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Friday, September 19, 2014

{favourite things} pirates

Arrghh, it be talk like a pirate day! Here's our favourite pirate finds from Australian designers and  makers!

1. milk baby bandana by three little kisses
2. black pirate ring by fifth heaven
3. pirate owl beanie by down grapevine lane
4. hand knitted pirate bunny by sam and charlie designs
5. personalised pirate pendant by groovy goose
6. pirate dress up set by Sparrow and B
7. pirate cookies by one sweet chick
8. little pirate boy illustration by shiva illustrations
9. pirates and vikings - pdf doll pattern by ric rac

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Sneak Peek at Stunning New Picture Book – Tottie and Dot

words by Tania McCartney

Tottie and Dot is a picture book about the complications that can arise from trying to outdo each other. The book didn’t start out with such an intense ‘message’. As the author, I can tell you it was written for pure entertainment purposes—with stacks of drama, colour and chaos—and no direct messaging in mind. As two neighbours continue to try to make their house the best one on the street, it becomes apparent, in a seamless, natural way, that cramming our house with ‘too much’, making things outlandish and complicated, is a fast-track to disaster. It’s also a barrier to friendship.

The book was illustrated by my good friend Tina Snerling, and she did an amazing job of showing each girl—Tottie and Dot—as they scrabble to bring more more more to their adorable houses. In the images below you’ll see two beautifully-appointed homes, with two girls living peacefully side-by-side.


As the book progresses, however, the girls’ obsession with outdoing each other reaches epic proportions, as seen in the double page spread below. And things only get worse—until an unmitigated disaster wipes out all their hard work—and their out-of-control egos, to boot.

Can Tottie and Dot repair their homes and their friendship after everything has gone so disastrously wrong?

This book was so much fun to work on and the imagery is an eyefest extraordinaire. We’re hoping it’s first enjoyed for its fun storyline and kaleidoscope of colour, and secondarily for its premise that love and friendship is all that matters. Oh—and the odd pink flamingo on the lawn.

Tottie and Dot
(Sep 2014, EK Books, $24.99, hard cover, 9781921966491)
Tottie and Dot live side by side. They drink marshmallow tea in the morning. Side-by-side. They water blooms in the afternoon garden. Side-by-side. They make speckled eggs for tea. Side-by-side. All is calm and peaceful until, one day, things change between Tottie and Dot. Who can create the prettiest house? And at what cost? A fresh, fun and strikingly-illustrated book that will delight both adults and children. After their bestselling An Aussie Year, this is the second title from this dynamic new picture book duo.

Find Tottie and Dot at www.tottieanddot.com


This post is just one small part of the super fun Tottie and Dot blog blast!

Please click the poster to the right for lots more reviews, interviews, sneek peaks, cretive processes, drawing competitions and giveaways!!

It's all happening today! Sunday 7th September 2014!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

{win!} two double passes to the Stitches & Craft Show up for grabs!

One of the nation’s most loved travelling craft shows, The Stitches & Craft Show, is heading to Newcastle for a huge event complete with inspiring exhibitors, hands-on workshops, fashion parades, textile exhibitions, the latest products, DIY ideas and much more - and we have two double passes to give away!!

Debuting in Newcastle for the first time at the show will be an international textile exhibition featuring 50 incredible art quilts. Made using a wide variety of styles, techniques and fibres, the quilts have been created by renowned quilters such as Diane Firth (Aust), Hsin-Chen Lin (Taiwan), Alicia Merrett (England) and Cynthia St Charles (USA).

After receiving critical acclaim during its recent tour of France, The Sentinelles Exhibition: A Display of Embroidered Textile Art will feature at the event and showcase stunning embroidered textile panels by highly talented quilters and textile artists from France, England, the USA and Australia.

 Joining the show as the special guest artist is Janelle Wind who has been a pattern designer in the patchwork industry for over 15 years, a teacher and author of the book, Pieces of Me. Janelle will be showcasing her latest works, sharing her designs through paper patterns and signing copies of her book.

The Stitches & Craft Show will also feature the 5000 Poppies Project in which handcrafted poppies are being created and combined into a ‘field’ for Federation Square on Anzac Day 2015. This phenomenal project, which was started by Lynn Berry and Margaret Knight, has already seen over 26,000 poppies created to date. Show attendees will have the opportunity to take part by bringing along their poppies for inclusion on a wall at the show, before being collected by the Hunter Group of the Knitters Guild of NSW and put towards the Project.

Throughout each day of the show, activities sure to draw a crowd will be the spring fashion parades with designer Monica Poole, live demonstrations by the Western Sydney Woodturners Association and a modern quilt display by the Central Coast Modern Quilt Guild.

 The Stitches & Craft Show also offers many fantastic opportunities to learn from the experts at tutorials and hands-on workshops. Classes include beaded jewellery, quilt making, hand dyeing, scrapbooking, card making, embroidery and much more.

 With something for every craft lover, The Stitches & Craft Show will be sure to delight and inspire audiences both young and old!

WHAT: The Stitches & Craft Show
WHEN: Thursday 11 to Sunday 14 September 2014
TIMES: 10am to 4.30pm
WHERE: Newcastle Entertainment Centre, Broadmeadow
TICKETS: Available via www.craftevents.com.au or on the door
TICKET PRICE (VIP and multi-day tickets also available:
  • Adults: $15
  • Seniors Card Holders: $14
  • Children: (5 to 16 years): $7
We have two double passes to The Stitches and Craft Show - Newcastle to give away to two lucky tickle readers!! To enter the draw, simply visit The Stitches and Craft Show website here, then return to this blog post to tell us which of the activities or workshops you would most like to take part in! Please include an email address so we can contact you if you win!!
Entries close Saturday 6th September 2014. A winner will be drawn at random!
terms and conditions:
1. The event takes place in Newcastle , from the 11th-14th September - so you will need to be able to make it there to make best use of this prize.
2. Prize is not exchangeable for cash
3. Entries close 12 midnight (EST) on Saturday 6th September 2014
4. The winner will be contacted by email and will need to respond within 48 hours to allow time for postage of tickets.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

{explore} fox & ramona at maribyrnong makers market

Established in 2008, the Maribyrnong Makers Market is a not-for-profit, community based arts and craft market run by a local volunteer group. The enthusiastic group provides a much-needed forum for artists and crafts people to promote and sell their handmade wares, welcoming visitors from across Melbourne to discover one of the hidden jewels of the west.

With the cold, windy, winter days almost behind us, the Maribyrnong Makers Market is set to embark upon another busy season of crafting, with the first market to be held on Saturday 13 September.

With stalls limited to just 40 places, all exhibitors at the Maribyrnong Makers Market are modern artisans. And Kristy Tull, the inventive mastermind behind fox & ramona, is no exception. Based in Spotswood, fox & ramona is a blossoming home wares label that specialises in concrete planters, bowls, and vases. Featuring edgy, triangular patterns, all pots and planters from fox & ramona are 100% handmade from concrete. “The organic nature of concrete means no two pieces are alike. Variations in the texture and finish are what makes your pot unique,” said Kristy.
fox & ramona was born in 2011. But it’s come a long way since then. “I'm a maker. I love to design, to create. I've always just made...stuff. fox & ramona originally began with resin and polymer clay jewellery - a far cry from the concrete I work with today. Then, about eight months ago, I came across a small terracotta pot that was painted to look like concrete at a junk store. And, in the words of a true maker, I thought, I could make this…so I did,” said Kristy.

While fox & ramona is inspired by Kristy’s serious love of interior design, home wares, fashion, and art, it is perhaps Kristy’s experience working at an architectural firm that most influences her design palette. “There I was surrounded by raw concrete, plywood, all natural materials - I think being exposed to such a creative work environment has contributed to my love of the raw, organic nature of concrete. The finished product is always unpredictable. I love that,” said Kristy.
A huge advocate of ‘shop local’ and ‘shop handmade’, Kristy is looking forward to her outing at the
Maribyrnong Makers Market. “The market is well known in the west for its high quality handmade
products and for its community spirit. Who wouldn't want to be a part of that,” Kristy said.
Offering a diverse range of products, the Maribyrnong Makers Market is a one-stop-shop for eclectic
handmade goodies, ranging from bespoke home wares and designer clothing, to chic accessories and
vintage children’s trinkets and toys.

The next Maribyrnong Makers Market will be held on Saturday 13 September, from 9.30am to 3.30pm, on the corner of Gamon and Mackay Streets in Seddon. Entry to the market is free. For more information please visit www.maribyrnongmakersmarket.com.au or www.foxandramona.com.au

Do you have a handmade market coming up? Let us help you spread the word via the tickle blog! Submit details and images at http://tickletheimagination.weebly.com/contribute.html

Saturday, August 2, 2014

{create it} feather applique cushion

tutorial and photography by Tanya Collier
you will need...
+ fine wale cord in yellow for :
front panel - 33cm x 53cm
+ 33cm grey chevron fabric for:
2 x back panels - 33cm x 35cm/
applique - 10cm x 10cm
+ iron-on adhesive
+ dark grey embroidery thread
+ embroidery needle
+ embroidery hoop
+ scissors
+ pins
+ sewing machine
+ white or yellow thread
+ tape measure
+ 30cm x 50cm cushion insert

click here to download the pattern & feather template
adding the feather applique...
1. Trace the feather template onto the backing paper of the iron-on adhesive.
2. Place iron-on adhesive (paper side up) onto the wrong side of the applique fabric and iron into place using a dry iron. Position the feather template to work with the chevron pattern.
3. Allow to cool, then cut out your feather shape.
4. Remove backing paper from the feather, position onto the front panel and iron into place.(A)
5. Place the front panel into an embroidery hoop with the feather centred.(B)
6. Using a blanket stitch embroider around the feather with dark grey embroidery thread - our stitches are approx. 5mm apart and 5mm deep.(C)
7. Create the shaft of the feather with a back stitch.(D)
8. Secure and trim your embroidery thread and remove the front panel from the hoop.

assemble the cushion...
1. Take one of the back panels and, with the wrong side face up, fold and press the ‘cushion opening’ edge in 1cm. Then fold and press again so that the raw edge is hidden inside.(E)
2. Pin in place and machine stitch the hem. Repeat on the second back panel.
3. Lay the front of your cushion right side face up. Take the back panels and place onto the top panel so the right sides of the fabric are touching. Carefully line up all the outside edges and pin in place.(F)
4. Machine stitch all the way around your cushion.
5. Carefully trim the corners. Turn your cushion right side out, press, and fill with the cushion insert.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

{create} a cosy wool door snake

tutorial and photography Helen Louise Wilkinson of Blossom + Cat

The seasons have turned and the nights are really rather cold! It’s time to get cosy and make yourself one of these lovely wool door snakes, they are lots of fun and perfect for keeping out the cold winter drafts.


you will need...
 + an old wool blanket
 + sturdy fabric for the base
 + buttons
 + a scrap of felt
 + embroidery cotton
 + fabric scraps for stuffing
 + scissors and pins
 + iron
 + sewing machine
 + pattern sheet - click here to download

step 1 Print the paper pattern sheet - click here to download.
Measure your door and cut a strip of paper the right length to fit the gap in the pattern, add on an extra 8cm. (example: my door measured 86cm wide my finished paper pattern was 94cm).
Layer the fabric and pin the pattern sheet in place.

step 2 Cut out your fabric shapes.

step 3 Use the embroidery cotton to sew on the buttons, they don’t have to match, you could also try layering them for a different effect.

step 4 Position the tongue facing inwards towards the body and pin in place. This will stick out once the snake has been turned!

step 5 Pin the top and bottom of the snake together with right sides of the fabric touching. Using a sewing machine sew around the edges allowing for a 1cm seam allowance. Leave a gap half way down the body of around 12cm for turning and stuffing.

step 6 Turn your snake right side out, push out the seams and press. Stuff firmly with fabric scraps, make sure you cut them into small pieces to avoid lumps!

step 7 Pin the gap closed and stitch together firmly using small neat stitches.

finished! name your snake and pop him in front of your door!


this tutorial was originally published in issue 11 of tickle the imagination magazine.

tutorial by Helen Louise Wilkinson of blossom + cat

*please note - this tutorial is for personal use only

Monday, July 14, 2014

WIN! creative chaos challenge

Are you up for a challenge?

The Artful Business Conference is offering tickle readers the chance to WIN a ticket to this years conference!

To take part all you have to do is to give your creative chaos a tidy and share your before and after photos.

First...you might like to read the business toolkit in issue 16 for a little inspiration - "get more productive simply by tidying up".

Then... go take a photo of your creative chaos to share with us on facebook, instagram or pinterest before Friday this week - with the following hashtags - #creativechaos2014, #tickletheimagination and #artfulbizcon.

Then...go tidy up! You have just over two weeks to get stuck in and get organised. Have fun, be creative and let us know how you are going!!

Our favourite makeover will win!

and, so you don't feel so bad about how your 'before' picture looks...head over to the tickle instagram page and see what my office looked like just this morning :( I don't think many people could beat this...I am so embarrassed to share this... it looks like something off an episode of hoarders!

happy tidying!
Tanya x

terms and conditions:
 - 'before' images to be submitted by Friday 18th July 2014
 - 'after' images to be submitted by 31st July 2014
 - one entry per person
 - open to Australian residents aged 18 years and over




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