Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Tilda's Toy Box

I've been busy in the sewing room this week working on a new design with the latest fabric line from Bonnie & Camille.  It's called Vintage Picnic, and yardage is just hitting the stores in America now... shouldn't have to wait too much longer in Australia!

I'm also working on a Tilda doll from the newest in the series, Tilda's Toy Box.  I'm making this little sweetheart and her toy doll, plus an array of outfits... all body parts have been stitched and turned right sides out... now to get on with the stuffing!

What are you up to this week?

Hugs!! Vikki xoxo

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Strawberry delight - have you bitten?

It's no big secret that the humble strawberry has taken centre stage in the fabric industry; its association with sweetness, cute-as-a-button form, and vibrant red tones - have the majority of us drooling with more than just hunger - but with sheer delight!

I have to admit, I am head over heels in love with the cute strawberry prints that are on - or about to hit - the market.  But there are other cutie-patooties out there in the big wide world to relieve your cravings for this sweet red fruit, and I've found a few of them to share with you today...

I NEED these shoes!!!  Don't you??  You can find them for sale here. I'm not affiliated with any of these stores, just so that you know :-)  But a girl has to share the love!!  I picture these heels with a 50s style red polka-dot dress... very kitsch, and to be honest, something I'd never have the courage to wear let alone the conviction to pull it off!

These little sweethearts were a find on eBay, here.  I love shoes that do not match... I'm a big fan of Birkenstock and Papillio, both of which produce ergonomically-designed shoes with some designs that complement, rather than match, each other.

When I'm not daydreaming about cute shoes, I'm at home drinking tea... ("You can take the girl out of England, but you can't take England out of the girl!" as my husband likes to remind me!!)  I'm not being stereotypical at all (wink!)

I discovered a new shop in Melbourne before Christmas called, MOZI, and  I LOVE it!  I'll have more to show you in a future blog post pertaining to the shop, but in the meantime, this strawberry tea-pot is on sale and you can find it here.

Not forgetting the littlies, how cute is this little tea-set?  It's called 'Strawberry Feilds' and designed by Tiger Tribe.  I found it here.

Of course, you need some dessert to go with your tea, don't you?  My daughter, Rose, has Coeliac disease, which means that ingested gluten attacks her body.  Unlike an intolerance, there is no chance of 'growing out of' this condition, and no known cure as yet.  But there are some terrific recipes out there, and I'm keen to try this one so graciously offered freely by Audrey Snowe, author of Unconventional Treats.

The recipe for this Strawberry Lime Macademia Cheesecake can be found here.  Thanks Audrey!!

So now we are donned in our new shoes, we've enjoyed some tea and dessert... I think it's time to head in to the sewing room, don't you?!  Come and grab a seat, I've fluffed the cushions for you especially!  Let me show you my strawberry stash!

I keep my stash in this wooden box that I picked up from my local thrift shop.  I think it must have housed a child's tea-set or something similar.  Just love the cut-out shape in the lid!  (Take note of the little pink button - will share more on that in a tick!)

These prints are from the Vintage Market range by Tasha Noel.  You can view the full range here.
Tasha is one of my favourite fabric designers, I'm really excited about an upcoming Christmas range she has coming out soon called Pixie Noel - but that's for a whole 'nother time!  :-)

There are two prints pictured here, but I'm focusing on the strawberries still... (those bees on the Art Gallery print just couldn't stay away!!!)  The 'Strawberry-cream' print is from the Everyday Party range by Emily Isabella for Birch fabrics.  it is the softest most exquisite textile... as soft as a tana lawn, perfect for dress-making and quilting, alike!  I purchased mine from a close friend who has just opened an online fabric store called Ministry of Fabric.  Her service is exemplary!  She makes me coffee and feeds me cake while I browse through her collections... but I know she offers the same high standards to everyone else - because we no longer have fluid conversations, they're interspersed with messages from her valued customers, and she always responds promptly.  She is a real sweetheart to boot, and I have mentioned her here on my blog many times in the past as we've shared lots of fun and quilty days together.  I'm chatting about the adorable Alisha Orlando.  Doesn't her name rock?!!  Alisha stocks beautiful dressmaking and quilting fabrics along with some dressmaking patterns and notions, and the most adorable buttons designed and produced by Barb Smith of Theodora Cleave.  I believe that Alisha and Barb collaborated on the colours of these buttons which are exclusive to the Ministry of Fabric (MOF).  Remember that little pink strawberry button?  You can find that at the MOF along with some cute sewing-related buttons... and mushrooms that are the cutest I've ever seen!  To view all of the buttons in Alisha's store, click here.

So this is my bundle of my fruitiness in its entirety!  The two prints I haven't yet mentioned are pictured in peach and aqua blue (a bit difficult to see, sorry), and they are part of the Hello Darling range by Bonnie & Camille for Moda fabrics.  I am secretly coveting these ranges too...

The Shabby Strawberry is available in stores now.

Strawberry Biscuit by Elea Lutz will be available for retail in April this year.

The Berry Sunrise Studios #2 range by Holly Holderman for Lakehouse is for sale at the Fat Quarter Shop, and is without a doubt, one of my favourites.  This is my favourite print from the range:

Then of course there is the delightful Strawberry Fields by Fig Tree & Co for Moda.

Did you know that The Fat Quarter Shop is having a quilt-along using this divine range?  It's for a great cause, here is a pic of the finished quilt and you can find out more on the Quiltalong blog here.

This next range has been around a while and possibly quite difficult to come-by, but it is so gorgeous that I just have to share it with you.  Alisha introduced me to this world-renowned Japanese fabric designer named Atsuko Matsuyama.  Her prints are so delicate, kitsch in a very cool way...  I borrowed this next photo from Krystyne Czepuryk, author of  Pretty by Hand.

Alisha made me a very special birthday cake last year which featured some of these prints, here it is again for those of you who are new to my blog (you can read about it here):

If you're looking for a sweet strawberry quilt pattern, you can't go past this one by Margot Languedoc Designs, available as a pdf download from the Fat Quarter Shop.  It is called Strawberry Social.

Well, I hope you have enjoyed reading about this sweet little fruit!?  Did you know that you can buy heirloom strawberry plants/seeds that come in a variety of colours?  There is the White strawberry, known as Pineberry; a blueberry version,  as well as black, yellow and even PURPLE fruits!!!

I don't know about you, but I'm exhausted thinking about all the possibilities that this little fruit has to offer, so I'm going to go and put my feet up, take off my glasses, and indulge in some social media on my IPad... any guesses what's on the cover???

Aww!  You guys know me too well!!! (wink)
See you next time!!
Much love!  Vikki xoxo

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The world of modern Miniature

I have always been a lover of little things, fine detail, and of those artisans who can recreate anything in life-like form.  Then a couple of years ago I met Pinterest... and my love of miniature blossomed once again as I not only enjoyed all of the things I've mentioned above - but sewing and shabby related too?  Oh man!  You've got me!

Let me show you...

How utterly exquisite is this???  The shabby shop was made by Renate Stettler of Atelier Art Miniature, I have borrowed her photos.  If you love what you're seeing here, you should totally check out the Greetings Card Shop that Renate made... when I clapped eyes on it this famous quote sprang to mind...

 "How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways."

Still on the shabby theme, how utterly gorgeous is this custom-made pinboard?  Miniatryrmama has an Etsy store where you can enquire to have something made just for you.  I bet this one didn't take long to sell!

Wouldn't it be wonderful to relax at this shabby chic desk, picture courtesy of Synovve Knudsen.

Or better still, sew in this wonderful fabric-filled room made by Keera who can be found here.

Of course, a home - no matter what its size - is never complete without a fur-baby or two.  My heart literally skipped a beat when I discovered the world of Kerri Pajutee, who designs and makes the most beautiful animals in 1:12 scale.  This photo, courtesy of Kerri, paints a thousand words.

I had to choose a photo of dogs, of course!  But Kerri makes a wide range of animals including equine, farmland and one of my favourite categories - Woodland.  Go check out this page!!!

Okay, this next one is for you quilt lovers, of which I know there are a few!

Oh gosh, can you imagine creating this?  How full would that swear-jar be?!  This stunner was made by Cheryl Kerfoot, and I tracked her down to her Flickr page, here. She actually down-sized a regular quilt pattern to make this version!

I found this most wonderful photo on Pinterest and have been attempting to track down the creator, but alas to no avail.  I usually don't share photos without giving credit to the author or designer, but this miniature quilt is so amazing that I want to share it with you.  If you know who made it, please share so I can give them the credit!

That teeny tiny quilting just astounds me, what do you think?!

I could go on forever showing you photos I've collected, but I'll just leave you with one more of my favourites and it is very French Provincial in it's Christmas theme...

This delectable darling is the skilled work of Teresa Martinez of Tiny Ter Miniatures who photographs her work so beautifully that the pictures are a work of art in themselves!

If you'd like to check out more miniature inspiration, you can find my Pinterest 'Miniature' board, here.

There will be more miniature in my future, as Mr SUDs works with a lady who is an enthusiast and belongs to VAME (Victorian Association of Miniature Enthusiasts) and she kindly gifted me a little kit to see if I enjoyed the hobby.  I'll post some pics when I've made it - I'm a bit apprehensive to be honest!

Until next time - enjoy the little things! (I'm winking at ya!)

Vikki xoxoxo

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Christmas makes and gifts...

I was actually pretty organized last year when it came to making gifts, which is most unusual for me.  I thought I'd share some of my makes with you, but not before asking - did you have an enjoyable Christmas???

We had a nice quiet one, very low key, but unfortunately we all came down with some kind of Gastro bug which seemed to hang around for days on end. But these things happen, and we still enjoyed our quiet time together albeit the only dancing we did was to reach the bathroom!!

I've just finished sewing this hanging Santa doll from the Tilda book, Homemade & Happy.  It was a real labour of love, lots of needle-turn applique and hand-quilting.  But it will remind me of my quiet time spent at home, and I'm looking forward to displaying him in December after he's recharged his batteries, ready for delivering those gifts on Christmas Eve!

I made a couple of changes just to make life easier for myself - I omitted the applique stems and sewed a line of chain-stitch instead; and I left his feet au natural because I love the colour of the skin fabric against the crisp white linen, and therefore didn't want to cover most of it with paint for the boots.

Talking of Tilda, hubby bought me the latest book for Christmas, and darling Rosebud and I have decided that the cover-girl will be my first make - one for me, and one for her!

Isn't she the cutest?!

Do you use Instagram?  Do you like it?  If so, I'd love to connect with you!  My Instagram name is vikki_collumbine so please look me up if we're not friends on there already.  Anyhow, the reason for me mentioning this is that I took part in an Instagram Christmas swap last month which was so much fun!  All participants received a written Q&A about their secret swap partner and then followed them on Instagram to get a better idea of their likes and tastes.  I made this stocking for my partner from my provincial stocking pattern which you can find, here.

I decorated it with a store-bought hanging ornament and added some shell buttons for embellishment, then sent it along with a few other goodies.

I also sewed up this sweet little bag from one of my favourite Red Brolly patterns' by Bronwyn Hayes, and then sent it across the pond to my very sweet friend Deb, who I met here on my blog many moons ago!  (She's a keeper!)

This  next make is from a pattern by One day in May, designed by Melissa Grant.  I used the same Tilda fabrics as Melissa used in her original version, and gifted it - full of goodies - to my dear friend Alisha.

This next project was a birthday gift back in November, for a sweet friend I've had for as long as I've lived in Australia.  Her name is Holly and her son and mine hit it off from day One when Aaron went to school.  I often joke that Holly is Aaron's "other mum" because she has been such a huge part of his life.  When I had issues with my daughter that kept me housebound, Holly would pick Aaron up from school and take care of him, or run him home to me.  She has been amazingly supportive and I really don't know what I would have done without her, both in a practical sense, but more so in an emotional sense.  So many times I've thought of all that she has done for me and had tears in my eyes, just knowing someone understands and cares that much.  She's very special.  Holly is a sweet lovely-natured lady, she is the most lady-like tom-boy I've ever met!  She has three sons and a hubby who accounts for probably another three more!  They ride motorbikes, dirt bikes, they're what I call, 'blokey blokes'!  Holly jokes that she doesn't know how she would have coped if she'd had a little girl because there is so much testosterone in her house she knows no different!  Anyhow, I digress, but just wanted to paint a picture of the sweet lady I made this quilt for.  The lady who dislikes florals but loves birds and her budgie... a lady who loves to cycle and be outdoors...

The reverse of the quilt...

 ... and the label:

Last of my makes was such fun!  My 18 year old son, Aaron, has been dating his girlfriend (who I call Sweet Bee) for almost four years now, and I wanted to make her something quirky!  Her favourite comedienne is a You-tuber whose alias is Miranda Sings.  I noted on Miranda's website that she was wearing an appliqued sweatshirt - and I secretly endeavoured to recreate it for sweet Bee.

It was a great hit!  Sweet Bee squealed with delight when she opened her gift and I was somewhat relieved that she did in fact know this was a Miranda top and I hadn't lost the plot completely!

Now it's time to work on some new designs and organise myself for the year ahread.  It's school holidays here in Australia for the next few weeks so I won't get back in to my work properly until February comes around.  So I'm making the most of time spent with the kids!  What are you up to?

Warm wishes, dear friends!
Vikki xo

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas 2015!

It's the most wonderful time of the year...

Isn't it?!!

Well, can you believe there is only one more sleep till the 'big day'?!  Seeing as I haven't posted in such a long time, I took some pics today to share with you, I hope you enjoy them.  I love seeing people's decorations and each year I strive to make mine a bit more attractive than the last. There are a couple of blogs I follow because I love their home decor, they are Adventures in Decorating (I love the way Becca describes herself as having ADD - Attention Decorating Disorder!), and Dear Lillie.  If you love home decor and stunning photography - head on over for some eye candy!!

This little cherub and I made gingerbread a couple of days ago - it was so much fun!  I have perfected my gluten-free recipe, so from this year on we decided to make it a new tradition.  Yesterday we decorated the house...

We doubled the gingerbread recipe so there was plenty left over to make Xmas-shaped biscuits, too!

We had a week of stinking hot weather in Melbourne, cooling a little toward the end of Sunday... and the temperature is picking up again.  I'll cook a full English Roast dinner tomorrow so I'm hoping it's not going to get TOO hot!  I love cooking Christmas dinner, it's so special.  There will only be the four of us in our little family, but that doesn't mean that celebrations have to be small too, right?!

I truly hope that you have a wonderful Christmas.  It's not really about the decorations, or the gifts, or the Roast with all the trimmings... it's about expressing your love and gratitude for the people in your life who make a difference.  For me it is, and I believe it is for most people.  So whether you are among family and friends, or spending Christmas apart from the ones you love - I sincerely hope your heart is filled with the special magic of Christmas Day - whatever that means, for you. xx

One of the paintings I did many years ago when my gorgeous friend, Kerryanne, was local and giving decorative painting lessons.  It always brings back fond memories!

I hope you're enjoying the tour? x

I'm a thrifty shopper.  I purchased these two pieces of furniture a few months ago from Ebay, and then promptly sold the furniture it replaced.  A new look for next to nothing and no land-fill - awesome!

All but one of these ornaments are new to me this year, and again, I bought them off Ebay!  I was ecstatic to find the 2005 plate, not only is it beautiful but it represents the year my gorgeous Rosebud was born!  The trick with Ebay is to be consistently looking... trust me!

One of the vignettes in the bookcase.  Apologies as it's a bit blurry, but you get the idea.  The photo was taken this year at my husband's Work Christmas outing.  The company hired a park and put on fairground rides, free food and drink, plus a raffle and other entertainment, it was a super day albeit rather toasty in the humid heat of the day!

This cheeky cherub has been wishing the day away!!!  We have been watching Christmas movies and singing carols together... currently, it's 8pm so not long now until we put on The Polar Express (as is tradition in our house!) and then it's time to hang the stockings... put out the milk and gingerbread for Santa, a carrot for the reindeer... and then off to to the land of Bedfordshire!  

This year is super special because it's our first Christmas shared with our newest member of the family, Asha.  This sweet fur girl came to live with us in March, following my desire to adopt a rescue... there were two dogs we trialled that didn't work out and they have found their purfect forever homes... but sweet Ash is ours for keeps!  She is an amazing sister to our sweet Kayla, pictured below all curled up next to my feet during the winter!!

It's time for me to spend time with family and put on our traditional movie now.  Thank you so much for popping in for a visit, I wish you a wonderful Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

Much love!
Vikki xo


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