Simple, Quick + Useful: Reversible Placemats

Posted Wednesday 12 January 2011 and filed under: Craft: Other Projects,Just Sharing

Reversible Placemats

So I’ve made up a list of things I want to make for our home this year. First on the list: Placemats! To replace our rather old, grotty, ones :-)

Like bibs, placemats are such a quick and satisfying project :-) Possibilities are endless! For our new set, I decided I’d make reversible ones.

Using some thrifted/vintage fabric, it meant that for breakfast we’d have mats that were sweet and cheery (please ignore unintentional wonkiness!):

Reversible Placemats

And then for dinner I just flip them over. I’ve used a mix of striking IKEA fabric, dark blue linen, and cute ribbon for a little bit of formality (and the dark fabric should be able to mask some accidental spills!):

Reversible Placemats

I’m thinking about making another set in order to use up some of my thrifted/vintage bedsheet collection, and this time with little pockets for the cutlery. And perhaps I need to practice sewing straight lines too :-)

Some placemat tutorials you might like to try:

Placemats: Simple, quick, and useful – gotta love that!

In more important news, as you may be aware, the state of Queensland in north-eastern Australia is currently suffering through significant and devastating floods. The town of Toowomba was hit by what was described as an ‘inland tsunami’. Many residents are missing and the death toll is rising. Queensland’s capital, Brisbane, is flooding rapidly as I write this. If you are able to donate to help those who have lost loved ones, their homes, and their businesses, please go HERE.

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January Giveaway: One Red Robin Woodland Cutout Tote Bag

Posted Saturday 8 January 2011 and filed under: Craft: Other Projects,Just Sharing

One Red Robin Woodland Cutout Tote

Diving into my first giveaway for the year :-) I managed to spend some time in my craft room recently, before preparing for the return to work on Monday. It was SO GOOD to be sewing again. I heart having my own my craft space – though it does need a major clean out soon. And in line with my 2011 resolution of sewing for fun, I whipped up a roomy tote using my Woodland Cutout design that I had printed onto a linen/cotton blend base by Spoonflower. Since I actually have quite a collection of tote bags, I thought I’d give this one away :-)

One Red Robin Woodland Cutout Tote

As mentioned, it’s made of my Woodland Cutout design in grey+blue with sturdy black denim straps, and lined with black+white gingham on the inside. There’s also a button closure with a leather loop. The bag (without straps) is quite large and measures 32cm x 38cm. It’s roomy enough to carry your favourite magazines, notebooks, books, a bunch of groceries, etc.

To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment on this post. Entries close on Friday, 14th January. The winner will be announced on Monday, 17th January :-)

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Posted Tuesday 19 October 2010 and filed under: Craft: Babies & Kids,Craft: Other Projects

Shock horror!! Yup, I have actually been sewing! Okay, just for a few minutes here and there when I’ve got a moment to myself but the sewing machine has been getting a little workout.

And this is what I’ve been sewing up:

I think I may have caught a little Baby-Bib-fever (note: not to be confused with Bieber-fever). Who doesn’t love a quick and easy project that provides a good excuse to just play with fabric again, randomly mixing up patterns and colours? Vintage English souvenir tea-towels in pristine condition were bib-ified, as were some classic Echino and Aunty Cookie prints – love how that Aunty Cookie print includes the phrase “I’m Hungry” :-)

Check out this gorgeous little guy in one of the bibs I made a while ago – he’s so ridiculously cute!

I’ve also started on some dolls, which I’m excited about. And I have to say, it’s so GOOD to be excited about making stuff again :-)

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In my creative space . . .

Posted Thursday 2 September 2010 and filed under: Craft: Babies & Kids,Craft: Other Projects,Good Finds,Just Sharing

Super-absorbent bibs for my newest nephew. Just have to hammer in those press studs. I love making these – a quick, easy and satisfying project, especially for the time-poor (like me!).

I’ve mocked up my own pattern for these bibs but if you’re looking for free bib patterns, try these:

More creative spaces over at Kirsty’s here.

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Craft Hope the book: Handmade Crafts for a Cause & a Giveaway!

Posted Tuesday 17 August 2010 and filed under: Craft: Other Projects,Just Sharing,My Published Projects

I’m so happy and excited that this book is finally out!!! Some of you may already know about Craft Hope but if you haven’t heard of it before, Craft Hope (the blog) was borne out of Jade Sims’ desire to combine her love of crafting and her desire to spread hope to those who have lost hope.

A few years ago, she started the blog and asked crafters to first contribute pillow-case dresses for girls at a children’s shelter, and then handmade dolls for children at an orphanage. The response was massive! And since that time, she has coordinated a number of craft projects, which all go to benefit a charitable cause.

The beauty of the Craft Hope book is that it not only provides patterns for a diverse range of easy projects, but that each project is paired with charitable causes. This means you can take the initiative and be involved in a number of charities year-round, or even co-ordinate efforts in your location.

I was really privileged to be able to contribute 3 easy projects to this book: the Ruby doll, patchwork scarves for adults and kids, and sock monkeys (the hands you see in the photos belong to my 4-year-old, who was eager to help):

The book itself has been beautifully put together. Also, $1 from the sale of every book is donated to Global Impact.

Here are all of the other designers who have contributed to the book: Stefani Austin, Ellie Beck, Amanda Carestio, Christina Carleton, Lisa Cox, Maya Donenfeld, Malka Dubrawsky, Molly Dunham, Celine Dupuy, Cathie Filian, Wendi Gratz, Betsy Greer, Jenny B. Harris, Vickie Howell, Rebecca Ittner, Rebeka Lambert, Kathy Mack, Kaari Meng, Manda McGrory, Aimee Ray, Eren Hays San Pedro, Amanda Blake Soule, Blair Stocker, Amanda Swan, Beth Sweet, Susan Wasinger, Dana Willard, Rebekah Williams and Geninne D. Zlatis!

You can follow Craft Hope on Facebook too; read an interview with Jade Sims over on Lark Crafts; and keep up-to-date on giveaways and designer interviews over at Craft Hope’s Month of Hope.

And speaking of giveaways . . .  I’ve got a copy to giveaway to a lucky reader!!! To be in the running to win a copy, please leave a comment on this post, answering the following question: “If you could craft anything for a good cause, what would it be and for what cause?”

Please leave your answer by midnight, Sunday 22nd August (Australian Eastern Standard Time) and I will draw a winner on Monday. This giveaway is open to all readers (Australian and International).

The Craft Hope book was released a few weeks ago and is now available at book sellers worldwide (online and bricks-n-mortar).

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Brooch Display Frame Tutorial

Posted Sunday 20 June 2010 and filed under: Craft: Other Projects,Freebies & Tutorials

A few weeks ago, I tweeted this whilst waiting for the phone guy to turn up at our new place. The brooch display frame was really easy to whip-up and took less than 15 minutes. I added a few more improvements since then and thought I’d share it with you, should you have a love of brooches too :-)

What you’ll need:

  1. An empty frame with a stand – it should include the frame itself, glass, a piece of cardboard, and the backing to which the stand is attached.
  2. Fabric of your choice
  3. A piece of thin batting
  4. A strong, hardy stapler
  5. A pair of scissors

First step: Take the frame apart. You’ll be using the cardboard for the rest of the steps, so you can put the other pieces of the frame to one side.

Second step: Place the cardboard on the batting and using the cardboard as a template, cut around it so that you have a piece of batting in the exact same size as the cardboard.

Third step: Place the cardboard on the fabric and using the cardboard as a template and leaving a 3cm (or 1 and 1/2 inch) border, cut around it.

Fourth step: Place the fabric you have cut from the Third step with its right-side facing down. Then place the piece of batting in the centre. Then place the cardboard on top.

Fifth step: Start with one of the shorter sides and fold fabric over the cardboard. Staple as close to the edge as you can, down the side, ensuring that all layers are stapled together. This will ensure that the staples won’t show when you put the frame back together.

Sixth step: Repeat the Fifth step on the opposite short side, making sure to pull the fabric taut as you staple down the edge.

Seventh step: Repeat Fifth and Sixth steps for the long sides, making sure to pull the fabric taut as you staple down the edge.

Eighth step: Put frame back together. For my frame, I put fabric-batting-cardboard piece in the frame first, followed by the piece of glass (since I may want to re-use the frame in the future), and then the backing piece.

And that’s it! Now it’s time to pin your brooches on! Make sure that when you do pin them on, the pin goes through both the fabric and batting. You could fancy it up by using antique or more extravagant frames.

I must thank Dear Fii for providing the idea :-)

*My display above holds some of my growing brooch collection (haven’t unpacked them all yet!). Top row: American Eagle Outfitters brooch; Betty Jo owl; Finki brooch. Middle row: Love by Geneine Honey Deer brooch; American Eagle Outfitters brooch; Vintage owl brooch. Bottom row: Diva Cameo brooch; Betty Jo Cuckoo Clock; Malgorzata Bird Brooch.

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Sometimes inspiration comes from small plaster magnets

Posted Tuesday 23 February 2010 and filed under: Craft: Other Projects,Inspired By,Just Sharing

I know this little pile of fabric doesn’t look like much at the moment:

But it will soon be magically transformed into some fawns :-)

It’s funny that in Sunday’s post I was struggling with inspiration and just getting on with it, and tonight I find myself raring to go.

The spark? I recalled that on the weekend the girls and I made up some plaster magnets. My eldest, who recently turned 6, received one of those cute make-it-yourself kits for her birthday. They had been asking me all week, “When are we gonna make these? When? When? . . . When?!” and we finally broke open the box on Sunday afternoon.

Lots of newspapers strung about, lots of accidentally painted hands (and faces . . . and floorboards, whoops!), lots of mess, and lots of fun. After a few hours, we had some new fridge magnets and two girls who were very happy with what they had made.

The following photos were taken by my 3-year-old (quite the little photographer I will admit!):

And so I was reminded how wonderful and exciting it is to get stuck into something new. I’ve been working on completing half-done projects lately and it was getting stale. Time to work on some softies from scratch again; let’s start from the very beginning (and as Julie Andrews would agree, a very good place to start :-)). So new fawns – from scratch – are on the way. And perhaps next week, a completely new softie design, or two :-)

I adore these girls . . .

. . .  the two little souls who keep me afloat at a time when it would be easier to be consumed by the waves.

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Free Woodland Girl 2010 Calendar!

Posted Wednesday 27 January 2010 and filed under: Craft: Other Projects,Freebies & Tutorials

Hope you will enjoy this Woodland Girl 2010 Calendar!

I was hoping to post this up since just after Christmas but life got in the way. Thankfully I had a quiet night last night (after a fun but tiring day celebrating Australia Day with the girls!) and finished it up. Sorry for the slight wonkiness :-)

It’s scaled to print on A4-size paper and you can download it for free here: Woodland Girl 2010 Calendar

(Thank you for the continued messages of cheer & support I’ve received. I’m moving on, going strong :-))

EDITED 28/01/2010: Thanks for the lovely comments :-) and welcome if you have stumbled over here from WhipUp! Thank you to Wendy for pointing out that there is a day missing in the month of January!! So sorry!! I have fixed this and the calendar is now correct. Please download again if you downloaded the calendar before today. Sorry for the mess up!

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Weekend with my girls

Posted Sunday 13 December 2009 and filed under: Craft: Other Projects,Just Sharing

I always look forward to the weekend for the simple reason that I can just hang out with my two little girls. Time is going so fast and I find myself at times amazed at how quickly they are growing (in stature); how their personalities are developing; and how their knowledge and curiosity is flourishing from weekend to weekend.

This weekend I took them to Mikes to see the wonderful window of softies that have been donated for Mirabel. We lingered a long while at the front just taking in the cuteness and detail of each one, though only the Youngest was up for a photo:

Back at home we got stuck into a few hours of painting together. Here’s what emerged on my little canvas:

And we baked up a fresh batch of Kate’s raspberry and white choc muffins for the week ahead.

This morning our church put on the kids’ Christmas Concert and the girls dressed up like angels and sang a few favourite carols. This was at home just before we left for church:

On the plan tonight, probably a kids’ movie to watch together and then I have the evening to work on Christmas gifts.

I’m feeling refreshed and re-energised and so very thankful for these two little girls and the time we get to spend together. Already looking forward to the next weekend :-)

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Little Bear

Posted Monday 18 May 2009 and filed under: Craft: Other Projects,Just Sharing

Thanks for the get well wishes from the previous post :-) We’re definitely feeling much better than we did last week.

The girls and I spent yesterday afternoon painting:

I ended up painting a little bear. Not sure what do with it yet:

But it was fun to be playing with paint again. Should do it more often. Now that my nose isn’t running like a tap, hope to get back in to sewing some stuff tonight.

Hope you had restful weekend ♥

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