Tuesday, January 05, 2021


A friend just started a group on FB- Stop Scrolling and Read

she recognised how much time she wasted doomscrolling, how unproductive it is and wanted to do something about it for herself and kindly said something and invited others to join her.

I really appreciate the idea and like the idea of a group of readers- living in India i could never find a book club, this will be kind of like that I guess. Friends who like to read, maybe chat about it - yippee.

Hiya, just wanted to say how much I appreciate the idea behind this group - thank you, Claire.

I have read prodigiously since 11 years old when reading clicked for me, it was not just a skill you needed at school - it opened up worlds and vistas and escape. I was in love and have never wavered in my affections.
Doomscrolling & social media, I now realise, have dimmed the connetion.
Part of my work is research and I have always had a pile of books to work through, and now I think about it they have been gathering dust.
Time wasted on doom scrolling, reading fluff to unwind and escape but not much time reading stimulating stuff, well written thought proking things.... I had noticed but put it down to stress, old age.... what ever.
Doomscrolling is the biggest culperate and it is something that can be managed.
Like any good 12 step programme I need to admit I have a problem.... the rest should start to sort itself out.
I have a small stack of books with me in Australia and my kindle and now you guys to re-abilitate myself.
looking forward to Gabriel GarcΓ­a MΓ‘rquez - he has been on my gunna' list for ages and never made the effort....

I am finally in Australia and relishing being able to see my kids and grandkids, hang out with my friends, wander easily.

It is a whole different world for me and I don't know what the future will bring, I miss Praveen and my workshop but the isolation of where I lived became so obvious during lockdown, no tours to wander on and travel buddies to chat with....

I know I need to spend more time in Australia/ make it my base and luckily Praveen likes the idea too.... so it is just working it our step by step and making it happen.

Morning walks are now along a beautiful country road, open and peaceful- I feel so free.
This tree talked to me the other day....
Life is not always about turning the page, sometimes it is about adding a new leaf.
I know this is a mixing of metaphors but it is just thoughts rattling around in my head, so who cares.
I got the message.
Look at those new leaves, the most exquisite heart warming pink.... let this new leaf of my life open up in a similar manner.

Time to take a look, 

Change habits- the hardest part is recognizing the habit that needs to change, the rest will then start to take care of itself.

New leaves are beautiful, a little different at first and will mature into an ongoing appraoch/habit/ life :)

Happy New Year as we turn a new leaf 😊


Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Memory Cards.

 I have wonderful memories sitting with my Great Grandmother- Big Nan or Nana Leichardt we called her,  she would play cards or pick up sticks with us for hours.

It is such a fond memory and I now realise just how patient she was and all that time she gave is so precious to me.

I am trying to follow in my Grandparents footsteps now I am Granny Fifi and make sure I spend time with my little ones.

It is exhausting- I am perfecting the Nana Nap and it is such a previledge to have the opportunity.

I really appreciate Praveen being so understanding of the fact I need to be here whilst they are small, we had thought we would both be able to pop back and forth more often.... but with how the world has turned it means I am in Oz and he is in India for the next while. Thanks my love for your support. 

I made games with my class when I was a Steiner Shcool Teacher years ago and many of my children's toys when they were little.... some things I always was a gunnu do..... and here I am doing them 😊

Ludo and Checkers have already proven to be a lot of fun.

Now I am working on a set of Memory Cards...

I drew up blocks, got them carved and Parwun printed up the sets for me.

Putting them together is simple- 

Cut out , stitch.

I like to slowly hand stitch so I have cut them with w wide border and are wrapping them around a felt stiffener to get them integrity and top stitching them into place.

You know me - a little wonky.... but happy.

The kids were impressed I was stitching something for them whilst they played cars, Mr 5 years old, loved the game we played with a half set and is looking forward to having the whole set so he finds even more pairs. 😍

If you are a machine girl you could follow a similar idea and use a wide zigzag stitch to finish the edge.

Monday, December 07, 2020

Counters for Games


Based on a suffolk puff
Google it if you need more detailed info- lots of videos on Youtube

1. Cut a circle of fabric- coffee cup worked well for size

2. run a ring of running stitch around just a little in from the egde. Then the fiddly part, pull the thread up to gather it onto a ball- tucking edges inside as best you can.
Adjust the gathers and even them out.
Use a few stitches to secure the puff.

3. stitch a button on top and through the puff.
this hides the mess in the opening :)

Ready to use.

Making a Game Board - Checkers

 I have been wanting to do something with fabric weaving for ages, and ages.... time you know, it flies away.

Well now my grandchilden are getting bigger I need to have a stash of Granny Game Bags to get out and play with them.

When I was a kid my Big Nana Leichardt would spend hours with us playing cards, football/soccer as long as you were not rough and teaching me to crotchet and cross stitch, my other Grandmathers Toongabbie and Maryong also fed my love of crafts and cooking.

I reaslise what a rich foundation laid by my Grandmothers and Great-Grandmother early in my life and I am so grateful for their time and sharing.

I am a Granny now and it is so important to me to follow on in their footsteps and I have spent this year of waiting fruitfully stitching.

Along the way Praveen got to enjoy his first game of checkers, he knows he will have to get up to speed to play with the littlies and is looking forward to it.

I made these at home, I am most intereted in stitching by hand, not machine.... and they are a bit 'rustic'.

When I took them to the workshop to ask Bulbir to put binding on them, he and Madhu Madam were thrilled with the idea and recoginzied the game Ludo, checkers was not known to them.....

and then

the funny bit- they looked at my cutting and I could see them searching around in their mind about how to say it was not very straight without sounding rude to me. Haha!! πŸ˜„

So whilst I am sharing the basic idea with you, I do suggest you work in a way that is soothing to you.

For me that is hack it out and sit and stitch it on my lap.

You might like to use a ruler, and one of those scary sharp cutting wheels for a laser esge.

I wove the strips together and then used an open blanket stitch to applique them to the backing.

You could use a wide, tight zigzac stitch on your machine to stitch them down.

To Cut 

I am refering to the kits we have available in our shop 

You can also use fabric you have to hand.

1. Base- heavy weight fabric finished size will be 42 x 42 cm
 [ 16.8inches- inch people, you might have to do a little adjusting, my brain won't cope with sorting this for you- sorry]

2. You need 2 colours for the check pattern
NOTE the strips on the border edge need to be wider so you can cover the edges with piping.

Colour 1 & Colour 2
Cut 42 cm x 5 cm x 6 pieces
Cut 42 cm x 6 cm x 2 pices

3. This is the magic part
- weave the strips through each other to create your grid.
- I start and do it roughly, 
- then a start on one edge and pin the first strip into place and then really snuggle the next stip up to it and pin it down
- then I stitch that strip. 
- If I pin everything at once I get a lot of pins in hands pricks- not fun. You can see how I know that in the photo.... too many pins at once and you have to take care.

Working on the narrow strip for a Ludo board- same idea though.
4. Continue until finished all the strips and then add a 1cm piping to bind the edges of your board and you are ready to go.

Note board is square- Bulbir and Madhu made sure of that, just my photo is wonky.

Next time I will write about the counters- suffolk puffs with a button on top
Ludo board it same idea and a bit more .

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Story of a print

 My mate Dawn and I have spent years and years making stuff together.

This is one of our plots and plans come to fruition.

Dawn pressed plants between paper and boiled them and made a mobile. She cleans up at the local Agriculture Show every year with her work 😊

I loved the images and took photos during a visit.... and got blocks carved.

Next visit I brough khadi along printed with the designs and we had a bush boil up and coloured cloth.

It was such fun.
Today as I write this I am sitting in the dress I made from that cloth 😊
You can find more of Dawn's work on instgram

She is my go to guru on Bush Dyeing and I know she recomends Louise at Gumnut Magic as her guru. 

So much fun to be had with natural dyes and when your garment has finished its life it is safe to compost.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Creating Shaggy Mats or Pillows

 Gotto love a bit of shag pile!

Not the 70s acrylic horror stories.... 

go for the contemporary, recycled, upcycled vibe.... it might grow out of frugality, DON'T waste perfectly useful stuff but it can have a lot of style.

I have always loved a "I'll make it myself" mentality and patchworked and quilted offcuts into quilts and jackets.... then a long comes the workshop and a whole lot more useful stuff to utilize

I saw Rag Rugs- Boucherouite they are called in Morocco and everyone makes them out of old clothes or yarns from weaving. 
Practical Beauty... the best kind if you ask me.
In Morocco they are ofter woven because doesn't eveyone have a loom?

I had made rag rugs years ago in OZ and worked in hessian very simialr effect

Here we have lovely handloom cotton- our Rajasthan weaver Mr Gaffer uses the rough spun cotton too lumpy for cloth up to make this cloth used as floor wipes.

It is perfect for shaggy work.

Indra Madam has worked our sample- a pillow 

view from behind is rather stunning too.

Easy to do.

1. find your cloth and cut into 1cm wide shreds [ can use our khadi yarn or sari silk yarn]
2. make a length guide. I started using my phone, you could use 2 layers of cardbaord or be lucky like me and have a son make you one from wood.

3. Fabric cut into strips approx 1 cm wide. We use our khadi offcuts, also used jeans and cut up silk saris. Let your imagination run wild any old cloth would be suitable.
4. Wrap the 'yarn' around your guide [ remeber making pompoms as a kid?] about 20cm/8 in long works for me, 
then cut into short strips. No guide, just work by eye, no problem.
5. Use a large crotchet hook and loop it through the open cloth. This hook is about 6mm the bigger the hook, they easier it is to pull back through I htink.
6. a little experimenting will show you the best density of work. Heavier fabrics or if cut a little wider you can psace it out more. Silk Yarn and it looks luscious nice and tight.
7. Our panels come ready to use with a khadi cotton binding. The big ones are ready to use once you have done the shaggy to become a mat.
8. our smallest size id 50 x 50 cm and is easy to make into a pillow. 
I like to work by hand so I simply blanket stitched a pillow back onto the shaggy front.

Happy Making 😊

You'll find the bits and pieces used here in our shop