Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Op Shop Finds - Vintage Vegetable Themed Table Cloth

Do you have something that when you see it in an op makes your heart beat a little faster? Your eyes dart from side to side? Your palms start to sweat? Do you have some you so covet that you hope no one else notices your excitement, for fear they will swoop in and grab the item from you?

I do, it's vintage vegetable themed kitchen items of any sort. I love vegetables on anything; cookware, serving ware, table cloths, tea towels, art work, rugs. Yes, on anything.

About a week ago on my way to Spotlight I stopped in one of my favourite little op shops and when going through the table linens found this fabulous vegetable themed table cloth. A little wrinkly I know, but it did need a wash. I've ironed it and am already using it on the children's computer table in the kitchen. I paid $2. Sigh...doesn't that just warm your heart? Cyndy Pin It

Thursday, November 24, 2011

My Creative Space

Today is Thanksgiving in the US, so this past Sunday (as it's not a holiday here) we celebrated with all our friends downunder (more here). That means my focus was on getting ready for the party. Lots of baking (boy did the house smell good, sugar cookies, pumpkin pie, turkey:) and lots of cleaning.

I don't know about you, but I don't have a separate craft space, I use the kitchen table and the kitchen island for most of my making. While I clear the kitchen table so we can eat our meals, the kitchen island is a writhing pile of craft supplies and projects. For the party I had to clean it ALL up. It started out well, putting thing back in all the right places, but in the end I was dumping things into boxes/bags so I could just get it done!

Now we all know packing up is easier than unpacking (well, for me at least:) so I haven't returned everything to its home on the kitchen bench yet (I couldn't even find my basket of scissors for 2 days as I couldn't remember where I had moved them too). But as I look at my kitchen island, it's already looking like that writhing pile of craft supplies and projects! I think it might be time to just say "Hi, my name is Cyndy and I am a messy crafter:)"

It's messyalready for a good reason. A friend has talked me into sharing a stall at the Queenscliff Market this Sunday (it's also the Queenscliff Music Festival), so I have been making a few things to replace those I sold at my first market; mostly, some new wool embroidery pieces. Fortunately, I am only having a stall, not one of the market organizers, so not feeling stressful (I am also guessing having had a stall the fear of the unknown is now gone:) So if you are going to Queenscliff this weekend come by the market and say hi!

Hope you are getting lots done in your creative space (messy or not:) this week! For more creative spaces you can visit here. Cyndy Pin It

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Little Moment - Giving Thanks

As soon as I open my mouth people know there is something a little bit different about me. You see, I am an American living in Australia and the moment you hear me talk my accent gives it away (this will never be a problem for my children:). A question I often get is what I miss about home. The chaos of living with 3 young children doesn't give one much time to miss things, but when I do it's usually the silly little things like an ingredient for cooking, or a word.

But then there are the times of year when I really do miss home. Not surprisingly these are the big holidays, both for the rituals/traditions tied to them and of course, for the family and friends.

One of the biggest holidays in the states is coming up this week - Thanksgiving. The fourth Thursday of November, Thanksgiving has its roots in the early settling of what is now the US by the pilgrims and their celebrations of the good harvest. During the civil war Abraham Lincoln created the official public holiday, to help heal a nation at war.

Today Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate family and friends and to take stock and count your blessings. While only a 4 day weekend, for many this is a bigger family time than Christmas. For me it was about traveling to Ohio to my paternal grandmother's and spending time with my very large extended family (my father is one of 10), seeing Aunts, Uncles and cousins of all ages.

As an American living overseas it has been important to me that my children not only learn and experience their Australian heritage, but to understand their American heritage as well. Our first couple of Thanksgivings here we celebrated alone, but it just didn't seem right to me (why do all that fabulous cooking especially when young children won't eat it), so a number of years ago I decided to make Thanksgiving our big social event of the year. To invite our friends to share in our company, turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole and pumpkin pie, and to bring their whole family and a dish to share.

It has become an event I look forward to; this year we had about 45 friends (over half were children) attend our Thanksgiving "extravaganza". We were blessed with perfect weather (which is important both for cooking - the oven is on for about 2 solid days - and where we hold the event - outside, as our house is not large), the food was fabulous and the friends were merry. It made being away from home this time of year that little bit easier:)

So happy Thanksgiving to my family and friends in the States - I miss you terribly and for those of you down under, thanks for coming and sharing in my tradition, and helping me not to miss home so much:) Cyndy

PS We saved one whole pumpkin pie for ourselves - yes, even the children now love pumpkin pie:) Pin It

Thursday, November 17, 2011

My Creative Space - Skirts and Dresses

I have finally been able to turn my attention this week to the making of Christmas gifts. Last year I made the littlest and middle a Christmas skirt. I made a simple pattern which featured a top skirt of different panels and an solid underskirt with trim. Both girls really liked the style so since their Christmas skirts still fit I thought I would make them each another skirt in the same style but non Christmas this year. This is little's in  progress - cute strawberries with polka dots:

A friend recently got the ruffle attachment for her over locker and I found a great dress pattern for middle which is the perfect excuse to try it out:)  The plan is to make two dresses for middle and one for littlest in this pattern. This is one of middle's in progress.

So two skirts and three dresses, not a bad start. Wish the oldest (a boy) was so easy:)

Hope you have started on your Christmas making! For more lovely spaces you can visit here. Cyndy Pin It

Thursday, November 10, 2011

My Creative Space

This past Saturday was my first market! The market itself was a piece of cake, the five hours went by quite quickly. It was the weeks leading up to the market that were a bit of a challenge. You see, the market wasn't just any market, it was a fundraising event (along with a student art show) at my children's school and I was also part of the committee that helped put on the overall event. Add to that my home commitments and a few other things, like organizing teacher appreciation activities at the school the week before, with trying to get stock together for my own stall and it was a bit overwhelming at the end.

That said, I am glad I had a stall. I got some lovely feedback about my handmade items and learned alot about what it takes to organize a stall. And it looks like I will be able to put what I learned to good use as I will be doing another market in a couple of weeks:)

So you would think with all the craziness leading up to my first market that I might take a bit of a break this week from making, but I didn't. A friend had some relatives visiting from overseas and wanted to give them a few of my items. Problem was two of them were still in progress (some more of my wool embroidery this time as hoop art) so I had to finish them. I pleased to say I delivered them yesterday and they loved them:)

After finishing these and seeing them all together, I am a little sad to see them go, 'cause I love them too. Looks like I will need to make some more for my own walls!

Hope you are taking a bit of a breather this week if you need it in your creative space. For more lovely spaces you can visit here. Cyndy
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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Op Shop Find - Dress Up Twins Lacing Dolls

Don't you love it when you are in an op shop and from the corner of your eye you see something tucked away and just can't believe your luck? Recently the littlest and I did a quick stop at one of our local op shops and I saw this lacing doll game tucked in a corner up on a high shelf...for $1!

I thought it was from the 1970's, but turns out it's only from the early 1990's. It comes with all sorts of outfits - tops, bottoms, pjs, bathing costumes, shoes, slippers, hats, aprons, gloves, coats etc.. and lots of laces in all different sizes.

The littlest can do a pretty good job of lacing clothing onto the girl doll. The boy doll is missing, but it's still a lovely little item. The first three days we had it the littlest couldn't put it down; she wanted to take it everywhere! Not sure how long it will last in this house, but am thinking I might have to keep it when the littlest gets tired of it for myself:) Cyndy Pin It

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Creating Success Around the World Blog Hop

Life has been a little crazy the last two weeks. I have been getting ready for my first market (only 3 mores sleeps!) and organized all the teacher appreciation activities last week for my children's school. This is on top of all the normal things I have going on in my life. As I sit in a dazed state what a wonderful pick up today but to get an email from Jill from Creating My Way to Success letting me know that a blog post I wrote for the Creating Success Around the World Series went live today!

This is a worldwide blog hop tour, that introduces you to creative people from all corners of the globe. Every Wednesday the hosts on each continent introduce some inspiring creativity from their corner of the world. And you can add your own blog or website to the linky party at the bottom of the post so that others can find you too - a great way to make some new international creative friends!

A big thank you to Jill for featuring myself and Wombat's Picnic, so be sure to visit the post here to learn a little more about me, what I do and why I do it:) Cyndy Pin It
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