Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas...

Well it has been a travesty but my little laptop has been struggling along far too slowly for me to upload anything, so I have been quietly wrapping my gifts and biding my time.  Then suddenly a friend of mine appeared and 'defragged' my computer???? Amazing, absolutely amazing.  And now ever so fast again.  Thankyou.

Where I left off was the Made In Thornbury Market, which went really well considering I was in a terrible position.  (Facing the back wall- practically invisible).   It is a very friendly and gracious market and the people that did notice my little stall were very warm and encouraging.

I chatted a little with the other crafters but was able to have long chats with Felicity from Flicketty Splits, who fantastically let me ramble on and on about absolutely nothing in particular.

Now time has gone on and Christmas is nearing way too fast. I'm exploring lots of crafty options this Christmas. A teepee cubby house, dresses, shorts and also I finally perfected my
Little Red Riding Hood doll.


On Sunday I had the pleasure of lovely company for my Annual Christmas Drinks which I combined with my Annual Croquet Match.  And I did run with the Kitsch Kringle idea.  It was pretty funny, but not quite as funny as last years Krap Kringle which has made its way into my Top 10 Funniest Moments ever list.

 Thats Little Jim and me with our Kitsch Kringles.  Priceless I know!

I'm very proud to announce that I only needed to buy one Shopping Centre gift this Christmas. Which was an electric grill for my nephew to make his delicious tosdadas on.  All the rest are handmade gifts or gifts that support small business.  Our Christmas tree was purchased from the Brotherhood of St Laurence and Little Jim's toys are again made from sustainable materials such as this Plan Toy which is an ethical company. 

Some time ago I alighted to the fact that giving friends and family beautiful gourmet food and fine wines is always a winner and this year I have boxed up a pile of gifts from Outback Pride, which is a fabulous business providing jobs and training for Indigenous Australians.

They make beautiful jars of  pickles, relishes and spreads amongst other things all made from native bush food grown in outback communities. You can purchase them from Oxfam.   I also discovered my local Naturapath sells beautifully packaged and delicious Organic toasted Muesli. All in recycled materials. The idea of giving natural, healthy and beautiful foods as gifts makes me feel extra good and I'm happy to say that there is no pre Christmas stress in my life.

I'm reading Peter Singers 'The Life You Can Save' at the moment.

Peter Singer is a beautiful writer, speaker and philosopher.  His lectures on Ethics are esteemed the world over and in this book he reminds us as individuals about how we can modestly save a life from poverty. If we all take up his challenge individually then collectively as a Nation we can achieve much. And we can do more than we think.  Read more about his vision here. Or here if you wish to take up the challenge.
Peter Singer will be giving a talk at Melbourne University about 'What responsibilites do Australians owe the global poor' on February 16 2010.

Christmas is a good time for us all to think about how much we have, how fortunate we are and about how we can help others too. There is no greater evidence of this than the effigies and Nativity scenes all around us at this time- as Mary and Joseph are the most famous refugees in all of history.

I would like to leave you all with a little Christmas wish list that a crafter like myself would be extremely excited by.

  • Honeyweather and Speight Dolls House. Made from recycled cardboard. For the child within, you can never be too old for something so beautiful and handmade.
  • La Creuset cookware I'm told it's the best and makes cooking pure unadulterated joy. Now this one is an expensive gift but you can spread the love by cooking for friends, family, neighbors and cooking for them Forever as this cookware lasts a lifetime.  No more throwing away crappy pots!
  • Barkcloth.  The most challenging gift of all to find, but this is like the Holy Grail of fabric for a crafter or lover of vintage, the most beloved and coveted fabric imaginable.  Buy it on Ebay or buy it here. Buy it anywhere you can.  Don't ever feel weird about buying second hand.
Merry Christmas to everyone and hopefully will catch you sometime before the New Year. x

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Creative Space XI...

Today I am pretty much like Kirsty who hosts Creative Space over at Kootoyoo, finishing off all my projects and getting ready for Christmas.
I have a terrible tendency to start something and then become distracted by some other venture- so today is all about Completion.  Especially as the Made In Thornbury Market is only 2 days away.

Here is my Kitchen table...

This particular table was once my Nanna Molly's and then it was my Mum's and now it is mine and that may have something to do with why I love sitting at it.  I have a seperate sewing space but it just does not invite me in like this table does. I also like to do all my embroidery on my couch and only at night.

Here is a close up of some faces that will become my Mama and Baby dolls in the next few hours. Well.... Hopefully!

A face for Little Red Riding Hood for my Thread Den order.
This little flock of birds need some stuffin. (Can see how they will remain this way until the last possible minute...)

And the Beeeees, the Beeeeeeeees.

Hey wouldn't it be great if I remember to photograph the finished toys before they sell this time!!!!!!

Here are some realisations-
  • You can lure an obstinate Birman Pussycat away from precious fabrics by placing a woollen blanket on the workspace as well.  Then you need to take her off the blanket 2 or 3 times to prove that it is also precious and then finally she will settle there thus saving your fabrics from catness.
  • You can place a lamp underneath an ironing board as a very easy light box for tracing faces.
  • Sewing Velvet to Cotton is freaking hideous and therefore I don't recommend it. 
  • Sometimes the faces of dolls resemble your friends but never, never ever tell that particular friend about the likeness you alighted upon.
As this is the last Creative Space for 2009, make sure you head over to Kirsty's to check them all out.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Oooh some lovliness.....

Today I have decided to chat to you about random stuff and not show you any photos of my week of craft whatsoever. I Have been doing lots of sewing for the upcoming Made 'n Thornbury Market but everything seems to be unfinished and forming little puddles around my home in a topsy turvy kind of crazy way.  But there is some kind of method to my madness... I think??

Firstly- I am very excited about the summer.....

I cannot wait for the weather to become consistent here in Melbourne.  Oh when will it ever?
My own garden is a mess at the moment.  I'm embarassed about it but aim to have it fabulously planted for my annual Christmas party which will actually be combined this year with my annual croquet match.
A Very Croquet Christmas.
Surely that can work.

Marty came up with the brilliant idea of having Kitch Kris Kringle this year after she fatefully received a dirty old vaccuum cleaner at last years Krap Kringle. Krap Kringle was the funniest group present unwrapping I have Ever been to.  But I think Kitch Kringle will be just as humerous.

I have been thinking a lot about presents, but have actually sorted none.
Last year my family received handmade gingerbread, florentines and heart and bird shaped shortbread.
This year I was thinking of  making Lemon and Rose water cordial. I would need to find beautiful bottles. The queen of craft Martha Stewart has a great 'How To' for turning an ordinary glass bottle into a lovely vase. But as for finding beautiful bottles for cordial I have no idea???

I can already tell I will be slow sending off my Christmas cards again this year.  My sisters Julianne and Rosie have an unspoken rivalry between them about who will get their cards out first.  It's pretty funny, they are earlier and earlier each year.
My card making last Christmas led me to fall in love with Elsa Mora the most amazing artist/crafter/fashionista and whenever I check in on her I am utterly blown away at the magnitude of her papercut imaginings.

And lastly I will leave you with this lovely free Christmas Calender from 74 Lime Lane, you can download it and print it and put it on your fridge like I have done so I can keep track of all the millions of little things to do for the countdown to Christmas. I'm off to play Kamahl now, I love that his album is sponsored by BP??? And the way he sings The Little Drummer Boy touches me somewhere deep inside. Cheers.