I'd love to link to some of your cool blogs (in my new 'cool blogs' section) so I am putting the call out to all of you lovely bloggers out there.... would you like a link to your blog listed? Absolutely free? Of course you do!! However, before you say "pick me, pick me, how do I do it?" there is a slight errrm.. how shall I say... favour involved!
But it's no biggie! I just ask that in return, you link back to my blog! Sharing the link love, so to speak!
You'd need to supply a 120 x 50 pixel image and your blog web address and pop a willow and elm link somewhere on your blog. If you're interested, just email me or click the little cloud ad in the links section! Or of course you can leave your comment below.
Please note that unfortunately the amount of blogs I can link to will be limited, and I need to approve your blog before I can link to it so not all submissions will necessarily be selected. Look forward to sharing the link love with you! ;)
This week I was thrilled to win a prize in the itti bitti 'green' photo competition for a happy snap of my little fella in ALL of his green itti bitti nappies. Itti Bitti is an Australian company which makes Modern Cloth Nappies. Gone are the days of folding terry toweling to cover your babies precious butt, Modern Cloth Nappies are Better, Easier and Cuter than their predecessors. And above all else, they are much more friendly to the environment than the alternative - the nasty disposable nappy.
My little green pea :)
Unfortunately disposable nappies are a part of the ever increasingly disposable society we have created. They have only been used for the past 30 or so years, but have become the norm in modern families. Although disposable nappies were available when a lot of us were babies, our parents would have used cloth, as disposable nappies were seen as a luxury item and were very expensive and unsuitable for every day use.
How things have changed!
Did you know that these days over a billion nappies are used in Australia and NZ alone, in one year? And what is more shocking, is that over 2 million (yes, TWO MILLION!) disposable nappies are thrown into landfill every day in Australia and NZ! (not counting the rest of the world!).
It is said that if a person lives to be 100, the disposable nappies they wore as a baby will still be in landfill as they take centuries to break down...
But as passionate as I am about this, that's enough doom and gloom!!
The good news is that there are TONNES of awesome environmentally friendly reusuable nappies now on the market such as itti bitti (the ones I use). And if you're not interested in the bigger companies, there are also heaps of handmade versions popping up on etsy and madeit.
The initial investment for a full set of modern cloth nappies required may seem like a lot but when you work out how many boxes of disposable nappies you will need to buy, it actually works out cheaper!
So why not check them out and reap the benefits for you, your baby and the planet! See the Reusable Nappy Week website for more info.
I recently interviewed Vicki, the very talented lady behind re:deem designs and Red Punch Buggy. Vicki creates a myriad of delightful things, from gorgeous purses and bags, crochet, papergoods and upcycled bound journals and is passionate about recycling and supporting aid causes. I originally came across Vicki through DUST, and discovered her talent when I was lucky enough to win a beautiful scarf on her blog. I have also since purchased a couple of her gorgeous bound journals, upcycled from vintage books... and understandably, crave many more ... See the interview with Vicki below ...
Vicki working in her Gold Coast studio
Awesome re:deem journals I've bought and the lovely scarf I won
How did it all start? I grew up surrounded by art and creative types so I have been crafting in many mediums for as long as I can remember. Handmade gifts were my speciality asI have always thought a handmade gift had more soul than a store bought one....massive sparkly diamonds not included. When I was a young mum I sewed, knitted and crafted for my children and myself mostly out of our tight budget constraints... it certainly was a creative challenge living on a shoestring!!! The creative process inspires and energises me. Even when it doesn't go to plan I still learn something and you can always hide those mistakes in the bottom of a cupboard LOL
If you could describe your style in one word, what would it be? eclectic!
What’s the difference between your two stores, re:deem designs and Red Punch Buggy?
On the surface not much, you will find the same things in both stores. re:deem is in a sense my aid arm. I have always been involved insupporting others through aid organisationsbut I was very attracted to funding projects that helped them build their lives...the whole give a man a fish feed him for a day, teach a man to fish feed him for a lifetime thing. So out of that desire re:deem was born. Red Punch Buggy is because I am about to become a full time uni student and we are back on one wage so I want to be able to contribute to my families income. With Red Punch Buggy I also wanted to be in the Aussie market place and be able to explore other handcrafts that technically do not fall into the recycle/upcyle ethic as strongly as re:deem does.
I notice many of your items are made from recycled or upcycled materials. Why do you think it’s important to use recycled items in your craft?
Ok you mean apart from the obvious... be kind to our planet, lessen our carbon footprint and cut back on rampant consumerism? No seriously, that's very important and something I am working hard on (not always good at it). Make do and mend was something I grew up with.I'vealways loved the tactile history associated with objects of age. So if an object has served it's purpose as one thing it's very satisfying to me to see it reborn as something else. I think recycling/upcycling embodies in it the same spark of human ingenuity that enabled our pioneers to forge out a life with what they had in their hands. I love anything that carries a sense of history and permanency with it.
What are some of your favourite items you’ve made?
Ooooh a hard one. Like I said mostly everything I have made has been as gifts for special occasions. I think some of my favourites were the ones where I tried a new craft and it worked!!!! For example I made and hand embroidered a teddy bear for a friends 1st child, I handcut with a scroll saw and painted a american folk christmas angel flying with trumpet on a stand like a weather vane. I've made scrapbook albums, painted paintings and decoupaged handmade wooden boxes all for the first time and felt pretty proud of my work and hadthe satisfaction of seeing my gifts loved and treasured.
Where does your inspiration come from?
Honestly, it can come from anywhere. That sounds a bit vague I know butI really do find inspiration in the strangest places. Nature, people, books, music, words, smells, shapes, textures I guess if you have to give it a word I would say Life.. Life inspires me, it's a gift given to me by God and that creative force is in everything and I'm inspired by that. It's probably why I'm so eclectic there's so much variety in life and I love it all.
Are there any other handmade artisans you admire or handmade items you covet?
So many talented and gifted artisans. Hard to know where to start. Ok here's a short list of current faves for various reasons and I covet basically anything they make.
Brinda kay design This list changes a lot and is tiny compared to all I really really like .
Do you have any new designs you’d like to share? I want to have a go at hand binding books so there area few ideas bubbling there. I also want to do printmaking and digitally designing my own fabrics. Thats just a couple but there's a few things I'm short of.... time and money haha
October already! Who would have thought!! This year has just flown for me, especially since the arrival of my little boy in May. The last 4 and a half months have been a blur! Given its now only 2 months til Christmas I thought I'd do a Christmas themed greeting design. A personalised photo postcard - alternative to sending a traditional card. And this is what I've come up with. It's currently on etsy and madeit.
And just 'cuz I'm in the mood, here's some other cool Christmassy finds...
This weekend saw my husband and I on a trip to the city, trawling the Elizabeth Street camera shops to score a new lens for our camera. After much confusion and decision making we eventually got a 50mm which will allow more light in for taking inside shots (especially for photos of bubs). Here's our new bad boy...
It might even help me take better product shots (well.. hopefully anyway!) A bit of practice is still required to get the perfect shot though, it seems! Anyway.. it got me thinking that I'd do a post today of camera related items on etsy ...
This was a movie I wanted to see at the cinema but unfortunately never got around to it. So, you can imagine my excitement when I rented it from the DVD store on the weekend, "The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus". An ode to Heath Ledgers amazing talent, and devastating loss, this movie was the last he ever made, passing away during the filming of it. However the inclusion of seasoned actors Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell to take on his role throughout the duration of the film did not ditract from it at all, in fact, I believe added to it - with each of them paying hommage to Heath's character in their own special ways.
The movie itself is full of jawdroppingly beautiful etheral vintage glitz and gypsy glam, with the gorgeous Lily Cole's character 'Valentina' pulling off such amazing outfits.
I therefore thought I'd trawl through etsy to discover some "Imaginarium" style pieces....
Wow. Ok, so this is my first post. I always think the first post of any blog should be bold and articulated, setting the pace for the rest of the posts to come. But for some reason, just the idea of writing a momentous post is a little daunting, and immediately I get writers block. So... I'm going to have to stick with whatever comes to mind first, and set that kind of a standard for future posts. Nice and casual. Just hope you're ok with that :)
So, anyway... being the first post on this brand new blog for Willow and Elm I thought I'd celebrate by having a huge introductory sale in my etsy store. For a limited time, I have 50% off all designs! Half the usual price. No, I haven't gone mad! I simply wanna introduce willow and elm to the etsy community and hence, offering a bargain price to get my name out there! If you're in the market for personalised invitations at the moment, whether that be for a kids birthday, baby shower, engagement or bucks night - you'd be silly not to take advantage of this sale!
I also thought I'd share with the excitement of my first print ad. I've popped a classified ad in the brand new soon to be released crafty zine called *bespoke*. It may only be a little ad (see pic below) but its a big step for my little shop, being the first kind of advertisment in any magazine, so I'm very excited and can't wait to see the magazine. I've preordered my copy here, you can too!
Ooh, seems I've managed to write a fair bit without really trying, so at the risk of waffling on too long, I'll end it there. Thank you for visiting and reading my first post! I'd love to get some new followers so please add yourself before you head off.. and stop by my facebook page too! xoxo