Monday, 30 April 2007


Well the end of April has come. April was the month I agreed to participate in Gyl's Use What You Have month. No buying new materials. I did try my best but I have a confession to make...I slipped up. Someone gave me a tip about a great craft warehouse, and well, I had never been there before. So I didn't realise what I was getting myself into. I just couldn't resist.

Still, I have kept to the spirit of the month which was to try and make a dent on that huge pile of craft materials.

So, this month I have been busy sewing...

...another smock for the girls, this time reversible

...starting Ella's dress, just some trims to add now (the fun part) well I made the apron and the little blanket that I told you about.

So the stash is looking a little smaller.

Saturday, 28 April 2007


Off our family room we have a playroom/study. I have been wanting to make the girl's work area a little more of a mini office with places for their favourite things and inspirations. With two very creative/crafty girls this little desk gets a big workout. We headed off to Ikea to purchase their magnetic rack and little shelf. A very simply installation and....


I also got some letters from Spotlight and covered them in scrap booking paper. (Glad you cant look too closely from your computer) I love the blue paper. I wanted something to match the colours in the rest of the playroom/family room but also something a little childlike. The girls love this little corner of their home and are always changing their display of books, artwork, party invites or favourite pictures.

Wednesday, 25 April 2007


Every year our kinder has a trivia night. What a hoot it is. Funny to see a whole group of thirty-something year olds let free, without kids for the night. It obviously doesn't happen that often.

One of the items auctioned on the night is a memorabilia creation from each of the four classes. As much as I love our kinder; its community and the warmth of the teachers, creativity isn't exactly their strong point. So they usually just get the kids to do the hand prints on canvas thing. Considering the skill level involved, the cheapness of the materials and the fact that we all have our own children to reproduce a similar piece of "artwork", I have been blown away by the prices these canvases fetch. It has actually become a bit of a competition as to how silly the bidders can all be in paying such a price. All I can say is I am glad the kinder profits.

This year someone made the suggestion of doing the prints on fabric. They asked me if it would be too much work to quilt the fabric. Well, that was all the suggestion I needed. My mind was racing. I think its a great idea. I just think we can do a little bit better than simply quilting one piece of fabric. I think piecing a quilt together, with some blocks that the kids have personalised would be great. Of course these quilts, one from each class, would have to look beautiful. The sort of thing that anyone (including myself) would want to have folded over the arm of their sofa, hanging in their child's room etc.

So, I am calling for suggestions. Rather than relying on my own limited ideas I thought who else better to ask than all of you craft bloggers. I am thinking the kids can personalise their blocks with hand prints or draw pictures of themselves or their families. Are there any other suggestions?

I am thinking they can be used in log cabin blocks like this or a brick style like this, nice and easy.

Thankfully I have had a great response to my call for helpers at the kinder. I had envisioned my neighbour and I sewing all four quilts ourselves. So, get those ideas flowing and let's see what we can create.


A few weeks ago I posted a photo of this bedspread that I picked up at an op-shop. I asked my blogging friends for some ideas of what to do with it and offered a piece of the spread to the winning suggestion. Well, the winner is........ Jade.

Whilst I didn't follow Jade's suggestion completely it did take my mind to the kitchen. A place my mind often likes to wonder, except come five o'clock each afternoon. Oh how I loathe the decision of what to cook for dinner each night. I do love to cook but find that I get a serious mental block at that time of the day. Well, Jade's suggestion was some cafe curtains or an oven mitt. The curtains don't suit my window and I use only one beloved oven mitt that my mum bought me from Anthropologie. So I made an apron.

You will see that this was very much a cheat's apron as I used the gathers from the bedspread for the skirt. Yep, I just cut out the fabric gathers and all. I sewed the tie on top of the bodice for around the waist and a couple of buttonholes at the top for neck strap. Here I sewed a strip of fabric and knotted it through the buttonholes. This feature makes it very easy to adjust.

Anyways I feel very housewifey in this apron, almost housewifey enough to actually think about dinner a little earlier than five o'clock. Tonight I treated my family to lovely lamb fillets.

Thanks Jade for the inspiration, your package is coming.

Saturday, 21 April 2007


Last week Cathy and I had a "showing" of our ranges at a customer's house. We are not sure what to call it but basically our customer invited girlfriends around for cake and coffee, we set up our things and they shopped.

It was good. We certainly sold things, but was good enough for the effort? I don't know. Any of you bloggers out there who sell your wares know exactly the same quandary we are in. Where and how do we sell? Cathy and I are both fortunate enough to have retailers who take our product. But as they want double the prices for a 50% margin it doesn't leave as much profit for us.

I have done a school market night with Jo, I have done kinder fundraisers and ebay and now this. The jury is still out on the best method. The plan is to set up a shop on a separate blog so that I can direct people to buy online. Please please share your thoughts on all of this.

Anyways, it was a good day, our host was lovely. It is all part of the learning or griss for the mill as they say.

Thursday, 19 April 2007


I have some exciting news for our family. No, not a new baby, but almost. I have new packaging, new branding, new labels. I do almost feel like it's a new baby. Thanks to the wonderful skill and talent of Marianne from applehead. She has designed a new label for my Ella and Kate ribbons. Yesterday my local printer printed them all off for me and it is so exciting. It makes my little business seem just a bit bigger. Growing, growing, ever so slowly.

Before this, I have been printing my own labels on my little printer, guillotining and folding cardboard, sticking and hole punching. Quite laborious and time that could be spent making ribbons. So, I figured this was the first thing I could outsource. And how beautiful they are. Marianne was so lovely to deal with and I am just so happy with the results.

Grow baby grow!

Wednesday, 18 April 2007


Well, my last post included no photos. This post I have a few pictures to offer. I have really enjoyed the challenge of using what I have. Not so much to give my purse strings a rest but, more so to make me rummage through my overstocked craft cupboard and rediscover some old favourites.

It has been a busy week. Tomorrow Cathy and I are having a bit of a "showing" of our wares, over coffee and cake with about 16 girls. A little bit stressful getting all of our stock together but hopefully worth the effort and hopefully a success.

So, this week I have been making:
- stock

- this little blanket for baby Evie. This is a very simple design; just gorgeous fabrics bound and quilted. It measures about 1m x 1m. I made the one below for Edward and found it so useful. It was perfect for a capsule/pram, a great play mat(one side was always the floor side, the other the baby side), large enough to swaddle a little babe, and because it had a bit of body with the quilting it would provide a little privacy whilst feeding. Overall very,very useful.


- an apron. More details about this in a post to come

Sunday, 15 April 2007


It's been a busy day making things, using what I have of course....
- Stock for a "private showing" that Miss Marzie and I are doing for
a customer and her friends.
- A blanket for a baby who has just entered the world. Welcome Little Evie. Pictures will come.
- And trying to make something out of this find. Not sure if it's a winner yet. I'll do a post on it soon.

In the meantime I thought I would share a little poem with you. We are A.A Milne fans in this house. I love reading this one to my chicks.

The Three Foxes
Once upon a time, there were three little foxes
Who didn't wear stockings, and they didn't wear sockses,
But they all had handkerchiefs to blow their noses,
And they kept their handkerchiefs in cardboard boxes.

They lived in the forest in three little houses,
And they didn't wear coats and they didn't wear trousies.
They ran through the woods on their little bare tootsies,
And they played "Touch last" with a family of mouses.

They didn't go shopping in the High Street Shopses,
But caught what they wanted in the woods and copses.
They all went fishing, and they caught three wormses,
They went out hunting, and they caught three wopses.

They went to a Fair, and they all won prizes -
Three plum-puddingses and three mince-pieses.
They rode on elephants and swang on swingses,
And hit three coco-nuts at coco-nut shieses.

That's all that I know of the three little foxes
Who kept their handkerchiefs in cardboard boxes.
They lived in the forest in three little houses,
But they didn't wear coats and they didn't wear trousies.
And they didn't wear stockings and they didn't wear sockses.

- A.A. Milne.

Just one question. What are copses and wopses? My Dad probably knows.

Thursday, 12 April 2007


This is the first red thing I saw this morning.

Oh that hair

Every four year old needs a Burberry dress don't they? Courtesy of my very generous brother.

You know you're addicted to blogging when the first conversation of the morning goes something like this:
Kids - "what colour is it today mum"
Mama - (still asleep) "huh"
Kids - "you're not taking more photos are you?"
Papa - "bit sick of mum's blogging hey kids?"

Seems like the family hasn't quite enjoyed colour week as much as I have. I have loved it. Thanks Julie.


Just one photo today. A wonderful busy day catching up with gorgeous friends from the country.

I love my quilts and blankets in this sunny colour. The bottom one was a "rag" used to protect husbands boat when he bought it. Yippee for me!

Tuesday, 10 April 2007


How much fun is this colour. New shoes for the winter
Fabric for Ella's new dress for the winter
Hmmm, you can almost smell them, cant you?

Loving this colour week. Great idea Julie

Monday, 9 April 2007


Green cups from my Nortike demi-tasse tea set

Inside my home

My favourite green - our garden this summer


This summer my husband bought a boat. He has wanted a boat to sail since before I met him (14 years ago). Finally it has happened. It's very modest, just a little one-man sabre. This weekend we took the boat for our first sail. It is wonderful to see him enjoying something he has waited so long for. He is a very self-less man when it comes to our family.

It was a beautiful autumn day. A gentle breeze. The soft Autumn sun. It has lost all of it's summer intensity now. The bay was just stunning, you couldn't have asked for a more perfect day.

Off and away


Enjoy your boat my man - you deserve it!

Saturday, 7 April 2007


As soon as I heard about this Colour Week by Julie,I was itching to be a part of it. Before creating my blog I have loved looking at other people's colour posts. I have just been waiting for one to come along.

The problem I have discovered with colour week is that I have realised how crap my camera is at capturing true colour..ahhh. Never mind, I have done my best and thoroughly enjoyed Day One.

Day One: Turquoise
Oh how I love this colour. It is just so rich, never out of fashion.

Antique decanter and glasses setting from Venice

Wallpaper samples. Turquoise and brown - these colours together are divine

Wallpaper turned into gift tags

Just because I am totally getting carried away. A pencil pack from Officeworks(could you believe). Yet to be inspiration for my computer work area.

This post is actually day early as we have a busy busy day on Monday.

Tuesday, 3 April 2007


I love the creations of Gyl at Rhembein. Her blog is on my sidebar and I subscribe to her on Bloglines. She lives in one of the most beautiful areas of the world. Oh, for views like that.
Anyway Gyl has organised a self-imposed restriction - USE WHAT YOU HAVE MONTH. The challenge is to use only what we have this month and to use as much as we can. She actually suggests all of what we have, but hey, I have a few years worth in my cupboards. This restriction doesn't just apply to fabric, it also includes paper, beads, paints, yarn...anything you have been collecting for those creative moments. So pull it all out, be resourceful, be creative, enjoy those long forgotten fabrics and finds.
I think this sounds like a great idea, not only because it would be helpful to my bank account not to purchase anymore fabric but also because I am going to enjoy the challenge of fossicking through my cupboards with a new perspective.
Before I go, I have to show you a bedspread that I picked up at an op-shop the other day. It is washed and folded now, ready to be sewn. The problem is, I'm just not sure what. Any suggestions please. There is metres and metres in the bedspread, so the person with the best idea will get some of it for themselves.