Miss Honey Joy – the new home of cake bunting and other gorgeous handmade things

Floral flags - full length - hi res

At the end of last year I decided I didn’t want to make my cake bunting anymore. But having invested so much time in creating the products, photographing them appealingly, discovering they were popular and subsequently gaining such a lot of good press, I couldn’t bring myself to just let it fade away. It seemed a bit of a waste.

Harrison bunting - plaid cake - square - hi res

I began to consider who, if anyone, might want to take the reigns.

Olive banner - yellow balloon - spangle cake - full length - hi res 2

About 2 years ago a gorgeous girl called Julia contacted me to say thanks for my cake bunting tutorial as it had enabled her to make some gorgeous decorations for her sister’s wedding. She was kind enough to include some photos and they were lovely.

mr & mrs cupcake flag by Miss Honey Joy

When I responded she mentioned she was toying with the idea of starting her own crafty business but was not quite at the point yet – she imagined it was something she might do if she one day had a baby and was on maternity leave. And we left it there.

Miss Honey Joy spotty yellow tag

Some 2 years later, when I began to mull over who might take on twirling betty cake bunting, the lovely Jules popped into my mind. I had no idea what stage she was at in her life but thought it couldn’t hurt to put the proposition to her. And, serendipitously, she was newly up the duff and starting to contemplate a crafty biz with more focus! I LOVE it when stars align like that. It was totes meant to be.

Miss Honey Joy screen printed card

So, I am delighted to introduce you to Jules’ gorgeous Etsy shop, Miss Honey Joy. As you’ll see, it’s packed full of cake bunting and banners but also other lovely things: hand stamped gift bags and cupcake toppers, screen-printed cards and tags and larger garlands too.

Miss Honey Joy jute and twine garland

Jules’ products are beautifully made – she REALLY cares and it’s evident. I cannot even express how happy I am that not only did I find someone I could trust to invest the same level of care and effort as I did but that is also just a gorgeous human being.

Yellow heart cupcake flags Miss Honey Joy

Please do pop over and have a browse in Miss Honey Joy and, if you do order from Jules, let her know I sent you.

Miss Honey Joy garland

And you can follow her on Pinterest – she has the most exquisite taste.

evie is one bag by Miss Honey Joy

Can you feel the love?

Ceramic heart necklace - personalised 2 Bol au chocolat with homemade marshmallow heart Gold dust ceramic heart necklaces Green ceramic heart Soap confetti hearts in heart package Grey heart fabric confetti You rock red banner - red floral cake - aqua heart - square Heartbeat cross stitch heart wrapping paper Polka dot love heart badge pin brooch Love heart pop Denim headband with red felt heart 1

Navy amore with red heart

Hope your Valentine’s Day is chockers with love my darlings.

Someone thinks I’m super. And a star.


If you’re not already familiar with it, Cut Out And Keep is a treasure trove of amazing craft, fashion, beauty and food tutorials; a repository for heaps of awesome stuff. And I am totally honoured and flattered and pink in the cheeks to be their most recent Crafty Superstar.

Here’s a link to my virtual trailer. In case you’re wondering, it’s quite a large trailer with heated toilet seats and a well-stocked bar. Knock loudly if you’re coming in, the plush carpets tend to mute outside noise.

Cut Out and Keep has a great online mag called Snippets.

medium_cover_1315000531 medium_cover

Every day this week the lovely Cat, who runs the joint, will be posting a different twirling betty tutorial. And there’s a bit of a blurb about me as well. Including an embarrassing musical taste admission (although it’s not so much the music as the man himself) which for any long-term readers of this blog will come as no surprise but may make others vomit a little into their mouths. The thought of which, in turn, makes me giggle.

I hate the word “giggle” by the way. What am I? A 5 year old? But chortle makes me sound like Rumpole of the Bailey and laugh is too general. Maybe snicker is what I’m looking for. Only without the mean connotation. Any and all suggestions for the appropriate word gratefully accepted.

You know what I mean.


Just go on over and look at my superstarry-ness will ya?


2 other things:

1. Remember these Due Punti rings I posted about a while back? Kate from Bensimon Diamonds saw that post and got in touch to let me know they have an introductory offer of 2 due punti rings for $99. That, my friends, is a good deal. I’ve already availed myself of it and two more friends have Due Punti rings in their future. Preciousssssss rings.

2.  I posted about our family photo shoot recently. Fi Mims, photographer extraordinaire, has posted some more photos of our family on her blog. I highly recommend Fi if you’re in Melbourne and in search of someone lovely to take some family snaps.

And just so we are totes clear, as always, those are not sponsored plugs. I just think 1. is a genuinely good deal on something I love and 2. is a doll who takes great photos.

Although if any cool company wishes to sponsor me….I’ll be in my trailer. In a negligee. Listening to Slippery When Wet.

twirling betty in the press and on the Made It blog

twirling betty had a lovely little  feature in Australian Home Beautiful magazine this month. I LOVE Home Beautiful magazine but it stresses me out to read it because I covet almost everything in there. And I’m not generally a covetous kind of gal, but Gaga gag me if there aren’t lovely covetable things on every page.

Yes, esCHEW.  Bless you.

I was also very flattered  to be asked to answer some questions in Made It’s ongoing blog series about Made It sellers who blog.

If you’d like to the know the whys and hows of blogging (my bloggin, at least) and browse some links to some of my favourite blogs then please do giddy up on over to the Made It blog.

Look how people are using twirling betty bunting

Okay, so the title of that post may have led you to believe I was about to showcase an exotic array of photos featuring the use of twirling betty bunting in never-before-seen ways. The truth is, most people are sticking ’em in cakes. And they’re sending me gorgeous photos of aforesaid cakes like the one above and like this:

She made that cake herself! Those last two shots are custom orders I made but this next set was sent to me by a lovely lass who made hers herself using my tutorial for the dessert table at her sister’s wedding.

So very sweet.

And I’m loving the gorgeous banners too – especially the way she has used coloured fabric (or ribbon?) and pinked the edges. So effective.

But there’s always one in every group isn’t there? The one thinking outside the cake. The one in this case is the inimitably crafty Ashley from Under the Sycamore. She got some twirling betty bunting as part of a goodie bag from a crafty weekend she attended a while back and has extrapolated on the theme by popping one in a terrarium.

Along with a lego Luke Skywalker AND R2-D2 who I feel add a certain je ne sais quoi.

The crafty force is strong in that one.

You can read all about how she made the terrarium with her kidlets here.

Thanks to everyone who sends me photos. They completely make my day.

twirling betty packaging

Packaging is the kind of thing I lie in bed at night and consider. Not in a worried kind of way. In an “I can’t sleep so instead I’ll brainstorm packaging ideas” kinda way. Yep, me and Stephen Hawking; lying awake at night and contemplating the big things.

When I started twirling betty a couple of years ago, I chose packaging that had very natural, neutral tones. They’re hand-stamped unbleached paper bags with black stamps and standard beige swing tags. I liked the simplicity (and biodegradability) of my packaging but as I’ve headed on down my own little creative path (all the while waiting for someone to tap me on the shoulder and order me back to my desk in the law firm as they ask me who I think I am making things) I’ve developed the annoying habit of falling in love with some new design or colour combo or technique on a regular basis. In other words, my taste is continually being informed by all the wonderful stuff around me: fabrics, amazing blogs, Pinterest etc.

So I want new packaging. I want bright, colourful packaging that is in keeping with my new-found confidence with and love for colour. The only thing is, having ordered in bulk I now have a veritable shite-load of brown paper bags.

While I did momentarily toy with the idea of pulping the lot and embarking on some new packaging folly, the design of which for me would be as pleasurable as any task, I sighed and made a commitment to use up what I had first. Gawd, I’m SO middle class.

To make the pleated crepe paper I take a whole streamer roll and just manually fold it into pleats while letting it run through my sewing machine. It takes a bit of practise to coordinate your hands and to ensure the crepe paper doesn’t tangle but it’s strangely therapeutic once you get in to a rhythm. Then I simply sew a bit of streamer onto the top of each bag to close it up.

Will my packaging date? Yep. Am I bovvered? Nope. Because I look forward to the next late night packaging brainstorm.

Phew, lucky Stephen Hawking is occupied with theoretical physics because I don’t have a spare second for that kind of thing at the moment. I’m busy sewing pleated crepe paper streamers on to brown paper bags.

What do you think my darlings? What other colours of crepe would go nicely with that natural brown do you think?

New twirling betty visors now in store – and a giveaway to celebrate.

I’ve just finished loading photos of twirling betty visors in my new (southern hemisphere) spring 2011 fabrics to my Etsy and Made It shops. I hope you like the new fabric. (PS: She’s not sunburned, it’s a reflection of the orange fabric!)

All the old favourites are still available – in particular the polka dots in a range of colours:

but I’ve retired some less popular fabrics and even updated my thumbnail swatch that shows you the fabric options you can choose from.

It’s been a LONG day. I started at 5am this morning and it is now nearly 8.30 pm and I am still going.  So I will bid you all good evening or good morning (tick whichever applies) and go and neck a bottle of wine. I’ve earned it.

To celebrate the new range, I’m offering twirling betty blog subscribers the chance to win this visor.

To enter:

1. you must be a subscriber. So if you already are, fab. If not, then sign up for my posts to be delivered to your inbox or through your preferred feed reader. You’ll find buttons to activate both of these options at the top right of my home page.

2. Leave me a comment just saying hi and letting me know how long you’ve been a subscriber. (Longevity of subscription will cement my adoration of you but won’t, I’m afraid, give you a greater chance of winning. I’m just interested).

Entries close this Sunday TUESDAY evening (30 August) at 6pm Australian EST. I will post the package  anywhere so overseas subscribers are welcome to enter.

EDITED TO ADD: It was brought to my attention that I should give all readers the full weekend to enter so I’ve extended the date for drawing the giveaway by a couple of days so my readers in the Northern Hemisphere have scads of time to see the post too. Scads. What a great word. xx END EDIT.

ENORMOUS thanks to the lovely Lucy for modelling my new range. Isn’t she gorgeous? She is even more beautiful on the inside than the out. I know, what a beeyatch. She’s my treasure.

Scratch ‘n’ sniff cards: a tutorial

I recently attended my 20 year school reunion and prior to the night  we were sent a reply form in which we were asked slightly awkward questions like “What are your plans for the future?”.  I ummed and ahhed and eventually, resisting the urge to write “scale Everest and achieve 3 alcohol-free nights per week”, I  wrote something inoffensive like “travel and enjoy watching my girls grow”. But when it came to the question “Memories of school” I had no such hesitation. Two things loomed large in my memory: hot cheese buns and scratch ‘n’ sniff stickers in our song books.

Yep, I might not be able to remember a SINGLE thing I learned in maths nor the dates of the exquisite Edo period in Japan, but I can recall the smell of a bubblegum scratch ‘n’ sniff sticker on the inside cover of one of my books like it was yesterday.

So when I was planning my Christmas in July snowflake and cinnamon extravaganza, I knew cinnamon-scented cards would be fab as invitations. And while these cards aren’t your traditional scratch-it-with-your-fingernail variety they do release a scent if you shake the card little and scratch the fabric. Then again, what doesn’t? I think a brick would release some kind of smell if you shook it and then scratched it. But back to the cards…

What you need:

Note the piece of very fine muslin sitting just behind the paper punch. It is cut to a square just a fraction smaller than one half of the red card.

What to do:

1.Cut card to rectangle in desired size,  fold in half and then unfold.

2.Punch snowflakes only on one half of the card.

3. Lay muslin (or any nearly transparent but finely woven fabric)  on top of card where you have punched flakes. Punching snowflakes sounds a bit violent to me. Something evil Christmas elves might do. So let’s not do too much of that.

4. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

5. Fold red card in half so that fabric and cinnamon is sandwiched between red card and then holding red card horizontal all the while, lay it on your white card and then stitch around the entire red square.

6. Shake it. Scratch it. Krump it up a little.

Here’s another version using dried lavender.

You can just make out the lavender bits in this close up.

For this one I sewed a little pouch and then taped it (inelegantly) into the interior of the card as I just wasn’t digging the stitching around the image in this case (read: I totally lost my sewing mojo today).

Now I don’t want you to get me wrong. I’m not one of those freaks who need to smell everything. No, that would be my husband. He feels the need to smell the most unlikely things; concert tickets, camera straps, light bulbs. You know, things ordinary folk like you and me wouldn’t necessarily be compelled to sniff. Yep, totally freaky. Unlike me. Who makes cards that smell. That’s totally normal.

As is what this genius has done: raised funds to create an entire scratch ‘n’sniff book about New York City. And yes, I do want to smell New York sewer steam.

The end.

Okay, now onto three more things I need to tell you.

First, I’ve done so much crafty stuff over the last  little while that I want to share here that I’m almost paralysed by the sheer volume. I’ve been trying to organise things into some semblance of order and continuity by making lists of what I want to post about but the list itself is so long it threatens to paralyse me again. So I am just going to plunge in and post. Lots of stuff. So if things seem a bit random or disjointed (eg, Christmas cards in August…WTD*?), I apologise. I’m trying to overcome my inner need for order. Slowly but surely I am getting there. But no matter how hard I try, it still shits me royally when the bed skirt gets caught up and doesn’t sit properly. Some things simply can’t be cured.

*WTD = what the dickens. An oft-heard phrase in the twirling betty household. Has been used to replace my far too liberal use of the well-known WTF and has the added bonus of  amusing me enormously when Sophia (age 6 now [insert denial here])  says something like: “A camel can store water in its hump for months? What the dickens?”.

Much like Justin Timberlake did with sexy, I’m bringing “what the dickens” back. Join me.

Second: You might recall my earlier post about being filmed for the fabulous series Made by Hand which has been screening weekly on Channel 31.

I’ve just loved every episode and have made a list of places to visit in Melbourne as a result, including  Wilkins and Kent furniture makers , Reverse Art Truck and Northcote Pottery. The episode I am in is screening tomorrow night, Wednesday at 8.30pm AEST on Channel 31 and will be available from 9pm on the website.

To be honest, I am feeling a bit nervous. Which is so silly because I’m anticipating  my contribution will be about 30 seconds of a 20 minute episode as I’m there to chat about how I sell in Australia, ie on Made It, rather than what I make and sell. But it’s just the anticipation of wondering how I’ll come across on tv.  What if I seem like a  bit of a dick? What if what seemed like well-crafted but spontaneous answers at the time, come across as trite rubbish. What if….what if….my double chin is magnified to horrific proportions?

To get the answers to all these ‘what ifs’ and draw your own conclusions you’ll have to tune in. Eeek.

The third order of business is the auction that’s going on over here. You might remember Jenni’s ADORABLE girls from this post on little people rocking twirling betty visors on the other side of the world. Jenni’s girls are the ones with hilarious hair before and perfectly groomed hair under twirling betty visors after.

Jenni is raising money to fund the adoption of her niece, Norah. Jenni’s sister Carrisa, passed away in a heart-breakingly sudden way and left behind her dear little daughter Norah, now 2 years old. Jenni and her husband took Norah into their care and have now decided to cement Norah’s place in their family by formalising her adoption. But it costs a BUNDLE to do that. So they’re trying to raise $1,500.

By contributing just $10 towards Norah’s adoption, you go into the draw to win one of three beautiful packages of goodies brimming with things donated by crafty people. Bundle 3 has my contribution: a visor and some bunting cards. So pop on over and donate if you’re inclined. Jenni and her husband are inspiring people and little Norah and her cousin, Maya, Jenni and Brett’s firstborn daughter, really are the cutest little possums. Please do note that the competition is only open to US residents. But you can donate no matter where you are in the world.


twirling betty bunting card tutorial on Giver’s Log

These bunting cards are such a simple and satisfying way to use up scraps and give you (I think, anyway) a spettacolare result for very little effort. Si, spettacolarissimmo.

I have posted a step-by-step tutorial with photos on how to make these cards and some other related ideas over on the fabulous Giver’s Log blog.

I’ve been a subscriber to Giver’s Log for about 6 months now and love it. My absolute favourite thing is Happy Mail. This is a series where Amber-Lee, the site’s main author, slaps a stamp or two on an object and rather than packaging it, sends it just as it is. She’s popped postage stamps on rubber balls, thongs, plastic bottles, buckets and spades and  then she just mails them off. It is SUCH a cute idea and can you imagine how very thrilled the recipients are? I would almost wet my pants I think. Then again, I have given birth to two children so that’s not the far-off possibility it once was.

Where was I?

Ah yes, Giver’s Log. You’ll also find sweet printables (including my most favourite Christmas tag EVER) to download, fab DIYand pretty packaging ideas, gift guides, recipes and a general plethora of loveliness. Not to mention a spectacolare tutorial on how to make fabric bunting cards!

You might think they’re paying me to say all this. But they’re not. In fact, it’s kinda the opposite. I am sponsoring the site for the next three months (which means I pay a fee to advertise on the side-bar there). I just wanted to make it really clear that that’s the only financial transaction between us. They posted my tutorial because they’re lovely and I’m talking them up now and sending you over there because I’d like you to see my tutorial but also because I genuinely think they rock.

Gawd, you can’t half tell I once spent my life making sure documents were unambiguous and watertight. One day I might get over my overwhelming need to insert fine print that covers off every possible objection to anything. Anywhere. Ever. It will take years of therapy though, I think.

Anyway, I just felt I should tell you. Sigh.

Go and check out Giver’s Log.  I think if you like some of the ideas you find here, you’ll like lots of what’s there.

Little twirling people on the other side of the world

I love it when people email me with photos or to let me know they’ve blogged about a twirling betty purchase.

Recently, I received an email from a happy customer who had posted some really gorgeous photos on her blog  of her little one in her twirling betty visor. Loving those cheeks and the little yellow hair tie. Lots more cute photos in the post.

And a while back, Tess  won a twirling betty competition on Ashley Ann’s blog, She chose the classic red and white polka dot visor and posted some awesome photos on her blog of her daughter wearing it. This one is my favourite.

Then we have Firecracker. Firecracker is Ashley Ann’s littlest babe and she makes me laugh because I think she and the littlest Betty were possibly struck from a similar mold: the one labelled “hilarious handful”.

These are some photos Ashley took recently on their family holiday and posted on her wonderful blog, Under the Sycamore.  I love these shots not only for the visor but because just a few short months ago Firecracker was immobilised in a cast with a broken femur and now here she is trekking through the wilds. And she is staying hydrated.

And if you ever needed proof that twirling betty accessories can turn a bad hair day into a good one in a matter of seconds, here it is.

We go from this (hahahaha):

To this:

Love it. Photos from here.

It won’t matter how long I keep making things, seeing people wearing them will always give me that little jolt of excitement. That, and Jon Bon Jovi without his shirt on. Don’t even try to object. I know you agree. And you know, deep down,  you agree.  Uh…uh….just shhhhhhhhh.