twirling betty on Craftumi

twirling betty visor in Hat Shop

Craftumi is an Australian online marketplace for buying and selling craft supplies. It’s the sister site to Made It (handmade Australian) and is a fab spot to pick up whatever crafty supplies your heart desires.

Hat shop front cover

And if your heart desires the sewing pattern for twirling betty visors, you can now pop on over to my newly minted Craftumi shop and buy a copy of Hat Shop  – a compilation of fabulous things to put on your head (or your kid’s head or your life partner’s head) including my visor pattern from the wonderful publishers at Stash Books.

Fold our templates in Hat Shop book

All for the very reasonable price of $15.99 (plus postage).

Back cover Hat Shop

For my US and other side of the world readers, Hat Shop is also available in my US Etsy store.

So that’s the advertising segment of the post over.

Tonight,  to be completely honest, and for no precise reason I am feeling a little bit overwhelmed and wrung out. I know this too shall pass (hopefully by tomorrow morning) but I foresee a very large glass of restorative red wine in my near future. And perhaps an episode of Downton Abbey. And if a tipple and an hour with Lady Mary doesn’t fix it, then I really am stuffed!

I hope, au contraire to moi, that you beautiful people  – each and every one – are feeling happier than a dog with three balls. And that, as you can imagine, is some kind of happy I am wishing for you.

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Someone thinks I’m super. And a star.

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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.

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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.

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

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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 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.

twirling betty in Masterchef magazine

The cover of this magazine made me very excited. Not because of Neil Perry (dear God no, not because of Neil Perry) but because I had a sneaking feeling this would be the edition I might be in.

And I was right. It was a lovely feeling to flip through a few pages and suddenly see this:

And I am doubly chuffed as I took the photo. It was my favourite of a series I photographed for the lovely food stylist who contacted me from the mag. Let me tell you I was extremely nervous doing these photos knowing I was going to be sending them to people who spend their days styling and taking exquisite shots. I was very relieved when they got the thumbs up.

For my overseas peeps, Masterchef is a television show in which a slew of amateur contestants compete each week to retain their position in the Masterchef kitchen. Well, you can guess what title the ultimate winner is given. In Australia it is commonly referred to as a ratings juggernaut and has become as ubiquitous as photos of Oprah at the Opera House. That’s the Sydney OPERA house, not Oprah’s actual house.

Sometimes I laugh out loud (not in an evil scientist kind of way, it’s more an incredulous chuckle) at where I am now in my life; ie lawyer to…umm…well I still don’t really know what to call myself but it sure isn’t lawyer –  and at the things that happen when you finally start doing something you really love. The rewards don’t necessarily bring those big bucks my former career had the potential for but my goodness the inner cha-ching is enormous.

twirling betty cake bunting and banners

I recently re-photographed my cake bunting and photographed my new decorations: cake banners.

By the time made all the banners and bunting, iced the cakes, came up with decorations to dress aforesaid cakes up and sorted out a professional lighting set-up ie, sticky taped my lights to the backs of chairs so they were at the right height, it took me a full weekend but I’m happy with the results.

My handsome husband took the girls off to his mum’s for the full 48 hours (I’m in love, still) so I didn’t have them crawling into my light tent and just generally doing other helpful things like that.

I was grateful as I do tend to feel product shots are more effective without little kids’ sticky hands reaching for the cake in the background. Just my personal opinion, though.

Can I just say, learning how to set a custom white balance and availing myself of appropriate ISO settings have changed my photographic life.

If you’ve got something to celebrate, cake bunting and cake banners are available now in my Etsy and Made it shops.

What do you think my friends? Do you like the banners or will you vomit if you see one more thing atop a cake other than icing?

PS: I only sell the non-stamped bunting (the one on the pavlovas) in Australia. If readers in other countries would like plain bunting like that, please do visit the lovely Dawn’s Etsy shop: Kiki La Ru.

Longer-term readers might recall the great cake bunting scandal of 2010 (that’s what it’s referred to as in official documents at least) when twirling betty and Kiki La Ru clashed wooden skewers over who originated cake bunting. If you want the full details you can read them here (not one of my finest moments), but long story short, we both came up with the idea independently around about the same time. And now in the happiest of happy endings, we are taking on the cake bunting world as a united force! Well, that might be putting it a touch strongly, but we do refer business to each other and out of respect for Dawn I don’t sell plain bunting in my Etsy shop and she doesn’t do personalised bunting in hers.

Dawn lives near a picturesque Austrian forest and has a lovely blog too. And after a hard road (I’m not telling you anything that isn’t on her blog) she’s pregnant again and that makes me very, very happy.

Ahhh, cake bunting: bringing people around the world together one little string of flaglets at a time.

On an evening in Roma

One of my “ciao” clips was included in a lovely treasury by Kiddins Design on Etsy.

It’s called “On an evening in Roma” which is particularly relevant for me because Sophia was born in Rome.

Some of you already know just how much Rome means to me but this little story illustrates the tragic and almost hilarious extent  to which I am emotionally attached to Rome.

Do you know that song “Goodbye my Lover” by James Blunt?  Well, it came out just as we were leaving Rome and every time it came on (and it was played ad nauseum) I bawled my eyes out. No, not because I was being separated from my husband or something normal like that, no I was crying because I was leaving my beloved city.  Well, I never said I wasn’t the emotional type.

Deep breath. Right, back to the treasury at hand. Some very cute picks here but I bet you can guess which one is my favourite?

On an Evening in Roma by Kiddinsdesign



Valentine’s Day…

$6.00

ECO FRIENDLY LEATHE…

$55.00

Pair of Vespas – 4x…

$5.00

Red roses Fifi medi…

$55.00

Vacanze Romane Post…

$8.00

picnic cocktail nap…

$12.00

Olive You – Pillow …

$36.00

Copper and Lace Nec…

$32.00

Handmade wallet tr…

$45.00

Green felt stamped …

$12.00

set of italian wine…

$10.00

Ciao Bonjour, Print…

$5.00

Venice Italy -Gondo…

$15.95

cottage stripe and …

$30.00

Red and blue foular…

$12.00

SALE 50% off: Scoot…

$16.00

Treasury tool is sponsored by Lazzia.com.

Yep, one of those cheeky OLIVE YOU pillows will be coming to live with us very soon.

For another Italian-themed Etsy treasury you might like to have a look at this one I put together a while back called Primavera Picnic featuring all the things you might need for a Spring picnic in the Italian countryside.

Just before I go, a couple of things: I hope to be back in the next couple of days with a tutorial for something Valentine’s related but sheesh it’s taking ages to put together.

Also, I wanted to say THANK YOU so very much to the people that have made a $5 donation to the Premier’s Relief Fund for the devastating Queensland flood and are now entered in my raffle to win $60AUD worth of twirling betty goodies plus a further $40 donation made to the fund in their name.

I am extending the raffle for a few days and it now closes on Wednesday, 26th January at 12 midday (AEDST). I’ve amended my previous post to reflect that change.

So you’ve still got time to make a difference to the people who have been through so much and lost so much in Queensland. And the chance to win some fab prizes to boot. And if twirling betty goodies don’t appeal, then do check out the masterlist of auctions and raffles over on the Make It Perfect blog. There are SO many wonderful things to choose from.

Ciao belli!

twirling betty in Small Magazine

Small Magazine is an incredible online magazine that showcases independent kids’ fashion. But it’s more than that.  Small pushes the boundaries of kids’ fashion photography and combines a remarkable and beautiful design aesthetic with exquisite photography.

Way back before I’d even properly launched twirling betty I used to pore over the gorgeous images in Small and dream of twirling betty clips (because it was only clips at the beginning) being used in one of the shoots.

About 6 months ago, Small called for independent Australian designers to submit their products for consideration for a photo shoot they were proposing to do here over summer. Can you imagine how totally thrilled I was when some twirling betty sun visors and clips were chosen?

Yep, TOTALLY, UTTERLY, COMPLETELY and every other kind of thrilled you can imagine. I did a dance.  Quite a long one.

Since then I’ve been waiting with bated breath for the summer issue to appear to see whether any of the shots with my visors made the cut.  They did.  And I did another dance when I saw how beautiful the photos were. It may or may not have involved krumping.

I love the way Grant Cornett, the New York based photographer who took the beach photographs, has really captured the feel of an Australian summer.

There is so much more to feast your eyes on in this edition of Small Magazine, including a whimsical short film that is quite magical.

Editors, Christine and Olivia, also have a lovely blog called Smaller where they post about all manner of beautiful things they come across.

So, if you weren’t familiar with Small Magazine, I’m delighted to introduce you to it.  Why don’t you make a cup of tea (or coffee or a margherita for that matter) and sit down and wallow in the beauty for a little while.  You don’t have to dance when you see the twirling betty bits but just so you know, if you did pop out a little move, no one would judge you for it.

(All images courtesy of Small Magazine).