Friday, January 30, 2009

Random places I want to visit #1

Austin, Texas.


1. They have two mottos, one official and one not-so-official and both make me very happy.
"Live Music Capital of the World"
"Keep Austin Weird"

2. The Polyphonic Spree come from Austin, and that is reason enough.

3. The The South by Southwest Festival.

4. Amazing crafters like Paloma's Nest (whose super-cute custom bangles, printed with the words "You are a shug" and rather delightfully, "Puck", made a great Christmas present for Sparky's sister last year).

5. Dazed and Confused was filmed there, and for some reason, I love that movie.

BE THE CHANGE tiny text bowl by Austinite Paloma's Nest.

What random place would you like to visit? Me? I've got plenty more...

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Back to Scheduled Programming...

I did have a dreadful night last night, but I've bucked up this morning and feel much better.

I've already ticked off a few items on the to-do list - namely sending off my Fashion Week application (more on that in a later post, because the whole thing is quite exciting), cleaning the windows in B3's room and cleaning the house - which makes me feel immmeasurably more positive.

I also discovered that applications for the next FindersKeepers Market open on the weekend, which makes me very, very happy. I had a stall at the December market and it was one of the most successful events I've attended. The organisers just seemed to nail the demographic and got a great mix of artists/crafters there.

This is me and Cousin Cody at the end of the Saturday, where I'd virtually sold out of all of my stock. No earrings, about 5 rings and some pendants left. It was fabbo!

So I'll get my app in for that shortly and will get to planning my stock out over the next week or so. I don't want to be caught short again.

Beyond that, it's a weekend of blissful domesticity that awaits. Painting our bedroom, doing some light gardening (I can't wait to get our compost heap going and build our new garden beds and dwarf citrus orchard, but that will have to wait until B3 arrives and the weather cools a little) and we're clearing out the garage in preparation for my new studio!! YAYAYAY!! It's being built next weekend and I can't wait!! I'll take some pics to show the progress as we go.

So I may have had a glitch in the happiness radar last night but things are certainly looking up and up and up. How could they not when the sun is shining, B3's only weeks away, I'm listening to Paul Simon and it's a Friday.

B x

M-E-H spells 'meh'.

Yes, it does.

Having much difficulty sleeping and have many, many thoughts racing. I'm quite certain blogging won't help with many of them, but what else am I to do?

Wake Sparky? (Poor man.)
Go for a walk? (Ha.)
Write a(nother) to-do list?
Ignore previously written to-do lists?

My creative spark has left me momentarily and I'm feeling a little frustrated. I have many, many plans for this year and I feel like I'm in a holding pattern for the first few months of 2009 as we wait for B3 to arrive and then take some time to organise ourselves into a new family unit. Don't get me wrong, we are excited out of our skins to meet B3 and start that particular journey together. It's just this no-man's-land I find myself in now that is unexpectedly trying.

Back to bed now...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wrong season but oh-so right...

Yes, it's forecast to reach 36C here today.
Yes, I am sweltering.
Yes, I do wish I was living somewhere cool, like Moose Jaw, SK. (Seriously. I've been there.)

And yet, I still find myself looking at winter clothes. Lusting for them. Yearning. Pining.

How could I not want to wear this delightful Peahoodie from Abigail Adams?

What's more, how could I not want Sparky to wear this one at the same time?

We would be all Peahoodie'd up. Then we'd need to wear hats. Good hats. Lovely beanies. And we'd need to find one for B3 too...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Productiveness = Happiness

I actually achieved the main goal I had set for myself yesterday.


I set out to organise my work into collections (which were semi-formed in my baby-addled brain but not in any coherent or usable form). This equals much happiness because it now means my wholesale materials can be redesigned as well as including this info in my Fashion Week application, which is due to be in by Friday.

Still Life

This is my main collection (for now) and now includes these designs in so many beautiful papers/fabrics:

- Place Earrings
- Cercle Earrings (Regular and Petit)
- Travers Earrings
- Poteau Studs

- Cercle Necklace
- Ficele Necklace - NEW! NEW! NEW!
- Horizon Necklace
- Travers Necklace Petit and Large
- Baisse Necklace - NEW!
- Ovale Necklace
- Jumeau Necklace

It may not seem like much but it's been a real obstacle to me getting my stuff together for wholesale and industry events. Now I can focus on streamlining production further and once B3 is born (I may be living on Planet Kookoo-La-La when I say this) I can start building the biz further.

B x

Monday, January 26, 2009

Happiness is...

- Cool, rainy days like today.
- Cuddles.
- Hot Milo (more Milo than milk).
- The smell of oranges.
- The Polyphonic Spree.

More happiness to follow.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I laughed out loud.

This notepad from TerriTaylorDesign made me giggle.

as did this card from Krystan!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Oh, to be in Scandinavia...

Where it is nice and cool (freezing) and the design is fabulous.

Sparky and I are on a cool-blonde-wood, white walls and quirky additions bender at the moment and have found much happiness in Scandinavian design lately. Etsy, as always, has offered up AMAZING finds.

This beautiful, hand-knit reindeer is quirky and gorgeous. I wish we had a fireplace to hang it over.

While this magical bed just blows. my. mind.

Both of these pieces come from Helsinki-based Atilla Design.

This sweet little Swedish Step Stool Bench. from thestephenworks. is simple and gorgeous.

Jane Foster brings us this fabbo little apple screen print which I can see in our unbuilt, only roughly planned timber, white and black kitchen...

And, I just love this Leentu chair from Lunar Lounge Design.

Well, enough dreaming for the day. I have much to do and more than enough time to do it. (A lovely predicament!)


Sunday, January 18, 2009

I must have this.



That is all.


I think my store needs a facelift. I'm pondering the idea of retaking all my photos, perhaps with a little more personality.

This would be a huge job.

Do I need to?

Are my photos boring?

Do photos with more background take away from the jewellery?

Am I insane for wanting to retake a zillion photos?

Why, yes, my brownies ARE delicious.

Well, yesterday afternoon with my girls was just so pleasant! So laid-back, so warm, so nice to sit outside in our backyard in the sunshine, so...delicious! There was so much yummy food on offer and I made myself sample at least two of everything! Plus approximately seven of my gooey, crunchy brownies (for my recipe, see the end of this post - you won't regret it!)

B3 received some gorgeous gifts and, I'm happy to report, nothing at all that was over-the-top or gotta-have-it. Just lovely, simple things that a baby would appreciate. And a baby's mum and dad. Thank you, fabulous friends and family...

Today brings another working week to us with many, many things to do. But first, do yourself a delicious favour and MAKE THESE BROWNIES!

You'll need:

150g (5oz) butter, chopped
125g (4oz) dark chocolate, chopped (I use Lindt or a good, organic chocolate)
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1.5 cups (375g/4oz) caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 cup (125g/4oz) plain flour
1/4 cup (30g/1oz) cocoa powder

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F). Grease a 20cm (8-inch) square tin and line the base with baking paper, extending over two opposite sides (to help lift the deliciousness out).

2. Bring a small pan of water to a simmer. Remove from the heat. Put the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl, place over the pan (don't let the base of the bowl sit in the hot water) and stir occasionally until smooth. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

3. Use a whisk to beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla together in a large bowl. Add the melted chocolate mixture and whisk together. Stir in the combined sifted flour and cocoa. Don't overbeat.

4. Pour into the tin and bake for 40 minutes* or until slightly risen and JUST firm. Leave to cool in the tin. Lift out to cut.

*NOTE: I have only ever baked my brownies for 20-25 minutes rather than the 40 suggested in the recipe. The trick, I find, is to cook them until the top is just firm to the touch, because it does continue to cook for a little longer, even when you take them from the oven. And this way, you get the yummy, gooey, soft centres that brownies should have. Otherwise they're just small chocolate cakes.

Happy baking!
B x

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Gardening is cool.

Sparky got a copy (autographed, no less) of Don Burke's 'The Lazy Gardener' for Christmas. Dorky, you say? Nay, the coolest present ever! It is a really great, simple, beginners-level book that introduces lots of basic gardening ideas in language that doesn't make you feel like an idiot. Well, I still feel like an idiot, but that's because my brain has been lost somewhere over the past eight months...

Anyway, as a result, we're both turning into gardening nerds and having long, enjoyable conversations about compost, vege cultivars, birds, lawn and water conservation. Maybe it's because of little B3's impending arrival that all things new and growing and alive have become so interesting, or maybe it's because we're fuddy-duddy's, but whatever the reason, it's wonderful! I can't wait to be able to get out there and really get my hands in!

The benefits to us and the surrounding area is sure to be massive, with tonnes of different plants to choose that will not only help rid our yard of pesky Indian mynahs but also bring many beautiful, native birds...

This afternoon, I'm having a little not-a-baby-shower afternoon tea at our house with my mum, sisters, mum-in-law, sister-in-law and a few friends. I was really hesitant to have any kind of shower because the moment you announce you're having a baby is the moment people start talking about all the stuff you need/want/have to have because Angelina Jolie has it. We're trying to live a simpler life than that and I guess I was a bit afraid of getting sucked in to being that person. But I love the company of my family and friends and thought that what better way to celebrate impending mumminess than sharing good champagne, delicious chocolate brownies and lots of laughs? So that's what we're doing. Yay!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Birds and Sorbet. Mmm, sorbet...

Another hot, hot day on the way here so I'm trying to get my post in before the small remaining part of my brain switches off due to heat stress... I don't really hold much hope...

As I mentioned last post, I've spent some time listing some new Etsy goodies, including some fabbo necklaces. The Phoenix Necklace is a real favourite of mine, for the crisp colours and feathery print. It pops so much against white. Me loves it!

I'm currently having a love affair with all icy confectionery (gelato, sorbet, Frosty Fruits!!) and this necklace looks so sugary and icy and delicious that I want to run out and grab a tub of lemon sorbet...

Beyond that, though, I have some great new rings to add to my store today and I'm working on my application for Rosemount Australian Fashion Week. It's very exciting actually, and I'm so thankful for having done the recent Finders Keepers market because that's how it all came about.

Come to think of it, I may have some pics of Finders Keepers somewhere that I can put up...

Monday, January 12, 2009

Nesting, or sheer insanity?

I'm currently being torn between the overwhelming desire to curl up in a ball, read Harry Potter (again), eat Milo and sleep the days away and the desire to rip out our entire garden, plant 576 new plants, sweep our large backyard numerous times, clean out the pantry, bedroom, bathroom, wardrobe and laundry, wash the floors, polish the skirting boards and clean each and every blind in our house. So, I ask you, am I nesting or am I insane??

This sweet little print from Finch Studio makes me think it would be much nicer to be nesting, but I think I'm insane. Who plants a new garden on a 30C day? Me, that's who. And then I wonder why I can't sleep at night when my back goes all spasmy. Sigh.

I'm also really struggling on the techno front. I'm trying desperately to get my new email addresses setup and am having absolutely no luck at all. This could be because all things IT are sucky OR it could be due to the fact that I am a moron. I'll keep you posted on the eventual outcome.

In the meantime, today I am taking 3,899 photos of new stock for my Etsy store, so be sure to keep an eye out for the new additions over the coming days. Lots of new necklaces and perhaps some more rings, methinks.

B x

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Sweet Relief

It's been incredibly hot here in Sydney over the last few days (40C = yucky) so I've been hiding out in the air-conditioned refuge of Mum and Dad's place, studiously avoiding doing ANYTHING of real value. But today is SO much cooler and far more pleasant so I've given myself half a day to get bub's room semi-organised before we pick up the furniture on Sunday.

Of course, I've started with what things I'd like to buy from Etsy...

KoriClark has the most gorgeous wooden letters for the little tacker's room, and considering we've painted all white and have decided to go with an apple green colour, these gorgeous little letters would be perfect for a Sparky Jnr.

Or perhaps these for a mini-Brooke.

I've just discovered this most gorgeous store, KatieJeanneReim and her wonderful, gentle artworks fill me with happiness. Check out gorgeous Olive Moose.

Now, moose are a little scary in real life but who could resist becoming friends with such a beautiful soul?

I've come across this beautiful Aussie Etsian before and can never resist. TummyMountain's art is sweet, playful and a little quirky. Bubs would most certainly love a print as gorgeous as this...


Well, enough dreaming. I'd better start getting the nursery - for reals.


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Well, look who it is...

Happy New Year!

I had, indeed, fallen of the face of the blogosphere for over 6 months, but have decided to take on my New Year's resolution of regular blogging once more.

It's been an incredibly exciting 6 months (new baby on the way, new opportunities presenting themselves to me, new house...) and I'll update bits and pieces along the way.

Now, though, I'm still trying to get my head around all the things that need doing in the coming weeks. As always, I may just write a list:

- Finalise new business plan
- Build new studio
- Move old studio to new studio
- Finalise all business registration details for new year
- Plan stock needs
- Plan and build website
- Catch up on mammoth amount of book-keeping and money-related tasks
- Start on application for RAFW
- Plan shows/markets for the year
- Order new business cards
- Meet with designer to work on look-book/wholesale catalogue

Wow - and that doesn't even include any baby-related tasks (kind of important seeing as B3 is due in February).

I'm going to have to have a lie down after reading that...