Friday, October 30, 2009

awesome op shop find!

I was in the Greensborough area (in Melbourne) this morning, and found a fantastic op shop - it had rooms! It even had a whole room for linens and fabrics and sewing stuff. I had to show a great deal of restraint, but I ended up parting with 50 cents (!), and came away with this old tea towel ...

... and this knitting book (just for the photos!!) ...

I particularly liked this photo ...

I have been trying to think of witty captions, but my brain is mush (not enough sleep). Let me know if any (clean ones!) spring to mind when you see this!

Anyhoo, the all important details:

St John of God Op Shop
108-130 Diamond Creek Road (just off the roundabout with the Greensborough Hwy - look out for the sign)

Open 9-3 Mon - Fri, and 10-2 the first Saturday and third Sunday of the month. If you're up that way, it's worth a visit - LOTS of stuff.

Have a great weekend!

P.S. Thanks for all the comments yesterday. A few people asked what machine I have - it's a Janome Memory Craft 9700. I love it!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

my creative space ... part two

OK, the laptop has had a very stern talking to and is now on board with my new software and its needs! Last week I went to a Janome demo session with their new flash sewing/embroidery machine that does everything. The great thing about the session was that I learnt about some pretty cool stuff that my machine can do. In particular, with the addition of some software and a flash drive, I can machine embroider my own designs. So I did!

Can you guess what it is?

Yes! It's my artichoke drawing ...

Me likey!

My brain hurts with all the possibilities - fun city!
P.S. The multicoloured thread is cool too - it's a bit darker in real life - noice!

my creative space ...

... is outside on the deck this week - drawing and reading in the sunshine.

I'm having a play with shapes and designs with a vege slant. Little Mister and I went to the market and picked up some interesting looking veges - artichokes, beetroots, radishes, and bok choy. I'm liking the artichoke at the moment - the "petals" are fun to draw.

On the studio front, there have been some delays with the rewiring, but (fingers crossed), I'll be in next week. Until then, not much news, I'm afraid.

Aside from that, my laptop and I are not speaking - it refuses to do what I want it to do (won't recognise hardware). Naughty laptop! I sooooo want a Mac! If I can get it to work, I'll be back later with my creative space part two - a nifty bit of embroidery software for my sewing machine ... stay tuned!

For some far more interesting creative spaces this week, drop by and visit Kootoyoo. Have a good one!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

inspired - geraniums ...

Inspired by Kellie's beautiful photography and her blog 74 Lime Lane, I'm sharing my favourite geraniums with you today - they are in full bloom at the moment and just a beautiful shade of crimson.

Geraniums get a bad wrap sometimes - I've heard them refered to a smelly old weeds - a waste of space. Geraniums transport me back to Europe, and Italy in particular - window boxes overflowing with brightly coloured geraniums and other flowers. They are super drought and brown thumb tolerant. They are happy little flowers I love to have around.

Have a lovely day!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

tarty tuesday - cherry clafouti

Inpsired by retromummy a couple of weeks ago, I made this lovely, easy recipe last night (Monday nights are pudding nights at our place!). I used a copy of Julia's recipe which was on the Recipe Zaar website here. I have also included it below...

Julia Child's Cherry Clafouti
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 2/3 cup sugar, divided
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3 cups cherries, pitted (canned work fine)
  • icing sugar, for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Using a blender, combine the milk, 1/3 cup sugar, eggs, vanilla, salt and flour, and blend.
  3. Lightly butter an 8-cup baking dish, and pour a 1/4-inch layer of the blended mixture over the bottom. Set remaining batter aside.
  4. Place dish into the oven for about 7-10 minutes, until a film of batter sets in the pan but the mixture is not baked through. Remove from oven (but don’t turn the oven off, yet).
  5. Distribute the pitted cherries over the set batter in the pan, then sprinkle with the remaining sugar. Pour the remaining batter over the cherries and sugar.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 to 60 minutes, until the clafouti is puffed and brown and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve warm.
  8. Servings: 6-8 for dessert, 4 for breakfast.

Mr yardage gave this two thumbs up - it was delish! It certainly made up for my broad bean side dish that I served with dinner. I have never cooked broad beans before, and didn't realise that I needed to take the hard, chewy cover off the beans themselves (no wonder people say they are a labour of love to prepare - I thought they were being a bit dramatic!) - it was a good laugh!! Once we did that, they tasted great with the sauted onions, mushrooms, thyme and butter. Live and learn!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

does this design work?

... for a tea towel, apron, whatever!

Tram/train/bus rolls are not a new idea, but I liked it with a foodie reference for the kitchen. I'm also thinking of other colours besides black. Does it work for you? Thanks in advance for your thoughts - every one helps.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

weekend vintage treasures ...

For the stash ... (from Camberwell Market)

For the studio ... (cane chairs from ebay, vintage clothes horse from Camberwell Market)


I'm thinking I will paint the chairs, and then make some cushions using my own printed fabrics. The clothes horse will be a good spot to dry ink on freshly printed tea towles etc, but also be a nice display stand.

Great weekend all round! Hope yours was too!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

redwork & giggles!


My photo does not do this lovely quilt justice - head over to Kootoyoo for a better look! It was a really fun night - and so wonderful to meet fellow bloggers for real. Thanks to Anna, Gina, Tania, Nikki, Cam and Peta and others for lots of giggles!

Check out Pam's blog (Pippi Creates) for a very silly picture of the two of us in the skirts we made before going to the launch! Pam is a very clever seamstress - she also makes lovely kids clothes using all sorts of techniques - check her out here

Finally, a HUGE thankyou to Kirsty from Kootoyoo for organising this wonderful project. It was a pleasure to be involved and I can't wait to see where our lovely quilt ends up.

Friday, October 23, 2009

signature skirt for tonight ...

t's Friday, which means that we get to see the redwork quilt project come to fruition tonight. I thought I would make a quick skirt to wear using some of the fabric I printed earlier in the week with my signature circles. I used Simplicity pattern 2906 - basic pencil skirt with a side split, made out of natural 100% irish linen from Clegs. I've included a couple of pics from the printing process, which wasn't totally successful because I had too many fine lines, but I like the rustic result anyway! It was also a bit of a lesson for me in pattern repeats, which was great for testing the old brain out!


Do you like the ornate "I" at the start of this post? It is the work of typographer and illustrator Jessica Hische who has created the The Daily Drop Cap project. Each day she posts "a new hand-crafted decorative initial cap for your enjoyment and for the beautification of blog posts everywhere." I found Jessica's work via the How About Orange blog - thanks!

Looking forward to meeting lots of bloggers tonight! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

my creative space ... diy screenprinting

I have finally had a chance to play with some screenprinting at home this week. After reading Bend the Rules with Fabric by Amy Karol (aka Angry Chicken), I ordered the do-it-yourself EZScreenPrint kit online - which allows you to create A4 screens without photo emulsion (this system uses the sun) or hassle! Anyway, I had a go at testing a few designs, including the canisters one from a couple of weeks ago.  I have included some pics of the process and a bit of basic explanation.

The first step, as for a normal screenprint, is to print your design onto transparent (overhead) film. Then the exposure takes place in the sun for about a minute using the kit supplied.

Next, you soak the A4 emulsion in water, then wash it to reveal your design "burnt" onto the screen.

Then you dry it in the sun and you're ready to go. The kit comes with a plastic frame that you tape the screen to for printing. Mix up some fabric paint, lay some newspaper, get some scrap fabric to test on, and you're good to go!

Test print ...

Finished tea towel printed onto natural hemp/organic cotton base cloth!

It's a super easy, and pretty inexpensive system. The good thing is that the screens are permanent and can be used over and over. The only negative thing I noticed was that fine lines and small text don't come up so well - there is a finer screen available that might work better for this. Aside from that, I was pleased with the results. If you're interested in more info, head over to this post at Angry Chicken's blog - there is also a discount code to use if you want to buy some too.

For more creative spaces, visit Kootoyoo - you know you want to!

P.S. Looking forward to meeting some of you on Friday night at the launch of The Quilt Project!
P.P.S. Thanks for all of your encouraging comments last week - studio update next week.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

not for the faint-hearted ... or elvis!

A fried (in butter) peanut butter and banana sandwich!

Rumoured to be Elvis's favourite food (I know why!!) and one of the reasons he was so fat (I know why!!) before he died (I know why!!).
These are so delicious but spared for only the most procrastinatory days - today being one of those!
Hope you're having a good day!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

fancy a strawberry tart?

This is hardly even a recipe, but oh so yummy!! I adapted this from a rather more complicated Martha recipe.

Fresh Strawberry Tart

What you'll need:
1 sheet frozen puff pastry
2 punnets of strawberries
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon of castor sugar

What to do:
> Pre-heat your oven to about 180 degrees celcius
> Cut the puff pastry into a circle (I used a dinner plate as a template) and place on a greased tray
> Wash strawberries, remove stems, then cut each one into three lengthwise
> Put strawberries into a bowl with 1/4 cup of castor sugar and mix
> Place strawberries in concentric circles on the pastry, leaving a bit of an edge
> Spoon over any juices left in the bowl
> Sprinkle the whole thing with 1 tablespoon of castor sugar
> Pop into the oven for about 20 minutes or until the pastry is light brown
> Serve with cream and/or icecream! Enjoy!

You could pretty much use any berry for this tart, and you could also do individual sized ones.

Hope you have a tarty Tuesday!

Monday, October 19, 2009

world sweet world - lovely!

The postie delivered this mag today. It's called World Sweet World and it's from New Zealand. Here's the blurb:
Split into two parts, it has beautifully illustrated, step-by-step instructions for making cool stuff, followed by articles about people or stories on sustainable living, and, in general, things that we hope you'll find inspiring.
It is inspiring - just a lovely mag and so reasonably priced. I found this mag through Lark's blog, but I bought the mag for this article - A Crafty Plan - tips and tricks for starting your creative business. It's a great read and perfect timing for me!

Have a lovely Monday!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

craft - old school is cool?

Today we went to the Lancefield Show (about an hour north of Melbourne). It was a lovely day, and in between rides and playing with all the baby animals, we looked at the craft entries. All the usual categories were there - quilts, knits, lacework, and this ...

... hand sewn clothes for large dolls. Now, it's not my cup of tea, but at least three people (they were all different entries) love this craft. The sewing was beautiful. I love seeing new/old crafts - diversity is what makes us all go around, and old school can be cool, or at least inspiring in some way.

Hope you had a great weekend!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

my creative space ... a new ad(venture)

It's been a big couple of weeks. I've finally taken the plunge - I've filled out lots of forms and established my very own little business - Yardage Design.

Yesterday, I signed the papers to lease a studio - eeeeek! Eighteen whole square metres for me to ... create, make a mess, create some more ... whatever takes my fancy!

My studio (so cool to write that! sorry!) is part of the Ironside Studios in Kensington - down the hall from Susan at Spin Spin Handmade, and around the corner from the girls at Ink & Spindle. This is the front entrance to the studios ...

This is what the inside of my studio looks like at the moment - in the middle of getting painted and electricals ...

This is the groovy old pipe in one corner. I'm thinking about painting it a wild colour so it stands out more - the shapes are fantastic!

This is my favourite part of the space - a window (or half of one - sharing is nice!). It's covered in paint right now, but once scraped clean it will be lovely.

So that's my new space - I love it. I can't wait to get in there and put my stamp on it and get to work (hopefully only a couple of weeks away). I am busting to get printing.

To get another space fix, head over to Kootoyoo - you won't regret it!

Thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


From my garden ... enjoy your Tuesday!

Monday, October 12, 2009

just one word ...

This meme is via Pip at Meet me at Mikes ... who got it via Hazelnuts, who found it at PetalPlum who found it via Bits of Sunshine who got it from Leah! Join in if you would like to - it's fun/hard to use just one word - give it a go!

1. Where is your mobile phone? bag

2. Your hair? red

3. Your mother? tall

4. Your father? round

5. Your favourite food? pasta

6. Your dream last night? forgotten

7. Your favourite drink? coke

8. Your dream/goal? happiness

9. What room are you in? spare

10. Your hobby? designing

11. Your fear? sadness

12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? earth

13. Where were you last night? home

14. Something that you aren’t? patient

15. Muffins? blueberry

16. Wish list item? time

17. Where did you grow up? outback

18. Last thing you did? talk

19. What are you wearing? jeans

20. Your TV? plasma

21. Your pet? loyal

22. Friends? lovely

23. Your life? interesting

24. Your mood? excited

25. Missing someone? Nana

26. Vehicle? nice

27. Something you’re not wearing? watch

28. Your favorite store? vintage

29. Your favorite color? red

30. When was the last time you laughed? today

31. Last time you cried? Friday

32. Your best friend? Megan

33. One place that I go to over and over? Blockbuster

34. One person who emails me regularly? Pam

35. Favorite place to eat? Zios

canisters are go!

Thanks to everyone who posted their suggestions about naming my canisters on Thursday's post. It was so difficult to pick just one winner, that I ended up picking two! Congratulations and thanks to Liesl from Hoppo Bumpo and Peta from Pippiwillow for their clever ideas. I've had a quick go at putting them on the canisters so you can see ...

I still need to work on the fonts and styling, but I'm loving a "twist on tradition" and a bit of inspiration (which would particularly appeal to Melbournians right now!!).

On the way to Liesl and Peta this week will be a little surprise package of goodies - here's a sneak peak ...

Thanks again to everyone who participated - you make blogland what it is - a treasure trove of ideas and a nice place to be!

Have a great week!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Julie & Julia + blogging ...

Just got back from seeing Julie & Julia at the movies. It was great - great story, great acting, funny and even mr yardage liked it!

As you would probably know, Julie is a blogger who blogs about cooking all of the recipes in Julia Child's book Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I found the bits of the movie about blogging really interesting and thought provoking ... are we all a part of a phenomenon that we will look back on in future years? Will we look back with pride? I think yes, and yes. It will eventually evolve, as all things do, but in essence people have been communicating and sharing with like-minded souls for ages using whatever technology or means are available at the time. We are lucky enough to have the internet and blogging!

As soon as I got home, I rushed to find Julie Powell's blog - the original one is here - the last entry is the day that Julia Child passed away (2004). Julie started another blog here. It's a good read, but you know what struck me straight away - the simplicity of the blog - just words - nothing else.

Anyway - that's my rambling for tonight! Go and see the movie if you can - it's really good.

P.S. The movie website also has some great foodie blogs on it - check them out here.

Happy blogging!

Friday, October 9, 2009

friday freebie ... mr bear pattern + instructions

A couple of weeks ago I made my first (very basic) softie, so I thought I would also have a go at making a pattern and instructions so others can make it too.

So after a bit of fun and learning a few more things about posting files on blogger (!!) I have produced this pattern ...

In addition to the pattern, I've put together some basic instructions for you ...

mr bear instructions by yardage

Fingers crossed, you should be able to click on these links and print both pages (please let me know if you can't - I can email them).

Good luck, and may the force be with you all!

P.S. Don't forget to send me a pic if you make mr bear - that would be neat!

P.P.S. Thanks to the lovely Pam at Pippi Creates for testing the links!!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

my creative space ... and giveaway!

I've been inspired by my latest ebay bargain - some vintage shelf runners ...

So I've been playing with some rows of canisters ... perhaps for printing onto the bottom of tea-towels or aprons ... here are a few options so far ...

Seems I might be a bit sugar deficient (NOT!). I like the idea of using a traditional font with non-traditional words/contents on each of the canisters. Hmmmm ... any other suggestions? There will be a surprise giveaway for the best suggestion - put your thinking caps on and have fun with it! I'll draw a winner on Sunday night at 9pm (eastern daylight savings time).

For more creative spaces or to join in, visit Kootoyoo! Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

(wishfull) summer sewing

I have finally got around to making this lovely top for summer. New Look pattern 6705 - made out of navy and white searsucker from Tessuti.

Once I got past looking at the pattern all cut out on the back of the chair for a few weeks, it only actually took about 2 hours to sew - pretty easy and pretty satisfying. I think it will look nice with jeans.

Now all I need is some summery weather (it's raining as I type this .... enough said!).

a little bit .... red!

I feel like it's been ages .... a whole week of no blogging! Sick child, sick me and a bit of slackness resulted in an unplanned blog-holiday. Here are a couple of things that have kept me happy ...

Vintage shelf runners found on ebay for a bargain - I love the designs

Lovely red waratah's reminding me of my origins as a New South Welshwoman

I hope your week has been good and you're enjoying Blogtoberfest as much as I am!