Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas One and All

Merry Christmas to my dear readers!

I hope the day is magical for everyone...even if you do not celebrate Christmas, I hope you have a wonderful day anyway!

My day will be spent with my family, a pancake breakfast, a nice lunch, happy present openings, long lazy langushings and general fun.

What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace. ~Agnes M. Pahro

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Some more free Christmas printables

For anyone that has run out of steam, time or are some great Christmas things to print for you and yours. All you need is some paper, maybe even some cardstock or photo paper.You could even get these printed as photos.

Photo: Little Paper Dog
There's also printable art...

Asja Boro at Feed Your Soul

From: Make It Perfect

Rachael Smith at Feed Your Soul

...more gift tags...

Photo: Monita at Mushy

...printable notecards...

Photo: Eat Drink Chic
...and some printable gift wrap and bags!


From Creature Comforts

And of course, there's even some cuteness for little ones...


From VOL.25

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas cards

It's that time of year again...time to get my Christmas cards ready to send. Actually, it's a tradition that I actually really love and enjoy.

The last three years, at least, we have been sending photo Christmas cards...some may consider it cheesy; I think it's a beautiful reminder of what is important at this time of year. Looking at other people's cards reminds me with a pang how kids just grow like weeds! Especially when they are not nearby to look at throughout the year. I love receiving them. More and more people seem to be avoiding posting pictures of their kids online, so for some families it may be the first picture you've seen all year. Even people without children can have a photo card that says something about what they have been getting up to in the past year; perhaps a holiday snap or a wedding picture for example.Yup, photo cards really are my favourite kind.

One of my favourite photo cards that we have received over the years would have to be from my husband's mother and grandmother. They had some lovely portraits done that year and one of the pictures was the star of the card. It looked really lovely and is a nice keepsake for our family.

We're planning on sending some memories and maybe a keepsake of our own this year again; hopefully people will enjoy receiving it as much as I enjoy picking out a Christmas card to personalise. This year we'll be going through Shutterfly as I hear their product is amazing. So far I have had a ball perusing the options and even digressed beyond the realm of Christmas cheer and started looking at the gorgeous birthday cards and also the photo calendars, which would make great gifts too! I like the fact that you can also choose religious designs or generic depending on your preference.

In addition to simply having great stuff (which is my honest opinion), Shutterfly is also offering free cards to people just to let others know about their great stuff. It was a no brainer for me. I am really looking forward to getting my cards in the mail as I have had so much fun deciding.

Monday, November 29, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Chistmas

I had plans for this year when it came to Christmas. Plans that included crafting many a Christmas decoration and gift. Unfortunately, life has not allowed me the time this year so far...maybe next year?

Here's a little something that anyone can do...all you need is a printer and an empty frame!

Image: eighteen25 via it'sthelittlethingsthatmakeahouseahome
 Head over to eighteen25 for the short and sweet tutorial.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My new glue gun

I had to buy a new glue gun last night; mine has gone AWOL. I bought this one in the hardware store instead of the craft store. Much heftier, and for the same price ($16). You can even choose to use it with or without a cord. It has a stand! And a tray that catches hot glue drips. I'll never but one of those rickety pink glue guns again! At this stage it can absolutely handle my glue gun needs :)

Just thought I would share in case you are heading to a craft store to buy one. STOP! Check our your local hardware store and see what they have first, it could be better.

*Not a paid OR unpaid review; just my honest opinion!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Pink, Green, Zip!

I've been sewing some of these little zip cases; this is today's effort.

I love the bright, happy colours of the fabric used in this one.

I've tried different patterns etc, but I have learnt that with zippered things, it takes practice and you really need to adapt ideas to your own way of doing things. You develop a 'zip groove'. Wow, that was bad ;) So this is a practice one.

Such a cute size, perfect for some make up or a few gadgets like your phone, sat nav or some cards and cash.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Buttons and elastics!

As some of you that are 'likers' on facebook may already know, I have been creating some cute fabric covered button hair elastics today, and I am in looooooove.

Love pretty polkadots!

Sweet florals :)

And other fun uses!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Japanese Eye Candy

It's so secret that Japanese fabrics and patterns are huge in the crafting community at large.

One of my favourite Japanese crafting sites is komihinata, where various projects are posted; always simple, always lovely.

Image source: komihinata

Image source: komihinata

Image source: komihinata

Image source: komihinata

Image source: komihinata

If you speak Japanese, you are all set. If not, Google toolbar can automatically translate the page. Or you can just marvel at the creations, which is not hard to do. Just simple, sweet loveliness and eye candy to brighten your day!

I am not affiliated with them in any way. I'm just sharing the beauty :)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Hey there

Sorry, I have been on a semi hiatus lately :) I'm back, I promise.

We've had a spate of weddings in our extended family...lovely things! How I love weddings. They were all extremely lovely and reflective of the bridal couple's personalities, my favourite kind.

There's also been minor illnesses in our own family; a spate of flus, including the dreaded swiney, over the last few months have been very draining.

On top of that, I have been performing some contract work for various companies since around September so have had much less time to work on my beloved Tempest Ahoy and this blog than I would have liked. I'll still be doing that work for a month or so but will be working hard on a work-work-life balance :) I've been enjoying lots of aspects of working part time outside the home, but certainly have been missing aspects of being at home as well.

Add in some overseas travel and I must say, I'm a little drained and a persisent flu of some nature has me feeling very *ugh*.

I'm back and even though I faux promised my lovely Facebook likers (SORRY DAHLINKS) a shop update a while back, I definitely am working on it!

So loyal readers, tell me; what's up with you?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Short but Sweet: Homemade Irish Cream

Skip to My Lou has a great recipe online for some Homemade Irish Cream. What a great gift idea!

Image Source: Skip to My Lou

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Another cushion: Argyle

Loving this argyle cushion I spotted courtesy of Craftzine originally blogged at Bugs and Fishes.

Once again, you can make it yourself! This one is made out of felted jumpers/sweaters, but you can use any felt. Get Laura's how to at Bugs and Fishes.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Gosh, I love Dana from Made's gorgeous faux chevron cushion! What a great idea. Head over to the tutorial and you can make your own, too. At the moment, Dana is Celebrating Yellow, so make sure to check it out!

Image Source: Dana at Made

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Video: On Handwork

Making something from hand is such a rewarding experience, be it sewing, knitting, crochet, needlework, workwork or any other number of handiwork crafts.

I found this video really interesting, and how Renate talks about knitting being a form of meditation rang true with me. I know anytime I am crafting, I am lost in my own little world, and it does feel very meditation like. I also liked the importance she placed on handicrafts within our busy, modern (often cold) world.

Video Source: Fibercraft Studios on YouTube, via Craftzine

Crafters, and others interested in any kind of handmade skill, do yourself a favour and watch this great video.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Guess what? Crochet!

My very first foundation chain :) Wobbly and bumpy. But I did it!

It took me a while to figure out how to do it from the booklet...but all of a sudden I realised what I was doing wrong, which mainly had to do with how I was holding the yarn.

The ones since have been much neater and more even. I'm still proud of this one the most though!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


I have gotten my hands on the first issue of a serial crochet how to...and I am looking forward to taking the plunge and figuring it out. I have to go and see what other issues I can pick up now so I don't miss out on anything!

It's something I've always wanted to learn how to do. Years ago, when I was still a child, my grandmother did show me how to crochet two knitted squares together. I remember the occasion like it was yesterday, but do not remember the technique at all. Typical! I do remember how to knit though, simple garter stitch and stocking stitch, and that is due to her guidance.

I would just love to be able to crochet something like this, that I blogged here:

Photo Source: The Coveted

Or this that I blogged just recently:

Or this:

Image Source: Crochet Me

Maybe one day. Now, step one: figure out some BASICS. Any tips?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Busy Tempest Bee!

Apologies to my regular followers, I have been a little off the bloggy radar recently.

Life has had me run off my feet, and to be honest in the next couple of weeks, it is only going to get busier. I've managed to get some crafty stuff done, mainly to add to our Etsy shop, so I am eager to have some time to do some purely recreational stuff again soon. Soonish.

There is so much to do at the moment, I have resorted to using a list. One of the items on said list is to write a more specific list in a certain category. Cuckoo, I know. But for me, lists help me get stuff done...and make the anxiety over GETTING it done a little less.

For me, there is nothing like the satisfaction of crossing things off a big list!

Just out of curiosity, I'm wondering how you guys get organised or deal with competing demands and many tasks/stress. Please share!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Feedback from our Crap I've Made giveaway winner!

We were so thrilled to receive a wonderful testimonial from our Crap I've Made giveaway winner yesterday.

"I received the package and my kids went crazy! My little boy had this cute little turtle hat that he wore when he was a newborn that I really loved. When he put his dinosaur hat on, it brought back some really sweet memories. Thanks so much! I didn’t expect to have crayons in the crayon roll. Now I can boast being the only one I know with crayons from Australia. I also loved how the roll matched the hat. It even smelled good when I opened the package. Thank you again for your generosity".
- Linda Leary, USA

Thanks so much for taking the time to write to us, Linda! We love hearing what people think of our products! We also super duper thrilled to know that your kids loved it!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Cute cloches

when I see this cuuuute stuff it makes me wish I could crochet!

Image Source: Aesthetic Nest

So this free pattern is one for the crocheters!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Printing on fabric using a home printer

Image Source: My Repurposed Life

The best idea I have seen yet for printing onto fabric with your home printer! Gail at My Repurposed Life uses full page labels with the fabric. Check out her tutorial on how you can do it too here or via her button below.

My Repurposed Life

Monday, August 16, 2010

A reminder

Great advice :)

My favourite line: "Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life…the most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don’t".

Thursday, August 12, 2010

For those of us not lucky enough to have been at BlogHer 10

HomeHer10 from Suzanne Broughton on Vimeo.

Would LOVE to actually get there one day! BlogHer that is! Had enough of HomeHer!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Shirred dress tutorial

I love Threadbanger.

They have this great video tutorial that is a good example of why. You can make your own shirred dress very quickly (or slowly if you prefer). If you can sew a straight line, you can make this dress. HONESTLY.

They call it a summer dress, but you could modify the straps (or leave them as they are) and wear over a turtleneck with a cardigan in the cooler months.

I'm planning on making a few of these over the next few weeks. I'll let you know how mine turn out!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Monday, August 2, 2010

Crap I've Made Giveaways!

Char over at Crap I've Made is having a huge week of giveaways to celebrate her recent 1,000,000th hit!

Congrats Char!

There will be giveaways posted every four hours over the next few days.

Keep an eye out, you never know what or who may be giving something away. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Appliance Art...?

So I found this today and I just had to share.

Love it or hate it? They come in magnet or sticker options for your appliances.

Woulda put a picture up to show you, but the images are copyrighted and won't allow a good old right click action.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Peanut Butter Cups = YUMMO

Today I have been kitchen crafting :)

The first thing I made were these scrumptious Peanut Butter Cups. Pretty good if I say so myself! Check out Mom. Undecided. for the recipe. A good blog, too! Mine were messy looking, but still DELISH.

Earlier today I saw another recipe, this time for a homemade beauty recipe. I'm a sucker for a nice homemade or handcrafted beauty treatment, so thought "why not"? After all, it was ten past three and I had nothing better to do (housework doesn't count, I said BETTER hehe).

I whipped up the Parsley Facial Toner from Homemade Mamas. They have heaps more projects that I will be trying in future, too.

I don't have acne, or oily skin, but I thought I would give it a go and see how it works on my sensitive skin, which is prone to breakout with some commercial products if they are too harsh. There's no nasties in this recipe, so I was keen to try it.

If you have parsley growing in your garden; and an electric kettle like me, this will take you barely any time at all.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sewing with leather

Recently, I had the good fortune to get some small pieces of really good quality leather. This stuff is thick and so, so soft. The texture is just beautiful. I decided I would have to try to sew with it; it would be an absolute shame to ignore it :)

I decided I would try my hand at making an I-pod pouch for the hubs; it's small but useful, and in leather I think they seem like they are a little luxury in your day.

I've never sewn with leather before, so it was a learning experience. Expecially as this leather was extremely thick and soft. These are my two very first attempts, which I think are not bad for a first try!

I decided to use the red as a contrast rather than to be matchy matchy.
I added a press stud closure to one pouch, the other I left as a simple leather pouch.
Basically I just measured an I-pod and left enough room to sew a seam.
Now I think I've got the hang of making them and figured out how to do even better with my next lot. As I practicised making these, I was able to improve the straigtness of my seams (the leather can slip around a bit so it takes patience) and the overall appearance.
Here are some tips I have found for anyone who wants to sew with leather:

Use a proper leather needle

Sew slow

Use a longer stitch length than normal

One tip I have heard is to dust leather lightly with baby powder so it slides through your machine easier.

Please take caution with this, do it at your own risk. I tried it and think it worked for me. If you have a Teflon foot for your machine, you probably won't need to do this.

Don't use pins, they mark the leather. Try pegs or paper clips if you need to keep it in place.

You can't unpick (will leave marks) so SEW SLOW! :)

Whaddya think?