Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Procrastination skirt!

Problem: One hanging wall pocket to be made for Kindy (a bit tedious and more work than I'd imagined), combined with one bored toddler who missed her big kindy brother.

Solution: Procrastination skirt! Drag out the scrap box, let said toddler pick out all her 'favourites' and turn them into a skirt to wear when we pick big brother up from Kindy.

Rating: A big A+ for a super fast project, and AA+ for the sweetness of a two year old walking around telling everyone that she made her own skirt (and mum helped).

In other sweet and scrappy news, some of my fabric bookmarks have been featured on the Sew Mama Sew website, along with some great fabric bookmark tutorials.

So if you're a bookworm (or know somehow who is) and you're in the mood to whip up a few bookmarks yourself, then check it out. Very fun, and there's something so nice about a special bookmark (great presents for teachers too!).

And speaking of all things schoolish (hello segue) do you remember the rhyme "ladybird ladybird fly away home..."

Well this gorgeous little ladybird has flown all the way to its new home with me. Yay!!! The gorgeous Lola Ladybird came from Lin at Paper Doll blog, as a Valentine giveaway. And I was the lucky lucky winner! Can you believe it!! If you don't already know that I have a thing for ladybirds, then check out the shoes at the bottom of this post!! And if you haven't visited Lin's beautiful blog I strongly suggest you do - it is full of beauty and creativity, and it is a real joy to spend time there!

Lastly, I have been very honored to have receive a Proximidade Award from Little Chrissy. Chrissy is an amazingly creative crafter who makes gorgeous brooches, jewellery and even lovely little booties! Thank-you Chrissy, I am really chuffed that you thought of me for this.

Proximidade is described as follows:

This blog invests and believes in PROXIMITY - nearness in space, time and relationships. These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes for self-aggrandizement! Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers!

The only problem with this award is that it is supposed to be passed on to only eight people. And I've no idea how I could possibly narrow down my heaving bloglines AND Google subscriptions to my favourite eight!!!! EEEKKKKK!!! I just can't do it. So can I please just urge you to check out some of the blog links in my blog rolls. Have a peek at a blog you've never read before. You just might find something special :)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Vintage sewing pattern anyone?

In an effort to raise a bit more cash for the Handmade Help Bushfire Appeal, I have started raiding my considerable stash of vintage sewing patters (because hey, most of them are at least 2 - 4 sizes too big for me anyway, and I'm nowhere near a clever enough sewer to downsize them - so out they go!!!). They are currently for sale in the Beckybean Etsy Shop.

I have added a few in the last day or so, but will continue to add more over the next week. So far six have already walked out the door (three on their way to France - oooh la la!!), so I'm hoping there will be more following suit over the next couple of weeks. At $4.00 USD and free postage within Australia I'm only going to raise a lot of $$$ by selling a lot of patterns, so I've got my fingers crossed.

The proceeds of these sales will all be going to Wildlife Victoria. I figured I have so far made all my donations to Red Cross so it's time for me to think about the animals. Speaking of which, doesn't that story about the Koala and the Fireman just bring tears to you eyes? In a good way, for a change!

As does the story about the Ingham residents who received their flood grants from the government, only to hand them straight over to the Bushfire Appeal. After all the tragedy and sadness it is so heartening and humbling to see such humanity emerge from all around our country, and even around the world. In fact, here are just a few stories I think are worth sharing:

* This morning I was talking to Lee's Kindy teacher, who told me how the women at her gym did a 'creams and lotions' drive, with all the ladies buying face creams and hand creams and cleansers, to send to the Bushfire survivors.

* The Kindy also offered to put a Handmade Help flyer into every kids locker (that's 88 flyers!!).

*Our local IGA is donating 20% of all their sales to the Red Cross Bushfire Appeal this Friday, and I heard the owner saying that the business next to him has already had a sausage sizzle fundraiser, with thousands of dollars being donated to the Red Cross .

*Our local primary school has just had a casual dress day and raised almost $2000 for the Red Cross.

*My mum's work have donated dollar for dollar any money their workers donate to Red Cross.

*My husband's work donated $25,000 to Red Cross.

*A lady in the next suburb is collecting handmade goods to distribute to affected families.

These are just the things happening in my little local area - it doesn't include everyone who has taken part in the Handmade Help community project, or those that have donated their handmade goods to the Oz Bushfire Appeal Etsy Shop - an online shop set up by DUST for the sole purpose of raising money for the bushfire survivors, or people running book drives, handmade toy collections, making comfort packs....the list goes on and on.

And although this list seems huge, I know that these are just the things I have happened to hear about. I know so many people are doing so much more that I don't even know about, and for the first time in a long time I feel like people in general are united. People are focusing on what they have and what they can do, rather than what they don't have, and what's being done for them. I feel a kindness and compassion in strangers that I hadn't noticed before. When I heard the IGA owner telling the op shop ladies about his fundraiser this Friday (he was asking if he could tape a flyer to their window) I felt like hugging him, because he sounded so passionate about what he was doing. And also, just because I understood. We all feel a connection to what has happened. We all feel like we can maybe make a difference. Don't worry, I didn't hug him. That would have been weird...

And of course all this isn't going to bring back lives that have been lost. And it can't erase pain and grief. But it is a small pheonix rising from the ashes. And it makes me feel hopeful :)

PS. Buy some patterns :D

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Handmade Help Bushfires Appeal

I have found it so hard to start this post - there are just no words to adequately describe the horror with which I have learned about the events which have taken place so close to where I grew up as a child. 'Bushfires' just doesn't seem like a strong enough word, although really I guess they were 'firestorms' which is a word that comes much closer to the mark. So many lives lost, so many homes destroyed. Whole towns razed - the sadness just weighs so heavily.

Apart from giving what money we can, Jade and I have also listed two bags in our shop that will have the full proceeds going to the Red Cross Bushfire Appeal as part of the Handmade Help initiative being run by Cindy of Bug and Pop.

Visit the dedicated Handmade Help blog to find out what you can do to help, whether it be donating items for sale or auction, donating goods or services, or simply buying products from people who are donating their proceeds to the bushfire survivors.

The two bags Jade and I are donating the proceeds from are:

The Eco Market Tote in Jaffa, made by Jade (which you might remember was recently featured on the front page of Etsy).
EDITED: This has now SOLD

And the Clip-Clap Reversible Handbag, made by myself (which was recently featured on the Cuteable website).

EDITED: This has now SOLD also - Thank-you so much!!!

So please, visit the Handmade Help blog to find out more about how you can help out. There are so many crafty and non-crafty ways to help out. And they all make a difference.


Sunday, February 8, 2009

Nice things

So many nice things have happened in the last week or so.

Very chuffed to find a new Beckybean bag featured on Cuteable this week. Yay!

Also posted off my Pay-It-Forward gifts to Ingrid, Cam and Jess.

Some of these little suckers were included in the packs.

To see what else was sent off you can see the lovely post by Cam (CurlyPops), showing off her package of stuff here, and an equally lovely post by Jess (Button Beauty) about her parcel of stuff here.

Jade and I also completed another shop update of reversible handbags.

Rather than just making stuff randomly and uploading things as we make them, we have decided to do 'runs' of items and then do a heap of uploads at once. Much easier!

First run was market totes, and the latest was reversible handbags. Coming up will be clutches and coin purses like the 'pay-it-forward' ones above. SOOOO much fun doing this with someone, rather than on my own :)

Lastly, in other lovely last-week-news, I met up with the fabulous girls from the BrisStyle committee at the Pandemonium Cafe (actually it was the weekend before last, but I'm a bit behind :P), where fellow BrisStylette Tracy from Hey Harriet is exhibiting her work. Tracy couldn't make it, so instead left little magnetic artworks for everyone to take home.

Isn't is beautiful! The background paper is vintage pianola paper - cool huh! Tracy will be exhibiting her work there until 28 March although I do believe all her works have sold already, so you'll just have to content yourself with looking :) If you're a Brisbanite then check out the Pandemonium website for details on the cafe and how to get there. Fab food and coffee too!

Lastly, in case you hadn't noticed, I have added a button to the sidebar that shows the current giveaway happening on the BrisStyle blog. There will be giveaways by featured members each month on the blog so I figured that a permanent space featuring the current prize would be a good idea.

Currently the giveaway is a gorgeous lavender scented birdy from the very talented Rebecca of Edward and Lilly, so make sure you pop over and leave a comment to enter.

In other giveaway news, Ali from Charlie and Grace is also giving away a softie from her Etsy shop.

Her new softies are based on her four year old's drawings and are SOOOO gorgeous!

Oh, and Hayley from REread design has two gorgeous birdy brooches (made from old children's books) to give away on her blog too.

She is also having a 2 for 1 sale in her Etsy shop until Valentines day - woo hoo!

OK, that's it form me! Hope you all had a wonderful week also. Here's to another one :)


Thursday, February 5, 2009

It's all about me me me!

Yep folks, the theme of today is.... well... me! Starting with a couple of my fav birthday presents that I've been meaning to show. My very lovely in-laws gave me a voucher to spend on Etsy for my birthday, so I decided to try and find myself some clothing. So much beautiful stuff on Etsy I tells ya, but with the AU dollar crash everything seemed to be just outside my budget. And then I discovered Victoria n' Bird.

I can't tell you how much I love this dress - I've tried it on with just about everything I own and I love how I can dress it up or dress it down. Oh, and it's got pockets (and I'm sure I've mentioned before how much I adore dresses with pockets).

Another favourite present is this gorgeous cookbook that I got with a book voucher (one of the gifts from my lovely husband).

I'm sure I'm probably the only person to not know about Frankie Magazine's Afternoon Tea, but hey, even if I'm late on the bandwagon, I'm so glad I got there eventually! Not only are the recipes drool-inducing (I'm busting to make:

Nelly's apple shortcake..

...as well as

Best-ever choc chip cookies) but the photos are just divine, in that wonderfully stylish, crafty, vintage way that Frankie has. And the recipes are all old-fashioned, simple treats.

They remind me of the big morning tea spreads we would have at our outback country tennis tournaments, where all the local mums would try and outdo each other with their home-baked treats. Morning tea was always my favourite part of weekend tennis :P

Lastly, a little present from me, to me.

After making countless market totes for other people, I finally got round to making one for myself, and I love it. I used some gorgeous organic cotton/linen blend fabric from Duckcloth, with a piece of vintage linen tablerunner across the front, and orange homespun on the inside.

And the wooden buttons seemed to go with the natural fibre feel of the bag. It has been getting quite a workout lately, and not only at the markets!!!

And so what would a post about me be, without a meme all about...well....me! Lin from Paper Doll tagged me for the 6 unspectacular things about me meme some time ago and I've been super slack in getting it done. I know I've done this a couple of times already so I've been wracking my brain for some new and interesting mundane facts about myself. So anyway, here they are (feel free tune out or wonder away from the computer now....)

1. I get nervous about memes. I like reading them, and I don't mind doing them, but I worry about passing them on. Like really worry. So my solution is to leave them as an open invitation (so play if you like - just let me know and I'll edit this post and link to you :))

2. I love the smell of mangoes but don't like the taste or texture of them. Blurgh!

3. My favourite time of day is late evening, just before twilight, when there is a sepia toned glow to everything and sounds travel further and have a certain echo to them. If someone is cooking something yummy for dinner and the smell wafts over then even better. The ambiance of it always makes me feel like all is right with the world. Unfortunately, since having kids I rarely get to enjoy this time of day. Usually I am doing the dinner/bath/stories dance with the kids, who at that time are tired but fighting it so it's all kinda manic....*sigh*

4. I think one of the most useful things I learnt in High School was touch-typing. It is a skill I use every day :P

5. Speaking of touch-typing, I got through a whole year of typing class in high school, only to find out at the end that the teacher didn't even know my name. She actually asked me what "Bet' was short for - she thought it might have been something Norwegian. When I said "No, Bec - short for Rebecca" she was genuinely astounded. She was pretty old I guess, and probably a lifetime spent around manual typewriters did nothing for her hearing!!

6. If I was rich I would only ever buy ethically made fabrics. I come close to this by mostly only using salvaged and reclaimed fabrics in my sewing, but I would love to use more new organic fabrics, and fabrics made from hemp and bamboo. Sewing with the organic cotton/linen blend fabric I got for my bag was SO satisfying (in fact, I think it may have been the most beautiful and pleasing fabric I've ever sewed with). I'd love to do more of it.....just have to find the $$$$

Ok, so enough about me - I promise I'll keep myself out of future posts...for a while anyway:)