Yet another use for paper doilies!

I’m super lucky to have a handy husband. He’s been known to knock up fences, decks, and dog kennels without breaking a sweat, and once when a visiting friend commented on my new herb planter we all got a surprise when he presented her with one to take home before we’d even finished our cups of tea. So when I started selling at markets and said I was after a tall rack with arms for displaying kid’s clothes, he said “no problem”. Ten minutes at the hardware store and half an hour outside with various power tools and there it was! A custom made clothes rack which is easy to take apart so that I can lug it around markets and in and out of the car with ease.

Lately though I’ve been feeling like it needed something to catch the eye of the passers-by, something that could be removed so that I could still take it apart at the end of the day. In the ten minutes between finishing sewing and Little coming home from his playdate I made some wee labels and was utterly taken with them! I thought I’d share.

The foundation of the disc is foam board, cadged from an office cleanout years ago that has been sitting waiting to be repurposed. It’s light and easy to cut with a craft knife so it fitted the bill perfectly. After cutting a circle out of it, I then cut a circle of fabric 3cm larger to cover it with, and another 2cm smaller to put on the back to hide my ATROCIOUS glue-gunning skills.


double sided tape holds the backing on steady to glue, once the front has been glued on "neatly". Ha ha.



if you don't have a love/hate relationship with your gluegun, you're doing it wrong.

All that was left to do after this was to stick the paper doily to the front of the disc; at $2 for a pack of 60, it doesn’t get much more economical than that. I used a normal gluestick for this, partially because the paper doilies are super dainty and thin and partly because there is only so much hot glue one’s fingers should have to be subjected to per sitting.

all finished, on location and looking lovely at the Birkenhead Artisan Market


After I had made these, I started thinking about how cute and easy they would be to use as wall decorations too – different colours and sizes and fabrics, with doilies or without, appliqued motifs, hand painted, the options are endless. I think I might make some more to sell and see what happens at next months’ markets . . . there’ll need to be some serious brushing up on the art of glue-gunning first though!


j xx


I heart hearts.

You know those days where nothing really specifically seems to go wrong, but nothing really goes right either? I had one yesterday. The day where you rely a little too much on the good old Monsters Inc dvd to entertain a hot, sticky, grumpy child, the project you’re working on just doesn’t quite come out how you planned (chevron plackets and tired eyes DO NOT MIX WELL), and your diet of a mocha-latte and a handful of choc chip biscuits comes back to bite you mid-afternoon in the form of a massive sugar hangover.

Advice from friends after a lengthy facebook vent pointed out that I needed to put down the scissors, stop freaking out and give in to the blues, at least for the rest of the day, but I knew that to be able to sleep soundly I needed at least ONE thing to go satisfactorily. So -ironic as it is – I did what most crafters do when they feel upset, annoyed or otherwise wonky: I made stuff.

So after the wee one went to bed and with nary a thought towards margins, costings, or target markets, I collected up some of my favourite things (felt, polka dots and variegated yarn), and one of my favourite stitches (blanket), made a cuppa, put the cricket on, and just let whatever wanted to come out happen. What eventually happened was a string of felt heart bunting!

As uncharacteristically pink as this is for me, it makes me smile – thus serving its purpose! Will it come with me to market next week, with a few friends?? Possibly. I feel a week of puff-bunting coming on.

What’s in a name?

You know you do it. We all do. Whether conciously or not, we name the machines in our lives. Our mighty family wagon was deemed a ‘Charlotte’ (most commonly called Lottie), and the Honda Civic that preceeded her was most emphatically a Charlie, although the gender of Charlie remains unknown even to this day. S/he was a curious beast.

I’d say I spend most of my spare time in the company of Olive, my great hulk of an industrial straight-sewer. Anyone who has helped me move in the last six years can attest to her solidity; this baby will be hanging with the cockroaches after the End Days have come, so I’m not sure how a Singer 491 that weighs about as much (if not slightly more) than me came to have such a dainty name! Also dainty is my wee overlocker Penny, named for the lovely friend who passed her on to me. We’ve had stern words, as all good friends do, but always manage to see eye to eye in the end.

My mannequin, while not a machine also has a name; I guess this actually makes more sense since she’s vaguely humanoid. When I proudly hauled her from the backseat of my car after spying her in the back of a Silverstream Op-Shop, my mother said she reminded her of Nancy Reagan. How anything can look like someone without having a head is another topic altogether. Nancy stuck immediately.

And finally we have my special piece of forbidden treasure. It’s time Marcie here sees the light of day, even if it leads to a substantial investment of the two wheeled variety . . . you see, I’m only allowed to keep as many sewing machines as my husband is allowed bicycles. It’s a cruel system that simultaneously keeps both of us from going off the deep end, but it means Marcie here has been living in Little’s wardrobe for a couple of years, ever since she *accidentally* jumped into the car at a white elephant sale. She came with the original instruction manual, “bits” box, and fetching white leather suitcase with green velour lining for transportation purposes (although you would NOT want to lug this puppy around too far if you value the use of your back). Who could say no to that?!? Not me.

Marcie – my forbidden love.

Anyway, I have a sneaking suspicion that there may be some secrets being kept under the house – secrets of the peddaled variety. We’ll see I guess.

I’d feel much better if I knew I wasn’t the only one who does this? Maybe there’s some sort of support group I can join? ‘People Who Name Their Implements After 1950s Housewives’ Anonymous, that sort of thing. We live in hope.

j xx