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!


Scallyoop Scoop!

November 26, 2012

Tuxedo Sam (other characters available) USB sticks.

Today I want to tell you all about a fantastic online store.

It’s owned by my fabulous little sister Hayley and a friend… so I am a little bias in my recommendation…. but after I have shown you a small selection of an enormous range of products, I am sure you will agree with me.

Firstly, I will show you some of the items we have enjoyed from Scallyoop and a few reasons why I like them…. and then give you my recommendations for Christmas….. and leave you with a special offer!

Tuxedo Sam (and Friends) USB stick. 14 year old has one and loves it! Once the kids get to high school the USB becomes their best friend. These little guys wont be lost like the boring generic kind…. and are easily recognisable. Even Dad’s and nephew’s would enjoy these.

Djeco Art Nouveau Workshop.

Djeco make fabulous product. They provide great structured art projects which are vital for building skills. Over the years we have enjoyed many of these craft boxes. They are beautiful indeed.

Covering crafts from colouring, collage, puppet making, folding and knitting these sets ….made for boys as well as girls are highly recommended.

Made by the same company (and often included in the kits) are these felt painting textas and oil pastels. Be warned however….once you buy a child these beautiful textas they will never want normal ones. They make truly beautiful marks and last and last. Well worth the investment.

The oil pastels are also lovely to create art with. you will want to sit alongside your child and draw with them. I think they are better for older children ….. maybe 8+ as they can be a little messy (like oil pastels are)

Felt paint textas.

Oil Pastels.







Ni Hao Noodle Bowl. Now $19.95

The Ni Hao Noodle bowl is a fun way to introduce chopsticks to your children. The set comes with a noodle bowl, a patterned plate and a cute set of ‘kid friendly’ chopsticks. The little rubber man holds the chopsticks together making the pinching action that much easier! ….almost like holding a pencil and squeezing. A great gift for 6+ noodle lovers.


Roll-up chalk placemat.

We have enjoyed our chalk placement outside and inside. The girls use it to make signs on the cubby house and I sometimes use it to write a list of jobs for them to do…. It’s so much more fun to rub a job off with your hand after doing it!

Alice in Wonderland necklace or brooch.

What is not to love about this sweet Alice in Wonderland necklace (also available as a brooch)? Wood cut and light. Beautiful. You can also get other Alice in Wonderland characters.

Ride on Lady Bug.

The ride on bug.… yes, sadly we are past this, but have many fond memories of the girls zooming around on these. Stylistically so much more beautiful than the plastic ride on…and great for imaginary play.

Skwish classic.

Past this one too but loved it when the girls were very little. I loved the lightness of the elastic and wood….didn’t hurt when it inevitably hit them in the face! Skish Classic.

Throwing Game Klop.

I think my all time favourite gift from Scallyoop is Klop. A fantastic park game. It plays like a cross between bowls and boules with a twist or two.

Our family regularly take Klop to the park just with us or with friends and play across generations. The game is well weighted so adult or child can win….. but it’s not all luck. Brilliant!

Now….. my picks for this Christmas and beyond.

Ziggy Platter….. How groovy!

This one is for me! Yes there are gifts for adults too!

Balsam wood postcard…… can think of a few granddads who would like one of these.

Love this idea! …..and Balsam wood Plane Card just $7.95

Kokeshis Paper Dolls…. great holiday fun.

Another Djeco kit! Un-tricky origami Only $12.50

Beautiful wooden 3 layer puzzle.

How about this exquisite wooden puzzle? Lovely.

Make-a-do. Reusable connective pieces for creating straight from the recycling box.

I have loved these for a while. Such a great idea for the ‘construction kids’. Make-a-do kits.

There you have it!

Some of the best gifts you will find…. and you don’t need to go to the shops! Yay.

The site has soooo many more things to love….. and if you get in quick (before Dec 9) adding the code scallyoop10 will give you $10 off if you spend over $30 and put you into the draw for a $150 scallyoop shopping spree.

Why are you still here?



Inspiration: Ann Wood

July 25, 2012

Sinclair. Image from Ann Wood.

This artist, Ann Wood, makes beautiful one-of-a-kind sculpture from antique clothing. The aging of the antique piece is not seen as a disadvantage but as an opportunity for aging a new creation.

Very high end upcycling. I love it.

On her blog she takes the reader through the process of creating some of these pieces and also has photos of past work. Click on an image to take you through to the blog.

The antique coat used to make Sinclair by Ann Wood.

Our holiday ….

July 18, 2012

The first week we stayed in our pj’s a lot, read a lot, watched movies at home …..saw Brave (which we had to do having a houseful of girls), some went and stayed with Grandparents and others did different fun things with friends..

On the middle weekend we enjoyed rock climbing. Lots of fun and sore muscles.

9 year old and 6 year old at the end of K central in their screen printed shirts and wearing their bejewelled foam crowns.

The second week of the holiday was when most of the organised activity happened. The youngest two girls went to a week long program called K-central, brilliantly organised and orchestrated by Abbotsford Presbyterian Church. The days were long and fun, craftiness and activity abounded.

13 year old and I went in one afternoon to help with craft. She introduced the kids to manga (Japanese cartooning) and I helped anyone who wanted to make lots of owls.

Some of the owls the kids made.

They  learnt about Jesus everyday within the medieval theme. 9 year old particularly liked the sessions given by an actual ‘archaeologist’ (who has done digs around Jerusalem) and 6 year old loved the singing and craft. We are so thankful to everyone involved in making K-central happen. They will be back next year.

Image from the powerhouse archives. Florence Broadhurst hand printed sample book.

In the same week 12 year old went to a week long movie editing/making/acting workshop run by ATYP with the help of the Powerhouse Museum. She learnt how to use Vegas Pro while making a trailer for a movie (starring herself) based on the life of Florence Broadhurst an Australian wallpaper designer who was murdered under suspicious circumstances in 1977.

Florence Broadhurst’s wallpaper designs. You might recognise some of these designs…… may have even lived with them. Image from hairpik.

 We are looking forward to the DVD  coming so we can see the final outcome. Yet again ATYP give us ‘bang for our buck’ with a well thought through enjoyable holiday workshop.

13 year old and I had a lovely time, sometimes together, sometimes alone. We went clothing shopping, which was mostly me saying “How about this?”. Clothing shopping is not her favourite thing, but we did get the things she needed, had lots of food breaks, saw a movie together and read. I loved the one on one time. Maybe all our school holidays should include a week were all but one does a week long workshop or camp. That way I get to enjoy extended time with just one.

What fun things did you do? Give us some ideas for next holidays.

Day 1: Big smile in her skirt into dress....oh and a sneaky owl!

Day 2: A Mary Poppins impersonation before leaving home. Another skirt made into a dress.... yes and am "Over it" Brooch to finish it off.

Day 3: Orientation done! I think a song is in order. Men's shirt into a skirt and top.

Leading up to orientating 5 year olds to school, she began getting very excited about upcycling skirts into dresses.

We had made one in the past, and she really enjoyed wearing it….bit small now…

On a recent trip to the Op Shop, 5 year old bought me the two ladies skirts and suggested we make dresses for her ‘try out days’. She called them this because  she was under the impression that she would try it…ask the teachers a few questions (Like what is 2+2… because if they didn’t know, then she thought they wouldn’t make very good teachers)…..

Anyway we thought we would turn it into a fun activity together. She would pick some pieces from the Op Shop and I would make her some things to wear. While I sewed she sat on the floor and floated around watching and learning what Mummy does.

These are what we ended up with!

The first one is simply made by attaching ribbons to the top of the skirt and tying them together at the shoulder.

With dress two, I made fixed straps with ribbon and attached the ties. I also added a little ribbon on the skirt yoke to draw the ribbon print into the overall dress.

The skirt and top is a little complex to explain in a sentence, but I hope to share a tutorial of how to do it soon. It’s a great (cheap) way to introduce children to sewing…..

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.

New to King Street Newtown.

You can now get harrysdesk brooches and hair accessories from LBT King Street Newtown.

If you have children size 6 to 14 this shop is well worth a look. Great appropriately styled clothes for this age group.

Due to the one off nature of harrysdesk products you will need to pop into the store to see them…. 541 (south) King Street, Newtown walking towards St Peter’s Station….. yes! the groovy end of King Street.

For everything else, or if you are a non-local,  you can visit the website.

Inside Little Big Tween.


How cute is this! Image from Sewing Republic.

This is such a cute little project.

PDF of pattern pieces and tutorial can be found here.

It would look great made from reclaimed materials too!

Yes…it’s so exciting! harrysdesk pieces are now available at ‘My Messy Room’

‘My messy Room’ is a quaint and sweet kids and interiors shop with interesting yummy things at every turn.

Here’s how Stav (the owner) describes it…..

‘A stylish life, a room that’s rife with fabulous favourite things! A space for us, and all our fuss, full of the the joy that family brings. This t-shirts too tight – but fits my brother just right, these hand me-downs still have style that bites! With pretend chef hats we’ll learn how to cook! Then we’ll snuggle for hours with your favourite blanket and book. Play hopscotch and elastics and have old fashioned fun, and on hot summer days we’ll make sandcastles in the sun……

…My Messy Room stocks all sorts of interesting and unique Gifts, Furniture, Books, Clothing, Toys and Decor including; vintage wallpaper, hair clips, vintage prints, retro lamps, plushies, hand made dolls, paper dolls, designer children’swear, baby brands, games and puzzles, nostalgic gifts, children cooking, childhood keepsakes, family heirlooms, children’s bedding. ‘

….. and now harrysdesk brooches, owl brooch making kits and giant hair ties!


My Messy Room: 111a Smith St, Summer Hill, Sydney NSW 2130 …or visit online 


This looks fascinating….. Pottermore!

ht: Chris Morphew