Making gifts

April 21, 2012

Close-up of the weather textile hanger.

As in other years, this year I am trying to make as many gifts as I can for birthdays… especially those school related birthday parties.

Those fun little 2 hours of celebration can really add up!

My 8 year old has picked up the making gifts bug and so together we pulled together this gift for a ‘Weather Party’……. I kid you not! That was the theme.

She didn’t do it all. Chain stitch was too hard and blanket stitch was too slow…. so I did those. I also helped out by threading the needle and ‘finishing it’ when she got tired.

She drew it out on paper first and I did the cutting out. She selected all of the buttons and enjoyed finding the right colours to make up the rainbow.

We had everything we needed right in the cupboard! I love that.

Do you recognise the spotty blue fabric?

Along with the textile hanger she put together an activity book of crosswords, colouring in, find a word and dot to dot….. all related to the weather…..and covered it with the cloud  fabric used for the background here.

What the hanging needlework might look like in a bedroom.

Her friend Kristabella really loved it.

Have any of you made simple gifts for your kids to give to their friends? I would love to hear your ideas.


Inside... lots of card slots.

About a month ago I made my first of these wallets for Sue. 

It was for a gift.

She then straight away wanted another…. this time for herself.

If you look very closely, you will see in the stitching I have included little ‘kisses’. Sometimes single kisses…and sometimes a bunch together. I also mixed up the colours in the handstitching….to add a bit of excitement.

Outside zippered pocket. Notice the 'kiss' on the harrysdesk label.

Covered elastic closure.

Still trying to come up with a better way to photograph these…. not that happy with the pictures.

For colour inspiration.

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It’s not too late to enter the anniversary bag give-away.

Really all you need to know is…… tell me what colour your would like it in…. and let your imagination run wild.

I will make three in the most asked for colour, give one away  and put the other two in my etsy shop….. with the possibility of massive discounts, up to 100% Leave your comments here… or on the original post.

Answering a few questions that might be floating around in your head…

  • Yes, your mother would prefer something from harrysdesk over an appliance!
  • Yes, I can post it straight to her.
  • Yes, because you read my blog you can have a special deal*
  • No, you don’t have to be a mother to celebrate and get presents on mothers day
  • Yes, it is totally ok to buy, wrap and open your own present without consulting with anyone else (especially those who may buy you something you don’t really want!)
  • Your welcome!

* Type mummylove into the discount code box when you purchase items from etsy in the next week and receive 30% off your total purchase. To help it arrive before mothers day…. do it soon. Love you guys.

The Son rises.

April 24, 2011

Waiting for the sun to come over the horizon.

This morning our Joshua Tree community rose before dawn to catch the sunrise.

It’s the second year we have done this… so I guess we now have a tradition.

What a fabulously tactile way to remember that God’s Son rose on the first Easter Sunday, turning the world on it’s head.

We read and thought about  John 20.

But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. John 20: 31

Commission for Tom

April 13, 2011


The combination of fabrics before piecing.

This was a super exciting project to do for a couple of reasons…

  1. Tom is my first ever customer commission via etsy.
  2. It was the first commission I have made using a mix of fabrics (not ties) given to me from the client and fabrics I found to go with it. This was a little scary at first, because you just never know what the reclaim world is going to have for you at any given time… let alone to a deadline.
  3. Although I haven’t met Tom, we have emailed often through the process of the bag making, and he was always really encouraging and full of energy.
  4. The bag is for his wife Ciara for their second wedding anniversary, the theme cotton…. and it is a surprise! Sweet.

What’s not to like?

Here’s the finished bag…..


Made from authentic Scottish tartan and reclaimed ties.


Owl brooch close-up.

Inside. Owl fabric from Tom. Pocket made from reclaimed cargo pants.

Bottom with gorgeous green shank buttons.


I included 2 owls as a surprise. One for each of them on their 2nd anniversary.

… and more on the brooch choosing….

Earlier I posted on 4 tag brooches as alternatives for the ‘Bronte’ bag , for my friend Dani.

After talking to her more, she thinks maybe a rosette would hit the spot better.

So here we go again….

Rosette brooch 1: Waratah with tails.

Rosette brooch 2. Covered button with crochet.



Rosette brooch 3: Black starburst with lace tail.

Rosette brooch 4: Circles on circles.

I’ve got a hunch which one she will choose…. which one do you think it will be!

Rosette 2.


Rosette 1.

Rosette 3.

Rosette 4.


First Time Ever

January 30, 2011

Racing on the harbour

Today I discovered that sunny, windy days are good for other things apart from washing!

Regatta racing on Sydney’s beautiful harbour.

Tim has been commenting on everything floating for a long time now, so when a special deal came up close to his birthday it was hard to resist.

I am so glad we didn’t.

Thanks to everyone who came along. It made for a great day.

Pure joy!


I have been using fabric to wrap for a while, maybe you have too. Turns out, it has a name. Furoshiki.

Let’s just say, this fabric wrap idea ain’t rocket science. Thankfully… or my tag line would need to be I make stuff rise UP.

It’s a square of fabric finished around the edges.

Why a tutorial then….?

Just to show you there are absolutely no skill you need that you don’t already have.


If you still don’t think you can do it (I am very disappointed in you and you really should see a therapist because you have latent sewing issues that really need to be released and not left suppressed for years and years until you become the sewing machine masochist!) just cut the fabric and leave it unfinished.

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The folded fabric wrapping trend known as furoshiki. Image from II-NE-KORE

Furochic has video how-to's for many different shaped gifts. You can even buy the book on it. Image from Furochic.

Make the perfect snowflake... with the help of kerliand animals. Image hers.


Martha Stewarts tutorial for dying doilies for using in gift wrapping. Image hers.

Yes Martha does it again! Muffin papers topping homemade jam. Image from martha stewart.


Beautiful and simple 'paperpoms'. Tutorial and download. Image from Nice package.

Lino print Christmas cards to make. Tutorial and photo from Apartment Therapy.