Monday, October 31, 2011

grey and white crochet...



I learnt to crochet when I was a child and it is a craft that I have very much enjoyed over the years. When I was in teacher training college in the late 60's a friend and I used to make some pocket money by selling crochet vests and little cardies in a local shop - they would probably be quite trendy again now! Granny squares are one of my favourite things to crochet, which is lucky because after I recently made Joy a colourful rug, Clare also requested one. She asked for one created from white wool with various shades of grey (to either go in her grey and white bedroom or with the grey sofa covers she uses in winter) and I decided to use a pattern I had never tried before called African Flower. It is a scrap project in that I didn't work out exactly what colours I would use and how many balls of wool I would need, but I am just buying and using whatever greys I find on my travels. I do most of my crocheting on buses and the metro here in Dubai and also on plane trips and in airports. It makes all that waiting around feel much quicker. The worst bit of crochet is sewing in the ends, so I try to do it as I go along, but am often much too keen to see what the next combinations of colours is going to look like to be bothered!

If you have a sudden desire to pick up a crochet hook again there are lots of places to look for help and inspiration - youtube has lots of good tutorials (both beginner and advanced) and pinterest is chock-a-block full of crochet images. But one of my favourite places to visit is a lovely blog called Attic24 by the talented Lucy, who posts loads of gorgeous crochet projects and inspiring tutorials.




Saturday, October 29, 2011

our cushions have arrived...


The light was fading fast, but Joy managed to snap a few photos of our first batch of cushions when she received them yesterday afternoon. Creating these has been quite a process - sketching our designs, converting and transforming them on the computer, playing around with colours and then (the most exciting bit) seeing them printed into fabric by the wonderful girls at Frankie and Swiss. Sisters, Jacqui and Michelle have been so helpful, even printing out a stripe in exactly the right colours for our piping, and it has been such fun getting to know and working with them.

These mondocherry custom made cushions co-ordinate perfectly with our latest collection of blue, green, aqua and pink artworks, all of which will be showcased at the Boutique Markets in Hawthorn, Melbourne this Sunday. They will also be appearing on our new-look website which is coming soon. We've got more cushion designs on the way...

...oh, for a few more hours in the day!


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

halfway to 70...


We think there is nothing better than sending someone a handwritten card to say "Happy Birthday", "I Love You", or just "Hello". But sometimes a quick text message or email just needs to be sent and so we love the Cartolina iPhone app that makes a simple message look ever so much prettier. This design is just one of the gorgeous, vintage-inpsired designs available to personalise.

It really is Joy's birthday today and she really is half way to 70. WIth her husband away on business, she is celebrating by watching old Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers movies with a glass or two of wine! We grew up on these gems, and all the old musicals, and can still recite many of the lines and songs. Sad, but true!


Friday, October 21, 2011

mod podge...

Mod Podge (an all-in-one glue, sealer and finish) has been around for a while, but I had never experimented with any until today and I can already see how it might become a little addictive. I thought I would start with a couple of quick and easy projects...

A fabric apple to dress up a cute little suitcase...

A tube of fabric, with another smaller fabric piece wrapped around to make a bow. I stiched it onto a hair clip and then used the mod podge to stiffen the bow and add a bit of shine...

Hmmm.. now what to mod podge next? I'd love hear some of your ideas...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

we can't get enough of...


We can't get enough of aqua, turquoise, sea green, celeste, cyan, sea green, jade and duck egg blue this week. We have been busy creating a range of artworks based around this fresh pallet for the Boutique Markets in Melbourne on the 30th October. They are such happy shades to work with and it is amazing how a dash of one or more of these colours can brighten up a room and give it a summery, carefree feel. More photos coming soon...

Sunday, October 16, 2011

through the door - lazy Sunday afternoon...

With my husband off doing a 200kms charity bike ride and my children happily pottering around the playroom, I enjoyed a lovely couple of hours flicking through some of my favourite style books with my feet up on the sofa. Bliss! Hope you enjoyed your weekend too.

Friday, October 14, 2011

a recurring theme...

I was walking through my house this afternoon trying to look at everything with fresh eyes, imagining what it will look like once renovated, and what can stay and what needs to go. Apart from noticing the flaking paint on the casement windows, shuddering at the amount of dust, and wishing I could wave a magic wand and see the finished result now, something that caught my eye was how many items around my home are bird related - think birdcages, feathers, and nests.

I love the organic-ness of these wooden birds...

Bird nest postcards stuck up on a small bit of wall and, in the background, a hanging birdcage and 3 canvases covered with a beautiful feather fabric...

Gorgeous driftwood birdhouse from Buba and La...

A bird on a cushion cover in the living room...

My wonderful market prop birdhouse purchased from Du Monde in Paddington...

Do bird-themed items make an appearance in your house too?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

bon appetit...


I might not have decided what we are having for dinner tonight, but I have been busy "cooking" up some felt food for the home corner at the Kindy my children attend. I especially enjoyed sewing the "pasta with peas" as they look so realistic. Bon appetit!

Monday, October 10, 2011

daisy chains...


In between all the to-ing and fro-ing of a normal weekend, we took some family time out at the park and I enjoyed teaching my daughter how to make daisy chains. Simple and satisfying! It had been far too long since I sat down to make one of these and it brought back lots of memories from when I was a child, visiting my Grandparents in the UK.

Hope you had an enjoyable weekend too.



Saturday, October 8, 2011

colour love - blush...

One of our favourite shades of pink is this beautiful blush colour - so pretty and feminine don't you think?

Gorgeous Moroccan tea glasses...

Pretty bangles displayed on a vase...

A 3-d floating blossom artwork we created for a nursery (available for order) - one of our very favourite pieces...

Don't forget to come down to the Boutique Markets, Portside, tomorrow morning where there will be lots of pink in support of the National Breast Cancer Association.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

busy bees...


We have been very busy cutting, sticking, sewing, beading, arranging, packaging, framing and cleaning this week, all for the wonderful Boutique Markets which is on again this Sunday at Portside Wharf, Brisbane from 8am to 1pm. This month the markets are supporting the National Breast Cancer Foundation with a special pink ribbon event. With more than 50 art, craft and design stalls, along with some yummy gourmet food, it is a great place to start your Christmas shopping and enjoy a morning out.

We've made lots of new beaded fabric cards (like these sweet little girls), vintage cards, tags and decorations, and a range of new artworks which we hope you are going to love as much as we do. Hope to see you there!





Monday, October 3, 2011

making a rag rug...


There has been a lot of extra colour floating around my house over the last week or so. As a project for the school holidays, my children have started creating a rag rug for the playroom floor. Made up of strips of old t-shirts and extra stretchy fabrics we purchased (chosen for their non-fraying quality plus reasonable price!), they are using rug hooks to thread the strips through the hessian backing and then knot them securely. There was some discussion before the kids started about whether to do random colours or stripes, but I'm glad they chose this 'anything goes' pattern as it is far easier than trying to keep on the same line - especially when there are 4 children working on it all at once! We aimed very high when we bought such a large piece of hessian and so this rug may take quite a few school holidays to compete. But that's fine because everyone is (so far!) really enjoying the process of creating something together.