Saturday, 28 April 2012


Well "Time Flies" or so the saying goes! I am amazed at how long it has been since I have posted, but in my own defense the days have been incredibly busy, taken up mostly with school events, meetings, teacher interviews - all the boringly essential things to maintain normality in the lives of my family.  My creativity has taken a bit of a back seat in the last week or so.

Where I live it has been raining consistently since last night and right through the day today.  The perfect day to stay indoors and enjoy just being at home with my family.  I have a big pot of homemade chicken & vegetable soup simmering away and the kitchen smells delicious.  I thought today was the perfect kind of day for us to enjoy a warm bowl of soup - something to warm us up and make us feel cosy.

This afternoon I have been enjoying a bit more time online, searching for new designs for something I really love "Pincushions".  I am so amazed at the variety of designs and the inspiration people have when they are making pincushions.  My Pinterest boards are filling up with ideas!!

Here are a few of my favourite finds.

These pincushions are made and designed by Janelle Wind.  She is one of my favourite Australian designers and I always enjoy the colour combinations she puts together and her designs in general.

My next favourites were these gorgeous pincushions made and designed by Leanne Beasley of Leanne's House.  Leanne is another one of my favourite Australian Designers.  We have some very talented designers in our country!

This was a really cute pincushion which I came across on Pinterest.  I loved the design and the fabrics used - it is gorgeous.

This is one of my own felt pincushion creations.  This style of pincushion is a great way of recycling bottle caps as that is what forms the base of the pincushion.  I love working with felt and find that it makes up into very nice little pincushions.

I sell my pincushions through my Etsy store RaspberrySwirls

You can see that I have made plenty of these over time and even taught classes for making them.  They are a lot of fun to do!

So tonight on this very rainy evening, my dilemma will be - do I curl up with a good book or do I spend the evening watching a movie and begin stitching a new pincushion project I have in mind after my online searching today.  Both options sound good to me!!

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Visiting New Blogs

I received an exciting parcel in the mail today ~ yipee! 

I recently participated in a Blog Hop, visiting many new blogs and enjoying the variety of talents people shared through their pictures and stories.  It was my first experience at participating in something like this and was lots of fun!

Through this journey into blog land, I ended up being the very lucky winner of a beautiful Moda Charm Pack "Flora".  The fabrics are just so gorgeous, always much better in real life, photos never do them justice.  I also received a quilted table runner pattern called "Simply Charming" which I am really looking forward to making up.  I need something special for the centre of our dining table, so this will be perfect.

My special thank you to Gail who so generously sent these beautiful gifts to me.  I am truly grateful and was definitely very excited as this is the first time I have ever won something like this before!!

Gail has a wonderful blog which I have been enjoying reading ever since discovering it through the Blog Hop.  She loves quilting and has lots to share and gorgeous photos of quilts she has made.  I'd encourage you to take some time to visit her at Gail's Quilting Blog.  You will be so inspired!

The above two quilts are both from Gail's recent quilting creations - aren't they amazing!!!  She is definitely one very talented lady.  It has been lovely to have the opportunity of meeting her through our blogs.

Thanks again Gail - receiving your parcel in the mail totally made my day!

Monday, 16 April 2012

Zig Zag Quilt Designs

I must admit that I rather enjoy searching online for new quilting designs and my pinterest boards fill up fast with all the amazing things I find - not just quilts, but lots of other craft ideas too.  I have more ideas pinned than I will ever have the available time to make them in.  Does that stop me from still looking though?  Absolutely not!!

My new found fascination this week has been with zig-zag quilts!  Now this is something new which I have never even contemplated trying.

Don't they look great though!  I just love the colours and design combinations and find this simple layout rather pleasing on the eye.

Who knew you could achieve so many different looks using the same zig-zag design but just different colour combinations?  Well I guess all of us who know and love quilting really do know that this is achievable, but it is still nice to visualize these variations.  It really gets your mind going with the different colour options.

I have always been more into applique style quilting, but I am finding myself more recently enjoying piecing and going back to even some of the more traditional block styles.  This new discovery has me excited and even though I have two different quilts on the go at the moment, I am eager to give this a try and make a zig-zag quilt of my own.

I was so excited to discover a free tutorial here to make one of these quilts and even happier once I saw the pieces broken down and laid out, it is really very simple to achieve this look - something even a beginner could attempt. 

Perhaps I'll keep this idea on stand-by, ready for a rainy afternoon of sewing - that sounds so perfect to me!!

Monday, 9 April 2012


A little belated  ~  Happy Easter!

This year we spent our Easter break away camping with a few other families - all good friends from church.  It is always such a lot of work preparing to go away, but so worth it when you get there are realize how nice it is to get away from the usual daily routines of life - there is something very refreshing about being out in the open air, sitting around a campfire in the evenings with others and enjoying friendships.

The place we stayed at was just perfect, not far from Toowoomba in QLD.  The kids had plenty of places to explore, a dam to swim in and the younger ones particularly loved spending time with the animals.  They were allowed to join in at feeding time, take the dogs for walks etc. 

An evening treat was a ride around the property - this was a huge favourite with the kids too!

My treat during our time away was a little visit to the town of Highfields, just outside of Toowoomba.  First stop was at Abbie Lane to browse around the stores there - so much fun!

Next we went up the road to the Village Green which is another great place with shops to wander through.  I think I enjoyed this stop the most because this is where one of my favourite quilt shops is The Quilters Angel.

It was such a sunny day - my photos look a little dark which is disappointing - I was hoping to show you how amazing this store is!

I could quite easily lose myself in here for a few hours - the fabrics are beautiful and the sample ideas inspirational.  For me, it is one of those stores you walk into where you fall in love with everything you see.  Not many quilt stores do that for me, but this one truly does.

My weekend was not totally void of being a little creative - after all, that is the way I relax and enjoy myself the most - so I packed a little hand sewing to take along with me.

I made quite a few of these!  Something I am working on for another crafty project which I will share with you another time.

I hope you all enjoyed your Easter break too!

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Making Tissue Box Covers

Fancy covers for tissue boxes have been around forever.  In fact, I have one in my bedroom which my mum made for me over 20 years ago - all made from pretty layers of lace and it still looks remarkably good, considering it's age.  So I can't bear to part with it.

But an exciting new discovery, or re-discovery for me at the end of last year was the wooden tissue box covers you can buy and decorate.   I know wooden tissue box covers in themselves are not new, I used to paint them years ago, never very successfully I might add, but they have definitely improved with time.  The ones available now have nice sharp edges which are perfect to cover with scrapbooking card and papers.

This is the first one I made, so it was quite experimental while trying out what the best techniques were for the correct adhesives, etc.  But I was honestly so pleased with the finished result, that I knew I definitely had to make more! 

A few more were made for gifts and I really enjoyed combining paper colours, patterns and embelishments - especially with the particular friend in mind who was to be the recipient.  These are definitely addictive and so much fun to make!

If you are interested to try decorating one of these boxes yourself, they are available from craft stores.  I bought mine from Spotlight and they always seemed to have plenty in stock.  These are made to fit a standard sized tissue box and you can also buy the covers for the smaller square shaped tissue boxes which are perfect size for sitting on your desk.

You can embelish these tissue box covers with as little or as much as you like.

Let your imagination guide your creativity and have some fun in the process!!

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Papercrafts - Stamping & Card Making

It is the school holidays here where we live and we have been enjoying the break from the usual busy schedules we have.  It's been fun to include a little craft into our days - what better way to relax and have a little fun!

I don't know if you remember this little stamp set - it was one I fell in love with and bought at the recent Craft Show I went along to.

I really do love all the very cute owl designs which are around at the moment.  So here are a few photos to show you what I got up to while playing with my new stamps . . . and a few new inks and pens . . . you can never have too many colours . . . right?!!

I stamped the owl in green first, the ink has a shimmery sheen to it and it really did look nice, but with all the green background I had put together, well it was just a little over-done with all the green, so I re-did another owl in black ink.  The owl is rather cute - with roaming eyes which give it a whimsical look.  Here is the finished card.

While doing some stamping I used one of our cute LaLa-Lands Stamps, Princess Marci.  My girls really love these stamps and I must admit that I like quite a few of them myself.  We now have a few in our small collection.  If you like the look of this cute princess and aren't familiar with them, you must check out the LaLa-Lands Crafts Website.  You will find card samples made up using all of their stamp designs and those cards truly are amazing ~ well worth the look.

The final card I have to share with you is made using a new set of stamps I gave to my mother-in-law for Christmas.  We share our supplies when we get together which gives us twice the variety to choose from. 

These stamps are Kanban Brand and the set is called Mocha Boudoir.  Every stamp in the set is gorgeously feminine!

I ordered them from the UK via Ebay, but I've just done a quick search and found some here so that you can take a look.

So you can see it was quite a relaxing few hours playing with papercraft supplies.  Just as well we have a large table to work around because we had 3 of my children, my mother-in-law and myself all stamping and making cards at once - you can imagine the clutter and mess!  So worth it though, it was lots of fun!!!!

Until next time,