Thursday, June 30, 2011

my {temporary} creative space

I have created a temporary creative space for myself in the attic of the house we are staying in while we are in Spain. I salvaged and old table from the laundry, bought an antique chair at a market for next to nothing (which I love - but how to get it home to Australia!!), and decorated with some of my own bunting and Crayon Chicks crocheted circles ... if only the walls were not sickly yellow!

See the little case on the table? You might remember that I bought it a few weeks ago at the Shabby Vintage Junk Extravaganza - just a few days before we flew out. As soon as I saw this case I knew it would be a perfect, compact vessel for my crafty things. So, I packed everything I thought I might need into it, wrapped it in a towel and placed it safely in my suitcase for the long journey here. What did I pack? A small amount of fabric (mine, of course!), embroidery threads, an embroidery hoop, needles, pins and a pin cushion, good scissors, linocut tools and some speedball rubber to cut, a roll of linen ribbon to print on, some decorations (the bunting and crocheted circles below), an embroidery book, a sketchbook and a pencil case.

There has been a little bit of crafting  - mostly starting things and then getting distracted. I want to do some embroidery while I'm here - it's something I'd like to be good at. I started ... 

I did manage to print some linen ribbon using the little stamp I made ...

But aside from that, it's mainly been about the camera - as I am sure you have noticed with my past few blog posts. Being here has made me slow down, which is a good thing. 

More creative spaces over here!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

by the roadside ...

These beauties were found by the side of the road at a petrol station near Avila (on the way to Madrid). Weeds to most, but beautiful in their own right. I'm loving my camera at the moment!


It's been 11 years since we last visited this beautiful city. We spent this past weekend re-aquainting ourselves, and it was bliss ...

I could not resist the Metro signs ... both new (above) and old (below)
What is it about Paris that makes you want to take pictures in black and white? 
Bliss ...
A stylish and lasting icon ... The Eiffel Tower
My french window - I could live here ...
There was no time for anything other than just wandering and eating and enjoying. Paris lifted our spirits, and was a gracious and elegant host. Au revoir!

Friday, June 24, 2011

birthday craft

Mr Yardage is celebrating a birthday, so yesterday, Little Mister and I got busy with some paint ...

... he made an original work of art gift, and I abstract painted on a couple of sheets of cardboard so that I could later chop them up and make some festive bunting ...

Triangles chopped and attached to some embroidery cotton with staples - not ideal, but it worked. It's amazing what you can do with limited supplies! We're ready to celebrate!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

indie craft market in madrid

We happened to be in Madrid towards the end of last week. While I was there, I needed to visit a shop that sold British food to stock up on a few things that are hard to find here (real soy sauce, tomato paste to name a couple). While I was there, I picked up a free newspaper for ex-pats in Madrid and read that there was an independent design and handmade market on Saturday's in June ... of course we went ...

It's called the Dosde Market and it's held in this beautiful square (Plaza de Mayo) not far from the city centre. The square is communal space - playgrounds, trees, seats - surrounded by cafes, restaurants and bars. It was a perfect setting.

There were probably 30 or so stalls of handmade and hand crafted goodness. Lots of product was familiar, but often with a Spanish twist - lots of bright colours. I found two little things to take home with me ...

This necklace (from Borboleta) is made with little felt balls wrapped in cotton and strung onto fishing line. I love the colours, and it looks lovely on (I don't have my tripod here, so no posing today!).

I absolutely love this handmade clay brooch by Elena Rey. Elena was lovely and spoke english quite well, so it was great to hear about how she makes these and other pieces.

I can't tell you how good it made me feel to go to a handmade market. Even though it was in a foreign country where I can't speak the language well, it was so familiar, and I knew that we all got IT - the loveliness and importance of making things by hand.

Have a lovely Thursday!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


I may have seemed distant for the past few weeks, but that's because I'm in Spain ...

I am indulging my love of flowers (wild poppies - I can't get enough of them!) and old doors (I can't help but take photo's of doors in Europe) while we hang out with Mr Yardage (who is here for business) and the Spaniards (who have been so generous with our lack of Spanish language skills)! I'm also finding time to design and dream ... it must be the loooong sunny, summer days. Seriously. We only get about 6 hours of proper darkness here! I'm sending some warmth to all of my southern hemisphere mates - begone coldness and ash!

I'm looking forward to sharing some sights and finds with you over the coming weeks, as well as a little bit of crafting! Adios amigos!

Monday, June 20, 2011

where in the world am i?

Can you guess?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

small craft + craft for smalls

A small amount of crafting going on here - in the form of a hand carved stamp (stars in circles) ...

Once I locate my stamp pad, I'll show you how it worked out! I plan to stamp some natural linen tape that I found ages ago. In other news, my recently bought copy of Little Artists Handmade arrived in the post ...

Written by Carly Schwerdt, one half of the Umbrella Prints team, this brand new crafty book is great  - I love that there are great projects for kids AND mums/adults. Little Mister and I are going to enjoy this one together - first cab off the rank will be homemade stickers. I am looking forward to trying a few of the clever projects for myself too, especially this printed stool ...

I hope your week is as crafty as you would like it to be!

Friday, June 10, 2011

recipe :: rice pudding

Rice pudding, sometimes known as creamed riced ... either way it's delicious, and one of my favourite winter comfort foods. 

Rice Pudding

Add 1 litre of milk and half a cup of sugar to a large saucepan.
When the milk comes to the boil and the sugar is dissolved, add half a cup of rice (any will do), 1 teaspoon of vanilla (or one vanilla pod with seeds scraped), and a pinch of salt.
Bring back to the boil, then reduce heat to a simmer for about an hour (stir every 10 minutes or so) or until the rice is soft and the milk is absorbed.

I like my rice pudding as per the recipe, but occasionally I add lemon zest or dried fruit (sultanas work well) for a bit of a change.

Enjoy hot, warm or cold!

Thursday, June 9, 2011


I recently finished knitting the cowl I started a few weeks ago ...

This was the first time I have knitted "in the round". I didn't follow a pattern. I bought large circular needles and there was no choice in length where I bought them, so I cast on as many stitches as I needed to go around, and then just knitted (garter stitch I think - it's the only one I can do!) two whole balls of Rowan Drift yarn. I'm really happy with how it turned out - it's probably a bit longer than I originally imagined, but it's beautifully soft and warm, and the yarn was so forgiving in the dropped-stitch department, not to mention fast to knit. I'll definitely be knitting another one soon.

My apologies for the crap pics - it looks like I'm Queen Cranky-pants III, but I really just don't like being in pics much! Hope you're week has been great so far!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

yardage design scarf by Jennie

I absolutely LOVE it when people let me know that they've made something with my fabric. I was, understandably, thrilled when Jennie from W Class Cushions commented that she had made a scarf with a Yardage Design fabric pack. How excellent is this ...

Thanks Jennie, I'm adding you to my Things people have made using Yardage Design fabric page which you can find as a tab at the top of this blog (just below the banner). If you've made something using something I've printed, let me know - you'll make my day!

Pop over to Jennie's lovely blog for a look at her gorgeous baby and other gorgeous craftiness.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

vintage treasure

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending the Shabby Vintage Junk Extravaganza. Organised by the very talented Tamarah, this is the second annual Extravaganza and it did not disappoint. I got myself an early-bird ticket, which meant that just 44 of us had a hour to look and buy before the general public. Here are my treasures ...

Vintage Printing Block and 4m of not very "imperfect" Liberty fabric (for $20!!)

Vintage Grape Bucket

There are still lots of treasures to be found - the Extravaganza is on today 8am to 4pm (details above). Have a lovely weekend!