Monday, September 17, 2012

I have moved!

You can now find me over here, blogging at Paper Cotton Love! Feel free to drop by and say 'hi', I would love to hear from you x

Saturday, May 5, 2012

a change of heart

I've been thinking a lot about blogging again today, and it seems I've had a change of heart. Rather than write a daily post, I've decided it might be time to stop posting all together...

Blogger has been wonderful, and I've met some amazing people along the way, but it just isn't where I want to be spending my time right now.

You can still find me here and here though, and I'd love you to pop over and say hi.

Tracey xx

Friday, May 4, 2012


Miss A is always drawing, painting and colouring-in. I've got folders overflowing with her artwork, and pictures stuck all over the fridge. But this latest painting was definitely deserving of a frame. Even her Kindy teachers were blown away by her trees, and the clever technique she used to 'dab' the paint on to make the leaves on the trees look real.

So today while the kids were at school, hubby and I framed her painting and when she came home we hung it in her room. She was as proud as punch, and so were we.

Hubby did some painting today too - in the laundry. Although the laundry was next on the renovation list, it certainly hadn't been on our list of things to do least it wasn't until we popped into that is a sure fire way to kick start a renovation. Not only did we leave with a frame for Miss A's painting, but a laundry storage unit, a work top and lots of ideas!

And still on the painting theme...the Canterbury Art Show opened tonight! It runs all weekend, and I am so excited and proud that some crochet bags and beanies handmade by my mother are for sale in the Gift Shop. Have a peek over here to see some of the amazing artwork for sale, and the gorgeous handmade goodies in the Gift Shop!


Thursday, May 3, 2012

bakers twine - for photo a day may

I spent most of this morning photographing these cute cards wrapped in Bakers twine, for Paper Cotton Love, so it seemed appropriate to post one of them here as my photo for the day.

I know lots of people are following certain 'rules' for Photo a Day May, such as using Instagram to photograph something related to the particular theme for that day, but I am not doing that here. I am just using the idea of 'a photo a day' as motivation to get me back into regular blogging. I want each photo to be taken without effort, rather than it becoming another 'task' to complete within the timeframe.

I photographed the bakers twine in lots of colours, but this blue is my favourite. The twine is over in my shop if you want to have a peek at the other colours too. Let me know which one is your favourite!


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

a photo a day in may

Lately I've been neglecting this little space. I've been busy on Facebook here and here, and very busy making crafty things for Paper Cotton Love and Lollipops And Love. I love every bit of what I'm doing, but I want to keep up my blogging too.

I've been searching for some inspiration...for a simple idea to keep me motivated...for an easy way to fit blogging into my day. Today I found that inspiration, at Foxs Lane. Kate is making a crochet motif every day in May...and I am going to post a photo every day in May!

It might be a photo of something I'm working on, a moment with the kids, a place I visit or someone I see...anything that captures a moment in my day.

Today's photo is a crafty one. This afternoon I found a little time, in between working on customer orders and new products, to start making the first of several cards I need to finish over the next week or so. I have a couple of mothers day cards to make, a birthday card for a friend, and a 4 year old birthday card. I'm usually so busy making things for Paper Cotton Love and Lollipops And Love, that I often forget to make time for my own craft projects, so today was a nice change.

I'm looking forward to posting a photo a day in May!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

off to Melbourne...

I wish I could say it was me who was off to Melbourne... but no, it isn't me, it is a lovely package of crochet hats, bags and beanies destined for the Gift Shop at the 2012 Canterbury Art Exhibition.

Several weeks ago we received an invitation from the organisers of the Art Exhibition to provide some handmade crochet items to be offered for sale in their Gift Shop.

These items I am sending over have been handmade by my mother, who is an incredibly talented crocheter, with over 30 years experience. Her inspiration comes from various books, magazines and websites, often making her own yarn and colour selections, and adding her own twist.

I believe there will be an amazing selection of handmade goodies in the Gift Shop (oh how I would love the chance to shop there!) along with a magnificent display of art. If you are lucky enough to be in Melbourne from May 4th to 6th please pay a visit to the show, and show your support for local Australian talent. If you can't attend the show, you can still visit lots of our crochet and other handmade goodies over at Lollipops And Love xx

Saturday, April 14, 2012


It seems I may have forgotten how to blog.

I've been away from Blogger for only five weeks...but even after that amount of time, I am struggling to find my way back in.

What do you blog about after such a break?
Family? Craft? Work? Right now I really can't decide, but it's time that I wrote something, just to get the ball rolling again.

And I don't want to use the "I've been too busy to blog" excuse, because we're all busy folk these days right?

So instead I am going to blame my recent absence from Blogger, on Facebook. I am not one of those people who can be EVERYWHERE online at once...Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Blogger...and the list goes on. For me that is incredibly exhausting. So when I began spending more time here...and here...something had to give, and unfortunately that something was blogging.

Until now I had never been a fan of Facebook, and I'm still not entirely convinced it's all positive, but it is proving to be a nice little networking tool for my online shops. Over the past few weeks, through Facebook Pages, I have met some extremely talented crafters, discovered wonderful businesses, chatted with some of my customers, and learnt new networking skills.

But am I going to be able to keep up with it all? The most important thing is that I have enough quality time for the real hands-on crafting...the sewing, the crochet and the doesn't sit right with me when the amount of time I spend online outweighs the amount of time I spend actually crafting.

And it's school holidays right now, another good reason to keep it simple, not take on too much, and instead enjoy lazy days at home with the kids...

So now I'm back, I've written a post, and I hope to be here posting more regularly again xx

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Making and baking with miss A

When Miss A is not at Kindy our days are often filled with drawing, craft and baking. Most days you can barely see her 'desk' beneath the piles and piles of drawings, books, cut-outs and glued together bits and pieces. This usually extends out into the rest of the house too...we have little pictures of people, flowers, cats and houses everywhere. And lately her drawings are not limited to paper but regularly find their way onto her own skin! In the kitchen one of her favourites is Banana Choc Chip Muffins using the following recipe....

Banana Choc-Chip Muffins
1 3/4 cups self-raising flour
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup milk chocolate bits
1 cup mashed banana
1/2 cup canola or light olive oil
2 x 59g eggs, lightly beaten

Grease a 12 x 1/3-cup capacity muffin pan. Sift flour and caster sugar into a large bowl, stir in milk chocolate bits. Make a well in the centre, add mashed banana, oil and eggs and stir until ingredients are combined. Spoon the batter evenly into prepared muffin pan. Bake in a 200C preheated oven for 15-17 minutes until muffins are well-risen and lightly browned. Serve warm or cool.
Makes 12

According to Miss A, extra chocolate bits are required, to be eaten while baking...and a few muffins should be frozen for lunchbox treats.

Happy making and baking xx

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Then...and now

Back then...

As a teenager I visited local handmade markets in my city a lot. I was always so inspired by all of the wonderful handmade wares that I would go home and find ways to make my own versions of what I had loved at those markets - fabric covered boxes and notebooks, handmade paper, soap and greeting cards. It didn't really matter what I was making, if I was doing something creative, I was happy. And as a teenager I was dreaming of my own designs, my own products and my own market stall...and as the years have gone by, nothing has really changed.

At the age of 20, my friend and and I decided to dive into a business making and selling greeting cards. We had so much fun, but of course it failed...a lack of experience and commitment to running a business made sure of that...but it didn't dampen my courage to dream.

Nearly 15 years later, for the first time since the card design business, I started selling my handmade wares again, on Etsy. That took courage too, as did deciding to start all over again 14 months later with two new online stores.

And now...

Every day when I disappear into my craft room for several hours, lost in my little world of handmade goodness, I am blissfully happy. I am designing, making, creating and packaging, and every part of it is satisfying. And it is a real sense of happiness and satisfaction that comes with doing what you love, and it is well worth working hard for.

I hope you love what you do too, and that you have the courage to follow your dreams xx

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Lollipops And Love

It's Goodbye Etsy (for now)...and Hello Made It!

I have opened a new store, this time on Made It, called
Lollipops And Love...sweet stuff for cool kids!

I am slowly transferring the bulk of my Etsy products across to this new store, and there will be new products coming soon too. My crochet-obsessed mum (thank you Mum xx) is currently keeping up stocks in the crochet department, while I have been super dooper busy working on orders for my craft supplies store Paper :: Cotton :: Love.

For updates on new products, giveaways, sales and special offers, become a fan of Lollipops And Love on Facebook!

Cheers! Tracey xx

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The sweetest Valentine

Miss A surprised me several times today with little envelopes, each one filled with love hearts, butterflies and cute hand drawn pictures...and all done without her having any knowledge of it being Valentine's Day.

The sweetest part though was seeing 'mum' scrawled across each envelope, in her four year old handwriting. It was one of those proud, warm and fuzzy Mummy moments.

Hope your Valentine's Day has been warm and fuzzy too xx

Monday, February 13, 2012

Crafting Together

I was so pleased yesterday when two little budding creatives joined me at work in my craft room. They brought their own chairs, and Miss A set up a little table beside me.

I was busy die cutting butterflies from pink card, and as I worked Miss A happily collected the scraps and began making butterfly bookmarks for us all.

Master R discovered some new punches on my desk, and it was serious business for him as he worked out how to use them to punch decorative borders around his for each of us.

I love that they love to make things. I love that we make things together!


Sunday, February 5, 2012


We took two excited kiddies to Kings Park this morning with the promise of visiting the new Naturescape play area, only to discover it temporarily closed!

We had two very disappointed kiddies to contend with then...but it was nothing a babycino and scones with jam and cream couldn't fix.

We followed up with a walk through Kings Park (well, a walk for the grown-ups at just run everywhere don't they?) and we were enjoying the amazing views, the surroundings and the beautiful weather...until Master R decided to run on a stone wall...resulting in two grazed knees, a stubbed toe and a grazed elbow...well, they will run everywhere!

So the walk was cut short to take the hobbling boy home to his Transformers bandaids. We had him patched up and running around again in no time.

Hope you had some (safe) adventures this weekend!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Settling in

The last few days of our school holidays were just lovely. The weather was (stinking) hot and we finally gave in to the kids nagging and filled up the pool.

There is something about water that evokes calm and relaxation...even just water in a (big) blow-up pool! I found myself really relaxing while I sat and watched Miss A and Master R paddle and play in the pool, and listening to the sounds of splashing water and my children laughing made me smile.

It made me feel happy, and it made me grateful. Grateful for the time we had just spent together as a family over the holidays, grateful for my happy home, and grateful for my happy children.

But then, just a few days later I found myself feeling really quite sad and overwhelmed with thoughts of the holidays ending and the new school year beginning. With Master R beginning Year One, and Miss A beginning Kindy, it suddenly seemed like a really big deal. I wanted to continue on as we were: together, at home, on holidays.

But of course we couldn't, and on Wednesday I let them go. It wasn't easy, but I did it. And I surprised myself and felt ok. They were brave, and confident, and excited, and so I was too. I was grateful for the lovely classrooms and teachers, grateful to my man for being there with us, and grateful for the friends who were there (and elsewhere) doing it alongside us too. And the fact that we got through it ok made me smile.

While we are still settling school and new routines....I know it won't be long before it's all familiar and comfortable, and for that I am grateful.

Bird Embellishments Paper ::Cotton ::Love
Felt Flowers Paper ::Cotton ::Love
And then there is that little bit of extra time...time for me...time for craft...time that I caught a little glimpse of on Wednesday, and time that I have again today. After six and a half years as a SAHM, I know I will be grateful for that too...once we are all settled in.

Today I am linking this post to Maxabella Loves 52 Weeks of Grateful at Kidspot

Hope there are plenty of smiles in your week too

Friday, January 27, 2012

Finding a focus

Twelve months ago I opened my store on Etsy, Cotton And Card. Even with the massive amount of stores on Etsy, I managed to make sales, and my store has steadily grown.

Over the past couple of months though, a few issues have caused me to feel a little dissatisfied with Etsy. Over the year I have sold a bit of everything, but not enough of any one thing to help me to direct my focus...some items in my store take months to sell, often resulting in a lack of motivation to make the item again...photographing many different items of all shapes and sizes has been a headache...and I haven't been able to create a consistent look and feel that I am happy with.

As much as I enjoy sewing and crochet, it was my love affair with paper and card that started me on this path many years ago, and is often what gets me the most motivated to 'make'.  For quite a while I had been considering adding some handmade paper-craft supplies to the mix at Cotton And Card, but I hadn't done so as I felt that it would only make the shop window look even more random and inconsistent.

And then, a couple of weeks ago I discovered Craftumi, a site especially for selling (handmade) craft supplies, and I knew instantly that it was what I was looking for. 

Two days later, Paper :: Cotton :: Love was born!

Paper :: Cotton :: Love sells handmade embellishments, die cut card, card and gift tag blanks, Kraft card and other unique and sometimes quirky 'bits and bobs' for craft projects.

There is something really satisfying about selling my handmade craft supplies, to other crafty folk, who will make something nice, maybe even something they can sell in their own shop!

While I might not be getting a lot of sleep right now, the constant flow of ideas swimming around in my head at 2am is making sure of that, I am focused. And focus is what I was looking for. I know exactly what I want to make. I am enjoying the complete process from start to finish, and I am completing projects quickly and easily despite the constant (usual) interruptions from Master R and Miss A! 

It's only early days, but it feels good, and it feels right for me. Maybe I have found my niche. Only time will tell. I have definitely found a focus, and that is making me happy for now.

I hope you are focused and happy too xx

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Signed, sealed, delivered...

"A sweet little card...
to hold and feel...
sealed with love...
a hand scrawled message...
delivered with a hug...
received with a smile...
to be saved and cherished"

Oh the joy of a real, tangible, greeting card!

More often than not, we are so caught up in our digital world of connecting with friends and family via email, text messaging and Facebook that we forget about other super nice and simple ways to show someone we care, send our good wishes and brighten up a day...

My little trio of mini cards are finished! I loved making them! You can find them in my shop here.

Hope your day is 'sweet' xx

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Saturday captured

Yesterday was one of those really nice Saturdays...the ones where everyone wakes up chirpy...

there is a morning activity planned and everyone knows the routine to get ready...

and then the afternoon is left free for relaxing, pottering, crafting and playing.

Our morning activity was a trip to the new Heath Ledger Theatre to see Charlie and Lola's best bestest play, an extremely ever so wonderful stage show.

Before we left Miss A got dressed into her Charlie and Lola tee, of course, but was having trouble finding anything  to wear in her hair to match, which wasn't surprising as the tee is an interesting shade of orange (probably why it was on clearance at the ABC Shop for $5!).

So Miss A and I got creative with some very nice dotty orange fabric and our cover buttons...

and made up a pair of hair elastics...

so she could wear her piggy tails and feel super coordinated and stylish (very important at four years old).

The Charlie and Lola stage show really was the best bestest play, full of unexpected surprises that kept us all entertained. (Highly recommend it if your children are fans.)

And then the afternoon...I worked on some new products for the shop...and played with Instagram a lot...for the first time...hence the varied filters on these photos!

And after being inspired over here, I really did dust off my bike and take it for a bit of a spin, something I had been planning to do for quite some time. It was a big novelty for Miss A and Master R to see mum ride her bike. I don't think they believed I knew how!

Hope you are having a happy weekend  xx