Because sometimes you need to put a hat on a bird…

Because sometimes you need to put a hat on a bird…

Happy Sunday!  I have been crafting all day, making a lovely mess and trying not to get too discouraged with the less-than-inspiring work I am producing.  There’s that awesome self-esteem of mine again!  Actually, I am trying to just be content with the fact I made anything today and holding on to that as a small victory (my creative oomph has been rather oomph-less lately).  I am having a small market stall at a local vintage and craft market next month (eek – time is flying by!) and I want to have lots of different things on it to attract different people.  I’ll have jewellery and cards plus some sewn/embroidered items my Mum is providing.  Her stuff always adds a touch of class and professionalism to my amateurish offerings
*slaps wrist for bad self-esteem again*

I have been making cards for the last couple of weeks because I haven’t got a lot in stock at the moment, having sold them all (or used them myself) before Christmas.  I’ve been trying to use up what papers I have, using colours and designs I might not usually go for.  It’s hard – you can easily get stuck in a rut where colour and design are concerned.  I am also a bit obsessed with my speckled eggs, wings and hats.  I always want to put a hat on a bird.  It just seems right to me.  Maybe it makes it more quirky and less serious?  I don’t know.  But sometimes you just need to put a hat on a bird.  Or wings on an egg.  Etc etc.  A bit of whimsy goes a long way I say.  Or it just really annoys people and they walk away poo-poohing your creations.  That’s ok too.

Anyway – here is what I have made today :

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1. A simple, more masculine card with rusty colours and not much fussiness…

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2. Bird with hat.  Need I say more?

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3. Another slightly more masculine card.

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4. Crowns and wings on eggs.  Why not?

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5. Bird and hat and diamantes and braid. Pink and girly and just a bit silly.

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6. I wasn’t at all pleased with this card but I think it’s ok now.  I guess it’s not horrible

So, a few cards made but lots to go.  My house is a complete shambles at the moment – stuff everywhere.  But I do not have time to feel guilty about it just now.  Today I just enjoyed being quiet and busy (but a nice kind of busy) alone with my own thoughts, some music and plenty of tea.  Life has been stressful and complicated just lately and I needed a recharge day, away from everyone and everything.  Back to work tomorrow but I will be wishing for the end of the week to come quickly so I can have another crafty day to myself.

Hope you’re having a lovely weekend, whatever you are up to 🙂

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Pots and Such (Another Adventure in Op-Shopping Land)

Pots and Such (Another Adventure in Op-Shopping Land)

Hi everybody! I hope your week has gotten off to a good start. I am gearing up for yet another move at work in the next couple of days and I am very tempted to either hide under my desk until it is all over or move interstate. I can’t wait for everything to be back in its rightful place, neatly organised (or not-so-neatly, I’m not fussy, as we all know), all the library books back on their shelves instead of packed in boxes all over the place, and to be able to run an efficient service again without having to tell people that we can’t access things at the moment. I don’t want to leave the other office though – I like it there with all my colleagues and will miss them (such a sap!) and the sound of chatter and laughter during the day. Hopefully I can make regular visits to see them and ensure the resources there are kept up-to-date and current.

I did do a spot of op-shopping on the weekend. I always call it a “spot” of op-shopping… Why don’t I just say I ran rampant in a few op-shops and emptied my purse? That would be more realistic. I didn’t buy clothes which is a miracle, but lots of china and pottery including a little, vintage porcelain brooch – which I promptly dropped as soon as I got it home and now it is chipped in several places (I am telling myself that it was already chipped and I failed to notice in the shop). This is also the only decent photo I took of anything so be prepared for a less than award-winning photography performance…

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I bought a few different receptacles for succulents including….

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…this cute pottery mug – the colours will go nicely with an aeonium (with it’s pink and yellow-tinged leaves).
Don’t think I am all up on the names of these things; I just had to look that up 🙂

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…these pottery bowls – so nice! I’ve decided to keep them for me and use them in the kitchen. I’ve already had my soup in them as pictured in my last post.
They were only about 25c each so I couldn’t pass them up (well, I could have, but I didn’t!)…

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…this little gobletty-thing. I don’t know what it is, really. I guess it could be a candle holder thingy. I’m going to call it a goblet.
If you know what it is, please tell me so I don’t look like a dufus (any more than usual). It’s made in Ireland and I really just liked the colours…

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…these ceramic clogs! So daggy and twee! But they will look cute with a little succulent in them, right? Not my kind of colours (a lime green clog? I don’t think so…) but they might go with someone else’s decor, you never know…

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…a couple of little white pots. Cacti and succulents always look nice in a fresh white pot, so I picked these up for a cheap price. The smaller one is made in Portugal…

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…I loved this sugar bowl. I’ve always liked this design – 70’s Figgjo Flint, Tor Viking – and this little vintage piece was in really good condition, no chips or cracks.
It was only $3.25 too… They had matching cups and saucers but I controlled myself ha ha… I’ll keep this piece for myself though…not planting anything in that!

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…of course I bought beads (that goes without saying). I found a couple of necklaces that had awesome beads and they were colours or shapes
I didn’t already have anything similar to…these blue/green cubed wooden ones were great and plenty of them on long lengths…

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…they came in a bundle with this necklace, which I probably wouldn’t have picked up on its own (turquoise – I think I have enough of that…
but can you ever have enough turquoise?) but I will use the beads nevertheless…

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…these ethnic-looking beads were perfect, especially as they are lighter in colour than the typically dark wood ones I always seem to get.
The pale terracotta shade is really nice with the white detailing…

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…LOVED this necklace with it array of pretty lampwork beads in shades of green and I’ve already made a pair of earrings with them…

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So, a pretty good afternoon of treasure hunting and actually not much money spent as most things were marked down from their already ridiculously low prices. I’m going to stop looking for and buying pots etc soon – the succulent “thing” is shaping up to be a bit of a fad/phase for me and I haven’t even potted any up yet (although my lovely cousin gave me a load of cuttings and leaves to propagate last night…) so I’d better start growing some before I buy any more containers to put them in. I do like the idea of plants that are hard to kill though…and if you can plant them in cute little pots, all the better!

What do you look for when op-shopping/thrifting? Do you only go for clothes or like looking at lots of different things? Do you go in with a budget, or just wing it? Do you share your favourite spots with friends, or do you keep the locations secret? I’d love to know your op-shopping “style”…

Have a lovely day, everyone x

Trash and Treasure

Trash and Treasure

A quick post about my weekend’s finds.  It will be a quick post because I am a bit disgusted about my recent lack of self control where my spending is concerned.
If I type fast, maybe it won’t seem so bad to me….(actually, who am I kidding?  I can never do short posts when I want to…this one will be no different).

On Saturday I went shopping with my Mum.  “I just need a couple of things…” I said dismissively, knowing full well I am incapable of actually controlling myself where shopping is concerned. Now, normally this isn’t such a bad thing because I generally buy 2nd hand items from op-shops etc.  I don’t buy “new” things very often and even when I do I rarely pay full price.  However, having visited my brother the night before and seeing some lovely household items his equally lovely partner had bought for the house, I was immediately overcome with waves of decorator envy and NEEDED to buy similar items for my house.  As you do.

So, we headed to The Reject Shop, the kind of store that is dangerous for me because I go in to buy wrapping paper and come out with three clocks shaped like frogs, a packet of weird sweets with unpronounceable names and a self-cleaning kitty litter tray.  When I don’t own a cat.  There’s just stuff in there you never knew you needed.  It’s dangerous, as I said.  So I don’t go in there very much unless I have a strict plan and stick to it.

On this particular day I walked out with a large cork-lidded jar with a stag head on it and some white shabby-chic-looking photos frames.  So not too ridiculous I suppose.

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Then we went to Typo, another shop that I have trouble controlling myself in.  They have so much stuff in there that I NEED.  I NEED more notebooks! (I don’t, I have about 48 currently).  I NEED stickers that look like french patisserie! (I don’t – I should be on a diet and food-shaped stickers will not help the situation).  I NEED a white ceramic stag head for my wall!  (Erm, I really DO want one of those…I have no idea why.  I’m vegetarian and find hunting abhorrent.  But I NEED a white ceramic stag head for my wall!  I do!).  In the end I walked out with a wooden ampersand for my book shelf and a white ceramic fox pen holder.  Both were heavily reduced in price so I didn’t break the bank, but guilt was already starting to set in.

On Sunday morning, very early, I went to a swap meet with my good friends MD and FK.  Ah, swap meets!  The smell of dewey grass trampled on by eager bargain hunters!  Nothing is more enticing to those of us with a taste for the quirky, the trashy and the downright odd.  There is always the hope that you will find something AMAZING that you’ve been hunting for for years.  That somewhere out there is a stall that has that pink/white/blue/polka-dotted pig/duck/skateboard you’ve been looking for all your life (or at least since last Tuesday when you saw it in a magazine and knew you NEEDED to have one).

We were looking for plants and pots and cute stuff and handy stuff and storage stuff.  So, stuff, basically.  MD and FK bought practically an entire nursery of plants (the car on the way home looked like a travelling botanic exhibit) as well as some garden pots, terrariums and interesting containers for succulents.  I picked up (after a bit of fruitless searching when I thought I wasn’t going to find anything at all…) a rather funky granny trolley…

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…which then came in handy for carrying other purchases (it was a bargain at only $6.00! – very sturdy and new and roomy) and will be good for fetching my groceries in…

…I also bought a delightful little succulent that had the prettiest of pastel colours on its leaves (love the yellow and pink tinges) and deserves an equally pretty pot when I find one…

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…I found this little wooden shelf/stool which I am going to paint white and distress (maybe add a vintage image to it) and either put plants or use in my craft room as storage.  I picked up the little book too which is actually a notebook (erm…what was I saying about notebooks?) with nice brown, kraft paper pages…only $2.50 for the two items….

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…I bought this pretty cup and saucer for $5.00, not knowing MD had been eyeing it off too.  It’s a vintage design but I don’t know how old it is.  Probably not very!  Doesn’t matter to me, it’s sweet and my favourite colour.  If I don’t use it for tea, it will be a nice container for a succulent.

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We stayed at the swap meet for about three hours then decided we couldn’t carry any more and had to leave.  Across the road was a “garage sale” sign so we made a bit of a detour…several plants and more pots later for FK and MD, we headed off again.  A few miles up the road we came across a sign that said “Vintage Garage Sale”.  Well, a screeching of brakes and a quick turn into another street, we found ourselves at a lovely little garage sale, indeed selling vintage pieces (china, furniture and other items) at very reasonable prices.  I got a few pieces (couldn’t help myself…why stop now?) starting with this sweet little Wade Heath trinket dish.  It’s in good condition – no chips or staining.  I considered using it as a pot for a wee little succulent, but I’m not sure yet…

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…I loved this bowl, even though it is clearly not vintage.  I liked the colours and the shape.  Very pretty and only $5.00…

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…this Meakin strainer dish was so pretty and the colours were very bright and un-faded.  There is a bit of staining in one corner, but is in otherwise great condition, and at only $5.00, was a no-brainer for me.  I love Meakin dinnerware and the flowers on this piece were just so pretty…

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So, a good morning indeed.  But then, after also getting some fruit and veg on the way home, from the markets, and also buying some DVDs to watch later in the week (whoops), my purse is decidedly lighter than I would like it to be and buyer’s remorse has definitely set in.  I am aware of the fact that I am not only binge-eating at the moment, but have also taken on a tendency to binge-spend, even if by other people’s standards it isn’t worth worrying about.  I keep saying I am not procrastinating about getting my divorce paperwork in, but I probably am.  By spending money on other things, I can somehow, deep in my sub-conscious, “forget” to submit the papers and pay for the divorce application, not to mention filling a huge emotional void.  I’m kidding myself if I think otherwise.  But really, isn’t buying vintage china, A LOT more satisfying than paying for a divorce???  I’m not going to put my divorce papers up on the wall, for all to see my failures, but I will happily display that Meakin dish and serve tea in that sweet little cup and saucer.  Now, if I could just save up for that stag head…

Have a happy week everyone.  Hope you find some treasure (or at least avoid any trash!) 🙂

April Blooms (while I curse the cold)

April Blooms (while I curse the cold)

It is raining.  Our parched state is finally receiving some blessed rain from above and my garden couldn’t be happier.  As everyone knows, I don’t like the colder seasons and whinge and complain for months on end until the sun starts warming the earth again and I can get out of the dreaded jeans and pants (I am a skirt girl).  However, I do love the rain and how it freshens everything up and makes the plants blossom and bloom and stand tall.  I love the sound of rain on the roof, especially when I’m tucked up in bed.  This morning I slept in, yet again, when I had promised to get up early and make the most of the day, and listened to the lovely gentle rain, watering my garden for me and making everything clean and bright.

So while drag myself out of bed and make plans for the day, my garden is happily soaking up all the moisture it can get, blossoming and blooming in an explosion of colour, to celebrate the breaking of the “drought”.  I’m just trying to wake up.  I’ll leave the exhibitionism and beauty to the plants 🙂

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Workin’ up (beads) of sweat…

Workin’ up (beads) of sweat…

It was a lovely sunny day in Perth today – nice and breezy but still hot out in the sun.  I went for an early morning walk with my pal A.M. and got some exercise in (I went out to dinner last night – seriously needed to walk THAT off!).  We had a good catch up and gossip and did a fair bit of walking, working up a sweat (which is gross, let’s face it, but supposedly good).  A.M. is currently house-sharing with my soon-to-be-ex-hubby and it was good to get someone else’s perspective on living with him!  She’s in a new relationship herself and it was so nice to hear that she’s happy and doing well, being supported emotionally and looked after as she should be.  I try not to be jealous of that – mostly I am just happy she’s happy ’cause she is pretty awesome 🙂

The rest of the day was spent crafting up a storm.  I sometimes feel like my home is a sweatshop…a happy little sweatshop though!  I have lots and lots of jewellery orders to get done and I am a bit behind on them, so wanted to get lots done today to reduce my backlog a little bit.  My friend K has pages and pages of stuff ordered so I tried to knock a few of her requests off the list so she won’t be waiting too long for it all.  I feel rested and revived after a day of crafting, whether it be card-making or jewellery or anything else creative.  Just hanging out at home on my own with the stereo on, or some daggy dvds that I’ve watched a million times (it was “Cry Baby” today – love it, can’t stop humming the tunes now), restores my spirit and revitalises me, ready for the week ahead.

So…here’s what I made for K today.  She had bought a few different beads she wanted me to use so I had to incorporate them where I could.  I hope she likes what I’ve done.  Some of them were a little bit tricky as they were beads that would normally be strung rather than have a headpin through them.
For instance, these turquoise “spikes”…

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…I had to create a fiddly figure-of-eight attachment for them, which had me cursing a little bit but worked in the end.  I looped the tiger tail wire through the crimping beads and clamped them in nice and tightly, snipping the rough ends off.  I then made them into earrings with some wooden beads.  I think they look ok!

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Next up, I made a necklace and earring set using the beads I bought a couple of weeks ago. K had wanted some yellow beaded items to go with a bright yellow dress she has.  Hopefully she likes the yellow and orange combo!

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Next on the agenda, K had given me some tiger-eye beads to use in necklaces and earrings.
I thought they would look good with wooden beads and I happened to have a couple of tiger eye beads of my own as well to help the design along…I’m pleased with the result and think it looks ok (hope K thinks the same!)

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I had made a bracelet featuring black and pearl beads for K before – now she wanted a matching set of earrings and a necklace (as you do!).  So I whipped them up as quickly as possible so I could move on to the next thing.

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I made a purple and black onyx pair of earrings…

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…a red coral pair…

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…and onyx, glass, wood and coral necklace…

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…this simple pair using some multicoloured beads K provided…

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…a black, shell and quartz (? I’m guessing here – K provided these hard-to-use chips…I think they’re quartz but I’m no geologist!)…

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…a pair of pretty earrings using these beads K gave me.  They remind me of eyeballs or frog spawn!

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…similar beads, different look with ceramic leaves added…

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…and last, but not least – black, wooden and coral beaded earrings…

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So I was a busy little bee today.  Feeling accomplished and satisfied that I got a lot done.  I even did my washing, walked down to buy groceries (twice – I forgot to take my purse the first time – duh!) and made dinner.  I did, however, forget that I was supposed to be working on a report for tomorrow at work – whoops!  Better get on to that now…or make a cup of tea…or another pair of earrings? 🙂

Hope you’ve had a great weekend x

Head down, bum up…

Head down, bum up…

I have been working hard this weekend to utilise every spare minute of time to make things for my upcoming mini-market.  I did not need to waste time re-typing this bog post (I had done a full post already but it disappeared into the cyber-ether and I don’t know what happened to it) so I am cutting it short and making this more of a pictorial post.  Because I am lazy and tired. And also because I have to keep working on my crafts instead of re-typing the draft I just lost…you understand, right?

I did well this weekend and made LOTS of stuff.  I was head down, bum up until about 1am this morning and then up again fairly early to start over again.  I was having fun though, and made some really pretty bracelets (well, I think they’re pretty…) out of recycled beads and old jewellery.  What do you think?  Some of them are a bit bright for my liking but I figured other people might have different tastes to me so why not include a few gaudy things as well as the more understated pieces.  I was trying to use up beads I have had for ages, as well as some recent purchases.  I had a few odd beads that weren’t in pairs and so couldn’t be used for earrings.  This way I used up lots of them and put them together with complementing colours.  It’s nice to create something you’re happy with 🙂

Hope your weekend has been as successful as mine, even if all you succeeded in doing is having a much needed rest and not doing anything at all!
Have a wonderful Monday tomorrow 🙂

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Christmas is coming…

Christmas is coming…

I decided to get some Christmas cards made today – I am seriously behind on getting them ready for Christmas and so I need to devote a bit of time to them this fortnight (even though I want to get stuck in and play with those lovely new beads!).  I had a horrible back issue today – I’m in desperate need of a physio appointment but I just can’t afford it right now as my Health Insurance has run out for the year (roll on January!) – so I was being a bit pathetic and not accomplishing much.  But I did get a handful of simple cards done  and some is better than none!  Here they are :

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This “word” panel actually had “love” in the middle of it.  But I decided to cover it with the matching red paper
so I could use the crocheted lace in the centre for a bit of texture.

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Another crocheted flower (courtesy of my lovely cousin)…

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This little guy needed a little something…

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…so with the next one, I added a traditional snowman hat.  Much better I think 🙂

So, not a bad day’s effort in between moaning and groaning about my back and doing laundry and making dinner etc (whoops – which is still on the stove…).

Hope your weekend was happy and you got lots of whatever you love to do, done!

Thanks for visiting! 🙂