Angels from the Christmas collection. Upcycled from men’s neckties.

As no-one was forthcoming with another Pinteresting idea, I decided to make a board of the items available via my etsy shop this Christmas.

If you have been following along, you will know it has been a very slow year for harrysdesk. Although all the girls are now in school, I have missed my studio greatly. Unfortunately, I haven’t designed a decoration for Christmas this year, but still have some of the past years designs available.

I have a few more items to upload over the coming weeks, so pop back, if you like, and see whats new. I hope to add more owls, hair-ties and t-shirts…… so watch this space.

Now it’s your turn!

What should my next Pinteresting idea be?

You can choose by commenting below.

It can be as quirky or conservative as you like!


Rocks for advent? all the details by clicking on the photo.

Some of you may have noticed a new page below my header…. and not a moment too soon. (like everything I do).

I have collated our advent calendar activities, readings and adventures for you to share and use.

We went with the ‘December is very busy’ approach and although we had a parcel for each day in December we planned from the start to open more than one each day and include some of our communities activities within the calendar.

It worked pretty well…..and included NO LOLLIES but ROCKS!

More advent ideas can be found here if this one doesn’t float your boat.

Yes! This is the week to be finalising your advent plans, if you haven’t already.

Painted rocks for advent.

‘Take a book. Return a book.’ Image from the original article on etsy.

This is a great little community lead idea that is popping up around the place.

Esty blog have written an article about it here. Little free libraries. ‘You can’t steal a free book’.

I am on the lookout for a suitable ‘bookhouse’ to put on my front fence.

The site Little Free Libraries even have plans for how to build little libraries and a gallery of already established ones.

Facebook also has it’s own Library builders guild with over 1000 members!

Already I know of a number of people in my community that are keen to make this happen. Maybe your community would be up for it too.

I will let you know how it progresses.

…oh and if you have a little house (waterproof) tucked away in somewhere and want to get rid of it…… let me know.

Another cute bookhouse. Image from etsy blog.

A quick upcycle

June 26, 2012

Image from Etsy store CraftieRobot.

At the beginning of the year I bought this bag for 12 year old to take to school.

It was a little too small from the beginning and was pushed to it’s limits many times.

….. and ….well it broke.

The closures came away and it got a ‘cannot be mended’ hole in the base.

She was very sad because she really loved the illustration…… so I upcycled it into a new bag.

I used the picture as a zippered front pocket with a little pen pocket to the side.

She needs a bag for her extras…. PE clothes, dance clothes, drama costumes….that sort of thing.

I even reused the original bags inside pocket on the new one.

The black bag was already made I bought it at BlankClothing for about $4.


What if……

May 23, 2012

Image from etsy shop ‘Walking in faith’ only $4 for a printable PDF.

I very much want to be a thankful person.

During crazy busy month this is a great, great timely reminder!

Bliss bomb: Knit Knit

December 10, 2011

Learn to Knit Tea Cosy by Knit Knit. $35 (without discount)

hd: Hi Anna, tell us a little about yourself….
ak: I am a quiet country girl come city slicker who loves knitting, sewing and baking. I’m obsessed with learning how to do new things, and usually hate to make the same thing twice!
hd: I know what you mean. What did you think you would be doing when you were in school?
ak: To be honest, I had no idea what I would be doing! I knew I wanted to make things and do something creative, but I didn’t have any clear idea of what kind of job I could do. I chose to study Fashion and Textile design so maybe I was hoping to head towards being the next Akira Isogawa…
hd: As far as I know Akira doesn’t knit…. so….how did you get to this point?
ak: I worked a little in fashion, then a little in textiles and graphics, then started to feel like I really wanted to be creating my own product, rather than working on someone else’s. I have always been a keen knitter, and realised that a lot of my friends were keen to knit too, but had never learnt. Or they’d tried and failed. So I set out to somehow make knitting accessible to young people who are that way inclined.

Learn to knit Christmas Stocking by Knit Knit $30 (without discount).

hd: Great idea. It’s not really something that gets passed from generation to generation like it was in the past, which is a pity.  Tell us how you have made knitting accessible again.
ak: I create ‘learn to knit’ kits for kids and adults that have an emphasis on great quality natural yarn and needles, and really simple, easy to follow instructions. The kits are a perfect starting point for a non-knitter to explore the world of knitting (or for a rusty knitter to get back on the horse). The kits are designed to appeal to young people and kiddies, and are a great way to introduce them to the world of knitting.

Colour choices.....

Kids Kits....

Smaller Kits...


hd: Have you always loved knitting? What is it about it that captured your attention and started you making things?
ak: Yes I started out knitting scarves for my Barbie dolls quite a while ago! I got hooked and loved making something that no one else was wearing. I also love that you can create a fabric out of a bit of string, and that you only need to know a couple of stitches and you can knit amazing things.

Learn to Knit Kids Hooded Scarf by Knit Knit $35 (without discount).

Adult Learn to Knit Hooded Scarf by Knit Knit $85 (without discount)

……… hd: It’s also super portable….. which makes it a great craft to learn.What did that first sale feel like?
ak: A great relief! I had put a lot of effort into kicking off the brand and was so glad when someone wanted to buy a kit. I think each sale still feels a little like that!
hd: Thanks Anna for helping us to get to know you a little more. What would you like to offer the  ‘Friends of harrysdesk’?
ak: I would love to offer everyone a discount to help you do your Christmas shopping. Just pop over to my etsy store  and enter the discount code FRIENDSOFHARRYSDESK to receive 20% off everything in store.
hd: That’s brilliant Anna. Thanks. I gave my 10 and 11 year old nieces sets last year and they loved the big needles and that everything they needed was right there, ready to go. ….. also 2 of my girls (at ages 6 and 11) completed kits. I love these!

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.

Sing Choirs of Angels!

November 23, 2011

Angels... harrysdesk decoration 2011

As in past years I have used my favourite medium , men’s neckties, to make a decoration for the coming Christmas season.

This year was no exception.

I love how often the angelic crowd are mentioned in the biblical Christmas story, and so they have become, for our family one of the big symbols we associate with Christmas.

Every year we give the girls an angel each to hang on the tree, or sit on the mantle piece. It’s a reminder to them that God is much bigger than they can imagine, that there are things in this life they don’t yet understand and that we are all called to be messengers of the good news…… just like the angels were on the first Christmas.

Siver and Sky Blue..... no two the same.

My great friend Cathy McKay has written the poem this year, and I am so thankful to her for that.

Each angel comes with a printed poem for you to hang or use in your advent activities.

All for $12

....made from reclaimed neckties, buttons and ribbon.

Time weary waiting

On the long silent God to speak

Angel voices split cold, black silence

Saturating the void with glory


The dust-bound tremble, breaking under glory’s weight.


Fear flees with a word

God has left the glory of the highest

Slipping to the cold, dark earth

In the cold, black silence

Speaking, being, bringing peace.


Previously I have made stars and trees.

The angels, stars and trees can now be purchased via

Bliss Bomb: Plumage

November 2, 2011

hd: Tell us a little about yourself….
ba: I really like drawing and writing and making creative things like jewellery. I also like looking at pretty and cute things. I like elephants and dogs most of all. I am one of a family of 6. I attend Dulwich High School of Visual Arts and Design and I am 13 years old.
  hd: Usually I ask …..What did you think you would be doing when you were in school?
ba: Well, seeing as I am still in school, the thing I most hope to be doing when I leave would be getting a job as a manga artist/graphic novelist. I also thought that I could go on an overseas trip to Japan when I am older to hang out with the artists there. I am learning Japanese and am at an art school, so I am happy with how things are heading.
hd: So how did you start making jewellery?
ba: My Mum is a creative person and I inherited her creative genes. My head keeps filling with ideas I just have to try….unfortunately some fail but there is always another one which pops up sooner or later.
hd: Tell us a bit about your product…
ba: Simple pretty friendship necklaces for older girls or sisters or Mother’s and daughters. I have made them so that when you are not wearing it you can display it on a special shelf to enjoy all the time rather than be hidden away in a jewellery box and forgotten about.
The bottles are vintage glass which have lasted this long so I am sure they will last a long time. The glass is quite thick. Inside is a tiny folded white origami bird and contrasting coloured seed beads. The other has a bird the same colour as the beads (in the other one) and clear beads…. look at the pictures and you will understand what I mean. Co-ordinating  bakers twine is used to hang the bottle around the neck.
Often you see friendship necklaces/bracelets for little girls but what I have made is a friendship necklace that is a bit more grown up that teenagers and adults are happy to wear.
hd: What a fabulous idea! Have you always loved jewellery? What is it about it that captured your attention and started you making?
ba: It’s kind of limitless. There are the ‘guidelines’ for example necklace, brooch, bracelet etc but really you are only limited by your imagination and by what someone is willing to wear.
hd: So, what did that first sale feel like?
ba: My first sale was to my Grandmother and the thoughts going around in my head were ‘Seriously? You are willing to buy this?’
hd: Of course the answer was yes and you have kept making beautiful things. What are you offering the harrysdesk readers?
ba: Anyone who purchases a necklace set (2 necklaces) at my etsy store PLUMAGE can use the code BLISSBOMB to purchase it for $20 (including postage to anywhere in the world). Normally this would be $30. Please be quick as I only have seven sets available ….at the moment. I don’t think I will be able to make any more before Christmas.
* if you make things and would like to offer something special to harrysdesk readers. Please email me.

Another Penhall!

July 20, 2011

Silvery grey Penhall..... with floral lining.

I’ve just posted this new one on etsy

It’s the second promised bag made using the colours inspired by you. You can see the green and blue version here.

I’m loving it, and was glad of the opportunity to put a silver grey bag together….as I have been wanting to use this colour combo for a while.

So thanks…..

The repositional rosette....

....and the back.

...the oval base with pleats...

The bag is also completely reversible. The other side is lined with a liberty-esque floral in blue green and grey tones with a touch of pink….so it’s a bit girlie.

...a peek at the inside....