Friday, December 31, 2010

The Year That Was

I don't really know where to start in trying to sum up 2010. This post really struck a chord with me thismorning. 2010 was a year of highs and lows, but I'd really rather not focus on the lows, so I'm going to just ignore them (I'm actually quite good at avoidance, and see how I just turned a negative into a positive).

I'm not one for making plans or resolutions. I'm more of a 'lets just see what happens' type.

That being said, there is just one thing that I am planning for in 2011, and that is to have more fun.

I'd really like to spend more time just doing the things that I like doing, rather than the things I should be doing. After all, life is way too short to sweat the small stuff!

Revealing - part four

I almost forgot the final pressie to be revealed!

This one was a joint effort between myself and Mr X. My sister has a birthday directly after Christmas, so I wanted to make her something useful using her son's creative talents.

He printed out an alphabet of some weird font and traced Mum and her name onto the fabric using fabric markers, and drew the heart around it (which of course I thought was really cute). I drew the flowers (surprise surprise).

Unfortunately there was a little bit of fabric crinkle when I heat-set the fabric markers, but I'm hoping that it just adds to the handmade charm.

My sister really liked it which was all that mattered!

* There is actually a little loop at the top to hang it near the stove, but it's been cut off in the photo - whoops.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Revealing - part three

Now it's time to reveal some of the handmade pressies for my nephews.

I was a little bit stumped for ideas this year as I've made them so many handmade things over previous years for birthdays and for christmas.

I would have loved to make them all a pair of shorts, but I just ran out of time. The two big boys received gift vouchers for the local bike shop, and nothing handmade (whoops)!

I made teeny tiny zippered pouches using my Dragster Fabric for the Bubbas (they're two and a half now so I really should stop calling them the Bubbas). They don't have wallets so they needed little coin purses to keep inside their manbags.

I made little boy sized lanyards for Moo Moo and Nico, so that they can wear their wallets around their necks like the big boys. We also discovered that the lanyards can hook onto the tow bars of Chuggington trains.... just in case anyone would like to wear a train around their neck?

The four little boys also received a supercute handmade wooden boat each that I bought at one of the local craft markets. It's the type where you blow up the balloon and attach it to the top and it makes the boat paddle along.

I wish I'd taken a photo of them playing boats in the spa at the holiday house.... oh well!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Revealing - part two

This is another custom order which I couldn't reveal prior to the big day.... just in case.

A certain lucky little girl received a mini laptop for Christmas. So, of course, a mini laptop requires a mini laptop bag!

It should be very hard wearing with the denim outer, and a layer of S320 and then a nice cushy layer of fusible wadding.

I had a bit of fun with the flap using my Owl Oblong Fabric, and then a lovely silver twist lock to finish it off.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Revealing - part one

Now that Christmas is finally over for another year, I can start revealing some of the things I whipped up.

This one was a custom order for a personalised Santa Sack. The request was for a totally unique sack that was modern looking, but with wadding and quilting.

I used my original illustrations to design the front panel, and then had it printed.

It has fusible wadding all over and was quilted in straight lines to keep the fresh modern look.

I forgot to take a photo, but you can also fold the top down to reveal more illustrations.

I've heard that a certain lucky little boy had his Santa Sack filled to the brim!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Life's a beach.... or so I wish

I'm home again after my little mini-break to the beach.

I had to take a photo of my feet to prove that I was there. I'm always the official photographer, so I never end up in any of the photos!

The best bit about heading off prior to Christmas was that the beaches were deserted.

My sister cooked up a huge feast on Christmas Eve for our side of the family.

Once all the boys were fast asleep in bed, Santa arrived.

There was a bit of sandcastle action at the park.....

..... and bodyboarding in freezing cold water.

Boys in the hood - sheltering at the Surf Lifesaving Club

It was so cold Boxing Day evening that the beaches were completely deserted again!

This is my favourite photo from the holiday, taken on Christmas Eve.

It's the first time I've been away with my sister and brother-in-law since the twins arrived. Now I have first hand experience of just how much work my sister does on a daily basis. She's going to need a holiday to get over her holiday!

PS - Happy Birthday Big Sis!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

And a Merry Christmas to All

This is just a quick little post to wish you all a Very Merry Christmas from myself and SuperPops.

It's certainly been a rollercoaster of a year health-wise (especially the last six months), but here's hoping that it's onwards and upwards from now on.

I'm having some mini breaks at the beach and in the country over the next few weeks. There may be some sporadic posting here and there, but I'm not even taking my laptop, which of course means that I may just have a separation anxiety induced panic attack at some stage!

I want to say a huge thankyou to each and every person who visited my little place in cyberspace and left me a comment, or supported my crafty efforts through buying something from The CurlyPops Shop or from a Stockist or a Market. Also a huge thankyou to everyone who helped to keep me entertained during my hospital visits this year (my sanity also thanks you).

Oh and of course, a HUGE thankyou to everyone who gave me the perfect gift this Christmas by donating blood. The response was absolutely fantastic with everyone spreading the word via Blogs, Twitter and Facebook, and there are at least six people who have contacted me to let me know that they're donating for the very first time.  It just goes to show how fantastic the crafty blogging community is.

Well, so much for my short post - Merry Christmas. I hope you have a fantastic celebration no matter who you're celebrating with, or where you are in the world...... now where's my pesky little flying reindeer friend?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

An Artistic Collaboration

A few weeks ago, I came home with a lovely pile of drawings and handmade christmas decorations that Nikki's wee girl had been furiously working on all day just for me.

Her drawings are just so irresistably cute!

I was racking my brain trying to think of a little christmas pressie for her, when I realised that I should use her beautiful drawings and make an artwork for her new bedroom wall. I looooove the lion, but I think the little chook is my absolute favourite.

Yesterday, I received a gorgeous christmas pressie too - homemade lemon butter, and the sweetest little zip purse with my favourite little chook!

So cute!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Mini Me

Now that some of the christmas pressies have been sent and received, I can finally start blogging them.

These two came from requests for mini sized iPod pouches. I have a little old iPod myself, so I probably should whip up another for me (that'll never get done ha)!

The back side has a little pocket for earphones. I'm admiring my super straight stitching on that binding.... that doesn't happen very often!

I know that one recipient is very happy, so I hope the other one gets a lovely suprise on christmas day.

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Very Merry Christmas to me - part 2

More goodies just for me!

I bought myself this super sweet embroidery kit from the very lovely Magdalena from The Craft Revival.
I'm taking it along on my mini beach holiday (it's too short to take the machine). I've had a little mini sneak peek inside - it has absolutely everything I need, even a sewing needle!

I also picked up a sweet little Polly Pratt mini needle book from Anna - also a perfect holiday size!

On Sunday, we went into Ballarat to have a browse around at some of the vintage / secondhand shops.

I found this lovely vintage dress. I'm not quite sure whether this colour suits my skin tone, but I'm going to try it with a red slip underneath and just see.

I also found this gorgeous rose embroidery which has the ugliest plastic frame I ever did see.....

.... and to think that someone actually chose to have it professionally framed with that (quite a long time ago according to the old six digit phone number)!

A Very Merry Christmas to me - part 1

Well, the final market of the year in the lovely Town Hall in Daylesford is over.

I've been very good to resist temptation at most of the previous markets, but I decided that it was high time to reward myself for my year of hard work and determination. It's so nice to be able to just buy something pretty for yourself for once!

The very lovely Emma from Psychoglam was beside me, and I couldn't resist her gorgeous silver and crystal creations. I'm totally in love with this gorgeous necklace and earring set. Sel tells me that it reminds her of kryptonite, which is quite perfect for my SuperPops alter-ego.

I'm in a mad rush thismorning, so I'll be back with the rest of my goodies later!

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Final Market of the Year

So tomorrow is it - the grand finale for 2010.

At this stage, I have a total of zero markets booked for next year, so if you'd like some CurlyPops goodies, then make sure you come along to the Daylesford Twilight Makers Market from 4PM tomorrow arvo / evening.

I'm taking along all of my clearance stock, so you'll be able to pick up some bargains too!

Just a reminder - it's a twilight market, so it begins at 4PM.

Groovy 70's (or 80's or 90's)

So it's Friday - the perfect day to unwind, relax and have a chuckle, or just reminisce by sharing some photos.

I'm the little one in these photos.... I hope my big sister doesn't mind me plastering her photo all over the internet. I'm nearly two years old (late 1975 early 1976), so my little sister would have been on the way.

The originals are black and white so I'm assuming this was before colour film - anyone?

Gotta love my dads idea of a sandpit (he worked in a quarry) - just dump a load of sand on the lawn.

I would totally wear these cute outfits again if I could!

I had to include this one for a very good reason - judging by the candles, it's my fifth birthday. But that's not the interesting part of the story.

Since this photo was taken in 1979, I think my mum has moved house at least thirty times, but when she moved house again earlier this year, she actually gave me this tablecloth. It's looking a little worse for wear, but it's in my stash.... now what will I make?

Have you got any groovy 70's (or 80's or 90's for the youngens) photos to show? Pop in your link so we can all see!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Red Brick Gallery - new stockist & Tomorrows Grand 70's plan!

Tomorrow night is the grand opening of the brand new Red Brick Gallery and Emporium in Ballarat.

I'm very excited as although I can't make it to the grand opening, I'll definitely be going in to visit on my christmas holidays.

You can find a range of my iPhone / Gadget pouches, and also some Betty Jo goodies! I can't wait to find out what other gorgeous handmade goodies will be stocked.

In other news, there's a grand groovy 70's plan in place for tomorrow. Just post a groovy photo of yourself from the 70's so that we can all have a good chuckle together (I think everyone needs a chuckle at this time of the year).

Of course, if you were only a twinkle in your parents eyes in the 70's, then feel free to play along with groovy 80's or groovy 90's (you young whippersnappers)!

I'll be searching through the archives (ahem.... photo albums) tonight to choose my fave. I'll add a little linky list too, so that we can all see who else is playing.

'Til then....

A different type of gift...

Appliqued tees - Dragster Dominoes Fabric

I'm off to a little christmas lunch gathering on Friday with a couple of girlfriends and their kiddies.

In previous years, I've managed to make all of their christmas gifts myself, but as the families have expanded, it's become a little more difficult.

This year I started making, collecting, and swapping earlier.

Sam, Cate, and Lily are getting some lovely Beccasauras appliqued tees (which I forgot to photograph before they were all wrapped), Belle is getting a gorgeous Beccasauras tunic top (also forgot to photograph).
Cate is getting the superb Polly Pratt dress that I won at Sew It Together, and Lily is also getting a little dress that I made a while back. The girls are also getting some beautiful hairclips that I bought at the Daylesford Makers Market a few weeks ago.

I actually managed to make the pressies for Connor and Jack. I followed Nikki's tutorial for the belts. I had no idea what waist size the boys are (and there was no-one on hand to measure), so I just googled garment sizing and used those measurements - hope they fit eeeek! Also, I didn't have the right size D-rings on hand so I substituted small slide-adjusters instead.

I know that kids don't get very excited about receiving clothes instead of toys for christmas, but at least their mums will be happy!

PS - Thanks so much for all of the lovely comments on yesterdays post and via Facebook - some very generous people have already called 131495, or booked their next blood donation appointment online - what a superb effort!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Perfect Gift

Please excuse my very poor excuse for a christmas tree. I had grand plans, but.......

It's time for a totally non-crafty post today, unless you'd like to make your own perfect gift box (like mine above), because that bit actually is crafty.

I don't often share my very personal information with anyone, let alone the whole wide world via the internet, but here goes:

Today is the beginning of a brand new campaign named The Perfect Gift from the Australian Red Cross Blood Service.

You may have never have never needed their services before, but I have.

I have an autoimmune condition called panhypogammaglobulinemia.

It basically means that my blood all of a sudden decided to stop making its own antibodies to fight off bacteria and viruses. Instead, I have a three weekly infusion of a blood plasma product named Intragam. Each infusion  is manufactured by CSL using a pool of blood donations from thousands of amazingly generous donors. It can take twelve whole blood donations or six plasma donations just to make one of my three weekly doses.

Since the year 2000 I've probably had about 150 infusions. If you do the math..... 150 infusions x 12 whole blood donations = 1800 donations just for me, so far.

This is the reason why I'm still here today, and it's something that I'll need for the rest of my life.

The holiday period of December and January can be the most critical time for blood stocks, as most of Australia goes on holiday.

The hard facts: (AUSTRALIA)

  • Every donation can save three lives.
  • Every donation is valuable because 1 in 3 Australians will need blood, yet only 1 in 30 donates.
  • The need for blood is constant and all blood components have a limited shelf life, which is why donations are needed every day. Blood and blood treatments are delivered to hospitals around Australia 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – even on Christmas Day.
  • Australia needs over 26,000 blood donations every week to save lives and to meet the need of patients.
  • Donations made in December could help patients recover to be home for Christmas or the New Year.

Maybe you and your family would consider giving the perfect gift this christmas holiday period. It's as simple as making an appointment by calling 131495, or you can even book online.

I'd be eternally grateful....

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Clark loves Edna

Totally inspired by a twitter chat with Bianca - please meet Clark Kent and Dame Edna.

They're the perfect padded pouches for keeping your specs or sunnies safe!

Both are now sitting in the shop waiting for a new home......

Monday, December 13, 2010

Tulips V2.0

I've been waiting (for what seemed to be the longest time) for my latest fabrics to arrive!

I now have a new longer version of my tulips pouch which is perfect for your specs and sunnies.
I'm sewing up two more new designs today as well, so keep an eye out tomorrow - hopefully I'll have them all finished.

The tulips are in the shop right now.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Five Day Fabric Sale

I've decided to have a super speedy pre-christmas sale on all fabrics in the CurlyPops Shop.

Pop on over to get 25% off!

Sale ends at midnight Friday 17th December AEDST.... but hurry, I only have very limited quantities.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

My Happy List

Have you thought about your happy list?

I think about mine nearly every day. I don't need any prompting.

The thing that always makes it to the top of my list, is that I'm happy just to still be here, living this life, a day at a time...

... oh, and I'm also very happy that some bright spark invented chocolate!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Down The Garden Path

What a wonderful afternoon and evening we had yesterday!

Even though it was such a strangely humid and rainy day, lots of lovely people braved the rain to come for a wander down the (slightly shortened) garden path.

It was also the perfect pre-christmas catch up as everyone is always so busy in December.

I must give a huge thankyou to Tinniegirl for inviting me to participate, and another huge thankyou to Tinniegirl and Ms L for all of their hard work in the preparation for the night and for the wonderful nibblies and drinks.... including the homemade pavlova - yum!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010