16 November 2011

Crafting to Beat Stress...

I've recently heard a lot about how having a hobby can help reduce stress and anxiety. I've suffered with anxiety for as long as I can remember and despite having learned many coping mechanisms, I have come to the conclusion that some of us are just wired this way and it's a part of who we are! It's not something you necessarily want to 'embrace' but if I just accept I'm not feeling 100% and find somewhere to channel the angst it helps me get through the day! For me, my faith = my strength and my craft = my escapism!

It's always hard to find time to sit down with a hobby or project when it's not really a priority in your daily schedule. But when I do manage to grab an hour or two to myself it works miracles! I crochet watching TV, I sew on the machine during my 2yo's nap time (if she cooperates!), I make jewellery sitting at the table where she can 'help' me with the pretty colours and I take photos of my stock outside while she's playing in the garden. I don't think you need to be 100% on your own and in a peaceful house, it's more about doing something you love in and around your typical day!

I've been looking up a few articles online about craft as stress relief and discovered on one website it ranked as the #1 form of stress relief over gardening, pets, photography, sports, music reading and even a holiday!

A craft can be any hand made project that you take pleasure in doing - it could be painting, needle work, knitting, home decoration, wood work. Craft provides a mean of distraction from our pressure and stresses from everyday life. When you work on a craft project, you tend to be concentrating on it making you forget about your problems. In fact, medical studies have shown that there are physical, psychological, and spiritual benefits from having an active interest in crafting. read more...

Harvard University’s world-renowned mind/body expert, Herbert Benson, says that repetitive and rhythmic crafts such as knitting may even evoke what he calls the relaxation response—a feeling of bodily and mental calm that’s been scientifically proven to enhance health and reduce the risk of heart disease, anxiety and depression. “You can induce the relaxation response through any type of repetition, whether it’s repeating a word, prayer or action, such as knitting or sewing,” he notes. “The act of doing a task over and over again breaks the train of everyday thought, and that’s what releases stress.”

The reality of it is craft allows me to express myself. No matter what mood I'm in, my craft generally reflects it and allows me to work through issues I may be churning over in my head while at the same time giving me a sense of peace. Sometimes the project may not be very pretty, but it's given me the opportunity to vent which, in my experience, is far more healthy than bottling it all up!

But the best news is that you don’t have to be ill to benefit. “We’re now finding that crafts are beneficial for healthy people, too,” says Gail McMeekin, MSW, author of the inspiring books The 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women and The Power of Positive Choices. “Thanks to their ability to tune you into yourself and your feelings, crafts clearly have physical, psychological and spiritual powers.” Adds Diane Ericson, a fabric artist, teacher and pattern designer, “Crafts are a way of valuing yourself and giving to yourself. They allow you to express what’s inside.” read more...

 I saw a fascinating segment on Channel 31's Made By Hand a couple of months ago where they visited the Brown Owls craft group in Brunswick, Melbourne. They interviewed a lady called Sue Halliday from 'Crafting Health'. Sue is a qualified naturopath and keen crafter and has combined the two as part of her treatment for many women's health issues. As part of Sue's Crafty Stress Management Course, you get to learn a new skill, learn to stitch, learn to crochet or go along and develop your existing craft skills and see them from a new stress busting perspective! More info... 

You can also watch the interview online in episode 5 on the Made By Hand website.

So I hope this little article encourages you to explore your options on what kind of craft you might enjoy. There's so much available and, believe me, you don't need to just stick to one form of craft - I have plenty of different projects on the go all the time depending on what kind of mood I'm in! 

Suggestions could be, sewing, quilting, scrap booking, crochet, knitting, card making, applique, decoupage, painting, button making, jewellery, restoring an old piece of furniture, cheese-making, bottling home made jams, I even find cooking a new recipe from an inspiring cookbook can be classed as expressing yourself and learning a new skill! The opportunities are endless and trust me, once you find something you love it'll be addictive!

If you are interested in learning a new skill, or just hanging out with like-minded people in a craft environment visit the Bayside Brown Owls facebook page for information on upcoming meetings in the Franskton area.

01 October 2011

New Stock in Store... Part 1

I've been working on a new range of baby gift sets and have a dinner table full of stock waiting to be photographed and listed online! Unfortunately the weather in Melbourne has been so miserable it's impossible to get a good photo so I've only listed my 2 piece sets. 

This gorgeous gift set is created to be thrown in the pram, keep in the car or stashed in a nappy bag to easily grab while out and about. The 100% designer cotton set comes with a Huggies Wipes Case (filled with original content) and Ernie & Bird Burp Cloth backed with a lovely and soft microfleece.Visit my madeit store to view the sets.

28 September 2011

Etiquette Lesson: Running Late

This article is for the person who has no intention of irritating others, stepping on toes and otherwise being seen as someone who’s rude and inconsiderate. We all get a little rushed and at times find ourselves running late. Most of us hate the thought that we are going to make others wait for us. If this is you then read on. If you don’t care about how you look or how your tardiness makes others feel then find something else to read.

If you are meeting people at 9am and at 8am (or earlier) you know you are going to be late – let people know. If it’s one person, call them (see my article on cancelling an appointment). If it’s more than one person send a group text saying you are running late and when you expect to arrive.

If you arranged the meeting – or are in charge of the meeting – just don’t be late. It’s wrong on so many levels. It squashes consideration for others and puts in question the authority you deserve.

If you are going to walk into a meeting late – knowing that people are waiting for you – don’t arrive with a latte in hand. This says, “I wasn’t really running late. I just took some extra time to get what I wanted when I wanted it. I don’t care that you didn’t get your coffee in order to be on time. I’m just making clear my priorities – my needs are more important than your convenience.”

Further, if there’s a chance one person had to forgo a meal or coffee so that they could arrive on time don’t show up late with food (or anything but your apologetic self). Everyone else managed to get there on time. Some rearranged their schedule so they could accommodate you and your request to start a meeting at a specific time. Don’t kick them in the teeth by saying you didn’t have time to eat/drink but took the time to stop for food (and now you’re going to consume it in front of everyone) at the expense of others’ convenience and possible grumbling stomach.

Time is a precious commodity. From the guy with the dog who needs a walk before he leaves the house, to the single parent who didn’t get to kiss the kids good-bye before racing out the door – everyone has a to do list. It just takes some pre-planning, follow through and integrity for them to arrive on time. Your late arrival, but having taken the time to stop at Starbucks, screams to everyone how irritatingly inconsiderate you are.

16 August 2011

Notice concerning E&B Dummy Clips

I am writing to inform you all the ACCC has placed an interim ban on handmade dummy holders and are currently investigating dummy clips that may pose as choking hazards.

Despite my best efforts to ensure the Ernie & Bird dummy clip design is safe, I cannot confirm that it will meet the new safety standards to be released in the next week or two by the Australian government. Until these standards are released I will not be selling Ernie & Bird dummy clips despite their popularity and all pending orders have already been reimbursed.

Even though I have been advised by the ACCC that my design 'should' be safe to use, I feel obliged to contact all my customers and inform you of this ban and hopefully prevent me from breaching this ban. I have removed all my dummy clips from my online stores and strongly recommend you do not use the dummy clip on your child until I know what the new standards are. I apologise for this inconvenience and am happy to offer a full refund to anyone who has recently purchased a clip upon request.

If you would like to read more information regarding the ban please visit

Hopefully once the new standards are released (within 60 days of 14 July 2011) I'll be able to re-list my stock and there will be gorgeous little dummy clips for sale once again!

13 August 2011

Faith Hope Love Jewellery

Making jewellery is so much fun and allows you to still be creative when you feel you need a break from sewing! Faith Hope Love is a selection of items I have made and thoroughly enjoyed! They are for sale in my madeit store at

27 July 2011

Never misplace your keys again!

I've been playing around with dummy clips over the past few weeks and while I wait for more ribbons to arrive (especially boy-themed patterns for the demand!) I thought I'd make up some key chains for mummy & daddy! I am really happy with the design and surprised at how incredibly sturdy they are - hubby was even impressed the sewing machine needle went through them!

They are ideal for keeping your keys safe with a lobster clasp to attach inside your bag or simply hold your keys on. The strap is long enough to hang on my wrist but could be a little tight on a larger wrist. But I am more than happy to custom make longer versions if required.

They are an ideal gift for friends, teachers, family and even Chrissie Kringle which will be here before we know it! Also happy to sell in bulk to wholesale stockists or to schools for  markets including Father's Day gift stalls.

15 June 2011

Cuddle Bags Galore!

I've been selling so many Ernie & Bird Cuddle Bags over the last few weeks that I've just listed another 50 designs in my madeit and eBay stores! They are all one-of-a-kind so grab one today for only $15ea!

Important Instructions
  • Do not overheat this product
  • Some medical conditions may require advice from a health professional before application
  • Take extra care when using with children, disabled, elderly, ill or sleeping recipients
Directions of Use (Hot)
  • Heat this product in a domestic microwave on high in 10 second increments to ensure you do not overheat the wheat and burn it
  • To avoid the possibility of localised hot spots, place your entire product in a shallow, microwavable container in the centre of the microwave plate
  • Ensure the microwave turntable can rotate freely
  • As heating can continue once the product is taken out of the microwave, shake the Cuddle Bag and test heat before fully applying
  • Use caution when reheating the product to avoid burning the wheat
  • Do not wash this product – if it becomes accidentally wet, dry in full sunshine. The product will not work effectively if the wheat is wet
  • If the product has a dry, roasted smell it has been overheated which will shorten the life of the product. Please discard the product

Directions of Use (Cold)
  • Place the product in a plastic freezer bag and freeze for 1-2 hours. Apply to body after taking out of bag
  • As a cold pack, this product is very useful for the minimisation of heat stress or high temperature

28 May 2011

New Tea Bag Wallets In Store!

First of all, Congratulations to Claire Atoxim who has one an adorable 'Mini Pooper' baby bodysuit! Please contact me with your postal details! :)

Secondly, I have listed some new stock in the Ernie & Bird store today! I've made up an adorable range of Tea Bag Wallets to keep your favourite teas in when you're out and about! The perfect little wallet to keep your own tea bags in your handbag or office draw! No need to drink horrible tea when you're out and about - just pull out your adorable wallet and listen to the compliments flow as you sip away!

This adorable little wallet hold 4 x Twinings tea bags (6.5cm x 8cm in packaging) or alike. Why not use it to store some basic medical supplies like Panadol and Bandaids or even needle and thread for quick alterations?

04 April 2011

Woolen Toddler Beanies

I've been working on an adorable collection of woolen crocheted beanies. Designed for toddlers from 1-3 years, this must-have winter item is sure to keep your little one nice and snug this winter. Custom orders and matching scarf are available on request. Items shown (and other designs) available for purchase in the Ernie & Bird madeit store

26 March 2011

Squirrels in Love Library Totes

New in store are a small selection of adorable library bags / totes! Featuring an adorable squirrel and love heart applique, these gorgeous bags are perfect for carrying all your your accessories or shopping. Go green instead of plastic and look fashionable with a very cute applique and trimming. 100% washable - warm iron for minor creasing - be the envy of your friends! Available for purchase from the Ernie & Bird madeit store

24 March 2011

The Mini Cooper Collection is Back!

In 2010 Ernie & Bird has a Mini Cooper collection of printed baby bodysuits and T-Shirts for toddlers and I've finally got around to making some more! You can find the limited number of items for sale in both my madeit store and eBay where mini enthusiasts snap them up!

There is a selection of sizes ranging from 00-1 and custom orders can be made depending on me being able to stock requested sizes. Please email me at if you are after a certain style in another size and I'll see what I can do! Wholesale orders for mini clubs and alike are more than welcome!

16 February 2011

Hello World I'm Back!

It's been too long since my last post and I'm here to assure everyone I haven't closed Ernie & Bird! I needed to take a break while I handled some health issues but am now on the road to recovery. I have lots of stock waiting to be re-listed in both Ernie & Bird and Faith Hope Love madeit stores so please keep having a look as I upload many items. I do not have any markets scheduled for the moment but am taking wholesale orders for both boutique items and jewellery. If you would like to stock any of my products please email me directly at