Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye 2011.... I'm not sad to see you go.

Thank goodness 2011 is over. It really has been my annus horribilus. I don't like to whinge and whine in this space, but seriously, this year had quite a few sucky bits!

A New Years Day ambulance trip and a week in hospital,  another few days in hospital having lots of horrible tests,  and eventually being listed for transplant....

There were various battles over medical funding with both federal and state beauracracy.......... and then there was that false alarm....

Just for my own amusement, I'm going back to the list that I made at the start of the year to see what I managed to tick off.

  • Stay out of hospital (that one actually is my number one priority)! (half tick)
  • Have more fun (half tick)
  • Work on more illustrations (half tick)
  • Work on more textile art pieces (half tick)
  • Apply to take part in a group exhibition (gold star - I took part in 2 this year)
  • Indulge more in my love of eating lunch at nice cafes (gold star)
  • Remember that exercise is a necessary evil (half tick - I haven't missed many PR sessions)
  • Spend more time properly planning meals and cooking for myself (fail - no interest in cooking)
  • Experiment with more coffee blends and make a shortlist of my favourites (half tick)
  • Procrastinate less (have decided that procrastination is actually part of my creative process)
  • Remember that me time on the couch watching trashy tv is good for my soul (half tick)
  • Improve my writing skills (fail)
  • De-clutter more of my life (gold star)

Overall, I'm pretty happy with that list of things.

There's no list for this year - living in limbo, and waiting for a phone call that will change your life forever sort of negates the need for any forward planning. I'm not going to indulge/frustrate my inner control freak by making plans that I know I can't keep.

Go Granny Cotton - 1

Instead, here's a teeny tiny little look back at some really amazing stuff that happened in 2011.

Looking back through my flickr stream, I can see that even with the sucky bits, I really managed to achieve a lot.

So, it's hooray to a brand new fresh year. Hopefully a year that will bring me some new lungs..... and a brand new lease on life!

    Wednesday, December 28, 2011


    I forgot the camera so I only have an iPhone snap

    It was my sister's birthday yesterday, and a very special one at that!

    I don't bake these days, but lucky for me, I know someone who is an exceptionally talented baker and cake maker....

    I asked Cathie to make a chocolate mud cake with chocolate ganache, and OMG it was absolutely delicious.

    The boys loved the decorative stars, and even sang a special rendition of 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star' before we all joined in to sing Happy Birthday.

    She received a new Kindle for Christmas so I made a Kindle Sleeve to protect it while it's in her handbag.

    Happy Birthday Rach!

    Sunday, December 25, 2011

    Merry Christmas To All

    Merry Christmas everyone!

    I'm going to be celebrating in style today wearing my gorgeous new Polly Pratt dress.

    It's being teamed with this lovely Cooper St jacket that I picked up at the oppy a few weeks ago, and my Dorothy Shoes (of course)

    I'd normally try to get away and have a bit of a holiday at this time, but this year I need to stay in Melbourne so that I'm close enough to the hospital just in case the phone rings in the middle of the night.

    Anyway, today is the perfect opportunity to thank each and every person who takes the time to read this little blog every day, everyone who leaves a comment, and every lovely customer who has made a purchase from my shop during the year.

    Making stuff, stocking my online shop, and blogging are the motivations that keep me going each and every day........ and every reader, every comment, and every purchase spurs me on to keep going, instead of just giving up.

    So I just wanted to say thankyou... and Merry Christmas.

    Cam x

     ... and I couldn't resist a little photo of my nephews and their nextdoor neighbours sprinkling Magic Reindeer Dust on Christmas Eve

    Saturday, December 24, 2011

    Friday, December 23, 2011

    Are we there yet?

    Only two more sleeps peeps!

    Unfortunately the dreaded lurgy has decided to visit and ruined my motivation and energy to do anything much.... but I forced myself back to the sewing machine yesterday afternoon to finish the Christmas pressies.

    I'm giving my little nephews a Lego type gift each.

    I really struggled to find an appropriate Lego for the twins who are 3 1/2. There seems to be a real gap in the market between babyish type Lego and the 5-12 age group.

    Of course, what I love more than the Lego, is the Lego bag!

    Nice bright durable cotton drill with a panel of gorgeous Lego fabric by Susie from Flowerpress.... and in different colours so that there are no arguments.

    I hope they're a hit!

    Thursday, December 22, 2011

    The one where Christmas came early

    Packages, packages, packages....

    So many beautiful things have landed on my doorstep lately, that it seriously feels like Santa has already been to visit.

    This one arrived last week all the way from the UK. Lynsey from Cuteable and Swirly Arts sent me all these amazing treats.

    Whoops! One of the Tunnocks Tea Cakes is already missing in this shot, and those Thorntons Chocolate Chunk Cookies are TDF. I've been limiting myself to two per day to make them last.... and vintage fabric and gorgeous tags and my BIL's favourite - Wagon Wheels!

    My lovely friend Carly popped in to visit last weekend with a pressie for me - check out the specs cleaning cloth. So much prettier than the ugly grey ones that came with my new specs.

    Speaking of specs... did I show you my new specs from Zenni?

    One last package for today.

    This was on my doorstep when I arrived home on Sunday.

    Did you count???

    That is a stack of thirty teatowels and one pillowcase from Amanda at Krafty Panda. Amazing. Speechless....Love.

    Sigh... I'm so lucky!

    Wednesday, December 21, 2011

    The Wonky Wreath

    I spied Vic's lovely yarn wrapped Christmas Wreaths over at Punky and Me a few days ago, and they gave me the inspiration to have a crack myself.

    With no cardboard on hand, I went out searching in the dark unknown depths of the garage stash and found some different size embroidery hoops (just another thing I hoard from the oppy even though I don't embroider), and some random balls of yarn.

    I didn't have anything red or green, but orange and turquoise was close enough!

    I faffed around with it for a few nights on the couch. I was a bit mesmerised watching Kev on Go Girls instead of concentrating on the wrapping...

    But, once I'd finished all that wrapping, I thought it was missing something... it just wasn't quite Christmassy enough - but I had an IDEA.

    Back out to the dark depths of the garage for another search.... this time I was looking for wire, and my wire beading jig (another thing I haven't used in the last 5 years).

    When I opened the box labelled 'Wire Beading Jig' .....surprise surprise I found my long lost hot glue gun - HALLELUJAH!

    What was that rule I learned at Lissanne's workshop???  LABEL, LABEL, LABEL.

    After that little bit of excitement, I sat down and crafted a little star (or what is supposed to be a star) using some copper wire and the jig.

    Yesterday, I finally hung it on the front door - with only four more sleeps til Christmas.

    And here endeth a very long story about a very wonky wreath.

    Tuesday, December 20, 2011

    Mr Mustard and the case of the missing apron

    Have you met Mr Mustard?

    I was reading all about him last week, and found that his 'Kiss The Cook' apron was in the wash. Every sweet little bear deserves something new for Christmas, so I decided to make him one.

    Step 1 - Create the Fabric Design.

    With a chocolate brown bear and a name like Mr Mustard, I couldn't resist sticking with the chocolate and mustard colour theme.

    A bit of Photoshop and Picnik magic and some inkjet printable fabric and we have a starting point.

    Step 2 - Make the Apron

    I made myself a little cardboard template and cut out the front panel, and some plain yellow cotton drill for the back panel.

    Sew right sides together  with a teeny tiny seam and leave a gap. Trim and nick the curves.

    Turn out and topstitch.

    Step 3 - Add some straps

    This bit was a little tricky, as the apron was soooo tiny, but I managed to find some nice strong ribbon in the stash which works perfectly.

    Step 4 - Find A Model and Show it Off

    This is Moby.

    Moby is a little bit smaller / shorter than Mr Mustard but he was the only willing participant in my house (and he's a bit of a show off).

    Mr Mustard's apron is now in the mail and on it's way to Jess's house. I hope it makes it in time for Santa!

    Monday, December 19, 2011

    The I Love Santa Sale

    It's nearly time to close down the online shop for Christmas so I'm having a very quick 24 hour sale.

    Just use the code ILOVESANTA for 25% off anything in the shop - stock is limited to what is available and the sale ends at 8PM tomorrow night.

    Happy Shopping!

    A Special Treat - An interview with Lissanne Oliver from Sorted!

    I'm still working on all of my organising and de-cluttering at Chez CurlyPops.

    Christmas seems to be the time of year when we all accumulate more and more stuff, so I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to interview the Master of Organisation, Lissanne Oliver from Sorted!

    She even has some tips for the holiday season - perfect for us creative types!

    1. How long have you been a professional organiser?

    My whole entire life (43 years).  Started in kindy apparently - thank you Dr Maria Montessori! Montessori teaches organisation so I think if I didn't have the gene (which I do) kindy would have got me going.

    I worked for 16 years in broadcast production; film ,video, stills photography.  I had loads of different roles that all involved organising, from reception and production assisting, to editorial assistant and stylist.  I also worked in props and wardrobe, produced websites and CD Roms (when new media was new!) and my last job before SORTED! was working as a theatrical agent, representing some big names in AUstralian film, television and theatre.  I *hated* it.  Ghastly workload, no respite, shockingly bad pay (the equivalent of a receptionists wages).  So I quit, and thought, I want to have a job that I love.  love love love.  I heart organising!  That's how it happened... and in February 2002, SORTED! was born.  It's been a brilliant 10 years!  (Tip:  we have lots of special free things and discounts and great competitions next year to celebrate, so we'd love you to join our mailing list!)

    2. What are your top 5 tips for dealing with clutter?

    • Don't let it in the door.  Stop at the source (I often use a pic of a tomato sauce bottle for this one)
    • Don't put it down, put it away!  Clutter is sometimes just a visually busy space.
    • Don't wait for the organising fairies to come and save you.  Make time to deal with your stuff.
    • Do keep a permanent box or bag that is destined for charity.  Feed it regularly and scoot it away to the op shop.
    • Do make friends with your bin!  Clutter can simply be rubbish or recycling (think old packaging, outdated printed material).
    3. If you walked into my house and only had one hour to make a difference, what would you do?

    Love this question!  I would go straight to your tertiary storage space and help you discard .. no hang on... if I was dying, I'd remind my family, AGAIN, that I am an organ donor...


    If I had an hour at yours, I would first identify what you felt the problem areas are, and/or ask you which space you were most avoiding dealing with (eg paperwork!).  I'd then hold your hand (not literally) and step you through doing something you really didn't want to do or felt overwhelmed by.  I would be non-judgemental, creative and you would have my attention 100%. That's my job. I love to help, and I LOVE my job.

    4. What are your 5 favourite organisational tools?
    • A texta and a sticky note for labelling
    • (I swear I'm getting an Evernote tattoo!)
    • My brain for it's problem solving abilities.
    I know these are not probably the tools that people want to hear about, so I will say I do love my Rexel shredder that will do 100 pages at a time.  It's such a strong piece of equipment and saves me time and energy.  Plus, I use the shredding in my cat's litter tray!

    Sorry, that's not too many tools, is it?!
     5. Do you have any tips for the upcoming holiday season?

    Yes, get in the car and go away for a week.  Then come back and look at your space with fresh eyes, and take at least 1-2 days to start creating positive change in your space.

    Put away
    Throw out

    It's important to take time to get organised!

    That's all for now!

    Thankyou so much Lissanne.... if you pop on over to Lissanne's blog, there are some upcoming workshop details for anyone in the Northcote area.

    Sunday, December 18, 2011

    Sunday Snippets

    Some favourite Instagram shots from the week that was....

    Happy Sunday.... only 7 more sleeps.

    Sunday Snippets via Tinniegirl.

    Saturday, December 17, 2011

    Flight of the Ducks - the big reveal

    Now that the exhibition has oficially opened, I can reveal my finished masterpiece (ahem)!

    I wanted the ducks to look as if they were flying off the canvas.

    Sitting at the machine stitching those millions and trillions of stitches was actually quite therapeutic....

    The exhibition opening was fabulous. I love group exhibitions because you get to see such an amazing array of talent (and who doesn't love an entire wall of pegboard)?

    The way the different people interpret the same theme is always fascinating.

    If you pop on over to this post at Gleaners Inc, there's a full list of the artists.

    Also, just a reminder, the charity auction finishes at 8PM tonight, so please check it out and make a bid. It's a lovely pressie for Christmas!

    Friday, December 16, 2011

    Flight of the Ducks

    Tonight is the grand opening of Flight of the Ducks.

    I'm so excited to see what everyone thinks of my finished artwork...

    I'm even more excited to see an amazing array of creative works in every different medium imaginable.

    I had a weird dream lastnight that I arrived for the opening only to find that my piece was too big for display and so it wasn't included. Hilarious!

    I wonder if my ducks may fly away to a new home?