Friday, January 29, 2010

where I got my dress form

Thanks for all of the lovely comments on my creative space yesterday - I really appreciate all of them. A few people asked where I got my dress form from, so in the spirit of blogging and sharing, I got it from here. I found these people via ebay, where I saw that they were located in Springvale (Melbourne). So I drove out for a look at their little showroom, and walked away with a good quality jersey torso dress form with a timber base for a pretty reasonable price. Have a great Friday! Nic

Thursday, January 28, 2010

my creative space ... sewing

Hello again to all of the creative spacers out there - happy new year!

Sewing has been the name of the game this week. I was spurred on by a recent purchase of a dress form which is great fun to dress up! Yesterday, I made this linen skirt that I printed the fabric for months ago - it felt good to make something just for me.

I've also been sewing up some of the printed gingham from a couple of weeks ago ... 

... into some aprons for the store ...

... as well as some nice natural (hemp/organic cotton) ones too!

Whilst all of the sewing was going on, I oven roasted some roma tomatoes for dinner (a good excuse to practice the macro function on my camera too) ... delish!


I hope you're having a good day in your creative space. Drop in at Kootoyoo to visit everyone else or play along yourself!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

cooking with dinosaurs

Happy (belated) Australia Day to Aussies near and far. I hope you had a great day. We did the BBQ thing, then went to the tennis to watch Nadal (A.K.A. "bum-picker": the ladies behind us were counting ... the number was high!) and Murray play in the tennis. Brilliant game - pity it ended with Nadal injured.

Anyway, lots of cooking went on this weekend, along with going to a wedding and visiting the pool and museum. It's about dinosaurs at our place ...


... sometimes you need to be a bit creative with dinner in order for it to be eaten, so here's my recipe for Chicken Dinosaur Rissoles which are just as yummy for adults as they are for kids ...

Dinousaur Rissoles
500g chicken mince
1 1/2 T BBQ sauce
3 spring onions, chopped
1 rasher of rindeless bacon, chopped
2 T vegetable oil
1/2 cup whole-egg mayonaise
3 T BBQ sauce, extra

Put the chicken, BBQ sauce, spring onions and bacon in a bowl and mix well (hands are best). Shape into balls, rissoles/patties or wrap around a wooden skewer. Heat oil in a frying pan and cook until brown and cooked through. Combine the mayonaise and extra BBQ sauce and serve (on the side) with the rissoles. Yummo!

Have a great day! I'm off to sew, sew, sew. See you tomorrow for the return of My Creative Space over at Kirsty's.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

playing with pears ...

Today I've been playing with pears. I had drawn a pear in my sketch book ages ago - just a shape and a few seeds. I scanned it in and began playing. Here's what I've done so far ...

All I know so far is that I like the shape and I like the seeds, but I'm still playing with everything else! I want to do two things with this pear - make a stand alone design (could be multiple pears involved) and create a repeating pattern. The next step for me (usually) is to go off and do something completely different for a while, come back with fresh eyes and elinimate the crud, and work on what is left. It's kind of a process of elimination combined with experimentation. As I am not formally trained in graphic design, it's mostly guesswork and instinct as to what works for me. Hope you've been having a good weekend!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

my place and yours - what i'm reading ...

Thanks to Vic at Punky & Me for being a super Theme Queen for the first My Place and Yours for 2010. This weeks theme is "What I'm reading". I read lots - magazines (I have a slight addiction - this has been the topic of many blog posts!), blogs, books, newspapers. Unfortunatley, I don't have a lot of time to read, so I end up with stacks of books and mags next to my bed ...

I love home mags, craft mags and zines, cooking mags and cook books. I got the Movida one for Christmas - there are some such yummy recipes in  there - brill for anyone who like Spanish food!

The last couple of nights, I have been reading this ...

This book was first published in 1903, and has been re-published ever since - it's one of those foundational texts for anyone interested in design. I came across it by accident and bought it for the beautiful designs inside, but it is a brilliant resource for anyone dabbling in pattern design.

To be honest, I really want a book to read for entertainment - I'm going to check out Vic's recommendation for a good laugh later at Borders.

If you'd like to share what you're reading at your place - head over to the Punky & Me blog - it's open all week! Have a great weekend!

Friday, January 22, 2010

distractions, distractions, distractions

Lots of unforseen distractions here this week - none of them creative! But, I have managed to make a reasonable granny square though (ditched the two tone for now - it was confusing me!) ...

... bought some lovely jute for a future project ...

... and made some little "with compliments" cards out of some heavy recycled paper ... 

I just realised that there is a bit of a red and natural colour theme going on in this post! Not surprising - two of my favourite colours! I hope your week has been a good one, and your weekend is even better. I hope to catch up and get lots of things done over the weekend - wish me luck!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Jodie has been nominated for a Poppy Award in the category of Favourite Handmade Crafter. If she's your favourite too, vote here! Go Jodie!

catching my eye ...

... happy snaps captured while walking around our patch lately ...

... I can feel some insperimenting coming on ...
Have a nice day!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

parcel goodness!

Some lovely things in the mail yesterday ... does seeing parcels in the mail box make you grin too?


... a lovely block printed bag from Inkling Prints in the UK (via Kiran's etsy store), and World Sweet World from New Zealand. Bliss!

Monday, January 18, 2010

pot holders in store

Just a quick note to let you know that I have just put a small number of handprinted and handmade pot holders in my shop (free postage for all Australian orders).

Get youself a tea towel while you're there and you'll be on the way to a coordinated kitchen! More new products in the next few weeks - watch this space. Have a great Monday!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

craft hope for haiti :: bloggers are the best

You know that I love blogland, but nothing beats how everyone pulls together in times of adversary. After hearing about it from Jodie at Vintage Ric Rac, I have just donated one of my tea towels to the people at Craft Hope to sell in their Craft Hope for Haiti etsy store (one of several set up on etsy to help the people of Haiti).

100% of the proceeds of all sales will go to Doctors Without Borders. Use the links to have a look at this amazing store, and maybe donate or buy something while you're there. Nic xx

Friday, January 15, 2010

dabbling ...

Dabbling is a much nicer way to say avoiding doing other things, don't you agree? I prefer to think of it as pursuing creative tangents. Anyway, here are a couple of things I've been dabbling in lately ...

A card - I wanted a really simple card to give to people who are lovely! What do you think?

My first granny square - Blue Bot says I mucked up the changing colours bit and the tension is yuck (he's right) ... this one will be undone and done again! I'm tempted to join up for Pip's craft challenge : A Granny a Day 2010 ... better practice some more first!

Today I MUST do some sewing. Have a good one, whatever you are doing!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

tammy's bread bag

Before Christmas, I had a request from Tammy over at Girls Wear Blue Too for a tea towel to use for making a bread bag. It was the basis of a tutorial Tammy put together for the Down to Earth Forums - which is all about slowing down and getting back to basics (this forum is full of great ideas and advice - head over for a look).

Anyway, I had an un-hemmed signature circles tea towel in red that I donated to the cause, and this is the result ...

... the very first project I've seen using fabric that I've printed. Thanks, Tammy!

You can check out Tammy's full post on bread bags here.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

hot dogs ...

It's so very hot here .... 40 degrees C + ... our two "boys" soak in their little pool for some relief ...

Monday, January 11, 2010

extinct species baking

One (chocolate) dinosaur cake for Little Mister's 3rd birthday yesterday ...

... the cake was approved by all of the important guests ...

... we all had a truly brilliant day!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

trying to crochet ... now what?

OK, I was supposed to be just buying some calico in Spotlight the other day .... but I feel like a major cluser (craft-loser) not crocheting at the moment, so I bought a hook, some wool and had a go at refreshing my skills (splitting my sides with laughter right now) from many, many years ago when mum showed me. There were LOTS of false starts, so I asked Aunty Esther for some help because she kindly put a "how to" on YouTube. Anyway, so now I have this ... what?! I have no idea what I'm doing. I was thinking it was just a practice go before I find a super simple pattern written for super simple people (like me). (I aspire to one day make a potholder like the ones on Kate's wall which are fabulous. I know, I'm dreamin'). However, does anyone know any really easy pattern sources for pretty round crocheted thingies that people with no idea about the dc and sc and tension could possibly try for fun?

Hope you're having a good weekend too!

Friday, January 8, 2010

first day back in the studio for 2010

It felt like the first day back at work, but in a really good way. I've missed my little space, which is now all dry and back to normal after the flooding before Christmas. As a bit of gesture of the new year, I finally got around to sewing up the cushions for my ebay bargain cane chairs that I painted red a while ago ...

I printed ARTichokes in red onto some apple green gingham - the photo doesn't really show how vibrant the combo is, but it brightens up the "seating area" (ha ha) nicely!

My cushion also tied in well to todays work, which involved more gingham ...


... I'll sew this baby up over the weekend and then show and tell! Hope you've had a good Friday.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

community service announcement: the poppies

"The Poppies" (think The Grammies for people who make stuff) were announced by Poppytalk today - a virtual awards ceremony celebrating the Handmade Community. You can find details of how to nominate here - closing date for nominations is next Tuesday (12th January).

I have no affilliation with these awards, but I think it sounds like it could be a fun way to recognise the very creative people we know in blogland, as well as a great way to discover people we didn't know about. Everyone wins!

pav love

I made this for dessert last night ...

Pavlova has to be the ultimate Australian summer treat - sweet, tart, crisp and soft all in one mouthful. Delish! Here's the recipe I use:

4 egg whites
1 cup castor (super fine) sugar
1.5 cups of cream, whipped (into submission)
fresh fruit on top - whatever you like that is in season - I used a punnet of blueberries, a punnet of strawberries and 2 passionfruit, but the possibilities are endless

Preheat oven to 150 degrees C
Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form
Add the sugar one tablespoon at a time, allowing mixing time in between for the sugar to dissolve
Spread the meringue mixture onto a tray covered with baking paper - I try for a circle and make a bit of a dent in the middle for the cream and fruit later (thanks Nigella!)
Bake for 30-40 minutes until pale and crisp. Turn oven off, but leave pav in there to cool down (don't panic if it cracks a bit)
Once cool, top with cream and fruit - serve and enjoy immediately!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

meet archie - he's a spunk!

Told ya!

Archie arrived in the post today, complete with his own bling - hillarious!
I was lucky enough to win Archie in a giveaway hosted by Beck over at Dandelion - thanks Beck - you are one clever lady! Archie is going to be my studio buddy - he is lovely.

Monday, January 4, 2010

beetroot : insperiment

Regular readers of this blog would know that I often get inspired and experiment with vegetables - the design qualities of some of our lovely veges are outstanding. Yesterday, I insperimented with beetroots. I really like the rings you get from cutting a beetroot in half, as well as the vibrant colour.

What I really wanted to see was what sort of print I could create from a cut beetroot. It's a bit school-esk, but I thought it might give me an idea ...

I ended up with some interesting shapes in my sketchbook, so I thought I might use some of it to create something to hang in my studio...

Who knows where this idea will end up, but it was fun to do. Enjoy your Monday - for many it is the first day back at work after a longish break - hang in there!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

oh, julia!

I was lucky enough to receive a copy of "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" by Julia Child (et al) for Christmas, along with the movie "Julie & Julia". Yesterday, we decided to make Julia's classic Boeuf Bourguignon (beef stew in red wine, with bacon, onions and mushrooms)...

We made it as Julia intended, as authentically as we could. We served it with creamy mashed potato, and a full-bodied shiraz. This is a seriously good recipe - rich, flavoursome, yum - thankyou, Julia! Try it. Bon appetit!