Friday, December 25, 2009

Peace and good will to all

ahhh, of the over stretched stomach and overfilled heart. It's like a cute explosion in this family, I may be biased but my nephews and nieces are so adorable! I melt when they turn thier little faces towards me and say, 'aunty katie', even if its usually followed by, "can I have a....."(insert sweetie or junk food they think they can get me to give them on the sly!)
Peace to all, have a beautiful day. And if you're struggling do your best to find some meaning or happy moments...after all its only one day!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

last market of the year...

This Friday is the last little market of the year, it all seems to have gone by so quickly.
This was taken at one of my earliest market nights, very shy looking aren't always feels a little daunting in the lead up to any event, standing right behind your products, especially when so much care and attention has been put into their creation. Its exciting, also scary, no p.r person to hide behind...but I get so much encouraging feedback and it always ends up being a really enriching experience. (this photo from the lovely

Anyhoo, I am totally looking forward to having a happy pre Christmas celebratory evening. I plan to have some of yummy wine, eat some tasty nibbles' and catch up with the sweet, oh so sweet, wonderfully gifted crafty women who have shared such a lot of fun nights with this year.

I always love seeing new things everyone is working on, these are my latest'...

They are bookmarks and came about because we are all contributing a gift towards a hamper of goodies for the owners of the bookstore(Avid reader, Boundary Street, West end)which hosts our market. So I was thinking of something I could make for a book-lover.

...and then once I had made one, I was a bit chuffed with it and got a bit carried away.

Au revoir for now, and looking forward to seeing lots of dear people before I take off on hol's for a bit!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

gentle hands

I had an early Christmas party with my sons and used recycled wool felt sheets as wrapping with recycled ribbon fastening to cover their gifts...

and once opened the felt became a play mat for the small toy pieces...(which was very handy with a keen lego fan to please and for my other son with a his magnet construction set!)

I spend my life wondering how to live an enriching and generous life which will sustain us all.
To be with my kids is so important and valued, I want to be with them as much as I can. So I craft around them and include them in my work and social life. It is made so much easier when friends are supportive and inclusive of children too.

The gentle hands and loving imagination of the wonderful people in their life help shape them into the kind of people who care and support others. They also reflect what they see, what is said to them and shown to them and this keeps me on my toes in a really grounding and valuable way.
I like spending time caring for other peoples children too and as my lovely friend Melania said to me, it is an absolute privilege to be trusted to look after someone else's children.

and hopefully one which will bring a LOT of joy!
It can help to connect with nature and the senses, viewing the world from a much littler persons perspective...
...and it also allows the wonder of an unfettered imagination to exist freely...

I am very excited to be making some secret presents for my most special little ones this week, not sure who will be reading this so I can't reveal much yet...but felt+cute+love=smiles!

Sunday, December 6, 2009


visited goma, apt6 opening weekend, such a whimsical delight. Came home and made some little tea cups brooches, was feeling all inspired by thoughts of whimsy, impermanence, joy and warmth.


Bleeding heart Boutique market(Bleeding Heart cafe, Ann street, Brisbane city) Avid reader little market(Avid Reader bookstore and cafe, Boundary Road, West end) and the bris style market(held at St Augustine church, Racecourse road, Hamilton) have all been on locally over the past 3 days.
More handmade goodness than you could poke a stick at, more warm and kind smiles than I could count. Joan at Bleeding Heart Boutique market.
The support women give each other is nothing short of beautiful and profoundly touching, the past few days I have been held in a very safe nest, pieced together by the small actions of friends, shoppers, other stall holders and more.

Angie at Avid Reader little market.
Natalie at Bleeding Heart.
The veranda of the school of arts building, where the boutique market was held.

Some wee treasures I bought from the bris-style market, including a delightful brooch from edward and lilly.

My stall, which Melinda set up for me, at Avid Readers little market.

Lynne at Avid reader little market.

And the circle of friends gets larger and looser, and my heart spills over when I am with these women and their lovely children. Thanks all who visited and supported my stalls, my friends stalls and to all who came with their smiles, presence and words and made these busy and hectic past few days so enjoyable and affirming.
P.S-Last market for the year, AVID READER, 18 th, 5.30-8-put it in your diary now!

Monday, November 30, 2009

bird love

'puurrr, i love birds...a lot...'

...which is why the only cat around my place is stuffed!

As I dropped off my kids at school this morning three stunning yellow tailed black cockatoos flew down to munch their way through banksia seeds.

Perhaps this xmas if you want to encourage these stunning birds to visit you, buy a coastal banksia in a pot, decorate it with hand made or fair trade decorations and use this instead of a pine tree...which I doubt you'd want in your yard. But if you don't want this kind of tree this idea applies to any variety, whatever you want, could be a fruit tree. Once Christmas is over, plant it out into your garden, a little extra present for yourself.

My thoughts drift onto antidotes to the problematic things about Christmas.
Nobody wants to feel guilty on Christmas day-but gobbling up factory farmed meats, veggies and fruit that have a bigger carbon footprint than your car, then opening up sweat shop produced products, maybe containing various hazardous ingredients, then disposing of loads of rubbish doesn't seem so jolly...

I am all for peace and harmony and joy without compromising the environment, peoples rights or animals welfare-basically maintaining mindfulness and conscience.
Feel free to add you own-please do;

-Buy fair trade or hand made locally items, buy your gifts from op shops or antique centres or opt out of the system altogether and swap pre owned gifts-books or dvds and cds might work really well there. Write out your best recipes, give someone a massage, read a child their favourite story, take them to their favourite place, lend a hand in someones garden, cook a meal, give veggies/herbs from your garden.

-Buy organic sheets or towels for presents. They can be bought online or also at Target/Aldi.

-Make xmas meals organic, free range or vegetarian. Try and get your things as close to home as possible, and have lots of salads with each meal and less hot meals. In this climate it makes no sense cooking up roasts and puddings, heats up the house and uses a lot of energy. Buy those fantastic seasonal fruits and enjoy them.

-Try to donate unwanted items right now to charities-toys, books, things in good nick.

-Make your own wrapping paper/cards from materials you already have-newsprint or old magazines, or buy some organic tea towels to use, tied up in a little knot this works great for wrapping.

-Go on retreat! Duck it altogether! Chenrezig is beautiful, in the sunshine coast hinterland.

-Give inspiring books or dvds, bought from independent bookstores, like Avid Reader in West end or your local abc shop...these are wonderful books

my favourite book on gardening, its perfect for Australian gardeners.

and this is a random bunch of other books which will inspire and uplift while gently suggesting an alternative to chemicals and consumerism....


Sunday, November 29, 2009

so hotttttt

The air feels like it is sitting on my skin tonight, muggy, humid, heavy. I picked my last tomatoes as the plants were really looking terrible, getting stressed from not enough water and nutrients...

I yanked them out and then stripped off all the cherry tomatoes and there was more, much more than expected, hidden under the grass and so on. I am going to dedicate a bit of time this week to replanting the bed they were in, trying to work out what. Sorrel is always useful but will it cope with the summer?

I would love to say I whipped up a big batch of something impressive.But I have no inclination to cook at all in this weather. So salad was dinner tonight, with some crunchy lettuce, some of those tommys, cucumber and red capsicum, all served up some cold soba noodles and dolmades, so refreshing and filling.
I have been really getting into fabric selection the past few days, cutting up the pieces for 21 bags. I am building up some new stock, hoping the markets will go well over December. It takes a lot of time, not the actual cutting, it's the pairing up of fabrics with each other and then extra little things like making a button cos I can't find the right one to match it. I love making buttons, the kit has different pieces which are sort of squished together, with a selected small piece of fabric in between, it is so easy and results in a lovely neat button.

Here's an interesting blog link, about how to be green, if you are living in a rental property. They have a big focus at present on veganism which I am not even close to being, despite my understanding of its benefits. However, there is also some interesting ideas about Christmas, specifically about how to celebrate it without leaving a whopping great big carbon footprint all over town. My thought on this topic is for people to leave their Christmas lights OFF until Christmas is very jolly and cheery looking and can be something really cool to look forward too. It loses its joy though when night after night huge house sized displays are switched on. Considering whole suburbs with their large light shows and the energy used, it all adds up.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

stocking up

I ventured into my favourite fabric store, Russell's in Sandgate yesterday morning on an impulse.(They have a great range, it is a small family owned store and I am always treated to lovely service by charming, lovely people.) Anyhoo, after wandering in a bit of a happy daze I came out with yards of bright red rickrack. I LOVE rickrack. I mean I bloody love it.
I didn't really have a clear picture in my mind of why I needed to buy it, but once home I whipped up these little baby sized Christmas stockings. I used remnant and recycled felts and off cuts of super festive am I getting? Its not even December yet! This is not really like me, but my gosh they are cute.

I also finished off this bag with some handles a lovely friend of mine gave me. I had begun it about a year ago and left it because I could not work out how to complete it, but these handles were just right. The fabulously groovy material is the bottom part of an a-line 70's dress my mum gave me. I have altered it, chopping off about 45 cms from the bottom of it, to wear it occasionally as a skirt.
you might just be able to see the detail of the crochet straps I made to attach the handle? I am beginning to use some of the huge load of crochet cottons the same friend gave me, having never really worked with fine yarns before and I am loving how soft and supple it is to use. I was very pleased with the results and think it was worth waiting to finish this one.

and this messy bear was made in bed, with my son bouncing about beside me singing me songs and making me laugh, so while its not the most perfectly finished piece hopefully some of the joy of the moment has crept into it? I will be bringing these things along with me to the markets ahead so if you like what you see, let me know!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

"I made this all by myself, it's going to be soooo good!"
Its amazing to think my kids are now at the stage where they can actually make their own meals! How convenient, this parenting is such a breeze! All I have to do now is stop them cutting into the bench tops, cutting off their fingers, squashing my tomato plant as they pick the tomato, encourage them kindly and do and cut all the things that are too hard for them to...actually, hmmm, it's not any easier. But it is sweet and lovely to see this beginning independence. Small steps...

Recently I was introduced to the newest participants of the biz babes course. I was asked to introduce myself and say something and all I could think to say was,
"keep plugging away'....urhhhh...public speaking is not my forte.

But in essence its true for business or any pursuit you want in life. Don't give up, keep on getting up to it each day, keep it going, check up on yourself, on what you are doing and why and whether or not it seems to be working. But yeah, even if its tiny steps, keep on doing it.

This is one of my latest hand dyed pieces. I loved making it, colouring the wool, creating the shape which is kind of a cross between coral and a flower and adding the buttons and beads. Sometimes I get so busy I lose the moment, the actual joy of it, and frankly, life is fleeting and I don't want to waste it being stressed or cranky. I am trying to remember and practice being very conscious of what I am holding in my hands, crafting instead of churning it out.

And speaking of making things I made my own bathroom cleaner this week And its so good!
I thought I'd share it because as we head into the summer season this may prove useful in humid areas; it is a great non toxic mould and bathroom cleaner spray.
All you need is -vinegar, clove oil (ask for it at your chemist) and a small spray bottle (you can buy one from your local shops -about 250-500mls should be easy to lay your hands on.)
Fill your bottle almost to the top with vinegar and add about 10-15 drops of clove oil. Give it a vigorous shake. Its made. So spray a light mist on the mouldy bits in your bathroom. It's pretty strong smelling so open up your windows but the smell and spray will evaporate quickly. Leave it a while, over night if you want. Next give it a bit of a wipe over with a damp cloth and hey presto, no more mould. This actually stops the mould, kills its 'roots' so you will notice you don't have to keep repeating this process again and again like you do with bleach.
This works so wonderfully you will wonder why anyone ever thought to use fume-y environmentally awful bleach.