Thursday 24 December 2009

Merry Christmas

A big hello to all the lovely folks visiting from SewMamaSew to see my tututorial :-)
I'd really love to see a photo if anyone gets round to making the fairy skirt from my pattern (to see what it looks like if you can really sew!!).
When we arrived home for Christmas to my parents place this little cherub was waiting. Visiting alas and gone today but not before we all had lots of cuddles and she hopped her way around the house to the bemusement of the two dogs.

Friday 18 December 2009

happy holidays!!

We are all exhausted this week - our 'little' A's last at primary school. Her last three days included a graduation dinner, a presentation assembly and a guard of honour as the year 6 walked out for the last time (yes I did cry!) It was all so perfect and we are left with such beautiful memories but it feels like yesterday it was her first day of school, and I was crying back then too :-)

I've just put up my holiday message in my Etsy shop. Any purchases won't be sent now till January. There isn't much left, I've sold out of quite a few designs :-) Flower Press has been crazy busy. I'm up to a whopping 443 sales now! Look out 450 sales, here I come!

Yesterday we celebrated the first day of school holidays with a lovely group of friends at the local pool. We swam, we ate, we swam, we chatted. The smallest people spent hours in the water and came home a little pinker than they set out, despite numerous sunscreenings. And I started to relax, just the smallest bit.

Before we get to really relax we still have all our packing and wrapping to do. We leave on Monday for our two day road trip up the coast, five of us and the dog. We are heading to my parents' farm for our last holiday there before it is sold in the New Year (more tears!) It will be lovely to spend one more Christmas there.

I hope to post the occasional update while I'm away. I'd like to put up an end of year mosaic like I did last year, to record and celebrate the crafty pursuits of 2009! In the meantime dear readers, I would like to thank you all for your lovely support, thoughtful comments and for always inspiring me on my creative journey. I love posting here and sharing it all with you.

* The picture at the top of this post is the finger puppet little Mr J got from his teacher on the last day of school. She made one for each child - with the hair personalised to match the kid, the blue is the school shorts and top! How very cool is that!!

Thursday 17 December 2009

redpepper rickrack

The only thing more thrilling than seeing my fabric in one of Rita of RedPepper's quilts is seeing it beside the beautiful designs of fabulous Aussie Indie fabric designers Kristen Doran (Cheeky Beaks), Saffron Craig and Shannon Lamden (Aunty Cookie)! Bliss.
For those of you still shopping, Rita is having a free international shipping sale in her Etsy shop. (where she goes under the name knitknat) Her quilts are so beautifully made, she matches fabrics and colours with such style that they would make a really memorable present, something that would be cherished for years.

Best of all, this quilt is for sale, along with some of her other, truly beautiful quilts

If anyone else makes something from my fabric I'd love to see pictures and perhaps even feature them here. I'm thinking of starting up a flickr group next year to share projects made with this and future designs (I have number two on the drawing board!) I've also got a simple sewing pattern I've been working on that I'll feature next year which I've made up with RickRack, a simple project that is quick and easy to make. Oh, I've got lots of plans for next year! I need to stop first though and recharge.

I'm not quite on holidays yet. My shop is open one last day, and I'll be back for one more post before I go...

Tuesday 15 December 2009

another year

My Etsy anniversary and blogoversary and flickrversary come one on top of each other in November. And then in December I have my wedding anniversary a week before my birthday and all two weeks before Christmas in the crazy busy end of the year! So usually its a blur.
This year though I got to pause for a moment and go out to a swishy Greek restaurant with my little family on Friday, and then yum cha lunch with some special friends on Monday. I feel well spoilt and well loved.
Yesterday I got so many thoughtful presents. Mr Flowerpress bought me some really lovely things, like this old printing block and the vintage bakelite thimbles. He bought me a truffle in a jar and a copy of Handmade Nation (all by himself, no direction!) and even op-shopped some vintage fabric amongst my other presents :-) How cool is he.

I got this lovely Elk brooch from a friend, an organic cotton bag, a printed cotton apron, a great Kikki K calendar (I will be organised next year), I got some thrillers to read over Christmas, a garden nursery voucher. Each present I opened showed the person knew me and had really thought about the gift. And then they all rang me :-) I felt very loved.
Today a little Etsy distraction arrived and I had to include it here. The lovely Mitsy from Art Mind is such a special person - so nice to deal with, and look how she packaged my little birds. I bought two so I could give one away... but I think I might have to buy a third! I love her series of emotions based on a simple shape too.

Friday 11 December 2009

true up

How excitement! More nice words about RickRack found on fabulous fabric site True Up! It means so much to me to see my little fabric design out in the world. A dream come true :-)

Tuesday 8 December 2009

the last piece

Thank you so much to the lovely Sarah Fielke who posted my RickRack fabric on her wonderful blog The Last Piece. Sarah, a star of the international quilting world, co-wrote the fabulous Material Obsession books which have done so much to inspire beautiful contemporary quilting. Her new venture SEWN is a treasure trove of sewing happiness and I see that now is a good time to visit with ten days of giveaways!!! Just click the baubles at the top to enter.

And thanks too to Madeit who featured RickRack in their Christmas presents under $15 email. I've recently uploaded a few more items to my Madeit shop for those of you who want to shop in Aussie dollars and support a local site (as always I'm happy to take bank deposit if you want to shop Etsy too).

I had another trip to the post office yesterday, there are going to be lots of Flower Press goodies under Christmas trees this year. Flower Press has reached 420 sales on Etsy! As always I am so touched by the lovely messages I get from people telling me who they are buying for, including the person who asked me not to leave feedback because her sister looks at her Etsy site, hee hee. Aaah, sisters. I wish mine were a little closer, her Xmas parcel left for Vietnam yesterday. I wish I could have stowed away with it!! (or with the eight Flower Press tea towels off to Italy for Xmas :-)

Monday 7 December 2009

rose cuttings

Rose cutting method

Have you ever tried to grow a rose from cuttings. I have and I've had quite a few successes (see below)! I thought I'd share my method for anyone who wants to try. Finding a beautiful rose is never part of my problem! I'm always lusting over the garden fence at deep reds, bright yellows, pretty pinks, little cottage climbers or in this case, heritage beauties with deep rose scent.

My neighbour May has a deep pink scented rose growing near her door. May's mother in law planted it before May lived in the house, over 60 years ago, May is 92 this year! I love this rose, I like its cupped shape, the heady scent and I love its history and that it reminds me of someone special.

I've struck it before so I know it takes easily. Unfortunately the little plant was lost in a heatwave last year, while we were away. But I know anyway that May wants another plant to give to her bingo bus driver! So this morning when I was deadheading her roses I kept a few stems.

The best cuttings are stems which have had a flower grow on the end, like in the picture. Cut them about 20 cms from the end, bring them inside and put them in a vase if you aren't ready to pot them. I've had roses strike like this, in a warm spot on the windowsill but just to be safe pot them up. Here is my method:

* Cut the stems just below a 'node' (the nobbly bit where the leaves come out.) This is where all the good hormones are. Cut off the dead flower head.

* Peel a thin sliver from the outer skin to expose the layer where all the good stuff is. If you aren't confident about this don't worry. Also optional is dipping the cut end in honey or rooting hormone which helps it strike.

* Pack a small pot with seed raising mix (I love this stuff and you can buy a small bag at the nursery). Alternatively mix a little sand with your potting mix. This makes it drain quickly so the stems don't sit around wet.

* Water the empty pot gently with a watering can. Firm the soil.

* Poke a few stems in together around the pot. Firm the soil so it is close against the stems. (I've probably put too many cuttings in this small pot).

* Cover with a plastic vegie bag, tuck it in around the bottom and put the pot in a shady but warm place.

* Check every so often. Some of the cuttings will die and rot and need to be removed. Same with some of the leaves will usually fall off. If the pot seems dry top up the water.

Some people think that roses grown on their own roots, rather than grafted, are stronger and more long lived. I haven't had mine long enought to comment.

Read part two of rose cuttings here, or about growing roses from seed here and here.

Thursday 3 December 2009


I surprised myself this week. I sewed this skirt without a pattern, and I'm really happy with the way it turned out.

My beautiful girl finishes primary school this year (!). For her graduation the theme is Fluoro (back in apparently!) A while ago at Spotlight buying something else we had a look around for fluoro material. It was pretty thin on the ground but we did find this netting material, on sale, and snapped up a couple of metres (I think you need at least 2 and a quarter). We had a vague idea of producing a fairy skirt copying a favourite pink version that has survived in the dressup box since she was tiny. The idea is to wear it over black with some other fluoro accessories.
Anyway, we're both really happy with our fluoro fairy skirt. And it was quick and easy too (took me an hour probably) so I thought I might post a rough pattern for anyone who's interested. I'm sure the clever ones of you could easily improve on it. My sewing skills are quite basic!
It would make a good Christmas present and if you don't count the tiny bits of elastic and interfacing I used, which were in the stash already, this cost about $6.

Anyway, here's the pattern, if you click the image I think it will show a larger size image, but I'm happy to email a pdf if anyone can't see it, or upload it to my Flickr. I might do that anyway.

The waistband was added to hide the elastic as the net is seethrough, the interfacing and doubling it over made it opaque. I ironed it on mid-heat which bonded the interfacing and didn't melt the net.

If you wanted I think you could make it longer or add another layer. You could edge the skirt too but it doesn't fray. A couple of sequins might be a nice touch too!

I'd love to hear from you if you make one yourself.

Wednesday 2 December 2009

what's hot and not

Every week I mean to join in on loobylu's hot and not but get a bit distracted, I always love reading other people's lists.

So here at last is a hot and not from me.


* Definitely a highlight this week has been all the fabulous entries, comments, feedback from my giveaway.

* Finally buying new couches at Ikea yesterday. With spare washable covers to keep that new couch feeling a little longer. I don't know how anyone (with kids) survives without them!

* Finishing the front of our house. Painted a month ago and now old ugly brick fence has been knocked down (and didn't the male contingent of the family love doing that!) and new picket fence going in Monday! Driveway repaved with paving that you can grow stuff through.

*Etsy purchases. I love being an Etsy seller but I buy a lot too. Saw these cups and could not resist. And these bookmarks from Elsita will be perfect for all my lovely sister in laws who I'm not meant to be buying for.


A short one, I'm feeling pretty good about the world this week :-)

* Christmas shopping. (I love giving presents but I manage to stress myself out each year worrying if I've bought the right things).

* Tony Abbott

Monday 30 November 2009


Wow! What a fantastic response to my RickRack giveaway! In the end I had 123 comments!! You all left such lovely comments too! I was blown away by all the lovely, thoughtful and enthusiastic words about my first fabric design RickRack. Thank you all so much.

I used the good old Random Number picker to choose a winner, lucky number 23 - Kylie - who said "Fabulous giveaway! Your yardage is just gorgeous :) K"
Thanks Kylie, I'll be in touch to get your address.

I really wish I could send you all a piece of RickRack. As the next best thing I'd like to offer everyone a special Blog Discount of $8 a fat quarter (not including postage) for the Strawberry RickRack fat quarter pack. All blog readers can use the code line BLOG at checkout and I will refund your discount straight away through PayPal. This deal will be open till December 4th so I can send in time for Xmas. Click here to go to the shop.

A lot of you came from Rita's RedPepperQuilts blog. As most of you know Rita is the quilting queen! She makes the most beautiful quilts and her blog was one of the main inspirations behind my first quilt. I'm sure I'm not alone! I sent Rita some pieces of RickRack to thank her for the invaluable advice she gave so generously this year when I was struggling with my own first quilt.

So I felt really honoured when she included my fabric in her regular Sunday Stash post! Thanks Rita :-)

Friday 27 November 2009


A while ago I introduced you to some of the new colours I had printed in my tea towel range, teal (a happy accident), black on white Filigree and the Blossom design in purple (sold out!).
I haven't got round to showing you these two yet, mostly because they are so hard to photograph, something about the yellow means the photos don't do justice to this lovely sunny colour.
The other day I had another attempt to capture them and I am much happier this time with the outcome. So please welcome Yellow Filigree on White and Yellow Filigree on Unbleached Linen to the Flower Press shop.
Unfortunately I can't print all the colours all the time, so if you like these grab them now as there are only a few of each.

Thank you to everyone who has entered the RickRack sample giveaway already (below), I've been really touched by all the lovely comments about my new design. Its open till Monday so still time to enter.

p.s. I wouldn't mind if this box still held mangoes, but I'm pretty happy its filled with all these Flower Press orders, especially knowing that a lot of them are destined for Christmas parcels. I love that! (Makes me think I should get to my Xmas shopping soon!) Happy weekend everyone.

Wednesday 25 November 2009

2nd and 3rd birthday giveaway!

Reading today on the always inspiring meetmeatmikes blog about Pip's third blogging birthday reminded me that I somehow missed celebrating my second etsyversary and blogoversary this month!
I've been a bit distracted by the excitement of producing my first yardage print. So to celebrate I'm offering up a RickRack sample pack, with a fat eighth of each colour Aqua and Strawberry.
The giveaway is open to everyone near and far.
And don't forget to visit meetmeatmikes to enter all the other fab giveaways, my it seems like Christmas!
Leave a comment below and I'll draw a name out on Monday next week.
Thanks :-)

Tuesday 24 November 2009

the first cut

How amazing to have bolts of fabric, my very own fabric!
It was quite intimidating though standing there, getting ready to make that first cut. I got my two best pairs of scissors out, and thought a bit. I got my rotary cutter and quilting ruler and thought a bit more! Finally I found my cutting mat, a tape measure and I was ready to go. I took a big breath and cut...

Slowly but surely I got the hang of it...

Fat quarters and fat eighths sample packs in the shop now.

Monday 23 November 2009

wip - afghan squares

I've made a bit more progress on my afghan squares project, I'm up to seven completed blocks now. The last couple I adapted from Knitting on the Net's comprehensive stitch library.
The squares from the book are all approximately 33 or 34 stitches across so I try and adapt the patterns to this size.
I'm still paddling in the easy section of the pool though - mostly purl and knit combinations, though there has been a bit of YO and a smattering of K2together. Yesterday it was over 40 degrees celsius in Sydney. Luckily our old house is double brick and we managed to survive inside insulated somewhat from the heat. Not exactly knitting weather! A cool change came in very early this morning though and today it is 20 degrees and overcast. I might take the chance to cast on another square tonight.
(p.s. My favourite so far is the moss stitch in grape. Closeups only because as you can see I haven't sewn in ends or blocked my squares!)

Sunday 22 November 2009


I love this treasury so much that I was going to post a picture of it today. Not surprisingly it made the front page this morning, to my great excitement. I looove that masking tape, those earrings, that dress and... oh well all of it really.

Thursday 19 November 2009


I'm so proud and excited to be able to finally introduce the first, debut Flower Press yardage print - RickRack!!

(And no, it's not flowers. I know - I'm surprised too! But don't worry, the next one on the drawing board is definitely floral.)

RickRack was originally inspired by my dear friend Kate's skirt, denim with a border of rick rack, lace and other ribbons sewn around the bottom. I always admired the different trims together - I love rickrack, broderie, daisy laces and ribbons. There's something so retro but classic about them. They speak to me of the current crafty revival, of the recognition of all those past crafting skills, the care and love in hand sewn.

Rick Rack is initially screenprinted on a lovely midweight linen/cotton (55%/40%) fabric. Thanks to all the fantastic input you gave me I know that we all love natural fibres, in a midweight with great drape. This fabric is not too heavy and not too light, its just right. I'm hoping it will be good for quilting and craft projects, cushion covers and clothes.

I hope you love these colours as much as we do. My daughter and I are crazy for this turquoisy blue I've called Aqua and this Strawberry red is a classic.

Anyway, I only have these strikeoffs to start with but I'm going to be offering some extra special Pre-Order deals. I'm hoping to have fabric stock within a fortnight but until then I'm offering five Strawberry Fat Quarter packs for only US$10 each, a saving of 20% on the full price (email me if you'd prefer the Aqua).

I have stock now! Aqua here and Strawberry here. Still on sale for a short time!!!

Wednesday 18 November 2009


OK, sorry for shouting but I picked up my yardage strikeoffs this afternoon! Yay, I've been waiting for this moment for so long. Here's a sneak peek, much more tomorrow as promised. For now real life calls and I have two small soccer players waiting to go to their game. Please come back tomorrow and see the design and the other colour I'm getting printed. There will be some pre-order deals for blog readers.

jesse's girls *

Yesterday I got this lovely parcel from my friend Jesse of jezzeblog and jezzeprints fame. Such a sweetie she was only meant to send me the zip purse but she's spoiled me and sent this quarter of blockprinted fabric as well. Thanks Jesse!

I love this new vintage ladies pattern, I think its got such a great retro graphic look. And the printing, as always, is exquisite. If you haven't been do check out Jesse's shop - her little zip purses and her brooches would make great Xmas presents.

* with apologies to Rick Springfield!

Saturday 14 November 2009

hello world

Wow, I've just been looking through my blog stats, I like to wander through there and have a look at who's reading. It always amazes me.
Stop and look around you - see those people reading next to you, they come from all over the world, literally. This list is from just the last eight days!

Turkey * Canada * Singapore * Argentina * Kazakhstan * Brazil * Ireland * Saudi Arabia * Portugal * Poland * India * El Salvador * Ukraine * South Africa * Greece * Netherlands * Malta * England * Pakistan * Australia * Germany * Spain * US * New Zealand * Korea * Mexico * The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia * Russian Federation * Indonesia * Vietnam * France * Scotland * Italy * Belgium * Israel * Hong Kong * Malaysia * Thailand * Estonia * Romania * Chile * Bolivia * Sri Lanka * Lithuania * Armenia * Honduras *

Thanks everyone for visiting Flower Press :-)

Adding some more:
Finland * Japan * Taiwan * Hungary * Ukraine * Hong Kong * Estonia * Croatia * Belarus * Colombia * Iceland * Latvia * Norway * Denmark * Austria

Still collecting:
Switzerland * Trinidad & Tobago * Sweden * Czech Republic * Kyrgyzstan * United Arab Emirates * Peru * Slovenia *

Friday 13 November 2009

sculpture by the sea

I'm a bit late this year, Sculpture by the Sea for 2009 finishes on Sunday. Here are some pics from yesterday's trip around the cliffs. The huge straw sticking out of the sea near the start was really popular, the flow of people was stalled in quite a few places as people attempted to take trick photos of their friends sipping from it. I must look on Flickr to see if any were posted!
The green pea pod was amazing in motion, a sort of optical illusion as it turned upon itself. There were some fantastic coloured flags too, dancing on the coastal winds.
As ever the natural beauty of the Bondi to Tamarama cliff walk was a major star in the show. If you ever come to Sydney please promise me you'll walk this path. Here is the Bondi Icebergs sea pool illuminated by a ray of sunshine.

There was a controversy about this little lost boy appearing without a swimming costume, the artist was made to put some on him but went out the night before the opening and cut them off!
Have a great weekend everyone.

handmade holidays

Yay, so exciting! I've been dying to share this with you for ages.
My Tomato Filigree tea towel is featured today in the Handmade Holidays series on the SewMamaSew blog. Each day of November a new topic is showcased on this amazing site featuring fantastic tutorials, fabric designs, recipes, ideas and a 'buy it' idea.
And today the topic is Clean and Tidy and my tea towel has been chosen to help you do that in style :-)
Some of the other daily topics have been pamper, play (check out the campfire kit) and adorn.
I've been reading this every day and the ideas and projects have been really wonderful. This is such an inspiring series. Today for example they show you how to make soap and panettone and there is a giveaway for Bend the Rules Sewing by Amy Karol. All you have to do is leave a comment.

Wednesday 11 November 2009


For a while now I've been putting aside envelopes, collecting the different security patterns which come across my desk. I love the different patterns you can find. But the envelopes have been sitting poked into a drawer out of sight.
I love paper garlands. I'm intrigued with the idea of sewing paper together, something I never would have thought of if I hadn't seen it online.
Somehow though these two thoughts came together in my busy brain and today I put a little time aside to make these flag garlands. They are so simple to make, I made up a template of triangles and cut into my collection. And then I just sewed them together.
I love the blue and white patterns and its a nice way to display them together, it recycles all those used envelopes, and I love the flutteriness and the slightly see-through quality of the garland. Even better, strung from one end near a window they are very mobile, quietly twirling and spinning around.
(p.s. for more beautiful envelope patterns look at this flickr set.)