Thursday, December 30, 2010

A bit more eye candy and an ode to 2010

As promised, I’m back again with more eye candy for you, and this post is overflowing in shabby goodness - so set your peripheral vision to soft focus! :-)

I was so very blessed to have won an amazing giveaway just before Christmas, from the lovely Linda over at Lilly Cottage. My parcel arrived on Xmas Eve so I placed it under the tree to open on ‘the big day’. When I did so, my mouth dropped open and out spilled a multitude of Oohs and Aahhs. Check out this beautiful bunting… even more gorgeous-er in real life!

Xmas 10 lilly cottage bunting 2

It is currently hanging in DD’s bedroom because she has the prettiest room in the house. But I’ve advised her it’s only a loan until I get my very own pretty craft space and then it’s game over!!

Here’s a close-up of the delicate vintage doilies and silk ribbon…

Xmas 10 lilly cottage bunting 1

The bunting was the giveaway prize that Linda offered after doing a guest post over at the Shabby Art Boutique (for Kerryanne’s Simply Christmas). But that was not all that Linda gifted me; and I felt completely humbled that this lovely lady, who I have never communicated with before, added other hand-made goodness (and a beautiful glitzy key ring) in to the mix for someone she did not know. Isn’t that beautiful? I’m so glad I saved the parcel for Christmas Day because it really did hold the true spirit of Christmas! Thank you SO much Linda! :-)

Xmas 10 lilly cottage gifts

Tiny little sequins, dyed lace and beads – and the scent of lavender – sheer delight!

I also received these beautiful hand made lovelies from two my very dear friends over in the gum trees, Jenny and Joy. I’m sure you can guess the style of each designer – they have gorgeous distinctive signatures don’t you think?!!! :-) Love em’ to bits! Thank you so much, girls! x

gumnut gifts collage

There is one more pressie to show you but I’m holding off on that one because it is so apt for me at the moment that it’s uncanny! I’ll save it for another post! {{Thank you Judith!}}

Last but not least, I received this beautifully-sweet hand-painted gift box from my dear friend Kerryanne, as a thank you for participating in Simply Christmas. Kerry – it was my absolute pleasure - but thank you so much for this gorgeous treat! :-)

Xmas 10 Kerryannes snowman

The pretty box was beautifully wrapped and overflowing with minty-chocolate lollies, which have since been placed in the sweet jar for midnight snacks when my DS and I stay up late to watch comedy DVDs!

Talking of which… I’ve finished my sewing for this evening and will no doubt embark on my final ‘Midnight DVD stint’ for 2010! Where has it gone?!!!

My Ode to 2010

Thank you for a year of ‘firsts’,

Kinder, High School, and a wedding rehearsed!

After 10 years – Mrs Collumbine – I’m Legit…

My rellies visited – we enjoyed every bit!

My first published designs, my first pattern sold…

My first AQM was a joy to behold.

Gorgeous new friends, and old friendships that thrive

Creativity, bubbling, and welling inside!

Thank you 2010, you have taught me new things

but now I yearn for what 2011 brings… :-)


Hugs, Vikki xoxoxo

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Santa visits!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas?!!

We sure did!

Christmas Eve was a very relaxed day for us, albeit full of excitement! Santa visited the kids in our neighbourhood, hitching a ride on a local Fire truck… he does this every year and gifts the children with lollies (candy/sweets).

Fire Fighters in the suburbs of Melbourne are all volunteers and are such amazing people. I am in total awe of them, and to make these special visits each Christmas Eve in order to bring joy to the littlies, is just the icing on an already overflowing cake!

Xmas 10 santa collage

On seeing Santa - my DD, (complete with red antlers) - ran for cover, taking refuge in the doorway with her older brother! Santa is a jolly ole’ fellow but he’s still a wee bit scary to some wanna-be reindeers! :-)

However, St Nick was highly revered the following morning upon receipt of a pile of brightly-wrapped pressies! I was also praising the jolly old Elf for gifting headphones along with the whizz-bang keyboard he left for DS! They really do think of everything at the North Pole, don’t they?!! *wink*

I must have been a very good girl this year as well, because I received some beautiful gifts. Would you like to see some of them?

Xmas 10 fees heart

This gorgeous lavender-scented hanging heart was gifted to me by my lovely gumnut (!) friend, Fee! Thank you Fee, lavender is my favourite scent and I love it!!x

Xmas 10 vicki purse

This sweet floral (card-holder) purse was gifted to me by the lovely Vicki over at The Pickledish Patch. It also contained some scrummy buttons - thank you Vicki!! (Wait till you see what else Vicki made for me recently… I’ll share in a tic!)

Xmas 10 English gifts

Two darling friends of mine visited my homeland recently and both gifted me little treasures. Gorgeous English tea from my old Capital; and a red post-box key ring, together with Cath Kidson tissues which are too good to use! In fact, they match my daughter’s new outfit perfectly!

Here, I was trying to get a snapshot of her wearing the top today so that I could show you – but she was running around like a lunatic in her Elton John sunnies, so the pic isn’t too clear!

Xmas 10 Rosie acting bonkers!

Hmmm… not sure which is more crazy – my DD running around like she’s just won the 200m Sprint, or me capturing photographs to compare her clothing to a packet of tissues?!!! Ah well, I’ll leave that one for you to decide… ha ha! :-)

I shall share more pressie pics with you next time! As promised, here is a photo of the other delight that Vicki hand-made for me this year! The gumtree designers had an apron swap and I was invited to participate! Vicki knows my favourite colours are pink and green…

Vicki apron picnicked

Okay - I was trying to be tongue-in-cheek here but it didn’t quite work – what a show-off! Ha! (Actually, I was trying to cinch-in my waist!) The diet starts next week!

Isn’t the apron wonderful? Thank you SO much, Vicki!! I love it!!! :-) It is too good to wear in the kitchen, so will be worn when I’m ‘at work’ in my sewing room! :-) Hugs, Vic!

I am making an apron for Fee and progress is well underway, I really hope that she likes it! She’s a ‘shabby’ girl at heart and that is the only clue I’m going to give her!

Rightio – my little one is all tucked up in bed and Mr SUDs, DS and I are off to watch a Sci-Fi movie!

I’ll be back soon with lots more eye candy!

Hugs! Vikki xox :-)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Giveaway winner and Merry Christmas!

Thank you so very, very much for the lovely comments you left for me regarding the Christmas album tutorial and giveaway! It was an absolute pleasure playing along with Simply Christmas over at the gorgeous Shabby Art Boutique!

My DS acted as ‘random generator’ for me this morning when I asked “pick a number between One and 49”. He answered “18” and then waited for a trick or a punch-line… neither of which were forthcoming so he received a gingerbread cookie, instead! LOL

The winner of my giveaway is the lovely Deb from The Angel & The Pukeko. Congratulations Deb! Your parcel will be winging its way to you immediately after Christmas!! :-)

Wherever you are in the world…

1239964_15201194… and whatever your beliefs and traditions - I would like to wish you and your family an inspiring, heart-felt, and happy Christmas!

Till next time! Ho Ho Ho MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!

Hugs! Vikki xo :-)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Festive photo-album cover Tutorial

Hi everyone!

I love to create one-off creations each year and am always thinking up new ideas for gifting my family – especially my parents in law who already ‘have everything’! (Do you have people like this on your gift-giving list?!!)

I always make a point of printing off family photos from the year that has been, and adding them to the pressies. I think these photo albums, abundant with memories, are more special to my children’s grandparents than any other present they receive.

So I would like to share this tutorial with you for making a bespoke Christmassy photo-album cover to house your wonderful memories of 2010!


This is what I used…


  • One small plastic photo album that holds 6X4 prints
  • One Fat Quarter of Linen or hessian (front cover)
  • One Fat Eighth bauble print fabric* (appliqué)
  • One Fat Quarter coordinating fabric (lining)
  • One Fat Quarter fusible batting
  • Four Mini red eyelets
  • 1 yard (1m) length of jute
  • 1 skein each of DMC embroidery floss 3768 (blue) and 347 (red)
  • Double-sided fusible web
  • Paper printout of 2010 numerics (file attached)
  • Rotary cutter, ruler and mat
  • Embroidery scissors and needle
  • Permanent fine-liner pen
  • Pencil
  • Eyelet setter
  • Iron and Ironing mat
  • Lightbox (optional)

* I used ’12 days of Christmas’ fabric by Kate Spain for Moda; however if you can not find bauble-themed fabric you could create your own appliqué bauble shapes using colourful fabric scraps.

To obtain your cutting measurements:

Open the photo album and lay it flat on your cutting mat. My album measured 14 X 5 inches (36 X 13cm).

To that measurement I added 8 inches (20cm) to the length - and 1½ inches (4cm) to the width.

My final measurement, therefore, was 22 X 6½ inches (56 X 17cm).


Cut one 22 X 6½ inches (56 X 17cm) rectangle each: from the linen fabric, lining fabric and fusible batting.



Adhere the rectangle of fusible batting to the wrong side of the linen rectangle.

As pictured above, lay the photo album opened-out on top of the batting side of the fused linen rectangle and fold over the left and right edges (these will now be referred to as the sleeves).

Find the centre point of the rectangle and place a pin in the fabric top and bottom to mark the spot. Ensure the album sleeves are equal in length; pin them and remove album.



Place the ‘2010’ printout on your lightbox or up against a well-lit window. Position the bauble themed fabric right-side-up, on top, and trace the relevant number centrally on to your four selected bauble shapes, using the permanent fine-liner pen.

Nb. When auditioning the fabric, ensure that the baubles will in fact fit on to the front of your album cover.


Place the Double-sided fusible web product on top of the baubles you have selected and trace roughly ½ inch outside of each shape with a pencil.

Cut out the fusible web shapes (as pictured above left) and then fuse in place (centre pic) to the WRONG side of the bauble fabric using a hot dry iron.

Finally, cut out each bauble shape using sharp embroidery scissors (pictured right).


Score the fusible paper with a sharp pin, and then remove.

Audition the baubles on top of the folded album cover, then once you are happy with their positioning, fuse in place using a hot iron.



Using two strands of blue embroidery floss, chain stitch each number on the four baubles.



Place the linen rectangle and lining fabric rectangle right sides together and stitch all the way round leaving a gap of 1½ inches for turning.

Clip the corners and turn right side out. Use a chopstick to push out the corners and then slip stitch the opening closed. Give the fabric rectangle a gentle press.


Machine appliqué around each bauble shape using a neutral coloured thread. (I didn’t find it necessary to lower the feed dogs on my machine to do this, but you may prefer to.)


Insert the eyelets on the ‘hangers’ of each bauble shape using the eyelet setter and mini red eyelets. The pictures above show you the process of piercing the hole – inserting the eyelet – and then securing it on the reverse side of the fabric rectangle.


Thread lengths of jute through each eyelet and knot at the top, ensuring that the jute is neither too tight nor too slack. Trim the top threads once knotted.

Secure the jute on the reverse of the album cover by either using fabric glue or a stitching it to lay flat against the fabric. This will ensure that when you slip the photo album in its cover, it won’t get caught in the jute!


Fold the album to ensure that the sleeves are of equal length.

Using two strands of red embroidery floss, run a cross stitch along the top and bottom of each sleeve, to secure in place. I stitched through the LINING FABRIC ONLY to give a nice neat finish.


Slip the album in to its cover, insert the photos in to the album and you are done!

Seasons Greetings, everyone!!!! Vikki

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Simply Christmas giveaway!

Have you been following along with Simply Christmas over at the Shabby Art Boutique? I certainly have! The creative juices are on full throttle and I haven’t been able to get to sleep until the wee hours of the morning… because I’ve been way too excited!

Christmas is my favourite time of the year and a time when my mojo is at a peak, fuelled by thinking-up new gift ideas for loved ones.

Some years are trickier than others – but I find that my closest relatives always love to receive photographs of my family from the year that has been; and I make a point of printing some out each year to include with the other gifts.

So this year I decided to make bespoke albums, and I am delighted to be sharing a tutorial over at the Shabby Art Boutique so that (if you so wish) you can make one too! Just click here to view. :-)

Xmas bauble album finished

It’s time for a giveaway!

Just leave a comment on this post for a chance to win the actual album featured in the tutorial. All are welcome to enter – if you do not have a blog then please ensure you leave an email address so that I can contact you. The closing date is next Wednesday 22nd December at 11.00pm Melbourne-time.


A special thanks to the lovely Kerryanne for inviting me to be a part of her inspirational Yuletide journey!

Merry Christmas!!!

Hugs! Vikki xo :-)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Show us your Christmas home!

Isn’t it wonderful to be invited into people’s homes and be witness to their wonderful spirit of Christmas?

Xmas 10 welcome

Also wonderful is that we don’t have to take an aeroplane or a long car journey to do so because we share this wonderful blogosphere!

The lovely Kerryanne, over at Shabby Art Boutique, is hosting Show us your Christmas home’, and after visiting a couple I am enthused to share mine with you, too!

First up is DD’s little white tree, decorated all by her little self…

Xmas Rosie tree collageYou may spot (excuse the pun!!) a couple of kitties on her tree – a Fimo one from last year – and this year a glass kitty containing a glass fish in a snow dome. Am I stupid brave or what? Glass? Yes I did have my tummy in my throat when she placed that one on the tree!

Xmas 10 on top of tv display

My collection of Jim Shore ornaments placed above the entertainment unit, and a gorgeous snow-globe train gifted to my family by this lovely lady, a few years ago. (Hmm.. just realised I need to make a festive wall-hanging for the back wall!)

Xmas 10 Santa hanging doll

My favourite Santa – hung on the wall leading to the stairs…

Xmas 10 hallway mirror

How did it manage to SNOW in our hallway?! Oh that’s right – I think it came from here!

Xmas 10 sideboard display

Xmas 10 kerryanne xmas pud

Xmas 10 main tree

We have two ‘big’ trees up this year. I’ll share the other one at a later date when I’ve completed it’s prettying!!

So that’s my seasonal decorating – to date! How about you? Have you finished ‘decking the halls’ yet? Why not head over to Shabby Art Boutique and play along - or visit lots of beautiful homes?!!


On the subject of sharing…

Plum Pudding Christmas Fairy by Monica 1

Monica over at Il Contafili stitched this gorgeous festive linen cloth using the Plum Pudding Christmas Fairy design I offered on Among the Gum Trees last year. Isn’t it sweet? Monica’s blog is gorgeous – I love the way she skilfully stages her photographs, and her projects are exquisite!

Thank you Monica, for sharing with us! :-)

If you would like to stitch this project I have added it to my sidebar for easy downloading. I hope you enjoy it!

Until next time! Hugs! Vikki xo :-)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A sneak peek…and a Partridge in a Pear Tree!

Boy oh boy – I am loving this lead up to Christmas! I get as excited today as I did when I was five years old! I even bought myself an advent calendar this year – an ‘old fashioned’ one with pictures - as opposed to chocolates!! :-)

I have been busy designing and creating, but there’s nothing I can show on that front just yet. But here’s a sneak peek of something that I WILL be sharing with you REAL soon!

Xmas project sneak peek

All will be revealed in a couple of weeks! :-)

I am also enjoying creating projects from others’ patterns, and have just started on this gorgeous wall-hanging by one of my favourite designers, Laurraine Yuyama from Patchwork Pottery. :-)

This is the project – on the front cover of the first issue of Quilter’s Connection – the gorgeous Canadian magazine for, you guessed it, quilters!

Laurraine quilters connection

Isn’t it divine? I love the way Laurraine marries muted country colours in her stand-out signature style. What a talented artisan she is – and an absolutely beautiful person, to boot!

Here are the fabrics I have chosen:

Partidge in a pear tree fabs

Very similar to the original – but why change perfection?!!! he he…

I purchased the magazine through Laurraine’s Etsy store, together with Cotton Life – a Japanese publication featuring another of Laurraine’s patterns.

Laurraine cotton life

Laurraine’s parcel arrived a few weeks ago, wrapped beautifully and containing an extra gift for me…

Laurraine package

One of her sweet fabric birds…

Patchwork Pottery birdie

Thank you Laurraine for your sweet gift – and for your inspiration, enthusiasm - but (most of all) for your friendship! x


There’s something so special about hand-made isn’t there? Nothing tops it! Over the past few years I have been gifted handmade creations by dear friends, and they are so special to me. I think it’s the energy that is passed through the fabric from one person to another.

My family and I put up our Christmas decorations a couple of days ago and it was so sentimental to hold the handmade holiday decorations that have been hiding in boxes for the past 10 months. I had a smile on my face as I thought of each person in turn and what they mean to me. That’s one of the best things about this holiday season isn’t it? Remembering our loved ones and dearest friends. :-)


So! On a final note… are you all set to open the first door of your Advent calendar tomorrow???? How exciting!!!!

Catch you soon!!! Hugs! Vikki :-)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Christmas show and tell!

Have you been following along with ‘Simply Christmas’?

Kerryanne, over at Shabby Art Boutique has been spoiling us with ideas, tutorials, guest posts and giveaways… and in addition I have welcomed the motivation and gentle prompts to get my Christmas planning organised!

My ‘wrapping station’ is set and ready to go! I have wrapping paper, tags, ribbons and bubble wrap enclosed – the baubles are just for eye-candy at this stage, reminding me of my colour palette for this year’s decorating!

Xmas wrapping station

I picked up the basket really cheaply at IKEA, and have a separate box (pictured lower left) to store cellotape, pens and bows – all the things my daughter would love to get her crafty little hands on, if they were on visual display! Ha ha! There are methods to my madness! :-)

I purchased these fabrics a few months ago – again, in the blue and red colour palette – to create some table decorations in the form of napkins, runners, bon bons etc. I should have bought some plain fabrics too – but will visit my local patchwork store to match up the hues.

Xmas 12 days of xmas fabrics

The range is called 12 Days of Christmas, by Kate Spain for Moda. But I’m sure if you are a fabric junkie like me, then you would already have recognised it!

Would you like to see a Christmas finish?!!! I’m absolutely rapt with this one!

Married snow couple by Cyndi

The stitchery on this cute little cushion was designed by the gorgeous, enthusiastic, and talented lady known as Cyndi of Stitch Stitch Stitch Bee Tree Designs. Isn’t it gorgeous? I love Cyndi’s work! Always, there is humour!

The stitchery is just one of 16 snowman-themed blocks forming a delightful quilt aptly named, Snowballs. I am a very lucky girl because Cyndi gifted me a few of her patterns after winning my giveaway back in May. She won the giveaway – and then was gifting me! But that is the type of generous gal she is – always giving. She has some delightful downloads on her blog and is always thinking up new ideas and sharing…

Thank you Cyndi! Although this year I hadn’t the time to make the full quilt – I couldn’t resist stitching this married snow couple in memory of my marriage to Mr SUDs this year – so I added the date and made it in to a little cushion to put on our bed! x

But – there is more!

I put the embroidery needle aside for a few days and took up my paint brushes.

What started as this…

Xmas planner in my creative space

(can you guess how many times I dipped the paint brush into my tea to clean its bristles?! LOL)

Evolved in to this…

Xmas penguins close up

Yep – it’s the Christmas Planner designed by the lovely, aforementioned Kerryanne English. I’m taking her online class (which you can view at the top of my right hand side bar) and it’s FANTASTIC!

This isn’t the finished piece, still lots to do, but do you notice how miffed the penguins look? Me-wonders if maybe Rudolph ate all the cookies before they found the empty plate?!! (Or maybe they would just like their beaks? – Ed) A quick email to Kerry to ask, “How do you get your penguins eyes so cute?” and a few brush strokes later (plucking the offending eyebrows!) and I am much happier with the result…

Xmas planner cute eyes

Not finished by a long shot – but getting there! Do you notice how Santa’s hat is shaded and highlighted, compared to the last photograph, for example? It all comes together.

How are you doing with your Christmas planning?

Till next time – hugs to all!

Vikki x :-)

PS: I dipped my paint brush into my tea twice.

PPS: Picked up my daughter from kinder with a big green stripe down one side of my face! Ha ha!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Matroyshka Maidens – a recent finish!

I thoroughly enjoyed my journey in creating this ‘doll’ of a project! :-)

So cute it’s almost edible (!) is this armchair caddy, needle case and scissor charm set designed by the lovely Leanne Knell of Petals & Patches.

Matroyshka 1

The pattern is from Leanne’s ‘Matroyshka Maidens’ range, and I really enjoyed stitching it with the Cottage Garden Threads embroidery floss. The colour-way used is one of my favourites, named River Gum (203), it has a lovely gradation from olive green through to a deep plum colour.

Matroyshka 2

The fabrics I used are from one of my favourite ranges – Peace on earth by 3 Sisters for Moda.

Matroyshka 3

When the large Maiden is opened out she transforms in to a useful armchair caddy complete with pockets and a central pin cushion.

Matroyshka 4

Leanne has recently released some gorgeous patterns in this range including cushions, pin cushions and decorations – you can find all the details here! :-)

I’ll be back soon to show you a recent Christmas finish!

Hugs!! Vikki :-) x


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