Sunday, February 28, 2010

found! vintage embroidered linens ...

I found these beautiful vintage embroidered linen doilies on Friday at an op shop for $7 ...


I love them all, but this one is my favourite ...

There is something about circles that always draws me in - as well as simple design and delicate fabrics. To see what other beautiful bargains people have found or to show us yours, visit Sophie at Her Library Adventures.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

my creative space ... on the wall

This week, I've been printing, printing, printing - a new larger version of my vintage tram roll menu tea towel. I've been wanting a larger version of this design for a few reasons - I love typography, quite a few people asked for it (which is nice) and I have had a bit of a framing idea in mind for a while ...


I found a great frame at a bargain shop for 20 bucks, with some really lovely people on it ....!
{Note: The dimensions of the printed area of the tea towel are 21.5cm (8.5 inches) x 51cm (20 inches). The dimensions of the frame (inside) I used are 28cm (11 inches) x 60cm (23.5 inches).}

Step 1 - remove the back of the frame, as well as the "lovely people" and mounting board. 
Step 2 - glue or tape the cardboard that the people are on to the mounting board to create a firm board to wrap your tea towel around.
Step 3 - align the print of the tea towel to the board you have created.
Step 4 - attach tea towel to the board - I used double sided tape (the kind you might use to hold yourself in a strapless dress, as it adheres to anything!) but you could use glue or whatever you have really.


Finally, put the lot in the frame, and put the back on it ... you're ready to hang it in your kitchen (or where-ever). 

... a bit of art for my favourite corner of the kitchen!
Tea towels available here and here.
(free postage for Australian orders)

For more creative spaces, or to join in, click on over to Kirsty's at Kootoyoo.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

new, but old - sort of!

Excitement at the studio last night ... I could not wait to print a larger scale version of my Vintage Tram Roll Menu tea towel onto some brand new black organic cotton/hemp that arrived yesterday! Printed, sewn and in the shop within 24 hours - a new record!


Get your own here (in Australian dollars) and here on etsy (in US dollars).

Monday, February 22, 2010

vintage tea towel bag

I've had a few vintage tea towels floating around for a while. One in particular has been tagged for my sister, so I thought I would use Curly Pop's tutorial and make a bag out of it for her birthday.

Cam's instructions are super clear, and the whole project took about an hour. The only thing I altered was the length of the straps (from 50cm to 65cm) so it was easy to carry over one shoulder.

Thanks Cam!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

my creative space ... martha

My creative space this week has been largely confined to my desk where I've been busy finishing some design ideas ...


However, while testing some designs on paper, I played around with a new MARTHA purchase - do you know what it is ...


... if you guessed circular cutter, you'd be right! (from Spotlight incase you're interested)


It cuts beautiful circles, so I've been making some little gift tags out of the draft prints I've been doing (on thin card) - it's very theraputic!

In other creativity ... my friend Pam from Pippi Creates, made this cute hat for Little Mister - he calls it his "special car hat" (because it's lined with car fabric - it's reversible too) and hasn't taken it off since he got it - thanks Pam! Pam sews beautiful kids clothing and accessories - check out her blog here.


I hope your week has been creative too. To check out other creative spaces, or to add your own to the pile, visit Kootoyoo.

Monday, February 15, 2010

my place + yours ... kitchen love

I'm joining in the my place and yours fun this week, because the theme is kitchen love and I'm all about the kitchen love!

But first, let's start with a bit of background. When we bought this house a couple of years ago, the kitchen was the second worst room in the house (the bathroom was the worst - I still have nightmares!). The kitchen we inherited was a reno jobbie from the 80's with secondhand cabinets and bright blue accessories. The worst part was that there was 12cm difference between the height of the floor from one side of the room to the other, so everything rolled off the benches ... not nice! So last April, we did this ...

 ... it felt good - it all went - the kitchen, the dodgy plumbing, the appliances and the floor. And we replaced it with this ...


These are my two favourite spaces in the kitchen. The first is the open shelves that house all my odds and ends and a small selection of the cookbooks that I own ...


But this little corner of the kitchen is my standout favourite. I am lucky enough to have a fire engine red Kitchenaid mixer - my favourite appliance by far! The wooden bread board on the wall is french and antique. I bought it when we bought the house and it was my little incentive to make a kitchen that I would be proud to hang it in. The cannisters were Mr Yardage's grandmothers - we salvaged them from the old family farmhouse in NSW last year - they are very special and got their own little glass shelf to live on.


So that's my kitchen love, and one of the main reasons I like to make tea towels and other kitcheny stuff! To check out other great kitchen love or to play along too, visit Vic at Punky & Me (our lovely host) here

P.S. Our table was custom made from local recycled timbers by a guy in Richmond, and the chairs were a super splurge from Thonet - I love these too!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

cleverness x 5

I am constantly amazed at how many clever people there are in blogland - writing, making and photographing wonderful things. I thought I might share a few of my favourite finds from the last week or so:

brilliant idea: fabric printing with cookie cutters
This idea blew me away when I saw it on Posie Patchwork during this weeks my creative space. This is the ultimate in reinventing a process - a sort of kitchenalia block printing. Outstanding results - check it out - very, very clever.

a great new blog to read: today on the train ...
This blog is a journal of the observations and thoughts of an American woman as she travels on the train - interesting, well written, and touching - I look forward to every new post. (I found this blog via the Blogging Your Way e-course)

best recipe: pink stuff
This recipe comes from a meme called "Retro Cooking Month - weird jello day". The recipe is from the USA, and is indeed weird, but strangely appealing if you like cottage cheese, cream, pineapple and jelly (what's not to love!) ... check it out here. (Found via Confessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom)

clever design: wall decoration
From here, via here ... so many good designs from this hsuband and wife team, but this one great - especially for those of us who love typography!

good for a giggle: what's your ikea name?
That is, what would your name be if you were a piece of furniture from Ikea? Mine would be Nikkall (with a little circle above the A) and I would be a table - nice! Find out what yours would be here. (Found via How about orange ...)

I hope you've enjoyed this little list of cleverness. Let me know some of your favourite finds from this week - that would be fun!

the word on the street ...

... enjoy your Sunday!

Friday, February 12, 2010

lemon drizzle cupcakes

This recipe is really easy, really yummy and chances are that you will always have these ingedients hanging around the kitchen, which makes them the perefct spur of the moment, zesty treat ...


lemon drizzle cupcakes

125g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
1/2 cup caster sugar
3 teaspoons of finely grated lemon rind (usually about one lemon worth)
2 eggs
1/2 cup plain flour
1/4 cup self raising flour
1/4 cup desiccated coconut
1 tablespoon of lemon juice

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Place some cupcake cases in a cuptake tin. 
Beat butter, sugar and lemon rind until pale and creamy.
Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition until just combined.
Stir in the flours, cocunut and lemon juice until just combined.
Spoon into the cupcake cases you prepared earlier, and bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into a cake comes out clean. Once cooked, put them on a wire rack to cool.

lemon icing

1 cup icing sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Sift icing sugar into a bowl. Add lemon juice and stir until you get a nice smooth paste.
Drizzle icing over cooled cakes.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

shop online in aussie dollars

Just a quick note - I now have an online shop selling in Australia dollars. I'll still have the etsy store, but lots of people let me know that they would prefer an Aussie option, so here it is! There's a link on my blog sidebar too, and it can also be accessed from my website (click on the SHOP tab).

I'll be adding more stock to both stores in the coming weeks - new designs and new colourways. Thanks so much for your support! Commercial over!

my creative space ... printing and sewing

This week, I finished printing the layers on my experimental tea towel ...


I think it looks OK if you stand about 2 metres away from it and squint your eyes! Basically, the flowers are not ideally positioned and are a bit out of proportion to each other, BUT it does give me an idea for printing some fabric by the metre ... scatttered multi-sized artichoke flowers? ... I might have a play on the computer this weekend.

Some of you might also remember the artichoke I embroidered using my sewing machine last year. Well, I finally did something with it - I made a little pin cushion for the studio ...

I hope your space is creative this week too. Have a look at some other spaces, or join in, by clicking here and saying hello to Kirsty at Kootoyoo!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

a few more favourite ... from around my place this week ...


Have a great day!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

bloggy homework

You may have noticed from my sidebar that I am doing the Blogging Your Way e-course (which is really excellent - I'm loving it!). We're into our third week, and our homework this week is to create an inspiration/mood board that depicts our blog. We weren't allowed to use anything digital to create it, so it was scissors and paste time with a stack of mags and other odds and ends. Here's what I came up with ...

I really enjoyed making this. The pictures and words (hopefully) convey what I'd like this blog to be in terms of style and content. I found it really useful and a worthwhile use of an hour or so on a Sunday afternoon. This A3 board is now going to live on my wall next to the laptop - as an inspiration and a reminder.
You should do one ... go on!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

my creative space ... in the studio

Yesterday, I had a lovely few hours in the studio. I got to put up this print ...


... which I got here, and goes nicely on a little patch of wall above my printing table where I keep the inks I have mixed (and some other lovely little prints that I got here). I also did a bit of printing ...

... and some experimenting with printing ARTichokes. I want to randomly print in a couple of different colours and create a bit of a collage. I've done the first layer in red, and will do the next one tomorrow when I'm in the studio ...


Unfortunately, bloopers do happen occasionally when hand printing - not enough pressure resulted in a mottled tram roll menu, so I decided I might try and fill in the gaps ...

... I played around for a while and ended up with something in between - I left a bit of mottle in the middle which I am thinking looks a bit "aged" and "rustic" ... LOL!! Anyway, this "unique" apron is going to be for me ...

I hope your creative space is enjoyable and productive. To peek into other people's spaces, or to show us yours, visit Kootoyoo!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

a few favourite ...

... pics from the last few days - food inspired ...


All delish! 
Best Ever Banana Bread recipe from here 
by the multi-talented Kirsty 
(it really was the best ever!)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

how to enter the world of textile design

This e-book was launched today, and while it is focussed on the quilting part of the industry, from what I read of my copy today, there is lots of really useful info in there for everyone, and it's really well written. Lizzy House is a young and dedicated textile designer who wanted to share the information that many keep to themselves about how to start in the industry - what a breath of fresh air! I really like what Amy Schimler wrote in the foreword (I couldn't have said it better myself):
It can be a bit of a dilemma for artists in terms of sharing information. It is a lot of hard work for all of us in this business and it is a very competitive business. I think there is a way to balance giving helpful advice with the understanding that anyone asking is still going to have to do their own hard work in developing their personal style and establishing relationships with clients. That is not something you can give anyone.

I just thought you might be interested! You can buy your copy to download here. Cheers!

Monday, February 1, 2010

pear design progress ...

You might remember the pears I was playing with last weekend ... well I have ended up with this so far:

I really wanted something simple for the tea towels, and the opportunity to do a two colour print (my first one). Next on the agenda is some pattern work. Hope you're having a good start to the week!