Posted by: ainslieb | November 23, 2009

moving site

Hi everyone – I have finally moved to to host my site, so I will not be updating this site anymore.  I would love to hear from you at the new site – yes it still looks like this site with just a few more smart things – like you can look at photo’s in more detail and you will be able to purchase on line from the site in a week or so.  Please go to and make it a bookmark or better yet – subscribe to the rss feed and you will know when I update with something interesting.

Thanks so much for reading and I hope to see you on the new site.

Take care



Posted by: ainslieb | November 10, 2009

Site update happening

Just in case you are looking for my pretty button tree or my gallery, I have finally found someone to help me with some technical issues. Please bear with us, but hopefully by the end of the week I will have the blog I have been trying to get. I should have the handmade card gallery and the online store up and running. So if things look strange for a day or two, grab a coffee and come back to visit in a few days.


Posted by: ainslieb | November 6, 2009

cards paper and butterflies!

I have been knee deep in cards for a week, flat out designing, making and packaging my stock for the upcoming markets. I will be at Oxford Street Markets in Leederville from Nov 21st, and the following week I have also been lucky enough to snag a table at the Cottesloe Hulubaloo Festival on October 28th. I will be sharing the table with Cottesloe Community Childcare, and will be running their raffle while I sell cards.. (thanks Liss!) I think our table will be outside Boatshed, so hopefully lots of passing trade! I am steadily stocking up the cards and trying to stop coming up with so many designs – 18 and counting! Hopefully this weekend I will be able to load some of those designs with nice images for you to see.
What a fantastic way to live!!!

The girls and I have just had a very naughty TV Pizza dinner as Col is out, so I got to be lazy after a crafting day! They had facepainting at daycare today – what is left of their beautiful butterflies is below… a bit smudged but after a hot day, running around and pizza, they still look cute.

My tv idol for the night is coming soon (torchwood..yes I know Captain Jack bats for the other side but he is just truly delicious and it is worth watching just for the fantastic sexual tensions!!) so I just have to get the girls off to bed – which means getting off the computer and then I can settle in! ahhhhh I love friday’s!

have a great weekend and do check back monday for lots of lovely christmas card images.

Posted by: ainslieb | October 24, 2009

A long week and a happy birthday!

Happy Birthday to my oldest friend – 2 years closer to 40…. hope your night was better than your day!! 😉

I have been wiping snotty noses, sore eyes and soothing sore throats of my little girls, and sitting next to colin in the ER for the last few days – a little worse than man flu… but only just! Nearly back on track. I managed to stitch some lovely lipstick fabric onto shirts for the girls to brighten their day – it is amazing how something little and lovely can go such a long way. I will post photo’s tomorrow. I am torn currently between finishing a Pear Pincusion from RetroMama and making some cards for my stall. I did manage really well to increase stock and designed 4 new cards alst week before the illness’s struck, but then lost a few days, but I have a hankering for the sewing machine – so I might have to sew cards – maybe that will fix the urge! Colin is watching a scary movie and I don’t do scary, so I get to spend Sat night in amongst my stash of fabric and paper… ahhh bliss!


Posted by: ainslieb | October 20, 2009

to market to market!

Am very excited to announce that I have been accepted to join the other wonderful designers at the Oxford Street Markets in Leederville for Summer!! I will have a stall every other week until the end of march, and every week in December. So – I am frantically (read “in a relaxed and measured fashion”) making cards and finishing my Christmas design portfolio so that I have lots of stock. My first stall will be November 21st. Hope to see you there.

Posted by: ainslieb | October 19, 2009

New name – same me – more stuff

Hi!  I’m back!  Well I haven’t gone anywhere, but I have been redesigning my life and my creative habits and whilst doing that I wandered away from my blog.  I was intending to create a lovely new blog and website, but finance has got the better of me, so I am back with a new name and a new focus.  This is all about selling my cards to lovely buyers, sharing the sustainable steps we are taking towards a greener life, and celebrating everything handmade.  Handmade is the new motto of the house I think! colin has stepped right up with the wonderful new chookhouse, and he said today that he was quite proud of his new found talent at home handyman!  …will wait on those bustling biceps and toolbelt, but I do find that if I pick up the drill he will tend to take over!  This was a suggested from a friend who will remain nameless, but her suggestion was ask three times and if you don’t get it done, just pick up the drill and suddenly it will be done.  I don’t worry about the asking stage, I just jump in with the drill and he fixes the mess after me!

Anyway – back to my cards – my latest efforts that were donated at the Como Children Quiz night – where we raised just under $5000 (YAY!) are below.

Happy viewing! – would love feedback.


Posted by: ainslieb | September 24, 2009


My camera isn’t linking to my computer to show you our new family members – but as soon as I can I will …. we increased the family with five lovely ladies today – Martha, Betsy, Gertrude, Geraldine and Harriet!  Two naked neck birds and three cross-breeds – all about six weeks old.  I had no idea how cute they would be – they really are quite loveable.  We converted the old cot from dad – it has front opening doors, and covered it in cement fibre boards – heavy and really quick – and cheaper than wood – not our most sustainable moment – but things are a little tough financially, so we had to compromise.  I have started painting, just the bold background colours, and will add flowers and polka dots next week.  We have moved a rotating washing line to the back corner of the garden and covered it in shadecloth to give them some summer shade, and have left a few plants for them to pick at.  They are right next to the veggie patch, so as soon as it is growing better, they can peck that too.  We have a little child’s pen that we didn’t use much and have converted that to a free-range space  – a – to protect my lovely veggies and b – so that we can catch them easily while they are young.  Apparently when they know it’s sleep time they will just pop back to their chook house – Will wait and see if that happens.

Girls got to sit with them and pat them – Cate a bit rambunctious in her holding but it didn’t get squashed!! Colin handed his candidacy in last week, so we got a week with no study – it was bliss – we both worked together on the chook house and then got to spent a tiny bit of time at daycare – I did vegie stamping – using lots of different vegetables and some inks and paints with the kids.  Next week we are going to make egg-carton cress beds so the kids can see things growing from seed.

We are selling all our excess furniture -which is mostly beautiful antiques – and using the money to pay for soil and hay for our no-dig garden beds.  We are planning 15 metres square of veggie patch in the next three weeks – hopefully fully productive six weeks after that – we currently have the aquaponics producing really well, the fish are huge, and the small veggie patch has produced beautiful lettuce, broccoli, snow peas and onions, and copious quantities of coriander.  We just need to get more variety and increased yield.  Our diet has improved significantly with the greens on the doorstep.

Ok – to fess up on the car issue – we failed brutally on the no car idea – the next day I was as sick as a dog and colin was late, so he drove the girls to day care and me to the doctor.  It pretty much went downhill from there.  We have come to the conclusion that Perth is a pretty bad city for public transport.  If we lived in a bigger city with better infrastructure it would be easier, but we don’t.  So we have committed to reducing the miles in the car on a weekly basis.  During Sustainable House day last week we came across a house that records its mileage, meter readings and water usage weekly and targets to reduce weekly – we are going to start that with the car and power meter and then work from there.  We are catching the bus on the weekends when we can and we will have to work out the rest as we go!

Ok – off to check on the girls before lights out – the chooks that is,  the girls are fast asleep, happy and hopefully dreaming of their new egg-laying pets.


Posted by: ainslieb | September 7, 2009

no car for a week!

We are going to start small – no car for a week.  Our effort towards sustainability and being green and living cheaper. I have the bus timetables to daycare – it will be my daily exercize as it will involve about 18 minutes walking each way pushing 50 kilo’s of daughters and pram.  I have a shopping trolley to take to the local center and a bus route for that.  Colin can take the bus to uni.  ….. can this be done??? I am sure it can be – we just have to adjust our efforts and our planning.

wish us luck – will keep tabs for you!

Posted by: ainslieb | September 7, 2009

The Choices we make…

Life really is all about choices.  I was reminded of this as I read Jek’s post  on Scrumdilldilly today.  She saw a man through a cigarette butt out the window whilst all around the air is filled with smoke.  I can only imagine she lives near the terrible fires in Califonia at the moment.  Coming from Western Australia, we are more than used to bad bush fires and the feelings they evoke.  At the same time she is trying, like me to be more sustainable – make better shopping choices and better life choices.  I spent most of the weekend thinking about where life is at, how much there is to do and where and when to start. The obvious answer for any Tony Robbins type person is Here and Now. Not always that simple – the  kids are running around shouting, Col was sick with a tummy bug and I have had my head not quite in the right place since last weeks hospital visit.  I get an infusion to help with my arthritis. I sit in a room with all the people having a variety of infusions – some not so sick  – like me, and some very sick and having chemo.  There was a young woman there, probably mid 20’s with her mother – they were making wedding invitations whilst she recieved her Chemo for the day. I got the impression she was there every day – I only need to go monthly from now on.  There is an older lady there having the same treatment as me.  She grumbles – makes a fuss and needs the whole room to know how much pain she is in (she walks without a cane or a shuffle and can hold a cup).  I try  not to judge her as I haven’t walked in her shoes and I know how much my pain can get me down.  But the nurse spoke to me and I commented on this lady.  The nurse said – some people don’t know they are alive – we buried our colleague from Breast Cancer today, and here this woman is, in her 70’s, in a bit of pain but really not that bad, complaining all the time.  It made me think about the times I complain, the times that I don’t do what is best for my health so that I am around for as long as I can be with my little girls.  And I think about the choices we make.  We are trying to become more sustainable. We have talked about getting rid of the car to reduce our emissions and save our pocket.  But we don’t live in a city with fantastic public transport. It is good, don’t get me wrong, but getting two kids and a double pram into a bus is no mean feat – and in summer, when we can expect 40 degree days, that sounds pretty horrid.  This must be tempered with the ideas behind Transition and peak oil – there will come a time when we have no choice but to get rid of our car for the price, the damage and the inconvenience.  Is it time to face the inconvenience now and get used to it – get the girls used to it.  In a nation and a globe that is so used to excess, that is such a hard choice.  I grew up in a household with a car per person over the age of 18.  When I arrived in London years ago I couldn’t stand the thought of not having a car, so I specifically sought out a job that came with car.  I have managed to cut down significantly on usage, but someone, somewhere has to make a stand and do the right thing, why should that person not be me?

Anyway – la la la – that is my deep and meaningful post for the day – and now I really need to go do the dishes, put dinner on and go out and weed my veggie patch that is daily getting taken over by clover!

Posted by: ainslieb | September 1, 2009

Quilts, Cards and Pancakes

Well the title fits my life at the moment – jumbled!  I have been waiting on getting my new computer fixed – I have received fantastic personalised service, and now it looks like I am back on track.  Turns out this old house we live in has some power issues and it was causing my machine to turn off – not earthing or something technical.  Anyway – it is sorted and now I can blog away. So in an attempt to get rid of backlog ideas and move forward with something regular – thought I would tell you what I have been doing…

Firslty the divine sunday breakfast that Colin cooked – he normally does pancakes but they never appear light and fluffy – so we looked up the domestic goddess that is Nigella and of course found the perfect pancake recipe.  The children improved our enjoyment of these scrummy things by adding greek yogurt before the maple syrup – you will be surprised how good they are!


After this I got back down to business making a card for my friend Naomi’s Linen tea  – What you have when you have enough kitchen stuff and you are getting married – more linen!  Anyway – after a bit of embossing, cutting and sticking – here is the result – next to it’s inspiration – a rose of course!


On Saturday night I started my first quilt – sans pattern of course.  I went to Calico and Ivy for some lush fabric and then colin and I started calculating what size the squares would need to be to fit the duvet that Jennifer already has – my idea to use the duvet instead of buying batting to keep the cost down – not the best decision it turns out as it moves and stretches and is quite uncontrollable!  However – back to the  mini adventure..  I cut and stitched the top and then I pinned – well I thought I pinned enough – but I am not taking a photo of the back of the quilt – put it that way!  I have now learned through reading some great blogs this morning including Indie House and One Flew Over , that I should have stuck the base to the floor and then added the layers and pinned that way – some control over the base – oh well – live and learn! So – then I started to quilt – again I didn’t draw lines – anyone seeing a pattern here?  Still – it is cute and for a first attempt it is not too bad so I am not unhappy.  I am off to the sewing shop to get a quilting foot to allow me to do some free movement quilting around the rest of it – mum assures me that it will look better, so will see tonight when I get back to the machine.  Can’t wait to finish and go out and get some more fabric – of course have to find the money first!!

Here ’tis so far


So far not-too-bad!

Right then – off to sew, craft, anything but clean!

Older Posts »