February 27, 2009

Felt Art

Check out these amazing works with felt found on etsy:

From Umecrafts:

From Mixko (loving that lamp!)

and from Dreamalittle7:

You really can make whatever you imagine.

Someone gave me

This handmade quilt. Remember my Grandparent quilting team I mentioned a few days ago? Here is some of their handiwork. It was dragged out of the cupboard today because I thought i'd be clever last night and wash Ellie's floor rug so that it was slobber and germ free this morning. Clever me. Why is it that when I wash at night I always forget to hang it out? It happens so often that I am starting to worry about myself. Anyhow, this beauty is out to play today as a result. I'm now off to re-rinse and hang out the other one. Sigh.

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February 26, 2009

Mr Postman delivery: Buttons!

Yesterday the Postman delivered my lovely purchase from Buttons by Lou Lou with lots of goodies inside. I love them! (can you tell I like red?) Some I will keep, some will be gifts...you never know who will be a lucky one :o) The firefly brooch is out of its packet because it has already been worn (and i love it Lou - thanks!).

This giant paperclip is staying with me. I am going to use it either in a cookbook, or perhaps in my bedside magazine - I always forget where i'm up to!

If you fancy some buttons, head on over to Buttons by Lou Lou where you'll find lots more.
Gotta run now - have a sickly bub to settle :o(

February 25, 2009

Pillow talk part 1

Today I completed Amy Butler's Hourglass Pillow using her free online pattern. It was fun to do, and I'd make it again I think. I chose a couple of blue fabrics - a Japanese indigo print cotton, and a plain blue cotton with a small dot detail. Here it is from the front and the rear:

Things I didn't enjoy about making this pillow (not much!):

1. Finding the 38mm Buttons to cover. Not readily available from the shops I visit! I had resigned myself to a smaller button, when I found one accidentally in my local Janome retailer yesterday.

[Getting the button tight and in the right place was a little fiddly, but I don't think I could say it was something I didn't like doing.]

Things I enjoyed about making this pillow:

1. Making the patchwork top

2. Covering the buttons (I'd never had a need to do this before and it was very satifying to have a perfect little circle of fabric at the end)

Things i'd do differently:

1. I don't think you need to have as wide a gap that is called for in the pattern when inserting the pillow infill. It meant that nearly the whole side needed to be hand sewn, and I think I would prefer a smaller gap, a tighter fit and less handsewing to make the edge look a little neater. You can always roll the cushion infill to get it in.

2. Next time I think I would prefer to use 2 strong coordinating patterns. I'm not convinced about my block colour with the Japanese Print yet. I had nothing else at the time, so this will do, and the overall effect in the loungeroom is the main thing. It's growing on me.

3. Perhaps cover the back in the printed fabric. The reason I say this is I love the indigo print the more I look at it!

Other notes:

1. When it says you need a doll needle (huge needle for making dolls, bears, upholstery) to thread the button, make sure you use one. I am SO glad that I didn't try and cut that corner as I was only just able to get it through with the one I had. Couldn't imagine doing it with a smaller needle.

Well, even if no one else likes it Ellie certainly gave it her seal of approval by giving it a bash and a chew!

If you haven't seen Amy Butler's Hourglass pillow pattern before, it's available online here.

February 24, 2009

Shape by Miller Goodman

Our dear friends Greg and Cat have recently been to the UK and Morocco on a long holiday. As they missed Christmas with us, we all received some lovely gifts when they arrived home!

Here is the gift Ellie received. It's a melamine plate from the Tate Gallery ( oh how I want to go back!) and is designed by Miller Goodman. The plate's artwork is from their childrens book Shape, which after seeing this, I investigated online and would now love to buy for Ellie. It seems to be a lovely interactive book introducing children to the world of shape! You can read and see more of the book here, and purchase from Australian online bookstore store here. I'm sure Amazon has it too.

And what did I get? A Harrods tote of course!! Yippee!!!

February 23, 2009

Grosgrain Giveaways

Do you read Grosgrain? If not, check it out. A great read, and very inspiring to be adventurous with your sewing machine! Grosgrain gives me confidence that if I put my mind to it, I can! There are several giveaways going on at the moment that are really fantastic. My personal favourite is The Conservatory Overcoat (what a fantastic colour!!) but don't forget the fabulous Blushing Buttercream Pettiskirt - perfect for any little twirling princess, and would look great in a photoshoot. Head on over and check it out if you get a chance.

Medicine for Monday-itis

How could you be sad it's Monday when you look at this little darling? I discovered her in the Luvly Gurumi collection whilst (yet again) browsing on etsy over the weekend. Check out more of her brothers and sisters here and even more really cute images here.

I'm working busily this week on the production front - can't tell you much because it's a surprise for one of my readers, but stay tuned and all will be revealed in a week or so. Off to buy some supplies today.

February 22, 2009

Happy Sunday

Hi Everyone,

Just a quick heads up - why don't you pop on over to Buttons by Lou Lou? Today only she is offering free shipping on items in her etsy store. Check out today's blog post for instructions on how to get your free shipping. I purchased something yesterday and look forward to receiving it! I will show you when it arrives. Here is something to give you a taste of her very cute products:

Have a lovely Sunday afternoon all. I hope your weekend was relaxing like mine. G x

February 21, 2009

Someone gave me: Old Country Roses

How generous. Yesterday, whilst visiting with my Grandad, he gave me a lovely gift. I am so thankful and grateful for it. It may not quite be up your alley, but Old Country Roses china by Royal Albert is rather special to me. My Nanna, who has dementia and is now in nursing home care gradually collected the entire set - dinnerware, teaset, coffee set and servingware. She even had a beautiful gold cutlery set to match. And whenever I see it, in a shop, at someone's house, or in their display cabinet, it reminds me of her.
Because Nanna is no longer able to use it, and Grandad will be relocating to a smaller house soon, he is keen to give part of the set to each of his children and grandchildren. I was moved that he wanted me to have this part, and I will treasure it forever, knowing that it was loved and collected by by one of the most important people in my life.

Aside from it's beauty, there are 3 things I love about this set:

1. It was hers

2. It was given so generously by him

3. It was an extensive collection that didn't just sit in the display cabinet. It was used all the time, and the worn gold trim and tea stains in the pot are evidence of this.

When I don't have little ones underfoot who might accidentally injure it, I intend to follow her example and use it too. Thank you Nanna and Grandad - I love you both lots and lots.

February 20, 2009

Kikki K love (again!)

I just received my member email from Kikki K this morning. Along with a few other goodies/giveaways and vouchers, it included a look at some cuties from their "coming soon" list.

And how cute are these? Gorgeous!

Anyhow, gotta go - i'm off to chat to my Grandad today about Quilting (Yes, my Grandad - he and Nanna were a great team back when they were making them). I'm hoping to make a quilt and/or take a class, and would like to see what advice he has for me. More importantly, I don't get to see him as often as i'd like, so it's time Ellie and I spent some time there.

February 19, 2009

Someone buy me: Art for Ellie

Today is my wee one's half birthday. I can't believe 6 months has gone past so quickly. If I had a whole lot of money (which I don't) then I wouldn't worry about the poor old Aussie dollar and i'd buy one or more of these gorgeous artworks for her room. They are absolutely beautiful. Oooooh, i'm really tempted. Check out these fabulous artists on etsy if you get a chance.

From Studio Mela:

From Yumi Yumi:

and from Suspect Shoppe:

Artists found via blog madebygirl

February 18, 2009

Mid week baking

This morning is Mum's Group and I've just made this yummy Cinnamon Teacake to take along. The smell of the warm cake, cinnamon and vanilla is to die for and it's hard not to test it just a little to make sure it's right! (Aside from the desire to eat it, I am honestly paranoid about these things). It is a really nice recipe from the good old Australian Women's Weekly. I got mine from a book, but this one is also available for free online, along with lots of other yummy AWW recipes.

If you'd like the recipe, you can get it here

A few notes:

1. My book called for 2/3 cup of sugar, but the online version only has 1/2 cup. Your choice I guess!

2. I used Anchor brand 'Cake, Biscuit & Pastry SR Flour' - highly recommended when you need a really light cake

3. I thought it would be OK to use a slightly larger cake tin. Not advised. Stick to a 20cm pan and then this will assure a nice high cake. Mine is a little thin.

Enjoy your Wednesday all. See you again soon xx

February 16, 2009

Custom Coasters

Last week I scored some coasters by paperchase for 50% off at Borders. Bargain! I thought I could use them in my living room mini makeover. They are the kind you can insert your own image or photo, which is a great idea, as this way you can insert a new picture or image everytime you are sick of it - just like a photo frame.

Yesterday I thought i'd have a go at creating something to insert. I am not really convinced about the way this looks yet, but here is what I did: The idea came from a post about Daniel Eatocks artwork on blog Daucas Carota. He made a cool artwork by balancing a sheet of A1 paper on pantone pens, and letting the ink bleed. Great idea. I thought I would try and replicate with a smaller piece of paper. Not as easy as it looks! Plus, it must have taken him ages to do, because I gave up after about an hour, and mine is completely sparse compared to his beautiful big work. But, i'm no artist. Just trying to use his great idea for my home.

Here is the page of colour, ready to be cut up into small squares.

I used the insert as a template, and cut what I thought were the prettiest sections

And, voila! My custom-colour coasters! It was just an idea, and I am thinking of others now that it's done that might also work as these do look a little pasty...fabrics, printed paper, pretty photos from our trip to Italy....Hmmm. Anyone else have any ideas of what could go in these?

I found something nice

Digging around a few weeks back I found this stowed away for a rainy day to be used for something special or nice. Well, it's been "stowed away" since my 21st (can you believe it!?). Over 10 years. That's way too long. I can't even remember who gave it to me (i'm sorry if it was you!) but I do remember thinking it was a lovely gift. Enough stowing. Time to get this lovely handmade notepad out and start using it. All the paper is handmade, and it's been bound by hand as well. Even the pencil is hand carved. Sweet.

February 15, 2009

Thinking about blue

A while back I was browsing around for some images to help me with my living room mini-makeover. Here are a few I found.