Simple Craft #6 - Tea towell wrap!


Before we start, have you joined my Handmade Card Swap?? Still one week before entries close!

Anyway, here is a another quick, easy, thrifty and crafty idea!!

Do you ever find calendar tea towels when you are Op shopping (Charity shopping)? Sometimes they are great and vintage, sometimes just cheesy (but still great).....well, I think if the year on the tea towel is of meaning to you or someone you love you should buy it and see if it will come in handy!!

I found this 1981 tea towel, the year my big brother was born. Yesterday we celebrated his birthday, and we bought him a DVD. I thought it would be nice to give him this tea towel as well, and wrap up the DVD with it instead of wrapping paper!

You can do it too, I just folded it around the gift carefully so that the year showed, and tied it with some string. I intentionally made this fairly blokey, but you could use ribbon, fresh flowers or anything really to make this idea quite pretty!

I've had a lovely, Melbourne weekend. Yesterday the kids, Mr. Coleman and I checked out some great historic buildings as part of the Open House Melbourne Weekend, and today I went with my sister in law Ash and a group of her lovely friends to Women of Letters, a gorgeous monthly event where 6 female Aussie artists share an open letter with the audience. Clare Bowditch, Judith Lucy, Libby Gore and Estelle Tang were some of today's artists..it was lovely. Sometimes very funny, sometimes a bit emo, but mostly just incredibly honest, which I love above all else.

Speaking of my sister in law, Ash, she is organising a wonderful craft project that you should check out and get involved with!! It's a craft auction that will raise money for Green Collect the great organisation she works for (and my hubby has started working for too!)

And since I'm giving you all these links, here's one more!! My hubby's acoustic band, The Sketching Room have a few more songs out that you can listen to and download for free. They really are great, I'm not just doing the proud Mrs thing!! www.thesketchingroom1.bandcamp.com
oh, and did I mention I met Pip Lincolne today?? I'm sure I blushed a lot, she was very sweet.

See you soon!

Mezz x

PS feel free to leave a comment sharing ideas on other uses for calendar tea towels!!


Vintage Button Swap and a surprise parcel!!

I recently took part in Taz's Vintage Button Swap and it was so much fun. I was paired with Hannah who lives in the UK and writes the cute blog which you should visit called Dainty and Ivory. We chatted via email, and she told me she loved gold, dark green and blue. She also loved the vintage era's and her fav animals included tigers and penguins. With this info, I raided my stash of bits and pieces and was able to come up with this little parcel that I loved putting together for her.


And lucky me, because Hannah sent me some gorgeous buttons too!!! All in my favourite colours..

Also, really out of the blue, I received the most gorgeous parcel from another one of my sister in laws, Nicole. Nic lives on the other side of the country with her hubby (my hubby's older brother) and three gorgeous kids in a small country town. While we are really happy with our city lives in Melbourne, and they are equally happy with their lives in Western Australia, we have really felt the distance over the last few years but luckily through things like blogging (and Instagram!!) have been able to remain a bit more connected. Anyway, she sent me this gorgeous parcel, and some of the things are very precious as they used to belong to her grandmother, so I feel pretty special to have them now! However, the most special thing in the parcel was the note Nic wrote me. But I'm not going to share it with you, it was too lovely, gonna keep that loveliness to myself!!

Nicole and her family have embarked on a very interesting life journey the last few years. Some of the things they are currently doing include committing to buying nothing, both parents studying full time and not working, and working towards growing most of their own food. Nic writes a really lovely and inspiring blog Make Sew Bake Grow about their simple journey together as a family. Head on over and have a read!

Mezz x

PS have you joined my Handmade Card Swap? Please do, we have almost 20 people involved so far....


Join my Handmade Card Swap!!

I am inviting you to join in with the first ever swap I've decided to host. It's a Handmade Card Swap!!! Woop.
I love handmade cards. I love making, sending and receiving cards, don't you? I like to recycle pictures I find in magazines, cards, vintage wrapping paper and so on to make little bits of lovely to share with lovely people. 
I thought it would be nice to have a little stash of handmade cards tucked away for times when I'd really like to give a handmade card, but am pressed for time to make my own.
so I thought, why not organise a swap so we can all make each other a little stash of handmade cards for such moments!!!??
Are you IN!!!!!???????
If you are, read on...............
To be a part of this swap, please follow this blog and leave a comment below, including your email address. If you'd prefer to not make your email address public on my blog just leave a comment letting me know your keen, and then email me so I have your email address. mezzcoleman@hotmail.com .If following this blog is all a bit too tricky (Mum!) don't stress, please join in anyway!
You have 2 weeks (til Tuesday August 4th) to do this, then entries will CLOSE.
I will pair you with someone and give you your partner's email address so that you can share a few details including postal addresses. You will have a couple of weeks to send off your little parcel, by mid August would be great.
Now, here is the fun part!!!!
Once you're partnered up, please make a set of 8 handmade cards (don't worry about envelopes, lets keep it simple!) You can do this however you like, but I suggest looking around blog land and Etsy/Pinterest/Instagram for creative ideas. Suki (aka The Owl Club) recently made these really cute cards, perhaps they might inspire you! Keep them fairly general as far as themes go, but you guys can discuss specific likes with your partner via email.
I encourage you to get as creative as you can. Feel free to upcycle, recycle, re use....its all part of the card making fun!! (The pictures on this post are of a few cards I've made over the last year, I'm sure you can all come up with something a bit cleverer then mine!)
PLEASE NOTE: The one thing I ask is that if you enter, you are prepared to post overseas. I have made this swap a card/paper swap partly with the idea the postage costs will be kept low.
Leave comments below. The more swappers, the merrier!!



Being a parent has made those few hours between when my children go to bed and when I go to bed incredibly precious. I adore my kids, but being a parent is friggin' hard work (don't let anyone tell you otherwise!!), especially when you have some high needs thrown into the mix. Being both an artist and a mother is something I'm really coming to terms with at the moment, it requires a certain balance that I often get wrong, and occasionally get right! I'm still trying to figure it out, but at the moment its often in those few hours between their bedtime and mine that I can find space to create.

Anyway, the other night, during the "sacred hours" of the evening (ie-2 sleeping children!!) I made some music! My beloved Mr. Coleman and my lovely sister in law Ash joined the fun too, and we recorded  a cover of Clare Bowditch's song "One Little River." Clare's most recent album "The Winter I Chose Happiness" fell into my hands right at a time when I really needed it, and every song on the album has had a special place in my heart for the last few months. The music and message behind the album is really beautiful, and if you don't have a copy you should get one!!!

I recently entered a comp with this little video to join Clare on stage during her tour. I'm sure plenty of other people have entered, (and to be honest, having re read the guidelines, I'm not sure I was supposed to include other people in my recording) so I'm not expecting anything to come of it, but having an excuse to turn the lounge room into a studio and spend an evening doing creative stuff with people I love sure was nice!!

I hope you enjoy it too.

And if for some crazy reason you haven't heard of the wonderful Ms Bowditch before, please visit www.clarebowditch.com . She is one of Australia's most generous and talented artists.

If you are new to this blog and interested in my music, feel free to visit www.mezzcoleman.com



Giveaway Winner and my holiday Op shop Show Off!!

Last week we went away for a few nights for a much needed little break down on the Mornington Peninsula (one and a half drive from our place in Melbourne.) We tend to go to beachy places during Winter when everything is quiet and cheap. We save the expensive holidays for overseas trips!!  It was still very beautiful though, and oh my, the Op shops!! So many! So cheap! So wonderful!

Here are some of the many treasures we found down there, plus a few pretty views!! Joining in again with Blackbird Has Spoken's Op Shop Show Off!

Last but not least, announcing the winners of my little Giveaway! The first name I pulled out was my very own sister in law Taz (Butter and Buntings), so I thought I'd pull out a second as well and have 2 winners!! Hannapat and Taz, I haven't checked yet, hopefully you haven't doubled up on which magnets you liked, but if so I'm sure we'll work something out!

Hannapat, please email me your postal address! mezzcoleman@hotmail.com

Mezz x


My nana, Elsie

Late last year I posted about my Nana, Elsie. Today I have tweaked and reposted it as part of Meet Me at Mike's Granny-a-long!!
My very young and very hot Nana and Pa!
My Nana was born on February 29th in 1920. Yep, you heard me, February 29th, so she only got a real birthday every 4 years. I think she felt ripped off!!! We had a 21st birthday celebration for her when in actual fact she was turning 84!
Nana met my Pa (Bob) while performing in an amateur production of a Gilbert and Sullivan musical. Pa was playing violin in the orchestra. How cute!!
Nana's name was Elsie. I considered naming my daughter after her, but in the end I couldn't do it as Elsie always hated her name!!!
My Nana was clever, creative, friendly, caring and strong, like many other amazing women who lived through the Depression, World War 2 and the rise of feminism. I hope I can be even a little bit like her.
I was 21 when Nana passed away. My son (her first great grandchild) was born a month later. It has become more and more important to me since having kids to remember what I loved about "going to Nana's", as I watch my own kids develop their own rituals with their Nana's.
So this is what I loved about "going to Nana's"
-Helping Nana make everyone a cup of tea after dinner, and getting my own cup of tea that I was allowed to put as much sugar as I wanted in it! (Which I did, 5 teaspoons at least....hmm..yuck.)
-Helping Nana "stir the cake" whenever she made her famous cream butterfly cakes.
-Watching their videos of Gilbert and Sullivan productions taped off the ABC, our favourite being "Pirates of Penzanse" and singing along.
-Finding sixpence in our Christmas pudding each year, and Nana exchanging what we found for real money!
-Nana and Pa were pretty hip and got a VCR before we ever did, and so they used to tape footy matches (Richmond of course!) and "Thomas the Tank" for us.
-Catching the bus to their place straight after school each Friday for Friday night dinner. Every single week, for years and years.
-Fish and Chips on Good Friday.
-Choc coated vanilla icypoles in the freezer for whenever the grandkids visited!
-Walking up the road with nana to her local shops, visiting the butcher, Op shop and Safeway (sometimes getting a ride in Nana’s  shopping "jeep.")
-Nana would always save the butchers paper for us to draw on, I have many happy memories of drawing with my brother's at Nana’s and Pa’s place.
-Watching Nana crochet.
-Rice bubbles for breakfast when we had sleepovers. I never got these at home, (so BIG treat!)
-Looking at photos and listening to Nana's stories of growing up in Richmond.

This is me with Nana....looks like Christmas pudding!!

My mum has kept many of Nana's handwritten recipes. So precious now!!
It was very difficult and sad for our family watching Nana's dementia get worse in the last few years of her life. After my Pa died, it became evident how much the two of them had been "propping each other up." It is a very painful thing to watch somebody who was so strong and full of life just disappear before your very eyes well and truly before their physical passing. I think I am only now starting to get my head around what it must of been like for my dad to care for his mum towards the end. Her death was a sad time for us, but in some ways it was a relief. She was at peace, and not confused anymore.

Do you have fond memories of your Nana? I'd love to know what some of your memories are!

Mezz xx