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Working on :: crochet

That’s not what you expected from me, is it? I’m not exactly known for my amazing crochet skills but there you have it, I’ve been crocheting like mad, although I wouldn’t call my skills amazing. After being inspired by Bear’s rainbow blanket by The Purl Bee, I’ve been working away on many squares.

Crochet blanket from Purl Bee

Did you have the same reaction as I did to this blanket? Isn’t it amazing? I was determined to make one exactly the same and so excited to see that Purl Soho had a kit to do just that – BUT – at US$780 to make exactly this one, it was waaayyy out of my price range. So I moved to plan B, at least learn how to make that square. I was really taken with the circle that becomes a square and after many, many attempts I finally nailed it. Now I’m just waiting on wool from Nundle Woollen Mill so I can make my own colourful (but perhaps not so spectacular) variation.

In the meantime I discovered this wonderful ebook from Spincushions called More Than A Granny and made all 20 squares in the book using a weird assortment of wool that I inherited from my mother. Did you know that US and UK speak a different language in crochet? Well I didn’t, so being Australian of course I bought the UK version and then had to translate it back to US, cause that’s where my learning started. My brain is getting a work out and that can only be a good thing.

Then I bought some (truly terrible) wool and made my favourites out of the book.


What do you think? Don’t look too closely as you’ll see my mistakes and these squares haven’t been ‘blocked’, which apparently will give me the opportunity to make them flatter and more square. You can see I’m very drawn to those that start out round and end up square and the one in the bottom left has a neat stitch called a ‘popcorn’, which is fun to do and makes the centre 3D.

I’ve also been knitting, but I’ll save that story (read saga) for another time. So how have you been?

This images of Bear’s Rainbow Blanket are via The Purl Bee.

May 7, 2015 \ projects \ 1 comment

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Memories & new beginnings

Coffee pot art print

Today would have been my mother’s 81st birthday. There is not a day when I don’t think of her with either extreme sadness and loss or with a smile in my heart. I suspect her absence will always be felt and I count my blessings that I had such a person in my life.

It is fitting then that today marks the start of a new collaboration that my Mum would have loved. Today (actually tomorrow US time) is the launch of Oh The Color – a new blog from friend, talent and confidant Brandi from Brandi Girl Blog. I began to know Miss Brandi who knows where and our mutual love of colour and design has made us great friends that have never met.

Miss Brandi conceived Oh The Colour as both an inspiration source and colour look book. Each week day we post a single image based on one colour. At the end of each week Brandi turns our weekly colours into a palette. She has brought on 3 contributors, of which I am one. There is the wonderfully talented Roni from Bad Jones Rising and the super creative Kerry from Kab’s Creative Concepts. I’m truly honoured to be included with such a talented line up. My first post will go live on Tuesday (US time) and then I’ll be posting each Friday from next month.

My Mum would have approved.

Photo source: Coffee Pot by Methane Studios on Etsy

March 18, 2013 \ projects \ 3 comments

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Being a little :: cushion crazy

Pictures of some cushion projects

I’ve been going a little crazy making cushions lately. The bug began with the one on the top right, remember my Zine that I had to create for a Uni task? Well in celebration of my topic of Scandinavian surface design I thought it would be neat twist to do some stencils from Lotta Jansdotter Stencils collection. In true last minute fashion I had the wrong painting tools but I did have the red paint and plain calico, well after all it was more about the process than the product. And then my vintage cushion cover breathed it’s last so I salvaged the backing with the lovely sewn in zip and turned my stencil fabric and plain red fabric into a replacement cushion cover. It actually worked quite well.

Then I needed a project for my screen printed pods so I thought, you guessed it, cushions! This time they will be gifts for my 3 best girlfriends. They are complete with invisible zippers (my new sewing machine foot is fabulous), The pods are now the cushion cover front (bottom left) and the complimentary design (bottom right) I ordered from Spoonflower, that ended up much larger than I had calculated, has become the cushion back.

P.S. I have not managed to photograph the red without it looking somewhat garish. Will you trust me when I tell you it is much richer, cooler and lovelier that it appears here?

December 14, 2012 \ projects \ 6 comments

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Just Launched :: Rose and Lula blog

Rose and Lula blog screenshot

It’s been a busy time in my Crimson Pear space lately, which may explain my once a week blogging schedule.

I’m so happy to share with you one of the projects I’ve been working on over the last few weeks. This is a design cutup and WordPress implementation for Rose & Lula blog and store based in France. I would love to take credit for the design but it is all the work of owner Micala, who was a recent graduate of the Your Darling Blog Design Workshop by the lovely Jo at The Darling Tree. I think she did a fabulous job and it was such a great design to work with. As with most projects there was one element that challenged me in a good way, for this one it was the social media buttons, which made me realise I could do it without plugins and code it myself – so liberating.

Micala was such a pleasure to work with and made the process so enjoyable. Her blog is up and running and the Rose & Lula store will be live soon. Her handmade treasures are so lovely that you’ll definitely want to pay a visit when it’s live so watch that space.

November 30, 2012 \ projects \ 4 comments

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Snowflake scribbles

I’ve been playing around with drawing snowflakes on my Wacom tablet using images of real snowflakes from snow as my inspiration. I started out with different brushes, which were a little hard to control but gave interesting results (see below). For these one I used the pen tool in Illustrator to achieve the perfect straight lines.

And for these I used just the brush tool. The rotate feature became useful to repeat one point after I had got it looking the way I wanted. I also wanted to see what it would look like to block out the entire shapes vs drawing the crystals. These ones start to look more decorative and less quintessential snowflake. I think they have potential but maybe not as snowflakes – what do you think? I’ll keep plugging away at them and let you know how I go.

December 18, 2011 \ projects \ 1 comment


How we made an American quilt

My quilt in St Andrew's Church Braidwood for the Quilt Event

Do you remember that movie ‘How to make an American quilt’? It’s from many years ago and starred Winona Ryder. You’re forgiven if you don’t and while the movie was nice enough, for me it inspired my need to create my own American Quilt aka a Baltimore or story quilt. I seem to throw myself headlong into difficult projects but this one was made a whole lot easier because it was a joint project with my Mum. I did all the story blocks and the vines (all hand appliqued) and Mum did the alternate blocks and the hand quilting and binding. There were many long distance conversations on sourcing fabrics and we got together on New Year’s Eve 1999 to put it all together and tackle the mitred corners. It took us about 6 years to complete.

Every November in the town where my parents retired, Braidwood NSW, (and where my Dad still lives) they hold an annual airing of the quilts event. The town is heritage listed so it has many beautiful old buildings and it’s such a wonderful sight to see all the stores on the main street with an abundance of quilts hanging from their balconies. The year we finished our quilt Mum entered it in the competition that runs during the event and we received a Highly Commended. The rule is a quilt can be entered into the competition once but it can be aired every year. This year the ladies of the Anglican church asked if our quilt could be hung in the church as a memorial to my mother. I really wanted to see it on display but to be honest I wasn’t prepared for how emotional it would make me. Mum had named our quilt ‘Our Time Together’ and I am so thankful I got to share it with her.

November 27, 2011 \ projects \ 1 comment

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Before & After Bedside Tables

Ta da! With two long weekends in succession I have been in a DIY frenzy. In a moment of absentmindedness (actually they happen a lot) I forgot the before photo of the chest of drawers but allow me to present the finished bedside tables. What do you think? We bought these in Atlanta when we had just arrived and needed furniture fast. All I could think to do with them was apply some clear lacquer which I never liked. The idea for the coloured drawers came to me when viewing the wide range of sample tubes they have at the hardware store. Don’t you just love the paint aisle? There’s just one small problem now… the single maroon wall in our bedroom really has to go so it’s back to the paint aisle for me.

October 4, 2010 \ projects \ 5 comments

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Easter Eggs

This time not the chocolate variety. The boys and I did this little easter craft project last night thanks to a template and instructions from Sidsel of Spagat Blog. You can download the PDF here and don’t forget to get the front and the back for the bunnies. The little one and I went out searching for suitable sticks this morning, it’s not difficult as we have a very large front area to our house filled with several varieties of eucalypt. Our easter display has a very Australian feel

as he insisted on including the stick with the leaves still attached.

April 5, 2009 \ projects \ 0 comments - be the first

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My Work Space

OK… so maybe not the best photo in the world but try and picture it! This was a built-in wardrobe that the woman who owned the house before us had converted it into a sewing nook. I thought it would make a nice space for my computer and persisted for 6 months but the ‘desk’ she had in there was just too narrow so I pulled it out. This is my first time to paint in our new house and I went for an inspiring shade of green. The white gaps will be home to cork sheets so I will have enough space for all my notes, ideas and inspiration. I’ve just finished the first coat of paint for the trimming and am getting quite asphyxiated on the smell I think I had better leave the room.

January 26, 2009 \ projects \ 0 comments - be the first

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Happy New Year!!

I’m just not in the mood for pouncing today so I thought I would share a little of my own home made goodness. Each year I make the boys a Christmas T-shirt ~ again not sure how the tradition started. Usually they entail a completely inappropriate image for Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere ~ think Santa, snow, reindeer ~ you get the idea. But not this year (or should I say last year) I made these!! The trees are from fabric by Japanese fabric company called Kokka that I appliqued onto T-shirts with a nice little blanket stitch. I found the fabric at Kelani Fabric Obsession a store that has such a lovely choice of fabrics. I especially love the selection from Australian designers. The shirts are a hit with the boys and they’ve already worn them twice! Imagine, a Christmas shirt that has life after Christmas. Oh, and Happy New Year, I know it’s belated but I’m really not a fan of the first day of the year.

January 4, 2009 \ projects \ 0 comments - be the first

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