Tuesday, April 26, 2011


“The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.”

Bertrand Russell

Sunday, April 24, 2011

hug a bunny

and eat some hot cross buns. (and possibly your own weight in chocolate. I mean if you can't do that at Easter, when can you?)

Happy Easter y'all


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

blog love- daily cootie catcher

via skiptomylou
do you remember paper fortune tellers? We used to make them in primary school, and they'd usually predict dire fortunes like marrying a yucky boy, or statements that we were, in fact, a monkey.

Well the daily cootie catcher is full of them. One every day, actually (I found it via 365 days). Except they are awesome. Need help choosing a cocktail? There's one for that. Want to know your wrestling name? There's one for that too. Need to generate office gossip/ predict your blogging fortune/ decide whether to call him/ not sure if you should run away and join the circus or not? They're all covered.

Even better, they are all printable and come with instructions (just in case it's been a while) so you can print them out and try them on your friends. AND instructions to make your own.

How ace!

Thanks Michelle, you rock my blog world!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

new meme- quote tuesday

I collect quotes in an old handbound book. I love to read them when I'm feeling uncertain or heavy with the world. They make me laugh, expand my thoughts and inspire me. I collect all kinds, some from books, some from movies or tv. shows, from historical figures, or something funny my friend said last week. I'd like to share some of my favourites.

Every Tuesday I'll post one of my favourites with a photo. Do add your name if you join in - post a quote that makes you smile, or cry, or see the world differently, or got you through a hard time. That would be lovely.

Monday, April 18, 2011

25 things to do with a glass jar

1. make it into a home for a pet snail

2. make a lovely terrarium and keep it on your kitchen shelf

3. keep the sun with you all day (and night) with a sun jar

4. crochet a cover for your jar from your favourite colours

5. make it into a cloche to protect a new seedling in the vege patch

6. keep it on your dresser for your spare change. after a week donate it to a homeless shelter

7. make iced tea in your jar, and take it on a picnic

8. make a time capsule with your family and friends

9. make infused vodka for the weekend

10. make a jar pincushion to hold your sewing pins

11. pick some flowers and make a painted jar vase

12. make an educational matching game (or this one) and play

13. use it to make salad dressing, and store it in the fridge

14.every day write something you are thankful for and put it in the jar

15. use wire to make a handle and turn it into a tealight candle holder

16. pick some rose petals and make a potpourri air freshener

17. make some sand art in your jar and use it as a paperweight or bookend

18. pop it in the kitchen cupboard and use it as an extra drinking glass

19. pretend it's christmas and make a snowglobe

20. fill it with biscuit ingredients and give it to a friend

21. cover it in fabric and use it to hold your pens

22. stock up at the markets and make some jam, or pickles, or chutney or relish

23. use lots of little jars to make this awesome spice rack

24. use it to hold your crafty bits and pieces

25. revert to childhood and make a papier mache volcano experiment

what else could you do with a glass jar?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

flea market finds- glass jars

This week I picked up a collection of big glass jars. They are in so many op-shops, and so cheap, I really ought to get more. I was planning on using these ones for the pantry, to store dry things like almonds and lentils and rice.

But when I brought them home I got to thinking of all the things I could make with them. I've made these snow globes/pincushions and party candle holders from jars, and use them to hold my crafty bits and pieces; but there are so many possibilities. Hannah wrote a great article on uses for jam jars here, that's a good place to start.

I'm going to go write a list.

(see more flea market finds here)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

what does a wish look like?

get a pen and paper.

or open up a new document/app/list.
I'll wait for you.
now answer these questions. (write your first response, your first image, thought, sensation. There are no wrong answers.)

1. What does a wish look like?
2. What colour is happiness?
3. What does purple look like?
4. What does your self-image sound like?
5. What colour is today?
6. What does a rainbow feel like?
7. What colour is the smell of your favourite perfume?
8. What colour is your favourite song?
9. What does a cloud sound like?
10. What is the weight of your anger?
11. what is the shape of your imagination?

I answered them on my sisters blog, and they made me smile, and wonder. They were part of a series of questions to make you think differently about creattivity, from an early-childhood conference she attended. Thanks for sharing Mim!

These are my answers;

1.a bubble floating in the sky
2. colours reflected on a lake
3. a shiny eggplant
4. a symphony; sometimes swelling strings and sometimes discordant cacophony
5. crisp sky blue, cool and productive
6. soft and fuzzy. Like a Care Bear.
7. soft muted yellow (CK one)
8. like a black and white movie (Yann Tiersen-Sur Le Fil)
9. depends on the type of cloud. Rain clouds sound like a double bass. Wispy clouds sound like soft violin.
10. a lead ball, like a shot put in my chest
11. a piece of string on a white background that moves constantly into different shapes, like a cookie cutter.

If you post your answers, please leave a comment so I can pop over and see!

my week in pictures

* going to miss sitting in the back seat, driving on country roads with the wind rushing through the window

* hot cross buns and thermos tea on an early morning trip to town

* a lovely surprise from Emma in the post

* my first.ever. successfully grown eggplant. and it was delicious.

* Six decided my bag was quite-a-nice-bed-thank-you-very-much

* Ruthie the lamb is as big as the other sheep now. And it's finally ugg boot weather!

* the neighbours pigs had little piglets. Adorable little cuteness.

Friday, April 15, 2011

make something everyday

Creativity, I think, is a muscle. Use it often, and boldly, and it will grow. I'm a fan of 'doing every day' challenges, when you have a limited time frame and a work to produce, I think it switches off the critical part which demands perfection. Sometimes quantity is better than quality, I say.

So I particularly love this project, 365; make something every day, showcasing some of the projects chosen by participants. Some have subject themes (faces, two headed cats, self portraits, houses); some are focused on the technique (granny squares, drawing, beading, bookmaking, weaving, paper); and some do a bit of everything.

Don't take my word for it, go have a look. Lots of people make lots of interesting things.
And with that kind of quantity, you can pick and choose and build quality. Without the self confidence to run with an idea, any idea, it's impossible to make the leap into a perfect outcome. Make mistakes.

I don't want to live. I want to love first,

and live incidentally.

zelda fitzgerald

Thursday, April 14, 2011

my creative space- folk man lady friend

I'm trying out a new pattern for a lady friend for my bearded folk man dolls. She's not finished yet (her face hasn't been stitched), but I think they will look sweet together, don't you think? Her dress is made from a vintage pillowslip. I think maybe the next one needs a little more ruffle in the skirt?

She is ready to travel, off to join Save The Children and find a new home with a little one affected by the recent calamity in Japan. You can donate a softie too (made or bought), there are drop-off points in each city; look here for details.

Hope your creative space is lovely x

arranging neatly by size and colour


I am breathing again, and taking one. thing. at. a. time. I spent part of yesterday folding and sorting my fabric stash. Which is very relaxing, don't you think? Just looking at the pretty colours, running your fingers over the weave, making neat piles arranged by size and colour. Plus it almost counts as work, as it miust lead to greater productivity later, right? At least less time spent searching. That isn't my stash up there. No, that belongs to a friend of Sophie's, isn't it pretty? And the lovely Verity suggested eating chocolate, and I was happy to comply.

Did you know you can also see lots of lovely fabric stashes in this flickr group, and more organized things in this one. Then I spent more time looking at things organized neatly.

Perhaps I am a little geeky, a little strange, but I do love nicely organized and pretty things. It injected some order into my currently chaotic life, and did my soul good.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

a non-day

I don't know what happened, I was cheerful this morning but now I am feeling stressed and also stretched-too-thin. So much to do, my income is so sporadic, I'm having trouble organising moving, I have orders to fill and patterns to design and I'm behind in blogposts and want chocolate and maybe to crawl back into bed if-you-don't-mind-thankyou-very-much. The thing about working from home, is that there is an omnipresent drive to do something. At night, on weekends, there is always something to do, and usually only a few steps away. Today I am calling it a non-day. I am going back to bed. Later I might make pancakes. I’ll be back tomorrow. And now blogger refuses to format this post. No.paragraphs.for.me.---- *sigh*.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

hooray! stockists update today!

The ace store (formerly known as) Pulp Life has had a name change (same location), and is now known as Neck Of the Woods (isn't that logo fantastic? More bears!)

Hooray! You can now find Pepper Stitches at The Standard C&G, an online boutique (based in the US) with lots and lots of lovely things. Very boutique and everything stocked has been repurposed, recycled or upcycled. I love. If you look closely you can see a Pepper Stitches bunny sweater cushion, and mixed tape cushions too.

Pepper Stitches will also be sold in a new online store by Little Ray Designs, a maker of handmade childrens clothes in Melbourne. There'll be foxes and fishes too; I'll let you know when the site is up!

I'm currently looking for more stockists. If you know of a store (or have one) that you think Pepper Stitches would suit, please let me know, that'd sure be swell!

my house!

This here is my new house. Yep. There's the front doors. You heard me, doors. One to my studio (I can leave home and go to work!) one to the house, another to a funny little sunroom-that-we're-not-sure-what-to-do-with-yet. That's my soon-to-be bedroom, there with the green carpet. There's my studio space, with the easy-sweep-for-threads floor and sunny windows. There's the backyard. Just imagine chickens and a vege patch, k? Maybe a few chairs and fairy lanterns too, for parties. Actually, just imagine all of these things. I know I am.

It's in Sherwood. Which makes me feel a bit like Robin Hood. (And yes, the name of the suburb was a consideration. Is that crazy? My first choice was the suburb 'Sunshine'!) It is close to the train station, and a grocer, and a library, park and swimming pool. I have a lovely new housemate too, she is very nice indeed, and we share a birthday week. We have a guest room, for friends and family to stay whenever they like, and we're going to have a housewarming party.

I move in two weeks. Less than two weeks. I am freaking out, slightly, excited, mostly, worried, a fair bit. How is moving a small truck a not-so-small way so darn expensive? But things will work out. They will. Won't they? I'm trying to be all zen, and in the meantime;

just look at my house!

these are a few of my favourite things

Embroidered book covers for 'The Secret Garden', and 'Emma', and 'Black Beauty' too. Designed and embroidered by Jillian Tamaki, commissioned and published by Penguin Books (who I already adore for this series). The idea was inspired by the handmade craft craze that has proliferated on sites like Etsy. Imagine that!

They are beautiful, and could only be improved if they came in packages of brown paper and string, and the words turned into chocolate.

See more here.

Friday, April 8, 2011

before i die project

Candy Chang covered an old decrepit house with a giant blackboard, painted with rows of the sentence 'before I die I want to... ' and supplied chalk. A few days later, the chalkboard is full, ready to be washed and soak up another layer of thoughts and dreams. Go here to read the full story and see close ups (a good read!) or to see more of her projects.

I turned the side of an abandoned house in my neighborhood into a giant chalkboard where residents can write on the wall and remember what is important to them. Before I Die transforms neglected spaces into constructive ones where we can learn the hopes and aspirations of the people around us.

Love it.

etsy love- bears

I bought a vintage salt and pepper shaker set yesterday, to cheer me up. They are in the shape of grizzly bears, and very cute indeed. I like bears, I do not see enough of them, I think. So here are lots. On a necklace, paperweight, cushions, t-shirts, walls and bowls. Seems lots of other people like bears too.

Click here to see the full treasury with links to the shops where you can buy these lovely bear-related goods. (If I knew what sound a bear made, I would make it here. Grrroowwwll?)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

my creative space

I want to reclaim my creative space. I've been looking around and I miss the joy and motivation I had when a completed project was for me, just me. Now everything I do is for work, how can it make me money, will I make enough, is it cost-efficient. Don't get me wrong, I love what I do, but it can be hard.The time away was nice, because I missed my studio and am enjoying sewing again; but I am making an effort to make something just for me, every now and then, as welll as making time for new projects, and experiments.

First, a lovely winter quilt methinks, as the weather is cooling down pretty darn fast. See more creative spaces here.