Friday, May 23, 2008

Feature Artist: Ali from jellygnite

I only have my genes to blame for this making addiction of mine.

It comes from a childhood of watching Grandma and Mum knit, sew and bake (my dollies were always so well-dressed!). I remember always having my own little projects on the go to mirror whatever the grown-ups were doing.

I come from line women who were always doing something. My hands are always doing, and so is my mind – there are so many yet-to-be-realized creations in there, that I will have to live three lifetimes in order to fulfill them all!

I am inspired by paper ephemera (postage, tickets, old magazines and books...), vintage designs, memories, thriftiness and simplicity. I have always been fascinated with ephemera: collecting ‘rubbish’ to the shock of school friends, hoarding tickets and gathering old treasures. Using these things in my work, as well as vintage and rescued fabrics and buttons, I love imaging the past and trying to recreate some sense of nostalgia in the things I make. Although the things I make are quite varied – bibs, books, brooches, they all have this ‘looking back’ quality to them.

With my making addiction, the things that warm my heart the most are making books and bringing together different materials (whether they be fabric, paper or buttons) to make a wonderful new ‘whole’.

My etsy shop has been a brilliant force – fuelling my addiction and my creativity! Like the women in my family before me, I hope to pass this desire and compulsion to make things on to my own children and perpetuate this wonderful making addiction!

Stop by my etsy shop to see the fruits of my making:

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Introducing The Amazing Pram Purse!!

As a mother of two young boys, Jo Auton knows how essential it is to make things as easy as possible – life is just too busy for unnecessary complications. Her invention the “Pram Purse” was born out of the need to have everything she needed at her fingertips whilst walking with the pram with her young sons. “So often, I would miss a call when the phone rang, because I simply couldn’t find the phone in time!” , says Jo.

One day, while walking (which Jo acknowledges walking should be more than just one day! She’s working on it! ) , the idea of the pram purse came to her. Why not store all your essentials on the handle of the pram or stroller so you can get to it easily, she thought?

So… the pram purse was born. Made out of heavy duty denim, each pram purse is large enough to store your mobile, house keys, cash etc – all those essential items that need to be handy. You simply button the strap onto the handle of the pram or stroller and away you go. The easy zipper opening means you can find what you need … and fast! You can even use it on a shopping trolley.

Each Pram Purse features a stylish fabric strip and is lined in the same fabric. They make the perfect accessory for the mum on the go and a great gift for a mum to be! Visit Jo’s etsy shop to see her designs which are made out of the latest fabrics on the market.

Monday, May 5, 2008


Bec Hollis is the girl behind Beckybean ( - an Etsy store selling unique handmade bags, and accessories. When asked about how she came up with the name, Bec says, "Beckybean was once my childhood nickname. When I was a girl, I had a yellow budgie. Every day I would come home from school, and the budgie would ask, “Where’s Becky been? Where’s Becky been?” Now, every time I sit down to make a new bag, I am taken back to those days, when I really believed that just maybe there were fairies in the bottom of the garden."


Bec believes it is important to know the ‘story’ of things. This is why each Beckybean bag comes with its own story on the back of its tag. Every bag is constructed using the best of new and recycled fabrics and buttons, and this is what makes each bag’s story unique.

Recycled fabrics may have once been tablecloths, curtains or upholstery samples. Or they may just be fabric remnants, or a beautiful old dress, left at an Opportunity (thrift) Shop. New fabrics may have been imported from Japan, or they may be part of an exclusive range from a fabric designer (many fabric designers have their own websites, and even blogs, so you can continue the story of your bag even further – should you wish to do so). All buttons used on Beckybean bags come from Bec's personal button collection, which started with a big tin of vintage buttons given to her by her Grandma.

Bec also gives every bag a unique name, which are not necessarily 'people' names. In keeping with the 'inspiring things from her childhood' theme, Bec has chosen names which are all references taken from Enid Blyton books (some of the bags sold already have included a 'Dame Washalot' bag and a 'Pop Biscuit' bag (from The Magic Faraway Tree). Bec says, "I don't actually state this on Etsy, as it gives me a thrill to think that some people will see the theme and work it out themselves (and it makes me giggle to imagine what people who don't know their Enid Blyton books must think of my naming!)."

So have a look around the Beckybean shop, or check out Bec's personal blog at for behind-the-scenes info, and general crafty goodness!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Church Markets

There’s a lot to be said for the church markets around Brisbane these days; they’re not all crocheted face-washers and doilies. They are becoming just a little more ‘hip’ and popular, featuring lovely felted items, handmade jewellery, vintage fabrics transformed into bags, handmade books and other treasures! True, the face-washes are still there, but now they’re in good company!

I am a regular attendee of such church markets, selling handmade treasures similar to what can be found in my jellygnite etsy shop. The advantage of these markets are many - the very reasonable fees, the wonderfully unrushed community atmosphere and the fact that you are also supporting charitable organisations. And because there is such a small cost to the stall-holder, your profits from your sales can be bigger!

My upcoming markets are on Saturday the 3rd May at Stafford Heights Baptist Church and Sat 10th May at St William’s Grovely. Take a new look at church markets!

By Ali of Jellygnite