Friday, August 31, 2007

New website - yay!

Thank you everyone for the really lovely comments about the letterpress cards and the Japan trip! I wish that I could reply to everyone's comments so that people know that they're appreciated but time just slips away so quickly. I hate to think how many hours of the day I spend writing emails!

I wanted to write a blog post about the Japan trip but I really don't know what to say! It really was a fantastic experience, and very inspiring. I found I was more inspired by modern Japanese design (like what you'd find in craft books etc) than the traditional designs of washi paper and kimomos. The traditional designs have heavily influence my work in the past but maybe I'm moving on from that now. But anyway, the modern/cute/crafty stuff has inspired me so much that I've gone ahead and completely redesigned my website!

I've been obsessively working on it solidly for the last few days and am SO glad it's finally up. The redesign was much overdue!

Oh by the way - for Japan, I highly recommend Retro Mummy's guide to crafty shopping in Tokyo. I unfortunately forgot to print off her list before I left and subsequently didn't get to all the places on there - but it's a must have for anyone who plans to go!

Oh and if anyone wants to see our happy snaps of the trip, you can see them here. I uploaded them to Pete's flickr account because I wanted to keep mine just "crafty". Anyway they're not awesome photos, more just happy snaps, but good to have anyway :)

Monday, August 27, 2007

Satsuma Press + Kirin & Co - letterpress cards!

No time for rest around here! This morning I ran up to the post office to collect a nice big fat parcel - limited edition letterpress cards by Lynn from Satsuma Press, the result of our collaboration! I'm really happy with how they turned out - such nice deep impressions :) There's three designs to choose from:

Treehouses, japanese tree, birch available in sets of 5.

Or you can buy a 3 pack with one of each. [UPDATE: all the "one of each" packs have sold out from my shop, but you can still get them from lynn's shop here :) ]

Lynn has sent me a bunch of (35 sets to be precise) to sell in my etsy shop, and she'll be selling the rest of them in her etsy shop. If you're based in the States or Canada I recommend buying from Lynn's shop to save on postage, and if you're based in Australia then you can buy from mine :)

Yay! Okay back to sorting out the rest of my life, and travel photos...

Sunday, August 26, 2007


Wow. what an amazing, exhausting experience. 2 weeks in a crazy, diverse country with sooo much to see, and not enough time to see it all. Throw some 30 degree+ humid weather and you end up with a very exhausted and somewhat overwhelmed Lara.

I'll need some more time to digest the whole experience but in a nutshell it was great - everything I hoped. I'll write some more thoughts later.

But of course, I'll leave you with some photos of what we all really want to see - the craft loot!

initial crafty puchases - fabric, trim, stamps, paper, purse handles and kit, minature pegs + spools, 'handmade zakka' book

further crafty puchases - cutesy japanese fabric, crafty books, cram cream tape, Shinzi Katoh cafe mug, cute little 'vault' storage stack

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Thursday, August 09, 2007

[quick preview]

ooooooh, lynn just sent me these teaster pics of our collaboration. I'm very excited :)

the stamp on the back of each card

how cool is this plate! I've never seen a polymer plate before - or any sort of letterpress plate for that matter :)

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


Some great comments on the 'craftiquette' post - thanks for that! seems like everyone is fairly unanimous on the subject, which was to be expected.

Having a busy busy week tying off loose ends before we jet set off at the end of the week (!), but have squeezed in a bit of lampshade making. i know i promised to make a photo tutorial about how to make these, but I didn't have time to stop and take photos this time. Plus, we're getting a new camera in Japan which should hopefully take MUCH better shots! So next time, I promise :)

A custom lamp order of matching poppies and raindrops fabric :)

an Auntie Cookie fabric lamp for Shannon to take to the market! Her fabric works really well in this context!! And the black on white print provides great contrast when the lamp is on :)

Monday, August 06, 2007


A little bit of interestingness is going on in blogland at the moment, centred around the issue of copying. You can read a little more about the situation over at the Meet Me at Mikes blog.

I thought I'd flag this here on my blog also, given that it's an issue that's quite close to home for me at the moment. Shannon, Kristen and I have talked about it at some length recently - about blog etiquette in general and the sharing of ideas.

I like to think that I'm a fairly open person. I like to share information about my ideas and processes - how things came to be, sometimes even step by step tutorials. If someone emails me for specific information, I am usually quite willing to divulge.

I'm also quite sensitive about potentially copying someone else's ideas. If something I'm doing seems to close to someone else's, I like to flag it, like the birch forest design. And funnily enough, the other day when I was worrying about my notebook kit being too similar to another kit I saw at the trade show, it was the very same crafter (as in the issue above) who's "sew your own" kits I was referring to. Her packaging and the way she'd folded her fabric was just how I had done my prototype, and I was really worried that mine was accidentally too similar (until Shannon told me I was being silly).

Anyway, my point is, when you act/think a certain way, you sort of have the good faith that others will act/think similarly. When someone uses a large information that I give them on my blog or in an email (eg a tutorial), I implicitly expect that they'll give me credit somewhere along the line, because that's what I'd do. I don't expect this in all instances, but definitely ones where I've divulged specific information that you might not be able to get elsewhere.

But, unfortunately not everyone thinks this way, which is a little upsetting. Which raises the question - what is the correct blogging/crafting
etiquette? How similar is too similar? When is credit due? What are your experiences and what do you expect from your blog readers and peers?

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Thinkin' thinkin'

Shannon and I went to the Life In Style trade show last night. I'd never been to a trade show before. It was very inspiring and thought provoking - seeing people in a similar field to myself who have taken things to the next step.

It poses a interesting question though - how far do I want to take this fabric venture? It seems like there are two main options. Stick with producing things on a small scale, for sale in my own shop and just a few other places. Or, start getting things professionally produced from the fabric, on a larger scale, selling in shops and doing the whole trade show thing.

I don't know - the latter sounds so very 'huge', but I guess it doesn't have to be. Some people probably just start inching in that direction and before they know it they have a 'range'. Anyway, food for thought.

Meanwhile, I'm looking into making products from my fabric that are a little less labour intensive. I put this little prototype kit together last week (and was quite taken aback to see something very similar at the trade show already - eep!). But anyway, little DIY notebook cover kits with fabric and instructions:

Leave the hard (sorry, fun) work up to someone else!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

mo' moo

After all that blog slacking and now two posts in one day!

Anyway apologies I must sound like a walking advertisement for these guys, but the folks over at Moo have done it again - cute little sticker books! I just got a free sample in the mail today - yay! (smart move, given I'm bound to rant about it on my blog).

They're very cool. I have no idea what I'll use them for though. Perhaps I'll include them as freebies with my shop orders.

Wanna know what really cracked me up though? This is the sort of thing I find immensely funny... when I folded the cover right back, past the spine, I found this little guy:

Te hehehe.

Bird Girls Can Fly

(well, maybe not this one, such tiny wings).

Aha, finally something crafty to post about! I've been inspired by all the lovely softies and birds people have been making so I thought I'd give it a go myself!

I prototyped her out of paper and sticky-tape first which sort of worked. After I sewed her together I had to go back and make some little changes - shorten her body, narrow her neck, give her head some darts. It's still not how I pictured her but I'm happy enough.

(the tail is still a work in progress)

I stuffed her using some cotton wadding that I've had in my stash for ages - it's the stuff they use in making futons and Japanese floor cushions, and basically looks like raw cotton right off the bush. It even has the occasional twig in it. It's awesome to work with tho - much more pliable than synthetic stuff and you can make it dense in some spots and light and fluffy in others. You can get it from friendly futon manufacturers. I'm not sure what other people use to stuff their toys but I really like the cotton wadding...

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Linky love

Oh man, I feel like such a slack blogger lately. Here I am reading post after post by everyone else and I just have nothing. In fact I feel incredibly slack in all facets of my work lately. The weeks just seems to be rolling by, and at the end of the day its like: "what did I actually get done today?"

There's certainly stuff in the works though. Like a mysterious little collaboration I've got going with Lynn from Satsuma Press. It's VERY exciting, and quite imminent too. More to come soon!

Meanwhile, given I have nothing to show of my own today, it's time for some linky love!

Satsuma Press blog
As previously mentioned, this is Lynn's very new blog! Keep an eye on this one, I reckon there's going to be some good reads and very inspiring letterpress related stuff (if her first few posts are anything to go by!)

Milk & Cookies
A good uni buddy of mine, Tali. She's just started a post-grad animation course, and posts really cool illustrations in lots of different styles.

The lovely Pei (Pei Pei?) who I got to meet in person at the Etsy meetup the other week! I really like her cute crafty stuff and felted toys :)

A Melbourne based 'Dutchy' who only recently started her craft blog but is already off to a flying start. Some lovely stuff coming out of this one :)

Blossom Creations
The lovely Erin, who kindly put together a little Japan travel guide for me (she lived there for 2.5 years). Anyway her blog is full of some very awesome stuff, and she recently released a range of patterned gift wrap and notebooks. Very cool!

And last but not least - another Etsy purchase! Man I love the impulse buying power of PayPal.

This is a crotcheted coral piece by Jess from You can either buy the pattern or she can make them to order for a very reasonable price! I plan to put it in a shadow box frame like she has on her site.

Okay time to go attempt to be productive...