29 October, 2009

My Creative Space

I've just joined this list and so took pics of my two 'creative spaces' today - the kitchen where I'm experimenting with cookie cutters and pineapple slices (fun) while sneaking glances at this beautiful book my husband bought me FOR NO REASON (very impressed) yesterday - I love this guy's art!
And here is my table in my temporary art space - geared up for one handed painting of canvas bags (the other hand cradles my beautifully contented baby), which will be this month's artistic achievement. Yesterday I was also heatsetting them with the iron, totally one handed, after making a sandwich - you guessed it - one handed. Actually, I'm typing this one-handed too! Ah, but she's so darn CUDDLY right now! I can't keep my hands off her!
To see more creative spaces pop over to Kootoyoo.

New handpainted totes now available

I've just completed these four handpainted bags and listed them in the online shop. I'm delighted with the way they turned out - and they're double sided. We use this size bag for beach and park trips and for fitting in the gear required for two little ones for a full day outing. Hope you like!

28 October, 2009

Dressed to impress

Today's ensemble - top by Target, bloomers by Kmart, shoes from my room, styled by the big brother who was home 'on strike' like his teachers. Hmmm. The pup was enamoured.

25 October, 2009

Wish this would happen at our shops!

I found this video on http://colormekatie.blogspot.com/
and hope it makes you laugh out loud like I did.
Love it!

Pot pot pot

So, the Eco Potmaker kit arrived.
And it's very easy.
And very addictive.
We (well, ok, I) made A LOT of cute, little, newspaper pots.

And filled them with seed raising mix, planted the seeds, sprayed water on them, and are now eagerly waiting for them to sprout! I'm a proud mumma so there will be pictures I'm afraid. Once they're sprouted we can plant them straight into the ground and the newspaper will biodegrade. Sounds neat.

Loved this kit though. Will use it for parties too, I think, to make little pots for lollies or nuts with strips of coloured paper.

Get Eco Potmaker from REMO General Store


A dear friend organised a breast cancer fundraising event that's being run today called 'Pedal in Pinktober' and I donated a lucky door prize. This handpainted 'Pinktober' bag, a pink Coffee & Cake teatowel and some other goodies. LOVED painting this tote and got a bit carried away and have started painting four more, which will show up very soon in the shop!

23 October, 2009

Dribble solution

There are some artistic things happening here, late at night, in an effort to have some new, original, special things to announce in the next Shiny Happy Newsletter (join the list here) and send off around the country for Christmas. This is a glimpse into some particularly special little panels that will look wonderful when they're finished (well, at least they look wonderful inside my head, at the moment!).
And I know I could have made this, but I have just one space for sewing and painting at the moment, so while I was ordering our new wall calendar on the Remo website I just went and did it and I'm so happy I did. These little dribble bandanas even cover the stains from previous dribbly bubbies while preventing stains from this dribbly bubbie. We went for a hot pink one and this blue one and I think B is enjoying her new, jaunty look. For more info, you can click this box below (and no, I don't work for Remo!).
Get RIC Baby from REMO General Store
Rellies on their way to visit now, so a bit of picking up to do!

22 October, 2009

Step 2 - The Rug

You may remember this before photo of our 'grown ups' lounge corner (it's a corner because line-of-sight is required to small children right now - I know all the interior design experts would probably not put the lounges up against the windows - even my husband struggles to cope with that, but for now, it's needed - can you tell it's a bit of a sensitive issue around here?).

I'm now on a quest to make my home more of an 'Anna Maria Horner' experience than the 'send Oprah's Rescue Team around' experience that it has been known to be around here.

So far I've made the first batch of cushions:And today I ordered a new red rug for the floor.The delivery fee to Toowoomba is only $20 even though the rug is pretty big, so that's a lot easier than wrangling the kids and reorganising carseats. So when that arrives Step 2 will be complete!

Still to come - Step 3 'Painting and resining the coffee table (with tutorial - including some blowtorch action!)' and Step 4 'Replacing the corner table with something that includes storage'. Hmmm, there's some second hand shop trawling required to work on that.

Stay tuned.

20 October, 2009

A few important lines

Now, I don't own this book, but I saw this poem here and it spoke to me. (I also don't know why these lines are underlined and I don't seem to be able to STOP IT!)

Simple Abundance - A Daybook of Comfort and Joy

Cultivate gratitude.
Carve out an hour a day for solitude.
Begin and end the day with prayer, meditation, reflection.
Keep it simple.
Keep your house picked up.*
Don't overschedule.*
Strive for realistic deadlines.*
Never make a promise you can't keep.
Allow an extra half hour for everything you do.
Create quiet surroundings at home and at work.
Go to bed at nine o'clock twice a week.*
Always carry around something interesting to read.
Breathe- deeply and often.
Move- walk, dance, run; find a sport you enjoy.
Drink pure spring water. Lots of it.*
Eat only when hungry.*
If it's not delicious, don't eat it.*
Be instead of do.
Set aside one day a week for rest and renewal.
Laugh more often.
Luxuriate in your senses.
Always opt for comfort.
If you don't love it, live without it.*
Let Mother Nature nuture.
Don't answer the telephone during dinner.***
Stop trying to please everybody.
Start pleasing yourself.
Stay away from negative people.
Don't squander precious resources: time, creative energy, emotion.
Nuture friendships.*
Don't be afraid of your passion.
Approach problems as challenges.
Honor your aspirations.
Set achievable goals.
Surrender expectations.
Savor beauty.
Create boundaries.
For every "yes", let there be a "no".
Don't worry; be happy.
Remember, happiness is a living emotion.
Exchange security for serenity.
Care for your soul.
Cherish your dreams.
Express love every day.
Search for your authentic self until you find her.

The ones that I've * starred* are the ones I'm working on extra hard this week. I'm going to print the whole thing out and stick it on the fridge and work through it. Could take a while...

And thank you S for coming by today. xxx

19 October, 2009

Love these tees

I recently ordered these two t-shirts for my girls and they arrived last week and they're terrific!

The names are made of some sort of transfer, not screenprinted, and they're crisp and lovely and totally made in Australia (even the t-shirt is sewn in Melbourne). The quality is excellent and the owner, Kris, a former lawyer, has worked hard to come up with this lovely method for the shirts. To see for yourself, visit www.playingchasey.com.au.

14 October, 2009

Love this idea

I just saw this on Remo (which I have loved for years) - The Eco Potmaker - either to give as the gift or get it yourself to make pots, grow plants and then give them as the gift. (You can click on this image and go straight to the page - it's a HUGE site)
Get Eco Potmaker from REMO General Store
The kids did their maths and decided they wanted to get those Simpsons stickon things that The Courier Mail was promoting, so we've had more newspapers than usual around lately, and this seems like a great way to reuse a few. And I THINK you can plant straight into the ground with newspaper - I could be wrong. I'm going to get one anyway, and I'll let you know.

I also love their Tempus Fugit Wall Planner - this is ours, cut in the middle to fit on the pantry doors - it's time for a new one. Next year will be full of my schoolmates' 4oth's and dates are already being mentioned. It looks busy, but it's got weeks that start on Mondays and it really works for us. Just click on this image (below) if you want to have a look.

They also have some terrific blackboard napkin rings that look good... better put my credit card back in the freezer now.

If you're a Remo newbie, they'll also send you a free t-shirt (they were my 'uniform' for the school run for years), so they're very nice people.

11 October, 2009

What a great fair!

Here are the lovely apron-clad ladies on Steffi & Mary's Afternoon Tea Stall. Every apron sold. And the cakes were pretty great too.

And here's Therese, who refused to take hers off (which made her husband very happy), my poor hubby in the "Dunk the Teacher" cage - it was freezing!, and a shot of the fantastic fireworks finale. A huge congratulations to all the organisers and to the Man Upstairs for holding the morning showers off til today.

Mulberry Crumb Cake

We have a terrific mulberry tree in our back yard. Planted by my husband only a few years ago, it's fruiting beautifully. But what to do with the berries? With the crazy dust storms we've had they couldn't be eaten straight off the tree (but try telling that to the kids!).

Anyway, yesterday I made this, and it's really yummy.

I've adapted the American recipe from here, http://www.fooddownunder.com/cgi-bin/recipe.cgi?r=170032 and didn't use any jam. It makes a small, but very special, 'afternoon tea' type cake. (Although I actually had it as my lunch yesterday. Yum.)

Mulberry Almond Crumb Cake

Process in food processor until it looks like crumbs:
1 cup plain flour
1/3 cup sugar
Pinch salt
¼ cup butter

Reserve ½ cup to use in topping.

Then put in a mixing bowl with:
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp bicarb soda
1/3 cup sour cream
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla essence
½ tsp almond extract
1 egg
And beat at medium speed until blended. Then spoon into cake tin.

Then beat up
90g cream cheese
2 tbsp sugar
1 egg white
And spoon over top of first batter.

Top with
1/3 cup mulberries (I didn't measure these actually, I just dotted them on)

Combine reserved flour 'crumbs' with
2 tbsp blanched almonds (chopped up in processor)
And sprinkle on top.

Bake 50 mins at 180 degrees celcius.


09 October, 2009

Aprons and Airmail

This lovely little packet of things is winging it's way halfway across the world to 'Sugar Land, Texas'. How exciting! And the postage only cost a little over $15 AUD.

And these are some of the aprons I've handpainted for the school fair tomorrow. They'll be worn at the Afternoon Tea stall and then sold and they were SO MUCH FUN to paint. I did mix my Golden acrylics with textile medium, and then I ironed them well on hot, but I haven't got time to test them - here's hoping they all stay put.

The Mater Dei School Fair is always terrific and the whole family is looking forward to it tomorrow. The finale is fireworks (which have not been done before) and the weather's looking fabulous, so it's going to be a great day.

08 October, 2009

Angel Kits now listed

Oh, and I've just listed the angel kits on the website - for $11 - a panel of six lovely angels. Will be choosing my two crafty helpers (to experiment with the kit) later today.

What's happening here?

Today I'm going to attempt to finish painting some aprons for the school fair this weekend. They'll be worn by the helpers on the cafe stall, and then (hopefully) sold. I've done 3 already and am seriously enjoying painting on fabric again (mixing my lovely Golden paints with some textile medium and then ironing to heatseal). There's not as much prep or cleanup as screenprinting, so might have to have a little play around on a calico coloured tote I'm using as the girl's nappy bag... but right now bub's awake and there's a pile of folding that's threatening to topple and block out the sun. Must be off.

05 October, 2009

I love dressups!

We don't do halloween here, but if we did, I think dressing up would be the funnest part.
How do kids look fantastic in everything they wear?!!
Today S actually managed to put on a denim jacket upside down and back to front. I didn't know it was actually possible, but now I know it is. Of course I had a crying bub in my arms at the time, so alas, no pic of that sweet moment.

New Kit Coming

Here is a sneak peek of a new screenprinted kit that will soon be listed in the shop.

I have made these little angels up as coloured hanging softies, but really, the idea is that you can make them up in any way you wish - you can paint them, stitch them, applique them, bead them, laminate them... It's up to you.

And once they're made, they can adorn your home, your Christmas Tree, be given as 'girlfriend gifts', all sorts of things really.

I've drawn them all individually, but they can be paired up as 3 front/backs as they are almost mirror images.

What I am looking for is two keen crafters to each take one of my panels and do with it what they wish and send me photos. I will send them some extra goodies for their trouble, as well as their fresh-off-the-screen panel.

Just leave me a comment and let me know what you'd plan to do with it - don't worry about being too detailed, I'm just keen to see two different applications, ie, beading and stitching, not both stitching, if you know what I mean. I'll put this call up on the Meet Me At Mike's forum too, then make the call on Thursday night (8 Oct) and send the fabric out on Friday.

Looking forward to gauging the interest!

01 October, 2009

October Mailing List Prize

This is the October prize for the Mailing List draw on my Shiny Happy Art site. It's a purse-sized pink notebook, beautifully accessoried with an Art Tag. A unique item well worth winning.
We've got quite a few new products being added at the moment, and they're all limited edition or one-offs, so if you're on the list you'll be notified first. Come on over and see...
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