Wednesday, September 30, 2009

9 days to go: Blogtober, Frocktober and little things.

Image via LunaDiRimmel via Flickr

Really? 9 days?

Tonight I am going to go meet with the organizing team of Northside Makers and some of the stallholders that will be there on the day. Frankly I'm shaking in my boots. But the only way to go is forward, so chin up, let's march!

I went to the hardware store yesterday in my quest to find a corkboard that I can custom size. No luck. However what I did end up getting was cork floor tiles and a tube of liquid nails. Why didn't anybody tell me that it's virtually impossible to squeeze the glue gun the liquid nails tube sits in? For me anyhow. I spent quite some time trying to squeeze it to get the glue out, with both hands, and a constant stream of colourful language. At least it's done now. I made it in the end, but gosh did my hands hurt after.

So now I still have to trim it down to fit the MDF board it's sitting on, then I'm going to wrap it in fabric.... 9 days, and I've still so much to do! *runs around in a blind panic*

But before I run off to do more things in a frenzy, let me share some news with you:

Firstly, thank you to your well wishes! My back is still incredibly sore, but I can at least sit up and walk about with ease now. I still get stabs of pain, but I'm hoping it will go away soon.

Secondly, have you heard of: Blogtoberfest?

Don't worry if you haven't, you can read all about it at Tinniegirl's blog, and perhaps even sign up to join in the fun! For all you new bloggers, here is your chance to get into the groove while doing something fun!

I am of course, joining in the fun. There's no way a blogging fanatic such as myself would let this pass me by. So Blogtoberfest, here I come!

Image by

But hang on, October is the month of fun and I'm not just talking about beer! Because October is also Frocktober! Here's an excerpt from the Frocktober website:

Frocktober is a festive fundraising initiative aiming to raise funds for the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation (OCRF).Through fun - and sometimes quirky - measures, Frocktober is all about:

* Increasing the public’s awareness of ovarian cancer.
* Promoting women’s health and wellbeing.
* Celebrating the great diversity of shapes, sizes and colours women come in.

Essentially, Frocktober puts forward a challenge to girls, women and interested men far and wide:
To don a frock for a day, week, fortnight or a full month during October, and get sponsored for it!

So why wait, dress up for a good cause now!

Frocktober - a dress a day
Blogtober - a blog a day
October - heaps of fun everyday!

Let the games begin!

Remember! Our current giveaway is from Kirsty from Filmless Photos: Enter the giveaway here


Monday, September 28, 2009

It's Tuesday and I cannot wait..

It's Tuesday and I cannot wait for my sore back to be well again. I did my lower back in yesterday evening and had the hardest time even standing straight after that.

I can't tell you how I did it in, it's too embarressing.

Fine, I will. I was bending over slightly, on my way to pick something up from the floor when I sneezed. The sneeze exploded in my lower back, sending daggers of pain through my back and down my right leg. Needless to say I couldn't walk after. I had to drive to a dinner an hour after that, and it was the most painful experience ever.

It's somewhat better now, though incredibly sore still. I'm trying not to move too much but sitting up for long seems to be an issue. Isn't it great, when you are an invalid on your holidays? Sigh.

So yes. It's Tuesday and I cannot wait for this sore back to go away.

Remember! Our current giveaway is from Kirsty from Filmless Photos: Enter the giveaway here


Waltzing through with Talent - Kirsty from Filmless Photos

In my efforts to bring more love and support to the handmade crafts world, I will be starting up a feature series titled Waltzing through with Talent. These features will run every fortnight and will feature a different artisan from a different craft every week. Each one of these artisans lined up for the feature have been selected for their amazing work and efforts that they put into their creations, each of them astoundingly beautiful and breathtaking to behold.

To start the ball rolling on this series, this week we have Kirsty from Filmless Photos with us!

Kirsty is a fellow DUSTer based in Australia. She is a photographer and is a girl after my own heart as her weapon of choice is a Canon EOS. I tossed a few questions over to Kirsty and she shot the answers right back. Amazing shutter speed, that!. So let's have a read!

Who are you and what do you sell?

I am Kirsty, 27 years young, sometimes known as Kirsty2715 and/or Filmless Photos from Wagga Wagga (originally Townsville, NQ) I sell art photography and occasionally do private portrait shoots when asked nicely :)

What are your inspirations and muses?

My inspiration is this amazing world we live. The everyday little things that we usually walk on past. I love intricate details and the things that we forget to look on as beautiful. I love being able to portray an emotion or a story with a single image

What does your creative space looks like?

My creative space is the world. I have a camera, a tripod, a pair of walking shoes and a space is everything around me and everything in it waiting for it's own voice to be heard.

Tell us a little about what makes you, you. Your other hobbies, day job (if any!) anything that makes you tick!

I've always been a bit of an odd ball, but now that I'm a little older, I'm ok with it. I work as an Occupational Therapist but sometimes think I chose the wrong career. Maybe I should have studied English Literature, or maybe photography :)

Photography is a my main hobby that makes a little money on the side. I also love sewing and quilting, am renovating a very badly decorated 1980's brick box of a house (3 years and almost done - ALL BY MYSELF!) and love spending time with my animals (Lucy - a rescue dog from the pound and Charlie - a rescue cockatiel that I hand reared after she was kicked out of her nest). I also play the saxophone and clarinet for relaxation.

What are you proudest of in your crafting/art life and your personal best achievement?

I'm most proud that I have taken the plunge and started a small business. It's above achieving degrees and masters because I've done it all on my own. I have no formal photography training, but I love it. It made sense to do what I loved, but being the cautious person I am, I didn't think I could pull it off. It's been a pleasant surprise a real sense of achievement. I am yet to make big sales, but one day, I will.

What do you like best about the crafting world?

I love that people are willing to help each other. Give tips, guidance without hesitation. I love that people encourage each other to try things out. It's kind of like what I do for everybody else when I am wearing my "therapy" hat. The people in the craft world are my therapists.

And last but not least...

Complete these sentences:

I love
: my wonderful partner. He is my rock and my best friend.
I cannot live without: vegemite. It's a hangover cure, cold cure, and great pick me up. It's also good on sandwiches in the camera backpack when hiking - no leakage :)
I hope: that I am still loving what I am doing when I am 50.
When I grow up: still haven't worked that one out. I don't plan to do it :)

You can get more Kirsty goodness at these following sites:

On Zibbet:
On Etsy:
On her website:
And watch out for her works coming to Galleries around Australia!

Did you fall in love with her yet? Isn't she just darling? If you haven't fallen in love yet, you will now.

Kirsty has been an absolute darling and has offered to gift one lucky reader a free 8x10 print (or 8x8 TTV* print), winner's choice (any print from her shop!).
Something to grace your walls, adorn your home and bring colour into your life. What could be better?

* TTV - Through the viewfinder

Here's how to win:

For 1 entry: Follow this blog either through your feed reader or via the Google Friends Application. Please leave a comment saying you have done so / am already following. This step is compulsory.

For 2 entries: Follow either Kirsty's Fan Page or Kirsty's blog Remember to leave a comment! This step is compulsory

For 5 entries: Purchase anything from Kirsty's Shop - Filmless Photos

For additional entries (worth 1 each), you can:

- Blog about this entry. Remember to leave a seperate comment with the linkback.
- Tweet about thhis entry. Remember to leave a seperate comment with your twitter name.
- Add Kirsty's shop to your fave list

This giveaway will end 11th October 2009, 10pm Melbourne time. The winner will be announced on the following Waltzing through with Talent post.

So why wait? Get cracking and you could be that lucky winner!

Would you like to be considered for this feature? Send me an email at petite.valse (at) and tell me why you'd like to be in the feature!


Sunday, September 27, 2009

12 days to go: Lady luck and me.

I've been incredibly lucky recently, I think.

Image by Collapsing Night via LJ

I was lucky enough to be offered a full time position for next year: teaching music in a Primary school that I have previously worked in before. I love teaching there! So job-wise, I'm set.

I was lucky enough for my application to Northside Makers Market to be accepted despite not actually residing in the north. 12 days to go, I'm starting to panic!

I was lucky enough to gain so many new readers and friends through this blog and etsy. I cannot thank you all enough and wish I could give each and everyone of you a flower. I hope that I will continue being able to interact with all of you and bring to your day that little bit of sparkle.

I was lucky enough to win this amazing scarf from Holi Goddess from her recent giveaway. I cannot thank Nina enough for having pulled my name out of the hat. Thank you sweetest.

I was lucky enough to be named 2nd prize winner of the giveaway that Kelsilove had on her blog. Her cowl is amazingly soft and has kept me warm on many a cold Melbourne night.

But you know what was the luckiest of all?

My parents giving birth to me.
Because I'm alive. Because I'm breathing and loving life.
For that, I am the luckiest girl of all.

Why do you think you are lucky? What has made your day? Blog about it, add your link here and I'll pay you a visit!

Please play fair. =) Please only add to the list if
you have blogged about something that has
made your day or why you feel lucky! Thank you!


13 Days to go: Blogging in and outs - Part 2

Before I start on Part 2 of this series, I'd just like to point something out.

The countdown I have going in the title is the countdown towards the opening of the first ever Northside Makers Market that will be happening in Northcote, Australia. If you'd like to visit or learn more about this market, please visit the website for more info.

This is Part 2 of a little blogging tips and tricks that I will be posting over the next week or so.
New to this series? Read Part 1 here: Part 1 : Blogging, the ins and outs

Now let's get down to business.

Image by Koalazymonkey via Flickr

You have a blog now, you have a few posts. You still feel stupid. There's nobody reading it: no comments being left, no numbers scrolling on your traffic counter. Plus you think your posts are boring anyways. What's the point?


Put a huge stop sign in front of all that negativity. That will be your number one reason for not having any readers! Get up from your seat and shake it all out. This is not a popularity contest. This is not high school. This is your blog and the number one thing you have to learn about it is that you reap what you sow.

Did you put in the effort to promote your blog? Did you drop links in appropriate places to ensure that people know about you? Back in the day where websites were few and far between, getting noticed wasn't quite as hard as it is these days. Now, there's more blogs, more personal websites, and even more pages on the internet than we could possibly fathom. If you don't do something that's going to make you stand out, what right do you have to expect people to pay attention to you?

So here are a few quick and easy hot-tips to get people reading:

1. Social Networking sites

Facebook, Myspace, Twitter: hate them? Too bad. They are really great networking sites that work. Set up linkbacks, set up fan pages, tell your friends on facebook about it all. You have to shout your name from the virtual roof top, and you have to shout it loud. Don't know how to work these things? Google and Help pages are your friends.

Or ask me. Email me and throw me your questions. I'm always happy to help. =)

2. Post constantly

Keep.on.posting : I cannot stress this enough. I don't want to have stumbled upon your blog and see that you only have 3 blog posts with the most recent one being 3 weeks ago! It makes me think that you cannot be bothered updating your blog. And if you cannot be bothered with updating your blog, why should I bother with reading it? Get into a habit of posting at least once every few days. You will form a routine, a habit and very soon you will be blogging spontaneously, or even planning up blog posts while you are away from the computer.

3. Give and Take

If you don't read other people's blogs and leave comments, just why should they return the favour unless you are some really awesome celebrity? And chances are if you are a hot and famous celebrity, you won't be needing these tips anyhow since your publicist would be the one getting the name of your blog out there. I know, I know. Leaving comments are a pain, a hassle, and troublesome. I used to be a lurker as well, and never bothered to leave comments. As a result, I didn't get any back. You can't expect something and not give the same back in return. Show the love to others, and they will show the love to you as well.

So start today, start now: leave a comment on this post and you'll be well on your way!

Image by Martin Deutsch via Flickr

4. Interactive content and incentives

People want to be able to get something out of everything. It's how the way the world works now: we are all terribly materialistic. So once you have gotten into the groove of blogging, start coming up with interactive content to involve your readers.

Kirsty from Kootoyoo has the perfect example of this: she keeps a growing list of creative spaces on her site and encourage people to show theirs as well. She picks her favourite creative space with the winner getting a featured spot on her sidebar. People start going back to her blog to add to the list and check out other people's links. It involves people, gives them ideas for blog posts and is creative at the same time.

You can also post up polls and surveys. Ask your readers what they think of something. Should the focal in this necklace be red or blue? Should I sell this or keep it for myself? Readers are people too, and we all love for our opinions to be heard.

Giveaways are also a popular way to involve the reader. I don't really think I need to elaborate more on this as this is pretty self-explanatory. Be careful on having too many giveaways though: people will just end up coming to you with the idea that they can get free stuff out of you instead of actually buying something. So unless that is your intention, try not to overdo the giveaway idea.

5. Photos, photos, photos!

Try to always have an image to accompany your wall of text. People love to look at photos and pictures plus they help to add some colour to your blog! Often if I see a wall of text, I start skimming and eventually stop reading. So have a photo to break it all up, and try to find photos that relate as well!

Of course there are other ways to promote your blog and obtain readers. But the above 4 are amongst the most basic of them all, so ask yourself: Are you doing these?

Image via Andrew Mo via Flickr

Part 2 will end here, I hope this has helped even a little bit in any way or form! Do you have any other tips to share on how to bring the readers in? Please do share your thoughts if you have any!

My next segment in this series will touch on the blogs from the perspective of a reader.

Stay tune for more, and I do welcome feedback! I love getting comments so please do leave some. I check back on your blogs via your username as I love to follow new blogs and read them. So if you don't leave a comment, I don't know where your blog is to follow =P


Saturday, September 26, 2009

14 days to go - Blogging, the in and outs - Part 1

Image by linda cronin via flickr

While this entry would benefit from being short, concise and to the point, it is not my style to be writing it in such a manner. So pull up a chair and grab a cup of tea. If you want to read about the in and outs of blogging (the long winded way), then this is the post for you.

Disclaimer: I am by no means an expert on blogging. But having blogged for a few years now, the following is a collection of my observations and what I myself as a blog reader love to see and read in a blog

By definition, a blog (short for weblog) is a term used to describe websites that maintain an ongoing chronicle of information. It is a frequently updated, personal website featuring diary-type commentary with links to articles or other websites. A blogger : a person who maintains a blog.

Judging by how far back my archives go, you might think I'm new to the blogging world. On the contrary, I have been blogging since 2003. Not quite as long as some others, but not exactly a new blogger either. I started blogging on and in fact, I still blog there. As of current, my personal blog on Livejournal has a total of 2,187 journal entries, with a total of 8,005 comments made on the blog either by myself or by my readers. Impressive? Not really. But it definitely proves that I have been blogging for awhile.

There are many handmade crafters out there today. Many trying to sell their humble wares, myself included. As a new seller especially on, you are often told to 'start a blog' to promote traffic and interest to your store. And while starting a blog can be as simple as clicking a few buttons and filling in a few blanks on the signup page over at, what comes next? If you spend all your blogging time just talking about your stuff and flogging your store, people are not going to read it for the simple reason that it's boring!

So what then?

Image by E-magic via flickr

Why are you blogging?
When I first started blogging, I had a reason. My (then) boyfriend and I were seperated and in a long distance relationship. It was my way of showing him what I was up to and letting him be part of my life in a fashion. After we broke up, I continued blogging as I had fallen in love with it. I loved to write and what better way to show my love for writing than to write?

So be very clear on why you have started your blog and why you are blogging. If you are only doing it to promote traffic to your shop, I'm afraid that is not going to be enough. Blogs are tools to look into a blogger's life, heart and soul. If you don't put the human factor into your blog, your blog will never take its first breath and live.

I now run 3 blogs simultaneously. I still post on as that is my personal blog where my deepest and darkest secrets go. It is locked to the public and only pre-approved people on my friends list are able to view the entries I make. This ensures my privacy and keeps me safe from random naysayers as well as online drama and internet wars as I can be fairly opinionated sometimes. I also post on this blog (while running a mirror of this one on livejournal for the livejournal readers). My last blog is a travel and food review blog over at Berry travels which is unfortunately taking a bit of a back seat currently as I have been working hard on my crafts. They were all started up for different reasons, and as long as the reasons are still valid, the blogs will continue to exist.

I figured out my reasons, now what?

Once you know why you are blogging, this should be easy: start blogging! My suggestion is not to force it. Do not sit down in front of the computer thinking: I have to blog today. Your blog post will come across as forced and uneasy. Blogging should never be a chore!

Take a notepad around with you if you need it and jot down ideas for blog posts as they come up. I used to wish there was a way I could write blog posts up on the internet instantly as I thought of them! And they don't all need to be related either. You can talk about food on a craft blog, you can talk about yourself, or other people. It really doesn't matter! You obviously want a constant theme running through but don't sweat it too much. If you are an avid blog reader like me, you will definitely know that readers love to read about quirky random things, interesting things, and other things that might have happened to you around your life. We are naturally curious beings, so we want to know!

Image via Kevin Marks via Flickr

I feel stupid writing all these: is there even anybody reading?

How are you ever going to get anywhere if you don't keep those posts coming? It really doesn't matter whether or not somebody is reading. If you have been dropping links and promoting your blog as you should have been, then somebody would be reading it. Think about it this way: blogging is just as much for yourself as it is for others. One day you will look back through your archives and go "I did what? " and "Oh gee, that was dumb." It's like keeping a diary, a scrapbook, or even a photo album. Just in a digital form.

Plus if you keep writing quality posts (this is important!) and not just "Hey, my shop is this way!" style posts, people will start catching on and passing on the link to your blog to others. Interesting posts will spread like wild fire, so concentrate on writing and not how many followers you have showing on your Google Friends Application.

I don't want to share my life; my life is boring

Do not underestimate the power of human curiosity. Yes, I do actually want to know what you had for dinner. Yes, I do actually want to know what the weather was like in Tokyo. Yes, I do actually want to know that your cat spewed all over your laundry and you had to skip a movie so you could rescue your laundry. In these modern ages where people are just so busy working, working and doing more working, little things like these makes the day go by just that little bit quicker. Many of us read blogs at work: we just don't admit it since our bosses won't like it. So reading that you had a cheery day makes our days that little bit cheerier as well; reading that you had a bad day makes us sympathize and secretly be thankful that it wasn't us.

But if you are a private or a shy person, I understand how opening up the door to your life can be intimidating. It's not the end of the world of blogging, trust me. You can write about other things! You can share interesting links you found on the internet, you can share book reviews, you can share photos, you can share so many, so many things. You don't need to talk about you to have an interesting blog.

Just remember this: Nothing, absolutely nothing is considered boring. Unless you are endlessly promoting your shop. Because yes, that's boring.

Image via Andrew Mo via Flickr

I hope you have enjoyed my little essay so far. This is merely Part 1! Stay tune for more, and I do welcome feedback! I love getting comments so please do leave some. I check back on your blogs via your username as I love to follow new blogs and read them. So if you don't leave a comment, I don't know where your blog is to follow =P

Part 2 coming soon!


Thursday, September 24, 2009

15 Days to go - but today is about doctors.

I can't work too much today. I have to go to the doctor's for a medical checkup. Nothing too serious, just a general medical checkup with xrays to make sure I'm not developing any weird diseases. Because you know, being a foreigner makes you more prone to that despite having lived here for the past 7 years. /sarcasm.

Can you tell I'm not too big on the idea that I have to pay almost 300 dollars for this? And it's not like I'm given a choice in the matter either. But it has to be done, so this afternoon will see me waiting in the doctor's waiting room.

Have a peek at my creative space today:

Little deer brooches! They are incredibly limited in brooch-form (there's a few I've made into hair clips) as I only had a small supply of brooch backs. And as I've been trying to use up my stock, I didn't allow myself to get more. So if you like them, then be sure to come down to the Northside Makers Market!

(Or shoot me an email and I'll see what I can do for you.)

Today also marks the start of the Etsy Weekend Sale that's going on this weekend.

10% off storewide!

So grab it while it's there, it's only for the weekend! Read the shop announcement for more details on how to get in on this deal. I hope to see you in my shop !!

Also, see this blog post by the DUST team to see who else is participating in this weekend mega sale! There's tons of discounts to be had.. so hurry!


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

16 days to go - have a look at my creative space!

That's just slightly over two weeks! I feel like I have no stock done up. How is that possible?

So in an attempt to try to curb that rising panic, I did some work today.

Take a peek at my creative space today:

Hair clips galore! It's in preparation for the Market, as the topic title would suggest.
Now I just have to add price tags to them...


Monday, September 21, 2009

18 days to go.. how bout a tutorial post?

With the Northside Makers Market coming up.. I've been getting really busy getting things ready for it. One of the things I did was to make lace bowls out of doilies.

I know there are quite a few tutorials out there on how to make this, but there's no harm in sharing the joy again right? These photos aren't very pretty, but they show you just how easy it is for us to make things out of recycled and pre-loved items.

Okay so first you need to gather your materials:

1x PVA Craft Glue
1x cup of water
1x Lace Doily (50 cents from my local op shop!)
1x Empty Bowl (make sure that this is the size you want your lace doily bowl to become later on!)
1x Sacrificial Bowl (you'll see why later)
1x Mixing tool ( I used an ice cream stick)
1x roll of Clingwrap (you don't need very much!)

To begin with you take the PVA craft glue and your cup of water and mix equal amounts of it into the Sacrifical Bowl. Mix it well with your mixing tool!

You should get this watery white substance like the picture above. Doesn't it look like coconut milk? It is not edible, don't even try. This is also why I say use a sacrifical bowl. I don't think I want to be eating out of this bowl ever again! You can of course use other things such as a bucket, or an empty can. There's no limits here!

Take your doily and soak it in the white substance thoroughly. Make sure every bit of the doily is soaking wet!
You can even leave it in there for a small soak.

And while the doily is taking its soak, you can quickly clingwrap your bowl.

The reason you do this is to prevent the doily from sticking to your bowl and you potentially ruining the shape of the lace bowl when you are trying to pry it off the bowl. So don't skip this step!

Take your soaking doily out and squeeze the excess out. Make sure it's not dripping anymore, or else you will get sticky water dripping all over the place. Not fun.
Once you are done squeezing it out, drap it over the bowl you just cling wrapped and pop the bowl onto something else to keep it elevated. I just used another glass.

Take this time to shape the bowl however you'd like. I made tiny pinches all along the sides to give it a slightly wonky shape. I wanted the bowl to look weird and wonky! It's part of the charm, really.

Leave it to dry, preferably somewhere that has the potential for direct sunlight. My kitchen window sill is perfect for this so I sat it there for about 48 hours.

Once you are sure that it's completely dry, it should harden up significantly. Take it off the ledge and proceed to remove the lace doily from the bowl. Be very gentle!! If you find it hard to pry the bowl out, try unwrapping the clingwrap and sliding the bowl out from the clingwrap. You should find that this makes it much easier and the bowl will dislodge itself from the doily quite willingly.

And voila! Your very own lace bowl. Easy isn't it? If you do try your own, please link back and show me your bowls!

Can you spy the chocolate? Mine's going to be filled with yummy rings and such at the market, so children can have a go at digging for their favourite sweets that won't rot any teeth!
Hope you found this tutorial fun and easy to read. Till the next one!

1. There are other ways to starch lace such as using corn starch, sugarxwater or commercial fabric stiffener. However commercial fabric stiffener is permanent and won't wash out while the rest can be washed out if you dislike the shape of your bowl! Sugarxwater will melt in heat, so not suitable for outdoor markets or any place that's hot. Corn starch is definitely a good way to go.

2. You can also dye your bowls, just dye the doily before you starch it, or add the colouring into the starch.

3. If you think your bowl is still too soft after it dries, you can spray it with a bit of corn starch to help stiffen it up.


Sales, promotion, features.. gosh it sure is busy around here!

It's an explosion of activities around here! Let's do a little catch up shall we?

Etsy Weekend Special

Where: Little Waltz on Etsy
What: 10% off your whole order (excludes shipping)

How: Use the code WEEKEND DEALS in messege to seller during checkout to redeem your 10% discount! (No code, no discount!) - the discount will be given through a refund through paypal.

Aussie buyers who opt for bank transfer, please standby for a revise invoice that will already include your discount!

Zibbet Free / Cheap Shipping Special

Where: Little Waltz on Zibbet
What: Free Shipping within Australia / 50% off International Shipping

How: Just buy from my Zibbet shop!! Shipping prices have already been adjusted to reflect this promo!

Next market

Want to meet us in person? Now you can!

Where: Northside Makers Market @ Northcote Uniting Church
Address: Northcote Uniting Church - 251, High Street, Northcote
When: Saturday 10th October : 10.30am - 3.30pm

Be featured!

Want to be featured on this beautiful blog? Leave a comment and I will get in touch with you! Or send me an email at petite.valse (at) I can't wait to hear from you!

With so much to do and so little time.. what are you waiting for? Time to get going!


Waltzing through with talent: Designs by Vanessa

Isn't it amazing the variety of talents that we as human beings possess? I know I find it amazing. In fact what's even more amazing is that different people possess different talents and what you are amazing at, most likely is something I am really crummy at.

Vanessa from Designs By Vanessa is one of those amazing talented people. Jewellery making, card making... she has it all.
Take a quick look at these:

Aren't these just gorgeous? And if adding that little bit of beauty into the world isn't quite enough, Vanessa is a generous lady and she shares plenty of DIY tutorials on her blog to teach you how to add beauty into your surroundings as well. Now that's definitely worth a waltz through read!

So head on over to her shop and blog, and engross yourself into the beauty!


Free shipping @ Little Waltz at Zibbet

It's free! Yes!

Shipping within Australia, that is.

Click on the banner to be taken to my Zibbet store and have a look see! Shipping within Australia is free~~ and even international shipping has been reduced rather significantly.

And if you buy before 1st of October, you will be automatically entered into the draw for a ~* Mysterious Gift*~ !!
Who doesn't love free shipping and the chance for more freebies?

So get shopping. There's only so many days of September left!

p/s: this offer does not apply to my Etsy store. Sorry! So buy from Zibbet!


Friday, September 18, 2009

Little Waltz @ Northside Makers Market

Remember my talk about Jewellery displays for craft markets? I mentioned that if Lady Luck shone upon me, then I'd have a spot in the brand new Northside Makers Market.

Well, she did shine upon me. *does the hippy happy dance*

So yes. Little Waltz will be at the brand new handmade market : Northside Makers Market on the 10th of October (Saturday)

How exciting is this? I'm so stoked yet so completely and utterly nervous as well. What if I don't sell a single thing, what if people hate my creations? What if I don't have enough stock, what if .. what if... what if....

But you know what, that's half the fun. That's part of the excitement. And I definitely know what I'm going to be busy with for the next few weeks now.

If you are in the area and free... do come down and have a look see! It will be great fun, I promise. At the very least you will be able to pick me up from the floor where I, most definitely, will have melted into a puddle of panic.


Movie Talk: The September Issue

It's past midnight, I really should be in bed.

But my brain is whizzing and I'm slightly breathless as inspiration after inspiration is flashing in front of my mind's eye.
The reason for this is this:

The September Issue

A film by R.J. Cutler, The September Issue revolves around the whizzing and sometimes emotionally draining working life that goes on behind-the-scenes in the push towards publishing the September Issue of Vogue. The 2007 issue was and remains the biggest ever, weighing over four pournds, selling thirteen million copies and impacting the $300-billion global fashion industry more than any other single publication. You can read more about The September Issue on the Official Site

What I really want to talk about is not so much about what the film was about, or how was it. I mean, it was really amazing in that we were able to get behind those closed doors to see how it all works. But that's not what blew my mind away.

What or rather, who, blew my mind away first and foremost was Grace Coddington.

Never mind her modelling years. She was pretty, she did her job well. But physical looks never attracted me; instead it's her work and creations as creative editor of Vogue that catches my attention. Here are some examples of her work in Vogue:

Isn't it all just so incredibly beautiful and absolutely scrumptious? *sighs at the pretties*

Now, I'm not really a fashion kind of girl. The closest thing I can claim to being related to the world of fashion is my obssession with lolita fashion. I hardly wear make up, I don't do my hair, I very rarely do manicures/pedicures.. and I really couldn't be bothered with my clothes. I just dress comfortably and well... if I don't look good with my comfy clothes, then so be it.


What I found incredibly heartwarming is the attachment Grace has to her spreads and photos. She gets this idea, she puts the effort in and when Anna kills it, she is crushed and the pain is written on her face. As an outsider watching the film, you can feel and share her pain: for her attachment to be felt through the big scree, it only goes to show just how attached she is to her work. Her art style is amazing, and I marvel at the ideas and thoughts that must go through her head as she sits in the front row at all major fashion shows, sketching non-stop.

Described as a 'genius' even by Anna Wintour herself, Grace does not just see models and clothes and fashion spreads. She has her roots and beliefs firmly grounded in the historical perspective on art and fashion, making it so that every fashion editorial seem more like an amazing piece of art rather than a fashion shoot. Filled with passion and artistic integrity, her love for it all is incredibly inspiring, and it is her who is filling me with inspirations and crafting urges right now.

I can only pray that one day, in the far future, I will have maybe a tenth of the inspiration and stylistic sense that she has shown in her editorial spreads so far. If just for one moment, I can see the images in my head and actually bring them to life with my own hands, I think I will be a very happy crafter and photographer indeed. Seeing her talent at work, I just feel so incredibly small and inadequate, but Rome wasn't built in a day, so if I keep on at it.. maybe one day I'll reach a tenth of her abilities. Maybe.

Have you watched the movie? If you have, what were your thoughts on it? I'd love to hear your thoughts and opinions, and not just about Grace! So please do share.

All images above belong to their respective owners.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Friday Favourites: Away we go on a picnic!

It's Friday again, but it's not just any Friday!
It's the last Friday of the schooling term, and I join the kids in the fluttery excitement that is to come in the form of two weeks of holidays!

So much so that I'm starting to plan my picnics, and my dresses. Because really, what could be more exciting right?

So today's friday favourites is based around that: Dressing up. Oh what fun!

First you need a dress. It can't be just any dress, it has to be the perfect spring weather picnic dress.

This one from windyhillfibers is the perfect dress.

Isn't this just absolutely scrumptious?

And after we have the dress, we need something to add that little bit of accent..

How bout this brooch from BrokenHallelujah?

Let's not forget something for our hair! Aha! The whimsical floral comb from whichgoose will do beautifully.

And grab a basket from ashleyeaston

And away we go!

Would you like to be featured on my Friday Favourites? Leave a comment with your shop link and I'll add you to the list!!


Monday, September 14, 2009

Daring Cooks September Challenge

Apart from crafting, I also really love to cook. That's precisely why I am the size I am now, instead of what I was 4 years ago.
In order to challenge my cooking abilities and to learn new things to tease the palate with: I joined the beautiful bunch over at Daring Kitchen where monthly challenges are given out by different hosts.

For september, we were given the challenge of making Indian Dosas. According to Wikipedia, the dosa is a crepe made from rice and black lentils. Typically a South Indian dish, it is eaten for breakfast or dinner. You can read more about the origins of the Indian Dosa by clicking on the Wikipedia link.

First, the recipe:

Indian Dosas
This recipe comes in 3 parts, the dosas, the filling and the sauce. It does take awhile to make, but the filling and sauce can be made ahead and frozen if need be. You can serve them as a main course with rice and veggies, or as an appetizer. This does take a little planning ahead, so make sure you read the recipe through before starting

Serves 4

Equipment needed:
large bowl
griddle or skillet
ladle (or large spoon)
vegetable peeler &/or knife
large saucepan
food processor or bean masher

Dosa Pancakes
1 cup (120gm/8oz) spelt flour (or all-purpose, gluten free flour)
½ tsp (2½ gm) salt
½ tsp (2½ gm) baking powder
½ tsp (2½ gm) curry powder
½ cup (125ml/4oz) almond milk (or soy, or rice, etc.)
¾ cup (175ml/6oz) water
cooking spray, if needed

Dosa Filling
1 batch Curried Garbanzo Filling (see below), heated

Dosa Toppings
1 batch Coconut Curry Sauce (see below), heated
¼ cup (125gm) grated coconut
¼ cucumber, sliced

Dosa Pancakes
1.Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, slowly adding the almond milk and water, whisking until smooth.
2.Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spray your pan with a thin layer of cooking spray, if needed.
3.Ladle 2 tablespoons of batter into the center of your pan in a circular motion until it is a thin, round pancake. When bubbles appear on the surface and it no longer looks wet, flip it over and cook for a few seconds. Remove from heat and repeat with remaining batter. Makes 8 pancakes.

Curried Garbanzo Filling
This filling works great as a rice bowl topping or as a wrap too, so don't be afraid to make a full batch.

5 cloves garlic
1 onion, peeled and finely diced
1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
1 green pepper, finely diced (red, yellow or orange are fine too)
2 medium hot banana chilies, minced
2 TBSP (16gm) cumin, ground
1 TBSP (8gm) oregano
1 TBSP (8gm) sea salt (coarse)
1 TBSP (8gm) turmeric
4 cups (850gm/30oz) cooked or canned chick peas (about 2 cans)
½ cup (125gm/4oz) tomato paste

1.Heat a large saucepan over medium to low heat. Add the garlic, veggies, and spices, cooking until soft, stirring occasionally.
2.Mash the chickpeas by hand, or in a food processor. Add the chickpeas and tomato paste to the saucepan, stirring until heated through.

Coconut Curry Sauce
This makes a great sauce to just pour over rice as well. This does freeze well, but the texture will be a little different. The flavor is still the same though. My picture of this sauce is one that I had made, had to freeze, then thaw to use. It tastes great, but the texture is a little runnier, not quite as thick as it was before freezing.

1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic
½ (2½ gm) tsp cumin, ground
¾ (3¾ gm) tsp sea salt (coarse)
3 TBSP (30gm) curry powder
3 TBSP (30gm) spelt flour (or all-purpose GF flour)
3 cups (750ml/24oz) vegetable broth
2 cups (500ml/24oz) coconut milk
3 large tomatoes, diced

1.Heat a saucepan over medium heat, add the onion and garlic, cooking for 5 minutes, or until soft.
2.Add the spices, cooking for 1 minutes more. Add the flour and cook for 1 additional minute.
3.Gradually stir in the vegetable broth to prevent lumps. Once the flour has been incorporated, add the coconut milk and tomatoes, stirring occasionally.
4.Let it simmer for half an hour.

So first we have the ingredients. Pictured is most of the fresh ingredients:

I didn't actually end up using both onions. I'm not a huge fan of onions and found that the 1 massive onion was quite enough to fulfill both recipes that required it.

Most of the cooking time was taken up by the preparation time. Here you see some of the ingredients all chopped up.

I also added potato into the mix of ingredients for the Dosa filling. I had one lonely potato rolling in the fridge and it is a well known fact that potatoes and curries go really well together, so in it went. I was very lucky as I had a helper on hand to help me with the preparation and chopping of ingredients. It would have taken twice as long! As it were, preparing and cooking took me a full 1.5 hours. But I had fun while doing it, stopping to steal the occasional cucumber slice off the plate as well.

I must also admit to being a somewhat spontaneous cook. I am not one to stick to measurements strictly and after trying to shake out a tablespoon worth of grounded cumin, I decided to forget about the measurements and go with my tastebuds. It worked beautifully.

I also added about three times the recommended amount of curry powder into the Coconut curry sauce as before that it merely tasted of coconut milk and nothing else. I was unable to find grated coconut so I left that out as well. And since this was lunch and we don't generally have a heavy lunch, I also left out the rice.

And the result?

The Dosa stuffing was incredibly yummy and I will definitely be doing that again with more variations to it for future dinners. The coconut curry sauce was amazing even with other dishes, we still have a bowlful in our fridge waiting for tonight's dinner! The next time I do this, I'd probably lessen the ingredients for the sauce as it produced way too much for even 4 people, and increase the ingredients for the pancakes by about 3 times as I ended up making three seperate batches due to the pancakes not being quite sufficient. And no, I didn't 'go with the wind' with the measurements for the pancakes, so I definitely am not sure how you are supposed to conjure 8 pancakes out of the rather little mix!

My verdict: A success! I love this, and will definitely do this again. I do believe my lunch guest agrees with me as well!

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