ATC swap – home sweet home theme

I recently participated in a swap which presented a couple of firsts for me – my first ATC and first overseas recipient. I was tempted after reading a post on a lovely blog I follow, Very Berry Handmade. What is an ATC – read this great summary. Sure, why not I thought. The theme was ‘home sweet home’. So I thought about it for a week or so, and it dawned on me, nothing says home more to me than my own bed. So I set about trying to create a bed scene. I chose my fabrics from my stash, one for the sheets, top, bottom, one for the quilt and matching pillow and also one to create some wall art. I cut, sewed and glue the tiny bits of fabric, to form the bed, quilt cover, wall art and pillows. I added a ‘frilly’ trim to the pillows with a some crochet. I didn’t have a matching baby blue cotton for the frill so I used blue fabric paint to tint the cotton. I had 2 transparent buttons which I wanted to turn into bed side lamps. I painted the back with nail polish to give it a coloured backing and then sewed this and a gold bead – the ‘light bulb’ to the ‘bedroom wall’. On the ‘bedroom wall’ I ‘hung’ Japanese inspired tri-panel wall art. Here is my ATC.


Last week I received a lovely thank you card all the way from the UK from my recipient – she liked it! :)

biscuits and tea cups

Last weekend I visited the 26th Sydney Miniatures and Dolls’ House Fair. Miniature enthusiasts display their creations and traders sell their wares. So typically doll houses are built, furnished and displayed as are room boxes and shops. But this year, tea cups and biscuits tins were decked out as well! Go on make yourself a cuppa and grab a biscuit or two. Sit back and marvel at these terrific tiny treasures.

A tea party in a tea cup – cake, cup cakes, teapot, tea cup and serving tray.

tea cup close u[

An array of tea cups – faries, secret gardens, cherubs and a front porch.

tea cups 1

More cups – mice in their pumpkin home, snow scene and the beach sea shore.

tea cups

Anzac biscuit tins.

biscuit tins

Welcome home celebrations – streamers, cake, man’s best friend and a cuckoo clock

welcome home

And a store for those fabric fans.

fabric store

A close up of that hexie masterpiece.

hexie close up

And quilt. Can you see the iron and spools of threads?

quilt close up

A little girl’s dream closet, knitted dresses, handbags, shoes and hats.

girls clost

That crochet throw and cushion ♥


Love this throw and beaded bag.

bedroom 1

And for the foodie fans. Baguettes, loaves, cakes, meringues and cat face cupcakes.


Coffee beans from all over the world. Can you see the dispensers?

coffee bean store

Some fine drops.

bottle store

Irresistible outhouse. It’s owner and chooks.


Taking a break from his vegie patch.

outhouse 1

An art museum. Circular, 3 levels and floor to ceiling ‘glass’.

art exhibition 1

Mysteries of Egypt.

mysteries of Eygpt

Roman pieces.

art exhibition

Tiny really does equal cute.


handmade swap – 5th package

The details I received for my 5th swap partner were:

Favourite Colours: purple and green

Decorating Style: haphazard and pretty

Favourite Things to Make: earrings and dolls

Hobbies, Passions: sewing, making Jewellery

I had been itching to use the green laminated fabric I purchased a while back. So I quickly decided to make a green themed swap package. I decided to make a little pouch with a ‘window’ – just to make things easier to find.

laminated fabric pouch

I had an idea for a travel friendly caddy.  The quilted caddy can hold sewing bits and pieces, or jewellery or stationery but it unclips and lays flat so it can travel easily.

travel caddy

travel caddy white

travel caddy green

Ok, I confess I have a thing from frogs. So to continue my tape measure creations, I came up with this frog design.

frog tape measure

My signature swap token – recycled notecards and envelopes. This set made from bright orange cardstock and green Japanese paper hexies. I love my newly acquired Fiskars hexagon punch. Envelopes were made from an old calendar. And some faux stitching with white gel pen.


And a few mints to complete the fifth and final package.

5th swap package

a wonderful wedding

Over Easter we were privileged to witness and celebrate our friend’s wedding. The bride of Vietnamese heritage, the first celebration was the traditional Vietnamese tea ceremony. It was a lovely day, filled with colour and tradition.tea ceremony

A civil ceremony and gorgeous lunch overlooking one of the best harbour’s in the world followed the day after.

I would like to share the craft aspects from the wedding. Following the bridal high tea,the bride asked if we could replicate the place cards for the wedding. I modified the paper flower, and instead of using old novel pages, we cut pearlescent Champagne coloured paper with a water lily die cut. We secured the flower with a pearl pin to the cork. And tied the cork trio with matching ribbon.


placecards close up

Although quilling is an old craft, I am enjoying seeing such modern takes on this craft. I wanted to created a classic, elegant wedding card. I choose 3 colours, and created some shapes. I then played around with position and came up with a freeform design. I added some copper coloured pen highlights and some hand-stitching. Looking through my ribbons I found the perfect match. Wire edged variegated ribbon in the similar hues. I stuck the ribbon with double sided tape and add the date and ‘Mr and Mrs’ with a copper coloured pen. I added a red brick insert and wrote my message with a white gel pen.


card close up

All quilling cards deserve protection – so I created a box for the card and gift wrapped it. I knew there was going to be a travel theme woven into the wedding so I wrapped the box with some atlas pages.


The wedding had a number of Pinterest inspired wedding ideas.

A white platter was used as a guest book.

world map

A red vintage luggage suitcase, served as a travel and wishing well.

vintage suitcase

Guests were welcomed to provide travel suggestions to the newly married couple. Destinations were written on tags, tags placed in the travel well and destinations pinned on the world map.

wishing well

And home made [by the bride] gourmet rocky road were our take home treats. White chocolate, marshmallows, coconut, cranberries, puffed rice, pistachio nuts and edible rose buds and petals.


a cute clothesline

So I recently participated in my first Instagram swap, Aussie Hoop Swap. The brief:

the swap is to create a hoop for your partner

no limit to how small or large your hoop can be

your hoop will need to be made with fabric and thread [no chalkboards or mdf]

it will need to be either patchwork, paper pieced, have a pocket element, embroidered element or be appliqued

I was informed my partner loves:

green or mustard  (any variation – grass green, mint greet, aqua etc)


Deer & Doe by Carolyn Friedlander, or any Cotton & Steel fabric

During countless of necessary hours of research on Pinterest and Instagram, I saw some wonderful pieces [not necessarily hoops] using the clothesline as a feature. I was instantly going with that idea. So my hoop began to evolve. The clothesline was to hold, a capelet, a little girls dress and her hat. She will have misplaced her slippers in the grass but most importantly she would have wandered off, ‘following her bliss‘.

I crocheted her capelet and her raffia hat. Added a drawstring and tassels to the capelet and a trim and organza ribbon flower to the hat.

I hand stitched the dress and added some French knot flowers and leaves on the front. And another ribbon trim to the edge of the hemline.

I embroidered the quote, freehand grass and secured her slippers and clothesline ‘rope’. I added elements of green in the quote, dress and  grass. I finally pegged the garments on the clothesline.

My hoop:

front on hoop

close up

I decided to also make a mini hoop, a tissue holder, and a set of handmade envelopes and notecards. The envelopes were made upcycling calender pages and the notecards featured Japanese paper cut using my Fiskars hexagon punch. These little notecards are becoming my signature in swaps. The tissue holder was made with some fabric I purchased in Taiwan, it has the cutest little pigs on it. And finally the mini hoop. I stumled across this in my stash, it was from a very old publication. And it was for a duck but I could not find the pattern. So I designed my very first cross stitch design, matched the blue frame, added a green feature and silver to create my colour trio. And a ribbon to finish it off.

my hoop package

The back and my first label!


All the pretty parcels.


I loved participating in this swap. We shared progress sneak peaks through instagram and also being able to view your partners ‘photo feed’ you could gain an insight into their likes. Suffice to say I am hooked, currently working on a needle book swap – stay tuned.

Oh and this is the lovely hoop my partner made for me.

hoop I received

Amongst the hoop, an owl needle book, soap, fat quarters, an fabric origami brooch and washcloth [which my son claimed as a blankey for one of his teddies].

Bridal High Tea

A friend of mine and I hosted a high tea for a mutual friend who is about to get married. So with 10 lovely ladies it was set to be an intimate afternoon, to chat, drink, talk wedding and have a laugh or two. It was all that plus a my friend’s hubby stuck around – aside from being the attentive waiter he kind of blended in :).

My friend took care of the savouries, prosciutto, olives, Italian crusty bread, soft cheese, smoked salmon with creme fraiche, spicy chicken wings and Banh Cuon. My co-host and bride-to-be are Vietnamese so these treats were a hit.

savoury buffet

savoury buffet 2

I took care of sweets with sponge cake filled with cream and raspberries, milk and white chocolate dipped heart pistachio coated cookies and mini shot glass mango pannacotta.

dessert buffet
I also made some name cards. Upcycling corks and old novel pages. I was inspired by the lovely Lucie with the paper roses she made for her wedding. Corks were tied with twill ribbon, decorated with paper roses and held the [printed cardstock] name tags. I found inspiration for these on Pinterest.

close up place cards

When researching alternatives for guest books for the bride I came across a great idea to ‘record’ [pun intended] little messages from attendees. And so it happened that I stumbled across old records at our local markets the day before. With a white gel pen the lovely ladies [and token male] all left a message for the bride to be.

record of messages

No high tea is complete without bunting and mini milk bottles [and tumbler glass] with flowers [liriopes and fragrant gardenias].


table setting

Not long now – can’t wait for the wedding.

I want that fork!

Last Friday I spent the day at the Sydney Stitches and Craft show. I bought a few goodies but invisible sew in magnetic clasps and brown card and envelope set don’t photograph very well. Oh and some quilling paper, pretty pastel colours with gold and silver. Rather I wanted to share with you some photos I took of some quilts and some awesome quilling. These photos don’t do Christine’s work justice, artificial light and glass etc however I just had to take these photos to share. For more eye candy and a great interview check out this link.

My favourite being the cutlery and plate.










Lots and lots of fabric to swoon over however I was very restrained. But there were fabulous quilts on display nonetheless.









Oh and these oversized knitting needles.


A fair facade?

I took this photo several months ago, with the plan to replicate the facade onto a card, a ‘congratulations on your new home’ card. OK, the home owners have been living there awhile [but less than a year] but I was still determined to create this idea I had in my for congratulations card

So along with shimmering paper, cardstock, vellum and some fibrous paper I started cutting panels, window holes, scoring roof tiles and garden bushes.

In Picassa I applied the pencil effect to the photo and then cut and pasted the image into a word document. Re-sizing the image to what would be the final size on the card. I then cut pasted that image another 5 times – so I had a total of six identical pencil images to cut templates from. This made it easier to see the definition of the panels and also helped when mounting the cut outs onto my card. I cut templates with a scalpel from the paper first. I was also able to eliminate the blue car and continue the fence line. I then glued them in reverse onto the cardstock or paper and cut out the different pieces of the facade. I can compare this to the effect of 3D decoupage/paper tole craft. I used the photo as a guide when layering the different pieces, where they had to be placed and what was recessed or raised. I used foam tape to provide the 3D effect and built each layer up by one. I used silver gel pen and black felt tip pens to add TV aerial, street light, gutters, external lights and window panes.

congratulations on your new home card

So what do you think, is it a fair replication of their house facade?

words to live by

You may recall my  post on 2 blank walls. I have now finished Mstr A’s wall art. Although I could create anything I wanted to, I did ask for the colour of Mstr A’s feature wall, green. So with that I started thinking. I wanted to create something that was timeless and appropriate for a 3 or 8 or 13 year old boy’s room. So I thought what about some words to live by. To customise it, I added some personal stats in place of some letters and changed the colour of some letters too. I originally made a paper template and was going to paint the letters/words but this failed big time. I turned to paper instead, or rather Bazzill cardstock. I printed the letters and cut them individually and stuck them on the canvas. This is what I came up with.

Adams wall art

Adams wall art_

I love that these words will inspire a 3 0r 103 year old!

handmade swap – 4th package

The details I received for my 4th swap partner were:

Favourite Colours: blues purples pinks

Decorating Style: country

Favourite Things to Make:  soft toys waldorf inspired dolls/toys

Hobbies, Passions: learning to needle felt right now

Children: boy 23 boy 12 girl 5 girl 4

So I see a pattern is emerging, that I tend to focus on the one colour in the packages I create. I hope my partners don’t mind. I have been slowly adding to my bags and pouches Pinterest board so I was keen to create a zippered pouch. And my instagram friends have inspired me to try patchwork. Here is the purple pouch with a patchwork pocket [unintentional alliteration].

purple pouch

The needle felting encoruaged me to dive into my stash – again something I have been wanting to do for a while – wet felting. I had envisioned a bag or flower but am happy that I first tried these balls. Which turned into these grapes – felt, embroidery and crochet finished it off with leaves and vine. These could be hung ornamentally, attached to make a key ring or bookmark or could be the start of a felted fruit bowl ;)

felted grapes

So I went searching to find out more about waldorf dolls. What a wonderful way to teach and encourage children to use their creativity. I had pinned this [hanky dolls dress] a while back – so it seemed like a perfect opportunity to create my own. With a tiny smocking effect I created this hankie dress [miniature coat hanger made by my dad]

hanky dress

Another emerging pattern – which seems to be my signature item in these swaps, is a packet of notecards. Upcycling and recycling what would otherwise be discarded – gastronomic pages. I made some envelopes from food magazine pages and hand stamped Kaisercraft fine and sunny birds on white cardstock.

4th package note cards

I hope my partner liked her goodies – I enjoyed that swap I learnt something new and was encouraged to try out some crafts I’d been wanting to try for a while.

complete 4th package

Go on – try something new soon!