There are tiny flowers appearing in my garden. You have to be quick to spot them - these springtime lovelies are rather shy. And very sweet. 
These snowdrop, violet, primrose, buttercup and forget-me-not peg dolls have been designed by the very talented Margaret Bloom. Her book, Making Peg Dolls, is one of my favourite craft books. In fact, this book inspired me to consider creating my own craft book. I borrowed Making Peg Dolls countless times from the library. Now I have my own copy, signed by the author herself. 
Margaret's book bursts with cuteness. The chapters are divided into seasons: Spring, Summer, Winter, and Autumn (Fall). The projects are easy to follow, beautifully photographed, and illustrated with delightful step-by-step instructive images.   I've open the booked, flicked through the exquisite pages and admired her creativity over and over again. Both children and adults will find the peg doll projects inspiring. 
I've been itching to put down my own pipsqueak threads and needles for sometime now, so I could try something different. Margaret Bloom's dainty peg dolls were the perfect variation in my crafting routine.  It was difficult to choose which project I wanted to begin with - Esther and her Purim counterparts, tiny peg bumblebees, or perhaps Christmas angels? In the end, I decided upon the Spring Flower peg dolls. It seemed appropriate, as it is Springtime in Australia, and flowers are blossoming in my garden. 
I used watercolour pencils for the peg doll bodies (the closest thing I owned to green paint), and I'm quite pleased with the results. I did have black and red acrylic paint, and dabbed eyes and mouths with the end of a tiny paintbrush. A few embroidery stitches on felt, and a dash of glue, and the peg dolls were complete. Monday afternoon was an afternoon well spent. 
Margaret Bloom has been busy, and has published a second peg doll book. It looks just as delightful. I think it might be time to order a new craft book for my collection. 

Come and visit her websites:

We Bloom Here Blog

We Bloom Here Facebook 

Making Peg Dolls & More Facebook
 
 
It’s fun to scout for unique handmade gifts at local markets or galleries. The creative talent across Australia is as vast and varied as the landscape of this great south land. You never know what treasures you might uncover.

Not so long ago, I visited a small corner of paradise:  Palm Cove in far north Queensland. As I meandered through the Esplanade shops, I came across the Village Gallery (Shop 3/139 Williams Esplanade).

Note: Image comes from True Local website. 

Village Gallery showcases work by local Australian artists, particularly from the far North Queensland area. Each piece of creative handiwork reflects the natural beauty of this tropical environment.

The glass-blown creatures by self-taught and local artist, Murray Browning, caught my eye. His unique style of glass-blowing using metallic oxides results in beautiful ornaments, trinkets and pendants.

 I couldn’t resist this miniature glass platypus by Murray Browning:   

The platypus now resides in my mother’s ornament cabinet in suburban Adelaide. You can view more of Murray’s creations on his website: Blown in Glass.

I also purchased two beach scene prints by local artist, Ian Stephens. I wish I’d taken a photo before giving them away to my British friends (who visited Palm Cove with me), but the prints were the perfect memento to remind my friends of their Palm Cove visit. You can view more of Ian’s work on his website: Ian Stephens Fine Art Gallery

Note: Image comes from Ian Stephens Fine Art Gallery website. 
After another visit to the gallery, another day, I returned with this jellyfish paperweight. The gallery attendant didn't even manage to put it on display. I spied it on her desk, ready to be manoeuvred. I'm not sure who the artist is (I'll attribute it when I find out!) but I love the design. And even more special: it GLOWS in the dark.
My Palm Cove trip has inspired me to design my own miniature tropical fish and butterflies, all made from 100% wool felt. Keep an eye out for my upcoming, and tropically inspired, new creations.