Friday, May 30, 2008

Craft City Melbourne

I'm a few days late on this one, but check out the awesome new blog that Pip and Gemma have just launched - Craft City Melbourne - a directory or local faves! This site is already a fantastic resource of cool, crafty & inspiring places to visit, like Lefflers, Zetta Florence and the Footscray Arts Precinct.

And I am very lucky and humbled to be on there as a recipient of a Craft City Citizenship Award!

Thanks so much girls for your hard work on putting this site together. It's rad.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Miss Havachat! A very unique children's book

You probably already know this but I often have heaps of different projects on the go at once (don't we all). But there's one in particular though that has been bubbling away in the background for some years now, and I've been keeping it secret, until now...

Miss Havachat!

For the last few years I've been working closely with author, Peter Barber, to create a childrens book for 3-6 year old girls. But not just any children's book! The book is customisable in lots of ways to suit your own little "Miss Havachat". Name, appearance, family, friends... all customisable through an online interface and delivered anywhere in the world.

The centerfold (it's station street in Fairfield!)

This book has been a long time in the making, mainly because the technology to connect variable image data to digital printing is so new. But finally we got there.

The book comes with gift wrap and a little card to match (and a free download of the Miss Havachat song).

Go check out the website at and if you so please, order a book for a Miss Havachat you know and make them smile :) (my niece loved it and took it to school to show off to all her friends).

We launched the book during 'story time' at the Darebin library and it was a hit:

Peter Barber reading the book to the littlies at Darebin Library

Colouring in sheets were handed out afterwards - look at her go!


Sunday, May 25, 2008

For the love of houses

Sometimes textile designs can be quick and simple to produce - once you come up with an idea you can have it all drawn up in a couple of hours.

Some ideas however take a lot more commitment and confidence to pull them off. You have an idea you think might work, and subsequently spend days working on it, crossing your fingers that the final result will be as good as you picture in your head.

This is one of those designs, and I'm really happy with how it turned out:

New print - as yet Untitled

I spent hours and hours drawing detailed houses on large sheets of paper, with ensuing back pain and hand cramps:

Original sketches

If the print gets a good response, one thing I'm not sure of is what scale to print it at. I was thinking quite large, with each house about 15cm tall or more. Any thoughts?

Saturday, May 24, 2008

for the tram

I've successfully managed to stay away from the computer today (except for now.) Instead I've managed to put aside some time for some drawing/playing with ideas - something I haven't done enough of recently.

Here's a completely random doodle that popped up. The sentence got stuck in a loop in my head after I said it in a convenience store. Probably won't make much sense to some peeps. Anywhoo - I'd love to do a paper cut sometime with this sort of text (something more sensical though).

P.S. - Tram is one of those strange words where if you say it too often it loses all meaning, don't you think?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

oh so ground breaking stuff

The cool thing about having a little fabric mafia is that we can ride on each other's successes. After Shannon did something oh-so-groundbreaking and printed light ink on dark cloth (our printer had concerns about quality, but it turned out to be fine), Bianca and I followed suit :)

Ginkgo in Snow

I've been dying to print white ink on natural fabric for ages now, and I love the results! Given that the ink is opaque, it's tactile and sits more on the surface of the fabric. To me this helps emphasize the screen printed nature of the fabric and helps set it apart from digitally printed stuff. Especially because with digital you can't print light on dark cloth. Yay!

Ginkgo in Red Orange

More mix packs ahoy

Anyway, I reckon this lot will go up in the shop on Monday morning, along with some other goodies (including some more mix packs and some Birch Forest).

Let's say Monday 26th, 10:00am Melbourne time?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


I really like this concept. This evening I heard about Kiva whilst listening to Triple J and have already signed up to contribute. Kiva is a website through which you can loan money to a specific entrepreneur in a developing country. I like this analogy:

"Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish and he will feed every day. Loan him money for a boat and he will have a fishing business." Pretty cool.

You can loan as little as $25, but given that you can give the money straight from your paypal account it's a no brainer to loan a little bit more. And it gives you that feel good feeling, hey?

Go on, doooo it!

mysterious parcel

I love receiving packages in the mail when I have absolutely no idea what it could be. It doubles the excitement of opening a parcel. It can sometimes lead to disappointment, but this time it was good:

My very own copy of the Cutting Edge Patterns and Textures book! Which features a whole bunch of my patterns - albeit some very old ones that I'm not so fond of.

Also pictured above is the other version of the book (published by Rockport) which I borrowed off a colleague. I have to say, the Page One version looks SO MUCH BETTER. The front cover pattern (by the lucky Elizabeth of Fine Little Day) is much nicer on the Page One edition, and of course I'm biased because it features my Riverstones print on the spine - yay!

Some more snippets:

Victorian Terraces


Yay :)

Monday, May 19, 2008

Local Love

I do love my suburb of North Melbourne, and as homage to that have included a little bit of local business linky love in my sidebar -->

But I do wonder why it almost always smells like dry dog food.

I guess it's the Lost Dogs Home, but that's over 1k away...

Thursday, May 15, 2008

red and green things

I've still been in a bit of a funk this week. Not my usual chirpy self, instead being emotional and swearing at things. My design work is coming along nicely though so maybe it fits with that old adage about artists doing their best work when they're feeling down ;)

In lighter news, here's some red and green things that are making me happy:

Some freshly potted herbs and Cyclamen for the balcony. I always love that european red-flowers-in-planter-box thing, and these Cyclamen weren't too expensive and apparently love the cold. Perfect!

A gorgeous handbound book sent to me by Nicole of Freshly Blended. Sooo cute, and so well made! It's related to a little collaboration we've got in the works :)


... a new shoulderbag from Mattt! This one features the limited edition ginkgo print on natural hemp canvas. It was a custom job for Mattt, which is why I had a bit of the print on cream available last week. He also has this print in Pumpkin, and you buy them online here.

I've got more Ginkgo on the way actually, in another new colourway. Exciting :)

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Heart my golden soil

Aww, you guys are so sweet with all your comments to my last post. Thanks so much. Makes me feel better already (and I'll try to post more about the downs as well as the ups).

That said, there are some really interesting (yet stressful) things in development that I wish I could talk about but can't just yet. Let's just say it's a big change in the way that I do what I do :)

Anyway, most of you know by now that I am just a wee bit patriotic. Not in that yucky political way, just a more lovin' the people and places kind of way. So, I was extra delighted to see these two awesome posts in my blog feeds today:

1) Bloesem Blog - Lucy Feagins' guide to Melbourne

For the beginning of Bloesem's world tour, Lucy Feagins from The Design Files writes about her favourite must-see spots in Melbs, almost all of which are my favourites too:

Image from Bloesem

Douglas and Hope - Image from Bloesem

Journal Cafe - Image from Bloesem

See the full post here.

2) Decor8 - Australian Design

An amazing post on Decor8 about Australian design. With what looks like a lot of hard work Holly has written up a long list of fantastic Aussie bloggers, with a description for each. Thanks so much Holly!

Thursday, May 08, 2008


I just received these photos from Mio, Chris's Japanese photographer girlfriend who we traveled with overseas, and had to post them. Such classic moments:

Eating freshly made xurros from a tiny old couple's shop in the back streets of Barcelona
(c) Mio Kisaca

Stone spiral staircase in the towers of La Sagrada Familia
(c) Mio Kisaca

Mio captured some fantastic moments on our trip. I can't wait to see the rest of her shots :)

This is kind of related - but it's strange when your blog no longer feels like a personal place where you can write about anything. Where you can talk not just about work successes but also the not so good bits. Like when sales are down, or when you feel creatively paralyzed and self doubt starts to creep in. When you do your quarterly BAS and think "uh oh... not a good quarter".

I write this at the tale end of a not so good week, which fortunately has passed and I'm feeling more optimistic. I have some ideas brewing, which is always a good feeling.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Random Appearances

I've decided it's time for me to start doing more random, unscheduled shop updates. The shop is well stocked enough these days and it's nice to not make such a grand event of things. I've also been trying to think of ways to diversify my product range. I'm going to try putting together more kits and things. Would love any suggestions :)

So in light of the above, I've just popped a bunch of things up in the shop:

Some little Reversible Notebook Cosy kits like this:

Notebook cosy kit complete with instructions for A5 size or smaller

Some new fabric mix pack combinations:

And a new, super limited edition print of my Ginkgo fabric, on a heavyweight 100% hemp canvas. I did this little batch on the side of a custom print run for a customer (more on that soon!)

Ginkgo in Pumpkin on 100% Hemp Canvas

Ginkgo in Deep Red on 100% Hemp Canvas

Okay better go start thinking about dinner...

Friday, May 02, 2008

up and down, warm and cold

In the last week I have:

- Spent a beautiful warm public holiday walking around in singlet top and jeans

- Spent the rest of the week rugged up in my winter gear. Call this Autumn?? It's like winter already and the trees have hardly dropped any leaves!

- Spent far too much time flicking through images on ffffound. Feeling simultaneously inspired and petrified (eg: "oh my god, so many amazing ideas out there... I could NEVER think of anything as cool as that"). It's been a very up and down week.

- Found a suitably battered parcel in my letterbox, and was very excited to open it. Gorgeous teatowels from Skinny laMinx!! And so nicely packaged up too:

Eep and Borrowed Spoons teatowels from Skinny laMinx

Thanks so much Heather :)