Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Pattern on Etsy!

I designed this bunny aaaaaaaaaaaages ago, as a painting project rather than a doll-making one. I unearthed it yesterday whilst getting my creative papers in order, and decided to make another one. Naturally, this bunny has been claimed by Princess #2, so if I want one to sell or keep I will have to make another one LOL.

The pattern is really, really easy. It's so easy that my 11yo princess is going to make one herself this week. And if you're not into painting, there are so many other ways to decorate your bunny. Fabric markers, iron on transfers, embroidery, or just gorgeous patterned fabric! Please do check it out on Etsy by clicking here.

Monday, December 7, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

... only with blistering heat that we've come to expect in Australia *sigh*. I've had my Christmas cd's on, getting in the mood. Our tree is up (and kitty is paying very little attention, surprisingly) and lights are on each night.

Now, don't hate me people, but I finished 99% of my Christmas shopping, and have wrapped all the gifts. I even made time today to create custom photo gift tags. Helps the kids who can't read yet be little santa's helpers on Christmas day because they can just look at the photos. I also created custom calendars for two of my besties (you know who you are), which I do every year. Loving my 2010 creations!

I am also flat out in my official role as Santa's Helper at my local Domayne store, taking photos of all the girls and boys (and mums and dads of screaming toddlers) on weekends.

Today I had a visit from the nice parcel lady ... a box of yet-to-be-released scrapbooking products to play with *YAAAAAAY*. It's all happening here folks! Now to luxuriate in the airconditioned comfort of the lounge room whilst sipping tea and gazing lovingly at my new scrapbooking products *hee hee*.

Are you having a nice relaxing lead-up to Christmas? Even if you're busy, it can still be relaxed :)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

What a busy year!

Anyone who knows me well will always ask me what exciting project I have on the go at the moment. This is because I always have something interesting to do ... I really love my job(s)! LOL 2009 has brought me some amazing projects including:

* An Australia-wide tour of Spotlight stores, promoting Martha Stewart's papercraft range.
* Scrapbooking projects for Handmade magazine
* Painting project to be published in 2010 in Fine Art & Decorative Painting magazine.
* Entering my first competition piece, on display at Darling Harbour Quilt & Craft show (and currently featuring in Fine Art & Decorative Painting magazine).
* Designing original crochet patterns for a book by Milford Threads.
* Creating projects for in-store project sheets for various Brandcorp products (like the photo).
* Designing sewing patterns for Australian Girl Dolls.
* Running the school Bookclub.
* Keeping 3 shops open on Etsy.
* Santa's official photographer at West Gosford Domayne.
* .... and soooooooooooo much more.

The problem is that I am running out of steam. So now it is time for me to take a step back, look at what I have done, and decide what I want to do. In order to free up a little time I have put my photography store on Etsy into vacation mode until the new year.

I'm really looking forward to taking my creativity in new directions in 2010 as well as meeting some personal goals :)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Waifs & Strays

I am really excited to share a gorgeous new Etsy shop with you ... Waifs & Strays by Jayne Mateljan. This extraordinarily talented artist / sculpter / dollmaker lives in my neighbourhood, and I really enjoyed photographing her stunning mini creations.

You can visit her Etsy shop by clicking here ..., or just click on the photograph below to be taken directly to the shop and see more views of these gorgeous creatures.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

RAK Winner

Three very beautiful stories about random acts of kindness, so I popped the names in a little pink tub and drew out this one ... have a read. Thanks so much for posting your stories, they really made my day each time one came into my inbox.

Karennarelle is our winner ... please email me at and I can give you the details of how we will make your beautiful fairy portrait :)

karennarelle said...

How horrible for you and how lucky that the man was there...
My random act of kindness was to a little old lady who was in front of me in the shopping centre. She only had a few items I had my usual trolley full. I was busy stacking the groceries while her tally was being rung up when i realised that the cashier was telling her that she needed 3 more dollars or she would have to put some things back. She wasnt polite or sympathetic to this poor lady who was clearly embarassed. I told the lady that i would cover it the old lady was very gracious and i said that i would hope someone would do the same for my nan if she was ever caught short and that i was sure she had helped many people in her lifetime. The saddest thing about the story is that the cashier just looked at me as if i was crazy, it obviously would never occur to her to do that for someone.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My new job!

I am sooooooooooooooooooo excited to be stepping back into a teaching role, and at such an awesome place. Erina Scrapbook Store is a my LSS, and is a beautiful & inspirational place to be.

Check out the ESS blog post here, and watch the blog for class schedules as well. I am teaching a series called 'Guilt-free scrapbooking' ... yeah ... you know you want to be guilt-free ;)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Clever kitty

Look what my kitty can do! Ally is 6 months old now, and quite the climber. It took us ages to figure out how she was getting up into the boxes. Now we know. She can even climb up when the car isn't in the garage, but can't get down. What a cheeky kitty.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Owl be back!

I've been absent from the blog for too long! I've got a really good excuse ... I'm busy :D Busy is a good thing. I have a custom doll to make and some Christmas dolls underway for the shop. I've been making a few fairy portraits, doing some Etsy trades and just took on a new job teaching at Erina Scrapbook Store. I've been to Queensland for another demonstration, and had a huge family day out at Luna Park. The kids are now back at school, so I have a tad more time on my hands. I intend to use that time wisely and knock a few things off my enormous 'to do' list.

The most exciting new challenge, though, has been crochet. I started about 6 months ago, and now I am writing a crochet pattern book for Milford, along with my mother & sister. Here's a little sneaky peek at one of the projects that will be in the book ... a gorgeous little sleepy/wakey owl toy. This is my first prototype, and I've tweaked it a little, but I love it. I'll blog when the book is available ... most likely wherever you can buy Milford Crochet threads :)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Random Acts of Kindness

Recently I was the recipient of a Random Act of Kindness. A business trip to Perth was a disaster from start to end. My train was cancelled, so I missed my flight and had to wait 6 hours for another, which meant I missed a special occassion by arriving late. I had a few things stolen at one of my demonstrations, and a couple of very near misses in the hire car. When I got off the red-eye flight and went to buy my train ticket home, I realised that my wallet was missing.

That was the last straw ... I had a little meltdown on the floor in front of the ticket machine, pulling everything out of my luggage trying to find my wallet. No joy. Where would I find $21 to get home?

And this is when I received my RAK. A man who had been travelling on the same flight saw my distress and insisted on giving me my train fare home. He wouldn't give me his name or contact details so that I could pay him back. It was the kindest thing anyone has ever done for me and I will never forget it.

I would like to hear about any Random Acts of Kindness that you have given others, or received. Leave a comment here on the blog with your story, and I will choose one at the end of the month to receive a custom fairy portrait. You can have the portrait done for you, or gift it to someone else. Winner will be announced on 1st November.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

I saw a Christmas countdown ...

... on the news a couple of days ago. 100 days to Christmas they said. Then I walked into the post office where I saw Christmas Cards for sale, then Spotlight where the Christmas decorations are right inside the front door!!!

Good thing I am prepared!

This little project is one I showed at my Martha Stewart demonstrations. You can follow a link to download the project sheet by clicking here.

The instructions and materials are listed on the PDF project sheet.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Circle Card

For those who attended one of my Martha Stewart demonstrations a Spotlight, this is for you! Albeit late, it's better than never I suppose.

For this card I cut 3 circles using the Martha Stewart circle cutter, a plain circle, a slightly larger circle (which made the even frame) and then cut a larger off-centre circle (the feature of the card). It has been embellished with leftover stickers from the Martha Stewart Birthday Card kit, and the papers are from the Cafe paper pack.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Kitty loves her seahorse

It's been a while since I posted a kitten photo. Ally is 4 months old now, and she's grown quite a bit. Her initial desire to be with me all the time has also calmed itself, and she no longer sleeps in my arms while I'm at the computer. We have a catnap after school drop-off in the mornings, then it's play, play, play until after lunch. Pretty much from then on she sleeps until hubby comes home.

Ally has also calmed her desire to chase my yarn while I'm doing cross-stitch or crochet, and I finally managed to make myself a lovely rainbow seahorse. Well ... it was for me. Now it's hers *sigh*. But she's so cute, how could I refuse!!??!! I made this seahorse from a pattern by mygurumi and if you're looking for a great easy to read amigurumi pattern, this is it!

Click here to visit MyGurumi on Etsy

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Martha Stewart Circle Cutter

During my demonstrations I know that a lot of people at the back couldn't see this awesome piece of crafting technology at work. I got lucky and found a great video of it on YouTube, so for the curious, here is the Martha Stewart circle cutting tool for you to view. Tomorrow I will have a card project that I've made using the tool for you to see :D

Click here to view the video

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Big paper flowers by Martha Stewart

I've been asked by a lot of people, whilst on my Martha Stewart Spotlight tour, how to make the big orange flower that features on the in-store posters. I found the details on her website ... go check it out!

Friday, August 14, 2009

I'm Home!

It's been a great trip, touring around NSW, SA, Vic & Qld Spotlight stores, but I am really happy to be home.

I left my family for 6 days while I did demonstrations in Vic & Qld this week ... 11 stores in 5 days! I had an absolute blast, and met some really lovely ladies. If you attended one of my demonstrations, thank you so much :)

Of course ... I'm not quite finished yet. I still have 3 stores to do in Western Australia on Thursday 20th August.

10am - Joondalup
2pm - Innaloo
5:30pm - Melville

I'll also be catching up with friends, and flying home that night on a red-eye via Melbourne.

Stay tuned, because I will be posting a few things I promised ladies at my demonstrations. A card using off-centre circles, the instructions for the curled paper christmas tree, and the template to the bird ornament.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Fifi & Frankie are on the shelves!

I was absolutely thrilled to find that the Fifi & Frankie cross-stitch kits are finally in Spotlight stores! They are a Semco kit, all in pretty pink & white or blue & white packaging in the stitch kit sections. There are 6 altogether, and I designed them exclusively for Brandcorp.

If you're a beginner cross-stitcher, or you're looking for a quick sampler to stitch as a gift, then these are for you. I stitched all the single bear charts over 3 nights whilst watching tv (the double bears took 5 nights). Unlike usual kits, these also come with a beautiful white frame! Retail price is $19.95.

If you do stitch yourself a Fifi & Frankie design, I'd love to see it :)

Friday, July 31, 2009

The National Tour!!!!

As all is now confirmed, and stores are taking bookings, I can reveal my awesome National Tour!!!

I was asked by Brandcorp (for whom I do the occassional design gig) if I would teach some classes at 5 Spotlight stores around Sydney for the new Martha Stewart paper craft range. This is the first time it's been available in Australia, so I was pretty excited to accept the challenge.

The next batch of excitement was creating projects that will be available in stores soon as free tear-off project sheets. Once I got to using the products I have to say ... I was pretty impressed. The craft knife is the best I have ever used, and the blade doesn't come loose.

Well ... then the big excitement arrived. I was asked if I'd consider travelling to other states to teach. How could I refuse? I couldn't, and hubby has taken 2 weeks off work to play Mr Mum while I travel around Australia demonstrating the Martha Stewart range.

20 stores
10 days
5 states
700 students

If you are near one of these stores, I highly recommend you ring and book in asap, and please introduce yourself :D Here's the crazy schedule!

Monday 3 August
12:30pm - Newcastle, NSW

Tuesday 4 August
11am - Rockdale, NSW
3pm - Belrose, NSW

Wednesday 5 August
1pm - Noarlunga, SA

Thursday 6 August
12:30pm - Lidcombe, NSW
4:30pm - Penrith, NSW

Monday 10 August
11am - Frankston, VIC
3pm - Fountain Gate, VIC

Tuesday 11 August
11am - Bayswater, VIC
3pm - Carnegie, VIC

Wednesday 12 August
11am - Geelong, VIC
3pm - Essendon, VIC

Thursday 13 August
10am - Ashmore, QLD
2pm - Logan, QLD
6pm - Mt Gravatt, QLD

Friday 14 August
11am - Morayfield, QLD
3pm - Everton Park, QLD

Thursday - 20 August
10am - Joondalup, WA
2pm - Innaloo, WA
5:30pm - Melville, WA

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Flash Cards

Check this out ... beautiful flash cards made by the very talented Jennifer of Sparkle & Sketch (Etsy). These stunning flash cards would make a beautiful gift, and are available as a full set, or mini set. A beautiful way to help your child learn to read, and as the mother of a child who struggles in that department, I can tell you that any way to make it fun is a very very good thing!

Click here to travel to Jennifer's shop.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Awesome pattern giveaway!

Sarah, of Bit of Whimsy Dolls, has an increcible giveaway on her blog all this week ... something different every day! If you get there fast today, you can enter to win 3 patterns.

"Ah, I'm not very good at sewing" you might say, but that is why these patterns will suit you so well. The step by step photos and instructions are perfect for beginners, even if you've never made a doll before. For experience sewers they are just a joy to use ... so easy from start to finish. I have made dolls with leftover fabric from other projects which are now being loved by children.

The photo is a doll I made using one of Sarah's patterns ...these owls were whipped up in an afternoon!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

These are a few of my favourite Harry Potter things!

In honour of the newest Harry Potter movie hitting cinemas ... here are a few of my favourite HP finds on Etsy.

Soadypopdesigns ... Celestefrittata
Theblueforest ... ShatterstarWoodworks
Broomchick ... Jennyscards
Trophies ... Robotscrapyard

Friday, July 10, 2009

These are a few of my favourite pillow things!

I saw the Ctrl Alt Del pillows on Etsy home page, and it prompted me to showcase a few of my favourite pillow things today. You can click on the shop names to visit their listings. Enjoy :D

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Note to self ....

Kittens like to take revenge on us after medicine.

So ... Ally got her booster shot on Monday, and worming medicine today. After each she went absolutely feral!! Usually she's such a good kitty, but after medicine ... OMG! She terrorized poor Kip (our gourami who lives on the kitchen bench), trashed my papercraft desk then got stuck behind the computer desk (where she never goes). She has been put to bed early because I'm still getting over the vampire-esque neck scratches I got on Monday and don't fancy a set on the other side thank you very much Ally.

Ah well ... she'll likely be back to normal and want big snuggles in the morning *crossing fingers*.

Friday, July 3, 2009

These are a few of my favourite kitty things

This gorgeous pet card is just ... wow! Beautiful artwork, and a stunning card that any cat-lover would frame instantly.

I came across these awesome cat toys today on Etsy ... aren't they a riot!? Totally appeal to my sense of humour. Check them out at HannaPT on Etsy.

So ... how obvious is it that I have a new kitten? LOL She's delightful, and a great little companion for me during the day.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Amy Gaines makes crochet cool!

I want this robot set really badly!

Then this one ....
..... then this one ....

I recently taught myself to crochet ... because of Amy Gaines and her awesome amigurumi. I happened across these gorgeous patterns on Etsy, and Amy was really helpful with my questions! You might remember that I featured Amigurumi patterns in my Friday favourites a while back, and Amy was in there. I am soooooo close to finishing the seahorse I'm crocheting and then I'll be treating myself to the robot set :D If you've never visited Amy's shop, click here and treat yourself.

If you've never learned to crochet, then check out YouTube for some great tutorials. If you crochet, but aren't sure how to start an amigurmi, check this one out.

YouTube amigurumi tutorial

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Just a little kittten-obsessed

This morning it's bright & sunny, so Ally has discovered sunbeams. She slept a lot more yesterday. I guess the novelty of being home wore off a little for her too. Thrilled to find that she's already litter trained and no accidents at all. She still enjoys sitting on my shoulder while I"m on thecomputer or at the sewing machine ... which is nice, but a little restrictive (especially typing one handed while she sleeps in my left arm).

Princess #1 took this photo on her first day ... cute, eh?

I finished listing patterns for the Kitty Curios in the shop this morning, and they're available as single patterns for $2, or all three patterns for $5.

Kitty Curios

I confess that I have gone just a tad overboard making toys for Ally. Today I made 9 ... I thought I'd better list a set in the shop LOL. I am also working on pattern sheets for these toys for the shop.

Click here to visit HelloDollies.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Ally is home!

Coming home in the car.

Here is our beautiful little tabby kitten. She is incredibly cute, and has been racing around like crazy She's just woken up from a nap on my chest at the computer and is now playing with a little mouse I made for her yesterday with scraps of fabric & ribbon. She really likes to climb ... on me ... and sits on my shoulder like a parrot LOL Maybe we shoudl have called her Polly!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Meet Ally!

Yes ... it's a dodgy photo, but it's the only one I'll have until Friday. She was very interested in the paperwork we were doing to finalise her adoption, and any kitty who loves paperwork will fit riiiiiiiiiiiight in at our house!

We adopted!

Well ... we adopted a kitten from the local RSPCA :D

Her name is Ally (did you laugh ... I hope you did), and she is a lovely 10 week old dark grey kitten with huge eyes and a curious nature. She's still at the RSPCA, and will come to live with us on Friday. She has to visit the vet to become what I like to call "a non-practicing girl". We have everything she needs, and I just nabbed an awesome kitty litter box on eBay less than what I could buy it locally. Sweet!

No photos yet, but you can bet I'll have hundreds next weekend!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Quilt & Craft Show, Sydney

Yesterday I attended the Quilt & Craft show in Sydney, and it was an awesome day! I demonstrated at the FDAA stand, and met some great people. My favourite part of the day was taking Linda Locke's image transfer class. I learned some awesome stuff, and I now have the knowledge to make fabric crowns for my Princess Pointy Shoes dolls!!

I did record sales, including 3 painted dolls and most of my teddy bear items. The photo above is my best seller, and I'm considering submitting it to Fine Art & Decorative Painting magazine as a project ... maybe LOL.

The Trash 2 Treasure competition was amazing, and I spent ages looking at all the entries. The winner of the People's Choice awards was Sue Raconello, who painted a pair of old boots with sheep on the right foot and sheepdogs on the left. They were incredible! No prizes for me, but lots of valuable experience in entering a competition that's for sure.

It was a long day, but I'm really glad I went, and can't wait for next year.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

More Trash 2 Treasure pics

As promised, here are more pics of the inside and back of my cupboard (before I attached the hinges).

It's on display in Hall 1 at the Quilt & Craft Fair, Darling Harbour, Sydney at this very moment! I hope I'm getting some votes in the People's Choice awards :D

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Say hello to Fifi & Frankie

Last year I was commissioned by Brandcorp (who produce Semco stitch kits) to paint 6 teddy bears. The bears were turned into charts, and I stitched them. They're really easy to do, and if you stitched in front of the tv at night you could probably knock them over in 3-5 days.

Anyway ... they've finally been released, and I was a bit beside myself when I found them on homepage of the Brandcorp Website. You can click here to get a closer look.

Kits will be available in Spotlights stores in August :)

Friday, June 5, 2009

WhoHub Interview

I received an invitation to be interviewed on today ... how cool!

Click here

Thursday, June 4, 2009

These are a few of my favourite amigurumi things

These are all gorgeous amigurumi patterns ... some I have drooled over for a long time, some I just found today! I bought a seahorse pattern from mygurumi, then I taught myself to crochet using YouTube tutorials ... click here to see my fave tutorial.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A sneek peek

So ... the painting is finished and the last coat of varnish has been applied. I still need to go bat my eyelashes at the boys at Bunnings to help me get the hardware fitted, and then it is delivered tonight!

If you're attending the big Quilt & Craft Fair at Darling Harbour, Sydney any time from 10-14th June, please make your way up to the back right corner and check out the FDAA exhibit. You can vote for your favourite piece in our Trash to Painted Treasure competition, including mine! *wink*

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Have you ever had a market stall, put on an art show or sold online, only to have people try to barter you down to a lower price on your item? Yeah? Then you are going to love this!

Click here for YouTube chuckles.


My painting association, the FDAA, is holding a new competition called Trash to Painted Treasure. What we have to do is find something to paint, and turn it into a real treasure with paint! We can get our piece from a council pick-up, op shop, garage sale or just a good scrounge around in our own garage.

I found my piece in my own garage. It's the Barbie wardrobe my Dad made for me in 1980. It's made from nasty old chipboard and had an awful 70's decal on the front. The metal hanging rail inside and hinges were terribly rusty. Yeah ... it was time for a makeover.

I decided it should fit with the 'Altered Art' theme of the FDAA for the Quilt & Craft show exhibit this year, and also that it should be bold and pretty. So my Princess Pointy Shoes has been enlarged and given some little tweeting friends, and she will grace the front of this little cupboard.

Today I finished the front of the door panel, but I still have a way to go with 5 other panels to complete. Everything has taken longer than expected ... for example it took 2.5 hours to remove the old rusty hinges!!! But I will get there with another late night and full day of painting :D

The Quilt & Craft show is on at Darling Harbour, Sydney from 10th-14th June, and all the Trash to Painted Treasure entries will be on display. Personally I'm hoping for the People's Choice award, so come along and cast a vote for me :D

Thursday, May 28, 2009

These are a few of my favourite peacock things!

Loving my new prints!

Bold seems like kind of an understatement when I try to describe this artwork, and it really has incredible 'Wow' factor. I bought 2 gorgeous prints from an Australian artist on Etsy called Kathy Panton. The colours are so vibrant and I can't wait to frame and hang these beautiful prints. I bought the 'Houses 1977' and the 'Flowers 1974' prints, but I also like the 'Left Behind Me' print. They were really well packed and arrived within a couple of days. The Houses print would make a great house warming gift I think ;)

Click here to visit Kathy's shop.