Sunday, July 31, 2011

What's making me smile :0)

Nothing makes my heart sing than watching my kids not staring at the TV but actually using their imagination. Charlotte received this tree house from her Aunt & Uncle for her 1st birthday, & today I decided to pull it out. After all of the messing about placing the stickers on it, it was playtime.

Hudson has been mesmerised by it for the last hour.

Charlotte on the other hand is intrigued, but more interested in her box of sultanas.

Very cute hehe!!

Hope you're Sunday is a happy day xx

Saturday, July 30, 2011

A custom order involving a duck, cupcake & the Eiffel Tower

I have just completed a new custom order.

A week or so ago one of my customers gave me this adorable brief to create for her.

It went something like this.

Her best friend moved to Paris & she has had twins.
When they were kids they had an in joke between them, calling each other duck, so of course a duck had to be included.
She wanted to use the Eiffel tower.
It was the twins first birthday.
She would love a cupcake to celebrate their 1st birthday.
She loved the colours in this cushion & that cushion.

Basically what could I do?

I must say I am very happy with the result, as she was too.

I love doing custom orders, so if you need something with a personal touch, I am always happy to help.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Colour palettes - how do you find yours?

When you are about to start your next design, piece of art or craft project, what is the next thing you think of after making the decision of what you're creating? For some this process may even come first.

Everyone finds there own colour palettes somehow, it's either already made up in their head, or kind of know what colours they would like to use......But just not sure how they want to coordinate them, or with what other colours.

Even though I draw constantly, it doesn't mean I don't get stuck for colours. I generally tend to gravitate to certain palettes, but I too get bored & need other options and inspiration. After flicking around online & in mags, I then go to my faithful companion, which also a companion to many others.

For me this is a dictionary, even a bible of colour & print inspiration. I use it mainly for colour, & not much else. There are a tonne of other things on there you can use, but I only want to share my solution for colour palettes.

When you arrive there & you have had a look around, head over to the SEARCH tab & a drop box will appear. Click on palettes.

This is where my fun begins.

Where is says Keyword this is where you type in the colours you would like to search. Just because I can't help myself I typed in my 2 favourite colours I love coordinating together.
Turquoise & Raspberry (don't need to put in the &), hit search palettes.

A whole collection of colour palettes will appear with the 2 main colours you have searched for. Some will be tonal, others will be so unexpected & even coordinated with colours you never dreamed of teaming together. Ooohhh I just love that!!

These are palettes that others within the Colour Lovers community (which you can join), have created themselves and offer to share with everyone.

After doing my search, this is the palette that made my heart sing the most. If you click on your selected colour palette, a new window will show you who created it, & a break down of the palette itself. It's so lovely.

I did exactly the same thing with these colours. With boys in mind I searched navy taupe olive, and this is the palette that stood out for me.

Lastly to give you a bigger example I typed the key word rainbow, & look at what came up. I absolutely love all of the different interpretations others have when creating what they think are rainbows of colour. Just beautiful!

I could spend hours on here, & will admit I have, just playing around. I have had to limit my time & go in there when I am stuck & use it for my own purpose. When I am stuck & need a boost of inspirational colour. I hope it helps you when you're in a colour block situation.

Enjoy xx

Monday, July 25, 2011

Easy no measure SUPER FAST pumpkin soup

It's wintry today in Melbourne & wanted to make pumpkin soup for hubby & the kids for dinner, & also have some for myself for lunch. I won't be home I am catching up with a friend for dinner.

I wanted to share my version of this old winter staple. I don't measure a thing it's all done by eye & to be honest you can't really go wrong, unless you add too much water.

Pumpkin - I use a whole one, one that's a bit smaller than a dinner plate.
4-6 large carrots
2 medium onions
2 zucchini

Peel all veggies & dice.
Don't dice pumpkin pieces too large or it takes longer to cook.
Throw them all in a pot.
Fill pot with water & stop about 2cm before you reach the top of the veggies.
Add about 4 teaspoons of stock, today I used chicken as I was out of veggie.
Boil until all veggies are soft.
Get out the bar mix & blend.

I used to add a touch of nutmeg, but found Hudson did not eat it after I added, that so I eliminated it.

It's such a simple & healthy meal there is not a gram of fat & so full of goodness.

That is it.
Today's portion took me about 40mins to make & that included chopping the veggies.

This is what I ate today.

image by tigesandweince

Saturday, July 23, 2011

My Saturday

Saturday is here already.
The sun is shining in Melbourne today, it feels warm on my skin. It is so divine.

What are you doing today?

Today has become a little about me, its so lovely to do this occasionally.

No work for the day (tonight I work) instead I have potted around home, been to spotlight with Miss Charlotte in tow, a trip to the hairdresser for a wee trim, & afternoon tea later with mum & her best friend.

A spot of shopping on Etsy & I bought this divine bag from Mod Diva.
While I was shopping at Mod Diva, I picked up this adorable set of cushions. I am starting to redecorate my living area & these are just perfect. I love the colour, the design, just everything. A great colour palette to work from also.

What a days it's turned out to be. I hope yours has been just as lovely.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Something for me...

I bought these blocks the other day, they were featured on the front page of madeit by The Sign Lady, & thought they were just adorable.

The blocks shown actually said 'love', but after reading the listing I was allowed to choose any word, so I chose home.

I wanted to share them with you.

image by tiges and weince

I was thrilled when I got them, they were even better in real life.
I have popped them on a shelf in my living room just above my TV. I love how the white makes them pop, especially with my turquoise feature wall behind them.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

New designs...just for boys

The boys area in my business is so important to me as I know from a design aspect, how easy it is to create for girls. I never want the boys to miss out and I am always working on ways to find something different for them.

I have been working on some new designs and have been desperate to show them to you all.

A tractor.

A rocket.

A dragon...The friendly variety



All available in my Etsy & madeit shops

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Quirky and Quaint the newest addition to my business

Today is a really exciting day for me, I have finally revealed another project I have been working very hard on.

It's called.....

Quirky & Quaint is a direct shopping business offering children’s bedroom decor and accessories, operating in a “party plan” fashion - Not to be shunned at, don’t tense up, this is truly an amazing shopping experience, consider it a

Offering a collaborative collection of handmade goods that are created mostly by women, many of them are stay at home mums, grasping the opportunity to earn an income, by selling products they are passionate about, while allowing them the flexibility to stay home with their children

For the last few months I had been thinking about this. My reason being, was that I was continuously blown away at every market by the "oohs & ahhhs" from people about what they had seen. I too had the comments and was asked beside markets how else could they buy my products. When I said here is my website, they had either never heard of the handmade business my site was on, or asked do I have to join these to buy, & you wouldn't believe the amount of people who still feel hesitant to buy online.

This is when I started think could there be hundreds of people who must be saying the same thing. They love design and definitely appreciate uniqueness and great craftsmanship. Why not take it to them? It's another wonderful way of supporting the handmade industry showing commercial shoppers that handmade doesn't mean cheap, or second hand, but instead it exceeds the quality and design of a mass produced products.

To make this a success for everyone involved, if you're interested in having a presentation (melbourne based people) head over to the blog where you can read a lot more. Then send me an email & I can forward you a presentation book.

Monday, July 18, 2011

I used to want to be a bridal wear designer

I used to want to be a bridal wear designer, so badly when I was at college. I studied fashion design for 3yrs, and my main subjects were research & design & pattern making. I was obsessed with making made to measure patterns, and mesmerised at how each pattern piece could create such beauty.

When I graduated I still had that hunger, but unfortunately I didn't get a job in that niche area. I was desperate to work as Jane Hill, but so was everyone else.

My first few jobs in the fashion industry were not what I dreamed of, however I didn't give up & kept plugging along. I decided to enter myself in the "Gown of the Year" awards. I was up against all the MAJOR & well known bridal designers. I knew I would never win, but wanted to have a go any way. I designed & entered 2 dresses, this is one of them below.

Please keep in mind these were designed in the mid 1990's, so be forgiving I beg you :0) I made this gown from scratch, the pattern, the rosettes, and the jewellery. There are hours and hours of labour in it, and also a piece of my soul. My decision to go this colour was purely because I knew the competition I was up against I had to stand out in some other way. My idea was colour!
The corset was full on, boned, fused, and more fusing, it could have walked on its own. I learnt this skill courtesy of my on the job training at Garfunkle (Victorians may be familiar with them). The skirt was bustle inspired, lots and lots of gathered & hidden tulle, all hand gathered then hand stitched, & every single rose & leaf I also made. Are you getting the idea of how many hours there are. It didn't matter as it was my passion, I smiled with every stitch.

I wanted to share this part of my journey which seemed so long ago. I also designed another dress for this gala & will share that as well. I love looking back at my work, it's my history, & also interesting considering what I do today. I am also extremely proud of what I did, it's weird how you don't realise how great your achievements were until your history is found in a big folder. Well that's where mine is & I am eager to share more if you would like to listen?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

It's over...sniff...sniff

It's finally over....sniff....sniff

Harry Potter the final chapter, Deathly Hallows part 2.

I have been such a fan of this series from day 1, I have read all 7 books and seen all of the movies. I couldn't believe this had been a part of my life for 9 years. The 3 main cast members were just babies when it all began, and now they are all young adults. How fast life can go when you're having fun.

Last night I left the kids with my mum and dad, and off I went with hubby to the movies, with our pre bought tickets in hand, and out 3D glasses. I was bursting with excitement to see it, yet I felt quite flat knowing this was it.

I watched in amazement, and with pure enjoyment. The story was wonderful, the battle scenes were breath taking, and the 3D effects were very cool.

I did read the book sometime ago, and to be honest I had forgotten parts of the story line. I actually think it made it even more enjoyable. For once I wasn't predicting every scenes or feeling miffed about story lines that weren't included.

I am so happy though they did include scenes 19yrs later, it was so geeky, kind of old fashion, yet cute. I don't want so say to much about anything I don't want to be a spoiler.

When the credits rolled I did feel a little bit sad.
It's an end of an era for Hogwarts, Harry, Hermoine & Ron. Thank you for giving me so much enjoyment, you will be definitely missed.

But I am glad it all ended when and how it did, as for me it was perfect.

Friday, July 15, 2011

I want chocolate

Ever have days when you crave something so bad the resistance is somewhat painful?
I know what you're thinking, just eat it.

But then does that make my craving the winner?
Or am I the winner for being kind to myself?
Lets face it my love of chocolate is almost addictive, it has taken me a long time to realise I don't NEED to eat it every night. Or do I? No I don't! Sometimes when I am bored or just peckish the temptation is crazy. Am I sounding crazy?
What makes it worse is if I know its in the house, I just have to eat it. When it comes to this little addiction the best policy for me is out of house out of mind.

So I thought I would find some truly delicious photo's to see if that helps. Probably won't, but cant say I haven't, didn't, or wouldn't try.

Nothing beats pieces of chocolate. Quite a fan of cookies & cream too.

Even happy to drink it, if made with melted choc buds it's even better.

MMM I so could have this tonight for desert.

Happy to even eat it off a spoon.

Loving this theory!

What's your addiction?

All image from pinterest

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Loving crochet

I don't get a lot of time for anything lately, let along doing crafty things for the love of it.

I have been staring at the art of crochet for ages, and hinted constantly to my mum how I would love a patchwork looking crochet blanket. Mum's a busy person too and I think by the time I ever got one, my kids would have moved out. Instead of waiting, as I can be a little impatient, I want to give it a go myself.

I am just loving all of the crocheted pieces below, with a slight obsession, they are so polished looking and divine. Each piece would definitely have a purpose in my house, so easily.

There is one problem........I don't know how to do it.

I am hoping to find some time over the weekend to research some handy idiot proof DIY tutorials online. At least I could then pick up the things I need and have a go. If anyone can offer some tutorials they know and have been successful for the, I would appreciated them sent my way.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Boutique Market Melbourne Debut Tomorrow

Tomorrow I will be at the Boutique market debut in Melbourne.

I am really excited as I love a good market.
I will also be a great way to see how I retail on the day not being at a 'traditional' kids market. It may not however be good for my purse, if you know what I mean.

I will be stall #1, if you come along please make sure to say hi.

Also at the market I will be having a little sales "SPECIAL".
After a great response to my kids heat bags/cold packs, which started as making one for my son. I have made a few different designs & will have a basket full at the market.
Individually they are $15, but until tomorrow night 7pm AEST I will be having 2 for $26.
To see and read more just head to my madeit store.

If you don't get to the market & would like to take advantage of this, that's fine just email me please direct with your order & I will send you an invoice.

I hope to see you there x

Friday, July 8, 2011

Owl Beanies - Mini Me & You

I just had to shares these with you today, as a fabulous Friday find.

How gorgeous are these Owl beanies from Mini Me & You???
I bought one for Charlotte last Sunday at Fairy Floss Market & just fell in love with it.
The one that I have is hot pink & green & it's just divine.
I tried to take a photo of her in it, but today she wasn't working with me.
Who said working with kids was easy?

OMG gorgeous.
I had a coffee this morning with Felicity & Tash, the girls who run this brand, & I also know their website is still under construction. Lucky for us they have facebook page, & I am sure if you have to have one of these beanies, & really why wouldn't you?
They will be able to help you out.

They also have an amazing collection of soft knitted kids toys that are divine.

I wish they were in adult sizes.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

How to make a rice heat bag

I don't know about your kids, but mine of late mine have been getting in the wars. I took for grated that all kids are happy to pop an ice pack on a bump or bruise.
Ummmm nope.
It actually frightens them, well mine anyway. Not that they say it in so many words, but the look on their little faces when you come at them with an over size object that is freezing cold doesn't thrill them.

I have also lately had Hudson say, mummy my bed is cold make it warm.

Like every mum you want to help your little people so to solve this I hunted around & found a few tutorials on heat bags. I was more worried about the contents of it & what to put in it, than making it, I had that all planned out in my head. I found & loved the tutorial from Sew, Mama, Sew, & just adapted it according to my vision. I decided to make them as kiddie friendly as possible, so of course I utilised my own designs.

These heat bags are mini in size perfect for little hands.

You can used any fabric you have laying around the house. Sew up your scraps, even use a tea towel.
I used my very popular owl had to adorn those comforting words, "All better now".
Cut 2 squares, mine are 21cm x 15.5cm.
Place your squares right sides together & sew a 1cm seam allowance all around leaving one whole side open. Turn inside out.

Here is mine turned in the correct way, & I used a chop stick to help push out the corners.

Turn you iron on. At the open end of the heat bag fold a 1cm seam allowance inwards. You can measure this or go by your eye, that's what I do. With the tip of your iron press gently. Go all the way around until the whole opening is turned inwards & pressed.

Press and you will end up with a clean edge like this.

Your are now going to top stitch the whole area of your heat bag. My top stitch width is 0.5cm in from edge. On you pressed seam area, place the foot of your machine on top of the opening. Start slowly & make a quick back stitch, and them follow around the edge of your heat bag.

When you get to about 2cm before where you started before, stop & do again another quick reverse stitch. This will just reinforce the opening.

Now the fun part. I mixed even parts of plain long grain rice and organic lavender in a bowl.
A funnel & one of those free scoops I have received from Tupperware over the years came in very handy.

I found the contents should weigh around 250grams, this what a nice quantity I felt to fill the bag. Once I had filled the bag I shook it to one end & stitched across the opening I had created to fill it.

One happy customer.

I found 1 minute is a lovely temperature to warm for the kids, depending of course on your microwave wattage. This will also be a lovely ice pack for when a situation calls for a cold emergency. To freeze pop the heat bag in a plastic bag, like a freezer bag to protect it.

This method is easily adaptable to any size or shape heat bag.


Saturday, July 2, 2011

A Simple Saturday

Today just seems easy.
I think it was because it's all planned out.
Normally with both my kids, hubby at work, a house to maintain & work to be fulfilled, & many unpredictable moments, my life is like most mums is a little CRAZY!

Today so far has been as simple as this.

Breakfast with 2 of my dearest & adorable girlfriends.
A trip to the supermarket, which as a little overdue by a few days. Today it was a simple chore as I was alone. Hubby has the kids, so I could stroll & look without the pressure cooker feeling of which kid was going to chuck the first tantrum.

My in-laws have had a lovely holiday in Fiji & returned last night. They are coming over for dinner tonight, we are having lasagne & I have cooked the meat sauce & it' just simmering on the stove.

There is no way I could have lasagna & not have a glass of red wine with it. I am a Merlot girl, & just love a drop in the winter.

I will be at Fairy Floss Market tomorrow in Williamstown, & I will be up nice & early. So I will be calling for a reasonably early night.
I love the image of this bed. Wouldn't it be lovely to be able to lock yourself away like this? Especially with a book, oh & of course some chocolate. Heaven.

I hope everyone else is having an easy weekend so far.
Have a great Sunday tomorrow xx