Sunday, October 31, 2010

Preserving your items using four flap folders

There are a number of ways that you can preserve your precious items including books. For example, you can construct custom made four flap folders out of card to house them in. This will ensure that your item is kept free from dust or other agents that cause deterioration.

There are a number of internet sites that provide instructions on making four flap folders. Search the internet or alternatively leave a comment. If wanted, I will post detailed instructions.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Making decorated books, coptic style...

This book was made using a double coptic stitch technique, using two needles. Following that, I practiced edge decoration. The splatter pattern was achieved using pen inks. Note to self for next time - watch out for your clothes while you are splattering (or wear an apron).

Friday, October 29, 2010

Quote of the day..

Image by Ames

"Great things are not done on impulse, but a series of small things brought together"
(Vincent Van Gogh)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

November 2010 Crafternoon: knitting and crochet picnic in the garden

The Tiger and the Butterfly

Hello fellow crafters!

As mentioned in an earlier post (and to some of you in person), I am starting up a craft group. At this stage, I am hoping that it will be something casual that will be held every two months so that it is easily scheduled into everyone's busy lives. The crafternoons will be an excuse to combine some of the things that we love - chatting about craft, making craft, and sharing yummy food.

I would like to kick off the crafternoons in November over a lovely picnic in the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne. Please bring your knitting or crochet, although if you want to bring something else that is fine too. How about your cross stitch, your camera, or your wonderful personality. Also something to eat for yourself, and if you want, something to share.

When: Saturday 13th November 2010
Time: 1pm - 3pm
Where: Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne (meet outside The Visitors Centre and we will choose a garden location depending on the weather).

For those that need directions to the gardens - see the Royal Botanic Gardens website.

Please comment on this post if you would like to attend, or tell me in person. I look forward to seeing you there!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Winter, a thing of the past

As the weather grows warmer, winter seems a thing of the past. I am reflecting on some lovely scarfs that I have made.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Image by Tash

A smile is a gift that keeps on giving, make sure you give yours away... 
Don't let your smile be a secret today.

Monday, October 25, 2010

A day of pink: butterfly cupcakes for cancer awareness

A work morning tea to raise money for charity - breast cancer awareness - called for baking early this morning. I prepared these chocolate and strawberry cupcakes with white and pink butterfly adornments to share. Other workmates baked a range of pink themed goodies such as slices, biscuits and the little cupcakes that are also shown here. Of course, we all wore pink clothes or accessories today too!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Crochet newborn hat

I have just finished this little crochet hat for a newborn baby. So very cute!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Resin butterflies

You can never have enough resin butterflies - these were originally made with the idea of making them into magnets. Instead, they have found a happy home in a crystal bowl. Glittering in their magnificence.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Love these: felt cuteness

Love these handmade felt creations by Lupin Handmade via Etsy

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Depicting objects in art

These paintings mesmerise. Dane Lovett paints in acrylic and watercolor. The everyday object such as the old VHS video or beat box is transformed. The plant life cuttings in bottles is especially significant to us as it is something that we do. Pretty wonderful - wish we had one.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tarnished by rust

I did this cross stitch for my wonderful Mum when I was younger. Interestingly after some years, a rust mark appeared on the cloth. I had obviously placed my needle there while I was stitching. The needle was not rusty at the time - but microscopic remnants of the metal were left behind which have rusted over time. Not what I expected. So the lesson here - don't store your needle on your cloth while you are cross stitching, doing a tapestry or just sewing in general. Your work might end up tarnished by rust.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Are you making a Softie for Mirabel?

I have been perusing my craft books in search of a pattern for a handmade soft toy to donate to the worthwhile cause Softies for Mirabel. I think I have decided that a cat is the way to go and I will be starting it soon.

Our craft group, the Plain Tiger Butterflies, has signed up to contribute softies towards the collection at Meet me at Mike's which are due for delivery at the end of November 2010. They will then be displayed in the window of Meet me at Mike's in Fitzroy from 1st - 7th December 2010.

For those that do not know, Softies for Mirabel is a call for soft toys that will be donated to The Mirabel Foundation which is based in Melbourne. This foundation supports youth that are in the care of extended family after being abandoned by their parents. These kids deserve a chance and I am sure that each and every child that receives a softie will have a smile on their face.

So I am asking you, would you like to contribute to this cause and donate a softie on behalf of the Plain Tiger Butterflies? If so, please leave a comment on this post. The soft toys can be crocheted, knitted, sewn - made out of felt, fabric or yarn. As Pip has mentioned on the Meet me at Mike's post - some of the softies will be going to small children so keep choking hazards in mind when making your softie. However, if you have a cute design that has ribbons, buttons or beads, don't despair - these can be given to older kids or teens. Some of the softies from previous years are on display at Flickr so check it out for inspiration.

I really hope you decide to join in and share the cuteness!

Love these: Vintage Dictionary Art Prints

Love these prints by Memory Dust on Etsy!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Quote of the day..

Image: flowers made from sheet music from Craft Brulee
Those who wish to sing, always find a song.
(Swedish proverb)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Crochet: Sunday Shrug

Shrug by Ames

Shrug by Wendy

I have been happily crocheting with my fellow crafters at work. The latest project has been a shrug. After gaining some insight from a pattern, we have turned a shawl into a shrug that can be wrapped around the shoulders and clasped with a brooch.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Inspiring crochet projects

 Image: crochet cat and mouse from Ana Paula's Amigurumi Patterns and Random Cuteness

As I mentioned yesterday, I am in the midst of making crochet coat hangers. I have also been working on a crochet shrug and two hats. So I thought I would have a look around for some other patterns for inspiration.  Here are some of the great posts I have come across on some fantastic blogs by very creative people.

  1. Crochet cat and mouse at Ana Paula's Amigurumi Patterns and Random Cuteness
  2. Crochet bottle cover at Stitch of Love
  3. Crochet coat hangers at Crochet with Raymond
  4. Crochet coat hangers at Marmaladerose
  5. Crochet jewellery at Mixing it up with DaPerfectMix
  6. Crochet granny necklace at plus3 crochet 

Friday, October 15, 2010

The first crochet coat hangers

I have been making crochet coat hangers lately and really enjoying it! These are the first two that I have finished, with crochet corsage decorations.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Quote of the day..

Image by Tash

Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a singing bird will come.
(Chinese proverb)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Elke's Books

I am currently expanding my skills and exploring the arts of bookbinding and book restoration, under the tutelage of Elke Ahokas. She has studied in Australia and Finland, has displayed her books in a range of exhibitions, and offers the services of bookbinding and book repair. Elke has made some amazing books - I suggest you check out her website.
Image : Design and bookbinding by Elke Ahokas

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Coptic headbands

This is a book I made recently with coptic headbands, which is a continuous stitch pattern from boards (covers) and across the textblock (pages).

Monday, October 11, 2010

Yo Yo Brooches

The art of Yo Yo making was first introduced to me when I attended a craft group last year - Coffee, Cake and Create. Since then, I have crafted a few. I have made a lot of brooches as they are my favourite accessory, but I have also attached them to hair combs. These are constructed using fabric and buttons.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Finders Keepers

The Finders Keepers is a design, music, art and craft market. It was conceived in Sydney in 2008, launched itself in Brisbane in 2009, and has finally hit Melbourne in 2010.

We had the pleasure of visiting the market this weekend and had a wonderful time admiring all of the beautiful and clever things people make.We picked ourselves up a few gems and were happy to run into some friends.

Change, Growth and Resilience

Images by Ames

"Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them - that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow forward in whatever way they like." Lao-Tse

This is a life lesson that I've still to truly learn but it is one whose significance strengthens as I grow older. I have come to accept that in many ways age is a blessing. There is a sloughing off of the skins so carefully cultivated - and so necessary - in youth as a means of navigating a vast and mysterious future.

Now, I touch the trees I pass on my way home and take pleasure in their grounded adaptability. May I find peace in that as I age...

Saturday, October 9, 2010

An unexamined life is not worth living - Socrates

Images by Ames

We often get overwhelmed by the accumulated inundation of life's petty miseries. The daily detritus of coming and going; to-ing and fro-ing; he said / she said; this, that and the other piles up and blocks the eager, easy flow of our energies. If we allow ourselves to become preoccupied with what is in the way, we can loose sight of how to work through or around it.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Why pink?

"The Gloaming" painting by Ames

We have changed the background of our blog to pink this week as we have been thinking about cancer. In Australia, pink reminds us of cancer as it has widely become known as the colour for breast cancer awareness. We think pink should remind us all of those we know or know of that have suffered the impact of cancer. Take a moment to think...

Quote of the Day

" In youth we learn, in age we understand."  
Marie Von Ebner Eschenbach

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Pistachio Dreams..

My cupcakes were awarded best in the taste category at today's yearly craft and bake show at work. Very pleased with my prize of a pink spatula!

Making Resin Jewellery: Part 5 (Gallery)

These are snapshots of some of the resin accessories that I have made this year (not including those that have already been posted).
Images top to bottom 1)bottle cap dog tags 2)file component brooch and necklace 3)keyrings 4)button collection 5)tape measure range 6)negative range 7)bottle cap magnets

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Sewing box..

A great sewing box and a gorgeous cat = inspiration for creativity

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Quote of the day..

A picture is a poem without words (Horace)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Making Resin Jewellery: Part 4 (Finishing Techniques)

Unfortunately resin jewellery making is not as easy as pour, cure, ready. You should finish off your work.

Using a file from the hardware store, remove any bumps. Filing is also a great way to start shaping your pieces if you are not happy with the results from the mould.

When you have finished filing, it is time to sand. I suggest that you wear gloves - I learned the hard way that the sandpaper can draw blood. It is important to purchase wet/dry sandpaper to ensure that resin dust is not created during the sanding process (you actually add water to the sandpaper). Start with a course grain and work your way to the finer grain. It is important to move through a few stages of sandpaper if you want a glossy finish. Remember to change the direction while you work with the sandpaper too, to ensure that fine scratches are removed.

After filing and/or sanding, you can attach your jewellery findings. Think about what your end product is going to be and purchase the relevant findings from the craft store or online. Brooch clasps, bails, or magnets are a few ideas. Alternatively , you can drill a hole through your resin to attach jump rings for necklaces. I would love to hear about your resin projects, so please leave a comment soon.


Sunday, October 3, 2010

My favourite two: Tash

I bought these cigarette machines from an antiques dealer over a decade ago. I have found a place for them in 7 different homes since then. After a while, I came to see them not just as quirky collectibles but as symbols for persistence, trust, partnership and change.

What I like most about them is that they are a pair. Time and mistreatment have marked each one in different ways, and we often display them separately, but I cannot imagine one without the other. Like twins or long time companions, it is duality that makes them unique.

I could not afford to pay upfront for the machines and paid them off over about 6 months - often making down payments of as little as a few dollars. So long and so slowly did I pay off my layby that the antiques dealer hid the cigarette machines inside a wardrobe at the back of his shop to prevent his wife from selling them! His patience and trust helped me learn a big life lesson about making good on my word and not giving up - as more often than not, people will meet you halfway.

The cigarette machines also make me think about how much things change. The place - and price - of cigarettes in our society is certainly very different now to what it must have been when these machines were heavily used. I love these machines because they remind that I too have changed...


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