Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday Future Favourite Blogs

We made it to another Friday and not a day missed on my blogging bandwagon! Hooray!

On this week's blog list I have another group of special sites which give me a moment's respite in my hectic schedule. I usually like to read these in the morning as their humourous tales usually lift my spirits for the day :)

1. Male Pattern Boldness: Peter Lappin has missed his calling as a comic satirist. He loves to put the hard questions to his readers including; Leopard Print for Men - Yea or Nay?, Manscaping - Yea or Nay? and WHAT is up with Japanese Fashion????. And don't miss him sewing and styling his enigmatic cousin Cathy (hint: Cathy has the EXACT same measurements as Peter - a coincidence?)

Peter in his fabulous new leopard print pants

The ever-stylish Cathy

2. The Selfish Seamstress: You absolutely must go to the back catalogues of this petite fire-cracker's blog. The queen of Burda Style and an amazing home-seamstress, she has a haiku for every sewing-related situation. Observe:

Tell me again
Why you think that MY sewing
Should save YOU money?

Purple/Grey Creation Number 1

Purple/Grey Creation Number 2

Purple/Grey Creation Number 3

3. Meet Me At Mikes: Pip is truly a warm-heart. She blogs endlessly but not with the incessant ramblings of some blogs (ahem... sorry if I've fallen into that category!). Her store Meet Me At Mikes looks beautiful in every captured image and her crafts are as inspired as the books in which she features them. She is tirelessly happy and makes you feel all warm and fuzzy - expecially on a dreary day. Definitely worth a look!

Softies for Mirabel Campaign - all these toys are donated!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Happy New Year!!

It seems a bit late to be talking about New Years doesn't it? Well it usually takes me a little while to catch up to my life and I've only just realised that it's been three weeks since the start of 2011! I decided last year that I was giving up resolutions as I rarely followed through.

This year I am going to make some "resolutions" of sorts but lay them out as goals for sometime in the future rather than this year.

1. Try to eat healthier and stay fitter. 

A and I in the US trying some of the local cuisine!

This is a tricky one as I love food and I hate exercise! The change will have to be in my lifestyle, not my diet. The answer is not in joining a gym, but finding fun ways to get my heart rate up without slogging away on a treadmill... bleh! We have two beautiful little puppies who need daily walks so that should be a good start :)

2. Create more

The blanket I crocheted last year

 I've been so much more creative this past year than the five before it. However, there's more I want to explore and try this year! I would love to pick up the tatting which Nana gave to me for Christmas. I also want to start making more for my market stalls which I am proud to sell.

3. Seriously consider all aspects of possible business ownership.

Another tricky undertaking as I am so unsure of where to start with this one. Last year I wrote a 5 year plan and I'm pretty happy with how things are going so far. I have fulfilled three of my six goals for last year and in all honesty, that was all I was hoping for. A house has been bought, puppies have been adopted and my sewing room is in operation. Surprisingly enough, a goal from the second year has also been achieved so I deserve extra marks for having a market stall... now to get to that elusive "Quit my job" goal.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Beading Kits? Are they cheating?

I always look wistfully at beading kits in my favourite online stores but have never brought myself to buy one. Why? Well, I have this feeling that it's cheating the creative element a bit. I always feel a bit sheepish when someone asks if I've made something and I know it's from a pattern or a tutorial on the web. The reason is, yes, I have made it BUT I just used someone elses creative ideas and put them together.

Here is the kit that got me thinking:

This is truly a beautiful piece and I would really love to make one of these for myself but there are a few things stopping me here.

1. Price - for $33.00 I could buy somthing similar ready-made
2. Creativity - yes, I would be putting it together but there's not really any more individuality than buying one read-made
3. Shame - I would feel a bit like a cheat if I said I did make it

What are your thoughts?

Much love,


Monday, January 17, 2011

Tutorials for small sewing projects

After the rush of the holiday season we may not feel like taking on big projects. I know I don't like to start anything too large and cumbersome in the New Year, it feels like I'm weighing myself down too early in the year.

So I've found some beautiful tutorials to keep you going with some busy work, but not the hard slog of an all out PROJECT!

1. Make-up Bag Tutorial by Chezlin

This is the one Chezlin has on the site 

And this is mine!

I made a stack of these for Christmas Pressies and they really do come out great. I've had a lot of praise for the size and style of mine so I know they work well and make great gifts. The instructions are very clear but I'd suggest this mainly for a intermediate sewer.

2. Reversible Bag by Very Purple Person

Here is verypurpleperson with her creation

And here's a blurry picture of mine!

This is a great bag pattern and tutorial. Again, I made a stack of these for Christmas and they were loved by all recipients! There's a little bit of fiddling when you turn it out the right way but nothing that a beginner sewist can't handle.

3. 50's Headband by Casey Brown at Casey's Elegant Musings

The beautiful Casey modelling her vintage-inspired headband

As you know, I love Casey and her beautiful blog (see Friday's post) and this seems like such a dead-easy little project. I love how she makes everything look like you could just pick it up in an afternoon and be a pro by bed-time. She really does make crafting feel very comfortable and not the least bit stressful!

Thanks for stopping by!

Much love,


Friday, January 14, 2011

Friday Future Favourite Blogs

Every Friday, I'm going to let you in on my most favourite blogs and why I read them. I promise not to feed you any that aren't top quality!

1. Casey's Elegant Musings: Who can resist a stylish lady with a penchant for 40's fashion? Casey Brown thirifts, sews and accessorises her wardrobe into a stunning visual display of the glamorous lifestyle of the Roaring Forties. Check it out for a dose of pretty dresses, easy-peasy and pleasing tutorials and scans from vintage mags and catalogues. Absolutely fabulous!

Casey in her hand sewn dress from a vintage pattern

A tutorial for a faux fur stole

A vintage scan

More vintage scans

2. Humblebeads Blog: Handmade beads by Heather Powers and ways to use them. Heather's amazing beads are little works of art. She gives helpful tips too like how to make some pretty hairpins.

Some of Heather's beautiful work

A tutorial on how to make these great hair pins
All the supplies you'll need

3. All About Papercutting: This is one amazingly talented lady! Her name is Elsita and her blog is all about the amazingly time-consuming and delicate art of Papercutting. Her work is three dimensional and the subject matter, while sometimes jarring, is poignant and thought-provoking. She also has some beginner's kits to buy in her Etsy shop from time to time if you fancy trying your hand. Don't miss this blog, it's a continual source of joy for me!

Hope you find some inspiration in these blogs, I know they really give me a lot to think about each day.

Much Love


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Markets this Sunday

Just to let you know, I'll be at Marky Markets again this Sunday the 16th so watch out for my stall!

Me at the last Marky Markets

It will be held outside the Hi-Fi Bar on Boundary Street in West End, Brisbane from 11am-5pm. Come along and say hello!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Some more advanced beading tutorials

After my post on Monday, I realised how many amazing advanced beading tutorials there are out there. I've made a little list of a few of the more amazing ones. If only I had the time to try them!

1. Beaded Tree Tutorial by Kimberley Chapman

Oh my goodness me! It makes my hands cramp up just looking at this! Such a beautiful finished piece though, it's almost worth all the hand-aching work it would take!

2. Beaded Rose as part of a Wreath by Bead Jewelry Making

How amazing is this wreath? I would love to make one around Christmas to hang on a door, or even to pin onto my lapel. So amazing.

3. Summer Sandal by The Beading Emporium

I think this is such a beautiful beading project, Something so different and with so much scope for colour changes and different bead choices. Maybe you could add some cute dangly beads!

4. Easy Beaded Ornament Cover by Squidoo

Even though Christmas is over for another year, I couldn't resist this beautiful Beaded Ornament Cover. I know it's not technically an advanced project but I missed it when I was researching for my beginner's section :) And besides, it looks complicated!

Much Love,


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

More about me

I never know where to start when telling people about myself and my life. It always seems that whenever I start talking about what I do it sounds so mundane and boring I end up just mumbling... "Oh, you know, I just do things.... and stuff....".

Me drafting my first pattern...

In reality, I love my life! I have a beautiful, caring husband and two very naughty but cuddly puppies. A, my husband (still feels weird saying that), and I got married while we were on a working holiday together in Ireland. It was such a beautiful day last May, one of the hottest on record for Galway, and we were so very happy.  It felt really special to be in another country and STILL have friends and family there to enjoy it with.

Our Wedding Day

I have been sewing since I can remember. My mum and aunty taught me when I was a little girl and I always loved it! I made myself endless pairs of flares in my "I want to live in the 70's" phase, and then moved on to knitting, crochet, cross-stitch, quilting - anything I could get my hands on. I know make jewellery but I still try my hand at lots of other projects and crafts.

A quiting project I STILL haven't finished!

A's nana has just given me a How-to Tatt book and I'm looking forward to her teaching me all about it when we get some time.

I sometimes make soft toys too!

So that's me for now, I'm thinking that I'll post a little more about me and my other crafts on here as well as when the shop is updated. Just a bit of variety for you lovely people :)
Much Love,


Monday, January 10, 2011

New Year, New Goals....

.....and most importantly for you my dear readers, more blogging!

So after my poll back a few months ago (before the crazy holiday season kicked in) I asked you what you'd like to see more of on my little blog.

Most of you were interested in reading more about the how-to of jewellery making.  You also asked for more about me. Me? Thanks you guys :)

I have had a few requests for more about other projects I do from time to time so I'll be sure to be telling you more ahout those as well.

So I thought to start things off this year I would give you a little list of some jewellery tutorials I've been loving for beginner/intermediate beaders:

1. Beginners Spiral Tube Necklace from Beads Online:

This is a really thorough tutorial and a really beautiful finished piece. You can get all the materials from Beads Online to make this up yourself. Perfect for beginner beaders.

2. Multi Strand Beading Necklace by The Beading Emporium

The beading component of this tutorial is really simple but things get a little more difficult when it comes to the wire loops. Never fear! There are loads of instructions on how to get it just right.

3. Making a Hand Knotted Necklace by Jenny Hoople on Papersnitch

This tutorial is a video with realy clear instructions on how to hand-knot, a technique which has been used for centuries.

Here's what they say on papersnitch "With the ever-increasing use of fishing line and memory wire in beaded jewelry, Jenny’s “old” method of hand knotting revives this fading art form. So, if you have ever wanted to learn how to make your own jewelry, this video is a great first step."

4. The Floating Bead Necklace by Bethany Studios

Now this lady doesn't claim to be an expert but her tutorial is clear and succinct. It might pay to be a little more experienced with this one!

5. Beaded Wire Earrings by Auntie's Beads

Here's a cute, cheap and cheerful video tutorial on making these lovely wire earrings. Definitely a beginner project!

6. Butterfly by Marcels Kid Crafts

While this is suggested for kids, it would be perfect for a beginner to get to know the basics of wire-beading.

Hope you enjoy these tutorials, please let me know if you make any and I'll post on the blog!

Much Love


Thursday, January 6, 2011

This is my year

Courtesy of Crafting an MBA

I will be posting more regularly!

I will be updating the shop often!

I will be at more markets!

Promise :)