Crafting for charity

I've heard many a time that the best way to help yourself out of a low period is to work for the benefit of others and I find it to be very true.
Over the weekend I've been busy sewing for a handmade auction at my husband's work for someone very much in need.

I'm very happy with this bag that I designed as I went along with a great deal of winging it! I went to Spotlight to buy handles, but when I saw the $15 price tag for a couple of bits of plastic I changed my mind and made a strap.

The bag is pleated (that took ages!) and has boxed corners, if that's what you call them.

Hobo bag from a commercial pattern.

Finished with a matching fabric covered button. I hope these bags raise some money for the auction.

I picked some lemons from our tree to make a small batch of lemon curd, I love it.

Thanks to all who commented on my last post, I so appreciate your positive support :)


Maybe it's the cold and wet weather. Could be the $1000+ worth of unpaid bills stuck to our fridge or the specific time of the month, the complete lack of inspiration or dwelling on hurt from the past. The zero sales that I've had these past months. Whatever it is - whyever it is I wish it would go away and leave me alone because I don't like it!

I have too many good things in my life to ever feel down about, yet it still happens and I can't shake it. It goes away eventually. But then it returns. Sigh.

How about I just show you a couple of things I've made lately that have made me happy?

Simplicity 9464 - a thrifted pattern from ages ago. The top fabric (don't know what it is - lets call is voile) was given to me by a relative who didn't want it. So this pretty dress cost only a few dollars for the lining fabric which I already had. Wonderful, and she loves it :)

The girls and I were mucking around with polymer clay the other day and I made this little bear. Very simple, baked, coated with varnish and that's it!

Hopefully I'll be over my whatever thing in a few days and come back with some positive and inspiring stuff. If you're feeling a little down my mission for today is to pray for you!

God bless.

The Invisible World

I love being asked to review books on my blog but I do have a strict policy that I adhere to: if I don't like the book then I don't review it - I would rather not complete the review than do the author the disservice of giving a bad review.

I was thrilled when Anthony Destefano sent me a copy of his latest book to review but also a little apprehensive because although I have read his marvellous children's literature I had not yet ventured into his adult books.

No fear - I loved the book. It is one of those hard to put down, "wish I had a free day or two to just read this" books.

The Invisible World: Understanding Angels, Demons, and the Spiritual Realities That Surround Us
                                                                                   Image from Amazon

To give an overview, Anthony writes about the unseen world around us - delving into angels, devils and spirits, but it goes much deeper than that. I found the book to be highly intelligent and multi angled.

 Anthony's writing style is personal, but in a brotherly way rather than a distant authoritarian way.
It is pointed, yet not heavy, so an excellent read for a busy Mum like me.

I found the content easy to understand - no new concepts for me but a reiteration of known and some forgotten facts.

The Invisible World would appeal to Christians of all denominations, but also those who are interested in Christianity, death and eternity.

What I have received from reading this book is a reignition of some areas of my faith that had been overlooked and perhaps gone a little cold over time. I've been reminded of invisible forces that shape who I am and what I do.

The final verdict - highly recommended!

Wanna see something gorgeous?

Sorry, but no, it isn't a photo of yours truly ;)

I have been apprehensively excitedly awaiting my parcel for the cushion swap. The last swap I participated in didn't go so well - I didn't like what I was sent and considering the resounding silence from my recipient I figure the feeling was mutual... Back to my parcel. I knew when it arrived this morning and saw the beautifully decorative label that I was in for a treat.

I had to force myself to pause for this photo!

The accompanying bookmark reads:
"I hope you like it! The 4 chicks are symbolising your 4 kids and the chicken theme is a nod to your natural, organic life!"

The girls were all over the cushion, each trying to claim it for their own bed!

 The back was finished with an invisible zip (oh boy, I wish I could sew in a zip like this lady!)

I can see how much time and thought went into this cushion and I'm really touched and honoured to be in possession of it. The quality of stitching is just superb. It is now sitting on the couch and makes me smile when I walk past.

Naturally, you want to know the talented artist who made this. Her name is Anna and she a website and a blog.

Shiny Happy Art and the blog.


My Creative Space

Every now and then I'm seized with songwriting inspiration and go for it. One of the reasons I don't write much anymore is I find it hard to deal with interruptions from the children and lose the flow. One day I'll actually get around to recording something for you all!

My husband's workplace is soon having a handmade homegrown auction to raise money for a very good cause so I think I'll make a couple of bags. I'm winging it with this one so hopefully it turns out OK!

To be teamed with the Maisy quilt I've been working on this wool felt design for a matching cushion. The quilt has stalled because I'm in need of some flannel for the backing. Meanwhile, I'm enjoying a bit of hand embroidery on the quilt, which is looking pretty good even to my too harsh on myself eyes.

Grab some inspiration from these other creative spaces. and have a most wonderful day :)

Real estate speak translations

File:Dilapidated house at Murlaggan - - 969611.jpg

As we now search for our next home and are "seasoned buyers" I feel I'm getting quite good at translating the traditional real estate language that most agents seem to speak.

For those of you who don't have a lot of experience in the home buying game, here are a few pointers for you:

"Plenty of room for the kids to play outdoors" - The house is so tiny it will actually make the yard look massive.

File:Dilapidated house at Blairgie - - 1752905.jpg

"Unique staircase" -Exceptionally steep. More of a ladder really. Prepare to climb.

"Cosy" - You won't be swinging any cats in here!

"Comfortable family home" - Sure, if you have 1.6 children!!

"Renovator's delight" - Current residents are a family of possums and many families of rodents.

"Overlooking a pond" - Some bright spark dug a gigantic hole two feet from the front door, filled it with water and named it "pond".

File:Dilapidated croft house at Eyre - - 1779627.jpg
All dilapidated house pictures courtesy of wikimedia commons

"Turn of the century, original wood oven" - Hasn't actually functioned for about 80 years and will need to be removed.

"Unusual" - plain ugly

"Outdoor room that could be utilized as additional guest accommodation" - I wouldn't put a dog in that cold, dirty, dingy room let alone a guest!!!

Best of luck finding your dream home!

Katie Noonan and Karin Schaup

I was very blessed to attend this show at the Melbourne Recital Centre on Thursday evening. The talent of these two women combined is just astonishing.

Katie's vocals were stunning.

Karin played flawlessly.

One of the highlights was their cover of Kate Bush's "Man with the child in his eyes". I also loved "Evening Hymn" by Henry Purcell, "The wraggle taggle gysises, o!" and "The fields of Athenry"

Nicole M purse

I try to make my little sister a handmade gift for her birthday each year and was racking my brain when I remembered the purse pattern I picked up at Nicole's stall at the AQC. It was going to be for moi, but I do love to give a gift that I would love for myself!

The satin lining was a bit fiddly to sew but very worth the effort for a classy finish. The outer fabric also came from the AQC. It's great to put beautiful things to use.
This pattern was a pleasure to use - if you've never bought one of Nicole's patterns I highly recommend it. She goes above and beyond with her tips, explanations and photos so that each pattern is like a mini lesson.

The best part of all this is I remembered an op shop find from years ago and was actually able to find it in my craft mess. A gold purse frame and guess what? Just the right size! Looks like I'll be getting my purse after all :)

Too busy to blog

That's me this week, but somehow I think it's a good thing. Busy baking apple pies, (why can't I just stay in the kitchen permanently?) teaching long division, human anatomy and creation history, scraping + sanding + painting, looking at country properties (sigh) plus a little bit of sewing. None of this leaves much time for blogging, but today I've made time to show a little of what I've been up to.

I've wanted to make some hair accessories for the girls for ages and now that all 3 of them have long hair  I had run out of excuses!

I've also completed and sent my cushion for Vic's swap, but as the recipient may not have her parcel yet I'd best not reveal. Now, for today I hope to make some more hair accessories and work on my sister's birthday present before I run out of time.

Have a great weekend :)

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...