Thursday, June 24, 2010


I've been unsure about whether to post anything about today - because I know we cannot possibly all share the same political views, and I really don't want to offend or isolate any of you who read this - so if you don't like political content, look away now...

Today, my original plans were disrupted by rather big political news - instead of big creative space plans, I found myself in front of the television, watching history unfolding - unfolding in an awkward and uncomfortable way, but unfolding none the less.

Today for the first time we have a female prime minister. To me, that's important - just as the election of this man was important too.

(as decorated by the mini blogger on Obama's inauguration day...)

It's important because we live in a world where we are not all treated as equals. Women get paid less for the same work, and people who are not white often face discrimination and injustice.

The first female prime minister of Australia, and the first black president of the USA, don't suddenly make everything equal and perfect, but they help remind us (or me at least) of what is possible.

And so, despite all of today's imperfections (and I do feel genuinely sorry for Kevin), I think a modest celebration is in order. Gingerbread women anyone?

Political soapboxing completed - I'll be returning to regular programming now!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Flea Market Finds

With best intentions, we headed out this week with practical purchases in mind - some plain, cheap napkins for meal times (we've previously not been napkin people , rather wash-your-hands-after-dinner people, but the mini blogger is turning into a wipe-your-hands-on-your-clothes person, so something needed to be done!).And this is what we found...

A set of eight vintage napkins, and four lovely handkerchiefs (it seems wrong to call them hankies), that I may never bring myself to use - as you can see, I wasn't even brave enough to iron them. They are certainly not plain - but they were indeed cheap. The Op Shop lady initially asked for 50c for ALL of them - I talked her up to $2!

I decided to try another shop - and had a little more luck - 2 plain, green napkins (that were of course the most expensive of the lot!), and a set of six nice, plain linen napkins with just a simple little edging ... oh, alright then...

The good news is that a couple of these have little stains already, so seem a little more suited to wiping dirty faces after spaghetti.

Now, a question for you - would you / do you use vintage linen in day to day life, or do you store / display / repurpose these items? And how do you care for them?

Oh, and I nearly forgot - here are the mini-blogger's purchases for this week - doesn't she have nice taste?

Pop into Sophies for more finds if you like!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

My creative space

the envelope project

There has been little creativity in our place this week - except in the pursuit of new cold remedies (none have actually worked mind you)...
So I reached Thursday morning, and spent a little while wistfully looking at the creative space earlybirds, longing to join in, when I came up with an idea I might actually manage - only it's not my idea, it's Pip's...
So the mini blogger and I set to work - we found an old paper bag we'd decorated a while ago, and cut out an envelope shape (and yes those are sockless, shoeless legs on this cold day - just the way she likes it apparently!), coated the paper with Mod Podge for a little weather protection,
then folded it up into an envelope (I do hope Australia Post accept wonky misshapen envelopes...).

We then set to work on some handmade items for inside the envelope - sticking with the envelope theme, we cut up the insides of some envelopes into little clouds and raindrops...

and made a fun little picture with a few spare pieces. Now I'm off to search for some other little things to fit inside.

For more creative spaces, visit Kirsty.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Flea Market Finds

So, I've had a bit of a rethink since last week, and have replaced my Op-shopping guilt with pride. Sure, I don't have much space for more stuff, and I may take a while to make practical use of my purchases, but if I'm going to indulge in occasional impulse buying, it may as well be impulse buying that is more financially, environmentally and ethically responsible, and that helps introduce my girl to the concept of mending and reusing things.

That said, I have exercised some restraint - my main purchases were these pinnie style aprons, bought for a total of $1.50. We haven't actually baked in them yet, but they proved to be excellent dance costumes for our at-home retro dance party. They also remind me quite vividly of my early years in the small town where I grew up - wearing similar aprons at a friend's house making gingerbread cookies, and watching older women working in the kitchen making hundreds of sandwiches at community and fundraising events.

I think that's another thing to add to my list on the benefits of op-shopping - revisiting, reclaiming and protecting our history.

For more treasures, visit Sophie.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Op Shop Confessions

OK, so I have a bit of an Op Shop problem. It doesn't really help that everytime we go to the library or playgroup we practically walk past one - or that our girl always suggests we "pop in" whenever we see one (wonder who she learned that from?).

I've finally found a form of shopping I enjoy - trips to "proper stores" for me tend to be frustrating and ultimately end in buyer's remorse - and maybe it's not such a bad thing. Except...

I am now the owner of masses of fabric - all from the one shopping trip! Lots of scrappy bits (I'm imagining what was made from the pieces that got cut out and used), but also some enormous pieces. All were bought without definite plans - but a good few dreamy thoughts.

Then there were some clothes - and a cute little cupcake apron (for possible conversion to little person apron) ...

and finally an enormous picnic basket (justified as a practical storage solution for all our play food and kitchen supplies), and a little packet of yellow buttons - because that girl of mine knows exactly where the Op Shop sewing supply section is and chose it all by herself.

So now, I'm not exactly experiencing buyer's remorse, just a sense of "what am I going to do with all this, and where will I put it?".

Hoping all of you found some treasures - and also the space to keep them!

For more finds, visit Sophie.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

my creative space - book inspired making

We have a lot of books in our house - often stacked 2 books thick in our bookshelves, and in little "overflow" piles on tables or cupboards. Somehow, though, we spend much of our time reading the same ones - and this is one of our favourites.

A persuasive, expressive, occasionally bad tempered pigeon who really wants to drive a bus - what's not to like? Yes there have been times when I hear pigeon-inspired complaints ("I never get to do anything!"), but isn't quoting from literature a good thing??

I decided to try and make a little pigeon for our house. I'd originally planned a softie, but was home sick, did not feel like leaving the house under any circumstances, and discovered that I had some bits of (cheap and nasty) felt in the necessary colours - a finger puppet seemed a good idea.

After designing a modified pigeon that could fit on a child's finger, and cutting out the pieces, I realised that I had no idea how to make skinny little pigeon legs - I knew this felt would not be up to the task.

I decided to try crochet, in spite of my very limited crochet knowledge - and it kind of worked...

but was a bit lumpy and gappy (poor technique? wrong size hook? crocheting stranded cotton because I couldn't find wool?) so I cheated (sssh!) and "sewed" through the legs to pull everything together.

Finally my pigeon was finished - a little plumper than the original (perhaps a few too many hot dog parties!) - but still pretty cute, and still quite talkative!

For more creative space inspiration, visit Kirsty, and for more on this book visit the author's website here.