Monday, 28 May 2012

Decorative Tins & Boxes

I have a bit of an obsession for pretty tins and containers for storing things.  In my ideal world of a well organized craft room I would love to have these types of things on display so that they could be admired as well as be functional for storage.  With any type of sewing or crafts you tend to have so many bits and pieces to store and often you don't want something very big to store those things in - that is where little tins and boxes coming in very handy.

It's been fun looking online at what is around.  It would be great if places to purchase were tagged to the pictures I've found.  But maybe not, it would be too tempting to want to buy if they were too easily accessible!

I really love Cath Kidston designs - they are so pretty and feminine and are exactly my kind of style.  This set shown above is beautiful, especially in my favourite colour of pink.

I thought these stacking boxes were really pretty too.  The lace and buttons give them a vintage feel.  

One of my daughters loves op-shopping and we called in today to visit the op-shop which is run by our church.  I came away quite excited with my little purchase for the day!

Tucked away in the back of one of the shelves was this vintage tin - I loved the roses and ribbons  and the colour scheme too.  It was too lovely to leave behind and I have lots of things that could be stored in this sized tin.  So it was a great find!!

The other thing I bought recently came from a local discount store.  The store had a new shipment of boxes in and the colours and patterns caught my eye straight away.  Needless to say a few of these came home with me too.

Amazing what you find in the most unexpected places!

Over the last year or two most of the storage or stationery accessories for my office/craft room have been in pink - I love it that everything co-ordinates nicely.


Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Surprise Mail

Look at what the postman delivered to me yesterday afternoon ~ I came home from an exhausting day to this lovely surprise!

Remember the mug rug swap I mentioned I had participated in - well . . . look what arrived.

This gorgeous mug rug was made for me by Kate from Kate quilts.

I fell in love with it as soon as I opened the package ~ the little granny square feature blocks are the cutest thing and Kate has chosen such a great way to incorporate them into her mini quilt design.  She has used linen and the combination is quite simply ~ beautiful. 

Kate also sent me some Mocha sachets and a twin pack Cherry Ripe - yum!!  

It was a lot of fun doing this swap with Kate and many thanks to Ally from Quilting Mumma who was the host arranging this fun swap for us all!

Friday, 18 May 2012

Mug Rugs

A few weeks ago I came across a swap which I participated in - my very first one, so it was quite exciting!  The item we had to make and send to our swap partner was a mug rug.  Well I didn't even know what a mug rug was, so I had to do a little online researching before I could begin.  What I discovered was the most amazing little mini quilts which are used as coasters or little placemats - an extremely cute idea!

Then the fun began and I enjoyed playing around with fabric colour combinations, and sewing up a few different little mug rugs of my own.  These are the perfect little item to use up your fabric scraps because they take such small amounts of fabric.  The total made up size is approximately 6"x 9".

This one was made using one of my favourite Riley Blake fabric collections called "Quite Contrary".  The colours are bright and cheerful and the flower designs really pretty.   Here is a close up picture of it.

This next one was made using a gorgeous collection of Lecien fabrics called "Celebrations".  I love that old world, shabby chic style, so these really appeal to me too.  I just used a simple free motion stippling design for the quilting.

And this final photo is of the mug rug I made for my swap partner, Kate.  I included some Twinings Tea Bags and Tim Tams - perfect for a little afternoon tea break.

Here is a close up photo of this one too.

I loved the ribbons and ric rac for an added bit of texture and embelishment, yet they are still flat enough that they don't deter from the use of the mug rug.

These little mug rugs could be used for so many things - they are even perfect mini quilts to use for dolls or a little quilted mat to put something on.  So really they aren't limited to just the one use at all.  But don't you think they are a cheery addition to your desk or coffee table?  Something to put your coffee cup on and add a bit of pizazze to your space!!

I've put a couple of these into my etsy store and will no doubt be making more soon.  You can find them here Raspberry Swirls.  These make a wonderful gift item too.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Canvas Art

I've been expanding my creativity a little beyond my usual card making and scrapbooking and created some neat little canvas art ~ all they need is a photo to be added into the blank frame section and you have a great little idea for displaying special memories!

I've made a few different ones.  They were so much fun to do!

They are a good size for displaying anywhere ~ 6"x 6". I love them so much and want to do more in different colour schemes.  They would make the perfect gift.

I have been spending quite a bit of time on Pinterest lately as well (it can be such a time waster - in a fun kind of way) and found a simple idea which I thought was so great that I just had to make one for myself.

This is an inexpensive frame which I have decorated beneath the glass using my papercraft supplies.  You can write on the glass with a whiteboard marker, great for shopping lists, reminders, etc.  I have mine in the kitchen.  A creative way to add a functional item to your home, one which can blend into your home decor if made using a co-ordinating colour scheme.

It was very difficult to photograph for you though because being an inexpensive frame, it doesn't have non-reflective glass in it.  When I look at it in my kitchen though, I don't have this problem, it looks so much better in real life.  Another creative gift idea!

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Mother's Day and beyond . . .

I hope those of you who are mothers all had an enjoyable Mother's Day celebration!  I loved being able to spend the day with my husband and children - time together is always special and something we should never take for granted.

My kids did spoil me with some lovely gifts.  The younger three did their shopping at the mother's day gifts and craft stall at the school fete.  I love pretty things around my home, even if they do collect dust.  I look beyond that and enjoy the fact that they are an extension of who I am and reflect my personality and make our home feel warm and inviting.  I loved the two ornaments the kids gave me especially - one says "Home is where Mum is" and the other has the "Mum - Love, Guidance, Shopping" all are things I enjoy doing as part of being a Mum. The other things were a bookmark - because I am always reading, a pink pen - because pink is my favourite colour of course and two candles - because I am crazy about candles and you can never have too many of those!

My older daughter knows my taste in things so well and she gave me a gorgeous gift - I absolutely love it!!

I also received this beautiful tin filled with some lovely make-up and nail polishes.  So all up I was very spoiled with gifts.  Some of my favourites though were the pictures and cards which the kids made themselves, those are the things I put away to treasure for always.

Well after a busy week preparing for our school fete last week and sorting donated items for the giant trash 'n' treasure for 4 days straight, I think I can well and truly say that I am over other people's junk!  I was totally amazed at the people lining up to come in for the start of the fete and eager to get inside to the trash 'n' treasure.  It was honestly like watching a stampede of people racing in like they do at the big store sales - I guess everyone loves a bargain.

This week my week started off with me going along on my youngest daughter's school excursion as a parent helper.  I've never been on a Prep excursion before - it was exhausting, but such a fun day.  We went to Trevena Glen Farm and the kids all had a wonderful time riding horses, milking cows, bottle feeding lambs and calves and even a pig and holding baby chickens.  Here is my daugher dressed up as a cowgirl!

I loved the fact that every child had the opportunity to experience everything, not just one or two picked out of the group.  They even went for a hay ride in a trailder pulled along by a tractor.

There were lots of smiling faces and lots of weary children (and adults) on the bus ride home! 

After another busy day at Playgroup today I think the rest of my week needs to be spent on my much neglected housework and laundry (which piles up when you are never at home) and I am in much need of some relaxation - which translates into "craft time".

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

School Fetes

Our annual school fete is coming up next weekend and ever the faithful mum (well I try to do my part), I have volunteered my time and resources - probably more than what I realised.  When you put something down on paper you don't realise the time commitments until reality hits, and that is where I am at this week!!

It's all good though.   At this stage in my life I am very blessed to be in a position where I can volunteer and be involved in my kids' school and in their lives.  They are always so excited when it is fete time of the year :)

So here is a little of what I have been up to this week.

Do you remember when I shared I was making these back over the Easter weekend?  Well I have made a lot more of them since then and made them into these . . .

There are hair clips and headbands, lots of bright and pretty colour combinations.  Some are single flower yo-yo's (or suffolk puffs) and some are doubles.  It was fun dying the elastic for the bands into co-ordinating colours.  I love experimenting with the dyes and one of my young daughters was such a great help with doing this , she loves it every bit as much as me. 

I have a collection of these to donate to the school fete for the craft stall and I have also put a few of them over into my Etsy store to sell as well, you can find them listed here at RaspberrySwirls.

One idea I came up with was using the headband as a bookmark.  It is absolutely brilliant as a bookmark!  I will never had to worry about my bookmark falling out (which happens lots when you having little people in your home).  Since I started using one of these cute flower elastics as a bookmark I have not lost my page yet.  So they really are a dual purpose item and look very cute on the book too.

Aldi had the best things out this past week for Mother's Day and I couldn't resist buying myself this cute journal.  I really love these gorgeous little babushka dolls, in fact I admit I am a little obsessed with them when it comes to crafty things and put them onto a pink background (my favourite colour), well it just had to come home with me.  The fact that I am a bit of a journal lover anyway means it won't go to waste.

The rest of my week will be helping to set up for the giant trash 'n' treasure which is always a monumental task in the fete preparations.  Then comes the baking of cupcakes and other tempting sweets for the cake stall.  I must remember to visit there first this year as all the best things sell out very fast.

By Sunday I will be exhausted and looking forward to a relaxing day and maybe I will be in luck as it will be Mother's Day!!!