Friday, November 30, 2007


Whee, I picked up a new design from the printers yesterday! I've been a bit sneaky with this one and haven't posted any concept pics on my blog at all - thought it might be nice to surprise yas all for once :)

Bulokku in burnt orange

Bulokku in Robins Egg Blue

I'm quite happy with how this one turned out - it was good to do a proper inverse print for once. And in 2 colour too! The name "bulokku" is a play on the Japanese word for "block". I love how so many Japanese words are just English words with extra syllables and a vowel on the end :)

These two will be going up into the shop Monday morning at 9:00, along with some old faves:

Riverstones & Flowing Dots - Raspberry on Cream
Riverstones & Flowing Dots - Robins Egg Blue on Natural
Birch Forest & Riverside Adventures - Robins Egg Green on Cream
Birch Forest & Riverside Adventures - Chocolate on Natural

I know I've gone a bit crazy with the whole Robins Egg colours, I think I've printed it enough now - I just like it so much :)

Have a great weekend!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Ginkgo + Mattt

One of my favourite local artisans has always been Matt from Mattt bags. A lovely guy with a very successful, high quality product. We've done a couple of collaborations with my fabric and designs in the past, but funnily enough I've never actually seen one of the bags he's made with my fabric, let alone taken a photo so I can blog about it! I've been wanting to for most of this year.

But finally, I have one. It's actually for my mum, who loves Mattt bags and now has three. But she wanted another one with one of my designs on it, and has been asking for months. Very sweet.

Yesterday he came to collect a whole bunch of Ginkgo which will be available on his bags in places like Craft Victoria later this week. Wow, Craft Victoria. It's a dream to have something of mine in there.


Monday, November 26, 2007

good things

I just love all the responses to my creativity post! If you haven't read them, check them out! Some fantastic stories and insights there - it's so good to have my thoughts on the topic validated too. There are so many "gems" in amongst the comments, but here are just a few:

"I firmly believe that creativity is something we all have within us, it is only about the confidence and support to let go of these 'adult' feelings of it not being good enough or right or worthy. Once you can release those fears and just go for it, everyone can unleashed their creativity."

"...a lot of what people construe as creativity is the result of damn hard work and patience! And you can be as creative as all hell and never make a thing if you don't dig in to your ideas and do some work. :)"

"Sure, I was good at drawing as a young child, but that is what I did *all* the time. Lots & lots of practice."

"It's scary to think that with people publishing things like that, there could be tons of artists just giving up instead of working harder to develop there talents into more than just a interest. I think if you have a want and will to learn, the doors are always open."

"This is too true! I have always likened it to the fact that we were "taught" to write and form the letters and words, and it took years of practice and study to perfect how you do this physically and then how you learnt to compile them in a way to express and communicate. We all have very different levels of how we write and communicate. Like anything it's those who practice these skills who are the best at it. I think art and creativity is the same and yet people dont understand the "practice" element of this industry too!"

There are many other good things going on around here at the moment. Stitching night last night at Mikes was a whole lot of fun. I made a Japanesey-esque design to be made into a notebook cover and discovered the joys of split stitch:

My box of Moo Xmas cards arrived in the mail, and I'm really happy with how they turned out - I hadn't seen them printed until now. You can get yours here
[yay shameless self promotion].

And last but not least, our new bespectacled, dorky, yet somewhat endearing Prime Minister. Looking forward to seeing what a change can bring! I have high hopes.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

A rant about creativity....

I read something in YEN magazine the other day that really annoyed me. It was this quote from some ad agency bigwig who concluded with something like "i firmly believe that creativity cannot be taught". The article was interviews with people in the creative industry who had "made it" giving advice to those who want to get in.

Given the context of the article I thought that was such a horrible, narrow minded thing to say. It is exactly that sort of mindset that stops many lovely & potentially very talented people from realising their creative dreams.

I guess it's something that's really close to my heart because I know that feeling of not being 'creative enough', and it's purely through persistent effort and the support of people like my blog readers that I've been able to develop in recent years. It just takes practice, persistence, and confidence that you're on the right track.

I guess my point is that creativity is like any other skill. We all start off as highly creative little individuals, but the people who seem 'naturally' talented as adults probably just continued outputting creativity throughout their life, rather than putting it on the backburner for more 'appropriate' pursuits.

The type of people that surround you when you're growing up make a huge difference - if you're parents are supportive of your creative outputs, you're much more likely to keep doing it - practicing, refining, getting better.

But that doesn't mean that someone can't pick up creative skills later in life. It's not that they lack some magical, exclusive talent. They're simply out of practice, and how can you expect to be good at something that you haven't practiced?

What I love about the blog community is it's like a big, supportive family, providing a lot of much needed support and encouragement. It's been great to see everyone collectively growing and improving, feeding off one another, taking things to the next level.

Anyway I'd love to hear other people's opinions on the above. If you think it's true or not, and what has helped you develop creatively...

Stocked up

Woohooo, my shop actually has a decent amount of stock in it for once! I uploaded a bunch of mix packs this morning, plus the two ginkgo designs, and I think for once there's enough for everybody... plus more :)

And this might seem like Deja Vu if you've read Kristen's post - but check out this lovely little package I received from Suz of Cocoon in Launceston:

How did she know I have a lip balm obsession!?

We've only spoken over the phone but she sounds sooooo lovely, and bought a bunch of my stuff for her shop. And check out how gorgeous it is! (I pilfered these photos from Kristen's blog too):

More photos here.

It's funny how you suddenly get a whole new impression of a town you've never been to once you know there is an awesome, funky shop there. I might catch the boat over to Tassie one day and check it out!

Monday, November 19, 2007


Thank you to everyone who commented on my pricing post the other day. I really appreciate your honesty when it comes to such matters - especially tough ones like that.

Meanwhile, the shop has been cleared of fabric yet again and I worked hard this weekend to get all the orders packaged and posted off before I get swept away with other commitments. Really glad to have got that all done.

So, onto something new. Since I started producing textiles, there are three things that I have always aspired to achieve. 1- to print on a really lovely, natural feeling base cloth. 2- to print a 2 colour design, and 3, to produce a design that I feel wholeheartedly confident about and proud of.

And finally, at the risk of sounding conceited, I think I've finally managed to pull off all of those three things:

I'm reeeeally happy with how this one turned out. I was fretting about it for ages until I finally got it back from the printers and saw how the colour & scale turned out. I really hope you like it too.

I need a bit of a break before doing another shop update, so these two colourways will be up in the shop maybe Thursday or Friday this week, along with some mix packs. I'll confirm the time later on :)

Friday, November 16, 2007

a long day

It has been somewhat of a mammoth day! The shop has been cleared out of all fabric except for some of the gold raindrops and poppies. Which is funny because they were my favs! But each to their own :)

This morning was more stressful than usual - Etsy threw it's hands up in the air a couple of times when two people tried to buy the same item at once, dropping items out of their cart and all sorts of things. Many upset emails were received. But all was smoothed out in the end.

In the midst of it all, my letterpress tags made their way up into the shop also:

Thanks again to Lynn from Satsuma Press for doing the printing :)

Definitely time to clock off. Dumplings and Kareoke time I think...

New fabric and a note about pricing

New fabric is in the shop right now!

Now, I don't assume for a second that you guys haven't noticed my prices steadily increasing over the year. Pricing is a really difficult subject and something I do a lot of thinking, research and stressing about. This time, the prices have gone up again for a few reasons. 1, to accommodate the fact that the USD has been weakening, and with Etsy forcing us to list in USD us Aussies have been losing out. 2, to be more fair to my wholesale customers and not be undercutting them so much (thanks to
Bianca and Craft Inc. for this advice!). And 3 to be more fair to myself, if I want to be able to make an actual living out of doing this. So yeah. Prices will continue to go up slowly, but will stop when they reach a point that's fair for all :) I promise it won't be crazy expensive :)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

gift labels and many other things

Today my "studio" / apartment looks like a bomb hit it. Last week I didn't have enough to do, and as it always goes everything suddenly arrived at once. I've got letterpress gift tags in the making, freshly printed label sheets (just up in my shop today!), packaging goods coming out of my ears and bolts and bolts of fabric to photograph.

Here's some pics of the gift labels!

The button badges are a freebie with local orders, and the gift tags with international orders (so that I don't have to deal with customs - paper goods are much easier).

Aaaaand, to add more madness to the day, an interview I did with Triple J radio apparently starts airing today! I think it's only a minute long and gets aired a few times during the week. So I'm keeping an ear out. Gee I really hope I don't sound stupid. The interviewer Jen was really lovely and she said she'd do her best to make me sound good, but hopefully I gave her enough good material to work with! You can read the accompanying online article here. I say "artsy crafty" way too much.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

And the winner is....

Comment number 64!!!! And that person is "Denise"! I can't click on your name to see exactly who you are, but this was your comment:

"ohh , so many things I would like to make, I would like to frame them to make some small medium wall art for my studio,with this tutorial

Or cover various wood boxes to keep sewing notions, I'll also like to cover-decorate some IKEA KNUFF magazine files, A nice little bag to carry my camera would be nice also... I can keep going !
So many ideas!! ^_^ for your precious fabric"

Sounds like a very worthy winner to me! Please contact me at lara[!at] and let me know your address :)

Sorry to those who missed out. There were some really lovely comments left (116 comments, crazy!!) and I wish I could send you all a little something. I do have at least three more giveaways planned though :)

Aaaaaalso, I just picked up the next batch of fabric from the printers. So stay tuned for a shop update sometime in the next week :)


Monday, November 12, 2007


Entries closed! At 116 comments I think that's plenty!! I'll do the draw now :)

It's really high time that I did a giveaway on this blog. I might do 1 every fortnight up until Christmas or something. Well, the thought is there, I'll try to follow through with it :)

Anywhoo, below is a pile of fabric from my stash. There's quite a lot there, but it's not all good. Some of the larger pieces have print defects - some minor, some serious. All cut-around-able. Most of the smaller pieces are completely fine.

The pile will go completely free to a fellow Aussie, or $10 to cover postage if the winner is anywhere else in the world. To go into the draw just leave a comment on this post and tell me what sorts of things you like (or would like) to make out of my fabric. Always useful to know!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Bobbin Friends!

The Cups and Cuddles exhibition last night was great - you should definitely check it out if you're in the area. Lots of lovely people were there to meet and catch up with, I got to have a nice big long chat with Pip, and got to meet the very talented Catherine Campbell in person, who was really lovely. For some reason I always form a mental impression in my head of what someone will be like before I meet them, and if they're super talented I often assume they'll "know it" and be all "uber cool" and standoffish. And it's fantastic when they're just lovely and down to earth and nice.

This weekend I've had a whole bunch of 'me' time whilst Pete's off at an Olympic weightlifting certification thingy (no he's not all huge and hardcore with no neck - just something he's getting in to). Plenty of time for crafting and preparing some new, non-fabric stuff for my shop (the fabric is still coming though, in about a week - whoo!).

A little while ago I got these 'Bobbin Friends' button badges made and have sewn some little Japanesey fabric pouches for them. They're up on etsy now.

Okay time for a cuppa. Take care and enjoy the rest of your weekend :)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

vintage spools

I jump at any opportunity to make my home look like something out of a Japanese Craft book. Only if it's just a tiny little opportunity ;) These vintage spools I found here on Etsy did the trick:

Only $3 for a set of 5. Go snap em up!

Gunna go to this tonight, sounds like heaps of people are going to be there...

Should be really good. Can't go wrong with cute, girly illustrations. Hopefully there will be cupcakes.

Friday, November 09, 2007


I am always taken aback by how many really lovely people there are out in blog land. Today I received a parcel in the mail from Kaija, a Finland based bookbinder and maker of lovely things. Kaija, having grown up in Finland, has experienced somewhat of a Marimekko overdose. So she sent me this little parcel of Marimekko scraps!

The envelope in the foreground was hand stencilled by Kaija - really lovely.

I've been admiring Kaija's work for a little while now and have been meaning to post about it for ages, so what better time than now. Here are just a few examples of her lovely work:

Find more at her blog Paperiaarre, and her etsy shop here. Thanks again Kaija :)

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


I got really inspired recently looking at the Print & Pattern blog - particularly the "Box of Labels" sets that she showcased a few weeks ago - such gorgeous stuff. So I decided to have a go making my own sticker labels:

Only problem is that looking back on my inspiration, they're probably a bit too similar to the Sukie ones. What do you think? I just really love that grungey effect they used on theirs - makes it look a bit less clean and stark and vector-ey. Same reason I like to put linen texture behind my other stuff :)

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Moo Xmas

Oooh Kwoozy just made me aware that my Xmas card designs (previously mentioned here) are now available on the Moo site! And they have some cool new products that you can put them on too - standard greeting cards (in portrait or landscape) and postcards too. Just go here to view all the designs and drag and drop the ones you like (there are three pages of options). Yay!

I've ordered a set for myself so I'll show some pics when they arrive.

Meanwhile, I've taken a 4 day weekend - Tuesday is a public holiday for a horse race (I love this city) - so I attempted another softie for Mirabel.

Note to self, if you want to make something "simpler", don't choose a creature with 8 legs.

... and also don't try to come up with the pattern yourself - too stressful! I'm sure there would have been an easier way to put him together.

Monday, November 05, 2007


My sewing machine must really hate me now. For months it has been making this weird clacking noise whilst sewing. Then, the other day it started making this horrible high pitched screeching noise, and then refused to go all together.

I had a look inside, nothing,
seeemed to be wrong, caught, or out of place. But then I had the genius idea of giving it some lube. Et voila. No screeching, not even clacking, running as smooth as silk. For how long had my machine been crying out for attention and I'd been neglecting it?? Very, very bad.

Anyway I finally finished making my birdy softie, which needed a tail, and am going to contribute it to Softies for Mirabel. I probably should have made something more colorful for the kiddies. Maybe i'll try my hand at making another, simpler toy.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Let's go picnic!

The fruits of my recent Shinzi Katoh obsession:

The little lunchboxey thing at the front was a belated birthday present from the famous Aunty Cookie- thanks Shannon!
That's definitely all I'm going to buy for now - a much too expensive obsession.

I discovered the hard way that the design on the bottle can be scratched if I'm not careful. So I made this:

... using perfectly apt
"i am drinking" linen tape from a recent swap with Leslie from Good-ness. Hee!

On that note, here's the rest of the swap - Shinzi, Lotta, linen tape, craft mag... wasn't she fantastic! Very generous :)

P.S. - So funny, when I was taking those pics on my balcony a guy on the street below looked up and said "ebay? i know ... i've done it a million times".

Hehehe, not quite, but he was close enough :)

Thursday, November 01, 2007


If my blog looks weird for a little bit, it's because I'm upgrading to the new blogger template/widgetty system. Kind of scary - I'm going to lose allll my changes and have to re do them! But it'll be worth it...

*UPDATE - whew that was much easier than expected. Go blogger!*