Sunday, 30 December 2012

Baking with Beer


Alongside this blog I just started a new one about my beer adventures. I started drinking beer in 2008 when I was handed a Samuel Adams Boston lager and realised that not all beers taste the same :-)

Since then I have made a hobby out of trying a local beer everywhere I go on my travels. It's pretty fun! I've also discovered that you can cook with beer... more specifically that you can BAKE with beer! An interesting concept to me. So the other day, for Yule, I tried out Blue Moon cupcakes. Blue Moon is a wheat beer made by the Coors company that is quite tasty and it made the cakes a bit more chewy than usual. Not bad!


You can check out my recipe on my beer blog
A Woman's Brew here and let me know what you think!

Thursday, 13 December 2012


Well, I've been a bit busy lately and haven't had chance to craft much. But now I'm home from my cruise ship and should have time to stitch and bake to my heart's content :-)

Until then here is a sneak peek of what I'm working on at the moment - I'm building a second section to my beer cap belt:


And here's a photo of how it currently looks:

Beer Cap Belt 8_finished 5_small

More crafting soon!

Tuesday, 23 October 2012


SpiroHazard 2

The latest Phat Quarter Swap was themed around toys. I was very fortunate and got Olisa aka cocoaeyes as my swap partner. She made me a piece for the food swap so now it was my turn to return the favour!

I knew that Olisa loved hazard signs and wanted to include this in my piece. I then found out from her that she also loves Spirograph. I decided to create a take on the biohazard sign in a hoop for her, but instead of the biohazard symbol I would use a Spirograph pattern!

SpiroHazard 3

I found a pattern that I liked and centred it in a black triangle on a yellow background. I thought the Spirography design might take a while to stitch but the satin stitching of the triangle was actually a lot more time consuming - I always forget that about satin stitch before I start it!

SpiroHazard 1

I wrapped the hoop frame with some black fabric so the whole thing was a hazard sign and sent it off! I was really pleased with how this turned out and how much it was personalised for my recipient. I think Olisa really liked it too - right Olisa?!

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Brand New Day

Brand New Day 1

My piece finally arrived in New Zealand so I can share it with you!

Brand New Day 2

I made this piece for my friend Jo because she donated the vintage linen doily I used for my dirty doily. We are both huge Joss Whedon fans so my piece is based on Dr. Horrible's Sing-A-Long Blog.

Brand New Day 3

My favourite line fro Dr. Horrible is in the song Brand New Day where he sings "and she may cry but her tears will dry when I give her the keys to a shiny new Australia"... and so here is Billy's gift to Penny - a shiny new Australia! With a heart shaped key and everything :-)

Brand New Day 4

Monday, 10 September 2012

Work In Progress - Surprise!

I have actually had a little bit of time lately to get some stitching done and so have been working on a piece for a friend. Now, I can't show you the finished piece until it reaches her in New Zealand as it is a surprise, but I thought I'd give you a little sneak-peak :-)


Brand New Day_WIP

Friday, 17 August 2012

Wild Side

Wild Side 2

My ship is currently running an art contest, so while I had a little bit of spare time I decided to give it a go. There was no theme, no real rules, I just had to use the canvas, paint and brushes provided and then could add and do whatever I wanted.

Wild side 1

I'd had a piece in mind for a while that was based on a photo I took of my ship in Alaska, but doing it just for fun seemed a little silly. Doing it for an art contest on the ship seemed apt though.

Wild Side 4

Originally I did think I was going to use any paint but then I started thinking about a mixed media piece and got excited. I used old schedules as a background and painted over them with white leaving a few words visible. I then painted in a pale outline of my ship from the photo I was using as a reference. Finally I added some Alaskan mountain in the background. Next came the stitching.

Wild Side 5

My ships always have fun, colourful images painted on the side so I incorporated this into my piece. I stitched the artwork down the side of the ship and also used a mixture of paint and stitch to represent colourful pearls on some sparkle net. This pieces is going to be about layers!

Wild Side 7

I emphasised some wording from the background with embroidery in colours to match the ship and then added a slogan in embroidery as well over chiffon.

Wild Side 3

I made a few changes to my original plan for this piece but I think it came out almost exactly as I envisioned it in my head. I'm really happy with it and I'll let you know how it goes in the contest!

Wild Side 6

Friday, 10 August 2012

Art: From Enchantment To Down

One More Trophy - Pocahontas

I stumbled across a blog post on BUST magazine's website the other day from a few months ago but wanted to write about it here. Check out the
original post here.

Just a Trap - Alice

My Sweet Prince - Snow White

Thomas Czarnekis is a photography artist and in his latest series he takes Disney princesses and places them in doomed situations. The writer of the original blog post I read about this seemed quite offended by these images but they made me think.

Happy End - The Little Red Riding Hood

On The Other Shore - The Little Mermaid

I have never see the Disney Princesses as images of frail women who needed men to function. To me they are women going after what they want, some to me seem stronger than others but I have never seen them as contrary to my strong feminine beliefs. Apparently some people do and the art of Czarnekis has strengthened this concept, even making people look at the art as if it condones violence towards women because they are fragile.

Too Fast - Cinderella

Not So Romantic - Beauty and the Beast

I don't see it this way. To me it seems that it is shattering an image of perfection that women cannot live up to. Perhaps even a perfection that our modern world makes it difficult to manifest. These images may even represent the destruction of the frail feminine in our modern world because our modern ideals break it down. Also, a very good point was made in a comment on the original BUST blog post - these stories were not written by Disney. Fairy Tales were stories of violence, danger and abuse used as warnings. Perhaps these images harp back to those origins as well.

Naughty Girl - Sleeping Beauty

One Last Wish - Jasmine

I like these images - I do not think they promote violence towards women or make women seem frail. Instead they make you think, which is really what art is supposed to be about.

To see them on
Czarneckis' website go here.
To see a further post on the on
DesignBoom go here

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Tiger Feet!

Tiger feet 1

It has been far too long since I posted a blog! I have been super busy at work and haven't had time to do any stitching, but the Phat Quarter had a swap so I just had to find time for that.

Tiger feet 5

This time the theme was the 1970s and rather than go to my usual standby of a piece based on David Bowie I thought I would do something different. As a costumer, and a girl, I really love shoes and as a teenager I was really into 1970s platforms - the perfect subject for my piece!

Tiger Feet 2

After chatting with my swap partner, Juline, I based the colours on a story she told me. A combination of blue, orange, silver and purple seemed very 70s to me.

Tiger feet 3

I found the border fabric in a quilt store in Seattle and thought it was perfect for this piece, incorporating the colours and almost a 1970s wallpaper feel.

Tiger feet 4

Not a bad little effort in the time I had!

Friday, 29 June 2012

Sketchbook Project Limited Edition

Sketchbook Project LE 6

Goodness, it has been a long time! I have been settling in on my new ship, the install of the new cast was very busy and there is still soem work to be done, but I have five minutes right now to post a blog so I thought I's better pop in!

I'm currently in Alaska, enjoying the crisp air, inspiration and beer :-) I've already bought some lovely dyed fabrics from Juneau that I have plans for. I also have an embroidery piece in mind for a friend, now I just need to find time to start it.

Sketchbook Project LE 1

Until then here is a little art to tide you over. I worked on a Sketchbook for the Art House Co-Op's Limited Edition project where one spread from each book entered will be put into a series of art books. I tried to express my process and show some experimentation with the theme Thread and Surface.

Sketchbook Project LE 2

I experimented with surface design techniques and then used the fabrics I created to make mixed media collages at the end of the book. Some of the techniques worked really well and others need some work. I really liked flour paste resist once I got the hang of it and silk painting is always a winner.

Sketchbook Project LE 3

I think I might turn some of these into prints at some point, or greetings cards - what do you think?

Sketchbook Project LE 4

Sketchbook Project LE 5

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Cross Stitched Iphone Case

iphone case 1

Do you remember a couple of months ago I said that I hadn't cross stitched in many a year? I was working on designs for an iPhone case and forgot to show you the finished piece - so here it is!

iphone case 2

I hand painted the aida with acrylic paint mixed with fabric medium to get my own custom colour. I did this on 14 count and actually really enjoyed it. I didn't find it quite as freeing as hand embroidery though so I think I will stick to that :-)

iphone case 3
Here it is finished and flat...

iphone case 4

and here it is on the phone. Unfortunately the case I had it in broke and I can't find one that will shut properly around my phone with the embroidery in it :-( If you hear of one, let me know!

Monday, 21 May 2012

Dirty Doily WARNING!!!!

I have a friend who uses some colourful language on a regular basis. Now, I have a mouth like a sailor, but Steph gives me a run for my money. Steph is moving into a new house so I wanted to make her a little house warming gift. I decided to combine one of her favourite words with a vintage doily....

BE WARNED!! Strong language is used in this piece, don't go passed the shocked housewife if you will be offended :-)


I had been wanting to embroider something on a vintage doily for a while and this seemed like the perfect project for one. It will fit in with all the bits and pieces that Steph has collected on her travels...

Dirty Doily 1

A word that Steph uses a lot is 'cuntress'. The word will forever remind me of her - in a good way :-)

Dirty Doily 2

I used a simple split stitch in four strands of red embroidery floss to make the word really stand out. I got the lovely doily from Jo Ashcroft - thank you very much! I will be making her something, not quite so profane though, as a thank you gift!

Dirty Doily 3

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

It's Springtime!

Springtime 1

The most recent Phat Quarter swap was themed around Spring. When I heard this I thought of only one thing - Zebedee!

For those who don't know, Zebedee is a character from a children's tv show called The Magic Roundabout. It was on tv in the 60s and 70s but was repeated when I was a child. It was great and groovy and Zebedee was a jack-in-the-box.

Springtime 2

I decided to produce a piece in a hoop frame. I've not done this before and I just got given a bunch of wooden hoops exactly for this purpose. I think it suited this piece quite well, in fact my mum liked it so much I have to make her one as well :-)

Springtime 3

This is a bit more twee than my usual pieces but it's bright and cheery which is exactly what spring time should be about!