Friday, 23 December 2016

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas!

With Christmas just two days away, I want to wish you all a blessed Christmas and joyous new year.  For those of you travelling to be with loved ones, I wish you safe travels.  And for those of you who find this time of your a hard one for whatever reasons and difficulties you face, I send best wishes for comfort and peace for you.

I probably won't blog much over the Christmas and new year period, so until next time - be safe and all the best to you and yours this holiday season.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 (NIV)

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Bespoke Two Cheeky Monkeys Creations

On Monday I shared photos of some special creations I've created for my friends and family.  So today I am sharing bespoke pretties created for customers to give to their friends and loved ones this Christmas.

image harry potter jewellery set jewelry handmade quote typography prisoner of azkaban two cheeky monkeys

The first is a fun Harry Potter set created for a customer to give to a good friend and mad keen Harry Potter fan.  The locket contains Dumbledore's line in The Prisoner of Azkaban, "Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light."  The earrings bear Ron and Harry's names to create a fun matching jewellery set.

image quote locket necklace lockets necklaces set mother daughter family typography two cheeky monkeys

The second is a special set of locket necklaces created for a mother and her daughters with specific quotes chosen for each recipient.  Each necklace also has initial charms meaningful to the recipient and matching blue beads for all three necklaces.  Aren't they fun!  I really love how well-received the mother-daughter necklaces have been and am so touched by all those out there who have wonderful relationships with their mothers.

Monday, 19 December 2016

Christmas gifts in my creative space

image rainbow name necklaces custom order children's jewellery two cheeky monkeys

As the craziness ramps up in the week before Christmas, I wanted to share a few pieces I've been working on for Christmas gifts.  The first is a darling set of name necklaces commissioned by a friend as gifts for her little daughter and nieces.  They're not my usual style of creations, but I had a lot of fun working with my friend to design and create these special pieces, and I can't wait to hear how the little recipients react to their gifts!

image fox locket necklaces toadstool two cheeky monkeys

The second are a set of lockets I created for the little Cheeky Monkeys, who have a fondness for my locket creations as well as cartoon foxes.  The Bible verse I inset into the lockets is one of their favourites.  And who could resist those foxes (and the toadstool)???  So tell me, are you giving the gift of handmade this Christmas?

image locket necklaces brass bible vers john 3:16 for god so loved the world that he gave his only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life two cheeky monkeys

Friday, 16 December 2016

DIY Crocheted and Knitted Christmas

You all know how much I love to crochet, and how much my mum used to love knitting (before arthritis gave her grief).  So here is a roundup of beautiful and useful items to knit or crochet for your loved ones this Christmas.

diy tutorial knitting crochet bag beanie plushie scarf mittens dalek

1. Brighten her day with a rainbow crocheted bag.
2. Knit up a dalek or two for the Dr Who fan!
3. Keep your head warm with a messy hair bun hat.
4. No one would say no to this beautiful infinity scarf.
5. Create a cute plushie for little ones.
6. Unisex mittens perfect for him or her.

Thursday, 15 December 2016

DIY Upcycled Christmas

Today I'm sharing a roundup of sweet Christmas ornament tutorials all upcycled from the various odds and ends that tend to collect in one's home (especially if you're a hoarder of craft supplies).  These ornaments are fun for decorating your tree or adding as toppers on your Christmas gifts.  Enjoy!

diy upcycled christmas ornament tutorial ornaments

1. A fun Christmas tree made from tiny thread spools.
2. Turn an incomplete Scrabble set into word ornaments!
3. Turn plastic bottle rings, old jewellery and fabric scraps into beautiful ornaments.
4. Why create more land fill when you can turn old lightbulbs into a variety of ornaments!
5. Add a family photo and pretty paper and your old lid is now a Christmas keepsake.
6. Stash bust your button collection and create darling Christmas tree ornaments.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

DIY Edible Christmas Gifts

I'm not going to lie, I loooove food and I really love it when friends give me a gift of their secret recipe sauce or other treat which they're celebrated for making!  Here are some ideas for you to spoil friends and loved ones this Christmas.

edible christmas gift ideas diy recipe

1. Raspberry and frangelico sauce - need I say more?
2. White chocolate and macadamia rocky road is a fancier version of the well-loved original.
3. Flavoured salts are great for foodies and chef wannabes.
4. Fancy up your shortbread recipe!
5. Infused vodkas aren't technically edible, but that's just semantics.
6. Choc-coated nougat - drool!

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

DIY Christmas Cards

This second post in my DIY Christmas series is all about handmade Christmas cards.  It can seem a little crazy making cards at this late date, but sometimes making your own cards at home for a teacher appreciation or for neighbours is much easier than braving the shopping centres during "the silly season".  These four designs should be fairly easy to make at home with supplies most creative types will have on hand - have fun!

tutorial diy christmas card

1. A photo of the family makes a perfect card for loved ones who are far away.
2. A simple Christmas tree card little ones could make.
3. Use up old buttons for a Christmas wreath card.
4. Stash bust your paper scraps with this iris folding bauble card.

Monday, 12 December 2016

DIY Christmas Sewing Projects

So it's probably a little late to be working on Christmas creations in mid-December, but I know there are a lot of last minute types out there, and there's always that "ohh, I could do with more decorations" feeling!  So here is a roundup of Christmas-related sewing projects to help prepare you for the festivities ahead.

sewing diy tutorial roundup christmas doll decorations crown tie necktie bag purse tote

1. Gingermelon doll pattern
2. Fun quilted Christmas trees
3. Sew him a silk tie from Thread Theory
4. An adjustable fabric crown for a prince or princess
5. Find this gorgeous purse pattern on Craftsy
6. Mug rugs make great gifts all year round

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Handmade Gift Guide: For Pets

Okay, so I'm not the type to give gifts to my pets, but I know a lot of friends who are.  So here is a gift guide especially for those of you who love to spoil your pets!

gifts for pets

1. I wouldn't mind a gorgeous throw cushion/pet bed!
2. Only the best food bowls for your pet.
3. Make sure a lost pet can be reunited with you easily.
4. It's not just cats and dogs who love plush sleeping quarters.

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Handmade Gift Guide: For Kids

Whether the kids you're buying for are your own, your grandchildren, nieces, nephews or best friends' children, fun handmade items are the go for inspiring young minds.

christmas gift guide for kids

1. Which child could not love a play teepee!
2. Floral rings are a fun way for girls to adorn themselves.
3. This paddleball set should entertain kids on Christmas day and during their summer holidays.
4. Sunsmart gifts will never go wrong.
5. Who says boys' clothing needs to be dull?
6. String art kits are perfect for older kids who love being creative.

Friday, 9 December 2016

Handmade Gift Guide: For Her

I'm hoping my family members see this post, as they all know how much I love receiving funky handmade gifts!  Spoil your mother, sister, aunt, bestie, wife or girlfriend with this selection of fun and funky handmade items.

handmade christmas gifts for her women

1. For the woman who loves her shoes casual and comfortable, yet eye-catchingly stunning.
2. There's nothing like carrying a purse with your favourite literature printed on it!
3. Wear them for a workout or just for fun, she'll look great regardless.
4. A two-in-one keyring and flash drive for the comic book fan.
5. We all have that friend who loves her bling, don't we?
6. A fun superhero ladies notebook for the budding writer or graphic artist.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Handmade Gift Guide: For Him

This handmade gift guide was designed to help you find something for all those hard to buy for males in your life (we all have them, don't we?)  These gifts are fun but all very useful for the recipient.

handmade gift guide for him

1. Funky phone covers are great for any age.
2. Perfect for the Princess Bride fan.
3. Add some floral fun to a necktie.
4. A zombie virus keyring makes a fun gift for a teen or zombie fan.
5. For the man who loves golf (or fun barwares).
6. Drinking glasses made from old beer bottles are eco-friendly and fun.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Handmade Gift Guide: Teacher Appreciation Gifts

As the school year comes to an end here in Australia, the thoughts of many go towards finding the perfect teacher appreciation gift.  Here are a few of my favourite handmade options because, if you or your children have an amazing teacher, you should thank them with something unique and special.

handmade teacher appreciation gift

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Variations on a theme


If you can remember back to just before Mother's Day in May, you will remember seeing my launch of mother-daughter locket sets I created in celebrations of mothers and daughters.  Now some six and a half months later, I was so thrilled to look back at the mother-daughter sets I have made so far.  And I was even more pleased to see that every set has been unique due to the large number of bead choices on offer.  If you'd love to surprise your mum and/or daughter with a mother or daughter locket this Christmas, the Christmas shipping deadlines are 29th November for customers outside Australia, and 12th December for customers in Australia.

Oh, the places you'll go!

 image locket necklace quote dr seuss oh the places you'll go silver floral botanical two cheeky monkeys

Today I want to introduce you to a new addition to the literature quote range of jewellery, just in time for you to do some Christmas shopping for the Dr Seuss fans in your life!  I took Dr Seuss' famous quote, "Oh, the places you'll go!" and inset it into our popular locket necklace design, as well as the popular circle bracelet design.

image bracelet typography literature quote dr seuss oh the places you'll go for her two cheeky monkeys

I think these are perfect gifts for someone who's graduating, starting a new job, or just loves all things Seuss!  And hopefully these designs will stay in-store as a permanent fixture after the Christmas rush.  Which design do you love more?

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Beautiful Quotes Giveaway Winner

image domum vindemia scoring wilder quote literature she believed she could so she did keyring keychain purse hanger bag hook handmade

Thank you to all those of you who entered our recent giveaway for a literature keyring and purse hanger from Domum Vindemia!  Our winner has been picked - congratulations go to Cubbieberry, who is herself a writer and artist, and chose a Scoring Wilder set to encourage her on those writer's block days. 

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Literature pretties in my creative space

image alice in wonderland brooch pin bouquet pearl bead lewis carroll two cheeky monkeys handmade

In the last few weeks I have again had the privilege of creating unique pieces for customers seeking variations on existing Two Cheeky Monkeys' designs.  The first was created for a customer who love the gold literature brooches, but was looking for an "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" piece, because who doesn't love the whimsical story of Alice?

image mary poppins quote necklace locket practically perfect in every way literature typography two cheeky monkeys

The second piece is now hands down the most popular design in-store, the Mary Poppins locket necklace.  BUT, that doesn't mean that each one created isn't unique!  As I've mentioned before, with twenty different bead colours to choose from, and the option to add one or more alphabet charms to personalise your necklace, EVERY Mary Poppins necklace I've created has been different from the others.  Which piece is your favourite?

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Christmas Shipping Reminder

image vintage christmas decoration ideas christmas trees mantelpiece

Just a quick reminder to you all that if you plan on giving the gift of a Two Cheeky Monkeys or Domum Vindemia pretty this Christmas, you need to take a note of our shipping cut off dates!
If you are in AUSTRALIA, you have until DECEMBER 12TH to complete your Christmas shopping.
All other shoppers (i.e. USA, EUROPE, ASIA and OCEANIA) have until NOVEMBER 29TH.
Happy shopping!

Image source: 

Thursday, 10 November 2016

A whirlwind trip to Perth

The Two Cheeky Monkeys family recently had the privilege of travelling to Perth to witness a Cheeky Monkeys cousin getting married.  Although we couldn't make it a long trip (Mr Monkeys is at a new job and hasn't accrued much leave yet), it was lovely to briefly visit this city on the other side of my country.

image quokka quokkas cute rottnest island perth australia

For those of you who are yet to visit this quaint city of Australia, I'm sharing some of my favourite photos from our trip.  Of course, the adorable quokkas from Rottnest Island get a whole collage to themselves!  Have you been to Perth or do you live in Perth?  Let me know!

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Beautiful Quotes Giveaway

In honour of the upcoming Christmas season, and the launch of my new range of literature quote key rings, I am running a special giveaway on Instagram!  What are the prizes on offer?  One lucky winner will receive his/her choice of a literature key ring as well as a literature purse hanger of choice.

image domum vindemia giveaway purse hook hanger bag keyring keychain literature

These accessories are perfect for book lovers and teacher appreciation gifts.  So how do you enter to win yourself some literary fun???  Head to Domum Vindemia's giveaway photo on Instagram and follow the instructions!  This giveaway will run from 8 November to 15 November (AEDT) and is open to worldwide entrants 18 years and over.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

May Gibbs' Gumnut Babies in a Bunting

You all know by now how much I love upcycling old books into pretty new buntings.  And I'm always so thrilled when customers love my book buntings as much as I do!  This week I've been working on a gumnut babies alphabet bunting specially ordered by a local customer.

image may gibbs bunting alphabet gumnut babies domum vindemia handmade

I love, love, love May Gibbs' gumnut babies, and the alphabet book has been a firm favourite for buntings with customers.  Unfortunately, this book is out of print and very hard to find nowadays, so the number I can make is extremely limited unless one is willing to pay through the nose to acquire a copy from secondhand book dealers.

image may gibbs bunting alphabet gumnut babies domum vindemia handmade

Hopefully I'll find more copies of this book at a reasonable price so they can once again become a standard feature in Domum Vindemia.  And hopefully the little person receiving this bunting will love it and learn their alphabet in cute style from it!

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Gifts for bridesmaids

Just a quick post today, as I should be winging my way back home from an interstate wedding as you read these words.  Inspired by my cousin's wedding last weekend, I've been working on adding more wedding-friendly items to my store.  (Apart from the ring bearer pillows and small bonbonniere gifts already available.)

image compact mirror pocket literature quote bridal gift bridesmaid set handmade domum vindemia literature

This latest offering is for a set of custom literature quote compact mirrors, perfect for brides to give to their bridesmaids as thank you gifts, or for the female members of the bridal party to carry with them on the day to make sure that makeup and hair are still all in order even after some tears of joy have been shed!  And because we all know how expensive weddings can be, even on a budget, compact mirror sets are cheaper than buying each mirror individually.  What do you think of these?

Thursday, 27 October 2016

A milestone birthday

baked chocolate cheesecake strawberries birthday cakes

Today I'm sharing a little snapshot into the life of the Two Cheeky Monkeys family after Mr Cheeky Monkeys celebrated a milestone (read "getting old") birthday!  I'm so blessed to have this quietly zany man in my life, and it was fantastic to be able to celebrate his life with a little (maybe not that little) shindig at TCM HQ.

birthday party food spread table cake fruit chips dukkah crudites dips

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Wuthering Heights...With A Twist

I know you all know by now just how much I love working on custom creations.  But sometimes, a custom order enthrals me much more than others due to the back story behind the commission.  This latest custom creation was one of them, capturing my heart with the loving and romantic motivation my customer had in reaching out to me.

image cufflinks cuff links wuthering heights quote literature emily bronte two cheeky monkeys with a twist whatever our souls are made of his and mine are the same

If you're a literature buff who knows Wuthering Heights well (or at least all the famous quotes), you will notice something a little off with the quote in this set of cuff links.  Can you see it???  For those who can't, the quote should read, "Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same."

image cufflinks cuff links wuthering heights quote literature emily bronte two cheeky monkeys with a twist whatever our souls are made of his and mine are the same

However, this set was commissioned as a wedding gift from a loving sister to her brother.  And she asked to alter the quote to read hers instead of his as a representation of her brother's love for his fiancee and bride-to-be.  So really, how could my heart not melt, knowing that these cuff links were created for a loving family eagerly awaiting a special day and the inclusion of a new family member!

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Words, Words, Words

image bridesmaid locket necklace bridal wedding would you be my bridesmaid ask a friend to be your bridesmaid filigree botanical two cheeky monkeys

This past week has been a bit tough, business-wise, with various dramas going on behind the scenes which make me question my decision to run a handmade business.  But, seeing how much my Cheeky Monkeys love having me around all the time, and receiving beautiful comments about my work from so many of you has encouraged me and I found the energy to work on a few new items I have been wanting to add to the store.

image bridesmaid locket necklace bridal wedding would you be my bridesmaid ask a friend to be your bridesmaid filigree botanical two cheeky monkeys

The first of these is a little quirky and a little fun all at the same time.  For many women, asking their sisters and/or closest friends to be their bridesmaids is a very exciting thing, especially if their loved ones don't live in the same state or country as they do.  So I decided to create a customisable bridesmaid locket, gorgeously filigreed on the outside and adorned with a matching leaf charm and bead of choice, and on the inside, asking your BFF if she would be your bridesmaid.  Fun, isn't it!

image watch necklace pendant charm to kill a mockingbird atticus finch harper lee jem two cheeky monkeys

For the literature buffs, I have also been working on more watch necklaces featuring beloved characters.  This offering is one for the Atticus Finch fans, and features an antiqued copper watch face teamed with gorgeous tiger's eye beads and antiqued copper beads.  I love how the antiqued copper finish complements the tiger's eye beads (long time favourites of mine for wearing and using in jewellery making).

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Sundance-Inspired Kisses and Hugs Necklace Tutorial

If you remember back to my Kisses and Hugs-inspired earring tutorial way back in July, I promised that I would share a tutorial for a matching necklace.  Well...I've finally gotten round to putting the promised tutorial together!  So, without further ado, let me show you how to make your very own Sundance-inspired Kisses and Hugs necklace to match those earrings you made.

image tutorial sundance-inspired kisses and hugs necklace diy freshwater pearl red beads

- one potato-shaped freshwater pearl, approx 8mm
- 4 x dark red Czech glass rondelles, 4mm
- 6 x medium red Czech glass rondelles, 4mm
- white nylon beading thread (Nymo's nylon thread or Beadsmith's beadstring are both good)
- 40cm delicate gold chain (I used a figaro chain from my stash, but use whatever you have or like)
- gold-plated necklace extender
- lobster claw clasp
- 5mm gold-plated jump ring
- beading needle
- liquid superglue or fabric glue


image tutorial sundance-inspired kisses and hugs necklace diy freshwater pearl red beads
1. Line up your beads on a beading tray in the following order: 3 x medium red rondelles, 2 x dark red rondelles, freshwater pearl, 2 x dark red rondelles, 3 x medium red rondelles.
image tutorial sundance-inspired kisses and hugs necklace diy freshwater pearl red beads thread beads onto beading thread
2. Thread a beading needle with the beading nylon.  Thread your beads onto the nylon in the order you set out in step 1.

image tutorial sundance-inspired kisses and hugs necklace diy freshwater pearl red beads tie beading thread onto chain end

3. Divide your chain into two equal lengths.  Tie the beading thread onto the end link of one chain, making sure to tie a secure double or triple knot.  Snip off any spare thread and dab with a small drop of superglue or fabric glue to secure the thread onto the chain.

image tutorial sundance-inspired kisses and hugs necklace diy freshwater pearl red beads tie beading thread onto other chain

4. Push the beads up to the knot you just created, making sure not to leave a gap.  Repeat step 3 with the other end of the beading thread.  Make sure to tie the knot as close to the beads and chain, ensuring that there are no gaps between your beads (but don't make it so tight that the bead alignment warps).

image tutorial sundance-inspired kisses and hugs necklace diy freshwater pearl red beads attach clasps to chain ends

5. Attach the necklace extender to one end of your chain and bead combination.  Then, using the jump ring, attach the clasp to the free end of the chain.  And there you have it, an elegant, but different way to wear freshwater pearls!

image tutorial sundance-inspired kisses and hugs necklace diy freshwater pearl red beads

As with the Kisses and Hugs earrings, you can use different coloured beads or a different finish of chain to create a necklace which suits your look and wardrobe.  Don't forget to share if you make one of these necklaces for yourself!

I'm joining in tutorial Tuesday fun here.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Don't panic, but there are only 10 more weeks till Christmas!

When it comes to Christmas shopping, I think there are two types of people: the ones who think it's ridiculous that the stores are already selling tinsel and Christmas sweet treats in September, and the ones who can't get enough of it all year round.  But whichever category you fall into, thinking ahead is always the best way to go if you want to give the gift of Two Cheeky Monkeys or Domum Vindemia pretties this Christmas.

image christmas tree vintage decorations room photos

So, please take note of the following dates and start planning your handmade Christmas shopping early!
For customers in Asia, Oceania, Europe and North America: please have all your shopping done by November 29th.
For customers in Australia: you have until December 12th to do your shopping.
Purchases made after these dates may still reach you in time for Christmas, but they will definitely have to go via Express Post if you want to receive them this side of the new year.

Image source:

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Locket lovers rejoice

Today I am sharing two new creations in my space which will have the locket lovers in raptures of delight (I hope). The first is an addition to the store which has been in the works since Mother's day this year, when a friend asked me if I could customise my mother-daughter locket sets for grandmothers.

image grandmother locket necklace quote jewellery jewelry two cheeky monkeys handmade for her

After some research, I have settled for the sweet quote "A garden of love grows in a grandmother's heart".  It make me miss both of my grandmothers, the one I never got to know because she passed away just after I was born, and the one I knew who passed away when I was in my early twenties.  And it makes me love the relationship my kids have with my mum.

image grandmother locket necklace quote jewellery jewelry two cheeky monkeys handmade for her

My other locket offering is for those who love miniatures and personalised pieces.  I teamed cute vintage lockets with typewriter key-inspired images to create a darling little ring to hold your favourite person's initial(s).  This ring comes in a choice of upper or lower case letters as well as a choice of black or beige typewriter keys.  So tell me, whose initials would you choose?

image initial locket ring handmade typography two cheeky monkeys monogram

Thursday, 6 October 2016

DIY Beaded Bar Necklace

I was a little shocked to find that it has been nearly three months since I last shared a DIY with my lovely readers, so I have been busily working away on projects to share with all of you.  Today I am sharing a very easy beaded bar necklace project, perfect for adapting to any bead colour or type you love to use.

image beaded bar necklace diy tutorial two cheeky monkeys

- 6 x 7mmx11mm faceted rondelle Czech glass beads
- 15cm length of 18-20 gauge beading wire
- chain (I used 2 x 21cm lengths, but pick a necklace length that you like)
- lobster claw clasp
- 1 x 5mm jump ring
- 1 x 10mm jump ring
- jewellery pliers

image beaded bar necklace diy tutorial two cheeky monkeys
 1. String your beads onto the wire.  Bend one end of the wire at a right angle, approximately 2-3cm from the end.

image beaded bar necklace diy tutorial two cheeky monkeys

2. Using your round-nosed pliers, bend the short end of wire round into a loop.  (You may find it easier to remove the beads when doing this step.)

image beaded bar necklace diy tutorial two cheeky monkeys

3. Hold the loop with the flat nose pliers in one hand, then carefully wrap the short end of the wire around the main length to create a coil.  Snip off any excess wire after wrapping 3-4 times around the main wire.

image beaded bar necklace diy tutorial two cheeky monkeys

4. Push the beads firmly against the coil you just created.  Then repeat steps 1-3 to create a wrapped loop at the other end of your wire, as close as possible to the beads.  Gently press the beads and wire to create the "bar" shape you want: straighten against a ruler to create a traditional bar necklace, or press the middle and then ends to create a gentle curved shape.

image beaded bar necklace diy tutorial two cheeky monkeys

5. Attach one chain to the loop on one side of your beads.  If your chain is unsoldered, you can simply open up a link and attach it to the loop.  If your chain is soldered, you will need small jump rings to attach your beaded bar and chain to each other.

image beaded bar necklace diy tutorial two cheeky monkeys

6. Attach the clasp to the end of one chain with the 5mm jump ring.  Then attach the 10mm jump ring to the other loose chain to create your necklace closure.  Now wear your necklace with pride and feel free to share with me on social media if you make one of these pretties for yourself!

Don't have the skills to make your own? There are a few versions of this necklace in-store, or contact me to commission one in your favourite colours.