Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Charlie Christmas Lights

Testing out a technique that I have seen on Kevin and Amanda's blog, they have some really cool photography tips that I am keen to test. Unfortunately, by the time I managed to get the camera right, my subject had ditched her Christmas hat, run away, been called back and was generally sick of being photographed! Despite all this, I am actually pretty happy with the results though. I wasn't able to get such a large appeture as they suggest and this in conjunction with my model issues caused an interesting result!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Crazy Busy Christmas Gifting

Christmas Cupcake Tray
Originally uploaded by Cheeky Mango
Every year it is the same, I seem to set the bar too high when it comes to Christmas giving. So, each year I'm up to around 2am making things - anybody would think I really enjoy doing all this! Yes, of course I do, otherwise I wouldn't do it.

Each Christmas I make some goodies to give to friends, neighbours and other important people, like my hairdresser. Last year I made sweet gingerbread people, and this year I decided to go with the decorated cupcake, since I am into rolled out fondant decorations and edible glitter. I made lots of different little decorations to go on top of the vanilla cupcake with buttercream frosting. Unfortunately, the thing about having a Summer Christmas is that it is really hard to keep things in tact so I had to quickly load them into the car, turn up the air conditioner to hyperdrive and whizz over to the hair salon as fast as I could get there! They were much appreciated and I must say they did look good.

Also, notice the swish, better than usual photo? Well, it has been taken on my NEW CAMERA! Yep, I have been mulling over this for a while and had come to the reasisation, that it was time to invest in a new camera. It was a bit sad, but of course still very exciting. I loved my old Konika Minolta - we've had some fun together, and so I hope shall I have with my new Nikon D5000 (along with her twin lenses no doubt)! I am very pleased with it and have been doing an online course and even reading the manual.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

School's Out!

For Summer! Yay, only wish it really was the whole summer. Not that I can complain of course. With all the action, tight deadlines, stress and of course heat that accompanies this time of the year, it always takes a little while to get into holiday mode. I seem to have so much to do, I have made a list - should have checked it twice, but didn't. Anyhow, I seem to have forgotten quite a few little chores for the list but had a bit of fun making the list. I love lists - seems to keep me accountable and gives me something to check off.

Here it is.. Ta da.. I love the cute graphics that I downloaded today from Little Dreamer Designs. They have so many adorable designs, it is really hard to choose a favourite, but the Hawaiian theme matches my warm summer holiday state of mind.. Well, the image really did look good in PS, but somehow it has shrunken and lost its lustre! Never mind, I'll keep trying and get better next time.
One of the jobs I left off my cute list is to make a worm farm. Since starting off my compost bin and putting in a huge new garden out the front I have been planning to start a worm farm and have been given some worms by a colleague. At the moment they are holidaying in an ice cream container filled with scraps that were originally destined for the compost bin. They do seem very happy there for the time being, however I think I'll have to visit the good ol' 'dump shop' some time soon to find a suitable container to convert into Chez Annelid.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Santa's Little Helper...

Christmas Charlie 2009
Originally uploaded by Cheeky Mango
Charlie loves Christmas as much as I do. So, today is the day for Christmas photos to go onto my cards. I think this setup is a bit too white and bland, but I really wanted to get away from the usual santa hat costume. I think I'll try again later in the day. She is very cute anyhow!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Veregated Ginger Flower

I have plenty of these plants growing along the side of my place. They are great 'fillers' and the frogs love to hide in them too. They are in flower at the moment, giving off a gently whiff of sweet ginger fragrance..

Friday, November 27, 2009

Current Addiction

Lilly with Bone
Originally uploaded by Cheeky Mango
My latest addiction is to making small stuffed felt toys. I have been chrurning out cute little things like a machine over the last few weeks! I'll have to post more pictures here soon, but in the meantime I'll share this photo of Lilly with her handmade birthday present. I am surprised that she hasn't pulled it apart yet - but I am sure she will soon...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Kawaii Cupcake ATC

Kawaii Cupcake
Originally uploaded by Cheeky Mango
I made this ATC for a Swapbot swap, along with a little kawaii toast slice. They are off to a loving home in Canada. Although I love kawaii, I really don't 'do' much of it, so this was a lot of fun to make. I am also toying with the idea of making some tiny, little stuffies. I think that's what they're called - basically tiny stuffed trinkets made from felt. They are very similar...

Other than this, I am keeping rather busy on the crafting front with sewing, card making and other creative happenings on the go.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday's Double Excitement

As a busy working week has drawn to an end I have had some little pieces of personal excitement. I guess that could sound a little saucy, but alas I'm really talking about crafting excitement.

I had a very big week on the ATC front, having several packages completed and sent out to their new homes. As I complete a set I try to photograph or scan them and post the images on my Flick site. Even though it sounds a bit lame, I love seeing my stats going up and receiving comments. I can't tell you how much I love comments... Anyhow, this week, since posting my Elvis image that you saw in my previous post I posted a similar Audrey Hepburn card, 6 ink and pen cupcake cards 12 Christmas cards. All these cards came out pleasingly well and I posted a link onto the Swapbot site. Then I sit back and patiently wait to see how many hits my images get. I am usually over the moon to get a dozen or so, but today I am sure I recorded an all time high of 178! That certainly deserves an exclamation mark if anything does. So to a person who obsesses about their Flickr hit counter that was an awesome daily total!

While still on an 'almost double century' high from my Flickr hit counter, I decided to check up on another of my fabourite sites, Funky Fabrix in Brisbane. Last week I entered their competition to win some lovely hand printed fabric and was over the moon to discover I had actually won! Wow, next I had to decide which colourway I would choose - I went for the white on red, but I am sure either would have been lovely. Next big decision is what to make from my lucky win. I have lots of great ideas going through my mind, but I'm sure my decision will change a few times before the fabric parcel actually hits my postbox.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Elvis Warhol ATC

Elvis Warhol ATC
Originally uploaded by Cheeky Mango
Since actually purchasing Photoshop Elements, rather than continuously downloading a trial version or using an old Version1 (yes, version 1.0), I have been learning a few techniques. My good friend gave me a quick overview of the basics like magic selection tool and such. That was invaluable because these basics, in conjunction with some online tutorials, I can create some pretty cool stuff.

This is my progress on a Swapbot ATC swap. The theme is Warhol style art and I thought that Elvis was a highly suitable subject for this treatment. The colours were fun to choose and I really like the subtle background gradient.

On other things, I have been pretty busy since getting home from holidays and have had a bit of trouble getting back into the swing of work, but I think I'm just about back to normal now. I have done a bit of sewing and made a pretty nifty wall hanging too.

This weekend I am hoping to do a bit of gardening now that the weather is a bit warmer and there is a promise of a bit of rainfall. But, of course it is really easy to make these plans while lounging on the sofa, a bit harder to actually get into! Have a good weekend..

Friday, October 16, 2009

Back to the Real World

No, I haven't dropped off the face of the planet, I have been away on holidays. Had a cold, windy, but great time on the North Island of New Zealand. Had a fabulous time, travelling by car from Auckland to Wellington via Coromandel Town, Taupo and Napier. Was an eventful trip with unexpected snow causing road closures and therefore some last minute cancellations and itinerary changes. The weather may have been cold, but this Coromandel Town sunset was HOT!

NZ is a lovely country with very friendly people and of course some great knitting supply shops. In fact, when I discovered just how cold the weather was I quickly bought some supplies and got busy with some evening knitting - sad but true.. Two more things to love about New Zealand are:

  1. Glohearts - small red heart shaped lollies. They are made in NZ and the taste reminds me of a mild Throatie. I know that is not a very inspiring description, especially of the flavour, but I loved them! I could easily become addicted to these small bags of yumminess.

  2. Chocolate/licorice logs. I love both chocolate and licorice, so this was bound to be a winner. The difference with this produce is that the chocolate is encased in the licorice, not the other way around. This gives the choc a nice crunch and stops it from flaking off, as can happen with regular choc coated licorice logs. Sadly, but somehow fortunately, these are not available in Australia. Phew!

Anyhow, since I have been back I have been quite busy. I spent one night in Brisbane before returning home and took the opportunity to buy some Ikea fabric. I bought some beautiful bright pink canvas and made a cool bag. I'll share some photos of this when I get it photographed.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Kokka Yugyoku Cushion

Kokka Yugyoku Coushin
Originally uploaded by Cheeky Mango
This is the first time I have made a piped cushion and I am really pleased with the outcome. It certainly is well-stuffed! No flat, soft cushions around here. I bought the fabric to cover a lampshade, but discovered that I did not have enough for the job, so decided to made a series of cushions. They are a perfect match for my loungeroom decor.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Hooray for Holidays!

Even though I thought they would never get here, at last holidays have arrived! I have been really busy getting everything ready for the break and am taking an extra two weeks off as long service leave.

The good news is that I can now concentrate on MAKING STUFF! I am in a frenzy already. I have spray painted a lamp base, discovered I don't have enought fabric to make the matching lampshade, sent off 3 sets of ATC's and generally naffed around!

I have decided to buy more of the fabric to make the lampshade and use what I already have to make cushions. I am really looking forward to the challenge of learning to do piping. I think it will look lovely.

On the knitting front, I am working my way through a groovy tea cosy from Loani Prior's book, "Wild Tea Cosies". Book from the library, double ended needles from St Vinnies, and yarn from King Kong's Discount store and I was on my way. I am pretty proud of myself knitting in the round on 5 needles. Probably a bit too early to celebrate yet though..

The ATC swaps I have done are orange, tricolour (pink, brown and chocolate), and "Life...". I have added my favourite life quote. Check out my Flickr site for the rest.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Hello Strangers

I have been away from this blog for quite a while, whilst my computer was in the shop. Very disappointing with a new computer, but partially self inflicted I'm afraid.. Anyhow, now one week later, I am back on the blogging wagon.
I have been rather busy on the creative front. I have actually joined an ATC trading group and signed up for and completed two sets. Yay for me! The themes were both colour orientated - one was 'orange' and the other was for 'pink, brown and chocolate'. I have been a bit worried that my work is up to scratch. I would feel horrible if the cards I receive back are of a much higher standard than those I sent! Fingers crossed this end.

Also, I have found my dream knitting book in the local library - it is full of wacky tea cosies. Crazy when you consider I don't even drink tea, let alone own a tea-pot! The only hitch was that I needed some double ended needles to knit in the round. As I don't have any, I picked up some a Vinnies - four for only 50c. Very pleased with that..

Holidays are coming up and spring has definitely sprung, so I have also been rather busy in the garden. I have a huge crop of tomatoes on already. I had a brainwave this afternoon and decided that I could use some of my chillies and make some more Chili Jam. I also harvested the last of the cabbages and have been very busy freezing purple passionfruit. Whew..

Thursday, August 27, 2009

iPod Wallet

iPod Wallet
Originally uploaded by Cheeky Mango
I made this wallet a while ago, but haven't had a chance to post photos of my creation. It is very cool, but the design needs a slight tweeking. You can see the side pouch to store earphones and little loops, so it can be attached to a lanyard. Also, there are openings for charge leads and earphones.

I really do have to get myself organised to take photos in better light, because the colours on here are absolutely nothing like the real thing. In reality, it is a lolly pink and lovely lime green. It matches some other sweet little items in my 'cute' collection..

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Storage Boxes

Storage Boxes
Originally uploaded by Cheeky Mango
I was lucky to pick up some plain white storage boxes at my local discount store and printed out some simple labels. So much easier than having to shake each box to find what you're looking for!
Now that I am finished with knitting for the time being, I have even put all my knitting gear away in one of these boxes. They are great for things that don't get used too often.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Finished Knitting Project

bear mouse
Originally uploaded by Cheeky Mango
My very first knitted toys. A bear and a mouse. I am very pleased with them both, but I did however overfill the bear and make his face a little unusual looking. I think it is a fairly good effort for a first go though. The mouse is very cute and was easy and fast to make..

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Brightly Coloured beads

I have been wanting to get into some polymer clay work for some time. Have been checking out beautiful things on the net and researching techniques, dreaming of embossing beads, rolling with a pasta machine, transferring images and so much more.
However I found myself incredibly stuck for ideas when the time actually came and could only produce some simple, plain, yet splendidly colourful pieces. They are small beads, the colours I mixed myself. I also made some rings that aren't in the shot.

On the plus side, I am really pleased with the baking aspect of this small project as I was a bit worried about getting the temperature right in my oven. It seems a bit slow.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Back to Ekka

Clowns in a row
Originally uploaded by Cheeky Mango
Weekend highlight: weekend in Brisbane, visiting the Ekka. Had a great time as I haven't been in about 20 years! Times change, but some things remain the same, like the laughing clowns and dollies on sticks. I was pleased to see them still there.

The crowds were not too bad, so I really got through everything I wanted to see with little fuss and LOTS of fun. I had a great time photographing in the agricultural pavillion. I love the colours and of course the ridiculousness of the whole thing.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Cappuccino Cupcakes

cappuccino cupcakes
Originally uploaded by Cheeky Mango
I made these lovely little cakes to share at work to celebrate a colleague's birthday. They have a chocolate base with coffee frosting, which is a lovely combination. Since I have been trying my hand at some simple flower making, I decided to decorate them with simple flowers.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

In the Shadow

New York
Originally uploaded by Cheeky Mango
This is my entry for this week's Photo Friday challenge, the topic is 'in the shadow'. Now, I know this is not a new photo, but is just so perfect for this particular theme.
I took this photo in 2005 while visiting New York, from the viewing platform of the Empire State Building. We were lucky enough to be up there fairly early in the morning. Whilst the morning brought with it some smog laden skies, it did afford some pretty exciting long shadows.
Note, the photo quality is pretty poor because I reduced it for quick upload when I was on dia-up.. The good ol' days.

Marmalade Label

Marmalade Label
Originally uploaded by Cheeky Mango
I have been lucky enough to have been given lots of fruit lately. Much more than any single person could ever hope to eat. So I have been busily collecting bottles and making marmalade. I have made various variations of grapefruit, lemon, bush lemon, orange, ginger and cloves.
My favourite is grapefruit with lemon and ginger. It is delicious to the point of addiction. I even have a bottle of it in the fridge at work, to be used in the case of emergencies.. They do happen you know.
Unfortunately I am still haveing problems getting the consistency just right, but I do seem to be getting better now I have invested in a proper sugar thermometer.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Masterchef Finale Masterpiece

A delightful day, tinged with sadness as Masterchef draws to a close. Looking forward to the final, but I think a hole will be left in my evening viewing. I have been invited to a friend's place tonight for a bit of a Masterchef celebration. So, inspired by the chocolate mousse cake, I decided to tackle a fabulous desert myself.

Over a year ago, I was given a fabulous Woman's Weekly cupcake cookbook. Unfortunately, I don't use it nearly as often as I should, but when I do, I love all the compliments that come my way.. So, it was from here I spotted the toffee shards and began work on my Toffee-Apple Towers. They look absolutely fantastic, and I can confirm that they taste just as great!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Finished the Dog Coat, yeah!

How about this, I have finished my very first proper knitted piece - a lovely blue knitted coat for my little mate, Charlie. I am really pleased with the outcome and it was much easier than I anticipated, although I thought my arms were going to drop off after completing a row of over 200 ribbed stitches around the edging. I do love the colour on her though and was luck enough to find some very sweet blue and white polka dotted buttons to finish it all off.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Knit, Purl, Knit, Purl

I have been busily knitting away. Yes, that's right - knitting! Although I have never knitted anything in my life except misshapen scarves many years ago, I have tackled the task of knitting a coat for my dog, Charlie. I find it so difficult to resist anything to do with my little white furball and I came across and entire book of knitted dog coat patterns.

The coat consists of the back, which is the main part, the strap and the collar and edging. I am very proud to say that although I only began work on Saturday night, I have finished the back and about one third of the strap. I have really surprised myself with this progress because I always believed I couldn't knit. Here is what I'm working on (this is the photo from the book - this little one looks nothing like Clarlie).
One thing though -I'm worried because I have almost convinced myself that it really would be okay for a dog and her owner to wear matching knitted jumpers. Hmm

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Ticking Off the Tasks

One of the things I really enjoy in life is to sketch. However I tend to get stuck a bit obsessed with certain subjects - mostly plants, nature and food. I love my own photos, collected objects and magazines. I'm sure I'm not the only ones to borrow or buy magazines only for the pictures! Anyhow, lately I have been trying out the idea of visual food diaries after seeing some fantastic examples on other blogs. This led to the idea of a visual 'to do' list. I love lists. There are few things as fulfilling as ticking off tasks from a list..

For the record, I did get some of the jobs done.

Come Share My Goals

Well, welcome to my blog. If you're reading here, you probably know that I have been wanting to get blogging for a while, so here it is. I have bitten the bullet and actually posted and published this first post, even though it is not at all perfect. I guess though, that this is like so many projects in my life..

Incomplete. That seems to be the story of most projects around here. As the title suggests, I start out with all good intentions to get things happening, but so rarely seem to be able to get things actually finished. I love creating and the process of creating so much that I take on far too much.

So, here it is: a list of projects that I would like to complete over the next few months - let's see if this blog gets me motivated and keeps me honest. (fingers crossed).


  • Blue skirt

  • Green panelled skirt

  • iPod case


  • Complete picture for guest bedroom


  • Re-organise wardrobe.

  • Re-organise laundry cupboard.