Meet the Sponsors for July – and some new friends!


Welcome back to my wonderful sponsors and friends – Middlemost Clothing, and First Light Photography!


I’m sure you are familiar with the work of both these beautiful people – Janine from Middlemost Clothing makes clothing and accessories from gorgeous vintage fabrics and other treasures  – and she has recently expanded her range to include fun little badges of linen and leather with custom text on them. So if you’ve got something to say to the world, get a beautifully crafted badge to say it with. You can find her by clicking the image below.

middlemost clothing


And Sue from First Light Photography also continues to add to her portfolio with the peaceful and beautiful images of the country. They are always gentle, always full of life lived and loved. {Click on the image to see more of her work}

White Spring Blossoms Photograph - blue sky, spring, sunny, clouds

first light photo – ‘spring sky’



You might notice a few extra banners on the site… these are my new friends (except for Janine from Jiniku (gorgeous clothing, love that dress I bought!), she’s a friend already, welcome back)! We’ve all done a bit of a banner swap for the next month or so, and these lovely makers and bloggers are showing off my banner on their blog too. So hi again Jiniku! and welcome to –

Shelley of Spincushions (gorgeously fun felt pincushions),
Amanda of Wayfaring Magnolia (vintage clothing & accessories),
Annaig from Annaig’s Gemstudio (amazing gemstone cutter, check her video!),
Rebekah from Bekahdu (fabulous hand painted and stitched art quilts),
Hannah from Banana Apple Orange (fab patchwork quilting & children’s clothing from vintage fabrics),
Suzie from Suzie Wheat Vintage (jewellery made from repurposed vintage pieces),
Jane from Earth Apple Jane (making intriguingly textured jewellery from potatoes, no less!),
Ron Cristy (truly and amazingly beautiful woodwork and cabinetry)
Anna from King Billy (Kid’s clothing and accessories and stuff for grownups too)

and lastly but not leastly –
Linda from Blue Jacaranda (art cards, and gorgeous prints and printables).

All these wonderful people have some fabulous things to show off to you, so give them some love ~ click on their banners in the sidebar here, go visit their blogs, and their shops!


Design How-to : Direction


Welcome to the next instalment in my series on Design How-To. (You can find the rest of the series here.) I trust you’ve been enjoying it so far! And I really hope it’s been helpful. This post is on Direction.


Lines can lead your eye in a particular direction, as can shapes (for instance, an arrow). Lines and shapes often work within an image or design to create Direction. And Direction can be used to great effect to enhance the mood of a piece.


mylittlepixels – quiet contemplation – photograph


Simple horizontal lines always suggest a feelings of calmness and serenity, while vertical lines suggest active alertness. We can connect it to our perceptions of sleep (horizontal) and awake (standing).


theaterclouds – catch – {photography} diorama, paper & ink drawing


Soft, low waves also suggest calm, but are a little more active. This is a very gentle image, enhanced by the soft, luminous light and clear colours with hints of aqua and pale gold.


vesselsandwares – wave cupcake stand – ceramic


When you look around the rim of this sweet cupcake stand, do you notice your eyes pause at the peaks? It has an interrupted flow – although it is still gentle, it feels even more active than the waves in the previous image.


raceytay – venice, california – photography


These waves are not turbulent, but despite their relative order, we can still feel the enormous pull of that water as it sucks to the peak. Strong diagonals are responsible for this effect – the peak of the wave, as well as the stripy ripples of the water. Diagonals always convey a sense of strong activity (and if you want chaotic activity, use lots of diagonals at different angles).


designedbyjane – marrakesh – brooch, felt & embroidery


Lines that radiate out from a centre remind us of all the goodness that comes from similarly radiating things; especially the sun, and flowers. Its symmetry is also very pleasing. It tends to suggest centred-ness, happiness, and general well-being.


AnastasiaMak – flatiron building – acrylic on board


The Flatiron Building in Manhattan is already famously imposing, but the lines converging beyond the top of this painting enhance that idea, suggesting immense and magnificent height. The idea of strong verticals that are so tall they appear to converge is also utilised to great effect in grand cathedrals to ensure the patrons on the ground remain humble to the magnificence of God.


As always, there’s heaps more to say about this Principle, but I hope you’ve enjoyed this introduction to Direction in my series on Design Elements and Principles, and I hope it’s given you some inspiration!

If you’ve got a project that you’re proud of, that uses any of these Elements and Principles, I would LOVE to hear about it! If you’ve got a pic of it up online somewhere, please add a link in the comments below, so you can show it off!! 🙂
(and add a little comment about how you’ve used the Element/Principle/s?)

The NEXT Element in this series is the ever-fabulous COLOUR!! So stay tuned.


The crafted object : Danielle O’Malley – diorama


Strange creatures inhabit Danielle O’Malley’s head. They are wild and messy, sociable, scary yet gentle. And above all else, they love music.

Principally an illustrator and printmaker, Danielle’s work straddles a variety of mediums and scales; she is also a sculptor, puppet maker, painter, and maker of fabulous dioramas. It is these dioramas that first grabbed my attention when I spotted them on Etsy – detailed and elaborate, I felt like I was spying through a looking glass into another secret world.


Leave Me On the Moon {mandolin playin' angels floatin' in the clouds.}

Danielle’s inventiveness is beguiling; her stories of these odd folk sit somewhere between children’s tales, folklore, and the surreal underbelly of nightmares. Her inventiveness is not restricted to the ideas; she is also a gifted maker, using a mix of old and new materials to create her creatures and their world. Paper, sticks, cardboard, old barbecues, and dental floss – anything that fits. And it is all handled so very beautifully – intricate papercuts frame whimsical scenes of mandolin-playing angels, a carpet of sticks are elaborately bound together to form a path.

They are so, so good!

I’ll let Danielle tell her own story.


Are you home? Are we there? {Homeless houses roaming wild and lost, over gingerbread houses and little elves.}


My favorite artists are Margaret Kilgallen and Mark  Ryden. They have both created these strange worlds with their  artwork that I feel happy and comfortable in.

I’ve been making art since I was very young, and I’ve been trying to sell it here and there for the past 6 years or so. I haven’t ever  thought about having some other career, and all other odd jobs I have ever had just seem to support my art. While I was in college, I worked at a middle school as an art teacher’s assistant for three years. It was probably the most important, meaningful job I’ve ever had.


Fairy Godmother {the fairy godmother of an invisible forgotten forest..}

For several years when I was little, I would take art classes that were held in the back of a shop. The woman who ran them was the mother of  one of my classmates, and she sold her own artwork in the shop. I would go there once a week and she would always have new activities for  us to do. It was such an important part of my childhood – without those art classes, I don’t think I’d  have my creativity.

Several of my aunts are artists. One of my aunts particularly inspires me. She seems to always be travelling and has worked on  numerous different projects. Her life has helped me to understand that as an artist your life becomes a series of different projects in different places. My dad and grandfather were pretty creative as well, though they never did anything with it. I remember my grandfather drawing cartoons, and my dad has always given me handmade birthday cards.

Witch Train {comin' round the mountain, on a track of found sticks.}

The worst part of being a craft/designer is uncertainty, of not  knowing what your next project is, or how you will be able to make money – just feeling like you don’t have any opportunities in  sight, which is something I don’t think I will ever overcome. But  maybe you just have to invent your own projects, instead of looking  for opportunities.

There are also the periods of inactivity, where I  don’t even want to think about creating anything. I usually feel  pretty lost during those times, but I think it’s just a part of the  process. At that point, you have to let yourself become inactive, and  try to search for new inspiration.

Hoedown {10 foot tall puppets, playing the banjo and washboard in an appalachian mountain town. made from paper, old barbeques, books, cardboard boxes, sticks and old tire treads.}


Tin Can Telephone {Romantic serenades through a rusty, homemade, tin can telephone. ink drawing, from postcard edition: lands of danlilly)


There is no greater feeling than working non-stop on a project, and  being really happy with the end results – that feeling of  accomplishment. I also love being able to create this world I feel I can  hide in, and I feel comfortable in. It’s an escape from certain  realities.

I recently read Jenny Holzer’s piece, “Truisms”. It changed the way I  thought about a lot of things, and how I deal with my art practice.  There were two quotes that I particularly liked.

“At times, inactivity is preferable to mindless functioning.”

“Planning for the future is escapism”


Danielle O'Malley in her studio space

You can find more of Danielle’s wonderful worlds on her site; and you can find some of her artwork in her Etsy  shop 


I would like to thank Danielle for her help, and for her generosity in sharing her words and her images

The crafted object : Sarah Matthews – papercuts


Sarah Matthews is a papercut artist based in the UK. It was while studying Textile Surface Design, she became very interested in paper and the possibilities available through precision manipulation – folding, cutting, slotting and pleating.


Tyvek clothing accessory #1


Tyvek clothing accessory #2


One of her favourite materials is Tyvek – a synthetic type of tear-proof, waterproof paper. Onto this, she adds hand drawn patterns, of linear, graphic elements, using a variety of  media. For her graduate show, she used this to create a collection of neckpieces and buttonhole jewellery.


Geometric Chevron Papercut in White and Mint


Peach and Grey 3D Folded Geometric Aztec Papercut


While she has only recently completed her degree, she has already achieved a great deal of success, receiving a second place and a commendation in a national competition run by Tigerprint, exclusive suppliers of gift wrapping and cards to Marks & Spencer. One of her designs is now under consideration by Marks & Spencer for their Christmas 2012 range.


Tyvek paper bauble with cut out linking snowflakes


Tyvek paper bauble #2 with cut out linking snowflakes


Engagement congratulations greeting card

You can find more of Sarah’s work (including peeks into her wonderful sketchbooks which you must see – oh my!) at her website,, and you can find her blog here. You can also buy her work through Etsy here.


page from “swarm” sketchbook


I would like to thank Sarah for her kind permission to reproduce images and text here.


welcome to my first sponsor : Middlemost Clothing!

So very excited to introduce you to my first sponsor – meet Janine Middlemost of Middlemost Clothing!! She makes clothing and accessories for grownups and children from vintage fabrics, along with cards, pouches and other interesting bits and pieces.

Janine lives with her husband and children in my home town of Wagga Wagga, so of course I get to see the racks of gorgeousness in real life. And yes, I DO own a few pieces of the loveliness too 😀

blue dress with florals

Janine has been making fabulous things from vintage fabrics for quite a few years now, and I love the sweet little details she includes in her pieces – buttons, lace, and interesting combinations of fabrics.

the breakfast hike - found images and text on Hahnemuhle paper

She also makes great cards using beautiful paper. She stitches on found images and text, which are combined to provide some quirky and occasionally eyebrow-raising moments.

green swirl dress with scarf - vintage silk blend fabric


red leather peter pan collar with button covered in vintage brocade

You can find more of Janine’s work on her website here, at Gleaners in Brunswick, and at Cultiver in Ipswich.

You can also find her on Facebook here.


Thank you Janine!