Hello dear friends and readers – I have to apologise for my very long absence from my beloved blog. The reasons are quite personal and I may publish them at some stage but right now I will just say it’s been an absolute shit start to this year and I can only hope that things get better. I will share one thing that happened to me and my family in the hope that it will help to raise awareness of driving super carefully and cautiously in the wet weather.
Just last week I was involved in a car accident. I had my 17 year old son in the passenger seat (he is learning to drive himself) and my ten year old daughter in the back. I loved my car – it was a new “to me” car and it suited me perfectly. I’d actually only had it three weeks. Anyway it was raining and I was just telling my son to always slow down in the wet weather as we approached one of those big roundabouts at Noosa and then in a split second I was spinning out of control. I don’t know how many times we spun but it was the oddest feeling. It was like slow motion but it all happened really quickly as well. I had absolutely no control of my car and it was the worst feeling in the world. The brakes didn’t engage until we ended up on the roundabout and by then I hit one of those huge lamp posts and the back of our car was smashed in with little Ava screaming and crying in the back. We were all shaken but luckily we weren’t hurt. We got out of the car because we could see other cars almost losing control in the same spot and we didn’t want to get hit. So we stood there in the rain waiting for the police to arrive and we were surprised that the car looked relatively unscathed from the front and sides. I said to the kids, well at least the damage will be minimal, just the back panel will need to be replaced. But this was not to be – our lovely car with its leather seats and seat warmers and sunroof and all the bells and whistles – was written off by the insurance company. So there you go. We’ve lost our car but we are OK. PLEASE slow down and be extra careful in the wet weather. The police told me it happens on the roundabouts every time it rains. The oil builds up on the road and doesn’t drain away and people lose control all the time. Thank God I was travelling slowly because if we were any faster it would have been disastrous. I am grateful but still very shaken. The positives are that it was a good lesson for my learner driver son and I am now even more aware and cautious to drive to the conditions. It happened so quickly and could have ended very badly. Take care people!
Anyway enough of that. I’m feeling OK now, at least well enough for me to finally get a blog post up. After the accident I came across a great competition over at Brother Australia to make a keepsake mother’s day bookmark. I thought this would be a great thing to do to take my mind off what had happened. I always enter the Brother Australia competitions because they are quite inspiring and fun to take part in. It’s also great to see what other crafters make. I got my inspiration from the lovely Handmade Kids. I had so many ideas flipping around in my head so I made four (very different) bookmarks. I didn’t win – it was announced on Mother’s Day. I was kind of hoping that the universe might give me a break and that I would win but it was not to be. However I had a lot of fun making them and it really did distract me and calm me after what had been a very difficult week.
So the first bookmark I made was with my youngest daughter, for her and I to share when we read together. Currently we’re reading “The Borrowers”. Such a great book and ideal for her age and stage and her obsession with all things small (hmm I wonder where she gets that from?). Anyway it was very easy to make. We used felt (always so simple) – just basically cut out the shapes on my Brother Scan N Cut machine and used fabric glue to put the pieces in place. Then a bit of embroidery to add some contrast.
My two girls decided on the next project and helped me design it. Knowing my taste and style so well – it was a made from a balsa wood piece and painted in geometric pastel and gold acrylics and some black chalkboard paint for writing a message on. I love this so much. Even if I don’t use it as a bookmark I’m tempted to hang it in my craft room.
Next up was a complete contrast – a pretty floral and lace vintage style fabric bookmark for my mamma (with a little key attached for my heart). I am so close to mum and she just adores this style. She really loved it.
And last but not least – my 10 year old is absolutely obsessed with fairies and miniatures and unicorns and all things that ten year old girls should be into. I’m very thankful that she still enjoys being a little girl and she insisted we make something for all the fairy mammas out there. So she set me to task to make a little stationery collection that we put in a tin and left in her fairy garden for the fairy mother to collect on Sunday morning.
It was a little collection of a notebook, some pencils, a mother’s day card, envelopes, a postcard, a teeny tiny rubber, a ruler and bookmarks all packaged in a cute little kawaii tin (that I have left over from my shop – still have some in stock if you’re interested in buying, contact me). It was really quite simple to make. The little note book was made out of grid paper cut to a small size and the cover was a piece of cardboard cut slightly larger and decorated with lace and gold tape. Fold in half and pop a staple to hold together.
Made a mini itty bitty greeting card. Again super easy – tiny piece of cardboard decorated with washi or glitter tape and just wrote Happy Mother’s Day on it.
Matching envelopes slightly larger than the greeting card. I made a mini version of an envelope using a template on some pretty scrapbook paper and fold in the obvious places. I used a little piece of washi tape to hold the back in place. I made an itsy bitsy stamp just using a tiny drawing from a magazine. You can leave as is or draw around it.
Three bookmarks (that’s the competition part) in a size slightly shorter than the notebook. For this I used paint swatches and just cut out rectangles and decorated with washi and glitter tape. On one of them I wrote mamma.
I made an itty bitty postcard using an old map and on the back made another mini stamp and drew the postcard lines with a very fine micron pen.
I made a ruler using balsa wood. Get a very thin piece of wood from hardware or hobby shops. They are very easy to either cut with scissors or an XActo knife. I then drew the lines and numbers with my micron pen. So cute!
And lastly the pencils. This took a bit of experimenting but in the end I used toothpicks. Cut in half and using a blade to sharpen the end into a point. Then I used my Micron pen and coloured the tip to resemble the lead tip of a pencil. For the main part of the pencil I coloured using paint for two of them and wrapped washi tape for the other two. Leave a little gap of toothpick between the painted body and the tip to resemble a pencil. They came up really well and I’m so happy with them. Perfect little pencils for little fairies. And of course don’t forget a little rubber in case they make a mistake. Just cut a wee little bit off a rubber. Done!
I’ve got loads more ideas of things to add to this kit. I think I might make a few more and perhaps try to sell them on my Etsy shop. So many little girls are into fairies and Ava and I just adore making bits and pieces for them.
I can’t tell you how much I love creating crafty projects. I constantly have ideas whirling around in my head. Being creative keeps me sane. It gets me through the tough times. It’s my meditation. So currently my ten year old and I are planning our next project – to make fairy houses using polymer clay and glass jars. Will let you know how that goes.
In other crafty news, I started my first weaving project. I made a little cardboard loom and just started mucking around (didn’t follow instructions) and enjoyed the process so much that I’ve made a much larger wooden loom that I can’t wait to get stuck into (and this time I might look for some instructions). I love the look of those gorgeous pastels and golds and chunky weavings that are all over Pinterest.
One of the creative pursuits I’ve been spending every spare second doing is sketching and watercolours. It just makes me happy and has helped a lot through some difficult times. I was extremely privileged to be asked by Carly Findlay Morrow of Tune Into Radio Carly blog fame to sketch a portrait of her and her husband Adam for their wedding day. I was pretty freaked out about the project but in the end I was really pleased with the outcome. Portraits are tough and it was a big step out of my comfort zone. But I believe every now and again we need to do something that scares us.
I’ve just signed up for The Photo School photography classes. I’ve yet to start but honestly can’t wait to hone my photography skills and get off that auto dial. It’s something I’ve been wanting to play with for quite some time (ever since I bought my DSLR camera a number of years ago). I’m determined to make the time to get stuck into this course. And I’ve heard such great things about it.
And of course I’ve had graphic design jobs coming through that I have really enjoyed. Mostly because of the wonderful clients who give me such creative freedom. Such a joy to work with people who are on the same page. Anyway that’s all the sharing for now. I will return again with some of my other projects and hopefully a large finished weaving.
Ciao for now! What crafty activities have been keeping you busy? It’s so good to be busy isn’t it? I reckon I could live 20 lifetimes and still not get through my to do list. How about you?