Cute Find: Pink, Flocked, Owl Bank @ Typo

Posted Monday 26 July 2010 and filed under: Good Finds,Just Sharing

I’ve been walking past “Typo” in Melbourne Central a few times in the last few weeks and have never stepped inside – only because I can tell just by walking past it that it is the kind of shop I could easily go CRAZY in. Cute stationery, mugs, frames, clocks, laptop sleeves, etc. I guess you could say it’s akin to Kikki K but with a slightly wider range of product offerings.

Anyway, I decided to finally go inside and have a look today out of intense curiousity.

The thing is I’ve recently started teaching my eldest (6 years old) a very basic understanding of the value of money and saving in order to buy things that she would like. This means she helps me with little chores around the house (wiping the table after a meal; putting away her clothes after I wash & dry them; tidying up toys before bed-time, etc) and in exchange she gets some coins at the end of the day. She has something in mind that she’d like to buy, so she’s currently saving the coins in a very tiny piggy bank that is close to overflowing.

I’ve been on the lookout for a cute piggy bank for her and when I stepped into Typo, this is the first thing I found:

Pink, flocked, Owl bank!

Super duper cute, right? It’s a good size and pretty good value at less than $10.

But between you and me, as if I really needed an excuse to buy a pink, flocked, Owl bank . . . . .

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A Weekend in Sydney

Posted Saturday 24 July 2010 and filed under: Good Finds,Just Sharing

I escaped to Sydney last weekend – sans kiddos. It was the first time I’d gone interstate without them. They had a great time while I was away and I admit, I had a great time in Sydney doing things that I normally could not do with kids tagging along, so I guess it was a little success all ’round. But oh how I missed them! I was so happy to be able to pick them up from school on the day I got back :-)

I won’t bore you with ‘holiday’ snaps though you will see some random photos I took with my phone on my twitter (mostly of food, because – let’s be honest – it was an eat-fest half of the time). I got to explore some new areas near the city with my BFF that I had never visited before.

After 10 years of trying to have breakfast at Bills in Darlinghurst (established by celebrity chef Bill Granger) – every time I have visited Sydney – and never quite making it inside the doors (due to the long lines), we actually made it this time and wow, was it worth the wait!!! Sooooo delicious!!! (We had the ricotta hotcakes with that amazing honey-infused butter, and crunchy corn-fritters with bacon):

Also, a tip for op-shoppers: go to the Vinnies in Paddington (on Oxford St.) if you are keen to get very good quality clothes and shoes (oh my, the SHOES!) at low prices BUT don’t go there if you are looking for vintage manchester/fabric because basically everything is quite new-ish. It was fun as always to catch up with wonderful friends (and their hubbies and kids) and I didn’t even mind being attacked by one of the cutest babies I have ever met:

Thought I’d show you what I picked up from the Ariel bookshop in Paddington:

>> “For Just One Day” by Laura Leuck and illustrated by Marc Boutovant. I remember seeing this book on a design blog a year or so ago and I was thrilled to find it on the shelves at Ariel. Gorgeous, gorgeous illustrations and my youngest has asked me to read this to her numerous times already:

>> “Moomin and the Birthday Button” by Tove Jansson. I picked this one up for my eldest as a way of introducing her to the delightful world of Moomin. She adores it too! I may have to pick up another Moomin book soon :-)

>> And I picked this up for me. I remember Angela blogging about this previously. I carry Terada’s illustrated notebook with me everywhere. I really adore his illustrations. I could not leave the bookshop without this postcard set:

I’ve just realised that it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything ‘crafty’ – this is meant to be a crafty blog after all! Hoping the mojo returns in some form this weekend :-)

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A Little Loveliness to Kick Off the Week

Posted Monday 12 July 2010 and filed under: Good Finds,Inspired By,Just Sharing

Despite the best of intentions, I didn’t touch the sewing machine at all this past weekend. It was a tiny bit due to the fact that I’ve made a mess of the softie I was working on and now have to do mucho unpicking (which I am putting off as much as possible), but mostly due to inspiration hitting in other areas of my life and enjoying the weekend with my girls.

It’s been a while since I’ve done a good finds post, so here’s a round up of a few lovely things I’ve come across lately (I think I’ve tweeted most of these things so apologies if you’ve seen this all from me before!):

>> The work of Pilgirm Lee. I’m sure you’ve heard of her already. But if you haven’t then you must head on over to her website right now. You will love it. I promise. I think she has one of the coolest names EVER, plus she is such a lovely person too :-) AND she’s running a month of free downloads to celebrate her birthday!

{image credit: Pilgrim Lee}

>> Pilgim pointed me in the direction of Modern Kiddo. A blog by two mamas who love and feature retro-inspired design for kids. Definitely a site to bookmark.

>> I am a sucker for objects with words so I adore all the things that WhizzMe put together for her etsy treasury “Words to Live By” (it’s also got me thinking about buying handstamped jewelry as gifts for upcoming birthdays – let me know if you have a recommendation!)

>> Sweeeeeet printable bookplates by Helen Dardik

{image credit: Helen Dardik}

>> Zakka wooden envelope template via Sweet Tidings (with tutorial on making cute envelopes on the Parasol Blog). I’ve got so many cool pages from magazines that I’ve ripped out and can recycle into envelopes! (it’s the simple joys . . .)

{image credit: Sweet Tidings}

>> Talk about recycling, Go and Send Jewelry turns old cutlery (like spoons and forks) into rings and bracelets! I love this idea!

Here are two TED talks I really enjoyed – I was inspired by them and maybe you’ll find some inspiration in them too :-)

>> An excellent talk about nurturing creativity (and the concept of ‘creative genius’) by Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert. She seems so grounded and humble. I love the fact that she likes to put time and energy into researching the history of ideas and concepts to help in forming her own opinions – you notice this in her books also.

>> And for all you runners, an interview with American Para-Olympian Aimee Mullins. It’s definitely stopped me from finding excuses not to go out running!

Wishing you all a happy week ahead. Don’t forget to stop and enjoy all the good stuff in your life :-)

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Craft Corps: A book. A blog. A community. A movement.

Posted Friday 2 July 2010 and filed under: Good Finds,Just Sharing,My Published Projects

Have you heard of Craft Corps?

It’s the brainchild of Craft Extraordinaire Vickie Howell and celebrates the Craft Community by featuring and promoting the profiles and stories of crafters from all over the world, from different walks of life, and with different crafty passions. In fact, if you haven’t done so already, you can submit your profile to the Craft Corp website here and be part of the Craft Corp community!

Vickie published a book back in May as a means of documenting the growing global Craft Movement. The book includes interviews with 30 well-known crafty/creative peeps like Amy Butler, Natalie Zee Drieu (CRAFT), Denyse Schmidt (DS Quilts), Jessica Marshall Forbes (Ravelry), Faythe Levine (Handmade Nation), and Jay McCarroll (Project Runway). You can find the full list here.

Vickie also collected profiles of 60 everyday crafters and I’m thrilled to be included in the book! (This book has been 2 years in the making – which is why my age is listed as 32 :-)).

In fact, I was very humbled to find my mug shot opposite the feature on the super nice and amazing Jenny Hart of Sublime Stitching :-)

I can attest to the fact that this book provides inspiration, ideas and meaningful insights through the interviews/stories of the profiled crafters & designers. After reading the book from cover to cover, I was also overcome with a sense of excitement and refreshing optimism about this huge Craft Community that exists globally – it is clearly making its mark and making the world a better place :-)

You can pick up your copy from Amazon, or for Aussie readers, from here.

Thank you Vickie and LarkBooks for providing the opportunity to make a small contribution to this wonderful project!

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Favourite Fabric Shops in Melbourne and online in Australia

Posted Friday 21 May 2010 and filed under: Good Finds,Just Sharing

Continuing on from the previous post on my favourite fabric sellers on etsy, I have a few favourite local shops in Melbourne (bricks-n-mortar) and non-etsy online (Australian sites).


{Image credits L-R: Amitie; Tessuti; Meet Me At Mikes}

For an extensive collection of Designer and Japanese fabrics in Melbourne, I find Amitie is a one-stop shop. You can also get a good range of trims and notions from here.

For flannels, linens, and wool that I use in some of my dolls, I like going to Tessuti to source these (of course, they have a wonderful range of all kinds of garment fabric to choose from).

And if we’re talking vintage fabric, I like popping into Meet Me At Mikes to get one of their vintage fabric packs as I don’t usually need metres of the stuff. I make sure I visit my favourite op shops regularly in the hope of finding vintage fabric treasures (which – as you seasoned op-shoppers would know – is pretty much hit and miss!).

I also frequent Spotlight and Lincraft for the staple items like thread, plain trims, buttons, etc., but I’ve found some sweet bolts of fabric at various times there as well (mostly in the discounted corner – double score!). These stores are also where I also source faux fur and various types of fleece.

Aussie Online

In regards to online shops, I highly recommend Retro Age Vintage Fabric for vintage pieces. It’s full of gorgeous fabric from yesteryear and at very good prices.

There is a fantastic range of Aussie online shops from which to source your fabric needs. Instead of listing them down here, I’ll direct you to this page. It’s a list of the stockists of my sewing patterns (and unless otherwise stated, they are mostly Australian stores) but most of them have an online shop and sell an impressive range of fabric. I’ve made purchases from a few of these at one time or another.

For purely Japanese fabric (and other goodies from Japan) you can also pop into the Retromummy shop.

And I cannot fail to mention some of the brilliant Aussie Fabric Designers and their shops: Ink+Spindle, Aunty Cookie, Kristen Doran, Pippijoe.

Phew! Lots of links in this post! I hope you find it useful. Feel free to add a comment with your favourite bricks-n-mortar or online fabric shops.

Happy weekend!

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Favourite Fabric Shops on Etsy

Posted Wednesday 19 May 2010 and filed under: Good Finds,Just Sharing

I’ve been getting a lot of enquiries about where to buy fabric on etsy. To be honest, the last time I bought fabric from etsy was months ago but I’m more than happy to point you in the direction of a few etsy stores that I have purchased from numerous times in the past because: 1) they have an excellent selection of fabric, 2) they have competitive prices for the yardage I’ve required (even though they may be located overseas), and 3) they have excellent customer service!

Going from my purchase history, I’ve bought mostly Japanese fabric from etsy (because I am such a sucker for colour+cute!). These are my Top 4 etsy shops for Japanese fabric (and some sell notions and craft books too!)

{image credit: Matatabi}

I’ve also gone to etsy to source Designer fabric when I haven’t been able to source them locally. These are my Top 3 etsy shops for Designer fabric:

{image credit: Fresh Fabric Australia}

As I mentioned, these are only my top picks in regards to fabric shops on etsy – a completely separate post will need to be written about all the wonderful non-etsy shops (online and bricks-n-mortar) that I frequent for fabric supplies.

Do you shop for fabric on etsy? If so, please feel free to leave a comment about your favourite etsy fabric shops too!

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A Crafty Kids Giveaway from Moose Toys!!!

Posted Friday 14 May 2010 and filed under: Good Finds,Just Sharing

Thanks to the lovely folks at Moose Toys, I received two craft activities in the mail for my girls to try out.

My two little ones are 6 and 14 – oh wait, did I say 14? Granted, somedays she has the attitude of a teenager, but no, she’s actually only almost-4. Anyway . . .

My girls love to keep their hands busy and are at that age where the fact they can stick stuff together and paint and draw and actually create something new out of bits and pieces is very exciting (I admit, I still feel that way too!). So a few gleeful squeals were heard when I asked them to open up this box: “Magic Fabric

Basically, you choose one of 5 characters to make. You peel off all the required pieces and position them together. Then you put them together like a sandwich with a piece of foam in the middle and run them through the presser.

And hey presto! A cute little animal friend made without any glue or sewing required! You can convert them into tags to hang on bags, or into stickers (or perhaps using your own supplies, even magnets and brooches!)

The girls really enjoyed this and could do all the steps themselves with minimal help from me. It’s also a very no-mess/no-fuss kind of activity and would be a really fun thing to do at a birthday party. It would be good if more characters were made available and could be bought separately as my girls went through all five characters and were hoping to make more! :-)

Next, we opened up this intriguing craft activity: “Bendaroos

Firstly, mental note for future reference: Explain to the almost-4-year-old that despite appearances, those sticks are made of wax and ARE NOT LOLLIES. This will prevent future occurences of almost-4-year-old biting into said wax and subsequent gagging and spitting.

Lesson learnt.

So yes, all those lovely little packets are wax sticks. It also comes with a tool to cut the sticks or join them together. I was very surprised at how easy it was to shape the sticks – the warmth from your hands allows the sticks to become malleable and makes them sticky so that you don’t need glue to keep hold them together.

The girls really enjoyed this activity too but it did require more supervision from me as their little hands tired quite quickly. I’d say that this would be a really fun activity for older children – they could seriously spend hours making all kinds of cool things from all those sticks.

Thank you to Carrie from Moose Toys for generously providing the opportunity for my girls to try out these activities! It was a lovely afternoon spent crafting together! :-)

Moose Toys has also generously offered the following giveaway to a lucky One Red Robin reader!!!

This kids craft prize pack is worth over $50 and consists of:
1) Party Animals Collector’s Case
2) Beados Mineez Starter Pack
3) Mighty Beanz Flip Track
4) Bendaroos Activity (3D)

To enter, just leave a comment on this post by midnight Sunday 16th May (AEST) with your favourite craft activity as a child or your favourite craft activity to do with your kids. Please note: this giveaway is only open to Australian residents.

A winner will be drawn randomly and announced on Monday, 17th May.

Happy weekend all!

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A Good Weekend

Posted Monday 10 May 2010 and filed under: Good Finds,I Like to Run,Just Sharing

Oh my, what a good weekend that was! It is amazing how things fall into place.

Last Thursday I inspected a potential new home and liked it straight away. As soon as I stepped inside I felt a certain charm and warmth about the place, and I could see us making it ‘our home‘ in no time at all. On Friday afternoon I submitted the application to the agent and as I was coming home from work later that evening, I got the call that my application was successful!!!

I burst into tears. I was expecting the house-hunting to be more stressful and difficult so it was such a huge relief to have received that call and I thank God for it*. The house has a small room in the back with wooden floors (the rest of the floors have either carpet or lino :-)) and I am soooo excited to be setting up all my One Red Robin stuff in there!

On Saturday I spent the morning at the Stitches & Craft show. I came home with an armful of goodies :-)

Brooch from Holly; assorted polka-dot ribbons; stunning fabric (with gold ink!) from Kristen; a Tamarillo collection pack from Ink+Spindle; assorted fat quarters from Kelani Fabrics and delicious hand-dyed wool (using walnuts from her tree!) from Kate.

The Incubator section was buzzing! I enjoyed checking out all the booths/stalls. But I will admit that the most enjoyable part of the show for me was catching up with all the lovely people behind the stalls/booths. I was reminded how blessed I am to be part of this amazing community of crafters/designers/bloggers and to know such lovely, generous, creative, and inspiring people. *Hello wave* to Cathy, Angela, Holly, Cathy P., Lara + Teegs, Kate, Jodie and Kristen :-)

On Sunday, I turned up to the Mother’s Day Classic fun-run. I ran the 8km course . . . and it totally owned me! Hahaha! What a mental battle that was to get to the finish line – but completely my fault since I haven’t been running much lately. Funnily enough, I still enjoyed the experience :-) The atmosphere was fantastic. At least 100,000 people from all over Australia participated in this event this year meaning lots of money raised towards Breast Cancer Research! I came home to find some handmade cards and little gifts from the girls – and a slightly tidier house too :-) I do hope all you fantastic Mamas had a wonderful Mother’s Day too.

*Of course, the whole moving house business is another question altogether and I’ll deal with that in the weeks to come :-)

Don’t forget to join in on the Honda Odyssey Perfect Family Day Out giveaway by May 30 over here!

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Everything’s gonna be Owl-right . . .

Posted Tuesday 27 April 2010 and filed under: Good Finds,Just Sharing

Yesterday’s public holiday and fine weather meant a day out to the Healesville Sanctuary for the girls and I. It was my second visit but neither of the girls had been before, so they were excited about seeing all the Aussie animals (except the wombat – my youngest is quite afraid of them for some reason!)

The girls and I agree that our favourite part was seeing a Barn Owl up close (well, as close as you can get in a packed little outdoor theatre!) and swooping above our heads. What a beautiful, stunning creature! I was also hoping to see a Barking Owl – sadly there are only about 50 pairs of Barking Owls left in Victoria.

Seeing that Barn Owl yesterday reminded me why I do love owls in general and inspired me to recall some of my favourite Owl softies from talented crafters and artists. Here are a few of them:

1. Untitled, 2. chillingworth , 3. owl, 4. Boreal Owl and Hawk Owl, 5. Ozwald Owl, 6. Mr. and Mrs. Hootie, 7. Ollie, the Owlet, 8. Woodgrain Owl 3, 9. Owl (this one didn’t turn up in the mosaic above but please click the link to see it!)

Of course, if you simply search the term “owl” in flickr, you will also find a huge amount of amazing owl photos like this one and this one.

Any Owl-lovers out there? :-)

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And then there were three . . .

Posted Thursday 8 April 2010 and filed under: Craft: Softies & Dolls,Good Finds,Just Sharing

In my creative space today there are the three Woodland Girl bunnies that are just about done. All I need to do is sew some buttons on the other two and I think that should be it. I think these bunnies have taken the longest to make (apart from the life-size Woodland dolls I made 2 years ago) – so many distractions and a lot of indecision as to what to do with them. So it feels great to know that they are almost done :-)

I’m preparing to move house soon and there has been a lot of sorting and throwing out/giving away over the last few days. I dropped off a whole heap of stuff at the Salvos yesterday with the intention of doing just that and then getting on with other errands. But I just couldn’t resist and stepped inside – and I came away with a few goodies for the girls!! My sweetest find for me was this cute little vase -

By the way, every time I step inside the Salvos shop at Deer Park, there is least one beautiful crocheted blanket (about 1.5m x 1.5m big) in excellent condition hanging in the bedding section. I actually found two yesterday but didn’t take them home with me as I think I have enough already :-) But seriously, if you’re looking for these kinds of blankets, visit this store – amazing at only $8!

The girls and I are heading off interstate tomorrow to hang out with a bunch of wonderful, long-time friends. I CANNOT WAIT!!! We’re also excited about watching Wicked on Saturday :-) So this blog will be on a little break and I hope to be back here mid-next week.

Now off to enjoy a few of these :-)

More creative spaces over at Kirsty’s here.

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