There is ALWAYS time for a swing!

There is ALWAYS time for a swing!

It has been a little while since I have made the time to write a post! It is so surprising how fast this year is really going!

Between enjoying time with our daughter Lilli May and the Husbando there are always lots of Lilli May designs orders to sew! I love the variety and I love how we manage to fit everything in for our little family!

The other day, I needed to go up to the shops to take some photos of a new Lilli May designs item – the LMD Deluxe Shopping Trolley Cover/Clothing Protector. The Husbando was kind enough to drive us up there and amuse Lilli May so that I could quickly take the photos and get it in the mail.

LMD Shopping Car/Trolley Cover

Now the entire time I was taking the photo all I could here was screams and giggles!! The Husbando was playing with Lilli May on the swings behind me.

Photo 2-04-13 5 52 36 PM Photo 2-04-13 5 52 59 PM Photo 2-04-13 5 53 05 PM Photo 2-04-13 5 53 13 PM Photo 2-04-13 5 53 41 PM Lilli Swinging 1

(Lilli May is wearing a LMD Lilli Dress in Vintage Holly Hobbie fabric – details here)

So as with every time we go out to our backyard or up to the shops, she always makes me realise, that no matter how busy and hectic things get –  there is ALWAYS time for a swing!

So I joined her! She did, after all, point and show me where the swing next to her was! 🙂

When was the last time you had a swing?

Keep smiling


Kitty – My Singer Treadle Sewing Machine

Kitty – My Singer Treadle Sewing Machine

When I was little – back in the 70’s – I remember my Nanna’s sewing room. I can still picture it now.

I used to see it most weekends.

On Oxley Island NSW.

My Nanna and Pop had a dairy farm there where my mum grew up. It was sooo much fun for my sister and I to spend time there. We used to play from when the sun was up/or before even, as we watched them milk the cows, till the sun went down and we were forced to come inside. This is what the farm looked like a couple of years ago before it was all knocked down. When this photo was taken they hadn’t lived in it for years as when they retired they built a new house where I was standing to take this photo.

The building in the foreground is the old Dairy. I helped feed many a cow whilst they were milked here. Oh the taste of creamy fresh milk was beyond description! Have you ever tasted it?! Also all the things that Nanna would bake using the fresh milk were the best!

The large red roof over the back of the dairy is the house.  In between the dairy and the house used to be a big barn. Half full of hay most of the time, Rover the dog all the time and a litter of kittens sometimes. Hours were spent running around the paddocks playing chasey as a lot of the time a few of our cousins were there and that just added to the fun!

Our favourite spot for all us kids to hang out was the Love Tree. Yes we named it. There were a couple of branches that we could sit on and bounce up and down and so many more to climb on.

More stories from the farm for another day.

Now towards the back of the house is where Nanna’s sewing room was. She used to have her old treadle Singer Sewing Machine, set up under the tall window,  that was flooded with afternoon sunlight.

There was always mounds and mounds of clothes and bed linen in there that she was either finished repairing or in the process of repairing or going to repair or sew.

Us kids would sneak in there and pull open all the draws of the machine ratting through all the bits and pieces and have so much fun pushing the treadle back and forth and back and forth until we were scooted out. 🙂

I loved her machine and as I grew to enjoy sewing myself I realised how awesome her machine really was. Now that my Nanna has passed away, and not a day goes by when I am sewing that I don’t think about her, her machine was passed on to my Aunty.

My husbando knew of my love of her machine and set himself the task to find me one that I would love and care for and pass to my own daughter. After months of looking for just the right one he found her!!

Meet Kitty!

Since my husbando gave her to me for my birthday I have undertaken lots of investigations on her and found out her history.

Kitty  is a Singer Model 66 (nicknamed a Red Eye) and was born on June 22, 1910 in Elizabeth, New Jersey. She spent most of her life in Condobolin. Condobolin is a town in the west of the Central West region of New South Wales, Australia, on the Lachlan River.

Her owner was a seamstress named Kathleen…otherwise known as Kitty!  I have spent countless time thinking about all the wonderful things they made together. I was told that she would have made work clothes, ladies clothes and children’s clothes as well as mended countless items.

After many many years she was bought to western Sydney by Kitty’s granddaughter (who took the above photo). She did some more work here and then was placed to rest in a room until Kitty’s granddaughter and her husband sold her to my husbando for me!

I have also obtained the manual for her and have plans to further restore her to her former glory.

Although, as you can see from these photos, she is in fantastic condition already and yes she does work!

The detailing in the wood is amazing, and she even came with her original tools.

For those of you that are not familiar with these machines the top of the table here:

Lifts and folds open to the left like this:

 Then the front top middle section lifts up and forward (there is a draw that runs the length of the front panel too)  :

So you can lift Kitty up, fold the front top panel down again and she rests down on top of it.

Sigh. Such beauty. So many memories of my own Nanna.

The detailing on her is SO very intricate. From her face plate, to her bed… her wood panels. Just simply beautiful.

Kitty is very very special to me. Kitty has pride of place in our hall under our memory wall.

She is right opposite the door to my Cougar Cave, with Lilli May’s bedroom to the left, the bathroom and our bedroom to the right and opposite the Kitchen. She is the first thing we see when we come into our home.

She is the best welcome home. Thank you so much Husbando, I love and adore you! 🙂

I hope Lilli May will enjoy sewing as much as I do and I look forward to the day that I watch her sewing with Kitty and maybe some vintage Holly Hobbie fabric… just like my latest collection found here (limited items available). 🙂

So have you had fun on a farm? Or what do you remember about your Nanna from when you were little? Do you have your own Kitty and do you know her history?

Keep smiling


Ladies First

Ladies First

What a crazy awesome week!  So much has been happening here that I am overwhelmed with all things creative and on a complete natural high!

Just to update you where I left off last week. I was up to only having Day 16 – Wardrobe and Day 19 – Lilli May’s Room to complete in the 20 Days to Organise & Clean Your Home Challenge. With day 20 being to cook something yummy!

Day 16  – Wardrobe

This little space was a bit of a disaster zone!

It was a miss mash of clothes and gotten to the point where it was hard to find anything..which is not how I normally have my wardrobe set up.

First thing I did, as usual, is remove everything and then sort the clothes into piles

1 To go back in the wardrobe

2 For our upcoming garage sale

3 To go into storage – out of season clothes

At this time, it is still really cold here so I can’t pack all my winter clothes away and get all my summer ones out..I have to have just a few left in the wardrobe to cover those colder today, which saw snow falling less than 2 hours from our home!

One of the things I discovered that needed to be moved out of my cupboard was my box of denim jeans. Anyone who knows me, would notice that I am a bit of a bohemian dresser, think maxi skirts, long and flowy pants, maxi dresses and vests and scarves. This includes in winter..where I just add leggings under the skirts for warmth.

I am NOT a jeans girl. Never have been. Never will be. I see a lot of my friends live in jeans though so over the years I have dabble in trying to wear much so here is my denim jean collection:

I am currently still holding onto 17 pairs of jeans! I wear a grand total of ONE of these pairs and that ONE pair is only worn on an irregular basis. I KID YOU NOT!! I have tried to find the ‘perfect pair of jeans’ that I am happy with my butt, thighs, tummy and knees in and I just can’t seem to find one that I am happy with.  I have obviously been happy on at least 17 occasions…well happy enough to walk out of the change room to the counter and buy the jeans I have just put on. Then basically all of these pairs have only been endured for one outing before I decide “nup, don’t really like the fit/the way my butt or thighs or profile or knees or legs or whatever looks/feels in these so I am never wearing them again!” Vowing also just to stick to my skirts and be done with it….until my next moment of weakness where I delude myself into thinking that can find a pair of jeans that my butt and I agree with. The argument continues.

So with the box gone and all the other mess, I was able to satisfy my OCD and re-sort my clothes into colour sets…all the white items together, all the black items together, all the blue items together etc……and the jackets all together to the right of the top rail. Ahhhhhh that’s better. 🙂

With that done all that was left was to do Lilli May’s room and cook something yummy. I have made, amongst other things, Lemon Butter and my Absolutely Delish Spring Rolls and I have the photos so all I need to do is find the time to type it all up so that I can share with you…hopefully sometime in the next couple of weeks so keep an eye out.

The only task outstanding is to do Lilli May’s room, now we tidy this up at the end of everyday, but I actually want to rearrange it so that is going to have to wait. The reason I haven’t made time to do it yet is because not only have I been busy working on customer orders at Lilli May designs,  I have also been busy launching my new range of handmade items –  LADY STYLES – my handmade clothes for the ladies which includes items that are my own design/pattern.

Classic styling.

Superior comfort.

Uniquely yours.

My range at the moment is very bohemian (wow that’s a surprise isn’t it?!) with skirts, pants, tops, aprons, shower caps and vest with more styles to come! If there is something that you want but done see then please email me on and I am sure I will be able to assist you.

All items can be made in a range of vintage and modern fabrics. All items can be CUSTOM MADE TO FIT YOU no matter what the size. 🙂 Details of the collection can be found here. WHAT A GREAT UNIQUE GIFT IDEA FOR CHRISTMAS FOR THAT SPECIAL LADY IN YOUR LIFE – be she your mum, aunt, sister, friend, wife or partner!

With my new range I decided to go with the saying LADIES FIRST, and took the time to launch it first before doing Lilli May’s room…that will need to wait a little longer until it is rearranged.

Keep smiling!


The Cougar Cave

The Cougar Cave

My name is Michka and I am addicted to sewing.

Fabric is my drug of choice and I find myself constantly seeking out new dealers and stashing it so that I can just have it and look at it and eventually create something with it!

Can you relate to that?

Well I was so excited when I read about what todays tasks were in the 20 Days to Organise & Clean Your Home Challenge because it meant that I got to hang out in my favourite room!!! My Cougar Cave!!

Day 8 – The Spare Room/Craft Room

The only thing is, is that I really didn’t have much to do to clean it up. As there is nothing in this room that I would class as ‘clutter’! I really like to keep my Cougar Cave tidy as I don’t feel creative when there is mess. I love every single item in here. I love the aura that this room has. I love the way it inspires me. It is Lilli May designs. So there was nothing to throw out…and only a few things to tidy up.

Here is how it looks before :

Who wouldn’t want to walk through this door everyday if they are greeted with such a bright and happy fabric filled room! I LOVE LOVE LOVE this place!

The only real areas I need to tidy is a couple of shelves on my wall of fabric, under the table and in the middle draw on my vintage dresser/desk.

So here is some of my stash and these shelves are pretty tidy…

There are a couple of shelves on this side that need a tidy up. My favourite shelf is the top one in the below photo. It holds all my Holly Hobbie goodness, genuine vintage HH fabric on the left part and the vintage HH bed linen on the right side

Then on to another of my little vintage wardrobes.

This one is just great for my Cougar Cave. It is the perfect size to store all my little bits and pieces that need to be locked away from little hands. 🙂

So as you can see, I already keep this space pretty tidy. So let me share a few of my special items.

First is one shelf that I have dedicated to little vintage items that I have collected.

My most loved thing here would have to be my original Textiles And Designs Year 7 School Book! From 1987 kiddies!!!

As I have said before, I fell in LOVE with sewing when I was introduced to it in Year 7 so I cherish this school book that has captured those first few moments that I shared with sewing.

Like learning to sew in straight lines…

To naming the machine parts…

There are so many cute little pages in this book that I loving decorated with my pudgy little 12 year old hands, the BEST one though is this:

My official SEWING MACHINE DRIVER’S LICENCE! How awesomely cute is that!!! So proud of 12 year old me!

Another prize possession in here, sitting above my window sill where my incense burner sits, next to a love note by the Husbando and a keepsake from when I went and saw the Dalai Lama, are my cotton reel holders that my lovely wonderful mum gave me for my birthday.

See how they are cute little vintage sewing machines with a heart on them!

OK, now one of the places that needs a tidy up are a couple of the shelves and this took a whole 5 minutes if that.

Now my little Holly Hobbie lamp has more space.

One other spot that needed a quick tidy was under my cutting table. From this…

…with my original sewing box from Year 7 … this…

There was only one place left to tidy and that was the middle draw in the dresser. This is where I also keep my sketch book of design ideas, proposed fabric combinations, measurements etc for current designs, lists of items I want to make and other notes, swatches etc of things that inspire me.

From this:

5 minutes later. Wahla!

Again today was super easy AND I got to share my second favourite space with you. My favourite is in one of Lilli May’s cuddles. 🙂

Hope you enjoyed the snoop. Do you like my Cougar Cave and do you have a room all to yourself?

See you tomorrow.

Keep smiling!