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Preview: the littlest m

the littlest m

Updated: 2016-09-23T06:07:24.555-07:00


Thank you


I just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who has stopped by my little blog over the last few years.  To all those who stopped by, leaving lovely, encouraging comments - I really appreciated them all!
It has been very much neglected in recent times, as my interests have moved into other directions. I will no longer be posting on this blog anymore, but instead I have a new blog  and website focusing on my design and illustration work. Please feel free to stop by!

Nutcracker paper garlands


My little boy has always loved nutcrackers. For Christmas just after he had turned 2, it was all the wanted. Anytime anyone asked him what he wanted for Christmas he always answered, a nutcracker.
This year  he is now four, and just beginning to get into craft in a big way. I drew some  nutcrackers for him on the computer. We cut them out, and pieced them together in the same way as the paper angels, using tiny paper fasteners. And then glued bits of cotton wool on as their beards.
He just loves them.

And you can download the templates so you can print and make your own garlands below!



(image) and embroidering,  little woollen felt birds for my Christmas tree.

Christmas Fairy Garland Tutorial


A long time ago, I made some paper fairies for my niece's birthday. She is old enough now to make them all on her own. So I thought I'd put together a little Christmas Fairy craft kit to send over to her and her sister in England, with a more Christmas feel to them, with their glittery organza skirts.And you can click on the link below and follow the tutorial if you would like to make them too.Things you'll need:Card stock and printerScissorsSharp tool such as a large needlePaints/crayons/pensScraps of fabricScraps of pretty paper for the wings Mini paper fastenersJapanese MT tape (or other decorative tape)Glue stick    First of all, you'll need to print off the template onto card stock. You can download the template here.Once you've printed it, you can begin to paint the fairies. I used watercolours, pencil crayons and even some Japanese MT tape. You can use whatever you have. And you don't need to worry about going outside the's all going to be cut out later.Once the fairies are all decorated, using a sharp tool (such as a large needle) poke holes in the paper, where the grey dots are, on each arm, leg, hip, shoulder and hand. Do this before cutting them out, it's quite tricky to do later.Cut each fairy out carefully, try to cut a little inside the lines, so you can't see them once cut out.You are now ready to assemble them, using a mini paper fastener to join arms and legs to the body.The next step is to add their skirts. I gave mine double layered skirts. For the underneath I cut out tiny scraps of fabric about 3 cm by 5 cm. I gently gathered the fabric in my fingers and attached it to the fairy using some Japanese MT tape that I had cut in half horizontally ( to make it quite narrow)On top of that I cut out some glittery Christmasy organza fabric, about 8cm x 5 cm. Again, I gently gathered the fabric with my fingers and attached it using another layer of tape.Then I cut out the wings from some pretty metallic paper and glued them on to the back of the fairies using a glue stick.Join the hands together with more paper fasteners, and your garland is now ready to hang!( I only made 3 for the purposes of this tutorial,  but a garland of 6 or more looks best) [...]

A chicken quilt


A new quilt for a new niece, the aim is to try and finish it before she gets too big!

I spent a lovely Saturday with a friend of mine. We went to our favourite fabric shop in the morning, and managed to while away nearly 2 hours browsing the shelves, lost in the possibilities of all we could do. Beofre heading to the city for afternoon tea followed by more shopping... it felt very luxurious for both of us to have the day to ourselves without little ones in tow.

I bought a selection of Liberty fabrics for the baby quilt

And I'm so inspired to get crafting again, I started to applique some chickens for the quilt

Chickens, because my little boy Toby calls his new niece Audrey Chicken.
Why? I asked.
Because she is so delicious I want to eat her all up, he replied. Of course.
So a chicken themed quilt it is.

New Spoonflower fabrics


I designed some new prints recently, and sent them off to Spoonflower.  I'd kind of forgotten all about them, until they arrived yesterday....

* Edited:  I've had a few requests to buy these fabrics - they are for sale through Spoonflower  - please follow this link!

Christmas card making


Dusted off my print gocco, I haven't used it since I printed this fabric (2 1/2 years ago now!)
I drew my design in a special carbon pen, and exposed my mini screen and literally within minutes I was printing.
The first colourway I kind of liked, but I thought the green tree would have come out a few shades lighter than it did.
And then today, while my little one took himself off for a nap (most unusual for him, but he did work really hard in his swimming lesson this morning!) I decided to try a different colourway, I quite like these ones, bit of a shame the white tends to lighten off quite a bit once it's dry.

Christmas has begun


Little m and I are very excited about Christmas this year.
I remember reading something somewhere on another blog, where the girl was writing about loving all the excitement of Christmas, all the preparations, all the planning, but feeling a little bit let down by the actual day itself. I know what she means. Especially since being here in Australia, the Christmases don't feel like those of my own childhood in England. No fires in the living room, twinkling fairy lights lighting up the house by half past three as it's so dark outside. Frost crunching underfoot in the mornings, the excitement and possibilities of snow, icicles hanging off the windows, and cold, how I miss the cold at Christmas!
But of course there are positives here too. Sunshine, lots of it. Light, warmth, long days, cider on the roof terrace, barbeques, eating seafood.

So this year I decided that we'll make the most of the excitement of Christmas, and spread it out over the whole month. I have finally (nearly!) finished making Toby his advent calendar. Just 2 more felt ornaments to go. But it's hanging up. It's being used and loved.
Everyday a new felt ornament to hang on the fabric tree, and a little surprise for him in the pocket too. Yesterday he couldn't believe it when he found a large gold (chocolate) coin, and that he was allowed to eat it before breakfast! And today an even bigger surprise, a tiny letter from the Christmas fairy, a small chocolate coin and a Lego skateboarder. He was beside himself with excitement! And he's been re-counting the story of how he found everything in his advent calendar, how the Christmas fairy had left it all there for him while he slept, all morning to anyone who'll listen.

This is what Christmas is all about for me. Magic, family, the sharing of excitement, anticipation.

Crafty weekend


Some friends and I snuck off last weekend for a crafty retreat in the country. We rented a little cottage that was as cute as could be, and crafted away with just each other and some red wine for company! It was heavenly.

I started making an advent calender for little m, the idea came from this advent calender, and I'm making mine pretty much the same, I've just changed the Christmas tree a little. And all the ornaments are my own...I managed to get quite a bit done. It's amazing how speedy I can be without a little one hanging around me!

But there are still 7 ornaments to make, and all of the assembling to do, and 24 buttons to sew on. And only 5 days to go until the start of December, so I better go while little m is still sleeping and make a few more things....

Fabric from Spoonflower


And here is the latest of my projects on the go at the moment. Another quilt for my little one.
But this time to be made from my own design. My fabric has finally arrived from Spoonflower! And I'm so very excited about it.
Lots of Woodland animals, and a raccoon, posing as a robber. Playing police and robbers is one of little m's favourite games, so I knew he would love this.

(You can see it at Spoonflower here.)

It's been a while.....


 It really has been a while since I've been around here.
And it's been a while since I really did any kind of crafting or sewing or drawing. I had a bit of a dry spell, and started back at work, and found myself with not a lot of time to do anything...

There are still piles of unfinished quilts, one of which was begun way before Little m's 2nd birthday, (he was 3 two months ago now) and has sat unfinished for nearly 18 months!

I went off it a bit, thought it looked a bit busy and crazy. And wasn't sure how to go on with it. I put it away for a time, and having looked at it again recently, thought that it's probably worth finishing.

And another quilt has begun for Little m, been cut out, sewn together, and now needs to be finished...

Inspired by a baby quilt a did a while ago

I'm starting to feel a little inspired to be creative again.

Birthday Cake


How did this come around so quickly? I can't believe another whole year has gone by...

(image) Based on my little one's favourite book, The Tiger Who Came to Tea, it was a bit of a rush job. (Following an entire day spent in emergency, with his second broken arm...) I managed to decorate the whole thing in just a couple of hours, but I was quite pleased with it in the end. And my little one just loved it, and ate all of the sugar food for his own tea.




Birthday present making for Little m's second birthday.

(image) This is teeny tiny Bebo. Much loved bear and best friend of...

(image) Percy. He's a little bit shy.

I've made Percy for little m. He's not quite finished yet, by Thursday (hopefully!) he should have a coat and a little pair of boots to keep him warm. And a bed to sleep in. It's one of little m's favourite games of late - getting his toys dressed and putting them to bed. And I'm hoping he'll adopt this little bear. I made him just for him, with love.




(image) This is Boris.

Handmade by me yesterday, and I'm very pleased with him. My first attempt at needle felting.
I seem to spend hours browsing around Flickr looking at things I could make, but always feeling like I'll never have the time.... I've been obsessing over needle felting for the longest time, ever since buying this book for a friend. So on a whim I popped into Spotlight yesterday and bought a few supplies, quickly looked at a youtube tutorial and started making.

I have ideas for many more things, and with Little m's birthday coming up, I can feel my craft fire re-igniting....

Paper dolls


Over a decade ago, I saw this idea in an English magazine, way before I had children, or even knew any. I tore it out and somehow managed to keep it for all this time, despite now living on the other side of the world. I don't think I've seen it or thought about it in all that time in between, but I came across it a few weeks ago whilst tidying some drawers out. Just in time for my niece's birthday.
Paper dolls, joined together with paper clips, with moveable arms and legs. The original idea used tissue paper skirts, but I thought using some of my collection of cupcake cases would be cuter. The bodies, arms and legs were all painted with watercolour on watercolour paper,


cut out, pieced together using tiny paper fasteners and then the cupcake paper skirts attached. A pretty little paper doll garland for my neice's bedroom. I think I may add some wings to turn them into fairies before I send them off to her tomorrow...


Looking at this one, I think you can tell that I've been obsessively watching all 3 seasons of Mad Men in the last few weeks....


Easter Holiday




My husband celebrated a very special birthday at the weekend, so we decided to head down to the beach for a relaxing long weekend away.

I made little m a special t-shirt to wear for the occasion, just using t-shirt transfer paper. He loved the t-shirt, maybe because of the drawing of his beloved toy lion Gaw-Gaw, or maybe because of all the attention he got whilst wearing it...

And I made an Easter nest table decoration to go with the painted eggs, out of paper mache, cut out news print and raffia.


It was a really relaxing and lazy weekend. Just lovely.
Hope you all had a great Easter too.

Painting eggs


Its been a while......
I have managed to do a only a tiny bit of crafting these last few months ( its six months since I last blogged, I can't believe it!!) I did manage to give a hand made gift to everybody in my family,(thogh it completely exhausted me!) but sadly I didn't manage to photograph any of these lovely things, and now they are all on the other side of the world...
Since I've been back here in Melbourne, there hasn't been a whole lot of time for crafting. Looking after a toddler is so demanding, and he won't leave me alone for a second.

(image) (image) But late in the evenings, I have forced myself to paint some eggs for Easter, I'm scared that if I don't do something creative, I'll start losing my creativity (as well as my mind...)

(image) (image)

Christmas present making


I'm in a frenzy of Christmas present making.
I'm already starting to panic about it. It's still early, I know, but I'm definitely panicking. I leave for the UK 8 weeks from today, and I have decided to make something for everyone in my family (....what was I thinking?) So I'm not going to be able to talk much about what I'm going to be making, I'm not sure which members of my family lurk around my blog...but here are some little snippets of some of the projects, that are mostly just little piles of fabric at this stage.

(image) (image)

The party is over


The party was a success! But thank god it is over. I had no idea how stressful a party for a 1 year old could be. It almost felt like Christmas, there were so many decorations, so much food, and so much organising to be done. And once there are four babies in a room all getting up to mischief at the same time, it feels completely hectic.
But I was really happy with my cake, it all went according to plan despite my nerves...

And the red velvet cupcakes I made, from this recipe, were delicious! (With cream cheese icing from my Mum's recipe)I would definitely make them again, so light and velvety, just as they are supposed to be...

(image) (image) We decorated the room like a big top, with red and white streamers, and big bunches of red and white balloons. I made paper flags and paper party hats (which all the babies refused to wear, not even for long enough to take a photo!) But poor little m was not to happy with his party. Everything seemed to make him cry that day, including opening his presents. Poor little thing, I think the attention was too much for him.

Cake decorating...


The sugar decorations for the top of the cake are complete....phew!

(image) (image)
But there is still so much to do!

Getting ready


The invitations have been drawn, printed and posted......

And the weekend was busily spent hunting down decorations for the big day

When I found these vintage style clowns I nearly burst with excitement, they are so perfectly the type of thing I was looking for.

(image) (image) Little m turns one this week, and we are having a little party to celebrate on Saturday. And there is so much to be done!
A house to be tidied, then decorated. Food to be made, and of course a birthday cake to be baked and iced. I have never iced a cake in my life, and I think I may have set myself too big of a challenge, thinking I can make a circus themed cake with striped icing and model animals.
I think there may be tears....I'll let you know how I go.



I haven't been feeling very creative over the last 2 months. My new life as a mum seemed to have taken over for a little while, which was just fine with me.
Little m is not so little anymore, he's growing and changing everyday. And my baby free time seems to be shrinking each day at an alarming rate, as he cuts back on his day sleeping.

But I am beginning to feel Spring is in the air, and my creative juices have started flowing once more....(image)
What started out as one of my many piles of fabric that I dream of turning into a quilt ( i have many, many, many of these lying around and cluttering up my little studio, destined to never become anything more than a pile...)

was slowly cut, stitched and pinned together


and even more slowly, hand quilted...

and finally last night I finished sewing the binding. What a feeling of accomplishment!
It's a baby quilt, and a gift for a dear friend of mine.

Happy Birthday to my Mum


(image) (Mum and me, in 1981)

It's my beautiful Mum's birthday today. I wish I could have spent the day with her, only she's on the other side of the world, in England.
But I have spent the past week or so frantically making her a present, in every spare minute that I get. (There aren't too many of them these days....Little m has decided a 45 minute sleep twice a day is all he needs, thank you very much.)
I was pretty pleased with the final result. I made the bag using the "Melly & Me" Toffee Apple pattern, which is perfect for a summertime bag. It was a little bit fiddly to make, but the instructions were really clear. And I managed to sneak in a few bits of Moma Wonderland fabrics, I'm just totally in love with that range.

(image) (image) (image)
And I popped in a little make-up bag too...

(image) The parcel arrived for her today. I hope you enjoy it, have a lovely day, Happy Birthday!

My Creative Space



Not a lot happening, just making some little patchwork linen pouches....but sneaking into the photo is something very exciting indeed.
Little Snoopy.
I used to have one of these when I was little, and I adored it. We gave it away years and years ago when I was still small, and over the years I have often thought about it, I loved it so much.
Now that little m has arrived into the world, I seem to constantly be lamenting about the toys of my own childhood. They seemed so much more imaginative and beautiful than the plastic toys available now.
But yesterday afternoon, a surprise package arrived from my beautiful mum. Nestled inside was Little Snoopy. I was overcome with joy, squealing in delight, he brings so many happy memories back. Little m was watching me as if I was crazy, he couldn't understand what all the fuss was about.


But now Little Snoopy is sitting proudly in my studio, bringing a smile to my face.

Pop over to Kirsty's to see more lovely creative spaces.

Beautiful things


The long weekend is was so lovely and relaxing. The days are back to normal, just me and little m. It is freezing cold here today, raining, and there has barely been any daylight. Other Australians think I am crazy, but I love these kinds of days. I love being able to wrap up warm, curl up cozily under a blanket on the sofa. I love the sound of the rain on the roof, and it gushing loudly down our pipes. I love the strange half light, it all reminds me of back home, of England. I guess I never thought when I left 6 years ago, that one of the things I would miss the most would be the English weather, all the rain, and the fog and the frost.I popped into one of my favourite shops in Melbourne, Zakkaya, at the weekend. I only went in for a birthday card, but the shop was bursting with beautiful things, and I just couldn't help myself.I bought these beautiful wall stickers for little m. I have been looking for a while, I wanted something non-girly, and a little bit quirky, and these Japanese ones were just perfect.And these Shinzi Katoh postcards were just too cute.....And a beautiful wool and wooden beaded necklace, a gift for a friend.And I did get around to doing a little bit of crafting for myself this weekend too. I bought some beautiful Japanese fabric recently, that I couldn't wait to use...a simple patchwork scarf,and patched with some hand embroidery on linen, for a simple bag[...]