Wednesday 28 December 2011

christmas 2011

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Thank you for all the lovely messages on my last post. I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to email back individually. I didn't get all those presents bought and wrapped before we set off either! But it all turned out in the end, as it does.

Our trip up the coast was fun, we listened to I Can Jump Puddles on audiobook and only a three hour detour to a country hospital for an infection slowed our progress. This amazing tree was growing near the front door of the outpatients.

We are having lots of fun in the new house, as you can see there was a street fair on Christmas Eve and we bought dinner at our friends' wonderful food van and had a go on the jumping slide before wandering home with our new light sabres to put out the brownies and pillowcases for Santa.

I've forgotten my camera cord so these are all instagrams from my phone. My sister in law is teaching me to weave. This is hers and mine is (hidden) here. Apparently I'm doing well ;-) Its lovely and meditative like knitting. I'm going to try and video her doing it as its wonderful to watch. We've both started some new rows with pandanus leaves harvested at the the Belongil dog beach when we went down for an idyllic late afternoon swim the other day.

I got some lovely pressies for Christmas, I hope you did too! This lovely Strutt Sisters necklace was ordered special by my clever dear and I also got a zoom lens for my camera. Spoilt! I'm enjoying using it for portraits because you can stand well back and catch people in natural poses.

Another major excitement was the arrival of Miss Poppy on Christmas Day, four weeks early mind you, a first baby for our nephew and his partner. We are all so besotted already by this new member of our family. We can't wait to meet her!

Monday 19 December 2011

signing out

2011treasury christmas star

Here's one last post before I sign out for the year, to wish you all a Merry Christmas, and a wonderful New Year. I might pop in with pics over the break but I'm actually hoping to be flat out reading my book, having a snooze, playing a board game, eating something delicious or lying on the beach. Priorities people!

What a fabulous year I've had hanging out with you guys. You are the best company - wonderful taste, interesting conversation, great food and you tell a mean joke. And your making is always so inspiring. Sometimes too inspiring! Here are some christmas stars we had to whip up yesterday, in the middle of the chaos, with some air dry DAS and a snowflake cookie cutter after seeing similar ones on Pinterest. Ours are slightly more rustic ;-)

I have lots of plans for next year, some more fabric designs, loads of people on my Show & Tell wishlist and even more craft. I want to get more organised and I want to work to make my little business a tiny bit bigger - the usual really!

Here's a last christmas treasury which someone emailled me about today. I love all the different elements and it illustrates the artisan and vintage styles that I love. I love that my work fits in that eclectic mix. Thanks friends for supporting Flower Press and I for another year.

Sunday 18 December 2011

a winner!

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Its that time of year, my thoughts are already on holiday and I'm just trying to catch up with them! A few more presents to buy, lots to wrap and some packing to do before we set off on Tuesday for Christmas up north with my Mum and Dad.

This is our first Christmas in ten years that won't be at their lovely farm but the new house is great and big enough to fit us all, and we know that the important thing is being together. To eat, to dance, to play, to laugh. I'm hoping also for just a little sun for a few trips to the beach, its been in such short supply!

One last bit of business before I go, I want to thank each and every one of the 365 people that entered my Bricks Fabric Giveaway, one for every day of the year :-)

There were some wonderful ideas for sewing with my Bricks fabrics: from pencil rolls, hats, pajama shorts, a dress, a wallet, a shirt to placemats and much more. Seems we all know a Lego lover or two who would love a bit of these. I read the other day that there are 73 Lego bricks for each person on the planet. Amazing!

Of course there can be only one winner, and in this case it is:
Emily from The Boy Trifecta who said:
OH. MY. GOODNESS. I would totally use that fabric on goodies for my boys - maybe some little pouches to hold all their little bricks! I love it!

Thank you too for the well wishes on my birthday.  We had such a lovely night. Here are some pics of the Korean restaurant we ate at. They were so sweet, the food was great and we had lots of fun. We'd spied this restaurant from the monorail stop a couple of months ago so it was quite fitting that we had a window seat watching the Monorail go by!

On the way home we stopped at St Mary's Cathedral and watched the animated light show against the facade. If you have a chance to see this do go. Its magic and was such a lovely way to finish our night.

I was spoiled with presents as usual and here's just one of my booty, a new birthday necklace from one of my favourite shops Live This in Leichhardt.

Wednesday 14 December 2011

home beautiful!

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birthday chair

Its my birthday today, I haven't opened my presents yet (except my cute chair) but I'm having a lovely birthday so far. I spent the morning at Miss A's school presentation seeing my girl receive awards which was a pretty good way to start the day! So proud :-)

Yesterday I had another early birthday present when I picked up the new issue of Home Beautiful and got to see my Teapot tea towel in this lovely spread! Its pretty cool to have my work featured and I love the way they've framed all the tea towels like art, such a great idea. I have a limited number of these Teapot tea towels, which have been out of stock for a while, so be quick if you want one for yourself. (And help me reach 700 sales, I'm so close!) p.s. Last shopping day Sunday, last post Monday.

We are off to Korean BBQ in the city tonight. I've never had it before but I've been wanting to try it and we saw the restaurant from the Monorail stop a while ago. Can't wait to barbecue at the table!

If you haven't entered don't forget to stop by my giveaway post. 235 entries and counting, wow! There are lots of great ideas on how to use my Bricks fabric in the comments, thanks, I'm going to have to try a few next year. And check out all the other SewMamaSew giveaways while you're at it.

Monday 12 December 2011

Bricks Fabric Giveaway

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To celebrate all my new fabric designs this year I'm joining in on the wonderful SewMamaSew Giveaway Day 2011.  Each year lots of wonderful blogs share in this huge blog hop Giveaway so follow the link to join the fun (it opens about midnight my time).

And I promised a fabric giveaway a while back, so here goes:

* I'm offering two fat quarters of Flower Press fabric, the two in the first photo - one FQ of these Small Bricks and one of these Large Bricks. Lots of fun to sew with and great for Lego lovers everywhere :-)

* The Giveaway is open to everyone near and far!

* Its open until Thursday December 16th 5pm PST. (10am Friday here in Sydney I think? But I will leave a comment on this post saying the Giveaway is closed so you'll know when that is!)

* A winner will be announced on December 18th here on the blog.

* To enter please leave a comment telling us all what you'd make with these fabrics, either something new or an old favourite. (No pressure, feel free to repeat previous answers.)

* Please leave some way to contact you, preferably an email address or blog link.  (If I can't contact you within two days I'll draw again.)

Good Luck! I'm off to enter a few myself!


Sunday 11 December 2011

life in pictures


I really love Instagram! I've never quite clicked with twitter, but add photos and I love it. Instagram is full of jewels from people's days and shows a picture really is worth a thousand words.
Here are some recent photos from my instagram (flowerpress, come and say hi or check my instagram feed online). You can tell just by looking that a bit of Christmas is starting to sneak in, some apricots have been jammed and some cakes shorted! Oh and I gave in on the class candy canes after some enthusiastic lobbying.

Come and see my new early birthday present (#vintage #adirondack #garden #chair!) and check out my blurry eclipse photos!

Friday 9 December 2011

How to make a Favicon

Doily print Cushion cover

Have you noticed how some blogs have little icons against their names in Google Reader and on the address line of their blog page. They're called favicons (favourite icons?) and the other day I got round to making a personalised one for my blog (look its up there now!). Its so simple I thought I'd share the process so we can all have them! I'm afraid this is only a Blogger tutorial though I'm sure you could apply it to other platforms.

Its simple to do, all you need is an avatar image which you convert to .ico format and then upload through your blog dashboard. If you have some avatars made up already then it takes a couple of minutes. I already had a couple that I use in Flickr, Instagram, Pinterest etc.

Avatars need to be simple and graphic square images and the best keep their detail when they are shrunk to much smaller size. If you don't have one then have a look at other favicons to get inspiration. I've used the Butterfly Doily that appears on my cushions. This is a good image for an icon as its squareish to start with and one colour.  If you don't have Photoshop or Illustrator, you can use Picnik online which is free or a simple paint or photo program. Experiment with photos, fonts or drawings to find something you like.

Once you have the image its easy to convert it to .ico format. Here's an online ico generator which turns jpegs and gifs into .icos, or download this free plug-in for Photoshop to do the same job.


Once you have your image in .ico format then go to the layout section in blogger.  Starting on your blog page click Design in the top right corner. You'll be taken to the dashboard. Click on Layout in the menu that runs down the left side and you will see something like this, above. On the top left hand side as you can see it says Favicon. Click edit (circled in red) and you will be taken to this dialog box.


Remove the image that is there already and browse to find your new image. Then click Save and the new favicon should appear. When you go back to Layout save the arrangement. For some reason Firefox takes a while to change icons, but I've noticed that Safari works straight away. So go and check it there. In a while it should show up on Google Reader too, and you will notice quite a few people have personalised ones, including me now. Leave a comment if you make one I'd love to come and have a look!

Tuesday 6 December 2011

baby quilt

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I didn't mean to start this baby quilt. I'd pulled out my Bricks prints and some coordinated fabrics from the stash to make zip purses. And then I found the offcuts from a FQ were a neat five inch width. I cut a couple of squares and then found I couldn't stop! I kept reaching for another fabric to see how it would look against the others and ended with enough squares to make a small quilt. Its the cutting that has always put me off starting another quilt, but this was quite painless. I only needed a few blocks and they are all the same easy size. Perfect for some of the small pieces I had lying around and too much fun putting all my fabric designs together. The quilt is over half Flower Press fabrics!

From there it was a quick make, squares together in rows, rows together to make the quilt top. I had flannel for backing and batting in the stash and found the things I learnt making my last quilt soon came back to me. I had the right equipment from last time too, quilt pins, rotary cutter, quilting ruler and 1/4 inch sewing foot. They really make such a difference especially that sewing foot!

Its smallish but I see it as a playmat as well as a quilt. Something that can be used lots of ways and easy to carry around. I like the idea of it being used a lot.

I haven't bound it yet. I'm not sure I have the right fabric in my stash and other commitments are crowding in on me. Luckily the baby this is made for isn't coming till late January though (!!), so I have time up my sleeve, I'm thinking a spot or a stripe.

Monday 5 December 2011

Bricks Sewing

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When I cut out the fabric for my zip purses I wanted to make them big enough to hold pens and pencils as well as lego bricks and other treasures. And I based the size on the fat quarters that I sell in my shop, in case you want to make them too! They make wonderful quick and simple Christmas sewing projects and can be combined with a treasure inside, like a Lego mini figure or two.

You can cut four panels (10.25 x 6.5 inches) from a FQ and still have a 5 inch strip at the bottom (but more on that later!). This will make two purses if you are using a different fabric for the interior like me or one purse, outer and lining. The zips are 25cm length (10inch) from my stash. This is still my favourite zipper purse tutorial here, the zip is attached to outer and inner in one seam which I love.

The large bricks I lined with calico. I like the idea of a hard wearing lining in these purses as I wanted to make sure them sturdy enough for everyday use. The smaller bricks pattern is backed with interfacing and lined with a lighter cotton in a spotty print. I like the idea of a fun lining and the interfacing gives a nice structure to the purse.

And those offcuts you ask, well I cut them into 5 inch squares, you get four from a FQ after you've cut the zip purse panels, and then somehow found myself cutting more and more in matching fabrics, and sewing them together to make a baby quilt/playmat. Here's a quick instagram pic of the first blocks. A baby is due in our extended family in January and it feels great to have this present nearly made before I go away. More pics tomorrow. I couldn't stop sewing over the weekend, its so nice to have such a small quilting project as it goes so quickly. I just have the binding to go.

Friday 2 December 2011

50 years!

anniversarytregenna castle

Happy 50th Wedding Anniversary Mum and Dad. What an amazing milestone!
Married at St George's Church in Campden Hill, London on 2nd December, 1961 you had your reception at the Charing Cross Hotel on The Strand. Love this photo of you leaving on the train for your honeymoon at Tregenna Castle hotel in Cornwall.

Love you so much, hope you have a wonderful day.

Thursday 1 December 2011

my creative space - zip

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In my creative space today I've finished cutting and wrapping fabric and I've got a brief window to try and make those zip purses I was talking about the other day. Luckily I found some great bright matching bits in the burgeoning stash. I knew those 500 zippers would come in useful one day!

In other news the Mini Masterchefs continue to shine. Mr D produced these Chocolate Brulee the other day and we got to use our special brulee blowtorch for about the third time. I think we're going to have to eat a few more of these to make its purchase worthwhile. Hard times! (Photo styled by him :-)

Last Saturday night we went to the School Spectacular. Miss A's school vocal group was part of the huge massed choir (that's her in the white with her arms high - near the top). It was amazing! Really amazing. For those of you who don't know it its an all singing, all dancing spectacular put on by the public schools of NSW and involving 3500 kids from across the state. Did I say it was amazing. The show was closed by Jack Vidgen singing Imagine, he's a School Spectacular alumni. You can see the video and get an idea of the scale of it here.

Another bright spot in my weekend was catching up with Beck who was visiting Sydney with her lovely boy Billy as a birthday surprise. We joined the throng at Darling Harbour and managed to chance upon these motorbike riders doing death defying jumps about 10 feet from us.

I've been a bit spoilt lately because I've also had a chance to catch up with lovely Kate (and her sweet boy) now she's back in Sydney and living not so far away (check out these capsule quilts, what a great idea!). Its been so nice to put faces and voices to both these bloggy friendships, and so nice that they even more interesting and lovely in person.

More amazing stuff over here.