Thursday, February 26, 2009

Still feeling the felt

Felt and flannel (cut out with my brand new pinking shears!) ready to be packaged into needlebook kits...

Handmade Help has had some media this week - the blog reports there was an article in today's SMH, and also this article in the Melbourne Leader


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Mmmm it's been a while...

...since we ice-creamed!

This week we've had Daim ice-cream!

Daim is quite certainly the greatest thing to come out of Sweden since Queen (Mother) Ingrid!
You can get it at Ikea in Australia, and also at our very own Belconnen markets.

This is my usual Suzy vanilla ice-cream, with crushed Daim folded through (and, of course, iced magic and sprinkles on top) - yummmmmm


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

felty doggie needlebook

I'm still making-along!

See, I made this little wool felt and flannel needlebook on the weekend

This guy is going to re-stash a crafter
The little embroidered doggie there comes from the kyuuto! wooly embroidery book
These little needlebooks are so easy - along with making some to donate I plan to put together and donate a bunch of kits for crafters who would like to make their own =)


Monday, February 23, 2009

almost time

It might still only be February, but when the weekends start looking like this you know it's nearly footy time!

Sydney went down to Port (no big surprise - being pre-season and all)

Of course, the weekend also looked a lot like this

Look at those little fuzz balls! - too cute!

We finally made it out to Bunnings.I picked up some things to fix up our little front garden - everything was completely fried! I wish I had taken some before photos, but it looks really nice - now just to keep it going! This keeping things alive in the garden caper has been much trickier than I expected. Even with watering the soil is just dust!

An although its only Monday, I already can't wait for next weekend - more footy in Canberra, a couple of good games on the tv, a friend's birthday, and the Canberra Show - can't wait to see my clever friends' work on display!

But first, tomorrow is SnB day!


Thursday, February 19, 2009

More ways to help!


Here are some fun new fundraising ideas that I spotted this week, and wanted to share:

Borders are inviting customers to bring in secondhand or new books for donation. They will match the retail price of all books up to $200,000 which will go to the Red Cross Bushfire Appeal. All books donated will go to schools and libraries in fire affected areas

'Shout a beer' is a group of friends and contacts across Australia helping raise money for the Red Cross Bushfire Appeal, by engaging pub patrons to 'shout a beer' for those affected by the tragedy and donate money. You can read more about it on Pepper's blog, or on the Shout a Beer webpage. have donated a whole bunch of official 2008 AFL Grand Final DVDs (go the mighty hawks!!!) which are available through the Hawks' website for only $9.95!!! (bargain!) - with all profits going to assist victims of the Victoria bushfires through Hawthorn's Victorian Bushfire Community Program Appeal - which is an initiative of the Hawthorn Football Club and will look at long term projects to help support rebuilding communities in fire affected areas.

AUSTRALIAN rock icon Jimmy Barnes, moved by the horrific turn of events in Victoria this past week, has opened his heart to bushfire victims by releasing a brand new album for worldwide download. Barnes, his label, publishers & Apple will all be donating 100 percent of their proceeds to the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund. Importantly, the people who buy this album can rest assured that every single cent from the purchase of it will go to the bushfire appeal, Barnes said.

And keep an eye on Handmade Help for the latest on where your help is needed, and what you can do =)


Monday, February 16, 2009

is hard to type...

...when the kitten decides your throat is the only coomfy seat in the house tonight!

Lucky she's so cute!

I am getting some squares joined though - see over there on the couch?


Sunday, February 15, 2009


Tonight I'm joining squares and wishing that the weekend wasn't over already.

These squares aren't ones I knit myself, Bec has been collecting squares all over Canberra. I'm quite happy to be joining not knitting - 12" is big you guys!

Actually, I spent this afternoon joining squares too, with friends old and new. Throw in a little drink and some chippies and you've got the makings of a perfect afternoon!

Thanks girls =)


Saturday, February 14, 2009

mmmm chocco poppo

The boy and I went past Koko Black (or "Chocco Poppo" as we like to call it) and picked up a couple of chocolate mousse martinis to go tonight.

This stuff is soooo good! And doesn't it look pretty?

It has really been a gem of a day food-wise: breakfast at Beppe's (it was truly excellent except, I have to say, they did hard-poach my eggs. Is there anywhere in Canberra that can poach a decent egg??) and dinner at my very favourite Thai place - Lemon Grass.

And below, the promised pics of my finger puppets - a platypus (agent P perhaps, has anyone else seen that cartoon - Phineas and Ferb? It's our new favourite show) and a bunny.

Next I think 3 little pigs and a wolf - I really like these ones that I saw on flickr =)

If you've been following the handmade help blog (and, gosh, there are some lovely things for sale over there!), you might already know about two great new ways those clever guys have come up with to help bushfire survivors:

By donating some excess craft supplies you can help to re-stash a crafter. Donated crafty bits and pieces will be pooled together to make re-stash kits and donated to crafters in need. Read more here or here.

Do you have an absolute number one favourite recipe you can donate? A call is out for recipes and artwork to be included in Homemade - the Handmade Help Cookbook. Homemade will be available as a downloadable PDF, with all proceeds going to the Red Cross Bushfire Appeal. Hard copies will also be printed up and distributed to everyone who lost their home in the fires, so the girls will be looking for a printing sponsor - if you know someone who might be able to help out please get in touch with Gilly and Lisa via email at handmaderecipes at gmail dot com.
Submissions of recipes and artwork (yours or your kids') can be sent to the same address. Oh, and the theme for the artwork is eating together - so get out the crayons and get those drawings going!
You can find out more here

ps. I'll be submitting my super secret excellent never fail lovely jubly cupcake recipe - just so you know ;o)


Thursday, February 12, 2009

the latest

Thanks to everyone for the positive response to my last post =)

I have a few newies to share with you tonight:

There was a beautiful article in the Canberra Times today called "Canberra bushfire victim's tips for a great relief". You can read it here or here. In the paper the article was accompanied by a photo of writer Liz and her family, together with a quilt and a knitted blanket that were donated to them after they lost their home and all their belongings during the Canberra firestorms, and I was particularly touched by what Liz had to say about the donation of handcrafted goods:
Make something. Some of our most treasured items are the ones that were made, with love, by complete strangers. The quilt that was one of the hundreds that arrived from all over Australia, the hand-knitted rugs that my children like to snuggle under in winter. If you make jewellery, make a few pairs of earrings or a necklace. If you make toys, make something for the children who have lost theirs. If you knit, make a winter scarf. If you sew, make some table placemats or a beautiful table runner. If you’re an artist, paint a picture or frame a drawing.

The article gives some insight into what people are going through - and how you can help - from the persective of someone has been there. Do click over and have a look.

Speaking of blankets, volunteers across the country are knitting and crocheting 12" squares and sewing them into blankets, just like the ones Liz's family received, to be donated to those in need. A blog called blankets of friendship has been set up where information and progress on this project with be updated. It is just brand new, so it may take a day or two for the details to all appear there, but in the mean time if you would like to help out you can get more info on the Ravelry discussion thread or, if you're not a Ravelry member you can email me on kraftykuka at gmail dot com. Squares should be:
12" x 12"
made from machine washable wool or acrylic yarn

We've all seen the photos of Sam the koala who famously accepted a drink right from the water bottle of one of the firies, and is now being rehabilitated in Rawson. You can help out those helping out our wildlife and domestic animals by donating to wildlife Victoria or the RSPCA appeal.
Here at home there's has been some making and doing going on, as you can see by my desk (aka the dining table!):

Can you guess what that guy is going to be? I'll give you a clue - he's one in a set of Australian animal finger puppets I picked up last week - mostly to use as templates.

Here's my first finished finger puppet - the little Brown Owl that I showed you last week is now all sewn up:

He has a little bunny friend now too - the first in a set of 'forest' animals I'm making. =)

Oh, and whilst hiding from the weather over the weekend I sent some time winding my new embroidery threads, and I thought they looked so pretty that I just had to share - as youo can see from the photo up the top there!

This weekend is meant to be fairly gloomy (about 20C and raining, I think) - perfect for a cosy weekend of more sewing!


Tuesday, February 10, 2009


The past few days I've watched the news reports in shock and horror, as the tragedy of the Victorian bushfires has unfolded.
Story after story of loss, devastation, terror, and hope have me on the very verge of tears most of the day.
I am a Victorian, and my family are in Gippsland, and I can't even begin to say how much I have appreciated the thoughts of friends and colleagues, people I see every day, people on the other side of the world and people I haven't spoken to in over 5 years who have remembered that and checked in with me over the past two days.

And like everyone I just really feel like I need to do something to help.

So, I thought I'd share just a handful of the ways you can help to - both by donation of money and in other ways too. I've popped some of the links in the sidebar there too, and will update if there's something new to share with you.

Donate MONEY!
Online through the Red Cross or the Salvation Army.
Or, if you'd rather, you can donate over the counter at any Australia Post outlet, at any Westpac, Commonwealth, NAB, ANZ or Bendigo bank branch

Donate BLOOD!
Burns victims need your blood! And will continue to need it as they receive treatments over the coming months.
The Red Cross guys are sure to be super busy with donations, so it is absolutely a good idea to register first.
You can find out where to donate through the search function on the Red Cross' donate blood website - just pop your postcode in and it will tell you your closest donation centres and whether a mobile donation unit is headed your way.

Some Etsy sellers have offered to donate part of or all proceeds from items tagged with "bushfire" to bushfire appeals. (Details of donations are provided for each individual listing)

Similarly, some clever crafters are holding ebay auctions of their goodies, with proceeds going to the bushfire appeals.

You can find out more about both of these, including listings of some of the lovely goodies for sale, at the handmade help blog.


Speaking of shopping, Coles supermarkets are donating all their profits on this Friday to the bushfire appeal.
I think we'll be doing our grocery shopping early this week, instead of waiting for the weekend!

Handmade help is also collecting things made by you.
Meet Me at Mike's is one of the drop of points, and Pip says:

"We are concentrating on a long term donation approach - as donations of clothing and other items are flooding in at the moment. We would encourage you to make something special to donate to families who will be rebuilding or relocating in the coming months...

Items we are collecting :

Handmade toys, clothing, quilts and baby items.
Items for cooler weather would be fantastic too, such as knitted clothing, hats and scarves.
Crocheted and knitted blankets. This is a long term project - and Winter is coming!
We will collect and store any donations until the time is right to deliver them.

That's just a summary - click on over to Mike's for more info.

If you do, make sure you check out Pip's great long list of ways you can help - it runs down the middle column of the blog. There are lots of really good ideas, including things I would never have thought of. Like, did you know the Salvos want your old mobile phone chargers?

Another way to donate something (because, whilst I absolutely understand that the priority right now is money, I also think it is nice to donate a something for later. A something that will go from my hands to someone else's, and they'll know that people were thinking of them, you know?) is through Beyond Pink and Blue's Rainbow Comfort Packs.

The idea is to put together bags of goodies for the kids and babies who have been affected by the bush fires, which will then be given to the Emergency Relief Centers around Victoria. The bags will contain things like:
something to hold, cuddle, talk, imagine with (like a soft toy)
something they can play, do, look at, read (colouring book, book, puzzle.... needs to be compact and light to carry)
If you'd like to help out, you can read more about it on Monica's blog.

Here's hoping our wonderful firefighters can get the remaining fires under control before the weekend

ETA: Ecoyarns also has some information on how you can help, including the following: Craft Items such as knitting needles, crochet hooks, balls of yarn, cross stitch or embroidery kits will also be collected and sent down at a later delivery date. Click on over to find out more

Saturday, February 07, 2009

hot in the city

Eeek, what an awful hot fire-dangery day!
Fire weather really spooks me - the fires we had in Canberra a couple of years ago were terrifying! The sky was all black and red, and the air full of smoke and glowing red leaves. Yuck!

We were doubly disappointed that today's weather has been so unfriendly, on account of today is Canberra's Multicultural Festival Food and Dance Spectacular day.
We look forward to going each year (the boy loves the polish beer and german worst, and I get to stock-up on Scandinavian lollies mmm paalaeg chocolade and daim!) but in today's weather we just thought it would be too much! (The piccy there is from the 2007 Spectacular=))
According to the local news the weather didn't keep the crowds down though - I think they were estimating about 70,000 people.
Watching the news, I was pleased to see they were handing out plenty of free cool water (even on pleasant days it is thirsty work, and water is costly/hard to come by), but was disappointed to hear people suggest a few extra cold beers would get them through - even if they did mean it as a joke.
The thought of all those people who would have spent a day in the sun throwing back 500mL cans of 6% Polish beer for refreshment was one of the things that put us off...

There has been plenty of good advice around on avoiding heat-related illness, the ABC website had some that I hadn't seen anywhere else and particularly liked:
Extended days of very hot weather can affect people emotionally as well as physically. It is common that people may start feeling tired, irritable or a bit vague. It is important to relax and stay as cool and as hydrated as you can. Look after yourself and others around you.

We're having a completely inside, airconditioned weekend (and I'm really hoping to get out in the garden a bit during the week after work, or we're going to wake up one morning and find the wisteria has made it inside and lashed us tight to the bed!), and all this thought of felt has me inspired to make some felty finger puppets! I've spent today browsing online for some ideas and winding embroidery cotton onto little cards (very therapeutic!), and hopefully I'll have something to show you tomorrow =)

Stay cool!


Monday, February 02, 2009

A Brown Owl Parliment

Do you all know about the Brown Owls?
Maybe, like me, you watched their adventures from afar and wished you lived in Melbourne too, so that you could be part of the fun?

Well, now we can!!!

Brown Owls is coming to Canberra (and a bunch of other cities around Australia!!), with our very own chapter!

You can read more on the Brown Owls blog and members blog, and if you think you'd like to be an Owl too you can join here, and then join us at our very first Canberra Brown Owls Parliament get together!


ps. Do you like my FELTY little Brown Owl friend there? I put him together with the help of this fun tutorial for an Owly egg cosy!

Sunday, February 01, 2009

feeling felty in february!

The eagle-eyed amongst you might have noticed a new button in my sidebar over there ->
See, I'm making-along with Mike!

Pip from Meet Me at Mikes posted last week about a new, year-long, crafty project which is starting now.
Pip says: "You can join in each month - or all year - or not at all - just do what will suit you!" (Pip is a much better explainer than me, and also has a nicer felty picture, so you should definitely click on over and check it out!)
Make-alongers can share their crafty creations in the make-along flickr group, and there will be prizes!!

Sounds fun, non?

So, the make-along theme for February is felt.
Quite conveniently, I have had my eye on a couple of felty projects (both from the craftzine blog) for a week or two now - kitty toys!
I think I'll try out these first, then perhaps these.
I'm planning to make some for our little guys, and also some to drop off at the RSPCA, and I think they'll make perfect little make-along take-along projects =)

Perhaps I should have titled this post "feline" felty? hehe