Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Dear Mum,...I sewed!!

Dear Mum,

It's been a little while since I last wrote to you, but I had to share some excellent news: I sewed!!

Now I know this is a small miracle in itself, particularly given my last attempt required your expert hand at sewing the hem properly and instructing me on which way to have my seams folded prior to whipping them up on the machine.  We know that my successes do not extend to needle and thread.

So let me tell you about my little experiment, because experiment it was!!   I have this lovely banner cutter for my Stampin up! Big shot.  I tell you what, that thing is pure genius; it cuts layers of fabric just as easily as card stock.  You just lay your fabric on top of the cutter, sandwich it between two layers of perspex, roll it through the Big Shot, and Ta-dah!! Lots of little banners.  So, I cut a stack of burlap and a stack of linen and this is where you would be proud....I pinned them together!  Pinning! I know!! Who would have thunk it!   Some banners were a little larger than others, but you know what, I didn't care. I thought it would add to the rustic look I was aiming for.

So Mum, I pinned the banners together and I hand sewed the first banner.... I have to say at that point I felt a little bit like you, sitting in front of the TV with a pile of sewing in my lap.

Now, I may have to ring Dad when you get to this point to get him to check you haven't fainted at the PC. 

Because that first banner took forever, and as you know I am entirely too impatient at times when it comes to results, I sewed the rest on my dusty and rarely used machine.  I know! Sewing machine,...me!

Is Dad still with you?

After I sewed the banners together, I pinned and sewed the little lace edge along the open front and the back edge onto the linen tape I had bought.

To finish the fronts I attached a little burlap and linen cut-out - also from the banner template - that I had ink stamped with Christmas sentiments like "Joy", "Thanks", "Cherish" and "Hope".  Lovely!

To add an extra dimension to the banner, I decided to include some clay tags - remember the Christmas ornaments I showed you how to make here? Well, this time I used my french script stamp and a scone cutter.

Oh, remind me if I ever make you scones that I cut clay tags with them and I shouldn't be using them for both tasks.

Once the clay tags dried, I was inspired by something you had done once before - remember when you were involved in the creative group that made textile pictures out of fabric that had been dyed with organic materials?  Well, I decided to tea stain the tags because I really wanted to keep the tonings in line with the rustic feel and I thought it would also bring the script out beautifully. 
I reckon beetroot would be quite interesting...though am not sure how moss would go.

I did also give the tags a little rub with a metallic white, but just a little - enough of a christmas pop without losing the rustic-ness.  I popped eyelets into the tape between banners, then tied the clay tags using twine.

I will post an extra photo to you tomorrow when the sun is out and is working in my favour for taking photos.

My plan on Christmas night is to pop some Lindt chocolates and little bits and pieces in them. And there, you have it - I sewed: the seams are straight, they may appear "inside out", but they are just how I wanted them to turn out.

Big hugs, love you,


PS - I am going to pop this over at Jami's place for the Air your Laundry Friday, because that is where lots of lovely textile creativity can be found.  You can find her link on my side bar at the right if you would like to have a look. x

Sunday, December 19, 2010

I love a sunburnt country...

Hi lovely friends

How is your weekend treating you? Are you down to all the last minute shopping and preparations for the big weekend to come...or are you more like me and only just writing your list of things to do, having bought absolutely nothing!

Here it is raining (again), so it has made it hard to really get into the swing of enjoying Summer.... This would be a first, but I am really hanging out for some nice warm weather.

At the moment I am getting set (in amongst my other stuff), to do some art painting - the reason why I started the ol' Tigs White Canvas to start with. I think it is due to be frank; I seem to have lost my way with all the other creative ventures that keep tweaking at my implusive and easily distracted self.

In doing my prep work painting and checking against my reference photos, (and dreaming of some warmer weather), I found this photo of two paintings that I had not yet shared.

These two were painted about 10 years apart. The one on the right was painted first: it is an oil on canvas and was done for my Mum, who particularly loved this scene and asked me to paint it for her. It did take a while as there is lots of glazing...the photo makes it appear a little flatter than it is in real life, where it appears to change depending upon the light: the beauty of glazing.

The painting on the left was painted earlier this year as a gift for friends of my folks who own the land in both  paintings. It is an acrylic on canvas and involves no glazing whatsoever (phew!!) so didn't take so long to paint.

What we all found amazing was that while the two paintings had been painted at different points in time, from different reference photos, they lined up really well next to each other. 

So there it is - I have shared some art, and if nothing else have inspired myself to wriggle my bones into action and get some more painting done!

As always I love your feedback, even if it is just to say "hi!"; it really makes me day.

Take care of yourselves in this week leading up to Christmas.

Big hugs


Friday, December 17, 2010

Almost there!! The bathroom "To Do!" list

Hello dear friends

It has been too long since I have posted and I really love that you keep popping back to visit and leave beautiful comments anyway - apologies again for being a dork and accidentally deleting rather than publishing some recent comments (don't ask!) -  I really appreciate the encouragement and friendship that you each offer.

So, what's been happening? Work and all things hectic leading up to the end of the school year. Crazy!! But last night I popped my lovely boys on a plane to spend 3 weeks weeks holiday with their Dadda on the Gold Coast of Australia.  This leaves me, the lovely and the little Boo together for Christmas - but most importantly - I gain loads of extra time to paint! Hoorah!! I should add, painting in this case extends to walls, windows, furniture and some good ol' fashioned canvas :-)

My first goal is to finish our main bathroom. We are still waiting for our shower screen and mirror and once I paint, it will be complete.

So, to keep me focussed I am sharing with you my "to do" list:

Undercoat the window
Did you know that certain timbers have a higher concentrate of tannins that will bleed into a water based undercoat? Or, that the best undercoat to use in these cases is a shellac based undercoat? Really! You did!! I had no idea until the yellow was still bleeding through after two coats of water based undercoat. So with a little google research I headed down to our local Dulux centre foolishly with three children in tow, right in the middle of the witching hour, and bought the perfect, shellac based, solution.

Sand the patched walls
Our enthusiastic tiler cut patches of the old tiles straight out as it was simpler than chipping away at all the manky tiles and just putting big holes in the wall anyway! So in went new plasterboard, slapped with a few layers of bog stuff (I am *so* technical!) and now I get to power up and sand away!!

Undercoat the walls
Just for those parts that were patched of course.

Paint the walls
We have chosen Dulux Hogs Bristle in half strength. Yummy, and it will compliment the accent tiles perfectly!

A simple amount of lovely accents that the three chicklettes will not;
a) kill, like a pot plant (though I am pretty good at that without help from anyone);
b) break, such as anything glass, or
c) cover in toothpaste...hmmmm, that kind of eliminates everything else. I will find something I am sure.

Share with you lovely friends because happies are for sharing around.

Then I will move on to painting more stuff....

Hoorah!! Stay tuned.



Monday, December 6, 2010

How to make - Christmas ornament tutorial

Hi sweet friends

Today I bring to you the instructions for my Christmas Ornaments. The gorgeous thing about these is that this is a “do your own thing” from the very start.  The only things that remain the same are the tools you will need, but after that, it is you and your beautiful creativity!

OK, grab yourself a cup of whatever takes your fancy - if you hadn't worked it out yet, my choice is coffee - and let’s get started.

Gather up all your necessary tools to make these lovelies.  To make my ornaments I used:

  • Air dry clay - I used DAS,
  • A rolling pin,
  • baking paper,
  • My gorgeous stamp from Stampin Up!,
  • A skewer or any sharp pointy object,
  • metal nail file;
  • Pearl white acrylic paint;
  • Glue;
  • Buffing gold;
  • Red Glitter
  • Red velvet ribbon.

First thing, get your lovely air dry clay out and roll it to your desired thickness.
  • I placed a sheet of baking paper on my bench and rolled my clay on top of this;
  • I placed two glass chopping boards on either side of my clay, no wider than my rolling pin, to make sure that I rolled my clay to a level depth.
  • Place a sheet of baking paper on top of your clay…and roll away!

Next, take your gorgeous stamp of choice and stamp your images;
  • be sure to leave space around your stamp for your shape.

Take your skewer or sharp pointy object – or you may even have the perfect cutting shape that you can use – and cut out your shape;
  • With the skewer method, start by “dotting” the outline of your shape around your stamp. This will help you to balance your shape and is easier to fix up with a gentle rub if it is in the wrong place.
  • Next, start joining the dots up to reinforce your shape,
  • Finally, use the longer edge of the point on your skewer and press all the way through to pull your shape out.
  • Press a hole through your shape for threading the ribbon.

Now your ornaments must dry for 24 hours…

…are they done? Beautiful!! Now it is time to give them a little tidy up.

Sand the edges;
  •  Using your metal nail file, gently sand around the edges of your shape until you are happy with the results.
  • If you need, this is the time to adjust the shape to ensure it is balanced – alternatively, if you are the type of person that likes a skewed uniqueness to your ornaments, just sand until it takes a shape you like.  

Decorating time!!

  • In the case of my ornaments, I brushed them first with pearl white acrylic paint.
  • Let the paint dry…I used my hairdryer to hurry this process along.
  • When dry, rub the buffing gold over your ornament until you are satisfied with the results.
  • Again, let dry, then re-stamp your image with Versamark ink or, if your stamp is not too ornate, draw inside the shape with a glue pen;
  • Sprinkle your glitter over your image; shake it, dust it off, then step back to admire.
  • Give a little “YEH!” because it is l-u-v-e-r-l-y.
You can choose to not follow this last instruction, though be warned you may spontaneously whoop, yell, laugh or clap your hands in glee – it is a side effect I found during this process, so consider yourself warned in advance.

  • Thread up your ribbon through the hole in the ornament and hang it up.
  • Dance some more…and feel very chuffed with yourself!!

I do recommend you follow this step, because I did and it felt GREAT!!!


Simple yet lovely!!

I hope you found my tutorial easy to follow and inspiring.  Please be sure to let me know if you give them a try, along with a photo!! 

Big hugs



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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Love Letter wall mural....{sigh}

Happy Monday!!!!

I hope you all had a super sterling weekend...we had a great one as my eldest chick turned 10.  What a gorgeous age.

But this is just a quick stop by for now, as I wanted to share some gorgeous eye candy that ticks the trend for maps and all things vintage and beautifully written or postmarked…

Scandinavian Wallpaper & Decor

Isn’t it beautiful!!  I spotted this line of wallpaper in the latest Australian Homes & Garden, that has an even more beautiful inspirational photo of this same mural.  It is pure love!!

I will be back very soon with my tutorial for the Christmas ornaments.

Big love and hugs



Thursday, December 2, 2010

My old gold Christmas Ornaments

Hello my lovelies

I am so sorry for my absence the past week - unfortunately we have been dealing with a full plate at home: aged family challenges, end of school year with exhausted chicklettes, work and anything else we can squeeze in-between. 

But I love and thank you all for checking in to say hi, both in email and here - it's lovely to be missed and it warms my heart to know you have stopped by. 

Right, down to the fun stuff....I have finished my ornaments for the great Christmas Ornament Swap...

Tomorrow these three little babies will be individually packed and posted to Canada and the US.

As you may recall, the challenge was to use red, green or gold (or a combination).  I considered my options for a while, but knowing I wanted to use this particular stamp from Stampin' Up!, I really wanted a classic look, so red and gold it was, topped off with some red velvet ribbon.

Do you like?  I did make it up as I went along, so made many mistakes and learnt from them.  I will provide a tutorial in my next post on what it was I did and what I used - mistake free of course - but in short I had a blast!!

To see all the fun and check out all the beautiful ornaments created for the Christmas Ornament Swap, pop over to the Flickr group here.

I am also going to link these pretties up to Kristin''s Uncommon Slice of Suburbia's Tuesdays Treasures, because I love sharing at Kristin's as she is a total sweetie!!

My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia

And speaking about Christmas and total sweeties, I have to finish writing my letter to Santa asking if I could pretty, pretty please, be the lucky recipient of one of these two Giveaways....


freckled laundry

Jami is giving away the most beautiful collection of items in celebration of 6 happy months in blog land, as well as reaching 500 followers.

Jami has extended the hand of blog friendship since my beginnings and is an inspirational, creative, textile goddess, not to mention a total sweetie!!

I can only dream to be capable of creating such a whimsical, magical hideaway as the Shabby Streamside Studio...Sandy is celebrating 1 year, and 1000 followers....what a milestone!

Not only that, but this is what Sandy shared when posting about this milestone and giveaway:
"Material things are meaningless compared to the daily cup of joy topped with foamy sunshine you serve me by sharing your visits, blogs, and comments..."

Another sweetie!!

So there you have it my lovelies, my Christmas Ornaments for my swap and a couple of Christmas wishes.

Big hugs to you all,


Update: the tutorial for these can now be found here.  Enjoy!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Summer time and Christmas ornaments

Greetings and hey there my lovely friends

This weekend past  I took my chicklettes to visit with my Mum and Dad who are lucky enough to live a two minute walk from the beach.

Silly me didn't think the water would be right for swimming yet - of course, I didn't factor in that kids don't care about these things.   On our first day we walked to the beach in our normal "it's too cold" clothes...and the kids just pulled up the legs on their pants and walked in...oh, all except my middle chicken, who had no qualms about going in the water with his shoes on!!!!?  

I don't know if he forgot he was wearing socks and lace up sandshoes...or whether he thought it would be fun to get the lot soaking wet! No matter the reason, I place the responsibility on genetics...on his father's side.

Sunday was a very different story: luckily, whilst packing for the trip and being completely unawares of my chill-factoring, the boys had packed board shorts, so they had a decent swim and a paddle, not to mention a decent dose of digging in the sand. 

Our little Bella Boo was quite content to roll in the wash or innocently annoy her brothers: I have no idea what the boys were hoping to find, but am pretty certain a little three year old plopping down in the middle of their hole was not part of the plan. Every time they struck water, she would migrate over to where they were and pop right into that little mini sand-bath. The boys, frustrated with a squealing happy three year old sitting in the middle of their fun, would move on to dig a new hole...and once more when they struck water, in she would plop. Happy as Larry. From where I sat, it really was very entertaining. Champagne should have been provided.

(see those knobbly knees, those are mine! )

I can't wait for a week with the kids down at Mum and Dads during the Christmas holidays; lazing, playing, swimming, eating prawns, oysters and beautiful summer fruit and just chilling out in general.

Speaking of Christmas, I am busy making ornaments for the Creative Colour Challenge - Ornament Swap that Louise Gale (Dream, Inspire, Create) is hosting.

The idea of this festive creativity is to make four Christmas ornaments; one for yourself and one each for three other people using the colours of Red, Green and/or Gold. We have to make sure they are in the post by 3rd December, and given all three of mine are overseas postings I should try to do it earlier than that!  I have played with a couple of different ideas, but think I have found a result I am happy with.  So I promise to be posting those very soon, with a tutorial (hoorah!)

Big hugs

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Flowers for you...

Dear blog buddies

These flowers are from my garden,

and I am giving them to you.


Things have been a little crazy around here of late,

so I would like to thank you for

always bringing a smile to my face,

giving me kind words,

encouragement and

most importantly,

your friendship.


Okay, these aren't really in our garden...
they were out the back of our place, which is close enough.
I loved the whole bed of daisies and the sweet memory of making
daisy chains as a child...

This tulip was the most amazing deep red I have ever seen -
 it was like velvet...just beautiful.

This little guy was in Bee heaven!

all images by me

These were itty bitty teeny weeny bulbs that popped up out of nowhere -
they were so sweet and delicate.

I hope you like them.



Monday, November 15, 2010

Sweet dreams...the bed reveal

Hello my lovelies

After much rain and great impatience on my behalf, I present to you Isobelle's new big-girls bed.

Now, remember our starting place...

the 1930's double bed from the bedroom suite I won on Ebay.

I sanded this lovely back with help from my gorgeous boys.  The immediate results for sanding those parts of the bed that weren't timber veneer was just remarkable. 

Next, came two layers of undercoat with another zap from the sander.  Then, I used two sample pots that I had on board from one of my numerous trips to the Bunnings paint section:  a beautiful blue and a whimsical pale aqua green. To be honest, I just blended those two colours together on the bed as I went along. I really loved the result from this in itself, but onwards I strove.

The top layer was a coat of pure white, mixed with one quarter Dulux Duck White - I wanted it to be a pure white, with the edge taken off, just a little. 

Then came the part that killed my arm - sanding by hand. I had never done this before ever, and my, I have got to ask you lovely ladies that do this all the time - how do you stop your bicep on one side getting too much larger than the other? My arm killed for days after I had finished...but I have to tell you, the results were so worth it and I am ready to do it all over again.

The bed was placed under a painting I had done for Isobelle before she was born and then topped off with a very pale blue quilt cover and a quilt that Isobelle's Gran made for her on Isobelle's first Christmas.

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I wish I could bring you a "whole" of bed photo, but until the sun starts to shine again a photo from the "dark side of the room" just looks dark, no matter how I try to pretty it up.
So what do you think of my first foray into breathing life into an old piece?

I hope you are having a beautiful week.



Sunday, November 14, 2010

It's raining, it's pouring....

...the old man is snoring...

because he has hay fever...

and can't stop sneezing!

Oh my goodness...we have just come out of a decade long drought with the most amount of rain since,...well, a good decade!  I was told today that we have already beaten our November rainfall average (over 20 years), and I could SO believe it! The gardens are lush, the flowers are blooming...the hayfever is terrible!  You would think that the rain would dampen the pollen, but this year all our hay fever is rife!  But still, the rain....glorious!

I totally adore the sound of rain on the roof and there is nothing better than an evening lightning and thunder storm. I love a good storm -  mind, as long as there is no thrashing wind - the sound of the distant rumbling getting closer, and counting the seconds between the light flash and the crash.  One elephant,...two elephants....  I had to teach my eldest that many years ago as he hates storms, so instead of seeing if they were getting closer like I would, he was all about if they were going away.

On the side of not liking the wet weather, I don't like, love or appreciate the spiders that are now moving to dry land - inside! Even right now, there is a nice big juicy huntsman trapped under a glass in the kitchen window sill waiting for my lovely to get off the phone to remove it to outside...and trust me, it was an amazing feat that I could even get so close as to put a glass over it, so bad is my "ergh" chill factor for them. The other night a big fat juicy spider was scuttling under the dishwasher, so it got a blast of spray - and explosion!! Baby spiders went everywhere! Now if there was ever a nightmare...that's it!! Hundreds of them!!   Chatlotte's web!? Die spider, die!! Okay, not really, but she wasn't real. Right!

Anyway, to strike those hideous images from my mind, let me share with you some lovely inspiration I found this weekend.

All Images Homelife

I hope everyone has had a super wonderful weekend.

big hugs


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Inspired to sleep

Hello dear friends

I was reminded the other day that I was due for another post; it was only then that I realised so much time had passed since I was last able to dedicate time to my visual indulgences.

For the past few weeks I have been sanding, painting, painting some more, then sanding again in an effort to revive the double bed that I managed to acquire in my grand Ebay win so that the little Belle Boo Bear can migrate from her cot/toddler bed to a big bed.

Yep - a double bed for a little mite!! Why you ask? Well, let me explain...our decision to put Boo straight into the bigger bed was due to her latest addiction - no, not the trying to steal my morning coffee - sleeping in our bed.  And why wouldn't she!  Not only is our mattress more comfortable than her little toddler mattress, but it also suits her sleeping style - that is, directly across the bed.

Yes, it is true. As long as I am sleeping in the lower bottom corner in a foetal position and Daddy doesn't mind the occassionally kick in the back, she can stretch herself out quite beautifully and have a wonderful sleep. And, if she can't sleep for whatever reason at 3am, she is patting our faces telling us she loves us...or, in a semi-sleep state, fluttering her delicate little three year old fingers over our faces like a butterfly. Truly, we are blessed. But we decided we need to sleep.

So I am glad to say that her room revamp is just about complete - there are a couple of little tweaks, but then I will post a photo of the revived bed.

In the meantime, let me share the most beautiful bedroom image that is almost exactly what I dearly wanted as a girl - a beautiful loft bedroom, tucked up and away just for me, where I could laze for hours reading books and staring out the window...

Boo's will be nothing like this stunning creation, but I know that it will be perfect, just for her ♥

Sweet dreams.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Blossoms and bargain bed status

Good morning my lovely friends

This is one of the stunning Iris' that has bloomed in our garden this Spring.

I adore close up photos of flowers - there is something about the veins, the colour changes, the velvety textures, the light shining through the petals and the almost intimate sense of being so close...I just love it! Plus, I must admit, I get a real thrill too when I see little bugs I had not seen whilst taking the photo.

Following my Dahlia painting I am very keen to collect as much inspiration as possible to keep me painting for a while, however I am due to do a special painting for my Mum - a request she has had for some time. Lucky her patience may finally pay off and this may be coming her way soon!

Before I do a painting for Mum however, I have a revival to complete on the bed picked up with my, as I like to call it, "bargain of the year" Ebay win! (see post here)

Secretly, I think my lovely husband refers to it as the day his wife lost her sanity and filled his garage with overlarge furniture that smells like moth balls.

 I will have to eat broad beans before he lets me live it down.
I can't wait to complete it so that I can share it with you... I am really exicted, because so far, the improvement by just undercoating it has been nothing short of miraculous.

And the lovely husband admitted it was actually coming up okay and looked...pretty!!?

...maybe I will only need to eat brussel sprouts...

It's been a big week really...painting furniture AND I got to use the jack hammer drill to remove tiles from our bathroom...oh! I haven't told you that the bathroom is under way and we should have a new bathroom by the weekend. That's great for two reasons 1) we will not be sharing our ensuite with the kids anymore (woo hoo!) and 2) I will get to have a decent bath - yep, them kids are gonna have to share with me!!

Wishing you a truly wonderful day,



Thursday, October 21, 2010

Christmas wish list

Hi lovelies

Sorry I have been MIA - my Mum and I have been interstate visiting with my brother, sister-in-law and my new lovely, sweet, darling, cuddly, alert, gorgeous, dimpled (I could go on), nephew.


More on that in the next post.

Today I received the latest newsletter from Pale & Interesting introducing the Autumn/Winter 2010 range. Let me just say - devine!!

As one does in the months leading up to Christmas when a catalogue arrives with lots of lovely goodies, we browse, oooh and ahhh and drop hints about Christmas ideas to any family member silly enough to feign interest.

So, in the name of trying to help my family know what to get me for Christmas, I have "cyber-circled" some of my favourite things for my Christmas wish list.

I should mention, the actual rooms and everything you see in the images are on my wish list.

A girl can dream, right!


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