Monday, December 20, 2010

Back From Japan

I have been home for a few days from a few weeks in Japan. Wow, this was an amazing holiday and I enjoyed the country even more than I expected. The people were very friendly and helpful, the scenery was stunning, the environment - even is the huge city of Tokyo - was clean and rubbish free. Probably one of the nicest things was the feeling of safety, it was wonderful to never feel in danger or have any pickpocketing etc.

We spent time in Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto. All cities were wonderful, yet different. We also took a day trip to Hakone to view Mt Fuji, which was probably one of the trip's highlights. We did everything from shopping, visiting museums, riding the rail system to singing Karaoke!

I have come home with lots of crafting ideas, mostly based around bag making. While over there I was lucky enough to visit some wonderful craft stores, selling some wonderful things that we just don't get here in Australia.

When planning the visit, I found the internet such useful resource, as you cam imagine. I printed out directions to our hotel from the railway, Google map directions for all accommodation from the nearest station (very useful this one!), and some really useful information on finding craft shops etc.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Thank You Jennifer Jangles!

My patient waiting has paid off, with the fantastic load of brightly coloured fabric arriving on my doorstep. As I previously posted about, I was lucky enough to chosen as the winner of Jennifer Jangles awesome, huge giveaway. Also included in the prize were 3 matching buttons. The hardest thing is to now decide what to make with all this lovely fabric - it is all so nice that I don't even want to take the ribbon off it!

Watch this space, I am sure to get over that all soon and have a finished product photo to post!

Once again, thanks Jennifer for the wonderful prize! I totally love your work..

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Feels Good To Be A Winner!

I am such a blog addict. I love checking out craft blogs and I have a big of a list that I check out regularly. From time to time I try my luck at competitions that I come across too. So... Today, when I checked out one of my faves I saw that I have won a super-sized giveaway. I am very excited because I really love the bright fabrics and fun buttons made by Jennifer Jangles - they are just beautiful. I cant wait for my winnings to arrive and be able to post some photos to share.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Fabric Bento Carry Bag

Fabric Bento Carry Bag
Originally uploaded by Cheeky Mango
Yes, I'm still alive and crafting. I know it has been a long break since my last post and in that time I have had some changes... I have really cut back on both my crafting and computer time. I realised that I was a little cut off from reality and needed to take a break away from crafting, ATC's in particular. My lounge room was looking like a disaster site, even though I was really careful to tidy up each night before turning in. And, on that note, I was so busy creating that my sleep was suffering. I just love making things so much I was having trouble turning off and going to bed!

During my break I actually deleted my blog... But then decided not to, and luckily was able to retrieve it! Whew, that was lucky, because I didn't really want to delete it all, but I have decided that I really don't need to update it regularly, just when I have something to share..

So, that brings be to my latest creation, made using Pink Penguin's tutorial. The fabric is rather heavy weight furnishing fabric, in complimenting colours and pattern, with a white poplin drawstring cover. I bought the fabric a while back at Spotlight and was planning to make a tote bage with it, but now it is a nifty bento carry bag - not that I own a bento box (but I AM going to Japan next month), but that is here nor there.. This is a great pattern and tutorial, and I am definately going to be making it again soon - really soon!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Resin Pendant

Resin Pendant
Originally uploaded by Cheeky Mango
Lately I have been trying out some resin jewellery making. Whilst I think I have some good ideas, each batch seems to present itself with a new set of challenges. This is one of my favourites, but I am disappointed with the blurring of the original watercolour image. However, at least you can tell it is an original. Created with watercolour, crystal resin, silver bale and leather thonging. I do love the way the red thonging compliments the image..

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Taking a Break

There has been lots happening around here, since I last posted. Plenty of finished and of course unfinished projects.. I have been doing lots of ATCs, working on refurbishing a fairly large painting for the house, actually started and finished a skirt (using a real pattern), and of course the usual things..

The thing is though, I have been having trouble actually finding time to do other things, things like sewing, knitting and just enjoying being creative. So, about a week or so ago I decided that it is time to take a break from ATC swapping.. I'll see how it goes. I must say though, that I already feel a bit 'free-er'. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy making, swapping and of course receiving ATC's - it's a real thrill and gives you a reason to try something a bit outlide of your usual comfort zone. I'm not actually giving it up forever, just taking a break. Of course, though, life has a funny way with things. Just as I put the last touches to my very last cards for a while I got a message from the good people at Nescafe. They saw one of my 'Morning Tea Delights' cards I did for the YahooGroups ATCOz swap that I'm hosting and wanted permission to use my image on their facebook site.. That's a bit flattering so of course I said 'yes' and there it is, my card on the Nescafe Facebook site. How exciting!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Moololabah Beach Sunset

Taken just on sunset at Moololabh Beach, on Queensland's Sunshine Coast. I love this photo as it was one of the very first photos I took on my new camera, whilst on a photography workshop.

This is my submission for this week's Photo Friday challenge with the theme of 'coast'.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Steampunk Brooch

Steampunk Brooch
Originally uploaded by Cheeky Mango
For the next two and a half months, I'm going to be working part time only, which is something I'm really looking forward to. I have done thig by taking some long service leave and taking every Thursday off. This, in conjunction with all the public holidays, is making for a lovely, relaxing few months. I am determined to done lots of things on these days off - definately no television or work!

On the crafting front, I am STILL knitting the baby set. I have done the bonnet, booties and now just have to finish off the jacket and I'll be done. It all looks very pretty so far. I have also been doing plenty of ATC'ing and recently baked the most amazing chocolate tart ever. Unfortunately I didn't take a photo. Never mind, I'll just have to bake another!

I made this brooch from the internal workings of two discarded alarm clocks. I mostly used the cog shaped washers and hands, and layered them on larger flat itms. Lastly I attached a brooch clip on the back. I am rather pleased with the outcome, but photographed them on a bright pink background, so converted the image to black and white.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Home From the Holidays

Usually the Easter break seems to be far too short, but this year the week and a bit break has left me rejuvenated and relaxed. I split the time between being at home and going away to the beach. I have also had house guests which has kept me busy.

The weather was nice, although I can say that as I was tucked up in a warm, dry bed at night. I don't think the soggy, wind blasted campers at the beach would have agreed! I took the opportunity to take Charlie on some beach walks to her very favourite spot and she even enjoyed dining out on some tiger prawns at sunset. I wonder if this dog is spoilt?
I really like this photo taken at Inspip Point, that is one of the barges finishing for the afternoon, going off to tie up for the evening. As you can see the sun is setting through the clouds. It always amazes me how quickly the sun disappears below the horizon in those last moments of the afternoon. Especially when you're moving quickly to set up a shot before it disappears altogether. Anyhow, I think this shot pretty much captures the essence of the occasion.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Cupcake Obsession

With the Easter holidays coming up, I have just managed to squeeze in a quick baking session in time to make some cupcakes for the staffroom at work tomorrow. I love baking and find cupcakes and slices are great to take to work. Everybody seems to love any little morsel as they can quickly pick up a treat on their way. Tonight's effort was inspired by the 'Cloud Cakes' in the Women's Weekly "Cupcakes" cookbook.

I was originally going to use butter icing, until I discovered I was almost out of icing sugar. Me, being the resourceful, not lazy, type found a way around this. The answer was to use marshmallow frosting. It looks so delicate and pretty, and of course tastes absolutely beautiul. We all know the only reason to eat cupcakes is for the icing.
I am so looking forward to the upcoming Easter break. Rain is predicted, which is unfortunate but I plan to take advantage of the weather and continue on with my baby knitting. So far I have finished the cardigan back and fully completed the bonnet. I did begin one little bootie but decided to start again. Can't wait to share the photos soon.
Take care and happy Easter!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Suddenly It Is Knitting Weather

All of a sudden the weather has changed from hot and steamy to cold, wet and miserable. Everything is wet, the roads are flooding and I'm in the mood for knitting. Since taking up knitting only last year, I have gained heaps of confidence and had a lot of fun, especially knitting small things like scarves, dog coats and small toys. Of course the birth of a couple of babies over the summer period provided me with some great excuses to do some baby knitting, so when I saw this vintage knitting pattern book at Lifeline, and was lucky enough to find some matching needles the decision was made to start knitting baby things. Perhaps I'm being a bit ambitious, but I hope to make a little set - cardigan, booties and hat for two babies. My mum had a great idea of making three booties for each set. She said booties tend to get lost, so that would likely be appreciated. I think that was a totally awesome piece of advice that I hope to take up.

I think I'm about half way up the bottom of the back, including the little waistband. It is very sweet and I have made only one small mistake, so I am pretty pleased about that.

In other craft projects I don't have much to report. Remember that pasta machine I bought to use with polymer clay? Yep, you guessed it, I have become addicted to making and eating fresh pasta! I am strongly considering buying another pasta machine, which I really will use for polymer clay! I have been doing a little bit with ATC's and have sent off my first swap to ATCs for all. This is a great group so I'm really looking forward to getting into this..

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Psst... I'm Not Really Making Pasta.

I'm really excited tonight because, after a lot of procrastination, I have finally bough a pasta machine for making some polymer clay goodies. I have been snooping around, dreaming of finding a great machine at the 'dump shop' or charity store, but as you can imagine, they don't come up terribly often. So, in a spot of impulse shopping I snapped one up this evening at my local House store. I love that store, if I worked in there I would never leave!
The lady who works there was very excited to be selling me a pasta machine, because as it turns out, she is a mad keen pasta maker herself. I tried telling her that I really didn't need all the extra things she was trying to sell me as I have no intention of making any food with this baby. No, she was so absorbed in her pasta party stories that she could not hear a word I was saying so I ended up indulging her and enquiring about the best source of 000 flour. Oh well, at least she loves her job.
I am really looking forward to getting stuck into some polymer clay projects, I am going to have to look up some bookmarked tutorials now. Although, I must say, the friendly saleslady may have inspired me and I may have to roll out a batch of edible stuff before I begin crafting.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Where is My Time Going?

Sometimes I wonder what I do with my time, it just slips through my fingers. I seem to have so much to do and so little time, or indeed motivaion, to do it all.. I think I spend way too much time on the computer and lying on the couch.

Anyhow, I have been up to a bit. Some ATC's, a little sewing and doing a very small amount of gardening. Just before Christmas I planted a hibiscus, Lady Liberty, in my new front garden. Today I noticed that she was bearing her first flower. It is rather lovely, but not as bright as most of my other flowers. I love flowers that pack a punch.

On the work front, I have applied to take some Long Service Leave in term 2 - just one day a week though. That would be lovely, working just 4 days per week. I am fairly confident that this will come off, but I will have to wait for the okay. I also applied for some leave later in the year for the proposed Girls Big Tour of USA. I need to talk to my gal-pals about this one though. I figure, it is best to have the leave application in as I can always cancel or change it at a later date.

This week I am going to try to finish off some sewing and of course post out about three sets of ATC's. Wish me well!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

I've Got One Word to Say to You...

I have been slack lately and not updating my blog as I should... I have however been rather busy with getting back to work and all that is involved with that. On the creative front though, I have been doing some ATC's and plenty of sewing. I am really into sewing at the moment actually. I practically have a summer cotton top production line going in my fun room.

I have been taking some photos and mucking around with Photoshop, trying to recreate some of those old, vintage looks that I love so much on other people's blogs. Also, I have been reading quite a lot on various photo sites, which is what has brought me to today's photo. Hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it!

I took this photo at last year's Ekka and have used it to enter this week's Digital Photography School Weekend Challenge. I love the colour and simplicity of this phots and of course it brings back so many childhood memories.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

An Evening at the Cemetery

Have been out and about taking more photos. This time I went to the cemetery, which is only a stones throw from my place to take some photos as the sun set. The results were okay but not outstanding. This is a lovely old graveyard with some very ornate statues and tributes which is always interesting to investigate..

Whenever I drive past the cemetery, which is at least once a day I think how well this is a really cool juxtaposition of decay with the rubbish tip in the background, even though it is a bit hard to see in this shot.
Also, I thought I would re post this photo because I didn't realise that individual photos were not accessible from the mosaic on my last post..

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Would Love to Win...

Who doesn't love paper and craft supplies? Certainly not me, and I'm having a go at winning an amazing array of goodies with compliments of The Daily Marker. You should check it out too, there are plenty of great posts over there, I had a great time checking out this newly discovered blog.. Here I sit dreaming of winning this lovely booty:

Sunday, January 10, 2010

January Roundup

It has been such a long while since I posted, I thought a general round up would be in order. Being on holidays at the moment, life has been rollicking along at a steady pace with no real deadlines or time lines to meet. I love that about holidays, but am worried about how I'll cope with not being able to snooze whenever I feel like it in just over a week's time.

We have had a lot of rain here, which was warmly welcomed but I can just about see the grass (and weeds) growing in front of my eyes! But, on the up side, my new garden is absolutely powering along. Most of my new plants have new growth and even flowers. I am so pleased with my new front garden and have now resumed working on the back yard too. I am continuing working my way along the back fence. This shouldn't be too much of a job as I already have plenty of nice plants in there which just need to be complimented. I also have a passionfruit to grow over the fence.

In terms of craft, I have been having trouble, big trouble getting motivated to finish things off. I have done some lovely ATC's but, other than some small Christmas gifts, have not completed any sewing projects. I really want to sew up a piece of floral fabric into a simple top today. One of my favourite projects that I did finish off was my very first ever patchwork quilt. I made two, one for my dog, Charlie and one for Lilly.. I know quilting aficionados would probably have fits, but I am very pleased with the outcome.

My new camera is going great guns too and I've been having a great time getting out and about testing it out. When I bought the camera, I also enrolled in a DSLR course run by the photo shop. It is spread over two sessions, one indoors, mainly theory and the next was out in the field on two locations. This was fantastic! I really enjoyed the workshops and love the photos I took, it was great to really take the time to take photos that you probably wouldn't on your own. The weather was wonderful, clear and warm. See for yourself..