Sunday, November 27, 2011


Fiddling about with this colour combo from Beau Chateau I made this card for a friend (which still hasn't found its way to her, I don't think!).  The hummingbird has a dazzling diamonds/clear embossing powder mix which I added after adding some lines with a versamark pen.  Love the effect and love the spots of pink amongst the blue.  Enjoy!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Not at all idle...

Apologies once again for the long gap between posts, but I have been busy! Firstly there's the advent tree - which I've had to wash and haven't yet sent to the winner of the bloghop because it was very sticky/tacky on the front.  I used always artichoke to make the background cloth.  I'm not sure what more I can do except iron the whole thing once again and cross fingers.
The next thing is a little bag I've been meaning to make for my nephew Terrence since Easter.  I made my kids and the Gibbs' cousins little bags for collecting their Easter eggs at an Easter hunt at our place.  I had promised to make a little bag for my brother's kids as well.  Terrence loves biplanes and I found a cartoon biplane online which I printed out and translated to fabric.

Lastly a bit of recycling (upcycling?)...  Many towels in my linen cupboard are developing holes for various reasons.  It seems a pity to just ditch them, especially as I do need bathmats.  It occurred to me today that there's no reason I can't chop them up with my lovely bigshot and make new from old.  This one is an old towel that has a velvety side and a loop side, so I've chopped it up into lots of squares with my scallop square and made a new mat.  If it frays I'm not too concerned as it will add character.  I'll do the same with other old bath-mats and make something slightly more colourful next time.  Considering I whipped this up in just under an hour, I'm slightly pleased with myself.  And now I know my bigshot dies will cut TOWELS!!!

Monday, August 29, 2011

More sewing

I finally finished the skirt I started at the Inklings team weekend away - strips of Flirtatious fabric sewn together (and overlocked and top-stitched - took FOREVER) and simply hemmed and a top hem with waistband-elastic. One happy little girl!
For these, I searched for a free pattern for pin-cushions. After discounting most of the animal patterns because I hate the idea of sticking pins into cute little defenceless pin-cushions, I found these fabulous Toadstool Cottage and Mushroom House by a Kiwi lass who publishes a great crafty blog called "The Little House by the Sea". She has a template/pattern for these mushies and although she uses felt and embroidery, I adapted them quite successfully for scraps of Flirtatious and Beau Château fabrics. And look, not a rooster in sight! For the stems, I used the inside of a wide-ribbon reel gently eased into the stem, stuffed toy-fill between the fabric and reel, put some barley inside of the reel and stitched it together. Well, actually, I stuffed the stems full of toy-fill first and they wouldn't stand up properly. Hubby suggested putting something firm in the bottom - the ribbon reel insides are perfect because they have a lip on one end which acts as a stopper for the stuffing, and makes it very stable on the bottom.

Hope you like!

Monday, August 22, 2011

A taste...

Very soon now Stampin' Up Australia launches its 2011/12 catalogue. One of the marvellous things that will be available in the new catalogue is FABRIC. The fabric patters coordinate with stamp sets and papers as well as using the delicious colour ranges only available with Stampin' Up products. Happily, I attended a team weekend retreat where everyone played with new products. The following picture features a bag I made based on card-bag pattern demonstrated by Joanna Wassens (not sure where Jo discovered the pattern). I am so glad I took my sewing machine along to the team weekend. I had loads of fun doing this bag - although some refinements are required. When I tackle the bag once again, I'll post instructions for how I made it.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Inklings Christmas in July Bloghop

Welcome to The INKlings’ Team’s Christmas in July blog hop. You may have arrived here from Michelle's blog or just be visiting my blog, whichever way once you’ve checked out my creations you can continue the hop through the link at the end of this post to the next team member.

How quick is this year going! Have you started to think about your Christmas cards and projects yet? The INKlings team has and we thought that this month was the perfect time to host a Christmas in July blog hop. You'll find lots of great ideas provided by 15 team members’ fantastic blogs.

Want to win some Blog Candy? Simply leave a comment on each blog and then email (subject Inklings Bloghop) and let her know you’ve done so and you’ll be in the running for a fantastic prize of 15 handmade items plus other goodies.

Sorry Blog Candy prize not available to SU! demonstrators but you're more than welcome to leave us a comment!

Here's the start of my idea. I took some plain calico fabric and used the Scallop Envelope die to cut out 24 envelopes (2 at a time). I then mixed some Cherry Cobbler (and Always Artichoke) ink with textile medium and rolled the mix with a brayer onto the raised part of the Vintage Wallpaper textured impression folder and ran it through the big shot. When I did this, I left the flap hanging outside the edge of the folder (could get two on the textured impression folder this way!). It all looked to plain, so I mixed some gold smooch in with the textile medium and spritzed it across the envelope flap. Ironed everything to set the colours. The idea is to make an advent calendar with each of these little pockets stitched onto a backing fabric. I'm working on this! The background in this picture is my ironing board. This is also my blog candy - will update this when I've finished the project. I've laid out the envelopes in straight lines 5 rows with 5 envelopes (4 on bottom row), or tried a Christmas tree pattern. What do you think would work better?

Well that’s all from me. Next stop on the INKlings’ Team Blog Hop is the lovely
Fiona Brown. Have fun and don't forget to leave a comment on each blog to win some great Blog Candy.

If for any reason you find a missing link on the blog hop I've included a list below of all the members taking part.

1. Clare
2. Janice
3. Christie
4. Kari
5. Joanna
6. Michelle
7. Alana
8. Carol
9. Cath
10. Amy
11. Vanessa
12. Michelle D
13. Ryn
14. Fiona B
15. Liz Halbisch

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Sudoku Cushion

Wow! Interest in my cushion... Here's a better picture of the cushion. Essentially, I picked out 9 contrasting fabrics from a Moda "Sultry" Layer Cake and cut 9 x 2.5" squares from each pattern. I then did a Sudoku in the newspaper and used it as a template to make the cushion top. When I stitched it together there was a little too much brown. Creative Opportunity! I used the Stampin' Up! heart punch to make my heart shape, made some appliqué pieces and stitched them on top. As I love a good Sudoku, I also enjoyed the whimsy of including the heart in the pattern.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Invitation out to the Gibbs' side of the family for an egg-hunt at ours on Sunday. Hunting eggs duly purchased and I searched for likely items for a basket for the kids. I couldn't find anything that appealed, so went to the fabric store and bought some calico. In the interests of environmental responsibility, I decided to make six little bags for the munchkins to use to collect eggs. Girls had flowers stitched on, Ryan and Toby had stars and elephants respectively. I took the photo seconds before the hunt happened and obviously didn't focus it at all. To one side you'll also see I finished my sudoku cushion - didn't come out quite as expected.
The Hunt is On! Here's the kids towards the end of the egg hunt. Kids loved their bags! And, of course, once Easter is over, they can be re-used!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Zoo Friends

We made our second visit to Taronga Zoo today. This time we visited the little penguins (which is where we lost Number Two Son last time), seals, elephants, meerkats, pygmy hippos, lions, tigers, snow leopard, gorillas, and platypus (in the platypus house this time). We also found a couple of waddling Echidna, a couple of brush-tailed rock wallabies, crocodiles, alligators, giant tortoise, a sleepy wombat, some extremely frolicking feathertail gliders (because they'd just been fed), bilbies, potaroos, and a tawny frogmouth too. Despite the gloomy weather, we had moments of sunshine, not terribly many crowds to contend with, BYO lunch and Zoo Friends discounts in the giftshop and for parking. The highlight was a visit to the elephants, catching the keeper talk and play session and seeing Luk Chai (Son), Pathi Harn (Miracle) and Tukta (Doll) playing in the water for what seemed like an age!

The other highlight for me was the news that the platypus at Taronga have puggles! Puggle is the name for a baby platypus. Apparently, Mum won't let them out of the burrow until they're the same size as she is. Its awesome that they are breeding in captivity! And I felt so lucky to be able to see the platypus swimming around inside; I'm afraid my family had to drag me away. I can't wait to see more of the platypus when we next visit. Joining zoo friends was the best idea! It will be fun to visit again before December this year.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Easter Bilby punch-art

In recent years for Easter in Australia there has been a campaign to raise awareness of one of our cuter endangered species, the Bilby. An Australian chocolate manufacturer, Darrell Lea, started making chocolate Bilbies for easter in 1994. From 1999, Darrell Lea has donated part of the proceeds from chocolate bilby sales to the "Save the Bilby" fund. So in celebration of Easter in Australia, I've designed a punch-art Bilby! They're nocturnal little guys so I started out putting them on a night of navy background. Didn't look right though. They're mostly in semi-arid areas of Australia and burrow in our dry-dry orange-golden dirt. So this is what I came up with based on a recent birthday card for a class using the "Autumn Days" stamp set...
I took a few photos along the way to show how I put this together. These bilbies are actually refinement number 3 - the first two were not-quite-right. And my daughter added her two cents saying just one looked "lonely" so I should make another for the card. The image below shows the bits I used and very simple instructions. Print this and the card above and I'm sure clever people can figure it out!
Happy punching!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


... I received a letter today saying "your application was unsuccessful." No Canberra job to go to. Will have to apply for more. Very deflated.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

A special card

So I was recently commissioned to create a card for a very special birthday - a 100th. I was time poor but had been given the brief that Hilda is very active in the Welsh Society and so the colours of Wales (Red, White and Blue) or the Welsh flower, a Daffodil should be incorporated somehow. I immediately thought of the "Just Believe" set. I then racked my brains trying to make something super-special - nothing was springing to mind and time was marching on! Finally, I did the rounds of the blogs I read regularly and have tagged in my blog Reader. Inspiration came from Teneale Williams, a most talented and frequently published card-maker. I can't think of anyone who makes cards more special and her attention to detail is meticulous. As you can see, I've copied Teneale's structure within the limits of my available resources. I did use different colours and then popped the flowers with dimensionals. I also stamped an inside very similar to Teneale's, but didn't take a good enough picture of it to show. So thanks very much to Teneale for the inspiration in creating this very special 100th birthday card. I don't imagine I'll have the opportunity to make any more very soon!

And for those wondering, it will be six weeks since my interview in Canberra next Tuesday. I'm seriously hoping for some kind of feedback by then, but still have not heard anything at all to date. The website states:
As a Department, we are well aware that the selection process should be efficient and prompt – to this effect, we are encouraging and supporting our Divisions to complete their recruitment processes within a six-week timeframe. Regrettably, this is not always possible with every position vacancy, but it is a firm goal of the Department.

Understandably, I'm no longer holding my breath. :) But keep watching - you'll know when I know, lovely readers!

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Interview excitement

Big news! I had an interview for a position at the Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research in Canberra. Keeping everything crossed as the job is JUST my cup of tea! I'm so excited because the interview went really well, I thought. I just sent a thank you email off to the panel members and hope that I hear from them with some positive news in the next week or so. If its not so positive news, I'll feel quite happy to ask for constructive feedback on the interview. I hope to receive some "tea"riffic news!

Friday, January 21, 2011

We went to the Zoo!

We went to Taronga Zoo today and collected our Zoo Passes. For a family of five, we only have to use the passes twice in the next year to cover the cost of the passes. We visited Tukta, Pathi Harn and Luk Chai: the baby elephants, saw the seal show and lost Toby necessitating an announcement throughout the zoo. He turned up in the central giftshop (near the elephants) helping put giraffe toys in order and telling the shop manager all about his birthday in February. Future visits will require better planning. Below is a picture of Tukta, the newest baby girl, and her mother Pak Boon. It was so much fun to see the youngsters playing! Next time, though, I think I'd like to go when its either raining or a bit cooler!