Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Creative Peeps Interview: Tinniegirl

All photos and artworks remain property of Tinniegirl and have been used with permission

I'm beginning a new regular series on the blog, interviewing some of my fave creative peeps, to find out a little bit more about just what makes them tick. I'm always interested to know where inspiration can be found, and how creativity has been nurtured over the years. Please read on and enjoy!


Cathy, or Tinniegirl

The name Tinnie was given to me by my Mum.  The word 'tinnie' means someone who has great luck.  I was originally being a bit tongue-in-cheek when I started using it.  But nowadays, I think why not call myself lucky?  For the most part, I guess I am.


What is your favourite creative pursuit?

Painting, without a doubt.   Although I play around with different mediums and crafts, painting is the thing I'm most drawn to.  I paint with acrylics and also incorporate occasional bits of collage and mixed-media work.

My second favourite creative pursuit is writing, and particularly blogging.  I really love the creativity involved in writing a blog.  I love the way blogging brings words and pictures together to create this amazing story.
My story.

I do love to indulge in a bit of crochet too, and would love to do some guerilla crochet projects at some stage.

What is your earliest creative memory?

A memory that always stands out for me is a doll's house that I created out of a shoe box when I was very young.  I had a miniature doll and I decided to create a house for her.  She had a bonnet made of a foil patty pan and ribbon, as well as hand sewn garments.  I made rugs and other soft furnishings for her house and then put in some tiny furniture.  It was a great house and is a really fond memory of my own early creativity.

One of my other strongest memories is of being surrounded by creative women.  My Mum, Gran and all my Aunts were extremely creative and were always sewing, knitting, crocheting, baking, preserving, cooking, etc, etc.  My passion for creativity, and love of handmade definitely grows from these roots.

Who inspires you?

We are incredibly lucky that modern technology gives us access to such a vast array of inspiration. Sometimes I'm overwhelmed by the amount of inspiration I find in the world.

Here's a few artists whose work I can't get enough of at the moment:
Mati Rose McDonough -
Flora Bowley -
Katherine Quinn -
Cori Dantini -

I'm also really inspired by the natural environment - flowers, birds, trees, pods, anything like that.  Most of my own painting is inspired by these things.

People who tell their story with integrity and authenticity really inspire me as well.  I love to read about people's journeys and to really know what makes them tick.

What are you currently working on?

At the moment I'm trying to get my head around Photoshop as I'm going to have fine art prints made of many of my paintings.  It's driving me nuts!

I've also just started work this week on some new paintings, because I needed to get my head out of the computer and get my hands messy with paint.  I'm really excited about them actually.

I'm also crocheting a blanket for my Mum, and playing around with some other new ideas.

What is your ultimate creative dream?

To work full time on my creative pursuits, and to make a sustainable living from my creativity.  To have an amazing studio at home where I spend my days painting, writing, experimenting, collaborating with other creative people and perhaps teaching in some capacity.  To be able to contribute my work and ideas to a bigger creative picture.  To make public art.  To be published.  To exhibit my work in Australia and overseas. To live an amazing creative life.

Is you work for sale, and if so, where can I buy it?

In about a month I'll be reopening my Etsy shop and you'll be able to buy fine art prints and other mixed-media works from me.  You can find my shop at

Do you have any upcoming events planned (exhibitions, markets, interviews, courses etc)?

I'm a whole lot excited and a little bit nervous about my first exhibition, which is coming up very soon.  It's opening on Thursday 22nd July at Chair 14, Darebin Rd Thornbury at 7pm.  Everyone is welcome to come along.

I'm hoping to do more exhibiting this year and perhaps some markets towards the end of the year, but I'll get through this upcoming exhibition first.

Do you have any advice for others who would like to follow their creative dream?

Never give up on your dream.  Trust your heart, and the longings that are within you.

And do something that helps you take a step towards your dreams.  For me it was buying some canvases and paint about 4 years ago.  I had no idea how to paint and I felt like such an impostor.  I almost expected the staff at the art shop to laugh at me and ask me who on earth I thought I was buying art supplies.  That was a pivotal moment for me.  It was the first time I gave myself permission to be an artist.

I've come a long way since then in terms of both my confidence and my skills.  But starting was the key. You've got to take that first fearful step, and then keep on taking steps, big or small, whatever you can manage.

Oh, and my other bit of advice is to give yourself permission to change directions, to experiment, to think you know where you're headed and then suddenly realise that you want to go in the opposite direction.  The creative journey is a topsy-turvy one and I think you just have to roll with it.

In the end you'll end up exactly where you're meant to be.  Creativity is like that.

Thanks so much Cathy for taking time to answer my nosey questions, and being a constant creative inspiration.  I'm certainly looking forward to dressing up in my party frock for the upcoming exhibition!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Deja Vu

Frustratingly, I seem to have ended up in the exact same place that I left two weeks ago.

Suprisingly (or maybe freakishly), I'm in the exact same room with the exact same view.

This time I thought ahead, and bought my mini laptop and wireless USB modem with me so I can amuse myself for hours on end reading lots of crafty blogs - that's a little hint crafty girls.... I need lots of blog posts to read so get blogging (pretty please)! 

I also bought a few crafty projects to work on, knitting, sewing, embroidery.... I've already completed a little bit of knitting while I was waiting... waiting.... waiting.

Now I'm off to catch up on the 123 posts in my google reader!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Buried Treasure and an Electic Mix

Well now, the name of my post yesterday was absolutely correct. When you're completely unmotivated about packing and moving house, the most random eclectic things end up in a box together and get packed away never to be seen again.

Some things I knew I was missing.... some things I didn't.

I'd been searching for the collaborative artworks that Tinniegirl and I created above, ever since I moved. I remembered wrapping them in tissue paper so that they'd be safe and sound..... but I hadn't seen them since.

I'd forgotten about these sweet little vintage teacups that I found at the oppy. I'll be adding them to my treasure shelf today after I give them a little bit of a wash and a spruce up.

Ridiculous as it may seem. I'm also very happy that I found my sticky tape dispenser....

...along with some of my candleholders, candles, and the candle flame putter outer thingy (because I can't blow them out), some mobile phone accessories, my elephant snow globe, a bag of random screws and door handles, some command hooks, and copper boat figurines of course!

You see, sometimes it's the little things that make me happy.... now put your hands up if you packed that box!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

What you might find

Today is officially clean out day at CurlyPops HQ.

I have boxes and boxes of junk that haven't even been opened since I moved house 15 months ago, so I figure that it's about time that I let go of some of the clutter.

Amongst the clean up, I happened to find this handbag that I whipped up a few weeks ago. There was a long skinny piece of this vintage floral print amongst the goodies that I received from a friends mum a little while ago. The piece wasn't large enough to make my standard design, so instead, I made this wider gathered style.
Perfect for those who like to carry lots of things in their handbag!

Now it's back to the cleaning for me....ugh

Friday, June 25, 2010


 A gift of artwork for my fridge from Amelie
The stripes at the top match my header - too cute!

The generousity of the blogging community still amazes me to this day.

I've received lots of little pressies over the last few weeks and I've been very slack regarding posting about them. I'm still trying to slowly get back into my everyday groove.

I arrived home one afternoon last week, and found a mysterious (and completely unexpected) parcel in my letterbox. Blogless Jen (aka Jasperboy Jen) had been to the Sisters Market and bought me pressies! There are Zines bought from the Lark stall, a very grroovy Mrs Beckinsale fabric postcard, gorgeous granny square brooch and magnet by Hannah Wells (no website), and there may have been a block of Cadbury Peppermint chocolate which has mysteriously disappeared.....

Thankyou Thankyou Thankyou!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

My Creative Space

In my creative space today.... all the bits and pieces for Susan's long awaited camera bag (just try to ignore all of the random clutter and mess in the background).

It was a bit of a tricky challenge. Susan requires a tall skinny bag for her camera, so that she can pop it straight inside with the very tall flash still attached.

This was the first opportunity where I've needed to use my vintage sleeve press. I would have been completely lost trying to iron it without that press.

The bag outer and front flap (which you can't see in the photo) were made using a very beautiful Ink and Spindle fabric that Susan supplied. I've used the same fabric on the underside of the adjustable strap, with a black denim on the top. The inner of the bag is black with white polkadots with an internal zip pocket. The strap will be finished off with some lovely silver hardware.

I'm going to have it all finished and ready to give to Susan next Thursday night at NCB.

There's one last piece of the puzzle still to be made. Do you see that little piece of pink cardboard at the bottom centre of the photo? That's a little template that I've made up, so that I can cut out the two side pieces that fit between the body of the bag, and the adjustable strap. Once they're finished, then it's just a matter of sewing all of the puzzle pieces together, and giving it very hot and steamy iron so that it's nice and smooth and crease free.

I think my poor little workhorse (sewing machine) will then be going on a little holiday for a bit of rest and relaxation with the nice sewing machine service man. Never fear, I have my little sisters machine as backup!

Make sure to pop in and visit Kirsty today and check out the hundreds of others creative spacers. I'm off to work, but I'll be checking the list when I get home.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Watcha Wearin' Wednesday (the sideways version)

I'm home earlier than I'd expected today, so I'm playing around with my new swisho toy and the timer function on my camera ........ all while channelling Where's Wally.

It seems that blogger has other ideas and keeps rotating my photo...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A New Toy

I had to pop down to the shops thismorning after an unfortunate incident involving my mobile phone and the concrete driveway lastnight, which left me communication-device-less. I had to send my sister an SOS (I was actually just texting her weird things like phon stu* and gt onlin*) to try to get her to log onto Facebook chat lastnight to organise a shopping trip. It's amazing how much I rely on my mobile, and when the green call button wasn't working, and the numbers 1 and 2 which means I also lost letters abcdef for texting, and the down arrow to move between fuctions, I was absolutely LOST.

I've been wanting to buy myself a tripod for the longest time, but it's just one of those things that I never got around to doing (especially considering the fact that I'm never anywhere near a camera shop). Today was the perfect opportunity.

I'm hoping that this means that I'll no longer have to take twenty photos to get one in focus! No more wobbles, I can just use the self timer and voila.... perfect photo.

It also came with this mega-ugly black plasticky carry-bag. As soon as I finish the custom camera bag I'm currently working on, this will definitely be next on the list.

Oh, and I found myself a new phone too.... and some cd's, and some leggings.....

*phon stu - Phone Stuffed - missing DEF button
*gt onlin - Get Online - Missing DEF button

Monday, June 21, 2010

I ate vegies yesterday and I liked it

Well it helps that the vegies were morphed into a very yummy and scrumptious pumpkin pie which was accompanied by whipped cream!

It was a lovely little crafternoon at the Beccasauras abode yesterday.

There was a little bit of kiddie craft...

.... and some serious tiny exquisite embroidery stitching going on

.... and then there was my stitching.

But, as per usual... it was all about the food!

I ate so much that I nearly had to call for a wheelbarrow to roll me out the door.
Thanks so much for a very wonderful day out girls!

PS - I'm so glad I'm in the Dance for Cheese loop now... and we even got a personal demo!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A long time between drinks....

So I counted backwards yesterday, and worked out that I hadn't switched the sewing machine on for sixteen whole days. Now that's gotta be some sort of record for me.

I haven't had the energy to do much all week, but I really need to try to get back into the swing of things around here. On top of that, I have some lovely (and very patient) people waiting on custom orders, that I don't want to let down.

The first thing on the list was this little pinny for my cousins daughter. I totally love the fabric combo together, although I'm not 100% happy with the armhole facing. I need to rethink my method (I didn't follow the instructions, I just did it my own way.... not always the most intelligent thing to do).

I also finally shortened and re-hemmed my sisters jeans. Following along with this philosophy, there was no changing of overlocker thread to match as they're OFMS (only for my sister)....

It figured that it would have taken me longer to re-thread than the total time it took to re-hem!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

For the Northeners

I don't normally post songs or videos but I spotted this on Rage lastnight and thought it was a cracker!

*My fave bit - Rage against the Sewing Machine

Friday, June 18, 2010

Confusion reins....

I headed around to visit the twins yesterday and deliver their belated birthday pressies.

Moo Moo wanted to join in too, even though there seems to be a little bit of confusion over how to wear the scarflettes....

The manbags were a bit of a hit.

Apparently they're fabulous for carrying drink bottles around the house.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

My Creative Space

In my creative space thismorning - I'm trying to finish off the robot tees that I started making for the twins weeks ago.

Mr X coloured in the robot, and then I took the A4 size drawing to my sisters house to scan and print. Rather than going with my original plan of using the ink-jet printable fabric, I decided to just use t-shirt transfer paper.

I re-sized the robot to make it smaller for the tees, and then printed three robots onto one A4 page (I figured that I'd better make Moo Moo a robot tee too)!

In other news... I joined the Twitterati lastnight. I'm a little late, but I'm always happy for others to test out these new fangled things before I join in. You can find me as MsCurlyPops. I'm not promising that I'll be tweeting anything interesting though!

Grab a cuppa and pop on over to visit Kirsty for lots more fab creative spaces!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Here's one I made earlier

One of the most depressing things that happened last week, was the fact that I missed the twins 2nd birthday. They did come in for a brief visit with me on their actual birthday, but they were more interested in running around the hospital cafeteria while trying to pinch the chupa chups that were set up at toddler height!

Thank goodness I was pre-organised this year, and already had their presents ready. We're going to have a little mini belated birthday cake session on Thursday to make up for it.

There's been many kerfuffles going on over at their house, about who gets to wear Moo Moo's Manbag, so I whipped up one for each of the twins, using some very groovy fabric that I bought from the Fat Quarter Shop before the dollar dropped.

I also found a good use for when there's one ball of yarn leftover from other projects....

I knitted up these little mini scarflettes, and added a vintage button from the stash. By the way, I have no idea how to do proper buttonholes - in this case, the button just pushes through the knitting.

Lets see how long these last around their necks before they end up on the floor!

The planned robot tees have been slightly delayed - not only is the scanner completely kaput, but now my PC is dead too....

Monday, June 14, 2010

Knock Knock

A room with a view


I was expecting to see dustbunnies, cobwebs and tumbleweeds, but it seems that my little space in blogdom was hijacked while I was away sunning myself on a desert island (or maybe it was just the temperature of the central heating that was making me dream that I was in the desert).

I had quite a few false alarms regarding my exit date - I was supposed to come home last Thursday, then last Friday,  but I finally made it home late thisafternoon.

Anyhow, those IV Pina Colada's did just the trick. I feel much more refreshed and ready for action again (well, apart from being completely unfit after being confined for ten loooooong days). I've never ever been stuck in there for that long before.

I've managed to come home with at least three self inflicted needlestick injuries. Note to Self: embroidery is a very dangerous pastime when you constantly have the ventolin wobbles.

I did something useful, and managed to put in a little bit of community service time while I was stuck, by playing test patient for all of the trainee specialists and doctors, med students, and physios. It's always a bit of a novelty for them to have a younger patient to learn with. With any luck, the experience might teach them to think outside the square for any future patients with 'interesting and unusual' conditions!

The granny rug I didn't buy

On a more serious note, I need to give a huge thankyou to Tinniegirl for keeping the blog up-to-date (and making me laugh a whole lot in the process). I was waiting with baited breath every day to find out just what she was getting up to next. I was quite amazed as to just how much info she managed to glean from Frances. Frances has never been very chatty with me (I thought it was her European reservedness), so I was quite suprised. Thankyou Tinniegirl - you're the best craft partner in crime a CurlyPops could ever wish for!

I also want to thank everyone who texted, sent me an email, or left a message on the blog. Sorry that I couldn't reply to everyone, but I only had my mobile phone with me, so they would have needed to amputate my texting thumb before I'd left if I'd tried to reply to all.

The granny rug I did buy

And finally, a huge thanks to my big sister Rach who managed to keep my vacant house safe and clean, looked after Houdini dog and Bastard Cat, kept me in clean clothes (and more importantly clean undies), brought me my mail, brought me in Thai Takeaway and Chocolate Cupcakes when the hospital food was getting to be too much, brought in X-rays from home at short notice, and kept the chocolate stash full! Phew! She'd even made me dinner and left it in the fridge so I didn't need to cook tonight. Thanks Rach, I couldn't have managed without you.

Friday, June 11, 2010

My Girl CurlyPops Rocks My World

It's Tinniegirl again, with great news. 

I reckon you're going to see CurlyPops back around these parts by the end of the weekend.  I've managed to track her down, and have explained that out lives just aren't the same without her daily crafty goodness.  So she's heading home.  She might be a little worn out after her great adventure but I'm sure she'll be back before we know it.

So let's talk about CurlyPops for a minute why don't we.  You know, while we've still got the microphone.

So Cam, from me to you, you're the best kind of peeps.  You're kind and generous, and funny and thoughtful.  You're super-talented and super-smart.  These days I find it hard to remember a time when we weren't mates.  And that's just how I like it.  You're not just a friend, you're family, for both me and Ms L.  You truly do rock my world.

Someone said something about 500 comments.  Your turn crafty peeps.  Have you got a welcome home message for the super-fabulous CurlyPops.  I say we rock this blog. 

Thursday, June 10, 2010

It's My Space, Mine I Tell You

Don't think I don't know what's going on around here, cause I do.  

Talk about while the cats away, the mice will play.

That's OK.  I'll be back soon to restore order, including giving that mischievous Tinniegirl a good talking to.

In the meantime, I'll keep stitching, stitching, stitching.

What's everyone else up to?  I'm sure you'll find out if you head over to Kootoyoo for a dose of My Creative Space.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

To Be Read With A Fine Scottish Accent

Well hello my lovelies.  It is I, Frances.  I was ever so delighted when a few of you suggested yesterday that it would be lovely to know a little more about me.  I heartily agree.  

So with my dear Ms CurlyPops away on her great adventure I thought I would share my story.

It's a wonderful story, I'm sure you'll agree, and goes back a good long way.  Way back to the wee land of Scotland where I spent my years as a young lass.

I come from a long line of talented and passionate craftspeople.  Our family has a history that goes back many generations.  We are known for our work throughout the land, including resident staff positions for the royal family.  My father was a tailor's assistant and my mother a designer and fine dressmaker. 

In my early 20's I was blessed with an opportunity to move to Paris and begin my own career in the fashion industry.  I worked with many of the great Parisian design houses and it was a time of great joy in my life.  I learned so much, met amazing people and attended wonderful parties and events.

I met my first love Jean Paul in my first year in Paris.  It was love at first sight and within weeks we were ensconced in a magnificent apartment filled with fine furnishings in the most luxurious array of colours and textures.  As it is with love that starts with an inexplicable burning passion our flame petered out and we went our separate ways.

It was then, in my third year in Paris, that I met the great love of my life.  Antoinette was a shining light in a dark world.  A seamstress beyond compare, she made couture unlike the world has ever seen.  We had a wonderful life together, filled with warmth and laughter and love.

My darling Antoinette was lost to me in a tragic accident, of which I cannot bare to speak.  It is enough to say that for many years I was left completely bereft.

I had to make a break, seek out a fresh start in a brave new world.  I bought myself a one way passage to Australia and sought work as an assistant with a kind tailor.  Marco took me in, and I worked by his side until he retired in early 2009.

And that is how I came to live with my dear Ms CurlyPops.  I placed an ad in the local paper looking for a live-in assistant's role and found myself in the colourful and creative home of everyone's favourite crafty soul.

These days I'm living a much quieter life, which suits me just fine.  I just love to work with Ms CurlyPops.  She's always coming up with amazing new ideas and stunning, colourful, bright, happy creations.  I can't imagine a better way to spend my late years.

When Ms CurlyPops goes out I like to indulge in the wee tipple of a fine Scotch whiskey, and a few hands of poker.  I've been teaching Houdini Dog and Bastard Cat the finer intricacies of the game.  I can't say that I find either of them to be strong competitors, but I shan't lose all hope yet.

With Ms CurlyPops away on the great adventure I've been keeping the house running, taking care of my household companions and dreaming up all sorts of sewing projects.  I can't wait to talk to my mistress when she gets home.

Do come home soon my dear Ms CurlyPops.   We miss you.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Sshhhh, Don't Tell CurlyPops

It's me Tinniegirl.  I've hijacked her blog.  I'm holding it ransom for a lifetime worth of creative goodness.

It seems perfectly fair to me, if she's going to run off on some great big mystery adventure.  I mean how are we creative folk supposed to sustain ourselves without our daily dose of CurlyPops.

So, tell me crafty peeps, if you had the chance to post at the uber-talented, super fabulous, creative mecca that is CurlyPops, what would you write about?  I'd love to know.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Where, Oh Where, Could That CurlyPops Be?

  • Heli-hiking in New Zealand
  • Sunning herself on a beach in Hawaii?
  • Fossicking for gold down an abandoned mine shaft?
  • On a world wide op shopping mission?
  • Eating her entire body weight in chocolate and fruit tingles?
  • Being bombarded by medical students for being an 'interesting and unusual' case?
  • Deep sea diving with sharks?
  • Eying off the hexagon granny blankies crocheted by the volunteers at the hospital op shop?
  • Climbing Mt Everest?
  • Solving crossword puzzles?
  • Disco dancing in New york?
  • Keeping up with blog reading via mobile phone?
  • Mustering sheep on an outback station?
  • Making the most of having three course meals delivered?
  • Lost amongst a sea of abandoned doilies and crocheted tablecloths?
  • Riding a bike over the Westgate bridge? 
  • Swimming Bass Strait to Tassie?
  • Hand stitching her heart away while watching trashy tv?
It's a mystery for sure.  Back soon.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Big Trouble in Little CurlyPops Land

So I merrily headed off to work yesterday morning, and then onto dinner at Chair 14 before the Northern Craft Bonanza lastnight.....

I arrived home quite late, to be greeted at the front door by Houdini Dog (who should have been safely locked in the backyard).

It seems that the glass sliding door had been left slightly open, so he managed to get his paws in, and open it up enough to get inside while simultaneously ruining my curtains in the process.

Someone is in BIG BIG BIG HUGE trouble today!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

My Creative Space

Does a Lego photo shoot for my nephews school presentation qualify as a creative space post?
It's all I've got today....

The home of my creative space