Monday, 15 September 2014

What's in a town name?

Working as a handmade business owner who sells my creations to customers all over the world, I sometimes discover suburbs, towns and cities with the most delightful-sounding names!  Call me silly, but it gives me a little thrill to imagine what a customer's town must be like while I package up their order.

image okeechobee florida town hall
Okeechobee, Florida - a locale I was recently delighted to discover.

Of course, just because a city has a fun, quirky or beautiful name doesn't necessarily mean it is a nice place to live.  There are some cities around the world with ridiculously exotic or beautiful names but are places where many live near or below the poverty line and where crime rates are very high.  Which got me thinking, what's in a town or city name?  Are suburbs with more sedate and stately (read boring) names ones which attract a more wealthy demographic?  What do you think?

Mermaid Waters, Queensland - did a little girl name this town?

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Buntings for little ones

image children's bunting thomas the tank engine boco the diseasel boys boy's girls party decor decoration domum vindemia

After spending last week working on creations for adults, I am back to creating for children this week.  My Two Cheeky Monkeys inspire me immensely when it comes to creating handmade goodness for kids, which does mean that many of my creations are for little girls rather than little boys.  But today, I'm showing off two buntings which are suitable for both boys and girls (yes, my Cheeky Monkeys love Thomas almost as much as any little boy out there).

image peter pan bunting lm barrie domum vindemia captain hook crocodile children children's girl's girls boys boy's party decor room nursery baby shower bunting garland disney

The storybook buntings that I make for Domum Vindemia have been highly popular, with Peter Pan, Thomas the Tank Engine and Bambi being especially sought after.  So every now and then I sit down and stock up on the more popular designs as well as creating brand new designs.  Of couse, I have my own favourites, such as Goldilocks and the Three Bears, which was my preferred bedtime story EVERY NIGHT when I was three years old.  Do you have a favourite?

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Chandeliers and Classic Quotes

image anne of green gables anne of the island quote chandelier pendant necklace i don't want sunbursts and marble halls i just want you yellow sunshine summer silver plated two cheeky monkeys necklace baroque cut pendant

Yes, it's another post about literature jewellery creations!  I was so inspired by the baroque chandelier necklace custom order I made recently, that I sat down and made several necklaces featuring touching or beautiful literary quotes.  The two quotes I have started with are ones which I have previously used in custom orders.  The first is from LM Montgomery's Anne of the Island, and the second is from Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre.  Making these necklace also got me thinking about whether I had any favourite quotes from classic literature.  I don't think I have one all time favourite quote, but rather many which I like.  What about you?  Do you have a favourite literary quote?

image jane eyre chandelier pendant necklace baroque cut sky blue beads swallow bird i am no bird and no net ensnares me charlotte bronte literature quote silver plated two cheeky monkeys

Friday, 5 September 2014

Literature Finds For Father's Day

Yes, yes, yes, another Mr Darcy and literature-themed blog post!  Since many Australians will be celebrating Father's day this coming Sunday, I have put together a roundup of items I think Mr Cheeky Monkeys would appreciate.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

A little Mr Darcy for your hair

image mr darcy headband literature jane austen pride and prejudice two cheeky monkeys alice band silver filigree floral flowers cabochon red turquoise blue aqua vintage

Today's post continues the Mr Darcy theme for my blog this week.  I still can't believe how popular anything Jane Austen or Mr Darcy is for so many around the world!  I have been focussing a lot on increasing the range of literature-themed creations for Two Cheeky Monkeys this past few weeks and this week I am showing off some Mr Darcy headbands.  These headbands combine three of my favourite items with which to work: metal filigrees, floral cabochons and literature snippets.  What do you think?

image mr darcy headband alice band two cheeky monkeys jane austen pride and prejudice silver filigree text words book page floral cabochons flowers grey gray navy pink blue

Monday, 1 September 2014

A Mr Darcy Bridal Set

image mr darcy necklace bridal wedding pride and prejudice jane austen swarovski crystal cream pearl baroque faceted chandelier pendant you must allow me to teel you how ardently i admire and love you

Last month I was commissioned to create a jewellery set for an American bride with a love for Pride and Prejudice.  Like many others, she was very taken by Mr Darcy's (disastrous) first proposal to Elizabeth Bennet.  So after some discussion, I was asked to create a necklace with a baroque chandelier-style pendant featuring part of Mr Darcy's proposal.

image mr darcy pendant necklace pride and prejudice proposal jane austen you must allow me to tell you how ardently i admire and love you swarovski crystal two cheeky monkeys wedding bridal jewellery

The adorning pearl and Swarovski crystal drop were added to the pendant to complement the bride's dress (a stunning latte buttercream gown embellished with tiny Swarovski crystals).  I love the way the Swarovski crystal sparkles and complements the facets of the baroque cut pendant!

image two cheeky monkeys swarovski crystal drop earrings dangly silver sparkly bridal wedding commission

I also created a pair of earrings using the Swarovski crystal drops to match both the necklace and the dress.  In spite of my nervousness (bridal orders always make me nervous because a wedding is such a big deal), I had a lot of fun working on this latest custom order.  And I can't wait to see photos of the beautiful bride and her groom after their ceremony later this month!

Friday, 29 August 2014

Your Royal Princess-ness: DIY Fabric Crown

Mr Cheeky Monkeys has a niece who turns four next month and I thought a dress-up crown would be a fun gift for a girly little girl.  It was really very easy to put together (even for someone like me who hates having to iron sewing projects).  So I've put together a quick tutorial to help you make your own fabric crown for your little Prince or Princess.

image fabric crown tutorial diy flower embellishment floral

- fabric for the front of the crown (a fat quarter should be more than enough)
- lining fabric for the back of the crown
- scraps of fabric or felt for embellishments
- buttons
- fusible interfacing/stabiliser
- 50cm ribbon

How to:
1. Draw out a crown shape which meets your fancy.  I opted for a simple pointed crown, but feel free to pick whatever shape you feel comfortable sewing.  To ensure your crown is symmetrical, draw one half of the crown and trace your template onto fabric which has been folded in half (make sure to line up the edge of the template with the folded edge of your fabric).

2. Cut out your fabric and fusible interfacing and fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the crown shapes.

3. Pin the crown pieces together, right sides facing, and sew up the bottom straight edge of the crown and the top zig zag edge (or whatever your top edge shape is).  LEAVE THE SIDE EDGES UNSEWN.  Clip all corners and curves, then turn the crown right side out.  Iron the crown flat to remove any creases and fold in and iron down the raw edges of the crown sides.

4. Cut the ribbon in half.  Place one ribbon half between the crown layers at one open edge; sew down the edge to close the seam.  Repeat with the other ribbon half and open crown edge.

5. The fabric flower I made is a simple flower consisting of folded fabric circles and a button (see here for a tutorial).  Attach the flower embellishment with fabric glue and set aside to dry.  And that's it, you're all done!

image fabric crown sew your own tutorial diy tie on ribbon

1. Further embellish your crown by sewing a strip of lace to the bottom edge of the crown before attaching the fabric flower.  Don't like flowers?  Then add other fun embellishments such as hearts, buttons, butterflies or acrylic sew-on/glue-on jewels.
2. To make the crown a double-sided one, simply use pretty fabric for both sides.  For younger children, either leave off the embellishment or securely attach flat embellishments to both sides of the crown (simple felt shapes would work well).  For older children, attach the flower embellishment to a brooch pin so that it can be removed and re-attached depending on the way the crown is worn.
3. To make a crown for a little Prince, try using fabric with stripes or chevrons (or even his favourite dinosaur or robot design).  Embellish with buttons or felt shapes.
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