Contented Crafter Organisers – Are You Ready For A Give-Away?

It has been more than ten days since my last post and STILL the organisers are not quite ready for the give-away………….  nearly, just not quite there yet.  However to whet your appetite [and to see if I can raise even a modicum of interest after all these months of delay and prevarication] and because there are a number of new readers popping in and I need to be a nice hostess and show something………. here is a wee look at where we are at.

I am making three different covers using postcard sized prints of these paintings:


Smallest Things1a


A Gardener [c]

and there will also be a fourth featuring this painting, postcards are being made as I write this

Choose Joy Best

(And PS:- This large, original mixed media painting has just gone into my Etsy Shop – there will never be any prints available of this painting, just some postcards)

The organisers are entirely hand created by me using hardboard, grunge paper, notebooks, printed paper and paints, modelling paste and gel medium. They are finished with charms and beads and ribbon because I like a little bling in my life and these books are supposed to be useful, fun and pretty too!

Because they are hand made there are imperfections in every one and every organiser is unique.  They come with blank tags so you can label them however you wish and they are designed to be reusable.  When a section is used or no longer of use all you need to do is purchase another notebook from your local stationer, preferably at sale price 🙂 and slide it carefully into place under the elastic.  Personally I would remove the cover of the notebook, but you don’t have to.

Here’s a peek at where we are:


As Meatloaf should have sung, three out of four ain’t bad!

Please forgive the quality of the photos – winter has arrived with a stark bang these past two days and it is dark and gloomy and snowing and windy and sleety and we are not amused!

Luckily we have this to keep us warm, thanks to the remarkable Dani’s tutorial

Bavarian Rug

It is almost finished – just another three rounds to go I think – maybe four – it depends how the yarn holds out.  Here is Orlando at 8 am this morning


“Whatcha doing Mumma?”


But I digress – back to the  BIG GIVE-AWAY!!

To enter this is what you have to do:

*Follow on the Contented Crafter Facebook page

*Leave a comment here – every comment gets an entry.  Multiple comments=multiple entries

See how simple I make it?  I learnt this from Dani over at Teddy and Tottie   Every Facebook ‘follow’ [I know if you already do, so that gets you an automatic entry] and every comment here gets one entry into the coffee mug.  I should like my coffee mug to be full to the brim this time please.  This is what it looked like for the last giveaway:


That’s a bit sad don’t you think?

The winner gets to choose which cover they would like from the four possibilities.

The giveaway will close on the 31st May at 8 pm my time – so go on chat away amongst yourselves in the comments section – or even to me if you like and don’t forget that facebook page – it doesn’t have many likes yet and I should like to get it up a bit…… Ooooh, a new idea: If you introduce a friend to fb or the blog, and they tell me you sent them you will both get another entry 🙂

Now, note to self, better get on and finish those organisers!   Next I might even get around to doing a new painting!

I’ll leave you with this wee gem taken just a week ago by the lovely YD:

Bubbles2 by DJK

Ah, memories!

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did  🙂

Making It Cosy With Nothing

When I moved into this tiny flat in May 2011, it was with a  great deal of relief that I had found somewhere affordable to live in and a wee dash of trepidation regarding the size of the place and the urban area.

The day before I moved in we went in to clean and hang my curtains and light fittings.

It looked like this before we started work

living room

and like this a couple of days later

lounge May 11

Orlando seemed not to mind as long as he knew where dinner was

Tig 2 May 11

There was also this – [remember this wall paper you will see it again later]:

Craft Room May 11

I began immediately to dispose of my accumulated stuff.  What I couldn’t give up yet eventually became part of a meticulously stacked and sorted, packed and piled wardrobe and storage cupboard and linen closet……….

I made the best of it – but in reality I was secretly just camping there, waiting for the day when my beach cottage would miraculously appear.  It took a while for me to catch up with reality.  I had chosen to not work for monetary reward but to work for free for those who would otherwise not receive help.  A beach cottage was not high on the list of probabilities.  One of the first laws of contentment is to be content with where you are.

After receiving that wee pearl of enlightenment I set about making my small lodgings into a workable home that would meet my needs as comfortably and prettily as possible.

You know the saga of the past two months – disposing of some and then disposing of more and eventually disposing of it all.  I let the dream go and discovered I could be happy right here, right now – and man, so much lighter!!

I have been delighted with what has transpired.  I feel as if I have gained double the space.  It works for us all.



Do you remember the fridge that sat for a while in the middle of nowhere?  In order to make this seating nook happen I had to build a faux wall that extended the space.  I did this by hanging a length of fabric behind the previously open kitchen counter area and placing the TV and this ‘hutch’ as if they were on a wall.  The fridge is behind the hutch.

The ‘hutch’ is an old chest of drawers and two of my inestimably handy free standing shelves – It does the job and we have one of our favourite friends perched there keeping an eye on everything………. can you see who it is?


You are looking at the side of the hutch and the side of the fridge.  The magnetic words are on the fridge waiting for me to make them into a poem.  The chest that these pretty gifts from friends-far-away are sitting on, came from my bedroom.


This is the view the other way where I have set up a long table so that I can have my sewing machine out when I need to and still eat my dinner and/or read my book.  Indoor Sidd went there quite soon into the rearranging chaos and has stayed there.  I quite like having him so close.  My table therefore has a threefold reason for being – nourishing, creating and contemplating.  Perfect!

There is also an extra canvas leaning up against the wall – it is waiting for its two mates to be finished and will eventually hang behind Indoor Sidd instead of that old painting.


Here is a peek at the kitchen where my gorgeous Serendipity spoon stands ready to spring into action the moment it is required.  To the left you get a glimpse of the faux wall and to the right is Orlando’s favourite ‘keeping an eye on the neighbourhood’ spot


Remember that room stacked to the ceiling with boxes – the one with the horrid yellow flowery wallpaper?  That wall paper is the bane of my life!  It is in perfect condition and is the original wallcovering for this flat which was built in 1971.  It cannot be stripped off without some skill and cannot be wallpapered over except by a professional.  It is shiny vinyl so cannot be painted over with ordinary water-based paint.  It requires sealing with that stuff that kills you and painting with enamel paint, the fumes of which will also kill you.  I have racked my brain to come up with a way of ridding myself of this stuff to no avail.. Part of this exercise is to make what you have work – so I did this


It is a tiny room – that is a double bed.  Because the big bedroom is my creating room, this is where I sleep.  I got rid of one whole wall of yellow flowers by hanging a roman blind and curtains all over it.  I placed a large painting on the other wall.  I took a bed set that is not really the kind of thing I like, but which works well with what is there and has the added extra effect of taking the eye away from the yellow flowers.

I took off the wardrobe door and hung more curtains.  I swapped my chest of drawers for a smaller, taller one from the creating room:


And here every night Orlando and I say thanks for this wonderful day and thanks for our crazy tiny pretty home and thanks for all our wonderful friends and family.  And thanks for the creativity that makes it possible to make living here work for us   🙂

And we are looking for a tiny doggie friend to join us too.  Now that will be a happy dance day!!

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did!    🙂

On the Busy-ness of April

Greetings friends,  on a cold, grey, wet Monday morning – a wonderful time to sit down and write a long overdue blog post!

April turned out to be a very busy month that saw me spending very little time in my ‘Create Joy’ room.  I mostly entered it to sort through the stuff that was being temporarily stored in there while the sort out and make over was going on.

I returned home from my trip to Wellington on the 4th of April and threw myself into my make-over with zest.  These things usually take me no longer than a few days but his time it dragged on for the rest of the month.

Having had my appetite whetted for sorting and decluttering with the first garage sale I found I went to the next level.  I became ruthless.  Anything that lived in a box or the back of a cupboard because one day it might be useful, or if it was being kept for the day when my beach cottage miraculously appears, was sent to live somewhere else.

The sort out is complete.  The make over is complete.  Orlando has laid claim to his new favourite sleeping position.  The kitchen is burbling away happily producing trays of alfalfa sprouts, bottles of kombucha and milk kefir and even water kefir which turns out to be a remarkably tasty, fizzy, ginger-beer like pro-biotic drink!  Who knew!!

The garden has been tidied and sorted to survive winter’s sun-less days and to keep the lettuce and spinach coming for as long as possible.

The wardrobe has been halved, the shoe supply though has doubled….. really cute red suede ankle boots, grey calf length boots, brown lace inset boots [my favourites]  and some cute little house shoes…..

shoes gif

The month was not without it’s challenges.  Good Friday saw a huge downpour of rain hit us and my conservatory quite forgot its reason for being and thought it was a sieve.  For 48 hours there was a big noisy cool air dehumidifier blasting the heck out of the place to dry it all out.  Never-the-less two woven cotton rugs were ruined along with several items that were being stored there while the indoor chaos was in process.  Still, the upshot was that got rid of more stuff – and the conservatory is now pristinely empty except for one treadmill machine waiting to be listed on Trademe!  Anyone want a treadmill?  🙂

April was also the month that saw my hours on Skype skyrocket with fun international blogging friends get-togethers, and even more Happy Mail arrive.


Linne at A Random Harvest has recently opened an Etsy store where she is selling the lovely silk, hand-dyed scarves she makes and I decided to shout myself a couple because the colours are so gorgeous, and because I wanted to support her new enterprise.  In her inimitable fashion Linne added a few extras to the package and made me wait while she made a little something extra.  The package arrived early on the last Monday of the month and, as we had decided to Skype for the opening of it, I had to wait a further four days while Linne got herself ready to Skype.  Anyone who follows A Random Harvest will be aware of the ongoing practising of ‘Anticipation’ that Linne conducts in her blog posts – I am now a graduate of her classes!

Even Orlando got impatient  “It is ever going to be opened?”


But eventually, the following month,  🙂  the big day arrived

Here is Linne, after inspecting the seal on the package and pronouncing herself satisfied that no undue tampering or peeking had taken place


Now that was pretty much the end of my photographing of the process – I was far too busy unpacking and oohing and aahing over the contents.  I also got to have a chat with Linnes 92 year old mother – an amazingly young and vibrant being who had contributed a hand knitted bag holder for the kitchen.  One of those super-dooper handy little things that you never knew you needed until you have one 🙂

Here are a few photos of the contents laid out  a day or two after the visit with Linne when I realised I had nothing to show you:


There were originally two huge Canadian chocolates, but one got eaten 🙂

And here are the scarves.  I ordered the green and blue ones and was completely surprised to see the beautiful amethyst one also included.  Made of silk, tie-dyed by Linne and with handstitched edges.  Just beautiful!


And here is the ‘little extra something’ a beautifully made cushion, Linne’s contribution to my make-over, being canoodled up to by a sleepy kitty


And now it is May.  I know because Kris Kristofferson has been and gone and I was looking forward to that for over four months.  As YD said, we have now seen the last of our legends and can die happy 🙂

The weather is decidedly wintery, the house is ready for anything, I have shoes to go anywhere in and there can be no more prevaricating.  Work can begin in the Create Joy Room.  One Contented Crafter Organiser will be up for grabs soon.  Stay tuned folks.

Thanks for coming by today, I love that you did!