Saturday, November 30, 2013

Typically Red & A Little Vintage

Last but not least, let me introduce you to the final two makers in the Handmade Christmas Giveaway - Greer from Typically Red and Jennie from A Little Vintage. Truly two of my favourite makers, Emerson is fortunate enough to own her own beautiful Bumpy Bonnet, and I recently had the pleasure of acquiring not only one of Jennie's free motion floral neck pieces, but a hand made Frieda Kahlo doll too. How I love our handmade community!

I'll be back tomorrow to draw the giveaway!

Handmade Christmas Giveaway!
(winner can choose between the bumpy bonnet and pixie hat, in their choice of colour)

After nearly a decade of eager knitting, and years of dressing my long-suffering children head-to-toe in mama-made woollens, last year, encouraged by the wonderfully supportive bloggy community, I took my obsession to the next level by launching my own handmade business. Typically Red Knits is a little corner of woolly goodness where I sell vintage-inspired hand-knitted hats for babies and kids. Each day I get to indulge my love of beautiful yarns while coming up with ever more creative ways of slotting knitting time into my busy life. These days, the needles are never far from my hands. I've sent hats all over Australia and the world, from New York to Paris, London and Stockholm, Bergen and Barcelona, and the feedback has been wonderful. I'm bubbling over with new ideas and designs, and can't wait to take things to the next level in the coming year.

Instagram: @typicallyred

Handmade Christmas Giveaway!

Jennie, of A Little Vintage makes one of a kind items - mainly from re-purposed fabrics.
Hand painted dolls, koalas, brooches and more recently neck pieces too.
Free motion sewing or 'drawing with the sewing machine' often finds its way into 
Jennie's creative pursuits .. including the koala faces!

Tristen the koala is made from felted wool rug and cotton fabric. He has a free motion
sewn face, faux fur ears and a vintage necktie. He measures approx 15" and is stuffed
with soft, new, antibacterial, non allergenic stuffing made from recycled plastic bottles -

preventing at least 16 bottles from going to landfill! 

Instagram: @alittlevintagedoll

Friday, November 29, 2013

La De Dah Kids & Curly Pops

There are two days left of our Handmade Christmas Giveaway celebrations! Which means there are two more lovely makers left to introduce you to tomorrow before the winner is drawn on Sunday. So if you haven't entered yet, skip on over and leave a comment. Then please take a moment to meet the lovely Rebecca from La De Dah Kids and Cam from Curly Pops, purveyors of fine toys and other delightful goodies, perfect for your little ones this Christmas.

Handmade Christmas Giveaway!Hand crocheted Spot dog

After the arrival of our second child La De Dah Kids was born out of need for affordable, on-trend, quality kids toys and decor in Australia. Starting out small we hope to offer a vast selection of handmade and/or quality items including textiles, soft furnishings and toys. Through our two ranges a year ranges we aim to design quirky and unusual pieces, with an ever-present emphasis on both affordability and quality. 

Our products are now being handmade ethically in Asia by a passionate team of women. I visit twice a year to sample with our producers.  Once our products are sampled, a team of women then make our samples in the comfort of their own home which enables them to work around their childcare and families needs. Thanks to their crochet work these women are able to generate an income throughout the year benefiting the entire community. 

Instagram: @ladedahkids

Handmade Christmas Giveaway!

Introducing Poppy and Harry - the Make It Yourself Cloth Dolls!
Each kit contains pre-printed fabrics to create the dolls, along with a halter dress and cape for Poppy, and a cape for Harry.
Full colour instructions that take you through step by step are also included.
To create your very own cloth doll you will need:
Sewing Machine
Snaps or Velcro
Large Knitting Needle (for turning out)
Pinking Shears (optional)
Haemostats or Tweezers (optional)
This is a great project for the young and the young at heart!
You can add your own bit of personality by customising the face using embroidery or fabric markers.
Instagram: @curlypops

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Each to Own & Ouchflower

The two crafty ladies I would like to introduce you to today are both doing their own thing, and doing it exceptionally well! Kirsten, from Each To Own, creates clever, colourful, afforable, laser cut jewellery which adds flair to any jewellery collection. While Pippa, from Ouchflower, is a master of knots and ceramic; with tassel making, macrame knotting and pottery just a few of her many talents. Her dip dyed tassels in particular may make you weak at the knees, and over come by a strange urge to redecorate your lounge room. Kirsten and Pippa have generously included a piece of their handiwork in the Handmade Christmas Giveaway for one lucky commentor. Pop over and enter if you haven't already, then please make these lovely ladies welcome!
Handmade Christmas Giveaway!

Whether summer is on the way, or you are looking to remember it in the cooler moths, this fab brooch will make you smile. Evoking all the fun of the beach, tropical fun and all things bright and breezy, this little wood and paper inlay brooch measures 7cms high and features a great pineapple design set with a retro pattern. It would be perfect on your favourite cardigan, jacket or blouse as a little quirky feature, or a gift for someone special. It has been made from hand using Tasmanian Blackwood and hand inlayed paper covered birch.

Each to Own is a small, home based jewellery design company, in Brisbane, Australia, specialising in bright and bold pieces for everyday wear.

We incorporate fun patterns and colours with the familiar forms to produce both wooden and acrylic brooches, necklaces, rings and earrings that brighten up your day.

We enjoy our work and we hope you do to.

Instagram: @eachtoown

Handmade Christmas Giveaway!
A small cotton twine tassel, dip dyed white with white leather wings.
The underside of each wing is painted gold. 
A perfect decoration for your tree this Xmas.
Overall drop 60-70 cm, tassel length 24-26 cm        

I'm a maker with a passion for craft, thrift, collecting and all things Mid Century and Retro. Over the past three years I have slowly decorated our 70's home with thrift finds, eBay purchases. I have a passion for Mid Century Danish and Australian furniture, West German Pottery and Midwinter Ceramics.

My love of traditional crafts such as pottery began in the art classroom, I then graduated with a B.A Craft-Ceramics honors in 1997, in Melbourne. 

Motherhood has been a catalyst for me to venture back into Contemporary Craft and my love of pottery, embroidery, macrame, illustration, crochet, and screen printing now have no bounds!

Instagram: @ouchflower

Made By Hand

Custom order

It is the season to be crafty! And I am feeling particularly inspired after reading the lovely comments on the Handmade Christmas Giveaway post. I love hearing about the handmade touches you add to make your Christmas special. I'm also delighted to read about the thoughts and love that go in to your gifts and decorations. 

This past week there has been a start on the Christmas crafting, a finished custom ordered pendant, a new collection of beads in the shop, and work on a few pairs of earrings, which I hope to share with you soon. My advent calender supplies arrived in the post, (hooray!) so I believe that will be our next project. Though I am looking forward to a bit of card making, wrapping paper decorating and a touch of Christmas baking too. 

Only a couple more days until we put up the tree. Our tradition is to wait until the 1st of December. How I looked forward to that job as a child! The excitement has returned now, as a parent. Cohen usually starts out with much excitement and hangs several ornaments, before sitting back and supervising the rest of the proceedings. But secretly, I don't mind. I love decorating the tree.

Have you been crafting or making this week?
Will you have a Christmas tree?
When do you put it up?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Zillpa & Yardage Design

Our next fabulous makers, whose work features in the Handmade Christmas Giveaway, are the lovely Clare and Nic - the creative forces behind Zillpa and Yardage Design. Both these creative ladies excel in their chosen crafts, and make unique gifts and home wares. I'm delighted to introduce them to you -
Zillpa was born out of a need to create and express. What began as a bit of fun, playing around with rope, soon developed into an exciting journey of discovery. I tried crocheting with the rope, braiding it, knotting it… But nothing seemed to ‘click’ with me. Until I came across an old technique for using up fabric scraps by wrapping them around pieces of rope and stitching them together. It sounded like an interesting idea, so I gave it a try and loved it! My mind suddenly opened up and I saw so many different possibilities that this technique could be used for. At the moment I prefer the raw aspect of keeping the rope plain and using the stitching thread as the decorative detail.
Zillpa’s current product range includes bowls, dishes, pot holders, coasters, bags and plant hangers – All made using 100% cotton rope, which I sew together on my industrial sewing machine. All my products are designed and created by me in my little studio on Brisbane’s south-side. You can find my products online and at various markets around Brisbane.

Instagram: @zillpa

Handmade Christmas Giveaway!

Yardage Design is a Brisbane based textile label created by Nicole James who is a textile designer and print maker. Yardage Design produces a range of hand printed home wares and fabrics. Bold colours, typography, and nature feature strongly in Nicole’s designs. Yardage Design prints onto natural fiber fabrics such as organic cotton, hemp and linen. 

"My designs are inspired by shapes, lines and shadows from everyday life – both natural and urban elements. I am also greatly inspired by heritage and architecture – the idea of mixing old and new, soft and hard. Observation and photography play a large role in the development of design ideas. I am also addicted to Instagram!"

Yardage Design will be a stallholder at this Saturday's GOMA Christmas Design Market in Brisbane, 9 am to 4 pm in the GOMA forecourt.

Christmas Craft - Ornaments


In keeping with my decision to create a loving, memorable, handmade, but simple Christmas this year, while taking the pressure off my pregnant self, this ornament kit from the variety shop sneakily came home with us. Right under the children's noses. I had every intention of putting them away until after the first of December. I even hid them in the linen closet. But I can not be trusted with craft supplies. I make promises to myself about knitting, sewing and wool too, then quite often break them...

I revealed the little project to two delighted children, as a reward for good behavior. Cohen was especially impressed, while Emerson was just as happy to paint herself, as per usual. Why not? She seemed quite pleased with them when they were finished though, and kept dragging a chair over to the kitchen to look at them while they dried.

I think they are just beautiful, even if it felt like cheating to buy the whole project in one box. I'll be writing their names and the year on the back, and hope to be hanging them from the Christmas tree for many years to come. 

$3 well spent I think.


Don't forget to enter the Handmade Christmas Giveaway!


You might also like to check out -
DIY gifts for guys
Air-dry clay ornament tutorial
Embroidered Napkin Tutorial
Christmas Decoration Tutorials

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The Sentimentalist & Paravent

It is with great pleasure I introduce to you today, the lovely Fiona of The Sentimentalist and wonderful Kylie of Paravent, both of whom have given a piece of their gorgeous work to the Handmade Christmas Giveaway. These two talented designers and makers work so beautifully with print making, paper, fabric and stitching in new and interesting ways. I'm quite sure there is no end to their talents!

Handmade Christmas Giveaway!
The Sentimentalist range of work by Gold Coast artist Fiona Watson includes artworks and accessories reflecting a love for all things time worn and treasured and the people and memories connected to them. Miniature stitched hoop brooches, lasercut brooches and limited edition hand cut and printed linoprints collectively tell stories from earlier times, with the use of modern manufacturing techniques in some instances for a twist. “I love nostalgia, the beauty and history of old objects and thinking about the people and stories connected to them. A lot of my work brings back happy memories for my customers”.
Her mini stitched hoop brooches are the result of wanting to combine a traditional craft with more modern imagery. The contrast of a beautifully fancy frame and tiny embroidery stitches with a Polaroid camera or Rubik’s cube for example makes for a fun accessory to wear. People who lived through the era have fond memories, and younger customers love them due to the renewed interest in everything retro.
All of the work is proudly handmade in Fiona’s home and with a wide range of lovingly made unique pieces; you’re sure to find something perfect for you and your home.
Instagram: @woodysurfcar

Handmade Christmas Giveaway!

Paravent is a surface patterning and textile studio of hand screen printing, block printing, crochet and embroidery.  I've always been fascinated with textiles of all forms and love experimenting with many different mediums. So, in my shops you will find an ever-changing assortment of handmade goodies in either yarn, floss, fabric or paper and just about everything is a one-off piece crafted by hand. 

Instagram: @paravent

'Falling Back to Earth' at GOMA

'Falling Back to Earth'
'Falling Back to Earth'
Heritage 2013
'Falling Back to Earth'
'Falling Back to Earth'
Eucalyptus 2013
'Falling Back to Earth'
'Falling Back to Earth'
Visitors are invited to slow down and enjoy a Chinese tea ceremony.
'Falling Back to Earth'
Head On 2006
'Falling Back to Earth'
'Falling Back to Earth'
'Falling Back to Earth'
'Falling Back to Earth'

The Gallery of Modern Arts latest exhibition does not disappoint. 'Falling Back to Earth' features the work of Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang, arguably one of the worlds most innovative contemporary artists. Of the three installations featured in the exhibition, two are new works, Eucalyptus and Heritage. As you enter the exhibition an enormous Eucalyptus tree lays uprooted and suspended mid-fall to earth, stretching through the length of the large gallery room it fills. One can't help by approach the tree with awe, firstly at the practical concerns of moving such a giant into the space it rested, a feat in and of itself. And then at the striking beauty and contrasts expressed between nature and humanity. The viewer is invited to sit on log stumps to sketch and interact with the 31 meter tree, which was removed from an urban development near Springfield.

The beautiful and disquieting Heritage features 99 animal replicas from 5 continents, drinking side by side from a serene blue lake, surrounded by white sand - inspired by Cai's visit to Morton Bay's Islands. Concrete, steel and soil were excavated from the galleries foundations to create the lake, which is disturbed every so often by a drop of water from the ceiling, sending ripples through the still surface, as it falls back to earth.

The third installation in the exhibition, Head On, features 99 replica wolves hurtling themselves at a glass wall. The piece was created for the Guggenheim in Berlin in 2006 as a response to Cai's time in Berlin and is being shown in Australia for the first time. Said to be a metaphor for humanities ability to repeat it's own mistakes, the glass wall is the same height as the Berlin wall. 

The exhibition also features an interactive children's component, where little ones can join in and create their own Cai Guo-Qiang inspired masterpieces. Running until the 11th of May, it is well worth the $15 admission fee. (Children under 12 are free.)

Monday, November 25, 2013

Deadwood Creative & Bravo Juliet Designs

I'm really pleased to be able to introduce you to the first two creative businesses featured in the Handmade Christmas Giveaway - Deadwood Creative and the lovely Ellie and Sam, and Bronwen from Bravo Juliet Designs. I invited these fabulous folk on board as I have long admired their handiwork and own my very own skateboard bangle (and brought another one for my sister for Christmas) as well as two of my own resin vases (and another for my sister for her birthday!) So I can whole heartedly recommend them. 

Handmade Christmas Giveaway!

Deadwood Creative is the design collaboration of Ellie Beck and Sam Messina. We handcraft jewellery and accessories using broken skateboard decks and sustainable business practices. All our pieces are cut, sanded and finished by hand, making each one a unique piece of hand worked wearable art. We enjoy finding the beauty in each broken skateboard and using the original artworks and scratched up graphics from each board to give new life to the decks that are generally sent to landfill. We work from our home studio in the forest in Northern NSW.

We have included one of our Skateboard Bracelets valued at $25 in the colour and size of your choice - check out the colour options on our website. All our jewellery comes packaged in a recycled (skateboard magazine) paper pouch stitched by us, with care instructions on how to maintain those vibrant colours. 

Instagram: @petalplum @sammessina

Handmade Christmas Giveaway!

Bravo Juliet Designs is where my love of vintage glass and four years of working with resin collide! I make vintage inspired resin vases - based on the original but with a modern twist. They are light, colourful and unbreakable. This makes them perfect to decorate your wedding tables, as a gift to post or as a colourful addition to a kid and cat-full home! 

Bravo Juliet Designs - Vintage inspired vases poured in modern resin.
Instagram @bravojulietdesigns

Handmade Christmas Giveaway! - Closed

This year I am once again making a handmade Christmas pledge -

Where ever I can, I want to make things myself, or buy handmade. In particular I want to support Australian crafters and independent businesses. I love the idea of Christmas. Of traditions, sharing, giving and gathering as a family. But too often all the 'stuff' leaves me with an empty feeling. The plastic toys inside the crackers which will be cleared in to the bin along with the expensive wrapping paper. The 'stocking fillers' which will amuse the little ones for a few days until they are lost or broken and then find their way to landfill too. The toy baskets stuffed with all the new gifts, but no real appreciation for them. Instead I want my money to support the talented crafters whose blogs I follow. 
I want less, with more meaning.

L-R: Deadwood Creative, Bravo Juliet Designs, The Sentimentalist,
Christina Lowry Designs, Paravent,

Instead of wandering the aisles of chain stores, I am clicking on the shop links on my favourite blogs. Instead of browsing markets filled with items made in China, I am browsing through bigcartel stores. There are so many talented makers, I don't think it will be very difficult to swap store brought for handmade. Handmade doesn't have to mean daggy hand painted door stops (unless that's your kind of thing.) Handmade can mean beautiful, original, unique, well crafted. It can mean supporting independent designers, stay at home mothers, self taught artisans, sewers, print makers, jewellers and ceramic artists.
Ouchflower, La De Dah Kids, A Little Vintage Doll,
Curly Pops, Typically Red

In an effort to encourage you to think handmade this Christmas, and to advertise some fantastic makers to make your shopping easier, I invited twelve of my favourtie creatives to join me.
With their generosity, I have created a rather special gift guide that one lucky person will win, just by leaving a comment on this post. 

So tell me, what handmade touches do you like to add to your celebrations?

The winner will be drawn of the first of December, and then has the difficult task of deciding which items to keep and which to place under the Christmas tree. Giveaway open Australia wide. I will be featuring two makers each afternoon on my blog, so be sure to pop back. And please, do check out their lovely online stores, blogs or facebook pages.

I want to be completely transparent and let you know that there is no financial gain in this for me. I am not being paid in products or cash. My aim is to showcase the talents of these wonderful makers and encourage my lovely readers to buy handmade this Christmas. The cost to the makers is the giveaway item and postage to the winner only. I hope to return the support and generosity that I am continually shown by our community. xx

Sunday, November 24, 2013


Cohen and Seth
"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013." Che and Fidel.

Cohen: I put down the dishes and picked up the camera when I glimpsed this beautiful, quiet moment between Cohen and our dear old cat.
Emerson: When things are difficult, this little one reminds me of the joys of parenting. Her laughter is infectious, her curiosity is fascinating and her antics are oh so amusing.

This past week Cohen has mastered nursery rhymes, after never being particularly interested before, and Emerson has mastered standing on her tippy toes, which causes her great delight. Both my little darlings are so full of energy and life, while I feel quite exhausted. Poor wee dears, stuck with a Mama who has to rest. Though they seem to be coping with it quite well.

The most appealing time of the day lately has been that window of time just before they go to bed. Rituals we all look forward to. The choosing of the books, the way they gather beside me, the cuddles, laughter and questions as I read. The tucking in and nightlight for Cohen. The cuddles and rocking for Emerson. That one last glass of water for Cohen. It's such a lovely way to end our day. Just as both of them crawling in to bed with us in the morning is the very best way to start the day.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Studio Tour

A colourful clutter of inspiration and necessities 
My new Frieda Kahlo doll. A birthday gift from my sister, handmade by Jennie.
Tools of the trade - My ultrasonic (for cleaning jewellery) is hiding behind the polishing machine, in the middle is my pickle (a heated acid solution that removes flux from heated metals), as well as my rolling mill (for rolling the metal to the desired thickness of plate or bars, or preparing the metal to be drawn down in to wire.)

One would hardly guess, when looking at the 'before' photo of my bench, that I am usually a 'place for everything and everything in it's place' kind of girl, especially when it comes to my tools. I like to tidy up and put everything away when I've finished working, so that I sit down to a clean bench the next time. Only, it wasn't quite feasible during the rush of market prep. Tidying up seemed like a bit of a luxury. My table became a dumping ground of tools, half finished projects, packaging, and general craziness as I tried to get as much done as possible as time ran out. Working amongst the mess has reaffirmed for me why I tidy up at the end of the day!

Yesterday I pottered around the studio cleaning up and sorting out, while the children played, swept the floor and made more mess. Once I have sorted out their pile of toys on the floor, and the pile of mending on my sewing table, all will be well in my studio again. But at least, for the time being, I can now sit down and work on some custom pieces with room to move and think. And a tidy bench.

What does your work space look like?
Are you neat or messy, or both?
I just noticed that I need to fix the date on my bench clock.


PS. Happy birthday to my dearest darling twin sister! And happy birthday to me! 32. Oh my! 

Friday, November 22, 2013


Painted roses
Pewie Nest
Printer tray

Loving: Striped roses. They are a welcome distraction from the dirty floor boards and the piles of dishes that go hand in hand with Doctors orders to rest, as this pregnancy has been classified 'high risk.'

Napping: Every single day! Thank goodness for children who nap at the same time... and when they don't, thank goodness for the movie 'Cars,' which keeps Cohen occupied while Mama and Emmy nap. (Sometimes one must do these things!)

Feeling: Optimistic about everything, despite the hurdles at the moment.

Growing: Crazy numbers of sweet capsicums. I never knew one plant could be so prolific. It is thriving on neglect. Any recipe suggestions? The tomatoes, sweet potatoes and herbs are also thriving, thanks to the many storms we have had of late. But I'm keeping my expectations low for the onions, which look rather unhappy with their plot in life. I've never had any luck with growing onions.

Inspired: To start some Christmas crafts. I have been ordering a few craft supplies online for some quiet crafty afternoons with my little ones. I am trying to wait until the first of December to get started...

Watching: The birds nesting in our front tree. There are now five nests. Soon, I hope to be Aunty to a tree full of baby birds.

Working: On custom orders. I love creating something meaningful, like a gift for a midwife, or a keepsake from a holiday. I'm going gently at the bench though. Usually I prepare all my metal myself, melting it down and rolling it our and drawing down the wire. These are quite physical processes though. So, instead I have ordered pre-prepared plate, bezel wire and round wire, to make things easier.

Reading: 'Country Style' magazine and 'The Yarn Whisperer'. My mind has just not been able to focus properly on books lately.

Looking forward to: Doing my next market - The French Christmas Market in West End on the 21st of December. If you are around, do come and say hello! I will have some French themed pieces especially for the event - I'm thinking mustache earrings and red, white and blue beads.

Excited: (Very, very excited!) About the Handmade Christmas Giveaway planned for Monday, which includes such lovely makers as Each to Own, Zillpa and Bravo Juliet Designs...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...