Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Meet the Maker - Little Sew & Sews

This week we are getting to know Belinda Henderson from Little Sew & Sews

Tell us a little about yourself:

I am a lady of many previous careers (travel agent, croupier, teacher to name a few!) that is tackling the biggest one of my life "stay at home mum" to William, 7 and Thomas, 2.  I recently married a wonderful man I am pleased to call my best friend too.  I have two elderly cats, George and Dax that are my fur-babies :) I love creating, and am loving setting up Little Sew & Sews as a business. I am also a bit of a closet clown - I love being cheeky and witty and making people smile ;)
Other than sewing, what do you do?

Other than running around after Tornado Thomas I enjoy a good book, a great movie and learning. Learning is something I need to constantly keep doing :)
Where do you get your inspiration?

From all the gorgeous patterns for softies that are available and all the delicious fabric I buy!  My original designs come from middle of the night wake up sessions, so my sub-conscious is obviously pretty creative too!
What does sewing, crafting and handmade mean to you?

Sewing is relaxation and pleasure at creating something that will be loved.  Handmade means made with love, care and thought, each handmade creation is a work of art with the flaws (big or small) making it just perfect!
Who is your favourite fabric or pattern designer?

Oh, do I have to choose just one of each? Seriously, I couldn't narrow it down! I absolutely love almost all the fabric that comes out of Michael Miller and Riley Blake Designs, but my personal all-time face fabric is Blush by Basic Grey for Moda :) Pattern Designers - well I have serious creative envy of the talents that are Sarah Hanson from Dolls & Daydreams and Melanie Hurlston from Melly & Me
Who has been your greatest influence?

My family and friends. I surround myself with people that are all unique, they know how to have fun and never take themselves too seriously. This life is way too short to not have fun along the way.
Where would you like to be in five years?

Still having fun creating, designing and raising my boys.  Hopefully all from a larger house that I come home to from a days work in my brick and mortar store full of handmade goodies!
What handmade possession do you love most?

Hard again to choose just one! My Winnie & Clem hat collection is always a pleasure to wear, as is my gorgeous headband from Skip Chasey.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Menu Monday

For this weeks recipe, I am going to fall back on my heritage...

I am first generation (born) Australian.  My Mum is a Kiwi and my Dad is from America (although he grew up in Australia from the age of 10).  My Grandmother (Dad's Mum) brought with her lots of recipes that are traditional in the USA.  One of my favourites growing up was her Homemade Apple Pie.

I remember as a child going to a Church Pot Luck Dinner and was so excited when I saw an Apple Pie on the table - that was definately MY dessert!!!  What shock and disappointment I felt as I took a mouthful of this Apple Pie - I spat it out in disgust and promptly stated "I don't like this "Australian" Apple Pie (ie: one without the delicious flavours of cinnamon and nutmeg).  I laugh now, thinking how embarrassed my Grandma must have been!  I guess I assumed that EVERYONE had experienced such bliss as my Grandma's Apple Pie.

My Grandma is not so well these days, and finds it hard to stand in the kitchen for long periods of time, so the task of baking pies has fallen into my hands.  I hope that one day my Grandchildren will love my pies as much as I love my Grandma's! (although I am still perfecting the scrumptious shortcrust pastry she used to make).

So here it is for you all to try - and I hope you love it as much as I do!

Apple Pie


2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup margarine
5 tablespoons water

** If you don't want to have a go at your own crust, just use the frozen shortcrust pastry from the frozen food section**

6-8 apples
½ cup sugar
¼ cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
Dot of margarine


  1. Rub margarine into combined flour and salt until mixture is crumbly.
  2. Add water, mix until firm dough.  Divide mixture in half.  Roll out one half and place in a greased pie flan.

  1. Peel and slice apples.
  2. Mix together sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  3. Layer apples into prepared pie flan, sprinkling with cinnamon mixture between each layer.
  4. Dot with margarine and cover with top crust
  5. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon
Bake at 200oC for 15 minutes, then 150oC until done

My Obsession Designs

Thursday, July 21, 2011

"Dolly" Travels to Northampton, WA

Well what a change from Perth this is for Dolly - a little town called
Northampton in the mid west of WA.

Upon arrival she was grabbed by a lanky teenage girl who was very disappointed to find out that she was only staying for a couple of days & not forever.

Next on the must do list was a visit to the sewing room where we par took in some light reading & some fabric diving ohhh that was fun!!! Thankfully my nice bright red shoes made it easy for Tina (from The Sewing Fairy) to find me!!!

 Then I spotted the ponies, WOW there were so many to choose from that I just couldn't choose , so I jumped in & played with them all.

Then Neighsey Chain very obligingly took me for a small trip around the yard. That was fun!. While we were there I spotted the sheep & just had to go say hello.

After a couple of fun days it was time to say goodbye to Northampton & head back to Perth where I will be busy packing for the next part of my journey.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Meet the Maker - My Obsession Designs

Introducing Tracey from My Obsession Designs:

Tell us a little about yourself?

Hi, my name is Tracey and I am the person behind My Obsession Designs.

I am a SAHM mother to 3 beautiful children – 2 boys and 1 girl with another special bundle on the way.  Before becoming a mother 4½ years ago I was a Production Manager for an electronics company.

After nearly 4 years of being a SAHM, I felt as though I needed a bit more of a challenge – something to keep my brain active.  My Obsession Designs was born from a love of beautiful and colourful fabrics – I started making bright and colourful nappy bags, something a bit different from the run of the mill shop bought ones and this soon turned into nappy pouches – gift bags – tote bags – swimming back packs and the list continues to grow..

Other than sewing, what do you do?

For as long as I can remember I have been involved in craft. I pretty much grew up underneath my Mum’s sewing table – sewing buttons onto scraps of fabric and picking up the pins off the floor. Other than sewing I enjoy a bit of cross stitch, knitting and scrapbooking our families precious memories.

Where do you get your inspiration?

Initially the inspiration for My Obsession Designs was Unique, Colourful or Interesting bags that are Practical.

I have a nappy bag that was made for me when I had my first child and it is bright and colourful and I just love it!

One of my favourite products are my Green Gift Bags, which I love because of the environmental factor.  The idea that you can re-use your gift wrapping over and over again really motivates me to do more.  I am just one person doing something for my environment.

Since finding the lovely world of handmade on Facebook, many people I have met on-line inspire me everyday.  Nat from Patooties Boutique and Jane from Lil Pip were two of the first pages that I stumbled across on Facebook and I was (and still am) in absolute awe of what they create.

Being part of The Sewing Sisterhood has introduced me to many other talented ladies who also inspire me everyday.  I am truly honoured to be part of such a fabulous group of ladies who provide support for each other constantly.

What does sewing, crafting and handmade mean to you?

Sewing, Crafting and Handmade to me represents something made with love.  I truly treasure handmade goodness – each item is unique, even if they are made from the same fabrics.

Who is your favourite fabric or pattern designer?

I love shopping for gorgeous fabrics for my creations.  There are so many fabulous designers out there who create the most amazing fabrics.  A couple of designers who stand out amongst my favourites are Michael Miller and Riley Blake.  There is never a shortage of yummy fabrics to choose from!

Who has been your greatest influence?

Growing up under the sewing table – my Mum would have to be my greatest influence with my crafting.

Where would you like to be in five years?

In 5 years time, I will be just about ready to send my last child off to school…. By then I plan on being able to support my family from home.  My Obsession Designs will have a team of employees dedicated to bringing you quality handmade items.

What handmade possession do you love most?

My most precious handmade possession is actually not a “sewn” item.  Many years ago my Grandfather crafted me a Hope Chest made from timber.  He has now passed away and this item sits in my home and reminds me of all the good times we had together out in his shed making things with timber.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Menu Monday

With only weeks (or days) left until our house goes from 5 to 6 (eek!!), I am loving quick, easy, simple recipes!  I certainly don't feel like standing in the kitchen for hours labouring (no pun intended) over dinner to end up with the sound of "I don't like this" in my ears....

This menu is one of those that does not receive that reception - and it's quick and easy to boot!

Chicken & Macaroni Bake


2 Cups Macaroni
¼ cup Olive Oil
4 Chicken Breast Fillets
1 Medium Carrot, chopped
1 Medium Onion, chopped
3 Rashers Bacon, chopped
2 Medium Zucchini, chopped
440g Can Tomato Soup
1/3 Cup Sour Cream
Salt and Freshly ground pepper to taste
1½ Cups Grated Cheddar Cheese


  1. Trim chicken of excess fat and sinew.  Preheat oven to moderate 180oC
  2. Cook macaroni in large pan of rapidly boiling water with a little oil added until just tender.
  3. Slice chicken breasts into cubes.  Heat oil in heavy based pan.  Cook chicken quickly over high heat until browned but not cooked through.  Drain on paper towel
  4. Cook onion, carrot & bacon on medium heat for 10 minutes.  Add zucchini & soup.  Bring to boil, simmer uncovered for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat
  5. Combine pasta, chicken, tomato mixture & sour cream.  Spread into shallow dish, top with cheese.  Bake for 20 minutes until golden.
I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does!


Friday, July 15, 2011

The Sewing Sisterhood Scrappy Doll Journey begins!

In the beginning ...
 there was the idea of sending a piece of “Old People Golfing” fabric around to various members of TSS (The Sewing Sisterhood) and challenging them to use it to make something for sale, with the highest sale price the winner of something (read something as more Old People Golfing fabric!!).  I wasn’t particularly surprised when this idea wasn’t warmly received (though I must admit I was slightly disappointed)! However, my next idea of creating a “Scrappy Softie” from donated pieces of fabric and then sending the softie around Australia on a ‘journey’, was very popular with the Sisterhood!  Flooding into my mailbox here in Perth was an eclectic range of fabric pieces from all over Australia, all for the purpose of making a softie for charity and so the project commenced.

Who said fabrics on dollies had to coordinate and compliment!?

After a poll within the group we decided to use Sarah Hanson’s Dolls & Daydreams “Big Doll” pattern as our softie and what a great choice it was! Big Doll is seriously BIG and the size and design of the doll was PERFECT for using large scraps pieced together.

Being created is just the start!
After being born here at Little Sew & Sews headquarter in Perth, Western Australia, “Dolly” (who is yet to be officially named) has been safely posted off to her first destination – Northampton (north of Geraldton), Western Australia to Tina from The Sewing Fairy. I can’t wait to see what adventure she has with Tina!  
Stay tuned ...
After her country WA adventure “Dolly” will be making her way back to me for a trip on a plane to Melbourne and who knows – maybe a nice hostie will let her go into the cockpit for a browse?
All for charity
The Sewing Sisterhood is waiting to hear back from a charity to see if they are interested in receiving all proceeds from “Dolly’s” auction at the end of her journey – more details to come as her adventure continues.

Belinda Henderson

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Win a VIP Pass at La Crafts

To win a VIP Pass for the next facebook market all as you need to do is invite your friends to La Crafts. Get your friends to LIKE La Crafts and then write on La Crafts page who they were sent by. Person with the most referalls will win the VIP Pass for the July Facebook Market on the 19th July 8PM (Sa Time)

Some items you might see at the next market night will include Gorgeous Designer Belts, Lots of DJ's for those cold winter night and a New Pinny featuring some sort of HOOT as I know how many of you are a fan of the Owls!

Also would love to know if you are still into Shopping for Pinny's or wether you would like me to start putting some more Lucy Style Dresses in the Market Nights.

I have so many ideas running through my head this month, it really is hard to switch off!

Custom orders will re-open on the 20th July, sorry for the big delay with customs but I am heading over to Kangaroo Island for a couple nights for a family holiday, wondering if I can sneak the sewing machine into the car :-)

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