<![CDATA[Sally Dixon Creations - Blog]]>Fri, 15 Dec 2017 17:19:20 +1030Weebly<![CDATA[Pipsqueak's Puzzle Pages - Outer Space]]>Tue, 24 Oct 2017 05:50:52 GMThttp://sallydixon.com.au/blog/october-24th-2017
Here's the latest edition of Pipsqueak's Puzzle Pages for Kids. 
Free to download. Free to distribute. 

Outer Space theme this time around. 

<![CDATA[Pipsqueak's Puzzle Pages for Kids - Australian Animals]]>Wed, 01 Mar 2017 00:34:12 GMThttp://sallydixon.com.au/blog/pipsqueaks-puzzle-pages-for-kids-australian-animals
Here's the latest edition of Pipsqueak's Puzzle Pages for Kids. 
Free to download. Free to distribute. 

Australian Animal theme this time around. 


<![CDATA[Pipsqueak's Puzzle Pages for Kids - Zoo Animals Theme]]>Thu, 20 Oct 2016 01:00:43 GMThttp://sallydixon.com.au/blog/pipsqueaks-puzzle-pages-for-kids-zoo-animals-theme
Here's the latest edition of Pipsqueak's Puzzle Pages for Kids. 
Free to download. Free to distribute. 

Zoo Animal theme this time around. 

<![CDATA[Barbie Felt Hat Pattern - Freebie]]>Tue, 18 Oct 2016 05:33:02 GMThttp://sallydixon.com.au/blog/barbie-felt-hat-pattern-freebie
If Barbie wasn't elegant enough already, here's a free pattern to help further accessorise her stylish wardrobe.  

Hand-sew felt hats to go with any Barbie outfit. 

My pattern is completely free. Download here: BARBIE FELT HAT PATTERN

Upload your Barbie hat photo to social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter).
Use #feltypipsqueaks and #sallydixoncreations to tag your photo. I will feature my favourite pics on my blog, website or social media. Can’t wait to see your creations. 
<![CDATA[Peg dolls in my garden!]]>Tue, 13 Sep 2016 05:52:28 GMThttp://sallydixon.com.au/blog/peg-dolls-in-my-garden
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
<![CDATA[Importance of Play for Children]]>Tue, 06 Sep 2016 01:48:19 GMThttp://sallydixon.com.au/blog/importance-of-play-for-children
When I was a child, tiny things fascinated me. Tiny flora and fauna in the garden; miniature seashells on the beach; fashion accessories worn by my Barbie Dolls; the Borrowers books (little people who lived underneath floorboards); and so many other pipsqueak items. Anything tiny sparked my imagination; I’d create artwork, write stories, and pretend-play with anything tiny. Like all children, play was part of my natural development.

I’m currently an author and an artist, but people may not realise that I’m also an Early Childhood trained educator, specialising in special education. My desire is for healthy development in children, whether intellectually, emotionally or physically.

One nugget of truth, hammered into me while undertaking my Early Childhood training, was the value of PLAY. Children need time, lots of time, to play. It’s not an optional extra; it’s necessary for childhood development.

Play can be STRUCTURED (an adult provides the resources and interaction to promote play). Play can also be UNSTRUCTURED (children use their imagination to invent their own playtime).

How does PLAY benefit children? I could write an essay on this topic (and probably did throughout my university course), but I will apply this question to my current textile art projects. I'll keep it short and sweet. 

How does PLAY, involving my felt Pipsqueak range of felt toys, benefit children? Well, when I design and hand-stitch my miniature toys, I keep the following in mind:

Fun: Play isn't play unless it's enjoyable. Children need to have fun. When I create, I like my toys to appear fun. This means bright colours and cute designs. 

Imagination:  Many children, from my experience, share my childhood/adulthood fascination with everything tiny.  It’s a great motivation for children to invent their own creative works and games.

Fine Motor Skills: Fine motor skills involve the coordination of small muscles in hands and fingers, with the eyes. There’s nothing quite like picking up and playing with a tiny toy to develop fine motor skills. Learning how to sew tiny items, will develop these skills even further. Older children, with an interest in sewing, will enjoy my Pipsqueaks book.

Intellectual Development: I tend to use bright and colourful felt with everything I create. Adults can guide young children in their understanding of concepts such as colour. Games can be invented which involve counting and memory (I will write a future blog dedicated to such games).

Social development: Children often pretend-play together and is a great way for children to develop people skills such as cooperation and communication. Pipsqueak items are perfectly sized for dollhouse sessions.

There is much more I could say about the importance of PLAY, but I won’t bore you with a university length essay. ;) 

<![CDATA[Artisan Showcase - Village Gallery in Palm Cove Queensland]]>Wed, 24 Aug 2016 07:20:26 GMThttp://sallydixon.com.au/blog/artisan-showcase-village-gallery-in-palm-cove-queensland
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.
<![CDATA[Pipsqueak's Puzzle Pages - Birthday Theme]]>Mon, 25 Jul 2016 08:49:47 GMThttp://sallydixon.com.au/blog/pipsqueaks-puzzle-pages-birthday-theme
Well, it's been a while since I uploaded my *ahem* monthly puzzle page for children. Finally, here is the latest one. Feel free to print, photocopy and distribute. 

<![CDATA[Pipsqueaks Blog Tour]]>Tue, 17 May 2016 02:59:21 GMThttp://sallydixon.com.au/blog/pipsqueaks-blog-tour
Welcome to the last stop on the Pipsqueaks blog tour. Hasn't it been a grand adventure so far?

A delightful group of international bloggers have been participating in this tour. Remember, each blog is giving away a copy of my book in their post about Pipsqueaks. Make sure you visit all blogs from this tour. You have until 23rd May 2016 to write a comment in each and every comment section. This will give you seven chances to win a copy of my book. 

As a reminder, here are the scheduled blog stops for the tour:

11th May 2016 - C&T Publishing (Concord, California, U.S.A.)

11th May 2016 - We Bloom Here - Margaret Bloom (California, U.S.A.)   

12th May 2016 - My Handmade Adventure - Karen Wasson (Melbourne, Australia)

13th May 2016 - 60 Degrees of Inspiration - 
Joanna Riley (Shetland Isles, Scotland, UK) 

14th May 2016 - Buttonsy - Anna Day (London, England, UK) 

15th May 2016 - Madeit  (Lennox Head, NSW, Australia)

16th May 2016 - Sally Dixon Creations - Sally Dixon (Adelaide, SA, Australia)

Enter for a chance to win a copy of Pipsqueaks here: a Rafflecopter giveaway! Winner will be chosen one week after the blog tour ends. The winner’s name will be announced right here on the blog. International winners will receive an eBook; US winners will receive a hard copy.


The winner for this page can choose one of the following items: 
(as well as receiving a copy of my book). 


Here's a little game: PIPSQUEAK ABC

I love games. Especially ones involving words.
I gave myself the challenge to think of a pipsqueak sized item for every letter of the alphabet. They couldn't be any old item; they needed to be something which fills me with joy and makes me smile. 
Some letters were easy - I wanted to list several tiny things.
Some letters were hard - Q, U, X, Y, and Z made me scratch my head for a long, long time. 

Anyone else up for the challenge? I'd love to see some other PIPSQUEAK ABC lists. 

This book tour couldn't have been possible without the involvement of the blogs listed below.
I appreciate the time and effort involved from every corner of the world. 
Thank you, thank you, thank you. 

C&T Publishing 

We Bloom Here 

My Handmade Adventure 

60 Degrees of Inspiration 



<![CDATA[April Puzzle Page]]>Fri, 15 Apr 2016 06:22:45 GMThttp://sallydixon.com.au/blog/april-puzzle-pageHere's the April edition of Pipsqueak's Puzzle Pages. 

Autumn is well and truly here in the Southern Hemisphere. Can you solve Pipsqueak's Autumn puzzles? 

Pass this page onto any children who might be interested. Children are welcome to send in jokes or drawings. If chosen, their item will feature in future newsletters. Include first name, age and town.