Monthly Archives: May 2014


My first Terrarium Workshops for the current season of Hands On Brisbane happens this weekend.  Held at our new venue, The Gardens Club, in the Brisbane City Botanic Garden, the perfect place to make miniature gardens.

In this workshop all materials are provided to make yourself a closed jar terrarium with moss and either a plant or animal.




Heart Brooch

I’ve been playing around with designs lately and this is the most recent Heart.  I have a template for it that I haven’t yet lost (the last template for a nice heart went missing) and it is flat, so can ship at the cheaper postage rate, always a bonus!  I started making hearts like this when I was approached by a lady who wanted a gift for those who looked after her during heart surgery.




A Teratoma is a a tumour that collects cells from around the body.  Known to have hair, fingernails, teeth and sometimes limbs, eyes and other body parts (I always think of The Dark Half by Stephen KIng).  Some of them used to be mistaken for a vestigial twin.  Teratoma translates to Monster Tumour and it certainly is!

I started making Teratoma’s after watching a documentary them and have spoken to many teratoma patients.  Unfortunately a Teratoma can cause some severe problems when in the brain (if the patient survives a brain Teratoma-often a baby at birth).

Teratoma’s are also commonly found on the Ovary at puberty (failed menstruation) or at the base of the spine.

I do not recommend doing a google image search for Teratoma.

Rag Rugs

A couple of weeks ago we had the Rag Rugs Workshop for Hands On Brisbane.  The workshop was taught by Naomi, who I went to primary school with.  Naomi taught us how to make Rag Rugs from old fabrics using just fabric and a safety pin.

I’ve started two rugs, the bottom one is probably 1/3 finished.  The purple one is on hold until I get some fabric.  The bottom rug is made from some second hand sheets, the purple one is from my collection of hand dyed fabrics (that I no longer use).  It is great to be able to use old sheets for something.

If you are in Brisbane and want to learn this technique for yourself you can book at the links below.

Rag Rugs on May 31

Rag Rugs on June 21

Rag Rug-purple

Rag Rug

Poor Possum

This morning while out for my morning walk I found an injured brush tail possum.  The possum was huddled near the edge of the park so I went over to see what was wrong, hoping to scare it into a tree.  Instead the possum barely paid any attention to me.  After touching it a few times I decided I could probably get her home in my jumper, so I threw the jumper over her and picked her up.  It was testament to how injured she was that she did not try to attack me, possums are quite feisty.

At home I popped her into a cat cage and rang the local vet and walked her down and left her with them.

It looks like this possum was attacked by a dog or cat, so please lock your cats and dogs inside during the night to prevent this.  This little lady was in a very bad way and it was very sad to see her so terribly injured.

She might look incredibly adorable, below, but she was in a very bad way.


Treasures-Biological Drawings

I’ve been wanting to start a blog series about my most treasured possessions, so here it is, post one in the series.

My treasures fill my space.  Some are books, some things, some significant because of where they came from and what they mean.

I’ve had this book-Biological Drawings- for about 20 years.  The copy I have was published in 1957.  It is in fairly good condition considering it is a soft cardboard cover and has been kept in my room that tends to be filled with bugs who eat books, in fact it looks rather untouched by bugs. Perhaps it was covered in some sort of bug repellent many years ago.


Biological Drawings is one of my most favourite things.  Not only is it an old book but it is about anatomy of both plants and animals and was written by a woman.  I loved looking at the dissected rabbit when I was younger.  Recently I’ve most enjoyed the insects and the plants.


I love the little rabbit hands up near its head, all trapped by the removing of the skin.



Below, some of the plant drawings.


I was reading these bird beak descriptions to my cockatiel last night.



The only typewritten text is that on the cover, the inside cover and the index.  The rest is handwritten.  Another reason why I love it.



I cannot leave out this Rabbit brain!


New Workshops-Hands On Brisbane

Hands On Brisbane launched its Winter 2014 season today.  We are offering lots of new workshops with plenty of old favourites still in the mix.  We’re also bringing back a few that had a break (workshop annual leave??)  For Winter we are moving to The Gardens Club in the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens (up near QUT, gardens point) and I am looking forward to being inspired by the gardens that will surround us.

Book early to avoid disappointment, these workshops sell out fast!

I teach participants how to make a Terrarium, Screen Print with Stencils, share a few pointers for working with Polymer Clay, and show you how to create Shrinky Dinks.  But that is not all, there is a host of other workshop hosts who share their skills and help to broaden yours; from block printing to making paper flowers, sterling silver to mini-books.  There is something for everyone.

visit Hands On Brisbane for a full run down and to book a workshop.