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Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Wonderful Wednesday - Blue & White

I love to experiment...

... with colours, fabrics and textures. I am very close to finishing an experimental scarf that has knitted and fabric elements. It is on my list to complete this weekend. The only hint, so far, is that it has a lovely blue and white fabric element. Hence my inspiration for this week...blue and white...

Beaded necklace by 'Beads63'

The pattern on the beads in this necklace caught my eye. They look beautiful. These beads are made out of polymer clay and are quite unique. At the moment I am on the look out for interesting beads for embellishing necklaces and hair pieces that I am creating. These beads are lovely!

Post It Note Holder by 'Leah's Paper Passion'

This is a marvellous gift idea. A beautiful, decorative case that houses a 'Post It' note pad. It comes with a little pocket that you could place notes, vouchers or a gift card for a special person in. This is one of many of the beautiful designs available.

Heart mobile by '1000 Pretty Things'

I love the use of the same colour scheme (blue and white) using various fabric patterns.  I also love the look of the same shape, repeated - very effective. This would add a decorative touch to a country kitchen or lounge. It could also be given as a gift for a baby shower.

Hand knitted blanket by 'Plushka'

I love knitted products and I appreciate the time and effort put into them. I love the different hues of blue, combined with the white and the use of various stitches in this blanket. A lovely gift for a new baby.

 I hope that it provides you with some inspiration :)

Monday, 29 October 2012

Monday in the making

I do as much craft as I can during the week, however, I love spending an hour or two on Friday, Saturday and Sunday working on various projects. I have the time to really sink into them...
...however, I was fairly flat on the weekend and spent a lot of it sleeping. So, I didn't finish all the projects that I hoped to finish.

One of the projects that I did finish off  were some cards that were on my list...

Once again, I have delved through my photo stash and found two photos - one of the Grampians and the other of a farm paddock. For the photos on the card on the left, I added some colour around the edge of the photo. On the paddock photo, I added a film effect that made it look like it was on an older type of film - it reminded me of the 70s.

On the list:

  • Finish of my scarf project.
  • I would love to stitch up another bear.
  • A tutu order - first to source some lovely pink tulle.
Thanks for viewing :)

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Weekend Wonders

I am a 'list' person...

...I have a plan in my head (or on paper) about all I want to achieve each day, and the same was true for this weekend. However, I have been a little flat. I ended up sleeping for a lot of Saturday afternoon/evening and throughout Sunday. The good news, though, is that I am feeling SO much better - ready to face another week.

We did do some travelling on Saturday to catch up with family and usually travelling equals knitting for me. However, I think that I ended up knitting all of one row and the rest of the time I slept. I have had a few busy weeks and weekends that my body refused to do anymore. I am glad that it is starting to cooperate again now...

The bad news, was that I didn't get a lot of projects completed. I did complete a few during the week and I photographed them today. I will show one of my completed projects on tomorrow's blog post.

Thanks for viewing. I will chat again tomorrow :)

Friday, 26 October 2012

Friday Thoughts - Grandparents

Today was 'Grandparents Day' at work today...

...it was great to see the children so excited about showing their special visitor the classroom and to spend some time together completing activities. It was wonderful hearing and watching the interaction between the children and their visitors - the children proudly explaining items and routines, while the grandparents patiently listened and helped out with the completion of activities.

It reinforced one of the ideas that was promoted in a conference I attended yesterday - that humans are built for relationships. Right from the moment of birth, children are learning from the interactions between themselves and others. It even affects physical growth and brain development. If interactions are positive, loving and nurturing, the children positively grow and their brain develops into a healthy state. However, if interactions are negative, abusive and neglectful, the child's brain fails to grow into a healthy state due to the state of trauma and stress. This in turn, effects learning and their view of the world.

But what made me smile about today were the positive interactions: smiles, laughter, hugs, one-on-one valuable time, listening ears, positive and encouraging words. These grandparents (whether they knew it or not) were helping their little ones grow in a healthy way.

What activities did the children complete with their grandparents? Well...
  • they coloured in a picture of an older vehicle.
  • practiced cursive writing.
  • drew themselves on a 'penny farthing' and decorated a border (see above picture).
  • matched older items with their modern counterparts.
 I hope that you have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Wonderful Wednesday - Up-cycling

'Up-cycling'...it is a bit of a modern word, but it is one that I have taken to...

When you are 'up-cycling' something, you are re-using it in some form to make something more worthy or valuable; to make a better product. Lately, I have been having fun 'up-cycling' t-shirts and turning them into different tops or accessories, hence my theme for this week's inspiration...up-cycling!

Bucket hat by 'Fine Fred'

This gorgeous hat is made out of up-cycled trims and denim. I particularly like the lace trim. The final result is a beautiful hat that has a vintage feel to it. Lovely!

Dog softie by 'Vintage Chenille'

Toys can also be made out of up-cycled fabrics. This little dog is so cute, made out of a pure wool blanket. That would make it extra cuddly! I love the pink bow collar.

 Cassette desk caddy by 'Red Zebra Designs'

It is not purely fabric that can be up-cycled, rather, it can be any item! I think this pen holder appeals to my retro side as I grew up with 'cassettes'. Nothing like waiting for your tape player to fast forward to your favourite song and then needing to rewind because you went to far...yes, patience was more prevalent back then. However, as cassettes are now practically obsolete, what a great way to reuse them in a practical way. This caddy would make a unique gift.

Bag by 'SjSmith'

This bag is made out of a jumper. I love how the original knitting pattern of the jumper is used to make the decorative sides of the bag, complete with buttons. Once again, a very practical idea to something that would have been discarded. That is the beauty of up-cycling...it is also good for the environment as materials are reused to create new and exciting designs.

I hope these ideas inspire you!

Monday, 22 October 2012

Monday in the making

Things have been a little slower than normal in the workshop...

However, after catching up on a few work items, I have had a bit more time to experiment with a few new ideas. This is one of them...

Created out of upcycled t-shirt material, this neck adornment consists of strands of material and embellished with roses made out of the same material, with a bead stitched in the middle. The strands are different lengths to add a fuller look the necklace. This necklace has a rustic and shabby style to it...

These upcycled creations are definitely 'one of a kind', however, it just happens that this necklace matches up with the shrug I made earlier.

On the list:
  • Cards!!! I have lots to give away to friends and family, so I need to get going...
  • Finish off one of the scarves I have been knitting: I have finished knitting a scarf and have blocked it...now to add something special to it...
 Thanks for viewing :)

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Weekend Wonders

It has been quieter weekend...

...Mr T was away this weekend for work. Usually when he is away, I seem to turn into a junk food eating, untidy and lazy person. However, this time around, I was extremely self controlled. I am unsure where I had a surge of self control, but I cooked myself healthy meals (and cleaned up afterwards). I didn't even sneak in a little treat in my shopping trolley when I went shopping! I cleaned the house and even went a little beyond my 'usual weekly' clean. Stranger things have happened I suppose...

I did do some craft this weekend. I have made up another experimental 'Tupsy Tee' product (which I will show in tomorrow's blog post). I really do need to make up another batch or two of cards, but as mentioned in previous blogs, I have been using my own photos in my card making. On Friday night I frustrated myself as I was looking for the 'perfect' photos for my cards and spent an hour or two, purely browsing my albums on my computer. I felt frustrated as I thought it was a waste of time. I had to leave it and work on another project. Hopefully when I sit down to make them tomorrow, the 'ideal' photo will make itself known to me.

Thanks for looking. I hope that you had a great weekend!

Friday, 19 October 2012

Friday Thoughts - Comprehension

I love teaching little children...

It is fantastic to see littlies grow in all aspects - in their confidence, in their independence and academically. Little children are like little sponges and seem to 'soak' up information and learning at such a fast rate. It is one of the rewards of teaching.

At the beginning of the year, you teach these little ones sounds of the alphabet and by the end of the year they can read sentences, even mini-novels for themselves. However, one draw back of being able to read more complex words, is that these little ones don't necessarily 'think' about what they are reading. Comprehension is a vital skill in reading, otherwise why read?? It is a skill to comprehend what is read and then respond to it, be it a form, a letter or a story.

One such idea to help with comprehension, is this fun activity (that unfortunately I can't source the original creator of this idea - I do apologise). The idea is to find a piece of short text that is age appropriate for the child(ren). I chose a simple poem about a boat that was blue, that had two red sails and oars. After reading the text, the child(ren) paint a picture of what the text depicts. Not only is this a fun activity (as painting always is for children) but it shows whether the child(ren) have understood what was in the text and their thinking about the imagery of the text. This activity could be used with children from a range of ages, not necessarily little children.

Have a lovely weekend :)

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Thursday Inspiration - Strawberries

Things should soon return to normal...

Mr T and I were away for this past weekend to travel and to help celebrate a family member's milestone birthday. It was lovely to catch up with family again and I am blessed with lovely 'in laws'. We all seem to get along well together and enjoy each other's company. It was also lovely to catch up with my little niece that is nearing two. I admire the patience of her parents as they endeavour to encourage their little one to eat up their meal, however, one thing that I notice that she loves to eat is ...strawberries.

Strawberries are also a favourite fruit of mine. They seem to herald the beginning of the Spring and Summer fruit season. I love strawberry jam, desserts, fresh strawberries and cream...and also popped in a glass of sparkling wine! Mmmm...

Strawberry charm by 'Saturday Lollipop'

How cute is this? A tiny little plate of strawberries, ready to eat. Crafted out of polymer clay, this charm would be a talking point. 'Saturday Lollipop' have a range of miniatures used as charms. A lovely and original gift idea.

Door stop by 'Squiggle and Stitch'

You could always put strawberries on the floor, near the door! I love the teaming of cute strawberry fabric and pink and white polka dot fabric to create this door stop. A simple design and also a practical idea.

Strawberry Yoghurt soap by 'From My Hearth'

I can just imagine the smell of this soap...mmm...strawberry yoghurt. Soaps from 'From My Hearth' use only natural ingredients, which helps to look after your skin. A lovely little indulgence for yourself or, once again, would make a lovely gift - maybe as part of a 'pamper pack'.

Crayon Wallet by 'SuSu Designs'

I love the mix of the softer strawberry patterned fabric and the harsher hessian fabric. It opens to show housing for five crayons and paper for a budding little artist to draw on. A practical and sturdy gift for an artistic little one.

I hope that this provides you with some inspiration :)

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Wonderful Wednesday - Flags

Lots of flags were waving on the weekend...

While I was watching the 'Bathurst' V8 car race on TV, I witnessed various flags - flags of support for teams, flags twirling around during the race showing when there is a problem ahead and, of course, the chequered flag at the end of the race to signal the end. Hence the inspiration for this Wednesday is 'flags'...

Bunting by 'Run Wild Horses'

I love the simple designs of 'Run Wild Horses'. They make a variety of banners, especially for weddings or Christmas, which would enhance these celebrations. Check out the variety of banners...

Bunting purse by 'Seventh Sphere'

I love the bright and colourful flag design on this purse. It would hold loose coins just nicely, so that they don't roll around at the bottom of the handbag.

Cupcake flag toppers by 'Red Elephant Creative'

What about flags for little cakes? Check out these mini flags that can decorate your cupcakes. Just love the red and white striped design!

Happy Birthday Banner by 'Ben and Jess'

I love the Kokeshi Doll design on this bunting. 'Ben and Jess' make quality decorations for a variety of celebrations (I have a lovely dress bunting decorating my craft area made by 'Ben and Jess'). They match the colours and the designs so beautifully.

So many different flag designs. Thanks for viewing and I hope that this inspires you :)

Monday, 8 October 2012

Monday in the making

I have been doing some experimenting lately and this is one of the results...

I have been working on upcycling t-shirts. The idea of upcycling t-shirts emerged from a book that I borrowed from the library and taking some of these ideas (and others) and playing around with them. It has also stemmed from the thought of heaps of unwanted clothing items thrown away each year, that could be re-styled and reused. Hence each item is unique and one-of-a-kind, as it depends on supply and what style each t-shirt lends itself to. This particular bolero has a tie up front with scrunched up and tied sleeves, perfect to wear over another t-shirt or long sleeve top. I hope to show many more designs.

I also made some cards over the weekend, this time with a more feminine flair as I used a picture of an apricot coloured rose. One of these cards will be destined to give to a dear family friend for her birthday. I hope to show a photo of these cards soon.

On the list:
  • more Tupsy Tee experimenting
  • a radical scarf design that I have been working on.
  • another teddy (as I loved making the last one)
Thanks for viewing :)

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Weekend Wonders

It has been a huge weekend in many regards...

Firstly, it has been a busy week and weekend planning and preparing for another term of school. In one way, it is great to stay home for a break to 'catch up on things', however, it is frustrating when all the items on the list are not ticked off at the end. Oh well...it just means doing what you can when you can.

Secondly, if you are a motor racing fan (like my family are) it was 'Bathurst' weekend in Australia. So, most of Sunday was spent keeping an eye and ear on the race. The great benefit of that, was that I spent the afternoon pecking away at some craft projects. I managed to complete some more cards and another 'Tupsy Tee'.

I hope you had a lovely weekend! Have a great week :)

Friday, 5 October 2012

Friday Thoughts - Brown Paper Bag Bear

Well...today was the last official day of my 'holidays'. I have enjoyed having a little bit more sleep in the morning and having longer and leisurely lunches, however, it has been a chance to try and catch up on a bit of work and completing a few crafty projects.

I do hope, though, that the children have had a fun and refreshing time over the holidays. You may be able to squeeze in one more crafty activity before getting back to school. Maybe you might want to try and make a brown paper bag bear. I made these with the children during last term for Book Week after reading 'No Bears' by M. McKinlay and L. Rudge, but you could make these after reading any 'bear' based book (eg. 'Big Smelly Bear' by B. Teckentrup, 'The Very Itchy Bear' by N. Bland) or purely just for fun!

What you would need:

  • a brown paper lunch bag
  • paper
  • textas, crayons, pencils
  • scissors
  • newspaper
  • sticky tape
  • glue
 Position the bag so that the opening faces downwards, not upwards.

Draw a round nose and colour it in (about 3-4cms in diameter) and cut it out.

Twist the top corners of the bag a little and keep these twists from untwisting by using tape. These will become the ears.

Draw two little dots for eyes and glue down the nose, as per the photo below. You may wish to draw on a mouth.
Scrunch up a little of the newspaper and place inside bag, being careful not to overfill it. Fold up the bottom of the bag a little and tape up the opening.

All finished...however, little designers may wish to make a body for their bear. This idea could also be modified to make a bear puppet by simply omitting the newspaper.

Have a fun and creative weekend!

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Wonderful Wednesday - About my Dad

Tomorrow is a special day for someone in my family...

It is my father's birthday. I have fond childhood memories of my father: encouraging me at netball games, his amazing drawings, grease ingrained hands and a faint smell of diesel...I've always admired my father's strength and his ability to strike up a conversation with anyone. Of course, I love heading back home and catching up once again, hence this week's inspiration are items that have something to do with my father... I wonder if you can make some links...

Truck by 'Coast and Outback Images'

A cute toy to enhance imaginative play! A handcrafted and sturdy truck that could carry a load and dump it, painted in bright red and yellow. A lovely gift to give a boy.

Hammer softies by 'Marjorie Handmade'

These hammers would be lovely items for a baby boy. I love the look of gingham and I also like the bonus little ribbon tags for little one to play with. When baby grows to be a toddler (or older) the hammer softie would be a great imaginative toy to 'fix' items around the house.

Vintage Car Magnets by 'Badge Bliss'

A great idea! Put some yesteryear on your fridge with these cute magnets. A lovely set for someone who loves historic items.

Labrador Dog Drawing by 'Scribbles + Colour'

This is adorable! This drawing captures the pleading and obedient look that Labrador dogs give. Such a detailed sketch on wood. I can't resist those eyes!

I hope that this provides you with some inspiration. Enjoy!

Monday, 1 October 2012

Monday in the making

I have had a few custom orders to fill lately. Here is one that I recently finished...

This plush duo were designed to welcome a new little arrival to the world. They are based on my 'Jellybean Buddy' idea and are a 'parent' and 'child' set. Blue was a suggested colour, so I worked with that colour with two different shades, making each bird opposite. These little owls are hand stitched out of woollen felt, with all features stitched not glued.

Also finished in my studio is a custom order for a bag tag and another selection of cards. I have also been busy working on my first 'Tupsy Tee'. I hope to show photos of all of these soon...

I have also been chasing up some special gift boxes so that I can start to put together some newborn photography packs as gifts for new parents or for baby showers. Hopefully that can be finalised soon...

Thanks for browsing :)