Monday, February 28, 2011

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'It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.' - Picasso
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Sunday, February 27, 2011

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My Father is a source of constant wonder and amazement; aloof yet mindful, a rogue that is both charming and strong willed, stubborn and endearing. Perhaps I shouldn't have been surprised then, when my Mother and I were discussing the mornings crafty excursion and my knitting purchases, that my Father inquired as to whether I needed any more knitting needles. 

From a drawer in the bench in his workshop  he casually produced this unassuming blue case, probably once home to a set long lost silverware, which had belonged to his Mother and her sister. 

"You can have them if you like, I didn't think anyone wanted them."

He handed me the case and I nearly fainted as I unlatched the lid. I was stunned at the loveliness of the collection, and the delicacy and care that had gone into the sorting - complete with a list of sizes and quantities. So too the colour pallet, the handwritten sizes taped on carefully and the history of these beautiful, almost forgotten, little objects.  

I just love that he has protected this legacy that has come down from the women in his family. That these treasures, catalogued by my Grandmother who passed away last year, have remained safely together for all these years. Including  antique tortoise shell needles still in their original paper wrappings. 

I plan to use these family heirlooms, but maintain always this unique treasure trove as it was gifted to me.  

Saturday, February 26, 2011

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The lovely Melissa and Kate have both been encouraging and inspiring me to pick up the knitting needles. The beautiful clothes they knit have elicited many a jealous sigh. I just love the look and feel of hand knits and have seen so many lovely patterns, but I have always doubted my ability to 'knit'.

Like many, I learnt knit and purl stitches as a child. My mother did very well to teach me, given that she is left handed and I right. Armed with those stitches I added several scarves to my knitting credit and have even accomplished the cable stitch. But the language of knitting still seemed intimidating. The 'psso', 'tbl' and even 'tog's of the knitting vocabulary were so foreign and confusing. I would start a project several times and never get it right. And after unraveling it for the umpteenth time I would abandon it and continue crocheting. One hook and one loop lead to lesser disasters.

Yet, by way of crocheting I have learnt to comprehend the dreaded abbreviations and decipher the reading of patterns. 

So here I am once again, determined to learn how to knit. Hopefully forearmed with more knowledge this time around and quietly anticipating a better outcome, having mastered the ribbing without unraveling once.

Time will tell.
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Yarn: Moda Vera 'Gracious'

Friday, February 25, 2011

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The ingredients for my ideal home? 
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Fine Art.
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Vintage Cars.
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Country Scenery.
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And a comfortable place for quiet relaxation.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

My Creative Space...

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It's interesting, the way the mind wanders in times of quiet, repetitive work. While a small part of your concentration is required for the work at hand, the rest of your metals powers are free to roam. 

A chance comment from a friend came back to me as I made stitch after stitch, and brought to mind memories of strange moments. There were many strange moments during the years spent working in the City. Strange sights, strange places, but mostly strange moments with strange people. 

There was the down at heel Marilyn Monroe look-a-like, who would come into the jewellery shop to try on pearls, despite never buying anything. Never dropping her act for a second, though neither she nor I seemed convinced. Or the time a blind, elderly gentleman stumbled off the bus and I offered to walk with him through town. Arms linked, cane tapping in front of us, I navigated him through the morning peak hour foot traffic while he began a story in a strange and babbling way, about some men trying to steal his bag. He sounded a little drunk, or a little mentally unbalanced, but we strode on. The tale culminated in him acting out the part of the story where he swore very loudly at those remembered men, arms and cane flailing. I wondered if he knew that all eyes were on us as he continued to yell, swear and swish his cane. People quickly moved away from us. Others were unsure if I was the culprit, or some sort of hostage. I could not wait for my work building to give me the chance to escape.

Strange moments happened while we were travelling overseas too, of course. While waiting at a bus stop on my way home from work in Athens, a man sat next to me and started talking to me in Greek. I spoke back in English and he shook his head and motioned to look at my book. It was a paper back copy of 'The Kite Runner' and I had been looking forward to passing it on to my husband to read. English books are a sacred commodity when travelling on foreign soil. He took the book off me, turned it over in his hands. He opened the cover and flicked through several pages before quickly and violently ripping through the spine without a word. He handed the book back to me and folded the cover and pages neatly in half and then half again and tucked them into his pocket. The locals sitting around us howled with laughter. I found out later that he was the local "harmless" homeless man. 

I have many more such stories. I always did seem to attract strange moments with strange people. Or perhaps these moments are just going on around us all the time and you have had your fair share too?

Strange the way the mind wanders when you are crocheting...

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More Creative Spaces here.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Giveaway winner...

My thanks to all of you who left sweet comments on the giveaway. I've been feeling a little under the weather of late and they've been helping brighten my day.
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'Home Sweet Home' Earrings

I enlisted the help of Random.org to pick a winner. The name drawn from the technological hat was
gretchenmist!


Thanks again! There will be another little giveaway just for my Canadian and American readers soon!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Monday, February 21, 2011

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Oh, what a hectic day it's been! Just a quick post to share this ring in progress. I still need to tidy up the setting, complete the final polish and take some better photos. But I'm stuck on the name for this piece. The stone is banded agate and it shows up as a silvery white with a very pale hint of blue to it, with sweet bands or stripes through it. I'm thinking 'Whiter shade of pale' or perhaps 'Blue Moon'? What do you think? Any other suggestions?

It will be in the store soon.

Looking forward to a relaxing evening as we watch a thunderstorm roll in. Hope you have an enjoyable evening too.

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And don't forget to enter the giveaway. The winner will be announced on Wednesday!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

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'Middle of the Hill' Ring
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The grass will always be greener on your side of the fence with a sweet little ring like this on your finger. But don't let that stop you from packing a satchel with a sketchbook and pencils and riding your bike to the woods!
The stunning colour of the agate lends itself well to the simplicity of the setting. From strolls in the woods to cocktail parties, this ring will add a dash of colour to any outfit. Team it with a homemade skirt and colourful converse all stars shoes for your wild adventures, or a floral frock with some vintage green bangles swaying on your arm, for a classy evening out.
This solid sterling silver and green agate ring was handmade by Christina Lowry. The silver has a smooth brushed finish. The rounded band is 2mm wide and the oval cabochon gemstone is 6x8mm in size, set in a full bezel setting. The ring comes gift boxed.
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Saturday, February 19, 2011

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I stayed up much too late again last night, crocheting and watching the French film, 'A Prophet', Dave had borrowed. Have you seen it? It was not the kind of film that I would usually choose, it was a bit too violent in parts for my liking and I was quite convinced that I would be having nightmares. I'm not very good with scary or violent movies. But the protagonist, though rather unlikeable, drew me into the film. So much so that I stayed up to watch the end of it after hubby went to bed. The plot is quite clever. All the while I managed to crochet both sides of this pot holder while reading the subtitles.

Today I have been rearranging the studio and working at my bench. Here's a sneak peak of a ring I'm working on which still needs to be emeried, polished and have the stone set.

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PS. Don't forget to enter the 'Home Sweet Home' Earring Giveaway!

Friday, February 18, 2011

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Feeling grateful for good friends, days out, library books, magazine subscriptions, craft shopping, a napping toddler and inspiration for new projects. Now, where to start... 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

My Creative Space...

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Thank you for the great response so far to the giveaway! I'm so enjoying reading about the sweetness around your homes. I'm crocheting a little pot holder sweetness for my kitchen at the moment, using some thrifted cotton.

I'm quite sure I had more to say, but after a lovely late night chatting with my sister and an early morning with Cohen, it has escaped me for now.
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More Creative Spaces here.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Giveaway...

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'Home Sweet Home' Earrings

'Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam, 
Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home.' Payne
First appearing as part of the 'Home is where ever I'm with you' earrings, the little house that could has gone out on it's own.
A peerless accompaniment for trips to the library or while traipsing through a maze of Swedish home wares, these 'Home Sweet Home' earrings advise others of your quirky, down to earth nature.
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To celebrate the newest addition to the shop I'm giving away a pair of sterling silver 'Home Sweet Home' Earrings! To enter the giveaway leave a comment on this post telling me something sweet about your home. From the company you keep to the flowers in your garden, it could be anything.  
For extra entries, follow the blog, sign up for the newsletter, 'like' the facebook page or re-blog/tweet/post  to facebook about the giveaway and leave an extra comment for each to let me know!   
The giveaway is open worldwide and will be drawn on the 23rd February, 2011.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

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Loving blue...
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Also loving... 

My Valentine's present from Dave, a Flamingo Lily.
This pretty heart mobile.
Jo's beautiful hexagon quilt.
This wonderful giveaway at Gretchenmist.

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And a jewellery giveaway coming to the blog soon too...

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The chocolate cake went down a treat! Hope your Valentine's Day was wonderful. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

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Happy Valentine's Day!
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I stayed up late last night, in order to hang paper heart garlands (purchased at the Chinese New Year celebration) and leave little 'I love you more than...' notes all over the house, in anticipation of Dave's movements before work this morning. Little notes found their way into the fridge, the fruit bowl, in everyone of his work shirts (just in case!), his lunch box and Cohen's room. Obvious notes and hidden notes. Such fun!

I also finished the doilie last night. I'm loving the blue. Now I'm off to bake a surprise cake. I've had the vintage heart shaped tin hidden in my sewing room since I picked it up at the op-shop for a dollar. They do say there is only one way to a man's heart.

How are you celebrating this Valentine's Day?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

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Making me smile...
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Finding thrifted craft supplies always makes me smile, as does putting them to good use. Like this thread and these vintage buttons. One is hopefully to be a gift and the others are the perfect finishing touch. 

Having new cushions on the lounge makes me smile. A couple of happy hours of ironing, cutting, pinning and sewing, in exchange for a new look for the lounge room.

Japanese craft books always make me smile. Cute little designs. Lovely photographs. Funny uses of language ("Private time for favorite handicrafts" is my favorite.) Pot Holder pattern from this book.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

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I've almost finished sewing three new cushions for the lounge. Time to choose the buttons.

Friday, February 11, 2011

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I just love these vintage Enid Blyton books. The wonderful handwritten inscriptions inside their covers, the yellowed pages, the colours and illustrations of the covers. A happy find while op-shopping. They are destined to be a little birthday gift for a book lover with childhood memories of Enid Blyton stories before bed. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

My Creative Space...

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'Ribby Pattern' from this book.

So many creative things seem to have been happening around here of late. I have been feeling so very inspired. The kind of inspired where I find myself laying awake at night because of a swirl of exciting ideas. The kind where I need to bring a notebook with me at all times to jot down notes or sketches. The kind I try to make the most of, because I know it won't last forever and I can never be sure when it's going to return. That's where I find all those notes come in handy!

I've been trying to put those ideas to good use. New crafty projects, new pieces for the shop, my first ever newsletter. (Which you can sign up for in the left column. Yay!) It's also got me thinking about the workings of inspiration and wondering, do you have bouts of inspiration like this too? Do you keep a sketchbook or a journal? When you're lacking inspiration, what do you find helps? When do you do your best work? 

I'd love for you to share some of your creative process and thoughts on inspiration. 

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More Creative Spaces here.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

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Loving...





Are't these one of a kind dolls just fantastic? The details, the fabric, the buttons! I'm in love. If your in Victoria I envy you the chance to go and see them!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

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New in the store for Valentine's Day!

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The 'Twice as nice' heart pendant is symbolic of two hearts joined in romance and can be worn year round as a sweet reminder of Valentine's Day.
A token of love to be treasured by your beloved.
This solid sterling silver pendant is handmade by Christina Lowry. The polished front is complemented by a smooth brush finished back, supporting a secure bail for the complementary silver-plated chain. The pendant is approx. 10mm wide x 10mm high and comes gift boxed.
Free shipping.
Also available in 9 or 18ct Gold. Please contact me for a quote.

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Crochet hexagon baby sweater...
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I am even more delighted now that I saw Kate's cardigan and was inspired to try to make one myself. When the 'Ghost' yarn arrived in the mail I knew it would be perfect for this little cardigan. I modified the pattern for the cuffs, so as to create more of fitted cuff with a tulip shaped sleeve. I think it has turned out to be quite a sweet little cardigan indeed. I hope the Mum to be agrees!

Yarn - Bendigo Woollen Mills, Luxury Wool, 'Ghost' colourway
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