Can I officially call myself a knitter now?

A belated Merry Christmas! With all the festivities I didn't get a chance to do my usual Christmas post.
I've been knitting. A lot. And loving it!

This is my first knitting success story. Most arty/crafty stuff comes pretty naturally to me, but not knitting - I've had to really work at it. But finally it's paying off :)

The pattern is "Annie" by Tikki. The yarn is "luxury" in the colour lavender from Bendigo Woollen Mills.

I learned so much knitting this cardigan and the end result far surpasses what I thought I was capable of. Thanks be to God, my help and inspiration!

Isn't the daisy stitch just beautiful. This is what I love about Tikki patterns - they are quite simple in design but have these little "highlights" to make it special. Most of her patterns are knit on circular needles, which I also love.

This cardi used just over 1x 200g ball of yarn and the buttons were from my stash, which makes the total cost about $15 AUD, what a bargain! OK, lots and lots of hours but so little money.

I've already ordered yarn for my next cardigan, this time for my eldest daughter and I must admit I'm feeling quite impatient for it to arrive so I can get started, I'm so loving knitting right now!


Things have changed for me this year in so many ways. All are positive (I hope) but not necessarily easier. I feel God has answered many of my prayers but in His way - not mine. He is leading me in a different direction to what my wordly self had envisioned. So, there has to be a letting go. Of dreams, perceived wants, hopes. And an embracing of His dreams, wants and hopes for me. It is not all about me. It can't be all about me. And if I think it is all about me then I am trapped in a vicious cycle that never ends and leads nowhere.

Thank you Heavenly Father for all you have shown me this year. For all your grace, love and constant attention. Thank you for giving me the strength to let go of useless things and to focus on the reality and purpose of my life.

First soap batch :)

Woohoo, I finally did it! Something I've wanted to do but put off for years (too expensive an outlay for equipment, too scary!) Those were my excuses anyway.

After chatting with Julie I realise this was something I could do on a really tight budget. I got a cheap stockpot that was missing a lid, inexpensive silicon mould and stick blender, husband fashioned a curing rack for me out of bamboo from our backyard and probably the most expensive ingredient was the coconut oil, which I had to order online.

I used this basic recipe and found the whole process very easy (how cool to watch that beautiful saponification process!) Using lye is not fun but entirely manageable when you follow the safety precautions really carefully.

Now for the really hard part - waiting 4 weeks for the soap to cure!

Embroidered screen printed butterfly bag

During the year I was invited to partake in a collaboration - my first collaborative effort in fact!

Something I love about the handmade community is how skills and talents can be pooled to create something really awesome!

Margo from The Climbing Tree sent me a gorgeous linen piece with a screen printed butterfly from Thea & Sami with the idea that I could embroider it for a bag flap.

Margo used a Nicole Mallileu pattern to sew a gorgeous bag featuring the butterfly. I think the contrast is just beautiful! 

Here is the completed piece before becoming a bag flap. I hand painted some segments and used a variety of embroidery stitches with silk, cotton, and swarovski crystals and beads.

The bag was snapped up by a very happy customer :)

Margo makes all sorts of things including gorgeous children's clothing, hats and bags. You can find her in the following places:

For beautiful screen printed fabrics and homewares:

And for bag and clothing patterns:

Adnil press re-opening and giveaway!

I'm so glad to see Adnil Press has re-opened for business after being a long term customer of theirs. To celebrate, Linda has 2 marvellous prize packs to giveaway on the new blog. Pop over to enter, I have!

How the Grinch stole Christmas

File:Grinch poster.jpg

Most of us know the famous Dr Seuss story where the Grinch is able to infiltrate Whoville and steal "Christmas" from right under the little Who's noses.

If you are a Christian in these modern and secular times this may be an all too familiar feeling - that Christmas is being stolen from under us and transformed into something that could be called worship, but certainly not that of Christ Our Saviour!

It is the worship of gifts, money, decorations, food and festivities and all under the popular term of "happy holidays" - a very non Christ like term.

So what can we do? How can we keep Christ in Christ-mas?

Of course it starts with our spiritual lives and our personal worship of Jesus. He must be born in the stable of our heart.  If we have this part right then we are on the right track as we will be a beacon for others as the light of Christ shines forth from us. But there are practical things we can do too.

Do not adopt any of the popular secular terms associated with Christmas. "Happy holidays" does not represent Christ in any way.

Do not buy anti-Christmas propaganda! This means only sending holy and appropriate Christmas cards, even to non believing friends (this has the added bonus of a holy image being displayed in a non- Christian home, even if it's only for a short time).

Ask your post office specifically for religious Christmas stamps. If we don't create the demand they will not supply them.

If you are celebrating Christmas with some non Christians do not adopt their accepted methods of celebrating. Keep your interior recollection and keep the day holy! Set a positive example.

Make Christ centered family traditions. Mass, advent wreaths, special prayers are just a few holy devotions. One of our traditions is to set an extra place at our Christmas dining table for The Unseen Guest.

It is an absurd thing to throw a great big party on someone's birthday, sate ourselves and make merry, all the while ignoring He whose birthday it is, especially when it is the birthday of the King of the universe!

Merry Christmas and abundant blessings to you all!

This post was co-authored by my husband Patrick.

"Mum, there's nothing to eat!"

Do you ever hear this? I bet you do! You need to do the shopping but haven't had time, you open the pantry and can't see the food that is there from lack of motivation to cook, plus all those other reasons for the dreaded "no food syndrome".

However, when we have a good look around we realise we are usually far from destitute and starving.

Lunchtime today I'm met with the dreaded words so I decided to go for a fossick and see what I could use up. I found:
2 sheets of puff pastry
3 slices of ham
A small portion of cheddar cheese
Strawberry jam

And here is the result:

Ham and cheese scrolls

Jam scrolls

And some satisfied children :)

Winners announced!

Given the number of entries to my giveaway I decided you could each receive a pattern :)
Bern, Anne, Melissa and Sue will soon receive their PDF patterns - thank you all for entering.
Bern - I can't seem to find an email address for you on your profile so if you could let me know what it is that would be great.

I hope everyone has a blessed and peaceful weekend. We will be celebrating the beginning of Advent, that beautiful time in the church as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Our Saviour.

Stuff in progress...

Thanks to Hilary's help in finding me a suitable pattern - a lovely log cabin cot quilt. This for my sister's first baby, due in January, very exciting!

She has painted the room a lovely green and the baby furniture is white, so the fabric colours I chose to compliment the existing colour scheme. I think it's going to look gorgeous.

I've taken up my courage and am trying another knit. It's so enjoyable to be knitting again and so far, so good - no mistakes! The pattern is "Little Annie" by Tikki. I'll keep you updated on it's progress, but don't hold your breath, it's pretty slow going for me.

I'm also waiting on a painfully slow supplier for some fabric to dye and sew into dresses for a custom order.

What are you working on this week?

Quick reminder - the giveaway will be drawn tomorrow so if you haven't entered yet you still have time!

White & dark choc chip cookies

125g butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup caster sugar
1 egg
1 cup plain flour
1 cup SR flour
1/4 teaspoon bicarb soda
1/4 cup white chocolate dots (add more if you like)
1/4 cup chopped milk cooking chocolate (add more if you like)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream the butter and 2 sugars together. Add egg and continue to beat. Slowly add flours and bicarb. If mixture is a little dry you can add a splash of milk and mix in.
With a wooden spoon mix in the 2 chocolate types.
Spoon very generous teaspoonfuls onto a greased tray and press lightly with a fork.
Bake for around 10 minutes at 180 degrees (C)
Cool on a wire baking rack.

"I give you my heart" giveaway!

My newest embroidery pattern is finished and available to purchase!

Would you like to win a PDF download of the pattern?

Just tell me what you would use your finished embroidery for (framed, on a pillow, quilt etc?)

I have 3 to give away. 
For an extra entry post this on your Facebook page then come back to tell me you have done so.
For an extra, extra entry blog about my giveaway then come back to tell me you have done so.
For an extra, extra, extra entry become a new follower of this blog.

I'll draw the winners a week from today. Good luck!

My Madeit shop is alive again!

To be honest, I'd forgotten I had a Madeit shop and it was totally empty. Most of my customers used to be from the U.S. so my Etsy shop was more convenient, but now almost 100% of my buyers are Australian (which is wonderful!) So, I'm very happy to have it re-stocked in time for Christmas.

Hand dyed rainbow dress

Hand dyed tiered skirt. Fully customisable in size and colour :)

PDF Embroidery pattern.

I have more listings to add including some new embroidery patterns - yes they're coming, but it's slow work, in my case picture snail pace :)

I'd love for you to pop over to my Madeit shop and take a look. Have a good sticky beak while you're over there, it's changed a lot since I first opened the shop and there are so many beautiful things from so many talented artisans.

Healthy treats!

When I saw Cathie's Healthy Chocolate Oat balls I had to give them a go, being a fan of
1. Anything chocolate
2. Anything sweet and shaped into a ball!

They haven't disappointed either - they are totally delicious! I rolled mine in coconut, don't they look festive?
One point to consider - if your food processor is cheap and tired it won't like making these at all! Recipe here.

Gossamer Dreams tonight!

Just a reminder that Gossamer Dreams is on tonight at 8pm. I recommend you take a look early and plan your purchases as these goodies won't last long! I have a hand dyed dress and skirt on offer :)

Gossamer Dreams previewing tonight!

Here is a small collection of just some of the items in this months Gossamer Dreams stocking.

Riverside Dolls


Cherish Designs

You can preview Gossamer Dreams tonight from 8pm and pick out what you want for tomorrow night (if you're quick enough!) This is the last stocking for the year with beautiful items from the regulars and lots of guests (me included!) It would be a great opportunity to nab some unique handmade Christmas gifts.

Cornflake slice recipe (very,very easy!)

Mother in Law's recipes are great - these ladies who cooked on wood stoves (and my MIL still does) and fed the hungry hoards (my MIL had 10 little ones to feed) really knew what they were doing. We "modern" homemakers can learn so much from their ways. This recipe is from my Mum in law :)

125g butter
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup cornflakes
1 cup desicated coconut

Melt butter and honey together, add to mixed dry ingredients. Place in a shallow slice tin, press. Cook in moderate oven until golden brown (about 15 minutes) and leave in tin to cool. Turn out and cut into squares.


Sneak peek embroidery

I'm working on a new pattern.

It has lots of little stitches.

And lots of cuteness.

I'm almost done, so it will be available in my Etsy shop soon and there may even be a little giveaway!

Gosh I've missed stitching!

The cooler weather has me thinking about knitting as well, it might be a good time to try out Linda's cat pattern - so cute!

Happy weekend and God bless you all :)

Buttons, bandanas and bracelets!

More new hand printed linen buttons to tempt you with!

All from husband's lino blocks.

Such a pretty blue methinks.

And some bandanas - hand dyed, printed or painted of course!

Random fact: my Etsy shop has never been as well stocked as it is right now :)

And aside from all things Etsy but on the side of all things creative, look what the girls and I did with a few yarn scraps and some old beads. Cute?

Pads restocked

Yes! I finally made the time to re-stock my Cloth Pad shop and hopefully there is something for everyone. Don't forget, there is free post in Australia this month so it's a great time to buy :)

Free post

Postage is free within Australia in my cloth pad shop for the whole month of November! (Menstrual cups are excluded.)

Hopefully I'll be stocking some new ones over the next few days, it's getting tough to keep up :)

Coffee painting

I've been following Art projects for Kids for inspiration and ideas. I decided that the coffee painting looked like fun so I brewed a little coffee paint and away we went!

The coffee was quite weak on paper and then I remembered I had some Parisian essence in the pantry. The contrast of the weaker brown coffee and the very strong essence was beautiful and the girls came up with some really interesting paintings. They loved the novelty of painting with coffee too.

Yesterday was All Saint's Day and our homeschool  group celebrated this morning by having a saints dress up day. So, from left to right we have Saint Lucia, Saint Bernadette and Saint Therese!

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...