September 30, 2009

Free Stuff I love: Cute cleaning Tutes

First things first: How was speed cleaning Day 2? Here is a quick run-down:

Space Cleaned: Living and Dining Rooms
Expectations: This will be easy.
Reality: Much harder than I thought. Bigger = More dust traps.
Time taken: at least 45 mins.
Verdict: Living and Dining is harder than it looks, but SO worth it.
My only disappointment with these rooms, is that there is quite a bit of effort to get rid of dust that has been piling up for a while and yet the room gets so messy quickly (especially with kids stuff) I never thought to look on top of the vertical blinds track, and I don't know that I've ever vacuumed inside the sliding door track (is that terrible?). Anyhow, it's done now, and it feels and looks very clean. I am happy. At this rate I will have a beautifully clean house by the long weekend, and next week I will be seeing how much faster it happens in the hope that I can crack that elusive "15 minutes a day". Stay tuned.
So, while I'm on the topic of cleaning, lets stick with the theme. Today's freebies are below and there are some clever and useful cleaning devices. If you know of any more, feel free to post them in the comments below.

Sew some cute laundry bags for the kids dirty washing at I have to Say

Make your swiffer less evil at Look Ma, No patterns!

Make your own dusters at merwing littledear on flickr and we wilsons

[all images from linked original sources]

September 29, 2009

I'm applying myself.

Me: the world's worst procrastinator. So you can imagine how hard it is to get cleaning done. I do love an organised, clean house, though, and the fact that I procrastinate about this is like rubbing salt in a wound. Throw in a little perfectionism (ie. not worth doing it if it can't get done perfectly) and it's a recipe for clean-house disaster.

SO, I am decided. For the next month I'm going to apply myself. I'm going to stick to the principles suggested in the book Speed Cleaning (Shannon Lush and Jennifer Fleming). I am a huge fan of Spotless, and this one (a sort-of sequel) is a seemingly wonderful book telling me how I can have a spotless house in just 15 minutes a day. Really? I don't believe it.

Well, I shall test it.

Aside from a whole lot of really helpful little hints, my summary of the basic principles of the book are:

1. Keep on top of it (ie. you make a mess you clean it up before you do anything else)
2. Make sure everything has a place
3. Do a little each day (with one day off).
4. Be organised in the method you clean.

I think my major problem is No's 1 and 3. I love to and can easily be organised. And I can have a place for everything, I just need to DO IT EVERY DAY, which is my downfall.

Yesterday was Day 1: I 'speed cleaned' the master bedroom. It took a little longer than 15 minutes (more like 30) because it was my first time, I had a sick (yes again) 13 month old hanging around, I am also sick with a cold, and there was more dust than I expect there will be next time. All in all I managed OK.

The verdict: Bedroom handles easily. We shall see how the next round is.

September 28, 2009

Love this vintage...

Yellow pinafore from Babyhank.

Sunny and sweet isn't it? Shame it's a size 3-6 months and my little girl won't fit it.

Must go and sew something for her soon. She's just about walking without falling over so often now, and choosing to walk instead of crawl, so she's just about ready for skirts and cute dresses that won't get caught up under the legs. Yay!!

September 23, 2009

Free Stuff I Love: marketing tips

Last week the etsy sellers newsletter listed some great forum threads. I had a little look and came across one called 'Get the Etsy Sales you want'. It had some fantastic links there, so take a look at it right here.

But the one I really liked was the list of links to a free online marketing course (5 days) by Handmadeology University. It looks really beneficial, so this week I'm going to do it. Anyone want to join me?

Here are the list of daily classes:

Day 2: Facebook

These should help me, seeing as I'm about to set up a facebook fan page and also considering a twitter account. What I'd love to know is do any of you sellers twitter? If so, has it helped with sales?

So, this is what I'll be doing as I'm staying in today. Reason being - this is what many East Coast Australians (including me) woke up to:

[image source: Sydney Morning Herald]

Amazing images, yeah? See more here.

September 22, 2009


Yes, you heard right. My first ever giveaway, and I'm very excited!
I have decided to part with this cute coin purse to one reader, who I really, really hope will treasure it. It's made from natural linen and a vintage embroidered doily and is lined with a sweet blue floral print.

If you'd like to win this little purse, then leave a comment on this post, and of course, you can earn an extra entry by blogging about it! Be sure to let me know if you have done so, and I will make sure your name is in the hat twice! Please also ensure that you have a way I can contact you if you win (either list your email or sign in with your contactable blogger profile that has your email displayed publicly).
Entries close at day end, Friday October 2nd, 2009 (Sydney, Australia time) so be sure to get your entries in by then! The winner will be drawn randomly and I'll post the winner here on this blog.

Best wishes!

September 21, 2009

Love this vintage...

Pretty floral 1950's dress from Poptatari on etsy. Cute print huh? The close ups of the fabric are really nice too. You can see more pictures here.

Did you have a good weekend? I hope so. I did, and I also found a few of my things today on the SEWN website gallery from last weekend's markets. Yay! Click on over to see more of the lovely things on offer at the last handmade market in Canberra.

September 18, 2009

Shop Update

Just a quick note today to let you know I've added a few things to the shop this week. A few pictures of the items below:

Pin cushion with vintage embroidery and crochet trim

Zippered Coin Purse with Vintage Embroidery

Click on the etsy link on my sidebar or here to take a closer look.

And a quick thank you to Emma for blogging about my little purse that she purchased at the markets last weekend - nice to have a happy customer! See Emma's cute blog here.

September 17, 2009


Today I attended my Great Grandmother's funeral. She passed away last weekend at the age of 103. Wow. What an innings. She was the most gentle, loving and faithful lady, who had a positive impact on so many lives. We are going to miss her.

Today's post is in honour of this wonderful woman. I've included a section of beautiful hand-embroidered tablecloth completed by my Granny - something that she put hours into herself for a family friend's wedding many years ago. She made several of these for many grateful recipients. Isn't it pretty?

Today was a fantastic celebration of her life, and she will never EVER be forgotten.

September 16, 2009

Free Stuff I love: more for kids

A few more things I've seen lately that are so fabulous and FREE!! Try these for your own kidlets, or someone else's....

These cute free downloadable Wall Stencils at Elle Decoration South Africa (via real simple)

The cutest ever Tooth Fairy Bags at the Purl Bee

Stroller Liner tutorial at Floating World Views (how cool - I'm going to do this one soon!!)

September 15, 2009

Handmade Market Canberra

It was a bit of a whirlwind weekend after such a long week, but fun! We couldn't face heading down to Canberra on Friday night, so we opted for the Saturday morning early bird instead.
Here's Ellie and I up at 530am, bleary-eyed and eating our weet bix.
The little one travelled really well, except for one small meltdown (hence red, tearful face below) at Goulburn. She was right after a banana, a few rice crackers, drink and a cuddle.

My moral support and taxi driver was much appreciated.

Finally we made it. The Grace Designs stall looked fab. Here are some pictures of it:

And here's my stuff below! Ros was so kind and let me put some of my own things on her stall, and I was VERY grateful. I sold a few things, so that was nice. I took some coin purses, brooch/pin cushions and a tote bag.

All in all a great day.

September 13, 2009

Love this vintage...

Train Case from INDIVIDjuli on etsy. Sweet. I think I would be quite happy to collect vintage luggage were it not for my very small home. One day.

TROY - TravelSmart Train Case

Did you all have a great weekend? We did. The handmade market in Canberra was a success, but we're all a bit tired today. Ros' stall looked beautiful (more photos soon) and it was a pleasure to help out. So many great stalls but I did not buy a thing which was really very restained I must say. Did anyone else make it there? If so, what did you come away with?

September 11, 2009

Handmade Market in bloom

This weekend I'm headed down to Canberra for the Spring Handmade Market. Yay! I'm going down to be the lovely Ros' right hand man. It's her very first market stall, and she is going to do amazing, I know it. How fun it will be to spend the day chatting craft and handmade, while our fellas do Daddy duty. If you can, please come down and visit us at the Yarralumla Woolshed - I'll be at the Grace Designs stall which is open Saturday only from 10-4pm. If you can't make it to Canberra (or Australia for that matter), you can still buy gorgeous accessories from Grace Designs here or here.

Have a lovely weekend everyone! xo

September 9, 2009

Free Stuff I love: Little girls dresses

Way way down here in the Southern part of the world things are warming up. Today is the most glorious spring day and I thought perhaps those of us down this way may just feel like doing a little bit of little girly sewing sometime soon. If you don't have a little girl, I am sure you know one who would adore a new dress. What girl doesn't?

[image from Sparkle Power]

SO, here are some great little free tutorials I've come across over the last 6 months or so...

  • Heather Ross has kindly shared her Smocked Sundress from her book Weekend Sewing on etsy
  • If you love a good re-purpose, and have missed out on the thousands of re-purposed adult clothes into little girls dresses in blogland, then try here and here and here (this last one is my particular favourite - SO cute!!)
Plenty of cute little Summer Dresses for cute little girls. Have fun!

September 7, 2009

Love this vintage..

Lace trim. How delicious. I can see so many uses. Do you love it too? You can buy it from Vintage ladies on etsy.

Once again, sorry for disappearing recently. Just as I was over the last bug, I spent the end of last week in bed with a gastro virus, so highly contagious that everyone I came in contact with was literally struck down with the same thing within 24 hours. It was such a lovely experience, and I will spare you from any more details. I'm trying very hard for third time lucky to have a whole week back at work. Here's hoping!

Have a great week and stay well. :o)

September 2, 2009

Free Stuff I love: Embroidery

Oh, if you love to embroider, then there is SO much free stuff out there for you.

[image by tiny happy]

So much in fact, that I'm just going to list as many cool free things as I am able to in the short time I have (before Ellie wakes up) and you can click over to see them for yourself...

Are you ready? Here we go:

  • A hand-embroidered brooch tutorial at tiny happy (one of my FAVOURITE blogs).
  • A gorgeous little teapot-head-cute-character thingy by misaka mimoko
  • What a fabulous idea at Twig and Thistle (I've seen embroidered cards, but not letters!!)
  • Embroider a pillowcase with this free pattern at Sew Mama Sew (so sweet and I want to do it now)
  • Lazy May has a bi-monthly freebie posted online. Here is July/August (be quick and download before it disappears!!)
  • You can always try flickr if you haven't found what you like. My search is here and I found these vintage ones here.
Sorry folks, that's all I've got time for, but I'm sure it will keep you going!

Til next time...

Gret xo

September 1, 2009

Roses are nice.

I do love the rose. Especially my white iceberg roses that bloom for such a long time throughout the year, and who are so forgiving when you forget to feed and water them, or prune them a bit hard. Such a loyal flower.

Today is such a beautiful day here in Sydney. The first day of Spring, and my roses are blooming nicely. Here's one I had in my house, so sweet and soft with the gentlest of perfumes that I couldn't resist adding it to my photos.

Here are a few pictures of one of my latest tote bags - soon to be added to the shop. It features some vintage hand- embroidered roses. I think they're so beautiful and someone has gone to such much trouble that they have stood the test of time, once gracing a table and now off to find someone to love them on a bag.

I've used some of my new heavyweight linen here. Great product and nicely textured. I think I would use it again (sorry about the lens flare). And (drumroll please.....) check out the last photo! My labels have arrived. Yay! Now I feel legit for some reason.

Have a lovely day everyone. Ellie and I are off to a lunch playdate ...