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Editor/Publisher - Jessica Van Den Design - Mikaela Danvers Proofreading - Christine Atkinson & Amie McCracken Contact - Jess@bespokezine.com Web - bespokezine.com Facebook - facebook.com/bespokezine Twitter - twitter.com/jessvanden Cover Art - Anastasia Christou

Contents 5 7

10 11

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Artist Feature - Jo Barby

Thrive - Kylie Gartside Tutorial

Inserting a zip!

Crafty Drabbles Budgeting for Creatives

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Fashion Feature!

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Arist Feature

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- Undral - Namoi Designs - Rita Angus

Crafting with Conscience Lovely Clusters Spring Favourites

28 Feature Article - Made With Love I'm a creative mum of two boys living and creating in sunny Sydney, Australia. I love making things by hand and have a passion for paper goods, I also enjoy baking, reading and illustrating especially fashion illustration. I'm constantly being inspired by life and living and I'm a keen blogger - blogging lets me express,record and share what I find inspiring!

33 Vintage Recipes Salmon Cakes 35

Cherish

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Vintage Crafts

38 Frangipani Designs Photography - Embroidery

anastasiac.blogspot.com

All contents are Š2010-11 by bespoke zine. All rights reserved. No part of this document or related files may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, by any means (electronic, photocopy, recording or otherwise) without the express written consent of the publisher. Opinions expressed in *bespoke* zine and *bespoke* online do not necessarily reflect those of the editor, publisher, or their agents. 2


From the editor... It's Spring - Hurrah!

Spring is my favourite time of year here in Queensland. To be sure, winter is no hardship, but by now, the days are getting longer, the skies are blue and fine, and the temperature is just perfect to get out and do just about anything. After my recent trip to the UK, I've come to appreciate our gorgeous Aussie weather so much more. As phenomenally green and picturesque as it is over there in the English summertime, I wouldn't give up our long sunny days for anything. (Although, the vintage and op shops over there are to die for!)

With features on two upcoming Aussie fashion designers/makers; a number of talented artists; a tutorial that makes putting in a zip sound easy; and a big spring feature from Lovely Clusters showcasing a huge range of lovely Aussie items, Issue 4 is prettiness from coverto-cover. Enjoy! ♼

Jess xx EpheriellDesigns.com

In honour of the shine and sparkle that is springtime, this issue is full of bright, colourful inspiration for you!

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Jo Barby Sometimes I look up at the clock and it's so much later than I had imagined. I realize I have lost time, immersed in a world of colours, form, and brushstrokes. This is where I go when I sit down to create a picture, the noise of everyday life and thoughts stop and my internal creativity kicks in. Although the creative process gives me this great escape, it can also be fraught with self doubt and internal criticism.

Things can be going along perfectly and then in a moment of madness the whole picture can look wrong, and I am left wishing there was an undo button in the real world! Creating a picture is very personal and somewhat emotional for me; I think this is why I'm drawn to people. My pictures reflect what sort of mood I'm in: do I want to feel pretty or sexy today, do I want to be brash and in your face, or do I want to be soft and delicate? This also applies to the colours I use and also the technique and medium. I'm inspired by so many artists, even if it's not to my personal taste. I appreciate the guts it takes for an artist to put their name to a piece and put it out there for judgment.

Joanne www.joannebarby.com 5

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Kylie Gartside What is your crafty business?

Maker of contemporary jewellery. How long have you been in business?

Almost ten years at varying levels of productivity. What made you decide to take this path?

I was working in the CBD in a variety of roles in recruitment and marketing. I never really had anything tangible to show for it at the end of the day except a healthy paycheck. I really need to hold something in my hands and be able to say "I made this" - even if the paycheck doesn't stack up all the time the satisfaction paycheck can be pretty high.

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Does it ever go wrong? What do you do when a piece doesn't turn out as you expected?

As long as it's a piece for me I normally enjoy the process of an unexpected outcome. Most of my work comes from experimentation and some of my best pieces have started out in my head as one thing and arrived in my hands as something else. When it's for someone else particularly when it's wedding related - that's really stressful.

What tools and process do you use in

Do you ever have times when you feel unsure of yourself or the path you're

your work?

on, and how do you cope with that?

The majority of jewellery processes are ancient and involve not so complex tools like hammers, flame, files, and the like. However newer technologies are making a big impact - things like CAD and rapidprototyping provide jewellers and sculptors with an ever expanding tool box.

All the time. I think all creative people have ups and downs. I've been working by myself in regional areas over the last 5 years and that can also play a big part in getting motivated. Now I'm back in Brisbane and more connected I feel more buoyed and supported by likeminded people.

What has been the hardest thing about

What is the best thing about working

turning a creative pursuit into a 'job'?

for yourself?

Sometimes it can all feel a little like routine, and the workload has had some big effects on my body. I spend a lot of time at the physio being treated for work related injury. Also, separating work and home can be challenging - particularly as I have a young son and my studio is at home. I have an incredibly supportive husband and family and could not do this without them.

Being able to follow a path that may or may not work out as you hope. I really struggled initially when I first moved from "business' to creative business allowing myself to experiment when the outcome was unknown... now sometimes I really struggle to STOP experimenting and do the stuff I know will pay the bills!

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What have been the best selling avenues/ venues for you?

I have some amazingly dedicated retailers who go to great lengths to get my work and my story out there. I also have a great solid client base word of mouth is always the best ally. I need to get into the current century and embrace twitter and facebook and the like... that's on the agenda for next month.

What advice would you give others looking to be successful with their creative

Inserting a zip

micro-business?

I am probably not the person to ask as I feel I still have a long way to go to make my business what I hope it can be. I guess recognise your strengths and stick to them - HIRE A BOOKKEEPER. Good photography is worth more than you can ever imagine.

Do you do any other creative or crafty

What plans do you have for the future of

things?

your micro-business?

I am launching a new label those halcyon days with friend and fellow jeweller Kym Mullen that can incorporate the other things we like doing new jewellery collaborations and a bit of creative sewing. I also have a massive problem with op shopping - my husband keeps asking "do we have enough tea pots yet?"

Get more organised - rebuild my website and get on top of social media. Where do you like to visit online?

by Julie Gibbons Sewing a zip into your dress or a cushion is really not as daunting as you might think! With a little patience and care, and some basic tools, you'll be an expert in no time.

3. Using a zipper foot, stitch around the zip on the right side of fabric, usually about 5mm from the seam line.

Before you do anything with the zip, place the right sides of fabric together. Stitch along the seam line with a long stitch, and open it out, pressing flat. 1.

I never quite know how I end up where I do on the web - get carried away clicking links. I'll get back to you on that.

www.kyliegartside.com Remove your tacking thread, and open the zip opening up with a seam ripper, being careful not to cut your fabric (only rip 3 or 4 stitches at a time). 4.

Then pin the zip in place over the seam. Next, tack the zip in place with needle and thread, and then remove the pins. 2.

5.

Voila!

Julie Gibbons works under the label of tractorgirl. She makes homewares from fabric remnants and other reclaimed fabric items, and also designs fabric prints. tractorgirl.com.au 9

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Crafty Drabbles by April Lowe images by Matt Lowe

Drabble: an extremely short work of fiction of exactly one hundred words in length. Drabbles are a bit like twitter - but instead of writing a tweet with one hundred and forty characters you tell a tale with one hundred tightly packed words. When I was a kid I dreamt of either being a girl Indiana Jones or of writing stories. I could almost always be found with my nose in a book, drawing or writing detailed story notes with the endless supply of the notebooks and pens I hoarded. I started writing drabbles to get the rusty creative writing cogs in my brain turning and improve my skills. Writing drabbles is a very different experience from blogging about my everyday life of crafting, baking, and geekery. My drabbles expressed the darker more emotional side I rarely blogged about. Though small, one hundred word stories can have infinite possibilities. Over time the drabbles I wrote evolved and became intricately linked with my crafts. I began to weave together my love of fairy tales, vintage buttons, lace doilies, drabbles, and coffee into strange little dolls. I've got two drabbles to share with you today... Pins

Desk covered in fabric, buttons, and lace. Spools of cotton, towers of paper, notebooks, pretty tapes, rubber stamps, and beads. All forgotten. The laundry towered in the basket, dust bunnies built temples beneath the bed. A spider constructed an intricate web from the dusty mantle to the bulb-less light fixture. Dishes covered the counter and the garbage spilled over onto the floor. Her hair was a matted mess of errant locks as she sat sipping coffee, fingers twitching over her laptop as she waited for the page to refresh. "Just one more pin. Then I'll craft. Just one more pin.' 11

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The House on Blackbird Road

"I would have written a shorter letter, but I didn't have the time." - Pascal

In the house at the end of Blackbird Road, with the peeling grey paint, that may once have been the blue of ocean waves. With dark wooden floors and damask velvet walls, ceilings dark and filled with a macabre carnival of spider webs. Dead chandeliers that drip dusty jewels, the stairs that creak as you climb up and up to nowhere at all. There is a little black key, in a hidden door, in the peeling damask paper at the end of the hall. Phantoms whisper secrets and lies in the shadows, in the house at the end of Blackbird Road.

www.meridianariel.blogspot.com

Budgeting for Creatives The B word is one that a lot of people like to avoid in their creative businesses. It is not pretty and it can seriously hamper that feeling of creative genius that comes with being an artist. But it is necessary. The more that we bury our head in the sand about the money side of our business, the deeper and deeper we can get into trouble without realising it. Budgeting really isn't about cutting back or losing our ability to create, it's about being realistic. It's so much easier to see what we have to work with if we are honest about what money we are bringing in, what we are investing in our business and what is not paying off. Sometimes, especially in a newer business, we can start throwing money around: buying advertising on blogs that we like to read; buying supplies that we may never get around to using; and making the assumption that by doing these things our businesses will pick up quickly and that investment will be worth it. What often happens though is that we are not aiming at our target market, or we don't even really know who our target market is. Thinking about planning for the business and where we want to take it is just too hard. However, planning is your best defence! If you have an idea what (or who) you are up against and how you are going to attack the situation head on, your business will thank you. How? By surviving and flourishing.

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By planning and budgeting you have your best foot forward. You don't have to know all the answers, but you will know what the questions are - and that will put you ahead of all the other people who are hiding from it. Budgeting starts with what you are spending - and not just on your business - but on the coffees and cakes down the street and that impulse magazine purchase. If you know exactly what you are spending you can see which areas are lacking funding and which are perhaps getting a little bit too much coin. It doesn't have to mean giving up the things you love, it simply means that you're being honest about what you are spending your hard earned money on. Knowing your numbers is liberating. It puts you in control. It helps you to make a plan that will allow you to start focusing on creating the craft you love in order to bring in the money that you need to keep living the life you want. And in the end, that's what it's all about.

Dannielle Cresp writer, designer & creative danniellecresp.com

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Fashion Feature Two Emerging Aussie Designers Undral

The latest collection "Cherry Love" from emerging label Undral is influenced heavily by the classic pin-up and 50's era. The collection features feminine and vintage styles with a touch of the romantic and a dose of vibrant colours and bold patterns. The label was launched in 2010 by Brisbane designer Undral Altan, who studied Fashion Design at MSIT. Since then the label has been stocked by boutiques in Queensland and interstate. Undral, who also has a Science background, is drawn to extremes and polar opposites, interpreting contrasts through her use of colour, structure, or fabric choice. She finds inspiration in everything - from classic literature, old movies and music - to history, architecture, and modern technology. Undral aims to express her creativity through her ever-growing style.

www.undral.com

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photographs - Michiko Myers model - Jana Robinson

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Namoi Designs

Namoi Designs are the brainchild of Kalila Stewart-Davis, the Adelaide Hills-born, 22-yearold designer who currently studies fashion and lives in Surry Hills, Sydney. Namoi Designs are the ultimate nostalgic/romantic expression - integrating passion, sewing, and creativity. Each collection produces individual one off pieces and short run production ensuring a distinct and unique look. Garments have spontaneous, never to be recreated, hand painted or obscure textiles a quality not found in mass-produced garments. All garments are made in Australia, by the designer.

www.namoidesigns.com

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photographs - Eliya Nikki Cohen model - Deb Hartstein styling - Julia Rich

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Rita Angus As envisioned by Leilani Isara These pieces were initially inspired by the portraits of Rita Angus of the 1930s and 40s, and were created between illustration jobs. At the beginning of the year my partner and I moved from Wellington to the bottom of the South Island - to New Zealand's oldest city, Dunedin. The city has a rich history in the arts, with many prominent New Zealand writers and artists born here during the early 20th Century. Within a few weeks of living here I stumbled across Rita Angus' Self-portrait 1936-37 in the Dunedin City Gallery. It is one of her best-known portraits and speaks of a time where the city was filled with a new generation of artists who represented the best of the country's talent. The drawings I have created are influenced by this time period, the stylistic approach of Angus portraits, and also the experience of living in Dunedin with its Scottish heritage and large amount of red-heads!

leilaniisara.blogspot.com

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Crafting with Conscience Over the years I've seen the impressive support that creative people have given to various causes and campaigns. The impact made by the funds and awareness raised is incredible. I bet this week you've being asked for goodies for fundraising event gift bags and items for auctions or raffles. You also might be wondering where the funds are really going, what it is you are really helping, and what's in it for you the struggling artist? Philanthropy is good for the soul: and for it to have a truly positive impact on you and the organisation it needs to be planned and thought about. Set your limit

Each year set how many charities or causes you want to support - but do leave room for the odd request you just can't say no to. This will help you:

Contact the organisations you're really passionate about

Let them know what you can do for them. Whether it be a fundraising campaign, auction, volunteering your skills, or just to simply write a blog post about them.

◊ Have a greater focus on the ones you are truly passionate about

Some organisations may have:

◊ Keep track of what it is you are doing to help

◊ Resources to help support you in what it is you are doing

◊ Say 'no' when asked for something you're not really keen on

◊ Guidelines as to how an event is to be run, the use of their name and other important things.

◊ Better plan your time and resources Be True and Honest

Most creatives these days are in the public 21

eye, so be careful to ensure that the causes and organisations you support match your craft and way of living. If you are truly passionate about a cause it will reflect in your work and your lifestyle, making it seamless to support.

◊ Up-and-coming projects that you can be involved in

Know your worth

A good organisation will know about building a relationship. If you're approached by a charity or event organiser for goods for auctions or raffles don't feel bad about asking what's in it for you. ◊ Do ask what type of promotion you'll receive in return ◊ If they have charity status you might be able to get a tax receipt for donated goods Be social darling

If you're not in a position to volunteer, run events, or donate goods you can use your social networking tools to promote the causes

you support. Retweet their tweets, comment on their status updates, and don't be shy when writing blog posts about the amazing work your chosen charities are doing.

Nicole Melbourne artist and illustrator Nicole Tattersall is also a passionate animal rights activist who works part-time for a charity. She's helped support charities such as WSPA, Sea Shepard, Red Cross and PETA on various projects and through participating in various fundraising and awareness events. www.nicoletattersall.blogspot.com 22


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Made with Love

Why consumers are calling for craft and how artists are answering them by Ashton Rigg

When someone mentions "handmade", what do you think of? Does your mind travel to a place filled with crocheted potholders and toilet roll dollies? When discussing options of "buying local", do images of hardworking farmers pop up, tending to their crops and filling the Woolworths trucks like they do on the TV ads? Buying handmade and supporting local producers extends further than your family-run corner store or weekend craft market. You just need to know where to look.

portal for customers to purchase from the comfort of their Snuggies, many people still prefer to make a trip to the shops. Browsing the Etsy website is both a thrilling and tiring activity. You are simply overwhelmed by choice.

"You can literally buy pretty much anything handmade these days," says Brisbane-based jewellery designer Kate Phillips. Kate has been running her jewellery line Orange Sherbet for seven years. Since falling in love with the art of Silversmithing, she has tinkered away at her brand, moulding it into its current form, which she describes as quirky, fun, and functional. Shapes such as whales, ladders, and Swiss cheese have found their way into Kate's production line, each piece crafted with precision and passion.

While online marketplaces continue to grow in strength and size, a hands-on shopping experience can still offer things to the consumer that webstores cannot. "People are tactile," says Shayne Armstrong, an Advertising, Marketing, and Public Relations academic from the Queensland University of Technology. To explain people's desire for tangibility, Shayne paints a picture of a young man entering a car dealership looking to purchase a new roadster. The customer approaches the car, admires it, circles it. With intense concentration, he runs his hand gently over the bonnet. "He is establishing a relationship," explains Shayne. The customer knows what paint and metal feel like, but involvement creates emotion - and that is what drives us to consume.

“You can literally buy pretty much anything handmade these days.”

Ashton Rigg Kate recently made the decision to sell through Brisbane retailer Thousand Island Dressing. Prior to this, Kate's designs were only available online through the handmade haven, Etsy. While she still sells online, Kate feels she cannot reach enough people through Etsy alone and believes that moving her Orange Sherbet line into a retail store was the next logical step. Etsy offers worldwide users the chance to explore decades of fashion and contemporary handcraft with the click of a mouse. Sites like this encourage consumer responsibility by boosting the availability of handmade options. But while online shopping provides an easy

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Kate Phillips

Shopping is not always a yes-no situation, but behind a computer monitor that is really what you are limited to. The experience becomes

Leanne DeMartini impersonal, alienated, and - to be honest - can simply take the enjoyment out of shopping. Kate believes nothing will ever be better than being able to try something on for yourself. "Being able to touch and try something on will be able to really sell it to you. You can tell straight away by trying something on if it is right or not," she says.

“Jewellery is such a visual thing ... It’s like buying a piece of art.” Leanne DeMartini is the proprietor and founder of retailer Thousand Island Dressing in Paddington, Brisbane. Stepping inside the seafoam green Queenslander on Latrobe Terrace, you are immediately greeted with brightness, colour, and extensive selection. Leanne puts a great deal of time and effort into the visual merchandising of her store, placing emphasis on creating a personal

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shopping experience for her customers. "Jewellery is such a visual thing," explains Leanne. "It's like buying a piece of art."

sold across the industry with different labels, leaving little room for choices of individual style.

"A store like this thrives on the unique. You always get the followers of fashion who find it safe to enter chain stores, but there's definitely a market for a store that enjoys having a range of stockists you won't see everywhere else," says Leanne.

Looking at things on a broader scale, the handmade movement is closely related to the "green" trend that has skyrocketed over recent years. We have green bags, green cars, and green energy at our disposal, all supported by various government initiatives. You might say that green has become the new black. One particular aspect of earth-friendly living is the concept of ecodesign, a design approach that considers environmental factors involved with a product, taking all stages into account from manufacture to disposal. Kate adopts a green approach when creating pieces for her Orange Sherbet jewellery line, choosing to source materials from a supplier who offers recycled silver products. While this is actually a more costly option, it provides Kate and her customers with a sense of satisfaction, knowing the products are taking sustainability on board.

“When you buy local you are buying an individual’s time and effort, you are buying a part of someone.� Mass production is not the enemy of creativity and continues to hold an important role in the retail market. Mass producing goods can mean low costs, highly efficient turnover time, and accurately made products. But at the same time, this means identical items are

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Facebook polls conducted by this writer revealed that the majority of people surveyed believe locally produced goods are better but are not always economically feasible. Markers such as "organic", "locally made" or "handcrafted" are synonymous with high quality and high price tags to boot. As the customer, it is important to know why you could be paying more when buying handmade goods.

A core driving force behind the call for craft can be summed up in one word: relationships.

statement? A core driving force behind the call for craft can be summed up in one word: relationships. The relationship you have with your country, your state, your local shopping centre, designers, and salespeople all have a profound impact on your decisions to buy. Leanne believes relationship building is a key factor in the handmade market, particularly when it comes to the interaction between designer and retailer. "You get to respect someone for following their artistic direction and you want to support them," she says. "You know that a store like this can really help someone along and you want to encourage that."

One reason to consider is the fact that small businesses often do not qualify for wholesale discounts when purchasing their supplies. Realistically, this means they are paying retail prices for their materials. This is a determining factor that allows large companies to keep their prices low and their profit margins high.

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Handmade products vary in price as much as any consumer good. The difference is that the handmade community is filled with artists who simply do what they do for the love of it. Kate says she would rather make her jewellery using quality materials, selling them at a reasonable price point, than marking up the price to make a small turnover. "To me, my profit is really just to see them being worn and to make enough on each piece to cover the costs of my materials so that I can continue doing what I love," she admits.

The handmade community is made up of people who are making a living just doing what they love. "When you buy local you are buying an individual's time and effort, you are buying a part of someone," says Kate. At the end of the day, customers can see that and they want to be a part of it. Buying handmade helps us reconnect and makes us feel like we are part of something bigger. The joy of the handmade market is in participation, not consumption.

So what does this all mean? Is "handmade" an artistic movement? Is it a political

Photographs by Connor McGill & Meg Grealy 32


Salmon Cakes

Vintage Recipe Challenge

I originally wanted to make something else for this issue of the zine - it was advertised as a recipe for the traditional Cadbury Bournville Cocoa - but alas it just did not work. I could find no way of salvaging the recipe without completely changing it, and I felt that would completely defeat the point to the vintage recipe challenge! So I flipped through and decided to pick something else. But what would be perfect for the change-over from winter to spring? I stumbled across the fish section and read the Salmon Cakes recipe. I personally love fish cakes and loved the idea of making my own, so it was obvious what my next challenge would be! Ingredients

◊ 1 small tin salmon ◊ 1 cupful mashed potatoes, level, firmly packed ◊ 1 level tablespoon chopped parsley ◊ 1 lemon ◊ Sprigs of parsley ◊ Frying fat ◊ 1 pinch pepper ◊ 1/4 teaspoon salt ◊ 2 level tablespoons flour ◊ Egg binding ◊ Breadcrumbs Method 1.

Place the salmon in a basin, and mash well.

Add the potatoes, pepper, salt, 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice, and chopped parsley, and mix well. 2.

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Take a small portion of the mixture and shape well in the flour, flatten into a round shape by placing on a board and pressing the sides and top with a large knife. 3.

Have a little egg binding on a plate, put cakes in one at a time, brush well all over, drain well by holding in a spoon. 4.

Toss in breadcrumbs, and firm on well with a knife. 5.

Place cakes on kitchen paper, ready for frying. 6.

Wet fry for 3 minutes in hot fat till a golden brown colour. 7.

8. 9.

Drain on kitchen paper. Serve on a hot dish.

Garnish with lemon and small sprigs of parsley. 10.

Review

These are very good! I did as the recipe instructed and fried them but I used butter, not fat.

I also made another recipe called Sunbeams (perfect for winter to spring, as it's when the first real warm sunny days start popping up).

I think these would be even better grilled or baked. Not only would that make them healthier than fried, but it would taste better as it would make them crispier on the outside.

It is a sweet recipe, and I would urge you to go to the Old Vintage Recipes website to get the recipe: think shortbread with nuts, jam, and dates. Yum!

However, I would add a bit more salt or lemon for flavouring.

Jane Taylor

You could easily alter this recipe to add whatever vegetables, herbs, or spices you wanted - great for hiding veggies from kids!

www.oldvintagerecipes.blogspot.com

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Nanna’s Vintage Treasures

A Falcon Ware "Desert Scene" porcelain Jardiniere circa 1930-ish. It was contentious, as one set of family members didn't think it belonged with a granddaughter. Nanna got her own way though, and the Jardiniere still lives in her old China Cabinet at our house.

My late Nanna meant the world to me. She was instrumental in my character development and values, I looked to her for guidance often in my life. She passed down to me three amazing treasures before she moved into a nursing home later in her life. Her reasoning was that she wanted these things to be safe and cherished.

The "Fairy Fountain" print circa 1931, still in its original frame - it was given to my Nanna by her mother, for her 21st Birthday.

Samara Maddison maddabling.blogspot.com

A battered suitcase full of photos, spanning two centuries - including a photo of my great Grandparents taken in a studio. I feel like the family guardian of this suitcase. Nanna told me a story once, set in the 1950s, about the copper in their weatherboard wash-house catching alight... some family documents and photos were lost in that fire. Nanna was keen to see the photos held in a safe place, to be treasured by future generations. 35

I am a self taught creative who makes jewellery, cards, and mixed media collages; working full time I find creating is both a hobby and my sanity.

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spare page

frangipani designs

Claire has run her photography and graphic design business - frangipani designs - for the past 11 years. She has a fun approach to photography and captures the unique personality of each of her subjects. How gorgeous is this vintage-inspired couple shoot? I fell in love with it and had to share it with you! ~ Jess

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frangipanidesigns.com.au

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Embroidery Embroidery - isn't that what your granny had on her hanky? Probably, but don't be put off! Embroidery is making a comeback, and it's edgier, sassier, and way more badass than anything your dear granny ever encountered.

History

Embroidery is one of the earliest forms of craft, dating back to the beginning of clothing itself. Primitive peoples embellished their clothing with bones, using thread made from animal sinew or plants. The earliest surviving piece of embroidery is a Cro-Magnon garment dating from 30,000 B.C.! In Europe, the original emphasis was mostly on decorating items for the church. By the Middle Ages, large tapestries showing landscapes or historical scenes had become popular - the most famous of these being the Bayeux Tapestry. The Tudors used elaborate embroidery to decorate their clothing, although by this time it was mostly confined to the very wealthy. This continued up to the 1800s, when decorative 39

embroidery started to become a proper pastime in its own right. Machine embroidery started to be developed during this period, and Berlin woolwork became popular. This involved a slightly cruder method of stitching with wool on canvas. Patterns were often printed directly onto the canvas, and kits became available. Children from this era often produced samplers - simple works meant to display many types of stitching, and usually with a religious or moral message. By the end of the century, the craze for embroidery had properly took hold. Women became bored with the constraints of pattern kits and started developing their own designs, or worked from contemporary artists. This inventiveness has continued up to the present day, with embroidery becoming its own form of textile art.

What You'll Need

What Next?

Embroidery is easy enough to try out, since most sewing stores have an embroidery section. Head out to your local shop and get a small to medium sized embroidery hoop, thread, and needles. Any type of thread can be used for embroidery (including yarn), but to start out with you may want to pick up some of those small, silky hanks. The thickness will help you cover ground easier and hide your mistakes. Also make sure that your needles are large enough to accommodate the larger thread size! You'll need some cloth to embroider on as well - why not choose an old pair of jeans? Denim is heavy enough that it won't wrinkle or tear easily when you try to embroider it.

◊ Sublime Stitching - www.sublimestitching.com ◊ Subversive Cross Stitch www.subversivecrossstitch.com ◊ September House www.etsy.com/shop/SeptemberHouse

Marissa Warner-Wu flowerfruitmountain.wordpress.com Marissa spends a lot of her time thinking about the past, the future, and occasionally even the present.

Now, time to get creative! Sketch out a simple design - something with bold lines is best, since it will be easier to stitch. Next, lightly draw it on your fabric with a pencil or ballpoint pen. Sandwich the fabric between the two parts of your hoop, and pull it flat before tightening. Try a basic backstitch around the outline to start, or be ambitious and experiment with color and shading. Make your granny proud! 40


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*bespoke* Issue 4  

Handmade Art Craft Vintage DIY Design Creative Inspiration Projects Passion Interviews Artisan Photography Illustration Baking Homemade

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