July 22, 2011

Money Saving Tips

Times are getting tough and every penny counts. So I've been thinking up a list of money saving tips. Today's is......

House Cleaning!

When you walk down the aisle of the shopping market, there are numerous varieties of cleaning products which all add up to be quite expensive. Really, you could replace quite a few bottles with: Vinegar, Eucalyptus Oil, Bar of Soap, Bi-carbonate Soda, Glass refillable spray bottles.

Window Cleaner: I dilute Vinegar in water. I have actually heated it before so that it evaporates as you wipe.

Bath: I just make the Bi-Carb into a paste. I wipe a smidgeon of Velvet plain soap onto the sponge first.

Stains: Eucalyptus oil tends to take out many stains and also loosens glue off bottles, and chewing gum.

Air Freshner: I have glass spray bottles that I fill with water and add a few drops of Essential Oil to. I have a range of essential oils so I'm forever chaging my scent combinations.

Oily Greasy Pans etc: I learnt this great trick for dissolving the grease from pans and grills and halving the scrubbing time. I pour some boiling water, add some vinegar and a sprinkle of bi-carb and it will fizz away the grime. Leave it for a minute and then wipe away.

Dishes: Plain Bar of soap, vinegar.

Silver: Line silver foil onto the bottom of a your sink, sprinkle some bi-carb onto it and then insert the silver.

Timber Floor: Water with some Vinegar added.

If you can get your hands on a Book by Shannon Lush, you won't regret it. I heard this lady on the radio and she had callers throwing all sorts of dilemmas at her and she had an answer for everything! She has a background in chemistry and just a real love of using alternative greener and cheaper methods (often more effective) of cleaning. I bought my book "Stainless" from Ebay.

July 12, 2011

Make Your Own Diamond Shine Ring!

This is my second Tutorial! I love beaded designs because they look very European to me so I wanted to incorporate that into a Ring. http://www.etsy.com/listing/77669089/tutorial-diamond-shine-ring-pdf

Only $4.00 to give it a try. I'll email you the PDF.

Pfft, the cost of a coffee. Make multiples with lots of colours! Give them as gifts.

June 22, 2011

TUTORIAL - Chandelier Earrings

I have just created my very first Tutorial in Jewellery making!! I've really enjoyed the process. I took plenty of pictures of every step (because that's how I best learn) and I made sure to include all the little tricks I've learned along the way. It can be a long hard road otherwise. So if you'd like to learn how to make these beautiful Chandelier Earrings, it only costs USD $5.00 to do so!

May 27, 2011

Knit Designs made by Pippa

The other day I was shopping with my mum and as it is starting to get very cold here in Melbourne, I looked around for knitted woollens. I could not believe the lack of thick, warm, soft knitted products available. All I could find was squeaky, thin and clearly synthetic tops that didn't look like they would warm my pinky.

It made me yearn for natural fibres, for handmade, for comfort. I kept thinking of the synthetic jumpers I had bought on the run that only lasted one season before they started creating those annoying little balls. That somehow smelt bad and after a couple of washes, just didn't seem to retain their shape. Wool may well cost a little more to buy initially, but when you think about it, in the long run, ends up saving you money as it lasts much longer.

Other wonderful benefits of wool are:

* Fire retardant (I'm sure many mothers would feel safer with natural fibres rather than synthetics that melt in case a child accidentally comes near flame)
* Warmer - It insulates yet breathes. "Because of the crimp, wool fibres have a greater bulk than other textiles, and retain air, which causes the product to retain heat. Insulation works both ways, Bedouins and Tuaregs use wool clothes to keep heat out." Wikipedia
*Resistant to Static Electricity - so less likely to cling to the body and causes little shocks (which I am prone to!)
*Children's woollens can be passed on once they've outgrown them as they retain their shape and quality.

So my next step was to search for makers of clothing using natural fibres and I found Pippa!

Pippa has just opened her Etsy shop http://www.handcraftedbypippa.com/ and has a collection of Children's wear in just the most sublime fibres: Merino, Cashmere, Alpaca, Wool, Bamboo. She uses gorgeous stylish patterns from Drops Studio (such a collection!!) http://www.garnstudio.com/ I have spent many an hour browsing through their patterns, dreaming about what I would like.

I'll let Pippa tell you in her own words why she chooses natural fibres.

"I don't like to use acrylics, I grew up in New Zealand where natural yarns are available in abundance and as a child my mum used to knit lovely woollen items for me. I love merino for its warmth and lovely stitch definition when knitted up, and bamboo for its durability and softness. I'm doing more and more in alpaca which is a beautiful yarn which knits into beautiful little garments.

Are natural fibres hard to clean?

As a mum I know how important it is to be able to put things into the washing machine (who has time to hand wash?!) so the majority of my items are machine washable - the bamboo is especially good in this respect.

How did you learn to Knit?

I was taught to knit as a child by my nana and my mum and did it right up until I went to university. Life then got in the way for about 17 years, and I picked up my needles again about a year ago after being inspired by a friend who started running Craft Workshops. My kids (4.5 and 3) love helping to choose yarn for things I make for them!

Knitting is very much a hobby, my business is just little - and has grown from the fact that many of my friends started asking me to knit for them. Their praise has given me the confidence to branch out.

You see!! Knitters are needed!!!

Here's to the growth of Pippa's business, to the continued tradition of sharing the skill with the next generation, to wonderful natural fibres and to more and more people learning and sharing this well worthwhile craft.

Pippa's Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Handcrafted-by-Pippa/139685552763104?ref=hnav - Come have a browse and a chat.

April 01, 2011

Designer of the Month.... Me! lol

I'm loving these new earrings I made today so I decided for once to promote myself! As a kid I always used to say that my favourite colours were Red and Orange. It seems nothing's changed. I open my wardrobe and I get the same colours staring back at me. Funny how people gravitate towards certain shades. Apparently Red means you need a bit of excitement in your life Lol. Too much jewellery making it seems.

February 24, 2011

Designer of the Month

Doskas Designs was created two sisters, Donna and Stephanie Doskas.

They do wonderful works manipulating metals into Byzantine weave and contrast this with earthy stones or the delicateness of Pearls.

January 27, 2011


On the crochet 'thread' again (tee hee). The picture above is my first hat which was from a design by the very talented Croshay Design. She has a wonderful variety of style hat patterns to choose from. The cloche being my favourite. I had this pattern for about 4 years and tried it back then but somehow my brain couldn't get the pattern. I then learnt to do what others do and use YouTube to follow the basics again and 4 years later it all fell into place. Loving it.

January 26, 2011

Crochet is Back!

I have spent so many years poring throught knitting magazines and attempting to to make items, but I'm afraid I have to come to the conclusion that knitting is not for me (yet)! So then the thought occurred to me. Why not crochet?? Well, I was always under the impression that crochet was unfashionable, just granny sqaures and mittens BUT.... I have since discovered that a whole new world of crochet designs is coming through. The latest being on the catwalks of Milan. I never knew crochet could look so good in garments.
Anyway, this is my first attempt at a cardigan and if you see the original pattern you'll wonder how I ended up with this lol. The pattern has a collar, cuffed sleeves, a longer vest etc. - but I actually really love the way my mistaken version turned out. The wide sleeves and no collar remind me of a kimono.