27 Jul 2010

Un Cheval Appelé Sammy - { A Horse Named Sammy }

Once upon a time in a tranquil land far away, two newlyweds on a second honeymoon decided to break up their relaxing holiday (read: sloth like existence) filled with spas, saunas, cheese and wine with a more vigorous activity...horse riding. The groom, a seasoned horseman eagerly anticipated saddling up and galloping into the wild, blue yonder whilst his bride (a first timer) tried hard to swallow the large lump in her throat.

When all the other jaunty equestrians joined their chosen horses in their stables there were pats, nuzzles and joyful whinnying all round. However, the bride's "gentle giant" Sammy, refused to partake in such frivolity and kept flashing "whites of his eyes showing" glances her way. Upon mounting her steed and joining the others, the brides eyes filled with fearful tears. Gallantly, the groom steered his dear Cedric over to calm the lass. Little did the groom know that Cedric was a bit of a joker and proceeded to pass wind in Sammy's face causing much "whites of the eyes" showing on Sammy's behalf.

After several hours and several bouts of Cedric's flatulence and more body shaking from fright than one bride can endure, a visibly annoyed Sammy struck back and with a disgruntled neigh reared up and took off with the bride clinging on for dear life. In front of fifteen strangers, the bride screamed in terror, "I want to get off...I want to get off... I want to get off....", in between child like sobs with mandatory runny nose included. Needless to say, after being tethered to the guide's horse and led all the way down the trail back to the camp, this bride vowed never to straddle a horse in this lifetime. And she never has! The end.

Back in pressie central, I've made a little unicorn for my niece using a lovely Melly and Me pattern and some yummy Tanya Whelan fabric. This is one member of the equine family that this girl would happily take for a spin around the paddock. Giddy up!!

26 Jul 2010

Les Marchés au Puces - { The Market of the Fleas }

Much to my absolute delight, Bijou loves to eat!! There really wasn't an option for her to be a fuss pot when raised in a family whose conversations often revolve around making food, eating food, critiquing food, and so on and so on. From the day dot she has munched down anything and everything we've given her with much gusto and lip smacking. From olives and capers, to anchovies on pizza, gherkins and brie.

Raw mushrooms in the trolley on our weekly grocery shopping jaunt, the tartest of yogurts, Mexican salsas, curries! You name it...she eats it! Except for one thing...capsicum. And oddly enough, it is the only thing (and I mean the only thing) that Hubby doesn't eat. And believe it or not, his father won't eat it either! Is there some bizarre strand of capsicum aversion DNA passing down from generation to generation. Crazy!!

For this week's somewhat belated Flea Market Finds I wanted to show you one of mon petit poppet's other favourite pastimes (after eating!) and that's feeding others!! This weeny pink dolls' high chair was an absolute must have when spied in a little secondhand shop. Aren't those stickers just the sweetest?!

On tonight's menu is Spaghetti Bolognaise. "Is there capsicum in this honey?" says Hubby. "Of course not my love...I know how you loathe it". Wink wink

23 Jul 2010

Neuf Têtes - { Nine Heads }

Shopping for vintage treasures is one of my greatest joys! Spying a delicate slip buried underneath 1990's shouldered padded numbers. Another pair of knee high boots to add to my vast collection....there is always another hue just around the corner that I never knew I needed!
A man style jacket in a delicious tweed.

Unfortunately though, the bower bird in me is more often than not drawn to the fanciful and theatrical. Sequins, garish colours and prints, silk shantung...more sequins! And therefore I have a wardrobe more fitted to a drag queen than a stay at home Mumma.

Today, an op shopping trawl with my own Mumma Bear. Dressed in vintage finds that are wearable in places other than on the stage of the Moulin Rouge, I hope to channel some brilliant (and practical) finds.

Grey skinny jeans - sass and bide
Black skivvy - Big W
Faux fur vest - vintage
Scarf tied around wrist - vintage
Brown suede boots - Sportsgirl
Handbag - Louis Vuitton

Note: 9 Heads is a way of drawing fashion figures using the head as a measurement.

22 Jul 2010

Mon Espace Créateur - { My Creative Space }

Well after having quite a giggle at what you thought was my lie, it's time to fess up!! Not only to what is the falsehood but more embarrassingly....the truths! Hello, my name is Stephanie and I love Delta Goodrem (echo..."hello Stephanie"). Sad as you may think..I could play (and sing along to) Delta all day, every day. Yes I have many other favourites but when the chips are down Delta's my gal! O.k. stop sniggering!!!!

And yes, I am terrified of horses. A story too traumatic to relay right now. I'll work up the courage to relive those excruciating moments and fill you in at a later date. And me as an astronaut....ha!! But it was a dream of mine...albeit a fleeting one. Shame I failed Physics and Maths II. Could have been an issue perhaps in deep dark outer space. "Houston, we have a wee problem!"

The Paris one...tick! And delayed name changing....tick, tick. And as far as the sixth sense goes, with the risk of sounding all "Mystic Melanie" on you, my gut feeling has never been wrong....no, never! The hairs stand up on the back of my neck when things aren't quite right and I always follow that feeling...no exceptions. I think it has saved me from some pretty scary episodes!

So yes, the lie was offal. Me loving offal...oh my, could there be a statement any more false. Nothing makes my stomach heave more than a plate of tripe (retching at the thought!). When hubby and I first started going out as mere babes he took me to his family home (an offal loving home I must tell you) and there in his fridge was an ox tongue! Now, I'm not making fun. Each to their own I say but to see that "thing" pressed into a little dish was enough to end the relationship. Thankfully, I didn't let a little (read: HUGE!) aversion to offal turn me off the most remarkable man in the universe.

One part of me that I didn't mention is how crafting has become a way of life for me (o.k. somewhat obvious considering this is what I blog about)! I now find I get tetchy if I haven't made something each day. Nothing is so grounding as stirring a batter, sewing a stitch or knitting a row or two (yes it still continues!!). I do it because I must.

My creative space this week is filled with pressies. I have plenty of birthdays to celebrate this month so first cabs out of the rank are these little glasses and sunglasses cases from Sew Darn Cute for two special ladies. Here's hoping they can fill them with Chanel!!!

To see what all the busy bees out there have been making please pop into Kirsty's lovely blog.

21 Jul 2010

Yipeeee!!!! - { Yipeeeee!!!.....I don't know how the French would say this }

I am so deliriously excited to show off the cover of this gorgeous book featuring oodles of Australian designers. Handmade Living will showcase many of our beloved blog friends..... including moi!! I have two projects in this book and have to pinch myself regularly to make sure it's not a dream....I'm going to be in a real, proper, sit on the bookshelf, maybe even in a library, book....Yipeeeeeee!!!

This brilliant compilation will hit stores nationally on the 4th December but to pre order a copy head over to the Handmade Living website.

On another note, I've just opened a made it shop. I've been a busy little bee photographing and listing all my goodies so I'd love you to take a look and let me know what you think. And let me just say, we Aussies rock as far as crafting goes! There are some brilliant wares out there and I'm afraid I may very well spend more than I make!!

I'm off now to have a shower and hopefully wash away some of the narcissism that comes with such a day. Hopefully my head will fit through the door! No doubt there will be a pooey nappy this afternoon to bring me firmly back to the ground.

20 Jul 2010

L'amour de Blog - { Blog Love }

I was so delighted the other day when the lovely Jill from Creating My Way to Success awarded me with this award. I was equally humbled when the gorgeous Brenda from Mira Narnie (my Melbourne twin) awarded me another Sunshine Award. Ladies, I am so honoured! The blog love out there fills my cup to overflowing and I sincerely thank each and every one of you who read my blog! You make me buzz!!!

In the spirit of the award I am to tell you six truths about myself and one lie. As you mull over which statements are factual and which is a big, fat porky pie I'm going to show you some of the amazing things that Jill and Brenda have done...and to think they awarded me! The first piccie is of Jill's awesome insulated lunch box.

About Moi 1: In my teens I entertained thoughts about becoming an astronaut and took flying lessons in a little wee Cessna.

About Moi 2: I am in love with Delta Goodrem!

Second piccie is Jill's brilliant Barbie camp set.

About Moi 3: It took me 6 years to change to my married name (a week before Bijou was born) and hence ended up with a hideous puffy pregnancy driver's license photo.

About Moi 4: I have a very strong sixth sense...Hubby even trusts it!

Some of Brenda's gorgeous bunting.

About Moi 5: I could drop everything (not Hubby or Poppet of course) and move to Paris this second (o.k. this one is so obvious!!!).

Brenda's beautiful crocheted cushion cover...and she's only been doing it a little while!!

About Moi 6: I have a fear of horses and cried like a small child when I was last on one (first and last time!) and had to be led down the mountain on a leash by the guide! Quelle Horreur!!

About Moi 7: I adore offal of all description...c'est delicieux!!

O.K. there you have it! Some deep, dark secrets about yours truly. But which one is a lie?.....mmmm...stay tuned!

18 Jul 2010

Les Marchés au Puces - { The Market of the Fleas }

This week's flea market find did not come courtesy of the local St. Vinnies or from a trawl around a Sunday market...this treasure was unearthed in my Mum and Dad's garage! Bijou has taken a very keen interest in all things sewing of late (inner squeal and jumps for joy!!!) and somewhere in the back of my mind I recalled a wee little Holly Hobbie sewing machine I had as a child.

After pulling down box after broccoli box (my Mum's storage solution du jour) from the "pairs" garage I finally rubbed the right lamp. There staring up at me were childhood relics long forgotten from memory but immediately recognisable by the heart. Baa Baa, the green woolen sheep doll with a plastic face that helped soothe many a woe, Lucy the cabbage patch doll(not an original with the tattoo on her bot bot but a pretty darn good copy from the chemist shop ...she cost far less but was loved to the moon and back!). Peaches and Cream Barbie...ahhh!

And this perfect little sewing machine. It has a few rusty patches now and the needles are long gone. But with a foot peddle and spindle for the cotton just like Mumma Bear's, mon petit poppet is in sewing heaven! Now if I need to do a quick little job while she's awake, I set her up next to me and we sew along together....I get my job done, she's happy....and my heart sings!!
I wonder what goodies all the lovelies playing along with Sophie this week have unearthed. Let's go have a peak.

16 Jul 2010

Neuf Têtes - { Nine Heads }

After what seems like an age of the world cocooned in the glory of baby raising I finally feel it is time to give a little back to moi! Fashion was always such a passion for me before Bijou however nurturing a little one requires more hardy wares than say a buttery soft over the knee boot. With the constant inspiration and encouragement of beautiful Brenda at Mira Narnie I have decided to make a leap and let you see a little bit more of the real me (my gorgeous new earrings are courtesy of her...what a legend! You simply must check out her shop).

The crafting side of me is relatively new and though I absolutely adore this new found side of myself I can't help turning back to look at my former self in all her fashionable glory! In days gone by I yearned to be a fashion designer but let my lack of drawing ability hold me back...that and a giant dollop of fear!! I often doodled outfits, kept a clippings folder holding a veritable smorgasbord of magazine cutouts that inspired me, sketched (in my own way) outfits I saw on the street and bought far too many shoes!

With one small purchase of these to die for black studded booties all that magic came flooding back. The colours, the textures, the cuts, the shapes...all those intoxicating things about fashion that kept me coming back for more....and more...and more! So with great excitement and not just a little bit of trepidation I am going to make that jump from the tracky dac wearing Mumma
to a modern woman expressing her individuality. The chasm is quite wide but with the help of some friends I'll get there. So here I present 9 Heads...a weekly (all going well) journey to find my fashionable self. I might design, make something, pull together an outfit...who knows! One things for certain...it will all be for me! Don't worry though, craftiness will still continue!!

Note: 9 Heads is a method of drawing fashion figures using one head as a measurement.

With my raison d'être fast asleep I'm off to give myself a manicure. Something I haven't done in donkeys' years. A trés chic O.P.I number in a delicious mauve colour should do the trick. Hope my finger nails don't fall off in shock!

15 Jul 2010

Mon Espace Créateur - { My Creative Space }

I adored weekend mornings when I was a child as it was the only time in the week that my brother and I were allowed to watch morning television. As Mum and Dad had a wee sleep in we kidlets would sneak into the lounge room, turn on the t.v. (sound down low) and huddle up close to the box to watch the cartoons.

Now I was a bit of a cartoon connoisseur in my day! I could take or leave your Road Runner (in fact I used to cheer on the poor old coyote...if that utterly annoying bird went beep beep one more time....). Astro Boy...nah! (Sorry Hubby! Apparently his fave as a youngin). And yabba dabba do-ing Fred Flinstone was a little on the grating side. How did Wilma put up with him?

But soon as I heard the words, "♪ ♫ Meet George Jetson, his boy Elroy, daughter Judy, Jane his wife.... ♫" (are you singing along...I know you are!) I'd sit up straight and prepare myself for another wholesome galactic adventure.

Well what the Jetsons were to me as a child, Ben 10 is to my gorgeous nephew Patrick! So what could a crafty auntie make for a "growing grey hair, soon to be off to uni 7 year old far too mature for softies I'm sure" little man? A Ben 10 Alien Force costume of course! I just googled a piccie and then set about tracing a fitted jacket of mine and a pair of skinny jeans. I didn't allow a seam allowance so they'd turn out smaller. A felt number 10 and an omnitrix (Ben 10's amazing alien morphing watch) from Nana and Grandfather and Patrick turned into Ben himself before our very eyes.

Now please head off to kootoyoo and have a peak at all the other creative spaces out there this week. I'm feeling a morph coming on...... ♪ ♫meet Echo Echo, his friend Stink Blast, enemy Up Chuck ♫....see mate I'm trying!!

14 Jul 2010

Jour de Bastille - { Bastille Day }

While straining my ears to catch a faint hint of Le Marseilles wafting across the globe from a Mont Martre square I am preparing a decadent Bastille Day dinner for Hubby and I. Cheese, cheese and more cheese! Magnifique!!

There were plans for a steaming bowl of Soupe à l'oignon followed by perfectly cooked Canard á l'orange with sautéed beans and pommes frites. And a final crescendo into the land of gluttony with a flaming Crêpe Suzette.

However, that little thing called "life" can strike at any minute and tumble plans all over the ground like dominoes. Such was today! But never one to be dampened by a little day to day madness I bundled poppet up and headed to a my favourite local deli to stock up on French fare.

A huge oozy wedge of a perfectly ripened double cream d'affinois brie, a slice of farmhouse terrine, a cheeky little St Agur blue vein (I'm still not quite sure why I bin anything from the fridge with so much as a whisper of green but slather blue cheeses over baguette like there's no tomorrow!) and a matured goats' cheddar; Itche Bai, that makes me think that old running socks smell divine. And candied Clementines! A delightful combination between an orange and a mandarin that grow like weeds in Corsica (a gorgeous island off France where some of Hubby's relatives are blessed enough to dwell).

A bottle of Côtes du Rhône and we're set. It'll be just like old days travelling around our beloved second home (minus the backpacks and with a gorgeous addition tucked up in bed).

Vive la France!!!

12 Jul 2010

La Bonne Vie - { The Good Life }

I'm feeling very Barbara Good-ish today. Remember that gorgeous classic T.V show "The Good Life" where Barbara and Tom Good threw away the traps of modern living and decided to live a simple, sustainable and self sufficient existence in their home on the Avenue. Well apart from wearing dungarees...I baked bread, whipped up a new batch of washing up liquid, tended to the vegie patch and made some laundry powder. Barbara would have been proud!

I've been happily using a lovely recipe from the earth angel that is ecoMILF for my washing powder but have decided to try using Sunlight Soap this time just for a change...and because castille soap is a little tricky to find in my neck of the woods and a wee bit expensive. Here's the recipe:

1 1/4 cups of bicarb soda

3/4 cup borax (don't be scared...it's a naturally occurring mineral and although poisonous if ingested, makes the environment happy and doesn't harm bubba bottom skin)

1 cup lectric washing soda (I got mine from IGA - the powder dissolves better than the granules so its worth the hunt)

2 finely grated castille soap bars (I initially used a Rose and a Lavender Dr. Bronner's but this time I'm trying Sunlight Soap)

It is easy peasy lemon squeezy to make and you only need about 2 tablespoons per load (for a front loader). It even does a great job of scary "stand up on their own" stained cloth nappies. Eeeek!

Well after such a productive day I think I'll turn in. Best check that Pinky and Perky are fed and watered and that Geraldine hasn't escaped into Margot's flower beds again. Jerrrry!! I'm picturing a quiet night listening to the wireless and passing some khaki thread through my loom....can you tell I seriously loved that show!

Ah the good life! Fictional and in reality!!