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!!
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