Monday, September 27, 2010

Flea Market Find

Happy Monday all. Last weekend I just happened to arrive at my local oppy when they were just opening their doors. There is something to be said about that lovely phrase "an early bird catches the worm" because I spotted these two magnificent vintage sleeping bags as they were being dropped off. 

Very 70's, mint condition, with great big industrial sized zips. I love them but other than using them as sleeping bags, I'm not sure what to use them for. The kids would get a good kick out of them but we are not really the camping type (hubby has two wonky hips and I have a wonky neck) so I was thinking perhaps I could convert them into giant sized cushions for the kids to use or maybe use them outside in our entertaining area and line the bottom with canvas to keep them water proof. 

What do you think?

For more flea market goodies, head over here.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Handmade Christmas Challenge

Creative Christmas Trees

My handmade Christmas Challenge was slightly delayed this weekend due to football grand finals and trying to keep my husband calm whilst watching his beloved team draw a tie, which in Aussie rules almost never, ever happens. Cannot believe we'll be back reliving the tension and excitement of the game all over again next weekend!

This week I thought I'd share with you some gorgeous handmade entries from last week's meme and a couple of new creations to wet your creative whistle. Make sure to visit each other in support of those making an effort to keep it handmade this year. There are some gorgeous gifts being made and some wonderful decorations to boot.

A beautiful handmade tutorial from last week's entry on how to create seaside inspired (with just a touch of glitter and glamour) Christmas decorations. These handmade beauties can be found at Tales from an oc cottage

 Fancy making this gorgeous burplap and starfish wreath. Head over to the DIY Show Off

This set of 10 French-inspired handmade Christmas cards/postcards comes from the talented Mandy at A la pariesienne. The cards come with rounded corners and embellished with irridescent glitter which is perfect for anyone who loves romantic, vintage, and French-inspired stationery. You can buy this gorgeousness at Mandy's Etsy shop 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, September 23, 2010

My creative space

Since posting about the (almost) completion of the kitchen reno...(I say almost because I still have some light fittings to put in - more of that later), I have been trying to work out how best to compliment my gorgeous golden birchwood shades.

Oh, quick shout out to Lara from Ink & Spindle (the creative genius who made the birchwood printed fabric) as she featured the shades from my kitchen in her blog this week. Anyway...yes seem to be getting very distracted....I have been considering how I best compliment those shades.

So, I've been randomly picking on my rather gorgeous white homewares and turning them gold. Just not sure of the end product and whether I've gone too far? Your thoughts are appreciated. 

Should I paint the handles yellow? After all, they do look like flowers don't you think?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A trip to France please

Dear Santa, I know I'm early....just hear me out. I've been such a good girl all year and I've even being rustling up lots of interest to get everyone into the spirit of Christmas through my humble little Handmade Christmas Challenge. I realise my request is a little early but Santa I'm in desperate need of a holiday. 

Yes, I realise I live near the ocean and I really do appreciate how lucky we all are to live in such beautiful surroundings, but the cleaning and the chores are still here when I get home which means I don't get as much time as I'd like to enjoy said sea shanty life. 

So, I was thinking, no need to fill my stocking full of stuff this Chrissy. All I need Santa is a ticket. A ticket to a foreign land. One with bread sticks, posh accents and people who love to love. That's right Santa, I want, correction...I need to go to France. Happy to take the whole family with me but if you're a bit hard up on cash, and if I must take the trip alone, I will do that for you Santa. Happy to drop off a few gifts for you on the way if Rudolph and his pals are a bit long in the tooth and a little slow these days. 

Perhaps you're a visionary like me Santa and need some colour and movement to really appreciate my depth of gratitude should you grant me my wish.


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Flea Market Find

I have been very good at resisting the temptation of e-bay but in a moment of weakness I registered my details and bought these vintage chemist dispensing bottles. I love their honey amber colour with glass tops. They were an absolute steal and I was the only bidder. I love thinking about the history of these bottles. Apparently they were found in a cellar underneath an old Chemist shop. The label on the closest bottle reads 'Spts Aether Nit' and on the back of the bottle 'Aether Nitros' - I believe it contained sleeping gas! If any of you out there are medical buffs, I'd love to know more about these medical terms.

For more flea market finds, and to see Sophie's bottle collection from last week, head over here.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Handmade Christmas Challenge

We have clicked over to less than 100 days till Christmas. 100 days still sounds like a lot to me but when Myer have already started displaying their Christmas decorations, you've got to worry! Or worry not. I have officially finished my handmade Christmas (shhh, Santa) shopping for the kids. Very happy indeed. There will be no impulse buying this year. 

With the majority of my Christmas gifts out of the way, I've turned my attention to Christmas decorations. There are so many gorgeous handmade creations to consider, such as...

Mel from Little Ted Canvas Christmas bunting project

Candy striped decorations spied by Romantiska Hem

Gorgeous clay tags from Marley and Lockyer

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, September 16, 2010

My creative space

It's taken us close to two years but we are finally on the home stretch of our kitchen reno. So I thought for my creative space this week I'd show you a few before and after shots of our kitchen space.
This 80's kitchen was really ahead of its time. Can you see the built in dishwasher next to the oven at waist height? All the drawers were custom made and not too dissimilar to the slim line drawers you can buy now. The herringbone patterned timber wood panelling on the ceiling was plastered over. 
 As you can see, we gutted out the whole kitchen. We removed the bay window, squared it off and replaced it with bi-fold's. The bi-folds open out to a cafe style servery on the other side.  


Today we just finished the glass tiling on the splashback. I love the colour of the tiles - 'mint'. It's amazing what a difference the tiles have made in bringing a bit of sophistication to the space. I'm now just waiting on some droplet light fittings to hang over the island bench and then we are done.

This was the view when standing at the kitchen bench. More wood panelling! Lots of exposed brick and that suspended TV was a nightmare to remove as the iron work that cradled it was built into the brick work. In hindsight, we should have kept those light fittings and used them for our outdoor entertaining area but at the time I was in no mood to salvage things.  


This is the space now. The floor boards we bought in. The exposed brick was plastered over and then painted. The space is a bit bare.  The walls are in need of some art work but I want to make sure I get the right look. Ideally, I'd love some artwork that compliments the colours in the lamp shades.

The lamp shades are a recent purchase. They are a collaboration between Fitzroy furniture makers Wilkins and Kent and the creative and ever so talented gals at Ink & Spindle. The birchwood inspired fabric is printed by hand with eco friendly inks onto organic cotton. I'm absolutely smitten with these shades. 

Oh, and by the house never ever looks this clean. As my husband so fondly describes it, I did one of my "pyscho cleans" before I took this shot. Kids will ruin that within about .1 of a second. At least I captured it in a picture so I can remember what clean used to look like!
For more creative spaces, head over here.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Flea Market Finds


I seem to be having a bit of a purple patch at the local garage sales of late. I can never pick them though - the days when I spot a sale and from first glance, think there is nothing, is usually when I'm most surprised. Other days I feel it in my waters that I'm going to have a successful garage hunt and there's nothing but whipper snippers!

I have always had a soft squishy spot for old oil paintings and this week I found some that fit right at home. I thought they may have been originals but then I spied a number of copies at my local Oppy. 

Does anyone know much about these paintings? Would love to know their history - even if they are mass produced! 

For more flea market finds, head over to Sophie's.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Handmade Christmas Challenge

What really is the spirit of Christmas? I was encouraged to think about this after reading last week's entry from Moon Scribble. So many families I know will be watching every cent they spend this year. Financially it's been a couple of really tough years and now more than ever there is a need to cut back and save. 

Every year I've fallen into the trap that is commercial advertising and joined the masses in frenzied, unconscious buying that left me penniless. Christmas isn't about the gifts, its much more significant than that.  

So what is the spirit of Christmas then? For me, it's one day in the calendar where I reflect on the past year and give thanks for everything I have. What I give other's is my unconditional love and friendship. There is so much good will at this time that handmade Christmas gifts perfectly encapsulate these values don't you think?

This doesn't require a Master's degree in all things crafty. Simple gestures of love in the form of a handmade card or focusing on the story behind the gift you have made or bought, is really what it's all about.

Culling your list of present buying is never going to be easy but I think its important to remember that you are sticking to your values - cherishing good will over gifts, choosing sustainable living over commercialism and setting the most valuable life lesson to the next generation that expressing your love doesn't come pre-packaged with a nice neat bow around it!

And so, to get everyone inspired (regardless of your crafty bent), this week I've put together a list of free tutorials and gift ideas for you all. Please feel free to add to the list, and help spread some crafty love.

Printable stickers from the lovely Bee at Honey Jumble 
Felt Christmas tutorials over at Bugs and Fishes
A master list of Christmas tutorials at Sew Mama Sew
Fantastic gifts in a jar and all things that melt in your mouth at Inspired Papertrey Ink
A Christmas inspired crochet cushion cover at Kootoyoo

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, September 9, 2010

Make mine a Friday

I've recently come across a few blogs that just crack me up. If you too have the same kind of quirky sense of humour as me, you should get a good kick out of this. Thanks to Completely Coastal for giving me the head's up on this one...

Don't you all love thumbing your way through a good homewares and decor catalog? You'll like this one then. Catalog Living, is a blog about two fictional characters, Gary and Elaine who live their life trapped in these immaculately staged catalog rooms. Here's a few to share...

Gary was sure the arrangement of the pictures was a clue to which key would get him out of here once and for all.

The only things Elaine treasures more than her prized blue and white urn collection are the framed drawings of her blue and white urn collection.

In her annual end-of-season ritual, Elaine sent the outdated summer cushions out to sea.

Elaine had never felt more alone than when the tumbleweed interrupted her afternoon of reading and plowing through some bottled water.

After a long day, nothing pleased Gary more than sitting down to a tasty bowl of rocks with his best friend Gus at his feet.

Hope you all have a happy Friday. Feel free to share any blogs you've visited that bring a few happy tears to your eyes. That way we can all share the love as we welcome in the weekend.

My creative space

I've managed to find my way out of my DIY dilemma. Thanks everyone for your suggestions on how best to tackle all of the projects I've got going on at the moment. I must admit however, I chose to pick off the easiest one first! I've been busily turning my drift wood collection into a garland and a Christmas wreath. Both are coming along really well. In fact, I ran out of drift wood so will need to visit the beach again for a few more twigs.

For more creative spaces, grab yourself a cuppa and head over here.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Flea Market Finds

I don't think I could have been anymore excited a few weeks back when I dropped in on a garage sale. The owners had just tied up their balloons around their makeshift sign and were heading back up their driveway to start the sale. I thought I was a bit too early but decided to quietly make my way up to their garage hoping they were happy for some early birds. I almost turned around to go home when I saw all the power tools at the entrance. I'd made a very rash judgement that there wouldn't be anything of my liking.

And then I saw them.

My heart literally skipped a beat and recognising that I could blow my cover completely as a "naive garage sale hack", I gathered myself and began to ask a couple of questions with the best carefree approach I could muster....

"These look interesting. My kids would love to use these to show off their shell collections. What are they?"

Daughter and Father then replied "Oh, those. Well, we've been debating on how much we should sell them for. You see, they are very special actually. They are vintage and sought after."

I added a few umms and ahh's in the right places, reassured them that they'd go to a good home and oh my lordy, they sold both of them to me for $20.

I've been wanting to buy these for such a long time and I knew how expensive they were. Recently I saw them priced at $120 each at the Mill Market and they weren't in anywhere near as good condition as these ones.

They are of course antique wooden printer drawer trays.

Back when printing was done with good old metal type, printers would keep the letters, numbers and symbols nestled into each compartment within this drawer. Nowadays, they are used to display miniature collections. For me, we will showcase the shells we find on the beach and the wonderful little knicky knacks my children salvage at the local Op shop. 

For more Flea Market Finds, be sure to head over to Sophie's place.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Handmade Christmas Challenge

Anyone else noticed that Christmas cards have made their way into Aussie Post? No point denying it anymore...we are now officially on the ramp up to Christmas.

During the week Toni from Make it Perfect, posted about her friend Leanne who recently produced a number of prints and decided to make them free for all to enjoy. They are gorgeous prints and absolutely perfect for a Christmas gift. You can download the prints here.

Toni is also, in her own right, a great jewellery maker - I should know, I purchased some of her earrings recently for some Christmas presents. Unfortunately they didn't last long in their beautiful packaging - the temptation was too strong and I ended up keeping them for myself. Toni's gorgeous creations can be found 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.

Friday, September 3, 2010

DIY Fabric Frame

I didn't get a chance to join in on My Creative Space yesterday so thought I'd share my latest DIY project.

   I found the frame at my local Op shop a few weeks back.

 I then covered it with some plain fabric.
 Then stretched over it a vintage linen tablecloth from a previous visit to an Op Shop (yes, I am an Op Shop addict).

I then wrapped a bit of twine and voila, a nice little place for my keepsakes.

Does the card look familiar? The lovely Cathie at M.E. sent that to me a few weeks back.

On to other DIY news, I've decided on a slightly different version of the Christmas driftwood wreath. I plan on attacking that project over the weekend and hope to share with you my progress next week. But here is a bit more inspiration to give you an idea...

Have a great creative weekend!

Trace x