Tuesday, 30 December 2014

A Little Break

After a very busy 2014, and an extremely hectic December, the Two Cheeky Monkeys family will be taking a little break to relax and unwind for a week or so.  Although I am leaving both Two Cheeky Monkeys and Domum Vindemia stores open, I will not be mailing out orders until the second week of January 2015.  I will be also taking a little break from blogland, so I want to thank you all again for your support this year and wish you a wonderful and joy-filled New Year!

(Image source: http://bit.ly/1Ac6Y7J)

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Merry Christmas!!!

Wow, I cannot believe that it's almost the end of another year!  I wanted to take the opportunity to wish you all a very blessed Christmas and joyous and peace-filled New Year ahead.
Thank you all for your continued support of my blog and my small handmade businesses - I really appreciate it and am heartened by your words of encouragement!
And finally, I hope you have the time to enjoy Pentatonix's rendition of one of my favourite Christmas songs, O Holy Night.  This song is not only beautiful, but the verses give a simple explanation of the meaning and significance of Christmas.  Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Boo Radley: The Quiet Hero

While Mr Cheeky Monkeys thinks it's a little funny that I am "memorialising" Boo Radley in my literature jewellery pieces, I know that there are plenty of people out there who are fans of Harper Lee's social outcast and unassuming hero.  In fact, so many people admire Boo that I have already sold multiple sets of Boo Radley earrings!

image pocketwatch necklace boo radley to kill a mockingbird harper lee blue navy cobalt lock two cheeky monkeys

So after making the Atticus Finch watch necklace last week, I decided I had to make a Boo Radley one too!  This necklace was inspired by the broken pocketwatch Boo leaves for Jem and Scout in the knothole of a tree on the Radley property.  While the bead choices were made simply because I love to team blue beads with antiqued brass, the heart-shaped lock charm symbolises Boo's kindness and also his tacit incarceration in his own home by his family.

image pocketwatch necklace boo radley to kill a mockingbird harper lee blue navy cobalt lock two cheeky monkeys

I've had so much fun putting together my newest watch necklaces; I'm thinking I will have to make some more!  So which literary character would you like to see embodied in a pocketwatch necklace?  And why?

Monday, 22 December 2014

DIY Christmas Wreath Card

Today I am sharing a quick and simple Christmas card make which I find myself going back to repeatedly for its simplicity and versatility.  This button wreath card is a good project for someone who wants to make up a batch of Christmas cards without spending all year making them.  But shh...don't tell your grandma if you're raiding her button tin!

image diy tutorial button christmas wreath fabric card ribbon bow

Supplies needed
- greeting card blank or cardstock cut to desired size
- cotton or polycotton fabric in a small print
- iron on adhesive/fusible web such as Vliesofix or Heat N Bond
- 10 x 15-20mm buttons to complement the fabric
- 20cm length of 10-15mm wide ribbon to match fabric and buttons
- fabric scissors or rotary cutter
- Teflon ironing sheet or non-stick baking parchment
- hot glue gun and glue sticks
- iron

1. Cut your fabric and fusible web about 1cm wider on each side than the card blank.  Iron fabric to ensure it is crease free.  Iron the fusible web onto the wrong side of the fabric, making sure to use your teflon sheet or baking parchment so that your creation doesn't stick to the iron or the ironing board.

image diy tutorial button christmas wreath fabric card ribbon bow

2. Once cool, remove the backing paper from the fusible web and fuse the fabric to the outside of your card blank.  Allow to cool and then carefully trim off the excess fabric and fusible web.

image diy tutorial button christmas wreath fabric card ribbon bow

3. Arrange the buttons until you are happy with the way your button "wreath" looks.  Attach the buttons to the front of the card with hot glue, then leave to cool.  If you want a more precise circular shape for your wreath, you may like to lightly trace a circle onto the card front in pencil.

image diy tutorial button christmas wreath fabric card ribbon bow lay your buttons out in a circle shape

4. Tie the length of ribbon into a bow, making sure to neaten the ribbon ends.  Glue the ribbon to the bottom of the button wreath and allow to cool.  Hey presto - you now have a cute, handmade card!

image diy tutorial button christmas wreath fabric card ribbon bow

Play around with different designs for the card, such as creating a button Christmas tree or star for the embellishment or using your favourite colour combinations rather than traditional Christmas colours.  

image diy tutorial button christmas wreath fabric card ribbon bow

Friday, 19 December 2014

Handmade Christmas Roundup: Bags

Yes, it's no secret that I am a BIG FAN of bags!!!  So my final Handmade Christmas post is all about bags: totes, purses, messenger bags, you name it!

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Handmade Christmas Roundup: Soft Toys

If you love to make Christmas gifts for little ones, then today's roundup is just for you!  These are some of my favourite free softie/plushie patterns from blogland.  There are sewing patterns, embroidery and crochet too - I think small children are the easiest for gifting handmade.

Felt Scotty Dog - Jenny Allsorts

Embroidered Dolls - Wee Wonderfuls

Squeal, a rainbow unicorn! - Ahooka

Sew a baby dinosaur for a special little one - beloved-ones

Patchwork Elephant - Made By Enginerds

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Handmade Christmas Roundup: Christmas Cards

Today's handmade Christmas roundup is for the avid crafters who love to make Christmas cards for everyone they know!  The projects cover a range of creative styles, from paper folding through to stamping and collaging.

I love craftsy's sweet nativity card.

Who doesn't love a pop up card?

Iris folding is never going to get old for me!

One for the kids to make - a bottlecap card.

Design a winter wonderland card for those wishing for a white Christmas.

Papercutting gives you an elegantly understated card.

An ornament and Christmas card all in one - quilled poinsettia card.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Handmade Christmas Roundup: DIY Jewellery Projects

This week on the blog, I have a series of posts for those of you who have left your Christmas shopping a little late and don't trust your local postal service to get your handmade purchases to you on time.  (Incidentally, I am offering Express Post shipping of Two Cheeky Monkeys and Domum Vindemia items.)  Right, moving along...today's post is a roundup of fun jewellery projects I have found in blogland, with projects for a variety of skill levels.

Stamped metal jewellery is something I want to try soon!

T-shirt bracelets are easy enough for kids to try out.

Chunky polymer clay necklaces are still very on trend this year.

This ring project is another great one for novices.

Create a wrapped quartz bangle for the funky teen or hipster in your life.

Who could resist a gift of a sparkly chain and bead bracelet?

These lapis lazuli earrings are perfect for those who love the geo trend.

Monday, 15 December 2014

The Atticus Fandom Continues

image to kill a mockingbird necklace watch atticus finch brass bronze leaf flower deer woodland two cheeky monkeys

I know there are only ten days till Christmas, but in the midst of all our crazy end of year activities and functions, I have been merrily creating To Kill a Mockingbird pieces.  Crazy, yes, but loads of fun nonetheless.  The latest pieces I'm working on are pocketwatch necklaces, in honour of Atticus' grandfather's watch Jem sometimes carries to school and of the watch left in the knothole by Boo Radley.  I am a big fan of watches on necklaces - what do you think?

image to kill a mockingbird necklace watch atticus finch brass bronze leaf flower deer woodland two cheeky monkeys

Friday, 5 December 2014

More Literature-Inspired Creations

Even though I have been madly preparing for the Kingston Makers Market this week, I have still found some time to re-stock Two Cheeky Monkeys with literary creations.  I'll be bringing all the new pieces along with me to the market, so if you're wanting something for Christmas, speak now before I sell out again!

image literature jewellery cufflinks earrings two cheeky monkeys to kill a mockingbird pride and prejudice jane eyre mr darcy boo radley atticus finch

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Handmade Christmas Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffers and the "Just in Case" Gift

Maybe you're all super organised types who meticulously plan gifts for all and sundry, but I'm sure there are those out there who every year realise, "Oh help, I forgot to get a present for my neighbour/dog walker/boss/coffee buddy/etc."  Or maybe you've bought gifts for all your loved ones but want a little extra something to add to it.  So my final Madeit Christmas gift guide is full of items which are easy to store away in case of a Christmas gift emergency or for use as "stocking stuffers".

Edible gifts are great for bringing along to impromptu Christmas parties.

The usefulness of keyrings cannot be underestimated!

Keep a store of pocket mirrors for fashion conscious acquaintances (or little girls).

Notebooks are another one of those very useful little gifts.

Everyone has at least one foodie acquaintance, right?

Buying a book for someone this Christmas? Team it with a literary bookmark!

Don't just give flowers, give them with a fun vase (or two) too.

Even females with short hair will need cute hairclips every now and then.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Kingston Makers Market

After my rather disastrous return to the Melbourne market scene a few months ago, you would think that I would be running for the hills at the mere mention of markets.  But no, I decided to keep persevering and will be appearing at the Kingston Makers Market this Saturday for the very first time.

image kingston makers market moorabbin saturday 6 december 2014

The Makers Market is held every year at the Kingston City Hall in Moorabbin, a south-eastern suburb of Melbourne.  It is a once a year pre-Christmas twilight market full of good food, great music and lots of handmade stalls selling locally made arts and crafts.  I'll be there with my Two Cheeky Monkeys creations this Saturday, Dec 6th.  So if you're in town, please come along and say hi to me.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Handmade Christmas Gift Guide: Creatives

This is my final week of Handmade Christmas Gift Guide posts, and I am having a ball looking for handmade Christmas gifts!  Today's post is full of fun gifts to give to your creative or wannabe creative friend (or just spoil yourself!).

DIY button hairband kit - little toot creations

Pincushion - Handmade by Plushka

Crochet and knitting stitch markers - Domum Vindemia

Wall calendar kit - AvaDay Creations

Wooden necklace kit - Milbo's