Wednesday, December 27, 2006

I had a fantasic christmas. A great day with my family, which included a Skype session with my brother's family in the States, sitting in our respective living rooms opening presents in front of a TV eqipped with a webcam - it worked surprisingly well :)

I received lots of gorgeous thoughtful presents from my boy, and from my folks I received the classic Breville Wizz that almost everybody's mum had whilst growing up and which has barely changed in design over the last 20 years (i see that as a good sign). We made pasta dough with it and used our pasta maker for the first time. Home made pasta is oh my god ... sooooo, so good! I think I will be getting right into it and this could become a pasta making blog, hehe.

I am now also the proud owner of lots of great craft/melbourne/design books, including Handmade in Melbourne, and guess who I found inside! What a nice surprise and now I can put faces to the names - congrats girls!!

Back tomorrow-ish with more - hope you're all having a great break!! :)

Sunday, December 24, 2006

This is why I love Christmas:

Yeah I know, I'm supposed to say that I love Christmas for all the family togetherness and sharing (which I do) but what I really, really love is the look of a pile of presents all wrapped up pretty and under the tree. I love gift wrapping. I love buying lots of little things for people as an excuse to wrap them all up individually. So much fun.

Shannon has a great post on her blog where she sums up all her achievments from 2006. It's such a good thing to do - to look back over the year and see how far you've come.

I'm not usually one to be very realistic about my own achievments, but when I look back myself I can see a massive difference between the Lara today and the Lara one year ago. A year ago, I had very little confidence in myself and my work. A year ago, I didn't draw. I didn't make & sell jewellery, and didn't even make patterns. Oh, and I didn't have a Gocco, either! Earlier this year I was really struggling to work from home on my own, emotionally. It's still hard, but heaps easier than it used to be.

And here's the part that I'm hearing echoed all over blogland at the moment - I'd like to send out a huge thankyou to all of you who have been reading and supporting and inspiring me along the way. It's really made a world of difference. I don't think I would have pursued any of it (esp. jewellery design and pattern making) if it wasn't for all your encouragement.

Have a fantastic Christmas everybody and see you in 2007.

Friday, December 22, 2006

printing woes and joys

Although I've done some weird and wonderful things with my Gocco, i've never actually done a plain old proper run of cards. So I decided to Gocco print my xmas cards this year, but they were a bit of a disaster colour wise.

The problem all started when I absent mindedly squeezed out too much blue ink onto the mixing palette. Not wanting to waste it I tried to make a green out of it anyway by adding not-enough-yellow. The end result being that really gross middle-green colour that looks completely boring coupled with plain old red. See below left:

The project was partly rescued by scraping off all the ink, mixing it together to form a muddled greeny brown colour, and printing the design 1 colour:

Oh, it's supposed to be a partidge in a pear tree... if it's not obvious :)

As the title of this post suggests, not all my printing experienced this week have been woeful. Sometimes it's better to leave things to the professionals, like my favourite printers ImageScience, who specialise in high quality inkjet prints onto lovely archival cotton papers and canvas (
and happen to be across the road!).

I had a bit of leftover canvas real-estate from another job with which I printed these:

I'm thinking of putting them up on Etsy and seeing how they go. I have no idea how much I'd try to sell them for though. They're 11cm x 16cm plus the white border. Any suggestions welcome!!

Well, that's all from me for now. Hope everyone is on top of their xmas shopping and not too stressed out, and I hope you all have a fantastic christmas and new year!! I'll be back in the new year hopefully with some new patterns and projects and fun stuffs! xo

Friday, December 15, 2006

It's been awhile between posts! I feel somehow weird writing here if I don't have any pictures to show. But it's not like nothing has been happening. There's been some ups and downs, mainly me getting all excited about potential opportunities to do stuff with my patterns, and then getting all let down and feeling flat when those people suck at returning emails and following through.

So it was with very good timing that I received a particular email from the Naked & Angry team. Remember all those months ago that I was getting people to vote for my patterns in a comp? It was that long ago that i'd basically given up hope and forgotten about it. But you can imagine my excitement when I saw the email subject line "Selected By Naked & Angry!!!".They've chosen my Endless Trees design for their next product series - patterned handbags :) I'm over the moon about it. And the pay aint half bad either :)

(A print of the pattern they chose).

I don't know if I've empasised this enough, but starting up this blog and receiving all the lovely, supportive comments from the crafty people out there has really improved my life a lot. It's improved my confidence in my work tenfold, and has really helped to ease the loneliness of working alone. So a big, big thankyou. It's funny how something so 'virtual' can have such a strong real world impact.

Speaking of, I caught up with the very talented Kristen Doran of Cheeky Beaks this week when she was down in Melb from Sydney. that's the first time I've met another 'blogger' in the real world. We moseyed around Brunswick Street and Gertrude Street, and I picked up this crazy little box of 'latch needles' for $2 from a shop called Industria. What the hell is a latch needle, and why does it come in such a gorgeous little box?


Saturday, December 09, 2006

Wendy June :)

Today greeted us with 38 degree (100 F) heat and a smoky haze over everything from all the bushfires raging around the state.

Despite this, I started to get stir crazy about 2pm from being indoors all day. I think it's because I work from home, and there's a certain amount of being at home that one can handle before becoming desperate to get out.

So I braved the heat and headed down to Fitzroy - I'd run out of bead making supplies again (I never buy enough, out of lack of conviction that my necklaces will sell as well as they have). I also wanted to pop by the Rose Street Artist's Market to look for a Christmas present for Pete and to check out Wendy June's stall full of handmade toys and other gorgeous things. Her husband is doing a bit of programming for me but i'd never met Wendy before, and both she and her stall were really, really lovely!!

Some button badges that she was selling :)

I don't think she has an online shop yet but her toys are for sale at

At least we can shop online without having to brave the elements. Yay the internet!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

I just drank a blackberry beer I found at the Vic Market. So yummy, and so good after a sweltering market shop tugging my rickety trolley full of vegies around. I feel like a real Aussie now. However it has rendered me unable to work (coding flash stuff, supposedly) so I'll write here instead :)

Last weekend was super productive. I found myself awake and up just after 7am on Saturday (!!) and made use of the time producing more jewellery pieces for the Modamuse shop. I mailed this lot off yesterday:

(best viewed full size)

I hope they sell as quickly as the last lot and I haven't missed whatever it was that caused all the others to sell like hotcakes! But there's some new designs of the blue dot necklace (which really needs a better name) and some matching earrings too, so fingers crossed :)

Also, I finally got to meet my screenprinter and have a chat about printing patterns. His prices were very reasonable and should be able to print the fabric in 50cm x 65cm pieces, which is definately big enough for people to work with. So that should be happening over the next week or so, hopefully :)

Also, thanks to those who gave feedback on the pattern size. I'm going to go with my gut feeling and scale the patterns up a bit, suitable for bags and pillows and lamps and dresses and all sorts of things. Very exciting :)

Hope you're all surviving the heat/bushfires/snow wherever you are in the world :)

Friday, December 01, 2006

Positive forward movement :)

Madness. The modamuse shop opened this week, and has already sold three of my blue dot necklaces. I can't believe it. It's so very flattering and confidence inspiring. Thankyou to those who bought them!! I will get on to making more this weekend, and might try a few different designs :)

Meanwhile I've been inspired to really get going with printing my patterns onto fabric. Some people have been giving me some really nice feedback and prompting me to do so, so I will dilly dally no longer :)

Buuuut, first I need some advice from all you crafty people out there. What scale should I print them at??? It's a tough decision: either print them with small, tight repeats, suitable for small patchwork and craft work, or scale them up a bit so that they're suitable for bags/dresses/lamps etc.
I'm also not 100% sure which ones to print in the first place. I've chosen the fairly simple 1-2 colours ones for now, but I'm not sure if they're the most appealing. Any advice/suggestions would be much appreciated. The full selection is viewable here.

I did a few test prints onto A4 to try and figure out the scale. Here's what I came up with (Ignore the colours for now):

What do you think? Too small? Too large? I will have a large area to play with, around 50cm x 80cm per print which is pretty expansive, so ... I could turn them into funky large scale repeats instead. As you can tell, I'm at a loss! Thanks in advance for any suggestions!