Thursday, April 17, 2014

Framed ....linen..buttons

Last night as the chill of autumn air closed in...
I was roaming about looking for something 
these objects were scattered near by...
Easily distracted...
In a moment I was cutting chunkier linen fabric off the roll..
Finding the button story I had posted the day before ...
( the bird flew away from this story)
My tin of necessary threads... the one I take away with me..just in case.
I didn't do much to create this story & it all worked ever so well with this new frame I had collected at Provincial decor Living this week.
As I stitched  the little layered fabric piece to the chunkier linen & got the buttons nearby.. this old bird cage trinket of mine just happen to land basically on my lap... but how it all works.

This is some of the class style effects we'll be work shopping in August....
with Mrs Martin's Quilt shop down at Ringwood East school....
The class is filling up fast  !!! 
Which I am really very very excited about & am I going to have a bliss day !!
Contact Mrs Martins Quilt shop to make your booking 
Scroll down a posting or 2 & you will find the address for Mrs Martin's or google ...

If you cannot wait to play grab a piece of the fabric  random overlay from the website & the button story about the donkey helping in the garden...
Or another story ... or a batch of buttons 
many Provincial Decor  Living stores in Australia & there is an online site. to find the frame..
there are 3 colours in the frame  all divine !

On the house look I think all has been selected now...
so that was a bit of excitement early in my day ...
 & today it is post office...LOL

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Stories with Buttons ....

I cannot stop making pictures of one sort or another at the moment.....these are the latest 4 that are on the web now you will find them in Button stories .... at the special introductory price....
These designs are A6 in size and I have another 8 to follow which I envision being made into a quilt...

These ones pictured here would work on all sorts of singular projects or use one as the centre in a quilt...
then buy individual buttons to dot into small squares ... like on a small child's display quilt  extra row of bebe bunnies or bebe & icecream sort of rhythm 

Embroider the words  & use another button for elephant or just use words ...
So there is some starting point....
Maybe it could remind you when things get ratty you can run away to the circus.... or try the garden story...the harmony of this leafy scene....

Gotta run I am being the extra looker in a brother's house hunt.....& must be one time. 
copyright Barbara Smith

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Went roaming again....i

This weather always captures my spirit to roam....
to soak up the atmosphere of the gorgeous creativeness of the gift store folk..
who have such an eye for selecting what to buy or create & placing it just so..

There I was in Piper St Kyneton late Sunday morning.
beginning my stroll at the top of the street....
I dipped into one store, then another... & each time I was taking time to study what was on offer..
.. be it be a mixture of collectibles & antique small pieces.. each with distinctive designs
the modern gift shop with just so many temptations... they had some wonderful frames....
Into the next shop... again an amazing selection of different things.
Then I was at ECHIDNA... & there I was for some time.... selecting as I looked slowly,
the ambience here is so wonderfully different & I don't know ... it has such a soul.

Below are some of my purchases here
Look at the wool thing it is a crocheted wool lace strand wrapped around an antique small spool..
How divine is that !!!
The cookie cutter is brass {I think} I chose a rabbit to fit in with my rabbit will probably never meet any biscuit pastry but it will have French bunnies for company & it will sit waiting for styling requirements.
The wool is fine & soft & for tying I thought...
the washer thing makes a cool background for my work & photographing...
Buttons a gorgeous selection of white ??? but so lovely.

There are several items knitted in nettle fibre....just all so beautiful.
See I had my fill & I must admit a little light headedness came over me..
which meant it was time for food....
then time to wander back...   

Sunday, April 13, 2014


NEW  !!!!!
I have some on the website
see them on 
more to follow today & tomorrow !!
Button Packs  
are little stories really with a small layout for stitching... 
as these go into the world I have given a special price for a short time ??? how long ????
....well these are a very reasonable layout that is more in detail .....
it creates a larger picture story I suppose...
Make them the feature on a journal cover, purse, bags of all sorts & sizes, stockings, banners,
needle cases, scissor holders, mache boxes, quilts...table centre pieces mini cushions.... pin cushions..
tags ....loads of things to play with...   copyright Barbara Smith

Friday, April 11, 2014

Habadash Castlemaine

Yesterday..lots of rain & I was wanting to go & explore some ambience...
it is only about 30km drive  away....
So I set off about 10.30 am ...
Enjoying the change in scenery from blonde to green fields..

I parked in Templeton St ( up from Railway station )
there blinking at me was Habadash store I had not visited the new premises..
So this was a wonderful treat..
Inside that door & greeted warmly... I meandered & stood wondering which display to look at next.
I began to think of who could use all this in their designs..
Then I actually got around to myself..
The little card was what I selected first, followed by the cards of velvet ribbons...
I was thinking of Christmas & a felt santa trimmed with some of this ribbon..
Covered velvet buttons will be useful & so so soft to pat !
By now I am onto things for the collage stuff I am playing with..
That  antique lace ..I think some of my off white buttons will work on that.
I have found some painted things I had left strewn on the table
among them was the Everyday angel button & a retired red 2 birds..
Kind of interesting.

As I continued to see what the newsagent had in store & buy some food nearby while I was out..
I was ready to head back.
As I drove down the back street... which runs by the railway also runs by a botanical garden which is a lovely way to drive out onto the main road. & then freeway
Stopping to buy apples at a stall 
and my mind 
I had been shown this beautiful table cloth with Irish embroidery..cut away stuff, this scalloped edging & holes button stitched...white on white It is only $45 & I left it there.
It would be divine cut & made into a quilt...
a special designed quilt with fabrics to experiment with..

Anyway, from that came my paint & overlay fabric...the quaint quilt I already had
 & suddenly I was back to
 my A Day in Paris quilt 
where I had embellished with things that sparkled & ric ric & goodness knows what else & the 2 stories came together...
Those sparkling buttons would work on the overlay fabric with my painted buttons & these maybe some lace..
I know where  I am going with this...
it's the blending of worlds that on the surface would not appear to blend but when one has a passion for stuff it can be worked... stylishly, French vintage experience...and you know that is what Habadash says to me..
I thought in the shop at one stage yesterday
I could be in a shop in Paris...
So... off you go...
If you have been recently go again with fresh eyes.

These are pictures of part of that quilt from  DAY IN PARIS circa ??? 2006 maybe 
It was designed to look like a find in a little antiquey sort of shop with a curved awning over the tiny door in a little street in Paris
adding some treasures I had stashed away at the time was part of the thrill of transporting myself into the world of Paris ( in my imagination)

Thursday, April 10, 2014


  AQC Quilt Event begins today in Melbourne.... 
if you are heading to that....
call by 
L'uccello's booth...
as of the many many interesting finds on their stall 
are these Theodora Cleave buttons & some more...
a French General product launch  

The Bird in blossoms is symbolic of my website logo 
& also comes as a 
Robin in blossoms
 Bunny Love in his white sort of look for those who love the white decor...he slips right in there.  
These loving couple are also in chocolate...( cannot eat them though )

The Dog, he sits there waiting for anyone to take some notice of him.
There is also a sitting dog which can be a pair...they need company dogs..

This is not at the show but I love it so...

 Le Jardin de Amore ... The Garden of Love
The French Rabbit is sitting here, the French Rabbit finds itself in all the right places, from Christmas decorations with santa or snowmen... to single little buttons..thread keeper & now the baby (bebe Bunny) sits atop of a thread winder !!!
In this scene is a wheel barrow bursting with red blooms, the tweeny bird & it's mini birdhouse.
Fabulous to stitch the few little design lines onto a
 needle keeper, 
scissor holder, 
gift bags, 
The subjects could change once you have this layout pattern buy an extra sit where French Rabbit is...or a cat.... 
& so the story goes on & on ....
that is why in the beginning I called theses packs 
because I made up stories with them ! 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Bunting Time

I did a little play this afternoon..
as rain soaked our dry earth...
the day turned gloomy
It was time to 
Play buntings...

First were the bebe Bunnies & bunny love

 Then birdies & the wheel barrow filled with blooms
 Something for the sewing room came next ...tweeny french scissors & a mannequin
 Nothing happens with out the happy santas

Monday, April 7, 2014

This is Gorgeous

Julie crochets & knits ...

This is a sweetest & happiest tea cosy that has just been fashioned
brighten up any breakfast table.
I may have one or 2 soon..on the web if we are very lucky & very good !
I think each creation will  be different...not always tea cosies
How exciting is that !!!!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Autumn Days are favourites

I needed ink for the printer this morning...
Grateful I was in a place that I could do this on a weekend..
I also needed to buy new shoes..
These 2 stores were close by to each other...
Parked car away a little so I did get in a walk !!!

As I crossed into the open air mall ...which has a lovely set of strip shops..
In the centre was an animal farm..
Geese, grey floppy bunny hopping about, 3 collie pups & the Mum near by, A burmese cat..
sheep.... guinea pigs..more rabbits...a piglet..
I watched for some time, feeling the smile break over my face...
Just watching these gives me a lovely feel....
Into the shoe shop where I had my feet & gait assessed
& the shoe try ons.... which came to the same as I have now...
The service was lovely...Athletes Foot 
Ink got that easy...
pop into Typo which as well as having some fantastically interesting stuff it always plays the music..
I always always want to stay to list to more of their music..
I have a jar muck about with an idea...& a silver stamp pad ditto...& to let more sparkle into my world 
I was waiting to cross at lights & it was a long wait so I slipped by into a clothing store...
As I left there I heard the drums.... the Chinese dragon sort of drums...
As I looked back I saw the small dragons in yellow & red... waking up ...I think..
( guess by now you wonder what i'd been drinking... )
Bendigo has the historical Chinese legacy of the dragon & the Easter Parade

These are such a skill & I just love watching them  ..
This had symbolic story as a masked man had a mirror & was sort of taunting the dragons..
This is only my interpretation...we'll need to read the link above
Then it stopped & the dragons bowed & everyone who has stood to watch clapped loudly.
As the dragons dismantled 
The young youths appeared who did this amazing coordination & such energy..
That is why I wrote 
i have ideas as well... just from that small little outing....   

Friday, April 4, 2014

Discovered a Divine shop in Daylesford

I discovered this divine shop in Daylesford yesterday  ( not in this picture )
Name of shop is 
Apart from the soft linen table cloths, Danish tea towels in colours of grey etc..
There were clothes that I so love..
softest linen in that powder blue, taupe & I think an olive..
a dart here, a pleat there..
Simple & I wanted one to wear & wear..

I had trouble with the fitting in the upper body....
turns out the owner is the designer of these clothes which are made in MELBOURNE

So soon a size will fit moi....
Absolutley charming couple who are the owners ..
My friend & I left that shop feeling as if we'd had a the most amazing service & conversation
we had not bought anything..
Of course I will soon... 
I did go back to buy a Danish teatowel that I think can be used for stitching...

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Randomness of each Day

I was selecting some collage & when I clicked on the program it brought in the entire file...
So here it is ....
Each day sometimes brings in surprises...some great, some ok & some not so ok ...
It is how we deal with what is brought to our door is who we are...I guess.
I have spoken to 2 friends who are both very ill in different ways in last week.
Both live away from me & after I hang up my mind is twirling around.
Hope I said enough...& not too much
Being mindful of how we approach our day is always a little trick
it accompanies what I need for my life & my world.
It sounds indulgent but it isn't, it is asking for what you want too...
Not being overwhelmed in life's situations to be silenced, squashing down a life of one's own
we have no other life to really honour but our own..
But into the process being open, being polite, being whatever else it takes, firm but soft..
Who knows ???? I am just thinking out loud.
16TH AUGUST 2014...
I  have to give her some prices & what will be be playing with...what I will provide & what else you can bring 
Once the techniques are shown & some discussion..
it'll be  a watching brief to give YOU the freedom to CREATE within loose technique boundaries..
Exciting !!!!!
I am EXCITED !!!
There is a smidgen of information on my website under Events...
copyright Barbara Smith

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Meandering week

The French Rabbit in French inks on divine cloth Italian paper...
little pen around the body...
he is ready for Easter & no don't put him on pinterest
he hates it there..just leave him here as he has easter duties.
( if you are puzzled by this request, I have a response in the comments on this page)
It has been an interesting week ..
I seem to have been meandering in a different way...
Monday evening 2 dinner guests ...
which was a stretch for me of late but totally enjoyable.
Wednesday I dropped a neighbour off for an appointment
Thursday  was a busy one & kind of bizarre one at different stages of the day.
Car service first....
In that process the service quote caused a little flutter when I was paying.
Then the spare key I had given is now no where to be found......
The car dealers, my car or in front of mail centre PO...
I meet up with a school friend for lunch & the art gallery's latest exhibition.
We go down to the theatre cafe which is always decked out with a French ambience.
I select the soup after querying if this was gluten free & stating I may have problems breathing if it is not ...
The lady rings back to kitchen  yes all ok
So my soup arrives & a pepper it with the finely ground bread on plate...blessing.
I have what amounts to a teaspoon, while I wait for my friend's order to arrive.
not so long after this little spoonful I feel the airways constrict.
I say to my friend "there is wheat in this "
So I leave it... & sit waiting for the constriction to kind of stop & then the funny mild body shock that follows.
I always remain calm through this which if I have far too much wheat could be a spectacular drop dead off chair event.....I have no idea & do not wish to go that far.
Anyway I mention it to the waiter because I was more concerned if other people were having wheat free when it is not so.
The lady appears & goes to great length to tell me definitely no gluten etc....laden with cream & thick... I thought could have been a rogue spoon or flour in the air in the kitchen No no no I am a silly woman.
I was appalled at her defensive nature ..I let her go on & on & said well this sort of thing doesn't happen unless wheat /gluten is somewhere ...
Looking back I wonder if the pepper cellar was a mixed bulked up lot with some wheat in that ...

Anyway here I am  LOL

The art gallery exhibition from London was wonderful & I need to see it again...a big amount of paintings.

When I get home & collect the post I read my cr card statement  & see that Asic have charged me twice for the renewal of my name.  I phone & hang around, nearly flipped when the voice message explained the delays could be up to an HOUR !!!
It wasn't, so ask re this duplication as the website was a bit tricky to manouvre...
No only one payment on here. Ring the bank
I do & bank person is so lovely..which bank too !  She gets to action right away & half way through it she says hang on a credit has been put through yesterday... so we wasted the bank's time but all solved..just not told.

I chase up lost car key to no advantage unless I come out there & match key with any left over...
But I am going to the
Provincial decor Living  VIP night starts at 5pm.
I have some laminating to be done at photocopying shop on way.
That experience was lovely ...I made my planned purchased   chair which was on special anyway...
If I had bought at regular price it is 20% off and because I was early i got a sample bag
It was a really great sample bag of a big flat wooden spoon, whisk, jar of pantry labels & a tea towel
That was a wonderful feeling !

I worked on & off through all this, some of the time at night packaging until midnight.
Today i also discovered Early settlers store....oh wow I have come out with a long I WANT list .

Monday, March 24, 2014

On my walk yesterday
I quote from one of my colleagues in her email to me on the weekend.....
& it gave me reflection that this is it all in the bundle...
be it one tiny button or a detailed santa decoration
Sweet Bronwyn thank you !

"what makes your designs so unique, 
you tend to get a personal touch 
when you have a 
"Theodora Cleave" button. 
designer and painter is you. 

Each button has love." 

Sunday morning 
a stroll around the old buildings in Bendigo with my camera
A cool morning & so lovely looking at the architecture & the finesse of these divine old buildings.
Some have so much going on.
This building is a small facade & this is only one piece, 
the centre piece of the building.
The balance of this style of designing is amazing..
It is ornate, but it is enough...
there is plenty 
the more I looked the more detail I saw... 
but the balance was also in the casual glimpse of the building.

Some of the weekend gathering of ambiance that stays with me...
one day a Farmer's Market 
the next day
exquisite buildings..
a little planting out in the garden
I did some work as well with the 
brush & paints

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Lancefield Farmers Market today

I decided to take a drive to Lancefield  to visit the Farmers Market & collect some atmosphere...
It was a slightly chilly morning there, but that had not deterred the s farmers etc & the shoppers.
Goat's meat & Goat's cheese...
organic Free range eggs
bakery breads x 2
vegetables galore  & so so cheap...$3.00 for huge bunches

Thursday, March 20, 2014

WORKSHOP Mrs Martins Quilt Shop

Done the decision making for the workshop....
what I will show you how to play ...
and what will be supplied in the initial kit 
what will be able to be purchased or brought along ....
this is such fun & it is evolving all the time !!!

You will find a day creating like this will just fire up your INSPIRATION...
maybe give you some boldness to try more new things...
I adore this technique & you will really enjoy it.
You will also learn to balance the work & also you can experiment a bit with different colours

It is proposed to be held in a hall, Ringwood area...
So accessible ...
we will know the date in a week....or so.. 
on a weekend.
So you could plan a weekend in Melbourne day workshop another ????

to place your name down