Friday, October 28, 2011

Adventures in Scone making

My favourite little scone shop closed down recently and I really do miss it.
It was run by a mother and daughter and they made the yummiest, lightest scones I've ever tasted. They also served High tea with a lovely assortment of sweet and savoury dishes that were to die for.
So now that I can no longer get my regular scone fix I have decided to replicate the experience at home. For the last couple of months I have been trawling the internet for scone recipes and the science of scone making. I'm totally obsessed; I get like that when I'm on a mission.
I have tried variations in the ingredients and technique to see how it affects the finished product.
Here's a photo of my most recent attempt. One of many, many attempts.
What I have learned is that the technique is very important when making scones. You can have the best recipe in the Universe but if your technique is sloppy, you will get hard, heavy scones. They may look O.K. but don't leave you with that nice memorable scone experience.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Patchwork scarf

One of my clients asked if I could do a custom order for the man in her life. She wanted a a patchwork scarf using the beautiful blue hues.
Well I love doing custom orders. I love the entire process of sorting through my fabrics, selecting the ones that look wonderful together and sewing them up to create a one of a kind piece.
I used navy blue corduroy and a blue stripey fabric. I then teamed them up with some gorgeous Japanese cotton fabrics, that I had been collecting, to come up with this unique design.
I'm posting it out today and will let you know what they think of it in a future post.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Clutch Madness

I purchased some gorgeous pieces of vintage kimono silk recently and couldn't wait to start using them. They were even nicer than I expected and after some consideration I decided to make them into envelope clutches with contrasting fabrics to match.
All handmade and one of a kind.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Abstract Paper Pierced Art Card

I love fabrics and textiles, with all the beautiful trimmings and embellishments that go with them.
I also love working with different types of paper and card stock.
This is a card I made recently. It is almost meditative to look at with a wonderful textured feel to it.
I sketched my design first, then transferred it onto this gorgeous art card.
A special pinpricking tool was used to create the hundreds of little holes that outline the drawn image.
The card takes on a new life when placed near a widow.
During the day filtered light passes each individual hole, highlighting the image and, leaving little pinprick shadows scattered about.
At sunset when the light is at a different angle and color, you get a whole new effect.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Why Recycle?

I came across some interesting facts on recycling that I wanted to share.

1 recycled tin can would save enough energy to power a television for 3 hours.

1 recycled glass bottle would save enough energy to power a computer for 25 minutes.
1 recycled plastic bottle would save enough energy to power a 30-watt light bulb for 6 hours.

Recycling the print run of a single Sunday issue of the New York Times, would spare 75,000 trees.

I am a very good recycler but these facts that I got from Keep Earth Beautiful are quite staggering and inspire me to do more to help out the earth.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Handmade Linen Hearts

I made these little hearts using linen that had a previous life.
They've been hand embroidered with French knots and chain stitch then stuffed with polyfill. A little silky ribbon has been attached to the back so that they can be used as ornaments. I use mine as a pin cushion cause you can never have enough pin cushions if you love sewing.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Half Moon Bag

This is my newest bag design and I have based it on the half moon shape which I really love. With the half moon shape there are no corners, so you can see all your essentials at a glance.

It is zippered at the top with an extra long strap making it easy to fling over your shoulder.
It's great for those little outings where you want to have your hands free for other things like taking photos or making calls.

It is made out of a lush black corduroy cotton and a beautiful red and cream Japanese inspired decorator fabric.

I've included some lovely accent features like the hand covered button, nickel ring and tab detail.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Burlap Gift Bag

I wanted to make a bag that resembled one of those brown paper gift bags that the stores pack your purchases in.
I used burlap for the main part and a coordinating cotton fabric for the handles and front pocket. It has a mitred base and is fully lined in a burnt orange cotton.
All the long edges are sewn down to give it a crisp finish like paper has.

I made it look like a hamper by filling it up with a nice assortment of groceries and gave it to my brother for Christmas.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Chinese Noodle Box Lantern

I love those cute Paper Bag lanterns that can be used for outdoor entertaining. They add such a lovely ambience and gentle light to your surroundings.
I didn't have time to purchase any so decided to use my noodle and make my very own, with a slight twist.
I used Chinese noodle boxes, coloured tissue paper and a heart hole punch to create these.
I think they'll look so nice hanging up on my tree branches on Christmas Day.
As I am using real tea lights, I'll need to make sure the lanterns are supervised at all times.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Handmade Floral Garland

I had some small pieces of shimmery red organza and fine silk fabric left over from previous projects and wasn't sure what to do with them.
Maybe some handmade flowers would look nice?
After a little playing around with various petal shapes and their arrangement, I finally came up with a style and shape that I liked.
The fabric petals have been layered and scrunched up in the centre to give a more realistic effect and the centre is beaded with tiny red beads.
The flowers are then strung together on a long piece of organza ribbon to create a floral garland.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Reversible handmade bucket hat

I loved making this little bucket hat for my 2 year old niece. It's reversible with a detachable handmade rose that can be pinned onto other items of clothing as well
I've used a cream calico cotton fabric for one side and a lovely purple floral fabric for the reverse side.
It's soft and flexible which makes it easy to scrunch up into a small space when not in use.
I'm thinking I might make one for myself next :)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Wicker chair make over

I love the white on white look when it comes to interior design. I've bought a big pot of mat paint and have painted all manner of things around the house.
Picture frames, coffee tables, storage boxes and dining room chairs have not escaped a quick sanding and a coat of paint. My husband thinks if he closes his eyes for 5 minutes on the couch I am liable to paint him white as well. I am really tempted.
My most recent make over was this wicker chair that I purchased from my local op shop for a few dollars.
It was a dark green colour that didn't really go with my new look or anything else for that matter but I loved the style and the condition was very good.
Out came my much used pot of paint and this is the result.
I made a cute cushion using a gorgeous black and white cherry blossom fabric which I have been saving for just the right job.
The picture frame and side table are some of the other finds that have been made over and I'm really pleased with the result.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Upcycled Pin Board- Inspiration Board

I love sifting through all the pre-loved pieces at my local op shop. I've found some amazing items that have come up a treat after a coat of paint or three. They have been saved and are ready for another life.
This simple frame was a gaudy green so I sanded it and painted it white. A piece of foam board from the art supply shop was covered with burlap (hessian) and securely stapled down.
Now it's ready for all those bits and pieces I love to display.
Here are some before and after pictures.

Frame, foam board and burlap.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Fun Little Boxes

I had a little bit of trouble finding a suitable box to package my handmade flowers in. I don't know about everyone else, but when I'm specifically looking for something I want I can never find it.
I come across everything else that I've ever wanted or needed in the past but not what I'm currently in desperate need of.
Anyhow, I decided to make my own little boxes and really enjoyed the process.
I used thick white card, coloured paper, ribbon and beautiful wrapping paper from my favourite shop, Pepe's Paperie in Doncaster. I'm planning to make some with this old sheet music I've been saving for ages. I think they will look so cute.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Handmade Fabric Flower Accessories

I can get a bit obsessive when I'm creating something new and these handmade flowers are no exception. I can't relax until I've figured out a shape and arrangement that pleases me.

Made from a silky taffeta in subtle pastel colours, each petal is individually sewn on. In the middle I have added a circle of shimmery glass pearls giving them a lovely romantic finish.
The back has a felt circle with a hand sewn silver pin attached so that it can be worn on a dress, hat or bag.
They can also be worn with a hair comb or a bobby pin attachment. Currently in my shop.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Scarlett picking dandelions.

I've been using the GIMP (photo manipulation software) lately and having lots of fun playing around with my photos. This one is from a set of four that I have altered.
It's a photo of my darling niece Scarlett wearing purple ugg boots, picking dandelions in the back yard. Next she can work on all those overgrown weeds and I know her dad will be so pleased.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Japanese Kimono Patchwork Scarf

I've been collecting vintage Japanese Kimono fabrics for a while now.
Although most of them are small pieces they can be teamed together to make something wearable like this patchwork scarf.
It's lightweight and warm at the same time and its neutral tone means it goes with everything.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

My travel Journey Cotton-Linen Passport Cover

This is a handy little passport cover that you'll love to carry on your next trip.
It's made out of a natural canvas teamed with a gorgeous Japanese import fabric.
I think it really works well as a passport cover because it depicts a journey that you might take with images of various travel destinations and passport stamps.
A large pocket holds the passport and 2 smaller pockets can accommodate your cards.
When not being used as a passport cover you can use it to carry a small notebook and business cards.
Check out my shop for more images.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Pillow Pincushions

I love making these little pincushions. They get my mind away from routine tasks to a place where I can play a little and dream a little.

This one is made out of a natural linen teamed with a delicate red and ivory cotton.
It has a cute loop of Japanese import tape on the end with buttons and pins printed onto it. It's great for hanging onto places for easy access.
Stuffed nicely with fiberfill.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Almond Shortbread Cookies dusted in Icing Sugar

Hubby and I were invited to his sister's place on Easter Sunday so I made these almond shortbread cookies to have with our afternoon tea.
I usually get about 50 cookies from my recipe using 1/2 cup of butter, 2 cups of flour, 3 tbs sugar, some vanilla essence and 1 cup of roasted almonds.

While they are still warm I lightly dust them with pure icing sugar. I think that gives them a lovely finish. I was a bit heavy handed here but they tasted just as good.

Sometimes I place the cooled cookies in one of those glass pickling jars that you can find at most supermarkets, then wrap the jar up nicely with cellophane and ribbon. They make really lovely gifts.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Deep Indigo Blue Duffle Purse

Etsy have selected my Deep Indigo Blue Duffle purse to be in their Fall Fashion item poll.

"It's warming up in the US, but fall is just around the corner for our pals in the Southern Hemisphere."

The top favorite items get to go in the gift guide and on the Etsy blog.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

New Mini Duffel Purse- Pleated

I just love this purse. It's my very latest design and is the perfect accessory because it combines style with functionality.
I have made this in a beautiful blue, brown and white cotton fabric teamed with a navy blue cotton for the flap and handles. A pale blue chambray cotton has been used to make the hand covered button. Currently in my Etsy shop.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

How to make Quilted Coasters with Binding

I've been making some coasters lately and I'm totally addicted to them. They have a top and bottom layer and in between I have sandwiched cotton batting to absorb any spills and interfacing for support. The four layers are sewn together using freehand machine stitching.

Cut pieces

Using a template which was 14cm square I cut out one main piece, one cotton batting, one interfacing and one lining.

Cotton sandwich

I stacked the pieces together,in that order, to form a type of fabric sandwich.

Contrast binding

Strips of binding in a contrast colour. They should be long enough to go around the edges of the coaster and 4 times the width that you would like your finished coaster to have.
They look crooked but I promise they were straight.

Quilting the pieces

The four pieces were quilted together using freehand machine stitching in a swirl design.
You can get real creative here.

Binding the edges

Attaching the binding to the coaster edge.

The right side of the binding is sewn to the right side of the coaster and the corners are carefully mitered the way you would for a blanket or quilt.

Reverse side

The binding is turned out, and pinned to the back of the coaster with the raw edges folded in and the corners mitered again.

Tacked and mitered

Pressed and ready to go

Friday, December 12, 2008

Reversible Pleated Yoke Bag from My Studio.

We all have a favorite item and this has to be mine. It's made out of turquoise pinwhale corduroy and vintage barkcloth. It's reversible so you get two bags in one; what a bonus.
It has a soft slouchy feel to it and has a button and loop closure on both sides.
A fabulous looking bag that is suitable for day and evening events.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Bird on a branch Frame Clutch

I love these new frame clutch bags that are all the rage at the moment.
Seems like every self respecting bag designer has tried her/his hand at making their own version.
After lots of practice and heaps of fun, I came up with a few styles of my own.
This is one from my Pursonality Plus range:
Bird on a branch with handmade fabric flower and polished silver frame.
Currently in my Etsy shop.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Silk Roses to accessorise your Melbourne Cup outfit.

I love making folded roses using different fabrics.
I find it very therapeutic and really rewarding.
By folding and turning the fabric in my hands I can form a one of a kind flower; no two are ever alike. As I go along I stitch down the petals so that they don't fall apart.
These roses have been made out of three different silk fabrics which have various shades of blue in them. The back of each rose has a circle of felt sewn on and a pin is attached.
They look great pinned to a hat, dress, lapel or bag.
Currently in my etsy shop.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Shoulder Bag in Teal Corduroy with Twigs and Branches

This is a slouchy shoulder bag I made using teal cotton corduroy for the base and a cute cotton in a twig design for the contrast. The printed fabric is in shades of cream, pale teal, and light brown.
There is a pleat on the front and back of the bag and inside it has been lined with a lovely green and beige chequered fabric.
A good size bag for your shopping or for carrying all your essentials and currently in my etsy store.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Featured on Wavecloud's blog

I've been featured by Jenna on her fabulous blog Wavecloud and I'm so thrilled.
She's the owner of WaveCloud on Etsy and she creates an array of unique jewelry pieces.
She's currently having a Christmas in July sale so hop on over and have a look around.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Handmade Fabric Rose

I made this folded rose using a beautiful pale blue chambray cotton. It has a metal pin on the back which is handsewn to a piece of blue felt.
You can pop the rose onto your lapel, decorate a hat or pin it to your favourite bag.
Currently in my etsy shop.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Repurposed Linen Clutch

I made this out of a gorgeous linen fabric that was part of a skirt. It's ivory and coral with a vintage button for a closure.
This clutch is one of a kind and currently in my Etsy store.