Monday, July 28, 2008

A shop update - finally!

Along with prolonged blog absences has come a severe lack of shop updates! I've been saying for weeks that I'd update my shop with some new fabric, mix packs and leftover market stock, and lo and behold - it's done!

The latest batch of fabric is somewhat special:

Exhibit a) Ginkgo printed on a cream basecloth! Mmmm, I like this more than the natural basecloth I think. And this cloth is the lovely 250gsm organic cotton/hemp blend that I used for the raindrops print. Unfortunately I liked this design so much that I used a lot in my own products... but there's still some to be snapped up in le shop.

Ginkgo in Robins Egg

Exhibit b) The very last run of riverstones and flowing dots! Yep, unfortunately this screen (my very first... sigh) has had to be retired due to a limit on how many screens I can have (a problem I won't have anymore soon!) so I did one last farewell run. Fittingly, these designs have also been printed on the lovely organic cotton/hemp mentioned above.

Riverstones in Orange

Flowing Dots in Lime

Exhibit c) Some of the clutch purses left over from the Design Market are now up in my shop. And you can mix and match the front panel if you'd like a different design to the one shown :)

And last but not least.... a whole bunch of mix packs - every single one of them different. And with brand new much cuter packaging (this is like the third time I've redesigned my mix packs!)

Phew :)

Sunday, July 27, 2008

No fear of hard work

Hee, I am thrilled at the response to my last post - thank you! It's so heartening to receive such a positive reaction to our big new venture, which is very much a combination of scary and exciting :)

Meanwhile, over at the Ink & spindle blog it's very much looking like a DIY renovations diary and you would be forgiven for thinking that we're obsessed with floorboards. But I think it's every renter's dream to be able to get into a space and actually change things - and you basically have free reign with a commercial lease. We're locked in for 3 years, after all :)

I think we're making prettty darn good headway for just a couple of weekend's work. We're pretty wrecked right now (Sunday night) but certainly haven't run out of steam or enthusiasm, and certainly have no fear of hard work :)

That all said, I'll make a huge effort this week to update my shop with some new stock! Mix packs, clutches and new fabrics really are on their way, I promise :)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The big reveal

The time has finally come. I’ve been alluding to this for months, and have been busting to talk about it ...and now I finally can.

Say hello to Ink & Spindle - our new yardage screen printing business to-be :)

Yep, we’re ‘insourcing’. For months now, Bianca, myself and fellow artsy chick Tegan Rose have been planning this. Bringing the screen printing of our fabrics in house, having more control, more flexibility. And also ... offering it as a service :)

So for all those people out there who have always wanted to print their own fabric but don’t know where to go... we’ll be able to do it for you. We’re still a while away from being up and running, and will need some time to perfect the process – but our aim is to cater to anyone who’s interested in having their own designs printed onto textiles, not just those who are ‘in the know’ and have managed to uncover the few yardage printers around.

We also plan to have a strong customer service focus, and great web based facilities that make the process much easier.

Last Monday we got the keys to our new studio space which marks the true beginning, and a sign that we can start sharing the journey.

The space we’ve secured is beautiful - set inside the old Younghusband wool store building in Kensington. Most people would have seen it from the railway line or CityLink, an unmissable, massive building with old warehouse lettering along the side.

We’re in the process of doing up the space now, visit our blog to see some of the progress shots :)

Excitement abounds :)

Birdprint swap

Another swap! This one has taken a looong time to actually eventuate, until we finally managed to catch up at the Design Market. Caylie and I agreed to swap some of my fabric for an item of my choosing - I chose one of her gorgeous hand made giraffes!

I think I got the sweet end of the deal though - Sooooo much work and attention to detail has gone into this little guy! Delicately hand stitched body and little antlers, and a hand painted pattern on his body.

Check out Caylie's blog Birdprint over here :)

Cicada Studio swap

I'm a bit belated posting about this, but here's some beautiful fabric that I received in the mail as part of my swap with Michelle from Cicada Studio!

I sent Michelle some of my screen printed fabric and she sent me some of her digital printing fabric, and we both liked each other's so much we decided that there's too many pros and cons to each method to pick one method above the other :)

That said, Michelle has just written a fantastically candid post about digital print quality and another great one about shipping costs (a must read for anyone trying to figure out how much to charge).

Thanks Michelle!

Monday, July 21, 2008

To market to market

Oh. My. God. I have never been quite so overwhelmed in my life. The Design Market was FULL ON. It's full on and jam packed every year but it's a different story when you're on the other side of the transaction. There would have been a good few hours there where I was serving customers non-stop. I think I did okay given it was my very first time doing retail and using an eft-pos machine, and now I realise how easy it is to forget to give someone back their credit card ;)

But, the day was a great success. I was really happy with how my things sold. It was definitely a learning experience (note to self - take 1000's of business cards next time) and interesting/surprising to see which things sold quickly.

One of the biggest surprises was how quickly the fabric mix packs went. I'm kicking myself for not making more! I kind of assumed that a "Design" market was more about finished product than supplies, but I underestimated how many keen crafters would be there!

Here's some pics of our stand just after set-up. Not very good ones unfortunately:

(my stuff was mostly towards the back)

Thanks to everyone who came down to say hello. I was pretty overwhelmed so apologies if I had trouble stringing sentences together! Thanks also to Kylie and Bianca who helped man the fort whilst I took a break.

I'll be updating my shop with the leftover stock soon. And some new fabrics, which I haven't had a chance to list!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Busy as a bee

Some prolonged blog absences around here! I've been meaning to write and say how awesome everyone's responses to my last post were. Especially for a post without pictures (wow, people actually read them!). Anyway I'm glad to hear it resonated with so many folk :)

I've been pretty crazy busy this week, preparing for the Melbourne Design Market THIS SUNDAY. Please come and say hello if you're about. I'll be manning the Bamakko stall with the lovely and talented Tim Growcott (if only he had a website! you can see some of his textiles here).

Here's a quick preview of what I've been working on for the market:

Lamps lamps and more lamps!!

Mix packs. With packaging revised YET AGAIN.


Clutch purses with mix-and-match router cut plywood clasps! Yay!! So good to see these finally come to life :)

There'll also be plenty of cushions which are being sewn as we speak.

I found time to do some non-work related things too. Like:

- playing with my niece and nephew who visited for a week from the States
- building this yellow lego castle with my family using instructions I finally found on the internet (ahhh, childhood moments revisited)
- Going to Nova to watch the movie Happy Go Lucky. A much needed light hearted break.

More big exciting news to come... but that will have to wait till another day :)

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

A note about perspective

It's amazing how hard it can be to keep things in perspective when you're going about your every day life and routine. Pete and I both got home from work last night feeling stressed and overwhelmed by our respective jobs, but by the end of the evening realised how crazy it is to be stressing out about how to make a website or pattern the most amazing thing ever.

It's funny how easily you get caught up in the rat race... and how your ideals about how life should be get dictated by what your peers have or what you see in an interiors magazine. Sometimes I can really see why people choose to abandon all that to go live out in the country with a wide sunny veranda and a self sustaining garden.

We really are lucky to have what we have - health, family, friends -how come it's so hard to just stop and appreciate that?

No images today - trying to stop myself from not posting purely because I have no pics (whoa double negatives galore :) ).

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Real Living - yay

A few people have commented on this already and I'm yet to see it in person, but my article in Real Living Mag has appeared in this month's issue - yay! Can't believe I'm in an actual glossy mag. Wow.

Bianca sent me these photos as she's a subscriber. I'll have to wait till Monday.

I love that Catherine Campbell got a mention too :)

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


I'm very excited to announce that I'm going to be doing the Melbourne Design Market this year! Alongside Bianca and some other talented folk, I'm going to have a selection of products available on the Bamakko stand, which I will be helping to man on the day. I've never done a market before, so this will certainly be jumping in the deep end!

As a result, I've been focusing on some product development. Next in line - cushions! I really like how the houses & bicycles print looks on them - very whimsical and apt for a kids room or any other cute, colourful spot in the house. I've popped a few up in my shop to see how they go:

Houses & Bicycles cushion in Orange (softie by One Red Robin)

Houses & Bicycles cushion in Robins Egg

Houses & Bicycles cushion in Teal

I'm only selling the covers for now as the inserts are a waste of postage, but plan to get some nice feather & foam inserts for market day :)