Fun with felt!!

I love felt.

I especially love cute felt, and couldn't walk past a piece covered in music notes on my last trip to Taiwan without buying it, and have been waiting almost two years for the right time to use it.

The time to finally use it arrived yesterday. So frustrated that my sewing desk is an absolutely disaster at the moment, I decided it needs some serious re-organising!! And to get started I needed a little needle "notebook" for all my needles, as they have been (up until yesterday) scattered all over the house, often popping up in random and unexpected places. Hmm...quite unsafe considering we have a Little Miss 2 year old!!

So I quickly whipped up this little notebook using cute felt, a bit of op-shopped lace and a retro flower cut out of a retro tea towel!!

Finally I have one spot for all my needles to belong!! Now I need to actually use it, as putting things back where they come from has never been a strong point of mine (no matter how many times my mum tried to drum it into me!!!)

Some of you lovely crafters make much more elaborate and wonderful versions of these little needlebooks, I'd love to see them- feel free to share links via comments. In the meantime I’m quite happy with my easily whipped up felt craft at the mo!!

Mezz xxx

Library Lovin'

PS- I'm feeling a bit clever...Good old technophobe me just figured out how to do a pretty little header for this blog...all by myself! I did not get Mr. Coleman involved AT ALL...(which is quite unusual for me.)


Mezz x


What's with the orange!!?

We are still in summer holiday mode here in Melbourne. Coleman Jnr starts school in a few days, I think then everything will feel "back to normal," which I'm kind of looking forward to, (although I'm sure it won't be long till I'm longing again for long lazy days with hours to do nothing!) But I do enjoy living my life to rhythm, and the nothingness of summer after a while just gets a bit out of control around here! Looking forward to some routine.

The weather here has cooled down a bit, making me very happy, as I'm quite looking forward to autumn, my favourite time of year. I must be feeling ready for autumn, because most of my recent Op Shop finds are orange and brown, very autumn-y!!! I often find that certain colours appeal to me at certain times of year...what colours are you into at the moment?

Here are a few cute things to brighten up our little home. They were all found at local Op shops.

70's "flip" calander

a cheery pot holder

a very nostaligc bread bin!

Little cafe curtains, we hung them up in our kitchen (yes, looking forward to removing the ugly bars from the window!!)

 and a lovely little 70's blackboard/magnet desk. Miss Coleman loves this one!

Hope you enjoyed checking out my little collection of orange cuteness. All of this together would have cost under $20.

Speak soon! Lot's of creating going on around at the moment, can't wait to share!

Mezz x

bits and bobs..

I know this looks bad.

Stitching my own name into things like a complete ego maniac!!

I assure you, my ego has not yet grown completely out of control....this is just a little project I'm working on that may or may not be something to do with my music!!! Stay tuned...

In other news (news!?) I think I may have just found the world's loveliest blog called Vintage Sheet Addict, and you should check it our here. Written by a lovely lass in the UK, she shows lots of lovely craft projects she's working on (most of them using awesome up cycled vintage sheets) and she also occasionally posts about the struggles and joys of parenting an autistic child, something that resonates very deeply with me and my own experience.

Check her out! You'll love here, I'm sure!

Her blog inspired me to have a think about my own love of vintage sheets. Here are some things from the past year that have appeared on my blog, all made out of vintage sheets!

A birthday present I made for my awesome sis in law Ash, I loved it so much I use it as my blogger pic!!

Mr. Coleman and Coleman Jnr whipped this up for me.

Bunting. Never enough.

A "unicorn" bag for a little friend of Coleman Jnr's.

I made myself this dress..ok for first attempt at dress making!

Skirts for some cute 1 year old twins!

We made this live clip about a year ago, the dress I'm wearing is a vintage sheet turned dress, thanks to the awesome Mr. Coleman, who is a dab hand with the sewing machine! 

Now I'm wondering what I should do next with my vintage sheet stash!? It's been a while!

Mezz x


Library Lovin'

I love libraries. So. Much. I love them for personal reasons, community reasons, ethical reasons and political reasons. They are awesome!

Why are libraries so awesome? I feel like they give us this little glimpse into an alternate universe, where people have no need to consume. I often feel a need to own something that I love, but the library allows me to consider a different way…When I enter a library I recognize that I don't need to own everything there, but I can enjoy a book or a DVD, get out of it whatever I can…(whether it’s entertainment or information,) and then return it for somebody else to enjoy. It’s the idea of sharing that’s quite uncommon in our world, and because there is no exchange of money, everything is built on trust. Quite counter cultural, really!

I also love libraries because I adore books. I'm a bit of an extrovert; so people are often surprised to find out what a keen reader I am. I have always loved to get lost in stories, and sometimes Mr. Coleman jokes that I "disappear" for a while if I'm really into a book, and "come back" a few days later when I’ve finished! I will read anything. From classic British literature or Craft, Gardening and Cooking books, to favourite post modern Aussie writers (2 favourite’s being Peter Carey and Nikki Gemmell)…. and I have even been known to pick up a trashy Mills and Boon to get me through a crappy day!!
Why is my library so awesome in particular? Because I always bump into my friends and neighbours down there. It’s a central place of belonging and activity in our community. Because they cater for so many different language readers. And most importantly, because unlike many libraries, it's very NOISY!! So the kids and I fit in quite well! I also love that computers and internet are always available for the members of our community who cannot afford this luxury at home, so that they too can remain connected, often to loved ones overseas.

So because I love books, and I think Libraries are very under-celebrated members of our communities, I’m going to endeavor to simply share with you what I borrow each time I visit the library, and hope it inspires you to go do the same!

Just another small way in which we can actively avoid buying, and maybe get a glimpse of that “alternate universe” I was talking about!

Today's picks:

Do you visit your library much? What did you last borrow?

Mezz xoox



I have a new (old) table.

It reminds me of my Nana's kitchen table, and so I'm feeling very nostalgic and happy with our choice. I always loved going to my Nana and Pa's place growing up, and since both of them have passed away in the last 10 years, I guess I feel a deep desire to remember these happy parts of my childhood and allow these wonderful people from past (particularly my Nana, Elsie,) to live on through the sharing of stories, cooking of her recipes, and for showing the same love and care to my family as she always did to us.

Some favourite memories of going to Nana's:

-Helping Nana make everyone a cup of tea after dinner, and getting my own cup of tea that I was allowed to put as much sugar as I wanted in it! (Which I did, 5 teaspoons at least....hmm..yuck.)
-Helping Nana "stir the cake" whenever she made her famous cream butterfly cakes.
-Watching their videos of Gilbert and Sullivan productions taped off the ABC, our favourite being "Pirates of Penzanse" and singing along.
-Finding sixpence in our Christmas pudding each year, and Nana exchanging what we found for real money!
-Nana and Pa were pretty hip and got a VCR before we ever did, and so they used to tape footy matches (Richmond of course!) and "Thomas the Tank" for us.
-Catching the bus to their place straight after school each Friday for Friday night dinner. Every single week, for years and years.
-Fish and Chips on Good Friday.
-Playing downball in their driveway.
-Choc coated vanilla icypoles in the freezer for whenever the grandkids visited!
-Walking up the road to her local shops, visiting the local butcher, Op shop and Safeway (sometimes getting a ride in Nana’s  shopping "jeep.")
-Nana would always save the butchers paper for us to draw on, I have many happy memories of drawing with my brother's at Nana’s and Pa’s place.
-Watching Nana crochet.
-Rice bubbles for breakfast when we had sleepovers. I never got these at home, (so BIG treat!)
-Looking at photos and listening to Nana's stories of growing up in Richmond.

This is me with Nana..I could be wrong, but looks like Christmas pudding!!

One of Elsie's recipes (in her handwriting...)

Anyway, I could go on...but I might start boring you.

Do you have fond memories of your grandparents, or a particular grandparent? I'd love to know what some of your memories are!

Mezz xx

PS- Another lovely fellow blog writer posted about receiving my album in the post. You can check it out here.


Handmade gifts for blokes!

I sometimes find that the whole "handmade" and "crafty" stuff you see everywhere these days is all a bit too cute. Don't get me wrong, I love cute. I'm as granny chic as you, dear reader. I love doilies. I love floral fabric and lace as much as the next crafty lady does. But I find that most handmade items I see are all very geared toward pretty, and sometimes the people I like to make for don't do pretty.

I love making home made things for my bloke, Mr. Coleman, and he really appreciates it, in fact, he does quite a lot of crafting himself. But I found this last Christmas I was struggling to come up with ideas for a handmade gift for a MAN.

Finally, a brainwave hit!! Mr. Coleman had a Beatles t-shirt with a few holes around the arm and neck, so I decided to turn it into a cushion. He loves it, and so many guests have commented on it when they see it on our couch for the first time (mostly guys and Beatles fans!!)

It was just too easy. I simply cut the shirt to the shape of an old cushion we had lying around (square) and then sewed it up together, adding some red ribbon to the back opening. The back's not perfect, but it does the job!

Lots of guys have t-shirts that they're quite attached to that have seen better days, either favourite bands, sports shirts etc. I think this is a great way to up cycle an old shirt and make a handmade gift that's COOL but not CUTE for a guy in your life!! I encourage you to give it a go next Birthday, Christmas, Father's Day..or whenever the need for a gift for your loved one pops up!

Have you got any other handmade gift ideas specifically for guys!!? I need more!!



A very cute thing

Here's an easy way to make a little girl in your life very, very,very happy.

Take one hankie (a cute, vinatge one is great...but any will do....)
....and some strong ribbon/tape.

Make four 30cm (rough guide only!) length straps out of the ribbon, and then attach to each corner of the hankie, either sewn by hand or machine.

Tie the two top straps around your little one's neck (not too tight of course!), and the other two straps around your little one's waste.

Pop bubba in, and you've got a cute little baby carrier for the dolls!

Mezz xxx

PS This sling was inspired by a similar idea I found over at the blog called Lulastic, written by a friend of my sister in law's in the UK. You can visit the sweet blog by click click clicking here.


My first ever pair of sweatshop free undies!!!

I have made a pair of undies. Oh yes. Exciting times.

Considering where our clothes come from has been a major motivating factor behind our family trying to be dressed completely second hand (other major factor being our Op shopping addiction!!) Being dressed entirely in pre loved clothes has never proven to be too difficult, but the underwear situation is a little different! I feel a bit uncomfortable with the idea of wearing a stranger’s used underwear, and so have continued to buy new underwear over the years, whilst wearing my second hand finds and home made experiments on top!!

There are ethical undies out there by the way, and they are worth checking out if you are interested, but I must admit I'm a bit fussy when it comes to what I wear on my bottom and I find that I've never liked the "sporty" designs of the ethical undies I've found. It’s just not very me!!

So today I finally sat down and gave some handmade underwear a go. I made it up as I went, but am very happy with the result even with all the little mistakes that make them quite clearly “homemade". I also appreciate in a new light just what those poor factory workers who get paid close to nothing do to whip through hundreds of pairs of these a day, so that we can then buy them for next to nothing...oh dear, what a strange and messed up world we live in...But I digress.

I didn’t really know what I was doing, which just goes to show that you don't need to either if you want to try this as well! Here is what I did...

I chose a favourite pair of undies, and some stretchy fabric that I recently paid a few bucks for at the Op shop.

Had a look at the way they were made and then traced around the shapes that I though I'd need, and cut the shapes out.

I don't have an over locker, so juts zig zagged over any edges that would be exposed.

Then started figuring our how to "build it" all together and went for it!

I finished by attaching decorative elastic with a strong zig zag stitch to the waist and leg holes.

I won't horrify you by modeling them, but I'm wearing them right now, and I must say they are very comfy. I'm brimming with happiness over these handmade cherry, high wasted, boy leg undies!!

Hooruh for handmade!

Mezz xx


A few cute finds and sweet makes....

How are you? Still in holiday mode? Mr. Coleman has gone back to work, but it still feels like holidays here. He only works part time so is still home a lot, and I’m not back at work for a more weeks, Coleman Jnr is still off school, and we have family from overseas staying with us! So it’s still very holiday-ish around here!! I finally posted off my album "Parts of You, Parts of Me" to the winners of my CD give away, and have had a lovely response, so thank you ladies! Claire (who writes the really sweet blog Sweet Birdy Love) even posted about receiving my little parcel in the mail, how nice!! You can check her blog and that post out here.

We have been pottering still. Our days are being spent with slow and lazy starts, eating out a bit more then usual (normally at our favourite Vietnamese joint down the road), hanging out with our housemates and just watching the kids play together, going to the beach, checking out a few op shops and markets, making ice cream and bread, I even went to the movies, visiting the local library and bumping into everyone from our community there, and wondering why with all this spare time on our hands the house is even messier then usual!! Today we are going with friends into China Town in the city for dumplings, and then on to a Tram Museum (Coleman Jnr will love it!)

Anyway, I'm still not getting up to anything too challenging and exciting, but here are a few things I've been making and finding.....

Found this old "Thomas the Tank" plate, bowl and cup set in an Op Shop down in Geelong. I love the old "Thomas" much more then the new. It's much more "English village" and sweet, don't you think?

Bright vintage tea towel (you can never have too many of these cheering up your kitchen.)

An Op Shop gave this to us for free (not sure why!?) but we like it, it's bringing some sunshine vibes to the kitchen!

The crochet hook is out again, this time I am trying something other than a granny square!! (go, me!)

My brother came over during the week and we made a huge batch of apricot and ginger jam, and have slowly been giving them out to neighbours (keeping some for ourselves of course!) yum.

What have you been making or finding??

See u soon



summer goodness

I finally worked out the "picture" problem with my blog, so thought I'd get back into the swing of things by sharing with you in pictures some summer goodness that we have been enjoying as a family.

Simple crafts. Using some remnants of an old ripped shirt to cover this milk bottle and make a pretty vase.

Here's the next craft project ready to go...an old scrap of material becomes a ball of cotton yarn to play with at a later stage.

Roses and geraniums from our very own garden, sitting in old jam jars and making me very happy.

Riding our bikes MORE and driving much LESS.yay.

Apricots on our tree in the community garden. Everybody from the community has been getting in on the action, and have been dropping by to pick apricots, which is lovely to see.

I stewed this batch of apricots, which we have used for lots of different thing including HOMEMADE ICECREAM!!

Speaking of which....introducing our newest piece of modern technology, an icecream maker, bought with some money given to us at Christmas time from my lovely Grandpa. Thanks, Harold!! Mr. Coleman's addiction is now not only confined to eating icecream, but making it too! Much more yummy and ethical, as it's quite hard to find a brand of icecream that we are comfortable buying for various reasons..and it's also nice to know exactly what's going into it!!

Apricot frozen yogurt.

Strawberry icecream, without a doubt the best strawberry icecream I have ever had!!
(Some other flavours Mr. Coleman has made include choc mint, banana, rum and raisin, chocolate and vanilla and honey frozen yogurt.)

We have been Op Shopping fairly often, I found this stretchy fabric, and intend to make myself some undies with it!!hehe.

Still waiting on getting the oven fixed, so in the meantime we got this breadmaker from Freecycle, and have been making our own bread each day.

Mmmmm...a "Ploughman's lunch" sandwhich, my favourite. Cheese, chutney, tomato and lettuce with some salt and pepper, and in homemade bread.

Bought this sweet little shirt for Miss Coleman at the Op Shop, took it home and realised it had a big horrible brand logo on the bottom, not my thing at all! Well, problem solved with a stitched on granny square!

I hope you have enjoyed seeing a bit of what summer is looking like for me. This is only the tip of the iceberg really, we have been swimming a lot at the local pool (in my vintage bathers of course!!), having lot's of BBQ's with friends and family, I have totally become addicted Downton Abbey and have been hiring all the DVD's, and it's always a constant Bealtes Fest with the kids. We are looking forward to Mr Coleman's brother and wife coming from the UK to spend some time with us for the next 10 days, and other then that, just enjoying the general laid back nature of having the summer holidays at home, and taking things SLOW, because it's only a few weeks really til life will be nuts again!!!!

If you are a Northern Hemisphere reader, I hope you're having a lovely Winter by the way. Don't let this post make you jealous, I ommitted the pictures of me crying and stressing and sweating and being generally quite horrible to be around on the 40+ degree days!!!