Victorian Sewing Table

My Dad Made me a Victorian Sewing Box

By on 22/05/2015

Dad's sewing table1

My dad recently turned 94, he is a veteran of WWII and also the Korean War.  I thought my dad could do pretty much anything when I was growing up.

Despite his years, he maintains good health and although he lives in England and I live in Australia, I have regular updates from my siblings and my Step mum Brenda.

Because I lived so far away from the family, my dad decided that he wanted to make me something that I would always be able to look at and remember him by.  He was always so clever with his hands.  He made furniture (in the early days out of necessity), as funds were scarce when we were growing up in London, England.  But I remember that although we lived in a council house, my friends always said that our house was ‘posh’ because of the things my dad built for us.

Although I don’t use my box for sewing, I have far too many supplies to fit inside, I do use it to keep my jewellery in. Each time I stop and look at the wonder that is this box I think of my dad toiling away in his workshop, doing all the marquetry and cutting the shapes.  It is a treasure and a family heirloom.  It’s even more amazing to think that my dad didn’t just make a box for me, he made one for my sister and one for our late mum, so three in total, all different and all equally lovely.  He actually posted my sewing box to me (even the box it came in was a work of art). I shudder to think how much it cost to post, and I do recall paying some duty too.

It is sad to think that my dad doesn’t remember making the sewing boxes.  Although he doesn’t suffer with Altzheimers, his memory is no longer able to recall them.  Brenda asked if I would send some pictures of my sewing box as she had just inherited one from my sister.  I duly sent the photo’s and although my dad enjoyed seeing them he didn’t recall making the box.  I do wish my dad remembered making the sewing boxes for us all, ageing is so cruel at times. I shall always be grateful for the treasure that he made for me

 Victorian Sewing Box

Victorian Sewing Box


Harmony Bells - gift from friend. Love love 004

Art Journalling

By on 18/05/2015

SOME OF YOU MAY KNOW that I have kept journals/diaries for many years.  I like to write things down.  It clears my head, it’s like self administered therapy.  My kind of therapy.  I don’t have to go out and speak to people about my private life.  I simply take some time for myself and I start writing.  As the years passed and the diaries piled up, I began to feel more creative.  I wanted to add pictures, clippings from magazines, little sketches, some coloured pencil drawings etc. I noticed how much more interesting the journals were to flip through when I did this and I was hooked. I began to notice how the    time would fly by while I was lost in the process. I used  colouring pencils, watercolour paints, stamps and ink, washi tape and anything else that I could find.

I didn’t know until recently that what I was doing was called Art Journaling.  Hours spent on Pinterest has revealed some amazing Art Journaling.  I have a Pinterest board “Create With Barb” full of fantastic artworks by dedicated art journallers.

Kristal Norton  offers a free ‘Art Journaling 101’ course. Simply sign up and you will receive a daily email explaining everything. It is well worth signing up for.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

SU cards etc 2012 031

This is a fabric journal I made during an online course with Mary Ann Moss, I will provide a link at the bottom of this blog post. I used some scraps of Japanese kimono fabrics to make the cover, the inside I lined with calico which I stamped.  I quilted the whole thing together using embroidery stitches on my sewing machine.  I loved the process of making this album, I filled it with junk from my paper stash, used envelopes, programs for shows I had seen, die cuts, stickers, washi tape, photo’s and even notes from my now grown children.  I loved making this album and it is so unique.  I made pockets with transparent envelopes and put photographs and stamps inside, recipes and magazine pictures.  Anything goes really.Kimono Fabric Album pages Kimono fabric album

 Go to to see Mary Ann Moss’ work.  She has some very interesting and inspiring ideas on travel journals and you can buy her online courses to make your own.



By on 13/05/2015



My card making classes run from 11am until approximately 1.30 with half an hour set aside for questions etc.  All cards are my own design.  If you would like to learn how to make pretty greeting cards for all occasions leave a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

Groups are small and friendly.  No previous experience is needed.

Hope to see you in class soon.

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