Thursday, October 29, 2009


Little Eden, and the double biscuit experience! Try this at home, a shortbread and a gingernut, yum! (BTW that is the least flattering photo of my new haircut ever seen!)
Anyhoo, cute children aside, one of our moths has hatched out of it's cocoon. The word vulnerable comes to mind. I don't know what moths like, if I could supply it, I would. Their bodies are covered in velvet like hairs and those antenna, half feather, half leaf are so delicate beautiful.

This is another worms cocoon, formed against the side of its old shoe box home. It is a gross yellow colour, huh!

Its hard when renting to have a pet so these are as close as I am getting lately to being able to tend to something, it's a very sweet feeling to care for something with respect and patience.

I have the next Avid market this Friday night, so do come in for a chat if you are in the area.
I will be bringing in my usual stuff plus these new fun brooches I have begun to make.
They crack me up for some reason!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

plushy toys

I have spent the past couple of days emptying my plushys of wheat...and refilling them with soft stuffing. It has been meditative(i.e-no thinking required) but also dull. Unfortunately wheat grains do not have an un-limited shelf life, where-as poly fibre filling does and is also dust free.

And as my kids seem to have allergies(coughing, runny noses,etc-I don't know what, but something is going on), this is part of my household solution of removing potential allergen's. So from now on I will happily make hot pack plushy's, but only to order, so flick me an email if you want one.

The good news about this stuffing change though is that all my plushys' now are baby-safe(no small choke hazards within) so under 3s can safely play with them, and they are much lighter and therefore cheaper to post, so hopefully these benefits will outweigh the costs( the neighbourhood crows and other birds are very happy eating the wheat seeds I have put out into our much raided compost. They must think I am very kind to them.) Anyway, enough of this stuff(ha!ha!)

I made a sad discovery this morning. A tiny little green tree frog, barely alive, looking very battered on my living room floor. We had a really long and intense thunderstorm here last night and he must have gotten caught up in it. I was lucky to have had this little fellow around my place and garden, but as he died I was so sorrowful. The poor little thing was so cute. Nothing can make you feel much more helpless than a sick frog...

Despite it's froggy-harming ways I do appreciate the lovely soaking rain, this morning the whole street seems cleaner and fresher since those awful dust storms coated everything in a orange, chalky film. My coffee, lemon and ice cream trees(all in pots) look lusher than they have...well, ever really. So I will breathe in that clear air and get on with my day,

Sunday, October 25, 2009

fiesta time again and avid this friday

I have been observing and noticing everyday surroundings. The grass around my area is all drying off and pale yellow and stalky hard against bare feet and the dandelions are seeding and re-sprouting in record time, it's so pretty to watch their seed heads get caught up in a swirl of air.

One afternoon recently I was playing with these food dyed blue pieces of paper, some old sheet music and a few tiny squares of origami paper and seeing what I could come up with.

I stained my finger tips blue with the mix of glue and dye, that's one extra thing I came up with. But I also made some sweet gift tags, so I will bring them along to Avid this Friday and if you buy something as a gift you might like one to go with it?
I have to finish them with a suitable message...or leave them blank? Hmmm.

Can it really be a year since the last valley fiesta? Last year I missed it, was unwell and yearned to go. Now, I'm fit as a fiddle, I was, I have to admit, half hearted about going...but I was very keen to see two artists...

Ah, Kev Carmody...I only managed to make it in time to hear one song, but no complaints from me as it was 'from little things, big things grow.' What a beautiful song and his words at the close of his set were, 'look after the children, no violence against women.' Good stuff.

Bertie Blackman performed at the other end of the event, late at night, a crush of people around, but her stories are very moving too. Of course a different style altogether, but maybe linked by how true to themselves, unique and absorbed with what they are doing as they perform?

It's a lovely feeling, very freeing to be 'lost' in that moment of creativity, I encourage anyone to give themselves permission to give art, music, dancing, anything like that a go,

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

little footprints.

I have a lot of environmental information below, and am trying any which way I can to help to reduce destruction of this fragile beautiful place, our world(which by the way our life depends on-fancy that!)
But first here's my new friends who's carbon footprints are very small, yes?

As my boys and I are raising 4 baby silkworms I have been looking up information about them...and amongst the many sites I found this little gem, simple to read and non advertorial.
so if you have a need for a quiet little pet, have a peek, not everyone is a dog/cat person.
The sensation of their tiny feet gently gripping onto my skin is the most tender experience. They are so delicate. They eat a LOT of mulberry leaves though, I am restocking twice a day with only 4 mouths to feed so it matters to have tree nearby.

"and where is that leaf!?"

Anyhoo, aside from tending these guys I have been making these

and reading this
which is informative and easy to read. Highly recommended!
And now for the longest post I think I will ever have....
A crash course of sorts- on redgums!Lets get in a submission this Friday!
'Dear Red Gum Supporter,

The future of our fragile Red Gum wetlands is being decided in the next
few weeks! The NSW Natural Resources Commission has put out its first
report, and we have just three short weeks to make comments on it.

If you want to see Red Gums protected in world class National Parks
instead of being carted to Melbourne as cheap firewood, then we need you
to write a submission.'

These trees are such incredibly beautiful and life supporting living structures, as their branches fall their trunks form natural hollows which become homes to endangered birds and sugar gliders amongst other creatures.

'The River Red Gum forests of the Riverina are islands of iconic remnants in one of the most poorly reserved regions in the country. They line the major rivers of of the region, the Murray and Murrumbidgee and provide refuge habitats for hollow dependant species like the Barking Owl and the Squirrel Glider. The Central Murray Red Gums are listed under the Ramsar convention as internationally significant wetland; and are of vital cultural significance to indigenous Traditional Owners, who have never relinquished their sovereignty. And yet, there is just one tiny nature reserve along the NSW side of the Murray, and the forests are being patch clearfelled for low value products like firewood and railway sleepers. Help support the campaign to create large new national parks in the River Red Gums, with aboriginal ownership where sought by Traditional Owners.'

We've provided information below to make that as quick as possible for
you. Just make the key points below, add a note about your own feelings
on the issue, and keep it short and sweet. The closing date is 23rd
October 2009.

Points to Make in a Submission

The Regional Assessment of River Red Gums and Woodland Forests conducted
by the Natural resources Commission (NRC) is inadequate for the
following reasons:
  • The NRC has not conducted a scientific assessment of the conservation values of River Red Gum forests in the study area.
  • There is no consideration of the national reserve criteria or how they will be met.
  • The impact of logging on ecosystems has not been considered.
  • CSIRO findings that large protected areas are vital to the survival of species in a warming world have been ignored.
  • Refugia, corridors and linking habitats in the region have not been identified
  • The report fails to address the legal requirements of that EPBC Act 1999
Ask the NRC to address these failings in their next report, and to
ensure that they recommend:

1. Extensive new Red Gum National Parks because:
* Under the national reserve criteria Red Gum is a vulnerable ecosystem that needs a 60% reservation target
* Red Gum forests are vital refuges for plants and animals in a rapidly warming world
* National Parks are crucial to ecosystem resilience

2. Joint management of new National Parks because:
* Red Gum forests are living cultural landscapes that provide bush foods & medicines and contain many cultural sites
* Traditional Owners hold critical ecological knowledge and have cultural obligations to care for country
* Joint Management brings new employment opportunities for Aboriginal communities

3. Much improved environmental water flows to ensure the health of Red Gum into the future

4. A fair restructure package for individuals and businesses affected by the changes.

Email to

good wishes to all who work towards making things better,

Sunday, October 18, 2009

spring traditions

I enjoyed a very sweet and gentle weekend, attending a wedding yesterday with a large lovely crowd of beautiful friends and spending the day with my fellas today.
Gorgeous frocks, fantastic Scottish accents, funny moments and warm memories.

The light filtering through the Jacaranda trees was so beautiful, I have always seen couples marrying at New Farm park and it really is the perfect place for a celebration. Love is the best thing to celebrate and share, I had such a happy day.

The wedding dress was stunning (and the bridesmaids too)and the shadows of the tulle skirts over the floorboards was striking as the day turned to night.

My wee lads and I are currently following another Brisbane tradition of raising silkworms. Spring in Brisbane wouldn't be complete without the annual gathering of mulberry leaves for the soft white caterpillars, of waiting for the moths to hatch out of the little silky cocoons.

Caring for silkworms is a very rewarding experience for kids. It's an opportunity to demonstrate how to show respect and care for even the smallest of beings,it educates them about insects life cycles and also gives them an experience of seeing where silk fibre comes from. And also they are so cute and fuzzy and they need to be gently handled, which is lovely for boys too.
Happiness to all, big and small

Friday, October 16, 2009

friends and such

Here is proof my children's room can be tidy. Of course, they weren't home at the time and I had spent the day cleaning it...but gosh it's so fleetingly nice. Note my mums handiwork on bed too, in form of quilt? It is so treasured, made up of tiny squares of picture patterns.

I was home more than usual this week, so I worked on my house and organising it and also spent some time hand stitching which I rarely do anymore. I love using pale grey and green and this simple image was adapted from a Japanese book of embroidery designs. It's a small feature on a small hand bag, larger than clutch style, made out of a felted jumper and finished with a crochet beaded strap.
I am learning a new technique of beaded crochet and love the results here, made by combining felted crochet and recycled glass beads...

And I have been enjoying using this red and white polka dotted fabric. There is something so apple fresh and crisp about red and white polka dots?

My dear lovely sweet friend (who I met doing the business babe course) Lindylu, has collected some fabric from her mother and her own stocks for me....I was so excited to see some pink and white tiny scale polka dotted fabric amongst the wonderfully generous gifts. It's lovely to have the support of crafty-resourceful friends and I know we will continue to inspire and encourage each other.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

stormy tuesday

I have found my lifes mission and here below is my mantra...I want to create an entire life based somehow around op shops because...

Ha, ha. I made this with some newly purchased letter beads. I love my letter beads...

The clouds are rumbling across the sky as I type this and my spirits are as high as them because my computer is working today. Its been on and off so I am glad its on again.
I have been a busy little bee, making my first ever business card and little swing tags for all my bits and bobs. I am getting right into the little details of it all now and find it very satisfying to finish off a piece with a little hand made tag.

I have the next avid market ahead and am gearing up for it, sorting out my things once again. I work in a great big mess, it seems to be more efficient to just put my head down and create then lift it up and sort out all the things I have used but not put away, folded, etc.
And as I tidy I find all sorts of inspiration. And dust. But definetely inspiration. And lots of acrylic wool. LOTS. I really don't like the feel of it at all but will surely think of some use for it...maybe as yarn to attach my swing tags to my things with? See how it happens!
Hope all is well,

Thursday, October 8, 2009

computer troubles

I have been reading some interesting books lately and borrowing from libraries dvds and craft books. It is very relaxing after the craziness of school holidays...
My favourite places to buy books in Brisbane are River bend books in Bulimba and Clarence corner books in Woolloonbagga. Riverbend has lovely stock, gift items, a cool kids area and really helpful staff. And Clarence has super friendly staff too, great coffee and a really diverse range of books including unusual and rare second hand ones. I also love their independence from major chains and how different their whole style and stock is because of this freedom of business strategies.
Recently I bought, 'the divided heart' by Rachel Power which explores creativity and motherhood and the challenges or joys of continuing a creative life after children and their needs enter it. She interviews a range of artists, including actress Rachel Griffiths, film maker Sara Watt and my fave, singer Clare Bowditch. I find the range of answers and experiences everything to do with parenting it seems there is no right way, just what works best for your child and your life.
I also watched the film, Vera Drake, by Mike Leigh. A stunning cast turns this film into such a heart wrenching real experience, one of those films where you feel immersed into the world, the characters...really moving.
I have still been snapping away with my beloved camera but alas I am having internet connection problems from my laptop so this is being typed out on another...hope to get it fixed soon and picture filled once more,

Sunday, October 4, 2009

home sweet home...

After a trip out for a lovely morning swim at the local beach, my boys and I returned home and there we stayed for most of the day. Sooo good to have an at home day!
I spent the day watering plants, emptying the over flowing compost bin, putting away massive piles of clean clothes in laundry...basically pottering. Pottering is wandering your house and garden and doing some random little chores between cups of tea.
Pottering is good for the soul, it's also time to notice small's a sample of my surrounds.

Red and white check with grey...mmm

A small pile of stacked crockery, un-packed hastilly after the Toowoomba high tea.

Two floral patterned fabrics, a curtain and tablecloth, layered to form an improvised curtain.

An wise old fellow to look after us, his thought for the day is
'live in peace'

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Blackstar street party

It's sad but I forgot to take a single photo of my kids at the Blackstar street party and market last night-silly me! We really appreciated the sweet words and support of people passing by our stall and my kids were so happy with their first ever sales. I am so proud of them and love their drawings, I feel so warm and fuzzy they had some recognition, big thanks.
So many people were out enjoying themselves, the event drew over 500 people! A big night!

These are some of the things which sold at the last couple of markets. The glass beads were embedded into the felt and buttons almost like eggs in a nest, maybe spring is really getting to me this year-flowers, nests, eggs!
Its a pleasure to use lovely pieces of vintage fabric like this.
The pattern was so funky but the fabric had been sewn into a cover, maybe for a jaffle maker or something? Appliance covers are ?? but often fortunately made up of very cool fabric. Anyway, when unpicked I found there wasn't much to use and the pieces were very random shapes. So after holding onto it for the right project for the longest time I so loved the way it could be used for the main body part of this clutch bag and really showed off.
I stopped by a garage sale today and got a whole shopping bag full of crochet cotton, lots of metallics amongst the mix, so tomorrow is going to be a time of exploring some ideas for how to utilize them,