Tuesday 29 November 2011

clouds and um... clouds

cloudy cloudynew prints!linkstoy box prints

Here are the last of my new fabrics. These first two have been around for a little while but never available as fabric till now. Both were designed around the same time and embarassingly, both seem to have had the same working title of Clouds. Not very inspired.

I think I need some help dreaming up better names, any suggestions?

The cloudy one appears in the shop as Cloudy (?). The green print I'm calling Links (like I said, naming help people!) though it started life as Clouds. Cloudy was made around the time I was playing around with kids' designs for the Project Selvage competition. My kids love this one and want me to make a pillowcase with it and so I've only got one FQ left in the shop, be quick if you like it.

Links started as a doodle. I've had it printed in this graphic grassy green on white but love it in these other combinations here and here. Hmm, if only I could get everything printed every which way.

Also new is Marbles in large format on purple/mauve. I love the marbles big and have some more of the large blue on order. I have 4 FQs only of this. I had lots of fun the other day playing around matching it with the other prints in the series. I like the way they play together, just as I had imagined :-)

My favourite combo is perhaps this one below, the new Flower Bed prints. My friend was similarly smitten and has just snapped up most of the Bloom and Daisy Dots to make pillowcases for her girls' room. She was here to pick up some Marbles fabric she'd ordered for her son's duvet/doona cover. Can't wait to see how they all turn out. Hopefully I'll get pics to share.


Monday 28 November 2011



Amazingly (because I have been procrastinating about making this skirt for as long as I can remember!) I finished my Barcelona skirt the other day. After canvassing your opinions about skipping the lining, and getting some great advice in return I decided to substitute a bias waistband. This decision lasted about as long as it took to make up the bias. I wasn't happy with the way the skirt was hanging as its quite a thin fabric and it didn't look right, wasn't flattering.

I'd been worried about a facing riding up or showing through the fabric so I bit the bullet and decided to try a lining as the pattern says. It was actually a quick sew though annoyingly I had fiddled with the sizing on the outer and then cut a straight medium on the lining which turned out to be a perfect fit. Hence the (dodgy) darts added at the last minute at the front of the skirt, to make the two match.

The best thing about the lining is the inspiration I had to use a vintage sheet from the stash! The pattern calls for calico, but I can only imagine that the calico they are talking about is much lighter than the fabric I have of the same name which is quite heavy. I felt it would be hot and cardboardy, making the skirt quite stiff.

The vintage sheet is the perfect solution. Not only do I get a pretty print lining that makes me smile even if no one else sees it, but the fabric is prewashed (many times over!) and its soft worn finish makes it so comfortable to wear. Not only that but its full cotton and lightweight. Perfect!

Apologies for the crap photos of me wearing it, I tried twice but this is the best I could get.

I like this length but want to try a slightly shorter A Line. I think I might use this pattern I just bought (retro discontinued on Etsy) inspired by this pic in my pinterest board. Isn't it cute!

p.s. Thanks for the fabric orders and sweet comments. I've been playing with my new prints today and hope to make something in Bricks to share on Thursday. Though must stop sewing and start Christmas shopping soon!!

simplicity 4036

Saturday 26 November 2011

bricks in print

bricks bricksnew prints!bricks

There's something wonderful about printing pattern on fabric and seeing the designs come to life. So it was fun to pull out the Bricks fabric and see how it worked in lengths. I'm really happy with it!

After all your feedback I couldn't decide which to print, so I have four versions. Two large format - purple and bright blue, and two smaller format - yellow and sky blue.

They are now up in the Flower Press shop for a bit of Christmas sewing.

I can feel a Lego bag coming on. Something to keep those little pieces under control. Or maybe a zip pouch made in Bricks fabric with Lego Mini Figures inside (we love those round here!). Wouldn't that make a great stocking stuffer, actually don't tell my boys, I'm definitely going to make some!

For the next little bit I'm giving a little discount and free postage in Australia and $1 for OS, on all my new fabrics, to celebrate and thank you all for your lovely feedback. It means so very much to me.

I've got a couple more prints too but I'll share them another time. Oh and that skirt, I finished it yay! I have a photo, its not very good, still raining here, but I might post it here after the great advice you shared.

Friday 25 November 2011


flowerbedlogoTrileaffabric!daisy dots

Oh, I'm so excited, I just received the most fantastic parcel! Remember I ordered all that fabric just a couple of weeks ago? Well it landed on my doorstep this morning and its perfect, even better than I imagined!

My bricks are here!! Yay!! They look amazing on fabric. I couldn't decide which colour and size to order so I have lots of different combinations. I'm going to take some photos (go away clouds!) and post about and list them later.

I ordered lots more marbles on blue too for those who want more of this and I can offer yardage now too. I couldn't resist seeing big marbles on purple too, so there's a little in the shop, be quick. For those waiting I have more of the Triangle Twist too, in the large format like the pattern that appeared on my pillowcases.

And I have more to show you! I can't fit them all here but I do want to introduce you to these three prints from my new Flower Bed series - Trileaf, Bloom and Daisy Dots. A couple I've shown before but Trileaf, at the top there, is my very favourite new print. I spoke yesterday about choosing colour schemes for this, I have some others coming. I've been working on this one forever, tweaking it, getting it just right. This design will appear next year as a screenprint too, in a heavier weight for home decoration.

The Daisy Dots (aka Chicken Spots) are a design I did while hanging out with my youngest son when he had Chicken Pox last year. My Bloom design was born then and I went on to rework it for my Cheater Quilt entry later in the year. I love the colours used and they work even better with the pale pink background I've added.

These three designs are now in my shop. There is a little bit of a discount and free postage in Australia to celebrate their arrival. Prices for larger cuts are listed, you save a bit the more you order and saying that I'm going now to list a Five FQ discount, so you can have a bit of each!

Back soon with those bricks and some other new designs!

Thursday 24 November 2011

my creative space - make

make makemakemake

Raining here again this week, but I'm quite enjoying it, its the perfect weather for hunkering down and doing some sewing and cooking.

After doing some shop sewing I started the Barcelona skirt, which I've had the pattern for for a while. I've finished the basic skirt exterior but I'm baulking now at lining it, which the pattern calls for. I think it will be too heavy for a summer skirt. I'm weighing up using a simple bias around the top or making a short lining or facing that comes down just a small way. What do you think I should do? I think I'm leaning toward the facing but I'd love some advice.

As well as ordering some Toy Box quilting fabrics to replenish the shop the other day I used the Spoonflower free postage days to order some new fabric designs, including a favourite in poplin and voile. I'm thinking I might make a skirt and a top. I had so much fun with the colours, using source images for inspiration I came up with some schemes I love. I must show you, I might post them here in the next few days.

Miss Master Chef decided the other day to make rainbow cupcakes, which turned out amazingly well considering she forgot the egg, and had to grind her own icing sugar from normal sugar. Resourceful!

Jacarandas and hydrangeas are lighting up the dark days around here and I couldn't resist cutting some of May's early blooms with their subtle blues and pinks and greens.

Our creative spaces is full of inspiring stuff again this week.

Monday 21 November 2011

show & tell - tania rhea


The mix of delicious dishes, pastel landscapes, thrifted linens, a smiling baby, shafts of sunlight across vintage furniture, I can't exactly put my finger on what I love most about Tania Rhea's Ivy Nest blog, but I do know its one of my newest favourites. Tania and her husband and three kids have made a tree change to the Monaro region of NSW, a land of long horizons, mountain ranges and pebbled streams. Their simple house, designed and made by them sits surrounded by a new orchard of fruit trees with a view to the distance of often dry and parched fields and hills.

Tania cooks the most fantastic food, makes her own bread, washing powder and granola, she knits and sews and makes her own nappies. She buys her meat in bulk and picks her bouquets from local trees. Her family take long drives into the wilderness around them and picnic by pristine streams. Its a life we'd all love if we could slow down long enough to appreciate it. I know I would. Until then I'll be reading Ivy Nest dreaming over Tania's food posts (delicious), jealous of her country auction finds and wishing I had the space to plant 14 heritage apple trees at a time!

Thank you Tania for sharing these glimpses with us and for being part of the Show & Tell series, the last interview for 2011. Thanks also to all my participants this year, its been a lot of fun and an honour to share your stories.

Tania Rhea
Monaro region NSW
Ivy Nest

1. Can you give us a short description of your blog/style/work
My blog is mainly about my day to day. What I am creating, cooking up or doing with the kids. I love the idea of a simpler type of lifestyle and finding creative solutions  and outlets in the day-to-day. I enjoy capturing these moments on my camera. There is a lot of beauty in our everyday that easily goes unnoticed.

2. Why blog? How did you start?
I really enjoy blogging. I'd been reading and very influenced by blogs for the past couple of years. Blogs were such an eye opener for me. Eventually I began toying with the idea of starting a blog and I eventually took the plunge and began. For me blogging is about sharing ideas, support and communicating with like minded people. There are not many people in my day to day that are into crafting or understand why I would bother making something that I could buy. Though I have to say that baking is making a big resurgence in our area!


3. Family taught/Self-taught/Trained?
Mainly self taught. Though I come from a long line of dressmakers - from my mother through to my great, great grandmother. My mother sewed all my life and made most of my clothes when I was little. She worked at Mr K in the 70's. Unfortunately I had absolutely no interest in learning to sew until I had my own children. I did a term of sewing in high school and managed to not make a single thing!

About three years ago I inherited my Mum's old sewing machine. I started off with cushions, then a dress for my daughter and I was soon hooked. Mum gave me a few tips along the way, and whatever I'm not sure of I seem to muddle through okay. Knitting is another new love, which my mother in law gave me a little help with, and I have been learning ever since with the help of You Tube. Progress is slow, but I'm getting there.


4. Workspace - studio or kitchen table?
It was always the kitchen table until a recent room re-shuffle. So now I have a corner of a room with a table for my sewing machine and gear. It's so nice not to have to pack up at the end of the day and knowing that I can just do a little sewing without all the rigmarole of setting up. No kids tripping over leads either!

5. Blog/Shop name, where does it come from?
My daughter Violet was very nearly an Ivy. I loved the name but hubby didn't share the enthusiasm. So the blog got "Ivy" and I added the "nest" part to represent our home and family life.

6. Favourite media to work in?
Probably fabric. I love repurposing old items. Op shops are a wonderful source of fabrics - old cotton or linen tablecloths, lovely wools and vintage sheeting. Wool for knitting is a close second.


7. Ambitions/future directions/future projects/medium you'd like to try?
I'd love to have a go at crochet one day. Perhaps an Etsy shop one day in the future (if I find the time!)

8. Are you neat and organised or, ahem, creatively messy?
Both! I love to be neat and organized, but let's face it, with three kids this is not really practical. Particularly when I am in the middle of something. I get scared to put anything unfinished away as I fear it will never get completed. So my desk can get pretty messy.


9. Favourite handmade, handcrafted item you own not made by you
My mum made a lovely little dress for Violet with a Peter pan collar. One to put away for the grandkids I think.

10. Favourite food/recipe?
I have a very sweet tooth and cannot go past a good caramel slice. Or a well made fruit and custard flan. As for savouries I'm going to go with old favourites lasagne and lamb roast (yorkshire pudding included).

11. Favourite colour?
I've always loved blue. When I was a little girl and all my friends had pink rooms, I insisted on blue. Green would be a close second. But my favourite colour to wear is red.


12. Star sign?
Leo. I've been told I'm a typical Leo.

13. Favourite place, landscape (not necessarily Australian)?
I've never travelled overseas so definitely Australia. Favourite place in the world would probably be Broulee (south coast NSW)  where I spent a good part of my teenage years. Lots of summer memories there.

14. Any tricks for juggling life/work/family with creative pursuits?
Try and make a little time for creating everyday. It's a little like feeding your soul. Don't wait until everything else is done because it never will be. Little windows of time can usually be found here and there, even if it's only 15 minutes.

15. Favourite artists, artisans, crafters?
There are so many wonderful crafters in the blogging world. I find Soulemama very inspiring. There are too many to mention on the local blogging front, but I have many favourites that I read daily.


16. Your favourite thing you've made/written/done?
Aside from my kids of course, it would be building our home from our own ideas and design. It was quite amazing to see our ideas materialize and all the different elements of new and old come together. Of course the most stressful thing I have done yet also.

17. Three words to describe yourself?
This is a hard one. I'll have to ask hubby. He says persistent, creative and earthy.

18. What do you like to do besides creating?
Drinking coffee is up there as well as going for picnics with the family. I have always been a bookworm so there are always books and magazines strewn around, much to my hubbies dismay. You might also find me pottering around in the garden when I have the chance. And I haven't yet passed an op shop without having the urge to go in.


Friday 18 November 2011


daylilies garden dayliliesgardendayliliesgarden

The weather in Sydney at the moment is quite schizophrenic, it keeps swerving between really hot and cold and windy with some huge storms in between. But the good days are just fabulous and the garden is loving it. Here are some more of my daylily babies (story here) and a view looking into the back garden which I set up when i was designing that bit as a haven for my more precious plants from balls and games. Didn't turn out that way but it was a good idea! If you sit on that bench the dog jumps and sits leaning against you, which I love, but can be a surprise to the uninitiated :-)

Love these little reminders to savour the little things, found by my girl on Pinterest - just little things, and this song from last night's Rockwiz makes me smile too (make sure you watch till the ukelele solo!).

See you for Show & Tell on Tuesday!

friday good stuff

rick rack ringprize packspotlight haulspotlight $1.50 fats

I put this beautiful Rick Rack ring on the day it arrived and it hasn't come off. Its Christina's work and I bought it a couple of months ago after having it on my wish list for ages. I'm so glad I did, I just love it. I think it would make a great Christmas present for someone, don't you?

I have also been remiss in thanking dear Tania for the prize she sent me for winning a pop quiz she had on her blog a while ago. How fab is that pot holder! And she's so sweet she put a bit of my Rick Rack print in there too. I have it hanging in my kitchen and its saved me so many burnt fingers. I'm adding it to my new Flickr pool of Flower Press Fabrics. I'd love it if you wanted to add any pics to the pool. I have big plans for lots more fabric in the future and the nicest thing about that is seeing lots of people using it! Most of the red Rick Rack print is sold out now, (must get round to reprinting!) but I do have some good size scraps though which I might pop in the shop. The aqua is still available.

The last two pics are some of yesterday's Spotlight haul. I was so glad to track down some of this big dot that I saw ages ago on Kate's blog. Inspired by the craft blog world I am determined to make a skirt, at least one! I love the vintagey mustard floral, that might be a skirt too. And the christmas fats? They were $1.50 each. And you know I can't resist a dot or two.

Happy Friday friends, hope you have a lovely weekend planned. We get to catch our breath this weekend after some busy times and before we head into some more busy-ness next week. I have a flowery post planned for the weekend and I'll also be back Tuesday next week with the last Show & Tell for the year. It's a goody, so tune in then.

Can you believe how fast the time has started flying by. Time to get organised I think!

Thursday 17 November 2011

my creative space - gift bags

gift bagsgift bagsgift bagsgift bags

A bloggy friend emailled me last time I showed my treasure bags to ask if she could order a couple. I was delighted to help out and while I was at it I couldn't resist whipping up a couple extra. I'm not the fastest sewer and have limited stocks of these fabrics, so if you are interested in buying one email me quick and tell me your preference (email in my profile top left). The small blue marbles are spoken for. Just the polka dots left folks :-)

I have a couple more bags to finish which are going to be slightly larger, sewing one from an offcut of my handprint swap, my Starry design.

First a trip to Spotlight is on the cards so I can buy some more calico to line them and some nice cord to secure the rest. Always good to have an excuse to wander the haberdashery aisle!

p.s. I'm still working on that promised tutorial for the foam stamping from last week, I just need some time to take some photos, and maybe print some more fabric while I'm about it.

More crafty types at our creative space.

Monday 14 November 2011

four years and some presents!

spring gardenspring gardenspring gardenspring gardenspring garden

I sort of missed my blogiversary last week thanks to my computer woes, so I'm officially celebrating today. Four years of blogging and four years of my little flower press shop!! A big thank you to all of you who regularly visit, comment, email, link and shop at flower press. Here are some flowers just for you (and read on for more presents)

I'm quite surprised to still be here in this space. I'm surprised that blogging has become such an important part of my life. Four years of pretty much weekly blogging (552 posts blogger tells me!). It turns out the rewards are many and its become such a habit that I don't really stop to think much what I'm going to blog, I just do, its become an organic process, a part of the way I see my life, of savouring the really great bits and occasionally bemoaning the bad. I've said it before but these days I think a bit in blog posts, capturing the surprising, editing the images, recording the days.

Its added so much to my creative process too to have such a wonderful inbuilt cheer squad and sounding board here online. Its influence has been immeasurable. Here online I've found so much inspiration and technique, and in turn friendships and conversations with a whole bunch of inspiring makers and photographers and writers and gardeners and cooks and mothers.

Another related reward has been my Show & Tell series. I'm so honoured to have featured some of my very favourite bloggers, people who have that something, that spark, that way of seeing that makes them so readable, which makes you smile, laugh or shed a tear. People who live creatively and see the wonder in the everyday. I love that!

My only regret is that I haven't got round to featuring all the people that inspire me. If I haven't got round to you or someone you think should be featured here then the good news is I'm thinking I might have to take the series on to a third year. The last interview of this year, number 20, goes up next Tuesday, you're going to love this one too.

To celebrate my anniversary I'm going to be offering some discounts and specials and a giveaway in my shop (some fabric don't you think :-). These will only be announced through my mailing list, later in the week. Sign up is below or over on the left (And don't worry about being inundated, I think the last email I sent was this time last year! Its easy to subscribe or unsubscribe, its all automated and you can do both at this link: http://flowerpress.us2.list-manage1.com/subscribe?u=e0602c7546e4cae53b3afc750&id=6315d2cf16

So come and help me celebrate!

spring garden