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Friday, December 26, 2008

Holidays No. 2

I have only been home for two days and tomorrow I am hopping on a plane again, this time to Queensland for some more relative visiting. I will be back on New Years Eve and by then will be rested and fed enough to get stuck into 2009.

Sunday Stash #5


I know I am early again but I won't be home on Sunday.

This weeks fabric I have had for quite a while. It is quilting fabric from Spotlight. I don't make quilts but I do make clothes so I thought it would make a good skirt or even a dress. I have 2m of it! If I don't have a particular project in mind when I buy fabric I tend to buy a lot just in case.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Have a Merry Christmas

Our Christmas cannoli. They taste as good as they look too.

I know it is a little late in the day but I just wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year.

And for those of you who read my blog thanks, I am still amazed that people take time out of their day to read what I have to say. I plan on posting more regularly in the new year (hopefully).

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Sunday Stash #4

I love this Liberty fabric. It’s a cute little forest scene, and I have already made some brooches from it. If you look closely you can see wildlife.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Vintage Buttons


I am still on holidays in sunny (and hot) Western Australia, so as they say on TV - here is one I prepared earlier...

Here is my latest button purchase, a set of beautiful plastic vintage buttons still on the original card. I have no idea what year they might be from. They are 2.5cm in diameter and feature a lovely pierced design. They are a little dirty, but look like they will clean up very well. Now that I have them I don’t think I have the heart to take them off the card.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Sunday Stash #3

Here is number 3. I bought this fabric from Textile Traders in WA. I love it because it looks like curtain material. I made up a skirt out of it and every time I wear the skirt I get comments.

Check out other Sunday Stashers here.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

On Vacation

I am hopping in a plane on Sunday, which will to take me to WA, Bunbury to be specific. I have a wedding to attend and am going to catch up with family, some of whom I haven’t seen for a year. I will be back on Christmas Eve.

I have been running around like crazy this past week getting ready. There have been Christmas presents to buy, a wedding outfit to organise, a house to organise (I have failed on that attempt) and day job stuff to get done before I go. I still have a shrug to make to wear to the wedding, but I have run out of time, so I will have to make that when I get to Bunbury. At least I have made the pattern.

My mind is just a little frazzled. There has been a lot of walking into a room and wondering what I am mean to be doing. I am looking forward to having a bit of a rest and catching up with some sleep.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Melbourne Etsy Swap

I am taking part in the Melbourne etsy swap. It’s a little like Kris Kringle, only you have to make the gift you send out. Melbourne etsy sellers participating were randomly given the name of another seller to make a swap present for. None of us were told who was making our gift. The theme for the swap was red and green, which meant we could make pretty much anything that was red or green or both.






So the reason I am telling you this is because my swap present arrived this week. I got a lovely surprise in the mail on Monday, an adorable little denim pouch from etsy seller NeverEver. It’s got cute red and white polka dot lining and closes with a red button. She has also appliqu├ęd a kite design on the front. I wonder how she knew I loved red? You can see more of what NeverEver makes in her etsy shop. If you have little ones to buy for you have to check out her Dressed for Dinner Bib and if you don't, you might like her Supermarket Chic Shopping Bag.


I sent my swap gift out in the mail this week also, I won’t give away any details, but you can see what it looked like all wrapped up and ready to send out.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sunday Stash #2


I am keeping with the bird theme this week.

I bought this owl fabric at the last Stitches and Quilt Show. I am not entirely sure what came over me because it isn’t really my style , yet I bought 2m of it!

I had a go making some sample brooches out of it but never got any further than that, so it is still sitting patiently in my fabric tub.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Speaking of birds...

We have an almond tree out the front of our house. At the moment the almond pods are still green. You have to wait until the pod dries up and cracks open and then you can take the almonds out, still in their shell.

This year we have had a flock of Sulphur Crested Cockatoos decide that they want to have the almonds for themselves. They have been frequenting the tree for the last week or so, munching on our almonds and letting the scraps fall to ground. They have made quite a mess. The little sparrows come and pick through the remains after the cockatoos have gone.

They are fun to watch, even if they are eating our almonds. They are quite big birds and they make a hell of a racket. You can tell when they are around because there is a lot of loud screeching going on.

Today we counted over 20 of them in our tree and on neighbouring powerlines. They were a fantastic sight to see. I didn’t get a photo of the 20 but I did manage to get a close up of one earlier in the day.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

More Testing...


I did another test run of my bird design screen print but this time on real fabric. I bought some natural linen to make cushions with and I wanted to see whether the print would work on the linen. I bought the fabric online so I didn’t realise it had a lot of slubs on the surface and quite a coarse weave. Anyway as you can see from the photos the print turned out pretty well and I managed to avoid printing on any slubs.


I am going to team the linen with some Japanese fabric I bought on my last visit to Amitie to make the cushions. All I need do now is sew my sample up when I can find some time, life is a little hectic at the moment. I will keep you posted.

Oh, and if anyone has a source for natural coloured linen that they would be willing to give up I will be eternally grateful because I am not having a lot of luck finding any.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sunday Stash #1

I am playing Sunday Stash, as started by Tam at 1/4 of an inch, so here goes…

I bought this fabric years ago at Lincraft, back in the day when they sold decent stuff. Lincraft lost the plot somewhere along the line since then and sadly isn’t worth venturing into anymore.

I bought the fabric with the intention of making a dress or a skirt but have never quite got around to it. I actually have enough fabric to make a few things, what you see in the photo is doubled over. I still really like it so I should probably use it while I still do.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanks

I am sending out a big thanks to etsasketch for including one of my brooches in her latest Australian Christmas Picks Gift Guide, which you can check out here.

If you are stuck for Christmas ideas like I have been head over to her blog. She has lots of gift ideas, and you just might find the perfect present to buy. Many of her picks are made locally (Australia) so there is still plenty of time to order before Christmas.

I have already used one of her suggestions as a Christmas present for a family member but I can’t tell you which one in case they are reading.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Buttonmania Sale

This is what I bought at the Buttonmania sale today. They didn’t have much in the way of vintage buttons but there were a lot of buckles on offer and I bought some with the idea of making some brooches. It is hard to shop when you don’t know exactly what you are going to make, so I chose some buckles in some colours and sizes I thought I could use and hopefully I can do something with them.

Most of the buttons and buckles are on sale for $70/kilo and my stash cost me $9.80. The sale is on until Saturday.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

What to call them...


I finally finished some pink and purple brooches made out of pink Liberty Tana Lawn and some purple kimono silk from Kimono House I had a lot of trouble with the fabric covered buttons, they refused to co-operate with me and I battled with them for days. In the end I had to glue the backs on just to make sure they don’t unexpectedly come apart while someone is wearing them. If I make anymore I will have to come up with a better solution.



The hardest thing for me is working out what to call the stuff I make. I am not particularly good with descriptions, in fact I suck at it, but I understand that it is more exciting to have an imaginative name for something rather than just “pink fabric brooch”. As soon as I figure out some half decent names for the brooches I will divide them between my etsy and made-it stores.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Start of an Addiction


I bought these vintage buttons off ebay and they arrived in the mail last week. I had never bought vintage buttons before so I wasn’t sure what to expect, especially since it can be hard to tell what they are like with only one photo. Well I think I am officially addicted, they are beautiful. The colours are really bright and they are in excellent condition. I plan to use some of them for my brooches. I am also waiting on some more vintage buttons to arrive from America that I bought off etsy.

What kick started this all was my plan to go to the latest Buttonmania sale. I have not been before but from written reports it sounds exciting. It only happens twice a year and the latest one starts on the 24th November and lasts for a week. Apparently you are given a tray to pick through the buttons and you pay by the kilo. When I rang up to enquire about the sale I was told they were sending out email reminders so I was put on the mailing list but I think they might have written my address down wrong because I haven’t heard anything from them yet. I will let you know how it goes.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Testing Testing


I have finally tested out one of my screens and I am really excited with the results. The final images are clearer than I was expecting. My technique needs improving though, I didn’t lay the ink out evenly on the screen to start with and I had to keep pulling the ink back and forth trying to get the spots I missed. Not bad for a first go though and at least I know that a good image is achievable.




The first print I did was the best out of the three. The only thing wrong with it was that I failed to see some calico thread lying on top of the fabric where I was printing, so you can see a fine line towards the end of my bird’s tail where the thread was.




It was a pretty messy process, especially with black ink. My fingernails are stained black and it looks like I haven’t washed my hands in days (par for the course I think). I got a bit of ink on my clothing, so I need some dedicated screen printing clothes or an apron to wear. When I was in primary school, (a long long time ago) everyone had to have a smock to do art in that was worn over our school uniform for protection. The smock was basically a man’s (dad’s) old shirt worn backwards with elastic around the neck to keep it on. Maybe I need to make myself one of those.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Get Printing


I have had these screens sitting around my house, waiting to be used for a while now. I won’t tell you how long. My official excuse is, I have been waiting for a space in the garage to be cleared so I can set up my screen printing there. It doesn’t seem like that is going happen any time soon, so it looks like the dining room table is my only other choice.

My friend Shogo Saito, who is a very talented illustrator, did the artwork. The doily print was done by me and was the result of too many to mention hours spent playing around with a photo of a doily, Illustrator and Photoshop. I am sure that for anyone who knows how to use these computer programs, it would have taken all of 10 minutes to do.

Stay tuned….

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Amitie


I took my first ever trip to Amitie last week. I have been in Melbourne for over 2 years (I have lost count exactly how long) and it has taken me this long to check it out. It may have something to do with the distance from my house. I live in the Western suburbs and Amitie is in Bentleigh, which is a bit of a trek.

To get there, I drove to the train station took a train to the city, got on the Frankston train to Bentleigh and then took a short walk to finally arrive in the store.

I wasn’t disappointed. It is a huge shop packed tightly with loads and loads of beautiful and unique fabrics. It’s the type of place I could easily spend hours wandering around and looking and dreaming.

I came away with two fabrics for a new project I am working on. More on that later. I will definitely be back and I won’t be waiting another 2 years for my next visit.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pink Liberty

New pink Liberty Tana Lawn. Well sort of new, I have had them in my fabric stash for a couple of weeks (maybe months ) but haven’t used them yet. They are destined to become brooches and maybe something else if I get some inspiration.

I am in love with Liberty fabrics right now. They feel beautiful, they look beautiful and I love how detailed the prints are. They also seem to come in every colour imaginable.

So far I have only made brooches out of my Liberty fabric because of the cost but I would love to make something bigger for myself one day like a shirt or a bag.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Postcard Swap


I participated in an etsy postcard swap recently. The idea behind it is to swap postcards with someone who lives in another country to you. It’s a fun thing to do especially because these days I think most of us hardly ever get handwritten mail.

The postcard in the photo was sent to me by Betsy who runs the etsy shop ZestyB. Her shop is filled with beautiful handcrafted jewelry in sterling silver, copper and brass. Betsy lives in Boston Massachusetts and the postcard shows some fall (Autumn) scenery from around the state.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Banner, Banner, Banner

My new etsy banner


I ventured into Illustrator and finally made a new banner for my etsy shop and while I was at it one for my made-it shop and also this blog. They are all pretty much the same thing only different sizes. It didn’t take nearly as long as I thought it would and I don’t recall swearing at the computer so I am a pretty happy camper.

My etsy shop feels all shiny and new again (except for those pesky scarf and bag photos I haven’t got round to re-taking) and I now feel a bit more official on the blog front with a proper header. My old made-it shop banner was pretty terrible so the less said about that the better.


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Little Love Earrings

I love buying stuff on etsy and receiving parcels in the mail from all over the world. It’s like opening a birthday or Christmas present every time one arrives. While it is exciting it also makes me feel good because I am doing my bit to support handmade - well that is what I tell myself anyway.

My latest purchase on etsy was an adorable pair of Little Love Earrings by Joanna Rutter. They came in a box that was tied with red and white string. They looked tiny in the box but were a perfect size when I put them on, which you can see in the photo I took of the earrings on myself (which is hard to do by the way). I love the elongated shape of the hearts and the texture they have been given. They are modern and cute at the same time.



The rest of Joanna’s shop is filled with simple shapes from nature including a number of different birds such as chicks, canaries and robins. I especially like her earrings that feature a different shape on each ear like her Bird and Branch Earrings that have a bird on one side and a branch on the other. You can check out her etsy shop at joannarutter.etsy.com

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Make Me Over


This is the BEFORE photo of my etsy shop.

I love a good makeover, especially anything involving Trinny and Susannah. They always manage to blow me away with what they do. Take one dowdy lady in an ill fitting bra and nanna clothes, have a go at her fashion sense and then transform her into some kind of hot and sexy babe.

I am in the process of making over my etsy shop. It is in some serious need of sprucing up. I have been open for business for a while now, my banner is looking old and tired and I think the colourful backgrounds are overshadowing my products.

My brooches are all about the fabrics they are made from and that is what I want customers to focus on when they are looking around.

I have chosen a white textured background and have already started re-photographing and editing my brooch listings.

I am also hoping that a change of background might increase my chances of being picked for treasuries. I have already been in one treasury since the change, but I am not sure if the white background had anything to do with this.

Next on the agenda is a new banner and a re-working of my scarf and bag photos.

I will post an AFTER photo of the shop after the transformation is complete because a makeover is not a makeover without before and after shots.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Come Fly With Me


Thanks to sophiehillartist on etsy for featuring my brooch in her "Love was the Egg" treasury. I am on the left at the very top.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Kawaii





My birthday was over a month ago, so I guess that is old news but I wanted to share with you the birthday card my brother gave me. He bought it in Japan when he was there on holiday recently and it has got to be the cutest card I have ever seen.

The Japanese sure know how to do cute. I am a grown woman but I still squealed with delight when I opened it. It is a pop up card and even the cake, bowl of fruit and vase of flowers pop up.

The card is going straight to the pool room. Well it would if I had a pool room. I will put it in my work room instead because it is too nice to put away in some drawer.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

They're Not Red!


Meet my latest brooches.

I am discovering my inner earthy, nature loving side. I forget sometimes that not everybody is obsessed with the colour red like me . A lot of my brooches which so far I have made out of Japanese fabric either have red fabric, red stitching or red buttons.

So I have put together some brooches in colours that are more earthy for those of you who don't want to wear red or some other bright colour.

Two of the brooches are made out of Liberty fabrics that cost me $52 a metre. They are definitely worth the money because they are so beautiful, even for a red obsessed girl like me.

I will be dividing up the brooches between my esty and Made- It stores so if you don’t see the one you want let me know.