Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Tuesday's Temptations: ModCloth

Welcome to the tuesday's temptations series.  If you missed my last post in this series (which also happens to be the first), you can read it over here.

Squee... that's the sound I make whenever I jump onto ModCloth's website.  I want to buy so many lovely pieces from their online store. 'Mod, Indie, Retro and Vintage Clothing' is their tagline, so it gives you a good indication of the kinds of pieces your likely to find when browsing through their many collections.

What do I like about it most?  Well, there are lots of different styles all under the one roof (so to speak) and despite being U.S. based, they ship internationally - always a bonus for us Aussie folks.

You know what they say: A picture is worth a thousand words, so without further delay, here's a selection of my fave pieces (images all courtesy of Mod Cloth of course).
Soda Fountain Dress in Ginger

Tied up in Oslo Dress

Family Recipe Dress

Croquet Champ Top

In the Marketplace Skirt

Beach Blanket Bingo One Piece Bathing Suit

Pardon Me, Boys Dress
So, do any of these little beauties take your fancy? Or maybe they're not quite your style. There's lots more over here!

Until next Tuesday, that’s today’s temptations wrapped up.

Happy shopping dears.

Monday, 29 November 2010

trash and treasure: sew and sew

I managed to get out to of the office at lunch time on Friday and ducked into my local Salvo's store.  I haven't done an op shop or flea market trip in a while, so it was a real treat to find what I did.  $4.50 later and I walked out with these very valuable treasures (ok, they're really not that valuable, but they are worth their weight in gold to me).




To check out some of the other flea market finds, head over to Sophie's!

Sunday, 28 November 2010

tutorial: snowflake garland

In my Creative Space this week...

I've been saving up all of my opened security envelopes - you know, the ones with the great patterns printed on the inside to make them more difficult to spy through - knowing that one day I would come up with a use for them.

I've covered sketch books in them and used them to make designs on cards... but the other day, an idea came to me which I had to try out.  The varying patterns on the envelopes make a great Christmas garland of snowflakes.

I thought some of you would like to try this at home, so I've written a tutorial on how to make this simple yet effective snowflake garland.

Snowflake Garland Tutorial

1. Round up some security envelopes.  It works best if you have a few different patterns otherwise your snowflakes won't stand out against each other.

2. Using a circle template, trace and cut out as many circles in various sizes as you'd like for your garland.  Don't worry if you don't have a circle template at home.  Just use anything circular you can find around the house to trace around: hairspray can, drinking glasses, bowls, food tins, formula lids... you get the idea! 
You can also use square pieces to mix it up a little and to give your garland some varying shapes and designs.
3. Once you have your circles, you need to fold each one in half, over and over as many times as you can without it getting too bulky.  You need to be able to cut through them with scissors without too much hassle.
4. Now the fun begins. Get your sharp pair of scissors and start cutting small shapes into the folded edges.  You can basically use any edge of your folded shapes to cut into.  You can also use a hole-punch to punch out areas in the middle of your surface that you can't get into with your scissors.  Try cutting triangles, half-circles, half-hearts and squares.  If you cut the tip of your folded triangle off you will get a hole in the middle of your snowflake.
5. When you're satisfied that you've cut enough cheese-holes out of your folded piece, set down your scissors and carefully unfold the snowflake making sure to remove any bits of cuttings still attached to your main piece.

6. When you have made enough snowflakes, it's time to get the creases flattened out.  The best way to do this is to spray each snowflake with a little water from a spray bottle before carefully ironing both sides.  You'll find this also stiffens up the paper a little.  Make sure you spray each snowflake with water individually prior to ironing otherwise you'll find that the snowflakes waiting to be ironed will have curled up from the water which will make it harder to get them flat to iron.

7. Snowflakes ironed? Now it's time to string them together.  Using white cotton thread in your sewing machine and a mid-size stitch length, pull out a decent lenght of cotton from the machine (top and bottom) so that you have something to string them up with when you're done.  Insert your first snowflake into the foot of your machine and making sure to stitch through the centre of the snowflake otherwise you'll have a lopsided garland that doesn't look quite right.

In between each snowflake, let the machine run at least a dozen stitches to space the snowflakes out.  You don't want them too close to each other or they will not hang or look right.

8. When you're done, you can hang your new upcycled Christmas decoration on the wall using blu tack or sticky tape - depending on your walls.  You can hang a few strings vertically to create a feature area or string them up like you would bunting.  It's up to you.

I hope you this inspires you to make your own garland and if you do, drop me a comment or email me pics of your finished garland.  I'd love to see what different snowflakes you come up with.

For lots more creative peeps and inspiration check out this great place

Thursday, 25 November 2010

my creative space: it's all business

Hello lovelies.

What creative things have you been up to this week? 
Have you been working on any special gifts for family/friends?
Maybe you’ve been making some Christmas decorations?
Or finishing a sewing project?

My list of creative projects seems to be growing, not shrinking.  I have 3 friends who are all due in the next 3 months.  Another who’s just had a baby.  I need to get cracking on some gifts for their precious little bundles.  Terribly slack on my part.

This past week I have been working on lots of business stuff.  I have two Christmas markets coming up in 2 and 3 weeks time and there’s an awesome craft book titled Handmade Living launching on December 4 which has one of my softies in it, so I’ve had to get to work on preparing lots of little things.

I designed and had printed my new business cards.  They are spiffy and I couldn’t be happier with how they turned out.  Thanks very much for the awesome job on printing and delivering them so quickly to me vistaprint.  You rock my world.  I look all profesh now.

 I also built a new website for my little business of selling softies.  You can check it out here.  It’s only a first draft, so I’m interested to hear what you think about the layout, useability, what other things you’d like to see and overall look.  I’ll be adding a shop-front in the new year when things quieten down a little.

To see more creative spaces head on over to Kootoyoo’s place.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Tuesday's Temptations: Made590

Hello my lovelies. 
Are you getting into the swing of this week?  I certainly am, but I’m also looking forward to the weekend already.  And it’s only Tuesday which is not a good sign of escalating exhaustion of the working week already.

Starting today and every Tuesday from now on, you will find a little feature on this blog called Tuesday’s Temptations. 

Each Tuesday I will be featuring an online shop that sells items which are either: indie, handmade, kitsch, vintage, cute, unique, quirky or the like.  I personally know that there are so many wonderful shops online these days that it’s difficult to be across even a small portion of them.  And with most of us being as time-poor as we are, it’s next to impossible to get out to retail to find that special gift unless we schedule a dedicated timeslot.

I know that I’m personally turning more and more to online shopping for these reasons:
  • It’s convenient
  • You can do it at any hour of the day or night
  • There’s a greater variety online and you’re not limited to chain stores and mass produced plastic paraphernalia
  • You can do it from the comfort of your couch (or bed!)
  • There are no screaming children or prams to contend with
  • If you weigh up petrol, parking stress, shopping time and getting a “snack” while you’re in a shopping centre the cost of postage is comparable
  • You can find things online that you wouldn’t find in shops
  • It’s delivered straight to your door – sometimes even with a smile if you have a nice postie or courier driver!
So if you’ve never tried it, I urge you to.  Just make sure you are shopping from a secure site which has a locked or encrypted session.  If they offer Paypal as a payment option, that’s even better.

So, let’s get to it with the first online shop spotlight in the Tuesday’s Temptations series... Made590

Made590 is one of those online shops I seem to keep running into whilst engaging in online surfing.  I ran into their stall at Finders Keepers first Melbourne market at the start of October and could not resist.  I had been eyeing off their little red riding hood tea set online, unfortunately (or is that fortunately) they didn’t have any at the market.  However I did end up purchasing an owl statue covered in (chicken) feathers – it’s so realistic looking that when I brought it home, my son backed away as I pulled it out of the box, scared that it was going to attack him!

Apart from owls, they have a range of miniature and larger animal figures and mounted animal heads that will blow you away.  I especially like the Jakalope heads.  Not real, but so adorable.  They use goat fur or chicken feathers to cover the animals making them look realistic.  Simply pat-a-licious if you ask me.

There are home wares, clothing for women and men, jewellery and lots of other giftable goodies.  Here are some of my faves.

Make sure you check out all their other goodies.  You might find something that’s totally gift-worthy for Christmas!

Until next Tuesday, that’s today’s temptations wrapped up. 
Happy shopping dears.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

my creative space: inside out... more inside than out

Despite being classified as the season of 'Spring' we've had more rain than sunshine the past couple of weeks.  So we've been spending a lot of time indoors.  And we all know how much fun that is with an almost 5 year old boy.

So we've all been trying to find things to occupy our time with when the sun has been nowhere to be seen.  It means that I've been spending time looking around our house and doing a mental overhaul of all the things I'd like to change, or things I'd like to add (read buy) or what I'd do if we had more space.  Isn't it nice to dream!?

On Tuesday I settled upon making a cushion.  Did you see the splendid and very special 10th anniversary issue of Inside Out magazine earlier this year?  It came with a very lovely tea towel.  You could choose one of three colour waves.  The artwork printed onto the tea towels was that of Rob Ryan.  Head on over to check out a selection of his work.  He is rather talented and I only wish I could wield a scalpel the way he does.  I've never been very good with cutting paper.  Or fabric for that matter.  Very irrational and clumsy.

I really like the design and texture
Anyway, I've strayed from the point of my story.  I have been holding onto the special tea towel wondering what to do with it.  Because there is no way I was going to allow that tea towel to actually do what it was created to do.  It is to special a tea towel to be used for dishes.  In our house tea towels are used "everything" towels.  The state of some of my tea towels is actually a little embarrassing.  So much so that my dear mother replaced them when she last visited me from Brisbane last month.

I very reluctantly cut the beautiful tea towel and have made it into something which can be better cherished.  A beautiful new cushion for our dark green leather couch.  It has nice soft fleece on the back so that it can be cuddled when on the couch.  The tea towel is very pretty to look at, but in terms of touch-ability it's not a soothing texture.  So the added fleece on the back gives it a softer side.  Quite literally.
my new Rob Ryan tea towel cushion and a copy of the 10th anniversary Inside Out magazine

Did you know: I have been reading Inside Out magazine since the very first issue?  I have the first 9 issues in perfect condition.  Then I'm missing some issues between 10 and 20.

P.S. I forgot to get a photo of the tea towel before I cut it up and turned it into a cushion, but the power of google search has allowed me to find a photo of the original tea towels thanks to Inside Out.
I love the power to upcycle or to remake into something new, functional and beautiful.

For more of this weeks creative spaces head on over to Kootoyoo

Wednesday, 3 November 2010


It's scary to think that there's only 51 sleeps until Christmas. Eek.  Have you started your Christmas shopping yet? I haven't. But I have put a lot of consideration into strategy.  I've decided that we're going to purchase all of our Christmas gifts online this year.  

I just can't face the stress of "doing retail".  There's the parking issue, increased foot traffic, not to mention shopping trolleys, strollers and kids everywhere, then you have to shop around to find that "thing" which you thought would be easy to find, but upon searching you've found that almost every retailer has sold out. Oh my.  Just typing about it is making my head spin.

Online is so much easier.  With the Aussie dollar being so strong at the moment, it means that shopping on US sites is cheap.  And most of the time when I've ordered something from the US, it's arrived within a week.  I can do that. It's totally doable.  It just requires careful forward-planning and consideration as our family lives interstate - so double-shipping is required! 

Online shopping also opens up so much more potential when looking for special gifts.  You can get things from designers which you wouldn't usually find in most shops.  They're my favourite kinds of presents - the unique and non-mass produced ones. 

So it's fair to say that Etsy and Made It will be getting a good workout from me in the coming weeks. Along with some handmade markets which are on in the lead-up to Christmas.  There's a few on.  Check out the market listing in the side panel of my blog if you're in and around Melbourne and want to check out some handmade markets.

Happy shopping!

P.S. Did you know that we're on Twitter and Facebook too?  We've been spending some time over there lately, so make sure to 'Like' or 'Follow' us to keep up with the goss.


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