Wednesday, July 25, 2007

mail day

Ohh, thanks everyone for the lovely response to the riverside pattern - very sweet :) And thanks for submitting your 'votes' as to which pattern I should print alongside it! I had to laugh though - there was a perfectly equal number of votes for each. Sheesh, talk about making decisions difficult! Anyway, I've decided, more for a technical reason than anything else. I think I'll keep it as a surprise :)

I'm sure I'm not alone in saying that one of my very favourite things in the world is getting packages in the mail. Especially surprise packages. It doesn't happen very often but this week was full of good things:

A length of 'kirin' (giraffe) trim that Pete's mum picked up for me and posted over (very sweet). My two letterpress pieces from Green Chair Press (Gosh they arrived quickly. And they're just as good as they look in the pictures!) And last but not least...

... Nicole's Freshly Blended business cards! They're letterpressed, with one of my patterns in the background - how cool! I've never seen anything of mine letterpressed before and she's done such a lovely job of the design. I like the way she's done two different card designs from the same plates. One with the pattern pale in the background of the text, and another with the pattern stronger, but on the reverse of the card. Very clever. They were printed by Shelley from French Press, who also did the card with the circles that you can (sort of) see above. Nice!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

{quickly} Moo ReadyMade

Just a quick note to share something exciting - Moo's ReadyMade designer packs are now available - with my patterns on 'em!

You can order a set of Mini Cards, Note Cards or Stickers. The Mini Cards contain 100 different designs/colourways. Getting those ready was a lot of work, I tell ya.

There's 5 other designers to check out, too!

Adventures with Riverside Friends

Ahh. I have that pleasant feeling you get after managing to successfully realize an idea that you've had in your head. Sometimes I feel like my 'ideas' are few and far between, and often I get stuck on an idea that I just can't get out onto paper. This is one of those ideas. I've made many false starts, I think because I was thinking too much about it. It seems to be so much easier to create stuff when you're in a somewhat altered state of consciousness. Drugs and drinking aren't really for me, but sleepiness seems to work as an alternative! This one started to come together directly after stumbling out of bed and onto the puter. I think that really helped.

I'd like to print this one soon, if I'm not the only one out there who likes it! But now it's a tossup as to which two designs I print next (I have to print them two at a time). This one, Birch Forest, or My Little Town. Hmm.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


An exhausting start to the week. One of my 'real world' clients is having their opening night on Sunday and there's been lots to prepare for it. Promotional materials, signage for their premises, etc etc. I've never designed signage before but it's been a heap of fun - I like seeing my designs in real world contexts - hence the fabric production :)

Anyway, as retail therapy I just bought these two lovely letterpress prints from
Green Chair Press. I'd seen Susan's work featured in a few places before and have always liked it, but for some reason it didn't occur to me till yesterday to just go buy some.

Signs of Spring - by Green Chair Press

Wood Type Collage no. 9 - by Green Chair Press

Oh and thanks muchly to those who commented on my last post! I'm glad you could see past the garishness of that costume and find something positive to say!

Signing off now to go battle the cold in our car-with-no-heater. Our coldest day in 9 years yesterday. If only it had snowed in Melbourne too! I can only dream.

Friday, July 13, 2007

The ultimate sacrifice?

...forgetting for a moment that you ever had an ounce of good taste, and sewing a Wonder Woman costume for a friend's dance competition. Click here to see a picture of this abomination (I wouldn't want to spoil the prettiness of my blog with such an unworthy picture!).

I had such a love hate relationship with this project. The lack of a proper pattern to go off was endlessly stressful, with me worrying that I might have done something wrong and not being able find out till the end. And a lot of the steps (eg side zip, waistband, appliqué) were things I hadn't attempted since high school.

But on the other hand it was so good to do something challenging like this, and proved a lot of things to myself. And it inspired me to try other sewing projects like the journal cover, which are so easy in comparison. Maybe the sewing machine isn't such a scary beast after all!

Anyway, that zapped up a lot of my time so it's back to work. I have so many emails and lovely comments to reply to, so sorry if I haven't gotten back to anyone yet!

Have a great weekend :)

Monday, July 09, 2007

How to make a reversible journal cover

Part 1: Measuring

1) Measure the height of your journal. Add 2cm. We will refer to this measurement as "H".

2) Whilst closed, measure around your journal, from the outside edge of the front cover, around the spine to the outside edge of the back cover. Add 2cm. We will call this measurement "L".

3) Measure how deep you want your cover pockets to be. 3/4 of the cover width or more is good. Then add 1cm to this measurement and double it. We will call this measurement "P". (eg: if your pocket depth is 12cm, then P = 13*2 = 26).

Part 2: Cutting

4) Cut your cover and lining fabrics, both the same size - H x L.

5) Cut your pocket fabric, two pieces, both H x P. Once cut, fold each piece in half widthways, with the correct side of the fabric facing outwards.

Part 3: Stitching

6) Lay the 4 pieces of fabric on top of one another and pin together like this:

7) Sew each of the sides of the cover and lining fabrics to the adjacent side of the pocket fabric, leaving a gap in the middle of one of the sides. I use an overlocker and trim about 2mm off the edge as I go. If you are sewing with an ordinary machine then stitch about 7mm in from the edge.

8) Lay the pieces down flat again, and then sew across the top and bottom. You should be sewing through the cover, lining and two layers of the pocket fabric each time:

9) Now for the moment of truth! Turn the whole thing right side out, through the hole you left in the side. You should be able to turn it out two different ways - either with the lining fabric tucked into the pockets, or with the cover fabric tucked into the pockets. This makes the cover completely reversible.

10) Finish it off by stitching up the hole, and ironing flat. Voila:

So there you go! Pretty easy, really. Would love to hear any suggestions if anyone has them! Personally I'd like to find a way to get the corners sharper so they're not so rounded, but I can't seem to poke them out enough. Must be something to do with the way it's all stitched together...

The Great Wheatbag Race

This is my contribution to the Great Wheatbag Race, (which Shannon has already won, but anyway):

The backstory? Shannon and I decided to make wheatbags on our walk home from the Melbourne Design Market yesterday. I sometimes get nasty leg cramps at night and have been meaning to buy one for ages - but why buy one when you can make one yourself! Apparently all you need to fill them with is some sort of wheatgrain (plus scented herbs if you want) - we found some at a health food shop on the way home - easy!

Anyway, we trammed down to the market nice and early yesterday, but it was already pretty crowded. Lots of very lovely, expensive yet inspiring things to see. One of my favorites was a range of very cute bits and pieces that I hadn't yet seen around the Melbourne design/craft scene - Library+. Cute website too!

I restrained myself and only bought this inexpensive brooch, from Elk:

Oh and thanks all for the very positive response to the last post! A tute is on it's way - will post this afternoon or tomorrow :)

Sunday, July 08, 2007

'Moment of Truth' Reversible A5 Journal Cover

I've been quite inspired by the fact that my sewing machine didn't let me down when I was making those coasters. Now I feel a new sense of freedom when it comes to project ideas that require my trusty old machine and overlocker!

A friend of mine recently bought one of those plain financial year diaries, and I suggested that we cover it with some fabric. Unsure of the best way to do this I decided to do a test run on one of my own journals (I love the beautiful hand-bound books that I've been given but often there's a need for a crappy A5 visual diary that you feel no preciousness about at all - but can still make look pretty).

Anyway, I spent a good part of the afternoon drawing diagrams of how I could best make a journal cover. One with pockets which the front and back covers slide into, and with no exposed seams. I knew there'd be some fancy, tricky way to sew it which would all come out perfectly once popped the right way out (hence the title of this post). I finally came up with a solution that seemed promising, did a test run with paper with heartening results, then crossed my fingers and tried it with fabric.

And it worked! I'm sure I'm not the first person to figure this out, but it was a fun problem solving exercise. Oh and there was a bonus surprise - the cover is reversible! Turn it out a different way and the inside lining becomes the outside and vice versa :)


Friday, July 06, 2007


Well i'll be. Lovely blogger lusummers reminded me that good things come in threes, but when my work was featured on both crafty synergy AND the decor8 blog (!!) this week, I didn't really think that a third good thing was on it's way. But this morning I woke up to discover that it did indeed happen - Design*Sponge!! Thanks soooo much to all the lovely ladies for mentioning my fabric. I really do appreciate it.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Crafty Synergy

Just wanted to write a quick but huge thank you to Patricia for posting my interview on Crafty Synergy yesterday!! You can read it here.


Sunday, July 01, 2007

Little Squares

For some time now I've been thinking that bits of my fabric would make nice coasters. So, I finally ventured into the scary world of my unreliable sewing machine.

It actually turned out to be less scary than expected.
I got some mysterious tangled threads in my bobbin area at first, and the machine made some horrible clacking noise as it sewed, but the tension was even and I got a nice stitch, and nothing went wrong except me sewing one side of the first coaster back-to-front. Yay! Nothing a bit of quick-unpick can't fix.

I have no real plans for these, just a bit of fun. I could never sell them for enough to cover the materials and time it takes slow-little-me to make them, and although they're washable I couldn't really bring myself to stain them with rings from tea and red wine. Maybe they'd make a good pressie for someone though :)

Today was the first day of the new F/Y, but it's also significant for another reason which I'm OVERJOYED about. The first day of the smoking ban in all pubs/bars in Melbourne! How awesome is that!? Took them bloody long enough. I'm sick of coming out of a venue reeking of other people's filth, and I've never understood why the hell there are people out there who are just "social smokers". What's with that?? No more o' that, thank you very much (unless u want to freeze your ass off outside).

Anyway enough ranting, hope everyone had a great weekend. Oh and there's new fabric up in the shop!