Tag Archives: recycled craft

Looking for inspiration or…..where has my mojo gone?


What can be more inspirational than cake!

What can be more inspirational than cake!

Well its a mighty good question and one I don’t suppose I’m alone in asking from time to time. Sometimes with the best will in the world, it just doesn’t happen. Sometimes its the things going on around you that just sap your creative juices.

I could probably blame it a bit on the weather as here in Melbourne we have had a couple of weeks where the temperature has been hovering around the mid 30s (Centigrade) and that makes me feel about as energetic as a limp lettuce!

However, the other day something did jolt me slightly out of my lethargy – another award!! (I really don’t feel at all deserving but anyway it gave me a big boost for the day) and here it is:


Yes I know I got the same one recently but I thought I wouldn’t get into too much trouble if I displayed the award again!

The nomination came from Carol at Life on a Dirt Road whose blog I really enjoy reading partly because I have always wondered what it would be like to live up a dirt road and away from city conveniences and also because she makes lots of lovely quilts and she makes me laugh. She also blogs in her PJs and drinks tea so she’s got a lot going for her! – go check her out.

As I haven’t been doing a lot of crafting just lately I thought I would share some photos with you as I believe its important to feed your creativity in those parched times. I got this idea several years ago when I read a book by Julia Cameron called “The Artists Way”. It is an absolutely brilliant book for anyone interested in living creatively and one of the exercises she recommends is making an artist “date” with yourself every week. Now this can be anything that inspires you whether it be a trip to the local fabric shop or a walk round an art gallery (basically anything that feeds your creative soul).

I went to Camberwell Market last week and also had a morning in the city so here were some things that inspired me:

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Some interesting stamps

Some interesting stamps

Vintage lace

Vintage lace

...and teapots!

…and teapots!

Embroidered tablecloth

Embroidered tablecloth

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I was very happy with my $6 tablecloth which I think is so pretty. It is quite stained but I feel like plans are starting to stir within… and thats a really good feeling … keep you posted.

A thrifty find


I had another trip to the op shop this week (couldn’t resist) and my trusty spotter Sharyn picked out some more great woollen bargains. Two of these bargains have now become part of my wardrobe as they refused to shrink sufficiently. They are mens sweaters but that’s ok – they are big and warm and snuggly and obviously not a high enough wool content as they didn’t shrink a great deal even after a really hot wash and being put in the dryer for half an hour.

The other find of the day were the table-cloth and napkins below which I just had to have. The napkins (at a mere 50c each) – I will use the next time we have people over for dinner – nicer than paper ones I think and quite pretty with their little embroidered flowers in each corner.

I really like the table-cloth with its embroidered flowers and can’t quite decide whether to keep it as is or make something out of it… and herein lies a dilemma. Whilst browsing through various images of recycled table cloths for ideas, I came across this website that raised passionate arguments for and against the recycling of others’ handiwork. I had no idea what a contentious issue I was walking into!! and you can see it here:

My own personal view is: it has to be better to rescue an item that has been discarded and re-imagine it so that it can once again be admired by others. The alternative being to bury it in the back of a cupboard somewhere, never to see the light of day again. I could understand a bit of moral outrage if it were the Bayeux tapestry being cut into little squares but honestly I think most creators of handmade items would be flattered at the thought that their embroidered tablecloth was being treasured in a new guise 30 or 40 years later… I know I would. Anyway, I will let you make your own mind up and would love to hear your opinion and any suggestions for the tablecloth.

6 embroidered napkins….50c each!

Detail from the table-cloth

Recycle Update


As I posted a few days ago – I had a successful visit to the local op shop last week and bought some end of season woollens for half price in the hope of making a few ‘conversions’.

Op shop bargains

Well I did the really hot wash and everything shrank a bit – not having a tumble dryer I couldn’t do that step which I think would give everything a more felted appearance. I carried on regardless and this is what I came up with:

The pinky-brown one was from a child’s sweater so the hat is a little on the small side. This means I need to either find a little girl to give it to or a small-headed adult! It really was just a case of cutting the sweater straight accross under the sleeves, turning inside out, joining up as it was a cardigan and then a gathering stitch around the top, pull tight, tie it off then turn it out the right way again. I decided to put a little crochet flower on the side (which I had to look up on youtube). You can find it here:

The gold-coloured hat was even easier as I simply cut the ribbing off the tank-top (are they still called that?!), turned inside out, gathered the top and turned right side out again. It fits really well too!

Next I thought I would use the bigger charcoal sweater to see if I could make a reasonable cushion cover and I’m actually quite happy with it. Here it is:

recycled cushion cover

Again I just cut straight accross under the arms, turned inside out so I could sew accross the cut seam, turned back the right way and used some bright coloured wool to do the lazy daisy stitches and back stitch for the flowers. I used the little plastic snaps for closure at the bottom (have had them for donkey’s years and always knew I would need them one day – so good when you prove yourself right)!

I am now itching to go back to the op shops in the area and hunt out some more woollen sweaters – I think I’ve got the recycling bug!

Suubi paper bead bracelets


These are some of the bracelets made by the Suubi ladies in Uganda. The beads are made from rolled up strips from magazines and glue then threaded onto wire – so bright and colourful, they make great gifts. We had these on sale at the HUG (Help Us Grow) party we held a couple of years ago at my friend Carrie’s house.

In the meantime the ladies have been very busy making all kinds of other craft items and I hope we will be able to have a stall at the November Pioneer Craft Market and sell lots of their craft items for them. Hopefully we can raise some funds to send back to the village.

Suubi paper bead bracelets