Friday, 31 August 2012

The Two Cheeky Monkeys Spring/Summer Range is Coming!

image kiahla earrings vintage glam it up range two cheeky monkeys jewellery jewelry hyacinth orange montana blue teardrop dangle

Spring officially starts in Australia tomorrow, and we have had some beautiful, albeit windy, days already!  Although I absolutely love Spring, it does usually herald an increase in sniffles and sneezing here at the house of Two Cheeky Monkeys as we all suffer from hayfever to some extent or other.  However, I have been optimistically plugging away at creating my new Spring/Summer range of products for Two Cheeky Monkeys and am hoping to launch the range by mid September at the latest.
image vintage glam it up bracelets Mr Darcy jane austen pride and prejudice two cheeky monkeys jewellery jewelry pink emerald green yellow
As you can see in the sneak peek photos, my Spring/Summer range merges two of my most popular ranges, the vintage Glam it Up and the "Upcycled Classics" ranges.  However, there will be some pieces which are solely an expansion of either of these ranges on its own.  To add a little more excitement to the impending launch (as if it could get any more exciting!), I will be running a giveaway for a pair of the Kiahla earrings (see above) on launch day!  All you have to do is keep an eye on this space and then join in the fun when it all starts.   :)
image vintage glam it up necklace mr darcy jane austen pride and prejudice peridot green siam red jewel

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

My Creative Space

image velvet hair accessories bow tie yoyo suffolk puff lace vintage button forest green
Well, since my family is still taking it in turns to fall ill, I have resorted to working on relatively quick and small projects which can be done while sitting with a sick child.  The bow tie and lacey yoyo above are the two latest hair accessories I have made for my monkeys to wear to school (school colours are red and bottle green).  I used a lovely, old remnant of forest green velvet I found at one of my local op shops.  The fabric was a little hard to work with but my monkeys are pleased with the results.  Actually, the bow tie has got me thinking I will make some asymmetrical bow necklaces for Two Cheeky Monkeys and maybe share a tutorial on the blog too.
image locket necklaces gold-plated beaded Mr Darcy Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice
And speaking of my jewellery store, I have also managed to complete four new Mr Darcy locket necklaces to add to my upcycled book range of accessories.  Each locket has had one "window" inset with a snippet of text from Jane Austen's famous novel which includes the words "Mr Darcy".  I am planning to make more locket necklaces (including some round ones) but I am waiting on my new shipment of necklace chains to arrive before I can do much more.  So this is my "crafting with sickies" creative space.  What have you been making this week?

Friday, 24 August 2012

We're "in the wars" again...and a Free Shipping sale

image Mr Darcy brooch pride and prejudice jane austen pearls sale two cheeky monkeys

As some of you may have already heard, we have had a spate of illness and injury over the last few months with this week being particularly eventful after two family members caught gastroenteritis (which has apparently been spreading rather viciously through our part of Melbourne) and another member injured herself badly enough to need a doctor after foolishly trying to be a daredevil on the playground.  But don't worry, everyone is slowly on the mend, although my pantry is unsually stocked with Powerade energy drinks and loads of white bread, all of which are easy to digest for those with gastro and easy to chew for "little miss injured".
Since I currently haven't got much time to devote to my store or package up orders, I thought I would offer a FREE SHIPPING sale in my Two Cheeky Monkeys stores.  The free shipping discount covers regular shipping costs and is only available on what's instore, and not on custom orders.  To get this discount in my Etsy store, please use the coupon code FREESHIP at checkout.  For those wanting to shop in my Madeit store, leave me the FREESHIP code in the "message to seller" when you make your purchase and I will refund your shipping costs.
image doily bunting vintage domum vindemia sale
For those who love my Domum Vindemia creations, I am also offering free regular shipping on all buntings, doily scarves and cocktail napkins.  Just pop the FREESHIP code into the "message to seller" box at checkout in either my Etsy or Madeit stores and I will refund your shipping on the sale items.  The sale will remain in both stores for the entire weekend, so you can get some early Christmas shopping done!  

Monday, 20 August 2012

Things I Love...Handmade Science

image handmade science genetics chromosomes mug dna art meiosis print cushion necklace tee

You all know by now how much I love anything science-related which I might find in the handmade world.  Well, here are six fun, and clever, genetics-related items I found while browsing through Etsy.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

My Creative Space

image vintage glass jewels glam it up range Two Cheeky Monkeys jewellery earrings

Life has been very busy around here, which seems almost the norm at the moment, so I haven't been creating much.  But my order of vintage glass jewels finally arrived so I have been happily playing with them in my few moments of free time during the day.  They are so delightfully sparkly, just like precious gems, and my photo doesn't do them any justice.  As you can see, I have some earring designs in the works as well as a new ring and some ideas for combining my Glam It Up range with my Pride and Prejudice range of jewellery.  I can't wait to show off my completed jewellery pieces once I have some more free time to finish them!

Monday, 13 August 2012

Things I Love...Peep Toe Shoes

image peep toe shoes heels pumps handmade peacock white bridal wedding purple rhinestone

I know I got into peep toe shoes pretty late in the game, which is kind of strange given that I love shoes so much that my dad dubbed me "Imelda Marcos" when I was a teenager living at home.  But now that I've discovered this very cute and elegant style of shoe, I have been pretty keen to expand its presence in my wardrobe.  Here are just some of my current favourites - are you a fan of peep toes?

1. Peep toe peacock pumps by La Plume Ethere
2.  VZ Soft/Branco by Nina Armando
3. "Cherie" Sling Back Peep Toe by Yves Bella Brides
4. Prince by Nude Footwear

Friday, 10 August 2012

Hamilton Island and THE Playground

For those of you who remember this post about my holiday to the Northern Territory of Australia two years ago, I couldn't resist writing another blog post about playgrounds I encountered on my holidays.  Although I am normally loath to "waste" precious holiday sightseeing time with jaunts at playgrounds, I was actually quite pleased to find the only public playground on Hamilton Island (as far as I know, all the other playgrounds belong to the tiny local school and kindergarten or the childcare centre).  We had arrived on the island that morning, the weather was colder and wetter than we were expecting and we still had at least an hour before we could check into our holiday accomodation.  So what better way to distract the cheeky monkeys from moaning about the miserable Queensland weather than to set them loose at the local playground?!

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Thank You!!!

image jewellery jewelry strawberries and cream multistrand bracelet czech glass pearls lace two cheeky monkeys

I was so excited yesterday to discover that I had made my 200th sale in my Two Cheeky Monkeys Etsy store and was extremely close to reaching 100 sales in my Madeit store.  This has been a milestone which has taken me quite some time to reach and I want to thank all of my customers and supporters for encouraging me every step of my tumultuous journey from research scientist to mother and handmade small business owner!  In celebration of reaching this relatively small, but significant, milestone I am having a sale in both of my Two Cheeky Monkeys stores.  The discount is already in place in my Madeit store, but those wishing to shop in my Etsy store will have to use the coupon code JUBILEE at checkout to receive your discount. 
I should also thank all of my customers for helping me to support the aid organisation TEAR Australia, since a portion of profits from every sale have gone to support TEAR's work with the underprivileged in developing nations.  I have been so blessed by God with all the things I have in my life, and I do feel that I should use what I have to help those in need.  This year I am also considering supporting the Australian Cancer Council, but more of that in another blog post.  In the mean time, THANK YOU again.   :)

Monday, 6 August 2012

Things I Love

image ivyndell peacock feather bouquet purple green blue

I have long been an admirer of the amazing peacock feather so I am always on the lookout for fantastic creations using these beautiful feathers.  And when I found Ivyndell, I just about drooled over all of their gorgeous feather creations!  Their focus is on feathery creations for weddings, including bouquets, accessories and centrepieces, and they even have a peacock feather tablecloth available for order!!!  What do you think?  Do you love peacock feather creations too?

Friday, 3 August 2012

Hamilton Island Water Sports or "Ways to scare my children"

The two cheeky monkeys getting ready to snorkel around Hardy Reef.

I have been meaning to include a few blog posts about our recent trip to Hamilton Island, so here is the first post in my Hamilton Island series (I hope you'll all indulge me in my spot of holiday nostalgia).  Today's post is dedicated to our attempts to engage the two cheeky monkeys in the various water sports available on or around Hamilton Island.  The monkeys both love the water, regularly attending swimming lessons as well as constantly asking to play at the beach when the weather is warmer.  Soooo, we thought that they might enjoy something a little different, such as snorkelling around the Great Barrier Reef.

A view of staghorn coral from the bottom of our semi-submersible boat.

I have to admit that their first introduction to snorkelling, snorkelling lessons in the main resort pool, was not a resounding success.  This was mostly due to the fact that swimming pools do not appear to be heated in the tropics but do not build up enough warmth to avoid feeling like an ice bath!  (I have yet to find a heated, outdoor pool when travelling in the tropics).  The monkeys' second (and perhaps last) attempt at snorkelling was not much better than their first because being thrown into open ocean with live fish, coral, dozens of other snorkellers and a photographer trying to take your photo is not an enjoyable experience after a 1.5 hour (or so) sea sickness-inducing catamaran ride.

Waiting for daddy to push the kayak out to sea.

Undeterred by our miserable attempts at snorkelling, we decided to try sea kayaking, which was provided "free" as part of our accomodation package.  This too, did not start well with monkey #1 and I being washed overboard by a large-ish wave as we were pushing off the beach (we were completely safe in our life jackets and the shallow water).  After the oldest monkey was calmed down, she went off paddling with her dad while I took monkey #2 out with me.  I have to admit that, although I enjoy canoeing and kayaking on lakes, kayaking out on the "open sea" with a small child was truly a SCARY experience for me.  Both monkeys enjoyed the kayaking MUCH better when they went with Mr Cheeky Monkeys as opposed to kayaking with their nervous nelly mum (yes, I am a complete wuss).
Needless to say, the monkeys spent most of our holiday preferring to paddle at the ocean's edge, build sand castles or dipping their toes in the various COLD swimming pools around Hamilton Island.  But I am hopeful that when they are a little older (say in their tweens or teens), they will be able to more fully enjoy the various watersports to which they were I mean "introduced", by their well-meaning, but misguided, parents!

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

My Creative Space

image domum vindemia cupcake stands upcycled bone china glass platters two cheeky monkey repurposed dictionary art prints butterflies crowns seashells

I am still slowly getting back into the routine of normal life, with a few minor dramas along the way (i.e. being worried sick about sick children).  But I did work on a few creations which have been waiting patiently on my "to do" list.  I have had fun working on new dictionary print designs, and would love some feedback on my most recent creations as well as other images you would like to see in print.  So what do you think?

1. Siobahn stand
2.  Sara stand (there are four of these)