Thursday, 15 December 2011

I like frocks (or why I haven't posted in a while)

I was in an earthquake in Bali in October this year.

Of course it happened when it was my day on holiday to relax by myself whilst Mr Silly Gilly took the young one off on a day of adventure at a Safari Park. I don't do zoos or animal sanctuarys. When I do visit them, I just want to let all the animals out of their enclosures, hug them and tell them to run for their lives. But that's another post.

So there I was, having just finished watching a movie, trying to decide whether to have a massage or go for a swim. Big decision time. I was standing in the doorway of our room when the ground surged like a gentle wave. Up, then down. Nothing else but gee willakers, I knew that it had been an earthquake. I was mildly impressed that I had lived through an earthquake. Wait till I told my friends back home! Then 30 seconds later, all hell broke loose and the ground, buildings, trees, everything shook like a kid shaking a snow globe. It was the most frightening moment of my life, and like a mature adult I ran screaming into the most clear area I could find.

For the rest of the day I had the fortune of experiencing numerous aftershocks. I was terrified and didn't go back inside for hours. Mr Silly Gilly and the young one came back late in the day, safe and sound, luckily having experienced a much less drastic version of the quake. That night I could barely sleep and was constantly ready to bolt for my life.

But the quake did something. It shook me up. (Had to include that pun there.)

It made me absolutely terrified for my life. Then a few days later it made me focus on my life. It was a life changing moment. Albeit a moment of terror.

For so many, many years now I've always gabbled on about how I wished I'd lived when women got to wear big skirts, gloves, fancy dresses and hats every day. And the quake made me realise that I could focus on the 50's right now. I didn't have to dream or wish or wallow in the fact that I had been born in the 70's.

So that's where I've been. Building up my conviction to start living, wearing, working on 1950's vintage every day. Well, nearly every day. My wardrobe is somewhat limited right now but I'm working on correcting that.

So I'm back blogging, having been inspired by two fantastic writers, dooce and edenland, that I've always admired. I love their honesty and their wit. Oh and the earthquake.It's given me the proverbial kick up the derriere that I needed.

Back soon!

Friday, 12 August 2011


 Lots of slobbery puppy love from Banjo to you. Wishing you a lovely weekend y'all.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Horse vs pony

Close encounters of the horse kind

Banjo my Pyrenean Mountain Dog is now 18 months old. Time flies when you are filling in craters in the backyard, wiping drool off high points on the walls and dealing with a bark that challenges the volume of a 747 (just as I typed that she woofed again - now she's psychic).

Pyreneans are a guardian breed of dog. That means life is good for them when they have someone to guard. Traditionally that meant some sheep, horses, chickens, goats, you name it, they'll guard it. The breed originates from France where they were left in the paddocks with the stock and the Pyreneans would guard the stock all night from foxes, wolves and grumpy things with big teeth. Then the dogs would sleep all day.

So not much exercise is required, not much food and lots of sleep. All of these things tick the happy boxes for me! But for Banjo, being a suburban backyard dog is not what she was bred to do. Of course, being a good dog owner, I thought it would be entertaining for her to start being introduced to some livestock.

First off this week, the local horses. In Adelaide, we are fortunate to have some parklands very close to the city where horse owners can agist their horses and fortunately for the rest of us, we get to be able to hang with the equine peeps whenever we like. I was so proud of Banjo when she met them. She was calm, didn't bark or get silly. Just very curious and wanted to get in there with the horses! Next on the list.... sheep.

And this Saturday Banjo and I are off to be tested as to whether Banjo is suitable to be a Therapy Dog. That means, if we pass, we will be volunteering as visitors to hospitals or nursing homes to spread a little dog love (and maybe a bit of drool too) to people who otherwise couldn't see a dog in their environment. Fingers and paws crossed we pass!!

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Temporary absence

it's no more inviting upstairs either
photo credit

Nothing much to see here.

Brain renovations are in progress but moving very slowly. Sometimes backwards.

Anyone know where the re-boot button is?

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Do What You Love

Such simple but powerful words.

Whilst I couldn't sleep last night, I did some 4am blog reading. I stumbled across
this treasure on Build A Little Biz. It got me thinking.

As a work at home mum, I juggle the 6 hours a day I have free whilst my daughter is at school and designate equal amounts of time to the housework and to my businesses. My time is precious and I would much rather be spending my time wisely during those 3 hours a day that I do have for my businesses.

I started Silly Gilly three years ago and have broadened my product scope during that time. But last night whilst reading this great article, a little light came on in my head. I need to focus on doing what I love and only that. I'm in business for myself for a reason. Not to do what I think other people want me to do. Or things that are quick and easy to produce. I need to be throwing myself into creating items that I love and be sure in the knowledge that that will show through in the end product.

Silly Star hat - Cherry Red Sunny Day Scarf

So over the next week I will be clearing out items in the Silly Gilly store
that, whilst they are beautiful items and perfectly great, don’t fit exactly where I would like to be heading with my brand.

First off my fleece hats and scarves are now on sale and reduced by 35%. Such a perfect time of the year to snap up a bargain to keep those cute little noggins warm!

Monday, 27 June 2011

Sweet Vintagey Goodness

I popped into the Nth Adelaide Vintage & Fashion Fair on Sunday and found a lovely little treasure trove of vintagey goodness to trawl through.

It was a quick but successful visit as I found a new member to add to my vintage planter collection that I spoke about last year. For $4! This little beauty isn't strictly a planter but I believe it's a milk jug that goes with a tea set similar to this.

Bambi milk jug

And this new little treasure is sitting on my rapidly progressing Lone Star quilt. I'm using my precious collection of Momo Wonderland and hopefully it will turn out ok.... Have to admit I'm a little nervous just winging it and not following a pattern but so far so good.

More momo wonderland progress

Friday, 24 June 2011

Progress on Janelle Wind's Little Bluebirds

I started this quilt back in 2008. Wow. Three years ago! I loved the colour scheme of the red, aqua and white so very much and bought it as a monthly kit from Sarah at Quilt Fabric Delights.

I'm not much of an embroidery gal but thought the amount of stitchery on this quilt was achieveable. But what I did underestimate was how slow and challenging I would find the needle turn applique. I'm hopeless at it! So much to my dismay the quilt kit sat hibernating in my cupboard for 3 years. Until now.

Recently my genius friends suggested a whole new way to approach the applique which really inspired me again to get stuck into it. Why not raw edge applique the quilt in the same manner that Kellie Wulfson does? Of course!! So yesterday out it came and I achieved so much now that the mental road block of turned edge applique is far over the horizon.

There's lots more to come but I was so excited to get this far so quickly that I wanted to share it with you.

little bluebirds progress

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Around the Block 2 - Block for Sheridan

Around the Block 2 - Sheridan's Mondrian

I had loads of fun making this block, my second last, in the Around the Block 2 swap. Sheridan asked for lots of white in her block which was a challenge for me as I'm normally into saturating things with colour.

I liked the freedom of making it up as I went along and finding the balance in the negative spaces. Good one to stretch the brain cells this one!

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

It's been a while...

Hi there peeps!

Life's been crazy busy here in the Silly Gilly household. What's been going on?

* Giant dog has been jumping over our 6 foot fence to escape. Numerous times.
* I had a day where I had purple hair by accident at the hairdressers.
* I've been sewing fabrics together random patchwork style and loving the freedom of it.
* I've been to listen to Dr Jane Goodall speak about her life working with chimpanzees in Africa.
* I've felt very proud of the Australian people who spoke out and voiced their opinions about stopping the live export of cattle to the slaughterhouses of Indonesia.

And I've been crafting....

Tote/Library Bag Saffron prints 2

Tote bag made with Saffron Craig prints I picked up whilst at SIT.

SIT Sew What Prints Charming Skirt

New favourite skirt I made from scrap packs purchased from Prints Charming and sewn during a sew along organised by the amazing Karen. We used the book Sew What Skirts! and it was a quick and easy skirt to make.

Custom Boutique Bow

I've gotten amazingly addicted to making school bows for my daughter's hair. I've even started making them for other people, custom matched to their school colours.

blue newsboy

Attended the Lollipop Market as a stall holder and introduced a new line of Newsboy hats. They were very popular!

prints charming clothes 2

prints charming dolls clothes

Had gallons of fun making doll clothes for the monthly sale at Gossamer Dreams, which is on tonight! I used some precious Prints Charming fabrics I had.

So life has been busy of late. Always is in June for me. I'm solo parenting this week due to Mr Silly Gilly being off on a work trip but I love it as I can craft the night away every night once poppet is in bed.

Enjoy the cold weather, all.... Just think, we'll be complaining about the hot weather in a matter of months!

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Mother's Day.

I've eaten beautiful Chocolate Caramel Brownies.
I've walked the dog and had a giant dog playdate for her.
I have delicious home cooked Salt & Pepper Squid for dinner.

Great day wouldn't you say?

Chocolate Caramel Brownies

I used The Pioneer Woman's recipe for these brownies with some Aussie ingredients instead of the american suggestions. To say they are divine is an understatement!!

Monday, 2 May 2011

Thanks but never again

I started this knitted dress for my daughter over a year ago and it's been an on-again, off-again love affair. During the process, I've discovered I'm a very slow knitter or perhaps an unmotivated knitter. But when my poppet kept growing taller and taller and taller, I thought I'd better get my proverbial skates on and finish the dress before she outgrew it!

There were only three balls of this delicious yarn in my stash and seeing as how they are hand dyed, I wouldn't be able to get another ball to match. So I took the project with me on our Easter holidays to Blanchetown and knit away furiously by the river, being watched bemusedly by our friends who are definitely not craftily minded. Funnily enough, the blokes got quite excited when I got to casting off and queued up to watch me knit the final stitch!

Suffice to say, I'll not attempt such a large knitted garment again. I'm a fast crocheter but a slow knitter. I've enjoyed the process but being short on time, I'm always happier with a quick finish project! On Ravelry here.

Rainbow Dress finished

With only three weeks to go till my second Lollipop Market stall, I thought some vintage style boys hats would be a nice addition to the Silly Gilly stock. Here's the first test run, made from courdroy and lined with a cotton. This is a super cute hat made with a pattern by Butterfly Tree. Fully reversible and quick to make. And I've got to say, my poppet doesn't make a very good boy impersonator!

Newsboy Hat

Newsboy Hat lining

Saturday, 16 April 2011

New brooch for Donna

Felt Brooch

New brooch for Donna......

These can be custom made in felt to your colour choice. Anyone interested? Email me via the Silly Gilly store or at silly.gilly (at) bigpond (dot) com.

Thursday, 14 April 2011


My daughter is in her first term of school as a reception kiddy (or prep if you're in Vic). She is attending a lovely small - medium sized metropolitan public school which is only five houses away from home and has two wonderful teachers who job share.

She is fortunate enough to have a good selection of family backgrounds in her class. Some families have an Indian background, others Asian, others high or low income. What a fabulous opportunity for her to mix with all sorts of children from such a variety of backgrounds!

One friendship that my daughter has made has been challenging my parenting and social beliefs and I'm really grateful for it. My daughter has made friends with a child in her class who has quite obvious behavioural challenges which result in frequent outbursts in class and disruptive behaviour. This child doesn't seem to be able to make friends easily, is on the outer in the social groups in the class and often comes to school quite dishevelled.

I have been so lucky to witness, whilst I'm in the classroom reading or helping out, my daughter take this boy by the hand and help him clear out his work tray. Or take his hand and keep him on track at the back of the line on the way to the library. Or play with him in the playground when none of the other children will.

All sorts of crazy thoughts have been bubbling up since I've known she has made this friendship. Has she any other friends? Is she mixing with the wrong sort of kids? Will she get labelled if she hangs out with this child? Just the protective tiger mummy coming out in me there. Of course she has lots of friends in the class and plays with them quite often.

Most ridiculous of all is "Oh no!! She's a rescuer!! She'll be forever chasing men in her adult life that need saving!!". How absurd! Sure, I'll gently guide her if she starts to make such choices.

But this childhood friendship is different. This is a case of my daughter seeing someone who needs a friend. A pal. Some stability in their every day life. And she so willingly gives her friendship and her hand that I feel very proud of her.

We could all learn something from my five year old....

Friday, 8 April 2011

Around the Block 2 block for Becky

First off, thankyou to the folk who gave me some tips re: my previous post. Much appreciated.

I've been keeping a little busy finishing a block for Becky for our Around The Block 2 swap. I added a couple of fabrics in with Becky's selection. I hope they are ok! Here tis':

Around The Block 2 - Triangles for Becky

Thursday, 7 April 2011


I wanted this all along.
Ever since I could remember.
6 hours of freedom a day.
Uninterrupted freedom to pick and choose my activities, or to squander hours at will.

Now I'm being swallowed and engulfed by the lack of limits and boundaries.
It's too much.

I vividly recall the days when I was working in the city amongst other suit-clad folk and longed for a day off to do as I pleased. Oh, the giddying independence... what bliss!

But now, finding my feet as a stay at home mum with her one and only child at school is a challenge. A soul searching, heart tugging, bloody hard challenge.

Any tips?

Things I could do today.....


* tidy the study/office/studio
* fold the mountain of washing - done
* walk the dogs - done
* do the grocery shopping
* sew for Silly Gilly
* finish some blocks for Round The Block2 - done
* photograph stock for Silly Gilly
* finish tidying my daughter's room - done
* clean the house
* do some exercise
* bake for school lunchboxes - done
* sit in the sunshine - done
* pick up one of my MANY unfinished projects to work on

Why can't I choose!??

Monday, 4 April 2011

We came, we saw, we shopped, we danced Part 1

calico and ivy
Calico and Ivy - the gorgeous Amy works here, lucky gal.

Divine colour - Prints Charming

Rainbow PC
Rainbow Love - Prints Charming

Happy thread - Prints Charming

Friday Night Dinner
Friday night dinner

photo credit
Saturday morning walk/run - the reason you don't see me in this picture is that I'm five miles behind this group! But I did make the whole 5km round trip.

Fabric Crazies
Hawking my wares Sew Vintage style.

Juddie from Flightless Boyds
photo credit
My new girl crush - Juddie of Flightless Boyds. Love your style Juddie!

Shopping ladies
More senseless fabric shopping, this time Sunday morning at Material Obsession.

All in all it was the best fun I've had in years. So much fabric and such little time. Not enough hours in the couple of days we had to talk to everyone but those I did chat with, thank you for being such gorgeous people!

And btw, the rumour about me being one of those loud South Australian people... it's all true.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Sew It Together


Enjoing a lazy Monday. Finishing off items for my swap at Sew It Together 2 in Sydney. Only four more sleeps!

Cutting fabric and sorting vintage patterns to take along as prizes and to sell at my mini stall on the Crafty Saturday too.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Fabulous frocks!

I have a serious penchant for the 1950's. I seriously see myself, in the near future, wearing fifties-style dresses a good 3 - 4 days of the week.

So in that style, last weekend I finished this frock to wear to the Adelaide Cup Races. It was so much fun dressing up.... although a couple of blokes with a few drinks under their belts commented I looked a bit like royalty. They're just not used to seeing girls dressed nicely and not showing every inch of skin possible! All I can say is that young girls (18 - mid 20's) really don't have much of a clue as to how to dress nicely at the races. It's all about showing everything to the world and not leaving much to the imagination.

Anyhoo I digress. Sorry about the blurry shot - when I handed the camera over to Mr Silly Gilly, I had left it on a crazy setting! At least the bottom half of the dress and my shoes are in focus!

It's a bit hard to see in this photo but there are lovely big box pleats in the skirt and some gorgeous neckline details too.

Blue Floral 1950's Dress

Monday, 7 March 2011

Busy Bee

Last week was a lovely blend of craftiness and relaxing. Food, wine, friends. Oh, and housework. Blah.

Some little projects I finished up last week.


Felt Dahlia Brooch using the tutorial found here. I used my hot glue gun to assemble the brooch and it made the whole process a lot quicker than the tutorial suggested it was going to be.

Around The Block 2 - Stacked Blocks

I also completed my fifth block for Around The Block 2. Abbe asked for a block she termed Stacked Blocks. I loved the choice of fabrics - grey and green, just gorgeous!

Now onto prep for my stall at Mathilda's Market this Sunday, 13 th March. If you're in SA, come along to Norwood and say hello!

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Happy Hula Birthday!

Over a month ago we celebrated my daughter's fifth birthday. She wanted to have a hawaiian party complete with hula girl birthday cake. Initially it was a Lilo and Stitch request but I managed to ease her round to having this for her cake. A lot more basic than my usual efforts but fun all the same.

It was soooo much fun making this cake! Simply a Dolly Varden tin cake with vanilla cake layered with icing. Piped the grass on and stuck the doll on top! The little pink swirls on the left held the candles. But let me tell you, getting icing to stick on Hula girls top was tricky!! It kept wanting to slide right off but persistence was the key and the cake was happily G rated.


Sunday, 27 February 2011

Sunday Soul

A bit of Sunday soothing sounds from my new favourite band. Enjoy!

Friday, 25 February 2011

New loves

Now and then I find fabrics that just seem to have been made for Silly Gilly. The fabric range Circa 60 Beach Mod by Monaluna is one of those lines. Think sun, fun, happy kids and the music!

I can't wait to get my hands on some of this fabric and create some gorgeous boys gear from it... there is such a vast difference in the amount of cute girls fabric as there is to boys. So when a boys print comes around that isn't all about dinosaurs and skulls, then I get excited!! As soon as I make some items, I'll let you know!

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Busy like a beaver

We don't have beavers here in Australia. Just in case you weren't sure. But if we did, I think I might bear a slight resemblance to them....

I have been busy settling my daughter into her first term of school. It's been a smooth and easy process, with her eager as a beaver attitude helping her slide right on into school life. It's like she's been there for years.

I've been taking part in the Around The Block 2 swap, making other people's blocks for them and posting them back... all the while they make mine and return them all finished.

Around The Block 2: Spiderweb for Amy

I've been a market girl last weekend, holding my first indoor stall at a boutique market here in Adelaide called the Lollipop Markets. I was blown away by the number of shoppers through the door - over 3000! It was a successful day for Silly Gilly and I'm now prepping for my next boutique stall at Mathilda's Markets on Sunday 13th March.

Lollipop Markets Feb 2011

I've also been coming to terms with transitioning from being a full time stay at home mum with a kid around 24/7 to a full time stay at home mum with her one and only kidlet at school. What to do with 6 hours every day??? My husband's first reply would be housework and unfortunately, part of me has to agree. But the rest of my footloose and fancy free time I'm dedicating to building up the Silly Gilly empire and taking a little time out each day for me. Five years full time parenting is hard slog and it's nice to have some time to sit in the sunshine.... alone.

But gee, I miss her. Every day. I even drove past the school today at lunch time just to see if I could catch a glimpse. Give me a few years and I might get used to her being at school!