Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Bye Bye Birdie

Last night I gave a sneak peek into what my next project would be. Well here they are all finished. They were actually finished last night about 1/2 hour after I took the photo but by then it was way past my bed time and my eyes were in no mood for photo editing.
I have had these birds bookmarked at Spool for a long time and this week I am trying to get a craft done a day so they started the ball rolling. I made several others  intending them to all be perched on a branch in the living room to try and brighten some very dull wintery weather, but, they have already flown to new homes with family members and friends who visited today and absconded with them, along with requests for more. They are nice and quick to make and it is quite relaxing to sit in front of the tv stuffing them and sewing them closed.

Shrek Forever After in 3D has just been released here and I have 2 little shrek fans and 1 big fan ( he wont admit it in public) so I think the next craft will be shrek related and green. This is far preferable to listening to the constant Team Edward v Team Jacob banter between Sarah and her friends as the new movie Eclipse draws ever closer.

Road Block

As someone who is new to the world of blogging I find myself on a very fast learning curve but there are several bumps in the road that have become absolute road blocks. My main road block rears its ugly head when commenting on other peoples blogs. When I write a comment I sign in as Big and Little with Odd Socks and my profile picture is sitting nicely on the right hand side of the comment ( where it should be). When I post the comment however my picture disappears to be replaced by an empty square. Can someone please tell me what I am doing wrong as it is becoming very annoying and no matter what I try I cannot fix it.
My other problem is responding to the lovely people who leave comments on my blog. Is there any way with a blogger blog that you can reply to the comment on your blog so that the person who wrote the comment will actually receive the reply?

To finish today - a sneak peek at what my table looks like at the start of my next creation. Stay tuned tomorrow for the outcome....
I know this photo may appear a little strange but I have been playing around with Picnik and the different effects on offer after watching Cheri's ( from "I Am Momma - Hear Me Roar") wonderful tutorial on easy photo editing and enhancing. I have used photoshop for the last few years but only scratch the surface of it as it is rather hard to learn if you are not a professional graphics person.
I know there will have to be a lot more experimenting on picnik in the very near future.......

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sniffles and New Shoes

Well I have finally caught what the rest of the family have been trying to give me for the last couple of weeks and it is not the way I wanted to start the school holidays. No cold and flu tablet seems to be able to put a dint in it either. Here's hoping that it doesn't linger as long as it did with everyone else -  there is too much planned for these 3 weeks.
On the brighter side of things I do love it when I find something unexpected in an op-shop. Voila - my new favourite purple shoes!

To compete with the large op-shop chain store Savers, all the little stores around here, ie salvation army and red cross, give you 50% off 1 item when you donate a bag of goodies. These shoes were $6.99 - had never been worn as they still had their plastic size stickers on the bottom of the sole and all stickers inside as well - and with my discount came down to $3.50 - Perfect!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

My Creative Space

With a radical change in hair colour, the downsizing of my markets and the wintery weather, this weeks creative space is the chance to make something just for fun. As I have just about finished my gift for the craft swap on Craftaholics, the only limit is my imagination.
I want to refashion some old t-shirts into dresses for Mia, make a tulle skirt ( better than the ones in the shops) for Mia and maybe even a twirly pink skirt like Angelina Ballerina, also for Mia. Then there are Sarah's request of skirts and scarves for winter. For me, well a new apron would be nice - maybe out of teatowels or old jeans and I would like to try one of my zipper cuffs made into a collar/bib type necklace.
Oh the ideas just keep coming. -  especially when browsing all the wonderfully creative people on Kootoyoo Hopefully over the following days, many of these ideas will be making their pictorial debut on Big and Little and their street debut during our school holidays.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Power of 3

Why is it that bad things happen in 3's? This time, to be totally different, our three unfortunate events have been 3 new things that I have never done or had occur before. Let me walk you through them.....

1. Jumped under the shower at 5:30am yesterday morning wanting to get my kickstart before the market only to jump out even faster and colder than when I jumped in. NO HOT WATER! Since it was still  dark outside and everyone else was asleep I went with water from the kettle instead of a wakeup shower ( no substitute). Left matches out for Brett  with a note to check the pilot light when daylight came. Got home from the market wanting a 'thaw out' shower however it was not to be. Hot water service dead and new one needed. Unfortunatly not possible on a Sunday.

2. Lost Credit Card. I was out shopping for a birthday present for Brett ( I know a bit late since his birthday is today) when I got the call that the plumber wanted to come now to install the new hot water service. Flew through the checkout as fast as I could and raced home. Went out much later to buy some cream for the pavlova only to find credit card missing! After a few seconds, which seemed like ages, of sheer panic decicded that the last place I had used it was Target - I must have left it in the eftpos machine in my rush. The new security chips might be good but swiping the card meant you never let go of it. Rang the store and asked if anyone had handed it in. The lovely boy checked the safe and all the registers but nothing. What shitty person took my card from the eftpos machine and kept it? Bad karma to that person please. Got home and rang the bank to canel the card. Bummer that it cancels Brett's too. Oh well, better to be without it for a few days than let someone have a spending spree on me tonight via the internet.

3. FIRE! As today is Brett's birthday and since I didn't get him a present for this morning. I wanted to make a big fuss tonight. We started with bunting and balloons, 1/2 dozen oysters each for Brett and I, followed by baked Salmon (sea bream for the girls) with a herb crust, baby potatoes, carrots and zuccini in lemon pepper and broad beans( especially for Brett) and topped off with presents and party poppers before I managed to fit 44 candles on the pavlova. Sarah and Mia then wanted to have sparklers. Once I started to put the candles on the pav I had this feeling of fire and thought that it was just that with so many candles all the flames may join together to make one massive flame, but not, they were all blown out after a hearty rendition of Happy Birthday. My next though twas Brett and his sparkler against the party popper streamers but  again no - these only shrivelled up in response to the heat. I was starting to relax when Sarah started yelling and Brett flew up from his seat. The Bananas in pyjamas couch was on fire!. I was amazed how fast the little couch burnt. Brett grabbed one of the chairs and squashed the fire out on the floorboards. I know I should be glad but all I could think was "not the polished floor". I grabbed the ottoman and ran out the front door. Maybe running wasn't the best as it certainly fanned the flames which were about 1foot high by the time I made it out the door, but there was a satisfying hiss when I drove the stool into the wet grass. The only other casualties were a couple of my large floor cushions and some tulle I had to make a new tutu with. Luckily the surface on the polished floor didn't suffer to badly either. Sarah was inconsolable for ages as it was her sparkler that touched the couch to start everything off. She said she had visions of the whole house burning. ( I think she has learnt her lesson now about respect for fire) She also couldn't understand why I wasn't cross that she had ruined things. I finally convinced her that cushions etc do not matter and as long as everyone was ok everything else was just stuff and that she hadn't ruined the party.

With Mia finally in bed, I helped Sarah finish her recycled fashion assignment. We were initially  going to make a denim skirt from a pair of worn out jeans but we had a major purge last month and all the clothes went to the Salvation Army. With my sewing machine out of action we settled for a tie snake like the one I made Mia last night from and adaption of Vanessa at V and Co's Rattle Snake Buddy. As we dont have rattle snakes here in Australia they would mean nothing to the girls so we made carpet pythons instead as they come in a wide range of patterns.

Mia's 'Snakey' sleeping on the grass this afternoon.

Sarah's 'Mickey the Sake' made from a mickey mouse tie that was the most cheaply made tie on the planet. Amasing what low quality had the official Disney name on it.

Sarah's recycled fashion diorama. A clothesline with clothes made from my fabric scraps held on with Pegs I bought so long ago that I now have no idea what I had planned for them.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Shortest Lunch, Shortest Day, Longest Market

The Shortest Lunch is an even run by the smaller wineries of the Yarra Valley on the weekend of the shortest day of the year. Each of the smaller wineries of the region offer an entre sized meal and glass of wine for around $10. Yesterday saw us enjoying 6 wineries in the Seville region and we found that the smaller the winery, the bigger the serve of food and the better the wine.
Our day started with some absolutely delicious BBQ salmon and Pinot at Seville Hill Winery, then on to wine tastings as Whispering Hills. Their wine was nice but since they are only very small it was very cramped.

Seville Estate served the most delicious wasabi duck and the best Pinot and Pinot Gris of the day. I would highly recommend all of their wines to anyone. They also had great music and a very friendly dog.

Next on the list was Elmswood. Very beautiful and well set up but I am sure they were capturing and growing the ingredients for out mini pizzas as it took and incredibly long time for food to arrive.

Five Oaks vineyard was the least favourite of our stops but was followed by our final stop at Brumfiled Winery which offered a very relaxed atmosphere and lovely coffee for those who had to drive home soon. All in all a day that could very well be repeated next year.

After such a lovely day of wining and dining it was a rude shock to the body this morning to have to get up and leave for my final Flemington market in the rain. The only thing worse than rain and a market is wind and rain at a market. I was hoping for a wonderul day that would make me regret leaving this market but it proved my decision a correct one when the rain continued until about noon. Rain until noon marks and the death knoll of the market as no one comes to the market after that if they have not been out and about in the morning. Thus, sitting there in the rain with very limited customers made it seem like one of the longest markets of my seven years of markets. Were it not for the amazing sales of my coffee cozies at Red Hill Coffee stall and my need to constantly restock them the day would have been very boring indeed. These cozies also led to another business oportunity with Rebecca and Kate  fromt STREAT wanting to use my coffee cozies at their coffee carts to be located in the QV building in Melbourne and the surrounding CBD.

 STREAT is a wonderful organisation that offer homeless kids obtain some hospitatity and barista training in their mobile street food and coffee carts, which can lead to a variety of jobs to help them turn their lives around. I would love to be part of something that helps get kids off the streets. It brought home to me how lucky we really are and although the hot water system died yesterday and we have no hot water at the moment, we still have somewhere warm to live and sleep and with the temperatures dropping as low as they have been these last few nights I hate the thought of anyone having to try and find somewhere to sleep outside. I have decided that half of the profits made from the sale of my coffe cozies will be dontated to STREAT. If you would like one they can be found in my madeit store.

My pirate hats and flower hats sold well too which made up for the late nights and  the breaking of my sewing machine feel not so bad .

Thursday, June 17, 2010

My Creative Space

This wet, miserable and grey Thursday finds me excited with how well my new zipper cuff turned out. I have loved this mix of colours and when my cuff blanks finally arrived from the USA I couldn't wait to get started. I find it verydisappointing that I cannot find cuff blanks in Australia at a price anywhere near the US including postage. But that is a negative and today is all about positives!.
The decision is now whether or not to sell these cuffs? Since their time seems to have come and almost gone in the USA would they sell here or not as we are a season behind? Hmmmm something to ponder.

and a ' purple rain' cuff trying to use all the nylon zippers I have. I attached this to a cuff wider that I wanted. It was only supposed to be 1 1/4" wide not almost 2". It would look much better thinner. ( like me. hehehe)

The other creative part of this wet and miserable day will be making some of my new line of beanies for the market on Sunday. It will be my final Flemington market but Mornington and Red Hill will continue. My original model of tassell beanies is still popular but more and more mums and looking for close fitting beanies - especially for boys. So as the market demands I will provide.
Plain beanies for either boys or girls...

or dressed up with a flower which can be worn as a hairclip, attached to a headband or hair elastic etc or to a beanie.....

or have a skull and crossbones added for the little pirate in your life......

These hats all look a little 'warped' as many hands have been handling, squeezing and patting these at the market today and as a result the padding is no longer round. Photos were added much later as the ones taken on Thursday had very bad lighting and looked terrible.

To pass some more time on this miserable day pop over to and find out what other creatively ckever people are up to.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


I find I am happiest when I find lovely thigs that people make or get ideas for me to make - that is excluding all the happiness a family brings. Family times are not always happy. We do have the normal amount of yelling, messy rooms, struggles to get homework/music practice done, and sibling wars, but I like to think of the 'happy' times on this blog. But I digress.....
Today I have found even more things to make me happy....

1. The wonderul photos by James and Karla Murray. They have this wonderful book Store Fronts: The Disappearing Face of New York. and how they are being replaced by the big malls. I want to now find if we have any like this in Australia, in particular Melbourne and if we do I want to start noticing them more and maybe photograph them for my photo a day blog.

2. The wonderful creations by Tamar Morgendorff. There are several of these I would love to have a try at making myself. I love her big sitting swan and will probably make this into a pouffe type seat for my girls.

3. last but not least my love of aprons has been enhanced tonight by the lovely  Flirty Aprons. In particular I love the Sassy Black one.

The wonderful Linda at craftaholics anonymnous is running a giveaway for one of these aprons. Pop on over and check it out if you would like to win one of these gorgeous aprons.

Now that I have listed these so I will not forget where they are - a very bad habbit of mine (so many wonderful pages and tutorials are floating somewhere in my subconsious. Ones that I promised myself I would never forget but cannot recall for the life of me) - I am off to unwind with the lovely glass of Pinot that has just been presented to me and begin the 4 day weekend with a bit of relaxing.

I hope you find your happiness.

My Creative Space

Well today's creative space finds me with a test photo shoot for my winter range of hats, mittens, boots and slings . Being on a very restricted budget - ie free, it means I have to be creative in the sites and children I use. Today was all about  checking how certain ideas actually looked in a photo. My imagined look is often not what reality is. And I also wanted to see how the kids would react with each other. All in all I think they turned out reasonably well and some may even make it past the cut.
These were some of my favourite candid photos of the day -

this made me very thankful I don't have twins!

gimme a kiss

and I dragged the photographer into this one - afterall I had been hijacking her beautiful child.

How was your creative day spent? Head on over to Kootoyoo and check out some other wonderful ideas.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Bummer Bummer Bummer! (I can think of much stronger expressions but I will be nice) I can't get rid of the formatting on the signature until I am ready to lose all the formatting for all other posted pictures. I really like the way this template borders and shadows the pictures so for now will go without a signature. When I get bored with this template or if I need to change it for whatever reason I will put the signture back in.
Oh well, I've learnt a lot about blogger's back end and my programming abilities came back almost too easily. Obviously I did too much of this in the previous life and it has become like riding a bike - something I will never forget.

There is now no reason why I shouldn't start sewing for the weekend market.
Maybe, just maybe I can procrastinate a little longer................

More Beautifying

More blog beautifying, ( anything to let me put off doing my market sewing a little longer), this time in the form of a custom signature. I was going to have my handwriting converted to a font so I could write a lot in my 'own hand' but I dont have a scanner that works at the moment so used 'My Live Signature" instead. 
Who knows, in the future I might get my handwriting done.
To get the signature into the blog I used the tutorial by Linda at Craftaholics Anonymous but when I inserted the code in the template box on the settings page, it put the signature at the top of the post and I was unable to write above it. To rectify this problem I inserted the html code "<"B"R">"&"nbsp";"<"BR">" before the code for the actual signature ( a throw back to the days before children ), to give a blank line so that I can write the actual post.  If you wish to use this code  you will need to remove all the "". These were put in to stop a blank line being inserted in the post.
How about that? I actually did a sort of mini tutorial - albeit 1 line and even more amazing the computer programming brain that has not been used for 10 years still works! Now to prod it into remembering how to remove the template picture formatting or override it for one picture only.

Happy Days!

Email Posting Test

On exploring the intricacies of blogging I wanted to be able to post if away from my laptop. Hence posting via email.
I tried posting via MMS but this must be for USA residents only like SMS because all it did when waiting to receive my code was hang my laptop.
Now that the text has made it through (hopefully) lets try a picture.......
It should be a picture of ‘success’

Yay me, if this works

Monday, June 7, 2010

Eight Answers

On browsing the blogosphere and all my favourtie blogs I came across Kate of Fox's Lane and her 8 questions. I have just had my birthday analysed and 8 is my life path number. I am not sure what that entails exactly other than the number 8 plays a large part in my life. Then 8 questions popped up and I thought why not. I am not sure who will ever read the answers as I am a newbie to blogging and as of yet have no followers but what the heck, who knows what I might find out about myself along the way.
Here goes....

  1. Favourite Meal to Eat: Any kind of fish, or the perfectly cooked corned beef with mashed potatoes, peas and sweet baby carrots. I know the second option is boring and fuddy-duddy ish, but I think it is yum - probably due to the fact that I dont get to cook it at home as hubby doesn't like it.
  2. Do you have a quirky eccentricity? According to my family I do. I am obsessed with using the correct knife for things. ie a cake is cut with a cake knife not a carving knife and you do not butter bread with a serrated knife. Because of this I have 2 knife blocks on my bench with the top row of knives dedicated to specific purposes and the lower row is for general utility knives.
  3. My middle name is: Jane.  Plain and simple but it works well with so many other names that my eldest daughter has it too.
  4. I am passionate about: being yourself. I hate it when people change who they are to 'fit in' with the supposed correct people.
  5. Thongs or Birkenstocks?: Both. Although the birkenstocks are starting to take over and the thongs are being relegated to the beach/ pool trips etc.
  6. Who was I before I had kids?: A compter programmer, trainer and technician. I was responsible for installing computer systems, providing support ( both technichal and software) and training on all aspects of use etc. I now never want to fix another computer or solve anyone's software problems. I am happy to use one and play dumb when it stops working and ask hubby to fix it for me. He got his bug for learning everything  and I mean everything there is about IT and computers from me bringing work home when we first met.
  7. Have I ever been arrested?: No. My police check would be boring and empty.
  8. This weekend I will: be visiting the Sisters Market on Saturday and then on Sunday be at the Mornington Racecourse Market selling my wares ( hoping that the rain stays away) and then enjoying the Monday Holdiay. ( thanks Queenie).
Well there we are - 8 things about me that most people who know me would probably be able to answer most but not all the questions.

Now off to do some sewing for the weekend ...........

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Winter Chills

Winter definately let us know it has arrived today!
With the temperature not going above 13'C, a real chill in the wind, and the torrential downpours, there was no doubt cold times lay ahead. Not coming from somewhere with snow and all the problems that come with it, I do wish we could have a white winter to go with the low temperatures. Mia asked this morning why if  it was winter now, why we did not have any snow. She could not understand that just cos winter on the ABC kids shows always has snow, in Melbourne snow is an absoloute rareity.
Days like this mean very little gets done around here as there is always something someone has lost, has taken off someone else, wont share with someone, and then there is the constant hunger problem - when's lunch, when's dinner, I'm hungry - you know the drill.
After a day of being shut in the house watching the rain, we took a break in the weather this afternoon as a chance to take the dog to the park and stretch some cramped legs. (This is only after one day - wait till mid winter when it can rain for days on end).

legs stretched

wait for me....

searching for 4 leaf clovers

playing in the autumn leaves - even if they are a little wet

exercise for Toby

Thursday, June 3, 2010

My Creative Space

Well after a late night finishing the leather cuff last night I was greeted by this view out of my weather window early this morning.
The ground was as white and crunchy as the sky ( our first frost for the season) 

This is the view from my kitchen window and is the best way of telling the weather for the day ( perhaps I could rent it out to the tv weathergirls as their prediciton method is fairly lousy). The large maple tree is my season indicator tree and in the big white space next to it is a huge gum tree ( normally visible) that is my wind  indicator.
I love fog and the thicker the better. To me it is mystical and magical. It always makes me think of the movie Brigadoon and on the really pea souper days my inner child hopes I might stumble on my own magical town buried in the fog.

By the time Mia and I returned from Playgroup this morning the fog had lifted to a beautiful, albeit cold, sunny day.
That meant I could use the natural light to take some photos of my new cuffs and play with all the manual settings on my camera. (Depth of field is my favourite)

After lunch I decided to sort out the zipper stash and with the organisational skills of a 2 1/2 year old this is what we ended up with.

so now my challenge is to turn the above into the below.


Now it is off to make some of my famous chocolate muffins. Sarah's friends at school have requested some for snack tomorrow as even though their mums now have the recipe they apparently dont make them taste as good.

As it is creative Thursday, pop on over to Kootoyoo and check out what other crafty people are up to.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Cuffed Up

With the hlep of a couple of spare hours today, tonight mystery hours have been very productive. TWO cuffs completed and ready to go. 1 is the bubbles one I pinned out last night and the 2nd is a zipper strip cuff on leather. Again a very large learning curve working with leather and hot glue. Am wondering if there is a glue better suited to gluing things to leather tha normal hot glue. The cuff is now sitting under several phonebooks, chopping boards etc to keep it presses while it finishes drying tonight. I am also happy to say no new hot glue burns tonight - Shock horror, I might actually be getting the hang of this thing. Yay me!.
Here are tonights accomplishments....


Leather cuff......

Now to find an outlet for all this zipper jewellery I have building up apart from my shop on madeit.

Mystery Hours

Once again the post meant for Tuesday is not written until after midnight. Oh how I could do with some extra hours inserted between 11pm and midnight.

With the design for my second cuff constantly on my mind, it was a long day before 'my' mystery hours came tonight. My girls give the time after they go to bed, when the dishes are done, house tiedied, everything ready for the next day and other half is happily installed in front of either his computer or the TV with remote in hand, the name of mystery hours because according to them this is when new things or clothes just appear. In thruth between 10pm and 2am (that is my absolute deadline if I want to be able to function the next day) is my time to sew, craft, hot glue, soothe the glue burns (which are getting less) and basically let the creative juices flow.

Tonight was the new cuff. Instead of twisting zippers this time I wanted to recreate a 'doodle' that I think everyone has done at one time or another. You know the one where you start out with a few big circles and fill in all the between gaps with ever decreasing circles until the whole area is filled with masses of circles.
This is the scribble that prompted it all.

and then translated into zippers....

The larger circles looked a little empty so some of the extra circles I had made were used to break them up a bit.
Now firmly attached to the polystyrene with many, many pins, the fun part of tacking the design to the felt begins. I am getting a lot faster at the whole process though. The last cuff was a very fast learning curve.

I did also whip up a new dress for myself from one that had sat in the wardrobe since the 80's. I bought it the last time the Military theme was big and had the extra long military vest to go over the top and break up its greyness. Scary to think I could hold onto something so boring for so long. This year as a first day of winter thing, I gave up waiting for long grey 80's dresses to become fashionable again and transformed a boring grey full length dress into a empire line, just above the knee dress. I forgot to take a before picture but just imagine an ankle length dress with the waistline on the actual waist and the obligatory 80's shoulderpads. ( These were the first to go).
Here is what it became...

I know it doesn't look much laying down but the only full length mirror in the house is in my daughters bedroom and she is sleeping peacefully. I do like how I fluked the flash to be where my head should be.
I am also hoping that it may look ok over leggings etc as a tunic style top as well.


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