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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

{meet the maker} Lauren Wright

I am very excited to introduce Lauren Wright from Molly and  Mama, who will be joining us as a regular contributor at the tickle blog this year! She will be sharing her love for all things felt.

Here's her story...

Miss Molly pin cushion pattern

tell us a little about yourself and Molly and Mama...
Since I was a small child, I’ve been making and creating in one form or another. I was blessed to grow up in a family where we could craft and sew, draw and paint, and get creative! It’s been a way of life for me, and something I just never grew out of. So it made sense that I’d pursue a creative job. But that didn’t really happen until my children came along. I first started sewing for family and friends. One thing lead to another and Molly and Mama was born. 

My grandmother Molly, and my mother (whom my kids call Mama) inspired my love of all things creative, and encouraged me to follow my dreams. So I named my business after them. It just made sense to me.

The business has certainly changed and developed over the last five years. I began by selling ready-made accessories, embellished t-shirts, simple clothing and pretty décor. But then I started to notice how much I enjoyed the creative process, and also enjoyed sharing it with others.

I also noticed people around me often commenting that they wished they were creative, or could sew. And I’m still surprised to hear these comments, because in my mind, we can all design and make. I realised there were many people out there that wanted to try their hand at a traditional craft, but mistakenly believed it was difficult.

So that inspired me to design simple-to-follow craft patterns, with lots of step-by-step instructions, clear photos, and with no sewing jargon. I wanted my patterns to inspire beginners to pick up a needle and thread and give a sewing project a go, just for the fun of being creative. I wanted others to feel that sense of satisfaction when their creative dreams became a reality. I hope my patterns encourage others, and share with them a love of traditional craft methods made modern.

You can see the current range of sewing, craft, felt and appliqué patterns in my Etsy store; www.MollyandMama.etsy.com.

Katie Koala applique

what are the tools of your trade?
I’ve always had a thing for wool felt. It’s just so easy and beautiful to work with. And naturally, I’m also addicted to embroidery floss! And there’s just something about Liberty Art Fabrics. Such stunning floral designs; timeless and classic. I’m a floral girl. I love anything pink, pastel, and pretty!
Pretty Purse pattern

what inspires you?
Inspiration can come from anywhere, and at any time. So I keep a note book handy at all times. Some of my sketched ideas can take hold in my mind, and then they just ask to be brought to life! So I grab some felt or fabric and get started. I think it’s really important to give your ideas the space to develop and grow though. I can spend weeks thinking about a design before I start sewing it. And not every project needs to be completed either. The sheer act of ‘making’ can often inspire another design or idea.

Being creative encourages creativity. So I think if you always have something to work on, design, stitch or make, then you’ll be constantly keeping that creative process growing. And your creations will be new and fresh, original and distinctly yours.

I love using instagram as a way to keep a record of what inspires me and what happens when inspiration strikes! See more at www.instagram.com/MollyandMama
Sleepy Cloud pin cushion pattern

who are your favourite creative people?
There are so many amazingly talented creative people out there, it’s difficult to name just a few. What I can say is that my favourites aren’t necessarily those that do what I do, but those that also love sharing their knowledge, supporting fellow creative business owners and beginners alike. I love the sense of community in the creative world, and the way we help each other grow and shine!

Lauren's workspace

do you have other creative passions, hobbies or talents?
I think when you’re a creative person, it isn’t something that can be compartmentalised to only one area of your life. I love drawing and doodling, and painting too. Cake decorating is always fun. Gardening is a huge passion of mine. Just check out my vegetable patch! I’ve always had a love of architecture and interior design too. And basically anything involving colour. I think your creativity is more about how you see the world, than what you do in it!

A skulk of Fifi Foxes

how do you balance work life and being a mum?
I find the best way to balance work and home life is to not aim for balance! It’s all a matter of priorities and scheduling. I’m a stay-at-home mum by choice. So that job comes first. But that just means that I make sure I plan for my business diligently, schedule in my deadlines and the steps I need to take to get there. But there are plenty of late, late nights and typing away on the computer, because it’s too late to start up the sewing machine!

Coco Flower Crown pattern

describe your typical day at work...
After an early morning social media check in, it’s time to get straight down to the physical work – the actual making. I try and make sure that the sewing and crafting is scheduled for earlier in the day when the kids are at school. And the computer work, blogging, social media posts and networking tend to happen at night.

Spring Posy pin cushion - free tutorial

do you have any favourite books/websites/social networks that you couldn’t live without?
There are so many sewing, crafting, blogging, business and social media courses and tutorials available now. And I find that I’m discovering new things to learn everyday. So I just make sure that I pin all the links I don’t want to lose. You can see more on the Molly and Mama Pinterest boards; www.pinterest.com/MollyandMama.

I also find that networking is one of the most valuable tools available. I have met some fantastic ‘creatives’ online and would consider them friends, even though we’ve never met in person! Working from home can be a lonely occupation, so these relationships are vital!

I also meet regularly with like-minded local business owners for a bit of Masterminding! We discuss our successes, offer help and advice, and act as accountability partners. So we check in on each other to make sure we’re meeting deadlines and fulfilling goals. I’ve found it to be so helpful for running an online business.

Christmas Mouse free tutorial

do you have any advice for someone starting a handmade business?
Like everything in life, running a successful handmade business takes determination, hard work, and time. You need to be dedicated and willing to fail. Be open to trying new things, challenging yourself and thinking outside the box. But above all else, you need to be fuelled by a passion for what you do. When you love your business, all that hard work doesn’t feel overwhelming. It’s what drives you and motivates you to keep going!

Surround yourself with likeminded people. If you’re a ‘one-woman show’, reach out to other creative business owners for support. Encourage each other, and share your successes and failures. Build each other up, and help each other to shine!

Pretty pin cushion

what’s next for Molly and Mama?
Patterns, patterns, and more patterns. There just aren’t enough hours in the day to bring all of my creative dreams to life. Yet, how blessed am I to have that chance? I’m so grateful to be able to do what I love, share my knowledge with others, and learn a lot along the way. It really is the perfect job. So thanks for joining in a little bit of the Molly and Mama journey!

See free tutorials, sewing inspiration, and more, on the blog; www.MollyandMama.com.au

Tickle the Imagination readers are welcome to use the coupon code THANKYOU to save 10% on all their purchases in the Molly and Mama store. It’s my way of showing appreciation for all of your support. www.MollyandMama.etsy.com.

find Molly and Mama online...

Monday, May 2, 2016

{win} no sew banner kit

Recently VELCRO® sent us a no-sew banner kit to try out their new VELCRO® Sticky Back for Fabrics - too cute!

Plus, they included 3 more kits to giveaway to our lovely readers!

Each kit includes all the goodies shown above along with step by step instructions to create a fun no-sew banner (designed by our friend Sam of Dunne with Style).

So...onto the review!

As you know, I love crafting! There's nothing quite like the feeling you get when you've completed a project. And if there's something that helps create things a little quicker, you can count me in!

This fab product takes the VELCRO® we know and love and adds super stickiness - you simply peel and stick for a permanent bond to fabric that's also washable!

It's available in ovals, tape and rectangles in both black and white - and you'll find it in Bunnings and Spotlight nationally.

As promised, it stuck really well to both fabrics, I was particularly impressed with how it bonded to the felt - we all know how hard getting anything to stick to felt is!

There are leftovers from the kit and my brain is buzzing with ideas for things to create! But, we want to hear your ideas!

Simply tell us, in the comments below or via email, your most creative idea for using VELCRO® Sticky Back for Fabrics! Our 3 favourite answers will each win a kit!

Entries open to Australian residents aged 18 years and over
Entries close Monday 16th May 2016
One entry per person

Don't forget to include an email address or pop us an email once you've commented so we have a way of contacting you! hello@tickletheimagination.com.au

Friday, April 29, 2016

{inspire} breakfast in bed

Mothers Day is a beautiful opportunity to show Mum how much you appreciate her! It's not all about the gifts - it's one of those days when the thought really does count. For me, being treated like a princess with breakfast in bed is the loveliest way to start the day! 

Today, stylist and photographer, Rose Hewartson has shared two of her favourite breakfast recipes and gorgeous images she captured to inspire you to spoil your mum with breakfast in bed this Mothers Day!

Scroll to the end for her delicious strawberry compote and buttermilk pancake recipes.

Strawberry Compote
+ 2 cups (250g) of fresh strawberries with tops removed
+ 2 tbsp (20g) of white sugar
+ Juice of 1 small lemon
+ 50 ml (50g) of water

Place ingredients in a medium sized saucepan over a low heat, stirring occasionally.

Cook for around 10 minutes until the liquid component thickens slightly.
You can choose to remove from the stove now or if you would prefer a thicker sauce, then leave on stove until it thickens further. 
Keep in mind that as the mixture cools it will thicken.
When sauce it at your desired consistency, remove from stove and either serve immediately, or cool completely and store in the refrigerator.

Note: Depending on the sweetness of your strawberries you may need more sugar. Taste the compote at the end of the cooking time. If is is not sweet enough for your taste then add another teaspoon of sugar and mix through. The mixture will still be hot enough for the sugar to melt through. If you find the sauce too sweet, you can add a bit more lemon, a teaspoon at a time.

Can be served over pancakes, pikelets, ice cream, cheesecake or overnight oats (bircher muesli).

Simple Buttermilk Pancakes
+ 1 cup (150g) of Self Raising Flour
+ 1 tbsp (10g) of white sugar
+ 1 cup (250ml) of buttermilk
+ 2 tbsp (40ml) of melted butter

Put the dry ingredients into a medium size mixing bowl and combine.
Make a well in the centre.
Pour in the buttermilk, then the melted butter.
Mix with a whisk until well combined, however do not mix for too long.
The mixture will be quite thick and may still have some lumps, and that is quite normal.
Allow to stand for 15 minutes.
Place a medium size non stick frypan over the stove on a low - medium heat.
Place a small amount of butter in pan and wait until it melts.
Pour about 1/2 a cup of the mixture into the centre of the frypan, cooking one pancake at a time on low-medium heat.
Pancake is ready to turn over when bubbles appear on the top.
Turn the pancake with a spatula and remove once both sides are golden. Repeat for remaining mixture which makes 4-5 medium sized pancakes.

Photographer, Rose is based in Brisbane Australia. She is a wife and mother of two teenage children, and after working as a nurse for many years, has been able to follow her instincts and pursue her love of photography. She photographs families and newborns in a natural style, creating meaningful photographic documentaries that capture authentic family life. In her family photography she always likes to capture some component of family food whether it be cooking in the kitchen or eating at the family table. She has recently ventured into food photography which is a natural progression for her as she has always had a love of cooking from scratch and sharing cooking and meals as a family.
See more of her beautiful work at www.rosehewartson.com.au

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

{favourite things} mums the word

Mother's day is only 11 sleeps away! Handmade gifts are always my favourite - why not spoil mum with one of these lovely finds!

1. Soy wax candle 'bonne nuit' by Bonlux
Glass votive + illustrated gift box, romantic gift, violet, peppercorns + oakmoss

2. Leather kits and homewares by Hammered Leatherworks
Creativity needs to be nurtured and traditional skills passed on. Hammered Leatherworks gives mum the chance to try her hand at leatherwork with affordable high quality leather, kits, tools, workshops and supplies.

3. Pattern Play Screen Print Cushion Cover by Little Miss Gee
Bring an eye-catching new look to your lounge room with the Pattern Play cushion. Not only super chic but with a blend of luxury and cool, this cushion is sure to make a bold statement. Available in three rich colour ways – metallic copper, baby pink and luxurious fushia, all screen printed by hand using non-toxic ink onto 100% white linen. RRP $55 AUD

4. Melbourne - Digitally Printed Tea Towel by Squeak Design
Featuring the iconic Flinders Street Station and City Circle Tram.

5. Large Concrete Geometric Planter 'Pentoid' by The Armory Co
Timeless geometric concrete centrepiece for the home or office by The Armory. Due to their hand crafted nature, no two products will look or feel the exactly identical, giving your home, garden, office, or cafe a unique, rustic charm. All products are sealed and weather-tested.

6. Small Round Bamboo Weaving Loom kit by The Unusual Pear
The Unusual Pear weaving looms are lightweight, durable and incredibly easy to use! They are suitable for all ages and are perfect for beginners.

7. Blue Aquamarine Ring 14k White Gold Ring by Gregory G Hall
Blue aquamarine ring, composed completely by hand with glimmering 14k white gold and a bright aquamarine gemstone, this ring is guaranteed to make mum the princess she is.

8. Slate Grey crocheted infinity scarf by TigsTogs
Unisex cowl oversized scarf chunky knit warm wool circle scarves wraps crochet winter infinity accessories handmade. Ready to post.

9. Gorgeous, handmade fabric clutches by Sally and Jane
Flirty florals ready for Autumn and perfect for mothers day.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

{printable} protea papers

Inspired by this weeks colour palette and the shapes found in a protea bloom, I designed these pretty papers!

 I'm sharing a sampler with you today to have a play...
Download the sampler here
I created the origami boxes by trimming the paper to 20x20cm squares, then used this step-by-step.
Have fun!

If you would like to see the full collection you can find it here

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

{create} branch weaving

tutorial and photography by Kristy Scaddan from Eeny Empire

Whether you're a bigger human or a little being, branch weaving is fun for all ages.

you will need...
+ a few branches
+ scissors
+ scraps of wool
+ feathers, tulle, straw, or anything that can be woven and found around the house or garden

step 1
Choose a branch that is Y shaped for this project and start warping up. Warp tension are the threads on a loom which other threads (the weft) are passed to make your masterpiece. Use some string or piece of wool and tie it to your stick then zig zag up the stick making knots at every pivot point to keep your yarn from sliding up and down. Keep your warp thread firm but don't pull too hard and break your stick. Tie off and cut your warp thread.

step 2
Now it's time to start weaving. You can use a blunt needle if it's easier but fingers are just fine. Cut off a length of yarn. Weave in and out under over, up and down, alternating every warp thread.

step 3
You can use a fork to keep your weaving nice and neat by pushing it close every row you finish.

Once you get the hang of it you can weave in and out and create any pattern your supplies take you. Switch yarns or rope by knotting them together and pushing the knot to the back of your work.

step 4
Finish off with feathers or any other found objects.

step 5
Tuck the start and finish yarn tails in through to the back and under a couple of stitches.


Kristy Scaddan is the founder of Eeny Empire. She is a craft enthusiast and adores sharing the amazing ways of all creative subjects. Growing up with a Mum that owned a Craft store, she has been teaching craft classes since she was a teen. She studied Fashion and Textile design and specialises in textile crafts like macrame, weaving, shibori and natural dyeing classes.

Eeny Empire offers opportunities to learn a new creative skill while having a chat with like minded crafty folk. New teachers and classes are regularly being updated and added and classes are held throughout Perth, WA. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

{colour inspiration} protea bloom

How amazing are the colours in this Protea bloom? I spotted this one in bushland in Pemberton, which is in the southwest of Western Australia.

Wikipedia tells me that the genus Protea was named in 1735 by Carl Linnaeus after the Greek god Proteus, who could change his form at will, because they have such a wide variety of forms.




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