Saturday, July 31, 2010

Handmade Christmas Challenge

Where on earth did July go? Tomorrow signals the first day of August and five months before Christmas. In 8 weeks time, the stores will start loading up on Christmas gifts and that all too familiar Christmas song loop will start to raise its ugly head on every aisle at your local supermarket. I am determined for Christmas shopping not to scare the wits out of me this year.

I'm happy to report that I have done extremely well this week thanks to the amazing local talents of 5 Star, Baby and Bob and Mabel. They had a fantastic sale on Wednesday and I went a little nuts buying handmade Christmas gifts for our challenge this week. Here's just a few of them...

Gorgeous hair clips and ties for all the little girls in our extended family 
 Beautiful fabric pencil cases to add to my girls Christmas stockings.

There is a fabulous Christmas in July crafty corner going on here which has loads of crafting ideas that would kick start the most dormant of Christmas spirits. If Christmas Crafting is not your thing, you could try getting inspired by yule critters over here.

What wonderful creations are you making for Christmas? Have you spied someone else's creation that would be perfect for a loved one? Perhaps you need some help with a few ideas.To join in, just leave a comment and simply add your link below.You can join in anytime during the week. If you are new to this meme, click here for all the details on how to join in on this Handmade Christmas Challenge and feel free to grab my button.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

My creative space

Finally, another one of my DIY projects has come to fruition. Had it not been for the superb talents of my gorgeous friend Melinda at Little Ted Canvas, I would still be faffing around. Whilst Mel is exceptionally modest about this and goes to great lengths to tell me it's not her finest sewing, she has done a wonderful job at putting this cover together for me.

The table cloth that Mel so lovingly turned into a stool cushion cover was a flea market find from some time ago.

Mel in action sizing up the fabric to go over the cushion.

The finished product.

For more creative spaces, head over to Kootoyoo.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Wrapping it with love

I couldn't help myself. I came across the most delightful website called Cute Tape and decided I just had to have these beauties. I have added them to my ever increasing horde of gift wrapping supplies in preparation for all my handmade gifts and purchases through my Homemade Christmas Challenge. I can't wait to share them with friends and family when I next wrap their presents.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Flea Market Find

A few interesting treasures were found at the local oppy this week. In particular, I love the old wooden pastry pattern roller. I'm sure it has a far more glamorous name but that's the best I could come up with to describe it. The wheel is ceramic. lt's very cute and I can't wait to give it a try on my pastries.

I spied the hand carved wooden napkin ring holders a few weeks back and the lady at the Oppy wanted $2 for each of them. I chose to walk away from that purchase. However, one week later, I tried my luck with a different lady and she charged me $3 for everything you see in the photo. I've since decided to paint the napkin rings white which I think works really well with my table setting.

For more flea market finds visit Sophie over here.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Handmade Christmas Challenge


I have a friend at work. He's an idea's man. He comes to work most morning's with a sparkle in his eye and an eagerness to share with me his latest and greatest ideas. None of these idea's have turned into fully fledged commercial enterprises but why sweat the detail! He is passionate, he is fun, and he brings to work an air of excitement that not even the hardest cynic could penetrate. 

I have found the perfect handmade Christmas gift for my friend. 
This lovely little notebook is made by a Perth based company called Linnea. You can find it here on Etsy. It is the perfect size for his pocket or bag so he can use it every day, for all his great ideas. It's a hardcover, wrapped in a hand screen printed cotton fabric and comes in a number of colours. I just love it and I'm sure he will too. Best of all, its well within my Christmas budget for work mates. At $12, I think I'll buy a few of them.

What wonderful creations are you making for Christmas? Have you spied someone else's creation that would be perfect for a loved one? Perhaps you need some help with a few ideas.To join in, just leave a comment and simply add your link below.You can join in anytime during the week. If you are new to this meme, click here for all the details on how to join in on this Handmade Christmas Challenge and feel free to grab my button.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Winter romance and flannel pajama's

I was complaining to my husband the other day
that there never seems to be enough time or intent
for good old fashioned romance

Where you stare adoringly into each others eyes
and whisper sweet notes of love

To this I got a grunt and then the pearls of wisdom that only a husband could dish out
"You don't exactly inspire romance when you shuffle around in those fluffy slippers all night, blowing your nose and wearing those flannel pj's"

What do they say about a woman scorned?
Hell hath no fury perhaps!
bugger you then..
I'll create my own bloody romance!

and so I set about creating it
on a night that was bitterly cold
when the kids were cranky and tired
and we'd had enough of settling their disputes

First, the candles were lit...

then the homemade pizza's were made...

and to finish we grazed on a basket full of homemade chocolate coated strawberries


I got my romance...
let me be more precise...
 I achieved what I set out to do.

A night of ambiance with a hint of romance in the air, 
even if it was shared with two tired children and a sheepish husband.

My creative space

Giving an old flea market find a new shabby chic image

I found these hand carved napkin rings at my local Oppy last week and decided to treat them to a bit of a makeover.




For more creativity, play along over here.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Faux French

Surely I'm not asking too much when I dream of a day that we have a flea market that rivals this one. Truly, to live in a town that hosts these kinds of magnificent markets must be like waking up to Christmas every day. I'm so incredibly jealous and hope that one day Melbourne will step up and host a market of this measure. I must say though, I was very surprised to learn that this is not France but Indiana, USA. The American's certainly know how to do faux French! Thank you French Larkspur for these inspirational images.

All images via French Larkspur

Monday, July 19, 2010

The dreaded blue couch gets a makeover

You may remember a post last month where I lamented about all the DIY projects I had started but not finished. Then, a few weeks later, I finished the telephone table and now, I can happily report that I am on the home stretch of breathing new life into the dreaded blue couch. The pattern is perfect and the tacking job I did with the fabric around the frame of the couch looks presentable. It may not be a new couch but it is 'oh so much better' than it's stain ridden, seam popping, revolting blue previous self.


(with material tacked on to the frame of the couch)


The couch is an L shaped 6 seater. Currently we have them separated (which is why there is an absence of a right arm) but we will be re-uniting them shortly.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday

Early winter morn for our guinea pigs free ranging it in our fairy garden which they call home.

To join in, visit Hey Harriet.

Flea Market Find

There is only one thing better than finding a flea market must-have....

and that's one that is bought for you and just happens to be....

made by my all time favourite designer, Alannah Hill

My sister-in-laws where in Paddington last weekend and came across a fantastic indoor flea market where they found this beautiful second hand clutch bag made by Alannah Hill. Oh, how I love it so. If only I could get away with wearing this down the local supermarket....perhaps I'll try.

For more flea market finds, check out Sophie's meme.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Handmade Christmas Challenge

It seems the more people I talk to about this little Handmade Christmas Challenge, the more ideas are generated and the more fun I have. So this week, I thought I'd share with you a little homemade recipe you can make as a Christmas gift that my friend Jay swears by. Jay comes with his own testimonial - "Its not only a crowd pleaser but it's so good it usually gets consumed on Christmas day as soon as its handed out and then it's a real hoot because everyone gets sloshed".

So my dear friends, here is the recipe for Baileys Irish Cream. Think about the beautiful gift wrapping possibilities - you could store them in old vintage bottles. You could make up labels like the above image using an illustration from an old Christmas card on top of a piece of doily cloth or jute with a nice little decoration to hang off the neck of the bottle. It keeps for two months and is oh so delicious. You could pass it off as a suped-up version of the traditional egg nog!

1 cup heavy cream
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk*
1 2/3 cups Irish whiskey
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract

*I've been told the condensed milk can make it a bit too sickly sweet so you could halve the quantity if you like.

In a blender, combine heavy cream, sweetened condensed milk, Irish whiskey, instant coffee, chocolate syrup, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Blend on high for 20 to 30 seconds. Store in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator. Shake well before serving.

What wonderful creations are you making for Christmas? Have you spied someone elses creation that would be perfect for a loved one? Perhaps you need some help with a few ideas. To join in, just leave a comment and simply add your link below.


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday

Morning sun on my backyard wall.

 For more shadow shots, visit Hey Harriet.

Flea Market Find

It was my daughter's birthday yesterday. It was a small affair with a few family members but it was a wonderful day. It also gave me an opportunity to whip out some recent flea market purchases.

These salad servers are so handy and robust. They just don't make them like this anymore. 

Pop over to Sophie's for more flea market goodies.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Handmade Christmas Challenge - Thrifty Decorating Idea

Christmas is a hectic time of year. There are presents to buy, family gatherings to navigate, menus to plan and a home to organise. Urgh...I'm tired just thinking about it. Throw in the school holidays and its no wonder many of us us look forward to Christmas just so we can finally stop and be still for a moment. Double helpings of my mum's Christmas pudding certainly stops me in my tracks!

Christmas is fun but tiring. I'm on a mission to ensure that this year, my Christmas shopping doesn't feel like a chore. That I actually spend the time thoughtfully purchasing gifts. No more panic stricken flirtations with the shopping centre on Christmas Eve. I will shop in the comfort of my home perusing the beautiful homemade creations of my fellow bloggers. I will finally do away with the steely glaze and elbows out approach that only a hardened shopper gets with only 2 hours to go before the shops close.

This week, I thought I'd share:

Thrifty Christmas Decorating Idea #1

Here's an alternative to overpriced Christmas stockings. Make some linen or jute drawstring bags for hanging at the end of the bed. Customise by cutting children's initials out of fabric and then zigzag stitch on. Finish by sewing a soft decoration of their choice on the front. The decoration can be one you already own and can be changed each year.

What wonderful creations are you making for Christmas? Have you spied someone else's creation that would be just perfect for a loved one? Perhaps you need some help with a few ideas? To join in, simply add your link below.


Friday, July 9, 2010

A little garden therapy

It's hard to get out amongst it when the weather is so bitterly cold. I'm looking forward to the change of seasons so I can once again don on my gumboots and get into my fair share of planting. Until then, I'll remain inspired with these beautiful images.

Who needs leaf guttering when it can look this beautiful?!

French provincial anyone?

Adore the shelves.

Chandelier in the garden - perfect!

Apron bunting and homemade lemonade - yes please!

First image - my backyard
Other images - via Little Emma English Home and here.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

My creative space


 Whilst entertaining the kids over the school holidays, I decided to make good use of all the beautiful artwork they've made.  

With a butterfly template I found on a wonderful blog called Bugs and Fishes, I set about cutting out butterfly shapes using my children's artwork. 


I think they make a great little addition to my welcome tree in our hallway. 


I plan on cutting out loads more butterflys and putting them in a shadow box frame to hang in our kitchen.

My daughter is so creative. She made this beehive to add to the tree. We are now busily making some bees!

For more creative spaces, head over to Kirsty's at Kootoyo.