Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My Fortnight in Pictures:

Life has taken the first exit to Hectic Town and I haven't been near a blog post in quite some time, and for that I am truly sorry. The upcoming Stitches and Craft Show has leapt view and taken over my every waking moment and I am now officially freaking out.

I thought the best way to update you on what I've been up to over the past few weeks is in pictures. So, here you go:

So now we're on the same page!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The One Where I Say, "Oh, haaiiiii."

Oh, haaiiiii. It's. been. so. long. I'm sorry. Very, very sorry.

I have had a multitude of computer issues (no Etsy for almost a month, no Facebook for over a month, photo freak outs, etc) that getting on the old laptop has been more of a stress than anything. But it finally appears that everything is back on track, so here I am.

Been keeping rather busy over the past few weeks, in preparation for the Stitches and Craft Show but am nowhere near prepared. Of course. I'm still experimenting with the kits that I will be putting together, trying to make it as streamlined as possible. I'm sure I'll get there, but I just wish I was one of those early-preparing types, rather than the "oh, yes, I do have an assignment due next week. I'll get to it... I'll get to it... I'll get... Bugger! It's due this afternoon" types.

In related news, my delightful crafty friend, Mrs Pineapplehead will be joining me at Stitches and Craft to help me run my stand!! So excellent! So excited!! So relieved! (Isla is no longer happy to just chill in her pram for longer than an hour or two, which makes 7 hour days at the craft show seem rather unachievable).

In other other news, I received a phonecall at 7.01am last Friday morning from my mum who was exclaiming excitedly down the line, "She's wearing your necklace! She's wearing it! Turn the telly on!"

I did:

Yayayay! That absolutely made my week! I know the lovely Natalie Barr said she would try to incorporate my jewellery into her on-air wardrobe, but I never really expected to see her wearing a piece. It was a delightful shock. (Dreadful screen-grabbing skills on my part. Sorry, Nat!)

I sent her an email to say thanks and she replied to say that they had received a couple of emails from viewers wanting to know where they could buy my jewellery and that she had forwarded my details. So that was rather exciting!

I'm trying to rectify a camera problem that I'm having, because I've got so many photos to share from the last few weeks. The garden is going gang-busters, Isla is redefining the acceptable levels of cuteness and I'm working on some new fabulousness in the studio. Sadly, these things I cannot share with you. Yet. But I will.

Have wonderful days!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Adventures in Music

It's a scientifically proven fact that I have not a musical bone in my body.

I once sung karaoke at a pub and was shamed into NEVER singing in public again when Sparky had to take the female part in Mustang Sally and me the male. Then my friends all stood up, pointed and laughed. So, yeah, not. a. musical. bone.

But I really love music. I love live music, I love new music, I love dancing to music and I love old music.

Triple J are currently running the Hottest 100 songs of all time and I'm enjoying listening to it so very much! (So much so that I hold Triple J solely responsible for my very unproductive week.)

Anyway, it's inspired me to put together a list of my favourite music moments.

First concert I ever went to without a chaperone (so excluding John Farnham and Girlfriend): Smashing Pumpkins at Sydney Ent Cent (and so began a decade-long obsession with bald men - Billy Corgan and Ed Kowalczyk namely)

My favourite concert ever: Impossible to pick just one. It's a very serious toss-up between Kings of Leon at The Enmore, the Beastie Boys at The Hordern, The Beach Boys at the Capitol Theatre and Brian Wilson at The Opera House. Oh, and Brian Wilson at The Domain.

Most epic concert moment: Dancing joyously in the rain while U2 played 'City of Blinding Lights'.

Most surprising concert: Vampire Weekend at the Metro. They were a little meh but Little Red who supported them were delightfully catchy. Little Red formed the basis of summer 08/09's playlist.

My Top 10 Songs of All Time. (Subject to change at any given moment):
1. 'God Only Knows' by The Beach Boys was our bridal waltzy song, so that's up there by default.
2. 'Girls' by the Beastie Boys.
3. '1, 2, 3, 4' by Feist.
4. 'Work It' by Missy Elliott. (Weird, huh?)
5. 'No Cars Go' by Arcade Fire.
6. 'We Crawl' by Polyphonic Spree
7. 'No Woman No Cry' by Bob Marley
8. 'Rainy Day Women' Bob Dylan
9. 'New Slang' The Shins
10. 'Diamonds on the Soles of her Shoes'/'Call Me Al' by Paul Simon

Apologies for boring you!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The One Where I Dream...

I'm dreaming of my perfect studio.

I have next to no time at the moment to actually make it a reality, but I'm still dreaming away.

Meet my inspirations:

As you can see, I crave the order of 'a place for everything and everything in it's place'. Currently I have the chaos of 'if there is a bare patch of floor or workbench, please feel free to dump whatever you have in your hands and move onto another project, entirely overwhelmed by the mess you've created'.

It's way productive.

(Images via Modish's Handmade Spaces and Heart Handmade.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A Win for the Good Guys.

While Clare, my favourite favourite Australia's Next Top Model contestant did not win (boo!), I was so happy to see the sweetheart of the contest, Tahnee take out the title of Australia's Next Top Model.

Gorgeous, fresh-faced and athletic, I felt like it was a win for the good guys. Hurrah! A model with curves! And she's not being referred to as 'plus-sized'.

Time will tell whether or not the fashion folk are willing to embrace Tahnee as a serious model, or if they'll keep their blinkers on, employing (while delightful, I'm sure) stick-thin teenagers to showcase fashion for women. How can we expect girls, or women for that matter, to have a balanced view of themselves?!

I hope Tahnee heralds a new generation.

The Reasonality of Things.

Apart from making up words, I am currently marveling at the way life works itself out. Things happen for a reason. If you take the bad with the good, often the reason for the bad becomes apparent and it's not so bad. Following? Yes? No?

I was quite disappointed not to be accepted into Young Blood for the upcoming market, which is running over 21-22 August at the Powerhouse Museum. But yesterday afternoon I received an email from the organisers of The Stitches and Craft Show, asking if I would be interested at exhibiting in the Incubator section of their revamped show.

Um, would I?


YES! Yes, I would.

The new owners of Stitches and Craft, Living Creatively are moving the show in a new, exciting direction which embraces the indie craft movement and a new generation of crafters, designers and hobbyists. It's actually incredibly exciting (my participation aside) as it sounds like a lot of the indie craft events that are being held in the States. Exciting times indeed!

While Stitches and Craft used to focus more on the crafty suppliers, workshops and classes, they are now moving in a new direction and including a section of the exhibition where new designers can show and sell their wares. They do ask that those participating provide instruction and inspiration where possible, and would like us to present a workshop if possible. (EEP!)

Being quite a shy person, I don't know about the workshop business but my mind is working overtime trying to think of ways to inspire and instruct (and sell my goods at the same time). Here's what I have come up with so far:

- A free booklet outlining the basics of working with resin, as well as providing a few simple projects for people to do at home.
- Selling a kit for people to make their own resin and paper wall hangings. Kit to include acrylic shapes, paper/fabric, resin sample (if I can get the manufacturer to help), mixing cups, mixing sticks, etc.
- Selling grab bags of paper
- Selling grab bags of fabric
- Postcards printed with really lovely images of my work (if I do say so myself)

So that's where I am at the moment. My brain is working overtime and I'm getting quite inspired myself actually.

If you have any suggestions for other products to inspire or instruct, please feel free to let me know!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Good With the Bad

The past week has had plenty of goods for me and for Trove. I sold really well at Magnolia Square, I had a few wholesale enquiries, I was featured in thewhitebook's July chapter and I was nominated by Tess from Planet Treasures for the One Lovely Blog Award. (Made my day, Tess!) So there's lots of goods there.

The bads are well outnumbered but still a little disappointing. Namely I wasn't accepted to the Young Blood Designers Market for reasons unknown, which has really bummed me out. I was so excited at the prospect of exhibiting there - they always have a great line-up of emerging designers and really foster the young designers scene. It's brought up some niggling self-doubts and left me feeling a bit hollow.

That's not to say I won't be applying again, and ramping up my application even further to see that I make it next time. I think they hold another one in November/December. Perfect for the Christmas lead-up.

I won't focus on the bads, though, and will instead be looking towards the next set of opportunities. This week I'm working on my wholesale orders for Nook and Pleien as well as getting together my samples to send to magazines. That ought to shake out the negatives, pump up the positives.

The Week That Was...

I am home, I am semi-recovered from Magnolia Square, I am drinking coffee and I am happy.

Last week was a blur of last-minute prep for the market and the craziness of the market itself. In all it was a fantastic event - I'm really pleased with how my jewellery was received (and purchased!) and I'll definitely be doing the November market. The Thursday was exceptionally quiet for us, but the Friday was great and the Saturday, oh, the Saturday was quite a bit of madness. The best kind of madness though. The Tea House venue was not crash-hot (not quite enough room in the aisles for lots of ladies with lots of prams) and it was a little church-hallish. But the organisers did a stellar job of disguising that fact, and the visual merchandising was gorgeous. (So much so that I felt a little sheepish at the simplicity of my stall design. Next time, yes, next time I will blow their socks off!)

I'm glad it's over, simply for the fact that a three-day market with a four month old is slightly tiring, particularly when she is teething. But not to worry, she coped like a trooper and Sparky was, again, my greatest helper. I did come to the realisation that I need to hire someone to help me with these events, so if you know of anyone reliable, passionate about handmade, willing to work stretches of long-ish days sproadically throughout the year and perhaps with some sales experience, please please please send them my way.

The wonderful flip-side of exhibiting at an event like Magnolia Square is the huge range of delectable shopping opportunities on offer. I restrained myself quite well I think, but did buy a few lovely things for Issy and myself:

These gorgeous little leather shoes were bought for Isla. They're so soft and such a pretty green. I had to restrain myself from also buying these,
these and these.

hamb is a really sweet Melbourne clothing label with some gorgeous mens, womens and kids t-shirts and sloppy joes (does ANYONE use that term anymore apart from me?!)

I bought these for Issy and myself, so that we can have dorky matching clothes days.

And before I sound like a horrible wife, I did offer to buy Sparky a matching t-shirt but he politely declined.

I also bought some of these beauties:

Sparkle Cupcakery make the most delicious, modern little pattypans full of joy. I can personally attest to this as I tried both their Belgian Chocolate and Sparkle Cake (vanilla - classic, not boring) and they were beyond delicious. Yum, yum, YUM!

So that is the week that was.