Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Fairy

Stuck for a gift idea? This came from a friend of ours (thank you Sarah).
Inside the lid is the recipe for cranberry and white chocolate cookies.
Bloody brilliant!

Friday, December 16, 2011


Our favourite thing to do at this time of year is to take comfort in making
our own decorations & wrapping paper, we also love to make our own jams/chutney's etc.
Big D and I have done this since little P was born.
It's fantastic now that she's 8, because she is wholeheartedly involved
in both these traditions.
When you have your own household traditions for Christmas,
beyond just decorating the tree, it seems
to take the edge off the mass consumer mentality that goes on
outside the home. Yes Christmas is a mad time of year, and people really
go crazy with the spending ... trying to fill a void maybe? keeping up with
the Jones's maybe? What ever the reason, it's just stuff, it's not going to
make you feel any better about life. Where as actually making stuff can,
there's something comforting about getting out the
hand made decorations every year, they are without
doubt, our most favourite!
It really doesn't take much time to make things,
and they aren't going to be 'perfect' but that's
where the love is .... hopping in the car,
driving to the shops, finding a car space blah, etc
takes a lot more time, and a lot less thought.
(pics from Family Circle 'Homemade Jams & Preserves' brilliant book).

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Grow some baubles.

Baubles, hand made fabric ones ... simple and easy to make, good for using up scraps.
I was doing paper mache with Little P, which naturally lead on to
'fabric mache' - photos soon from that experiment!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Hip (H)op - happy!

Orange and white floral and spots, linen mix I think.
Geometric pinks and orange.
And my favourite ... stripes.
Also found this rather fetching piece. Love the cross-stitch effect.
Made in Japan, cute as a button!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Santa - The Biggest Loser?

I wonder which cafe they will congregate at every Sunday Morning?
Found at the oppy - too good to pass up!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Flashback ... of the craft kind

This is the first thing I ever made.
I made this kitten when I was 9 years old, at Zetland Primary School,
Redcar, in Northern England.
I gave it to my Gran, and it lived at her house, until she died,
then it came across the sea, to live with me.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

13 years ago ...

Saturday, October 08, 2011

our place ... lately.

Found at the oppy, a rare find, my local Vinnies has gone to the dogs.
They no longer put things on the floor as they come in, instead they are
sending everything to a central warehouse, and in turn receiving stuff
from a central warehouse, so the stock is not the same. It's bland, homogenised.
I wonder how much ends up in the bin now?
Gone are the old girls sitting at the till in a dimly lit store, pontificating
the cost of living, and young people's lack of manners - I miss them.
Found at the bottom of the garden.
These appeal to the old girl in me!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sew (more show than tell).

The pattern.
Serious face, don't know why!
I've made a couple of these maxi skirts, even though I'm short!
But, who follows fashion rules?
More showing the fabric and my funny toes than the skirt!
This in mid-length style with side pockets.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Found Picture #2

Hungary, a tree somewhere ... early 60's.

Father of little girl in previous picture in white T.shirt.
Pre marriage, children & Sydney.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Found Photo #1

Bondi, block of flats, early 70's.

I feel strange owning this photo.
I'm the custodian of this photo.
it comes to be in my possession by default.
I'm not related to this little girl.
She is from Hungary, and immigrated here with her
father and mother in the 1970's.
her Mother didn't like Sydney,
or she didn't like her father, either way, she returned to Hungary.
Her father stayed in Syndey, and married
Big D's Nan (2nd mariage on both parts) sometime in the 1980's, whereupon
this little girl returned to Hungry.
When Big D's Nan passed away, we found a bag of
photos ... and they were going to be thrown away.
We decided we would keep them.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Goodness Gracious!

Long time between posts. Seasonal depression getting to me I think, freaking cold.
All is good at chez Ethel and Fred, the usual winter stuff .... living for food!
Sorting through 'stuff' the material things, ergo the pic, some of my
necklaces. Little P used to call them 'neck-ins' cute, so literal.
Looking forward to the School Hols,
lots more time to hang out in jammies,
hopefully some creative pursuits too!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

love. ghostpatrol.

Just popping in to share this image with you.
I've been in love with Ghostpatrol's work for ages now, I first saw
his work in Lorne Vic, when we did our roadtrip last Easter, there's a mural
on the side of a building ... funny place for a mural, not the side of a wall,
but Lorne, being so far from the city.

Winter is well and truly upon us,

we are just snuggling up at nights
eating lots of casserole type things.
Planning some sewing soon, it's been a bit
quite on the making front lately, plan on rectifying this soon!
Until then, stay warm and toasted!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Little P - Personified!

Of all the photos I have of Little P, this one is my favourite,
it most definitely captures her true spirit.
The wild hair, the joyous laughter, and the dancing!
Taken last year by my dear friend Tess Peni, at her daughter's birthday party.
(Tess does amazing things with a camera)!
If ever I'm feeling a bit blue, I look at this picture,
it reminds me to keep positive,
to stay firmly in the moment - and enjoy it all.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Creative kids at Artspark

I've been helping out with sewing at Artspark Studios in Rozelle (Sydney).
The creativity of the children is truly inspiring.
These strip bags (please no credit to me, these were designed by a lady
from Artspark) were part of a 1 day workshop for 5-10 year olds.
They all did an amazing job, and kept their enthusiasm up for the whole day.
There's something magical about making things yourself, and being able
to share this, and pass on the knowledge to a new generation is
just a joyous experience!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

As Skyhooks once sang 'I like it both ways'

Reversible smock, custom order for a friend, pattern is my own,
the most simple dress to make.
The print is vintage brushed cotton, with a red denim as the plain fabric.
We've been in throws of moving, so my blog has been a little
neglected of late ... my studio is still mostly in boxes, but the shelves
are ready, and my machines are out, a good start.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Works on wood

Little P made this beautiful cross entirely from scratch, She loves nothing more than hammering a few nails into wood. I really like what she did with the top part of this, water colours. Colour choice comes so naturally to kids, they rarely hesitate, I admire that!

Friday, February 04, 2011

Before & After

I picked up 4 of these chairs about 5 years ago from a Salvos,
they were $5.00 each. They are brilliantly made, I think by
Australian furniture maker Don Rex.
Finally got around to having them reupholstered,
the original mushroom pink velvet never really
did it for me. We got them done for about the same
cost as buying 4 new ones, actually probably worked out
a bit more, but ultimately much nicer than a modern repro.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Vintage favourites - Nautical

Super soft cotton.
Bark cloth.

Friday, January 14, 2011


Bought this brand new women's skirt from the oppy ($6.00).
And refashioned it into 2 girl's skirts for little P.
(Note: top picture is the original skirt, this photo above
is the refashioned skirt). Not much work involved in this one.
Just a matter of removing the waist band,
sewing in the casing, and then adding the elastic to fit.
This one is made from the cotton lining, with spotlight cotton print and vintage binding. have a head cold, and thought I might as well do something productive, head cold seems to have precluded me from doing the dishes, but not from sewing, weird huh?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Mother Nature ....

She's a cruel mistress, for sure.
My thoughts at the moment are with
the Qld flood victims.
The force and velocity with which floods hit in some
communities is just unfathomable.
To loose a loved one in such a way seems so cruel
and unfair, I've no idea, and as I tuck my little P into bed
tonight, I'll give her an extra big cuddle.
To anyone reading this who has been hit by
the floods, know that we here in Sydney are thinking of you.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

A little stop at the oppy

'Scuse the sticky tape, haven't cleaned this yet.
It's German (Azberg) and fully hallmarked and numbered, love the lime green lid.
And this.
Australian Studio Pottery.
Words fail .... $4.00!
I can't express how much I love this.