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Amanda Brandl Marsupials and Monotremes – new fabric release!

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Hey! Tidy up your car!

Who here has little kids?  Yeah?  Me too.

Ok who has little kids that leave your poor car a mess after their little tornado bodies have ripped through after a car trip?  Yeah?  ME TOO!!

It doesn’t matter how much I try, I always have little wrappers, rouge sultanas, boxes, drawings on the back of receipts and trinkets galore!  Don’t even talk to me about that festy banana skin I found the other day.  Shudder.


I’ve done the little plastic bag in the car, then a box, but it doesn’t quite cut it with things falling out or the entire thing toppling over.  However I stumbled across a new Australian handmade product called LuxeBins – a stylish functional bin for your car.  They are slim tidy bins that hang off the back of your car seat with a clip (or anywhere really), and are sewn with black waterproof lining by Tahlia on the Mornington Peninsula. The clever bit is that inside is a plastic mould that ensures the bin stays open for easy access.  The plastic mould unsnaps at the bottom and you press can it flat, making it an easy wipe down for cleaning. It’s so easy.  And even the plastic mould was designed and made in the Mornington Peninsula!  They come to you lined ready with a biodegradable liner so you can use them straight away.


Black waterproof fabric a tad boring for you?  Not a worry!  Tahlia also has bins that come with fabric outer covers to brighten things up a bit.  You can have fun here and get the kids to choose what fabric cover they would like!
I took them for a test run in the car and we all loved them!  The kids were intrigued.  I kept one lined to use as a bin, but the other I left unlined so we could use it for things for the kids to play with on car trips.  The CarBins are deceptively deep too, we could fit HEAPS of stuff in there.  In Ana’s bin we popped in two chapter books, a notepad, bunch of textas, a few small cars and dinosaurs, with room to spare!  Having a dedicated area for both rubbish bits and little toys helped us all keep the car a more in order.  And I’m not going to pretend, I need all the help I can get!!


These smart CarBins will be a permanent fixture in our car.  Not only are they sturdy, useful and functional, but I love that they are a handmade in Australia AND affordable.  Further, this lessens the need for those plastic bags floating around the car and makes for a more sustainable way to keep the car tidy.
The CarBin is $25, however right now Tahlia has a 20% off code (XMASDEAL) in her Etsy store, right in time for Christmas!  The offer will last until Christmas Eve and orders must be in by Monday December 17th to receive them in time for Christmas.

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Christmas gifts to make at home by Misty from Gravitate

1 jar 3 ways!

A Christmas gift for teachers and day-care workers is always a hard one! Whether you simply don’t know them that well, have several to do or are working to a budget, it can be tricky to choose the right gift. So why not unleash your child’s creativity using a few craft items you may already have or that are readily available from a discount store, and create a handmade gift that can be used again and again and will sit with pride of place on your carers desk?

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We’re All Mad Here by Hannah from Twinewood Studio

Photo Credit: Eva’s Sunday

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Organic & sustainable in the handmade world by Kirstie from Bambee Organic

It is no secret that over the past few years there has been a distinct change in our society, with a wonderful shift towards eco-friendly, organic, sustainable, and fair-trade items. While this covers everything from the food we eat, to the bags we carry our groceries in, today I am going to focus on the organic and sustainable clothing options available to you and your family – and most importantly, explain what it actually means!

Are you often confused about the difference between sustainable and organic, or maybe just have no idea what either mean?

Well, a few years ago before I started my business I felt the same.

The main thing you need to know is generally in the handmade clothing world, all organic cotton clothing is sustainable, however not all sustainable clothing is organic.

Where the cotton is not organic, the sustainable clothing label often refers to clothing made from second hand, repurposed, or vintage fabrics. This is sustainable because they are using fabrics that already exists, they are not adding to the waste problems we are currently facing, and instead they take something that may have otherwise been destined for the trash and create gorgeous clothing.

I personally think this form of sustainable clothing is a fabulous concept! Conventional cotton is a huge market currently, and there is an absolute abundance of conventional cotton clothing that is being sent to the tip every day, sustainable clothing businesses who repurpose fabric which has already served its initial purpose and has been toughly cleaned, removing all of the nasties is a wonderful cost-effective option of updating your wardrobe without adding to the ‘fast fashion’ waste.

Organic cotton clothing is quite different, organic cotton farming is a very regulated sector, GOTS is one term you may often hear, it refers to the Global Organic Textile Standard.

GOTS monitors the entire supply chain and testing of organic cotton, they ensure that the cotton is grown in an environment separate to any harmful pesticides or chemicals, they ensure that only fair-trade labour is used to harvest the cotton, as well as during the manufacturing process, GOTS also only allow the use of dyes that are non-toxic and environmentally friendly. They have strict environmental and social policies which business must follow, including regulations relating to waste water, and irrigation.

Organic cotton is a pesticide-free, environmentally sustainable and ethical choice alternative to regular (conventional) cotton. The production practices of growing and developing organic cotton use far less natural resources, better preserves soil fertility and cleaner waterways, leaving behind a smaller agricultural footprint supporting a more biodiverse ecosystem and healthier communities.

What is the difference between organic cotton and conventional cotton?

Why does it matter?

The production of conventional cotton (all cotton that is not labelled as ‘Organic’) has a negative and unbalanced environmental impact. Conventional cotton production relies on the heavy use of fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides that promote chemical-resistant pests, pollutes the environment and reduces biodiversity. A typical cotton crop needs a LOT of water, for example 11,000L is required to produce 1kg of cotton, a typical adult t-shirt requires 450g of cotton; this water consumption is 91% higher than what is required in organic cotton farming. This intensive irrigation can lead to degraded soil fertility, and the dyes that can be used in an uncontrolled production phase can exacerbate negative environmental impacts.

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