just like children, I love them equally

So you may recall the competition I entered and won last year, and the amazing prizes. A brand new Brother NV1800Q amongst the winnings. I do love her.

But Christmas last year I received an envelope. A letter [the original in Spanish below] with this story.

This is my life story. My country of birth Great Britain, I was born on 20 May 1946, my family consists of 30,000 sisters of excellent reputation and we were certified ED 77514 8. We migrated to different countries. My group was destined for Australia we were placed in different locations and so it was there that we became famous and wanted. So it was destined I wait for a while until someone was interested in me and took me home and there I was to  start a new beginning in my life and be part of another family. I felt at home rather quickly and they gave me love and cared for me, logically I had to work and thus took years, until one day they left me abandoned. I was too old and my presence had deteriorated and because of my age I worked slowly. After a period of neglect in a corner, they decided to take me to the markets where I was bound to be acquired by another person. I had no success as several people looked at me with pity for my poor state, asking questions about my life, no doubt I was too old and no one was interested. Finally after many hours of waiting, a good Samaritan looked at me with a desire to take me in, and so I had a new home, I spent a few months there, they were interested in changing my image, over a few weeks I was glad to see my changed appearance and looked very presentable. I was happy knowing that I would spend the rest of my life there but this was not the objective, but it was to be gifted to the person who asked questions at the markets. The person that  left without considering that while I cannot work I could be a part of her home and as such be proud to show me off to her visitors. My name is Singer ED 775148.

The original piece in Spanish – as written by my mum.

La historia de mi vida. Nuestro pais de nacimiento Gran Bretania el dia 20/05/1946 mi familia se compone de 30.000 hermanas de excelente reputacion y nuestro prestegio nos certificaron ED 775148. Emigramos en distintos paises , mi grupo fue destinado Australia en el que nos ubicaron en distintos lugares y asi fue que fuimos famosas y muy requeridas, estuve de muestra por un tiempo hasta que alguien se intereso por mi y me llevo a su casa y alli fue un nuevo comienzo en mi vida y parte de otra familia, me senti bien rapidamente ya que me brindaron respecto y cuidaron de mi, logicamente debia trabajar y de esta manera pasaron años, hasta que un buen dia me dejaron abandonada ya estaba muy mayor y mi presencia se habia deteriorado y debido a mi edad trabaja lentamente. Despues de un tiempo de abandono en un rincon, decidieron llevarme a una exhibicion donde tal vez fuera adquirida por otra persona, no tenia suceso ya que varias personas me miraron con compasion por mi estado deteriorado hacian preguntas respecto a mi vida, sin dudas ya era muy viejita y nadie mostro interes. Al fin despues de muchas horas de espera, una buena samaritana memiraba con deseos de llevarme, y asi fue nuevo domicilio, pasaron unos meses se interesaron por cambiar mi imagen, con el correr de unas semanas me alegro verme cambiada y lucia muy presentable, me ilusione de saber que alli pasaria el resto de mi vida pero no era ese el objectivo, sino que iba a ser el regalo de quien me miro hizo preguntas en la exhibicion pero se fue sin tener en cuenta que si bien ya no puedo trabajar voy a ser parte de su casa y tal vez orgullosa de mostrarme a sus visitas…..Gracias mi nombre es Singer ED 775148.

So the person who made the enquiry at the markets was me. I did ask and eventually walked away. Little did I know my parents returned that afternoon, bought her, took her home, restored her with the intent to gift her to me. My dad did an amazing job in giving her a new lease of life.

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The model # + google – provided my mum with the facts to write the ‘life story’.

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This decorative plate is just gorgeous.

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What a lovely discovery – a full bobbin. What was the previous owner making …

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The cover was in a very poor condition – unfortunately I don’t have a before shot.

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I couldn’t help taking this shot – I received this toy machine about 30 years ago. I decided to google this model number and it is circa 1960.

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The logo shows the Singer boat shuttle, crossed needles, spool and thread.

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So although one child has 290 stitches and one sits simply showing her beauty I love them equally.

A pretty awesome year. 2016 I can’t wait!

Here is pictorial summary of my crafty highlights of 2015. So happy and proud of my achievements. 2015 summary

I opened up my Etsy shop in April. Something I will focus on 2016. In May I was notified that I won the Brother Competition, winning a sewing machine, ScanNCut machine and a craft room make over. I created and wrote several posts for the Lincraft blog and later started collaborating with them on the how-to projects [more to be revealed this year] and made it on the cover of Handmade magazine amongst several other pieces being published.

I also met some lovely and talented ladies in real life after ‘chatting’ on Instagram. Attended 2 craft shows, miniature exhibition, many markets, participated in some fantastic swaps and handmade gifts and cards for family and friends. I can’t wait for 2016, I’m so excited, hope you are too!

The Creative Exchange – part 2

So today I want to share what I sent my recipient as part of The Creative Exchange – read here for the background to the exchange and as promised a little treat. My first ‘downloadable’ and a quick tutorial on how to make one of the items included in my package. My recipient is an illustrator, enjoys making fabric dolls and had posted a fabulous origami display on her Instagram feed.  So this is the package I sent her, some fabric, trims and buttons for her dollmaking, some origami paper to encourage to make her own origami display and a few treats for herself.

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And this is how I wrapped all her goodies.

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I used brown paper. I wet lines on the white paper to tear them into strips, punched copper pearlescent card and wrapped with copper and gun metal grey yarn.

I love the copper and gun metal colour combination, do you?

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So I started to think how I could package the tiniest and cutest little buttons. Tea bags. I’ll make tea bags and separate the buttons by colour. I had the cutest little button brads which were perfect as closures.

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I loved this packaging idea that I thought you might too. So I created my first downloadable temple and tutorial. Click template to download and print the template.

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You will need:

paper for the tea bag – I used vellum in both cases, you may wish to have opaque paper so the goodies are hidden

scissors

twine

staples and stapler

PVA glue

brads/stickers

Using the template cut out the bag and tag. There are 2 options for the flap – one short [which I used the brads to secure] or the longer flap [I used the sicker to secure the bag].

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Fold in the sides, base, flap and tag – dotted lines on template.

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Staple the twine between the tag and to middle of the bag as shown.

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Place a small amount of glue on the sides and stick sides together.

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Crease the sides inwards half way down to create bag. It will also be easier to fold the flap over.

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Secure the flap with either a brad or sticker. You could also use washi tape to secure the flap or even decorate the bag.

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Enlarge to make bigger tea bags or a size perfect for your gift.

I would love to see your tea bags.

The Creative Exchange – part 1

So early last month I signed up for The Creative Exchange. I had seen this early this year on Instagram and looked like a lot of fun. Well when the recent round was announced I was quick to register my interest. Sam Dunne, organiser behind this exchange explains the origin and aim here. It is a mystery swap, preparing between 4-8 gift items that will inspire your recipient to create. Whatever their passion maybe, or maybe even encourage them to try something new. I will be sharing the package I made for my recipient and as a little treat a little tutorial on one of the handmade items in the package.

But first the package I received, from the most thoughtful and generous Monica. I am going to let photos tell the story of excitement and delight. Monica ‘stalked’ me on social media, in the nicest possible way, and worked out exactly what I enjoy making, cooking and what I would probably like to try. She nailed it.

I have captured before and after shots, after all the brief was to wrap pretty. I had a little helper unwrap so I tested his patience by having wait during photo shots.

All these goodies arrived in a box with the prettiest address label. The light blue, yellow and white theme? Monica’s research results – she found out I was Argentinian and therefore paid homage to the Argentinian flag. Truly touching.

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1st item

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gorgeous gold medallion stickers

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2nd item

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wooden beads and cord – cannot wait to make my own bead necklace

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3rd item

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cutest paperclip bookmark by Binky Bop Inc.

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4th item

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oops another layer

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and another…

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worth the suspense, this exquisite turquoise coaster by Bronys Studio Shop and Showroom

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5th item

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another layer

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darling mother of pearl buttons by East of India

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6th item

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a crack-a-mac macadamia nut cracker – came in handy for item#7

Monica tells me that the crocheted heart doily was made by a sweet 92-year-old woman – she made a dozen hearts for Monica’s wedding. I am honoured to have received this.

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7th item

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a bag of locally [Alstonville – Monica’s home town] grown macadamia nuts. Macadamia nuts are native Australian nuts. One of my favourite nuts. Monica picked up from my Instagram feed that I love to bake – I can’t wait to bake with these edible gems.

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8th item

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hand cream, lip balm and soap from Rainforest Remedies, lemon myrtle – even my little unwrapping helper said, mum this smells so nice

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9th item

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this miniature loom – again Monica cottoned onto my passion for miniatures – although she did point out this would make a unique piece of jewelery.

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from the talented Creative Muster

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10th item

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DIY baubles from lovely Lincraft. Already have an idea brewing for this…

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the card – letterbook

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let’s just say it was 8 pages and is very special.

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Collectively

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Thank you just doesn’t cut it.

Overwhelmed to say the least.

 

 

I can’t believe I won

Back in April I stumbled across a competition on Instagram. A post by Brother Australia, makers of sewing machines, printers but most importantly the ScanNCut machine. The competition involved creating a piece for your craft space based on one of the 12 projects Brother had collated. I liked the look of the one.

The 3 words I live by ‘follow your bliss’ would be perfect I thought. Then as I was deciding how to embellish my banner, I couldn’t go past one of my many passions, miniatures. After many hours, of embroidering, quilling, quilting and sewing this was my creation and submission.

submission

I will be sharing shortly a tutorial on how I made this.

In May, I received THE email. I had won. I was in complete shock. Not second prize – which was pretty awesome the ScanNCut machine, but first prize. A sewing and quilting machine, a ScanNCut machine and a make over of my creative space [including services of an interior designer and money to going on a shopping spree]. These are the before shots – somewhat embarrassing but great for comparison once you get to the end of the post. Persevere, it’s worth it – I think it is.

before 1

before

So then came the fun part – thinking of what would make home office/craft room my ultimate creating sanctuary. Briar asked me to create a board on Pinterest of my wish list. What I became fixated on was a library catalogue style cabinet with thousands [ok maybe not that many] of drawers. Drawers to fill with all my tools and supplies. Although it would have been special to find a pre-loved authentic cabinet I approached a local furniture store to create one. I ordered the finger pulls and made labels just like the ones in libraries many years ago.

cabinet

cabinet drawer capacity

drawer finger pulls

My mini haberdashery store would take centre stage on the cabinet so the dimensions evolved from there.

window display

sewing machine and mini quilt

mini fabric bolts

knitting and yarn

interrior

front door

I also had one cupboard that needed a serious overhaul and sorting. Ikea storage boxes to the rescue. I created laminated tables to keep track what I had stored in each box – orange being tools and purple being supplies. They act as mini ‘white boards’ – that way as supplies are consumed or new tools are acquired I can quickly update my inventory

tracking idea boxes

ikea boxes

My pinboard was in desperate need for a face-lift and the gorgeous Kikki K memory board is just lovely. It dons many beautiful handmade pieces I have received from swaps I have participated in.

memory board

I also dreamed of a reading/crafting nook. I love sitting here, stitching and enjoying my view. My new armchair and cushion.

chair

I initially suggested to Briar I would like some wall art, typography on a blank mission brown wall. Briar encouraged me to create an art piece to frame and hang. What symbolises all craft rooms I thought, a pair scissors. It’s needed for almost every craft I can think of. So following some designs/shapes research on Pinterest I was armed with a rough template. Along with fibrous paper and white cotton [very long] crocheted chain and a needle I  stitched the outline. I displayed it in a shadow box frame. I love this piece, it evolved and exceeded what I first imagined.

close up

scissors

Looking more like a home office I needed to soften and pretty up my space up. Photo frames and flowers. I stitched a crocheted mandala on pearlescent card stock and displayed it in a shadow box frame. I printed the word ‘soar’ on pearlescent cardstock. What ever you do in life, soar above the norm, the average and the expected, do better and be better.

desk art piece

crochet art

Of course, my new craft toys, my new sewing and quilting machine and the ScanNCut machine.

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I had so much fun, dreaming up a wish list, purchasing the items on the wish list and putting it together. I love my new room. I craft much more and although I make the same mess as before it is sorted in no time as everything has it’s place.

overall

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overall

I hope I have inspired you to enter a competition – you can win – I did.

the detail is in the dress

The Big Day sure is fun but I must admit the lead up is pretty awesome too. A few weeks ago I spent a lovely afternoon at a friend’s daughter’s bridal shower. I love meeting the wedding guests in advance, say at the bridal shower or hen’s night, then the wedding reception is bound to be extra fun. The afternoon was spent laughing through the obligatory games, eating high tea delights, getting a hand henna tattoo, drinking tea and chatting. The bride has maternal Italian heritage and paternal Indian heritage hence the Indian inspired high tea. A few snap shots from the shower.

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collage 2

After a little research on Pinterest I saw bridal shower cards had ‘brides’ as the embellishment. I decided to focus on the bride rather than the couple that is typically represented on wedding cards. Bride = wedding gowns, don’t you think. I sketched a gown with the idea of having a quilled skirt, ‘beehive’ effect. And so the gown evolved, grosgrain bodice, satin ribbon waistband and beads as buttons.

card

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card 2

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And pretty wrapping to complement the pretty dress.

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10 more sleeps to the wedding :)

Oh Christmas Tree! Oh Christmas Tree!

Really, more than one month since my last post. Well it’s definitely not because I have nothing to blog about it’s because I have been so busy, many craft projects in the making and craft news to share. The first one being my first published project and pattern. And it made on the front cover. I am so excited to see my hexie Christmas tree on the cover. And to share with Greg Sukendro’s angel – a dream cover true.

I used Print Charming Original Fabrics to make the hexies. All hand basted, hand sewn together and then running stitch to add the felt backing.

Here is the link to the magazine on their facebook page.

And here is my Christmas tree!

handmade magazine