My Place & Yours...

Ah... Saturday again isn't it...?! I might have saved this mornings Picnik post if I had remembered!

Playing along with
Pip's meme again, but I'm afraid my place isn't all that exciting!

As ready & willing as I was to play along
last week, this week "location" isn't all that inspiring... it's my "Blog HQ" where I type to you right this moment, where I peruse all the lovely blogs out there, where I spend WAAAAAAAY too much time.

Things of note - bright red rotary phone, aka "The hotline", it's not plugged in, I don't even know if it works, but Le Punk loves to talk on it. Little house cupboard deal'e, I bought that from the oppy with the best intentions of painting it but I have nae gotten around to it. My camera usually sits in that blank spot. My new printer in the corner there, oh how I love my new printer!

That's it. Move along people - nothing to see here!


How to make purty photos in a few easy steps...

Right. So. I have been lucky enough to be told lately by several lovely visitors to my blog that my photos are all purty like & although I have shared my "secret" already, it was just a brief thing & undoubtedly most people missed it or hadn't passed by then...

So, I'm here to point you in the direction of a magnificent piece of FREE photo editing goodness that can do the most amazing things to your photos, & is fun into the bargain.


Now, I don't think I really need to go on all that much more about it - now you know you'll already be on your way over there to play (hope you have a free couple of days - you'll want to do every photo on your computer, probably twice) but I'll share a couple of examples of the fun can be had, in case you need any more encouragement....

In the case of the above photo, the 'After' is actually what I saw on the day, but my photos looked much lighter & washed out. All I had to do was darken the pic a little & up the contrast & the amazing scene I saw at the beach was restored...

Halloween effects! Get in quick if you want to play with these!

I have found a few favourite effects that I quite like & I'm sure you will too - that's the fun of it, really, the experimenting! Add a few things at once, play with the contrast, the colour, the temperature, add just one filter, flip it, add frames... the possibilities are endless.

Do I sound like I'm getting paid by these guys?! Yes, probably... I only wish I were (hint hint Picnik people!!)! I'm just a happy customer, sharing the love... Now off you go & make me wish I'd kept it to myself by making your photos look WAY better than mine!


Yesterday I had lots of things to do. I had a house to clean, crafts to finish, mail to post, so of course The Boy finished work early & we went on an excursion, I mean, that was the only logical thing to do, wasn't it?!

We're not done playing tourist around here, still lots of places we are yet to explore, yesterday saw as trudge up hill & down dale (...hmm, perhaps not down dale... it just sounded good, but I doubt there were any dales involved, on reflection, perhaps 'up hill & down hill' would be a more accurate description...) on our way to a place called Lake Elizabeth.

I wasn't prepared for this eerily silent place with what I immediately thought of as "ghost trees" standing tall - they inspired the blair-witch-esque photo editing - it was really a lovely, sunny, cheery day... I promise!
Now if you'll excuse me, TODAY I have a house to clean, crafts to finish & mail to post! (...and opshopping to do, laundry to wash & a bicycle to ride!!)


My Creative Space...

...this week, is both brutally honest & embarrassingly messy;

Yup. That's it. Where the magic happens. I have a feeling there will be no "lovely space!" comments this week!

A closer look at the disaster zone (you may want to pop on your hardhats, lest some crafty debris fall on your head...);

A photo of Little Punk that is waiting for me to write it's accompanying letter so that it can be sent on it's way to The Boy's Mother, nestled, bizarrely, in a bowling bag full of felt.

Clockworks & painted canvas - the beginnings of an experiment or seven. I blame eBay for facilitating more craft expenditure.

One of many drawings, most not yet drawn, yearning to be made into a gift for my almost-nearly-just as well might be- brother in law.

Obviously those three things do not a hideous crafting shamozzle make; also squished in & on my craft cabinet are the fixings for some Christmas decorations for a looming swap, button bracelet supplies & "miscellaneous".

Do head over to Kirsty's to see some neat, tidy & undoubtedly more inspiring Creative Spaces!


Crafting Al Fresco.

It was a beautiful day here today, sunny & warm & fantastic... no way was I going to stay inside, but I really needed to make a start on a swap that I'm involved in that is due this week, so.........

....I took it outside! It was so great, I don't know why I didn't think of it before.

Le Punk kept trying to play in the dog's water bucket though, so I set her up with her own tub of water to play in. She loved it & played quite happily, pouring water from one container to another, splashing genteelly, until....

...all pretence was abandoned & she ended up unclothed & uncouth - in the drink.

A fun sun filled day was had by all.


How To Opshop; Opshopping Hints & Tips.

(Today's opshop finds; brand new red photo frame $1, brand new watercolour paint set for Punk 50 cents, crocheted postcard basket $3, wooden stepping stool $2, BH&G magazines 50 cents each, vintage children's picture dictionary $2, vintage Pyrex bowl $2, vintage Christmas table cloth for a swap $1, funky book "Presents - making them for other people" 10 cents, cute yellow letter holder for Le Punks bedside reads $1.)

Jacqui posted last week about her lack of "thrifting" luck & my reply to her has prompted this post.

Basically, I started off by saying "There are no hard & fast rules to opshopping..." & then proceeded to tell her some rules I live by... so I guess there are some rules... or guidelines at the very least, that make for a happy opshopping experience, I just never really thought of it like that because it's just what I do.

I've also heard lately that I am "...so lucky!" with my oppy finds, but I don't think I am a particularly lucky thrift shopper - just persistent. There are days I go into an opshop & leave with nothing, whereas other days I can barely open the door to go out so laden am I with happy treasures... the thing is though, I enjoy the empty handed days just as much as the days when I find things - I save money for one - but I enjoy the browsing in & of itself.

So, my "Hints & Tips" for opping;

  • Go often & stay long....! I probably visit my local oppies at least twice a week and stay until I've rummaged around in all the nooks & crannies. It helps that I sometimes use it as "me" time too & enjoy the entire process immensely, even if I don't find anything.If you go in often enough, or *shock* ask, you'll find out when "new" stock comes in so you can be there for all the good pickings...!

  • I hardly ever go looking for something in particular, I go in with no expectations & am usually pleasantly surprised. If I am looking for something in particular not only am I disappointed when I don't find it, but I skim over other goodies because they're not my "focus".

  • See a trip to the oppy as a pleasant distraction instead of a desperate shopping expedition & enjoy browsing through everything, racks you would normally breeze by, boxes you would usually ignore, could hold a gem that has been waiting for you!

  • Where to go... that is trial & error unfortunately! City stores vary from full of retro goodness priced sky high to sparsely stocked monoliths with things even the needy would reject. Country stores are generally cheaper, but you'll find some crazy pricing wherever you go - there is a set of old (...and grotty) kitchen canisters in an oppy here that are priced at $50 - you could get some in the same condition cheaper at a secondhand dealer, and anyone who would even consider paying that much for a set would know that, so they have been sitting there for MONTHS. I hear volunteers pricing things sometimes & the mind boggles at their reasoning!I have found however, after years of opping with great success, that the "weird" little oppies are often filled to the brim with treasures, if you're just willing to unearth them! You know the ones, "The Cat Society Thift Shop" or the "Christian Mission Opportunity Shop" or something, I think it has something to do with how they are run, the bigger ones like vinnies have a distribution centre that, well, distributes the goodies amongst it's stores, whereas those ones almost hoard their donations, which is good news for us!

  • If you ARE looking for something in particular, don't be afraid to ask. I have heard people asking for all sorts of weird & wonderful things with varying degrees of success; they may take your name & call you if what you are after comes in (if this is offered to you though I would still go in & check occasionally, in case the promise is forgotten) or they may have something out the back that they are yet to put out.

  • If you have kids, LEAVE THEM AT HOME! It is soooooooo much easier to potter about for ages if you don't have to worry about little hands playing with inappropriate vintage china, but, if, like me, you are rarely child free, you must soldier on!

  • Look EVERYWHERE. I cannot stress this enough. You may not want any books on "Microwave Cooking" (...a subject, it seems, on which many books have been written but not all that many are kept) but if you don't give that shelf a quick once over you can pretty much guarantee that is where your dream book on vintage softies will be nestled. Sometimes volunteers put things in weird places, sometimes kids do a little rearranging & sometimes shoppers with ulterior motives "hide" things they've found for later. Many times I have found delicious vintage jackets turfed in with "Fancy Dress" (how dare they?!).

  • Try. It. On. Unless you plan on a whole lot of refashioning or re-purposing, try on anything you intend to wear. Even $2 is too much to pay for something you can't wear.

  • Don't take big notes - this isn't really a rule but it's a good idea, especially if you've found an awesome something for 50 cents at the afore mentioned Cat Protection Society oppy - do you think they've done enough trade to change that $50 for you? Chances are they could do it, but it's better safe than sorry.

  • Look for potential. I would have never have bought this or this if I didn't think I could make them look much better & make them "mine".

  • Take a bag or 7... they always have plastic bags, but we all know that's a no no in this day & age, even if you aren't environmentally aware, the bags they have are usually donated secondhand bags themselves & are not always pristine - you don't want to loose your funky new bracelet on the way home because your cruddy supermarket plastic bag had a hole in it.

  • And finally... don't get discouraged! Go & go again, browse & browse some more!

Happy opping!!

Happy Birthday Gran!

My Nanna, Punky's Great-Nanna, turned 71 yesterday. We went around for cake (2 kinds...!) & various other birthday food delights in which we indulged unreservedly... Now I don't know for sure but I think the pink icing on the cake above had something to do with Punky bouncing off the walls until well after 11.00 pm....


The Toy Society; Drop #1.

I have just 10 minutes ago returned from a rather covert mission with Little Punk (aka, Secret Squirrel Jnr).

We made our very first drop for The Toy Society.

The Toy Society is something I have only recently discovered (again with the late & the bandwagon...), I WAS going to say I only just came across it yesterday, but that would be a bit of a fib as I really saw it first during Thursday's My Creative Space, over at Myrtle & Eunice, I just didn't realise it... in all the excitement of lots of spaces to see, I skimmed through Tania's post taking more notice of her lovely anecdote than what her pictures were about & moved on. It was only yesterday after "discovering" The Toy Society through a bit of web surfing that I found myself back there thinking.... "Oh."

Anyway, I fell in love with the idea of "dropping" a handmade softie in a public place for anybody to find & love, to hopefully brighten somebodie's day, spread the handmade love, inspire random acts of kindness (or random acts of craft!), encourage people to interact more with their environment... and more. It is akin to guerrilla knitting I believe, something I have admired from afar but not been game to participate in as my knitting skills are such that I would more than likely be arrested for vandalising public property. There is so much to love about the whole concept that after reading through the blog for a wee bit I even got a little teary... (..yes, yes, big baby, yes yes...) & KNEW I HAD to make a drop myself, the sooner the better.

So, that is why I didn't get to bed until quarter to 3 this morning... I was busy hand sewing Ruby's face...

This morning I sorted her out with her "papers" ('Take Me Home" tag & letter about The Toy Society) & took some glamour shots & off we went.

I had thought all night that I would drop her at the big park here by the lake, it's always busy & there are kids through constantly, and we were heading there when I was drawn to take a detour through our horribly neglected, under appreciated 'Sculpture Park'. I picked an old sculpture off to the side of the park, nestled amongst rampaging weeds & rusting quietly, thinking that the person who came across young Ruby there (IF anybody does) would be someone who either appreciates the sculptures as they were intended to be appreciated or at the very least is paying attention to what is around them, as opposed to just plopping her on a swing in the playground - I might as well just hand her to a child passing by, or give her to an undoubtedly appreciative Pumpkin, this way, I thought, it is as though I am contributing my own little piece of art to the sculpture, a limited installation if you will....!

It was surprisingly nerve wracking taking her out of my backpack & tying her to the sculpture - looking around furtively as I did so. I was nervous (why...?!) and excited about leaving Ruby to her (hopefully pleasant) fate.

It's sunny here today but there are showers on & off. She won't get wet in her little zip lock bag, but I do hope she finds a lovely home sooner rather than later.

I am SO going to do more of these. Definately will have to make something for our next trip to the beach... AND I've signed up for the Christmas Toy Drop, AND I want to make a Softie for Mirabel before December....!


My Place & Yours....

Ah! It's time again to visit Pip's blog for her new meme! This week's theme is "Bedside".

I was SO ready for this'un! I tidied up our room last week (I believe some people do this on a daily basis....?)!

My Bedside: *Cupboard that The Boy's dad started restoring but didn't finish - I really, really like the the distressed body & the clean drawers... *Mannequin head I bought one Saturday on the way home from Glebe markets from a shop that was closing down, *hat I made for Le Punk that was too small the day I made it, *wooden bear from one of my fave old oppies, *photos of The Boy & I when we were new, & a photo of his little brother who I love as if he were my own, *a low brow novel that you shall NOT be seeing the title of, thank you very much, and a *broken locket with treasured photos inside.

The Boy's Bedside; *Books, books & more books, *coffee cups, *my bass.

Well that was fun! Now I'm off to snoop around other peeps bedsides, that maybe, are a bit more exciting....? (...or do you think those crafty types will hide their handmade handcuffs before they take their photos....?!)

Giveaway Winner!

Right. It's Saturday morning & I'm tired & cold & out of Vegemite (how does that happen.....?!). On the upside, it looks like it's going to be nice outside & I have a copious amount of coffee to get me through, BUT, Blogtoberfest is officially kicking my butt.

I can't wait for it to be over! Is that awful....?! Maybe it's just my mood this morning but I find myself longing for a day when I don't have to turn the computer on... yeah I could do that "post the day before your post posts post" thing, but *meh*, that seems like just as much of a pain....

Anywho, the whinging is just setting me up nicely for; There is no giveaway this week (or next week... while I'm piking...), for two reasons;

1. I haven't made anything (nor do I want to give you any of my stuff. I like stuff, especially my stuff.)

2. As great as I thought the BOTF concept was, it really didn't help... I find myself reading even more, if that's possible? I read festival posts anyway, as they come up in my reader, AND then go & read the links you've generously provided. I will not be doing that this week, in all honesty. It is going to be a struggle to just keep posting...

BUT. I have let my 100th post come & go without a second thought so I'm going to pick another number... like 125 or 150, to have a celebratory giveaway with lots of STUFF (which I KNOW you like, just as much as I do...), so do check back, sometime when blogtober is a fond yet distant memory.

Now, I've babbled on enough, me thinks. Without further ado, the new owner of her very own, laboriously pierced button bracelet is;

MoederKip! Hurrah! Do email me your address my dear, and I shall post you some buttony goodness. :)


Glasses... or no glasses....?

That IS the question.

I am supposed to wear these glasses everyday. As a compromise, I don't wear them at all, ever.

I found them while cleaning up (...it is never ending...).

I tried them on. They made my eyes hurt a bit. But I could see better, funnily enough.

I think they up the geek factor by at least 50%. I don't mind that, sometimes, geekery is all the rage don't you know, but in general... I don't love them. What do you think? (Ignore the 'just got out of bed' hair. I am going to shlub around the house today & it shall be staying that way until I 'just get out of bed' tomorrow.)

PS, Punky thinks they are HILARIOUS....


My Creative Space.

I wasn't going to post "My Creative Space" today, as apart from the start of the week I've not been creating all that much at all, the sun has finally come out & it has been so hard to force myself inside for any reason (hence why my last couple of posts could barely be called "posts", sitting in front of the computer seems the least inviting place of all...), even playing with buttons & fabric & bias binding... but surely my creative space can be a place that inspires, refreshes & renews? Surely it can be a place that makes me happy & gets my creative juices flowing?
I think it can be, so I am sharing it with you; "Outside".
We've been to the beach, to waterfalls (...where *bursts with pride* Le Punk climbed almost 200 stairs by herself.... going up...!!! It was incredibly cute & pretty amazing, since The Boy & I were struggling (I still have sore calves), & she made a tennis-worthy grunt with every step.....!), having bbqs, playing in the park & just generally stooging around outside in the sun.
Punky has been waking up crazy happy as opposed to regular happy & every body's mood has lifted to dizzying heights - you don't realise how much you miss the sun until it makes you feel like this!

....and, just because I am really not a rule breaker at heart, a picture of what I was playing with before the sun decided to shine upon us, buttons a plenty. I made the bracelet for my giveaway & decided I needed one for myself, but the needle/candle method I was using to put holes in the buttons for the jump rings came unstuck when several needles' points bent in weird & wonderful ways... is there a better way crafty peeps?! Do share!
Also on the button front, I was dismayed to find yesterday that one of my Oppies is now charging $5 for what used to be a $3 jar of buttons.... *sigh* I know it's only $2 more but I can't bring myself to pay that much for a (not all that big) jar of old buttons!



...crazy busy & crazy tired... can't even be bothered finding a photo for "Wordless Wednesday".
Usual transmission will (hopefully) resume tomorrow.


Choc Chip & Walnut Muffins.

Did you see these muffins we made Saturday...?

I only bring it up because I am munching on one right now & MAN. They're good. I mean, really.

Choc Chip & Walnut Muffins;

1 3/4 cups plain flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup extra light olive oil
1 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 180 & place paper patty cases in muffin tin (our batch made 18 smaller muffins, but that was with batter filled right to the top of the patty cases & several stray dollops of batter around the kitchen...).

Mix together sugar, eggs, milk, vanilla & olive oil in a large bowl until well combined. Add flour, baking powder & salt & again mix until combined.

Fold in chocolate chips & walnuts.

Spoon mixture into patty cases & bake for about 20 mins or until cooked.

Y. U. M.


My Place And Yours...

It remains to be seen what exactly I would do with my time if I didn't have to read many, many, many inspirational blog posts every day & find new memes to participate in.

Perhaps I could take over the world. But we'll never know, will we?

Pip has started her very own Meme over at
Meet Me At Mikes, I urge you to check out her blog, if you haven't already, her lists of crafty tutes will come in handy to everyone.

The meme is titled, as is this post, My Place & Yours, and will have a different them each week so that participants can share little snippets of their homes.

This week's theme is 'On The Shelf'.

I went with a shelf in one of the neatest rooms in the house, because it's Sunday & I'm lazy; Punky's.

Her cute wooden doll house, which has lost a quarter of it's furniture to the depths of "under the bed", a few of her favourite books which, I kid you not, SHE keeps there to "read" instead of nap and a vintage nightlight that I found in Tassie an age ago.

PS Two days of two posts...?! I am surely headed for ruin!



(images in this post from here)

A link to Cakewrecks in my Best of the 'Fest giveaway post had some wicked awesome Steampunk inspired cakes which reminded me that not only had I forgotten to mention my growing interest in the genre, but, perhaps even more remiss of me, I have failed to share the Steampunk goodness with you guys - perhaps I'm not the only latecomer...?! (I suck at crazes or fads, or trends... really. I either recoil in horror [..think Harry Potter, Twilight..], or have no more than a passing interest which is frowned upon by purists [..think goth enough to like Marilyn Manson, wear black & write forlorn poetry, but not goth enough to like Cradle Of Filth].

Anywho, I had seen the word "Steampunk" bandied about for quite some time (...just as a side note, is Steampunk in & of itself not a fantastically evocative word...?!) & mistakenly lumped it in with Cyberpunk, something else of which I know nothing about, except that devotees (and I am SO stereotyping here - do forgive me) seem to wear a lot of fluro accessories and a slightly manic expression.

Trawling Etsy, as I am want to do, I would come across beautiful things that looked like antiques from an alternative future - but they were labeled "Steampunk" so I passed on by. I wasn't a Steampunk, those pretty things weren't for me! It was like seeing something on Ebay labeled 'Raver', nope, not me, you'll be wanting that chick over there in the fuzzy leopard print legwarmers.... (...stereotyping again... apologies...)

But. I was drawn to these things. They appealed to me aesthetically most of all - there is just something so pleasing about Steampunk images & objects - something familiar yet obscure that snatches my attention & won't let go. It appeals to my love of vintage but also to my darker side (you didn't know I had one of those did you...? *insert evil laugh here for effect*) and now I realise that just as I enjoy vintage pink mix masters, smurfs and studded things with skulls (separately... usually....), I may also partake in a little Steampunk without having to wear a corset & vision obscuring goggles (..if that IS your thing however, you'd better be sitting down before you click on
this link...)

I realise I've not even offered a brief explanation as to what Steampunk actually is - as I am still learning myself I'll share with you a video I found fun & interesting, it's about
Jake Von Slatt, quite the crafty genius & well-known Steampunk;

If you visit his site he has instructions on how he's made all his cool Steampunk stuff! That's another thing that I just love about it - you can pretty much make anything you own Steampunk - all you need is some junk (my favourite); brass, cogs, & enthusiasm.

I've been gorging on Steampunky goodness - (oh I AM blonde! Until I wrote that - SteamPUNKY - it just didn't click... a Steampunk'd little Punk would look so cute...) & I've found WAY too much cool stuff to share [..as you can imagine, it is a lifestyle to many people, so every single aspect is covered, music, literature (which interests me very much, off to the library sooner rather than later me thinks...], home decor, transport...), as much as I'd like to, but I strongly suggest if you have any interest at all to have a bit of a google, be warned however - it'll take you on one of those crazy web journeys where you'll have 17 browser windows open at once while you try to listen to music (I have to say I have been listening non stop to Dr. Steel this evening - I like it. I like it a lot.), watch videos, read & digest amazing photos, simultaneously.



Just thought I'd share.

In case I post something with cogs hot glued to it.


In the future.

You'll know why.

The Saturday That Was - Just Punky & Me.


Playing in the sun.

Thank you for a beautiful day little Punk,
Love from Mummy. xoxoxo


Blog Widget by LinkWithin