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Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Wonderful Wednesday - swim, cycle, ride

This last week has been a bit of a blur but it has been an enjoyable one. Last weekend we had the opportunity to support my brother-in-law in an Ironman competition. It is an amazing endurance event and I am so proud of his achievement in finishing in under twelve hours (yep, it's a long time to be on the move!). It's a 3.8km swim, a 180km bike ride and a 42.2km run! It was great driving from point to point and cheering him on, but to be honest, I enjoyed cheering everyone on - trying to keep them pushing through to the end. Hence my inspiration for the week - swim, cycle, ride...

Beach phone cover by 'My Little Pixels'

Great photography catches my eye and what a unique and different place to display these photos - on  a phone. 'My Little Pixels' have a variety of phone covers depicting different settings.

Magnet set by 'Badge Bliss'

I love this vintage looking set of magnets. A great gift for cycling fan!

Race brooch by 'Oh Blackbird'

I found the 'run' aspect the hardest to find an item for, but then I spotted this brooch of two children running in a 'three legged race'. I love the silhouette of the girl and boy and the cut out heart details.

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

Friday, 22 March 2013

Friday Thoughts - Thinking about Easter

We are about to enter the week leading up to Easter. For me, it feels as if time has ticked around very quickly, however the forty days of Lent (not including Sundays) is almost finished for another year.

As the supermarket shelves are bursting with chocolate goodies in preparation for Easter, it is also important to contemplate why this celebration occurs.

My husband wears a cross like this nearly everyday and attracts the occasional comment. The cross that he wears, he made in his teenage years. The cross is a poignant symbol of Easter, reminding of the brutal death of Christ. The horse shoe nails that make up the body of this cross pendant are a stark reminder of the nails that were used.

Other symbols of Easter, focusing on the 'new life' aspect of Easter include eggs, butterflies, chicks, flowers, rabbits (and other Spring items). There are lots of beautiful handmade items around at the moment that incorporate these symbols to either give as gifts or to decorate homes/Easter feasts. Madeit's Easter gift guide has a selection of these items. Click here if you wish to view this guide.Do you make any handmade items to celebrate Easter?

Have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Wonderful Wednesday - Black and White

I have a confession to make...

...I am a bit of a motor racing fan. Growing up in a car and mechanical orientated family, a bit of car racing enthusiasm had to rub off on me.

Previously, it was great to have the racing on the TV, burbling in the background and occasionally catching up on the results. However, as my brother now works in a racing team, I am now a very keen in follower of his team, right down to their successes (or problems) during practices and qualifying. It is very fascinating and I know I am hooked!

Last weekend, Melbourne hosted the Australian Grand Prix and I had my eyes on the results and happenings of some of the races. A black and white, chequered flag heralds in the winner, therefore my inspiration for the week is 'Black & White'...

Personalised Wedding Card by 'Little Angel Creations'

What a beautiful card! I love cards consisting of two colours as it looks 'clean'. I also love the beautiful accents - the bling flower and the ribbon.

Coin Purse by 'Retrofied'

I love the shape of this coin purse, but most of all I love the pattern of the fabric. Looking at the dots too much make my eyes go funny. Such a groovy pattern!

Necklace by 'Velvey and Me'

How classy! I love the mix of black fabric and bow with the dual strings of white pearls. This necklace would jazz up a black and white outfit. Lovely!

I hope that this provides you with a bit of inspiration!

Monday, 18 March 2013

Monday in the making

It has been one of those weeks and I haven't had the chance to spend as much time on my crafting as I would like. However, I was able to peck at a few things...

Over the weekend I finished the chevron aspect of my crochet project. I still have the borders to complete, however, I did have a little bit of time whilst I was travelling to crochet up a sample piece, so that I could test it out for felting. I felted this little piece and it has come up a treat - just what I wanted. I now only need to test out my embroidery

I am progressing with my handbag project. I developed the straps but weren't happy with them, so I am re-designing and re-making them. I can't wait to see the finished product.

On the list:
  • the above projects
  • headbands - replenishing stock.
Thanks for viewing!

Friday, 15 March 2013

Friday Thoughts - Mapping for young children

At times, we can take maps and directions for granted. When you stop and think about it, being able to follow a map or give directions are quite important skills. They are also quite difficult concepts as maps show a 'bird's eye' view of an area, and when giving directions, you need to verbalise the map that appears in your head of how to find a certain place.

Can young children undertake such complex thinking? Absolutely...and in a fun way. The idea is to make it relevant to them and begin with concrete materials. I tried this out with the children that I work with a couple of weeks ago and they loved this activity...

I encouraged the children to think about their own bedroom. We made a list of all the furniture that is situated in their bedroom (eg. bed, drawers, wardrobe, toy box, etc). I then gave each child an ice cream container lid (a placemat or board would work just as well) and a ball of playdough (there are various recipes that are on the web and it is easy to make). I then encouraged the children to make their bedroom furniture with the playdough and show me where it is in their room by placing it on the lid, pretending that the edges of the lid represent the walls of their room. Once they completed the playdough model of their room, I took a photo of their model from the top (from a 'bird's eye' perspective). The next lesson I had a square on a piece of paper and some smaller labelled rectangles and squares to represent various pieces of furniture. Using the photo as a guide, the children cut out the 'furniture' and glued it on the square to show a map of their bedroom.

I think if I skipped the playdough model step, developing a map of their bedroom would have been much more difficult for children. This same model and mapping idea could be also used to map a yard, a classroom, a playground or any other familiar place.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Wonderful Wednesday - On the beach

Well...the weather here has been scorching to say the least. We have had an unusual bout of prolonged, very hot weather. A couple of days of scorching weather is ok and can be dealt with, however, it does get a little harder when we are given a week or so. I was going to take the children that I work with to the beach, however, the weather on the planned day was so extreme that it would have been dangerous to our health, even if we went in the morning. Needless to say, I had a bunch of disappointed littlies, however, we had our own fun morning at our 'pretend beach' (complete with icypoles). Hence my inspiration for the week is... the beach!

Pink crochet string bag by 'Mini-Me Handcrafts

String bags are perfect to house towel, bathers and sunscreen to take to the beach. I love the crochet pattern and I love the hot pink colour.

Sea shell print by 'Two Cheeky Monkeys'

I love the mix of shell print and dictionary print. This picture has a botanical feel about it. This would look lovely on the wall of a beach shack or on the wall of a study.

You are my sunshine blocks by 'Retro Ragamuffins'

What is the beach without some sunshine? I love the quote (as it reminds me of the song) and I love the artistic presentation, by using blocks. These blocks would look great in a child's bedroom, with a lovely reminder of how special they are.

I hope that this provides you with some inspiration!

Monday, 11 March 2013

Monday in the making

Most of my creative time over the past few weeks has been spent making up extra stock, particularly for the market that I attended yesterday. It all went well and it was great to bring my products 'out' and see what people think. That is the beauty of markets.

Now, I can relax a little. Today was a public holiday where I live, so I put the day to good use by creating some packaging and also designing a handbag. Here is the result so far...

It is nearly finished. I just need to add the lining and the straps. This bag is predominantly made out of up-cycled t-shirt material, but has a strong inner part, so that it doesn't stretch. If it all works out, I will need to put it through some testing before making more. Even though it has taken me all afternoon to get this bag to this point, it has been fun to create - matching fabric, tweaking embellishments, problem solving, creating and experimenting.

Another project I have on the go is this one...

This is my crochet project and will (hopefully) become a gift. I have just about finished the body of the pattern. I will then add a border and will attempt to felt this. You could call this project an experiment in progress.

On the list:
  • Finish handbag
  • Finish crochet project
Thanks for viewing!

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Market Day

Tomorrow, we are attending another market...hence things have been busy in the studio! Some of the items that we will be bringing along...




...in fact, a whole range of items! Plus, some new items (I always seem to have ideas for new designs, right before markets)...

Have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Wonderful Wednesday - Pastels

It is the season for pastel colours at the moment. Pastel colours are soft and flower-like and are often associated with Easter. Easter has been on my mind lately, not only because it is Lent, but I also found a terrific idea for Easter and I can't wait to craft them up as gifts, hence my inspiration for the week is...pastels!

Felt mobile by 'Milbot & Chooky'

This mobile is adorable. I love the look of these fluffy, rain clouds floating in mid-air and dispensing plump, colourful raindrops. Lovingly hand stitched, this mobile would look beautiful in a nursery.

Polymer clay bead necklace by 'The Bear & the Whale'

This is so simple that it is eye-catching. These five round pastel beads strung on a simple waxed cord. Beautiful!

Crocheted rabbit rattle by 'Rosieok Creations'

What a sweet little bunny! I love his round, pear shaped body with a stripy front. His teeny, tiny ears are gorgeous. The bonus about this little fluffy character is that it is also a rattle...a perfect Easter gift for non-chocolate eating littlies.

I hope that this provides you with some inspiration!

Monday, 4 March 2013

Monday in the making

Things have been a little busier over the weekend, as I have been trying to replenish my stock of items in preparation for a market on the weekend. Over the course of the week I have made up...

... some pop up cards. My most favourite one is a design that would be ideal for a wedding - cream coloured with little cream flowers (of course, it is the one that I didn't photograph). I will add a little note on the back of the cards, so that greetings and best wishes can be added to the card for the recipient.

I also made up some brooches...

...these are also fast becoming a favourite of mine. So far, I have teamed these up-cycled t-shirt flowers with similar coloured buttons, with the aim not to detract from the simple, round flower. I also tried out an Easter egg gift idea - that is still a work in progress...

On the list:
  • brooches
  • cards
  • headbands
Thanks for viewing!