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Monday, 30 April 2012

Monday in the making

Suggestions...I love them.

I love to know what customers like and what they would like to see. In the midst of my doll making, a customer made a request for headbands. This was great because I had got to a stage where I was not sure whether people liked the look of my headbands. I personally find them comfortable, but I was unsure whether people liked the colours and style.

So, over the week, I have been busy making fabric flowers for headbands. This is the result so far:

A pastel pink, satin flower, embellished with buttons and a diamonte. A funky, patterned fabric flower, embellished with buttons. A lavendar, cotton fabric flower, embellished with buttons and a diamonte. I still have more flowers in the pipeline. The next stage is to stitch them to matching soft elastic. I will post up my selection when they are completed.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Weekend Wonders - On the road again

The weekend has gone very quickly by...

Over the weekend we travelled to celebrate the 21st birthday of twins in our family. Once again, I put the travel time to good use by knitting. On my last trip to visit family, I began knitting a scarf, so this trip was a continuation of scarf knitting. Besides crafting, it was wonderful to catch up with family members, although it was only a very brief visit.

I also managed to squeeze in some time to make some fabric flowers which will be turned into pretty headbands. I am making a selection, ready for sale.

In all the time in between, it was spent catching up on housework around the house or work in general.

I hope that you had a lovely weekend!

Friday, 27 April 2012

Friday thoughts - Tomato sauce

As I didn't have to work on Wednesday, I put the day to good use by catching up on a few 'home' jobs. One such job was making tomato sauce. We like to have home-made sauce instead of shop bought as a condiment to a few of our meals. The latest stash was getting a little low, hence, out came the stock pot and away I went!

We bought saucing roma tomatoes a couple of months ago and I weighed them out into 3kg lots and placed them in the chest freezer (in large snaplock bags), ready for such a moment. I've used frozen tomatoes before, placed them straight into the pot, cranked up the heat and let them thaw and cook down. There is a little more juice, you just need to be prepared to cook the sauce a little more. Cook the sauce on a day that you are at home, pottering around the house, as it does take some time.

Here is the recipe, if you are interested. The recipe is sourced from a book of recipes that were collated from a church ladies guild. Unfortunately, the original creator of this recipe is unknown and I cannot give them credit. I've tweaked it a little to suit my tastes...

  • 6kg ripe tomatoes
  • 4 large apples, peeled and chopped
  • 2 large onions, peeled and diced
  • 5 cups sugar
  • 4 cups white vinegar
  • 4 tsps salt
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

In a large pot, place the frozen tomatoes in and let them cook down (I use a high heat, but once the mixture starts to boil, turn down to low/medium heat). Once cooked down add the apples and onions. If not using frozen tomatoes, place them in a large pot with the apples and onions. Cook until soft. I then get out my stick blender and blend it until there are no more chunky bits. If you are a sauce connoisseur, you could put the mixture through a food mill or sieve to get rid of the seeds. Take the pot off of the stove and add the remaining ingredients, making sure that the sugar is last and well stirred through. Place back on the stove and cook for at least 3 hours or until the sauce is to a desired consistency (it should be starting to thicken up). Pour into clean, sterilised bottles/jars. I 'water bath' the jars for 12 minutes to seal and extra sterilise everything.

Do you have any favourite recipes?

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Wonderful Wednesday - Card Inspiration

It was a holiday here in Australia due to ANZAC Day. It not only allows us to remember those that have fought for freedom in our country, but it was also a chance to catch up on a few things.

Today, I made a pile of cards in readiness for Mother's Day, for birthdays in our family and for friends and family that have had new little additions to their families. I aim to show these cards a little later on, meanwhile I thought I would share some card inspirations that I found on Madeit...

Enjoy browsing!

Monday, 23 April 2012

Monday in the making

Introducing 'Grace'...

'Grace' is ready for the ball! She wears a satin pink gown, with a single layer tulle petticoat underneath. She wears earrings and necklace, made out of beads and a glimmering crystal. She is mainly hand sewn and stands approximately 36cms tall. More suitable for children over the age of three.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Weekend Wonders - So close, yet so far

This past week and weekend have been a little busier as I have had to get ready for work again. I would happily craft away the hours, however, the house still needs attending to, people to feed and (beginning again next week) work to be completed. Hence, the balancing act begins again...

My main aim at the moment is finishing 'Grace'. I was dearly hoping that I would finish her this weekend. I am SO close, but my perfectionist streak sees a few things that still need to be completed. To add to everything, my sewing machine does not like sewing satin (which I am using for Grace's gown). No matter how I adjust the tension, the straight stitching is not neat. Therefore, Grace is 99% hand sewn, as my sewing machine did allow me to neaten the seams with zig-zag stitch. She needs her sleeves to be stitched and her necklace stitched down and then I think she will be finished. I will share photos of her tomorrow (hopefully finished!) tomorrow on my blog.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Friday thoughts - A card for Mum

April is speeding away and May is just around the corner. Very shortly, I will help the children that I work with, to make a special card for their Mum or Grandmother. I thought that I would also get myself a little organised and make my Mum and Mother-in-Law a special card for each of them. I decided that I would also share how I made these cards on this blog for you to have a go. It is also easy enough for children to complete, although supervision and some pre-cutting may be necessary.

Firstly, the items that you would need:

A white card (I have pre-folded cards that measure 10.5cm x 15cm), a piece of patterned paper, a piece of paper for the 'backing', scissors, glue or adhesive tape, foam squares, ruler, pencil, paper cutter (if you have one), embellishment (this can be a paper cut flower or simply a picture from gift wrapping that matches in colour.

A note on the papers: I chose a striped paper for the central rectangle and the same pink/red colour for my backing rectangle. Choose a solid colour that is part of the patterned piece of paper and find a piece of paper that colour for the 'backing' rectangle. Usually a darker, rather than a lighter colour, works best.

1. I like simple designs, so my card is made up of two rectangles and an embellishment. If you are making the card with young children, you may wish to pre-cut the rectangles and get them to do the gluing. Don't fuss too much if their rectangles are off centre, it is their own special design. To make the 'backing' rectangle, measure a rectangle 7cm x 8 cm on the solid colour paper (with the ruler and pencil) and cut it out. Glue it just above centre on the front of the card.

2. For the central rectangle, measure a rectangle that is 6cm x 7cm with the pencil and ruler and cut it out. Glue it in the middle of the solid colour rectangle.

 3. Adhere an embellishment in the centre of the patterned rectangle. I used the foam squares to adhere the flower on my card to emphasise the embellishment.

4. If you like, add a sentiment underneath the rectangles. I used a gold sticker, however, you can use 'rub on' sentiments. For children, I type some sentiments on the computer and print them out on coloured paper. The children cut a sentiment out and glue it underneath the rectangles. You could simply, write a sentiment. A finished card!

6. If you want to add a special touch to your card, you could add a liner. Fold a piece of paper that is the same size as your whole card, in half. Trim the liner to fit just inside your card (if necessary) and glue it down the centre of your card. You may wish to glue down one side of the liner, not the whole liner, otherwise the liner tends to bubble when the card is folded.

This same card making principle could be used to make birthday and thank you cards. Changing the colour scheme to more 'earthy' tones would make the card more masculine.

Have fun!

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Wonderful Wednesday - Camera inspiration

I have a new camera...

I have had a little play around with it and will now (hopefully) produce some clear and artistic photos. To celebrate, I have chosen some lovely handmade items inspired by 'cameras'...

Happy 'snapping'!

Monday, 16 April 2012

Monday in the making

Things have been relatively busy in the world of Tupsy Turvy Designs during the past week as I have had to prepare for a market stall. I have also had a bit of extra time to spend crafting. So I got to work.

This is just a small selection of the items that I made. Firstly, 'Simone' the ballerina...

...secondly, football team 'bag buddies' and lastly, fabric flower brooches.

I am absolutely loving making dolls and presently I am working on a princess doll named 'Grace'. I hope to show pictures of her progress soon.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Weekend Wonders - At the market

Just tidying up now after a day at the markets...

This weekend was spent busy stitching up some extra stock for a market stall and then manning it. The market was bigger than I expected and there were plenty of people around to look at all the stalls. The beautiful weather we had today would have assisted with that. This is what the 'Tupsy Turvy Designs' stall looked like at the beginning of the market:

The only thing that proved tricky was the opportunity to go and look other stalls as Mr T was unable to join me. I did manage to have a quick look (and buy) at other stalls in my area towards the end of the market.

It was great to make a few sales, but it was also great to hear the positive feedback from others about my designs and the quality of my work. I feel re-energised and encouraged in making more little goodies, particularly my dolls.

Better get to it...

I hope that you had a wonderful weekend!

Friday, 13 April 2012

Friday thoughts - Lured by smocking

Today, I thought I would show a photo of something inspirational...

Mr T and I went to the library during the week and loved perusing the craft books. We are blessed to have so many craft books and magazines on just about every craft in our library, which are a wonderful source of inspiration. Lately I have been intrigued by 'smocking'. I found a couple of books on smocking and am tempted to give it a little try. I particularly like the smocking that uses the patterns and checks on fabric and am thinking that using these types of fabrics may make my beginning attempts easier (?).

However, traditional smocking also looks completely stunning...

This gown is made by Sabina at 'Heavenly Designs Christening Gowns'. I do like the fullness and gathering of the gown. I like the sweet embroidered pink rose buds and the classic white stitching of the smocking. A beautiful heirloom piece for a baptism.

Enjoy your crafting over the weekend. I'm busy preparing for a market so I am crafting away already.
Have fun!

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Wonderful Wednesday - A last glimpse at Easter

Back again after a busy Easter...

Mr T and myself travelled to visit family over the Easter weekend and spent time with family and toured around some beautiful country in Victoria, Australia. We even went for a 45km bike ride on Easter Monday to burn off some of the Easter goodies that we consumed over the weekend.

I thought I might swap the themes for Wednesday and Friday this week so that I could show you what the children that I work with made for Easter - some simple but effective art works. I used this activity in conjunction with sharing with the children the Easter story.

I went through this activity step by step with the children to produce a silhouette and sunset picture. You will need paper, a thick paintbrush (for the 'wash'), a thinner paintbrush (for the silhouette details), yellow, orange and red/pink water colour paints (or acrylic paint thinned with water to a 'wash') and a thicker black paint (I used acrylic).

Step 1: Provide each child with a large piece of paper (I used A3 sized cartridge paper).
Step 2: Paint a yellow stripe with the thick paintbrush, 8cm (3inch) wide, horizontally in the middle of the paper.
Step 3: Paint orange stripes (around the same size as the yellow stripe) on the top and bottom of the yellow stripe, overlapping the colours a little.
Step 4: Paint the rest of the paper up the top and on the bottom, with the red/pink water colour paint. This makes the 'sunset'.
Step 5: With the black paint and the thinner paint brush, paint a hill with three crosses from the bottom of the page. This creates the 'siloutte'.

The beauty about this picture is that it is simple (5 year olds painted the above pictures) and the children are amazed at the results. There is also no real right or wrong with this picture as exact measurements are not required.

Whatever you did over Easter, I hope that it was a blessed time!

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Wonderful Wednesday - Eggsciting times!

I am thinking of turning 'Wonderful Wednesday' into a post that shows a picture of something gorgeous, inspirational, creative...

Today's item is...

... a set of gorgeous and colourful fabric eggs by 'Prancing Piggies'. I just love the mix of bright colours and pretty patterned fabrics. Just in time for Easter...

Monday, 2 April 2012

Monday in the making

The finished product...'Leah'...

'Leah' has been a lot of fun to make and looks like she has a fun personality. 'Leah' is now available in my Madeit store.

I did have a special 'launching' price for 'Leah' on Tupsy Turvy Designs Facebook page. I will have occassional sales for Tupsy Turvy Designs Facebook followers. Keep in touch and you may pick up a unique creation at a special price.

Now to finish off a special little gift in time for Easter...

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Weekend Wonders - Stepping into the kitchen

I'm back... sorry I have neglected my blog over the last week, but it was rather busy and I quickly ran out of energy for anything.

Thank goodness for weekends to have a bit of catch up time and rest and relaxation. For us, we even had an extra hour of sleep as Daylight saving ended and we had to wind our clocks back an hour, recapturing a precious hour.

I spent time this weekend finishing off 'Leah' (she is now in my MadeIt store if you want a sneak peak, but I will be posting her on my blog tomorrow) and I have begun a little Easter project to give to a special someone this weekend. I hope to show a finished photo on Wednesday.

I also spent some time baking on Saturday. It was all a bit of a spur of the moment thing...I checked up on my blogs Saturday morning and found this yummy looking truffle recipe. As Easter is closing in quite quickly, I thought that these would make nice Easter gifts. So I gathered all the ingredients together and set to work. Mr T was quite happy as he hasn't had the job of 'cleaning up' (ie eating any little bit of mixture left on spoons or in the bowl) in a long while (lots of ingredients on the 'do not eat' list).

A little fiddly and messy, and not very professional looking, however, very delicious!!

Whatever you did this weekend, I hope it was relaxing and enjoyable!