Happy New Year, Looking Back then Forward…

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2013 is coming to a close.  I will be celebrating with some friends, a dip in the ocean and sitting around outdoors sipping on some Moet and nibbling on some sushi.  Perfect, non?  And then packing my bags as we leave for Paris in two days.

2013 has been exciting and amazing… and I’m sure that 2014 has many more in store for us here at One Hour Craft. It has been fantastic to have this blog up and running again. I have appreciated the input from so many sources, the encouragement and the feedback. I have felt more like I personally know what I am doing and there has been a flow to that has made it seem easy and natural to be back.

2014 will see us expand and take on more challenges over here…. But before we reach there let’s look back at some of our readers’ favourite tutorials from the past three months…

  • Our Chai Cleaning and Room Spray proved to be a big hit with our readers.  It is lovely and we have found that bugs including mosquitoes really don’t like the spicy fragrance.  It has been fantastic on hot, mosquito-ridden nights over here and we use it all the time.
  • We loved sharing one of our favourite drinks The Roasted Toasted Almond, which would be a great addition to any New Years Eve party.
  • Our ColourBurst necklaces are so fun to make and look fantastic.  When we gave all of ours away as presents, our friends and family loved them.  Always a great sign!
  • We gave away one of our most cherished recipes for Thai Pumpkin and Fish Curry.  This is a such a versatile recipe, great for a tv dinner or outdoor quick meal and equally special for an intimate dinner party with friends.
  • We loved making our whimsical little Cherry Necklace.  A great, quick little present to make and adore.
  • We continued our love affair with tassels, including this great little tutorial to make Simple Tassels and our great party decorations, Paper Tassel Garlands.
  • Our recent Fabulous Fringe is a personal favourite and looks great on so many different sorts of jumpers…. and possibilities for so many more looks.  Love.

And our personal favourite posts….

  • We loved getting on our bikes more often.  Love bike riding and love encouraging others to get on theirs.  What a great New Years Resolution, to ride your bike as much as you can.  Great for the environment, great for your bod, great for your head, also there’s even a study which says that people who ride bikes have better marriages.  What’s not to love???
  • The Dior-Inspired Double-Sided Earrings may be our favourite earrings of all time and they have been worn to death.  They are the perfect mix of edgy sophistication.  The bomb.
  • Open-Fire Cooking is a passion and one we hope to do more in 2014.
  • Our Orange Power Cleaner is by our favourite cleaning product and keeps our home smelling delicious.  I am obsessed by it.

Looking ahead.  In 2014 we will be…

  • Connecting more with our readers….Can’t wait.
  • Running several awesome workshops in collaboration with different artists.
  • Collaborating and connecting with many more gorgeous creative friends, artists and artisans.  Can’t wait!
  • Expanding with more contributors.
  • Blogging from our various travels, the first being Paris, Beautiful Paris.
  • Writing another book?!?
  • Writing for some of our favourite magazines.  Again.  Yay!
  • Bringing our readers much more inspiration and creative love…

Cheers to a bright and happy 2014!

Maria xxx

Inspiration: Anya Brock

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Being an art teacher, an artist, a crafter, running a craft blog and a mother, the creative cup can get pretty empty. The constant demands upon me creatively can be seriously taxing. But as with every trade there are tricks that you learn along the way. There are failsafe ways to keep your creative cup full to overflowing that each artist or creative must discover, largely through trial and error. I have found several ways to keep my cup full. One of these is to surround myself with other creative people. Most of my friends are artists, fashion designers, art teachers, painters, writers and musicians. I love talking art, fashion, jewellery, painting, music with them.

Apart from being around my friends, I also fill the well by keeping abreast of art in Perth and going to exhibition openings and going to listen to live music that I think will be promising. I also love supporting other artists. So, Friday evening was a great night where we did both. First, we went to see Anya Brock’s exhibition opening, Unplanned at PS Art Space in Fremantle.

Brock is a young Fremantle artist who is known for her bold, colourful paintings cockatoos and birds. These are breathtaking. But this exhibition was a return to her roots of using bold geometric design. Her designs remind me so much of the design work of Australian fashion designers Sass and Bide. The balance and use of colour is amazing. The pieces have a contemporary, tribal feel to them. In fact, Brock is covered in tribal tattoos herself and said that she is drawn to them. I loved her paintings.  They are fun, imaginative, wistful and remind me of doodling on a pad while talking on the phone.

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Inspiration: Weekend in the Forest

forest1 forest2 forest3I take any opportunity to get out of the city and into the country.  The West Australian country is beautiful.  Mostly it is huge distances, big blue skies and red dirt.  But there are pockets of lush forest.  Some of the biggest forests are found about four to five hours drive south of Perth.  The Karri trees are huge and ancient and provide a green and lushness that we don’t get in Perth, a more beachy and hot, dry place.

Down south, whatever is planted, grows.  Spring is beautiful in these tiny towns, where people take time in their gardens and fill them with colourful flowers.  Our recent weekend away left us feeling renewed, connected, refreshed and ready to keep bringing it every day.

Thanks to our lovely readers for coming back here. If you are inspired by the outdoor life, you may like our Open-Fire Cooking Tips and Recipes.   If you like this, then Pin It by hovering over the images.  If you like us, then Like Us on Facebook and let your mates know that we are here.  We have more Christmas goodness and articles coming in the next few days….

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How To: Get on Your Bike (More Often)

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Hi, this is Maria, the owner of One Hour Craft.  I understand that this is not a typical One Hour Craft post, but it is a passion that I want to share on this blog.  Basically Bike riding is my way of staying sane.  It gives me a feeling of freedom like sailing or skiing.  It makes me stop and take time to look at my surroundings, to notice trees, houses, animals, people.  It is also an incredibly sociable thing to do (particularly in Australia where people are friendly anyway).  This and my walks on the beach are my ways of keeping it all together.

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There are so many reasons to cycle.  It is good for your health, good for the environment, makes you happier and is enjoyable.  Here are my tips for getting on a bike more often:

  • Get a bike you are in love with.  When I saw Ruby it was love and first sight.  She is a Schwinn and just makes me happy when I ride her.
  • Try to negotiate a deal to have your bike serviced at the store you bought it.  My store has a lifetime free service for all the bikes they sell.  This meant that I was happier to pay extra and not have to worry about servicing her myself.
  • Make friends with your bike store guys.  Mine are excellent.  I’ve been known to ride in just to ask them questions about Ruby and about cycling in general.
  • Schedule a 25 minute daily ride into your routine that is not-negotiable.  Let the husband and kids know that this will be happening.  If it’s the same time each day they will get more used to it.
  • Start cycling in a place where you feel comfortable.  When you get back on a bike after many years it can be a little daunting.  Find a cycle path to start with.  We are really lucky in Perth to have extensive cycle paths around the city, beaches and river.
  • Involve family and friends in your cycling trips.  Saturday and Sunday afternoons are a great time for us to cycle down to the beach with my sister and her family.
  • Plan a cycling holiday.  When we go away I always like to go to places where I can ride a bike.  It makes me so much happier.
  • Commit to doing all your close-to-home errands on a bike.  I’ve found it is just as quick for me to pop on my bike to go to the shops as it is for me to go in the car.  When I get there I don’t have to worry about parking.
  • Start small, think big.  Start on your first day by riding around the block.  Stop as soon as you feel tired.  My thinking big is that one day soon, most of my travel will be done on a bike and that there will be very little need to use my car.
  • Get on your bike even in winter.  In Amsterdam and Copenhagen, many people ride their bikes all winter and even in the snow.  Living in a really hot climate it is really nice to ride in winter.  You may need a beanie, scarf and gloves.
  • Find out what the laws are surrounding bike riding in your state or city.  In WA it is compulsory to wear a bike helmet, so we do.  There are many lovely helmets available now.
  • Go lightly. Bike riding forces you to travel lightly, to pair down your essentials to a small bag, backpack or to fit into your basket.
  • Ride anywhere and everywhere.  I love to ride out at night for a date night with my partner or to friends’ places for bbqs.
  • Wear whatever you like.  Sometimes I ride in heels as it is just as easy.  I ride in normal clothes a lot.  But I must admit I prefer to ride in sneakers or my desert boots for grip on the pedal.
  • Make sure you have the right gear.  To travel at night you need a light on the front and on the back of your bike.  Make sure it is recharged completely as it is really scary to be caught at night if it goes off.  You are immediately invisible to any cars on the road.
  • Dare to commute to work.  Plan out your route and practice it on a weekend morning.

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Why not get on your bike today? And commit to riding as much as you can.  In the not-too-distant future, we will be making some tutorials for making cycling accessories. For now, if you like this please Pin it and if you like us, like us on Facebook.

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Inspiration: Island Design (Part Two)

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Selamat Pagi! This is the second post from our recent ten days spent on a few tiny Indonesian islands. We were totally inspired by the simplicity of design and the natural materials used. The use of everyday materials such as wood, sand, bamboo, banana leaves etc was amazing. The beauty was raw and not overthought. The effect was calming and light.

If you would like to read our first post on Island Design, it is here. And come back next week for our third Island Design post.  The next one is a little different and more colourful.

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Inspiration: Island Design

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Selamat Pagi! Sorry for our week-long absence. We have been snorkelling, relaxing and soaking up the sun on a few tiny Indonesian islands. While we were there, we were so inspired by the simplicity of island design, the natural materials, the simple lines, the use of renewable resources, the beauty of structures on the island and the no-fuss way of island life.

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We have returned to Perth feeling very inspired to create simple lines and spaces. Also very thankful to live three hours’ flight from Indonesia with its beautiful people and breathtaking landscape. This week we will be straight back into OHC business. We will be posting some more Halloween posts and some food + more photos of Indonesia.

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THANK YOU

Thank you for your patience!

One Hour Craft has returned after a very long break.

If you are new to this site this post will give you some tips on where to begin….

Firstly, check out our first book One Hour Craft on Amazon. And if you like it please buy a copy or ten.

You can start by reading about our new goals for this site and what we hope to achieve.

Then you can read about our history and where it all began here.

You can see read the good press we have received here.

If you would like to contact us for any purpose, please do here.

Please keep coming back for the craft tutorials with full colour photos and simple explanations that we will be posting each week.

Please note some of our policies…. You are more than welcome to link to us and if you take a photo please link back to this site. We do not allow comments at this time due to time constraints which mean that we are unable to answer them or respond. Our Facebook and Twitter pages will be up and running soon and will provide a forum for feedback and comments.

We look forward to sharing many craft tutorials in the coming years.

Enjoy!