Peasant Top – Variation on a Theme


With much delight I have noticed the Peasant top making a come back.

This variation was made with B4686 Butterick (A).

I strayed from the pattern slightly and found the instruction for the collar useless.

To create the contrasts, I reversed the front inlay to make a feature of it (see detail photos below) and added a lace edge.

I used a dark navy blue cotton for inside the collar and also hand stitched the collar (inside edge) and used calico to re-enforce both the collar and the front panel.



B4686 Butterick (A)DSC_1955DSC_1956DSC_1962

House on the Hill … in the Hill

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis weekend took me up a mountain to see a house build into a mountain. The full submersion of the roof appears to have not been completed and the owners were yet to move in, but the pizza oven was fired up and people came to admire, more than anything the views at the top of the rather slippery drive way. It gave me a sense of what this design which, I have admired for many years actually feels like. Away from the screen of Grand Designs I was surprised by how claustrophobic the back rooms felt, despite sky lights and if money permitted would have gone with a wrap around and more frontal aspects. However such great admiration for this couple who have spent the last 25 years planning and are now living their dream.


Footpath rescue project: Re-Webbing Made Easy

IMG_20140513_081617_Hagrid_Round Re-upholsteryDSC_0680_Hagrid_Round







When you see a chair on the side of the road such as this – how can you leave it to get rained on? Quite simply you can’t! This is not the first rescued piece of furniture that has made its way into my car boot! It is one of my favourites.

It was a very simple process to re-webb this chair.

I ripped out what was left of the old webbing and bought some jute ribbon from the garden store for less than $10. It is not stretchy as professional upholstery webbing is, but it does the job. I staples the top end first and stretched it down, pulling it firmly into the floor with my foot as I stapled the bottom end. I then cut the jute and folded it under, stapling a second row for re-enforcement. I then repeated tIMG_20140513_081748_Hagrid_Roundhis horizontally, webbing under and over as I went. The result was an extremely comfortable seat – no fuss and a cheap restoration.

For an excellent referent on how to upholster in more than 15 minutes please get your hands on a copy of “The Essential Guide to Upholstery” by Dorothy Gates. The photos alone are enough ton inspire you to rescue the next piece of furniture that¬†calls out to you from the footpath!


Underpainting – Still Life

Still life underpainting

Cropped detail – stage 1

At this stage I’ve completed most of the shadow work and under-painting, with some detail started on the camera, string and bowl.

This camera was inherited from a collection that my Grandfather had build over many years. The collection moved from shelves inside his house to needing its very own outhouse at the back of their old property.

He worked as a projectionist and later a technician at the local Tech. He could fix anything. Speakers, electrical circuits… you name it. His love of gadgets and waste not want not attitude of both my Nana and Popa have inspired this series of still life. The upturned bowl was one of a series that were used for the Christmas pudding each year. The granddaughters inherited them in hope of keeping the tradition alive.

Groovy Baby … Groovy

Ah Bernard we miss you

A few years ago now I was working Powderfinger’s last concert and among the craziness of it all met a wonderful Venue Manager who just happened to also be a fabulous photographer and our paths were able to IMG_20140505_220156cross at the various Art Markets held at work.

So when she got in touch that a new baby boy had arrived and I sent her the photos of your traditional baby fabrics – I wasn’t surprised that none of them were the right match … scanning my mind over my collection of vintage fabrics this gorgeous 1960′s flower power fabric came to mind.

It sewed together like a dream with a demin back and is now ready to make its way to its gorgeous groovy family. Happy cuddle times and comfortable feeds!

Silk Screen for Quilts

IMG_20140504_225149IMG_20140504_225623#1I recently combined the Bunny and Moon Silk Screen Design on two quilts. One for a full size single and the other a Baby Quilt. The hill that the bunny is sitting on provided the perfect space to embroider a blessing for bub.







I combined Vintage Fabrics with a collection of Kimono scraps from Made in Japan which they sell at a pretty reasonable price. The piecing was done by hand and the finished quilts hand quilted and kept simple by sticking to the square edges.

Slow Food with Mangia Mangia

Mangia Have you ever looked through a recipe book and just wished the food would come to life before your eyes? Well that happened to me this week when I attended the East Gippsland Slow Food Festival Book Night for Mangia Mangia.

Mangia Mangia was an initiative by Angela Villella and Teresa Oates to rescue their “mamma’s traditional (unwritten) recipes from extinction”.

We were lucky enough to have Teresa share with us her Olive curing recipe which features in their first book – Mangia Mangia, Authentic Italian Food Rituals and Family Recipes.

Both these books are a personal encounter with the Italian Communities of Australia and Melbourne in particular, who forged Melbourne’s food, coffee and wine scene into what it is today.

DSC_1626What struck me about Teresa’s talk was how precious this information is and that the task of preserving the treasures past down from generation to generation, whether it be a recipe, an art technique, a carpentry skill or simple etiquette is a key ingredient for leading a rich and happy life.

The two books were the result of a Blog which encouraged contributions of family recipes. There is a wealth of knowledge there and in the books – see more at:

Mangia Mangia

Mangia Mangia on facebook



Customised Meditaiton Cushions

This lovely pair of meditation cushions were custom made with fabric sent to me by my customer. I added the handle from my collection. When creating any item, an important part of the process for me is having the person whDSC_1616_Antonio_Cleano will be using it in mind. My motivation for making something out of nothing comes because it addresses a need. Loving intention begins, from cutting the fabric, sewing the seams to filling and stuffing. When I put a knitted jumper or pair of socks on made from hand their is a different affect that it has on me than a store bought item. This is the stuff of relationship. It was a little hard parting with these two …they ended up looking soo soft and cuddly!