merry christmas!

Free Photo Christmas Card Template - Karen Cookie Jar pertaining

I thought it might be time to post SOMETHING… maybe just a Christmas wish, maybe something more… its been so busy leading up to Christmas that I haven’t had a spare minute to even think about the blog.

My bad.

So what have I been doing, you might ask? Well. I’ve been grooming dogs. And dogs. And more dogs. I made more crazy critters for the market, and more wind chimes. I did the last two Saturday markets in New Norfolk. We’ve had a film crew here two weekends in a row, filming a short movie for Tropfest in our house. I’ve been watering the garden and ignoring the height of the weeds we call a lawn.

Yep. I’ve been a bit busy.

So today is a day of rest. The plan had been to take out the canoe and take a picnic and spend the morning on the water. But we slept in, had coffee in bed, opened presents and had a late breakfast…

Later today we’re doing a one hour slot on the local radio station and visiting some friends. A relaxed and easy day.

Last night I finally had the time to make some Christmas cards for my various FB pages and groups…



You’ve already seen the Junk4Joy card at the top of this post… and lastly, my personal card…


Its been a few years since I actually posted cards. I used to send out tons when I was younger but now I only do electronic ones. How lazy am I?

And yes, I don’t care how politically incorrect it might be to say ‘Christmas’ but I don’t care. To me it is and always will be Christmas, so as much as I respect others’ right to believe what they want to, I expect them to respect my right to say Merry Christmas!

On a crafty note, this year I made some little tree decorations to sell at the markets.


There are multilayered white on white ornaments, made using scrap fabric, vintage lace, iron on stiffening fabric and felt. Oh, and buttons and cotton as ties.


Pretty cute, even if I do say so myself.


I’ll share some pics of the newest batch of critters later – the pics I have of them so far are really bad. Also some of the other stuff I’ve managed to do around here in all my free time.

I really needed this break.


fairy lights and a quick wreath

I’ve been getting into the Christmas spirit lately.  Over the last couple of days I’ve put up some fairy lights outside, on the porch. Not enough, but hey… its all I got what I got so I’m using them!

I had bought some fairy lights to use at the Etsy Makers Market last month so I decided it was time to make use of them. Firstly, I put the quick Christmas tree I’d made to hang my felt and lace ornaments from at the market. I put it in the grooming room to give it a bit of festive spirit. Of course, since I’m selling the ornaments, I had to find another way to decorate the tree… Use what you have I say, so I used grooming bows!


In the house I just lit up the Christmas tree I made out of crib slats a couple of years ago. I mean, when you have perfection why mess with it? I love this tree so I’m sticking with it.


I had one more sting of lights which I’d earmarked for a wreath.

So I went looking in my shed, to find the right item as the basis for my wreath. What I found was a galvanised tray. A bit rusty in parts cause I’d had pot plants on it.

I like the rusty look.


My middle name is rust. Well, it could be…

All I did was wrap some wire I’ve had for a long time – no idea what you’d call it, but it looks like dried vine. Then I wrapped all 10 metres of the copper wire with lights around it as well.

I printed out a retro Christmas card for the center and its done.

For now its sitting on our sideboard in the living room. Once I figure out how to hang it and hide the battery operated controller I’ll hang it on our front door. Here it is unlit…


And here it is lit up.



So pretty.

I love fairy lights. I think we should have them everywhere all year round.

I need more fairy lights…




barbie display box (almost finished)


Remember when I began working on this display box for one of my vintage Barbie dolls? We (I) decided the TV would be the way to go for the background… The above is a Photoshop-ed version which is a good way to envision something.

I decided to put ‘wallpaper’ on the sides of the box, plus a floor, ceiling, skirting boards and cornices of course…

barbiebox1 (3)

Putting in a floor, dark timber, and wallpaper on the sides.

I decided I wanted to use a different barbie in this box so I chose another. These are my girls. The headless one in the back is the green-eared barbie I mentioned before. Her head is on a pen on my desk right now. Without hair. Kinda creepy really. Her hair is on the way so I can start re-rooting her soon.


I went with the blonde ponytail barbie in her original outfit. In order to create the background I printed out the TV and mounted it on board to give it a 3D look. I also printed out a large vase and put in some plastic flowers.


I’d printed out the TV smaller than I’d planned to, so the wall looks really bare above it. I could live with the smaller TV but I needed something more. I made bunny ears (antenna) for the TV using Fimo and wire but that wasn’t enough.


A 60’s style starburst clock was the obvious solution. Its the ultimate 60’s decor!



Yes… The clock needs hands, I did forget about that, but I see it now looking at the photos… Plus I’m thinking I may need to put some ‘floorboards’ on the stand so its not so glaringly obvious.


I also need to decide how I’m going to mount this first box on the wall and put a perspex front on it to keep it from getting dusty. THEN it’ll be finished.

And then I can start on the next boxes. For my barbies, and for dolls I’m listing on Etsy!

Coming soon!


not enough time to do it all?


I think I’ve always known that I might have too many interests, but it hit home last night when I watched a show on TV a friend told me I needed to see. It was about a woman who’s entertainment area was so full of ‘stuff’ no one could use it. Her ‘stuff’ had encroached in other areas of the house and was affecting her family.

The problem was that she was a crafter. She liked to do all kinds of crafts. She painted, beaded, sewed, knitted. Among other things. Everything she’d collected was stuff she thought she could use, remake, recycle, DO one day.

Now, I think I’m insulted that my friend thought I was that bad.


I have outbuildings full of stuff. My house is livable. Ok, leave my office out of it! That’s my space and I’m the only one who has to squeeze in there…

But I do see her point. Grudgingly. I think the issue is with wanting to do too much.

On the show the ‘expert’ forced the lady to pick three hobbies and get rid of everything else in order to organise (and limit) her space.

I think he missed the point. Its not about having too much stuff, its about not having enough time to do all the stuff!

I know there isn’t enough time in a lifetime to do all the things I want to do. That’s the real problem. I don’t want to give anything up, but perhaps the old saying ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ is true…

I think I found the answer:

Take it in turns!

Concentrate on maybe 2 things at a time then move on to something else. Maybe a week at a time, or a month. That way you give yourself a chance to do a bit of everything and finish a few things along the way.

Problem solved. Maybe. Sort of.


Enjoy the funny craft related pics I found on Pinterest.










pretty washing powder containers (and printables)


I don’t actually have a laundry. I have a washing machine in the shed, next to the hydrobath.

One day I’ll have a laundry… a pretty laundry. An actual clean room where I’ll be able to fold clothes and not worry about them getting dirtier in the laundry than when I wore them to groom dogs, paint walls or pull weeds on my knees.

Till then I try to make things prettier in little ways… like by putting labels on the jars I store my washing detergent in.


I don’t know about you, but I’ve never liked keeping my washing detergent in the box it comes in. I use old coffee jars cause they’re nice and big and seal well to keep the detergent from clumping.

Problem is, they look boring as plain glass jars.

So I look for vintage ads or packaging I can print out to glue onto my jars. These are the newest jars.


I’d much rather look at these little babies than a box of detergent any day. It makes me smile when I put on a load to wash – and lets be frank: anything that makes you smile while doing the washing is a good thing.


So, if you want to make your own pretty washing powder jars and want to use the images I found you can right click on the pics below to save them to your computer. You’ll have to resize them to fit the jars you’re using.


Here’s a bonus image. I love it but it was the wrong shape for the jars I used, too tall and thin by the time I’d shrunk it. Great image though.


Have fun!


display box for barbie

I’m still finding my way on WordPress… Its seems that the spaces between paragraphs I see when I write a post disappear when its published. Given I like my white space I have to find a way to keep it!


Meanwhile, I thought I’d share an idea I have to display my barbies (since I bought a few). A small collection – remember, over 2 of anything is a collection, though a collection of 3 items is a pretty pitiful collection… Whatever. I have 3 vintage barbies in great condition and one green faced one I’m restoring. More about her in the future.

For now, I’ve finally started on the first display box for one of my barbies. The idea is to fix up and ‘furnish’ each box as a room, put in the barbie and accessories, then put on a perspex front to keep her safe.

Naturally, since I’m going to mount these boxes on the wall, I can’t go deep, so real furniture and real rooms are out of the question. I mean, I’d have loved to make them into a kind of dollhouse – using larger drawers for each room then mounting them on the wall in a stack, but I just don’t have that much room. For now I’m just using smaller, shallower boxes.

All I’ve done on the first box so far is put in the background. I used scrapbooking paper for this cause I wanted it to look like wallpaper. So here is Barbie with her poodle… (forgive the photo – bad lighting in the office, good pics when the project is finished).


Now I have to decide what I’m going to ‘furnish’ the room with. My idea is to use images I find and print out, then decoupage them into the background.

First idea – a dresser and a painting for a bedroom look:


Next idea, a couch for a living room look:


Only that looks a bit bare. I need a large picture on the wall, or a few small ones… its not quite right.

Lastly, a TV, which I kinda like, though I dread cutting out that antenna!

This is the smallest box of the three I’m planning and as such doesn’t have room for any real accessories. I’ll add a floor but not sure if I want to add sides.

So which one do you like best?



mounted pug head

Thought I’d share a little project I’ve had sitting around for a while now.  This is Pugsly. A mounted pug head.

The best kind of mounted pug head: a fake one.

This little guy is made from old newspapers, diluted PVA glue, air dry clay, old comics and an old cheese board as a mount.

Talk about recycling.

Doesn’t everyone need a wall mounted pug head? Especially one as cute as this little guy!

I’ve listed him for sale on a Facebook selling page but no nibbles so far. I’m keeping it a secret from him so he doesn’t feel rejected and unloved. You have no idea how much a depressed pug head can bring down the mood around the house.


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cowpig and other ceramic animals

Its been years since I did any work with clay. High school in fact. And back then I didn’t think I really enjoyed sculpting.
Well, I tried it again a little while ago and I LOVE it.
This little pig bowl was my first foray into the world of pottery. He’s called a cowpig cause that’s what a friend called him when she saw the colour. Ok, so I got the holstein patches on a pig, ok, I stuffed that up… but he’s still darn cute.

I picked aqua blue for the inside cause pink would just be wrong… and disturbing… plus I love aqua.. The idea is that its a little bowl I can plonk bracelets or such in. For now its sitting on the air conditioner (which is a floor model) in the living room where I can see it every time I walk past.

Love his little face…

And his little tail!

Next I made some little critters. I made a chicken, two bandicoots and a wombat. The chicken is not here, neither is one of the bandicoots, but the other two are.

Let me introduce the brown bandicoot and the common wombat.

I gave the little bandicoot a copper wire tail.

I’m loving this. Both the building up and the carving out. I want to buy a slab of this paper clay and make a ton more stuff.

The paper clay is clay mixed with paper pulp. It dries completely white and is easy to work with. I then take it to a place in Hobart to have it fired, paint (glaze) it with the right paints and have it refired.

I’ll get onto that soon as I find some time…

After the huge garage sale at the end of October. After moving the grooming room to the storage room.

When I find time.


little paper suitcase

This is just a quick and easy little project I thought I’d share for the fun of it.

I’ve got photos waiting to be downloaded off the camera but was too busy (sore and tired) to tackle it yesterday so you’ll have to make do with this pititful little project for now.

I’ve made little suitcases before, I even made one out of felt last year but unfortunately I don’t think I have a photo of it. This one is made out of a ready meal box. You know the kind: Put the contents of satchel 1 into the container provided. Pour the the contents of satchel 2 over the top. Heat for 2 minutes.

Healthy stuff.

We have a lady at work who loves anything to do with going away on a trip. So I made this little suitcase for her as part of a project I have going where she can decorate her entire bedroom ceiling with ‘mobiles’ of trip related items (planes, suitcases, caravans, etc).

You can see the ‘tear here’ strip on the side. Since its going to be up high I didn’t worry too much about making it perfect, I just wanted it to look like a real suitcase.

First I glued it shut, then sprayed it with flat white paint. I found some old vinyl in our fabric box and cut the strips I needed for the handle and strap.

The corners, buckle and handle ends were made of plain cardboard. Ordinarily I’d paint those gold or silver but decided I liked them in their natural colour this time.

Cute don’t you think?

Not that there’s much use for little cardboard suitcase in every day life… Unless of course you made it so it opens and you can keep small things in it, like USB sticks, paper clips, jewelry….

Unless you do this with a shoe box that offers actual storage:

Sorry, no link for that one. But the ones below are way easier and do have links.

How cute are they? I’ve always meant to make some of those boxes for around the place…

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eat more fish!

My brother is in the fish business.
In fact, most of our family is in the fish business. I’m sure it had nothing to do with the fact that my grandfather was a fisherman or that we’re greek and sea water runs through our veins, or anything like that. 
Its pure coincidence.
However, fish is what our family does. I can’t tell you how many years I spent my holidays working in the family fish processing plant – packing fish, pulling apart squid, stinking of fish…
My brother has a fish shop and seafood distribution business in the ACT, my cousins work in fish or, if they don’t work in fish all the time, they fill in when they’re needed just to keep the tradition going.
We’re a pretty smelly bunch.
But I digress.
I wanted to share with you this little present I made for my brother’s shop. 

Get it?

Its a lamb… and its saying we should eat more fish.

Ok, yeah. You get it.

Pretty appropriate with Australia Day coming up, when everyone needs to eat lamb or be labelled un-australian!

I actually had the little sheep. I made him a long time ago and had him sitting on a shelf in the living room.

And the idea isn’t mine. I have to confess I saw it somewhere and thought I’d use it… I mean, hey! I had the sheep, I have a brother in the fish business… can you blame me?

All I had to do was make a sign, a post and twist one of the little sheep’s legs to hold it.


Cute, topical and relevant.
A thoughtful gift if you ask me!