Wednesday, July 30, 2008

100th post crafty giveaway bonanza!!!

I've always wanted to get the word 'bonanza' into a post title. And now I have. Yay!

So I am joining many other fine people who are having bloggy milestone giveaways at the moment, and am having one of my own. It's funny that I had decided to have a bloggy break when I realised I was about to do my 100th post. So it seems like a good time to stop and reflect on how much blogging has enriched my life. Or rather, how the blogging community has enriched it. So thank-you to anyone who has ever read one of my posts, or has left me a comment. My little break is not a reflection on my lack of appreciation that's for sure. Ok, enough of the sentimental rambling of an overtired crafter. Onto the good stuff. Here's a lowdown of the loot that will go to the lucky winner of this crafty giveaway bonanza (and if you can just say this in a booming echo voice while you read this it would make me really happy :P).

1. A gorgeous vintage apron.

The detail on this little baby is amazing (unlike my ironing skills which are significantly less than amazing - sorry).

2. Six vintage sewing patterns.

The Simplicity patterns top left and bottom right are a women's size 12. The Simplicity pattern bottom left is a women's size 16. The girls' dresses pattern is a size 6, the toddler patterns are a size 3, and the boys' shirt pattern is a 35" chest (and come on, wouldn't a teenage boy just love to wear a homemade shirt like one of these...he he...) Oh, I haven't thoroughly checked that all patterns are intact but they do seem to be, and I have no reason to believe they aren't.

3. Five vintage knitting patterns and one vintage crochet pattern. Check out the ciggies in some of these shots. The dude is doing the 'casual ciggie' hold, and I think the chick is going for a 'sexy sophistication' look. And I'm not even going to comment on the girl doing the crochet, with her little brother holding her wool, and the older brother looking down with interest...yep, moving on...

4. A pack of vintage sheet fat quarters.

5. Some handmade goodies, including a fabric bookmark,

felt rosette brooch, and felt hair clip.

Now as I may have mentioned once or twice, I am now having a bloggy break. So you will have plenty of time to enter. I will do a random draw to determine the winner on Thursday 14th August. To enter, I am actually going to bully you into participating in some market research for me. No don't worry, I'm not going to ask for your phone numbers and ring you during dinner time to ask you to do a quick survey which will only take five minutes but really will take 40mins. No - what I am asking you to do is just to visit my Etsy shop and tell me in the comments here, which is your favourite item. I have committed to doing a market with BrisStyle at Christmas time, and I really have no idea what I should be focussing my efforts on making. Little bags, big bags, girls' bags, boys' bags, brooches, clips, bookmarks.....if you can just copy and paste the name of the item you like best it would really help me to make some decisions. If you could also tell me why that item is your favourite that would be great - but it's not an entry requirement (I know how time consuming commenting is). And you might win a nice prize :P

Thanks again to everyone who reads these posts (especially those who actually make it all the way to the bottom). Many thanks my friends. Be well. XXX Bec

This is...where I'm going, and where I've beanie...

Oh, and a 100th post giveaway announcement!!!. Did I forget to mention that in the title? Sorry, but I can never resist a bad pun title - and I just couldn't work the giveaway in. I'm actually going to do the giveaway in the next post - but seeing as though this post is the big number 100, it seems right that I should mention it here...Anyway, check my next post (coming about 30mins after this one :P) for more info on this.

I'm bundling a few things up into the free-styling this is...theme this week. And I also want to take the opportunity to say thanks to Angela from Three Buttons for hosting, as I'm pulling out for a while. I may return, but I definitely won't be around for next week's...

So back to explaining this title. Firstly. Where I'm going. Well - away for a little bit. Ok, not really away - I guess what I'm really doing is detoxing. From internet overload. With everything so busy at the moment, I am finding that the time I spend on this blog, on Etsy and Flickr, and reading and commenting on other people's blogs, is just becoming excessive. I need to 'cleanse' my personal operating system (so to speak), so I'm going to try limiting my time on the computer to a bit in the morning, and a bit in the evening for a couple of weeks.

So please excuse my absence - I am hoping I will still be able to keep up with reading my bloglines - but I may just lurk more than usual, so please excuse my lack of commenting. And I won't be updating this space for a bit.....well that is the plan anyway. Let's see if I can actually do it - I mean goodness, it's only two weeks I'm aiming for. I am hoping it will give me a little much needed mental space, and help me to focus on actually 'doing' things, rather than reading or writing about them. I'm also hoping to make a bit of a dint in my fabric stash and pump a few things out. I have so many ideas and things I want to do, but it is so hard to find time. After that, I envisage that I will bounce back into cyberspace pumped and ready to start saying hello again :)

Whew, so the second part of the title. Where I've been. In two words - going mad. Well, not really - just busy. Kids' birthdays, Etsy orders, visiting relatives, and the odd bit of knitting has kept me well and truly out of trouble. Remember the gorgeous yarn I bought ages ago? Well I finally did make that beanie, and as it turns out it was really easy and I LOVE it.

Only problem is that it is a bit small for me. But perfect for Lee, and he loves it. For some reason he has decided to call it his 'genie hat' (I have no idea why). Now I just have to make another one, but with bigger needles, and maybe just a few more rows in the middle.

I've also been making brooches and hair clips for the shop (see images above), as they are little things I can do while multitasking (unlike sitting at a sewing machine).

So bye-bye for just a little while (a whole two weeks - I know, I sound pathetic don't I?). And don't forget to check my very next post (which will be immediately following this one) for the giveaway details. I figured it would be much easier if the giveaway had a post of its own. This post is getting well and truly long enough.

Adios amigos


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Space Rocket art print giveaway

How cool does that title sound? Too cool for a giveaway of my own that's for sure - but if you are interested in winning a Space Rocket art print then head on over to the Twinkle Star Art blog to enter (note: the print will not be this exact print shown here - the one you can win is currently a work in progress, and can be seen on Amanda's blog).

Amanda, of Twinkle Star Art, is an amazing artist and illustrator, and is a member of the two Etsy Street Teams I belong to (BrisStyle and DUST) and she is currently running a competition to win a copy of the latest children's art print she is working on. I can personally vouch for the amazing quality of Amanda's work, and she is a lovely person to boot, so head on over and help her out with some ideas. Submissions close on the 31st of July.

Actually, having said that, I'm going to blast off now (he he he - how could I not throw that in?) to try and scrape the murky depths of my own imagination so that I can attempt to submit an idea of my own for the competition....boy would Lee love a space rocket picture in his room! Zooma Zoom Zoooooooooooommmmmmm!!!!!!

Oh, and for more examples of Amanda's gorgeous work check out her Etsy Shop, Ebay Shop, her Blog, or her Flickr Photostream.


Monday, July 21, 2008

This is...what makes me happy

Thanks so much to Jacinta from One Little Acorn for a brilliant This is... theme this week. So. What makes me happy? My goodness, so many things from the huge stuff to the tiny little things I am lucky enough to take for granted every day. But to keep things simple, here are just a few things that have made me feel very happy lately:

Kate's second birthday. With eighteen extended family members. Watching my kids feel so happy and loved, surrounded by both sets of grandparents, and all the people who love them best. Oh, and seeing both Granddads wearing birthday tiaras to please the birthday girl - now you don't get much more happy than that :P

Yummy pudding made by my sister, with beautiful crispy-on-top meringue...

Followed by gooey meringue underneath, with lemon curd, blueberries and custardy filling....mmmmmm..... happiness in a bowl!

Making puppets of our family with the kids (the puffy white-haired person is apparently 'Dad'...he he he... and for some reason, the 'Kate' puppet had to be a 'superhero baby', complete with a cape!).

And then, of course, sitting back and enjoying the puppet show. Kate and I were the audience, and Kate sung along and clapped with gusto. And at the end the puppeteer came out and took a bow. And that was ear-to-ear happiness my friends.

Finishing a project.This particular one is for the shop, but really, it doesn't matter if a project is for the shop, for myself, or for someone else - just 'finishing' something always feels so great. There are not a lot of jobs involved in a stay-at-home mum's role that ever get 'completed'. Raising happy, healthy, beautiful kids, doing housework, cooking food....these things are always 'works in progress'. Which is fine. But it's also nice to be able to tick things off a list sometimes and get that short-term sense of achievement. It makes me feel happy :)

Thanks again Jacinta for reminding me to walk down happy lane and appreciate all the good things along it. And now I'm off to enjoy more happy moments from everyone else's blogs. Cheers!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

One for the boys, one for me, and one for Sharon!

This is my latest new creation. After making a few 'Little Lady bags' for little girls, I decided it would only be fair to have a crack at doing some boy bags too...or as I like to term them - 'Little Man bags'. He he he, always makes me think of Kel from Kath and Kim.

So here is Jack. A mini-messenger bag with a velcro flap closure, made with vintage denim and vintage airplane fabric, and he's currently sitting in my shop.

On an entirely different note, and with no groany segue whatsoever (and as sighs of disappointment echo all over the bloggersphere...) I have a lovely award to pick up. Just let me sashay down red carpet and pull my speech out of my cleavage (yeah if I have cleavage)...

"Ahem...the lovely Sharon from Iris and Lily has very generously bestowed upon me a lovely blog award, which is very flattering coming from such a talented sewer, crafter and blog-writer. So firstly, I'd like to thank my Mum and Dad..and oh I just can't believe I'm standing here...and oh my goodness I'm so not prepared for this, um....oh yes to my husband, thank-you...and oh oh, the wind-up music already..just one more my kids you shut that damned music up?...."

Sorry about that - I think I fell into a 'Scrubs'-like daydream sequence there...

OK, so I am in turn passing this award to the following blogs:

1. Charlie and Grace - because I love reading about all the wonderful creative things Ali has been up to. And she has just done a great tutorial on making a book/journal which has me all inspired.

2. Hey Harriet - because it is always an entertaining read, and Tracy is the founder of 'Shadow Shot Sunday' which is a very inspiring meme where participants take photos of cool shadows.

3. Great stories - because it always takes me at least two days to compose my comment for each of Paula's posts. This girl really makes me think....and I like it!

4. Hot Fudge - because her blog is so full of colour and beautiful things...and I don't just mean the photos. Robyn describes her sewing exploits (which are stunning) and her family life so well - everything is always so vivid. And she makes me look forward to one day being a grandma!

5. Kimono Reincarnate - Not only does Melanie's creative talents appear to know no bounds (her bags, her jewellery, her paper/fabric folding - all beautiful) but she writes as an Aussie living in Japan, soaking up all the cultural goodness that is to be had there. Always inspiring!

6. Stripy Sock Studio - Helen's posts are honest, raw, and ridiculously beautiful. She is a writer and poet who also knits and crafts, making endless beautiful things. I like that I feel transported to a different world when reading her blog.

7. Fabric Fantastic - Kara Smith is an amazing designer, and also a really nice person to boot. I always love reading about how her business is going (and booming) and about her idyllic life in the Blue Mountains. And of course, her design aesthetic is to die for!!!

8. Leni and Rose - If you haven't checked out Michelle's posts on technical bloggy tips and tricks then you are definitely missing out. Not only that, but you are missing a whole lotta crafty inspiration too, as Michelle knows her way around a sewing machine as artfully as she does a computer!

Whew!!! OK, now lastly.....these were baked a long time ago, so I'm sorry Sharon, they may be a bit stale by now - but these are for you :) In honor of the gorgeous apron you sent me the kids and I whipped up these yummy afghan biscuits, and the aprons are all nicely christened with butter and chocolate stickiness.

And for everyone else - if you got to the end of this long post and you're still awake - then you deserve a bikkie too! Oh go on, have two. The ARE really yummy :)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

This is ... what scrambles my brain when I try to understand it

Thanks to Juddie from Flightless Boyds for this week's This Is... theme (and to Angela from Three Buttons for hosting). This week's theme was easy (and it was great to have two to choose from). Whenever anyone asks me what my husband does for work, I have an awful time trying to explain. I basically have a spiel that I recite, that I have learnt by rote, and which I really don't actually understand. Or sometimes I just pop a few words like 'Ethernet' 'D Slams' and 'dark fibre' into my sentences, and once I see the eyes glaze over I know I've explained enough. According to Matt apparently I get a bit overexcited and start throwing in other terms that are not actually anything to do with what he does....but I really like saying 'fibre to the node'. I always feel like pulling a gangsta pose after I've said that one.

It is a running joke at Matt's work that they should just put this sign on their office door and be done with it.

I gotta tell ya, if this cat came to my door selling his internets - I'd buy two!!

* data centre image by Wirenine
** cat image from

Monday, July 7, 2008

This is...a bit of a catch up...

I've had so much trouble keeping up with blogging lately, so here's a catch-up from the last two 'This is...' themes.

Last week's theme, as chosen by Betty Jo from Lino Forest was My Best Op Shop Find. And basically I was paralysed by the choices, as I've found so many great things over the years. In the end, I chose my favourite most recent find, which is this little embroidered tablecloth (sorry, I really should have ironed it, but hey, I think I may have confessed here once or twice already that I'm lazy like that!).

I just love the little Scotty dogs around the edge, and the little matching napkin (shown in the middle of the cloth). It's in perfect condition - looks to have never been used!

And this week's theme, as chosen by Danielle from Teacups on Treatops is My Most Treasured Childhood Possession.

Again I have lots of things from teddies, to plastic jewellery, to poems written in Grade 2.

But the thing I love most is this tin. Looks pretty unexciting really doesn't it! But it used to belong to my Grandma, and it was always filled to the brim with buttons. I would spend hours at her place playing with this tin, or rather with the buttons within. I would sort them by colour, then by size, then by pattern, or even by interestingness. I even loved the feel and the sounds of them.....are you starting to get the picture of where my button addiction may have originated? Anyway, this button tin became mine a long time ago, and before I discovered sewing, it just sat in my special meatsafe cupboard (another treasure that once belonged to Grandma and Grandad - it is a rickety old thing with a stained-glass window in the top cupboard door, with wire mesh at the sides. Grandma used to keep her potatoes in it. But I digress...).

Anyway, once I discovered sewing, I realised I could actually start using the buttons I had loved so much for so long. And then I realised that I actually had an excuse to start a button collection of my own, adding to Grandma's stash.

And of course my button collection fast outgrew this old tin, and is now sorted (by colour) in glass jars by my sewing area. But this tin still has pride of place. It now contains pieces of elastic, because I like to think it would still prefer to be useful. And I never tire of looking at it. If I am stuck for inspiration, this tin always takes me back to a childhood filled with colour, texture, and imaginative wonder.

All this from a tin eh?....who'da thunk it!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Aprony goodness!

A little while ago I was the very lucky winner of a giveaway being run by Sharon from Iris + Lily, as a celebration of the opening of her new Etsy Shop.

Today, a parcel arrived.

Beautifully wrapped. My son was very excited (as we all are when parcels arrive in the post) and kept asking if it was something for him. A little guiltily, I said "no, I think it's for mummy".

He very helpfully assisted me in unwrapping it anyway. And inside was not just the giveaway apron I had won (although I was already squealing with delight at the sight of it alone, a beautiful package in itself!).

There were two other little apron bundles - again, each tied up so beautifully. That hand is my son pointing out which bundle he thinks is his. By now there were two of us squealing!!!

I can't tell you how absolutely stoked I am by Sharon's amazing generosity. She whipped up two little aprons so my children wouldn't feel left out. Not just any old aprons either - both are matching to mine, with their own screen printed vintage spoons - and the ties are adjustable through the neck and waist so they are super easy to get on and off and can be adjusted to fit just right, while still only having one tie at the back. They even had their own little loops for hanging them up. Just beautiful!

Of course you can guess what came, not baking....ahem...


I thought adding a rolling pin as a prop would add to the domestic authenticity of the shot, but I look more like a domestic Tank Girl about to bop someone....hhhhmmmmm.

I've got to admit, I feel way cooler wearing this apron then when I am donning my vintage numbers - much as I love them as well, it's a whole different feel. I actually want to wear this one out!!!!

And have I mentioned the level of detail that has gone into this apron. From the hand screen-printed vintage spoon designs, to little button and ribbon details, and even a hand-embroidered label on the side. How cool is that!

OK, enough pics of me doing my domestic vanity thing. The kids were bouncing up and down waiting for their own go..

Lee decided to play air guitar with his rolling pin.

Kate was waving her whisk madly at me.

And they both wore their aprons for the rest of the day.

OK, make that...we ALL wore our aprons for the rest of the day.

Thank-you so much Sharon for such generous gifts. They are very well loved, and I now know exactly what I will be buying for my friends when their birthdays come around.


PS. I know I am ridiculously late with this week's THIS IS post, but I'll do a catch-up later in the week. This post DEFINITELY had to come first :)