Monday, 31 August 2015

Literature Brooch Giveaway

image win a two cheeky monkeys literature brooch

It was with some surprise that I realised I have been working on my little newsletter for two years now!  I enjoy putting together my monthly newsletter and seeing what content and which links my faithful readers love the most.  To celebrate two years of writing, I am giving one subscriber the chance to win a custom literature brooch created with their choice of literary character and bead dangle.

Details: This giveaway is open worldwide and ends on September 16th 2015.  A winner will be chosen via random.org.  To enter, please fill in the Rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, 28 August 2015

Colouring Book Roundup

Yes, oh yes, I am so enamoured of my new colouring book that I put together a wishlist roundup of my current favourites.  Some of these are available commercially, whilst others are available only through the illustrator's Etsy store.  Which one(s) would you pick?

image colouring books for adults etsy illustrated coloring

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

A musical custom order

I was recently contacted by an old acquaintance, whom I hadn't seen in several years, with a fun request for help regarding thank you gifts.  One of her sons was retiring from his children's choir, now that he has hit puberty and is gaining his "man voice", and she wanted a little something to give each choirmaster responsible for training and mentoring him.

image musical cufflinks and pendants bass clef treble clef jewellery accessories two cheeky monkeys cuff link set necklace pendants

She very quickly settled on commissioning my newest cufflink style, the treble and bass clef set, for the male choir leaders.  After much discussion, it was finally decided that I would make treble clef pendants for the female teachers, which my friend would then add onto plain silver necklaces she had purchased (I am unfortunately still awaiting new necklace supplies).  I love the quirky nature of these music-themed creations, and I hope the choirmasters/mistresses feel suitably thanked by their gifts!

Monday, 24 August 2015

Helping those in need

Just a little update today for all of my faithful customers and supporters.  As you know, ten percent of Two Cheeky Monkeys and Domum Vindemia profits each year go to helping aid and advocacy organisations working to help the poor and oppressed.  Thanks to your support and custom, this last financial year I have so far managed to support two Barnabas Aid projects.

flooding in myanmar burma

These two projects are quite different from each other; the first project is currently sending emergency relief to those affected by the severe flooding which hit Myanmar in June and July, while the second project is currently providing food parcels for Syrian refugees fleeing the heinous atrocities being committed by the Islamic State radicals.

syrian refugees

Thanks to you, heartbroken and destitute men, women and children will receive the financial help they so desperately need at this time.  To see how your custom has helped to support charity work over the years, and continues to do so while our business doors remain open, I have set up a new "charity" page on this blog.  Thank you again.

Friday, 21 August 2015

Re-visiting childhood - colouring book fun

The two cheeky monkeys and I are big fans of colouring in and I even have my set of Derwent colour pencils which my parents gave me for Christmas twenty years ago!  Needless to say, the rise in gorgeous intricate, hand-illustrated colouring books for adults has been on my radar for some time.  But I have studiously ignored it in the attempt to reign in my crafting/creative budget!

image secret garden colouring book johanna basford

However, after a recent book sale, I finally caved and rewarded myself with a copy of Johanna Basford's Secret Garden.  It is full of beautiful floral and entomological illustrations, and I have had fun slowly colouring in each little flower, leaf or insect (while madly trying to keep the little cheeky monkeys away from my book).  So tell me, are you a fan of this new craze for "adult" colouring books (both of the handmade and big budget variety)?

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

A new crochet blanket in the works

Yes, I am working on a new crochet blanket!  And yes, yes, yes, I know, I only finally finished the blanket I started in August last year.  But that one has made periodic disappearances into the Cheeky Monkeys' bedrooms and play areas, so I have decided to work on a new blanket.

image crazy granny square circle in square crochet

This blanket will actually have a moderately planned colour scheme - shades of green, blue and purple.  I settled on making squares with the Crazy Granny Square pattern which I have admired for it's simplicity and fun design since I first learned to crochet.  Once all the squares are completed, I plan on "unifying" the squares with a round of neutral colour (grey, I think) and then joining them using the join as you go method.  Do you have a favourite granny square pattern?

Monday, 17 August 2015

Spinner Pendants: Something For Both Sides of Us

image spinner pendant necklace vintage cameo orange cream carnelian lady man couple two cheeky monkeys pride and prejudice jane austen double-sided

If you remember to a post at the end of July, you'll know I have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of some jewellery supplies.  That was because I have been dying to finish making this vintage-looking spinner pendant for all my vintage jewellery and literature fans.  And I think it has definitely been worth the wait!

image spinner pendant necklace vintage cameo orange cream carnelian lady man couple two cheeky monkeys pride and prejudice jane austen double-sided mr darcy

This new literature necklace is now finally completed and ready to grace the necks of Mr Darcy admirers the world over!  On one side, the spinner features a delightfully vintage cameo of an embracing couple.  On the other, I have inset a snippet of Pride and Prejudice with Mr Darcy's name.  Of course, I can make up the spinner pendants in other character names should you wish.  Which character would you wear?

Friday, 14 August 2015

Bag Tutorial Roundup

It is probably abundantly apparent to my faithful readers that I am a BIG FAN of all things bags, purses and totes.  Having been inspired by the completion of my supergirl clutch, I am in the throes of finishing off a long-abandoned handbag project as well as researching new bag projects.  So today I have a roundup of great tutorials I have found in blogland, most of which I am hoping to work on in the coming months - enjoy!

image bag tutorial roundup purse tote handbag

1. The love basket by U-handbag
2. Blossom bag by Amy Butler
3. Little Betty bag by The Mother Huddle
4. Fold up tote by zaaberry
5. Double snap frame purse by guthrie & ghani
6. Bella clutch by Clover and Violet

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Superladies to the rescue!

I have been in love with Camelot Fabrics' "Girl Power" fabric line for some time now, and this week (while recovering from a bad sinus/cold lurgy) I finally got my wish to play with this fun fabric.  I decided to make a large-ish purse/clutch using the kisslock frame I purchased from Tomato on our recent trip to Japan, because I have always had a thing for kisslock purses.

image two cheeky monkeys girl power kisslock frame purse clutch batgirl superwoman supergirl wonder woman camelot fabrics

Now if you remember all the way back to this post about my first attempt at making a kisslock frame purse, you will remember that I was pretty nervous about it and had a few struggles with tricky steps.  Being older, wiser and more experienced now, I thought this wouldn't be a problem.  But guess what?  I still had some trouble with sewing the part of the purse where the frame hinge sits!  I also had trouble getting my purse into that frame without getting glue all over everything or getting high on the glue fumes!

image two cheeky monkeys girl power kisslock frame purse clutch batgirl superwoman supergirl wonder woman camelot fabrics

However, I managed it all and I am pretty happy with my results.  Perhaps using the grey colourway of the fabric as the purse lining is a bit much (it was a freebie from my supplier) teamed with the teal colourway as the outer, but having grown up with parents who loved superheroes (especially my dad!), sometimes more is more.  I am currently debating whether I want to sew a wristlet strap for this purse too.  I might have to use it a few times before I decide - what do you think?

Monday, 10 August 2015

Prepping for picnic weather

Although we still have three more weeks (at least) of cold and miserable winter weather to endure here in Melbourne, I know that many around the world are enjoying the last of their summer picnics whilst the rest of us anticipate the coming picnic weather.  So I have again been re-stocking the fabric napkin sets in Domum Vindemia, this time with one design which is rather different from my usual vintage chic look.

image domum vindemia fabric cocktail napkin set la vie en rose paris france cream beige red rose bloom arc de triomphe eiffel tower shabby chic vintage style

Firstly, the Floral Paris design has been so popular that I decided to create it in another colourway, red and cream.  I think I like this colourway even more than the original purple and pale blue, and I'm hoping that my customers like it too!

image fabric cocktail napkin set domum vindemia peacock teal green blue gold turquoise pastel

I have also finally achieved my dream of adding a peacock-themed set of napkins to the store.  Peacocks are one of my favourite, if not my favourite, birds and the vintage-style fabric I found makes for some glorious-looking napkins.

image domum vindemia fabric cocktail napkin set daleks dr who rainbow multicoloured grey white black

And finally, this set had Mr Cheeky Monkeys crooning with delight - daleks!  Perfect for any Dr Who fan, the colour scheme of this set makes them suitable for both male and female fans of the enigmatic Doctor.  So which new set of napkins is your favourite?

Friday, 7 August 2015

Musical Creations

image two cheeky monkeys men's cufflinks sheet music treble clef bass clef cuff links vintage

While the two cheeky monkeys were preparing for their annual piano recital last week, I was inspired to expand on my range of music-themed creations for Two Cheeky Monkeys and Domum Vindemia.  The first is a set of asymmetrical musical clef cufflinks perfect for your favourite musician or rockstar wannabe.  Customers who prefer a symmetrical look can choose to have two treble clef or two bass clef links made for them instead.

image music themed book clip bookmark domum vindemia musician music teacher appreciation gift thank you treble clef bass clef

The other item I managed to make (before catching the monkeys' rhinitis germs) was a book clip featuring both a treble and a bass clef.  This piece was made with the monkeys' piano teacher in mind, and I think the prototype bookmark will go to her as an end of year thank you gift later this year.  What do you think?  Which creation do you prefer?  And who would you give them to???

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Kindred Spirits

I was recently commissioned to create two pairs of earrings (aka crochet/knitting stitch markers) celebrating kindred spirits and bosom friends, Anne Shirley and Diana Barry.  I had fun creating these earrings, as well as re-reading some of my favourite parts of Anne of Green Gables (while alternately laughing and crying at the funny and sad parts).

image domum vindemia anne of green gables earrings stitch markers crochet knitting lm montgomery diana barry anne shirley kindred spirits

Of course, I am also really loving the fact that my customers are happy to think outside the box with me.  My stitch marker sets were originally inspired by the fact that I often used my hoop earrings as crochet stitch markers because I didn't have any "regular" stitch markers on hand!  So it's great to see that customers are embracing them as both earrings and quirky crochet/knitting supplies.  So what do you think - would you use these as earrings or as stitch markers?  Or would you do both?

Monday, 3 August 2015

A Two Cheeky Monkeys Clearance

image romeo and juliet bracelet two cheeky monkeys glam it up emerald green shakespeare

It's that time of year again when I realise that I am running out of space for all the new ranges I have envisioned for the year.  Which means that some stock clearing must happen, and that means plenty of bargains for my customers!  I am selling off for a song, the last remaning creations from older ranges of jewellery and accessories.

image two cheeky monkeys sterling silver and vintage glass jewel earrings glam it up aquamarine blue turquoise dangly hollywood estate style

Some of these pieces will never be created again, others are the older versions of ever popular ranges.  And to sweeten the deal further, I am also offering flat rate shipping for all purchases made from the stock clearance album.  Which means that this is the perfect time to do some Christmas and "just because" shopping!
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