24 December 2010

All Stops

Well I've certainly pulled out all the stops this Christmas! You see my mother in law has been using bricks covered in wrapping paper as her door stops for years. She's knows I have always been creative and into making 'stuff' but it was usually limited to either design and print, drawing or cutting and pasting. Now that I have added sewing into the repertoire of things I do, my MIL made mention that some 'proper' door stops might be a good idea....
Well I say not a good idea, but a great idea as I loved making these 3 little guys (Sorry gals, but I think they should be guys as they remind me of little soldiers on guard the doorway!) After a flick around the big wide web world, a quick sketch of how I wanted my doorstops to look and some advice from my wonderful sewing teacher, I created my first ever pattern from scratch and my new project was underway. I am delighted with the finished product, they will be a great little Chirstmas gift for my MIL and I will definitely be making more of these. I think I may have to do a little more research into the filling as it needs to be something that is weighty and doesn't attract any weevils, mice etc. I've used wheat in this first batch as it was really cost effective and I know it's used in wheat bags that often lie around the house, so I think these will be my test dummies and fingers crossed they don't attract and furry or crittery friends!

Little matching loopy handles - my fav part!

In position and on guard

16 December 2010

Sewn, Stuffed & Plumped

For the first time since I started this little blog, last week my regular post was MIA. It wasn't because I didn't have anything to write about (that would never happen as I always have so much to say!), I have just been a little quiet because I have been going cushion crazy! I've sewn up some of my original favs and put a few new fabrics into action, some ready for gifting and others to become my very slow growing collection of stock. It's funny cause I was thinking that maybe I'de get sick of the whole cushion thing after a few, but I can't help but get excited once their sewn, stuffed and plumped!

My Cushion Castle! 

05 December 2010

Delightful Treats.

What delightful weekend filled with delightful treats! I got heaps of sewing done this past week with a new little project on the go, but before I go showing off my latest creations I couldn't resist a chance to blog about a feast as opposed to my usual stitches.... This is a beaut recipe for a Christmas delight 'Mum's Cranberry Slice', it's super easy and I made it for one of our Chrissy catch ups this weekend. It always goes down a treat and if you happen to be a fellow chocoholic, the icing gives you just the kick you need! As per most of my cooking creations this is a hand me down from my wonderful mum who is a hell of a cook!

Mum's Cranberry Slice.
pkt Marie Biscuits
1 cup coconut
90gm butter (melted)
1 can condensed milk
2 handfuls cranberries (chopped)
Block of White or Milk cooking chocolate depending on 
your preference
(I always use the Plaistowe brand of chocolate)

Crush biscuits, mix in bowl with coconut, add melted butter 
and mix together. 
Add chopped cranberries, mix and add condensed 
milk. Once all mixed, 
press into slice tray and place in fridge to set.
Chocolate Icing: Break up chocolate in bowl & add 1 teaspoon of oil.
Melt Chocolate (I melt in the microwave on medium heat
for 30 seconds to make sure it does not burn & the oil stops it cracking).
Spread over slice and put back in the fridge to set.

Slice up and share with everyone to enjoy!

28 November 2010

A Cushioning I Go!

Now that I have stopped procrastinating about zipper techniques, my cushion creations are starting to come along nicely. It's amazing how once you clear your mind and get focused, how much easier it is to move forward. My plan is to sew quite a few cushions in a range of fun and quirky fabric combos and test out the waters by trying to sell them at our local market where all things must be handmade. I've finally started to get stuck into some different fabrics which is exciting, I am playing with a mix of materials from linens to heavy textured cottons. I am a sucker for textured things and I'm discovering the beauty of working with different sorts of fabrics, not to mention the joy in seeing the finished product. I've got lot's of sewing to get done over the next couple of weeks as I am planning to gift quite a few cushions during the festive season, here's a peak of one of my latest creations....

Red polka with a splash of nautical on neutral

21 November 2010

Egg Yolk Yellow & Cream

Did somebody say SIX? The cricket season has definitely begun as I was knocked for a massive six this week and wiped out by a nasty virus. After 3 bed ridden days of aches, shivers and my head spinning like I was riding the good old Graviton ride, I've finally returned to the land of the living, walking & talking - although I'm sure Azz enjoyed some of the me non talking part!
On Friday afternoon you couldn't imagine my delight when I received my long awaited parcel in the post, a Yolk & Cream Bholu cushion that I had ordered a few weeks back. Could you think of a better colour for a pick me up...... it was just the little ray of sunshine I needed and is even lovelier in real life, I love the imperfections in the felt and what do you know, the zipper has 2 visible seems!

Embroidery detail finished by hand
bholu /bohl-loo/adj 1.descriptive of naive and free artistic expression.
Nothing like adding a little black, white & grey to yolk!

I need to make a special mention about Bholu, I came across them on a give away The Design Files was doing a few weeks ago and after checking our their products and website I think the integrity and values that sit with in the Bholu brand are wonderful and definitely a great model to base a creative business off. The designs are hand crafted by women artisans from traditional desert communities in India and the philosophy behind Bholu is about creating products to love and live with, while benefiting people they work with along the way. By using their traditional skills, the women artisans gain an income, hence independence and opportunity. Part of the proceeds from the collection go back to the Bholu Anganwadi Project which builds pre schools in underprivileged communities and provides over 280 poor children with love, education and a nutritious meal. It's so wonderful to see another great example of art and craft giving back. I couldn't think of anything better to do than to be able to design and create beautiful wares and give back to a community at the same time - that one's up there on my list of do's and dreams!

Oh and by the way, I've mentioned in the past that I'm very much a colour of the week or month sort of gal and I would have to say that this Egg Yolk Yellow is doing it for me this month - is there anything taking your fancy?

12 November 2010

BIG decisions...

After taking a week or so off from my cushion ventures, I'm back and feeling good about them. I took a little time out from my cushion creations to make some BIG decisions!
Which technique shall I use to insert the zippers?
After a bit of market research, including some close inspections of cushions on the market and in peoples homes, advice from some wonderful bloggers, a few friends and family - thank you, I have come to the realisation that people really aren't fussed and there isn't one 'proper way'. For now I'm going back to my original way with 2 visible stitch lines around the zip. In the scheme of the whole big wide world they are actually minuscule decisions, but never the less one I'm feeling better for! I got so enthused that I've cut out all my fabric that I intend to make into cooshy Christmas gifts, so I think it is very nearly time to sew!

Finally some different fabrics cut & ready to sew!

04 November 2010

Dreaming Away...

This weeks been a little all over the place with the Melbourne Cup public holiday thrown in on a Tuesday. We're off for a little country road trip this weekend which doesn't leave much time for my usual antics of on the side making and crafting of things.
I came across this image in my inbox a couple of days ago, courtesy of The Cool Hunter - very cool site..... and rather than just the usual quick glance and scroll down the page, this heavenly pic stopped me in my tracks. I slowed down from my road runner speed, sat back, relaxed my shoulders and took a little minute just to imagine that I was at the lovely location instead of that unknown lady, having a nice big chill out. I'm well back into reality now, but ohh how lovely it is sometimes just to go to that nice little place and dream away!

29 October 2010

One Stitch Forward & A Whole Cotton Reel Back

I seem to have hit a wall with my cushions... This week I've spent a number of hours unpicking, re-sewing and unpicking cushions and leaving cotton crumbs everywhere! It drives me crazy when I spend time trying to be productive and it feels like hours wasted! I don't know if I'm being super pedantic or if I just need to try harder, I mentioned in one of my previous posts the first cushion I sewed from this tutorial seemed pretty easy and I was happy with the outcome. Since taking sewing lessons, I have been shown the 'proper' way to make cushions. Now I know I might be starting to sound like a broken record with the whole zipper technique thing, but I just don't know which way to move forward.

Do I:
1. Go back to sewing cushions the way I did in the first place with 2 visible stitch lines around the zip?
2. Persist and hope that I can master the single visible stitch technique with a super neat finish and no fabric bunching up at the end?

Or maybe the question I should be asking is, if I was to sell these down the track, so long as they are sewn together really well and super neat, would anyone even care if they had 1 or 2 visible stitches around the zipper and is there in fact a 'proper way'?

Zipper 1, Zipper 2 - what do I do?

24 October 2010

Life is Full of Surprises!

Don't you just love it when life surprises you with good things! Yesterday I went along to a CWC event put together by Tess McCabe. CWC brings together women working in creative industries and establishing small businesses in order to share information, inspiration and ideas - a really great resource for creative gals!
A funny thing happened to me while I was there... I left my details on a mailing list and a few minutes later I got tapped on the shoulder by a stranger who turned out to be not such a stranger. It was the multi talented designer, illustrator and maker of things Renae Moore, aka VixenLily . We had been sitting right next to each other and she recognised my e-mail address from a giveaway I entered on her blog. We quickly worked out that we had crossed paths in blog land and she delivered the news that I was the lucky winner of one of her divine resin coated tiles. As if that wasn't enough of a surprise, we then discovered that we're headed down similar paths with our crafty creations and would you believe it, we live in the same suburb.
Gotta love how life is full of such surprises and WOW, what a seriously small world we live in!
Resin Coated Tile by Renae Moore - lucky me!

22 October 2010

Feast for Your Eyes

There's some great markets on for fellow Melbournians to feast their eyes on this weekend....

#1. Magnolia Square
#2. Craft Victoria's - Hatch

Unfortunately I don't think I'm going to get to either of these, I'm spending a lot of my spare time these days researching, planning and creating things as I hope to be able to have my own little stall at these sorts of markets down the track. So it's to many things too do and too many things on at the same time! Thank god for the internet, I'm sure to be able to sneak a peak at what was on show somewhere in this big web world.

17 October 2010

DIY Miniature Nappies

I know I'm starting to sound like the weekly weather station, but what on earth is going on at the moment! It is the middle of October, we've got fluffy little ducklings swimming around the pool which would indicate it's spring, but this weekend we've had to roll the heater back out and light the fire as it's been absolutely freezing with bucket loads of rain. No forecast predictions from me for this coming week, I think we'll just have to wait and see what weatherland has install for us and be sure to be armed with wooleys and a brolly at all times!

Onto craftier fun things and baby stations..... Today we're hosting a baby shower for my sister in law and I have been placed in charge of invitations, games and all things pretty -  all the things I love! Until last week I hadn't actually been to a baby shower, so luckily I was able to pick up some cute ideas. Amongst making and sewing some more cushions this week - I have quite a collection of cushion covers now and my zips are getting really good, I'll be sure to post some of the latest cushion action soon. I have made 20 miniature nappy broaches for one of the games we will be playing today. Last week my friend had ordered some pink ones online, they were ohh so cute but a little pricey. I figure as I am very much a DIY gal, I'd give these a whirl and after a few hours of cutting out felt, making a mess with glue and some hand stitches for reinforcement they're all ready for the games to begin!

A touch of lemon to keep in theme!

p.s. If you happen to be hosting a baby shower and want some tips and hints on how to make some of these super easy mini nappies, just drop me a comment and I will post some details.

10 October 2010

Cat Crazy!

Wow, splendid weather on the weekend again. For once the director of weatherland has got it right, beautiful sunny days on the weekend and crappy days during the week!

I've just come home from a baby shower and I think I may have OD'd on sugar..... this baby shower was out of control I tell you, fairy floss, hot dogs, snow cones, chocolate crackles, toffee, cakes, lollies, a chocolate fountain, fairy bread and the most gorgeous decorations up to wazoo.
My pink ugly duck cushion went down a treat which is great. I was a little unsure as it's the first cushion I have given as a gift, I took a punt as I had not seen the nursery, but the expectant mum tells me it will be the perfect addition to her rocking chair, so I can breathe easy!

To my sewing space for this week.

This is my first ever softy project, although it's more of a softy cross cushion. The idea for this came out of the book 'Simple Softies' and I knew it would be the perfect Christmas gift for the lovely cat crazy Ann, who has adopted us as her grand children. You see this is the lady who spoilt us rotten for our engagement by giving us a sewing machine, so I kinda have her to thank for helping me on my crafty journey. A few years back we house sat and looked after her five inside cats, hooly dooly what an experience that was! She loves all things cats and handmade so think she'll appreciate this little guy.

03 October 2010

Practise Makes Perfect

Slowly but surely, with a few frustrating moments and naughty words along the way, I am getting the hang of sewing the perfect cushion cover! 
The first cushion I sewed seemed rather easy (check it out here), but since taking sewing lessons and discovering that a well made cushion should only have one visible seam over the zipper, the bar has been raised and things have gotten a little trickier. I have to say being the fuss pot I am, that I'm not over the moon with my latest cushion creations, I love the quirky fabric and overall look but there is still some room for improvement around the whole zipper seam area. They say practise makes perfect and I intend to keep sewing my little heart out until then....

Red & Pink - sometimes so wrong, this instance so right!
This one's a gift for a friends nursery - yes, she's having a girl.
I'll get this zipper technique mastered one day - hopefully soon!

29 September 2010

It's a SHOE INN!

OK so I'm breaking my rules today. So far I have made a concious effort to always post using my own pics, but today I have found something I got super excited about and must share!

This succulent stiletto could turn any gal into a green thumb!

I found this on Etsy in Giddy Spinsters Cheeky Home Decor Shop. I know chicks and shoes are pretty much always a sure bet, but this just makes gardening all the more exciting. This seller is located in the States so there may be a few issues getting the fully planted version sent to Aus, but I'm sure we'll be able to wrangle an unplanted version.

26 September 2010

The Simple Things

I have spent the past week away from my usual bush setting and leafy surrounds as we have been looking after a gorgeous little place in Fairfield. As I didn't want to cart everything in a semi trailer, I opted to leave my sewing machine and other design bits and pieces at home.
It's been kinda nice to have a little holiday away from home, even though we are still at our day jobs, I've taken a break from my usual creative night time antics and other than at work I have hardly even touched a computer. I mean I do love browsing and checking out all of the wonderful blogs out there, but sometimes it's nice just to take a little break and enjoy the simple things such as hanging out with Azz, cooking up yum dinners, taking a stroll, enjoying Melbourne's splendid spring days and chelaxing!
A couple of nights ago I was rummaging through the cupboard, trying to choose what flavour tea to have. To my surprise I discovered this seriously nice box of tea bags, I'm sure the tea is nice, but it's not the tea I'm talking about, it's the packaging! Harrods Herbal Infusion Peppermint Tea, check it out, a beautiful design printed on a lovely uncoated stock with the added decadent detail of a foil stamp. I know you might say what's the big deal it's just a box, but it's one seriously lovely box, too good that I decided I better just leave those tea bags alone.

16 September 2010

Bibs, Booties, Lemon & Polka Dots

Just whipped up a design for some simple little invites for my sister in-laws Baby Shower, I'm really loving lemon & polka dots today! Thought I'd show a little snippet, I've chopped off the bottom half as it includes details that I probably shouldn't publish to the whole wide web world.

On a craftier note, I am happy to say I am closer mastering the art of cushion making, well a simple cushion with out any fancy piping and things. The wonderful Shirley has taught me a new zipper technique where you only see one seam, and she has also helped me with the little extra attention to detail bits. A few more to sew and I'll be sure to post some more pics of my latest cushion ventures.

12 September 2010

Spoilt Rotten

It was my birthday this week and I was spoilt rotten with beautiful gifts from family and friends, a lovely dinner out with Azz and my in laws, a cake at work with the always embarrassing happy birthday sing along and a garden party enjoyed with the gals, devouring delicious homemade treats washed down with the very English PIMMS, at the fine establishment Madame Brussels. 

So, I'm another year older and a very lucky lady as one of the gifts I received from the #1 man in my life is a book I have had on my wish list and hanging out for; Prints Charming, by Cath Derksema and Kirsten Junor. It's full of fantastic sewing and hand printing projects for the home and family and I am very much looking forward to getting stuck into some of them right after I master the art of cushions!

The decor at Madame Brussels - perfect for a tea party

My very own copy!

I love the extra attention paid to the details on spreads

07 September 2010

Colour My World

Ahh colour! I could definitely waste away hours of my day exploring the magical world of colour, just don't ask me to pick my favorite as I'm more of a colour of the week or month sort of gal. If your in need of some inspiration or help with colour palettes, a fabulous site to check out is Adobe's Kuler. Whether it be graphic design, interior design, art and craft or any other sort of project that requires a splash of colour, this site is sure to become your friend.

A couple of swatches taking my fancy at the moment

04 September 2010


This week has been a good mix of craft and design. I had my first ever sewing class with the super experienced sewer Shirley Wheeler. Her classes are fantastic as you can commit to as many or little lessons as you please, work at your own pace and make what ever you want under Shirley's watchful eye.

I've also managed to finish off my poster design just in the nick of time, as the September 10 deadline for the Positive Posters competition is looming. Positive Posters is a non-profit international poster competition run by a group of volunteers based in Melbourne. It gives graphic designers at any level an outlet to create freely, use their skills to inspire, challenge and make a positive difference in a non commercial way - ohh what a treat!! This years theme is 'A Glass Half Full', a saying that refers to optimism. After some research and brainstorming I came up with a solution based upon my outlook on life.


What is droll, a donut or hole?

The solution behind this poster design is taken from the quote, "Between the optimist and the pessimist, the difference is droll. The optimist sees the donut; the pessimist the hole!' - Oscar Wilde

To open yourself up to positive outcomes, you must train yourself to think positively. This poster aims to encourage viewers to remember they have a choice and to take a moment and ponder their outlook on life...... you decide.

27 August 2010

Bubbly Duck

Thought I'd squeeze in a quick post, before dashing out to dinner for a well overdue catch up with some of our old time friends. I'm very much looking forward to a glass of bubbly after a whirlwind week at work, not to mention the red duck curry with lychees Saam Saii has on their menu. Now don't screw your nose up, I know duck and lychees... but it is really good. By the way, I hadn't intended this blog to be about food but as it has "Feast" in the name and food ranks very highly as one of my loves and this is my blog, I figure why not!

So to my point, yes I have done it again. I have sewed my second cushion and there were definitely a few improvements this time round, particularly when it came to sewing in the zipper. I'm am still struggling a little when it comes to getting the seams in the correct places, to make sure my cushion is the right size for the insert. I figure this comes with practise and what better way to practise than with some help from a pro. I have booked into a local sewing class and my first lesson is next week. Apparently I get to make what ever I want, so I think project number one will be to master a cushion! If there's anyone reading this and your giving some thing new a go, drop me a line, I'd love to know!

Love these little guys - courtesy of Alexander Henry

Pretty happy with this zipper

Charcoals a nice contrast

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