Saturday, September 23, 2017


I know, I missed a week blogging, my aim is to blog every week but sometimes it's just not possible!! I think I need to plan my blog posts and pre- prepare so that way when times are busy I can still post on time!

A lot has been happening around here! Best of all the weather has cooled so I have more energy to work! We've even pulled out our doonas (duvets) so we can snuggle up at night! Love that!!!

School is back, so the morning school run has begun! 

Lulu decided to do some DIY and decorated her science ring binder. She was totally inspired by Jordan Clark, such a clever young college student. You can see her blog here and should definitely check out her You Tube videos here.

I had a market stall in town last Sunday. That was lovely and fun to see some of my other creative friends, it's great to catch up on what they've been doing over the summer. This lovely handmade market is held once a month in the Vecchia Pescheria (old fishery). The benches are marble and all uneven from centuries of fish selling!

Of course growth chart making is never far off. The last few I've made have been really fun and a challenge as I had to tackle some new theme requests. I was very pleased with the results!

I have a very talented friend Io & bianca (who I've mentioned before) who creates beautiful ceramics.  A visit to her instagram page is a must! Lately she has been painting her ceramics more, they are stunning, and she has started to do little watercolour paintings. I saw Carla at dinner and told her how much I loved her paintings and how much I would love to learn to use watercolours. I find them very intimidating though! We organised to meet a her house which was quite a challenging task with all our kids activities! I went yesterday, even though Carla had a fever, she insisted I pop round for a mini lesson! So kind!

When I arrived we swapped belated birthday gifts. We are always late with our gifts as we always like to give each other something we've created and/or supplies!

I gave Carla a stitched wall decor piece I made for her. She loves white, anything old and bunnies. I gave a sneak peek of this piece in a previous blog post where you can see what inspired me!

From Carla I received so lovely handpainted ceramic hanging decorations, a gorgeous much (to add to my large collection) and a watercolour set - paint brush, paper and watercolours. Such an amazing and thoughtful gift! 

I just loved watching her paint her gorgeous little designs and had a chuckle at my efforts! Mine aren't finished yet, I may or may not post those depending on how they turn out! Here are a couple Carla painted!

What has everyone been up to lately, any creating????

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Saturday, September 09, 2017

Paper, old lace, trims and vintage fabrics

What materials are you using at the moment???

Right now I love paper, old and new, coffee dyed paper, old lace and vintage/antique fabrics.

If you read my previous post you'll know I'm loving sewing paper. Ideas are flying around in my head, what type of book shall I make next, and how can I incorporate textiles into those books???

Since my last post, in between orders, I have made another book (technique fom MAM's 'Stitch Bookery' course). I'm really excited about this one! I'll blog about this in a few weeks as it's not quite finished and needs to arrive to it's destination first! Here's a sneek peek though to give you an idea!

I have other ideas for these wonderful stitched books and am itching to get started! Some special travel journals as a gift. Many images have come from Pinterest! Maybe I will be able to work on these this weekend??? Orders first , then I can play!

Back to my main passion, textiles both old and new! I'm always looking to create new items with these wonderful pieces and give them new life! Recently I made these cushion for a market I participated in. They are so florally and feminine! They will be going in my shop in the next few days.

I recently revisited some other items I used to make for little girls. Sweet pillows and girlie totes. These too will soon be listed in my shop. I'm a little slow at keeping things up to date. I keep getting distracted!!!

Finally, the weather has cooled to the mid to high 20s, thank heavens no more high 30s, I couldn't take it anymore! This my favourite time of the year, the weather is perfect! It's an inspiring time to work!
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Saturday, September 02, 2017

Stitching paper journals with Mary Ann Moss

Have you ever admired Mary Ann Moss of Dispatch from LA? If not you should hop over to her blog and have a peek!

As a stitching person I am always in awe of people who work with a different medium. Mary Ann Moss ( or MAM as her students call her) and Pam Garrison at two very talented ladies whose work I love love love!

Personally I am very intimidated by paper and painting. What you need to know is before I started sewing I tried to teach myself to paint with oils. Hahahahaaaa!!!! My favourite part of the painting process was mixing the colours. Sometimes I would then find I had no time left to paint before work so I had to store my new colours in the fridge so they didn't dry out!!

Here's a floral painting I did way back in 2001.

At the time I did not sew, I could only crosstitch! I was absolutely determined to learn to paint. This painting came from one of my favourite painting books by Patricia Moran 'The oil painters ultimate flower and portrait companion'. I just love this book. If you're a painter it's wonderful.

Anyway let's get back on track, recently I have been dabbling in junk journal making. See a past blog post here. Of course I don't keep a journal (another thing that intimidates me) but I certainly like making them!

When I saw Mary Ann's posts on Instagram about her Stitch Bookery course I just had to sign up. I managed to do so by the skin of my teeth as enrolments closed that day. Never fear, I believe she will reopen enrolments later this year. Anyway I thought this would be perfect for me - sewing old papers, letters, ephemera ( old and new) and fabrics together. What a combination and what fun!

So far I have completed week 1 and I think week 2. Two sweet accordion books and one little fold up book (I'll show this later possibly on FB or Instagram).

It's a new experience for me to make something 'just because'. Usually everything has to have a function. With this course you can make books with a function, to draw or for writing a journal, or you can make them just because they are visually pleasing to you. A great collection of bits and pieces you love and need to put somewhere.

It's so cool!!!!

I am so in love with this course! Each little book I make is carried around the house for days! I just can't stop looking at them! I think my husband has decided I'm more bonkers than he previously thought!


I also made some little cards with photos of a recent trip that slip into 2 pockets.

Of course my lovely 11-year-old Lulu likes to participate in any new thing I do and had to have a book of her own. As she says she was the brains and I was the hands!! She chose what she wanted included and I sewed it. I was not allowed off the chair until it was complete!

I love the way the little book turned out and we had great fun including some of her drawings as well. What a fun little memory keeper it is for her, very clever indeed!

Can't wait to start working on some other project ideas Mary Ann has provided!!! 

Has anyone done any of Mary Ann's course? If so I would love to hear about them! 

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Thanks for listening!!! Rachel

Friday, August 18, 2017

Markets in Switzerland

Earlier this week we popped up to Switzerland for ASeminfesta in a small town Semione, Cantu Ticino. Yes I did say 'popped up', that's the amazing thing in Europe you are so close to everything! This always amazes me that you can drive 4 hours and you are in another country with a different language, culture, money, landscape and architecture!

Instantly, when we crossed the border, the vegetation was greener and the architecture changed! The mountains are amazing, I just couldn't stop looking at them. Lucky I wasn't driving we may have gone off the road!

The market was fun! Great to do something different and have a couple of days away. We met a lot of lovely interesting people who spoke Italian, English and German! 

I did mangae to have a look around the village. I left my dear hubby to hold down the fort and headed off to explore with Lulu! Here are a few pics of the town.

We decided not to sleep in Switzerland but instead drove back to Italy and stayed in an wonderful historical hotel, Palace Grand Hotel, Varese dating to 1911. I just loved it! The building was amazing and the grounds beautiful.

Rather than rush back home we checked the internet (what would we do without the internet??) to find out what there was to see in Varese - Sacro Monte di Varese seemed like the place to go!!! It's one of 9 sacri monti on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Definitely worth a visit if you're in the area.

We headed up the hill to visit the amazing old hill town:  Santa Maria del Monte (on Sacro Monte). Let me say it did not disappoint, definitely one of the prettiest towns I have ever visited!

Everywhere I turned there was a photo opportunity, so picturesque! I went a little crazy taking photos, I think my husband thought I'd lost the plot!

It is a fascinating town with incredible views of the Alps on one side and lakes on the other! It is full of little lane ways, some of which are totally covered, like this one! 

At the top of the the hill there is a stunning church full of beautiful frescoes to admire.

 We finished off our visit with a wonderful lunch at Ristorante Montorfano. We sat on the terrace eating prosciutto crudo, burrata and gnocchi fritti (absolutely to die for!) and drinking sparkling Rosè wine. I would say the perfect way to end a super fun couple of days away!

What fun things has everyone else been doing this summer??? I would love here what you've been up to!

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