There is nothing quite like walking into a massive hall, filled to the brim with supplies, tools and experts in the field of your favourite pass time. As I entered the Sydney Exhibition Centre, surrounded by other excited attendees all there to learn, share and shop I couldn’t help but smile with glee like an over excited little girl. And then again 2 months later when I entered the Exhibition Park in Canberra I wasn’t any less excited. This year I was lucky enough to not only experience my first visit to a craft fair but to experience my second too.
Who can resist the soft smooth nap of new minky fabric, it just beckons you to stroke the soft cuddly fibres. I see the bolts of it in the fabric store and all I want to do is curl up in the layers of its strokable softness. If I had to describe minky in one word, that word would be; strokable. I love the feel of minky, it just makes you want to stroke it against your cheek and snuggle up to it.
As soft and luxurious minky is to touch it is just as difficult and daunting to work with. I have collected a couple of pieces of minky, purchased when the price was just too good not to. However I never really knew what to do with them and never felt particularly comfortable diving into a minky project. This changed however when I came across a stockpile of the most gorgeous minky fabrics, a supplier was selling at irresistible prices. I couldn’t say no; pink and white chevron, pink with different length nap in a chevron pattern and light pink with raised dots.
As a child, the birthday cake was the essence of celebration. Something we looked forward to every year. We would spend days leading up to our birthday drooling over the birthday cake cookbook. There would always be the ‘it’ cake that every year you would beg for and every year you would be denied and as a child you didn’t understand that your desired cake was ridiculously hard and a busy mum just doesn’t have the time or patience to attempt it. When the cake was finally decided upon, Mum would then spend hours on end in the kitchen to make the perfect cake for us. Do you remember the castle cake with ice-cream cone towers, the swimming pool cake with blue jelly water and the cho-cho train and its cute little carriages, or maybe you were lucky enough to get a Dolly Varden cake with skirt glamorously decorated in shiny silver and gold cachous.
The Appliquéd Towel
A favourite gift of mine for small children is personalised appliquéd bath towels. It may not be a common gift but I think that is part of the appeal to me. My mother use to give personalised towels as baptism gifts for her nieces and nephews and one of my most memorable items from my childhood was a pink bath towel that my Nan and Pop gave me. It had a pink hippopotamus appliqué on it with blue square framed glasses. It pretty much disintegrated many years ago as a lot of well loved and used items do. However I still remember it with fondness all these years later.
I recently started making these gifts for the young babies and children in my life. The first one that I ever made was for my friend’s daughter; Miss E’s baby bundle. It was the first time I had ever tried appliqué and I was so excited about how it came out. I used a little gender neutral owl motif to suit the nursery theme Mrs S had set up.