Wednesday, August 30


So Bookshelf will be on Thursday this week. I've decided to make the day random, which means less pressure on Tuesdays for me!
Two books for you this week.

The White Room:Creating Rooms You Love by Caroline Clifton-Mogg. ISBN 1903221595

My wonderful o/s friend sent me this book for my birthday. It is beautiful. White is such a great colour to use in the house to show off your treasures (and yes we do have a few). Clifton-Mogg gives some excellent advice

"Effective display comes from intelligent grouping and the basic rules - which can be amended as much as you like - are either to group pieces by shape, colour, material."

"A room decorated prinicpally in tones of white is the perfect background for books and objects shown on shelves and flat surfaces - perhaps some of the pieces that you are thinking of consigning to the depths of a cupboard would have a new lease of life, displayed on well-made shelves."

The book is divided into two main sections - Elements including lighting, furniture, storage, fabrics and accessories, and, White Spaces, including, Bright living rooms, Clean kitchens and dining rooms, halls, stairs and corridors, peaceful bedrooms and refreshing bathrooms. There is even a small section on "Getting White Right" which helps you pick the right tone of white for your home. All this mixed with beautiful photos.

Another book to add to the collection....
Last-minute Fabric Gifts: 30 Hand-sew, machine-sew and no-sew projects by Cynthia Treen. ISBN 1584794852

In the same vein as the Last-minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson, this great book provides lots of quick to make projects and ideas. Simple explanations combined with superb photography makes everything so enticing I'm not sure which project to make first. The projects included are: Bias Blossom, Coat Sleeve Bag, Tie Pouch, Cordury change purse, Fabric Belt, Fabric Envelopes, Felt Rabbits, Fabric-covered notebook, Quick Dish Towel, Bark Cloth Baby Bib, Cat Toy, Recycled Sweater Hats, Cotton Knit Animals, Felted Rocks, Fringed Guest Towel, Patchwork Pillow, Red Cross Appliqued Pillow, Travel Pouch, Silk-Trimmed Wool Blanket, Hand-stitched Scarf, Reversible Hooded Towel/Blanket, Felted Silk Scarf, Silk Sarong, Tweed Scarf, Twig-handle tote, Baby Quilt, Wool Knit Shibori Scarf, Inlaid Wool Knit Scarf, Tea-Dyed Shawl. Phew! oh, and plus a section on wrapping the gifts. I mean what more do you want?!

a little doodling

mixed media, pen and fabric

Monday, August 28

watch out world

here I am and I'm knitting myself a suit of armour that will repel all things bad and nasty to be found in blogland. It is one tough piece of armour, just what you would expect when using a hand dyed 2ply cotton!! Yes, even though this is the pattern* I am knitting, I thought my armour really only needed to be for inspiration so in my insanity wisdom I decided to knit it in 2 ply on 2.25mm needles (of course I hear the knitters amongst you say!!). I was hoping to finish it before getting back to posting, but well honestly, I just missed posting so I am still knitting! And, I have some secret happenings going on that will be revealled soon, after recieving some magic from the expert touch of Ms Craig.... stay tuned.

Now, must get back to putting my jam shortbread in the oven, recipe from this book.

*pattern Roam by Sarah Hutton in Rowan Knitting and Crochet Magazine number 40

Monday, August 21

wipe away those tears...

tears of sadness have been replaced by tears of gratitude - I'm such a sop!! But you have all blown me away with your amazing support - and I thank everyone one of you for your wonderful words. I have tried to thank everyone individually, so I am sorry if I have missed you. It has meant such a lot to know so many (some who came out of the blogland woodwork) you find my little ramblings readable. Each thoughtful comment left in the past week has made me stronger, and I will soon return. Miss L is currently battling a nasty ear infection so it may be a little longer before I am back in full swing. And these are for you...

photo from istockphoto

Tuesday, August 15


I'm feeling sad... I think maybe even sad enough to take a short blogging break.
There will be no Bookshelf Tuesday today - I have some lovely books, but I have lost my enthusiasm.
Why? Well this morning I was greeted by my first "bad" comment. It was left by someone about one of my Illustration Friday drawings - it just said "I think it's crap". Now I am not totally naive, I understand that by blogging I put myself out there for others to comment, however, I would think that if someone doesn't like something (and they are entitled to) and take the time to write, they could at least offer some constructive criticism. I also believe they could stand behind their words so I know who they are - maybe there is something to be learned from them? Instead, I have been left with a nasty taste in my mouth, and a sad gloom. You may think I am being too precious - maybe I am - maybe I need to have a tougher shell - but unfortunately I don't - never have really. So, to try and wipe away this nastiness I am going to go and enjoy the beautiful day we are having here. I'm not sure when I will be back, hopefully not long....

Monday, August 14

happy kitty sweater - wardrobe surgery

This is my entry for this month's whiplash compeition -
I am entering it into the embellishment category.


plain blue, but gorgeously soft lambswool sweater sits in my drawer. I thrifted it earlier in the year, but only wear it around the house because of it's sort of tweeness blue. Here was a challenge that needed to happen! My inspiration came from this
this picture in issue 54 of Marie Claire Idees, and these dyes. Together they formed my new sweater.
A mossy background of cuteness, but not too cute! A mix of sacchrine and earthiness. I used two dyes to achieve the right 'mossy' look. First the coral and then kelp. The deer, squirrel, cat and bird are hand embroidered, and the ribbon and buttons are also added by hand. So now my softest sweater, is fit to be seen out.

Saturday, August 12

shaking that ass

Hugh Jackman was doing just that last night for us - opening night in Melbourne for The Boy from Oz. Pity he isn't 'my boy next door'! Mum took us to see the original show in 1998, when Todd McKenny played Peter Allen. Nick Enright wrote the original and I loved it then (he also wrote the screen version of Cloudstreet which I loved too). But, boy Hugh can shake it! and this version has a lot more punch to it. Hugh plays Peter to the hilt - even with his ad libbiing with the audience. I don't want to give anything away, so this is only a quick YOU HAVE TO SEE IT note to those living in Melbourne!! we sat on the side right near the stage, but it was still awesome. And because I know you too would like to be shaking your butt to "I go to Rio" just follow all the links I've included!

photos from the official The Boy from Oz website

Friday, August 11

secrets squirrel

Okay it's not a new squirrel design from moi! I've been tagged by Miss Lamden, so I have to cough up some secrets to you.

So what's with the squirrel? Secret squirrel is what we call things when R can not tell me work stuff. Because he works for public companies there are sometimes mergers, acquisitions, in-house stuff that cannot be made public, so i find it easier if he doesn't tell me so I won't slip up!

I once set my bedroom carpet on fire and came close to burning the house down - well so mum would have you believe!

I secretly liked my hair when it was spiral permed!!

I still have a crush on a boy I went to school on, even though I have never seen him since school! how dumb is that.

I suffer from depression - and I don't use the term suffer lightly here!! But these new drugs are working very well.

I once cheated in a test, but still didn't get a better score?!

My sister and I like to do pretend (inappropriate) asian accents that crack us up.

We also like to body slam the other when she's least expecting it!

R and I and our close friends use the term 'poof' affectionately for each other!

Is that enough?

Wednesday, August 9


Can you have a thing about scissors without it being psychologically worrisome? Why? Well I love buying new scissors. (okay, in fairness I do love buying lots of things, but scissors is high on the list!) Shannon (doesn't she get lots of mentions!!!) told me about these great, really sharp large dressmaking scissors you get in the sewing kit at IKEA - so yes I bought them - and they are fab - for only $12.99 for the kit!

A few days ago I bought some nifty little scissors to have for cutting paper - only $3.95 from the local cheap shop. Earlier, in the year I went away with my family at a seaside town in SA, and I managed to find a great pair of old pinking shears - they still cut so well, that they are now being used regularly. Last year, I spoilt myself with a pair of gorgeous Gingher embroidery scissors - ridiculously priced - but really they were too beautiful to leave in the shop.<Then there are of course, the numerous paper scissors, embroidery scissors, nail scissors, kitchen scissors, special good quality fabric scissors that mum bought me, the list goes on, yet I can always find a reason for a new pair. I promise I wield them wisely!!

Tuesday, August 8

Bookshelf Tuesday - birthday presents to share

Okay before we get down to the usual Tuesday bookshelf, have you noticed that up there? Yes, that brand, spanking new, groovy banner is thanks to my favourite Aunty, and partner in craftiness. Thanks Shannon. And secondly, keep an eye on that etsy store over on your right - there will be new stock in the next week or two. I will also announce it here. A selection of bags and toys.

Also I know I sorta of promised said I would review Florence Broadhurst this week, but, yes there is a but, I haven't finished it!! and I think it's probably best to review a book once you've read it - so next week - and this time I do promise. But don't despair, as I have some treats anyway - two books I bought myself with some birthday money (don't ya love birthday money?! :)) But get this, I got them for only $8 each - yes each!!

Private View by Tricia Guild. ISBN 1844001105

"As Tricia says, 'You are what you see'. Every moment of our lives we are taking in visual impressions of the world around us that can be stored as a sort of internal pattern book, later to be retrieved and used in the creative process." This book is about Guild's own store of inspiration. The photo's show the rich colours from around the world that inspire the Tricia Guild look. Although I haven't always been a fan of everything Designer's Guild has produced this book is a great source of inspiration. There are far too many sections covered for me to list them all here, but a selection includes: The Theatre, catwalk, Elsa Schiaparelli, Iridescence, Modern Ceramics, Amalfi Coastline, Pretty Flamigos, Colours of India. This book is a feast of colour for $8 but I probably would have paid full price for it - just as a sourcebook.

Living with Pictures by Alan Powers.ISBN 1840002433

Said to be the complete guide for decorating with Pictures, this book does provide a good overview of how you can show your artwork and photographs at their best. The book is divided into 8 sections:
Colour, Texture and Form
Still Life
Groupings and Sequence
Framing your Image
The Element of Surprise
The last section provides an excellent guide for making mat boards, different frames, how to hang pictures, and how to make frames. I have found this book really interesting, although it has made me very self conscious about what we having around the house already!!

This book was another present to myself, but unfortunately wasn't quite the bargain of the other two. My friend the book swapper who is blogless showed this book to me a few weeks ago and I just fell in love ( I do that with books, oh and fabric, and ribbons, and buttons, and cute animals, and great desserts and....) So I had to go purchase my own copy.
Linen Crafts by Florence Le Maux. ISBN 1584794968

"Linen possesses all the qualities of true elegance: it is natural, resilient, comfortable, easy to find and maintain and becomes more and more supple and beautiful over the years. There are 40 (yes 40!) projects to make in this book:
Clothing - Wrap top, tunic, stole, baby outfit, wrap around skirt.
Accessories - bags, puches, brooch, bracelets, toys.
Objects for the House - sheer curtains, blinds, cushions, chair covers.
The Table - Napkins, Place Mats, Napkin Rings, Wedding invitations, Coasters.
The Garden - Plaid Blanket, Apron, Log Carrier, Tool Bag.
The patterns are easy to follow and complete within the book. The photo's are so tempting that I immediately want to make everything, but I have contained myself to trying just the toys and wrap around skirt to start with, oh and maybe the tool bag. Of course if you didn't want to use linen you could use any of your fabric stash to make these great items. I highly recommend this book to any sewer - you will love it!

Monday, August 7

Insomnia sock monkeys

well okay it's a dog, and they were gloves! But I can recommend this project as something easy to do if you can't get to sleep at night. R is away, so I always find it a bit difficult to sleep, even with Miss L hogging sharing my bed. As you can see however, Miss L was very happy to meet our new puppy this morning - she has been named Annalise. (If you know anything about Barbie, you'll know why this name is important!!)

I also finished two more moopies last night. These are also lots of fun to make, and are my current newborn baby gift, complete with bell inside!

Also now have a little crafty area to myself - emphasis on the word little!! Okay, so many of you have wonderful studios, cleverly arranged with beautiful neatness. If you have seen my before photos, this is an improvement, working with the small amount of space we have and the large amount of crafty stuff I have. (yes, Mum I admit it!!)

Saturday, August 5

illustration Friday - capture

Early this week!! wonders will never cease.

Miss L captures my heart, mixed media,

Thursday, August 3

Illustration Friday - clean 2

cleanlines(s), black sharpie fine point

illustration Friday - clean

clean, coloured and lead pencil

moving right along

yes, I have been watching the Muppet Movie - a classic - but Miss L is really not appreciating it - what is wrong with kids these days?! :)

Okay, so due to birthday celebrations there was no Bookshelf Tuesday, although you better check out next week, because look what I got for my birthday! but you will have to wait until next week.

But, a couple of things I came across that you might want to know about

1. Selvedge is having a sale. 10% off all purchases until the end of August. Not sure what this is about? They stock books like this, and this, and this!

2. Live in Melbourne? need to warm up from the cold? here's a cute little bookshop to visit, and also view their latest exhibition.

3. Miss L wanted this one put here as it is very important mummy! The new charlie and lola website stuff.

Now I think I have just a teeny, tiny bit of celebrating (i.e. mum's cheesecake, mmm!) still to do! Dragging it out Shannon!

Tuesday, August 1

thirty six

today I turn 36. that is a statement of fact. it doesn't bother me, i quite like being 36. below are 36 other statements of fact about me you may not know. they are in no particular order.

1. I am was a natural blonde.
2. I am the first born of two girls.
3. My sister and I are very close.
4. We look nothing alike.
5. I love(d) playing netball.
6. I also love tennis but I'm not very good.
7. I studied piano for @ 6 years.
8. Violin for only 1 year.
9. I did competitive Calisthenics for @ 8 years.
10. I came back from an overseas trip at age 10 with an English accent.
11. My best friend and I have known each other since birth.
12. We used to play Land of the Dinosaurs at the local park.
13. I once got stuck up a tree and Dad had to come and rescue me. He didn't have to reach above his head!
14. I repeated the final year of high school.
15. I only improved my final year score by 2 points.
16. I have a degree in Administrative Management Information Systems.
17. I was a mature age entry student at University.
18. I nearly finished a PhD.
19. I learnt silk painting techniques as a teenager.
20. I once got kicked in the head because of mistaken identity.
21. After only a few hours in Italy I had an Italian accent.
22. I always check the dessert menu before ordering my main course in a restaurant.
23. I used to smoke menthol cigarettes.
24. When I was in my 20's I had a pet duck.
25. I would bring home every stray animal I come across if I could.
26. I collect English red & white china.
27. I love champagne.
28. I also collect hippopotamus' (hippopotami?)
29. I hate sparkling Burgundy.
30. I also collect little jugs.
31. I chew my nails.
32. I also collect green and white Penguin crime novels.
33. I have to read some form of book every day.
34. I have read everything Agatha Christie wrote.
35. R and I have been together since I was 19 (he was 18).
36. Miss L makes me feel like a miracle maker.