Image from the micro gardener. Gumboot plant pots.

My next instalment in the interactive Pinterest posts.

Steph asked for ‘Upcycled shoes’ after being inspired by what she saw on the recycled market.

You can see my ever growing board of Upcycled Shoes on Pinterest here.

So…..what next?

Tell me what collection of images you are interested in by leaving a comment below.



Image from Santa Barbara Chic. I love the simplicity and order of this photo.....

….so the series continues.

Caroline asked for

How about wooden things, upcycled? Is that too broad? I also love woollen yarn or coloured threads, and quilted stuff.

Sure…. but just one. Coloured threads.

If you would like to see the rest of the pinning in this category, go ahead.

…..and who wants to go next. Remember it’s interactive. All you need to do is comment.

A really cool and unusual upcycling idea from Apartment Therapy.

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago…. I thought I would like to try a comment lead series via Pinterest.

The idea is that you leave a comment letting me know what sort of collections you would like to see. It may be as simple an idea as flowers, or blue, or fantastic stairs….. but could be quite specific if there are ideas you want but can’t find them. Fortunately, or unfortunately, I love looking at images and imagining visual possibilities. Maybe I can find a collection of images you don’t have the patience or time to look for. I’d love to!

Let me know what you would like to see next….. or I will have to choose… like this time.

I choose upcycling!

How Pinteresting!

March 13, 2012

Lace Eggs.Original image from susan connor design

I thought I might start a new interactive series using the image collection service of Pinterest.

For those of you who don’t know, Pinterest is a way of taking images from the internet and ‘pinning’ them into different boards.

It’s really just a way of very easily keeping track of images you might have previously kept in a scrapbook or a process diary.

I have been enjoying doing this, and thanks for those who follow me already. For those of you who don’t but would like to, just let me know in the comments and I will ‘invite’ you into the Pinterest community.

The way I am going to make it interactive is by letting you my readers decide the next weeks theme.

Just let me know in the comments what type of collection of images you would like and I will put a collection together.

Sound fun! I hope so.

This week….inspired by the Love Lace Exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum….. I have chosen the theme LACE.  Not Nanna lace…. inspiring lace. Have a look.

Before Christmas, the house move and the best holiday we have had as a family yet, I made my first ever unisex nappy bag. It was quite a fun process, so I thought I would share some of it.

It all began with an email out of the blue from all the way over in WA…. Deb wanted a bag that both her and her husband were happy to carry. She liked the Phoenix Files Bags shape and colour palette (although wanted to see some other ideas for colour), but wanted to make sure it was still ‘male enough’ for her Tim.

Blue/ grey Combo

Black/Avocado combo.

Red/Black/White/Grey Combo.

Tan/Brown Combo.

School Tie combo.

I emailed her a number of tie combinations. They settled on the black and avocado greens combination. To make sure it wasn’t t too feminine we stayed away from florals, paisleys and shiny ties. After we decided on the colour-way Deb cleared out her husbands wardrobe and asked if it were possible to upcycle one of his shirts for the lining.

The shirt was a King Gee style one made for a church men’s weekend away. The shirt had special memories for Tim but wasn’t something he wore. It didn’t yield quite enough fabric for the lining alone….so I added some ikea fabric from my stash.

Here’s what we ended up with.

Finished Nappy Bag with Change Mat.

Bag back....

...change mat.

Deb also wanted lots and lots of pockets.

Pockets for wipes, wallet, diary and notebooks, bottles and creams and of course nappies.

She also requested a special hook for her keys so that she wasn’t constantly searching for her keys at the bottom of the bag.

Inside looked like this.

Lots and lots of pockets. Open and zippered.

Button on key holder.

One of the more obviously telling details of the nappy bag are the side bottle pockets. I enjoyed getting my head around shaping these without compromising the given shape of the tie too much.

The strap is adjustable so as to be able to lengthen it for going over the handles of a pram or stroller and then shorten it again for carrying on the shoulder. I used a reclaimed computer-bag shoulder pad for extra comfort.

Right bottle pocket ...

Left bottle pocket.

Shoulder pad.

After I posted the bag off I received this lovely email from Deb’s husband Tim.

Hi Ally,

This is Tim (Deb’s husband) here.

Just wanted to say a massive thankyou for your superb work with our new ‘man-friendly’ nappy bag! It’s sooooo cool 🙂

The incorporation of my King Gee shirt is really, really nice as that was the camp uniform for a men’s retreat that I organised while I was working for church (it was a huge hit and really had a tangible impact on the friendships between the guys). So, needless to say, I am stoked at that memory being interwoven with the practicalities of caring for my precious girls!


I really enjoyed making this one.

Anyone else need a nappy bag?

My Still Life

February 23, 2012

Welcome home still life.

Time for a giveaway. Haven’t had one in a while.

Yesterday when I arrived home I was greeted by this still life on my kitchen table…… ok, it didn’t look exactly like this but after a little artistic adjusting….it looked like this. I love a still life.

For a chance to win a harrysdesk surprise prize pack you need to answer this question by commenting below.

Why were these things waiting for me when I got home?

The most accurate answer….or the most creative answer….. will win the pack.

You have a week to come up with your answer. That’s 9:30 pm on the 1st of March 2012.

What’s in the pack?

It’s a surprise!

hd: Tell us a little about yourself….
lk: My name is Lynne Keasey and I am 39. I am married with a wonderful husband and have 4 amazing children ranging in ages from 6-20 years of age. I live in Mailtand, NSW. I have always loved being creative and enjoy making things for people and seeing there smiling faces when they see them. I enjoy spending time with my family, reading (when I get a chance), watching movies with my husband and generally just enjoying life.

Asian Dolly by The Little Pink Owl.

Dolly by The Little Pink Owl.

hd: Sounds idyllic…..What did you think you would be doing when you were in school? 
lk: I had many things I thought I would like to do when I was at school. A kindergarten teacher, a hairdresser, a dancer, a truck driver (I know that sounds strange but I thought a pink truck would be cool- it only lasted a little while that one.) and a MUM.
hd: Well, it looks like you are doing some of that, so how did you get  to this creative point in your life?
lk: I have always loved creating things- I started with scrap booking and then my husband bought me a sewing machine a year ago and I started tinkering around with it and loved it. I found that when I made things people loved them and so I thought maybe it might be something I should go into. My husband and I have a cleaning business as a primary source of income but craft has always been my passion. Once people started showing interest in my creations I thought it would be great to follow that and see where it could take me. It has been a fun journey so far and it is only growing more and more each day.
My husband has been a great support just as my children have which I think is amazing that they allow me to follow my dreams and have it bring me such happiness.

Zebra Softie by The Little Pink Owl.

Panda by The Little Pink Owl.

 ……………………………………………..hd: Tell us a bit about what you create….
lk: I have many things that I make currently. I make animal softies and dolls that are from the “Dolls and Daydreams” patterns. I make owl softies in different sizes and patterns that we came up with. I do hair accessories, scrabble tile necklaces and bottlecap pendants, button bracelets, fabric covered earrings, beanies and scarves for winter.

Fox Softie by The Little Pink Owl.

Meercat by The Little Pink Owl.

 ……………………………………………….hd: And such a gorgeous range of things. I love that. Have you always loved making things? 
lk: I have always enjoyed making things. My mother is very creative and clever with sewing and things and I guess I have followed her somewhat. I love having a go at many different things and trying to learn new crafts all the time. Essentially I have only being sewing for the last year and I love it. I remembered how to thread the machine from high school when I did Textiles and design in year 10. My Mum taught me to knit when I was about 16years old and I love to do it as it relaxes me.
I started back to craft one day when cleaning out my daughters closet and found a little pair of shorts and thought I could make her a bag out of them and recycle them. Then I made a bag out of them and decided maybe I could make more and sell them and it just went from there. I never did follow through with the bags yet as I ended up making other things but that is where it started I guess.

Scrabble Tile Necklaces by The Little Pink Owl.

Rudolf the Reindeer necklace by The Little Pink Owl.

Little Black Bird Necklace by The Little Pink Owl.

hd: You heard it here people, upcycling can do great things for your creativity. What did that first sale feel like?
lk: My first sale was so exciting it was to someone who I have admired on facebook for a long time and she happened to be at my first markets and bought the first item.  I have since built a great relationship with her and she is very supportive of me and what I do and she now sells my toys on her website, Sweet Little Birdy. I also love when people walk past my stall and smile and get such enjoyment from what I make, it brings me such joy.

My Favourite! Lamb by The Little Pink Owl.

hd: It sounds like it has been a whirlwind success. What would you like to offer the  ‘Friends of harrysdesk’? 
lk: I would like to offer 2 deals for your readers.
If your readers go to my facebook page and like it and say they came from “Harry’s desk” and write the animal softie that they like. I will at the end of the time frame draw their name out and whoever is picked will get that softie free and posted to them free of charge. They must say they are from you though as it is only for your readers this offer. This chance to win will finish on the 10th of December, 2011 at 8:00pm EST.
* Small Print: If you are an overseas reader you are welcome to join in but the additional postage will need to be paid by the winner! 
hd: Yes you read right. You could win a softie from The Little Pink Owl. Awesome….. and your offering somethings else? 
 Yes, I will offer a $5 discount on any animal softie that they like, so instead of it costing them $35 they will only pay $30 plus the postage (from $6:60 ) This is only on the animal softies that are in the folder on my facebook page named animal softies. (It will not include the reindeer or skeleton)
hd: Thanks so much Lynne.
You can also visit Lynne’s MadeIt Store (if you are not on facebook)….. and come back here and leave a comment saying that you have done this.

Advent 2011

December 1, 2011

An idea has been percolating since June to use the story stones idea for advent.

Since fixating on the idea I have been noticing stones and rocks everywhere.

handpainted beach pebble winter tree by natasha newton

Word Stones- Support Theme: Support, Hope, Strive, Motivate, Encourage & definition.

hand painted rock house primitive style by The Owl Shop.

Painted stones by Geninne.

So many beautiful ideas….

So, yes, while children all over the world are getting chocolates and goodies in their advent calendars… ours will be getting stones. So if you know us personally, and my children tell you they are getting rocks instead of chocolates….. please ….

  • don’t call DOC’s….
  • feel sorry for them
  • assume they have misbehaved
  • but…. ask them about it!

We have been brutally realistic about how often we will actually sit down and ‘open the box’. The number we arrived at was about 3 times a week.

We will still use 25 pockets. …we aren’t trying to cause undue stress! The difference will be we ‘plan’ to open a number of them each time.
The contents will be a mixture of previous years activities, and readings, but we also want to look at some of the biblical references that talk about rocks.
As the month goes on Tim and I will encourage the girls to recall bible stories using the rocks as launching pads.
That’s the idea ….anyway…. we will see how it goes:) It could go down like a ton of bricks rocks.
I will (as in previous years) blog through our advent adventures, but it will be once a week only (different to previous years).
I always enjoy hearing how others are celebrating the lead-up to Christ’s birthday. Please fill me in by leaving a comment….. even if it’s a disaster! It’s encouraging to know that it’s not just my household  that can’t sit for 15 minutes talking about Jesus without an issue…. some days.
Well Spotted
hd: So, Tony, why work for yourself?
tc: Good question, it’s certainly not easy!
When I was small, my father’s job was a complete mystery to me. Now that I have a small person, I’d like him to know what it is that I do. He sees me printing t-shirts, he knows people in the shops that I sell to & he is well acquainted with the post office in Summer Hill where we queue up to send out my orders! What I do is tangible to him & he often comes up with t-shirt ideas for me which is a nice added way to engage with my son…
hd: Great reasons. Good chance he’s a little entrepreneur  in the making! So, in the last year, what exciting things have been happening at Well Spotted?
tc: Since last year Well Spotted has re-introduced adult t-shirts into the mix. Not too many because I prefer to see my prints making kids funnier!
hd: Do you have any new ‘funnys’ for us?
tc: This year I have tried to encourage my positive side and  come up with ‘Best. Day. Ever!’ & ‘Happy Go Lucky’ & ‘Sunshine & Lollipops & Rainbows & Everything’. Just try being grumpy when you’re wearing one of those!

Yes.... you could be the lucky winner of one of these Best. Day. Ever. t-shirts. See below for details.

hd: If we want to stay in touch with what Well Spotted is up to through out the year, how is the best way to do that?
tc: I sometimes engage with social media here – but when it’s really important (like a sale) I will send a message to my mailing list which you can join by clicking ‘keep me posted’ here –

happy go lucky. Available in Blue and Aqua.

Shineshine...etc available in Pink, Orange and Yellow.

hd: Last year, rather than offer a purchasing deal on your shirt…. which are really well priced anyway… offered a give-away. Thank for that. What would you like to surprise harrysdesk readers with this year?
tc: Since I’ve been accentuating the positive this year I’ll give one lucky reader a ‘Best. Day. Ever!’ t-shirt. They come in coal or brown & are available from kids size 3-6m to 14y.

Thanks Tony!! I feel very posititve about that already.
Ok, so here is how it will work….
Leave a comment below telling us of one of your Best. Day(s). Ever. and you have the possibility of being spotted in the newest Well Spotted t-shirt.
Please only enter once…..
Prize drawn randomly ….lunchtime (sometime after 12 and before 3pm) on December the 6th 2011.

Myself and Bec at the opening.

Last Thursday was the official opening of my friend Bec’s store in Newtown, Little Big Tween. Or LBT for short.

You may recognise the name from a post I did a month or so back about a new wholesaler.

Yes, harrysdesk accessories are available at LBT.

In the comments of the post I said I had more exciting news associated with this venture…. and now all can be revealed.

LBT looking all gorgeous for the opening.

Yes!'s red carpet

A couple of months ago Bec asked me if I could help out with her clothing design drawings and fabric specs. Yes! what I trained to do all those years ago.

I gingerly agreed.

….and I have enjoyed it a lot.

The excited supporters.

The sketching, dreaming and designing, to Bec’s specifications, has been nothing short of a pleasure.

Fitting it in around an already packed to the brim family life was tricky and some mornings I could be found up before the sun (quite an achievement for a non-morning person like myself) busily sketching and colouring and sticking. Tim and the girls have been fantastic, making all the extra hours possible. We had a few hairy moments…

I will let you know once the winter collection arrives…. as that is the season I have been working on!

At this point I am hoping I can continue to help Bec out as I can….learn lots from her ‘make it happen, with a smile on your face’ attitude…. and keep harrysdesk rolling along and growing into the new year.

This may explain why the blog has been a little removed lately. Sorry…. and thanks for sticking around.

Therese (who works in the shop) and Bec before the crowd arrives.

The clothing in the store now, is wonderful and seriously worth a look.

If you cannot get to Newtown you can see it here. Or become a friend of LBT on facebook here.



For any reader in Canberra ... you will find LBT at Matilda's Markets this Sunday.