Thursday, February 26, 2009

etsy shop grand opening!

The elves have been busy, and a lovely banner heads the page with 11 items now for sale. Do feel free to drop by and browse! the stores name is pepperstiches, and you can find it here.

Some of the items are custom order only, and I think that's the way to go. I'lll keep on my projects and pop them up, if anyone would like one I can whip up another!

It feels a little empty (although the shelves are lined with monsters) and I have plans already for the weekend.. tea cup candles and embroider cushions and I'd love to have a go at resin necklaces. hrmm...

I couldn't get the photos quite as light as I would've liked.. but early days, I will get it eventually! If you have any ideas for items for my shop (ooh it's a little thrilling to say that! 'my shop'!) drop me a email or comment!


I posted a while back about my friend coming to service my sewing machine *tee hee*. Well he has and she runs beautifully. To say thanks I made him a big furry creature with a skull face, I was kinda going with a 'Day of the Dead' thing (he's mexican) and planned to embroider these rad (I can't belive I just said rad) tattoos of skulls, roses and bones on the arms. Kinda like these sweet dolls.

Didn't really think ahead though and realised too late that it would be easier to embroider designs, then sew fabric into arms. Doh. So no tatts for this fellow, next time..

and all done! this photo doesn't show the arms though.. I sewed them on later.

I was mucking around with an idea for eyebrows- what do you think?

By the way, his name is now Edwardo and he's very happy in his new home.
I've got the materials for one more, so I'm going to pop his pics in my shop as a custom order item.

graffitti lane

walking down a lane in newtown and I found....

bunny in alley

graffitti lane 2

graffitti lane 4

graffitti lane 7

graffitti lane 8

made me smile today

thanks to Pip at
Meet Me at Mikes who posted this on her blog for me to stumble across and smile.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

not-so-cranky anymore

I had a cranky day on Friday. Little Miss Cranky Pants.

"cranky face"
(picture credit: yeah, it's fine)
I left work early and walked home with my heels in my hand and my stockings ripping under my feet. On the way I finally went into a little knitters shop I had always passed on the way to work. Out the back I found a wall of embroidery threads, beautiful colours and ooh just lovely. I bought some cushions on special with a thick loose weave fabric to embroider, with techniques from my awesome new embroidery book.
I also followed a whim and bought some green wool, actually 100% wool wool, and wooden knitting needles. Gonna make me a scarf. Yee Haa

Then, several blocks and the purchase of a beer-for-the-road later I found, and bought, a Ukelule. Yep, a ukulele. (took me a while to remember the spelling too). You may remember me being enamoured with this chick. She just makes it sound so goood. I may have a little girl-crush. I googled 'how to play ukulele' and know strumming techniques and three chords so far. Note my new extra-short nails to assist in string playing. I love my ukelule.

So my day dramatically improved and I was not-so-cranky-anymore.

Photo Album

Welcome to my photo album. Just a quick tour of some of my favourites , please wash your hands before handling the pictures, and keep your elbows tucked in.
This is my twin sister and I ready for a fancy dress something. I am the cowgirl, she is the pretty lady. I don't remember if she was little-bo-peep or something. Pretty much sums up our childhood, I was the grotty one with stains on my clothes and no shoes on, she is neat and pretty.
My big sister K holding me. (I think we were the rebels in the family and shared that outlaw-bond. You can see it in that mischievous smile. she knows.)
Us four sisters at Malanda Falls. Note the mullets and handmade swimmers. I once saw a platypus in the river at those falls.

At Lake Egan with pelicans. Although this photo was taken in the early 80's, it has a definite 70's feel to it. Must be the bell-bottoms and cords.
I have no recollection of canoeing at all. None. We look cute though. N still has the same smile (and I still have great legs)

This is where the 80's really kicked in. Cut-off denims, bright arty prints, flouro.

I hope you enjoyed your tour. Any questions?

Looking at old photos got me thinking about last times. You remember your first times, or most of them- but rarely the last. When was the last time I played on a swing? I didn't know at the time that it would be the last, but somehow it was. The last time you pretended you were a dog and lapped water from a bowl on the floor? The last time you told a teddy a secret? The last time you padded your bra with tissues? (no, I never did that.. ), the last time you ate vegemit toast upside down so the vegemite goes straight on your tongue?

Maybe I should do all of those again and then remember it as the last. (Might suck the magic out though, not quite the same!). Lasts I do remember include- last look around a house before moving, last day at high school, last time I saw a friend, last time I ate a peanut butter and jam sandwich (last week), last time I bathed with my best friend ( the next summer she had 'grown up' and overtaken me), the last time I fell in love. All the lasts make room for the firsts, I just don't want to miss any of them.

(edit) my twin sister just posted this photo on her lovely blog (you can see it here)


Saturday, February 21, 2009

I'm a sucker

I am finally opening my own etsy store (yay!)
I opened an account long ago, and it has been patiently waiting for me to be inspired. Or be drastically in need of funds to consider selling the surplus of crafty creations piled in drawers and under the bed for beer money. And so, as we speak, little elves are hanging signs and arranging monsters on shelves, polishing the till and the windows, all ready for the big moment, the GRAND OPENING.

It’s all because this week, in a sporadic brain freeze I spent the most money I've ever spent on a body scrub. The lady was so darn nice. You know they are so exceptionally convincing and chat away all friendly like until you feel like it would be just.damn.rude. to walk away empty handed (although part of my brain is fully aware it is their job). And so I walk away with body scrub in triple figures. I kid you not. My skin IS very soft.. For a time last year I was supporting three charities at once with monthly donations because I couldn't say no to the young energetic hippies that leap into your path on the street with disturbing photos and a ready spiel.
And so, every time I feel the urge to, say, go out for a beer, or dinner, and cannot due to extreme lack of funds; I rub my skin and chant 'so soft! sooo soft!' and get back to work on my etsy store. Very exciting actually with banners and fonts and ‘oooh what shall I make next?’ thoughts. Will post and let you know of course when it is ready to rock’n’roll!
New Year’s Resolution #25
Must not give money to people for things I neither need nor afford just because they are nice.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Great Monster Sew!

Today the sun came out! it has been raining/drizzling/cloudy in Sydney for what seems like ages but has probably only been a week, and the strong warm light over the streets this afternoon made me whistle as I cycled purposefully to the art supply store. That, and the unexpected good mood I've enjoyed all day. Or the very cute boy I saw this morning. Maybe all of the above.

Yay! Here are all the little monsters from the Great Monster Sew.



To tell you a secret, there's actually two more monster bodies cut and waiting on the sewing table, but this ship has sailed, this mojo has flown and my hands are on to other things. Enough monsters for now. They will be sweet little extras when I feel the urge.

Don't ask me what I'm going to do with them. So many monsters. They are snug in an old yellow suitcase for the moment.

I'm popping this one in for Meet Me At Mikes Make-a-Long for February (felt theme). Feel free to drop by and leave a comment!


Picked these little babies up at the art supply store this afternoon. They remind me of vintage and bracelets, and they sit on my sewing machine now like a cute little row of, well, dolls.


You can't quite see, but under my old sewing machine is a lovely Singer felt mat, and in her little arm she is holding new feet and accesories. I have a new friend, and he services sewing machines. Tee hee hee. I can't quite say it without thinking of 70's porn music 'ooh baby, service my machine.. take a look at my paaarts' Boom chuka waa waa.. He's quite cute too. (E if you ever somehow read this, please don't tell me. I will be embarassed.)
Anyway, I have plans for a new project, a gift for said friend who is so kindly donating his skill and time to *snicker* service my machine.. It's kinda a longhaired creature with a skull face and day of the dead tattoos. I will tell all, but right now I am off to bed with a book.


I just checked out the anti-valentine day comp at dabbled, and although I didn't win, I am up as a FINALIST for the PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARD!! So still excited! head over to and have a squiz at the finalists, there's some cute-as stuff. You can vote for your favourite (I won't mind if it's not mine, honest!) Mine is the skeleton at the very bottom, if you missed my previous post.
Go on, have a look! (and vote for me! no, don't.. but do!)

skeleton heart 2

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Then and Now

I really miss my kids today.

I worked in OSHC (out-of-School-Hours-Care, like child care but kids aged 6-12) for years and left last year to follow a job opportunity in a new college.
I used to:
paint with marbles
help with homework
tell jokes
play with new toys
wipe away tears
make elephants from paper plates
play cricket, or basketball, or catch, or whatever
listen to school problems
plant seeds in our kids vege patch
say the same phrases 20 times a day
turn the jump rope for hoouurrs
play card games
think of new things to do with paddlepop sticks
have little hands hold mine
experiment with science kits
take 60 kids on excursion
listen to stories
fix scraped knees
have a great 'teacher' voice that could bounce across the playground
get excited about missing teeth
have to shake small bodies from my lap whenever I stood up
do really big jigsaw puzzles
play chase
have to get up really early
watch shrek, and finding nemo, and the incredibles
wear jeans to work

Now I:

write policies and procedures
implement changes
enforce continoius improvement practises
file. scan and file
can sleep in every now and then
get excited about funky stationary
fix problems
keep records

make, attend and note minutes for meetings
drink too much tea
manage staff
compile reports
ensure company compliance with boring legislation
sit down 90% of the day
get paid twice as much
make many lists
wear stockings that get ladders reeaally easssily and piss me off
wear clothes that you
use many post-it notes

I find my job challenging and enjoy it much of the time. But I can't help but miss the kids.

Cutest T-shirt Ever

image from SnorgTees

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Why.. oh why?

I had Mcdonalds today. never.a.good.idea. I haven't had for over a year, did some serious shopping, needed cheering and thought mm a big juicy burger might be nice. First bite ok, last bite urghh.. then it sat in my stomach like a big lump. I don't like Mcdonalds. Ever seen 'Supersize Me'?. (if you haven't, see it here) yep. I felt like that dude with a diseased liver and instant kilos.
New Years Resolution #25: Don't eat anything that looks the same after a month in a jar. (includes cakes, excluding chocolate)
Last night I cleaned out my sewing drawers and labelled them. So.neat. Love it. Sometimes tidying just makes you feel better, everything all neat and in it's place. I know other people feel it too.


Almost finished the 'Great Monster Sew', will finish last few hopefully and get some pics up!! Plan to pop one in for the Meet Me at Mikes make-a-long for february.

On my walk today saw an apple tree in a front yard. Love apple trees. Something about the simplicity of them, and furry leaves, gnarled branches and rosy hanging fruit. I don't know. My next tattoo will be an apple twig with leaves and blossoms. Can't.wait. Other things I saw included a batman logo scratched into concrete, and some laser wielding octopus graffiti. Random.



Also loved this post today. Updated my blog list on the side there, but then went exploring and added another 6 blogs to my favourites.. Dammit. Gotta stop doing that.

Apologies for rambling many-topic post. Short attention span this weekend. May your week be breezy and easy, full of smiles from random strangers and money in unexpected pockets.

Zombies Ahead

Friday, February 13, 2009


V-day is upon us. God help us all. Save us from soppy songs, cut out red hearts and the ridiculous notion that all romance must be crammed into 24 hours, once a year. Save blissful lovey-dovey couples revelling in the day from cynic singles, AND vice versa.
Some things I like:
Metal Candy Hearts here. Ultra sweet.
Cute Sayings for your valentine here at Skip to My Lou. Ultra-cheesy.
I'm excited about the anti-valentines contest, keep goin' over to check out new entries and all the cute-arse stuff. Little excited in that I've-entered-into-a-competition way. I've won two competitions before. It'd be cool to get an honourable mention in this one.
Age: 6, Competition: colouring in, Prize: set of mint ladybird stamps, that I later used to post parcels to imaginary places.
Age: 16, Competition: fashion design, Prize: 100 bucks. I don't remember what I spent it on.

"I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride; so I love you because I know no other waythan this: where I does not exist nor you, so close that your hand on my chest is my hand, so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep."
- Pablo Neruda, "Love Sonnet XVII"


Thursday, February 12, 2009

anti-valentines day contest

Yay! Finished my skeleton in time to enter into Anti-Valentine Comp! I started it a whiles ago and posted a pic, here he is ready to put together..

and here with his heart.

I may sew a head on him. I may not.

you can see comp entries here. Lots of amazing arts. I plan to bunker down on v day with Johnny Depp movies and not a soppy song in sight!
Excited about our Friday the 13th Theme Party tomorow night.. Spent the night listening to music, drinking wine and strategically placing cobwebs. Then I gave up on strategic and just draped them everywhere.

Shout a Beer

Shout a Beer is a group of friends and contacts across Australia helping raise money for the Red Cross Victorian Bushfires Appeal, by engaging pub patrons to ‘shout a beer’ for those affected by the tragedy and donate money.

To help us raise a heap'o'dough for the Appeal:

* Become a 'SHOUTER'- if you like a beer at your local, you can spread the love! -contact me or leave a comment and I'll send you a donation box and poster (or several) and a team member login to the website. All you need to do is ask permission to place donation box at the pub of your choice, and send and log monies donated on the website every week.

I'll be creating certificates to thank participating pubs, and creating a list of participating pubs on this blog and the website (please email me your pubs url if they'd like their name to link to their website).

* pop this button on your lovely blog and link back to this page or to let people know about it and how they can join


* Go to the 'Shout a Beer' fundraising website and make a donation immediately. (even if it's the price of a beer. it all adds up!)

I’ve set a target of $5,000. I don’t know if that’s reasonable or just plain ol’ crazy. Either way, next time you have a beer- ‘Shout a Beer’ and help thousands of Australians who’ve lost everything rebuild their lives.

Pub Donation Posters for 'Shout a Beer'

I’ve been watching the news unfold over the last week, admiring the quick thinking of crafty types setting up a variety of ways to assist those devastated by the worst natural disaster in Australian History, and wondering what I could do.. Well I thought of something and 2am last night..

step 1. write materials and think of catchy name (thanks R)

step 2. email companies asking for donations of resources and collection boxes

step 3. add group on facebook and email peeps to get involved

step 4. write a lovely blog about it and ask all bloggin' peeps to get involved too!

How I feel today. yeah I know, pictures of cats. Call me crazy cat lady if you must, but they make me laugh. Cats with funny captions. Ha. {image credit:}

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Check out some gorgeous and random linoleum creations, you can also bid on an awesome clock, with the proceeds of the sale going towards the Victorian Bushfire Appeal. Go on, have a look! It's all at Lino Forest

{picture from Lino Forest}

ugg boots and pigeons

Today I am sporting very stylish ugg boots with green track pants tucked into the top. I know. Classy. I am working from home today, emailing away and trying to co-ordinate things while my flank (weird word) is paining me in strange ways. (I googled my symptoms and apparently may have a kidney infection or ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm. But I think that’s a bit dramatic. Never google symptoms.)

Pigeons in the park on the way to work. Not 'the' park, but a green triangle in front of an apartment block. So yeah. Pigeons. Just 'cause.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

i'm made of plasticine

Found some more guerrilla knitting on my way home with groceries, this one just across the road from the park where I found the last one.

Chatted with a friend yesterday about Wallace & Gromit (best claymation ever), and we wondered what we'd look like as claymations. Here's what I might look like, if I was a very amateur claymation.

Step 1: Pick up some old-school plasticine from the art supply store on your way home from work

Step 2: drawing and creating wire amature (yep, that's what's it called. I did some research!)

Step 3: buiding up body

Step 4: woila! She's a little bowlegged, has webbed fingers and HUGE feet, but hey, she's alright!

Now it's your turn! Love to see any pics- please link back!
I didn't go out on the weekend and gave my ticket to gig to a friend to enjoy- he brought over flowers to say thank you and I swooned. So old-school, so classic. I love receiving flowers! (take note..)

Also ordered some books today- stoked!- will show you when they arrive- can't wait!