Monday, December 31, 2007

little japanese purse

Nothing beats the challenge of trying to decipher crazy sewing instructions that are completely in Japanese. Luckily there were lots of diagrams included in this kit, which I bought from a craft shop in Nagoya (Leslie might be able to get you one):

It was an interesting learning experience It looks pretty similar to the picture, but I didn't take in enough of the side seams so the mouth is actually too wide for the closure. It does funny things on the side when you try to close it.

I'd also never tried this sort of embroidery before, but it wasn't too hard. Happy with how the birdy turned out.

Oh my god have many of you tried fitting one of these little purse closures? They are sooooooooo hard and frustrating to work with!! I dented mine quite a bit trying to press the metal closed around the fabric. The kit came with some thin rope that you stitch along the top edge of the fabric before fitting. It helped, but it was still veeery fiddly. Any tips?

2008 eve

Today we're gearing up for a 42 degree (107.6f) New Years Eve. I'm having my usual NYE dilemma where Pete and I have both been invited to different things, but really all I want to do is watch the fireworks. I've never seen the fireworks up close on NYE, and for once I'd like to.

We've had a pretty quiet holiday break so far. lots of playing scrabble and watching DVD's to escape the heat.

Pete randomly grabbed a handful of 4 E's from the bag - too funny not to take a photo.

I've been doing a heap of thinking about my business and where I'd like it to go from here. Thinking of new designs, products etc etc. One of the most inspiring blogs I have been reading lately is the Bookhou blog, of Toronto based Arounna and John. They make such gorgous stuff:

Bookhou design - see more of their work here.

I'd love to be making products/textiles with a similar feel to this. Which reminds me, check out this awesome studio tour with Lotta Jansdotter! (thanks to Make It for the link). Oh my god Lotta is such a sweetie! I was hoping she'd be a lovely, down to earth person just like this :)

Monday, December 24, 2007

farewell 2007

It's funny when you look back on the year that's passed and it simultaneously feels like time has flown by but that a gazillion things have happened. I just looked back at my blog archives and found
this post from just March this year when I tentatively put my first batch of fabric up for sale and bit my nails hoping it would sell.

It feels like that was years ago, not just 9 months. Again I just want to send out a huuuge thank you to all those who have supported me in this venture throughout the year. All your comments have really helped to boost my confidence and have given me a general feelgoodedness that has permeated the rest of my life :)

It's also been great to meet sooo many lovely people this year. On Saturday Bianca, Marcel and I had a great time catching up with Leah from Hyena in Petticoats who was in Melbourne for a bit - we did some Brunswick Street shopping despite the horrible weather. We also popped by the Rose Street market and bumped into Justine who had made these awesome bags and cushions from my fabric (and some gorgeous Japanese fabric):

I was a bit like a giggling schoolgirl looking at them whilst Bianca snapped these pics :)

Anyway better run. Hope you all have a happy and safe Christmas and I'll see you in the new year!! xoxox

Thursday, December 20, 2007

An amazing feeling of relief

You know what's a good feeling? Deciding NOT to buy a particular property. The last week has been sooo stressful with to-ing and fro-ing about a place that we really liked, going through the insanely stressful negotiation & organising process... putting everything else in life on hold basically. Thinking "is it worth what they're asking?? should we go higher?? this place IS a bit unconventional, is it really a good investment??". And then bring in Pete's dad, who has a look through and tells us there's structural problems, a leaking roof and a poor reno job done. And now just feelings of relief. We can just let it go.

You would have loved this place though. Converted commercial property with a funky rough exterior, huge living area, high ceilings, commercial kitchen, so many quirks. Perfect home office, so much space to splash my fabric around. But oh well. Some things are just too good to be true sometimes.

No wonder they wanted us to sign without a building inspection being done. Lesson learnt.

Okay so what's going on outside of my own head - oh that's right, Christmas!!! Time to go enjoy it :)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

More press - Print & Pattern!!

Thanks so much to Bowie Style for featuring my moo xmas designs on the Print & Pattern blog yesterday, whoo!!

So much other stuff to blog about but so little time. And other very exciting/scary things are in development but I can't talk about them until they go through... hopefully soon!

Hope everyone is having fun preparing for the xmas break and aren't too stressed :)


Saturday, December 15, 2007

The local rag

This is a little bit belated, but I got into the local paper last week!

And there are four photos. Four!

All thanks to my friend Nishanthi who writes for them - thanks Shanny :)

Friday, December 14, 2007

Likes and dislikes

Well, I'm back from the rooftop market. The market itself was pretty good, with it's astro turf and market umbrellas and awesome views. Anna Laura was there and we had a nice chat, and there was some new stuff that I hadn't seen anywhere else before.

But what I didn't like were the scores of uber-cool hipster kids loitering around the bar making me feel intimidated, and the snobby bar man who was really condescending when I asked if I could get a granita that I could take away with me: "uh no... that would be illeeegal". I didn't realise it was alcoholic.

But what I do like, are these very very cute baby shoes by Evie Lala!

Such nice product photography too! You can snap them up here.

Everything on that site is gorgeous though and I love the site design :)

Meant to be

I love these Alex drawers from Ikea. Just like a mini plan chest but on castors (how rad do they look here!!). When I bought them I'd already measured the space and was pretty sure they wouldn't fit. But I really wanted them and Shannon was there with her she'll be roight attitude so I got them anyway.

And lookie lookie just how perfectly we managed to squeeze them into the space:

(I know, my studio is SOO not as sexy as you thought, right?)

It required some of Pete's tetris logic to figure out how to get them behind that bit of doorframe, but we got there in the end.

I'm really not in the mood to work today... but there's a rooftop market on in the city right now so I might run down and check it out!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Postal Service, you are letting me down

I'm not one hour back from my trip and I'm already stressed and upset. I come back to an inbox chock full of emails, and find that a few of them are about fabric orders that have gone missing in the post. Now don't get me wrong, 99% of the time packages arrive safe and sound (so don't start worrying), but to receive 3 emails at the same time about missing parcels was just too much for me to hear.

What I'd really like to know is, what is the correct etiquette when it comes to missing orders? What do shops usually do? I always resend the fabric if I have it (or another as a substitute) with no questions asked, but I'd love to hear what other people do. I hate the idea of an unhappy customer, so I'll do anything to make sure they're happy ... even if it means having to take responsibility for a crappy postal service or some nasty person who steals parcels out of mail boxes. Some shops put a "no responsibility taken..." disclaimer on my site but that just seems so cold and unfriendly and in the end doesn't make for a happy customer! Thoughts?

[update] Well, I feel better about the whole thing now - after talking to a few people and also reading the comments. All basically reinforcing what I already know is the right thing to do, which is to just take these losses as they come and replace any missing orders. Mum suggested to 'self insure' - which is basically to factor into your costs the possibility of one or two parcels going missing, so that it doesn't hurt too much. And I like that idea. Registered/Insured post in insanely expensive around here and just isn't an option.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Definitely Nap Time

Phew. It's the end of a long and exhausting week. Yes I know, I don't have kids that wake me up at 5:30am but I'm still tiiiiired. I've spent the last four days basically being a packaging girl and postal worker, and I'm so pleased to say that all orders are in the mail. My theory is that if I get to the P.O. before they open and am first in line at the door, then I can feel less guilty about using up one of the service counters for a full 20 minutes even if the line goes out the door, as it frequently does.

Anyway, what else has been going on around here? Ooh I got to meet some of the lovely girls at the recently opened Thread Den, and have already given them a bunch of my stuff - yay.

Thread Den is a retail space for vintage and local designer clothing and accessories, a sewing lounge with machines for hourly hire and lessons, and a hub for emerging designers in general. I think they will do well :)

What else? Oh last night was the Christmas Shopping Spectacular at Mikes which was a heap of fun. Lots of new people to meet, and plenty of white wine to keep me chatty (too chatty?) and give me a nice hangover to nurse today. I can't hold my liquor anymore it seems.

And then there's this awesome bag and lovely post by one of my favorite craftisans - Abby Jane of While She Naps, which I'm mightily chuffed about - Thanks Abby!

Tote bag by Abby Jane

And finally - time for a much needed break! I'm off to Sydney with a girly friend for a few days which should be so nice and relaxing. However I reckon the highlight of the trip will be catching up with Kristen who is going to take me to lots of cool places like Cloth. That should be very inspiring.

On that rambling note, I'm off! Thanks to everyone for your really kind words about the new fabric and for helping to empty my shop (mostly) yet again! I am always blown away by the support :)

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


I was sitting at my computer at 7:30 this morning doing shop-related calculations thinking - something's not quite right here. I've sold most of what I put up in my shop yesterday, but I'm only just breaking even with my production costs.

And then I figured it out. I only listed in my shop HALF of what I actually have! For example I entered 10 quantities (5m) instead of 10

So, to anyone who missed out on something they wanted, there's more in the shop right now! If you've already placed an order and you'd like me to combine shipping - just include a note to the seller and I'll send you a revised invoice (it'll only be $1 less, but hey :) ).

Sorry about that!

Monday, December 03, 2007

fabrics in the shop

The shop is now healthily stocked up with the new Bulokku print and some other old faves:

The Birch Forest has all sold out in a snap though. I really need to do something about that. Birch is printed from the same screen as Riverside Adventures which doesn't sell quite so well, so I think it's time to separate them!

I can either find another design to print alongside it (maybe My Little Town??) or, I can modify the Birch to be full width. I'd probably do this by increasing the scale of the design slightly and adding more branches at the top. But I'm not sure - would that design really work 1.5m tall?? Is a full width Birch fabric even useful to crafters? Would love to hear people's thoughts on the matter...