Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Muddi Boutique Markets

Wow time whips by when you are in a creative frenzy!
This weekend I'm off to Wagga for the Muddi Boutique Markets.
I'm excited to be part of this market which is very new, but has already gained a lot of momentum. They did a very fun write up about yours truly too, you can check that out here. Whenever I do a new market I love to bring in a new product. It keeps things interesting for me and hopefully keeps my range of products varied for the lovely peeps that come and visit me at craft shows.
So this week I finally managed to get a photo of me in my new peg apron for the cover of the pattern...I'm not sure if my neighbour saw me posing in front of the fence in the back yard with my camera on a tripod!

In addition to selling the kits to make your own brooches, I thought I'd sell a few of the ones that I have made already. I felt the brooches needed a little bit of extra care with packaging to make them a more appealing gift, so my trusty laser printer and huge stash of stationery collected over the years allowed me to whip this together:

Its a handy way to use the plastic bags that I used for my greeting cards in Canada....they had to change size to accommodate Aussie printing specs so I have a BIG stash of those bags. Now I have a good excuse to make about 2,000 brooches. Yikes!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Upcoming Markets and New Apron Designs

Usually this time of year I'm thinking about what markets to do before Christmas. I thought I'd shake things up a bit this year and do something local, which is not all that easy considering I live in Bathurst. Anyway lucky for me, this year the Bathurst Arts Council is putting on an event called Arts Alive 2795 to showcase community art in the region, and I've decided to be an exihibitor. Thats not until November 20/21, but I need to GET BUSY anyway.
In the meantime, I am lined up for the Muddi Boutique Market in Wagga Wagga (not really local but I do get to visit my folks which is a double bonus, and given my sweet mother Mazzy usually travels to help me where ever I do a market, I'm sure I can convince her to come along to one in her home town). I DIGRESS!
So in order to remain stimulated I decided to add a new product for the upcoming markets...Apron patterns! Not just any old apron pattern though, a PEG APRON pattern so you can look cool hanging your clothes on the line and your pegs will never get rusty or dirty ever again!

I've had a peg apron that I made a few years back and its been great, but I always felt it was a bit bulky. When my neighbour commissioned me to make one for her, I thought there might be a market for these. Anyway this new shape is awesome, I'm really happy with it.

And while I was at it I decided to make another apron, whenever I do a craft show I think to myself how handy a little apron would be to house cash notes (bum bags just arent cutting it for me any more!) and I was so excited about the shape of this little number that I thought what the heck, make a pattern and see how it goes? It could be even worn over jeans just for the fun of it. They are SO easy to make. And anyone who knows me knows of my blue daisy obession, how groovy is this fat quarter from BIG W! WIll wonders never cease.

And Bathurst is looking lovely this time of year, despite it SNOWING yesterday. Yes, you heard correctly. SNOW. In SPRING?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Melbourne Getaway

OK so admittedly it was back in August (I've been a TERRIBLE blogger) but back in August my guy & I visited my fave Aussie city for a few days. Four in fact, which was no where near enough, but enough for me to capture the following pics:
Hooray! Finally I got to visit the ever so lovely Lara and Teegs from Ink & Spindle at their studio. These girls remain a huge inspiration, and their fabric continues to make me drool. More pics to come of the goodies I picked up from them! xo

My old trusty canvas Connies got replaced with a ridiculously over-the-top glittery pair with a tiger skin print at the South Wharf DFO...they were way too shiny to be photographed, these are the old ones!

We stayed here and LOVED it - right in the heart of the city, it was a great spot. A beautiful bunch of flowers bloomed for us during our stay. Nice touch!

We stumbled on Hosier Lane, which I'm sure would be a well known spot if I was a local...but instead we found it by surprise and I was blown away by the incredible graffiti art that covered every square inch of the bricked laneway...here is a small teaser (I must have taken 100 photos there!)

And I loved this tin can sculpture:

The first week back in Bathurst we declared we were in a PMF. That would be a Post-Melbourne Funk.
Perhaps that might explain my blogging silence. :(
Thankyou, Melbourne, for the inspiration, and according to the locals giving us the best weather Melbourne had seen in weeks!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Kits and Patterns for Kelani Fabric Obsession

Living in Bathurst and having a full time job makes it a bit tricky for me to do craft shows that start mid-week (even the weekend ones are a challenge for me!) so I am grateful when a fabulous fabric house like (the very appropriately named) Kelani Fabric Obsession offer to stock some of my patterns and kits at a show they are doing. Kelani have a stand at the Craft & Quilt Fair from July 22 - 25 at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre and will be stocking my "wonky" softie patterns and kits.
I needed another photo for the kit cover so I went to my usual spot at the local fernery (I must look positively mad doing my photo shoot in there) but its the most reliable light source in town on a rainy day like today!

I took a pair of scissors to my sacred fabric stash to make the kits...I love this fabric from Sprout Design, and its a terrifying concept to not be able to get more!

It was hard to use this fabric designed by Bee from the ever-so-fabulous Ink & Spindle, another piece that can't be replaced....oh noooooooo!

And this little guy has fabric from Ink & Spindle and the drool-worthy CLOTH...I am getting a LOT better at not being the dreaded fabric stasher.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

CLOTH bag finished...finally!

I mentioned a post or two ago that it takes a while to finish things....this bag is direct evidence, considering I started it last Christmas! I decided around that time to stop being precious about precious fabric, and take the scissors to my sacred stash. This little bundle of offcuts from the ever so fabulous CLOTH collection was just screaming to be teamed with a few bits of denim from recycled jeans. It only took 6 months to complete. A bit here and a bit there. Thats how I tend to work.

My friend Catriona gave me a dress made out of striped Liberty print that she wore in the 80s! The fabric was still in flawless shape so I used it to line the bag:

I nerded out and made sure I used a small snippet of fabric bearing the word CLOTH (no secret how much I LOVE their work)

Love the shades of blue created by chopping up an old pair of jeans or two!

One of these days I'll post a tutorial on how I do zippered pockets on tote bags. I'm pretty sure you'd never find this technique in any traditional sewing instructions, but hey, it works great! Sometimes I just make it up as I go along, making tutorial-posting a challenge. (i.e. "You mean you want me to do it twice? Exactly the same??!")

So my bag is complete and I'm a bit in love with it. The ONLY problem is that I think I made the strap a bit too long. As you can see I top-stitched the bejeezus out of it, making unpicking it not an option. I'll use it a bit more and see if I can tolerate it. It would be such a shame to chop a chunk out of it! Ahhhh we'll see.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Gocco Hiccups!

K so there I was. I cleared away all other potential interruptions, and left the Queen's Birthday for me to roll up my sleeves and get busy printing.

Artwork prepared, Gocco unpacked and ready for action: Check.

Chair strategically placed at window to distract cat and prevent her from walking on fresh prints: Check.

Screen burned, ink applied to master, all going well:

Here is where things start going pear-shaped:

I've read about this happening. Of course I didn't consider it would happen to me, I envisioned a flawless print run....the carbon from the toner stuck to the screen, well more than the carbon stuck, even the PAPER stuck! Ouch. I knew this master was toast but printed a few anyway and quickly decided to have another crack with a fresh master. (Its painful though, every master you waste is about $15 worth of supplies!)

I remember reading that if your photocopied artwork has any moisture in it, the carbon may stick to the master. So I got out the iron, and turned off the steam and applied the iron to the artwork to dry it out. The second screen I tried to burn was better, but still had some major carbon sticking problems. No paper stuck though...so I printed a few more...(man the printing bit is heaps of fun, I had to force myself to stop b/c it was coming out all wrong...)

So its back to the drawing board - I think I have to make the photocopy lighter, I'll try that - I only have one master left so I think I'll get some more supplies before commencing the next experiment. Its a pretty amazing little unit, I so hope I can work out how to get a good screen, coz the printing part is super easy and heaps of fun.
So the rest of my day got freed up to do something with guaranteed results: I made a lined A-line skirt with a lovely piece of winter woolly fabric. Its nearly finished, I'll have to post a pic! Ciao for now. xo

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Gocco Experiment, Here I Come...

I first heard about GOCCO right before I left Canada to move back to Aus in 2006 and have been coveting one ever since. Despite them not being made any more, I was slightly anxious about the concept of having one and then one day not being able to buy supplies any more! But as they say, I'll deal with that when and if it happens! It only took four years but a few months ago I purchased the PG-11 and its been sitting in my bedroom whispering to me ever since. So its time to bite the bullet and have some fun with it. I'm not very good at loving my experiments and given this is a whole new application for me, its taken a while to dive in. ANYWAY long weekend coming up = lets have some gocco fun baby. So I've prepped some artwork, the PG-11 came with enough supplies for 3 designs, so here is what I plan to experiment with:

I can't claim the rights to this phrase, I scribbled it in my journal after seeing it in a graphic design rag....so apologies for not being able to reference it correctly!

Hows this for a drawing with absolutely no point:

And this is an old design that I thought might be fun for printing on fabric one day. But for now I'll print it on paper and see what happens:

I'm terrible for percolating on projects and not having a finished product for weeks on end which is why I'm such a terrible blogger. So instead of sitting idle I thought I'd share that there is progress in the Juicy Zone! And hopefully after the weekend instead of black and white artwork I might have a pretty picture or two to share. Or at the very least some pictures of my cat covered in paint! xo

Thursday, May 27, 2010

IMOK - Love Your Work!

One of the BEST things for me about participating in craft markets is connecting with other like-minded creation-obsessed peeps. Meeting the lovely duo of Sandra and Jen from IMOK in Melbourne was a highlight for me for sure, we had one of those crafty conversations that covered everything from challenges to the reason why we can't stop doing what we're doing...it seemed every thing we declared was met with a "me too!!!" type response.

Anyway in addition to these two spunky chicks being very cool, they are mega talented to boot. I LOVE that they BOTH create their illustrations/paintings and I was totally inspired by Sandra telling me that they go on holidays to PAINT together! How awesome is that!?? I couldn't resist this little rabbit canvas, who now has primo real estate on my mantle. Thanks for the inspiration ladies! xo

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Stitches Wrap Up

So I am back in Bathurst, and I still havent remotely organized my life upon my return from the Stitches & Craft Show in Melbourne. I havent taken photos of all the amazing goodies I picked up from the uber talented crafty chicks in the Incubator, suffice it to say I have a photography exercise for the weekend, and I am positively exploding with ideas (and the desire for a few crafty projects just for the hell of it! i.e. not a smidgeon of production oriented tasks in sight!)
The experience for me overall was positive, however I did find things a little slower in general than the Sydney Show last year (which is all I can compare it to!) ...with the exception of the Saturday which was a fantastic busy day for me and gave me the encouragement I needed to continue with my crafty obsession.

I managed to take a quick couple of snaps after I set up and for some reason after that my camera didnt get much of a workout and I missed getting pics of all my neighbours!

Hooray for the Wonky House (thanks Gramps!)

I'm so glad I managed to get the brooch kits together, they were very popular:

And the highlight for me was running the workshops and even though they weren't super busy it was awesome to see people making their own wonkies, especially younger girls learning to sew! Its official: when someone asks if wonkies are hard to make, the answer is NO!

Huge thank you once again to my tireless mother Mazzy for her help and support, its so much fun to have you at these shows. Even my Dad got a guernsey this year, driving all the way to Melbourne to pick us up on Sunday (and letting me sleep in the back while he drove back to Wagga until midnight!) I am so lucky to have awesome parents.

Another thank you to our friends Judy and Peter who let us move into their guest wing, and taught Mazzy and I how to be transit queens!

And finally, a BIG thank you also to everyone who came by and showed their support, I am so grateful. Thank you thank you xoxoxooxxo

More pics sooon, I promise!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Daisy Brooch Kits

I make no secret about the fact that I work best under pressure. I've always been like that. I am an awesome worker when I am juggling 500 things and a lazy lame worker when I have one task and a week to do it. I could be relaxing this week, obsessing over the final details for next week's Stitches and Craft Show. But noooooooo... instead I am madly finishing the pattern and kit for these little daisy brooches that I've been making...determined to add them as a product at my stand. (Yes the daisy obsession continues!) I don't have to do this. But if I don't I'll feel slack. I could have done this six months ago when I took a mini-craft-hiatus after almost killing myself with preps for the Sydney Stitches Show. But there was no pressure, so I didn't. So instead of having a relaxing week easing into my adventure to Melbourne, I will be in a mad panic, covered in bits of felt, printing kit covers on my trusty laser printer, lovingly selecting colour combinations of leather, felt and buttons (man is that part fun!)...reminding myself that its better to make the kits and not sell any of them than sit around wondering if they would have sold if I'd bothered to make them at all!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

I So Heart Melbourne

Its true. So much so that when I'm there I have a permanent gigantic smile on my face that doesnt go away, even when I get into bed.
Anyway I have been a shockingly terrible blogger, but I have a half decent excuse: I have been in a crafty cyclone preparing for the Melbourne Stitches and Craft Show. Yay! And I am very excited this year because I am running some workshops on HOW TO MAKE A WONKY! Putting together kits for this has been heaps of fun, and I even tapped into my stash of exquisitely sacred fabric, for the enjoyment of whoever might decide to come to a class!
I made all the faces already to save a bit of time (with no small amount of help from my awesome mother Mazzy who will again be my sidekick at the show):

Nearly 100 wonkies are packed and ready for their adventure south:

(those plastic buckets are the BEST for wonky transportation!)
And a few familiar wonky faces will be back: I ran out of "Lily Caroline" wonkies and kits at the last show, so I made a few more of her:

I must admit its been nice this time around not freaking out about how to display everything, organize signage, give aways etc. I did more than my fair share of freaking out for the Sydney Show in August last year. You know the drill, craft nightmares i.e. showing up at the venue with no stock.....thankfully I haven't had any of those...YET!

I am super excited to see all the other Incubator girls, Melbourne seems to be the epicentre of extreme talent in design so it will be humbling and exhilerating to be part of the Show.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Fun Treats for Easter

I managed to whip up these little treats for my niece Ivy and my nephew Jeddy in time for Easter. I bought the little kraft boxes at spotlight for a few buckeroonies and got out the Prismacolor Pencils. I've never made a secret of how much I love using them on kraft paper...especially the white pencil. And white Prismacolor Pencils make the BEST tailors chalk. I could never find a tailors chalk pencil that wasn't IMPOSSIBLE to sharpen (they always seem to break!) ...so I just use my trusty white Prismacolor Pencil. I digress.

Here are the tops of the boxes:

The sides:

And of course inside:

It was a mega challenge not to eat all the contents as I was colouring...however I did find the willpower because by the time I was colouring I had already bought a second bag of Cadbury Eggs after the first bag accidentally disappeared. How can you not devour those tiny little morsels? They're the perfect "oooh I'll just have four" size. And four is never enough.

Monday, March 8, 2010

No New Ideas?

An interior designer I worked with in Canada told me that in the world of design, there are no new ideas, and I disagreed. But every now and then I am reminded of where she was coming from...check this out:
I designed this little graphic a couple of years ago and at the time I thought it would be a fun silk screen print on a tea towel, or fabric to make an apron.

I think I blogged about it many moons ago because it ended up on a MOO postcard. Anyway yesterday I was in Spotlight and I found this:

Now I am certainly not claiming that there is some sort of intellectual property infringement going on here (heck they could say the same about me!). I didn't invent this style of graphics, there are probably hundreds of similar designs out there. I just think its interesting how similar it is, thats all. The cup shapes, the ring on the plate, the shape of the knife? It spins me out. I still think there is such a thing as NEW IDEAS though. I think we have to keep pushing ourselves to be original.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Mathilda's Wrap Up

Wow. I'm TIRED! Admittedly I got myself into a frantic flurry last week with all sorts of last minute tasks that were probably insignificant in the broader scheme of things, but hey, that's craft markets for you. All in all the day was a success. I'm not sure if having to travel to these kinds of events is all that feasible, it puts a lot more pressure on you to make the market a success if you are trying to cover the cost of getting there (especially if you factor in the travel time). And let's face it, if you are trying to run a business you have to factor these things. My business is more like a hobby on steroids as I have a full time job. But I'm still learning, and the marketing exercise and exposure is unbeatable, and its so great to see all the other delicious things on offer.
Meet Nellie, a new wonky using recyled fabric. There are only two of her on the planet:

A new display item for me was the wonky house, I wanted something to display the wonkies vertically, a flexible system for markets when the table is provided and I don't know before hand how big the table will be. Its always hard to get a good photo at indoor markets, but here is an idea of how the set up looked:

The clothesline ties between the post at one end and the wonky house at the other, so no matter what size the table is, I have a system to accommodate my goodies.

The hooks on the side of the wonky house came in handy for hanging wonkies in bags! (There's Nellie again)

And I launched the first wonky patterns! Featuring the wonky trio on the cover made with the lovely fabric from Ink & Spindle. I sold a handful of these patterns, one day I'd love to see some wonkies that others have made from my patterns and kits.

Huge thank you to my gorgeous mother Mazzy for your help, to my amazing friend Genius for everything, and of course Gramps for his exceptional wonky house building skills. xo Thanks to everyone who stopped by!