Tag Archives: Craft

Watch out UFOs about!

2 Jul

Have small green freaky looking creatures invaded Drawn Outdoors HQ? No, but we do have a lot of UFOs, UFPs and just a whole lotta stuff that needs to be done.  Not UFOs in the sense of strange flying saucer shaped alien transportation devices, UFOs in the sense of UnFinished Objects, UnFinished Projects and yes, just general stuff to be done.  I’ve talked about my powers of procrastination (check that one out here) and my list making love (that one is here) but I have another confession to make…

I’m not very good at finishing things.

I’m fabulous at starting, at dreaming, at thinking big.  If you need ideas, and you need them big, fantastic and mind blowing, I’m your girl.  The more freedom my mind is given to wander the better the idea.  I’m glad that this is a fabulous skill to have in the wonderful world of design.  It is so much fun to take an idea for a wander and see where it ends up taking you.

If you need a project planned and started, I’ll also put my hand up for that one.  I’m great at identifying what needs to be done and finding a pathway through the murky depths of “it’s too hard”, breaking problems down and then building up a solution.  My problem comes when I start to walk the pathway and something more shiny gets in my way, or another problem or idea jumps up and shouts out “look at me!”

I think my problem is deadlines.  When a project has a deadline, has a finish point, a clearly defined date and time, I manage to knock it out of the park.  When a deadline is a little bit  more flexible, or even worse, non existent, we have a problem.  I’ve worked out that when I’m wearing my Drawn Outdoors hat things are completed, on time and well.  It’s when things matter or people are relying on me that I tend to do my best work.  Why can’t I apply this dedication to all those incomplete little projects?  Why is the dress I started in my dressmaking class 3 years ago still not finished, and the 30th birthday present for my now 32 year old sister still waiting for its final touches?  Not to mention the multitude of stitches, sewings and ideas who’s seeds have been planted, allowed to germinate but not been able to grow and bloom.

I’m finding that blogging is helping with this problem.  When I blog about doing something, I tend to do it – I think it’s the guilt feeling I get when I don’t achieve a goal and too many people know about it.  Our 1000 things in winter is coming along fabulously, the girls are a third of the way there – Yay girls!  And my 31 posts in May was a total success.  But on the down side some things have slipped through the cracks, most obviously our own garden design and the Drawn Outdoors office.

To bust out of the half done rut that some things have found themselves falling into, I’m making a new financial year resolution.  When I have an idea that needs to be done, I’m giving it a deadline, letting someone who cares know about it, and then doing my best to stick to it.  I’m hoping that extra rewards won’t be needed along the way, the feeling of sheer unadulterated satisfaction when I”m finished should be sweet enough.

So here it is, my new financial year resolution to do list, with some deadlines and “reporting mechanisms” – I know you’ll hold me to it!  I’m starting small, just ten UFOs to start with, I don’t want any aliens messing with the engine.

1. Finish the 1000 things in winter challenge – and win!  This one’s a no brainer in terms of time – I have until the end of August, but just to make sure we’re on track I want to hit 500 things by 15 July, and 700 by 1 August.

2. Design OUR garden.  I’ve been designing a few gardens lately, but not ours. It  has been placed on the “when I get to it” pile for a bit too long.  I’ve measured the yard, analysed it to within an inch of its life, and now it’s time to turn my seeds of ideas into a reality.  Deadline – 1 September , or the first day of spring, ready for us to start building and enjoying this summer.

3. Set up Drawn Outdoors Office – I should really say finish setting up the office.  At the moment it’s working, but not well.  I need a desk.  It’s hard keeping things on a tilted drawing board and not so easy drawing on a flat one, and the computer desk is tiny.  I need to streamline and organise what I have so it works for me and so the office looks like an office and not a halfway house for anything without a home.  Target dates are 31 July for desk, then 15 August for office organisation.

4. Knit the Drama Queen’s scarf – I have taught myself how to knit (Yay me!) and my first project is a scarf.  I will have it finished so it can be worn this winter.  Completion date 31 July.

5. Finish the 30th birthday present – can’t say what it is, that would give away the surprise, but I will share when I get there. I’d like to have it done before Christmas.  30 November is the deadline.

6. Repair our walls – When we moved in, just over a year ago we repainted then replaced the light fittings.  Most are fine, but there are a couple of holes and patches of wall that need painting.  Deadline 31 August.

7. Plan a ski trip.  Mr Perfect and I love the snow, but The Drama Queen and the Daredevil have never seen it, and we’re feeling a bit sad about that.  We have decided that this year we will take them.  Holidays don’t plan themselves, someone needs to do it.  Deadline 20 July, any later and it might melt!

8. Finish the stitching for the Drama Queen’s new cushion – You know, the one I blogged about here.  Done by 31 August.

9. Plan our christmas presents – I like to make rather than buy, but I tend to get my great ideas around the end of October, and I’m left scrambling to get things done.  This year I’m going to be a bit more organised and get my plan ready before the end of July

10. Make myself an exceptionally cool post it note list that I can keep track of all my things to do on.  Just like this one from Cornflower Blue Studio.  I’ll show you this one by the 10th of July, and I will only use materials we currently have in the house.

There are so many more things I will need to add to this list, but if I just focus on 10 at a time I think my success rate might be a little bit higher, don’t you?

Sam

Friday Finds – Peaches + Keen

22 Jun

Because it is winter, it’s cold and it’s been raining, I haven’t been much in the outdoor kind of mood.  Indoor plants have been on my mind.  I’ve been thinking we need some indoor greenery around Drawn Outdoors HQ, but with my not so green thumb, I’ve been a little wary of actually taking the indoor plant plunge.  I would need some sort of incentive, something that would make my aesthetic mind pop … Hello Peaches and Keen!

OK, so let’s start with the rather cool name, then take a look at the super colourful handmade and unique planters that this Melbourne duo create.  If there’s something that will make me try my hand at indoor gardening these may be the trick.  There’s no secret that I love something handmade.  If it’s a little bit crafty, a bit creative and a lot unique, I generally love it.  I also love a bit of colour.  Sometimes the brighter the better.  Peaches and Keen call themselves the “fluoro duo”, and there are colours to make this rainbow lovers heart jump with joy.

And planters aren’t the only thing they do.  I love their jewellery and artwork too.

The good news for those of us not living in Melbourne is that they have an online shop and will ship almost anywhere!  Their website is worth a visit, even if only to check out their blog for a little bit of visual loveliness.

Sam

All sewn up

26 May

We’ve had a bit of a blow out at our place.

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The poor cushion couldn’t handle the munchkin torment any more and gave in. The Drama Queen’s not very happy about it, it was her “favourite”! The cushion did have a sibling, but apparently it’s not as good as the favourite, I actually prefer the sibling, but I’m not 4.

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Both cushions were made for my sister’s wedding, quite a few years ago. She had a beautiful garden wedding with masses of handmade touches. I’ll have to borrow her wedding photos one day if she’ll let me share them! With such a sentimental beginning it is sad to say goodbye to the cushion, but we’ve taken the opportunity to redesign and remake. The Drama Queen has helped me pick out some material and a cross stitch design and we’re about to start the hard work.

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The Drama Queen has picked a cross stitch design from a French cross stitch book. I borrowed it from the library, and have renewed it twice already, it is beautiful, full of patterns based on French deserts like croissants and macaroons. the Drama Queen has chosen cupcakes, which fortunately seems pretty easy.

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I’ll let you know how we go!

Sam

Friday Finds – Bombing it!

27 Apr

I love a good bit of guerrilla crafting, a crafty incursion into the everyday.  It reminds me that creativity can be found anywhere and anytime if you have the heart and the will.  I particularly like a good yarn bomb, partly because it is such a simple idea, and partly because I’m so in awe of the creation because, as hard as I try, I can not knit.

Magda Sayeg is the queen of the yarn bomb.  I’ve been surprised by her ‘bombs’ around the Sydney Opera House, though missed her other Sydney installations.  I love how such a simple material can completely change a space, magically transform design and, in my mind, enhance a landscape.  Yarn bombing is a completely ephemeral installation, by the nature of the material it can not be permanent, and it is its element of surprise that really makes my creative heart smile.  Enjoy the bombs!

All photos from Magdasayeg.com

You can even bomb your iPhone – check out the Knitta shop if you want to have your own little fragment of a bomb.

Sam

Friday Finds – marking it

20 Apr

This week’s Friday Finds is brought to us by the wonderfully creative souls that you find on Etsy.  There is such a beautiful organic synergy between hand made crafty pursuits and gardening, and it’s no secret that I adore both of them.  As it is spring in the northern hemisphere, garden themes are trending a bit on Etsy, and while we can’t ship plants and seeds down under, we can import ourselves some of the handmade goodies.  I love to browse on Etsy, partly for inspiration, partly for admiration and partly for aspiration.  I love supporting hand made as much as I love creating it.  Please enjoy these plant markers as much as I am enjoying finding them for you…

Swirl plant marker from metalgardenart

Fan shaped garden markers from cynthiavardhan

ceramic vegetable markers from fromArtisanHands

Natural stone markers from sjengraving

Repurposed knife garden markers from Revisions

Searching through the plant markers was inspiration enough for The Drama Queen and I to get out and sow some seeds, though without the time or patience to wait for some beautiful Etsy markers, we fashioned our own out of foam, paddle pop sticks and sticky tape – what do you think????

Have a lovely weekend, hope I’ve sowed a few seeds of inspiration!

Sam

A trail of terror…

22 Nov

The Daredevil goes by a couple of other names, there’s the Super B, our little terrorist and my personal favourite, Mr Destructacon.  There’s also the nice gentle ones like cuddle bug and gentle Ben, but today was definitely a Mr Destructacon kind of day.  I think I’ve spun from one minor clean up to major hassle all afternoon!

Let me explain a little further.  Normally on a Tuesday I only have the Daredevil at home with me.  The Drama Queen would generally spend the day in child care.  But today we had a little outing to get some immunisation shots, 18months for the Daredevil and 4years for the Drama Queen. So, like a responsible mother I’ve tried to keep things calm.  Have an inside relaxed kind of afternoon. It’s rainy outside, so outdoors really wasn’t an option anyway.  My munchkins have had other ideas, particularly the Daredevil.  My plan was for a quiet and crafty afternoon, but like best laid plans things have gone a little pear shaped!

While the Drama Queen has been relatively calm, despite the occasional snap at her over excited brother, the Daredevil has sniffed out and found almost every kind of destruction his little frame can handle!  The problem today has been that he has been really quite stealth like with his destruction and it is only by chance that I’ve found the more creative and difficult to rectify misadventures.  As I type, he is trying to unload the dishwasher – really helpful if he were 10 years older, though I have a feeling when he is 10 years older he will have no interest in any form of household appliance!

We managed to cut out the tulle for the pink and purple (yes, the Drama Queen’s colour choices) Christmas pom poms, but the lure of ABC for Kids became too strong so they haven’t progressed much further. We I have made the green jelly that will hopefully set before desert time.  But beyond these small achievements, our day has been a joyful chaos, fortunately free of any major damage to property or person.  I’ll let the few photos I have managed to take speak for themselves…

Do I look like trouble???

I managed to stop this one before all the DVDs followed the games out of the cupboard

The unpacked dishwasher Daredevil style...

These were my new embroidery threads, I guess they still are, but with the Daredevil touch!

But then I found gems like this, he has set the table for dinner with his and the Drama Queen's cutlery

and this is as far as our pink and purple pom poms got!

Ahhhh…. nearly time for dinner, and Mr Perfect’s on the way home.  A Daredevil shared is a disaster halved!

Sam

When you can’t get outdoors

17 Jun

After last week’s weather curse, I’m hoping this one brings us some gorgeous sunny weather so we can all head outdoors and shake off the hibernation shackles.

Let’s face it, sometimes you just can’t, or don’t want to go outdoors.  It might be wet, cold, miserable, and if you’re really lucky it might be snowing.  Or, you just don’t want to go out today, you feel like a little bit of indoor entertainment.  That’s fine, I understand.  I’m not generally like that.  I start to get a bit stir crazy if I don’t venture out the front door.  There’s a world out there and I love being in it, but sometimes I do want to cocoon, to hibernate and to just sit at home for a while, generally that mood hits on rainy days in winter, so I have a feeling that we might be having the winter mood this weekend after the week of horrible rain, wind and cold that we’ve had.

When the winter mood hits, my creative soul doesn’t generally take a break.  I like to make things.  I try to make as many of my birthday and christmas gifts as I can, and any new babies can generally expect some hand made goodies too.  I have a fabric obsession that is verging on the insane, and I probably have the supplies to kit out a small haberdashery store.  So here are my top 5 things to do indoors, when you can’t or just don’t feel like heading out.

1. Craft it up – This is my number one favourite thing to do indoors.  It also becomes an outdoor activity in summer when I can grab a picnic blanket (hand made) and stretch out in the sun and create.  Lately I have become seriously addicted to the sock animals designed by Craft Schmaft, they are so easy and look so good.  I have made flocks of owls who have flown the nest to many appreciative babies.

Some of my sock owls before they found a new home.

I was making owls before I was a Bizness Babe, and it turns out that Craft Schmaft is a Bizness Babe business too – such a small world! There are so many more Craft Schmaft patterns to choose from, last Christmas I branched out into sock dogs too!

The Daredevil loving his Craft Schmaft dog

2. Read a good book – This is something that I’ve had less and less time for.  I traditionally devour books, regardless of the genre, and have been known to spend a whole day just reading a book that I can’t put down.  Mr Perfect tells everyone about the number of books I took, and the amount of time I spent reading on our honeymoon.  I have a soft spot for good contemporary Australian fiction, with Tim Winton being an obvious favourite.  With time at a premium, these are the books I have been gravitating to, though I have just started reading a classic, I’ve picked up To Kill a Mockingbird again.

3. Become a domestic goddess – a la Nigella.  I love cooking, and winter is a great time to try out new recipies.  The Oven being on warms the house and the food warms the soul.  I make a killer chocolate brownie, and don’t mind trying my hand at cake decorating.  The DramaQueen and Daredevil have had some fantastic cakes.  But winter is the best time to try out puddings, chocolate, caramel, sticky date, crumbles… all yum with cream and ice cream melting over the top!

The Drama Queens' Butters cake made for her 2nd birthday

4. Take a bath – Another thing I haven’t had a huge amount of time for lately, but there’s nothing better than running a warm bath, lighting a few candles, adding some bath oils and relaxing.  Fantastic for a bit of alone time, and to recharge. I have to give a little plug for a fellow Bizness Babe – Felicity at the Karma Soap Company has just launched her website and it looks fabulous.  I’m thinking her new body scrub would be a great addition to a relaxing bath, or any of her handmade fresh goats milk soaps for that matter.

5. Cheese and wine – Well, lets face it, these are good any place any time, but they seem a bit nicer when you’re sitting around an open fire.  My sister is the queen of cheese, check out her christmas cheese platters.

Lou's Christmas cheese platters

Most of these things go very well with an open fire and a nice quilt to rug up with. Maybe you could make one??!!??

Sam

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