Welcome, and thanks for visiting.

Yes, this is where we live - as close to paradise as one can get!

I blog about all the good things in my life - family (1 husband, 2 grown children and a beautiful grandson, Harper, born on 8 Nov. 2010), making miniature gardens, cardmaking, stamping and other papercrafts, sewing, beading, jewellery and other crafts, our beloved cats (currently 4), pet pigs and sheep, the birds and wild things around us, our garden and what we grow, and how lucky we are to live on our 14 acre little itsy bitsy farm in beautiful New Zealand.
If you are a miniature or fairy garden enthusiast, like I am, please visit my Facebook page, Away With The Fairies, for ideas and inspiration.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Tassel scarf

I've been making tassels using cheap embroidery floss, and am loving how this easy scarf turned out.  It's just a length of silky soft fabric with colourful tassels on both ends.  I ripped the fabric edges and pulled off a few of the threads so that the edges would be a bit fluffy too.  I used large holded beads on my tassels as they give a bit of weight to the scarf and allow the tassels to hang more evenly.  I like the colour combos too.  This scarf will match with just about anything in my wardrobe, and looks especially great with denim.  There's a tutorial here on how to make the tassels, but it's a simple process and you get 4 x tassels out of each skein of embroidery floss (2 from each end - I split mine - but if you want bulky tassels, then use the whole end of the skein).  I threaded the "holding" thread (a few strands of floss that goes through the looped end of the floss) onto a large eyed needle and pushed it through the fabric about 1.5 cm (1/2") up from the edge, folded the remaining 1.5 cm over and sewed along the fabric close to the edge, so that the ends on the "inside" (i.e. the loose ends, not the tassel ends) were held firmly in place.  I then trimmed the ends so that they would be hidden (approx 3/4 cm), pinned the hem and did 2 more rows of sewing to keep everything neat and tidy and in place.   On a lightweight summery scarf I'd leave off the beads on the tassels for a more "floaty" effect. Now I must stop crafting and carry on packing!  Our house is sold and we move out at the end of the month - big panic!

And while I'm here, take some ooh and aah time to see our beautiful little granddaughter, Ruby, born last week to our son and his wife, and a little sister for Harper, who is now 4.  Isn't she precious?  She looks like a pixie from one of my fairy gardens!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

T-shirt holes cover-up!

I love this old bright and cheerful T-shirt, but I discovered the moths had been chewing a few holes in the front when I took it out to wear the other day, so this was my solution to the problem.  I used iron-on adhesive on the back of a few scraps of different stretch fabrics I had lying around, cut circles using various kitchen "tools" (jam jar lid, dessert bowl, etc.), ironed the offcuts onto the shirt front, sewed around the edges, and voila ............... a new/old T-shirt!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

For a change . . .

I took a break from making fairy gardens and log homes this week, and made myself a pendant!  Some of the beautifully vibrant fabric is recycled sari offcuts. The "frame" is wrapped fibers with a few little silver beads and charms sewn onto it.  It's quite big and chunky and looks great with a plain white linen shirt or black sweater.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Magical fairy door

I saw a similar door online somewhere and decided to try making one (or rather, getting my Assistant Elf to make one!).  A friend gave me a bag of horseshoes, and here's the result.  I love it!  
I know some folk will say that it should be the other way up, otherwise it's bad luck, but I don't really care - I'm not superstitious, and nor are my fairies!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

More new little gardens

Here are a few new little log cottages (less than 6" tall), with two of them used in potted gardens for the Christmas markets I'm doing over the coming weeks.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Hat's off to you!

I feel that the fairies need to protect themselves from the sun when they're outdoors in the garden, so here's a new straw hat I created just for them! You will see how easy it is to make.
Supplies: ModgePodge (or similar product), brush, burlap, dolly peg (or you could use something else, e.g. thimble?), twine, tiny flower, scissors.
How to: Cut a piece of burlap slightly larger than the top of your dolly peg, drape it over the top of the peg, hold tight, and use a piece of twine to wrap around the draped burlap as shown. Tie a knot in the twine. (You may need someone to help you with that bit.) Then paint the burlap thoroughly with ModgePodge. Allow to dry for awhile, but not totally, and then ease out the creases around the side to make a flat(ish) rim for the hat. Slide the burlap hat off the peg and allow it to dry overnight (or speed up the process with a hair dryer, like I did, being such an impatient person!). When dry trim the rim of the hat to size, and shorten the ends of the loose twine. Glue a little flower onto it, and tadaaaa . . .!
P.S. I'm sure you could use fabric in place of the burlap too. I will have to try that idea!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

New things . . .

You may have seen the little nativity sets I made a few weeks ago (scroll back to see if you haven't yet).  I decided they needed a "stable", so this is what I made with one of those small sized milk cartons, kindly spray painted by the Assistant Elf.  I turned out really well.  Love the recycling options with this hobby of mine!

Today I also finished this little broken pot garden that I've been planning to make for a long time.

Friday, October 17, 2014

More recycling

I'm having a lot of fun recycling some old clothes (as I pack away boxes into storage, as we're selling our house and I'm trying to tidy and declutter my wardrobe - between sewing projects!  LOL)
This was a lovely stretch knit cardi, probably 16+ years old, that I've held onto because I love the colour (the orange is not quite as bright and eye-popping in real life - must be the camera playing tricks), but haven't worn it in many years. So . . . it is now a "new" old cardi-turned-tunic, with the front opening sewn closed, the old boring orange buttons removed and replaced, a skirt extension added to make it into a tunic, and a felt brooch made because it needed "a little something else", and with the coloured buttons down the front it wasn't suitable for wearing a necklace with it.  I didn't even cut the bottom hem of the cardi off - just added the polka dot fabric on the under-side.  It looks really good with black or white leggings or pants.
Back to my wardrobe decluttering now, sadly (until I find something else to recycle!)


Sunday, October 12, 2014

Scrap sewing/up-cycling/remodelling

I've seen (and pinned) so many tutorials on upcycling your old clothes and T-shirt refashions on Pinterest, so decided I'd try it.  This is an old, too short knit top that I cut off and added scraps of knit fabric, old T-shirts cut up and a cardigan I hadn't worn for years.  The back is in 3 other different scrap fabrics in similar tones, plus a bit of green!  The hole in the skirt was actually in the fabric when I bought it (only noticed when I got home) so put it to good use as well!  I wished I'd made the skirt more flared but ran out of suitable fabric.  

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Please enter your pin

I have had a lot of people asking for the template for this pincushion I made way back, so here it is.  It is free - just copy the graphics (resize if necessary) and print onto fabric (I used these instructions for printing on fabric), cut fabric into a rectangular shape, sew and stuff with batting or leftover wool or whatever you have in your stash of "bits".  It's a great gift for anyone who sews or quilts. Start making them for Christmas now!

  Here's the finished product!