Monthly Archives: December 2010

Ho ho ho & a bit of left-over Christmas cake…

Goodness me. How did it get to be the end of the year already? From the pre-Christmas flurry of making, planning and stitching, we find ourselves now slothing around with shortbread and Fluffy Ducks. The drink, not the animal.

The tree has been squished back in it’s box and lugged up into the roof (Thanks Megan’s Hubby – hither known as Mr S) and there has been much self-congratulation on the success of our choice of fabric and shopping bags as our wrapping this year. Inspired by Flossie Teacake’s discussion here, gifts were wrapped in red pinking-sheared fabric or a snazzy reusable, foldable shopping bag…. (this one went to a Ali’s lovely little Miss N with much love). It can’t be denied, there was a warm glow of thrifty  satisfaction as we folded it back in the cupboard for next year.

We are enjoying some much appreciated down time here at AVS Headquarters, but will be back again once the calender has flicked over to 2011. Enjoy your festivities big or small, friends, and see you next year!

M & A




Show Me How Friday: Whip Stitch

Hello friends.

Those of you in Australia may feel the urge to gently nudge us and whisper “ahem, girls, it’s now Saturday, not Friday….”. We hear you, and offer the black circles under our eyes and auto-pilot parenting of sleep deprivation as our feeble defence. But we are pretty sure you will let it slide this time (for our non-Australian friends: we are usually coming to you from the future, so no doubt we have muddled your sense of time no end today. Sorry ’bout that).

Anyway, let’s put the calander away and get into it – our first ‘Show Me How Friday’ !

If you are like us (and by ‘us’ I mean the non-methodical Hare half of us) you began your hand stitching adventures in a gung-ho, stitch it up any old way. We were always so keen to see what the finished idea would look like that the stitching was, shall we say, a little ‘organic’. No more! This wonderful tutorial at futuregirl was a turning point. It clearly demonstrates how to achieve a neat and easy whip stitch for joining fabrics – great for purse sewing, soft toy making or decorative hand sewing.

Until recently we assumed this was THE way to whip stitch, however this terrific video on You Tube shows a form of stitching we used to call “the stitching my Mum does when she takes up the tricky hems on my suit pants”…. Useful for hems, linings or attaching embellishments with minimal evidence, it is a useful trick to have up one’s sewing sleeve.

As we type, one of us has a sore thumb from a whip stitching frenzy of Christmas present sewing…. yes, time is fast running out. Yes, one should have started earlier. Yes, said one should move Time Management of Sewing Projects back to the top of her To Do list.

Still, a certain little babe just can’t be without a handmade, love filled, slightly-wonky-in-a-characterful-way rabbit for her very first Christmas.

Creative Crush Wednesday: Design*Sponge

Welcome to our very first Creative Crush Wednesday! This is the first in a regular spot featuring some of our favourite creative peeps online.

An oldie but a goodie, we thought we should kick things off with a tip of the hat to one of our favourite ways to procrastinate research – Design*Sponge.

What’s not to love about the constant style updates on everything one’s little crafty heart could yearn for? Many an hour at A Visual Sensibiltiy Headquaters has been spent with utterings of “oooohhhh, that’s LOVELY!” and “so clever!” and “oh Ali, why didn’t we think of that first?!”

For those of you who have yet to stumble on the wonder of Design*Sponge, here they are in their own words:

Design*Sponge is a daily website dedicated to home and product design run by Brooklyn-based writer, Grace Bonney. Launched in August of 2004, Design*Sponge was declared a “Martha Stewart Living for the Millennials” (NY Times, 2008) and features store and product reviews, city, product, and gift guidesdiy projectsbefore & after furniture and home makeovers, home toursrecipesvideosand podcasts, and trend forecasting. In addition, Design*Sponge is dedicated to covering student design, national and international design shows. The site is updated constantly throughout the day (with an average of 6-10 posts a day), and attracts a core group of devoted readers. Design*Sponge currently has 65,000 daily readers on the main site, over 94,000 readers reading via RSS, and 130,000 Twitter followers.

Er, yes, read that again folks, 65,000 daily readers on the main site, over 94,000 readers reading via RSS, and 130,000 Twitter followers = !!!!!!!! Now you get some idea of the guru that Grace Bonney has become for so many ‘artsy’ folk. Personally, we love her for:

  • the generous amount of posts per day (ok, we know she has help from her great editorial team, but really, so many planning sessions, so much research!)
  • the eye candy – such a keen eye for colour, texture and trends…. which are then echoed quickly in online crafty arenas like Etsy (not that there is anything wrong with that; the trending forecasts on D*S are so hot and on the mark that it is only a matter of time before the rest of us catch on anyway)
  • BizLadies – oh the wonderful tips, hints, advice and outright reassurance for those of us starting out in the world of arty entrepreneurship.. if you are an Etsian, online seller or just thinking about sharing your talents with the world, put down your cup of tea and go immediately HERE!
  • Whilst we love a good drool over the vast array of treats featured on D*S, our less than millionaire real-lives appreciate Budget. This ever evolving list of gifts and home items provides a reassuring burst of possibility without scrimping on strong design.

If this isn’t enough to send you running to your keyboard, there’s also DIY, before and after makeovers, and recipes…. oh the goodness!

All this D*S loving has us all a quiver. Off we go for some more ‘research’….


Lots of Virtual Lovin’…

Well well well, what a nice confidence boost for we newbies….

Alison’s very clever designers eye created a gorgeous treasury – THAT WAS CHOSEN FOR THE FRONT PAGE! Wihoo! You can admire her cleverness – and lots of lovely items right here!

As if that wasn’t enough to put a chuffed little smile on our faces, our Miss Bridget Belt has been featured here at fellow Etsian Aldari’ blog of beautiful things… phew!

Feeling all loved up now.

M & A

Our Support Crew

We are rather lucky to have the help of some very entertaining assistants during our product photo shoots. Here they are doing a thorough check of the location:

… Helping with model placement:

…and reminding us we should should break for a choccie bisucuit and a cuppa:

Good times.