Thursday, 30 June 2011

my creative space: pom-poms

my new obsession: pom-poms
I must start this post with a stern warning.  These little fluffy critters are highly addictive to make.  I saw this on Pinterest a little while ago and thought "well, that looks easy".  And by golly-gosh they are beyond easy to make.  And addictive.  But I've said that already.

I make these little pom-poms while watching Offspring and Downton Abbey and Grey's Anatomy.

For heaps more creative spaces, jump over here.  And maybe you want to play along too by adding your link?

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

second life: cardboard

Welcome to a new weekly column called "second life" where I'll be bringing you inspirational and interesting projects from the interwebs which re-use materials otherwise destined for the bin.

This week we're looking at how to re-use or re-purpose cardboard.  Think packing boxes, cereal boxes, shoes boxes etc. 

Did you know: So prevalent is the cardboard box's reputation as a plaything that in 2005 a cardboard box was added to the National Toy Hall of Fame in the US, one of very few non-brand-specific toys to be honoured with inclusion.

cardboard bedroom furniture
cardboard party decorations
cardboard fortress or castle
cardboard suitcases (for the kiddies)
cardboard lemonade stand
mini notebooks from cereal boxes
There's also a site which shares how to work with cardboard and there's a book too called The Cardboard Box Book.  There are some very clever and resourceful people out there!

If you have any ideas of your own on how to re-use cardboard boxes or if you would like me to research a specific material for the next "second life" post, please leave me a comment.

I hope that this post has inspired you to upcycle your unwanted cardboard boxes into something useful - rather than buying what you need, why not make it!

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

handmade in the media

Martha's been doing it for some time now.  She has books, magazines, a TV show and even ipad apps.  Let's be real, Martha Stewart is a brand.  But the handmade scene has been craving new media content for some time now. And thankfully there are some peeps out there who have been listening and addressing this lack of crafty media!

Making It Handmade
Anna Brownfield released a documentary called Making It Handmade in 2010 and although it's available on DVD (after screening limited sessions in select cinemas), it will be screening on Australian channel ABC 2 on Thursday 21st of August at 9:33pm.  I'm personally excited to see it as I couldn't make it to any of the screenings last year due to market commitments. 

The synopsis for Making it Handmade goes a little like this: 
So you think craft is for Nannas? Well think again. Come and explore the subculture of indie craft in Melbourne through four women who are subverting domestic craft techniques drawing from punk culture, politics, feminism and modern aesthetics.

image via here
Made by Hand
On Australian Channel 31 starting this Wednesday 29 June at 8:30pm, is a 9 episode series following the handmade scene in Melbourne. The very first episode features some footage from the Brunswick chapter of Brown Owls - a crafty group who meets regularly. If you miss any episodes, it will be available for viewing on their website.

Mollie Makes
Yes, there are some crafty type magazines available, however none which seem to compare to Mollie Makes, a new magazine published in the UK.  With the majority of distribution in the UK, it is slowly expanding into USA and Australia.  So if you haven't seen it, speak to your local newsagent and get them to order you a copy.  I understand it's worth the read.  You can preview it here.

P.S. Anna Brownfield who made the Making it Handmade movie is tossing around the idea of making a follow up movie.  She's done a call out for any men who are crafty:
I have been throwing around the idea of making a follow up film to "Making it Handmade" about men who craft. So I'm looking for men who make stuff, either traditional men crafts like shed craft and those who also might knit, sew, etc. If you know anyone please point them in my direction.

Monday, 27 June 2011

open your hearts (and your wallets)

click for full size
So you might have seen last week that I'm taking part in a group entry for the Hottie Cover Challenge, championed by Cam.

It's all in the name of raising funds and awareness for Heart and Lung Transplant Research supported by the Margaret Pratt Foundation. It's actually a cause which I'm very supportive of personally.  I'm signed up to be an organ donor (should anything happen to me) and I donate blood.  I figure that every little bit helps.  That's why when I heard about this awesome initiative, I knew I had to take part.  

Some people might not have the money, but have the skills to donate their work to this worthwhile cause.  Others might not be talented, or have the time, but these people have the opportunity to donate some money.  That's where you guys come in!

From 1 - 24 July, all the hottie covers which have been donated by many creative peeps will be on display.  Each hottie cover will be available for sale for a mere $50. Bargain! But it doesn't stop there.  You can vote for your favourite hottie by slipping some money into the box of your favourite hottie cover.  At the end of the exhibition all monies will be tallied and the hottie cover with the most money raised wins a trophy! And all the money raised during this time will be donated to the Margaret Pratt Foundation.  Win-win, I say.

The exhibition opens THIS Friday the 1st of July 6pm-8pm.  If you're a Melbourne local and can get along to Open Drawer in Camberwell, we'd love your support.

That's my rant and rave complete.  Thanks for your time (and money)!

Friday, 24 June 2011

my creative space: you're such a hottie

This week I started and finished my hottie cover for the Hottie Challenge as part of a group entry organised by the lovely Cam aka CurlyPops.

I had so much fun repurposing an old dress that I no longer wore, some fleece and red felt to make my hottie cover functional, cosy and slightly humorous.

It's for a worthy cause... you can read all about it here.  Open Drawer will be auctioning all the hottie covers off to raise funds for the Margaret Pratt Foundation.  If you're a local, you should pop by for the auction on Friday 1st July.

For many more lovely pics of other hottie covers you can go here

And for more creative spaces you can look here

Monday, 20 June 2011

Apple fritters or racuszki

You may not know this but I'm a Polak, born and bred. I moved out to Australia with my mum when I was a little girl. Even though I call Australia home, I still have very deep Polish roots. I still speak Polish and embrace Polish culture at every possibly opportunity.

And what better way to embrace Polish culture than with food. I could eat Polish food all day every day.

One of the dishes I remember my mum making for my brother and I when we were little was racuszki (pronounced ra-tsu-shki) or apple fritters.

Today, I introduced our 5 year old son to Polish apple fritters. He's quite the little master chef in terms of his kitchen interests. So we made them together. Needless to say, he was very impressed with the taste and asked if we could make them every day.

It's an easy recipe and makes for a nice morning or afternoon tea snack with a lovely cup of tea.

3-4 apples, peeled, cored and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
1 cup flour
2 eggs
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 cup milk
cooking oil
icing sugar

Add egg yolks, a pinch of salt and olive oil to sifted flour. Pour in milk whilst mixing. Mix the batter in a blender and leave for 15 minutes covered with a towel. Whisk egg whites until stiff and gently fold them through the batter. The mixture should now be light and creamy. One at a time dip each apple slice into the batter and fry in hot cooking oil on a moderate heat until golden brown. Sprinkle with icing sugar whilst still hot (after you've removed them from the pan).

Na zdrowie (to your health)!

Friday, 17 June 2011

it's been a while

My friend Katie during her Lindy Charm School transformation
I've deliberated over this post for a few weeks now.  And really, it's just plain silly. I don't want to make excuses for my lack of blog presence over the past few weeks.  I just needed a hiatus. So you know what?  I'm not going to give any excuses.  
Instead, I'm going to bring you up to speed with what I've been up to since April.

  • Celebrated Easter at my friend's place in St Kilda
  • Moved house
  • Got broken into while between houses
  • Ate and drank lots
  • Moved office at my day job
  • Got glammed-up and learnt how to rock it 50's-style at Lindy Charm School. The photos at the top are of my dear friend Katie on the day before, during and after her transformation. Doesn't she look awesome!
  • Made a fleecy turtle neck for my dog using a pattern from Spotty
  • Spent a weekend with some old friends who came down from Brisbane for the weekend. We ate, drank, laughed, reminisced and shopped
  • Made a bat-wing top from a vintage 70's pattern
  • Sydney business trip
  • Listened to the very inspiring Beci Orpin talk about her work at the Creative Women's Circle
  • Discovered The Vintage Shed in Tyabb, a lovely little town near Mornington
  • Finally found my ultimate red winter coat. And bought it from here
  • Met some lovely crafty ladies at the Southside Brown Owls whilst doing a spot of embroidery
  • Discovered Mollie Makes and subsequently fell in love with a new publication
  • Found many treasures while op shopping
  • Got rewarded at my day-job with a nice little performance bonus
  • Pinned many lovely things on Pinterest... you can follow me here
  • Starting planning the opening of my shop... eek! Surprise!
  • Made 57 trips to Bunnings for supplies for the shop renovations

So my lovelies, have you done anything fun, interesting or new lately?

P.S. despite my lack of face-time on my blog, you can always find me on Twitter. So pop on by and say hi.

P.P.S. more on my shop bombshell in the coming months.


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