Wednesday 29 August 2007

Paper Doll Dresses

Paper Doll Dresses are a huge hit in Blogland at the moment. Lots of ladies missed out on getting into the swap, Mum and I included, but we are all flat out making them anyway.

Mum and I are turning them out on a nightly basis! We have a funny, friendly little competition going on where we pretend not to like the other one's. We have got Stella involved in it. I thought my first 'collection' were pretty good really until Mum started! We now have Stella saying Mummy's dresses are gastly and Nana's are beautiful!

There is some truth to that actually! Nana's dresses, like Nana's personality are totally over the top.

I actually got a bit worried, so have revisited mine, (telling Mum and Stella that I hadn't actually finished them) and am foofing them up - dramatically! I can't be outdone in my very own home!

Karla mentioned in her post that she loved her paper dolls as a wee girl. Paper dolls have a long history in my family also.

My Granny was an incredibly talented woman. She made her own paper doll as a girl which was a 1920's movie star. The doll looked like a flapper girl and she had the most glamourous wardrobe that Granny had designed and hand painted. I remember this soft dove grey coat that had a pink fur collar and cuffs. Also a long slinky silver evening gown. She had day wear, night wear, accessories etc. I loved playing with her and Granny made me a little sister to go with her that I would paint clothes for.

Mum also loved paper dolls and as a little girl I used to play with hers also. They were in a brown cardboard box and divided neatly into compartments, as only Mum would do, even as a kid! They were 1950's dolls and even as a little girl I loved the vintage-ness of them.

As a little girl in the 1970's I had my own paper dolls. My best friend Corienne and I each had a family of them and we would fashion clothes for them from an old Simplicity Sewing Pattern Book, Mothercare Books and magazines. We would just pop our dolls down on the garment we wanted, trace around the doll and cut it out!

Hours and hours were spent playing with our dolls. We would take over entire living rooms and make houses for them.

My Princess Stella also loves paper dolls. She has a box of them (now organised into plastic bags by Mum!) that she loves to play with. Her's are mostly fairy paper dolls!

If anyone would like to do a Paper Doll Dress Mini Swap with Mum and I, leave a comment with your email address.

Wednesday 22 August 2007

Craftiness and Swaps

Well, its been busy, busy, here since Mum and I got back from the Road Trip. We have got into a nice evening routine where we get the Princess fed and bathed and dinner and dishes done in the quickest time possible so that we can sit down and get crafty!
Mum has been stitching Bullion Roses on to a white cotton petticoat which is part of the shop stock. It looks gorgeous. She has been watching in astonishment as I have been churning out things nightly with the help of my craft glue. Lots of tut tutting as glue is a no no in the Embroiderers Guild she belongs to!!!
I missed signing up for Speckled Hen's Paper Dress Garland Swap but thought they looked fun to do so over the last few nights I have whipped up these little pretties. Today I am going to buy the ribbon and little pegs to attach them to.

Mum found it all too hard to resist so last night found her with glue bottle in hand! Will show and tell hers later when she has finished them!

I also finished covering this lamp shade I have been working on. Really happy with how it turned out even though it is one of my more subtle ones! I normally use far more embellishments on them but sometimes less is more!

And, while all this has been going on I have finished the Art Doll I was doing for my swap partner Jerusalem. A while back I read that Jerusalem loves the Princess and the Pea story so I used that theme for my art doll. I used all my favorite Robyn Pandolph fabrics in layers with vintage trims and ribbons to represent the mattress's on the bed. Then made an overskirt with paisley fabric, gave her a veil, glittered up her head dress and added some beads to her necklace and bracelet and the final touch, a green rhinestone at the bottom of her skirt to represent the pea. Voila!

If I had more time I would make a lovely box for her to lie in but I would like Jerusalem to get it this year!

Have almost completed the Vintage Kitchen Swap I am also part of.

Mum and I have signed up for a 12 Days of Christmas Swap hosted by Holly over at Art Seeds. This looks like another fun one, we have already planned what we are going to make!

Oh, and I have the keys to the new shop, EXCITING!!! Start painting this weekend . . .

Saturday 18 August 2007

Nice Matters Award

Ages ago, Amy from Petticoat Lane tagged me along with 6 others for the Nice Matters Award. Amy that was so nice of you to do that. Thank you.

I must have been away because I missed Amy's Nice Matters post!

But anyway you have to tag 7 other people.

There are so many people I could tag, whose blogs I love to read, love their kindness, admire their creativity and their work, covet their homes and so on but they have already been tagged.

So here's 7 wonderful ladies who I don't think have been tagged yet.

*Carol of Paris Breakfasts - one of the first ladies to leave a comment on my first post and who does the most fabulous artwork.

*Carol of Boxwood Cottage - another lady who left a comment on my first post, has a glorious garden and has started making beautiful jewellery.

*Karla of Karla's Cottage - an incredibly talented lady who is very kind and generous with her give away's and tips on painting, crafting etc

*Beth of Gathering Dust - another incredibly talented lady whose blog I enjoy reading.

*SAHM 0f Miz Smoochie Lips - I love her sense of humour!

*Risa of The ParTea Planner - who I admire and relate to with regard to juggling many balls all at once, wife, mother, daughter, granddaughter, homemaker, business woman etc

* Andrea of Velvet Strawberries - amazing, a busy Mum of one and one on the way who has just opened the fabulous one hundred wishes, her web boutique store.

Hope you are all a nice weekend!

Take Carex

Thursday 16 August 2007

Road Trip

This is going to be a long posting so I will try to keep the story short and just leave you with pictures.

I have been away. For those of you who don't know, our little country consists of two main Islands, appropriately called the North and South Island. Auckland, where I live is in the North Island. My Mum has spent the last 30 years living in a small city called Nelson at the top of the South Island. Mum sold her house recently and made the decision to move to Auckland to be closer to her grandchildren. She is going to live with us for a while until she decides what part of Auckland she would like to buy in.

Last Thursday I flew to Nelson to help Mum with the final winding up of her house. On Saturday we packed her car up with the things that weren't going into storage, mainly her clothes, shoes, craft gear, computer and alcohol . . . lifes little neccessities!!

We must have looked so funny, like the hillbillies, honestly you could not cram another thing
in the car . . .

First stop was morning tea at Pelorous where we came across this fellow outside . . .

And then on to Picton to catch our ferry to the North Island. We had a little wander around first in The Looking Glass, a craft supply shop where Mum bought silk ribbon for her embroidery . . .

We chose the wild and woolliest day to cross the Cook Strait. However, our ferry, the Kaitaki was one of the new ones and we just skimmed across the choppy ocean. So smooth was it that we were able to enjoy a relaxing drink . . .

We stayed two nights in Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand. My Aunty and cousins live there. We had a lovely catch up, family dinners and lunches and I went on this bungy thingy (normally meant for children!) with Melissa, my cute baby cousin (aged 10 years!).

On Monday morning we left Wellington and headed north. First stop was Fibre Flair another craft supply shop where Mum bought more silk ribbon . . .

Next stop was morning tea at this fabulous cafe called The Brown Sugar Cafe. Wonderful indoor/outdoor setting with gorgeous gifts as well.

As we were passing through a little town called Levin I just happened to spot this sign "Salvation Army Thrift Store". I found a few treasures that I was able to to squash into the car. A rosey curtain for the new shop, Belgium Tapestry mats that sell well, wallpaper border, embroidered pieces, a dressing table vanity set and 4 meters of Chinese silk brocade. Not a bad haul!

On to Taihape for lunch at another Brown Sugar Cafe because the first one was so good!

We had gourmet cheese on toast sandwiches

These Brown Sugar Cafe's are so arty, just had to take a photo of this

On and on we drove, finally reaching Auckland at 8pm that night, after leaving Wellington at 9am.

It was so great to be home, to see Babes and the Princess who told me over and over again how much she missed me and how much she loves me. She was also very excited to see her much loved Nana.

So, now we are an extended family of Babes, Stella and I, Coco and Meah our cats and Mum's two cats, Hamish and Martha who arrived from Nelson by plane yesterday!

Its so cool because my Mum and I haven't lived in the same city since I was 17 years old and only got to see each other two to three times a year.

Monday 6 August 2007

Yummy Cupcake Swap

I joined the Yummy Cupcake Swap hosted by Rosalyn-Sue at The Lil Bluebird Diaries. I was lucky enough to get for my partner, the super talented Natasha Burns who lives in my most fave city of all, Melbourne, Australia.

I have to admit I felt a bit nervous having Natasha for my partner and changed my mind a zillion times over about what to do for her and took way longer than I should have faffing and fiddling around with it!

Natasha's parcel for me arrived last week. I showed awesome will power and didn't open it until last night when I had finally wrapped the goodies I have put together for Natasha.


and you will cos I am about to show you . . .

I am totally overwhelmed by Natasha's talent and her generosity.

Look at THIS . . .

bundle of craft paper with Natasha's cupcakes printed on them, they all have different backgrounds and two gorgeous greeting cards . . .

and look at these great tags . . .

but this, oh wow, look at this cupcake collage with flocked tulle and crepe paper and sparkles. GORGEOUS!

but that's not all . . . wrapped in pink tissue were these faux cupcakes. I can't believe the perfection of them, GORGEOUS! even Babes who is so not into the girly stuff thinks they are great! Natasha makes these and sells them on her website. Believe me they are fantastic.

but wait, there's more . . . a set of 100 Patty Pans with the most gorgeous rose pattern. I am going to use them for the next tea party I do for Stella and her wee friends.


Here's what I did for Natasha . . .

This is vintage photo album which I have tarted up with sheet music, vintage trim and damask, craft roses, lace and ribbons.

I also tarted up this tin with vintage wall paper and bits and bobs. Inside are cupcake sprinkles and cupcake dusting powder.

I also made a bookmark (another one!) and a couple of tags, oh and some cupcake papers and a cupcake recipe.

and one of my Flower Fairy cards that everyone gets!

here it is all wrapped and ready. I love wrapping just as much as the creating!

Hope she like's it!

Thursday 2 August 2007

My Thoughts Are With You

Dear American People

All day today I have been watching the news coverage of the Minneapolis bridge disaster. I wish to say how sorry I am for the families and friends directly affected by this tragedy.

My thoughts and blessings are with you all.

From This to That!

The other day, well a few Sunday's ago actually, I mentioned I was going to a church garage sale . . . . well I did . . .

and, honest to goodness, the treasures I got for next to nothing were ridiculous. I actually felt embarrassed about the many trips it took to remove my 'next to nothing' treasures from their premises. Small tables galore, mirrors, garden ornaments, chenille bedspreads, Depression Glass etc and this . .
I passed it by quite a few times until its little feet caught my eye and I was able to see past the ugly fabric covering . . .

So I took it home for $3 and last night starting peeling it back to reveal this . . .

and then this . . .

and finally to this . . .

now, how gorgeous is that, watermarks and all. I have an overwhelming urge to paint its wee brown feet, and I will! But today I fluffed and faffed in the grown up room until I achieved some semblance of order and this . . .

Wednesday 1 August 2007

Wacky Wednesday

Yesterday was Wacky Wednesday at My Princess's pre school. They have been reading 'Wacky Wednesday' by Dr Suess.

They were allowed to wear anything they wanted, pj's, different shoes, crazy hats etc. All the teachers participated and they had messed the school up, signs upside down etc.

It was so much fun, we worked out what she would wear the night before. In the morning Daddy dressed her, and did her hair. He did such a great job! Isn't she so cute??

And because Mummy is a tinsy, whinsy bit wacky herself, I couldn't resist, and arrived to pick Stella up in the afternoon dressed like this!

Yuk! I take such a gross photo. Too close, surely my legs arn't that short, it must be the checked pj pants. And I know I am not that wide, must be the big Victoria's Secret t-shirt . . .

But that surely is my messy house, I'm still trying to stash the overflowing contents of one shop into the overflowing contents of one house!