Tag Archives: thrifting

My creative space …

has spread all over the house whilst I am preparing for my first market this weekend.  2 more days to go and enough things to do to fill many more!  Head over to Kirsty’s to see many more lovely creative spaces.

I’m also taking part, for the first time, in Sew, Mama, Sew!’s Giveawayclick here if you fancy entering my part of this huge giveaway.  Thanks. x


Dens, kitchens and beaches …

Since Little Miss Brown has been at home there’s been a lot of playing with her sister, and I do mean a lot.  And they’ve been playing really nicely, for long periods at a time … have I just put a commentator’s curse on it?!!!  Dens are featuring a lot in their play.  I remember spending endless hours making dens with my brother and it’s great to see them doing the same.  It’s funny how it’s just happened – it’s not like I encouraged them or told them to they just did it.  Long may it continue.



Their method of securing the blankets just with books doesn’t really work that well but they’re happy and I’m sure it’ll evolve of its own accord when they’re ready!

Myself and the girls spent a couple of days at the beach recently whilst the worker (aka my darling husband) started working on the kitchen.  It was in a partial demo site state when we moved in and we’ve decided we’ve lived with the holes in the ceiling, big draughts and patchwork walls long enough.  Having done this a fair few times I know how messy things can get so we scarpered and left him to it!

It’s surprising how easy it actually is to live side by side with cobwebs!

So whilst this was being done we were enjoying the beach.  The first day we went down to the beach the girls played so well together and entertained themselves that I decided to take things for me the following day – a lounger, a book, my camera and my crochet!!!  It was bliss.  I’d written down a couple of patterns the day before we left and found myself hooking away.  Having not done any crochet for a few months I really enjoyed – will get some photos for tomorrow.  For now just gratuitous fun children shots!

Just happy playing!

Note thrifted retro lounger – $2 at garage sale and little Red Riding Hood basket – $1 at Sallies!

Crochet in progress!

Sand angels are always fun

as is climbing big driftwood tree trunks.  But the most fun?  Jumping off the big driftwood tree trunks of course!

And they really do not mind the sand everywhere!  And I do mean everywhere:

So back home now in a topsy turvy kitchen, with a market to prepare for and Christmas present to make.  Maybe I should just head straight back down to the beach! x

She has a mouth …

and so she can say:

“Thank you for making me.  I think I will just take some fresh air before my long trip to England.”

“The geraniums smell divine, as for the smelly old boot they’re in …….!  Anyhow, I’ll just wander on over and get myself some strawberries.”

“I WANT some strawberries!  LET ME AT THE STRAWBERRIES!!!!”

“Fine I won’t have any strawberries then.  I’ll just sit in the shade and protect my lily white skin from this fierce New Zealand sun.”

She’s now ready to be wrapped and sent.  All the materials used to make her were ‘old’ – her skin was curtain lining removed from recently thrifted curtains, her body is vintage Laura Ashley, and I do mean vintage because it used to be sheets that were on my sister’s bed!, her skirt was once bed linen from our house, the embroidery silk for her face was given to me through Freecycle and the trims used were picked up in the op shop. 

Apart from a wonky mouth and wonky hair parting I don’t think she scrubbed up too bad! x

My creative space … and some questions please!

With Christmas postal deadlines looming and a market to prepare for I really should have stayed focussed, however having seen this lovely use of scraps and then linking to the tutorial I got distracted!  The result?  A 16″ quilted square to be used for … something!  I loved doing it and what a great use of little scraps, and I have PLENTY of those!

I didn’t feel too guilty because I’ve managed to get lots done, see here, and, as you can see, the doll is almost done.  It’s the first time I’ve made a doll and the face has been a sticking point – really all I need to do is the mouth but I seem to be stuck!

The two little notebooks were made from recyled paper with vintage picture book covers – an idea for the market.

So this is where I have my QUESTIONS.  I have seen how willingly many of you give advice/info/tips and I’d really like to tap into that if I may.  I know that a lot of you have done markets before and also that a lot of you go to craft markets. 

I guess my questions are:

Do you have any tips for me or can you point me to a blog/website that could help? 

Have any of you spent a lot of time doing something prior to a market only for it to be not be necessary? 

Did you find at your first market that you really wish you did/had something that would have made your life easier? 

Any practical tips for setting up a stall? 

Would you tend to make lots of a couple of products or less of more products?

And so the list goes on.  Really anything would help.  I’m very excited about the prospect of doing a market but would truly welcome any advice!

And of course I couldn’t ask for something and not give in return because that just wouldn’t be fair!  So as a BIG THANK YOU for any comments on this post EVERYONE will go into a hat and a person will be picked for a little something.  That little something hasn’t been made yet but I’m thinking vintage fabric, buttons, linens, Christmas ……..

Many thanks in anticipation! xx

Oh and be sure to check out everyone else’s creative space over at Kirsty’s.

Working my way down the list …

The deadline for sending post to the UK is fast approaching so I thought I’d take stock of what had been achieved, rather than worrying about what has yet to be done.

From start to finish – hurray!  I loved the idea when I saw it on the net before the release of Amanda Soule’s Handmade Home and having now got the book it reminded me to do some more!  Note to self:  Do one to keep – just for ME!

I love how you can individualise (is that a word?!) things when you hand make them.  The back of the bookmark on the left is made from vintage Laura Ashley fabric which we had in one of our houses and that’s going to my sister.  One of the purple pieces on the bookmark on the right was wrapped around something sent to me by my sister in law and now it’s returning to her on this!

Tree decorations by Little Miss Brown (we will be making somemore of these for us!).  A little thrifty aside – the string which these will hang from comes from some thrifted fabric that frayed when I washed it – waste not, want not!

A wonderful Christmas picture by Little Miss Blue – all offcuts from my scrap basket of course!

I’m in love with children’s art!

These were the snowflakes that featured in My Creative Space and I didn’t know if I liked them or not – well I’m still not sure!  The pattern said to soak them in fabric stiffener to retain their shape.  I didn’t want to buy something else so I used my normal PVA glue watered down a bit.  It’s worked but has altered the colour of the yarn where it’s really soaked in so they don’t look great.  If anyone has any other alternatives for stiffening yarn/fabric then I’d love to hear – non-toxic ones would be a huge bonus!

Quite a lot done in all when I see it like this.  Now only a doll to finish, cards to write and think of something to make for my dad and, of course, make it in time! xx


My creative space…

Why do I gravitate towards the smallest, most cramped space in the house?!!!  This week everything seems to be happening on my ironing board!


I had every good intention of working on the things I had sorted out last week but then things changed!  I found out the last posting day for economy mail to the UK is 23 November so I realised I had better start working on some things to send for presents for my family over there.  Little Miss Brown did some drawings and I’m going to embroider them and make into bookmarks like this.


Some crochet snowflakes in the making – not quite sure whether I like them yet!


The other thing that happened was finding out that a weekend craft market is going to be starting up in our town.  I’ve been toying with the idea of markets for some time and it seems like too good an opportunity to pass up.  Although I still have lots to consider it has to be done very quickly because they’re going to start at end of November!!!!  So whilst I’m thinking I thought I’d get some reversible sunhats cut out.


The hats are from a pattern I made up a while ago and whenever the girls wear them they get lots of compliments so I thought they might be something good to sell.  They’ll look like these:


And in the background you might have spotted some doll’s faces.  I’ve been playing!  The idea was for a babushka doll to go on the wall.  The results so far?


Still not quite finished and some tinkering to do but I think I like them.  I like the idea of having a row of them decreasing in size on the wall.  You might also spot that the dress of one of the dolls is the same as one of the sunhats – it was oringally a pillowcase.  All the fabric I’m using is recycled, pre-loved, thrifted etc and it’s great to actually be cutting into it and using it (instead of washing, ironing and hoarding!!).

So with a little bit quilting thrown in too it’s been a pretty busy week!

To see lots more creativeness pop over here.



My Creative Space


Certainly not as messy as it has been but not really conducive to easy sewing!


My nod to organisation yesterday was to go through some op shopped linens and sort out which ones could be cut up and used for other things.  I buy most of them with the idea of using them for something else and then once they are washed and ironed I am very hesitant to cut them.  So my new criteria is if they have any marks or blemishes then I will re-purpose them.  Contained in the wonderful blue floral knitting holder (a great garage sale find) is:


an old hand embroidered cot sheet.  This is so soft and beautiful to touch but we don’t have a cot so I thought it could be a drawstring bag for pyjamas, some hand made linen napkins which are destined to be girl’s headscarves, two blue doilies which I think are going to be a zippered purse of some sort and then there is the beautiful doily with the owls on it.  I think that deserves a closer look!


I wasn’t go to use this for anything else but the big black stain at the bottom just won’t budge so I thought I would make it into a cushion/pillow cover and it would be perfect for one of my little girls to go to bed with.

I haven’t played along here for a little while now and I’ve really missed it.  It’s like a self-enforced deadline – now these things are up here I’m going to have to do something with them!

To see lots more creative spaces head on over to Kirsty’s at kootoyoo.