Got some sewing done today :)

A new cushion for the Madeit shop.

Some flared pants from Kaufman cord fabric, which you can find at the Crafty Mamas shop.
Last chance to enter the giveaway, I'll be posting the winner tomorrow.

Free embroidery design and tute!

Here is the design for you, I tried making a pdf for easy printing, but my technological un - savvy brain wouldn't comply, so what you can do is right click on the image, save it in a folder, then print it out to transfer to your fabric. Please let me know if it doesn't work!

This design can be done entirely in stem stitch, so its easy for beginners. Just ensure when you're going around tight curves to vary your stitch length to very small.

Use whatever fabric you like, I used homespun just because I like it.
Before you start stitching, shade in the areas you want coloured with a coloured pencil or I used my watercolour pencils. You can see in the picture below the areas I've shaded. You can always shade more when you're done stitching, but go lightly to begin with and layer it. Back your fabric with fusible Pellon before you start stitching.

Stem stitch around the mushroom top and spots in red. Do the same around all the outlines, using my pictures as a guide. You can be adventurous with your colours.

Continue outline stitching and don't forget the details on the butterfly's body and wings.

Here is my finished stitchery, I did some extra pencil shading when I finished stitching (blue for the sky, green and brown for the ground. I then sewed on a fabric border, backed it with some wadding and put it in a frame without the back on.
You don't have to frame yours, it could go on a cushion etc. but keep in mind it can't be laundered due to the pencil!
Voila! A cute and quaint stitchery!
Please respect my creativity by only using this image and instructions for personal enjoyment.
I'd love to see pictures of your stitchery when you're done and receive some feedback on the instructions.

I'm dreaming again..

Husband didn't share my enthusiasm, perhaps it was the price tag?

Getting ready for a little one

I finished knitting up this little hat for the impending arrival lastnight, it turned out beautifully and increased my knitting confidence substantially. Its supposed to be in gender neutral colours, as we don't know the sex of the baby, but I think it looks a little boyish. We shall see....

Today I got a parcel of exciting fabric from the Crafty Mamas Shop.
I'll be making pants and a top for one of the girls (the tomboy!) so I have another weekend project to add to the list.

The giveaway is still on, but not for long!

New cushion

I just love these Tanya Whelan fabrics, so pretty and feminine yet striking. I'm going to make a bunch like this when I overhall our bedding. This one is in my Madeit store now.

Don't forget the spotty tote giveaway ends this weekend.

Hope you have a terrific day!

I love Autumn!

The little african violets that frazzle and seemingly die over summer have once again returned with their lush growth and vibrant purple flowers. I've spent the morning outdoors raking up the chookyard and laying down fresh straw. We had rain (hooray!) yesterday and lastnight, so the garden is a welcome sight this morning. I had to tell the boy to leave his bookwork and come out into the sun before it disappeared. He willingly obliged and is still out there now. Husband will be pleased to see a wheelbarrow load of compost fodder when he gets home from work.

This striped lily is so pretty, I'm not sure what its called.
Yesterday I finally got around to visiting Stitchery Blue in Williamstown - wow, what a beautiful shop! I think the owner and I share the same taste, I just wanted to buy everything. I was very restrained however, and bought a pattern for some baby/children's hats and a couple of balls of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran. I can honestly say I have never used a finer yarn, I feel like knitting just so I can touch it!
Although the shop is pricey, the staff were very friendly and helpful, it has a great, bustling atmosphere and there was a steady stream of customers. I highly recommend a visit if you're in the area.


I love buttons, which is a bit strange as I've hardly ever used them in projects. I'm doing a bit of research into making my own (I love little painted ceramic ones) which has opened up a whole new world of the buttonmaking community. I always have a chuckle when I hear people talking about the "forgotten arts" - there is no such thing. There are so many devotees and artists for any craft you can think of, its a great thing the craft community is so alive worldwide.
Anyway, I found a few buttonmakers I like:

Handmade by Karen

Nikki Tervo Designs

Giggle Buttons

Cute, aren't they?

The best of both worlds

I love sewing soft furnishings, I love sewing dolls - so I combined the two! The doll is 6 inches tall and is designed to slip into the pocket (a place to rest at night and a place to not get lost!)
I had fun making this, its in the Etsy shop now.
Must remind you about the giveaway, there aren't many entries there yet, and it finishes at the end of the month.
Still haven't started those pants for dd yet, at least I've drafted the pattern! I have a tendency to work on the "fun" things before the "necessary things"! I'm quite sure I'm not the only one?

Beautiful day

Its a glorious Autumn morning here, real "doing" weather.
Husband has taken the older 2 to the city to the Eureka observation deck, I'm taking the little one to my obstetric appointment soon (how many hours can one spend in a waiting room in one lifetime?)
Here is a little peek at what I've been working on over the weekend. Love that fabric!
Lastnight husband and I watched "The Wrestler" with Mickey Rourke and were sorely, sorely disappointed. Perverse and extremely miserable, not a pleasant way to spend the evening, so if you haven't seen it DON'T!


I have high hopes for today but have woken feeling really tired (same as yesterday), the children seem to have picked up on this and are being extra difficult. My pregnancy is at week 30 now, so I guess I'll be feeling it a bit more from now on.
One of the girls needs some nice warm tracksuit pants, so I'll try to at least start on those today. I have 2 wee waldorfs waiting for their clothes and hair. I love to make them, they're so cute at 6 inches tall!
Not to mention my new fabric which is ironed and ready to go, I have ideas for cushions, journal covers, and too many other things to mention, certainly too many for 3.5 metres of fabric!
I think I can squeeze in some time for property perusing, last week husband and I looked together on at properties worth into the millions around Cape Otway. Ah well, its nice to dream.

While I'm here I'll remind you about the giveaway if you haven't entered already.

Wishing you all a lovely weekend.
God bless.

Things are getting better...

After an awful start to the day in the form of a glass sliding door having slid off its track, it then dropped onto my foot when I was trying to fix it. Ouch! There I was sitting with offended foot up and a packet of frozen peas thinking - broken toes? Anyway, a few hours later I'm hobbling around (definately not broken).
Then I received this parcel in the mail from Fabric Direct (excellent customer service) and things started to feel right with the world again, some beautiful Tanya Whelan, even a fat quarter of Matroyska dolls, what a treat. These lovely pieces are now flapping in the wind on the clothesline awaiting the next step. What will that be? Hmm, the thinking cap is on.

I came across the recipe for "Chocolate Mug Cake" in the local paper and tried it out. So easy, just done in the microwave. I overcooked mine a little, they were dry. Here is the recipe:

4 tblspn SR flour
4 tbspn sugar
2tbsp cocoa
1 egg
3 tblsp milk
3 tbsp oil
3 tbsp choc chips or chopped cooking chocolate

Mix well together in a bowl or in the mug. Fill a mug about half way with the mixture. Microwave on high for about 1.5 minutes (try to leave a bit more moisture in than I did!)
This will make 1 - 2 ordinary coffee mugs or one huge coffee mug.

Let me know what you think if you try it.

The giveaway is up and running, see my last post.

Time for another giveaway

A little spotty tote to giveaway. It is my design and is interfaced for strength and lined with red and white stripes, its very cute. OK, to win here's what you need to do:
Leave a comment here, then mention this giveaway on your blog with a link to my blog.
If you don't have a blog, don't worry, just leave a comment here and I'll enter you anyway.
I'll draw this one at the end of the month.

Good luck!

New Madeit shop!

This is my first item in my new Madeit shop (Pipsy and Mims) where I'll be selling mostly homewares. I will still have my Etsy (The Handmaden) shop for the dolls.
As an opening special I'm offering this size 2-4 pretty girly apron for only $10 Australian dollars.
Go take a look, its not quite as "professional" as Etsy, but a lovely place nonetheless.
Have a great day!

What you've got challenge.

I've set myself a challenge to use up old or idle fabric from my stash. I'm almost desperate for some new fabric, but as we are picking up our van tomorrow, money is a little scarce. Its hard to be inspired by fabric that has become familiar. Anyway, I made a start with this little apron made from leftover fabric from a quilt. I drew up the design (well, more like made it up as I went along) and it turned out pretty well. I'd like to make more when I do get some new fabric!

This is what it looks like on the recipient (one of my daughters). I like simple but pretty things.
I treated myself to the latest edition of my favourite magazine - Homespun and entered a competition to win a beautiful pack of Robyn Pandolph fabric. The entry question was "Why are the women in your life special?"
It made me think about my mother, who passed away 4 years ago as a result of breast cancer. We were very different people and did not get along for a long time. Our relationship started to improve after the birth of my first child, shortly after which she became ill.
I never thought of her as special before that, but as her illness progressed and she had setback after setback a new part of her shone through. Courage. Immense courage. Although it was very hard towards the end, she never gave up. She became (and still is) an inspiration to me.

Tea set for Gran

This little set doubles as a birthday and Mother's day present for my husband's Mum. The little Japanese tea pot from this picture was inherited from my Mother, which is funny because she wasn't a tea drinker. I use it every day.

I used a pale blue cotton waffle weave and florals from Max New.

I appliqued the teapot using the interfacing method (first time for me, worked well).
It will suit their farmhouse kitchen very nicely, they love their tea!

Introducing Mr. Brown!

He began his life as a simple sketch in my almost full sketchbook.

I thought he had character and deserved something more "colourful" than grey pencil.

I hope to make him part of a series of various characters and perhaps produce some patterns of him and his friends as stitcheries.
Hope you like him!

Ways to cut homeschooling costs.

Homeschooling can cost much less than regular state school fees or more than private school fees - its really up to you how much you spend. We, as a family, have a frugal approach to every financial aspect of our lives and this certainly extends to homeschooling.

I have been using a very cheap curriculum for the past 4 years, however, the holes are starting to show and I'm not happy with the quality of materials. I will be spending a little more, which is OK considering it has been so affordable so far.

Whatever curriculum you choose (or write yourself if you're that talented!) there are many cheap and free ways to supplement your lessons. Here are a few ideas:

-Your bookshelf can be an excellent resource. I constantly use our small encyclopedia set to write lessons for my son. Simply pick a topic eg. a country, get your child to read the available information and fill in a sheet of questions you have written out prior. Voila! Free lesson.

-Read a book or novel with the child and get them to write a book report. This can be a simple or complex assignment, it depends on the age and ability of the child.

- Go on an excursion. Find all the free resources in your area to visit. Go to the playground or park. Go to the library. Go for a picnic or nature walk. Some may not consider these activities as "schoolwork" but the children will learn and even better they will enjoy it!

- Take the morning off bookwork and instead play educational games with the children, do experiments, have a fun art and craft lesson or cook something together.

-There are many free online homeschooling resources. Take the time to look around and do some googling. For young children you will find a plethora of colouring in and activity sheets. For older children you will find some sample lessons or free lessons. I use Calvary Chapel Children's Ministry for bible lessons, it has been invaluable and costs nothing! There are many other sites offering teacher resources, have a look.

- Remember, you are the teacher, you have the freedom to decide how your child/ren will learn best. Don't worry about others who may try to influence your schedule, do what works for you and your kids!

And most importantly, keep up the good work!

Saturday chit chat

So, after deciding that we would not need to buy a van before the arrival of little no.4 we have now realised that one of the children is too big to fit in additional station wagon seating, and another child soon will be. Tomorrow we go to look at a secondhand van. Although I'm very hesistant to spend the money, I must admit the idea of a roomy van is quite exciting, plus we already have a buyer for our current car.

Its a beautiful autumn day, blue skies, sun shining. The children are on the trampoline enjoying the weather before it turns cold again, so I'm enjoying some "quiet time" to myself.

I feel like making something but need more supplies, my small fabric collection is looking a bit pitiful. I'm trying to come up with more ideas to use up scraps, but then again, how many times do you want to use the same fabric over and over? Hmmm, starting to sound spoilt methinks!

Have a great day!

New in the shop today......

A "Wee Waldorf" doll, only 6 inches tall with knitted organic and hand dyed yarn dress and long flowing alpaca and mohair locks.

A butterfly wristlet, just for fun! It has a knitted body and attaches to the wrist with velcro.
Now, a word about zips!
I'm determined that one day I will be able to insert a zip that looks good, I've tried many times and never completed one to satisfaction. Any zip tips from those in the know?


Make do and make a start

I thought I'd share with you a little reality check today. It is easy for us to imagine that people we see on social media, on websites...