Thursday, 27 May 2010

my creative space: warm goodness

As I sniff, sniff and cough, cough through this post, I take comfort in the fact that just before I came down with this dreaded Melbourne flu, I turned an old strapless knitted top into a hot water bottle cover. Is that destiny or what?

You see, I bought this knitted top in Singapore some 10 years ago.  I used to love wearing it, but over time it's gotten a little loose and just a little shorter than I would like it to be.  Belly exposure use to be cool in the 90's, but fortunately that fashion trend is long over.

Being the hoarder that I am, I've had this top sitting in my wardrobe and every clean-out and donation round, I've promised that I would wear and it, but never do.  So I was ruthless this time around and created a 'donation' pile and a 'keep for fabric' pile.  I just couldn't give this top away.

I had a nude hot water bottle sitting on my dresser staring at me and I thought to myself immediately... "brilliant".

And 15 minutes later my top had been given a second life as a cozy and adorable hot water bottle cover.  Just in time for the flu that followed a day later.  I must be psychic.  Or something.

More creativeness over here

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

calling all Melbourne crafters

Etsy has just announced the launch of Etsy Craft Party, a global initiative to energize local communities, make crafty goodness together and throw a party in our own hoods. They want to celebrate crafting together on June 18, 2010 (which just happens to be Etsy's birthday) with as many celebrations across the globe as possible. 

Etsy and the 'Craft Party' sponsors (to be announced soon) will provide every event organizer with a free downloadable Craft Party Kit containing crafty project instructions and templates, along with tips and ideas for things to do at the party. There might even be a few fun coupons and surprises — who knows?!  

Get moving... Etsy and the party sponsors will send a giant box of Etsy promos, coupons and gift certificates, supplies, and surprises from our amazing sponsors to the top 50 locations with the most RSVPs using Meetup Everywhere. Etsy will announce the top 50 on June 7, so get a move on and register your interest!

To register your interest in the Melbourne Etsy Craft Party event, click here.  The location of the event (not yet confirmed) will be based on where the highest concentration of rsvp's come from.  We'll try to keep it central to everyone.

So if you're a crafter (experienced or new, young or used to be once, or just want to see what this craft hoopla is all about), why not join in on the fun and come along to a fun night of crafting and laughs.  Who knows, you might pick up a new skill, learn a new technique or even make some new crafty friends.

Spread the word and tell your crafty (or wannabe crafty) friends about it via your blog, facebook or twitter.  Let's try and get as many Melbourne (and surrounds) folk in on this.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

calling all owl lovers

I found this great blog this morning called My Owl Barn. If you love owls, then you'll love following the blog. And they've giving away some Owl souvenir goodness, so make sure you check it out now Souvenir Giveaway. It closes on May 26!

Friday, 21 May 2010

owl cushion: tutorial

***Please note that I've started a Flickr Group for you to upload photos of your finished owl cushions using my tutorial.  Click here to check out the photos uploaded by others and to share yours too!***

Firstly, I want to thank everyone who entered my owl cushion giveaway as part of the Sew, Mama, Sew giveaway day. I feel overwhelmed by the 265 comments which I received and have had so much fun reading all of your comments on what you'd like to see more of on The Craft Revival blog.  

Being the spreadsheet enthusiast I am (yes, a little nerdy, I know) I will be tallying up all comments and will post the results within the next couple of days. But from reading the comments over the past few days, I am hearing a resounding request for more tutorials.  You must all think that I'm much more technically skilled than I am!  

Well to be honest with you, I only really and truly started sewing in January of this year.  My only hint of formal training was back in high school when I took 'Home Economics' for a year and we learned how to sew boxer shorts and a vest.  That was some 14 years ago.

So it is fair to say that I am self-taught and owe many of my skills to a simple process of trial and error and of course picking up tips from other crafty bloggers who are generous enough to share their creativity, tips and projects.  So, at your request I am going to share tutorials with you.  It is only fair that I share my own mistakes, hints and tips with you crafting enthusiasts so that you can learn how to and how not to make things. 

I have been working on a couple of tutorials for the past couple of days which I will share with you shortly.  But first I must announce the winner of the owl cushion giveaway.

Thanks to the random number generator, lucky commenter #2, Kat, has won herself my cute owl cushion, which is great because she mentioned in her comment that it's her birthday today!  Happy birthday Kat!! 

But my dear Kat, you didn't leave any details for me to contact you, so can you please get in contact with me before the end of the weekend?  Mr Owl is ready to take flight right on over to your place!

Now, secondly - to all of you who entered but did not win, I'm hoping you will be just as happy with the runner up prize.  A down-loadable tutorial on how to make your very own owl cushion!   What do you think about that!?

So here's the link to the owl cushion tutorial complete with printable instructions and template pieces.  If you do happen make one (or more) using my tutorial, I'd love for you to share the photos with me.  They can be emailed to me at: magdalena[at]thecraftrevival[dot]com[dot]au.  If I receive a few, I will post them on my blog to share your handiwork with others.  How exciting! Share the love I say.  

Enjoy lovelies.  Oh, and stay tuned for the next tutorial on refashioning an embroidered vintage linen tablecloth (which I found in a recent trash and treasure hunt) into a cushion.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

trash & treasure: op shopping spree

So with my "giveaway day" in full swing (my goodness I'm overwhelmed by all the lovely comments which have been coming in thick and fast - thank you all so much), I thought it was about time to go on a mission to find some delightful yet inexpensive things to upcycle.  So off I went merrily to two nearby op shops and here are the things I found (plus how I plan on using them).

First stop: Salvos, Carlisle Street, St Kilda East
Total spent: $8.95

Well, everybody needs a wooden ampersand, right?  Come one.  She's happily perched on my book shelf, watching over my craft room when I'm not there.

A square of delicious Japanese linen in a navy colour with white patterned symbols.  I think that maybe this was a napkin (due to the size) in its previous life.  I will be turning it into a funky Japanese-themed softie (although I really can't bear to think about cutting into it).

A complete roll of Admit One tickets.  Being an admirer of all types of paper projects, I can't wait to come up with something fun to use these on.  I'm thinking of cover a cigar box in them.  And also using them as stickers to seal packaging for different handmade goodies I sell at markets. 

I could not get a photo that does this little beauty justice.  It's a square embroidered linen tablecloth.  It has a very quaint square embroidery design smack bang in the middle, which will form the front of the cushion I will be fashioning this into.  Complete with matching white lace trim which I picked up today from Darn Cheap Fabrics on Glenhuntly Road and will be sewing around the edges of the pillow.

I also picked up a brand new, in the pack, Birch plastic white buckle - the adjustable kind that you see on straps of fanny packs or coin belts.  He he.  I said fanny.  I love throwing in an American word when it means something completely different in Australian English!

Second Stop: Posh Oppe Shoppe, Cnr Glenhuntly and Grange Roads, Caulfield South
Total spent: $17
It might not look like it here, but this is actually a pleated placemat.  It is so sweet and vintage looking.  This one is destined to become the blouse of an upcoming softie.

 This gorgeous vintage linen napkin has THE sweetest faded flower print across it.  I cannot wait to turn it into a coin purse with a clasp.  The remainder will go into a softie of course!
Ok, so I've been wanting to work with doilies for some time now.  And the Posh Oppe Shoppe is definitely the place to go if you want to stack up on doilies for craft projects (ssh, keep it quiet - I don't want people flocking there and buying the entire supply).  I found a 15 litre tub FULL of assorted doilies.  Like this one.  It is square.  It is cute.  It will get a new life as the face of a cushion.

 And of course I couldn't leave without purchasing a traditional round doily. This one was my most fave because it has a fabric centre - prefect for embroidering on.  If you want. This beauty will also be turned into a cushion, however it will be a round cushion.  And I might even pull the centre in with a cute lace-covered button.  Maybe, just maybe.

At the risk of killing you with "death by doilies" I'm just going to show you just this last one.  It is a rectangular doily, so sadly it didn't fit into the photo too well.  But you get the idea.  Maybe another cushion? Or maybe I'll use this one as part of my market stall display.

I also picked up a 100% wool single size blanket for my best female fury friend, Bella.  It's almost winter and she has destroyed every other blanket and towel we've ever given her.  I didn't take a photo of the blanket because it's not worth the effort.  It's ugly.  And pink.  And really, it's for the dog, so who cares, right?

Hope you have delighted in me sharing my finds.  Maybe, just maybe I'll be posting some tutorials on upcycling some of these materials in the very near future. Stay tuned.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

giveaway time: owl cushion


There's nothing better than a good old fashioned giveaway (doesn't matter whether you're giving or receiving - for me being on either end of the giveaway stick is awesome!).  And even better when crafty and generous bloggers unite via sew, mamma, sew to create May-giveaway-madness. 

I'm one of about 250 bloggers giving away a little somethin' somethin' over the next few days.  So here are the details of my MAY giveaway...

What:  1 x handmade owl cushion / softie lovingly made by me using Japanese printed linens, fleece and felt.  It's a cute addition to any couch, baby's nursery or for owl lovers.

How:  To enter please leave a comment advising what you'd like to see more of on my blog (eg: tutorials, inspiration, great fabric finds, tips, craft space, etc).  If you're new to my blog, please have a quick look at some of my previous posts so that you get a feel for what I blog about.  I will be choosing a winner at random on the morning of Friday 21st May.

When: Entries are open NOW and you have until midnight (Australian Eastern Standard Time) Thursday 20 May to leave a comment.  I will be announcing the winner here on Friday 21 May.

Other things you need to know:
  • If you happen to live outside Australia, I won't hold it against you.  I am happy to post internationally.
  • Please ensure you leave details of how I can get in contact with you if you win.  Your blog or email address is best. If I can't get in contact with you, I won't know where to send your owl!
  • Check out other crafty giveaways by visiting sew, mamma, sew, but you better be quick because they all close by Thursday 20 May!
  • Spread the love. Make sure you spread the word to your crafty peeps so they can have a chance to win something lovingly handmade too!
Good luck and thanks in advance for your comments!


it all started with a mushroom

Despite being so freakin' cold and feeling like winter already, the sun came out today and I decided to take my 4 year old for a bike ride.  We'd been cooped up at home all weekend (except for the quick trip to swimming lessons on Saturday morning), so I thought it about time we got out and got some fresh air.

Selflessly I interrupted being highly productive to get us out of the house.  But really I just didn't want to have to decline another request from J-man of "can you help me get over to the other side" whilst he was entertaining himself on the wii.  I love and hate that thing.  It can keep him entertained for anywhere between 2 minutes and 2 hours.  Unfortunately when he hits a stumbling block in the level it's mummy to the rescue.

Armed with my beloved SLR and my other beloved - my child - we took off for a stroll (and ride) around our hood.  Here's what my camera saw (starting with some mushrooms up above)...

We found 3 types of mushrooms within 2 blocks.  They are so darn cute.  I've had an idea for a while to make a mushroom baby rattle.  

Unfortunately I've had other priorities in my crafting world which have kept me from attempting to make one, but I think after our stroll around the 'hood today, I have the inspiration to try it this week. Think red with white polka dots for the top and soft white brushed cotton for the stalk.  I will of course post photos of my attempt(s).

P.S. stay tuned for my giveaway post tomorrow!  It's going to be a really darn cute one.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

shOPPER love

I adore op shopping.  You really never know what you're going to find.  You go in with something in mind and generally walkout with something completely different.  Like this little gem for example...
It's a binder full of knitting techniques and patterns which was published in England in the mid 80's.
There's the honorary deer pattern for those winter knits you're going to make for the rellies presents.
A few useful fancy patterns
A 'Fancy-stitch jersey' I won't be fancying
A kinda scary section...
Full of slightly camp-looking models (is that really a man-knit?)
Looks like he stole if from nanna... maybe if it were navy, but what's with that shade of green?
a couple of cute kiddies in their latest knit gear doing a spot of fishing
This one's more about the giant stuffed owl which I adore and had to include.  Where do I get one of those I wonder?
Some patterns for cushions and throws - cute.
And lastly, here's nanna with her lap blanket (or car rug as it's referred to here) which she had to knit for herself after some unthoughtful bastard "borrowed" her green cardigan for a photo shoot.  Rude.

Ah, so much joy for a mere $3.99.  Op shops I love you.

P.S. I hope one day to actually get around to trying my hand at some of these.  But first, mastering a square which has even sides!

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

stitches and craft show is finally here... yipee!

Just thought I'd point out, if you were not already aware, that The Stitches and Craft Show in Melbourne starts tomorrow and runs right through to Sunday.  I cannot wait to get my little butt down there and check out all the crafty goodness.

Some of my fave bloggers will be there working hard - such as Claire from Craft Schmaft, Jodie from Ric Rac, The ladies from Amitie and the ladies from Ink & Spindle just to name a few.  But here's a list of plenty more retailers you'll find at the show.

I wish I didn't have to work Wed, Thur or Fri otherwise I would be down there sooner.  Boo hiss.

Happy craft show everyone!

Saturday, 1 May 2010

the crafty things I've been up to

I finished making my first quilt.  Here she is folded on my bed.
And here she is with a peek of the underside - luscious red linen!

I made a portable DVD player case for my son's new DVD player.  He's only been using it in his room, but now he can take it in the car too!

A purse I made using Little Red Riding Hood printed linen.  This was my first go at making a purse with a clasp or a kiss closure.  Not too bad I think!
I've been using a pencil case for my till at the markets.  So I decided to make myself a money belt for the next market.  I love this fabric.  Very retro.

And here's a peek at the lining.   I had this sitting in my stash from about 10 years ago!  Oh, and I made it from my own design.  It actually was quite simple.
And lastly... I can't remember the last time we owned one of these.  When I found a really simple tutorial for an oven mitt, I decided it was time to stop using folded tea-towels to get hot things out of the oven.


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