Posts Tagged ‘craft’

Vintage Cushion CoversVintage fabric makes me swoon. This fabric comes from a set of old curtains that I discovered in an op-shop. Beautiful condition, virtually unused…be still my heart. I wanted to use the fabric to make up some new cushion covers for our sofa. I used the old cushion covers as a template and followed the zipper tutorial here.  It felt so good to dust off the sewing machine and do some craft again.

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Crafting for a BlokeThis month I was inspired by the beautiful little creations over at Life Outside Mainstream to try some Iron-On Transfer craft for my husband’s birthday. He has a fondness for retro/defunct logos and I was able to source this Kodak logo to iron onto a grey T-shirt. It was very easy to do. The t-shirt has already had one wash in the machine and is showing a bit of wear on the transfer. I think it adds to to the ‘vintage’ look, but we’ll see how this goes over time. To create a unique t-shirt, all you need is good quality iron-on transfer paper (for dark clothing) and a colour inkjet printer. Instructions are on the pack. Iron-On Transfer

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I recently stumbled across a great little blog called Happy Little Kiwi, which features lots of the things I love such as recipes, crafts and useful ideas & products for kids. This week featured a link to a website called Mr Printables, containing oodles of free printables and resources for preschool and beyond.

I used imagery from Mr Printables’ Alphabet Activity Book (see photo below) to create a handmade birthday card for a sweet little boy turning one on the weekend (see photo above). I downloaded the image and cropped it, then used Schoolhouse Cursive B font to type his name in the space provided. I printed the card onto 4×6 card stock on my colour inkjet printer and made a custom envelope out of brown kraft paper.

Mr Printables’ Doodle on the Moon is too groovy not to include here. You can download fabulous high-resolution images of the moon…for doodling on of course. My son drew an Alien Moon Monster…in what appears to be a purple top-hat. Where does he get these ideas from?!

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It’s been a busy month in our neck of the woods.

Almost impossible to believe but my two babies turned 1 and 3. As their birthdays are so close together, we had a combined party at the park. In a month of brilliant Sydney sunshine, the party landed squarely on a weekend of rain and record gale-force winds. As children are blissfully immune to bad weather, we grown-ups proceeded bravely outdoors.

At the party we had…

Rugged up children bearing bikes, trikes and scooters and rugged up relatives bearing fruit platters and presents.

A cake-off. The 3-year old’s Nigella Lawson Chocolate Cake versus the 1-year old’s Donna Hay Carrot Cake. In my humble opinion, the hands down winner was Ms Hay. Her carrot cake is so fabulous, it will be the subject of my next blog entry.

Loads of fabric bunting that was double gaffer-taped to poles and flapping madly in the wind (though I managed to get a miraculous ‘still’ shot between gusts).

Little handmade touches that included Where the Wild Things Are invitations:

Duck-food for a bike/scooter trip to the pond:

And take home goodie-bags made with scrapbooking paper and this handy little sticker making machine I found on my op-shop travels:

Oh and what do you do if it’s a Saturday morning and there’s only one table at Sydney’s most popular inner west park? You get an early morning covert operation underway to mind the table, is what you do…(thanks uncle).Until next year kiddos.

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At the risk of sounding like a crazy Lego lady, here is another Lego-related post which will appeal to those people that love to organise.

Since the Lego revolution took off at our place we’ve been keeping all our Lego in one big ol’ plastic tub. This was causing my husband and son no end of frustration as it would take them forever to find an elusive piece lurking in the nook of another piece. I googled Lego storage and was amazed by the number of people who were obsessed with finding the perfect sorting and storage system. I was most inspired by Jen over at I Heart Organising. She uses the Ikea Trofast system for sorting and storing their Lego pieces. I decided to use the Trofast storage system, but with different labels aimed at a younger child. I wanted visual, easily-identifiable labels so that my 3-yeard old could be responsible for sorting and packing away his own Lego.

So here goes:

You will need

2 x white Ikea Trofast frames + 12 small Trofast storage drawers with lids.

Cutting board, ruler and stanley knife/scissors.

Small roll of contact paper.

Assorted paint chips from a hardware store in the colour of your Lego pieces.

A colour print-out with 2 x Lego logos and imagery of lego accessories (my printable here).

A small white label with the word Instructions printed on it.


1. Assemble Trofast frames and wipe clean the exterior surface of storage drawers with a damp cloth and dry (this will assist with contact paper adhering to the surface.

2. Decide how you would like to categorise your Lego collection. We sorted into Baseplates, Instructions, Minifigures + Accessories, Wheels + Vehicle Windows, Yellow, Green, Red, Blue, White, Grey, Black and Orange / Beige / Maroon / Brown pieces.

3. Source Lego logo + label imagery and insert onto an A4 sheet for colour printing (or use Lego Organisation Labels). I sized and cropped my Lego logos to approx 9 x 5cms and the drawer panels to approx 10 x 6cms. You will also need a separate written label for the Instructions drawer.

4. Using a cutting board and ruler, cut the logos, colour paint chips and imagery to size.

5. For the drawer with the Orange / Beige / Maroon / Brown pieces I cut colour paint chips to size and then divided them into four and stuck a piece from each colour together with tape before placing onto contact paper.

6. Cut pieces of contact paper into rectangular panels slighter larger in size to the colour panel. My contact panels were approximately half a centimetre larger than the colour panel around the diameter.

7. Peel off contact backing and carefully place paper labels onto sticky side, then adhere labels onto the drawers.

8. Sit back and enjoy your handiwork!
Oh and it also creates a handy little display for all those wonderful Lego creations.

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Last Friday night a small miracle occurred and both my toddler and baby were sleeping soundly by 6:50pm.

At 7:00pm I had a gin + tonic in my hand and the contents of my entire fabric stash sprawled over the lounge room floor.

By 8:00pm (and giddy with the success of my recent curvy bib-making enterprise) I had selected, cut and pieced together the fabric for four more bibs.

My good fortune continued and as the house remained quiet, I was able to bring out my crotchety old sewing machine, cajole it into action and sew the pieces together.

The best and most wonderous thing about the night was being able to work on a project, uninterrupted. (Mama Flurfel articulates that feeling perfectly here.)

When I examined the bibs the next morning, it brought to mind an old Persian fable. Persian craftsmen would deliberately include one flaw in their beautifully handcrafted rugs to make them imperfect. This was so that their God would be the only perfect thing in the world. As a humble crafter, I can confidently say that these bibs pay homage to that Persian God. Many times. Particularly around the neckline.

I love these little drool catchers, but that concludes my short bib-making career.

Bib-makers, I salute you.

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Korka baby bib

I made this bib for a friend who lives with her beautiful baby boy in the hippie heartland of North Coast NSW. The fabric was given to me as a gift a few years ago from a cousin in Alice Springs. Observant followers will note the curved edges of the bib. Baby steps people, baby steps. My sister and I are still yet to launch our Etsy shop, but in the meantime I thought I’d give one of our little woven labels a try.

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With Mother’s Day just around the corner, I decided to make this sweet little mini-book for my mum (tutorial found here). I made a few changes. Mine is a little larger and on the pages I printed text, and used photographs and my children’s artwork. I also used my sewing machine to sew down the spine of the book. It’s the sort of project that would work just as nicely for a birthday or other special occasion.

During the project it was nice to take the time to think about the things that I love most about my mum.  She has six children and ten grandchildren. She’s a people person, creative and passionate with her work. Most weekends she can be found grandchild wrangling, hustling at a garage sale or having a cuppa. Unfortunately I can’t spend Sunday with her as we live interstate, but my brood and I will be hopping on a plane to visit her next week. 

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If a magic genie appeared out of a lamp and offered me my dream weekend, it might look a little something like this:

Now all I need this coming weekend is a babysitter.

Magic genie..?

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There’s a scene in the film Zoolander, where the protagonist male model admits to a secret weakness. On the catwalk he cannot turn left. Only right.

Me and Zoolander, we both have our little secrets.

On a sewing machine I can only sew straight. No curves, no squiggly bits, no zig-zags. I have lived most of my adult life without even consciously realising this. I sew bunting, bags, cushion covers, pencil cases, placemats, table runners, quilts…but they’re all straight.

I had this epiphany when I tried to make a Softie this week and the finished product looked like I had sewn without my glasses on after a couple of drinks.

My husband is kind. He assures me it’s my vindictive little second-hand sewing machine that I bought from a garage sale many years ago. It’s over 20 years old, sounds like a buzz saw and only works if I use the most expensive thread and say a little prayer to the sewing gods beforehand.

I can blame my cantankerous old machine or carry it in my heart bravely like Zoolander.

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