Saturday, 29 December 2012

I love my vintage electric appliance ...

I came across this lovely group that aggregates all the vintage appliance advertising on Flickr.  I love old advertising and how they portray the values of the era in which they were made.

We have the "body" of our old canon 35mm camera in a box upstairs, we haven't touched it since we converted over to a DSLR many many years ago. Prior to our DSLR, we ran around with a Sony Mavica and I have a box of Floppy Disc's to prove it!

How technology has changed in such a short amount of time. The majority of the pictures that I take for my blog now are on my iPhone. The only time that I use the DSLR is if I am taking professional shots for etsy (and my online shop has been in vacation mode for far too long!).


Friday, 28 December 2012

Quilter's Brain

Is your brain like this? I love the fact that "more fabric" appears more than once!

I came across this on pinterest and upon trying to find the source (there are multiple blogs showing the image but no source indicated!), I found it in a cafepress shop by Quilter Bee.

I am going to presume that it is their original image, if not please let me know! 

How do you decorate your sewing or craft space?

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Crafty Hexy necklaces

A while back I spotted this necklace by House of Harlow. A "hexy" necklace, rather lovely I thought.


House of Harlow have brought out another "Hexy" necklace ... probably a bit big for my physique .. but otherwise gorgeous.
via OhSoBoho  .. A bargain at 189 pounds!

If you like the idea of this, then here are some crafty or fabric alternatives ...



via Madz Has Runway which can be found at Gleaners in East Brunswick.

Have you made anything like this before?

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Thirty Six Officers Quilt Top Tutorial

Another idea taken from the mathematics fact book (of which I should really find the actual name so that I can link to it), is the "Thirty-Six Officers Problem". My last one was the Penrose Tile post.

Wikipedia states:

"The thirty-six officers problem is a mathematical puzzle proposed by Leonhard Euler in 1782.
The problem asks if it is possible to arrange 6 regiments consisting of 6 officers each of different ranks in a 6 × 6 square so that no rank or regiment will be repeated in any row or column. Such an arrangement would form a Graeco-Latin square."

Can't you see how this would be an ideal pattern for a quilt? 
I just love the mathematics of quilting!

So I started playing around with the idea as a basis for a larger project. In the original problem, you would have 6 squares of each colour displayed in a way that looks random, but isn't really.

Using a jelly Roll, you would need 15 inches (plus slack) for each colour for a block finish size of 12 inches x 12 inches (plus 1/2 inch each side seam allowance).

Nine blocks would make a good cot quilt, 35 squares a good single bed, 80 a good double or queen size, then add sashing and surrounds.

Using a Charm Pack you would need 6 squares (5 inches x 5 inches) for each colour for finished block of 27 inches x 27 inches + seam. 36 charm pieces are needed for the entire pattern (most charm packs are 42 squares worth, with two squares the same).  So buying a few packs of the same design would work wonderfully.

Using a layer cake, you would need 6 squares at (10 inches x 10 inches) for each colour. Each block would be 57 inches plus seam allowance.

It would look quite effective as an Autumn Colour Scheme.

And equally as nice as a monochromatic version.

Assembling the blocks:

What type of patchworker are you? If you are precise I would sew this quilt row by row. If not, sew four squares together to make a small block, measure and trim. Then sew another 4 together, and so on.  

But if you are not a quilter, this pattern could work equally well as a crochet blanket.

If you end up making one of these quilts based on these ideas, please leave a comment and let me know!



Monday, 10 December 2012


Here's hoping this gets your Monday groovin'
Here is the link

Sunday, 9 December 2012

1876 Ellen Harding Baker's "Solar System" Quilt

Boing Boing posted this great link to this astronomy quilt. Isn't she gorgeous.

Poking around the internet, I found this one as well.

I have a week left of teaching and then I have to go like hell to get my Uni essay in before Christmas. Then, and only then, can I sit back and commence some serious craft ...

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Missing patchwork

Do you think I am missing patchwork? We are in the final throws of the school year and I am busily writing reports and marking papers. Cant wait for a little me time!

Until then I will just play with my children's toast!

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Crafty Christmas

I stole a few minutes today for some crafty Christmas embroidery.

I bought some 4 inch embroidery hoops from Lupin Handmade and thought I would make a few Christmasy decorations. What do you think?

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Sunraisia Farmers Market

We are heading away for a few days on a road-trip north, destination Mungo National Park. A few days to rest and relax.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Look what arrived in the mail!

Motivation to clear some stock at work! Have you used the nifty little tool yet?

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Happy Halloween!

.. and Happy Blogtoberfest!

I hope that you had a great time catching up with everyones blogs. It was interesting to see who achieved 31/31 and who fell off the wagon towards the end (including yours truely!).

But fear not, as we are approaching Christmas there are so many crafty opportunities out there. Take care!

Tori's Witches Costume is courtesy of an old work shirt of my husbands and a bit of purple Ric Rac!

Friday, 26 October 2012

Do you need a Pifco in your life?

My Mum has been clearing out and came across a hair curler in pristine condition. The box, complete with instructions on how to get those wonderful 60's hair styles. Museum of London has an entry on the Pifco Curling Tongs.

I love the way that you can adapt the curler to do smaller or larger curls. The barrel is in beautiful stainless steel, no corrosion. 

So tempting to take it for a spin!

Cat bounce the ultimate time waster ... dare ya!

A bit of fun .. enter this site and watch the hours slip away

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Inky awards

I ventured into the city on Wednesday to the Inky Awards School Day at the State Library of Victoria.

Isn't she gorgeous

I know that libraries are a "thing of the past", but you have to admit to being just a little bit inspired in this kind of environment.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Overdue Crafty Day

We assembled at a friends place in Donvale for a much needed crafty day.

I think that we had just about every craft covered. Sketching, patchwork, paper piecing, sewing, crochet and scrapbooking. The objective of the craft days isn't to actually complete projects but to get some well needed girl time.

I did however manage to get one step closer to finishing another project, but unfortunately I managed to break my much loved sewing machine roller bag :(

Friday, 19 October 2012

Will you be going to the Craft and Sewing Show?

Just got through the mail my "invite" to the Craft and Sewing Show at Caulfield Racecourse. It has been ages since I have ventured out to such a show, but it is nearing Christmas, so I thought I might take a look!

October 25-28, 2012
Caulfield Racecourse

Will you be there? Remember to sign up for your iShowbag and download your free copy of MAKE magazine as well.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

My creative space

I ordered some bits and pieces from Lupin Handmade and thought that they might spark some creative interest for the craft day I am off to on Saturday. They are 4 inches across in diameter. For the first time in a long time I am hoping to have some dedicated crafting time.

What do you think? What would you do with these mini embroidery hoops?

Are you playing along this week? What does your creative space look like?

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Love Patent Black shoes

I love my new patent black shoes. I initially went looking for a replacement for my old red Doc Martin flats, and ended up with a pair of Patent Kenji Ballet Flats. Should I get the coral ones as well?

Monday, 15 October 2012

Toys for the Doctors kit

I managed to score some toys for Tori's doctors kit. It has a variety of plastic and realistic props from years of doctors and hospital visits.

The next thing that I have to do is re-vamp her doctors kid.

I love these cases from Lark Handmade, lovely red case with a white cross on it. Or perhaps I should have another crack at a Nicole Mallalieu bag. What do you think? Do you have any ideas for a medicine bag?

Saturday, 13 October 2012

The end of a long week

What a week!

Nicholas goes in to get his ears cleaned and grommets next Monday, we are hoping that it will improve his language development. When tested he had no response in one ear and only minimal in the other. So we will wait in anticipation to see what kind of difference the operation will make next week.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Do you love Russian Blue cats?

Back in March I uploaded one of my favourite Russian Blue photo's to Soceity6 and created an iPhone cover for myself. The picture was taken looking out of our front door at Nash Street and all three cats were just soaking up the sun. I have an enlarged version hanging in the hall way at home. Tasha had just finished washing Anastasia and Vladdy was doing a nice big stretch. Looking at the picture always brings a nice smile to my face, which is why I guess I used it!


I must admit that it has worn rather well. It is only now, that it is starting to chip at the edges and I am generally a hard user of technology. The phone cover was printed and delivered quite quickly and I was impressed with the quality of it. I am tempted to upload some more of my gorgeous photo's to this site to see if anyone is interested in my work.

What do you think, should I?

The hubby's iPhone cover is dying a slow death, so it is time again to turn my crafty energies  to re-designing a phone cover for him. Something steampunk I think ..

If you want to buy a copy of the Three Amigos iPhone cover, Society6 have free shipping (  until the 14th of October.

If black and white is not your thing and you like something more colourful, the wonderful Ms Curlypops has some fabulous designs in her shop a well. Check out her Facebook post with the free shipping token.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Sexism in the Australian parliament - what are your views?

I generally don't do blog posts like this. I like to keep my blog a happy, warm fuzzy crafty creative place with minimal confrontation or arguments.

But I've been following the issue of "sexism in the Australian Parliament" with great interest. I was proud when Julia Gillard became Prime Minister at the last election. Yes, she made compromises with the Greens and Independents to secure Labor's position, but this doesn't change the fact that she is our first female Prime Minister. And regardless of what she achieves, when my daughter doubts her role in this world I can tell her that she can be anything including Prime Minister of Australia. We need to acknowledge that this is a significant point in Australian political history and we need to give her the respect that she and every Prime Minister before her received and deserves.

So what does it say to my 5 year old daughter when the leader of the opposition and several of his ministers stands up in front of signs calling the Prime Minister a bitch? Is this showing respect for someone who is our Prime Minister? Does being in opposition give you the right to be this rude and disrespectful to someone who has been voted in by the Australian public? When has it become acceptable and mainstream to continually argue gender and personality over policy in the parliament? Is this the example we want our future leaders to learn from?

From time to time I hear people talk about the unacceptable behavior of our younger citizens. I would propose that you take a look at how our politicians are acting, they are the one of the many role models that these kids look to for what is socially acceptable.

Every time they switch on the news they are greeted with inappropriate behavior that shows no respect for others. I am sure that when Voltaire said "I may not agree with what you say, but I will always defend your right to say it", he was talking about ideas and not personal attacks on gender. Regardless of who you voted for, I believe that if our students are continually shown that it is "Ok" to publicly call an elected leader "a bitch", what is stopping a 15 year old kid from disrespecting their teachers and/or parents? This vendetta about the authenticity of the Prime Ministers role is distracting the Australian public from talking about real issues that need to be worked through. I'd love an economist to do the calculations on how much parliament time is taken up with petty infighting - what is it worth to the Australian public in dollars?

And then there is the issue of Mr Abbott being branded as sexist. Is he just acting as every other male of his generation acts? Putting my teacher hat on, I wonder if our senior girls understand what is going on? I wonder if their parents have talked through the current issues with them. Or have they just brushed the issue aside? How do we challenge this behavior in our schools and institutions if as a society we are saying that this behavior is unacceptable from our politicians?

Do we need to promote and model female leadership in our schools in a positive way to counteract these damaging media images?  Do students need to see their school leaders, male and female, debate a topic respectfully? Being sexist or misogynist is more than just holding a door open for a women (which I have no issue with as I hold doors open for men and women all the time). Being misogynistic is the behavior that undermines and oppresses the equality of genders in our society. Fifty years ago most of it was behind doors, now it is out in the open for all to see but we are not standing up and saying "enough is enough".

As Margie Abbott says in her speech about "The Joy of an Ordinary Life", "I believe a disservice is being done to women when the gender card is played to shut down debate about policy." Although Margie says this sentence implying that Labour is doing her husband a disservice, but the sentence can be applied to both sides of parliament. I don't doubt that Tony Abbott loves his wife and is surrounded by strong women, but the "media grabs" that filter through to the female students that I teach, show that him and his party are disrespectful to 50% of the population. You can still undermines and oppresses the equality of females in our society and still love your wife and kids. You can still raise funds for ovarian cancer, yet oppress the role and opportunity for women in politics.

I watched Q and A on Monday night. During the talk back program that aims to engage the Australian public in debate about a range of issues, the twitter back channel was going wild. Throughout the program Christopher Pyne spoke over Kate Ellis every time she went to answer a question. Some might say that this is sexist, or evidence of misogyny, but it was just plain bloody rude and showed no respect for her as a participant of the show. What was more disappointing was that the host,Tony Jones' lack of arbitration of the rudeness.

One of the pieces of evidence that Christopher Pyne gave for Tony Abbott not being sexist was his support of the Coalitions paid parental leave program. As someone who has two kids, if either government wants to support women and families then they can support their return to work providing subsidized childcare, flexible maternal health access and bulk billed medical/dental services for children under 5. The first two years of parenthood are hard, even the opposition leaders wife Margie Abbott admits this. Harder than any other job I have done and women or men returning to the workforce during this time need to be supported. I don't think that the answer is to pay them to keep them at home or out of the workforce (sounds a bit oppressive, don't you think?), but provide the services that allow them to re-define themselves after this tumultuous time and become productive members of society whether they receive paid work or not. If you opt to take time off from work after having a child, then quite frankly, it is your decision. But at the same time you shouldn't have to feel as if you need to return to work to pay for medical bills for your children. We live in a society where women have the choice over their bodies as to whether they should have a child or not. If you embark on that adventure, then it is your choice. I think that it is unreasonable to then turn around and expect society to pay your career wage for 6 months.

The issue of sexism in the Australian Parliament came to a head yesterday with private "SMS Text" evidence that was released into the media that painted Peter Slipper as being disrespectful to women. The oppositions insistence that he stand down triggered a brew-ha-ha in parliament that saw Prime Minister Julia Gillard come out with her fighting gloves on. Often many of us use "SMS text" as a replacement for real conversation. I can recall countless times at parties or informally when friends had made similar comments about female genitalia jokingly. Do we take these comments more seriously if it is recorded? "SMS text" removes the context and emotion of the comment and the lines are being blurred between what we do offline and online. Most friends agree that it was inappropriate and that it was a silly mistake and I assume that Slipper thought his conversations were private, if he had said those things privately offline would it be an issue? The funniest thing about this is that many teenage boys and young men will probably question what Slipper is actually referring to given that Australian media laws prevent dirty magazines from showing women in their more realistic and anatomically correct form, preferring them to be airbrushed so that they are "nice and neat". Hungry Beast did a great show on "The Perfect Vagina" which is worth a watch if you get a hold of it. Once could argue that these current media laws oppress women ..

So if my daughter comes back to me and says, "Mum I want to serve my country", do I tell her that she needs to develop a thick skin or do I teach her to be as despicable and rude as the men she will encounter in parliament. Do I show her this article (adult content, graphic examples) that highlights the sexism that exists in our country towards women in power ? Tell her that she will need to cope with people calling her a bitch publicly, asking her if and when she will have kids, lest her ovaries will impact on her ability to serve her country?

But if my son says that he wants to serve his country, will I give him that same speech?

What do you think about the issue? Fire away ...

Monday, 8 October 2012

Top 5 buys for Movember

I found myself yesterday listening to tacky 70s tracks, thinking of the Mo, searching for the Mo .. and so I found these lovely products to help celebrate Movember ... I have already ordered the cookie cutters ...

A very cute influential moustaches (or mustaches if you are from the US) throughout history poster ..


This o'so cute collection of Moustaches

I can imagine a literary collection of button moustache badges for my School Library.
I love this button badge collection by Greatest view, quite stylish!

via Greatest View

These cookie cutters would definitely come in handy for a work morning tea to raise funds. 

 via  Fuzzy Ink

And I just loved this badge .. cheeky!

via artlife

If you have read this far, you deserve a reward! Enjoy some Dennis Parker ...

How are you going to celebrate Movember?

Sunday, 7 October 2012

What music do you dance to?

I've been teaching Tori a range of ballroom dancing moves to this melody. I don't know the lyrics and I thought it time that we learnt them ...

Tell me when you will be mine ...
Tell me quando, quando, quando ...

I searched for the Bob Downe version, but despite my efforts I could not find a suitable cheesy version.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Any thoughts about Movember?

I came across this cute tutorial via Lark Handmade to make your own mustache. Tutorial is by the lovely Lupin Handmade of Bugs and Fishes fame. If you don't know this blog, then get acquainted.

She does the most exquisite felt handwork that I have seen. Check out her online store, Lupin Handmade for crafty supplies and products.

 image via Bugs and Fishes

If you are in Australia, Movember is under a month away. It is an initiative to raise money and awareness of prostate cancer.

image via Bugs and Fishes

Can't you just imagine my class of Year 8's making some Moustashes to raise awareness?

So hop to it! Make one!

Friday, 5 October 2012

Are you thinking of Christmas yet?

I was astounded to see Christmas things in the shops in September. I generally don't start thinking of Christmas until after the Melbourne Cup, which occurs in the first week of November. I haven't even started to think about Christmas craft, but found myself checking out what new Ikea fabrics are available.

Ikea Margareta fabric

This textile print stood out as being an opportunity to do something creative for Christmas. I could imagine that this could be turned into a nice advent calendar wall hanging with a bit of applique. Using my swish paint skills, here is a mock up of what I am thinking of.

Sashing either side with Christmas fabric and create a hanging sleeve at the back of the quilt. "Merry Christmas" can be easily done with Curlypops Applique Tutorial. Attach  applique baubles onto the tree and use them to create an advent calendar, here are some ideas for how you might do this. For added festivities, you could also applique presents at the bottom of the tree. I found a few sites that might be used as inspiration for appliques to enhance the tree.

Ahh if only I had a few more hours in each day!

While you are at Ikea, pick up a pair of their Pinking Shears, at $10AUD, they are the best value Pinking Shears I have found!

What is on your Christmas Craft list?

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Kicking back during the school break

We managed to steal a few days away during the non-teaching period. It was wonderful spending time with no expectations on my time. Now we start Term 4, the business term.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Blogtoberfest Giveaways

As part of the Blogtoberfest festivities participants are encouraged to do giveaways to get into the spirit of things.

Here are some of the giveaways that I am keeping my eye on ... I have the first book from Rashida, and I am sure that the second is just as good. Head on over to Deadly Craft (Don't you love the name) and leave a comment for a chance to win. Closing date Friday 19th October.

Another giveaway is the Wild about Melbourne's Christmas Bunting. So cute! Head on over and comment, the winner will be chosen at random on October 25th.

So head on over to Curlypops page that lists all the giveaways and be in the running to win some great prizes.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Happy Blogtoberfest

Yes ... ladies and gentlemen, it is that time of the year again to celebrate your blogness-ness and join us in Blogtoberfest. A month of mind-numbing posts about the most trivial things, but it is fun!

Head on over to I saw you dancing to join up and participate. Curlypops even has her giveaway page operational, so if you have something to give away, go ahead and register on the list.

Get involved!

Saturday, 22 September 2012

My little girl is 5 years old

It is hard to believe that my little girl is five years old and that she starts school next year.


She is certainly going through the princess stage, but friends tell me that it doesn't last forever. She loves the camera at the moment and has been practicing her poses ...

As usual I tried to make the cake. Every year I try to do a sponge, and every year I fail. I am starting to look upon the ritual as a sacrifice to the baking gods.  After the sponge failure, I return to an old faithful recipe that always turns out well. Some jam and cream and pink icing courtesy of blood orange juice.

Tori has had one hell of a month with her eczema, so I baked a bunch of cakes and cookies for her birthday so that at least she would have something that she could eat.  We are booked into an allergist to get some testing done, but until then, she has to be so careful about what she eats and also what we use to wash her clothes in.