Thursday, November 17, 2005


As you may or may not have noticed, all my pictures are gone. Or to be more exact, all my pictures are there but the site they are hosted at is gone :( I dont know why it happened but I am trying to get it fixed atm, so please stay tuned and hopefully we will return to your regularly scheduled blog shortly...

Thursday, November 10, 2005

I'm melting! ....melting!

Its been far too hot lately to do much crafting - sweltering, melting, sticky hot and its not even properly summer yet! I keep getting sunburnt on one side driving to and from work, Im going to end up with a super brown 'driving arm' by the end of the summer. I did manage to get an elephant done for Ammi this week, and if the storm comes through as its meant to tonight and cools things down a bit, I will start on a lizard or maybe a crocodile.

So in lieu of my own pics, I thought I might share some inspirational pics of things that I like and that I would like to do:

Jenny's sunroom is beautiful, I cant wait to have our own home to decorate and fill with lovely things like this (I am drooling over these bookshelves!!) After years of renting, the first thing I want to do when I get my own house is to paint the walls whatever colour I like - no more rental beige for me!!

Bree's house at Universal Studios, from when I went to LA in May.
The tour we were on thought I
was a lunatic because I nearly
passed out when we went to the set of Desperate Housewives. I
made them stop at every single house so I could take a picture!! *lol*

Speaking of houses, I am also in love with the houses of Wisteria Lane, the crisp white trims, bright colours and perfect lawns (I think its called 'colonial revival' style, but I could be wrong?) My ultimate dream would be to have a nice house in Balmain, with a bulldog in the backyard and a frangipani tree.

I also dig the bead rings currently on Craftapalooza, I have so many beads that would be perfect on a ring like this - the ones that are tricky to incorporate into a necklace or individual ones that cant be made into earrings, but are too special and beautiful to waste. I will have to investigate where to get the 'ring' part itself, and experiment with how to actually put them together (I think hers are wired, but then how to attach to the base?)

The log cabin pillows
A Bird in the Hand has been making lately are to die for!! I have been thinking about attempting quiting for the first time, but I dont want it to be too 'cottagey'. I think these babies fit the bill! I will have to build up my fabric collection some more first, then any advice from accomplished quilters as to where to start on a project like this would be gladly accepted!! :)

Bella Dia's pincushions are always inspirational, and the 'quilt' set are certainly no exception. These are so simple, yet so so beautiful.

Ana Ventura's scrap paper dolls are the most gorgeous combination of art and craft. It amazes me how much depth and personality these (literally!) 2-dimensional characters have. Her christmas and whale mobiles are also faves.

Monday, November 07, 2005

The Secret Revealed!

Nics 20th birthday present, all wrapped up. I love this box - $4 from The Reject Shop, and theres a whole set of different ones in different sizes and colours too! The ribbon was from there also ($2), Corn has already taken all the beads off and added them to her collection :) And whats inside...?

Ta da!! A small Sock Dog, Sportsgirl chunky beady necklace inside a handmade paper box made from a printed
vintage wallpaper pattern, and of course what every girl needs, Jelly Belly jellybeans!

So the TOP SECRET project is finally revealed! I am very pleased with how this little guy turned out, I think he has a nice look about him. He is a pair of gray baby socks (about size 2-5), and is my first foray into canine sock creatures. He literally has a button nose! *lol*

He's very obedient and can sit on command. He was sitting ready in the box for her to open - as I was wrapping it up, Lak kept saying "He's not a dog ON a tucker box, he's a dog IN a tucker box!" and thinking it was hilarious (I had a chuckle I must admit).

Gratuitous butt shot - this was mainly to jazz him up a bit, since he was made from a plain pair of socks. I wanted to make some felt spots for him but I was worried he might end up looking like he had some sort of skin disease, or possibly looking like a cow. So he got sequins and a heart on his bum instead. Now that I think about it, he kind of resembles a Care Bear! And speaking a things from my childhood, how exciting is this?? Muppets + reality TV = Danielle heaven :)

I wasnt one of the 3 winners in Penelope's drawing competition, but the ones that did win were excellent, so Im not too sad. Lori Joy Smith's one really sums it up I think - "Cackle" is a witch in one word *lol*

Lori Joy Smith's 'Draw a Witch' submission

I am trying to figure out how to get to Adelaide to have a sticky beak at the Morphe exhibition in December. I cant really take time off work at that time of year for us to drive there, and I think that flights would be quite expensive near Christmas as well. Argh, Adelaide - so close, yet so far away!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Let there be craft!

A proper crafty post was well overdue, so here is the camel for Ammi I had mentioned in an earlier post. His humps are not quite even, but he turned out pretty good I think. He is from the Felt Mascots book again, everything in that book is so gorgeous and easy to make! I really need to knuckle down and get into these christmas pressies - I need to do 6 more for Ammi, then I was going to make little things for everyone at work which is another 8 people.

I love these felt ornaments (via Creature Comforts), I wonder if I could make something like these myself? There might not be enough time though - I dont want anyone to panic, but there are less than 8 WEEKS until Christmas!! Argh!!

My shelf, my self

Im hesitant about making a proper profile in Blogger - I know its a bit strange to write down happenings in my life, my crafts and my thoughts in these posts and not just give a brief overview of myself in a profile section, but I just feel a bit 'safer' somehow that way. Maybe thats just me. Anyways, after my earlier post regarding arranging things by colour, I rearranged the bookshelf in my bedroom. I have more books than this in various places around the house (the coffee table, another smaller shelf for big hardcovers, text and work books in the study...), but the majority of my novels are on this shelf. So I was looking at my bookshelf last night and I thought how much the books and objects on this shelf show the type of people Lak and I are. So as an indirect profile, here is an overview of my shelf/myself.

I will pick out special things that say something about me and my life, although now that I look at it there are so many meaningful things on this little bookshelf that this could end up being a really long post! :) So if you'll bear with me, Ill explain things from the top down, left to right:

  • Out my bedroom window there is a view to Wollongong Harbour and around to South Beach. I love my little apartment, the only thing I would change would be for it to be in Sydney instead of Wollongong!
  • My lemon box, which I want to give as a special gift but secretly I dont want to part with
  • A photo of my best friend Pete and I on her wedding day, in the frame she gave me for my 21st birthday
  • A chinese seal/stamp kit given to me by our amazing friend Mimi
  • The sock monkeys Winston and Benjamin
  • Collection of Dan Brown books. I read the Da Vinci Code from cover to cover in 2 days - it is a fantastic book. I love ancient mysteries, secret passages and clever puzzles.
  • (Purple section) Backyard Blitz book, one of my favourite shows. Im a sucker for makeover shows of any kind (Queer Eye, Changing Rooms, What Not to Wear...)
  • (White section) Stack of books all written by Oliver Sacks. When I was at school, my aim in life was to be either a neurologist or a graphic designer, and I ended up a graphic designer. I had grand plans to study at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York where Oliver Sacks teaches. I still wonder what my life would be like now if I had taken that path - I might not have met Lak, I might be still living overseas, I might have been hurt in 9/11, so many things could be completely different. Im definitely happy where I have ended up though.
  • On top of the stack of Oliver Sacks books is the princess crown Lak got for me to wear at my birthday/ New Years Eve last year at Cockle Bay Wharf on Darling Harbour. He also got me a pavlova cake, my favourite.
  • Next to the crown is a kiwi I got Lak on my first overseas business trip to New Zealand
  • Semipermanent 2003 book, from the graphic design conference. Conferences like Semipermanent confound me - the speakers are always amazingly inspiring and down to earth, but the attendees are all a uber-trendy and aloof.
  • 'When Dining With Tigers' book, written by our friend Brad's dad, Frank Chan Loh
  • Lak's 'Guiness Book of Cricket Facts & Figures'. He's Sri Lankan, so he's all about cricket.
  • (Yellow section) Small chicken, on top of 'The Beach' by Alex Garland - this book is concrete proof that the book is always better than the movie, its one of the best books Ive read. I bought it second hand for about $2.
  • 'Design Literacy' by Steven Heller, the bible for graphic designers
  • Lak's 'Guiness Book of World Records' 2005 (theres also an earlier one in the green section). Lak loves trivia, this is about the only book he reads from cover to cover.
  • (Black section) Englebert the crow, next to 'No Logo' by Naomi Klein, a highly interesting read on its own, and particularly relevant for designers
  • (Blue section) Lak's thesis on MPEG4, and a few books over, 'More Than A Hero' by Hana Ali which Lak loves to read (he's a huge Muhammad Ali fan)
  • Gus the crochet elephant, just near Stitch. It sounds a bit crazy (philosophy from a cartoon character?), but we love Stitch's idea of ohana, and I try to keep a hold of that idea when things with my family are not 100%.
  • (Green section) The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. Ive always loved english and writing. I studied the Sonnets at school for english, as well as making a set of postcards based on them for my art major project.
  • And finally, to the right of the shelf, The Monkey. I got him for Lak for Valentines Day because whenever I ask him what he would like for a present, he says without hesitation "Monkey." So now he has one :)

Monday, October 31, 2005

Blythe Discovery

My TOP SECRET present went over a treat on the weekend, so I can now tell you what it was - it was my first ever Sock Dog for Nic's 20th! She loved it, so Im very pleased :) I will upload pics over the next couple o days (I know I keep saying that, but I promise I will!!)

The beautiful Corabel from the Noellie forum

I have been noticing around craft blog land that there are a number of crafty types interested in Blythe dolls. I remember playing with a blonde one of these strange blinky dolls at my Nanny's house when I was young, which means she has an original 1970's Blythe doll packed away somewhere since Nanny never throws anything useful away. After a little bit of research, I learnt that the original dolls were only made for a year (1972) and hence were quite rare and collectable, which I was telling Nanny yesterday at Nic's party. So this morning I thought I might do a quick eBay search and see just how much these babies are worth, and I almost passed out at the prices! Fair condition 1972 dolls are selling at around $1000AUD, and mint condition ones are apparently worth around $3500AUD!! Wow!! I dont know if Nanny would ever sell her, but its always amazing to find out that something you just happen to have is worth a lot of money. I feel like Im on an Antiques Roadshow episode! :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Sssshhh.... its a secret!

No crafty post just yet - I have been doing some pretty heavy crafting these past couple o days but its TOP SECRET!! ;) Lets just say its someone's birthday on Sunday, and without giving too much away, Im making some things I think she will enjoy very much...

On an entirely different and not top secret topic, I love clever decorating!! I saw this sort of colour-coding in a magazine a while ago and was considering giving it a go, and after seeing the idea again
here (and executed so beautifully!) and over here (a whole book store!!) and given my OCD-esque tendancy to arrange everything, I think I will definitely try it. I am a little bit worried about my different sized books - ranging from giant graphic design ones to postcard books that are, well, postcard sized - but we'll see how it turns out!

The Queen Victoria Building Tea Room

I went out with my darling friends Emma and Pete on the weekend, and after scouring the city we finally found me some beautiful 21st birthday shoes :) Yep, my 21st pressie is almost 3 years late now, but better late than never right?? ;) We had a wonderful afternoon tea at the QVB Tea Room, which is really what I wanted to do - just the girls, a good chat and a nice cuppa. I had the most lovely vanilla tea and many tiny, tiny cakes. Yum!!

On a geeky note, inspired by what Jess needs at Fig and Jam
I let the all-knowing Google tell me what I truly need, and this is what it said:

Danielle needs to go there periodically
Danielle needs to let the Social Security Administration know.
Danielle needs some advice about IUI pregnancy please!
Danielle needs to win this because it would be a great confidence booster for her
Danielle needs new sequencing with her putting
Danielle needs to retire
Danielle - Needs a room to rent, Female.
Danielle needs to receive this within two weeks of your event!
Danielle needs to find out about using the wireless network at Uni.
Danielle needs to feel that she's safe at all times and could be located in a real emergency.
Danielle needs more than nine hours to paint a room.
Danielle needs another bath

I love it!! I would say 2/3 of these are actually correct! Ha! Now you just need to guess which ones... ;) Speaking of Google being all-knowing, I dig this latest Google trick: type in "Miserable Failure" as a search and click "I'm Feeling Lucky". Its top result certainly made me chuckle :)

Friday, October 21, 2005

Arty/Crafty/Geeky Me

I have finished my submission for Penelope's 'Draw a Witch' competition, and I am quite happy with how it turned out. Its a bit of a different interpretation of the topic - Id like to think this idea came from me being exceptionally witty, but really its just because the first thing that popped into my head on the topic 'witch' is the witch hazel face wash I use each morning!! :) I am very excited that all the participants get some of her beautiful postcards, they will be fab as part of my collection.

In crafty news, I have started work on the animal magnets Ammi has asked me to make for her friends for Christmas. So far the only one I have finished is a rather cute camel (pics on the way!), but there will be 6 more creatures to see soon. As a bit of a catch up, other recently completed projects include the strawberry box (including embroidered strawberries on the annoyingly-difficult-to-stick-straight-and-not-as-nice-as-the-lemon-fabric plaid material):

Monkey/Bear creature (meant to be a monkey, hence the tail, but ended up more bear):

and Elephant purse:

And, showing my true geek heritage, this week I finally succumbed to temptation and bought a Nintendo DS and Nintendogs. I know, Im a professional woman in my 20s, I shouldnt really be playing games like this - but they're just so damn cute!! While I am a bit disappointed there is no British Bulldog in any of the Nintendogs series, I still have the most gorgeous Golden Retriever called Rufus going at the moment. He's very good at catching the blue frisbee and is getting quite obedient *grins proudly*

When I was at the E3 conference earlier in the year, industry types were rather critical of Nintendo's strategy/games/hardware, especially with Microsoft and Sony pulling out their beefy next-gen consoles, but I always thought Nintendo were much smarter and more innovative than they are given credit for. Games like this really drive home how well Nintendo knows its audience, and how fantastic they are at making a simple concept into a super fun game - which, when you think about it, is what gaming is all about! Id much rather look after an adorable puppy than play some boring, annually rehashed EA sports game, wouldn't you? If the 'girl gamer' dollar is the holy grail of the gaming industry, I think Nintendo have it in the bag with this one :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


I made crochet creatures!! It is super exciting!! After my first attempt at the mouse last week (below), I spent Sunday watching the cricket and making the above little guy from the
roxycraft elephant pattern. His body is a bit long and skinny, his trunk is not really in proportion, and one ear is a bit wrinkly, but I think he at least vaguely resembles an elephant so Im very proud :) Lak has named him Gus, as in 'snuffleupagus'.

The original crochet animal attempt mouse. He actually has a pointy little snout, its a bit tricky to see. Im wondering if he is actually inside out - there seems to be a 'knit' looking side and a 'stripey' looking side to crochet, and this guy is stripy side out, which he probably shouldnt be. Oh well, mice are stripey, right...??

In other news:
I know, I know, Im obsessed with reality TV - but James went from Australian Idol, which is a bit sad. He wasn't that good a singer, but he was a couple of years below me when I was in high school so it was nice to see a fellow Inaburrian on teeves. Now we just need to get rid of the rest of the boys and we will actually have some talented finalists!! Harsh, I know, but boring punk-pop Lee absolutely CRUCIFIED Eye of the Tiger and got a touchdown for it (!!), so I am becoming a bit disillusioned with the whole thing. Go Emily!!

Friday, October 14, 2005

Louis Vuitton is da bomb!

This week has been a wonderful week of overseas presents and parcels. My best friend Pete bought me a wonderful Louis Vuitton Alma bag from her recent trip overseas, which I am very excited about (my old Multicoloure Pouchette is almost dead from taking it absolutely everywhere!) Thanks Pete!! :) xxx

And what I am also very excited about is Lak picking up my new Japanese craft book from the Post Office today!! It has been over a month since I ordered it from, so I am very glad it has finally arrived. It actually arrived earlier in the week and they left the pick up notice for us to go to the local post office to get it. So because I don't work nearby, the wonderful/helpful/amazing Lak manages to find some time in his horrendously full schedule to go there to get it, and the post office guy tells him its not there, he can't track it, and basically that he doesn't care. Even though the notice clearly said it would be at that post office. Bad service makes me very cranky. But luckily a new notice arrived yesterday to tell us it was actually at the larger, more helpful post office in town, so Im super relieved its not lost somewhere in the postal system. I cant wait to look through it tonight and make some of these guys:

And speaking of Japanese craft, I am SUPER excited that my
earlier creatures are now on the Crafting Japanese website!! I really love all the different books and projects everyone on there makes, so I am honoured to be on there myself :) Hopefully I will have some new projects to submit now that I have my new book!! (I have just realised Crafting Japanese wasn't listed in my favourites on the right, when it really is one of my favourite favourites!! doh! Will fix that now...)

Crochet Update: Thanks to the lovely ladies and lads over at the crochet forum, I have figured out that what I thought was a Single Crochet stitch is actually a slip stitch, which explains why my original sphere turned out much tinier than I expected. So I made a new sphere using a proper stitch, which was much easier than slip stiching the whole thing and it turned out fairly good. I attached it to my earlier attempts at crochet in the round (ie small circles of pure frustration), and voila! I had made a mouse. Its not the most fab thing I have ever made, but after only 1 week of crochet (half of that doing the wrong stitch!) its not too bad. I will put it up on here once I take a pic! :)

Proud Sister Update: My littlest sister Kate (aka Corn) has decided to start her own crafty blog to document her school holiday crafting, which is fantastic! She is only 11, but she is super creative and is starting to get really good at stitching neatly. There are no pics yet, but stay tuned! :) Love ya Corn! xxxx

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Crochet Crusade

I asked my mum to teach me how to crochet last weekend because I am dying to make some amigurumi creatures. I have been practising dilgently all week, and have discovered that I am far better at going in circles than I am doing straight rows (I cant help but knit when doing straight rows, so all my stiches end up on my hook! lol!!) My circular crochet tendancies are so strong that last night I completed a sphere, which is particularly exciting because it means I successfully increased/decreased stiches, and because amigurumi creatures appear to mainly be spheres and cylinder shapes!! :) So my crochet plan is this:

1. Progress from tiny green sphere to Small Animal, such as these

2. Work my way from Small Animal to slightly more complicated Small Creature like this

3. Evolve to Large Creature like a bunny or a monkey

4. And then eventually create my own Large Complicated Creature, like these

Thats the long term plan anyways, we'll see how we go!!

Friday, October 07, 2005

How do you catch a crow?

Lak has the most wonderful story about a crow: When he was little (about 3 or 4) in Sri Lanka, he wanted to capture a crow that he had noticed hopping near their kitchen door. So he set up a box held up with a stick for a trap, ran a piece of string from the stick to the kitchen door, and as bait he put in the trap ... an egg. I love it - the simple logic of small people is fantastic, it makes a strange kind of sense to lure a bird with an egg. Despite his ingenious effort, he didnt capture the crow, so I decided to make him one of his very own on my SWB* day with Mum and Kate on Monday. Lak has named it Englebert.

DELAKS Trivia for the craftsters: Hardcore crafting is known in our family as "SWB", meaning "Secret Womens Business" - ie. us girls surrounded by fabric and sequins and ribbons, and my dad trying to avoid the whole thing!

Feeling Fruity

To go with my retro sewing basket, I really wanted a funky pincushion, and Bella Dia's strawberry one is absolutely amazing. I must admit I tried my own version, which is nowhere near as beautful as Bella Dia's, but it does do the job of holding my needles & pins, plus it was a good exercise in making something from scratch without a pattern:

So the pincushion got me thinking - if I can freestyle a strawberry, what other fruits can I make? And the inspiration struck me whilst investigating the 'Inspiring Images from Craftbooks' Flickr pool and I saw this round lemon box...

I thought "By Jeeves, Citrus!!' Which lead to my own lemon box, including 3D lemon wedge!

I have a strawberry one of these little boxes in the works now too, and I think I may make a series with things like watermelon and kiwifruit. Then, when I get better at it, I might try something really tricky like this ;)

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Sweet Suzie McNeil

Kate made her First Holy Communion recently, so I made her a monkey in honour of the occasion. She was beautiful on the day, very respectful, and she did magnificently. I am so proud of her :) This one is made out of the smallest baby socks I could find, and so went through a distinctly egg-like stage when its body/legs were stuffed but before it had arms and a face, which was rather cute. This was also my first attempt at monkey clothing, which turned out pretty good I think (theres even a "tail hole" in the back of the jumpsuit which makes me chuckle). Kate has since sewed this little guy a spunky little yellow sunhat which Ill have to try and get a pic of to put on here.

Kate named her Sweet Suzie McNeil in honour of her favourite Rockstar INXS contestant. Pardon my reality TV obsession ranting for a minute, but I just have to say that after watching the whole series again on the Rockstar Marathon on Monday and hearing the new INXS song on the radio, I am a bit disappointed that JD won. He was a painful brat the entire time, and had this bizarre habit of claiming that he desperately wanted to be the new INXS singer but then not actually doing what they asked him to do. Hrm. Suzie blew everyone else out of the water with her Bohemian Rhapsody, I dug Mig's version of Baby I Love Your Way (plus he's Aussie!!), and Jordis' Knockin On Heavens Door was awesome... and JD just postured about and made everyone else cranky. As far as Im concerned, JD is NOT right for our band INXS :( Even though she didnt win, at least Suzie will be immortalised forever as a monkey.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Chic Magnets

I decided to put my refound crafty energy into small presents for my Aunt (Clinique superstar and provider of the most fabulous lipgloss ever), and for Lak's ammi* who was recently in hospital, which lead to these little guys. This postcard they are holding by the way is part of my rather large collection of free postcards, and is a particular favourite. Aunty Lana got a set of 3 chick magnets (top left), while Ammi got the set of 4 different creatures as well as this pethapoo*

Both pressies went over an absolute treat which is great! :) I am thinking of making some different types of creatures in addition to the 4 little guys above - my thoughts so far are a mouse, a tiger and maybe an owl.

DELAKS Trivia for the linguists: "Ammi" means "Mum" and "Pethapoo" means "parrot" in Singhalese, Lak's native language

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


The next few creatures after the monkey included an owl (now residing on Nanny's fridge), two dogs...

Benson (above) and Clyde "The Glide" (below, he's a bit hard to see but he has a gorgeous smiling face and dark blue eyes)...

...and an elephant.

These guys are from the Keiko Matsuda Felt Mascots book, and are all magnets - cute AND useful! And yep, thats Lak holding a baby pig in the polaroid for our University of Wollongong Oxfam club 'Pork Against Want' day last year.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Sockius Monkeius

The second monkey, Benjamin. This little guy is made from a pair of baby socks so he is only quite small, but he is rather cheeky looking. Honestly, look at this face, he has to be up to something...

DELAKS Trivia for the sports fans: Lak has been naming all the creatures - the monkeys so far are West Indian fast bowler Winston Benjamin