
  • Additionally, I generally then hand-sew the crochet edge of my doilies down, so that they remain open and don't curl and lift on the edges.  In this case I have not, because the doily was already secure enough.
  • If your doily has a very open weave, you may need to hand sew the whole piece on.

After you've finished, the back of your linen should look something like this:

And the front like this:

6. Pin your lining and linen exterior with right sides together.  

7. Sew around the border
Make sure you leave a small gap for turning inside out.

8.  Turn your fabric inside out 

  • Trim the corners and turn the fabric piece out through the hole you left at the edge.
  • Push the corners out with your finger or a turning tool (like a chopstick)

9.  Close your open edge.
Press the raw open edge under and top stitch the hole closed very close to the edge of your fabric.

Now you should have one piece of fabric with the lining on one side, and linen/doily on the other.

10.  Create your casing for the drawstring.

  • Fold each of the short ends of your fabric down towards the lining by approximately 2cm.
  • Stitch close to the edge of the fabric (away from the folded edge) to create a casing.
  • Do this at both ends.

11. Sew the bag together

  • Fold the bag with exterior linen sides together and pin.
  • Stitch from your casing seam at one end down the side to the base of the bag.
  • Repeat this on the other side, making sure that you do not sew across the casing at the top of the bag.

12.  Turn your bag the right way out and press.

13. Thread your ribbon/string
Attach a safety pin to the end of your ribbon or string and thread it through your casing.You can choose to thread one piece through each side, and tie off both ends together as I have, or thread one piece through the whole casing, and tie only once on one side.

Once you've done this, your gift bag is complete!  Make these bags as large or small as you'd like.  The size I made is great for small items like jewellery or handmade sweets.  The best bit is you made it with love, and it's re-usable!  I'm sure you could think of lots of uses.


 [This tutorial is permitted to be used for personal use only and not for commercial purposes.  Please do not reproduce or re-post this tutorial in print or online without permission]