Thursday, April 29, 2010

My creative space - Repurposed bracelets

Crikeys, in my concentration to update my Etsy shop I forgot about my creative space. By the by, I also forgot about the kettle on the stove...until the fire alarm went off. I nearly had a coronary!

This week I have been making more jewellery from old doilies. Some of my others are in the Etsy shop I have just updated. Photos aren't the best, but I have a super crappy camera, and anything is better than nothing.

I have named this range (I might as well think big!) "The Ugly Duckling," in homage to the book I found the other week. I found when I was trying to photograph these that it gave the right 'feel' to the bracelets. They spoke to each other. Photos are a bit blurred, and crooked. they were my trial ones. I will update them at a later date. In reality, I thought today was Wednesday!

I am really enjoying making all of these. I use felt circles as a base under the vintage doily blossoms and then add glass beads, buttons, press studs, eyelets...anything that I can find. My main aim is still to orgainise a market stall. I am slowly getting there. Baby steps.
Pop over to see the other creative spacers at Kootoyoo xxNick

Bad bags

I know they are helping save the world, by by crikey I hate, I repeat hate, (said with venomous disregard) the green, red and every colour bags that are supposed to be used for the weekly shop. Imagine my dismay when HSC girl decided that it was uncool to carry a back pack and resorted to slinging a green Woolworths bag over her shoulder. "Everyone uses them." I was informed. Well not my daughter, and not on my post! The indignity.

I quickly cut up the offending article and used it as a pattern for this bag. I am in the process of making a few, just because I have so much fabric that I have to get rid of. I put a little red kiss in the corner and three kisses on the handle, cos I love her, but I have noticed that the bag is always turned around so that these little embellishments don't show. Hmph, maybe uncool. xxNick

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Monday, Monday - Anzac Day Holiday

It is not often that I am really happy and content. I try, everyday to achieve that perfect balance, but often if is beyond my reach. Yesterday, however, all the stars were in alignment and I found myself smiling all day. Some of the things that made me happy yeasterday were:

Perfect autum weather. Short sleeves, but not too hot, not too cold. Sun that you could turn your face up to. (and not worry about skin cancer or wrinkles!)

Lorikeets in my birdbath. Up to 15 birds frolicked and fought noisily for about twenty minutes. The picture doen't capture the magical moment and the sheer joy these birds exhibited in dunking themselves. Some were so saturated it was a wonder they could fly. They are so mischieveous and full of character!

Wood being cut ready for winter

My garden. I harvested my first ever swede and broccoli! I have been neglecting the garden lately, but yesterday made me fall in love with it all over again. Planted seeds and seedlings and was basically one with nature. I have different types of basil planted all through the garden. The scent is divine as you brush up against it. I had to be careful of the bees though, we have a new hive and these bees aren't as tame as our last. Also harvested and cooked with the beans, corn, bok choy, chillies.

Crafted, making some vintage bracelets. Not sure of these, but nothing is going to rain on my parade, so I will remain upbeat! xxNick

Applique nirvana

I was so chuffed with myself. I had decided to begin felt applique having always loved that folksy feel. I completed my free little owl brooch without a hiccup and progressed onto words and my fabulous "g."

However last night, or should I say this morning, in the wee hours, I happened upon Jane Smallcombes blog. I think I nearly  had a coronary, I was so excited! Just have a look at this bundle of goodness.

I could go on, and on, and on. Pop over to to Applique and look for yourself. xxNick

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Anzac Day - Lest we forget

Every Anzac Day I become very emotional about the sacrifices of the men and women who have fought and continue to fight for our way of life.

However, on a little bit of a more superficial and domestic level, I am particularly thankful for the everyday things, that we don't have to ration food , petrol and clothing, as in the war. Maybe it is because my parents were born  just before WWII and experienced rationing from an early age, and subsequently, I have adopted their "war mentality."  I even have a "War Cabinet" chock-a-block full of food I have stock piled from sales...just in case.

And although I try to re-purpose and make do with alot of things, buying from op-shops and mending, growing my own veges, I am thankful that I can get new cheap underwear at anytime, and pop down to Spotlight for that special crafty must have, and that my family does not go hungry.

Lest we forget.

Applique fever

In my (foolhardy?) quest to have my own market stall, I have begun to make my banner to mark my place. I wanted it to be eclectic, colourful and crafty, without bowing to a particular style, as I my stall will be re-purposing a wide range of items. (I like the 'g' the best!)

I finished “Collecting” last night and will start on “Feathers” today. I am a bit concerned that it is too busy and not very legible, but I am hoping that it will add to the feel and aesthetics of the stall.

Maybe it is a bit too Tracy Emin, but I will finish it off and live with it for a while and stop being such a perfectionist that I never start or finish anything for fear of failure. xxNick

Flea Market Finds - The well is dry

Well, not dry, but low. Maybe as winter is closing in, people are doing fun things like op-shopping and garage saling, father than un-fun things like going to the beach. Who knows. Yesterday, in the hope of hitting the "Mother Load" I organised Sparky to be map reader and we set off to hit the garage sales. We may have been a little late, (8.00am) but I did not find ONE thing that was worth  parting one cent. Not one! Not even a token purchase, the kind you  usually give to an op-shop the week later. Nada, nil, nothing!

I need the finders thrill! That adrenilin rush that you get when you know, deep in your authentic core, that you have found a bargain! I think I would sell my first born at the moment to get that thrill.

Anyhoo, I did find a few things during the week. In the gambling spirit of Anzac Day, this vintage board game, Totopoly. Some horses are missing but I love the bits and pieces inside. I might use them in artworks.

Am I turning into a Nana? This brilliant Aussie gumleaf and wattle needlepoint cushion was got for the princely sum of fifty cents. I love it. Sparky hates it.

But compare it to my other cushions in the lounge.

Is it downhill from here? Should I get all of my teeth extracted for the clack, clack, clacking of perfect porcelain dentures?

Last but not least, the towels. Not very exciting I know, but the local linen supplier has given Lifeline a truckload of them. Four for ten bucks. Very good quality, and heavier than mine at home, basically hotel towels. No stains, very white...but...Sparky won't even look at them. They don't exist in his universe. They are "dead people's stuff" and I should throw them out. Am I being too scabby? My argument is that if we went to a hotel, he would use them, so why not at home.

What does everyone else think? Have I gone too far in my bargain quest?

Pop over to Her library Adventures for more Anzac Day finds

Friday, April 23, 2010

Purty dress

This dress was bought today for my sis from the oppy. She is keen to have a look at can look too! Kind of a cheap version of Grace Kelly in "To Catch a Thief" xxNick

My creative space- white paint and bunting

It seems I can't get away from white paint. My creative space the last couple of days has been split between the Lismore Art Gallery where I having been helping to install for the show tonight, The Northern Rivers Portrait Prize, and my dining room table.  My major contibution was painting the Norco Gallery Space and the gallery window space so that they could be nice and spakling for a light and sound artist, Ross Manning. White, white, white. Whilst I am not really exhibiting creativeness, I am supporting it, so I reckon that counts.

My other creative space was bunting making. My latest bunting is made from vintage Little Golden Books, but I have been careful to cut only the pictures from the pages, rather than random text and images. A bit time consuming, but the end result is delightful. The first one was Raggetty Anne. I use two books per  length and mix them up.

The second one was an ABC book. However, I hope that (if anyone does buy it) that they don't rely on it as a tool to teach the ABC's. The 'M' & 'J' were at the bottom of the page and I couldn't make a flag from it. A child could be scared /scarred (??) for life.

Pop over to Kootoyoo for more creativeness. xxNick

Monday, April 19, 2010


I recently scored a pair of pristine cotton 70's sheets, unopened, still in their oringinal cellophane packaging, for the princely sum of five bucks. Not sure what to do with them, rather than the obvious of putting them on the bed, I gave them a wash and waited.

I found the answer this week upon finishing the painting of CJ's room. Curtains. (Sorry this picture is not stylised, and looks a bit bare, we are still moving it back in. Also it was difficult to take a good picture as the 3 metre window goes the whole length of the room)

The thing is that we have had fourteen years of bad window dressings for this room. I have paid out  big bucks for white blinds, have hung numerous curtains, roman blinds, the whole shabang. They have all look crappy and temporary.

Suddenly, I hang a five dollar pair of sheets in the room and they bring it to life. They are so fresh! (to be pronounced like Martin Short on Father of the Bride) They don't look 70's, they have more of a 40's vintage feel to them. They add a fabulous horizontal element to the room making it seem alot bigger.

Everytime I go into the room I shake my head in disbelief at the ease of these curtains. xxNick

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Creative Sunday

A very creative day was had by moi. As well as multiple blog posts I have made a pencil case for HSC girl, so she can be organised and look snazzy at the same time.

Put some fabric I got from Yamba Vintage Fair into an old frame I had hanging around the place. I hung it in the bedroom for now as it was going to be broken stored in the vaccum cleaner closet. No need to age this one, just run a damp cloth over it.

Made copious amounts of patty cakes, with lesson one on icing cakes. Very dodgy icing to say the least, but I exhibit flair? We had patty cakes for dinner tonight. xxNick

You're a winner!

After all of the toil of  "redecorating" on Friday, I was exhausted and a bit disheartened, but I won't go into that because glad tidings are on the way!

I checked the letterbox in the late afternoon and found this lovely surprise.

I had won this wonderful little Re*Sew*Cool Owl brooch, made by Sister Outlaws, from Find, Make, Do. That's a bit of a mouthful! It came packaged in a totally cool way, packed in a Levi's jean pocket. Even Sparky was impressed by that.

I wanted to start it immediately but was too buggered, so ferreted it away (like I do with chocolate in my top drawer) to work on at my leisure on Saturday night.

Oh dear! It certainly is a sign that I have "turned that corner". I was in my element. Hot chocolate to my left, husband's glasses perched on  my nose, the head torch just like Kirsty at Kootoyoo wound around my forhead, tele on some English house and reno shows, and the aforementioned kit on my lap. Sparky tried to take a photo, but was laughing so hard he stuffed up the camera.

Well I was as happy as Larry. I adore the felt that was supplied. I didn't realise the difference between real wool felt and acrylic before this. Chalk and cheese! I will certainly look to either making my own or purchasing the good stuff from my blog sistas.

I finished Ms Owl by the end of the weird English one hour makeover show. And I must say, that it was one of the most enjoyable Saturday nights I have had in a long time! Thank you Outlaw Sisters and Betty Jo. xxNick


I spent the whole of Friday redecorating. I use the term loosely as I once read a self help book for those ladies who being newly wed, were a bit out of their depth with their home duties.

When asked on the main tips to redecorate a house, Helpful Hannah gave the following advice:

The best way to redecorate is to pick up a broom and sweep, sweep, sweep!

Or in my case, Dyson, Dyson, Dyson! I spent two and half hours of my life vacuuming. Don't get me wrong, I love living in the country, but, I am so sick and tired of the spiders and the dust.

 And now the weekend is over, the place is filthy again and a new lot of spiders have moved in. If only the screens could work as effectively as  the barbed wire does and keep everything out! xxNick

vintage barbed wire

Flea Market Finds -The Ugly Duckling

I haven't had alot of luck this week, my op-shopping mojo was out of kilter. Something was wrong in the force.

I got a few tablecloths,  fabric, buttons, and childrens books (same old same old), which I will use as materials for craft stuff, but the best thing by far was this brilliant childrens picture book of the "Ugly Duckling and other stories".

It has beaootiful illustrations which are still vibrant, especially the reds. Published by Blackie & Sons, Glasgow and illustrated by Helen Stratton. Gorgeous art nouveau details. Inscribed "To Harold with best wishes from Harry, October 22nd, 1909." That makes it easily 100 years old!

It measures 26x34cm so they are really large pages.
It isn't in the best condition on the outside, and the text pages have absorbed the oils from the ink on the illustrations, but the nine illustrations are charming and pristine. Look at the wonderful detail on the little girls dresses.

I think that Mr Andersen experienced a bit of unrequited love. The last story of "The top and the ball" treats the woman very badly and the author is obviously bitter and very cruel. It is the story of a spinning top who loves a leather ball. However she is engaged to a swallow. She disappears one day, and the top thinks she has married the swallow. However, she has bounced into the gutter and remains there for five years. He finds her again by chance. Obviously she is a 'fallen woman'. The last sentence is a classic.

I have been looking on the net, and can't find alot of info about it. If the book isn't worth much, I am thinking of framing the illustrations. I know that sounds awful, but I think more pleasure can be gained from it if it is displayed on the wall, than packed away and not touched because it is falling to bits.

Pop over to Sophies place at Her Library Adventures for more finds. xxNick


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