Two pouches and my 1st giveaway!

As promised in my last post – I plan to celebrate my first year of blogging with my first giveaway. A little more later. First I wanted to share a very cute pouch/case my aunt gave me – she believed I could reproduce it. I love it – love the colours, bright orange and pink and the design.

Kenzo bird pouch 1

It was from a Kenzo perfume – amour bird. You can see the gorgeous bird and floral/foliage print in the fabric and also the wings that wrap around the case – very cleverly done. Closed with a zipper and secured with a ‘wing’ wrap, draw string the eyelets.

Kenzo bird pouch 2

Kenzo bird pouch 3

My second pouch was truly challenging. It stems from this exact same pouch - given to me by my cousin’s wife who is Japanese – little pouch for portable chopsticks. How was it sewn, surely I could locate the pattern on the www or Pinterest. Well, believe me I did quite a bit of research and although I found some similar ones I could note find a template where all seams were hidden. Trial and error and I worked it out. Here is my little reproduction.

mushroom pouch 1

mushroom pouch 2

Closed i t measures 16cm by 11cm or 16cm by 5.5cm [depending on which button you choose]. I have sewn 2 buttons, so it can keep either your crochet needles, pens or diary or your smart phone safe.

mushroom pouch 3

mushroom pouch 4

mushroom pouch 5

mushroom pouch 6

mushroom pouch 7

I plan to make another one and post the pattern and tutorial on the blog. But for now this little mushroom one can be yours. All you have to do is leave me comment telling me which is your favourite post/creation from my blog. Giveaway ends Friday 18th April and winner will be drawn 19th April.

I made it!

Been blogging for a year today – wow, it has gone so quick. I have really enjoyed sharing the things I have made, the things my parents have made and the sweet things I’ve received or discovered. I plan to celebrate my first blog birthday with a little giveaway, stay tuned for the deets. One thing I have enjoyed is always sharing a photo or two with each post – can’t bring myself to post without a photo. So here is a cake I made for my nephew’s 1st birthday. He loved lawnmowers so the design choice was easy. Must be a boy thing, my little man is into mowers now too. A collaborative effort, my dad made the black metal handle frame for the cake.

1st birthday

And I was lucky enough to have this published in the Simply Cards Magazine.

magazine feature

Thanks for your company during the past year!

Oh well, I am NOT a winner.

I submitted three cards last year for Australia Simply Cards magazine Card Maker of the Year competition. The winners were announced in the current edition of the magazine [66]. Prizes included a place on the design team and of course craft goodies. No, I am not a winner but thought I would share my creations with you anyway.

This first one was inspired by rolled magazine pages. I did a whole bundle, rolling them tightly around a skewer and then gluing the edge. Then I arranged them by colour before sticking them onto a large ‘m’.

magazine art m

The next was inspired the Somerset Star technique but instead I used paper. I love the look of a solo bauble on a Christmas card. The detail is too small on this photo but there are 36 pieces of green and light green paper cut and folded and glued to form the Somerset Star.

somerset bauble_

And the last by bunting, chalkboard effect and scoring. Scoring to create the fireplace and to prepare the rosettes for the ‘noel’ bunting. Lettering with a white pen to create the chalkboard effect.

noel fireplace

Flowers and helicopters

Last Saturday my mum and I attended the Stitches and Craft Show in Sydney. We had a great time as always. We came away with a few goodies, some fat quarters, crochet pin markers, cutting dies and some double sided sticky tape [but that's boring to photograph]. Here are my goodies…

stitches and craft show

I fell in love with helicopter fat quarter – I will make something for my little man not sure what just yet. Any ideas, most welcome! The orange and brown alongside it – might just become a lunch bag. The fat quarter bundle will be perfect with some tans and whites [striped, paisley] I have, again not sure what it will become.

Oh the crochet markers are fantastic, perfect for my AWIP, amigurumi work in progress. And the cutting dies, well I only just started playing with the bloom one and oh my, they turn out stunning. Here is what I made with scrap paper… I secured this one with thread and a bead.

flower bloom

Excuse my fancy filter and border I selected when I posted on Instagram. I made 3 sizes but can’t wait to make a bouquet with good quality paper . The dies are Lifestyle Crafts brand and I used them with my Cuttlebug machine.

We also came away very excited about Shashiko embroidery and Kanzashi flowers. The lovely Jane Mac Donald from Bebe Bold gave a very interesting and inspiring workshop on Sashiko Style and Kogin Embroidery. We also spotted some Kanzashi flowers which I have been researching [of course ;)]

Papelphilia – paper vases and a pear

I coined this word when I created my board on Pinterest – papel, Spanish for paper and philia, greek for love of. So yes am completely in love with paper and what one can create with this beautiful material, origami, paper cutting, paper making, decoupage, marbling, embossing, book binding, quilling, papier mache, parchment, calligraphy to name a few. I have tried most of these. Recently when reading this beautiful blog and this post in particular it reminded me of these paper vases we made as centrepieces for my grandmother’s surprise 90th birthday. Inspired by this book we set about to make 10 vases. The books were hardbacks the local 2nd second book store no longer wanted – apparently I did them a favour taking them of their hands. The covers and spine off we set about cut the pages to form the curves of the vase. I have found that removing some of the glue under the spine helps in forming the centre and allowing all pages to sit nicely to create the full vase.

paper vases

Sorry, the quality of the photos aren’t great but you get the idea.

paper vases 1

I often inspire my mum or my dad or both to try out what I have tried and my dad came up with this. I was going to say he cheated but no that’s not accurate, he just took a short cut, he used a saw to cut the pages. Much quicker, yep much smarter. He also cut the shape closer to the spine and then used his own glue for the ‘core’. A little paint job and branch and here is his pear.

mums pear

Free magazines!

Ok, I know the title is cheeky but it’s true in a way. I have done the hard work for you [although I like to call it research, that's what I keep telling my OH]. Come follow me on Pinterest, or at least this board and you will find free e-magazines. There is something for everybody [that's crafty inclined], whether it’s:

paper crafts

I am sure you will love ‘flicking’ through these great little finds. Yes some are teasers but most are full editions. Yes some are in other languages but most of these are full of pictures that you can follow.

Go on, grab a cuppa and happy flicking!

And because I couldn’t post without a photo here is our little garden miracle. Our frangipani tree previously planted by the landscapers in the shade transplanted in full sun by my dad produces this little gem and an abundance of foliage. I am gonna miss you frangipani’s – till next summer.


Vietnamese souvenirs

My parents just came back from a wonderful trip to Vietnam. They had a great time, exploring the country, meeting wonderful people and eating local delicacies. Oh  and did some shopping. Check out these crafty souvenirs they brought back for me.

Crochet cat covered measuring tape. Pressing it’s backside retracts the tape ;)

crochet cat tape measure

Quaint quilled box. So many strips of paper rolled tightly and glued and then glued together to form this cute box. And little quilled petals, hearts and beads on the decorative lid.

quilling ring box

This was for my sister-in-law and although I suspect it was machine or laser cut I love the detail in this kirigami church card.

church kirigami

SIC – 8th month

A reminder here why I am doing this, and the 2nd3rd4th5th6th and 7th challenges if you are interested.

So I reverted to what I enjoy and decided to replicate this cake

BHG cake

Guess what. no variations this time – followed the recipe to a tee :) It was a hit a recent at a gathering of my husband’s childhood friends.

lemon and lime cake

No surprise that this picture along with my Martha Stewart scoring board inspired me…

BHG rosettes

to make this card for a friends little boy turning one. I love making rosettes but recently I saw on ‘Scrap it TV’ a neat trick that made it sooooo much it easier. Once the strip of paper is folded and pleated you glue one end together and let it dry – then you join with double sided tape to create the rosette. This is given me an idea to do a quick pictorial tutorial as its easier with photos than words I think. I cut some Bazzill cardstock circles with my 1 inch Fiskars cutter and ran it through my printer to print the ‘o’, ‘n’ and ‘e’.

one rosette

My first tute & free pattern!

I have been wanting to do this for a while and now understand why I have put it off. You need to note down all the details, remember to take photos at every step and hope that the project turns out ok. I have been wanting to write a tutorial that is. My inspiration came form this and this blue DMC yarn – although when I bought this I wasn’t completely convinced with this colour.

blue DMC yarn

I wanted to make something for 2 lovely ladies [who happen to be sisters] they love cute things and appreciate the handmade. As with most amigurumi the yarn and hook size is not critical. I used Semco Milford knitting crochet cotton thread and size 2 hook. So without further ado, here is my tute.

Start with making 4 discs.

4 discs

To make 1 disc start with a magic circle. First row consists 6 double crochets [dc] joined with a slip stitch [sl st]. Second row consists of 12 dc [2 in each dc of the 1st row], join with a sl st. Third row consists 18 dc crochets [2 dc in one dc and 1 dc in the next dc] – repeat till end. Make another 3 discs. Then stitch 2 discs together as shown below with the same cotton thread.

join two discs

top bottom of spool

To make the body of the spool. Start with chain, 30 sl st to join. First row, 1 dc in each chain, 30 dc in total, sl st to join. Repeat for rows 2-6.

body of spool

Then sew one end of the body of the spool to one disc with the same cotton thread. Fill the spool with hobby fill and then sew the second disc to the top of the body of the spool

collage 3 steps

Wrap yarn or thread around the body of the spool. You could even wrap ribbon or cord. You will need to wrap more yarn at one end if yours ends up like mine, but that’s ok it will get covered up.

wrap yarn on spool

spools pin cushion

As for the blue – I love it now. These are great as pin cushions or simply cute sitting in your craft room.