Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas round up

We had a lovely Christmas, celebrating the day with close family, extended family and friends. There was gorgeous food and great wine, and of course some pressies!
I was very excited to receive this inspiring gift from a great friend:

And The Junior Crafter (8 years old) was beyond excited to receive this great present from her Nonna and Nonno:

It's a real one! Not a little kid's one, but an honest-to-goodness really truly proper sewing machine!

So we set to learning how to use the new machine. The junior crafter sewed a pincushion, all by herself:

(you can never have too many pins, right?)

which was an unquailfied success:

so I immediately requested she make another one for me:

And, voila! New pincushions for all the crafty girls in the house, beautifully weighted with rice in the bottom and hobbyfill in the top, and finished with the sweetest little hand stitching you've ever seen!

She even put my name on mine in pins.

The  Junior Crafter also received a couple of Spotlight vouchers for Christmas, so no doubt we'll be on a shopping trip in the next few days to stock up on supplies.

Hope your Christmas was merry and bright too!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Brown paper packages tied up with string...

these are a few of my favourite things.

Merry Christmas lovely bloggers :)

Christmas gift tags tutorial

This week we made our Christmas gift tags and they were a great success, so I thought I would share with you how we made them.

First, using Word (or a similar word processing program) type in your text. My text reads "Merry Christmas from the *surname here* family". Then cut and paste your text so it repeats across the width and length of the page. At the beginning of each line of text on the page delete a word or two so the text appears random across the whole page and the words do not line up exactly underneath each other.
Select any fancy font you like and change the font colour to red. I used Angelina font in 12 point.
Then print onto an A4 sheet of natural coloured paper.

Using a paper trimmer cut your A4 sheets into strips. I cut some sheets vertically into 4 strips, and some sheets horizontally into 5 or 6 strips - this way you will end up with some 'landscape' oriented tags and some 'portrait' oriented. Next, cut your strips into 'tag size' rectangles. I didn't measure at all and all the tags ended up being different sizes which I like as I was going for the rustic look. Feel free to measure if you want them all the same size!

Now, put the kids to work! Take one of your rectangular tags and cut off 2 of the corners, and punch a hole in the top. Then thread some Jute or twine through the hole.
Now using a date stamp and some black ink stamp the tags with "25 Dec 2009".

Done! Christmas Tags ready to go. And since you already have your family name printed on the tags, you can simply write the recipient's name on the tag with a black marker.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Today is our 11th Wedding Anniversary. And we will be celebrating together as a family as our two eldest children will be flowergirl and pageboy for their Aunty's wedding today. And just in case you were wondering what we did last year on the 19th of December to celebrate our 10th anniversary...our two eldest children were flowergirl and pageboy for my best friend's wedding and I was Matron of Honour (and 7 months pregnant with number three, see pic below!).

(This is me a year ago, stay tuned for an updated pic after today!)

My little ones, a year ago today.

I'm starting to sense a pattern developing...I wonder who is thinking of getting married on our anniversary next year?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


My blog list is back! Thanks to everyone for your advice, I logged out, left it all day and when I logged back in it was fixed! Hurrah :) Off to catch up on some blogs while I sip my Vodka, Lime & Soda, and then off to continue stitching a little doll I'm making for my darling daughter for Christmas.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I think we have already established that Technical Genius I am not. However, I am completely stumped by this latest development. My Blogger 'Dashboard' informed me this morning that I am not currently following any blogs.


I am, I really am! Well...I was. In fact I had a lovely big long list of bloggy friends and bloggy things I love to read, how will I ever find them all again??? And what happened to my bloglist? Any suggestions peeps?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Need more time?

It's a busy time of year for everyone. I get that. But lately, I simply do not have enough hours in the day to cope with all the Christmas preparations (not the crafty kind unfortunately), the many end of year school and kinder events, not to mention preparations for my sister-in-law's wedding (which is next week. Yes, really.) and which includes two of my three kids in the wedding party. And all this is being done on next to no sleep thanks to my little Poor Point 3.

It's little wonder really that I have no time left for crafty adventures! However, I seem to have found the answer to my problem in this great little Crafter's Clock I picked up at the Daylesford Makers Market.

Jodie, you're a genius. I'll be back on top of everything by Tuesday.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Stitched, Stuffed, Delivered...

My very first softie is finished! What do you think?

Not only is she finished, but since she's a Softie for Mirabel the kids and I dropped her off at Pip's this afternoon. Hoorah!

However, I must tell you that The Great Softie Adventure Chapter One was not all smooth sailing.

First, when I managed to scrape together a half hour of spare time for crafting (rarer than hen's teeth these days) I realised I had no felt in my stash (doh!). Ever resourceful, and too stubborn to let a little thing like 'lack of correct materials' get in the way, I decided to use brown cotton drill for the hair. (Please feel free to note my obvious lack of softie making experience here.) Okay, so at some point I realised the reason felt is used is because the hair is top stitched on and felt doesn't fray. (Just for the record, cotton drill does). Doh! So, after checking my trusty Most Resourceful Girl Merit Badge I recut the hair piece times 2, carefully adding a seam allowance, stitched the hair pieces right sides together, turned them out, THEN topstitched in place. Can anyone say 'extra work'????  I'd also like to be able to say that her arms are deliberately open wide just waiting for a hug, but I fear I've a lot to learn regarding the importance of limb placement when stitching body panels right sides together.

The rest of The Great Softie Adventure came together remarkably smoothly after my somewhat wobbly start, and I'm please to say my little softie girl is living happily ever after in Pip's front window. (Well, at least until Sunday when she'll be whisked off to meet, and hopefully live happily ever after with, her new owner!)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Happiness Kit

I recently received this thoughtful and cheery present from a dear friend at a time when I was feeling very down, and it was just the thing to brighten my day, so I thought I'd share it with you.

Happiness Kit
  • Eraser - to make mistakes disappear
  • Rubber bands - to stretch yourself to the limit
  • Coin - so you never have to say you have no money
  • String - to tie things together when they fall apart
  • Button - to press in case of panic
  • Rose - to remind you of the sweet things in life
Where would we be without sweet friends?

Sunday, December 6, 2009

I think I can, I think I can...

My softie is almost finished - stay tuned for final results.

The fact that I have left my run a teensy bit late, combined with the unfortunate but undeniable reputation of Mr Australia Post for being less than reliable might necessitate a trip to Meet Me At Mikes to deliver my softie in person. Yes, that's me doing a little happy dance in the corner.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

My Creative Space

Usually when I take a pic of My Creative Space, I stage it just a little. I tidy up. I make sure all the important elements of my craft make it into the shot (and the brekky dishes do not). So the end result is that it's a  concise and aesthetically pleasing photographic representation of my crafty adventures, rather than a picture of my space when I'm actually getting creative. Well, in the spirit of honesty, today you are getting The Real Deal.

Yep, this is how I create. In real life. Yes, that's my kitchen table. Yes, that's a coffee cup left over from breakfast in the background - you wouldn't want me to waste valuable crafting time by doing housework, now would you?
And because my creative space got too big for the table, I did some of it on the loungeroom floor.

Don't look too closely at the carpet, I haven't vacuumed in weeks.

I'm working on my Softie for Mirabel. For more pics of chicks avoiding housework Creative Spaces visit Kirsty.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

The tree is up.

The calender is full of goodies.

The kids' Christmas table is set up.

But to be perfectly honest, I'm not feeling all that festive right now. Maybe it's something to do with the complete lack of homemade decorations on my tree this year :(

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Ultimate Secret Handshake

What a fabulous day we had at the Daylesford Market on Saturday! Armed with "The Ultimate Secret Handshake" we were warmly greeted at the door with "I spy some bloggers!" which was a lovely welcome. The next person I spied inside was the lovely Liesl with...was it Argy or Bargy? That was a lovely surprise, as I haven't seen Liesl for aaaaages!

Big thanks to Julie for the scrumptious yo-yo biccies, what a yummy way to start my market outing!

I saw some lovely creative bloggy friends, including Cam. I am now the proud owner of that gorgeous little heart shaped brooch on the bottom left of Cam's display :)

There's the very talented Jodie from VintageRicRac peering out from her awesome display shelf.
I think I have a blog crush.

(sorry the picture is blurry, but I think it hides my wrinkles rather well, but Jodie says it's because she's drunk).

We took a refreshment break from all our shopping at Frango & Frangos, and marked off purchases against our Christmas Lists.  See my "Secret Handshake" in the background behind the glasses? (No, they weren't both for me!)

We headed back to the market for some more shopping (pics to follow), then made our way to Lark. Heavenly. I want to live there. A quick stop at the Mill Markets then back on the road again, where we were met by this:

We made it home safely, exhausted, inspired and buzzing from such a lovely day out. Thanks Marketeers :)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Here we go!

Let the adventure begin! (Now with extra yo-yo's, thanks Julie)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Oh happy day!

Guess who's going on a road trip to Daylesford tomorrow? Yes, little ol' me (ok, less of the 'old' methinks. Just because there was a birthday last week, no need to get too excited.)
The Bloke Who Lives At My Place will be spending some quality time with The Junior Crafter and Mr 400 Questions Per Day, while PP3 and I will be driving to Daylesford with my gorgeous and dear friend Leigh.
On my itinerary:

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

White Ribbon Day

Today is White Ribbon Day, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

To support this worthwhile cause you can purchase a White Ribbon - proceeds from the sale of White Ribbons and Wristbands go towards changing community attitudes through high impact awareness campaigns, and you can wear your White Ribbon to raise awareness of this worthwhile cause.

The Bloke Who Lives At My Place is having a morning tea at his work in support of White Ribbon Day, so I baked some White Ribbon cupcakes. I used black cases, and because I didn't want to introduce another colour I sprinkled the white icing with some sparkly edible gold dust; the White Ribbons on top are fondant.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Birthday update

Thank you for all the lovely birthday wishes last week. Here's some of the wonderful things that happened...

An abundance of beautiful birthday flowers...

Unbelievably good chocolate mousse cake...

from here:

The cake was a gift from my husband's boss and was hand delivered after same lovely boss sent him home early for my birthday lunch. I'm nominating her for World's Best Boss. Seriously.

Then, just when I thought things couldn't get any better:

A chocolate ripple cake made by my gorgeous sister and topped with two of my favourite things, strawberries and peppermint crisp. One end of the board is marked "kids end" because the rest of the cake was made with biccies soaked in Frangelico! Yum!

Poor Point 3 had his first taste of chocolate cake and loved it:

And I received so many lovely gifts, including earrings, whizz bang electric salt and pepper grinders and this very special necklace handmade by my Auntie Jo; the centre bead is all the way from Nepal.

Lost: my sanity

I wish to apologise for my lack of posts this last week. Don't you just love Domestic Bliss? Will be making a concerted effort to regain my sanity by prioritising just a little bit of Me Time this week.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

And another birthday...

I am a lucky girl. Today I awoke to steaming hot coffee, 2 boxes of beautifully wrapped chocolates, a gorgeous new watch, 2 beautiful handmade cards (one of which has a dancing 'Y' on it I am reliably informed by the 4 year old), and a whole lot of love.
I'm looking forward to a lunch date with some special girls in my life, and The Bloke Who Lives At My Place has been ordered by his lovely boss to come home early. Yep, I am one lucky girl.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Birthday...

Happy Birthday Zahra, my beautiful 8 year old girl. She is everything I could have wished for and more. High maintenance, and totally worth it! Love you sweet girl.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


At my place tonight we have the makings of...

a cake...

a fairy garden...

and a very positive little gift.

Tomorrow the junior crafter is turning eight!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

My Creative Space - the first cut is the deepest

My creative space today involves the somewhat difficult task of repurposing some old books. I say difficult because I was brought up to love, respect, enjoy and revere the written word, and defacing books was not something I would ever have contemplated (with the possible exception of my Year 9 History book which contains a small number of scrawled notes of great historical significance, such as    "I *heart* Brian Mannix"  and
"G.D. 4 C.O. 4 EVA". In pencil, I might add - things can change quickly when you're 15).
Anyway, enough reminiscing, back to the task at hand. Where was I? Oh yes, defacing a book *shudder*.
I picked up a couple of books at the Op Shop this week with the specific idea in mind of cutting out some of the beautiful illustrations to make into cards. The books were already looking somewhat worse for wear when I bought them, but it didn't make it easier when it came time to actually cut the pages out. A deep breath and I dived in. After the first cut it wasn't so bad. And I'm quite pleased with the results so far.

Click here to be inspired by more Creative Spaces. Thanks Kirsty!

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Queen of the UFO

Okay girls, I'm claiming the title. I am the Queen of the Unfinished Object.

I have found what I'm pretty sure is my oldest UFO. It is a cross stitch I started back in 2001 when I was pregnant with my first child. It is a growth chart that was intended for said child (note: the junior crafter is turning 8 next week and I'm pretty sure she would be too tall for the chart by now even if it was finished). It has survived through two house moves and various storage boxes, but is looking decidedly worse for wear after I unearthed it last weekend from a box in my bungalow. The bloke who lives at my house suggested through gritted teeth that I should to teach him how to cross stitch so "the damn thing can be finished one way or another".

Note the packaging and the example of the finished growth chart shown full length; see the little clown sitting right in the middle? See my little clown? Yep, that's all I've managed to complete in eight years.

So, fess up girls, surely mine can't be the longest standing UFO? What's your oldest UFO? Are you ready to claim the Title? Post a link to your oldest UFO in the comments, pictures would be fab.

PS. SammyJ, if you're reading this, thanks for teaching me to cross stitch all those years ago, and yes, this really is the same one.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Giveaway Winner!

The winner of my first giveaway according to is Jo. Jo, drop me an email thecraftgypsy(at)iprimus(dot)com(dot)au with your postal details and a little parcel of goodies will be heading your way!

Thank you to everyone who took the time to leave wonderful suggestions to help me on my way to making my first quilt. I'm inspired by all the ideas, and will hopefully be making a decision sometime soon - I'll keep you posted.

Apologies for the tardiness of my giveaway draw, this week has seen me bravely fighting my way out from under the MOUNTAIN of washing created by our camping trip last weekend, my efforts handicapped somewhat by a teething baby (ie NO SLEEP).

Hope you are all having a wonderful weekend.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

My a-ha moment

Okay, so I'm very new to blogging. And quite sleep deprived. And not very technological. And sometimes just a little slow on the uptake. But earlier this week I had an 'a-ha' moment, and think I owe quite a few apologies to some of my readers.

When I started my blog I set up a new email address - thecraftgypsy(at)iprimus(dot)com(dot)au. I had not received any emails relating to my blog or from any bloggers I had come across, which I was a teensy tiny bit disappointed about, but I kept telling myself I'm new at this, and it may take time etc. Well, I just found out that I had not configured my email program correctly to receive emails at my new address...I fixed it, and found 83 emails in my inbox *blush*

Some of course were notifications of comments left on my blog. But so many were emails from bloggers regarding comments I had left on their blogs, answering questions for me, and generally being nice and chatty and friendly like lovely craft bloggers are!

Which brings me to my apologies. I am currently trying to catch up on replies. Thanks for your patience dear readers, and for taking the time to leave a comment on my blog, I'm very grateful!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Finish Line - Blogtober day 31

We made it! And what a great Blogtoberfest it has been. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading so many wonderful blogs, 'meeting' new bloggers and crafty folk, and the fun of posting daily. A huge thanks to Tinniegirl for hosting Blogtoberfest, Cathy you know I think you're awesome :) Thanks also to Curlypops, Badskirt and Cunkychooky for their Blogtoberfest hubs, it's been a blast.

Happy Halloween everyone, have a wonderful weekend.

Friday, October 30, 2009

The home stretch - Blogtober day 30

Today I'm playing my 'Get out of 1 Blogtober post FREE' card! We're on the home stretch. Happy Friday everyone.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

My Creative Space - Blogtober day 29

This is my first time joining in with Thursday's My Creative Space hosted by the lovely Kirsty at Kootoyoo. My creative space this week is an attempt at some stitchery and some piecing. My little Mr Jumping Bean has just learnt the days of the week (and loves to recite them endlessly). In a fit of madness (cunningly disguised as some attempt to support and encourage his learning journey) I thought it would be fun for him to have the days of the week hanging on his wall so he can read them.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Busy Bee - Blogtober day 28

Firstly, a giveaway update. Thank you to all those who have entered my giveaway so far, the suggestions are great, keep them coming! I have some vintage treasures to add to the giveaway prize - I will update with pics tomorrow as I'm currently flitting around organising our camping trip Done!
If you haven't yet, click here to enter the giveaway. Please enter, I'm still looking for more quilt suggestions!

Vintage knitting patterns, crochet patterns, Vintage Simplicity tracing paper (in three colours!), and a vintage edition of Woman's Day Handicrafts magazine!

Also, due to the long weekend, I will be extending the giveaway until 11pm on 4th November AEDST. I will draw a winner on 5th November. Don't forget to mention the giveaway in your blog for an extra entry 3 extra entries!

In other news, I visited a lovely store today, Mrs Martins Quilt Shop, in Monbulk. The shop is very full, I could have wandered around there for hours (if I didn't have two little 'uns with me and a tent awaiting my attention at home), and Karen (Mrs Martin!) was the most lovely, helpful and welcoming lady you will ever meet. She immediately got out a basket of toys for Mr Jumping Bean which kept him happy whilst I looked for a new embroidery hoop. Karen was full of helpful advice, nothing was too much trouble, and the prices were very reasonable. She runs a number of classes throughout the year, including a sewing circle which I would love to join. It was great discovering this little shop today, and to know that it's not far from my home! Definitely worth a visit if you're in the area, but there is also an online shop if you are far far away.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Victoria Fire Danger Period - Blogtober day 27

I have just returned from a 'Fire Ready' presentation in preparation for the official Fire Danger Period which commences tomorrow in Victoria.

We live in a high risk bushfire area, and our plan this summer is to make sure our home insurance is up to date, and not be here on the high risk days.

I hope and pray that everyone stays safe this summer.

Regular transmission will resume tomorrow

Monday, October 26, 2009

Monday Monday - Blogtober day 26

I was going to play my "Get out of 1 Blogtoberfest Post FREE" card today, but it turns out I have something to say! Two things actually.

First, thank you for the quilt suggestions that have been made so far in my very first giveaway, if you haven't entered yet get your entry in here. Be warned, you have to work for this giveaway, I'm in desperate need of a quilt pattern, please help me find it!
We have reached 10 entries, so I will be adding something else to the giveaway prize. Haven't decided what yet, I'll keep you posted!

Also, I really want to mention another amazing giveaway going on at Kimono Reincarnate. Melanie is giving away a really lovely prize, and there is a link in her giveaway to her etsy store (gorgeous!) and her ebay store where she has some stunning japanese fabrics, including vintage kimono fabrics! I placed a bid. Couldn't help myself :)

Hope you're all having a cheerful Monday.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The funniest dessert ever - Blogtober day 25

Today is my little sister's birthday, so we all went out for birthday dinner here which was fun.

The food was pretty good, the service was great and the Margaritas were excellent.

But this dessert really 'takes the cake' (sorry, couldn't resist).

"Dr Tim's Sticky Date Pudding with Self Administering Caramel Sauce".

 *Dr Tim is our local GP, I'm pretty sure he's responsible for this frivolity.

It was delicious.
Happy Birthday J.