29 April 2010

Bunting, biscuits and procrastination

My frilly bit of doily loveliness has been featured (again! yay!), this time on the madeit blog. Hmmm... perhaps I should piece together some more of them...?

-  OR  -

I could sit on my ass eating the shortbread that Ty & I made yesterday, trolling my craft RSS feeds, favouriting things, hearting things, bookmarking things, and generally avoiding the to-do list that features very prominently on my wall.

See that big bit of white paper there? The one with twenty (crap! 20!?) things to do on it? I'm pretending it doesn't exist right now.

There isn't really an easy place to start either:

'Finish quilt.' Sounds fun, but I started the thing without experience, pattern or clue, so it's still sitting over there in the cupboard, laughing at me. How do I put the back on? How do I bind the edges? Can I even find the fabric I bought for the backing? Who knows.

'Scan Rich - old pics box + album.' Woot, scanning. Tops. A whole album and a whole box full, no less. Next.

'Clear out for Vinnies'. Ah, a delicate one. Must do this in the snippets of time I can find when Rich is at work and the kids are sleeping, so he is blissfully unaware of what I'm chucking out. He's a hoarder, I'm a purger. But when the office is so full I can't actually pull my chair out from my desk, something's gotta give.

*Sigh*. Maybe I should just cover that nasty list up with more pictures of the kids.

27 April 2010

Doily garland featured on Etsy treasury

Cheers to prettydamncute for curating this lovely Spring wedding themed treasury that just happens to feature my vintage doily garland along with a lot of other pretty stuff. Love those ballet shoes!

(Note for non-Etsians: treasuries are only live for a short period of time so if you're reading this at some point in the distant future, the treasury link will not work.)

26 April 2010

Shameless promotion for personal gain...

Yes, yes, I'm trying to win something - HOWEVER, Kid Independent is a pretty rad site anyway - introducing me to some very funky and talented makers of lovely things who put my stuff to shame!

Check out this link to try and win a special mothers day goodie bag for yourself! (I'm especially loving these hair bands and clips and such from How Tweet it Is).

22 April 2010

Noni and the Machine

Yeah... like Florence and the Machine, only with less talent.

I have a confession to make: I don't really like sewing. I've only just got to the point where I can tolerate sewing.

I LOVE putting together fabric combinations. Researching. Planning. Cutting, even. But not the actual sewing bit. Perhaps this aversion to actually using my machine harks back to the days of using my mum's old (30 years maybe?) Elna on which, as a budding fashion designer in my early teens, I ambitiously attempted such projects as:

- Dark red PVC snakeskin full length skirt - FAIL (I didn't use a pattern, oh no, I just figured I'd cut out a skirt shape and she'd be apples)
- Grey wide leg pants - FAIL (I sewed the ass and front pieces together backwards so that I had a puffy bit on the front of my left leg and my butt didn't fit in the right leg)
- Smocked summer dress - FAIL (didn't even start this one, mum recently found the fabric I'd bought especially for it)

And I'm sure there's quite a few more that I have stricken from my memory due to embarassment.

I used to hate that machine. I could never load the bobbin properly. Every time, I'd be asking mum 'how do I do this again?', and every time she'd say 'hold it like a backwards toilet roll.' Seems straightforward, but for some reason I sucked at it. The thing was enormous and clunky and weighed about 30 kilos. Needles broke. Bobbins jammed. Swear words were thrown.

But somewhere along the line, something must have clicked. Along with mum teaching me to sew, dad worked as a dyer at Coates, which became Australian Thread. The seed was subtly sown (or sewn?) and it has emerged now after all this motherly nestingness that I've been through in recent times.

So now, I don't see my Brother LS-2160 as the devil. It doesn't miss stitches, it doesn't jam, it doesn't leak machine oil all over expensive fabric. It's functional and easy to use and doesn't take up heaps of space on my desk. But I'm still not ready to stand up, square my shoulders, and say I LOVE SEWING.

Perhaps, one day soon. But for now, I must get back to planning, designing, colour matching. All that fun stuff. Maybe I'll do some sewing tomorrow.

17 April 2010

Sunshine, lollipops and rainbows

Just because it was a beautiful day today... some pretty etsy finds in all the colours of the rainbow. Enjoy!

Rainbow 8 pom set by SweetPoms

Rainbow wooden sorting bowls by theenchantedcupboard

European countries geography map tshirt by isotope

A colourful existence / Lobster shack in Maine print by dannyphillipsart

Rainbow Brite retro apron by PoppysGardenGate

Rainbow flower shoe clips by starzselection

Over the rainbow bag by littleoddforest

Roy G Biv knit socks by ELSLOW5

Funny bunny head needle felting kit by madebymoxie

16 April 2010

12 April 2010

The proof is in the pudding (or blankie, as it were)

This is Archie. He is the gorgeous little Christmas baby that my great friends Phil and Sarah were blessed with. And he has the first tag blanket I made in his hot little hand.

Sarah and I went through our pregnancies together - our due dates were just a week apart, but Archie and Holly arrived nearly a month apart!

Sarah's baby shower gift was this handmade blankie and a matching giraffe toy, and I hoped that her wee baby would be enamoured by them when he arrived.

I have had reports that he won't let his blanket go, so here's hoping it remains a favourite (and my sewing stands the test of time!).

10 April 2010

Stop traffic with your baby (not actually recommended)

Ok, I mean stop traffic in a 'Wow, check that out!' kind of way with this funky new tag blankie I have whipped up called The Traffic Light. 

Mucking around on facebook last week, I saw Sheena from Bubbamia Fabrics in Tassie was having a live online sale, so I jumped at the chance to nab a bargain Riley Blake fat quarter set. I've used the 'Wheels Micro Dot' print on the back of this tag blanket - it's a great eye-popping dot print that babies will love to look at, with reds, oranges, greens and blues on a chocolate background.

Thanks Sheena, and thanks to Ty for modelling for me ('just hold this for a sec buddy then you can have a go of the camera').

When one has too much time on one's hands...

This is kinda useless but also kinda cool. Check out animoto to make a short funky video - of your friends, your shop, your kids, your dog, whatever. You can choose from a ton of music tracks, add photos, and create a little video.

I have just made one featuring my stuff. Yay for time wasting!

09 April 2010

More doily love

Oooo pretty...

This garland is just the right size to brighten up a doorway now that we have entered the miserable, hibernation-inducing non-daylight savings months.

Can you tell I'm more of a summer person?   :)

07 April 2010

Pork chop featured on the madeit blog!

Woot! I've been featured on the madeit blog as a 'mum who makes'!

Read the full interview below (or here on the madeit blog).

mum who makes :: Pork Chop

Tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Leonie and I’m a mum to Tyler, 2, and Holly, ten weeks. I live in Blacktown NSW but am comfortable being a ‘westie’! My dream is to one day open a cafe/gallery space that supports local artists however the budget won’t allow that at the moment so I am content to hide in my closet-sized spare room and get crafty.

Can you explain your craft/art and the materials you like to use?
So far I’ve been working with fabric making baby things and pretty home wares, although who knows what path this will eventually lead me to... I also love calligraphy, scrapbooking, ceramics, landscape design, graphic design, dyeing, beading, sculpture and loads of other things, so I’m hoping the process will be quite organic and I will eventually find my niche quite by accident!

How long have you been creating and how did you get into making handmade goodies?
I’ve been crafting in some sense ever since I can remember, and am constantly drawn to creative roles, spaces and people. I’ve worked as a copywriter, founded a boutique marketing firm, done mindless admin, cleaned hearing aids, made sandwiches, sold safety glasses and headhunted staff but nothing makes me as happy as just sitting down to sew, draw or paint. I’m hoping that by building a small business making quality products, I’ll eventually be able to sustain my soul as well as my bank balance.

How do you juggle motherhood & crafting/managing your business?
With great difficulty!! Seriously though, being organised is super important, as well as not having an expectation that you’re going to be able to create when you want to. We all know how unpredictable kids are so being able to go with the flow is imperative, and when you do find those precious moments when both kids are asleep at the same time, pack in as much as you can! I have a little to do list stuck to the fridge, and its full of enjoyable things – the washing can wait!

Do you have any advice to other Mothers who are wanting to start creating handmade goodies?
Don’t expect everyone to be supportive and say things to boost your confidence, especially your friends and family. My husband comes up with such gems as ‘you’ll never make any money from sewing’ and ‘wow that’s great’ (loaded with sarcasm). He’s my toughest critic! But if you don’t believe in yourself nobody else will, so when people ask what you do, say with confidence ‘this is my business’, rather than a sheepish ‘uh, this is kinda my hobby’.

03 April 2010

Front and centre!


My vintage doily garland has appeared in the very first spot on the MadeIt homepage.

Here's a link if you like it  :)

01 April 2010

Managing the wet patch

...the baby dribble wet patch that is. Holly has just got to the age where her chin resembles Niagara Falls so I have run up a few dribble bibs for her. In the process I discovered that cotton drill seems to work really well as a backing so there will be more bibs in the store soon when I buy some non-khaki-poo-brown coloured drill (although the khaki did go well with her pink sakura print).

At the moment there are two of the original double sided cotton variety in store - a fabulous graphic black & white number print backed with red polka dots here, and also a sweet Michael Miller Dick & Jane print one here. Both only USD$5!

Not sure I'll be close to the computer over the weekend, so a wonderful relaxing Easter to all! And happy anniversary to us... Rich & I met on April Fools day, how appropriate!