Miniature Monday – Manyana Mini

Ok, yes, I am guilty I have neglected my ‘miniature Monday’ posts of late but  I have something special to share with you. My parent’s were invited to stay in their friend’s sons beach holiday home a couple of months back. They had a wonderful time and loved the home they were welcomed in. Manyana is a small town on the South Coast of New South Wales, Australia in the Shoalhaven. Manyana is approx 200 km south of Sydney. My dad took several photos and on his return set out to replicate the home in miniature. I have not seen the real home but my mum attests it’s identical.

manyana front 1

The front of the house. Steps, rocks, garden bed, porch and front door.


A view of the side of the house – including electrical box.

wheelie bins

My favourite – the wheelie bins and [skewers] Venetian blinds.


The other side of the home – and the ‘metal’ gates.

basketball ring

This is the back of the two-storey house – basketball ring and all.

manyana front

And another one of the front – painted styrofoam in the very forefront resembling exposed earth.

Instagram needlebook swap – part 2

I wrote here about the Instagram needle book swap I participated in. In part 2 I wanted to share with you what I received. I was so excited to receive my box – all the way from the USA. It was lovely wrapped with a bright cheery card. The very talented and generous Rochelle made this gorgeous needlebook. She mentioned she used Amy Dunn’s tutorial.

needlebook closed

A bunch of colourful hexies on a black/white background, accented in aqua. Hand-stitched hexie border and quilted. It folds in three and keeps thread, scissors, buttons, pins, needles, measuring tapes and any other bit and pieces safe and in their place. Love the color combination and hexies [who doesn’t right?].

needlebook cover 1

needlebook cover 2

And inside more treats. Thread, scissors, needles, pins, measuring tape.

needlebook open

Also the cutest buttons and to-die-for hexie – is there anything cuter.

buttons and hexie

Rochelle also made this great key fob.

key fob back

key fob front

Gifted me a tin of pins.


And these little treats. Those critter mug rugs look so adorable.


And wrapping in my favourite colour.


You get caught up making your package that you forget someone, somewhere is caught up making something for you – it’s a lovely surprise when it arrives.

Thanks again Rochelle xx

Instagram needlebook swap – part 1

The latest swap I participated in was organised by the lovely Anorina from Samelia’s Mum. You had to be part of the Instagram community and you were to gift your secret swap partner with a needle book. You were encouraged to post a collage of images to provide your partner with ideas and inspiration.  She also mentioned she had a Pinterest account so I was able to stalk her boards and gauge her interests [smocking amongst others]. This is what my partner posted.


After ‘researching’ ideas I was keen to include the weave technique – somehow. It then struck me to make a book in the shape of an ironing board – the weave would be the ironing board ‘cover’. I combined reds/burgundy’s and neutrals, cut, ironed and weaved strips of fabric. I included pockets for buttons, scissors and felt pages for needles. I also include a magnet which would catch pins mid-stitching.


inside needlebook

the middle panel is a magnet – I painted Faye’s instagram handle @mysewbusylife

inside needle book 1

I bought a miniature iron at the recent Miniature and Dolls’ House Show which I knew I was going to add to my needle book to secure it closed. I created the cord with a macrame knot,miniature iron

I made a few extras:

a mug rug, with a [hexie] spot for the cup and one for the cake

mug rug

a miniature smocked dress

smocked dress

a felt bird

felt bird

and my signature [yellow owl] notecards with upcycled [yellow flower themed] envelopes.


and purchased a few extra:


chocolate cookbook

cross stitch kit

Here is the complete package – it evolved to shades reds, oranges and yellows. I recycled sewing patterns to wrap the goodies.



I heard back – that Faye loved my little package.

Stay tuned my next post – I will share what I received from my talented and very generous partner.

tutorial – ‘pallet’ box

A couple of months ago I made a quilling card for a friend’s wedding. Here is a reminder of the card [and of how I wrapped the boxed card]. In addition to being pretty they are fragile cards. So I decided to make a box to protect the card, I call it my pallet box. It’s easy and super quick Here are the steps to make the pallet box:

1. Cut 2 pieces of chipboard 2.5 cm [1 inch] wider and longer than the card itself [2 x main panel]. Cut strips [6-8] of chipboard 0.5 cm [1/2 inch] wide by the length of the main panel.

step 1

2. Glue [PVA glue] the strips of chipboard on the edge of the main panel as shown, building up the strips.

step 2

3. Repeat on opposite side.

4. Place but do not glue the top panel and insert card [I applied a little pressure with my embroidery floss box]. This will give you an indication if you have sufficient space to slide card or need to build the sides more – in my case as shown I added one further strip [total of 4 on each side].

step 4

step 4 b

5. Once the desired depth is achieved glue the top panel and clamp with alligator clips.

step 5

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].