Sunday, 31 January 2010

In Melbourne next weekend? Check it...

Starting Saturday Feb 6, there's a new market in town... Fitzroy Market being held at Fitzroy Primary School.  I'll be heading there to check it out to see what I've gotten myself into.  I have booked my first market stall with these dudes for March 6.  Just couldn't get my shite together to have enough stock for next weekend.  So I have 5 weeks.  I best be getting crackin'

But in the meantime, make sure you check out all the handmade and pre-loved goodness next weekend at the Fitzroy Markets!

Saturday, 30 January 2010

a little post love

Thanks to postcrossing, while my laptop was being fixed I managed to keep myself busy (and a little creative) making some postcards to send to people.

I really think that I put a bit of effort into it because I don't just make a bank of postcards to send out; I wait to receive each persons address and read their profile to see what they like.  Then I custom make a postcard trying to use pictures of their favourite things.  Geez, committed or what?

But I do it in the hope that people who are sending me postcards will read my profile and follow my request of hand making a postcard for me (instead of sending me a store-bought one).  I don't expect everyone to be an artist r a master crafter, all I am asking for is that the person hand-make the card.  That's not too much to ask for is it?

Here are the latest postcards I made and sent out...
the receiver of this postcard likes maps, so I shared a little piece of Melbourne with her!

the lady who will receive this card lives in the Netherlands and likes craft, collecting magazines and dolls

and lastly the lady who will receive this card is a 29 year old costume designer who lives in the US and loves crafting everything!  So I combined a sketch with fabric to make this one for her.

If you haven't already signed yourself up for postcrossing, I urge you to do it.  It gives you an excuse to do something creative every few days and receive good old fashioned mail by way of postcards from around the world!

Win-win I say!

Friday, 29 January 2010

letterbox and house numbers

Firstly, I finally got my laptop back today.  Almost a week without her.  I feel like a new person today.  I've been catching up on my fave blogs (484 unread mind you).  Geez, it's amazing how much you can miss out on in one week.

And not to mention how disconnected, isolated and uninspired I felt to do anything because I couldn't be inspired by others in the virtual world.

Secondly, since my blog has been neglected, I wanted to post a little bit of visual inspiration.  For me at least.  I did a bit of walking over the last week and found some cool house and letterbox numbers.  So I looked like a complete nutter and took photos of the ones I liked. 

Here's to being connected (and creative) again.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

sniff, sniff

Since last Saturday, I've been laptopless.  Yes, that's right.  My connection to the outside virtual world has been cut off and I've actually handled it quite well to tell you the truth.

I still don't have my laptop back.  I'm on my 5 year old PC which hasn't had internet connection on it for some time now as we only use it for basic stuff, to print from and to back up files onto.  But I finally took the plunge today and installed wireless back onto it.

First duty of the virtual day?  Visit blog land of course.  Oh, how I have missed you.

Here's to getting my shiny laptop back tomorrow.  Until then, signing out of my picture-less post.  Sniff.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Bunny has a body

Well.  I did it.  I made a body for bunny's head that I'm happy with. And I think it suits her well.  It's a little bit raggedy just like a bunny should look.  I've given her a name too.  Well, my husband named half of her and I named the other half.  

She is now proudly known as Phyllis O'Hare.  Very fitting I think.  And she's now joined the rest of the gang here.

Now onto giving the other head a body.  That one I think is going to be more of a challenge.

P.S. I kinda got my sewing machine working again.  I'm going to need a new one very soon, but I think I can make do with my Singer for a little while longer.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Off with their heads

So I looked around my craft room today and realised that I had made two heads which needed bodies. 

The problem is that I had made the bodies first, then the heads and realised I didn't like the look of them matched up.  So I made other heads, let's call these replacements, and sewed them onto the bodies. 

The original heads went into the abyss.  Well, not really.  They just sat on my table for a while.  Until I realised I had spare heads which needed bodies.  So my task is to make a body for this sweet little bunny head.

I'll post the results tomorrow.  And who knows maybe I'll even give the other head a body of its own.  Stay tuned.

Monday, 18 January 2010

More bloody bad news

My 1970's Singer sewing machine broke last night.  I'm devastated.  Not sure what I'm going to do now.  I'm weighing up purchasing a second hand one vs new one vs repairing the one I have.

Bad timing as my car went in for a service today and it's going to cost $700 to get it fixed.

I might have to put my sewing on the back-burner until I work out what I'm going to do.  Boo hiss.

Anyone have a spare machine they wouldn't mind donating to me??  I guess not.  Hmpf.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

That's tight, aight

I love tights.  Printed tights.  Patterned tights.  Opaque tights.  Plain tights.  Three-quarter tights.  Full tights.  Polka-dot tights.  Grey tights.  Black tights.  

I. Love. Tights.

I found some cool tights on the cool hunter the other day, so I thought I'd share some of my fave tight-a-licious finds with you.  They're just too ace!  If it wasn't the middle of summer in Melbourne right now, I would be buying a few of these to add to my collection... come on winter.  Hurry up already.  For the moment, I have my thigh on you.

Friday, 15 January 2010

Postcard delight

If you're anything like me and have a fetish for postcards, then you'll know all about postcrossing.  I however only found out about it yesterday.  Where have I been?

If you haven't heard of it before it's this neat postcard exchange program whereby you send a postcard and receive a postcard back from a random person somewhere in the world. 

If the sound of sending random people postcards freaks you out, you can stress less because there is no obligation to include a return address.  When you register your details on the website they are kept private.  You choose how much you wish to disclose to the people you're sending postcards to.

For each address you receive, you also receive a tracking number.  When the person on the receiving end, well... receives it, they log onto the website and enter the tracking number.  It then logs your postcard as being received and you know that it arrived safe and sound.

Also, you can request specific types of postcards.  Some people ask for places of interest from where you live, others want specific animals and some leave it completely up to you.

So being the postcard freak that I am I created my account yesterday and requested my first four addresses.  I took great delight in handmaking each card to the owner's requests for personal likes (you don't have to hand-make the postcards, you can buy them instead if that pleases you).  I found a postcard back template on Martha Stewart's website.

You just download, print and trim the backs and then create your masterpiece on the front.  You can use a clear sealer to finish your postcards and make them more durable so they'll hold up through international post, or you can do what I did and laminate them just to be extra sure.

Today I posted a postcard each to Taiwan, China, USA and Finland.

Taiwan - made from sumo cat printed fabric that's been laminated

China - made using stamps from around the world (Australia is circled) and laminated

USA - she likes lighthouses, so I printed a photo of a lighthouse I took a couple of years ago onto hand-written background paper.  Laminated of course

Finland - was all about local sights, so Luna Park in Melbourne was my choice.  I scanned a sketch of Luna Park then printed it out onto a page from an old Woman's Weekly magazine.

If you like the idea of receiving lots of postcards from around the world, then make sure you register yourself an account at postcrossing.  It's free.  Well, except for the postage... and supplies of course.

There's nothing like receiving good old fashioned mail.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Tea times two

Sadly, I have some tragic news to share.  However it will be followed by some more exciting news.

Last night I lost my glass kettle in a tragic accident.  Yes, I know.  The past 12 hours have been very tough.  I was going to post photos of the accident site, but it's just too gory to share.

I had to make my first tea of the day by boiling water in a saucepan.  I know in time I will learn to let go, however the pain is so fresh this morning that it's hard for me to talk about.  She was with me for about 6 years and it's fair to say she was part of the family.

So I'm off to purchase a new kettle today.  I know some of you are thinking "you monster", but as hard of a decision as it's been to make, I just cannot live without a kettle. I drink around 3 cups of tea a day and I cannot live with boiling water in a saucepan every time I want a cuppa.

So onto some exciting news.  I'm participating in Sooz's wash the dishes tea towel swap.  The idea of the swap is that you sign up for 2, 5 or even 10 partners. For each partner you make one linen tea towel then send it off to them.  You can embroider, screen print, stamp or sew onto the tea towels.

If you're interested in taking part in the tea towel swap, you better hurry because applications close tomorrow (Friday 15 Jan).  You can find out all about it here

Here's some handmade tea towel goodness from etsy: 

I'm hoping these will inspire me with my designs for the tea towel swap.  I think I will pay homage to my kettle (RIP) and my passion for tea in the designs.  Stay tuned for images of the finished tea towels once I get started.  Now off to by some linen tea towel blanks!

You win some (my kettle) you lose some (yay, to 5 new tea towels coming my way soon).

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

I hate to brag, but...

I bought some cheap-ass knit fabric yesterday which I can't wait to use.  Carmel's Fabrics strikes again!

The gorgeous knit fabric has varying stripes of red, beige and brown with flecks of blue.  And I still can't believe that it only cost $5.99/metre.  It feels just like a cuddly warm sweater and I can only imagine how it will turn out when I use it on a softie.  I promise to come back and share photos of whatever I use it on.

Meanwhile, I have been totally unenthusiastic the past couple of days due to the almost unbearable heat in Melbourne.  It's reached 44 degrees celsius here and because we don't have air conditioning in our house, it has been draining.

But tomorrow is a new day and I plan on getting up early, taking Master Jaxon to kinder and then getting to work on my next couple of softies.  My goal is to make at least two new ones tomorrow to list on etsy.  

So until tomorrow, enjoy the rest of your day.

Monday, 11 January 2010

I am a procrastinator

pro·cras·ti·nate (prō krastə nāt′, prə-)
intransitive verb
to put off doing (something unpleasant or burdensome) until a future time; esp., to postpone (such actions) habitually
Yup, that's me.  I've got a billion things to do and I can't seem to do anyone of them at the moment.  The forecast for the weather in Melbourne today is a balmy 44 degrees.  It's going to be a stinker and we don't have a/c in our house. 
I'm dreaming up every possible scenario to stay out of the house and keep cool in a/c (kindly provided by someone else).  So, I'm heading off down to Carmel's for my supply fix, then I'm going to stop past the pharmacy to fill a script and then off to do some super slow grocery shopping.  That should keep me cool and calm for a while.
"should keep me cool and calm for a while" - translation: I get very angry and agitated in the heat and I blow a gasket over the smallest of things.  It's not pretty.  And there's nothing I can do about it.
But looking at a little inspiration should get me through the day a little easier...
Ah, feeling tranquil already.
Peace out,

Saturday, 9 January 2010

1970's prices, totally unheard of, but I found them

Yesterday I found the best fabric and craft supply place in Melbourne!  I could not believe how cheap everything was.

Carmel's has been established in Mentone for 20 years, but what I recently found out is that they have a remnants and clearance warehouse in Braeside which is only a 10-15 min drive from their main shop in Mentone.  It's stocked to the brim with oodles of every type of fabric by the metre you can imagine as well as remnants, off-cuts, lace trim, buttons, thread, zips, craft glues and general bibs and bobs.

I purchased a shopping bag full of supplies and it cost me $17.50.  Not bad you say?  Well wait until you see what was included in this bag full of supplies.  I'm only going to say one word. Fur.  Yes, fur was included in this purchase... 3 pieces of different fur varying in size.

And wait for it.  This one's big.  They had a bin out the front full of FREE items.  Yes, FREE!  How brilliant is that?

My favourite purchase from Carmel's were the two 1970's cartoon print hankies.  They were 99c each and I can't wait to use them in an upcoming project.

If you haven't checked this place out yet, I urge you to put it on your Top 3 places to visit on your next supply shopping expedition in Melbourne.
I'll even save you the time and give you their warehouse details right here, right now: 

6 Mason Drive Braeside Vic 3195. 
Phone 03 9587 7275   
Melway Ref: 88 A11
Monday – Friday   9.00am – 5.00pm
Saturday    Closed

Enjoy and I'd love to hear what you think once you've visited the warehouse.

Friday, 8 January 2010

oh, what an angel

I promised that I would show you the end result of the latest softie I was working on so I'm delivering on that promise!  I actually finished her yesterday, but I've been a little preoccupied for the last day.  Maybe it's the darn heat here in Melbourne.  

I used some of the fabric and lace trim which I picked up on my op shopping trip the other day and I think she turned our perfectly.  Simple, elegant and whimsical.  Just like an angel should look.

Meet Angelica the Angel...

I hope you like her. I do.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Delicious... anytime of the day

So as I sat here drinking my first cup of tea of the day and eating banana bread for breakfast at 10:30am, I wondered to myself:

a] is it wrong that I've been up for over an hour and instead of settling my tumbling tummy with some food I instead chose to catch up on reading the blogs I subscribe to?

b] is it bad that I just ate banana bread for breakfast?

Well the answer is no and no.  

Firstly, a girl needs her crafty inspiration for the day and I certainly get that at all the fabulous blogs I read.  There are so many freakin' talented people out there with so much to offer, how could I not be interested?

Secondly, anything that comes from the Martha Stewart stable, you know has to be good.  And that banana bread I mentioned was baked compliments of the Martha Stewart site.  I have to tell you, this was the BEST banana bread I've ever made.  My husband and I have been eating it at all hours of the day since I baked it yesterday.

Check out the recipe for banana bread here... you won't be disappointed!

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Op Shop Treasures

After dropping off my young one at Kinder this morning, I thought I'd drop past a few op shops to go hunting for some materials to inspire me for my next lot of softies.

My old fave on Hotham Street (St Kilda East I think) was sadly closed with a sign on the door reading "We'll be open again on Thursday.  Sorry for the inconvenience".  So I checked out a few others (all in the St Kilda East to Elsternwick locale) which all delivered some pretty finds!

Here's my new stash.  All $15 worth!

I just had to show you a close-up of this particular one.  The pattern is so retro and gorgeous.

I couldn't resist picking up these lacy frilly bits too... ooh... lace!

I've already started putting some of the white fabric and lace which I picked up today to good use on this softie which will be an angel!  I'll post more photos when she's complete.


So yes, it's a new year and with new years comes the commitment to stick to resolutions. I haven't made any new year's resolutions because I'm smart enough to know that I will not stick to them! So instead, I am committing myself to finally writing a blog.

With the start of the new year, I have finally gotten myself motivated enough to hand-make things to give as gifts and to sell. I believe that blogging will help me to stay motivated. And now that my master Jaxon is in Kinder two days a week, I have two entire days where I have no excuse of not making things without interruption. Total bliss!

So far I've managed to keep on track. I've just listed my very first three softies on etsy, started my blog, done some fabric shopping and it's only the 6th of January.

Here's to staying motivated!


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