Monday, 17 October 2011

Succulents

It was in my early twenties on a trip through Mexico that I first really came across cactus growing out in its natural habitat.

The best known succulents are cacti and virtually all cacti are succulents, but not all succulents are cacti! Only succulent plants with spines can be called Cacti or Cactus!

Anyway, when I came home from that trip to Mexico – I was all inspired to grow and cultivate succulents and cacti and so over the years I have bought various species from nurseries and markets and of course have sneaked little cuttings here and there in my travels.

The beauty of these plants is of course that they are particularly hardy and easy to cultivate, they require little water and for all intent and purposes they pretty well look after themselves. And for a busy crafty mumma like me – that’s a good deal I reckon!

Over the years as I have re-potted my collection and moved house a number of times – I have been able to pass on little babies and duplicates potted up in recycled tomato tins to friends – spreading the love so to speak!

A couple of months ago we went down to Geelong for the day on a family outing with friends. It was a gorgeous sunny day and the afternoon was spent having afternoon tea and a lovely stroll around the Geelong Botanic Gardens. My husband Sam spotted the cactus a mile away and knowing my affection for these spiky creatures took a few snaps. They are great aren’t they and just a little humorous! Especially those really hairy ones…I’d love to sneak a couple of googly eyes on him when no one was looking!

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Visit me at the Royal Melbourne Show!

My daughter Kitty at the Royal Melbourne Show
When I was a kid - I loved going to the Royal Melbourne Show (RMS) in the September School holidays. The showbags, cupie dolls on sticks, baby animals, dagwood dogs dipped in sauce and of course the Arts and Crafts pavilion - were just some of my favourite things.

I also liked going on some of the rides - but to be honest lots of them just made me feel sick especially after eating a dagwood dog!

In my previous event management life, every year come September - I would work in the Government pavilion running one activity or another. It was always fun and of course I had to get a showbag and a cupie doll on a stick but somehow I couldn't quite bring myself to eat a dagwood dog - funny how your tastes change as you get older!

Now that I have two kiddly winks of my own - I have been able to take them to the Show pretty well every year to hang out for the day and do all of those things that kids LOVE to do!

Over the last few years I have also entered some of my craft work into the Art & Craft competitions and displays - and so it is always fun to go and see it on show among all the other entries.

This year - our visit to the show will be a little different! This year in conjunction with the Maribyrnong Makers Market (MMM) - I will be having a stall in Makers Alley in the Art & Craft Pavilion. I am super excited to be involved in this exciting initiative brought together collaboratively with the RMS and the MMM.

You can come and visit me at the Show this Sunday! I will be there ALL Day!! One super duper long day!!

Sunday 2 October
Open 9.30am to 8pm
in the Art & Craft Pavilion
at the Royal Melbourne Show

Love to see you there!

Friday, 9 September 2011

Mini Hills Hoists

Finally my parcel arrived!

It was about 10 years ago now that I first clapped eyes on a mini hills hoist toy clothes line, c 1955. It was in the front window of a little antique shop long gone on Gamon Street, Seddon. 
I was completely and utterly enamored. It was in fair condition but the $350 price tag at the time was just a little out of my league…I mean what would a woman in her mid twenties with no children do with a mini clothesline? Really?!
So – I just visited this gorgeous toy and took various friends and family to look at it until one day it wasn’t there anymore and I had a momentary feeling of regret. So as these things often play out – ever since then I have been on the lookout for one.
As I started to have stalls at craft markets and thought of using one as a display prop and then of course had children and was surrounded by a collection of all things ‘miniature’ namely mops, brooms, vacuum cleaners, washing machines and kitchen toys – the desire to ‘own’ a mini hills hoist became more tangible.

After a bit of research, I did discover a toy company in South Australia called ‘Orbitwho made a similar replica of the rotary clothesline - slightly larger though and without the trademark winder of the hills hoist. I bought one of these and over the last 7 years it has been used and commented on countless times. Still it wasn’t the real deal as far as I was concerned and my hunt continued.

Over the years I did find a few in my travels mainly on ebay. In various states most were quite weathered and had been left outside – unloved for many years. A number of times I put in a good go in terms of bidding but then stopped short when it got up to that $350 mark…I just couldn’t bring myself to pay hundreds of dollars for something that was a bit rusty and bent around the edges. The last time I missed out on one it ended up going for close to $500. I was astounded! 


Then – as always happens to those who wait (good things that is). I finally came across one in the USA, thanks to ebay. Still in its original box unopened I might add…..and with assorted pamphlets, brochures and photos. I couldn’t quite believe my luck. The postage quote was almost as much as the opening bid price but still if I could get it for the opening bid price – I was set to get a total bargain and brand new vintage at that!

The provenance of this little gem was due to a man who had been a Hills Hoist salesman in the late 50’s early 60’s. He’d saved two of the mini ones unopened along with an assortment of papers for more than 50 years before on selling them to a man who opened and assembled one for himself and then put the other one on ebay. To cut a long story short – I won the auction at the opening bid price and finally my little mini clothesline was on its way to be with me! Yay!!



I have heard a few stories about why Hills made the small working model – apparently to begin with they were given to kindergartens as they wanted little girls to get used to hanging out the clothes! The other story goes that they were also used by door to door salesman as a demonstration aid when selling to housewives.

The last 3 weeks I have checked the mail over and over again in anticipation…finally when my little beauty arrived – I was beside myself with excitement – opening the box was almost too much to bear - only because they say that once you open the box the value drops dramatically – but still the thought of setting her up on display in the Crafty Squirrel and being able to see her everyday was enough to get me to slice open that box.

I feel such contentment……it’s been a long wait. Now I just want a giant wooden ruler…….
I love the little winding handle...

All set up in The Crafty Squirrel!

Friday, 2 September 2011

Spring Sale!


Maribyrnong Makers Market - Seddon
Everyone loves a sale right?! 


I know I do – theres nothing quite like nabbing yourself a bargain! Well I’m happy to say for the third year in a row I am gearing up for my Super Spring Sale!

I have been really busy clearing out the studio to make room for the new and I have gathered all my bits and bobs together to bring along to my next market stall at my all time favourite market – the Maribyrnong Makers Market!
Yours truly....


















With up to 60% off my retail prices – you really can’t go wrong! 

Mumma Bushkas $40, Scarves $40, Baby Blankets $60, beautiful ceramic rainbow bead necklaces $40, Bushka baby rattles $10, Ear hats $20, new Cast offs vintage tea towel bags $45 and lots more! Eftpos and Credit card accepted.



Come and see me on Saturday 17 September 9.30am to 3.30pm only at the Maribyrnong Makers Market!

Seddon Uniting Church Hall
Cnr Gamon & Mackay Sts, Seddon
Mel Ref: 42 A7

Love to see you there!

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Soap

Beautiful Claus Porto soap
On Saturday my husband Sam went to the local Ballarat Lakeside Farmers Market to pick up some of my favourite soap. I’m fussy you see about what soap I use. Only in sheer desperation will I buy a block of Pears from the supermarket – which is just to get me through until I can get my next fix of handmade olive oil based soap.

Good old fashioned lavender is my favourite and I’m not a fan of too many bits in my soap that might scratch. The bigger the block the better too because they seem to disappear fast in our house (it may have something to do with the littlest one in the house who is very good at washing his tummy!).

I also love french milled soaps in beautiful packaging (like the gorgeous portugese made soaps from Claus Porto. I also love soaps that have been made in molds with embossed writing.
Native Bliss Soap from Ballarat Farmers Market
A couple of years ago I collaborated with a friend and we made a lovely lavender and aloe vera soap and a lemongrass and green clay one and I packaged them up as Bushka soaps – it was in the lead up to Christmas and they sold out at my market stalls – all this talk of soap – makes me want to do this again….the Crafty Squirrel could do with some lovely soap for sale! Watch this space!

Friday, 12 August 2011

Singing Silly Songs

I'm going to start this post with an apology to my husband for putting a photo of him in his pj's on the net - but really it was the best image I had of him and the kids to show how much we LOVE singing silly songs in our house.

I'm sure not a day goes by when there isn't a little ditty made up by one of us about another member of the family.
It's all my fault I'm sure - years of singing to the cats and making up silly songs for them mean't that when I had human babies the tradition just continued.

We also all love singing nursery rhymes and funny songs we know so often this turns into a little 'performance' of one sort or another which is filmed on the old digital camera. As the children have got older they have fully embraced the silliness and will pick up instruments to join in or do a little dance.

I love the ukulele action in this photo - it was taken quite a while ago at our old house in Seddon and seeing it again reminds me of that moment. It was LOUD and raucous and very very silly but also lot's of fun!

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Design:Made:Trade – 21 to 24 July 2011 Royal Exhibition Building


Well I am delighted to say that now my corner shop The Crafty Squirrel is open for business
(I still can’t quite believe it is finished!) I can turn my attention back on to my other business under my eponymous label. To think I sowed the seeds for this business about 7 years ago now is amazing. And to think that I am still doing it and still feel as passionate and creative as I did when I first started, says one thing to me - if you do what you LOVE and LOVE what you do – everything really will be right for you.

I am doing what is right for me and I am very pleased to say that this is really super supported by my husband and my family and by the Australian Housewives Association (see endnote). Which means that even when I have days where I really do wonder whether I can continue to grow and sustain my business, I have my family to encourage me and to provide support and assistance. Thank goodness for them because I just don’t think I could do it otherwise!

So in the name of supportive family…next week I am heading down to Melbourne for 5 days to exhibit as one of a selected group of 12 Craft Victoria members at the State of Design's Design:Made:Trade event. This group has been chosen by Craft Victoria to represent the spirit, creativity and diversity of contemporary craft and design in Victoria.

What an honour it is to have been selected and how exciting to take part with some very clever fellow exhibitors like Gaye Abandon, Harvest Textiles and Pocket Carnival.

Returning for its fourth year, Design:Made:Trade features small manufacturers, product designers and product makers from a diverse range of design disciplines including industrial design, graphic design, textiles, lighting, furniture, fashion and handmade objects.

Thursday and Friday are trade only days but Saturday and Sunday are open to the public. So if you are in town and feel like dropping in for a visit (especially Australian housewives who know good design when they see it) – please do J

Endnote
The Federated Association of Australian Housewives was established in Victoria in 1915 and was broadly dedicated to representing the interests of housewives, through political lobbying as well as various efforts to help members keep their household costs down, including domestic advice and member discounts. The Association’s aims were to ‘support, protect and raise the status and interests of the home, women and children; to promote and establish co-operation among housewives; to oppose profiteering in every practical manner and to encourage the greater use of Australian-made goods.

With a combined membership of 115,000 by 1940 - 41, it was for a short time the largest women’s organisation in Australia.

The sticker shown above is stuck to a dress making dummy that I bought in an op shop about 15 years ago. I have always wondered who the Australian Housewives Association was – so I took a look!

Monday, 4 July 2011

Silver Jewellery

Continuity ring by George Jenson
I have the most ridiculous collection of jewellery. Lots and lots of beaded necklaces from places like Dinosaur Designs or ones that I have made myself under my own label or been given as gifts. 
Ceramic rings, resin rings, cute plastic rings, rings given as gifts, vintage rings that were my mothers when she was in her twenties, rings from when I was a child!

And bangles and bracelets made from beads, resin, felt and silver. Brooches for lots of different coats and cardigans,  earrings to wear with every single outfit in my wardrobe and then some…its just crazy really how much jewellery I have - and you know since I moved house all but a few new pieces that I have bought recently are still all packed in boxes! 

Offspring Bangle by George Jenson
If I am honest – I occasionally think about certain pieces and think that I must dig around and get it out so that I can wear it. But the vast majority of the time – I am so busy being a mother and working in the studio or renovating the shop that there is no real place for jewellery. It just gets in the way really.

And yet….I still have desire in my heart for more.
I am particulalry fond of silver jewellery and currently have my eyes on a couple of pieces from one of my favourite brands George Jenson.

If I was to treat myself at the moment I would definitely get a Continuity ring which really reminds me of a similar ring I have inherited from Mum but which is too small for my finger now. 
The designer Vivianna Torun Bülow-Hübe has hidden a heart and the infinity symbol in the flowing shape and says that the feminine form is set out with the idea of the continuous flowing form of perpetuity. I am in LOVE.

The other piece I am coveting is also by George Jenson and is a bangle called Offspring and is inspired around the partnership of Mother and Child. 

Both are simply stunning I think and definitely make my heart skip a beat. So there you have it -desire in its purest form and my heart sings as I dream. x

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Starting to take shape

Ever since we moved here back in January - I have been living without my fabric cupboard. It has at times been so frustrating - I can't even begin to tell you. Pulling out cardboard boxes and trying to rummage through the contents to find that exact fabric you need to finish the job is not fun. BUT....over the last few days - my office and sewing room has finally been finished and my beautiful red fabric cupboard has been moved into the place I had envisaged for so long!

The best part of course was unpacking my stash and after 6 months plus of separation - I found that I had become unattached to quite a large part of my collection. This is a good thing because - this means that lots and lots of the linen souvenir tea towels, vintage fabrics and table cloths that I have collected over the years are going to be sold in the Crafty Squirrel shop

The other exciting part of having this space finished is of course the opportunity for me to decorate it with all my favourite things! Two of which are my brand new Cath Kidston sewing boxes! Made from felt - one is a town house and the other a gypsy caravan. I just absolutely LOVE them and can't wait to fill them with all my sewing essentials!










So as you can see - things are really starting to take shape now on the Crafty Squirrel front. I still have lots and lots of sorting and pricing and setting up to do - but I am definitely getting there. I can't wait to the day when I can say - the shop is open! Come for a visit! I promise....it won't be long now!
All vintage on one side and quilting fabrics on the other!










Vintage details


Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Good morning Winter

Frost on top of the car


I hope my garden survives the winter - and my current lack of attention!


















Good morning Ballarat! Well, the sun is shining, the skies are clear but it is cold and crisp. This morning we woke to a blanket of frost over the garden and cars. What a sight - pretty but freezing. Thank goodness we have an awesome heater. 

Today is the beginning of my first winter in Ballarat. Everyone has warned me about how cold it gets here (at least five degrees cooler than Melbourne I'm told). So when my pals in Melbourne are freezing at 7 degrees - just think of me here at 2 degrees! 

Thankfully for me - I make scarves and blankets for a living - which seems absolutely perfect for this kind of climate. The best part of winter for me is deciding which colour Cast offs scarf to wear for the day!

My husband Sam and I have been working really hard the last few weeks trying to get the shop renovation complete. A succession of very late nights are starting to take its toll - but now that the walls have all had an undercoat - I can really start to see it all coming together. I don't think I will quite believe it - when it is all done.

My little corner shop 'The Crafty Squirrel' now has its own websiteblog and facebook page for you to check out. Also too in the coming weeks I will be releasing a whole new range of craft and sewing based products under the Crafty Squirrel label. You can get a sneak peek at a couple of these new products this Saturday when The Crafty Squirrel and I have a stall at the fabulous Daylesford Makers Market! Love to see you there.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Shinto Shrines

Various photos I took on my travels.......
A page from my Pilgrimage book...


When I was in Japan, I spent a lot of time travelling around the countryside visiting Shinto Shrines. It was something that I had not thought of doing prior to visiting (I was more interested in shopping if I am absolutely honest!) however from the moment I caught a glimpse of my first Shrine and stepped through the gates into the grounds I was struck by sacred space.

The delightful Jizō statues with their little red hats and bibs greeted me along meandering paths leading me to enormous old trees and small forests planted hundreds of years ago. The great feeling of tranquility within these grounds was so nourishing that even as I write, I remember the feeling.

Shinto shrines are the dwellings of the kami, the Shinto "gods". Kami are gods or spirits that represent objects or concepts like trees, rivers, the sun, rocks, food, and fertility.

This resonates with me as in the Maori tradition - Mana is the term used to describe the presence of spirits in nature and its phenomena. Mountains, forests, rain, wind, lightning and sometimes animals were thought to be charged with spiritual power, a power whose worldly manifestations were worshiped.

There are a lot of rituals involved when visiting temples and shrines in Japan. Mainly I remember cleansing my hands and mouth, lighting incense sticks and directing the smoke towards me, taking my shoes off when going inside, offering a donation, and taking a few moments to really be there. 

and another.....
Somewhere along my travels I purchased a pilgrimage book. Once you have one of these books, anytime you visit a famous temple or shrine, you will find a small office that will stamp your book and write some calligraphy on a page. The stamps are almost always red, and feature a design unique to the temple. I have collected 11 stamps in my book. I am looking forward to the day when I can visit Japan again and collect some more.


Sunday, 8 May 2011

Tucked in on Mothers Day

















Home made Devonshire tea - Yum-o!


















I had one wish for Mothers Day. I asked my two children – Kitty 6½ and Milo 2½ to come in to bed this morning and give me a big kiss and a cuddle. To snuggle in with me all toasty and warm and half asleep. This is one of my favourite times of the day. Most days I only get one of them in with me – these days it is usually Milo but as they grow it seems to happen less and less. It seems there are more interesting things to do than to hop into bed with Mum for a snuggle.

My other wish was for my husband Sam to make me a cup of coffee in bed and for me to be able to actually stay in bed to drink it. Both of these wishes were granted and so I felt truly happy. I was also blessed as both Kitty and Milo presented me with very special gifts as did my lovely husband.

I knew Kitty was up to something when she asked me if it would be ok to take the $5 she had received from GG (Great Grandma Mavis) for Easter to school to spend. Spend on what I asked? Then I remembered about the Mothers Day stall they were having at school and realised what she was up to. Of course she had more than a little trouble keeping her purchase a secret. “Mummy – you don’t have a money box do you?” and “Mummy – your second favourite colour is pink isn’t it?” (It isn’t but what Mother would say no!). So this morning I was presented with a very sweet pink ceramic love heart shaped money box. She was so chuffed to give it to me and I declared that it would be just the perfect size to collect $2 coins in. Thank you Kitty.

Milo – thanks to his time spent at childcare – had with the help of his carers painted a little terracotta pot and planted it up with something that I am assuming if it likes its current spot on the kitchen window sill, will eventually flower. So very cute. Thank you Milo.

And well – from my most appreciative husband – I, as usual have been totally spoilt. The gift was a gorgeous book called ‘Tucked in’ by Meredith Gaston. Enjoyed most thoroughly as I sat up in bed with my freshly brewed cup of coffee. Then croissants for breakfast – a family outing and ride on a gorgeous old steam train thanks to the Heritage Festival that is on this weekend in Ballarat. Home for homemade Devonshire tea with scones made from the Country Women’s Association cookbook and now as I sit writing this – the most delicious smells of a homemade feast using a pumpkin grown in our garden are wafting out to me.

I truly feel loved and appreciated today. I must remember this and eek out memories of it over the year ahead! It has been a busy week – full of small ‘Mother’ milestones. For Milo – it was showing me that he was able to ‘jump’ with both feet off the ground like a ‘big boy’ and for Kitty it is her first wobbly tooth (well actually 2! The bottom front 2!) – so I suppose if we are lucky the tooth fairy may just pay us a visit or two this week.

To my own Mother, Step Mother, Mother in laws, Grandmothers and all those women over the years that have been and still are like Mothers to me. I thank you for your love and support. Happy Mothers Day! 

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Out & About

I have been locked away now for quite a number of weeks – in my studio that is! Trying to get my head around how many orders I had to fill for all the retailers who decided that they wanted my Cast offs winter woollies and more for their store. Finally I think I have hit the point where I can see beyond filling those orders and slowly but surely I am able to turn my attention to other matters. First cab off the rank really is my new corner shop - The Crafty Squirrel! The renovations are coming along nicely - very slowly mind you but they are happening!

My lovely husband Sam – has turned his hand at a spot of rendering on the walls and next Thursday the floor people are coming to lay the most gorgeous vintage style red marmoleum! I had thought of laying floorboards but then decided that I would go with something different – I can’t wait to see what it looks like!

Before I can really fully turn my attention on the shop though – I have a couple of markets to attend! Yay for markets! I always love having a stall at markets – catching up with my crafty crew, chatting with customers and generally getting out of my studio!
It’s one thing to make and make and make and entirely another to actually go out and sell all that has been made!

I am very excited also to be making my debut at the Daylesford Makers Market this weekend – this is a market that I have wanted to participate in for ages – so finally my time has come and I will be there on Easter Saturday from 10am to 3pm! The weather is supposed to be quite lovely on Saturday – so do think of going on a drive to the country for a spot of lunch and gorgeous handmade shopping. You can’t go wrong really! If I wasn’t doing the market – this is exactly what I would like to be doing!

Then on Wed I am off to Melbourne for a few days to participate in Magnolia Square at Malvern Town Hall on Thurs 28 April 10am - 9pm, Fri 29 April 10am - 5pm and Sat 30 April 10am - 4pm. I love Mag Sq! I always look forward to catching up with my regular customers and doing a spot of shopping myself! If I can get away from my stall that is! The other thing I really love about Mag Sq is Bloom. About 12 months ago Nic MacIsaac the founder of Magnolia Square and myself came up with the idea for Bloom as a way to showcase emerging designers in a way that lets them take a small step and test the waters so to speak before becoming a fully fledged Magnolia Square retailer. If you are interested in finding out more about Bloom and how you can get involved you can here.

Well that’s about all from me for the moment – I best be off back to the studio to finish off my market preparations. I hope you all have a lovely Easter long week-end and some well earned R&R! I am looking forward to the Easter Bunny paying us a visit – hopefully there will be a dark chocolate egg for me! Yum Yum!

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Crafty Gals

Teegs and Lara – Ink and Spindle 
Kirsteene – Scrumptious Productions 
Michelle – Kids with Crayons 
Tamara – Retro Print Revival 

Pia – Pia Handmade 

Amelia – Milkwood Design 

Kelly and Heidi – Heavenly Creatures 

Shannon – Rabbit and the Duck 
Gaye – Gaye Abandon, Body parts 

Pip – Pip & Maude
Jo – Frankie & Ray 
Liz – Betty Jo 


Well – what a week end I had! I am totally exhausted today – but all in the name of good fun of course!

Saturday saw me back at the good old Maribyrnong Makers Market – where even though I have only been gone a few months it was like the long lost reunion! It was really great to catch up with everyone again. The lovely stallholders who make the market what it is – the volunteer Committee members who tirelessly work to put on a good show and of course all the visitors who come back time and time again – bringing friends along who have never been or just showing their support by buying everyone’s wares.

Pretty much the whole day was busy – which means that time goes super fast and everyone is chatty and happy. I am really looking forward to the next one which isn’t until September! If you haven’t been before – I highly recommend putting Sat 17 Sept in your diaries and making the effort to come along to see what it’s all about.

Sunday saw me out for a lovely breakfast at Happy River with friends and then off to Finders Keepers at Shed 4 down at the Docklands.

I always love visiting markets – lot’s of the time of course I am having a stall myself and so it is hard to get around and catch up with all my lovely crafty pals. This time – whilst I had planned to have a stall at Finders Keepers – it ended up being too much for me to manage and really if I am honest it was much more fun to visit everyone and have a lovely chin-wag. If you have met me before you know I am pretty much always up for a chat – I really do love meeting people and sharing stories about our creative lives and how we juggle them with the multitude of other things that life distracts us with.

The thing I think that really strikes me when I do get this opportunity to catch up with the girls – is how no matter where we are at with our businesses be they small, big or anywhere in between – we all go through similar experiences and come up against things that can stop us in our tracks or challenge us in the creative path that we have chosen for ourselves. The one thing I think I came away with yesterday as I drove up the highway to my new country home – was how I felt part of a gang.

A gang of women who are really strong, creative, clever, amazing multi-taskers and who like me have chosen to live their lives for the freedom it gives them and for the satisfaction that comes from turning your hand to the craft that makes your heart sing.

Keep up the good work girls! It was great to catch up!

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Sewing Machines

When I was a girl my Mother sewed all the time. There are loads of photos of me as a chubby little toddler with reddish curls – dressed in gingham nappy pants and little matching apron like smocks with cute little iron on motifs on the front.
As I got older there were ballet costumes, party dresses and then for my 9th birthday a blue velour dressing gown with frills around the neck and bottom of the sleeves. How grown up I felt swishing around in that dressing gown! Funnily enough not that long ago Mum and I were fossicking in an op shop somewhere and we came across the vintage pattern for that dressing gown – what a hoot!
So of course as children are want to do – from the get go I bugged my Mother to let me use her sewing machine. Mum told me stories about when she was a girl and how back then she used to use her Mothers sewing machine to re-fashion hand me down clothing into something she could wear, shortening skirt lengths and turning dresses into tops and so on.

It’s only natural then that my daughter Kitty is hot on my heels. She received her first sewing machine at the tender age of 5 – a gorgeous vintage children’s Singer (thanks Kath!) and has gone on to be given a number of other children’s sewing machines to practice on. The thing is there is never quite anything like your Mothers sewing machine – so as soon as she sees me get to work she wants to make things on MY machine! To her credit – she is actually pretty good at it and as my machine is finger operated as opposed to foot operated – she seems to find it easier than I did to sew on. I always remember that my feet were never quite long enough to reach the pedal properly!

When I first started my business – I used a beautiful old vintage machine I had found in an op shop for $25 and later an egg shell blue 60’s machine (which weighs an absolute tonne).  As the business progressed and I needed to use fancier stitches I had to upgrade to a modern machine. Of course I haven’t looked back. Lots of what I do and make today is thanks to my trusty sewing machine. Thanks to Mum for having the patience to give me a go all those years ago and thanks to my High School Textiles teacher Helen Amor – who I have seen recently at various markets I attend – and have been able to reminisce with about the various projects I worked on at school! Particularly the embroidered Mum 4 Dad oven mitt!

Congratulations too to Lioness Lady who has won my 100th Blog post giveaway! Congratulations!

Monday, 14 March 2011

100th Blog post GIVEAWAY!

How time flies! 

To celebrate reaching my 100th blog post I am running a little give away! 

All you have to do to win your very own Rainbow Cast offs scarf is post a comment on my blog telling me what colour you most like to wear. 

It’s that easy!
  
In every colour imaginable the beauty of Cast offs is that regardless of the colours in season – you can always wear your colour.

Stay wonderfully warm and woolly!

The competition will close on Thursday 24 March 8pm EST. The winner will be drawn via random.org and announced on my blog on Friday 25 March. The winner will also be notified via email - so make sure you leave your email address with your comment if you are not signed in. Giveaway is open to Australian residents only.



Sunday, 6 March 2011

Harvest time

Acorns ripe for the picking......
Shop renovations are underway!
As I sit here writing I can smell the most heavenly scent of home made pesto. Yum-o! The prospect of dinner is always good – but when you know the dinner has been created out of the bounty’s of your garden – it is even better!

Life is good – if somewhat hectic at the moment. The shop is undergoing quite the renovation and looks like a bomb hit it. We have certain deadlines of when things like walls need to be finished before the floor people can come and before the floor people can come the roof plumber needs to come and whilst this is all happening the Electrician needs to come and re-wire bits and then whilst he is here the Carpenter may as well come and build me a new front door and fix one of the leaky windows……you get the drift I ‘m sure.

The goal is for the shop to open at the end of May….lets hope that is the case because I have stock arriving here there and everywhere and quite frankly I just want to unpack already. I am sick of living out of boxes and having to open 20 boxes just to find the one thing that I am looking for!

On that note…..I must be off…dinner is being served (thank you kind man of the house).

And thank you to my gorgeous squirrel children who went acorn collecting on my behalf today. I love acorns!

Almost ready...yum!

Grow cob grow!