Friday, December 30, 2011

New Years Resolutions and Plans

 I love this time of year, its that quiet time of year between Christmas and New Years when things are on 'go slow', when you have time to think about the coming year, make some plans and resolutions.

My resolutions and plans are starting to take shape, which is very exciting.  I know one of my resolutions is to loose weight.  There has been way too much crafting and computer time and not enough exercise.  I miss my old body, the one I was happy with, this time next year I don't want to look in the mirror and feel unhappy and I want to look at the mirror and feel healthy and happy.

Another resolution is to learn some new skills, it sounds really nerdy but I want to learn more about HTML coding and the power of social media so I can assit the handmade community, in particular the Handmade Cooperative.   Another resolution is to learn to sew,  I know the basics but I'd like to know more. I'd like to have a go at making some cute things for Miss H and myself.

Another great feature of this time of year is that we are usually on the road, currently we are in Gippsland area and I managed to squeeze in a visit to my online friend Tania, the owner of Chicken Ink Creative and The Contemporary Handmade Alliance.  I've managed to meet two online friends while being in Victoria, both catchups, one with Jeanie from Inspired Wish and today's visit with Tania have been fantastic!  Its so gratifying to meet online friends and walk away liking that person even more than before.  

So what have you got planned for 2012?  
Are you making some resolutions?

Friday, December 09, 2011

Seven Questions: Baby Laila

Name:   Beck Dowd
Company Name:   Baby Laila
Online storefront/s:

1.    What is your favourite Colour?  Mint green at the moment, its fresh and calming

2.    What is your favourite font?   Garton Medium

3.    Who would you like to be stuck next to on a long haul plane trip?   My Dad, I haven't been in touch with him all my life and have only had a short time getting to know him, so I would love to have that 1 on 1 time with him!

4.    Who taught you the basics of your craft?   Myself, my nana is a great sewer but lives interstate.

5.    What is your favourite item in your range?  Why?  This changes, at the moment its my plush lambies, they are so much fun to make and each of them have their own unique look.

6.    What is your best seller?  A tricky one, I would say hair accessories, mostly boutique bows and pretty hair flowers, after that would be softies.

7. If there was an academy award for handmade and you won it, to whom would you thank?   Definitely my partner, who puts up with my 'bright ideas', my never ending supplies, and the loss of our kitchen table! He is always supportive and honest and I love him for that.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

People Who Inspire: Alison Owner of SewGood,KnitToo

I haven't done one of these posts for a while, not because I haven't met anyone inspiring its just that the last couple of months has been pretty hectic both at home and with my business.

Today as I sit here in my hotel room in Sydney* I was thinking about who has inspired me of late and a name popped into my head; 'Alison'. 

Who is Alison, well she is the owner of my local wool shop in Sanctuary Point, SewGood,KnitToo, she has great knowledge on all things yarn and sewing and she was the one who approached me initially about selling my items in her shop and later about teaching crochet.  Initially she inspired me by her having faith in my abilities, in the fact that she thought my wares were worthy of being placed in her shop.

Now days she still inspires the me with the way she conducts herself professionally.  I don't want to go into details as the community I live in is small,  but lets just say that Alison has had her share of crap flung at her this year.  The people should involved should be ashamed of themselves as their actions have been most horrid and down right mean.  But during all of this Alison, who could of retaliated, and I suspect could of really given them a run for their money, has kept her head up high.  She hasn't stooped to their level, instead she stood her ground and took the high road.  I don't know how she has done it, I know I would be a wreak by now and grey.

So this month I salute Alison, a woman who has inspired me to put my faith in God and turn the other cheek.


* I'm currently in town catching up with my best mate who has lived in London for the last 4 years, who had one spare night in Sydney which he kindly share with me and I'm seeing the Ballet with my Mum later today.  Yeah!
The Christmas display at SewGood, KnitToo - you can see my Santa Beanie in the back ground of the nativity photo.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

What I did today ...

We had a lazy day at home today, I watched Mad Men Season 4 and made/finished off various Christmas Crochet crafts which will be used to decorate my local wool shop, SewGood/KnitToo.

Newborn Santa Pixie hat - treble crochet and pop corns.
Made using my Pixie hat pattern of 2010
I personally like the popcorn pom pom.

Christmas Tree Banner.
Pattern found in the Nov/Dec 2010 issue of Crochet Today!

Christmas Hair clips. 
The gold things are supposed to be stars
So what did you get up to this weekend?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Seven Questions: Puppy Dogs Tails and Or Elsie!

Name: Holly
Company Name: I Have two – Puppy Dogs Tails and Or Elsie!
Website: (but it’s a bit neglected at the moment!)
Online storefront/s:  COMING SOON!
Facebook: and


1.    What is your favourite Colour?  Blood Red and Frosted Pink (and yes together!)

2.    What is your favourite font? Depends on what I am doing but Kirsten Sans Italic is usually my fall back.

3.    Who would you like to be stuck next to on a long haul plane trip? My husband – his work commitments means he usually travels without me so if I was stuck next to him it would mean we were actually going somewhere together.

4.    Who taught you the basics of your craft? You-tube :P  
5.    What is your favourite item in your range?  Why?  Puppy Dogs Tails – loving the Funky Mister Christmas shorts I’m currently making.  Probably because using Christmas prints is getting me excited for the holidays!  Or Elsie!  The iPad covers are fun to make as I can really play around with fabric combinations and embellishments a bit more than I do with clothes.    

6.    What is your best seller? The waterproof car seat mat -  something I originally made after a customer requested one, they always sell out when do a stocking and I get regular email enquiries about them.  The “Super Sets” are also popular for presents!

7. If there was an academy award for handmade and you won it, to whom would you thank? Sharon from Lil Moo & Me as I am always inspired by, and in awe of, her fantastic eye for fabric.  

* * * * * * * *
I met Holly through the Dream BIG group.  I love her bold colour choices and my son adores the beautifully made shirt Holly made him for his school's 50's Night.  Here is a photo of him recently after seeing 'Plop' at Shoalhaven Entertainment Center. 

Monday, November 07, 2011

Christmas Shopping Guide: For big girls

This special Christmas Shopping Guide has been put together with my sisters and girlfriends in mind.
Bridesmaids earrings by Lilli Pilli Jewellery
Taking flight reflillable book by Ideal Liza
black and white damask lamp by Lulu Lamps
VINTAGE LOVE HEART Scrabble Tile Bobby Pins by Lou Lou & Betty
Green Frog Keyring by Mrs Monkei
Black & Silver Necklace by A Touch of Bling

Friday, November 04, 2011

October in Reveiw

Its been a busy month!

1. Bunny blanket for baby Bella.
2. View of Melbourne from South Bank
3. The "Nobody" bench
4. Classic Melbourne laneways
5. Spring babies in Sanctuary Point
6. My newest nephew - Mr O!
7. Isn't he adorable, Mr A.
8. Miss H got busted playing with my make up!
9. Winter 2012 boys range photo shoot at Espy Photography
10.  Mr J turned 7 (I'm still getting over that fact!)

I was also featured on Kasiabear's blog - read it here

And last but not least I reached 1000 Likes on Facebook in October, which is a bit scary because I still struggle with the fact that people like what I'm making.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

1000 FB Fan giveaway

Image Source:

Yeah CPD has cracked the 1000 fan mark on facebook.  To celebrate I'm giving away 10 DYI mini clip packs.  

All you need to do is leave a comment below with your email address and a note letting me know what two colours you like best together. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Seven Questions in Seven Mintues: em&femme designs

Name:                      Ilja Oostenenk

Company Name:     em&femme designs


Online storefront:


1.    What is your favourite Colour?  
Pink. Pastel pink. After that its red and aqua. All 3 together if possible!

2.    What is your favourite font?
Used to be comic sans ms (boring!), but now I like tartine script. It matches my logo

3.    Who would you like to be stuck next to on a long haul plane trip?
You know, my hubby! I have done many and many long haul flights, and I pretty sure he’s the only one who still loves me in the morning after he’s seen me dribble, heard me snore, and listened to me yap for 12 hours straight. Not to mention he will give me his chocolate!
4.    Who taught you the basics of your craft? 
No one, completely self taught. That’s why I still suck at zippers.

5.    What is your favourite item in your range? 

The twirly skirt, because they are so many options for embellishments, colors, different fabrics etc, and it lasts for ages!!

6.    What is your best seller? 

The kimono dress

7. If there was an academy award for handmade and you won it, to whom would you thank? 

I would thank Alexander Henry for wowing me with his fabrics, and showing me the possibilities other than Spotlight. I would thank Tracey and Trish, my first paying customers I didn’t know, and I will never forget their names (!).  I would thank Mark Zuckerberg for creating Facebook and allowing me to grow my business by ‘word of mouth’, and all the likers & customers that have stayed with me during my journey, but most of all I would thank my family, who’s support have been never ending (I will NOT be the one who leaves out family at the awards), though it’s occasionally taken ice creams and lots of wine to bribe them, to see the benefits of my blood, sweat and tears-though I promise you will not see the latter on my clothes ;P


I have admired Ilja's beautiful kimono dress
es for quite some time and I know Miss H would love one as her big thing at the moment is spinning around.  I was delighted when Ilja agreed to be this Month's Miss October ;)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Shopping Guide: For Isabelle

My good friends Heather and Chris had a baby girl this week and to celebrate I put this shopping guide together. Thanks Meeps for the inspiration.

"Woodland Friends" bag by A Tiny Sparkle
Felt fabric bookmark with ribbon by Rainbow Lollies
Fridge magnets - Sweet birds by Badge Bliss
handmade paper pink vintage pram baby card by Little Deer Creations
Spider Pink Heart Cushion by Robyn Lee Handmade
Pink Hearts and Roses Rompers and Hat by Wild Rose
Jelly Squares Quilt by Seabreeze Quilts
A Shower Gift For You Card by Lil's Gift cards

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Seven Questions: Tracey White of Ben&Jess

Name: Tracey White
Company Name: Ben & Jess
Online storefront/s: &
Twitter: Ben_and_Jess

1.    What is your favourite Colour? 
Duck egg blue (or as I like to call it "Donna Hay Blue")

2.    What is your favourite font?  Comic Sans.
3.    Who would you like to be stuck next to on a long haul plane trip?
I would like to be stuck next to my mum.   She lives overseas and I haven't seen her for 8 years so I'd love to be "stuck" next to her for as long as possible.

4.    Who taught you the basics of your craft?
My mum taught me how to sew and knit but I'm a self taught paper crafter and embroiderer.

5.    What is your favourite item in your range?  Why?
My favourite item would have to be my Little French Dress Garlands.   They take me back to my childhood when I had a pretty girly bedroom that I loved to play in.

6.    What is your best seller?
My best seller would be my party favor bags.   Made from paper (recycled paper and from sustainable forests where possible) are a joy to make.  I love the process of working with the client on a design, making the bag and hand stamping each one. 

7.    If there was an academy award for handmade and you won it, to whom would you thank?
My family. They are such an important part of my life and are always there to encourage me and spur me on when I feel like giving up!   I couldn't run Ben & Jess and do all of my other "mummy duties" without their continued love and support.

* * * * * *  * * 
I had the pleasure of meeting Tracey back in July when she attended Billycart Markets Sydney.  It was great to finally put a face to a name.  Tracey is a very active member of the Handmade Cooperative, she is always there with some great advice or a suggestion.  Thank  you so much Tracey, your support has been fantastic and greatly appreciated.