Monday, August 31, 2009


in and out and up and down.

Breathing? Lifes journey? No...weaving.

I borrowed a book on weaving for my youngest son today, as he has been using the spikes of a dinosaur toy as a little frame for his own unique weaving process. Thought it might interest him...nup. But I liked it, making up the little cardboard loom and weaving the yarn around. So I recommend this book maybe for kids but definitely for grown ups.

The littlest one has been laid up with a badly sprained ankle, the result of him "play-falling' from a flying fox. The aim of the fall was to fool people into thinking he had hurt himself.
"And it worked the first time mum, but then something happened" Oops.
This weaving thing was an attempt to amuse him(and keep him occupied and give me some much needed breathing space!)

Having spent too much time indoors and reflecting instead of creating, I was feeling a bit glum today and went out and burnt a sizeable hole in my pocket buying some gorgeous fabric...its green and striped in a swirly-ish way with gold and is fabulous darrhlinks! I searched high and low to try and find an image of it but can't (damn that google image!)so stay tuned for some pictures of it "in" something(it's in the washing machine right now!)

I have this idea to make one of everything from some of my groovier sewing books(!!)-to learn to use my machine better and to work out which patterns are good to make. Material-check. Machine-check. Patterns-check. Time and oomph required to make it happen-checkish....

Along with pocket burning fabric I also got some of this repro 30s story book printed cotton-too cute to will get cracking tomorrow as little one goes back to school in elastic bandage.
BTW I do use recycled materials almost always...sorry but desperate measures are sometimes required to lift flagging spirits!
p.s-I think the vehicle of choice for a dashrobin would have to be a large wheeled tricycle!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


During the last few days of hot and dry weather I discovered this little one in my back yard.
So tiny! So cute!
He is about the size of half my thumb and leaped onto a tree after patiently waiting for me to rush inside to grab my camera and posing for my photos of him resting on a mulch bag. I confess I poured a couple of buckets of water under the tree, just for froggy. I worry about how these creatures cope in these strange un seasonal days.

Lots of sewing has filled my days as I work through my newly organised stash of fabrics. I am so enjoying the space now it is more intentionally set up(i.e-tidy, hee, hee) I have been having such fun I have even made a couple of new bags!
Stay tuned for some piccy's soon,

Monday, August 17, 2009

spring cleaning

I have been rolling up my sleeves and getting stuck in-spring cleaning (only a couple of weeks too early) cleaning and sorting my sewing room. a joyful activity. Sorting through pretty remnants of linen and vintage cottons suits me down to a t.

I visited my favourite garden shop on the weekend with my two best fellas and then together we created a little garden bed-strawberries, rhubarb, broccoli and snow peas! Yummmm! I also made a herb garden and my biggest dream or hope right now is to have surplus, enough to share. I have a friend starting a small business making organic dips and it'd be lovely to be able to share with her...fingers crossed I may be able to do some bartering for her blue cheese and cauliflower dip-its divine! She lives a few blocks away so that'd be really cutting down on food miles too.
Our tomatoes and Chinese cabbage are doing really well but everything is probably a month or two off fruiting(or is it vegetabling!?) For almost instant gratification I cut the ends off and replant spring onions continuously as I use them, tonight I harvested a couple and added them to my dinner. Nothing beats that kind of fast food- grabbing something metres from my kitchen is much faster than shopping!

Even bloggy here has been touched by this spring fever! Hope you like the changes...big thanks to patient Lisa, such a sweetie!

I will be back at Avid reader this Friday-hope to see you there...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

sweet books...

Two books have been on my wish list for over a year now, and 2 days after ordering them they arrived at my door...
The creative family is written by well known blogger Amanda Soule Blake

Her warm and wise blog writing has been a life line to my creative soul for many years, I love her kind soulful insights which she shares so generously. This book is one to refer to and pick up many times, full of projects, philosophies, photos and fun. I only wish I had a copy around when my kids were younger. My afternoon activity with my kids is all planned out-felt beads!

The other arrival shares some of its title with one of my favourite bbc shows of my childhood, 'the good life.' Anyone who ever watched the episode when Barbara made Tom a handsome nettle dyed wool suit(styled with such 70s flared flair!)would surely have to agree it was a brilliantly funny script.
So anyhoo, this book is by Linda Cockburn and sets out the story of a six month attempt at living cash-free by her family. Snippets of their story were published in the magazine Earth Garden and I couldn't wait to read more. Self sufficiency is an impossible goal(to my Buddhist influenced interconnected way of seeing things) but in my view the desire to live more lightly on the earth is something deeply admirable.
And another link, to Lindas' blog-

I am a perhaps overly bookish person and have decided to impose a no reading til my kids are in bed rule, so that I actually get work done! So tonight they are going to bed at 5pm, fair hey ;o) ?

I am tackling the disorder of my work room today and have spent nearly two hours sorting fabric-it is now very well organised-shelved and folded and arranged by fabric type-pure cotton, linen, fleece, etc. Let's see how long the tidiness lasts.
The next step will be sorting and 'dealing with' the huge collection of unfinished pieces. Its time to be ruthless because there is over 50 things stacked in a large messy pile, half knitted scarves, half sewn wallets and bags, plus oodles of half crochet-ed bits and bobs. Any that are are too complex(i.e-too stuffed up!no idea what I had planned!) will be tossed the local op shops way, tis high time something went back!

Saturday, August 8, 2009


My winter season love of wattles is continuing, I love watching how the colours of the flowers and buds change as the day passes...sorry if I am getting a bit 'I love a sunburnt country' here. But oooh acacia trees are just such gorgeous native beauties! Did you know you can use the bark of them to dye fabric and yarn? I will be writing more on this soon, having gathered some information on dyeing using natural materials from my lovely Aunty.

Anyway, I have had a few busy weeks includuing a fun night out at the Avid Reader market.
It was like a party! Lots of lovely friends and family coming through to visit, live acoustic music(gorgeous piano accordion and violin-hmmmm) and food&wine...I couldn't ask for a better night out really, a happy night!

I will be back again, with more of the same brooches and such, plus some newies fresh off the press-including some coasters made with special aboriginal art designed fabric.
The next market night is on the 21st of this month, slightly earlier than usual. Same place and same time though, Avid Reader, Boundary Rd, West End 5.30 p.m til about 8pm.

I am enjoying sewing, on my new machine. The update on my earlier post is -yes, I totally killed my old one. How terrible! But fortunately my kind mother came along to the shop with me and helped me choose a newie and even spent a day teaching me how to use it and showing me lots of little tips and tricks. Since then I have been spending many an hour whirring away.

My stock of crafted goods is building up, stitch by stitch, loop by loop and I have an etsy store in the works...I am in the process of refining it all and will be getting some techno-computery-help from a talented friend of mine...
She is not just a happy cupcake but also a total genius with making and designing so hopefully my Internet presence might be a bit more spruced up next time you log in here!

And now here is my not definitive very amatuerlist of hints for anyone contemplating a market stall-my own ever growing collection of hints and reminders presented as a...
Market cheat sheet
Prepare a small case containing-receipt book, very legible price signs, pens, sticky tape, scissors, wire ties. It is so handy to have a little supply of these things ready to go.
It is good to also have a small amount of wrapping paper or paper bags as people often buy things at markets for gifts...I use recycled papers and tissue paper.
A thermos and plenty of snacks will keep your expenses down, but you can also barter your items for snacks/drinks sometimes.
Layered clothing with beanies, scarfs,gloves for winter and sun hats, suncream for summer are practical and for night markets a blanket is handy too.
I think a good rule of thumb is to have about $100-$200 of 'float money' made up in both change and notes, (and some extra change for parking might be helpful too.) And if your maths skills are not wonderful bring along a calculator, it might just help you to use one anyway as a double checking system.

To display your goods you might need to provide a table and chair for yourself for some venues, the bi-fold ones fit better in most cars and can be bought cheaply from Kmart, and you can also get sun shades there too. Added extras-lamp, a cushion, table cloths(long rectangle shapes usually work best and dark colours with simple patterns are good backgrounds for most products)
I prefer attending markets that have tables as it is a big job to carry and dismantle tables, shades and your goods. If you plan to do a market by yourself, for the first time ask a friend along to at least visit so you can have a toilet break, etc.
I carry my items in vintage suitcases inside large plastic tubs(weather proof and tough), the cases are set up ready to be opened as part of the display.

Another way to display items is to pin fabric to cook book or plate stands and pin things through the fabric-this works well with my brooches.
And my last tip is to price your goods sensibly. Do not undervalue your time, your designs and your work! If you break down the cost of replacement materials, your time spent designing, researching and making up the product, public transport or petrol, stall fees, insurance, materials(books, magazines, patterns, sewing machine, hooks and needles, yarns, etc, etc), Internet and phone access, etc. Anything which contributes to the finished product and which needs to be accounted for...then add on a little extra for increases, this is how you will get a fair and realistic price.