Friday, 27 July 2012

How To: Make A Doily Brooch Display

Doilies can be re-purposed in so many ways. Check out House of Humble's great article on many ways to re-purpose and upcycle doilies. One example is to pop a doily into a timber embroidery hoop and hang it on the wall. These doily hoop art pieces also make a great way to store and display brooches. It is super easy, and rather effective, in my opinion.

  • Crocheted doily
  • Timber embroidery hoop that is slightly smaller than the doily
  • Bias binding or ribbon that is slightly less wide than the width of the hoop
  • Fabric glue
  • Scissors

1. Put the doily in the hoop and tighten the screw, making sure the doily is centred and tight across the hoop.

2. Cut off any excess doily, but leave enough width that the remainder will fold over the back edge of the hoop and sit inside the back of the hoop. 

3. Fold the raw edge of the doily over so that is sitting flat against the inside of the back of the hoop all the way around the hoop.

4. Spread fabric glue on the wrong side of the bias binding and press against the raw edge of the doily on the inside of the hoop, making sure the actual raw edge is covered. The glue stick to the timber through the doily holes.

5. Attach brooches to the front of the doily hoop art and voila!

I plan to use mine for as a way to display my brooches at markets. But I also made two smaller ones out of matching doilies for my brooches and earrings to hang on my dresser.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

A Cuppa A Day Wrap Up

Day 1: I have decided to cleanse my system of coffee. Not caffeine, exactly, as I still intend to drink caffeinated tea, and indulge in the occasional chocolate. But no more coffee for thirty days. I invite my sister to join me in this challenge, and she accepts. Hurrah. I make up some rules: a cup of different tea per day for thirty days, just using the myriad of teas in my tea cupboard, not buying any new teas. No coffee. We can have more than one cup of tea each day, and it doesn't matter if the other teas are different, but have to have at least one different tea each day. To make it easier, we write a list. That way, we will both be having the same tea each day. We celebrate by each drinking a cup of Strawberry, Cranberry and Raspberry Herbal Tea. Mmm...What a great idea this is! Yummo.

Day 2: My list says I need to drink Lemon and Ginger today, but I really don't feel like it. I decide to change the rules. From now one, we just choose each day which one from the list we feel like on that particular day. But we have to keep a record of which tea we drink each day. Today I choose Peppermint with English Toffee.

Day 3: Coffee? Pfft. Why did I ever think I needed it? I enjoy a cup of White Tea with Rose instead.

Day 4: Italian Almond Tea. This is great. I'm so glad I am doing this!

Day 5: Earl Grey with Lavender is very soothing.

Day 6: Pure Ceylon. So easy, and no coffee cravings as yet!

Day 7: Lady Grey. Nice.

Day 8: Enjoying Turkish Apple while visiting with my sister as we exchange a variety of teas.

Day 10: A cup of coffee would be nice, but I can easily resist. Russian Caravan is delicious.

Day 13: Mmmmm...Chocolate Mint Rooibos. I am a tea connoisseur and I can tell a good blend by  having a sniff with my eyes closed.

Day 14Acai Berry Rooibos makes me feel healthy and alive.

Day 15: I take the opportunity of trying a cup of Marco Polo at a friend's place, and it is DIVINE!

Day 18: Hubby offers to make me a cup of tea. He asks what kind I would like. I tell him he can choose from those left in the special tin (but please don't choose licorice!) He picks Lemon and Ginger.

Day 20: Hmmm. I am still not craving coffee, but I would really like a cup of English Breakfast. I've already enjoyed my English Breakfast over a few days ago. Oh dear. But Irish Breakfast is still up for grabs, I'll take that.

Day 21: I'm at a cafe with friends and I order a Chai Tea. I didn't have any Chai left at home so I figure I can add it to the list. Hang on - I guess that technically breaks the "Don't buy any more tea" rule. 

Day 23: The last few weeks feel like a blur of lovely quiet moments and delicious cups of tea. I enjoy a cup of Cranberry and Pomegranate as I ponder the comforting quality of tea.

Day 25: Wait. Licorice Zinga? Really? I love licorice, so why can't I bring myself to drink it? Peppermint – too reminiscent of morning sickness. Raspberry leaf – too reminiscent of late pregnancy. Peach Iced Tea – it's just too cold and miserable today! Oolong...I drank too much of that in China. Hmmm. I think I'll just settle for Peppermint.

Day 28: Hubby makes me a surprise cuppa. It turns out to be Licorice Zinga. He has allowed it to steep for too long for my liking. I make it through about a third of the cup before surreptitiously pouring the remainder down the sink.

Day 30: You have GOT to be kidding me! How can tea taste like Strawberries and Cream? That is A-MA-ZING! I count the gorgeous tea I am drinking at my friend's surprise engagement afternoon tea as the final in my Cuppa A Day challenge. Huzzah. I am done!

Day 31: I make a nice pot of coffee and drink two cups just because I can. I am a turbo-charged housecleaning machine. I do eight loads of washing, vacuum the whole house, put a slowcooker meal on, cook up some pear for baby, change all the sheets, fold all the washing and collapse into bed.

Day 32: I have a major coffee and housework hangover. Coffee is not for me. I think I'll go back to tea.


Thursday, 19 July 2012

New Dress Brooches

Just dropping into the blogosphere to say hi, and to show you some of my latest creations. I cut out a bunch of new dress brooch pieces, using some vintage patterns from my op-shop haul as inspiration. You can find the brooches for sale here.

Monday, 16 July 2012

Welcome to Lachlan Elliot

Some friends had a new bubba boy recently. I had the pleasure of meeting him yesterday, he is such a sweet little boy! Here is a little something I made for him, similar to the bibs I made for the baby girls born recently amongst family and friends.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Dress Brooch Inspiration

I just love browsing vintage patterns and magazines for ideas for my felt dress brooches (as well as for style inspiration, of course!) 

MissBettysAttic is an Etsy shop that stocks an abundance (almost 2000 at last count) of sewing patterns for men, women, children, and dolls from the 1940s through to the present. I could spend hours just looking at these, especially the 1940s and 50s women's! Here are a few of my favourites (just click on the photo to go to the item listing): 

Aren't they cute? I want to make all of these as dresses for me!! Unfortunately, I need to make a few of the dresses I already have patterns for first. Instead, I may use them as inspiration for some brooches for now. 

But if you are after a specific vintage pattern or just have a vague idea of the kind of style you would like, go check out MissBetty'sAttic

Friday, 6 July 2012

On Finishing Things I Start

Finishing what I start. Something I am not always very good at. Take the tea challenge, for example. I have been keeping up with drinking my different tea each day. I have not had many coffee cravings, and have not given in to the few I have had. However, I have been lax in writing it all down. Oh dear. It has all become a blur of lovely moments of quiet in my mind. I can tell you the teas I have been drinking - just not the order I drank them in. I have had:
  • Turkish Apple
  • Russian Caravan
  • English Breakfast
  • Earl Grey
  • Marco Polo
  • Rose with French Vanilla
  • Jasmine Green Tea with Pear
  • Chocolate Mint Rooibos
  • Cranberry and Pomegranate
  • Chamomile, Vanilla and Honey
  • Apple and Cinnamon
  • Acai Berry Rooibos
  • Lemon and Ginger
And I enjoyed every moment of each cup of tea. :) In fact, I have rather developed a habit of enjoying several different types of tea each day. 

Another example of not finishing what I start is the Quiet Book I was making for Eliza. I started it last December, and jokingly said I just might be finished by Eliza's birthday. It has been complete except for the cover for many months now. Today marks one month until Eliza's third birthday, and it strikes me that I must complete it in time for her birthday. Whenever she sees it perched on my sewing desk shelf, she wants to play with it. At least that is a good sign that she likes it! So, my mission is to complete the cover in the next month. 

Right now I am feeling quite hopeful, as in the last few days, I have completed a few small projects that I started (by cutting out the pieces) back in March. Hurray! What a great feeling it is to finishing something I have started, that has been sitting on the shelf for months. I even pushed on and photographed them, and listed them in my Etsy shop.

While I bask in that lovely feeling of achievement and completion, I am setting some small goals for the get the Quiet Book cover design finalised, and cut out the pieces. I reckon I might be able to whip up this cover over the weekend.


Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Mistletoe The Whole Year Through

When things are a little tough, it is easy to get overly serious. I know that I can easily forget to be playful. Sometimes, I need a little reminder! Hubby and I try to build intentional spontaneity into our lives. That sounds like an oxymoron, I know.

But think about the tradition of hanging mistletoe at Christmas. That seems to be a sort of planned spontaneity for a special season. Well, here is a little substitute for mistletoe for use the whole year through.  To be hung somewhere you frequent, as a reminder to grab your partner and/or your kids for some spontaneous smooches in the midst of the sometimes monotonous routine of everyday life!

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

No Craftenergy!

My family has been going through a bit of a rough patch lately. Health issues, work issues, teething baby issues...nothing too serious, but lots of minimally and moderately concerning things can add up to 'a bit of a rough patch'. 

During this time, I have not really felt like making any of my usual crafts. Instead, I have been enjoying playing with watercolours again. Making bright and colourful scriptural reminders to go up around my house, particularly in the kitchen since I seem to spend so much time in there. I find the process very therapeutic, and the end result encourages me on a daily basis. Win, win, right?

The only thing that loses out is my Etsy shop, not getting many new listings lately!


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