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My Poppet : your weekly dose of crafty inspiration

My Poppet : your weekly dose of crafty inspiration: May 2011

My Poppet : your weekly dose of crafty inspiration

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Emma's photo shoot - behind the scenes

Here is Emma working hard on her photography skills at yesterday's photoshoot...


Emma and my camera...

Photos today thanks to Emma...I was on my way out yesterday morning to deliver my tripod to a friend, but just couldn't resist taking a moment to sit on my doorstep in the glorious sunshine and enjoy a quiet cup of tea. In the mean time Emma had set up the tripod and was pretending to take photos...

She just loves mimicing anything I do, so I thought I'd set the camera up for her to see what happened. I showed her which button to press to take the photos, and because it was supported by the tripod and set to automatic there was not too much risk of damage. Emma had a great time with cries of "I did it" after every shot.
These are some of the best, there was a lot of the wall, but hey she is only two after all.

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Monday, 30 May 2011

Sponsor Profile - Sheeps Clothing

Brrr! It's really starting to get chilly down here in Melbourne and even though I'm more of a summer time girl, there is something so comforting about layering up in beautiful hand knits to keep the chill at bay.
I'm a terrible knitter, so I really envy the amazing skills of Stacey Murray of Sheeps Clothing. Stacey is a passionate and prolific knitter, so much so that she has been known to knit in the dark at the cinema!
Stacey was inspired to start Sheeps Clothing in 2007 after she struggled to find high quality woolen knits for her own boys.
Initially a children’s range, the label has expanded to include adult hats, scarves and scarflettes and really popular mug cozies.
As a lover of vintage buttons myself, I love that Stacey produces a range of vintage button hair accessories and brooches as well as featuring beautiful vintage buttons in her knitted products.
(She has a secret button supplier and won't spill the beans *shakes fist*)

Every item is lovingly hand knit by Stacey here in Melbourne from 100% pure Australian wool.

Have you always wanted to learn to knit?
Stacey is passionate about teaching people young and old to knit and has been teaching knitting at a local primary school for the past couple of years. Courses are planned for 2011 through Melbourne’s Holmesglen College of TAFE. Please visit their
website for
booking details.

I was considering doing a class but they'd probably kick me out for swearing too much...
Check out Sheeps Clothing's beautiful website and online shop.
Oh and I should mention Stacey has a ripping sense of humor, I've been reading her blog for years and often enjoy a little chuckle...some good recipes on there too.

Don't forget to like the facebook page

Thanks to Sheeps Clothing for Sponsoring the blog this month, it was a real pleasure to share their story with you.

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Friday, 27 May 2011

Cinti's Travels - Greece

On Wednesday I asked my facebook and twitter followers (you?) what they would like me to blog about today. The answers varied from tutorials and bunnies, to Emma and a little more about me.
Well I don't really know much about bunnies, but I do know about me, and there is more to me than just being a crafty mum...
Whilst looking for some files on an old hard drive I stumbled across some photos of past voyages, so I thought you may enjoy my new occasional feature - Cinti's Travels.

Does it surprise you that before life got so complicated with businesses and babies and mortgages, all I would think about was where in the world would I go next, and how was I going to get there? I would leave a job at the drop of a hat if a travelling opportunity arose, and I'd never commit to more than a casual position for that reason. I think it's what they call Wanderlust...I still have it, although things are more complicated now.

Here are some photos, sketches and memories from a trip to Greece in 2006. I spent 5 weeks travelling with a friend.

Santorini, yes it's truly postcard perfect. There is something about the quality of light there that makes every vista amazing. We didn't stay in the picturesque village of Oia, which is probably one of its most recognised places, but we did catch the bus there most evenings just to watch the incredible sunset which would colour the whitewashed buildings a beautiful shade of coral then slowly change though to violet as the sun finally set.And everything was so intensely white that in the midday sun the glare was almost blinding.
Another memorable place that had been on my wish list since my first trip to Greece 10 years earlier, was the Monastery complex of Meteora in the north of Greece. We spent 2 days walking up in the hills and visiting these 14th century monasteries perched impossibly atop sandstone rock pillars. It was a very special place which had a certain spirituality about it, so it didn't surprise me that hermit monks chose to inhabit caves there as far back as the ninth century.
Originally the only means of access to the monasteries was by precarious rope ladders or cargo nets, but now there are stairs and paths which make visiting them easier but still hard work. I think I was fitter back then. Interestingly I snapped a pair of orthodox priests travelling across a ravine in a very precarious looking cable car (below), it looked just like a little bath suspended in mid-air being kept up only by prayer.
And lastly I'd like to share this photo of a 'china' stall at an Athens flea market. It was so amusing, I can't even imagine what would possess someone to stack up such fragile objects to haphazardly. I wonder what the vendor would have done if I'd asked to see 'that vase' right at the bottom? Imagine the gems hidden amongst that lot?
Looking back at these photos taken with my point and shoot digital, I can't help being impressed at how well it performed. I have dug it out of the cupboard and will be using it on my next trip abroad (will spill the beans soon).

Did you enjoy this mini adventure? Just like traveling without the jet lag or leg cramps. Will share some more 'Cinti's Travels' if I ever have time to dig out some more photos.

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Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Sponsor Profile - Paul & Paula

Kids really don't know how lucky they have it. No responsibility, taking naps whenever they like, and best of all, they fit into these amazing creations from Paul & Paula.
I wish I could wind the clock back 30 (cough) plus years so I could get away with becoming a ladybug or dragon for the day...Kerstin is the creative talent behind the Melbourne label, as well as designer, sewer, pattern maker...that's right, she makes every stitch of clothing with her own hands!
Kerstin was born in Germany and trained there as a textile engineer, but never really enjoyed the anonymous offshore mass production aspect of the garment industry.
Four years ago love brought her and her talents to Australia, and now she is a mum to the most adorable little model Iggy. Being a mum is keeping Kerstin super busy, but she is never far from her sewing machine and still finds time to create new designs every season.

"Sewing is my passion and often my obsession!" Here Kerstin tells us about the birth and growth of her label...

"No - my name is not Paula and it's not the name of my kids. The legend of Paul and Paula is an East German movie which I probably watched way too many times in my youth.

While still at Uni I started selling ladies clothing to a couple of handmade stores across Berlin. I'm horrible with throwing things out (a chronic hoarder) so with bags full of off cut materials I decided to make kids clothing for friends with new babies. That was the real beginning of Paul & Paula.

Making kids clothing is so much more fun- you can let your imagination run wild. But trying to make a pattern according to my crazy ideas is often quite a challenge. Most of the time it works out!

I still make everything myself. I cut, sew and stitch the whole thing together. Checking every detail by hand over and over again has become a bit of an obsession (it might have something to do with my years working in quality control!).
In the past year my sewing machines have been running full steam and it can get pretty hectic in my little studio.

It's a great feeling to see Paul and Paula grow and every order sold to a little indie shop, at a market or via Etsy still makes me jump for joy.

But I have to confess dressing our little boy with clothes made by me is still my greatest pleasure."

Here is Emma wearing her favourite top. She is totally obsessed by ladybugs at the moment and when I saw this ladybug top, I knew she would love it! I couldn't resist taking a photo of my little 'ladybug' riding her favourite playground ladybug!

Kerstin has chosen to use a brilliant quality fabric which is nice and warm and washes beautifully, I can see we will be getting lots of wear out of this top.

Thanks to Paul & Paula for generouly sponsoring the blog this month and making Emma a very happy little girl who is the envy of the playground!

Pop over to the Paul & Paula etsy shop, I challenge you to come away empty handed. Kerstin also accepts custom orders for special sizing if required.

Paul & Paula
website :: shop :: facebook :: blog

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Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Leftovers + inspiration = Spagsagna

I think I may be a culinary genius! Well maybe not a genius, I'm sure it's been done before, but the co-habitants seemed to like it and they are usually a bit fussy about leftovers...
So when you have some leftover spaghetti bolognase that is looking a bit sad and boring, make a big pot of thick bechamel sauce, throw it in all in a baking tray, cover it with cheese and bake until it's all golden and bubbling. Tastes just like lasagna but without all the fuss...

Come to think of it, most things taste better covered in bechamel and cheese, I may have found my new winter cooking muse.

I can't take credit for the name though, that was Pilgrim's idea...

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Monday, 23 May 2011

How to: Scrappy Felt iPad Cover

I couldn't wait to make a cover for my new iPad this weekend, and there is nothing I love more than using up my it was logical to make a felty patched cover sleeve.
This tutorial will show you how to make the felted patchwork for the outer part of the cover and the instructions of how to measure and sew up a cover of your own.

You will need:
a bunch of wool felt scraps - I've used some blanket and felted sweater scraps from my scrap bags
cotton or bamboo batting (low loft)
Cotton fabric to line
Standard sewing supplies
1. gather your scraps, choose whichever colours appeal
2. Cut your scraps into rectangles and squares, these don't have to be perfect and the size will depend on your scraps. They can be different lengths, as long as the width is about the same.
3. arrange in your desired pattern. Ideally the patched layer should be at least 30x43cm when finished. Arrange your rows to start your piecing.
4. butt join the felt squares with your widest zig zag stitch.
5&6. do that for all the pieces in each row
7. With a rotary cutter or scissors, neaten the edges to make them straight
8. line up all the strips and zig zag them together
9. here is the finished patched piece after it was pressed.
10. fold it in half and lay your iPad on top to take your measurements, I have left about 1.5cm on each side and 2cm at the opening top end.
11. cut batting and lining to match (approx 30x43cm) lay patched top over batting
12. fold in half with the batting side out, stitch where the dotted line indicates 1cm seam allowance.

13 & 14 & 15. turn inside out
16. repeat with lining fabric but leave an opening on one side seam of about 10cm as seen in picture 17

17. Slide outer cover (right side out) into lining (seams out) the right side of the lining and the outer should be facing.
18. sew the lining to the outer cover where indicated by the dotted line, all the way around the edge of opening with a 1cm seam allowance. It may help to pin before sewing.
Turn it all the right way round through the opening in the lining and sew hole in lining closed.
19. press and top stitch the seam. Cut a tab out of leftover felt and sew on to the back of the cover.
20. Make a button hole in the tab and sew on your button. I found a cute apple one in my jar!

I hope the instructions were clear enough, it was all a bit of trial and error on my part, some unpicking and a minor amount of swearing, but I thing the results are worth it.

I suggest to keep trying it on your iPad as you go along to make sure it is all fitting nicely, please make your own measurements as mine are all approximate and will depend on how thick your batting and felt layer is.

I did have to hand stitch a few of the felt squares corners where the zig zag didn't quite catch just to re-enforce the patched top but you could avoid doing this by ironing on a fusible interfacing to the patched fabric at stage 9

I hope you like it, Emma has been using it as her dolly sleeping bag!

You can buy felty scraps from my shop if you want an assortment to add to your own.
This tutorial is for personal use only, thanks for understanding.
Please leave any questions as a comment and I will try and answer it as soon as possible.

x Cinti

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Saturday, 21 May 2011

Modern Times...

I had the pleasure of visiting the Modern Times Pop Up Shop in St Kilda today and meeting Amy and Joel, the master minds behind this little retail gem. Amy told me that their original intention was to buy a couple of furniture pieces for their own home from a Danish dealer, but one or two pieces ended up being a container, and Modern Times was born.
Like many of you, I have always had a love of the elegant design and simple lines of Mid century Danish furniture, so for me this show room was a little slice of heaven. Like a kid in a candy store, there I was opening draws and sliding open little cupboards.

Prices were very reasonable for the quality of the pieces, and quite a few of the ones I hearted had already snaffled up by lucky folk at last nights opening party. The only thing I got to take home were these camera phone photos :)
I'm really crushing on the giant lino cut balloon prints by Ellie Malin that you can see in the top left photo. Mr Man is not to enamoured, but I may go and visit in a couple of weeks and see if its still there...
The shop is only open for 3 weeks so pop in if you are in the area...


Friday, 20 May 2011

Needle felting Workshop - the roundup...

It was lots of fun last night at the secret* needle felting workshop that I taught at Windsor Deli. Running a workshop wasn't anything I'd considered doing until Kat twisted my arm to share my knowledge with some of the Southside Brown Owls Chapter.
Everyone got their own needle and pads, but only after a needle handling safety talk. I didn't want any major injuries, an fortunately the novelty Simpsons band-aids only needed to be used on one unlucky finger! *(Secret only because it was not openly advertised)
So the idea was to teach some basic techniques all whilst each making a macaron. The ladies did a brilliant job as you can see by the beautiful finished pieces above. As a little bonus, and because the students were eager for knowledge, we all had a go at making some tiny toadstools. Aren't they adorable?
I think most of the ladies are hooked. I packed up some wool roving packs for them to get creative at home with their new found skills. Can't wait to see what they make...

Thanks ladies for an entertaining and relatively injury free night
x Cinti

I may consider running another class if their is enough interest. if it's something that you might be interested in, why not sign up to the mailing list so I can keep you up to date with any news on the subject:

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Thursday, 19 May 2011

Cheery pins...

I have a cold, it's one of those ones that gradually creeps up on you and you try and push through, with out much luck. It's not a really bad one, just one that makes your brain all mushy and saps your energy and motivation. Team that up with a toddler that decided not to have a nap, and I'm all out of energy to blog.

So instead I thought I'd share some of my colourful pins from my Pinterest boards.

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Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Sponsor Profile - Little Indigo

Put your hand up if you are a little bit addicted to Etsy...Well Jo the creator of Little Indigo Boutique certainly is, so much so, it inspired the mother of two to start her own online boutique with a handmade twist.
Now 6 months on, Little Indigo is celebrating their first 'Half Birthday', and to get the party started there is a big 25% Off Everything Sale.

You heard correctly, 25% off everything in the store, including already reduced sale items (but excluding made to order quilts). Just use the discount code POPPET at the checkout to join in on the fun. Jo is so nice she is even offering FREE POSTAGE on orders over $100. The offer runs for one week.

Little Indigo aims to showcase a variety of beautifully designed and made clothing, accessories, room decor, toys and stationery from some of Australia's most talented and up and coming designers.

I've picked out some of my favourite items from the shop - (clockwise from top left)
Button design floral pinafore, Pocket carnival bunny toy, Draw Pilgrim alphabet print, Elephant parade bib, Small town drum tee, Krumpet clothing vintage skirt, Blink designs wall chart.

Pop over to Jo's shop and see if any thing takes your fancy...
Find them here-

Thank you Jo and Little Indigo for Sponsoring the My Poppet Blog, I really enjoyed sharing your lovely wares with my readers.
x Cinti

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Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Getting to know you...One Yellow Jumpsuit

Today I'd love to introduce you to Hannah. Hannah shares glimpses of her colourful life with us on her blog one yellow jumpsuit. She totally sucked me in with her super cute contributions to Animation Friday, and I think if I lived in Brisbane we would hang out all the time...
I hope you enjoy my chat with Hannah...(I think I have a little crush on Hannah's sneakers)

Tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Hannah and I'm a stay home mum to two gorgeous girls (Ava and Piper) and one amazing husband (Ash). We live in Brisbane and I love all sorts of craft, but especially sewing clothes for our daughters.

Why did you start writing a blog?
I started my blog simply to document my life for our children. It was just a place where they could look back and see all the things that we did and things that I loved.

Does the name mean anything special?
The name 'one yellow jumpsuit' came from when I was pregnant with our first daughter Ava. At the time we didn't know if she was a girl or a boy and all I could find for her was yellow jumpsuits. Even though they were cute, they weren't quite my thing, so I decided to start making things for her, hence the name one yellow jumpsuit.

Your style is pretty colourful, do you have a background in art or design?
I love colour and have always loved art and design, but I never studied it. Before becoming a Mum, I was a Visual Merchandiser for Freedom (Furniture). I spent 12 years there and I loved every minute of it. I got to play and be creative everyday.

Describe a typical day?
My day usually starts pretty early, as the girls wake up at around 5am. We have breakfast and the girls watch a DVD, today it's The Waybaloo's. Ash then goes off to work at about 7am and the girls and I head off for a walk and a play at the park. We normally get home at about 10am and do some painting or play with the Guinea Pigs. The rest of the day is usually filled with housework, playing with the girls and making lunch etc. I try to squeeze in some craft while the girls draw or play and at about 3pm we start tiding up, feeding the animals (our dogs, Kitchen and Geech and our guinea pigs, mavis and lenore) having baths and I start cooking dinner at about 5pm. The girls go to bed at 7pm and I'm usually not far behind them.

How is your 36 things to do list going?
Slowly. I keep forgetting to update it. The 'going out for ice cream' part keeps getting in the way of the 'lose 24kgs' part. xx

You mentioned about learning to sign at Ava’s school, does she have some hearing difficulties?
Ava hears words a little differently to us. So, signing helps her to communicate and to simplify the words. We use Makaton Signs (which is now called Key Signs) so we only sign the key words in a sentence. It's so much fun to learn and I love watching her little face light up when we sign nursery rhymes. Her favourite is Der Glump. (One of Emma's faves too)

You don’t really mention it in you blog but you do talk about her being in intensive care, is this something you would like to talk about, esp. in regards to your quilts?
Sure. Ava was born with a rare congenital condition called a Diaphragmatic Hernia which means that she had a hole in her diaphragm and all of her intestines were sitting in her left lung cavity. We are actually very lucky to still have her and that was when she spent some time in intensive care.
While Ava was there, she was given a beautiful quilt and it made a really sterile and cold environment feel warm. That quilt meant so much to us that it made sense for me to make some for other families in the same circumstances. I think there are a few quilting clubs that make them, but anyone can do it. I made my quilts 80cm x 80cm and it's best to use a thin wadding. They can have any design on them and you can drop them into any hospital with a Neonatal intensive care unit. I promise they will be loved.

Have you always lived in Brisbane?
I have always lived here. I love it here.

I’ve never been, what makes Brisbane and interesting place to live?
For me, it's just peaceful. I love going into GoMA (Gallery of Modern Art). They always have something fun for kids and my favourite clothing designer (Dogstar) is also here. It's just a really cute city.
(Looks like a trip to Brisbane should be on my list...)

Thanks for sharing Ava's story with us all Hannah, I really love the idea of making some special quilts with my vintage fabrics.
If you are in Melbourne, here is some info about Wrapped in Love, who organise the quilt donations at the Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne.
Please feel free to post the relevant links in your local area in the comments.

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Monday, 16 May 2011

More tidy corners...

Thanks for all the lovely comments about my tidy sewing room, it feels really good to hear that I've inspired and motivated some of you to tidy up your crafty space as well.
So today, I'm continuing with the tidy theme, this time my 'shop space'. When the lease ended for the shop front last year, it was a little bit of a challenge to absorb all of the shop fittings into our home. Some of the shelving went into Emma's room and the sewing room, other bits into the shed, but my favourite piece, a vintage Danish style wall unit fit perfectly into an empty space in the dining room.
This is where I keep all the bits and pieces that are stocked online, just like a mini shop. It's also where I pack up all of your orders whilst Emma napping or watching Play School. The photo above I took last week after the photographer left, the ones below were taken a few months back for Little Red Bus, that's why the lighting seems a little different.

You can read today's interview with me on Little Red Bus here...

It can sometimes be a challenge to keep the dining table clear of clutter, but I'm really going to make an effort to keep this space neat. It's so much nicer and more efficient to work in an uncluttered space where everything has it's place. We'll see how long it lasts...

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Friday, 13 May 2011

Tidy Sewing Room...Finally!

Wow, I'm so excited to share my super tidy sewing room with you. There are no 'before' pictures because they were almost too shameful to post. Picture piles and piles of stuff like in that 'hoarders' TV show...but worse. You couldn't even see the floor!
We moved in two years ago and I've never really have the time to focus on it, but thankfully the photo shoot was the motivation I needed to really get things done.
It took me the best part of 3 days to get it looking this good.

I'm really proud of myself and just love spending time in there now. Everything is organised and easy to find, so I can spend more time creating and less time searching for things.
I took a few photos after the photographer left, just to capture it at it's tidiest...
Here are some of my favourite shots-

I love my collection of woven vinyl vintage hangers.
I have never have my cutting table totally clear of clutter, yay!

All my vintage patterns are in one place, I may even make something for myself soon.
Thanks to Pilgrim for helping me fold and colour coordinate my fabric pieces. I think she had a little too much fun!
Gorgeous apple pincushion by Morgan Wills and my growing collection of Japanese craft books.
All my tools in one easy to find place away from little fingers!
Mum makes my bias binding for me, I don't have the patience.
A rainbow of buttons and threads.

I hope you enjoyed my sewing room tour, I'm happy to answer any questions you may have.
Thanks for stopping by.

x Cinti

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Behind the scenes at THE photoshoot...

If you've been following some of my tweets you may have worked out that I had some special guests at my home yesterday, the kind that get you in a panic in the lead up to their visit. Yes a guy with a camera and a super stylish art director!
I thought you might like to see some of behind the scenes action at yesterday's photo shoot. No idea when the story will be published, but will give you a heads up when if I find out.

Left to right: Meisha (graphic designer/director for the day), cute baby belonging to Lou, Chris (Photographer), Louise (writer/journalist)
Emma started the day acting all shy and clinging to my leg but as the shoot progressed she became quite comfortable with the camera.

Chris was very kind and even let her take a few shots of her own.
I really struggled for 3 days to get the place looking decent, trying to clear my accumulated clutter was a big task. Chris, who has been here before was surprised with the transformation "where have all the piles of fabric gone?"
Tidying up involved a big spring clean and a total reorganisation of my sewing room (I'll share the sewing room photos soon).
I must give a big shout out to Pilgrim for helping me with boring task of fabric folding (and dust inhaling) and even a bigger thanks (and big hug) to Estelle for jumping at the chance to style my de-cluttered areas.
Estelle came around on Tuesday with 5 big boxes of cool stuff and an 18mo old who was booked into surgery the next day. I can't believe she didn't tell me to F-off, but she is a top chick and deserves a big fat styling credit. The team was very impressed!Down stairs took 1.5 hours, shots from this angle and that.
Then the upstairs. Poor Chris had tot get in some really awkward positions and that camera is much heavier than it looks.
A lot of discussion about how to shoot what. All up they were here for 2.5 hours, and were really disappointed they didn't have more time because they had to get to another shoot.

I was running so late as Emma had a big sleep in till 9am, she is normally my alarm clock, so you can imagine the chuckles I received when I opened the door in my pyjamas! Chris has shot lots of celebs (we won't drop names), but he likes pyjama clad real people the best :) What a great guy!

The team was even nice enough to tidy up my kitchen whilst I changed and brushed my teeth. Mr Man reckons we should have a camera team round at least once a month, the place has never looked this good. Although, there is lots of stuff just shoved in cupboards and under the stairs because I couldn't find a real home for them! I will try to tackle the cupboard clutter slowly, with the aim of having some order in this house finally.

Chris was very generous with his knowledge and gave me some hints to share with you all when you are taking interior shots:

Use a tripod, and if it's not a particularity stable one, it's best to use the self timer on the camera to avoid camera shake when you press the button.

Always shoot the highest res you can and if you have photoshop shoot in RAW mode (DSLR) as well as Jpeg, this means your shots can be print ready.

If shooting for the web, shoot your subject nice and tight with a shallow depth of field. You need to capture your viewers attention which is a fraction of a second, busy composition just doesn't cut it. Pick a stand out subject and focus on it.

Also don't be afraid to pump up the colour saturation for web destined shots, post production.

And this one is GOLD - if shooting a room with a chair or table, try to include at least one full leg to give a good sense of proportion.

So do you feel like you were right there? I'll take photos of the house whilst its still relatively tidy in the next few days so I can share them with you here.
Hope you enjoyed the behind the scenes action...I need a good lie down.

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