Friday, August 18, 2017

Markets in Switzerland

Earlier this week we popped up to Switzerland for ASeminfesta in a small town Semione, Cantu Ticino. Yes I did say 'popped up', that's the amazing thing in Europe you are so close to everything! This always amazes me that you can drive 4 hours and you are in another country with a different language, culture, money, landscape and architecture!

Instantly, when we crossed the border, the vegetation was greener and the architecture changed! The mountains are amazing, I just couldn't stop looking at them. Lucky I wasn't driving we may have gone off the road!

The market was fun! Great to do something different and have a couple of days away. We met a lot of lovely interesting people who spoke Italian, English and German! 

I did mangae to have a look around the village. I left my dear hubby to hold down the fort and headed off to explore with Lulu! Here are a few pics of the town.

We decided not to sleep in Switzerland but instead drove back to Italy and stayed in an wonderful historical hotel, Palace Grand Hotel, Varese dating to 1911. I just loved it! The building was amazing and the grounds beautiful.

Rather than rush back home we checked the internet (what would we do without the internet??) to find out what there was to see in Varese - Sacro Monte di Varese seemed like the place to go!!! It's one of 9 sacri monti on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Definitely worth a visit if you're in the area.

We headed up the hill to visit the amazing old hill town:  Santa Maria del Monte (on Sacro Monte). Let me say it did not disappoint, definitely one of the prettiest towns I have ever visited!

Everywhere I turned there was a photo opportunity, so picturesque! I went a little crazy taking photos, I think my husband thought I'd lost the plot!

It is a fascinating town with incredible views of the Alps on one side and lakes on the other! It is full of little lane ways, some of which are totally covered, like this one! 

At the top of the the hill there is a stunning church full of beautiful frescoes to admire.

 We finished off our visit with a wonderful lunch at Ristorante Montorfano. We sat on the terrace eating prosciutto crudo, burrata and gnocchi fritti (absolutely to die for!) and drinking sparkling Rosè wine. I would say the perfect way to end a super fun couple of days away!

What fun things has everyone else been doing this summer??? I would love here what you've been up to!

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Saturday, August 05, 2017

What's on your desk today?

What's on your desk today? I know mine is a complete and utter mess! That's nothing new! I think it's impossible to create and be tidy at the same time.

Can anybody do that? If the answer is yes I would love to hear how you do it!!! 

This summer is a first for me, I've never  had to deal with 40°C heat before! Not for one day but for 5 days in a row! I swore I wouldn't leave the house for 5 days terrified of what I might feel when I walked out the door! Well yesterday I did go out and the heat hit me like a ton of bricks! Won't do that again!

Today I'm back inside trying to keep my creative mojo going but it's tough! As a result I have many things on the go but nothing is finished. When I get to that part I stop! Total blockage!

I'm working with inspirational words printed onto antique linen. Who knows where they'll end up!

Maybe I'll use some on this work in progress! Still not finished! 

Above is a piece I possibly started more that a year ago! I have resized it and put it on a new base. I think it's going to be for the wall. Maybe on a canvas or something. I'll share it on Instagram when it's complete!

More progress is being made! Woohoo maybe it will be complete by the end of the day! Then again maybe not!

I had forgotten about my little vintage fabric stash! They have come out to play and are enjoying being made into some new goodies!!!

You'll have to wait to see those! Writing is making me hot! 

What's on your table today???? 

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Friday, July 28, 2017

Mandy Pattullo 'Textile Collage'

I'm thrilled to share with you today one of my faves by Mandy Pattullo 'Textile Collage'. I love, love, love her work! Have you seen it before? If not pop over to her blog 'Thread and thrift' here or you could even check out my 'Mandy Pattullo Style' Pinterest board! There are lots of her 'lovelies' saved there all in one place ready for you to drool over!!!!

I'm going to share some pages inside the book and show how we have been inspired by Mandy's gorgeous work. This photo gives us a sneak peek of her work area. Wouldn't you just love to go and have a sticky beak in there???? I know I would!

There are pages in the book about hunting and gathering, old quilts and all kinds of other yummy stuff to get the creative juices flowing! Looking at this photo I'm feeling a little bit of antique quilt envy! How I would love a pile of those. Would you????

Now to the exciting part some examples of her work and projects!

Mandy does a lot of textile collage with old pieces of fabric and quilts. I so love them! A while back I started these little pieces. Of course they have been sitting in my sewing room for about 6 weeks and remain incomplete! I even forgot about them until I pulled out her book today!

If you already know Mandy's work you will have already seen the gorgeous animal collages and embroideries she does. I can never get enough of these when I see them on her blog or on Pinterest!

In this photo you can see one of Mandy's gorgeous hares. Below the book is something I'm working on inspired by Mandy's work. I can't reveal it in it's entirity yet as it's incomplete, of course! So what's new??? It's also a gift for my dear friend so I'm afraid no revealing until it's complete and safely in her hands! Who knows when that will be???

A future project on the cards for me are Mandy's wonderful wallet fabric books. I have been collecting old wallets for a while and can't wait to get started on one of these treasures! 

Finally but not least Mandy's beautiful fabric books! Treasures to behold! I NEED a pile of these too!

Mum has started off my collection. She is also a fan of Mandy and has her book. When she found out the book was due for release she was bursting to get her hands on one!!!

I received this beautiful work of art from mum for Christmas. Oh how I treasure it!

What do you think about Mandy's wonderful pieces? Do you already have her book???

That's all for now, I hope you enjoyed this post!

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Thursday, July 20, 2017

It's hot!

I don't know about you guys but the summer is sweltering here in Italy! It's hot, hot, hot! I don't go to the beach much here, it's a little bit ikky!! There are plenty of seagulls flying around but no sound of the ocean! The water is flat, shallow and warm and the sand is brown. No place for a true blue Aussie when we are used to beaches like this!!!

So how do we cope????? Whilst my daughter goes off to the pool with her friends, I stay inside a lot working on things I love, creative things of course! Fans are blaring and follow me around the house, sometimes two at a time! We also drink a lot of these!

Funnily enough with the heat we've been suffering I've been working on Christmas projects ( amongst other things)! Crazy I know!

It really is Christmas in July! 

I just finished these stockings for a client, loving the way they turned out! Today they are being shipped and will be on their way across the pond to their new home!

That's not all! To continue on the Christmassy theme (feeling a little crazy!) I wrote, and released two new Christmas patterns! New patterns in my shop have been a long time coming so these new patterns are a reason to CELEBRATE! They are now available in my Etsy shop

You can add a whole lot of CUTENESS to your Christmas tree, Christmas wrapping, stocking fillers and gift giving with the gorgeous, SUPER easy to make patterns!

Being Australian it's not odd to think of Christmas when it's hot! I don't know if I prefer a cold Chrissy or hot one??? I think I like both , mind you if I were garanteed of a white Christmas I might love that a little more! 

What's your preference- a hot or cold Christmas?

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Thursday, July 13, 2017

It's here, it's here!!

Homespun Magazine , Christmas in July 2017, get yours now from newsstands or digitally through Zinio , Google Play or the Apple newsstand.

I have been bursting to receive this issue all year!
It's jam packed with fabulous, inspiring projects, interesting articles and helpful hints!

My super talented sister, Sarah, and I have a new project in the magazine. It's always such an honour to be asked to create a new design for such an amazing publication.

Certainly in the magazine there are some wonderfully talented creative people like Natalie Bird (whom we so admire so much !) , so sometimes we feel like little fish in an ocean of amazing creatives. Every so often we give ourselves a pinch to make sure we're not dreaming!

Finally when we come to the realisation that it's real it's time to start brainstorming and designing together. This is not such an easy feat as very large oceans and thousands of kilometres separate us, I am in Italy and Sas is in Sydney!

Thank heavens for technology and the Internet otherwise we would have phone bills a mile long!! Whats App and Skype are our main go to-s when designing a project together. First we chat on Skype and throw around ideas. We don't always agree, as sisters do, but always manage to find a compromise we're both happy with. Fortunately for us we tend to like similar things so it's not too hard to find common ground!

The next phase is a vague sketch! Yes if I draw it it's very vague indeed. I tend to create as I go with a very vague plan. If Sarah sketches our ideas she always has a much clearer vision and produces a very detailed drawing. This drawing passes to the WhatsApp phase which is fabulously instant! We message backwards and forwards with any observations and concerns until we are happy with the design.

When the final design has been decided we divide our jobs and off we go!!


All of this happens months before the magazine is due to be released so you can imagine our anticipation for its arrival.

The biggest thrill is seeing the professional photo shoot of our project. I thought nothing could beat that until I saw our project on the cover!!! Icing on the cake!

We hope you enjoy this issue of Homespun Magazine, filled to the brim with inspiration and projects to make.


Let us know if you make our table runner. We would love to see your photographs and know your thoughts about it. One of the most exciting things when you write a pattern is to see how people interpret it and use colour! 

Just post it on instagram using #homespunmagazinejuly2017

Thanks for joining us! Rachel

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Bloggers Block!

 The Bloggers Block has been lifted! It's time to celebrate!! Let these radiant flowers inspire us all!!!

I have been absent from blogging for quite a while. Shocking I know!!! Life just seems to get in the way! Boredom with blogging has set in!
Does anyone else find that?

Finally, it's time to take action and be proactive! No more going with the flow!

No more procrastinating!

There are so many things I want and need to do which are continually put off. I ask myself 'why'?


I don't like my photos. I don't like this, I don't like that, I can't do this, I can't do that! Always a reason to put off what has to be done.


Get organised, make a plan ( easier said than done, the planning bit is freaking me out!) and go to Creative Live!

Best website ever! It is truly amazing and is slowly but surely changing my way of thinking and hopefully improving how I do things.

I have been learning new things and am feeling more inspired! Love it!

The MORAL of the story is you will be  hearing from me more often with new helpful, and hopefully, inspiring posts. New products, patterns , tips, hints and how-tos.

I hope to post once or twice a week.

Let's hope life doesn't get in the way again!

Thank you for your  patience! Rachel

Friday, April 14, 2017

Bunny pillow pattern

My new bunny pillow pdf pattern is here! It's super cute and easy to make!

A wonderful gift for a new born, birthday or even make them as Easter gifts. Rather than 'bon nuit' you could stamp or embroider the child's name to make it a more personal gift.

I made them in soft pretty colours but they also look fabulous in bright, cheery colours! To adapt the pattern for a boy applique stars rather than flowers!

The pattern can be enlarged to make a larger pillow or reduced to make a smaller bunny, fill it with lavender! It could also be appliqued onto a quilt or bag. It's such a versatile pattern!

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Thursday, March 09, 2017

Fabric and trim packs + FREE tutorial

Fabulous fabrics and trim packs are now available, it's time to destash! 

SIGN UP to my mailing list to receive your FREE pattern/tutorial to make a gorgeous cushion like this with one or 2 of these gorgeous fabric packs.

 Subscribe to our mailing list here to receive your free tutorial to make a beautiful cushion and receive your discount on any purchases!

You can make all kinds of wonderful items with these packs. There are fabrics, buttons, trims, old and new fabrics, appliques and so on. All carefully put together to co-ordinate and inspire. 

To make the above cushion front I used one pack and had left overs which can be used to create something else.
You could also make bags, table centers, pouches and so much more with these. Or collect a few and make something larger like a duffel bag or picnic rug!

There are 5 packs available each one with different colour put together to inspire you and help you build your stash! Here are just a few.


Don't forget to sign up to receive so much more! And please message me on Facebook to share your wonderful creations! I would love to see them!