30 April 2011

My Creative Space - A gift for the Mum of baby #3

In my last couple of Creative Space posts (here and here), I've been hinting there was some other baby news that was close to home.

About 3 weeks ago my youngest son and his girlfriend announced they had just had a 12 week scan. The baby is due in October.

So I am going to be a grandmother for the first time! Can you believe that?

What does any 'expectant' grandmother do on hearing this news....you guessed it....GO SHOPPING! 

One of the things they spoke about was fabric and colours for the baby's nursery, as they've asked me to make a comforter set. Off I went to Spotlight and picked up some samples to send off in the mail to Mt Isa, for them to have a look at. 

While I was there I found some gorgeous fabric to make the baby bag below. Not really a nappy bag, but one that has a few inside and outside pockets for the essentials needed on a quick trip to the shops.

The palette for the nursery will be fairly neutral. They've sent me a couple of links to get an idea of what decor they were thinking of, so I can co-ordinate a comforter set to match.

OMG....there is some simply stunning nurseries around. I had a further look myself and fell in love with the following. There wasn't anything like this around 25-30 years ago when my two boys were born!!

{Google images}
Not sure how many of you lovely followers have baby centric blogs, but if you do, please leave a comment below and I'll head over for a look to get ideas, or if you have online stores, even better.

No doubt there will be more baby news as the year progresses.

A thought for you...

We're not in Kansas anymore Toto!!

The Story line to the Wizard of Oz
The Wizard of Oz, originally a book by L. Frank Baum, is best known in the film version starring Judy Garland.  At the beginning of this beloved fantasy story, we see Dorothy living on a farm in Kansas with her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry. No one has much time for the young girl, and she is left to her own devices. She daydreams about a fantasy place "over the rainbow."  A big twister comes up, and she is knocked unconscious by a window frame blown into her bedroom. She dreams the house is lifted from its foundation by the wind and lands in Oz. 

The farmhouse settles, in tact, in the Land of Oz. Dorothy survives but her house lands on the Wicked Witch of the East, kills her which also frees the munchkins from the Wicked Witch's control.

Fortunately for Dorothy, that's only a fairytale but the reality of life in the Tornado alleys of America hit home this week with hundreds losing homes and communities, family, friends and loved ones.

Yet another catastrophe befalling the world this year.

"Our hearts go out to all those who have been affected by this devastation, and we commend the heroic efforts of those who have been working tirelessly to respond to this disaster," President Obama said in a statement.

Spare a thought for those who are suffering and hope they have the same level of support and help, from communities near and far, our Australian counterparts had earlier this year.

27 April 2011

Wedding Week...

It might be a bit late to start this, and I'm not sure how many of you are keenly following all the pomp and circumstance of the royal wedding.

Any excuse to drool over some internet wedding images or maybe re-live your own wedding, don't you think?

A few of you have recently posted about anniversaries, so it got me to thinking that maybe there's some very fond memories out there to share, if you are happy to.

Katie from Autumn Blooming has recently celebrated an anniversary as did Letitia from The White Shed. Kylie from My Flying Ducks was another one this month, a full year since her wedding.

For me, it will be a 'wish list' in a way, if I could do it all over again. IF in a very big way as I've been divorced for quite a while now, but you can still dream. 

I've been a sewer/dressmaker since I was in my early teens and have made a few wedding dresses in my day but I have to say...to see what is around these days, I would find it very hard to decide what to have for my dress.

To start us off I'm going to give you a few glimpses into my style.

Join in anytime between now and Friday night and add your link below. You can do anything you like, a post about the royal wedding, a post with just pictures, maybe a recap of your wedding or anniversary...whatever.

Let's have some fun! Remember to link your post back here. I'd love you all to join in...

 This is my favourite I think. I'd need to lose a bit of weight for it to look any good though. I'll have to add losing weight to my 'wish list' for this one. I'd wear this if I was having a wedding in the Botanical Gardens.

 Lovely vintage lace in this one. 

Love the classic look of this one. With those sleeves and the tulle 
under the skirt, it marries current and vintage styles. (Parden the pun!) 
Either of these would be my church wedding dress.

 SO classic. Love it. I'd wear this one if I was having a garden party wedding.

Had to put this one in! 
This is my OTT (over the top) dress, although you know, I still don't mind it. It's not really me, and it's just something that took my eye while searching for images. I think it would better in a very pale pink.

25 April 2011

A special thought for you....

Going away just a little from my Saturday Thoughts...

A special thought for today...
Lest we Forget

{image source unknown}

24 April 2011

My Creative Space - A gift for Sophia

A couple of days ago I posted about my idea to try and print some fabric through my standard inkjet printer. I have a large format (A3) Epson and I thought it could handle it, as I can print up to 300 gsm paper weight.

This was the result, you can check out what I did here or click on the photo. Although the colours could have been a bit deeper, it was all I needed to complete the gift for Sophia.

So, this is how it all came together.

Lovely friends, Adrian and Fiona had Sophia Elizabeth on April 15, 2011. They didn't know the sex of the baby so it wasn't until she was born that my mind went into override about a gift. As luck would have it, it all came together on the day I left Brisbane. I stopped off at 'Coming up Roses' in Bulimba, a gorgeous gift shop owned by Hayley Lewis, close to where Brendon lives.

1. I had some adhesive lettering with a pearlescent finish.
2. The leaves have been made from the fabric I printed on the inkjet printer - as above, click on the link or the photo to see how I did it. The branch is a find from the garden, a gum tree twig wrapped in a pink ribbon and glued at each end.
3. A contrasting fabric as the background, here waiting for the glue to dry. It's been glued to a piece of cardboard (box card from an art store is a good weight for this). I find the tiny wooden pegs from craft stores (or Kikki K) are great to hold things in place while gluing.
4. The staple in crafting/artwork, an IKEA frame.
5. The three little guys who got me thinking about what to make for this special little girl. These are what I bought from 'Coming up Roses' in Brisbane. The designer is 'Alimrose Designs'.

And here it is!

When I had all the pieces ready it was pretty easy to put together. The owls have been sewn to the backing fabric, which I forgot to tell you earlier, I had ironed some lightweight interfacing to, to give it some body.

I used a blanket stitch on my machine to make the leaves after I had ironed some adhesive wadding and fusing on. I just drew a shape on the fabric, cut it out then used the blanket stitch. Lastly I put in a vein using a normal straight stitch. It all just happened!

The leaves and twig are glued to the fabric backing with 'Tacky Glue' (PVA craft glue), when they were dry, I then glued the feet to the twig.

Artwork all done, with the final step to stick 'sophia' to the matt and fit it all in to the frame.

I love it! Hope you do too!

Well everyone, this is baby #2 news. The 1st was here if you missed it. The 3rd is much closer to home. Stay tuned... a couple of you already know what the news is. All will be revealed in the next day or so!

A thought for you...

My 'Saturday Thought' has been missing for the last 2 weeks as I have been traveling for work. I made the long trek from Sydney to Brisbane two weeks ago, stayed for one night then headed to Toowoomba for the next 5 days.

It's hard to imagine the devastation they had in Toowoomba all those months ago, because you certainly can't tell. The town looks back to normal! We are a resilient lot, we Aussies! 

I had a great time with 11 wonderful participants in a basic lending program. We all had a bit of fun, in amongst the 5 days work. There was a few technological glitches, which often happens when you teach in office spaces other than your own. I'm normally in a training environment in North Sydney.

At the end of the week, I drove back to Brisbane, then headed home to Sydney on the Saturday. Stopped in to see my Dad on the way home as I had some news to tell him! (Stay tuned...)

So I left this week's 'Saturday Thought' until today, Easter Sunday, to celebrate the significance of Easter, or if you are more inclined, to just enjoy a day of rest!

Easter tells us that life is to be interpreted 
not simply in terms of things but in terms of ideals.
Charles M. Crowe - US Clergyman
June 14, 1941- July 7, 2008 

I'm not a church going person, and I'm not a believer, but I understand why people believe. We have an older family member visiting this weekend, so out of respect for her, we all attended the Easter Service in the Green Cathedral at Pacific Palms on the NSW mid-north coast (near Forster). It was a very good service and included everyone, regular congregation members and those from other denominations. It's not what our visitor is used to, but she enjoyed it all the same.

For those of you who do believe, I understand there may be some feeling towards me for attending a service that I wouldn't normally attend. I have great respect for people who do believe and it was because of this respect, I attended the service with the family, sang the hymns, listened to the prayers and thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere. I respect other people's beliefs, having married (now divorced) into a fairly religious family. In return they also respect my position.

For those of you who haven't seen the Green Cathedral, and I was one of them until this morning, it is an open air ministry, with logs as pews, facing the beautiful Wallis Lake. In fact it's right ON the lake's edge, with the surrounding vegetation of palms and gums and other species of plants. The morning was perfect after a touch of rain last night. The relieving pastor and her helpers (all women), were on hand to pass out rubbish bin liners to sit on as the logs were still a bit wet from the overnight rain. All very casual and comfortable for someone like me. A bit of a laugh too, to be greeted by someone handing out rubbish bin liners!!

Here are a couple of photos of the Green Cathedral ministry...

Have a wonderful Easter break everyone and be safe on the roads...

22 April 2011

Test #1...Printing fabric in my Inkjet Printer

A flash of brilliance came to me in the last hour...If I can get a piece of fabric to the weight of printer paper, around 80 - 100 gsm, it might just work.

You'll never guess what I used...Freezer Paper! I bought a whole roll of this paper before Christmas, from Spotlight,  so I could do some stenciling on a Christmas gift for my niece. You can see that here, just scroll to the bottom of the page and you'll see the pink cushion I made for her. The 'In the Pink' wording was made with a Freezer Paper stencil.

The idea came from reading Tina's blog, Rubie's Place. She uses this technique in this tutorial.

I knew there would be a way to do it, so I ironed a piece of 100% cotton to some Freezer Paper, then cut this to A4 size. This whole experiment is for a project for a new arrival. I'm doing a piece of artwork for a new baby girl who arrived on the 15th April to lovely friends Adrian and Fiona.

The colours for the artwork were coming together but I needed one more contrast, hence the experiment. For what I'm doing this will be sufficient because it won't be washed. I'm not sure how 'fast' the ink will be. I'll give one of the test pieces a hot iron for a while to set the ink, then wash it and see what happens.

Here's the printed result before washing:

I downloaded a floral fabric into Photoshop, duplicated it to get a full A4 page of the print. The colour isn't as bold as I'd like it. Maybe I could play with it a bit more in Photoshop to get it right if I need to, but this is fine as a first attempt!

21 April 2011

Favourite purchase...from The White Shed

So remiss of me to not have posted some photos of the butlers table I bought from Letitia at The White Shed.

It's in the spare bedroom downstairs in between the single beds. Fits perfectly...
My 'Life is a Beach' frame and one of my small wallpaper art pieces grace the table along with some fantastic balsa wood carved shell shapes I scored from Port Macquarie ages ago.

More for Creative Collective Easter project...

I've been playing with patterns in Illustrator and have made this 'Bunnies' paper as a trial and error project.

The bunny shape is made from the ellipse tool in different sizes and 'shapes'. I just elongated the ellipse for the ears and feet.

I think he's cute, with all his 'clones'. You know what they say...breeding like rabbits!

Not sure about the colours...

I thought it would look good as wrapping paper, maybe...?

My Creative Space...A gift for Chelsea

Lots of baby news happening at the moment...

My eldest son's best mate, David, and his lovely wife Kate, had a beautiful baby girl, Chelsea Beth, on March 16th. David and Kate were married a little while ago now and I made them this wedding gift for their home.

Brendon and David have been friends since their school days and shared a townhouse in Brisbane (with a couple of other people) for about 5 or 6 years. They play in the same social soccer (football) team, too. Never thought I'd see they day my son would strap on a pair of soccer boots. Both my boys played a lot of baseball and softball growing up.

Anyway back to Chelsea...A few weeks ago I made a lovely day trip to Berrima, south of Sydney. I love this little village but don't get there often enough. I did the usual 'browsing' (with intention to buy whatever struck my eye!!!) at a gorgeous shop, 'The Brown Shutter'. If ever you are in Berrima, you must make the visit to this shop. It is packed solid with fabulous gifts, notions, home wares, baby gifts...Yes baby gifts, and yes I did pick up a beautiful pink and white rabbit for Chelsea. Unfortunately I don't have a photo as the lovely owner of The Brown Shutter gift wrapped it for me.

My original intention was to make some bunting for her nursery in the 'Pink Diamonds' fabric range I designed, but knowing I probably wouldn't have enough time to make it before I left on my recent work trip, I felt at least it would be nice to have the gift for her (just in case it would be a while before I could make the bunting).

Wouldn't you know it, in the rush to pack and leave for Brisbane and Toowoomba, I left the gift in Sydney...Arrghh!

While still in Berrima, on the way back to the car, I came across this little gem, Berrima Patchwork.

Didn't even know it was there, it's a little bit hidden from the road, back a bit for the actual street, behind some trees. This store apparently has a 27 year history in Berrima and Sue and her Mum were so lovely. I bought some contrasting fabrics for the bunting and really had to restrain myself from walking out with a piece of every Amy Butler fabric they stocked. Don't worry Sue...I'll be back.

I knew I didn't want to use the 'Pink Diamonds' range for the front and back of the bunting, so I selected a pink stripe, to match the pink diamond fabric (was a great match actually), then I found a yellow check/gingham and a green spot. The yellow gingham and green spot are the backing fabrics. The bunting is finished with a yellow and white spot ribbon on a white tape. Lastly, I printed her name in a matching green as a transfer and ironed each letter to a flag on the bunting. 

If you look closely at the transfer, it didn't come out 'that great', but the fabric is a linen base so it has a texture anyway, which makes the transfer look like it also has a texture. All in all, it's pretty cute..well I think it is.

The only place I could find to take a photo of the end result was on my dining room blinds, it looks better against a white background.

Two more lovely bits of baby news to come...standby, one is very close to home!!!

More Creative Spaces over here at Kootoyoo every Thursday. Kirsty is having a break until the holidays are over, so Creative Spaces are back on April 28. I thought I'd still like to do one though!

13 April 2011

Creative Collective April Project - Eggcellent Easter

Here I am sitting in another hotel room, whiling away the hours. My job has taken me to Toowoomba for this week, which is great because it gave me an opportunity to drive here, so I was able to bring my own laptop to work on a few things.

I made a visit to Brisbane last weekend, on the way through to Toowoomba, and will head back there this Friday night.

There's a few Easter gifts I'll drop off to the family back in Brisbane this weekend, and then face the long trip back to Sydney on Saturday and Sunday.

A lot of my current projects have been gift tags, with the latest fitting in with the monthly project for The Creative Collective.

I'll get a few of them printed while I'm here so I have them ready to drop off this weekend, then when I get home I'll take some time to play around with the design and colours to make a set of maybe 6 or so.

10 April 2011

Brendon Grove Blog

I'm sure you are all aware by now that my eldest son, Brendon is a photographer. Well, he's taken the plunge and is now a blogger.

Brendon's first few posts are up now. The most recent being his trip to New Zealand a couple of weeks ago. You can link into his Travel website to take a look too if you like.

He's also showcasing one of his best friends, Tass Greenwood.

Tass is a musician. The two of them have collaborated with an idea for music to compliment the screen play Brendon has been working on for a little while. All still a work in progress. Including the music, but I had a chance today to listen to the piece Tass wrote for it. He has 'read' exactly what Brendon is after and it will fit in so well with the film.

When I have more news on the film's progress I'll give you some teasers. There is still location and production to finalize and some dialogue he's not quite happy with.

This is what he is aiming for :)

They are also in training for a trip to Nepal planned for sometime next year I think. They'll need to be fit as they will be trekking, and then there's the visit to Mt Everest. This is all still in planning stages also, but the training is going well.

Brendon's portfolio is growing considerably now, with music photography through one of the music publications in Brisbane, his wedding photography and of course his own travels. The website will eventually cover his film work which is something he is striving towards.

If you are after any work in the Brisbane area, please contact him through his email address, he's only too willing to talk to you about your ideas.

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