Tuesday, April 26, 2011


“The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.”

Bertrand Russell

Monday, April 18, 2011

25 things to do with a glass jar

1. make it into a home for a pet snail

2. make a lovely terrarium and keep it on your kitchen shelf

3. keep the sun with you all day (and night) with a sun jar

4. crochet a cover for your jar from your favourite colours

5. make it into a cloche to protect a new seedling in the vege patch

6. keep it on your dresser for your spare change. after a week donate it to a homeless shelter

7. make iced tea in your jar, and take it on a picnic

8. make a time capsule with your family and friends

9. make infused vodka for the weekend

10. make a jar pincushion to hold your sewing pins

11. pick some flowers and make a painted jar vase

12. make an educational matching game (or this one) and play

13. use it to make salad dressing, and store it in the fridge

14.every day write something you are thankful for and put it in the jar

15. use wire to make a handle and turn it into a tealight candle holder

16. pick some rose petals and make a potpourri air freshener

17. make some sand art in your jar and use it as a paperweight or bookend

18. pop it in the kitchen cupboard and use it as an extra drinking glass

19. pretend it's christmas and make a snowglobe

20. fill it with biscuit ingredients and give it to a friend

21. cover it in fabric and use it to hold your pens

22. stock up at the markets and make some jam, or pickles, or chutney or relish

23. use lots of little jars to make this awesome spice rack

24. use it to hold your crafty bits and pieces

25. revert to childhood and make a papier mache volcano experiment

what else could you do with a glass jar?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

my week in pictures

* going to miss sitting in the back seat, driving on country roads with the wind rushing through the window

* hot cross buns and thermos tea on an early morning trip to town

* a lovely surprise from Emma in the post

* my first.ever. successfully grown eggplant. and it was delicious.

* Six decided my bag was quite-a-nice-bed-thank-you-very-much

* Ruthie the lamb is as big as the other sheep now. And it's finally ugg boot weather!

* the neighbours pigs had little piglets. Adorable little cuteness.

Friday, April 15, 2011

make something everyday

Creativity, I think, is a muscle. Use it often, and boldly, and it will grow. I'm a fan of 'doing every day' challenges, when you have a limited time frame and a work to produce, I think it switches off the critical part which demands perfection. Sometimes quantity is better than quality, I say.

So I particularly love this project, 365; make something every day, showcasing some of the projects chosen by participants. Some have subject themes (faces, two headed cats, self portraits, houses); some are focused on the technique (granny squares, drawing, beading, bookmaking, weaving, paper); and some do a bit of everything.

Don't take my word for it, go have a look. Lots of people make lots of interesting things.
And with that kind of quantity, you can pick and choose and build quality. Without the self confidence to run with an idea, any idea, it's impossible to make the leap into a perfect outcome. Make mistakes.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

my creative space- folk man lady friend

I'm trying out a new pattern for a lady friend for my bearded folk man dolls. She's not finished yet (her face hasn't been stitched), but I think they will look sweet together, don't you think? Her dress is made from a vintage pillowslip. I think maybe the next one needs a little more ruffle in the skirt?

She is ready to travel, off to join Save The Children and find a new home with a little one affected by the recent calamity in Japan. You can donate a softie too (made or bought), there are drop-off points in each city; look here for details.

Hope your creative space is lovely x

arranging neatly by size and colour


I am breathing again, and taking one. thing. at. a. time. I spent part of yesterday folding and sorting my fabric stash. Which is very relaxing, don't you think? Just looking at the pretty colours, running your fingers over the weave, making neat piles arranged by size and colour. Plus it almost counts as work, as it miust lead to greater productivity later, right? At least less time spent searching. That isn't my stash up there. No, that belongs to a friend of Sophie's, isn't it pretty? And the lovely Verity suggested eating chocolate, and I was happy to comply.

Did you know you can also see lots of lovely fabric stashes in this flickr group, and more organized things in this one. Then I spent more time looking at things organized neatly.

Perhaps I am a little geeky, a little strange, but I do love nicely organized and pretty things. It injected some order into my currently chaotic life, and did my soul good.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

hooray! stockists update today!

The ace store (formerly known as) Pulp Life has had a name change (same location), and is now known as Neck Of the Woods (isn't that logo fantastic? More bears!)

Hooray! You can now find Pepper Stitches at The Standard C&G, an online boutique (based in the US) with lots and lots of lovely things. Very boutique and everything stocked has been repurposed, recycled or upcycled. I love. If you look closely you can see a Pepper Stitches bunny sweater cushion, and mixed tape cushions too.

Pepper Stitches will also be sold in a new online store by Little Ray Designs, a maker of handmade childrens clothes in Melbourne. There'll be foxes and fishes too; I'll let you know when the site is up!

I'm currently looking for more stockists. If you know of a store (or have one) that you think Pepper Stitches would suit, please let me know, that'd sure be swell!

Friday, April 8, 2011

etsy love- bears

I bought a vintage salt and pepper shaker set yesterday, to cheer me up. They are in the shape of grizzly bears, and very cute indeed. I like bears, I do not see enough of them, I think. So here are lots. On a necklace, paperweight, cushions, t-shirts, walls and bowls. Seems lots of other people like bears too.

Click here to see the full treasury with links to the shops where you can buy these lovely bear-related goods. (If I knew what sound a bear made, I would make it here. Grrroowwwll?)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

my creative space

I want to reclaim my creative space. I've been looking around and I miss the joy and motivation I had when a completed project was for me, just me. Now everything I do is for work, how can it make me money, will I make enough, is it cost-efficient. Don't get me wrong, I love what I do, but it can be hard.The time away was nice, because I missed my studio and am enjoying sewing again; but I am making an effort to make something just for me, every now and then, as welll as making time for new projects, and experiments.

First, a lovely winter quilt methinks, as the weather is cooling down pretty darn fast. See more creative spaces here.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

pattern testers wanted

I am in the process of converting some of my designs into patterns. Pattern pdfs for printing out, patterns for stocking in crafty shops, and patterns for addition into kits with vintage fabric too!

First things first though, I am up to my eyeballs in instructions and pattern pieces. I have some lovely crafty peeps doing some testing of the finished patterns (like Amanda, Britt and Alex!) but would love some more;

if you'd like to test a pattern for me (I'm afraid I cannot give anything except the free pattern. And a hug.) please email me at pepperstitches(at)yahoo(dot)com. I am starting with the woodland fox, antler boy and telephone animals, if you would like to make a particular critter from my store, do let me know!

Oh it's very exciting!

Monday, April 4, 2011

oh. hi there.

Hello Rabbit by Nicole Smith

how are you?

I missed you.

Sorry I've been away.

Off the radar.

I do that sometimes,

don't I?

Sometimes I am busy. Or forgetful.

Sometimes I miss a few days and when I think about all the posts I need to do to catch up, it gets a bit much

and I go and eat a biscuit instead.

And then days turn into a week. or two.

Sometimes it feels like I have nothing to say

or what I have to say isn't interesting enough

(which is silly, I know. I am fascinating)

Sometimes I am away from my computer,

having adventures and thinking about things.

This time it was a bit of all of the above.

I have been in Brisbane. Yep.

Things have happened. Stuff too.

And I will tell you all about it soon.

But first I'm going to go have a biscuit.

(ps. I almost wrote 'cookie' then. But I am not American. They're biscuits. Do you find yourself adopting other words like that?)