Wednesday 29 February 2012

Today's the Day

Today is the day. The final day of February. As those who are following the progress of the Quiet Book Project will know, I had hoped to finish it by today. But it was not to be. I planned to buy a couple little do-dads for my last page today, but that was not to be either. Oh well...

As a consolation (or perhaps a punishment), I discovered Polyvore instead. "Oh d-d-d-dear!", as my daughter often says, quoting Piglet. As if I needed another time-waster! I cannot afford the money to buy these clothes, nor the time to put together these hypothetical outfits, but gosh it's fun!

Today's the Day

Button dress
$75 -

Ankle tie flat
$35 -

Marc Jacobs zip top tote bag
€898 -

Flower jewelry
£8 -

Hair bow accessory
$14 -

Tuesday 28 February 2012

Quiet Book - Part IX

Yet another Quiet Book page completed...HURRAY!

I've actually had this one completed for a while, minus the little accessories, which I bought online and had sent to me...except that the package got lost in the mail, and took several weeks to return to the sender (Create-A-Doll), who happen to be in Wosolloongabba. I chose today of all days to go over and pick it up, and Brisbane traffic decided to show me what I'm missing by not venturing out at peak hour on a weekday (even though I was well after peak hour today, it was still crazy - something to do with trains not running today, I hear) . 

However, I now have in my hot little hands TINY LITTLE KNIVES AND FORKS AND SPOONS AND BOWLS AND PLATES! Please excuse the yelling, I am a tad bit excited.

I am slightly disappointed, as one of my little bread and butter plates has a chip in it (see the one on the left, there). I am going to get a replacement set.

So the table and chairs are just cut out of nice ribbed cardboard, and glued on to the page. The cutlery and crockery live in the little pockets (um, that's obvious from my little embroidered labels, sorry for insulting your intelligence!), and Eliza has to take them out and "set the table". The cardboard provides a stable base. Good for fine motor skills - mine too!! They are really teeny tiny, so it's a bit fiddly, but that will be good for her. 

Of course, my main concern is that the tiny bits will get lost, so this is an activity to be completed strictly under supervision. The whole book is intended to be used in a supervised setting though, so I'm okay with that. 

One other aspect I am a little regretful about is the little pockets - they were supposed to have cover flaps that attached with a snap clip...but I got a little carried away with the embroidery and forgot to leave room for the flaps to attach to the pockets. I am thinking I'll have to come up with another way to keep the little bits in there safe and sound, or else they will fall out inside the book and likely get lost! Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. You can just leave a comment below. Thanks :)

Monday 27 February 2012

Quiet Book - Part VIII

 With only three days (including today) left of February, I am in a hurry to complete this Quiet Book project. This is the last page in the book, as in, it will go at the end of the book. I still have two other pages to complete, as well as the cover and binding it all together. It is going to be a rather thick book!

I remember having some threading/"sewing" activities when I was a kid - I LOVED them. Eliza is especially keen to do this one, because it is sewing like Mummy does. 

The butterfly is cut out of 100% wool felt, as it is stronger and a better quality felt. I just used an unused shoe lace left over from my crazy laces phase as the "thread" and "needle". Even though there is not much to this page, it took a rather long time, as I used blanket stitch to strengthen all of the holes (which were just punched out with a hole punch), as well as the outside edge. The butterfly is just attached to the page via the green machine stitching, the wings are free-floating.

I had chosen some tiny blue buttons for eyes, but now I'm not sure whether or not to add them...any thoughts?

Saturday 25 February 2012

Quiet Book - Part VII

 The next page in the Quiet Book.

It's tricky making a 3D object like a backpack look good in sort of 2D, especially with zippers and such. I did my usual trick and did a google image search for some clip art of backpacks. I used one of those inspiration pictures for the craft I did with Miss E the other day.

The vinyl hat, sunscreen and lunch bag are totally wrong size in proportion to the backpack, but there was not much room left on the page! I put the backpack and these smaller objects to the "Eliza test" - I ask her, "What is it, Eliza?" and if she can tell me what it is, I know the shape is workable. She obviously can't read, but the lunch box and sunscreen are both shaped similarly to her own real versions of these, and similar colours. Anyway, they passed the test, so they are good to go!

The backpack is made of 100% wool felt, and has three pockets that Eliza can put her hat, sunscreen and lunch bag into. I was going to do trickier closures for the front pocket, but decided it would be too hard for her to actually do. So now she just has to slip the straps through the D-rings.

She has already had a go at the activity, and said "I want to do it again" after she finished - I guess that's a good sign, right? It is now a common thing for her to say "What you making, Mummy? Something for my special book?" Awww. Warms my heart :)

Wednesday 22 February 2012

Logo Design

I am such a total amateur when it comes to logo design, as well as image editing and the like. I had asked both my sister and hubby to come up with some ideas for a logo, but both are super busy and have not had a chance. So when I had an idea pop into my head when I was not even thinking about it (I love it when that happens!), I had to have a go at putting my idea on paper. Below is what I came up with on paper.
I was playing with the concept of two "c's" - a bit cheesy, I know, but that's just me. So this apple idea came to me, as the basic shape is made up of two "c's" opposite each other. Does that even make sense?

Anyway, I have wasted too much time today downloading and trying to figure out how to use GIMP - a free image editing program my hubby recommended. Above is my end result - although in GIMP the image is transparent, I don't think that works in my current set-up here. It took me ages to make the header banner as you see it above, but I am pretty happy with my final result, even though it is amateur-ish. I cannot say I enjoyed that process anywhere near as much as I enjoy crafting and writing this blog...but oh well. 
My two-and-a-half year old daughter has been hounding me all day - "I want to do craft, Mummy". Hmmmm. I can hardly blame anyone but myself for her interest. Well, we did a little craft together this afternoon after her nap :) I actually used the opportunity to help with my preparation for another page for her Quiet Book.
I obviously helped her with her cutting, but she glued the sparkles on by herself. And I helped her glue the backpack onto the page. Not much, but it took us a good half-hour! 

At Spotlight today, I saw all the little needlework kits and thought "I can't wait until she is old enough to do those!" If she wants to, of course. But it seems she is rather keen at this age. So much so that I am in the process of a Quiet Book page that says "Eliza does some sewing like Mummy."


Tuesday 21 February 2012

Quiet Book - Part VI

 As promised, another Quiet Book update. This time, a velcro task. Eliza needs to "make the bed" by pulling the "sheet", "blanket" and "doona" up in the correct order, and attaching them correctly, and attaching the "pillow" on top. I had fun making this one!
Seriously considering making a tiny bear to go in the bed as well...hmmm...maybe I'll delay that until after I've got the main pages all finished!

Monday 20 February 2012

Quiet Book - Part V

Oooh, I had a little burst of progress on the Quiet Book on the weekend. Several more pages are almost complete now. I am past the half-way point and the end is in sight! How good that light looks at the end of the tunnel. I have had fun working on it, but it is always great to finish a project (I have too many unfinished ones sitting around here!).

Getting ahead of myself here. I have only actually COMPLETED one more page, so here it is:

As you know, I LOVE buttons. Don't you think those lovely bright coloured buttons look yummy all lined up like that? Of course, they are not edible. Which reminds me, I saw a pic on pinterest the other day of edible buttons. As in, confectionery that was cast in button molds. Wow! I just looked them up, and found they are for sale on Etsy here. Cute idea, huh.

Friday 17 February 2012

Balloon Dreaming

Here is the next brooch in my new brooch series. A teeny, tiny little hot air balloon. This one is inspired by some reminiscing on my part...

We are coming up to the seventh anniversary of hubby and my first ever date. Except that it was not actually a planned date as such. But is just too clumsy to say 'the seventh anniversary of the first time that we spent a day together because we were put on church supper team together and I decided to bake and told him I would be baking and he invited himself along to help out and we hit it off'. That's a bit of a mouthful. Anyway, 6th March will mark the seven years. That's kind of amazing to me. 

Close-up of the balloon brooch
In June, when we had been dating just a few months, my hubby (then boyfriend) set the bar for gift-giving rather high. He teased me for a while beforehand that he was just going to get me a box of thumbtacks, so I should not expect much. Well, when the day arrived, there was my beautifully-wrapped box of thumbtacks...along with a gift certificate for a hot air balloon ride for two, plus gourmet buffet breakfast at the Sofitel afterwards (and several other delightful treasures). While that is an extraordinary gift in itself, what really blew me away was this: he did not intend that he should be the one to accompany me in the hot air balloon.

Now before you start thinking that takes away from the romance of it all, hear me out. He had heard me mention once that I had really treasured my one-on-one time with my Dad as a kid, especially because I am one of five kids, so it was fairly rare. He stored that piece of information away, and decided that he would give me the gift of a super special once-in-a-lifetime experience, to share with my Dad. He also noted that my Dad is mad keen on flying and all things related, and thought he would love the experience too. How precious is that? Just another way I knew I had found a keeper. :)

Ever since then, whenever I see a hot air balloon, I fondly recall my lovely hot air balloon ride with my Dad, and thank God for my sweet, thoughtful husband who never ceases to surprise me with his ability to notice the details and follow through by actually doing something to show he cares (and not just for me, either). 

Dad is the furthest guy helping hold the balloon up while they fill it with hot air.

On of the many shots from the air that I can no longer remember where exactly it was...but it looks cool!

Sunrise over Brisbane city, as seen from the balloon
Love you, babe. xox

P.S. - I thought he would never be able to top that birthday present - but he did! The next year, his birthday gift to me was an engagement ring and proposal :) Is he sweet or what?!

Thursday 16 February 2012

Rain Over Me

 A sneak peek at the initial fiddlings of putting those recent ideas into action. The first brooch in a new brooch and necklace series I have in mind. I need to tweak a few things, and my stitching is a little messy in this first one. I experimented with several ways of attaching the raindrops to the tigertail and the tigertail to the cloud, and by the end I had found a way that I think will work.
The matching necklace will feature a little umbrella :)

It is super fun making things up from ideas without patterns. I get a real buzz out of it. :)

Wednesday 15 February 2012

Giveaway Over at Georgie Love

Check out this amazing giveaway over at Georgie Love! There are two prizes - first prize is just amazing, with two of Pip Lincolne's books - "Sew La Tea Do" and "Make Hey! While the Sun Shines", as well as a small selection of vintage fabrics and tea towels, a gorgeous vintage apron, some of Georgie Love's goodies, a $50 Georgie Love gift voucher, a sweet pair of vintage yellow heels and a cute vintage dress! WOWSERS!

Photo courtesy of Georgie Love blog
Plus, there is a second prize! It's a copy of "Sew La Tea Do" as well as a $30 Georgie Love gift voucher. To find out how to enter, click over here.

Hurray! If I won, I would spend the $50 voucher on some of the adorable brooches available, such as the All At Sea Lino Brooch, and the Chirpy Bird Red Brooch. What would you buy?

Tuesday 14 February 2012

Quiet Book - Part IV update

Thanks to Kirsty and Kathryn for your feedback about my last post. Here is the page I posted about last time with the snap clips sewn on.

Eliza tried this page out for me when I was done. She needs a little help, but she loved it! And that, after all, is why I'm bothering with this. *satisfied smile*

To see more of the Quiet Book, click here.

Monday 13 February 2012

Quiet Book - Part IV

Happy Monday everyone. I hope you are all having a good day. I found out today that some items I had purchased online for one of the pages of the Quiet Book have somehow been lost in the mail. Here's hoping they show up sometime soon!

I have been working on another page in the meantime. This one features a larger version of the Silver Birch Tree that I have previously posted about.

Credit goes to my Mum for suggesting I make little birds for the tree, attached with snap clips, so Eliza can pull them off and clip them back on.

After watching my hubby and daughter's daily ritual of throwing bird seed out the front windows of our house for the pigeons, I was inspired to add some french knots and straight stitch bird seeds under the tree, with extra clips, so the birds can be taken down from the tree and put on the ground to eat the seed.

Credit to my hubby for the bird outline he drew for me. Thanks babe!

The clips are yet to be attached, and I'm thinking about french knot eyes for the birds...what do you think?

(Every time I work on this, I get a certain song stuck in my head..."Feed the birds, tuppence a bag..." Ha ha! Now it's stuck in your head too!)

Wednesday 8 February 2012

The Golden Hour

Ah, the golden hour. Both kids asleep AT THE SAME TIME!! I should probably be eating. Or sleeping. Or showering. Or doing housework. But instead I am buzzing with ideas for a new range of brooches and necklaces. I have been doing concept sketches and simply cannot wait to get started on the making...BUT...

I have several other projects on the go already!! I have not yet finished my daughter's Quiet Book, even though I am slowly chipping away at it, and I have begun a project for my sister, as well as several items of clothing that are in the 'cut and ready to sew' or even 'partially sewn' phase. These are all things that I genuinely intend to finish. And I have not lost momentum, I have just got inspiration for other projects as well. What to do?

I want to keep craft as a way to relax and have fun, and not let it take over my life (which it seems to be trying to do!) How do you juggle craft projects? And how do you juggle craft with other (arguably) more important things such as ingesting food and keeping the house clean? 

Tuesday 7 February 2012

Vintage Style Aprons

Aprons. They're all the go at the moment, have you noticed? We often used aprons when I was growing up. Saturday mornings meant baking time, which meant apron time. Fun! I loved putting on my apron like Mummy, and whipping up a chocolate simplicity cake (leaving plenty of mixture in the bowl to lick out of course!). My two and a half year old also loves to don her new apron (thanks, Sneha!) and 'help' me bake (was I that much trouble, Mum?).

Well a couple years ago, I decided to make myself an apron. I found some gorgeous Michael Miller fabric with a vintage kitchen motif, from Oz Material Girls which I thought was perfect for my apron. I bought the pattern from Etsy as a pdf download from Tenth Muse Studios (sorry but it appears she is no longer selling). The end result is above, middle and right pics (it is a reversible apron).

Around that time, I also made a simple half-apron (above left) from a rectangle of vintage red gingham fabric that I was given by my grandmother, with some home-made bias binding for the trimmings from some white fabric she gave me. It's very simple. Maybe I will do a tutorial for that one sometime soon.

With the small amount of leftover Michael Miller fabric, I covered an art canvas and attached a bit of ribbon with some mini-pegs for a matching recipe-holder. This is now a fixture in my kitchen that I use regularly, especially when I am baking.

I recently found some vintage magazines at an op-shop, with some great sewing patterns and gift ideas. There were some cute aprons in one, as pictured below.

Perhaps I will give these a try next. I think the embroidery and applique looks sweet. But perhaps not so practical for wearing while baking or gardening, as you would have to hand-wash to protect the embroidery. kind of defeats the purpose of an apron... Do you like to use aprons, or don't see the point?

Monday 6 February 2012

Put A Bird On It!


You may have seen this before, it's been floating around for a while now, but it's still funny second time around (and third and fourth!). It's from Season 1 of the TV show Portlandia, apparently.

This one is for you, Hannah and Sneha!

Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to HeatherLizMarie!
You have won the kanzashi brooch giveaway

Please email me at with your postal address, so I can get this prize to you!

Friday 3 February 2012

Candykins Craft Blog First Ever Giveaway

I have seen other blogs do this, and I think it is a fun way for readers to participate! And for one reader to end up with a little something to keep. So how it works is this - you  have a chance to win this cute  kanzashi brooch in lovely, bright primary colours (7cm in diameter). To enter the competition, all you have to do is leave a comment on this blog post before Sunday 9pm (Eastern Standard Time here in Australia). Yep, that's it! Pretty easy!!

Open to Australian and international readers.

I will draw a name out of the entries and announce a winner on Monday.
Good luck! :)

Thursday 2 February 2012

Quiet Book - Part III

 Finally, an update on the quiet book. I have finally picked up where I left off, after a few weeks' break. I decided to do the pages in calico, and hand embroider the words just in my regular printing. It's definitely not perfect, but it is 'created with love' as the title page says.

I am rather happy with how the clothes turned out. In the end, I used tigertail threaded through tiny pegs with small couching stitches on either side of the pegs, attached at the ends through vintage buttons, and threaded back and forth through the calico page. It's a little crowded, the downside of making so many clothes! Seeing them all lined up on the A4 page like that gives you a better idea of the size of each item of clothing.

 Below left is the finished shoe-tying page, although I may need to re-thread the eyelets with something more stable than the novelty yarn that is currently acting as shoe laces. Below right is the almost-complete page that will be next to the shoe-tying page in the book. It is supposed to be the back of a head, if you can't tell (and you would most certainly be forgiven for not being able to guess!). It's a rather full head of hair, rather more full than Eliza's actual hair, but that was due to me having in my possession some half-finished craft projects passed down from my grandmother...I just gave this doll's hair (I think that is what it was going to be?) a trim. It is going to make the book rather fat.

To see the previous pages on the Quiet Book, you can go here.
Comments and suggestions are most welcome :)


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