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My Poppet : your weekly dose of crafty inspiration

My Poppet : your weekly dose of crafty inspiration: June 2011

My Poppet : your weekly dose of crafty inspiration

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Guest Blogger - We Heart Books

Today's guest blogger is the lovely Katie from We Heart Books. Take it away Katie...

We are so thrilled to be guest posting on Cinti's My Poppet - we've admired her beautiful store and blog for a long time and it's been lovely to have a chance to meet her (and the gorgeous Emma!) in person at markets over the years. It's an honour to be here!

One of our favourite things at We Heart Books is delving behind the covers of our picture books and finding out a little bit more about their makers. Just as people love to meet the maker at craft markets and through blogs, our customers really value the stories we can share of things we have learnt over the years and from the blogosphere about our authors and illustrators.

Artist Johanna Wright learnt to peddle her wares the hard way – she set up a table on the streets of New York, near MoMA, to sell her art. It’s a story worth a picture book in its own right; she painted at her table and describes days when her paintbrush literally froze in its water dish. Like all good stories it has a wonderful climax and a happy ending - some pretty influential people bought her handmade postcards and canvas paintings along the way, and her work ended up on the Style Channel and in Japanese Elle magazine among other places. And following some classes in illustration, her first book was accepted for publication and released in 2009, which is The Secret Circus.

The Secret Circus is made of the things kids dream about – a miniature world, hidden from view, one that only the mice know. Tiny acrobats form mouse pyramids and giant house cats are tamed – all the magic of a circus of dreams. Beautiful repetition of the text makes for a soothing and quiet read, while sepia tones complimented by muddy pinks and greens portray the Parisian setting perfectly. A simple final illustration of a mouse holding its finger to its mouth, smiling a hush, says so much about the tone of the whole book – inviting the reader to share a special secret in a tone calm and quiet.

Sometimes you just KNOW that you’ve found just one of those books that will make people’s hearts sing, and the author's story only makes you know it must be shared. The Secret Circus is one of these.

The Secret Circus is available from We Heart Books. Johanna Wright has a website and Etsy store.

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Monday, 27 June 2011

Collecting Kids - A Guest Post by Estelle

Today's guest post is written by my good friend and Op-shopping buddy, Estelle of Curbside Style, and now brand new blog Fortune Favours the Thrifty. When she isn't toddler wrangling and scouring e-bay and her local oppies for vintage goodies, she can sometimes be found at the Camberwell market selling cool to hipsters.
Take it away Estelle...

One of my earliest childhood memories is of an old, black cardboard suitcase with a Twisties sticker on the top and ‘Pandora’s Box’ scrawled in thick marker on the hounds tooth lining. My family nicknamed me Pandora because that suitcase travelled with me everywhere and it’s contents were always a mystery to them. The collections in that case were never shared because treasure was not for sharing.

Shells, paper streamers and stamps, coloured foil and string, leaf skeletons and gumnut’s were things of beauty to me and they all had a ‘treasure factor’, some magical element that made them worth collecting.

I’m not sure if the collecting bug is something you’re born with, if it’s something you develop or perhaps both. But what I do know is that old suitcase seeded my love of collecting, gave me enormous freedom and was a constant source of inspiration for my hungry imagination. If you want to foster that bug in your kids you need to include them in your own collecting and then give them the freedom to choose their own ‘thing’, even if it is gravel, which is what my four year old likes to collect.

Have you ever noticed how your child’s play changes when they think they’re alone? It’s like an invisible thread that ties them to you snaps and within a blink of an eye they’re in some other world, doing amazing things with incredible creatures and characters. I think the key to a ‘Collecting Kid’ is giving them room to find the things that spark their own imaginations and then providing them with a place of their own to store those ‘keepsakes’. For me it was a suitcase, for Ada it’s a cardboard box the size of a small house. The container itself and even the contents are not important as long as the sense of permanence and ownership is there. It’s that sense of independence and freedom that allows their imaginations to take flight and that same sense of independence that allows them to explore the meanings and stories behind the objects they collect. A simple box can become a conduit to a whole other world.


Friday, 24 June 2011

How To: Sketch a picture from a photo by The Haby Goddess

***Unfortunately picnik has ceased to exist as of April 19th 2012. RIP picnik, we miss you***  

Today Jodie from The Haby Goddess shows us an easy way to transfer/draw and image from a photo. You can use this technique to make appliqués and artwork. Take it away Jodie...
Drawing & sketching are not my strong point and I dread having to sit down to sketch out designs. But I’ve found another way, and it’s far easier too! Take a photo of the object you wish to create a template for and then head over to (yes I’m a huge fan just like Cintia!). If you don’t have a premium account then do yourself a favour and spend the $25pa. The Pencil Sketch function you are looking for is in the Create tab under Effects. (the pencil sketch effect is a free feature yay!) A click of a button and it’s converted for you. I find this a much easier format to trace than if it is still a photo. It is quicker & much less ink to print out also. Now all you need to do is trace (if it’s needed) & cut out your templates ready to create appliqués. Do remember though when you are tracing on the reverse of your fabric you need to reverse your pattern also. (you can do this in Picnik too)
Thanks for sharing Jodie, I'd never thought of using this Picnik feature...

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Thursday, 23 June 2011

Sponsor Profile - Scruffy Dog

I know you all love my fabulous sponsor this month, Scruffy Dog Shoes. But did you know they also make a beautiful range of socks and tights?
I was really impressed by the high quality of these samples Leila, from Scruffy Dog, kindly sent me. Even Emma's Nan commented on how nice, soft and warm they were. I've been looking for knee high socks for Emma for a really long time (they are almost impossible to find), so when I opened the parcel I squealed with delight!
And don't they look amazing on? Emma often wears shorts over a pair of tights, she is not really a skirt kinda girl, so I think wearing a tights/shorts combo makes her look a little less boyish.
I'm amazed I managed to get any decent photos, she won't stay still at the moment!I really love long socks under pants in winter for a bit of extra warmth, and the elastic on these will keep them up without cutting into the chubbiest of legs. We didn't get time to model the tights but I can assure you they are great too. The tights are available in 11 plain colours which make them easy to match with any outfit (including school uniforms), and are available in six sizes ranging from 6 months to 10 yrs. I could go on and on because this range is really great, and the price is even more amazing.
The tights are $12.95 a pair and the socks only $4.50 a pair!! Seriously people, $4.50!

If you want a pair or ten, just head over to the Scruffy Dog website and Email Leila with your order (they don't have an online shop, just personal service).

Oh and while you're there, check out their awesome range of shoes. If you order directly from them you can receive a really decent discount off the retail price, just tell them My Poppet sent you.

Thanks Scruffy Dog for sponsoring the blog and allowing me to share your fabulous product with all of my readers...

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Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Guest Blogger - Allison of Lark

Allison from Lark has been kind enough to share some beautiful images and behind the scenes handy work of her latest project The Lark House. Some great crafty ideas here for decorating on a tight budget, I think you'll agree the results are amazing. I'd love to visit this retreat one day...
Take it away Allison...

Hello! I am so excited to be popping up on Cinti's blog while she is away in Japan, even though I am MAJORLY jealous and wish I was there with Cinti and Pilgrim. Can't wait to see what those two style-savvy girls come back with!!Lovely Cinti has invited me to write about my home design project for The Lark House, our former home in Daylesford that is now a guest house since we have moved to Ballarat to be nearer to our kids' new school. We lived in the house for five years, and it was full of our family clutter. I wanted to create a 'home away from home' where visitors could relax in style yet with some 'luxe hotel' touches. And it had to be easy to manage. And all on a tiny budget - no pressure, then! here's how I did it:

Read more »

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Monday, 20 June 2011

A Colour Story...A guest post by Curly Pops

Today's guest blogger is Cam from Curly Pops, blogger and crafter extraordinaire. Cam loves a bit of colour, can you tell?
Take it away Cam...
When reading my blog, looking at what I create, or visiting my house, it's not very hard to tell that I have a slight obsession with bright colours.
Furthermore, I'm completely obsessed with the combination of pink, orange, and red.

I was never a girly girl growing up, in fact I detested anything pink, but I remember borrowing a completely awe inspiring book about Mexican architecture from the local library not long after I bought my first house. The way that they'd used colour both inside and out definitely altered my design / decorating direction.

The house was a completely cream blank canvas, so I set about changing that quick smart! I painted every interior wall. The kitchen / living room ended up being bright orange, the hallway hot pink, and the pergola a combination of the two.

I've moved house a couple of times since then, and instead of painting the white walls, I now collect, create, and display things all over my house in various shades of pink, orange, and red instead.
I like to think of my walls and shelves as a blank art gallery, which I can use to highlight the wonderful pieces of art and craft that I've created, or bought, or have been given by my lovely friends.

A lot of my favourite self-designed fabrics also feature these colours, and I sometimes combine them with yellows, and greens for a bit of extra pop! Of course, I always make sure to design in other colourways too. It seems that not everyone loves pink, orange and red quite as much as me.

At the moment, I'm working on a fabric design for some new curtains.... in pink, orange and red of course!

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Saturday, 18 June 2011

Guest Blogger - Little Circus Design

Wow, hello my name is Madeleine, here I am mighty chuffed to be babysitting the lovely My Poppet blog!

I’m a huge admirer of Miss Cinti, she knows that for real because I used to frequent her concrete and mortar store almost every week including night time drive-bys just to gain a squiz at Miss Cinti’s deft window displays, oh them were the days.

Whilst the savvy Miss Cinti and her trusty co-traveller Pilgrim familiarise themselves with the cryptic Japanese subway system, I’ve been entrusted to entertain you with a daily snippet of life in Little Birdsville.

The last 12 hours have been devoted to completing an image that I am donating to a super exciting new publication called BIG Kids Magazine which I was dead keen to share with the My Poppet readers.
Big Kids mag is the brainchild of creative duo Jo Pollitt and Lilly Blue. Part of the Big manifesto is to produce an ethically, aesthetically beautiful, green magazine that inspires bravery, imagination and generosity through collaborations between children, parents, diverse communities, and contemporary artists working across creative disciplines. The first issue is set for release in September but in the meantime you may like to befriend them on Facebook or follow them on their blog for regular updates.

I challenged myself to complete the image in a day based around the theme of flight which is quite apt because the lovely Cinti and Pilgrim could be airborne right about now, jet setting their way to the land of Astro Boy and cherry blossoms.

Sayonara girls, enjoy the shopping and make sure you visit The New York Bar on the 52nd floor of the Park Hyatt, you’re sure to be blown away by the magical city skyline at night. Take turns pretending to be Bob and Charlotte, have a blast!

Thanks, we will because I love the movie Lost in Translation. I'll have to wear bulldog clips on my jacket. Ha ha!

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Thursday, 16 June 2011

Furoshiki is not a swear word...A guest blog post

Guest Blogger - Angela of Three Buttons

I was so thrilled when Angela agreed to write a post for my little ol' blog. If you haven't visited her blog Three Buttons yet, you are in for a visual treat. Angela visited Japan a little while back and has given me a heap of suggestion for places to visit whilst I'm here.
Take it away Angela...

There are two things that make me envy Cinti, one, is that she is holidaying in Japan right now and two, is her clever use of repurposing vintage fabrics to make some pretty awesome designs. When Cinti asked me to write a guest post I thought about these two things and thought of keeping to a Japan and sustainable theme that's when I came up with the idea to introducing you to the Furoshiki.

A Furoshiki is an eco-friendly traditional Japanese wrapping cloth made from a square piece of fabric. Using techniques similar to origami it is used for gift wrapping, as a shopping bag as well as other functional uses. There has been a renewed interest in the Furoshiki in recent years with the Japanese government encouraging it's use in a bid to help reduce the use of plastic bags and wasted wrapping paper.

It's pretty easy to make your own patchwork Furoshiki using some scrap fabrics. I highly recommend using Mairuru's easy to follow tutorial if you are feeling inspired to make one yourself. Careful though, your Furoshiki might outshine your gift! Happy eco wrapping!

Image credits: one - found via Snoop Blog

Image two - made by me using Mairuru's tutorial

Image three - via Non disposable life blog

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Tuesday, 14 June 2011

The Hottie Challenge...

I almost forgot to show you the special Hottie cover I made for the Curly Pops Hottie Challenge.
The lovely Cam has organised a group entry for an exhibition at Open Drawer to benefit The Margaret Pratt Foundation.
I couldn't well claim to be 'the hottie cover queen' without entering this challenge could I?
I used some more of my wool scraps and then added detail with needle felting. I had no real plan as to the finished look, but Emma said it looked like flowers and I agree.
It has gone off in the post today. Thanks for organising this Cam, I had a great time making it.

In travel news, I have a 3am wake up call tonight, and with any luck this big volcanic ash cloud will clear enough for the flight to take off on time.
All packed and ready to go, nighty, night I'll catch you in a couple of weeks.

Keep an eye on the blog, there are some amazing guest blog posts coming your way.
And if you are patient enough to wait till July to receive your parcel, why not take advantage of the 20% off discount code in the shop, just type HOLIDAY at the checkout.

Tokyo here I come!

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Monday, 13 June 2011

An experiment in blogging...

Just trying out blogging and photo editing on the iPad.
This little post involved uploading photos from my digital camera onto the iPad via a special adapter.
Using adobe ps for iPad to brighten the photo and saving to camera roll.
Uploading the photo to photo bucket for iPad then grabbing the URL code.
Opening up blogger in safari and here I am.
I can only write text in the HTML window and I need to resize images in the HTML window as well...

So it's not easy but doable, IF I have wifi available.
It's all a bit of a palaver, so I think any blog posts I write from Japan will be on my travel companions computer. I'll have to be nice to her.

So if anyone has a better way of doing things, I'd love to hear it...

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Sunday, 12 June 2011

Giveaway Winner...

Congratulations to Jo Beveridge (Dusty Plum) for winning the Heavenly Creatures tutu giveaway. Thanks to everyone who entered and left such lovely comments, especially the rhyming ones, they were very amusing.


Friday, 10 June 2011

Another stripey baby...

Today Emma's cousin, baby Eva has come for a visit. We are just hanging about with my sister and the babes. I've only just recently gotten out of my PJ's and now mum and dad have popped in . It's turned into a big family day, work and packing will have to wait.

Have you noticed the how stripey the blog has been this week?


Thursday, 9 June 2011

Two years ago...

One of the things I really love about blogging, is that if you do it for long enough, it slowly becomes a record of your life. I am not a journal writer, I'm too self conscious for that, and have always enjoyed taking photos on holidays, but until the blog, rarely documented the day to day.

So thank you blog, for keeping track of my past and the future. You are very organised, I hope you stick around for a while longer.
Here is Emma this time two years ago and now. She didn't back chat me then...oh how things change.
Her taste in clothes hasn't changed much though.


Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Sponsor Profile - klt : works

Every once in a while a stumble across an artist/designer that makes me think, "I wish I could do that!" Meet Kristin Loffer Theiss of KLT:works, a trained artist and painter who blends her artistic skills with the role of 'maker' to create some unique products.
Pictured are some of my favorite KLT:works creations from the etsy shop, (I couldn't resist slipping in some fabric, you all know how much I love fabric!) Isn't that worm softie just the cutest? And the thread drawn bulldog?

Kristin screen prints thread
drawings onto fabric to make mobiles, soft toys and cushions, and also onto garments for babies to grown-ups. What are thread drawings? This video will amaze and astound you...

Thread Drawing from elSage on Vimeo.

I was fascinated by Kristin's 'thread drawing' technique, when I saw this video. I really don't think I'll ever get sick of watching it, she makes it look so easy!

KLT:works is truly a family run company,
husband Chris, who is also an artist, helps with technical advice. But the main inspiration for Kristin's designs is her son, Sayer, who not only is a great model but also chief product tester.
Here is a peek of Sayers bedroom, how great is that shelving unit/change table? It was once Kristin's doll house made by her dad in the 70's and converted especially for Sayer by Kristin and Chris.

More images of Sayer's nursery here.

You can find out more about KLT:works here: website :: shop :: facebook :: blog
And if you were wondering - KLT:works ships internationally and the rates are incredibly reasonable.

Thank you to KLT:works for being my first international blog sponsor, I love that My Poppet is read all over the world, and it makes me really happy that the internet has allowed us to connect with talented peeps like Kristin.

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Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Good news and Bad news...

Ok, so I have some good news and bad news...

Good News- I'm going on holidays to Japan!! squee!
Bad News- You won't fit in my suitcase, sorry.

Good News- I'll have lots of fab guest bloggers posting whilst I'm away.
Bad News- You might like their post more than mine.

Good News- The shop will be ON SALE till I get back.
Bad News- You will have to wait till I get back before I post your orders.

Good News- I'm planning on bringing lots of good stuff back for the shop from Japan.
Bad News- I only have a 20kg luggage allowance.

So from today you can use the HOLIDAY discount code at the checkout to receive 20% off all items in the shop, the only catch is you will have to wait till I get back before your parcel get posted. All non discount code orders placed by Thursday will be posted on Friday 10th.

So go forth and clear out the shop, I will need some space to list all the brilliant stuff I find for you in Japan. If you don't hear from me by July, I'm probably lost somewhere in that map up there.
Not leaving till next week but have tons to do before I go. Have you been to Japan? Any must see or do recommendations?

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Monday, 6 June 2011

Bloggers wear stripes...

Holly over at Decor8 is having a super fun stripey meme, and since both Emma and I happened to be wearing stripes yesterday, I thought it would be fun to join in.

It got me to thinking about how people perceive us by our appearance, and how easy it is for people to assume things about us (usually incorrectly) just by how we look.
Often (amusingly) people presume things about me because of where I live, the car I drive, my hair cut and even my youthful good looks. Now none of these presumptions bother me at all, especially when people think I'm in my 20's, but it makes me wonder how much I presume about other people without even realising.
I must say, I have had embarrassing 'foot in mouth' syndrome many a time at the shop, asking ladies when they were expecting. It was sort of an occupational hazard! You think I would have learned after the first few times!!!

Do people assume things about you? Are they spot on, or way off?

Do you wear stripes? Are you a blogger?

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Saturday, 4 June 2011

Sponsor Profile & Giveaway - Heavenly Creatures

If I was asked to sum up the beautiful new winter collection from Heavenly Creatures in one word, it would be 'Whimsical'.
Heidi and Kelly, the designers behind the Melbourne made label have been inspired by the 'Chronicles of Narnia - The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe'. All the pieces are named after characters from the original Narnia tales.

It's the details that make the range truly magical. Enamel beads, vintage fabric and dreamy forest print, textural jacquards, bold stripes and pure merino wool lends a feeling of luxury to this range.Much of the range is unisex in style, which is really justifies the investment when pieces can be passed onto younger siblings. Emma has these super cute Edmund corduroy shorts (pictured below) that she wears over red tights, they will fit her for ages thanks to little adjustable tabs at the waist. Smocks, shorts and leggings are so practical to layer, and will take this range well into spring. But it's Heavenly Creature's signature tutus that will make you fall in love with this collection.
Here is your chance to win one of your own:

Heidi and Kelly have been generous enough to offer one lucky My Poppet reader a Pricilla Tutu (valued at $86).

It's easy to enter - just pop over to the Heavenly Creatures website and tell us in a comment here, which style is your favourite and why.
Just one entry per person please, we want every one to have an equal chance.

If you've fallen in love with Heavenly Creatures, I know, it's hard not to, there is a list of all their stockists on their website.

You can also 'Like' their facebook page to keep informed of news and any upcoming retail events.

The fine print: competition closes Saturday 11th June 7pm EST. Winner will be chosen via and announced on the blog on June 12th. Winner will also be notified via email so please make sure you have e-mail enabled on your comments or leave an e-mail address in your comment. Giveaway is open to Australian residents only. Even though we'd love you to become a 'Liker' of our facebook page, entry is NOT conditional on becoming a 'liker' of the My Poppet or Heavenly Creatures Facebook business pages. This giveaway is not affiliated with facebook in any way.

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Friday, 3 June 2011

Look what my dad made...

You saw some of my mum's crafty work yesterday, today I present you with the handywork of my dad...
As a gift for Emma's second birthday, he built her a little play kitchen out of an ikea bedside table and bits and pieces from his shed.
It has everything a little chef could want, a hotplate with a real light that turns on when you press a button, a sink, an oven and a little fridge/cupboard.
Needless to say, Emma loves it.
She already had the pots and pans (from Ikea) but used them as a drum kit before the kitchen.
It's in the lounge room at the moment and is her second favourite toy (after my iPad).
She loves making toast and eggs, and pretends the oven is HOT. "Be careful mummy, HOT!" I may make some mini oven mitts, she loves wearing 'glubs'.
Although should I be concerned that she was cooking a dog toy the other day?

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Thursday, 2 June 2011

Look what my mum made...

This is the bias binding my mum makes, people have been asking to buy it for years and she has finally agreed to make some for sale. So here it is for you to use and make your next project look amazing.

I asked her to make pretty printed binding because it's really hard to find, and making it yourself is a real pain. She likes making it and is really good at it too, it's her super power! I've had it sitting around for a while because I've been too busy to list it, and she has called me every day asking "have you put them on the Internet yet?", it was driving me insane.
I'm sure she will call tomorrow to ask if I've sold any.

You can buy it buy the meter and I will cut it to order. There are 8 designs to choose from and they are all super pretty.

Buy them here, it will make her happy...

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Wednesday, 1 June 2011

How to WASHI TAPE STRIPS on picnik

***Unfortunately picnik has ceased to exist as of April 19th 2012. RIP picnik, we miss you***
Have you ever wondered how some bloggers get their pictures looking so pretty with lovely embellishments like washi tapes? Well most of them use clip art in photoshop.
I don't know how to use photoshop so I'm going to show you how you can use clip art in Picnik photo editor.

Picnik is free to use, but for this particular technique I will show you you must have the premium package (around $25 per yr). I have gotten a lot of value from my premium upgrade and highly recommended it.*

First you will have to download your clip art file. I have chosen to use these lovely and free washi tape strips by Pugly Pixel. The key to using clip art in picnik is making sure they have a transparent background and are in a .PNG file format.
There are several designs in 3 different sizes, so you will have to open your chosen pattern and crop out the size you want. I have used Microsoft office picture manager to do this.
Make sure you 'SAVE AS' with a new name and as a .PNG file (this will keep the transparent background)
edit: If you are on a Mac you can use Preview to crop and select out your chosen tape image.

Now you can use picnik to make your images pretty. Upload your cropped tape image, select and drag over you picture.

That's all there is to it...Check out the Pugly Pixel blog for some more great downloads, tips and tutorials

edit: If you have a question I will try to answer it in the comments section, thanks.

Did you find that helpful?
Yell out if you want me to explain some other Picnik tips and tricks that you may be stuck on

*This post was not sponsored by Picnik, but if Picnik big wigs are reading, how about a free subscription next year *wink, wink*

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