31 December 2010

Happy New Year...and a post Christmas wish to everyone

Welcome to the eve of a New Year everyone.

I've been a bit absent over this last month, so it's time to catch up a little bit.

Firstly, Merry Christmas to you all. I do hope your Christmas Day was filled with love and cheer. My Dad is visiting from QLD and it was nice to have him here on the day.
My thoughts go out to my friends and family caught in the floods in my home town, Bundaberg and a very dear friend in Emerald. Both towns are in dire straits, so if you are able to donate to the flood appeals, please do so to help them out.

I've had regular contact with some of them and they are all doing fine, with no evacuations...yet. It's hard to believe the amount of water in the Bundaberg area. I remember the floods in the 70's, and yes I was 'very young' then.

A big thankyou in advance if you can help. 

So, the lead up to Christmas was pretty busy for me at work, including a quick 2 day trip to Melbourne to join the national team for some strategy days on what's in store for 2011.
Silly me, I decided a few weeks out from Christmas, I'd better get a move on with making the Christmas pressies for this year. I did OK in the end, thanks to some great ideas from you wonderful bloggers. I'll let you know who they are as I go along.

My boys have both moved into new addresses, and I thought as a surprise, I'd make them each a set of Christmas decorations. Darren's set was in green and Brendon's in blues.

I started with wreaths made out of circles cut from some Murobond paint chips I had accumulated. 

If you've seen the paint samples from Murobond, you'll know they are a decent size, so I was getting 3, 4 and 5 circles from each colour in varying sizes. I included some contrasting papers also. The project was finished with some small silver hearts and buttons for embellishments. Viola!...instant wreath in about 1 hour.

Then I moved on to making some birds from a post Tina at Rubie's Place featured. These are also featured on the 'Christmas Tree' we had at home this year. You'll see what I mean soon.

Next some wooden heart shapes covered on one side with a flocked transparency and a contrast blue (or green) on the other side. The wreaths and the ornaments were finished with a white or an ivory ribbon to hang them.

Garlands were next. Again, the theme of circles was carried through to these. There's also a photo of Brendon's tree (well branch) with the decorations.

With the decorations finished and mailed off, I settled in to making a present each for the girlfriends. Brenda at 'Hoo are you lookin at?' has fabulous fabric boxes. Mine aren't quite the same, but they were OK in the end and both the girls liked them, which is more important.

Sarah's is the owl and Natalie's was a shooting star.

The Christmas Tree was a bit different this year!!! 

There just wasn't any room in the house in Sydney to accomodate a long table for 12 guests, the loungeroom furniture and the usual Christmas tree. 

I used some brown paper to cut triangle panels to make the different levels of the tree then decorated it with bunting, christmas birds the same as the decorations I made for the boys, some more silver hearts, and circle 'baubles'. The tree was topped off with another dove.

I was really happy with it!! It all came together at around 11 pm on Christmas Eve.

This is what the normal tree looks like. It's quite big but beautiful, so we missed it a bit this year.

The theme for Christmas wrapping this year was white paper with a contrast tied off with twine and the gift tags I made in November for the 'Christmas Giveaway'.

Some other projects completed in the lead up to the big day...

A matching set of cushion and matryoshka doll for my niece in Bundaberg. The print 'In the Pink' is another great idea from Tina at Rubie's Place, using freezer paper as a template for the print.


Lastly, phew it was a busy week and a half, was a present for the wife of one of my co-workers. One of my products soon to be on 'jane on jane st'. Fabric Art similar to my Wallpaper Art. They will both be available soon and in 3 sizes. Stay tuned.
I took the photo at work on the carpet, with my phone, so it's not a great photo, sorry. The fabric is some curtain fabric offcut from Ikea. Beautiful colours.

So everyone, that's what I've been up to in the 4 weeks since my last post. I do hope you all enjoyed your Christmas and have a fantastic start to 2011.
May everything you hope and strive for comes to fruition.

(Anyone else having trouble with Blogger formatting. It drove me crazy doing this post!!!)

06 December 2010

And the Winner is....

Drumroll please.....
Sophie, you are the Christmas tag giveaway winner. Thanks for joining in!!
I strongly suggest you pop over to her blog Her Heart My Hands about her 'crafting and about my family including raising a child with congenital heart disease'. There is also a store 'Barefoot Babies'. Very cute stuff!!
{Image source Sophie's store banner}
Sophie, I've only just discovered you and will pop over more regulalry. Congrats, I hope you like them.
If you could drop me a line on my email address (I've left a note on your blog also) designed.to.a.t@optusnet.com.au, I'll have them out to you in the mail very soon.
Thank you sooo much everyone for participating and your lovely comments.
(I used the random number generator to select a winner, but the brain isn't in
gear at this time of night and I couldn't get it to copy into this post)

05 December 2010

My First Sunday Session

Music fills my soul. I love all types and am really finding it hard to go past the recent run of fantastic Australian artists being played on Triple J.
Yes, I know. I'm nearly the big 50 and I still listen to the J's. I feel like I'm still in my 30's, and find it hard to believe I'm not, especially with my boys around and #1 son being nearly 30 himself!! Where did the time go??
Anyway, I think they need to rewrite the spiel on their listener's demographic because I KNOW there are a lot of my friends who still listen to the station.
Doing my usual 9.30 - 10pm whip around the blogs before I go to bed, I slipped over to Felix and Lily's and found another great blog Do I really Wanna Blog?
Thea hosts a Sunday Session where she asks you to post about 2 favourites, one oldie and one newbie.
My sessions are the same song. The first is by a band called 'Boy and Bear', who have had a phenomenal year after being discovered on triple J 'Unearthed'.
Here they are covering a Crowded House song from the album 'He will have his way', full of songs written and recorded by the Finn brothers Neil and Tim.
Having spent my school years listening to Split Enz and Crowded House, I couldn't go pass up the opportunity to add them. 'He will have his way' is the second album of the Finn brothers songs by local artists, the first being 'She will have her way'. The title came from the one of their songs. The first has all female Australian artists performing the songs, and this new one has male performers and/or bands. I bought the first when it came out and I love it (well I downloaded it from iTunes).
So, grab a cuppa, sit back and have a listen. Boy and Bear are fabulous! (So are the Finn brothers just quietly!)

Boy and Bear - Fall at your feet

Crowded House - Fall at your feet - Woodface album 1991
Great idea Thea, thanks!

Last chance for my Giveaway...Christmas Tags

That's right, my GIVEAWAY finishes tonight at midnight and I'll be drawing the winner tomorrow when I get home from work.
To be in on the draw, follow this link to:
  1. Be or become a follower
  2. Post about the Giveaway and come back to leave a comment on the Giveaway post here
  3. If you Facebook or Twitter, tell your followers/friends, then leave another comment letting me know you've done so, here.
That's 3 chances to be in the draw and all 'roads' (links) lead to my FIRST BLOG GIVEAWAY!!
Good luck everyone!! and thank you for your encouragement throughout the year.
My one year blogging anniversary is coming up in January. Stay tuned for some extras that month!!
Have a safe and joyous Christmas...Terese

01 December 2010

Handmade Christmas - Filigree Notepad

My Creative Space today showcases some of my Christmas presents coming along reasonably successfully. I've redone my Filigree design and will print it this weekend, then use it as new covers for 2011 Diaries.
To give you an idea of what they will look like, I've just photoshop-ed them for now.
I'm still tidying up my new design, which Jennie from Posie Patchwork has so aptly named 'Flutter'. I may do one diary in Filigree and one in Flutter. Not sure I'll see how it goes.
Hope you are all having a great time preparing for Christmas. I see Kylie from My Flying Ducks has a lot of her prep done already. I haven't even thought about my tree yet.
My Dad will be here soon to spend Christmas. He turned 80 earlier in the year and still rides his motor bike from Brisbane to Sydney to visit. Not sure if he's riding it down this time. Maybe I shouldn't ask, so I don't worry. You know the old 'blind as a bat' and 'deaf as a post' thing. Ignorance is bliss sometimes I think!!

Anyway, keep cheery in readiness for the 'silly' season and enjoy.
Don't forget my giveaway is still on until Sunday night, midnight Aussie time.

Hope you will join in!

More Creative Spaces every Thursday over here at Kootoyoo.

28 November 2010

New tags + Don't forget my Giveaway!

I've been doing some more Christmas tags. They are a bright and cheery red.
I'm finishing them off with the red and white twine I bought from Kikki K a couple of weeks ago. I had these in mind when I bought it.
Don't forget I have my very first giveaway happening over here. These red ones are a bit bigger than the others on the giveaway.
Come over and have a look. Follow for 1 entry, post about it on your blog. Come back and leave a comment about your post for a 2nd entry. Let your followers on Twitter know and/or your friends on FB, come back and let me know for a 3rd entry!
Entries close Sunday 5th December at midnight (Eastern Aust Daylight Savings time). Please make sure you leave your email address so I can contact you when you win.
Sorry to anyone overseas, this giveaway is for Australian followers because Christmas is so close, but I'm planning another giveaway in January for my blog's anniversary.

Have a safe and happy Christmas everyone!

26 November 2010

New Design

I really love the colours in this one. It's a fairly simple design but the element of repetition makes it interesting.

Haven't got a name for it yet. Any ideas?

Frankie Magazine 'Spaces' - finally got it

I finally picked up this great mag/book yesterday. Have you bought it yet? It has some really interesting spaces like the illustrators studios in an old pencil factory.

I started reading it on the train this morning.

24 November 2010

My Creative Space and Christmas giveaway

It's been a while since I've posted a 'Creative Space' piece. I have been doing a bit, trying out new designs, making things, lots of bits and pieces but nothing really concrete yet. You've seen them regularly when I've done individual posts about what I've been up to.

This Creative Space is a bit special, for me anyway. I made it to 3000 page views on Tuesday. Because of this I thought I'd offer a giveaway of one of my designs. We are fast approaching Christmas, so I've made some Christmas tags. You could use them for your Christmas presents or perhaps to decorate/dress the table.

{Christmas Tag Proof in green and complimentary stripe}
The tags have a complimentary stripe AND because I liked the design so much, I did them in 2 colours, green and blue. The sets include 10 Christmas tags and 10 matching striped tags.

That means you could win yourself 40 tags and you can decide how you want to use them, together like I've displayed them, or as individual cards. I'll even send some extra ties to you, just in case you want to use them as separate tags.

To be in the running and have 3 chances to win:
  1. Be or become a Follower of 'designed to a T'.
  2. Post about the giveaway on your blog and come back and leave a comment about it.
  3. If you Tweet or Facebook, let your followers and friends know then come back again and leave another comment.

    I need to get them to you before Christmas, so the giveaway will finish on Sunday 5th December at midnight (Eastern Aust Daylight Savings time). Please make sure you leave your email address so I can contact you when you win.
    Good luck everyone and thank you for following and your support in my (almost) 1 year of blogging.

    Sorry to anyone overseas, I'll need to keep this giveaway to Australian followers because of the time frame but I'm planning another giveaway in January when I reach my blog's anniversary.

    You can see more fantastic Creative Spaces at Kootoyoo here every Thursday.

    Enjoy and have a safe and happy Christmas.

    20 November 2010

    New additions to the holiday house

    I thought I'd show you some of the changes at the house. There's a few handmade ideas in these pics also, possible products for jane on jane st.


    Janette from My Sweet Prints got my mind working when I saw her great ideas using typography as her Art. For the spare bedroom's decor, which I suppose is 'technically' influenced by the beach location of the house, I've done a simple 'life is a beach' saying in an Ikea frame, finished with a sketch of a nautilus shell.
    The font is scriptina and the shell is a clipart file readily available from the internet. The font, shell and border are in a teal colour.

    Thank you Janette.

    BTW the shells are from a little gift shop in Port Macquarie, can't remember the name of the place though, sorry. They are sculpted from balsa wood. Very cute and they fit in so well with what I'm trying to achieve in this room. The bedside table is looking a bit crowded at the moment, but this will change when my Bulter's table arrives from Whiteport.

    I've always loved text in art and I'm a HUGE fan of vintage advertising and film posters. Art.com have some fabulous vintage artworks/posters. I was a regular user of the site for inspiration and images when I was doing my design study over the last few years.
    My favourite is the Alfred Hitchcock 'Vertigo' poster. I saw it recently on a television show I was watching, can't remember what show it was, but as soon as I saw the print, up went the shout, 'That's my print!'.

    Another frame I've done is this one, 'Nothing in life is to be feared....It is only to be understood'. A quote from Nobel Prize winner Marie Curie. I think it says a lot just with those few words. 
    The quote is complimented with a background character from Zen calligraphy. I chose Zen because of the philosophy behind these beautiful characters....
    True creativity is not the product of consciousness but rather the "phenomenon of life itself". True creation must arise from mu-shin, the state of "no-mind," in which thought, emotions, and expectations do not matter.
    The Ikea frame had a creamy coloured matt, so I flipped it over to the white side as a temporary measure. When I get a chance this week I'll go to a framing place and track down a red one. I think it is a bit too bland at the moment.


    The space at the bottom of the stairs is now filled. 

    My search took about 18 months, but I finally found another kang table to suit (console table, they call them 'kang' but I'm not sure what it means). 
    The Ikea frames and prints are mounted on shelves (another Ikea wonder) and are complimented with some smaller frames that I've filled with shells, seed pods and starfish. The backing for the starfish is just a medium weight sandpaper. Simple but effective. (Sorry, that photo didn't turn out very well, so I haven't posted it.)

    I've had the rattan travel bags for about 4 years now, and they've been lonely up until now, sitting on the floor in the corner.
    There was some red 'Circles and Squares' Florence Broadhurst wallpaper left over from the wedding pressie I made Kylie C, from My Flying Ducks, so I grabbed a piece of leftover mdf and covered it using some spray glue.
    I collect old chinese calligraphy brush sets and have used a set in a red case to add some more red to the corner. Last thing to do when I can find and purchase a ceramic or stone urn, is to use the 'free' bamboo pieces I 'obtained' from a flower arrangement at work about a month ago.
    Well, they were only going to through them out!
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