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Sunday, 30 September 2012

Weekend Wonders

It has been a wonderful weekend with football, fun and family...

Mr T and I ventured off yesterday to spend the day with family watching the AFL Grand Final that had the Sydney Swans battle the Hawthorn Hawks. We happily cheered on the Swans that were the eventual victors when the siren sounded. Such a close and eventful game! I did manage to do some knitting in our travels (and a little while watching the game), however, as it was an exciting game, the amount of knitting wasn't huge.

Today, as the weather was rather cold and bleak, I spent some time this afternoon creating some cards and have also started on Tupsy Tee work (I hope to share more about this idea soon). I was also inspired to draw up a few designs after reading through a few magazines.

Quite an exciting weekend all round! I hope that you had a great weekend as well :)

Friday, 28 September 2012

Friday Thoughts - Road Trip

It is school holiday time at the moment and it is a time when families choose to get away from it all and go on a road trip to a relaxing and peaceful location. This is the first break, in a while, that Mr T and myself are not travelling great distances and we are enjoying 'staying put'.

 With improvements in technology, cars are now equipped to make travelling long distances much more comfortable with improved seating, stereo, air conditioning/heating, better suspension...and now DVD players to entertain the kids in the back. Now, there is nothing wrong with this latest technology, but it got Mr T and myself thinking about our own travelling as children and what our families did to entertain 'the kids' in order to combat the complaining or restlessness that it brings.

This is what we came up with:
  • Books - picture books, novels, magazines.
  • Travel games - specially designed games with little pieces that used magnets or velcro to 'stick' to the board. Games included 'noughts and crosses', checkers, etc.
  • Eye Spy - develop a list of possible items that you could see (eg. a tractor, a blue car, a car that has a number plate starting with 'S', a stop sign, etc). When travelling along, when a passenger spots one of the items on the list, they get a point. Person with the most points, wins.
  • Car cricket - Choose colour cars to provide 'runs' and 'out' (eg. a white car=1 run, a yellow car=4 runs, a blue car=6 runs, a red car=out). The first passenger has their turn and is up to 'bat', calculates runs when the chosen cars are seen, however, when the 'out' car is spotted, that passenger is out and the next passenger is up to bat.
  • Sing-a-long - Choose favourite songs to sing-a-long to (with or without music).
  • Hand/finger puppets - to stimulate imaginative play.
(Of course, all of these ideas are purely for the passengers {ie. not the driver} in the car and need to be played with the safety and concentration of the driver in mind).

If you are travelling, take care...Have a lovely weekend :)

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Wonderful Wednesday - Red & White Inspiration

It is a big weekend in Australia, this coming weekend...

It is the Australian Football League (AFL) Grand Final. I must admit, I am a sports fan and I am looking forward to this event. This is not purely because of the excitement and hype that a game like this brings, but also because Mr T and I are driving to a special Grand Final party and catching up with family. I can't wait!

The teams in this year's Grand Final are Hawthorn Hawks and Sydney Swans. I personally would like to see the 'Swans' win the gold cup (not purely Mr T's persuasion). I can't help but look at the colour combinations of the uniforms. The 'Hawks' have a retro combination with gold yellow and brown, whereas the 'Swans' are red and white. Since I am 'cheering on the red and the white' this Saturday, this colour combination provides me with inspiration this week...

Necklace by '2 Favourite Girls'

I love this beaded necklace! I love the choice of round shell beads that are interspersed by smaller red beads. Very effective in this dual wrap, however, it would still look stunning as a single, long necklace. It would make a stylish accessory.

Cushion Cover by 'Little bit me'

I love the way that the red and white fabrics border this printed image. 'Little bit me' hand print their images. Clever and practical. Would look lovely on a sofa or on a bed, to brighten the room.

Baby Shoes by 'Buster Boo'

Aren't these so sweet! I love the white rain drops on the red background and the button closure. They look soft, and comfortable. They would make a lovely gift for a new baby.

Dog Collar by 'The Crafty Possum'

I love the paw print band on this collar! It would make a stylish and sturdy accessory for your pooch. My little dog has a collar from 'The Crafty Possum' and it is sturdy, looks good and is also easy to unclip for grooming purposes.

I hope that these items provide you with some inspiration!

Monday, 24 September 2012

Monday in the making

I have finally finished a couple of projects that have been on my list...

I have spent a bit of time lately designing and stitching up a very special, cuddly toy. Introducing 'Betsy'...

'Betsy' is very special as she is going to be the item that I am entering into a Showcase by 'Becky's Bits' to raise money for hearing impaired children. I tried making her apparel as 'loud' as possible as the fundraising day is called 'Loud Shirt Day'. 'Betsy' is made out of milky brown polar fleece. 'Betsy' herself is handstitched, however, her pink/purple floral and spearmint dress is a mixture of handsewn/machine sewn. I wanted to add some detail to her outfit so I stitched on a fuscia pink 'belt' and added a gather at her neckline. A fuscia pink bow tops off her look. All her clothing is stitched on and is not removable.

'Betsy' is teamed up with a matching headband that her new owner can wear...

Using the same floral and spearmint fabric, I made a shabby chic flower base, embellished with a fuscia pink yo-yo and spearmint button. This item is handstitched onto a purple, stretch lace band.

I also needed to make a '50th birthday' card for a male friend of ours. I ended up making a set, giving one to the lucky boy and the rest I will take to market...

I often find masculine cards tricky, however, since experimenting with using photos in my Fathers Day cards, I have enjoyed altering photos and using them in my cards. With these cards, I used a river holiday photo, put it through a 'soft' filter and highlighted the blue hues in order to tie the photos in with the blue papers I used.

Thanks for looking :)

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Weekend Wonders

My body is entering relaxation mode...

 I ended up finishing work on Friday, snuggled into the recliner and slept for an hour. It has been a busy term and a busy weekend, with dinner out with work colleagues on Friday night and attending a 50th birthday party last night.

However, as part of relaxation, I managed to get into some craft projects. I finished making the teddy bear that I have been working on lately. I will post up some photos tomorrow once I have finished making a matching headband for her new owner.

I spent yesterday afternoon making cards, as I needed a special card for the birthday boy whose party we were attending. I ended up making another two as I would like to have a box of cards at my next market.

It has been showery again today, but Mr T and I managed to get outside for a little bit, to finish some pruning before the warm weather is more constant. Asparagus is in full swing and I have enjoyed picking green, juicy spears. House cleaning is on the list for tomorrow...

I hope that you had a lovely weekend!

Friday, 21 September 2012

Friday thoughts - Peacock Drawing

It has, once again, been a busy week at work. We have been busy finishing off tasks, but it has also been a week of creativity, as we have watched a musical performed by students at our school and we spent some time practicing our drawing skills. This idea was inspired by 'Art projects for kids'.

This was a fantastic activity as it was simple enough for my little ones and it looked fabulous. This activity incorporated a number of educational aspects including:
  • Balance to the eye - there were aspects of symmetry involved.
  • Line - control in drawing and adding line detail to the feathers.
  • Shape - drawing circles and a semi-circle.
  • Colour - experimenting with water colours.
  • Experimenting with a number of art media - pencil, crayon, water colour.
  • Fine Motor skill practice - practice controlling a pencil.
  • Fun! - it was a fun activity with effective results. It was achievable for little ones. My students had no idea they were practicing the above skills!
Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Wonderful Wednesday - Neon Inspiration

This week has been a week of finishing off and consolidation, particularly at work. The children have been learning about Road Safety. We have focused on crossing roads safely, entering and exiting cars safely, wearing seat belts, bike safety and wearing bright clothes when crossing the road when it is dark and gloomy. Hence, my neon inspiration for this week...

Bracelet by 'Two Cheeky Monkeys'

'Neon' and 'bright' doesn't necessarily mean 'out there', it can also look glamorous. I love the mix of vintage with the 'Mr Darcy' and antique cameo combined with the neon yellow stones. Beautiful.

Eye Mask by 'Odds & Blobs'

I love this elephant fabric and I also love the contrast - bright elephants on an eye mask that is designed to keep the light out. Practical and groovy!

Girl's bag by 'Sew Miss Jenny'

A bright and happy little bag for a bright and happy little girl. I love the fun, spotty fabric sewn into this cute little bag, just right to put little, essential items in. This bag makes me smile!

Owl by 'Itty Bitty Indi Designs'

This lovely little owl would add a ray of light to any room. I quite like the colour combination - citrus colours mixed with lolly pink. I also like the detail - the lace on the wings and the flower and bow in her 'hair'. Lovely!

I hope that these items have brightened you up :)

Monday, 17 September 2012

Monday in the making

I had a rather busy Saturday night (I always seem to leave things to the last minute), sewing up these little bags...

  I had to hand stitch the top as the bags were too skinny to fit around my sewing machine arm (always the way ). So, in the end I made three bags for boys and four bags for girls, ready to house pencils and pens.

Why you ask? For this great project called 'Operation Christmas Child' by Samaritan's Purse. The aim is to pack a box, the size of a shoe box, with lots of little goodies: something to love, something to play with, something of personal hygiene, something for school, something special and something to wear. These boxes are distributed throughout the world and given to children whose situation prevents them from receiving a gift at Christmas. For more information, click here.

My Bible study group ended up making up seven boxes. It was great fun pooling all the little goodies that we have collected over the past few weeks/months and organising them into boxes. We had the thought that all the pencils that these children receive could get lost, unless they have a pencil case, hence my sewing spree. The haste, was due to the fact that they were due at church on Sunday.

I also spent some time on the weekend sewing and stuffing my little bear. She is beginning to look very adorable and cuddly. I ended up hand stitching her body as I found that the polar fleece slipped a bit when I tried machine sewing. I think I like the control of hand stitching (although it does take more time). I also find hand stitching very therapeutic and relaxing. My little bear is now in bodily form and now I am creating a dress for her, with the aim to have her completed by the next 'Monday in the making'.

Thanks for stopping by :)

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Weekend Wonders

I needed this weekend...

It has been a busy week and a busy end to the term. My body is beginning to strongly suggest that it is time for a break. So, today was a very relaxing day consisting mainly of sitting in the recliner (although there was a time when I did lie down and have a nap) and stitching one of my latest projects. I am pleased to say that my little bear has now emerged into life and is now awaiting an outfit. Once again, it is predominantly hand-stitched to allow me to add detail and ensure that everything is in the right place and securely stitched. I will show some photos soon...

I also spent time last night zipping up seven drawstring bags to be a part of some special presents. Photos will be posted up tomorrow (and the details of these presents).

It was great to have a relatively 'normal' weekend. It ended up being quite a cold and showery weekend (yet again), therefore I opted not to go out in the garden. I did go out and pick some more broccoli, kale, carrots and asparagus. It is getting close to the end of their season, though. I am hoping for some warmer and sunny weather over the holidays (that are approaching soon) so Mr T and I can reclaim our garden from the threatening weeds and plant some more vegetables ready for the warmer weather. Got to love Summer season fruits and vegetables!

I hope that you had a lovely weekend!

Friday, 14 September 2012

Friday thoughts - Making a 'camera'

It has been a big week...

This has been due to the fact that my little ones had a concert to perform in. We have been practicing 'The Wheels on the Bus' for weeks, with altered words. On our bus, we had babies, parents, crafters (had to throw that one in *smile*) and tourists (and of course the bus driver). What do tourists do? They take photos - click, click, click.

Hence my tourists needed cameras in order to take their 'photos'. This is how we went about it...

We started with a cardboard box (snack biscuit box size) and carefully turned it 'inside out' (so that the colourful exterior became the interior) and re-taped it together. This helps with painting, so that the colourful packaging isn't seen through the paint. We painted the box black or grey and we also painted a lid black also.

When the paint was dry, I stuck a circle of kitchen foil (bigger than the lid) in the middle with double sided tape. I also taped a square of kitchen foil in the top right hand side corner (for a 'flash'). I stuck some kitchen foil in the middle of lid, to finish off the lens.

I used double sided tape once again to stick the lid to the middle of the foil circle. I used a craft knife to carefully cut small holes to each side of the box and I threaded a length of ribbon through the holes (long enough to go around a child's neck, as this becomes the 'camera strap'). To finish, knot the ribbon.

The camera is then ready to snap up some 'photos'. These cameras were perfect (and easily made) for the 'tourists' in our concert item. They would also be perfect for imaginative play. You and your little one could go on a 'photoshoot' together. You could model taking photos of the garden or park, pointing out flowers and bugs that would be perfect in photos. The bonus is that you can 'really' take photos of your little one being a photographer. Beautiful memories!

Have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Wonderful Wednesday - Starry Inspiration

Tonight is the night...

My little ones and myself have been practicing their little item for the school concert for weeks. There is an air of excitement and anticipation. They have worked so hard at this and I am sure that everything will be fantastic (says their nervous teacher). Each one of them are stars in their own right, hence this week's inspiration...stars!

Dribble bib by 'Little Poppet by Ali'

Even little stars need to look their best, hence this dribble bib to catch any bibs and bobs. I really like this starry fabric. Ali has also made a cushion cover using the same fabric and it looks stunning. The grey tones would be perfect for a boy and it is super soft and snuggly to boot!

Bunting by 'Joysisters'

Want to add a bit of colourful sparkle? This bunting would be perfect for a boy's bedroom as it uses such bright and colourful fabric. Usually, I am not a fan of bold colours altogether, but this combo works well. I also love the patterning of the stars and stripes.

Starry gift tags by 'Lee & LaLa'

These items would add a bit of pizazz to any gift. I love the use of recycled patterns to create these tags, complete with inking and gorgeous embellishments. What a thoughtful touch!

Star earrings by 'Koo-ki-nuts'

Finally, a starry item that is wearable. I love the simplicity of this item - simple, wooden stars. Sometimes the nicest items are those that are natural. A perfect little gift for yourself or a friend.

I hope that this provides you with some inspiration!

Monday, 10 September 2012

Monday in the making

During the week, I made it a priority to make some special cards to give to my father and father-in-law. I have been loving my photo editing program and I experimented with adding a photo of my father and father-in-law to their cards to make them personal. Here is the result (bearing in mind that I have pixelated the photos of the 'Dads')...

I loved the brown tones of the patterned paper and the 'father' definition. I found a matching brown border to add as a feature in the middle. I used lettering stickers to create 'DAD'. I photo edited photos of my father and father-in-law, adding an antique effect and sepia tone (not because the 'Dads' are antique, but rather to match the brown tones of the card).

I have been designing a toy for a showcase to raise money for hearing impaired children. I have decided to make a teddy bear, using non-pill polar fleece for the body. She will wear a pink floral dress with bright pink highlights. Presently, I have sewn up the limbs ready for stuffing (this teddy will be machine sewn) and I have hand stitched the facial features on. I hope to show some photos of this creation soon (if she works out)...

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Weekend Wonders

I am back...

Mr T and I were away at a two day conference for work, hence no 'Friday thoughts' for last week. However, I thought that I would add a few ideas about what I learnt at the conference to my 'Weekend Wonders'.

Firstly, we had an ex-footballer, coach and educator speak to us in order to encourage us in the job that we are doing. One of the points that I did take away with me (and is also a source of encouragement with my 'other life' in craft) is the importance of having an 'outlet' from work. As an educator, it is very easy to work 24/7 as there is always something that needs to be done. Being able to switch off from work helps with personal health and rest. He also mentioned about taking time out to encourage others, either as a mentor or write a note of encouragement. In a world of 'what is in it for me?', looking out for others and helping them out seems to be a fading art. It is a nice reminder to boost someone up and spend time with others. Who doesn't like some kind words now and then?

Secondly, we had a former Paraolympian share with us her journey and issues that she had to deal with. She also shared her determination and sources of inspiration with us. It is easy to feel overwhelmed with life, but focusing on the blessings that are showered on us, help to refocus, from the negative to the positive.

It has been great to spend some time processing the information that was shared in the conference and also to recover from travelling. It has also been a glorious, sunny day today. I did get a little chance to get outside, however, I must admit, I have been catching up a bit on work today. I did, though, manage to spend some time last night designing, cutting out and started to sew a new little item. I hope to show the final product soon.

I hope that you had a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Wonderful Wednesday - Spring Inspirations

As I type this post, it is absolutely blowing a gale outside and pelting with rain. We did see the sunshine over lunch time (a bit of a tease, really) however, those big, grey clouds are visiting once again...

Despite the wintry feel, we have now hit September and it is officially Spring. We had a lovely, sunny, warm day yesterday, which ignites a spark of hope of warmer weather to come, hence my inspiration for this week...

Floral skirt by 'Annie Georgina'

This skirt is stunning! I love the diagonal rows of bright, spring flowers. It looks great matched with a white T-shirt. 'Annie Georgina' also have some other beautiful spring skirts and dresses in their store, just the outfit to wear when the weather warms up.

Set of 3 Tinker Tools by 'Monkey & Bee'

I have been a big fan of Monkey & Bee and their Coffee Cuffs, but have a look at another of their products - Tinker Tools. Made in this gorgeous, flower fabric, these tools would be ideal for a little one to help with the odd jobs around the house for Spring cleaning. A great gift idea!

Set of 3 Cards by 'One Craftee Mumma'

Gorgeous flowers do signal the start of Spring and I love the flowery pattern on these cards. Simple, but beautiful little cards that would be perfect for a hello, birthday or to match a present.

I hope that these items provide you with some Spring inspiration!

Monday, 3 September 2012

Monday in the making

I have got quite a list of projects that I want to accomplish and it ended up being a very week. My top priority, though, was to develop an idea of what to create for my father and father-in-law for Fathers Day. The next part was squeezing time to create. Here is the final product (WARNING: Mum - as this pressie is not yet in the post, maybe not show Dad this post. Mr B - you might want to avoid this post for a while as well *smile*)...

I was inspired by a post by The Silly Pearl blog to create a BBQ tool bag and a matching towel that can hang on the BBQ to wipe greasy hands on. My job tonight (hopefully) is to make a couple of 'Thanks Dad' cards.

Even though this week was a little mad, I thought it was important to create homemade gifts for our Dads. I first started 'Tupsy Turvy Designs' because I love making gifts to give to others and wanted to help others to do the same, however, due to 'busyness', my poor family sometimes don't receive gifts made by me. I didn't think that was right, therefore, I am working to hard to make sure my family still receive handmade gifts.

Other items that are on my list:
  • A poodle bag tag - a custom order that I can't wait to design and make.
  • A teddy - an item for a showcase that is raising money for charity. I have the design in my mind, just need to get down the details and make it up. More information about this showcase, coming soon...
  • Tupsy Tees - I would love to spend some time altering pre-loved T-shirts to make them wearable art.
  • Gift packs - containing tie headbands and plush banners.
Have a lovely week!

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Weekend Wonders

It has been a busy but lovely weekend. Firstly, the sun has been shining here today, something that hasn't occurred for a little while. It has been rather wet and gloomy recently. So, to get outside and breathe the fresh air and feel the warmth of the sun has been great.

Last night, our Bible study group had a 'Moroccan Night'. We all researched and cooked up some Moroccan flavoured dishes. I appreciated the spiciness of the dishes and I love the flavour of cumin. We also realised that a lot of the dishes that we cooked contained dried fruits (figs, raisins, dates) and also cinnamon and/or nutmeg which added warmth. It was a lovely evening of new tastes, different foods, great company and fun!

This morning, time was spent by the sewing machine and iron, stitching up a storm! I made up Father's Day gifts for both my father and father-in-law. I wanted to create something homemade and also practical. I did a bit of a photo shoot this afternoon, so I will share a few pictures tomorrow.

Since it was a beautiful day, I had to spend some time outside in the garden. I planted a few plants and then began our mammoth task of weeding (as we haven't been able to get out in the garden lately). As a reward, I was able to pick some kale, broccoli, asparagus and carrots for meals this week.

I hope that you had a lovely weekend!