Cherry Blossom Festival at Auburn Botanical Gardens | 2015 Review

Cherry Blossom Festival (17)So I went along to the Cherry Blossom Festival at Auburn Botanical Gardens over the weekend and man oh man, was it busy! I mean people just love cherry blossoms. I guess it’s not hard to see why. There’s just something so beautiful about these little pink flowers that cascade above you and fall ever so gently.

The event is well organised, with food trucks set up just in front of the gardens. An entry fee of $5 for non Auburn residents gets you entry to the gardens and access to a number of activities including origami workshops, food stalls, calligraphy workshop, Japanese flower arranging and musical and dance performances.


This year, there will be a Cosplay and Kimonos Competition. Having partnered up with Madman Entertainment, this year Cosplayers have a chance to win a Madman Entertainment prize voucher. Those who dress up gain free entry to the festival.

Simply come to the Auburn Cherry Blossom Festival in your best costume and take a photo in front of the cherry blossoms. Post the photo to Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #auburncherryblossom and you will go into the running to win prizes supplied by Madman.

Check the facebook page to see the schedule for this weekend.

So we had a couple of motives to check out the Cherry Blossom Festival – 1. to check out mesmerising cherry blossoms and 2. to take our new camera out for a spin. Here are some of our favourite snaps from the day.

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Cherry Blossom Festival
11.00am – 4.00pm
29 and 30 August
Auburn Botanic Gardens, Corner of Chiswick and Chisholm Roads Auburn

Getting there:
Free bus service to the gallery
Onsite parking is avaiable

See flyer for more details. Find all the info you need here before coming along to the Festival this weekend.

Festival Girl


How To: Make a DIY Felt Flying Pigs Baby Mobile


A friend of mine was having her baby shower over the weekend and I decided I should stretch out my crafting legs and create her something unique and handmade for her. Although I’ve created feltie creatures before, I’ve never created a baby mobile in my life. I was inspired by Pinterest and decided hey, if they can do it, so can I.

The couple are keeping the sex of the baby a surprise, so I tried my best to keep the colour palette neutralish. My friend actually loves pigs, so with some Pinspiration, I thought, what about adding some sleepy clouds, a sleepy sun, pigs that DO fly and why not add a giant rainbow with colourful drops.

Let me just say, DO NOT DO what I tried to do and finish this over pretty much over a weekend. What was I thinking? I somehow seriously thought to myself, I reckon I could smash it out in like an hour. Wow, was I wrong. I actually estimate it took at least 20 hours of actual sewing and assembling. So don’t be like me, don’t stay up til 4 am and then get up at 8 am on the day of, to finish your project.

To begin, here are some things you might need:

Fabric scissors
Paper scissors
Small embroidery scissors with a sharp point
At least 3 medium size needs
String with all the colours of the rainbow
Some really fine fishing line, the thinner the better
An embroidery hoop, you’ll only need the bit without the screw
A packet of wadding
Paper designs for your cut outs
Some super glue or fabric glue
A couple of tooth picks
And of course, felt, glorious felt. Try to make sure your felt is the stiffer kind so it won’t fall apart when you tug at it
Some designs in mind for what you want yours to look like
(optional but recommended) Crimps/crimper/flat pliers

So lets begin…


1) Grab your hoop and start drawing out some designs on a piece of paper. You want to figure out the size and proportions of the shapes that you will be working with. You don’t want your critters to be too big as they will crash into each other and it won’t be pretty. If you can’t draw, find some on Pinterest, print them and cut them out.

2) Pick out all your felt colours and matching string colours that you will need. Pick out any buttons or extra textures that you’d like to include and have a play with the colour palette.

If you’re anything like me and love to make use of random scraps of cute fabric you have, make sure you do some basic measuring to make sure you’ve got enough to make all the elements you want. Of course, allow enough fabric for mistakes. It happens.

3) Grab your paper cut outs and start cutting out your bits of felt. Some might prefer to draw on felt, but I hate seeing any lines on the felt, so just put your paper on top of your felt and with a steady hand (seriously, no moving) and cut all around your shapes. I started with my clouds, so i made 2x smaller ones, 2 x bigger clouds, and one big cloud for my rainbow base. You need to cut 2 shapes for one cloud. You can create all 4 clouds of the same size, but whatever you do, just keep in mind that you need to keep shapes and weights in balance otherwise your mobile will be too slanted.

DIY-baby-felt-mobile-24) Once your clouds are cut out, grab some black string and start designing your eyes. Sleep eyes are pretty easy just make sure they are centred and even when you stitch them on. Sew a loose stitch using black thread and then stretch the loose string to make a half moon shape. Hold this shape with one hand and then sew the eyelashes and grab the curved string. Try practising first on a scrap until your happy with how it looks. I decided to double up on string to make it thicker. Make sure all your knots and mess stick to the back of the felt, as it will be covered up anyway. Repeat this for all 5 clouds.


5) Cut out coloured drop shapes for your rainbow cloud. Cut 2 sides for one drop. Blanket Stitch all the way around the drops with a matching string. Make a couple of these, maybe one of each colour of your rainbow. I think I made about 8 drops.


6) Once all your eyes are sewn on, you might want to add some cute round cheeks. Pick the coordinating colours you want. I really wanted to you like a beigey colour, but alas, only had like a very light pink. So cut out some small circles of felt. Grab your matching string and do a blanket stitch all the way around the circles. Do the same to both circles. If you don’t know how to blanket stitch, just go to Youtube and you’ll find a million and one video tutorials.

7) Make sure you do step 4) BEFORE sewing it all together. It’s too hard to hide knots etc once it’s all sewn up. Get your white string and blanket stitch all the way around your cloud leaving a gap for wadding stuffing. I like to start at the cloud’s underarm (if that makes sense) so that when you end, it should be less noticable. Try not to overstuff the shapes as they are meant to be kinda flat. Cut up your wadding smaller and push right into the corners to avoid any flat bits. I always struggle with getting the blanket stitch started, I guess I’ll just never learn, but apparently this is the best way to start it. Do the same thing for all your clouds.


8) Now you can do your big Sun. Cut out 2 large circle paper designs. It might be easiest to trace a large cup to make it easier. You need to cut 2 shapes for one Sun. using your paper designs, cut the shape. Once you’ve got your shapes, you can create the same sleepy eye stitching that we used on the clouds. So repeat step 4) on the sun. You can choose to do one sleepy side and one awake side if you like.

9) You can add cheeks to your sun just repeat so just follow the steps for 5) again. To add a mouth, it might be too small to do a blanket stitch, so cut your shape out and get some super glue and using a tooth pick, add the glue to the back of the shape and position on your yellow sun.

DIY-baby-felt-mobile-710) I wanted to create a lions manes look for the sun so I decided to cut up some fringing using yellow, dark yellow and orange. I wasn’t completely happy with the my orange felt as it was a little too fluffy and weak and can tear easily, but I used it anyway. In hindsight, what I should have done was to put the sun paper design over a big block of felt, cut out the circle shape leaving a bit of overhang and then cut the fringing around the sun. The way I did it I cut strips of straight fringing and then had to curve it causing them to spray a bit too much. Repeat the same steps for all the colours. Now that all your fringing is done, layer it in order of yellow, dark yellow and orange with the darkest colour at the back.

DIY-baby-felt-mobile-6 DIY-baby-felt-mobile-10 DIY-baby-felt-mobile-911) Now with all the fringing in place, it’s a little too hard to blanket stitch around the sun, so just do a neat stitch all the way around. Use a complimentary colour to blend in or a bright colour to make it stand out. It’s up to you. Leave a gap and fill it with wadding and then finish the remaining stitch and close up the sun.

DIY-baby-felt-mobile-8 DIY-baby-felt-mobile-13 DIY-baby-felt-mobile-1412) Grab your piggy design – I scoured the internet trying to get some ideas of a cute pig design and I decided on this one. Perfect your paper design and then cut out the designs on your pinkish felt. You need 2 shapes per pig and I decided to create 4 pigs of the same size in total.

DIY-baby-felt-mobile-1112) Grab your piggy design – I scoured the internet trying to get some ideas of a cute pig design and I decided on this one. Perfect your paper design and then cut out the designs on your pinkish felt. You need 2 shapes per pig and I decided to create 4 pigs of the same size in total.


DIY-baby-felt-mobile-1213) I originally thought to make the ears apart of the rest of the pig, but then changed my mind and made popping out ears because why not. To make the ears, I drew up a leaf shape paper design with a smaller leaf insert design. I then glued the smaller part to the bigger part of the ear. Make sure the ears are lined up on both sides and I then stitched these on to each side of the pig. There are lots of different ways to create piggy ears, but I think just make sure you give them a fold or a curve so it doesn’t end up looking like a cat or a rat haha.

DIY-baby-felt-mobile-1614) Cut out some small black felt circles and glue on the same sized circles on to either side (make sure they’re lined up on both sides). If you like, why not use buttons or sequins or anything you like. I decided to add an anime element to my pigs and stitched on a fleck of white felt to look a little bit like a reflection. I chose not to make a hoof or a tail, but feel free to experiment.

DIY-baby-felt-mobile-1715) I wanted to add wings to my flying piggies. For my first wings, I tried to blanket stitch two wings together and filled them with wadding, but they looked really fat and didn’t really suit that pigs. So I decided just to blanket stitch one layer of felted wing and then use that as a wing on either side. Try to make sure they are even on both sides of your pig and using white string, stitch the front half of the wings, so the top part are free to stick out.

15) Once your happy with your pig halves, blanket stitch your pig together. I started on the back of the belly and worked my way around the back to the front. Leave a gap and fill it with wadding. Try not to overstuff it, seriously. It will end up looking like a engorged rat haha So stuff it like 50-75% of the amount you think you should. Repeat on all 4 pigs.

16) Rainbow time. Wow this part took a while to construct. Choose your colours you’d like in your rainbow, to make things easier you can just use 4 colours if you like. I was really running out of time at the rainbow (did I mention this was about the 3 am mark the day of the baby shower!) so I tried to make a few short cuts, hence the no individual images of rainbow construction. What I wanted to do was blanket stitch in matching colours all the way around the rainbow and make it really neat… I cut out duplicates of all the rainbow colours starting with red at the top (biggest curve) and bottom blue (small curve) and overlay bits and then blanket stitched the crap out of it. In hindsight, I should have created a ‘base’ shape and then using the cut outs position then and then blanket stitch them all on to the base shape with matching colours.

17) Once your happy with your rainbow, using your final rainbow sized cloud, stitch the cloud so half of the bottom of the cloud is sticking into the cloud. Blanket stitch all the way around and leave a gap for stuffing. Don’t overstuff.


18) Construction time! (this was about 8 am!) Grab your mobile embroidery hoop and grab your really thin fishing line. Tie the fishing line to one side of the hoop. Fishing line is very slippery, so look up how to do the most secure fishing knots and practise this a little before trying on the real mobile. The only fishing knot is know involves looping the loose string over the other uncut string and twisting it around 7 times and then using the loose end, put that through the loop at the top and pull gently. Trim off the excess. Once you’ve secured on one edge pull it to the opposite end and do the fishing knot, trim off the excess. Do the same to create a cross over in the middle, so you should have a pizza with 4 equal slices. At the cross over tie a small know to strength the cross.

19) Make your centre the heaviest part of your design. Here I have the Sun, Rainbow, Cloud and droplets. This will help balance the mobile. This is the tricky part but don’t give up. This is what I did. I sewed the felties one at a time. This is risky because its hard to keep all your bits even. Then I knotted off each part as I went. If you do this method, make sure you always start and end in the middle in between two pieces of felt, so that you don’t get crooked lines. This is what I didn’t do and what would probably work really well…Hang the middle part first. Tie a knot and sew a couple of loops to secure the start at the centre at the bottom. When you feel it’s secure enough, sew through the bottom part in-between both pieces of felt and pull all the way through past the rainbow. Put a crimp and pass it through your needle. Move your crimp to where you’d like the Sun to sit and pinch the crimp in place. Tie the top of this string at where the 4 corners of the pizza meet.

20) Think about the positions of all your drops and then secure a knot at the top of the rain drops and leave a string gap and sew to the base of the clouds. For the drops, make the amount of string space vary.

21) Do the same for the other 4 columns. Make sure all your spacings are even, this will not only look good but will help with balance. If you do use 2 different sized clouds, make sure they are on odd ends to counterbalance the weight. Make sure your clouds sit on top and then hang your pigs from the top of their backs.

22) Now once all your mobile is done, you need to create 4 strings to give you somewhere to hang your mobile from. Tie one string to each one of the 4 corners, leave these strings really long and once you’ve created your balanced knot (use a hook to help you adjust your mobile, cut off the excess.

After lots of explaining there you have it, a brand new baby mobile!


DIY-baby-felt-mobile-1Oh FYI this was the aftermath of felting madness. Don’t expect this project to have a pretty corpse. There will be felt, felt debris and more felt everywhere, so you’ll need to do a good vacuum once this project is done.

Has anyone else been inspired to take on a massive craft project?

Stitches & Craft Show Sydney 2014 | Review

StitchesCraftShow-9So I went along to the Stitches and Craft Show last weekend. It was surprisingly nice weather considering the stormy weather that’s been happening the last couple of weeks across Sydney.

Let me just say, the show seemed a little smaller than most years. I’m not too sure if there were less exhibitors this year or if it was just a rejigging of space. For those that have been the venue before, the second foyer area was blocked off and instead, moved to the top floor. This means all the workshops, make and take classes, exhibitions and guilds upstairs. So it actually kinda worked out in terms of themes, but I feel it made it feel just a little bit disjointed.

StitchesCraftShow-16Going along with a craftie friend is always fun. She is actually actually pregnant and wanted to come along to the show to get some ideas and materials to make some cute baby inspired crafts. She has little sewing experience but is wanting to get reacquainted with her sewing machine and create a cute baby quilt and baby bag for her bundle of joy.

The lovely lady from Moonshine Designs took the patience to chat to us about her tips and tricks and the best advice for novices like us. Did I mention the bag patterns are super cute!


My friend was after a pattern for a baby bag and lucky for us we found the lovely ladies at Margaret’s Fabrics and Moonshine Designs. Margaret’s Fabrics provides the gorgeous prints and Moonshine Designs, the clever cookie, creates some pretty fabulous and easy to use patterns.

StitchesCraftShow-2 StitchesCraftShow-3Now although I love textstyles and everything stitches, I must admit I’m still definitely a beginner. What I love about events like the Stitches and Craft Show is that complete novices like ourselves, get the chance to get right in there and ask the experts questions and have a play and go yourself.

We got quite cosy at the Quilters Barn where the lovely ladies gave us advice on how best to create a baby quilt including the best fabrics, a quilting book and even advice on colours that are complimentary. We must have spent at least 45 minutes rummaging the sale basket – I forgot to get some pictures, but after many years the business is retiring but will still be selling online. Whoo!

These were some of my favourite Texstyle Designs:


Don’t touch! How can you not? I understand the policy to keep the clothes from peoples fingers, but I think there’s something more to it. I think the most successful costumes or design pieces are ones that make people reach out and want to touch, engage and feel for themselves. Can something so intricate and from the imagination be real? The tactile appearance beckons recognition and a need to be touched. #Just saying

StitchesCraftShow-v-19I bumped into my old friend from Studio Mio who’s created some more cute and fun patterns and projects for the crafty minded. I got some super cute wooden leaf buttons. Have I mentioned that I love buttons?

StitchesCraftShow-13 StitchesCraftShow-12 StitchesCraftShow-14 StitchesCraftShow-15We had a lovely chat with a lady from the Quilters guild who gave us some excellent advice on what constitutes a quilt (apparently it requires 3 layers and stitching that goes through all layers.) She was wearing these creative earrings – she mentioned they were a gift from her daughter when she visited the United States.


Lace! Lace! Lace! Who doesn’t love Lace?

StitchesCraftShow-4I had a chat with a very nice man at World of Lace funnily enough, it was nothing about Lace, but rather cameras. He was curious about my camera and mentioned he used to be a photographer and is thinking about transitioning from film to digital. My thoughts? Go for it!

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And of course, one of my favourite presented stalls, Sister Violet and Miss Rose.

StitchesCraftShow-8Sister Violet and Miss Rose have so many gorgeous flowers, feathers, crystals, tea cups, lace, potpourri and brooches! Ahhh it’s like dying and going to vintage inspired heaven.
StitchesCraftShow-10StitchesCraftShow-7I bought a gorgeous heart shaped closet scent bag. Now everything I open my cupboard I smell roses!

As always, these shows are all about what you make it. Don’t feel embarrassed if you need help or guidance, just go ahead and ask!

Love, Festival Girl