Little Sunni Chalahn – Facebook Giveaway

I am calling her Sunni Chalahn. Chalahn means rainbow in the language of the Wangeriburra, which is the language group of the local Yugumbeh region that I live in. I called her that because I am hoping to see both the sun AND a rainbow soon because all we’ve had is rain rain rain for the last few days. Not just sprinkles. Steady, unrelenting rain.

Today the water in our local area rose so much that Mudgeeraba has just about disappeared under a lake of flowing brown water. It’s very exciting and it is tempting to go and have a look, which is not really advised in crazy weather, but having said that we did have a sneak peak at our local creek.  This road is now cut off at both ends. Lucky for us these creeks empty as quickly as they overflow. Today my plans were to take the kids to GOMA (the Gallery of Modern Art) in Brisbane but it just didn’t feel like a good idea when I learned that at least three roads between our house and the M1 were closed due to flooding.

So today was a home day, which meant Leggo, stories, fixing up some dry space for my poor sodden chickens – and finishing the crochet on Sunni Chalahn’s dress whilst thinking sunny thoughts. The sun hasn’t come out, but the rain has stopped finally, although it doesn’t sound like it because the gully below my house, usually dry, is roaring with the volume of water rushing through it.

Bach to Sunni Chalahn though – she is this week’s giveaway at Lavendilly House on facebook. She’s pretty excited about it. You can enter too, if you want to take her home. This is what you do:

1) LIKE Lavendilly House on Facebook

2) Comment or put your name under the photo album featuring Sunni Chalahn

3) Share her photo album on your facebook page and ask your friend to Like Lavendilly House because you get another entry every time someone says you referred them 🙂

You have until Monday 30th january, 8am to enter – and then I will announce who Sunni Chalahn’s new family will be.

Good luck!

Lavendilly House on Facebook


I’ve been a part of the Facebook community for a long time now. There are times it tends to take over a bit, and I swear I will not go on ever again, and then I miss my connections and friends and the  support of a community that I can reach at any time. Like it or not, Facebook really has changed the nature of relationships and so long as I remember that it is a public meeting space I am happy to have it a part of my life. As a mother, Facebook has allowed me to reach out to my friends at times when I have felt stuck at home with my little ones, reminding me that I AM a valued member in my family and circle of friends, even if I am unable to spend much physical time with them. As a business, Facebook has helped me share and celebrate my skills with a wider community of interested people. I’ve ‘met’ so many new people and business owners, learned many things and had many laughs with people I wouldn’t have had the chance to meet before.

I’m good at, and interested in, so many different things, and have had a page on Facebook for each of them. I’ve also been maintaining a variety of blogs and have a handful of other projects going on this year. It is just one of those things I do. Too many lovely ideas and too many great ways of expressing them!! Gets a bit hard to handle after while, particularly when my philosophy is FAMILY FIRST. 2011 has been a quiet year for business and creative expressions for me for this reason. I am not sure 2012 will be much better, but hopefully more organised!

SO my point is that I now have a new page on Facebook: LAVENDILLY HOUSE, which will replace all my old pages (except for Sacred Essence!), some that I haven’t updated for a long time. LAVENDILLY HOUSE will encompass everything I do, and among the rooms in Lavendilly House you will find one for celebrations, ceremonies, dolls, felting, parenting, children … I just can’t separate them anymore. These things are all parts of a whole, all part of the bigger picture that is Lavendilly House. So please join me on Facebook. I am having competitions every week until the end of February. This week you can enter to win the felted mat pictured.  You have to like the page and leave a comment on the picture for one entry. You can have another entry if you refer a friend (and they like the page and say who sent them). It is drawn on Saturday 31st December at 8am – good luck!!


A 2-Gift Christmas

The rain has fallen steadily this Christmas. Our home is surrounded by bush and runs down to a gully and from every window we have the serene view of glowing and glimmering green foliage plus the sound of rain falling on our metal roof and the water gathering flow in the gully. It has been very relaxing – just what I was after this Christmas.

I had a flood of orders for doll kits this Christmas and it was beautiful to think of all those children who would be receiving hand-made dolls as gifts. Some kits would have only arrived just before Christmas as I was a bit delayed by the late arrival of some supplies and then a surprise chest infection (more than likely triggered by the mould that is thriving in this damp weather!) I’m pretty well healed now, but I’m doubly grateful for the relaxing Christmas we created together with our families.

With all that sewing to do for other people, and then getting sick, I was getting a bit worried that I would run out of time to make the gifts I had intended for my own children this year. If you’ve been reading my previous posts you’d know that I had decided not to give any Christmas gifts to anyone else this year, just the children. Not even my husband. It was a very freeing decision and I know that everyone understood my reasons why. I’ve been able to spend more time with the children and less time fretting over my Christmas list. In my mind I’ve already started thinking of what I might make people next year, but it was really nice to have a year off.

So after a rather surprising 2-day fever I arose, sat down at my sewing machine and finished the last of my orders before starting the children’s presents. I finished them both in record time with the help of my husband (don’t you love a man who sews?). He put the finishing touches on the first one while I worked on the second.

Here’s the first one: a Rural Fire Brigade jacket. Daddy cut the reflective strips from an old uniform of his and I sewed them on to a jacket that I made (I actually used a pattern!). I ended up over-estimating the size, but that doesn’t seem to matter … it is going to be well loved anyway I think 🙂


The next one was overshadowed a bit by the longed-for mermaid drinkbottle that was also in the gift bag (I don’t use wrapping paper – last year I found some cotton Christmas placemats in an op shop and I sewed them into present wrapping bags). After some long drinks from the bottle the mermaid got lots of attention though:

She’s got seaweed in her hair and a string of shells around her neck – which has since broken due to some pretty rough spinning around – they came loose with a fantastic spray of beads – but at least the doll has survived that test, with the exception that the hair cap came a bit loose (but that was my hurried stitching the night before and easily repaired, and if I were to be swung around several times in a circle I’m pretty sure my hair would come loose too!). The necklace can be fixed with some stronger line but after that dizzying experience I am reassured of the strength of my doll kits 🙂 All my dolls are child- tested first, and – YES – you will see the mermaid pattern available as a doll kit on etsy soon enough! I want to adjust the pattern a bit first.

What was most beautiful to see though was where her doll was lovingly placed: cradled on a moon bed in the arms of Mother Selkie.

Yum yum!

Today’s job was to upload all the colours of merino and corriedale fibres on to my Lavendilly Fibre Arts website.

Mmm! I am drooling!

The colours are so yummy-sounding, it sure works up an appetite for felting!

I have most of them in stock right now and I just love looking at all the beautiful rolls of fleece in my workroom.

One day I’ll be able to display them as if they were in a lolly shop … which is where they belong!!

Fortnightly Felting at Lavendilly House

I am offering a more convenient and affordable series of workshops for next term:

Fortnightly Felting at Lavendilly House

Nuno – Resist – Hats – Slippers – Bags – Wall Hangings – Meditation Mats – Play Mats – Needle Felting

I used to offer fortnightly felting on a pay-per-project basis the year before last and it was lots of fun and very casual.

This time I am offering every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month, over TERM 2 ONLY (!), for a term fee.

You will be able to:

– choose the projects you wish to work on
– have access to a wide range of fleece colours
– bring your children (under 5 years of age – places are limited and must be booked)
– work with company (felting is so much more fun this way!)
–  make at least four projects for the price of three

For details and bookings please visit my Lavendilly Fibre Arts Blog

Doll Making Workshops in February

I’m offering more doll-making at Lavendilly House in February 2010.

Classes will be held in Nerang (Gold Coast) over three or four Wednesday mornings, 9:30 – 12:00, starting the first Wednesday in February.

Cost for Doll Workshop are $80 to make a large – sized child or baby doll. The cost includes all materials except yarn for hair, and doll clothing, although I am happy to provide simple patterns for clothes. This is an excellent price, as these dolls retail for around $120 – $160!!

It is easier (and faster) to make the dolls in a child-free environment. Please try to arrange child care for thes session. If you cannot, then contact me and we will see if we can arrange an evening workshop.

I require $10 to book your position in the workshop, with the remainder payable on the first day. The deposit for each doll will be sent directly to Ayla’s Rainbow Foundation, as will the demonstration doll, which can then be sold or raffled to raise funds for this worthwhile cause.

Places are limited so please use the Contact button at the top of this blog to book your place in the workshop.

If you would like to commission a special doll for a loved one, please also contact me and we can discuss how your doll will look. It would be a pleasure to make such a special gift for you. Commissions for large dolls begin at $100.