Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Time for some lovin'

Welcome to February. The month in which school goes back in Victoria (yay!) and Valentines Day happens.

Valentines Day is not huge in Australia. There are cards, choccies and flowers around, but nothing like some of the traditions in the US surrounding this day that's all about love.

My hubby and I have  never celebrated Valentines Day, although I think I have made him a card for the past couple of years- its a good opportunity to remind him in writing just how much I love him *aww*

But I decided this year that Valentines Day is a perfect opportunity for us as a family to tell eachother why we love eachother. We should be doing this every day- and I often see my girls sharing a special moment- a hug, kiss, apology, sharing a toy or making room on the couch when 'Octonauts' is on. But I like the idea of having a special day to celebrate that together.

So I have made and hung my first ever Valentines Day decoration (made with a piece of dowling, ribbon and paper hearts). Its just a simple wall hanging in the entrance of our home, letting visitors know that there's plenty of love in this house.

As the day draws closer I will be making little pouches for each of them to decorate and then will be encouraging each of them to write a note to each member of the family to let them know what they love about them (in the case of the little 2, I will sit with them and scribe, of course ;)

So, brace yourselves for plenty of Norris lovin' this February :)

Love Gubby xo

Monday, January 30, 2012

A little something for my special someones

I found this sweet little purse tutorial online. The description said it was easy and I was looking for something I could make for my sisters and girlfriends for birthdays this year. I wanted it to be pretty, but still practical- I am a pragmatic girl when it comes down to it!

Turns out, it wasn't quite AS easy as I had hoped (though to be fair I have only been sewing for about 3 weeks ;), but after my 3rd try I am happy with the result (the other 2 are usable, but there are some small issues with stitching not being straight or edges not lining up). And I can make 2 purses in an evening, so that makes for an effective gift :)

Thanks to my many crafty friends for their help and advice- this sewing gig really is still so new and there is so much for me to learn. But I am having a lot of fun doing it.

Here's the result:

The coolest thing is that the mouth of the purse is made from pieces of metal measuring tape, so it closes over, but is easy to open.

See the original tutorial (and about a million other gorgeous sewing projects) at:

Now I just have the tragic task of going to Spotlight to choose more gorgeous matching fabrics ;)

Wish me luck!
Love Gubby xo

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Sew much to blog about

I recently wrote about my foray into sewing (the sewing puns will end soon, I promise). My first attempt was the dinosaur playmat.

This is my next major project. I will be making these for the 1st birthdays (the many many 1st birthdays) that we will be celebrating this year.

Its a simple drawstring bag, but I am getting a little fancy with the casing (also learning new words, thanks to my amazing MIL) and hoping to get a little fancier with the letters and other detailing as I learn more.

At the moment, I am mostly trying things that involve straight lines and then I might move onto more adventurous projects.

Love Gubby xo

Monday, January 16, 2012


Saw this image:

on this blog:

and could not resist making them myself.

This is the product of my own baking adventures:

Unfortunately, I don't have a great camera, but I think you get the idea! Can you feel your arteries hardening even as you look at this picture??

They were as delicious as they look. Make them!

Love Gubby xo

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Let it sew, let it sew, let it sew...

This week I borrowed my delightful mother-in-law's sewing machine and began my foray into sewing.

The last time I sewed anything was year 9 textiles class- I made myself a bag and a pair of black pants. I used the bag and wore the pants, so I can't have been that bad... but its been a while!

The first item I made this week was a lot of cutting aand sticking, as well as some sewing.

Its a dinosaur playmat that I found on the lovely Serving Pink Lemonade blog. There are step by step instructions and a template there.

But here is my attempt:

The main construction requires double-sided iron-on applique on felt- iron the pieces on and sew on a back panel.

I love this, as its flat and light, so I can post it to overseas and interstate friends. And its great for travel- chuck the mat and a couple of small dinosaurs in your bag and you have a portable play set for the kids.

More sewing to come....
Love Gubby xo

Friday, January 6, 2012

One thing leads to another

Even before Christmas 2011 was upon us, I was beginning to feel quite uninspired by the mass-production and plastic that surrounded me. I hand made all my Christmas cards and put together a gorgeous Advent calendar for my 3 girls, but it still felt like there was too much 'quick, cheap and easy'.

Now, don't get me wrong, as the mum of 3 young girls, I am all for quick, cheap and/or easy in any combination (preferably all 3 ;) But I am also a real lover of Christmas and the traditions that go with it. I love flicking through Christmas craft books and magazines and ambling through the pages of the marthastewart.com for amazing and creative ideas for the festive season.

A friend of mine makes her own candles- even selects colour and scent- and after a shopping evening at her place, I started to think about what I could make for the people I love.

And, thus, 'Handmade Holidays' was born.

My goal for 2012 started with the desire to hand make all of my Christmas cards and gifts and hopefully a large number of decorations for the tree and home.

But that idea has evolved and now I am hoping to hand make decorations, cards and gifts for festivals/holidays/celebrations all year! *eek*

I joined Pinterest to keep track of all my projects, ideas and inspiration. A lovely visual way to keep track of bookmarks: http://pinterest.com/gabrielnorris/

I am excited about sharing this journey with you this year- posting ideas, projects and inspiration!

Love Gubby xo

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Its what's inside that counts

These are the pages for my 'Handmade Holidays' planner.

I have 5 so far:
  • Christmas card list- this will allow me to keep track of who I have posted cards to and received cards from
  • Gift giving- this will allow me to jot down ideas for gifts for each person, as well as keep track of which gifts are completed
  • Craft projects- so I can write down ideas as they come to me, including any special equipment or materials I might need
  • Craft register- an index of craft projects
  • Recipes- some of the gifts will be baked goods (I always like to give my Mum's famous Vanilla Kipferls at Christmas time) 

You can download your own pages

Craft register (.pdf)
Craft projects (.pdf)
Recipes (.pdf)
Gift list (.pdf)
Christmas cards (.pdf)
(I have not left space for an address in the Christmas card list, as I do all my mailing labels using a spreadsheet)

 Enjoy an organised Christmas :)

Love Gubby xo

If you fail to plan...

I LOVE to organise and plan. So when I made the resolution to handmake my Christmas this year, I knew I would need a planner.

I got online and looked around, but every planner I could find would need reworking. So I took all the ideas I found and made a planner of my own... that is exactly what I want/need to make my planning more fun and most effective.

Here is the planner itself... I am still putting the finishing touches on the pages to go into the planner, but this is what I have so far!

I put in little red and green envelopes, as a fun way to keep ideas and inspiration. I got hold of a small red matchbook, so that will be my scrap/sketchbook for ideas.

The Christmas notepad was on special at Lincraft for $1.49 and the little clipboard was only $2 at Officeworks- just perfect for tucking into the front pocket of the planner.

(You can view and download the internal planner pages for yourself)