Monday, June 25, 2012

Let's Get Stitching

I'm on a bit of an embroidery kick at the moment. I have designed and made a couple of little hoop designs recently and am really happy with them. They make for cutesy wall art and there is no limit to the design and stitches you use. I'm down with the running, chain and satin stitches and french knots but there are more to learn and practice and lots of helpful blog posts out there. I recently came across this post which shows a variety of ways to finish your embroidery hoop off neatly at the back. There are also lots of design tutorials available and here are a few of my favourites.
Ombre Stitching courtesy of Design Sponge
Button Embroidered Hoop
Toadstool House courtesy of Lark Crafts
Mug Rug courtesy of Wild Olive

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Magazine Feature

In January I wrote about joining up with the Handmade Cooperative in a pillowcase project. These pillowcases were then to be donated to an organisation called Pillowcases for Oncology Kids which was set up by teenager, Brittany Booth, who was diagnosed with a rare cancer as a baby. Brittany's organisation distribute pillowcases to children in hospitals around Australia. Their wonderful work was featured in an article in this week's Woman's Day and it was such a nice surprise to see my pillowcase featured as the one given to Perth girl, Isla Murphy.

You can find out more about Pillowcases for Oncology Kids on their Facebook page.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


There are some wonderful and exciting times ahead in the coming weeks.

* Harper's first birthday
* My grandfather's 80th birthday
* This blog will turn 2 next week
* Almost 10,000 visitors to this blog
* I  will be a stall holder at the Made on the Left Winter Market

It's so nice to have these things to look forward to, some fun times ahead and plenty of sewing- just how I like it!!
Some recent little creations- hand stitched babushka hair clips

Friday, June 15, 2012

Crazy Times

This last week and a bit can be summed up in one word 'crazy.'

I did some work outside of the home over the last week and a half and while my working day wasn't long (between 3 and 7 hours) the logistics of doing so were crazy. Preparing for each day was a frantic exercise with getting myself ready, the girls, their meals, their routines, dropping them off at my parents', picking them up and then something that resembled dinner at the end of the day. The work was good, I'm looking forward to receiving my 'pocket money' and all went well (we didn't forget to pick up the kids or miss a meal) but I am so glad we don't do this every day. I have a huge respect for parents who juggle home and work because it is no easy task.

Our weekend was also crazy. Saturday was busy with the usual swimming lessons in the morning followed by a birthday party in the afternoon. Sunday was our chill out at home day. We lost power just after 2pm that day which was followed by a huge 'once in a decade' storm. Candles, torches and a takeaway dinner that evening. We woke Monday morning to find that we were still without power. The news broadcasts indicated that it could be up to a week for some homes to return to power, so I not only packed up the girls for my day at work but also the contents of my fridge and freezer to store at my parents' home. Thankfully we were without power for only 24 hours. I'm pretty embarrassed to say that I didn't cope too well with the loss of light, electricity and heat. Maybe because the girls are still a little young for the experience to have been 'fun' ie playing board games, pretending to camp out in the family room, telling scary stories, etc. Instead it was all about keeping Harper away from candles, trying to prevent her from falling over toys and shielding the constant barrage of questions from Michaela about the thunder storm and loss of power.

Needless to say I did little crafting this week. I did however make my first sale on my madeit store. What was especially nice about this sale was that it was to a return customer. She had bought some babushkas from me in the past and given them as gifts to the young girls in her family. Another girl was born into the family recently and she wanted to continue the tradition. How sweet is that?!

Fingers crossed that the crazy times are behind us and some normality is on it's way. I started to put a new design on paper last night (inspired by some new fabric) and finished off a wall hanging so craft-wise I'm getting back on track.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Bunting Theme Party Invitations

As mentioned previously, our gorgeous little Harper is approaching her first birthday. The year has flown by in some ways but she has always been here with know that feeling? I just finished her birthday party invitations and am thrilled with how they turned out. Some kraft card and some colourful cardstock and ribbon already in my stash. I wrote the poem for the party details and cut out and machine stitched the card stock pieces together. The font on the front is Clementine Sketch while the inside font is Jenna Sue.

The poem reads:
Can you believe a year has passed?
It really has flown by so fast
A year of firsts and lots of fun
And today our beautiful Harper turns one!

Exactly one year to the day
The 7th this year is a Saturday
The venue, our home, you already know
And the party kicks off at 10.30 or so

I look forward to sharing more preparation projects with you as the party draws closer.

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Week Ahead

Today I begin some paid work, nothing fancy, but the first 'work' I have done in a few months. Unfortunately I won't have much time or energy to spend in my craft room. I have some unfinished projects and some new ideas to put onto paper which will just have to wait a week.

I finished this babushka softie on the weekend, she is the first one of this pattern that I have made in over a year. Theses babushka dolls were my most popular softie at my first markets and it was nice to dust off this pattern again.

What do you think of my new header?! I had been thinking about getting a new header for a while now so with the help of PicMonkey I put this one together. A very easy (and free) site to use so I can replace it whenever I fancy.

Finally, I'm not sure how much time I will have to post this week so I thought I'd throw some project inspiration your way today if you're keen to get crafty this week.

1 Babushka embroidered pin cushion from Wild Olive
2 Crocheted seed bracelet from Cut out and Keep
3 3D Heart Shadow Box from Smashed Peas and Carrots
4 Mod Shift Dress from Craftiness is not Optional

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Behind the Scenes

These last few days I've been doing some work behind the scene for Little Cloud Factory, the crafty side of my hobby.

I have been a little slow to jump on the Pinterest bandwagon but now I see what benefit there is to storing inspiration in one central place. I have started collecting ideas for Market Stall Design and I realise that I will need to put a lot of thought, effort and time into creating an attractive stall at my next market (Date to be confirmed!)

This was my stall at my first market nearly two years ago. Clear branding- check, varying heights- check, allow customers to interact with items- check, each item clearly priced- check. For a first attempt looking back I actually think it looked good. Displaying softies is a little tricky because they need some back support and stacking them in boxes doesn't allow them to be seen in their entirety.

And then I came across this stall display!!! Gorgeous, creative, adorable, this is one unique stall display that I would love to re-create! The materials are relatively simple but the unique nature of this stall would surely attract a lot of interest.

This week I've also learnt to be selective. I have a lot of fabric, infact I have too much fabric. (I don't dare show you a photo!) Fabric that has been in my stash for a couple of years and I realise that I'm a bit more particular about the fabrics that I chose to use on my softies and accessories. So I've sorted out my favourite pieces and set aside them aside ready to be turned into a babushka, owl or other design. I gave some fabric to another crafty friend and have made a promise to myself to not purchase fabric that won't go towards a specific project, or be appropriate for a couple.

Felt is one of my favourite textiles and I have learnt that there is felt and there is felt. In the last few months I have found two lovely suppliers of felt, felt which is chemical free, has a beautiful selection of colours and is lovely to work with. Another quick cleanup and cull and my felt stash is looking much better.

In order to cut felt correctly and easily, especially for those little pieces, a good pair of embroidery scissors is a must. I bought a new pair recently and the difference is clear making for clean cuts and less waste.

Plans for the weekend:
  • Finish the three projects lying on my desk (one babushka doll and two owl wall hangings)
  • Read the latest Adore Home online mag
  • Read the latest Tickle the Imagination online mag
  • Make Harper's birthday party invites
Enjoy your weekend too!