Thursday, April 21, 2011

The week that still is....

So we are well and truly into the second week of the school holidays.

Today we had a fun day.  We headed down to Brunswick St and had pizza for lunch and then headed into Meet Me At Mikes for a look around.  I have been following Pip Lincolne's work for a number of years now when her shop first opened in Richmond.  And I have snapped up her books as she's made them.  A new one called Make! Hey! is coming out in October (cannot wait!).  These books, Meet Me At Mikes and Sew, La, Tea, Do! are so much fun and are filled with lots of ideas, beautiful photos and instructions about making things.  It is easy to put your own spin on things and make something lovely for yourself or a friend.

I have a lot of books, new books and books picked up from opshops and second hand bookshops.  I can't not buy a book if it has good pictures and instructions.  I pull these books out and look at them to get the creativity flowing.  Whether its vintage colour combinations, or a technique that has fallen out of fashion.  The 70's are coming back.  I will learn smocking and macrame and embroidery.

Making things is fun.  It's hard to make things sometimes.  Beautiful things can take a long time to make and it would be nice to be able to sell beautiful things that you've made.  Once you factor in your materials and time, the beautiful thing seems so expensive.  But its a one off or a small run.  It's an original design made from scratch by the designer.  It is not mass produced and lugged across the sea in a giant environmentally unfriendly freighter ship.  It is made here.  In my home.  With my hands.  It is handmade.  If you buy something handmade no-one else would have the same thing.  Ever.

I bought a green leather wallet today from Meet Me At Mikes.  Never in a million years could I make this thing of beauty.  I didn't think it was expensive.  In fact it was much less expensive that one you would buy in a large department store with an important looking name.  I think it is beautiful and it fits all my cards and bits and bobs in it happily.  I love it.  The designer's name is Pooky (sp?) and she is from Sydney.  Her beautiful things are available at Meet Me At Mikes.

Then we went over to my folks house for a visit and to pick up Greek Easter supplies.  Red Eggs, Koulourakia, that sort of thing.  It was good to see them and the boys each received a rather large chocolate bunny from their grandparents.

I missed the making of the Easter delights this year.  I vow to be involved next year!  We head up to Rutherglen tomorrow to celebrate Easter with my husband's family.  These delights will come along with us to add a tiny bit of Greece to the festivities.  No lamb on the spit but we will crack eggs.

Whatever you do and whoever you do it with, be safe and be nice to each other.

Xristos Anesti. Kallo Paska.

Miss G x

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

This Week that Is!

Its only Tuesday night and its already been a busy week.

On Sunday I tried my hand at archery.  Just for fun.  I was invited to go along to a Come and Try Day being held at Waverley City Archers Club by my sister and brother in law.  They have just started taking lessons and thought I might enjoy it.  I did enjoy it.  When I hit the target.  I did think of Robin Hood the whole time.  It was fun but maybe I won't join the club just yet.  I have enough hobbies, don't you think?

Oh and its been a great week in the op-shops near home this week.  Here are few of the treasures I've picked up along the way.  Some great books about quilting.  A lovely bag of buttons.  Some great coloured yarn.  And some very cute sewing patterns from the good old days!  mmm.  a good week indeed.

And we have been entertaining and visiting friends during the day.  This always calls for Friands for Friends.  So I have made 2 batches this week.  We have a few left over to have with a cup of tea after the boys go to bed! yum.

More friends tomorrow but going out and being entertained so that will be fun.  More later.

x Miss G

Friday, April 15, 2011

Bombalina Designs

Here is my banner for Made It.

The name Bombalina comes from a name my manager called me.  He always inspired me to be myself and trust my instincts and loved it when he called me Miss Bombalina.  It caught on, this nickname, and pretty soon everyone was calling me this at work.  It reminds me of a time when we could take risks and be creative without suffering serious consequences.

There are many naysayers out there and I really have stopped listening to all their negativity.  I make them things instead.

I think its cute.  do you?

x Miss G

Deep breath ... the shop is open! :)

Ok.  So I love making things for myself or as little gifts for my friends and family.

I have now decided to see if what I've been making might appeal to the wider public.  It's very scary because I'm not sure if my things are up to scratch for sale but I will let the marketplace decide....

We will see.  Find my things at Made It . Look under the store named Bombalina.  I have only put up 8 things.  Here are some of the things I have listed.  

x Miss G

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Amigarumi .... hard to say easy to do.

I love to crochet.  Amigarumi is the Japanese art of crocheting small, cute things.

You need to know how to crochet and once you have that down, the next step is to picture something small and cute and then go for it.  There are patterns you can find in books and online but I like to go with my imagination, adding and reducing stitches to get to the shape I picture in my head.

I started with owls.  They are basically a crochet tube, increased at the bottom and reduced at the top.  Sometimes they have "ears" and they always have big eyes - crocheted separately with buttons in the middle.  Sometimes they have beaks but usually they don't.  All these guys have found new homes with friends where they can impart their owly wisdom on nice girls.

Sometimes I am inspired by a friends new pet.  I have made a budgie for my friend Margot and a pug for my friend Louarna.  Tallulah Porkchop is a gorgeous little black pug.  Too cute for words and perfect to model this.  Her ears and tail were crocheted separately and sewn on along with her button eyes.  Her nose and mouth were chainstitched.  And now she lives with the family of the real Tallulah Porkchop!!

And with Easter fast approaching, I thought I'd show you this cute bunny.  He is a simple tube with smaller tubes for his ears which have been stitched on.  His face is a little crocheted disk which has been stitched on along with eyes, nose and whiskers.

Each of these critters has been filled with toyfill or wadding available from craft shops.  They are not perfect but that is the beauty of the handmade!  If you'd like to learn Amigarumi, the best place is Youtube as there are some fantastic tutorials available or check out this adorable Free Amigarumi Blog  for some wonderful inspiration.

Happy Cute Crocheting!

x Miss G

Thursday, April 7, 2011

My Backyard Critters

My backyard is small but teeming with life.  I love discovering all the critters that live out there.  Sometimes they discover me like the praying mantis that was hanging out on the tomato I had just picked.  Or the gecko that was discovered while moving some timber.  Most of these animals are photographed and released.  Some are just admired because by the time I go and grab my camera the critter is gone.

We had a spate of marbled geckos.  These three guys were all so different.  The first one had the most luscious tail.  The second one had no tail.  The third one had a forked tail .... weird!

A week ago I noticed a giant spider web had been spun each night in the same spot.  I went out one night and tried to take photos of the spider and its web but to no avail.  I asked my facebook friends and they came up with some good advice.  I tried again last night and after a few attempts (2 rolls of film would have been used in the good old days!!)  I managed to focus in and capture this incredible beastie.  An amazing Golden Orb Spider with amazing crimson bits - its just so beautiful and hairy and clever.

I am totally inspired now to photograph every animal I see in my yard.  Stay tuned!

happy snapping
Miss G

Monday, April 4, 2011

I learn to make a simple quilt.

I love learning new things from people who really know their stuff!

I have a friend who is an amazing quilter.  Lucianne is also very generous with her time and knowledge!  We got together to learn the art of the quilt.  She has made some amazing things over the years which will be heirlooms forever.

We started with some fabric which we cut up using a fabric cutting roller and a big ruler.  We used a simple squares pattern with complimentary fabrics.

We arranged the squares on the floor until we liked the "randomness" of the pattern.  Then we sewed them into strips and then sewed the strips together to form a big square.

 Here is a close up of the fabric.  It is so sweet.  Little mice riding bikes with cupcakes in the trailers!

Then we picked a border to frame the quilt.  We chose pink and brown which worked well with the colours in our fabrics.  Lucianne cut the strips and sewed them onto the big square of little squares.

Lucianne has backed the front piece with wadding and a backing sheet and has quilted the quilt and bound the edges.  So much to learn still but it was so much fun.  We will offer the quilt to our kids school for the dinner dance auction!!  I'll keep you posted on how much it fetches!!



off to cut strips.  

 Miss G x