Archive for the ‘Handmade Creations’ Category
I have always had a big soft spot for felt, however it wasn’t until I discovered 100% merino wool felt sometime last year that my love for the stuff really blossomed. I had only ever known the fuzzy acrylic stuff that all the local craft shops seem to stock here. It was with great joy that I found that the internet had a whole rainbow of lovely thick, smooth, wool felt available for my perusal and purchase. I find that I tend to work with felt in the colder months (and this year is no exception), it’s perfect for creating those winter accessories; felt flower brooches, headband embellishments, cloche hats and house slippers … oh my the possibilities are endless! Here are a few of the felt inspired goodies I have been making over the past few weeks:
Felt Urchin Nesting Bowls. Made with 3mm designer felt. You can buy the pattern here
Felt Feather Headbands using 100% Merino Wool Felt
Back: Felt Feather Headband. Front: Nanna Doily Brooch made with wool felt, a hand dyed doily, yarn and self covered button.
More Nanna Doily Brooches
Roses are red, Violets are blue
Dirndl skirts rock
And lovehearts do to!
Ok… so poetry isn’t exactly my forte, I think I’ll stick to sewing! As you are probably well aware, a certain lovey dovey day is just around the corner. For this weeks post I have taken inspiration from the classic valentines day poem and posted pictures of my recent creations themed in red and blue. Personally I’m not one to go out and buy lavish gifts for Valentine’s Day. A little handmade gift and a homecooked meal is a winner in my book! If you are a bit stuck on what to give your sweety for Valentine’s Day, why not bake them something delicious such as a batch of Paula’s Chunky Divine Chocoloate Chip Cookies (they are to die for!). You can download the recipe here
My first dirndl skirt in a vintage inspired romantic rose print
Sweetheart Brooch made from gorgeous 100% Merino Wool Felt (I LOVE this felt!)
Supercute heart cabochon earrings. Even our earring cards are red and blue!
Carly had been hoarding this super cute strawberry print fabric for a special project- Lucky me, it makes a gorgeous, swishy cafe apron! Guaranteed to make cleaning and cooking much more fun
Now this is my kind of Christmas hamper!! A simple kraft cardboard box filled to the brim with crafty goodness, all in my favourite shades of BLUE! Teal silk rose hand tooled by Olivia from Studio Olive, *swoon*Close up of the precious fabric stash gifted to me by Olivia, made up of vintage fabrics pilfered from the dusty stashes of relatives & friends (hehe) and some newer additions from good ol’ Spotlight!
OK so it’s a tad late, but I just had to share our divine crafty christmas presents! Carly, Olivia and I took the Handmade pledge this christmas 2010, vowing not to buy our gifts for each other this year, but to make them from scratch. A fabulous idea back in October, but of course December crept up on us without much warning and last minute gift-making ensued!!
As always, the actual decision about WHAT to make was the hardest part for me, I wanted something relatively simple and inexpensive to make but meaningful at the same time. Finally I decided to make an old school recipe card box, filled with 6×4″ system cards and a couple of delicious tried-and-true recipes from family and friends. The idea being that we write down our absolute favourite recipes, and trade cards with each other until we build up a nice little stash of reliable and yummy standby recipes!
Once I’d worked out the pattern, all it took was some book board, PVA glue and a good sharp knife to put the boxes together, and then cover them with cute fabrics and papers from my existing stash. It was all a bit of trial and error, and the darling things certainly aren’t perfect (cutting out straight lines was never my forte) but topped off with a giant coloured button, they do cut a cute figure in the kitchen and were eagerly accepted by the recipients. Yay!
You can download the recipes I included with the boxes here:
Recipe boxes handmade by me and covered in cute cotton fabrics for Carly and Nadine- Observe Nadine’s droolworthy vanilla Kitchen Aid!
Close up of the recipe cards- Download the yummy recipes for free here!
The Dames looking super proud of our very first market stall
The Dames had a lovely time at the Goldfields Spring Festival, the weather was mostly glorious and it was fabulous to finally have our handmade delights on sale at our very first market stall. Hoorah! We had lots of lovely goodies for purchase including gorgeous aprons, cute fabric button jewellery, adorable tea cup cacti, tasty fruit butters, beautiful silk roses, funky felt flower pins and fabulous art prints…. just to name a few! If you missed us at the festival fear not, you will be able to purchase our handcrafted items online very, very soon so watch this space!
Left: Festival goers were enticed over to our stall with free tastings of our delicious fruit butters and preserves. Right: Ladybird Jewellery by Julia Sutton, raising funds for the Kids Cancer Support Group. Lots of real lady birds visited our stall throughout the day, how befitting!
A selection of our handmade goodies
Beautiful silk rose pins by Studio Olive our Spring Festival honorary dame.
We couldnt resist giving you a quick sneaky peak at some of the cute things we’re making for the Spring Festival! We hope you’ll pop down to Hammond Park tomorrow (Sunday 10th October) between 9am and 3pm to say hello and enjoy the perfect spring weather– don’t forget a hat and sunscreen, and some spare change for a lovely cool icecream… See you then!
The Dames’ first forray into the wonderful world of retail was a roaring success! We jumped at the chance to be part of this temporary pop-up shop, Art2Go, when invited by co-ordinator Tina Bryce from Mallee Girl. The shop made itself at home on Hannan St, and though open only for 13 days during the Kalgoorlie-Boulder Raceround, the shop averaged over 100 visitors a day and made over $10,000 in takings overall!! An amazing effort by all the talented artists involved and especially by the vibrant miss Tina, such an exuberant and positive lady with the most infectious giggle!
As our first real test of the market, we were thrilled that our fashion accessories were received so well, with Carly’s stunning aprons completely selling out. Also popular were the unique and modern designed fashion headpieces and blossom pins, snapped up by lovely ladies wanting something a little bit different to add to their raceday outfits. And of course, what better reason for the Dames to get all gussied up than the Spring Racing Carnival!?
Carly’s deeply fabulous frou-frou aprons were a hit and completely sold out!
More hot sellers: divine headpieces by Paula (Modeled here by fabulous dame and hairdressing doyenne, Vikki Brown!) and beautiful blossom pins by Carly, made with silk, organza, satin, tulle and swarovski crystals
The beautiful chaos of creation! Designing custom headpiece “Sunshine Pine”.
Left; Paula does her little turn on the catwalk- competing in Fashions on the Field on Ladies Day! Right; posing for a pic at the crooked blue house- block felted skull cap by Studio Olive, Dress by Chitra’s Closet and shoes from Indulge Clothing.
Here we are indulging in a hard-earned pink champagne at Kalgoorlie Cup during the Raceround. How CUTE does Carly look in her nautical-inspired ensemble!? Paula wearing pillbox hat by Bird Millinery, and blue Silk Rose pin by Studio Olive. Carly wearing “Riviera Girl” straw hat by Gwendoline Grace & Gatsby.
Don’t you think a tea party is just the loveliest way to spend bright morning or lazy afternoon with friends? I love how this gentle social art is becoming so fashionable again. Sweet treats, delectable little finger sandwiches and fragrant, hot tea served in cute tea sets. What’s not to love?
When I first moved out of home, dizzy with the new-found novelty of of domestic bliss, I was oh-so-keen to host wonderful dinner parties with all the trimmings. But after two attempts… and my famished guests waiting until VERY late in the pm to have their main meal… I have finally turned up my snubby nose at dinner parties. Tea parties are so much more superior– You pre-make practically all the refreshments and then all you have to do is boil the kettle when your guests arrive. PERFECT!
There’s something very comforting and almost romantic about a lovely hot cup of tea- it’s a simple pleasure that everyone can relate to! It was pretty cool to see in the vast array of works produced for the Food for Thought exhibition, that quite a few artists had created their own rendition on the Tea theme. (Including Carly and I of course!). This piece above entitled “Tea Party” is an ode to the many cups of pink tea shared with my ex housemate Olivia in our drafty crooked blue house. We nicknamed Leaf’ Mt Lawley’s Island Groove blend “pink tea” as it brewed up to the most gorgeous raspberry colour. You can see in the background of this artwork though, that the tea, when used as a colourwash, has much more of a blueish grey tinge! The fabulous teaset featured was a flawless set that Olivia found in a local op-shop… An absolute treasure made in Spain in the 1960′s-70′s! What a gorgeous gift.
Another obsession of mine is the Parisian style Macaron. Oh, my! The colours and flavours (or “parfums” as they say in french) absolutely appeal to my design sensibilities and of course my appetite! During a trip to Paris in 2008, I made it my mission to seek out the best Macarons in Paris… the winner is the celebrated Parisian pastry chef, Pierre Hermé. His flavour combinations are inspired, and the macarons are little bites of perfection that melt in your mouth. Trailing behind at second place is the famous tea house Ladurée, who catered the sugary confections seen in Sophia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette film. The macarons are of lower quality imho, but the adorable packaging is enough to seduce the packaging-whore in me!
On my return from Paris I was determined to recreate the wondrous pastry in my own kitchen, and after a couple of failed attempts, I scoured the internet for the best macaron tips and recipes. The pistachio and grapefruit macarons in the photo above to this day are my favourite flavour, which I made using a recipe by the very talented Aran of Canelle et Vanille. The most comprehensive advice on baking macarons that I have found is on the Australian Syrup and Tang blog. Baking macarons is an adventure fraught with danger, and beginners will almost always produce ugly (but nonetheless delicious) results, so proceed with caution!
We thought this blackboard art by the lovely Tina Bryce at the entry of the gallery was a very clever way to set the relaxed tone of the exhibition and welcome our visitors!
Carly and I celebrated Easter Sunday by spending the afternoon at the Goldfields Arts Centre Gallery for a “Meet the Artists” event. Although we only had 9 visitors in total (including 3 of Carly’s family members!), it was a great chance to catch up on some projects – Carly spent the afternoon making some adorable Yo-Yo’s (also known as Suffolk Puffs) and I was able to update our blog with lovely photos of our finished pieces!
The actual opening night was a great success and thoroughly enjoyed by all, with many works being sold including prints by the Dames! Printed on Fine Art Archival Paper, the prints will soon be available for purchase in our Etsy shop, or of course you can drop in to the Goldfields Arts Centre on Cheetham Street Kalgoorlie to purchase your favourite print.
Carly presents her deeply fabulous “Boiled Cabbage Apron”… I would happily wear it to an elegant night on the town!
Carly’s frilly, frivolous and all round fabulous aprons;
“Not so practical Pinny” 2010 and “Boiled Cabbage Apron” 2010
Various Fabrics Dyed with Red Cabbage, Tea and Onion Skins
“Let them Eat Cake” necklace by Paula Fletcher 2010
Ribbons, Silk, Velvet, Crystal Pearls, Brass, Ostrich Plume
I cant remember exactly where I first read this quote but as soon as I did, it was love!
“I love to eat, and I love to eat healthily. I love pasta. I love starch. Everything I am, I owe to spaghetti!” SOPHIA LOREN
This watercolour, ink and coloured pencil tribute celebrates Sophia and her relationship with food as a fabulous example for young women. Ave Sophia!
As anyone who knows me will attest, my absolute favourite food in the whole wide world is pasta. I could happily eat it every day, and have been that way since I was very small. (Nothing beats Mum’s spaghetti bolognese…) So as soon as I read this quote on Sophia Loren, it launched a love affair with this strong, sexy female role model.
I didnt know a great deal about Sophia before, only that she was this bombastic Italian screen siren from the 1950s, 60s and 70s. After doing a little more reading I found out she stood at a towering 5′ 8½” (1.74 m) with ultra-curvy measurements of 38C-24-38. In fact she cut such an impressive figure that many male actors refused to work with her, saying she was too brash, too ballsy… and just plain intimidating! In one film the production crew had to dig a trench alongside her male co-star for Sophia to trundle along next to him in a beach scene- all to make Sophia look more petite than her leading man! Have you ever heard such a thing…?!
I found this great article on the Daily Mail UK website where Sophia talks candidly about her diet in comparison to modern starlets of the screen and catwalk. I found it inspiring that someone revered as a sex symbol by men and women alike has such a relaxed and healthy approach to food and diet, and is not afraid to make friends with food. For so long we have been told the carbohydrates are the ENEMY and here is the gorgeous Sophia Loren saying it is perfectly fine (in fact, encouraged) to enjoy carb-laden foods like pasta. She even recites one of her favourite pasta recipes to the interviewer. What a woman!
Speaking of recipes, here is my FAVOURITE way to eat pasta, with just a simple sauce made with good olive oil. I first made this dish when presented with a big container full of plump cherry tomatoes that were overflowing from Carly’s vegetable patch. After cooking enough pasta for one (I think this recipe actually works better with spaghetti of the dried kind), just heat up a saucepan on high heat and douse it with generous lashings of lovely cold pressed olive oil. Take enough cherry or grape tomatoes to fit in your cupped hands and halve the toms with a sharp knife, add these to the hot oil with one clove of crushed garlic (must be fresh). Add a generous pinch of sea salt flakes to bring out that lovely tomatoey flavour. Reduce the heat and sweat the tomatoes and garlic, squish the tomatoes against the sides of the saucepan using an egg slice/spatula to squeeze out the tomato pulp and juices. Simmer for a couple of minutes and then turn off the heat, toss the sauce through the cooked spaghetti with a handful of fresh herbs, my current favourite is basil but you can also use marjoram for a nice variation. Add some fresh or dried chili flakes if you like, and serve with cheese- parmesan is ok but I love to indulge with a small handful of bocconcini (baby mozarella)! Mmmmmmm… mangiare! Buon Appetito!
When invited to be part of the Food For Thought exhibition I just knew I wanted to do something along the Marie Antoinette “Let them Eat Cake” theme. (Although apparently the Dauphine never did utter those words and was just a victim of bad publicity/resistance propaganda). At first I wanted to make a Dolly Varden style cake, but lacking time (and skills!) I decided to make an elaborate necklace themed around the lavish fashions of Versailles.