Monday, December 29, 2008

Tshirts - at last!

This is something I have been trying to get off the ground all year.
A and I have somewhat the same taste in clothes despite the 35 year age difference. We tend to go for the same design of tshirts.
She has been doing textiles at school, had a lovely new sewing machine and wanted to earn some money.
SO - we decided to make some tshirts.
SO - we bought some fabric way back in July.
Then - bought some great quality pure cotton tshirts.

BUT - we never had the time to sew. She was flat out studying for her HSC (final school exams), and I was doing other stuff, jewellery mainly.

NOW - she has a full time job, which is great, because she is taking 2009 off and going to uni in 2010, so she needs some money. And I am having a bit of a lull in jewellery sales.

But we have managed to get a few tshirts together and I am slowly listing them in my etsy shop.
I will also be taking them to markets with me next year.

We've had some very positive feedback and have sold one so far.

We've got lots more ideas for designs and lots more tshirts and tons of fabric - so watch this space!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Friday Fill In

1. I must go walking in the Himalayas before I die.

2. You can't stop eating.

3. I wish I never had to buy cat food again.

4. My husband has helped me change my life.

5. I know the song 24 hours from tulsa by heart.

6. If I weren't so afraid, I would go parachuting.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to having fish and chips at the beach, tomorrow my plans include staying home and catching up on the housework (boring!) and Sunday, I want to try out my new bicycle!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Things I've done

From the cycling arist who was inspired by Lisa Call (who was in turn inspired by Karine Swenson) I thought this "things I've done" list was a bit of fun.

The things that I have done are in bold.

How about you? what have you done?

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band (does the concert band at high school count?)
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain (Mount Koskciusco)
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris ( well I went through on a train)
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning (the chicken did it)
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty (it wasnt open when we were there)
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked (but not recently)
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied (it's not money that makes you satisfied)
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo's David
41. Sung karoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance (when my daughter broke her arm)
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling (I love snorkelling)
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy (teddy)
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt (does a patchwork cushion count?)
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone (never, knock on wood)
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle (only in my youth)
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper (just the local paper)
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox (as a adult)
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury!
91. Met someone famous (Robert Plant, Yehudi Menuin)
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a lawsuit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

Feel free to share the things that you have done, and leave me a comment if you blog about it too.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Danette Rowse has created her own children’s clothing label using quality vintage and recycled fabrics. She individually makes each item herself in the Blue Mountains, Australia.

Sami Bop was started early in 2006 as a small project and has slowly expanded with three monthly markets and a showcase of styles now at The Nook Art and Craft Gallery, Upstairs, 133a The Mall, Leura.

Fabrics date back from the 1950s onwards and consist mainly of woven fabrics with interesting combinations of prints and patterns.

“I have been sewing since I was eleven years old, and since studying fashion I have used my skills to create an innovative and original concept in children’s clothing.”

“It’s wonderful to be doing something I really enjoy while I’m at home with my own children”.

Styles are for both boys and girls in sizes 00 to 5.

You can find Samibop on etsy too.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday Fill-in

1. Said the night wind to the little lamb, crikey! you're a cute little fella!.
2. The first Noel, the angel did say, blimey it's cold out here.
3. Trees, trees, Over the hills and everywhere.
4. It came upon the midnight clear, my new bicycle.
5. This christmas, Let your heart be light.
6. And the thing that will make them ring is the carol that you sing - but not me 'cus i cant sing.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to a quiet night in with hubby, tomorrow my plans include my last market this year and Sunday, I want to rest (not very exciting I know, but I'm tired)!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Delicious easy vanilla cake

A friend gave me this recipe many years ago.
It is a very easy, mix-in-one-bowl cake.
It's sensational warm from the oven with a raspberry sauce and thick cream. It keeps really well and can be sliced the next day for lunch boxes.

125g butter melted in a microwave proof bowl
Add 1 cup sugar
300g vanilla yoghurt (I use low fat)
1 Tbs vanilla essence (the real stuff is so much better)
3 eggs
1 and a half cups SR flour

Mix it all together with a wooden spoon.
Pour into an oiled cake pan
and bake at 180 degrees for 50 mins or until a skewer comes out clean when poked into the cake.


Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday fill-in

1. Friends are what makes life worth living.

2. Look after your health; it's the only one you've got.

3. I'm ready for brownie!.

4.Patchouli is one of my favorite perfumes or aftershaves or smells.

5. The oldest ornament I have is - I've got no idea.

6. Take some flour, cocoa, sugar and eggs, mix it all together and you have brownie.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to meeting my gym friends, tomorrow my plans include I dont know now that my craft market was cancelled and Sunday, I want to sell lots at the Kirribilli art and design market!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Using up all those odd beads

This is a great way to use up all those odd beads left over from other projects.
For some reason I have a lot of this bracelet size memory wire, I think I kept forgetting I already had some and then I would go and buy more!
I also have to admit that threading on memory wire is a pain, so I dont do it a lot.

But now I have found a really happy use for it - and I am gradually emptying my orphan beads box. The ones there are only one of.

These bracelets are a mix of gemstones, glass, beads, cloisonne with either silver curved beads or rubber tubing inbetween . The more colourful the better!

These memory wire bracelets have been really popular, as soon as I make them they sell!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Friday fill in

1. Snow is cold. (and I'm so happy we dont have any here!)

2. I'm looking forward to when my kids leave home.

3. Graeme is the best husband ever!

4. One of my favorite old tv shows is Monty Pythons Flying Circus.

5. I'm done with washing up.

6. The most enjoyable thing around the holidays is not having to get up early.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to cooking a lovely piece of barramundi, tomorrow my plans include doing some winetasting and Sunday, I want to sell lots of stuff at Millthorpe market day!

You can join the Friday Fill In fun!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

some favourites

Just sharing some of my favourite treasures that I have found on etsy.

There are so many gorgeous things and wonderfully creative sellers, that it is so hard to choose.
so here are a few faves that I have been coveting for a while.

Firstly to satisfy my chicken obsession - a quirky, cheeky yet slightly retro chick bowl by shoshonasnow.

Next out of the box -
Blubies makes the cutest Australian critters from socks (unused!) and felt and all lovingly handsewn together.
They all come with a little story attached.
They are all so full of character, and it took me ages to pick just one, but it has to be ringo - to remind me of the possums that pad around on our roof at night!

and the last one for today - just because I love jewellery, and because the work is awesome, and because who doesnt love mermaids?
Of course - I heart meramids by mangotango.
Go check out the rest of this shop, everything is gorgeous.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday Fill In

1. The last band I saw live was Chase the Sun.
2. What I look forward to most on Christmas in July is getting together with my family (lame I know, but it is the only time I see them. (if you don't celebrate thanksgiving, insert your favorite holiday)
3. My Christmas/holiday shopping is at the bottom of my 'to do' list.
4. Thoughts of retirement fill my head.
5. I wish I could wear tight clothes.
6. Bagpipes arrghhhhh.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to a home party at my friend kerry's, tomorrow my plans include taking my daughter to a gymnastics display and Sunday, I want to pack for my holiday!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Bright beads are best

I love the bright colours of this season.
I think it's something to do with my age but I am getting brighter and brighter.
So imagine my joy when I found these lovely smooth, bright, chunky ceramic beads during my latest bead shopping expedition. I filled my basket with them!
I have made them up into short, funky necklaces and also a longer version which has been popular.
It's such fun to mix and match the various shapes and colours.
The necklace feels great on and of course I had to keep one for myself - to go with my new bright summer wardrobe.

You can find a necklace like this in my etsy shop.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Australian handcrafted gift guide

The etsy DUST (down under street team) now has a gift guide to help you find wonderful handmade goodies for all occasions.
The Dust team is a great group of creative aussies, including artists, jewellery designers, knitters, seamstresses, photographers and many more who all sell their wares on etsy, and support each other and hope to bring awareness of the handmade movement to as many people as possible.

In this age of mass produced blandness, isnt it great to find something unique, lovingly created by someone who loves what they do, is ethically produced and doesnt cost an arm and a leg?

Head on over to the gift guide and you will see what I mean.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Little rings for little fingers

Making little beaded rings is quick and satisfying.
At first it's hard to make them small enough if you are used to making bracelets (usually) or necklaces (never!).
Little girls love to wear rings so I strove to make some to satisfy young fingers.

These rings are made from a design by Dustin Wedekind from the Beading Daily site.
I love combining bright and pretty beads and can't wait to see what the little princesses think of them.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday fill-in

1. Please feel free to comment on my first friday fill-in.
2. When I walk past a restaurant cooking garlic prawns I can't help sniffing it occasionally.
3. My favorite thing to cook is a big vegetable curry.
4. chocolate is something I can't get enough of.
5. That's the thing I love most about cats, they are so independent.
6. questions I cant understand always makes me think to myself, what the heck?
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to some cooler weather, tomorrow my plans include having a stall at Glenbrook market and Sunday, I want to go for a bushwalk with some friends!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

things I have bought from etsy

I had been admiring this unusual wrap for some time in yarnaboutyarn's shop.
I love the colour and the way it just hugs the shoulders and the fun frill, and the way it has a twist a the front.

- Then it was reduced in price as part of the monthly Dust (down under street team ) sale.
And I knew I had to have it!
It's always so exciting buying something from etsy - waiting for the parcel to arrive, unwrapping and seeing your chosen special thing in the flesh.
This one didnt disappoint, I just love it.
I was able to wear it the next day when I went to a street fair, as it was cool setting up in the morning.
I felt so special.
There is another lovely wrap in this shop - pink this time. I wonder if it has my name on it too.

You can also have a look at all the lovely colourful freeform knitted creations here -

Something else I bought recently was a birthday present for my 20year old son

20 year olds are impossible to buy for - unless it is a new guitar!
He is a big Dr. Who fan (who isnt?) and sometimes he seems to live in a parallel universe!
I am a big fan of David Loong's work, he makes these little works of art from silver, copper and brass. They are quirky, sometimes satyrical and always have a story to tell.

If you are stuck for what to buy a man in your life I recommend checking out David Loong's shop.

Happy shopping!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sculptures by the Sea

H and I went on our annual pilgrimage to Bondi to the Sculptures by the Sea exhibition.
It was a wet and wild day, but after a sustaining cup of coffee we set out - cameras clasped in our cold little hands.
As usual there were fabulous, clever, surprising, bold, amusing pieces (and one or two that failed to attract our attention).

It's an amazing location - along the cliffs from Bondi to Tamarama Beach and some on the beach at Tamarama.

Some of the pieces are designed to fit into the location where they are placed - very clever.
Others would suit anywhere. Some I would love to have in my garden.

This beautiful surreal piece is called "nexus".

There are more pictures on my flickr

Monday, October 27, 2008

Easy Slice Recipe

Someone gave me this recipe years ago.
It's great to mix up and pop in the oven if you already have it on to cook something else.

Rolled Oats Slice

1 cup rolled oats
1 cup wholemeal flour
1 cup raw sugar
1 cup coconut
1 cup mixed dried fruit
4 oz (125 g) butter
2 tbs golden syrup
2 tbs milk

Melt butter and golden syrup together.
Mix all dry ingredients together, than add the wet ingredients.
Mix well.
Press into a slice tin.
Bake at 170 - 180 oc until brown, about 15 mins.

Cut into slices and enjoy with a nice cup of tea!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Some new creations

I have been on a bead buying spree!

First of all there was the Sydney bead and gem show, where I met some of my favorite lampwork artists, as well as the Venetian glass lady and Sue from Beadglass, who sells gorgeous czech glass beads.
I must also mention the ever welcoming Bev and Ross from The Rock Shop.

I found these lovely ceramic beads at Feeling Inspired, and teamed them with faceted orange jade and some little spacer beads from Beadworx.

These beautiful lampwork beads are by DKS beads of Sydney.
I always buy her 'orphans', they make fabulous bracelets, dont you think?

Carved blackstone bead from Bjulde, and red aventurine nuggets.

Tabular freshwater pearls and faceted amethyst that I got during another shopping expedition to Sydney.

Some of these will be listed in my etsy shop.

Also look out for me at the Rhododendron festival at Blackheath next weekend.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Remodel, renovate and refresh

Sometimes things just dont sell!
N o matter how beautiful you think they are, and despite being made from the finest components and created during your best creative moment. Well, they just sit on the shelf for weeks and months and sometimes years!

The great thing about beaded jewellery is that when you are totally sick of the sight of something you can pull it apart and make something else.
Which is what I did to a few of my pieces recently.
and what's more most of them sold straightaway! Hurray!

In the photo above, the lower necklace featured a gorgeous lampwork bead made by Bev Butler. I strung it with a variety of gemstones and pearls. It was a longish style, which I thought was quite fashionable.
BUT it had to go!
I remodelled it into this short necklace with coral and turquoise, and it sold at once!
Necklace #2 was also a longish one, with various pearls and lapiz. I had made a few variations on this theme and they all went really well, but not this one!
So it became several pretty bracelets, one of which is still available in my etsy shop.

When I originally designed this rose quartz, pearl and amazonite necklace, I thought it was the prettiest thing ever! It has some tanzanite coloured swarovski crystals and crystal quartz chips in as well.
But it's days were numbered and it also became several bracelets.One of them is also in my etsy shop.

This three strand necklace always attracted lots of attention. People were always drawn to the jade pendant and were disappointed that it was attached to a strand of rose quartz and a strand of green pearls.
When I pulled it apart and used the pendant for a totally different necklace it walked straight out the door!

It was great to have a bit of a spring clean. I have uncluttered my stash a little and made some extra sales.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Leura Tea at the Nook

The Nook has some new members!
In this post I will just tell you about Liane and Angelique who are Leura Tea.
It's hard to believe that they have only had their business in operation for 4 months.

I think the range and style of their hand blended teas is due to the amount of work and research they put into the previous 8 months as they devoloped their ideas and of course their product - the delicious teas!

Their specialty is a range called Leura tea blends -
- Blue Mountains Earl Grey
- Blue Mountains Lady Grey
- Leura Chai
- Lemon Sublime
- Billy Blue

Inspired by their own young families, they decided to develop a range of caffeine-free teas. Of course these are all enjoyed by all members of the family!
- Captain Jack's Jaffa
- Gabriel's Chocolate Chai
- Eddie's Apple Spice
- Dominic's Jasmine Black
- Honey Bee

They are constantly blending and creating interesting teas such as Japanese Genmaicha, Goji Berry, Australian Daintree as well as the amazingly beautiful artisan tea balls.

You can find all these delights and more at
The Nook, (a co-operative gallery)
upstairs at 133A The Mall, Leura.
ph 02 47 84 2917

or contact Liane and Angelique

Friday, September 19, 2008

24 years and still going....

G and I have been married for 24 years!

Quite an acheivement!

He took the day off work and we went to Mount Tomah botanic garden. This is a cool climate garden.

Had a lovely lunch with a great view, over the gardens and hills.

Some stunning flowers were out in bloom.

- camellia.

- king protea.

many beautiful rhododendrons.

- this is a huge warahah bush, just full of waratahs!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Earrings for Suzie

My friend Suzie has a wonderful shop in Leura - full of gorgeous delights, and she asked me to put some of my earrings in there.
The shop is "Leura Vintage" and as the name suggests she specialises in vintage clothing and collectables, bric-a-brac, retro, gifts and more!

These are what I designed especially for her using some vintage-style czech glass beads on sterling silver and gold-filled hooks.

You can find Leura Vintage at 147 The Mall, Leura (upstairs), NSW, Australia.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Bermuda Triangle Bracelet

Continuing my obsession with peyote triangles - I wanted to see if I could tesselate them into a bracelet.
I thought that since they are equilateral triangles they would fit together quite nicely.
I also wanted to play with making donut triangles. So I got out my new Matsuno size 11 beads and started.

The triangles fitted together well!

But how to finish the ends?
I added on beads in a decreasing peyote stitch to try and make the ends straight, so that I could sew a clasp on.

I used a button and loop closure - a favorite way to finish off beaded bracelets.

It turned out great!
It's light and drapes really well on your wrist.
You can see it here -

New Earrings

I found these fabulous sterling silver ear wires at a bead show, and knew they would be just the thing to show off these lovely czech glass beads.

They make simple, elegant earrings which have been very popular on my craft fair stalls.
Look out for them in my Etsy shop too!
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