Thursday, December 22, 2011

Kris Kringle handmade fun

Merry Christmas everyone. I wish everyone good cheer, good health and all their wishes to come true in 2012.
I am spending Christmas with family. This requires some travel, and three of my four furr kids have to stay in a kennel. I have dropped them off already so my house seems empty. I will spend some of my break regrouping, thinking about goals for 2012 and deciding what direction to take my DarlingBridget business in.  I have packed my camera and my sketchbook, very important. You never know what inspiration I may find along the way. When I return there will be many gardening jobs to do, a chook house to build and populate, cooking and creative stuff.

Thanks for being part of my journey and I hope to have you along in 2012.

And here's a Christmassey post for the day before Christmas Eve. Peace and joy to all.

 I entered the Haby Goddess's Kris Kringle this year as a bit of fun. I received this lovely Christmas stocking in the mail from Laura in South Australia. It was beautifully packaged and came with a card and well wishes.
Isn't it darling. Thanks Laura for your lovely homemade gift and thanks to the Haby Goddess for organising it.
This is the gift I sent off - mini Christmas bunting.

Link here to see some of the other gifts that were shared.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Preserves and lemon lime cordial

Today I have been using some homespun skills, storing the summer bounty for winter.

First I made lemon and lime cordials. Its really easy and makes a very yummy cordial.  I used a recipe I found on the net. Basically you add lemon or lime juice, zest, sugar, hot water and citric acid together and as it cools it thickens and becomes syrupy. The bottles on the left are lemon and the ones on the right lime cordial.  Place the bottles in the fridge and they last for ages. Perfect for summer drinks and gifts.
Next I preserved some summer fruits to keep me going through winter when there are only apples and oranges to eat.

First I got all my equipment washed and laid out. I have a Fowler-Vacola preserving kit.

Next I washed my fruit.
Today I made fruit salad inspired by the canned fruit my nana used in her famous parfaits. The fruit salad was mostly peaches and pear but occasionally you'd find a grape or cherry. You always hoped you'd get the right one! But never fear each of my jars have both green grapes and red cherries in them. Also white and yellow peaches, yellow nectarines and apricots. Unlike bought fruit salad these are preserved in water only, no sugar, syrup or preservatives.

I have also cooked and bottled rhubarb from my garden with pears and blueberries. Yumm.

The jars need to sit undisturbed for 24 hours after which time I can take the clips off and put them into storage. This bounty will mostly be eaten as my winter breakfasts served with yoghurt. Although I may make a few crumbles too.

Will do some more preserving after Christmas to make sure I have a good store. Its a bit of a messy job - lots of washing up but its worth it when you pop the lid on those jars and eat the good as fresh contents. And my pet worms have been given a feast - all those sweet, moist scraps will keep them very happy.  Christmas for them too!


Monday, December 19, 2011

10 things Mondays - top movies for a rainy day

Its raining, still. Actually it has been flat and overcast so now that its raining its better - at least the weather has decided to make a choice. Its dark so my thoughts have strayed to nice movies to watch snuggled up on the couch with a nice hot chocolate.
Let's see:

1. The Scarlet Pimpernel -  they seek him here, they seek him there. Dark intrigues and gorgeous costumes. Only ever the Anthony Andrews version.

2. North by Northwest - more intrigue and the devine Cary Grant

3. Bridget Jone's Diary - funny and makes your life seem less pathetic.
4. Ever after with Drew Barrymore and Dougray Scott. Yes Prince Charming does exist and he could fall in love with you too.

5. Charade - Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant, the perfect combination.

6. The princess bride - funny and romantic. I know all the lines and can recite them before the actors. (ok so best to do this when alone)

7. Monsoon wedding- gorgeous colour, romance and its set in the Monsoon so a rainy day doesn't seem so bad

8. ET - always makes me cry, and a wet day and hot chocolate make that perfect
9. Dr Zhivago - ok I've never actually gotten around to watching it but you definately want a wet day for a Russian epic.
10. Roman Holiday - lets end on a sunny note, Audrey Hepburn again but with Greg Peck. Romance, great scenery and an unexpected ending. Aah

Well there's my list. As soon as I hit publish I'll think of 1001 movies I should have included. So help me out here please. What should be there?

Hope its sunny where you are, if not hope you are having a snugly day!

Giveaway Winners

Thanks to everyone who joined my giveaway!

I have used a random number generator from to draw the winner.

I put everyone who entered into a spreadsheet - those who entered more than once had their name entered multiple times. The number from the random generator corresponded to the line number in the spreadsheet.

The winner is Sarah Stewart who liked my DarlingBridget facebook page. Congratulations Sarah.

I decided in a fit of Christmas spirit to make a second draw. Rebecca Mo-Anne Ready will also win an item from my DarlingBridget range.
Thanks again for entering!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

More pics from Handmade Canberra

I changed the layout of my stall at the start of Sunday's market, still experimenting.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

New DarlingBridget brooches hot off the hoop

I've just finished five new brooches to take to this weekend's Handmade Canberra Market. I really love making these. I make each leaf, petal and wing separately and then combine them together to make the brooches. Most times I don't know which I'll combine before hand. Like the small leaves in the foreground and the leaf with the little yellow butterfly. They were all completely separate but I liked them together. The purple flower in the centre is the exception. They were designed to be together as a copy of a flowering vine that grows wild in my area.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Only 9 this Monday

 I've recently remembered how much I like type. I took these photos in Wollongong, NSW, Australia.

 These numbers on adjoining properties must have been made by the same person.

I know I've cheated this Monday, but it has been raining for at least two weeks so I haen't been able to take many photos. But they re a good nine I think. On of the things I like about these signs is that the good old fashioned ticket writing still looks better faded than the newer vinyl type that peel and curls up. Hope you enjoy these and that they inspire you to look at mundane signs as art.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

DarlingBridget giveaway

More ways to enter and win my DarlingBridget giveaway.

This darling pouch is made from a pretty vitage doily, crisp cotton and lovely gingham ribbon. You could use it as a lingerie wrap when travelling, as a holder for your journal, art materials or other special things.

How to enter:
Visit my DarlingBridget facebook page and leave me a comment about my range of products.
Leave me a comment here.
Visit my DarlingBridget etsy store and come back and tell me about your favourite product.
Share my DarlingBridget facebook page.
Sign up to this blog as a follower!

Do them all for even more chances to win.

Drawn 19 December 2011.

Monday, December 5, 2011

10 things Mondays: great things about Summer

Its December.
Its Summer.
Its cold.
Its raining.

So today I plan to live vicariously through my memories and yours.

10 great things about Summer.

1. Floaty dresses and loose linen shirts
2. Storms that break after a hot day, leaving the air cooler after a spectacular light show and pounding rain.
3. Picnics
4. Air thick with butterflies on the wing
5. Evenings alive with night jasmine and the sound of crickets
6. Staying outside late
7. Salads picked fresh from the garden
8. Swimming
9. Work slowing down at least a little with more time taken over lunch (wish we had siesta here), Christmas parties and get togethers involving too much food
10. Feeling more alive, more energetic and more active

Wow that was so much easier than I thought. What do you like best?

Friday, December 2, 2011

Red peony poppies

 The poppy bud starts to break out like a butterfly from its cocoon.

Shy and retiring no longer the open poppy raises its head erect and screams: look at me, I'm beautiful!

Monday, November 28, 2011

10 things Mondays: reasons to keep a journal

Pretty blue journal with flowers and dragonfly

As a child I kept starting journals but the habit never stuck. A few years ago I worked my way through Julia Cameron’s The Artists Way and have been journalling ever since. I don’t often write every day but I journal regularly. Here’s a few thoughts on why.

1.       Record the major events of your life.
We always think we will remember the details of our lives but we forget lots of things really. It’s nice to occasionally go back over your diary and relive those moments.
2.       Identify patterns and habits
In The Artists Way you write every day but don’t re-read any pages for 9 weeks. When I went back over that time I discovered that I complained every single day about being tired. That was a revelation for me and changed my relationship to time. I make a concerted effort to winge less too.
3.       Capture ideas
Your journal is a great place to write down those ideas that pop into your head at otherwise inopportune moments.  Some of those thoughts are lost forever because you were running into a meeting and can’t recall them.
4.       To do list
I use my journal to write long term and day to day lists of things I need or want to do. This hasn’t always been the case, for a long time I kept it for musings but now it’s more of a one stop shop.
5.       Other sorts of lists
Books you’ve read or want to read.
6.       Drawings and creative musings
By using a non-lined journal you can illustrate your diary or record ideas and images that you want to use later on. Perhaps look for a journal that has one lined and one plain page. I don’t tend to draw in my diary but have a separate creative visual journal where I explore key themes like creative blocks or just play.
7.       Canvas for art work
I like to make covers for my journals.  I sew cloth slip covers for otherwise plain hard bound journals. My covers feature beautiful fabrics ( my current cover is made from a vintage placemat and an old pillow case), hand painting, embroidery and found object collages. It is a great way to explore techniques. Similarly it is a great way to make something useful out of your creative experiments.
8.       Scrapbooking
Whilst not a scrapbooker in the modern sense my journals are full of theatre ticket stubbs, business cards, inspirational bits and pieces that I pick up and like. I love to slip these little mementoes between the pages of my journal. Sometimes I glue in an envelope or two to hold the pieces. They are such an evocative thing to rediscover years down the track when you open an old journal.
9.       History
Throughout history journals have been one of our best sources of information about events of a global or personal nature. Whilst I don’t write for posterity as such if a major event moves me I will write about it and my reaction. Many people write specifically to record events for their children. I think it’s important if you do this to write about how it makes you feel.
10.   Connected
The overwhelming reason I keep journalling however is to feel connected to me, to my life. We all comment on how life just seems to get quicker ever year. We wonder where time has gone and what we did with it all. I write so that I can remember. I write so that I can spend a few moments quietly with my own thoughts. I write to stop the thoughts  keeping me awake all night. I write so that I notice when work and other realities of life keep me from pursuing what’s important to me.  My blog is an online journal, just as originally intended by their inventor.  If I don’t have anything worth sharing on my blog then I am not living the life of my dreams, not experiencing my own brand of homespunbliss.

So in conclusion I journal to keep me living the life I dream about.  Do you journal? Please share your experiences, I’d love to hear why you do or don’t journal.

Note to readers: I have been trawling through the web looking for what other people say about keeping a journal. I can't fnd anything that inspires me. Some people blog about weight loss journals, some record their bird watching exploits. Others blod about just journalling. I haven't found anything on blogs about art, craft, sewing, gardening all the things I enjoy. I find it nice to connect with people writing about similar things to me. So, please share your ideas here.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

DarlingBridget giveaway offer

DarlingBridget was at the Art + Design Market  in Wollongong today. I sold lovely things to lovely people, ate good food, listend to good music and enjoyed the company of my good friend Ash.

My embroidered quotes were quite popular for their first day out.
 My husband made me a new rack so my bags could all go on display.
And in honour of today's market I have a giveaway. Like my DarlingBridget Facebook page to go in the draw to win this lovely DarlingBridget pouch.  I will be drawing the winner on 19 December after I come back from the Handmade Canberra market on 17 & 18 December. Good luck everyone.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Launching new DarlingBridget range this weekend

This weekend I will launch a new DarlingBridget range at the Art + Design Christmas Market in Wollongong.
Friends and family have been sending me their favourite quotes and I have begun to turn them into framed art pieces. 
 Some are inspiring, some funny, some romantic. I have hand embroidered the quotes onto vintage doilies and framed them. They are ready to be hung on the wall or stood on a desk at home or at work.

I have tried to match the quote to a doily, looking for what seems to fit the theme.

What inspires you? What is your favourite quote? Please share

Custom orders welcome.


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